Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The cry of English puritans

Thought I would share this, a classic expression of the puritan ethos, in a letter from two English clergy, Laurence Humphrey and Thomas Sampson, to Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger, in 1566:

Why should we receive Christ rather maimed than entire, and pure, and perfect? Why should we look for precedents from our enemies, the papists, and not from you, our brethren of the reformation? We have the same confession in our churches, the same rule of doctrine and faith; why should there be so great a dissimilarity and discrepancy in rites and ceremonies? The thing signified is the same; why do the signs so differ as to be unlike yours, and to resemble those of the papists?

From H. Robinson, ed., The Zurich Letters (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1842-45), 162; cited in Eamon Duffy, “Continuity and Divergence in Tudor Religion”, in Unity and Diversity in the Church, ed. R. N. Swanson (Oxford: Blackwell [for the Ecclesiastical History Society], 1996), 185.


John Foxe said...

That was a very moving testimony and prvoides a very good reason why I am not Anglican.

Our unity is not in outward uniformity but in gospel unity.

The Foxe

Anonymous said...

Great post! Oh, by the way, this is a silly question but where can I find the picture that you use for the button-link entitled "Meet the Conventicle's Contributors"? It's so hard to find good, flattering pictures of the Puritans in their archetypical garb that I would be grateful to know if there was a larger version of this somewhere.

Chris said...

Hi Colin,

The contributors image is a portion of a 1901 illustration of Anne Hutchinson preaching in a home in New England -- altered a bit with Photoshop.

You can find this and other images of New England life at the Library of Congress site (here's the link for this picture, specifically):,brum,detr,swann,look,gottscho,pan,horyd,genthe,var,cai,cd,hh,yan,lomax,ils,prok,brhc,nclc,matpc,iucpub,tgmi,lamb,hec,krb

And here is a larger copy of the picture, used on a blog:

You might also check the NY Public Library gallery site for images -- they have a bunch:

I actually scanned the image from a church history book: Mark Noll's A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada (Eerdmans, 1992), p. 61.

I wish you well in your image search! Thanks for dropping by ...


Chris Ross


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