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African Union Methodist Protestant Church (U.S.)
The Doctrine & Discipline of the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church of the United States of America or Elsewhere
Wilmington [Del.]: P. H. Eckel, 1871.

Summary

The Doctrine and Discipline of the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church (1871) begins with a short history of the African Union Church and a defense of written discipline as the best safeguard of "Christian liberty." The book goes on to provide a detailed doctrinal statement for the church. It covers the Creed and interprets its various parts, and gives definitive statements on the Trinity, the canonical books of the Bible, the role of sin and free will, the sacraments, the relation of the church to the national government, and so on. Under "Rules of Admission," this guide prescribes certain behaviors, church attendance among them, and lists questions to be asked of those wishing to join the church. Following the rules is an extended catechism that covers salvation, faith, justification, sin, Calvinism, Antinomianism, Law, God, obedience, works, and so on.

Following the Doctrine is the Discipline, which sets out guidelines for all elements of church life. This guide gives specific instructions for membership, conferences, positions (from minister to church member), use of money, trials, and public worship. The guide then gives specific orders of service for Lord's Supper, baptism of infants and adults, marriage, ordination, and dedications, which include scripture readings, ceremonial statements, and prayers. Finally, the book includes forms of various credentials and licenses for preachers, deacons, membership, election to church office, and other similar items.

Christopher Hill

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