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the Freewill Baptists with the “ Christians," who were led by the Presbyterian Church of England, the Free Episcopal Churches, Elias Smith (1769-1846) and had been bitterly opposed by the Society of Friends, and such other Evangelical Churches as Randall, was nearly successful. Between 1820 and 1830 the the National Council may at any time admit. The constitution denomination made considerable progress, especially in New states the following as the objects of the National Council: (a) England and the Middle West. The Freewill Baptists were To facilitate fraternal intercourse and co-operation among the joined in 1841 by many “open-communion Baptists"-those Evangelical Free Churches; (b) to assist in the organization of in the Carolinas who did not join the larger body distinguishing local councils; (c) to encourage devotional fellowship and mutual themselves by the name of Original Freewill Baptists-and soon counsel concerning the spiritual life and religious activities of the afterwards by some of the General Baptists of North Carolina and Churches; (d) to advocate the New Testament doctrine of the some of the Six Principle Baptists of Rhode Island (who had Church, and to defend the rights of the associated Churches; added the “ laying on of hands” to the Five Principles hitherto (e) to promote the application of the law of Christ in every held); and the abbreviation of the denominational name to relation of human life. Although the objects of the Free Church “ Free Baptists suggests their liberal policy-indeed open councils are thus in their nature and spirit religious rather than communion is the main if not the only hindrance to union with political, there are occasions on which action is taken on great the "regular" Baptist Church.
national affairs. Thus a thorough-going opposition was offered Colleges founded by the denomination, all co-educational, are: to the Education Act of 1902, and whole-hearted support accorded Hillsdale College, opened at Spring Harbor as Michigan Central to candidates at the general election of 1906 who pledged themCollege in 1844, and established at Hillsdale, Michigan, in 1855; selves to altering that measure. Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, 1863, now non-sectarian; Rio A striking feature of the movement is the adoption of the Grande College, Rio Grande, Ohio, 1876; and Parker College, parochial system for the purpose of local work. Each of the Winnebago City, Minnesota, opened in 1888. At the close of associated churches is requested to look after a parish, not of 1909 there were 1294 ministers, 1303 churches, and 73,536 course with any attempt to exclude other churches, but as having members of the denomination in the United States. The Morn- a special responsibility for those in that area who are not already ing Star of Boston, established in 1826, is the most prominent connected with some existing church. Throughout the United journal published by the church. In British North America, Kingdom local councils are formed into federations, some fifty according to a Canadian census bulletin of 1902, there were, in in number, which are intermediate between them and the 1901, 24,229 Free Baptists, of whom 15,502 were inhabitants of national council. The local councils do what is possible to prevent New Brunswick, 8355 of Nova Scotia, 246 of Ontario, and 87 overlapping and excessive competition between the churches. of Quebec. The United Societies of Free Baptist Young People, They also combine the forces of the local churches for evangelistic an international organization founded in 1888, had in 1907 about and general devotional work, open-air services, efforts on behalf 15,000 members. At the close of 1907 the “ Original Freewill of Sunday observance, and the prevention of gambling. Services Baptists” had 120 ministers, 167 churches, and 12,000 members, are arranged in connexion with workhouses, hospitals and other practically all in the Catolinas.
public institutions. Social work of a varied character forms a See 1. D. Stewart, History of the Free Will Baptists (Dover, N. H., large part of the operations of the local councils, and the Free 1862) for 1780-1830, and his edition of the Minutes of the General Church Girls' Guild has a function similar to that of the Anglican Conference of the Free Will Baptist Connection (Boston, 1887); James Girls' Friendly Society. The national council cngages in mission B. Taylor, The Centennial Record of the Free Will Baptists (Dover, 1881): John Buzzell, Memoir of Elder Benjamin Randall (Parson work on a large scale, and a considerable number of periodicals, field, Maine, 1827), and P. Richardson, Randall and the Free hymn-books for special occasions, and works of different kinds Will Baptists," in The Christian Review, vol. xxiii. (Baltimore, 1858). explaining the history and ideals of the Evangelical Free
FREEBENCH, in English law; the interest which a widow has Churches have been published. The churches represented in the copyhold lands of her husband, corresponding to dower in the National Council have 9966 ministers, 55,828 local in the case of freeholds. It depends upon the custom of the preachers, 407,991 Sunday-school teachers, 3,416,377 Sunday manor, but as a general rule the widow takes a third for her life scholars, 2,178,221 communicants, and sitting accommodation of the lands of which her husband dies seised, but it may be an for 8,555,460. estate greater or less than a third. If the husband surrenders A remarkable manifestation of this unprecedented reunion his copyhold and the surrenderee is admitted, or if he contracts was the fact that a committee of the associated churches prepared for a sale, it will defeat the widow's freebench. As freebench is and published a catechism expressing the positive and fundaregarded as a continuation of the husband's estate, the widow mental agreement of all the Evangelical Free Churches on the does not (except by special custom) require to be admitted. essential doctrines of Christianity (see The Contemporary Review,
FREE CHURCH FEDERATION, a voluntary association of January 1899). The catechism represents substantially the creed British Nonconformist churches for co-operation in religious, of not less than 80,000,000 Protestants. It has been widely social and civil work. It was the outcome of a unifying tendency circulated throughout Great Britain, the British Colonies and displayed during the latter part of the 19th century. About the United States of America, and has also been translated into 1890 the proposal that there should be a Nonconformist Church Welsh, French and Italian. Congress,analogous to the Anglican Church Congresswasseriously The movement has spread to all parts of Australia, New considered, and the first was held in Manchester on the 7th of Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, the United States of America and November 1892. In the following year it was resolved that the India. It is perhaps nccessary to add that it differs essentially basis of representation should be neither personal (as in the from the Evangelical Alliance, inasmuch as its unit is not an Anglican Church Congress) nor denominational, but territorial, individual, private Christian, but a definitely organized and England and Wales have since been completely covered with a visible Church. The essential doctrine of the movement is a network of local councils, each of which elects its due proportion particular doctrine of churchmanship which, as explained in of representatives to the national gathering. This territorial the catechism, regards the Lord Jesus Christ as the sole and arrangement eliminated all sectarian distinctions, and also the Divine Head of every branch of the Holy Catholic Church possibility of committing the different churches as such to any throughout the world. For this reason those who do not accept particular policy. The representatives of the local councils the deity of Christ are necessarily excluded from the national attend not as denominationalists but as Evangelical Free council and its local constituent councils. Churchmen. The name of the organization was changed from FREE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, a Protestant episcopal church Congress to National Council as soon as the assembly ceased to essentially one with the established church of England, but be a fortuitous concourse of atoms, and consisted of duly free to go into any parish, to use a revised edition of the Book appointed representatives from the local councils of every part of Common Prayer, to associate the laity with the clergy in the of England. The local councils consist of representatives of the government and work of the church, and to hold communion with Congregational and Baptist Churches, the Methodist Churches, Christians of other denominations.” It was founded in 1844
in opposition to the Tractarian movement, and embodies the energy and vigour, began in 1638. The proceedings of the distinctively evangelical elements of the Reformation. It pre-. Assembly of that year, afterwards tardily and reluctantly serves and maintains to the letter all that is Protestant and acquiesced in by the state, finally issued in the acts of parliament evangelical in the liturgy and services of the Anglican church, of 1649, by which the Westminster standards were ratified, while its free constitution and revised formularies meet the needs lay-patronage was abolished, and the coronation oath itself of members of that communion who resent sacerdotal and framed in accordance with the principles of Presbyterian church ritualistic tendencies. There are two dioceses (northern and government. Another period of intense reaction soon set in. southern) each with a bishop, about 30 churches and ministers, No Assemblies were permitted by Cromwell after 1653; and, and about 1300 members.
soon after the Restoration, Presbytery was temporarily overFREE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND. In one sense the free thrown by a series of rescissory acts. Nor was the Revolution Church of Scotland dated its existence from the Disruption of Settlement of 1090 so entirely favourable to the freedom of the 1843, in another it claimed to be the rightful representative of church as the legislation of 1649 had been. Prelacy was abolished, the National Church of Scotland (see SCOTLAND, CHURCH OF) and various obnoxious statutes were repealed, but the acts as it was reformed in 1560.4 In the ecclesiastical history of rescissory were not cancelled; presbyterianism was re-estab: Scotland the Free Churchman sees three great reforming periods. lished, but the statutory recognition of the Confession of Faith In his view these deserve to be called reforming on many took no notice of certain qualifications under which that docu. accounts, but most especially because in them the independence ment had originally been approved by the Assembly of 1647;' of the church, her inherent scriptural right to exercise a spiritual the old rights of patrons were again discontinued, but the large jurisdiction in which she is responsible to her Divine Head alone, powers which had been conferred on congregations by the act of was both earnestly asserted and practically maintained. The 1649 were not wholly restored. Nevertheless the great principle first reformation extended from 1500, when the church freely of a distinct ecclesiastical jurisdiction, embodied in the Conheld her first General Assembly, and of her own authority acted fession of Faith, was accepted without reservation, and a Presbyon the First Book of Discipline, to 1592, when her Presbyterian urian polity effectively confirmed both then and at the ratifica. order was finally and fully ratified by the parliament. The second Lion of the treaty of Union. This settlement, however, did not period began in 1638, when, after 20 years of suspended anima- long subsist unimpaired. In 1712 the act of Queen Anne, restor. tion, the Assembly once more shook off Episcopacy, and termin- ing patronage to its ancient footing, was passed in spite of the ated in 1649, when the parliament of Scotland confirmed the carnest remonstrances of the Scottish people. For many years church in her liberties in a larger and ampler sense than before. afterwards (until 1784) the Assembly continued to instruct each The third period began in 1834, when the Assembly made use succeeding commission to make application to the king and the of what the church believed to be her rights in passing the Veto parliament for redress of the grievance. But meanwhile a new and Chapel Acts, It culminated in the Disruption of 1843. phase of Scottish ecclesiastical politics commonly known as
The fact that the Church, as led first by John Knox and after- Moderatism had been inaugurated, during the prevalence of wards by Andrew Melville, claimed an inherent right to exercise which the church became even more indifferent than the lay a spiritual jurisdiction is notorious. More apt to be overlooked patrons themselves to the rights of her congregations with regard is the comparative freedom with which that right was actually io the “calling ” of ministers. From the Free Church point of used by the church irrespective of state recognition. That recog- view, the period from which the secessions under Ebenezer nition was not given until after the queen's resignation in 1567;? Erskine and Thomas Gillespie are dated was also characterized but, for several years before it came, the church had been holding by numerous other abuses on the Church's part which amounted her Assemblies and settling all questions of discipline, worship, to a practical surrender of the most important and distinctive and administration as they arose, in accordance with the first principles of her ancient Presbyterian polity. Towards the book of polity or discipline which had been drawn up in 1560. beginning of the present century there were many circumstances, Further, in 1581 she, of her own motion, adopted a second book both within and without the church, which conspired to bring of a similar character, in which she expressly claimed an inde about an evangelical and popular reaction against this reign of pendent and exclusive jurisdiction or power in all matters “ Moderatism." The result was a protracted struggle, which is ecclesiastical,“ which flows directly from God and the Mediator commonly referred to as the Ten Years' Conflict, and which has Jesus Christ, and is spiritual, not having a temporal head on carth, been aptly described as the last battle in the long war which for but only Christ, the only king and governor of his church"; nearly 300 years had been waged within the church itself, between and this claim, though directly negatived in 1584 by the “Black | the friends and the foes of the doctrine of an exclusive ecclesiActs," which included an Act of Supremacy over estates spiritual astical jurisdiction. That final struggle may be said to have and temporal, continued to be asserted by the Assemblies, begun with the passing in 1834 of the “ Veto " Act, by which it until at last it also was practic allowed in the act of 1592. was declared to be a fundamental law of the church that 110 pastor This legislation of 1592, however, did not long remain in force, should be intruded on a congregation contrary to the will of the An act of parliament in 1606, which “reponed, restored and people, and by which it was provided that the simple dissent reintegrated” the estate of bishops to their ancient dignities, of a majority of heads of families in a parish should be enough to prerogatives and privileges, was followed by several acts of warrant a presbytery in rejecting a presentee. The question of various subservient assemblies, which, culminating in that of the legality of this measure soon came to be tried in the civil 1618, practically amounted to a complete surrender of jurisdiction courts; and it was ultimately answered in a sense unfavourable by the church itself. For twenty years no Assemblies whatever to the church by the decision (1838) of the court of session in were held. This interval must necessarily be regarded from the the Auchterarder case, to the effect that a presbytery had no right Presbyterian point of view as having been one of very deep to reject a presentee simply because the parishioners protested depression. But a second reformation, characterized by great against his settlement, but was bound to disregard the veto (see
1" It is her being free, not her being established, that constitutes CHALMERS, THOMAS). This decision elicited from the Assembly the real historical and hereditary identity of the Reformed National • The most important of these had reference to the full right of a Church of Scotland." See Act and Declaration, &c., of Free Assembly, constituted church to the enjoyment of an absolutely unrestricted 1851,
freedom in convening Assemblies. This very point on one occasion * In the act Anent the true and holy Kirk, and of those that arc at least threatened to be the cause of serious misunderstandings declared not to be of the same. This act was supplemented by that of between William and the people of Scotland. The difficulties were 1579. Anent the Jurisdiction of the Kirk.
happily smoothed, however, by the wisdom and tact of William The Second Book of Discipline was not formally recognized in Carstares. that act; but all former acts against the jurisdiction and dis See Act and Declaration of Free Assembly, 1851. cipline of the true Kirk as the same is used and exercised within the • This principle had been asserted even by an Assembly so late as
were abolished; and all liberties, privileges, immunities that of 1736, and had been invariably presupposed in the call." and freedoms whatsoever " previously granted were ratified and which had never ceased to be regarded as an indispensable pre. approved.
requisite for the settlement of A minister.
of that year a new declaration of the doctrine of the spiritual evangelical party had been further hampered by the decision of independence of the church. The "exclusive jurisdiction of the court of session declaring the ministers of chapels of ease to the civil courts in regard to the civil rights and emoluments be unqualified to sit in any church court. A final appeal to secured by law to the church and the ministers thereof” was parliament by petition was made in March 1843, when, by a acknowledged without qualification; and continued implicit majority of 135 (211 against 76), the House of Commons declined obedience to their decisions with reference to these rights and to attempt any redress of the grievances of the Scottish Church. emoluments was pledged. At the same time it was insisted on At the first session of the following General Assembly (18th May “that, as is declared in the Confession of Faith of this National 1843) the reply of the non-intrusion party was made in a protest, Established Church, 'the Lord Jesus Christ, as King and Head signed by upwards of 200 commissioners, to the effect that since, of the church, hath therein appointed a government in the hand in their opinion, the recent decisions of the civil courts, and the of church officers distinct from the civil magistrate '; and that still more recent sanction of these decisions by the legislature, in all matters touching the doctrine, discipline and government had made it impossible at that time to hold a free Assembly of of the church her judicatories possess an exclusive jurisdiction, the church as by law established, they therefore "protest that it founded on the Word of God, which power ecclesiastical” (in shall be lawful for us, and such other commissioners as may the words of the Second Book of Discipline) " flows immediately concur with us, to withdraw to a separate place of meeting, for the from God and the Mediator the Lord Jesus Christ, and is spiritual, purpose of taking steps for ourselves and all who adhere to usnot having a temporal head on earth, but only Christ, the only maintaining with us the Confession of Faith and standards of spiritual King and Governor of His Kirk." And it was resolved the Church of Scotland as heretofore understood for separating to assert, and at all hazards defend, this spiritual jurisdiction, in an orderly way from the Establishment, and thereupon and firmly to enforce obedience to the same upon the office adopting such measures as may be competent to us, in humble bearers and members of the church. The decision of the court dependence on God's grace and the aid of His Holy Spirit, for of session having been confirmed by the House of Lords early in the advancement of His glory, the extension of the gospel of our 1839, it was decided in the Assembly of that year that the Lord and Saviour, and the administration of the affairs of Christ's church, while acquiescing in the loss of the temporalities at house according to His holy word.” The reading of this document Auchterarder, should reaffirm the principle of non-intrusion as was followed by the withdrawal of the entire non-intrusion party an integral part of the constitution of the Reformed Church to another place of meeting, where the first Assembly of the Free of Scotland, and that a committee should be appointed to confer Church was constituted, with Dr Thomas Chalmers as moderator. with the government with a view to the prevention, if possible, This Assembly sat from the 18th to the 30th of May, and transof any further collision between the civil and ecclesiastical acted a large amount of important business. On Tuesday the authorities. While the conference with the government had no 23rd, 3964 ministers and professors publicly adhibited their better result than an unsuccessful attempt at compromise by names to the Act of Separation and deed of demission by which means of Lord Aberdeen's Bill, which embodied the principle they renounced all claim to the benefices they had held in conof a dissent with reasons, still graver complications were arising nexion with the Establishment, declaring them to be vacant, and out of the Marnoch and other cases. In the circumstances it consenting to their being dealt with as such. By this impressive was resolved by the Assembly of 1842 to transmit to the queen, proceeding the signatories voluntarily surrendered an annual by the hands of the lord high commissioner, a “claim, declara- income amounting to fully £100,000. tion, and protest," complaining of the encroachments of the court The first care of the voluntarily disestablished church was to of session, and also an address praying for the abolition of provide incomes for her clergy and places of worship for her patronage. The home secretary's answer (received in January people. As early as 1841 indeed the leading principle of a 1843) gave no hope of redress. Meanwhile the position of the sustentation fund " for the support of the ministry had been
announced by Dr Robert Smith Candlish; and at “ Convocation," 1 According to the Free Church“ Protest " of 1843 it was in these cases decided (1) that the courts of the church were liable to be com
a private unofficial meeting of the members of the evangelical pelled to intrude ministers on reclaiming congregations; (2) that the
or non-intrusion party held in November 1842, Dr Chalmers civil courts had power to interfere with and interdict
the preaching of was prepared with a carefully matured scheme according to which the gospel and administration of ordinances as authorized and en "each congregation should do its part in sustaining the whole, joined by the church; (3) that the civil courts had power to suspend and the whole should sustain each congregation." Between interdict their execution as to spiritual effects, functions and privi- November 1842 and May 1843, 647 associations had been leges; (4) that deposed ministers, and probationers deprived of their formed; and at the first Assembly it was announced that up: licence, could be restored by the mandate of the civil courts to the wards of £17,000 bad already been contributed. At the close of spiritual office and status of which the church courts had deprived the first financial year (1843–1844) it was reported that the fund could determined by the civil courts; (6) that the civil courts had exceeded £61,000. It was participated in by 583 ministers; had power to supersede the majority of a church court of the Estab and 470 drew the full equal dividend of £105. Each successive lishment in regard to the exercise of its spiritual functions as a church year showed a steady increase in the gross amount of the fund; in opposition to the court itself and to the superior judicatories of but owing to an almost equally rapid increase of the number of the church; (7) that processes of ecclesiastical discipline could be new ministerial charges participating in its benefits, the stipend arrested by the civil courts; and (8) that without the sanction of the payable to each minister did not for many years reach the sum of a parish, although such provision left all civil rights and patri- 1845 the fund had risen to £76,180, but the ministers had also civil courts no increased provision could
be made for the spiritual care of £150 which had been aimed at as a minimum. Thus in 1844monial interests untouched."
* The narrative and argument of this elaborate and able document increased to 627, and the equal dividend therefore was only £122. cannot be reproduced here. In substance it is a claim “ as of right" During the first ten years the annual income averaged £84,057 on behalf of the church and of the nation and people of Scotland that during the next decadę £108,643; and during the third £130,246. the church shall freely possess and enjoy her liberties, government. The minimum of £150 was reached at last in 1868; and subscdiscipline, rights and privileges according to law, and that she shall be protected therein from the foresaid unconstitutional and illegal quently the balance remaining after that minimum had been encroachments of the said court of session, and her people secured in provided was treated as a surplus fund, and distributed among their Christian and constitutional rights and liberties. This claim is those ministers whose congregations have contributed at followed by the declaration " that the Assembly cannot intrude ministers on reclaiming congregations, or carry on the government
certain specified rates per member. In 1878 the total amount of Christ's church subject to the coercion of the court of session; and received for this fund was upwards of £177,000; in this 1075 by the protest" that all acts of the parliament of Great Britain ministers participated. The full equal dividend of £157 was passed without the consent of the Scottish church and nation, in paid to 766 ministers; and additional grants of £36 and £18 alteration or derogation of the government, discipline, rights and privileges of the church, as also all sentences of courts in contra • The Scottish members voted with the minority in the proportion vention of said government, discipline, rights and privileges, "are and of 25 to 12. shall be in themselves void and null, and of no legal force or effect." The number ultimately rose to 474.
were paid out of the surplus fund to 632 and 129 ministers and her subjection to Christ as her only Head, which are con respectively.
tained in the Claim of Right and in the Protest referred to in the To provide for the erection of the buildings which, it was questions already put to me "; and also added the words which foreseen, would be necessary, a general building fund, in which are here distinguished by italics,~" And I promise that through all should share alike, was also organized, and local building the grace of God I shall firmly and constantly adhere to the same, funds were as far as possible established in each parish, with the and to the utmost of my power shall in my station assert, result that at the first Assembly a sum of £104,776 was reported maintain, and defend the said doctrine, worship, discipline as already available. By May 1844 a further sum of £123,060 and government of this church by kirk-sessions, presbyteries, had been collected, and 470 churches were reported as completed provincial synods, and general assemblies, together with the or nearly so. In the following year £131,737 was raised and liberty and exclusive jurisdiction thereof; and that I shall, in my 60 additional churches were built. At the end of four years practice, conform myself to the said worship and submit to the considerably more than 700 churches had been provided. said discipline (and) government, and exclusive jurisdiction, and
During the winter session 1843-1844 the divinity students not endeavour directly or indirectly the prejudice or subversion who had joined the Free Church continued their studies under of the same.” In the year 1851 an act and declaration anent the Dr Chalmers and Dr David Welsh (1793-1845); and at the publication of the subordinate standards and other authoritative Assembly of 1844 arrangements were made for the erection of documents of the Free Church of Scotland was passed, in which suitable collegiate buildings. The New College, Edinburgh, the historical fact is recalled that the Church of Scotland had was built in 1847 at a cost of £46,506; and divinity halls were formally consented to adopt the Confession of Faith, catechisms, subsequently set up also in Glasgow and Aberdeen. In 1878 directory of public worship, and form of church government agreed there were 13 professors of thcology, with an aggregate of 230 upon by the Westminster Assembly ; and it is declared that students,-the numbers at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen “these several formularies, as ratified, with certain explanations, respectively being 129, 69 and 32.
by divers Acts of Assembly in the years 1645, 1646, and particụ. A somewhat unforeseen result of the Disruption was the larly in 1647, this church continues till this day to acknowledge necessity for a duplicate system of elementary schools. At as her subordinate standards of doctrine, worship and governthe 1843 Assembly it was for the first time announced by Dr ment."? Welsh that“ schools to a certain extent must be opened to afford In 1858 circumstances arose which, in the opinion of many, a suitable sphere of occupation for parochial and still more for seemed fitted to demonstrate to the Free Church that her freedom private teachers of schools, who are ihreatened with deprivation was an illusion, and that all her sacrifices had been made in vain. of their present office on account of their opinions upon the church John Macmillan, minister of Cardross, accused of immorality, question.” The suggestion was taken up with very great energy, had been tried and found guilty by the Free Presbytery of with the result that in May 1845, 280 schools had been set up, Dumbarton. Appeal having been taken to the synod, an attempt while in May 1847 this number had risen to 513, with an attend was there made to revive one particular charge, of which he had ance of upwards of 44,000 scholars. In 1869 it was stated in an been finally acquitted by the presbytery; and this attempt was authoritative document laid before members of parliament successful in the General Assembly. That ultimate court of that at that time there were connected with and supported by review did not confine itself to the points appealed, but went the Free Church 598 schools (including two normal schools), into the merits of the whole case as it had originally come before with 633 teachers and 64,115 scholars. The school buildings the presbytery. The result was a sentence of suspension. had been erected at a cost of £220,000, of which the committee Macmillan, belicving that the Assembly had acted with some of privy council had contributed £35,000, while the remainder irregularity, applied to the court of session for an interdict had been raised by voluntary effort. Annual payments made against the execution of that sentence; and for this act he was to teachers, &c., as at 1869, amounted to £16,000. In accordance summoned to the bar of the Assembly to say whether or not with certain provisions of the Education Act of 1872 most of the it was the case that he had thus appealed. Having answered schools of the Free Church were voluntarily transferred, without in the affirmative, he was deposed on the spot. Forthwith compensation, to the local school boards. The normal schools he raised a new action (his previous application for an interdict are now transferred to the state.
had been refused) concluding for reduction of the spiritual It has been seen already that during the period of the Ten sentence of deposition and for substantial damages. The Years' Conflict the non-intrusion party strenuously denied defences lodged by the Free Church were to the effect that the that in any one respect it was departing from acknowledged civil courts had no right to review and reduce spiritual sentences, principles of the National Church. It continued to do so after the or to decide whether the General Assembly of the Free Church Disruption. In 1846, however, it was found to have become had acted irregularly or not. Judgments adverse to the defenders necessary, "in consequence of the late change in the outward were delivered on these points; and appeals were taken to the condition of the church,” to amend the “ questions and formula” House of Lords. But before the case could be heard there, to be used at the licensing of probationers and the ordination the lord president took an opportunity in the court of session of office-bearers. These were amended accordingly; and at the to point out to the pursuer that, inasmuch as the particular same time it was declared that," while the church firmly main- General Assembly against which the action was brought had tains the same scriptural principles as to the duties of nations ceased to exist, it could not therefore be made in any circumand their rulers in reference to true religion and the Church of stances to pay damages, and that the action of reduction of the Christ for which she has hitherto contended, she disclaims in- spiritual sentence, being only auxiliary to the claim of damages, tolerant or persecuting principles, and does not regard her ought therefore to be dismissed. He further pointed out that Confession of Faith, or any portion thereof when fairly interpreted, Macmillan might obtain redress in another way, should he be as favouring intolerance or persecution, or consider that her able to prove malice against individuals. Very soon after this office-bearers by subscribing it profess any principles inconsistent deliverance of the lord president, the case as it had stood against with liberty of conscience and the right of private judgment." the Free Church was kithdrawn, and Macmillan gave notice of The main difference between the "formula " of the Free Church an action of a wholly different kind. But this last was not perand that of the Established Church (as at the year 1900) was severed in. The appeals which had been taken to the House of that the former referred to the Confession of Falth simply as Lords 'were, in these circumstances, also departed from by
approven by General Assemblies of this Church," while the the Free Church. The case did not advance sufficiently to show latter described it as “ approven by the General Assemblies of this National Church, and ratified by law in the year 1690, and fre By this formal recognition of the qualifications to the Confession quently confirmed by divers Acts of Parliament since that time." of Faith
made in 1647 the scruples of the majority of the
Associate The former inserted an additional clause, --" I also approve of with a considerable number of their people, joined the Free Church the general principles respecting the jurisdiction of the church, I in the following year.
how far the courts of law would be prepared to go in the direction | New College, Edinburgh) to the bar of the Assembly for unsound of recognizing voluntary tribunals and a kind of secondary teaching or writing; but in every case these were abortive, exclusive jurisdiction founded on contract. But, whether the Assembly never taking any step beyond warning the accused recognized or not, the church for her part continued to believe that their primary duty was to teach and defend the church's that she had an inherent spiritual jurisdiction, and remained faith as embodied in the confession. In 1892 the Free Church, unmoved in her determination to act in accordance with that following the example of the United Presbyterian Church and resolution “notwithstanding of whatsoever trouble or persecu- the Church of Scotland (1889), passed a Declaratory Act relaxing tion may arise.” 2
the stringency of subscription to the confession, with the result In 1863 a motion was made and unanimously carried in the that a small number of ministers and congregations, mostly in the Free Church Assembly for the appointment of a committee to Highlands, severed their connexion with the church and formed confer with a corresponding committee of the United Presby- the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, on strictly and terian Synod, and with the representatives of such other dis- straitly orthodox lines. In 1907 this body had twenty congregaestablished churches as might be willing to meet and deliberate tions and twelve ministers. with a view to an incorporating union. Formal negotiations The Free Church always regarded herself as a National Church, between the representatives of these two churches were begun and during this period she sought actively to be true to that shortly afterwards, which resulted in a report laid before the character by providing church ordinances for the increasing following Assembly. From this document it appeared that the population of Scotland and applying herself to the new problems committees of the two churches were not at one on the question of non-church-going, and of the changing habits of the people. as to the relation of the civil magistrate to the church. While on Her Assembly's committee on religion and morals worked the part of the Free Church it was maintained that he “may toward the same ends as the similar organization of the Establawfully acknowledge, as being in accordance with the Word of lished Church, and in her, as in the other churches, the standard God, the creed and jurisdiction of the church," and that “it is of parochial and congregational activity was raised and new his duty, when necessary and expedient, to employ the national methods of operation devised. She passed legislation on the resources in aid of the church, provided always that in doing so, difficult problem of ridding the church of inefficient ministers, while reserving to himself fult control over the temporalities The use of instrumental music was sanctioned in Free Churches which are his own gift, he abstain from all authoritative inter- during this period. An association was formed in 1891 to proference in the internal government of the church," it was declared mote the ends of edification, order and reverence in the public by the committee of the United Presbyterian Church that, services of the church, and published in 1898 A New Direclory "inasmuch as the civil magistrate has no authority in spiritual for Public Worship which does not provide set forms of prayer, things, and as the employment of force in such matters is opposed but directions as to the matter of prayer in the various services. to the spirit and precepts of Christianity, it is not within his The Free Church took a large share in the study of hymnology province to legislate as to what is true in religion, to prescribe and church music, which led to the production of The Churck a creed or form of worship to his subjects, or to endow the church Hymnary. From 1885 to 1895 much of the energy of all the Presbyfrom national resources.” In other words, while the Free Church terian churches was absorbed by the disestablishment agitation. maintained that in certain circumstances it was lawful and even in the former year the Free Church, having almost entirely incumbent on the magistrate to endow the church and on the shed the establishment principle on which it was founded, began church to accept his endowment, the United Presbyterians main- to rival the United Presbyterian Church in its resolutions calling tained that in no case was this lawful either for the one party or for for the disestablishment of the Church of Scotland. In spite of the other. Thus in a very short time it had been made perfectly the offers of the Establishment Assembly to confer with the evident that a union between the two bodies, if accomplished dissenting churches about union, the assaults upon its status at all, could only be brought about on the understanding that waxed in vigour, till in 1893 the Free Church hailed the result of the question as to the lawfulness of state endowments should the general election as a verdict of the constituencies in favour be an open one. The Free Church Assembly, by increasing of disestablishment, and insisted upon the government of the day majorities, manifested a readiness for union, even although taking up Sir Charles Cameron's bill. unanimity had not been attained on that theoretical point. During the last four or five years of the century the Free and But there was a minority which did not sympathize in this United Presbyterian churches, which after the failure of their readiness, and after ten years of fruitless effort it was in 1873 union negotiations in 1873 had been connected together by a found to be expedient that the idea of union with the United Mutual Eligibility Act enabling a congregation of one church Presbyterians should for the time be abandoned. Other negotia- to call a minister from the other, devoted their energy to the tions, however, which had been entered upon with the Reformed arrangement of an incorporating union. The Synod of the Presbyterian Church at a somewhat later date proved more United Presbyterian Church resolved in 1896 to “take steps successful; and a majority of the ministers of that church with towards union," and in the following year the Free Assembly their congregations were united with the Free Church in 1876. responded by appointing a committee to conser with a committee
(J. S. BL.) of the other church. The joint committee discovered a "remarkIn the last quarter of the 19th century the Free Church con- able and happy agreement” between the doctrinal standards, tinued to be the most active, theologically, of the Scottish rules and methods of the two bodies, and with very little conChurches. The College chairs were almost uniformly filled by cessions on either side a common constitution and common advanced critics or theologians, inspired more or less by Professor 'questions and formula” for the admission of ministers and A. B. Davidson. Dr A. B. Bruce, author of The Training of the office-bearers were arranged. A minority, always growing Twelve, &c., was appointed to the chair of apologetics and New smaller, of the Free Church Assembly, protested against the pro, Testament exegesis in the Glasgow College in 1875; Henry posed union, and threatened if it were carried through to test Drummond (author of Natural Law in the Spiritual World, &c.) its legality in the courts. To meet this opposition, the suggestion was made lecturer in natural science in the same college in 1877 is understood to have been made that an act of parliament and became professor in 1884; and Dr George Adam Smith should be applied for to legalize the union; but this was not done, (author of The Twelve Prophels, &c.) was called to the Hebrew and the union was carried through on the understanding that chair in 1892. Attempts were made between 1890 and 1895 to the question of the lawsulness of church establishments should bring all these professors cxcept Davidson (similar attacks be an open one. were also made on Dr Marcus Dods, afterwards principal of the The supreme courts of the churches met for the last time in 1 See Taylor Innes, Law of Creeds in Scotland, p. 258 seq.
their respective places of meeting on the 30th of October 1900, The language of Dr Buchanan, for example, in 1860 was (mutatis and on the following day the joint meeting took place at mulandis) the same as that which he had employed in 1838 in moving which the union was completed, and the United Free Church the Independence resolution already referred to.
of Scotland (9.0.) entered on its career. The protesting and