- I. Scotland.
- 1. The Church of Scotland.
- Early Christianity in Scotland (§ 1).
- The Reformation (§ 2).
- Presbytery Dominant (§ 3).
- Lay Patronage and the "Disruption" (§ 4).
- Worthies of the Church (§ 5).
- Statistics, Constitution, and Government (§ 6).
- Agencies of the Church (§ 7).
- Social and Colonial Work (§ 8).
- Missionary and Other Agencies (§ 9).
- 2. United Free Church.
- Early Constitution and Ideals (§ 1).
- Early Secessions (§ 2).
- The United Presbyterian Church (§ 3).
- Free Church; Origin (§ 4).
- Free Church; Development; Theological Controversies (§ 5).
- Movement Toward Union (§ 6).
- Union of 1900 (§ 7).
- Free Church Minority; Legal Proceedings; Settlement (§ 8).
- Results; Present Position (§ 9).
- Statistics and Missions (§ 10).
- Doctrine and Constitution (§ 11).
3. The Free Church of Scotland.
4. Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
5. Reformed Presbyterian Church.
- 6. United Original Secession Church.
- Origin (§ 1).
- Unions; Statistics (§ 2).
- II. Presbyterian Church of England.
- Presbyterian Principles Informally Established (§ 1).
- Royal and Parliamentary Opposition (§ 2).
- Infusion of Scotch Elements (§ 3).
- The Present Church in England (§ 4).
- III. Ireland.
- 1. Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
- 2. Reformed Presbyterian or Covenanting Church of Ireland.
- 3. Secession Church in Ireland.
- IV. Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Connection.
- Origin (§ 1).
- Contributory Movements (§ 2).
- Organization. Activities, and Statistics (§ 3).
V. South, Central, and West Africa.
- VI. Australia.
- 1. New South Wales.
- 2. Queensland.
- 3. Victoria (formerly Australia Felix) .
- 4. South Australia.
- 5. Western Australia.
- 6. Tasmania.
- VII. New Zealand.
- Beginnings of Presbyterianism (§ 1).
- Era of Settlements (§ 2).
- Union of the Presbyteries (§ 3).
- Missions and Statistics (§ 4).
VIII. In the United States and Canada.
- 1. Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
- Sources and Varieties of American Presbyterianism (§ 1).
- Period of Isolated Churches (§ 2).
- Colonial Presbyterian Church (§ 3).
- Constitution of 1788 (§ 4).
- Period of the Plan of Union (§ 5).
- Period of Division (§ 6).
- Period of Reunion (§ 7).
- Standards (§ 8).
- Church Agencies (§ 9).
- 2. Presbyterian Church in the United States.
- Background and Origin (§ 1).
- Period of the War and Accretions (§ 2).
- Evangelization; Home and Foreign Missions (§ 3).
- Other Agencies; Prospects (§ 4).
- 3a. Cumberland Presbyterian Church Before the Union of 1906.
- Origin (§ 1).
- Theology and Principles (§ 2).
- Educational Institutions and Missions (§ 3).
- The Union of 1906 (§ 4).
3b. Cumberland Presbyterian Church Since the Union of 1906.
4. Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.
5. Associate Reformed Synod of the South.
- 6. United Presbyterian Church of North America.
- Origins in Scotland and America (§ 1).
- Formation, Work, and Statistics (§ 2).
- Its Agencies (§ 3).
7. Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America (General Synod).
- 8. Calvinistic Methodist Church (Welsh Presbyterian Church in America).
- Founding of Churches (§ 1).
- Organization of Presbyteries, Synods, and General Assembly (§ 2).
- Doctrine, Polity, and Worship (§ 3).
9. Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Colored.
10. Reformed Presbyterian Church (Covenanted).
11. Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States and Canada.
- 12. Presbyterian Church in Canada.
- Origins (§ 1).
- Under British Rule (§ 2).
- Period of Unions (§ 3).
- Church Agencies (§ 4).
IX. In Other Lands.
X. Presbyterian Church Polity.
- 2. Polity.
- Scriptural Basis (§ 1).
- Government (§ 2).
I. Scotland.--l. The Church of Scotland: (§ 1). Early Christianity in Scotland. The first Christian church in Scotland is traditionally said to have been built at Whithorn, Galloway, about 402. The builder was St. Ninian (q.v.), whose influence did not long survive his death in 432, and the country relapsed into heathenism. The continuous history of Christianity in Scotland begins with the landing of St. Columba (q.v.) and his companions at Iona (q.v.) in 563 (see CELTIC CHURCH, I., § 3). It was centuries after his death that the buildings which still stand on the island were erected, but it was the memory of Columba which made Dr. Johnson say that the man was little to be envied whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona. The government of the Columban Church was in some sense a combination of presbytery and episcopacy; though there were bishops among the missionaries, all were subject to the rule of the Presbyter Columba. The great contemporary of Columba was St. Kentigern (q.v.), whose memory is preserved in the beautiful cathedral of Glasgow. The government of the Columban Church was destined to be superseded. For the change from the Irish system to the Roman see CELTIC CHURCH IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND, II.-III. It was not till 716 that the monks of Iona altogether abandoned their traditional practises. It is unfortunate that the period of the Culdees is wrapt in such obscurity; for all evidence seems to indicate that it was a period of exceptional righteousness and godliness. The last lingering traces of distinctively Celtic modes of belief and worship disappeared in the reign of Queen Margaret, who was a devotee of Rome. In succeeding centuries, considerable irritation was caused by the attempts of English prelates to establish supremacy over the Church of Scotland. And, occasionally, Scotland was excommunicated by the pope.
(§ 2). By degrees the need of a reformation began to be proclaimed, and a long and deadly struggle ensued. The efforts to put down by force the growing spirit of inquiry and the return to a more primitive Christianity were utterly ineffectual. "The reek of Maister Patrick Hamilton" (q.v.), protomartyr of the Scottish Reformation, "infected as many as it blew upon." The martyrdom of George Wishart (q.v.) was terribly avenged by the murder of Cardinal Beaton (q.v.). The assassination caused a certain reaction in favor of Rome, for the cardinal had been an ardent patriot. The Romanist party sought help from France, and the Protestants sought help from England. The assassins of the cardinal and many who had no sympathy with the assassination were driven to take refuge in the castle of St. Andrews, which, after a protracted siege, surrendered to the attacks of the Royal army and of a French fleet. The defenders were carried to France, among them being John Knox (q.v.), who for nineteen months toiled as a galley slave. After his release, on the intercession of King Edward VI., Knox became one of the king's chaplains and took part in the preparation of the English Prayer Book of 1552. The accession of Queen Mary to the throne of Scotland drove him to the continent where, amid other vicissitudes, he ministered at Geneva and at Frankfort. During his absence the Reformation continued to make progress, but his return to Scotland in 1559 gave new life to the movement and insured its triumph. The year 1560 witnessed the consolidation, national recognition, and establishment of the Reformed Church. The first general assembly was held and the Scotch Confession of Faith (q.v.) and the First Book of Discipline were issued. The government of the church was vested in superintendents, ministers, doctors, elders, and deacons. The Lord's Supper was to be celebrated four times a year. In towns there was to be daily service. Marriages were to be performed "in open face and public audience of the Kirk." The Book of Common Order, often called "John Knox's Liturgy," originally prepared by the English congregation at Geneva and for its own use, was recommended in 1564 and was generally, though not exclusively, used in public worship for eighty years. The Reformation in Scotland took a form different from that of the Reformation in England, partly because in England the monarch and the bishops were in favor of the Reformation, while in Scotland they were against it. It was by presbyters that the change was effected, and the government of the church naturally became Presbyterian. The Reformers did not look upon themselves as setting up a "new church." Their aim was to purify the temple, to strengthen it by clearing away excrescences and corruptions. Much attention was paid by the Reformers to education, and a system was introduced which, though altered, toward the close of last century, must ever be remembered with gratitude.
(§ 3). Presbytery Dominant. The organization of the reformed church as it now exists in Scotland was not achieved without a weary and protracted conflict. Sometimes presbytery, sometimes episcopacy, in different forms, occupied the field; sometimes they existed together. The National Covenant, signed in Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, in 1638, and the Solemn League and Covenant, signed at St. Margaret's, Westminster, in 1643, left a deep impress on the national life (see COVENANTERS, §§ 3-4); and the names of those who, either on the field of battle or by execution, sealed their convictions with their blood, are, especially in the southern counties of Scotland, held to this hour in peculiar veneration and affection. The general assembly of 1638, which met in the cathedral of Glasgow, deposed or suspended all the bishops. The Westminster Assembly (q.v.) issued the Confession of Faith (see WESTMINSTER STANDARDS), which for ten years was accepted from John o' Groats to Land's End, and still remains the official standard of the Scottish church and of the churches which have sprung from her. The strife was practically ended by the revolution of 1688, when presbytery was finally ratified, though the Covenants were set aside. The king's message, which was read to the general assembly of 1690, contained the significant counsel "We expect that your management shall be such as we shall have no reason to repent of what we have done. We never could be of the mind that violence was suited to the advancing of true religion, nor do we intend that our authority shall ever be a tool to the irregular passions of any party. Moderation is what religion requires, neighboring Churches expect from, and we recommend to you." It is in accordance with this counsel that the Church of Scotland has, with occasional unhappy exceptions, endeavored to act.
(§ 4). Lay Patronage and the "Disruption." A source of trouble was in 1712 introduced by the revival of lay patronage. This was the main cause of the formation of the Associate Presbytery in 1733, its chief leader being Ebenezer Erskine (q.v.), and of the Relief Synod in 1752, its chief leader being Thomas Gillespie (q.v.). This cause had also much to do with the division of the church into the two great parties of Moderates and Evangelicals. Among the leaders of the Moderates were Principal William Robertson the historian, Principal George Campbell (q.v.), Hugh Blair (q.v.), and Principal George Hill, whose Lectures in Divinity (3 vols., Edinburgh, 1821, 5th ed., 1850) formed for several generations the accepted code of sound doctrine. Among the leaders of the Evangelicals were John Erksine (q.v.), Sir Henry Moncreiff-Wellwood of St. Cuthbert's, Andrew Thomson (q.v.) of St. George's, Edinburgh; and, greatest of all; Thomas Chalmers (q.v.). By some strange misunderstanding, Moderates and Evangelicals concurred in the deposition of John McLeod Campbell (q.v.) for teaching the doctrine of "universal atonement and pardon through the death of Christ"; and of Edward Irving (q.v.) for teaching the "sinfulness of Christ's human nature." But concurring in doctrinal matters, the Moderates and Evangelicals became in ecclesiastical matters more irreconcilable. The occasional forcing into parishes of nominees of patrons against the declared wish and vehement protests of the parishioners embittered the controversy and hastened on the "disruption:" A "Ten Years' Conflict" ended in May, 1843 by the withdrawal of 451 ministers who, under the moderatorship of Dr. Chalmers, constituted the Free Church of Scotland (see below, 3).
On those, who remained was imposed the task of supplying the places left vacant, and when the immediate effect of the stunning blow had passed, they set themselves to meet the new conditions.
(§ 5). Worthies of the Church. A few typical examples of the many clergymen to whom the revival of the church is largely due may be cited. A notable influence in the work of restoration was James Robertson (q.v., 1), founder of the "Endowment Scheme" (see below), a man of fervid piety and pure disinterestedness, of wisdom and of tolerance. The introduction of instrumental music into public worship, and the desire to make the house of God more esthetically worthy of its sacred purpose, were in great measure owing to the efforts of Dr. Robert Lee, minister of Old Greyfriars, and professor of Biblical criticism in the University of Edinburgh. An extraordinary personal influence was wielded by Norman Macleod (q.v.), whose width of sympathy, untiring efforts on behalf of working people, consuming zeal for foreign missions, and eloquence in pulpit or on platform, won for him the admiration and affection of all classes of society. John Tulloch (q.v.) was a man of kindred spirit, "large of heart, full of sympathy, friendly with the lowest and the highest," devout but open-minded, tenaciously holding the catholic faith as embodied in the Nicene Creed but contending for a liberal interpretation of the Westminster formularies. In some respects John Caird (q.v.) was the greatest orator who ever adorned the Scottish pulpit. In the combination of profound thought with impassioned earnestness and dramatic force he stood unrivalled. The writings of William Milligan (q.v.) were highly appreciated in Scotland and even more cordially received in England. The same might be said of Andrew Kennedy Hutchison Boyd (q.v.). A preacher, poet, and religious genius who occupied a unique position was George Matheson (q.v.), who with marvellous cheerfulness and unflagging perseverance achieved, despite his blindness, a work surpassed by few. The life and labors of Dr. John Macleod in the large parish of Govan, and the eloquence and earnestness with which he enforced certain neglected aspects of the church, made a deep impression on many even of those to whom his views were not wholly acceptable. Probably no man in modern times has left a more indelible mark on the practical life of the church than Archibald Hamilton Charteris (q.v.) to whom was due the inception of the Christian Life and Work Committee with its manifold developments. Robert Herbert Story (q.v.) was a man of great force and loftiness of character, and singular tenderness of heart, a matchless debater, and the fearless and untiring champion of the church of his fathers.
(§ 6). Statistics, Constitution and Government. The church reports 1,433 parish churches, 80 non-parochial churches, 170 mission charges, 702,075 communicants, 2,223 Sunday-schools, 20,887 teachers, 235,974 scholars, and total benevolences for home work £520,997 (an increase in thirty-four years of over £242,000). The sums contributed for church purposes since 1872 have amounted to between fifteen and sixteen millions sterling. Patronage was abolished in 1874, and the election of ministers is vested in communicants and adherents. The system of church courts is very efficient. There is in every parish a kirk session, consisting of the minister as moderator or president, and of "elders," the number of whom varies according to circumstances. The whole country is mapped out into eighty-four presbyteries varying in extent and in the number of parishes included. The members of a presbytery consist of the minister of each parish, along with an elder; certain theological professors have also a right to sit in the court. The moderators of the presbyteries are at present almost universally appointed by rotation and their term of office is, as a rule, half a year. There are sixteen synods, the moderators of which are elected sometimes by a committee, sometimes by the votes of the synod. The supreme court is the general assembly, which consists of representatives, lay as well as clerical, from the presbyteries, universities, and royal burghs. It meets yearly in Edinburgh in May, and the opening is one of the picturesque events of the year, being in some respects unique among ecclesiastical gatherings. The king is represented by a nobleman, the lord high commissioner, who takes up his abode at the palace of Holyrood. After a levee at the palace, the commissioner goes in procession to St. Giles Cathedral, where divine service is conducted, the sermon being preached by the retiring moderator. After service, there is a procession to the General Assembly Hall where the court is constituted and the new moderator is installed. The lord high commissioner occupies a seat called the throne, but he has no voice in the discussions. There is an interchange of courtesies between him and the assembly. He conveys the good wishes of the king to the church and receives from the moderator the assurance of the loyalty of the church to the king. The duties of the moderator, who is chosen by the assembly, are to preside at the assembly and to take part in all sorts of meetings all over the country. The general assembly, as the supreme court, revises the proceedings of the synods, and finally disposes of such cases and questions as have arisen elsewhere. But, by the provision of the "Barrier Act," no now legislation is binding upon the whole church until it has received the sanction of the majority of the presbyteries.
(§ 7). Agencies of the Church. The practical work of the church is carried on by committees, of which a few may be mentioned. The Home Mission had its origin in the church-extension labors of Dr. Chalmers. The growth of the population had far outstripped the church accommodation provided for them. Appeals to the government for means to build new churches failed, and Chalmers determined that the work should be done by voluntary effort, and by the extension of the parochial or territorial system. To advance this project of church extension, Chalmers labored with extraordinary assiduity and success; and when he retired from the management it was united with some other minor schemes and became known as the Home Mission, which is now doing a vast amount of good work. It supplies in fluctuating populations, in remote districts, and in overcrowded lanes services in school-rooms, in public halls, and in dwelling-houses, helps to support unendowed churches in poor localities, gives grants for building new churches or for enlarging those which have become too small for the congregations, appoints lecturers on pastoral theology in the four universities of Scotland, and provides chaplains for hospitals and for lodging-houses. The Women's Association for Home Missions, inaugurated in 1893, has, especially by means of parish sisters, proved a valuable auxiliary. The Home Mission finds its continuation and completion in the Endowment Scheme. Dr. James Robertson (q.v.) had taken the deepest interest in Dr. Chalmers's efforts for church extension, but wished to carry the matter a step farther. He resolved that the churches which had been built by voluntary effort should also by voluntary effort be endowed; and in 1846 he was appointed convener of a committee which had that end in view. In 1860, he was able to report to the general assembly that £400,000 had been subscribed, that sixty new parishes, technically known as quoad sacra parishes, had been erected. By the end of 1908, new parishes added to the church by the instrumentality of the Endowment Scheme numbered 452. "The total amount subscribed to secure the endowment alone of these parishes is about £1,673,330, apart from the cost of the fabrics. The population of these new parishes, as ascertained at the census of 1901, amounts to 2,150,000, the number of communicants on the roll being over 250,000." The Christian Life and Work Committee, appointed by the general assembly of 1869, was originated by Dr. Charteris. Its object as originally defined was "to inquire as to the progress of Christian work in this country and to consider and report as to the best means of promoting evangelistic efforts." The work of the committee is now divided into three main sections, evangelistic enterprise, development of Christian work, publications. Evangelistic enterprise includes mission weeks and conferences, deputations to fisher-folks in Orkney, Shetland, the Hebrides, also to those who go in the season to Lowestoft and Yarmouth; and deputations to rural parishes. The development of Christian work includes an institute of missionary training, where women are qualified to serve the church as deaconesses, parish sisters, missionaries, or missionary nurses, and men are qualified to serve as evangelists or home missionaries. The Woman's Guild, which now counts more than 700 branches, with a membership of 50,000, has had a successful career in fostering every kind of religious and philanthropic effort. The order of deaconesses was revived in 1889, and there are now fifty-one at work, their fields being singularly varied. The Deaconess Hospital in Edinburgh and the orphanage at Musselburgh have been widely beneficial. The Young Men's Guild, numbering 640 branches and 29,000 members, has been the means of enrolling many young lives in the service of the church. An outcome of the Woman's Guild and the Young Men's Guild may be seen in the Guild Text-Books and Guild Library, works prepared primarily for the use of members, though in circulation extending far beyond that circle.
(§ 8). Social and Colonial Work. The Church of Scotland has, of late years, taken a special interest in social work, and nowhere has there been more noticeable progress. The assembly of 1903 appointed a committee to consider "whether the institution of central agencies such as an inebriate home, labor colony, and rescue home for women would support and develop the social work of the church in the parishes." The committee reported that the institution of such agencies ought to be adopted and furthered. The development has been exceedingly rapid. In Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Peebles, Ayr, and Perth there are now labor homes in which are received men who, either from misfortune or from fault, have fallen upon evil days and are anxious to retrieve themselves, and suitable ex-prisoners are also received into some of the homes. There are also homes for boys in Glasgow and Aberdeen, where employment is found for them in various trades, and at Humbie, Upper Keith, where they are prepared for farm work or for emigration. At Cornton Vale, near Stirling, there is a market-garden colony at which men are "employed at garden work and trained for a country life at home or in the colonies." Much is done for the protection or reclamation of women by means of homes both in town and country. In the police courts of both Edinburgh and Glasgow, cases are not infrequently handed over to the care of accredited agents of the committee, thereby not only preventing the stigma of conviction, but opening up the way to a better life. The Colonial Committee, formed in 1836, seeks to minister to the spiritual necessities of parts of the colonies where as yet congregations can not be self-supporting. Help is sent to many new settlements in Canada, Australia, and South Africa. By the aid of this committee Scottish services are maintained at various stations in India, Ceylon, Egypt, the West Indies, and East Africa. A sub-committee provides permanent chaplaincies at Paris, Dresden, Venice, Brussels, and summer chaplaincies at Geneva and Homburg. Another sub-committee is occupied with the spiritual oversight of Presbyterians in the army and navy; and the statement is justified that "no committee of the church, with an income which has never exceeded £600 a year, has ever accomplished a larger amount of good work."
- (§ 9). Missionary and Other Agencies. For the support of foreign missions the increase in contributions during the last thirty years has been astonishing. The average number of baptisms is about a thousand a year. There are 160 European missionaries and 700 native missionaries, including ministers, evangelists, and teachers. In Calcutta the work of the Church of Scotland and of the United Free Church has been amalgamated since 1908 and is carried on with renewed activity. The missions at Madras, Arkonam, and Poona, and in the Punjab, have an honorable record of devotion and faithful service. In the Eastern Himalayas there are three missions in which at the close of 1907 there were more than 4,500 baptized native Christians. In Africa the Nyasaland Mission, including Blantyre, Domasi, Zomba, Mlanje, and the British East Africa mission in the Kikuyu highlands have effected such results as to call forth enthusiastic approval. The "martyrs of Blantyre" have earned a place for themselves in missionary annals. The late Dr. Ruffelle-Scott ranks among the greatest of those who have carried the light of Christ to the dark places of the earth, a man most mystical yet most practical, a constant student yet sympathetic with the ignorant, inspired with burning zeal yet gifted with marvellous administrative skill. The Chinese mission at Ichang has now 852 baptized Christians, of whom are communicants. Special commendation must be given to the work of the Women's Association for Foreign Missions, whose spheres of labor are virtually identical with those of the Foreign Missions Committee. "The staff abroad includes 62 European missionaries, four from New South Wales, and three from New Zealand. With the assistance of over 200 Eurasian and native teachers and Bible-women they carry on educational, evangelistic, industrial, and medical work in schools, zenanas, hospitals, and city and village dispensaries for women and children." Other committees are those on Education, the Conversion of the Jews, Small Livings, Aged and Infirm Ministers, Church Interests, Temperance, Sunday-schools, Highlands and Islands, Correspondence with other Reformed Churches, Psalmody and Hymns, Aids to Devotion, Benefice Registers, and Church Records. All of them, it may honestly be said, are under wise and capable management. The relation of the Church to the Westminster Confession has been receiving much attention in recent years; and the General Assembly of 1910, in the exercise of a right ratified by a recent Act of Parliament, has adopted a formula of subscription less rigid than that hitherto enjoined upon the clergy. In 1910 meetings were held between representatives of the Church of Scotland and of the United Free Church looking to the union of those bodies.
- PEARSON M'ADAM MUIR.
2. United Free Church: (§ 1). Early Constitution and Ideals. If the essence of the United Free Church be the soul in it that is marching on, it was born at the Reformation. The ideal of a Scottish National Church which then arose was of a church free from the State, self-constituted and self-governing. Scotland has always been by a vast majority Presbyterian, and her disputes have seldom been doctrinal. Divisions have been caused mainly by differences in the interpretation of the claim of the church to spiritual freedom, and by questions, often more theoretical than practical, regarding the relation of Church to State. The history of the religious forces now gathered up in the United Free Church is the history of successive stands made by men for their own ideal of a free church, and of the gradual aggregation of the various independent churches thus formed. Time and again the starting-point was, not dissent from a theological doctrine, but a differing interpretation of the application of the principle of spiritual independence, and a new assertion of the rights of the church. The United Free Church claims continuity through all its branches with the original reformed Church in Scotland, and maintains, as against decisions of the law courts, (particularly in the period preceding the Disruption of 1843 and in 1904), its own interpretation of the rights and powers of that church. In 1560 the church constituted itself and adopted Knox's Confession. It existed without sanction of any Act of Parliament until 1567. In 1647, without consulting Parliament, it displaced Knox's by the Westminster Confession. These and other acts are claimed as instances of the exercise of that spiritual freedom, between which and the advantages of the Establishment as interpreted by civil courts various parties considered in later times that they had to make their choice. This legislative power of altering doctrine, discipline, and government was, it was claimed by the United Free Church in the litigation following the union of 1900, recognized in the Barrier Act of 1697, which provided that no alteration should be made without being sent down to Presbyteries.
(§ 2). Early Secessions. The first formal division arose in 1688. Intransigeant Cameronians (see CAMERON, RICHARD, CAMERONIANS), in dissatisfaction with its compromising spirit, refused to concur in the Revolution Settlement and remained an isolated body until 1876 when they joined the Free Church. Next came the two secessions which eventually coalesced in the United Presbyterian Church. The first, the Associate Synod, originated through the deposition in 1733 of Ebenezer Erskine (q.v.), along with three supporters, for preaching a sermon claiming for Christ the headship of the Church and declaring the church "the freest society in the world." This was aimed especially at an Act of Assembly (1732) placing the election of ministers in the hands not of the congregation, but of the majority of elders and heritors. These four declined reinstatement a year later, disliking the hostility of the "Moderate" majority to their "Marrow" theology (see MARROW CONTROVERSY). They had forty-five congregations in 1747 when the great "Breach" took place on the question of the lawfulness of taking a certain burgess oath (see ERSKINE, EBENEZER). The breach was healed in 1820 when the United Secession Church was formed, but not before both Anti-Burghers and Burghers had thrown off small minorities of Old Lights, the main bodies or New Lights having developed more modern views as to the limitations of the duty of the civil magistrate in the ecclesiastical sphere (see below, 6, § 1). The "Old Light Burghers" found their way back to the Establishment just in time to come out at the Disruption. The "Old Light Antiburghers" (afterwards called Original Seceders) joined the Free Church in 1852, with the exception of a minute remnant who still remain separate. The United Secession Church was distinguished for its foreign missionary enthusiasm, and grew and prospered until the Union of 1847.
(§3). United Presbyterian Church. The second secession, going later to form the United Presbyterian Church, was the Relief Church, and originated with Thomas Gillespie (q.v.), who stood almost alone till 1761 when a presbytery was formed "for the relief of Christians oppressed in their Christian privileges." This church rapidly grew and was distinguished for its liberal spirit. Unlike the Secession it invited all Christians to its ordinances, and in 1794 it sanctioned a hymn-book. The Union of the Secession and Relief Churches was accomplished in 1847, when the United Secession contributed about 400 congregations and the Relief 114 to the resulting United Presbyterian Church (for the documentary Basis of Union see below). To this last-named church and to its spiritual ancestors must be largely ascribed the fact that the cause of evangelical religion was maintained in Scotland. The career of the United Presbyterian Church was eminently prosperous. Always democratic, and possibly containing tendencies toward Congregationalism, it showed a vigorous and progressive activity. Missions have always been enthusiastically supported and in populous districts at home new congregations were planted. In ecclesiastical matters it was conspicuous for the clear and consistent assertion of the principle of "voluntaryism," i.e., "the obligation of members to support and extend by voluntary contribution the ordinances of the Gospel," and it frequently passed resolutions calling for the disestablishment of the State Church. It was the first Presbyterian body to modify in a liberal and evangelical direction the terms of subscription to the Westminster Confession, which was done in the Declaratory Act of 1879. For the assistance of poorer congregations an Augmentation Fund was contributed by those able to do more than support their own minister, and this was divided among those unable to reach a minimum standard of stipend with a view to a uniform minimum for ministers of all congregations contributing at a certain rate per member to ministeral support. The church maintained a theological hall in Edinburgh, in connection with which the name of Principal John Cairns (q.v.) is famous. The organization of the church had this peculiarity that there were no provincial synods. The whole of the presbyteries met annually as one synod which was thus the supreme court of the church corresponding to the general assemblies of the others. At the Union of 1900 the United Presbyterian Church had 599 congregations, 199,089 members, and an average income of £403,736.
(§ 4). Free Church: Origin. Latest in origin, but largest and most influential, came the Free Church in 1843. Unlike previous secessions which began with days of small things the Free Church sprang into being on a national scale, and men spoke not of another secession but of the "Disruption" of the Established Church. Those who "came out" claimed to be the true Church of Scotland, and at once set about making its whole organization independent of the State. In every parish congregations were divided and over large areas of the Highlands all but a fractional remnant left the Establishment. The contention of the Free Church party was that the spiritual liberties of the church were being challenged by the State, and that the whole principle of spiritual independence was involved, although the immediate issue was the exercise of patronage. An act of parliament restoring patronage had been passed in 1712 in violation of the "Treaty of Union," and had been acquiesced in during the era of moderatism in the church. As the evangelical party grew in strength in the first part of the nineteenth century, its members began to resent the intrusion by indifferent patrons of "moderate " and often incompetent ministers upon unwilling congregations. But instead of agitating for the repeal of the act the assembly asserted powers of regulating the filling of vacant charges by the Veto Act of 1834, and of altering the constitution of church courts by admitting to them ministers of new extension (quoad sacra) parishes (i.e., ecclesiastical parishes defined by the Assembly, not old historic parishes recognized by law; see above, 1, § 7, These exercises of power were declared illegal by the court of session, which proceeded to give orders to presbyteries to ignore the Veto Act and to ordain certain presentees and not ordain certain others and to reject the votes of ministers of the new parishes. The issue thus became in the eyes of the Free Church party not the special grievance of patronage but the whole question of the rights of the church to maintain its own jurisdiction within the sphere claimed as ecclesiastical. This was the ground of the "Ten Years' Conflict" (1833-1843). Government refused to move. There was disbelief in the serious intentions of the evangelical party up to the last, even though they were making every preparation for the final step. This was taken at the opening meeting of the Assembly of 1843, and forms one of the most dramatic episodes in church history. Instead of constituting the Assembly the moderator read the "Protest" and "Claim of Right," laid them on the table and withdrew, followed by the entire evangelical party; the march in procession to Tanfield Hall was watched by cheering crowds, and there the first Free Church assembly was constituted with Thomas Chalmers as moderator, by whose side were Robert Smith Candlish, Thomas Guthrie (qq.v.), and the lawyer Alexander Murray Dunlop. Out of some 1,200 ministers, 474 joined the Free Church, together with every foreign missionary. The Free Church undertook the whole burden of the foreign missionary enterprise, sustained in every direction by the enthusiasm and generosity of the people. A central Sustentation Fund out of which each minister drew an equal dividend solved the problem of ministerial support. New College, Edinburgh, was founded for the training of the ministry, and the colleges at Glasgow and Aberdeen were founded a few years later. The work of building churches and manses rapidly proceeded in spite of obstacles presented in country districts. Elementary education had been in the hands of the church, and this responsibility, too, was faced by the Free Church. The Free Church schools were, along with those of the Established Church, merged in a national system in 1872, and the training-colleges for teachers were also handed over in 1907, subject to certain provisions for religious instruction.
(§ 5). Free Church; Development; Theological Controversies. The later history of the Free Church down to the union of 1900 is one of growth and advance. Within a few years of the Disruption the Home Mission problem of the city slums was attacked and many new churches were organized in poorer districts. Later on the movement of population made necessary the systematic planting of new churches in growing suburban districts. In 1869 and 1874 the department of Home Missions received a great impetus from the revival movements following the visits of Dwight Lyman Moody (q.v.). The growth of foreign missions may be read in the list of missions brought by the Free Church into the Union. Assistance was also given to colonial churches, and preaching-stations were maintained at some continental resorts. The last twenty years before the Union saw several controversies in the Free Church over the attitude of the church toward the new historical methods of Bible study, especially as seen in the writings of its own professors. Scholarship of the highest order had found a home in its colleges. The more studious students and ministers went to Germany or read German books, and dark rumors went abroad of what was taught there. Then came the bold proclamation of the Gospel from a Darwinian platform by Henry Drummond (q.v.). Conservative minds were offended and scared, in spite of the fact that those they attacked were among the most zealous and evangelical teachers the church possessed. The first storm arose over the articles of William Robertson Smith (q.v.; then professor of Hebrew in Aberdeen College, afterward of Arabic in Cambridge) in the new Encyclopdia Britannica. After fierce debates it was made clear that since the Westminster Confession furnished no dicta on such subjects as the date and authorship of the Pentateuch, and since in theology Smith was in hearty agreement with Evangelical Calvinism, no charge of heresy could be established. Eventually, however, in 1881, a majority, angry at his persistence and frightened at his teaching which they could not get condemned, relieved him of his functions, not as a disciplinary measure, involving church censure, but merely in exercise of its discretionary control over the colleges, and with a careful disclaimer of decision upon the matters of scholarship involved. Ten years later the Assembly was again violently divided on the cases of Professors Marcus Dods, and Alexander Balmain Bruce (qq.v.). Dr. Dods had attacked the antiquated theory of verbal inspiration, had met with encouraging words inquirers unable to accept the full doctrine of the church especially in regard to the resurrection, and had spoken of the possibility of truth lying in more than one theory of the Atonement. Dr. Bruce in his Kingdom of God (Edinburgh, 1889) had touched on the problems presented by the existence of four different and sometimes differing Gospel records. After long and heated discussion the assembly passed motions declaring its adherence to certain specified doctrines which no one had attacked and admonishing the professors in words meant more to reassure the Highlands than to edify the professors then under fire. These controversies in one way played a useful part by awakening general interest in the advance of Biblical scholarship. An attempt to renew the controversy by an attack upon Professor George Adam Smith in 1902 hopelessly collapsed. On the other hand, the passing of the Declaratory Act in 1892 offended an ultra-conservative Highland section which broke off to form the Free Presbyterian Church (see below, 4).
(§ 6). Movements toward Union. The year 1900 is another historic date in Scottish church history. Immediately after the Disruption vague hopes for a union of the Free Church and existing "voluntary" churches were expressed; the feeling in favor of this grew, and in 1863 committees of both churches were appointed. In regard to doctrine, worship, and organization no obstacles were discovered, but in regard to the almost purely theoretical question of relation of the civil magistrate to the church sharp differences became clear. The great majority of the Free Church were in favor of leaving this an open question in the proposed united church and the standards of the United Presbyterian Church contained no pronouncement on the point in dispute. A determined minority of the Free Church, however, held that the question of the duty of the civil magistrate to spend public money on the maintenance of an Established Church was an essential part of the doctrine of the Free Church and in 1873 the majority yielded. A Mutual Eligibility Act, however, was passed, providing for the passage of ministers from one church to the other. The Free Church had been joined in 1854 by most of the Original Seceders (see above, 1, § 2). The Reformed Presbyterians (Cameronians, see above, § 2) had been invited in 1864 to share in the proposed Union. Their views regarding the civil magistrate were satisfactory even to the constitutionalist minority in the Free Church and, after the collapse of the negotiations with the United Presbyterian Church, conferences were reopened with them and a union between them and the Free Church was consummated in 1876. The action of the minority in thwarting the Union was partly stimulated by the movement in the Established Church toward the abolition of patronage. It was felt by some that a wider union on the basis of a reformed establishment was within sight. Such hopes were disappointed, since approaches by the Established Church (see above, 1) in 1878 were met in 1886 on the part of the Free Church by propositions in favor of disestablishment and disendowment. The Established Church refused to negotiate except on the understanding that the Establishment basis would be preserved. The Free Church demanded an open conference without reservation.
(§ 7). Union of 1900. This failure concentrated hopes the more definitely upon a union of Free and United Presbyterian churches. In 1896 union committees were appointed. The negotiations took four years, the chief problems being the conciliation and reassurance of the constitutionalist party in the Free Church which suspected the liberal tendencies at work, and the settlement of details personal and financial regarding, the consolidation of offices, colleges, and other agencies. Everything was harmoniously arranged, and it seemed up to the last as if the small conservative section of the Free Church would give way. The Union was consummated in Edinburgh in October, 1900, amid a scene of great enthusiasm and the congratulations conveyed by deputies from sister churches all over the world.
(§ 8). Free Church Minority; Legal Proceedings; Settlement. A small minority, however, including twenty-seven ministers, declined to enter the United Free Church, and began legal proceedings in the courts, claiming as the true Free Church (see below, 3) to retain her whole property both central and congregational. In the Scottish courts the decisions were in favor of the united church, but upon appeal the dissenting minority were declared by the House of Lords in August, 1904, to be the true representatives of the Free Church, and to them the trustees were ordered to convey the whole property. The main ground of the decision was that the Church of Scotland before the disruption had no power of altering her creed or standards and that the Free Church in separating in 1843 claimed no new rights in that respect; and that, in particular, Dr. Chalmers the Moderator, having in 1843 repudiated voluntaryism and made clear that the Free Church adhered to the sections of the Westminster Confession of Faith regarding the duty of the civil magistrate, the Free Church of 1900 had no power to carry over its property into a church which left open in its constitution the question of the right of an Establishment. The contention of the United Free Church, that the church as a church had an inherent right to modify her subordinate standards, was rejected by five to two, the majority of the Lords defining the church in its relation to property, as a trust constituted for once and all by its original constitution as a trust deed. The scope of the decision was staggering. The whole funds and buildings of the Free Church at home and abroad were to be handed over to the inhabitants of the remoter northern districts. In the United Free Church indignation ran high, both at the grounds of the judgment and at the prospect of having their whole work crippled by the loss of property and funds. An emergency fund was at once raised which eventually reached nearly £200,000 and an advisory committee was formed to guide matters during the crisis. It was obvious that the victorious Free Church had neither capacity nor resources in men or money to administer the huge foreign missionary organization, and it is to their credit that they did not attempt to enforce the judgment abroad. At home, however, they set about the business of organization with energy. In some cases where congregations were formed United Free Churchmen were ejected from churches and manses. They prohibited the use of hymns and organs, which latter they announced their intention of destroying in churches of which they took possession. Public opinion demanded parliamentary action, and an Act was passed suspending all further legal proceedings and appointing a commission of inquiry. On its report that the Free Church was not in a position to administer the property in terms of the trusts, an act was passed in 1904 appointing an executive commission to dispose of the whole property so as best to secure its proper use. In cases of congregational property the Frees were to get the churches where they could show that they had one-third of the members and adherents at the time of the Union in 1900. The result has been for the most part to set aside the legal judgment. All the missions have been entrusted to the United Church. The Assembly Hall and all the colleges have been assigned to them and most congregations confirmed in the use of their churches. Nevertheless the United Church had to suffer heavy loss. The valuable offices in Edinburgh were assigned to the Free Church for use as a college. Some large churches in the south and over a hundred in the Highlands went to the Free Church, and the United Free Church was faced by the need for immediate expenditure on building to the extent of about £150,000. Out of college incomes an annual charge of £3,000 is set aside for the Free Church college, and other heavy charges for their benefit made on the funded capital.
(§ 9). Results; Present Position. One good effect of the judgment was to call forth expression of the loyalty of the church. The former United Presbyterian and Free branches were welded by the shock as years of tranquil existence might not have effected. Then the misgivings inevitably arising regarding past history and procedure produced criticism that will be fruitful. There is a desire that laymen, who have to pay the cost, should have more to say in church councils. The financial stress stimulates desire for economy and business methods, and many small adjacent churches have been united. The disastrous spectacle of ecclesiastical strife has produced a revulsion in favor of still larger reunion, and an era of hearty cooperation is surely in sight, while especially among the laity there is a strong desire for a union of all Presbyterians in Scotland. The future position of the church in regard to its right to alter its standards was made clear by an act of Assembly in 1905 (see below, § 11) which was presented to Parliament. In certain directions the work of the church, especially in expansion, has been hampered by the crisis, but on the whole the home activity and foreign enterprises and the work of the colleges have been carried on without slackening. The adjustments of organization left incomplete at the Union have now been completed and especially in 1907 the final merging of Sustentation and Augmentation Funds into one "Central Fund" for the support of the ministry has been accomplished. In regard to theological scholarship the leaders of the church are now in full sympathy with free and fearless inquiry, and scholarship has been amply proved to go along with hearty evangelical zeal. The home-mission problem is being approached in new ways. Suburban church extension proceeds; in Glasgow and Aberdeen large institutional churches have been started in slum districts, and the extension of this feature in other large towns in the near future is probable. The organization is, of course, Presbyterian, the series of ecclesiastical bodies proceeding in order from the kirk-session through the presbytery and synod to the general assembly. Local financial affairs are managed either by a court of deacons ordained for life, with whom are associated ex officio the session, or by a committee of managers elected for a term, meeting apart from the session. The salary of the minister is guaranteed by the Central Fund up to a fixed minimum, at present £160, which is often supplemented by the congregation. The affairs of the church are managed from large central offices by permanent secretaries and representative committees of Assembly. There are three colleges in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, with 133 regular students and 42 visitors largely graduates of American colleges.
(§ 10). Statistics and Missions. The United Free Church reports 1,631 congregations with 27 Congregational missions, 506,088 members, 35,199 elders and deacons, 2,369 Sunday-schools with 25,385 teachers and 241,160 scholars, a total income of £1,044,093, with a home missionary income of about £130,000, and from native and foreign sources about £85,000. Apart from native agents there are at work 118 ordained missionaries, 35 medical missionaries, most of whom are also ordained, 103 women missionaries, 52 teachers, artizans, etc., besides 135 missionaries' wives. In India since 1904 all Presbyterian missions have been united in the Presbyterian Church in India with 372 elders and 14,830 communicants, under six mission councils, viz., Bengal, Santalia, Western India, Nagpur, Madras, and Rajputana. In China the Manchurian council works in nine district circuits, among other places at Mukden and Hiaoyang, and is rapidly training up a native ministry. The native church showed heroic steadfastness during the Boxer troubles and is now rapidly growing. In Africa are the Kaffraria council with over a dozen stations and the Lovedale institution with a roll of 715 pupils; the Transkei council, with Blythswood, and nearly twenty stations; the Natal council; the Old Calabar Mission begun in 1846, now having 754 members and 50 native agents; and the extraordinarily successful Livingstonia Mission, which has founded a Christian civilization round the shores of Lake Nyassa. In the New Hebrides there is now a strong native church, some islands being entirely Christian. In the West Indies the Jamaica mission council controls an organization which is partly organized as a church, partly as a system of mission stations, and the Trinidad Mission Council works similarly in connection with the Presbyterian Church of Canada among English-speaking creoles and the coolie population.
(§ 11). Doctrine and Constitution. The doctrinal position of Scottish Presbyterianism has never been defined de novo since the Westminster Confession approved it in 1646. The statement of the present position of the United Free Church is contained in the Acts of 1905 regarding spiritual independence, and of 1900 effecting the Union, which makes approving references to the historic documents of the various branches of the church and sanctions the declarations which had been made from time to time regarding the terms of adhesion to the Westminster Confession.
- The act of 1905 of the United Free Church as to doctrine was passed with a view to making clear the conditions on which the church took back the property alienated by the decision of 1904 and is designed to put beyond all doubt for all time the power of the church to define her own creed and discipline. It contains these words: "That this church continues to claim that the church of Christ has under him as her only Head independent and exclusive jurisdiction and power of legislating in all matters of doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the church, including therein the right from time to time to alter, change, add to or modify her constitution and laws, subordinate standards and church formulas and to determine and declare what these are." This is further declared to be a fundamental principle and rule of the United Free Church, the power of uniting with other churches being explicitly mentioned and the words added "always in conformity with the Word of God and also with the safeguards for deliberate action and legislation in such cases provided by the church herself, of which conformity the church herself acting through her courts shall be the sole judge." The Act of Union prescribes the formula for signature upon ordination. The Bible is in the first question given its place as supreme standard as being the word of God, and the only rule of faith and life. The second question, relating to acceptance of the doctrine of the church as set forth in the Confession of Faith is construed with relation to (1) the Act of Free Church, 1846, disclaiming "intolerant or persecuting principles" and repudiating any such interpretation of the confession; (2) the Declaratory Act of the United Presbyterian Church of 1879, which also disdains intolerant principles, asserts in connection with the confessional doctrine of election the free offer of salvation to all, and the responsibility of each for its rejection, and that the former doctrine is held in harmony with the truth that God is not willing that any should perish and with human responsibility; (3) The Declaratory Act of the Free Church in 1892, which as regards predestination says the church does not hold the confession as teaching the preordination of men to death irrespective of their own sin. Other references are (4) to the Disruption Protest and Claim of Right which assert spiritual independence on matters now covered by the Act of 1905; (5) to the Basis of Union of 1847 which adopts the Westminster Confession with reservation of persecuting principles, lays stress on the missionary duty of the Church and the obligation of free-will offerings for that end and for the support of the ministry. Another declaration of the 1900 Assembly sanctions the Larger and Shorter Catechisms as "manuals of religious instruction long approved and held in honor by the people of both churches." With the exception and modifications thus summarized the theology of the United Free Church is the Calvinistic doctrine of the Westminister Confession.
- ROBERT WILLIAM STEWART.
3. Free Church of Scotland: The Free Church of Scotland began its separate existence at the disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 (see above, 1, § 4), under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Chalmers. In October, 1900, a large majority of its ministers, elders, and members united with the United Presbyterian Church and formed the United Free Church (see above, 2). A minority remained apart from the union because of dissatisfaction with the basis on which it was effected, and claimed to be the true successors of the disruption fathers. They also raised a claim to the funds and property of the Church. The matter was referred to the law courts. In the Outer and Inner Houses of the Court of Session in Scotland judgment was given unanimously in favor of the present United Free Church. On an appeal being taken to the House of Lords, a decision was obtained in August, 1904, by five to two, in favor of the Free Church. On the ground of the inability of the Free Church to execute all the trusts, parliament intervened. A royal commission was appointed to inquire and to report. In 1904, the Churches (Scotland) Act was passed, and by a commission appointed under said Act, the property in question was allocated between the Free and United Free Churches.
Like the other Presbyterian churches, the Free Church is governed by church sessions, presbyteries, synods, and general assembly. The general assembly--the supreme court of the church--meets annually in Edinburgh in the month of May. There are, at home, five synods, twelve presbyteries, 160 congregations, and about thirty mission stations. In Africa, there is one presbytery with one European and two native pastors, and ten catechists.
- The majority of the home congregations are located in the counties of Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, Inverness, Argyle, and Bute. Students for the ministry are required to attend a full undergraduate course of study at one of the universities, and a full course of four years in divinity in the church's own Theological College in Edinburgh, which has a staff of a principal and five professors. In Edinburgh are also located the offices of the church. The endowments of the church are: For the maintenance of the Theological College, including bursaries, £92,000; for undergraduate bursaries, £11,000; for foreign missions, £25,000; for aged and infirm ministers and retired professors, £35,000; for the support of the ministry and lay agents, £210,000; for the general purposes of administration and management, £40,000; for the education of sons and. daughters of ministers and missionaries, £6,000; for the widows and orphans of ministers and missionaries, a fund of over £500,000 is administered by trustees for the benefit of both the Free and United Free Churches and the annuity payable to widows is £44, to each child while under eighteen years of age £24, with £12 additional when the mother is also dead. The interest of these endowments is supplemented by free-will offerings from the people amounting in all, for the various schemes of the church, to about £12,000 annually. These contributions are apart from local congregational funds which are used locally and do not pass through the books of the general treasurer of the church in Edinburgh.
- J. K CAMERON.
- 4. Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland: In 1892 a Declaratory Act was passed by the general assembly of the Free Church of Scotland. Strong opposition had been offered to this measure by the constitutionalist party, and hopes were entertained that this dissatisfaction would lead to its repeal. But these hopes were doomed to disappointment. At the following assembly (1893) a protest was entered against the Act. This action was a virtual denial of the jurisdiction of the supreme court and the result was that two ministers were deprived of their churches and manses. These were subsequently joined by a number of students who were dissatisfied with the advanced teaching from the professorial chairs of the Free Church. In August, 1893, Donald MacFarlane, and Donald MacDonald, ministers, with Alexander MacFarlane, elder, met at Portree, Isle of Skye, and constituted themselves a presbytery, under the name of the Free Church Presbytery of Scotland; ("Free Church" was afterwards abandoned for "Free Presbyterian" to avoid legal complications). At this meeting a Deed of Separation was drawn up with reasons. These were, that the Free Church (1) had passed resolutions having as their object the abandonment of the national recognition of religion; (2) it had sanctioned the use of uninspired hymns and instrumental music in divine worship; (3) it tolerated office-bearers who did not hold the whole doctrine of the Confession of Faith especially in regard to the entire perfection of Holy Scripture; (4) by passing the Declaratory Act of 1892, it destroyed the integrity of the Confession as understood by the Disruption fathers; and (5) the majority of her office-bearers had become voluntaries. While renouncing the jurisdiction of the Free Church of 1893, the signatories solemnly promised to abide by the constitution and standards of the Free Church as settled in 1843. Briefly stated it may be said, the Free Presbyterian Church stands for the doctrine of the infallibility of Holy Scripture, the national recognition of religion, purity of worship (the exclusive use of the Psalms in divine worship without the aid of instrumental music), and, generally speaking, for the whole doctrine of the Confession of Faith. The church's office-bearers subscribe to the Free Church documents of 1843 and the Deed of Separation referred to above. There are three presbyteries; the supreme court being the synod which meets twice a year; in July at Inverness and in November at Glasgow. The congregations and preaching-stations number about seventy. These are supplied by thirteen ordained ministers with the help of students and lay missionaries and catechists. The church's sphere of labor is confined chiefly to the Highlands, though there are congregations in Edinburgh, Glasgow (two), and London. There is a colonial mission in Ontario and Manitoba, Canada, with an ordained missionary, and a foreign mission station near Bembesi, Matabeleland, South Africa, presided over by an ordained native missionary. The students of the church are expected to undergo a four-years' university course, and a four-years' theological course. The Rev. John R. MacKay, M. A., Inverness, and Rev. D. Beaton, Wick, act as theological tutors. The ministry are entirely dependent upon the voluntary contributions of the people for support; the ministerial salary being £140 ($700) per annum.
- D. BEATON.
- 5. Reformed Presbyterian Church: This Church is the legitimate descendant and representative of the Covenanted Church of Scotland in its period of greatest purity, the period of the second Reformation (1638-1649). Holding the continuing obligation of the national Covenants (see COVENANTERS) it maintains the doctrine of the universal supremacy of Christ and the authority of his Word both in Church and State. In doctrinal belief it adheres to the theology of the Westminster Confession; in worship it uses exclusively the Psalms of Scripture, without instrumental music. It objects to all secret oathbound societies. Its members decline to swear allegiance to any civil constitution that disowns or dishonors Christ: this is its historic position of political dissent both in Britain and America. The Covenanters suffered cruel persecutions under the Stuarts, and welcomed the Revolution of 1688; but as in Scotland under the Revolution Settlement the national Church was substantially a creature of the State, and prelacy in England and Ireland was registered in the national constitution; they never joined the Revolution Church. For sixteen years, as "the United Societies," they were without a minister. In 1706 they were joined by the Rev. John McMillan from the Established Church, and the first presbytery was constituted in 1743. They continued to increase till 1863, when there were six presbyteries and a synod, with about forty ministers, a theological seminary, a prosperous mission in the New Hebrides, and a Jewish mission in London. In 1863 a disruption took place, the majority resolving to abide no longer by the historic position of the church. That majority joined the Free Church thirteen years after. The minority, adhering to the recognized testimony of the church, constituted themselves the Reformed Presbyterian Synod, and were acknowledged in the civil courts as the legitimate representatives of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. It has now nine ministers, and it conducts, along with the Reformed Presbyterian Synod in Ireland, prosperous missions in Antioch and Alexandretta. It is in ecclesiastical fellowship with the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America (see below, VIII., 7).
- JOHN McDONALD.
6. United Original Secession Church: (§ 1). Origin and Divisions. This church dates from 1733, when four ministers of the National Church, Ebenezer Erskine, William Wilson, Alexander Moncrieff, and James Fisher felt in conscience constrained to withdraw from the courts of that church (see above, 1, § 4, 2, § 2). The reasons for their withdrawal were found both in the administrative and the doctrinal sides of the church's life. The exercise of lay patronage, forcing ministers upon churches even with the aid of the military, and the defects in the teaching and preaching of some professors and ministers, lacking, as it did, the Evangelical note which they judged vital to the interest of true religion, seemed to require this action. They sought not only to maintain this Evangelical note in their own teaching, but to lift up a public testimony against the departures from it in the Church. Ebenezer Erskine (q.v.) did this in a sermon preached at a meeting of a synod, and he and those who openly sympathized with him were suspended from their office as ministers. They formed themselves into a presbytery at Gairney Bridge in Fifeshire (where a monument commemorating the event has been erected), but a presbytery of the Church of Scotland, which, because of untoward circumstances, was in a condition of secession from its courts. Hence, the name Secession. The movement was popular, and other presbyteries were formed, which were linked together by a synod, which met annually. The name "Church" was purposely avoided because the Seceders regarded themselves as a part of the Church of Scotland, though compelled for the sake of conscience to carry on their work in a state of secession. The history of this movement is marked by many divisions. The first cause of division was an oath which was exacted from the burgesses of certain cities in the country, in which they promised support to the religion established in the realm. Some thought that this oath could be taken in consistency with the position which they had taken, the religion to which approval was given being that sanctioned in the constitution of the country. Others thought that the taking of it meant approval of the things that the church had recently tolerated and so involved unfaithfulness to the protest which they had made against these things. The contention resulted in a separation in 1747 into different camps,-the Burgher and the Anti-Burgher. After this, the question between Church and State began to be agitated in both these churches. The result was difference of view, some taking the secular standpoint in relation to the State, and others bitterly opposing it. They who thought that the State should confine its attention to secular affairs and leave the church alone, were called New Lights, and the others received the name Old Lights.
- (§ 2). Unions; Statistics. This line of cleavage in the opinion regarding the State formed in the two branches of the church led to the different parties in them which held similar views drawing toward one another, and finally to a union on the New Light Basis, known as the "voluntary basis," in 1820, leaving sections that adhered to the principle of State-churchism, in separate ecclesiastical organizations. In this union is found the beginning of the United Presbyterian Church (see above, 2). The history of the sturdy fragments left outside this union of 1820, is one of gradual amalgamation, with occasional fragments of the fragments finding their way into larger ecclesiastical bodies. There was a union between those who stood on the ground of State-churchism, and later of those who had long maintained different views about the Burgess oath. It is the result of these unions that is found in the United Original Secession Church, the half of which united with the Free Church in 1852, and the other half still maintains a separate organization. Its platform is the position identified with the second Reformation, with the ideal of a nation and a church in covenant with God to promote his cause. It is a small body consisting of twenty-five congregations, grouped in five presbyteries, with a synod as the supreme court meeting annually. It has 19 ministers, one probationer, and about 3,600 members. Its theological hall in Glasgow is under the care of two professors and one lecturer. Its annual income is between two and three thousand pounds sterling. The total income of congregations from all sources amounted last year to £5,863, an average contribution from each member of £1,12, 6d. It supports a vigorous, well-equipped mission at Seoni in the central province of India, an ordained male missionary, a fully qualified female missionary, a trained zenana visitor, and a large number of native catechists and Christian workers.
- R. MORTON.
II. Presbyterian Church of England: (§ 1). Presbyterian Principles Informally Established. Presbyterianism, with its popular government, is at the opposite pole of church life from the absolutism of Rome. Hence at the Reformation its principles were much favored in England though but imperfectly understood, while the episcopacy of Edward VI. was so mild that in his reign no man suffered for dissenting from the newly established church. Under Mary every form of Protestantism was suppressed, when Episcopalians and Presbyterians alike fled to the continent for safety. On the accession of Elizabeth, the exiles returned to find themselves but little better off than they had been under Mary, for the queen was of too despotic a nature to allow any to differ from her views. The Puritan or Presbyterian section of the church, which desired government by elders, was now called on to suffer, yet Presbyterian principles spread so widely that, in 1570, Bishop Sandys writing to Bullinger at Zurich gave him, in a summary of the views which were spreading among the ministers and members of the Episcopal Church, an excellent epitome of Presbytery, closely resembling what it is to-day. The Presbyterians at that date numbered, it is said, one hundred thousand. As the result of the queen's oppression, a considerable number of persons "separated" themselves in 1556 from the Established Church, and maintained religious services according to the Presbyterian order, and against these the queen's anger blazed fiercely. Their sufferings did not deter others who still remained in the Church from going still farther and holding conferences or "ministers' meetings," one of which in London deputed in 1572 two of its members to visit Wandsworth, a little village near that city, who there, with the assistance of the lecturer of the parish and a number of leading Puritan church members, formally organized a "Particular Church" in accordance with Presbyterian order. This was the first open formation in England of a church different from that which had been established. In a surprisingly short time hundreds of similar churches were organized throughout the country, generally, as ecclesiolæ in ecclesia, revealing the hold Presbyterian principles had taken of the people, and that a new chapter in the history of England was about to open.
(§ 2). Royal and Parliamentary Opposition. James recognized the situation and, determining to crush it, held immediately after his accession the Hampton Court Conference (q.v.), ostensibly to harmonize the views of both parties, but really to give himself an opportunity of saying that he would "harrv" out of the land the members of the church in which he had been brought up. Led by Bancroft, the episcopal church now gathered itself together, separated from the continental Reformers, and became identified with the sacramental system. Under Charles I. Laud, who said he regarded Presbytery as worse than Romanism and whose watchword was "thorough," promoted those Star Chamber prosecutions of the Non-conformists which form a black page in English history. The king's own conduct drove the great mass of the Presbyterian members of the church into the ranks of the Parliamentarians, while the subsequent alliance of the parliament with the Scottish army, the adoption of the Solemn League and Covenant, together with the decisions of the Westminster Assembly in 1647 A.D., resulted in the overthrow of the episcopal church and its replacement in the Establishment by that of presbytery. That assembly was the latest of the great councils of the Christian Church, and by it the Calvinistic system of doctrine was expressed in a Confession of Faith, and its system of polity in a Directory of Church Government. The Establishment being now Presbyterian, the parish churches were occupied by Presbyterian ministers, yet after all, the Presbyterian polity was accepted largely only in London and Lancashire. In the former, indeed, a provincial synod embracing presbyteries with their constituent church sessions had been formed, but before long all had come to an end. Presbytery had no leaders competent to resist Cromwell and the army, and by means of this, or at its dictation, Cromwell replaced presbytery by independency. Shortly afterward came the Restoration when, under the reign of a king who on two occasions had sworn the Solemn League and Covenant, the Presbyterians expected some improvement in their condition, a change which Charles had no intention of granting. In 1662 he therefore sanctioned the Act of Uniformity, (see UNIFORMITY, ACTS OF), enjoining reordination of every minister not episcopally ordained,-adherence to everything in the Book of Common Prayer, obedience to the ordinary (bishop), abjuration of the Solemn League and Covenant, with an additional oath declaring that it was not lawful under any circumstances to take up arms against the king. More than 2,000 parish ministers refused obedience to the Act and, on August 24th (St. Bartholomew's Day), resigning their congregations, walked out of their manses, leaving their pulpits empty. By the subsequent Conventicle Act (q.v.), these men were forbidden to preach to their former congregations, and by the Five Mile Act (q.v.), could not live within five miles of their former parishes. Under these conditions, Presbyterianism ceased to be a visible religious force in English national life, with a result that was inevitable. Never having had any central organization like a general assembly to bring its members together and to keep them in connection with one another, these drifted into fragments and the vitality of the system was lost. In 1688 came the Revolution, when, the aim of all being to secure in addition to their civil liberties the "Protestant religion," no special effort was made by the non-Anglicans to obtain relief from their disabilities. All branches of non-conformity now acted as practically a single community, under the "Happy Union" arrangement of 1691, and as no authority existed to enforce the Westminster Confession or the Directory of Church Government, Presbyterianism, with its polity and doctrine at loose ends, came within a few decades to be, in many cases, but another name for Unitarianism, a misrepresentation now happily removed.
(§ 3). Infusion of Scotch Elements. Not a few of the congregations that left the parish churches in 1662 had provided themselves with small chapels for their religious services. A dozen of these still exist, while under the Indulgence of 1672, nearly an equal number were built before the close of the century. As separate congregations these would probably have survived, but another element has come into England, by means of which nearly all these old Presbyterians have become constituent members of an organized and Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Scottish Presbyterians found their way to London probably as early as the days of Elizabeth, and, by the close of the Commonwealth period, must have been numerous in London. A congregation of such was formed in that city, in the reign of Charles II., while others soon followed in the same city and elsewhere. These, however, owed their existence entirely to the action of the individuals composing them, and were based on nationality and Presbyterianism, having no official connection with the Scottish general assembly. By 1772 the London congregations of this character numbered seven, by which time their ministers had formed themselves into "The Scots Presbytery of London." The "Presbytery," however, while claiming "communion" with the Church of Scotland, had no ecclesiastical connection with it, and was really little more than a "ministers' meeting," admitting occasionally into its fellowship ministers of Old English Presbyterian and of Secession congregations. In 1836, this presbytery changed its title to that of "The London Presbytery in Communion with the Church of Scotland," while in 1839 the Scottish Assembly counseled its members to organize themselves as "The Presbyterian Synod in England." In 1742, the Scottish Associate Synod had organized congregations at Newcastle and other places and as the number of these increased not a few of the Old English Presbyterians joined with them. These were formed into presbyteries in connection with the United Secession Church of Scotland (see above, I., 2). In 1843 came the fateful Disruption of the Scottish Establishment, when the "Presbyterian Synod in England" divided. The majority cast in its lot with the Scottish Free Church and retained the name of "The Presbyterian Synod in England," while the minority remained in connection with the Scottish National Church, and formed itself into "The Scottish Presbytery in London in connection with the Church of Scotland." In 1850 this presbytery, along with two others that had been formed, was organized as "The Synod of the Church of Scotland in England" and consists today of some 3,500 communicants, forming three presbyteries, and meeting annually in a general synod.
- (§ 4). The Present Church in England. The Free Church "Presbyterian Synod in England" promoted evangelistic work up and down the country, and was in friendly relations with the Old Presbyterian and the United Secession congregations, so that, in 1863, the United Presbyterian Church in Scotland formed its congregations in England into the "English Synod." The way was thus left open for a union between this and the "Presbyterian Synod in England." Such union took place in 1876, when the uniting churches took the name of the "Presbyterian Church of England," and this has since then continued its Christian activities and numerical growth. In 1910, this church consisted of 85,774 communicants, organized into 350 congregations, forming 12 presbyteries, which meet annually in a general synod. Its contributions in 1908 amounted to £306,958. It has in Cambridge for its theological students a handsome residential college which is partly affiliated with the university, while it sustains an extensive foreign mission in South China and on Formosa, with a smaller one in India, and one to the Jews at Aleppo.
- G. D. MATHEWS.
III. Ireland.--1. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland: Presbyterians did not obtain any considerable footing in Ireland until the time of the Ulster Plantation under James I. (1603-25). The settlers, most of whom were Scottish Presbyterians, began to arrive in 1610; Presbyterian ministers began to come from Scotland in 1613, and for a time they were appointed without reordination to vacant charges in the Established Church, but this period of toleration was followed by a time of persecution which was subsequently renewed at various times. In 1641 there was a rebellion in Ireland, in the course of which thousands of Protestants were massacred. In 1642 a Scottish army was sent over to quell the rebellion. Each Scottish regiment had a chaplain and a regular kirk session selected from the officers. The first presbytery consisting of five chaplains and four elders was formed at Carrickfergus on June 10, 1642. Ministers were sent over from Scotland; other presbyteries were formed; and in the time of Cromwell there was a general synod with eighty congregations and seventy ministers. In 1661 sixty-four ministers were ejected from their livings for refusing to conform to the Established Church, and many Presbyterians went to America to escape persecution, among them Francis Makemie (q.v.).
King William III. authorized the payment of £1,200 per annum to the Presbyterian ministers of Ireland in recognition of the loyal support of Presbyterians on his arrival in Ireland in 1690. This may be taken as the beginning of the Regium donum which was subsequently increased and continued to be given to ministers till 1869. In the face of many difficulties the church grew and prospered, but toward the end of the first half of the eighteenth century some of the ministers came under the influence of moderatism (see above, I., 2). A congregation of Seceders was formed in 1741 and in time there came to be a Secession Synod as well as a Synod of Ulster (see below, 3). The ministers of Secession congregations also received a Regium donum grant from the government. About 1825 some of the ministers of the Synod of Ulster were known to hold Arian views and there was apprehension of the spread of these views. The Rev. Henry Cooke championed the cause of orthodoxy and under his leadership the Synod of Ulster, by an overwhelming majority, declared in favor of the doctrine of the Trinity. In 1829 seventeen ministers withdrew from the synod and subsequently formed The Remonstrant Synod of Ulster. This paved the way for the union of the two orthodox synods. The Synod of Ulster with 292 congregations and the Secession Synod with 141 congregations united in 1840 and formed the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
It is worthy of note that there were Presbyterians in the south of Ireland before the time of the Ulster Plantation. The Rev. Walter Travers, first provost of Trinity College, Dublin, appointed in 1594, was a Presbyterian minister. Its first two elected fellows--James Hamilton, afterward Lord Claneboy, and James Fullerton--were also Presbyterians. The Presbyterians in the south of Ireland outside the Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod belonged to the Southern Association which in 1809 became the Synod of Munster. In 1840 the orthodox members of this synod withdrew and formed themselves into the Presbytery of Munster, and this presbytery joined the general assembly in 1854.
- Since the formation of the general assembly the church has made continuous progress, notwithstanding the heavy drain which emigration has made on its membership. In 1869 the Regium donum which amounted to £69. 4s. 8d. per annum for each minister was abolished by the Irish Church Act, but vested interests were respected and the ministers of that time commuted in the interests of the church with the result that a sum of almost £600,000 was received into the church treasury for investment, and the annual income arising therefrom together with the Sustentation-Fund contributions of the people is sufficient to give every minister of a congregation a sum of about £80 per annum. The church reports 657 ministers, 568 congregations, about 106,000 communicants, 1,048 Sunday-schools with 8,240 teachers and 94,735 scholars; two colleges (Belfast and Londonderry) with 15 professors; 26 ministerial, 6 medical, 22 zenana, and 5 lay missionaries in the foreign field; 3 ministerial and 3 female missionaries in connection with the Jewish mission in Hamburg and Damascus; and one ministerial missionary in Spain. The Presbyterian Orphan Society has invested funds amounting to £114,000 and an annual income of over £17,000. The Ministers' Orphan Society has invested funds amounting to more than £18,000 and all annual income of over £900. The Aged and Infirm Ministers' Fund has invested funds amounting to £25,000 and an annual income of about £1,000. An Old Age Fund has been established and its yearly income is about £6,000. There are three funds for widows of ministers--the Secession Widows' Fund paying an annuity of £62, the Southern Association Widows' Fund paying an annuity of £60, and the Synod of Ulster Widows' Fund paying an annuity of £44. The total income of the church from all sources for the year 1907-1908 was £266,000.
- W. J. LOWE.
2. Reformed Presbyterian or Covenanting Church of Ireland: This church traces its origin to the Covenanters (q.v.) of Scotland. Some of these who had fled from persecution in Scotland settled in the northeast part of the island, and were the founders of the Covenanting Church in Ireland. They had occasional visits from ministers of their native land; but these were few and far between. For fully forty years a separate existence was maintained by the "Society people," as the Covenanters were called, without the aid of a minister, by means of fellowship meetings. A presbytery was organized in 1792, and a synod, with twelve ministers, in 1811. The year 1840 witnessed the withdrawal of a number of congregations and ministers through a controversy regarding the power of the civil ruler. Recently some of these congregations have returned, and some have joined the Presbyterian Church of Ireland. At present there are thirty-six congregations in four presbyteries, thirty-two ministers, and over 3,900 members connected with the synod. With the exception of one in Liverpool, these congregations are all in the province of Ulster. The Standards of the church are the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, together with the Testimony, in which the church's distinctive position is clearly defined. In this latter is set forth the duty of covenanting; with the continuing obligations of the National Covenant and Solemn League and Covenant (see COVENANTERS). The Reformed Presbyterian Church uses only the book of Psalms without any instrumental accompaniment in the service of praise; and the office-bearers and members refuse to take the parliamentary oath, or to vote at parliamentary elections. No one engaged in the manufacture or sale of intoxicating drink is admitted to her communion, nor are members of secret oathbound societies.
- There are two foreign mission stations--Antioch and Alexandretta--in Syria, with two ordained and three female missionaries and fifteen native helpers; a colonial mission in Geelong, Australia; and an Irish mission with two colporteurs disseminating the Scripture and other religious books chiefly among Roman Catholics. There is a Theological Hall in Belfast with three professors, where students are trained for the ministry. The course consists of three sessions of five months each. Students are required to have a degree in arts before being admitted to the Hall. The church has a Congregational Aid Fund, the object of which is to assist weaker congregations; an Aged and Infirm Ministers' Fund, from which retired ministers have been receiving £75 per annum; a Ministers' Widows' and Orphans' Fund, and a recently inaugurated General Widows' and Orphans' Fund. None of the congregations are large, and ministers' salaries range from £100 to £250 yearly; nearly every congregation has a manse, of which the minister has the use free of rent. The synod has nearly £20,000 of invested funds, most of which has been left as legacies by members of the church. From this and from congregational contributions for different purposes the yearly income is about £6,500.
- JOHN LYND.
- 3. Secession Church in Ireland: The Secession movement in Scotland spread to Ireland and established itself widely in the north of that country. The divisions and unions of Scotland had their counterparts in Ireland, with modifications caused by the different environment. The present "Presbyterian Church in Ireland" is the fruit of the union of 1840 (see above, 1). Some did not enter this united body because they did not think that in the basis of union there was a sufficient guaranty for purity of doctrine, and because in it the platform of the covenanted Reformation had been abandoned. They are few in number, but they exist as a separate organization under the name of the Associate Synod of Ireland or the Presbyterian Synod of Ireland Distinguished by the Name Seceder. There are six congregations, and five ministers, grouped into two presbyteries, with a synod which meets annually. A fraternal union between this church and the Secession Church in Scotland (see above, I., 6) was established in 1872.
- R. MORTON.
IV. Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Connection: (§ 1). Origin. This body, frequently called The Presbyterian Church of Wales, and generally known in Wales as Y Corff, "The Body," came formally into being at a small synod-the first quarterly association, as it came to be counted-held at Watford, near Cardiff, Jan. 5-6, 1743, under the presidency of George Whitefield, who had been specially invited to attend by Howel Harris (q.v.), of Trevecca, near Brecon, the leader of the religious revival in Wales and the founder of Calvinistic Methodism. Howel Harris, who was spir-itually awakened in 1735 by one of Tillotson's writings and by a solemn antecommunion sermon in the church of Talgarth, was one of the most remarkable men of his time; his indomitable energy and unflinching courage are evinced by his ceaseless itineraries over much of Wales and even parts of England and his fearless preaching before furious and hostile mobs. Owing to various doctrinal and personal disputes he was excluded from the fellowship of his coworkers in 1750, the year of the "Rupture"; in 1752 he established at his own home at Trevecca a religious and industrial community consisting of families and individuals drawn from many parts of Wales; here he showed remarkable skill as a ruler, steward, and organizer. The real birthplace of Calvinistic Methodism, however, is properly the farmhouse of Gwernos, near Trevecca, where Harris held the first private "Society," or fellowship meeting, for the expression and discussion of spiritual experiences. The "Societies," the monthly association held at Trevecca and other parts of Wales, together with the quarterly associations, are the basis of the organization of the Calvinistic Methodist Church.
(§ 2). Contributory Movements. Almost simultaneously with the revival inaugurated in Mid-Wales by Harris, a movement wholly independent of it, as both were independent of the revivals in England under Whitefield and Wesley, began in Cardiganshire under the powerful preaching of Daniel Rowlands (q.v.), who had been greatly influenced by the Rev. Griffith Jones, of Llanddoror in Carmarthenshire, the apostle of the Welsh circulating schools. The other clergymen who joined the movement included William Williams (q.v.), of Pantycelyn, in Carmarthenshire, who had been converted by the preaching of Harris himself and became the most inspired of all Welsh hymn-writers; Peter Williams, of Carmarthen (1722-96) one of Whitefield's converts, best known for his editions of the Welsh Bible and his annotations thereon; also Howell Davies, of Haverfordwest (1717-70), who with George Whitefield, in Woodstock, Pembrokeshire, in 1754 was the first clergyman to administer the Lord's Supper in a Methodist chapel in Wales. Between 1750 and 1769 Harris was estranged from the Methodists, but in the latter year his reconciliation was brought about at the first anniversary of the college for young men preparing for the ministry which Harris had induced his patroness Selina, Countess of Huntingdon (see HUNTINGDON, SELINA HASTINGS), to establish not far from his house at Trevecca. In 1792, the year after the death of the countess, her college was removed to Cheshunt, but exactly fifty years later, the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists of South Wales, following the example of those of North Wales, who had recently established a school for candidates for the ministry under the Rev. Lewis Edwards at Bala, opened a residential college under the Rev. David Charles, in the old house of Harris, the associations of Methodism with the memory of Harris being thus perpetuated. In 1873, on the centenary of his death, a memorial chapel was erected adjoining the college.
(§ 3). Organization, Activities, and Statistics. Not until 1811 did the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists take the grave step-on account of which a number of the Methodist clergymen withdrew from the body-of ordaining their own ministers, thus severing their connection with the Church of England. Yielding to a strong agitation and the pressure of circumstances, the Rev. Thomas Charles, of Bala in Merionethshire (1755-1814), himself an ejected curate, a convert of Daniel Rowlands, and famous as one of the founders of the British and Foreign Bible Society, agreed to take the responsibility of the new departure in the two associations held that year at Bala and at Llandilo in Carmarthenshire, where a score of "exhorters," as the non-clerical preachers were called, were set apart for the administration of the sacraments. Of the twenty-two thus ordained at least two deserve especial notice, viz., John Elias, the prince of Welsh pulpit orators, and Thomas Jones of Denbigh, the greatest theologian and most versatile writer among the earlier Calvinistic Methodists. Three years later the Home Mission was founded, for the evangelization of, and the support of churches in, the neglected parts of Wales. In 1823 was published the important document entitled, The History, Constitution, Rules of Discipline, together with the Confession of Faith, of the Body of the Calvinistic Methodists of Wales, and in 1826 the Connectional Trust-Deed, securing the legal status of the North and South Wales Associations and of the presbyteries or monthly meetings of the churches in the various counties, was duly registered in the court of chancery. In 1840 the Foreign Missionary Society was established, and the first missionary sent to Khassia Hills in northeast India, a mission being founded in Brittany two years later. In 1864 was held the first general assembly of the denomination for North and South Wales. The body, which meets annually, though not legally incorporated, takes cognizance of the foreign missions, of the elaborate Sunday-school organization of the denomination, and of the books-especially aids to Sunday-school studies-published under its imprimatur. The general assembly is attended by missionaries from India and by representatives from churches in America and Australia. About twenty years ago, through the exertions of the late Rev. John Pugh, the Forward Movement was established for the evangelization of the masses of English-speaking people in the great industrial centers of Wales. The two Calvinistic Methodist theological colleges at Aberystwyth and Bala are associated with the University of Wales, for whose degrees in divinity candidates are prepared.
- The greatest name in connection with the educational movement of the church in recent years is that of the Rev. Thomas Charles Edwards (son of the Rev. Lewis Edwards, founder and first principal of Bala College), who after a strenuous career as the first principal of the first university college in Wales (that at Aberystwyth) succeeded his father as principal of the reorganized college at Bala. In 1906 the college founded in 1842 at Trevecca was removed to a handsome edifice presented to the denomination by Mr. David Davies, member of parliament for Montgomeryshire. Preparatory schools are kept at Bala, and at the old college building at Trevecca, in connection with the respective theological colleges. The invested funds of the two colleges amount to £82,000, and Bala college possesses an excellent theolological library. The statistics for 1907 were as follows:-1,142 churches, 1,661 chapels and preaching-stations, 1,294 ordained and unordained preachers, 6,281 elders, 185,935 communicants, 849,123 children and candidates, 342,804 communicants and adherents, 1,737 Sunday-schools (1906), and 210,639 Sunday-school teachers and scholars. The total of contributions toward ministry, missions, building funds and other purposes for 1907 was £301,762; the debt remaining on chapels, halls, etc., was £635,659; with total trust funds of over £500,000. Six representatives of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church and six representatives of the Presbyterian Church of England form a united committee of corresponding members having a right to attend, but not to vote at, all synods of the sister-church to which they are respectively accredited.
- JOHN YOUNG EVANS.
V. South, Central, and West Africa: The Presbyterian Church in South Africa. During the British occupation of South Africa, many settlers found their way thither from Great Britain. Ministers also went out, so that a considerable number of Presbyterian congregations came into existence. In 1897 these formed themselves into "The Presbyterian Church of South Africa," embracing the whole territory of the union, receiving both white and colored members into its fellowship. This church is laying out its strength mainly in church extension, yet it already sustains a mission to the natives in Natal. It exists at present as a general assembly, having 7 presbyteries and 68 congregations, with a communicant church-membership of 12,000.
The Scottish United Free Church has inherited the work of several Scottish Mission Societies that had been engaged in mission work among the natives from about 1820. This church has thus extensive missions chiefly in Kaffraria, with a large educational establishment at Lovedale, in Cape Colony. At this institution there are generally about 800 boys being trained not only for the manual industries, but for the native ministry. All these boys, many of whom are the sons of native chiefs, pay their own boarding charges. The mission has some 40 congregations with 16,000 communicants.
The Swiss Romande Mission has its central establishment at Lorenzo Marques, but carries on a medical, educational, and evangelistic work among the natives, partly in Portuguese, and partly in South African territory, at several important centers such as Delagoa Bay, Pretoria, Elim, and. Antioka. It reports about 2,000 communicant church-members.
In Basutoland there is a yet larger native Presbyterian church, where the Paris Missionary Society about fifty years ago commenced a mission. This mission has sixteen European ministers with 13 na- tive ministers who have been carefully trained, and 18,000 communicant members, and is, so far as the native ministers are concerned, entirely self-supporting. The mission also sustains a large number of schools, for which it receives a certain amount of aid from the government.
In Central Africa there are the extensive missions of the Scottish Free Church known as Living- stonia with a synod consisting of about 4,500 communicants, and the Blantyre Mission of the Church of Scotland with its church and 2,000 communicants.
- On the West Coast, there is the extensive mission of the United Free Church at Old Calabar, where there is also a presbytery having 2,000 communicants. The French Mission at Congo has 1,500 members, and at Senegal there are also a number of native communicants, while on the Mediterranean coast the French church of Algiers forms organically a part of the Evangelical Reformed Church of France.
- G. D. MATHEWS.
VI. Australia.--l. New South Wales: The island continent of Australia (q.v.) is nearly as large as Europe. Early visited first by Portuguese and Spanish explorers and then by Dutch traders from Java who called it New Holland, it remained a no-man's land until 1770 when Captain James Cook, visiting its eastern shore, took possession in the name of Britain and called it New South Wales, giving to the place at which he landed the name of Botany Bay. At first, the district was used as a penal settlement.* Free emigrants, however, also landed, settling at Portland Head near the Hawkesbury River, about thirty miles from the present Sydney. Some of these, being Presbyterians, built a church as early as 1803, the services being conducted by members of the settlement. In 1823 there arrived at Sidney Rev. John Dunmore Lang (q.v.) to whom not only New South Wales but all Australia is perhaps more indebted than to any other of its numerous settlers. A man of rare gifts, indomitable energy, and consecrated to the civil and religious interests of Australia, he repeatedly visited Great Britain to obtain ministers for the new settlements with their increasing population. In this he was so far successful that in 1832 there was formed the Presbytery of New South Wales, from which, however, he withdrew in 1837, and formed, along with those adhering to him, the Synod of New South Wales. In 1840 this breach was apparently healed, and a union effected between the two churches, the united church taking the title of The Synod of Australia in Connection with the Church of Scotland, only, however, to be again divided in 1842 by the withdrawal of The Synod of New South Wales, when the Australian synod sought to strengthen its hands by forming the presbytery of Melbourne.
The using of this country as a penal settlement was one of the consequences of American independence. After 1619 convicted prisoners in England were either sent or allowed to go to the United Provinces, but when the American Revolution took place, Britain had to consider her future mode of dealing with such. Captain Cook's report of the country suggested New South Wales as a penal settlement, for the purpose of ridding England of its numerous criminals, as a desirable home for time-expired and well-behaved prisoners, giving them a chance of reputable living, and in 1787 the first prisoners reached the colony.
In 1843 the Disruption of the Scottish Establishment (see above, I., 1, § 4) compelled the Synod of Australia in connection with the Church of Scotland to consider its position in reference to the two Scottish churches. In 1844 it declared itself independent of either, but on finding at a subsequent meeting in 1845 that it must choose between them, eight members voted to delay action, eight voted in favor of adhering to the Free Church, while six urged continued neutrality. Both the Scottish Churches resented this neutrality when, at a meeting of the synod in 1846, sixteen of its members voted to remain in connection with the Church of Scotland, the remaining six protesting against this action, and withdrawing from the synod. Of these six, four favored the Free Church, three of whom subsequently formed the Synod of Eastern Australia, the fourth going to Victoria and there founding later on the Free Presbytery of Eastern Australia, the other two remaining neutral. The Presbyterianism of the colony was thus divided into four distinct sections-the Synod of Australia in connection with the Church of Scotland, the Synod of Eastern Australia, the Synod of New South Wales or Dr. Lang's friends, and a representative of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Subsequently, the Synod of Eastern Australia united with the Synod of New South Wales and then, in 1865, the Synod of Australia joined this united body, the doubly united church taking the name of The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New South Wales. A small section of the Synod of Eastern Australia, however, stood aloof and took the name of The Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia. The united church at once took active measures for the establishing of a theological hall for their divinity students, and thus St. Andrew's College at Sydney came into existence which, while altogether under the control of the church, was affiliated to the University of Sydney. A Sustentation Fund was also instituted to provide suitable ministerial support, while home-mission work among the aborigines and among the Chinese, and foreign mission work in India and on the New Hebrides, together with an Aged Ministers' Fund, soon became regular schemes of the church. The population of New South Wales is 1,591,673, of whom 156,000 are reported as Presbyterians. The church is organized in 15 presbyteries, 166 congregations, 377 church-buildings with accommodation for 70,000 worshippers, and 18,000 communicant members, with contributions of £75,000 annually.
2. Queensland: This state was originally a portion of New South Wales and began its career in 1824, under the British flag, also as a penal settlement. Free settlers were, however, permitted to enter in 1844, while in 1859 the territory was formed into a state under its present name. Its great variety of soil and climate permit the growth of very varied crops. Its grassy plains support countless flocks of sheep, and with its mineral wealth ever lead to new settlements. Presbyterian services were first commenced at Brisbane, the present capital, in 1847, a congregation being formally organized in 1849. Ministers from different Presbyterian churches in Great Britain having found their way to the colony, they formed in 1863 the Presbytery, subsequently the Synod, of Queensland changing this title, in 1869, for that of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland. Labor for the sugar plantations has been largely obtained from China, and the New Hebrides Islands whose natives are known as Kanakas. Among both classes of laborers the church has sustained efficient evangelistic and educational missions. The Kanakas have been lately removed back to their native islands on the plea of making Australia a white-man's land. The number of aborigines, who live mainly in the north, has been estimated at 12,000, but the race is so nomadic that this is little more than a guess. The painful fact in connection with these people is their rapid and continuous decrease in number. The resources of the Queensland church are too limited to allow of much foreign mission work, so that its strength is used in church extension on the great territory on which it has been located, and in engaging with special energy in mission work among the aborigines.
In 1901, the population of Queensland amounted to 552,345 of whom 64,000 reported themselves as Presbyterians. The Presbyterian Church consists of 5 presbyteries, 99 congregations, and 6,277 communicants, with contributions in 1909 of £22,600.
3. Victoria (formerly Australia Felix): The first Presbyterian minister in this colony was the Rev. James Clow, who went there in 1837, for whom a church was built in 1841. As the great distance between Melbourne and Sydney and certain ecclesiastical differences kept the ministers in the two cities apart, a portion of those at Melbourne formed themselves in 1847 into The Free Presbyterian Synod of Australia Felix, in sympathy with the Free Church of Scotland. Several ministers from the Church of Scotland had, however, landed in the colony and were holding services at different places, while others, from the churches that subsequently formed the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, had also arrived. In 1850 these latter formed themselves into the United Presbyterian Church or Synod of Australia Felix, and in 1851 organized the two presbyteries of Melbourne and Portland. In 1851, the British Government separated the district known as Australia Felix from New South Wales, making it an independent colony to be known thereafter as Victoria. In 1853, discoveries of extensive gold-bearing lands led to an immediate rush of population into the colony, when the Scottish Free Church sent about a dozen additional ministers to meet the need. The ministrations of these were of great service among the Gaelic-speaking portions of the new settlers, a large number of whom had come from the Scottish Highlands. There were thus three distinct bodies of Presbyterians in the colony: the Presbytery of Melbourne, originally part of the synod of Australia in connection with the Church of Scotland; the United Presbyterian Synod of Australia Felix; and the Free Church Synod of Australia Felix or Victoria. Proposals were made for union between the latter two. After some negotiation the churches declared themselves ready for union on a basis which had been prepared, when, in the mean time, the Presbytery of Melbourne approached the Synod of the Free Church on the subject of union. After correspondence, here also a basis of union was prepared, the Presbytery having declared itself independent of the Synod of Australia and taken the name of The Synod of Victoria, when the two churches united assuming the title of the Synod of the Free Church of Victoria. Difference of opinion, however, emerged as to the relation of the Free Church to its property should the union be effected, while negotiations were being conducted with a view to inducing the United Presbyterians also to enter the union. After concessions on both sides, this object was gained, and in 1859 a union was formed between the Synod of Victoria, The Free Church Synod of Victoria, and the United Presbyterian Synod of Victoria, the united body becoming The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, consisting of some fifty-five ministers and their congregations, a few congregations connected with some of these churches standing aloof. In 1867, a number of these, however, entered into the general assembly, while, in 1870, the few outstanding United Presbyterian Churches also entered, the Victorian legislature having in that year ceased all payments from state funds to religious communities in the colony.
All the congregations of this general assembly were self-supporting, and had since 1871 employed the Sustentation-Fund system for providing ministerial support. In addition to extensive home-mission work, the church maintains or aids missions in Korea, the New Hebrides, and among the Chinese in Victoria and the aborigines. It possesses a fund for infirm ministers and one for the widows and orphans of ministers. The population of Victoria is 1,271,174, including 202,000 who report themselves as Presbyterians. The church is organized with 15 presbyteries, 207 congregations, 512 churches with seating-provision for 88,000 persons, and a communicant membership of 29,000, whose contributions are £122,700 annually.
4. South Australia: This district remained part of New South Wales until 1837, when it was formed into a separate colony having Adelaide for its capital. Created a free colony, it was distinguished by the absence of any connection-financial or otherwise-between the State government and the various religious communities within its borders. The earliest Presbyterian services were held in connection with the Scottish Associate Synod, to which church application had been made for a minister. One arrived in 1839, and was soon followed by others from different churches. The first presbytery consisted of ministers of the Scottish Free Church and was formed in 1854, assuming the name of The Free Presbyterian Church of South Australia. In 1865 the three churches represented in the colony, the Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland, and the United Presbyterian Church, united in forming the Presbyterian Church of South Australia. In 1886 this title was changed into that of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of South Australia. Besides home-mission work, the church sustains a mission to the aborigines in North Queensland, and aids mission work on the New Hebrides. The population of South Australia is 407,679, 21,000 of whom are Presbyterians; the church is organized in 3 presbyteries, 16 congregations, and 32 church buildings with accommodation for 7,000 worshippers; communicant members number 2,000.
5. Western Australia: This province includes the whole western shore of the great continent. In 1829 a commercial company planned a settlement on the banks of the Swan river, but when it failed, the British government took over the territory and made it a crown colony. In 1867 it ceased to be such, and in 1890 it received a constitution with responsible government. Presbyterian church services were commenced at Perth in 1878, and shortly afterward at Swan river, while in 1892 there was formed the Presbytery of Western Australia, in connection with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. Formed when those ecclesiastical typhoons which had so wasted the other Australian churches had subsided, the career of this church has been one of peaceful if slow development, and began with simple pastoral settlements; about 1890 the discoveries of gold, copper, and lead mines led to a perilous addition to the previous population. Though unable as yet to meet all the demands on her resources, the church has energetically attempted the evangelizing of the state, the different congregations maintaining the closest connection with one another. The great centrifugal storm which had so affected Australian presbyterianism seems to have subsided, and been replaced by one of equal strength but centripetal in its character. This church has numerous church-extension charges, and aids in mission work among the aborigines.
The population is 268,000, of whom 22,000 claim to be Presbyterians. The church reports 3 presbyteries, 19 congregations with 1,400 communicant members, and an income of £8,000 annually.
6. Tasmania: This island was called by its discoverer Van Diemen's Land in honor of the governor-general of the eastern Dutch possessions, but in 1852, on the abolition of the penal system, it received its present name from that of its discoverer Tasman. It is about as large as Ireland. At first it was under the jurisdiction of the authorities of New South Wales, but became a British colony in 1803, and in 1825 was declared an independent colony. Free settlers had, however, immigrated thither previously, and in 1821 these had obtained ministers from the United Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh. The first presbytery, afterwards the Synod of Tasmania, was formed in 1853. The Scottish Disruption of 1843 had no disturbing effect on the relations of the existent ministers, some siding with the Church of Scotland, and others with the newly formed Free Church, none regarding themselves as required to identify themselves with what they considered to be purely a Scottish question and one which did not and could not, in any way, affect Tasmania. This position, however, was not to the liking of all the church-members, nor to that of some of the ministers in the neighboring colony of Victoria. Some of the latter, therefore, crossed over Bass' Strait and in 1853 organized the Free Church Presbytery of Tasmania, to be in close relations with the Scottish Free Church. This action was condemned by the Free Church in Scotland, which refused to enter into friendly relations with this presbytery and urged union between it and the existing Synod of Tasmania. This step, however, the local presbytery refused to take, remaining a separate organization until 1896, when it entered into union with the Synod, which is now known as the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Tasmania. This church has not increased as rapidly as have some of those of Australia. Since Tasmania has neither gold mines nor sheep pastures to render its normal condition specially attractive, it has remained a purely agricultural colony. Presbyterian students for the ministry attend St. Andrew's College at Melbourne or Ormond College at Sydney. Though neither numerically large nor wealthy, it maintains a vigorous mission on the New Hebrides islands. The population is 186,000, of whom 13,000 are Presbyterians. The church has 3 presbyteries, 16 congregations, and about 2,000 communicant members, and an income of about £7,000 annual1y.
In 1885, a Federation of all the Australian churches was created, with an annual meeting called a Federal Assembly. This court had no legislative authority, but had mainly advisory functions, the general work of each separate provincial church being reported to it. This assembly drew the churches into close relations with one another, and tended to obliterate the differences which had so long kept them apart. The political cry of "one country" led in 1900 to the unifying of the different provinces into the "Commonwealth." This cry had been accompanied with the cry of "one church," and resulted in the changing of the advisory federation into an organic union, with a general assembly having limited powers, but within these supreme. This is, therefore, supreme in reference to the mission work on the New Hebrides, to mission work among the aborigines, to the theological training of students for the ministry, and to the receiving of ministers from other churches. All other forms of church work are reserved to the state churches, each of which retains its organization as an independent church with its annual general assembly. The Australian church has no synods, nor any courts between its presbyteries and the general assembly. This church has discussed the question of union with some of the other denominations in Australia, but as yet no decisive step has been taken in that direction.
- The total population of Australia at the last census amounted to 3,773,801, of whom 455,110 reported themselves as Presbyterians. The church reports 43 presbyteries, about 500 congregations with about 60,000 communicant members.
- G. D. MATHEWS.
VII. New Zealand: (§ 1). Beginnings of Presbyterianism. The first white man who is known to have seen these islands was Tasman, the distinguished Dutch explorer, in 1642, who gave them a name taken from his own country. After his departure they seem to have remained unvisited till 1769, when Captain James Cook took possession of them in the name of George III. Shortly afterward a number of fugitives from justice, deserters from whale ships, and others began to squat along the shores in all but constant conflict with the natives, meanwhile only deepening their degradation. Christian mission work was begun in 1814 by agents of the Church Missionary Society, who were followed in 1823 by others from the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The organized occupation of these islands by British settlers, however, did not take place till 1839, in which year three vessels left England with emigrants sent out by the New Zealand Company, which had been formed for the purpose of colonizing the northern island and trading with its people. In 1840, in which year the islands were created a British colony, another band of settlers, including the Rev. John Macfarlane, sent out by the Church of Scotland, founded Wellington, the present capital of the dominion, where a presbytery was formed in 1857. Nelson, on the extreme north of the south island, was settled in 1841 and its presbytery was formed in 1869, while in 1843 a large settlement was made at Auckland, where a presbytery was organized in 1856. Other presbyteries were soon nucleated, from the union of which there came, in 1862, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, embracing not only all the congregations and presbyteries on the north island, but five presbyteries that had been formed in the northern portion of the southern island. At some distance south of Nelson there had been made in 1850, on land previously farmed by Presbyterians from Ayrshire, a settlement consisting exclusively of members of the Church of England, to which had been given the name of Canterbury. So keen were its founders to protect its distinctive character as a Church-of-England settlement that it was proposed that no person should be allowed to reside within its limits unless he were connected with that church. The proposal failed, and Canterbury, in which a presbytery was formed in 1864, is to-day a most fruitful district for Presbyterianism, having no fewer than thirty Presbyterian congregations within its limits.
(§ 2). Era of Settlements. Meanwhile, probably encouraged by the favorable report of the northern settlers, the New Zealand Land Company turned its attention to Scotland, and formed in 1847 the Glasgow and Edinburgh Company, which, however, was soon merged in the Lay Association of the Church of Scotland, for the forming of a Scottish settlement in the south island. Having purchased from the natives a large tract of land to which was given the name of Otago, portions of this were sold to selected emigrants, thus laying a good foundation for the coming settlement, to the capital of which was given subsequently the name of Dun-Edin. The first of these emigrants, who as a rule were connected with the newly formed Free Church of Scotland (see I, 2, above), sailed from Glasgow in 1847, accompanied by the Rev. Thomas Burns, a nephew of Robert Burns. Band after band, generally accompanied by one or more Presbyterian ministers, quickly followed, so that in 1855 the presbytery of Otago was formed. The Company had set apart a valuable tract of land for the support of the ministers, but as the rental was yet very trifling, these adopted the principle of a sustentation fund, a system since followed throughout the church. The population of Dun-Edin was at this time perhaps as Presbyterian as that of Edinburgh itself; but in 1861 there came the discovery of the gold mines within a short distance of the city. Every man in the colony that could go left house and home for the diggings, while thousands flocked in from Australia and elsewhere, so that the quiet and settled life of the colonists was broken up. Urgent appeals to Scotland for additional ministers were willingly responded to, and in 1866 the early presbytery of Otago was divided into three others, united in the general title of the Synod of Otago and Southland. Still the supply of ministers was inadequate and in 1872 the project of a seminary was mooted for the purpose of providing a New Zealand ministry. This was fully realized in 1880 when a theological college was formally established, since which time the church has possessed a ministry largely colonial, though still occasionally aided by ministers from Great Britain. With the material advance of the country the rude buildings which had served as churches in its early days were rapidly replaced by structures that in architectural beauty, size, and costliness equal those of the mother land, the congregations themselves being hardly less large.
(§ 3). Union of the Presbyteries. So soon as the presbytery of Otago was formed, in 1854, it addressed a letter to the congregations and presbyteries of the northern church, representing the importance of cooperation and union between those who had so much in common. Friendly replies were at first the only response and the matter rested for a few years. Another effort was made in 1861, and a basis for union was prepared by a joint committee. Slight differences, however, checked for the time any further progress. Both churches had a common ancestry and were agreed in doctrine, polity, and discipline, but while the northern church had always been self-supporting, that of Otago had received a considerable tract of valuable land as an endowment, the ownership of which, in view of a probable union, occasioned some concern to its ministers. Another difficulty arose from the fact that the northern brethren, owing to their dwelling amid a mixed population, were somewhat tolerant on certain matters, while those of Otago, consisting largely of men who had not only taken part in the conflicts of the Disruption but had even sought that none but members of the Scottish Free Church should be members of their community, had come to be of a more conservative temperament, A large portion of the southern church from the very beginning desired union with those of the north, but an influential minority successfully resisted all practical measures for securing that result. By degrees, however, this party softened its attitude, so that an organic union was formed between the two churches in 1901, the united church taking the name of The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. The synod of Otago provided that it should continue its separate existence as an independent church organization for the sake of preserving its interest in and control of the endowment it had received from the company.
(§ 4). Missions and Statistics. Both these churches from an early period in their history had given great attention to church extension, and to the religious needs of the native population. Missions to the Maoris, of whom there are about 50,000 on the islands, were consequently soon formed by both. Then, as a large number of Chinese had landed in Otago during the gold discoveries and had become permanent residents, a mission was commenced by the Otago Church for their benefit. But the main mission fields of both churches are the New Hebrides islands, where a number of missionary agents are supported by each church, the church of Otago in addition supporting more than one missionary in India.
- At the census in 1906 the total population of the dominion was reported to be 936,309 souls, no fewer than 203,597 of whom, or more than one-fifth of the whole population, called themselves Presbyterians. There are nearly 960 places in which Presbyterian services are regularly held with seating-accommodation for 80,558 persons, while the average attendance is only 52,103. As organized the Presbyterian Church reports 16 presbyteries, 215 congregations, with a communicant church roll of some 32,000 persons. The difference between this figure and that of the census is largely due to the fact that the church figure represents adults, while that of the census includes children and all young people as well as a considerable number whose Presbyterianism is ancestral rather than personal. The total church contributions amount to about £120,000 a year.
- G. D. MATHEWS.
VIII. In the United States and Canada.--l. The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (Presbyterian Church North): (§ 1). Sources and Varieties of American Presbyterianism. American Presbyterianism as a whole is as diverse in its origin as are the peoples who have blended to form the American nation. There are ten important denominational churches in the United States, designated either as Presbyterian or Reformed, which stand for Presbyterian principles. Of these, three are traceable to the influence of immigration from the continent of Europe; the Reformed (Dutch) Church and the Reformed Christian Church (qq.v.), both of which originated in Holland; and the Reformed (German) Church (q.v.) whose beginnings were in Switzerland and Germany. Four churches are directly connected with the Secession and Relief movements in the Church of Scotland during the eighteenth century (see above, I., 2), viz.: the United Presbyterian Church, the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America (General Synod), and the Associate Reformed Synod of the South (see below, 4-7). Whatever of English and Welsh Presbyterianism there was in the colonies, and in addition the few French Protestant or Huguenot churches, combined at an early day with Scotch and Scotch Irish elements to form the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church (see below, 3a; 3b) and the Presbyterian Church in the United States (South; see below, 2) are branches of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America; the first separating in 1810, and the second in 1861, but the first was reunited with the parent church in 1906. The youngest of the American Presbyterian Churches, the Welsh, originated in the principality of Wales (see above, IV.). These churches, however they may differ in matters of practise and worship, are substantially one in government, and all maintain the principles of the Presbyterian system as contained either in the Canons of the Synod of Dort, the Westminster Confession of Faith, or the Heidelberg Catechism. The largest and, with one exception, the oldest of the American Presbyterian churches is the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, and into it have been gathered elements from all the others. Its history, concisely stated, is as follows:
(§ 2). Period of Isolated Churches. The earliest American Presbyterian churches were established in New England, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, and were in large part of English origin, their pastors being Church-of-England ministers holding Presbyterian views. John Robinson (q.v.), the pastor of the Plymouth Pilgrims while in Holland, left on record the following declaration of church principles: "Touching the ecclesiastical ministry, viz., of pastors for teaching, elders for ruling, deacons for distributing the church's contributions, we do wholly and in all points agree with the French Reformed churches." The Rev. Alexander Whitaker, who held Presbyterian views, settled in Virginia in 1611, as pastor of a Puritan congregation, and in 1630 the Rev. Richard Denton located in Massachusetts with a church which he had served in Yorkshire, England. The Virginia Puritans in large part were driven out of that colony by persecution, finding refuge in Maryland and North Carolina between 1642 and 1649; and Denton and his associates found New Amsterdam more friendly than New England. The English Presbyterian element in Maryland and the colonies to the northward was strengthened by the advent, from 1670 to 1690, of a considerable number of Scotch colonists, the beginnings of a great immigration. The earliest Presbyterians in New York were the Dutch Calvinists, who founded a church in 1628; English-speaking Presbyterians were first found in New York City in 1643, with the Rev. Francis Doughty as their minister, though no Presbyterian church was organized there until 1717. Presbyterian churches of English origin, however, were established in Long Island, among which are to be noted Southold (1640) and Jamaica (1656). The founders of the earliest Presbyterian churches in New Jersey, viz., Newark (1667), Elizabeth (1668), Woodbridge (1680), and Fairfield (1680), were from Connecticut and Long Island. The first Presbyterian church in Pennsylvania was that founded by Welsh colonists at Great Valley about 1685, the church in Philadelphia dates from 1698. In 1683, the presbytery of Laggan, Ireland, in response to a letter from William Stevens, a member of the council of the colony of Maryland, sent to America the Rev. Francis Makemie (q.v.), who became the apostle of American Presbyterianism, gave himself unreservedly to the work of ecclesiastical organization, and at last succeeded in bringing into organic unity the scattered Presbyterian churches in the middle colonies.
(§ 3). Colonial Presbyterian Church. The first presbytery was organized in the spring of the year 1706. The ministers of the judicatory were seven in number, representing about twenty-two congregations, not including the Presbyterians of New England, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. The place of meeting was Philadelphia, Pa., and the meeting was the first ecclesiastical gathering of an intercolonial and federal character in the country. The growth of the colonies and especially the increasing number of immigrants so added to the membership of the churches that in Sept., 1716, the general presbytery constituted itself into a synod with four presbyteries. A great number of the emigrants at this period were from Scotland and the north of Ireland, and their settlement was productive of results of great and permanent value to the church. To the Scotch-Irish race, above all others, is American Presbyterianism indebted for its vigor, tenacity, and prosperity. The English and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians of New England, owing to local causes, were not connected ecclesiastically with those of the other colonies. There were fully 85 Presbyterian congregations in that region in 1770, and in 1775 the synod of New England was erected, composed of the presbyteries of Londonderry, Salem, and Palmer. In 1782, this synod was dissolved, and since that date until quite recently, the Presbyterian Church has had comparatively few adherents in the stronghold of the Congregationalists. The general synod in 1729 passed what is called the Adopting Act, by which it was agreed that all the ministers under its jurisdiction should declare "their agreement in and approbation of the Confession of Faith, with the Larger and Shorter Catechism of the assembly of divines at Westminster," and also "adopt the said Confession as the confession of their faith." In the same year the synod denied to the civil magistrate power over the church, and also the power "to persecute any for their religion," and thus was first given definite ecclesiastical form to the distinctive American doctrine of the independence of the Church from control by the State. In 1745 questions of policy as to revivals and ministerial education produced a division. The "Log College," founded by William Tennent the Elder (q.v.) for the training of ministers, was one of the causes of the contention, and his son, Gilbert Tennent (q.v.), with the celebrated evangelist, George Whitefield (q.v.), were prominent in the controversy. The parties were known as "Old Side" and "New Side" (which terms are not in any manner equivalent to the terms "Old School" and "New School" in use a century later). In 1758 the divided bodies reunited upon the basis of the Westminster Standards pure and simple, and at the date of reunion the church consisted of 98 ministers, about 200 congregations, and 10,000 communicants. It was during the period of this division that the "New Side" established the institution now known as Princeton University, for the purpose of securing an educated ministry. In 1768, John Witherspoon (q.v.) was called from Scotland and installed as president of Princeton, and also as professor of divinity. This remarkable man exercised an increasing and powerful influence not only in the Presbyterian Church, but throughout the middle and southern colonies. He was one of the leading persons in the joint movement of Presbyterians and Congregationalists, from 1766 to 1775, to secure religious liberty, and to resist the establishment of the English Church as the State Church of the colonies. He was also a member of the Continental Congress, and the only clerical signer of the Declaration of Independence. Religious forces were among the most powerful influences operating to secure the separation of the colonies from Great Britain, and the opening of the Revolutionary struggle found the Presbyterian churches on the colonial side. No body of Christians has a more honorable record in the development of American institutions, or is more in sympathy with them, or has been more devoted to the cause of liberty and the rights of mankind than the Presbyterian.
(§ 4). Constitution of 1788. With the restoration of peace in 1783, the Presbyterian Church gradually recovered from the evils wrought by war, and the need of further organization was deeply felt. The church had always been independent, having no organic connection with European and British churches of like faith. The independence of the United States had created new conditions for the Christian churches as well as for the American people. Presbyterians were no longer merely tolerated, they were entitled, equally with Episcopalians and Congregationalists, in all the states, to full civil and religious rights. In view, therefore, of these new conditions, the synod in May, 1788, adopted the Westminster Confession of Faith, with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and also a Form of Government, a Book of Discipline, and a Directory for Worship, as the constitution of the church. Certain changes were made in the Confession, the Catechisms, and the Directory, in the direction of liberty in worship, of freedom in prayer, and above all of liberty from control by the State. The Form of Government was altogether a new document, and established the general assembly as the governing body in the church. The first general assembly met in 1789, at Philadelphia, Pa.
(§ 5). Period of the Plan of Union. The first important movement in the church after the adoption of the constitution was the formation of the "Plan of Union" with the Congregational associations of New England, which began through correspondence in 1792, and reached its consummation in the agreements made from 1801 to 1810 between the general assembly and the associations of Connecticut and other states. This Plan allowed Congregational ministers to serve Presbyterian churches, and vice versa; and also permitted the organization of mixed churches composed of members of both denominations, with the right of representation in presbytery. It remained in force until 1837, and was useful to both denominations, both in relation to the result flowing from the great revivals of religion throughout the country, and also in connection with the causes of home and foreign missions. What is known as the Cumberland separation took place during this period (see below, 3a). The presbytery of Cumberland ordained to the ministry persons who, in the judgment of the synod of Kentucky, were not qualified for the office either by learning or by sound doctrine. The controversies between the two judicatories resulted in the dissolution of the presbytery by the synod in 1806, and finally, in 1810, in the initial steps for the establishment of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
The growth of the church during the period 1790 to 1837 was very decided, the membership increasing from 18,000 to 220,557. This was due mainly to the great revival of religion which swept over the country from 1799 to 1820. Further, in this period the first theological seminary of the churches was founded at Princeton, N. J. (1811), the Boards of Home Missions (1816) and of Education (1819) were established, and at its close the Boards of Foreign Missions (1837) and of Publication (1838) came into existence.
(§ 6). Period of Division. About the year 1825 the peace of the church began to be disturbed by controversies respecting the Plan of Union and the establishment of denominational agencies for missionary and evangelistic work. The synod of Pittsburg as early as 1831 founded the Western Foreign Missionary Society as a distinctive denominational agency. The foreign mission work of the church had previously been conducted mainly through the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (see CONGREGATIONALISTS, I., 4, § 11), and much of the home-mission work was done through the American Education Society. The party standing for denominational agencies and opposed to the Plan of Union was known as the "Old School," and that favoring its continuance as the "New School." Questions of doctrine were also involved in the controversy, though not to so large an extent as those of denominational policy, and led to the trial for heresy of Albert Barnes (q.v.). The "Old School" majority in the assembly of 1837 brought the matters at issue to a head by abrogating the Plan of Union, by resolutions against the interdenominational societies, by the excision of the synods of Utica, Geneva, Genesee, and the Western Reserve, and by the establishment of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. When the assembly of 1838 met, the "New School" commissioners protested against the exclusion of the delegates from the four exscinded synods, organized an assembly of their own in the presence of the sitting assembly, and then withdrew. From 1838 onward, both branches grew slowly but steadily, and both made progress in the organization of their benevolent and missionary work. Their growth was checked, however, by disruption. The "New School" assembly of 1857 took strong ground in opposition to slavery, with the result that several southern presbyteries withdrew and organized the United Synod of the Presbyterian Church. In May, 1861, the Old School assembly met at Philadelphia, Pa., with but thirteen commissioners present from the states which had seceded from the Union. In the assembly resolutions professing loyalty to the federal government were passed by a decided majority. The minority of the assembly, however, while in favor of the federal union, were actuated by the feeling that an ecclesiastical judicatory had no right to determine questions of civil allegiance (see below, 2, § 1). These resolutions were the alleged reason for the organization of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America, which met in general assembly at Augusta, Ga., in Dec., 1861, was enlarged by union in 1863 with the United Synod above referred to, and upon the cessation of hostilities in 1865 took the name of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (see below, 2): Its membership was increased in 1869 and 1874 by the adherence of those portions of the synods of Kentucky and Missouri which protested by "declaration and testimony" against the action of the Old School assembly in the matter of the Christian character of the ministers and members of the Presbyterian Church South.
(§ 7). Period of Reunion. The first step toward the reunion of the "Old School" and "New School" was taken in 1862, by the establishment of fraternal correspondence between the two general assemblies. A second step was the organization by the "New School" in 1863 of its own home-mission work. In 1866 committees of conference with a view to union were appointed, and Nov. 12, 1869, at Pittsburg, Pa., reunion was consummated on "the basis of the standards pure and simple." In connection with the movement, a memorial fund was raised which amounted to $7,883,983. Since the year 1870 the church has made steady progress along all lines, and its harmony was seriously threatened only by controversy (1891-94) as to the sources of authority in religion and the authority and credibility of Holy Scripture, a controversy which terminated in the adoption by the general assembly at Minneapolis, Minn., in 1899, of a unanimous deliverance affirming the loyalty of the church to its historic views on these subjects. Among the important events in the history of the church since 1870, mention is made of the following. In 1875 the general assembly entered as a leading factor into the Alliance of the Reformed Churches throughout the world holding the Presbyterian System (see ALLIANCE OF THE REFORMED CHURCHES). In 1879 the Committee on Systematic Beneficence was appointed, and in 1881 the important work of temperance reform was entrusted to the Permanent Committee on Temperance. The establishment of the Board of Aid for Colleges and Academies, in 1883, was caused by the demands of the West, and the great and growing importance of educational interests. In 1888 the centennial of the general assembly was celebrated in Philadelphia, Pa., and a centenary fund of $600,000 was raised, which was added to the endowment fund of the Board of Ministerial Relief. Correspondence between the general assemblies, north and south, was first brought about in 1882. In 1883 fraternal delegates were appointed, and appeared in the respective bodies. In 1901 the Evangelistic Committee was established, through whose efforts a decided uplift has been given to spiritual conditions, not only within the Presbyterian Church, but also among many other denominational churches. The Presbyterian Brotherhood also was organized in 1906, for evangelistic and social purposes, and includes fully 100,000 men in its membership. In 1903 the general assembly appointed a Committee on Church Cooperation and Union, as a result of whose work terms of union were framed between the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. This union was accomplished at the respective general assemblies at Des Moines, Ia., and Decatur, Ill., in 1906. There has been considerable litigation in connection with this union; but in any event the addition through it to the Presbyterian Church amounts to about 1,200 ministers, 1,800 churches, and 90,000 communicants. The church is a member of "The Council of Reformed Churches in the United States holding the Presbyterian System," established in 1907, seeking to bring into closer relations the several Presbyterian denominations in the country, and it entered heartily into the organization in Dec., 1908, at Philadelphia, Pa., of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, composed of 34 denominations, having about 18,000,000 communicants, and representing a majority of the people of the United States.
The growth of the Presbyterian Church during the nineteenth century is exhibited in the following table:
Years Ministers Churches Communicants 1640 5 3 500 1690 10 18 1,000 1705 12 22 1,500 1717 19 40 3,000 1758 98 200 10,000 1789 177 431 18,000 1800 189 449 20,000 1837 2,140 2,965 220,557 1870 4,238 4,526 446,561 1880 5,044 5,489 578,671 1887 5,654 6,436 697,835 1890 6,158 6,894 775,903 1900 7,467 7,750 1,007,689 1909 9,023 9,997 1,321,386
While the population of the country has doubled about sixteen times since 1800, the membership of the church has doubled about seventy times in the same period, and the total additions on profession of faith during the century ending with 1909 appear to have been about 2,800,000. Of these there have been received since 1900, 694,341.
(§ 8). Standards. Since 1729 the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms have been the doctrinal standards of the church, with the exception that the chapters dealing with the civil magistrate were modified in 1788 so as to conform to the American doctrine of the absolute separation of the Church from control by the State. The Confession was also amended in 1887 by the striking-out of the last clause of section 4 of chapter 24, and so removing any obstacle which may have existed to a person's marrying his deceased wife's sister. In 1903 the Confession of Faith was amended in chapters 10, 16, 22, and 25, a declaratory statement was adopted as to chapters 3 and 10, and chapters 34 and 35 were added, respectively on "The Holy Spirit" and "The Love of God and Missions." The revision accomplished in 1903 was for the expressed purpose of the disavowal of certain inferences drawn by persons outside the church as to the doctrines of the church on God's eternal decree, the love of God for all mankind, and his readiness to bestow his saving grace on all who seek it. The church also officially declared that all persons dying in infancy are included in the election of grace, and are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who works when and where and how he pleases. The administrative or governmental standards were adopted by the General Synod in 1788, and consist of a Form of Government, Book of Discipline, and Directory for Worship. These standards have been from time to time amended and modified, though they are still substantially as first adopted. [In 1906 The Book of Common Worship was adopted by the General Assembly "for voluntary use in the churches."] Prior to 1788 Steuart of Pardovan's Collections of the Laws of the Church of Scotland were accepted as authoritative.
- (§ 9). Church Agencies. The missionary, evangelistic, and benevolent work of the church is conducted by eight boards and two committees, the names of which, with the dates of organization, are as follows: Home Missions, 1816; Education, 1819; Foreign Missions, 1837; Publication, 1838; Church Erection, 1844; Ministerial Relief, 1855; Freedmen, 1865; Colleges, 1883. Home-mission effort was begun as early as 1719, and was carried on by the general synod and the general assembly through committees until the Board of Missions was organized in 1816. This agency had in its employ, in 1909, 1,435 missionaries, 447 missionary teachers, and expended during the year ending Mar. 31, 1909, $1,167,094. Foreign mission work was established among the American Indians (1741), Syria (1822), India (1834), Persia (1835) and also at later dates in China, Siam, West Africa, Corisco, Colombia, Brazil, Japan, Chile, Laos, Mexico, and Korea, and among the Chinese in California. In 1909 the total number of missionaries, both lay and clerical, men and women, was 946 American and 3,367 native. They were distributed in fifteen different countries, 1,781 principal stations, and 299 out-stations, having 96,801 communicants, and 101,756 Sunday-school scholars. There are in connection with the foreign work two great printing-establishments, one at Beirut, Syria, and the other at Shanghai, China. These printing-establishments in the year 1909 issued 167,834,946 pages of printed matter. There are also in connection with the various mission stations 61 hospitals, 76 dispensaries, and the number of patients treated in 1909 was 449,457. Concerning the other boards named above the following statements are made: The Board of Education stands for the fundamental principle that an educated ministry is essential to the enduring prosperity of the Christian Church. The Board of Publication and Sunday-school work emphasizes the importance of Christian nurture and of a proper Sunday-school literature. The Board of Church Erection guarantees to congregations the erection and completion of houses of worship and of manses for pastors. Since its establishment this board has aided 8,700 congregations. The Board of Relief is the church's instrument for aiding disabled and infirm ministers and the needy families of deceased ministers. This agency is the most successful of any of the agencies of a similar character in the United States. The Board of Missions for Freedmen has as its sole duty the evangelization and education of the colored people; and the College Board is the earnest effort of the church to promote and conserve Christian education in colleges and universities. There are at present fourteen theological institutions which report annually to the general. assembly. The first theological instruction given by the church was through the professorship of divinity in Princeton College, now Princeton University, and the first theological professor was John Witherspoon, beginning with the year 1768. The theological seminaries were established as follows: Princeton (at Princeton, N. J.), 1812; Auburn (at Auburn, N. Y.), 1819; Western (at Allegheny, Pa.), 1827; Lane (at Cincinnati, O.), 1829; McCormick (at Chicago, Ill.), 1830; Lebanon (at Lebanon, Tenn.), 1852; Danville (at Danville, Ky.), 1853; German (at Dubuque, Ia.), 1856; Biddle (for colored students, at Charlotte, N. C.), 1868; German (Bloomfield, N. J.), 1869; San Francisco (at San Francisco, Cal.), 1871; Lincoln (for colored students at Lincoln University, Pa.), 1871. The Union Theological Seminary at Richmond, Va., established in 1824, and the Columbia Seminary, Columbia, S. C., established in 1831, have been in connection since 1861 with the Presbyterian Church. [For the data respecting Union Theological Seminary, New York City, founded 1836, see under THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES.] The statistics of the seminaries for 1909 are as follows: professors, 89; other teachers, 48; students, 709; books in the libraries, 265,476; total endowments, $10,672,142. The church reports, for 1909, 36 synods, 291 presbyteries, 9,023 ministers, 227 licentiates, 1,066 candidates for the ministry, 38,364 elders, 9,997 churches, 1,321,386 communicants, and contributions for all purposes, $21,664,756. General publications are the records of the general presbytery, 1706-16, of the general synod, 1717-88, and of the general assembly 1789-1909, each in printed form. They are the most complete ecclesiastical record in America. The Minutes of the general assembly and the Reports of the Missionary and Benevolent Boards are issued annually. The home missions of the church have been continuously upon the frontier of the advancing civilization of the American people. Its ministers and congregations have been essential factors in securing the moral and spiritual as well as the material welfare of the republic. Its influence has been decided upon the political interests of the land, for both the church and the nation are direct products of the same great reformation. The church has furnished both Revolutionary leaders, such as John Witherspoon, and also Presidents of the United States, such as Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Harrison, and Grover Cleveland. In heathen lands the church has exerted a quiet but mighty influence in elevating the standards of morality, in sanctifying the family relation, in introducing the element of fraternity into social relations, and above all in bringing to bear upon great masses of men and women the divine power which accompanies the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether at home or abroad, the church has been in all the relations in which human beings stand each to the other, and in all the aspirations of humanity, both for this world and the world to come, a savor of life unto life.
- W. H. ROBERTS.
2. Presbyterian Church in the United States (Southern Presbyterian Church): (§ 1). Background and Origin. This church roots itself in the work of Francis Makemie (q.v.; also see above, VIII., 1, §§ 2-4). In Makemie's time there began a steady immigration of Presbyterians from the north of Ireland. These immigrants, entering the port of Philadelphia, spread in great numbers southward, settling in Virginia, North Carolina, and the upper portions of South Carolina. They formed the principal element in the southern section of the church which dates from Makemie. Among them were some Scotch, English, and Dutch Presbyterians, and, in the lower part of South Carolina, a considerable number of Huguenots. On the division of the Presbyterian Church in 1837 (see above, VIII, 1, § 6), nearly the whole of what is now the Southern Presbyterian Church adhered to the Old School branch. This connection continued until 1861. When the Old School assembly met in Philadelphia in May, 1861, several southern states had already seceded from the Union. The majority of the assembly, thinking that the duty of patriotism demanded a profession of loyalty to the Federal government, by resolution pledged the whole constituency of the church to the support of the Federal sovereignty as against the seceded states. Charles Hodge (q.v.), for himself and fifty-seven others, protested against this action of the assembly as unconstitutional in that it assumed "to decide a political question, and to make that decision a test of membership in the church." The Presbyterians living in the South could not fulfil the pledge of loyalty to the Federal government without proving traitors to the government under which they were living at the time. The southern presbyteries and synods regarded the deliverance of the assembly as virtually an exscinding act, and at their next meetings formally renounced all connection with the Old School assembly. Commissioners from forty-seven of these presbyteries met in Augusta, Ga., Dec. 4, 1861, and organized a new assembly.
(§ 2). Period of the War, and Accretions. Thus the Southern Presbyterian Church began its separate existence just when the greatest civil war of history was getting well under way. During the next four years the territory covered by the church was overrun by contending armies, and the church was affected by the general effects of the war in the south in the destruction of the industrial system, the impoverishment of the people, and the general demoralization of society. The work of the church was interrupted, its development retarded, and its future overshadowed. It maintained, however, in the midst of all discouragements, a vigorous life, furnishing chaplains for the army, and caring for the congregations committed to its trust. It gave constant and earnest attention to the religious instruction of the colored people, devoting to this work some of its finest pulpit talent. It was also privileged to do some effective mission work among the Indians. The growth of the church both during and immediately after the war was chiefly by the absorption of other religious bodies. The Independent Presbyterian Church, a small brotherhood in North and South Carolina, was brought into the Southern Assembly in 1863. The same year a union was effected with the United Synod of the Presbyterian Church. This synod had been organized in 1858 out of the southern contingent of the New School church as a practical protest against the deliverances of the New School Assembly on the subject of slavery. While this synod went with the New School in the division of 1837, this was not due to sympathy with the laxity of doctrine charged against the New School body, which was the ground of division, but because the synod regarded as harsh, and unconstitutional the exscinding resolutions by which that famous division was consummated. In the great upheaval of 1861-65, the synod of Kentucky adhered to the northern assembly. It expressed regret, however, that the assembly had taken the action which caused the withdrawal of the southern presbyteries. This called forth a censure from the next assembly, and this inaugurated a strife which culminated in 1867 in the separation of the synod from the northern assembly. The next year commissioners from the presbyteries of Kentucky sought admission into the membership of the southern assembly and were received. The synod of Missouri went through an experience in all essential respects similar to that of Kentucky. While remaining in connection with the northern assembly during the exciting period of the war, it took exception to deliverances of the assembly touching the political condition of the country. Antagonism grew until separation resulted. For a few years the synod maintained an independent existence; but in 1874 a large part of it united with the southern assembly. The Presbytery of Patapsco in Maryland was received in 1867; the same year the Alabama presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and three years later the Associate Reformed Presbytery of Kentucky were received. The absorption of these various bodies brought in about 282 ministers, 490 churches, and 35,600 communicants. As the union in every case was on the basis of perfect doctrinal affinity, there has been no resultant evil. The church stands to-day as a living organism with no scars on its body to show that any grafting has been done.
(§ 3). Evangelization, Home and Foreign Missions. As soon as the melancholy conditions in which the church was born had passed away, and the dawn of a brighter era appeared, the church began to "lengthen its cords and strengthen its stakes." Promptly it recognized in a practical way its duty and privilege to take part in the great work of worldwide evangelization. Its first mission on foreign soil was planted in Brazil in 1869. Since that time the church has constantly enlarged its work until now, in addition to the mission in Brazil, it has missions in China, Japan, Korea, Africa, Mexico, and Cuba. The church supports a missionary force of 280, not including native workers, and has a communicant roll in its various missions aggregating more than 15,000. Its extensive work in Japan is not represented on this roll for the reason that the fruits of mission work in that country are absorbed by the native church (see JAPAN). In the year 1909, $412,156 was contributed to the support of the foreign work, an average of about $1.60 per member. There is at present a rising tide of missionary zeal sweeping over the church which promises unprecedented progress in the near future.
In the sphere of home missions, the church is manifesting a growing earnestness, and is rapidly enlarging its activities. Especially is it putting forth commendable efforts to provide for the destitution in the border states of Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. The receipts for this cause for the year 1909 were much in advance of any previous year and more than three times what they were only eight years ago. As further indicating the expansion of the work, it may be noted that within the past twelve months a presbytery has been erected for the Mexicans in Texas, and a new synod was organized for Oklahoma. Home-mission work is also carried on directly by presbyteries and synods in the older sections of the church. As measured by cost of support, the work done in this way is about three times as great, but by no means three times as fruitful, as that carried on in the border territory through the assembly's executive committee. The total contributions to home missions last year were $322,288. Work for the negroes is prosecuted through an executive committee located at Birmingham, Ala. Stillman Institute, named in honor of Rev. C. A. Stillman, D.D., and designed especially, though not exclusively, for the education of colored ministers, is prospering at Tuscaloosa, Ala. The choicest fruits of this school are seen in a number of consecrated missionaries who are laboring with great success in the Congo Free State, Africa. Several Sunday-schools for colored people are conducted by white churches. Two colored presbyteries, one in Alabama and one in Mississippi, are in connection with the southern assembly.
In 1897 a number of independent colored presbyteries were organized into a synod, the name of which is the Afro-American Presbyterian Church. This synod is in a vague sense under the guardianship of the southern assembly, its ministers and churches receiving financial aid from a fund con- tributed for this purpose. This Afro-American Presbyterian Church is a very frail and sickly child. Its ministers are untrained and inefficient, wanting in the spirit of aggressiveness and in administrative gifts, apparently demonstrating the unwisdom of committing to the negroes an independent over- sight of their own religious interests.
(§ 4). Other Agencies; Prospects. The business of publication is conducted through a publishing-house, owned by the church, in Richmond, Va., and a book depository in Texarkana Tex. The volume of business last year was something over $160,000, yielding a net income of $14,000. In connection with the publication work is a well-organized Sabbath-school department which furnishes a splendid literature for use in the Sabbath-schools, and also conducts a valuable mission work among the immigrant population of the larger cities, and among the long-neglected dwellers in the Appalachians. Ministerial education and relief are combined under one executive agency with headquarters at Louisville, Ky. The report of this committee shows 422 candidates in course of preparation for the ministry. For training its candidates, the church has five theological schools, viz., Union Seminary, Richmond, Va.; Columbia Seminary, Columbia, S. C.; the divinity department of the Southwestern Presbyterian University, Clarksville, Tenn.; the Texas Theological Seminary, Austin, Tex., and the Louisville Seminary, Louisville, Ky. This last is owned and controlled jointly with the assembly of the northern church. A decided step has recently been taken in the work of ministerial relief. An endowment fund has been raised for this cause, amounting to $274,429, and the effort to increase this to half a million dollars gives promise of early success. In 1906, the assembly appointed an Executive Committee of Schools and Colleges. This is the practical expression of a more determined purpose to put the institutions of the church on a better financial footing, and to prosecute the work of Christian education with renewed zeal. A yet more recent development of the church's life was the creation by the assembly of 1908 of a permanent Committee of Evangelism. This was in response to an aroused and intensified interest in the direct work of reaching the unconverted. The church has expanded from 105,956 members in 1874 to 279,803; but there is a wholesome discontent with the rate of progress in the past, which prophesies a more aggressive and fruitful future.
- The specific causes which led to the organization of the Southern Assembly have long since passed away. The relations between this church and that of which it once formed a part are close and fraternal, enabling them to cooperate in many forms of Christian service. There exist reasons, however, which are thought to justify a continued separation. It is believed that by independent existence the church can bear a more effective testimony to certain principles which need emphasis-such principles, for example, as strict construction in the use of creeds; the exclusively spiritual mission of the church; and the absolute authority of the Bible as being the infallible Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. In other words, the church believes that it owes a duty to doctrinal conservatism which it can best discharge by maintaining its autonomy.
- R. C. REED.
3a. Cumberland Presbyterian Church Before the Union of 1906: (§ 1). Origin. This church began its career as a distinct organization Feb. 10, 1810, and ceased to exist as such by an act of "union and reunion" with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (see above, VIII., 1) May 24, 1906. It originated in the remarkable revival of religion which in 1797 began to develop in what was then known as "the Cumberland country" in southwestern Kentucky and Tennessee, under the ministry of the Rev. James McGready (q.v.; also see REVIVALS OF RELIGION). The revival rapidly grew to such proportions as to create a demand for ordained ministers greater than could be supplied; the country had only recently been settled, and in those days it was far away from the sources of supply. The Cumberland presbytery ordained certain men who in respect to educational preparation fell somewhat below the requirement of the standards to which that presbytery was amenable, and this produced dissension in the synod of Kentucky, of which the Cumberland presbytery was a member, which culminated in 1806 in the dissolution of the presbytery. The synod annexed to the adjoining Transylvania presbytery the members who had not been placed under prohibition to preach the Gospel and administer its ordinances, by the committee appointed by the synod, in 1805, to take charge of the matter. The Cumberland presbytery had taken the ground in the controversy, that the proceedings of the committee appointed by the synod were unconstitutional, and, of course, that the proscribing act was unconstitutional and void. Nevertheless, from a general respect to authority, and from a desire to procure a reconciliation and enjoy peace and quietude as far as possible, both the proscribed members, and those who had promoted their induction into the ministry and sympathized with them, constituting a majority of the presbytery, organized themselves into what they called a "council," determining in this manner to carry forward the work of the revival, to keep the congregations together, but to abstain from all proper presbyterial proceedings, and await what they thought would be a redress of their grievances. This council continued its organization from Dec., 1805, to Feb., 1810. By that time the members became satisfied that they had nothing to hope, either from the synod or the general assembly. As a last resort, and in order to save what they represented to the general assembly as "a very respectable congregation in Cumberland and the Barrens of Kentucky," two of the proscribed ministers, Finis Ewing and Samuel King, assisted by Samuel McAdow, one of those who had been placed under an interdict by the commission for his participation in what they denominated the irregularities of the presbytery, reorganized the Cumberland presbytery at the house of McAdow, in Dickson County, Tenn., on Feb. 4, 1810. It was organized as an independent presbytery. It will be observed that it was a reorganization of a presbytery which had been dissolved, which had received its name from its locality. The church which grew from these beginnings naturally took the name of its first presbytery as a prefix. It grew rapidly, extending from Pennsylvania to the shores of the Pacific, and from the Great Lakes to Louisiana and Texas.
(§ 2). Theology and Principles. The new presbytery immediately set forth a synopsis of its theology and of the principles of action by which it proposed to be governed. Its theology was Calvinistic, with the exception of the offensive doctrine of predestination so expressed as to seem to embody the dogma of necessity or fatality. The construction which, in opposition to the letter, or form, of the Calvinistic symbols, they put upon the "idea of fatality," was: (1) that there are no eternal reprobates; (2) that Christ died, not for a part only, but for all mankind, and for all in the same sense; (3) that persons dying in infancy are saved through Christ and the sanctification of the Spirit; (4) that the Spirit of God operates on the world, as coextensively as Christ has made the atonement, in such a manner as to leave all men inexcusable. The exception of this one "idea of fatality," corresponding to these four points, must have meant and included only their antipodes: (1) eternal reprobation; (2) an atonement limited to the elect members; (3) the salvation of elect infants only; (4) the limitation of the operations of the Spirit to the elect. Aside from these points, covered by the exception, the doctrine of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, as set forth in its Confession, was, according to the opinion of its founders, identical with that of the Westminster Confession. In the year 1813 the Cumberland Presbytery had become so large that it divided itself into three presbyteries, and constituted the Cumberland Synod. This synod, at its sessions in 1816, adopted a confession of faith, catechism, and system of church order, in conformity with the principles avowed upon the organization of the first presbytery. The Confession of Faith was a slight modification and abridgment of the Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Church. The Larger Catechism was omitted, and also some sections of the chapter on "God's Eternal Decrees." A revised Confession was adopted in 1883.
(§ 3). Education Institutions and Missions. In 1826 the first college was organized and located at Princeton, Ky., under the supervision of the church. In 1842 it was transferred to Lebanon, Tenn., and the name changed to Cumberland University. It is composed of four schools-preparatory, academic, law, and theological, each school having its own corps of professors and lecturers. It is one of the oldest, and has long been one of the most prominent and useful, educational institutions in the southwest, notwithstanding the great difficulties under which it has had to struggle. There are now colleges at Waxahachie, Tex.; Lincoln, Ill.; Waynesburg, Pa.; Marshall, Mo., and Decatur, Ill., besides a number of high schools and academies under presbyterial and synodical supervision. The theological seminary in connection with Cumberland University is the only theological school. It employs seven regular professors, and the course of study extends through three years. A well-equipped publishing-house is located at Nashville, Tenn. At the time of the reunion with the Presbyterian Church the board of missions (at St. Louis) was sustaining twenty-six foreign missionaries, besides doing an extensive mission work at home. The Woman's Board of Missions was sustaining seventeen women as missionary workers in foreign countries.
- (§ 4). The Union of 1906. The revision of its Confession of Faith by the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (1903) immediately gave rise to the question of union between that Church and the Cumberland Presbyterian. The explanatory statements and new chapters added to the Confession, and thus incorporated into the constitution of the church, were regarded as an official repudiation by the highest authority of the one-sided and fatalistic interpretations to which the Confession had hitherto been exposed. Accordingly, after prolonged and thorough canvass, of the question before the presbyteries and the assemblies, the "union and reunion" of the two churches, formally declared to be "alike honorable to both," was consummated by the two assemblies in May, 1906. The doctrinal and ecclesiastical standards of the Presbyterian Church, U. S. A. (1903) are the bases of the union. At that time the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was composed of 114 presbyteries, aggregating about 200,000 member's and about 1,600 ordained ministers, the value of the church property being estimated at about seven millions of dollars.
- ROBERT VERRELL FOSTER.
3b. Cumberland Presbyterian Church Since the Union of 1906: The original Cumberland Presbyterian Church (see above, 3a) maintained its integrity unimpaired through the Civil War, and received its first rude shock from passions engendered by the movement for union with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America which began in 1903 and culminated in May, 1906. A large number of the prominent members and a majority of the ministers went into the other church. Something like half the membership remained, scattered over the territory formerly occupied by the whole church. Many congregations divided, and this left the working efficiency of the church much impaired. Since the union those remaining have gone on as before, holding the same creed and the same polity as before, looking to the same literature as the authoritative exposition of their creed, polity, and aspirations, and holding a theology midway between that of St. Augustine and that of Pelagius, between the systems of Calvin and Arminius. Thus, while Calvinism declares that salvation is unconditional to sinners, certain to saints, and impossible to some, and Arminianism holds that salvation is conditional to sinners, uncertain to saints, possible to all, and certain to none, the Cumberland church believes that salvation is conditional to sinners, certain to saints, possible to all, and certain to every one truly converted. Similarly Calvinism teaches that election is unconditional and dates from eternity; Arminianism, that no election is certain in this life; the Cumberland church teaches that election takes place when man is regenerated on complying with the terms of the Gospel. Further, Calvinism teaches that every man's destiny was fixed before the world began; Arminianism, that no man's destiny is fixed, but that it remains uncertain in this life; the Cumberland church, that every man's destiny is uncertain until he is regenerated, when it becomes fixed and certain.
- The Minutes of the general assembly of 1909 reports: 90,000 communicants, 614 ministers, 81 candidates, 72 licentiates, 1,884 congregations, 97 presbyteries, 17 synods, congregational church property to the value of $4,000,000, much of it now in litigation. Several state supreme courts have held the union (with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America) legal and that the property of local congregations passed into the union, while other like judicatories have held the union illegal and that the property remained with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The publishing-house at Nashville, Tenn., is yet in litigation. There is one school at McKenzie, Tenn. Home-mission work is maintained, but foreign mission work is hampered by lack of funds.
- FINIS HOMER PRENDERGAST.
4. Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America is the lineal representative of the Church of Scotland, holding forth the same principles that were exhibited during the Second Reformation (1638-49), the purest period in its history. It is also known as the Covenanter Church, because of its adherence to the principles embodied in the National Covenant of Scotland, and the Solemn League and Covenant (see COVENANTERS, §§ 3-4). In 1661 the State demanded an unqualified oath of allegiance, and all who subscribed the covenants were dealt with as guilty of treason from that date until the Revolution Settlement in 1688 (see above, I., 1, § 3). A church that had never been identified with the State Church and had never come out of the church of Rome, its members being loyal to the truth as it is in Jesus during the papal ascendency in Europe, was subjected to loss of property and its members were compelled to endure imprisonment and death merely because of loyalty to the crown of Christ. Owing to the defection of some of its ministers in 1691 (see CAMERON, RICHARD, CAMERONIANS), the Covenanter Church was without any pastoral oversight for sixteen years, and the truth was kept alive in the hearts of its members by means of social gatherings for Christian conference and prayer, while the members refused to wait on the ministry of any who had been false to their ordination vows. In 1706 John Macmillan, a Presbyterian minister who had been deposed by the general assembly of the State Church for the advocacy of covenant obligations, accepted the principles of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and for more than thirty years was its only ordained minister, visiting the societies and preaching to them a complete Christ, and with the assistance of a licentiate who had been silenced by the State Church for his loyalty to Reformation truth, held them together. In the spring of 1743 Thomas Nairn, of the Associate Presbytery, a secession from the State Church, joined the Covenanters, and on Aug. 1 of that year he and John Macmillan constituted the Reformed Presbytery at Braehead, Scotland.
The persecution in Scotland led many to seek refuge in the American colonies, and in many localities societies were formed on the basis of Reformation principles. On Mar. 10, 1774, the first Reformed presbytery in America was constituted at Paxtang, Pa. Its ministerial members were Matthew Linn and Alexander Dobbin, who had been sent from Ireland the previous year, and John Cuthbertson, who came from Scotland in 1751 and had been laboring alone for twenty-two years. During the confusion and excitement of the revolutionary war the views of many became unsettled, with the result that in 1782 a union was formed with the Associate Church. In response to an appeal from scattered societies that had not gone into that union, James Reid was appointed by the Reformed Presbytery of Scotland in 1789 to inquire into their condition, and on his report two ministers were sent out in 1791 and 1792, who were afterward directed to act as a committee of the home presbytery in the adjustment of all judicial matters. Soon others arrived, and in May, 1798, William King and James McKinney, already on the ground, and William Gibson, who had come out in 1797, with ruling elders, constituted the second Reformed Presbytery of America at Philadelphia, Pa. And at the same place, on May 24, 1809, was constituted the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of America.
Nothing occurred to disturb the peace of this church till 1832, when one of its leading ministers began to advocate views that were subversive of its distinctive principles. The result was a division in 1833, in which a minority of its ministers and about half of its members abandoned the historic position of the Church (see below, 7). Since then the synod has enjoyed a good measure of prosperity, and at present is aggressive in its missionary operations and in the influence for good that its reform work is exerting. It reports for 1909, 10 presbyteries, 137 ministers, 114 congregations, 9,503 communicants, and $213,772 in contributions for all purposes at home and abroad.
- The Reformed Presbyterian Church is not an offshoot from any other ecclesiastical organization, but part of the stem of the original Church of Scotland. Its distinctive testimony turns on the supreme headship of Jesus Christ: It holds that he is exclusive head of the Church, deciding as to manner of worship, so that its congregations use only Bible Psalms, and no instrumental music in the service of song, on the principle that what he has not required is forbidden, and also as to form of government, which in all its leading principles is Presbyterian--not leaving to human device matters so essential to the efficiency of the Gospel ministry and the edification of his people. It also holds that he is the head of the State, and that every nation, not only in its individual citizenship, but in its corporate capacity, owes worship to God and this worship can be rendered only through his mediation, so that its members refuse to swear allegiance to any civil constitution that fails to honor him as head of the Church and prince of the kings of the earth, and believe that it is the duty of all Christians to have no dealings with the political body that might be interpreted as an approval of national disloyalty to the mediatorial king.
- ROBERT MACGOWAN SOMMERVILLE.
5. Associate Reformed Synod of the South: In a sense the Associate Reformed Church may be said to have its origin in Scotland in 1733 at Gairney Bridge when Ebenezer Erskine (q.v.), William Wilson, Alex Moncrieff, and James Fisher left the Established Church of Scotland and formed the Associate Presbytery (see above, I., 1, § 4, 2, § 2). The more immediate ancestors of the church came from Scotland and the north of Ireland and settled in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Carolinas. Their first organization in the United States was the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania in 1753. In 1774 the Reformed Presbyterians organized a Reformed Presbytery and in 1782 these were united into the Associate Reformed Synod. This organization grew rapidly and by 1803 there were four synods, those of New York, Pennsylvania, Scioto, and the Carolinas. The last was organized at Ebenezer or Brick Church, Fairfield Co., S. C., May 9, 1803, there being present at the organization seven ministers, two probationers, and six ruling elders.
In 1822 this synod withdrew from the Associate Reformed Church, became independent, and assumed its present name. This withdrawal came about not because of slavery nor sectionalism but because of the great distance and also on account of some difference of opinion on the questions of psalmody and close communion.
The church reports 9 presbyteries, 125 ministers, 158 congregations, and nearly 15,000 members, who give annually over $100,000. The congregations are scattered from Virginia to Texas and mission work is done in Mexico and India.
This church stands for the whole body of truth held by most branches of the Presbyterian Church: for the acceptance of and adherence to the Westminster standards, for the Calvinistic system of theology, for the fundamental principles of this theology, beginning with the sovereignty of God and embracing the remaining four points logically springing therefrom unto the assured salvation of the elect, for the government of the Church by pastors and elders having authority to act for Jesus Christ, the king and head of the Church, for the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, and for the sole, supreme, and infallible authority of the Bible for all rules of conduct and duty. It confines itself to the exclusive use of the inspired songs of the Bible in God's worship, the Book of Psalms having been set to music, the last being the distinctive difference between Associate Reformed Presbyterians and the Presbyterian Church South.
- This church demands an educated ministry, and encourages education among its members. Its theological seminary is located at Due West, S. C., and has a good faculty and a large endowment, and has done good work in training the ministers of the denomination. Erskine College, also located at Due West, was founded in 1839, was the first denominational college in the state, and is one of the leading colleges in the state to-day. The Due West Female College has a splendid equipment and is doing a good work for the women of the church. The Associate Reformed Presbyterian is the official organ of the synod.
- W. K. DOUGLAS.
6. United Presbyterian Church of North America. (§ 1). Origins in Scotland and America. This church gathers into itself several branches of the Scottish dissenting churches, one of which was the Associate Presbyterian Church, founded by a secession from the National Church of Scotland led by Ebenezer Erskine (q.v.) in which he was joined by three other ministers (see above, I., 1, § 4, 2, § 2). Another was the Reformed Presbyterian Church (see COVENANTERS; also see above, I., 5, and VIII., 4-5). In 1706 Rev. John Macmillan became the minister, and thirty-seven years later a minister named McNair joined him, and these two organized a presbytery, and thus originated the Reformed Presbyterian Church. From these two churches descended a number of churches in America. Many of the persecuted Presbyterians who fled from Scotland and had taken refuge in Ireland were in the stream of immigrants that flowed into America in the early part of the eighteenth century. The Reformed Presbyterians among these sent for the Rev. John Cuthbertson as minister, who came from the newly formed presbytery of Scotland. The territory over which he extended his paternal rather than pastoral care (he seems never to have been installed) comprised nearly all of southeastern Pennsylvania. In the same current that carried these Scotch and Scotch-Irish in such large numbers to America were many who were affiliated with the Associate Church of Scotland. So these two churches lived and thrived in American soil, both of them perpetuating distinctions which belonged to the country, in its government, from which they came. The members of these two churches were of the same blood, their dissent from the national Church of Scotland had been for substantially the same reason-dissatisfaction with the power of the State over the Church, and the increasing laxity of doctrine in the national Church. Now they were in the same territory and held the same standards of doctrine and government, so the two churches became one in 1782, the new church combining the names of the two churches and becoming known as the Associate Reformed Church. Every minister of the Reformed Church came into the union, but a few of the congregations refused to come. These congregations sent to Scotland for ministers and the church continued (see above, VIII., 4), while some of the congregations of the Associate Church followed their example. Thus a third church was in the field.
(§ 2). Formation, Work and Statistics. The new Associate Reformed Church had considerable strength and was scattered over a territory embracing Pennsylvania, New York, New England, and Ohio. It grew rapidly and soon had congregations in many of the states. It was divided into four synods with a general synod meeting annually. The distances were so great and the means of travel so poor, that brethren could not attend, and the power was in the hands of a few; consequently dissatisfaction arose, resulting in divisions and the constituting of independent tribunals. One of these was called the Associate Reformed Synod of the West, another the Associate Reformed Synod of the South (see above, VIII., 5). The former united with the General Synod in 1855. The territory of the church extended to the Mississippi River. This consolidated church together with the resuscitated Associate Church held a common doctrine and occupied the same field. There was general desire for union, especially among the laity; for some time union was obstructed on theological grounds, but finally, in May, 1858, in Pittsburg, Pa., where both general synods were in session, the union was formed amid great enthusiasm, rejoicing, and thanksgiving the new church taking the title of the United Presbyterian Church of North America. The church had early recognized the need of ministers of the Gospel to preach in this great home-mission territory. Both branches had founded theological schools. The Associate Seminary, established at Service, Pa., in 1794, is the oldest in continuous service in America, and is now located at Xenia, Ohio. The church also has a flourishing theological seminary in Pittsburg, Pa., it has several high-grade colleges and many academies, and has always been zealous in the cause of Christian education. Its standards are the Westminister Confession of Faith and Catechism and a Declaration of Testimony. It adheres to the exclusive use of the Psalms in the praise service of the congregations. It early discarded the old Scottish versions and prepared its own version, frequently revising it until now it has a version that clearly brings out the ideas of the old Hebrew figures, and is one of great poetical beauty and literary smoothness. The ban on instrumental accompaniment was long ago removed and pipe-organs and other instruments of music are now in general use. It reports 1,098 ministers, 69 licentiates, 98 students of theology, 4,314 ruling elders, 1,082 congregations, and 153,956 communicants, who contribute annually $2,441,587, an average per member of $18.64.
(§ 3). Its Agencies. Its work is carried on through the agency of seven chartered boards: (1) the Board of Foreign Missions, Philadelphia. The foreign missionary work is now concentrated in three great missions, India, Egypt, and the Sudan. Since 1843 there have been sent out 292 missionaries to foreign lands. The annual outlay is about $250,000. (2) The Board of Home Missions, Pittsburg, Pa., which gives aid to churches and establishes missions in nearly every state, except a few of the states in the South. The Associate Reformed Church's work in Texas has recently been turned over to the United Presbyterian Church. This board spends about $150,000 per year. It has recently undertaken foreign missionary work on American soil. (3) The Board of Freedmen's Mission Pittsburg, Pa., carries on an extensive work with its schools and colleges and mission stations among the freedmen of the South, at an expenditure of about $80,000 annually. (4) The Board of Church Extension, Pittsburg, Pa., erects church-buildings in the new missions established by the Board of Home Missions. Its annual gifts approximate $75,000. (5) The Board of Publication, Pittsburg, Pa., occupies its own large publication house and office-buildings, and from its quarters a stream of Sabbath-school helps, Psalters, Bible songs, anthem books, and other publications is constantly flowing. (6) The Board of Ministerial Relief, Philadelphia, cares for the aged and infirm ministers or their widows or orphans, distributing more than $16,000 annually. (7) The Board of Education, Monmouth, Ill., has all of the colleges and academic schools under its care, and is doing a large work in the interest of Christian education in the denominational schools. In addition to these seven boards there is also a Women's Board which acts as an auxiliary to all the other boards. It receives and distributes annually about $100,000.
- Such is the United Presbyterian Church in its origin and history and work. It steadily holds its place as a part of the visible body of Christ, sustains the most friendly relation to the other Evangelical churches, and, heartily and enthusiastically entering into the Federation of the Churches of Christ in America, holds itself ready to cooperate to the full extent of its ability in any way that will advance the Master's kingdom.
- J. C. SCOULLER.
7. Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America (General Synod): The origins of this church in Scotland are told in the article COVENANTERS, and above in I., 1, 2, 5, 6, cf. VIII., 4, 5. Its immediate derivation was from the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland (see above, I., 5), through which body the Reformed Presbyterian Churches of Ireland and America have received their ministry. The Reformed Presbytery adopted as its constitution the doctrinal standards and polity of the church during the period of the Second Reformation. From this it will be seen that the designation Reformed Presbyterian is rooted in and grows out of ecclesiastical dissent and not from any attempt to reform Presbyterianism, either in the Old World or the New.
The Reformed Presbyterian Church began its existence in America in 1774, through the organization of a presbytery in that year by the Rev. John Cuthbertson, William Lind, and Alexander Dobbin. Through an abortive attempt to unite this presbytery with that of the Associate Church, in 1782, the church was disorganized for a number of years. In 1798, the presbytery was reconstituted by the Rev. James McKinney and William Gibson, and in 1709 two other presbyteries were formed, and the three were organized into a synod. In 1823, it was thought desirable to give the supreme judicatory a representative character, and the general synod was formed.
About this time a lively discussion began concerning the relation of the church to the civil government of the United States. Some held that the constitution was infidel and immoral, and that the members of the church could not be true to their covenant engagements and take part in the government. Others held that while the constitution was defective in not formally recognizing the headship of Jesus Christ, that it was not essentially infidel and immoral, and that therefore Reformed Presbyterians would violate no oaths in exercising the right of franchise. In the synod of 1831, the question of civil relations was made a subject of "free discussion." But in 1833 those who took the extreme position of dissent withdrew, forming what is known as the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church (see above, VIII., 4), as distinct from the General Synod.
- The doctrinal position of the church is stated in the Westminster standards. The church has always declared in favor of simplicity of worship, adhering to the exclusive use of the Psalms as the medium of praise. Quite a number of ministers and congregations left the denomination about 1870 as a result of the discussion of this question. The church has recently become depleted as a result of the reaction against the conservatism of the church in refusing instrumental aid in divine worship. In 1905, however, conditional permission was granted to use instrumental music in the churches. The church carries on foreign mission work in India, and sustains mission stations in various parts of the United States. A flourishing college is maintained at Cedarville, Ohio, and a theological seminary in Philadelphia, Pa. There are at present 19 ministers and 20 congregations with a membership approximating 3,000, and 2 congregations in Canada, with a membership of 400, supporting two missionaries, one at Hoorkee, India, and one at Teeswater, Canada.
- C. A. YOUNG.
8. Calvinistic Methodist Church (Welsh Presbyterian Church in America.): (§ 1). Founding of Churches. The Welsh emigrants who came to this country first settled in Merion, Radnor, and Haverford Counties, Pennsylvania, a few years before 1700. They bought 5,000 acres of land from William Penn. Most of them were Quakers, though Episcopalians and Baptists were found among them. In the year 1707 a petition was sent to the bishop of London for a rector who could preach in Welsh. A Welsh Baptist church was organized in the Great Valley, Pa., in 1711 by Rev. Hugh Davis, and in 1796 another in Ebensburg, Pa. In the years 1775-1825 many Welsh churches were organized in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These were Congregational in polity for two reasons: (1) the majority of the ministers were Congregationalists, (2) that form of church government seemed to be better adapted to the conditions occasioned by the fact that the members belonged to different denominations in Wales. Soon the churches began to feel the need of closer fellowship with one another and were ready for associations in which a number of churches could unite in Christian fellowship and service. These associations were held for several years by the churches in the three states named. In 1805 a Welsh church was organized in Steuben, Oneida County, New York, as a union church with the Congregational form of government. This church, together with the other Welsh churches in Ohio and Pennsylvania, increased numerically by the arrival of Welsh immigrants, who brought with them the doctrinal controversies that stirred Wales in the first half of the last century. The result was that members who were Calvinistic in their theology gradually withdrew from the independent churches and organized churches of their own by adopting the Confession of Faith and the Book of Discipline of the Methodist Calvinistic Church of Wales. The first Welsh Presbyterian church in America was organized at Pen-y-Cærau, Remsen, New York, in 1826, and this was followed in the years 1828-34 by the organization of thirty-six others in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, and the church extended later into Wisconsin. In this way was laid the foundation of the Welsh Presbyterian Church in America.
(§ 2). Organization of Presbyteries, Synods, and General Assembly. During this formative period the leaders saw the need of creating presbyteries and synods, but this was found almost impracticable on account of distance, expense, and mode of travel. They succeeded, however, in forming one synod, comprising all the Welsh Presbyterian churches in the states of New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Each church had the privilege of sending one or more delegates to this synod as it convened from time to time in the different states. Later the synod was divided into two; the one comprising all the Welsh Presbyterian churches in the states of New York and Pennsylvania; the other comprising the churches at Pittsburg and in the West. In a few years presbyteries were formed within these synods.
The Synod of New York was formed at Pen-y-Cærau, N. Y., May 10, 1828, and was the first held in America; the Synod of Ohio was formed at Cincinnati June 12, 1833; the Synod of Pennsylvania, at Pottsville Apr. 5, 1845; the Synod of Wisconsin, at Waukesha Dec. 31, 1843; the Western Synod, at Bush Creek, Mo., in Oct., 1882; the Synod of Minnesota, at Sion (near Mankato) in 1858. The Welsh Presbyterian Church in America organized its general assembly at Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 22, 1869. This body is composed of two ordained ministers and two elders from each synod, together with the ex-moderators, clerks of synods, the statistician, the treasurer, and the chairman, secretary, and treasurer of the board of missions; the editor of the denominational organ, The Friend, and those appointed to read papers in the assembly. The purpose of the assembly is to deliberate upon the subjects that have to do with the welfare of the denomination in America.
The church reports for 1909, 147 churches (organizations), 95 ministers, 13,695 communicants, 11,465 Sunday-school members, and contributions to the amount of $136,348.
- The Welsh Presbyterian Church in America cordially agrees with the Presbyterians of the "Old School" and with the Dutch Reformed of this country. The Confession of Faith harmonizes minutely with the Westminster Catechism. The form of church government is considered Presbyterian; but, strictly, the polity of the church partakes partly of the Congregational order as well as of the Presbyterian. The session of a Welsh Presbyterian church has less power than the session of a Presbyterian church. The local church receives and dismisses members, and exercises discipline; if it is not able to reach a decision in any case of discipline, an appeal may be made to the presbytery. The church discipline is contained in thirty-nine rules, published in connection with an outline of their history and with the Confession of Faith. All the services are very simple.
- R. T. ROBERTS.
9. Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Colored: As the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (see 3a above) began to extend in what was, 100 years ago, the far southwest, it developed a colored constituency which became an integral part of its membership. In every truly Christian family the personal relation between master and slave was close and appreciation was mutual. The slave was recognized not merely as a chattel, but as a man and an immortal. Hence religious instruction was provided and personal religious influence was exercised, with a view to the negro's conversion and salvation. Family worship was common in those days and the servants from the near-by cabins who could conveniently come joined the family-gathering at morning and evening worship. Those prepared for church-membership gladly became members of "Old master's church." They were accorded the full enjoyment of the sacraments and other privileges of the church, worshiping in the same house at the same hour, with the same pastor, or, if the colored constituency was sufficiently numerous, the pastor sometimes gave them a special service. The type of Christian negro this process produced was the "good negro" of ante-bellum days, possessed of a strong Christian character and intensely devoted to his church. These characteristics still appear in some degree among the second and third generations. Out of such material the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Colored, was formed. A few men among them had been ordained to the ministry. They constituted a presbytery to themselves and sought representation in the general assembly of 1870. This was denied and complete separation was the result, the whites advising it and the blacks accepting it as inevitable and as probably best for their race.
In entering upon this separate and independent ecclesiastical existence they had nothing except their own simple childlike faith and their ardent evangelistic spirit; they did not then receive and have never had any substantial backing from any board or benevolent fund. The White Cumberland Presbyterians had lost almost everything by the war and their struggle to rebuild was severe. Engaged in strictly mission work, they could render but little missionary service to their brethren in black. Without money, without schools, and without a trained leadership, this young negro denomination proceeded with its revival method, making much of its "'whosoever will' Gospel," boasting of its doctrine of divine sovereignty and final perseverance, and particularly appreciative of the spirit of liberty which was seen in the Presbyterian form of government. The efforts of individual congregations have been supported by the liberal assistance of their white friends in the locality. Hence they are reasonably well provided with houses of worship. They have also had some assistance in their schools, but for education, even of the ministry, their chief reliance has been the common schools provided by the State. At Bowling Green, Ky., they have a well-conducted academy which gives training in the Bible and kindred subjects and provides special training for preachers and teachers. Since the Union of the Cumberland Church with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (see above, 3a), the latter denomination is giving systematic assistance in educational work.
- Conservatively estimated, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Colored, has a membership of 25,000, located principally in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, and southeast Missouri. They have probably 200 churches, 160 ministers, and 150 Sabbath-schools, with an enrolment of about 8,000. Their school property amounts to about $20,000 and their church property to about $100,000. They are organized into 18 presbyteries, 5 synods and a general assembly, and they have at least the beginnings of the customary church machinery, such as boards of education, missions, and ministerial relief. The field they occupy is quite distinct from that of the negroes of other Presbyterian denominations. It is large and inviting and is capable of practically unlimited development. Under a trained leadership in pulpit and school, and with ample facilities for handling its general work, this independent Presbyterian denomination is capable of becoming an important factor in the uplift of the negro race.
- W. J. DARBY.
- 10. Reformed Presbyterian Church (Covenanted): A presbytery under this name was organized in 1840 by two ministers and three elders, who withdrew from the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church on the ground that it "fellowshiped and indorsed voluntary and irresponsible associations of the day, composed of persons of all religious professions or of no profession; and that its ministers were chargeable with sins of omission and commission in their ecclesiastical relations; and that they refuse to confess and forsake these sins." The presbytery met with varying fortunes, being disorganized in 1845, reorganized in 1853, and disorganized in 1887. In 1883 it contained 4 ministers and 6 organizations in four states, but has since diminished, until at the time of the census of 1906 there was but one small society at North Union, Pa., with 17 members worshiping in a hall and having one elder and a theological student as minister.
- EDWIN MUNSELL BLISS.
- 11. Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States and Canada: This body was organized in 1883 in consequence of dissatisfaction with the treatment of a question of discipline by the General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. It holds with the General Synod that the republic of the United States is essentially Christian, and that Christian citizens may vote and be voted for. According to the census of 1906 it had but one organization in the United States in Alleghany Co., Pa., owning one church edifice valued at $200,000, and reporting 440 communicant members. It contributed to missionary work in India the sum of $325 in 1906, and maintains a Syrian missionary among the Syrians of this country at an annual expenditure of over $500.
- EDWIN MUNSELL BLISS.
12. The Presbyterian Church in Canada: There is now but one Presbyterian Church in the Dominion of Canada, comprising eight synods and sixty-seven presbyteries. Before it became one it passed through many changes.
(§ 1). Origins. France first owned the Canadian territory on the Atlantic seaboard, and the first settlers were largely Roman Catholic (see CANADA). By the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 Nova Scotia came into the possession of Great Britain, and was later divided into Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In the ceded territory, the inhabitants, being Roman Catholic, remained loyal to France. Great Britain sought to change the political complexion of the country by bringing in Protestant colonists. The Acadians of Nova Scotia refused to be assimilated by this means, and finally, in 1755, were forcibly deported into the English colonies to the south, now the United States. Settlers were invited to take possession of the lands and homes thus vacated, liberty of conscience being guaranteed. Those who flocked in from Britain were largely Protestants, and many of them were Presbyterians. The Presbyterian settlers naturally applied to the countries from which they came to send them ministers. Rev. James Lyon came in 1764 from New Jersey, while Rev. James Murdoch, who came from Scotland in 1766, was the first permanent Presbyterian minister in Nova Scotia. Some of the Protestants who came from Europe belonged to the Reformed Church, and these persuaded Messrs. Lyon and Murdoch in 1770 to ordain a Mr. Comingoe, a fisherman of ability, piety, and influence, to be their pastor. This was the first ordination and the first meeting of presbytery held in the land. The many divisions of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland were maintained in the new country by the immigrants, who clung to their old affiliations. As Presbyterian congregations grew in numbers, new presbyteries were formed. The Burgher presbytery of Truro was organized in 1786, the Anti-Burgher presbytery of Pictou in 1795. In July, 1817, these two bodies united to form the Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia, comprising three presbyteries. The Presbyterians in that year numbered about 42,000, with twenty-six ministers.
(§ 2). Under British Rule. After the capture of Quebec in 1759 and the surrender of Montreal in 1760, Rev. George Henry became the first Presbyterian minister of Quebec in 1765, and Rev. John Bethune of Montreal in 1786. Presbyterian settlers pushed in farther and farther west. The first systematic efforts to send Presbyterian ministers to Upper Canada were made by the Reformed (Dutch) Church of the United States. Rev. Robert McDowall in 1798 crossed the St. Lawrence, and organized congregations from Brockville to Toronto, and the Rev. Daniel W. Eastman itinerated in the Niagara Peninsula from 1801. In 1818 a number of Presbyterian ministers issued a general invitation to the Presbyterian ministers west of Quebec to meet on July 9, 1818, with the view of forming "The Presbytery of the Canadas" independent of the old lines of division in Scotland. They met and organized what was the first presbytery in Upper or Lower Canada, with five ministers on their roll. The Presbyterian population in Upper Canada was then about 47,000, ministered to by sixteen ministers. The Earl of Selkirk brought out a colony of Highlanders from Scotland to settle along the Red River, in what is now Manitoba, which he had purchased for the purpose in 1810, though it was not till 1817 that they were allowed peaceable possession; the Earl of Selkirk also gave sites for a church and school at Kildonan, but it was 1851 before they had a minister of their own. The difficulty from the beginning was to secure a sufficient number of suitable ministers to supply Gospel ordinances to Presbyterians. Scotland felt the burden of responsibility, and in 1825 the Glasgow Colonial Society was formed, which sent out within ten years over forty men (all ministers of the Established Church of Scotland), and gave a small grant to each to aid in his support. Others who came helped to perpetuate the differences of the mother country. While a spirit of separation existed, there was at the same time a strong feeling in all denominations that there was no good reason for perpetuating the differences of the old land in the new. But the leaven of union worked very slowly.
(§ 3). Period of Unions. In Upper Canada, in 1831, nineteen Presbyterian ministers from various sections met in Kingston and united to form the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in Connection with the Church of Scotland. In the same year the Presbytery of the Canadas, which was now called the United Presbytery, changed its name once more to the United Synod of Upper Canada. This synod united with the synod in connection with the Church of Scotland, and the name The Synod of the Presbyterian Church in Canada in Connection with the Church of Scotland was retained. On its roll were seventy-seven ministers. The Disruption in Scotland affected the Presbyterians in the Maritime Provinces and Western Canada, and resulted in a Free Church in Nova Scotia, which, in 1860, united with the Presbyterian Synod of Nova Scotia, to form the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of the Lower Provinces, with eighty-two ministers. In Western Canada, in 1861, the United Presbyterian Synod, of fifty-nine ministers, united with the Synod of the (Free) Presbyterian Church of 129 ministers, to form The Canada Presbyterian Church. In 1866 the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of the Lower Provinces united with the Free Presbyterian Synod of New Brunswick to form the Synod of the Lower Provinces, with 113 ministers. In 1868 the Synods of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick in the Maritime Provinces, in connection with the Church of Scotland, united to form the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of the Maritime Provinces of British North America in connection with the Church of Scotland, composed of thirty-three ministers. These several unions resulted in there being four denominations of Presbyterians in 1870 in Canada, two in the Maritime Provinces, and two in western Canada. Leaders in all sections saw the necessity of union. Congregations were weak through division, and barely able to support their pastors. Negotiations were opened in 1870, and a union was effected in 1875, and The Presbyterian Church in Canada was formed with 627 ministers, 706 congregations, 88,228 members, 176 missionaries in the home field and 16 in the foreign, with a revenue of nearly one million dollars for all purposes. Only a few ministers and congregations then refused to enter, and one by one they, too, have come in, till at the present time those still holding aloof can almost be counted on the fingers of one hand.
(§ 4). Church Agencies. Since the union of 1875 the problem of keeping pace with the immigrants coming into the country has become yearly more difficult. For the past two or three years Canada has added about four per cent annually to her population by immigration. To give Gospel ordinances to these newcomers, so that no section of the country shall be left spiritually desert, has taxed the energies of all denominations of Christians. The Presbyterian Church, striving to help all who have called, finds its task complicated by the large foreign element appealing for public-school teachers as well as missionaries. The work of home missions may be considered in three sections: (1) Home missions proper are carried on by two committees, one for the Maritime Provinces, and one for western Canada. In the two sections 668 missionaries are employed, of whom 205 are ordained. The others are students preparing for the ministry, or catechists. They minister to 1,787 mission stations. The amount expended for this work during 1908 was about $210,000. All the colleges have missionary societies which furnish men and money to aid in home-mission work. (2) Augmentation: This scheme has for its object the granting of aid in settled congregations to make the minister's salary at least $800 and a manse. This required, in 1908, nearly $50,000 to supplement the salaries of 204 ministers. A separate committee has this work in charge. (3) French evangelization: The Presbyterian Church has always taken a deep interest in assisting the small numbers of its people scattered among the Roman Catholic population in Quebec, and in keeping up an aggressive work by means of teachers and colporteurs, scattering literature and copies of the Scriptures among French Canadians. The school at Pointe-aux-Trembles has been a most effective institution in cultivating a liberal, and enlightened spirit among the people. The cost of the French work in 1908 was $42,500, and the work is under the management of a board. In higher education generally Presbyterians have given a percentage of teachers to the country considerably in excess of their numerical strength. In every great educational and university center this church has established a theological college, and has colleges in Halifax, Montreal, Kingston, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. In 1908 there were in these colleges 208 students taking the theological course. The maintenance of the colleges in 1908 cost nearly $40,000. The foreign mission work of the church is in the hands of one committee. Work is carried on in Japan, Korea, China, India, the New Hebrides, West Indies, South America, among the Indians and Chinese of the Northwest, and the Jews. In 1908 the number of missionaries, foreign and native, was 668, at a cost of $236,000. Active Women's Societies give substantial aid to both Home Mission and Foreign Mission Committees of the Church. Aged Ministers and Ministers' Widows' and Orphans' Funds are maintained which give annuities to aged ministers according to length of service, $400 being the limit of annuity, and to widows an annuity of $150, with an allowance for each child under eighteen. The church reported for 1908 1,690 ministers, 9,167 elders, 2,192 congregations, 1,787 mission stations, 269,688 communicants, and 210,248 Sabbath-school scholars. During the same year it paid for stipends, $1,344,648; for missions, $690,000; by women's societies, $142,250; for all purposes, $3,747,480.
- In 1899 the Presbyterian Church undertook to raise a special thank-offering to commemorate the close of a century of blessing. The amount aimed at was $1,000,000. $600,000 was to be given for the missionary, educational, and benevolent work of the church, and the balance was to be used locally in the removal of debt from church or manse. The amount for the schemes of the church was raised, and the debt fund far exceeded $1,000,000 instead of $400,000. An interesting movement has been going on since 1903 with the view of forming a union between the Methodist, Congregational, and Presbyterian Churches of the Dominion. The joint committee has concluded its work, and the basis formulated has been sent down by the three negotiating bodies (1910), to be considered and voted on by the people.
- JOHN SOMERVILLE.
- IX. In Other Lands: In addition to the organizations in the countries named above, numerous bodies of Presbyterians organized or unorganized are found in many other countries. Thus in the West India Islands, Jamaica has not only a native Presbyterian church with a communicant membership of 13,000 persons, but there are also three other congregations with a membership largely white, and connected with the Church of Scotland. The same church has a presbytery in British Guiana with about a dozen congregations, while on many of the islands there are separate self-supporting congregations. On Trinidad there is another large Presbyterian community of 1,000 native and Hindu Christians. Mission work has been extensively carried on in South America, and in addition to isolated congregations, in almost every large town on its eastern and western sea coast, there are large organizations in Brazil, 10,000 members; Mexico, 5,000 members, with many more in Argentina, and elsewhere under the supervision of American and European ministers. In lands distinctively nonChristian, there are many native churches, the fruit of the labors of Presbyterian missionaries, as well as single congregations in large towns, for European and American residents or visitors, ministered to, as a rule, by Presbyterian ministers from Great Britain. In Japan (q.v.) the native "Church of Christ," which is Presbyterian, has a communicant membership of 18,000, that of Korea (q.v.) has already more than 30,000, the number in China (q.v.) is not easily ascertained, but may be estimated at 60,000, including Manchuria and Formosa; in India (q.v.) the Presbyterian Church reports 15,000 communicant members, with as many more in the South India Church, exclusive of the Presbyterian chaplaincies and separate congregations with European and American membership in almost every important city in the great peninsula. There is an organized Presbyterian church in Persia (q.v.), consisting of seceders from the native Syrian church, but altogether self-governing and self-supporting. In Egypt (q.v.) there is the Synod of the Nile, whose membership, drawn mainly from the Coptic population, is large. Along the Syrian coast and that of Asia Minor there are energetic Presbyterian missions with congregations at Beirut, Latakia, Alexandretta, Aleppo, Antioch, Tarsus, Adana, Messina, Cyprus, and elsewhere (see SYRIA), so that from a survey of the Presbyterian churches of the world, it appears that about one hundred millions of persons, young and old, should be assigned to the Presbyterian branch of the Christian Church.
- G. D. MATHEWS.
X. Presbyterian Church Polity.--l. Doctrine: It is necessary to bear in mind in considering the Presbyterian polity that the word "Presbyterian," while at one time designating the adherent of a particular form of church government, has come to have a doctrinal as well as an ecclesiastical significance. The churches holding to the Presbyterian polity have developed in the course of their history such a natural relation to one great type of Christian doctrine that the words Calvinistic and Presbyterian are to a large extent synonymous. It is, therefore, proper to use the phrase "Presbyterian system" as designating the doctrinal, ethical, governmental and liturgical principles and regulations of the Presbyterian churches. The controlling idea of the Presbyterian system of thought, both theoretically and practically, is the doctrine of the divine sovereignty. By this sovereignty is meant the absolute control of the universe in all that it contains, whether visible or invisible things, by the one supreme, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God for wise, just, holy, and loving ends, known fully alone to himself. This divine sovereignty finds practical expression in the Presbyterian system, through its organizing principle, the sovereignty of the word of God as the supreme and infallible rule of faith and practise. The Presbyterian system accepts and incorporates, as a perpetually binding obligation, only those principles and regulations which can be proved to be of Scriptural origin and warrant. It may be maintained that while in other churches than the Presbyterian, the sovereignty of God and the sovereignty of his word are recognized, it is only in those churches which adhere closely to the Presbyterian system that the logical outcome in faith, government, and worship of these two great truths, finds definite, general, and vital expression.
2. Polity: (§ 1). Scriptural Basis. The Presbyterian polity, it is maintained, finds clear warrant in the Holy Scriptures. Divine in its origin, one of its chief lesser sources was the Jewish ecclesiastical system of the time of Christ, excluding the priestly element. In that system the people were associated together in synagogues or congregations for worship and godly living, and were governed by bodies of men called elders (Acts xiii. 15). In each congregation also, there was an officer known as the chief ruler of the synagogue, who was the president of the elders, and instruction was given either by the "legate" of the synagogue or by the doctors of the law (see SYNAGOGUE). The elders also constituted the bodies called the local sanhedrins, which exercised judicial functions within limited districts; while the control of the affairs of the Church-State as a whole was vested in a council composed of priests, elders, and scribes, designated as the Great Sanhedrin. Under this Jewish system our Lord lived. One of the first acts of his ministry was performed in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke iv.16), and the authority of the synagogue was recognized by him (Matt. xviii. 17) in the command "Tell it unto the church." The general features of the Jewish system were, it is believed, adopted by the primitive Christian Church, modified in matters of detail by apostolic authority. The elders of the synagogue became the elders of the Christian congregation (Acts xiv. 23); the chief ruler of the synagogue was probably reproduced in the episcopos or parochial bishop; the local sanhedrin was modified and established as the presbytery; and the Great Sanhedrin was the prototype of synods, general assemblies, and councils. The Presbyterian polity, also, finds divine warrant in and gives clear expression to the main principles of ecclesiastical polity set forth in the New Testament. These principles are: (1) The supreme headship of Jesus Christ, as both man and God, involving submission to his law, contained in the Christian Scriptures, as the only rule of faith and practise. (2) The parity of the ministry as ambassadors or representatives of the Supreme Divine Head of the Church. (3) Participation by the people, as members of the household of God, in the government of the Church, through officers chosen by them. (4) The unity of the Church, involving an authoritative control not by individuals, but by representative courts. (5) The right of private judgment in all matters of religion, subject only to the lordship of God over the conscience.
(§ 2). Government. These principles were essential factors in the government of the New Testament Church, and as applied in Presbyterian government result in views of the Church, her officers, and judicatories as follows:
(1) Of the Church: There is an invisible and there is a visible Church. "The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof." "The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation as before under the law), consists of all those persons in every nation, together with their children, who make profession of the holy religion of Christ, and of submission to his laws" (Westminster Confession, Chap. xxv.). The name "catholic" or "universal" is therefore the exclusive property of no one communion or denomination, and all churches holding to the fundamentals of the Christian religion are churches of Christ.
(2) Of Church Power: The power of the Church is simply ministerial, declarative, and spiritual. It is ministerial, in that the Church exercises power only by Christ's authority. It is declarative, in that the Church is limited to the interpretation of principles and laws already contained in the word of God. The Church can neither add to nor take away from this divine law. It is spiritual, in that the Church is to be concerned alone with ecclesiastical affairs. The Church is not to exercise power in or over the state, neither is the State to usurp authority in or over the Church.
(3) Of the Particular Church: The immense multitude of those persons in every nation who make profession of the Christian religion can not meet together in one place, and therefore, "it is reasonable and warranted by Scripture example that they should be divided into many particular churches." Presbyterians hold that without reference to the form of government, "a number of professing Christians, with their offspring, voluntarily associated together, for divine worship and godly living, agreeably to the Holy Scriptures," are a particular church. Every Christian congregation has inherent rights for which it is not dependent upon any alleged superior authority, except as it voluntarily submits to a certain form of government. The only source of authority is Jesus Christ, the great head of the Church.
(4) Of the Officers of the Church: (a) The Ministry: There is but one order in the ministry, and all ministers are peers each of the other. Denying an apostolical succession of diocesan bishops with authority over ministers, Presbyterians affirm an apostolic succession of apostolic men who have been specially set apart "to prayer and to the ministry of the Word," and who are ordained to their office by ministers alone (Acts vi. 4; II Tim. ii. 2). The distinctive mark of a true minister is not Apostolic Succession (q.v.; also see SUCCESSION, APOSTOLIC) in any sense, but the call of God to the work of preaching a pure Gospel. Further, the diocese of the New Testament bishop was limited to his parish, and every pastor is, therefore, at once both preacher and parochial bishop. "Pastors, not prelates" such are Presbyterian ministers. (b) The Eldership: The New-Testament presbyter was a ruler in the local congregation, and was chosen to office by the people (Acts xiv. 23). In each congregation a number of elders were associated together as a court of control, and exercised authority, not as individuals, but as an organized body (Acts xx. 17-28). Every Presbyterian congregation is, therefore, governed by a session composed of elders elected by the people, ordained by ministers, and presided over by the bishop or pastor of the congregation. See PRESBYTER. (c) The Diaconate: This office, in its origin, was a provision for the distribution of the benevolence of the Apostolic Church (Acts vi. 1-4; see DEACON, I.). Presbyterian deacons, therefore, are officers charged with the care of the poor, and also may be entrusted with the temporalities of the congregations. They are chosen by the people, and ordained by ministers. In most Presbyterian churches to-day, temporalities are in charge of secular officers known as trustees..
(5) Of Church Membership: The terms of admission to the communion of the visible church are the same as the terms or conditions of salvation revealed in the Holy Scriptures, viz., belief in one God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the divine and all-sufficient savior, involving acceptance of the Bible as the only infallible rule of faith and practise, and the declaration of a sincere purpose to lead a life acceptable to God in Jesus Christ. The Christian churches have no right either to add to or to take from these terms or conditions, and all who have accepted them are brethren in Christ. Church-members, as to their conduct, are under the control of the Church through the pastors and elders as guides in the Christian life, and subject to discipline by the session for offenses (Matt. xviii. 17), provided, however, that every member deeming himself injured by the action of a session may appeal or complain to a higher court.
(6) Of Church Courts: The distinguishing feature of Presbyterian government is the church court, the government of representative bodies, and not of individuals. Indeed it derives its distinctive name as a church polity from the "presbytery" of the New Testament, an organization including both ministers and elders. The governing bodies of the particular churches are known as sessions, consisting each of a pastor and a number of elders, elected by the people, and forming the first of the church courts. Fully organized denominational churches have higher or superior courts, known as presbyteries, synods, and general assemblies, through which the four great principles of ecclesiastical polity above mentioned find full expression. A presbytery is a church court exercising authority, legislative, executive, and judicial, over a number of congregations within a limited geographical area, and is composed of all the ministers within said area, with the addition of an elder from each congregation. The presbytery thus exhibits the unity of the church in a visible and tangible form; emphasizes the parity of the ministry, by concentrating the supervisory authority in all its ministerial members; sets forth the rights of the people by the presence of elders as their representatives, ruling conjointly with ministers; and exalts the headship of Christ by magnifying his law as the sole rule of procedure, and the interests of his kingdom as the sole sphere of Christian activity. Synods and general assemblies are but larger presbyteries, necessitated by the extent and numbers of any given denomination, and emphasizing, in a yet more marked manner, the unity of the church. The constitutions of denominational Presbyterian churches provide for a general system of supervision by higher over lower courts in administrative and judicial matters, the power of final decision being vested in the general assembly. The scriptural warrant for the presbytery is found in such passages as I Tim. iv. 14, and for the synod and general assembly in Acts xv. 22-24, and xvi. 14. To this system of government was added, in 1875, the General Council of the "Alliance of the Reformed Churches throughout the World holding the Presbyterian System," which though a merely advisory body, yet recognizes the unity of the universal Christian Church through its world-wide constituency.
3. Worship: Presbyterian worship is in part a matter of polity. It is based as to its character on the facts that a human priesthood is unknown to the New Testament, and that the only priest of the new dispensation is the Lord Jesus Christ. Ministers are not priests, but preachers. Sacerdotalism, therefore, whether in connection with the sacraments, or enforced liturgies, or priestly vestments, has no place in the worship of the Presbyterian churches. The sacraments are simply ordinances, wherein by sensible signs Christ and his benefits "are represented, sealed, and applied to believers." Prayer is the free intercourse of the soul with God, and ought not to be hindered by such human devices as compulsory prayer-books. Ministers are not mediators between God and man, possessed of a delegated divine authority to forgive sins, but simply leaders of the people in all that constitutes the worship of and fellowship with the triune God. True worshipers worship the Father neither in Samaria nor in Jerusalem, but in spirit and in truth.
- By its doctrine the Presbyterian system honors the divine sovereignty without denying human responsibility; by its polity it exalts the headship of Christ while giving full development to the activities of the Christian people; and in its worship it magnifies God while it brings blessing to man, by insisting upon the right of free access on the part of every soul to him whose grace can not be fettered in its ministrations by any human ordinances whatsoever.
- W. H. ROBERTS.