Following a Parliamentary Visitation in 1648 Gale’s Puritan leanings were rewarded with funding to continue his studies at Magdalen College and he gained a BA degree in 1649. A year later he was made a Fellow and Tutor of the college and went on to gain his MA in 1652. Appointments to the posts of Junior Dean of Arts and Senior Dean of Arts followed in 1657 and 1658, by which time he had been made a preacher at Winchester Cathedral, where other leading radical theologians also preached.
By the time the Civil War ended, many in the country had grown tired of the strictures of the Puritan emphasis on intelligent piety. The restoration of King Charles II brought to the throne a king who blamed the regicide of his father on supporters of Puritanism. The pendulum which had swung in favour of Puritanism was now reversed and with it the fortunes of those who supported Puritan doctrines.
The Act of Uniformity of 1662 decreed that all clergy must use the Book of Common Prayer and declare allegiance to the authority of bishops. The hierarchy of bishops had long been a focal point of dissent amongst Puritans and Gale, along with approximately one fifth of the clergy, refused to submit to the Act. As a consequence he was ejected from his post at Winchester Cathedral. The Act also contained stipulations that permanently excluded Gale from University teaching, government employment and ministry within the Church of England. Thus, not only did he lose his post at Winchester, but he was forced to resign his Fellowship at Magdalen College.
He found a new post as tutor to the sons of Lord Wharton, a dissenting Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire. The new post enabled Gale to travel to Caen in Normandy with his pupils to study at the Huguenot College. There he met the celebrated Professor Bochart, a leading Huguenot scholar.
Gale returned to England in 1665 with Wharton’s sons and stayed at the family estate for twelve moths before moving to London to set up an Academy at Stoke Newington for the education of sons of Dissenters. On his approach to London Gale found the city ablaze and Edmund Calamy records that it was only by a stroke of luck that much of Gale’s work was not destroyed by the Great Fire. Apparently he had deposited his manuscripts at a friend’s house before moving to France and it was only by chance that the desk containing them was loaded onto a cart when his friend vacated the house to escape the fire.
Not long after he had set up his academy Gale took up another position as assistant to John Rowe, a non conformist minister of a large Independent church in Holborn. Like Gale, Rowe was a Devonian by birth, hailing from the town of Crediton. It was during the period as assistant to Rowe that Gale was able to continue with writing his many philosophical works.