Church of England 1688-1832: Unity and Accord by Dr Willi Gibson

By Dr Willi Gibson

A panoramic new background of a key interval within the historical past of the church in England, from the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688-89 to the good Reform Act of 1832. This used to be a tumultuous time for either church and nation, whilst the connection among faith and politics used to be at its so much fraught.This booklet provides facts of the frequent Anglican dedication to concord among these of differing spiritual perspectives and means that low and high Churchmanship was once much less divergent than often assumed.

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In 1702 the Tory Jonathan Trelawny defended the Revolution as legitimate, but was surprised that its detractors did not see the functional benefit of the settlement of 1689: I cannot therefore but wonder that of late years there should be suffered so many pamphlets against the settlement, nay [against] the very foundation of government and all religion…. 63 Nevertheless the Hanoverian monarchs continued to be designated by the Stuart invention of ‘sacred majesty’. Well into the eighteenth century even Whigs promoted George I and George II as ‘anointed by God’ and 45 THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND 1688–1832 sanctioned by heaven.

His rapprochement with the Dutch encouraged William to dismiss the Duke of Monmouth from his court, and forced the Duke into a desperate bid for the throne in the Western Rising of 1685. According to Henry Sacheverell in 1710, on the day before his execution the Duke had been urged to admit that, since the Church of England was committed to the doctrine of non-resistance, he had fallen into sin by his rebellion. 9 The Monmouth rebellion was a set-back to the opposition to James; the Church momentarily drew back from support for resistance to the King and there were renewed expressions of the doctrine of non-resistance.

What saved Charles from the fury unleashed on his brother was the lack of an overtly doctrinaire spirit, and the emotional attachment of people who continued to hold Charles in affection for restoring the Church and monarchy. Paradoxically and astutely Charles also supported a series of laws which reflected popular attitudes to Anglicanism. 7 Charles, in other words, was happy to ride two horses at the same time: Catholic in polity, Anglican in popular practice. With the result that he did not offend the Anglican hierarchy or popular support for the 29 THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND 1688–1832 Church.

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