Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

(loss from the winter semester 117); of these 410 were foreign students (loss from the winter 80). The theological department had 350 (73 foreign), law 463 (111 foreign), medicine 381 (112 foreign), philosophy 367 (114 foreign). Others attended lectures to the number of 374. At Bonn there were 609 students (gain from the winter semester 13); of these 133 were foreigners (gain from the winter 13); 175 belonged to the theological department,-87 (42 foreign) to the Protestant, and 88 (2 foreign) to the Catholic. At Breslau there were 612 (loss from the winter semester 19 ) of these only 7 were foreigners. In the theological department there were 281,-173 in the Catholic, in the Protestant 108. At Freiburg there were 288 students (loss from the winter semester 13), of whom 80 were foreigners; 104 (foreign 28) were studying theology, and only 5 philosophy. At Giessen there were 423 students (gain from the winter 16), of whom 102 (gain from the winter 26) were foreigners ; 115 were attending to theology,—73 to Protestant and 42 to Catholic theology. At Göttingen the number of students amounted to 703 (loss from the winter semester 1), of these 211 were foreigners. At Halle there were 705 (gain from the winter 23), of whom 103 were foreigners; 425 (foreign 103) were connected with the theologi. cal department. At Heidelberg the number of students was 654 (gain from the winter 40); of these 477 were foreigners. At Jena there were 447 (loss from the winter 13), of whom 213 were foreigners; 130 studied theology. At Leipsic the whole number of students was 903 (loss from the previous semester 32), of whom 265 were foreigners ; 255 (69 foreign) were in the theological department. At Marburg the whole number was 264 (loss from the winter 21), of whom 46 were foreigners; 67 attended to theology. At München there were 1297 (loss from the winter 80), of whom 170 were theological students. At Tübingen there were 731 (loss from the winter 8), of whom 43 were foreigners; 165 were pursuing Protestant and 98 Catholic theology. AtWürzburg there were 458 students; 83 theological.

United States. Allen, Morrill & Wardwell will soon publish the works of Pres. Edwards, in two volomes, with a memoir by Rev. T. Edwards, of Rochester, N. Y. It will be the first complete edition of the writings of this eminent theologian. The first No. of the Hebrew Concordance, edited by Dr. Nordheimer and Mr. Turner, will be issued in a few weeks. It will be superior to any other, even to that of Fürst.

THE

AMERICAN

BIBLICAL REPOSITORY.

APRIL, 1842.

SECOND SERIES, NO. XIV.-WHOLE NO, XLVI.

ARTICLE I.

EXAMINATION OF CERTAIN POINTS OF NEW ENGLAND HISTORY, AS

EXHIBITED BY PRESIDENT QUINCY IN HIS HISTORY OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY, AND BY OTHER UNITARIAN WRITERS.

By Enoch Pond, D. D., Professor in the Theological Seminary, Bangor, Me.

Concluded from No. XIII. p. 145.]

CONSIDERATION OF OTHER OBJECTIONS AGAINST COTTON MATHER.

The objections of President Quincy to Cotton Mather are not confined to the subject of witchcraft. Various other objections are urged, the more material of which we shall briefly notice.

He accuses Cotton Mather, as he had done his father, of indulging in a very improper spirit and language in controversy. And in order to show the truth of this charge, he runs over some of his controversial pamphlets, and some parts of his diary, culling out, and exhibiting in marks of quotation, the stronger and more objectionable words and phrases. To all this I have only to reply, that while the quotations of President Quincy do not exhibit the writings of Mather in any thing like a fair light, making them to appear much worse than they are, still, it is to be conceded that he did not always treat his opponents with what we might denominate due forbearance and courtesy. He well knew how to put words together, so as to make them thunder heavily on the ear of an opponent; and he

SECOND SERIES, Vol. VIII. NO. II.

sometimes indulged himself in this way, beyond what the circumstances of the case required. It is a mistake, however, to suppose that Cotton Mather was, to a great extent, a controversial writer. Nearly all his three hundred and eighty-three publications were on devotional and practical subjects. He expressly says of himself:

" Though I have had, first and last, such a number of pamphlets thrown at me, that if I had been vulnerable, I might appear stuck as full of darts as the man in the signs of the almanack; yet, upon considering the sorry and silly stuff which they have consisted of, and the despicable quality of the scribblers, and remembering, too, that lies have no legs, and what I had learned about treating insolent men with humility, and angry men with meekness; I have thought that Proverbs xxvi. 4, was a full answer to them. I have had so much better work to spend my precious time in, that I don't call to mind I have ever once yet published a direct and formal answer to any of them all; but instead thereof, and once for all, I gave to the public my "True Way of Shaking off a Viper." "*

In regard to controversial asperity, as has been remarked in another place, much regard is to be had to the spirit and customs of the age. In the times of the Mathers, and for a long period before and since, the most of those who dipped into religious controversy, seem first to have dipped their pens in gall. As choice specimens of what I here mean, I would refer President Quincy to some of the pamphlets written against “the New Lights,” about the middle of the last century; and above all, to the reply of the late Dr. Mayhew, of Boston, to good old Mr. Cleaveland, of Ipswich.

President Quincy says, that“ in many instances, in the voluminous writings of Cotton Mather, the conviction is forced upon the mind, that he was not quite so scrupulous as might be wished, in his relation of facts.” And in one instance, at least, he charges him with known and wilful falsehood. The circumstances were these: In the progress of the difficulties respecting the institution of the Brattle-street church, an effort was made at reconciliation; and this was so far successful, that the two Mr. Mathers consented to attend the dedication of the church, and to take part in the exercises. In his diary of January 21, 1700, Cotton Mather represents this effort at reconciliation as having originated with himself: “I drew up a pro

* The title of one of Mather's publications. Remarkables, etc., p. 8.

posal, and with another minister carried it unto them, who at first rejected it, but afterwards so far embraced it as to promise that they will, the next week, publicly recognize their covenant with God and one another, and therewithal 'declare their adherence to the Heads of Agreement of the United Brethren in England,* and request the communion of our churches on that foundation.” Vol. I. p. 487. But President Quincy says: “The glory of effecting the reconciliation, thus obtrusively claimed by Cotton Mather, was wholly without foundation. He neither drew up the paper, nor had any material efficiency in producing it.p. 135. The grounds on which President Quincy thus charges Mather with what (if falsehood at all) must have been known and wilful falsehood, are two: 1. Dr. Colman says nothing about Mr. Mather's instrumentality, in the church records. But does he say any thing against it? Do the records of the church contradict the diary of Mather? Not in the slightest degree. They merely oinit to notice, what Mather says was true, and what, for aught the records say or intimate to the contrary, may have been true to the letter. 2. The other ground on which the accusation of President Quincy rests, is the diary of Judge Sewall. His account of the reconciliation varies somewhat from that of Mr. Mather, but is not inconsistent with it, or contradictory to it. Under date of January 24th, three days subsequent to Cotton Mather's effort, Judge Sewall says:

"The Lieut. Governor calls me, with him, to Mr. Willard's, where, out of two papers, Mr. William Brattle drew up a third, for an accommodation, to bring on an agreement between the new church and our ministers. Mr. Colman got his brethren to subscribe to it. January 25th. Mr. I. Mather, Mr. C. Mather, Mr. Willard, Mr. Wadsworth and S. Sewall, wait on the Lieut. Governor, at Mr. Cooper's, to confer about the writing drawn up the evening before. There was some heat, but grew calmer, and aster lecture, agreed,” &c. p. 491.

· The probable circumstances of the case were these: Mr. Willard, pastor of the old South Church, was the other minister, that went with Cotton Mather in his effort at reconciliation, on the 21st of January. Of the two papers in the possession of Mr. Willard on the 24th, and from which Mr. Brattle drew

* These Heads of Agreement were drawn up while Increase Mather was in England, as the foundation of a union between the Congregational and Presbyterian churches in that country, up a third, one was that which had been previously drawn up by Mr. Mather. This paper, rather than the other, was substantially adopted by Mr. Brattle, in preparing a third; so that this last paper, though in the hand-writing of Mr. Brattle, was really, as to the substance of it, the production of Mr. Mather. The next day (January 25th) a meeting was held at Mr. Cooper's, where, after some warm discussion, the prepared paper was adopted, and the reconciliation effected. This accords entirely with Mather's testimony, who says that his paper was at first rejected, but afterwards was embraced. After Mr. Brattle had copied it, possibly with some slight variations, and had brought it forward under the sanction of his name, the founders of the new church consented to embrace it. Of course, it cannot now be determined, that the order of events here supposed is precisely that which actually took place. But certainly, it may have been. There is nothing unreasonable or improbable

in the supposition. Hence, the diaries of Mather and Sewall - may both be true.* Beyond a doubt, they both are true. And President Quincy owes it, not only to the memory of Mather, but to himself, to take back the charge of wilful falsehood, to which he has (I trust without due consideration) consented to give the sanction of his name.

It is further objected to Cotton Mather, that he habitually desired and endeavored, for a long course of years, to become the President of Harvard College. If this charge were admitted, to the full extent to which it is urged, I see not that it will fasten any serious blot upon the character of Mr. Mather. Good men have often desired public stations, and labored to secure them, and yet, in the end, have been disappointed. I am persuaded, however, that the desires of Cotton Mather, in regard to the presidency of Harvard College, have been vastly overrated. His diary has been raked, from end to end, to gather up expressions bearing on this point; and yet, almost nothing

* To the mode of harmonizing the diaries of Mather and Sewall, proposed above, I can think of but a single objection. It may be said that the reconciliation, according to Mather, took place on the 21st day. But althongh the entire record of Mather is made under date of the 21st, it is obvious that he mentions several things, which took place afterwards. For instance, he speaks of the exercises of the dedication or fast, which did not take place till the 31st.

« PoprzedniaDalej »