By Michael P. Winship
Puritans didn't discover a existence loose from tyranny within the New World—they created it there. Massachusetts emerged a republic as they hammered out a imaginative and prescient of renowned participation and constrained govt in church and country, spurred via Plymouth Pilgrims. Godly Republicanism underscores how pathbreaking but rooted in puritanism’s historical past the undertaking was.
Michael Winship takes us first to England, the place he uncovers the roots of the puritans’ republican beliefs within the aspirations and struggles of Elizabethan Presbyterians. confronted with the dual tyrannies of Catholicism and the crown, Presbyterians grew to become to the traditional New testomony church buildings for tips. What they found there—whether it existed or not—was a republican constitution that instructed larger types for governing than monarchy.
The puritans took their beliefs to Massachusetts, yet they didn't forge their godly republic by myself. during this e-book, for the 1st time, the separatists’ contentious, inventive interplay with the puritans is given its due. Winship appears to be like on the emergence of separatism and puritanism from shared origins in Elizabethan England, considers their break up, and narrates the tale in their reunion in Massachusetts. Out of the stumble upon among the separatist Plymouth Pilgrims and the puritans of Massachusetts Bay arose Massachusetts Congregationalism.
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Extra resources for Godly Republicanism: Puritans, Pilgrims, and a City on a Hill
One minister claimed that presbyterian discipline would dramatically improve England’s military capacities. The Admonition to the Parliament waxed eloquent over the patriotic outcome of presbyterianism: “the Prince may be better obeyed, the realme more florish in godlines, and the Lord himself more sincerely and purely . . ” So glorious were Christ’s kingdom and its consequences that these benefits made the commonsense practical objection to presbyterianism—the dire lack of the qualified preachers and godly laity needed to create competent presbyterian government in all of the more than nine thousand parish churches—irrelevant.
He did so not because he wanted to draw a curtain across the world but because he regarded presbyterians as failures at reformation and presbyterianism itself as still drenched in antichristian tyranny. Presbyterians, in response, discovered unsuspected virtues hidden beneath the antichristian surfaces of the Church of England. In that Elizabethan back and forth between separatists and presbyterians lay the beginnings of Massachusetts’s own congregationalism, as well as some of its earliest religious conflicts.
To avoid that abuse, they would have power diffused and insist on government by consent. In order to give Christ, monarch of his church, the unswerving obedience that he demanded of his subjects, those subjects on the earthly plane would need to be republicans—for Christ expected no less. But what of Whitgift’s accusation that the reformation really desired by these radical puritans was the overthrow of monarchy? Whitgift was scarcely the only critic of ecclesiastical republicanism to see in it dangerous civic consequences.