On the Libertines

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Order of Contents

Articles  4
Books  3
On the New England ‘Libertines’  1
Latin  2
On the Binding Law of God  1

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Articles

1500’s

Calvin, John & Theodore Beza – ‘Calvin & Beza on Providence: Translations by Knox’  trans. John Knox  (1545, 1558, 1560; 2021)

The piece by Calvin in this work is nearly a whole chapter from his French work against the Libertaines.

The Libertines, having such a high view of God’s eternal decree, held to what is known in philosophy as a form of Occasionalism, that all events that occur are directly and immediately worked by God.  True secondary causation is eliminated.  One main problem with this is that it makes God the Author of Sin, something that the Libertines expressly affirmed.  Calvin here not only repudiates this blasphemy, but he also lays out three ways (and only three ways) in which God brings all things to pass through his providence, herein establishing true secondary causation.

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1600’s

Chandler, John – A Seasonable Word & Call to all those called Ranters or Libertines throughout the Three Nations, to Come into the True Faith & Pure Fear of the Lord  (London, 1659)  20 pp.

Reynell, Edward – An Advice Against Libertinism: showing the Great Danger Thereof, & Exhorting All to Zeal of the Truth  (London, 1659)  113 pp.

Reynell was a lawyer.

Burnet, Gilbert – The Libertine Overthrown, or a Mirror for Atheists, wherein they may clearly see their Prodigious Follies, Vast Extravagancies, Notorious Impieties & Absurdities: Containing a Compendious Account of the Egregious, Vicious Life…  of John, Earl of Rochester…  (London, 1690)  16 pp.

Ames, Richard – The Rake, or the Libertine’s Religion, a Poem  (London, 1693)

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Books

1500’s

Treatises against the Anabaptists & Against the Libertines  ed. & trans. Benjamin Farley  Buy  (1545; Baker Academic, 1982/2001)

For background, see:

Farley, Ben W. – ‘The Theology of Calvin’s Tract Against the Libertines  in Calvin Studies I: Papers Presented at a Colloquium on Calvin Studies at Davidson College Presbyterian Church and Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, March 19–20, 1982, pp. 16-28

Bullinger, Heinrich – A Most Necessary & Fruitful Dialogue, between [the] Seditious Libertine, or Rebel Anabaptist, & the True Obedient Christian, wherein, as in a Mirror or Glass, ye shall see [the] excellence & worthiness of a Christian Magistrate: & again what obedience is due unto public rulers of all those [that] profess Christ yea, though [the] rulers, in external & outward things, to their utter damnation, do otherwise than well…  (Worcester, 1551)

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1600’s

Byfield, Richard – A Short Treatise Describing the True Church of Christ & the Evils of Schism, Anabaptism & Libertinism…  Delivered in Two Sermons…  [Temple Defilers Destroyed]  (London, 1653)  40 pp.  on 1 Cor. 3:17

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On the New England ‘Libertines’

Winthrop, John – A Short Story of the Rise, Reign & Ruin of the Antinomians, Familists & Libertines that Infected the Churches of New-England & how they were confuted by the Assembly of Ministers there as also of the Magistrates Proceedings in Court Against Them: together with God’s strange remarkable judgements from Heaven upon some of the Chief Fomenters of these Opinions: and the Lamentable Death of Mrs. Hutchison: very fit for these times, here being the same errors amongst us, and acted by the same spirit…  (London, 1692)

This was published during the Salem Witch Trials.

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Latin Books

1500’s

Calvin, John – A Brief Instruction Fortifying the Faithful Against the Errors of the Sect of Anabaptists; the Same Against the Fanatic & Furious Sect of the Libertines, which Call Themselves the Spiritual Ones  (Strasbourg, 1546)  140 pp.  This has been translated into English (referenced above).

For background, see:

Farley, Ben W. – ‘The Theology of Calvin’s Tract Against the Libertines  in Calvin Studies I: Papers Presented at a Colloquium on Calvin Studies at Davidson College Presbyterian Church and Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, March 19–20, 1982, pp. 16-28

Daneau, Lambert – A Response to the Libel of Some Anonymous Libertine, Recently Published with this Title, ‘Of the External or Visible Church of God, Where that is able to be Discovered, & What it Truly is, etc., or Rather, Against the External & Visible Church’, Useful & Necessary to the Consolation of All the Truly Pious & Faithful & to the Confirmation of the Faith, in which, it being openly & clearly taught out of the Word of God to what kind of Church each one of the True Sons of God is Bound to Adhere himself to  (1582)

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On the Binding Law of God

Taylor, Thomas – Regula Vitæ, the Rule of the Law under the Gospel. Containing a Discovery of the Pestiferous Sect of Libertines, Antinomians & Sons of Belial, Lately Sprung up both to Destroy the Law & Disturb the Faith of the Gospel: wherein is Manifestly Proved that God sees Sin in Justified Persons  (London, 1631)

Taylor was an English puritan.

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