Antiburghers a branch of seceders from the Church of Scotland, who differ from the Established Church chiefly in matters of church government; and from the Burghers (q.v.), with whom they were originally united (in the Erskine secession), respecting the lawfulness of taking the Burgess oath, which ran thus: "I profess and allow with my heart the true religion presently professed within this realm and authorized by the laws thereof; I shall abide thereat and defend the same to my life's end; renouncing the Roman religion called Papistry." The seceders could not agree in their interpretation of this oath, some of them construing it into a virtual approval of the National Church, others maintaining that it was merely a declaration of Protestantism and a security against Popery. The contest was soon embittered by personal asperities, and in 1747 a schism took place. Those who rejected the oath were called the General Associate Synod, or Antiburghers, the others were known as the Associate Synod, or Burghers. The former party were, in matters of church government, rigid adherents of the old Presbyterian system. (Marsden, Churches and Sects, 1, 293; Eadie, U. P. Church, in the Encyc. Metrop.) SEE ERSKINE; SEE SECEDERS; SEE SCOTLAND, CHURCH OF.

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