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CONSTITUTION AND RULES OF THE ASSOCIATION.
I. NAME. This body shall be called the GENERAL AssoCIATION OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
II. MEMBERS. This Association shall be composed of delegates from the several District Associations of Ministers, and Conferences of Churches, in the following proportions: namely, one minister for every three members of an Association, and one layman for every three churches belonging to a Conference; and also of the officers, preachers and committees for the year for which they are chosen, the delegates who the preceding year fulfilled their appointments in person, the persons appointed to prepare essays and lead in discussions, the Secretaries and Treasurers of the New Hampshire Missionary Society, the NewHampshire Bible Society, the New Hampshire Education Society, and the Ministers' and Widows' Charitable Fund, a representation of the Faculty of Dartmouth College, and the minister of the church with which the Association meets. Twelve members shall constitute a quorum. All other ministers and members of the churches connected with the Association, who may be present, shall be considered as corresponding members, with the right to speak and serve on committees, but not to vote.
III. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES. 1. It is ever to be understood that the system of Scripture doctrine contained in the Assembly's Shorter Catechism is the basis of our union in this Association. Hence every Association and every Conference in this State, receiving these doctrines as the Christian faith, is invited to unite in this body.
2. This General Association wholly disclaims ecclesiastical power or authority over the churches, or the opinions of individuals.
3. The essential objects of the Association are “to promote brotherly intercourse and harmony, and our mutual animation, assistance and usefulness as ministers and churches of Christ; to obtain religious information relative to the state of our particular churches, and the general state of the Christian Church
in this country and throughout the world; and to coöperate with other similar institutions in the most eligible measures for building up the cause of truth and holiness.”
IV. MEETING AND ORGANIZATION. 1. This Association shall meet annually, on the fourth Tuesday of August, at ten o'clock A. m., in such place as shall be designated at the preceding meeting, and notified by the Secretary, and be opened with a sermon.
2. At the close of this service the preacher shall take the chair, and preside until a moderator is chosen. The Secretary shall receive the certificates of delegates, and report the names of members; when the Association shall be organized by the choice of a moderator, a scribe, and, if necessary, an assistant scribe, by ballot. V. PERMANENT OFFICERS AND STATISTICS.
1. The permanent officers of this Association shall be a Secretary, Statistical Secretary, and Secretary of Sabbath Schools, each to be chosen by ballot for the term of three years from the close of the meeting at which the choice shall be made.
2. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a record of the proceedings of this body, prepare an outline of business, preserve schedules and narratives of the state of religion, conduct the correspondence of this body, and notify all delegates to foreign bodies of their appointment, with the times and places of meeting of the bodies to which they are appointed.
3. It shall be the duty of the Statistical Secretary to procure the statistics of the churches, and narratives of the state of religion, through the Statistical Scribes of the several Conferences, complete and arrange them for publication, and prepare from these several reports a narrative of the state of religion, to be read before the Association and published in the minutes. He shall superintend their printing and be a member of the Publishing Committee. The Statistical Secretary shall be the Treasurer of the Association, and be empowered to receive and pay out such sums of money as the body may direct.
4. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Sabbath Schools to present a brief annual report, embracing facts and statistics in regard to the condition of the Sabbath Schools of the State, with such recommendations as may be suggested thereby; this report to be open to a general discussion.
5. These secretaries shall be allowed their expenses for correspondence and attendance on the meetings of this body.
6. Each Conference connected with this body is requested to appoint a statistical scribe, to collect the statistics of the churches within its bounds, in methods designated by this body, and under the direction of the Statistical Secretary of the General Association. In case any Conference shall fail to appoint such a scribe prior to the first day of May, the Statis
tical Secretary may designate some person to act in this capacity for the year.
7. The statistical returns, with respect to the number in the churches, shall be made out according to a printed schedule of this body, and according to the numbers at the end of the statistical year, which shall commence with the first of June.
VI. VACANCIES. In case of the decease of either one of the permanent officers, or his removal from the State, the duties of his office shall devolve upon his associates.
VII. COMMITTEES. 1. At each meeting of the Association a committee of arrangements, consisting of three, of which the minister of the church with which the Association is to meet shall be chairman, shall be appointed for the succeeding meeting, who shall prepare and arrange the business of the session, including the selection of the preacher of the opening sermon; and no business shall be introduced without their consent. But if the committee shall decline presenting any item of business requested by a member, he may appeal from their decision to the Association.
2. At each meeting shall be chosen a committee of inquiry, consisting of three, to report during the session, whose duties shall be as follows:
(a) To designate two questions of religious doctrine or practice for the consideration of the Association, and to nominate two persons, with substitutes, to lead the discussion on each of these topics, who shall carefully prepare themselves for this duty, and shall be allowed ten minutes each, to be followed by a general discussion; speakers limited to five minutes each.
(6) To designate some topic, respecting ecclesiastical polity and usage, or missionary and educational enterprise, and to nominate one person, with substitute, to prepare a carefully written essay, not to exceed twenty tinutes, to be subject to the subsequent remark of the Association.
3. There shall also be a standing committee of nominations, consisting of three persons, so constituted that one member shall go out each year in rotation, whose duty it shall be to make all nominations not otherwise provided for. This committee shall elect a chairman, who shall keep a record of all appointments made by the Association.
4. The Scribes of the Association and the Statistical Secretary, and such other person as they may select, shall be a committee of publication. They shall revise and publish such extracts of the minutes as they may deem proper, and order such number of copies printed as the Association shall direct. The Statistical Secretary shall send a copy of the minutes to each minister and each church connected with this Association, and copies to other ecclesiastical bodies, in numbers as shall be mutually agreed upon.
VIII. ORDER AND RULES OF PROCEEDINGS. 1. Tuesday, 10 A. M. Opening sermon, to be followed by organization, choice of committees, and business of Association.
2 P. M. Narrative of the state of religion, with additional statements respecting revivals, and other facts of interest.
3 P. M. Brief reports of delegates to foreign bodies, after which, the various benevolent causes shall be taken up in such order as the Committee of Arrangements shall judge best.
74 P. M. Reading of essay, and discussion thereon. 2. Wednesday, 9 A. M. Business of Association.
10 A. M. Delegates from foreign bodies shall be heard, at the close of whose addresses, a response shall be made by the Mod. erator. The substance only of letters to be communicated, unless of special interest. .11 A. M. One discussion.
2 P. M. Anniversary of New Hampshire Branch of the Ed. ucation Society, including a presentation of the religious condition of Dartmouth College.
3 P. M. Report of the Secretary of Sabbath Schools, to be followed by discussion.
4 P. M. Children's meeting.
10 A. M. Anniversary of the New Hampshire Missionary Society.
2 P. M. The Association will attend religious services, in which a sermon shall be delivered by a minister previously appointed, and our Lord's death commemorated in the sacrament of the supper.
4. All sessions shall be interspersed with devotional exercises, with a morning prayer-meeting each day, at such time as the Committee of Arrangements shall deem best.
IX. RULES. 1. At the hour of meeting in the morning the Moderator shall take the chair, call the members to order, direct the roll to be called, open the session with prayer, and cause the minutes of the preceding day to be read. Each session shall be closed with prayer or singing.
2. No motion shall be discussed unless seconded. No member shall speak more than twice to the same motion, without liberty from the Association. Any motion or resolution shall, at the request of the Moderator or any two members, be reduced to writing.
3. The Moderator may speak on points of order, in preference to other members; and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the house by any two members. But he shall not speak on the merits of the question without leaving the chair, and calling some one else to preside while he speaks.
4. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received, except for adjournment, amendment, postponement, commitment, or the previous question—namely, Shall the main question now be put? The effect of adopting the previous question shall be to put an end to debate and bring the Association to a direct vote upon amendments reported by a committee, if any, upon pending amendments, and then upon the main question.
5. If a question under debate contain several parts, any member may have it divided, and a question taken on each part.
6. Every member, when speaking, shall address himself to the Chair, and shall be subject to no needless interruption. If he acts disorderly, it shall be the duty of the Moderator, and the privilege of the other members, to call him to order.
7. No member shall leave the Association before the session is closed, except with the consent of the body; nor shall any one leave the house during a sitting without the consent of the Moderator.
X. CORRESPONDENCE. 1. This Association will maintain a fraternal relation with other ecclesiastical bodies, so far as this shall be deemed consistent with the principles of our organization, by the appointment and interchange of delegates. Representatives from ecclesiastical bodies with whom we are in correspondence shall have the privilege of sitting with us, and participating in our deliberations, as honorary members.
2. The District Associations are requested to nominate delegates to foreign bodies in accordance with the schedule printed herewith, sending up their nominations for confirmation by delegates to this body. If any Association fails to nominate, the Committee on Nominations shall do it.
3. Delegates to foreign bodies may exchange their appointments, when, by so doing, one or both will be enabled to fill the appointment personally. The same delegate may be appointed to more than one foreign body; and any regularly chosen delegate may represent us in any State west of New-York, in the absence of the delegate appointed to that body.
4. The Secretary of the Association, on information that the delegate appointed will fail to represent us, may appoint any minister or layman, in our churches, to discharge this service.
5. The printed minutes of the Association shall be sufficient testimonial of the appointment of delegates to corresponding bodies. In case any delegate is unable to attend, in person or by substitute, in accordance with the preceding rules, it shall be his duty to forward a written communication to the corresponding body to which he was appointed.
XI. EXPENSES. The cost of printing the minutes, and other necessary expenses of this Association, shall be defrayed by assessments, apportioned among the several Conferences