A Vindication of The Government of New England Churches (1717)

Posted: April 25, 2013 in A Vindication of The Government of New England Churches, Category - Works of Influence, Uncategorized

JOHN WISE, a New England clergyman and son of a quondam serving-man, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1652, and died at Ipswich in 1725. He was graduated at Harvard in 1673, and ten years later was ordained pastor of Chebacco, near Ipswich, where he remained till his death. In the agitation against the government of Sir Edmund Andros, he took a leading part, for which he was fined and imprisoned. He was also deprived of his ministerial office, whereupon his town, having paid his fine, sent him to Boston as its representative. The Revolution of 1688 bringing a change in the home government, he was active in reorganizing the colonial administration, and was chaplain of the unfortunate expedition in 1690 to Canada. In later ecclesiastical controversies he sided against the Mathers in The Churches’ Quarrel Espoused (1710), an essay much praised for its logical clarity and forensic ability. His views were afterward presented more fully in A Vindication of the Government of New England Churches (1717). Wise was one of the earliest American champions of democracy, a student of government, of wide reading and much penetration, and a writer of a sonorous if somewhat cumbrous style. It is significant that his two treatises were reissued on the eve of the Revolutionary War as well as on that of the War between the States. There is no doubt as to where the valiant clergyman, who, with his almost herculean strength once overcame a champion wrestler, would have taken his stand in either crisis.

PDF: Vindication of the Government of New-England Churches (1717)

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