An American school of thought, which opposed both the emotionalism and the rationalism of the mid-19th cent. by emphasizing the importance of doctrine. While it upheld the teaching of the Reformers, it saw this in relation to patristic and subsequent thought. The name derives from the town of Mercersburg in Pennsylvania, in which Marshall College and the Theological Seminary of the German Reformed Church were situated. The movement came into prominence with the publication of J. W. Nevin's The Anxious Bench (1843), which attacked current methods of revivalist preaching.