PURITANS. A name given to reformers in the Church of England. because they sought to purify the Church from what they regarded as error and corruption. The Puritan controversy began to become acute during the reign of Elizabeth. Originally it was confined for the most part to forms, ceremonies and vestments used in divine worship. hut in course of time it was extended to the nature and government of the Church and its rela tion to the State. " In the first of the Admonitions to Parliament (1572), which was written by Field and Wilcox, and constituted one of the most important Purl tan manifestoes of the day, although there was a dis cussion of forms of worship and clerical vestments, it was said. Neither is the controversy between them and us as for a cap, a tippet, or a surplice, but for great matters concerning a true ministry and regiment of the Church according to the Word. Which things once established, the others melt away of themselves '" (A. C. Al'Giffert). In the second Admonition of the same year, the policy of the Church appears as the principal subject of discussion. " In this document prelacy was attacked, and presbyterianism declared to be the only lawful government because taught in the Scriptures, the independence of the Church was asserted, and its sub jection to the State rejected in good Calvinistic fashion. Strict ecclesiastical discipline was also insisted upon in the spirit of Calvin." ArGiffert notes that the same general position is maintained by Walter Travers in his work A Pull and Plain. Declaration of Ecclesiastical Diseiyllne out of the Word of God, and of the Declining of the Church of England from the same (1574), which became the recognised text-book of puritanism. The
controversy came indeed to centre more and more round questions of polity and discipline, though doctrine also became involved owing to the fact that the Puritans emphasised a high and rigid Calvinism. " When they gained control of the government under the Common wealth, they immediately undertook to put their prin ciples into practice and to reform the Church in accordance with their long-cherished ideas. The West minster standards (1(i45 ff.) were for a short time the official standards of the English Church. They repre sented an extreme Calvinism in theology, Presbyterianism in polity (though without the assertion of its exclusive divine right), and Puritanism in worship. With the Restoration in MO the old Anglican order was re established, and Puritanism was again proscribed, and since the Revolution of MS it has existed only in the form of legalised dissent." In Scotland, through the zeal of John Knox, " Calvinism In doctrine, Presby terianism in polity, and Puritanism in worship were permanently stamped upon the Protestantism of the country, and in 1690, after the English revolution, the Westminster standards were made binding by law upon the Scottish Church." The Puritans started with the idea of reforming the Church from within. When in course of time many of them, finding it impossible to remain in the Church, were obliged to form independent churches of their own, or in other words, when they became Separatists or Sectaries, the name Puritan came in general to be limited to " those Episcopalians who, whilst remaining in the Establishment, still sought to bring about its further reformation " IJ. A. Floulder).