As one of the three principal systems of ecclesiastical polity known to the Christian Church, Presbyterianism occupies an intermediate position between episcopacy and congregationalism.
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In episcopacy the control of church affairs is almost entirely withdrawn from the people; in congregationalism it is almost entirely exercised by the people; in Presbyterianism it rests with a council composed of duly appointed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.
This episcopacy was at first rather congregational than diocesan; but the tendency of its growth was undoubtedly towards the latter.
They were unanimous in rejecting the episcopacy of the Church of Rome, the sanctity of celibacy, the sacerdotal character of the ministry, the confessional, the propitiatory nature of the mass.
Even the archbishop of Canterbury favoured a modification of episcopacy, and an approach to Presbyterian polity and dicipline; but attention was mainly directed to the settlement of doctrine and worship. Cranmer wrote that bishops and priests were not different but the same in the beginning of Christ's religion.
Episcopacy, Erastianism and Independency, though of little account in the assembly, were to bulk largely in England's future; while the church polity which the assembly favoured and recommended was to be almost unknown.
Then with the Restoration came Episcopacy, and the persecution of all who were not Episcopalians; and the dream and vision of a truly Reformed English Church practically passed away.
Their preponderance in Ulster and their consciousness of their great service to England led them first of all to hope that Presbyterianism might be substituted for Episcopacy in Ulster, and afterwards, that it might be placed on an equal footing with the latter.
He belonged to the Root and Branch party, and spoke in favour of the petition of the London citizens for the abolition of episcopacy on the 9th of February 1641, and pressed upon the House the Root and Branch Bill in May.
Then parliament enacted a new system of Church courts which, though to some extent in its turn superseded by the revival of episcopacy under James VI., was revived or ratified by the act of 1690, c. 7, and stands to this day.
Acting on the constitutional principle that the king's right to convene did not interfere with the church's independent right to hold assemblies, they sat till the 10th of December, deposed all the Scottish bishops, excommunicated a number of them, repealed all acts favouring episcopacy, and reconstituted the Scottish Kirk on thorough Presbyterian principles.
The proper symbol of episcopacy is not so much the mitre as the ring and pastoral staff.
The author of The Sacred Order and Offices of Episcopacy or Episcopacy Asserted against the Aerians and Acephali New and Old (1642), could scarcely hope to retain his parish, which was not, however, sequestrated until 1644.
There were, at the date of the Restoration, about seventy Presbyterian ministers in the north of Ireland, and most of these were from the west of Scotland, and were imbued with the dislike of Episcopacy which distinguished the Covenanting party.
When Charles visited Scotland to give his formal assent to the abolition of Episcopacy, Montrose communicated to him his belief that Hamilton was a traitor.
During the establishment of Episcopacy in Scotland, Edinburgh was the seat of a bishop, and the ancient collegiate church of St Giles rose to the dignity of a cathedral.
Provided that the preaching of the gospel was free and full, Luther was willing to tolerate episcopacy and even papacy.
EPISCOPACY (from Late Lat.
The origin and development of episcopacy in the Christian Church, and the functions and attributes of bishops in the various churches, are dealt with elsewhere (see Church History and BIsHoP).
Under the present heading it is proposed only to discuss briefly the various types of episcopacy actually existing, and the different principles that they represent.
The deepest line of cleavage is naturally between the view that episcopacy is a divinely ordained institution essential to the effective existence of a church as a channel of grace, and the view that it is merely a convenient form of church order, evolved as the result of a variety of historical causes, and not necessary to the proper constitution of a church.
Apart altogether, however, from the question of orders, episcopacy represents a very special conception of the Christian Church.
This high theory of episcopacy which, if certain of the Ignatian letters be genuine, has a very early origin, has, of course, fallen upon evil days.
Within the Roman Catholic Church the high doctrine of episcopacy continued to be maintained by the Gallicans and Febronians (see Gallicanism and Febronianism) as against the claims ' See Bishop C. Gore, The Church and the Ministry (1887).
"Febronius," indeed, was in favour of a frank recognition of this national basis of ecclesiastical organization, and saw in Episcopacy the best means of reuniting the dissidents to the Catholic Church, which was to consist, as it were, of a free federation of episcopal churches under the presidency of the bishop of Rome.
At the Vatican Council of 1870 episcopacy made its last stand against papalism, and was vanquished '(see' Vatican Council).
The pope still addresses his fellow-bishops as "venerable brothers"; but from the Roman Catholic Church the fraternal union of coequal authorities, which is of the essence of episcopacy, has vanished; and in its place is set the autocracy of one.
The modern Roman Catholic Church is episcopal, for it preserves the bishops, whose potestas ordinis not even the pope can exercise until he has been duly consecrated; but the bishops as such are now but subordinate elements in a system for which "Episcopacy" is certainly no longer an appropriate term.
The word Episcopacy has, in fact, since the Reformation, been more especially associated with those churches which, while ceasing to be in communion with Rome, have preserved the episcopal model.
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.
As to the divine origin of Episcopacy and, consequently, of its universal obligation in the Christian Church, Anglican opinion has been, and still is, considerably divided.'
2 It was the ' Neither the Articles nor the authoritative Homilies of the Church of England speak of episcopacy as essential to the constitution of a church.
Episcopacy in a stricter sense is the system of the Moravian Brethren and the Methodist Episcopal Church of America (see Methodism).
Methodist episcopacy is therefore based on the denial of any special potestas ordinis in the degree of bishop, and is fundamentally distinct from that of the, Catholic Church - using this term in its narrow sense as applied to the ancient churches of the East and West.
In all of these ancient churches episcopacy is regarded as of divine origin; and in those of them which reject the papal supremacy the bishops are still regarded as the guardians of the tradition of apostolic orthodoxy and the stewards of the gifts of the Holy Ghost to men (see ORTHODOX EASTERN CHURCH; ARMENIAN CHURCH; COPTS: Coptic Church, &c.).
In the West, Gallican and Febronian Episcopacy are represented by two ecclesiastical bodies: the Jansenist Church under the archbishop of Utrecht (see JANSENISM and UTRECHT), and the Old Catholics.
Of these the latter, who separated from the Roman communion after the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility, represent a pure revolt of the system of Episcopacy against that of Papalism.
He spoke against the illegal canons on the 14th of December 1640, and again on the 9th of February 1641 on the occasion of the reception of the London petition, when he argued against episcopacy as constituting a political as well as a religious danger and made a great impression on the House, his name being added immediately to the committee appointed to deal with church affairs.
LOW CHURCHMAN, a term applied to members of the Church of England or its daughter churches who, while accepting the hierarchical and sacramental system of the Church, do not consider episcopacy as essential to the constitution of the Church, reject the doctrine that the sacraments confer grace ex opere operato (e.g.
One who was prepared to concede much latitude in matters of discipline and faith, in contradistinction to "High Churchman," the term applied to those who took a high view of the exclusive authority of the Established Church, of episcopacy and of the sacramental system.
To Scotland with a view to persuading the Scots that Episcopacy was preferable to Presbyterianism.
Varied as are the forms which this idea has assumed under varying conditions of time and place, it remains distinctive enough to constitute one of the three main types of ecclesiastical polity, the others being Episcopacy and Presbyterianism.
Episcopacy in the proper sense, i.e.
Diocesan Episcopacy, represents the principle of official rule in a monarchical form: Pre g byterianism stands for the rule of an official aristocracy, exercising collective control through an ascending series of ecclesiastical courts.
Such were the leading features of Browne's Congregationalism, as a polity distinct from both Episcopacy and Presbyterianism.
They included Thomas Goodwin and Philip Nye, who had practised this polity during exile abroad and now strove to avert the substitution of Presbyterian uniformity for the Episcopacy which, as the ally of absolutism, had alienated its own children (see Presbyterianism).
In his zeal for the historic episcopacy he published in 1807 An Apology for Apostolic Order and its Advocates, a series of letters to Rev. John M.