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3. The Reformation in England and Scotland



In the meantime the Reformation had taken hold in England. The beginning there was political rather than religious, a quarrel between the king and the pope of the sort that had occurred in the Middle Ages without resulting in a permanent schism, and might not have in this instance save for the total European situation. The dispute had its root in the assumption that the king was a national stallion expected to provide an heir to the throne. England did not have the Salic law, which in France forbade female succession, but England had just emerged from the Wars of the Roses and the fear was not unwarranted that the struggle might be resumed if there were not a male succession. Catherine of Aragon, the queen of Henry VIII, had borne him numerous children of whom only one survived, the princess Mary, and more were not to be expected. The ordinary procedure in such a case was to discover some flaw in the marriage that would allow an annulment or, in the terminology of that day, a divorce. In this instance the flaw was not difficult to find, because Catherine had been married to Henry's brother Arthur, and the law of England, following the prohibition in the book of Leviticus, forbade the marriage of a man with his deceased brother's widow. At the time of the marriage the pope had given a dispensation to cover this infraction of the rule. The question now was whether the pope had the authority to dispense from the divine law. Catherine said there had been no need for a dispensation because her marriage to Arthur had not been consummated and there had been no impediment to her marriage to Henry. The knot would have been cut by some casuistry had Catherine not been the aunt of Emperor Charles V, who was not prepared to see her cast aside in favour of another wife, and who controlled the pope. Clement VII, wishing neither to provoke the emperor nor to alienate the king, dallied so long that Henry took the matter into his own hands, repudiated papal authority, and in 1534 set up the Anglican Church with the king as the supreme head. The spiritual head was the archbishop of Canterbury, now Thomas Cranmer, who married Henry to Anne Boleyn. She bore the princess Elizabeth. By still another wife Henry did have a son who succeeded as Edward VI. (see also Index: Roman Catholicism, Salic Law of Succession, Supremacy, Act of)

Although the basic concern of Henry was political, the alterations in the structure of the church gave scope for a reformation religious in character. Part of the impulse came from the survivals of Lollardy, part from the Lutheran movement on the Continent, and even more from the Christian humanism represented by Erasmus. The major changes under Henry were the suppression of the monasteries, the introduction of the Bible in the vernacular in the parish churches, and permission to the clergy to marry, though this was later revoked. The resistance to Henry's program was not formidable and the executions resulting were not numerous. Henry was impartial in burning some Lutherans who would not submit to his later reactionary legislation and toward some Catholics who would not accept the royal supremacy over the church, notably John Fisher and Thomas More.

On his ascension to the throne in 1547, young Edward VI was hailed by Cranmer and other Protestants as England's Josiah, the young 7th-century-BC king of Judah who enforced the Deuteronomic reform. Edward, it was held, would rid the land of idolatry so that England might be blessed. Protestantism advanced rapidly during his reign through the systematic reformation of doctrine, worship, and discipline--the three external marks of the true church. A reformed confession of faith and a prayer book were adopted, but the reformation of the ecclesiastical laws that would have defined the basis of discipline was blocked in Parliament by the most powerful of the English nobility.

The death of Edward and England's return to Roman Catholicism in 1553 under Queen Mary was interpreted by Protestants as a judgment by God upon a nation that had not taken the Reformation seriously enough. Many, including Cranmer, died as martyrs to the Protestant cause. Others fled to the European continent. Those in exile experimented with more radical forms of worship and discipline. Leading clergymen published material justifying rebellion against an idolatrous ruler. Many saw in Geneva, which was a haven for English exiles, a working model of a disciplined church. Exiles produced two large volumes of incalculable consequence for English religious thought. John Foxe's Actes and Monuments, popularly known as The Book of Martyrs, and the Geneva Bible were the most popular books in England for many years after they were published. They provided a view of England as an elect nation chosen by God to bring the power of the Antichrist (understood to be the pope) to an end. An England obedient to God would receive his favour. Otherwise, it would experience his plagues.

Elizabeth I, beginning her rule in 1558, was hailed as the glorious Deborah (12th-century-BC Israelite leader), the "restorer of Israel." She did not restore it far enough for English Protestants, however. Two statutes promulgated in her first year--the Act of Supremacy, stating that the queen was "supreme governor" of the Church of England, and the Act of Uniformity, ensuring that English worship should follow The Book of Common Prayer--defined the nature of the English religious establishment. In 1563 the primary church legislative body, the Convocations of Canterbury and York, defined standard doctrine in the Thirty-nine Articles, but attempts in the Convocation to reform the prayerbook further and to produce a reformed discipline failed. Defeated there, the reformers came to rely more on Parliament, where they could always depend on strong support.


In Scotland the Reformation is associated with the name of John Knox, who declared that one celebration of the mass is worse than a cup of poison. He faced the very real threat that Mary, Queen of Scots, would do for Scotland what Mary Tudor had done for England. Therefore Knox defied her to her face in matters of religion and, though a commoner, addressed her as if he were all Scotland. He very nearly was, because in the period prior to 1560 many an obscure evangelist had converted the lowlands largely to the religion of John Calvin. The church had been given a Presbyterian structure, culminating in a General Assembly, which had actually as great and perhaps a greater influence than the Parliament. Because of her follies, and very probably her crimes (complicity in the murder of her husband), Mary had to seek asylum in England. There she became the focus of plots on the life of Elizabeth until Parliament decreed her execution. Presbyterianism came to be established in Scotland, and this very fact alone made possible the union of Scotland with England. Union of Protestant England with a Catholic Scotland would have been unthinkable. (see also Index: Presbyterian churches)

Knox is frequently reproached for his intolerance in regarding one celebration of the mass as worse than a cup of poison, but one must remember that the year 1560 marked the peak of polarization between the confessions. Similar intolerance had been mounting at Rome. Paul III, after an abortive attempt at reform, had introduced the Roman Inquisition in 1542. His successor, Paul IV, placed everything that Erasmus had ever written on the Index. The Council of Trent began its sittings in 1545, introducing rigidity in dogma and austerity in morals. The Protestant views of justification by faith alone, the Lord's Supper, and the propriety of clerical marriage were sharply rejected. All deviation within the Catholic fold was rigidly suppressed. When Carranza, the archbishop of Toledo, returned to Spain in 1559, after assisting Mary in the restoration of Catholicism in England, he arrived in time for the last great auto-da-fé of the Lutherans. Himself under suspicion for ideas no more heretical than those of Erasmus, he was incarcerated for 17 years in the prison of the Inquisition. The liberal cardinal Giovanni Morone was imprisoned during the pontificate by Paul IV, and under Pius V, Pietro Carnesecchi, an Erasmian and one-time secretary of Clement VII, was burned in Rome. John Knox and Pope Pius V represent the acme of divergence between the confessions. (R.H.B./ J.C.S./Ed.)


i) Origins.

Despite Elizabeth I's conservatism the Protestant reformers in England began to see their programs and ideas take hold more firmly during her reign. The movement known as Puritanism was part of this growing Protestant influence in English society in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Puritanism first emerged as a distinct movement in a controversy over clerical vestments and liturgical practices. Immediately following the Elizabethan Settlement, a practical latitude existed for Protestant clergy to wear what they chose while leading worship. Many preachers took this opportunity to do away with the formal attire as well as other practices traditionally associated with the Roman Catholic mass. But in 1564 Queen Elizabeth demanded that Matthew Parker, the archbishop of Canterbury, enforce uniformity in the liturgy. He did so somewhat reluctantly with the publication of his Advertisements in 1566. Those who refused to wear the now prescribed garb came to be considered collectively, and with scorn, as "Puritans" or "precisians" for their unwillingness to submit in these seemingly minor points to the supremacy of the queen.

Aside from vestments and liturgy the form of church government was a second controversial issue among Elizabethan English Protestants. In 1570 Thomas Cartwright (1535-1603) delivered a series of lectures at Cambridge University proposing that presbyterian government, or government by local councils of clergy and laity, might be an improvement over the current system of archbishops, bishops, and appointments. Cartwright was dismissed for his opinions and fled to Geneva. Two years later John Field and Thomas Wilcox anonymously published an Admonition to the Parliament which pushed Cartwright's ideas even further. In reply John Whitgift, vice-chancellor at Cambridge, maintained that the government of the church should be suited to the government of the state and that episcopal government best suited monarchy. In this dispute most Puritans shied away from extremes and supported some form of episcopacy, but a small number went beyond even Cartwright and Field in seeking to effect immediately a "reformation without tarrying for any." These Separatists broke with the established parish system to set up voluntary congregations that covenanted with God and with themselves, chose ministers by common consent, and put into practice the Puritan marks of the true church. Robert Browne (d. 1633) was an early advocate of the Separatist mentality.

The leaders of the Puritan movement, however, including Cartwright (who had returned to England in 1585) and Field, repudiated the Separatists and sought to set up "presbyterianism in episcopacy," or a "church within the church." This compromise between presbyterianism and episcopacy was preferred by the most prominent Puritans, and they began to institute such a system by means of informal public meetings of clergy and laity to expound and discuss the Bible. These meetings were called "prophesyings," and they were favoured for their educational value to the rural population by Edmund Grindal, who had succeeded Parker as archbishop of Canterbury in 1576. But the prophesyings were also the occasions for local Puritan clergy, laity, and gentry to mobilize, and they were viewed by Elizabeth, in the context of the more radical groups, as a political threat. An increasingly clear alliance between Puritans and certain factions within Parliament did not allay Elizabeth's fears. (see also Index: prophet)

Thus, the Queen ordered Grindal to suppress the prophesyings. When he refused, Elizabeth effectively suspended him from the exercise of his office. This suspension further alienated Puritans. Meetings continued, often in a modified form, called classis or conferences, which were loosely coordinated by John Field in London. Following Grindal's death in 1583, John Whitgift, Cartwright's old opponent, advanced to Canterbury. Whitgift had no hesitance in closing down the prophesyings, but he proceeded with caution in formal prosecution of Puritans. Extended ecclesiastical hearings by the Court of High Commission, under the leadership of John Aylmer, and civil proceedings by the Star Chamber were accompanied by the imprisonment of only a few of the most prominent Puritans.

Whitgift's policy, along with the death of Field and other Puritan leaders between 1588 and 1590, effectively ended any grand plan for a continuing reformation of the English Church under Elizabeth. The generally moderate Elizabethan Puritan movement was over, and the forces of reform dispersed into various parties and programs ranging from nonseparating congregationalism (as advocated by William Ames) to open subversion of the established hierarchy as in the anonymous Marprelate Tracts (1588-89). Despite failure to promote reform in matters of church structure, the Puritan spirit continued to spread throughout the society. Protestants with Puritan sympathies controlled colleges and professorships at Oxford and Cambridge, had the ears of many leaders in the House of Commons, and worked tirelessly as preachers and pastors to continue the preaching of Protestantism in its distinctively "hot" Puritan form to the laity. (M.E.M.)

ii) Puritanism under the Stuarts (1603-49).

1.        Events under James I.

Puritan hopes were raised when James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth as James I of England in 1603. James was known to be Calvinist in theology, and he had once signed the Negative Confession of 1581 favouring the Puritan position. In 1603 the Millenary Petition (with a claimed thousand signatures) presented Puritan grievances to the King, and in 1604 the Hampton Court Conference was held to deal with them. The petitioners were sadly in error in their estimate of the King, who had learned by personal experience to resent Presbyterian clericalism. At Hampton Court he coined the phrase, "no bishop, no king." Outmaneuvered in the conference, the Puritans were made to appear petty in their requests.

As a seal upon the Hampton Court Conference James appointed Richard Bancroft to be Whitgift's successor as archbishop of Canterbury and encouraged the Convocation of 1604 to draw up the Constitutions and Canons against Nonconformists. Conformity in ecclesiastical matters became a pattern in areas where forms of nonconformity had survived under Elizabeth. Though a number of the clergy were deprived of their positions, others took evasive action and got by with minimal conformity. Members of Parliament supported them in their position by arguing that since the canons had not been ratified by Parliament they did not have the force of law.

Puritans remained under pressure, but men of Puritan sympathies still came close to the seat of power in James's reign. The enforced reading from pulpits of James's Book of Sportsdealing with recreations permissible on Sundays, in 1618, however, was a further affront to those who espoused strict observance of the sabbath, making compromise more difficult.

Increasing numbers of Separatist groups could not accept compromise, and in 1607 a congregation from Scrooby, Eng., fled to Holland and then migrated on the Mayflower to establish the Plymouth Colony on the shore of Cape Cod Bay in 1620.

2.        Events under Charles I.

Despite the presence of controversy, Puritan and non-Puritan Protestants under Elizabeth and James had been united by adherence to a broadly Calvinistic theology of grace. Much of Whitgift's restraint in handling Puritans, for instance, can be traced to the prevailing Calvinist consensus he shared with the Nonconformists. Even as late as 1618 the English delegation to the Synod of Dort supported the strongly Calvinistic decisions of that body. Under Charles I, however, this consensus broke down, driving yet another rift into the Church of England. Anti-Puritanism in matters of liturgy and organization became linked with anti-Calvinism in theology.

The leaders of the anti-Puritan and anti-Calvinist party, notably Richard Montagu, whose New Gagg for an Old Goose (1624) first linked Calvinism with the abusive term "Puritan," drew upon the development of Arminianism in Holland. Arminians stressed God's universal offer of salvation to mankind in contrast to the Calvinistic doctrine according to which God predestined a few to salvation, with the rest of humanity reprobated or damned. Early English Arminians added to this an increased reverence for the sacraments and liturgical ceremony. Richard Neile, bishop of Durham, was the first significant patron of Arminians among the hierarchy, but by the time William Laud was appointed bishop of London in 1628, he was the acknowledged leader of the anti-Puritan party. London was regarded as the stronghold of Puritanism, and a policy of thorough anti-Puritanism was begun there. Men who were not Separatists found their positions increasingly difficult to maintain.

Laud, who became archbishop of Canterbury in 1633, was clearly a favourite of Charles. He oversaw the advance of Arminians to influential positions in the church and subtly promoted the propagation of Arminian theology. His fortunes began to turn, however, when he attempted to introduce into the Church of Scotland a liturgy comparable to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. When "Laud's Liturgy" was introduced at the Church of St. Giles at Edinburgh, a riot broke out leading to a popular uprising that restored Presbyterianism in Scotland.

Charles sought to put down the Scots, but his armies were no match for the Scottish forces. In 1640 he was faced with an army of occupation in northern England demanding money as a part of its settlement. Short of funds, Charles was forced to call Parliament, without which he had been trying to rule since 1629.

Religion played perhaps the key role in the parliamentary elections, and Calvinists came to dominate the Commons. Puritans, who had been increasingly alienated from the ecclesiastical and civil hierarchy since the mid-1620s, suddenly saw an opportunity to return the Church of England to its original doctrinal system and to carry out reforms that had been held in check since the Elizabethan Settlement. Arminianism in theology, liturgy, and government was linked in the popular mind with Catholicism, as fears of a Spanish conspiracy to undermine Protestant England became widespread. The first act of the Long Parliament, as it came to be called (1640-53), was to set aside Nov. 17, 1640, as a day of fasting and humiliation. Cornelius Burges and Stephen Marshall were appointed to preach that day to members of Parliament. Their sermons urged the nation to renew its covenant with God in order to bring about true religion through the maintenance of "an able, godly, faithful, zealous, profitable, preaching ministry in every parish church and chapel throughout England and Wales" and through the establishment of a civil magistracy that would be "ever at hand to back such a ministry."

Hundreds of similar sermons were preached on monthly fast days and on other occasions before Parliament during the next few years, urging the people to adopt true doctrine, pure worship, and the maintenance of discipline as a means to claim God's blessing so that England might become "our Jerusalem, a praise in the midst of the earth."

3.        Civil war.

In the course of his reign it had become apparent that Charles himself was the patron of Arminians and their attempt to redefine the doctrine of the Church of England. Arminians in turn favoured Charles's causes against Puritans and Parliament. This alliance held despite increasing pressure on Charles to cooperate with Parliament on economic and military matters. The resulting civil war between the forces of the King and the troops of Parliament was hardly just a religious struggle between Arminians and Calvinists, but conflict over religion played an undeniably large role in bringing about the Puritan Revolution. As Protestantism split, so did English society.

Fighting broke out in 1642, and after the first battles members of Parliament called together a committee of over a hundred clergymen from all over England to advise them on "the good government of the Church." This body, the Westminster Assembly of Divines, convened on July 1, 1643, and continued daily meetings for more than five years. (see also Index: English Civil Wars)

A majority of the Puritan clergy of England probably would still have opted for a modified episcopal church government. Parliament, however, needed Scotland's military help. It adopted the Solemn League and Covenant, which committed the Westminster Assembly to develop a church polity close to Scotland's presbyterian form. A small, determined Assembly group of "Dissenting Brethren" held out for the freedom of the congregation, or "Independency," as opposed to the power of presbytery. Others, called Erastians, wanted to limit the offenses under the power of church discipline. Because both groups had support in Parliament, the reform of church government and discipline was frustrated.

Dissent within the assembly was negligible compared with dissent outside it. Pamphlets by John Milton, Roger Williams, and others schooled in Puritanism pleaded for greater freedom of the press and of religion. Such dissent was supported in the New Model Army, a Parliamentarian army of 22,000 men organized and disciplined under Sir Thomas Fairfax (1612-71) as commander in chief and Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), and the real power in England was passing to the military leaders who had defeated all Royalist forces. Late in 1648 the victors feared that the Westminster Assembly and Parliament would reach a compromise with the defeated Charles that would destroy their gains for Puritanism. In December 1648 Parliament was purged of members unsatisfactory to the Army, and in January 1649 King Charles was tried and executed.

iii) The age of Cromwell (1649-60).

Both Parliament and the assembly continued to sit on a "rump" basis (containing only a remnant after the purges), and Oliver Cromwell emerged as England's Lord Protector. Cromwell was a typical Puritan in that he saw the judgment and mercy of God in events. Military successes to him were definite signs of the blessing of God upon his work.

The Independent clergyman John Owen guided the religious settlement under Cromwell. He maintained that the "reformation of England shall be more glorious than of any Nation in the world, being carried on, neither by might nor power, but only by the spirit of the Lord of Hosts." Error was a problem for both Cromwell and Owen, but, as Owen expressed it, it was better for 500 errors to be scattered among individuals than for one error to have power and jurisdiction over all others.

Such was the basis for a pluralistic religious settlement in England under the Commonwealth in which parish churches were led by men of Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist, or other opinions. Jews were permitted to live in England. But it was unacceptable for such groups as Roman Catholics or Unitarians to hold religious views publicly. Cromwell was personally willing to tolerate The Book of Common Prayer, but his Parliament was not. Voluntary associations of churches were formed, such as the Worcestershire Association, to keep up a semblance of church order among churches and pastors of differing persuasions.

In the upheaval brought on by the wars radical groups appeared that both challenged and advanced the Puritan vision of the New Jerusalem. The Levellers (a republican and democratic political party) in the New Model Army in 1647 and 1648 interpreted the liberty that comes from the free grace of God offered to all men in Christ as having direct implications for political democracy. The Diggers (agrarian communists) in 1649 planted crops on common land, first at St. George's Hill near Kingston and later at Cobham Manor, also near Kingston, to encourage God to bring soon the day when all men would live in an unstructured community of love with a communal economy. The Fifth Monarchy Men (an extreme Puritan millennialist sect) in 1649 presented their message of no compromise with the old political structures and advocated a new structure, composed of saints joined together in congregations with ascending representative assemblies, to bring all men under the kingship of Jesus Christ. As distinct units these groups were short-lived. A more enduring group was founded by George Fox (1624-91) as the Society of Friends, or Quakers, which pushed the Puritan logic disallowing any remnants of popery to its ultimate limit with a program of no ministers, no sacraments, and no liturgy. Puritanism had never been a monolithic movement, and accession to power had brought the factions to bear. The limits of the Puritan spirit of reform showed clearly in the widespread persecution of the Quakers.

iv) The Restoration (1660-85).

After the death of Cromwell chaos threatened, and in the interest of order even some Puritans supported the restoration of Charles II. They hoped for a modified episcopal government, such as had been suggested in 1641 by the archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher (1581-1656). Such a proposal was satisfactory to many Episcopals, Presbyterians, and Independents. When some veterans of the Westminster Assembly went to Holland in 1660 to meet with Charles before he returned, the King made it clear that there would be modifications to satisfy "tender consciences."

These Puritans were outmaneuvered in their attempt to obtain a comprehensive church, however, by those who favoured the strict episcopal pattern. A new Act of Uniformity was passed on May 19, 1662, by the Cavalier Parliament. The act required reordination of many pastors, gave unconditional consent to The Book of Common Prayer, advocated the taking of the oath of canonical obedience, and renounced the Solemn League and Covenant. Between 1660 and when the act was enforced on Aug. 24, 1662, almost 2,000 Puritan ministers were ejected from their positions.

As a result of the Act of Uniformity, English Puritanism entered the period of the Great Persecution. The Conventicle Act of 1664 punished any person over 16 years of age for attending a religious meeting not conducted according to The Book of Common Prayer. The Five Mile Act of 1665 prohibited any ejected minister from living within five miles of a corporate town or any place where he had formerly served. Still, some Puritans did not give up the idea of comprehension (inclusiveness of various persuasions). There were conferences with sympathetic bishops and brief periods of indulgence for Puritans to preach, but fines and jailings set the tone. Puritanism became a form of Nonconformist Protestantism.

During the short reign of Charles's Roman Catholic brother, James II (1685-88), fear of Roman Catholic tyranny united politically both establishment and Nonconformist Protestants. This new unity brought about the "Glorious Revolution" (1688), establishing William and Mary on the throne. The last attempt at comprehension failed to receive approval by either Parliament or the Convocation under the new rulers. In 1689 England's religious solution was defined by an Act of Toleration that continued the established church as episcopal but also made it possible for dissenting groups to have licensed chapels. The Puritan goal to further reform the nation as a whole was transmuted into the more individualistic spiritual concerns of Pietism or else the more secular concerns of the Age of Reason. (see also Index: Toleration Act)

v) Puritanism in the English colonies.

1.        Virginia.

A decade before the landing of the Mayflower (1620) in Massachusetts a strong Puritan influence was planted in Virginia. Leaders of the Virginia Company who settled Jamestown in 1607 saw themselves in a covenant relation to God, and they carefully read the message of their successes and failures. A typical Puritan vision was held by the Virginia settler Sir Thomas Dale. His strict application of severe laws disciplining the Jamestown community in 1611 probably saved the colony from extinction, but he also earned a reputation as a tyrant. Dale thought of himself as a labourer in the vineyard of the Lord, as a member of Israel building up a "heavenly New Jerusalem." Like Oliver Cromwell later, whom he resembled, Dale interpreted his military success as a direct sign of God's lending "a helping hand." (see also Index: United States)

Puritan clergymen saw excellent opportunity for their cause in Virginia. The Reverend Alexander Whitaker, the "apostle of Virginia," wrote to his London Puritan cousin in 1614, "But I much more muse, that so few of our English ministers, that were so hot against the surplice and subscription, come hither where neither is spoken of." The church in Virginia, however, became more directly aligned with the English establishment when the settlements were made into a royal colony in 1624.

2.        Massachusetts Bay.

In New England, however, the Puritans had their greatest opportunity. Between 1628 and 1640 the Massachusetts Bay Colony was developed as a covenant community. Governor John Winthrop stated thecase concisely in his lay sermon on board the Arbella before the colonists landed,

Thus stands the cause between God and us; we are entered into covenant with Him for this work; we have taken out a commission; the Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles . . . Now if the Lord shall be pleased to hear us and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our Commission, [and] will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it.

Lack of performance of the articles, in this view, would bring down the wrath of God.

The pattern for church organization in the colony was determined by John Cotton, who pursued "that very Middle-way" between English Separatism and the presbyterian form of government. Unlike the Separatists he held the Church of England to be a true church, though blemished; and unlike the Presbyterians he held that there should be no ecclesiastical authority between the congregation and the Lordship of Christ. Cotton proposed that the church maintain its purity by permitting only those who could make a "declaration of their experience of a work of grace" to be members. Cotton's plan ensured that church government should be in the hands of the elect, the chosen of God.

Taking their cue from Thomas Cartwright, the Puritans of the Bay Colony fashioned the civil commonwealth according to the framework of the church. Only the elect could vote and rule in the commonwealth. The church was not itself to govern, but it was the means through which were prepared "instruments both to rule and to choose rulers." Biblical law was the primary law for the ordering of both church and state.

The colony prospered; thus it seemed evident that God was blessing Puritan performance. As a result the leadership could not take kindly to those who were publicly critical of their basic program. Hence Roger Williams in 1635 and Anne Hutchinson in 1638 were banished from the colony in spite of their ability to declare experience of the work of grace.

More troublesome than these dissenters were persons such as Mary Dyer. She and other Quakers who returned again and again after being punished and banished were finally hanged. It was difficult for the state to keep the church pure.

In order to head off a possible new form of church government dictated from England at the time of the Westminster Assembly, churches from the four Puritan colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven met in a voluntary synod in 1648. They adopted the Cambridge Platform, in which the congregational form of church government was worked out in detail. The standard for church membership came under question when it was found that numbers of second-generation residents could not testify to the experience of grace in their lives. This resulted in the Half-Way Covenant of 1657 and 1662 that permitted baptized, moral, and orthodox persons to share in the privileges of church membership except for partaking of communion.

Late in the 17th century it was apparent to all that the ideal commonwealth was not being maintained. Ministers pointed to wars with the Indians and other problems as signs of God's judgment. Visitation by demonic powers in the form of witches was believable to people expecting the wrath of God. The Salem witchcraft trials and hangings took place in 1692 at a period of declining confidence in the old ideal.

3.        Other colonies.

Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven were variations on the main theme of realizing the Holy Commonwealth in America. Roger Williams and the other founders of Rhode Island must also be regarded as Puritans with the "one principle, that every one should have liberty to worship God according to the light of their consciences."

William Penn's "holy experiment" in Pennsylvania represented another Puritan variation, only this time under Quaker norms. When Penn came into the ownership of this vast tract of land, he saw it as a mandate from God to form an ideal commonwealth. In New Jersey, Puritans from the New Haven colony who were dissatisfied with the Half-Way Convenant sought to reestablish the pristine Puritan community at Newark. Maryland, which had been established under Roman Catholic auspices, soon had a strong Puritan majority among its settlers.

There was no colony in which the Puritan influence was not strong in one form or another. One estimate is that 85 percent of the churches in the original 13 colonies were Puritan in spirit.

4. The expansion of the Reformation in Europe

By the middle of the 16th century Lutheranism was dominant in northern Europe. Württemberg, after the restoration of Duke Ulrich, adopted the reform in 1534. The outstanding Reformer was Johannes Brenz and the great centre Tübingen. Brandenburg, with Berlin as its capital, embraced the reform in 1539. In that same year ducal Saxony, until then vehemently Catholic, changed sides. Elisabeth of Braunschweig, also in that year, became a convert, but only after long turbulence did her faith prevail in the land. Very significant for the north as a whole was the stand taken by Albert of Prussia, who was a member of the Polish Diet and whose wife was Danish. He secularized the Teutonic Knights and in 1525 acknowledged himself a Lutheran. In the Scandinavian lands Denmark toyed with Lutheranism as early as the 1520s, but not until 1539 was the Danish Church established on a national basis with the king as the head and the clergy as leaders in matters of faith. Norway followed Denmark. The Diet of Västerås officially declared what had for some time been true, namely, that Sweden was an evangelical state. The outstanding Swedish Reformers were the brothers Olaus and Laurentius Petri. Finland, under Swedish rule, followed suit. The Reformer there was Mikael Agricola, called "the father of written Finnish." The Baltic states of Livonia and Estonia were officially Lutheran in 1554. Subsequently ravished by the Russians, portions of these lands united with Sweden, Denmark, and Poland. Lutheranism survived. Toward the east, Austria under the Habsburgs could enjoy no state support for the evangelical movement, which nevertheless gained adherents. In Moravia, as noted, the Hutterites established their colonies under tolerant magnates.

Eastern Europe was a seedbed for even more radical varieties of Protestantism, because kings were weak, nobles strong, and cities few, and because religious pluralism had long existed. Poland acquired a large German Lutheran population when the Danzig area came under Polish control, and a large contingent of the Bohemian Brethren migrated to Poland when the Habsburg ruler attempted their extermination. Several of the Polish noblemen adopted their pacifism and would wear only swords made of wood. To Poland also flocked the Italian anti-Trinitarians, having been granted an asylum, perhaps merely because they were Italian, by the Italian queen of Poland, Bona Sforza. Named Socinians from their leader, Faustus Socinus, they flourished until dissipated by the Counter-Reformation. Much more extensive was the Calvinist influx not only into Poland but into the whole of eastern Europe. This variety of Protestantism appealed to those of non-German stock because it was not German and no longer markedly French, as well as because of its revolutionary temper and republican sentiments. The Compact of Warsaw in 1573 called the Pax Dissidentium ("The Peace of Those Who Differ") granted toleration to Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Bohemian Brethren, but not to the Socinians.

In Hungary, the Turkish victory at the Battle of Mohács in 1526 brought about a division of the land into three sections, the northwest ruled by the Habsburg Ferdinand, the eastern province of Transylvania under Zápolya, and the area of Buda under the Turk. Even before this date Lutheranism had made inroads not only in the German but also in the Magyar sections. Subsequently Calvinism made even greater gains. The anti-Trinitarians found a permanent locus in Transylvania. The weakness of the government and the diversity of religion in this whole area made for a large degree of toleration.

The Reformation gained no lasting hold in Spain and Italy. In Spain the main reason for this must be found in the conflicts of the previous century when the Christians were striving to achieve political, cultural, and religious unification by converting or expelling the unbelievers, the Jews and the Moors. The Inquisition was introduced in 1482 to root out all remnants of Jewish practices among the Marranos, the Jewish converts to Christianity. The non-Christian Jews were expelled in 1492. Then Granada fell and the same process was applied to the Moriscos, the Moorish converts, and the unconverted Moors, after a century, also were expelled. Because the process had thus far been successful, the pressures were relaxed, and Spain enjoyed a decade of Erasmian liberalism in the 1520s. But with the infiltration of Lutheranism the machinery of repression again was brought into force.

In Italy sectarian and heretical movements had proliferated in the late Middle Ages. But one by one they had been crushed, and the Italians may well have felt that such rebellions were futile. Furthermore, the friars preached moral rather than doctrinal reform as Luther had done. Another consideration was that the new monastic orders, the Capuchins, Theatines, and Jesuits, gained papal favour and became a mighty force in counteracting Protestant infiltration, which nevertheless did take place. Venice was a centre, with its branch house of the Lutheran banking family of Fugger, and so was Lucca. At Naples the Spanish mystic Valdés, though not a Protestant, expounded a piety of the type of the liberal Catholic reform, and some of his followers were attracted to the movements coming from beyond the Alps. Calvinism gained a hold. But the Roman Inquisition, as above noted, was established in 1542, and those with Protestant leanings either made cloisters of their own hearts, or went to the stake, or crossed the mountains into permanent exile. The most radical theological views of the Reformation were those propounded by the Spanish and Italian anti-Trinitarians.


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