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Church Discipline

THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG $g



ary. If the interest of Calvin had been confined to individual discipline, he would have been satis­fied, like Zwingli, with the moral surveillance which was zealously and often rigorously exercised by the magistrate. But as the honor of Christ seemed to him to demand the independent exercise of eccle­siastical functions, he could not tolerate the refusal of a parochial organization. The church can solve her ethical problem only if she forma herself accord­ing to her own principles. Calvin realized his plan only after his expulsion from Geneva, in his in­dependent congregation at Strasburg, and thence brought it back to Geneva.

Immediately after his return in 1541, the Ordon­nances ecchssiastiquea were drawn up and approved by the two councils and the assembly of citizens. The church order establishes as a basis the four offices (pasteura, dodeurs, ateciens, diaerea) which the Lord instituted for the government of his church. It is the task of the people to create a congregation that enjoys the blessings of God in a becoming manner and with a mature consciousness, especially in the sacraments. For the regales supervision over the congregation, the college of elders is instituted (officially called Consistoire), consisting of the clergymen and twelve members of the dif­ferent colleges of council. The lay elders are elected by the smaller council on the initiative of the pastor. Their discipline covers 3. Genevan matters of faith and morals. Smaller Eccleaiasti offenses were adjusted by the personal

cal Tri  admonition of an elder; obstinate

bnnels. Winners were summoned before the

college which met every week. If

they remained in their rebellious disposition, they

were excluded from the Lord's Supper or the

congregation of believers. Obstinate opposition

against the religion of the state and its institutions

was reported to the secular authorities, who in­

flicted their own penalties. There resulted an

intolerable confusion of ecclesiastical and secular

power; these conditions, however, were due not so

much to the peculiar ecclesiastical theories of

Calvin as to the spirit of the time, which could not

conceive the possibility of different religions exist­

ing side by side in one single State. It is rather

due to Calvin that, in spite of this general view,

the Church was not absorbed altogether in the State.

The spirit of the ordinances of Geneva rules in all later Reformed church orders. In the French Protestant Church the purely ecclesiastical char­acter of discipline found a clearer expression, owing to the fact that this church had to be In built up independently of the State

France. and even in opposition to it. It is the difference between theocracy and free church­iam. The degrees of discipline were the same as in Geneva. The discipline of the Church extends not only over gross vices, but strives after honesty and modesty in the whole conduct of life. It was also earnestly intent upon the preservation of the right confession.

The church order of Lasso in London dates from 1550. It shares the view of Calvin that the Church, according to the word of God, needs a special government and discipline with a presbyterial



constitution, but it embodies a freer democratic spirit. Puritanism in England received its char­acteristic stamp from Scotland. The congregation

of strangers, formed by John Knox 8. In Great in Geneva, followed closely in the

Britain. wake of Calvin, and their Book of

Common Order (1558) took whole pages from the " Institutes," but after their re­moval to Scotland the fear of hierarchism led them into the paths of Lasso. Under its king Christ and according to his word in Matt. xvi. and xviii., the congregation roles itself by its officers: minis­ters, or teaching elders; rtffing elders, including the pastor, for the supervision of morals in the con­gregation; and deacons. Presbyterial Puritanism found its completion in the Westminster Stand­ards of 1647, the discipline of which exerted great influence upon the whole non episcopal English­American Protestantism.

Another group is formed by Holland, East Frisia, and the German Lower Rhine, the ecclesiastical discipline of which was based upon the orders of the Wesel Convention (1568) and the Emden Synod (1571). Here the chief stress is laid upon the moral and social organization. The Lord's supper be­longs only to members of a constituted church.

Each elder possesses his own district, 8. In 801  and his duty is chiefly pastoral. The

land and elders are to visit the members of the

Germany. congregation regularly, together with

their pastor. Upon this solid sub­structure the different degrees of discipline were built up. In the other German territories which received their Calvinism from their rulers, efforts to introduce church discipline were made, but in many cases they were obstructed by unfavorable conditions. Hesse Cassel derived its order of dis­cipline from the time when it was Lutheran, but the Palatinate furnished the example for other territories. Here it was only in 1750 that the congregations received presbyteries, and not till a century later was a presbyterial order thoroughly worked out and put into operation at the time when in other territories the Reformed Church was reconstructed, after the Thirty Years' War. The organization of the college of elders and the degrees of discipline correspond exactly to the French church order, but the whole is put into the frame of the State, the presbyteries being depend­ent upon the secular authorities.

Modern times have greatly modified or in part abolished the old orders of discipline, not only in Germany, but also in France and Switzerland. The principle of alliance superseded the order of individual congregations. The Dutch Church has

preserved considerable remnants of the 7. Modern old discipline, but the firmest eon 



BodiSce,  nection with their historical origin

tiona. has been maintained by the Pres 

byterian churches their strict order of church membership forma still a solid basis of discipline. The Scottish Free Church returned even consciously to the old traditions. In Ger­many the old remnants of Reformed discipline are being met with the beginnings of a general Evan 

gelical reorganization.(E. F. KARL MULLER.)






RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA

89

V. In the United States: In the Episcopal Church the discipline is ]aid down in the canons. It relates mainly to the clergy; but laymen can be kept from the sacrament of the Lord's Supper on conviction of serious offenses.

In the Presbyterian Church discipline is in the hands of the session, or the governing board df each local church, consisting of the pastor and elders; but, if the party feels aggrieved, as appeal can be made to the next higher court, the presbytery, thence to the synod, and thence to the general assembly. The method of trial in all such cases is minutely ]aid down in book ii. of the Form of Government. In the Northern Presbyterian Church, reference to the highest court can only be made when the points involved are doctrinal or consti­tutional. Discipline is defined to be " the exer­cise of that authority, and the application of that system of laws which the Lord Jesus Christ has appointed in his church." The subjects of dis­cipline are " all baptized persons." The offense must be public, or such as demands the cognizance of the church judicatory; but private exhortation must first be employed.

Similar in definition and practise of discipline are the Dutch Reformed and German Reformed churches. Cf. The Constitution of the Reformed Church in America, articles xi. xiv., and Consti­tu;,ion of the Reformed Church in the United States, part iii.

In churches holding the congregational polity discipline is a matter for the local congregation, which may be advised by a council composed of ministers and delegates from other congregations, though the recommendations of the council are not obligatory upon the local church. Cf. H. M. Dex­ter, Congregationalism, pp. 188 195, Boston, 1876.

In the Methodist Church " an accused member shall be brought to trial before a committee of not less than five, who shall not be members of the quarterly conference (and, if the preacher judge it necessary, he may select the committee from any part of the district), in the presence of the preacher in charge, who shall preside at the trial, and cause exact minutes of the evidence and proceedings in the case to be taken. In the selection of the committee the parties may chal­lenge for cause." The various causes of such action are stated. " The accused shall have the right to call to his assistance as counsel any mem­bei in good and regular standing in the Methodist Episcopal Church." If the pastor in charge dis­sent from the finding of the committee, he may appeal to the ensuing quarterly conference. Ex_ gulaion is the penalty for unworthy conduct on the part of accused members. Cf. The Doctrine, and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1880, pp. 144 151.

For further discussion see DEGRADATION; DEP­OSITION; CHURCH GOVERNMENT; JURISDICTION, ECCLESIASTICAL; and INQUISITION.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: The history of discipline may be traced in Schaff, Christian Church i. b01 503, ii. 187 192, iii. 356 

359, iv. 371 sqq., and Neander Christian Church, i. 217 

221, ii. 213 218, iii. 137 aqq., 45; sqq., iv. 347 sqq. Con 

sult also: DCA, i. 568 eqq,; AL, u. 1581 90. For the

history of discipline in the early Church the sources Pre

Church Discipline

Church Extension Society

the Didache, the works of Tertullian (especially De pani­tentia). Hippolytus, Cyprian (especially De lapaia), the Apostolica! Constitutions, and the Canons of the early councils. Consult: N. Marshall, Penitential Discipline o/ the Primitive Church reprinted in the Library of Anglo­Catholic Theology, Oxford, •1844; J. Kaye, External Gov­ernment and Discipline of the Church of . . . the First Three Centuries, London, 1855; G. N. Bonwetach, Die Oaechichte lea Montaniamua, pp. 108 118, Erlangen, 1881; Hefele, Corvcilienpcachichte, i. 225 sqq., 248.

For the Catholic Church consult: F. W. H. wasser­aehleben, Bussordnunpen der aberdlBudiachen Kirche, Halls, 1851; F. Frank, Die Bueadisciplin der Kirche, Mains, 1888; T. L. Green, Indulgences, Sacramental Ab­solutions, and the Tax Tables of as Roman Penitentiary, London, 1872 (Roman Catholic apologetic); R.. Gibbinge, The Taxes of the Apostolic Penitentiary; or the Prices of Sins in the Church of Rome, Dublin. 1872 (Protestant polemic); F. Probst, Sacramentale and Saaamentalien, T3bingen, 1872; vaeandsrd, The Inquisition, London, 1908; and literature under IxqvISIxrox.

For the Lutheran Church consult: O. Goeachen, Doc. trine de diaciplina eccd. . ~ , Halls, 1859; A. L. Richter, Geachichfe der avaugeliachenKirchenverfaasunp in Deutach­land, Leipeic, 1851; idem, Kirchenrecht, ed. Kahl, ¢ 227, ib. 1888; F. A. Tholuok, Vorpeachichte den Rationalia­mua, II. i., pp. 190 sqq., Halls, 1853 82; G. K. E. F. Fabri, Ueber Kirchenaucht, Stuttgart, 1854; O. Meter, Kirchenzuchl, Rostock, 1854; idem, Lehrbuch den deuh achen Kirchaurechta, GSttingen, 1889; C. I. Nitsaeh, Praktischa Theodopie, i. 221 sqq., Bonn, 1859; Schaff, Creeds (for the standards); H. E. Jacobs, Book of Con­cord, 2 vole., Philadelphia, 1893.

For the Reformed Churches consult on the general ques­tion, besides the works of Goeschen and Richter above: A. L, Richter, Die evaupeliachen Kirchanordnungan den IB. Jahrhuuderta, Weimar, 1848; $. Miller, Manual of Pres­bytery. ed. J. G. Lorimer, Edinburgh, 1842; G. V. Lechler. Geaehichte der Preabyterial  and Synodalroerfas­aunp, oLeyden, 1854; C. B. Hundes6agen, Beitrdpe zur Kirchenvar/asaunpapeachichte, Wiesbaden, 1884; G. Galli, Die ZuUuriachan and calvinisclun Kirchenatrafen, Bres­Isu, 1879; K. Ricker, GrtsndadRae re/ormirter Kirchen­verjaaaunp; R. 8taehelin H. Zuwapli, i. 445 sqq., ii. 137 eqq., 440 sqq., Bae91, 1895 97; E. Egli, Analecta reformatorea, i. 99 sqq., Zurich, 1899; F. W. Kampf­echulte, Joh. Calvin, i. 385 sqq., ii. 354 sqq., Leipeic, 1899; La Discipline ecclEainatiqua den Epliaea r,;for­mEes de France, ed. D'Huieeesu, Charenton, 1887; J. Aymon, Toua lea aynodea nationaux den !•gliaee rlformles de France, The Hague, 1710; [W. Dunlop], A Collation of Confessions of Faith, Catechisms, Directories, Books of Discipline . . , Edinburgh, 1722; J. Bannermann, The Church of Christ, ib. 1888; J. Cook, Styles of Writs, Borne of Procedure and Practice of the Church Courts of Scot­land, ib. 1870; W. Pierce, Ecclesiastical principles . . . Of five Wesleyan Methodists, London, 1873; T. B. Har­dern, Church Discipline, its Hint. and Present Aspect, Cambridge. 1892; Reitsms en van Veen, Acts . . , on particulisre aynodtre. Groningen, 1892 99.

For the United States, besides the works mentioned in the text, consult: T. C. Upham, Ratio diaciplino, Port­land, 1844; F. Wayland, principles and practice of Bap­test Churches, New Yor, 1&57; R. Emery, Hiat. of the Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church ib. 1884; R. H. Tyler, American Ecclesiastical Law, Albany. 1866; T. B. MeFalls and B. Sunderland, Manual of Presbyterian

Lays and Usage, Washington, 1873; A. T. McGill, Church Government Philadelphia. 1890: J. Fulton, index eano­num, New York, 1892; J. Andrews, Church Law, ib., n,d. Vol' iii, of 9chaff's Creeds contains the texts of the prin­cipal atandarde.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND. SEE ENGLAND, CHURCH OF.

CHURCH EXTENSION SOCIETY: A society founded in Chicago in 1905 for the purpose of as. eiating Roman Catholic home missionary work in the United States. The movement was in­augurated and organized by Rev. Francis C. Is;elley, then pastor at Lapeer, Mich. The object of the






Church of lead

Church of Eg



THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG

society is to raise funds for the erection and main­

tenance of churches and chapels in those numer­

ous Western and ~outhern districts where the Cath­

olic population is so small and scattered that

self supporting parishes are either an impossibility

or, at least, can subsist only in distressing conditions.

The means adopted to this end is a systematized

contribution of two cents per week from all Cath­

olics in the United States. The movement soon

became popular, and at present it counts among

its governing officers many of the most promi­

nent bishops and archbishops of the country. A

monthly paper, Extension, the official organ of the

society, is published in Chicago under the direction

of Father Kelley. JAMES F. DRISCOLL.

CHURCH FATHERS: A title of honor applied to the early writers of the Christian Church. It was originally given to the bishops; when appeal was made to their testimony as representatives of the teaching office of the Church, it was an easy transition to the inclusion with them of venerated writers of an earlier period, even though they had not held the episcopal office. Thus by the fifth century the term " Fathers " is found used in very much its modern sense. Antiquity alone, how­ever, is not held sufficient to confer this title, as Vincent of Lerins clearly states (Commonitorium, ii. 24); Hilary of Poitiers (on Matt. v.) says that Tertullian " by his subsequent error destroyed the authority of his approved writings." Accordingly modern Roman Catholic theologians, among~whom the title is moat strictly used, are accustomed to require four qualifications orthodoxy of doctrine sanctity of life, the approbation of the Church, and antiquity. For the Latin Church the line of the Fathers closes with Pope Gregory I. (d. 804); for the Greek Church with John of Damascus (d. 754). See APOSTOLIC FATHERS; DOCTOR; PATRI$TICS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. R. Crooks and J. F. Hurst, Theological h'ncycfopmdsa and MeDwdofopy, pp. 39399, New York,

1894.


CHURCH FEDERAnON.

I. The United States. The National Federation of Churches (§ I). Its Aims and Achievements (§ 2). II. Great Britain and Other Lands.

The term " church federation " has come into use in recent years to designate the spirit and methods of cooperation and unity that in varied ways are bringing Protestant Churches and Chris­tian bodies into organized affiliation and united action in matters of common interest and service. As a movement it is for the most part confined to the fellowship of the Churches that hold to his­torical and Evangelical Christianity. As a prac­tical working force it has found expression espe­cially in the United States and Great Britain and in countries where foreign missionary work is car­ried on by societies supported by these nations.

I. The United States: Historically the federa­tion movement in the United States is linked with the development of the spirit of unity which found expression in the nineteenth century through the American branch of the Evangelical Alliance (q.v.).



80

A conference held in New York, Dec. 3, 1899, took steps which resulted in the organization of the National Federation of Churches

1. The Na  and Christian Workers. A letter was tionai Fed  then prepared and sent out by the Ex 

eration of ecutive Committee expressing the hope

Churches. that it might be the forerunner of a " National Federation of all our Protestant Christian denominations, through their official action." At the annual meeting held in

I Washington, Feb., 1903, action was taken requesting " the highest ecclesiastical or advisory bodies of the Evangelical Churches to appoint representative delegates to a National Conference." Thirty de­nominational bodies having an aggregate member­ship of over seventeen million members responded and were represented by nearly five hundred dele­gates in the great Interchurch Conference on Federation held in New York, Nov. 15 21, 1905.1 By a substantially unanimous vote a Plan of Fed­eration was adopted and recommended "to the Christian bodies represented in the Conference for their approval." This plan created a " Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America " and became operative when approved by two thirds of the constituent bodies. Such approval having been received, the council was organized and its first meeting was held in Dec.' 1908.

The preamble to this Plan of Federation expresses the conviction that " in the providence of God, the time has come when it seems fitting 2. ][to Aims more fully to manifest the essential

and oneness of the Christian Churches of Achieve  America, in Jesus Christ as their manta. Divine Lord and Savior, and to pro­mote the spirit of fellowship, service, and •cooperation among them." The object of the Federal Council is stated in the Constitution to be: " (1) To express the fellowship and catholic unity of the Christian Church. (2) To bring the Christian bodies of America into united service for Christ and theworld. (3) To encourage devotional fellowship and mutual counsel concerning the spiritual life and religious activities of the Churches. (4) To secure a larger combined influence for the Churches of Christ in all matters affecting the moral and social condi­tions of the people, so as to promote the application

The following is the list of Churches represented: he Baptist Churches of the United States; the Free Bap~iet General Conference; the Christians (Christian Connection); the Congregational Churches; the Disciples of Christ; the Evangelical Association; the Evangelical Synod of North America; the Friends; the Evangelical Lutheran Church, General Synod; the Methodist Episcopal Church; the Meth­odist Episcopal Church, South; the Primitive Methodist Church; the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Amer­ica; the Methodist Protestant Church; the African Meth­odist Episcopal Church; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; the General Conference of the Mennonite Church of North America; the Moravian Church; the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America; the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist or Presbyterian Church; the Reformed Presbyterian Church; the United Presbyterian Church; the Protestant Episcopal Church; the Reformed Church in America; the Reformed Church in the United Stalks of America; the Reformed Episcopal Church; the Seventh day Baptist Churches; the United Brethren in Christ; the United Evangelical Church.






91 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Church of land

Church of



of the law of Christ in every relation of human life.

(5) To assist in the organization of local branches

of the Federal Council to promote its aims in their

communities." The difference between federated

union and organic church union is clearly defined

in the stipulation that " this Federal Council shall

have no authority over the constituent bodies

adhering to it: but its province shall be limited to

the expression of its counsel and the recommending

of a course of action in matters of common interest

to the Churches, local councils, and individual Chris­

tians." The Council " has no authority to draw up

a common creed or form of government or of worship,

or in any way to limit the full autonomy of the

Christian bodies adhering to it."

Historically this national movement " for the

prosecution of work that can be better done in union

than in separation" has found initiative and en­

couragement through federated activities, State and

local. The Interdenominational Commission of

Maine was organized in 1892, and is composed of

members appointed by official State bodies repre­

senting the Baptist, Free Baptist, Christian, Con­

gregational, and  Methodist Churches. The prin­

ciples under which this Commission acts seek to

secure practical reciprocity among these denomina­

tions, both inthe planting of new churches and in the

readjustment of forces when through overmultipli­

cation of churches or decrease in population con­

ditions exist that demand consolidation through

union and comity of action. The plans of the Com­

mission aim not to organize so called " union

churches," but to consolidate religious forces, still

leaving them within the limits of denominational

fellowship. The secretary of the Commission, who

has held this poeitionsince its work began in 1905,

bears testimony " that in thirty seven of the fifty­

one cases entered on the records of the Commission

consultation respecting the clash of interests has

sufficed to relieve the strain: mere friendly con­

ference has led to an adjustment of the difficulties.

Many other cases, without such mention as would

justify entrance on the records, have been adjusted

by the same friendly means, and in a great many

other instances still an effective influence has bin

exerted in ways that have maintained an ideal

of fraternal cooperation which has tended to ele­

vate very much of the church work of the State

from the low level of partizan and sectarian strife."

Commissions similes to that in Maine exist in other

states, but their work as yet has not been as effect­

ive in its results. In the aggregate, however, consul­

tation and comity are increasingly taking the place

of competitive action in home mission and church

extension work. The State Federations organized

in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and

other commonwealths have already proved the need

and effectiveness of united effort. In their pur

poses they have a common aim, but in methods

they are working along lines suggested by local

environment and limited by executive resources.

IL Great Britain and Other Lands; Church

federation in England and Great Britain is largely

a movement unifying the activities of Nonconform­

ist Churches in matters of common interest. Its

organizing center is the National Council of the



Evangelical Free Churches which was founded in 1894. Membership in this Council comes through local Councils. " The Churches constituting the local Councils are the Congregational, the Baptist Churches, the Methodist Churches, the Presbyterian Church of England, the Free Episcopal Churches, the Society of Friends, and such other Evangelical Churches as the National Council may at any time admit." The total number of Councils in 1906 was 897 with more than fifty District Federations. The latest report says: " The aim of our Movement has from the beginning been preeminently spiritual, and the main work of the local Councils in all parts of the country has been United Missions." The relation in which the Free Churches stand to the Established Church of England has been a powerful factor in drawing them into close and effective fellowship. The work of the local Councils includes activities not only evangelistic, but social and philanthropic.

In other lands church federation is already a potent factor in the unifying of Christian forces represented through missionary organizations. The Standing Committee of Cooperating.Chrietian Missions in Japan is made up of representatives from nearly all the different missions. Since its organization in 1902 it has exerted a notable influ­ence in advancing plans of comity and cooperation. At the great China Centenary Missionary Confer­ence held at Shanghai in May, 1907, steps were taken to federate all of the Christian forces in the empire. In India the missionary workers are laboring not only to federate their activities, but achieve definite plans of organic church union. This spirit of unity and desire for closer fellowship is illustrated in action that is being taken in every part of the world by those having in charge the missionary work of Protestant Churches.

The indications multiply that church federation stands for a movement of profound significance in its relation to the present and future history of Christianity in its institutional life and fellowship. E. B. SANFORD.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. B. Sanford, Church Federation, New York, 1905 (contains reports of the Interchurch Con­ference on Federation); Federation (the quarterly pub­lished in New York by the Federation of Churcheein New York City); the Annual Report of the National Federa­tion of Churches, of the Committee of Cooperating Mis­sions (Japan), and of the National Council of Free Churches (England).

CHURCH (CHURCHES) OF GOD: The name of several religious bodies in America.

1. The Church of God is North America, popu­larly known as WinebrennarIana, is s Baptist de­nomination founded by John Winebrenner in 1830. The founder was born at Glade Valley, Frederick County, Md., Mar. 25, 1797; d. at Harrisburg, Pa., Sept. 12, 1880. He studied at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., and learned theology under Dr. Samuel Helfenstein. Called to the pastorate of the German Reformed Church at Harrisburg, Pa., he was ordained at Hagerstown, Md., Sept. 24, 1820. His earnest preaching resulted in a revival, in which he opposed theaters, dancing, gambling, lotteries, and racing, thus causing opposition which resulted in official charges against him. He severed his




Church of God

Church Government THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG 92

Q

relations with his charge and with the Reformed

Church in 1825, but continued his ministry in and

around Harrisburg, extensive revivals of religion

following.. His theological views gradually changed

as the result of his study of the Bible. Congre­

gations were formed at a number of points, and

several ministers were ordained. In Oct., 1830,

six of these ministers met in Harrisburg and agreed

to form a body to be called the General Eldership

of the Church of God, the term " general elder­

ehip " being used to distinguish this body from the

eldership of the local church.

In doctrine the Church is prevailingly Arminian and orthodox. It is largely premillenarian, and practises three ordinances: baptism, by immersion; the Lord's Supper, observed in the evening; and washing of feet. The local church polity is pres­byterial, each church having its own board of elders and deacons. The churches within a given district are associated together for cooperation in general work. The pastors and other ordained ministers within a district, together with an equal number of lay elders, constitute an annual eldership which appoints the ministers to the various charges. These annual elderehips elect an equal number of ministerial and lay delegates, who con­stitute the general eldership, changed in 1905 from a triennial to a quadrennial body, the highest judicatory of the denomination.

The Church now reports two annual elderships in Pennsylvania, two in West Virginia, two in Okla­homa, and one each in Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oregon. A general elder­ship, composed of delegates from the annual elder­ehipa, was organized in 1845, and the General Eldership of the Church of God organized in 1830 became the East Pennsylvania eldership. In 1866 the title of the general eldership, as also those of the annual elderships, was changed to the form, The General Eldership of the Churches of God. The total membership is estimated to be about 40,000, with 500 ministers. The general eldership controls the institutions of learning, of which there are three (Findlay College, Findlay, O.; Fort Scott Collegiate Institute, Fort Scott, Kan.; and Barkeyville Academy, Barkeyville, Pa.), and the publishing house and book store at Harrisburg, Pa. Each an­nual eldership is engaged in missionary work in its own territory, and frontier mission work is carried on by the general eldership in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Oregon, and Washington. There is a Woman's Gen­eral Missionary Society, which, through the Board of Missions of the general eldership, supports four American missionaries, ten or twelve native workers, and a number of Bible readers in Ulubaria and Bogra Districts, Bengal Province, India.

C. H. FORNEY.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Winebrenner, Brief Views of the Church



of God, Harrisburg, 1840; idem, A Treatise on Regenera­tion, ib. 1844; idem, Practical sad Doctrinal Sermons, ib. 1860. The church paper is the Church Advocate, Harris­burg, Pa.

2. The Church of God and Saints of Christ (the "Black Jews ") are chiefly negroea who claim to be the descendants and representatives t;f the true



Jews; it is held that the latter were originally a

black people and that the descendants of the lost

tribes have changed color through mixture with

the Gentiles. The Church was founded at Topeka,

Kan., in 1897 by William S. Crowdy, who claimed

to be called " to be a prophet of God sent to the

whole world." The Saints respect both Jewish

and Christian law and ritual, and interpret the

Scriptures literally. Their system of doctrine is

presented in Crowdy's manual, The Bible Story



Revealed (Philadelphia, 1902). Among the princi­

pal points of belief are: repentance the first step to

the kingdom; the seventh day the Sabbath; absti­

nence from wine and strong drink; foot washing;

prayer in the words of Jesus; the holy kiss; religion

the exercise of love, charity, and hospitality; the

law of Moses completed, supplemented, or abolished

by the law of God in Christ. The ministry con­

sists of the Prophet Crowdy, two bishops (one in

Africa), evangelists (whose functions are those of

visitation), and elders or pastors of churches. The

polity is presbyterial, with an annual " Board

Meeting," and a quadrennial General Assembly.

There is also an annual celebration of the Passover

with mingled Hebrew and Christian rites. The

organization reports about one hundred churches

(seven in Africa) and 8,000 to 9,000 members.

The largest church and the denominational head­

quarters are in Philadelphia. Business enterprises

are conducted in connection with many of the

churches, a farm colony is located at Belleville,

Va., and the establishment of a widows' and or­

phans' home and a training school there is con­

templated. W. H. LnxxnsEE.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: The organ of the denomination is the

Weekly Prophet, Philadelphia.

3. The Adventist Church of God, a branch of the Seventh day Adventists. See ADVENTIaTB, 5.


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