An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Clarendon Code and Declaration of Indulgences

After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 several Acts of parliament were passed under Charles II that had a direct impact on British Calvinism and non-conformity. Of particular importance were the four Acts that became known as the Clarendon Code

1662 Act of Uniformity - The full name of the Act is 'An Act for the Uniformity of Public Prayers and Administration of Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies, and for establishing the Form of making, ordaining and consecrating Bishops, Priests and Deacons in the Church of England.'

Steps were taken after the restoration to reintroduce a revised Prayer Book. The Act meant that clergy had to use, and comply with, the Prayer Book and failure to do so would mean they were deprived of their living. It also meant that all clergy had to have episcopal ordination. As a result almost 2000 clergy forced out of parishes. It is sometimes known as the Great Ejection. Edmund Calamy in 1775 published  The Nonconformist's Memorial: Being an Account of the Lives, Sufferings, and Printed Works, of the Two Thousand Ministers Ejected from the Church of England, Chiefly by the Act of Uniformity, Aug. 24, 1666. This includes a list of the ejected ministers:

1665 Five Mile Act also known as the Oxford Act or Non-conformist Act. Its full title was "An Act for restraining Non-Conformists from inhabiting in Corporations". It meant that clergy expelled by the Act of Uniformity couldn't live within five miles of the parish they were excluded from unless that swore to obey the 1662 Prayer Book.

The other Acts that formed part of the Clarendon Code were: the Corporation Act (1661) and the Coventicle Act (1664). The Corporation Act meant that all municipal officers were Anglicans; and the Conventicle Act forbade the meeting together of five or more - other than of the same family - for unauthorised worship.

The effect of the Clarendon Code meant the privatisation of non-Conformity.

1672 Declaration of Indulgences.  This was an attempt by Charles II to extend religious liberty to Roman Catholics and non-Conformists. It allowed dissenters to hold services in public places. Parliament saw this as an act of sympathy for the Catholics and so it was withdrawn in 1673 and replaced by a number of Parliament Test Acts. The Test Acts required anyone in public serve to denounce Roman Catholic doctrine and be communicant members of the Church of England.

No comments: