The Westminster Assembly & the Judicial Law: Table—Chronology of Surveyed Literature

The Confessional Presbyterian 5 (2009), “The Westminster Assembly & the Judicial Law:
A Chronological Compilation and Analysis, Part One: Chronology,” extract, Table—Chronology of Surveyed Literature, by Chris Coldwell. Download PDF (9pp.)1.6MB. Copyright (c) 2017 The Confessional Presbyterian.

At the time this was written, as far as I know (as was also the opinion of Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn), this is the first attempt to compile the publication dates (via Thomason’s purchase date) of books by Westminster divines published during the Westminster Assembly to try to shed light on the deliberations. This extract contains the table of literature by date and some of the introductory matter. The full article in 2 parts runs approximate 50 pages and is available, while it is still in print, in issue 5 of the journal. See the store.

The Literature Compiled for this Survey
This survey uniquely presents a chronological ordering of the work of the Westminster Assembly on the Thirty-Nine Articles, Article 7, the Confession of Faith chapter 19 (Of the Law of God), chapter 20 (Of Christian Liberty or Liberty of Conscience), and Chapter 23 (Of the Civil Magistrate), with extracts from the works of various Westminster divines (or in a few instances, other arguably influential authors), interleaved by date. As noted, the period covered is from the seating of the Assembly on July 1, 1643 until the publication of a new Confession of Faith with scripture proofs at the end of April, 1647. As a fitting review or final word an extract is given from Francis Cheynell’s heretofore overlooked words on the magistrate relative to the judicial law dating to about the end of the Assembly’s significant labors. The writings cited in this survey have been assigned a specific date for their first appearance, using for the most part the Thomason dating (see the table on pages 4–5).8 If Thomason recorded no copy or no exact date, other sources have been consulted to narrow down a date or date range. Public sermons delivered on a specific date and then published, have been listed under the date the sermon was delivered. Works have been chosen as they either employ terms relative to general or natural equity of the judicial law or cover topics relative to the role of the magistrate as outlined in the work of the Assembly.

8.    Between 1640 and 1661 George Thomason collected pamphlets, books and newspapers as they came off the press, usually recording in hand on the title page, the month and day he acquired them. It is the most important collection of material from the time of the English Civil War, and often contains the only surviving copy of a work. The Thomason Tracts are catalogued by date in Catalogue of the Pamphlets, Books, Newspapers, and Manuscripts Relating to the Civil War, the Commonwealth, and Restoration collected by George Thomason, 1640–1661 (London: British Museum, 1908). They are available in The Thomason Tracts, 1640–1661, Microfilm Edition of the Thomason Collection of the British Library (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1977–1981), and are also available as part of Proquest’s Early English Books Online (

Store closed on the Lord's Day.