chapter  10
11 Pages


The peace of the Church By 1629 Charles was as anxious to quieten the Church as he was to rid himself of Parliament. Doctrinal differences had taken on a new edge. How serious they were is a matter for debate. Peter White has argued strongly for the underlying unity of the broad-based English Church, and contends that these tensions were little more than a short-term response to the wars against Spain, especially, and France, for the moment heightening the exchanges between the more zealous Calvinists and those anti-Calvinists whom they supposed to be tainted with popery (217). Even as peace approached, however, Charles felt he had to insist on the peace and quiet of the Church; and others, notably Nicholas Tyacke and Peter Lake, have emphasised both the depth and the longevity of its internal differences, as well as the degree of change which accompanied the accession of Charles I (213, 137). James had always been guarded about his own religious position; but although in his later years he took more account of anti-Calvinist views, the clergy chosen to represent him at the international conference at Dort in 1618-19 all came from the mainstream of English Pro­ testant thought (137). The English delegation had consisted entirely of moderate and responsible Calvinist clergy, ranged firmly against the Dutch remonstrants (as the followers of Arminius were known); and the anti-Calvinist clergy had all stayed at home (213).