LOW CHURCHMAN, a term applied to members of the Church of England or its daughter churches who, while accepting the hierarchical and sacramental system of the Church, do not consider episcopacy as essential to the constitution of the Church, reject the doctrine that the sacraments confer grace ex opere operato (e.g.
So long as each church had its own bishop the presbyters constituted simply his council, but with the growth of diocesan episcopacy it became the custom to put each congregation under the care of a particular presbyter, who performed within it most of the pastoral duties formerly discharged by the bishop himself.
At the Vatican Council of 1870 episcopacy made its last stand against papalism, and was vanquished '(see' Vatican Council).
The deepest line of cleavage is naturally between the view that episcopacy is a divinely ordained institution essential to the effective existence of a church as a channel of grace, and the view that it is merely a convenient form of church order, evolved as the result of a variety of historical causes, and not necessary to the proper constitution of a church.
In episcopacy the control of church affairs is almost entirely withdrawn from the people; in congregationalism it is almost entirely exercised by the people; in Presbyterianism it rests with a council composed of duly appointed office-bearers chosen by the people.
They included Thomas Goodwin and Philip Nye, who had practised this polity during exile abroad and now strove to avert the substitution of Presbyterian uniformity for the Episcopacy which, as the ally of absolutism, had alienated its own children (see Presbyterianism).
In the episcopacy it has numerous adherents; it has, made progress in the universities, and most of the learned and theological reviews are conducted in its spirit.
Their preponderance in Ulster and their consciousness of their great service to England led them first of all to hope that Presbyterianism might be substituted for Episcopacy in Ulster, and afterwards, that it might be placed on an equal footing with the latter.
In the West, Gallican and Febronian Episcopacy are represented by two ecclesiastical bodies: the Jansenist Church under the archbishop of Utrecht (see JANSENISM and UTRECHT), and the Old Catholics.
Methodist episcopacy is therefore based on the denial of any special potestas ordinis in the degree of bishop, and is fundamentally distinct from that of the, Catholic Church - using this term in its narrow sense as applied to the ancient churches of the East and West.