This chapter investigates the promiscuity of presbyterians. Henry Jacob's example shows how quickly the freedom of individual choice emerged out of his early exposition of ecclesiastical independence. The example of neighboring church practices has been useful when challenging the Church of England's Episcopal orders. It is noted that common consent and the general nature of the visible church were important to the congregational-presbyterian debate over clerical calling. The establishment of Jacob's congregation is based not on the principle of free and voluntary consent on the part of his adherents, nor on the rejection of the authority of synods. Moreover, he may have expected the difficulties that were to come for nonconformists in England, but his examiners were no less aware that the establishment of his Southwark congregation marked a significant turn in the history of the church that was to have repercussions well beyond the seventeenth century.
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