NEW

Letter to the Editor: Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services

Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services   Sir, Remembrance Sunday is an important and poignant landmark in our nation’s annual calendar, and a day to reflect, give thanks and pray for peace. We see church and civic life combine in silence and remembrance, as...

Evangelical Theological College of Asia

Evangelical Theological College of Asia Have you ever wondered if there was a sound reformed theological training institution in Asia?  The Evangelical Theological College of Asia is just such a school.  It is located in Singapore and its faculty are mostly from...

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary: Should Women Be Afraid of Men?

Prudence Dailey's Commentary Should Women be Afraid of Men? Recently, someone I used to work with shared on her Facebook page a link to an article from The Times magazine by the feminist writer Caitlin Moran. The substance of Ms Moran’s piece—rhetorically addressed to...

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement”

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement” The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches recently updated its “Values Statement.”  It is well-worth your time to read.  There are FIEC affiliated congregations in England, Scotland, and Wales.   1. God-honouring and...

Death of LENORA HAMMOND

Lenora Hammond 1960-2021 Mrs Lenora Hammond, wife of Frontline Fellowship founder Dr Peter Hammond, died on 9 November.  She was six days short of her sixty-first birthday.  Frontline Fellowship is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Mrs Hammond was born into a...

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire “The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have paid tribute to the service of Caroline Boddington, who has announced she will be leaving the National Church Institutions (NCIs) at the end of 2021 after 17 years as the...

Book Review: The Lullingstone Secret

The Lullingstone Secret Jill Masters Wakeman Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913133115, 97pp, £5.95) Lullingstone Villa in Kent is a fascinating site to visit whatever one’s awareness of ancient history and is lavishly curated by English Heritage. Since its excavation in the...

Book Review: The Welsh Methodist Society

The Welsh Methodist Society The Early Societies in South-West Wales 1737-1750 Eryn M. White University of Wales Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781786835796, 350pp, £24.99) In many respects, the church in Britain continues to live off the puttering afterglow of the eighteenth...

Eastern Rite Catholics: What Are They?

Eastern Rite Catholics What Are They? Former Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s recent defection to Rome has highlighted earlier efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to bring other ecclesiastical jurisdictions into its orbit.  There are a total of twenty-three which have...

The Puritans: a Transatlantic History

BR287 

 

The Puritans: a Transatlantic History 

David D. Hall 

Princeton 

ISBN 9780691151397 

Hardback 

Not just ‘another book on the Puritans’. Rather, a book on the Puritans that tells you what others don’t.  

So why is it different? For one thing, it is comprehensive in scope and not limited as many books on Puritanism are. Hall seeks to tell the Puritan story in chronological order from the 1530s to 1662. For another, it has an entire chapter on Scotland; thirty one pages that mention a multitude of matters from the Golden Act to the covenants.  

Further, there are Anglican and Presbyterian Puritans as well as Irish and American Puritans. Truly comprehensive in scope. There are of course the usual rogues and troublesome characters such as Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams.  

In addition, we are treated to a wealth of biographical and theological details. Hall takes us through the various nuances, differences and controversies that sometimes engulfed Puritanism.  

Hall rightly slays all the caricatures that abound in reaction to the Puritans showing us that they were a race of people dedicated to serving God both personally and collectively. Consider Lucy Hutchinson (d.1681) who records that before the 1640s ‘puritan’ was not a label that she or her husband (who died in 1663) would have acknowledged. However, their experience of war prompted her to embrace it as a name for her husband’s ethics.  

It is gratifying that Hall does attempt to apply (or not apply) the term to the right people. Thus the Anabaptists are not puritans. 

There are some surprising comments. When Hall discusses the law, he alleges, regarding the law imposed upon ancient Israel, that most of it was irrelevant for Christians. This is wholly incorrect. Were Hall to read the Larger Catechism on the Moral Law he would see differently. Another comment occurs under providence where he refers to a ‘Christianised folklore of wonders and portents’. Hall also adopts the politically correct term   ‘humankind ’. 

There are 130 pages of endnotes. These are a must-read, where there is a wealth of additional material, snippets and other gems. 

Given the wealth of material some readers may find it all exhausting. It is however an outstanding work and deserves the widest readership. It will surely become a reference work for many.  

Rev E T Kirkland 

Previous

Next