The James Begg Society

The James Begg Society

Publishers of Protestant, Reformed Christian Literature

The Government of the Kingdom of Christ.— Part III.
by Rev. James Moir Porteous.
(Published in 1888.)

Chapter VII:
Other Continental Churches.

"Rome shall perish; write that word;
In the blood that she has spilt —
Perish hopeless and abhorred,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name;
Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame."


I TALY in the sixteenth century had in every province professors of the gospel. Venetians, Tuscans, Neapolitans, renounced Popery. Bernardino Ochino, Peter Martyr, and others, preached with great power in the kingdom of Naples. Their views coincided with other reformers as to scriptural government. In 1536 there was a general commotion, and much hope for the future. But the Inquisition set to work. It tortured, it slew, it banished. Although the Neapolitans refused to tolerate the Inquisition, Rome prevailed, and the heresy of Bible religion was stamped out. The reformation spark was then effectually quenched. But the dust of the martyrs is precious in the sight of Jehovah. The seed sown shall yet have a glorious harvest. Slumbering for centuries, Italy has at length awoke. When the Papacy had reached the climax of blasphemous presumption in the declaration of the Pope's personal infallibility, God by His wondrous providence has brought about the time of the end, when the temporal sovereignty has been thoroughly overthrown.

The Pope succeeded in wearying the fathers of the Vatican Council into submission. A great number of them had intimated their intention to speak, but when his Holiness announced that he would not adjourn to a cooler season, but would sit all through the hot summer if needful, to listen to their disputations, flesh and blood gave in; and on the 13th of July 1870, the decisive vote was taken, there being 450 in favour of the dogma to 88 against it.

This, and the progress of the Free Church of Italy, has been graphically told by Signor Gavazzi. On the 27th June 1871, he said: —

'Before 1847 they had not one single Christian public worshipper in Italy. There were only a few Waldenses living in Turin, who were allowed to worship privately amongst themselves, because they were Piedmontese subjects; but they were so watched by the police that no Italian could approach those meetings of theirs. In 1847, however, Charles Albert, the King of Piedmont, gave to his subjects the first Italian constitution, in which he emancipated the Jews and the Waldenses, they being the only dissenting bodies from the Church of Rome that then existed in the States. They were thus made constitutionally free to worship according to their creed. In 1843 the Free Church of Italy was commenced in Turin, where two congregations were immediately formed; and from 1847 to 1859 they had in Piedmont five congregations, with an average of 400 communicants and an average of 1000 constant hearers. In 1859, after the war for national independence, after the annexation of Piedmont, of Lombardy, of Tuscany, of the Romagna, the liberty was then extended to these States for the preaching of the gospel. But that was only a little step towards the evangelisation of those provinces. The real start was made in 1860, and it was entirely due to our popular hero. It seems to me that Providence has chosen this man to be the man of Italy, politically and religiously. Whatever may be the opinions of men about his last mistake, Garibaldi has been the greatest man of Italy — Italy owes more to him alone than to all other men put together. When he was Dictator of Naples, he told me repeatedly, with his beautiful sweet smile, "Go on, Gavazzi; go on, and preach the gospel everywhere to your heart's satisfaction." We were therefore really free to preach the gospel wherever Garibaldi's jurisdiction extended to. I was able under his Dictatorship to open the first large Christian congregation in Naples. Since that time, during the ten years from 1860 to 1870, we have now a congregation in almost all our largest towns, and in some of them — such as Naples, Florence, Milan — there are even two or three. There are now 100 congregations in Italy with an average of 8000 communicants and an average of 40,000 constant hearers. In my poor Italy, ignorance under the sway of the priesthood was so great that, in the last statistics published by our Parliament, in 1866, it was shown that out of 25,000,000 of Italians, 17,000,000 could neither read nor write. Seventeen millions out of twenty-five. That is Romanism; and Romanism cannot live but where there is ignorance.'

Official statistics give a general average of 64.27 persons without the slightest rudiments of education in every hundred members of the adult population of the male population of Italy.

'Another reason was the rapid spreading of the Bible in Italy. In 1847 he had a Bible, a London edition, presented to him, and it was a curiosity in Italy. Under the constitution of Charles Albert, the Bible could be sold in Piedmont, but with much hindrance and persecution; and when he left Italy in 1849 there was no Bible in the hands of the Italians. But 5000 copies were sent to Rome. When the Pope was restored to his temporal throne, he found the 5000 Bibles in the Custom House, and he was not such a fool as to give them to the people, 5000 rifles to be levelled at his own power. He therefore kept the Bibles in the Custom House, although he was obliged to pay for them. There are now 300,000 copies of the Bible in the hands of Italians. Evangelical Christians there are so fond of the Scriptures that they will not accept anything that is not in the Scriptures, so far as the Church is concerned. Last May thirty-three of their congregations through representatives met in Milan, and proclaimed their unity, and at their next General Assembly in October they would have at least representatives of thirty-six congregations. He then referred to the introduction of Plymouthism from England. The reason it made so much progress in Italy was the greater freedom it seemed to offer; but the Italian Church had declared it had nothing to do with Plymouthism, and two Plymouth congregations still existing in Italy — in Florence and Mantua — had in consequence excommunicated the Free Church of Italy. As to the excommunications he made light of them — he was so accustomed to excommunications. Their unexpected entry into Rome was a punishment of God to the man who had dared to call himself infallible. The declaration of the infallibility of the Pope had no parallel in history excepting the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven, when he usurped the place of the Most High, and when he was defeated by the Archangel Michael. So had Pius the Ninth been defeated. He had dared to compare himself to God — to usurp the infallibility of God — to rob Him of his glory; and the sacrilegious Pope had been punished for his tremendous offence. On the 17th of July 1870, infallibility was declared; on the same day, Napoleon declared war against Germany. One month later, Napoleon was a prisoner at Sedan — he, the protector of the Pope, the shelterer of the Vatican Council, and the promoter of the infallibility of the man, was no longer an emperor, but a prisoner of war. A month after, and the man who had declared himself infallible was no longer a prince — he was uncrowned in his own town. There was the hand of God in all this. But that was the serious view. They laughed at the man's infallibility in Italy — an infallible man, and such a man as Pius IX.

'Three stages are very noticeable. Twenty-three years ago the Bible was a proscribed book in Italy, and freedom of conscience was unknown. No one even dreamed of claiming such a right. In 1849 came a war which opened Piedmont to the gospel. Ten years pass away, and in 1859 comes a second war which opensthe whole of Italy to the gospel, Rome and the Papal States excepted. Another ten years pass away, and in 1870 there comes a third war which opensRome to the gospel. This is the special gain to the world and to the Church of God by the present war. Its crowning achievement is that it has opened gates that have been shut these thousand years; it has shaken to its deep foundations the inner citadel of the great empire of darkness; in a word, it has placed the Bible in Rome. This is of itself an epoch.'

The Italian Government are dealing effectually with the Campagna belonging to various religious orders. Thousands of monks and nuns have frequently by death-bed extortion appropriated these lands, and have reduced them to a desolate condition. Now they are being appropriated, rendered healthy and habitable, convents and monasteries are converted into schools and hospitals. The monks and nuns are provided for out of the revenues, and in future, monasteries will only be permitted to exist subject to the laws of the kingdom.

Other advantages have followed. One of these was the opening of a Free Church at Rome. After ten years of earnest and trying labour, the Rev. Dr. Lewis thus wrote from Rome on January 9, 1871 — 'Our new church is completed and opened. We had arranged for its opening on the first Sabbath of the year; but an unprecedented and most disastrous inundation of the Tiber, which laid one-third of the city and all our Protestant churches under water, prevented our meeting on that day. Yesterday, the second Sabbath of the year, we assembled within its walls, having the unspeakable satisfaction of feeling that we had now a church of our own, and that satisfaction not lessened by the fact that the church we that day occupied was the first ever erected in Rome expressly for Protestant worship.' The Presbytery of Italy in connection with the Free Church of Scotland has but a partial connection with the Home Church.

The Waldensian Church commenced services at Rome on the 9th October, under Mr. Prochet of Genoa, who preached first in a room in a hotel, and afterwards in his lodgings. He was succeeded by Mr. Meille of Florence, who also preached in his own hired house, and attracted to him an increasing number of Romans, whom he reports to be 'by no means a light-minded or a sceptical people.' At Messina, in Sicily, the pastor preaches to more than 400 in a Roman Catholic Church.


Greater liberty was enjoyed under the Dukes of Tuscany than elsewhere. Attracted to Florence by its beauty and art treasures, pious visitors circulated Bibles and Gospel messages. Count Guicciardini possessed a copy, and began to company with the faithful. These gatherings increased. In 1849, a time of persecution, there were seven in Florence alone. The disciples fled everywhere preaching the Word, and imparting the knowledge of the way of life. These continued in an isolated condition for many years. At length, a sense of their necessity led to efforts after union and organisation. Beginning at Pisa, it culminated in a General Assembly at Bologna in 1865. Copies of a Confession of Faith and Constitution, prepared by the late Dr. De Sanctis and M. Gavazzie, were circulated, and a Declaration of Principles was adopted in 1870, which was ratified in 1871. While in the Constitution the Congregational element bulks more largely than in other Churches, it is essentially Presbyterian. Hence the recognition of its Evangelisation Committee in the Councils of the Presbyterian Church.

The Declaration of Principles embraces — (1) the Trinity (2) Creation, fall and condemnation of man; (3) salvation by grace; (4) redemption; (5) holiness; (6) perseverance; (7) the ministry; (8) second coming of Christ. The General Assembly consists of deputies from the united Churches; and by its Evangelisation Committee it oversees the work of the Church. In matters of faith its decisions must be unanimous. Other matters are decided by a majority. The Theological College at Rome has 2 professors — Gavazzie and Henderson. The Church consists of 32 charges, 40 mission stations, 10 ministers, 20 licentiates, 43 elders, and 1,666 members.

The ruling State religion in Italy is Roman Catholic, but by Legislative Acts passed since the abolition of the temporal government of the Pope, the power of the Roman Catholic Church has been subordinated to the civil authority, thereby securing perfect freedom of religious belief. In 1881 Protestants numbered 62,000. Of these 22,000 are Waldensians, and 10,000 belong to other Protestant Churches. The dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church are nominated by the Pope. A number of Sees are vacant, as the royal consent, which is necessary to the installation, has frequently been withheld. A great part of the property of the religious houses suppressed by the Act of 1866 has been devoted to public education.

The average number of the population above 6 and 16 years of age is given as 61.94 per cent of the population, which for 1884 was 29,699,785. In Upper Italy 40.85 per cent, Middle Italy 64.61 per cent, South Italy 79.46 per cent. In the islands 80.91 per cent. The proportion is about the same for 15 years. The smallest percentage of illiterates above 6 was in Piedmont, 32.27; the largest in Basilicata, 85.18. In 1871 the proportion that could neither read nor write in all Italy was 68.77 per cent.


Spain was brought into contact with the Reformation by the wars of Charles V. Officers, soldiers, statesmen, theologians, embraced the pure truth of God. But the presence and action of the dread Inquisition kept it in the background. Nevertheless, so greatly had converts multiplied before 1550, that confession of Christ was publicly made. It seemed as if the entire nation was about to abjure the Papal Antichrist. That system arose in its deadly power and crushed the infant Church. Thus was the Reformation in Spain suppressed. Every one of the theologians who had accompanied Charles into Germany were, after his death, committed to the flames, or otherwise destroyed. There were many noble confessors who sealed their testimony with their blood; as Augustine Cassal, the court preacher of Charles, Pontius his confessor, and Bartholomew Caranza. These sympathised fully in most of the views of the German reformers as to doctrine and government.

Spain is now reaping fruit from their labours. The Scriptures they translated and the works they wrote are read with avidity. A revolution broke out in 1868, when, with a loud voice, the Spanish people asked for liberty of religion. At first the Government were disinclined to give it, but liberty of worship is now a positive and constitutional fact in Spain. The great debate on the subject closed on the 6th of May, the final division being 164 for and 40 against. But even this decisive victory would have been more complete if the seventy Republican members of the Cortes had not chosen to take no part in the vote. They, as a class, seem to have taken one wild plunge from Catholicism into unbelief; and, on the infidel ground, they assert that 'the State has no right to profess any religion whatever.' The speaking on the occasion was magnificent. Signor Castelar's reply to the Canon of Vittoria gave a blow to the power of the priests in Spain which they will never get over. It electrified the House: to such an extent, that when he resumed his seat almost the whole of the deputies crowded round him, embracing him, shaking his hands, and even kissing him.

Only 60,000 persons in Spain are not Roman Catholics. The whole population are Roman Catholics; but there are 6,654 Protestants. Article 12 of the Constitution of 1876 gives them a restricted worship, but it must be private, and all public announcements are strictly forbidden. It is enacted that 'the nation binds itself to maintain the worship and ministers of the Roman Catholic religion;' but by two decrees of the Cortes all conventual establishments are suppressed and their property is confiscated for the benefit of the nation; and the Pontiff was at length obliged to concede the principle. By a concordat with Rome, 1859, the Government was authorised to sell the whole ecclesiastical property, except churches and parsonages, in return for an equal amount of untransferable public debt certificates. Spanish Protestants in 1876 had 53 places of worship, 2,500 members, 8,000 adherents, and 90 schools, with 3,000 children. The necessity of education is seen in the returns that show in a population of 16,634,345 there were 7,214,537, or 60 per cent, who could not read. Political causes, and the poor pay of teachers, kept matters so.

The election of the Duke of Aosta was at first regarded as the death-blow of Christianity in Spain. The contrary has been the case. Ten thousand Bibles and Testaments, and fifty thousand portions of Scripture, have been distributed. Protestant congregations are in almost every corner of Spain, with a regular church organisation. That infant Reformed Church was born at Gibraltar in April 1868: a small band of Christians constituted the first General Assembly of the Reformed Church of Spain. Then the throne was empty, and the Church grew.

At the General Assembly of the Evangelical Churches, which met at Seville, on the 12th April 1871, thirteen congregations were represented. The confessions of Madrid and Seville, a code of discipline, and the appointment of an executive committee, were appointed. Evangelistic work is carried on at Seville Cadiz, Malaga, Granada, Cordova, Huelva, Zaragoza, Cartagena, and Camu�as — at seven of these by the Reformed Church. At Andalusia work has been carried on since 1854. So also more or less at Lisbon, Bayonne, &c.; at Cadiz and Xerex, aided by Scottish Churches.


the Inquisition was abolished before the close of last century, and the Jesuits had been previously banished. Yet Popery was in power, and infidelity spread amongst the more enlightened.

When Don Pedro drove Don Miguel from the throne, and a liberal constitution was established, the yoke of Rome was thrown off by the nation, and the monasteries were abolished. But no great reformer appeared to point to the Scriptures as the one source of all true liberty and happiness. By various efforts Portugal was again brought into subjection to Popery. Once the most advanced in science, nautical skill, and general energy, that iron yoke crushed and subdued them to the lowest condition. Many desired a purer faith. Eight hundred converts were the result of the labours of Dr. Kalley in Madeira, all of whom remained faithful, notwithstanding the persecutions to which they were subjected. When Dr. Kalley first arrived, few of the inhabitants had ever seen a Bible. Administering medical aid gratuitously, he turned the attention of his patients to the disease of the soul, the Physician, the remedy, and the results. During the year 1842 he held meetings, to read and explain the Scriptures. Many walked ten and twelve hours across mountains to hear him. For many months, from 1,000 to 5,000 hearers of the Word assembled. Then the priests arose and appealed to the obsolete laws of the Inquisition; Dr. Kalley was imprisoned, as were large numbers of the converts. He was released, but finally 800 Portuguese Protestants were driven into exile. They went to Trinidad, and ultimately settled in the United States, where they invited the Rev. Antonio de Mattos, a Presbyterian, and late disciple of Dr. Kalley, to become their minister. Dr. Kalley was succeeded by the Rev. W. H. Hewitson, who was the means of confirming the old converts and winning many more to the truth. In the course of three weeks, eighty-seven converts received the Lord's Supper, and upwards of a hundred were seeking examination with a view to communion. 'There are thousands,' he wrote, 'who would gladly listen to the preaching of the Gospel, if the iron hoof of spiritual oppression did not keep them down.' As it was in Madeira, so it would be in Portugal, could equally faithful evangelists be found to carry the glad tidings of salvation to the long-benighted people. Dr. Gomez, a Spanish convert, some thirty years ago collected a small Portuguese Protestant congregation in Lisbon, and the Rev. Alexander Dallas laboured in the north of Portugal. Others have followed. In Oporto, Mr. Cassels, a British merchant, has had Protestant meetings. He was accused of the crime of proselytising the natives, convicted, and sentenced to banishment. Many Portuguese sympathised with him. His sentence was reversed, and he not only has been allowed to continue preaching in his hall, but the Government have directed the police to protect the Protestants from insult and violence. Thus the legality of holding evangelical meetings in Portugal is unquestionable, and from the very enmity of the priests, good has sprung. In 1834 conventual establishments were suppressed, when nearly an annual income of a million sterling was confiscated for the redemption of the national debt. Five hundred Protestants, mostly foreigners, have chapels and ministers at Lisbon and Oporto; and a native congregation has just been formed at Lisbon. Illiterates in 1878 were given as 82 per cent.


The population of the Austrian Empire by the census of 1880 was 37,883,226, of whom about 7,244,000 are Protestants. The State religion is Roman Catholic, but there is complete toleration. Fifty per cent are Roman Catholics, 9.7 per cent are Greek Catholics, 20.6 per cent Evangelical Protestants.

1. The Hereditary Provinces.

'The hereditary provinces consist of the Duchy of Austria, Styria, Carinthia, the Tyrol, Carniola, and Trieste. The doctrines of the Reformation spread very early in these provinces, and prevailed until perhaps not more than a thirtieth part of the inhabitants remained Romanists. But the counter Reformation, under the direction of the Jesuits, succeeded in 1629 in extinguishing Protestantism, and even the Peace of Westphalia 1648, which secured religious liberty for the rest of Germany, produced no change for the better in the case of Austria. It was only in 1781, under the Emperor Joseph II, that an edict of toleration was passed which gave the Protestant Churches a legal existence; and more recently, under the Emperor Francis Joseph, other edicts have placed them in a more favourable position.

'The Protestants of Austria are divided into "Lutheran" and "Reformed." Both denominations are governed by a council nominated by the Emperor. The Reformed Senioratus or Presbytery is formed by congregations locally associated. All the Seniorates of the province form the Superintendential Conventus or Provincial Synod. The Superintendent or Moderator is elected for life by the kirk-sessions, confirmed by the Emperor. The synod meets triennially. The General Synod represents the churches in the provinces of Austria, Bohemia, and Moravia, these being branches of one Church. This General Synod meets every sixth year, and consists of twelve ministers and eleven elders only — who solemnly declare before taking their seats that they promise "to seek the inner and outward welfare of the Evangelical Church Helvetic Confession, according to their best judgment and conscience, and to aim at the Church's growing unto Him who is the Head Christ." This Church is working its way to a thoroughly Presbyterian system.'

All the congregations support themselves. Their sources of revenue are small endowments, legacies, annual contributions, free-will offerings, church collections; but the stipend of the minister is often insufficient.

2. Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Galicia.

'One hundred years before the Reformation, Huss had kindled a light in Bohemia which the most violent storms could not extinguish. Accordingly, the doctrines of Luther were immediately welcomed in that country, and also spread very rapidly in Moravia and Silesia, which were dependencies of the Bohemian crown. They retained in some measure the free exercise of their religion until the Thirty Years' War, when all toleration was withdrawn. Henceforward the history of these provinces is the same as that of Austria proper. Silesia was the first to receive the dawning light of ecclesiastical liberty. In 1707 the Emperor Joseph I. concluded a convention with Charles XII. of Sweden, which secured protection to the Evangelical Churches. Galicia next experienced a milder rule. It had formerly belonged to Poland, and on passing under the rule of Austria, it carried with it the religious liberty it had formerly enjoyed, which was secured by the treaty of partition in 1773. Then came the famous decree of toleration in 1781.'

The Moravian Churches have a slight admixture of Episcopacy, preferring ordination by bishops. These bishops are subject to the eldership; and ordination in the Reformed Church is held to be valid. 'The geographical position of Bohemia is an irregular square, pointing to the north, south, east, and west, in the centre of Europe — bounded on the north-east by Prussian Silesia, on the north-west by Saxony, on the south-east by Moravia, on the south-west by Bavaria, while the southern point extends into Austria proper. It is a kingdom, but subject to the house of Austria; the Emperor of Austria being at the same time King of Bohemia. Present population, about 5,000,000, or 7,000,000 including Moravia, of whom 90,000 are Protestants.

'Bohemia was the last country in Europe to submit to the yoke of Rome, and the first to attempt to cast it off. It could boast of reformers before the Reformation, and took the lead in the printing and circulation of the Bible in the language of the common people; and, after being worsted in a long and gallant struggle for the maintenance of its civil and religious liberties, it became the noblest victim of the Thirty Years' War.'

The Rev. A. Moody Stuart says — 'In the library of our Edinburgh University there is a singularly interesting Bohemian document. It is the protest of the Diet of Bohemia in Prague to the Council of Constance against the burning of Huss and the imprisonment of Jerome, with portraits of both. It is signed, or rather sealed, by a hundred Bohemian nobles, the original seals being still appended; and is such an object of interest for Bohemia, that at the request of the municipal authorities a photograph of it was sent to Prague last summer. It is a singularly vigorous and bold protest, and its high moral and religious tone is so striking in a document of state, that we translate its opening sentence:-

'"Because truly, according to both natural and divine law and by the words of our Saviour, we are commanded, 'Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even the same unto them;' as also an elect vessel exclaims, 'Love is the fulfilling of the law,' and all the law is fulfilled in one word, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;' therefore, so far as in our power, by God's help, having respect unto this divine law for our dearest neighbour of good memory, Master John Huss, whom lately in the Council of Constance (moved by we know not what spirit) — not confessing, not lawfully convicted, and by no proved errors and heresies — you have condemned, and delivered over unto a cruel and most shameful death."

'At a time when preaching was rare, Huss had preached fearlessly against the vices of the Bohemian nobles, and the priests applauded him; but when in turn he preached with equal faithfulness against their own vices, they dragged him to the stake. And now these nobles, turned from the error of their ways through his word, thus boldly and tenderly testify their affection to him as their most beloved friend.

'The north of Bohemia, toward the Saxon and Prussian boundaries, had an advantage over the south in recent times of persecution, in the forbidden yet most lawful circulation of Bibles and other religious books, and in the secret crossing of the borders by many who longed to hear the word of life, and to drink the cup of salvation. So great was their thirst for the word, that even a distance of nine hours could not keep them at home on the Lord's day. They set out in the dusk of the Saturday evening, separated into twos and threes to escape observation, travelled through the night till they passed the border, and found the Sabbath a delight as they assembled with beloved brethren in a Protestant church, where they worshipped one God through one High Priest, and partook of one bread and drank of one cup. The dawn of the following morning found them in their own homes again, after travelling eighteen hours for the word of grace and truth. Although these trials belong to a former age, the memory of them remains in this northern district of the land; the exiled Moravians at Herrnhut have not failed to feed the flame by scattering the Book of Life among the people; and the villagers of Zebus, although Roman Catholics, and without personal witnesses for Christ, had not quite been left without the abiding testimony of the Word.

'We saw the silver communion-cup which had been disinterred from the battle-field. On the rising slope on our right were large mounds of stones, the heaped-up diggings of a silver mine. In those mines thousands of the slaughtered saints of God sleep in their deep graves till the earth shall give up her dead. Banished, imprisoned, scourged, tortured, mutilated, beheaded, quartered, drowned, burned, slain in tens of thousands, were the witnesses of Christ in Bohemia. In the midst of many years of the relentless slaughter of the saints, the year 1421 is marked by a dark line of the blood of the followers of Huss, and specially of the Taborites, who held substantially all the doctrines of the Reformation, and strove to adorn the Word by their holy lives. In that single year this one town, dug about for its treasures of silver ore, witnessed the unparalleled spectacle of a whole 'army of martyrs' dragged as felons to the shafts of three old mines, to one 1700, to another 1308, and to the third 1321. Men of wealth and rank, together with men rich only in faith, and devout women not a few, maidens doubtless as well as mothers in Israel, convicted of no sin except touching the Book and the cup, of reading the Book of Life, and of drinking the cup of salvation, and numbering in all 4329, they were cast headlong into the yawning pits. For two hundred years, till the Reformation was finally quenched in 1621, those martyrs were remembered every 18th of April by a solemn meeting in a chapel erected on the spot to their memory.'

Another writes — 'The work commenced in Bohemia was continued, and prospered greatly. Nearly the whole of the population accepted the doctrines of the gospel, and enjoyed at the same time the greatest national prosperity. In 1618 only a fortieth part of the people was connected with the Church of Rome. But in 1620 the battle of the White Hill put an end to their time of prosperity.'

Unrelenting persecution was commenced in 1621 by the Emperor Ferdinand II, with the help of the Jesuits. It is supposed that no nation ever suffered so much as did the people of Bohemia from the terrors of Rome. Thirty-six thousand families left the country, and it really seemed that the whole of Protestantism had been crushed in the land. But the faithful remnant continued to meet in the hills, in caves, and in the forests; and there they also hid their Bibles and psalm-books.

So, when in 1781 the edict of toleration was proclaimed by the Emperor Joseph II, numbers of Protestants came forward in every direction, and congregations were formed again in many places. They were not suffered, however, to constitute themselves as 'Hussites,' nor yet as 'Bohemian Brethren,' under which appellation they had existed before; but they were allowed to choose between the Augsburg and the Helvetic Confession — that is, to become either Lutherans or Calvinists (Reformed). By far the greater number adopted the latter, the smaller portion conformed to the former. Other Protestant denominations were not allowed to exist in the country.

Religious came with political liberty in 1848. A new Constitution, framed in 1866, sanctioned union of Lutherans with the Reformed German immigrants. Being Rationalists, this Constitution is a mixture of Presbyterianism and Erastianism. The highest is a State Court called the Oberkirchenrath. Hindered in free action, a more recent Constitution, based on Presbyterian principles, was adopted by the Synod of Bohemia. That, however, is not law for the entire Reformed Church of Austria. It is untried in General Assembly, and has not been sanctioned by the Government or the Emperor. Bohemia deserves sympathy most fully, owing to its central position on the Continent, its sufferings for the Gospel, and its gift of a Reformed Church, before the Reformation, conferred upon the world.

The Bohemian Church has four Seniorates — Caslav, Prague, Podebrad, and Chrudim. The Moravian Church has two Seniorates — Eastern and Western, in which the Supper is observed four times a year.

3. Hungary.

Matthias Devay was the Luther of Hungary. He began to preach in 1531. Five free cities declared for Protestantism, and presented their Confession to the King. To these were added twelve market-towns of Ziff, with others in Lower Hungary, and several noblemen. Every congregation had originally (a) a pastor and a lay inspector, (b) elected by the people. They had also a gradation of courts, (c) senorial meetings, (d) provincial conventions, (e) and a general assembly. These synodical proceedings were in operation from 1564, and were suppressed, because the Hungarians sought deliverance from the Austrian yoke, though still consistorially the affairs of the Church are administered by nominees of the civil government.

'Hungary has nothing in common with Austria and Bohemia, except political constitution and laws. The persecution — of the Protestants, who were very numerous in Hungary, began with the reign of the Emperor Rudolph in 1576. The Hungarians, however, the liberties of whose kingdom were invaded as well as their religious freedom, opposed force to force, and extorted the Treaty of Vienna in 1606. Synods were then held, and the Protestant Church was organised. After another attempt to deprive them of their liberties, the Treaty of Vienna was renewed at Linz in 1645. But the fact that the nobles of Hungary alone had political rights, and that the Roman Catholic clergy formed, until 1848, the first estate in the kingdom, rendered abortive even the good intentions of their sovereigns. Persecution followed persecution, until the Protestants, sorely diminished in numbers, were at last promised the enjoyment of religious freedom at the Peace of Szathmar in 1711. This may be considered the epoch of the ecclesiastical constitution of the Hungarian Church, although, at the instigation of the Jesuits, the promised liberties were withheld from them until a special edict of toleration was issued for Hungary by the Emperor Joseph II in 1781, which was afterwards enlarged by decrees of the Diet in 1843-4, and 1847-8, and these are confirmed by the patent of 1852.

'The constitution of the Protestant Church of Hungary is far more free than that which exists in the Austrian provinces already mentioned. It is not placed under the Council of State, which in the other Churches is the supreme governing power. The Lutheran and the Reformed are much alike in their organisation. They are governed by the congregational meeting, where every member has a seat; by the senorial meeting, composed either of deputies or of all the pastors and laymen who choose to attend; by the superintendential meeting, composed of all the seniors and a lay and clerical deputy from each seniorate; and finally by a general assembly, which meets annually at Pesth.'

It has five independent Synods; with an Assembly composed of 94 delegates of sessions, and 12 of the colleges, whose decisions are sanctioned by the Emperor.

4. Transylvania.

Transylvania belonged to Hungary until the sixteenth century. When, after the battle of Mohacz, the Bohemian and Hungarian crowns fell to Austria, Transylvania was for 150 years governed by her own princes, at first of the house of Zapolya. All this time this country was a vassal state of the Turks; and being thus free from Roman Catholic persecution, the Protestant Churches had ample time for development. In 1687 Transylvania was conquered by Leopold I, who solemnly promised the continuance of religious liberty. Notwithstanding which, they were obliged to repel several attacks of the Papal party, until in 1791 the rights of the Protestants were fully secured by law.







Per cent.


Per cent.


Per cent.

Roman Catholics







Greek and Armenian Church







Protestant and other Churches







Byzantine Greeks














Non-Christian — no creed







In the budget of 1844-45, the sum of 106,000 florins were paid for Protestant worship. Protestants of the Augsburg Confession were divided in Hungary proper into 57 Diaconates, with 890 ministers, and 1,115,253 adherents; and of the Helvetic Confession into 57 Diaconates, with 1,925 ministers, and 1,997,634 adherents.


By Hussites from Bohemia, many noblemen in Poland had embraced the truth before the Reformation. In 1500 they had two hundred places of worship. This roused the spirit of persecution. Still Luther's writings were circulated, correcting the views and strengthening the hearts of those opposed to Popery. In 1525, several bishops favoured Reformed opinions, and preachers were heard in Poland and Polish-Prussia. Worship could only be held in private till the middle of the sixteenth century. In 1550 the first Polish Synod was held, and the Book of Order of the Bohemian Brethren was adopted. John � Lasco, one of their eminent preachers, returned from London in 1556, and did much to advance the Reformation. The Protestants of Great Poland were chiefly Bohemian Brethren. Those in Little Poland embraced the views of the Swiss. Both united in 1555, but not with the Lutherans. In 1570, a convention was held at Sendomir, and a confederation of these parties was agreed to. This was founded on a compromise, the opposing views of the Lutherans and Reformed being expressed in vague and ambiguous language. This being held to be injurious to the interests of truth, was abrogated in the next century.

Socinians not gaining a permanent habitation elsewhere, went to Poland, and were mixed up with these Churches for a time. Having at length attacked the doctrine of Christ's divinity, in the Synod of Petrikow, in 1565, they were required to secede from the Reformed Church. They were called Pinczovians, from the town of Pinczow, where the leaders resided. All who dissented from Popery were, in the seventeenth century, persecuted and deprived of churches and schools. This appears to have arisen from the conduct of Socinian students at Racow, in demolishing a statue of Christ extended on the cross. By a decree of the Polish Diet, 1638, their school and church were shut; and in 1658, all Socinians were banished from Poland. In 1661, this edict was renewed, and carried rigorously out.

Remnants of Presbyterianism are found in the homeland of Lasco and of Radzywill: 10 congregations, 6,000 adherents, sessions, and an annual synod.


The established religion in Russia is the Gr�co-Russian — the Orthodox Catholic faith. It separated from the See of Rome in 1054; all persons being authorised to read the Bible. The celibacy of the clergy is so strictly prohibited, that no priest can perform any spiritual function before he is married, nor after he becomes a widower. All religions, except that of the Jews, may be freely professed; but no member of the Russo-Greek Church is permitted to renounce his creed. Children of mixed marriages are brought up in the State faith. While only one in every thousand is a Presbyterian, every twentieth inhabitant is a Protestant; 70,000 or 80,000. are scattered, and form small congregations of the Reformed Church throughout the Empire, with firmer associations in Poland and Lithuania — vast distances hindering a closer governmental union.

THE GREEK EVANGELICAL CHURCH is the result of the labours of Dr. Ralopothakes from the Presbyterian Church of the United States, and Presbyterian in Constitution. The Local Synod consists of three ordained Greek evangelists under the supervision of the missionaries. The congregation at Athens has two elders and two deacons. Three stations are being organised into settled charges.


The Swedes received the gospel through Olaus Petri, a disciple of Luther. After Christiern, King of Denmark, was expelled, Gustavus Vasa was elevated to the throne. This heroic prince warmly seconded the efforts of Petri, 1523. Learned men were introduced. The people were instructed in the knowledge of the Scriptures in their own tongue. After discussions with and opposition from the bishops, the Reformed Religion, by the sanction of the national representatives, was established, and Popery overthrown.

In Denmark, Christiern, who was a cruel monarch, endeavoured by the Reformation only to increase his personal aggrandisement. He wished to possess himself of the powers of the bishops. By conspiracy, in 1523, he was deposed and banished, and Frederick Duke of Holstein enthroned. Preaching being encouraged, and liberty of conscience granted, the greater portion of the Danes abandoned Popery. Christian III completed their deliverance. Bishops were stripped of their power, and religion was properly settled by the aid of John Bugenhagen. Jealousy existing between the nobles and bishops, the latter were humbled. A large sum of money, collected by Arcimbold by the sale of indulgences, was laid hold of, 1536. A translation of the Scriptures into Danish was also effected.

The Churches in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, are all of them Lutheran, and are thus, by their standards, essentially presbyterial. In Denmark and Norway, for a century after the Reformation, some of these elements appeared in practice. The superintendents were chosen by the ministers, and the latter by the people. A kind of kirk-session, or parochial council, and also national synods, were held, in which the ministers were represented. But the influence of the civil magistrate, strong from the beginning, was steadily growing upon the Church, till the King, in 1660, assuming to himself all the sovereignty, also absorbed in his own person all ecclesiastical power. This has been changed by the introduction of new political constitutions, in Norway, 1814, in Denmark, 1848, so far, that the parliaments of the two countries have got parts of the legislative power in Church matters. The Church forms one of the State departments, the King governing it through an ecclesiastical Minister. The ministers and congregations have no voice. The Denmark constitution promised by a special law to arrange Church matters, but that has not been given. Norway received no such promise. Meantime a party of growing influence is trying to secure to the Church greater independence of the State, and a more presbyterial government. The doctrines of these Churches exclude belief in apostolic succession, and are opposed to the claims of an order greatly different from that of the ordinary ministry. Although the official title of superintendents was long retained, yet the name bishop remained in popular use, and found its way at last into the official documents. Thus the government of these Churches, as in those of the first three centuries, is a progression from that of Presbytery onward to Episcopacy and Erastian control — 'the results of a compromise,' writes an esteemed Scandinavian minister, 'between State and Church — struggling together within the bounds of both. This has been supreme since 1660.'

'In Sweden, the Church government,' he says, 'may in some sense be called Presbyterian, with the bishops as permanent leaders, and the king as the highest bishop. The Church has its "Privileges of the Clergy," a kind of concordat, renewed since 1050. Through their delegates, the clergy form one of the four "States" which formerly composed the Swedish Parliament. By the constitution of the "Rigsdag" there are now but two chambers, the members being chosen by and among all citizens, clergymen included. Instead of their former political power, the Church has got a convocation or general assembly — "Kyrkomoto" — of its own, for deliberation in Church matters. Its sole decision appears to be limited to this, viz., that no new law or alteration of the "Privileges of the Clergy," can be made by the King or the Rigsdag, or both, without the consent of the Kyrkomoto. It is called every fifth year by the King, consisting of thirty ministers and thirty laymen, chosen by the Church, with the exception of the twelve "bishops," and the pastor primarius of Stockholm, that city being a diocese without a bishop. It met for the first time in 1868, and is regarded as a great boon, giving hope of the recovery from the Rigsdag of the Church power which it presently exercises. The Swedish Church has also "parochial councils," and a larger amount of self-government in the lower stages than the other two Churches.

'The most prominent theological school is that of "Grundtvizianere," in Denmark and Norway, holding that the words used at the consecration of the Supper are alone the Word of God; all else, although inspired, being simply edifying. These alone are the living life-giving words of the Lord. Bishop Grundtviz, now an old man, has exerted great influence in Denmark by earnest zeal, but the party has degenerated. Free congregations are allowed within the Church — that is, ministers are chosen who may not hold by the standards.

'In all the Churches a Pietistic party has long existed — in Norway since the beginning of the century. They are called "Hanges Venner," Friends of Hanges. This was a peasant who was moved to proclaim the truth, and who was imprisoned for ten years, arousing very many. Since then important educational and missionary efforts have been put forth. In Sweden and Denmark, the Pietists are called "L�sare," or Lasere, because of their diligent reading of the Scriptures. Retaining connection with the Churches, their influence for good has been immense. Separating from these, the Pietists have generally joined foreign Churches — Baptists or Methodists. Numbers in Denmark have joined the Mormons, but who were not of either of the parties named.

In Denmark the affairs of the National Church are under the superintendence of the seven bishops of Sj�lland, Lolland, Fyen, Ribe, Aarhuus, Viborg, and Aalborg. The nomination of the bishops is vested in the King. They have no political character, but inspect the conduct of the subordinate clergy, confer holy orders, and enjoy nearly all the privileges of episcopal dignitaries in Great Britain, except that of voting in the legislature. Complete religious toleration is extended to every sect. It is enacted by Art. 76 of the Constitution, that 'all citizens may worship God according to their own fashion, provided they do not offend morality or public order.' By Art. 77, no man is bound to contribute to the support of a form of worship of which he is not a member; and by Art. 79, no man can be deprived of his civil and political rights on the score of religion, nor can be exempted on this account from the performance of his duties as a citizen. According to the census of 1880, there were only 17,526 persons not belonging to the Lutheran Church. Of these 1,363 were Reformed; while 1,962,733 were Lutherans.

In Sweden, according to statutes, the King must be a member of the Lutheran Church. All natives, aged twenty-five, and possessing certain other qualifications, and making public profession of the Protestant faith, may be elected for the Lower House of Parliament. The Legislative Committee takes cognizance of all matters connected with proposed alterations, not only of civil and criminal, but also of ecclesiastical law; and there is a special state department for educational and ecclesiastical affairs. In 1880 there were 4,544,434 Evangelical Lutherans; Protestant Dissenters, 16,911. The population was 4,682,769. The Church is maintained by landed revenue. Elementary instruction is gratuitous and compulsory, excepting for those privately educated.

In Norway, according to the Constitution of 1814, the whole legislative power is in the Storthing, or Great Court, the representative of the sovereign people. The King cannot nominate any but Norwegians to public offices under the Crown. Here also there is a department of Education and Ecclesiastical Affairs.


The population in 1880 was estimated at 1,925,000, who, with the exception of 7,238 dissenters, are Protestants. All but Jesuits are tolerated. Lutherans alone are eligible for civil appointments. Education is compulsory, and there is a university in Christiania.









Provostships, or Deaneries












Churches or Chapels







Average number of inhabitants to each













"Those that were stout of heart are spoiled,
They slept their sleep outright;
And none of those their hands did find
That were the men of might."

Charles V. governed the seventeen provinces composing the Netherlands by viceroys. Therein the writings of Luther were early and eagerly studied, for the seeds of Reformation had been sown from the fourteenth century by Groot, Wesselius, Thomas � Kempis, Goch, and Grapheus. But the Inquisition had been brought into operation in 1522, persecuting believers unto death. At length seven of the provinces revolted, formed an independent State, and embraced the Reformed religion. In 1566 the nobility, though mostly Romanists, combined, and revolted against the severe edicts of Philip of Spain, and the people openly trampled on the things held sacred by the Romanists. When the Duke of Alva, with Spanish forces and unparalleled cruelty, endeavoured their overthrow, by the energy of their leader, William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, the Duke was defeated, and the seven United Provinces of Belgium were formed. The doctrines and ecclesiastical organisation of the Swiss were adopted in 1573, and entire liberty of opinion in religion was guaranteed. The Protestants who petitioned Philip for toleration were 100,000 in number. They had about sixty places of worship in Flanders, attended by 60,000. So in Artois, Brabant, Utrecht, Zealand, and Friesland. Severities only increased their number. The narrative of their success is deeply interesting: William of Orange attacking the northern provinces by sea, after they had been conquered, recovering them, and finally securing the liberty of the Protestant people.

As the State withheld its sanction for a national constitution, each province adopted one for itself. Presbytery subordinate to magistracy ultimately prevailed.

Thus the same system of government in the Church was adopted in the Netherlands as in Switzerland. Not only was the unity of the Church and the authority of the officers manifested, the liberties of the membership were fully secured by popular election. It is true the initiation of the election was by the office-bearers, but the elders ever required 'the approbation of the members of the particular church.' The Synod of Dort gave a qualified toleration of patronage; but that was submitted to because it was checked by a right of repudiation on the part of the people. A precognition was taken of the people's inclinations in the matter, to which the presbytery gave weight, the approbation and consent of the people to a pastor being expressly required.

The special Synod of Dort was held in 1618. It arose from the views promulgated by James Arminius, Theological Professor at Leyden. He held loose opinions on the doctrine of election by grace. Opposed by Francis Gomarus, his colleague, and the other professors of the universities, by order of Maurice, Prince of Orange, the controversy was submitted to a council of divines from various lands. Calvinism was vindicated, and the Arminians pronounced corrupters of the true religion.

'We believe,' said they, 'that the true Church must be governed by that spiritual policy which our Lord hath taught us in His Word — viz., that there must be ministers or pastors to preach the Word of God, and to administer the sacraments; also elders and deacons, who, together with the pastors, form the council of the Church. As for ministers of God's Word, they have equally the same power and authority, wheresoever they are, as they are all ministers of Christ, the only universal Bishop, and the only Head of the Church.' This was a strong declaration in favour of Presbytery.

The first synod in Holland was formed at Dort in 1574. Then the elders were conjoined with pastors in the government. The theory of co-ordinate jurisdiction of Church and State was not, however, realised. After a struggle, government by presbytery, subject to the civil magistrate, prevailed. From that period to 1795, seven distinct ecclesiastical republics have existed, each more or less subordinate to the State, and without any organic bond of union and communion. Deputations and correspondence were the only means of intercourse. A constitution was obtained for the whole Church in 1816, under the sanction of the State.

'This, as well as others of the Protestant Churches on the Continent, once sound in the faith, may be reckoned on the side of Rationalism and Socinianism. This was effected not by any change in the standards, but by an alteration in the formula. The Dutch Reformed Church, by the alteration of a single word in the formula, completely altered the standard. The office bearers formerly adhered to the Confession because ( quia ) it was in accordance with the Word of God; now the formula runs, in so far as (quatenus ) it is in accordance with the Word of God. By such a change their Confession became a totally different standard to them.'

Again important changes came in 1852, an impulse having been giving to the Evangelical cause by the election of ministers being placed in the hands of the eldership, who again are freely elected by the people; the effect of which is expected to be that the Rationalist clergy will be gradually replaced by men of orthodox and evangelical sentiments. With the altered formula there is no security for this. Since then the National Church is divided into forty-three classes or presbyteries. These are under eleven provincial circuits.

In the NETHERLANDS, according to the terms of the constitution, entire liberty of conscience and complete social equality is granted to the members of all religious professions. The royal family and a majority of the inhabitants belong to the Reformed Church; but the Roman Catholics are not far inferior in numbers. In the last census returns, the number of Lutherans was 2,469,814; Roman Catholics, 1,439,137; Old Catholics 6,251; other Christians, 15,739; Jews, 81,693.

Recent reliable details of the DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH in 1872 stood thus:-









North Holland




South Holland
























North Brabant















Three theological halls form faculties in the three national universities of Utrecht, Leyden, and Groningen, with a staff of eleven professors. There are also recognised professors of theology at Amsterdam and Deventer. Seventeen Walloon or French Protestant Churches, with 10,000 members, are scattered over the provinces. The Lutherans divided into two sections in 1867. They have a theological seminary in Amsterdam. A sort of 'Old Light' body arose from a secession from the Dutch Reformed Church in 1834, termed 'The Christian Reformed Church' has ten Annual Assemblies or Provincial Synods, with one Triennial General Synod, consisting of 74 members, 208 ministers, and 75,000 members. A peculiarity of this Church is that the Consistory or Session takes account of the temporalities, one elder being termed the Kerkraad, who acts as trustee for the buildings.

In the eleven provinces of the Netherlands, on the 31st Dec. 1885, there were 4,336,012 inhabitants.


are maintained at Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris, and Alexandria, in connection with the Established Church; and at Rome, Leghorn, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Lausanne, Nice, Pau, Lisbon, Cannes, and Vienna charges are maintained in connection with the Free Church of Scotland; and in addition winter services are held at Mentone, Montreux, and Geneva.

Three English and two Scotch Presbyterian ministers are constituent members of the Reformed Church, and their salaries are paid out of the public funds. The sum paid for the Protestant Church, in the budget of 1887, is �115,796.


up to 1830, formed one kingdom with Holland, and as the Dutch are Protestants, State aid was readily given to all congregations of that persuasion. The endowments thus given were not withdrawn at the revolution; and hence, at the present moment, there exists what may be called a Belgian Protestant Established Church. It is a very small community, numbering only ten congregations; but it interests itself in schools and colportage, and although the majority of its ministers are said to be Rationalists, the remainder are earnestly Evangelical.

The Roman Catholic religion is professed by nearly the entire population. The Protestants do not amount to 15,000. Full religious liberty is granted by the constitution, and part of the income of the ministers of all religious denominations is paid from the national treasury. In 1887 the sum of �3,412 was paid to Protestants.

Belgium (writes M. Ch. Merle d'Aubigne, son of the Church historian) is perhaps now the most Roman Catholic country in Europe. Since the time when the Duke of Alva passed through the land with his band of robbers, it has been given over to the Pope, and the Reformation has not been able, as elsewhere, to exert its beneficial influence. The clergy are most powerful; superstition, unchecked by the presence of Protestantism, is of the most gross kind. The small Missionary Church, founded in Belgium half a century ago, is now rapidly increasing and spreading itself over the greater part of the kingdom. Towns and villages, where the Gospel was utterly ignored a few years ago, are evangelised; small and active churches are being formed; and every day intelligence arrives of a person here and a whole family there, abandoning the errors of Romanism or the evil path of unbelief to come over to the true light.

The Missionary Christian Church of Belgium has three conseils sectionnaires or Presbyteries meeting in one Annual Synod. Each congregation has three representatives. The Pastor or Evangelist in charge of a station sits but does not vote — all accepting the Belgic Confession of Faith. The 'Union of Evangelical Congregations' is made up of Walloon, German, and French congregations.

MONTENEGRO is governed by a Prince and State Council; with the local peculiarities of 40 tribes governed by elected elders, and a chief or captain. All males under 25 are held to be able to read and write. They belong entirely to the Servian branch of the Slav race. In religion they belong almost wholly to the Greek Church.

In ROUMANIA the Greek Church claims 4,529,000, and there are 114,200 Roman Catholics and 13,800 Protestants. Education is free and compulsory.

In SERVIA only 500 are numbered as Protestants, the people generally belonging to the Greek Church. The Gipseys, 27,289 are turning to land cultivation on advantageous terms offered by the Government.

TURKEY, as limited by the Treaty of Berlin, 1878, contains 16,000,000 Mohammetans and 5,000,000 Christians, but the proportion of Protestants is not stated. Still, those who are chiefly Armenians form one of the seven denominations that are permitted to exercise their own ecclesiastical rule.


Title. Synods. Presbyteries. Minis ters. Congre gations. Elders. Members.
General Synod of Reformed Church of Austria in four Provinces—

1. Austria 1 4 4 6,058
2. Bohemia 1 4 53 53 567 44,904
3. Moravia 1 2 26 24 366 23,780
4. Hungary 5 57 2,003 1,980 15,776 1,944,689*
Evangelical Union of Belgium
Missionary Church of Belgium 1 3 27 14 61 3,923
Walloon, Belgium, and Netherlands
Reformed Church of France 21 105 640 750 3,000 800,000*
Union Free Evangelical Church of France
Reformed Churches of Germany 5 704 963 4,840
Waldensian Evangelical 7 42 70 120 16,484
Free Church of Italy 32 10 43 1,666
Reformed Church of Netherlands 10 44 1,349 1,600 2,091,452
Christian Reformed church of Netherlands 10 40 379 296 1,516 148,489
Spanish Christian Church 2 12 15 25 3,000
Evangelical Church of Neufch�tel 1 } 898 1,038 { 81 3,335
National, Evangelical, Reformed, Canton de Vaud 1 8 923
Free Evangelical Church, Canton de Vaud 1 47 130 165 3,898
Free Evangelical Church of Geneva 1 4 8 400
Totals 56 275 6,216 9,651 22,651 5,096,918

About this Book

In 1869 the Free Church of Scotland presented a prize for the best essay on the fundamental principles of presbyterian order and government. The judges unanimously awarded the prize to Rev. James Moir Porteous for his essay, which was revised and enlarged for publication as the book, "The Government of the Kingdom of Christ. An Inquiry at to the Scriptural, Invincible and Historical Position of Presbytery."

Parts I and II of this book were re-published in 1999 by the James Begg Society as "Jesus Christ King of the Church." Part III is a historical survey of presbyterianism from the first century A.D. until 1888, the date of the book's original publication, with a concluding chapter on the "present [to 1888] position and future anticipations of presbyterianism."

The James Begg Society is pleased to make this third part of Rev. James Moir Porteous's work available on our website.


Density and Religion at Last Enumeration.


English square mile.


tion per square mile.

Roman Catholics.



















United Kingdom




























































































Turkey in Europe


















Sweeden and Norway















Thus Europe, which, prior to the Italian war, has 56 states, has now but 17, with a total superficial area of 3,718,011 square miles, and a population of 328,683,591.— Statesman’s Year Book and Mullhall’s Dictionary.