'A Company of Professed Believers Ecclesiastically Confederate': the message of the Cambridge Platform

Written by Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe
October 29, 1998

The following paper was delivered at the First Parish (UUA) in Cambridge (Mass.) during the conference marking the 350th anniversary of the Cambridge Platform. The Platform not only defined the New England expression of Congregationalism but was also one of the first documents in colonial history that shaped early thinking about democracy and community. We will, in the coming week, post other papers from this landmark event, including a sermon by Harvard Chaplain Peter Gomes and an audio file of an historic encounter between the leaders of the four churches that can trace their descent to the Cambridge Platform—including the United Church of Christ.

"A Platform of Church Discipline Gathered out of the Word of God and Agreed upon by the Elders and Messengers of the Churches Assembled in the Synod at Cambridge in New England."

The title embodies the dignity of the old New England Way. The Cambridge Platform was, as Perry Miller stated fifty years ago in this place, "a basic document in the American tradition ... the pioneer formulation of the principle that a corporate body is created by the consent of constituent members." Its significance for church and society was not limited to the New England of 1648, for it dealt with such enduring questions as the nature of the church, the relationship of individuals in covenant, the interface of church and society, and the authority of leaders. 1

The Cambridge Platform reflected almost three decades of colonial experience and culminated years of intense ecclesiastical discussion. In May 1646, in response to a number of religious issues both internal to New England and pressing from across the Atlantic, the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony called (or, as some churches insisted, invited) the churches of New England to send pastors and delegates to gather in Cambridge as a Synod. The mandate was to compose and agree upon "one forme of government and discipline" for the New England churches, to which the Court later added, in response to concurrent developments at the Westminster Assembly in England, its request for an official "confession of the faith we do professe touching the doctrinall part of religion." 2 The Synod met in three sessions, September 1646, June 1647, and finally August 1648.

Delegates selected a draft document by pastor Richard Mather of Dorchester as the most suitable of three submitted for consideration and, after some polishing, approved it unanimously. The Platform of Church Discipline, with a preface written by John Cotton, was published in 1649 and distributed among the churches for endorsement. Approval was slow in coming. In 1650 the General Court had to badger congregations for their responses. The laity of a number of churches had serious reservations about the way the Platform seemed to consolidate power in the hands of ministers and magistrates. A successful interpretation and lobbying program produced the necessary support and the General Court finally adopted the Platform in October 1651, although not without a number of dissenting votes. So the whole process of the Cambridge Synod covered more than five years. It is, however, fitting that we observe the anniversary this year, three hundred and fifty years after the Synod completed its work. We will have other things to do in the years 2000 and 2001.

But we are not here to celebrate. No cause for triumphalism remains among our small churches as it still did even fifty years ago when the governor of the Commonwealth, the president and dean of Harvard, and several of the nation's most distinguished professors were on the program at the Platform's tercentenary. Henry Wilder Foote set the high tone in the commemorative volume which he edited for the Congregational and Unitarian Churches: "From the very small mustard seed of A Platform of Church Discipline ... there grew the great tree of religious and civil liberty upon which, in the fulness of time, the American eagle could perch." Vestiges of the old establishment lingered in 1948. Of course official disestablishment of the Congregational churches in the New England states occurred long ago in the early nineteenth century. And de facto political disestablishment began with what my professor Father James Hennesey called "the Green Wave," massive Irish immigration. Not until the decades after 1948 (when the governor of Massachusetts was still named Bradford and the president of Harvard bore the venerable name of Conant), however, did the old cultural establishment finally disintegrate. The Platform of 1648 described a social system in which it was "the duty of the magistrate to take care of matters of religion." Society was to be so ordered that church and state "may both stand together and flourish, the one being helpful unto the other in their distinct and due administrations."

In 1998 such Constantinianism seems, depending on one's perspective, either quaintly idealistic or dangerously repressive. In any case, the world of the New England Way and the Cambridge Platform has long since vanished. Even in 1948, it turns out, the governor sent his regrets. As Dr. Samuel A. Eliot announced, "Governor Bradford was eager to join us here tonight but the exigencies of the political campaign require him to be addressing a rally in Springfield." In 1998 we know what has been true for a long time, the church really is on its own. 3

We are here, then, not to celebrate but humbly and seriously to consider what our ancient Platform might say to us in the American churches at the turn of the millennium. The message is going to be different from the one gleaned by the speakers fifty years ago at the onset of the Cold War. In 1948 all the speakers except Perry Miller drew that straight line from the New England Congregationalism of the Platform to the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, liberal social reform, the defeat of fascism in World War II, and the rise of America as the bulwark of the free world. Miller alone argued that "we have pushed to the limit those deductions [from the Platform] which worked for individualism, inherent rights, and local autonomy" and prophesied that by 2048 the "social or corporate conception" of the Platform would emerge as most relevant—if by then anyone still cares.

Post-Miller Puritan scholarship has moved decisively in this direction. The Platform was not so much the magna charta of democracy as it was the codification of ministerial authority and the triumph of order and orthodoxy over spiritualistic individualism. As such it is obviously not a template for the year 2000. In fact, the New England churches themselves quickly diverged from the Platform in a number of practices. One generation after the Cambridge Synod, at the Reforming Synod of 1679, when delegates voted to reaffirm the Platform they approved it not in detail but "for the substance of it."

I want to explore what "substance" there may be in the Platform for a church which lives in an irreversibly pluralistic society, a society which cannot and should not even imagine returning to some kind of religious-political-cultural establishment. 4

The desire to found churches ... God intended

The nature of the church occupied the thoughts of the early leaders of the New England colonies to a large degree. The desire to found churches of the sort God intended, as revealed in the New Testament and in the history of ancient Israel, was one of the driving forces of the Great Migration. New England Congregationalists did this faithfully, tenaciously, in constant tension with episcopal and sectarian models, throughout the colonial period of American history. They were not interested merely in "restructuring," as our twentieth-century bureaucratic language has it, but in ecclesiology developing and living out a theology of the church. Seventeenth-century Puritans believed that their congregational "church government" was, as the Platform states, "exactly described in the Word of God" and must "continue one and the same unto the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." In 1998 we accept the fact that various models of church organization can be traced to Scripture, indeed that the New Testament church exhibited a variety of patterns. So our object is not to put forth congregationalism as the answer to the world's, or even the church's, problems. But the basic issues facing the religious and civic leaders of Puritan New England were perennial ones and the "form and order" of their church life has much to teach. In 1948 the speakers traced congregationalism's influence on the rise of democratic political institutions. In 1998 my modest proposal is that the Cambridge Platform's vision of the church offers us some light. 5

In the 1640s New England pastors wrote a series of treatises in support of the Congregational Way as it was developing in Massachusetts and Connecticut. These were prompted by direct challenges from Presbyterian churchmen in England, where that party had the upper hand in Parliament. Chief among them were Richard Mather's Church-Government and Church-Covenant Discussed (London, 1643), Thomas Hooker's The Survey of the Summe of Church Discipline (London, 1648), and John Cotton's The Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven (London, 1644), The Way of the Churches of Christ in New-England (London, 1645), and The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared (1648). These and other works laid the intellectual and practical foundation, provided a language that worked, for the Platform. Let me quote at some length from a single source a series of statements of principle which could be found essentially in any one of these, or in the sermons of all the ministers at the Cambridge Synod.

"The church is first of all an assembly.... The church is not simply an act of assembling; rather, it assembles at a specific place (see 1 Cor. 14:23). It is the people who in a specific way assemble at a specific place.... A church is a concrete assembly of those who at a specific place 'call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 1:2).... The church nowhere exists 'above the locally assembled congregation. ... A congregation is the body of Christ in the particular locale in which it gathers together.... The whole eschatological people of God is a sum of all local churches in which individual Christians have gathered together.... Two conditions of ecclesiality emerge from the church's status as a congregation assembled in the name of Christ. The first is the faith of those who are thus assembled.... Without faith in Christ as Savior, there is no church.... Second ... is the commitment of those assembled to allow their lives to be determined by Jesus Christ.... Confession of faith ... is, moreover, not an individual and private affair. It always takes place 'before others' (Matt, 10:32-33) and possesses an essential social and public dimension.... Since the members of the church are interdependent, their life must be characterized by mutuality. The church is a community 'of [mutual] giving and receiving (Phil. 4:15).... Officeholders do not stand opposite the church as those acting exclusively in persona Christi. Since the Spirit of Christ acts in them not by the power of their office, but rather in the execution of their ministry, their actions do not differ in principle from those of any other member of the church." 6

These words, as I say, could have been authored by Mather, Hooker, or Cotton or by any of those who voted to approve the Cambridge Platform. They were published, however, not in 1648 but in 1998 and written not by a New Englander but by a Croatian with Baptist and Pentecostal roots, trained at the University of Tübingen, a professor of theology at Fuller Seminary in California and soon at Yale—Miroslav Volf. Volf's important new book, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity, sets forth a congregational ecclesiology geared for the twenty-first century. Out of respect for our Unitarian Universalist members, and because we are remembering 1648 and not 1825, there is no need to dwell on Volf's trinitarian theology here other than to point to his concept that a congregation mirrors the godhead as "a communion of persons."

What is most remarkable for us is Volf's contention that something very much like the ecclesiology of the Cambridge Platform is the wave of the future in the church around the world. He states boldly, "We are standing in the middle of a clear and irreversible 'process of congregationalization' of all Christianity." As I have said, we are not here to celebrate, and again there is no cause for us to do so. These "global developments" among Protestant, Roman Catholic, and other traditions have very little to do with our churches which have inherited the property or are institutionally descended from the churches of colonial New England. "Today's thriving churches," Volf writes, include the many dynamic evangelical, charismatic, and pentecostal fellowships in North America but "most of them are in the Third World, and their vibrancy has transformed Christian faith from a predominantly Western to a 'predominantly non-Western religion.'" What most all have in common, including those within the Roman Catholic Church, is their congregational or Free Church mode of practice.

"The various Free Churches [which] are growing most rapidly" are found "particularly among the Pentecostals and the charismatic groups, who are characterized not only by the notion of religious immediacy, but also by a high degree of participation and flexibility with respect to filling leadership roles." In modern societies, Volf argues, people "have little sympathy for topdown organizations, including churches structured top-down. The search of contemporary human beings for community is a search for those particular forms of socialization in which they themselves are taken seriously with their various religious and social needs, in which their personal engagement is valued, and in which they can participate formatively."

The best way we can honor Richard Mather, Thomas Hooker, John Cotton, all the delegates who attended the Cambridge Synod, and the members of their churches is to pay greater attention than we have to what the Spirit of God is doing among the full spectrum of churches living congregationally in our world today. The Yankee individualism celebrated at the tercentenary in 1948 is certainly one legacy of the Cambridge Platform, but it is, as Perry Miller saw, the "social or corporate conception" of Christian life which has emerged as significant as we approach the new century. Miroslav Volf invites us to recognize what's happening in our churches and around the world as "a global ecclesial transformation." 7

The church is first of all an assembly

The Cambridge Platform may be identified as an early and definitive expression of the kind of church life Volf envisions as the "Christendom of the future." As we consider the text of the Platform, let us seek to understand more clearly what it means for us to be the Church of Jesus Christ. We can do no better than to lift up Volf's straightforward thesis, which is at the heart of the Platform, that "the church is first of all an assembly." What does this mean? 8

The Cambridge Platform (after the preface and first chapter which roots church polity in Scripture) opens chapter two, ironically, with the startling words, "The Catholic Church." So we must banish every temptation to think of the church in locally isolationist terms. Indeed, the phrase "local autonomy" is not one Puritans would ever have used, if it means, as it does literally, being a law unto oneself. The Platform begins instead with this definition: "The Catholic Church is the whole company of those that are elected, redeemed, and in time effectually called from the state of sin and death unto a state of grace and salvation in Jesus Christ." Our first concern is with "the whole company" of the church, not just our friends and relatives who are immediately around us. Congregationalism is about catholicity. But New Englanders rejected vague conceptions of "the invisible church" and the possibility of an ecclesiastical superstructure which could be called the "universal visible church." The church must be "visible," and this occurs when the believers assemble, in the union of the one and the many. The church becomes "visible, in respect of the profession of their faith, in their persons, and in particular churches." The church becomes "visible," therefore, when individual believers are no longer just individuals, when they are "united into one body by a holy covenant." But the church is no mere association of consenting individuals, it is not a club or a party. Such a "company of saints by calling" is nothing less than "the fellowship of the Lord Jesus." What this means is that congregationalism, which has often been thought of as responsible for the rise of Yankee individualism, more truly understood in the terms of the Cambridge Platform means the end of individualism. 9

This view of the Platform's text reflects the historical context within which it was produced. As historian Darren Staloff has recently made clear, the real threat to the New England Way to which the Synod reacted was not Presbyterianism but the radical individualism expressed by charismatic dissidents like Anne Hutchinson and Samuel Gorton. According to Steven Foster, "most of the defense of Congregationalism" against Presbyterianism "was a theoretical exercise." The Cambridge Platform sought to buttress not a guarantee of individual rights but a conception of the church as the incorporation of individuals as the Body of Christ. According to the Platform, individuals "give up themselves unto the Lord" when they give "voluntary consent" to a "mutual church covenant." Note how often the word "mutual" occurs in the Platform: "mutual edification," "mutual duty," "mutual covenant," "members ... have church power one over another mutually." A term like "mutualism" might describe the congregationalism of our Puritan tradition. 10

Two further points need to be made about the church as an assembly. First, the church is an assembly called into being by God to live against the world. And second, the church is an assembly of believers, joined together by virtue of "the profession of their faith, in their persons."

First, God creates the church to live in the world and for the sake of the world, because God so loves the world, but since evil exercises such dominion in the world God creates the church to stand against the world—to be the world's gospel alternative. This is what the Platform means when it speaks of the church on earth as "the militant visible church ... conflicting with their enemies on earth ... walking according to the church order of the gospel." The church, a people separated from the world, must remain distinct from the world as a called-out people. This is why New England Congregationalists went to such lengths to distinguish their movement from Presbyterianism. The Platform did involve a bit of presbyterializing, with enhanced authority for ministers and synods. But New Englanders were tenaciously congregational in defining the church as gathered out of the world and in refusing to see it more broadly in terms of parishes and regions. Steven Foster states they were "English refugees, not Scottish, and seventeenth-century saints, not democrats: the aspect of Presbyterianism they feared most was impurity, not inequality, a revival in a new form of a comprehensive national church. That specter was fought at every turn, whenever any possible change could be construed as defining church in terms broader than a single gathered and covenanted society of saints." As the Platform puts it, church membership "ought not to be of greater number than may ordinarily meet together conveniently in one place, nor ordinarily fewer than may conveniently carry on church work." 11

"The matter of a visible church are saints by calling." In our secularism and our cynicism in a world with no moral heroes we are put off by this word "saint." Even Mother Teresa was not perfect and Martin Luther King, Jr. far from it. But the Platform invites us nonetheless to live in a special community on a higher moral and spiritual plane than the world. And, before we can hope to change the world for the better, membership in such a community will bring some changes in our own lives. It is not enough, the Platform states, to have a general knowledge of religion and be "free from gross and open scandals." Rather, a saint is a sinner who has turned around in "faith and repentance" and now humbly seeks to "walk in blameless obedience to the Word." The Platform is as realistic about human nature as we like to think we are. Members are "accounted saints by calling" not by virtue of their perfection but "in charitable discretion ... though perhaps some or more of them be unsound, and hypocrites inwardly." 12

One of the distinctive innovations of New England Congregationalism, as Edmund Morgan demonstrated long ago, was the membership requirement of a "test of a relation" of religious experience. This practice, which derived from the spiritual awakening of the early 1630s, was codified explicitly in the Platform. "The doors of the churches of Christ upon earth do not by God's appointment stand so wide open that all sorts of people good or bad may freely enter therein at their pleasure." Members must be "examined and tried first," and be able to make "a personal and public confession and declaring of God's manner of working upon the soul." At the same time, "severity of examination is to be avoided" and "charity and tenderness is to be used, as the weakest Christian if sincere may not be excluded nor discouraged." Concerned for those who "have most need of the ordinances for their confirmation and growth in grace," the Platform urged, "the weakest measure of faith is to be accepted." What was important was not that members be super-Christians but that they "have the substance of that faith, repentance, and holiness which is required." It is by God's grace that the church is able to stand against the world. 13

Secondly, an assembly is the Church of Jesus Christ when it is explicitly "a company of professed believers ecclesiastically confederate." The church is a covenanted people "ecclesiastically confederate"—joined as one by virtue of "the profession of their faith, in their persons." Puritans used the word "covenant" as a verb, the action that creates the church. This "real agreement" members implicitly "express by their constant practice in coming together for the public worship of God." The "church covenant" was also the formal theological statement around which members united. A number of local church covenants have survived from the seventeenth century and they vary in form and content, though not much. The Platform advised that "the more express and plain it is the more fully it puts us in mind of our mutual duty, and stirreth us up to it, and leaveth less room for the questioning of the truth of the church-estate of a company of professors and the truth of membership of particular persons." The Platform's preface went further in stating that "the public confession of the faith" not only encourages "the maintenance of the faith entire within itself"—that is, theological integrity but also "the holding forth of unity and harmony both amongst and with other churches." Church covenants as statements of faith, thus, were to serve as a theological plumbline, a source of inspiration, and a symbol of Christian unity. Twenty years ago a crusty old Yankee said to me, "The reason I like this church, being a Congregationalist means nobody can tell you what to believe." Congregationalists in 1648 would have been shocked by such a thought. Without giving up the importance of freedom of conscience on both Unitarian and Trinitarian sides of our tradition, let me say that in 1998 it is time for our churches to think of themselves more profoundly as communities of belief. And to consider more deeply, more biblically, more historically what it is we as communities believe. More than ever before we must know what we stand for in the world. 14

The Cambridge Platform not only explained that churches make covenants, it endorsed a specific statement of faith as the theological norm of seventeenth-century Congregationalism. In a general way, the Synod acknowledged, the New England churches "believe and profess the same doctrine of the truth of the gospel" as "all the Reformed Churches of Christ in Europe." That is, they were Calvinists. Specifically, having just received a copy of "the public Confession of Faith agreed upon by the reverend Assembly of divines at Westminster" in old England, delegates at Cambridge, New England found the burden of writing a creedal statement suddenly much lighter. Despite some quibbles with wording on the doctrine of vocation and rejection of the chapters on presbyterial polity, the Synod voiced its "hearty assent and attestation to the whole Confession of Faith" in its doctrinal sections. The Cambridge Platform thus became in effect New England's substitute for chapters 25, 30, and 31 of the Westminster Confession. Now, the preface states, the churches could say to England, Stop accusing us of "heresy" and "schism." Later interpreters have sometimes accused the Synod at this point of kissing up to Parliament and the Presbyterians. But that is to ignore the fact that the New England churches, pastors and laity, really believed in the gospel as it was expressed in the Westminster Confession. You can hear its themes, its phraseology, its spiritual tone in the sermons and in the diaries. The sovereignty, providence, and covenants of God; our desperate need of salvation; the work of Jesus Christ as mediator; salvation by grace alone; the process of conversion and the new life of holiness; assurance of salvation and eternal life. Platform Congregationalists were not scholastic but evangelical Calvinists. 15

At the tercentenary the speakers celebrated the polity but dismissed the theology of the Cambridge Platform. Professor William Ernest Hocking announced, "Calvinism as a whole is no gospel for today," even if he admired its "man-making power." Douglas Horton concurred, "Today few of the spiritual heirs of John Cotton, Richard Mather, Ralph Partridge, and their fellows of the Cambridge Synod would accept the whole Westminster Confession even 'for substance of doctrine,' as their forebears did, unless that all-accommodating phrase were stretched to the very limit of its meaning." By the end of the nineteenth century the denominations that self-consciously carried on the Congregational tradition, both Unitarian and Trinitarian, had been pretty thoroughly transformed by theological liberalism. Yet, ironically, "today's thriving churches," in North America and throughout the Third World, which Miroslav Volf identifies as overwhelmingly congregational in practice, do believe and preach a gospel very much in line with the one affirmed at Cambridge in 1648. The gospel which is converting sinners, empowering blievers, transforming cultures, and bringing the church to new birth as we approach the year 2000 can be traced back, directly or indirectly and certainly in combination with other sources especially black and indigenous sources—the evangelical Calvinism of the New England Puritans. 16

Richard Mather of Dorchester thought of America as a "howling wilderness." His statement on ecclesiology, which the Cambridge Synod adopted as its Platform, put forth a vision of how the church might be the Body of Christ in this wilderness. Today—more than in 1948 when the privileges of the old establishment were still enjoyed by old families in old churches— churches again live, as they said at the Reforming Synod of 1679, as "exiles in this wilderness."

Another pastor in Dorchester, like Mather with connections at Harvard, put it this way: "The church is the last institution left standing." More precisely, describing the urban wilderness of poverty, drugs, hustling, violence, and lost souls, the Rev. Eugene Rivers says, "The black church is the last institution left standing." Rivers, a black pentecostal, whose fellowship is named for the birthplace of pentecostalism, Asuza Street Mission in Los Angeles, has spearheaded the so-called "Boston approach" to the daunting effort of reclaiming the city as a moral community. This "Boston approach" bears a surprising resemblance to the ancient "New England Way" of the Cambridge Platform—besides the essential congregationalism of the pentecostal, holiness, and Baptist churches of Rivers' coalition. It involves a working partnership, a "covenant" we would say, between neighborhood churches and the police, the ministry and the strong arm of the magistrate. The "Boston approach" recently moved to the top of what's happening in American social policy. Newsweek featured Rivers on its cover with the headline, "God Vs. Gangs: What's the Hottest Idea in Crime Fighting? The Power of Religion." Rivers was at the White House when President Clinton announced several million dollars in grants to "faith-based anti-crime programs in 16 cities." Richard Mather might see in his successor at Dorchester a kindred spirit in more ways than one. 17

The world has changed since 1648 but the church's "errand into the wilderness" remains essentially and eternally the same, to offer and embody God's saving grace in Jesus Christ. Eugene Rivers may well discover that his covenant with the magistrate produces unintended results, just as early New England's establishment repressed misfits and dissenters in incidents which were not Puritanism's finest hour. Leaders of such projects today had best not ignore history. The Platform's understanding of ministers and magistrates, church and state, in close covenantal partnership did not stand the test of time as did its description of the church as an assembly of believers. So it is crucial that leaders of such projects today not only cooperate with the magistrate with radical critical-mindedness—but also guard against losing or diminishing the "faith-based" element as government money and influence come in, as liberal church-related projects tended to do a generation and more ago. The moral reform of society depends on the spiritual awakening of individuals and faithful worship of the sovereign God. In every culture, in North America and around the Third World, God is doing marvelous things these days. And just as in 1648 it is through the Church of Jesus Christ, rooted deeply in local communities, each one "a company of professed believers ecclesiastically confederate," that God offers our greatest hope in this world.

As for us in our churches, if we will share in God's work in the new century, we must heed the admonition to humble piety and Christian unity at the end of the preface to the Cambridge Platform. And pray for the blessing with which it concludes: "But the Lord Jesus commune with all our hearts in secret. And he who is King of his Church, let him be pleased to exercise his kingly power in our spirits, that so his kingdom may come into our churches in purity and peace. Amen. Amen." 18

The Rev. Dr. Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe is Pastor, Church of the Apostles (United Church of Christ) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Adjunct Professor of Church History, Lancaster Theological Seminary. This paper was reprinted with the kind permission of the Bulletin of the Congregational Library at www.14beacon.com. The full text of the Cambridge Platform is available in The Living Theological Heritage of the United Church of Christ—a series of primary sources relating to the history of the universal church and the United Church of Christ. It can be purchased from Pilgrim Press.


1. Perry Miller, "The Cambridge Platform in 1648," in Henry Wilder Foote, ed., The Cambridge Platform of 1648 (Boston, 1949), 60.

2. Williston Walker, ed., The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism (New York, 1893), 170, 183.

3. A Platform of Church Discipline Gathered out of the Word of God and Agreed upon by the Elders and Messengers of the Churches Assembled in the Synod at Cambridge in New England (Cambridge, 1649); in Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 235-236; and in Charles Hambrick-Stowe, ed., The Living Theological Heritage of the United Church of Christ, Vol. III: Colonial and National Beginnings (Cleveland, 1998), 118-119. Quotations from the Cambridge Platform will be cited in both the Walker and Hambrick-Stowe volumes. Henry Wilder Foote, "The Significance and Influence of the Cambridge Platform of 1648," Foote, ed., Cambridge Platform, 50. Samuel A. Eliot, "The Evening Session," ibid., 87.

4. Miller, "Cambridge Platform," in Foote, ed., Cambridge Platform, 75. "The Necessity of Reformation," in Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 425. See for example: David D. Hall, The Faithful Shepherd: A History of the New England Ministry in the Seventeenth Century (Chapel Hill, 1972); Steven Foster, The Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping of New England Culture, 1570-1700 (Chapel Hill, 1991); Darren Staloff, The Making of an American Thinking Class: Intellectuals and Intelligentsia in Puritan Massachusetts (New York, 1998).

5. Platform of Church Discipline, in Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 203; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 96.

6. Miroslav Volf, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (Grand Rapids, 1998), 137-139, 147, 149, 231.

7. Volf, After Our Likeness, 207, 12-13, 5-6, 17, 11.

8. Volf, After Our Likeness, 11, 137.

9. Platform of Church Discipline, Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 204-205; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 96-97.

10. Stalof, The Making of an American Thinking Class, esp. chapters 4-6. Foster, The Long Argument, 166-172. Platform of Church Discipline, Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 204-205, 207-208; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 97, 99.

11. Foster, Long Argument, 170-171. Platform of Church Discipline, Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 204-206; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 97-98.

12. Platform of Church Discipline, Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 204-205; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 97-98.

13. Edmund S. Morgan, Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan Idea (New York, 1963). Platform of Church Discipline, Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 221-223; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 108-109.

14. Platform of Church Discipline, Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 207-208, 194; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 99, 86.

15. Platform of Church Discipline, Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 195; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 87-88. For the Westminster Confession see John B. Payne, ed., The Living Theological Heritage of the United Church of Christ, Vol. II: Reformation Roots (Cleveland, 1997), 552-573.

16. Foote, ed., Cambridge Platform, 59, 52.

17. Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 425. John Leland, "Savior of the Streets," Newsweek, June 1, 1998, 20-25. Clarence Page (Chicago Tribune), "Reclaiming City Streets," Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, Pa., July 27, 1998. Wendy Murray Zoba, "Separate and Equal," Christianity Today, Feb. 5, 1998.

18. Platform of Church Discipline, Walker, Creeds and Platforms, 202; Hambrick-Stowe, Living Theological Heritage, III, 95.