About That Richard Baxter Quote: Part II

About That Richard Baxter Quote: Part II

Part I laid the essential groundwork necessary to understanding Baxter’s advice in Question 109. But to engage with said question it is also helpful to examine other surrounding questions in the Directory that address the same issue from different angles. To this end, Part II will therefore discuss Questions CIII, CIX, CX, and CXI in numerical order (and invoke a few other sections of the Directory along the way).

Question CIII

Must the pastors remove from one church to another whenever the magistrate commandeth us, though the bishop contradict it, and the church consent not to dismiss us; and so of other cases of disagreement?

As in man’s soul, the intellectual guidance, the will, and the executive power do concur, so in church cases of this nature, the potestative government of the magistrate, the directive guidance of the senior pastors, and the attractive love of the people (who are the chief inferior, final cause) should all concur; and when they do not it is confusion: and when God’s order is broken which commandeth their concurrence, it is hard to know what to do, in such a division which God alloweth not; as it is to know whether I should take part with the heart against the head, or with the head against the stomach and liver, on supposition of cross inclinations or interests; when as nature supposeth either a concord of inclination and interest, or else the ruin, sickness and death of the person: and the cure must be by reconciling them, rather than by knowing which to side with against the rest.

As with the faculties of the reasonable soul, concurrence of all the powers is ideal. Though the intellect, will, and judgment are distinct, they are intertwined and, when properly functioning, act in unity—desiring the good, understanding the truth, and performing righteousness. Though the faculties are conceptually or formally distinct, the human soul is a simple, immortal substance not subject to division or annihilation.[1]

Though the more common analogy in discussions of the temporal and spiritual powers of a society has historically been that of body and soul,[2] Baxter’s illustration of choice was intellect and will or, alternatively, head and heart. In either case, the point is the organic connection between the two. “Government [of both church and state] is a divine Act, which imitateth Nature,” said Baxter in the Holy Commonwealth. “Philosophers have troubled themselves with disputing, whether the Intellect of Will be the first principle of the soul’s operations.” But Baxter suggests an easy solution, one which illustrates church-state dynamics as well. The intellect is the first principle of the soul “quoad specificationem,” whereas the Will is first “quoad exercitium.” That is, the intellect is the first principle according to specification, and the will is the first principle according to exercise. In the same way,

It is a dead Commonwealth… that is without the Magistrate: and it a mad Commonwealth… that is without a Church and Ministry. I think they that would separate the Intellect form the Will, the Brain from the Heart, the Directive power from the Imperial are no better friends to the Commonwealth, than he that would deliver a man form the presumption of his fantasy by cutting off his head, or from the passions of his heart by pulling it out of his body.[3]

Once again, Baxter’s theory of church and state— what might be dubbed an “integralist” theory today,[4] and one that was conventional at the time[5]— is on display in this analogy. But Baxter recognizes that just as in the fallen human body and soul, the “disease” of confusion and disorder is likely to occur. Indeed, theologians like Augustine and Aquinas often characterized the essence of sin as disorder.[6] Baxter, therefore, offers guidance for such a lamentable, unnatural situation.

Baxter says that, in this instance, when there is conflict between the intellect and the will, or the head and the heart, he would first look to his own “ultimate end, God’s glory”— which corresponds to the final end of both church and state— and nextly to the “good of souls and welfare of the church,.” Lastly, he would look to the “people’s interest”— i.e. the common good which necessarily includes both temporal and spiritual interests— which is the “end of the order of [both] magistracy and ministry.” He adds that the ends are better or more important than the means (within reason, of course).

Accordingly, he would do whatever he could to preserve said ends, in the order of importance provided, doing “all things to edification.” Rather dauntingly, Baxter instructs that the church’s good must be considered in light of the whole (i.e. national scope), not any one part (i.e. local congregation), and the whole must be considered in the light of history, past and present, not the present moment alone. He adds in a later question (Q. CV) that Christians are to “Look to the public good and interest of [true] religion, more than to your particular congregation.” And further still, “Do not easily go against the magistrate’s commands; unless they be apparently unlawful, and to the church’s detriment or ruin.” Likewise, he instructs a posture of deference toward church authorities, especially the (rightly appointed and “justly received”) local pastor— “that is, till necessity require [otherwise].”

As a general rule, Baxter would obey the magistrate “formally for conscience sake in all things which belong to his office.” That it, the particulars, circumstantials, and accidents which belong to human law (political and ecclesiastical). And in the case of Q. CIII— that of simple removal from one congregation to another— Baxter would comply, but only for the sake of civil order and “preservation of the church order in cases where it is not grossly injurious to the church and Gospel.”

If one is familiar with Baxter’s general political persuasion, his aversion to disorder is not surprising. It was his fear of disorder and chaos, and the “Levelling spirit” he saw running amok during the Civil War years (1642-1651), that led him to despise direct democracy and the egalitarianism of any kind. Orderly conduct and procedure were indispensable to the church’s health as well. It can scarcely be imagined what his reaction to today’s civil unrest amidst a pandemic would be. A notorious hypochondriac, he likely would’ve been become bedridden.

However, if his removal from one church to another— he is not considering here complete removal, mind you— was likely to be injurious to the church, “as in the Arian’s times when the emperors removed the orthodox from all the great churches to put in the Arians,” he states emphatically that he “would not obedientially [sic] and voluntarily remove.” In such a scenario, even if both bishops and magistrates concurred in the determination, Baxter would still not comply because “God never gave them such a power against men’s souls and the Gospel of Christ; and there is no power but of God.” The church’s health takes precedence even over orderliness and deference to authority.

Baxter does add the caveat that if his disobedience to the magistrate’s order, which must never be violent, was likely to induce violence to the church’s greater interest and risk the suffering of her members— and we must here assume literal violence— he would then formally obey. But Baxter makes sure to note that here the magistrates exceeds the boundaries of his authority in ordering this (hypothetical) removal if he does it without the consent of the bishops or pastors.

This is not the same as trying to preserve the church’s public witness, a concept that some commentators are obsessed with talking about today, and usually with an erroneous working definition of “public witness”— usually including some idea of preserving social capital not doctrinal purity of proclamation. Indeed, because of the context, Baxter would not have had to consider such a thing. Rather, as stated, he is concerned about real, even violent, persecution. Keep in mind too that throughout that Baxter is addressing the relatively mild hypothetical case of simply being ordered to transfer his pastorate to another church against his preference, not abandon church or the ministry entirely.

Baxter closes the inquiry of Question CIII by saying that this basic breakdown may serve as a general guide for any such cases:

I have spoken to this instance as it taketh in all other cases of difference between the power of the magistrate, the pastor’s [Baxter himself in this scenario] and the people’s interest, when they disagree, and not as to this case alone.

Question CIX

We now come to the famed, oft-cited passage in question. However, the section is typically not quoted it in full, as will be done here.

May we omit church-assemblies on the Lord’s day, if the magistrate forbid them?

Answer: 1. It is one thing to forbid them for a time, upon some special cause, (as infection by pestilence, fire, war, etc.) and another to forbid them statedly [sic] or profanely.

  1. It is one thing to omit them for a time, and another to do it ordinarily.
  2. It is one thing to omit them in formal obedience to the law; and another thing to omit them in prudence, or for necessity, because we cannot keep them.
  3. The assembly [itself] and the circumstances of the assembly must be distinguished.

(1) If the magistrate for a greater good, (as the common safety,) forbid church-assemblies in a time of pestilence, assault of enemies, or fire, or the like necessity, it is a duty to obey him. 1. Because positive duties give place to those great natural duties which are their end: so Christ justified himself and his disciples’ violation of the external rest of the sabbath. ‘For the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.’ 2. Because affirmatives bind not ‘ad semper’ [forever], and out-of-season duties become sins. 3. Because one Lord’s day or assembly is not to be preferred before many, which by the omission of that one are like to be obtained….”

(2) If princes profanely forbid holy assemblies and public worship, either statedly, or as a renunciation of Christ and our religion; it is not lawful formally to obey them.

(3) But it is lawful to prudently to do that secretly for the present necessity, which we cannot do publicly, and to do that with smaller numbers, which we cannot do with greater assemblies, yea, and to omit some assemblies for a time, that we may thereby have opportunity for more: which is not formal but only material obedience.

I have added italics for emphasis on particular words in the quote above. I will revisit their significance later, especially the distinction between formal and material obedience. What Littlejohn and others do not do is quote or mention the contents of the subsequent question, an unfortunate oversight because, albeit CIX is certainly pertinent to our COVID-19 context, the instruction from Baxter thereafter is, perhaps, all the more relevant and helpful. The fourth explanation of Question CIX, usually left out— it feeds into the subsequent inquiry— reads, “But if it be only some circumstances of assembling that are forbidden us, that is the next case to be resolved.” And Baxter does just that in the next section.

In our own time of pestilence, state governors have not banned church assemblies ad semper, in perpetuity, though it may feel like it. Depending on the state, churches have been allowed to meet indoors in limited numbers, outside, or remotely, of course. Though, it should be remembered, that on Easter, it took the intervention of a federal judge at the eleventh hour to keep the Kentucky government from arresting congregants from meeting in a parking lot. Though California has recently regressed in its reopening procedures, the restrictions at issue in the South Bay case, and likewise in the Calvary Chapel case, did not constitute a complete ban on religious activity, obviously. At issue was the inequity of the restrictions on churches in comparison to those on, say, casinos and the like. Hence, Baxter’s discussion of the limitation of the circumstances and accidents of assembling is most relevant.

Question CX

Here, in Question CX, we will see why the groundwork laid by Junius and Zanchi in Part I is so essential to understanding Baxter’s view of the limits of civil authority and the nature of just (human) laws.

Must we obey the magistrate if he only forbid us worshipping god, in such a place, or country, or in such numbers, or the like?

In answering this Baxter distinguishes between determinations by the magistrate (i.e. responsible specification(s) of pure conclusions or principles drawn from the natural law) of “circumstance,” “mode,” or “accidents” which (a) “plainly destroy the worship or end,” and (b) those which do not. He provides several hypotheticals to illustrate this distinction, considering civil orders that pertain to the time (circumstance), location (mode), and number (accidents) of congregants in church assemblies, in each case running his analysis through the aforementioned distinction.

Drawing on Junius and Zanchi we have already seen that human law is properly the purview of the magistrate and that he can make alterations thereto. To review, human law itself is twofold (a composite of mutable and immutable elements): 1) the implications of, or conclusions from, the natural law worked out, and 2) the determinations or application of said implications to particular circumstances. However, this purview is not limitless. Conclusions of human law must always agree with the natural law and determinations must never frustrate the end of the object it is applying natural law conclusions to, nor strike against the common good. In Baxter’s Directory we see recognition of these limits, evident in his distinctions regarding determinations in the hypotheticals of Question CX.

If a magistrate orders that churches may only assemble once annually, or, alternatively, only for “six or seven minutes at once,” though this constitutes only a change in circumstances of assembly, Baxter says that this order is of class (a) above, that is, it plainly destroys worship (the end of the church). It is an untenable determination, ill-fitted and disproportionate to its end (the well-being of the church which is proper to the magistrate’s duty). On the other hand, if the magistrate determines that churches shall not meet until nine o’clock or worship at nighttime, such an order would belong to class (b), it does not destroy worship or the end of the object to which it applies.

Baxter continues to list even more pertinent examples for us. If a magistrate declares that churches cannot assemble “but at forty miles distance one from another,” or that they can only meet in a facility that will hold “but the twentieth part of the church,” or that “you shall never preach in any city or populous place, but [only] in a wilderness far from the inhabitants,” though these orders only touch on location, they clearly “destroy or frustrate the work which God commandeth us.” It would be totally different, adds Baxter, if the order as to location simply forbid “inconvenient places,” or limited the ministry of particular churches by sensible parish boundaries. In the latter scenario, the magistrate would be within his rights to determine the accidents and circumstantialsof the church.

Suppose further that a magistrate forbids church assemblies that have less than a hundred thousand attendees, or, in the converse, that exceed five or six attendees. In this case, yet again, Baxter says that though the magistrate is merely determining the accidentsof the church (i.e. the permissible number of attendees), the order destroys the proper work and end of the church. It is an illogical and unjust order. “For the first [scenario] will be impossible; and the second way [the church] must keep church-assemblies without ministers, when there is not so many as for every such little number to have one.” Flipping the hypothetical, Baxter says that if the magistrate were simply to order that churches should not gather in numbers above ten thousand or under ten then said order would maintain validity.

For good measure, Baxter includes a bonus hypothetical regarding orthodoxy. If the magistrate were to demand that a church admit an Arian minister and deny a Trinitarian one, then there has been a clear case of tyrannical overreach. The same is true if the law stated that only those ministers ordained in Jerusalem or Rome could preach; or that only devotees of the Council of Trent (i.e. Catholics) could take ministerial office. Although, in these cases, the magistrate is only dictating what a church may hear, he is undermining its entire ministry and its appointed end—he is reaching beyond the purview of human law into the doctrinal specifics of the church, beyond the circumstantials. But, recalling the hypothetical above (CIII), if a magistrate merely substitutes one qualified, orthodox minister for another, then there has been no assault on the doctrine and ministry of the church, even if she feels a bit smothered by the magistrate’s involvement.

In all these cases, where the magistrate strikes at the ministry and proper end of the church he is to be resisted. Christians “must suffer, and not obey,” for obedience in that instance would constitute “giv[ing] over God’s worship.”

Christ said, ‘When they persecute you in one city, flee to another:’ but he never said, If they forbid you preaching in any city, or populous place, obey them. He that said, ‘preach the Gospel to every creature, and to all nations, and all the world,’ and that ‘would have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,’ doth not allow us to forsake the souls of all that dwell in cities and populous places, and preach only to some few cottages elsewhwere: no more than he will allow us to love, pity, and relieve the bodies only of those few, and take none for our neighbours that dwell in cities, but with priests and Levite to pass them by.

In saying this, Baxter must have had in mind the Great Ejection of his own day, and the other restrictive acts of the Restoration embodied in the Clarendon Code (i.e. Five Mile Act (1665), Conventicle Act (1664), Act of Uniformity (1662), Corporation Act (1661)). For much of his later years, Baxter was occupied either with his failing health or litigation pertaining to his violation of the Clarendon Code.

To be clear, Baxter is not saying that the magistrate has no authority to dictate the time, location, and number of attendees of church assemblies. But he is limiting this authority, and for a particular reason, according to a certain logic drawn from the classical legal tradition’s hierarchy of law and formulation of human law delineated in Part I. Question CXI further reveals Baxter’s thinking on this issue.

Question CXI

Must subjects or servants forbear weekly lectures, reading, or such helps, above the Lord’s day’s worship, if princes or masters do command it?

Here Baxter distinguishes between a “mere subject, or person governed,” that is, a free citizen, and a servant, slave, or child (i.e. those under intermediate authority besides the state). Baxter also distinguishes between hinderances of real necessity or “just cause” and those of “profane malignity.” God has commanded that we not only honor the Sabbath, but that we pursue other avenues of discipleship and edification as well. In the place of Baxter’s examples, we might insert home group meetings, weekday Bible studies, Wednesday night prayer meetings, or even occasional Christian conferences.

Those who are poor may, of necessity, be forced to work throughout the week, such that they miss lectures and public readings (besides the Sabbath). The same goes for public servants, compelled to perform their respective duties. A child or slave is not his own master and must show deference to those over them. But Baxter’s caveat here is that, in the case of indentured servants in particular, if the terms of employment at the outset included provisions for attending such weekday activities, then the servant has every right to do so. The latter case seems to be, for Baxter, a case of reciprocal duties and basic honesty. But it also hints at the contractual (or covenantal) stipulations between the ruler and the ruled to which we will later return.

The overarching, more essential, caveat is that none of these people, slave or free, can be denied public worship on the Lord’s day, nor opportunity for private, daily prayer. If someone is under bondage “as hindereth the needful helps of his soul,” then he should retire to a “freer place, if lawfully he can.” When there is no necessity or duty to forbear weekday “helps” then attendance should not be restricted. If a “prince, or tutor, or schoolmaster,” for instance (i.e. any position that is a governor but not a “proprietor of the person”), forbids daily or weekly spiritual helps, “as they have great need of, and have no necessity to forbear,” he who gives such an order is not to be obeyed.[7]

Later in the Directory, Baxter provides other helpful comments (Q. CXXXII).

He that hath not just power to command me this one particular act, yet may be my ruler in the general, and I am bound to honour him in general as my ruler; and to disobey him in a thing lawful for me to do, though not for him to command, may be dishonouring of him, and an appearances of disobedience and denial of his power.

Baxter illustrates this principle with the example of a child who must obey his parent, if but materially and not formally, even when they are commanded to do something that exceeds the authority of the parent. The obedience of the child here is mixed: “it is an act of subjection or honour to a parent, because in general he is a governor: but it is but materially obedience in respect of that particular matter, which we know he had no authority to command.”

Expounding on this more, Baxter appeals to Richard Hooker (Eccl. Pol. Lib. viii. p. 223, 224), quoting him at length:

As for them that exercise power altogether against order, though the kind of power which they have may be of god, yet is their exercise thereof against God, and therefore not of God, otherwise than by permission as all injustice is. Usurpers of power, whereby we do not mean them that by violence have aspired unto places of highest authority, but them that use more authority than they did ever receive in form and manner… Such usurpers thereof, as in the exercise of their power, do more than they have been authorized to do, cannot in conscience bind any man to obedience.

To make sense of this, Baxter implores Christians to know God’s law so that “they may certainly know what those things are which God hath absolutely forbidden,” so that they can discern when to obey authorities even when said authorities overstep their bounds (i.e. the act of sinful commanding), and when to suffer for God’s truth. When rulers overstep the boundaries of their authority, the blame lies with them, and they will answer for it before God. Even if tyrannical overreach is present, Christians may be required to obey as a matter of principle (i.e. materially). But dutiful obedience can never extend to violation of God’s law.

The principal and most notable case, in which we must obey when a ruler sinfully commandeth, is, when they matter which he commandeth is not such as is either forbidden us by god, or out of the verge of his place and calling at all to meddle with and command, nor yet such as is destructive of our duty to God; but such as in general belongeth to his office to determine of according to God’s general rules; but he misseth it in the manner and goeth against those rules; yet not so far as to destroy the duty we owe to God, or the end of it.

This is a distinction between sinful commands by rulers and instances where rulers command sin. Baxter reiterates the advice earlier given. Christians are not obliged to obey orders that frustrate duties owed to God, whether in terms of means or end— that is, orders that make duties owed to God either practically (accidents) or actually impossible (substance). Baxter’s illustrative example of this dynamic draws again on his distinctions already provided on how the magistrate can regulate the circumstance, time, and place of worship, but only for justifiable purposes and with reasonable means that do not frustrate the ends of the object to which they are applied.

For instance, it is not in the ruler’s power to determine whether there shall be preaching or none, true doctrine or false… But it is in his power to regulate the circumstances of time, place, &c… Now if he do these to order, unity, and edification, I will obey him formally and fully for conscience sake. If he do it as is destructive to the end, (as I aforesaid), as to say, you shall meet only at twenty miles distance, or only at midnight, &c. I will obey him no further than necessity and the common good [of the church] requireth me. If he do it only with a tolerable inconvenience, (as to say, you shall meet no where but in the open fields, &c.) I will obey for conscience sake, as I am in general a subject bound to honour the magistrate; but not as he nameth an unmeet circumstance, in that respect my obedience shall be [only] material.

The apostles exhibit this balance Baxter seeks:

Thus, the apostles knew that no man had power from God to silence them, or persecute them for the Gospel. Therefore, they would not obey those that forbad them to preach: and yet they would appear before any magistrate that commanded them, and obey their summons.

It is noteworthy that Baxter’s appeal to the instructive example of the apostles features a kind of civil disobedience. They refused to cease preaching but willingly suffered the consequences for doing so. We might also, at this stage, recall the example of Paul in Acts 22 appealing to the due process— a right conclusion from the natural law[8]— owed to him as a Roman citizen, in other words, according to the contractual agreement between the ruler and the ruled. Paul was holding the government to their own professed standard of justice.

Material v. Formal Obedience

A few things further are necessary to understand in order to make sense of Baxter’s analysis. Highlighted earlier was the distinction between material and formal obedience invoked frequently by Baxter in the segments of the Directory quoted above.

The distinction, like that of substance and accidents, is derived from Aristotelian fourfold causality: there is an efficient cause, a material cause, a formal cause, and final cause, and many seventeenth century Reformed theologians would add an instrumental cause to this list.

The material cause refers to the matter from which a thing is derived, the material basis which, in some way, dictates its range of potency. The formal cause provides the form of the thing acted upon and determines its actuality. A block of marble (material) does not become a beautiful sculpture until it receives the form of a sculpture (by the efficient cause, sometimes through an instrumental cause).

Baxter, like John Owen in the fourth volume of his Hebrews Commentary, borrows this same idea to distinguish between (qualitative) kinds or stages of obedience. Material obedience is the bare or minimum standard of adhering to the letter of the law out of necessity. It does not have the form of true, heartfelt obedience. To mature into true obedience of the kind owed to just laws, obedience must receive the form of the spirit of the law, so to speak.

So, material obedience is mere compliance whilst formal obedience is genuine embrace of the law. The former is owed even to some unjust laws. The latter should be shown only to just laws. Properly speaking, formal obedience is owed to God alone. Laws, therefore, can only be formally obeyed when they are situated within the unbroken hierarchy of law as a rightly promulgated determination, proportional to the ends of the object to which it applies, equitable in its application, for the common good, by one with care for the community, that does not violate the natural law.

Contractual Stipulations

One further limit on civil authority, inherent in Baxter’s thought, must be mentioned before moving forward. In the Holy Commonwealth, Baxter hands down three means by which the happiness (and common good) of a populace is secured, depending on the polity. If people are governed by a hereditary monarchy, then education in virtue, and the good character that follows therefrom, acts as a protection against tyranny. If a magistrate is elected then a “duly regulated election” is essential to preserve the integrity of the government, and the confidence of the people therein.

But in both cases the means of a people’s security from either hereditary or elected rulers is found in “the fundamental contracts [the ruler by which he is] limited to rule them by [according to] wholesome laws to be made by the proposal and consent of his Parliament.” Although Baxter did not subscribe to the fullness of parliamentary supremacy that emerged during the Glorious Revolution (1688-1689), he did affirm the old English doctrine of parliamentary consent—and remember, it must be a Christian parliament, for Baxter. Likewise, the ruler’s oath to the people preserve their security. Said oath “is to contain the sum of the Fundamental contracts which lay the ground of his future Government.”[9]

Undoubtedly, Baxter had in mind something like the Magna Charta (1215) here, and the oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the United States (or respective state), sworn by government officials across the country, is easily substituted. People forget that the bulk of our constitution is not the bill of rights but pertains to the structure of government, the limitation and distribution of power.[10] It serves as the fundamental contract— and idea that took shape in the medieval period, especially in the Conciliarist movement[11]— between the civil rulers and the citizens.[12] In seventeenth-century England, the fundamental law was also considered an emanation of the fundamental contract.[13] In this theory of (somewhat) mutual contractual agreement between the ruler and the ruled there is an aspect of mutual accountability. Even Baxter, averse as he was to disorder and revolution, acknowledged the necessity of this dynamic for a healthy commonwealth. And, at some point, violation thereof justified rebellion.

As Baxter showed in his memoirs and in chapter 13 of the Holy Commonwealth, the war against Charles I was justified because of a Stuart plot to smuggle Catholicism, that is, an idolatrous religion, back into England— a then widely-held belief amongst Puritans.[14] Charles had broken the fundamental contract and his oath by betraying the country to Popery and thereby undermining the purity of the church, a clear violation of his duty.[15] As Forrest McDonald proved, many of America’s founding fathers were convinced of similar conspiracy—the Quebec Act, therefore, may have contributed more to secession than the Stamp Act or the like.[16] The point being that even in the late 1770s the fear of religious subversion experienced by the Puritans some one hundred years before was still potent.

In overthrowing the Stuart regime, parliament, as the representatives of the people, were justified because the impetus for such was connected to the health of church and state (i.e. a prosecution of idolatry and tyranny). In outlining the ways of security for a commonwealth, Baxter was doing no more than reiterating the Calvinist bases of resistance, evaluated according to the “open Word of God,” interpreted according to “equity and reason,” the political covenant and coronation oath of the ruler, and the fundamental law.[17]

In the final installment of this series the fullness of Baxter’s insights and reasoning will be brough to bear on the scenario to which he has been already applied by other, that of government-ordered limitation of church activities. Reference to the protest of said orders by John MacArthur and Grace Community Church will be made in passing. When reading Part III, the reader will be expected to hold in his mind the definition of human law outlined in Part I, the distinctions between types of determinations featured in Question CX, and the distinction between material and formal obedience just mentioned.


[1] See generally Paul Helm, Human Nature from Calvin to Edwards (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2018), p. 151ff.

[2] See e.g. Leo XIII’s Immortale Dei encyclical (1885), Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on the Sentences (Sent. II, Dist. 44, Q. 3, A 4), and John Cotton’s A Discourse About Civil Government (1663).

[3] Holy Commonwealth, Thes. 234.

[4] See generally Thomas Crean and Alan Fimister, Integralism: A Manual of Political Philosophy (Havertown: Eurospan, 2020).

[5] Timon Cline, “John Cotton, Protestant Integralist,” Conciliar Post (Apr. 13, 2020), https://conciliarpost.com/politics-current-events/john-cotton-protestant-integralist/.

[6] See e.g. Aquinas, ST, I-II, Q. 85; Augustine, City of God, XV.22-23 (“…Set love in order in me…”); On Christian Doctrine, I.27-28; Confessions, X.22.

[7] Remember, this question only pertains to additional, weekday spiritual activities like theological lectures or public readings; even strict Sabbatarians can sympathize with Baxter’s distinctions.

[8] See e.g. Robert P. George, “The Natural Law Due Process Philosophy,” Fordham Law Review, 69 (2001), pp. 2301-2312; J.A.C Grant, “The Natural Law Background of Due Process,” Columbia Law Review, 31(1) (1931), pp. 56-81.

[9] Holy Commonwealth, Thes. 224-230.

[10] And has Hadley Arkes argues, the form of government itself implies the liberties found in the bill of rights and then some. Beyond the Constitution (Princeton University Pres, 1990).

[11] See J.N. Figgis, Political Thought from Gerson to Grotius: 1414-1625: Seven Studies (Lecture II); Francis Oakley, The Conciliarist Tradition: Constitutionalism in the Catholic Church 1300-1870 (Oxford University Press, 2003), esp. pp. 217-249.; Otto von Gierke, Political Theories of the Middle Age, trans Frederic William Maitland (Cambridge University Press, 1958), pp. 37-67.

[12] See Francis Oakley, “On the Road from Constance to 1688: The Political Thought of John Major and George Buchnan,” Journal of British Studies, 1(2) (May, 1962), pp. 1-31.

[13] See Eusden, Puritans, Lawyer, and Politics, pp. 101-104. See also Ralph H. Clover, “The Rule of Law in Colonial Massachusetts,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 108 (1960), pp. 1001-1036.

[14] See generally Walter Douglas, “Richard Baxter and the Healing of the Nation,” Andrews University Seminary Studies, 30(2) (Summer 1992), pp. 99-113.

[15] William Lamont, “Richard Baxter, ‘Popery’ and the Origins of the English Civil War,” History, 87(287) (July 2002), pp. 336-352. C.f. Tim Cooper, “Why Didi Richard Baxter and John Owen Diverge? The Impact of the First Civil War,” The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 61(3) (July 2010), pp. 465-516.

[16] McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1985).

[17] Herbert D. Foster, “The Political Theories of Calvinists before the Puritan Exodus to America,” The American Historical Review, 21(3) (Apr. 1916), pp. 481-503, 483.

Timon Cline is married to his wife Rachel (six years this June) who is from Naples, FL. They currently live in Philadelphia and attend Calvary OPC in Glenside, PA. This spring Timon will graduate J. D. at Rutgers and M. A. R at Westminster.
Get Founders
in Your Inbox
A weekly brief of our new teaching resources.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Teaching BY TYPE
Teaching BY Author
Founders Podcasts