The Neglected Craft: Prudence in Reformed Political Thought

by Adam M. Carrington


Craftsmen. Some elicit our wonder with their artistry. Others go unnoticed, their work blending seamlessly into the landscape of our lives. We need both, of course. While the former add beauty to our world, those latter, ignored artisans make living possible, forming many of the structures and items we depend on daily.

Aristotle described politics as involving art or craft (techne). It, too, requires skill. It, too, could produce excellent, even wondrous edifices: regimes. It, too aids in living and living well. Once upon a time, the Reformed tradition saw politics in the same manner. Althusius, for example, spoke of “the art of governing.”[1] Joseph Caryl, a Westminster Divine, described rulers as engaging in an “art” or a “craft.”  These thinkers, moreover, developed this artistry, doing so consciously within a Reformed framework.

However, by the twentieth century, political craftsmanship had descended into the dilettantish. Twentieth-century Protestants certainly participated in politics; the Social Gospel movement and the Religious Right bookended the period, each involved in electioneering and policy advocacy. Yet, for much of this period, American Protestantism largely ignored the foundations its efforts either violated or presupposed. We might passionately call for “family values” legislation. We might go door-to-door for candidates. But we read precious little Plato or Nietzsche. We thought and wrote sparingly on the fundamental questions of nature, law, and justice that ground, consciously or unconsciously, all political deeds. We failed even to acknowledge, much less to cultivate, our craft.

One could fill a book investigating why twentieth-century Protestantism took this route. It would tell familiar tales, tracing the rise of Modernism and the reactions to it in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. It would discuss the American Mainline’s cultural dominance and the implications of that hegemony’s decline.

Instead of telling that story, this essay explores recovery from it. That recovery began over the last few decades in a small but vibrant retrieval of Reformed natural law. In particular, scholars have focused on how natural law reveals the virtue of justice. A lingering effect of the reaction against Modernism had been to think that sola scriptura necessitates rejecting any useful natural knowledge of this virtue. A budding line of work has shown that logic’s fallaciousness. Reformed theology possessed a wide consensus regarding natural law’s existence and how it manifests to us principles of right and wrong.[2]

As I shall note, re-establishing natural law knowledge of justice contributes mightily to recovering the political art. But, while necessary, knowing these principles is insufficient. This recovery requires the retrieval of political practice as well. That task demands we reacquaint ourselves with another virtue: prudence.

For Reformed theology past, prudence comprised the lynchpin of the magistrate’s craft. Scottish theologian George Buchannan described prudence as the “Civil Art or science.”[3] Althusius, too, summed up what he called “the art of governing” as the exercise of this virtue.[4] Good rule, he said, must “consist in political prudence, in which no administration of a magistrate ought to be lacking.”[5] Regarding “the preservation of polities,” Danish theologian Niels Hemmingsen followed Plato in describing prudence as the commanding virtue. He claimed that in political life the other three—temperance, courage, and justice—were ordered by it.[6]

What, though, is this ruling virtue? Sometimes also called “wisdom,” prudence concerns actions rightly applying principle to practice. Lazurus Seaman, a member of the Westminster Assembly, described prudence as “An ability of the mind whereby we know what is fit to be done, all circumstances considered, and are inclined to doe accordingly.”[7] This definition readily points to political life. Politics itself consists of deeds—Aristotle would say of acts of ruling and of being ruled in turn. Political prudence, then, involves rightly-ordered acts of rule.

Prudence culminates in action, but it does not begin there. Wise political deeds require right knowledge. For to do rightly, we must know rightly. The knowledge prudent action utilizes, then, is two-fold, universal and particular.

Firstly, prudent action draws on universal knowledge. The political art requires knowledge of the standard of right, “the rule of living and administering.”[8] The Reformed saw this rule encapsulated in the natural law. Althusius called it the “[c]ommon law (lex communis).”[9] Westminster Divine George Gillespie defined this “Law of Nature” as “both the common principles of good and evill, vertue and vice, right and wrong, things beseeming and things not beseeming; and likewise the generall conclusions which by necessary consequences are drawen from the said principles.”[10] Its commonality entailed its universality. Althusius noted that the knowledge of this law “has been naturally implanted by God in all men.”[11] No one could claim ignorance of it as an excuse. Furthermore, this universally known law also commonly obligated human beings to obey its standard. John Lightfoot, another Westminster Divine, stated that “[t]he moral law concerns the whole world; and it was given in sight of the whole world, on the top of a mountain; and must endure as long, as any mountain standeth.”[12] The Westminster Confession itself echoed this position, stating that “[t]he moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof.”[13] This law declares the content of justice. It describes the obligations of man as man.

Reformed thinkers saw this law’s content summed up in the Moral law or the Ten Commandments. Scottish theologian John Weemes, for instance, declared that “the law which he [God] gave to all Nations, was the law of Nature manifested to Adam before the fall” and that “the Lord renued this same Law againe upon Mount Sinai, to all Nations.”[14] Francis Turretin also connected the Decalogue-summarized moral law and the natural law, declaring that they agree “as to substance and with regard to principles.”[15] In this law, restated on Mount Sinai, we know our universal, perpetual obligations to God and to our neighbor.

“The political art required knowledge of the standard of right, ‘the rule of living and administering.’ The Reformed saw this rule encapsulated in the natural law.”

In addition to universal knowledge of the right, political prudence requires an understanding of universal human nature. Althusius noted that a ruler must “understand the nature, character, tendencies, and propensity of people in general.”[16] Humans, like justice, possess common traits. These commonalities included a soul endowed with reason and will. In speaking of man’s creation in God’s image, Turretin spoke of the human soul possessing “faculties,” namely “the intellect and the will.”[17] Calvin, too, affirmed that “the human soul consists of two faculties, understanding and will.”[18] By these means, men might know the difference between virtue and vice as well as desire one or the other. Humans, moreover, possessed inherent social qualities that drive them to society. Citing Aristotle, Samuel Rutherford concluded that “God hath made man a sociall creature,” which then naturally led to his participation in political life.[19] Finally, humanity all inherited indwelling sinfulness that corrupted both man’s reason and his will. Interestingly, this point showed an important reason why prudence must know human nature as a companion to the natural law. Calvin noted that “the depravity and malice…of man…[does] not spring from nature, but rather from the corruption of nature” in the Fall.[20] Man’s perfection and man’s reality diverged in a fundamental sense after Genesis 3. He no longer had his original clarity of mind and freedom of will as originally created. Christopher Goodman represented the consensus view when he spoke of “vile man, replenished with pride, vain glory, and gross ignorance” who “must prefer his own decrees, fantasies, and ordinances” to true justice.[21] Taken together, prudence must know humanity’s standard as found in the natural law and its fallen nature as seen in human conduct.

Second, beyond the universal, political rule requires particular knowledge. These particulars arise from the diversity of human life. Althusius noted that differences existed regarding the “kinds of individuals…involved.”[22] Human nature, though possessing unified qualities, also shows varieties of character. These differences pertain to persons as well as to peoples. Local, regional, and national political communities develop distinct tendencies and characteristics. A ruler must know them, discerning the “character, customs, nature, attitude, and viewpoint of the people.”[23] He must observe the same in neighboring peoples as well when conducting foreign policy. Moreover, Althusius noted distinctions between polities in their circumstances. Circumstances include terrain, economy, and a variety of other factors, not least of which how the general depravity of humanity manifest itself in particular places. These all, too, a ruler must recognize. Otherwise, magistrates lack important knowledge of the peoples they govern, for these particulars form an integral part of each polity.

Together, these two kinds of knowledge — universal and particular — constitute the bases of wise action. Like Aristotle, Edward Leigh distinguished “speculative wisdom,” or contemplative knowledge, from “Prudence, the ability to of managing affairs discreetly.”[24] One must not merely think prudently; one must also act prudently in the political realm. This wise action seeks not the absolute best, but the best possible at a given time. Thus, as Samuel Rutherford summed up the matter “prudence is a virtue” involving twin requirements. Yes, “there be rules here which standeth always,” namely the natural or moral law. However, “a wise man observes times, and so will he observe all other circumstances.”[25]

Having defined prudence, I now turn to two categories of political action wherein the Reformed thought prudence manifested. Girolamo Zanchi stated that “the duty of every free magistrate is to have a diligent care both in making laws, in giving judgment, and also in punishing offenses.”[26] Along these lines, we will examine the making of human law and judgment and punishment under the law’s execution.


To begin, magistrates exercise prudence in composing human laws. Human laws apply the precepts of universal knowledge to the circumstances of particular reality. Universal knowledge alone left the ruling art lacking. Zanchi noted that “natural law, although it has been written on hearts, only remains in the aforementioned general principles.”[27] As universal, natural law can account for what man was commonly obliged to do. However, as stated above, persons and peoples possess an expansive variety of differences in character and in circumstance. These differences entail a gap between natural law universals and the particulars of time and place. Althusius stated that “[b]ecause the condition and nature of all these things is various, diverse, inconsistent, and changeable, one cannot assert that the application of common law is one and the same in every matter and situation.”[28] The universal must be applied. And that application requires bridging the gap between natural law and the situation in view.

Assertion of Liberty of Conscience by the Independents of the
Westminster Assembly of Divines, 1644

This task falls to the legislator using the means of human laws. Althusius explained that “proper law (jus proprium) is nothing other than the practice of this common natural law (jus naturale) as adapted to a particular polity.”[29] Zanchi explained why this adaption was needed. “Human laws,” he wrote, “are enacted for circumstances of place, time, and personality.”[30] They take universal principles found in the natural law and apply them to specific occasions. One may know from the natural law that theft is wrong. However, stealing might manifest differently in an agricultural society than in an urban one, differently in a desert than on the seas.

The Reformed saw this legislative task as a great one necessitating art or skill. Zanchi noted that “not all people excel in ingenuity so that they can make particular conclusions and laws from these principles.”[31] Discerning the line between murder and self-defense, for example, might require wise distinctions regarding situations and persons involved. The Fall exacerbates this problem. The Leiden Synopsis (1625), written by Dutch theologians, made this point. While the “primary” first principles of natural law remained knowable to man even after sin, their particular applications “stagger with wretched hesitation whenever one goes from general things to particular ones.”[32] Our sin grossly distorts attempts to perceive and thus to apply the natural law. Zanchi therefore noted that “there is a need that wise and thoughtful people be stirred by God even within the nations themselves, who clearly explain their laws from natural law for the well-being and protection of their State.”[33] In other words, every polity needed legislators skilled in the political art of prudence.

Reformed political theologians saw a ready example of legislative prudence: the judicial laws of Moses. Distinct from the Ten Commandments and the Ceremonial laws, the Judicial law consisted of the Hebrew’s political statutes found in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Reformed understood the relationship between the moral law and the judicial as that of the natural to the human. English Puritan Francis Roberts, for example, declared the moral law “the base and foundation” for the judicial law.[34] William Gouge, a Westminster Divine, noted the “branches of the judicial law which…were means of keeping the moral law.”[35]

For these men, the judicial law gave more than an example of how to apply the natural law. It was the example par excellence. This point stemmed, of course, from the fact that God was its Author. But that authorship pointed to those laws’ intrinsic worth, a perfect reflection of a perfect Composer. Roberts declared of the Judicial law that God “gave them [Israel] the best political laws that ever any commonwealth had.”[36] Junius asserted that “the examples set forth in the law of Moses occurred in the mode of perfection, which people at that time could comprehend, and for this reason the law of Moses is not only an example of those laws, but we most piously affirm that they are a perfect example of law.”[37]

But these men were careful in delineating the Judicial law’s exemplary role. The Westminster Confession declared that these statutes binding aspect “expired together with the State of that [the Hebrew] people.”[38] Westminster was far from alone on this score. Henry Bullinger, for instance, stated that “the judicial laws do seem to be abrogated in this sense…no Christian commonweal, no city or kingdom, is compelled to be bound and to receive those very same laws.”[39] Many rightly marshal texts like these against Theonomist tendencies; lawmakers should not copy and paste the judicial laws into their own statute-books, for their letter held no remaining authority over any existing polity.

Still, Westminster did say that these laws retained a role in political affairs. It noted that these statutes still possessed a “binding aspect” to the extent “the general equity thereof may require.”[40] By “general equity,” the Divines meant the principles of the natural or moral law. The judicial law thus sought to do what all merely human laws must pursue: bring the moral law to bear on the character and conditions of a particular political community. Junius said that God “adapted each and every one of his laws not merely by a common plan to the race of the Jews…considered as human beings according to their nature, but truly he most providentially accommodated all things in a certain, unique way to their persons, affairs, and circumstances.”[41]

Those conditions, that community, no longer existed. But a ruler could and should examine how the Judicial laws accounted for that polity’s particulars to inform how he should approach the same task. This required careful parsing of particular Hebrew statutes, seeking the kernel of natural law as well as the conditions accounted for in those statutes.

“Lawmakers should not copy and paste the judicial laws into their own statute books, for their letter holds no authority over any existing polity.”

This translation of the moral law to the Israelite people certainly included circumstances such as its agricultural economy and neighboring hostilities. Perhaps the exact issue of goring oxen does not translate to our own time. But the considerations of property rights might. Interestingly, this parsing also meant taking account of the particular ways sin manifested itself in the Israelite people. Consider John Calvin’s discussion of Exodus 21:7-11. This passage gave laws governing how a father could sell his daughter into slavery. Calvin wrote that “[i]t was altogether an act of barbarism that fathers should sell their children for the relief of their poverty.”[42] Yet this law, given directly by God, permitted the practice. What would explain this seemingly clear violation by God of His own Moral law? Calvin explained by pointing to the Israelite’s character. He declared that “from this passage, as well as other similar ones, it plainly appears how many vices were of necessity tolerated in this people.”[43] Yes, selling one’s flesh and blood into slavery is “barbarism.” Yes, the law should seek to mirror and enforce justice contrary to such barbarism. However, here prudence must account for the universal of justice in relation to the other kinds of knowledge. It first must recognize the universal sinfulness of humanity, namely the fact that law might help mitigate but could not eliminate such sin. Second, it must account for how sin might manifest itself in particular ways among persons and peoples. Selfishness may be common. The particular manifestations of murder, theft, and kidnapping by which it acted out could vary across and within political communities. Calvin then concluded that some level of toleration was necessary because the sin “could not be corrected as might have been hoped.”[44] Taken together, there are limits to what law can accomplish. For law, natural and positive, exists in the tension created by the Fall, the tension between what we should be and what we are.

John Weemes took a similar perspective on the judicial law. He noted that the wisdom of this tolerance came in part in weighing the possible alternatives. “Humane Lawes giue way and permit something,” he reasoned, “for the eschewing of greater evill.”[45] He pointed to the judicial laws allowing for divorce as an example. These laws would seem in violation of the commandment proscribing adultery. Weemes reasoned, however, that “this Law permitted divorcement for the hardnesse of the peoples hearts, and for the eschewing of greater inconvenience, least hard-hearted men should haue killed their wiues.”[46] Laws must consider persons’ and peoples’ fallenness. That does not mean these statutes contradicted the natural law. They sought it to the extent possible given particular circumstances. So should all subsequent legislators.

In the judicial laws, Reformed thinkers saw a school for this task of prudential legislating. No regime’s laws would be the same. Weemes said that even laws which “are most perfect…cannot be fitted to every Nation, no more than a shooe of one measure can serue for every foote.”[47] Still, Francis Roberts said the judicial laws could serve as a guide. Good laws’ “wisdom and equity…will notably appear by comparing them in some due analogy with these of God Himself, which were the most wise, full and righteous political laws that ever were contrived.”[48]


In addition to legislation, political prudence includes wise execution. Reformed thinkers often tied this ability to the concept of judgment. Judgement includes the capacity to rightly apply the law by perceiving its violation or adherence in particular circumstances.

Joseph Caryl, for example, defined judgment both as “an ability to governe, or for the rule of Governement.”[49] The rule of government was the law. Caryl explained that “[t]he foundation of every judgement is in the Law” and “[t]hat people is most happy, whose Prince is a breathing Law.”[50] But though law was the foundation, it needed enforcement to truly accomplish its purpose. purpose. To that end, rulers must possess wisdom in applying law to particular circumstances, doing so by knowing the intent of the lawmaker in relation to justice. The “ability to governe” included that capacity. One thereby would not give “his owne glosses or expositions” of the law but truly “discerne betweene good and evill, how to distinguish betweene right and wrong, true and falfe.”[51]

Solomon’s prayer in I Kings 3 presented one example. Lazarus Seaman, in a sermon to Parliament, praised Solomon’s prayer for wisdom “to discern between good and bad,” (I Kings 3:9) calling it in his subtitle a “president [precedent] for kings and princes, and all who are in authority.”  Solomon’s request, he continued, “relates both to persons, and things. Different things, and different persons, require different administrations.”[52] In other words, Solomon sought prudent judgment rightly to apply the laws to particular instances. He took the generalities of that law to act justly in cases presented to him.

anonymous painting of William Perkins, 1602

Moreover, prudent application for some Reformed thinkers introduced the Aristotelian concept of equity. This concept showed an additional, important role for prudence in applying the law. The English Puritan William Perkins wrote an entire work on the nature and practice of this quality. Perkins defined equity as “a rare and excellent vertue, whereby men vse a true meane, and an equall moderation, in all their affaires and dealings with men, for the maintaining of iustice and preseruation of peace.[53] For Perkins, the essence of equity lay in the virtue of moderation. However, the need for and practice of equity pointed to the exercise of prudence.

Perkins distinguished between private and public equity. Public equity, practiced by magistrates, consisted of “the right and conuenient, and the moderate and discrete execution of the lawes of men.[54] He echoed the Reformed consensus that good human laws were grounded in God’s laws. These natural-law-informed human statutes are the “bones and sinewes to hold together, proppes and pillers, to vphold the common-wealth, and all societies.”[55] In some cases, executing these laws only requires following its exact terms, which Perkins called the “justice of the law.”[56] That process would pertain to what we have already discussed in judgment.

However, Perkins argued that in some circumstances, the “extremitie” of the law resulted in “extreme iniurie,” that then “the name of iustice” became “a couer for crueltie.”[57] To make this claim requires admitting some inadequacy in the human law the magistrate applies. This inadequacy is something different than intentional, sin-infected injustice. Instead, it points to the finitude both of lawmaker and of law. Perkins declared that “lawe makers beeing men,” they could not “foresee, or set downe, all cases that may fall out.”[58] As noted above, laws seek to define, to categorize in order to prohibit, permit, and require. In doing so, laws often recognize exceptions to the general rule which necessarily arise from the variety of human experience. Humans can never anticipate every contingency. They can never account for every circumstance to which a law might apply. Categories, as universals, are much more susceptible to full articulation than instances, which partake of the seemingly countless variety of particulars.

These human problems then extend to human laws. Perkins argued that instances would arise where “the lawe speakes not directly, nor the law-maker did purposely aime at.”[59] They did not here because they could not. Perkins said that equity existed to address these situations. “Therefore,” he declared, “when the case altereth, then must the discretion of the lawemaker shew it selfe, and doe that, which the law cannot doe.” The magistrate should and would modify the law’s letter to conform application to its spirit.

Perkins gave several examples of such instances. First, in another work, Perkins presented a scenario wherein a city at war ordered its gates closed to all persons. But what if citizens already outside the gates then sought refuge from a pursuing enemy? Perkins said that opening the gates for such persons would be no sin. He also heavily implied the magistrate should not treat it as violating the law, for that act “did not hinder the ende of the law, but rather [did] further it.”[60] Second, he gave the instance of England’s laws demanding the death penalty for theft. He gave what we might call the Les Miserables case, wherein a poverty-stricken “young boy” stole food due to intense hunger. Perkins argued that the law’s intense punishment did not have this circumstance in view. Unlike the other instance, he did not say the magistrate should forego all punishment. Instead, he argued for a more lenient sentence.

“Rulers must interpret and apply human laws in light of the ultimate source for their authority, ‘the lawe of nature’ and ‘the morall lawe.’”

To impose the law strictly or even at all to such circumstances risks violating that law’s connection to natural justice. Instead, Perkins said that rulers must interpret and apply human laws in light of the ultimate source for their authority, “the lawe of nature” and “the morall lawe.”[61] Where mitigating the letter conforms practice to these standards, the magistrate should so do.

Perkins said that rightly enforcing letter and mitigation “together make the lawe perfect.”[62] Equity sought to do this, to adhere to the rule of law while addressing the law’s own inadequacies. Perkins called it “the glory of judges and magistrates” and its practice “so excellent, as the carefull practise thereof, is the marrow and strength of a common weale.”[63] This glory points to what the task requires: the political art of prudence.


So great is the task of rule that Calvin called it “the most sacred and by far the most honorable of all callings in the whole of life mortal men.”[64] So difficult is the task that Reformed thinkers regularly claimed that only a work of God in magistrates could make it succeed. In the preceding, we can see something of the Reformed understanding of the prudence this great task requires. We see something of their great contributions, ones that present resources to a recovered, revived, even renewed Reformed political thought.

What, then, remains for us? Much indeed. Let us recover this great inheritance our spiritual forefathers bountifully bestowed but which we have lately neglected. We cannot and should not do so by merely mimicking their particular conclusions any more than they did the judicial law. Instead, as with natural law, let us re-enter their school. Let us formulate for ourselves a political thought built in conversation with our forebears. George Buchannan declared that an artist “acquired that faculty by constant practice.”[65] Let us learn this art. Let us develop this vital and beautiful craft.

Adam M. Carrington is Assistant Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College. There, he teaches courses on Constitutional law, American political institu-
tions, and Montesquieu. His research focuses primarily on the American judiciary and the theory of separation of powers.

[1] Johannes Althusius, Politica translated by Frederick S. Carney (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1995)136.

[2] An early contribution was Stephen J. Grabill, Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics (William B. Eerdmans Publishing), 2006.

[3] George Buchannan, De Jure Regni Apud Scotos, translated by Philalethes(London: 1680 [1579]),21-22.

[4] Althusius, Politica, 137.

[5] Althusius, Politica, 136.

[6] Neils Hemmingsen, On the Law of Nature: A Demonstrative Method, translated by Eric J. Hutchinson (Grand Rapids: CLP Academic, 2018), 80.

[7] Lazarus Seaman, “Solomon’s Choice” (London: E.G., 1644), 35.

[8] Althusius, Politica, 139.

[9] Althusius, Politica, 18.

[10] George Gillespie, A Dispute Against the English-Popish Ceremonies (Leiden: W. Christiaens, 1637), 198-199.

[11] Althusius, Politica, 139.

[12] John Lightfoot, The Whole Works of the Rev. John Lightfoot,Vol. IV. Edited by Rev. John Rogers Pittman (London: J.F. Dove, 1822), 79.

[13] Westminster Confession of Faith, 19.5.

[14] John Weemes, An Exposition of the Second Table of the Morall Law (London: T.C., 1632), 1.

[15] Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, edited by James T. Dennison, Jr. Translated by George Musgrave Giger, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 1994), 2: 6.

[16] Althusius, Politica, 152.

[17] Turretin, Vol. 1, 466.

[18] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, translated by Ford Lewis Battles (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1960), 194.

[19] Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex (London: For John Field, 1644), 2.

[20] Calvin, Institutes, 163.

[21] Christopher Goodman, How Superior Powers Ought to Be Obeyed By Their Subjects (Geneva: John Crispin, 1558), 10.

[22] Althusius, On Law and Power, translated by Jeffrey J. Veenstra,(Grand Rapids: Christian’s Library Press, 2013), I.14.8.

[23] Althusius, Politica, 149.

[24] Edward Leigh, A System or Body of Divinity (London: A.M, 1654), 590.

[25] Samuel Rutherford, Divine Right of Church Government (London: John Field, 1646), 82.

[26] Girolamo Zanchi, De Religione Christiana Fides, edited by Luca Baschera and Christian Moser (Boston: Brill, 2007[1599]), 481.

[27] Girolamo Zanchi, On the Law in General, translated by Jeffrey J. Veenstra (Grand Rapids: Christian’s Library Press, 2013), 28.

[28] Althusius, On Law and Power,I.14.8.

[29] Althusius, Politica, 144.

[30] Zanchi, On the Law in General, 38. 

[31] Zanchi, On the Law in General, 28.

[32] Disputatio XVIII: De Lege Dei in Synopsis Purioris Theologiae, translated by Reimer Faber (Boston: Brill, 2015[1625]), 1: 437.

[33] Zanchi, On the Law in General, 28.

[34] Francis Roberts, Mystery and Marrow of the Bible: God’s Covenants With Man (London: R.W., 1657), 662.

[35] William Gouge, A Commentary on the Whole Epistle to the Hebrews, (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1866),2: 123

[36] Roberts, 674.

[37] Franciscus Junius, The Mosaic Polity, edited by Andrew M. McGinnis. Translated by Todd M. Rester(Grand Rapids: Christian’s Library Press, 2015),63.

[38] WCF, 19.4.

[39] Bullinger, The Decades of Henry Bullinger, The Third Decade, Translated by H.I. Edited by Thomas Harding(Cambridge University, 1850), 280.

[40] Bullinger, The Decades of Henry Bullinger, The Third Decade, 280.I

[41] Junius, 8.

[42] John Calvin, Commentaries on the Last Four Books of Moses, translated by Charles William Bingham (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1854), 3: 80.

[43] Calvin, Commentaries, 80.

[44] Calvin, Commentaries, 81.

[45] Weemes, An Explication of the Judicial Law of Moses (London: John Dawson, 1632), 3.

[46] This reasoning also points to Jesus’ discussion of divorce in the Mosaic law in Matthew 19:8.

[47] Weemes, An Explication of the Judicial Law of Moses, 2

[48] Roberts, 674.

[49] Caryl, 3.

[50] Caryl, 10-11.

[51] Caryl, 4.

[52] Seaman, 10.

[53] Caryl,3-4.

[54] Caryl, 6.

[55] Perkins, Equitie, 6.

[56] Perkins, Equitie, 9.

[57] Perkins, Equitie, 9.

[58] Perkins, Equitie, 10.

[59] Perkins, Equitie, 10.

[60] Perkins, A Discourse of Conscience (London: University of Cambridge, 1596), 65.

[61] Perkins, Equitie, 11.

[62] Perkins, Equitie, 11. 

[63] Perkins, Equitie, 11.

[64] Calvin, Institutes, 1490.

[65] Buchannan, De Jure, 21.

2 responses to “The Neglected Craft: Prudence in Reformed Political Thought”

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  2. […] by assuming extreme continuity between the Old and New Covenants. Indeed, as Eric Hutchinson and Adam Carrington have both shown in respective essays for Ad Fontes, they were very careful not to argue what the […]