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1754-1783: Religion: Publications

1754-1783: Religion: 1754-1783: Publications

Elizabeth Ashbridge, Some Account of the Fore Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge (Nantwich, England, 1774)an autobiography of an American Quaker female minister;

Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty (Boston: John Boyle, 1773)influential statement of the principles of the separation of church and state, from New Englands leading evangelical Baptist preacher;

Backus, A History of New-England with Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians Known as Baptists, 3 volumes (Boston : Edward Draper, 17771796)the story of the rise of the Baptist denomination in America, cast as an account of the gradual emergence of freedom of religious expression in the British colonies;

Joseph Bellamy, Sermons upon the Following Subjects, viz, The Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Millennium, the Wisdom of God in the Permission of Sin (Boston: Edes & Gill, 1758)defense of Bellamys New Divinity form of trinitarian Christianity, prompted by Jonathan Mayhews outspoken criticism of orthodoxy, and an important step in the split between evangelical and liberal Congregationalism. He argues in part that God not only ordained but also permitted sin as a means to glorify himself by allowing greater exercise of forgiveness;

Anthony Benezet, A Caution and Warning to Great-Britain and Her Colonies, in a Short Representation of the Calamitous State of the Enslaved Negroes (Philadelphia: Henry Miller, 1766)an argument on religious grounds against slavery, by a leading Quaker humanitarian and reformer, which had a significant effect on the emerging antislavery movement on both sides of the Atlantic;

William Billings, The Singing Masters Assistant, or Key to Practical Music (Boston: Draper & Folsom, 1778)an early American hymnal, including Billingss original religious and patriotic songs, as well as popular hymns of Isaac Watts, compiled by the first professional American church musician;

Thomas Bradbury Chandler, An Appeal to the Public, in Behalf of the Church of England in America (New York: James Parker, 1767)an argument for sending an Anglican bishop to establish religious order in the American colonies, written by a leading Anglican missionary;

Charles Chauncy, A Compleat View of Episcopacy (Boston: Daniel Kneeland, 1771)an argument against the introduction of Anglican bishops to the American colonies;

Chauncy, Salvation for All Men (Boston: T. & J. Fleet, 1782)an early statement of the doctrine of universal atonement, that Christ died to save all humans, rather than just an elect few, as traditional Calvinists believed;

Chauncy, Twelve Sermons (Boston: D. & J. Kneeland, 1765)a series of sermons exemplifying the rationalism and optimism about human nature and Gods love characteristic of the liberal wing of New England Congregationalism, which Chauncy led;

John Cleaveland, An Essay to Defend Some of the Most Important Principles (Boston: D. & J. Kneeland, 1763)a defense of the New Light revivalist theology, in opposition to the preaching of the universal benevolence of God of Jonathan Mayhew and other Boston liberals;

Cleaveland, A Short and Plain Narrative of the Late Work of Gods Spirit (Boston: Z. Fowle, 1767)an account of revivals north of Boston in the 1760s, indicating that the religious fervor of the earlier Great Awakening continued through the revolutionary period;

Jonathan Edwards, A Careful and Strict Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of that Freedom of the Will (Boston: S. Kneeland, 1754)a defense of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination, by describing the world as fully ordered by God and attacking the liberal emphasis on the power of humans to gain salvation through the exercise of the will;

Edwards, The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended (Boston: S. Kneeland, 1758)a defense of the Calvinist view of original sin of Adam, as initiating the depraved state of human nature, which could only be overcome with Gods help, attacking liberal teachings that humans could affect their chances for salvation by their actions;

Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption (Edinburgh: W. Gray; London: J. Buckland & G. Keith, 1774)a sermon series placing the revivalistic religion promoted by Edwards during and after the Great Awakening in the context of the biblical story of the end of the world and the judgment of God and an example of how strongly attracted many revivalists were to millennial thinking;

Edwards, Two Dissertations, [including] The Nature of True Virtue (Boston: S. Kneeland, 1765)a discussion of virtue as a willing consent to the sinfulness of the human condition, honoring God by attributing everything in life to his grace;

Ebenezer Gay, Natural Religion as Distinguishd from Revealed (Boston: John Draper, 1759)a liberal statement of the agreements between Christian scripture and the reasonable order of nature;

John Gillies, ed., Works of the Reverend George Whitefield (London: Edward & Charles Dilly, 17711772) volumes one and two contain a collection of sermons of the famed English revivalist, including his extensive correspondence with important ministers on both sides of the Atlantic, which was itself an important means of furthering the work of revival;

Jonathan Mayhew, Observations on the Charter and Conduct of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (Boston: Richard & Samuel Draper, 1763)a critique of Anglicans for using their missionary efforts in New England to covert Congregationalists to Anglicanism rather than Indians to Christianity;

Mayhew, Sermons upon the Following Subjects (Boston: Richard Draper, 1755)a series of sermons outlining Mayhews brand of liberal Congregationalism, including an attack on the doctrine of the trinity, which led to an uproar against Mayhews unorthodox preaching;

Mayhew, The Snare Broken (Boston: R. & S. Draper, 1766)a sermon preached after Parliaments repeal of the Stamp Act and defending the colonies right to self-government, based on the natural law of self-preservation in the face of English oppression;

Samson Occom, A Choice Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs (New London: Timothy Green, 1774)an Indian hymnal collected by a native American missionary;

Occom, Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian (New Haven: T. & S. Green, 1772)a plea for temperance from an Indian missionary and the first work published by a Native American writing in English;

Sarah Osborn, Nature, Certainty, and Evidence of True Christianity (Boston: S. Kneeland, 1755)spiritual advice from a pious woman to a friend and an important example of the significance of womens religious lives in eighteenth-century America;

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends, An Epistle of Caution and Advice, Concerning the Buying and Keeping of Slaves (Philadelphia: James Chattin, 1754)the first official condemnation of slavery from an American religious group;

Joseph Priestley, A History of the Corruptions of Christianity (Birmingham, U.K.: Piercy & Jones, 1782)a critical examination of traditional Christian beliefs by an English Unitarian and supporter of American independence, read by Thomas Jefferson, who found it confirming his deistic beliefs and his interest in Christ as a moral teacher;

Valentine Rathbun, An Account of the Matter, Form, and Manner of a New and Strange Religion (Providence, R.I.: Bennett Wheeler, 1781)an early account of the beliefs and practices of the Shakers, written by a former member of the group, and an important source for understanding sectarianism in early America;

Emanuel Swedenborg, The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine (London: J. Lewis, 1758)the first edition of principles of biblical interpretation by an influential Swedish pietistic mystic;

William White, The Case of the Episcopal Churches in the United States Considered (Philadelphia: David C. Claypoole, 1782)an effort to reorganize the colonial Anglican Church on democratic principles after the disruptions of the American Revolution;

John Woolman, Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes (Philadelphia: James Chattin, 1754)an influential early antislavery tract by a Quaker reformer;

Woolman, Works . . . in Two Parts (Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1774)writings of a New Jersey Quaker who became a model for the reform movement that emerged among the Society of Friends during the 1750s, including his journal that remained popular for decades as a devotional text.

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