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Hartford PuritanismThomas Hooker, Samuel Stone, and Their Terrifying God$
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Baird Tipson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190212520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212520.001.0001

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Gaining Assurance of Salvation

Gaining Assurance of Salvation

Chapter:
(p.345) 11 Gaining Assurance of Salvation
Source:
Hartford Puritanism
Author(s):

Baird Tipson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212520.003.0011

Hooker followed Perkins in insisting that a Christian not only could but must achieve assurance that she was among God’s chosen. But his method—constant struggle and recognition that failure rather than success led one to rely entirely on God’s grace—seemed appropriate only for spiritual athletes. Too much introspection could lead to despair and even thoughts of suicide; membership in the godly community, while comforting, could be feigned by hypocrites. Both Hooker and Stone relied heavily on participation in the Lord’s Supper, but only when access to the Supper could be carefully controlled by both ministers and the godly community.

Keywords:   assurance, introspection, Lord’s Supper, hypocrisy

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