Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: William Chillingworth (1602-1644) : churchman and controversialist
Author: Munro, Herbert Horton
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1956
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
William Chillingworth was "born in Oxford in 1602. While he was a student at Trinity College he gained a wide reputation as a disputant. While a fellow of that college he was for a short time a convert to the Roman Catholic Church. lie returned to the Church of England and wrote his famous defence of the Protestant principles, The Religion of Protestants, a Safe Way to Salvation, which was published in 1637. In 1638 he accepted preferment and became Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral. Prom that time the course of his activities was determined by the impending war. Politically he was a staunch Royalist serving actively in the King's armies. He was captured by the Parliamentary forces at Arundel and died in their hands, at Chichester early in 1644 His theological system, as evidenced in his controversial works, was based on the autonomy of the rational man. The end of the rational quest upon which man is engaged is eternal life. The rational man enjoys complete freedom to pursue this end. God has investigated this rational freedom in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ. God's self-participation in man's rational state enables man to enjoy the freedom created by God. God's revelation of his nature and man's freedom is transmitted to man in the Bible. Holy Scripture is the record of God's timeless, eternal truths to which man assents in mind and will when he truly follows God. Chillingworth, therefore, bases his defence of Protestantism upon the fact that man is rational and that he has this record of God's truth. Men are directed, "by the Bible, only to God and not to any other man for their salvation. The Church is the society of men v/ho follow the truths of God. He concludes that the Church ought to "be organised around a minimum credal statement, hut that it must emphasise the personal moral life. All that is necessary for the Church is that it should direct men to Heaven by the shortest possible route. Chillingworth's defence of the Protestant principle was actually a defence of the Protestantism of the private conscience. It was not, in any sense, a systematic presentation of the radical nature of faith, nor of the doctrine of justification by faith. Its basis in the rational autonomy of man was a link; with the Scholastics and Humanists of the Renaissance, and he bypassed the Reformation to a great extent. His adherence to the principle of the centrality of the Word of God was modified by his view of the Bible as the revelation of timeless, eternal truths. He adopted, on the whole, those principles that were to govern orthodox Protestantism for more than two centuries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available