A Westminster Bibliography Part 5:
Hermeneutical Background

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

 

By Richard Bacon

 

It is relatively important that we understand the basic philosophical or epistemological differences of the Westminster Assembly of divines. Nevertheless, the largest disagreements that arose within the puritan movement in the seventeenth century were not primarily philosophical differences, but differences of hermeneutics. Both Presbyterians and Independents were the philosophical heirs of Peter Ramus, Walter Travers, Thomas Cartwright and William Ames, but their hermeneutical principles had quite different origins.

It is also clear that the differences between the Presbyterians and Independents were not simply differences on the one issue of church government. As Dr. John F. Wilson of Princeton University has demonstrated,

"...the questions of church polity, those issues within Stuart Puritanism which denominationally minded historians have interpreted in mundane terms, were derivative and secondary. The real intra-Puritan disputes concerned the Millennium and the character of Christ's rule in his church during that age. Differences of 'polity' rested on prior issues."1

The thesis that Independent church polity was dependent upon millenarianism may seem at first glance somewhat obscure. But the evidence is formidable that there was a strong millenarian - even utopian - element in the hermeneutics of the radical Reformation from early in the sixteenth century and continuing into the Fifth Monarchy movement of the 1640's and 1650's. The Independents in the Westminster Assembly were firmly in that line of thinking. As Geoffrey F. Nuttall pointed out in Visible Saints: The Congregational Way 1640-1660,

"By its very nature, moreover, the restoration was precluded from becoming antiquarian: for upon themselves, they believed, as upon the first Christians, the ends of the age were come and the Lord was at hand.... The combination of the 'now' and the 'not yet' which characterizes the Christian Weltanschauung was a daily reality to them."2

James Holstun confirms the extent to which millenarian eschatology can influence the entirety of one's views.3 Holstun tells of a certain Vasco de Quiroga who was sent to New Spain in 1531. There he saw the possibility of a reformed [Catholic] church among the Indians. Quiroga claimed, "[It] seems certain to me that I see...in the new primitive and reborn church of this new world, a reflection and an outline of the primitive church in our known world in the age of the apostles."4 There is a strain of utopian thinking that extends from that period, via Johann Alsted into England, and from the Elizabethan puritans through Thomas Brightman and Joseph Mede (alt. Meade) to such Westminster luminaries as Thomas Goodwin, Jeremiah Burroughs and William Twisse.5

The Civil War which raged at the very time the Westminster Assembly convened had further opened the door for all manner of revolutionaries and utopians to enter the religious debates of the day. Several of the proposals of Henry Barrow, Robert Browne, John Greenwood and other earlier Separatists were being accepted by many in the lower classes of society, as well as in the ranks of the New Model Army. The rise to power of Oliver Cromwell especially horrified the middle and upper classes. The millenarian utopians of the day proposed changing the legal system, extending voting rights and either closing or greatly changing the universities. William Walwyn, the Leveller, "attacked the Universities for holding on to the study of Hebrew, Greek and Latin at a time when the Bible was readily available in English. For him the arguments for a 'learned ministry' were in essence little more than 'the learned... defending their copyhold.'"6

The contemporary Presbyterian writer Thomas Edwards gave a summary of the religious situation of his day in a book entitled Gangræna, which he dedicated to the two Houses of Parliament. He listed the evils that had broken out in England from 1642 to 1646:

"Things every day grow worse and worse; you can hardly imagine them so bad as they are. No kind of blaspheming, heresie, disorder, and confusion, but 'tis found among us, or coming in upon us. For we, instead of reformation, are grown from one extreme to another, fallen from Scylla to Charybdis; from popish innovations, superstitions, and prelatical tyranny, to damnable heresies, horrid blasphemies, libertinism, and fearful anarchy....; the worst of the prelates, in the midst of many popish Arminian tenets and popish innovations, held many sound doctrines and had many commendable practices; yea, the very papists hold and keep to many articles of faith and truths of God, have some order among them, encourage learning, have certain fixed principles of truth, with practices of devotion and good works; but many of the sects and sectaries of our days deny all principle of religion, are enemies to all holy duties, order, learning, overthrowing all.... What swarms are there of all sorts of illiterate mechanic preachers, yea, of women and boy preachers!.... These sectaries have been growing upon us ever since the first year of our sitting, and have every year increased more and more."7

William Hetherington's description of 1640's London is also instructive. In his A History of the Westminster Assembly, Hetherington described the times,

"As King Charles plundered the countryside, many sectaries of various beliefs were forced into London (1643-44). The sectaries knew that no rule of ordination had yet been made. They procured ordination from other sectaries and applied for the ministerial relief. When refused, they began to draw parties after them. The Assembly complained to Parliament about the liberties being taken. Nye objected [to the Assembly's complaint]. Independents began to align themselves with the sectaries."8

Some may consider at this point that this paper has strayed some distance from the subject of the documents concerning doctrine, worship and church polity as set forth by the Westminster Assembly. However, this writer is in agreement with Nuttall when he states, "For an understanding of Puritan piety which is more than superficial few aids are, in fact, more needed than a fresh presentation of the developing millenarian argument, with its manifold attractions and effects."9 Secular historians have been more likely than most sacred chroniclers to recognize the extent to which the radical millennial views of the Independents affected both their understanding of church polity and worship as well as their radical political views in support of Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army.

Johann Alsted argued that from 1603 to 1642 the world would sustain considerable mutations because the period of "the seventh revolution of the planets" would be completed during those forty years. The numbers he found in the books of Daniel and Revelation seemed to him to confirm 1642 as a momentous year. Alsted derived his astronomy from the pioneer astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).10

Tycho believed the seventh revolution pointed to a kind of sabbatism: to the seventh millennium occurring at the end of history.11 Another contemporary astronomer, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), famous for Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, predicted that a supernova which appeared in the constellation "Serpenta" from October 1604 to late 1605 foreshadowed the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline and the complete and final restoration of the church.12

John Napier, the brilliant Scot who invented logarithms, extended his numerical skills to the numbers of the beast of Revelation chapter 13. His book first appeared in 1593 and contained a number of propositions in the style of Ramist logic. His tenth proposition claimed to demonstrate, "The last trumpet and vial beginneth anno Christi 1541 and should end in anno Christi 1786.... The day of God's judgment appears to fall betwixt the years of Christ 1688 and 1700."13

In spite of the seeming "scientific nature" of such schemes, however, the Presbyterians in the Assembly were having none of it. Thus Alexander Henderson declared in a sermon preached on December 27, 1643, "Men need not... trouble themselves with the intricate numbers of Plato, predictions of astrologers [i.e., astronomers] or particular prophesies."14

Early puritan Reformers used apocalyptic language and metaphor when writing of the Reformation and Rome. Later writers, however, transformed the earlier international outlook into one more narrowly nationalistic and British - what Haller called "the elect nation."15 Thomas Brightman, a transitional figure whose Commentary on Revelation significantly influenced Goodwin and Burroughs, regarded the binding of Satan to have taken place in the church's fourth century triumph over paganism under the emperor Constantine.16 Brightman considered the first resurrection to have been fulfilled in the work and preaching of John Wyclif and he regarded the second resurrection as taking place with the conversion of the Jews, which he taught would be in the year 1650.17

Ironically, John Field, who earlier had been the moving force behind the attempt to create a presbyterian organization within the Church of England in Queen Elizabeth's day, may have been the very one who opened the door for the unusual millennial interpretations of Brightman, Mede, and eventually the Independents in the Westminster Assembly. He, together with Thomas Wilcox, penned An Admonition to the Parliament in 1572. In their Admonition, Field and Wilcox used apocalyptic language to deride the episcopal government. In using this language, Field and Wilcox seem to have opened the way to a more radical puritan view and, more importantly, publicly opened a road to separation.18 Subsequently, such men as Henry Barrow, Robert Browne and Henry Jacob developed the language of Field and Wilcox into an apology for Separatism. Ecclesiastical Separation seemed to them the only sure way to avoid the impending judgment on the "church of the Antichrist."19 The non-separating Puritans agreed that the established church contained antichristian elements, but for them it remained a true church. For Barrow and the Separatists, anyone who would not follow the evidence to its logical conclusion and fully condemn the English church as false deserved a place on the side of perdition.20 Plotkin thus concludes that the English millenaries were "revolutionary reformers.... For the English millenary, fundamental iniquities called for fundamental reforms.... England would ensure Christ's victory over history...."21

Thomas Brightman followed the language of the Separatists in his Commentary on Revelation. Brightman was very much concerned with seeing reform in the English church and viewed that reform taking place as part of the "latter-day glory" of the church in his Commentary.22

A Separatist in the line of Henry Jacob and Henry Barrow with respect to radical ecclesiology and with a remarkable agreement with Brightman's eschatology was Robert Parker. Parker shared Brightman's conviction that the advancing eschaton was intimately bound up with the issue of ecclesiology and the struggle for reform in England. The millennium would arrive in its full maturity, he believed, carried victorious on the shoulders of the church polity advocated by the more radical Puritans, while the English episcopacy would be spewed out like the Laodicean church.23 Parker thought that the destruction of the Antichrist was close at hand and would occur "at the Jews' conversion, whereunto we come near."24 Joseph Mede of Cambridge followed the same reasoning and language and also seems to have been aware of Alsted's predictions.25 W. M. Lamont points out that even Nathaniel Holmes, preaching to the House of Commons in 1641 looked forward to the formation of the "new and glorious church" on a definite congregational basis and "he makes liberal use of the prophecies of Thomas Brightman to support his claim that this reformation was near at hand; he makes clear the theocratic implications of his doctrines."26

Anabaptists in Holland, Robert Browne, John Robinson and the Independents who ministered in Rotterdam and Arnheim had more in common than mere proximity. Each of those groups and individuals had a common foundation in their view of church polity. All denied any authority to human tradition, but equally important all based their view of church polity on the ideal of the church as a society of the regenerate. Such an ideal required a radical discontinuity between the church of the Old Testament and the church of the New Testament. The Presbyterians saw much of the Old Testament concept of church polity as useful and binding on the present-day church. Thus a Presbyterian's view of church membership, church polity, and the relationship of the church to civil government was conditioned by what he found in the Old Testament. The dissenter, on the other hand, sensed that such a scheme could never meet the New Testament ideal and preferred to limit the authoritative pattern of Scripture to the New Testament only.

It is one thing to establish that millenary eschatology had fruit in a radical ecclesiology; it is something different to demonstrate that the link existed with the Independents in the Westminster Assembly. Yet that hermeneutical link is what this paper proposes. A decade after the Westminster Assembly completed its work, in 1658, the Independents formulated a confession of their own. Of the leading Independents at the Westminster Assembly, only Burroughs and Simpson were absent from the later assembly of Independents at Savoy. Burroughs died in 1646 while the Westminster Assembly still sat27 and Simpson died in 1658.28 The drafting committee at Savoy consisted of Thomas Goodwin, Philip Nye, William Bridge, Joseph Caryl, William Greenhill and John Owen. Only Owen was not present as a dissenter at Westminster.29 Clearly the Savoy Confession is a measure of the beliefs of the "dissenting brethren" of the Westminster Assembly. Significantly, the designers of the Savoy Confession placed their most salient eschatological statement in the section dealing with the church.

"As the Lord in his care and love towards the church hath in his infinite wise providence exercised it with great variety in all ages, for the good of them that love him, and his own glory: so according to his promise, we expect in the latter days, Antichrist being destroyed, the Jews called, and the adversaries of the kingdom of his dear Son broken, the churches of Christ being enlarged, and edified through a free and plentiful communication of light and grace, shall enjoy in this world a more quiet, peaceable and glorious condition than they have enjoyed."30

John Owen was obviously influenced in the same way and by the same sources as the Independents in the Assembly.31 The relationship that Owen saw existing between eschatology and ecclesiology can be discovered in three sermons he preached before Parliament 1649-1652.32 Owen viewed the rule of Antichrist (Rome) as coming to an end with the continuing reformation of the church.33 The Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was, according to Owen, "the coming of the Lord Christ to recover his people from antichristian idolatry and oppression."34 The nature of the kingdom is both personal and internal as the Spirit rules in the hearts of believers35 and external as Christ rules by his gospel ordinances in the visible church.36 Owen believed the kingdom of Christ would continue to increase until the "restoration of all things" spoken of in Acts 3:21,37 which would consist of the calling of the Jews and the overthrow of Antichrist.38 Finally, at the last day would come the universal judgment of all men by Christ.39

This eschatological scenario may sound like the mainstream historic "postmillennialism"40 of the Presbyterians, but Owen subscribed to the elect nation theory of the Independents as well. "Nay, the reformation of England shall be more glorious than of any nation in the world, being carried on neither by might, nor power, but only by the Spirit of the Lord of Host."41 Owen was thus convinced along with other leading Independents of military and political victories for Cromwell, the Protectorate, and "the good old cause." Therefore, Peter Toon could write that Owen thought "the victories of the New Model Army were inspired and even predestined by God."42 Toon criticizes Owen's judgment:

"...perhaps the young divine went too far in his claim that one could see in recent history a clear imprint or reflection of the eternal counsel of God...."

"...he understood everything in terms of God's judgment, chastisement or deliverance of his saints here on earth. He did not think it important to consider what we may term "secondary causes" - excessive taxation, patriotism and fear of the future."43

The impact such millenarianism had on the ecclesiology of the Independents was significant. For Goodwin and the other millenaries the Kingdom of Christ was a rule of Christ in his church which could not be separated logically from his soon-to-be rule in his millennium. Goodwin was convinced "[Christ] shall reign with his saints in a glorious manner, and the church shall be so raised in the world outwardly as to be above all the men of the world in outward glory."44 The significance of Goodwin's sermon, "A Glimpse of Syon's Glory," has long been recognized by modern secular historians.45 In the spectrum of Puritan thought, Goodwin is generally placed by historians in the "orthodox" center. It is therefore only with recent scholarship that Goodwin has been confirmed as the author of "Glimpse."46 As Dr. Tai Liu points out,

"Historians now understand that millenarianism was not merely the fantasy of the alienated who had no command of the reality of society but also a dynamic force in the minds of men who were totally involved in the reconstruction of the world.... It has been recognized as a formative influence upon religious thought in general in the first half of the seventeenth century."47

Millenary vision colored the aspirations of many English Puritans and in the early stages of the revolution the vision was not limited to the radical sects. As Doctor Wilson of Princeton demonstrates regarding the monthly Fast-Day Sermons before the Long Parliament, eschatological symbolism was the very imagery which the Puritans used in outlining their plans for both the nation and the church.48 With such a broader understanding of Puritan millenarianism, Goodwin's "Glimpse" takes on a greater significance for both an understanding of Puritan politics as well as the issue of church polity in the Assembly. Tai Liu thus referred to "Glimpse" as the "original Independent manifesto," and further explained,

"They [the Independents in the Assembly] allowed the voice of the people, or, more strictly speaking, God's people, the saints, in the gathered churches to draw them farther and farther towards religious and political radicalism until the early 1650's, when the millenarian movement threatened the social structure. As a consequence, the Independent divines drew back from it."49

However, it may not have been the radicalism of the Fifth Monarchy movement that caused the Independents to draw back so much as their own disappointment at their eschatological schemes not reaching fruition in 1650 and again in 1655/56. The Savoy Platform of 1658 continues to contain the eschatological (apocalyptic) interpretation of ecclesiology that is evident in Goodwin's "Glimpse."50

The arguments that Goodwin set forth in "Glimpse" in defense of gathered churches and gathered saints were the very arguments that were echoed repeatedly in the sermons and pamphlets favoring Independency throughout the Civil War years. There would be a great conversion of both Jews and Gentiles to the Independent way; rulers would become convinced "of the excellency of God's people" and the gathered saints would be recognized as "the strength of the Lord of Hosts," and as a result would be seen as "the strength in a kingdom" as well. Goodwin insisted, "The inhabitants of Jerusalem, that is, the saints of God gathered together in a church, are the best commonwealth men."51 Further, since there would be such a presence of Christ among the saints, Goodwin thought perhaps human laws would no longer be needed, "at least in the way that now there is." Above all, Goodwin expected a change in men, in civil government and in the outward conditions of the church such that, "then shall be fulfilled that promise, 'There shall be new heavens and a new earth.'"52 As Tai Liu points out, "We see herein the seeds of religious radicalism in the fundamental precepts of Independency, which were to haunt the relations of the Independent divines and other Puritan groups in the future."53 Nowhere was that relation more strained than in the deliberations of the Westminster Assembly concerning the questions of ecclesiastical polity.

The most important aspect of Goodwin's "Glimpse" for the purposes of this study was his virtual identification of the Independent form of church polity with the beginning of the Kingdom of Christ. Goodwin claimed, for example, "And, my brethren, if the Kingdom of Christ had been kept in congregations, in that way that we and some other churches are in, it had been impossible that antichrist should have got ahead."54 Now that the glorious millennium was drawing near what church should Goodwin expect to be God's choice in founding Zion? "Certainly," Goodwin was so bold to claim, "the communion of saints and Independency of congregations God will honour."55

This claim goes far in explanation of the Independents' opposition to Presbytery. Robert Baillie noted it,56 but historians - especially church historians - have typically oversimplified or ignored the hermeneutical and historiographical issues involved. It was not, as John Bastwick simplisticly asserted, merely a quarrel between Presbyterianism dependent and Presbyterianism independent.57 It was the difference between a reformation view of history versus an apocalyptic view of history (or, as Professor Wilson states it - a prophetic versus an apocalyptic view of history).58 Independency had its own eschatological - even apocalyptic - presuppositions regarding the church and the world, the kingdom of God, man and even history.59 In this apocalyptic sense Independency was not simply a plea for toleration, but an application of the millenary view of the Kingdom of Christ.

It is in this light of apocalyptic millenarianism that Goodwin's Apologetical Narration should be understood.60 The Apologetical Narration explained what the Independents did not want to see imposed, but "Glimpse" forms a manifesto of what the Independents hoped to see done regarding church polity.61 This was not lost on the publisher William Kiffin. In his foreword to "A Glimpse of Syon's Glory," "An Epistle to the Reader," Kiffin wrote, "that Christ hath given his power to his church, not to a hierarchy, neither to a national presbytery, but to a company of saints in a congregational way."62 In light of such contemporary remarks as Kiffin's and Baillie's, the present-day historian must see the later alignment of the Independents and Sectaries, not in terms of accidental or necessary events, but due to the fact that there was no substantial difference in the hermeneutical and historical views of the orthodox and radical Independents.63

Church historians have generally assumed that there was not much difference between the Independents and the Presbyterians until the question of church polity finally came before the Westminster Assembly. Further, many today would regard even the differences that surfaced during the controversy between the Presbyterians and Independents to be over minor or insubstantial points. The Puritans themselves, however, were very much aware of their foundational differences. Baillie claimed simply, "[We] have to get determined to our mutuall satisfaction, if we were ridd of Bishop, and till then, we have agreed to speak nothing of anything wherein we differ."64 The agreement was generally honored by both, yet the Independents were quite effective in preaching their millenarian designs before Parliament. What began as a conflict between King and Parliament over the despotism of Charles I was gradually turned into a holy war against Antichrist.65 E. W. Kirby explains the importance of the sermons preached to Parliament on monthly Fast Days:

"Their sermons help to explain why the Westminster Assembly and the Parliament were to find it difficult to agree upon a form of church government to replace Episcopacy, and, more important, they help to reproduce the atmosphere of the very significant months in which England was drifting from limited [?] monarchy into revolution."66

Another of the Independent Dissenters, William Bridge, preached a similar view to that contained in Goodwin's "Glimpse." In a sermon preached before the Commons in 1640,67 Bridge told the Members of Parliament that by the word "Babylon" they should understand not merely the Church of Rome but parties in other kingdoms as well who "symbolize with her" in their teaching and practice.68 When the sermon was eventually published, Bridge added in an epistle to the reader, "I shall not prophecie if I say, The sword is drawn, whose anger shall not be pacified till Babylon be downe, and Sion raised."69 Bridge thus announced the Independent plan for civil war nearly a year before the fact when he called for a policy of "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, burning for burning ... and blood for blood."70

Jeremiah Burroughs told the House that 1641 was a mirabilis annus for the English nation. Strafford was executed and Laud was in the Tower. The Court of the Star Chamber was abolished; so also was the Court of the High Commission. Parliament passed the Triennial Act to guarantee frequent Parliaments in the future and another to protect itself from improper dissolution.71 Burroughs was not satisfied with such accomplishments however. Burroughs explained to the Members of Parliament, "Many are affected with the peace of the State, who little minde Jerusalem, they are good States men, wise, judicious, faithful in their kinde, but care little what becomes of Jerusalem, the true worship of God."72 Burroughs' apocalyptic vision comes through when he instructs the legislators,

"You have the advantage of the time, for this is the time for God to doe great things for his churches; time was when God stirred up his servants to stand against the wayes of Antichrist, only to give testimony to this truth... but now God calls you to appeare against him, and his waies; At this time God intends to ruin him. You come at the time of his downfall, when he is falling...."73

Burroughs also attached a warning to the House in the event they did not utterly abolish prelacy: "God forbid that any of you should now give in; if any draw back, my soule shall have no pleasure in him saith the Lord."74

The Westminster Independent Joseph Caryl preached before the Lord Mayor of London in March 1643 (four months before the opening of the Assembly) and proclaimed, "Now at this day there is a great cry for peace," and asked, "who weepes not to see the wounds of this Nation?" Yet he went on to say that until religion was fully reformed the cause of the Civil War would remain. Considerations of state, how important soever they might be, were as nothing compared to the righteousness of God.75 On another occasion, April 23, 1644, Caryl spoke before Parliament on the text Revelation 11:16-17. The essential point of the exhortation was the immediacy of Christ's reign:

"We may answer all Querists about the raigne of Christ, consider of the things which ye heare and see [John 10:24f]. The spiritually blind begin to have their eyes unscaled and receive their sight, many lamed in prisons walke abroad at liberty, many who were deafe at the voice of truth, now heare it: some who were civilly dead under oppressions and persecutions are raised up, and thousand of poore soules have the Gospel preached unto them. Proud ones are abased, they are scattered in the imaginations of their own hearts; mighty ones are put from their seats, and they of low degree are exalted. Errours are discountenanc'd, truth is enquired after, ceremonies and superstitions are cast out, monuments of Popery and Paganisme are cast downe; the beautie of Idols is stained, and the coverings of graven images are defiled. May we not argue from all these, for this enthronization of Christ, as they did for his incarnation, Joh. 7:31."76

Professor Wilson summarizes:

"It is clear that the Independents were, in apocalyptic fashion, reading their program out of their frankly Millenarian convictions. Their Presbyterian rivals, on the contrary, were attempting to structure the Church in terms of a full Protestant Reformation. In this sense the Independents believed that time was literally on their side. Their tactics in the Westminster Assembly were a series of protracted delays, proposals and counter-proposals, all designed to render impossible that Presbyterian reformation in the expectation of an apocalypse which they alone comprehended."77

The difference in hermeneutic outlined in this section formed the basis for the disagreements between the Presbyterians and the Independents in the Westminster Assembly. The Presbyterians set forth the presence and authority of Christ mediated and exercised by courts and temporal officers in the visible church. The Presbyterian Gaspar Hickes expressed this doctrine, "the Lord doth highly dignifie and blesse a people by setting over them religious and righteous Magistrates and Rulers."78 By contrast Thomas Goodwin maintained that the visible saints are the "Privy Counselours to the great King of Kings, who governs all the States and Kingdomes in the World; and God doth give these Saints a Commission to set up and pull down by their prayers and intercessions."79

The Independents in the Westminster Assembly could therefore not be expected to view higher courts in the church as biblical. From their hermeneutical perspective, there was no higher court than private conscience interpreting Scripture in a way that seemed right to the individual. From such an atomistic approach to biblical hermeneutics it was inevitable that they would regard virtually all church authority as an infringement upon the highly personal relationship between a believer and his God.

The Presbyterians, on the other hand, viewed the problems of prelacy as an abuse of church power. The problems lay not in the exercise of authority, but in its wrongful exercise. The church erred not in making judgments, but in making wrong judgments. The church should be concerned not with a repudiation of church authority, but with its rectification.

This fundamental hermeneutical difference between the Presbyterians and the Independents in the Westminster Assembly would ultimately prove to be the primary cause of the Assembly's failure to establish in the minds of the Members of Parliament that there is a jus divinum of church government and discipline.

 

Notes

1 John F. Wilson, "A Glimpse of Syon's Glory" CH, XXXI (March, 1962), 72-73.

2 Geoffrey F. Nuttall. Visible Saints: The Congregational Way 1640-1660. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1957), 157. Hereafter Visible Saints.

3 James Holstun. A Rational Millennium: Puritan Utopias of Seventeenth Century England and America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987).

4 Ibid., 4-6

5 Robert G. Clouse, "Johann Heinrich Alsted and English Millennialism" in HTR, 62 (1969), 203-204.

6 Peter Toon in a lecture given at Concordia Lutheran College on December 3, 1971.

7 Cutts, op. cit., 264. Cutts is not really sympathetic to the Presbyterians, but quotes Gangræna as though Edwards were saying the Presbyterians were overrun by such Sectaries. Of course what Edwards meant was that London was overrun with them.

8 Hetherington, 144-45.

9 Nuttall, Visible Saints, 157.

10 F. S. Plotkin, Sighs from Sion. (NY: Columbia U., 1966), 42.

11 Ibid., 42-43.

12 Ibid., 43.

13 Cited in Paul Christianson, Reformers and Babylon: English Apocalyptic Visions From the Reformation to the Eve of the Civil War. (Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, c. 1978), 97-98. Hereafter Reformers and Babylon.

14 Alexander Henderson, "A Sermon Preached to the Honorable House of Commons, at Their Late Solemn Fast," Wednesday, December 27, 1643, in An Anthology of Presbyterian and Reformed Literature, Vol. I, No. 1, (Dallas: Naphtali Press, 1988), 13.

15 Reformers and Babylon, 41.

16 Alfred Cohen, "The Kingdom of God in Puritan Thought: A Study of the English Puritan Quest for the Fifth Monarchy" (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1961), 52. Hereafter Cohen.

17 Ibid., 52-55.

18 Reformers and Babylon, 54-57.

19Stephen Brachlow, The Communion of Saints: Radical Puritan and Separatist Ecclesiology 1570-1625 (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 87-88. Hereafter Brachlow.

20 Reformers and Babylon, 89.

21 Plotkin, op. cit., 21.

22 Peter Toon, "The Latter Day Glory," in Puritans, The Millennium and the Future of Israel: Puritan Eschatology, 1600-1660: A Collection of Essays. Edited by Peter Toon. (Cambridge: James Clarke, 1970), 28-30.

23 Brachlow, 93-94.

24 Cited in Brachlow, 93.

25 Cohen, 57-58.

26 W. M. Lamont, "Episcopacy and a Godly Discipline, 1641-6," in JEH, X (April 1959), 78.

27 James Reid, Memoirs of the Westminster Divines (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1982 reprint of 1811), I, 174.

28 Ibid., II, 147.

29 Peter Toon, "The Westminster and Savoy Confessions: A Brief Comparison," in JETS, XV (1972), 154.

30 Quoted in Ibid., 155. Emphasis added.

31 Owen claimed that he had been converted from Presbyterianism to Independency by John Cotton's Keys to the Kingdom, which in turn relied very heavily upon Brightman and Mede.

32 The sermons were, "The Shaking and Translating of Heaven and Earth" (Owen's Works, VIII, 243-279), "The Advantage of the Kingdom of Christ" (Ibid., 311-339), and "Christ's Kingdom and the Magistrate's Power" (Ibid., 365-395).

33 "Shaking and Translating," 260.

34 "Advantage," 322.

35 "Shaking and Translating," 258-59.

36 "Christ's Kingdom," 370-73.

37 "Shaking and Translating," 259.

38 "Christ's Kingdom," 375-76

39 Ibid., 373.

40 The modern distinctions of "premillennial, amillennial and postmillennial" are anachronistic and should be applied only with considerable care to seventeenth century millenary schemes.

41 Owen, op. cit., VIII, 27. It would be interesting to hear Owen's response to questions regarding Pride's purge of the Parliament in 1648 or Cromwell's execution of Charles I. It is unclear how Owen thought the Independent movement succeeded "neither by might, nor power" when it was swept into ascendancy with Cromwell's New Model Army.

42 Peter Toon, God's Statesman: The Life and Work of John Owen (Devon: The Paternoster Press, 1971), 20.

43 Ibid., 21; 32.

44 Thomas Goodwin, "A Glimpse of Syon's Glory" in Works, XII, 71. Hereafter "Glimpse."

45 See Tai Liu, Discord in Zion: The Puritan Divines and the Puritan Revolution 1640-1660. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973), 1-28. Hereafter Discord.; Christopher Hill, The Century of Revolution (Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd., 1961), 168 ff.; Michael Walzer, The Revolution of the Saints (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1965), 290 ff. See also Sidney A. Burrell, "Calvinism, Capitalism, and the Middle Classes: Some Afterthoughts on an Old Problem," JMH, XXXII, (1960), 129-41.

46 For a compelling case for Goodwin's authorship of "Glimpse" see Anthony Dallison, "The Latter-day Glory in the Thought of Thomas Goodwin," EQ, LVIII (January, 1986), 53-86; David Walker, "Thomas Goodwin and the debate on Church Government," JEH, XXXIV (1983), 85-99; and Prof. Dr. John F. Wilson, "A Glimpse of Syon's Glory," CH, XXXI (March 1962), 66-73.

47 Discord, 3.

48 John F. Wilson, Pulpit in Parliament: Puritanism during the English Civil Wars 1640-48, (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 1969), 189-96. Hereafter Wilson.

49 Discord, 4-5.

50 See Dallison, "Latter-day Glory," 53-54.

51 "Glimpse," 73-74, 76.

52 Ibid., 74-77. Geoffrey F. Nuttall, though generally friendly toward the Independents, has pointed out the relationship that existed between their incipient dispensationalism and their radical ecclesiology. The Holy Spirit in Puritan Faith and Experience, (Oxford: Univ. Press, 1946), 107-108.

53 Discord, 6.

54 "Glimpse," 69.

55 Ibid., 79.

56 Dissuasive, 80,86.

57 C. G. Bolam and Jeremy Goring, "English Presbyterian Beginnings," in Bolam et al. The English Presbyterians (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968), 43.

58 Shaw, I chapter 2 and II chapter 3. See also George Yule, "Independents: Decentralized Calvinism in 17th Century England," RTR, XV (June 1956), 38-49 and "English Presbyterianism and the Westminster Assembly," RTR, XXXIII (1974), 33-34. For a similar discussion see C. G. Bolam et al., The English Presbyterians (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968), 38-45.

59 Discord, 7-8.

60 See part 7.

61 Discord, 8.

62 "Glimpse," 63.

63 Discord, 8.

64 Baillie, I, 311 and Dissuasive, 130-31.

65 H. R. Trevor-Roper, "The Fast Sermons of the Long Parliament," in Religion, the Reformation and Social Change (London: Macmillan, 1967), 306. and Wilson, 227-30.

66 Ethyn W. Kirby, "Sermons Before the Commons, 1640-42," AHR, XLIV (1939), 547-48.

67 "Babylon's Downfall" (London, 1641.)

68 Ibid., 6.

69 Ibid., "to the reader."

70 Ibid., 11.

71 See part 1.

72 Jeremiah Burroughs, "Sions Joy,"(London, 1641), 5-6.

73 Ibid., 62

74 Ibid., 61.

75 Joseph Caryl, "David's Prayer for Solomon," (London, 1643), 24-25.

76 Joseph Caryl, "The Saintes Thankfull Acclamation at Christ's Presumption of His Great Power and the Initials of His Kingdome," (London, 1644), 34f.

77 John F. Wilson, "Studies in Puritan Millenarianism Under the Early Stuarts," (Unpublished Th.D. dissertation, Union Seminary of New York City, 1962), 136.

78 Gaspar Hickes, "The Glory and Beauty of Gods Portion," (London, 1644), 33.

79 Thomas Goodwin, "The Great Interest of States and Kingdomes," (London, 1646), Works, XI, 42.

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