Being Protestant in Reformation Britain by Alec Ryrie

By Alec Ryrie

The Reformation used to be approximately rules and tool, however it used to be additionally approximately genuine human lives. Alec Ryrie presents the 1st accomplished account of what it truly intended to stay a Protestant lifestyles in England and Scotland among 1530 and 1640, drawing on a wealthy mix of modern devotional works, sermons, diaries, biographies, and autobiographies to discover the lived adventure of early sleek Protestantism.
Beginning from the strangely pressing, multifaceted feelings of Protestantism, Ryrie explores practices of prayer, of kinfolk and public worship, and of examining and writing, monitoring them throughout the existence path from adolescence via conversion and vocation to the deathbed. He examines what Protestant piety drew from its Catholic predecessors and contemporaries, and grounds that piety in fabric realities reminiscent of posture, foodstuff, and tears.
This viewpoint exhibits us what it intended to be Protestant within the British Reformations: a gathering of depth (a faith which sought genuine feeling especially, and which dreaded hypocrisy and hard-heartedness) with dynamism (a innovative faith, relentlessly pursuing sanctification and dreading idleness). That mix, for strong or in poor health, gave the Protestant adventure its specific caliber of stressed, inventive zeal.
The Protestant devotional event additionally indicates us that this used to be a broad-based faith: for all of the adjustments throughout time, among nations, among women and men, and among puritans and conformists, this was once recognisably a unified tradition, during which universal reviews and practices minimize throughout meant divides. Alec Ryrie indicates us Protestantism, no longer because the preachers on each side imagined it, yet because it used to be rather lived.

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The fift edition (1627: RSTC 12842), 35; cf. Jeremiah Dyke, A worthy communicant. Or A treatise, shewing the due order of receiving the sacrament of the Lords Supper (1636: RSTC 7429), 492; Isham, ‘Confessions’, fo. 28r-v; Robert Linaker, A comfortable treatise, for the reliefe of such as are afflicted in conscience (1620: RSTC 15641), sigs A5r–6r. 42 John Preston, The Saints Daily Exercise. A Treatise concerning the whole dutie of prayer (1629: RSTC 20251), 74–6 (nine editions 1629–35). 436 p. 5), 40–2 (eleven editions 1619–40).

37 Richard Capel, Tentations: their nature, danger, cure (1633: RSTC 4595), 81. 4 (six editions, 1630–59); cf. 4), 15. 39 This was a sleep close to the sleep of death. Bayly’s Practise of pietie warned that although despair was a sin: Despaire is nothing so dangerous as presumption. 40 Security was a silent killer, which said ‘peace’ when there was no peace, and took souls as they slept. However, diagnosing spiritual dullness or ‘security’ was easier than treating it. 41 But in the end, this struggle, like so many Protestant struggles, was conducted by sheer effort: effort and redoubled effort.

8 Rogers, Seven treatises, 40; Richard Corbett, The Poems of Richard Corbet, ed. Octavius Gilchrist (1807), 244; Stachniewski, Persecutory Imagination, 219–53. 9 Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, tr. Talcott Parsons (1992), 104. On Weber’s thesis, see below, pp. 446–56. 10 Watkins, Puritan Experience, 20; Dixon, ‘Predestination and pastoral theology’. 30 The Protestant Emotions Still, for some people at least, Calvinism could be a theology of despair, a problem which was as apparent in the early 17th century as it is now.

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