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The Reformation of the Church: A Collection of Reformed and Puritan Documents on Church Issues (Murray)

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The nature and life of the church is one of the most crucial issues facing Christians in the closing years of the twentieth century. Questions of ministry and liturgy, authority and freedom, appear in a wide variety of guises throughout the world-wide church. Relativism and uncertainty seem to be as common in the church as in the world. Many Christians wonder whether there is any way forward.

In this context, The Reformation of the Church is an invaluable aid. An anthology of documents, drawn largely but not exclusively from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it presents in a readily accessible form the finest thinking of the reformed fathers on authority and freedom, the need for reformation, the nature of the government, unity and membership of the church of Jesus Christ.

Warmly welcomed when first published in 1965, and widely use since then, these documents provide invaluable material for ministers, elders, leaders, students and all Christians who are concerned to see Christ’s church fulfill her God-given role at a critical juncture in her history.

Table of Contents:

Section 1: The Nature of the Church

Section 2: The Rule for Reformation - The Word of God

1. Liberation from Human Authority - Martin Luther

2. The Reformers and the Regulative Principle - William Cunningham

3. The Regulative Principle and Things Indifferent - John Hooper

4. The Abolition of Vestments - John a Lasco

5. Scripture and the Ordering of Worship

Section 3: The Need of Reformation

1. The Necessity for Reformation: The Admonition to Parliament - Thomas Wilcox

2. Concerning a National Church - William Ames

3. The Relation of Church and State - Charles Hodge

4. Episcopacy: The Petition for the Prelates Examined

5. The Grounds of Nonconformity - Edmund Calamy   

Section 4: New Testament Church Government 

1. The Book of Discipline 1587

2. A True Description of the Visible Church 1589 - Henry Barrow

3. The Form of Presbyterial Church Government 1645 - Westminster Divines

4. The Cambridge Platform 1648

5. The Savoy Platform 1658

6. The Difference between Independency and Presbytery - Jeremiah Burroughs

7. A Presbyterian View of the Difference with Independency

8. The Heads of Agreement 1691

Section 5: The Unity of the Church

1. The Way to Peace - Walter Cradock

2. What We Are to Bear with in Others - Jeremiah Burroughs

3. Union among Protestants - John Owen

4. The Scandal of Division among the Godly - James Durham


1. The Church Membership of Children - Thomas Shepard

2. Episcopalian Writers on Church Government


Iain Hamish Murray, born in Lancashire, England, in 1931, was educated at Wallasey Grammar School and King William’s College in the Isle of Man (1945-49). From 1956 he was for three years assistant to Dr Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel and there, with the late Jack Cullum, founded the Banner of Truth Trust in 1957. He left Westminster in 1961 for a nine-year pastorate at Grove Chapel, Camberwell. With the world-wide expansion of the Trust, Iain Murray became engaged full-time in its ministry from 1969 until 1981 when he responded to a call from St Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney, Australia. Now based again in the UK, he and Jean live in Edinburgh.