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Protestant Church of the Moravian United Brethren,
E. DE SCHWEINITZ,
PASTOR OF THE FRANKLIN STREET MORAVIAN CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA.
PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY OF THE SYNOD, AND SANCTIONED BY
THE PROVINCIAL BOARD.
LINDSAY & BL A KISTON,
AND SOLD BY
A. M. SEIP, Moravian Depository, No. 557 North Sixth Street ; G. W. PERKIN,
0. A. KEEHLN, Moravian Depository, Salem, N. C.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by
LINDSAY & BLAKISTON,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of
HENRY B. ASHMEAD, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER,
Sansom Street above Eleventh.
The first Manual, giving an account of the Constitution and Discipline of the Moravian Church, was written by Bishop Spangenberg, and published in Germany, in the year 1774. In 1775, it was translated into English, and published in London, with a preface by the Rev. B. La Trobe. This work passed through a number of revised editions, both in the German and English languages. The last American edition, in a small pamphlet form of about seventy pages, appeared in 1833; but is now obsolete. It bears the following title: “A Concise Historical Account of the present Constitution of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren: Philadelphia, 1833.” In the year 1789, a larger work, containing over three hundred and fifty pages, was written by the Rev. J. Loretz, and published in Germany, under the title: “Ratio Disciplinæ Unitatis Fratrum." The first part of this volume comprises an interesting sketch of the history of the Church; the other parts, treating of the Constitution and Discipline,
The Provincial Synod of the Northern District of the American Province, at its last meeting, held in the month of June, 1858, authorized the publication of a new Manual, suitable to the present wants of the Church in the United States, and committed the compilation of it to the writer. He has striven to fulfil the resolution adopted by the Synod, (see Journal of Synod of 1858, p. 105, F. 1,) to the best of his ability ; although he found the duty assigned him a far more difficult one than he had supposed. The abundance of his materials often rendered it bard for him to decide what was essential, and what unessential; and the number of Synodical Journals and Reports to be consulted required the closest attention and considerable labor. Whatever the imperfections of the Manual may be, he thinks he can vouch for its authenticity.
The historical chapter contains an original sketch ; and the chapter treating of the Present Condition of the Church is based upon the most recent information which could be obtained. In the Chapter on Doctrine, a Compendium will be found, setting forth the essential doctrines held by the Church. This Compendium has been drawn up with very great care, and exclusively in the language of authorized publications of the Church ; excepting only the expression "we hold,” which frequently occurs, or here and there a copulative, necessary to unite sentences derived from different works. The Compendium is therefore not a subjective treatise on Moravian Doctrine, but simply an authorized statement of it, compiled from Moravian books. For the remaining chapters, the following official documents were consulted : Results of the General Synod of 1848 ; Results of the General Synod of 1857; Report of the Proceedings of the Preparatory Provincial Conference, held at Bethlehern, Pa., in the month of
May, 1847 ; Report of the Proceedings of the Provincial Synod, held at Bethlehem, Pa., in the month of June, 1816; Journal of the Provincial Synod, held at Bethlehem, Pa., in the month of May, 1855 ; Journal of the Provincial Synod, held at Bethlehem, Pa., in the month of October, 1856: Digest of the Provincial Synod, held at Salem, N. C., in the month of May, 1856; Report of the Provincial Synod, held at Salem, N. C., in the month of February, 1858, as published in “ The Moravian;" Journal of the Provincial Synod, held at Bethlehem, Pa., in the month of June, 1858. In drawing up the chapter on Constitution, the writer endeavored to present the entire Constitution, general and provincial, as explicitly, and in as symmetrical a form as possible. In order to effect this, it became necessary, when stating the statutes, to adopt one tense throughout, and he chose that which is commonly employed in constitutions. It has been his earnest endeavor not to omit a single point, belonging to the constitution ; especially so far as the American Province is concerned. The Constitution of the Southern District was drawn up by a
member of its Provincial Board.
This Manual was submitted, in manuscript, to the Provincial Board, at Bethlehem, Pa., and has received its sanction, after a careful examination of the contents. At the same time, however, it may be well to state, that the work is not intended, in any way at all, to supersede the “Results” of the last General Synod, or the Journals and Reports of the Provincial Synods of this Province. All these documents remain in force as heretofore, and will guide the deliberations of future Synods. The purpose of the Manual is a two-fold