By James B. Bell
Examines the debatable 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, alternate, and the quartering of troops: themes which John Adams later recalled as factors of the yank Revolution.
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Extra resources for A War of Religion: Dissenters, Anglicans and the American Revolution
60 The bishop of London recommended that an American prelate would exercise supervision over the lives and morals of both the clergy and laity. Taking an innovative tack, Compton urged that a suffragan bishop be appointed to the colonies, an officer of the church who would perform duties similar to those exercised by a commissary with the additional Episcopal authority to confirm men and women, and ordain candidates for the ministry. 61 Such an officer would not be independent but serve under the authority of the bishop of London as his deputy.
After waging a strong campaign, the opponents of the ‘Church Party’ returned a majority to the Assembly of 1703, determined to repeal the law. The Proprietors, however, politically shrewd, spared them the trouble by returning the law disallowed, with the face-saving qualification that the salary was not considered ‘a competency for a minister to live on’. Before the news of the disallowance of the Vestry Act of 1701 reached the colony, however, the churchmen proceeded to implement the law. 23 The London-based Society assigned the first missionary to North Carolina in 1704, John Blair, a graduate of Glasgow College.
30 The Church of Rome was recognised by Puritan leaders on both sides of the Atlantic as the Antichrist. For them the real danger of current circumstances was that an unreformed Church of England might return to the Catholic camp. Reading the pamphlet today the reader is bound to be struck by the cogency and precision of Mather’s argument. The pamphlet had far greater significance, beyond the question of the order and origin of church worship services and the method of taking oaths. It is a political document that defends the Puritan traditions of the Massachusetts colony against the intrusion of an Anglicanism that he perceived sought to erode, if not supplant, the established order.
A War of Religion: Dissenters, Anglicans and the American Revolution by James B. Bell