The Hidden Balance: Religion and the Social Theories of by John Corrigan

By John Corrigan

Boston Congregationalist ministers Charles Chauncy and Jonathan Mayhew have been one of the such a lot influential social and non secular thinkers in Boston within the mid-eighteenth century. This examine argues, opposed to the interpretations of a few earlier historians, that Chauncy and Mayhew produced a posh yet coherent physique of principles, and that those rules have been geared up heavily and self-consciously round the precept of "balance." Writings on society and executive are handled along theological works, instead of except them, and every man's corpus is positioned opposed to the history of English principles in addition to in the context of highbrow and social lifestyles in Boston. Chauncy and Mayhew have been the prime architects of the mid-eighteenth century New England transition from Puritanism to spiritual rationalism. They have been additionally instrumental in formulating and popularizing the political and social criticisms that resulted in the yank Revolution. The Hidden stability illustrates the connections among their spiritual management and their political management, and in so doing clarifies our realizing of why Chauncy and Mayhew exercised the sort of profound effect upon their contemporaries.

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Extra resources for The Hidden Balance: Religion and the Social Theories of Charles Chauncy and Jonathan Mayhew

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69 It was this matter of the relation of private to public that brought into focus for Chauncy all of the other problems of religion in the mid eighteenth century. For Chauncy, public worship was essential to the Christian life, and participation in the Lord's Supper as a "means of grace" was especially important. 70 Pleading that his reason for the frequent use of the "means of grace" be considered, Chauncy concluded his sermon with the words: "O be persuaded by the Arguments wherein you have been compelled!

Yea, he could invert the course of nature, stop the sun in its course, commission the stars to sight, and interpose by stupendous signs in heaven, and wonders on earth. . 55 Divine interposition such as this in no way constituted an intrusion into the perfect order of creation, however. "56 To say that God could stop the sun in its course does not mean that God might subvert cosmic order. The perfect order of creation will endure behind all of the events and circumstances of life. "58 In Earthquakes a Token Chauncy made his strongest statement on the manner in which God intervenes through secondary causes while still in no way betraying the laws of nature and the order of creation.

Speaking of human understanding, Mayhew wrote: His understanding holds the same rank in the order of beings, as his Body in the material system: And all the Knowledge he can reach, is only to discern somewhat of the middle of things, under an eternal Despair of comprehending either their Beginning or their End. . This middle state and condition is common to all our Faculties. Our Senses can bear no extremes. Too much noise or too much light are equally fatal; and make us either deaf or blind: Too great Distance or too great nearness do alike hinder a Prospect and etc.

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