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The ministers' enlightenment

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Title:
The ministers' enlightenment a study of the coexistence and convergence of Puritan values and enlightenment in Massachusetts
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Haberler, Zachary James
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Denver, CO
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University of Colorado Denver
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English
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vii, 65 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Puritans -- Doctrines -- Massachusetts ( lcsh )
Enlightenment -- Massachusetts ( lcsh )
Clergy -- Education -- History -- Massachusetts -- 17th century ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 58-65).
Thesis:
History
General Note:
Department of History
Statement of Responsibility:
by Zachary James Haberler.

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|Auraria Library
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ocn181337933
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LD1193.L57 2007m H32 ( lcc )

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Full Text
THE MINISTERS ENLIGHTENMENT:
A STUDY OF THE COEXISTENCE AND CONVERGENCE OF
PURITAN VALUES AND ENLIGHTENMENT IN MASSACHUSETTS,
1740-1760
By
Zachary James Haberler
B.A., University of Colorado, Denver, 2004
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
History
2007


by Zachary James Haberler
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Zachary James Haberler
has been approved by
Pamela Laird


Haberler, Zachary James (M. A., History)
The Ministers Enlightenment:
A Study of the Coexistence and Convergence of
Puritan Values and Enlightenment in Massachusetts, 1740-1760
Thesis directed by Professor Myra Rich
ABSTRACT
How the strict and Godly Puritan religion coexisted with secular thought
in 18th century Massachusetts is the central problem this paper addresses. To
make sense of this unexpected collision requires an examination of two facets of
life in Massachusetts: the colonys ministers and the colonys system for
educating them. An evaluation of these two facets reveals significant interplay
between Puritanism and Enlightenment thought in 18th century Massachusetts.
Furthermore, this interplay indicates that the Enlightenment had a role in
Massachusetts beyond and quite different from simply supplying the influx of
political thought which infiltrated all of the American colonies and contributed to
the colonists revolutionaiy movement for independence. Indeed, Puritan values
and the Enlightenment not only coexisted but often converged, creating a
ministers Enlightenment in 18th century Massachusetts.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my loving wife, Julie, whose unwavering strength,
support, and understanding continually renewed my energy and determination to
pursue my sometimes lofty educational goals.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Special thanks to my advisor, Myra Rich, who frequently renewed my passion for
Colonial American history over the last fr ve years and whose insights and
direction were instrumental during the thesis process. I also wish to thank
professors Carl Pletsch and Marjorie Levine-Clark. Both provided priceless
mentoring without which 1 would be half the researcher and writer I am today.
Finally, I thank Jim Walsh, whose intimate connection to humanity shines through
his every action and sparked my own desire to connect to people through history
when 1 took his Irish in America class as an undergraduate.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION................................1
2. THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT IN
AMERICA........................................4
3. EDUCATION OF MINISTERS IN 18 CENTURY
MASSACHUSETTS.................................15
4. THE MINISTERS ENLIGHTENMENT: ENLIGHTENED
DISCOURSE DURING THE GREAT AWAKENING..........26
5. THE MINISTERS ENLIGHTENMENT: RELIGIOUS AND
POLITICAL AUTHORITY...........................42
6. CONCLUSION.................................51
BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................58
vii


CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION
It was a dull and rainy day when John Adams set out to take the Harvard
entrance exams in Boston from his hometown of Braintree.1 While the poor
health of his tutor Mr. Marsh forced Adams to travel alone, his shoulders carried
the interests of his family and Braintree upon them.2 Like many other fathers
raised in the Puritan culture of New England, John Adams father wanted his son
to enter the ministry.3 Yet, Adams never received a church to call his own and
went on to become a powerful intellectual and political leader of 18th century
Massachusetts. John Adams transformation from ministry student to political
leader illuminates an interesting collision of Puritanism and Enlightenment
ideology.
How the strict and Godly Puritan religion coexisted with secular thought
in 18th century Massachusetts is the central problem this paper addresses. To
make sense of this unexpected collision requires an examination of two facets of
1 L. H. Butterfield, The Adams Papers: Diary and Autobiography of John Adams. Volume 3:
Diary 1782-1804, Autobiography through 1776 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard
University Press, 1961), p. 258-259.
2 Ibid.
3 David McCullough, John Adams (New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2001), page 33.
1


life in Massachusetts: the colonys ministers and the colonys system for
educating them. An evaluation of these two facets reveals significant interplay
between Puritanism and Enlightenment thought in 18th century Massachusetts.
Furthermore, this interplay indicates that the Enlightenment had a role in
Massachusetts beyond and quite different from simply supplying the influx of
political thought which infiltrated all of the American colonies and contributed to
the colonists revolutionary movement for independence. Indeed, Puritan values
and the Enlightenment not only coexisted but often converged, creating a
ministers Enlightenment in 18th century Massachusetts.
Historians have done ample research on the political thought of the latter
half of the 18th century.4 Some material may appear from those later years, but it
will serve only as peripheral evidence or as an epilogue. Instead, this paper will
focus on the central years of the 18th century, roughly 1740-1760. During these
years, many ministers in Massachusetts engaged in public discussions criticizing
the world around them, and because the world around them was dominated by
Puritans, religion played a significant role in their discourse. Thus, it is through
the ministry that the Enlightenment found its way into the religious dialogue of
the Great Awakening, and continued to affect the intellectual life of the colony
4 See the work of Gordon Wood and Bernard Bailyns Ideological Origins of the American
Revolution (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967).
2


afterwards.
To best examine the intertwining of Puritanism and Enlightenment
thought, I organized this paper into three sections. First, there will be a brief
historiographical discussion regarding the Enlightenment in America. It is
important to derive a definition of the Enlightenment to use for the purposes of
this paper, and it is pertinent to show where this research stands amongst other
histories. Second, there will be a section addressing education in Massachusetts
which will examine what role the schools had on the convergence of Puritanism
and the Enlightenment. The third and fourth sections will explain how ministers
in Massachusetts exhibited Enlightenment ideas through sermons; the third will
discuss the Great Awakening and the fourth will deal with its aftermath. The
paper will close with some remarks connecting the central years of the 18th
century to the end of the century, and tracing some continuities to the times of the
American Revolution.
3


CHAPTER 2.
THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT IN AMERICA
Defining the Enlightenment is a problematic task and, naturally, not all
historians agree on all parameters of any given definition. However, there is a
consensus that the Enlightenment revered classical thought and culture,
challenged contemporary forms and ideas regarding authority (government), and
sought to increase understanding of the natural world. The Enlightenment stance
on religion, however, raises disagreements amongst historians.
Some recent historians define the Enlightenment, at least in part, as anti-
religious. In his introduction to The Portable Enlightenment Reader, Isaac
Kramnick portrays the Enlightenment and religion as forces at war:
Central to the Enlightenment agenda was the assault on
religious superstition and its replacement by a rational religion
in which God became no more than the supreme intelligence
or craftsman who had set the machine that was the world to run
according to its own natural and scientifically predictable
laws.5
Kramnick does use the phrase rational religion, but it is quite clear from his
definition of the God that resulted (a deist definition of God) that he would not see
as possible the interplay between Puritanism and the Enlightenment seen in 18th
5 Isaac Kramnick, The Portable Enlightenment Reader (New York: Penguin
Books USA, Inc., 1995), xii.
4


century Massachusetts. Kramnicks portrayal is supported by historian Margaret
Jacob, who argues that the Enlightenment helped contribute to the decline of
religions role in society.6 Although this definition of the Enlightenment is true to
the experiences of some European countries during the 18th century; it dismisses
the experiences of others.
The anti-religious sentiment expressed by Kramnick and Jacobs indicates
the tendency of historians to over-generalize or overly confine the Enlightenment
in order to define it. In The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, The Rise of
Modern Paganism (1967), Historian Peter Gay acknowledges the difficulty of
defining the Enlightenment.7 His answer to the problem of synthesizing the wide
range of 18th century thought is to more broadly characterize the Enlightenment as
a cultural climate summed up by two words criticism and power.8 Gays
broader definition not only justifies the experiences of more European countries
during the 18th century than the definitions put forth by Kramnick and Jacobs, it
also incorporates into the definition the varying socio-cultural contexts of Europe
dining the 18th century.
6 Margaret C. Jacob, The Enlightenment: a Brief History with Documents (New York: Bedford/
St. Martins, 2001), 18-19.
7 Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, The Rise of Modern Paganism (New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1967), x.
8 Ibid., xi.
5


Due to the critical culture of the Enlightenment, Gay inevitably includes
the existence and persistence of philosophical discourse amongst the philosophes
as part of his definition as well. Unfortunately, Gays definition still addresses the
Enlightenment as a single movement, although he grants it broader parameters.
More recently, J. G. A. Pocock argues that historians are moving toward a view of
the Enlightenment as a family of discourses arising about the same time in a
number of European cultures.9 If Gays broad definition, which emphasizes the
presence of critical discourses concerned with power, was an important step
towards including the American experience of Enlightenment, Pococks definition
is a more important second step.
For the purposes of this paper, the Enlightenment is defined as a
combination of Gay and Pococks definitions. The Enlightenment experience of
18th century Massachusetts did exhibit a significant amount of critical, public
discourse concerned with power. However, Enlightenment in colonial
Massachusetts differed distinctly from Europe and does not properly fit into Gays
massive, singular movement. Pococks definition, then, is very important for the
Massachusetts Enlightenment because it enables the freedom to properly analyze
the colonys experience. Before continuing to that analysis, however, it is
9 J. G. A. Pocock, Enthusiasm: The Anti-Self of Enlightenment, in Lawrence E. Klein and
Anthony La Vopa, ed., Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe, 1650-1850 (San Marino, CA:
Huntington Library Press, 1998).
6


important to discuss what has been written about the Enlightenment in America.
In 1955, Louis Hartz published The Liberal Tradition in America: An
interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution, Hartz argued
that John Lockes philosophies had a large influence on American history from
the revolution to the 20th century. Although the Enlightenment was only of
peripheral interest to Hartz, he does argue that the American Enlightenment was
different because America did not need to rebel against a heritage of feudalism as
Europe did.10 11
Beyond Hartz, however, studies of the Enlightenment in the American
colonies were scarce until the late 1960s when Bernard Bailyn published
Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967) and Gordon Wood
published The Creation of The American Republic, 1776-1787 (1969)." Both
have become classics of American history, adding immeasurably to what
historians know and understand regarding the American Revolution. Specifically,
they illustrate the influence of ideas, specifically Classical and Enlightenment
ideas, about republicanism on the political beliefs of the colonists. Still, there was
more to be done, as Wood mused in a bibliographic note in Creation of The
American Republic, 1776-1787: It is amazing that so little has been written about
10 Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America: An interpretation of American Political
Thought since the Revolution (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1955), 4 and 39-41.
11 Wood and Bailyn, vi-vii.
7


the American Enlightenment.12
After Wood and Bailyn, historians made significant strides in researching
the role of the Enlightenment in the colonies. In 1975, Ernest Cassara published
The Enlightenment in America, the first attempt at a synthesis of the American
Enlightenment.13 Cassara emphasizes the roles of John Locke, Thomas Paine,
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in his argument that American thinkers made
significant intellectual contributions and that the American Enlightenment was
worthy of a study all its own.14 Significantly, Cassara also argues that the
development of Unitarian and Universalist religions in the colonies represented a
compromise between traditional religions and deism.15 In 1976, Henry F. May
published a book also entitled The Enlightenment in America, a second attempt at
synthesizing the American Enlightenment. Mays work does an adequate job of
assessing the role of several different aspects of the Enlightenment in America
and is a good introduction for a student of the period.16
12 Wood, 623. Wood notes the work of Gilbert Chinard as the best we have and also notes Peter
Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation: The Rise of Modern Paganism (New York, 1966).
13 Ernest Cassara, The Enlightenment in America (Boston: G. K. Hall and Co., 1975).
14 Ibid., 22.
15 Ibid., 141.
16 Henry F. May, The Enlightenment in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976).
May, as Kramnick and Jacobs did in their definitions of the European Enlightenment, divided
various European and American Philosophes into four distinct groups: the Moderate
8


In the late 1970s, a couple of historians began to make an argument that
severely limited the conception of an American Enlightenment. In 1976, Donald
H. Meyer argued that the American Enlightenment never truly caught fire because
the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States quickly
institutionalized Enlightenment ideas. In Europe, according to Meyer, a large part
of the Enlightenments appeal was that it gave the educated elite a way to evaluate
their government and cry out for change. In America, where there was no
disparity between Enlightenment ideas and government, the movement was
stripped of its intellectual power.17 A similar argument was made by Henry Steele
Commager in The Empire of Reason: How Europe Imagined and America
Realized the Enlightenment (1977).18 Although there is a ring of truth to these
interpretations, they are based on definitions of the Enlightenment that are solely
concerned with political thought. It is a grievous error to limit Americas
Enlightenment experience solely to the colonial experiments with republicanism
that resulted in the Articles of Confederation and The Constitution of the United
States.
Enlightenment, the Skeptical Enlightenment, the Revolutionary Enlightenment, and the Didactic
Enlightenment.
17 Donald H. Meyer, The Democratic Enlightenment (New York: G.P. Putnams and Sons, 1976).
18 Henry Steele Commager, The Empire of Reason: How Europe Imagined and America Realized
the Enlightenment (New York: Doubleday, 1977).
9


In 1988, Peter Hoffer published a collection of essays on the American
Enlightenment, which further developed the roles that colonial leaders like
Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson, and James Madison had in spreading the
Enlightenment to the colonies while also introducing material on the spread of
science in the colonies.19 Modem writing, like Carl Richards The Founders and
the Classics: Greece, Rome, and The American Enlightenment (1994), builds
upon earlier knowledge of who 18th century Americans read and were influenced
by and emphasizes the role of Greek and Roman thought.
Most Recently, Gertrude Himmelfarb offered an interpretation of the
American Enlightenment as especially focused on varying aspects of liberty.20
She argues that the Americans were more practical than, say, the French, a view
reminiscent of Meyer and Commager, and that their practicality prevented
Americas Enlightenment from losing itself in utopian and abstract discourses.21
There is a strong body of history, then, about the ideas that influenced 18th
century colonial leaders and what 18th century colonial leaders thought
themselves. While this literature should not go unnoticed, it is important to note
19 Peter Charles Hoffer, editor, Early American History: An American Enlightenment (New York:
Garland Publishing, Inc., 1988).
20 Gertrude Himmelfarb, The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American
Enlightenments (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 19, 191.
21 Ibid., 19
10


that all of these histories utilized definitions of the Enlightenment that are similar
to the definitions put forth by European historians Kramnick and Jacob. That is,
they limited the definition of the Enlightenment to political thought and the
secular world. In doing so, these historians left an opportunity for more research
about the American Enlightenment and religion.
The best attempt to incorporate the religious life of the colonies into the
political history of the 18th century is Alan Heimerts magnificent Religion and
the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution.22 Heimert
portrays the discussions about religion and leadership that occurred in response to
the religious revivals of the Great Awakening as political debate and
maneuvering. He argues that the immediate effect of the revivals was a
tempering of the fierce, social, economic, and political antagonisms that had
racked the colonies since the beginning of the century.23 Heimert goes on to
illustrate how religious revival made Americas leadership aware that a revolution
could easily occur if the masses became excited enough. For Heimert, the
American Revolution was merely an episode in what was a long intellectual and
passionate rift, inspired by the Great Awakening, transformed to nationalism or
22 Alan Heimert, Religion and the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966).
23 /bid., 9.
11


patriotism at the end of the 18th century.24
Heimert touches on the interplay between rationalism and religion during
and after the Great Awakening. However his studys focus on the influence of
religion on the capability of the colonies to revolt overpowers it. Heimert does
not properly explain the interplay between reason and religion, or more
specifically between reason and Puritanism. Nor does his study offer a solid
understanding of the Enlightenment in his discussion about the interplay.
Therefore, while Heimerts study is great in its own regard, the portions of his
argument that touch on the subject of this paper need more explanation.
Heimerts research is an ever-important basis of knowledge for the purposes of
this study, but the gap in historiography of the American Enlightenment remains.
In 2001, Nina Reid-Maroney published Philadelphias Enlightenment,
1740-1800. While her work focused exclusively on life in Philadelphia, it still
discussed the interaction of religion and Enlightenment. Specifically, she argues
the coinciding of Awakening and Enlightenment brought a considerable overlap
of personalities. Religious leaders were well-connected to the scientific
community, and those with scientific interests in turn wielded power in the
colonial churches.25 Clearly, Reid-Maroneys work represents the first attempt
24 Ibid., 1, 94, 354-355.
25 Nina Reid-Maroney, Philadelphias Enlightenment, 1740-1800 (Westport, Connecticut:
12


to understand how a specific colonial community incorporated the religious and
secular intellectual movements in 18th century colonial America. However, her
study differs drastically from this one in that she focuses specifically on science,
and because the religious culture in Philadelphia was undoubtedly different from
the one that existed in 18th century Massachusetts.
It is into this niche, where this study of 18th century Massachusetts fits.
This paper represents the first true attempt to understand how Puritanism and the
Enlightenment coexisted in 18th century Massachusetts, a coexistence either
ignored or by-passed by other historians, and which fostered a unique intellectual
experience for the citizens of Massachusetts.
The definition of Enlightenment best suited to study 18th century
Massachusetts is not a definition forged in steel. It is not immovable or
unbreakable like the definitions offered by Kramnick and Jacobs. Enlightenment
in 18th century Massachusetts is more appropriately discussed and analyzed using
a hybrid of the definitions derived by Gay and Pocock. Gays definition is
important because it is broad and emphasizes the role of critical discourse.
Greenwood Press, 2001), 17.
13


Indeed, the sermons of 18th century Puritan ministers in Massachusetts illustrate
such a concern.
Yet, to argue that the Massachusetts Enlightenment fits perfectly with
Gays definition is misleading. Gay views the Enlightenment as a singular,
massive movement by thinkers fully conscious of themselves as a movement and
of their roles within that movement. Enlightenment in Massachusetts differs
significantly as there was no manifesto for Enlightenment, and the lack of real
ideological organization or cohesion enabled the intellectuals of Massachusetts to
essentially create their own Enlightenment. In this regard, Pococks definition is a
nice fit as it enables the Massachusetts Enlightenment to exist along side the
Enlightenments of Europe without forcing it into one massive intellectual
movement. The Massachusetts Enlightenment connected itself to the Europeans
by their admiration of European Enlightenment thinkers, but it was also unique in
the way that Enlightenment ideas were absorbed into Massachusetts Puritan
culture. The presence of a Ministers Enlightenment in Massachusetts is evidence
of this unique absorption, as the latter sections will illustrate.
14


CHAPTER 3.
EDUCATION OF MINISTERS IN 18 CENTURY MASSACHUSETTS
In 18th century Massachusetts there was only one path young men could
take to become a minister and that path went through Harvard College. Founded
in 1636, Harvard was the only college in the colony for 150 years.26 In 1701,
ministers in Connecticut founded Yale as a local alternative to Harvard, but
another college did not appear in Massachusetts until 1793, when Williams
College was founded.27 Historian Samuel Eliot Morison argues that Harvard was
initially intended to replenish the supply of ministers to insure the future of
Puritanism in the colony.2 Indeed, many parents of talented young boys hoped
that their children might end up behind pulpits as adults. For example, the parents
of both John and Samuel Adams pushed their studious children towards
Harvard.29 Some families, such as the Hancocks, were so strongly religious that
26 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College (Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1935), 154-155.
27 See http://www.pragmatism.org/american/american colleges.htm.
28 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Intellectual Life of Colonial New England (Ithaca: Great Seal Book,
1956), 31.
29 David McCullough, John Adams (New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2001), 33; John C.
Miller, Sam Adams: Pioneer in Propaganda (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1936), 4;
15


ministry was almost bequethed from father to son.30 However influenced or
supported by his parents, a young boy could not simply arrive at Harvard a blank
slate, ready for religious tutelage.
Harvards founding was also part of a wider movement, spearheaded by
John Winthrop, to improve the education of young Puritans across the colony.
Winthrop felt that it was the Puritans duty to protect their children from Satan,
and that intellectual ignorance provided an opportunity for Satan to attack their
children.31 In 1642, the founders of the colony created a law which required the
government to teach children so they could understand the principles of religion
and the capital lawes of the country, and to impose fines upon all those who refuse
to render such accompt to them when required.32 As part of that law, every town
with a population over 500 people needed to have two grammar schools and two
writing schools.33
The most prominent of the grammar schools was Boston Latin Grammar
Benjamin Irving, Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution (New York: Oxford
University Press, Inc, 2002).
30 Fowler, Chapter 1.
31 Remarks of John Winthrop as quoted in Henry F. Jenks, Catalogue of the Boston Public Latin
School, Established in 1635, With an Historical Sketch (Boston: Published by the Boston Latin
School Association, 1886).
32 Text of the 1642 charter as published in Pauline Holmes, A Tercentenary History of The Boston
Public Latin School, 1635-1935 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935), pages 5-6.
33 Ibid., 10-13.
16


School. Of the ministers discussed in the following sections, Benjamin Colman
and Charles Chauncy both attended Boston Latin. Other prominent ministers who
attended the school include Cotton Mather, Joseph Sewall, William Cooper,
Andrew Eliot, Samuel Langdon, and Samuel Cooper. The school also instructed
many future politicians and scientistslike Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Hutchinson,
Samuel Adams, James Bowdoin, Robert Treat Paine, John Hancock, and
Nathaniel Gorhem.34
Founded in 1635, before Harvard and before the educational charter,
Boston Latins location made it the grammar school for many influential political
leaders of the colony and a very fruitful preparatory institution for Harvard. Some
other grammar schools, like the grammar school in Roxbury, did not experience
the success that Boston Latin enjoyed, and struggled to maintain the necessary
funding.35
Boston Latin Grammar School operated in a Puritan setting, and it seems
logical for some form of Biblical or moral instruction to take place through the
course of an ordinary day. Interestingly, the nature of Boston Latin was nearly the
exact opposite. The curriculum of Boston Latin focused on developing Latin and
Greek language skills. For example, during the first three years dedicated
34 Ibid., 135-160.
35 C.K. Dillaway, A History of the Grammar School, or The Free Schoole of 1645 in Roxburie.
(Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee and Company, 1860), 29.
17


themselves to understanding and memorizing basic Latin grammar rules, and
rudimentary Latin works like Aesop's Fables. In the fourth, fifth and sixth years,
students continued to study Aesops Fables, before working their way through
Ovid, Erasmus, and some Cicero. By the end of that period, students began to
study Greek. The remaining year (early Boston Latin programs were seven years
long) exposed students to Homer, Hesiod, Virgil, Horace, Isocrates, and Justin
for the Latin and Greek Testament.36 In a seven-year program at a Puritan
school, the Bible or any inkling of religious doctrine did not appear until the very
end.
Boston Latin emphasized learning grammar while reading these Classical
works. For example, Boston Latin School used William Lily's Latin Grammar,
Pauls Accidence, and Cheevers Latin Grammar through out the education of its
students.37 Thus, the goal of learning classical languages superimposed upon
other lessons. Yet, it seems unlikely that students could undergo such a classical
education without it affecting them, even if language development was the
ultimate goal. Boston Latins unique combination of classical themes and
language development would be highly influential to the founders as they aged
and encountered new ideas and experiences.
36 Letter from Nathaniel Williams to Nehemiah Hobart regarding the curriculum of the Boston
Latin Grammar School, 1712. Found on www.constituion.org/primarv sources/grammar.html.
37 Holmes, pages 308, 310, and 316.
18


Boston Latin was unique in other ways as well. Perhaps most interesting,
the school was a free schoole, which meant that it was a democratic, public
institution not restricted to any class of children.38 The egalitarian nature of the
school enabled boys from families with lower incomes to receive a quality
education. Unfortunately, it was of little consequence because the ultimate goal
of Boston Latin was to gain admittance to Harvard. If parents could not afford to
send their children to Harvard, they most likely educated their children differently
or placed them in vocational apprenticeships.
Harvard provides an interesting contrast to Boston Latin. Students at
Harvard experienced more spiritual rituals in College than they ever did at Boston
Latin. Prayer started the day at 5:00 am, and then again at 5:00 PM before dinner,
and for many again before the night was over.39 Furthermore, the school strictly
enforced that All scholars...behave themselves blamelessly, leading sober,
righteous, and godly lives.40 Of course, the ability to control a large group of
teenage boys is easier said than done. Perhaps the increase in ritual and strictness
were a response to the increased frivolity and tom-foolery of the students.
38 Holmes, 19. Interestingly, there were supposed to be other schools like Boston Latin. One
other attempt was the Roxbury school, however, that school had a much harder time getting off the
ground and therefore did not become very prominent. For more, consult C.K. Dillaway, A History
of the Grammar School, or The Free Schoole of 1645 in Roxburie. (Boston: Crosby, Nichols,
Lee and Company, 1860).
39 Fowler, page 28-29.
40 Pierce, History of Harvard, page 169...as cited in McCullough, page 36.
19


Harvard strictly enforced their moral and scholarly code. College officials once
caught Samuel Adams drinking rum with his friends. In response the school
rusticated and degraded his friends, and fined Adams five shillings.41 John
Adams felt the strict discipline in the form of a fine for being away from school
for a period longer than the allotted vacation time.42
While the behavior of the founders while they attended Harvard hints at
moral decline, it is clear that the college itself maintained its code of ethics and
punished students according to their misbehavior. The number of ministers that
continued to graduate from the college solidified the religious nature of the
school. John Adams diary indicates on several occasions that he still intended to
be a minister after graduation. He spent many hours while he was waiting to get a
job as a minister improving his knowledge of divine literature, listening to
ministers, dining with ministers, and studying how other ministers used language
in their sermons.43
A perusal of the Harvard library catalogues for the 18th century also
provides evidence of the religious intentions of the school, although in the latter
half of the century enlightenment thinkers and other less religious works wormed
41 Miller, page 5.
42 McCullough, page 36, and Butterfield.
43 See Butterfield, Volume I: Diary 1755-1770, entries for February 29, 1756; March 21, 1756;
April 28, 1756; July 21, 1756, July 23, 1756 for examples.
20


their way into the library. The 1723 Catalogue indicates that the Harvard College
Library contained predominately-religious histories and treatises with some
classical texts as well. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas appears in the catalogue
several times, with Summa Theologica and other works.44 St. Augustine also
appears several times with City of God, Operum Omnium, and Book 12 from his
autobiography.45
More modem religious voices like Calvin and Luther also appeared in the
Library.46 In places, entire pages of the catalogue were taken up by the Mather
family (specifically Cotton and Increase).47 However, the great bulk of religious
material consisted of hundreds of commentaries on various books of the Bible,
various translations of the Bible, and a handful of papal histories.
Despite the overwhelming size of the Christian side of the library, non-
religious titles do appear in the 1723-1735 Harvard Library. Sir Walter Raleighs
History of the World was available by 1723, as were a few works by Nicollo
44 W.H. Bond and Hugh Amory, editors, The Printed Catalogues of the Harvard College Library,
1723-1790. The Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Volume LXVII (Boston:
The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1996), A1 with Expositio in Evangel. Joannis" (Paris,
1957), A2 with Summa Theologica ( Venet., 1593), A65 and A67.
45 Bond and Amory, A1 for Operum Omnium, A2, A65 for Book 12 of Confessions, and A103 for
City of God.
46 Bond and Amory, for Luther: A20 and A50; for Calvin: A8, A10, A40, A72, A104.
47 Bond and Amory, A87 is a good example.
21


Machiavelli, such as Florentine History.48 Sir Francis Bacon appeared several
times in the early catalogue, for his History of the Reign of King Henry VIII,
Natural History, Nine Books for the Advancement of Learning, and others.49 Sir
Isaac Newtons Opticks appears in the 1723 catalogue, and by 1735 Newtons
Chronology and Observations on Daniel and the Apocalypse appears.50
Puffendorf s Divine Feudal Law and De Jure Nature and Gentium, as well as
more Hugo Grotius than one could possibly handle.51 The most important
appearance in the holdings was a 3 volume set of John Lockes works, which
appeared by 1735.52 Even Shakespeare and Thucydides (in 1735) made
appearances.53 Thus, Harvards library slowly diversified its holdings, gaining
Enlightened men like John Locke, Isaac Newton, Grotius, and Puffendorf, while
also building up its history and literature sections.
The 1773 Catalogue indicates that Harvard continued the same pattern as
the century aged. David Humes History of the World, Francis Hutchesons
48 Bond and Amoiy, for Raleigh, A28; for Machiavelli, A23, and A86 for Disputat. de Republica.
49 Bond and Amory, A6 for Henry VIII and Natural History.
50 Bond and Amory, A 54 for Opticks and A114 for Chronology and Observations on Daniel and
the Apocalypse.
51 Bond and Amory, for Puffendorf: A57 for De Jure Nature and Gentium, and A90 for Divine
Feudal Law, for Grotius: A79-A80, A114, and A121.
52 Bond and Amory, 106.
53 Bond and Amory, for Shakespeare, in Six Volumes, A95; for Thucydides, A115.
22


Moral Philosophy and various writings by Joseph Addison appeared for the first
time in this version of the Catalogue.54 In addition, Cesare Becarria, Montesquieu
and the radical writings of John Trenchard and Tom Gordon all entered the
Harvard Library in 1773.55 Finally, some letters written by Voltaire, some
Emerich de Vattal, and John Turnbulls Moral Philosophy made their entrance
into Harvards holdings at this time as well.56 Thus, the Enlightenment slowly
worked its way into the Christian stronghold that was the Harvard Library at the
beginning of the 18th century. The availability of Locke as early as 1735 is
crucially important because his thought heavily influenced many of
Massachusetts4 ministers. However, that other Enlightenment thinkers like
Voltaire, de Vattal, Grotius and Puffendorf were available to all by 1735 is rather
important as well because they arrived in the midst of the Great Awakening.
The atmosphere at Harvard drastically differed from that of Boston Latin.
While it was more rigid in social and moral structure, it lacked the equality and
objective nature of Boston Latin. Both schools began as systematic attempts by
Winthrop and his peers to promote religion and decrease ignorance in their
culture, but it is still curious that Puritanism did not hold a stronger grasp on
54 Bond and Amory, for Addison, B5; for Hume and Hutcheson, B15.
55 Bond and Amory, for Becarria, B7; for Montesquieu, B18; and for Trenchard and Gordons
Catos Letters, B9.
56 Bond and Amory, for all of them see B25.
23


Boston Latin. Nonetheless, the religious nature of the daily rituals at Harvard and
its religiously oriented library were undoubtedly powerful influences on the
developing ministers. However, Harvard also began to change, not only in the
behavior of its students but also in what sorts of thought it made available for
study.57 Even if Harvard did not directly Enlighten its students, it did so indirectly
by either providing the books for willing students to find, or by merely teaching a
classical education that enabled any student of Harvard to properly think and
discuss Enlightened works when they encountered them later.
Outside of their institutional educations, there were two main sources of
Enlightenment thought for ministers. As the section on ministry will illustrate,
many ministers gained exposure to Enlightenment discourse from listening and
reading the sermons of other ministers already influenced by the Enlightenment.
The other main source is the subject of Bernard Bailyns classic, the Ideological
Origins of the American Revolution .58 Bailyn masterfully illustrates that there
was a vast array of political and ideological pamphlets in print in 18th century
America. Any literate, socially aware member of society had access to the these
57 For example, see Frederich E. Brasch, The Newtonian Epoch in the American Colonies, 1630-
1783, Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 49 (1939), 314-322 contained in Hoffer.
Brasch discusses die role of Harvard in being one of the earliest institutions to advance Newtonian
thought.
58 Bailyn, Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of
Harvard University Press, 1967).
24


pamphlets. Heimert argues that religion had a larger impact since there were more
accounts of sermons that touched on the intellectual and political matters in the
colonies than non-religious sources.59 Whether one is more persuaded by Bailyn
or Heimert is not as important as the culmination of both historians research.
Bailyn and Heimert easily prove that there were many social sources of
Enlightenment discourse in the colonies. In Massachusetts, the school system
founded by Puritans to replenish the ministry and protect the Puritan community
from secular knowledge and authority developed into another source of the
Enlightenment by the 18th century.
59 Heimert, 450.
25


CHAPTER 4. THE MINISTERS ENLIGHTENMENT:
ENLIGHTENED DISCOURSE DURING THE GREAT AWAKENING
The place of the minister in 18th century Massachusetts must be
understood in the context of the colonys history. Puritanism dominated the
founding and development of Massachusetts dating back to the migration of
thousands of Puritans who followed John Winthrop to the New World and settled
in the Massachusetts Bay area in the 1630s.60 By 1650, Massachusetts had one
minister for every 415 persons, compared with one per 3,239 persons in Virginia.
Such saturation of ministers within the population was due to laws requiring each
town to sustain a church, supported by taxes levied on all the householders,
whether members or not.61 This legislation contributed significantly to the strong
status of a minister in the Puritan community.
However, when King James II took the throne to replace his recently
deceased older brother in 1685, the fate of Massachusetts took a drastic turn. The
new king continued what his brother started, taking more of an interest in the
American Colonies in hopes of deriving more revenue from them. The resulting
60 Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America (New York: Penguin Group
Inc., 2001), 165-166.
61 Ibid., 179.
26


efforts to renew the charter of Massachusetts met with strong resistance, but it was
only a matter of time before the throne won a court decision revoking it in 1684.
Quickly thereafter, James reorganized all of the New English colonies, New York,
and New Jersey into a super colony, the Dominion of New England.62 The
Puritans firm grasp on autonomy in Massachusetts would have to wait.
Fortunately, the wait was not too long. By 1688, King James had many
English Protestants worried because of his overwhelming favoritism toward
Catholics. In an effort to promote the Protestant cause in England and to promote
his own military position as the military leader of the Netherlands, William of
Orange invaded England in November. Many English officials defected to his
side, and James fled to France in fear. In the resulting void of monarchical power,
Parliament gave the throne to William and his wife Mary.63 In totality, this
became known as the Glorious Revolution, and its effects rippled across the ocean
to the American colonies in 1689. The colonies within the Dominion experienced
a glorious revolution of their own, and in the early 1690s they received new
charters from England.64 Although the new charter renewed the republican
government of Massachusetts, it received significant criticism from the Puritans
62 Ibid., 276.
63 Ibid., 278.
64 Ibid., 279-284.
27


because it mandated toleration for all Protestants and opened the vote to all
property-holders, rather than restricting it to full members of the Puritan
churches.65 Regardless, as the colony moved into the 18th century ministers
continued to be valued religious, political and cultural leaders.
Any discussion of religion or the ministry in the 18th century must answer
the bundle of questions proposed by the religious revival movement in the 1730s
and 1740s known as the Great Awakening. Commonly viewed by historians as a
response to moral decay, social disorder, or as Heimert viewed it, as a very
important piece on the road to revolution, the Great Awakening was also the
setting of a very robust Enlightenment discourse. Other historians have read and
analyzed the same sermons as those discussed here but have never considered
their place within the context of an American Enlightenment. The discourse
formed by these sermons goes beyond merely absorbing reason into the Puritan
religion. These sermons illustrate that power and criticism, the two concepts of
Gays definition of the Enlightenment, concerned many ministers in
Massachusetts, both within the arguments of the Great Awakening and in sermons
unrelated to it. Furthermore, the use of the enlightened discourse points toward
the negative connotation given to the concept of enthusiasm, which corresponds
to similar connotations that existed during the Enlightenment in several European
65 Ibid., 283.
28


countries. The Enlightenment experienced by the ministers of Massachusetts,
then, was uniquely involved with the specifically American Great Awakening, at
the same time exhibiting similar traits to the Enlightenments of Europe.
As far back as 1700, and perhaps even earlier, Puritan ministers like
Cotton Mather discussed reason within their own Puritan context.66 Mather set the
tone for the discourse of the 1740s by arguing that Gods grace was far more
important than intellectual accomplishments.67 Perry Miller argues that the early
18th century Pietist movement, to which Mather was an early contributor, was not
a rejection of the mind but a conscious endeavor to give to reason a larger part
than hitherto it had played in the life of the spirit... in the hope that the end
product would be a greater appreciation for the piety of the gospel.68 Although
Millers interpretation indicates a slight tension between reason and piety, John
Morgan is quick to point out that Miller misrepresents the more emotional and
enthusiastic aspects of Puritanism leading up to the 18th century in order to make
his point about the existence of an American Mind.
In his Godly Learning: Puritan Attitudes Towards Reason, Learning, and
66 Perry Miller, The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1962), 417.
67 Ibid., 418.
68 Ibid., 418.
29


Education, 1560-1640, Morgan argues that the tension between Puritanism and
secular reason was much greater. According to Morgan, 17th century Puritans felt
that reason was only valid if applied to secular issues.69 Perhaps more telling,
Morgan states that In an era of growing emphasis on the glory of the ancients, of
expanding school facilities, and of the publication of cheap print, Puritans found
that humane learning, too, threatened mans obedience to God within the terms of
the covenent.70 There are two problems here for historians. The first is whether
enough changed in the last half of the 18th century to justify Millers
interpretation. The second is whether ministers actually believed that reason was
inherently secular.
Whether Millers belief in the persistence of intellectualism in Puritanism
or Morgans strict interpretation of the dichotomy between Godly and secular, it is
clear that a tension between reason and piety or faith was a defining conflict for
the Puritans. To historians like Heimert, the presence of reason at all indicates the
influence of Enlightenment thought on the ministers of Massachusetts. It is
misleading to embrace his position completely, however, because it waters down
the more complex understanding of how the Great Awakening and the
Enlightenment intertwined. Individual Puritans accepted varying degrees of
69 John Morgan, Godly Learning: Puritan Attitudes towards Reason, Learning, and Education,
1560-1640 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 55.
70 Ibid., 61.
30


secular thought into their minds without believing that they necessarily needed to
weaken their Christianity to do so.
The Great Awakening began in 1740 when a series of rabble-rousing,
revivalist-minded preachers like Gilbert Tennent and James Davenport began
touring across the colonies criticizing the power traditionally given to ministers
and belittling intellectual ministers. In regards to the power structure of Puritan
churches, Tennent was specifically critical of the similarity of ministers to
politicians because they were traditionally appointed to serve over a church and
supported by laws.71 Tennents sermon entitled The Dangers of an Unconverted
Ministry, argued against the role of the intellect in favor of warm piety.72 In
1741, fellow revivalist James Davenport toured New England, burning books and
speaking out against intellectualism.73 Reception of these sorts of sermons and
book burnings within Puritan Massachusetts was defensive and resulted in various
forms of public criticism.
In July of 1742, anonymous letters began to appear in The Boston Evening
Post belittling the revivalists. A letter from July 5 lashed out against Davenport,
claiming, Though were you to see him in his most violent agitations, you would
71 Douglas Sloan, The Great Awakening and American Education (New York: Columbia
University, 1973), 16-17.
72 Heimert, 30 and 160-161.
73 Sloan, 29.
31


be apt to think, that he was a madman just broke from his chains.74 A similar
letter from July 30 raged against Tennent and his attacks on the local ministry,
stating that His gestures in preaching are theatrical, his voice tumultuous, his
whole speech and behavior discovering the freaks of madness, and wilds of
enthusiasm.75 Tennent and Davenport, deeply resented by the Puritan
community, nonetheless represent a group challenging the order and structure of
traditional Puritan society. They were not only interested in revival, but
increasing equality in all religious communities.
It is important to pause for a moment and consider the European
Enlightenment. Peter Gay argues that much of the anti-religious sentiment in
Europe during the 18th century derived from the traditional legacies of the over-
powering state of religion during the Middle Ages.76 Gay argues that the
Enlightenments revolt over what happened to the role of classical culture during
the Middle Ages was not necessarily a revolt against religion, even if the
Enlightenment in some countries contained anti-religious sentiments.77 Gay
points toward Germany as one example of an Enlightenment that had difficulties
74 Anonymous letter, 5 July, 1742, from Sloan, 73-74.
75 Anonymous letter, 30 July 1742, from Sloan.
76 Gay, 208.
77 Gay, 257.
32


abandoning religion. Indeed, newer scholarship by J. G. A. Pocock illustrates that
the Enlightenment in England existed in clerical and conservative forms, the
product of the Church of Englands program to reconcile itself with the governing
classes.78 Therefore, Enlightenment in 18th century Massachusetts has an
appropriate place within the context of the Enlightenment as a whole.
Tennent and Davenports concern with challenging the power and
dominance of the ministry in Puritan Massachusetts is little different from a
political Enlightenment argument that a republic is the best form of government.
Both are concerned with decreasing the role of an individual over the masses and
increasing the liberty of all people, whether it be religious liberty or political.
Such public critical discourse clearly places Davenport and Tennent within Gays
definition of the Enlightenment as concerned with power and promoting criticism,
but historians do not like to view them as such. As the anonymous letters printed
in the Boston newspaper illustrate, many observers came to view Tennent and
Davenport as ruthless madmen and licentious enthusiasts. While such a
characterization seemingly makes revivalists like Tennent and Davenport enemies
of reason and the Enlightenment, recent work on the Enlightenment in Europe
indicates that their presence in the discourse that began with the Great Awakening
was crucial.
78 Pocock, Enthusiasm: The Anti-self of Enlightenment, in Klein and La Vopa, 11.
33


In 1998, historians Lawrence E. Klein and Anthony La Vopa edited a
series of essays entitled Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe, 1650-1850.19
The essays collectively illustrate that enthusiasm was viewed as antithetical to the
Enlightenment and that people were called enthusiasts or enthusiastic to
discredit them and effectively silence their argument. Yet, Klein and La Vopa
also argue that the existence of enthusiasm was necessary for the Enlightenment;
that the Enlightenment depended on the concept of enthusiasm to create an
extreme against which their arguments for reason would be stronger.79 80 The letters
to the Boston Newspaper illustrate how thinkers from Massachusetts used
enthusiasm to discredit Tennant and Davenport, and the response to them by
Puritan ministers represents a strong and unique American Enlightenment, one
that relied on the enthusiastic presence of religious revivalists.
The response to Tennant and Davenports enthusiasm was a discourse that
questioned not only the power of the ministry but the characteristics they should
possess. The discourse began in a church in Braintree on September 7,1943.
Local minister John Hancock, the father of the John Hancock who signed the
Declaration of Independence, gave a sermon entitled, The Danger of an
79 See Klein and La Vopa.
80 Klein and La Vopa, 5.
34


Unqualified Ministry.81 The title clearly indicates that it was a direct response to
Tennents sermon given two years prior, and in it, Hancock defended the intellects
of many Puritan ministers. He argued that without knowledge the soul cannot be
good, and he questioned how Christianity could survive without knowledgeable
defenders of it. Hancock characterized intellectual men as worthy, and spitefully
argued that unworthy men (men unaffected by reason) betray the cause of
Christ. Most poignant, however, was Hancock's blaming Tennent for the Seeds
of all that Discord, Intrusion, Confusion, Separation, Hatred, Variance,
Emulations, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Heresies, etc... that corrupted the minds of
church laity through out New England.82
The central question of this discourse was whether intellectual matters
were more important than emotional in the realm of religion. From a Puritan
perspective, this was all too reminiscent of the tensions exhibited in Morgans
study of 17th century Puritanism. Indeed, there was a Puritan tradition of valuing
the visible saints or those who had experienced an emotional conversion
experience. However, there was also a tradition dating back to John Winthrop
that promoted an understanding of secular intellectualism in addition to religious
81 Some biographical material on John Hancock the preacher and this sermon can be found in the
biography of his son, William M. Fowler, The Baron of Beacon Hill: A Biography of John
Hancock (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1980), page 8-9.
82 John Hancock, The Danger of an Unqualified Ministry, from Sloan, 104-115.
35


intellectualism. Winthrop worried that intellectual ignorance could potentially
endanger Puritan culture, and supported the development of Puritan education to
not only increase understanding of Puritan doctrines but to increase understanding
of secular knowledge as well.83 Hancocks argument that Christianity needed the
defense of a secularly educated clergy is a remnant of Winthrops position, which
illustrates the tradition that Tennant and Davenport sought to change.
The debate over the dominance of the mind or the heart polarized when
Jonathan Edwards and Charles Chauncy began to preach in response to each
other. Heimert masterfully illustrates how Edwards became the undeniable leader
of the revivalists and Chauncy became the defender of the rationalists.
Interestingly, John Locke significantly influenced both men. Edwards strongly
embraced Lockes emphasis on empiricism in the educational process.84 Edwards
belief that humans learned the best through experience, a belief influenced by
Locke, formed the core of Edwards defense of the revivalist movement. Only
through religious, spiritual experiences could men truly understand God. Heimert
argues that Edwards felt that using human learning in a religious setting was
83 Remarks of John Winthrop as quoted in Henry F. Jenks, Catalogue of the Boston Public Latin
School, Established in 1635, With an Historical Sketch (Boston: Published by the Boston Latin
School Association, 1886).
84 Sloan, 37.
36


improper.85 In his sermon, The Religious Affections, Edwards explains his
belief about spiritual knowledge: Holy affections are not heat without light, but
evermore arise from the information of the understanding, some spiritual
instruction that the mind receives, some light of actual knowledge.86
His language, indicating a scientific understanding of heat and light, might
seem peculiar coming from a minister. However, research by many historians
indicates that Edwards was not only interested in science but that he was even an
authority on science. In his introduction to Jonathan Edwards and The
Enlightenment, John Opie argues that Edwards was the most acute American
analyst of the achievements of the Enlightenment, far surpassing the
perceptiveness of Franklin, Mayhew, Paine, and even Jefferson, in science,
psychology, and philosophy.87 Theodore Homberger provides a definition of
what science meant to Edwards: The discovery of the proportion of Gods
acting.88 Perry Miller, in his biography of Edwards, goes further to say that
Edwards was the last great American, perhaps the last European, for whom there
85 Heimert, 165.
86 Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections, from Sloan, 251-263.
87 John Opie, ed., Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment (Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath and
Company, 1969), v.
88 Theodore hom Berger, Edwards a Disciple of Newton, in Opie, ed. Jonathan Edwards and
the Enlightenment, 55.
37


could be no warfare between religion and science.. .He was incapable of accepting
Christianity and physics on separate premises.89 Clearly, Edwards indicates that
science and religion could interact without resulting in deism, in similar ways to
what Reid-Maroney found in Philadelphias Enlightenment.
Edwards was not the only minister influenced by Locke. Heimert also
argues that Locke had a significant influence on Chauncy and his followers.90 In
his sermon, An Enlightened Mind, Chauncy continued Hancocks argument in
favor of reason. Perhaps more importantly, however, he continued to use the
concept of enthusiasm to discredit the revivalists. He cautioned against
libertinism and argued that an enlightened man kept the passions within their
proper bounds.91 Further, Chauncy argued that Christians could not claim to be
influenced by the spirit of God and not understand Christian traditions.92 Such a
remark was a counter argument against Tennent and Edwards position that
unconverted ministers were unworthy of preaching. By stating that no person
could claim to be influenced by God and not understand Godly traditions,
Chauncy was suggesting that only a person who had attained a certain level of
89 Perry Miller, Jonathan Edwards (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1949), 72.
90 Heimert, 17, 45, and 177.
91 Charles Chauncy, An Enlightened Mind, from Sloan, 240-250.
92 Ibid., 247.
38


intellectual understanding of Christianitys past could truly appreciate his or her
spiritual experiences.
It is not necessary to continue to trace the thought of Chauncy or Edwards,
as Heimerts work already represents an exhaustive account of their intellectual
battle. Edwards and his followers continually challenged the role of the
intellectual in the ministry and in doing so continually exhibited the concern with
power and vocal criticism that characterized the Enlightenment. To further
cement this point, it is important to note that Edwards also argued that liberal
ministers (ministers like Chauncy) used their own learned status to magnify
themselves and keep knowledge of God from the laity.93 Edwards criticism of
intellectual ministers is amplified by the research of Darren Staloff. In his The
Making of an American Thinking Class: Intellectuals and Intelligentsia in Puritan
Massachusetts, Staloff argues that Puritan ministers of the 17th century created a
coalition which united Puritanism in Massachusetts doctrinally and essentially
gave themselves an elite status as the intellectual and spiritual link between God
and their congregations.94
StalofTs argument is convincing and it provides the social context needed
to understand how the Great Awakening functioned as a unique setting for the
93 Heimert, 166.
94 Darren Staloff, The Making of an American Thinking Class: Intellectuals and Intelligentsia in
Puritan Massachusetts (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).
39


Enlightenment. Since Massachusetts was too distant from the Middle Ages to
have any social angst to inspire them to revolt intellectually against long lasting
traditions, the existence of Enlightenment in the colony depended upon different
factors. The dominance of the Puritan ministry in Massachusetts may not have
been as long lasting as the Catholic Churchs hold on France or Italy, but it was
nonetheless a powerful social and intellectual structure. The revivalist movement
of the 1740s heavily criticized that structure through intellectual discourse, and
therefore it deserves credit as part of an American Enlightenment.
The extent of the revivalists role in the American Enlightenment is,
naturally, limited because of their use of emotional and spiritual experiences to
counter the role of reason in the human experience. However, as Klein and La
Vopas collection of essays illustrates, the presence of extreme emotionalism or
enthusiasm was a necessary foil for the success of Enlightenment thought in
Europe. The same is true of the Enlightenment in Massachusetts. The presence
of the religious revivals provided a springboard for discussions about
Enlightenment thought.
Heimert argues that the discourse over the role of emotion versus intellect
in the ministry and the mind gradually shifted to a discourse about patriotism,
political activism, and revolutions. Although the specific Enlightenment
discourse of the 1740s eventually dissipated, it still left an institutional legacy.
40


The discourse resulted in a disputes regarding education. Students at Harvard and
Yale began to challenge their professors for being unconverted, resulting in
expulsions and movements to develop revivalist educational institutions.95
However, the attempts to develop such revivalist education were short-lived in
New England.96 The revivalist education movement did overflow into a
neighboring colony in the form of The College of New Jersey, later known as
Princeton.97 It is interesting that the revivalist response to Harvard became just as
intellectual and secular as Harvard. Although it did not have quite as much of an
emphasis on the classical languages as Harvard did, it more than made up for it by
emphasizing science and math.98 The founding of Princeton can be seen as the
revivalist response to the intellectual smearing performed by Chauncy and his
followers during the Great Awakening debates. They were more interested in
maintaining a certain level of respect amongst their intellectual peers than they
were in maintaining an anti-intellectual front. Thus, the role of reason and
intellect scored a minor victory before the focus of the ministry shifted to the other
matters that Heimert describes.
95 Sloan, 128, 135.
96 Ibid., 24-25.
97 Ibid., 26.
98 Ralph Ketcham, James Madison: A Biography (Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of
Virginia, 1990), 23. One might also argue that since it had a role in producing James Madison that
it could not have been that focused on revivalism.
41


CHAPTER 5. THE MINISTERS ENLIGHTENMENT:
RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL AUTHORITY
The ministry also took part in Enlightenment discourse outside of the
Great Awakening. While Heimert argues that the ministrys interest gradually
turned to political issues after the Great Awakening, it is important to note that
some ministers were preaching about political topics much earlier. Historian T.
H. Breens The Character of the Good Ruler: Puritan Political Ideas in New
England: 1630-1730 describes a Puritan interest in politics dating back into the
17th century.99 The early interest in political affairs enabled Puritans to receive
18th century Enlightenment ideas more readily than they would have otherwise.
For the purposes of this study, analysis will begin in 1730. On August 13 of that
year, minister Benjamin Colman preached a sermon entitled Government The
Pillar of the Earth.100 The sermon hardly contained as much political content as
many that would follow it, but it did promote the importance of secular
government, stating, The order and happiness of this lower world, the peace and
99 T. H. Breen, The Character of the Good Ruler: Puritan Political Ideas in New England: 1630-
1730 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970).
100 Benjamin Colman, Government The Pillar of the Earth, from Ellis Sandoz, ed., Political
Sermons of the American Founding Era, 1730-1805, Volume I (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc.,
1998), 13-28.
42


weal of it, depend on the civil government which God has ordained in it.101
Colman believed in something akin to the divine right of kings. Perhaps one
could describe it as the divine right of magistrates. Colman believed that the
government and rulers of the earth are its pillars in respect of strength to uphold
and support the virtue, order and peace of it.102 This passage marked the
beginning of a brief section of the sermon which laid out the proper characteristics
of government officials. Colman continued by stating that Magistrates uphold
and adorn the world.. .by employing their superior wisdom and knowledge, skill
and prudence, discretion and judgment for the publick good.103 Colman finished
his brief section on the merits of leadership by arguing that the virtue and success
of any people greatly depended on pious, righteous and faithful government
which they are under. Only a fear of God preserved the proper behavior of both
government leaders and the masses.104
Colmans sermon contained a blend of traditional Puritan regard for the
effects of a proper god fearing community, but it also marks an appropriate
beginning of a widespread discourse over the character and behavior of
101 Ibid., 13.
102 Ibid., 14.
103 Ibid., 15.
104 Ibid., 19 and 22.
43


politicians. Colmans call for wise, knowledgeable, prudent, and discrete rulers
with a concern for the public good is all too similar to the 18th century discourse
about Republican virtue laid out by historians like Gordon Wood. Other Puritan
ministers throughout the 1740s and 1750s continued to preach about the
importance of virtuous character in government officials.
On December 3,1740, Joseph Sewall delivered a sermon entitled
Ninevahs Repentence and Deliverence.105 Although it contained many
characteristics of a traditional Puritan fasting day sermon (I.e. calling for mass
repentance in order to secure Gods protection of them), Sewalls sermon also
briefly addressed the problem of corrupt and immoral political rule. He warned
that sin in the body politick, is like some foul and deadly disease in the natural
body which turns the beauty of it into corruption, and weakens all its powers.106
Sewalls solution was more religious than Colmans but still contained a concern
for the public good: Then abide with God by taking his word for your rule, by
making his glory your highest end, and by seeking the public-weal in all things.107
Again, the importance of the public good to Sewall had that familiar, virtuous, and
selfless ring of republican virtue to it that so many of the Enlightenment endorsed.
105 Joseph Sewell, Ninevahs Repentence and Deliverence, in Sandoz, 29-49.
106 Ibid., 43.
107 Ibid., 49.
44


The theme of virtuous political leaders also appeared in an election sermon
by Charles Chauncy entitled, Civil Magistrates Must be Just, Ruling in the Fear
of God on May 27,1747.108 Chauncys sermon reads more like a political treatise
with a small sermon thrown on the end to justify it to his audience. In fact, the
first half of the sermon has very little religious content at all, as the following
passage is a good example of the tone of the sermon. The passage begins after a
brief introduction of why political leaders are a necessity:
But it is for the general good of mankind; to keep confusion
and disorder out of the world; to guard mens lives; to secure
their rights; to defend their properties and liberties; to make
their way to justice easy, and yet injuriously treated; and, in a
word, to maintain peace and good order, and in general to
promote the public welfare, in all instances, so far as they are
able.109
The passage is repetitive, stating the importance of protecting the rights of citizens
and promoting the collective good in a number of ways.
Chauncy read a brief Bible passage before moving on to content that was
more political. The passage was from II Samuel Chapter 23, verse 9: The God of
Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that ruleth over men must be just,
ruling in the fear of God. While Chauncys biblical support for his sermon
contained the same concern with justice and the fear of God that other ministers
l0S Charles Chauncy, Civil Magistrates Must be Just, Ruling in the Fear of God, in Sandoz, 137-
170.
109 Ibid., 145.
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preached, Chauncys explanation of it was almost entirely secular. In explaining
the proper characteristics of a political leader, Chauncy argued that a leader must
be being possessd of an inward, steady, uniform principle of justice, setting
them, in a good measure, above the influence of private interest, or right, in their
various stations, from the King in supreme, to the lowest in authority under
him.110 Above all, Chauncy felt politicians needed to be unbiased and above self
interest as he repeatedly returned to those topics through out the sermon.111
Chauncy also stipulated that a just leader needed to know his role, not overstep his
own authority and respect the checks and balances within the government to limit
his power.112 The use of checks and balances is a clear influence of the
Enlightenment, and Chauncys use of it makes him one of the more significant
players in this aspect of the American Enlightenment.
Chauncy, in light of his position on the Great Awakening discourse, also
warned against placing men in political power who did not believe in the power of
reason. He went so far as to state that placing such men in power could lead to
war: Or if, after all, war should arise, by means of the pride, or avarice, or self-
1,0 Ibid., 146.
111 Ibid., 148 and 155.
112 Ibid., 146.
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will and tyranny of unreasonable men.. .113 Chauncy reiterated that point again
by stating that Nor is every pious good man fit to be entrusted with civil
power.114 Thus, not only did Chauncy believe that ministers needed to be
influenced by reason; he believed that all leaders needed to endorse the power of
reason. In fact, to Chauncy choosing men who feared God to be leaders was the
functional equivalent of choosing men of Republican virtue.115 In terms of virtue,
the Puritan and Enlightenment ideologies found a common language and a
common principle, further enabling them to coexist as the 18th century moved
forward.
The concern with the character of political leaders continued into the
1760s with the sermon The Presence of God with his People, given on May 28,
1760 by Samuel Dunbar. Although the sermon is mostly concerned with keeping
faith in God during times of political and military upheaval, Dunbar still utilized
the same discussion regarding proper leadership. To Dunbar, it was imperative to
select men with Gods chosen character, men of sense and substance; such as
fear God; men of virtue and piety; men of truth, hating covetousness; men of
113 Ibid., 163.
114 Ibid., 166.
115 Ibid., 170.
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fidelity, generosity and a public spirit.116 Dunbar even used the same Bible verse
as the Biblical doctrine in his sermon as Chauncy used in 1747.117 However, as
more political interaction occurred between England and the colonies, more
Puritan sermons turned away from the abstract conversations of what political
leaders should be like to sermons directly addressing what was happening.11* And
as Heimert illustrates, the sermons shifted to a focus on nationalism, patriotism,
and in some cases on revolution.119
The ministers of 18th century Puritan Massachusetts represent an important
core group of thinkers in the American Enlightenment. In the context of the Great
Awakening of the 1740s, they were simultaneously part of the traditional social,
power structure being criticized, and part of the intellectual discourse that
resulted. The revivalist ministers like Tennent and Edwards have never received
enough credit for their role in starting and maintaining the discourse that resulted
in widespread questioning of what a ministers character should be. The rationalist
ministers like Chauncy forced them, ultimately, to submit at least partially to the
116 Samuel Dunbar, The Presence of God with his People, in Sandoz 207-230.
117 Ibid., 225.
118 The sermons in Sandoz become more and more focused on actual events and on freedom and
revolution in the latter half of the 18th century.
119 See the latter half of Heimerts book.
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power of reason in the form of creating a college similar to Harvard and Yale,
which embraced just as much secular thought as the others did. Perhaps that is the
reason they are generally ignored. Or perhaps it is simply that most historians
looking at 18th century America only see the religion or the politics, but not both.
Regardless, the Great Awakening started a critical discourse concerned with
existing social and political institutions. As part of that discourse, concern for the
character and behavior of the leaders running those institutions became crucially
important.
The concern over power led to sermons questioning the character of
political leaders. Charles Chauncy represents an ever-important link between the
criticism of ministers and the criticism of political leaders. His criticism is
uniform through out the 1740s, emphasizing reason, virtue and justice in both
ministers and political leaders. It is also Chauncy who illustrates that virtue gave
Puritanism and Enlightenment thought a common ground, a way to coexist for the
rest of the 18th century. Heimert argues that the Great Awakening caused an
intellectual rift and sparked the activism of the masses that would last until the
American Revolution. I offer a minor revision of that position. The Great
Awakening was a powerful moment in 18th century America, specifically in
Massachusetts, but I challenge the notion that it produced an intellectual rift that
made the revolution possible. In light of this study combining the Enlightenment
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and Puritanism, the Great Awakening sparked the existence of a culture of
criticism and concern for power that spread from religion to politics, and which,
once combined with the activism of the masses, enabled men to unite in
opposition to England.
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CHAPTER 6. CONCLUSION
A proper understanding of the intellectual life of 18th century
Massachusetts necessitates better definitions of Enlightenment than those offered
by many historians. The definition best suited for Massachusetts is Peter Gays
definition of the Enlightenment as the presence of intellectual discourses
concerned with power and as a widespread culture of criticism. The presence of
Puritan religious values and socio-religious power structures provided a unique
setting for these Enlightenment discourses, which were dominated by Puritan
ministers in the middle of the century. The prevalence of political sermons and
the program of classical education that ministers in Massachusetts graduated from
illustrate the intriguingly cosmopolitan collision of Puritanism and secular
Enlightenment thought in the colony.
It is important for historians to continue to view the 18th century through a
lens that forces them to understand more about the American colonies than one
type of history allows. Too often historians research and understand too narrowly,
resulting in religious histories that do not address non-religious events, contexts or
political histories that ignore religion. With the exception of Alan Heimert,
histories of America in the 18th century struggle to incorporate understandings of
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the secular and intellectual political world with the pious and emotional religious
world. This study tried to illustrate that it is possible and crucially important to
understand how the often-segregated religious and secular ideas of the 18th
century coexisted, even converged, and created a powerful intellectual force. A
force so powerful that it captivated all aspects of colonial society. Schools like
Boston Latin and Harvard, and the prevalence of political pamphlets in the 18th
century prove that the body of literate and educated citizens had ample exposure
to radical ideas. To complement the exposure to radical ideas students received
through their education, the frequency of sermons containing Enlightenment
subjects effectively delivered those radical ideas to less educated and literate
members of colonial Massachusetts. The convergence of those two enlightened
forces provided a unity of sorts heading into the American Revolution.
It is important to note that Puritanism and Enlightenment ideas were able
to coexist and intertwine for some time without necessarily resorting to deism.
John Adams and his family offer a good example. In the 1770s and 1780s, John
Adams represented the American colonies in Europe on several occasions and to
several countries, even bringing his son John Quincy Adams along with him. The
correspondence amongst the Adams family, an obviously cosmopolitan and
Enlightened family, illustrates that many aspects of Puritanism continued to have
a strong role in their beliefs.
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On many different occasions, the family wrote phrases that illustrate a
belief in a providential God, a God that was graceful and controlled events in the
world. A letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams from December 3,1778,
details plans for a return trip and Johns apprehension about the sea voyage home:
And Happy indeed shall I be if by the favour of Heaven I can escape the danger
of the seas and of enemies, and return to the Charming Office of Precepter to my
children.120 Adams expressed a similar sentiment again in a letter to Abigail
from November 15,1779, where he wrote, God Grant me and my little family a
happy passage and you and your little household, health, and comfort in our
absence.121 Young John Quincy Adams mimicked his father in a letter to Abigail
as well, saying, I am (by the Grace of God) once more safely arrived at
Balboa.122 Obviously, the phrases quoted here are not extreme professions of an
extremely emotional faith, but neither are they the beliefs of deists. Kramnick, in
his definition of Enlightenment quoted at the beginning of this paper, argued that
the Enlightenments assault on religion resulted in a rational religion where God
became no more than the supreme intelligence or craftsman who had set the
120 John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 December 1778, Butterfield, ed. The Adams Family Papers:
Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3, April 1778-September 1780 (Cambridge: The Belknap
Press of Harvard University Press, 1973), 128-130.
121 John Adams to Abigail Adams, 15 November 1779, Ibid., 235.
122 John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams, 16 January 1780, Ibid., 260.
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machine that was the world to run according to its own natural and scientifically
predictable laws. Here the Adams illustrate that there was a middle ground.
Both John Adams and his son still believed in a God that had power to affect
events, that was graceful and active. Yet, they were also not enthusiastic
evangelicals.
A brief look at a letter by Abigail Adams provides an effective summation
of the convergence of Puritan beliefs and Enlightenment ideas. On March 20,
1780, Abigail wrote to her son in response to the Adams mens safe arrival. She
urged her son not to underestimate the role of God in their safety:
You have seen how inadequate the aid of Man would have
been, if the winds and the seas had not been under the
particular government of that Being who stretches out the
Heavens as a span, who holdeth the ocean in the hollow of his
hand, and rideth upon the wings of the wind.123
Here, like her husband and son, Abigail expresses a belief in a providential God.
Abigail continued, making a very Puritan argument about the purpose of life and
an obligation to act:
It is not to rove from clime to clime, to gratify an Idle
curiosity, but every new Mercy you receive is a New Debt
upon you, a new obligation to a diligent discharge of the
various relations in which you stand connected; in the first
place to your Great Preserver, in the next to Society in
General, in particular to your Country, to your parents and to
yourself.124
123 Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 20 March 1780, Ibid., 310-311.
124 Ibid.
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This passage expresses a concern with idleness and a religious obligation to
parents and work that characterized Puritanism in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Furthermore, according to Abigail, the only sure and permanent foundation of
virtue is Religion.125 Here again, in 1780, the central importance of virtue as a
link between Puritan values and Enlightenment values is evident.
Interestingly, Abigail follows those Puritanical passages by warning
against allowing his emotions, religious or otherwise, to control him, writing that
This passion unrestrained by reason cooperating with power has produced the
subversion of cities, the desolation of countries, the Massacre of Nations, and
filled the world with injustice and oppression.126 Abigails concern with
developing her sons use of reason to control his religious passions is a strong
indicator of how great an impact the ministerial Enlightenment in 18th century
Massachusetts had on those who observed it. Clearly, the concern with
enthusiasm expressed in the ministers discourse surrounding the Great
Awakening did not simply subside with the onset of the American Revolution. It
is equally clear that citizens of Massachusetts could be influenced by both their
Puritan religion and Enlightenment ideals without resorting to deism.
Reading through the writings of John, Abigail, and John Quincy Adams
125 Ibid.
126 Ibid.
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does raise an important question about the use of religious language. Does use of
the word God indicate true religious belief? The answer, of course, is that it does
not necessarily indicate belief in any certain terms. For John and John Quincy,
their use of religious phrases may have just been socially acceptable ways to
express emotions or may just be indications that some religious belief is there.
However, Abigail Adams offers much more. Her writing indicates a deeper
religious belief and more insight into how Puritanism and Enlightenment ideals
could coexist. Perhaps Abigail was more pious than her husband and son, or
perhaps it was more acceptable for a woman to express the depth of her religious
convictions than it was for a man to do so. Regardless, the importance of her
writings here is to illuminate how Puritan piety and Enlightened rationalism
coexisted.
As Alan Heimert explains in Religion and The American Mind, the latter
half of the 18th century saw increasing numbers of ministers apprehensive about
the behavior of enthusiastic masses. Specifically concerned were men like
Charles Chauncy who felt reason should govern the passions.127 Heimert does not
credit the Enlightenment as the source of that concern, but this paper illustrates
that the discourses that resulted in concern with and use of enthusiasm to discredit
the revivalists were a direct influence of the Enlightenment.
127 Heimert, 418.
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More research is still needed to attain a thorough understanding of the
coexistence and convergence of religious and Enlightenment thought in the
American colonies. Studies of all the colonies need to be done to arrive at a more
complex and sophisticated understanding of 18th century intellectual life. Too
many narrowly focused histories of 18th centuiy America already exist. Historians
need to attempt to unify historical explanations in search of more sophisticated
relationships between ideas, events, people, religions, and forms of authority.
Historians need to embrace the criticism handed down from the
Enlightenment and never stop asking questions about our past. Specifically,
research on the 18th century in American history should never cease. It was one
of the most influential centuries in our history. It represents a new classical period
for all humankind to study. It was full of ambitious ideas, dynamic individuals,
fundamental structural changes, and a desire to improve in whatever ways
possible. The 18th century can still teach and should still teach us. In an age of
war, it is imperative that we revisit our classical heritage and remember what we
stand for. I hope I never reach an age when the lessons of such a valuable century
of history are forgotten. I hope I never see a country that stops trying to
remember.
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Full Text

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THE MINISTERS' ENLIGHTENMENT: A STUDY OF THE COEXISTENCE AND CONVERGENCE OF PURITAN VALUES AND ENLIGHTENMENT IN MASSACHUSETTS, 1740-1760 By Zachary James Haberler B.A., University of Colorado, Denver, 2004 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts History 2007

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by Zachary James Haberler All rights reserved.

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Zachary James Haberler has been approved by Carl Pietsch Pamela Laird Date

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Haberler, Zachary James (M. A., History) The Ministers' Enlightenment: A Study of the Coexistence and Convergence of Puritan Values and Enlightenment in Massachusetts, 1740-1760 Thesis directed by Professor Myra Rich ABSTRACT How the strict and Godly Puritan religion coexisted with secular thought in 18th century Massachusetts is the central problem this paper addresses. To make sense of this unexpected collision requires an examination of two facets of life in Massachusetts: the colony's ministers and the colony's system for educating them. An evaluation of these two facets reveals significant interplay between Puritanism and Enlightenment thought in 18th century Massachusetts. Furthermore, this interplay indicates that the Enlightenment had a role in Massachusetts beyond and quite different from simply supplying the influx of political thought which infiltrated all of the American colonies and contributed to the colonists' revolutionary movement for independence. Indeed, Puritan values and the Enlightenment not only coexisted but often converged, creating a minister's Enlightenment in 18th century Massachusetts. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication.

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DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to my loving wife, Julie, whose unwavering strength, support, and understanding continually renewed my energy and determination to pursue my sometimes lofty educational goals.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Special thanks to my advisor, Myra who frequently renewed my passion for Colonial American history over the last five years and whose insights and direction were instrumental during the thesis process. I also wish to thank professors Carl Pietsch and Marjorie Levine-Clark. Both provided priceless mentoring without which I would be half the researcher and writer I am today. Finally, I thank Jim whose intimate connection to hmnanity shines through his every action and sparked my own desire to connect to people through history when I took his Irish in America class as an undergraduate.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ....................................................................... 2. THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT IN AMERICA ....................................................................................... 4 3. EDUCATION OF MINISTERS IN 18rn CENTURY MASSACHUSETTS ..................................................................... 15 4. THE MINISTER'S ENLIGHTENMENT: ENLIGHTENED DISCOURSE DURING THE GREAT AWAKENING ..................... 26 5. THE MINISTER'S ENLIGHTENMENT: RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL AUTHORITY ........................................................... 42 6. CONCLUSION ......................................................................... 51 BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................... 58 vii

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CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION It was a dull and rainy day when John Adams set out to take the Harvard entrance exams in Boston from his hometown of Braintree.1 While the poor health of his tutor Mr. Marsh forced Adams to travel alone, his shoulders carried the interests of his family and Braintree upon them.2 Like many other fathers raised in the Puritan culture ofNew England, John Adams' father wanted his son to enter the ministry.3 Yet, Adams never received a church to call his own and went on to become a powerful intellectual and political leader of 18th century Massachusetts. John Adams' transformation from ministry student to political leader illuminates an interesting collision of Puritanism and Enlightenment ideology. How the strict and Godly Puritan religion coexisted with secular thought in 18th century Massachusetts is the central problem this paper addresses. To make sense of this unexpected collision requires an examination of two facets of 1 L. H. Butterfield, The Adams Papers: Diary and Autobiography of John Adams. Volume 3: Diary 1782-1804, Autobiography through 1776 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1961), p. 258-259. 2 Ibid. 3 David McCullough, John Adams (New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2001), page 33.

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life in Massachusetts: the colony's ministers and the colony's system for educating them. An evaluation of these two facets reveals significant interplay between Puritanism and Enlightenment thought in 18th century Massachusetts. Furthermore, this interplay indicates that the Enlightenment had a role in Massachusetts beyond and quite different from simply supplying the influx of political thought which infiltrated all of the American colonies and contributed to the colonists' revolutionary movement for independence. Indeed, Puritan values and the Enlightenment not only coexisted but often converged, creating a minister's Enlightenment in 18th century Massachusetts. Historians have done ample research on the political thought of the latter half of the 18th century.4 Some material may appear from those later years, but it will serve only as peripheral evidence or as an epilogue. Instead, this paper will focus on the central years ofthe 18th century, roughly 1740-1760. During these years, many ministers in Massachusetts engaged in public discussions criticizing the world around them, and because the world around them was dominated by Puritans, religion played a significant role in their discourse. Thus, it is through the ministry that the Enlightenment found its way into the religious dialogue of the Great Awakening, and continued to affect the intellectual life of the colony 4 See the work of Gordon Wood and Bernard Bailyn's Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967). 2

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afterwards. To best examine the intertwining of Puritanism and Enlightenment thought, I organized this paper into three sections. First, there will be a brief historiographical discussion regarding the Enlightenment in America. It is important to derive a definition of the Enlightenment to use for the purposes of this paper, and it is pertinent to show where this research stands amongst other histories. Second, there will be a section addressing education in Massachusetts which will examine what role the schools had on the convergence of Puritanism and the Enlightenment. The third and fourth sections will explain how ministers in Massachusetts exhibited Enlightenment ideas through sermons; the third will discuss the Great Awakening and the fourth will deal with its aftermath. The paper will close with some remarks connecting the central years of the 18th century to the end of the century, and tracing some continuities to the times of the American Revolution. 3

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CHAPTER2. THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT IN AMERICA Defining the Enlightenment is a problematic task and, naturally, not all historians agree on all parameters of any given definition. However, there is a consensus that the Enlightenment revered classical thought and culture, challenged contemporary forms and ideas regarding authority (government), and sought to increase understanding of the natural world. The Enlightenment stance on religion, however, raises disagreements amongst historians. Some recent historians define the Enlightenment, at least in part, as antireligious. In his introduction to The Portable Enlightenment Reader, Isaac Kramnick portrays the Enlightenment and religion as forces at war: Central to the Enlightenment agenda was the assault on religious superstition and its replacement by a rational religion in which God became no more than the supreme intelligence or craftsman who had set the machine that was the world to run according to its own natural and scientifically predictable laws.5 Kramnick does use the phrase 'rational religion,' but it is quite clear from his definition of the God that resulted (a deist definition of God) that he would not see as possible the interplay between Puritanism and the Enlightenment seen in 18th 5 Isaac Kramnick, The Portable Enlightenment Reader (New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1995), xii. 4

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century Massachusetts. Kramnick's portrayal is supported by historian Margaret Jacob, who argues that the Enlightenment helped contribute to the decline of religion's role in society.6 Although this definition of the Enlightenment is true to the experiences of some European countries during the 18th century; it dismisses the experiences of others. The anti-religious sentiment expressed by Kramnick and Jacobs indicates the tendency of historians to over-generalize or overly confine the Enlightenment in order to define it. In The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, The Rise of Modern Paganism (1967), Historian Peter Gay acknowledges the difficulty of defining the Enlightenment. 7 His answer to the problem of synthesizing the wide range of 18th century thought is to more broadly characterize the Enlightenment as a cultural climate summed up by two words "criticism and power."8 Gay's broader definition not only justifies the experiences of more European countries during the 18th century than the definitions put forth by Kramnick and Jacobs, it also incorporates into the definition the varying socio-cultural contexts ofEurope during the 18th century. 6 Margaret C. Jacob, The Enlightenment: a Brief History with Documents (New York: Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2001), 18-19. 7 Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, The Rise of Modern Paganism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967), x. 8 Ibid., xi. 5

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Due to the critical culture of the Enlightenment, Gay inevitably includes the existence and persistence of philosophical discourse amongst the philosophes as part of his definition as well. Unfortunately, Gay's definition still addresses the Enlightenment as a single movement, although he grants it broader parameters. More recently, J. G. A. Pocock argues that historians are moving toward a view of the Enlightenment as "a family of discourses arising about the same time in a number of European cultures."9 If Gay's broad definition, which emphasizes the presence of critical discourses concerned with power, was an important step towards including the American experience of Enlightenment, Pocock's definition is a more important second step. For the purposes of this paper, the Enlightenment is defined as a combination of Gay and Pocock's definitions. The Enlightenment experience of 18th century Massachusetts did exhibit a significant amount of critical, public discourse concerned with power. However, Enlightenment in colonial Massachusetts differed distinctly from Europe and does not properly fit into Gay's massive, singular movement. Pocock's definition, then, is very important for the Massachusetts Enlightenment because it enables the freedom to properly analyze the colony's experience. Before continuing to that analysis, however, it is 9 J. G. A. Pocock, "Enthusiasm: The Anti-SelfofEnlightenment," in Lawrence E. Klein and Anthony La Vopa, ed., Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe, /650-1850 (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library Press, 1998). 6

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important to discuss what has been written about the Enlightenment in America. In 1955, Louis Hartz published The Liberal Tradition in America: An interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution, Hartz argued that John Locke's philosophies had a large influence on American history from the revolution to the 20th century. Although the Enlightenment was only of peripheral interest to Hartz, he does argue that the American Enlightenment was different because America did not need to rebel against a heritage of feudalism as Europe did. 10 Beyond Hartz, however, studies ofthe Enlightenment in the American colonies were scarce until the late 1960's when Bernard Bailyn published Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967) and Gordon Wood published The Creation ofThe American Republic, 1776-1787 (1969).11 Both have become classics of American history, adding immeasurably to what historians know and understand regarding the American Revolution. Specifically, they illustrate the influence of ideas, specifically Classical and Enlightenment ideas, about republicanism on the political beliefs of the colonists. Still, there was more to be done, as Wood mused in a bibliographic note in Creation of The American Republic, 1776-1787: "It is amazing that so little has been written about 10 Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America: An interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1955), 4 and 39-41. 11 Wood and Bailyn, vi-vii. 7

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the American Enlightenment. "12 After Wood and Bailyn, historians made significant strides in researching the role of the Enlightenment in the colonies. In 1975, Ernest Cassara published The Enlightenment in America, the first attempt at a synthesis of the American Enlightenment. 13 Cassara emphasizes the roles of John Locke, Thomas Paine, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in his argument that American thinkers made significant intellectual contributions and that the American Enlightenment was worthy of a study all its own.14 Significantly, Cassara also argues that the development of Unitarian and Universalist religions in the colonies represented a compromise between traditional religions and deism.u In 1976, Henry F. May published a book also entitled The Enlightenment in America, a second attempt at synthesizing the American Enlightenment. May's work does an adequate job of assessing the role of several different aspects of the Enlightenment in America and is a good introduction for a student of the period. 16 12 Wood, 623. Wood notes the work of Gilbert Chinard as ''the best we have" and also notes Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation: The Rise of Modern Paganism (New York, 1966). 13 Ernest Cassara, The Enlightenment in America (Boston: G. K. Hall and Co., 1975). 14 Ibid., 22. IS Ibid., 141. 16 Henry F. May, The Enlightenment in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976). May, as Kramnick and Jacobs did in their definitions of the European Enlightenment, divided various European and American Philosophes into four distinct groups: the Moderate 8

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In the late 1970s, a couple of historians began to make an argument that severely limited the conception of an American Enlightenment. In 1976, Donald H. Meyer argued that the American Enlightenment never truly caught fire because the Articles of Confoderation and the Constitution of the United States quickly institutionalized Enlightenment ideas. In Europe, according to Meyer, a large part of the Enlightenment's appeal was that it gave the educated elite a way to evaluate their government and cry out for change. In America, where there was no disparity between Enlightenment ideas and government, the movement was stripped of its intellectual power.17 A similar argument was made by Henry Steele Commager in The Empire of Reason: How Europe Imagined and America Realized the Enlightenment ( 1977). 18 Although there is a ring of truth to these interpretations, they are based on definitions of the Enlightenment that are solely concerned with political thought. It is a grievous error to limit America's Enlightenment experience solely to the colonial experiments with republicanism that resulted in the Articles of Confederation and The Constitution of the United States. Enlightenment, the Skeptical Enlightenment, the Revolutionary Enlightenment, and the Didactic Enlightenment. 17 Donald H. Meyer, The Democratic Enlightenment (New York: G.P. Putnam's and Sons, 1976). 18 Henry Steele Comrnager, The Empire of Reason: How Europe Imagined and America Realized the Enlightenment (New York: Doubleday, 1977). 9

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In 1988, Peter Hoffer published a collection of essays on the American Enlightenment, which further developed the roles that colonial leaders like Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson, and James Madison had in spreading the Enlightenment to the colonies while also introducing material on the spread of science in the colonies.19 Modem writing, like Carl Richard's The Founders and the Classics: Greece, Rome, and The American Enlightenment (1994), builds upon earlier knowledge ofwho 18th century Americans read and were influenced by and emphasizes the role of Greek and Roman thought. Most Recently, Gertrude Himmelfarb offered an interpretation of the American Enlightenment as especially focused on varying aspects ofliberty.20 She argues that the Americans were more practical than, say, the French, a view reminiscent of Meyer and Commager, and that their practicality prevented America's Enlightenment from losing itself in utopian and abstract discourses.21 There is a strong body ofhistory, then, about the ideas that influenced 18th century colonial leaders and what 18th century colonial leaders thought themselves. While this literature should not go unnoticed, it is important to note 19 Peter Charles Hoffer, editor, Early American History: An American Enlightenment (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1988). 20 Gertrude Himmelfarb, The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 19, 191. 21 Ibid., 19 10

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that all of these histories utilized definitions of the Enlightenment that are similar to the definitions put forth by European historians Kramnick and Jacob. That is, they limited the definition of the Enlightenment to political thought and the secular world. In doing so, these historians left an opportunity for more research about the American Enlightenment and religion. The best attempt to incorporate the religious life of the colonies into the political history of the 18th century is Alan Heimert's magnificent Religion and the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution.22 Heimert portrays the discussions about religion and leadership that occurred in response to the religious revivals of the Great Awakening as political debate and maneuvering. He argues that the immediate effect of the revivals was a "tempering of the fierce, social, economic, and political antagonisms that had racked the colonies since the beginning of the century."23 Heimert goes on to illustrate how religious revival made America's leadership aware that a revolution could easily occur if the masses became excited enough. For Heimert, the American Revolution was merely an episode in what was a long intellectual and passionate rift, inspired by the Great Awakening, transformed to nationalism or 22 Alan Heimert, Religion and the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966). 23 Ibid., 9. 11

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patriotism at the end ofthe 18th century.24 Heimert touches on the interplay between mtionalism and religion during and after the Great Awakening. However his study's focus on the influence of religion on the capability of the colonies to revolt overpowers it. Heimert does not properly explain the interplay between reason and religion, or more specifically between reason and Puritanism. Nor does his study offer a solid understanding of the Enlightenment in his discussion about the interplay. Therefore, while Heimert's study is great in its own regard, the portions of his argument that touch on the subject of this paper need more explanation. Heimert's research is an ever-important basis of knowledge for the purposes of this study, but the gap in historiography of the American Enlightenment remains. In 2001, Nina ReidMaroney published Philadelphia's Enlightenment, 1740-1800. While her work focused exclusively on life in Philadelphia, it still discussed the interaction of religion and Enlightenment. Specifically, she argues "the coinciding of A wakening and Enlightenment brought a considemble overlap of personalities. Religious leaders were well-connected to the scientific community, and those with scientific interests in turn wielded power in the colonial churches."25 Clearly, Reid-Maroney's work represents the first attempt 24 Ibid., I, 94, 354-355. 25 Nina Reid-Maroney, Philadelphia's Enlightenment, 1740-1800 (Westport, Connecticut: 12

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to understand how a specific colonial community incorporated the religious and secular intellectual movements in 18th century colonial America. However, her study differs drastically from this one in that she focuses specifically on science, and because the religious culture in Philadelphia was undoubtedly different from the one that existed in 18th century Massachusetts. It is into this niche, where this study of 18th century Massachusetts fits. This paper represents the first true attempt to understand how Puritanism and the Enlightenment coexisted in 18th century Massachusetts, a coexistence either ignored or by-passed by other historians, and which fostered a unique intellectual experience for the citizens of Massachusetts. The definition of Enlightenment best suited to study 18th century Massachusetts is not a definition forged in steel. It is not immovable or unbreakable like the definitions offered by Kramnick and Jacobs. Enlightenment in 18th century Massachusetts is more appropriately discussed and analyzed using a hybrid of the definitions derived by Gay and Pocock. Gay's definition is important because it is broad and emphasizes the role of critical discourse. Greenwood Press, 200 l ), 17. 13

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Indeed, the sermons of 18th century Puritan ministers in Massachusetts illustrate such a concern. Yet, to argue that the Massachusetts Enlightenment fits perfectly with Gay's definition is misleading. Gay views the Enlightenment as a singular, massive movement by thinkers fully conscious of themselves as a movement and of their roles within that movement. Enlightenment in Massachusetts differs significantly as there was no manifesto for Enlightenment, and the lack of real ideological organization or cohesion enabled the intellectuals of Massachusetts to essentially create their own Enlightenment. In this regard, Pocock's definition is a nice fit as it enables the Massachusetts Enlightenment to exist along side the Enlightenments of Europe without forcing it into one massive intellectual movement. The Massachusetts Enlightenment connected itself to the Europeans by their admiration of European Enlightenment thinkers, but it was also unique in the way that Enlightenment ideas were absorbed into Massachusetts Puritan culture. The presence of a Minister's Enlightenment in Massachusetts is evidence of this unique absorption, as the latter sections will illustrate. 14

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CHAPTER3. EDUCATION OF MINISTERS IN 18TH CENTIJRY MASSACHUSETTS In 18th century Massachusetts there was only one path young men could take to become a minister and that path went through Harvard College. Founded in 1636, Harvard was the only college in the colony for 150 years.26 In 1701, ministers in Connecticut founded Yale as a local alternative to Harvard, but another college did not appear in Massachusetts until1793, when Williams College was founded. 27 Historian Samuel Eliot Morison argues that Harvard was initially intended to replenish the supply of ministers to insure the future of Puritanism in the colony.28 Indeed, many parents of talented young boys hoped that their children might end up behind pulpits as adults. For example, the parents of both John and Samuel Adams pushed their studious children towards Harvard. 29 Some families, such as the Hancocks, were so strongly religious that 26 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Founding of Harvard College (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935), 154-155. 27 See http://www.pragmatism.org/americanlamerican colleges.htm. 28 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Intellectual Life of Colonial New England (Ithaca: Great Seal Book, 1956), 31. 29 David McCullough, John Adams (New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2001), 33; John C. Miller, Sam Adams: Pioneer in Propaganda (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1936), 4; 15

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ministry was almost bequethed from father to son.30 However influenced or supported by his parents, a young boy could not simply arrive at Harvard a blank slate, ready for religious tutelage. Harvard's founding was also part of a wider movement, spearheaded by John Winthrop, to improve the education of young Puritans across the colony. Winthrop felt that it was the Puritans' duty to protect their children from Satan, and that intellectual ignorance provided an opportunity for Satan to attack their children.31 In 1642, the founders of the colony created a law which required the government to teach children so they could ''understand the principles of religion and the capitallawes of the country, and to impose fmes upon all those who refuse to render such accompt to them when required.'032 As part of that law, every town with a population over 500 people needed to have two grammar schools and two writing schools. 33 The most prominent of the grammar schools was Boston Latin Grammar Benjamin Irving, Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2002). 3 Fowler, Chapter I. 31 Remarks of John Winthrop as quoted in Henry F. Jenks, Catalogue of the Boston Public Latin School, Established in 1635, With an Historical Sketch (Boston: Published by the Boston Latin School Association, 1886). 32 Text ofthe 1642 charter as published in Pauline Holmes, A Tercentenary History ofThe Boston Public Latin School, 1635-1935 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935), pages 5-6. 33 Ibid., 10-13. 16

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School. Of the ministers discussed in the following sections, Benjamin Colman and Charles Chauncy both attended Boston Latin. Other prominent ministers who attended the school include Cotton Mather, Joseph Sewall, William Cooper, Andrew Eliot, Samuel Langdon, and Samuel Cooper. The school also instructed many future politicians and scientistslike Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Hutchinson, Samuel Adams, James Bowdoin, Robert Treat Paine, John Hancock, and Nathaniel Gorhem.34 Founded in 1635, before Harvard and before the educational charter, Boston Latin's location made it the grammar school for many influential political leaders of the colony and a very fruitful preparatory institution for Harvard. Some other grammar schools, like the grammar school in Roxbury, did not experience the success that Boston Latin enjoyed, and struggled to maintain the necessary funding.35 Boston Latin Grammar School operated in a Puritan setting, and it seems logical for some form of Biblical or moral instruction to take place through the course of an ordinary day. Interestingly, the nature of Boston Latin was nearly the exact opposite. The curriculum of Boston Latin focused on developing Latin and Greek language skills. For example, during the flrst three years dedicated 34 Ibid., 135-160. 35 C.K. Dillaway, A History of the Grammar School, or "The Free Schoole of 1645 in Roxburie." (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee and Company, 1860), 29. 17

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themselves to understanding and memorizing basic Latin grammar rules, and rudimentary Latin works like Aesop's Fables. In the fourth, fifth and sixth years, students continued to study Aesop's Fables, before working their way through Ovid, Erasmus, and some Cicero. By the end of that period, students began to study Greek. The remaining year (early Boston Latin programs were seven years long) exposed students to Homer, Hesiod, Virgil, Horace, !socrates, and "Justin for the Latin and Greek Testament.m6 In a seven-year program at a Puritan school, the Bible or any inkling of religious doctrine did not appear until the very end. Boston Latin emphasized learning grammar while reading these Classical works. For example, Boston Latin School used William Lily's Latin Grammar, Paul's Accidence, and Cheever's Latin Grammar through out the education of its students. 37 Thus, the goal of learning classical languages superimposed upon other lessons. Yet, it seems unlikely that students could undergo such a classical education without it affecting them, even if language development was the ultimate goal. Boston Latin's unique combination of classical themes and language development would be highly influential to the founders as they aged and encountered new ideas and experiences. 36 Letter from Nathaniel Williams to Nehemiah Hobart regarding the curriculum of the Boston Latin Grammar School, 1712. Found on www.constituion.org/primary sources/gramrnar.html. 37 Holmes, pages 308, 310, and 316. 18

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Boston Latin was unique in other ways as well. Perhaps most interesting, the school was a "free schoole," which meant that it was a "democratic, public institution not restricted to any class of children. "38 The egalitarian nature of the school enabled boys from families with lower incomes to receive a quality education. Unfortunately, it was of little consequence because the ultimate goal of Boston Latin was to gain admittance to Harvard. If parents could not afford to send their children to Harvard, they most likely educated their children differently or placed them in vocational apprenticeships. Harvard provides an interesting contrast to Boston Latin. Students at Harvard experienced more spiritual rituals in College than they ever did at Boston Latin. Prayer started the day at 5:00am, and then again at 5:00PM before dinner, and for many again before the night was over.39 Furthermore, the school strictly enforced that "All scholars ... behave themselves blamelessly, leading sober, righteous, and godly lives. "40 Of course, the ability to control a large group of teenage boys is easier said than done. Perhaps the increase in ritual and strictness were a response to the increased frivolity and tom-foolery of the students. 38 Holmes, 19. Interestingly, there were supposed to be other schools like Boston Latin. One other attempt was the Roxbury school, however, that school had a much harder time getting off the ground and therefore did not become very prominent. For more, consult C.K. Dillaway, A History of the Grammar School, or "The Free Schoole of 1645 in Roxburie." (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, Lee and Company, 1860). 39 Fowler, page 28-29. 40 Pierce, History of Harvard, page 169 ... as cited in McCullough, page 36. 19

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Harvard strictly enforced their moral and scholarly code. College officials once caught Samuel Adams drinking rum with his friends. In response the school "rusticated and degraded" his friends, and fined Adams five shillings.41 John Adams felt the strict discipline in the form of a fine for being away from school for a period longer than the allotted vacation time. 42 While the behavior of the founders while they attended Harvard hints at moral decline, it is clear that the college itself maintained its code of ethics and punished students according to their misbehavior. The number of ministers that continued to graduate from the college solidified the religious nature of the school. John Adams' diary indicates on several occasions that he still intended to be a minister after graduation. He spent many hours while he was waiting to get a job as a minister improving his knowledge of divine literature, listening to ministers, dining with ministers, and studying how other ministers used language in their sermons. 43 A perusal of the Harvard library catalogues for the 18th century also provides evidence of the religious intentions of the school, although in the latter half of the century enlightenment thinkers and other less religious works wormed 41 Miller, page 5. 42 McCullough, page 36, and Buttertield. 43 See Butterfield. Volume I: Diary 1755-1770, entries for February 29, 1756; March 21, 1756; April28, 1756;July21, 1756,Ju1y23, 1756forexamp1es. 20

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their way into the library. The 1723 Catalogue indicates that the Harvard College Library contained predominately-religious histories and treatises with some classical texts as well. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas appears in the catalogue several times, with Summa Theo/ogica and other works.44 St. Augustine also appears several times with City of God, Ope rum Omnium, and Book 12 from his autobiography. 4s More modem religious voices like Calvin and Luther also appeared in the Library.46 In places, entire pages of the catalogue were taken up by the Mather family (specifically Cotton and Increase). 47 However, the great bulk of religious material consisted of hundreds of commentaries on various books of the Bible, various translations of the Bible, and a handful of papal histories. Despite the overwhelming size ofthe Christian side of the library, nonreligious titles do appear in the 1723-1735 Harvard Library. Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World was available by 1723, as were a few works by Nicollo 44 W .H. Bond and Hugh Amory, editors, The Printed Catalogues of the Harvard College Library, 1723-1790. The Publications ofthe Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Volume LXVII (Boston: The Colonial Society ofMassachusetts, 1996), Al with "Expositio in Evangel. Joannis" (Paris, 1957), A2 with Summa Theologica ( Venet., 1593 ), A65 and A67. 4s Bond and Amory, AI for Operum Omnium, A2, A65 for Book 12 of Confessions, and Al03 for CityofGod. 46 Bond and Amory, for Luther: A20 and A50; for Calvin: AS, AIO, A40, A72, A104. 47 Bond and Amory, A87 is a good example. 21

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Machiavelli, such as Florentine History. 48 Sir Francis Bacon appeared several times in the early catalogue, for his History of the Reign of King Henry VIII, Natural History, Nine Books for the Advancement of Learning, and others.49 Sir Isaac Newton's Opticks appears in the 1723 catalogue, and by 1735 Newton's Chronology and Observations on Daniel and the Apocalypse appears. so Puffendorf's Divine Feudal Law and De Jure Nature and Gentium, as well as more Hugo Grotius than one could possibly handle. 5 1 The most important appearance in the holdings was a 3 volume set of John Locke's works, which appeared by 1735.52 Even Shakespeare and Thucydides (in 1735) made appearances. 5 3 Thus, Harvard's library slowly diversified its holdings, gaining Enlightened men like John Locke, Isaac Newton, Grotius, and Puffendorf, while also building up its history and literature sections. The 1773 Catalogue indicates that Harvard continued the same pattern as the century aged. David Hume's History of the World, Francis Hutcheson's 48 Bond and Amory, for Raleigh, A28; for Machiavelli, A23, and A86 for Disputat. de Republica. 49 Bond and Amory, A6 for Henry VIII and Natural History. 50 Bond and Amory, A 54 for Opticks and All4 for Chronology and Observations on Daniel and the Apocalypse. 51 Bond and Amory, for Puffendorf: A57 for De Jure Nature and Gentium, and A90 for Divine Feudal Law; for Grotius: A79-A80, All4, and Al21. 52 Bond and Amory, 106. 53 Bond and Amory, for Shakespeare, in Six Volumes, A95; for Thucydides, AII5. 22

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Moral Philosophy and various writings by Joseph Addison appeared for the first time in this version of the Catalogue. S4 In addition, Cesare Becarria, Montesquieu and the radical writings of John Trenchard and Tom Gordon all entered the Harvard Library in 1773. ss Finally, some letters written by Voltaire, some Emerich de Vattal, and John Turnbull's Moral Philosophy made their entrance into Harvard's holdings at this time as well.56 Thus, the Enlightenment slowly worked its way into the Christian stronghold that was the Harvard Library at the beginning of the 18th century. The availability of Locke as early as 173 5 is crucially important because his thought heavily influenced many of Massachusetts' ministers. However, that other Enlightenment thinkers like Voltaire, de Vattal, Grotius and Puffendorfwere available to all by 1735 is rather important as well because they arrived in the midst of the Great Awakening. The atmosphere at Harvard drastically differed from that of Boston Latin. While it was more rigid in social and moral structure, it lacked the equality and objective nature of Boston Latin. Both schools began as systematic attempts by Winthrop and his peers to promote religion and decrease ignorance in their culture, but it is still curious that Puritanism did not hold a stronger grasp on S4 Bond and Amory, for Addison, B5; for Hume and Hutcheson, B IS. ss Bond and Amory, for Becarria, B7; for Montesquieu, Bl8; and for Trenchard and Gordon's Cato's Letters, B9. 56 Bond and Amory, for all ofthem see B25. 23

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Boston Latin. Nonetheless, the religious nature of the daily rituals at Harvard and its religiously oriented library were undoubtedly powerful influences on the developing ministers. However, Harvard also began to change, not only in the behavior of its students but also in what sorts of thought it made available for study.57 Even if Harvard did not directly Enlighten its students, it did so indirectly by either providing the books for willing students to fmd, or by merely teaching a classical education that enabled any student of Harvard to properly think and discuss Enlightened works when they encountered them later. Outside of their institutional educations, there were two main sources of Enlightenment thought for ministers. As the section on ministry will illustrate, many ministers gained exposure to Enlightenment discourse from listening and reading the sermons of other ministers already influenced by the Enlightenment. The other main source is the subject of Bernard Bailyn' s classic, the Ideological Origins of the American Revolution 58 Bailyn masterfully illustrates that there was a vast array of political and ideological pamphlets in print in 18th century America. Any literate, socially aware member of society had access to the these 57 For example, see Frederich E. Brasch, "The Newtonian Epoch in the American Colonies, 16301783," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 49 (1939), 314-322 contained in Hoffer. Brasch discusses the role of Harvard in being one of the earliest institutions to advance Newtonian thought. 58 Bailyn, Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967). 24

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pamphlets. Heimert argues that religion had a larger impact since there were more accounts of sermons that touched on the intellectual and political matters in the colonies than non-religious sources. 59 Whether one is more persuaded by Bailyn or Heimert is not as important as the culmination of both historians' research. Bailyn and Heimert easily prove that there were many social sources of Enlightenment discourse in the colonies. In Massachusetts, the school system founded by Puritans to replenish the ministry and protect the Puritan community from secular knowledge and authority developed into another source of the Enlightenment by the 18th century. 59 Heimert, 450. 25

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CHAPTER 4. THE MINISTER'S ENLIGHTENMENT: ENLIGHTENED DISCOURSE DURING THE GREAT AWAKENING The place of the minister in 18th century Massachusetts must be understood in the context of the colony's history. Puritanism dominated the founding and development of Massachusetts dating back to the migration of thousands of Puritans who followed John Winthrop to the New World and settled in the Massachusetts Bay area in the 1630s. 60 By 1650, "Massachusetts had one minister for every 415 persons, compared with one per 3,239 persons in Virginia." Such saturation of ministers within the population was due to laws requiring each town to "sustain a church, supported by taxes levied on all the householders, whether members or not.'>61 This legislation contributed significantly to the strong status of a minister in the Puritan community. However, when King James II took the throne to replace his recently deceased older brother in 1685, the fate of Massachusetts took a drastic turn. The new king continued what his brother started, taking more of an interest in the American Colonies in hopes of deriving more revenue from them. The resulting 60 Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America (New York: Penguin Group Inc., 2001), 165-166. 61 Ibid., 179. 26

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efforts to renew the charter of Massachusetts met with strong resistance, but it was only a matter of time before the throne won a court decision revoking it in 1684. Quickly thereafter, James reorganized all of the New English colonies, New York, and New Jersey into "a super colony," the Dominion ofNew England.62 The Puritan's firm grasp on autonomy in Massachusetts would have to wait. Fortunately, the wait was not too long. By 1688, King James had many English Protestants worried because of his overwhelming favoritism toward Catholics. In an effort to promote the Protestant cause in England and to promote his own military position as the military leader of the Netherlands, William of Orange invaded England in November. Many English officials defected to his side, and James fled to France in fear. In the resulting void of monarchical power, Parliament gave the throne to William and his wife Mary.63 In totality, this became known as the Glorious Revolution, and its effects rippled across the ocean to the American colonies in 1689. The colonies within the Dominion experienced a glorious revolution oftheir own, and in the early 1690s they received new charters from England. 64 Although the new charter renewed the republican government of Massachusetts, it received significant criticism from the Puritans 62 Ibid., 276. 63 Ibid., 278. 64 Ibid., 279-284. 27

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because it "mandated toleration for all Protestants and opened the vote to all property-holders, rather than restricting it to full members of the Puritan churches. "65 Regardless, as the colony moved into the 18th century ministers continued to be valued religious, political and cultural leaders. Any discussion of religion or the ministry in the 18th century must answer the bundle of questions proposed by the religious revival movement in the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening. Commonly viewed by historians as a response to moral decay, social disorder, or as Heimert viewed it, as a very important piece on the road to revolution, the Great Awakening was also the setting of a very robust Enlightenment discourse. Other historians have read and analyzed the same sermons as those discussed here but have never considered their place within the context of an American Enlightenment. The discourse formed by these sermons goes beyond merely absorbing reason into the Puritan religion. These sermons illustrate that power and criticism, the two concepts of Gay's definition of the Enlightenment, concerned many ministers in Massachusetts, both within the arguments of the Great Awakening and in sermons unrelated to it. Furthermore, the use of the enlightened discourse points toward the negative connotation given to the concept of"enthusiasm," which corresponds to similar connotations that existed during the Enlightenment in several European 65 Ibid., 283. 28

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countries. The Enlightenment experienced by the ministers of Massachusetts, then, was uniquely involved with the specifically American Great Awakening, at the same time exhibiting similar traits to the Enlightenments of Europe. As far back as 1700, and perhaps even earlier, Puritan ministers like Cotton Mather discussed reason within their own Puritan context. 66 Mather set the tone for the discourse of the 1740s by arguing that God's grace was far more important than intellectual accomplishments.67 Perry Miller argues that the early 18th century Pietist movement, to which Mather was an early contributor, was "not a rejection of the mind but a conscious endeavor to give to reason a larger part than hitherto it had played in the life of the spirit ... in the hope that the end product would be a greater appreciation for the piety of the gospel.68 Although Miller's interpretation indicates a slight tension between reason and piety, John Morgan is quick to point out that Miller misrepresents the more emotional and enthusiastic aspects of Puritanism leading up to the 18th century in order to make his point about the existence of an "American Mind." In his Godly Learning: Puritan Attitudes Towards Reason, Learning, and 66 Perry Miller, The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962), 417. 67 Ibid., 418. 68 Ibid., 418. 29

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Education, 1560-1640, Morgan argues that the tension between Puritanism and secular reason was much greater. According to Morgan, 17th century Puritans felt that reason was only valid if applied to secular issues. 69 Perhaps more telling, Morgan states that "In an era of growing emphasis on the glory of the ancients, of expanding school facilities, and of the publication of cheap print, Puritans found that humane learning, too, threatened man's obedience to God within the terms of the covenent. "70 There are two problems here for historians. The first is whether enough changed in the last half of the 18th century to justify Miller's interpretation. The second is whether ministers actually believed that reason was inherently secular. Whether Miller's belief in the persistence of intellectualism in Puritanism or Morgan's strict interpretation of the dichotomy between Godly and secular, it is clear that a tension between reason and piety or faith was a defining conflict for the Puritans. To historians like Heimert, the presence of reason at all indicates the influence of Enlightenment thought on the ministers of Massachusetts. It is misleading to embrace his position completely, however, because it waters down the more complex understanding of how the Great Awakening and the Enlightenment intertwined. Individual Puritans accepted varying degrees of 69 John Morgan, Godly Learning: Puritan Attitudes towards Reason, Learning, and Education, 1560-1640 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 55. 70 Ibid., 61. 30

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secular thought into their minds without believing that they necessarily needed to weaken their Christianity to do so. The Great Awakening began in 1740 when a series of rabble-rousing, revivalist-minded preachers like Gilbert Tennent and James Davenport began touring across the colonies criticizing the power traditionally given to ministers and belittling intellectual ministers. In regards to the power structure of Puritan churches, Tennent was specifically critical of the similarity of ministers to politicians because they were traditionally appointed to serve over a church and supported by laws.71 Tennent's sermon entitled "The Dangers of an Unconverted Ministry," argued against the role of the intellect in favor of warm piety.72 In 1741, fellow revivalist James Davenport toured New England, burning books and speaking out against intellectualism. 73 Reception of these sorts of sermons and book burnings within Puritan Massachusetts was defensive and resulted in various forms of public criticism. In July of 1742, anonymous letters began to appear in The Boston Evening Post belittling the revivalists. A letter from July 5 lashed out against Davenport, claiming, "Though were you to see him in his most violent agitations, you would 71 Douglas Sloan, The Great Awakening and American Education (New York: Columbia University, 1973), 16-17. 72 Heimert, 30 and 160-161. 73 Sloan, 29. 31

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be apt to think, that he was a madman just broke from his chains. "74 A similar letter from July 30 raged against Tennent and his attacks on the local ministry, stating that "His gestures in preaching are theatrical, his voice tumultuous, his whole speech and behavior discovering the freaks of madness, and wilds of enthusiasm."75 Tennent and Davenport, deeply resented by the Puritan community, nonetheless represent a group challenging the order and structure of traditional Puritan society. They were not only interested in revival, but increasing equality in all religious communities. It is important to pause for a moment and consider the European Enlightenment. Peter Gay argues that much of the anti-religious sentiment in Europe during the 18th century derived from the traditional legacies of the overpowering state of religion during the Middle Ages. 76 Gay argues that the Enlightenment's revolt over what happened to the role of classical culture during the Middle Ages was not necessarily a revolt against religion, even if the Enlightenment in some countries contained anti-religious sentiments.77 Gay points toward Germany as one example of an Enlightenment that had difficulties 74 "Anonymous letter," 5 July, 1742, from Sloan, 73-74. 75 "Anonymous letter," 30 July 1742, from Sloan. 76 Gay, 208. 77 2 Gay, 57. 32

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abandoning religion. Indeed, newer scholarship by J. G. A. Pocock illustrates that the Enlightenment in England existed "in clerical and conservative forms, the product ofthe Church of England's program to reconcile itself with the governing classes. "78 Therefore, Enlightenment in 18th century Massachusetts has an appropriate place within the context of the Enlightenment as a whole. Tennent and Davenport's concern with challenging the power and dominance of the ministry in Puritan Massachusetts is little different from a political Enlightenment argument that a republic is the best form of government. Both are concerned with decreasing the role of an individual over the masses and increasing the liberty of all people, whether it be religious liberty or political. Such public critical discourse clearly places Davenport and Tennent within Gay's definition of the Enlightenment as concerned with power and promoting criticism, but historians do not like to view them as such. As the anonymous letters printed in the Boston newspaper illustrate, many observers came to view Tennent and Davenport as ruthless "madmen" and licentious enthusiasts. While such a characterization seemingly makes revivalists like Tennent and Davenport enemies of reason and the Enlightenment, recent work on the Enlightenment in Europe indicates that their presence in the discourse that began with the Great A wakening was crucial. 78 Pocock, "Enthusiasm: The Anti-self of Enlightenment," in Klein and La Vopa, 11. 33

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In 1998, historians Lawrence E. Klein and Anthony La Vopa edited a series of essays entitled Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe, 1650-1850.79 The essays collectively illustrate that enthusiasm was viewed as antithetical to the Enlightenment and that people were called "enthusiasts" or "enthusiastic" to discredit them and effectively silence their argument. Yet, Klein and La Vopa also argue that the existence of enthusiasm was necessary for the Enlightenment; that the Enlightenment depended on the concept of enthusiasm to create an extreme against which their arguments for reason would be stronger.80 The letters to the Boston Newspaper illustrate how thinkers from Massachusetts used enthusiasm to discredit Tennant and Davenport, and the response to them by Puritan ministers represents a strong and unique American Enlightenment, one that relied on the enthusiastic presence of religious revivalists. The response to Tennant and Davenport's enthusiasm was a discourse that questioned not only the power of the ministry but the characteristics they should possess. The discourse began in a church in Braintree on September 7, 1943. Local minister John Hancock, the father of the John Hancock who signed the Declaration of Independence, gave a sermon entitled, "The Danger of an 79 See Klein and La Vopa. 8 Klein and La Vopa, 5. 34

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Unqualified Ministry."81 The title clearly indicates that it was a direct response to Tennent's sermon given two years prior, and in it, Hancock defended the intellects of many Puritan ministers. He argued that "without knowledge the soul cannot be good," and he questioned how Christianity could survive without knowledgeable defenders of it. Hancock characterized intellectual men as worthy, and spitefully argued that unworthy men (men unaffected by reason) "betray the cause of Christ." Most poignant, however, was Hancock's blaming Tennent for ''the Seeds of all that Discord, Intrusion, Confusion, Separation, Hatred, Variance, Emulations, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Heresies, etc ... that corrupted the minds of church laity through out New England. 82 The central question of this discourse was whether intellectual matters were more important than emotional in the realm of religion. From a Puritan perspective, this was all too reminiscent of the tensions exhibited in Morgan's study of 17th century Puritanism. Indeed, there was a Puritan tradition of valuing the visible saints or those who had experienced an emotional conversion experience. However, there was also a tradition dating back to John Winthrop that promoted an understanding of secular intellectualism in addition to religious 81 Some biographical material on John Hancock the preacher and this sermon can be found in the biography of his son, William M. Fowler, The Baron of Beacon Hill: A Biography of John Hancock (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1980), page 8-9. 82 John Hancock, "The Danger of an Unqualified Ministry," from Sloan, 104-115. 35

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intellectualism. Winthrop worried that intellectual ignorance could potentially endanger Puritan culture, and supported the development of Puritan education to not only increase understanding of Puritan doctrines but to increase understanding of secular knowledge as well.83 Hancock's argument that Christianity needed the defense of a secularly educated clergy is a remnant of Winthrop's position, which illustrates the tradition that Tennant and Davenport sought to change. The debate over the dominance of the mind or the heart polarized when Jonathan Edwards and Charles Chauncy began to preach in response to each other. Heimert masterfully illustrates how Edwards became the undeniable leader of the revivalists and Chauncy became the defender of the rationalists. Interestingly, John Locke significantly influenced both men. Edwards strongly embraced Locke's emphasis on empiricism in the educational process.84 Edwards' belief that humans learned the best through experience, a belief influenced by Locke, formed the core of Edwards' defense of the revivalist movement. Only through religious, spiritual experiences could men truly understand God. Heimert argues that Edwards felt that using human learning in a religious setting was 83 Remarks of John Winthrop as quoted in Henry F. Jenks, Catalogue of the Boston Public Latin School, Established in 1635, With an Historical Sketch (Boston: Published by the Boston Latin School Association, 1886). 84 Sloan, 37. 36

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improper.85 In his sermon, "The Religious Affections," Edwards explains his belief about spiritual knowledge: "Holy affections are not heat without light, but evermore arise from the information of the understanding, some spiritual instruction that the mind receives, some light of actual knowledge."86 His language, indicating a scientific understanding of heat and light, might seem peculiar coming from a minister. However, research by many historians indicates that Edwards was not only interested in science but that he was even an authority on science. In his introduction to Jonathan Edwards and The Enlightenment, John Opie argues that Edwards "was the most acute American analyst of the achievements of the Enlightenment, far surpassing the perceptiveness of Franklin, Mayhew, Paine, and even Jefferson, in science, psychology, and philosophy."87 Theodore Hornberger provides a definition of what science meant to Edwards: "The of the proportion of God's acting."88 Perry Miller, in his biography of Edwards, goes further to say that Edwards was ''the last great American, perhaps the last European, for whom there 85 Heimert, 165. 86 Jonathan Edwards, "The Religious Affections," from Sloan, 251-263. 87 John Opie, ed., Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment (Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath and Company, 1969), v. 88 Theodore hom Berger, "Edwards a Disciple of Newton," in Opie, ed. Jonathan Edwards and the Enlightenment, 55. 37

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could be no warfare between religion and science ... He was incapable of accepting Christianity and physics on separate premises."89 Clearly, Edwards indicates that science and religion could interact without resulting in deism, in similar ways to what Reid-Maroney found in Philadelphia's Enlightenment. Edwards was not the only minister influenced by Locke. Heimert also argues that Locke had a significant influence on Chauncy and his followers.90 In his sermon, "An Enlightened Mind," Chauncy continued Hancock's argument in favor of reason. Perhaps more importantly, however, he continued to use the concept of enthusiasm to discredit the revivalists. He cautioned against libertinism and argued that an enlightened man kept ''the passions within their proper bounds.91 Further, Chauncy argued that Christians could not claim to be influenced by the spirit of God and not understand Christian traditions.92 Such a remark was a counter argument against Tennent and Edwards' position that unconverted ministers were unworthy of preaching. By stating that no person could claim to be influenced by God and not ,understand Godly traditions, Chauncy was suggesting that only a person who had attained a certain level of 89 Peny Miller, Jonathan Edwards (Amherst: The University ofMassachusetts Press, 1949), 72. 90 Heimert, 17, 45, and 177. 91 Charles Chauncy, "An Enlightened Mind," from Sloan, 240-250. 92 Ibid., 247. 38

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intellectual understanding of Christianity's past could truly appreciate his or her spiritual experiences. It is not necessary to continue to trace the thought of Chauncy or Edwards, as Heimert's work already represents an exhaustive account of their intellectual battle. Edwards and his followers continually challenged the role of the intellectual in the ministry and in doing so continually exhibited the concern with power and vocal criticism that characterized the Enlightenment. To further cement this point, it is important to note that Edwards also argued that liberal ministers (ministers like Chauncy) used their own learned status to magnify themselves and keep knowledge of God from the laity.93 Edwards' criticism of intellectual ministers is amplified by the research of Darren Staloff. In his The Making of an American Thinking Class: Intellectuals and Intelligentsia in Puritan Massachusetts, Staloff argues that Puritan ministers of the 17th century created a coalition which united Puritanism in Massachusetts doctrinally and essentially gave themselves an elite status as the intellectual and spiritual link between God and their congregations. 94 Staloff's argument is convincing and it provides the social context needed to understand how the Great Awakening functioned as a unique setting for the 93 Heimert, 166. 94 Darren Staloff, The Making of an American Thinking Class: Intellectuals and Intelligentsia in Puritan Massachusetts (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). 39

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Enlightenment. Since Massachusetts was too distant from the Middle Ages to have any social angst to inspire them to revolt intellectually against long lasting traditions, the existence of Enlightenment in the colony depended upon different factors. The dominance of the Puritan ministry in Massachusetts may not have been as long lasting as the Catholic Church's hold on France or Italy, but it was nonetheless a powerful social and intellectual structure. The revivalist movement of the 1740s heavily criticized that structure through intellectual discourse, and therefore it deserves credit as part of an American Enlightenment. The extent of the revivalists' role in the American Enlightenment is, naturally, limited because of their use of emotional and spiritual experiences to counter the role of reason in the human experience. However, as Klein and La Vopa' s collection of essays illustrates, the presence of extreme emotionalism or enthusiasm was a necessary foil for the success of Enlightenment thought in Europe. The same is true of the Enlightenment in Massachusetts. The presence of the religious revivals provided a springboard for discussions about Enlightenment thought. Heimert argues that the discourse over the role of emotion versus intellect in the ministry and the mind gradually shifted to a discourse about patriotism, political activism, and revolutions. Although the specific Enlightenment discourse of the 1740s eventually dissipated, it still left an institutional legacy. 40

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The discourse resulted in a disputes regarding education. Students at Harvard and Yale began to challenge their professors for being unconverted, resulting in expulsions and movements to develop revivalist educational institutions.95 However, the attempts to develop such revivalist education were short-lived in New England.96 The revivalist education movement did overflow into a neighboring colony in the form of The College ofNew Jersey, later known as Princeton.97 It is interesting that the revivalist response to Harvard became just as intellectual and secular as Harvard. Although it did not have quite as much of an emphasis on the classical languages as Harvard did, it more than made up for it by emphasizing science and math. 98 The founding of Princeton can be seen as the revivalist response to the intellectual smearing performed by Chauncy and his followers during the Great A wakening debates. They were more interested in maintaining a certain level of respect amongst their intellectual peers than they were in maintaining an anti-intellectual front. Thus, the role of reason and intellect scored a minor victory before the focus of the ministry shifted to the other matters that Heimert describes. 95 Sloan. 128, 135. 96 Ibid., 24-25. 97 Ibid., 26. 98 Ralph Ketcham, James Madison: A Biography (Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia, 1990), 23. One might also argue that since it had a role in producing James Madison that it could not have been that focused on revivalism. 41

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CHAPTER 5. THE MINISTER'S ENLIGHTENMENT: RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL AUTHORITY The ministry also took part in Enlightenment discourse outside of the Great Awakening. While Heimert argues that the ministry's interest gradually turned to political issues after the Great Awakening, it is important to note that some ministers were preaching about political topics much earlier. Historian T. H. Breen's The Character of the Good Ruler: Puritan Political Ideas in New England: 1630-1730 describes a Puritan interest in politics dating back into the 17m century.99 The early interest in political affairs enabled Puritans to receive 18m century Enlightenment ideas more readily than they would have otherwise. For the purposes of this study, analysis will begin in 1730. On August 13 ofthat year, minister Benjamin Colman preached a sermon entitled "Government The Pillar of the Earth. "100 The sermon hardly contained as much political content as many that would follow it, but it did promote the importance of secular government, stating, "The order and happiness of this lower world, the peace and 99 T. H. Breen, The Character of the Good Ruler: Puritan Political Ideas in New England: 163017 30 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970). 100 Benjamin Colman, "Government The Pillar of the Earth," from Ellis Sandoz, ed., Political Sermons of the American Founding Era, 1730-1805, Volume I (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1998), 13-28. 42

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weal of it, depend on the civil government which God has ordained in it."101 Colman believed in something akin to the divine right of kings. Perhaps one could describe it as ''the divine right of magistrates." Colman believed that ''the government and rulers of the earth are its pillars in respect of strength to uphold and support the virtue, order and peace of it. "102 This passage marked the beginning of a brief section of the sermon which laid out the proper characteristics of government officials. Colman continued by stating that "Magistrates uphold and adorn the world ... by employing their superior wisdom and knowledge, skill and prudence, discretion and judgment for the publick good."103 Colman finished his brief section on the merits of leadership by arguing that the virtue and success of any people greatly depended on "pious, righteous and faithful government which they are under." Only a fear of God preserved the proper behavior ofboth government leaders and the masses. 104 Colman's sermon contained a blend of traditional Puritan regard for the effects of a proper god fearing community, but it also marks an appropriate beginning of a widespread discourse over the character and behavior of 101 Ibid., 13. 102 Ibid., 14. 103 Ibid., 15. 104 Ibid., 19 and 22. 43

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politicians. Colman's call for wise, knowledgeable, prudent, and discrete rulers with a concern for the public good is all too similar to the 18th century discourse about Republican virtue laid out by historians like Gordon Wood. Other Puritan minister's throughout the 1740s and 1750s continued to preach about the importance of virtuous character in government officials. On December 3, 1740, Joseph Sewall delivered a sermon entitled "Ninevah's Repentence and Deliverence."105 Although it contained many characteristics of a traditional Puritan fasting day sermon (I.e. calling for mass repentance in order to secure God's protection of them), Sewall's sermon also briefly addressed the problem of corrupt and immoral political rule. He warned that "sin in the body politick, is like some foul and deadly disease in the natural body which turns the beauty of it into corruption, and weakens all its powers."106 Sewall's solution was more religious than Colman's but still contained a concern for the public good: "Then abide with God by taking his word for your rule, by making his glory your highest end, and by seeking the public-weal in all things."107 Again, the importance of the public good to Sewall had that familiar, virtuous, and selfless ring of republican virtue to it that so many of the Enlightenment endorsed. 105 Joseph Sewell, "Ninevah's Repentence and Deliverence," in Sandoz, 29-49. 106 Ibid., 43. 107 Ibid., 49. 44

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The theme of virtuous political leaders also appeared in an election sermon by Charles ChaWlcy entitled, "Civil Magistrates Must be Just, Ruling in the Fear of God" on May 27, 1747.108 ChaWlcy's sermon reads more like a political treatise with a small sermon thrown on the end to justify it to his audience. In fact, the ftrst half of the sermon has very little religious content at all, as the following passage is a good example of the tone of the sermon. The passage begins after a brief introduction of why political leaders are a necessity: But it is for the general good of mankind; to keep confusion and disorder out of the world; to guard men's lives; to secure their rights; to defend their properties and liberties; to make their way to justice easy, and yet injuriously treated; and, in a word. to maintain peace and good order, and in general to promote the public welfare, in all instances, so far as they are able.109 The passage is repetitive, stating the importance of protecting the rights of citizens and promoting the collective good in a number of ways. ChaWlcy read a brief Bible passage before moving on to content that was more political. The passage was from II Samuel Chapter 23, verse 9: "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." While ChaWlcy's biblical support for his sermon contained the same concern with justice and the fear of God that other ministers 108 Charles Chauncy, "Civil Magistrates Must be Just, Ruling in the Fear of God," in Sandoz, 137170. 109 Ibid., 145. 45

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preached, Chauncy's explanation of it was almost entirely secular. In explaining the proper characteristics of a political leader, Chauncy argued that a leader must be "being possess'd of an inward, steady, uniform principle of justice, setting them, in a good measure, above the influence of private interest, or right, in their various stations, from the King in supreme, to the lowest in authority under hirn."110 Above all, Chauncy felt politicians needed to be unbiased and above self interest as he repeatedly returned to those topics through out the sermon.''' Chauncy also stipulated that a just leader needed to know his role, not overstep his own authority and respect the checks and balances within the government to limit his power. 112 The use of checks and balances is a clear influence of the Enlightenment, and Chauncy's use of it makes him one of the more significant players in this aspect of the American Enlightenment. Chauncy, in light of his position on the Great Awakening discourse, also warned against placing men in political power who did not believe in the power of reason. He went so far as to state that placing such men in power could lead to war: "Or if, after all, war should arise, by means of the pride, or avarice, or self110 Ibid., 146. 111 Ibid., 148 and 155. 112 Ibid., 146. 46

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will and tyranny of unreasonable men ... "113 Chauncy reiterated that point again by stating that "Nor is every pious good man fit to be entrusted with civil power."114 Thus, not only did Chauncy believe that ministers needed to be influenced by reason; he believed that all leaders needed to endorse the power of reason. In fact, to Chauncy choosing men who feared God to be leaders was the functional equivalent of choosing men of Republican virtue. tts In terms of virtue, the Puritan and Enlightenment ideologies found a common language and a common principle, further enabling them to coexist as the 18th century moved forward. The concern with the character of political leaders continued into the 1760s with the sermon "The Presence of God with his People," given on May 28, 1760 by Samuel Dunbar. Although the sermon is mostly concerned with keeping faith in God during times of political and military upheaval, Dunbar still utilized the same discussion regarding proper leadership. To Dunbar, it was imperative to select men with God's chosen character, "men of sense and substance; such as fear God; men of virtue and piety; men of truth, hating covetousness; men of 113 Ibid., 163. 114 Ibid., 166. 115 Ibid., 170. 47

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fidelity, generosity and a public spirit."116 Dunbar even used the same Bible verse as the Biblical doctrine in his sermon as Chauncy used in 17 4 7.117 However, as more political interaction occurred between England and the colonies, more Puritan sermons turned away from the abstract conversations of what political leaders should be like to sermons directly addressing what was happening. 118 And as Heimert illustrates, the sermons shifted to a focus on nationalism, patriotism, and in some cases on revolution. 119 The ministers of 18th century Puritan Massachusetts represent an important core group of thinkers in the American Enlightenment. In the context of the Great Awakening of the 1740s, they were simultaneously part of the traditional social, power structure being criticized, and part of the intellectual discourse that resulted. The revivalist ministers like Tennent and Edwards have never received enough credit for their role in starting and maintaining the discourse that resulted in widespread questioning of what a ministers character should be. The rationalist ministers like Chauncy forced them, ultimately, to submit at least partially to the 116 Samuel Dunbar, "The Presence of God with his People," in Sandoz 207-230. 117 Ibid., 225. 118 The sermons in Sandoz become more and more focused on actual events and on freedom and revolution in the latter half of the 18th century. 119 See the latter half of Heimert's book. 48

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power of reason in the form of creating a college similar to Harvard and Yale, which embraced just as much secular thought as the others did. Perhaps that is the reason they are generally ignored. Or perhaps it is simply that most historians looking at 18th century America only see the religion or the politics, but not both. Regardless, the Great A wakening started a critical discourse concerned with existing social and political institutions. As part of that discourse, concern for the character and behavior of the leaders running those institutions became crucially important. The concern over power led to sermons questioning the character of political leaders. Charles Chauncy represents an ever-important link between the criticism of ministers and the criticism of political leaders. His criticism is uniform through out the 1740s, emphasizing reason, virtue and justice in both ministers and political leaders. It is also Chauncy who illustrates that virtue gave Puritanism and Enlightenment thought a common ground, a way to coexist for the rest of the 18th century. Heimert argues that the Great Awakening caused an intellectual rift and sparked the activism of the masses that would last until the American Revolution. I offer a minor revision of that position. The Great A wakening was a powerful moment in 18th century America, specifically in Massachusetts, but I challenge the notion that it produced an intellectual rift that made the revolution possible. In light of this study combining the Enlightenment 49

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and Puritanism, the Great Awakening sparked the existence of a culture of criticism and concern for power that spread from religion to politics, and which, once combined with the activism of the masses, enabled men to unite in opposition to England. 50

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CHAPTER 6. CONCLUSION A proper understanding of the intellectual life of 18th century Massachusetts necessitates better definitions of Enlightenment than those offered by many historians. The definition best suited for Massachusetts is Peter Gay's definition of the Enlightenment as the presence of intellectual discourses concerned with power and as a widespread culture of criticism. The presence of Puritan religious values and socio-religious power structures provided a unique setting for these Enlightenment discourses, which were dominated by Puritan ministers in the middle ofthe century. The prevalence of political sermons and the program of classical education that ministers in Massachusetts graduated from illustrate the intriguingly cosmopolitan collision of Puritanism and secular Enlightenment thought in the colony. It is important for historians to continue to view the 18th century through a lens that forces them to understand more about the American colonies than one type of history allows. Too often historians research and understand too narrowly, resulting in religious histories that do not address non-religious events, contexts or political histories that ignore religion. With the exception of Alan Heimert, histories of America in the 18th century struggle to incorporate understandings of 51

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the secular and intellectual political world with the pious and emotional religious world. This study tried to illustrate that it is possible and crucially important to understand how the often-segregated religious and secular ideas of the 18th century coexisted, even converged, and created a powerful intellectual force. A force so powerful that it captivated all aspects of colonial society. Schools like Boston Latin and Harvard, and the prevalence of political pamphlets in the 18th century prove that the body of literate and educated citizens had ample exposure to radical ideas. To complement the exposure to radical ideas students received through their education, the frequency of sermons containing Enlightenment subjects effectively delivered those radical ideas to less educated and literate members of colonial Massachusetts. The convergence of those two enlightened forces provided a unity of sorts heading into the American Revolution. It is important to note that Puritanism and Enlightenment ideas were able to coexist and intertwine for some time without necessarily resorting to deism. John Adams and his family offer a good example. In the 1770s and 1780s, John Adams represented the American colonies in Europe on several occasions and to several countries, even bringing his son John Quincy Adams along with him. The correspondence amongst the Adams family, an obviously cosmopolitan and Enlightened family, illustrates that many aspects of Puritanism continued to have a strong role in their beliefs. 52

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On many different occasions, the family wrote phrases that illustrate a belief in a providential God, a God that was graceful and controlled events in the world. A letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams from December 3, 1778, details plans for a return trip and John's apprehension about the sea voyage home: "And Happy indeed shall I be if by the favour of Heaven I can escape the danger of the seas and of enemies, and return to the Charming Office of Precepter to my children."120 Adams expressed a similar sentiment again in a letter to Abigail from November 15, 1779, where he wrote, "God Grant me and my little family a happy passage and you and your little household, health, and comfort in our absence.'m1 Young John Quincy Adams mimicked his father in a letter to Abigail as well, saying, "I am (by the Grace of God) once more safely arrived at Balboa."122 Obviously, the phrases quoted here are not extreme professions of an extremely emotional faith, but neither are they the beliefs of deists. Kramnick, in his definition of Enlightenment quoted at the beginning of this paper, argued that the Enlightenment's assault on religion resulted in a rational religion where "God became no more than the supreme intelligence or craftsman who had set the 120 John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 December 1778, Butterfield, ed. The Adams Family Papers: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 3, April 1778-September 1780 (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1973), 128-130. 121 John Adams to Abigail Adams, 15 November 1119,/bid., 235. 122 John Quincy Adams to Abigail Adams, 16 January 1780, Ibid., 260. 53

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machine that was the world to run according to its own natural and scientifically predictable laws." Here the Adams illustrate that there was a middle ground. Both John Adams and his son still believed in a God that had power to affect events, that was graceful and active. Yet, they were also not enthusiastic evangelicals. A brief look at a letter by Abigail Adams provides an effective summation of the convergence of Puritan beliefs and Enlightenment ideas. On March 20, 1780, Abigail wrote to her son in response to the Adams men's safe arrival. She urged her son not to underestimate the role of God in their safety: You have seen how inadequate the aid of Man would have been, if the winds and the seas had not been under the particular government of that Being who stretches out the Heavens as a span, who holdeth the ocean in the hollow of his hand, and rideth upon the wings of the wind. 123 Here, like her husband and son, Abigail expresses a belief in a providential God. Abigail continued, making a very Puritan argument about the purpose of life and an obligation to act: It is not to rove from clime to clime, to gratify an Idle curiosity, but every new Mercy you receive is a New Debt upon you, a new obligation to a diligent discharge of the various relations in which you stand connected; in the first place to your Great Preserver, in the next to Society in General, in particular to your Country, to your parents and to yourself. 124 123 Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams, 20 March 1780, Ibid., 310-311. 124 Ibid. 54

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This passage expresses a concern with idleness and a religious obligation to parents and work that characterized Puritanism in the 17th and 18th centuries. Furthermore, according to Abigail, ''the only sure and permanent foundation of virtue is Religion."125 Here again, in 1780, the central importance ofvirtue as a link between Puritan values and Enlightenment values is evident. Interestingly, Abigail follows those Puritanical passages by warning against allowing his emotions, religious or otherwise, to control him, writing that "This passion unrestrained by reason cooperating with power has produced the subversion of cities, the desolation of countries, the Massacre of Nations, and filled the world with injustice and oppression."126 Abigail's concern with developing her son's use of reason to control his religious passions is a strong indicator of how great an impact the ministerial Enlightenment in 18th century Massachusetts had on those who observed it. Clearly, the concern with enthusiasm expressed in the ministers' discourse surrounding the Great Awakening did not simply subside with the onset of the American Revolution. It is equally clear that citizens of Massachusetts could be influenced by both their Puritan religion and Enlightenment ideals without resorting to deism. 125 Ibid. 126 Ibid. Reading through the writings of John, Abigail, and John Quincy Adams 55

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does raise an important question about the use of religious language. Does use of the word God indicate true religious belief? The answer, of course, is that it does not necessarily indicate belief in any certain terms. For John and John Quincy, their use of religious phrases may have just been socially acceptable ways to express emotions or may just be indications that some religious belief is there. However, Abigail Adams offers much more. Her writing indicates a deeper religious belief and more insight into how Puritanism and Enlightenment ideals could coexist. Perhaps Abigail was more pious than her husband and son, or perhaps it was more acceptable for a woman to express the depth of her religious convictions than it was for a man to do so. Regardless, the importance of her writings here is to illuminate how Puritan piety and Enlightened rationalism coexisted. As Alan Heimert explains in Religion and The American Mind, the latter half of the 18th century saw increasing numbers of ministers apprehensive about the behavior of enthusiastic masses. Specifically concerned were men like Charles Chauncy who felt reason should govern the passions. 127 Heimert does not credit the Enlightenment as the source of that concern, but this paper illustrates that the discourses that resulted in concern with and use of enthusiasm to discredit the revivalists were a direct influence of the Enlightenment. 127 Heimert, 418. 56

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More research is still needed to attain a thorough understanding of the coexistence and convergence of religious and Enlightenment thought in the American colonies. Studies of all the colonies need to be done to arrive at a more complex and sophisticated understanding of 18th century intellectual life. Too many narrowly focused histories of 18th century America already exist. Historians need to attempt to unify historical explanations in search of more sophisticated relationships between ideas, events, people, religions, and forms of authority. Historians need to embrace the criticism handed down from the Enlightenment and never stop asking questions about our past. Specifically, research on the 18th century in American history should never cease. It was one of the most influential centuries in our history. It represents a new classical period for all humankind to study. It was full of ambitious ideas, dynamic individuals, fundamental structural changes, and a desire to improve in whatever ways possible. The 18th century can still teach and should still teach us. In an age of war, it is imperative that we revisit our classical heritage and remember what we stand for. I hope I never reach an age when the lessons of such a valuable century of history are forgotten. I hope I never see a country that stops trying to remember. 57

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