Thomas Shepard: The Sincere Convert

(927 words)
  • Carla Ann McGill (Independent Scholar - North America)

The Sincere Convert: Discovering the Small Number of True Beleevers; And the Great Difficulty of Saving Conversion, Thomas Shepard's most popular work, if judged by the fact that it was continuously in print from 1640 to 1812, is an explanation of the conversion process as it was known in New England Congregational churches. Controversial for its uncompromising standpoint regarding the authentic regeneration of the soul through the agency of Christ, the work seems to have also been questionable to Shepard himself for some of the material it contained. Shepard's contemporary, Giles Firmin, who found that the work “cuts very sharply” questioned him about some of the disputable points. Shepard responded in a 1647 letter, “I …

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McGill, Carla Ann. "The Sincere Convert". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2003
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]