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[130]

Samuel Hopkins.

three quarters of a century ago, the name of Samuel Hopkins was as familiar as a household word throughout New England. It was a spell wherewith to raise at once a storm of theological controversy. The venerable minister who bore it had his thousands of ardent young disciples, as well as defenders and followers of mature age and acknowledged talent; a hundred pulpits propagated the dogmas which he had engrafted on the stock of Calvinism. Nor did he lack numerous and powerful antagonists. The sledge ecclesiastic, with more or less effect, was unceasingly plied upon the strong-linked chain of argument which he slowly and painfully elaborated in the seclusion of his parish. The press groaned under large volumes of theological, metaphysical, and psychological disquisition, the very thought of which is now ‘a weariness to the flesh;’ in rapid succession pamphlet encountered pamphlet, horned, beaked, and sharp. of talon, grappling with each other in mid-air, like Milton's angels. That loud controversy, the sound whereof went over Christendom, awakening responses from beyond the Atlantic, has now died away; its watchwords no longer stir the blood of belligerent sermonizers; its very terms and definitions have wellnigh become obsolete and unintelligible. The hands which wrote and the tongues

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