On the Difference between the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

The difference between seventeenth-century Puritan theology and that in the eighteenth century is well summed up by the following remark made by the Calvinistic Baptist David Kinghorn to his son, the famous Joseph Kinghorn: “I think if [Stephen] Charnock were abridged by a skilful hand, it would be a valuable work.”[1]

The seventeenth-century passion for big systematic tomes was simply not shared by the eighteenth-century men, even when the two different generations shared a similar commitment to Reformed orthodoxy.

[1] Letter to Joseph Kinghorn, December 18, 1790 [in Martin Hood Wilkin, Joseph Kinghorn, of Norwich: A Memoir [1855 ed.; repr. in The Life and Works of Joseph Kinghorn (Springfield, Missouri: Particular Baptist Press, 1995), I, 182].