None of us are born free
Self-restraint and salvation
in Reformation without end
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This chapter sketches the lineaments of the orthodox soteriological position of the eighteenth-century Church of England. It draws its evidence from Zachary Grey’s unpublished manuscript sermons, delivered to his parishioners across the middle third of the century. Through them runs a coherent soteriological argument, one with a stable conception of God; of how God operated in the world; and of how and why humans (God’s rational creatures) are damned or saved after death. Through Grey’s sermons also runs a coherent argument about how sin and salvation related to natural and human history. God’s active providential management of his creation was purposeful and responsive: he punished and warned because people sinned. Restraining sin offered a way to secure civil peace. This chapter explains why the eighteenth-century orthodox thought as much.

Reformation without end

Religion, politics and the past in post-revolutionary England

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