Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/488

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473
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH

of the Church, particularly in Berlin. Attempts more or less successful have been made from the first to exclude clergymen and professors identified with it from the pulpits and chairs of Berlin and elsewhere, though membership in it involves no legal disqualification for either. One of the objects of the association was to some extent obtained by their organization of the Prussian Church when Dr Falk was cultus minister, on the basis of parochial and synodal representation, which came into full operation in 1879. But the election for the general synod turned out very unfavourable to the liberal party, and the large orthodox majority endeavoured to use their power against the principles and the members of the association. In 1882 the position of the association was rendered still more difficult by the agitation in Berlin of Dr Kalthoff and other members of it in favour of a “people's church” on purely dissenting and extremely advanced theological principles. This difficulty has continued, and the extreme rationalist position taken up by some leaders has alienated the sympathy not only of the obscurantists but of those who were prepared to go some distance in the direction of a liberal theology. There are now about 25,000 members in the 20 branches of the Verein.

See D. Schenkel, Der deutsche Protestantenverein und seine Bedeutung für die Gegenwart (Wiesbaden, 1868, 2nd ed. 1871); Der deutsche Protestantenverein in seinen Statuten und den Thesen seiner Hauptversammlungen 1865–1882 (Berlin, 1883); P. Wehlhorn in Herzog-Hauck's Realencyk. für prot. Theol. u. Kirche; H. Weinel, “Religious Life and Thought in Germany To-day,” Hibbert Journal (July 1909).

PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH, in the United States, a part of the Anglican Communion, organized after the War of Independence by the scattered parishes of the Church of England which survived the war. It inherits from the Church of England, with which it is in communion, its liturgy, polity and spiritual traditions, though it has entire independence in legislation. While the clergy of both Churches are cordially received in their respective countries, there is no formal connexion between them except in fellowship and in advisory council as at the Lambeth Conference. The Church in the United States is therefore an independent national Church which has adapted itself to the conditions of American life. With many likenesses, the Protestant Episcopal Church is different from the Church of England in its organization and representative form of government. It has the three orders of bishops, priests and deacons, and uses an almost identical liturgy; but it is a democratic institution in which the laity have practically as much power as the clergy, and they are represented in all legislative bodies. The constitution of the Church follows in many particulars the constitution of the United States. As the separate states of the Union are made up of different townships, so the diocese is composed of separate parishes; and as the nation is a union of the states, so the Church is a union of the dioceses. The American plan of representative government is consistently adhered to. The Church in America is thus a part of the Catholic Church of Christ, with its roots deep in the past and yet a living body with a life of its own, standing for the truth of the Christian religion in the great Republic. It is now firmly established in every state and Territory of the United States, and in all the dependencies, with also vigorous missions in foreign lands.

Services of the Church of England were held by the chaplains of exploring expeditions in various parts of North America before a settlement was established: on Hudson Bay, in 1578, and on the shores of the Pacific with Drake in 1579; but the first permanent foothold of the Church was in History.Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, when a colony was founded and a church built. This fact is recognized in the proposed preamble to the constitution, in which it is stated that this American Church was “first planted in Virginia in the year of Our Lord 1607, by representatives of the ancient Church of England.” Parishes were later founded in Maryland in 1676; in Massachusetts in 1686; in New York about 1693; in Connecticut in 1706; and in the other colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries. The growth of these colonial churches was largely promoted by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, founded in 1701, through the efforts of the Rev. Thomas Bray, a missionary in Maryland. These churches scattered throughout the different colonies up to the American War of Independence were missions of the Church of England. They were under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, there being no bishop in America. The Bishop of London superintended these distant parishes by means of commissaries. Many of the clergy came from England; and when young men in America desired to be ordained, it was necessary for them to go to England for this purpose. The Church during the colonial period was incomplete in organization, and without the power of expansion. It was confined principally to the more settled parts of the country, though it had extended itself into all the colonies. During this period a few educational institutions were founded: the College of William and Mary in 1693, in Virginia; the Public Academy of Philadelphia, in 1749, now the university of Pennsylvania; and King's College, in 1754, in New York, now Columbia University. The clergy also frequently taught in parochial schools, and trained boys and girls in their homes.

When the war broke out and independence was declared, a number of the clergy went back to England, leaving their parishes vacant, but many, especially in the southern states, remained and upheld the American cause. A large majority of the laymen were patriots. Two-thirds of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Episcopalians. The churches, having their support largely withdrawn by the Venerable Society, became very weak. In Massachusetts during the war only two churches were kept open.

After the war it was very soon recognized that if the Church was to survive, there must be organization and co-operation among the fragments left. Rev. William White (1748–1836) of Philadelphia, who had been chaplain of the Continental Congress, was a leader in the plan of organization. Rev. Samuel Seabury (1729–1796) of Connecticut was also an important factor in continuing the life of the Church. He was elected bishop by the clergy of Connecticut, and after being refused in England, was consecrated bishop of Connecticut by the Scotch non-juror bishops in Aberdeen on the 14th of November 1784. Later, William White of Pennsylvania and Samuel Provoost (1742–1815) of New York were consecrated bishops in the chapel at Lambeth Palace on the 4th of February 1787, by the archbishops of Canterbury and York and others. Rev. James Madison (1749–1812) of Virginia was also consecrated bishop in England, on the 19th of September 1790. An important meeting or general convention of laymen, clergy and bishops was held in 1784, and another in 1789, for the purpose of consolidating and uniting the Church. Certain fundamental principles were adopted which were the basis of organization: that the Episcopal Church be independent of all foreign authority; that it have full and exclusive power to regulate the concerns of its own communion; that the doctrines be maintained as in the Church of England; that bishops, priests and deacons be required; that the canons and laws be made by a more representative body of clergy and laity conjointly. At the general convention of 1789 a constitution and canons were finally adopted, and the book of Common Prayer was set forth.

The Church thus being fully organized, it was prepared to develop and extend. There was a long period, however, when little was done save retain what had already been gained. Owing in a measure to the popular prejudice against anything that savoured of England, and to the difficulty of adapting the newly formed institution to the conditions of American life, the Church hardly held its own from 1789 to 1811. The general convention of 1811 was attended by only five clergymen and four laymen more than that of 1789. The Church in Virginia especially suffered a decline, but in the North it maintained itself. After 1811 a new spirit manifested itself in the consecration of three important men to the episcopate. John Henry Hobart, a man of great zeal and devotion, became bishop of New York in 1811; Alexander Viets Griswold (1766–1843), a man of piety and force, became bishop of the eastbrn diocese of New England in 1811; and Richard Channing Moore (1762–1841), a