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“The Principles of 1645” by Thomas Hooker

“The Principles of 1645”

by Thomas Hooker

in Williston Walker’s Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism

(Pilgrim, 1969 – original 1893), pp. 143-48

Thomas Hooker sculpture by Francis L. Wadsworth (1950), located east of the State House of Connecticut.

Thomas Hooker sculpture by Francis L. Wadsworth (1950), located east of the State House of Connecticut.

In 1843, a convocation of clergy was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts to discuss the inroads of Presbyterian polity in their midst. One of the moderators was Thomas Hooker of Hartford, who was asked after the convention to write a response to the attacks on the congregational way by Presbyterians and Anabaptists.

Hooker’s document is chiefly interesting as a summation of the predominant attitude in Churches of the Standing Order at that early date. Notable was Hooker’s argument that a minister was such only in a local parish and only as long as the ministerial office was held. Hooker’s work has meaning as a precursor of the Cambridge Platform.


The full text of “The Principles of 1645” is available online via Google Books, here.

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