Mondays are for Church History - 12/19/16
Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 2. New York: HarperCollins, 2010b. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 18 “The Puritan Revolution” Loc. 2970-3259.
Gonzalez now looks back to Britain and considers the rise of the Puritans (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2970). In 1603 James VI of Scotland also became James I of England. his moves to unite Scotland and England sparked controversy including among Protestants who desired a more radical reformation (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2983). These groups were often called Puritans due to their desire to purify the Church (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2991). There was a move away from high liturgy and written prayers, as well as the leadership of bishops (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2998). From this movement Gonzalez finds the rise of Baptists, who, after flight to Amsterdam, would insist on adult baptism (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3014). This group eventually split into Calvinists and Arminians (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3020).
During this time the English move was to a more traditional liturgy, which the Puritans feared would return to Rome (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3022). James desired an absolute monarchy in which the church would support the authority of the king (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3029). He did tolerate Catholics and Presbyterians, but insisted on episcopal government, which could strengthen the monarchy (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3037).
In 1604, the question of an episcopal government became a dividing issue in Parliament, dividing Puritans from the Church of England, eventually leading to a civil war.
James tried to rule without Parliament but did find he needed to convene it occasionally for tax purposes in 1614, 1621, and 1624, when he dissolved parliament. He died shortly afterward (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3081).
After James, Charles I gave concessions to Catholics and further alienated Parliament (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3089). In 1633, the elevation of William Laud as archbishop of Canterbury was followed by moves against the Puritans. This, in turn, led to war(Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3111). After a dissolution of Parliament in 1640, several longer parliaments were assembled (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3118). This assembly, before agreeing to vote on matters of funding, took measures against enemies of Puritanism (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3126). “In May 1641, it passed a law establishing that the assembly could not be dissolved by the king without its own agreement” (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3133). Parliament then began removing members who would support the king or oppose Puritans. Both the king and Parliament raised armies (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3154). To solidify Puritan support and unite with the Scots, Parliament gathered the Westminster Assembly, intent on creating a unified confession (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3170). Oliver Cromwell recruited a cavalry force which overcame the king’s army, singing psalms as they entered battle (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3184). The king was arrested, the Puritan Parliament imposed laws to protect their distinctives, and the Puritans and Independents continued to have conflicts among themselves (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3191). In 1646 the army, acting on its own authority, attempted to assert rule. King Charles escaped and gained support of the Scots. The army captured the king and began a purge of Parliament (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3198). After the execution of Charles, Scotland recognized his son, Charles II, as ruler. Ireland rebelled. The Puritans splintered (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3205). Cromwell took hold of government and sought some measure of stability and tolerant but firm reform (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3221).
After Cromwell’s death in 1658, Parliament recalled Charles II (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3229). By the end of the century religious toleration was official, though the Book of Common Prayer was the norm (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3237). Scotland became strongly Presbyterian. Charles II on his deathbed, along with his brother James II in his reign, sought to restore Catholicism (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3244). After three years William of Orange and Mary, daughter of James, took the throne, showing general tolerance of both Catholics and Puritans (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 3252).
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