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[50] in brief was the dream of this masterful leader of the second generation.

The source of his power lay in the pulpit, and for sixty-four years the Old North Church was the citadel of Mather orthodoxy. His labours were enormous. Sixteen hours a day he commonly studied. Among many powerful preachers he was reckoned “the complete preacher,” and he thundered above his congregation with an authority that must have been appalling. His personal influence carried far, and doubtless there were many good men in Boston who believed — as Roger Williams said of John Cotton — that “God would not suffer” Increase Mather “to err.” Those whom his voice could not reach his pen must convince, and the busy minister set a pace in the making and publishing of books which only his busier son could equal. He understood thoroughly the power of the press, and he watched over it with an eagle eye; no unauthorized or godless work must issue thence for the pollution of the people; and to insure that only fit matter should be published he was at enormous pains to supply enough manuscript himself to keep the printers busy. The press was a powerful aid to the pulpit in shaping public opinion, and Increase Mather was too shrewd a leader not to understand how necessary it was to hold it in strict control. He was a calculating dictator, and he ruled the press with the same iron hand with which he ruled the pulpit. He was no advocate of freedom, for he was no friend of democracy.

Of the odium which an obstinate defence of a passing order gathered about the name of Mather, the larger share fell to the lot of Cotton Mather, whose passionately distorted career remains so incomprehensible to us. One may well hesitate to describe Cotton Mather; the man is unconceivable to one who has not read his diary. Unlike Increase, he was provincial to the core. Born and bred in Boston, his longest trips into the outer world carried him only a few miles from the Old North Meeting-house, where for years he served as co-labourer with his father. Self-centred and self-righteous, the victim of strange asceticisms and morbid spiritual debauches, every circumstance of his life ripened and expanded the colossal egotism of his nature. His vanity was daily fattened by the adulation of silly women and the praise of foolish men, until

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