As one of the three principal systems of ecclesiastical polity known to the Christian Church, Presbyterianism occupies an intermediate position between episcopacy and congregationalism.
They were spoken of as" the way."4 They took with them, into the new communities which they formed, the Jewish polity or rule and oversight by elders.
The leaders of the The Reformation searched the New Testament not only for f o doctrinal truth but also to ascertain the polity of the primitive Church.
Luther gave little attention to New Testament polity, though he believed in and clung passionately to the universal priesthood of all true Christians, and rejected the idea of a sacerdotal caste.
While Luther studied the Scriptures in search of true doctrine and Christian life and was indifferent to forms of church polity, they studied the New Testament not only in search of primitive church doctrine but also of primitive of the church polity.
They did not get their ideas of church polity from one another, but drew it directly from the New Testament.
In 1558 a further stage in the development of Presbyterian church polity was reached.
The remarkable feature of French church polity was its aristocratic nature, which it owed to the system of co-optation; and the exclusion of the congregation from direct and frequent interference in spiritual matters prevented many evils which result from too much intermeddling on the part of the laity.
Their ecclesiastical polity came much more from Paris than from Geneva."2 To trace the history of Presbyterianism in France for the next thirty years would be to write the history of France itself during that period.
In momentary peril of death for fifteen years, he restored in the Vivarais and the Cevennes Presbyterian church polity in all its integrity.
We will not open to churchmen a door for a new mastership over government and subjects, wife and child."From 1618 a modified Presbyterian polity predominated.
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.
From the beginning of the 18th century the greater number of the Presbyterian congregations became practically independent in polity and Unitarian in doctrine.
This, except historically, is a misnomer, for, though descended from the old English Presbyterians, they retain nothing of their distinctive doctrine of polity - nothing of Presbyterianism, indeed, but the name.
Its polity has been of gradual growth, and still retains some features peculiar to itself.
Differences in doctrine as well as polity and discipline became more and more prominent.
The ancient differences between Old and New Side were revived, and once more it was urged that there should be (1) strict subscription, (2) exclusion of the Congregationalized churches, and strict Presbyterian polity and discipline, and (3) the condemnation and exclusion of the new divinity and the maintenance of scholastic orthodoxy.
The spirit of the Chinese polity is self-contained, anti-military and anti-sacerdotal.
The government of the church is chiefly according to the congregational principle, and the women have an equal voice with the men; but annual meetings, attended by the bishops, teachers and other delegates from the several congregations are held, and at these sessions the larger questions involving church polity are considered and decided by a committee of five bishops.
He ineffectually resisted the efforts of the Calvinists, led by Caspar Olevianus, to introduce the Presbyterian polity and discipline, which were established at Heidelberg in 1570, on the Genevan model.
" it Polity was thought that in future it would be more consonant with the imperial dignity for the sovereign to remain concealed behind a grating where, unseen, he could hear all that was said.
Christians being released, in important particulars, from conformity to the Old Testament polity as a whole, a real difficulty attended the settlement of the limits and the immediate authority of the remainder, known vaguely as the moral law.
His authority, was absolute p 3'> too, > being tempered only by the shadowy right of the Magyar nation to meet in general assembly; and this authority he was careful not to compromise by any slavish imitation of that feudal polity by which in the West the royal power was becoming obscured.
In this sense it is still used by those modern Christian sects which profess to base their polity on the Bible only (e.g.
He compiled a Jewish Calendar and wrote Discourses on the Ecclesiastical and Civil Polity of the Jews (1706).
- The Principles of Church Polity (1882); The Doctrine of Sacred Scripture (1884); 4What is the Bible?
In Germany, France and the Netherlands it occupies a less prominent place in the town charters and in the municipal polity, and often corresponds to the later fraternities of English dealers established either to carry on foreign commerce or to regulate a particular part of the local trade monopoly.
Whatever power they did secure, whether as potent subsidiary organs of the municipal polity for the regulation of trade, or as the chief or sole medium for the acquisition of citizenship, or as integral parts of the common council, was, generally speaking, the logical sequence of a gradual economic development, and not the outgrowth of a revolutionary movement by which oppressed craftsmen endeavoured to throw off the yoke of an arrogant patrician gild merchant.
Comte lost no time, after the completion of his Course of Positive Philosophy, in proceeding with the System of Positive Polity, for which the earlier work was designed to be a foundation.
In proceeding to give an outline of Comte's system, we shall consider the Positive Polity as the more or less legitimate of the Positive Philosophy, notwithstanding co the deep gulf which so eminent a critic as J.
The third volume of the Positive Polity treats of social dynamics, and takes us again over the ground of historic evolution.
The system for which the Positive Philosophy is alleged to have been the scientific preparation contains a Polity and a Religion; a complete arrangement of life in all its aspects, giving a wider sphere to Intellect, Energy and Feeling than could be found in any of the previous organic types, - Greek, Roman or Catholic-feudal.
Not that he would have allowed the state to touch doctrine, to determine polity or discipline; but he would have had it to recognize historical achievement, religious character and capacity, and endow out of its ample resources those societies which had vindicated their right to be regarded as making for religion.
In the churches which consciously shaped their polity at or after the Reformation the principle of excommunication is preserved in the practice of church discipline.
But in the year 1215, at the fourth Lateran council, were made regulations destined profoundly to modify Benedictine polity and history.
The English Benedictines never advanced farther along the path of centralization; up to their destruction this polity remained in operation among them, and proved itself by its results to be well adapted to the conditions of the Benedictine Rule and life.
These movements issued in the congregational system which is the present polity among Benedictines.
Thus the Benedictine polity may be described as a number of autonomous federations of autonomous monasteries.
Such a polity, surrounded as it was by territory dependent on European sovereigns, could not be without a profound influence on its neighbours.
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.
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.
Between 1580 and 1581, when Browne formed in Norwich the first known church of this order on definite scriptural theory, and October 1585, when, being convinced that the times were not yet ripe for the realization of the perfect polity, and taking a more charitable view of the established Church, he yielded to the pressure brought to bear on him by his kinsman Lord Burghley, so far as partially to conform to parochial public worship as defined by law (see Browne, Robert), the history of Congregationalism is mainly that of Browne and of his writings.
Both had given up the strict jure divino theory of their polity as apostolic. The Congregationalism of the Savoy Declaration (Oct.
Congregationalists, on the other hand, whether Independents or Baptists, remained on the whole Trinitarians, largely perhaps in virtue of their very polity, with its intimate relation between the piety of the people and that of the ministry.
Yet the relation of Congregational polity to its religious ideal had already become less intimate and conscious than even half a century before: the system was held simply as one traditionally associated with a serious and unworldly piety.
Similarly its ecclesiastical statesmen have been developing the full possibilities of its polity, to suit the demands of the time for coordinated effort.
The motives and circumstances of the emigrants determined their polity; they went out as churches and settled as church states.