Concordia Theological Monthly

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charles, england, britain, lutheran, government, anglican, english, london, british, cromwell, parliament, polish, wistow manor, puritan, seventeenth century

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Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


When Lutheran pastors from all over Great Britain met recently for their Third Annual Conference at Wistow Manor in England, it brought to mind certain facts in seventeenth century English history which are of interest to Lutherans. The seventeenth century was the end of a period of transition from the absolutism, civil and religious, of medieval Roman Catholic England to the constitutional monarchy and religious toleration of modern Protestant Britain. It was the era of the Stuart kings with their reactionary leanings toward Romanism as the form most likely to maintain absolute monarchy. It was the century of that strange Puritan Oliver Cromwell, who was as convinced as any Stuart king that his every act was right because it was identical with the will of God, and who, though his ideas on religious toleration were in advance of those of most men in his age, would yet allow no one but Puritans to have a share in the government. It was the time in which the Pilgrim Fathers fled England and sailed for America in their little ship, the Mayflower. It was the age in which two incompatible systems of religion-Anglicanism and Puritanism - strove for mastery against each other, each of them using every afforded opportunity to bring in oppressive legislation to crush the other. And it was this seventeenth century which saw Lutheranism established in Great Britain. The following is an account which connects especially the two Stuarts, Charles I and Charles II, with the history, early and modern, of Lutheranism in Great Britain.


History of Christianity

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Laity; Ministers; Scholars