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By Charles W. A. Prior

This booklet proposes a brand new version for figuring out non secular debates within the church buildings of britain and Scotland among 1603 and 1625. It argues that rival interpretations of scripture, pagan, and civil background and the assets critical to the Christian culture lay on the center of disputes among contrasting ecclesiological visions.

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3–5; New British history, ed. Burgess pp. 1–22; Conrad Russell, ‘The British problem and the English Civil War’, History, 75 (1987), 395–415; I. M. : Religious conflict and the Introduction: defining the Church 17 THE SCOPE OF THE WORK A careful interpretation of debates among Jacobean divines allows us both to move beyond narrow interpretations of religious conflict and to lend perspective to the problem of civil and spiritual authority in the early Stuart kingdoms. Where others have frequently noted, but not systematically examined, a debate over the nature of the visible church, as well as debates on doctrine, governance, and ceremonial practice, the present study seeks to reconstruct the debates in which this conflict was played out.

20 God, argued William Covell in 1595, sought to preserve stability in the realm, in part, by punishing the ‘sinnes [of] both the Prince and people’. Covell portrayed both subjects and sovereigns as bound by divine law, the latter in particular owing their station to God’s favour. 21 A similar point was made by Thomas Bilson in his monumental study of Christian kingship: ‘A King, because he is the lieutenant of the most High King, was anointed to this end that he should regard and govern the earthly kingdom and the people of God, and above all things his Holy Church, and defend her from wrongs .

J. G. A. Pocock has observed that the Church of England is the ‘key’ to early modern English history, but thus far we lack a study which shows how this was so. See Pocock, Barbarism and religion, Vol. I: The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737–1764 (Cambridge, 1999), p. 8. Introduction: defining the Church 21 debates on governance. Not only did contemporaries divide on the nature of government appropriate to the Church, but also on the extent of the power, or jurisdiction, of diocesan bishops.

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