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CONGREGATION—CONGREGATIONALISM


best general account of the Free State in convenient size. The history section includes a valuable summary of the work of exploration in the Congo basin from the days of David Livingstone up to 1893. L’État indépendant du Congo, by A. J. Wauters (Brussels, 1899), is a book of similar character to that of Chapaux. Both Chapaux and Wauters deal with ethnology and zoology. Sir H. H. Johnston, George Grenfell and the Congo . . . (2 vols., London, 1908), largely geographical, historical, anthropological and philological studies based on the work of Grenfell. For geology see J. Cornet, “Observations sur la géologie du Congo occidental,” Bull. soc. géol. belg. vols. x. and xi. (1896–1897); ibid. “Les Formations post-primaires du bassin du Congo,” Ann. soc. géol. belg. vol. xxi. (1893–1894); G. F. J. Preumont, “Notes on the Geological Aspect of some of the North-Eastern Territories of the Congo Free State,” Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. vol. lxi. (1905). The economic aspect of the colony is dealt with in Congo, climat, constitution du sol et hygiène . . . by Bourguignon and five others (Brussels, 1898). The Fall of the Congo Arabs, by S. L. Hinde (London, 1897), is an account of the campaigns of 1892–1893 by an English surgeon who served as a captain in the state forces. The Congo State, by D. C. Boulger (London, 1898), Droit et administration de l’état indépendant du Congo, by F. Cattier (of Brussels University) (Brussels, 1898), and L’Afrique nouvelle, by E. Descamps (professor de droit des gens at Louvain University) (Paris, 1903), are treatises covering all branches of the state’s activity, from the standpoint of admirers of the work of Leopold II., in Africa. Professor Cattier in a later work, Étude sur la situation de l’état indépendant du Congo (Brussels, 1906), severely criticized the Congo administration. Other indictments of Congo State methods are contained in La Question congolaise, by A. Vermeersch (Brussels, 1906); Il Congo (Rome, 1908), by Captain Baccari; Civilization in Congoland, by H. R. Fox Bourne (London, 1903); and King Leopold’s Rule in Africa (London, 1904); Red Rubber (London, 1906); and A Memorial on Native Rights in the Land . . . (London, 1909), by E. D. Morel. Ten Years in Equatoria, by Major G. Casati (London, 1891), contains much information concerning the peoples, zoology, &c., of the north-eastern parts of the state.  (F. R. C.) 


CONGREGATION (Lat. congregatio, a gathering together, from cum, with, grex, gregis, a flock, herd), an assembly of persons, especially a body of such persons gathered together for religious worship, or the body of persons habitually attending a particular church, hence the basis of that system of religious organization known as Congregationalism (q.v.) Apart from these, the more general meanings of the word, “congregation” is used in the English versions of the Old and New Testaments to translate the Hebrew words ‛ēdāh and kāhāl, the whole community of the Israelites and the assembly of the people. The words “assembly” and “congregation” have been to a certain extent distinguished in the Revised Version, “congregation” being kept for ‛ēdāh and “assembly” for kāhāl. The Septuagint generally translates the first by συναγωγή, the second by ἐκκλησία (see J. H. Selbie, in Hastings’s Dict. of Bible, s.v. “Congregation,” cf. “Assembly,” ib.) In the Roman Church “congregation” is applied to the committees of cardinals into whose hands the administration of the various departments of the church is given (see Curia Romana). The committees of bishops who regulate the business at a general council of the church are also known as “congregations.” In the Roman Church there are several kinds of associations for religious purposes known by the generic name of “congregation”; such are: (1) those branches of a particular order, which, for the stricter practice of the rules of their order, group themselves together under a special form of government and discipline,— thus the Trappists are a congregation of the Cistercians, the monks of Cluny and St Maur are congregations of the Benedictines; (2) communities of religious under a common rule; persons belonging to such communities have either taken no vows, or have not taken “solemn” vows; of the many congregations of this class may be mentioned the Oratorians, the Oblates and the Lazarists; (3) in France religious associations of the laity, male or female, joined together for some religious, charitable or educational purpose (see France: Law and Institutions). Lastly “congregation” in secular usage is applied to two governing bodies at the university of Oxford, viz. the “Ancient House of Congregation,” in whom lies the granting and conferring of degrees, consisting of the vice-chancellor, proctors and “regent masters,” and secondly the “Congregation of the University of Oxford,” created by the University of Oxford Act 1854, and consisting of all members of convocation who are “resident,” i.e. have passed 141 nights within 2 m. of Carfax during the preceding year. All statutes must be passed by this congregation before introduction in convocation, and it alone has the power of amending statutes (see Oxford). At Cambridge University congregation is the term used of the meeting of the senate. In Scottish history, from the fact that the word occurs, in the sense of “church,” frequently in the national covenant of 1537, the name of “congregation” was used of the Reformers. Generally and similarly the title of “lords of the congregation” was given to the signatories of the covenant.


CONGREGATIONALISM, the name given to that type of church organization in which the autonomy of the local church, or body of persons wont to assemble in Christian fellowship, is fundamental. Varied as are the forms which this idea has assumed under varying conditions of time and place, it remains distinctive enough to constitute one of the three main types of ecclesiastical polity, the others being Episcopacy and Presbyterianism. Episcopacy in the proper sense, i.e. diocesan Episcopacy, represents the principle of official rule in a monarchical form: Presbyterianism stands for the rule of an official aristocracy, exercising collective control through an ascending series of ecclesiastical courts. In contrast to both of these, which in different ways express the principle of clerical or official authority, Congregationalism represents the principle of democracy in religion. It regards church authority as inhering, according to the very genius of the Gospel, in each local body of believers, as a miniature realization of the whole Church, which can itself have only an ideal corporate being on earth. But while in practice it is religious democracy, in theory it claims to be the most immediate form of theocracy, God Himself being regarded as ruling His people directly through Christ as Head of the Church, whether Catholic or local. So viewed, Congregationalism is essentially a “high church” theory, as distinct from a high clerical one. It springs from the religious principle that each body of believers in actual church-fellowship must be free of all external human control, in order the more fully to obey the will of God as conveyed to conscience by His Spirit. Here responsibility and privilege are correlatives. This, the negative aspect of the congregational idea, has emerged at certain stages of its history as Independency. Its positive side, with its sense of the wider fellowship of “the Brotherhood” (1 Pet. v. 9, cf. ii. 17), has expressed itself in varying degrees at different times, according as conditions were favourable or the reverse. But catholicity of feeling is inherent in the congregational idea of the church, inasmuch as it knows no valid use of the term intermediate between the local unit of habitual Christian fellowship and the church universal. On such a theory confusion between full Catholicity and loyalty to some partial expression of it is minimized, and the feeling for Christians as such, everywhere and under whatever name, is kept pure.

The Congregationalism of the Apostolic Church was, to begin with, part of its heritage from Judaism. In the record of Christ’s own teaching the term “church” occurs only twice, once in the universal sense, as the true or Primitive Congrega-
tionalism.
Messianic “Israel of God” (Matt. xvi. 18, cf. Gal. vi. 16), and once in the local sense corresponding to the Jewish synagogue (Matt. xviii. 17). As Christianity passed to Gentile soil, the sovereign assembly (ecclesia) of privileged citizens in each Greek city furnished an analogy to the latter usage. These, the two senses recognized by Congregationalism, remained the only ones known to primitive Christianity. Writing of the unity of the church as set forth by Paul in Ephesians, Dr Hort (The Christian Ecclesia, p. 168) says: “Not a word in the epistle exhibits the One Ecclesia as made up of many Ecclesiae. To each local Ecclesia St Paul has ascribed a corresponding unity of its own; each is a body of Christ and a sanctuary of God: but there is no grouping of them into partial wholes or into one great whole. The members which make up the One Ecclesia are not communities but individual men. The One Ecclesia includes all members of all partial Ecclesiae; but its relations to them all are direct, not mediate. It is true that . . . St Paul anxiously promoted friendly intercourse and sympathy