Oliver Cromwell and Church Government Study Notes:

Oliver Cromwell 1599-1658


Occupation: Farmer, then gentleman, then MP for Huntingdon, soldier, general and Lord Protector

Converted in 1630, having struggled financially, whilst out in the fields. Had heard the gospel under Puritan preaching and had a Christian school teacher.



  • First head of state to allow multiple denominations
  • Helped birth modern democracy by limiting the monarch’s powers
  • One of the best generals in history
  • Invited the Jews back to England, so as to hasten the return of Christ



  • Persecution of Roman Catholics
  • Devastation of Ireland
  • Supposed banning of ‘fun’ and Christmas
  • Puritan rule made them deeply unpopular
  • He eventually shut down Parliament and became dictator



  • Put your trust in God; but be sure to keep your powder dry.
  • I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.
  • I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a Gentle-man and is nothing else.
  • I would have been glad to have lived under my wood side, and to have kept a flock of sheep, rather than to have undertaken this government.
  • Mr Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint your picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughness, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me; otherwise i will never pay a farthing for it.
  • I desire you both to make it above all things your business to seek the Lord: to be frequently calling upon Him, that He would manifest himself to you in His Son
  • Blessed be his name for shining on so dark a heart as mine!
  • Presbyterians, Independents, all here had the same spirit of Faith and prayer…they agree here, know no names of difference; pity it should be otherwise anywhere...we look for no compulsion but that of light and reason.


Royalists: Episcopal

Parliament: Presbyterian

The Army: Independent or Congregationalist


Three Systems of Church Government:

Episcopal: Roman Catholic, Church of England, Some Methodist, Orthodox

Bishops very powerful; individual Christians subject to their authority. Church leaders are well qualified.

Presbyterian: Presbyterianism; Church of Scotland;

Ministers very powerful

Congregational: FIEC, some Pentecostal, independent Churches, Congregational, Baptist

Churches are not bound to corrupt denominations; churches can elect the wrong people; loose cannons.


Bible Verses to be examined:

Ephesians 4:11

Titus 1:5-9

1 Timothy 3:1-7

Philippians 1:1

1 Corinthians 12:28