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1784 Octavo First Edition Pamphlet Sermon Before Gov. John Hancock; Lt. Gov. Thomas Cushing; Honorable Council, Senate, And House Of Representatives Day Of The General Election By Moses Hemmenway

1784 Octavo First Edition Pamphlet Sermon Before Gov. John Hancock; Lt. Gov. Thomas Cushing; Honorable Council, Senate, And House Of Representatives Day Of The General Election By Moses Hemmenway

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Importance: Hemmenway, Moses (15 Sept. 1735-5 Apr. 1811), Old Calvinist and Congregational minister, was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, the son of Ralph Hemmenway, occupation unknown, and Sara Haven. He was tutored by his uncle Phineas Hemmenway before entering Harvard College (B.A. 1755; D.D. 1785; D.D., Dartmouth, 1792). In 1759, after pulpit supply work in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Hemmenway became the minister at the Fourth Congregational Church in Wells, Maine. He was ordained in 1759 and remained at Wells until his death. In 1762 he married Mary Jeffords, the daughter of his predecessor, Samuel Jeffords. The Hemmenways had eleven children. Unlike most of his peers, Hemmenway was a staunch Whig during the Revolution. During his tenure at Wells, he attended the Constitutional Convention in 1788, where he labored for its ratification.

In the 1760s Hemmenway emerged as a leader of the "Old Calvinists"--a general term for ministers whose moderate Calvinism provoked the wrath of strict followers of Jonathan Edwards, known as the "New Divinity Men." Hemmenway valued the writings of the standing orthodox theologians Francis Turretin, John Owen, and Edwards. However, as an "intellectualist" in debt to the commonsense philosophy taught at Harvard, Hemmenway broke with Edwards over questions of church membership. In Seven Sermons, on the Obligation and Encouragement of the Unregenerate, to Labour for the Meat Which Endureth to Everlasting Life (1767) and Vindication of the Power, Obligation and Encouragement of the Unregenerate to Attend the Means of Grace... (1772), Hemmenway repudiated the position that only those who made a public profession of saving faith could partake of the Lord's Supper. He rejected the New Divinity claim that people could have such certainty of their standing; instead he urged a credible profession of faith, some evidence of "actual fitness for communion," and "no known bar in the way" as the only qualifications for access to the sacrament. The New Divinity spokesman, Samuel Hopkins of Newport, Rhode Island, responded to A Vindication, and Hemmenway completed the exchange with Remarks on the Rev. Mr. Hopkin's Answer in 1774.

As an outgrowth of his support for liberal church membership and his opposition to the rising number of Baptists in the area, Hemmenway championed infant baptism in A Discourse on the Nature and Subjects of Christian Baptism (1788). His regard for children led him to write Discourse to Children (1792), in which he celebrated Christ's love for them. Hemmenway's Discourse Concerning the Church (1792) continued his debates with the New Divinity Men. In a reply the next year, Nathanael Emmons of Franklin, Massachusetts, argued that none but the truly converted ought to partake of the Lord's Supper. In 1794 Hemmenway responded arguing that many of New England's founders had held liberal views on church membership. Although liberals generally welcomed his position on church membership, Hemmenway was critical of some liberal trends, such as Arianism, Socinianism, and Unitarianism. He died at Wells. Sermons by Hemmenway are included in the Sermon Collection of the Library of Congress. Hemmenway's career is discussed in W. B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. 1 (1857), pp. 541-47, and John L. Sibley, Sibley's Harvard Graduates, vol. 13 (1873-1975), pp. 609-18.

Source: *American National Biography.

Binding: Disbound Octavo Pamphlet.

Provenance: Recto of A2 is inscribed 1862 (?) & 15081. Title page was stamped by the General Theological Library-Boston, Massachusetts. 

Collation & Notes: A4 ([A1r] H.T. & [A2r] G.T.P.), B4, C4, D4, E4, F4, G2 (ends G2v). [26] ff. (52 pages).

Complete, with an original title page. Lacks half title. Vertical chain lines. WorldCat & OCLC records 31 copies. Evans 18526.

Condition: Leaves (7.75” x 4.875”). Slightly offset.

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