"Sinne Unfoulded": Time, Election, and Disbelief among the Godly in Late Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century England1 by ProQuest


4 Given the godly's strong commitment to the tenets of double predestination, the answer to Greenham's proposition would seem obvious: if God in his inscrutable wisdom had elected some humans to salvation and condemned others to damnation before the creation of the world, such a system must deny categorically the possibility of temporal change in one's spiritual estate. The texts under investigation here are the written remains of the godly's evangelical efforts-sermons, catechisms, devotional tracts, polemical treatises, and the like-that flourished as cheaper and more efficient printing and publishing techniques allowed the godly divines to evangelize in print as well as the pulpit.8 These texts presented godly soteriology in lay terms, and in particular articulated English Calvinist notions of sin, repentance, and election in rhetoric designed for "the common sort of Christians," as they sought to protestantize their readers by offering functional models and methods by which the pious Protestant might ascertain whether he or she had been included among the ranks of God's elect.

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