Washington (DC) National Era, “The Seceders,” September 17, 1857

    Source citation
    “The Seceders,” Washington (DC) National Era, September 17, 1857, p. 152: 5.
    Newspaper: Publication
    Washington National Era
    Newspaper: Headline
    The Seceders
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    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Patrick Sheahan, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print.  Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


    The following resolutions give the result of the recent Convention in Richmond, Va., of the Southern seceders from the New School General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church:

    Whereas all acts, resolutions, and testimonies, of past General Assemblies, and especially the action of the last General Assembly whereby suspicions and doubts of the good standing and equal rights and privileges of slaveholding members of the church, or imputations or charges against their Christian character, have been either implied or expressed, are contrary to the examples and teachings of Christ, and his Apostles, and are a violation of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church;

    And whereas the relation of master and servant, in itself considered, or further than the relative duties arising there from, and Slavery, as an institution of the State, do not properly belong to the church judicatories as subject for discussion and inquiry;

    And whereas, in the judgment of this Convention, there is no prospect of the cessation of this agitation of Slavery in the General Assembly, so long as there are slaveholders in connection with the church: therefore,

    Resolved, That we recommend to the Presbyteries in connection with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of American to withdraw from said body.

    Resolved, That, in the judgment of this Convention, nothing can be made the basis for discipline in the Presbyterian Church which is not specifically referred to in the Constitution as crime or heresy.

    Resolved, That the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church has no power to pronounce a sentence of condemnation on a lower judicatory or individuals for any cause, unless they have been brought before the Assembly in the way prescribed by the Constitution.

    Resolved, That the Convention recommend to all the Presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church, which are opposed to the agitation of Slavery in the highest judicatory of the church, to appoint delegates – in the proportion prescribed by our Form of Government – for the appointment of Commissioners to the Assembly to meet at Knoxville, Tenn., on the first Thursday in April, 1858, at 7 P. M., for the purpose of organizing a general Synod, under the name of “The United States Synod of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.”

    Resolved, That the members of this convention adhere to and abide by the Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Church, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures; and that we adhere to the Form of Government and Book of Discipline of said church.

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