Friday, 5 August 2011

Baxter's Analysis

In his autobiography Baxter attempts an analysis of the way things stood after the Great Ejection. He speaks of
1. Conformists
1 Some conformed who had previously been known as Presbyterians as simply subscribed understanding it in their own sense. Baxter suggests considerations of family and poverty held sway with some. He adds that "most that I knew, when once they inclined to Conformity, did avoid the company of their brethren, and never asked them what their reasons were against Conformity."
2 Latitudinarians - (neo-)Platonists, Cartesians, many Arminian, some universalists. Some scholars some ambitious to rise.
3 Hearty conformists
(1) Some zealous for diocesan views and against the Nonconformists
(2) Some more sympathetic (privately) to Nonconformists
(3) The ignorant adn unlearned and the snesuous and scandalous
2. Nonconformists
1 Some few were for the old conformity, not covenanters nor happy about the civil wars yet unable to assent to all things now imposed
2 Men like Baxter himself, not strongly pro- or anti- episopal
3 Genuine Presbyterians
4 Independents. Mostly these, Baxter says, are like the moderate Presbyterians but some are more factious. He also mentions sects such as the Quakers and some Anabaptists who also fell foul of the new laws, of course.

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