English Presbyterianism had developed both in response to the challenges from conformists in and after the late sixteenth century onward and from the threat of emerging congregationalists, among others, from the early seventeenth century. English presbyterians have used a particular pattern of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in which they weighed evidence and various testimonies to arbitrate and arrive at their conclusion. Part One of this book argues that they turned the accusation of political sedition and unlawful government against the bishops themselves. Part Two uses Presbyterianism as a point of entry into intrapuritan debates, which offer unprecedented insight into a pivotal moment: the birth of independency. Part Three investigates how the presbyterians' understanding of the universal church was reflected through a basis of networks that extended throughout and beyond England and aided in the mobilization of a range of alliances.
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