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* American Unitarianisin . ' I have turned over its leaves and found nothing that was not familiarly known to me . In the preface , Uiiitarianisni is represented as only thirty yeans old in New-England . I can testify as a witness to its old age . Sixty-five years ago , my own minister ,
the Rev . Lemuel Bryant ; Dr . Jonathan Mayheiv , of the TVest Church in Boston ; the Rev . Mr . Shute , of Hingham ; the Rev . John Browne , of Cohasset ; and , perhaps equal to all , if not above all , the Rev . Mr . Gay , of Hingham , were Unitarians . Among the laity , how many could I name , lawyers , physicians , tradesmen ,
farmers ! But at present I will name only one , Richard Cranch , a man who had studied divinity and Jewish and Christian antiquities , more than any clergyman now existing in New-England . More than fifty years ago I read Dr . Clarke , Emlyn and Dr . Waterland : do you expect , my dear Doctor , to teach me
any thing new in favour of Athanasianism ?« There is , my dear Doctor , at present existing in the world , a church philosophic , as subtle , as learned , as hypocritical , as the Holy Roman Catholic , Apostolic , and ( Ecumenical Church . The Philosophical Church was originally English . Voltaire learned it from Lord Herbert , Hobbes , Morgan , Collins ,
Shaftsbury , Bolingbroke , &c . &c . &c . You may depend upon it , your exertions will promote the Church Philosophic , more than the Church Athanasian or Presbyterian . This and the coming age will not be ruled by Inquisitions or Jesuits . The restoration of Napoleon has been caused by the resuscitation of Inquisitors and Jesuits .
" I am , and wish to be , < e Your friend , " JOHN ADAMS . " Quincy , May 15 , 1815 . " Rev . Dr . Morser Another charge has been made against Dr . Mayhew , which his daughter has power to contradict . It is
confessed by the authors of it , that Dr . Mayhew , in the former part of his ministerial life , was an Arminian and Unitarian ; but they assert that before his death he renounced these heresies , and became a Trinitarian and Calvinist . if this is a fact , it is strange that it
was never communicated to his parishioners , his famil y and his intimate friends . The assertion is so entirely false , that the fact is , that his friend , Dr . Cooper , of Boston , visited Dr . Mayhew , on his death-bed , and inquired of him whether he still retained the religious sentiments which he had
preached and published , snid his answer was , " I hold fast my integrity . " This information I have received from Mrs . Wainwright ; and there can be no doubt of its truth . As , however , almost every false
report is indirectly derived from something which is true , the pretence that Dr . Mayhew changed his religious opinions , may have originated from a fact which has come to my knowledge , and which , probably , as it has passed from mouth to mouth , with a fate not
unusual to such reports , has at last reached the ears of some persons disguised and altered in its most material circumstances . The truth is , that not long before the close of his life he expressed to several of his friends , and among others to the late Dr . West , of Boston , from whom I received the
account , his regret that lie had pubaccount , his regret that lie had published so many tracts on polemical divinity , and that he had treated some of his adversaries , particularly Mr . Cleaveland , with so much asperity and contempt . Though he was confessedly a good and generous man , yet it must
be acknowledged that in his triumphant career of controversy , urged on as he was by the applauding shouts of those who admired the strength with which he wielded his arguments , he had sometimes aimed too rough and ponderous a weapon at the head of his
opponents . But when , on serious and candid reflection , he perceived that he had unnecessarily inflicted pain , he lamented that he had not always preserved the miLd and Christian spirit which becomes a disciple of the meek and benevolent Jesus . The amount
of all which is this : Dr . Mayhew regretted that , in his controversial writings , he had been occasionally betrayed into the language « of severity ; and the expression of this regret is an honour to him : but there is no evidence , that
he ever classed any of his theological sentiments among his faults , or repented of and abjured any part of his former creed . To prevent misconceptions , it may l > e proper to observe , that when I style Dr . Mayhew an Unitarian , I use the word in the sense in which it is
commonly understood in America , as denoting fhose Christians who deny the doctrine of the Trinity , whether they deny the pre-existence of Christ or not . Dr . Mayhew was an Unitarian
Dr . Mauhew , the first Unitarian Preacher in America . 333
vol . xvi . 2 x
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1821, page 333, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2501/page/9/