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“The Most Glorious Church in the World”: The Unity of the Godly in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1630s

  • Michael P. Winship


The dominant historiographical trend in Puritan studies, started by Patrick Collinson, stresses the conservative nature of Puritanism. It notes Puritanism's strong opposition to the separatist impulses of some of the godly and the ways in which it was successfully integrated into the Church of England until the innovations of Charles I and Archbishop Laud. Far from being revolutionary, Puritanism was able to contain the disruptive energies of the Reformation within a national church structure. This picture dovetails nicely with the revisionist portrayal of an early seventeenth-century “Unrevolutionary England,” but it sits uneasily with the fratricidal cacophony of 1640s Puritanism.

The picture also sits uneasily with the Antinomian Controversy, the greatest internal dispute of pre-civil wars Puritanism. That controversy shook the infant Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1636 to 1638. Accusations of false doctrine flew back and forth, the government went into tumult, and by the time the crisis had subsided, leading colonists had voluntarily departed or had been banished. In terms of its cultural impact in England, it was probably the single most important event in seventeenth-century American colonial history; publications generated by the controversy were reprinted in England into the nineteenth century.

The Antinomian Controversy, evoking civil wars cacophony but occurring in the previous decade, offers a bridge across the current interpretive chasm between civil wars and pre-civil wars Puritanism. The crisis has generated a wide range of scholarly interpretations, but there is broad agreement that the Boston church, storm center of the crisis, was the source of its disruption.



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1 Collinson, Patrick, The Religion of Protestants (Oxford, 1983), The Birthpangs of Protestant England (London, 1988), and Sects and the Evolution of Puritanism,” in Puritanism: Transatlantic Perspectives on a Seventeenth-Century Anglo-American Faith, ed. Bremer, Francis J. (Boston, 1993), pp. 147–66. For the historiography of “unrevolutionary England,” see Todd, Margo, “Introduction,” in Reformation to Revolution: Politics and Religion in Early Modern England (London, 1995), pp. 25.

2 An extract from Shepard, Thomas, The Parable of the Ten Virgins (hereafter Parable 1831) was published in London in 1831, with the last British edition being at Aberdeen in 1853. For narratives of the Antinomian Controversy, see Battis, Emery, Saints and Sectaries: Anne Hutchinson and the Antinomian Controversy in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1962); Rutman, Darrett, Winthrop's Boston: Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630–1649 (New York, 1965), pp. 114–24; Gura, Philip F., A Glimpse of Sion's Glory: Puritan Radicalism in New England, 1620–1660 (Middletown, Conn., 1984), chap. 9. For the theological issues, see Stoever, William, “A Faire and Easie Way to Heaven”: Covenant Theology and Antinomianism in Early Massachusetts (Middletown, Conn., 1978).

3 Knight, Janice, Orthodoxies in Massachusetts: Rereading American Puritanism (Cambridge, 1994), presents the Antinomian Controversy as the successful attack of one strain of English orthodoxy over another. Foster, Stephen, “New England and the Challenge of Heresy, 1630–1660: The Puritan Controversy in Transatlantic Perspective,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 38 (1981): 624–60, sees it as driven by a Massachusetts establishment projecting English memories of heresy inappropriately onto a New World screen. Another approach has Hutchinson and Cotton representative of an older Reformed piety being swamped by new Puritan legalism. See Miller, Perry, The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (Cambridge, 1953), pp. 5765; Kendall, R. T., Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649 (Oxford, 1979), chap. 12; Delbanco, Andrew, The Puritan Ordeal (Cambridge, 1989).

4 For an overview of seventeenth-century Puritan practical divinity, see Stoever, “A Faire and Easie Way.”

5 Seaver, Paul S., Wallington 's World: A Puritan Artisan in Seventeenth-Century London (Stanford, Calif., 1985), chap. 2; McGiffert, Michael, ed., God's Plot: Puritan Spirituality in Thomas Shepard's Cambridge (Amherst, Mass., 1994), pp. 1–29, 135–48.

6 Culverwell, Ezekiel, A Treatise of Faith (London, 1623); Archer, John, Instructions about Right Beleeving (London, 1645); Storey, Matthew, ed., Two East Anglian Diaries, 1641–1729, Suffolk Records Society, vol. 36 (Woodbridge, 1994).

7 Preston, John, The New Covenant; or, The Saints Portion, 3d ed. (London, 1629), pp. 400 ff.; Bolton, Robert, Some Generall Directions for a Comfortable Walking with God, 2d ed. (London, 1626), pp. 326–27; Elton, Edward, Three Excellent and Pious Treatises (1623; reprint, London, 1653), pp. 192–93; Willet, Andrew, Hexapla (Cambridge, 1611), pp. 359–60; Grossart, Alexander, ed., The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes (hereafter cited as Works of Sibbes), 7 vols. (Edinburgh, 18621864), 3:457, 4:286–87, 5:440–43, 7:377.

8 Cotton, John, The New Covenant (London, 1654), pp. 3948, for the deceptive parallels between the covenants of works and grace. For his general differences with most Puritan ministers, see Hall, David D., ed., The Antinomian Controversy, 1636–1638: A Documentary History (henceforth cited as AC), 2d ed. (Durham, N.C., 1990), pp. 79151. Thomas Gataker to Samuel Ward, 11 February 1629/30, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Tanner MS 71, fol. 35. I thank David Como and Anthony Milton for sharing this reference.

9 The most satisfactory account of Hutchinson's religiosity is in Maclear, James Fulton, “‘The Heart of New England Rent’: The Mystical Element in Early Puritan History,” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 42 (1956): 641–43.

10 Firmin, Giles, A Brief Review of Mr. Davis's Vindication (London, 1693), “To the Reader”; AC, p. 382; Shepard, Thomas, The Parable of the Ten Virgins Opened and Applied (London, 1695), p. 209. On the covenant of works, see AC, pp. 264–65; and Dunn, Richard al., eds., The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630–1649 (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 205–6; Hutchinson, Edward, A Treatise concerning the Covenant and Baptism (London, 1676), p. 94. On union with Christ and the Holy Spirit, see AC, p. 336; and Groome, Samuel, A Glass for the People of New England (n.p., 1676), p. 9. On sanctification and Hutchinson's reliance on it, see AC, pp. 323–37.

11 Bozeman, T. D., “‘The Glory of the Third Time': John Eaton as Contra-Puritan,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 47 (1996): 638–54. For a brief but very useful survey of the soteriological underground and the literature on it, see Foster, “New England.”

12 Jane Hawkins in England gave trance prophecies of the downfall of the bishops while the local Puritan vicar and his curate took notes. See Public Record Office (PRO), State Papers (SP) 16/141 fols. 96–97, 16/142 fols. 24–25; Hacket, John, Scrinia Reserata (London, 1692), pt. 2, pp. 4748. She was denied admission to the Boston church because of “unsound opinions” (AC, p. 437). William Coggeshall emigrated from Castle Hedingham, in the vicinity of Colchester, a site of antinomian activity. Coggeshall, it was said, had been a “great professor” in England (Hubbard, William, A General History of New England: From Discovery to MDCLXXX, ed. Harris, William Thaddeus [1815, 1816; reprint, Boston, 1848], p. 343. He settled in Roxbury in 1632 but was dismissed to the Boston church in May 1634. Winthrop recorded that in spite of his being “well knowne & approved of the Churche,” he still had to give a “Confession of his Faithe” (Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 114). In the 1620s William Dyer, a London Puritan (he visited William Prynne during the latter's imprisonment in 1633) had been apprenticed in the London parish of Saint Michaels, Crooked Lane, while the alleged antinomian minister, Robert Shaw, preached from its pulpit. See Dyer, William Allan, “William Dyer,” Rhode Island Historical Society Collections 30 (1937): 25. Mary Dyer was raised in the London parish of Saint Martin's in the Fields, where John Everard had been the vicar.

13 Johnson, Francis, The Wonder Working Providence of Sion's Saviour in New England, ed. Jameson, J. Franklin (1654; reprint, New York, 1910), p. 126. “God sees no sin in his elect” originally arose in the context of theological arguments that did not themselves appear in the Antinomian Controversy.

14 Thomas Dudley claimed at Hutchinson's civil trial in November 1637 (AC, p. 317) that within six months of her arrival, or by the spring of 1634, she “had made parties in the country.” No other statement locates the beginning of controversy remotely so early.

15 Morton, Nathaniel, The New England's Memorial (1662; reprint, Plymouth, Mass., 1826), pp. 148, 188; Mather, Cotton, Magnalia Christi Americana, 2 vols. (1702; reprint, Hartford, Conn., 1853), 1:272, 276, 295, 312–14; AC, pp. 29, 323; Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, pp. 205–6; Forbes, Allyn al., eds., The Winthrop Papers, 5 vols. (Boston, 19291947), 3:324–26; Hubbard, , General History, p. 604; Alpert, Helle M., “Robert Keayne: Notes of Sermons by John Cotton and Proceedings of the First Church of Boston from 23 November 1639 to 1 June 1640” (Ph.D. diss., Tufts University, 1974), p. 318; Selement, George, “John Cotton's Hidden Antinomianism,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 129 (1975): 283–94.

16 Battis, , Saints and Sectaries, pp. 104–5; Knight, , Orthodoxies, p. 53; Ziff, Larzer, The Career of John Cotton: Puritanism and the American Experience (Princeton, N.J., 1962), p. 114; Morgan, Edmund Sears, Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop (Boston, 1958), p. 142; Cohen, Charles Lloyd, God's Caress: The Psychology of Puritan Religious Experience (New York, 1986), p. 265; Gura, , Glimpse, p. 244; Robert Keayne Sermon Notebooks, 2 vols., Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. 1: 4 May 1627, and 20 August 1628; vol. 2: Month 2, 20, 1645; Notes of Ipswich Preachers, Massachusetts Historical Society, 12 February 1646.

17 Cotton, John (AC, p. 419) later claimed that only a few in his congregation adhered to doctrines more radical than his own, as opposed to admiring the individuals who held them. Historians arguing for a large body of “Hutchinsonians” cite the seventy-two signatures on a petition protesting the conviction of John Wheelwright (see below). But that petition only demonstrates support for Wheelwright; Cotton also protested his conviction.

18 Winthrop, John, A Short Story, ed. Weld, Thomas (London, 1644), reprinted in AC, p. 205.

19 Bell, Charles H., ed., John Wheelwright, Prince Society Publications 9 (1876): 197; AC, 263, 412.

20 Miller, Perry, Errand into the Wilderness (New York, 1956); Bozeman, Theodore Dwight, To Live Ancient Lives: The Primitivist Dimension in Puritanism (Chapel Hill, N.C.: 1988), chap. 3; Cotton, John, A Brief Exposition of the Whole Book of Canticles (London, 1642), pp. 193–98, chap. 7, pp. 239–40, 257–58; Hubbard, , General History, p. 186; Shepard, , Parable of the Ten Virgins Opened and Applied, p. 10; AC, p. 155; Bozeman, , To Live Ancient Lives, p. 229, claims that millennialism was not influential in New England until 1639 but does not discuss this sermon. Ball, Bryan W., A Great Expectation: Eschatological Thought in English Protestantism to 1660 (Leiden, 1975), p. 128; Clapham, Henoch, Antidoton, or a Sovereign Remedy against Heresy and Schism (London, 1600), p. 33; Thomas, Keith, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England (London, 1971), p. 135; Walsham, Alexandra, “‘Frantick Hacket’: Prophecy, Sorcery, Insanity, and the Elizabethan Puritan Movement,” Historical Journal 41 (1998): 46; AC, pp. 308, 380; Groome, , Glass, p. 9.

21 Hubbard, , General History, 1:280; AC, pp. 207, 381, 168.

22 On the Puritan conception of the church and the importance of orthodoxy to it, see Milton, Anthony, Catholic and Reformed: The Roman and Protestant Churches in English Protestant Thought, 1600–1640 (Cambridge, 1995), p. 129; Lake, Peter, Puritans and Anglicans? Presbyterianism and English Conformist Thought from Whitgift to Hooker (London, 1988), p. 127 and passim; and Coolidge, John, The Pauline Renaissance in England: Puritanism and the Bible (Oxford, 1970), passim.

23 Como, David R., “Puritans and Heretics: Antinomianism and the Contest for Orthodoxy in Early Stuart England” (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1998). For the debate on promises, see n. 24. For the Nye incident, see PRO, SP 16/177/68. I thank Peter Lake and David Como for this reference. Grossart, , ed., Works of Sibbes, 1:53, 5:441–43; Bolton, , Some Generall Directions, pp. 327–28; Preston, , New Covenant, p. 402.

24 Denison, Stephen, “To the Reader,” in The White Wolf (London, 1637). See, e.g., Sibbes, Richard in Baynes, Paul, A Commentarie upon the First Chapter of the Epistle of Saint Paul, Written to the Ephesians (London, 1618), sig. A3r. David Como and Peter Lake, “‘Orthodoxy’ and Its Discontents: Dispute Settlement and the Production of ‘Consensus’ in the London (Puritan) ‘Underground,’” in this issue; Gataker to Ward, p. 35; Featly, Daniel, “To the Reader,” in An Apology for a Triall of Faith, by Chibald, William (London, 1623).

25 Como and Lake, “‘Orthodoxy,’” and “Puritans, Antinomians and Laudians in Caroline London: The Strange Case of Peter Shaw in Contexts,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History (in press); Keeble, N. H. and Nuttal, Geoffrey F., Calendar of the Correspondence of Richard Baxter, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1991), 1:58.

26 Kupperman, Karen Ordahl, Providence Island, 1630–1641: The Other Puritan Colony (New York, 1993), pp. 325–28; Hutchinson, Thomas, The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts-Bay (hereafter cited as History), ed. Mayo, Laurence Shaw, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1936), 1:58, 65; Clarendon, Edward Hyde, The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England (Oxford, 1843), p. 75; Hosmer, James K., The Life of Young Sir Henry Vane (Boston, 1889), p. 32; Winthrop, , Journal, pp. 165–68.

27 Hutchinson, Thomas, “Hutchinson in America,” British Library, Egerton MS 2664, p. 13, gave credit to Vane directly; Winthrop, in Short Story, AC p. 264, stated that Hutchinson set up her conventicles after she had the support of “some of eminent place and parts”—Vane is not mentioned openly in Short Story.

28 Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 203; McGiffert, , ed., God's Plot, p. 65; Hutchinson, Thomas, History, 1:58; Hubbard, , General History, p. 236. See also Forbes, et al., eds., Winthrop Papers, 3:415–16.

29 AC, pp. 26–27.

30 AC, pp. 28–29.

31 AC, pp. 27, 29.

32 Forbes, et al., eds., Winthrop Papers, 4:286–87, McGiffert, , ed., God's Plot, pp. 116, 132.

33 Perry Miller argued that the Antinomian Controversy hinged on Cotto's denial of preparation. Stoever, , “A Faire and Easie Way,” pp. 192–99, corrected him; historians continue to repeat the claim. See Cotton, John, A Sermon Preached by the Reverend Mr. John Cotton, Teacher of the First Church in Boston in New England (Boston, 1713), pp. 3032, and The Covenant of Grace, Discovering the Great Work of a Sinners Reconciliation to God (London, 1655), pp. 20–24, 175–84.

34 Hooker, , “Preface,” in Rogers, John, A Treatise of Faith, 3d ed. (London, 1629). Shepard said these stages preceded faith and were peculiar to the elect without calling those graces saving. See Albro, John A., ed., The Works of Thomas Shepard, 3 vols. (Boston, 1853), 1:162–63. See also Firmin, Giles, The Real Christian (London, 1670), pp. 88, 107–9. Hartlib Papers, 29/2/55b-56A, as cited in Crawford, al., eds., The Hartlib Papers: A Complete Text and Image Database of the Papers of Samuel Hartlib (c. 1600–1662) Held in Sheffield University Library; Prepared by Members of the Hartlib Papers Project (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1995). For Cotton, see AC, pp. 175–77. Firmin, , Real Christian, p. 19; Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 4th ser. (1865), 6:1011; Hubbard, , General History, p. 173; PRO, SP, C/O 1/9, fol. 159.

35 AC, pp. 31, 33, 32.

36 Forbes, et al., eds., Winthrop Papers, 3:328.

37 Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, pp. 169, 173–74; Shurtleff, Nathaniel, ed., Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay, 5 vols. (Boston, 1854), 1:168; Shepard, , Works, 1:cxxix.

38 AC, p. 413; Johnson, , Wonder Working Providence, pp. 128, 134–36; Memoirs of Capt. Roger Clap (Boston, 1731), pp. 15; Pope, Robert E., ed., The Notebook of the Reverend John Fiske, 1644–1675, Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Collections 47 (1975): 7.

39 AC, pp. 63–64, 320, 322, 333, 344, 364.

40 Forbes, et al., eds., Winthrop Papers, 3:339; Bremer, Francis, “The Heritage of John Winthrop; Religion along the Stour Valley,” New England Quarterly 70 (1997): 534.

41 Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, pp. 195–97. See also Wheelwright, John, A Brief and Plain Apology (London, 1658), p. 23. The residents of Mount Wollaston, where Wheelwright preached, may have wanted Wheelwright authorized to administer the sacraments as an interim measure in their effort to separate from Boston and form their own town. See Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 187; Lechford, Thomas, Plain Dealing: or, Newes from New-England, ed. Trumbull, J. Hammond (1642; reprint, Boston, 1868), p. 41. Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 196, recorded that the church “gave way” to Winthrop with the understanding, perhaps not entirely given in good faith, that a church would be gathered at Mount Wollaston with Wheelwright as minister. The church was not gathered until 1639.

42 Forbes, et al., eds., Winthrop Papers, 3:326–32, 415.

43 Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 205; AC, pp. 210, 420.

44 Forbes, et al., eds., Winthrop Papers, 3:324–26.

45 AC, p. 134. See also Wheelwright, , Brief and Plain Apology, pp. 67; AC, pp. 175–77; Hutchinson, , History, p. 61; AC, 1:165; Coddington, William, A Demonstration of True Love unto You the Rulers of the Colony of the Massachusetts in New-England (London, 1674), p. 17; Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 208.

46 Shepard, , Parable of the Ten Virgins Opened and Applied, pp. 114–40, 135 (on Cotton); Dunn, et al., Journal, p. 209; AC, p. 210.

47 Wheelwright, , Brief and Plaine Apology, p. 7. A list of what appear to be the specific charges by the ministers exists in the Hartlib Papers, 40/1/7A; Groom, , Glass, p. 6.

48 Coddington, , Demonstration, pp. 1213; Groome, , Glass, pp. 67.

49 Hutchinson, , “Hutchinson in America,” p. 17; Shepard, , Parable of the Ten Virgins Opened and Applied, pp. 163–64; Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 219.

50 John Cotton to [John Wheelwright], 18 April [1640], Massachusetts Historical Society transcript of Boston Public Library Ms. Am. 1506, pt. 2, no. 18, Cotton Family Papers, 2:91–92; AC, p. 230. Cotton's account of his plan to emigrate (AC, pp. 414–15) has to be read in conjunction with Baillie, Robert, The Disswasive from the Errors of the Time, Vindicated (London, 1655), p. 30; and Cotton to Wheelwright.

51 Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 223; Mather, , Magnalia, 1:325.

52 Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 230; John Cotton, cited by John Higginson in the preface to Mather, Cotton, The Everlasting Gospel (Boston, 1700), sig. B2iiiv. When the final list of issues between Cotton and the other ministers was drawn up for discussion at the synod, Hooker's preparationism was not among them, yet Cotton had listed it as one of the three issues between him and the other ministers as recently as May. See AC, pp. 175–77; Bell, , ed., John Wheelwright, p. 190; Mather, , Magnalia, 2:514–16; Hutchinson, , History, 1:61.

53 Bush, Sargent Jr., “‘Revising What We Have Done Amisse’: John Cotton and John Wheelwright, 1640,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 45 (1988): 738–41, 746; Wheelwright, , Brief and Plain Apology, p. 7; Wheelwright , Edmund M., “A Frontier Family,” Colonial Society of Massachusetts Publications 1 (1895): 271303; Arnold, Samuel Greene, History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 2 vols. (New York, 1878), 1:124.

54 Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, pp. 262–63, 245; AC, pp. 216, 214, 307, 350–88, 432; Hutchinson, , “Hutchinson in America,” p. 17; Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 315; Alpert, , “Robert Keayne,” p. 267; Pierce, Richard D., ed., “The Records of the First Church in Boston, 1630–1688,” Colonial Society of Massachusetts Collections 39 (1961): 25; Mather, , Magnalia, 1:276—77.

55 For doctrinal disputes, see Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, pp. 274, 362–64; [John Cotton] to Beloved Brother in Acquethnick, 4 June [1638], Massachusetts Historical Society, Cotton Family Papers, vol. 2, transcript of Boston Public Library, MS. AM. 1506, pt. 2, no. 13. The relationship of the Rhode Islanders with the Boston church can be traced in AC, pp. 389–95; Keayne, Sermon Note, 26 September 1640. Cotton to Beloved Brother in Acquethnick. For Hutchinson, see Groome, , Glass, p. 9; AC, p. 392; Dunn, et al., eds., Journal, p. 362.

56 See, e.g., Shepard, , Parable of the Ten Virgins Opened and Applied, 2:6, 15–16, 21, 23, 52, 56–62, 65–67, 92–95, 105, 108, 177; Thomas Shepard Sermons, 1637–1638, Massachusetts Historical Society, pp. 244, 255, 259, 305; Hooker, Thomas, The Application of Redemption (London, 1656), pp. 2754. For the synod's compromise see Mather, , Magnalia, 2:514. For Hooker's attack, see Hooker, , Application, p. 40. For the dates of Hooker's sermons, see Shepard, Douglas, “The Wolcott Shorthand Notebook Transcribed” (Ph.D. diss., State University of Iowa, 1957), pp. 58–59, 61, 6364. Hutchinson, , History, 1:67; McGiffert, , ed., God's Plot, pp. 67, 76.

57 Collinson, Patrick, “Comment on Eamon Duffy's Neale Lecture and the Colloquium,” in Tyacke, Nicholas, ed., England's Long Reformation, 1500–1800 (London, 1988), p. 73.

58 See, e.g., Baillie, Robert, A Dissuasive from the Errors of the Times (London, 1646), pp. 5774; Rutherford, Samuel, A Survey of the Spirituall Antichrist (London, 1648), pp. 171–82; The Whole Works of the Rev. Mr. John Flavel, 6 vols. (London, 1820), 3:557; Williams, Daniel, Gospel-Truth Stated and Vindicated (London, 1692), passim.

59 Lord Say and Sele to [John Cotton], July 1638, Boston Public Library MS AM 1506, pt. 2, no. 15; Sprunger, Keith L., Dutch Puritanism: A History of English and Scottish Churches of the Netherlands in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Leiden, 1982), pp. 226–32; and Foster, Steven, The Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping of New England Culture, 1570–1700, (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1991), pp. 30, 163. Edwards, Thomas, Antapologia (London, 1644), p. 32; Walker, David, “Thomas Goodwin and the Debate on Church Government,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 34 (1983): 8597; Fienberg, Stanley P., “Thomas Goodwin's Scriptural Hermeneutics and the Dissolution of Puritan Unity,” Journal of Religious History 10 (1978): 3249.

60 Sikes, George, The Life and Death of Sir Henry Vane, Kt. (n.p., 1662), p. 8; Say and Sele to [John Cotton]; Brooke, Robert Lord, The Nature of Truth (London, 1641), pp. 153–54; Baxter, Richard, Reliquae Baxteriana (London, 1696), p. 75.

61 Baillie, , A Dissuasive, p. 64. For Vane's theology, see Parnham, David, Sir Henry Vane, Theologian: A Study in Seventeenth-Century Religious and Political Discourse (Madison, N.J., 1997). Parnham notes parallels with Cotton, chap. 7, but does not discuss lay Bostonian opinions. See, e.g., AC, pp. 222, 228, 264–65, 301. For Vane's followers see Baxter, , Reliquae, p. 75. Sterry became Lord Brooke's chaplain in 1639. For theological parallels, see Sterry, Peter, A Discourse of the Freedom of the Will (London, 1675), pp. 173 ff., The Rise, Race, and Royalty of the Kingdom of God in the Soul of Man (London, 1683), pp. 63, 78–79, 129, 135–146, 351–52, and Richard Baxters Catholick Theologie (London, 1675), 2d page numbered 107.

62 Capp, B. S., The Fifth Monarchy Men: A Study in Seventeenth-Century English Millenarianism (London, 1972), pp. 121–23, 240, 246, 267; Vane, Henry, The Retired Mans Meditations (London, 1655), pp. 199–201, 321–22; Baxter, , Reliquae, p. 75; Burnet, Gilbert, Bishop Burnet's History of His Own Times, 2 vols. (London, 1724), 1:164; Finch, Martin, Animadversions upon Sir Henry Vanes Book (London, 1656); Vane, , Two Treatises (London, 1662), p. 55; AC, p. 166.

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“The Most Glorious Church in the World”: The Unity of the Godly in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1630s

  • Michael P. Winship


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