596 }EARLY AMERICAN LITERATURE: VOLUME 4 9, NUMBER 2 Abounding, or to identify a single determinative moment of change and to bring his reflection on his personal experience back into the polemical fray. Beginning with his A Holy Commonwealth (1659), whose title alone made Baxter subject to accusations of antimonarchical fervor, Lynch looks at Baxter's investment in "mere Christianity" and his belief that subject and sovereign alike were bound "under God the Universal Monarch" (239). While Baxter did, eventually, repudiate A Holy Commonwealth and declare his support for the monarchy, Lynch nonetheless argues for the resistant nature of his oeuvre, which, she suggests, functioned as something of "an early modern blog," the "transcript of thought in action, and of a subject in formation" (250, 253). She argues, in particular, that Baxter understood his Reliquae as a set of papers returned to and expanded over time--a "public forum" and a refusal to recognize the civil court's jurisdiction over his religious practices--at the same time as it consistently appealed to comprehension (263). He would not take a partisan identity, but rather refused, even to the point of denying his eight hundred folio pages a final punctuation mark, to fix his
Early American Literature – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jun 27, 2014
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