S.C. French Protestant Church Charleston.

Preamble and rules for the government of the French Protestant Church of Charleston: adopted at meetings of the corporation held on the 12th and the 19th of November, 1843 online

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On the 13th and the 19th November, 184&.




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The church now recognized in law, by the corporate
name of "The French Protestant Church of Charles-
ton," was founded by French Protestant Christians,
who having left France to avoid the persecutions which
followed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantz, in the
year 1685, sought civil and religious liberty in South-
Carolina. Its tenets are contained in the Articles, en-
titled "Confession de Foi, faite d'un commun accord
par les Eglises reformees du Royaume de France."
Its worship has always been conducted according to
the Liturgies of the same churches ; and its government
and discipline were as far as local circumstances ad-
mitted, in accordance with the principles laid down and
explained in the book entitled "Le discipline Ecclesias-
tique des Eglises Reformees de France,"

But the worship of the church, for a long period sub-
ject to interruptions, in consequence of the necessity
of procuring Ministers from Europe, has during later
years been suspended, partly for the reason just stated,
but chiefly on account of a gradual dispersion of the
families of members, among churches in which the
services were conducted in English. This, being the
language of the country, had become the language of
the descendants of the French. A corresponding
change in the services of the church was not made in

due time. Its necessity, slowly admitted, eventually
led to measures for effecting a translation of the Litur-
gies into English ; which work having been accom-
plished, an edition was printed by order of the Corpo-
tion, in 1836.

The property of the church, an ancient endowment
from the Lords Proprietors of the then Province of
Carolina, has in the meantime been preserved, and im-
proved. Thus provided with means, and with a pure
and scriptural Liturgy in a language familiar to us,
this ancient church is now prepared to re-open its doors
to the descendants of its pious founders, for Divine
Worship, and sacred instruction, according to the
forms and principles of their ancestors.

To adapt the Bye-Laws to this change of circum-
stances ; and with the hope, that by the blessing of
God, on the right use of the means entrusted to us,
this church may be rendered an active and efficient
member of the Church Universal, the following Rules
are adopted for our future government, viz. :


Liturgies to The services of this Church shall in accord-
be used. .

ance with former usage, be conducted with an
established Liturgy. When conducted in the
French language, the ancient Liturgies of the
Reformed Churches of France, shall be used as
heretofore, with the omission, or alteration of
such parts, as are inapplicable to our local and
civil relations. When conducted in the Eng-
lish language, the Liturgies used shall be those
contained in the book prepared by a Committee
of the Corporation, entitled "The Liturgy of the
French Protestant Church, translated from the
editions of 1737 and 1772, published at Neucha-
tel, with additional prayers carefully selected,

and some alterations; arranged for the use of the
Congregation in the City of Charleston, S. C,
printed at Charleston, by Jas. S. Burges, 1836."
The several services in this book, may be
used on any occasions of public worship, with-
out regard to the day of the week, for which
they are designated, provided, the Minister
and Elders concur in such use of them.


There shall be two stated meetings of the Meetings of
Corporation annually, viz : On the second TwHtatedl
Mondays of January and July.

Special meetings may be called by the order fecial may
of the Elders. The business for which special special P ur'
meetings are called, must be stated in general pos ™
terms in the notice ; and at such meetings no
other business shall be transacted.

One third of the members of the Corporation, Quorum
shall constitute a quorum ; provided, that a quo-
rum shall not consist of less than eight mem-
bers. If there be not a quorum, the members
present may adjourn to some other time ; and
from time to time, until there be a quorum.

Every adjournment shall be considered a Adjourn.
continuance of the meeting held, or intended ments
to be held.

Notice of the stated meetings shall be given Notices
in two newspapers of the city, not less than
three times in each.

Special meetings shall be called by notice in
two newspapers of the city, three times in each,
or by immediate written notice from the Secre-
tary to each member.

One day's notice in two newspapers, shall be
sufficient for any adjourned meeting. But if
the adjournment be made by a meeting with a
quorum for business, then the mode and length
of notice may be determined by the meeting.


Election of At the stated meeting in January, in every
year, or if the election be not then made, at
any subsequent meeting held in accordance
with Article II ; a President, who shall be ex-
officio an Elder, and four other Elders, a Trea-
surer and a Secretary, shall be elected by ballot.
They shall continue in office until the annual
election in January, or if it be not then made,
until another election.

Whenever there shall be a vacancy in the
offices of President or Elders, the remaining
Elders may fill the vacancy by ballot, until the
next stated meeting.


P 3 i e and sex-' ^ Clerk, Organist and Sexton, may be ap-

ton pointed by the Elders, who shall determine

their term of service, and compensation. The

offices of Clerk and Sexton may be united, in

the di<- re +: m of the Elders.


ap]"oT n e tm7nt The Minister of this. ;}hurch, shall be one or-
01 - dained in conformity with the principles thereof.

It shall be the office of the elders to select, and
nominate to the Corporation, a Minister ap-
proved for piety and doctrine. The Corpora-
tion shall have authority to approve or reject
such nomination. The Corporation shall also
determine the term of service, and the salary
of the Minister, and have power to disolve his
connection with the Church.
Not w attend And in order that the holy influence of the
pastoral office may not be impaired, by the col-
lisions, which sometimes arise in the transac-
tions of business, but that it may be reserved
to promote harmony and brotherly love, the

Minister shall not be present at any meetings
of the Elders, or of the Corporation.


During a vacancy of the pulpit, the Elders Temporary

■? i x r supply of

may make such temporary arrangements tor P uipiu
Divine Service, as they shall approve, not to
extend beyond the first meeting of the Corpora-
tion thereafter.


No collection shall be made, but by the con- collections.
sent of the Elders, except the alms at the Holy


The Minister for the time being, shall keep Register ana
a Register of Marriages, Births, Baptisms, therefrom 8
Deaths and Burials, and give certificates there-
from, when required

This Register shall be kept in . ok -ovi-
ded for the purpose, by the Elders, as the x ro-
perty of the Church. )uring a vacancy of the
pastoral office, the ' ter shall be kept by

the Treasurer, who in such case and during
the absence of the Minister, shall be authorised
to give certificates therefrom.


The Elders shall have charge of the common Se ai
seal. It shall be affixed to papers only by di-
rection of the Corporation — excepting certifi-
cates to be given under Article VIII., to which
any of the Elders may affix the seal.


The Treasurer shall let the pews or parts of


JndT s rcr P ews when vacant. In case of dispute between
two or more applicants, he shall refer the matter
to the Elders. He shall let the Houses and
Lands, and shall always do so by written lease.
He shall not make a lease for more than one
year, but by consent of the Elders, entered on
their Minutes, or given in writing. He shall
invest monies, but only with the approbation of
the Elders, first obtained. He shall collect and
deposit all monies in bank, in the corporate
name of the Church, and shall draw the same
under power of attorney from the Elders, re-
vocable by a majority of them at pleasure; and
all payments shall be made by checks. He
shall take charge of all the deeds, securities for
money, certificates of stock and other pro-
perty, of which he shall exhibit a schedule at
the stated meetings, and whensoever required
by the Elders or Corporation He shall at
those meetings, and also when required as
above, exhibit an account of his receipts and
payments, a list of the tenants of houses, and
of pews and parts of pews, and the rents in
arrear. He shall keep such books as the
Elders may direct, and all the books kept by
him are to be considered as Church property.
He shall, before he shall enter upon the duties

His bond, of his office, give bond to the Corporation in
the sum of $2000, with such security and con-
dition as the Elders shall approve. The bond
to continue in force, so long as he shall con-
tinue in office under these rules, and by virtue
of his first or any succeeding elections, and
until he shall have finally and fully accounted,
and settled and fulfilled his trust. The Elders
may require additional security at any time.
His rompen- The compensation of the Treasurer for his
services, shall be fixed by the President and


The Secretary shall keep a fair journal of secretary.
all proceedings of the Corporation, and give
notices of meetings in accordance with Article
II. If required, he shall attend the meetings
of the Elders, and record their proceedings.


Pew-rents shall be paid semi-annually. The pewand
Elders shall have power to set apart free pews.
The Elders may rent pews to persons, not mem-
bers of the Corporation ; provided, that if there
be any application for a pew by a member, such
application shall always be preferred.


The Elders shall have charge of the Commu- communion

* Dlate

nion Plate, and direct by whom it shall be kept.

Every white man of the age of twenty-one Member
years, being a citizen of South-Carolina, a Pro- 3 ' P '
testant Christian, and a descendant of the Hu-
guenots, or a descendant of present or former
members of this Corporation, shall be eligible
as a member of this Corporation He shall
apply by letter, read at one meeting and be
ballotted for at any subsequent meeting ; and
if two-thirds of the members present, ballot
in his favor, he shall on paying to the Treasu-
rer, the sum of $5 and signing this Constitution,
be a member.

Any member may be expelled upon motion Expulsion of
made at one meeting, and determined at a sub- mem e
sequent meeting not less than a fortnight there-
after, by a vote of three-fourths of the members


No member shall be entitled to a vote, who
shall be in arrears, for one year, for pew rent.


dK'and ^ ie ^ eXt0n Sn£l ^ UaVe tUe CaT0 °f tne Chlircll

yard and Church-yard, and shall have the charge of
opening graves. No horse or other animal,
shall be suffered to remain in the church-yard.

Monuments. No monument of any description, excepting

Head and Foot-stones, shall be erected in the



interments. Members of the Corporation and their fa-
milies, may be interred in the Church-yard ; but
in every case, Twenty Dollars shall be paid to
the Treasurer, without other fee or charge.
The widows and descendants of former mem-
bers interred therein, who are not worshippers
in this Church, and persons not members, who
shall have worshipped in this Church, two years
immediately preceeding their death, may be
buried in the yard on the payment of Thirty
Dollars to the Treasurer, on a written permit
from an Elder. Worshippers in this Church,
being the widows and descendants of members,
may be buried upon the same terms as mem-
bers. No other persons, but those above des-
cribed shall be buried in the yard.


Fees Such fees shall be paid as are prescribed in

the following table, viz : —

To the Minister,
For searching the Register, - - $0 50
For a certified copy from the same, 1 00

To the Organist,
For performing at Funerals, when

required to do so by an Elder, - 1 00


To the Clerk and Sexton,
For a Horse and Hearse, - - $2 00

To the Clerk for attendance duty at

Funerals, when ordered by an Elder, 1 00
To the Sexton for opening a Grave, 2 00
For attendance and opening yard for

the purpose of having a monument erected
therein, per day, - 1 00

The above fees to the Organist, Clerk and
Sexton, except the last item, shall be paid to
them by the Treasurer out of the funds of the
Church, in addition to their respective salaries,
upon their furnishing to the Treasurer, satis-
factory certificates that the duties have been


No part of this Constitution shall be altered Alterations
or amended, unless the proposed alteration or stitut!on con '
amendment, shall have been proposed and read
a first time at one meeting, and ordered to a
second reading at a subsequent meeting and
then adopted ; provided, that the votes of two-
thirds of the members present at each meeting,
shall be necessary to such alteration or amend-


This constitution shall be recorded in a book constitution
to be provided by the Elders, for that purpose, ^nnboXfo'
and all persons who now are, or shall hereafter be prOTUled
become members of this corporation, shall sub-
scribe their names thereto, those hereafter to
be admitted, setting the dates of their admis-
sion opposite their names.










Nous croyons et confessons qu'il y
a un seul Dieu, qui est une seule et
simple essence,'spirituelle, eternelle,
invisible, immuable, infinie, incom-
prehensible, ineffable, qui peut toutes
choses, qui est toute sage, toute
bonne, toute juste, et toute miseri-

II. — Ce Dieu se manifesto tel
aux homines, premierement, par ses
oeuvres. taut par la creation que par
la conservation et conduite d'icelles.
Secondement et plus clairement par
sa Parole, laquelle au commence-
ment, revelee par Oracles, a ete puis
apres redigee par ej-ril aux livres
que nous appellons l'Ecriture Sainte.

III. — Toute cette Ecriture Sainte
est comprise aux livres Canoniques
du Vieux et Nouveau Testament:
desquels le nombre s'ensuit. Les
cinq Livres de Mo'ise ; assavoir Ge-
nese, Exode, Levitique, Nombres,
Deuteronome. Item, Josue, Juges.
Ruth, le premier et second livre de
Samuel, le premier et second livre
des Rois, le premier et second livre
des Croniques, autrement dits Para-
lipomenon, le premier livre d'Esdras.
Item, Nehemie, le livre d'Esther,
Job, les Pseaumes de David, les Pro-
verbes ou Sentences de Salomon :
le livre de l'Ecclesiaste, dit le Pre-
cheur, le Cantique de Salomon.










We believe and confess, that there
is but one God, who is a single and
simple essence, spiritual, eternal, in-
visible, immutable, infinite, incompre-
hensible, ineffable, omnipotent, who
is all-wise, all-good, all-just, and all-

II. — This God manifests himself
such unto men: first, by his works, as
well in their creation, as in their pre-
servation and government. Second-
ly and more clearly by his word,
which revealed at the beginning by
oracles, was afterwards reduced to
writing in the books which we call
the holy Scriptures.

III.— These Holy Scriptures are
comprised in the Canonical Books
of the Old and New-Testament: the
number of which is as follows. The
five Books of Moses; namely, Ge-
nesis, Exodus. Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy ; also, Joshua, Judges'
Ruth, the 1st. and 2d book of Samuel'
the 1st and 2d book of Kings, the'
1st and 2d book of Chronicles, other-
wise called Paralipomenon. The 1st
book of Esdras, also, Nehemiah, the
hook of Esther, Job, the Psalms of
David, the Proverbs or Sentences of
Solomon, the book of Ecclesiastes
called the Preacher, the Song of So-
lomon, also, the book of Isaiah Je-


Item, 1c livre d'Esaie, Jeremie, La-
mentations de Jeremie, Ezechiel,
Daniel, Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias,
Jonas, Michee, Nalium, Abakuc, So-
phonie, Aggee, Zacharie, Malachie.
Item, le Saint Evangile, selon S.
Matthieu, selon S. Marc, selon S.
Luc, et selon S. Jean. Item, lc se-
cond livre de S. Luc, autrement dit
les Aclea des Apotres. Item, les
Epitres de S. Paul, aux Romains
une, aux Corinthiens deux, aux Ga-
lates une, aux Ephesiens une, aux
Philippiens une, aux Colossiens une,
aux Thessaloniciens deux, a Timo-
tliee deux, a Tite une, a Philemon,
une. Item, l'Epitre aux Hebreux,
l'Epitre d^ S. Jaques, la premiere et
seconde Epitre de S. Pierre, la pre-
miere, deuxieme et troisieme Epitre
de S. Jean, l'Epitre de S. Jude. Item,
['Apocalypse ou Revelation de S.

IV. — Nous connoissons ces livres
etre Canoniques, et la regie ties cer-
taine de notre Foi : non tant par le
commun accord et consentement de
l'Eglise, que par le temoignage et
persuasion interieure du S Esprit,
qui nous les fait discerner d'avec les
autres livres Ecclesiastiques, sur les-
quels, encore qu'ils soient utiles, on
ue peut fonder aucun Article de foi.

V. — Nous croyons que la Parole
qui est contenue en ces livres, est
procedee de Dieu, duquel seul elle
prend son autorite, et non des hom-
ines. Et d'autant qu'elle est la regie
de toute verite, contenant tout ce qui
est necessaire pour le service de
Dieu et de notre salut, il n'est pas
loisible aux hornmes, ni meme aux
Anges, d'y ajouter, diminuer ou
changer. D'ou il s'ensuit que ni
l'antiquite, ni les coutunies, ni la
multitude, ni la sagesse humaine, ni
les jugemens, ni les arrets, ni les
edits, ni les decrets, ni les conciles,
ni les visions, ni les miracles, oe
doivent etre opposez a cette ficri-
ture Sainte : mais au contraire, toutes
choses doivent etre examinees, re-
glees, et reformees selon elle. Et
auivaiit cela nous avoiions les trois
Symboles, savoir des Ap6tres, de
Nicee, et d'Athanase, parcequ'ils
eont conformes a la Parole de Dieu.

remiah, Lamentations of Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amo^,
Obadiah, Jonas, Micah, Nahum, Ha-
bakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zaca-
riah, Malachi. Also, the holy gospel
according to St. Matthew, according
to St. Mark, according to St. Luke,
and according 1o St. John. Also, the
second book of St. Luke, otherwise
called the acts of the Apostles. Also,
the Epistles of St. Paul to the Ro-
mans 1, to the Corinthians 2, to the
Galatians 1, to the Ephesians 1, to
the Phillipians 1, to the Colossians 1,
to the Thessalonians 2, to Timothy
2, to Titus 1, to Philemon 1. Also, the
Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle
of St. James, the 1st and 2d Epistle
of St. Peter, the 1st, 2d and 3d Epis-
tle of St. John, the Epistle of St.
Jude. Also, the Apocalypse or Re-
velation of St. John.

IV. — We know these books to be
canonical, and the sure rule of our
faith, not so much by the common
agreement and consent of the church,
as by the testimony and internal per-
suasion of the Holy Spirit, who ena-
bles us to distinguish them from the
other Ecclesiastical books, upon
which, although they may be useful,
we cannot found any article of faith'

V. — We believe that the word,
which is contained in these books,
proceeded from God, from whom
only it derives its authority, and not
from men: and forasmuch as it is the
rule of all truth, containing all that
is necessary for the service of God,
and for our salvation, it is not lawful
for men, nor even for angels to add
to it, diminish, or change it. Hence
it follows that neither antiquity, nor
customs, nor the multitude, nor hu-
man wisdom, nor judgments, nor
acts, nor edicts, nor decrees, nor
councils, nor visions, nor miracles,
ought to be opposed to these Holy
Scriptures; but, on the contrary, all
things ought to be examined, ordered
and reformed, according to them; and
we do therefore acknowledge the
three creeds, namely, of the Apos-
tles, of Nice, and of Athanasius, be-
cause they are conformable to the
word of God.


VI. — Cette Ecriture Sainte nous
enseigne qu'en cette seule et simple
essence Divine, que nous avons con-
fessee. il y a trois personnes, le Pere,
le Fils, et le S. Esprit. Le pere,
premiere cause, principe et origine
de toutes choses. Le Fils, sa Pa-
role et Sapience eternelle. Le S.
Esprit, sa vertu, puissance et effi-
^ace. Le Fils, eternellement engen-
dre du Pere. Le S. Esprit, proce-
dant eternellement de tous deux: les
trois personnes non confuses, mais
distinctes, et toutefois non divisees,
jnais d'une meme essence, eternite,
puissance et egalite. Et en cela
avouons ce qui a ete determine par
les Conciles Anciens, et detestons
toutes Sectes et heresies qui ont ete
rejettees par les saints Docfeurs,
comme S. Hilaire, S. Athanase, S.
Ambroise, et S. Cyrille.

VII. — Nous croyons que Dieu en
trois personnes co-operantes, par sa
vertu, sagesse et bonte incomprehen-
sible, acree toutes choses, non seule-
ment le Ciel, la Terre et tout ce qui
y est conlenu : mais aussi les esprits
invisibles, desquels les uns soni de-
chus et trebuchez en perdition, les
autres ont persiste en obe'issance.
Que les prewihers s'etant corrompus
en malice, sontennemis de tout bien,
par consequent de toute l'Eglise.
Les seconds ayant ete preservez par
la grace de Dieu sont Ministres pour
glorifier le nom de Dieu, etservir au
ealut de ses elus.

VIII.-Nous croyons que non seule-
ment il a cree toutes choses, mais
qu'il les gouverne et conduit, dispo-
*ant, ordonnant selon sa volonte de
tout ce qui avaient au Monde : non
pas qu'il soit auteur du mal, ou que
la coulpe lui en puisse etre imputee,
vu que sa volonte est la regie souve-
raine et infallible de toute droiture et
equite: mais il a des moyens admi-
rables de se servir tellement des dia-
bles et des medians, qu'ils sait con-
vertir en bien le mal qu'il font, et du-
quel ils sont coupables. Et ainsi, en
confessant que rien ne se fait sans la
providence de Dieu, nous adorons
en humilite les secrets qui nous sont
eachez, sans nous enquerir par-des-
sus notre mesure: mais plutot appli-

VI. — These holy scriptures teach
us, that in this single and simple de-
vine essence, which we have con-
fessed, there are three persons, the
Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
The Father, the first cause, the prin-
ciple, and the origin of all things; the
Son, his word and eternal wisdom;
the Holy Spirit, his virtue, power and
efficacy. The Son eternally begotten
of the Father; the Holy Spirit procee-
ding eternally from both ; the three
persons not confounded, but distinct,
and nevertheless not divided but of
the same essence, eternity, power
and equality. And in this we ac-
knowledge what was determined by
the ancient councils, and we detest
all sects and heresies, which were re-
jected by the Holy Doctors, such as
St. Hilary. St. Athanasius, St. Am-
brose, and St. Cyril I.

VII.— We believe that God, in
three cooperating persons, by his in-
comprehensible power, wisdom and
goodness, created all things, not only
the heavens, the earth, and all tbat
in them is ; but also the invisible
spirits, of whom some are fallen and
sunk into perdition, others have re-
mained stedfast in obedience : that
the first, being corrupt through ma-
lice, are enemies of all good, conse-
quently of the whole church ; that the
second having been preserved by the
grace of God, are ministers to glo-
rify the name of God and to aid in
the salvation of his elect.

VIII. — We believe that he not on-
ly created all things, but that he gov-
erns and directs them, disponing and
ordering according to his will every
thing, which comes to pass in the
world : not that he is the author of
evil, or that sin can thence be impu-
ted to him, seeing that his will is the
supreme and unerring rule of all
right and equity: but that he pos-
sesses wonderful means of so avail-
ing himself of the devils and of the
wicked, that he knows how to convert
into good the evil which they do, and

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Online LibraryS.C. French Protestant Church CharlestonPreamble and rules for the government of the French Protestant Church of Charleston: adopted at meetings of the corporation held on the 12th and the 19th of November, 1843 → online text (page 1 of 3)