Saturday, 23 August 2008

The brave Covenanters

Marvellous post from Jennie B about the brave Scottish Covenanters. If like me your knowledge of church history in Britain ends in 1603, read on and learn.


The Pook said...

But Gordon, all the really interesting English church history happened after 1603. Apart from Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley getting burned of course.

I had to learn about the Covenanters to get Presbyterianized. And of course the Scots were my heritage. They were and are, a weird mob.

Gordon Cheng said...

Really? I had no idea that the translation of the Bible into English, the separation of the Church of England from the Church of Rome, the writing of new prayer books, the introduction of the teachings of Luther, Calvin, Bullinger, Bucer, Peter Martyr, Zwingli, Beza, the Elizabethan Settlement along Protestant principles, the beginning of presbyterianism and congregationalism in England and Scotland, the origin of puritanism, the adoption of the 39 articles, etc. happened after 1603.

"This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere. Explain again how sheeps’ bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes."

The Pook said...

Oh, I thought you said interesting. You obviously meant something like significant.

The 17th century produced both significant and interesting things. I don't deny that the most fundamental changes came about in English politics and religion back in the 16th century. They were the big building blocks. But did it produce things as interesting as people riding through English cities claiming to be the Messiah; a king being tried and executed by Parliament (something that broke the power of the monarch forever and forged the modern Westminster tradition); all the exploits of 'Oliver's Army' in the Civil War; The Westminster Confession of Faith; the rise of the non-Conformists, Baptists, Quakers, and other heretics, that led inexorably to religious toleration; or the fact parliament coming within a whisker of irrevocably establishing Presbyterianism as the state religion in place of Prelacy? These and other fascinating historical tidbits happened in those interesting times!

An aside: The translation of the bible into English happened in most centuries from the 12th onwards. Or was it the 13th? I forget. It wasn't the first time in the 16th century, nor the last.