For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.—John 1.17.

"PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS"

 "Whereas, It is the province and indispensable duty of this Synod, when society is in a state of agitation as at present, to know the signs of the times, and what Israel ought to do; and whereas, it is also the duty of this Synod, to testify in behalf of truth; to condemn sin and testify against those who commit it; to acquaint our people with their danger, and search into the causes of God's controversy with them and with us; and whereas, it is the duty of Synod further, to point out to the people of God the course
to be pursued, that divine judgments may be averted or removed - therefore Resolved,

 "1. That uniting with, or inducing to fellowship, by the members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, in the voluntary and irresponsible associations of the day - composed of persons of all religious professions and of no profession - be condemned, as unwarranted by the word of God, the subordinate standards of the church, and the practice of our covenanted fathers.
 "2. That an inquiry be instituted, in order to ascertain the grounds of the Lord's controversy with us, in the sins of omission and commission wherewith we are chargeable in our ecclesiastical relations.[1]
 "3. That the sins thus ascertained be confessed, mourned over, and forsaken, and our engagement to the contrary duties be renewed; that the Lord may return, be entreated of his people, and leave a blessing behind him." [2]

    This paper was, on motion, instantly "laid on the table;" and when at a subsequent sitting of the court, it was regularly called up for action, it was again and finally "laid on the table." Ever since, that paper has been diligently misrepresented, as consisting of the first resolution only, contrary to the evidence on its own face; and many similar misrepresentations have been long circulated by the backsliding majority. Those members of Synod who had opposed innovations and defections, resided so far apart (hundreds of miles), that they had no opportunities for consultation or concerted action, except at the meeting of Synod. A few of them,
however, after the final adjournment, came together from their lodgings in the adjacent cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny. When met, it appeared that, without pre-concert, they were unanimous in judgment, that, all legal means having failed to reclaim their backsliding brethren, their present duty was to assume a position independent of existing organizations, that they might, untrammeled, carry out practically their covenanted testimony. Accordingly, two ministers and three ruling elders did proceed to constitute the Reformed Presbytery, in the city of Allegheny, June 24th, 1840, as the following document bears: -

DEED OF CONSTITUTION.

We, the undersigned, ministers and elders of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, familiar with, and having long witnessed declension in the aforesaid church, and employed all other scriptural means to stay its progress without effect: Also recognizing the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of all such as desire to be faithful; compassionating the condition of those who, by unholy confederacies, are still "entangled in the wilderness:" considering the necessities of others, who, to maintain a good conscience, have been constrained to unite in the "Safety League," which covers the whole ground of our covenanted system: - Do now, trusting to the faithfulness of the God of our fathers, and relying on the strength of promised grace; after the example of the venerable Rev. William Gibson, who "kept the faith," - enter and record our solemn protestation against the aforesaid church, because she has corrupted the doctrines and worship, and prostituted the government and discipline of the house of God; and we do hereby decline the authority of all her judicatories. We acknowledge the supreme authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only King and Head of his church; the binding obligation of the solemn deeds of our covenanted forefathers - resting upon our souls, by our own, voluntary engagements, viz: besides the word of God, the Westminster Confession of Faith, Catechisms, larger and shorter, the Directory for Worship, as they were received by the Church of Scotland in her purest times, i.e. between the years 1638 and 49 inclusive, the Covenants, National and Solemn League, Reformation Principles Exhibited, in agreeableness to the aforesaid Standards; together with the faithful contendings of our covenanted fathers: in a word - all the documents contemplated,
regarded, and as engaged unto in the Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion in the Reformed Presbyterian Church.
 In virtue of, and in accordance with, the aforesaid principles and declarations, we unite and agree to continue a Presbytery.
 

 Done in Allegheny Town,
                         June 27th, 1840
DAVID STEELE,
ROBERT LUSK,
WM. M'KINLEY,
WM. WYLIE,
NATHAN JOHNSTON.


Footnotes:
[1] It was well-known to Synod, that New Light ministers from America - some of them under suspension - had occupied the pulpits of Old Lights, in Ireland - that of Rev. Dr. Stavely in particular. When challenged by a member of his Session for such disorder, the Dr. replied in substance, "I did it from self-respect." - "But not out of respect for Christ," rejoined the elder.

[2] This document is thus inserted entire, in perpetuam rei memoriam, and as a summary of the numerous papers from ministers, elders, and members, which had been presented to the several judicatories during the preceding seven years!