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previously to the one just treated, was the proposal of a religious qualification for the electors of the several parishes. This is the broad and important question which had found a place throughout the agitations of the last few decades, namely, that of fixing with definiteness the character of the Reformed Church as a Church of believers rather than one of the multitude. It was not, however, in the immediate aspect here presented, discussed at great length in the Synod, the interest of the times being engaged rather about the position of the pastors.

M. Gaufrès regarded the Reformed Church as traditionally a Church of the multitude, and asserted that the fathers, though subscribing freely to the Confession of Faith for two hundred years, had done so generally without the spirit of critical examination, and without that idea of the distinction between the converted and non-converted which has arisen since the religious revival of 1820. It is now proposed to form the Church of those who profess themselves actuated by a certain class of Christian sentiments in distinction from the totality of Protestants. This is contrary to the modern spirit, to the principles of a universal priesthood, and of fraternity and equality among Christians. M. Etienne Coquerel considered the present as the central question before the Synod. It is the question whether the Synod has the right to impose dogma as the test of Church membership in the national Church. If this right is admitted, why may not each Synod impose what dogma it chooses ?

On the other hand, it was said that, aside from faith in the Bible, there can be no such thing as a Protestant; that the fathers, men of the Bible, were really the founders of our modern liberties; that nothing eould be worse than to continue the present state of uncertainty in all that concerns the faith and character of the Church. The following regulation was finally adopted : “Such persons are electors as declare themselves heartily attached to the Reformed Church, and to the revealed truth as it is contained in the sacred books of the Old and New Testaments.” The conditions of electoral capacity in other respects, both civil and ecclesiastical, were to remain as before, except that the minimum age was reduced from thirty to twenty-five, and ability to read was required of all electors after January 1, 1875.

Thus were the great questions at issue deterinined in favor of the evangelical party. A minor proposition urged by the Liberals was that providing for a division of the consistory of Paris into two, or of establishing in the city a number of independent presbyterial councils. This idea had been broached long before, and was ably combated in the Synod, especially by M. Mettetal, and rejected. The scheme was designed to counteract the existing predominance of the Orthodox party in Paris, and would probably enable their opponents to capture the position in detail. There was no reason, it was said, for making Paris, in this way, an exception to other cities; and, from the relative location of the different classes in the several quarters of the city, such a division would be peculiarly inappropriate and disastrous to the interests of Protestantism. The authority of M. Coquerel, père, was quoted in support of this view.

The formal details of the Organic Articles and the Regulations to be established under sanction of the present Synod were fixed without much difficulty. The presbyterial councils which had been re-established by the law of 1852 are retained as subordinate to the consistories. The pastor, who must be a Frenchman by birth, twenty-five years of age, and possessed of

, a bachelor's degree from some one of the theological faculties recognized by the government, is nominated by the council, subject to the veto power of the consistory and ultimate appeal to the Provincial and General Synod. The council, consisting of the chief and assistant pastors in each parish, with a certain proportionate number of elders, is renewable by one half every three years. The consistory, embracing all the pastors within its jurisdiction, and a number of laymen elected from the councils double that of the pastors in chief, is renewable in entirety every three years. It determines the limits of the parishes, supervises the celebration of worship, the administration of discipline, the monetary and other affairs in the several

parishes, and serves as intermediary between the council and the government, as also between the council and the Provincial Synod.

The Provincial Synod, whose territorial limit is fixed by the General Synod, is composed of as many members as there are pastors within its jurisdiction, one half being laymen, nominated by the councils, and chosen for three years. It assembles

at such time and place as it may have designated at the preceding session. It nominates to the government candidates for the chairs in the faculties of theology. The members of the General Synod are chosen every three years, after the renewal of the presbyterial councils, and by the Provincial Synods, enlarged for the purpose by the accession of all the pastors not otherwise members within their several jurisdictions, and of the laymen elected for the purpose by each council. The delegates are apportioned at the rate of one to every six pastors, and consist of pastors and laymen in equal numbers. The General Synod may assemble annually at a place designated in the preceding session. Before the close of each session a permanent Commission is appointed, composed of three pastors and four laymen, to see to the execution of special enactments, and to make all necessary provision for the next session.

It remains to notice two or three propositions acted on provisionally by the Synod. One concerned a fusion of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches, with petitions to that effect from various Lutheran and Reformed bodies. Nothing more detinite than an expression of general desire for such union could be formulated. M. de l'Hombres presented a report in favor of the transference of the faculty of Montauban to Paris, and the addition there of chairs to be filled by Lutherans. Various opinions on the subject were expressed. The proposition of M. Colani, that the Synod favor the transference of both the faculties of Montauban (Reformed) and Strasburg (Lutheran) to Paris, and their fusion in one, prevailed by a small vote.

Several propositions were presented on the subject of the separation of Church and State. The desire for such a result seemed to be general with both Orthodox and Liberal parties, though opinions differed as to its present practicability. M. Colani proposed that the government be petitioned to suppress the budget of all the forms of worship from January 1, 1874, and that the Synod provide for the establishment of a central treasury for the Reformed Church. The committee, M. Viguié chairman, to whom the general subject was referred, reported that it was not advisable to urge the separation of the Reformed Church from the State while the Catholic Church still enjoyed the advantages of State support; since that condition of things would place the Catholics before the people in the attitude of being the sole national Church, and remand the Protestants to a perilous position of social inferiority. It was believed that, on the whole, the time had not yet arrived for such separation. The following conclusion of the report was adopted as the voice of the Synod: “The General Synod, regarding the reciprocal independence of Church and State as the principle suited to the constitution of modern society, and convinced that the Reformed Church of France is disposed to accept with confidence a separation from the State whenever such separation shall be made applicable by the civil authority to all forms of worship, now invites the Church to prepare itself for such a change of relations."

The Synod appointed, according to the established regulation, a permanent Commission, consisting of MM. Vernes, Bastie, and Bois, (pastors,) and MM. Cazenove, Mettetal, and Pelon, (laymen,) through whom the new constitution and discipline of the Church was to be presented to the government for its sanction, this sanction being essential to give legal force to the regulations adopted. A second session was appointed for Novem

. ber 15, of the same year, but through the delay of action on the part of the government it has never yet met.

We have thus endeavored to present in considerable detail, and with distinctness, the action and conclusions of the Synod of 1872, in order that the complicated affairs of the Reformed Church in France, and the events from time to time transpiring, in the present crucial period, in its relation to the State and in. relation to the parties composing it, may be better understood.


As is made apparent in our former article, the proposed convocation of the Synod was regarded with great disfavor by the Liberals; and we now find its decision, as was anticipated, conformed to the views of the Orthodox party. Such was the formal result achieved. The alarm and irritation of the Liberals, however, arose, as is well understood, from the fear that the government would actually put the new regulations in force. This they considered a positive invasion of their legal rights. The Liberal journals strongly denounced the action of the Synod,



and for several months thereafter some of the pastors of this school were engaged in exciting a spirit of opposition among the congregations. About forty consistories out of one hundred and three adopted a protest against the proceedings of the Synod. The Liberals in Paris made various movements, such as applying directly to the President for the formation of a second consistory in Paris, to involve the surrender of the Oratoire and other churches to them, and proposing to secularize the consistories in general, making them only administrative and devoid of jurisdiction in questions of doctrine.

This persistency of revolt against the Synod, as authoritative and compulsory, had been foreseen. Though the right of liberalism, in its present radical form, to any privilege in the Reformed Church was absolutely denied by some, as by M. Doumergue, editor of Le Christianisme au XIXe siècle, yet the majority of the Orthodox party have been inclined to a lenient position; not proposing to urge the government to the use of extreme measures in applying the new electoral condition, and seeking to promote an “amicable separation” of the two parties, with a

" just partition of church property and government support. M. Pressensé, from his position in the Free Church, has continually pressed this view upon the Orthodox leaders. Before the assembly of the Synod he commended such a separation as the only just solution of the problem, since the Liberals held their position in the National Church by the usage of the century, and so by historic right. The schism will involve difficulties, and must be the precursor of a separation of the Reformed Church from the State. “But,” says M. Pressensé, “whenever the religious and intellectual life has awakened in a Church, the opposing tendencies appear, and the administration inclosure becomes the arena of the hottest and most perplexing conflict, because the civil tie preserves a fictitious unity. It is the true torture of Mezentius—tying corpses face to face with living persons. When Churches reach this point there is nothing for them but to separate from the State.” Several Evangelical pastoral conferences soon expressed themselves in this sense. Such separation was asked for in a letter addressed to the government by a meeting of Liberal delegates, being one third the members of the Synod held in the autumn of 1872. The following summer a body of Evangelical pastors in the

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