Carolina Divines and Westminster Divines

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Scottish Monk, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    In the past, there have been much discussion on the Caroline Divines. In another thread one of our participants mentioned the Westminster Divines. Thus, I thought I would start a thread on the two groups.

    As you can tell by the spelling of Carolina (Caroline) in the title of this thread--I am still learning.

    However, spelling aside, I found a list of The Westminster Divines at this wikipedia article. There is a similar list (but not the same list) at the Westminister Assembly Project.

    Has anybody cross-referenced the Caroline Divines with the Westminster Divines to see if any individuals are on both lists?

    Scottish Monks
     
  2. Charlie J. Ray

    Charlie J. Ray Active Member

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    Scottish Monk,

    The Carolingians are a completely different group. They are high church Arminians in the same line of thinking as high church Laudians: Caroline Divines. The article is biased somewhat since it reads the Tractarian view of "via media" back into the Caroline theology. Be that as it may, the Caroline view is opposed to the English Reformation, especially the Puritan reforms.

    Augustus Toplady insisted that Archbishop Laud was involved in a Jesuit conspiracy to take the Church of England back to Rome. Whether or not that is true is debatable perhaps, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility.

    Charlie
     
  3. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Caroline Divines were those Anglicans priests and Bishops who fought to retain the *Traditional teachings of the Anglican Church in the time of the Early Stuart Church. ( *Revelation, Scripture and The Seven Councils.) They were the losing side in the 17th, Cent, Wars of Religion.

    The Westminster Divines were for the most part Calvinists who sought and made no bones about their effort to divert the Anglican Church from its traditional path as a Communion of Catholic believers within the Body of Christ and didn't hesitate to use terror and even war in an effort to gain their foul ends!

    As for the claims against Bl. William Laud? I have been a member of the Church for 80 years studying for at least 70 years of this and never have I come across any proof of this claim, no one has produced any proof and it is very rarely mentioned.
     
  4. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    To avoid some of the contention and theorizing already present on the thread….

    That's an interesting question, you will notice that some of the divines listed on the Wiki page are Caroline divines (such as Hammond, Sanderson), these had the opportunity to participate in Westminster but did not because Charles I requested that royalists not participate (which makes sense, given that the Assembly meant to alter Anglican teaching on the monarchy). "Westminster Divines" is a designation of these folks who participated in the Assembly.

    "Caroline Divines" is a vague term, and really chronological, referring to divines who lived and worked in the Caroline period, which can be from 1625-1685 (Charles I and II -- not sure if the Interregnum is counted as "Caroline" probably so, considering that Charles II began his reign in 1649 and was reigning king of Scotland and Ireland during the Commonwealth). Typically, it refers to a group of loyalist bishops and clergy who supported Charles I. Contrary to Charlie's claim above, it is not clear that they were all Arminians nor Popish conspirators.
     
  5. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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  6. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It is dangerous work defining the time of the the reformation in England, at a guess, .It used to be dated from 1530 to 1660, a hundred and thirty years. It was some of our American cousins who suggested the so-called ,'Glorious,Revolution,' of 1688 was perhaps a better time for the finale? We lost!
    Anyhow, I would suggest that the Church in England was grossly wounded with the advent of the Calvinists during the Civil War, only living on in exile with the help of Queen Mary and various Royalists who had money and was willing to spend it on the survival of the Church, with the aid of the Bishops and priests who had fled to France. The Presbyterians were the strong and vicious opponents of the Anglican Catholics.

    What was necessary enough to call for a Reformation? I can only think of the separation from the Papacy! !
    The Houseling? Or Anglican attitudes towards the then practice of transubstantiation? Not really, we believe that Christ is present within the Houseling, transubstantiation simply tries to tell us how the Change is effected. We admit we don't know and point out to the world that the,'Mass,' is a mystery!

    The Church's attitude towards the Lady Mary? Scarcely, we simply held to the ancient teaching of the universal church. When at the time of Henry the Fifth we were asked questions of the subject, it was answered that we believed in the teachings of the various councils on the Lady Mary, i.e. that She was the Theotokos, the Mother of God , Ever Virgin , All Holy and Immaculate, (nothing about the Conception, please note. Feddis. J. pge 20.) This was certainly the view at the Restoration! The Assumption ,or whatever of the Lady Mary, was removed from the English P/B, but retained in the Latin one published by Eliza!
    No, we reformed our ways, the sad thing was we didn't expel the Calvinists and allow them their own church!
     
  7. seagull

    seagull Active Member

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    But we won.
     
  8. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I can't believe that you said that!

    The Church was taken over by Calvinists, many of whom called themselves Anglicans, the bishops were dispersed and the clergy thrown out of their livings,one at least was hung within the sacred area! Some clergy were sent as slaves . Yet you say ,"We Won,'? The Archbishop was executed and the bishops were imprisoned for twenty years in one case. (Bishop Wren!)
    The Buildings were left to rot, because it went against protestant principles to pay for the upkeep of Church Buildings.(Though Cromwell lived on stolen church money! pre war). The Cathedrals were wrecked by the Calvinist soldiers firing muskets for pleasure at the saints. It wasn't in Henry's time that that the damage was done to our church, it was during the protestant years between 1642 and 1660.
    You should really read up some books other than those of the years of the Whig Supremacy. That is 1750 onwards.
    But it is a fact that the Church of England was never the same after the Jacobite Rebellion, which I think was the', last hurrah' of the traditionalists.
     
  9. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    There's no contradiction between Calvinism and Anglicanism, high churchman. Check out the official sources adopted by the Church of England besides the Articles and Prayer Book (Nowell's Catechism, Fox's Book of Martyrs, Jewell's Apology, the Metrical Psalters, etc.).
     
  10. seagull

    seagull Active Member

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    I'm wondering if we're on the same wavelength. We are not talking about the Cromwellian era but about the Glorious Revolution. It was quite insidious to have a Roman Catholic monarch as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Had James II and his heirs remained as monarch
    (s) goodness knows what would have happened to our Church. It was hardly an era of religious tolerance.
     
  11. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dear Hackney Hub,

    You must follow your own reasoning, or believe what you want to believe, whatever! The fact is that I follow the teachings, as I understand them of the Church, the Theologians & Bishops of the Later Reformation. Buckeridge,or the Laudian Divines, with Hammond and Thorndyke, Stafford and so on. I do this because I find their teachings to fall in line with the initial Revelation from Christ,(Jude,) and the fathers. If there was no contradiction between the Church and what the Calvinist's taught why did the,' heretics," go to so much trouble to destroy the Church in England? Why did the presbyterians in England & Scotland go to so much trouble to inflict such terrible wounds on the Body of Christ? I must tell you that as a child, I soon learnt that ,'Foxe,' was interesting, but not reliable! Jewell referred everything back to the early fathers and dithered quite a bit on his theology, all sides did, even the Romans at Trent had at least a third of their votes cast on Lutheran Lines. But the Church in England was relatively stable, basically , which is not to say that our bishops got everything right. If we had followed the Roman principle of the Rack, Garrett and Auto Da Fe, we wouldn't be in this trouble. Instead, we followed the Way of the Cross and suffered I'm glad to say, but again, I find it irritating.
     
  12. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    Not my reasoning, but the Church's official teaching. If I recall, you are not even a member of the Anglican Communion, so why do you bother?
     
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  13. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You might well wonder about wavelengths? I too wonder a lot. You have to realise that the Church in England is not a matter of Kings or the state in any guise, basically it is simply the Body of Christ in this Area, or your area, teaching the faith. From about 1530, along with most of northern Europe, we were convulsed in a huge series of events we call the Reformation. In fact there were three, maybe more, reformations, the Northern European event with genii such as Luther & Calvin forming their own Church's virtually. Elsewhere you had an attempt to reform the ancient church, for some ,( Papists,) this culminated at Trent with a large section of the Catholic Church turning itself in to a Catholic Sect on the principal of Papal Jurisdiction & later followed by papal Infallibility. In Britain, there was also reform in the air, but relatively simple in its nature. As a result of the latter we enforced ancient canons of the Church against the Bishop of Rome and he replied by cutting us out of his communion.

    The strength of Calvinism was enormous and it spread throughout Europe, even to the far north Sweden or Finland, and in England, allied with a powerful and greedy nobility the combined forces challenged the Church. Luckily enough for us, the Tudor Queen Eliza, skilfully defended the Church & Faith, here in England by side lining the ,'reformers,' into the Church. It meant sacrificing the wealth of the Church in to the hands of the nobility, but the authority of Scripture & Tradition was kept in the hands of the bishops.

    The pressure didn't ease under the Stewarts, but got worse. Two things placated the Nobility and the powerful, one the money and lands from the Church and the other the fact that if they acted against Eliza, or the Monarch, who would they put in his place? Initially, there were plenty of contenders for the throne, but they were all Romans! By the time of Charles I, of sacred memory, the threat of Rome, military, had disappeared and under Charles the Martyr, the reformers had a field day. Lies, half lies and downright untruths on an enormous scale were put out all aiming towards a complete acceptance of Calvinism under the guise of returning to the days of Elizabeth. One of the worst aspects of all this was the supine behaviour of many ,'low, church,' Anglicans who still feared Rome and refused to defend the Church and allied themselves to Parliament and Calvinism.

    The battle was lost in 1646 and the Church expropriated, the principle of three line clergy was thrown out and anyone who was interested was put in the place of the Bishop, Priest and Deacon, as long as they taught anything but catholicism, Anglican or other, nothing mattered.

    Interestingly, neither the Church nor Monarchy won, certainly Calvinism tried but. failed because of its own dead weight. On the death of Cromwell in 1659/60 the Church was already appearing, brought back by apathy on behalf of the state and there was an enormous demand for the return of the King, the republican state had been so selfish and totally inept. They had the biggest, best and most well trained army in Europe, but they didn't pay it and quite literally didn't no what to do with it. Anglicanism was returning , slowly but by demand ,in the end they voted themselves out of power! Restoration Day was the , 29th, of May 1660. It was not only the monarch who was returned but the ancient church!
    It was the Church of Dinooth, in 597 AD, or Baeda, in 750 AD, and of the Magna Carta 1215 AD. Eccelesia Anglican. The Church of the English, or the Anglican Church.

    As for James II and his attempt to bring back Romanisn? It was The Catholic Church in England that brought him to his knees, the accepted his ideas to give both Romans and Protestants freedom of worship, more or less. It was when he tried to bolster the nascent Trentists with Anglican property and positions, that the Bishops took a hand and foiled his scheme! The weakness of our position was that Louis XIV, had begun a pogrom to eliminate the French Calvinists , the French King was a cousin of James and he fell prey to the schemes of the Whig Nobility and panicked, leaving the Church as Confessors without any authority or power within the State. Being Christian Gentlemen the Bishops and Clergy refused to take an oath to the usurper, whilst James lived and the new Whig establishment intruded bishops in to the sees of the loyalists.

    It was still the Restored Church, still the result of Eliza's skill, but they'd been out played by their own enemy, the Calvinists. This was the end of the Reformation for some with a lame Church and a split Bench of bishops.
     
  14. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Why? Because all my life I've been an Anglican Catholic and now in my dotage I see you as a representative of the anglicans who sat back and did nothing to stop the Calvinists in Liza's days, in Charles's time and at the Revolution.
    I can't climb mountains or make roads or build impressive railways,but I have a superb knowledge of Church History that has been recognised as such and I want to go out giving as much as I get from your good self.
    How-and-ever in the 2000 years of the Church ,in this country there have been three instances where s schism has taken place. One after Whitby, 664 AD & another after the so called ,'Glorious Revolution,' and still another in 1994 .As far as I can tell I have followed the dictates of my conscience in my time and space. I'll have to answer for it in a short while but so does everyone, I have explanations, for your sake I hope yours improve with time.
     
  15. seagull

    seagull Active Member

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    Whereas I see Hackney Hub and a few (too few) others in this forum as one who has kept the faith and remained in the broad church Anglican Communion rather than splinter.
     
  16. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I can believe that!