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A OOMPEND OF THE AOTS, DECISIONS, AND DELIVERANCES
GENERAL PRESBYTERY, GENERAL SYNOD
IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
By autbority, and witb tbe Cosoperation of a Committee,
of tbe General Desembly.
REV. WILLIAM E. MOORE, D.D., LL.D.
PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION
AND SABBATH-SCHOOL WORK.
The first step towards a Digest of the Acts and Deliverances of the General Assembly was taken by the Assembly of 1809, in its order [Minutes, p. 424], charging the Stated Clerk “ with the business of preparing a book, and having entered therein such decisions of the Assembly as relate to the general government and discipline of the Church, and the duties of judicatures, that such decisions may hereafter be selected and printed for the general use of the churches, if a future Assembly shall so order."
In 1818 the General Assembly appointed Drs. Janeway, Neill (Stated Clerk) and Ely, a Committee to extract from the records of the General Assembly, and of the late Synods of New York and Philadelphia, all such matters as may appear to be of permanent authority and interest (including a short account of the manner in which missions have been conducted, and their success), that the same may be published for the information of ministers and their people in our churches.” This Committee reported to the next Assembly (1819), were empowered to complete the work on the plan reported, and to publish it at the expense of the Trustees of the General Assembly. The Digest thus authorized was published in 1820.
In 1836, the Assembly appointed Dr. John McDowell, Mr. Winchester and Mr. Duffield to prepare a new Digest. Nothing, however, was done, the division of the Church being near at hand. Further action looking to the preparation of a Digest was taken by the respective Assemblies: N. S., 1838 and 1849; 0. S., 1841 and 1848. In 1850 the Presbyterian Board of Publication, O. S., issued a Digest prepared by the Rev. Richard Webster, D.D. In 1856 the Board issued a Digest prepared by the Rev. Samuel J. Baird, D.D. The Assembly voted thanks to Mr. Baird for his labors, and earnestly commended the work “to the attention and patronage of all in our connection.” A new and revised edition was issued by the Board of Publication in 1859. It is still published by it, and is of great value from a historical point of view.
In 1854, the Assembly, N. S., appointed a Committee consisting of Drs. George Duffield, Jr., Henry Darling, and W. E. Moore, with the Stated Clerk, Edwin F. Hatfield, D.D., to prepare and publish a new