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[78] but possibly the method of communicating good by general laws, uniformly adhered to, is, in the nature of things, a better adapted one to produce the greatest good, than the other method of interpositions continually repeated.

Benevolence of the Deity, pp. 132, 131.

In a life that nearly spanned the eighteenth century, Chauncy affords an excellent example of the double reaction of the age of reason against the doctrines of irrationalism. His works had these two merits; they undermined the harsh doctrines of Calvinism which the new lights had utilized to strike terror into the hearts of the unthinking; and they afforded a substitute for sentimentalism, for, in place of violent joy, one could gain a placid contentment in the ways and works of Providence.

Another thinker of ability, but of a less noble and elevated style, was Chauncy's younger contemporary, Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1766), a graduate of Harvard in 1744, and best known for his lively attacks upon the Tory doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance. Mayhew gained a reputation for bringing a new style and manner into preaching. The son of a father who argued with ingenuity in behalf of human liberty, he was reputed to be a cheerful, liberal man, opposed to the gloomy doctrines of former times. Thus he early declared total depravity both dishonourable to the character of God and a libel on human nature. Mayhew's opposition to the five points of Calvinism was considered so imprudent that, at his ordination over the West Church, the Boston clergy declined the invitation to dine with the council, and one cautious cleric advised his barber not to go and hear such a heretic. Mayhew was really that, for he violently resisted the doctrine of irresistible grace, and entirely rejected the doctrine of the Trinity as taught by the Athanasian and Nicene creeds. In this he pointed the way to the coming Unitarianism, and that almost two generations before the Unitarian manifesto of 1819.

Although on the “new side,” Mayhew was opposed to the “new lights.” Long before the coming of Whitefield, he had been present at a religious revival in Maine, noticed its extravagance and fanaticism, and the people's violent gestures and shrieks. From this early experience, he came to value

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