CATHCART, WILLIAM: American Baptist; b. at Londonderry, Ireland, Nov. 8, 1826. He was educated at Glasgow University and Horton (now Rawdon) Baptist Theological College, Yorkshire, England, from which he was graduated in 1850. He was minister of a Baptist church at Barnsley, near Sheffield, from 1850 to 1853, when he went to the United States, and accepted a call to Mystic River, Conn., where he remained four years. He was then pastor of the Second Baptist Church, Philadelphia, from 1857 to 1884, and was also president of the American Baptist Historical Society from 1876 to 1884. He has written: The Papal System, from Its Origin to the Present Time (Philadelphia, 1872); The Baptists and the American Revolution (1876); and The Baptism of the Ages and of the Nations (1878), and edited The Baptist Encyclopdia (Philadelphia, 1881). Since 1884 he has held no regular charge, his health not permitting him to accept a pastorate, although he has been able to devote part of his time to literary labors.
CATHEDRA: The ancient Latin title for the special seat occupied by the bishop in Christian churches. Even in the catacombs such seats were used, either cut out of the solid rock or portable. In the basilicas the cathedra stood at the back of the semicircular apse, behind the altar, which was on the chord of the arc; but when it became customary to place the altar back against the wall, the bishop's seat was brought down into the choir and placed on the north or gospel side. The early Church preserved with great reverence the seats of its first bishops; thus it is learned from Eusebius (Hist. eccl., VII. xix. 32) that the church of Jerusalem preserved that of James, and the church of Alexandria that of Mark. A very ancient chair traditionally believed to be that of Peter is preserved in St. Peter's at Rome, and was used for many centuries for the enthronement of new popes, until Alexander VII. (1655-67), for its better preservation, had Bernini enclose it in a colossal bronze throne. At the celebration of the eighteenth centenary of the apostle's martyrdom in 1867, Plus IX. had it again exposed to view; an exact description and picture of it may be found in Kraus, Roma sotterranea, Freiburg, 1873. The bishop's seat was often used as a symbol of the teaching office of the Church, exercised through him; this is frequently referred to in the mosaics and carving of extant chairs dating from the fifth
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