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The way that we document history, the sources we save, and the voices we privilege make it seem as though there are not many women who have played prominent roles in the fight for religious freedom in the United States.

The Antinomian Controversy, 1636-1638: A Documentary History

Of course, this is not the case. Women were integral in the fight for church-state separation, and, thankfully, we have evidence about the contributions of many of them. One of the most important women in religious freedom history is Anne Hutchinson. In , Hutchinson illuminated what it meant to be a rebel by partaking in a religious conflict in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Speaking out for what she believed in came at a cost. Her trial is famously cited by historians, and her pursuit of genuine freedom of conscience makes her legacy all the more iconic. Balancing these two ideas was hardly simple, and sometimes the balance was easily lost, such as during the Antinomian controversy.

Redeeming free grace: Thomas Hooker and the contested language of salvation. So we are right back to the antinomian controversy.

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Dale Martin's "arsenokoites and malakos" tried and found wanting. A lot of this material is familiar and much discussed-John Cotton, Thomas Shepard, Thomas Hooker, and Roger Williams each get a chapter, along with a chapter on lay reading of the Bible, and a final section on the Antinomian controversy. After Cotton stepped back from the abyss of antinomianism, the New England mainstream was able to recapture a Puritan sense of identity--temporarily lost in the early settlement period--by comparing their own exemplary diligence to the laxness of Anne Hutchinson and other radicals prosecuted during Massachusetts' antinomian controversy.

Returned to Wittenberg to teach theology , but he differed with Luther in the first antinomian controversy.

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Yours in the Lord Jesus. I thanke you unfeignedly for this labor of your love, to acquainte me with such passages in my ministery, as through eyther?


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The particulars you enquire of are many, and the Returne of your Messenger is short, and therefore I shall god Helping returne you as I may short, and plaine Answers there unto. Your 1. Quaere concerneth me not, nor any Doctrine or opinion of mine. I have some times heard it, and pleaded against it, as not safe if it should be receyved; But I know noe man that holdeth it, or even mentioned it, but by way of Inquiry, and Disputation.

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To your 2d. I looke at all Promises as given us by the covenant of grace, and the covenant of grace as given us by christ. So that I doe not satisfy my selfe in closeing with a Promise, or with the covenant of grace but as I first close with christ, in whom the covenant, and the Promise is made, and confirmed, Isaiah And I conceyve the soule closeth with christ, by feeling himself [a] poor desolate soule, lost for want of christ, sensible of his owne Insufficiency to reach him, and unworthy also to receyve him, yet seeking, and [1 word mutilated] for him in every ordinaunce, and spirituall Deuty, though finding it selfe unable to beginne, or continue seeking or waiting, farther then christ shall helpe, and worke with him.

Thus closeing with christ wee safely close with every Promise so farre as the Lord revealeth it, and applyeth it to us: which also stayeth the soule though not from searching farther after christ, and the seale of his spirit, yet from sinkeing. Samuel The word, and Revelation of the spirit, I suppose doe as much differ, as letter, and spirit.