In June 1637, Anthony Sparrow and Sylvester Adams, two Cambridge scholars, preached in Great St. Mary’s Church on the subject of confessing sins. Their sermons caused such a scandal that a deeply divided vice-chancellor’s court had to act. These sermons have not gone unnoticed by historians, but they have not been contextualized in a way that makes complete sense both of the sermons and of their reception. Sparrow’s sermon, published shortly after it was delivered, is the better-known of the two, but not the more radical. Although no complete text of Adams’s sermon survives, there are manuscript sources that make it possible to reconstruct the gist of it and to prove that it made novel claims concerning the necessity of confession for salvation. Moreover, in defending Adams his supporters challenged the sources of doctrinal authority in the English Church in unprecedented ways.