The nineteenth century was a fertile period for the development and explication of the doctrine of the Church. Both in Scotland and the United States a number of men expended much energy expounding a robust ecclesiology, one soundly biblical and God-honoring. One of these men was Thomas Ephraim Peck (1822-1893), a native of South Carolina and a close friend of James Henley Thornwell. Notes on Ecclesiology contains Peck’s mature thought on the doctrine of the church, including his explication of the diaconate and his defense of divine right (jus divinum) in Presbyterianism. Peck believed that Christ so loved His Church that He provided her with clear details in the nature and manner of church governance. The biblical doctrine of the Church, the spiritual society of God, is set forth in this little volume in a logical and warm fashion by a master interpreter of Holy Scripture.
Table of Contents
Introduction by C.N. Willborn
Biographical Sketch by C.R. Vaughan (Union Seminary Magazine 5:225-242; originally published 1894)
- Terms and Denominations
- Definitions and Descriptions
- Distinction of Church External and Internal
- General Description of the Church Visible
- Proofs of the Existence of a Church Visible
- First Organization of the Church Visible
- Method of Perpetuating the Church Visible
- The Initiating Seal
- Infant Members
- The Notes or Marks of a True Church
The Pretended Notes of Rome
Is the Church of Rome a True Church of Christ?
- The Nature and Extent of Church Power
- The Power Ecclesiastical Contrasted with the Power Civil. Relation of the Church to the State
- Other Theories of Church and State
- Subject of Church Power – Materia in qua
- Officers of the Church
- Presbyteries – Congregational – “Sessions”
- Presbyteries – Classical, Synodical, General
- The Deacon’s Office
Thomas E. Peck (1822-93; DD, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA) was a southern Presbyterian pastor who from 1860 to 1893 taught Church History and Theology at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA.
Clement R. Vaughan (1827-1911; MDiv, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA) was a southern Presbyterian pastor and close friend of Robert L. Dabney. He edited Dabney’s Discussions and authored a pastoral volume entitled The Gifts of the Holy Spirit to Unbelievers and Believers.
C.N. Willborn (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is Senior Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Oak Ridge, TN, and Adjunct Professor of Church History at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Click here to visit his faculty page.