Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

one, and a deadly one, a fight against all the armies of Mammon. Will the working men of England stand by us? We have no fear of the issue if they will.

Source: The Christian Socialist: A Journal of Association, November 2, 1850, pp. 1-2.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

References for Document 95.


97
French Protestant Constitution March 26, 1852

Encouraged by the 1848 revolution, a national Reformed synod convened in Paris in September 1848 and drew up a new church constitution, which provided for presbyterial councils, regional synods, and a regularly convened general synod. This national synod was accorded no civil recognition, however, and the effective modification of the older Napoleonic settlement of 18 Germinal, Year X ( April 8, 1802), came in the unilateral decree of the Bonapartist government in 1852. The constitution, together with a report to Louis Napoleon, was drawn up by the worship and instruction minister, Hippolyte Fortoul ( 1811-1856). It made some changes sympathetic to the Reformed tradition, reconstituting the parish councils, which had virtually disappeared in the artificial consistorial church, and doing away with the property qualification for electors. But the substitution of the Central Council for a general synod was alien to Reformed history and called forth spirited protest that strengthened the demand for separation from the state.


Report to the Prince-President of the French Republic.

Monseigneur, the position of the Reformed Church and the Church of the Augsburg Confession, particularly with respect to their relations with the government, has given occasion for frequent objections, either from the civil authority or from the Protestants themselves. Although effort has been made . . . to provide for some of the most urgent needs, the legislation still retains considerable gaps which should be closed . . . . [In the Lutheran churches, where "the principles of election and authority are combined," the latter principle is to be strengthened through the superior consistory and the directory.] The Reformed churches are ruled by presbyterial-synodical government. But this system, which has not functioned in its entirety for a long time, presents difficulties of application and perhaps does not

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