Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

'Practical Divinity': The Works and Life of Revd Richard Greenham

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

'Practical Divinity': The Works and Life of Revd Richard Greenham

Article excerpt

'Practical Divinity.- The Works and Life of Revd Richard Greenham. By Kenneth L. Parker and Eric J. Carlson. [St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History.] (Aldershot, Hampshire, and Brookfield, Vermont: Ashgate. 1998. Pp. xiv, 395. $102.95.)

Richard Greenham belonged to the first generation of Elizabethan Puritan nonconformist divines, famous in his own day not for his nonconformity, which he minimized and excused to his bishop, Richard Cox. but rather as one of the early physicians of the soul. He left his fellowship at Cambridge University in 1570 for the nearby small village of Dry Drayton, where he ministered for twenty years, leaving only in the last years of his life to preach in London. Although he published almost nothing during his busy life as preacher and pastor, he was well known in his own day largely because his household became a kind of seminary for young Cambridge divines in need of training in the practicalities of ministering to a parochial living before they went on to benefices of their own; among them were such Puritan luminaries of the next generation as Arthur Hildersham, Richard Rogers, and Henry Smith. In this second generation Hildersham, William Whateley, John Dod, Thomas Gataker, Charles Offspring, and others all trained in their homes a third generation of godly preachers; Greenham's was an infectious as well as efficacious example.

After Greenham's death in London in 1594, his London colleagues and scattered disciples began to pull together collections of his sayings, "Grave Counsels, and Godlie Observations," and his posthumous works were then published in a series of editions by three prominent London Puritans, Thomas Crook. Henry Holland, and Stephen Egerton between 1599 and 1612, when the. …

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