Thomas Hooker

(1586—1647) minister in America

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English-born Congregationalist, emigrated to Massachusetts (1633). He was pastor at Newe Towne (Cambridge) for three years, and then, because of his democratic views, took his entire congregation of some 100 families to found the Connecticut Colony. In A Survey of the Summe of Church Discipline (1648), he defended New England Congregationalism and postulated the principle of divine absolutism, making temporal absolutism unnecessary. The sovereign will of God, he held, was represented by no ecclesiastical hierarchy, but was communicated directly to the individual believer. The people, walking together in the fellowship of faith, communicate power by voluntary subjection to the governing pastor. A second volume of this work was written by John Cotton.

Subjects: Literature.

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