Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

brought to bear on the election of Commissioners to the Assembly . . . and on the Commissioners chosen thereto, is not . . . a lawful and free Assembly of the Church of Scotland . . . and that the Claim, Declaration, and Protest of the General Assembly . . . 1842, as the act of a free and lawful Assembly . . . shall be holden as setting forth the true constitution of the said Church. . . .

AND FINALLY, while firmly asserting the right and duty of the Civil Magistrate to maintain and support an establishment of religion in accordance with God's Word, and reserving to ourselves and our successors to strive by all lawful means. . . . to secure the performance of this duty agreeably to the Scriptures . . . : WE PROTEST that in the circumstances in which we are placed, it is . . . lawful . . . to withdraw to a separate place of meeting for the purpose of taking steps. . . . for separating in an orderly way from the Establishment . . . ; and we do now . . . withdraw accordingly. . . . but . . . with an assured conviction, that we are not responsible for any consequences that may follow from this our enforced separation from an Establishment which we loved and prized-through interference with conscience, the dishonour done to Christ's Crown, and the rejection of His sole and supreme authority as King in his Church.

Source: The Principal Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Convened at Edinburgh, May 18, 1843 ( Edinburgh, 1843), pp. 19-22.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

J. R. Fleming, A History of the Church in Scotland, 1843-1874 ( Edinburgh, 1927).

References for Document 87.


90
Resignation of the Clergy of Vaud November 12, 1845

In French Switzerland, le réveil, the revival inspired partly from Scotland, produced tensions between evangelicals and the predominantly rationalistic ministry supported by the cantonal governments. The canton of Vaud, centering around Lausanne, was the scene of the chief disruption. In the 1820s conventicles appeared in defiance of the law, and some leaders of the réeil were banished. In 1839 the state discarded the historic Helvetic Confession as a binding formula and abolished the connectional structure of the church, leaving local congregations under government authority. Alexandre Vinet, the most celebrated Swiss intellectual and religious leader, resigned from the clergy at this time, but five further years of controversy occurred before the great Vaudois secession took place. In 1845 the Grand Council took steps to suppress the

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