Congregationalism and Independency

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Order of Contents

Contra Independency
.        1600’s  55+
.        1800’s  4+

Theological Points
      Presumptive Regeneration
.        Ordination
.        Lay-Preaching & Administering the Sacraments
      Excommunication
.         Good & Necessary Consequence

Works of Separatists  8+
Works of Independents
        1600’s  55+
        1700’s  2
        1800’s  18+
        1900’s  4+

History of Independency  17+
Biographies
Confessions & Books of Discipline
Bibliographies  3


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Books

1600’s

** – Signifies some of the more important works

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Bernard, Richard

Christian Advertisements and Counsels of Peace, Also Dissuasions from the Separatists’ Schism, commonly called Brownism, which is set apart from such truths as they take from us and other reformed churches, and is nakedly discovered, that so the falsity thereof may better be discerned and so justly condemned and wisely avoided  ToC  1608

“Bernard [1567?–1641, a puritan divine] was brought into union and communion with the separatists, but treacherously and basely as they alleged, conscientiously as he himself affirmed, withdrew from them.  Thereupon commenced his invectives and their replies.” – DNB

Plain Evidences the Church of England is Apostolical, the Separation Schismatical. Directed against Mr. [Henry] Ainsworth the Separatist, and Mr. Smith the Se-baptist: both of them severally opposing the book called ‘The Separatists’ Schism’  ToC  1610

Ashe, Simeon, William Rathband, John Ball et al. – A Trial of the New-Church Way in New-England and in Old…  sent over to the New England ministers, 1637, as a reply to an answer of theirs in justification of the said positions…  IA  1637 & 1643/4

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 54-57

“It is obvious that the Puritans, who obtained the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company from Charles I and came to New England in 1630, were not Separatists.  They, though being non-conformists, considered themselves as loyal members of the Church of England. Secession or separation from the national church, for them, was a sin of schism.  Nevertheless, in less than seven years, Puritans in the mother country began to hear that their brethren in New England actually followed the ways of the Separatists.

Accordingly, in 1637, a formal and written communication was made, in which Puritans in England put forward “Nine Propositions,” to which their “Reverend and beloved Brethren” in the New World replied in 1639.  This early debate was compiled by Simeon Ash and William Rathband and, four years later, published with John Ball’s ‘Reply’, under the title ‘A Letter of Many Ministers in Old England’…

The main purpose of these propositions was to find whether or not the New England brethren actually adopted the methods of the Separatists which they once denounced before they left England…

Many ministers in Old England…  were surprised at the rumor about their brethren’s sudden turn to Separatism.  Particularly, they were frightened when they received a report that the above nine propositions were practiced by New Englander ‘as the only Church way, wherein the Lord is to be worshipped.’

Of course, this report seemed to be exaggerated.  Thus, John Cotton, representing “the Elders of the Churches in New England,” provided an answer to this letter in which he assured them that New England Congregational churches had nothing to do with “the ways of rigid separation.”…

Cotton’s above answer was sent to England in 1639 and Ball’s comments and reply were finished by 1640.  For some reason, however, their works were not published until 1643.”

Bernard, Richard – 32 Questions  1639

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 57

“Meanwhile [near the same time as the letter from the Old England ministers was received, see Ball below], New England churches received another similar inquiry from Richard Bernard of Batcombe, who proposed “Thirty-Two Questions.”

In reply, Richard Mather provided an answer under the title Church Government and Church Covenant Discussed (1643).  Compared with the “Nine Propositions,” [of the Old England ministers] Bernard’s “Thirty-Two Questions” are more sophisticated, which are designed to find both the theological and the biblical foundation of the Congregational practices.”

Ball, John

Ch. 12, ‘The Community of the Faithful, much less Two or Three Separated from the World, and Gather­ed together into the name of Christ by a Cove­nant, are not the Proper and Immediate Sub­ject of Power Ecclesiastical’  in  A Friendly Trial of the Grounds Tending to Separation…  1640

Ball (1585–1640) was an English divine, known for his treatise on the Covenant of Grace.  He also wrote heavily against Separatism and Independency.  This larger work of Ball’s was answered by Thomas Shepard (below).

Richard Baxter said: ‘Till Mr. Ball wrote for the Liturgy and against [John] Canne and [John] Allen, etc., and Mr. Burton published his “Protestation Protested,” I never thought what presbytery or independency were, nor ever spake with a man that seemed to know it.  And that was in 1641, when the war was brewing’.

An Answer to Two Treatises of Mr. John Can, the Leader of the English Brownists in Amsterdam…  1642  144 pp.

Gillespie, George

**  Part 2: Concerning the Assemblies of the Church of Scotland, and the Authority Thereof  1641  63 pp.  in An Assertion of the Government of the Church of Scotland

A Postscript in Answer to a Treatise very Lately Published which is entitled, ‘The Presbyerial Government Examined’  1641  11 pp. in An Assertion of the Government of the Church of Scotland

This postscript is in direct response to a congregationalist.  Part 2 above is largely a response to congregationalist claims as well.

Westminster Divines – ‘Certain Considerations to Dissuade men from further gathering of churches in this present juncture of time. Subscribed by diverse Divines of the Assembly’  ToC  1643

Herle, Charles – The Independency on Scriptures of the Independency of Churches: wherein the Question of Independency of Church-Government is Temperately, First, Stated; Secondly, Argued: Thirdly, Cleared from the Objections: and Fourthly, Appealed in, to the Judgments of such as stand for it  Ref  1643  44 pp.

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 60-61

“It seems to be obvious that the pamphlet war between the Presbyterians in England and New England Congregationalists reached the new levels of intensity in the mid-1640s, particularly, during the period of the Assembly.  In 1643, the collections of the early debates between the Old English Presbyterians and the New England were published in London. 

In the same year, Charles Herle, a Presbyterian who became a prolocutor of the Assembly in 1646, sparked a new round of controversy.  Rutherford, in the following year, joined in Herle’s crusade against Congregationalism with his famous work, The Due Right of Prebyteries (1644).  In reply to Herle, [Richard] Mather and William Tompson published, ‘A Modest & Brotherly Answer To Mr. Charles Herle’ (1644).  Also, refuting both Herle and Rutherford, Mather wrote another work, ‘A Reply to Mr. Rutherford’ (1647).”

Paget, John – A Defence of Church-Government Exercised in Presbyterial, Classical and Synodal Assemblies, according to the Practice of the Reformed Churches: touching, 1. the Power of a Particular Eldership Against those that Plead for a Mere Popular Government, Specially Mr. Ainsworth in his ‘Animadversion to Mr Clyfton…’  2. the authority of Classes and Synods, Against the Patrons of Independency, Answering in this point Mr. [John] Davenport, his ‘Apologetical Reply…’ and Mr. Canne, his ‘Churches’ Plea’  1641  290 pp.

Paget (d. 1638) was the pastor of the Reformed English Church in Amsterdam.  This work was responded to by John Davenport (below).

Edwards, Thomas

Reasons Against the Independent Government of Particular Congregations, as also Against the Tolerati­on of such Churches to be Erected in this Kingdom, Together with an Answer to such Reasons as are Commonly Alleged for such a Toleration  EEBO  1641  57 pp.

**  Gangraena: or A Catalogue and Discovery of Many of the Errors, Heresies, Blasphemies and Pernicious Practices of the Sectaries of this Time  Oxf., pt. 1-2, 3  1646  Table of Contents, pt. 1-2, 3

This was responded to by Burroughs and Nedham below.

Rutherford, Samuel

**  A Peaceable and Temperate Plea for Paul’s Presbytery in Scotland…  the grounds of Separation and the Independency of Particular Congregations…  are Examined and Tried  EEBO  1642  350 pp.  Table of Contents

This was responded to by John Cotton in his ‘Of the Holiness of Church Members’ (1650) below.

The Due Right of Presbyteries, or, A Peaceable Plea for the Government of the Church of Scotland  1644  Table of Contents

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 61

“Rutherford, in the following year, joined in [Charles] Herle’s crusade against Congregationalism with his famous work, ‘The Due Right of Prebyteries’ (1644).  In reply to Herle, [Richard] Mather and William Tompson published, ‘A Modest & Brotherly Answer To Mr. Charles Herle’ (1644).  Also, refuting both Herle and Rutherford, Mather wrote another work, ‘A Reply to Mr. Rutherford’ (1647).

It should be remembered that Rutherford’s The Due Right of Prebyteries (1644) itself was his critical review of both Mather’s ‘Church Government and Church Covenant Discussed’ (1643) and [John] Cotton’s ‘The Way Of The Churches Of Christ In New-England’, whose manuscript was widely circulated in England even a few years before its publication in 1645.

By 1644, Rutherford was already involved in another round of debate, which was set off by John Cotton.  Particularly, Cotton’s ‘The Keys Of The Kingdom Of Heaven’ (1644) was so influential in England that John Owen, a Presbyterian, became convinced that Cotton was right and, finally, supported the Congregational form of church government.¹

¹ See John Owen’s Preface in A Defence of Mr. John Cotton from the Imputation of Self-Contradiction Charged on Him by Mr. Daniel Cawdrey (Oxford: H. Hall for T. Robinson, 1658)…”

A Survey of the Survey of that Sum of Church-Discipline penned by Mr. Thomas Hooker…  wherein the way of the churches of New England is now Re-Examined  1658  Table of Contents

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 62-3

“While both [Richard] Mather and [John] Cotton made a formal document of the Cambridge Platform, Thomas Hooker was asked to write a more detailed, thoroughly researched and comprehensive treatise in defense of the Congregational Way.

In July 1, 1645, a year before the Cambridge Synod was convened, there was a meeting of “the elders of the churches through all the United Colonies” in Cambridge, where they agreed to send Hooker’s original manuscript of Survey along with other books including John Davenport’s answer to Paget, ‘The Power of Congregational Churches’.

When their works were lost in the sea, both Hooker and Davenport rewrote them, which were sent over to London and published in 1648 and 1651 respectively.  Samuel Stone considers Hooker’s Survey as the most complete defense of the Congregational Way which is free from errors: “I can affirm I know no man more free from errors in his judgement, than was he [Hooker].” Accordingly, Stone audaciously declares,

“If any to this Platform [Hooker’s Survey] can reply with better reason, let this volume die: But better argument if none can give, than Thomas Hooker’s Policy shall live.”

Such a bold statement, however, would elicit a severe criticism from [Daniel] Cawdrey and [Samuel] Rutherford.  In 1651, Cawdrey published a treatise, ‘The Inconsistency of the Independent Way with the Scriptures and Itself’, where he attacked Cotton’s ‘The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared’ (1648) and the part I and chapter II of the third part of Hooker’s Survey.  Unlike Cawdrey, who deals with only some parts of Hooker’s Survey, Rutherford, in his ‘Survey of the Survey’ (1658) attempted a point by point refutation of Hooker’s doctrine of the church as revealed in the all four parts of his Survey…

It seems to be true that by the time Rutherford’s ‘A Survey of the Survey’ was published in 1658, the climax of the Congregational-Presbyterian debate of the 1640’s was over.  Only some echoes of the debates of the previous decade lingered into the 1650’s through the works of Cawdrey, Rutherford, and Samuel Hudson on the one hand, and [Samuel] Stone, [John] Owen, John Allen and Thomas Shepard on the other.”

Rathband, William – A Brief Narration of Some Church Courses Held in Opinion and Practice in the Churches lately erected in New England  1644

Forbes, Alexander – An Anatomy of Independency, or, a Brief Commentary and Moderate Discourse upon the Apologetical Narration of Mr. Thomas Goodwin and Mr Philip Nye, etc. by argument laying naked the dangers of their positions and from experience, discovering their spirits and ways  ToC  1644

This was replied to by Sidrach Simpson below, one of the Dissenting Brethren.

D.P.P. – An Antidote Against the Contagious Air of Independency, Showing:  I. Six sufficient grounds, why they ought to revoke their schismatical principles.  II. Six parallels betwixt theirs and the Jesuitical Practices  ToC  1644

Prynne, William

Independency Examined, Unmasked, Refuted, by Twelve New Particular Interrogatories: detecting both the manifold absurdities, inconveniences that must necessarily attend it, to the great disturbance of church, state, the diminution, subversion of the lawful undoubted power of all christian magistrates, parliaments, synods and shaking the chief pillars, wherewith its patrons would support it  1644

A Full Reply to Certain Brief Observations and Anti-queries on Master Prynne’s Twelve Questions about Church-Government: wherein the frivolousness, falseness, and gross mistakes of this anonymous answerer (ashamed of his name) and his weak grounds for Independency and Separation are modestly discovered, Refelled, together with certain brief animadversions on Mr. John Goodwin’s Theomachia, in justification of Independency Examined, and of the Ecclesistical Jurisdiction and Rights of Parliament, which he fights against  1644

Prynne was an Erastian and semi-Presbyterian.  John Goodwin was a latitudinarian Arminian.

Steuart, Adam – The Second Part of the Duply to M.S., alias Two Brethren: Wherein are maintained the King’s, Parliaments’, and all civil magistrates’ Authority about the Church, Subordination of Ecclesiastical judicatories, Refuted the Independency of Particular Congregations, Licentiousness of wicked conscience and toleration of all sorts of most detestable schisms, heresies and religions, as idolatry, paganism, Turkism, Judaism, Arrianism, Brownism, Anabaptism, etc. which M.S. maintain in their book, with a brief epitome and refutation of all the whole Independent-Government, Most humbly submitted to the King’s most excellent Majesty, To the most Honorable Houses of Parliament, The Most Reverend and Learned Divines of the Assembly and all the Protestant Churches in this island and abroad  ToC  1644

This was replied to by John Goodwin below.

Westminster Assembly

**  The Westminster Assembly’s Grand Debate  Buy  1645  422 pp.  ed. Chris Coldwell

The Reasons Presented by the Dissenting Brethren Against Certain Propositions Concerning Presbyterial Government. And the proofs of them voted by the Assembly of divines, sitting by authority of Parliament, at Westminster. Together with the answer of the Assembly of divines to those reasons of dissent  Buy  1648

The Answer of the Assembly of Divines by Authority of Parliament now Sitting at Westminster Unto the reasons Given in to this Assembly by the Dissenting Brethren of their not Bringing in a Model of their Way  Buy  1645

Certain Additional Reasons to those Presented in a Letter by the Ministers of London to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, 1 Jan. 1645, of like power and force against the toleration of Independency together with some taken out of the letter itself (of those ministers in which their reasons are enclosed) which lay couched somewhat obscurely  ToC  1645

I.P. – Independency Accused by Nine Several Arguments, written by a godly learned minister, to a member of Mr. John Goodwin’s Congregation, and acquitted by several replies to the said arguments by a member of the same church, in both which, sweetness of spirit and soundness of arguments have been endeavored  ToC  1645

John Goodwin was a latitudinarian Arminian.

**  Apollonius, Willem – A Consideration of Certain Controversies at this Time Agitated in the Kingdom of England, concerning the Government of the Church of God  1645  145 pp.  Table of Contents

This significant work responds to the Dissenting Brethren’s Apologetical Narration.  This work of Apollonius was responded to by John Norton below.

**  Hudson, Samuel – A Vindication of the Essence and Unity of the Church-Catholic Visible, and the Priority thereof in Regard of Particular Churches, in Answer to the Objections made Against it Mr. John Ellis junior and Mr. [Thomas] Hooker in his Survey of Church Discipline   1st ed. 1645, 1658  Dedicated to the Westminster Assembly  Table of Contents, with a Postscript contra Samuel Stone  52 pp.

This was responded to by Samuel Stone (below).

Vicars, John

The Picture of Independency Lively (Yet Lovingly) Delineated  ToC  1645

The Schismatic Sifted, or the Picture of Independents Freshly and Fairly washed-over again, wherein the sectaries of these times (I mean, the principal seducers to that dangerous and subtle schism of Independency) are with their own proper pencils and self-mixed colors, most lively set forth to be a generation of notorious dissemblers and sly deceivers. Collected (for the most part) from undeniable testimonies under their own hands in print; for the more fair and full satisfaction, and undeceiving of moderate and much misled Christians; especially by the outward appearance of their piety of life, and a pretence of their preaching sound-doctrine  1646

This was responded to by Nedham below.

Cawdrey, Daniel

Vindiciæ Clavium: or, A Vindication of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, into the Hands of the Right Owners. Being some animadversions upon a Tract of Mr. John Cotton’s, called, ‘The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven’.  As also upon another tract of his, called, ‘The Way of the Churches of New England’. Manifesting:  1. The Weakness of his Proofs.  2.  The Contradictions to Himself, and Others.  3. The Middle-Way (so called) of Independents, to be the Extreme, or Byway of the Brownists  Pre  ToC  Buy  1645

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, p. 61

“…Cotton’s ‘The Way Of The Churches Of Christ In New-England’, whose manuscript was widely circulated in England even a few years before its publication in 1645….  Particularly, Cotton’s ‘The Keys Of The Kingdom Of Heaven’ (1644) was so influential in England that John Owen, a Presbyterian, became convinced that Cotton was right and, finally, supported the Congregational form of church government. 

Meanwhile, refuting Cotton’s works, both Robert Baillie and Daniel Cawdrey wrote ‘A Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time’ (1645) and ‘Vindicae Clavium, or a Vindication of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, into the Hands of the Right Owners’ (1645) respectively.  Three years later, Cotton’s reply to Baillie and Cawdrey was published under the title, ‘The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared’ (1648).”

Vindiciae Vindiciarum, or, A Further Manifestation of Mr. John Cotton, his Contradictions Instanced in Vindiciae Clavium, being a Rejoinder to his Reply (to some few of those many contradictions) in his last book called, ‘The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared, part 2’  ToC  1651

The Inconsistency of the Independent Way with Scripture and Itself Manifested in a Threefold Discourse, 1. Vindicia Vindiciarum, with Mr. Cotton.  2. A Review of Mr. [Thomas] Hooker’s ‘Survey of Church-Discipline’, the first part.  3. A Diatribe with the same Mr. Hooker concerning baptism of infants of non-confederate parents, ch. 2 of his third part  ToC  Buy  1651

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 62-3

“While both [Richard] Mather and [John] Cotton made a formal document of the Cambridge Platform, Thomas Hooker was asked to write a more detailed, thoroughly researched and comprehensive treatise in defense of the Congregational Way.

In July 1, 1645, a year before the Cambridge Synod was convened, there was a meeting of “the elders of the churches through all the United Colonies” in Cambridge, where they agreed to send Hooker’s original manuscript of Survey along with other books including John Davenport’s answer to Paget, ‘The Power of Congregational Churches’.

When their works were lost in the sea, both Hooker and Davenport rewrote them, which were sent over to London and published in 1648 and 1651 respectively.  Samuel Stone considers Hooker’s Survey as the most complete defense of the Congregational Way which is free from errors: “I can affirm I know no man more free from errors in his judgement, than was he [Hooker].” Accordingly, Stone audaciously declares,

“If any to this Platform [Hooker’s Survey] can reply with better reason, let this volume die: But better argument if none can give, than Thomas Hooker’s Policy shall live.”

Such a bold statement, however, would elicit a severe criticism from [Daniel] Cawdrey and [Samuel] Rutherford.  In 1651, Cawdrey published a treatise, ‘The Inconsistency of the Independent Way with the Scriptures and Itself’, where he attacked Cotton’s ‘The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared’ (1648) and the part I and chapter II of the third part of Hooker’s Survey.  Unlike Cawdrey, who deals with only some parts of Hooker’s Survey, Rutherford, in his ‘Survey of the Survey’ (1658) attempted a point by point refutation of Hooker’s doctrine of the church as revealed in the all four parts of his Survey…

Independency a Great Schism Proved Against Dr. Owen his Apology in his Tract of Schism as also an Appendix to the Former Discourse, showing the Inconstancy of the Dr. and the Inconsistency of his Former and Present opinions  Buy  1657

Independency Further Proved to be a Schism, or, A Survey of Dr. Owen’s Review of his Tract of Schism with a Vindication of the Author from his Unjust Clamors and False Aspersions  ToC  1658

**  Baillie, Robert & Daniel Cawdrey – A Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time, wherein the Tenets of the Principal Sects, Especially of the Independents, are Drawn Together in One Map  1645  270 pp.

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, p. 61

“…Cotton’s ‘The Way Of The Churches Of Christ In New-England’, whose manuscript was widely circulated in England even a few years before its
publication in 1645.  By 1644, Rutherford was already involved in another round of debate, which was set off by John Cotton.

Particularly, Cotton’s ‘The Keys Of The Kingdom Of Heaven’ (1644) was so influential in England that John Owen, a Presbyterian, became convinced that Cotton was right and, finally, supported the Congregational form of church government. 

Meanwhile, refuting Cotton’s works, both Robert Baillie and Daniel Cawdrey wrote ‘A Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time’ (1645) and ‘Vindicae Clavium, or a Vindication of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, into the Hands of the Right Owners’ (1645) respectively.  Three years later, Cotton’s reply to Baillie and Cawdrey was published under the title, ‘The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared’ (1648).”

Bastwick, John – The Utter Routing of the Whole Army of all the Independents and Sectaries, with the total overthrow of their Hierarchy, that New Babel, more Groundless than that of the Prelates, or, Independency Not God’s Ordinance, in which all the frontires of the Presbytery… are defended against the Three Commanders of the Sectaries, Hanserd Knollys, J.S. and Henry Burton… and the Field of Truth still kept, that the Presbyterial Government Dependent is God’s Ordinance and not the Presbyterian Government Independent, unto which is annexed an Appendix in way of Answer to Henry Burton… and the Postscript Vindicated  Oxf  1645/6  The Appendix, which may also have been called the ‘Postscript’, see here.  Here is another reference to the Postscript. 

Burton was an Independent puritan; his works are below.  Knollys (c.1599-1691) was a baptist.  This work of Bastwick was responded to by John Sadler below.

Bernard, John – The Independent’s Catechism, or Some Observations Gathered out of Doctor Bastwick, his religious and learned treatise entitled, ‘Independency Not God’s Ordinance’, for the use of all poor ignorant, wavering, and seduced independents. By John Bernard Philopresbytes  ToC  1645

It is not altogether clear what viewpoint Bernard is advocating, but he may be extracting from Bastwick positively to the chagrin of the Independents.

**  London Ministers – Pt. 2, Ch. 10, ‘That the Community of the Faithful, or the Body of the People, are not the Immediate Receptacle or Subject of the Power of Church Government’  in The Divine Right of Church Government  1646/54

Derham, Robert – A Brief Discourse Proving Independency in Church-Government Destructive to the Positive Laws of this Kingdom and Inconsistent Therewith  ToC  1646

J.H. – The Last News from the North. Showing our Brethren’s Farewell and Fidelity in delivering up of Newcastle, Carlile, Durham, Hartlepool, and other northern garrisons into the hands of the Parliament. As also their full intentions to march speedily against Montrosse, Kilketto, Antrim, with the rest of that barbarous crew. With some special observations thereupon, vindicating our brethren of those many jealousies cast upon them by the adverse party, which should be a strong motive to stir up our English hearts to bless God for their brotherly assistance and faithfulness in this cause. Also some objections against Independency  ToC  1646

Baillie, Robert – Anabaptism, the True Fountain of Independency, Brownism, Antinomianism, Familism, and the Most of the Other Errors (which for the time do trouble the Church of England) Unsealed  ToC  1647

Cook, John – What the Independents Would Have, or, A Character, Declaring Some of their Tenets and their Desires to Disabuse those who Speak Ill of that they Know Not  ToC  1647  Westminster divine

Tub-Preachers Overturned, or Independency to be Abandoned and Abhored as Destructive to the Magistracy and Ministry of the church and common-wealth of England, Proved in a satisfactory answer to a libelous pamphlet, entitled ‘A Letter to Mr. Thomas Edwards’ with an infamous dedication.  Showing the vanity, folly, madness of the deboyst buff-coat, mechanic frize-coat, lay illiterate men and women, to usurp the ministry and audaciously vent their own heretical opinions in their house (alias tub) preachings. viz. Wiet a cobler. Robine a sadler. Sammon a shoemaker. Barde a smith. Kiffin a glover. Patience a taylor. Tue a girdler. Wilkin the meal-man. Fletcher a cooper. Hobson a taylor. Oates a button-maker. Ives a box-maker. Barbone a leather-seller. Parvis a gold-smith. Lamb a sope-boyler. Bignall a porter. Henshaw a confectioner, alias infectioner.  Bulcher a chicken-man.  Hawes a broaker. Duper a cow-keeper.  Reader, I cannot inform thee of their Christen names because ’tis questionable whether they have any  ToC  1647

The Last Will and Testament of Sir James Independent, Who lies now dangerously sick of a disease, called by some the resolution of the Parliament and city to oppose their mutinous army; by others, the impossibility of Independency. With his confession, admonition, and legacies left to his dear children in and about the City of London, with his death, burial and epitaph  ToC  1647

Walker, Clement

The History of Independency [Part 1], with the Rise, Growth and Practices of that Powerful and Restless Faction  ToC  1648

Relations and Observations Historical and Politic upon the Parliament, begun 1640, divided into 2 Books: 1. The Mystery of the Two Juntoes [political groups], Presbyterian and Independent, 2. The History of Independency, etc. together with an Appendix Touching the Proceedings of the Independent Faction in Scotland  1648  545 pp.  Includes Part 3, The High Court of Justice… as well.

Anarchia Anglicana: or, the History of Independency, the Second Part, Being a continuation of relations and observations historical and politic upon this Present Parliament  ToC  1649

The High Court of Justice, or Cromwell’s New Slaughter-House in England With the authority that constituted and ordained it, arraigned, convicted, and condemned; for usurpation, treason, tyranny, theft, and murder. Being the 3rd Part of the History of Independency  1651

The last parts of this History of Independency (below) were written in 1660 & 1661.

**  Fergusson, James – ‘The Doctrine of Independency Tried and Found not to be of God’  1652  68 pp being Section 4 of A Brief Refutation of the Errors of Toleration, Erastianism, Independency, and Separtation, delivered in Sermons on 1 Jn. 4:1, pp. 123-190

Fergusson was a Scottish covenanter and Resolutioner.

Firmin, Giles – Separation Examined: or, a Treatise wherein the Grounds for Separation from the Ministry and Churches of England are Weighed, and Found too Light.  The practice proved to be not only unwarrantable, but likewise so hurtful to the churches, that church-reformation cannot with any comfort go forward so long as such separation is tolerated.  Also an humble request presented to the congregational divines, that since the differences between them and the classical-divines are very small they would please to strike in with the classical-divines in carrying on the work of reformation before the inundation of these corrupt opinions have destroyed both ordinances and religion  ToC  1652

**  Wood, James – A Little Stone Pretended to be Out of the Mountain [Dan. 2:35], Tried  1654  412 pp.  Table of Contents

Wood (c.1609-1664) was a Scottish covenanter, Resolutioner and an esteemed, professorial colleague of Rutherford.  Wood, according to the later Free Church of Scotland professor, James Walker, was ‘among our ablest men’ and wrote ‘perhaps the best Scottish discussion of Church authority’ in his treatise against Independency.   This work was written against the English Independent Nicholas Lockyer (1611-1685).

“…A work by Professor Wood of St. Andrews in answer to Lockyer, who was the first to introduce the Independent theory into Scotland…: – James Bannerman, Church of Christ 2.450

Walker, Clement

The History of Independency, the Fourth and Last Part, continued from the death of His late Majesty, King Charles [1649] the First of happy memory, till the deaths of the chief of that juncto  ToC  1660

The Complete History of Independency Upon the Parliament begun 1640. By Clement Walker, Esq, Continued till this present year 1660, which Fourth Part was never before published  ToC  1661

An Appendix to the History of Independency being a Brief Description of some few of Argyle’s Proceedings, before and since he joined in confederacy with the independent junto in England, with a parallel betwixt him and Cromwell, and a caveat to all his seduced adherents  ToC  1661

For the first 3 Parts of this History of Independency, see above under Walker.

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1800’s

**  Brown of Gartmore, John – Vindication of the Presbyterian Form of Church Government as Professed in the Standards of the Church of Scotland in reply to Innes, Ewing, Ballentine, Glass, etc. among the modern, and of Goodwin, Lockier, Cotton, etc. among the Ancient Independents  1805  400 pp.

“This is a very acute, vigorous, and thorough discussion of the points at issue between Presbyterians and Independents.” – James Bannerman, Church of Christ 2.450

A Clergyman – The Presbyter, the Prelate and the People, or Presbytery, Prelacy and Independency as Practically Developed in England  1848  350 pp.

Cunningham, William – ‘Congregationalism, or Independency’  1863  11 pp.  in Historical Theology, vol. 2, p. 545 ff.

Bannerman, James

‘The Independent Theory of the Ministry’  1869  in The Church of Christ, vol. 1, pt. 3, div. 2, subdiv. 3, ch. 3, pp. 452-466

**  ‘The Independent System of Church Polity as Opposed to the Presbyterian’  1869  in The Church of Christ, vol. 2, pt. 4, ch. 5, pp. 296-332

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Presumptive Regeneration

Presumptive Regeneration


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Ordination

Gillespie, George

A Treatise of Miscellany Questions  n.d.

ch. 2, ‘Of the Election of Pastors with the Congregation’s Consent’  10 pp.  pp. 4-14

ch. 3, ‘Whether Ordination be Essential to the Calling of a Minister?’  9 pp.  pp. 14-23

ch. 4, ‘Objections Against the Necessity of Ordination Answered’  4 pp.  pp. 23-27


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Lay-Preaching & Administering the Sacraments

Gillespie, George, A Treatise of Miscellany Questions  n.d.

Lay-Preaching

Ch. 5, ‘Whether these prophets and prophesyings in the primitive church, 1 Cor. 14; 12:28; Eph. 4:11; were extraordinary and not so to continue; or whether they are precedents for the preaching or prophesying of such as are neither ordained ministers nor probationers for the ministry’ 

Gillespie argues against the Independents who claimed that their practice of unordained lay-preaching was warranted from the ‘prophets’ and ‘prophesying’ of the New Testament, which they took to include gifted, non-ordained lay-persons.

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Lay-Administration of the Sacraments

ch. 6, ‘Whether any other but a Minister, Lawfully Called and Ordained, may Administer the Sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper?’  n.d.  3 pp.  in A Treatise of Miscellany Questions, pp. 36-38

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Excommunication

Independent Churches do not have the Right of Greater Excommunication


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Good & Necessary Consequence

Gillespie, George – ‘That Necessary Consequences form the Written Word of God do Sufficiently and Strongly Prove the Consequent or Conclusion; if theoretical, to be a certain Divine truth which ought to be believed; and, if practical, to be a necessary duty which we are obliged unto jure divino?’  being ch. 20 of A Treatise of Miscellany Questions


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Works of Separatists

1500’s

Browne, Robert

**  A Treatise of Reformation without Tarrying for Any  1582  15 pp.  Includes a list of Browne’s works at the front

Browne was the leader and figurehead of the Brownists.  He was a separatist (contrary to the teachings of the English, puritan leader Thomas Cartwright).  While his extreme separatism was not necessarily completely reflective of later congregationalism, yet his independency was foundational to the historical development of Independency and Congregationalism.  This was his main, foundational work.

A ‘New Years Gift’, a Letter to his Uncle  21 pp.  Table of Contents  Regards numerous ecclesiological and separatist points

The ‘Retraction’ of Robert Browne, being a Reproof of Certain Schismatical Persons and their Doctrine Touching the Hearing and Preaching of the Word of God  1588  65 pp.

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1600’s

Ainsworth, Henry

An Animadversion to Mr. Richard Clyfton’s Advertisement, who under pretense of answering Chr. Lawne’s book, has published another man’s private letter, with Mr Francis Johnson’s answer thereto.  Which letter is here justified; the answer thereto refuted and the True Causes of the Lamentable Breach that has Lately Fallen out in the English Exiled Church at Amsterdam, Manifested  1613  140 pp.

This was responded to by John Paget above.

Counterpoison Considerations Touching the Points in Difference Between the Godly Ministers and people of the Church of England, and the seduced brethren of the separation, Arguments that the best assemblies of the present church of England are true visible churches, that the preachers in the best assemblies of England are true ministers of Christ; Mr. [Richard] Bernard’s book entitled ‘The Separatists Schism’, Mr. Crashawe’s questions propounded in his sermon preached at the crosse  1642

Robinson, John

A Justification of Separation from the Church of England, Against Mr. Richard Bernard, his Invective Entitled ‘The Separatist’s Schism’  being vol. 2 of his Works

Bernard’s ‘The Separatist’s Schism’ does not appear to be online.

A Just and Necessary Apology of Certain Christians…  Commonly Called Brownists or Barrowists  in Works, vol. 3

Two Letters on Christian Fellowship, one by William Ames, the other by John Robinson  1611  in Works, vol. 3

“Dr. Ames in his letters strenuously contends against Mr. Robinson’s supposed uncharitableness in not holding ‘private communion’ with ‘members of the true visible church’ who belonged to the ‘Assemblies’, or the English Church…” – Notice, p. 84

Of Religious Communion, Public and Private  in Works, vol. 3


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Works of Independents & Congregationalists

1600’s

** – Signifies some of the more important works

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Hooker, Thomas – John Paget’s XX Questions (Propositions) and Thomas Hooker’s Answer  1633

Cotton, John – ‘Questions and Answers upon Church Government’  1634  being part 4 of  Treatise I. Of Faith. II. Twelve Fundamental Articles of Christian Religion. III. A Doctrinal Conclusion. IV. Questions and Answers upon Church-Government, pp. 18-26

See the Answers of the New England Congregationalists in the work of John Ball above.

Ames, William – Ch. 37, ‘Of Ecclesiastical Discipline’  in The Marrow of Sacred Divinity Drawn out of the Holy Scriptures, and the Interpreters thereof, and brought into Method  1st ed. 1639, 1642

Canne, John

Congregational Discipline  1640

Canne (d. 1667?) was ‘the leader of the English Brownists in Amsterdam’ according to John Ball. 

Syon’s Prerogative Royal, or a Treatise Tending to Prove that Every Particular Congregation hath from Christ Absolute and Entire Power to Exercise in and of Herself Every Ordinance of God and is an Independent Body…  1640

This may have been written by Henry Ainsworth.  This was responded to by Paget above.

Mather, Richard

Church-Government and Church-Covenant Discussed, in an Answer of the Elders of the Several Churches in New-England to Two and Thirty Questions, Sent over to them by Divers Ministers in England, to Declare their Judgments Therein  1639/43  This includes An Apology of the Churches in New-England for Church-Covenant…

Rutherford responded to this work in his Due Right of Presbyteries (above).

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 57-59

“Meanwhile [near the same time that the letter from the Old England ministers was received, see Ball above], New England churches received another similar inquiry from Richard Bernard of Batcombe, who proposed “Thirty-Two Questions.”

In reply, Richard Mather provided an answer under the title ‘Church Government and Church Covenant Discussed’ (1643).  Compared with the “Nine Propositions,” [of the Old England ministers] Bernard’s “Thirty-Two Questions” are more sophisticated, which are designed to find both the theological and the biblical foundation of the Congregational practices…

In inquiring these questions, Bernard seemed to be already aware of the fact that the nature of Congregational form of church government is closely related to the idea of church covenant.  Indeed, Mather’s view of a visible church—as the titles of his two books indicate—seems to be based on his key concept of church covenant:

“Now that a company becomes a Church, by joining in Covenant”; “And the form [of a visible church], a gathering together of these visible Christians a combining and uniting of them into one body, by the bond of an holy Covenant.”

Mather’s concept of church covenant, however, would lead to a fundamental problem as posed by Bernard’s first and second questions: Given the essential necessity of church covenant as the foundation of a true visible church, he asks,

“But what shall be said of the congregations in England, if Churches must be combined by Covenant?  Doth not this doctrine blot out all those Congregations out of the Catalogue of Churches?”

In reply, Mather argues that many churches in England and other places can be called true churches because the substance or “the essence of visible Churches” may be preserved by  an implicit church covenant, which is indirectly evidenced by profession of faith, worship, baptismal vows, and other voluntary agreements and consents among church members.

In sum, the early controversy between Old and New England [1630-1643] seemed to be significant in two aspects.  On the one hand, both “Nine Propositions” and “Thirty-Two Questions” contributed to setting the agenda for the further development of the discussion about the church government until the Rutherford-Hooker debate.  Particularly, the early tendency to identify New England Congregationalists with the Separatists—as shown in A Letter of Many Ministers in Old England— have continued to have an influence on the way Rutherford and other critics understood Hooker and the New England Way.

On the other hand, some participants in this early debate began to focus on the church covenant as a key ecclesiological doctrine for New England Congregationalism.  Accordingly, the major part of later dispute between Rutherford and Hooker would revolve around the doctrine of church covenant: the latter would defend it as theological/biblical foundation of the Congregational church while the former simply denies it.”

Burton, Henry – The Protestation Protested, or, A Short Remonstrance Showing what is principally required of all those that have or do take the last Parliamentary Protestation  1641

Richard Baxter said: ‘Till Mr. [John] Ball wrote for the Liturgy and against [John] Canne and [John] Allen, etc., and Mr. Burton published his ‘Protestation Protested’, I never thought what presbytery or independency were, nor ever spake with a man that seemed to know it.  And that was in 1641, when the war was brewing’.

Cotton, John

A Copy of a Letter of Mr. Cotton of Boston, in New England, Sent in Answer of Certain Objections made Against their Discipline and Orders there, directed to a Friend, with the Questions Propounded to such as are Admitted to the Church-Fellowship, and the Covenant Itself  PDF  1641

The True Constitution of a Particular, Visible Church  1642  15 pp.

Mather, Richard & William Tompson – A Modest and Brotherly Answer to Mr. Charles Herle, his Book Against the Independency of Churches  1644  60 pp.

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 60-1

It seems to be obvious that the pamphlet war between the Presbyterians in England and New England Congregationalists reached the new levels of intensity in the mid-1640s, particularly, during the period of the Assembly.  In 1643, the collections of the early debates between the Old English Presbyterians and the New England were published in London. 

In the same year, Charles Herle, a Presbyterian who became a prolocutor of the Assembly in 1646, sparked a new round of controversy.  Rutherford, in the following year, joined in [Charles] Herle’s crusade against Congregationalism with his famous work, ‘The Due Right of Prebyteries’ (1644).  In reply to Herle, [Richard] Mather and William Tompson published, ‘A Modest & Brotherly Answer To Mr. Charles Herle’ (1644)…”

Dury, John – An Epistolary Discourse Wherein (amongst other particulars) these following questions are briefly resolved.  1. Whether or not the State Should Tolerate the Independent Government?  2. If they should tolerate it, how far, and with what Limitations?  3. If they should tolerate it, what course should be taken to bring them to a conformity with the Presbyterials?  Written by Mr. John Dury. To Mr. Thomas Goodwin, Mr. Philip Nye, Mr. Samuel Hartlib  1644

This work was formerly available at the Westminster Assembly Project.  Dury’s position is not entirely known.  He was not necessarily an Independent, but it is likely he was arguing for a civil toleration of Independency to some extent, as he tried to reconcile parties together throughout his life.

Parker, Thomas – The True Copy of a Letter written by Mr. Thomas Parker, a learned and godly minister in New-England, unto a member of the Assembly of Divines now at Westminster, Declaring his Judgment Touching the Government Practiced in the Churches of New-England  ToC  1643/4

Parker (1595–1677) was an English nonconforming clergyman and a founder of Newbury, Massachusetts.  This letter was remarked upon by Goodwin below.

Goodwin, John

M. S. to A[dam] S[teuart] with a plea for Liberty of Conscience in a Church Way against the cavils of A. S. and observations on his considerations and annotations upon the Apologetical Narration, humbly submitted to the judgments of all rational and moderate men in the world, with some modest and innocent touches on the letter from Zealand and Mr. Parker’s from New-England  Ref  1644  2nd Ed. Ref

This Goodwin was an Arminian, latitudinarian Anglican.  Steuart’s work is above.  Parker’s letter is above and the Apologetical Narration by the Dissenting Brethren before Parliament is below.

A Short Answer to A.S. alias Adam Stewart’s Second Part of his Overgrown Duply to the Two Brethren. Together with Certain Difficult Questions Easily answered; all which A. Stewart is desired to consider of, without replying, unless it be to purpose. A. Steuart in his second part of his duply to the two brethren, p. 166: The civil magistrate cannot be orthodox and tolerate a new sect (he means Independency, and may as well say Presbytery) unless he tolerate us to believe that he is either corrupted by moneys or some other way so to do  1644

Simpson, Sidrach – The Anatomist Anatomized. Or, a short answer to some things in the book, entitled, ‘An Anatomy of Independency’: wherein it’s showed:  I. That many things reported are misreported.  II. That if all were true, yet divulging of them in this manner is not according to the Word of God.  III. Nor argumentative against the cause that’s falsely called Independency  ToC  1644

Simpson, one of the Dissenting Brethren, responds to William Forbes’ work of 1644 (above).

Burton, Henry

A Vindicaton of Churches Commonly called Independent, or, A Brief Answer to Two Books, the one entitled, ‘Twelve Considerable, Serious Questions Touching Church-Government’, the other, ‘Independency Examined, Unmasked, Refuted, etc., both lately published by William Prynne  1644

Prynne was an Erastian; his works are above.

Vindiciæ Veritatis: Truth Vindicated Against Calumny, in a Brief Answer to Dr. [John] Bastwick’s two late books, entitled ‘Independency not God’s Ordinance’, with the second part styled ‘The Postscript’, etc.  1645

Bastwick’s works are above.

The Dissenting Brethren before Parliament and the Westminster Assembly

**  The Westminster Assembly’s Grand Debate  Buy  422 pp.  ed. Chris Coldwell

**  Apologetical Narration  1643/4  20 pp.  Wiki

The Reasons of the Dissenting Brethren against the Third Proposition, concerning Presbyterial Government, Humbly Presented Buy 1645

The Dissenting Brethren were the five leading Independents at the assembly that vigorously opposed presbyterian church government: Thomas Goodwin, Philip Nye, Sidrach Simpson, Jeremiah Burroughs and William Bridge.

A Copy of a Remonstrance Lately Delivered in to the Assembly by Thomas Goodwin. Jeremiah Burroughs, William Greenhill, William Bridge, Philip Nye, Sidrach Simson and William Carter, Declaring the grounds and reasons of their declining to bring in to the Assembly their model of church-government  ToC  Buy

Sadler, John – Flagellum Flagelli: or Doctor Bastwick’s Quarters Beaten up in two or three Pomeridian Exercises, by way of animadversion upon his first book, entitled, ‘Independency not God’s Ordinance’  1645

Bastwick’s work is above.

I.P. – Independency Accused by Nine Several Arguments, written by a godly learned minister, to a member of Mr. John Goodwin’s Congregation, and acquitted by several replies to the said arguments by a member of the same church, in both which, sweetness of spirit and soundness of arguments have been endeavored  ToC  1645

John Goodwin was a latitudinarian Arminian.

Knollys, Hanserd – A Moderate Answer unto Dr. Bastwick’s Book called ‘Independency Not God’s Ordinance’, wherein is declared the manner how some churches in this city were gathered, and upon what terms their members were admitted, that so both the Dr. and the reader may judge, how near some believers who walk together in the fellowship of the gospel do come in their practice to these apostolical rules which are propounded by the Dr. as God’s method in gathering churches and admitting members  ToC  1645

Knollys (1599?-1691) was a baptist.

Cotton, John

**  The Way of the Churches of Christ in New England in Brotherly Equality and Independency, or Coordination without Subjection of One Church to Another  1645  125 pp.  London

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 61

“It should be remembered that Rutherford’s ‘The Due Right of Prebyteries’ (1644) itself was his critical review of both Mather’s ‘Church Government and Church Covenant Discussed’ (1643) and Cotton’s ‘The Way Of The Churches Of Christ In New-England’, whose manuscript was widely circulated in England even a few years before its publication in 1645.”

**  The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven And Power Thereof, According to the Word of God, Tending to Reconcile Some Present Differences about Discipline  1644  115 pp.

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 61

“By 1644, Rutherford was already involved in another round of debate, which was set off by John Cotton.  Particularly, Cotton’s ‘The Keys Of The Kingdom Of Heaven’ (1644) was so influential in England that John Owen, a Presbyterian, became convinced that Cotton was right and, finally, supported the Congregational form of church government.¹

¹ See John Owen’s Preface in A Defence of Mr. John Cotton from the Imputation of Self-Contradiction Charged on Him by Mr. Daniel Cawdrey (Oxford: H. Hall for T. Robinson, 1658)…”

Meanwhile, refuting Cotton’s works, both Robert Baillie and Daniel Cawdrey wrote ‘A Dissuasive from the Errours of the Time’ (1645) and ‘Vindicae Clavium, or a Vindication of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, into the Hands of the Right Owners’ (1645) respectively.  Three years later, Cotton’s reply to Baillie and Cawdrey was published under the title, ‘The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared’ (1648).”

The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared in Two Treatises.  In the former, from the historical aspersions of Mr. Robert Baillie, in his book, called, ‘A Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time’.  In the latter, from some Contradictions of Vindicæ Clavium and from, some misconstructions of learned Mr. Rutherford in his book entitled ‘The Due Right of Presbyteries’   in The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Way of Congregational Churches Cleared, p. 79 ff.  ToC  1648

Burroughs, Jeremiah – A Vindication of Mr. Burroughs against Mr. [Thomas] Edwards’ Foul Aspersions, in his Spreading Gangræna, and his Angry Anti-Apologia.  Concluding with a Brief Declaration what the Independents Would Have  ToC  1646

Edwards’ work is above.

Nedham, Marchamont – Independency No Schism, or an Answer to a Scandalous book, entitled, ‘The Schismatic Sifted’, written by Mr. John Vicars, Which may serve also for a reply to Master [Thomas] Edwards, his Gangræna. Wherein is discovered the vanity of those unjust slanders cast upon the dissenting brethren, whom they call Independents. With some hints added about gospel-government  ToC  1646

Vicar and Edwards’ works are above.

Noyes, James – The Temple Measured or A Brief Survey of the Temple Mystical, which is the Instituted Church of Christ  1646/7

Bartlet, William – Ichnographia. Or A Model of the Primitive Congregational Way: wherein satisfaction is offered, by unfolding (according to the Scriptures) what the right order of the Gospel, and way of the saints in the visible worshipping of God is, in the days of the New Testament…  Together with the main points in controversy, touching the right visible church-state Christ hath instituted under the Gospel, with the extent of church-officers, and power of particular visible churches, and continuance of divine ordinances and institutions under the defection and apostasy of Antichrist  ToC  1647

Goodwin, John – Independency, God’s Verity: or, The Necessity of Toleration, Unto which is added the Chief Principles of the Government of Independent Churches  ToC  1647

Goodwin was a latitudinarian Arminian.

Mather, Richard – A Reply to Mr. Rutherfurd, or A Defence of the Answer to Reverend Mr. Herle’s Book Against the Independency of Churches, wherein such Objections and Answers as are returned to sundry passages in the said answer by Mr. Samuel Rutherfurd…  in his book entitled ‘The Due Right of Presbyteries’ are Examined and Removed, and the Answer Justified and Cleared  1647

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 60-1

Rutherford, in the following year, joined in [Charles] Herle’s crusade against Congregationalism with his famous work, ‘The Due Right of Prebyteries’ (1644).  In reply to Herle, [Richard] Mather and William Tompson published, ‘A Modest & Brotherly Answer To Mr. Charles Herle’ (1644).  Also, refuting both Herle and Rutherford, Mather wrote another work, ‘A Reply to Mr. Rutherford’ (1647).  

It should be remembered that Rutherford’s The Due Right of Prebyteries (1644) itself was his critical review of both Mather’s ‘Church Government and Church Covenant Discussed’ (1643) and Cotton’s ‘The Way Of The Churches Of Christ In New-England’, whose manuscript was widely circulated in England even a few years before its publication in 1645.”

Norton, John – The Answer to the Whole Set of Questions of the Celebrated Mr. William Apollonius… looking toward the resolution of certain controversies concerning church government now being agitated in England  Buy  1648  196 pp.

This is in response to Apollonius’s work above.  See here for background to this work.

Hooker, Thomas

**  A Survey of the Sum of Church-Discipline: wherein the Way of the Churches of New-England is Warranted out of the Word, and All Exceptions of Weight, which are made Against it, Answered…  1648  640 pp.  

Sang Ahn, Covenant in Conflict, pp. 62-3

“While both [Richard] Mather and [John] Cotton made a formal document of the Cambridge Platform, Thomas Hooker was asked to write a more detailed, thoroughly researched and comprehensive treatise in defense of the Congregational Way.

In July 1, 1645, a year before the Cambridge Synod was convened, there was a meeting of “the elders of the churches through all the United Colonies” in Cambridge, where they agreed to send Hooker’s original manuscript of Survey along with other books including John Davenport’s answer to Paget, ‘The Power of Congregational Churches’.

When their works were lost in the sea, both Hooker and Davenport rewrote them, which were sent over to London and published in 1648 and 1651 respectively.  Samuel Stone considers Hooker’s Survey as the most complete defense of the Congregational Way which is free from errors: “I can affirm I know no man more free from errors in his judgement, than was he [Hooker].” Accordingly, Stone audaciously declares,

“If any to this Platform [Hooker’s Survey] can reply with better reason, let this volume die: But better argument if none can give, than Thomas Hooker’s Policy shall live.”

Such a bold statement, however, would elicit a severe criticism from [Daniel] Cawdrey and [Samuel] Rutherford.  In 1651, Cawdrey published a treatise, ‘The Inconsistency of the Independent Way with the Scriptures and Itself’, where he attacked Cotton’s ‘The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared’ (1648) and the part I and chapter II of the third part of Hooker’s Survey.  Unlike Cawdrey, who deals with only some parts of Hooker’s Survey, Rutherford, in his ‘Survey of the Survey’ (1658) attempted a point by point refutation of Hooker’s doctrine of the church as revealed in the all four parts of his Survey…

It seems to be true that by the time Rutherford’s ‘A Survey of the Survey’ was published in 1658, the climax of the Congregational-Presbyterian debate of the 1640’s was over.  Only some echoes of the debates of the previous decade lingered into the 1650’s through the works of Cawdrey, Rutherford, and Samuel Hudson on the one hand, and [Samuel] Stone, [John] Owen, John Allen and Thomas Shepard on the other.”

The Covenant of Grace Opened: wherein these Particulars are Handled: 1. What the Covenant of Grace is, 2. what the seals of the covenant are, 3. who are the parties and subjects fit to receive these seals. From all which particulars infants’ baptism is fully proved and vindicated, being several sermons preached at Hartford in New-England  Pre  ToC  Buy  1649

Cotton, John – Of the Holiness of Church Members in Two Treatises  105 pp.

Cotton responds to Robert Baillie, Willem Appolonius and Rutherford’s A Peaceable Plea (1642).

Davenport, John – The Power of Congregational Churches Asserted and Vindicated in Answer to a Treatise of Mr. J. Paget entitled, ‘The Defence of Church-Government Exercised in Classes and Synods  ToC  1651  177 pp.

Paget’s work is above.

Cotton, John – A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace  1652  200 pp.

Stone, Samuel – A Congregational Church, a Catholic Visible Church, or an Examination of Mr. Hudson, his Vindication Concerning the Integrity of the Catholic Visible Church, wherein also Satisfaction is given to what Mr. Cawdrey Writes Touching that Subject in his Review of Mr. [Thomas] Hooker’s Survey of Church Discipline  EEBO  1652  London

Hudson replied to this in the second edition of his work in 1658, in the Postscript.

Shepard, Thomas – A Treatise of Liturgies, Power of the Keys, and of matter of the Visible Church, in Answer to the Reverend Servant of Christ, Mr. John Ball  1653

Owen, John  d. 1683

Major Treatises on Independency

**  An Inquiry into the Original Nature, Institution, Power, Order and Communion of Evangelical Churches, with an Answer to the Discourse of the Unreasonableness of Separation written by Edward Stillingfleet and in Defene of the Vindication of the Nonconformists from the Guilt of Schism  in Works, vol. 15

**  The True Nature of a Gospel Church  1689  in Works, vol. 16

Are Congregationalists Schismatics?

**  Of Schism, the True Nature of it Discovered and Considered with Reference to the Present Differences in Religion  1657  in Works, vol. 13

A Review of the True Nature of Schism, with a Vindication of the Congregational Churches in England from the Imputation Thereof Unjustly Charged on Them by Mr. Daniel Cawdrey  1657  in Works, vol. 13

An Answer to a Late Treatise of Mr. [Daniel’ Cawdrey About the Nature of Schism  1658  in Works, vol. 13

Additional

A Brief Instruction in the Worship of God and Discipline of the Churches of the New Testament, by Way of Question and Answer  in Works, vol. 15

A Letter Concerning the Matter of the Present Excommunication  in Works, vol. 16

A Discourse Concerning the Administration of Church Censures  in Works, vol. 16

Cotton, John

Certain Queries Tending to Accommodation and Communion of Presbyterian and Congregational Churches  ToC  1654  20 pp.

A Defence of Mr. John Cotton from the Imputation of Self-Contradiction Charged upon him by Mr. Daniel Cawdrey, written by Himself not long before his Death, whereunto is prefixed, an Answer to a Late Treatise of the said Mr. [Daniel] Cawdrey about the Nature of Schism, by John Owen  1658

Newcomen, Matthew – Irenicum; or, An Essay Towards a Brotherly Peace and Union, Between those of the Congregational and Presbyterian Way: showing out of the most learned and renowned divines of the congregational way, that their positions concerning 1. Church matters and members. 2. Church constitution and form. 3. Church state. 4. Church officers and ordination. 5. Church government and censures. 6. Church combinations and synods. 7. Communion with and separation from churches. are sufficient for the establishing a firm and lasting peace between them and the Presbyterians, In pursuance of the good design begun at the Savoy, where it was agreed and declared, that such reforming churches as consist of persons sound in the faith, and of conversation becoming the Gospel, ought not to refuse the communion of each other  ToC  1659  Newcomen was a Westminster divine and Independent

Mather, Increase – The First Principles of New-England Concerning the Subject of Baptism & Communion of Churches, collected partly out of the printed books, but chiefly out of the original manuscripts of the first and chief fathers in the New-English churches, with the judgment of sundry learned divines of the congregational way in England, concerning the said questions, published for the benefit of those who are of the rising generation in New-England  ToC  1675

**  Goodwin, Thomas – Works, vol. 11, The Government of the Churches of Christ, etc.  d. 1680  Goodwin was a Westminster divine.  Book 4 (47 pp.) is against presbyterianism.

Mather, Increase – The Judgment of Several Eminent Divines of the Congregational Way Concerning a Pastor’s Power Occasionally to Exert Ministerial Acts in Another Church besides that which is his own particular flock  ToC  1692

Chauncy, Isaac – The Divine Institution of Congregational Churches, Ministry and Ordinances [as has been professed by those of that persuasion] Asserted and Proved from the Word of God  ToC  1697

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1700’s

Mather, Increase – A Disquisition Concerning Ecclesiastical Councils, Proving that not only pastors, but brethren delegated by the Churches have equally a right to a decisive vote in such assemblies, to which is added proposals concerning consociation of churches agreed upon by a synod which convened at Boston in New England, with a preface, containing a further vindication of the congregational discipline  1716

Mather, Cotton – Ratio Disciplina Fratrum Nov-Anglorum, a faithful account of the discipline professed and practiced in the churches of New-England, with interspersed and instructive reflections on the discipline of the primitive churches  1726

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1800’s

Haldane, James Alexander – A View of the Social Worship and Ordinances Observed by the First Christians, Drawn from the Sacred Scriptures Alone  1805  390 pp.

James, John Angell

Christian Fellowship, or the Church Member’s Guide  1830  235 pp.

A Manual for Church Members  in Works, vol. 11, pp. 455-502

**  Punchard, George – A View of Congregationalism  1840  230 pp.

**  Davidson, Samuel – The Ecclesiastical Polity of the New Testament Unfolded  1848  480 pp.

Adeney, George – Congregationalism Scriptural, or the Nature and Constitution of the Church of Christ as set Forth in the New Testament   1851  27 pp.

Wilkes, Henry – The Internal Administration of the Churches, or Congregational Independency Viewed from Within  1859  85 pp.

Outlines of Congregationalism: Select Tracts  1859  185 pp.

Angus, Joseph – Christian Churches  1862  71 pp.

**  Wardlaw, Ralph – Congregational Independency in Contradistinction to Episcopacy and Presbyterianism: the Church Polity of the New Testament  1864  355 pp.

Dexter, Henry

A Handbook of Congregationalism  c. 1880

**  Congregationalism:  What it is, Whence it is, How it Works; Why it is Better than any other Form of Church Government, and its Consequent Demands  1865  340 pp.

ed. Reynolds, Henry – Ecclesia: Church Problems Considered in a Series of Essays  1870  560 pp.

Clarke, Dorus – Orthodox Congregationalism and the Sects  1871  170 pp.

Pond, Enoch – Congregationalism, a Premium Tract  d. 1882  45 pp.

**  Dale, R.W. – Manual of Congregational Principles  1884  260 pp.

Ross, Abel Hastings

**  The Church-Kingdom, Lectures on Congregationalism  1887  405 pp.  Andover Theological Seminary

A Pocket Manual of Congregationalism  1888  250 pp.

Jackson, Samuel – A Hand-Book of Congregationalism  1892  215 pp.

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1900’s

MacFadyen, D. – Constructive Congregational Ideals  1902  275 pp.

Jefferson, Charles – Congregationalism  1910  30 pp.

Millard, Benjamin – Congregationalism  1912  132 pp.

Price, Ernest – A Handbook of Congregationalism  1924  55 pp.

Martin, A.D. – The Principle of the Congregational Churches  1927  130 pp.


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History of Independency & Congregationalism

The Greater Part of Church History

Fletcher, Joseph – History of the Revival and Progress of Independency in England since the Period of the Reformation, with an Introduction containing an Account of the Development of the Principles of Independency in the Age of Christ and his Apostles… until the time of the Reformation, vol. 1, 2, 3, 4  1847

**  Punchard, George – History of Congregationalism, from about AD 250 to the Present Time, vols. 1 (to the Reformation), 2 (Reformation to 1579), 3 (1575-1626), 4 (America, 1620-1750), 5 (America, 1760’s+)

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The Early Church

Quote

William Cunningham, Historical Theology 2.548

“These peculiar and distinctive principles of modern Independents or Congregationalists were not explicitly professed, and, of course, were neither formally defended nor assailed in the early church.  As a subject of controversial discussion, they are wholly of modern origin.

They seem to have been first publicly and distinctly broached, as exhibiting the scriptural views of the constitution and government of the church, by J.B. Morellius or Morely, who was connected with the Reformed Church of France, and whose work on the subject, entitled, ‘Traicte de la Discipline et Police Chretienne,’ was published at Lyons in 1561, and was soon thereafter condemned by the National Synod at Orleans in 1562, and again at Nismes in 1572.  They were embraced also by [Peter] Ramus, the celebrated philosopher, who was killed in the massacre of St. Bartholomew; but they made no permanent impression upon the French Protestants.

It was not till about twenty or thirty years later, near the end of the sixteenth century, that these views were brought out and practically acted upon in this country, by some persons… who were known for a time under the name of Brownists.”

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Article

Clarkson, David – Treatises on the Church Polity of the Primitive Times  Table of Contents  in Select Works of David Clarkson, pp. 1-244

Clarkson was a puritan Congregationalist and successor of John Owen.  He gives a Congregationalist interpretation of Early Church history and argues against the Episcopalian interpretation.

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Post-Reformation

General Works

**  Hanbury, Benjamin – Historical Memorials Relating to the Independents, or Congregationalists from their Rise to 1660, vol. 1, 2, 3  1839

Hawley, Z.K. – Congregationalism and Methodism  1846  340 pp.

Waddington, John – Congregational Church History, from the Reformation to 1662  1862  bound with and after Angus, Joseph, Christian Churches, p. 72 ff.

**  Dexter, Henry – The Congregationalism of the Last 300 Years, as Seen in its Literature in 12 Lectures  1880  1,085 pp.

**  Nuttall, Geoffrey – Visible Saints: The Congregational Way, 1640-1660  Buy  1st ed. 1956

“This is the standard academic work of the origins of Congregationalism in England.” – Quinta Press

**  Ahn, Sang – Ch. 2, Sect. 4, ‘The Polemical Context of the Rutherford-Hooker Dispute’  in Covenant in Conflict: the Controversy Over the Church Covenant Between Samuel Rutherford and Thomas Hooker, pp. 53-66

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England

MacKennal, Alexander – Sketches in the Evolution of English Congregationalism  1901  275 pp.  Carew Lecture, Hartford Theological Seminary

**  Dale, R.W. – History of English Congregationalism  1907  790 pp.

Hooper, Thomas – The Story of English Congregationalism  1907  160 pp.  7 Lectures

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Scotland

**  Ross, James – A History of Congregational Independency in Scotland  1900  305 pp.

MacWhirter, Archibald – ‘The Early Days [1740’s-1800’s] of Independentism and Congregationalism in the Northern Islands of Scotland’  1968  25 pp.

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America

White, Daniel – New England Congregationalism in its Origin and Purity, Illustrated by the Foundation and Early Records of the First Church in Salem  1861  325 pp.

Goodwin, John – The Pilgrim Republic, an Historical Review of the Colony of New Plymouth, with Sketches of the Rise of Other New England Settlements, the History of Congregationalism and the Creeds of the Period  1888  715 pp.

**  Atkins & Fagley – History of American Congregationalism  1942  445 pp.


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Biographies

Lives of the Chief Fathers of New England, vol. 1 (John Cotton), 2 (John Wilson, John Norton, John Davenport), 3 (John Eliot), 4 (Thomas Shepard), 5 (Increase Mather, William Phipps), 6 (Thomas Hooker)  1870

Peel, Albert – A Hundred Eminent Congregationalists  1927


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Congregational Confessions, Books of Discipline, Documents, etc.

Collections

The Cambridge and Saybrook Platforms of Church Discipline with the Confession of Faith of the New England Churches Adopted in 1680 and the Heads of Agreement  1829

**  ed. Walker, Williston – The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism  1893

**  ed. Wells, David & Robert Davis – Historic Documents of Congregationalism  Buy  2005  138 pp.

This includes the Savory Declaration of Faith (1658), the Cambridge Platform (1649) and the Heads of Agreement (1691), with some introductions.

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The Cambridge Platform of Church Discipline  (Cambridge, MA, 1648)

The Savoy Declaration of Faith  (London, 1658)

The Institution of Churches and the Order Appointed in Them by Jesus Christ

Heads of Agreement  (London, 1691)

The Saybrook Platform  (1708)

Saybrook Confession  (New London, CT, 1710)


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Bibliographies

The Most Exhaustive

**  Dexter, Henry – ‘Collections Towards a Bibliography of Congregationalism’  1880  285 pp.  being an appendix to The Congregationalism of the Last 300 Years, as Seen in its Literature in 12 Lectures  in Chronological Order  see also the Index to the bibliography, in alphabetical order by author and title together

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Short-Medium

Dexter, Henry Martyn – ‘List of Principal Books Relating to Congregationalism’  c. 1880  4 pp.  in A Handbook of Congregationalism, pp. 178-182

Jackson, Samuel – ‘Books on Congregationalism’  1892  4 pp.  in A Hand-Book of Congregationalism, pp. 200-203

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“…the Independents… who, when some of them were in Scotland with Cromwell [1650’s], when they saw the form and order of the Church of Scotland, particularly great Doctor [John] Owen said to Mr. Donald Cargil that, if he was to reside in Scotland, he would entirely fall in with this Church, and think it his honor to sit a member in one of her assemblies.”

Patrick Walker
Six Saints 1.152

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Related Pages

Church Government

Presbyterianism

The Ruling of the Church

The Regulative Principle of Church Government