Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

By David George Mullan | Go to book overview

2 A Ministry of the Word

Since for unbelieving men religion seems to stand by opinion alone, they, in order not to believe anything foolishly or lightly, both wish and demand rational proof that Moses and the prophets spoke divinely. But I reply: the testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men's hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, i.7.4. 1

And give thou, good Lord, grace to thy servants who shall speak this day to us in thy name, that they may come with the aboundance of the blessing of thy gospel and thy word may be powerfull in their mouthes to bring fordward that great work of our salvation, which thou hes begun in us and which we beseech thee to perfyt to the glorie of thy name and our comfort in Chryst, to whom with thee and thy holie Spirit be all praise and honor and glorie for ever. Amen.

'A Scottish Liturgy of the reign of James VI'. 2

Scottish Roman Catholics had long confronted their Protestant countrymen with the difficulties inherent in the elevation of the scriptures to the place of highest authority in theology. Nicol Burne, once a professor at St. Leonard's College in St. Andrews, stated in 1580 that the Bible could not be a judge since it was both deaf and dumb, 'sua that it may nather heir the partieis, nor pronunce the sentence'; 3 the attribution of muteness to scripture was reiterated by John Colville, the quondam Reformed minister of Kilbride. 4 In 1600 John Hamilton, who was a tutor at New College, St. Andrews, before turning 'apostate', 5 published a controversial work from

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Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Scottish Puritanism 1590-1638 iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • List of Abbreviations xii
  • Prologue 1
  • 1: A Puritan Brotherhood 13
  • 2: A Ministry of the Word 45
  • 3: Conversion and Assurance 85
  • 4: The Pilgrim's Progress 111
  • 5: The Ambiguity of the Feminine 140
  • 6: Covenants and Covenant Theology 171
  • 7: A Schism Defined 208
  • 8: Political and National Divinity 244
  • 9: The Damnable Covenant 285
  • Epilogue 318
  • Bibliography 323
  • Index 361
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