German scholar of Byzantine and modern Greek literature; b. at Kürnach (a hamlet near Würzburg) Sept. 23, 1856; d. at Munich Dec. 12, 1909. He was educated at the universities of Munich and Leipsic, and from 1879 to 1892 was teacher in a gymnasium in Munich, but in the latter year was appointed associate professor of Byzantine and modern Greek at the University of Munich, being promoted to the full professorship five years later. He is especially noted for his great Geschichte der byzantinischen Literattur (Munich, 1890; 2d ed., 1897), and for his founding of the Byzantinische Zeitschrift in 1892, supplemented by the Byzantinisches Archiv in 1898. He is, indeed, one of the few figures of prominence in the field of Byzantine research that Germany has yet produced. Among his other works the most noteworthy are Griechische Reise (Berlin, 1886), Studien zu den Legenden des heiligen Theodosius (Munich, 1892), Mittelgriechische Sprichwörter (1893), Das Problem der meugriechischen Schriftsprache (1903), Miscellen zu Romonos (1907), and Populläre Aufsätze (Leipsic, 1909).


Conditions in the Primitive Church (§ 1).
Decay of Lay Preaching until the Middle Ages (§ 2).
Medieval and Pre-Reformation Revival (§ 3).
English Reformation and Commonwealth Periods (§ 4).
The Quakers (§ 5).
John Wesley and the Lay Preachers (§ 6).
The Primitive Methodist Connection (§ 7).
In the Scotch Presbyterian and Anglican Churches (§ 8).
The Salvation Army (§ 9).
In the Foreign Mission Field (§ 10).
In Labor Circles; Other Recent Movements (§ 11).
Beneficial Results to Pastorate Churches (§ 12).

Conditions in the Primitive Church.

Lay preaching, commonly described in Great Britain as local preaching, is voluntary unpaid pulpit-service, or open-air or cottage evangelism, by men, sometimes women, who are commissioned by their denomination to preach, after undergoing a certain examinational test, but without receiving ordination. There is Old-Testament justification for lay preaching in Moses' wish that "all Church. the Lord's people were prophets" (Num. xi. 29), and in the free operation of the prophetic spirit, which sent out such men as Hoses, Micah, and Amos, though they did not belong to the priestly order. The New-Testament justification is in the facts that Christ himself received no ecclesiastical commission, neither did any of his disciples, while Paul claimed to have received his commission not from the hands of men, but direct from Christ himself (Gal. i. 1). Advocates of lay preaching claim that in the apostolic churches there was no distinction between clergy and laity, but that the members of the church were expected to exercise whatever evangelistic or teaching gift they possessed. It must be remembered that the first Christian churches were largely "churches in the house," nor did the idea of a pastorate church arise until the necessity for pastoral oversight became urgent, as the churches increased in membership and perfected their organization. During that primitive period the churches were dependent on the prophetic gift of such members as possessed it, and the clerical order gradually evolved itself to meet the need of continuous specialized oversight, while the development of dogma and the combat with multiplying heresies strengthened the idea of an ordained clergy commissioned to teach what the Church, as a whole, held to be the fundamentals of the faith. The clergy took on increasingly a sacerdotal character, and the dogmatism and the .sacerdotalism, together, told against the continuance of lay evangelism. There was always the possibility that the lay preacher, unskilled in theological polemic and with undisciplined enthusiasm, might commit himself to dangerous positions, playing into the hands of the heretical sects and leading the people astray. The "liberty of prophesying" was checked, and by the middle of the second century it is probable that lay evangelism, except in missionary fields, was almost abandoned.

Decay of Lay Preaching until the Middle Ages.

In the middle of the second century, however, the Montanist movement in Asia Minor led to a revival of enthusiastic lay preaching (see MONTANUS, MONTANISM). The Montaniats laid the greatest stress on the inspiration, by the Holy Spirit, of believing men and women without distinction, and without regard to any authorized clerical channels. Montanus associated with himself two prophetesses, and the enthusiasm of the sect generated a host of preachers who gave prominence to the concepts of the dignity of the universal Christian calling and the royal priesthood of all Christians. With many extravagances, Montanism was the precursor of Puritanism and non-conformity, especially in the place which non-conformity has given to lay evangelism. With the downfall of the Roman Empire and the adoption of Latin, fast becoming a dead language, as the language in which the Bible was to be read and liturgies to be performed, lay preaching became more and more impossible. The ministry demanded a scholastic training; liturgical practise usurped the place of preaching; and the layman was reduced to the position of a submissive hearer. Yet throughout the Middle Ages the lay preacher sprang up sporadically and had a hearing, for he at least could talk to the people in their own tongue, and whenever there was a movement of spiritual revival there was a reappearance of lay preaching.

Medieval and Pre-Reformation Revival.

The leaders of all the medieval revivals recognized the value of the lay preacher. St. Francis of Assisi's Minorites were laymen, and throughout Europe they traveled, artizans most of them, who earned their living by working at their trades. Francis founded also his order of Ternaries, or Brothers and Sisters of Penitence, who made their direct appeal to the working classes whence they sprang, finding their flocks in the slums and hovels of over-crowded


cities and neglected suburbs (see FRANCIS, SAINT, OF ASSISSI, AND THE FRANCISCAN ORDER). The same revival of lay preaching took place in Germany for two centuries preceding the Reformation. The Brethren of the Common Life (see COMMON LIFE, BRETHREN OF THE was founded with the double object of a return to simplicity of Christian living and of evangelism of "the common people"; the Brothers united in communities, and worked at their various trades. They were laymen, trained to preach in the vulgar tongue, and the tenets of the Church, when introduced in their preaching, were practically applied, rather than doctrinally expounded, while their discourses were enlivened by examples and confirmed by the statements of wise and experienced teachers. Collations, which were a sort of edifying private addresses, and possessed still more of a popular character, served among the Brethren as a supplement to preaching. They took place first in the community-houses, in each of which, upon the afternoons of Sundays and saints' days, a collation was given and a passage of Scripture, especially from the Gospels, was read, explained, and practically applied, while occasionally, in order to enliven and improve the discourse, questions were addressed by the speaker to the audience. The Brethren of the Common Life did very much to prepare the Germans for the Reformation, and it was the Reformation which ended their existence by taking over their work. In England Wyclif did not scruple to send out "unauthorized preachers," with Bible-portions in the vulgar tongue, who preached simple, practical Gospel sermons in homely style to homely people. It is probable that some of the "unauthorized" preachers had received priestly orders, although they lacked the bishop's license to preach; some, however, were laymen pure and simple.

4. English Reformation and Commonwealth Periods.

The English Reformation did not, as might have been expected, lead to any immediate revival of lay preaching. This was largely due to the heavy hand of the State on the clergy, whose preaching was restricted as much as possible lest it might prove too exciting, and to the penal laws against all separation from the State Church. But when the conflict came between the Stuarts and the Puritans, the lay preacher began to assert himself; and the more the State Church sought to repress nonconformist ministers, the more willing were devout dissidents from the State Church to listen to the lay preacher. In a petition to James I. on his accession, the Independents and others held that laymen, "discreet, faithful, and able men, though not in the office of the ministry," might be appointed to preach the Gospel. There was, however, considerable division of opinion in the Puritan ranks on the subject, for the Independents and Presbyterians were engaged in defending the freely chosen minister of a "separated church" as divinely commissioned equally with the minister episcopally ordained, and it was feared that the use of lay preachers might prejudice the controversial claim. Cromwell supported lay preaching and sharply rebuked the Presbyterians who were the chief Puritan objectors to it.. There was a great deficiency of preachers during the time of the Civil War, especially as hostilities had brought university work to a stand-still, but the pious soldiers of the Parliamentary armies remedied the deficiency by raising preachers in their own ranks who exercised their gifts in camps and garrisons. Parliament took the matter in hand and required intending preachers to submit to a test of their gifts, "by those who shall be appointed thereto by both Houses of Parliament"; but the soldiers ignored the direction and were loyal to their favorite preachers.

5. The Quakers.

The rise of the Quakers was the first example of a sect dependent entirely on lay evangelism. George Fox, like Montanus, held as a primary article of faith that the Holy Spirit inspires men and women irrespective of all human ordinances, and that the man or woman so inspired is bound to exercise the prophetic gift. Fox and his followers traveled the country over, fearlessly preaching their gospel. Under Cromwell the Quakers were allowed the largest liberty, and Fox organized Quaker lay preaching. In 1663 thirty itinerant preachers were with him and the number was doubled in the following year; a woman preacher belonged to his little band as early as 1650, and he had seventy-three women evangelists at his command before his death. All the Friends, to this day, give equal rights to men and women preachers. The Quaker preachers were great missionaries. They established themselves in New England, and it seemed likely that they would become the dominant spiritual power in several States. The audacity of the Quakers is almost incredible, for George Robinson preached in Jerusalem, and Mary Fisher succeeded in delivering a gospel message to Mohammed IV. in full divan, encompassed with his army, girt with glittering, adoring courtiers.

6. John Wesley and the Lay Preachers.

The cold wave of rationalism almost quenched lay preaching in England, while the tolerance of non-conformity, with the freedom given for the training of ministers and the opening of chapels, made it seem unnecessary. The evangelical revival came, however, and established lay preaching on such a footing as has made itthe mainstay of Methodist evangelization ever since. John Wesley himself, as an ordained Anglican clergyman, was at first prejudiced against lay preaching, but he later changed his position and himself undertook the training of lay preachers, for whose instruction many of his books were primarily written. In 1745 he replied to attacks on lay preaching in his Farther Appeal to Men of Reason aced Religion, reminding critics of the severe examination of lay preachers in practical and experimental theology, calling attention to the fact that the Jewish scribes, who were the ordinary preachers of their time, were laymen, and showing that in Sweden, Germany, Holland, and in almost every Reformed Church of Europe, before any one was ordained he was required to preach publicly for a year or more ad probandum facultatem. It is noteworthy that to


this day Wesleyan Methodist lay preachers, before being "put on the plan," have to pass an examination in Wesley's Notes on the New Testament and his Fifty-three Standard Sermons, in addition to examination on the leading doctrines of Christianity, and giving an account of their conversion, their Christian experience, and their vocation. When the Methodist Quarterly Meeting--the circuit governing body, and the unit of the denominational organization--was constituted, the local preachers "on the plan" were made members of it ex officio.

7. The Primitive Methodist Connection.

The Methodist lay preachers were the means by which Methodism spread so rapidly not only over Great Britain, but also over the United States and throughout the English-speaking world. They were the advance guard of Methodism; cottage meetings and open-air meetings, supplied by lay preachers, prepared the way for chapels, which were the permanent garrisons of the districts occupied. The "traveling preacher" might have ten to thirty chapels and mission-stations under his oversight, and, with thirty to fifty lay preachers "on the plan," he arranged quarterly for all the pulpits to be filled, while "mission bands" of lay preachers carried on aggressive evangelistic campaigns in towns and villages as yet unoccupied. The lay preachers were drawn from all classes--university graduates, country gentlemen, business men, artizans, and agricultural laborers being on the same "plan." This promoted fellowship, and saved the Methodist Church from being divided into class cliques to the extent that has happened in some other churches. After the Wesleys had passed away, the connection underwent a cooling-period, for its own success tended toward a satisfied settling down. "Field preaching" lost favor, and the lay preachers were subjected to restrictions that became irksome to the more enthusiastic spirits. In many circuits "field preaching" was classed among irregular exercises which were better left alone. These restrictions were the cause of the origin (1807-11) of the Primitive Methodist Connection (see METHODISTS, I., 4) which, next to the mother Church, has made the greatest use of lay preaching. Two lay preachers on the Tunstall (Staffordshire) plan, Hugh Bourne and William Clowes, organized an "All Day of Prayer," on Mow Cop, a prominent hill. This drew a vast crowd, and there were many conversions, but it had not received official sanction, and Bourne and Clowes were refused their class tickets, which meant exclusion from the"plan." They accordingly formed independent "classes," which united in the Primitive Methodist Connection, which has in 1911 completed its centenary celebration by raising a thanksgiving fund of £300,000. In its early years this church depended almost entirely on lay preachers, men and sometimes women, who revived the evangelistic fervor and audacity of the first Methodists, and invaded every part of the country, establishing themselves in special strength in the colliery and rural districts, and in such fishery-centers as Hull and Grimsby.

8. In the Presbyterian and Anglican Churches.

Scotland, early in the nineteenth century, saw a very remarkable revival movement in which the principal part was played by Presbyterian laymen. The movement was led by the brothers James and Robert Haldane. In 1800 the General Assembly prohibited field preaching, whereupon there was a secession by Scotch Robert Haldane, who trained 300 young men. These went out stirring up revival feeling everywhere, and the Church of Scotland, the United Free Church, and the United Church alike shared in the raising of the spiritual temperature. Recognizing the value of lay evangelism, the Anglican Church, in the middle of the nineteenth century, instituted lay readers, or laymen who, after examination, receive the bishop's license to preach under strictly prescribed conditions. The commission entitles the holder "to conduct, in any parish to which he may be licensed, services in school and other rooms and in the open air, and also such extra services in consecrated buildings as the incumbent may wish and as the bishop may approve; and, further, to perform occasionally similar duties in any other parish in the diocese at the request of the incumbent." There are now between 2,500 and 3,000 Anglican lay readers, among them being peers, judges, knights, members of parliament, and eminent professional men.

g. The Salvation Army.

The marvel of the nineteenth century, so far as lay preaching is concerned, was the founding by General William Booth of the Salvation Army. Booth was a United Methodist Free Church minister, but he left that church to start an independent "Christian Mission" in East London. He conceived the idea of an evangelistic movement with a military organization, and his wife, Catherine Booth, rivaled him in organizing-ability and driving-power. The Salvation Army, now working in nearly every country of the world, has something like 16,000 "officers," all evangelists, men and women, and all laics. They receive training from three to nine months, with an extension in special cases, and are then sent out with authority to preach. At first General Booth disliked the idea of women preachers, but his objection was overcome by a friend taking him to hear a woman preacher at a chapel in Fetter Lane, London. The Anglican Church founded the Church Army on the model of the Salvation Army, but it has been clerically directed, and women preachers are not admitted. The Salvation Army has worked in the lowest stratum of society, the "submerged tenth," and its lay preaching has not suffered from the exiguity of its training, as it would have done if it had ministered to more critical classes. It has had countless conversions, and its social salvage operations have won for it the support of many governments.

In the Mission Field.

Lay preaching has been a valuable auxiliary to missionary evangelism. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist Missionaries have introduced the circuit system, with its "plan" of local preachers, and when native converts have given evidence of Christian character and spiritual experience, with the gift of speaking, and have undergone an examination in Biblical and theological knowledge, they have been sent out to the mission-stations and have largely


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