Giles Firmin and the Transatlantic Puritan Tradition

Polity, Piety, and Polemic


In Giles Firmin and the Transatlantic Puritan Tradition, Jonathan Warren Pagán offers an intellectual biography of Giles Firmin (1613/14–1697), who lived in both Old and New England and lived through many of the transitions of international puritanism in the seventeenth century. By contextualizing Firmin in his intellectual milieu, Warren Pagán also offers a unique vantage on the transition of puritanism to Dissent in late Stuart England, surveying changing approaches to ecclesiology, pastoral theology, and the ordo salutis among the godly during the Restoration through Firmin’s writings.

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Jonathan Warren Pagán, Ph.D. (2014, Vanderbilt University), is Associate Rector at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, PA.

1 “Scholarly and Strangely Courteous Controversies”: Firmin’s Ecclesiastical Identity in the 1640s and 1650s

 1 Firmin’s Experience to 1651
 2 Firmin’s “Interpendency” in the Early 1650s
 3 Growing Presbyterian Identity in the Later 1650s
 4 Sects, Quakers, and the Power of the Magistrate
 5 Conclusion

2 “Nor Yet a New-Style Episcopalian”: Firmin’s Writings in the Early 1660s

 1 Laudians, Moderates, and the Problem of Re-Ordination
 2 Gifted Ministers and the Imposition of the Liturgy
 3 The Solemn League and Covenant, Primitive Episcopacy, and Tyrannical Prelacy
 4 Conclusion

3 "Truth and the Lambs of God Must be Regarded": Firmin on Effectual Calling, Faith, and Assurance

 1 The Real Christian in Context
 2 Preparation for Salvation: against Shepard and Hooker
 3 Defining Faith: for and against the Rogers and Perkins
 4 Effectual Calling, Self-Love, and the Glory of Go
 5 Imposing Duties on a “Christian Constituted”
 6 Conclusion

4 “What Episcopacy Is It You Mean?” Conscience, Schism, Anti-Popery, and the Edward Stillingfleet Debate

 1 Erastians and Latitudinarians against Dissenting Schismatics in the 1670s and 1680s
 2 The Latitudinarians on the Seperation and Schism of Dissenters
 3 Stillingfleet's Polemics in the 1680s
 4 Dissenting Replies to Stillingfleet and Anglican Polemics
 5 Firmin's Position vis-a-vis Presbyterian Dissent
 6 Conclusion

5 “Out of Whose Hive the Quakers Swarm’d”: Firmin, Federalists, and Anabaptists in the 1670s and 1680s

 1 Henry Danvers, Thomas Grantham, and the Paedobaptist/Anti-Paedobaptist Debate
 2 Of Quakerism, Popery, and the Slippery Slope
 3 Exegetical and Hermeneutical Disputes
 4 The Matter and Form of Baptism
 5 Pastoral Concerns
 6 Conclusion

6 “The Gospel is a Law”: Firmin, Free Grace, and Justification in 1690s Context

 1 The Antinomian Conflict, 1690–1698
 1.1 Antinomianism and Polemics
 1.2 Antinomianism and Neonomianism in the Polemics of the 1690s
 1.3 Free Grace and Justification, 1690–1694
 1.4 Richard Davis, Antinomianism, and the Fragmentation of the Happy Union
 1.5 Firmin on Justification and Assurance
 1.6 Conclusion




All interested in the history of puritanism, Stuart Dissent, and the transformation of Anglicanism in the seventeenth century. Keywords: Puritanism, Stuart Dissent, Anglicanism, seventeenth century, ecclesiology, Reformed theology.