Godliness unveiled: William Guild, biblical types, and Reformed Protestantism in Early Modern Scotland
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date10/07/2028
Newton, Russell William Dennis
This thesis examines how biblical typology was used in early modern Scotland. It focuses on the works of the Aberdonian minister and theologian, William Guild (1586–1657), who was one of the most prominent seventeenth-‐century typological exegetes. His handbook, Moses Unvailed (1620), has been repeatedly noted as one of the key works in the development of Protestant typology. Yet his typological exegesis has not been properly explored. Indeed, detailed analysis of Guild’s life and works has been lacking. This study seeks to address those issues. Chapter One offers an updated biography of Guild, focusing on his intellectual development and religious involvement. Chapter Two provides the first detailed study of the theological influences on, and beliefs undergirding, Moses Unvailed, showing that Guild’s typological exegesis became more Christocentric in the period between 1608 and 1620. Chapters Three and Four explore the varied uses of typology in Guild’s sermons, biblical study aids, polemical works, and political treatises, drawing comparisons with his Scottish contemporaries. Chapter Three examines how typology was used in works addressed to godly audiences, while Chapter Four focuses on how typology was used in works aimed at theological opponents and political authorities. These chapters suggest that typology was consistently used – either directly or indirectly – to edify Reformed Protestants. Chapter Five turns to Guild’s commentaries to consider how typology related to allegorical, moral, and prophetic exegesis. This chapter argues that while typology was rarely Guild’s primary interpretative approach it still served vital functions in allowing him to reinforce, clarify, and expand his expositions. This thesis provides the first study of early modern typology in a Scottish context and also represents the most detailed engagement with Guild’s works to date. It challenges the divisions that have been drawn by scholars between different applications of typology and argues that Guild’s distinction between types and comparisons offers a more helpful way of understanding the varied uses of typology in early modern Scotland. From this analysis a clearer understanding of the functions of typology for early modern exegetes emerges. This thesis argues that while, for Guild and his contemporaries, typology served to demonstrate how the Old Testament reveals Christ, they were frequently drawn to this approach because it also gave them a biblically and providentially grounded means of articulating their vision of Protestant godliness.