principle of love for others. But while Locke wished to abolish the Test Act, he remained sympathetic to some form of comprehension, and like most Anglicans and Dissenters he was reluctant to grant full toleration to Catholics. The question of Locke's impact on the eighteenth century is the subject of ongoing debate; the Nonconformists frequently appealed to him, even as they relied upon their own apologists. The essential theoretical defence of full religious liberty came from the Presbyterian Edmund Calamy, Jr., who, while conversant with Locke, argued in his influential Defense of Moderate Non-Conformity (1703-05) that the raison d'être of Nonconformity was the refusal to allow civil or religious authority to exercise any power over an individual's conscience. Calamy understood the two defining principles of English Nonconformity to be: (1) the right of private judgement (Christ as the sole lord of conscience) and (2) the spiritual and therefore voluntary nature of the church (Christ as sole lawgiver in his own kingdom).
The practice of Nonconformity, however, is as important as its theory for understanding the history of toleration. Within a year of the Revolution of 1688-89, almost 800 temporary and 143 permanent places of Dissenting worship were licensed in England. These separated congregations embodied a physical and social reality of the first importance. The English Nonconformists comprised a religious minority that, by 1715, numbered approximately 6 per cent of the population, and this alternative religious culture, including corporate meeting places, an articulate intelligentsia, and a separate educational system, provoked a significant reaction. The entire Nonconformist tradition came under the probing criticism of both High Churchmen and Latitudinarians. Such authors argued that right belief, just like moral behaviour, ought to be encouraged by the state and that compulsion could redefine a people's understanding and render them more docile. Anglican apologists were motivated as much by genuine pastoral and educational concerns as they were by political and social issues of good order and deference.13
During the reign of Queen Anne (1701-14), a serious High Church effort was made to reverse the religious settlement shaped by the Act of Toleration, and return to the more repressive policy of the period before 1689. These were pivotal and defining years for English Nonconformists. From the later seventeenth century, Nonconformists had been increasingly utilizing a loop-hole in the Corporation Act, and by occasionally receiving the Anglican sacrament of the Lord's Supper at a parish church, they were technically qualifying themselves for political office. In 1702, this 'occasional conformity' became the subject of heated debate in parliament. High Church Anglicans viewed the practice as a devious attempt to undermine the proper social and electoral
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