Formed under leadership of T. Chalmers* at the time of the disruption of the Est. Ch. of Scot., May 18, 1843, and the pub. signing of the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission, May 23, 1843. Result of failure of Veto Law (proposed by Chalmers 1833, passed 1834; intended to allow effective protest against calling a pastor disapproved by a majority of male family heads in a cong.) and civil court decisions declaring the ch., so far as it is established, a creation of the state and under state control. ca. a third of pastors and people of the Est. Ch. joined the Free Ch.
The Declaratory Act of 1892 modified the Calvinistic doctrine of the Free Ch. (emphasized divine love, extended God's mercy to those beyond the means of grace, modified doctrine of total depravity, rejected intolerance, endorsed Ref. faith in substance).
See also Scotland. Reformation in, 2.
T. Brown, Annals of the Disruption, new ed. (Edinburgh, 1893); J. Barr, The United Free Church of Scotland (London, 1934).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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