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hand, and against despair of the mercy and grace of God in Jesus Christ, on the other.
IX. In one word, it is the minister's duty to administer to the sick person, instruction, conviction, support, consolation, or encouragement, as his case may seem to require.
At a proper time, when he is most composed, the minister shall pray with and for him.
X. Lastly, the minister may improve the present occasion to exhort those about the sick, to consider their mortality ; to turn to the Lord and make their peace with him; in health to prepare for sickness, death and judgment.
Of the Burial of the Dead. 1. WHEN any person departs this life, let the corpse
be taken care of in a decent manner; and be kept a proper and sufficient time before interment.
II. When the season for the funeral comes, let the dead body be decently attended to the grave, and interred. During such solemn occasions, let all who attend conduct themselves with becoming gravity; and apply themselves to serious meditation or discourse : and the minister, if present, may exhort them to consider the frailty of life, and the importance of being prepared for death and eternity.
CHAPTER XIV. Of Fasting, and of the Observation of the Days of
Thanksgiving. 1. There is no day under the Gospel commanded to be kept holy, except the Lord's day, which is the Christian Sabbath.
II. Nevertheless, to observe days of fasting and thanksgiving, as the extraordinary dispensations of divine providence may direct, we judge both scriptural and rational.
III. Fasts and thanksgivings may be observed by individual Christians; or families, in private; by particular congregations; by a number of congregations contiguous to each other; by the congregations under the care of a presbytery, or of a synod; or by all the congregations of our church.
IV. It must be left to the judgment and discretion of every Christian and family to determine, when it is proper to observe a private fast on thanksgiving; and to the church-sessions to deterinine for particular congregations; and to the presbyteries or synods to determine for larger districts. When it is deemed expedient that a fast or thanksgiving should be general, the call for them must be judged of by the synod or general assembly. And if at any time the civil power should think it proper to appoint a fast or thanksgiving, it is the duty of the ministers and people of our communion, as we live under a Christian government, to pay all due respect to the same.
V. Public notice is to be given a convenient time before the day of fasting or thanksgiving comes, that persons may so order their temporal
affairs, that they may properly attend to the duties thereof.
VI. There shall be public worship upon all such days; and let the prayers, psalms, portions of Scripture to be read, and sermons, be all in a special manner adapted to the occasion.
VII. On fast days, let the minister point out the authority and providences calling to the observation thereof; and let him spend a more than usu:) portion of time in solemn prayer, particular confession of sin, especially of the sins of the day and place, with their aggravations, which have brought down the judgments of heaven. And let the whole day be spent in deep humiliation and inourning before God.
VIII. On days of thanksgiving, he is to give the like information respecting the authority and providences which call to the observance of them, and to spend a more than usual part of the time in the giving of thanks, agreeably to the occasion, and in singing psalms or hymns of praise.
It is the duty of people on these days to rejoice with holy gladness of heart; but let trembling be so joined with our mirth, that no excess or unbecoming levity be indulged.
1. Besides the public worship in congregations, it is the indispensable duty of each person, alone, in secret ; and of every family, by itself, in private, to pray to, and worship God.
II. Secret worship is most plainly enjoined hy our Lord. In this duty every one, apart by him. self, is to spend sone time in prayer, reading the Scriptures, holy meditation, and serious self-examination. The many advantages arising from a conscientious discharge of these duties, are best known to those who are found in the faithful discharge of them.
Ill. Family worship, which ought to be per. formed by every family, ordinarily morning and evening, consists in prayer, reading the Scriptures, and singing praises.
IV. The head of the family, who is to lead in this service, ought to be careful that all the members of his household duly attend; and that none withdraw themselves unnecessarily from any part of family worship; and that all refrain from their common business while the Scriptures are read, and gravely attend to the same, no less than when prayer or praise is offered up.
V: Let the heads of families be careful to instruct their children and servants in the principles of religion. Every proper opportunity ought to be embraced for such instruction. But we are of opinion, that the Sabbath evenings, after public worship, should be sacredly preserved for this pur- . pose. Therefore we highly disapprove of paying unnecessary private visits on the Lord's day; admitting strangers into the families, except when necessity or charity requires it; or any other praclices, whatever plausible pretences may be offered in their favour, if they interfere with the above important and necessary duty.
1. The moderator shall take the chair precisely at the hour to which the judicatory stands adjourned; shall immediately call the members to order; and, on the appearance of a quorum, shall open the session with prayer.
2. If a quorum be assembled at the hour appointed, and the moderator be abserit, the last moderator present shall be requested to take his place without delay.
3. If a quorum be not assembled at the hour appointed, any two members shall be competent to adjourn from time to time, that an opportunity may be given for a quorum to assemble.
4. After calling the roll, and marking the absentees, the minutes of the last sitting shall be read, and, if requisite, corrected.
* The following rules, not having been submitted to the presbyterics, make no part of the Constitution of the Presbyierian Church. Yet the general assembly of 1821, considering uniformity in proceedings in all the subordinate judicatories, as greatly conducive to order and despatch of business, and having revised and approved these rules, recommend thein to the synods, presbyteries, and sessions, as a system of regulations, which, if they think proper, may be advantageously adopted by them.