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From Martin Bucer to Richard Baxter: "discipline" and reformation in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England.

Already famous for his best-selling books on Christian devotion and increasingly infamous for his attempts at a theological synthesis of Calvinist and Arminian perspectives on salvation--which (no surprise) pleased hardly anyone--Richard Baxter (1615-91) nearly succeeded in redefining English pastoral practice before the Restoration brought his experiment in pastor-led, parish-based reformation to a frustrating end. At the core of his efforts to bring reformation to Kidderminster lay his efforts to establish a parish-based system of church discipline that would preserve the integrity of the sacraments and thus rob separatists of one of their primary excuses for abandoning the parochial system. This article seeks to place Baxter's effort to develop a strategy for an effective church discipline in its historical context. In particular, I will first consider the precedents to the system which Richard Baxter developed for St. Mary's parish. Special attention will be given to Martin Bucer's Reformation-era prescription for reforming the discipline of the church and the intriguing possibility that Baxter's strategy was actually a recovery of Bucerian pastoral emphases. Second, I will trace the evolution of Baxter's own program for discipline. Finally, I will discuss the impact Baxter's discipline had on his wider goal of reformation, both in his parish and beyond.

During a frank exchange of letters in 1656 with his most prominent parishioner, Sir Ralph Clare, who had scrupled to receive Communion at services divergent from the Book of Common Prayer, Richard Baxter stood back from the discussion and bluntly addressed what he took to be the underlying issue at stake: the controversial core of his pastoral agenda--the establishment of a procedure for church discipline.
 I take it to be a heinous, scandalous sin, to live from under
 Discipline.... And therefore I dare not admit such [to the Lord's Supper]
 till they repent, no more than I would do a Drunkard or Adulterer.... I
 dare not be an Instrument of hindering Reformation, and the Execution of
 just Discipline, by gratifying the Unruly that fly from it, and set
 themselves against it....

 Besides, the Office of a Pastor is not only to Preach and Administer the
 Sacrament, but also to admonish, rebuke, and exercise some Discipline for
 the Good of the Church: And he that will not profess his consent to these,
 doth not by his partial submitting to the rest [i.e. attending services]
 shew his consent that I be his Pastor. I will be a Pastor to none that will
 not be under Discipline: That were to be a half Pastor, and indulge Men in
 an unruliness and contempt of the Ordinance of Christ. (1)

Devising and implementing a system of discipline for his parish proved Richard Baxter's most daunting task as a pastor. It is easy to forget that Baxter was one of many hundreds of ministers attempting to cope with the vacuum of spiritual authority in the fragmenting aftermath of the civil wars. (2) As we shall see, it took several years of trial and error to hit upon a process that gave some hope of success. But while other pastors labored in obscurity, Baxter's publishing successes and his leadership in developing the Worcestershire Association ensured that his own efforts as a pastor to bring reformation to his parish would increasingly attract a nationwide audience. And because so many of his colleagues took note of his efforts and claims of success, Baxter's example served, in the few years before the Restoration, to redefine the way puritan ministry was both understood and practiced.


Scandalous discrepancy between a Christian's profession and a Christian's behavior has vexed local churches from New Testament days. (3) For many Christian communities since then, the operative Biblical model for establishing a procedure for discipline in local churches of Christians has been found in Matt. 18:15-17. (4) Following the Reformation, right application of this passage became of increasing concern to many continental and English Protestants attempting to reconstruct New Testament polity and community life. But both in the discussion and events as they unfolded in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England and in later historical literature, the tendency has been to confuse the actual pastoral practice of local church discipline with the wider issue of ecclesiology. (5) While the two are certainly related, this confusion has served to obfuscate the local pastoral issues with which clergy struggled and which provided tinder for their debates on reforming church structures and polity. And though the struggles by England's more zealous Protestants to complete the reformation of the Church of England's government and worship have been capably handled by recent historians, the pastoral concerns and practices which lay at the heart of this puritan agitation have attracted little attention. Even if the impulse to escalate the discussion to the wider issues of polity and worship is impossible to resist entirely, the focus of this study remains the pastoral issue of local church discipline.

As with his perspective on reformation and his strategy for pastoral ministry, Martin Bucer presented England's Protestant leadership with the most comprehensive prescription to date for reforming the Edwardian church's medieval discipline. (6) As Bucer was the first Protestant in England to argue for a revision of parish discipline in light of reformation priorities, his significance to any further discussion of later Elizabethan and Stuart efforts to reform the church's discipline cannot be overstated. (7) Fresh from what appeared to be the crushing defeat of reformation in Strasbourg, he hoped to help his adopted Church of England avoid the disaster that had struck the Protestant churches of his homeland--a disaster that had occurred, he was convinced, through their neglect of discipline. (8)

Bucer's understanding of church discipline, championed during his remaining months in England, evolved during his twenty-five years of ministry in Strasbourg. (9) Bucer s discipline incorporated four interrelated elements into the life of the church: Public profession of faith and of obedience to the church and its pastors as a prerequisite to participation in Communion (most effectively implemented through an involved process of confirmation); catechetical instruction and private oversight of children and adults through regular meetings between the pastor and his parishioners; the oversight of morality in the parish by the pastor and lay elders, combined with the exercise of mutual admonition amongst the members; and the establishment of a disciplinary process along with the use of penance to promote either notorious sinners' repentance or their exclusion from Communion and the community through excommunication. (10)

Bucer felt any reformation of doctrine was contingent upon the transformation of both ministry and discipline at the parish level. (11) From his perspective the traditional, sacrament-centered practice of ministry had served to inoculate parishioners against any sense of their need for Christ, and had distanced them from any awareness of the biblical means for their salvation. "For the people have been led by [those who defended the `papistical tyranny'] into thinking that if they have been baptized and take part in the common ceremonies, and do not interfere in the affairs of the so-called priests, then they belong to the church and congregation of Christ, even though they may never really have come to know Christ our Lord, and live in open sin, relying for their comfort in God not on Christ, but on the ceremonies of the so-called priests, their own good works, and the merits of dead saints. Indeed, they would be unable to place their trust in Christ the Lord, since in all their life and conduct they contemptuously despise him and his holy word." (12) In view of this, Bucer was convinced not only that the careful application of church discipline would reap pastoral benefits, but also that it could be a means by which parishioners ignorant of the reformers' gospel could be evangelized.

At the heart of Bucer's concern lay care for the integrity of the Lord's Supper, because of the "grievous harm done by sharing the Lord's table with those whose sin is known and repentance unknown." Great damage was done to the church's witness in the world when so many "who perhaps live for a long time at enmity with their neighbors or who have fallen into wild sexual immorality, serious blasphemy and contempt of God ... yet come to the Lord's table without any penance or sign of repentance, without even acknowledging their sins ... indeed sadly often without turning from their offenses and without being reconciled to their neighbors." Because of this, Bucer took steps to ensure that Communion was "not to be shared with anyone whose repentance has not yet been recognized." (13)

In De Regno Christi Bucer elaborated the necessity of making adult church privileges such as Communion contingent upon a profession of faith and of obedience to the church and pastors, especially through an enhanced process of confirmation. "[Pastors] should require of individual Christians their personal profession of faith and Christian obedience: of adults before they are baptized; and of those who are baptized as infants, when they have been catechized and instructed in the gospel of Christ; and if any do not present themselves to be catechized and taught and refuse to follow all the precepts of Christ and to make a legitimate profession of faith and of the obedience to be rendered to Christ and his church, they ought to be rejected from the company of the saints and the communion of the sacraments." (14)

Bucer recognized, however, that such discipline could not stand alone without intensive pastoral oversight. Clear teaching from the Word must be supplemented by personal involvement in the life of each parishioner. Effective pastors who wished to "keep themselves clean of the blood of those of their flocks who are perishing should not only publicly administer Christian doctrine, but also announce, teach, and entreat repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and whatever contributes toward piety, among all who do not reject this doctrine, even at home and with each one privately." (15)

Even under Edward VI's Protestant regime, Bucer's finely tuned scheme for discipline was never implemented, and when Protestantism was re-established under Elizabeth, Bucer's model was apparently never considered. (16) The missionary task confronting English Protestants in the earliest days of Elizabeth's reign served, for many, to make any discussion of church discipline a luxury. (17) Even so, the increasing frustration expressed by the returning Marian exiles and their converts over the perceived incompatibility between a Protestant and reformed gospel and a medieval Catholic and essentially unreformed episcopal government drove many among the more zealous Protestants to press for the completion of what, hitherto, had been a reformation of doctrine only. Though the Genevan redaction of reformation held discipline to be one of the marks of a true church, the version finally adopted in the Church of England's Thirty-me Articles made no such ecclesiastical commitment. (18) As Patrick Collinson notes, "No blemish of the Elizabethan Church was more prominent or more wounding to the puritan conscience than the general absence of discipline, in the reformed sense of the term." (19) The situation was not, however, irremediable. The preface of the 1559 Prayer Book service of commination contained a candid acknowledgment of the place of effective discipline and its absence in the church as presently constituted. Moreover, the preface appeared to stress the transitional nature of the church's present government, holding the door open to a future continuation of the reformation's progress: "until the said discipline may be restored again (which is much to be wished)." (20)

The resulting concern for discipline, however, diverged from Bucer's strategy. Rather than focus on transforming local pastoral practice, many Elizabethan Protestants sought to change those aspects of Elizabeth's reformation perceived as unfinished, namely the ceremonies and government of the established church. (21) "Discipline" became a code word pointing to the establishment of a system of church government that most closely reflected New Testament priorities. For most, the model in mind was Calvin's Geneva. As a result, Bucer's notion of a reformed parish discipline was essentially squeezed out of the discussion.

The inherited system of parish discipline within the Church of England was the province not of the local minister, but of the bishop, and subject to the judgment of the bishop on visitation or of the diocesan consistory court system. (22) If a potential disciplinary case succeeded in arousing the attention of the parish church wardens, the offender would be presented before the visitation or consistory court, and a decision made as to the appropriate punishment and means of restoration. (23) Though "reform [was] the aim of every visitation," ecclesiastical justice as such served more as a deterrent and a statement of the boundaries of tolerable behavior than as an attempt to exercise discipline at the local parish level. (24) Such discipline, if it occurred at all, was intended to punish notorious and unrepentant offenders as examples to the rest, and thereby to enforce outward conformity not just to the church but to societal norms as well. (25) But for many clergymen influenced by Calvin's example and writings, the episcopal system inherited from the medieval Roman Catholic Church had usurped the prerogatives of discipline that were, by biblical right, local and congregational, and to be administered by the local pastor and elders. (26) Nevertheless, national and local efforts to modify or overturn the existing episcopal structure met with repeated frustration. Under the pretext of enforcing conformity, these more fundamental disagreements with respect to local church discipline under both Elizabeth and James were pushed by the bishops to the margins, where they either simmered in a frustrated state of semi-conformity, or radicalized, leading ultimately to the rejection of the episcopal structure altogether as being beyond reform. (27)

Conformable puritans were tolerated under Archbishop Abbot, but those with a separatist agenda were not. While concerned to cope with the notoriously ungodly in their parishes, the more accommodating puritans were still hopeful that the existing parish system itself could be reformed. But even amongst these more patient puritans, there grew an increasing frustration with a structure and a hierarchy that seemed to fear more the implications of nonconformity and separatism than blatant hypocrisy and scandal at Communion.

The most intriguing sources for the pastoral practices of Jacobean and Caroline clergy are Samuel Clarke's collections of biographies of exemplary puritan worthies. (28) Clarke was a friend of Baxter's and well acquainted with Baxter's work in Kidderminster. It is therefore difficult to gauge the extent to which he presents examples of godly ministry that predate Baxter, but that are written from a perspective influenced by the later pastoral agenda that Baxter himself set in motion. (29) Though Clarke's Lives prove accurate enough when checked against parallel accounts (where they exist), his didactic agenda necessitates caution in their use. (30) Often it is the material he chooses not to include that raises questions concerning his overall reliability as a source. (31) Even so, Clarke's biographies remain valuable sources when used with caution. For many of these ministers, without his material there would be no story to tell.

In his Collection of the Lives of Ten Eminent Divines (1662), Clarke appears to confirm an early use by some ministers of additional means to ensure the integrity of the Lord's Supper. The example of William Gouge (1578-1653) seems intended, however, to make contradictory points. On the one hand, Gouge's efforts to "fence the table" are presented as an exception to contemporary practice. But on the other hand, Clarke also wishes to depict Gouge's efforts as part of a long-standing effort among puritan pastors to enforce parish discipline with respect to Communion. Clarke observes that "before these times of Examination of persons, before their admission to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, [Gouge] used to go to the houses of the better sort in his Parish ... that he might examine how fit they were to be admitted to that Ordinance ... and then his manner was, not to admit any of the younger sort to the Sacrament, till in his judgement he found them fitted for it." (32)

Shortly before his death in 1683, Clarke published an anonymous account of Samuel Fairclough's life in his Lives of Sundry Eminent Persons, in order to make similar points. In particular, the author emphasized the cooperative relationship that existed between Fairclough and the local magistrate, Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston, especially in the matter of parish discipline. Their strategy "was to hinder the intrusion, or approaching of the visibly prophane unto the Table of the Lord." To facilitate this, "it was unanimously agreed, that everyone who should desire to Communicate, should first publickly own his Baptismal Covenant for once, before his admission to the Lord Supper; and that afterwards they should submit unto admonition, in case of the visible and apparent breach of that Covenant." (33) The author comments that this "administration of Confirmation ... could not but make a very effectual Reformation in that Town." As a result, "prophaneness was forced now to hide its head; Drunkenness, Swearing, Cursing, Bastardy, and the like, as they were not practised, so they were scarce known; divers persons having lived many years in that Parish and in the whole time they have never heard an Oath sworn, or even saw one person drunk, as they have professed." (34)

Laying aside for the moment questions about the reliability of these portraits, we see that Clarke's accounts square with other sources detailing the persistence of puritan concerns over the lack of local discipline, especially with respect to the celebration of the sacraments and a desire to promote a "reformation of manners" within the parish. (35) The Fairclough account appears to be another example of the cooperation between like-minded ministers and magistrates to regulate parish life. Ministers motivated to promote reformation found magistrates concerned to control social disorder useful allies, and vice versa. In the case of Kedington (pronounced and sometimes written as "Ketton"), however, without corroborating evidence from parish and court records, it is difficult to confirm the extent of Fairclough's success beyond that of reputation. In another study of a single parish over several generations, Wrightson and Levine's study of Terling in Essex, the authors suggest that the "confrontational reformist impulse took root most strongly in a particular segment of local society, and that it converged in this social milieu with social anxieties to produce ultimately a program of reformation which in practice became directed primarily at the village poor." Although Wrightson allows that puritanism itself was not a crude form of "class ideology," but that its "reformatory ideals [fused] with expressions of social anxiety," one wonders if puritan concern for verifiable reformation and magistrate concern for social control were not mutually exploited in such situations, one for the authority to impose a reforming regime, and the other for the theological justification of a particular social policy. (36) However, the fact that William Gouge focused his disciplinary efforts on "the better sort in his Parish" raises a cautionary flag to those who might be tempted to view puritan concern for discipline as a means to control the parish poor. (37) Nevertheless, attempts by Elizabethan puritan clergy and laypeople to impose a legislated reformation on the way religion was practiced witness to the long-held assumption that the optimum state for further reformation and the advance of the gospel involved this cooperation between ministry and magistrate. But under an unsympathetic Laudian regime (and indeed throughout the Elizabethan and early Stuart period), these attempts to impose local puritan reformation through the exercise of parish discipline were actually illegal, and were perceived as locally divisive and potentially subversive. Though Archbishop Laud shared many of the same concerns for parish order and morality, his efforts to control preaching and impose uniformity along a more sacramentalist and "anti-Calvinist" line enflamed desires among puritans, both lay and clerical, for a reformed national church government and discipline. These desires were further frustrated by an episcopal discipline that, from the perspective of its puritan victims, was going after entirely the wrong crowd. (38)

But puritan concern for discipline was more than a reaction to the perceived shortcomings of the episcopal order. Anxiety was also fueled by a growing sophistication in the way puritans understood the sacraments, particularly the Lord's supper. (39) Laudian concern that the Lord's Supper be rightly celebrated through conformity to proper external ceremony was curiously matched by puritan clergy. Though scandalized by the reintroduction of what they felt were popish externals, these ministers were nonetheless concerned to ensure proper internal preparation, namely participants' examination of their hearts in order to partake in the sacrament in a worthy manner. (40) Under Laudian censorship, however, puritan concerns over worthy participation were allowed expression only as helps to personal piety; the actual practice of church discipline remained, from their perspective, appallingly insufficient. (41) It would take the collapse of the Laudian regime, the shocking proliferation of separatists and sects, and the new political and religious reality wrought by the Civil War to create the conditions in which a new paradigm for local church discipline could be forged.

Efforts to reform church structures along presbyterian lines were reignited with the collapse of Laud's episcopal regime, and puritan gentry seized the initiative in parliament to finish England's reformation. (42) Once again, however, concern over local church discipline became subsumed in the general rush to reform the entire structure, and to worship "according to the Word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches." (43) But overthrowing episcopacy and the system of church courts proved by far the easier task. As Martin Ingram observes, "[s]o swiftly did [the church courts] fall ... that no proper plans were made for their replacement; and in any case the courts had dominated the scene for so long and performed such complex functions that an adequate substitute was hard to find. Only when they had gone did it become apparent what an important role they had, for all their imperfections, managed to play." (44)

Following the army's failure to enforce the Westminster Assembly's reforms, clergy beyond London and the counties of Essex and Lancashire where presbyterianism had been established were left to their own devices with respect to local discipline. (45) In the resulting confusion, a clergyman like Ralph Josselin of Earls Colne, Suffolk struggled to channel the discontent felt by the committed minority of his flock with the larger, more profane parochial community, in ways that might neutralize the urge to separate and form a gathered congregation. (46)

Among the would-be reformers, disappointment with the frustration of legislated reformation was soon displaced by horror at the rapid proliferation of separatists and sects responding to the vacuum of ecclesiastical authority and encouraged by Cromwell's and the new regime's professed concern for (certain kinds of) "tender consciences." (47) English separatists took full advantage of the gap between the pulling down of episcopacy and the setting up of its replacement, and made lack of discipline a pretext for gathering verifiable saints from what they perceived as hopelessly corrupt local parishes to form true churches. (48) The increasingly alarmed puritan clergy took seriously the possibility of Roman Catholics capitalizing on the religious confusion spawned by the separatists and radical sects. When Richard Baxter resumed his pastoral ministry upon his return to Kidderminster in 1647, the fact that radicals used the lack of local church discipline as the primary justification for their separating agendas did not escape his attention. (49)


In his Reliquiae Baxterianae, Richard Baxter paints the sunny picture of a Kidderminster experiencing the double blessing of an effective parish discipline and the resulting reformation. (50) What he does not mention, however, is that discipline and its beneficial effects were the result of a painstaking process that occupied his pastoral attention for more than a decade following his return to Kidderminster in 1647. Though he nowhere describes the precise sequence by which he devised and implemented his program for church discipline, his thoughts were never far from his latest pastoral initiative. Through his correspondence and published writings, it is possible to reconstruct his progress as he attempted to lead the three thousand souls of St. Mary's parish into the promised land of a properly disciplined church.

Baxter was persuaded from his study of Scripture that parish ministers were endowed with episcopal authority with respect to discipline, a view that formed the biblical foundation of his arguments in Gildas Salvianus. (51) While the fall of prelatical episcopacy theoretically allowed the power of the keys to revert to local pastors, the failure to enforce the Westminster Assembly's substitute settlement confronted clergy like Baxter with the unprecedented absence of any guiding structure for local discipline. Some pastors responded by suspending the celebration of the Lord's Supper in their parishes, for fear of incurring God's judgment by offering the sacrament to people whose less-than-godly lives and inability to articulate their faith called into question their true standing before God. This led to the scandal of some parishes going for months or even years without Communion being offered. (52) Even so, it is unlikely that Baxter would have troubled with such a mammoth undertaking had it not been for the provocation of the separatists he encountered during and after the civil wars. Baptists, Quakers and other separatists were having increasing success in recruiting disaffected parishioners from the mixed fields of the parishes to the gathered churches of true believers. The repeated flashpoint was the perceived scandal of allowing notorious and unrepentant sinners to partake of the Lord's Supper along with the saints. There was an urgent sense on the part of clergy that something must be done. But in the absence of an enforceable common discipline, pastors were left on their own to provide for their parishes as best they could. (53) The resulting ecclesiological emergency provided the final impetus pushing Baxter into action. But as Baxter was quick to learn, the issue of discipline reached far beyond providing an adequate fence around the Communion table. The nature of the sacraments, the definition of church membership, the role of confirmation, the establishment of disciplinary procedures, the nature of pastoral oversight--Baxter discovered that a review of discipline necessitated a review of each of these areas of church life and ministry, with major implications for the way Christianity was experienced at the local level.

Later, reflecting on the confusing aftermath of the Westminster Assembly, Baxter acknowledged a certain indebtedness to the "Anabaptists" as God's warning providence to stop the "common, secret, unobserved transition of all people into the name ... and Priviledges of Adult Christians," by ceasing to take "Infant-baptism, and Profession of our Parents, as sufficient Evidence ... [for the] Priviledges of [adult] Christians." Such separatists were God's providential scourge to drive pastors (such as himself?) to "require of [parishioners] a sober, serious Profession and Covenanting by themselves, in owning their Baptismal Covenant, before we number them with Adult Christians." Baxter perceived that the trouble caused by the separatists would, by forcing pastors to make fundamental changes in the way church membership was understood, "prove a mercy to us in the End, if we have the wit and grace to learn this ... and then the Reformation will do us more good, then [sic] ever the Anabaptists did us harm." (54)

Baxter's commitment to the exercise of church discipline was already clear in 1649, with the publication of his first book, Aphorisms of Justification. Answering questions on how one could discern whether someone was able to receive Communion, and how a parish not involved with one of the new presbyteries could hope to effect church discipline, Baxter urged that disciplinary procedures be implemented, both to stop the mouths of lazy separatists who abandoned the weak and lost for the sake of purity, and to maintain the integrity of the Lord's Supper. (55) His letter "To my dearly beloved Friends ... of Kederminster," prefacing his Saints Everlasting Rest in 1650, also reveals finely honed ideals in its descriptions of the pastor's office and the processes of mutual admonition and discipline. (56) It was his attempt to implement these ideals, however, that caused Baxter trouble. His later recollections allude to a controversy, during the period after his return to Kidderminster, during which he met with significant resistance within the parish to his initial attempts to establish discipline, particularly as it related to the Lord's Supper: "[T]he state of my own Congregation, and the necessity of my Duty, constrained me to make some Attempt [to establish discipline in Kidderminster]. For I must administer the Sacraments to the Church, and the ordinary way of Examining every Man before they come, I was not able to prove necessary, and the people were averse to it: So that I was forced to think of the matter more seriously." (57)

Other than this last hint, we know tantalizingly little about Baxter's response to this parish-wide rebuff to his initial attempts to institute discipline. We do not know which colleagues he may have consulted, for his surviving letters show him only dispensing advice or arguing his positions, not asking for input. Nor are we given any indication of anything he might have read during this time that proved influential. (58) We do have his recollection that, once he resolved on a new attempt to establish a workable discipline that was "most agreeable to the Word of God," it struck him that "if all the Ministers did accord together in one way, the People would much more readily submit, than to the way of any Minister that was singular." (59) This idea set in motion the proceedings leading to the establishment of the Worcestershire Association. But at the heart of the Association lay Baxter's already-formulated strategy to establish a workable church discipline.

It appears that by attempting to enforce a kind of church discipline on the parishioners in Kidderminster, Baxter found himself having to choose between two unworkable options: He could either begin the process of identifying, admonishing and, if necessary, banning all the impenitent sinners within the parish from Communion, or he could continue as before and forebear the practice of parish discipline. His conscience would not allow the latter, for then he would betray his calling from God to shepherd God's flock and simply hand the church over to godlessness. (60) However, "if we shall exercise the Discipline of Christ upon all in our ordinary Parishes what work shall we make? I will tell you what work, from so much experience." Baxter gives a bleak answer to his own question: "We shall have such a multitude to excommunicate, or reject that it will make the sentence grow almost contemptible by the commonness.... But all this is nothing: but that which sticks upon my heart is this.... We shall be the cruellest enemies to the Souls of our poor peple in the world: and put them the very next step to Hell. For as soon as even we have rejected them, and cast them under publique shame, they hate us to the heart, and either will never heare us more, or hear us with so much hatred and malice or bitterness of spirit, that they are never like to profit by us." (61)

Grappling with these two options forced Baxter to step back and re-examine the ends and means of puritan ministry, and his resulting strategy for discipline was at a level of sophistication new to the English context. "Either we must have Churches without the Discipline of Christ," wrote Baxter, "or else we must utterly undo our people, body and Soul forever, and plunge them into a desperate state, and make all our following labours in vaine to multitudes of them." "Or else," he determined, "we must take another course, than to admit all our Parishes to Adult Church-membership, as was formerly done, without preparation, and fitness for such a state." (62) It is likely that this alternative "course" provided the insight which transformed Baxter's understanding of pastoral ministry and became the foundation for each of the distinctive modifications he would make in his pastoral practice.

Baxter did not divulge the source of this new "course." But his later emphatic commendation of Martin Bucer's strategy for "Parish-Discipline, and pure Communion"--in a letter to six moderate bishops of the Restoration Church of England in An Apology for the Nonconformists Ministry (1681)--suggests that the solution to Baxter's dilemma may have come from a timely reading of Bucer's Scripta Anglicana: "O that all our Clergy would read and weigh what Bucer saith copiously and vehemently for Parish-Discipline, and pure Communion, de Regno Dei, de Animarum Cura, in censura Liturg. specially de Confirmatione and what he saith of Pastoral Government, Ordination and Order, and of imposing such Ceremonies as ours (It was written in England, and for England)." (63) Indeed, as we shall see, Baxter shared Bucer's concerns and emphases; and the processes that both devised, such as confirmation, visitation, covenants for adult membership, and procedures to discipline the unrepentant, could almost be interchanged.

By finding "another course," Baxter formulated a sustainable pastoral strategy in which church discipline could work, not by becoming the negative and censorious tool of overly-moralistic pastoral efforts, but by providing the procedural boundaries in which an effective and essentially positive pastoral ministry might take place. The way forward for Baxter was suggested by a distinction (which Bucer had also made) between infant and adult church membership, which preserved both the integrity of the parish system and the validity of infant baptism. (64)

Against the arguments of the separatists, Baxter affirmed that the parishes of the Church of England were true particular churches, though he agreed with them that they were in dire need of reform. The members of the parish had been baptized and received into the church as infants, and thus every parishioner was entitled to the rights of infant church membership. (65) Provision had been made in church canons for those baptized as infants to proceed to the privileges and responsibilities of adult membership through the process of confirmation, a process that was supposedly secured by episcopal verification of the confirmands' grasp of the faith. (66) But as Baxter's own ad hoc experience of being "bishopped" indicates, confirmation remained in many places a mere formality, despite episcopal protestations to the contrary. (67) Baxter recalled, "[a]nd though the Canons require, that the Curate or Minister send a Certificate that children have learnt the Catechism; yet there was no such thing done.... This was the old careless practice of this Excellent Duty of Confirmation ... the common way, by which our Parishes come to be Churches, and our people to be Christians." (68) Thus "by this untried Entrance of all sorts into our Churches," men and women who were ignorant of basic Christian teaching and whose lives were a scandal to Christian profession were admitted into full adult membership and given the right to participate in the Lord's Supper, and given the assurance thereby that their eternal well-being was secure. It was this considerable block of people in any given parish that constituted the greatest hindrance to an effective church discipline, and indeed an effective ministry. (69)

But the solution would require far more than simply tightening the procedure of episcopal confirmation. In the absence of a functioning episcopate, Baxter was free to improvise a process, managed by the local pastor within the local parish, whereby the rights of adult church membership were made contingent upon a credible profession of faith and of consent to submit to pastoral oversight and discipline. Those who found themselves unfit for such a step could undergo a period of preparation to acquaint themselves with the fundamentals of Christian faith without calling their baptismal rights into question. The pastor could apply himself directly to helping them come to Christian faith and profession. Discipline would be exercised only on those who had willingly consented to place themselves under it. Thus the Lord's Supper would be reserved for those in the parish who understood and professed the faith and who had willingly agreed to place themselves under the pastor's oversight. The ignorant or otherwise ungodly members of the parish were excluded from the Lord's Supper, but given a clear procedure by which they might become full adult members. (70)

Baxter put his new "course" into practice in Kidderminster some time between 1650 and 1652. And because his neighbor pastors liked what they saw happening in Kidderminster, when presented with Baxter's concurrent ideas for ministerial association they made Baxter's church member covenant the heart of their 1653 Agreement and the basis of associational discipline: for "Discipline cannot be exercised without the peoples consent ... and we have at present no full discovery of their consent." (71)

Within the context of Baxter's redefined relationship between pastor and parishioners, dealing with errant members became a relatively straightforward application of the dominical process outlined in Matt. 18:15-17. (72) Enforcement of this discipline, at least as Baxter himself put it into practice, involved a significant logistical commitment on the part of ministers, magistrates and church members. Even before the pastor was involved, church members were required to attempt loving admonishment of their wayward fellow-member in private in the presence of a witness. If such private admonishment was unsuccessful in promoting repentance, then the case was to be brought to the attention of the church officers, who would "hear the case, and admonish them with authority." If repentance was still not forthcoming, then it was the minister's duty "to rebuke such before all the Church, and to call them publickly to repentance." (73) If after all this there was no change, the person would be warned by the minister in private of the eternal and temporal consequences of a continued impenitent heart. At this point, Baxter would enlist the help of two councils designed specifically to help recalcitrant sinners understand the seriousness of their condition. Once a month on the day before the meeting of the Association, Baxter scheduled a "parochial meeting," attended by three local Justices of the Peace, three or four ministers (including Baxter and his assistants), three or four deacons and "twenty of the ancient and godly Men of the Congregation, who pretended to no Office, as Lay-Elders, but only met as the Trustees of the whole Church." (74) The offender was required to be present, and his case was heard, and he was urged to repent. If he was still unwilling to repent, he was then required to attend the meeting of the Association, which would be held on the following day. There he would be further admonished, "with all possible tenderness." This failing to produce repentance, his case would be referred back to the local minister who, after several Sundays of further unsuccessful public admonition and prayer, would act to remove the impenitent sinner from Communion and fellowship.

There are certainly similarities between Baxter's "course" and discipline as attempted by an increasing number of godly pastors during Civil War and interregnum England, such as efforts to restrict the "visibly prophane" from participating in Communion, "owning" one's baptismal covenant and submitting to "admonition." But at the heart of Baxter's reconfiguration of discipline in the 1650s was the redefinition of the pastor's relationship with the parish in general, and with those parishioners who wished to own the rights and privileges of full adult membership in the church in particular. (75) Summarizing the emphasis which enabled effective discipline and sustained the heart of his pastoral agenda, Baxter argued: "Readers, because as it is not having food, but eating it that must nourish you, nor having clothes, but wearing them that must keep you warm, nor having a Physician, but opening your cases to him, and taking and following his advice, that must cure you; so it is not having faithful Pastors, but understanding their Office, and use, and applying your selves to them for necessary advice in publike and private, and submitting to their holy Ministrations, that must make you savingly partakers of the blessing of their Office and labours." (76)

For Baxter, church discipline involved more than the mutual admonition and church censure implied in Matt. 18:15-17. And it went farther than simply preventing the impenitent from participating in the Lord's Supper. It necessitated the redirection of the minister's time and energy into the personal oversight of each person's spiritual condition. This meant, first of all, knowing the people of his parish so that as their shepherd he might know their spiritual condition and needs. Baxter recognized that this could only occur through a process of systematic visitation. (77) But he also observed that this personal oversight served to make his preaching more effective. (78) Second, it meant redefining the relationship between pastor and parishioner by calling each adult parish member to demonstrate an understanding of the basics of the faith, and a willingness to have Baxter as their pastor. (79) This would be expressed through the use of a written covenant professing faith and expressing consent to Baxter's pastoral oversight, along with a public profession of faith and obedience. (80) Participation in the special rights of adult members, such as the Lord's Supper, was made contingent on willingness to profess faith and obedience, though other parish rights such as burial, marriage and visitation of the sick were still available to baptized parishioners. (81) Third, it involved a process by which those not yet ready to make such a profession might be taught the basics of the faith through the use of a catechism. Baxter later decided to go beyond the standard practice of catechizing children and servants weekly in the church by adding an element of catechesis in his regular round of visitation to all the families of his parish. (82) Fourth, it involved a process of confirmation, by having young people who were of age make a covenant and profession of faith and obedience, by which they gained the rights of adult church members, namely participation in the Lord's Supper. (83) And fifth, it involved establishing a disciplinary process by which those who had consented to pastoral oversight could, if found in a state of unrepentant sin, be admonished with the hopes of provoking repentance, first in private by fellow members and, if unsuccessful, by successively more public means. (84) If the offender remained impenitent even after the pastor's rebuke and admonition before the whole church, he or she would be banned from Communion and shunned by the rest of the community.

Baxter admitted this final aspect of discipline was a last resort, when the pastor's focus was forced to shift at last from the care of the individual to the welfare and purity of the whole church. (85) What set Baxter apart from the separatists' concern for the purity of the church and the integrity of the sacraments, however, was his concern that the "poor people" of the parishes be given the opportunity to make amends if it were a matter of ungodliness or comprehend the gospel if it were a matter of ignorance: "Do not do as the lazy separatists, that gather a few of the best together, and take then [sic] only for their charge, leaving the rest to sink or swim.... If any walk scandalously, and disorderly, deal with them for their recovery.... If they prove obstinate after all, then avoid them and cast them off; But do not so cruelly as to unchurch them by hundreds & by thousands, and separate from them as so many Pagans, and that before any such means hath been used for their recovery." (86) Instead "we must use all the means we can to instruct the ignorant in the matters of their salvation," through public preaching and private personal instruction, laboring "to be acquainted with the state of all our people as fully as we can" and applying the remedy thereunto. (87) Baxter had understood all along that the real need for most of the people in his parish was for their conversion. He now possessed the means to do everything humanly possible to effect it.

With the possible exception of Samuel Clarke's 1683 portrayal of Samuel Fairclough's ministry, Baxter's reconfigured program of church discipline was a different species altogether from anything being practiced by the pastors of England at the time. But when set alongside Martin Bucer's instructions for discipline, published in Latin folio of his collected English works, Scripta Anglicana, the likeness suggests more than coincidence. At the very least, Baxter implemented a Bucerian program of pastoral oversight and discipline. For as he points out to the moderate bishops addressed in his An Apology for the Nonconformists Ministry (1681), (88) he was not the first person to call the English Church to reform the local parishes by reforming the ministry, to challenge English pastors to know their flock and teach them from house to house, to insist that participation in the Lord's Supper be restricted to those in the parish who would publicly profess their faith and their obedience to the church and pastor, to make confirmation a process of owning one's Christian profession and taking on adult church responsibilities and rights, to demand that all true Christians in the parish submit to discipline and pastoral oversight, or to make the establishment of discipline within the parish the chief means to promote the conversion of the ungodly multitude and the reformation of the community. Baxter's was a call to systematic parish discipline that England had heard before.

The results, if we can credit his own account, were startling. Writing in 1656 in the midst of his labors in Kidderminster, Baxter reflected, "I must confess I find by some experience that this is the work that may Reform indeed; that must expell our common prevailing ignorance; that must bow the stubborn hearts of men; that must ... help the success of our publike preaching; and must make true godliness a commoner thing, through the grace of God, which worketh by means." (89) Later, summarizing the "successes" that marked his ministry, Baxter noted that his preaching was met by "an attentive diligent Auditory," and that so many began to be converted through his preaching and "private conferences" that he was unable to keep count. The "capacious" sanctuary was "usually full, so that we were fain to build five Galleries after my coming thither." And in what became a model description of reformation come to a town, he stated that on Sundays "there was no disorder to be seen in the Streets, but you might hear an hundred Families singing Psalms and repeating Sermons, as you passed through the Streets." Moreover, he claimed that "when I came thither first, there was about one Family in a Street that worshipped God and called on his Name, and when I came away there were some Streets where there was not past one Family in the side of a Street that did not so; and that did not by professing serious Godliness give us hopes of their sincerity." (90)

Baxter was convinced of the decisive role played in his success by church discipline, the exercise of which "was no small furtherance of the Peoples Good: For I found plainly that without it I could not have kept the Religious sort from Separations and Divisions." (91) However, he did not deny that the institution of discipline "displeased many," and that "for fear of Discipline, all the Parish kept off [i.e. refused to participate in Communion] except about Six hundred, when there were in all above Sixteen hundred at Age to be Communicants. Yet because it was their own doing [having chosen not to own their adult membership], and they knew that they might come in when they would, they were quiet in their Separation." (92)

Having endured on the one hand the scorn and abuse of separatists who had given up on the Church of England parish system as hopelessly corrupt and beyond remedy, and on the other the contempt of Prelatists, who saw him as party to the general collapse of authority and the rise of the sects, Baxter looked upon his experience in Kidderminster with a sense of vindication. Those Independents and Baptists who "had before conceited that Parish Churches were the great Obstruction of all true Church Order and Discipline ... did quite change their Minds when they saw what was done at Kiderminster, and began to think now, that it was much through the faultiness of the Parish Ministers, that Parishes are not in a better Case; and that it is a better Work thus to reform the Parishes, than gather Churches out of them." (93) And against the Prelatists' revisionary charge that post-Civil War Nonconformity had left nothing but scandalous disorder in its wake Baxter countered,
 [L]ook into this County where I live, and you shall find a faithful,
 humble, laborious Ministry, Associated and walking in as great unity as
 ever I read of since the Apostles daies.... Was there such a Ministry, or
 such love and concord, or such a godly people under them in the Prelates
 reign? There was not.... Through the great mercy of God, where we had ten
 drunken Readers then, we have not one now: and where we had one able godly
 Preacher then, we have many now: and in my own charge, where there was one
 that then made any shew of the fear of God, I hope there is twenty now: And
 the Families that were want to scorn at holiness, and live in open impiety,
 are now devoted to the worship and obedience of the Lord. This is our loss
 and misery in these times which you so lament. (94)

Baxter could demonstrate that discipline was producing results. But privately, he also wondered if most of those attempting to further reformation in the English Church had not been diverted into a huge cul de sac. Writing in 1655 to Thomas Wadsworth, the Rector of Newington Butts in Surrey, Baxter commented: "It is the common errour that hath confounded us in church affairs, to lay too much upon the forme or way of Government or Order, & too little upon the prudent, resolute Industrious execution." While Independents, Presbyterians and Anglicans debated the relative merits of their systems, want of earnest implementation at the parish level meant inevitable frustration of godly aims. "Of the three sorts of Government now contended for, I thinke the worst well executed by good men will do much more good, than the best if formally & negligently carried 0n."95 Throughout his remaining years in Kidderminster, Baxter would continue his attempts to persuade his colleagues to go beyond mere talk and to practice church discipline; it did not hurt that he had also recovered for England's parishes one of the most effective means to that end.


Richard Baxter had long argued that "publick Preaching is not all the ordinary Work of a faithful Minister" and that an overemphasis on preaching had failed to accomplish the reformation it sought to induce. (96) Moreover, attempts to cure the church's ills by fixing its government and ceremonies had been frustrated. And efforts to resolve the parochial "holy war" between the godly and their less-than-godly neighbors by breaking away from the parish system to establish separate churches of "visible saints" served only to alienate further the very people who needed the gospel. Something more was needed. Baxter's adaptation of a Bucerian blueprint for parish discipline not only preserved the sacraments from profanation and kept potential separatists from causing trouble, but gave him hope that the resulting conversion of nominal parish members would lead to the reformation of the entire community. It was this "something more" that Baxter put into practice in Kidderminster.

But Kidderminster was not the Kedington of Clarke's Fairclough hagiography. And the absence of cooperation between ministry and Kidderminster's leading magistrate meant that the town's reformation, impressive enough as it was, would never be entirely realized. Moreover, Baxter's discipline could only function in the context of the relative religious freedom of the interregnum years or under a modified form of episcopal government. With Cromwell's death in 1658, the former could not last, and in the increasingly vindictive attitude of the Restoration Anglicans, the latter was not to be. The "prelatical" Anglicans who came to dominate the Restoration proceedings made much of their authority and of submission and conformity to their government. They had, according to Baxter, "since the War ... gone to a greater Distance, and grown higher than before, and denyed the very being of the Reformed Churches and Ministry; and avoided all ways of Agreement with them, but by an absolute Submission to their Power (as the Papists do by the Protestants). (97) Under legislation that restored previously sequestered Anglican ministers to their former livings, Baxter's place in Kidderminster was taken by George Dance. (98) But as Baxter noted, "The Ruler of the Vicar, and all the Business there was, Sir Ralph Clare, an old Man, and an old Courtier, who carried it towards me all the time I was there with great Civility and Respect, and sent me a Purse of Money when I went away (but I refused it)." Though he respected Baxter's abilities, he found the changes Baxter introduced in the pastor's role and the church's discipline to be incompatible with his Laudian predispositions. "His Zeal against all that scrupled Ceremonies, or that would not preach for Prelacy, and Conformity, &c. was so much greater than his Respects to me, that he was the principal Cause of my Removal (though he has not owned it to this Day)." (99)

Given the striking ability that English parishioners had demonstrated for generations of avoiding the ire of the authorities and conforming their practice of religion to the prevailing whims of the sovereign (through Henrician and Edwardian reforms, the Marian return of Catholicism, the half-way Elizabethan reforms, the Jacobean status quo, the Caroline re-emphasis of a sacramentalist orientation and de-emphasis of a Calvinist perspective), Sir Ralph may, with some justification, have thought that one more redefinition of right religion would be met yet again with pliable conformity: "I suppose he thought that when I was far enough off, he could so far rule the Town as to reduce the People to his way." But as Baxter saw it, a fundamental change seemed to have taken place in many parishioners' understanding of the role of religion: for Sir Ralph "little knew (nor others of that Temper) how firm conscientious Men are to the Matters of their everlasting Interest, and how little Mens Authority can do against the Authority to God, with those that are unfeignedly subject to him. (100) Religion of convention and convenience had, from Baxter's point of view, been transformed by the "Discipline of Christ," in Kidderminster at least, to religion of the heart. Nevertheless hindsight would persuade Baxter that England's reformation had once again been narrowly averted by England's reluctant Protestants.

(1.) Richard Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae, ed. Matthew Sylvester (1696), 2: [section] 33, 160-62. Baxter's letter is dated 2 Feb. 1656. Sir Ralph Clare (1587-1670) of Caldwall (or Caldwell) Hall, writes Baxter, was "an old Man, of great Courtship and Civility, and very temperate as to Dyet, Apparel and Sports, and seldom would Swear any lowder than [By his Troth, &c.] and shewed me much Personal Reverence and Respect (beyond my desert) and we conversed together with Love and Familiarity." And though Baxter acknowledged Sir Ralph's piety, and found him helpful as an intermediary in his discussions with Peter Heylyn and Henry Hammond, Baxter also stated that he "did more to hinder my greater Successes, than a multitude of others could have done." Clare resisted Baxter's attempts to introduce a system of discipline that went beyond the Book of Common Prayer. "All the Disturbance I had in my own Parish was by Sir Ralph Clare's refusing to Communicate with us, unless I would give it to him kneeling on a distinct Day, and not with those that received it sitting." Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1: [section] 137 (27), 94; 2: [section] 66, 208; 2: [section] 33, 157. See C. D. Gilbert and Richard Warner, Caldwall Hall Kidderminster (Kidderminster: Kenneth Tomkinson, 1999), 1-6; see also Sir L. Stephen and Sir S. Lee, eds, Dictionary of National Biography (London, 1908-9; reprint, London: Oxford University Press, 1973; hereafter DNB).

(2.) John Morrill suggests that the threat posed by the radical sects was exaggerated by the fears of both parliamentarian and royalist clergy. However, even the perception of a fragmenting religious and social order was enough to provoke a response from Baxter and others. See Morrill, "Order and Disorder in the English Revolution," in The Nature of the English Revolution (London: Harlow, 1993), 384-91.

(3.) The stories of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11 and of the Corinthian believer brazenly sleeping with his father's wife in 1 Cor. 5:1-5 served as signal examples of the seriousness with which God treated the unrepentant sinner in the church. However, consideration of the disciplinary practices of the early church and later Western Catholicism takes us beyond the more modest scope of this article.

(4.) "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." The Holy Bible, AV (1611).

(5.) See, for example, Irvonwy Morgan's chapter "A Draft of Discipline," in The Godly Preachers of the Elizabethan Church (London: Epworth, 1965), 175-217. Heinz Schilling, however, does not allow enough room for the genuine religious concern as a motivation for ecclesiastical discipline in his "`History of Crime' or `History of Sin'?--Some Reflections on the Social History of Early Modern Church Discipline," in Politics and Society in Reformation Europe: Essays for Sir Geoffrey Elton on his Sixty-fifth Birthday, eds. E. I. Kouri and T. Scott (London: Macmillan, 1987), 305-6.

(6.) See Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer: A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996), 364-66; N. Scott Amos, "`It is Fallow Ground Here': Martin Bucer as Critic of the English Reformation," Westminster Theological Journal 61 (1999): 41-44. For Bucer's role in the English Reformation, see Constantin Hopf, Martin Bucer and the English Reformation (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1946); Patrick Collinson, "The Reformer and the Archbishop: Martin Bucer and an English Bucerian," in Godly People (London: Hambledon, 1983), 19-44; Patrick Collinson, Archbishop Grindal 1519-1583: The Struggle for a Reformed Church (London: Cape, 1979); H. C. Porter, Reformation and Reaction in Tudor Cambridge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958); D. F. Wright, "Martin Bucer and England--and Scotland," in Martin Bucer and Sixteenth Century Europe, eds. C. Krieger and M. Lienhard (Leiden: Brill, 1993), 2:523-32; Basil Hall, "Martin Bucer in England," in Martin Bucer: Reforming Church and Community, ed. D. F. Wright (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 144-60; Rosemary O'Day, The English Clergy (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1979), 27.

(7.) "John Foxe's De censura sive exommunicatione ecclesiastica rectoque eius usu, published in 1551, was the earliest tract to be written by an English Protestant on the subject of ecclesiastical discipline." C. M. F. Davies and J. M. Facey, "A Reformation Dilemma: John Foxe and the Problem of Discipline," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 39 (1988): 37-65; 37. See also C. M. F. Davies, "`Poor Persecuted Little Flock' or `Commonwealth Christians': Edwardian Protestant Concepts of the Church," in Protestantism and the National Church in Sixteenth Century England, eds. P. Lake and M. Dowling (London: Croom Helm, 1987), 78-102. The complete absence of Martin Bucer in Davies's discussion of discipline and the Edwardian church here is striking. For other Edwardian treatments of discipline, see the official catechism in which discipline is described as a mark of the church, A short Catechism or Plain Instruction containing the sum of Christian learning (1553), sigs. Civ-G3; Thomas Lancaster, The Right and True Understanding of the Supper of the Lord (15507), sig. D4; John Hooper, A Declaration of Christ and His office (Zurich, 1547), in Early Writings, ed. S. Carr (Cambridge, 1843), 90-91.

(8.) Amy Nelson Burnett, "Church Discipline and Moral Reformation in the Thought of Martin Bucer," Sixteenth Century Journal 22 (1991): 439.

(9.) See A. N. Burnett, The Yoke of Christ: Martin Bucer and Christian Discipline (Kirksville, Mo.: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1994); Rene Bornert, La Reforme Protestante du Culte a Strasbourg au XVIe Siecle (1523-1598): Approche Sociologique et Interpretation Theologique in Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought (Leiden: Brill, 1981), 28:84-207.

(10.) Burnett, "Church Discipline and Moral Reformation," 439.

(11.) See Martin Bucer, De Regno Christi in Melanchthon and Bucer, ed. and tr. Wilhelm Pauk, Library of Christian Classics, no. 19 (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1969), 212-13, 266.

(12.) Martin Bucer, Concerning the True Care of Souls and Genuine Pastoral Ministry and how the latter is to be ordered and carried out in the church of Christ, tr. P. Beale (Strasbourg, 1538; translation found in Westminster Theological College library, Cambridge, U.K., n. d.), 2. The Latin translation of this passage is found in De Vera Animarum Cura, Scripta Anglicana, ed. Conrad Hubert (Basel, 1577), 260.

(13.) Bucer, Concerning the True Care of Souls, 74. De Vera Animarum Cura, 323.

(14.) Bucer, De Regno Christi, 228-30.

(15.) Ibid., 235.

(16.) See Wright, "Martin Bucer and England--and Scotland," 525; Hall, "Martin Bucer in England," 145, 157. The one exception is Thomas Sampson's 1573 attempt to bring Bucer's program for reform found in De Regno Christi to Lord Burleigh's attention. For Sampson's letter to Burleigh, see John Strype, Annals of the Reformation (Oxford, 1824), 2:i, 2:392-95. See Collinson, "The Reformer and the Archbishop," 30-31.

(17.) See Eamon Duffy, "The Long Reformation: Catholicism, Protestantism and the Multitude," in England's Long Reformation, 1500-1800, ed. N. Tyack (London: University College London, 1998), esp. 36-42. Commenting on the challenge undertaken by England's early Protestants, Duffy states that "[c]onversion, therefore, meant not merely bringing the heathen to knowledge of the gospel, but bringing the tepid to the boil by awakening preaching, creating a godly people out of a nation of conformists" (42).

(18.) Article XIX mentions only two marks of a true church: faithful preaching of the Word of God and the right celebration of the sacraments. See also James Cameron, "Godly Nurture and Admonition in the Lord: Ecclesiastical Discipline in the Reformed Tradition," in Die danishe Reformation vor ihrem internationalen Hintergrund, eds. L. Granne and K. Horby (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1990), 264-76.

(19.) Patrick Collinson, Elizabethan Puritan Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), 346. Stephen Brachlow states that "[i]n the context of puritan soteriology, a disciplined, obedient life was the primary means for gaining personal assurance of everlasting life." Stephen Brachlow, The Communion of Saints: Radical Puritan and Separatist Ecclesiology 1570-1625 (Oxford, 1988), 123.

(20.) "A Commination," Book of Common Prayer (1559), in Liturgical Services: Liturgies and Occasional Forms of Prayer set forth in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, ed. W. Keating (1847), 239.

(21.) Patrick Collinson's distinction between the puritan movement which pressed for ecclesiastical reform along a Genevan model and ultimately failed, and puritan religion which "was something now widely dispersed and year by year growing roots which were not to be easily torn out" helps explain the existence of parallel conceptions of discipline amongst the godly. See Collinson, Elizabethan Puritan Movement, 385.

(22.) See Kenneth Fincham, Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990), 147-76. See also Tom Webster's description of the complexities of this system of ecclesiastical discipline in Essex in Godly Clergy in Early Stuart England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 180-84. For a sympathetic overview of the role of episcopal discipline, see Martin Ingram, "Puritans and the Church Courts, 1560-1640," in The Culture of English Puritanism, 1560-1700, eds. C. Durston and J. Eales (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1996), 58-91.

(23.) Fincham, Prelate as Pastor, 129-46.

(24.) Ibid., 129. See Fincham's discussion of Bishop Samuel Harsnett's use of stiff sentences against Sabbath breakers more as general deterrent than as particular justice, 174. Along a different line, Collinson highlights some of the fraternal benefits resulting from gatherings of clergy at visitations and synods. See The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559-1625 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1982), 122-30. Ingram states that "[i]n retrospect it is clear, contrary to puritan complaints, that these courts proved to be by no means ineffective agents of further reformation in England ... ecclesiastical jurisdiction was not divorced from the pastoral mission of the church but part and parcel of it." "Puritans and the Church Courts," 69. Unfortunately, individual puritans had neither the luxury of hindsight nor the benefit of several generations with which to chart the reformation progress Ingram cites. These ministers complained precisely because the wheels of ecclesiastical justice seemed to turn so maddeningly slowly and could appear to be arbitrary and ineffective.

(25.) See Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement, 346-55; Meic Pearse, The Great Restoration: The Religious Radicals of the 16th and 17th Centuries (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1998), 167-74; Collinson, "The Cohabitation of the Faithful with the Unfaithful," in From Persecution to Toleration: The Glorious Revolution and Religion in England, eds. O. Grell, J. Israel, and N. Tyacke (Oxford: Clarendon, 1991), 52 ff. On the coalescing of religious and social standards through the exercise of episcopal discipline, see Martin Ingram, "Religion, Communities and Moral Discipline in Late Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century England: Case Studies," in Religion and Society in Early Modern Europe 1500-1800, ed. Kaspar von Greyerz (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1984), 179-81.

(26.) See Collinson, Elizabethan Puritan Movement, 346, 101-55. The dilemma facing puritans was that the inherited and unreformed government of the Church of England as it stood was fundamentally incapable of effecting Biblical discipline. For many, like Thomas Cartwright and Walter Travers, the obvious solution was to proceed forthwith to a reformed government and discipline. Their solution called for a recasting of the entire church structure along a Genevan model--a transformation, it was argued, that would go a long way towards resolving local declensions in discipline.

(27.) The point must be made, however, that many of these early radical Protestants were actually against forming gathered churches of visible saints, agreeing instead with the notion of a state church to which everyone belonged. See Pearse, The Great Restoration, 161-62. By their call for true Christians to withdraw from what they considered to be corrupt and worldly local parishes and form true churches of visible saints, early separatist leaders such as Robert Browne and Robert Harrison were perceived as posing a direct threat to the existing order and ensured that official displeasure over calls for discipline would continue unabated. And by insisting that effective church discipline could only be instituted by "gathering the worthy and refusing the unworthy" for church membership and Communion, disillusioned separatists broke with those puritans who were still willing to work more or less patiently for reformation from within a Church of England which clearly still needed it. Appalled by the implications of separation, conforming and "moderate puritans" felt it scandalously arrogant for separatists to pass judgment on the majority of parish members by presuming to establish a true church of the truly saved. See Robert Browne (1550-1633), A treatise of reformation without tarying for anie (1582); Robert Browne, The Writings of Robert Harrison and Robert Browne, eds. A. Peel and L. Carlson (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1953), 402, 404; and see, for example, William Bradshaw's The Unreasonableness of the Separation (1614). See also Peter Lake's discussion of William Bradshaw's polemic against the separatists in Moderate Puritans and the Elizabethan Church (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 272-78. Lake observes that "it is undeniable that there was a tension between Bradshaw's anti-conformist and his anti-separatist positions. It was the tension experienced, to a greater or lesser degree, by every mainstream puritan ideologue" (276).

(28.) For Clarke (1599-1683), see A. G. Matthews, Calamy Revised: Being a Revision of Edmund Calamy's Account of the Ministers and Others Ejected and Silenced, 1660-2 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1934; hereafter CR). See also DNB, and J. William Black, "Richard Baxter and the Ideal of the Reformed Pastor" (Ph.D. diss., University of Cambridge, 1999), 194-95, 201-6.

(29.) See Collinson, "`A Magazine of Religious Patterns': An Erasmian Topic Transposed in English Protestantism," in Godly People (1983), 499-526. See also Black, "Richard Baxter and the Ideal of the Reformed Pastor," chapter 8.

(30.) See, for example, Jacqueline Eales's "Samuel Clarke and the `Lives' of Godly Women in Seventeenth Century England," in Women in the Church, Studies in Church History, no. 27, eds. W. J. Sheils and D. Wood (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), 375.

(31.) In the case of Margaret Baxter, it is clear that Clarke edited Richard Baxter's text out of concern for the potential for controversy. Ibid., 375.

(32.) Samuel Clarke, A Collection of the Lives often Eminent Divines, famous in their Generations for Learning, Prudence, Piety, and painfulness in the Work of the Ministry (1662), 107. For Gouge (1578-1653), longtime pastor of St. Anne's, Blackfriars, and member of the Westminster Assembly, see William Barker, Puritan Profiles (Fearne, Scotland: Mentor, 1996), 35-38.

(33.) Clarke, The Lives of Sundry Eminent Persons, 169. Arnold Hunt claims that, for the 1630s, Fairclough's example is an "exceptional case, made possible by the support and protection of ... Barnardiston," and that, however widespread godly concern for discipline might be, Fairclough's practice of discipline appears to be a singularity. Arnold Hunt, "The Lord's Supper in Early Modern England," Past & Present 161 (1998): 64-65.

(34.) Clarke, The Lives of Sundry Eminent Persons, 169. The author's perception of the connection between the cooperation of ministry and local magistrates in setting up effective discipline and the puritan promised land of reformation is significant, whether or not things in Kedington were actually that different. For a similar though later example of godly ministry leading to local reformation, see Clarke's account of Thomas Wilson (1601-547), 18-35. Clarke gives 1651 as the year of Wilson's death (18 ff.), but based on the evidence of Joseph Baker's 24 Apr. 1664 letter to Baxter, announcing Wilson's death, N. H. Keeble and G. F. Nuttall recommend revising the date to early April 1654. See Keeble and Nuttall, Calendar of the Correspondence of Richard Baxter (Oxford: Clarendon, 1991; hereafter Calendar), 137, no. 177, n. 2.

(35.) The dramatic increase in the number of separatists choosing exile in the Netherlands or the American colonies in the 1630s combine with the diary entries of pastors such as Ralph Josselin, cited above, to support such a reading.

(36.) Keith Wrightson, "Postscript: Terling Revisited," in Keith Wrightson and David Levine, Poverty and Piety in an English Village: Terling, 1525-1700 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995), 207, 210-11; see also chapter 6, 142-72. For critiques of the "Terling thesis" see Margaret Spufford, "Puritanism and Social Control?" in Order and Disorder in Early Modern England, eds. Anthony Fletcher and John Stevenson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); Ingram, "Religion, Communities and Moral Discipline"; M. K. McIntosh, "Local Change and Community Control in England, 1465-1500," Huntington Library Quarterly 49 (1986). For Wrightson's discussion of these and other critiques, see "Postscript: Terling Revisited," 198-211.

(37.) See Eamon Duffy, "The Godly and the Multitude in Stuart England," Seventeenth Century 1 (1986): 31-55.

(38.) See Kenneth Fincham, "Introduction," in Visitation Articles and Injunctions of the Early Stuart Church (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1998), 2:xvii. See also Nicolas Tyacke, "Puritanism, Arminianism and Counter-Revolution," in Reformation to Revolution: Politics and Religion in Early Modern England, ed. Margo Todd (London: Routledge, 1995).

(39.) See the evolution of sacramental concern from William Perkins's A Reformed Catholic (1611); John Preston, The Cuppe of Blessing: Delivered in Three Sermons upon 1 Cor. 10.16 (1634), and Three Sermons upon the Sacrament of the Lords Supper (1631); Lewes Bayly, The Practice of Pietie: Directing a Christian how to walke that he may please God, 30th ed. (1632), 522-624; Robert Bolton, The Saints Selfe-enriching Examination. Or, A Treatise concerning the Sacrament of the Lords Supper (1634). See Hunt, "The Lord's Supper in Early Modern England," 39-83; Horton Davies, Worship and Theology in England, vol. 1, From Andrews to Baxter and Fox, 1603-1690 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975), 76-123.

(40.) See Davies, Worship and Theology in England, vol. 2, From Andrews to Baxter and Fox, 1603-1690, 286-325. Davies traces the puritan attempts to preserve the use of the Lord's Supper from Catholic abuse, but fails to note the increasing importance to puritans of Christ's spiritual presence in the sacrament, and the use to which this truth was put by godly pastors assisting their parishioners to prepare for Communion. As a result, Davies is surprised to find Baxter's view of the Lord's Supper to be "higher" than what was implied in the 1552 and 1559 prayerbooks (320-23). But as we shall see, such a "high" view of the Lord's Supper goes far to explain puritan concern to receive the sacrament in a worthy manner, which brought the issue of local parish discipline as a means to facilitate worthy reception into sharp and practical focus. See also Margaret Spufford, "The Importance of the Lord's Supper to Seventeenth-Century Dissenters," Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society 5 (1993): 62-79.

(41.) Baxter writes, "The main reason that turneth my heart against the English Prelacy [i.e. the Laudian practice of episcopacy] is because it did destroy Church Discipline, and almost destroy the Church for want of it, or by the abuse of it, and because it is (as then exercised) inconsistent with true Discipline.... And I must say, that I have seen more of the Ancient Discipline exercised of late, without a Prelate, in some Parish Church in England, than ever I saw or heard of exercised by the Bishops in a thousand such Churches all my dayes." Baxter's prefatory letter to the second disputation, to the "Christian Reader," in Five Disputations of Church Government, and Worship (1659), sigs. P4v-Q. For the rise of "Laudianism" see Nicolas Tyacke, Anti-Calvinists: The Rise of English Arminianism, c. 1590-1640 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). In contrast, see Kevin Sharpe, "Archbishop Laud," in Reformation to Revolution: Politics and Religion in Early Modern England, ed. M. Todd (London: Routledge, 1995).

(42.) For the development of London presbyterianism during the English Civil War, see Elliot C. Vernon, "The Sion College Conclave and London Presbyterianism during the English Revolution" (Ph.D. diss., University of Cambridge, 1999), 26-131.

(43.) From "The Solemn League and Covenant," 25 Sept. 1643, in The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution 1625-1660, 3d ed., ed. S. R. Gardiner (Oxford: Clarendon, 1906), 268.

(44.) Ingram, "Puritans and the Church Courts," 91.

(45.) See Morrill, "The Church in England 1642-9," in The Nature of the English Revolution, 156-57. See also W. M. Lamont, "Episcopacy and a `Godly Discipline', 1641-6," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 10 (1959): 88-89.

(46.) "[23 Feb. 1650/1] [S]o now we resolved on the work, how few so ever would joyne and trust god with the same, and to give publike notice to prevent offence, and yett admit none but such as in charity wee reckon to be disciples ... we mett at Priory, divers presd that persons must make out a worke of true grace on their hearts in order to fellowship and this ordinance.... I ... turned them to all places in the Acts and shewed that beleeving admitted into Communion, and none rejected that professed faith, and then if their lives were not scandalous that we could not turn away from them in this ordinance." Ralph Josselin, The Diary of Ralph Josselin, 1616-1683, ed. A. Macfarlane (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), 235-36.

(47.) For a more sympathetic treatment of the emerging Cromwellian Church see Nicolas Tyacke, "The `Rise of Puritanism' and the Legalizing of Dissent, 1571-1719," in From Persecution to Toleration, 29-32. See also Claire Cross, "The Church in England 1646-1660," in The Interregnum: The Quest for Settlement 1646-1660, ed. G. E. Aylmer (London: Clarendon, 1974), 99-120.

(48.) See Geoffrey Nuttall, Visible Saints: The Congregational Way 1640-1660 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1957), 43-69 (on separation), 131-39 (on distinguishing between the profane and the godly).

(49.) Baxter would later point out in a prefatory letter to the Lord Mayor of London, Christopher Pack, that "the Separatists reproach them for suffering the Impenitent to continue members of their Churches, and make it the pretense of their separation from them; having little to say of any moment against the authorized way of Government, but only against our slackness in the Execution." Richard Baxter, A Sermon of Judgement (1655), sig. A9. For Sir Christopher Pack, see DNB.

(50.) Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1: [section] 136, 84-85.

(51.) Baxter, Gildas Salvianus; The Reformed Pastor (1656), 9, 10, 13. See Baxter's further discussion of the issues of church government, and the explanation of his own preference for "primitive episcopacy," in the third of his Five Disputations of Church-government and Worship (1659). Baxter resonated with James Ussher's position in his The Reduction of Episcopacie unto the Form of Synodical Government received in the Antient Church (1656). For a discussion of Ussher's views, see R. B. Knox, James Ussher: Archbishop of Armaugh (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1967), 128, 140-45. See also N. H. Keeble, Richard Baxter: Puritan Man of Letters (Oxford: Clarendon, 1982), 27, 190; G. F. Nuttall, Richard Baxter (London: Nelson, 1965), 80-81, 86-87.

(52.) Baxter gives the logic behind his own reluctance to administer the Lord's Supper in Kidderminster before 1648: "And no Minister can groundedly administer the Sacraments to any man but himself, because he can be certain of no mans justification and salvation, being not certain of the sincerity of their faith.... And who then durst ever administer a Sacrament, being never certaine but that he shall thus abuse it: I confesse ingeniously to you, that it was the ignorance of this one point which chiefly caused mee to abstaine from administering the Lords Supper so many yeeres." Aphorisms of Justification (1649), 258-59; see also 251.

(53.) Writing for the associated ministers of Cumberland and Westmorland, Richard Gilpin stated, "When we compare the present miseries and distempers with our former confident expectations of unitie, and reformation, our hearts bleed, and melt within us.... Prophanness thrives through want of Discipline." [Richard Gilpin], Agreement of the Associated Ministers & Churches of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmerland: With something for Explication and Exhortation Annexed (1656), sig. A2, 2. The agreement had been in effect since 1653, having been devised contemporaneously with, yet independently from Baxter's Worcestershire Association. For Richard Gilpin (1625-1700), pastor at Greystoke, Cumberland, and the grand-nephew of Bernard Gilpin, see DNB and CR. Such comments were echoed by an anonymous author writing on behalf of godly ministers in Norwich and Norfolk: "We cannot in the least doubt ... that many of you ... have with an equall moving of Bowels with (if not exceeding any of) us, considered the sad effects, which the want of a setled Discipline in the Church ... have produced in ... this Nation." The Agreement of the Associated Ministers In the County of Norfolk and City and County of Norwich, Concerning Publick Catechizing (1659), sig. A2-A2v.

(54.) Baxter, Confirmation and Restauration, The Necessary Means of Reformation and Reconciliation (1658), 248-49.

(55.) Baxter, Aphorisms of Justification (1649), 248-51.

(56.) Baxter, The Saints Everlasting Rest (1650), sigs. A4, A5v.

(57.) Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae, 2: [section] 28, 148.

(58.) Baxter does cite William Lyford (William Lyford his Legacy, or a Help for Young People to Prepare them for the Sacrament [1656]) and Thomas Ball (Poimhnopurgoz. Pastorum Propugnaculum. Or, the Pulpits Patronage Against the Force of Un-Ordained Usurpation, and Invasion, 1656) as authorities in support of his program of church discipline. However, they were both published too late to be considered sources of his views. See Gildas Salvianus (1656), sigs. b6-b7.

(59.) Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae, 2: [section] 28, 148.

(60.) For "he that dare take on him to be an Overseer and Ruler of the Church, not to oversee and rule it, and dare settle on such a Church-state, as is uncapable of Discipline is so perfidious to Christ, and ventureth so boldly to make the Church another thing, that I am resolved not to be his follower." Baxter, Confirmation and Restauration (1658), 173-74.

(61.) Ibid., 174-76.

(62.) Ibid., 180.

(63.) Baxter, An Apology for the Nonconformists Ministry (1681), sig. A2.

(64.) See Baxter's discussion of the relative merits of confirmation rightly practiced versus the believer's baptism of the "Anabaptists," Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1: [section] 137 (25), 92-93.

(65.) Ministers should extend pastoral care to all such members, "denying them nothing that lawfully we can yield them, in matters of Buryal, Marrying, Praying, Preaching, or the like." Baxter, Confirmation and Restauration (1658), 284.

(66.) See Fincham, Prelate as Pastor, 123-29.

(67.) For Baxter's account of his own confirmation by Bishop Morton, see Confirmation and Restauration (1658), 154-56.

(68.) Ibid., 155-56.

(69.) Ibid., 166. Says Baxter, "by this hastening and admitting all the unprepared in to the Number of Adult Christians, and members of the Church, we do either put a necessity upon our selves to throw away Church-discipline, or else to be most probably the damnation of our peoples Souls, and make them desperate, and almost past all hope, or remedy." Ibid., 172.

(70.) For similarities between Baxter's "covenant" and the covenants devised by separatist and congregational churches during 1640-60 as a means for protecting the purity of the Sacraments and local church fellowship, see Nuttall, Visible Saints, 70-81. Whether Baxter drew inspiration for his notion of "parishioner consent" from his congregational or separating brethren, or from his reading of Martin Bucer, or from both, remains an open question.

(71.) [Baxter], Christian Concord (1653), sig. B2, article XVIII. Christian Concord contains models of the profession of faith and of the profession of consent for pastors to use in their own parishes, see sigs. C3-C3v. Baxter hints at a similar covenantal process that predicated his original coming to Kidderminster in 1641. See The Saints Everlasting Rest (1650), 601. Samuel Clarke recounts a similar episode of covenant-making as part of the negotiations concerning his return to Alcester following the Civil War. Clarke, The Lives of Sundry Eminent Persons, 9. The significant change introduced by Baxter was in making the adult rights of church membership contingent on the profession and consent with which the covenant was comprised.

(72.) Baxter was sensitive to charges that his covenantal basis for the exercise of church discipline promoted either separation or the formation of ecclesiola in ecclesia. His response was that "we require not this Profession as a Church-making Covenant, but for Reformation of those that are Churches already; and as a means for our more facile and successful exercise of some Discipline and Government of our Congregations." Baxter, "An Explication of some Passages in the foregoing Propositions and Profession," appended to Christian Concord, 10.

(73.) Baxter, Christian Concord (1653), sigs. A4-B.

(74.) Baxter's aversion to the presbyterian understanding of eldership is here transparent. In Baxter's expansion of the duties of these "trustees," he states that "they were chosen once a year here unto (as * Grotius de Imperio Sum Potest. adviseth)." The asterisk refers to a note in the margin, "* The Principles of which Book I most liked and followed." Reliquiae Baxterianae, 2: [section] 31, 150. See Hugo Grotius, De Imperio Summarum Potestatum Circa Sacra (Paris, 1647). See also Harm-Jan van Dam, "De Imperio Summarum Potestatum Circa Sacra," in Hugo Grotius Theologian, eds. H. J. M. Nellen and E. Rabbie (Leiden: Brill, 1994), 19-39.

(75.) Baxter gives twelve reasons why discipline is necessary in his retrospective Universal Concord (1660), sigs. a6-a7. See also Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1: [section] 137 (25), 92, for a more concise list.

(76.) Richard Baxter, "To the Reader," in Samuel Clark (the younger), Ministers Dues and Peoples Duty (1661), unpaginated. Baxter's letter is dated "Nov.10.1660." For Clark (1626-1701), ejected Rector of Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire, see CR, 119-20.

(77.) Baxter, The Saints Everlasting Rest (1650), sig. A4, 508-9; Christian Concord (1653), sig. A3v.

(78.) Baxter's own practice of "knowing" his parishioners is reflected in his sophisticated diagnosis of his parishioners' spiritual state contained in Confirmation and Restauration (1658), 157-65. "Of these twelve sorts of People, this Parish is composed, which I therefore mention, that the state of our Parishes may be truly known; while others are compared with this: For everyone hath not had the opportunity which I have had, to know all their people, or the most" (165). See Duffy, "The Godly and the Multitude in Stuart England," 37-40.

(79.) Baxter, The Unreasonableness of Infidelity (1655), 150-52; Christian Concord (1653), sigs. B2, C2.

(80.) Baxter, Christian Concord (1653), especially sigs. C2-C3v; Certain Disputations of Right to Sacraments (1658), Disputation 1.

(81.) Baxter, Certain Disputations of Right to Sacraments (1658), Disputations 4 and 5; see also Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1: [section] 137 (25), 91.

(82.) [Baxter], The Agreement of Divers Ministers of Christ in the County of Worcester ... For Catechizing or Personal Instructing (1656); Baxter, Gildas Salvianus; The Reformed Pastor (1656); Baxter, Universal Concord (1660), 34-35; Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1: [section] 135, 83; 1: [section] 136, 85; also 2: [section] 40-42, 179-180.

(83.) Baxter, Confirmation and Restauration (1658); Universal Concord (1660), sigs. G2v-G3.

(84.) See Baxter, Aphorisms of Justification (1649), 248-51; The Saints Everlasting Rest (1650), sig. A5v; Christian Concord (1653), sigs. A3v-B; Universal Concord (1660), 18-19.

(85.) Baxter, Gildas Salvianus, 98.

(86.) Baxter, The Saints Everlasting Rest, 509.

(87.) Baxter, Gildas Salvianus, 81.

(88.) "To the Right Reverend Dr. Compton, Lord Bishop of London, Dr. Barlow, Lord Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. Grosts, Lord Bishop of Hereford, Dr. Rainbow, Lord Bishop of Carlisle, Dr. Thomas, Lord Bishop of St. Davids, Dr. Lloyd, Lord Bishop of Peterborough." Baxter, An Apology for the Nonconformists Ministry (1681), sig. A2. For the Restoration episcopate, see John Spurr, The Restoration Church of England 1646-1689 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), 132-65.

(89.) Baxter, Gildas Salvianus, sig. (a6)v.

(90.) Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1: [section] 136, 84-85.

(91.) Ibid., 1: [section] 137, 91.

(92.) Ibid., 1: [section] 136, 85; 1: [section] 137 (25), 91.

(93.) Ibid., 1: [section] 136, 85-86.

(94.) Baxter, "A Preface to those of the Nobility, Gentry, and Commons of this Land, that adhere to Prelacy," in Five Disputations of Church Government, and Worship (1659), 28-29.

(95.) The letter is dated 20 Apr. 1655. Dr Williams's Library, Baxter Letters, MS 59, ii, 252. For Thomas Wadsworth (1630-76), who served at Newington Butts from 1653-60, and then as curate of St. Lawrence Pountney, London, from January of 1662 until he was ejected in August, see CR, DNB, Calendar 1:172, no. 235, note. See also no. 238.

(96.) Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae, 2: [section] 40, 179.

(97.) Ibid., 2: [section] 66, 207.

(98.) For Dance, see A. G. Matthews, Walker Revised: Being a Revision of John Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy during the Grand Rebellion, 1642-60 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1948).

(99.) Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae, 2: [section] 152, 298.

(100.) Ibid., 2: [section] 151, 298.

J. William Black is a lecturer at the Evangelical Theological College and the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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