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Sketches of the Presbyterian Church

by Rev. Joel Edson Rockwell
originally published in 1854
paperback; 285 pages

The design of this book is to present an outline of the history and principles of the Presbyterian church, and to set forth in a condensed and yet sufficiently explicit form, the facts which show its doctrines and order to be primitive and apostolic. The Presbyterian form of government assumes that a particular congregation is only part of the church, to which it is responsible, and that authority hath been vested in its ministers and officers, who constitute its courts and by whom its discipline is administered. It agrees with Congregational churches in asserting the equality of the ministry, but differs from them in their views of the independency of each congregation. It agrees with the Episcopal church in its maintaining a union of many congregations under one episcopacy, but differs from it in vesting that oversight in the hands of the Presbytery, composed of several Bishops of equal authority, and not of a prelate of power superior to the rest. It is believed by the author that this form of government approaches the nearest to that first instituted by the apostles.

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