Chapter 21

1 Cf. Sprague, Unitarian Pulpit, pp. 132–140; Eliot, Heralds, ii,20–40; Bancroft, Sermons on the Termination of Fifty Years of his Ministry (1836).

2 Cf. Ware, Unitarian Biography, i, 173 n., in Hill's ‘Memoir.’

3 Cf. Henry M. Dexter, Congregationalism (New York, 1880), p. 615­.

4 Cf. Samuel M. Worcester, Life of Rev. Samuel Worcester (Boston, 1852);A Narrative of the Religious Controversy in Fitchburg, etc. (Worcester, 1804); Review of Narrative of the Religious Controversy in Fitchburg, Monthly Anthology, i (1804); 654–657.

5 The Ministerial Convention of Massachusetts was an annual gathering of all the ministers at the time of the May General Court. The Convention was accustomed to discuss the state of religion in the State, and to make suggestions to the churches. Cf. supra, p. 382n.

6 Cf. Bernard Whitman, Letters to the Reverend Moses Stmart (Boston, 1830), p: 89 f.

7 Cf. William B. Sprague, Life of Jedidiah Morse (New York, 1874); James King Morse; Jedidiah Morse, a Champion of New England Orthodoxy (New York, 1939). He had already given much attention to the neglected field of geography, and in 1784 had published the first geography in America, a work that won for him the name of Father of American Geography. The American Geography (Elizabethtown, N. J., rev. ed. 1789), 544 pp., 8vo, went through five editions within six years, besides several pirated editions abroad, there being as yet no international copyright. It was received with marked favor. 

8 s v. supra, p. 388.

9 The Thursday Lecture dates from Boston's early history. A week-day service was held in the First Church, at which the ministers in rotation preached a sermon which was called a lecture. It was often a notable occasion and largely attended.

10He spoke of himself as a Baptist, and showed special concern for Baptists in relation to his bequests, although this was in his time a name of ill repute in New England. But there appears to be no evidence that he was ever a communicant of a Baptist church. At Sheffield, where his parents lived during his youth, they were adherents of the “great chapel” (an Independent foundation for Protestant Dissenters generally, which eventually became Unitarian), which his father helped erect, and until his death he was the most generous friend the congregation knew. In London, whither they removed, he succeeded to his father's business in wholesale hardware, and they worshiped at the Independent Church in Pinners’ Hall, where at about seventeen he professed religion and was baptized, and was admitted the next year to membership in the church, of which he was chosen deacon. It would seem, then, that though he was undoubtedly a Baptist in conviction, his formal membership was with the Independents. Cf. C. J. Street, ‘The Hollis Family and Harvard College,’ Harvard Graduates’ Magazine, xxix (1920, 536–540; Letter of January 17, 1721to Dr. Benjamin Colman of Brattle Square Church, quoted by Morse, True Reasons, etc., pp. 5–9. Cf. Giles Hester, Some Memorials of the Hollis Family (Sheffield, n. d.).

11 Cf. Sydney Willard, Memories of Youth and Manhood (Cambridge, 1855), ii, 172–179.

12 The True Reasons on which the election of a Hollis Professor of Divinity was op­posed, etc. (Charlestown, 1805), 28 pp. Reviewed in Monthly Anthology, ii, 152–157, March, 1805; Morse's reply and reviewer's answer, ibid., pp. 206–226.

13 Cf. the article on Thomas Hollis, Christian Examiner (Boston), vii (1829), 64–1044, with one with the same title in Spirit of the Pilgrims, ii(1829), 469–480, 581–594. See Quincy, History of Harvard, ii,284 f; vol. i, chap. xii and Appendix, 527–540. Thorough investigation there reported shows that Overseers at the time of the donation, moved by doctrinal fears, but without Hollis's approval or knowledge, inserted in his “rules and orders” a qualification calculated to prevent his broad purposes from being realized; but that he caused to be added a form for inauguration which gave the professor more liberty, as stated above. Dr. Morse's opposition was grounded on the clause thus inserted. Cf. Ware, Unitarian Biography, i, 243–256, note on the Hollis professorship.

14 Cf. Ezra Stiles Ely, A Contrast between Calvinism and Hopkinsianism (New York, 1811); reviewed in General Repository, iii(1813), 324378.

15 Cf. Monthly Anthology, v (1808), 602–614, for a drastic review of the ‘Constitu­tion and Associate Statutes of the Theological Seminary in Andover,’ anonymous, but by Samuel Cooper Thacher (1785–1818),aet. 23(cf. Sprague, Unitarian Pulpit, pp. 435–445; Eliot, Heralds, ii, 77–79; Memoir by F. W. P. Greenwood, prefixed to his Sermons, Boston, 1824, and in Ware, Unitarian Biography, ii, 323–375);answered in the Panoplist, iv (1808–09), 371, 413, 471; rejoinder by Thacher, Anthology, vi (1808), 194–205.

16 The scope of this history does not require us to follow the history of Andover further; yet it is interesting to note in passing that eventually the requirements of the founders proved to be intolerable. After some three generations the Professors refused longer to subscribe, or resigned their chairs, no satisfactory substitutes could be found, the number of students fell off, and subscription was no longer enforced. In 1908, just a hundred years after its foundation, the Seminary removed to Cambridge and entered into alliance with its old rival, the Harvard Divinity School. When the Visitors interposed and insisted that the provisions of the Constitution be obeyed, the Court decided that this was no longer possible. The Trustees were then permitted to do the next best thing, and forces were combined with a Baptist school, the Newton Theological Institution.

17 A Consociation was an ecclesiastical court, consisting of ministers and lay delegates of churches, empowered to intervene upon all questions, arising between ministers and churches. In Connecticut its decrees were supported by the civil power.

18 Cf. Clark, Historical Sketch, pp. 237–241, 252 f; Panoplist, xi (1815), 359–373, 507–518,537–545; searchingly answered (by John Lowell), An Inquiry into the Right to Change the Ecclesiastical Constitution of the Congregational Churches of Massachusetts (Boston, 1816).For an account of the long effort to establish Consociations in Massa­chusetts, cf. Whitman, Letters to Stuart, pp. 29–37.

19 It was succeeded by the more controversial and short-lived General Repository and Review (Cambridge, 1812–13),ably edited by Mr. Andrews Norton; but this was too aggressive for the time, and soon gave place to the Christian Disciple (v. infra, p. 410).

20 Cf. Journal of the Proceedings of the Society which conducts The Monthly Anthology, ed., M. A. DeWolfe Howe (Boston, 1919).

21Treatise on the Atonement, etc. (Randolph, 1808).

22v. infra, p. 411.

23 Cf. Noah Worcester, Bible News of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Concord, 1810); General Repository and Review (1812), i, 345–363.

24 Cf. Noah Worcester, A Respectful Address to the Trinitarian Clergy, relating to their Manner of Treating their Opponents (Boston, 1812); Stephen Farley, Letters addressed to the Rev. Noah Worcester (Windsor, 1813); (Thomas Andros), Bible News . . . not correct (Boston, 1813); Ethan Smith, A Treatise on the Character of Jesus Christ, and of the Trinity in Unity of the Godhead, etc. (Boston, 1814); Worcester, An Appeal to the Candid, 3nos. (Boston, 1814). Cf. also several writings by his brother Thomas.

25 Cf. Henry Ware, Jr., Memoirs of the Rev. Noah Worcester (Boston, 1844); id., ‘Memoir of Noah Worcester.’ in Ware, Unitarian Biography, i, 1–98; Sprague, Unitarian Pulpit, pp. 191–199, Eliot, Heralds, ii, 31–39.

26Cf. General Repository, iii (1813), 373.

27 v. supra, p. 409.John Sherman, One God in One Person only, and Jesus Christ a Being Distinct from God, etc. (Worcester, 1805);answered by Daniel Dow, Familiar Letters to the Rev. John Sherman, etc. (Hartford, 1806);(Francis A. van der Kemp), Wreath for the Rev. Daniel Dow on the Publication of his Familiar Letters, etc. (Utica, 1806);Sherman, A View of the Ecclesiastical Proceedings in Windham County, Conn., etc. (Utica, 1806);M. C. Welch, Misrepresentations Detected, etc. (Hartford, 1807). ­Sprague, Unitarian Pulpit, pp. 326–330;Eliot, Heralds, ii, 59–63; Monthly Anthology, iii (r8o6), 249–257, 661;Belsham, Life of Lindsey, pp. 256–272.

28 The history of this unique little church deserves more than a passing mention. It was formed in 1803 by about forty gentlemen from diverse sources, and took the name of the United Protestant Religious society of Trenton and, as soon as a minister was secured fifteen of these in 1806 formed and organized the reformed Christian Church on a basis that left members absolute freedom of belief. The chief leader in the movement beside Col. Adam G. Mappa was evidently the Rev. Francis Adriaan van der Kemp (1752–1829),formerly a Mennonite minister at Leiden, who being exiled from Holland for political reasons came to America in 1768bearing letters to Washington and other notables, and came to Oldenbarnevelt in 1797.He formed friendship with some of the foremost men in the country, and was called “the most learned man in America,” and was honored with the Doctor's degree from Harvard in 1820 on the same day with Channing. Even when in Holland he had corresponded with English Unitarians. This church, isolated in a strongly orthodox region, has steadily maintained liberal Christianity, despite violent opposition, for nearly a century and a half. Cf. Charles Graves, A Century of Village Unitarianism (Boston, 1904); id., An Early Unitarian Outpost (Boston, 1915),and in Christian Register, June 24, July 1, 1915;Helen L. Fairchild, ed., Francis Adrian van der Kemp, an Autobiography (New York, 1923); Autobiography of . . . van der Kemp, Christian Reformer, N. S. iv (1837), 315–322, 397–402, 487–490.

29 Cf. (Mary Willard), Life of Rev. Samuel Willard . . . of Deerfield, Mass. (Boston, 1893); Mary Willard, Early Unitarian Movement in Western Massachusetts, Unitarian Review, xv(1881), III;Eliot, Heralds, ii, 90–94; Samuel Willard, History of the Rise, Progress, and Consummation of the Rupture, etc. (Greenfield, 1858); The Results of Two Ecclesiastical Councils, etc. (Greenfield, 1853); (J. Emerson), An Address to the Chris­tian Public, etc. (Greenfield, 1814).

30 Cf. Result of an Ecclesiastical Council Held at Dorchester, Mass., 12 May, 1812; Proceedings of the Second Church and Parish in Dorchester, etc. (Boston, 1813); Memorial of the Proprietors of the New South Meeting House in Dorchester, to the Ministers of the Boston Association, etc. (Boston, 1803); Review of the Dorchester Controversy, Panoplist, x (1814), 256–z8r, 289–307; Review of Two Pamphlets Published on the Subject of the Ecclesiastical Society in Dorchester (Boston, 1814); James H. Means, Historical.Discourse on the Seventieth Anniversary of the Second Church at Dorchester (Boston, 1878); William Allen, Memoir of John Codman (Boston, 1853).

31 The last exchange is said to have been by Hosea Hildreth in 1835. Cf. Sprague, Unitarian Pulpit, p. xv.

32 Cf. Morse, Jedidiah Morse, p. 112f; Spirit of the Pilgrims, ii (1829), 227; Monthly Repository, vii (1812), 56 f.

33 Cf. William J. Potter, The First Congregational Society of New Bedford (New Bedford, 1889), p. 58.

34 Cf. Abiel Abbot, A Statement of Proceedings in the First Society in Coventry; Conn., etc. (Boston, 1811); (Amos Bassett), Reply to Mr. Abbot’s Statement of Proceedings, etc. (Hartford, 1812); Proceedings of the General Association of Connecticut, June1802 (Hartford, 1812); Review of Abbot's Statement, etc., General Repository, i(1812), 145–160; Panoplist, viii (1812), 118–142.

35 Cf. Panopllst, ix (1812–13), 254; xiii (1817), 181–186, 274; Result of an Ec­clesiastical Council held at Sandwich, 24 May, 1817 (Boston, 1817); 9 Massachusetts Reports, p. 276 (Boston, 1850), Burr vs. First Church in Sandwich.

36 Cf. Charles Graves, ‘The Inquisition in Connecticut,’ Christian Register, cii (1923), 989 f.1014, 1049;Eliot, Heralds, ii, 168–171; Connecticut Reports, v, 405,Whitney vs. Brooklyn; Unitarianism: its Origin and History (Boston, 1889), pp. 174–176. Luther Willson, Review of Ecclesiastical Proceedings . . . in Brooklyn (Worcester, 1818).

37 Cf. Eliot, Heralds, ii, 264 f.

38 Cf. Christian Disciple, iii, N. S. (1822), 43–67.

39 For the record may also be mentioned the minor cases of Sharon, Princeton, and Ashby, 1816–17.

40 v.supra, pp. 326 ff.

41 The Unitarian Book Society, v. supra, p. 328

42 Mr. S. F: B. Morse, later inventor of the electric telegraph. Cf. Morse, Jedidiah Morse, p. 144.

43 He at once sent a presentation copy to ex-President John Adams, thinking perhaps to surprise him by his discovery of a great secret; but Adams in an often quoted letter (cf. Unitarian Miscellany, i (1821), 189–191; Christian Disciple, iii (1822), 43 f; Sprague, Jedidiah Morse, p. 125 f, bore witness that Unitarianism in New England had been held by various well-known ministers and numerous laymen familiarly known to him since the middle of the previous century; though, despite his calling them Unitarian, their views had not developed farther than Arianism.

44 The review though unsigned was written by Jeremiah Evarts, Esq., a Yale graduate and a lawyer, whom Dr. Morse had a few years before persuaded to become editor of the Panoplist. Cf. E. C. Tracy, Life of Jeremiah Evarts (Boston, 1842).

45 The Rev. William Wells (1744–1827) was for many years a Dissenting minister at Bromsgrove near Birmingham. He had been a pronounced friend of the American cause during the war; and feeling against him was so strong that after the Birmingham Riots (which he narrowly escaped) he emigrated to America in 1793, and made his home on a farm near Brattleboro, Vermont. Here for many years he preached to a liberal society without salary, declining to be a formal pastor (cf. Christian Disciple, iv [1816], 300–304). He received the Doctor's degree from Harvard in 1818. His son, William Wells, Jr. 1773–1860), formerly a pupil of Belsham, graduated at Harvard 1796 where he was tutor; was bookseller in Boston until 1830, republished several English Unitarian works, was active in the Unitarian controversy, and later for many years had a classical school for boys at Cambridge, where he died. Cf. Sprague, Unitarian Pulpit, pp. 254–261, 449; Eliot, Heralds, i, 64–70.

46 Channing had supervised his reading in preparation for the ministry. A brilliant scholar, he had written the drastic review of the Constitution of the Andover Seminary in the Monthly Anthology. When Dr. Kirkland was called to be President of Harvard, Thacher succeeded him at the New South Church. In 1814 he had already preached a notable sermon on ‘The Unity of God,’ which made his views beyond question. He went into an early decline, and while abroad in search of health he died on the first day of 1816.

47An example of this confounding of two widely differing senses of the term Uni­tarian is seen in an interesting case of this very period. In 1811 the Rev. John Grundy had preached a sermon at the dedication of his new chapel in Renshaw Street, Liverpool; and in a note added to this when printed he quoted a letter from a recent visitor to Boston telling of the great progress of Unitarianism then going on there. This note attracted the attention of Francis Parkman (1788–1850), a young man from Boston who had been preparing for the ministry under Channing's direction, and before entering active service was spending a year in England. He (taking the word in Belsham's sense as then current in England) wrote Grundy protesting, on the basis of intimate acquaintance with the Boston ministers, that they were very far from being Unitarian, since they held high and exalted views of Jesus Christ, and would be very unwilling to be confounded with the followers of Dr. Priestley.

For the items in this interesting controversy, cf. Monthly Repository, vii(1812), 107 f, 55–58, 199–201, 264 f, 498–501. The subject was revived in the Spirit of the Pilgrims, ii (1829), 220–234; to which Parkman anonymously replied in the Unitarian Advocate (Boston), iii (1829), 300–308; cf. Christian Register, April 18, 1829. Returning from England Parkman was ordained minister of the New North Church in 1813, and served it until 1849, distinguished by his faithfulness and generosity to the Unitarian cause.

48  v. supra, p. 402.

49 The consecutive items are these: Thomas Belsham, American Unitarianism, reprinted in Boston, 1815;(Jeremiah Evarts), Review of 'American Unitarianism,' Panoplist, xi(1815), 241–272; William E. Channing, Letter to the Rev. Samuel C. Thacher (Boston, 1815); Samuel Worcester, Letter to the Rev. William E. Channing on his Letter to Thacher (ibid.); Channing, Remarks on the Rev. Dr. Worcester’s Letters to Mr. Channing (ibid.); Worcester, Second Letter to the Rev. William E. Channing on the Subject of Uni­tarianism (ibid.); Channing, Remarks on the Rev. Dr. Worcester's Second Letter on American Unitarianism (ibid.); Worcester, Third Letter to the Rev. William E. Channing on the Subject of Unitarianism (ibid.). The above items include (if one would follow the controversy in detail over 500 pages), reviewed at length by (Jeremiah Evarts), ‘Review of the Unitarian Controversy,’ Panoplist, xii (1816), 153–178, 203–234.

50 Related to the above controversy though not connected with it was one between the Rev. G. S. White ("Amana"), Remarks on "American Unitarianism;" etc. (Boston, 1815), and John Lowell (brother of the Rev. Charles Lowell of the West Church, and an influential member of the Harvard Corporation), Are you a Christian or a Calvinist? (Boston, 1815); answered by "Amana," The Catholic Question at Boston: or, An Attempt to Prove that a Calvinist is a Christian (Boston, 1815).­

A longer controversy of this period, on the question of Creeds, was more or less concurrent with these, though separate from them. In this the Rev. Jacob Norton of Weymouth, still professedly orthodox, published anonymously Seasonable and Candid Thoughts on Human Creeds or Articles of Faith as Religious Tests, etc. (Boston1813); answered by the Rev. Thomas Andros, who had already replied (1811) to Worcester's Bible News. Norton continued the discussion in Things Set in a Proper Light (Boston, 1814); and in A.Short and Easy Method, etc. (Boston, 1815), and Things as they Are: or, Trinitarianism Developed, etc., in two parts (Boston, 1815), in which the writer throws off the mask, signs his own name, and shows himself opposed to making acceptance of Covenants a condition of fellowship. A brief digest of all these is given in Gillett, Uni­tarian Controversy, pp. 276–281.

51 Cf. Christian Disciple, v, N. S. (1823), 237.

52 Largely as a consequence of this controversy over the Hollis professorship, Dr. Morse became a very unpopular figure, and his unpopularity was much increased by being linked with a subordinate controversy with Miss Hannah Adams (cousin of President John Adams), over their writings on American history. Cf. Jedidiah Morse, Appeal to the Public on the Controversy, etc. (Charlestown, 1814); (John Lowell), review of the above (Boston, 1815); (Morse), Remarks on the Controversy between Doctor Morse and Miss Adams (Boston); Hannah Adams, Narrative of the Controversy, etc. (Boston, 1814).

53 He died in 1826. His distinguished son, the inventor of the electric telegraph, became toward the end of his life a devoted adherent of the radical Unitarian preacher, O. B. Frothingham, in New York. Cf. John W. Chadwick, William Ellery Channing (Boston, 1903), p. 128 n.

54 Cf. Monthly Repository, xv(1820), 14.

55 Cf. Herbert B. Adams, Life and Writings of Jared Sparks (Boston, 1893); Eliot, Heralds, ii  203–205.

56 The church at Philadelphia was of English origin; and that at Oldenbarnevelt originated independently of Massachusetts.

57 Save for one or two unsigned articles in the Christian Disciple.

58 The Rev. Anthony Forster, pioneer of Unitarianism in the South, had been ordained as a Presbyterian and was settled over a Presbyterian church at Charleston; but he out­grew his orthodox faith and withdrew from the Presbytery. His congregation also separated from the Presbyterians and organized as the Second Independent Church of Charleston (1816). But his health failed, and he died early in 1820. Meantime Gilman who had supplied his pulpit, succeeded him, and the church affiliated with the Unitarians. Cf. ‘Memoir of Forster’ by John Bartlett in Ware, Unitarian Biography, ii, 379–408; Unitarian Miscellany, i(1821), 249–262; Christian Disciple, iii, N. S. (1822), 280–299. For Gilman, cf. Eliot, Heralds, ii, 274–280.

59 CL Jared Sparks, Letters on the Ministry, Ritual and Doctrines of the Protestant Episcopal Church (Baltimore, 1820); Christian Disciple, ii,N. S. (1820), 287–330.

60 Cf. Samuel Miller, Letters on Unitarianism (Trenton, 1821); Sparks, Inquiry into the Comparative Moral Tendency of Trinitarian and Unitarian Doctrines, in a Series of Letters to the Rev. Dr. Miller of Princeton (Boston, 1823).

61 The Rev. John Wright, brother of Richard Wright (v. supra, pp. 334 f), victim of intolerance and persecution at Liverpool, emigrated in 1817 and settled at Georgetown near Washington, where he found a few English Unitarians lately arrived, who had held several meetings together on Sundays. He at once began to hold public worship and to preach, attracting attention and causing alarm in neighboring towns. They organized as the Unitarian Society of Georgetown, and had 150 members. They were bitterly opposed and maligned, and the Presbyterian church was refused for the funeral of a Unitarian who had been drowned in May 1819. Attacked in print, Wright replied in a series of letters in the Georgetown National Messenger, May 18, 1819. Several ministers replied, and the controversy ran for fourteen numbers. See the account in John Wright, American Unitarian Controversy (Liverpool, 1819), 114 pp. Cf. Monthly Repository, xiv (1819), 703. In 1820 a congregation, doubtless succeeding to this, was gathered in Washington by the Rev. Robert Little, an English Unitarian formerly of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, and now engaged in business in Washington. A church was organized in 1821; John Quincy Adams, John C. Calhoun, and Judge William Cranch were original members. The church building, dedicated 1822, was designed by Charles Bulfinch, one of the original members, and architect of the National Capitol. Mr. Little died in 1827. Cf. Jennie W. Scudder, A Century of Unitarianism in the National Capital, 1821–1921 (Boston, 1922).

62 They seem afterwards to have coalesced with the Disciples.

63 Cf. Unitarian Micsellany, i (1821), 322 f, 289–292, 368–370; ii (1822), 261–267, 301–303; iii (1822), 207 f, 289–292.

64 Cf. Christian Examiner, iii (1826), 515–520; Christian Disciple, ii,N. S. (1820), 224–227;John Ware, Memoir of the Life of Henry Ware, Jr. (Boston, 1846), i, 130–137.

65 Cf. Christian Disciple, iii, N. S. (1822), 66–71; ii (1821), 402–419; Gardiner Spring, A Tribute to New England (New York, 1829); (Henry Dwight Sedgwick), Remarks on the Charges made against the Religion and Morals of the People of Boston, etc. (New York, 1820);Henry D. Sewall, On the Alliance of Unitarianism and Mahome­tanism (New York, 1820).

66 Cf. Moses Stuart, Letters on the Eternal Generation of the Son of God, addressed to the Rev. Samuel Miller (Andover, 1822); Samuel Miller, Letters on the Eternal Sonship of Christ, addressed to Professor Stuart (Princeton, 1823).

67 Cf. review by George B. Cheever, Quarterly Christian Spectator, v(New Haven, 1833). 421–447.

68 Frank Hugh Foster, Genetic History of the New England Theology (Chicago, 1907), p. 300.

69 Cf. Leonard Woods, Letters to Unitarians (Andover, 1820); Henry Ware, Letters addressed to Trinitarians and Calvinists (Cambridge, 1820); Woods, Reply to Dr. Ware's Letters (Andover, 1821); Ware, Answer to Dr. Woods' Reply (Cambridge, 1822); Woods, Remarks on Dr. Ware's Answer (Andover, 1822); Ware, Postscript to the Second Series of Letters (Cambridge, 1823). Reviews in Christian Disciple, ii, N. S.,1820, 393; v> 1823, 212–230, ‘State of the Calvinistic Controversy’; Spirit of the Pilgrims, vi (1833), 686; Andrews Norton, ‘Views of Calvinism,’ Christian Disciple, iv, N. S. (1822), 244–280.

70 As an example, Belknap’s Psalms and Hymns (v. supra, p. 397),published in 1795, was purged of the doctrine of the Trinity, but its doctrinal reform went no further. It.was consistently Arian in its view of Christ. It was acceptably used in many liberal churches for nearly forty years. But by 1820it was sharply criticized in one of the liberal periodicals as quite too orthodox. The critic said, “Belknap’s collection was excellent for its day; but its day is now past. It can not be denied that it contains much which no considerable part of any Unitarian congregation believes.” Cf. Christian Disciple, iii, N. S. (1821), 76, 340–353. But long before this, striking further progress in doctrinal re­form is seen in Buckminster’s Hymns for Public Worship, for the church in Brattle Square (Boston, 1808),which is so thoroughly purged of all traces of Calvinistic doc­trine that hardly one of the 176hymns in Part II, is doctrinally objectionable today.

71Cf. Eliot, Heralds, ii, 206–209. In calling Lamson the Parish took the initiative, contrary to all precedent.

72 A Statement of the Proceedings in the First Church at Dedham, respecting the Settle­ment of a Minister in 1818, etc., by a Member of the said Church and Parish (Cambridge, 1820);reviewed in Christian Disciple, ii, N. S. (1820), 257–287.

Cf. 16 Massachusetts Reports, 147 and 488; George E. Ellis, ‘The Church and the Parish in Massachusetts: Usage and Law,’ in Unitarianism; its Origin and History (Boston, 1889), pp. 116–254; Enoch Pond, ‘The Rights of Congregational Churches in their Connection with Parishes,'’in Clark, Historical Sketch, pp. 318–335; George E. Ellis, A Half-century of the Unitarian Controversy (Boston, 1857), pp. 415–442.

73 Cf. Congregational Quarterly (July, 1863), v, 229.

74 Cf.Clark, Historical Sketch, pp. 270–272; Walker, Congregational Churches, p. 343; ‘The Exiled Churches of Massachusetts,’ Congregational Quarterly, July, 1863;‘The Congregational Churches of Massachusetts,’ Spirit of the Pilgrims, i (1868), 57–74, 113–140.



1 Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, etc. (New York, 1865), ii, 110. The passage quoted is generally mistakenly assigned to Dr. Beecher himself.

2 Cf. John Ware, Memoir of the Life of Henry Ware, Jr. (Boston, 1846), i, 127.

3 While the Monthly Anthology was founded in 1806 as a distinctly literary journal, religious interests tended to predominate in it, so that its successors, the Repository, the Disciple and the Examiner became the recognized organs of liberal Christianity. But the literary strain also continued, under a separate management. For in 1815 one of the old members of the Anthology Club also began the North American Review as a literary periodical, with much the same constituency; for it appealed largely to the Unitarian public, its contributors were very largely Unitarians, and for more than sixty years its editors were Unitarians.

4 Cf. Christian Disciple, ii, N. S.(1820), 230 f; Charles Lyttle, ‘Outline of the History of the Berry Street Ministerial Conference,’ Meadville Theological School Quarterly Bulletin, xxiv (1930), 3–27.

5 Cf. William Henry Channing, Life of William Ellery Channing (Boston, 188o), pp. 218–223.

6 Cf. Christian Disciple, ii, N. S. (1820), 230; iv (1822), 229.

7 Evidently he referred only to his Sunday sermons, for he used the word repeatedly in his Thursday Lecture, May 20, 1824. Cf. Octavius B. Frothingham, Boston Unitarian­ism (Boston, 1890), p. 97; Christian Examiner, i (1824), 182 ff.

8 Cf. his Life, ut supra, p. 427.

9 Cf. Charles Graves, ‘Freedom — the Unitarian Tradition,’ Christian Register, January 6, 1838, pp. 4–7.

10 Cf. George Willis Cooke, Unitarianism in America (Boston, 19022), pp. 124–142.

11 By the most extraordinary coincidence the British and Foreign Unitarian Association was formed on the very same day, though the coincidence was not discovered until some weeks later.

12 This paper was founded in 1821 by David Reed (1790–1870), who had studied theology and been licensed to preach, but was never ordained or settled. He felt the need of a weekly newspaper in spirit like the Christian Disciple, but more elementary than that. It began simply as broadly Christian, but in the era of controversy it soon had to take sides, and has ever been a stanch organ of the liberal churches. It is today the oldest religious newspaper in the country.

13 Cf. Eliot, Heralds, i, 108–117; Memoir by Mary Carpenter, in Ware, Unitarian Biography, ii, 136.

14 Cf. supra, p. 354.

15 Cf. American Unitarian Association, First Annual Report, 1826, pp. 3, 21. It would appear that though meetings were held with some regularity, and the Lord’s Supper observed at Northumberland as long as Priestley lived, with him as acting minister, and that though they got so far as to build a house of worship, yet the church to which he looked forward was never actually organized while he lived; and after nearly six years, writing to Belsham in London, he was able only to say, “I do not now despair of an Unitarian society being established in this place in a reasonable time’ (March 30, 1800; cf. his Life, ed. Rutt, I, ii, 429).The movement apparently languished until 1822,when the Rev. James Kay from Hindley, Lancashire, came, was made Principal of a local academy, and began preaching at regular intervals, and formed a Tract Society. Cf. Christian Reformer, ix (1822), 198–200. Mr. Kay reported the formation of a “new society” in 1826,with a two story brick meeting-house 25 or 30 feet square; and an appropriation of $100 was granted him. In the following summer he went to a new society at Harrisburg. Cf. A. U. A., Second Report, 1827, pp. 14, 50.

16 Cf. A. U. A., Second Annual Report, 1827, p. 49.

17 v. supra, p. 426f. Cf. A. U. A., Third Annual Report, 1828, pp. 45–51; Christian Examiner,  iv (1827), 183–192.

18 Cf. Ware’s Life of Henry Ware, Jr., i, 226–228.

19 In 1705 the rule of the Genevese church was repealed which required candidates for ordination to subscribe the Helvetic Confession, and in 1718 Calvin’s catechism was superseded by a Reformed Catechism that was substantially the same as the Geneva Catechism which was widely accepted by the early English and American churches. Cf. The Geneva Catechism, for instruction in the Christian Religion; prepared by the Pastors of Geneva, for the use of the Swiss and French Protestant Churches. Trans. from the French, new ed. 1814 (London, 1818); Jean Jacques Chenevrière, Causes qui retardent chex les Réformés le Progrès de la Théologie (Genève, 1819); Christian Examiner, iv(1827), 41–61.

20 Cf. especially A. U. A., Third Annual Report, 1828, pp. 52, 64.

21 Cf. his Autobiography, i, 439–449.

22 Cf. Lyman Beecher, The Faith once delivered to the Saints. Sermon at Worcester, October 15, 1823, etc. (Boston, 1823); Reviewed in Christian Examiner, i(1824), 48–81; reply in Christian Spectator, and reprinted in his Works, ii, 301–413; Beecher, Auto­biography, chap. lxxii.

23 To make sure that the church building should never by any possibility fall into un­believing hands, title to it was held not by the proprietors but by a board of trustees chosen from other orthodox churches. This most uncongregational provision was criticized as an attempt at illegal ecclesiastical tryanny. Cf. John Lowell, The Recent Attempt to defeat the Constitutional Provisions in Favor of Religious Freedom, etc. (Boston, 1828). Nothing came of it, for the church was destroyed by fire within a few years, and was rebuilt elsewhere. This scheme was credited to Dr. Beecher, but his friends declared that the trust was drawn before he arrived, and was unknown to him. Cf. Christian Register, February 9, 1828. Several other churches bound themselves by these trust deeds. Cf. Bernard Whitman, Two Letters to Moses Stuart, p.14 f.

24 Beecher, Autobiography, ii, 76 f.

25 (Lyman Beecher), Rights of the Congregational Churches of Massachusetts (Boston, 1827); The Congregational Churches of Massachusetts (Spirit of the Pilgrims, i, 1828, 57–94. 113–140); (John Lowell), Review of “Rights” (above), Christian Examiner, iv (1827), 124–153; Vindication of “Rights of the Churches” (Boston, 1828); Review of “Vindication,” Christian Examiner, v (1828), 298–316, 478–505;the above all reviewed in Spirit of the Pilgrims, ii (1829), 370–403; (Caleb Butler), Collection of Facts and Documents relating to Ecclesiastical Affairs in Groton, Mass. (Boston, 1827).

26 When the conservatives had failed in their long efforts to establish Consociations through which Unitarians might be excluded from their pulpits, some of the leading clergy covertly introduced a plan under which the orthodox would refuse to exchange pulpits with Unitarians or otherwise recognize them as Christians, and even used personal pressure when necessary. This was known as the “exclusive policy,” and it was an effective means of splitting the church. Cf. Christian Register, July 23, 1825, p. 1; James Walker, The Exclusive System (Boston, 1827); Christian Examiner, i (1824), 384–398, Remarks on Ministerial Exchanges; Anon., Pulpit Exchanges between the Orthodox and Unitarians (Boston, 1828).

27 Of the nineteen male members of the church one third were liberal, while of the legal voters of the parish about three fourths were liberal. Cf. Account of the Controversy in the First Parish in Cambridge 1827–1829 (Boston, 1829); Controversy between the First Parish in Cambridge and the Rev. Dr. Holmes (Cambridge, 1829), reviewed in Spirit of the Pilgrims, ii (1829), 559–571.

28 Cf. Spirit of the Pilgrims, v (1832), 402–434, review of the Brookfield Case. The minister referred to was the Rev. George R. Noyes, later distinguished as an Old Testament scholar, and Professor at the Harvard Divinity School.

29 Quoted by Jared Sparks, Inquiry into the Comparative Moral Tendency of Trini­tarian and Unitarian Doctrines, etc. (Boston, 1823), p. 52.

30 Cf. Gardner Spring, A Tribute to New England. A Sermon delivered before the New England Society of New York, 22December, 1820 (New York, 1821); (Henry Dwight Sedgwick), Remarks on the Charges made against the Religion and Morals of the People of Boston and its Vicinity by the Rev. Gardiner Spring, D.D., etc. (New York, 1820).

31 Though at first Trinitarians, the Universalists had by this time generally abandoned belief in the Trinity. But the majority of the Unitarians were long reluctant to avow belief in universal salvation, fearing the effect of the belief on morals. Difference in the social origin and the general social status of the two sects long held them apart, and it was yet a generation before the Universalists had outgrown the extreme views of their first leaders and the two were practically at one in doctrine. Cf. Christian Examiner, vi (1839), 249–262; Spirit of the Pilgrims, iii(183o), 205–224, reviewing Hosea Ballou, Recommendation and Reproof of Unitarians (Boston, 1829).

32 Considerable attention was drawn at this time to the case of the first Treasurer of the American Unitarian Association, who had been a member of Dr. Channing’s church and a zealous and active Unitarian, but in his two years’ service was so much impressed by the greater devotion and religious earnestness of the orthodox as compared with the Unitarians that he concluded that theirs must be the truer system, resigned his office, and transferred his membership. He attributed the difference apparently to the doctrine of regeneration. An interesting series of anonymous letters in this connection was given to the public, thus: a) (Lewis Tappan), Letter from a Gentleman in Boston to a Unitarian Clergyman in that City. b) (J. P. Blanchard), Review of A letter, etc. c) (Henry Ware, Jr.), Reply of a Unitarian Clergyman, etc. d)Remarks on the Letter, etc. e) Which Society shall you join, Liberal or Orthodox? All Boston, 1828.

33 At Mercer and Prince Streets. Later known as the Church of the Messiah.

34 William Ellery Channing, Discourse preached at the Dedication of the Second Congregational Unitarian Church, New York, December 7, 1826 (New York, 1827); Review of the Rev. Dr. Channing’s Discourse, etc. (Boston, 1827).

35 Cf. Parsons Cooke, Unitarianism an Exclusive System (Boston, 1828); (Isaac Parker), ‘Letter to the Rev. Parsons Cooke,’ Christian Examiner, iv(1828), 276–283; (Parsons Cooke), A Reply to a Letter in the Christian Examiner (Boston, 1829).

36 The Massachusetts Election Sermon, preached before the Governor and Council at noon of election day (the last Wednesday in May), was instituted 1634 with the Rev. John Cotton as preacher. The custom was continued with rare exceptions until 1884, when Dr. A. A. Miner was the last preacher. The preacher was chosen by the Governor and Council. The sermon was likely to deal with public questions from the standpoint of religion, and was often a notable utterance.

37 William E. Channing, A Sermon Preached at the Annual Election, May 26, 1830 (Boston, 1830); Moses Stuart, A Letter to William E. Channing, D.D., on the Subject of Religious Liberty (Boston, 1830)­.

38 Cf. Bernard Whitman, Letters to Stuart; review in Christian Examiner, x (1831), 87–129; Spirit of the Pilgrims, iv (1831), 117–189.

39 Cf. (Enoch Pond), ‘Review of Mr, Whitman’s Letters to Professor Stuart on Re­ligious Liberty,’ Spirit of the Pilgrims, iv (1831), 117–180; also separately; Whitman, Reply to the Review of Whitman’s Letters to Professor Stuart, Spirit of the Pilgrims, iv (1831), 326–336, reviewed in Christian Examiner, x (1831), 385–394.

40 Cf. John Codman, Speech in the Board of Overseers of Harvard College, Feb. 3, 1881, n. p.; F. C. Gray, Letter to Governor Lincoln in relation to Harvard University (Boston, 1831); Christian Examiner, x (1831), 129–160;‘Review of Certain Publications relating to Harvard College,’ Spirit of the Pilgrims, iv (1831), 373–386.

41 Dr. Beecher went to preside over a new Theological Seminary at Cincinnati, where he later had the experience of being himself defendant against a charge of heresy brought by his conservative brethren. Of his seven sons, all ministers, three became well known for their liberal views, and one of his granddaughters became the wife of the Unitarian, Edward Everett Hale.

42 Cf. Christian Examiner, xii (1833), 337–363; xvi (1934), 138 f.

43 Cf. George B. Cheever, Some of the Principles according to which this world is managed, contrasted with the Governmentof God, etc. (Boston, 1833);reviewed in Christian Examiner, iv (1834), 171–192; Cheever, ‘The Course and System of the Uni­tarians Plainly and Solemnly Surveyed: a Letter to the Conductors of the Christian Ex­aminer, Spirit of the Pilgrims, vi (1834), 708–734, also separately. Parallel with the above was a controversy running about half a year in the Salem Gazette between the Rev. Charles W. Upham and Cheever. Upham’s articles were reprinted (1834)under the title, Salem Controversy.

Unitarianism had long been dominant at Salem when Cheever settled there as a young man, and found orthodoxy declining. His ministry there was marked by a violent cam­paign against the Unitarians.

44 For an interesting contemporary account of the growth of the denomination, cf. an article by John Parkman in Christian Examiner, lvi (1854), 397–428;and the History of the Association at its twenty-fifth anniversary in A. U. A., Twenty-fifth Report (Boston, 1850), 8–48.

45 Cf. Henry Ware, Jr., Sober Thoughts on the State of the Times (Boston, 1835); also in his Works, ii, 99–144 (Boston, 1846).

46 Minister at Brookfield, 1827–34; Professor of Hebrew at Harvard, 1848–68.

47Cf. Emerson, An Address delivered before the Senior Class in Divinity College, Cambridge; Sunday evening, 15July, 1838 (Boston, 1838).

48 Christian Register, Sept. 29, 1838, p. 154.

49 Christian Examiner, xxv (1837), 266.

50 Cf. Henry Ware, Jr., The Personality of the Deity. A Sermon preached in the chapel of the University (Boston, 1838); Works, III,26–39; review in Christian Examiner, xii(1838), 267 f; Ware, Memoir, ii, 183–188.

51 Cf. Andrews Norton, A Discourse on the Latest Form of Infidelity (Cambridge, 1839); review by Andrew P. Peabody, Christian Examiner, xxvii (1840), 221–225.From this point on for several pages I shall use substantially an account that I have used in an earlier publication and shall not try to improve.

52 Cf. (George Ripley) Letters on The Latest Form of Infidelity (Boston, 1839); Nor­ton, Remarks on a Pamphlet entitled ‘The Latest Form of Infidelity Examined’ (Cam­bridge, 1839); Ripley, A Second Letter to Mr. Andrews Norton, etc. (Boston, 1840); Ripley, A Third Letter,,etc. (Boston, 1840); Levi Blodgett (Theodore Parker), The Previous Question between Mr. Andrews Norton and his Alumni, etc. (Boston, 1840); (Richard Hildreth), A Letter to Andrews Norton, on Miracles as the Foundation of Religious Faith (Boston, 1940).

53 Cf. The South Boston Unitarian Ordination (Boston, 1841), 64 pp., includes both the orthodox attack and the Unitarian replies.

54 A chapel built in 1838 for the unchurched poor. It was on what was known as “the neck,” near Washington and Dover Streets, but the location is now obliterated.

55 The final act of expiation by the denomination was the publication by the American Unitarian Association in 1885 of a selection from his writings, entitled Views ofReligion, with an introduction by James Freeman Clarke.

56Cf. A. U. A., Twenty-eighth Report, 1853­.

57 For a list of meetings and speakers, cf. Monthly Journal of the A. U. A., v (1864), 49 f­.

58 At the Berry Street conference. Cf. Christian Examiner, Ivii (1854), 163.

59v. supra,pp.348 ff.

60 Cf. Quarterly Journal of the A. U. A., ii (Boston, 1855), 326–338, 344–351; iii (1856), 544 f.

61 Only the churches at Charleston, S. C., and New Orleans survived after the war.

62 Cf. Monthly Journal of the A. U. A., i (1860), 350 f.

63 Cf. George Willis Cooke, Unitarianism in America (Boston, 1902), pp. 173–186.



1 Lists are given in Cooke, Unitarianism, p. 176f; Eliot, Heralds, iii, 132 f.

2 Cf. Cooke, Unitarianism, pp. 177, 184 f.

3 Cf. Charles J. Sti11é, History of the United States Sanitary Commission (Philadelphia, 1866), p. 69 f, for a fine characterization of Dr. Bellows and his services to the Com­mission.

4 Total receipts, $2,055,604.33; California, $1,233,977.81; cf. Stillé, op. cit., p. 546.

5 Cf. Jacob G. Forman, History of the Western Sanitary Commission (St. Louis, 1864).

6 Cf. Monthly Journal, vi (1865), 312.

7 Under a resolution by Dr. Bellows, which was therefore the germ of the National Conference. Cf. Monthly Journal, vi (1865), 15.

8 The published official records of the meetings are greatly condensed, and give little idea of what was said in the actual debate; and they have to be supplemented from other contemporary sources, especially from Edward C. Towne, Unitarian Fellowship and Liberty: a Letter to Rev. Henry W. Bellows, D.D. (Cambridge, 1866). Cf. Report of the Convention of Unitarian Churches . . . April,1865 (Boston, 1866), Stow Persons, Free Religion, an American Faith (New Haven, 1947).

9 Cf. Martha Perry Lowe, Memoir ofCharles Lowe (Boston, 1884), p. 330­.

10 This college had been founded in northwestern Ohio in 1852 by the Christian Connection, on a non-sectarian basis. It marked an important step toward religious free­dom in American education, for only three or four colleges in the country were quite free from sectarian control. Unitarians had from the start contributed to it generously, the Unitarian Horace Mann had been its first President, 1852–59, and it promised to become in the West as liberal an influence as Harvard had been in New England; but it had fallen into serious financial embarrassment, and was about to close. In consequence of the action of the Unitarian Conference and the aid there promised, the college was saved, and control of it was given to the Unitarians. Cf. H. W. Bellows, ‘The Claims of Antioch College,’ Monthly Journal, vii (1866), 81–87, 131–141.

11 Cf. Monthly Journal, vi (1865), 294.

12 Cf. Report of the Second Meeting of the National Conference, etc. (Boston, 1866), p. 20 f; Memoir of Charles Lowe, p. 384 f; Persons, Free Religion, p.40 f.

13 Cf. Persons, Free Religion, chap. iii.

14 Cf. Clarence L. F. Gohdes, The Periodicals of American Transcendentalism (Dur­ham, N. C., 1931), chapter xi.

15 The last public meeting was held in 1827.

16 This school began with great enthusiasm, but it lasted but two years. Its financial support was insufficient, and with the removal to New York of Mr. Hepworth, who had inspired it, it faded away.      

17 Article IX. “ . . all the declarations of this Conference, including the Preamble and Constitution, are expressions only of its majority, committing in no degree those who object to them,” Adopted 326 to 12. Report of the Third Meeting of the National Con­ference (New York, 1868), p. 87.

18 Cf. Forty-fifth Anniversary Report, 1870, pp. 7–22; Defence of the Action of the A. U. A. (Boston, 1870).

19 Cf. Forty-fifth Report, ut supra, pp. 23, 22–39­.

20As a contribution to this controversy, cf. various articles in Monthly Religious Maga­zine, xliii and xliv (187o),which largely devoted itself to the conservative interest.

21 Substituted for Article IX, v. supra, p. 475.The substitute ran, “reaffirming our allegiance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, . . . we invite to our fellowship all who wish to be followers of Christ.”

Though he had won his point in the amendment he had offered, Hepworth became increasingly dissatisfied with the denomination and more in sympathy with the orthodox; and two years later he left his pulpit and entered the orthodox ministry. Late in life he made overtures for returning to the Unitarian ministry, but was discouraged from do­ing so.

22 The Rev. William J. Potter, minister at New Bedford. Cf. Index, v q (Jan. 1, 1874)­.

23Cf. Forty-ninth Anniversary of the A. U. A. (Boston, 1874), pp. 14–16.

24 Article X. “While we believe that the Preamble and Articles of our Constitution fairly represent the opinions of the majority of our churches, yet we wish, distinctly, to put on record our declaration that they are no authoritative test of Unitarianism, and are not intended to exclude from our fellowship any who, while differing from us in belief, are in general sympathy with our purposes and practical aims.”

25 For authorities as to what follows, see contemporary issues of Unity (Chicago) and The Unitarian (Ann Arbor); J. T. Sunderland, The Issue in the West (Chicago, 1886); W. G. Gannett, Unitarianism or Something Better (Chicago, 1887); Mrs. S. C. Ll. Jones, The Western Unitarian Conference, its Work and Mission, Unity Mission Tract No. 38 (Chicago, 1890).

26Cf. Unitarian Review, xxviii, 39–61.

27 Cf. Reports presented to the Western Conference, etc. (Louisville, 1854).

28It was largely an academic question, for there were in fact only two or three such cases, and those were short-lived. The danger was theoretical rather than actual.

29Thus practically reaffirming the resolution voted in 1875, v. supra, p. 482.

30 v. supra, p. 480.

31 “These churches accept the religion of Jesus, holding, in accordance with his teaching, that practical religion is summed up in love to God and love to man . . . and we cordially invite to our working fellowship any who, while differing from us in belief, are in general sympathy with our spirit and our practical aims.”

Formulated by the Rev. J. T. Sunderland, presented by the Rev. M. J. Savage, amended by the Rev. George L. Chancy.

32 See an editorial by the Rev. S. J. Barrows on ‘The Unitarian Name, its Growth and Application in the United States,’ in the Christian Register, May 6, 13, 1886.

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