Wars of Religion

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Transcript Wars of Religion

Chapter 9-11 – Gonzalez
Gonzalez, Chapter 9
The War of Schmalkald
• Philip of Hesse vs. Charles V (I)
Expansion of Protestantism in Germany
• Peace of Nuremberg (1532) – allowed Protestants freedom in
their own territories, but prohibited expansion; Protestantism
continued to expand nonetheless
Philip of Hesse wrested the duchy of Wurttemberg from the
Catholics; once restored, the exiled duke declared for
The death of George of Saxony (Ducal) in 1539; his successor
Henry declared for Protestantism
That same year Brandenburg also declared for Protestantism
Archbishops of Trier, Cologne, and Mainz were also
considering embracing the Protestant faith; this would give the
Protestants a clear majority in the electoral college
High Water Mark – 1539
• Faced with political realities, Charles attempted
rapprochement between Catholics and Protestants
• The Schmalkaldic League took Brunswick; smaller
bishops who were also feudal lords turned their
possessions into secular states and declared for
Decline of Protestantism
• The Bigamy of Philip of Hesse
• The refusal of Duke Maurice of Saxony to join the
Schmalkaldic League; even as a Protestant he allied
himself to the emperor, who promised him special
• Luther’s death in 1546
• Invasion of Charles into Germany, in which he took
captive Philip of Hesse and John Frederick of Saxony
The Augsburg Interim (1548)
• Written after Charles’ victory over the Schmalkaldic
League at the Diet of Augsburg of 1548
Written by a joint commission of Catholic and Protestant
At Charles command, this was the “law of the land” until a
General Council could be convened to decide on the
issues being debated
Several Protestant theologians flatly refused to obey,
many fled the continent
Melanchthon agreed to a modified version of it called the
“Leipzig Interim”
The Interim
• All Protestant territories must readopt Catholic
sacraments and beliefs
Clergy in Protestant territories were allowed to marry
Both bread and wine were administered to laity
Melanchthon agreed (on behalf of Electoral Saxony) to
these conditions (considering them adiaphora), but
stipulated that Justification by Faith continue to be
Melanchthon and his followers were considered traitors to
the Protestant cause
Charles overplays his hand
• Many German princes protested against the ill treatment
received by Philip of Hesse and John Frederick of Saxony
Protestant princes who were sharply divided by Philip’s
bigamy prior to the Interim now found themselves drawn
together by their objection to the Interim
Both the pope and the king of France resented Charles’
success, and made diplomatic moves to hamper him
Maurice of Ducal Saxony was not satisfied with his
rewards for supporting Charles, and turned to join the
Then rebellion broke out; at the same time Henry II of
France invaded Charles’ possessions beyond the Rhine
Charles is defeated both militarily and
• Maurice captured strategic places in Germany, Charles
flees to Italy
• Attempts by Charles’ army to regain possessions taken by
the French is rebuffed
• Charles begins to delegate more and more responsibility
for the empire to his brother Ferdinand, who in turn
agrees to the “Peace of Passau” (1552)
Peace of Passau (1552)
• Philip of Hesse and Frederick of Saxony are released
• A qualified “freedom of religion” is guaranteed throughout
the empire
• Each local ruler makes the decision for himself and his
subjects whether to follow Catholicism or Lutheranism (as
defined by the Confession of Augsburg)
• Anabaptism and Reformed were not included in the
provisions of the treaty
Charles abdicates
• Beginning in 1555, he gradually relinquishes his realms to
his son, Philip of Spain (Low Countries, Italian
possessions, and finally Spain)
• Retires to a monastery of St. Yuste in Spain
• Dies in 1558
Ferdinand I (Holy Roman Emperor)
• 1558-1564
Imperial policy after Charles
• Ferdinand abandoned the hardline policies of Charles
against Protestants
• Under Ferdinand and his successor, Maximillian,
Protestantism continued to expand
• The growing religious tensions would eventually lead to
the Thirty Years’ War in the next century
Gonzalez, Chapter 10
Cultural-Political realities
• 1523, in Antwerp, first two Protestant martyrs
• Seventeen provinces (roughly the Netherlands, Belgium,
and Luxemburg), under the lordship of the House of
Hapsburg (thus under the direct rule of Charles V)
Lacking cultural unity: French-speaking south, Dutchspeaking north, and a Flemish-speaking area
Political jurisdictions were also confusing; many
bishoprics comprised areas that crossed provincial
The subjects considered Charles as “Flemish”; but
considered his son, Philip, to be “Spanish”
Philip’s subjects resented “Spanish” rule
Religious situation
• Birthplace of the Brethren of the Common Life
• Erasmus of Rotterdam (greatest humanist reformer) was
a native son
Lutheran preachers found a fertile field in the Low
Countries; as did the Anabaptists
Eventually a great influx of Calvinist preachers from
Geneva, France and southern Germany would find great
success; eventually Calvinism becomes the main form of
Charles persecuted Protestantism with some success, but
could not completely stamp it out
Charles, on the whole, was a popular ruler; Philip was not
Philip’s troubles
• Philip’s pro-Spanish policies were unpopular; Philip
placed his half-sister, Margaret of Parma, in charge
The populace of the Seventeen Provinces were not happy
that Philip maintained a Spanish army in the Low
Philip reorganized the church and appointed new bishops
who were given inquisitorial powers; neither of these were
popular moves
Philip alienated his father’s old ally, the popular William,
Prince of Orange
Philip then tried to impose the decrees of the Council of
The “Beggars”
• In 1566, Several hundred leaders of nobility and the
bourgeoisie joined in a petition to the regent, Margaret of
Parma, to protest the religious policies of Philip
Margaret was told that she need not heed or fear “those
beggars”; the name stuck
The leather bag of a beggar became the patriotic banner
of rebellion against Margaret’s regency
The movement quickly took on religious overtones, and
Protestantism began to be preached under the protection
of armed “beggars”
The regency did not know how to respond to the growing
problem; bands of beggars began to invade churches,
overturn altars, and destroying images
War in the Low Countries
• The Council of State finally appeal to William of Orange,
who restored peace for a time
Meanwhile Philip prepared for an invasion of the
Provinces, which finally came in 1567; William fled to
The Duke of Alba led the invasion with an army of
Spanish and Italian troops; Philip installed him as regent
Alba established the “Council of Disturbances” which was
dubbed by the populace the “Council of Blood”
William of Orange eventually responded with an invasion
of his own; but Alba defeated him
While Alba ruled the land; the “beggars” successfully
harassed the Spanish by sea (privateers)
The plight of the Protestant cause
• Alba eventually tired of the Provinces and asked to be
appointed elsewhere (1573)
• He was replaced by Luis de Zuniga y Requesens, who
pursued a conciliatory policy with patriotic Catholics, thus
exploiting the religious divisions within the Provinces
• With the loss of patriotic Catholics, the cause of the
Protestant “beggars” seemed hopeless; they continued to
be successful in their sea engagements
• William of Orange had initially been a liberal Catholic;
while in exile in Germany he declared for Calvinism
The Siege of Leiden (1574)
• The Spanish continued to be successful on the battlefield;
besieged Leiden
• An army sent by William of Orange to break the siege was
defeated; two of William’s brothers were killed in the battle
• William then suggested that the dikes around Leiden be
opened, thus flooding the land around Leiden; it took four
months for the sea to reach Leiden, and with it the
“beggars of the sea” also arrived
• Lacking naval support the Spanish were eventually forced
to abandon the siege
Pacification of Ghent (1576)
• Requesens sudden death (1576) left the Spanish without
a general and without pay
• They began to sack cities in the south, which were much
easier targets, but by doing this they ended up reuniting
the north and the south in a common cause
• The Seventeen Provinces agreed to the Pacification of
Ghent, realizing that what was at stake was national
freedom not religious differences; William of Orange
applauded the treaty
• The next governor, Don John of Austria (illegitimate son of
Charles V) was not allowed to enter Brussels until he had
agreed to the stipulations of the Pacification
War flares up again
• Philip of Spain would not give up the cause; he sent a
new army into the region, once again the southern
provinces abandoned the cause of patriotism
• Against the advice of William of Orange, the northern
provinces formed a separate league for the defense of
faith and freedom; nonetheless he would be identified with
the struggle and become its leader
• Philip put a bounty on William’s head, which eventually
led to his assassination; however, Philip refused to pay
• William’s son, Maurice, proved to be a much better
general than his father, leading many victories against the
Treaty of 1607
• Almost a decade after Philip’s death, Spain finally decided
to cut her losses and sign a truce with the Provinces
• By then the vast majority in the northern provinces were
Calvinists; the southern provinces remained Catholic
• Religious, economic and cultural differences would lead to
the formation of three countries: the Netherlands,
Belgium, and Luxemburg
Gonzalez, Chapter 11
Shifting Royal Policies in France
• Francis I (1494-1547)
The Policies of Francis I
• Last great king of the House of Valois
• Had no desire to see Protestantism in his own territories,
yet encouraged the spread of Protestantism in Germany
His policies towards Protestantism in his own territories
changed with political circumstances; in spite of periods of
persecution, Protestantism spread throughout France
Ex-patriots in Strasbourg and Geneva were ready to
intervene in favor of Protestantism in France
The neighboring kingdom of Navarre encouraged the
reform movement
Francis’ sister, Margaret of Angouleme, was Queen
Consort of Henry II of Navarre
Margaret of Angouleme (1492-1549)
a.k.a. Margaret of Navarre
Reign of Henry II of France (1519-1559)
• Son of Francis I; King of France from 1547
Catherine de Medici (1519-1589)
• Wife of Henry II
Spread of Calvinism
• Henry continued his father’s policies against Protestantism, but
more consistently and cruelly
In spite of persecution, the first Protestant church was formally
organized during Henry’s reign (1555), following the pattern of
Calvin’s work in Geneva
Four years (1559) later the first national synod of Calvinist
churches in France met secretly in Paris and approved a
Confession of Faith and a Discipline for the new church
Henry died shortly after that gathering; he left three sons who
would successively inherit the throne: Francis II, Charles IX,
and Henry III, and three daughters, one of whom would
become queen of France (Margaret of Valois)
The power behind the throne, however, was Catherine de
Political and Religious Troubles in France
• Catherine’s projects were hindered by the influence of the
House of Guise, a prominent family whose power grew
during the reigns of Francis I and Henry II
• General Francis of Guise and his brother Charles,
cardinal of Lorraine, were the practical rulers of France
while Francis II was young
• They were resented by the “princes of blood,” nobility who
were among the king’s closest relatives – among them
Louis de Conde and Antoine de Bourbon (married to Jane
d’Albert, a daughter of Margaret of Navarre); both of these
had declared for Calvinism
• The bitter dispute between the Houses of Guise (Catholic)
and Bourbon (Calvinist) took on religious overtones
• The Conspiracy of Amboise (1560): failed attempt to gain
power in France by abducting the young Francis II
• The plot was not entirely religious in motivation, yet most
of the conspirators were identified as “Huguenots,” a term
of uncertain origin given to French Protestants; among
those imprisoned was Louis de Conde, which caused
grave concerns among the rest of the nobility who felt that
a trial and condemnation of a “prince of blood” would
constitute an attack on their ancient, inherited privileges
Death of Francis II (1544-1560)
Catherine assumes the Regency
• Catherine de Medici quickly intervened at the death of
Francis II to become regent for her ten-year-old son,
Charles IX
• She allied herself to the Huguenots against the House of
Guise (a.k.a. Lorraine); by this time there were some
2000 Protestant churches in France
• She convened a colloquy of Protestant and Catholic
theologians in order to seek agreement; but this failed
• In 1562, She issued the Edict of St. Germain, which
granted Huguenots freedom to practice their religion, but
forbade them owning places of worship, gathering for
synods without permit, collecting funds, and supporting an
The Massacre of Vassy (1562)
• The Guises refused to abide by the edict
• The Guise brothers with two hundred armed noblemen
surrounded a stable where a group of Huguenots were
worshipping in the village of Vassy, and slew as many as
they could
• This massacre resulted in the first of a long series of
religious wars that ravaged France; Catholics won most of
the battles
• After a year of war, the Huguenots were again granted a
measure of tolerance; but this was not lasting, as two
other religious wars between 1567 and 1570 would break
The Massacre of Vassy (1562)
The Peace of 1570
• Catherine seemed willing to make concessions to the
Protestants, hoping they would help her in her power
struggle against the House of Guise
• In 1571, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, leader of the
Huguenot cause, appeared in court and made a favorable
impression on the young king
• There was also talk of marriage between Catherine’s
daughter Margaret of Valois and the Protestant prince
Henry Bourbon; all appeared to be well
23, 1572)
St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
• The new duke of Guise, Henry, was convinced that his
father’s death had been ordered by Coligny
Catherine also began to fear the growing influence of the
Protestant admiral who had won the king’s admiration
Thus developed an unholy alliance to be rid of the admiral
The main Huguenot leaders had come to Paris for the
wedding of Henry Bourbon, by then King of Navarre, to
the French king’s sister, Margaret of Valois (daughter of
Catherine de Medici), which took place on August 18
After the wedding, Coligny was shot from a building
owned by the Guise family; he was wounded, not
St. Bartholomew’s Massacre
• The Huguenots demanded justice; Charles IX took the
investigation seriously; the plot was uncovered, the Guises
were implicated and banned from court; Catherine was also a
suspect, as was Charles’ brother Henry of Anjou
Catherine then convinced Charles that the Huguenots were
plotting to wrest the throne from him, and that their leader was
Coligny; the stage was set for the massacre
The conspirators – Charles IX, Catherine, and the Duke of
Guise met with those keeping order in Paris and gave them
detailed orders as to who their victims were to be
The first victim was Coligny; some 2000 Huguenots in Paris
met a similar fate
The two Protestant princes of blood, Louis de Conde and
Henry Bourbon were dragged before Charles IX and forced to
deny their faith in order to save their lives.
The Massacre spreads
• The Duke of Guise had given orders that the massacre
should spread to every corner in the kingdom
• A few upright magistrates refused to obey, but most did,
and tens of thousands died as a result
• The news spread throughout Europe. William of Orange,
who had been marching on Brussels with an army he
raised with French support abandoned his campaign;
Queen Elizabeth of England dressed in mourning;
Emperor Maxmillian, though a Catholic, reacted with
horror at the news
• Pope Gregory XIII ordered the the Te Deum be sung in
celebration of the night of St. Bartholomew; the Spanish
were also happy at receiving the news
The War of the Three Henrys
• The Huguenots fortified two cities – La Rochelle and
Montauban – declared war on the House of Guise and the King
of France, Charles IX
Charles died in 1574, his brother, Henry (III) became king and
decided to make peace with the Protestants, who were given
freedom of worship except in Paris
The House of Guise declared war on the Huguenots, and
Henry eventually joined them
Then in 1587, the youngest son of Catherine de Medici (and
heir apparent to the French throne) died; Henry III no longer
had a direct heir; the next legal heir was Henry Bourbon, king
of Navarre, who had managed to escape prison in 1576
He then declared once again for Protestantism and became the
center of Protestant resistance
Henry of Guise’s claim to the throne
• The Catholic party could not countenance the prospect of
a Protestant king, and decided to put forward Henry of
Guise as the rightful king; a document had been
“uncovered” in Lorraine claiming that the Guise family had
descended from Charlemagne, therefore exceeding the
claims of both the Houses of Valois and Bourbon
The Three Henrys
• Now there were three claimants: Henry III, Henry of
Guise, and Henry of Navarre (who did not claim to be
rightful king, just the rightful heir to Henry III)
The War of the Three Henrys (1587-1589)
• In 1588, Henry of Guise took Paris and had himself
proclaimed king
• Henry III then ordered the assassination of Henry of
Guise on Christmas Day 1588; the Catholic leaders
continued their rebellion
• Henry III was forced to flee Paris and sought out the
refuge of his erstwhile rival, Henry Bourbon of Navarre;
Navarre treated him with respect as the true king, but
would not let him determine the policies that followed
• Henry III was assassinated by a fanatical Dominican friar,
who was convinced that the king was a tyrant; Henry of
Navarre took the title of Henry IV
Henry IV (1553-1610)
• King of France from 1589
Henry’s Compromise
• French Catholics were not ready to have a Protestant king
• The pope declared that Henry Bourbon’s claim was not
valid; meanwhile Philip of Spain was planning to seize the
opportunity to make himself master of France
• The war in France continued on for years
• Finally convinced that he would never rule as a
Protestant, he converted (once again) to Catholicism
• “Paris is worth a mass”
Edict of Nantes (1598)
• Henry IV did not forget his former comrades in arms; he
showed them loyalty and favor throughout his reign
Many recalcitrant Catholics continued to claim that Henry
was still a heretic
On April 13, 1598, Henry issued the Edict of Nantes that
granted the Huguenots freedom of worship in all places
where they had had churches by the previous year,
except in Paris; he also guaranteed their security by
granting them all the fortified towns they had held in 1597
Henry’s reign was wise and prosperous
Henry was assassinated in 1610 by a Catholic fanatic
who was convinced that he was still a Protestant heretic
Reformation of Spanish Catholicism
• Queen Isabella I of Castile (1451-1504)
Married Ferdinand II of Aragon (14521516)
Isabella’s program of reform
• Determined to reform the church of abuse and ill
education; and to revive monasticism
• Secured from the pope the right to name those who were
to fill high ecclesiastical post in her realms; Ferdinand
followed suit in his territories, but for different reasons
• Her interest was to reform the church; his was to
strengthen the crown
Archbishop Jimenez (Ximenes)
Inquisition in Spain
• The reform of the Spanish Church did not lead to
The inquisition, normally under papal authority, was
placed under the authority of Isabel and Ferdinand
The Dominican friar, Tomas de Torquamada, was
appointed to head the inquisition; known for his love for
orthodoxy and his zeal for persecution (especially of
In 1492, all Jews were ordered to be baptized or face
expulsion from Spanish territories (around 200,000)
The fall of Granada imposed similar policies on the Moors
(Muslims); keeping the inquisition busy
Catholic Polemicists
• Once Protestantism became a force to be reckoned with,
the reform of the church was no longer just a matter of
cleaning up abuses; it was also a matter of defending
traditional doctrine (which often meant defining what the
official doctrine of the church actually was!)
• Some Catholic polemicists, though arguing against
Protestantism, respected the intellectualism of the
movement and realized that they needed to present an
intellectual case against it
Robert Cardinal Bellarmine (1542-1621)
• Author: On the Controversies of the Christian Faith (1593)
Caesar Cardinal Baronius (1538-1607)
• Author: Ecclesiastical Annals (written to refute The
Centuries of Magdeburg)
The New World
• Queen Isabella I of Castile (1451-1504)
• Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452-1516)
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)
St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
• Founder of the Discalced Carmelites
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)
• Associate of St. Teresa of Avila
Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)
• Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Leo X (r. 1513-1521)
• Renaissance Pope; excommunicated Luther
Adrian VI (r. 1522-1523)
• Hoped to reform church; unexpected death thwarted his
Clement VII (r. 1523-1534)
• Kinsman of Leo X; disastrous reign; England declared
itself independent; Rome sacked by Charles V
Paul III (r. 1534-1549)
• Mix of Renaissance and Reform; ambitious; reign tainted
by nepotism
Reforms of Pope Paul III
• Gave official recognition to the Jesuits and began using
them in missions and in polemics against Protestantism
• In 1536, he appointed a commission of cardinals and
bishops to report on the need of reformation in the church;
unfortunately the report fell into the hands of the
• Convoked the Council of Trent in 1545
Julius III (r. 1550-1555)
• Another scoundrel; nepotism; his court became the center
of festivities and games
Marcellus II (r. 1555)
• Showed great hope as reformer; but died unexpectedly
Paul IV (r. 1555-1559)
• Committed to reform
Reforms of Paul IV
• As a former member of Paul III’s commission, he set out
to correct the evils that that commission had decried
Cleansed the Roman curia of corruption
Placed the papacy firmly at the head of the Catholic
Equated “reformation” with strict uniformity in all matters
Activity of the Inquisition significantly increased to the
point of terror
Issued the Index of Forbidden Books
TRENT (1545-1563)
Council of Trent
• For much of the sixteenth century, the popes were
generally opposed to calling for a general council for fear
of the resurgence of counciliarism
Only after the breach between the Protestants and
Catholics was deemed permanent was there any serious
consideration for the convoking of a general council
Paul III called for the council in 1545 after negotiations
with Charles V, who insisted that the council be held in his
The venue was Trent, an imperial city in northern Italy
Very few prelates attended the first session (only 31)
Council of Trent
• The Protestant problem was of such a great magnitude
that the delegates did not feel that simply condemning
Protestantism was enough; they had to discuss every
item of theology that the Protestant Reformation had
• The council also considered matters of church reform
Council of Trent
• Considered the 19th Ecumenical Council (by the Roman
Suspended in 1547 when Paul III attempted to move the
council to the papal states (out of Charles’ territories)
Reconvened in 1551, and then suspended again in 1552
When Paul IV ascended the papal throne in 1555, he
wished to reconvene the council, but was fearful of
Spanish influence, so its work remained unfinished
The council finally reconvened for its last session in 1562
under Pius IV, and finished its work in 1563
Ecclesiastical Reforms of Trent
• Ordered bishops to reside in their sees
• Condemned pluralism (the holding of several
ecclesiastical offices)
Listed and defined the obligations of clergy
Regulated the use of relics and indulgences
Ordered the founding of seminaries for priestly training
Promoted the study of Thomas Aquinas, making his
theology dominant in the Roman Catholic Church
Measures Against Protestantism
• Declared the Vulgate to be authoritative in matters of
Tradition had an authority parallel to that of Scripture
Defined Seven Sacraments
Defined the Mass as a true sacrifice that could benefit the
Declared the communion in “both kinds” was not
Defined the justification was based on good works done
through the collaboration between divine grace and the
Defined the course of Roman Catholicism for the next four
Jacob Arminius (1560-1609)
The Rise of Arminianism
• Arminius was a distinguished Dutch pastor and professor who
studied in Geneva under Calvin’s successor, Theodore Beza
Gained wide reputation in Amsterdam for his teaching and
defense of Calvinist orthodoxy
Asked by officials in Amsterdam to refute the teachings of Dirck
Koornhert, a theologian who rejected some aspects of
Calvinism, particularly in the matter of predestination
After studying his writings, those of the fathers and several
reformers, Arminius concluded that Koornhert was actually in
the right
When Arminius became a professor at the University of Leiden
(1603), his views all of a sudden became a matter of public
Ensuing Debate
• Arminius’ main disputant was Francis Gomarus, who
defended the orthodox Calvinist position on predestination
Ironically, it was Arminius who saw himself as the true
follower of Calvin; his successors had corrupted Calvin’s
view (particularly Beza)
The debate was not over predestination (they all agreed
on this point), but rather on the basis on which
predestination takes place
Arminius  predestination based on foreknowledge of
Gomarus  faith itself is the result of predestination
The debate would continue after Arminius’ death in 1609
The Remonstrants (1610)
• Named for the “Remonstrance”: a document of five
articles dealing with theological issues under debate
Ambiguous statement on predestination (foreknowledge or “open
decree” of election?)
Affirmation that Jesus died for all human beings, though only
believers receive the benefits
Affirmation that the grace of God is needed in order to do any
good (to defend against charge of Pelagianism)
Rejection of irresistible grace
Ambiguous statement on whether believers can fall from grace
(biblical teaching is not clear)
Synod of Dort (1618-1619)
• Main purpose of the Synod was to the condemnation of
• Other countries were invited to send delegates
• Canons of Dort: affirmed five doctrines that the
Remonstrants could not accept:
Unconditional election (election based in inscrutable will of God)
Limited atonement (Christ died for the elect only)
Total depravity (human nature corrupted in all aspects)
Irresistible grace (salvific grace is always effectual for the elect)
Perseverance of the saints (the elect will be saved)
• Typically, these points are arranged to spell out the
acrostic TULIP
Aftermath of the Synod of Dort
• Van Oldenbarnevelt condemned to death; Hugo Grotius
was sentenced to life imprisonment (later escaped)
Almost 100 Arminian minister deported, many other
deprived of their pulpits, many sentenced to life
Many laity had to pay heavy fines for listening to Arminian
preaching; teachers and even the guild of organists were
forced to subscribe to the Canons of Dort
After the death of Maurice of Nassau (1625), measures
against Arminians were less rigorous
General tolerance of Arminians finally came in 1631
17th Century Great Britain
James VI & I (1566-1625)
• King of Scots from 1567
• King of England from 1603
James’ policies
• Continued in the course of his predecessor Elizabeth I
• Resented as a “foreigner” by his English subjects
• Desired the union of Scotland and England
• Greatest conflicts were with those Protestants who
wished to see a more radical reform of the church along
Reformed (Genevan) lines: the “Puritans”
The Puritans
• Called this because they desired to see the “purity” of the
• Not a united group – varying opinions on many matters
including church polity (e.g., Episcopalians, Presbyterians
and Congregationalists or Independents)
The “High Church” party
• Those who defended the Elizabethan settlement and the
virtues of the traditional worship of the Church of England
• Elizabeth’s church could be described as “moderately
Calvinist,” but this gradually began to change during
James’ reign
• Leading theologians defended beauty in worship, the
Book of Common Prayer, and the traditional polity of
deacons, priests, and bishops
• Puritans decried all of this as “Catholic”
James’ attitude towards religion
• Only openly persecuted Anabaptists, whose ideas he
deemed dangerous to the state
• Presbyterians (whom he hated from his time in Scotland)
were nonetheless afforded some measure of tolerance
• Roman Catholics could, in principle, be tolerated if the
pope recognized James’ claim to the throne and
denounced regicide
• James favored the bishops and the body of conformist
clergy (“No bishop, no king.”)
Hampton Court Conference (1604)
• Attempt to conciliate, but a dismal failure
• James’ intentions for the church, perhaps not clear before
the conference, were crystal clear at the end of the
• Very few concessions to Puritan concerns
• “King James Bible” (or Authorized Version)
• The conference was indicative of a growing divide
between the House of Commons (strongly Puritan) and
the king and his bishops
The Gunpowder Plot (November 5, 1605)
Gunpowder Plot Poem
Second verse (worse than the first)
A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o’ cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we’ll say ol’ Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah hoorah!
James’ rule
• Believed in the Divine Right of Kings
• Court “favorites” from Scotland (resented by the English)
• Contentious reign, always in need of money
• Frequently dissolved Parliament, only to call it back in
session again to raise money
English Separatists
Charles I (1600-1649)
• King of Great Britain from 1625
Charles I
• Inherited his father’s conflicts with Parliament and also his
father’s belief in the Divine Right of Kings
• Convinced that he needed to dispense with Parliament
• Attempted to rule without Parliament, dissolving it three
times; after 1629, he was resolved never again to call
another Parliament
• Eleven years of personal rule; aristocracy grew in power
and wealth; poor got poorer; Puritans seen as the
champion of the common man
William Laud (1573-1645)
• Bishop of London from 1628
• Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633
Religious Policy in Scotland incites war
• 1637 Scottish Prayer Book (Laud’s Liturgy) and
Episcopacy imposed
• General Assembly of the Scottish Kirk refused to conform
and abolished bishops
• Scotland in rebellion against their king
• Bishops Wars (1639, 1640)
Scottish National Covenant (1638)
Scottish invade northern England (1640)
The Short Parliament (1640)
• Charles forced to call another Parliament
• Charles hoped to raise funds for his war against Scottish
Parliament (with strong Puritan sentiment) proved less
than enthusiastic about Charles’ religious policies and his
Demanded that Charles address their religious concerns
before approving funds
Charles dissolved Parliament once again
Then the Scots invaded northern England again when
Charles failed to pay the expenses for their last invasion
The Long Parliament (1640-48)
• The majority elected to the Long Parliament were
discontent with the king’s policies
Even many of the House of Lords allied themselves to the
Commons in wanting to limit the king’s power
While the Scots were in northern England, Parliament
moved to address their grievances first
Parliament brought to trial and condemned two of Charles’
main “henchmen”: Lord Strafford and Archbishop Laud
Parliament then passed a law establishing that it could not
be dissolved by the king without its own agreement
Meanwhile Charles was working behind the scenes to
placate the Scots rebels, hoping to undo the power of
Impeachment of Strafford and Laud
“The birds have flown”
The Westminster Assembly of Divines
convenes on July 1, 1643.
English Parliament enters the Solemn
League and Covenant (September 1643)
The Self-Denying Ordinance of 1645 barred all members of the
Houses of Commons and Lords from military command. Only
Cromwell was exempt from the Ordinance.
New Model Army
On December 6, 1648 “Pride’s Purge”
ends the Long Parliament.
“This court doth judge that the said Charles Stuart is a tyrant, traitor,
murderer, and public enemy to the good people of this nation, and shall
be put to death by the severing of the head from his body” (January 26,
Cromwell’s Protectorate (1653-1659)
Charles II and the Restoration
• King of Great Britain: 1649-1685
• Invited back to England by Parliament in 1659
English Non-Conformity
• Act of Uniformity 1662 – imposed new BCP
• The Great Ejection
• Non-Conformist Traditions
• Presbyterianism
• Congregationalism (Independents)
• Baptists
• Other (Quaker)
Presbyterianism in England
• As dissenting members of the established church, the
Presbyterians lobbied for either the modification of
episcopacy if not the abolition of it
• One ejected from the established church, they organized
themselves into local presbyteries, governed by elders
• They patterned their church government after the Church
of Scotland (the Scottish Kirk), and continued to uphold
the Westminster Standards of 1646:
• Westminster Confession of Faith
• Larger and Shorter Catechisms
• Directory of Worship
Congregationalism in England
• Believed in the principle of independency, i.e., that every
local church (parish) should be self-governing
Those who acted on these principles prior to the Great
Ejection were called “Separatists” or “Independents”
Cromwell was an Independent, as were many in the New
Model Army
During the Protectorate, Independency was the de facto
the “law of the land,” and congregations continued to be
supported by the state! – (ad hoc Presbyterianism and
even underground BCP worship existed side-by-side with
After the Great Ejection, many ministers opted for
Congregationalism rather than Presbyterianism
The Baptists
• Not strictly a Puritan tradition
• “Separatists” – left the Church of England prior to the
Great Ejection
• Earliest trace of “Baptist Separatists” appears to be John
Smyth’s congregation established in Amsterdam in 1609
• First Baptist church in England established by Thomas
Helwys in 1612
Baptists in England
• General Baptists (Thomas Helwys)
• Particular Baptists – Calvinistic Baptist congregations
John Bunyan (1628-1688)
The Spirit of Rationalism
• In France: Rene Descartes (1596-1650) and Cartesian
Rationalism: the advent of radical skepticism
• First premise: “Cogito, ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am)
• Second premise: God must exist
• In England: John Locke (1632-1704) and Empiricism
• Greek word for “experience” (what can be established by the
senses is certain)
• 1690 Essay on Human Understanding
• Faith, as it is based on revelation, can never be certain
• Locke concluded that Christianity was the most reasonable religion,
but did not believe that Christianity had added anything of
importance to what could in any case have been known by the right
use of reason
The Spirit of Rationalism
• The Deists (“free-thinkers”)
• Influenced by Locke’s opinions
• Contended that true religion must be universal (rather than particular)
• Opposed to narrow dogmatism
• Also refuted radical skepticism
• David Hume (1711-1776) and the Critique of Empiricism
• Hume pointed out that many assumptions (e.g. cause and effect) were
not actually “experienced”
• “Sensory perception” is not actually reality
• Put an end to Deism
• Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
• Critique of Pure Reason (1781)
• Father of “Existentialism”
• Reason cannot prove the existence of God or the Soul, but “practical
reason” may posit these things (Critique of Practical Reason, 1788)
George Fox and the Quakers
• 1604-1691
The Quakers
• The movement (part of a general “Spiritualist” movement
sweeping Europe) was born in part as a protest against
the doctrinal debates of traditional theology
• “If God does not dwell in houses made with human hands,
how dare anyone call those buildings where they gather
• Over against outward, visible “means of grace” (clergy,
hymns, orders of worship, sacraments), Fox placed the
“inner light”
• The “inner light” is in everyone, but not to be confused
with natural reason; therefore communication with God
through the inner light is previous to any communication
by external means
Quaker beliefs
• Any structure in worship could be an obstacle to the Spirit
• “Friends” worship took place in silence, waiting for the Spirit to
Women and men had the same right to speak at such meetings
Traditional sacraments (Baptism, Lord’s Supper) were not
practiced, since these externals would draw attention away
from the spiritual
Fox underscored the importance of community and love
Decisions made by consensus
Quakers used the familiar “Thou” in address with each other
(since this is the way God was addressed in Scripture; “You”
was more respectful)
Quakers were pacifists; would not swear oaths
Argued for religious tolerance
Quaker Worship
William Penn (1644-1714)
• Founder of the Province of Pennsylvania (1681)
German Pietism
• Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705) – “Father of Pietism”
• Pia desideria (1675)
• Developed the Lutheran doctrine of the universal Priesthood of
• “Colleges of piety” (small groups to study the Bible)
• Emphasis on “true Christians” and “deep personal faith”
• De-emphasis on rigid orthodoxy
• Caught up with apocalypticism
• August Hermann Francke (1663-1727) – most important
follower of Spener
• Under Francke direction, the University of Halle became a center
for the training of missionaries
Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)
Zinzendorf & the Moravians
• His godfather was Spener
• Studied at the University of Halle under Francke; later
went to Wittenburg where he clashed with his teachers
• In Dresden he Met a group of around 200 Moravians
fleeing their homeland on account of persecution and
offered them asylum in his lands; so impressed with them,
he joined their group and became their leader
• The Moravians descended from the Hussites of the 14th
century (followers of John Huss)
Zinzendorf & the Moravians
• The Moravians founded the community of Herrnhut on
Zinzendorf’s lands
Zinzendorf convinced the Moravians to join the local
Lutheran congregation; but the Lutherans were unwilling
to trust the foreigners
In 1731, Zinzendorf met a group of Eskimos who had
been converted by Danish Lutheran missionaries; from
this point on missions would dominate his life and ministry
In 1732, the community of Herrnhut sent their first
missionaries to the Carribean
In a few years there were Moravian missions in Africa,
India, South America and North America
Zinzendorf & the Moravians
• Conflict with Lutheran authorities continued and
Zinzendorf was forced to leave for the New World
He was present for the founding of the Bethlehem
community in Pennsylvania
After his return to Germany in 1768, peace was made
between the Lutherans and the Moravians, who were
acknowledged as “true Lutherans”
However, the Moravians claimed to have ancient
episcopal succession, which caused tension between
them and the Lutherans
Shortly after the death of Zinzendorf (1760) the Lutherans
and the Moravians split again
John & Charles Wesley
• John Wesley (1703-1791)
• Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
John Wesley and the “Holy Club” at
Oxford University
• Distinguished himself as a scholar and a devout Christian
• While at Oxford he joined a religious society founded by
his brother, Charles and a group of friends
• Its members had made a covenant to lead a holy and
sober life, to take communion at least once a week, to be
faithful in their private devotions, to visit prisons regularly,
and to spend three hours together every afternoon
studying the Bible and books of devotion
• John soon became its leader since he was the only
ordained priest
• Students mocked the group by calling it a “holy club” and
its members as “methodists”
John Wesley and the Moravians
• In 1735-36 John Wesley traveled to Savannah, Georgia,
at the invitation of Governor Oglethorpe; Wesley had
hoped to preach the good news to the Indians
On board the ship was a group of Moravians who were
also going to the new world to preach to the Indians
During a violent storm, in which the ship was in danger of
sinking, Wesley was impressed with the calm behavior of
the Moravians; this event caused him to doubt the depth
of his own faith
His ministry in Georgia failed miserably as he expected
his parishioners to behave like the “holy club”
He would later go back to the Moravians for advice about
his ministry; which only left him confused
Trouble in Savannah
• He turned out to be an unpopular priest
• Wesley was then forced to leave Georgia after denying
communion to a young girl whom he once courted (she
had married someone else); Wesley was sued for
• Back in England, Wesley asked the Moravian Peter
Boehler to be his religious advisor; Wesley wanted to stop
preaching because he believed he lacked faith; Boehler
encouraged him to “preach faith” until he had it, and then
to continue preaching it because he had it
Wesley’s Aldersgate Experience
“In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in
Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface
to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine,
while he was describing the change which God works in
the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely
warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for
salvation: And an assurance was given me, that he had
taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the
law of sin and death.” (Journal, May 24, 1738)
George Whitefield (1714-1770)
• “Open-air” preaching
Wesley & Whitefield
• Wesley invited by Whitefield to help him with his ministry
in Bristol, England when Whitefield was overseas in
• Wesley at first objected to “open-aired” preaching, and
wasn’t comfortable with the emotionalism of his audiences
• Soon he overcame his scruples and became the leader of
the movement
• Wesley and Whitefield worked together for some time, but
eventually parted ways over theological differences
Wesley & Anglicanism
• Wesley had no interest in founding a new denomination
• His purpose was to awaken and cultivate the faith of the
masses of the Church of England
He avoided scheduling his preaching services in conflict
with the services of the parish churches; he saw his
services as “preparation” for receiving communion in the
Anglican churches
Wesley organized his followers into “societies” that first
met in private homes and later in their own buildings
The movement grew and so did the organization;
eventually he had to use lay preachers
Conflict with the established Church was inevitable
Conflict with Anglicanism
• Wesley belonged to and wished to remain in the Church of
England, and chided those followers who wished to break away
from the church
• Many Anglican clergy saw Methodism as an indictment on their
own ministries; and Methodist lay preachers had little regard for
parish boundaries
• The law allowed for non-Anglican worship services and church
buildings, but they had to be registered; this put the Methodist
in a difficult situation because the Church of England did not
acknowledge their meetings or their buildings
• In 1787, Wesley instructed his preachers to register their
buildings and meetings; the first legal step toward the formation
of a separate church
Methodist “Ordinations”
• Wesley had long believed that “bishop” and “presbyter”
were the same order; thus he believed that he had the
power to ordain, though he was hesitant to exercise this
• The War of Independence of the United States changed
the situation; Wesley, though deploring the war,
nonetheless ordained Thomas Coke to be a
“superintendent” for the new country
• By the time of his death (1791), the Methodist movement
was fast becoming a separate church, even in England