The Puritan in Holland, England, and America: An Introduction to American History - Vol. 1

By Douglas Campbell | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER X
ENGLISH PURITANISM

INFLUENCE FROM THE NETHERLANDS, 1558-1585

THUS far, in considering the foreign influences which affected the Puritanism of England during the early days of Elizabeth, we have confined our view mainly to the theological stream which flowed directly from the great fountain-head of Calvinism at Geneva. This stream colored all the theolog of the island, and so every writer who has treated of this period has been compelled to recogitize its presence. But, creeds are only lifeloss words. The metaphysical doctrines which- the Marian exiles brought back from Switzerland, unlike discoveries in science or the arts, were in themselves of little value. Posterity owes to these men a great debt of gratitude for their devotion to what they considered truth. Many of them, in addition to their theological teachings, did a noble work in trying to reform the morals of their native land. But, unless outside influences had reinforced their efforts, the labors of these early reformers would have passed away, and left but a faint impression. Certain it is, that the wave of Protestantisin which came into England with the accession of Elizabeth affords no adequate explanation of the course of subsequent events, which were even more remarkable in the State than in the Church.

Nothing in the development of English Puritanism is

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