Protestantism encouraged the participation of Christians in every aspect of society with the confidence that they could provide a redemptive force in a sinful world. Protestant medical ethics arose more directly from religious considerations of health and disease, as well as from biblical themes such as providence, justification, law and grace, covenant, and the place of suffering in the Christian experience. In medicine Protestant physicians and philosophers as well as theologians, laymen as well as clergy have influenced the formulation of medical ethics. From the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, many Protestant clergymen practiced medicine on the side. The distinctively Protestant understanding of the individual and his or her conscience alone before God, together with its insistence that a Christian's calling must be lived out in the world, have served as powerful motivating factors in the medical professions.