This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1917 edition.
Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XVII MethodistMoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1917 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XVII Methodist Episcopal Deed The vast number of religious denominations within the United States are distinguished not only by the different doctrines preached by them but even more so by the differing forms of church government to be found among them.
Every possible form of government, from absolute autocracy to ideal democracy can without difficulty be discovered among these bodies. The relation of their members with each other and with their common representatives will naturally be vitally affected by this form of government. In some denominations the congregation is the chief cornerstone of the structure of church government, while in others the clergy, or a general body composed of both lay and clerical delegates, or even a single individual or group of individuals, will occupy this position.
But it is not only the relation of member to member or of the members to the congregation, the conference, the synod or the individual or group recognized as leader that is affected by the particular form of government under which a particular church operates.
Such government, on the contrary, goes deeper and affects vitally the property held by such congregations. Thus the property of Baptist, Congregational, Lutheran or other independent churches will generally, in the absence of restrictive trust provisions, be absolutely in the congregation or, if the congregation is unincorporated, in trustees for its members. On the other hand, the property used by Catholic congregations will usually be found to be held by their bishop either as a corporation sole, or as an individual in trust for the various congregations of his diocese.1 But perhaps the most instructive example of the way in which property rights are affected by the form of...