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The English Church in the Eighteenth Century   By: (1833-1919)

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CHARLES J. ABBEY Rector of Checkendon: Formerly Fellow of University College, Oxford


JOHN H. OVERTON Canon of Lincoln and Rector of Epworth

Revised and Abridged New Edition

Longmans, Green, and Co. London, New York, and Bombay





Although this edition has been shortened to about half the length of the original one, it is essentially the same work. The reduction has been effected, partly by the omission of some whole chapters, partly by excisions. The chapters omitted are those upon the Jacobites, the Essayists, Church Cries, and Sacred Poetry subjects which have only a more or less incidental bearing on the Church history of the period. The passages excised are, for the most part, quotations, discursive reflections, explanatory notes, occasional repetitions, and, speaking generally, whatever could be removed without injury to the general purpose of the narrative. There has been no attempt at abridgment in any other form.

The authors are indebted to their reviewers for many kind remarks and much careful criticism. They have endeavoured to correct all errors which have been thus pointed out to them.

As the nature of this work has sometimes been a little misapprehended, it should be added that its authors at no time intended it to be a regular history. When they first mapped out their respective shares in the joint undertaking, their design had been to write a number of short essays relating to many different features in the religion and Church history of England in the Eighteenth Century. This general purpose was adhered to; and it was only after much deliberation that the word 'Chapters' was substituted for 'Essays.' There was, however, one important modification. Fewer subjects were, in the issue, specifically discussed, but these more in detail; while some questions such, for instance, as that of the Church in the Colonies were scarcely touched upon. Hence a certain disproportion of treatment, which a general introductory chapter could but partially remedy.




Some years have elapsed since the authors of this work first entertained the idea of writing upon certain aspects of religious life and thought in the Eighteenth Century. If the ground is no longer so unoccupied as it was then, it appears to them that there is still abundant room for the book which they now lay before the public. Their main subject is expressly the English Church, and they write as English Churchmen, taking, however, no narrower basis than that of the National Church itself.

They desire to be responsible each for his own opinions only, and therefore the initials of the writer are attached to each chapter he has written.




( C.J. Abbey. )

Revived interest in the religious life of the eighteenth century, 1 Lowered tone prevalent during a great part of the period, 2 Loss of strength in the Puritan and Nonjuring ejections, 3 Absorbing speculations connected with the Deistical controversy, 4 Development of the ground principles of the Reformation, 5 Fruits of the Deistical controversy, 6 Its relation to the Methodist and Evangelical revivals, 7 Impetus to Protestant feeling in the Revolution of 1689, 8 Projects of Church comprehension, 8 Methodism and the Church, 9 The French Revolution, 10 Passive Obedience and Divine Right, 10 Jacobitism, 11 Loss of the Nonjuring type of High Churchmen, 12 Toleration, 13 Church and State, 15 Respect for the Church, 16 Early part of the century richest in incident, 17 Religious societies, 17 The Sacheverell trial, 18 Convocation, 19 The later Nonjurors, 19 The Essayists, 20 Hoadly and the Bangorian controversy, 21 The Methodist and Evangelical movements, 21 Evidence writers, 22 Results of the Evidential theology, 23 Revival of practical activity at the end of the century, 24 The Episcopate, 24 General condition of religion and morality, 25 Clergy and people, 25

CHAPTER II... Continue reading book >>

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