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with perfect love, are, many of them at least, real transgressions of the Divine law-sins of ignorance. These are sins "in the Scripture sense," notwithstanding the ignorance. Whatever it would be wrong for a person to do if he were better informed, he can not now innocently do. Ignorance palliates, but does not wholly cancel the guilt of an unlawful action. The key to the whole difficulty, probably, is, that one would never mistake how he ought to feel and act in his various relations, if no sinful bias to a wrong decision remained in his heart. If he were perfectly holy in his affections and purposes, he would be guided infallibly to a corresponding course of action. Wesley's doctrine of a physical depravity of the human powers, permanent as life, leading by a fatal necessity to wrong judgments of what we ought to be and do, and then to wrong conduct, is a baseless dream, not idle, but pestilent, charming myriads into a false sense of purity and safety. Wesley says, p. 274, "It (this distinction between the law of faith' or love, and the law of works') is absolutely necessary, to prevent a thousand doubts and fears, even in those who do walk in love." Very probably it is a matchless opiate to the consciences of men, who think they fulfill the law of love, but know that they break the law of righteousness! Would not "a thousand doubts and fears" be a blessing to them?

The hypothesis of Wesley and his successors, that these "mistakes" are unavoidable transgressions of the Divine law, is a mere assumption of theirs, a mere ipse dixit which they have never attempted to prove; yet it is the corner stone of their perfectionism. Only admit that such mistakes are inconsistent with a heart of perfect love and holiness, and you instantly recognize them as so many signs of moral imperfection.

We commend to our Wesleyan brethren a reconsideration of these "mistakes." Are they strictly unavoidable? Can not a perfect Christian discover their opposition to the Divine law? If not, why call them transgressions of the law of God? Why say that they can not bear the rigor of Divine justice? Why claim that Christ must suffer to atone for them, or man bear the penalty of eternal death? If, on the other hand, man has power to avoid them, why deny that they are sins? Why assert that a person may be perfectly holy who commits them?

You are obliged to introduce the figment of a law of love in the place of the original law of perfect purity, as the standard of moral obligation, in order to give the semblance of consistency to your assertion that these trangressions are not sins. And is not this to make Christ the minister of sin? On the supposition, that the mistakes in question are unavoidable, you need no atonement for them— they are not sins-are not contrary to the most perfect law conceivable, and you are legal perfectionists, whatever you may think of the subject, or profess. On the other supposition, that they can be avoided, they are sins against the perfect law, and even against your law of love. Why then lay claim to sinless perfection? all your standard writings, that men in a state of evangelical perfection, are continually transgressing the perfect law by mistake. Now if these mistakes are avoidable, what is it but an admission of the truth of the charge, that you hold to a perfection entirely consistent with "great errors and faults?" And if you still adhere to the absurdity, that these transgressions of the Divine law need an atonement, but yet are unavoidable-not sins in the Scripture sense-then confess, that you hold, in common with Dr. Woods and those of us who sym

You admit, in

bolize with him, both to the attainableness and non-attainment in this life, of a state of legal perfection.

We ought, perhaps, in justice to ourselves, to speak of Dr. Peck's work as a contribution to the his

tory of Christian dogmatics, lest our silence should be construed into an expression of opinion favorable to his labors in this department. We have, however, room only to say, that we find little to admire but his industry.


THE early history of no country is so well ascertained as that of the United States; and of this history, no portion perhaps, admits of so full an illustration from original documents, as that of New England. The first colonists were careful to record all their proceedings, which appeared to them important; and even traditions, which by their descendants were thought valuable, were soon committed to writing. The historian, therefore, who treats of the events of this part of the country, has seldom occasion to indulge in surmise and conjecture. To construct a credible and satisfactory narrative, he finds in most cases, little more to do, than to institute a full and exact comparison of authentic materials within his reach. Still, undoubted mistakes occur in our histories; and it is an obvious duty of those who discover them, to suggest corrections. If an event deserves mention in history, it deserves to be reported according to the evidence in the case. It is with such views of this subject, that we have thought it proper to notice what appear to be errors in a few recent publications, in which are narrated some early transactions in the two colonies, which compose the present territory of Connecticut. We are very far from believing, that in a single case to which we shall refer, there is any thing like designed misrepresentation; on the contrary, in every instance, the character of the writer is such, as

to preclude the supposition of any thing more, than that want of care or that forgetfulness, to which all wri ters are more or less subject. In undertaking, however, to correct the erroneous statements of several of our authors, it should be understood, that we hold ourselves responsible for mistakes of our own; and that we would prescribe to others no law of history, to which we do not acknowledge ourselves to be in like manner amenable.

The first work, to which we would invite attention, is the "History of Connecticut ;" being the one hundred and thirty third number of the "Harpers' Family Library," published in 1841.* Here it is said, (p. 73,) that "in the autumn of 1637, Mr. Davenport, with several of his friends, visited the shore of Long Island Sound, with the commercial and other advantages of which they were much pleased. They selected the place called Quinnepiack by the Indians, and by the Dutch Roeabert." Dr. Trumbull's account is, that "in the fall of 1637, Mr. Eaton, and others who were of the company, made a journey to Connecticut, to explore the lands and harbors on the sea-coast," and that "they pitched upon Quinnipiack for the place of their settlement."+ For this he has the authority of

*The History of Connecticut, from the first settlement to the present time. By Theodore Dwight, Jr.

t Hist. of Connect. Vol. I, p. 96.

Winthrop's Journal. That there is any authority for the story, that Mr. Davenport and several of his friends made a similar excursion to the west, we have strong doubts.

We find likewise in this new history of Connecticut, (p. 72,) that "Messrs. Eaton and Hopkins had been successful merchants in London," and that "the former had resided three years in India, where he held the office of deputy governor." Dr. Trumbull's narrative is, that "Governor Eaton was educated an East India merchant, and was sometime deputy governor of the company trading to the East Indies."* He says nothing of Governor Eaton's residence in India, or of his having been deputy governor in that country. Indeed, at that time there was no governor of India, and as for a deputy governor, we are not aware, that to the present day, the English have any such functionary in the East. But that Governor Eaton was deputy governor of the East India company, or that he had any connection with that company, rests upon no proper evidence. Dr. Trumbull in these particulars is obviously wrong. He appears to have been led into error by misapprehending the meaning of Mather in the Magnalia, who in his life of Theophilus Eaton, says of him, that "being made a freeman of London, he applied himself unto the East Country trade, and was publicly chosen the deputy governor of the company, wherein he so acquitted himself as to become considerable. And afterwards going himself into the East Country, he not only became so well acquainted with the affairs of the Baltic sea, but also became so well improved in the accomplishments of a man of business, that the king of England employed him as an agent unto the king of Denmark." Dr. Trumbull evidently supposed, that

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by East Country, Mather meant the East Indies; though how he should have made such a mistake, it is not easy to see. Governor Eaton, by his participation in the East Country trade, and by going himself into the East Country, became well "acquainted with the affairs of the Baltic sea," and was thought by the king of England to be qualified to act as his "6 agent unto the king of Denmark." How his being an East India merchant, or his having resided in the East Indies should have made him familiar with the affairs of the Baltic, or prepared him to be the English agent at the court of Denmark, is not very apparent. Mr. Savage, in his notes on Winthrop's Journal, was the first publicly to point out this error of Dr. Trumbull, and others have since done the same thing. The commerce with the countries about the Baltic sea was formerly in England, and we suppose is still, called the "East Country trade ;" and this is the acceptation in which Mather uses this language.* There is no good reason, therefore, why this mistake of Dr. Trumbull should be perpetuated; much less, why it should be made still greater.

In this same history of Connecticut, we are told that the colonists for Quinnipiack sailed from Boston on the 30th of March, 1638, and reached their place of destination in about two weeks. "On the 18th of April they spent their first Sabbath there," and "Mr. Davenport preached an appropriate sermon from the 6th chapter of Matthew, 1st verse: Take heed that you do not your alms before men to be seen of them, otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. That the first Sabbath spent by these colonists at Quinni

"East Country is a name of old and still given by mercantile people to the ports of the Baltic sea; more especially those of Prussia and Livonia." Anderson's Hist. of Commerce, Vol. II, p. 197.

piack was the 18th of April, is agreeable to the account of Dr. Trumbull; but in this he is certainly mistaken, as the 18th of April, 1638, as is easily seen by calculation, was Wednesday. There is here evidently a typographical error, and we have 18 for 15, a mistake not difficult to be accounted for, as the resemblance between the figures 8 and 5, in manuscript, is often very great. Besides, 15 accords better with the statement, that the passage from Boston occupied about two weeks. This error is not now pointed out for the first time. But what was there appropriate in Mr. Davenport's sermon ? His text certainly appears most inappropriate; as an ostentatious giving of alms was a sin, to which these forlorn pilgrims, self-banished to the ends of the earth, should seem the least of all exposed. The language of Dr. Trumbull is, "The people assembled under a large spreading oak, and Mr. Davenport preached to them from Matthew vi, 1. He insisted on the temptations of the wilderness," &c. But what connection between the temptations of the wilderness, and a text denouncing a vain display in alms-giving? There is without doubt here another typographical error, and instead of Matthew vi, 1, it should be Matthew iv, 1, and the text of the sermon was, Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. It was not unsuitable to the occasion for the preacher to warn his audience, to resist such temptations as might assail them even in so remote and wild a solitude as Quinnipiack; or, in the language of Mr. Bancroft, to suggest, that, "like the Son of Man, they were led into the wilderness to be tempted."

In a History of the United States*

* History of the United States, or Republic of America. By Emma Willard. Second revised edition; Philadelphia, 1842.

lately published, the same errors occur, in part, with some which are new, or with which we do not recollect to have before met. Thus, it is said that "Eaton had been a deputy governor of the East India company;" and that the colonists, "the first Sunday after they arrived, met and worshiped under a large tree," &c. This day is put down as "April 18." These mistakes have been already corrected. The historian then goes on to say, "Not long after, the free planters assem bled in a large barn belonging to Mr. Newman, and subscribed what, in distinction from a church union, they termed a plantation covenant. By this, each church was to be be gun by seven of their best and most pious men, called 'the seven pil lars' of the church, who were to be selected by twelve, chosen by the people at large for the purpose." "Under this covenant they continued until the next year, when they formed themselves into a body po litic, and established a form of gov ernment."*

The facts are not here correctly narrated. Nothing is known as to the time when the plan tation covenant of the Quinnipiack settlers was signed, except that it was soon after their arrival. This original agreement was comprised in a few words, and served for the foundation of a government till the 4th of June, 1639. On this day the people assembled in Mr. Newman's barn, and "formed themselves into a body politic;" and what is said of the "twelve, chosen by the people," and of the "seven pillars," belongs to the second meeting, and not to the first. These transactions are fully and accurately detailed in Trumbull's History of Connecticut.

Some doubts have been expressed by several writers, whether Dr. Trumbull is correct in saying, that the place where the Narraganset chief Miantonimoh was put to death

*p. 51.

by Uncas, chief of the Mohegans, was Sachem's plain, in the east part of the town of Norwich. Mr. Savage, in his notes on Winthrop's Journal, says, that to him "it seems much more probable," that the place where Miantonimoh was killed, was between Hartford and Windsor. His opinion seems to rest solely on the statement of Winthrop, who, after mentioning that the decision of the commissioners of the united colonies was, that Uncas might put Miantonimoh to death "so soon as he came within his own jurisdiction," in giving an account of the fact, represents it as occurring between those two towns. The jurisdiction of Uncas was on the borders of the Thames and its branches. What probability there is, that Uncas kill ed his prisoner so far from his own dominions, and almost under the eyes of the commissioners, is not very apparent. But the proof that Miantonimoh was put to death on Sachem's plain, in the neighborhood of the city of Norwich, is in our view conclusive, so far as such a fact can be ascertained from tradition and the attending circumstances. The tradition has been uniform, and, we believe, uncontradicted, except by Winthrop. We well remember hearing, more than half a century ago, a very intelligent female, then in advanced life, a native of Preston, and who when young lived near Sachem's plain, often tell the story of Miantonimoh, much in the same way as we find it in the history of Dr. Trumbull; and this, before that history was published. She said that Narraganset Indians were long accustomed to visit that place, and to add to or to repair the heap of stones on what they considered Miantonimoh's grave. After seeing the doubts on this subject expressed by Mr. Savage, we inquired of a gentleman in Norwich, who was well informed in the early history of that town and vicinity, what he knew of this tradition. His re

ply was, that his father, who was born before 1700, and who had heard the subject of Miantonimoh's death often talked about by those who were old when he was a boy, always spoke of the place and circumstances of this event much as Dr. Trumbull has recorded them. Other testimonies to the same effect might be mentioned. That when the commissioners of the united colonies had decided that Uncas might kill Miantonimoh within his own jurisdiction, a plain within this jurisdiction should have been called, certainly from very early times, Sachem's plain, in commemoration of Miantonimoh's death,-that a heap of stones should have long marked what was considered the grave of the chief,-that Indians should have long visited the spot, as the place where one of their great men fell, and that there should have been no tradition of a contrary character, can be accounted for, we suppose, only by admitting the truth of the commonly received story. That Gov. Winthrop should have been misinformed, seems neither impossible nor very improbable. At least, in balancing probabilities, the preponderance is certainly against him.

In the "Commentaries on American Law," by Chancellor Kent, where the author is treating on the progress of religious liberty and toleration in the United States, we find the following statement. "In Connecticut the early settlers establish. ed, and enforced by law, a uniformity of religious belief and worship and made it requisite that every person holding a civil office, should be a church member. The severity of such a religious establishment was from time to time relaxed, until at last, by the constitution of 1818, perfect freedom of religious profes sion and worship, without discrimi nation, was ordained."* As this is so novel an account, it is much to

* Vol. II, p. 34, fourth edition, note.

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