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dc.contributor.authorMiller, Alexander Bremneren
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-15T14:36:59Z
dc.date.available2019-02-15T14:36:59Z
dc.date.issued1939
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/35328
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractIt is, of course, impossible to indicate in any fitting way the real power and value of the "Letters on Toleration ". The style is always pleasant, the argument complete and closely reasoned, and the whole transformed by that indefinable quality which only genius gives. For us, as for that changing England into which the "setters" came they still remain their own best exposition and defence. But if we may retain a word which most interpreters have used and say that Locke enunciates a "theory" of Toleration, that theory must certainly be sought in the particular views of civil and religious society which we have tried to represent above. His views, though frequently denied and at best but partially adopted, undoubtedly became the accepted doctrine of the eighteenth century. We may therefore close this survey with a brief review of what has gone before in the light of Locke's conclusions.en
dc.description.abstractOn the whole, then, in spite of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts, it may be said that the growth of Toleration in England was continuous if slow throughout the reigns of William III, Anne and George I. In close on forty years from 1689 the bare concessions of the Toleration Act, which granted liberty of worship to Dissenters, were extended to relieve them from the penalties which infringement of the Test and Corporation Acts might still incur. To what must we ascribe the change? The answer in a general sense would seem to be that persecuting methods, if they ever had value as social expedients, had not only lost their value but had become positively dangerous to the best corporate life. As Mandell Creighton saysl the idea of Toleration was a greater one than that of persecution and growing social experience was slowly bringing this home to the better part of Englishmen.en
dc.description.abstractIn the realization of this idea several parties had a share. In the first place, we must give all praise to the Dissenters themselves whose very existence, apart altogether from the intrinsic nature of their claims, compelled attention to their problem. But beyond the mere fact of their presence in the State their intrinsic quality was a powerful argument for liberty and recognition. That they possessed a spiritual outlook and conserved values of the highest significance for any community has never been seriously denied. To grant such people liberty was therefore not to weaken but greatly to enrich national life.en
dc.description.abstractIn the second place, the growth of liberal doctrine in the Church of England greatly helped to bring about the change. In the last analysis the rise of Latitudinarianism meant a changed conception of the very nature of the Christian faith. All "authority" in the theological sense was set aside, or had at least to be reconciled with reason and the greater human values. This attitude which has been by far the noblest and most fruitful in English religious life not only took away one of the historic causes of persecution but freely allowed that inquiry and even divergence of opinion were of the very nature of the Christian faith.en
dc.description.abstractFinally - and it is here that we perceive the truth and insight of John Locke's conclusions - the changes brought about in 1688 established once for all the nature of the Civil State and 1 i down the lines that it has followed ever since. It was not merely that religion and opinions generally were placed outside the power of civil magistracy; it became abundantly clear that the State which permitted or indulged in religious persecution was seriously affecting its own particular function and hampering its true development. Civil order and material prosperity may still be held by some to be mundane and secondary considerations, but the wiser part of men have never held them in disdain. It is not too much to say that in the end these matters were conclusive for Toleration. The bigotry of persecuting men destroyed social peace and stultified commercial enterprise. The State was fully justified in removing this very real hindrance to its best and fullest life.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2019 Block 22en
dc.relation.isreferencedbyen
dc.titleGrowth of the idea of religious toleration in England from 1689 to 1727en
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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