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The Elizabethan Puritan Movement$
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Patrick Collinson

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198222989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198222989.001.0001

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Partly Fearing, Partly Hoping

Partly Fearing, Partly Hoping

1 Partly Fearing, Partly Hoping
The Elizabethan Puritan Movement

Patrick Collinson

Oxford University Press

1588 was the year of wonders for which apocalyptic calamities had been anciently prophesied and it proved a wonderful year in a better sense for the protestant England of Elizabeth. The defeat of the Spanish Armada could not yet be seen in perspective as an historic watershed but it was at once hailed as a providential, if not miraculous, deliverance. Yet this year, which saw the vindication of English Protestantism, marked the beginning of a definite decline in the fortunes of the Puritan movement not of the religion, but Puritanism as an organized force devoted to the achievement of a Presbyterian revision of the outward facet of the Church was now under sentence. The hopes were extravagant, even apocalyptic, and themselves symptomatic of a lack of stability. The fears were the reflection partly of an increasingly menacing ecclesiastical and political situation, partly of an inner uncertainty of direction and purpose.

Keywords:   apocalyptic calamities, protestant England, Spanish Armada, English Protestantism, Presbyterian revision, apocalyptic

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