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dc.contributor.authorSchlenther, Boyd S.en
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-22T12:47:52Z
dc.date.available2018-05-22T12:47:52Z
dc.date.issued1965en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/30725
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this thesis is to trace the various stages in the development of polity within the main body of American Presbyterianism, from the founding of the first Presbytery to the formation of the first General Assembly. This is done primarily by an examination of the minutes of the various judicatories, but there is also the attempt to elaborate the development as it centred in certain personalities within the church.en
dc.description.abstractBecause of the lack of a systematic study of the records of the church courts during this period, there has been, in the past, a general misunderstanding of the nature of ecclesiastical authority exercised by the Presbyterian Church in colonial America. One view has believed that church organisation underwent very little, if any, adaptation from Old World forms; on the other hand, a second view has supposed that the church's government was based, principally, on a modified voluntary Congregationalism.en
dc.description.abstractHie first chapter is introductory in intent and sets forth points of difference between Presbyterianism and Congregationalism in the colonies during the seventeenth-century—differences significant enough to produce open rupture and separation. This disagreement was rooted in basically opposed doctrines of the Church. The second chapter attempts to show that the framers and supporters of the original Presbytery were self-consciously Presbyterians, but were, at the same time, indued with a liberality of spirit which was demanded of the church if it were to witness faithfully and effectively to a new world.en
dc.description.abstractThe subsequent chapters examine the development of presbyteries and synods, revealing the determinative role played by these 'higher' judicatures in the life and expansion of the denomination. A careful investigation is made into the major causes of the Old Side-New Side schism, which took place during the height of the revival movement. Here it is argued that, especially in the realm of polity, the Old Side men were attempting to hold the church to the general course which had been charted from the beginnings, though, in the end, they reacted unjustly toward the revivalists.en
dc.description.abstractGeneral exception is taken to one particular recent writer, since, while rightly emphasising the new American spirit at work within the church, he wrongly believes that this necessitated a general abandonment of older principles of Presbyterian church government. On the contrary, it is concluded, both from the Use other side if necessary. life arid order of the presbyteries and the form of polity which finally was adopted, that the genius of American Presbyterianism lay in its utilisation of a creative new outlook in the context of rather closely-defined patterns of church organisation. While it was free from 'foreign' control, colonial Presbyterianism, from its beginning, always looked to the Church of Scotland as its paramount ideal for polity.en
dc.description.abstractBy citing numerous cases of consistorial action in each period of eighteenth-century colonial church life it is concluded that presbyteries and synods were authoritative church courts in the fullest sense and that Congregationalist principles and practices could never find a home within the denomination. The Presbyterian approach to ecclesiology was determined by an underlying doctrine of the universality of the Church; therefore, the church demonstrated not only that it had liberality of outlook, but also perspective. That perspective was a polity derived from Westminster and Scotland, and its implementation produced a system which had and exercised authority, both over ministers and local congregations.en
dc.description.abstractIt is shown that in practice the most vital ecclesiastical concerns were supervised by area presbyteries. In its 1788 Constitution the church made explicit that these courts were the primary organs of American Presbyterianism' s life and government.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2018 Block 19en
dc.relation.isreferencedbyen
dc.titleThe presbytery as organ of church life and government in American Presbyterianism, 1706-1788en
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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