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died in communion with the Roman Catholic Church, while Mr. Ripley, who long survived her, became a devout freethinker.

Our present concern, however, is not with that decay of New England Unitarianism so inevitably involved in the individualism of its teaching. Here we are concerned rather with its pristine growth and vigour. In the article on “Unitarianism in Boston,” contributed by the late Dr. Andrew Preston Peabody to the third volume of Winsor's “ Memorial History of Boston,” there is a list of the Unitarian ministers of the town from the beginning to about 1875. Whoever knows anything of the personalities for which these names stand will be struck with one fact : even more certainly than the elder worthies whom Cotton Mather recorded in his

Magnalia,” these are a company of such sweet, pure, noble spirits as must arouse in men who dwell with them a deep respect for human nature. The last commanding spiritual teacher of New England chanced to be of another faith ; but what made Phillips Brooks such a power in Boston was the same kind of personality which half a century before him had generally distinguished the Unitarian clergy. Whoever knew the great bishop personally can hardly have failed to observe the trait which was at once his strongest and his weakest : his instinctive nature was so good that he never quite realised the badness and the uncleanness which beset the lives of common men with temptation. In him, just as in the fathers of Unitarianism, the national inexperience of America permitted almost unrestrained the development of a moral purity which to those who possess it makes the grim philosophy of damnation seem an ill-conceived nursery tale.

The Unitarianism of New England, of course, was not unique either theologically or philosophically. In its isolated home, however, it chanced to develop one feature which distinguishes its early career from similar phases of religious history elsewhere. The astonishing personal purity and moral

beauty of its leaders combined with their engaging theology to effect the rapid social conquest of the whole region about Boston. We have seen how King's Chapel and Harvard College passed into Unitarian hands. The same was true of nearly all the old Puritan churches. The First Church of Boston, John Cotton's, became Unitarian; so did the Second Church, which throughout their lives the Mathers had held as such a stronghold of orthodoxy; so, with less violence to its history, did the Brattle Street; the only Boston church of consequence which held out was the Old South, which adhered to its pristine dogmas until 1899.

The ancestral church of Cambridge broke in two; and the section of its parishioners who deposed Abiel Holmes for faithfulness to his old creed captured both the meeting-house and the communion plate. Something similar occurred at Plymouth, where at the entrance of the oldest burying-ground of New England may now be seen two edifices, each of which claims direct descent from the earliest of all New England churches. One has maintained orthodoxy; but the more impressive is that which followed the fashion and became Unitarian.

This general conquest of ecclesiastical strongholds by the Unitarians deeply affected the whole structure of Massachusetts society. Elsewhere in America, perhaps, and surely in England, Unitarianism has generally presented itself as dissenting dissent, and has consequently been exposed to the kind of social disfavour which aggressive radicalism is apt anywhere to involve. In the isolated capital of isolated New England, on the other hand, where two centuries had established such a rigid social system, the capture of the old churches meant the capture, too, of almost every social stronghold. In addition to its inherent charm, the pristine Unitarianism of Massachusetts was strengthened by all the force of fashion in a community where somewhat eccentric fashion has always had great weight. Whoever clung to the older faith did so at his social peril.

This fact is nowhere more evident than in the history of New England letters. Almost everybody who attained literary distinction in New England during the nineteenth century was either a Unitarian or closely associated with Unitarian influences. The single man of letters whom Boston orthodoxy produced was poor Nillis ; and he found the social atmosphere of New England too stilling for the convivial son of an orthodox deacon. At least in letters, which throughout the literary dominance of New England preserved there the same kind of social distinction that marked Mr. Bryant's career in New York, creative energy declared itself chiefly among those who had been taught to believe themselves created in the image of the Creator.

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Though we have followed the oratory, the scholarship, and the Unitarianism of New England almost to the present time, there has been reason for considering them before the other phases of Renaissance in that isolated region where the nineteenth century produced such a change. At various times we have touched on the fact that the period from 1798 to 1832 marked in England by everything between the “ Lyrical Ballads " and the death of Scott, and in America by all the New York literature from Brockden Brown to Bryant - really comprised an epoch in the literary history of both countries. It was during this period that the three phases of intellectual life which we have now considered fully declared themselves in New England; and in these years nothing else of equal importance developed there.

The very mention of the daces in question should remind us that throughout the English-speaking world the revolutionary spirit was in the air. It showed itself in the extreme individualism of literature in Eng.ana, where the writers suddenly became almost as unlike one another as those of the preceding century had been similar; it showed itself there in that constitutional revolution which finally resulted in the Reform Bill; and in native American letters it showed itself in the somewhat imitative but soundly sweet writings of Brockden Brown, Irving, Cooper, and Bryant. The contrast between these and the contemporary writings of England may already have suggested a marked difference in the societies to which, as we can now see, the revolutionary spirit came at the same time, The essence of this spirit is its fervid faith in the excellence of human nature; let men be freed from all needless control, it holds, and they may be trusted to work out their admirable salvation. In the old world, where the force of custom had been gathering for immemorial centuries, the speech and behaviour of enfranchised humanity was apt to take extravagant form. In America, on the other hand, where the one thing which had been most lacking was the semblance of polite civilisation, the very impulse which in Europe showed itself destructive appeared in a guise which at first makes it hard to recognise.

One need not ponder long, however, to feel, even in this staid new America, a note as fresh as was the most extravagant revolutionary expression in Europe. Our elaborately rhetorical oratory, to be sure, and our decorous scholarship, seem on the surface far from revolutionary; and so does the gently insignificant literature which was contemporary with them a bit further south. Yet all alike were as different from anything which America had uttered before as was the poetry of Wordsworth or of Shelley from what had previously been known in England. When we came to the Unitarianism of New England, the revolutionary spirit showed itself more plainly. The creed of Channing was of a kind which, except for the unusual chance of immediate social dominance, might almost at once have revealed its disintegrant character. Happening, as it did, however, to possess itself of the ecclesiastical system established by generations of ancestral orthodoxy, it produced at first no more obvious superficial change than a refreshing amelioration of the prospects visible from the good old Boston pulpits.

The enfranchised human nature of New England, too, at first expressed itself in no more appalling forms than the oratory of Webster or of Everett; than the Anthology Club, the Boston Athenæum, and the North American Review ;” than the saintly personality and the ethereal speculations of

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