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‘Settling the Peace of the Church’1662 Revisited$
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N. H. Keeble

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688531.001.0001

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The Silencing of God’s Dear Ministers:

The Silencing of God’s Dear Ministers:

John Bunyan and His Church in 1662

(p.85) 3 The Silencing of God’s Dear Ministers:
‘Settling the Peace of the Church’

Michael Davies

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses how ‘the silencing of God's dear Ministers’ in 1662 affected John Bunyan and the Independent congregation at Bedford. It examines the history of this congregation, from its establishment in the 1650s under Oliver Cromwell's regime, in order to reassess the impact of the ejections of 1660–2 upon the life of Bunyan's church and upon some of his later writings, including The Pilgrim's Progress. Focusing particularly on I Will Pray with the Spirit, this essay shows how the Act of Uniformity unsettled not just those ministers forced to leave their parishes on Black Bartholomew's Day but also Restoration nonconformists like Bunyan: typically considered ‘separatist’, and therefore as largely untouched by the events of 1662, and who would be left without a place in Edmund Calamy's famous account of the Great Ejection.

Keywords:   John Bunyan, Bedford congregation, Black Bartholomew's Day, Great Ejection, Act of Uniformity, Restoration nonconformity, Book of Common Prayer, Oliver Cromwell, Edmund Calamy

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