Friday, September 21, 2007

Geoffrey F. Nuttall, 1911-2007

Dr. Michael Haykin comments on the recent passing of one of the most important modern scholars of puritan history, Geoffrey F. Nuttall.
This past July, 24 July 2007 to be exact, one of the most influential church historians of the twentieth century died: Geoffrey Fillingham Nuttall (1911-2007). His way of doing church history I have always found exhilarating and profound, and a delight to read. He often focused papers on “small” figures of church history—but he was equally at home with the thought of major authors like Richard Baxter and Philip Doddridge. ...

I highly recommend Nuttall's The Holy Spirit in Puritan Faith and Experience (1946; revised with Peter Lake, 1992) to anyone desiring an understanding of the basic tenets of puritan religion. It helpfully describes the puritans' views on the role of Scripture and that of the Spirit, differentiating these from those of other early modern Protestants, like the Quakers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Who is a Puritan? Lucy Hutchinson's answer.

Lucy Hutchinson wrote a very famous biography of her regicide husband Colonel John Hutchinson. They were both staunch independents and considered themselves Puritans. Here she explains how the derogatory label Puritan was used somewhat liberally in the early seventeenth century. It makes a fun read!

'The King [James I of England, VI of Scotland] had upon his heart the dealings both of England and Scotland with his mother, and harboured a secret desire of revenge upon the godly in both nations, yet had not courage enough to assert his resentment like a prince, but employed a wicked cunning he was master of, and called kingcraft, to undermine what he durst not openly oppose, - the true religion; this was fenced with the liberty of the people, and so linked together, that it was impossible to make them slaves, till they were brought to be idolaters of royalty and glorious lust; and as impossible to make them adore these gods, while they continued loyal to the government of Jesus Christ. The payment of civil obedience to the king and the laws of the land satisfied not; if any durst dispute his impositions in the worship of God, he was presently reckoned among the seditious and disturbers of the public peace, and accordingly persecuted; if any were grieved at the dishonour of the kingdom, or the griping of the poor, or the unjust oppressions of the subject, by a thousand ways, invented to maintain the riots of the courtiers, and the swarms of needy Scots the king had brought in to devour like locusts the plenty of this land, he was a Puritan; if any, out of mere morality and civil honesty, discountenanced the abominations of those days, he was a Puritan, however he conformed to their superstitious worship; if any showed favour to any godly honest person, kept them company, relieved them in want, or protected them against violent or unjust oppression, he was a Puritan; if any gentleman in his country [county] maintained the good laws of the land, or stoop up for any public interest, for good order or government, he was a Puritan: in short, all that crossed the views of the needy courtiers, the proud encroaching priests, the thievish projectors, the lewd nobility and gentry – whoever was zealous for God’s glory or worship, could not endure blasphemous oaths, ribald conversation, profane scoffs, Sabbath-breaking, derision of the word of God, and the like – whoever could endure a sermon, modest habit or conversation, or anything good, - all these were Puritans; and if Puritans, then enemies to the king and his government, seditious, factious hypocrites, ambitious disturbers of the public peace, and finally, the pest of the kingdom. Such false logic did the children of darkness use to argue with against the hated children of light, whom they branded besides as an illiterate, morose, melancholy, discontented, crazed sort of men, not fit for human conversation; as such they made them not only the sport of the pulpit, which was become but a more solemn sort of stage, but every stage, and every table, and every puppet-play, belched forth profane scoffs upon them, the drunkards made them their songs, and all fiddlers and mimics learned to abuse them, as finding it the most gameful way of fooling.'

Lucy Hutchinson, Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, ed. C.H. Firth (London: 1885; first published 1664), 113-115

Monday, September 17, 2007

While you're at ETS 2007 ...

A list of all papers to be read that are directly or indirectly related to puritanism, that I found. Jonathan Edwards gets a lot of coverage this year!:

Wednesday, 14 Nov

Anthony Chute (Calif Bapt U)
When We Talk about Calvinism, Let's Be Honest: Using Historical Theology to Add Perspective to a Baptist Debate

Robert Arnold (Southern BTS)
Was Samuel Rutherford a Scottish Mystic?

Richard Langer (Talbot Sch Theo)
John Cotton and Roger Williams: Letters from the Past and Lessons for the Present

Peter Beck (Southern BTS)
"The Excellent Christ": The Role of Christology in Jonathan Edwards's Theology of Prayer

Nathan D. Holsteen (Dallas Theo Sem)
Ecclesial Authority and Politico-Theological Debate: Lessons from the Seventeenth Century

Glen G. Scorgie (Bethel Sem, San Diego)
How Can This Be Worthwhile? Lessons from the History of Systematic Theologies

Robert Caldwell (Southwestern BTS)
Jonathan Edwards's Theology of Angels in Its Puritan Context

Thomas P. Johnston (Midwestern BTS)
Calvin's Evangelistic Zeal as Exemplified in Crespin's Martyrology

Kenneth J. Stewart (Covenant Coll)
The Doctrine of Regeneration in Evangelical Theology: The Reformation to the Present

Ian Jules Maddock (Highland Theo Coll)
Solving a Transatlantic Puzzle? John Wesley, George Whitefield, and "Free Grace Indeed!"

Thursday, 15 Nov

William D. Henard (Southern BTS)
More Than Terror: The Pastoral Preaching of Jonathan Edwards

David Eung-Yul Ryoo (Chongshin U)
Jonathan Edwards and His Preaching

Jong-Hun Yoon (Chongshin U)
A Study on the Relationship Between the English Puritan Movement and the Origin of Presbyterian Polity – By Research on Thomas Cartwright

Yung Sil Park (Chongshin U)
A Study of the Relevance of the Great Awakening Movement in Pyongyang and the Bible Class

R. Scott Clark (Westminster Sem, Calif)
Caspar Olevianus and the Old Perspective on Paul

Jan van Vliet (Prairie Coll)
Obedience in Early Covenant Theology: Natural Law, Moral Law, and Conscience from Thomas to Ames

Kevin D. Kennedy (Southwestern BTS)
Hermeneutical Discontinuity Between Calvin and Later Calvinism

Friday, 16 Nov

David Baggett (Liberty U)
C. S. Lewis and the Irrationality of Calvin's Terrible Tenet

Joanne Jung (Biola U)
Puritan Conference for the Contemporary Church


Jonathan Edwards Study Group

Theme: Jonathan Edwards and the Puritans on the Sermon and Spiritual Formation
Moderator: Stephen J. Nichols (Lancaster Bib Coll)

Derek Thomas (RTS)
"Sound Preaching and Conscionable Hearing": The Puritans, The Sermon, and Spiritual Formation

Sean Michael Lucas (Covenant Theo Sem)
"Divine Light, Holy Heat": Jonathan Edwards, the Sermon, and Spiritual Formation
Respondent: Stephen J. Nichols (Lancaster Bib Coll)

Panel Discussion: Nichols, Thomas, and Lucas

General Discussion

Full ETS 2007 program (pdf)

Monday Meditation: A Feud Between Sisters

In secret place where once I stood
Close by the Banks of Lacrim flood,
I heard two sisters reason on
Things that are past and things to come.
One Flesh was called, who had her eye
On worldly wealth and vanity;
The other Spirit, who did rear
Her thoughts unto a higher sphere.
"Sister," quoth Flesh, "what liv'st thou on
Nothing but Meditation?
Doth Contemplation feed thee so
Regardlessly to let earth go?
Can Speculation satisfy
Notion without Reality?
Dost dream of things beyond the Moon
And dost thou hope to dwell there soon?
Hast treasures there laid up in store
That all in th' world thou count'st but poor?
Art fancy-sick or turn'd a Sot
To catch at shadows which are not?
Come, come. I'll show unto thy sense,
Industry hath its recompence.
What canst desire, but thou maist see
True substance in variety?
Dost honour like? Acquire the same,
As some to their immortal fame;
And trophies to thy name erect
Which wearing time shall ne'er deject.
For riches dost thou long full sore?
Behold enough of precious store.
Earth hath more silver, pearls, and gold
Than eyes can see or hands can hold.
Affects thou pleasure? Take thy fill.
Earth hath enough of what you will.
Then let not go what thou maist find
For things unknown only in mind."

"Be still, thou unregenerate part,
Disturb no more my settled heart,
For I have vowed (and so will do)
Thee as a foe still to pursue,
And combat with thee will and must
Until I see thee laid in th' dust.
Sister we are, yea twins we be,
Yet deadly feud 'twixt thee and me,
For from one father are we not.
Thou by old Adam wast begot,
But my arise is from above,
Whence my dear father I do love.
Thou speak'st me fair but hat'st me sore.
Thy flatt'ring shews I'll trust no more.
How oft thy slave hast thou me made
When I believed what thou hast said
And never had more cause of woe
Than when I did what thou bad'st do.
I'll stop mine ears at these thy charms
And count them for my deadly harms.
Thy sinful pleasures I do hate,
Thy riches are to me no bait.
Thine honours do, nor will I love,
For my ambition lies above.
My greatest honour it shall be
When I am victor over thee,
And Triumph shall, with laurel head,
When thou my Captive shalt be led.
How I do live, thou need'st not scoff,
For I have meat thou know'st not of.
The hidden Manna I do eat;
The word of life, it is my meat.
My thoughts do yield me more content
Than can thy hours in pleasure spent.
Nor are they shadows which I catch,
Nor fancies vain at which I snatch
But reach at things that are so high,
Beyond thy dull Capacity.
Eternal substance I do see
With which inriched I would be.
Mine eye doth pierce the heav'ns and see
What is Invisible to thee.
My garments are not silk nor gold,
Nor such like trash which Earth doth hold,
But Royal Robes I shall have on,
More glorious than the glist'ning Sun.
My Crown not Diamonds, Pearls, and gold,
But such as Angels' heads infold.
The City where I hope to dwell,
There's none on Earth can parallel.
The stately Walls both high and trong
Are made of precious Jasper stone,
The Gates of Pearl, both rich and clear,
And Angels are for Porters there.
The Streets thereof transparent gold
Such as no Eye did e're behold.
A Crystal River there doth run
Which doth proceed from the Lamb's Throne.
Of Life, there are the waters sure
Which shall remain forever pure.
Nor Sun nor Moon they have no need
For glory doth from God proceed.
No Candle there, nor yet Torch light,
For there shall be no darksome night.
From sickness and infirmity
Forevermore they shall be free.
Nor withering age shall e're come there,
But beauty shall be bright and clear.
This City pure is not for thee,
For things unclean there shall not be.
If I of Heav'n may have my fill,
Take thou the world, and all that will."

"The Flesh and the Spirit", Anne Bradstreet


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