In episcopacy the supreme authority is a diocesan bishop; in congregationalism it is the members of the congregation assembled in church meeting; in Presbyterianism it is a church council composed of representative presbyters.
In episcopacy the control of church affairs is almost entirely withdrawn from the people; in congregationalism it is almost entirely exercised by the people; in Presbyterianism it rests with a council composed of duly appointed office-bearers chosen by the people.
The ecclesiastical unit in episcopacy is a diocese, comprising many churches and ruled by a prelate; in congregationalism it is a single church, self-governed and entirely independent of all others; in Presbyterianism it is a presbytery or council composed of ministers and elders representing all the churches within a specified district.
It may be said broadly, therefore, that in .episcopacy the government is monarchical; in congregationalism, democratic; and in Presbyterianism, aristocratic or representative.
But, in contrast with Congregationalism, when they elect and "call" a minister their action has to be sustained by the presbytery, which judges of his fitness for that particular sphere, of the measure of the congregation's unanimity, and of the adequacy of financial support.
Episcopatus, the office of a bishop, episcopus), the general term technically applied to that system of church organization in which the chief ecclesiastical authority within a defined district, or diocese, is vested in a bishop. As such it is distinguished on the one hand from Presbyterianism, government by elders, and Congregationalism, in which the individual church or community of worshippers is autonomous, and on the other from Papalism.
The Church of England since the Reformation has been the chief champion of the principle of Episcopacy against the papal pretensions on the one hand and Presbyterianism and Congregationalism on the other.
The confession of faith issued by the London-Amsterdam church (the original of the Pilgrim Fathers' churches) in 1596 declares that the Christian congregation having power to elect its minister has also power to excommunicate him if the case so require (Walker, Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism, p. 66).
Calamy was an active member in the Westminster assembly of divines, and, refusing to advance to Congregationalism, found in Presbyterianism the middle course which best suited his views of theology and church government.
In contrast to both of these, which in different ways express the principle of clerical or official authority, Congregationalism represents the principle of democracy in religion.
So viewed, Congregationalism is essentially a " high church" theory, as distinct from a high clerical one.
The Congregationalism of the Apostolic Church was, to begin with, part of its heritage from Judaism.
These, the two senses recognized by Congregationalism, remained the only ones known to primitive Christianity.
Yet the momentous change which finally crushed out Congregationalism, by substitution of legal coercion for moral suasion as the final means of securing unity, came relatively late in the history of the ancient Catholic Church.
In such a Catholic atmosphere Congregationalism could have no being, save among little groups of men who protested against the existing order.
Still, a good deal of semi-congregationalism probably did exist in obscure circles which preluded the wider Reformation and were merged in it.
This, while far short of theoretic Congregationalism, was a prophecy of it.
Congregationalism proper, as a theory of the organized Christian life contemplated in the New Testament, re-emerges only at the Reformation, with its wide recovery of such aspects of evangelic experience as acceptance with God and constant access' to Him through the sole mediation of Christ.
But Anabaptism was not to remain an abiding force on the continent; and though colonies of its exiles settled in England, they did not produce the Congregationalism which sprang up there under Elizabeth.
Here we have essential Congregationalism, formulated for the first time in England as the original and genuine Christian polity, and as such binding on those loyal to the Head of the Church.
Such were the leading features of Browne's Congregationalism, as a polity distinct from both Episcopacy and Presbyterianism.
The permanent issues of the Gainsborough-Amsterdam church are connected with the origins of the Baptist wing of Congregationalism, through John Smyth and Thomas Helwys.
Separatism was now passing into Congregationalism, 2 both in sentiment and in language.
The majority, indeed, even of determined opponents of personal rule in state and church favoured Presbyterianism, particularly before 1641, when Henry Burton's Protestation Protested brought before educated men generally the principles of Congregationalism, as distinct from Puritanism, by applying them to a matter of practical politics.
But besides this telling pamphlet and the controversy which ensued, the experience of New England as to the practicability of Congregationalism, at least in that modified form known as the " New England Way," produced a growing impression, especially on parliament.
Dale, p. 374 ff.) of moment for the Commonwealth era, between " Independency " as a principle and " Congregationalism " as an ideal of church polity.
Congregationalism, however, " denotes a positive theory of the organization and powers of Christian churches," having as corollary independency of external control, whether civil or ecclesiastical.
During the Civil War Congregationalism broadened out into reciprocal relations with the national life and history.
Mackennal, The Evolution of Congregationalism (1901), pp. 43 ff.
To sketch even in outline " The Evolution of Congregationalism " in correspondence with so complex an environment is here impossible.
During the Protectorate, with its practical establishment of Presbyterians, Independents and Baptists, the position of Congregationalism was really anomalous, in so far as any of its pastors became parish ministers,' and so received " public mainfenance " and were expected to administer the sacraments to all and sundry.
Both had given up the strict jure divino theory of their polity as apostolic. The Congregationalism of the Savoy Declaration (Oct.
A parallel is afforded by the history of Congregationalism in Scotland, which arose early in the 19th century through the evangelistic fervour of the Haldanes in an era of " moderatism "; also by the rise of the kindred Evangelical Union, shortly before the Disruption in 1843.
Dale of Birmingham, the most influential Congregationalist in the closing decades of the 19th century, in whom lived afresh the high Congregationalism of the early Separatists.
Among topics which have exercised the collective mind of modern Congregationalism, and still exercise it, are church-aid and home missions, church extension in the colonies, the conditions of entry into the ministry and sustentation therein, Sunday school work, the social and economic condition of the people (issuing in social settlements and institutional churches), and, last but not least, foreign missions.
Apart from these, however, and some 150,000 communicants in its foreign missions, British and American " Congregationalism " reckons more than a million and a quarter church members; while, including those known as Baptists (q.v.), the total amounts to several millions more.
In the first place it fostered the growth of Congregationalism in British colonies.
Dale's History of English Congregationalism (1907), the most authoritative work at present available.
Dexter's Congregationalism of the Last Three Hundred Years, as seen in its Literature (New York, 1880), supplemented by bibliographies in the first vols.
Important documents for Congregational Faith and Order, with historical introductions, are printed in Williston Walker's Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism (New York, 1893).
- The history of American Congregationalism during its early years is practically that of the origin of New England.
Of far greater importance not only to Congregationalism but also to the future of the American colonies was the care taken by the settlers to provide adequate training for their ministers.
When the excitement caused by the Revolution had subsided, Congregationalism entered upon a new period of energy.
In the early days of this expansion Congregationalism and Presbyterianism worked hand in hand, but the so-called "Plan of Union" (1801) was successively abandoned by the Conservative Presbyterians in 1837 and by the Congregationalists through the "Albany Convention" in 1852.
The English Congregational Year Book for 1908 said, in reference to the United States: "In spite of phenomenal increase of population Congregationalism in the states, as here in London, is only marking time.
None the less, Congregationalism has through its leading representatives taken an increasingly important part in theological controversy and scholarship generally.
Congregationalism in America has thus spread from New England, its primitive home, over the West to the Pacific, but has never had more than a slight foothold in the Southern states.
This gave rise to Congregationalism in the more proper sense of the term.
The movement in the direction of union has been still further promoted by the International Councils referred to above (section on British Congregationalism ad fin.), in which the American Congregationalists have met the representatives of their brethren in Great Britain and its colonies having the same faith and polity.
Dexter's Congregationalism (New York, 1880), pp. 129-202.
See The Church Of England; Congregationalism; Presbyterianism, &c.; also D.
The town was governed largely after the Mosaic law and continued essentially Puritan for fifty years or more; about 1730 Presbyterianism superseded Congregationalism, and in 1734 Colonel Josiah Ogden, having caused a schism in the preceding year, by saving his wheat one dry Sunday in a wet season, founded with several followers the first Episcopal or Church of England Society in Newark - Trinity Church.
The Old Body) is a mixture of Presbyterianism and Congregationalism; each church manages its own affairs and reports (1) to the district meeting, (2) to the monthly meeting, the nature of each report determining its destination.
NONCONFORMITY For the history of the gradual relief of nonconformists in England from their disabilities see English History, Baptists, Congregationalism, Methodism, Friends, Society Of, &C.; also Oath.
See CONGREGATIONALISM: American.
The history of presbyteral government as opposed to episcopacy and pure congregationalism is not known in detail.