The difference between honour and obey

There were seven bishops who wanted to honour the king but could not obey his proclamations that violated their conscience and religious freedom. This classic confrontation between church and state took place in the reign of King James II in 17th century England.

This sermon is one of a series of five.

1. The Background

  • Oliver Cromwell
  • King Charles II
  • King James II
  • Judge Jeffreys

2. The Trial of the Seven Bishops

  • “Declaration of Indulgence” (27 April 1688)
  • The Bishops’ Petition
  • The King: “You are trumpeters of sedition. Go to your dioceses and see that I am obeyed.”
  • Bishop of Bath & Wells: “We have two duties to perform: our duty to God and our duty to your Majesty. We honour you but we fear God.”

3. The Outcome

  • The Prince of Orange; William and Mary

4. The Issues

  • The Limits on Civil Obedience
  • The Limits on Tolerance

Brian Watts is Pastor of The King's Community Church and lives in Langley with his wife Rosalind.
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