Commission addressed to Varnum Noyes


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Commission addressed to Varnum Noyes


Clergy; Missionaries; Boards of directors; Presbyterian Church; Files (Records); Powers and duties


This official document appoints Varnum to preach in Guilford Ohio starting on April 1, 1840, for a period of 12 months. It also outlines other instructions, a plan of correspondence, the form of a devise or bequest, and a notice to applicants for aid. This is all on behalf of the Board of Missions, connected to the Presbytery.


The Board of Missions


Loose, The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection




c. 1840


Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant




eng (English)





Text Item Type Metadata


[Note: Appears to be the address on an envelope]
ansom Street
Rev. Varnum Noyes

THE BOARD OF MISSIONS, acting under the authority and by the order of the GENERAL AS-
your piety, prudence, diligence, zeal, and fidelity, have appointed, and by these presents do appoint
you Varnum Noyes [?their?] Missionary to preach
the Gospel & to dispense its ordinances at
In this service you are to spend twelve months from April 1, 1840
and to be governed by such instructions as you shall receive from this Board from time to time.
Your compensation will be One hundred dollars for the time.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have caused the signature of the President, and the attestation of our
Secretary, to be hereunto subscribed at Philadelphia, on the 18th day of May
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Forty
Ashbel Green
William A. McDowell
Cor. Secretary

To each Missionary appointed in the service, and under the au-
thority of the Board of Missions of the General Assembly of
the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
Dear Sir,
The great object of the Board, under which you have received the
foregoing commission, is to supply destitute places in our country,
and particularly in our own connexion, with stated preachers and
pastors, who shall be instrumental in building up the Redeemer’s
kingdom. To accomplish this object, congregations are to be collec.
ted and organized in the Presbyterian form; elders and deacons are
to be ordained and installed; suitable persons are to be baptized; and
the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper administered.
In the region assigned to you in your commission, we expeet you
to perform all the duties of a faithful missionary, so far as you shall
have strength and ability. Preach the Gospel; visit the sick; instruct
the ignorant in private conversation as well as from the pulpit; cate-
chise children in families and schools; promote Sabbath Schools,
and Bible classes, and classes for catechetical instruction; and en-
deavour, by all scriptural means, to win souls for Christ.
For the establishment of Sabbath Schools, Bible classes, and classes
for catechetical instruction in every neighbourhood within your dis-
trict, you will be expected to make very special and persevering ex-
Avoid all unprofitable controversy; abstain from unfriendly reflec-
tions upon other denominations of Christians; never become a politi:
cal partizan; but let your meekness, zeal, diligence, prudence, and
ardent love for the souls of men, commend you to the consciences of
all persons with whom you may have intercourse.
Thankfully receive any donations that may: be‘ given you for the
Board of Missions; and do what you can to excite, and cherish
among the people a missionary spirit ; wisely use your influence, in
favour of all the benevolent institutions of the Church, and encourage
every scriptural plan for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom. Es.
pecially forget not the interests of your own Board. In each congre-
gation under your charge let the subject of Domestic Missions be
presented to the people, and their contributions for this Board be re-
ceived—however small may be the annual amount.
You are directed to furnish our Corresponding Seerctary a full
report of your services, once in three months, and take special pains
to render these quarterly reports concise, perspicuous, and suitable
for publication. Let them embody as many interesting facts as pos-
sible, in reference to the moral condition and wants of the people,
and the necessity, utility, and success of missionary labours, and
other benevolent operations, not only im your own particular field,
but also in the surrounding country. In dating your communica-

tion you will be careful to designate the state, county, and township,
in which you reside, and your Post-office address.
On the first day of April in each year, you are required, without
fail, io forward to the Corresponding Secretary, a special report of
your labours, from the date of your commission, up to the last day of
March. A blank form of this report will be forwarded to you. Lest
this should not reach you in season, the items are here given, and
the order in which they should be arranged. An accurate statement
of the precise amount of missionary service performed; the number
of congregations and missionary stations supplied; the names of
each; within what presbytery ; number of families; additions on ex-
amination; additions on certificate; total in communion; No. of
baptisms; churches organized; houses of worship erected; No. of
Sabbath Schools; No. of Teachers in do.; No. of Scholars; No. of
Catechetical and Bible Classes; No. of learners in do.; No. of Bible
Societies ; No. of Tract Societeis; No. of Missionary Societies; No.
of Education Societies; No. of Temperance Societies; No. of Mem-
bers of do.; amount raised for Foreign Missions; do. do. for Board of
Missions; No. of Auxiliary Missionary Societies ; No. of sermons
preached; No. of Monthly Concerts attended; No. of prayer meetings
established or continued; No. of families visited; amount pledged by
your people towards your support; observance of the Sabbath, whe-
ther, good, bad, or indifferent; state of the population, whether in-
creasing, diminishing, or stationary; attendance on public worship,
whether good, bad, or indifferent.
After your mission is completed, return your commission, if you
have a private conveyance; and if not, destroy it. Your pay will be
remitted to you in a draft, after your report of each quarter’s service
is received, if desired: but you will be careful to state the amount
which you have received, the balance due, and the Post-office to
which you would desire the remittance to be sent.
If you should collect more than sufficient to satisfy your own
claims for compensation, remit the surplus to the Corresponding Se-
By order, and in behalf, of the Board of Missions.

William A. McDowell
Cor. Secretary.

[?Ashbel?] Green

Between the several Presbyteries and the Board of Missions of
the General Assembly.
The Board propose that each Presbytery shall annually appoint
from their own body, a small “ Corresponding Executive Committee,”
on Missions, to be invested with the following powers: viz.
1. To receive, generally, applications for aid from feeble congre-
gations (within the bounds of the Presbytery) which have Pastors, or
stated supplies, and to recommend the same to the Executive Com-
mittee of the Board of Missions.
2. To devise and execute plans for raising funds in the several con-
gregations within their hounds, which funds shall be reported to the
Treasurer of the Assembly’s Board, and be held subject to the orders
of said Board.
3. To select and recommend to the Executive Committee of the
Board of Missions, Missionary fields, and Missionary labourers, and
also, to locate such Missionaries as may be sent to them by the Board
for specific instructions.
4. To suggest the amount of aid which they may deem indispen-
sably necessary to be afforded to each congregation, which they shall
recommend to the attention of the Board.

Persons making bequests to the Board, are requested to be care-
ful in adopting one of the following forms:
To the Trustees of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian
Church in the United States of America, and to their successors and
assigns, I give and bequeath the sum of-------, or I devise a certain
messuage, and tract of land, &c., to be applied, under the direction of
the Board of Missions of the General Assembly of said Church, for
the support of Missionaries, appointed by said Board.
In some cases Testators may devise to have their bequests go at
once to the Board of Missions, without the delay that, may be occa-
sioned by passing through the Board of Trustees, as the latter Board
have but few meetings. To meet the wishes of such, the following
form is recommended.
I give and bequeath the sum of----to my Executors, to be by
them paid over to the Treasurer, for the time being, of the Board of
Missions of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the
United States of America, for the support of Missionaries appointed
by said Board.
Applicants for Missionaries and Missionary aid, are requested
to pay particular attention to the following notice.
Applications to the Board for Missionary Appointments and pecuni-
ary aid; and also for the reappointment of Missionaries, should al-
ways be made by the Elders of the Church, through the Correspond-
ing Executive Commitice of the Presbytery to which the Church ap-
plying for assistance belongs—-accompanied with a recommendation,
from said Committee, of the Missionary to be appointed, and a speci-
fication of the amount of aid indispensably necessary.
If there be no Corresponding Executive Committee in the Presby-
tery, the application must be fully sanctioned by two neighbouring
Ministers, connected with the Presbytery to which the Church be-

Original Format




The Board of Missions, “Commission addressed to Varnum Noyes,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed August 15, 2022,

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