Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea

Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea

Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea

Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea

Excerpt

From the time they stepped ashore at Plymouth and Salem, the New England Puritans have commanded attention, partly because of the boldness of their undertaking, partly because of its material success, but also because of the tension, excitement, and hope aroused by a large-scale effort to deal rationally with society. Their attempt to direct human relations into a consistent pattern derived from Biblical precepts has been the focus of my own interest in the Puritans. In previous works I have discussed their concepts of family relationships and of civil government. Currently I am engaged in a study of the way their ideas affected economic problems. In the ensuing pages I have tried to examine the origins and history of an idea that they considered more important for society than domestic, political, or economic ones, the idea of membership in the church.

I owe an apology to Geoffrey Nuttall for adopting a title similar to that of his excellent book on English Congregationalism. My excuse must be that what Mr. Nuttall says about the term "visible saints" is as true of the New England Congregationalists as of the English: the term "occurs repeatedly in their writings, was undoubtedly their controlling idea and . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.