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Presbyterian Church of England hymnody

History Presbyterianism traces its origins back to the Reformation, when one element in the Protestant tradition was the dislike of human authority in religious matters, and the preference for government by ‘presbyters’ (from the Greek ‘presbuteros’, or ‘elder’) rather than bishops or priests. In Scotland the Reformation was guided by the powerful John Knox (1505-1572), who had studied under Jean Calvin* in Geneva; in both Scotland and England Presbyterians tended to be Calvinist in theology. During the 17th century they continued to press for recognition as the principal force in English religion. They were instrumental in calling for the Westminster Assembly of Divines, which met from...

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