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They have been relieved from all liability for church rates. The Universities are all open to them except for divinity degrees (c). Roman Catholics are still excluded from certain privileges mentioned later. Dissenting Churches also possess the privilege necessarily denied to the State Church of making canons or byelaws for their own guidance without the assent of the Crown, and they are able to excommunicate offending members, whether clergy or laity, without having recourse to courts of law. Protestant dissenters are still to a certain extent members of the Church. They are entitled, for themselves and their families, to its ministrations, baptism, marriage, churching, and burial, if they choose to demand it, and it may be doubted whether they can be refused the Lord's Supper (9.v.). A dissenter (if a parishioner) is entitled to a seat in the parish church, to become churchwarden, and to attend vestry meetings. They may also present to church livings.
A dissenter may now (since 1867) attend in an official costume, or with the insignia of a judicial, civil, or corporate office, at any place of worship in England, Scotland, or Ireland (d).
A dissenting minister is legally entitled to be styled "reverend ” (q. v.).
A father has the right to bring up his children in the faith of any church he pleases; and an ante-nuptial agreement to bring up children as members of a particular church is not binding on the father, or on the Court. The father may change his mind, and such change may, after his death, be gathered from his conduct (e).
Dissenters in England may be divided into two classes, Episcopal and non-Episcopal. Episcopal.
(1) ROMAN CATHOLICS or PAPISTS ($).-After the Reformation the English Roman Catholics claimed to be the true successors of the pre-Reformation English Church, and used the old English (Sarum) Liturgy for about 150 years.
(c) 34 & 35 Vict. c. 26, s. 3.
(d) 30 & 31 Vict. c. 75, 8. 4; 10 Geo. 4, c.
7, s. 25, now repealed. (e) Re Nevin, (1891) 2 Ch. 299.
(f) I.e., according to the law of England. Of course, theologically and ecclesiastically, Anglicans are dissenters from Romanism,
They then adopted the Roman Liturgy, thus surrendering the last link which united them to the National Church (9). They were the last of all the dissenters to have toleration extended to them; but happily their disabilities are nearly all removed (h). They may now hold any office whatever with the exception of the following :-Guardian or Regent of the Kingdom, Lord Chancellor of England or Keeper of the Great Seal, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, High Commissioner to the Church of Scotland, any office in the Churches of England or Scotland, or in the Ecclesiastical Courts. They may also exercise any franchise or civil right whatever except in certain cases where their doing so would presumably be prejudicial to Protestantism, as in the case of presenting to a benefice (i); but they may not exercise their religious rites or ceremonies, or wear the habits of an order, except in their usual places of worship, or in private houses, under a penalty of 501. (j).
(2) FREE (or REFORMED) CHURCH OF ENGLAND.— This church was founded in 1844. Its principles are evangelical or Low Church. Being free from state control, its object is to provide parishes, where ritualistic practices prevail, with the ordinary Church service. It is governed by Convocation and bishops, who are said to have a valid apostolic succession through the Right Rev. Bishop Cummins, of the United States Church.
(3) Moravians and IRVINGITES have an episcopate, (9) Daniel, P. B. 14.
31 Vict. cc. 62 and 75; 31 & 32 Vict. (h) 2 Ste. Com. 721 ; and see 18 c. 72, s. 9; 34 & 35 Vict. c. 26, s. 48; Geo. 3, c. 60; 31 Geo. 3, c. 32; 43 and the Religious Disabilities Bill, Geo. 3, c. 30 ; 10 4, c. 7, ss. 12, 16, 17; 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 115; (i) 2 Ste. Com. 722. 7 & 8 Vict. c. 102; 9 & 10 Vict. (3) 10 Geo. 4, c. 7, 8. 26. c. 59 ; 23 & 24 Vict. c. 134, 8. 7; 30 &
but no apostolic succession in the ordinary sense of the
term (k). Non-Episcopal.
(4) WESLEYAN METHODISTS.—This Church, founded by John and Charles Wesley, was originally intended to be a religious society within the Church of England. It has no bishops in England, but in America some of its branches are episcopal. It is estimated to include over 30,000,000 adherents throughout the world.
(5) PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ENGLAND, in which holy orders are conferred by presbyters or priests, and not by bishops. This Church played a conspicuous part in the time of Cromwell. It now consists of about 288 fully organized congregations, some of which date back to the 17th century. One feature of this Church, which the Established Church would do well to copy, is the Sustentation Fund, by means of which the ministers (excluding a limited number under special arrangements) are secured a minimum income of 2001. a-year (1).
(6) CONGREGATIONALISTS or INDEPENDENTS. — A federal union of several thousand autonomous local churches. It has two orders of church officers only, bishops (elders or pastors) and deacons (who have charge of its secular affairs). It asserts that it represents most closely the apostolic form of church government. It has numerous members all over the world.
(7) Baptists are the representatives of very ancient Church views. They do not allow infants to be baptized ; only adult“ believers,” and by immersion. Throughout the world this Church is estimated to have 5,000,000 Church members, but, of course, many regular worshippers being unbaptized are not Church members. Their Church government is similar to that of the
Congregationalists. Since 1727 the Presbyterians, Congregationalists and (k) See Blunt's Dictionary of Sects (1) Hazell's Annual. and Benham's Dict.
Baptists have been associated under the name of "The Three Denominations,” and enjoy-like the established clergy of London and the three great universities, Oxford, Cambridge and London—the privilege of approaching the Sovereign on the Throne (m).
(8) UNITARIANS are now a recognized Christian sect. They also are the representatives of very ancient Church views. They do not form a large community, but their doctrines are said to be spreading in the Church of England and among other sects.
(9) Salvation Army.-A large and increasing religious society, organized on military lines, with a
general” (Rev. Wm. Booth) at the head. It directs its attention especially to the degraded classes (“the submerged tenth"). The recent publication of the General's book, “In Darkest England and the Way Out,” created a great sensation. The Army was originally founded by the Rev. Mr. Booth, then a dissenting minister, in 1865, and re-organized under its present
name in 1878 (»). In addition to these there are over 200 other sects.
In Wales.—The established Church of Wales (q. 7.) forms part of the Church of England, but it is said not to comprise more than about one-sixth of the population, though the estimates vary. The principal dissenting Church is the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Association, founded in 1735 as a religious society within the Church, and became a distinct sect in 1810. Its form of church government is Presbyterian. Its creed comprises the doctrinal Articles of the Church of England, the Apostles' Creed, and the Assembly's shorter Catechism. The dissenting bodies before mentioned are also found in Wales.
In Scotland.—The Church of Scotland (2. v.), which is the
(m) Winslow's “Law relating to Protestant Nonconformists," p. 43.
(n) See Hazell.
established Church and a continuation of the ancient Scotch Church, is Presbyterian. The dissenters comprise
(1) The Free Church of Scotland (Presbyterian);
is in communion with the Church of England; and the other sects previously mentioned.
In Ireland.-There is now no established Church, and consequently no dissenters. The Church of Rome has the largest following, but the (formerly established) Church of Ireland (q. v.), which is in communion with the Church of England, is in possession of the ancient cathedrals and churches. See CHURCH.
DIVORCE is so called from divertendo, because a man is diverted from his wife (n). All questions of divorce are now decided by the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice. The Ecclesiastical Courts have no jurisdiction (). The teaching of the Church is that divorce is permissible for adultery, and that the divorced person may marry again (p); but no clergyman of the Church of England can be compelled to perform the ceremony (1). A divorce must not be confused with a declaration of nullity of marriage, as to which see MARRIAGE. Prior to 1857, divorces were of two kinds, a mensâ et thoro and a rinculo. The former (now called a judicial separation) was obtainable in the Ecclesiastical Courts; the latter (divorce proper) only by special Act of Parliament.
DUPLEX QUERELA (double complaint) is the technical name of an appeal from a bishop's refusal to institute to a living (»). The civil procedure in a case of this kind is by an
(n) Co. Litt. 235.
) 20 & 21 Vict. c. 85, and various amending Acts ; Dixon on Divorce. And see MARRIAGE.
(p) Matt. 5. 32.
(r) See Burn, tits. Double Quarrel and Benefice.