A War of Religion: Dissenters, Anglicans and the American by James B. Bell

By James B. Bell

Examines the arguable institution of the 1st Anglican Church in Boston in 1686, and the way later, political leaders John Adams, Samuel Adams, and John Wilkes exploited the disputes as political dynamite including taxation, exchange, and the quartering of troops: issues which John Adams later recalled as factors of the yank Revolution.

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Additional info for A War of Religion: Dissenters, Anglicans and the American Revolution

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24 Increase Mather’s Unlawfulness of the Common Prayer Worship challenged the position of the proponents of Common Prayer worship. He concluded, ‘If you would have a distinct account of the Original of the Common prayer Book, you must know, it was Collected out of three Superstitious Books. The first part of Publick prayer is borrowed from the Papists Breviary. That about Sacraments, Matrimony, Burials, &c. is taken out of the Ritual. The Order of Consecration, Epistles, Collects, &c. 25 For Mather, the New England Puritan who had walked and talked with leading English Independents during his sojourn in England, ‘the English Liturgy is Originally Heathenish as well as Popish is manifest, in that the Popes Liturgy from whence ours has bin derived, is so.

25 For Mather, the New England Puritan who had walked and talked with leading English Independents during his sojourn in England, ‘the English Liturgy is Originally Heathenish as well as Popish is manifest, in that the Popes Liturgy from whence ours has bin derived, is so. The Principal Parts of the Mass Book were borrowed from Idolatrous Pagans. They came from Numa Pompilius. The Vestments, Holy water, Incense, &c. in the Roman Liturgy, were taken up from the Heathen; the Bishops of Rome thinking thereby to gain Pagans to the Christian Religion, Just as the Bishops of England thought to gain Papists to the Protestant Religion, by the use of their Ceremony’s’.

Recognised that the English church was impeded by the lack of a bishop. Talbot reported to London officials in 1703 a plea that would be heard frequently until 1776, that there was no prelate to confirm church members or to ordain candidates for the ministry. As it was necessary for men to travel to England for ordination he observed and feared that several candidates would lapse ‘back again into the herd of Dissenters’. 57 30 A War of Religion Talbot recommended to the bishop of London and officials of the Society that a new kind of prelate be appointed for the colonies; an official charged to perform solely spiritual duties and not exercise civil responsibilities.

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