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English Presbyterianism 1590–1640$
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Polly Ha

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759878

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759878.001.0001

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(p.21) Chapter 2 Anti-Episcopacy
English Presbyterianism 1590–1640
Stanford University Press

This chapter describes the long-standing opposition of English Presbyterianism to episcopacy. They challenged the very nature of episcopacy and made extensive arguments against the civil powers that the bishops claimed. English presbyterians also argued that episcopacy was not only unbiblical but unnatural. Concern for a preaching ministry was integral to attacks against episcopacy during the early seventeenth century. The puritans' legal opposition to the Church coincided with the height of the conflict between presbyterians and defenders of episcopacy. English presbyterians visualized their ecclesiastical reform as both local and national. Furthermore, presbyterian critique of episcopal jurisdiction could drive out a wider intellectual and organizational opposition to it, not simply by directing such criticism to parliament but also to counties, towns, and parishes.

Keywords:   episcopacy, English Presbyterianism, preaching ministry, English presbyterians, ecclesiastical reform, episcopal jurisdiction

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