Episcopacy, Erastianism and Independency, though of little account in the assembly, were to bulk largely in England's future; while the church polity which the assembly favoured and recommended was to be almost unknown.
Wealth Independency gained ground.
The war being now over, the great question of the establishment of Presbyterianism or Independency had to be decided.
Cromwell, without naming himself an adherent of any denomination, fought vigorously for Independency as a policy.
They stood for the principle of Independency against the Presbyterian form of church government which Fox had recently established in the " Monthly Meetings " (see below).
An opponent of church government in any form, he was no friend to the rigid and tyrannical Presbyterianism of the day, and inclined to Independency and Cromwell's party.
Prynne supported a national church controlled by the state, and issued a series of tracts against independency, including in his attacks Henry Burton his former fellow sufferer in the pillory, John Lilburne and John Goodwin [e.g.
But the tendency was towards "Independency," and the New Englanders were farmers tilling their own land, traders and seafaring men.
Yet the " Five Dissenting Brethren " would have failed to secure toleration even for themselves as Congregationalists - such was the dread felt by the assembly for Anabaptists, Antinomians, and other " sectaries " - had it not been for the vaguer, but widespread Independency existing in parliament and in the army.
Dale, p. 374 ff.) of moment for the Commonwealth era, between " Independency " as a principle and " Congregationalism " as an ideal of church polity.
Independency, like Nonconformity, is primarily a negative term.
Congregationalism, however, " denotes a positive theory of the organization and powers of Christian churches," having as corollary independency of external control, whether civil or ecclesiastical.
Thenceforth 4 The opposite of this external Independency, admission of civil oversight even for churches enjoying internal ecclesiastical selfgovernment, was also common, being the outcome of the traditional Puritan attitude to the state.
Church and State, citizenship in the one and membership in the other, thus became identical, and the foundation was laid for those troubles and consequent severities that vexed and shamed the early history of Independency in New England, natural enough when all their circumstances are fairly considered, indefensible when we regard their idea of the relation of the civil power to the conscience and religion, but explicable when their church idea alone is regarded.
The remarkable junction or fusion of the Independents or " Separatists " who emigrated from Leiden to Plymouth, Massachusetts, with the Puritan Nonconformists of Massachusetts Bay, modified Independency by the introduction of positive fraternal relations among the churches.
See James Ross, History of Congregational Independency in Scotland (Glasgow, 1900).
The league did not mention Presbyterianism; but the assembly had refused to hear of any recognition of independency; if religion were thoroughly reformed, they considered the result must be Presbyterianism in England as in Scotland.