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The Elizabethan Puritan Movement$
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Patrick Collinson

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198222989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198222989.001.0001

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The Book of Discipline

The Book of Discipline

(p.291) 1 The Book of Discipline
The Elizabethan Puritan Movement

Patrick Collinson

Oxford University Press

Tarrying was not a conspicuous habit of the English Presbyterians. Long before this time they had seized every advantage offered by the loose institutional arrangements of the Elizabethan Church to behave as though the further reformation they desired was already an accomplished fact, arguing that every man that professed desirous of discipline, should exercise it himself in his own causes so far as he could. But these were not ecclesiastical anarchists. Their ideal was a disciplined uniformity more exacting than anything thought desirable under the Elizabethan dispensation. Turner's Presbyterian bill of 1584 would have made it a penal offence to use even a form of private family prayer which was not conformable to the lengthy Calvinist confession of faith contained in the Geneva liturgy. Within their own fellowships, the puritans were deeply disturbed by differences of doctrine and liturgical practice, and laboured to resolve them.

Keywords:   English Presbyterians, ecclesiastical anarchists, disciplined uniformity, Elizabethan dispensation, Turner, Presbyterian bill, Calvinist confession, Geneva liturgy

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