Reforming Forgiveness: The Keys of the Kingdom in Richard Hooker and Thomas Cartwright

Introduction

“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19). This cryptic verse and its cognates were fiercely contested during the Reformation.[1] Rome argued that Christ granted priests and bishops the authority to “pronounce the sentence of remission or retention of sins.”[2] Already in his 95 Theses and his Explanations of the 95 Theses, however, Luther took aim at this doctrine; in his early treatise, Concerning the Ministry, he lays out what would become the consensus Magisterial Protestant view of the keys: “To bind and loose is…to proclaim and apply the gospel. For what is it to loose, if not to announce forgiveness of sins before God? What is it to bind, except to withdraw the gospel and declare the retention of sins?”[3]

In other words, for Rome, priests and bishops bind and loose by their own authority, whereas for Protestants, God binds and looses, and the keys consist in the (efficacious) proclamation by human agents in the ministry of the Word, the sacraments, and discipline. The Reformed tradition’s English incarnation remained essentially wedded to Luther’s articulation of the keys, albeit with perhaps greater emphasis on the ordained minister’s role. This consensus was surprisingly stable across ecclesial factions in the Elizabethan era.

This paper argues that the divines Richard Hooker and Thomas Cartwright, a conformist and non-conformist respectively, held to the broadly Reformed consensus on the nature of the keys. Nevertheless, their rhetorical emphases diverged considerably owing to their different opponents. In short, both Hooker and Cartwright articulated a roughly “Calvinist” position, but they highlighted and foregrounded certain elements of this position for polemical purposes. To argue this, we will first familiarize ourselves with the political and religious context of Elizabethan England. In so doing, we will describe three factions extant during this time and place our protagonists within this broader landscape. These factions are the proto-Anglicans (i.e. “conformists”), non-separatist Puritans (i.e. “nonconformists”), and the separatist Puritans. Finally, we will analyze the positions of Hooker and Cartwright, showing that they are in substantial agreement, but that each tailored his emphases to more effectively combat his opponents.

Political and Religious Context of the Elizabethan Church

Prior to examining the various theological factions in England, it is necessary to describe the context which gave rise to such factions. While identifying a clear “beginning” of the relevant causal chain is impossible, choosing a moment to treat as the beginning cannot be avoided. This paper begins, then, with the exile of English Protestants to the continent under Mary. These factions developed and hardened their perspectives while exiled, and they continued their debates upon their return. The Marian exile thus provides a convenient moment at which to begin our investigation.

The persecution unleashed by Mary against Protestants upon her ascent to the throne drove many leaders of reform into exile. They fled to various cities, including Geneva, Basle, Zurich, Strasbourg, and Frankfurt.[4] The cultures and theological commitments of the Protestantism observed in these cities influenced the kind of reform the exiles would attempt to institute upon their return. The chief points of disagreement between these cities, and subsequently between English reformers, were not about doctrine, but about “discipline” and “ceremonies.”[5] All of them were united in their commitment to the Reformed faith, but they were divided over their visions of its ideal instantiation. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the exiles who settled in Geneva adapted an English version of the Genevan prayer book and the Geneva Bible; upon their return, they attempted to remake the Church of England “on the Genevan plan.”[6] The group settled at Geneva would eventually, with others, morph into the first generation of Puritans. Likewise, the English contingent at Frankfurt was granted use of the French exiles’ church building on condition that they adapt to the French order of worship. They complied and quickly abandoned “congregational responses to the minister, the long-suspected surplice, and ‘many other things’.”[7]

The exiles at Strasbourg, by contrast, worshipped according to the Book of Common Prayer.[8] They saw this as a constitutive part of the English model of reformation. Eventually, owing to a misunderstanding, a group of Strasbourg exiles was sent to Frankfurt, where it wrested control of the congregation from the anti-Prayer Book party, no doubt straining good will in the process. This was the beginning of “an ideological division which would recur as long as the Englishmen took their religion seriously.”[9]

Elizabeth’s England and Its Factions

Following the ascension of Elizabeth to the throne in 1558, the Protestant exiles returned from the continent, bringing their disputes with them. Elizabeth made clear that she wished to take the Church of England in a Reformed direction. The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion were passed in 1563, although an article signaling the Church of England’s Reformed, non-Lutheran character was initially withheld. With the passage of these articles, the Church of England cemented its Protestantism. But what of her polity and rites? To answer this question, we must turn our attention to the various theological factions and their roles in the Admonition Controversy.

The Admonition Controversy: Anglican and Puritans

During Elizabeth’s reign, Cambridge was a hotbed of proto-Puritan (hereafter, for simplicity’s sake and admittedly anachronistically, “Puritan”) thought. Puritans agreed that the Church of England needed further reform, and they were especially vocal early in Elizabeth’s reign. Points of contention included clerical dress, rites and ceremonies during services, the proper conduct at baptisms, and different modes of receiving the Eucharist.[10] There were further debates about polity: conformists wished England to retain episcopacy, while many who had been exiles in Reformed cities or who, like Cartwright and Walter Travers, came out of Cambridge, wished to shift the Church of England toward Presbyterianism or even Congregationalism.[11] In Anglicans and Puritans, Lake argues the Admonition Controversy, while on the surface primarily concerned with polity and external rites of worship, was more deeply about the right understanding of “true religion, the Christian community and the relationship between the religious and secular order.”[12] Perhaps most fundamentally, debates concerned the nature and extent of scriptural authority and opposing interpretations of the state of the Church of England.

The chief disputants in the Admonition Controversy, Cartwright and Whitgift, agreed that Scripture is the final authority in matters of doctrine.[13] They disagreed about what Scripture actually teaches concerning the church: Cartwright and his Puritan brethren “assumed and asserted” that the Apostolic practice of church governance was “coherent” and “normative for all subsequent churches.”[14] Whitgift and the conformists denied both claims. This issue demonstrates one key disagreement between the Anglicans and Puritans: to what degree does Scripture speak to issues not concerning salvation? Put another way, how much of what the Scriptures contain or even favorably portray is commanded? Looking at the broader Reformed context on this issue, the Puritans took what might be called a “maximalist” position, while the Anglicans took a “minimalist” position. While these debates were real and created a great deal of social instability, “the formal doctrinal consensus” shared by Cartwright and the Puritans on one hand and Whitgift and the Anglicans on the other, held firm.[15] This consensus was forged around a common, broadly Reformed Protestant perspective.

The Admonition Controversy thus sheds light on two prominent groups in the Church of England in the earlier years of Elizabeth’s reign. The first group was the conformists (proto-Anglicans). These were Reformed but anti-Puritans in the Elizabethan Church. Prominent members of this group included John Whitgift, John Jewel, and, in the decades following the Admonition Controversy, Richard Hooker. These men were Reformed: they held to a Protestant doctrine of justification, an Augustinian position on predestination, agreed with the Continental Reformed concerning the nature of the sacraments, and adopted, as we will see, a Reformed understanding of the keys.[16] They rejected, however, the strict regulative principle of worship articulated by the Puritan faction, and they upheld episcopacy as an appropriate model of church governance. Finally, they did not see discipline as a mark of the church.[17]

The second group which comes into focus through the Admonition Controversy was the nonconformists (or non-separatist Puritans). Prominent members included Walter Travers and Thomas Cartwright. These men, too, owed allegiance to the broader Reformed tradition. They took a stricter view than the conformists on the regulative principle of worship, wishing to reform England’s polity and discipline to reflect what they found in Scripture. They were frequently Presbyterians or Congregationalists who saw discipline as a mark of the true church.[18]

In the first decades of Elizabeth’s reign, it seemed the Puritans might succeed in making substantial alterations to the Church of England. Puritanism flourished in the House of Commons, which nearly reformed the polity of the English Church.[19] The nonconformists were eventually outmaneuvered, however, in part due to the firm opposition of Queen Elizabeth herself to their project. Ultimately, the situation of the Puritans deteriorated, and Cartwright was imprisoned in in 1590, after which he ceased public writing.[20] He never left the Church of England.

Separatism

If the Admonition Controversy illuminates the divisions between conformists and nonconformists who were nevertheless not separatists, ongoing debates between conformists and nonconformists shed light upon a crucial division within Puritanism: that between the separatist and non-separatist Puritans. While so-called “moderate puritans,” such as Travers and Cartwright, thought and publicly argued that Presbyterian reform could and should occur within the Church of England, many of their fellow Presbyterians disagreed, arguing for separation from the Church of England. With some merit, the conformists pressed non-separatists, arguing the logical conclusion of their arguments was separatism. As shall be shown below, for separatists, including Cartwright’s own sister-in-law, Anne Stubbs, the Church of England had ceased to be a true church at all.[21] For Cartwright, by contrast, the Church of England needed serious reform of polity to match its reform of doctrine, but it still retained its status as a true church.[22]

What is crucial to note, however, is that the separatists did not disagree with their non-separatist fellows on substantial issues of doctrine or polity. They disagreed, rather, about how to understand or interpret the state of the Church of England. Both agreed that the marks of the church were threefold: Word, sacrament, and discipline.[23] Both further concurred that either Presbyterianism or Congregationalism was the scripturally mandated polity. They merely disagreed about whether and to what degree the Church of England actually possessed these marks; the separatists thought it lacked at least discipline, whereas the non-separatist nonconformists believed its discipline was badly broken but sufficiently intact to qualify the Church of England as a true church. For one group, the Church of England had lost the keys; for the other, she simply wielded them imperfectly.

In sum, then, just as few theological commitments divided conformists from Puritans, so less divided the non-separatist Puritans from separatists. These similarities did not, however, lead to easy relations between these groups—far from it. Moreover, as shall be demonstrated below, the divisions between these groups led to distinct emphases in the polemics of conformists and nonconformists.

Hooker and Cartwright

Claims

The main argument of this essay is as follows: Richard Hooker and Thomas Cartwright, a conformist and Presbyterian respectively, held the same, Reformed view of the nature of the keys of the kingdom but emphasized different elements of this one doctrine owing to their differing interlocutors. In other words, as with so much of the conflict between the proto-Anglicans and Puritans in the Elizabethan church, the points of convergence are far greater than the points of divergence, and many apparent dissimilarities were just that—apparent. To demonstrate this, it will be necessary to first explain Richard Hooker’s view and then to examine his distinct emphases and modes of argumentation, explaining them in relation to his interlocutors.

Hooker

Hooker’s most extensive discussion of the keys is located in his Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, a defense of the Elizabethan settlement in the Church of England over against Puritanism and Roman Catholicism alike. As Almasy notes, “Hooker always linked papist and Presbyterian together against the Church of England.”[24] Almasy observes that, in his Laws, Hooker sees both as making crucial errors.

Although Hooker has often been portrayed as a so-called “moderate” or as the founder of the (in)famous Anglican via media, his discourse on the keys buttresses a competing view: Hooker was essentially within the mainstream of the Reformed tradition. Thus, although Almasy wonders whether the section on the keys of the kingdom actually originates with Hooker, finding it “unusual” and “strange” that Hooker is “so close to John Calvin on the sacrament of penance,” it probably makes more sense to see Hooker as defending the broadly Reformed (and Reformational) view of the keys over against the Roman view.[25] Thus, as Gibbs argues, “Jewel’s Apology, and especially his Defence, provide an echo of Calvin’s teaching…and were certainly important sources for the 1648 version of Hooker’s book IV.”[26] This view is further supported by the fact that both Jewel and Whitgift were patrons of Hooker.[27] In short, then, the positions Hooker espouses should be seen as broadly in line with his Reformed contemporaries and predecessors, both in England and on the Continent.

Hooker follows Whitgift and Jewel, the latter of whom argued that the power of the keys, binding and loosing, is fundamentally declarative. It is not a power given to the bishop or priest to exercise at his discretion, argued Jewel. Rather, the minister should “offer by the preaching of the gospel the merits of Christ and full pardon to such as have lowly and contrite hearts,…pronouncing unto the same a sure and undoubted forgiveness of their sins.”[28] Forgiveness is thus presented through the minister by the preaching of the Word of God. He declares it and formally offers it, but he does not effect it. The minister may also exercise the power of the keys by excommunicating unrepentant sinners from the church.[29] The fundamental point, though, for Jewel following Calvin, is that the key “is the word of the gospel and the expounding of the law and scriptures,” such that “where the word is not, there is not the key.”[30] The minister binds and looses as a servant of God’s Word, not at his own discretion. Indeed, as Gibbs presents Jewel’s position, the keys seem to essentially be a function of the preached Word.[31]

Hooker’s Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity is a “polemic against Presbyterianism” which attempts to take up, clarify, and defend the conformist case.[32] Hooker addresses the issue of the keys of the kingdom in book VI of the Laws. The reader notes a decisive shift in perspective in Book VI: while in most of the Laws, as noted above, Hooker carefully “linked papist and Presbyterian together against the Church of England,” here he aims his rhetorical fire against Rome. As we shall see below, Hooker does this because he is in substantial agreement with the Puritan wing of the Church of England on this point. Nevertheless, Hooker foregrounds different elements of his doctrine of the keys than does Cartwright: he makes explicit and emphasizes the role of the minister in wielding the keys, and he de-emphasizes or perhaps ignores, depending upon one’s interpretation of a key passage, private admonition between lay-Christians as constituting use of the keys.

Hooker adopts this position against the Roman Catholics Bellarmine and Baronius, and he undeniably highlights the minister’s function as the instrument by which God’s Word binds and looses.[33] Thus, near the beginning of book VI, Hooker writes that “Christ [authorized] more generally his Apostles, and the ministers of His word, in His name to absolve sinners.”[34] These ministers “have certainty” that what they pronounce God also pronounces, owing to their faith in “God’s gracious pardon to all penitents” and their experience of the sincere repentance evidenced by the actions of the individual concerned.[35]

Hooker’s first claim, that Christ left to his apostles and priests authority to “absolve sins” in His name might, on its own, be interpreted as according with the Roman Catholic position. According to the Council of Trent, “Christ…left behind Him priests” who might, “in virtue of the power of the keys, pronounce the sentence of remission or retention of sins.”[36] The council then argues that absolution by a priest is a “judicial act, by which sentence is pronounced by him as by a judge,” that this office is given “through the power of the Holy Ghost conferred in ordination.”[37]

Hooker’s explanation of the grounds of the minister’s confidence is the first hint that he rejects the Roman Catholic view. He argues that ministers declare pardon with greater confidence than laymen because they “have certainty…whereupon to ground their sentence.”[38] But in explaining this certainty, Hooker argues it results “partly of faith and partly of human experience.”[39] In other words, it is not owing to any ontological change in the priest as a result of his ordination that the priest is able to declare absolution, but rather this right is a function of the priest’s faith in God’s promises of forgiveness to the repentant and experience in judging the sincerity of repentance in the sinner.[40] Priests hold an office which naturally—not supernaturally—suits them for the task of absolving.

Furthermore, for Hooker, priestly authority is not judicial, nor is it absolute. Christ places “two restraints” upon ministers in the exercise of the keys. First, the minister’s pronouncement must be subject to “due order.”[41] Hooker does not explicate this statement in any depth, but based upon its usage in the surrounding passage, he seems to be rejecting a kind of absolute authority to bind and loose. “Due order” safeguards the faithful from abuse of ecclesiastical authority. It is also possible that Hooker has in mind the “order” laid out in Matthew 18:15-20 for dealing with sins against fellow believers: one must first confront the offender privately, then take one or two others to confront him; if this fails, one must bring the issue before the Church, and if the sinner still will not listen, he is to be excommunicated. This order is important for Cartwright, as shall be shown below.

The second restraint placed upon the minister is that he not exceed his “bounds,” that is, he cannot imagine himself to have such “sovereignty of power that no sin should be pardonable in man without” his absolution.[42] God alone forgives sin, and while He may announce or proclaim—or even effect—this through instruments, He is not bound by His instruments. Thus, both of these conditions function for Hooker as guards against the Roman understanding of the keys.

But if the keys are declarative, how do they relate to the minister and to remission of sins? Are ministers merely trying to divine and then pronounce upon heaven’s policies, or do they wield real authority in their own right? Hooker suggests that the ministers act as the instrumental means by which God’s forgiveness comes to men, “God really performing the same which man is authorized to act in his name.”[43] Furthermore, for Hooker, the two elements needful for remission of sins are God’s grace and the sinner’s repentance. The former is given by God as a promise, generally through a minister, and the latter’s validity is attested to both by the conscience and by the minister’s observance of repentance, “especially for the strengthening of…fearful minds.”[44] The ministry of the keys is a divinely authorized and blessed attestation of God’s gracious forgiveness of penitent sinners. As Almasy aptly puts it, “Hooker’s final emphasis…is not on ministerial authority or spiritual jurisdiction or ecclesiastical power, but rather on the sinner’s heart and how graciously God forgives the true penitent.”[45]

From this understanding of the nature of the keys, Hooker argues the ministry of the keys has two effects. First, concerning sin “it only declares us free from the guiltiness thereof,” and second, concerning access to the ordinary means of grace in Word and sacrament, it “truly restores our liberty [and] looses the chains wherewith we were tied.”[46] To remove sin belongs to God alone, but “censures” do “more than declare or signify what God has wrought.”[47] This suggests that Hooker believes in real spiritual binding by the minister, insofar as he can withhold the sacraments. By contrast, he can only confidently declare the loosing of sins: if the minister declares forgiven one whom heaven has not, or vice versa, it is “of no validity.”[48]

Following the explication of his own view, Hooker argues against the Catholic view. He grounds his case in the Scriptures and the authority of past theologians, especially the Church Fathers. In this, he departs from Cartwright, who almost exclusively argues from Scripture. Hooker cites Peter Lombard, St. Jerome, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and St. Cyprian in defense of his positions.[49] He further demonstrates that the Roman position actually reduces to the Protestant position, anyway, since Catholics argue that true penitents receive absolution even prior to its pronouncement by a priest and that the unrepentant cannot be absolved no matter how many times a priest forgives them.[50]

Thus, for Hooker, following Calvin and Jewel, the keys are fundamentally declarative, the authoritative proclamation of heaven’s sentence, and a balm to tormented consciences. To make his case, Hooker argues from both Scripture and tradition. As shall be shown below, Cartwright agrees substantially with Hooker concerning the nature of the keys, but because his interlocutors are separatist Puritans, he argues exclusively from Scripture and foregrounds the role of the laity.

Cartwright

Cartwright was considered the “head” of the Puritan party and was among the most influential men to come out of Cambridge.[51] At various points in his career, he argued both against conformists and against separatists. While he did not fire the opening 1572 salvo in the Admonition Controversy, he argued forcefully against Whitgift in the Second Admonition to Parliament; later, he would privately and quietly attempt to refute the arguments of Ann Stubbs, his sister-in-law and a Brownist.

Unlike Hooker, who wrote against Roman Catholics in Book VI of his Laws, Cartwright frequently argues against separatists. Both Cartwright and the separatists agreed that discipline, which included the keys of the kingdom, was a mark of the church.[52] They disagreed, however, about whether the Church of England retained this mark and so qualified as a true church. The belief that discipline, including possession of the keys, was a mark of the church is among his greatest differences with Hooker on the issue. Nevertheless, as shall be demonstrated below, they did not disagree about how the keys function. But before getting to Cartwright’s response to the separatists, we must examine his general understanding of the function of the keys.

Cartwright contends that the keys bind in “the declaring the Judgments against the unrepentant, and secondly…[loose] in the paching [preaching] of the glad tydings of the gospel to those who do believe.”[53] Two conclusions can be gleaned from this. First, for Cartwright, the keys are declarative. What is in view is the public proclamation of judgment and gospel. This means, second, that the minister is at least an agent of the keys, although the keys do not belong to him as a possession.

Cartwright emphasizes a further dimension of the keys, as well. “Another part of the keys,” which has also Christ’s authority, is the private admonishment of a fellow-Christian.[54] If such admonishment fails, the matter must eventually be taken to the ecclesial authorities, as described in Matthew 18. Thus, private confrontation in response to sin also is a valid exercise of the keys, and one which, as we suggested above, Hooker may have had in mind as he wrote about “due order.”

In substance, then, Cartwright seems to be generally in line with Hooker and Jewel (and Calvin before them). Of course, and unsurprisingly, Hooker emphasizes the priest’s role in his polemic against Roman Catholics, and Cartwright emphasizes the role of personal admonishment when writing to separatist Puritans. Nevertheless, both men agree that the keys are declarative, that the minister binds and looses according to the gospel, and that, following proper order, excommunication or barring from Eucharistic fellowship are also exercises of the keys.

Cartwright’s response to those who believed the Church of England had forfeited the keys shed a great deal of light upon how he understood the keys to function. Anne Stubbs, Cartwright’s sister-in-law, corresponded with him about the legitimacy of the Church of England. She had, on one occasion, refused to pray with Cartwright publicly, believing him to be disobedient to Christ by remaining in the Church of England.[55] Essentially, she argued that the keys of the kingdom, being a constitutive element of right discipline, are necessary to maintain if a church is to qualify as a true church. In her view, the Church of England had forfeited the authority of the keys through its lax discipline and various corruptions; therefore, it had ceased to be a true church. As a result, the godly were obligated to leave the Church of England and form new, true churches.

Cartwright offered multiple arguments in response, defending the legitimacy of the English Church and therefore disputing the separatists’ right to separate. First, Cartwright argued that, in any event, few of the separatist ministers were proper ministers by Puritan standards, most of them not even knowing Greek and Hebrew. Thus, separatist churches were not true churches anymore than the Church of England, on separatist grounds. Second, and more importantly, he argued that, while the Church of England certainly wielded the keys imperfectly, this did not constitute forfeiture of the authority of the keys.[56] Cartwright gave the example of Paul’s engagement with the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthian 5. There, despite egregious failure in church discipline (the congregation had refused to take action against a man who was sexually involved with his step-mother) Paul did not suggest the Corinthian church had ceased to be a church. Rather, he simply commanded them to use the keys properly. Likewise, the Church of England’s failure to use the keys as it ought did not disqualify it from being a true church; it merely demanded that the Church of England reform.

Additionally, Cartwright argued, since declaring judgment upon sinners, preaching the gospel, and private admonishment—each of which the Church of England did—constituted use of the keys, the Church of England obviously qualified as a true church which used the keys.[57] Thus, Cartwright argued from the Scriptures rather than, like Hooker, from both the Scriptures and tradition. This did not, however, so much reflect serious theological differences on the issue of the keys—for both men held them to be declarative—as rhetorical emphases owing to his different interlocutors.

Conclusion

The Anglican divine Richard Hooker and the Puritan divine Thomas Cartwright, albeit not writing at precisely the same time, found themselves embroiled in similar sets of disputes. In general, Cartwright argued against the conformists and separatists, Hooker against the papists and Puritans. On the issue of the keys, Hooker took exclusive aim at those aligned with Rome, and Cartwright attempted to refute the arguments of separatists.

Above, I argued they were both committed to a broadly Reformed theology of the keys of the kingdom—hence the fact that neither takes aim at the parties to which the other belongs. Cartwright does not oppose the conformists on the issue of the nature of the keys, and Hooker does not oppose the Puritans. I further argued that they refrained from doing so precisely because they both agreed upon the declarative nature of the keys, even if they rhetorically foregrounded different features of them. Far from elevating the role of the priest beyond that of authoritative declarer, Hooker instead argues, in line with John Jewel and Calvin, that he bears the keys as a servant entrusted with faithfully executing the decrees of his Lord. The minister is, indeed, “authorized to act as in [God’s] name,” but it is God who ultimately forgives; as a result, if the minister grants absolution against God’s will, it is “of no validity.”[58]

For his part, Cartwright emphasized the role of the laity in admonishment, but he contended that the ministers in the Church of England were wielders of the keys, even if they wielded them improperly. Like Hooker, Cartwright’s vision of the keys is declarative: they are wielded as binding agents in the preaching of God’s judgment and as loosing agents in the preaching of his gospel. In short, then, I have argued that, on this issue, at the least, Anglicans and Puritans were both committed to the broader Reformed theological movement. In so arguing, I have gestured at the possibility, however apparently unlikely, that the actual theological differences between the Anglicans and Puritans were slim, that many of their disagreements stemmed not so much from differences in principle, but differences in interpreting the state of affairs in Elizabeth’s English Church.

  1. See, e.g., Matt.18:18 and John 20:23.
  2. Rev Fr H. J. Schroeder, The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, “Decree Concerning the Most Holy Sacraments of Penance and Extreme Unction,” (TAN Books, 2005), 92.
  3. Martin Luther, Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, and Helmut T. Lehmann, Luther’s Works. 40: Church and Ministry: 2, American ed (Saint Louis, Mo.: Concordia Publishing House, 1958), 27-28.
  4. Frere et al., Puritan Manifestoes, i.
  5. Donald Joseph McGinn, Thomas Cartwright, and John Whitgift, The Admonition Controversy, Rutgers Studies in English, no. 5 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1949), 12.
  6. McGinn, Cartwright, and Whitgift, The Admonition Controversy, 12.
  7. Ronald J. Vander Molen, “Anglican Against Puritan: Ideological Origins during the Marian Exile,” Church History 42, no. 01 (March 1973): 46, https://doi.org/10.2307/3165045.
  8. Molen, “Anglican Against Puritan,” 46.
  9. Molen, “Anglicans Against Puritans,” 49.
  10. McGinn, Cartwright, Whitgift, The Admonition Controversy, 14.
  11. S. J. Knox, Walter Travers: Paragon of Elizabethan Puritanism (London: Methuen, 1962), 11; Peter Lake, Moderate Puritans and the Elizabethan Church (Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982)., 82.
  12. Peter Lake, Anglicans and Puritans? Presbyterianism and English Conformist Thought from Whitgift to Hooker (London ; Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1988), 14.
  13. Lake, Anglicans and Puritans?, 16.
  14. Lake, Anglicans and Puritans?, 16.
  15. Lake, Anglicans and Puritans?, 65.
  16. Lake, Anglicans and Puritans?, 121. On justification, see, for example, Richard Hooker’s “A Learned Discourse on Justification.”
  17. Lake, Anglicans and Puritans?, 127.
  18. Lake, Anglicans and Puritans?, 127.
  19. Robert K. Faulkner, Richard Hooker and the Politics of a Christian England (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), 43.
  20. Knox, Walter Travers, 119.
  21. , 80.
  22. Thomas Cartwright, Albert Peel, and Leland H. Carlson, Cartwrightiana, Elizabethan Nonconformist Texts, v. 1 (London: Published for the Sir Halley Stewart Trust [by] Allen and Unwin, 1951), 66; Lake, Moderate Puritans, 82-83.
  23. W. J. Torrance Kirby, ed., Richard Hooker and the English Reformation, Studies in Early Modern Religious Reforms, v. 2 (Dordrecht ; Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003), 247.
  24. Almasy, “Book VI and the Tractate on Penance,” Richard Hooker and the English Reformation, 269.
  25. Almasy, “Book VI and the Tractate on Penance,” Richard Hooker and the English Reformation, 269.
  26. Gibbs, “Book IV: The Calvin Connection,” Richard Hooker and the English Reformation, 257.
  27. Faulkner, Richard Hooker and the Politics of Christian England, 17.
  28. John Jewel and John Ayre, The Works of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, Vol. 3, Parker Society Publications (Cambridge: Printed at the University Press, 1845), 60.
  29. Jewel and Ayre, The Works of John Jewel, Vol. 3, 60.
  30. Jewel and Ayre, The Works of John Jewel, Vol. 3, 61.
  31. Gibbs, “Book IV: The Calvin Connection,” in Richard Hooker and the English Reformation, 253.
  32. Lake, Anglicans and Puritans?, 145-146.
  33. Almasy, “Book VI and the Tractate on Penance,” in Richard Hooker and the English Reformation, 267.
  34. Richard Hooker and Arthur Stephen McGrade, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity: A Critical Edition with Modern Spelling, Vol. 3 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 47.
  35. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 47-48.
  36. Schroeder, The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, 92.
  37. Schroeder, The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, 92.
  38. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 47.
  39. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 47.
  40. Hooker, Laws, Vol. 3, 47.
  41. Hooker, Laws, Vol. 3, 48.
  42. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 49.
  43. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 50.
  44. Hooker, Laws, Vol. 3, 50.
  45. Almasy, “Book VI and the Tractate on Penance,” Richard Hooker and the English Reformation, 268-269.
  46. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 51.
  47. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 51.
  48. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 50.
  49. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 50, 54-56.
  50. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 64-65.
  51. Knox, Walter Travers, 21.
  52. See, e.g., Cartwright et al., Cartwrightiana, 65; Lake, Moderate Puritans, 83.
  53. Cartwright et al., Cartwrightiana, 66.
  54. Cartwright et al., Cartwrightiana, 67.
  55. Cartwright et al., Cartwrightiana, 60.
  56. Cartwright et al., Cartwrightiana, 66.
  57. Cartwright et al., Cartwrightiana, 67-68.
  58. Hooker, Laws Vol. 3, 50.


'Reforming Forgiveness: The Keys of the Kingdom in Richard Hooker and Thomas Cartwright' has 1 comment

  1. May 9, 2020 @ 3:29 am Nick

    I’m kind of baffled at this Essay. It seems that on one hand, you’re saying Rome is wrong to speak of Jesus giving clergy the authority to forgive sins, while turning around and applying a not substantially different idea to Protestant pastors. Aside from any quibbles, the two positions seem either substantially the same, or at least not so different that you could attack one side as being unreasonable, especially if these Protestants were attacking one another for how to properly understand and apply it. I think it’s a strawman for you to say that for Rome the clergy bind and loose “by their own authority,” since that implies they do it in their name apart from Christ delegating it. Similarly, it’s a strawman to imply the Catholic view absolves someone who isn’t actually repentant. Let us not be unfair or fallacious when we “highlight and foreground certain elements for polemical purposes”.

    I think the Reformed view of Excommunication somewhat highlights this, since by this Discipline a Christian is indeed kicked out of the Church, and they cannot be forgiven unless the Pastor sees their repentance and readmits them, essentially absolving them. A Catholic priest gives Confession to those who commit mortal sin, most typically fornication, which is precisely the sin that Paul says warrants excommunication in 1 Cor 5:1-5. St Paul says cast that person out of the Church, cast him out of the kingdom of God and put him within the kingdom of Satan. The Protestant Pastor does not passively make use of the keys, as if merely preaching to the air sends someone out or brings an excommunicated person back. Rather, the Pastor (or Elders) willfully expels and willfully readmits or denies their entry in a judicial manner. Furthermore, it isn’t even clear how a Justified person remains Justified if they should be excommunicated, for that means a Justified person resides in the Kingdom of Satan, which is impossible.

    Reply


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