At graduation, his attack on Aristotelian logic, basic to the Harvard curriculum, shocked the faculty and nearly resulted in his dismissal. At his commencement, he refused to wear a cap and gown, but the assembled scholars were so impressed with him that they hummed their approval of him.
Born the youngest son of a religious leader known in Old England as well as New, and graduated from Harvard inwhile Puritanism was still dominant in the mother land, he had choice of two worlds for his career, and at first elected for the old, where two of his brothers were already prospering.
First a student for his master's degree at Dublin, then a preacher in En-gland and in the Channel Islands, he would gladly have remained beyond sea, but for the religious restrictions of the Restoration, which drove him home in though not until he had come into a permanent closeness of touch with British thought and feeling.
In Boston he speedily be-came the minister of the new North Church, and he re-tained this pastorate throughout his life, though from to he added to its duties those of the presidency of Harvard. It was he who in stirred up his colleagues and the General Court to the con-vening of a synod of the clergy, which should consider what evils had "provoked the Lord to bring His Judgments on [Page 4] New-England" and what was to be done "that so these Evils may be Reformed"; and it was he who put into form the result of their deliberations.
Some of the "judgments"-King Philip's war, the small-pox, the two great fires-he felt to call for lay activity as well as clerical ; but the others com-plained of, the decay of piety and the departure from the fathers' ways, were ills for pastoral healing, and inthe year that followed the final session of that "reforming synod," another general meeting of the ministers took, at his instance, that action for "the recording of illustrious providences" which is recounted in the following pages.
Such a method of arousing men to religion was nothing new in Christian history. So, a thousand years before, Pope Gregory, culling precisely as did now the New England leader the experiences of his fellow clerics, had compiled those Dialogues whose tales of vision and apparition served for centuries to make the invisible world as real as that of sight and touch; and from his day onward such "providences" had been to clerical historians the tissue of their story.
In the later Middle Ages there multiplied collections of these exempla. Nor did the Reformation interrupt their use. Luther's own sermons and table talk were for Protestants a mine of "modern instances" ; and out of such materials a Hondorff, a Lonicer, a Philip Camerarius, compiled their treasuries for the Lutheran pulpit, while their Zwinglian and Calvinistic neighbors were yet better equipped by the industry of Theodor Zwinger and Simon Goulart.
But it was of the nature of these attempts to keep abreast of the warnings of Heaven that they speedily went out of date. Only an enterprise like that devised by Matthew Poole for their continual registry could meet the needs of callous and forgetful man. But the suggestion of Poole was twenty years old, and [Page 5] even the draft found in John Davenport's papers must for some years have been in Mather's hands: It is not hard to guess.
The group of Platonists who at Cambridge, the mother of New England Puritanism, had now inherited the spokesmanship of positive religion, laid the emphasis of their teaching on what they called "the spiritual world" ; and since the Restoration they had found a notable ally.
Joseph Glanvill, a young Oxford theologian, one of the keenest of English philosophic minds, and withal one of the most rational, had taken a brief for the defence, and in a brilliant essay on "the vanity of dogmatizing" had in turned the guns of the rationalists upon themselves.
It was not the dogmatizing of theology, but that of the audacious rising science of things natural and human, whose premises he attacked and seemed to sweep away; and great was the applause of all committed to the "eternal verities. And those that dare not bluntly say, There is no God, content themselves for a fair step, and Introduction to deny there are Spirits, or Witches.
He had now adopted to the full the tenets of the Cambridge Platonists, whose leader, Henry More, became his correspondent, almost his colleague, and like them he championed all old tales ; but his keen sight discerned that "things remote, or long past, are either not believed, or forgotten " whereas "Modern Relations," "being fresh, and near, and attended with all the circumstances of credibility, it may be expected L hey should have more success upon the obstinacy of Unbelievers.
John Wagstaffe in andthe anonymous author of The Doctrine of Devils inJohn Webster incame to the defence of challenged incredulity. Glanvill died inleaving unfinished that enlarged edition which should be his reply; but in it was published by his friend Henry More with additions of his own, including a mass of new "relations" under the aggressive title of Sadducismus Triumphatus.
Their broadside, delivered inwas this Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences. How English Puritanism echoed we shall see betimes.
Mather's book was forthwith welcome. It went through two or three impressions in at least the title-page was thus often reprinted-and a part of the copies went to the London market, equipped with the imprint of an English bookseller.
The book is best known, not by the long title of its title-page, but by its running caption of "Remarkable Providences "-already his son quotes it by this name-and it was under this title, Remarkable Providences illustrative of the Earlier Days of American Colonisation, that a convenient [Page 7] little reprint, "with introductory preface by George Offor," was published at London in as a volume in John Russell Smith's "Library of Old Authors"and again in Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the Children of Men.
One Generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. About six and twenty years ago, a Design for the Recording of illustrious Providences was under serious consideration among some eminent Ministers in England and in Ireland.
Matthew Pool, whose Synopsis Criticorum, and other Books by him emitted, have made him famous in the World. Nevertheless, there was a MSS.
I find notable Stories related and attested, which elsewhere I never met with. Particularly, the Story of Mr. Earl of Colchester, and another mentioned in our subsequent Essay.
There are in that MSS.Among his books is An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences (), a compilation of stories showing the hand of divine providence in rescuing people from natural and supernatural disasters. Textbook and etextbook are published under ISBN and Since then An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences () textbook was available to sell back to BooksRun online for the top buyback price or rent at the marketplace.
Met Amerikaanse literatuur wordt doorgaans Engelstalig literair werk uit de Verenigde Staten bedoeld. Hierbij wordt vooral aandacht besteed aan de canon, de werken die door de literaire gemeenschap algemeen als waardevol worden beschouwd..
De geschiedenis van de Amerikaanse literatuur begint in de 17e-eeuwse Britse koloniën van vetconnexx.com werken uit deze vroege periode weerspiegelen . Increase Mather (), wrote An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences in This work was a summary of how people were rescued from both supernatural and natural disasters.
Some historians believed Puritan leaders used this work to justify the Salem witch trials of Mather, Increase. (). An essay for the recording of illustrious providences wherein an account is given of many remarkable and very memorable events which have hapned this last age, especially in New-England.
Boston in New-England: Printed by Samuel Green for Joseph Browning and are to be sold at his shop.
MLA Citation. Mather, Increase. Increase Mather’s greatest contribution to the literature of early America is, perhaps, his American jeremiad, a homiletic lamentation of New England’s departure from its original Errand into the Wilderness.