united presbyterian church
denomination that flourished in Scotland from 1847 to 1900. It was formed through the union of the United Secession Church and the Relief Church, which had developed from groups that left the Church of Scotland in the 18th century. The United Presbyterian Church, the Church of Scotland, and the Free Church of Scotland each claimed to represent the soundest traditions of Scottish Presbyterianism. While the three were barely distinguishable in doctrine, polity, and worship, the United Presbyterian Church was marked by a special zeal for foreign missions and by its constant opposition to all state aid to the church, holding that this led inevitably to state control. Intermittent negotiations, renewed in 1897, resulted in the formation of the United Free Church of Scotland in 1900, which reunited with the Church of Scotland in 1929
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