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Dr . Mayhew , the first Unitarian Preacher in America . £ Dr . Jonathan Mayhew was one of the distinguished champions of the American Revolution . We inserted a Character of him by Mr . John Adams , Ex-President of the United States , in our XlVth Volume , pp . 296 , 297 , and some account of his
" Seven Sermons" in the same Volume , pp . 663—665 . Since the Unitarian controversy was set on foot at Boston , Dr . Mayhew ' s opinions have been called in question , and the following passage upon the subject has been inserted by Dr . Freeman , Minister of King ' s Chapel , Boston , in a note to the Third Edition of his
Sermons , just published , which we copy from < ' The Christian Disciple . " ] Hp | R . MAYHEW may with justice JLJ ^ be denominated the first preacher of Unitarianism in Boston , and his religious society the first Unitarian church . As this fact has lately been
called in question by persons who are unwilling to relinquish so great a name to a side which they cajl heresy , but who , probably , have not much , knowledge of his writings , and hare never conversed with the few surviving friends who still remember him , it is
necessary that I should produce evidence of the truth of what I have aifirraed . Omitting to cite any passages from his printed discourses , and the notes subjoined to them , the first witness I produce is the Rev . Isaac Smith , who informs me , that Dr . Mayhew was the principal means of
the republication of Emlytfs " Inquiry , which , as is well known to all who are acquainted with the ecclesiastical history of our country , excited much attention at its appearance , and to which an answer was written by
President Burr . In this republication , Dr . Mayhew was aided by his parishioners , and several other friends , particularly by the late General Palmer and Judge Cranch . I mention the names of these excellent men , because it may lead some persons to make
farther inquiries , by which they will obtaia additional proof . The second witness that I produce is the daughter of Dr . Mayhew , Mrs . JVainwright , who , in a letter which I have lately received from her , in answer to one which I w ^ ote on the s ubj ec t ,
has put the question for ever at rest . After saying that she has not the smallest doubt of the fulness of Dr . Howard ' s belief on this point , she proceeds thus : —" Respecting my father , there is no doubt that the clearest
evidence may be given of his having asserted the unity of God in the most unequivocal and plain manner , as early as the year 1753 . I have many sermons , from which it appears to me no one could for a moment question his belief . I have a set from the text .
Prince of Peace / In the first head he inquires how Christ came by this title . He speaks of independent and derived authority , and says , ' The former belongs to God alone , who exists necessarily and independently . ' ' The Son of God , and all beings who
derive their existence from another , can have only a derived authority / After speaking of various sources and kinds of authority , he says , * Lastly , another source of authority is the
positive will and appointment of God Almighty , the supreme Lord and Governor of the world ; and this is indisputably the source of all that authority our Saviour is clothed with - his designation to royal power and exaltation to the throne was from his God and
Father / I can quote many , very many passages expressive of the same sentiment : so that I have not the shadow of a doubt that my father was full and explicit in his avowal of this opinion from 1753 ; and , perhaps , I may get positive proof from an earlier date . I
will continue my search , and shall with pleasure supply you with any proof in my power of the faith he was happy enough to enjoy , and courageous enough to avow at the risk of his temporal comfort /* I may be allowed to add to this letter of Mrs . Wainwright ' s ,
that when the assertion , that her father believed the doctrine of the Trinity , was first made several years ago , she expressed to me her surprise at so new a charge , of which she had never heard before .
The third witness that I produce is the illustrious author of the following letter , * which is published with his permission . * ' Dear Doctor , c I thank you for y-qur favour of the 10 th , and the pamphlet enclosed , entitled *— r ~ - ~ . ; ^— T ' * To Dr > Morse , a Trinitarian ,
332 Dr . Mayhew , the first Unitarian Preacher in America .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1821, page 332, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2501/page/8/