4. The New Catechism and Hymn-book

Ebrard considered it now his task to restore for the Church of the Palatinate the old Presbyterian government, which had been overthrown in 1848 "by a democratic subversion and by an ecclesiastical ochlocracy," and to give this Church a catechism and hymn-book in accordance with its faith. The question of the catechism was brought up at the general synod of 1853, and Ebrard succeeded in replacing the old catechism of 1818 by a compilation of the Heidelberg catechism and the smaller catechism of Luther and in establishing the Augustana variaaa of 1540 as the con fession of the Church in the Palat inate. The constitution of the Church was also discussed at the synod. The aristocratic consti tution of 1818 was restored, but it was conceded to the liberals that the number of the secular mem bers of the diocesan synods should be made nearly equal to the number of pastors. The introduction of a new hymn-book, however, was much more difficult to effect. The opposition in the Church proceeded chiefly from the old rationalists. The people, who were filled with the liberal ideas of 1848, connected the introduction of the new or thodox hymn-book with hierarchiam, but the gen eral synod of 1857 took the part of the consistory and decided that the book should be accepted. The presbyteries, however, were not forced to accept it until another synod, to be held in 1861, should fix a definite time at which the introduction should be obligatory. Moat of the congregations accepted the new hymn-book and peace might have ensued if the conaiatory had not committed the serious mistake of ordering the introduction of the book into all schools.

5. Victory of Ebrard's Opponents

In this the liberal opposition found opportunity to incite the people against the supposed violence to conscience. Meetings were held and petitions were sent to the government, the ministry and the king, but the king did not think as yet of a retreat, considering the resolutions of the general synods and consistoriea as binding. The final victory of the opposition was achieved by the legal expositions of Umbacheiden, a democratic jurist, in his treatise Kirchengesetz and Kirchengevxelt in der bayerischen Pfalz (Munich, 1860). He showed that the mode of election instituted at the general synod of 1857 was illegal, that the government of the State had no power to sanction a changed constitution, and that therefore the democratic order of 1848 was still in force. Thereupon the ministry retreated and King Max issued a rescript in 1861 ordering the consistory to reestablish at the coming general synod the democratic order of election with an equal representation of the ecclesiastical and secular elements and the presbyteries and to permit the introduction of the new hymn-book only where the majority of the congregation gave consent.


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