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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Olde Cambridge, Chapter 1: old Cambridge (search)
f which the large willows on Holmes's Field are the last lingering memorial,--it might nevertheless have gone the way of many abortive early settlements, had it not been for the establishment of Harvard College there. We Cambridge boys early learned, however, that this event was due mainly to the renown attained, as a preacher and author, by the Rev. Thomas Shepard, known in his day as the holy, heavenly, sweet-affecting, and soul-ravishing Mr. Shepard, a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, England, who came to America in 1635. A voluminous author, some of whose works are yet reprinted in England, he was the ruling spirit of the Cambridge synod, which was held in 1637 to pronounce against antinomian and familistic opinions. He was described by his contemporaries as a poor, weak, pale-complectioned man, yet such was his power that the synod condemned under his guidance about eighty opinions, some blasphemous, other erroneous, all unsound, as even the tolerant Winthrop declared.