The Antiburghers were a faction among the Presbyterians of Scotland in the 1730s who refused to take an oath they interpreted as requiring loyalty to the Church of Scotland.
   More than a century of Scottish Presbyterian history was marked by a series of controversies that caused the proliferation of independent churches. The first conflict concerned choosing ministers for vacant parishes.
   At the time of the Reformation, most parish church buildings had been built and were still maintained by the head of the local noble family. It was common for the nobleman to choose, or at least assume veto power over, the local minister, whose salary he would be paying. In 1690, when William of Orange was chosen to be the new king of Great Britain, the right of choosing their own ministers was granted to the Scottish congregations. However, in 1717 Parliament passed what was known as the Patronage Act, which returned that privilege to those nobles who operated as patrons (i.e., financially supported their local church).
   While the Patronage Act angered many, a real crisis did not occur until the beginning of the 1730s. When one local patron neglected his duty of securing a new pastor, a group of landowners and church elders assumed the task and made a choice. When other members of the congregation demanded a voice, they were ignored. In 1731, under the leadership of Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1754), the congregation seceded from the Church of Scotland and formed what became known as the Associate Presbytery
   Within the Associate Presbytery, a subsequent issue arose over the oath required of all citizens (i.e., burghers), which stated, "I profess . . . the true religion presently professed within this realm . . . renouncing the Roman religion called papistry." Most in the Presbytery saw the operative phrase to be the rejection of Roman Catholicism. However, some saw the oath as expressing loyalty to the Church of Scotland (as the "true religion professed within the realm") and hence refused to take it. The dispute between Burghers and Antiburghers (those who refused to take the oath) led to a split in the Associate Presbytery. The two factions continued through the end of the century.
   In the 1790s, a new issue arose among both the Burgher and Antiburgher churches over the role of the state. One group in each faction rejected any role for the state in maintaining the church, especially in paying the minister. The other group approved state assistance. At this point, four churches (denominations) existed.
   In the 1840s, the issue of the congregational right to choose its minister surfaced again within the larger Church of Scotland. After years of wrangling, those who opposed ministers being assigned to parishes against the wishes of the congregation pulled out of the Church of Scotland and formed the Free Church of Scotland. In the 20th century, most of these issues lost resonance, and both the Associate Presbytery and the Free Church reunited with the Church of Scotland, though small factions remained outside.
   The Burgher/Antiburgher controversy was carried overseas to the British colonies, especially to North America, where some Presbyterian churches aligned with various factions of the Associate Presbytery. They, too, eventually lost the rationale for a separate existence and eventually merged into larger Presbyterian bodies, although remnants continue to the present.
   See also United Kingdom.
   Further reading:
   ■ Randall Balmer and John R. Fitzmier, The Presbyterians (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994)
   ■ Lefferts A. Loetscher, A Brief History of the Presbyterians (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978)
   ■ Robert Benedetto, Darrell L. Guder, and Donald K. McKim. Historical Dictionary of Reformed Churches (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1999)
   ■ James H. Smylie, A Brief History of the Presbyterians (Louisville, Ky.: Geneva Press, 1996).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Antiburghers — (engl., spr. Äntibörkers), in Schottland die Partei der Seceders (s.d.), welche den Bürgereid nicht mehr leisten wollten …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Antiburghers —  Антигорожане …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Антибюргеры — (Antiburghers) секта пресвитерианской шотландской церкви, см. Сисидеры (Seceders) …   Энциклопедический словарь Ф.А. Брокгауза и И.А. Ефрона

  • Burgher — Burgh er, n. [From burgh; akin to D. burger, G. b[ u]rger, Dan. borger, Sw. borgare. See {Burgh}.] 1. A freeman of a burgh or borough, entitled to enjoy the privileges of the place; any inhabitant of a borough. [1913 Webster] 2. (Eccl. Hist.) A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Adam Gib — (April 14, 1714 ndash; June 18, 1788), was a Scottish religious leader, head of the Antiburgher section of the Scottish Secession Church.Gib was born in the parish of Muckhart, Perthshire. He studied literature and theology at the University of… …   Wikipedia

  • Schottische Kirche — Schottische Kirche, die Landeskirche in Schottland ist die presbyterianische (s.u. Presbyterianer); wie die Reformation seit der Mitte des 16. Jahrh. den Sieg über das alte katholische Kirchenwesen gewonnen u. sich, trotz der mehrfachen Versuche… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Burghers — und Antiburghers, s. Seceders …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Seceders — (engl., spr. ßißīders, »Abweichende«), Mitglieder der »vereinigten presbyterianischen Kirche«, die sich, unzufrieden mit der Wiederherstellung der Patronatsrechte (1712), unter Führung Erskines 1733 von der schottischen Staatskirche trennten und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Seceders — (engl., spr. ßißih , »Abweichende«), die Anhänger der von der schott. Staatskirche abgesonderten »Vereinigten presbyterianischen Kirche«; bilden seit 1732 eine eigene Kirchenpartei mit demokrat. Verfassung, 1742 1820 gespalten in Burghers, welche …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Brechin —    BRECHIN, a burgh, market town, and parish, in the county of Forfar, 8 miles (W. by N.) from Montrose, and 66 (N. N. E.) from Edinburgh; containing, with the village of Trinity Muir, 7560 inhabitants, of whom 2986 are in the late East quoad… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

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