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serves, “ the successive gradations of religious opinion, from high Calvinism to great liberality, appear in bold "relief.” Though the author here gives notice, that he is about to exhibit an account of the opposing doctrines “in a work strictly historical,” yet most of what he has brought forward in this portion of his narrative, we consider not within the limits we have prescribed to our remarks. We find two statements, however, made so emphatically, that they will justify, perhaps, a passing comment. He says that Jonathan Edwards, “ discerning the strength of the peculiar tenets of bis sect, availed himself of their inherent power to take captive the imagination, and to paralyze the action of human reason by denying its authority.” This we understand to be the same as saying, that Edwards denied the authority of human reason in religion. For if he understandingly availed himself of religious tenets which paralyze human reason by denying its authority; then that in religion he denied the authority of human reason, is only a more concise mode of expressing the same thing. But this position we should suppose that those who have even the most superficial knowledge of Edwards's writings would refuse to admit. Is it possible that the author of the treatise on “ The Will,” the treatise on “ The Nature of True Virtue,” and that on“ The End for which God created the World,” would deny the authority of human reason in religion ? Edwards certainly maintained that all the doctrines, which he understood to be taught in the Scriptures, could be shown to be consonant with reason, or, could not be shown to be contrary to reason; or else he must have been, even in his own opinion, for the most part of his life very irrationally employed. That he fully believed in the use of reason in explaining and illustrating what he held to be religious truths, is proved by the course he pursued; and by what process can it be evinced that with this use of reason, he did not hold its authority to be commensurate ? The admirers and followers of Edwards have ever supposed, that in this particular department, the rationale of religion, he greatly improved upon Calvin ; and the slightest knowledge of the history of religious doctrine in this country, we should have thought, would have included this fact, that Edwards and his disciples, known so extensively through good report and evil report, as “ New England Divines,” have been chiefly characterized by the fearlessness with which they encounter the most abstruse theological questions, and labor to show their own views to be
agreeable to the highest reason of man. Now, it is competent for President Quincy, or any one else who thinks so, to say, that Edwards and his school have entirely failed in their object, and that their speculations are absurd and worthless; but this is a very different thing from saying, that Edwards denied the authority of human reason in religion.
The other statement respecting Edwards, to which we alluded, is this, that “the personification of the evil principle is wrought into his works with great skill and power." * The “personification of the evil principle” is an euphemism, or exposition, it should be noticed, introduced by President Quincy, Édwards never having attained to the use of this kind of phraseology. The author proceeds to quote various passages from Edwards' works, chiefly, however, from his posthumous publications, never prepared by Edwards himself for the press, which, we do not deny, fully confirm his position. Our objection is not, that this statement is erroneous in point of fact; but that it is so made, as to represent Edwards as altogether peculiar in this respect; which, in an account“ strictly historical,” we find it difficult to reconcile with our notions of impartial treatment. President Quincy must know that Dr. Colman, “ the recog. nized leader of the most liberal religious party in the province," published, in 1744, “Satan's Fiery Darts in Hellish Suggestions.” Some years ago, as we well recollect, we turned over the leaves of this volume, and thought that the work did no discredit to its title. We had no suspicion, at the time, that the writer, in the use of the word “ Satan," meant it as a mere figure of speech. But to hunt up beauties of this kind, we frankly consess, is an employment not exactly to our taste; and will add only, that the language so offensive to President Quincy belonged in a great measure to the age, and can hardly, as we think, be brought forward with propriety as characterizing an individual. The author is correct in saying, that Edwards “ was graduated-at Yale.”
We next have an account of the proceedings of Chauncy and Mayhew, and of some of the doctrines which they preached and published. Their theological opinions were, of course, much at variance with those of Edwards. “A spirit of free inquiry was awakened in the land, and found countenance and encouragement from intelligent laymen.” The connection. however, of Harvard with this altered state of things is not represented as very immediate or direct, though we are told that SECOND SERIES, VOL. VII. NO. I.
this seminary was “ the acknowledged seat of liberal inquiry.” But if there had been any change in the course of religious instruction in the college, the author would scarcely have failed to mention so important a circumstance. It must be concluded, therefore, that the Westminster Catechism and Ames's Medulla were still the standards in theology; and if all the doctrines of these symbols of faith were not directly inculcated, nothing was taught in opposition to them. The author admits that the “ views of Chauncy and Mayhew received no public countenance from the governors of the college;" but says that these governors “ were all on terms of friendship” with the two liberal divines, and 6 some of them,” we are not told how many, “ of professional intercourse and interchange of ministerial labors." From this account, not calculated, in all respects, to meet the expectations which had been excited, it may be inferred that a majority both of the corporation and of the board of overseers of the college were still on what was considered the orthodox side; and that President Holyoke and Professor Wigglesworth acted with these majorities, and conducted the affairs of the seminary on the same general principles, as had prevailed from the beginning. But, though the progress of the college in its reformation from Calvinism was slow, the influence of Chauncy and Mayhew was on the increase, and “the leaders of the Calvinistic sect” were alarmed.
“In this exigency,” we are told, that these leaders “ turned their attention to New Haven. That seminary had been founded, as has already been stated, under the auspices of persons discontented with the religious state of Harvard College; and after the lapse of half a century, it was again regarded as the place of refuge in the impending dangers of the Calvinistic faith." This account of the auspices under which Yale College was founded, we have before shown, not only to be supported by no evidence, but to be opposed by facts of the most decisive character. Every distinctive recommendation on the part of the gentlemen in Boston, who were consulted respecting the provisions of a charter for Yale College, was unheeded ; and a plan was followed evidently devised in Connecticut without any foreign assistance. It has been shown, that the system of theological instruction at first introduced into the college of Connecticut, was the same in the minutest particulars with that pursued at Harvard, as that system is unfolded by President Quincy himself; and if the study of the Assembly's Catechism and Ames's Medulla, at Harvard, was consistent with the most enlarged liberality, even with the design of uniting in favor of the seminary “ all the varieties of religious belief,” which, by the way, we consider entirely apocryphal, he should have furnished a substantial reason, as he has not done, why the same liberal views might not exist with the same course of instruction in Connecticut. We are referred, it is true, to Mr. Noyes's letter, but our opinion of this we have already expressed.
But it is said, “ after the lapse of half a century,” Yale College“ was again regarded as the place of refuge in the impending dangers of the Calvinistic faith.” That Yale College at its foundation was looked to as such a“ place of refuge, is an assumption, as we believe, without one particle of evidence for its support. There was nothing in the constitution of the college of Connecticut, in the course of instruction, or in the mode of managing its concerns, which, so far as any facts have been produced, savors of a higher Calvinism than prevailed at Cambridge. Yale College was very early the soil in which Episcopalianism took root; it is shown by a document furnished by President Quincy himself to have lain under the imputation of latitudinarianism; such rumors were circulated of its Arminian tendencies, as to rouse the vigilance of Dr. Colman; but where are the proofs of its superior Calvinism ? If such proofs can be brought forward, what evidence is there that, on this account, it was in fact a “place of refuge” for a single individual, from the apprehended evils of liberality at Cambridge? What individual can be named, who was reduced to such straits? This whole representation appears to us to be a very loose inference from more than doubtful premises.
As to the comparative orthodoxy of the two colleges at the time when, according to President Quincy, Yale College became again the refuge of Calvinists from the eastern part of Massachusetts, we had rather draw our conclusion from facts, than from surmises, however numerous. Naphtali Daggett, who graduated at Yale College in 1748, who was afterwards professor of divinity, and for eleven years the acting president of the seminary, was one of two students, who were among the earliest, if they were not in fact the first, who entered the college at New Haven from the part of Massachusetts referred to. The circumstances attending the admission of these students at Yale were written down by President Stiles in his diary a short time before the death of Dr. Daggett, which occurred in 1780;
aw our con Naphtali afterwardsent of
and there can be no doubt that they are correctly detailed. In the summer of 1744, the Rer. Solomon Reed, of Massachusetts, a zealous new-light preacher, “ carried three pupils, one of whom was Mr. Daggett, to enter Harvard College. But the last day was nearly past; and it was said that Mr. Reed had brought three new-light scholars; so they were refused without examination, the time being said to have elapsed. The Rev. Mr. Weld, of Attleborough, resenting the matter, himself carried Daggett and the others again to Cambridge, and remonstrated to the president with great severity ; but they still refused. Upon which Mr. Reed brought Daggett and one other pupil to New Haven.” This was late in the year of 1744. How it happened that these students were received at Yale College, where “new-lights” were certainly very much discountenanced and dreaded, and how they were so summarily rejected at Harvard, where every thing was designed “ to assure the enjoyment of equal privileges to every religious sect or party,” and where there was no “shackle for the human soul,” we are unable to explain. That they were brought to New Haven by Mr. Reed, because he supposed that the theology there prevalent was more consonant with his own, than the theology at Cambridge, or because the disciples of Whitefield were treated at New Haven with especial favor, cannot be true. A short time only before Mr. Reed brought his pupils to Yale College, David Brainerd had been expelled under circumstances ill calculated to draw“ new-lights” within its walls. The report of this proceeding had gone through New England; and the echoes of it are still occasionally heard. Two students, whose case is so particularly reported by Dr. Trumbull, had just been expelled for attending a separate new-light religious meeting. The truth is that Mr. Reed, after his application at Cambridge had been so peremptorily denied, had only“ Hopson's choice;" it was Yale College, or no college whatever. Such was the Calvinistic “ place of refuge,” to which Mr. Reed's pupils betook themselves.
In 1766, Naphtali Daggett, one of these pupils, had become the acting president of Yale College. Two years afterwards, the same Mr. Reed brought his son to Yale College, who graduated in 1772, the late Rev. Dr. John Reed, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and in 1771, he brought another son, afterwards the Rev. Solomon Reed, of Petersham, Massachusetts, who graduated in 1775. The Rev, Mr. Hodges, in a sermon preached