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Here are my rough draft notes on Steve Lawson’s two-part lecture, on the puritan era:



Steve Lawson, Puritan Era

Overview of the Puritan Era.
Samuel Rutherford, John Owen, John Bunyan, Matthew Henry (in Crossroads).

Context for these men.

Who were the Puritans?
The Redwoods, the giants in Christianity. — J.I. Packer
Technically inside the Church of England and sought to purify the Church of England.

The Puritans were distinguished by their unwavering loyalty to the authority

All that is good in Evangelicalism has its roots in the Puritans. MLJ, “The very greatness of the men themselves as men of God demands our attention.”

After the initial reformation: 16-17th Centuries.

Begin with Henry VIII (starts the Church of England).
1521: Leo X made Henry, “The Defender of the Faith” for his anti-Lutheran treatise and his defensive of Rome’s seven sacraments.

1527, Henry appealed for annulment and was denied. This provoked separation from Roman Catholic. This separation was not over doctrine; Henry wants to get married again. Therefore, the Roman Catholic doctrine is brought over to the new institution.

Thomas Cramner becomes Archbishop of Canterbury. (1532-1556).

1534: Church of England starts.

1547: Henry dies. Succeeded by Edward VI 1547-1553 (son of Jane Seymour).

During Edward’s reign, Cramner is far more Protestant.1549 the Book of Common Prayer.
John Knox: the book of common prayer did not go far enough. 1552. Knox is the Royal Chaplain. MLJ says that Knox is the first true Puritan, because he is the first to try to thoroughly reform the Church of England from the inside. Knox in particular balked at kneeling when receive the host.. Cranmer in response to the protest inserts the Black Rubric into the Book of Common Prayer which specifies that kneeling is veneration of the elements.

1553 42 Articles

Edward names his first cousin once removed Lady Jane Grey as the heir of the throne and excluded his half sisters Mary and Elizabeth. Lady Jane Grey.

Mary manages to get the Privy Council to favor her. Jane Grey spends 19 months in prison and then called.

Bloody Mary 1553 Crowned. Daughter of Catherine.

1553-1558: during her reign 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake: including Ridley, Rogers, Latimer, Cranmer.

During this time, many Protestants flee to Geneva and are taught by Calvin.

Cranmer’s wavering, recantation, and recants recantation.This must be burned first.

“By the grace of God Mary died.”

1558 Mary enters reign

Puritanism begins in earnest at this time. Elizabeth holds a compromise position. She tries to tolerate everyone.

Rules 1558-1603

The 42 Articles becomes the 39 Articles.

The rub is with how worship is done and how we worship — not the stated doctrine of the Church.

Those who had fled England return; they are coming back very Reformed — more Reformed than they left (Calvin does not die until 1564).

Characteristics of Puritans.

Calvinistic in doctrine
Reformed in worship
Industrious in work
Devoted to family
Educated in learning
Expository in preaching
Persecuted in the world.

1560 Geneva Bible published

James VI of Scotland crowned 1567. Mary, Queen of Scots abdicates after many confrontations with John Knox. James VI is crowned at 13 months old. He will eventually become James I of England.

1572 Knox dies.

1603 Elizabeth

James is crowned king of England, Scotland & Ireland — until 1625.

The Puritans at first believed that James would be a friend. They make a presentation to James at Hampton Court.

James has the Bible retranslated as a counter against the Puritans — to avoid the Geneva Bible notes.

The Book of Sports: every pastor must announce the sporting events for this Sunday afternoon.

Five articles of Perth 1618

Required kneeling at Lord’s Supper
Private communion for the sick
Private baptism
Bishop Confirmation
Observance of Holy Days.

Those who can’t take it come to the colonies: the Pilgrims.

1625 James I dies

1625 Charles I crowned
Divine right of kings
Levied taxes without Parliament
Marries a Roman Catholic

Appoints Willam Laud 1628: Bishop of London, Archbishop of Canterbury
Laud saw the Puritans as a threat to the high church policy of episcopacy

1637 Scottish Resistance
Riot breaks out at St. Giles Started by Jenny Geddes. She threw a stool at the James Hannay, Dean of Edinburgh when he read the Book of Common Prayer

1638 Scottish National Covenant
Signed at Greyfriars by many. Copies were sent out to other cities in Scotland for signing

1639-40 Bishop’s War
Scotland has Presybertianism

Rather than bishops appointing pastors, local assemblies appoint pastors.
Fight with James over the bishops who were appointed.
Charles I sends 20,000 soliders to Scottish border. A truce. He then sends a second war in 1640, which the Scottish win.

1640: Short parliament called. King asks for taxes to pay for war. Parliament rejects call for taxes. 3 weeks.

1640 the Long Parliament (will be in place for 8 years). This group is Puritan, presbyterian.

This leads to the English Civil War. 1642-1651
Oliver Cromwell is a member of the Long Parliament. General of the New Model Army 1642-1653
The Civil War was the King vs. Parliament

1642-6: Parliament (Roundheads) vs. Royalist (Cavilairs)

1643 Solemn League & Covenant: The King needs the Scottish help with the Irish. He creates a covenant with Scotland which permits them Presbyterianism

1643-1647: Westminster Assembly called by the Parliament.

1644: Rutherford writes Lex Rex. Defends for rule of law; constitutionalism, limited government.

1645 Charles I captured.

1647 Westminster Confession of Faith

Session II

1648-1649: Second English Civil War

Again Parliament vs. King

Cromwell becomes leader of the New Model Army. This war concludes with Battle of Preston.

1648: Battle of Preston August 17-18

Charles is tried for treason against the English people. Parliament pronounces death penalty. Charles executed at Whitehall palace.

January 30, 1649

John Owen called to preach to parliament day after execution. Owen calls for national humiliation. New form of government is established without King over church.

Rump Parliament rules for next four years: 1649-53

Cromwell fights the pro-catholic forces in Ireland. Owen goes as Cromwell’s chaplain.

1650: fights in Scotland because Scotland declares Charles II King. Cromwell wins at Battle of Dunbar. Charles II flees to France.

Cromwell returns and urges Parliament to set dates for new Parliamentary election.

Cromwell continues to fight battles involving various battles.

1653: Cromwell made Lord Protector
Cromwell protects the freedom of conscience in worship

1658: Cromwell dies

His burial place went 1658-1661 (removed from his grave in 1661)

Richard Cromwell can’t follow his father.

George Monck brings about a restoration of the monarchy. Charles II returned to England

1660 Monarchy Restored: Charles II has the body exhumed, puts the skull on a pike

1661: Sedition Act treason to call the king a papist or heretic, to incite any opposition to the king.

1661 Corporation Act: restricts of all who hold public office to be a member of the Church of England. No nonconformist is permitted any preferment. Puritans are restricted from Oxford or Cambridge.

1662 Act of Uniformity.

All Puritans are stripped of ordination. August 24, 1662: On that very same day was the St. Bartholomew massacre.

1662 Great Ejection

JC Ryle, “an injury to the cause of true religion in England which ill probably never be repaired.”

August 17 was the day of the Farewell sermons

1664 First Conventicle Act

1665 Five Mile Act: forbidden from their former pulpits, forbidden to be buried in any city, coming to any incorporated town, teaching in any school

Bunhill Fields

1662: The Great Plague of London: 100,000 killed
1666 The Great Fire: 87 parish churches burned, 13,000 house, 200,000 lost their owns

1670 Second Conventicle Act

1672 Royal Declaration of Indulgence
1673 Test Act: required adherence to transubstantiation
1676: Compton Census of Dissent Noncomformist 23 to 1

1680 Sanquhar Declaration: In Scotland read by Richard Cameron. Essentially a declaration of war against Charles.

1680-1688: The Killing Time
The Covenanters were slaughtered throughout Scotland by Charles II

Owen dies 1682
Bunyan dies 1688

1685 Margaret Wilson martyred

1685 Charles II dies

James II crowned: Roman Catholic. Last Catholic monarch of England. Continues the persecution


Mary, James II daughter who is married to William of Orange lead an invasion of England. (College of William and Mary named after them).

William III Glorious Revolution 1688
Yale wears orange because of William of Orange

Princeton’s main hall is called is Nassau Hall because William was from Nassau.

For the next century British Roman Catholics were denied right to vote. Monarch cannot be a Roman Catholic nor married a Roman Catholic

1689: Toleration Act, which permits Noncomformist to minister. This permits Matthew Henry to pastor his first public church. Permitted to obtain license, have their own ministers.

1689: Bill of Rights for England
Protects against cruel and unusual punishment and to bear arms for self-protection

1701: Act of Settlement: Roman Catholics and foreigners forbidden to hold office in England.