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[199] System of doctrines contained in divine revelation explained and defended (1793). After 1770 he also produced his sermons and pamphlets against slavery, probably the most readable of his works, being somewhat less impeded than the others by the pitiless iteration and verbose pedantry of his style. He seems to have aided in procuring the passage of the Rhode Island laws of 1774 and 1784, respectively forbidding the importation of negroes and declaring free all children born of slaves after the next I March. In failing health and with a dwindling congregation, he ministered faithfully until his death in 1803.

The formula associated with Hopkins's name, and most definitely set forth in his posthumous Dialogue between a Semi-Calvinist and a Calvinist, is ‘Willingness to be damned for the glory of God.’ It is the upshot of all his strict Calvinist theory of decrees, election, and evidences. Rejecting the benevolists' belief in a mild Deity, he transfers ‘universal benevolence’ from God to man—of whom he then requires it. The germs of the doctrine are to be found in Edwards's theory of virtue as consisting in love for universal being; and some of Mrs. Edwards's own religious experiences while Hopkins resided at her house might well have suggested to him his extension of the doctrine. For with him the willingness to be damned is not merely the acme of mystical devotion, but an indispensable evidence of grace—a necessary, though not a sufficient, condition of salvation. If you are not willing to be damned, then you are sure to be.

Hopkins thus carried onward and reduced to a system the materials which Edwards left unco-ordinated. So tough-minded was he that in his hands what might otherwise have been an efflorescence of tender mysticism became a dogma of terror. Naturally it roused intense opposition, but this, together with the logical completeness of the system, focussed attention upon it; so that it remained a powerful influence until the time of general emancipation from theological terrors.

Hopkins personally met his own requirements of benevolence. His combination of terrific doctrine with a kindly and self denying personal life among his Newport parishioners is the underlying theme of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel,

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