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peace so far.
mention of them should be made in the proces verbal.” Three members refused to vote at all, and five protested against the results of the labours of the Synod. Some expressed a liope that the law would be amended in the hands of government; others, a regret that the Confession of Faith should have been omitted. M. Coville voted for the Project " although the Synod had not abolished for ever the deplorable, the anti-protestant, the anti-christian principles of confessions of faith,” while the last of the voters was thankful that, notwithstanding the many subjects of dissent, the members of the Synod had continued in
Thus terminated this Assembly, from whose wisdom and labours so much had been expected. Not a few had vainly dreamed that the moment had arrived for a general alliance among the Protestants, or, at least, among the Calvinists of Europe. It may, however, be doubted if much real good is ever derived from alliances for the purposes of conciliation and edification. For a contrary purpose, indeed, they are all powerful. But, like a wedge, their virtue consists in severing and overthrowing ; while they are impotent—nay, worse than impotent—to build up and unite. In the one case they put into play the passions of mankind, and avail themselves of their favourite prejudices ; while, in the other, they strive to pour oil on the stormy billows of passion, and appeal in vain to the judgment, warped by personal interests, or too indifferent to take an active part. Certain it is, that no hopes of a general alliance can be derived from the following Project of Organic Law, which commences by requiring every pastor to be a Frenchman, or, at least, of French extraction ; nor is it probable that the reconciliation so hastily and injudiciously patched up will be of long duration, or productive of any practical and beneficial results. Fortunately, however, for mankind, the issues of events are under the guidance of an all-wise Providence, who in his own good time will order all things aright. “The Lord is King, be the people erer so impatient: He sitteth between the Cherubim, be the earth never so unquiet.”—
PROJECT OF THE ORGANIC LAW OF THE REFORMED CHURCH. Presented to the Government by the Deputies of the Reformed Churches of France, assembled in Paris, in the month of September, 1848.
GENERAL DISPOSITIONS. "Art. 1. The Reformed Church of France to have pastors, Sectional Consistories, General Consistories, Sectional Synods, and a General Synod. To hare, also, Faculties (or Colleges,) of Theology.
FIRST TITLE OF TIE PASTORS.
Art. 2. To be nominated pastor, the following conditions must be ful
"1. He must be a Frenchman, or of French extraction;
“3. He must be provided with a diploma of bachelor in theology, delivered by a French Faculty, legally established, and with a re
gular act of consecration, signed by seven pastors, actually officiat
ing in the Reformed Church of France. “The Professors of the faculties of theology, being ministers of the holy Gospel, to be considered as pastors in whatever consecrations they may take a part. In certain special cases the number of consecrating pastors and professors may be reduced to five.
"Art. 3. Pastors cannot be nominated, suspended, or dismissed, except in conformity with articles 21, 22, 23, 24, 35, 42, and 50.
"Art. 4. When a pastor, in consequence of years, or of serious and permanent infirmities, shall, either on his own requirement, or on that of ths sectional consistory-be pronounced by the General Consistory, or by the Sectional Synod, unable any longer to discharge the whole, or an important part of his functions, his place shall be supplied with an assistantpastor, appointed with the same forms as a titular-pastor.
"Art. 5. The emolument of the assistant-pastor shall amount to two thirds, at least, of the stipend allowed by the State to the titular-pastor. The titular-pastor shall not be called upon to resign to the assistant-pastor more than one-third of the said stipend.
“Art. 6. If it shall be verified by the Sectional Consistory, that the causes of impediment in the case of the titular-pastor have ceased, the said pastor shall be entitled to resume his functions, together with the integral amount of his stipend. He may appeal to the General Consistory, and, if necessary, to the Sectional Synod, against any decision adverse to his claim.
“ Art. 7. In case of temporary infirmity. or other impediment, a pastor may reclaim provisionally, the assistance of a suffragan, to be named by himself, in concert with the sectional consistory. This suffragance, however, not to be prolonged beyond one year, unless it be renewed before the expiration of that term. (!)
" Art. 8. Every church or community of the faithful, confided to the ministry of one or more pastors, shall have its Sectional Consistory.
“ Art. 9. The sectional consistory shall be composed of the titular and assistant pastor or pastors officiating in the church, and of a certain number of elders according to the following scale :-
“ Twelve elders for one titular pastor-fifteen for two-eighteen for three -twenty-one for four-twenty-four for five and upwards.
“ Nevertheless, these numbers may be reduced, that of twelve by onehalf, and the others by one-third at most, in certain cases of exception, of which the consistory shall judge. “ Art. 10. In the churches composed of several chapels of ease,
each chapel of ease shall be represented in the sectional consistory in proportion to its population.
“ Art. 11. The Elders shall be nominated by the Protestants who have completed their twenty-fifth year, residing at least one year within the pale of the church.
“ Who shall prove their first communion,
“And who shall recognize the Bible to be the word of God, and the only rule of their faith.
“ Art. 12. The list of the electors shall be made out by the sectional consistory,
For this purpose, the faithful shall be invited to enregister themselves, every Sunday, on coming out from divine worship. The list, opened the first of January, shall be closed the 31st of December, of each year, to serve for the elections of the ensuing year.
"Art. 13. To be eligible, as an elder, it is necessary :
“1. To be an elector,
" 4. To bring up his children in the Protestant Church.
“ Art. 14. In certain cases of exception, and in consideration of services rendered to the Church, the three last named conditions may be set aside, with the opprobation of the general consistory.
" Art. 15. The elders shall be elected by the absolute majority of suffrages, on the first scrutiny, (au premier tour de scrutin,) and by the relativo majority on the second scrutiny. The procès-verbal verifying these operations shall be transmitted to the general consistory, to be forwarded by that body to the government.
Art. 16. The elders shall be renewed by one-half every third year. The members going out shall be re-eligible; the first time they shall be designed by lot.
Art. 17. If one or more vacancies amongst the elders occur by death, resignation, or otherwise, it shall be lawful for the sectional consistory to summon partial elections in order to fill them up. These elections shall become obligatory in the case where a consistory shall have lost onethird of its members, or shall have been about to proceed to the election of a pastor.
** Art. 18. The sectional consistory (consistoire particulier) shall be presided over by the pastor, or by the senior pastor officiating in the church, An elder shall be appointed to exercise the functions of secretary.
" Art. 19. In every church destitute of a pastor, the sectional consistory shall be presided over, during the vacancy, by the senior elder.
Art. 20. The suffragan pastors shall be admitted to the sittings of the sectional consistory, and shall possess a vote.
“ Art. 21. The sectional consistory shall nominate the pastors by the absolute majority of suffrages, with the approval of the general consistory, and the confirmation of the government.
“ Art. 22. In churches where the sectional consistories shall be composed of less than twelve elders, in accordance with the second section of Article 9, the number of twelve shall be completed, by adding the eldest electors inscribed on the list.
" Art. 23. If the general consistory disapprove of the nomination made by the sectional consistory, the latter shall be entitled to demand the communication of the motives of refusal, and if there be sufficient grounds, to appeal to the sectional synod.
“ Art. 24. If the sectional consistory approve the refusal of the general consistory, the sectional consistory shall proceed to the election of a new pastor; in the contrary case the nomination shall be submitted for the confirmation of the government.
“ Art. 25. The sectional consistory shall see to the maintenance of discipline, to the administration of church property, and to the monies derivable from alms. It shall accept the donations and legacies made to it, whatever be their destination. Its accounts shall be submitted to tbe general consistory,
"Art. 26. The sectional consistory shall create, if there be room for it, a commission of deacons more especially charged with the care of the poor.
THIRD TITLE.-OF THE GENERAL CONSISTORIES.
“ Art. 27. The General Consistory shall be composed of all the titular pastors of the circumscription, and a number of laymen double that of the pastors.
“ Art. 28. The sectional consistories shall nominate in this porportion, and by the absolute majority of suffrages, the layınen who shall represent their respective churches in the general consistory.
“ Art. 29. These laymen shall be taken either from within or from without the sectional consistories; in the latter case, they must fulfil, excepting the residence, the conditions of eligibility enumerated under Article 13.
“ Art. 30. The lay members of the general consistory shall be entirely removed every three years; the members going out shall, however, be reeligible.
“ Art. 31. The general consistory shall nominate, by the absolute majority of suffrages, an ecclesiastical president and vice-president, and a laysecretary; at every renewal, there shall be a fresh election of president, vice-president, and secretary.
Art. 32. The general consistory shall meet in the chief place of the circumscription (or district) every three months, and oftener, if circumstances require it. It cannot deliberate unless the one half of its members, plus one, be present.
“ Art. 33. The assistant-pastor shall supply, in the general consistory, the room of the absent titular pastor ; when the latter is present, the assistant-pastor shall have merely a vote, (voix consultative seulement.)
. Art. 34. The general consistory shall be the channel of communication (l'intermédiaire) between the sectional consistories of the circumscription and the government.
“ It shall see to the maintenance of discipline, and to the despatch of business in the sectional consistories, whose accounts it shall verify.
" It shall appoint the limits of the circumscription of the churches and chapels of ease within its jurisdiction.
“ It shall exactly state the number of their population and demand, when there is reason for it, the creation of new charges of pastors.
" It shall preside over the consecration of candidates for the holy office, conformably to custom and discipline ; it shall confirm the nomination of pastors, and see to their installation.
" It shall pronounce judgment, with power of appeal (en premier ressort) on all disputes that may arise within the limits of the circumscription.
" It shall demand, on the part of the sectional synod, the suspension of a pastor, if there should be grounds for such proceeding, after hearing the sectional consistory; it shall provisionally pronounce the sentence of suspension in cases of extreme urgency, on condition that it immediately refer the same to the sectional synod.
" It shall nominate the deputies to the sectional synod, and to the general synod, conformably to the articles 39, 43, 44, and 45.
“ Art. 35. The general consistory shall administer its own property, accept the donations and legacies that may be made to it, whatever be their destination.
FOURTH TITLE.-OF THE SECTIONAL SYNODS. “ Art. 36. The assembled circumscriptions of sereral general consistories shall form the province of a Sectional Synod, conformably to the table annexed to the present law.
“ Art. 37. The sectional synod shall be composed of pastors and laymen, named by the general consistories of the province (ressort.)
“ Art. 38. Every general consistory (or presbytery) shall nominate two
pastors and three laymen, to represent the churches of its circumscription, in the sectional synod. The laymen may be taken from within or from without it. In the latter case they must fulfil, excepting the residence, tlie conditions of eligibility prescribed by Article 13.
Art. 39. The members of the sectional synod shall be appointed for one year.
Art. 40. The sectional synod shall meet at the chief place of its province, at least, once in the year, and oftener, if circumstances require it. It shall elect a president, a vice-president, and two secretaries, by the absolute majority of suffrages.
" Article 41. The board thus constituted shall see to the execution of the decisions of the synod, shall convoke the ensuing synod, and shall prepare beforehand the materials for its labours.
" Art. 42. The sectional synod shall decide, without appeal, on all dis putes that may arise within the limit of its jurisdiction, excepting always the cases reserved for the general synod.
" It shall pronounce the suspension of pastors, conformably to section 6 of Article 35.
** It shall see to all that concerns tlie celebration of divine worship, the maintenance of discipline, and the management of ecclesiastical affairs.
" It shall present to the government, the list of the candidates to the vacant chairs in the Faculties of Theology.
" It shall apply to the circumscriptions of the general consistories of its province, such alterations as may seem necessary, subject to the approval of the general synod.
FIFTH TITLE.OF THE GENERAL SYNOD.
“ Art. 43. The General Synod shall be composed of pastors and laymen, chosen in the following marner.
Every general consistory shall name a deputy. With a view to this election, and for this occasion only, the number of laymen that belong to it, shall be doubled, by the addition of elders delegated by the sectional consistories, in proportion to their representation in the general consistory.
" Art. 44. The deputies to the general synod shall be taken one-nalf from the pastors, one-half from the laity. To this effect, the general consistories shall be divided into two series, of which each shall name alternately a pastor and a layınan. The first time, the series shall be determined by lot.
“ Art. 45. The deputies to the general synod may be chosen from without the goneral consistories, provided that they fulfil, excepting the residence, the conditions of eligibility fixed by Art. 13.
"Art. 46. Every faculty of theology shall be represented at the general synod by one of its members.
“ Art. 47. The deputies to the general synod shall be named for one session.
" Art. 43. A general synod shall be held every three years, at the place and period indicated by the preceding synod.
" Art. 19. It shall name its president, vice-presidents, and secretaries, by the absolute majority of its suffrages.
Art. 50. It shall pronounce the dismissal of pastors, and shall give immediate information to the government of every such measure.
** Art. 51. It shall suppress or approve the general regulations relating to divine worship, to the discipline, organisation, and administration of tbe Church.
" Art. 52. It shall pronounce final sentence on the judgments rendered by the sectional synods touching the changes required in the circumscrip