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By James H. Smylie

A short heritage of the Presbyterians deals laity and clergy a succint and thorough creation to the historical past of Presbyterianism. James Smylie chronicles the origins of the Reformed culture and consists of the sage via every one next period as much as the eve of the twenty-first century, concentrating on Presbyterianism in North the United States.

All the most important figures within the historical past of Presbyterianism, resembling John Calvin, Francis Makemie, and John Witherspoon are incorporated, in addition to a bunch of others.

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Francis Makemie, so important for the development of Presbyterian faith and life in America, was born in Ramelton, Ireland, but had to leave Ireland for Scotland to study at the University of Glasgow before he could be ordained by the Irish Presbytery of Laggan. James II was a Catholic and had no zeal for making Presbyterians into Episcopalians. But to bolster his political power, he extended some freedom to non-Anglican groups-Presbyterians and Roman Catholics-in Ireland. He placed the Irish army under Roman Catholic officers.

Calvin found only four types of church officers in the Bible: pastors and teachers, who were responsible for worship and education; elders, who were responsible for discipline; and deacons, who were responsible for the care of the poor, indigent, and sick in congregations. The Genevan church was run by a consistory responsible for encouraging Christian discipleship. In larger geographical areas such as France, the Netherlands, and other parts of Europe, the Reformed developed a system of graduated church bodies, beginning with the congregation, then the consistory or presbytery, and all embraced in a synod.

Makemie's reputation hadarrived in New York before he did. He was thought of as a Presbyterian "bishop," going around ordaining ministers and making a "great noise" wherever he traveled. Governor Cornbury wrote that Makemie was a "jack of all Trades; he is a Preacher, a Doctor of Physick, a Merchant, an Attorney, or Counselor at Law, and which is worst of all, a Disturber of Governments .... " Cornbury held that the Toleration Act of 1689 did not apply to the colonies. Makemie argued that it did and, moreover, he held a license to preach.

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