The Great Ejection
那些掌握英国圣公会高阶层领导地位的人，已经冥顽不灵、无可救药了，但他们不是静默不动，而是定意要止息那呼吁他们悔改的声音。因此，几十年来，这些清教徒受到宗教领袖和政界领导双方面的敌视与逼迫。其中，有许多为他们的信仰受害受死的；也有许多为基督的缘故忍受牢狱和酷刑的。直到1662年，当逼迫到达最高峰，英国议会就颁布了一道“统一法案”，基本上要求所有的信徒必须严格遵循圣公会（国教）的教导和做法。这就导致了英国属灵历史上一个不堪回首、惨不忍睹的日子，1662年8月24日，通常称为“大驱逐日”（The Great Ejection）。在那一天，两千位清教徒的牧者被取消按牧、撤除圣职，并永远赶出他们所牧养的圣公教会。
其中一位被撤职、名叫米德的牧师（Matthew Meade）论到“大驱逐”时，写道：“这个要命的日子，应该用漆黑的字，记在英国的日历上。” 穆雷（Iain Murray）也描述那黑暗的日子所带来的后果，说：
马斯登（J. B. Marsden）把这事件看做在自招神的审判。他写道：
莱尔（J. C. Ryle）在19世纪末担任达勒姆主教（bishop of Durham），如此总结英国圣公会（国教）因着不悔改所付出的重大属灵代价，他说：“我相信（大驱逐）对英国真正的敬虔所造成的灵性亏损是永远无法修补的。”  的确，在随后的几百年当中，英国渐渐屈服于自由主义文化，全国都笼罩在属灵的黑暗与背道中，到处是死气沉沉又冷冰冰的教堂。
尽管“统一法案”和“大驱逐日”导致了几个世纪的恶果，但英国国教仍然不能实现她统一的目标。虽清教徒打散了，但他们没有沉默。那许多从自己教会被驱逐的牧者，例如：巴克斯特（Richard Baxter），弗莱威尔（John Flavel），布鲁克斯（Thomas Brooks），沃森（Thomas Watson）等等属灵的伟人，至今仍影响深远，还在向我们说话。他们虽在1662年失去了教堂的讲台，但继续（不顾法令的禁止）忠心地传讲神的道，他们和许无名的传道人一起，不止息地揭露英国圣公会的腐败，并且劝勉众人悔改归正。
The Danger of Calling the Church to Repent
by John MacArthur
Monday, October 8, 2018
Have you ever heard of a church that repented? Notindividuals, but an entire church that collectively recognized itscongregational transgressions and openly, genuinely repented, with biblicalsorrow and brokenness.
Sadly, you probably have not.
For that matter, have you ever heard of a pastor whocalled his church to repent and threatened his congregation with divinejudgment if they failed to do so?
It’s not likely.
Pastors today seem to have a hard enough time callingindividuals to repent, let alone calling the whole church to account for theircorporate sins. In fact, if a pastor were so bold as to lead his own church torepent, he might not be the pastor for much longer. At minimum, he would faceresistance and scorn from within the congregation. That inevitable backlash islikely strong enough to generate a kind of preemptive fear, keeping most churchleaders from ever considering a call for corporate repentance.
On the other hand, if a pastor or church leader has thetemerity to call for another church—rather than his own—to repent, he willalmost certainly be accused of being critical, divisive, and overstepping hisauthority. He’ll face a chorus of voices telling him to mind his own business. Vilifyinghim, therefore, clears a path for the confronted church to sidestep hisadmonition altogether.
The fact is, churches rarely repent. Churches that startdown a path of worldliness, disobedience, and apostasy typically move evenfurther from orthodoxy over time. They almost never recover their originalsoundness. Rarely are they broken over their collective sins against the Lord.Rarely do they turn aside from corruption, immorality, and false doctrine.Rarely do they cry out from the depths of their hearts for forgiveness,cleansing, and restoration. Most never even consider it, because they havebecome comfortable with their condition.
In reality, calling the church to repent and reform canbe very dangerous. Church history is replete with examples.
The Great Ejection
The name “Puritan” was devised as a term of derision andscorn. It was applied to a group of Anglican pastors in England in thesixteenth and seventeenth centuries who sought to purify the church of itsremaining Roman Catholic influences and practices. These Puritan pastorsrepeatedly called for the churches of England to repent of their extensivecarnality, heresy, and priestly corruption. But the Anglican Church would notrepent. They could not deny the need for reformation, but they wanted a “middleway” rather than a thorough reformation.
Those who held the reins in the Anglican hierarchyremained impenitent—but not passive. They were determined to silence the voicescalling them to repentance. For decades, the Puritans faced hostility andpersecution from church leaders and political rulers alike. Many suffered anddied for their faith, while many more endured imprisonment and torture for thesake of Christ. The persecution reached a crescendo in 1662, when the EnglishParliament issued the Act of Uniformity. The decree essentially outlawedanything other than strict Anglican doctrine and practice. That led to amonumental and tragic day in England’s spiritual history: August 24, 1662,commonly known as the Great Ejection. On that day, two thousand Puritan pastorswere stripped of their ordination and permanently thrown out of their Anglicanchurches.
Those faithful Puritans understood that the Church ofEngland had to repent and reform before the nation would ever turn to Christ.But rather than reject their wickedness and corruption, the impenitent leadersof the Church of England attempted to silence anyone calling for repentance andrestoration.
Subsequent history reveals that the Great Ejection was noisolated event with temporary significance. The spiritual turmoil did not endonce the Puritans were excommunicated and separated from their congregations.In fact, it’s safe to say that the Great Ejection was a spiritual disaster thatserves as a clear and dark dividing line in England’s history, and which hasimplications to the present day.
One of those ejected ministers was Matthew Meade.Concerning the Great Ejection, he wrote, “This fatal day deserves to be writtenin black letters in England’s calendar.” Iain Murray describes the spiritual fallout of that dark day:
After the silencing of the 2,000, we enter an age ofrationalism, of coldness in the pulpit and indifference in the pew, an age inwhich scepticism and worldliness went far to reducing national religion to amere parody of New Testament Christianity. 
J. B. Marsden saw the event as an invitation for theLord’s judgment. He wrote,
If it be presumptuous to fix upon particular occurrencesas proofs of God’s displeasure; yet none will deny that a long, unbroken,course of disasters indicates but too surely, whether to a nation or a church,that his favour is withdrawn. Within five years of the ejection of the twothousand nonconformists, London was twice laid waste. 
He wasn’t wrong. The Great Ejection occurred in thesummer of 1662. In 1665, an epidemic of the bubonic plague struck London,killing more than 100,000 people, roughly one quarter of its population. Thefollowing year, a massive fire swept through London, incinerating more than13,000 homes, nearly a hundred churches—including St. Paul’s Cathedral—anddecimating most of the city. Many historians agreed with Marsden, viewing thosedisasters as divine retribution for England’s impenitence.
Still, those disasters don’t compare to the spiritualconsequences of England’s apostasy. After citing the plague and the fire,Marsden continued, “Other calamities ensued, more lasting and far moreterrible. Religion in the church of England was almost extinguished, and inmany of her parishes the lamp of God went out.” 
J. C. Ryle, who served as the bishop of Durham in thelate 1800s, summed up the spiritual cost of the Anglican Church’s impenitencethis way: “I believe [the Great Ejection] did an injury to the cause of truereligion in England, which will probably never be repaired.”  Indeed, over the centuries that followed,England has succumbed to a culture of liberalism, overrun with cold, deadchurches and awash in apostasy and spiritual darkness.
And despite the centuries of foul fruit that sprang fromthe Act of Uniformity and the Great Ejection, the Church of England failed toachieve its primary goal. The Puritans were scattered, but not silenced. Manyof the men who were ejected from their churches went on to have influence thatcontinues to this day. Spiritual stalwarts such as Richard Baxter, John Flavel,Thomas Brooks, and Thomas Watson were among those who lost their pulpits in1662 but faithfully carried on as outlaw preachers. Along with many others,they continued to expose the corruption of the Anglican Church, calling for its repentance.
The Puritans effectively carried on the legacy that beganwith the Reformers more than a century earlier. Luther, Calvin, Tyndale, andother key sixteenth-century Reformers participated in perhaps the greatestcorporate call to repentance the world has ever seen. Their preaching andteaching transformed the medieval world, and their legacy continues into the present.
For that reason, we’ll take a closer look at theProtestant Reformation next time.
(Adapted from Christ’s Call to Reform the Church)