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From THE NEW ENGLAND PRIMER.
Learnt sin to fly.
Xerxes did die,
My Book and Heart
ANNE BRADSTREET. From THE PROLOGUE TO “ THE FOUR ELEMENTS."
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
That says my hand a needle better fits;
For such despite they cast on female wits;
But sure, the antique Greeks were far more mild,
Else of our sex why feigned they those Nine,
So, 'mongst the rest, they placed the arts divine.
Men have precedency, and still excel;
Men can do best, and women know it well;
And even with your prey still catch your praise,
Give thyme or parsley wreath; I ask no bays;
From MEAT OUT OF THE EATER.
Under a Captain stout ;
By basely giving out.
And hope for better things ;
Mounts upon midnight's wings.
Mr. Cotton, Mr. Hooker, and Mr. Stone, which glorious triumvirate coming together made the poor people in the wilderness, at their coming, to say, that the God of Heaven had supplied them with what would in some sort answer their then great necessities: Cotton for their clothing, Jooker for their fishing, and Stone for their building.
EPITAPH ON MICHAEL WIGGLESWORTH.
From THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL. If the Will, which we find governs the members of the body, and determines their motions, does not govern itself, and determine its own actions, it doubtless determines them the same way, even by antecedent volitions. The Will determines which way the hands and feet shall move, by an act of choice: and there is no other way of the Will's de
determining, directing, or commanding anything at all. Whatsoever the Will commands, it commands by an act of the Will. And if it has itself under its command, and determines itself in its own actions, it doubtless does it in the same way that it determines other things which are under its command. So that if the freedom of the Will consists in this, that it has itself and its own actions under its command and direction, and its own volitions are determined by itself, it will follow, that every free volition arises from another antecedent volition, directing and commanding that: and if that directing volition be also free, in that also the Will is determined: that is to say, that directing volition is determined by another going before that; and so on, till we come to the first volition in the whole series; and if that first volition be free, and the Will self-determined in it, then that is determined by another volition preceding that. Which is a contradiction; because by the supposition it can have none before it, to direct or determine it, being the first in the train. But if that first volition is not determined by any preceding act of the Will, then that act is not determined by the Will, and so is not free in the Arminian notion of freedom, which consists in the Will's self-determination. And if that first act of the Will which determines and fixes the subsequent acts be not free, none of the following acts, which are determined by it, can be free. If we suppose there are five acts in the train, the fifth and last determined by the fourth, and the fourth by the third, the third by the second, and the second by the first; if the first is not determined by the Will, and so not free, then none of them are truly determined by the Will: that is, that each of them are as they are, and not otherwise, is not first owing to the Will, but to the determination of the first in the series, which is not dependent on the Will, and is that which the Will has no hand in determining. And this being that which decides what the rest shall be, and determines their existence; therefore the first determination of their existence is not from the Will. The case is just the same if, instead of a chain of five acts of the Will, we should suppose a succession of ten, or an hundred, or ten thousand. If the first act be not free, being determined by something out of the Will, and this determines the next to be agreeable to itself, and that the next, and so on; none of them are free, but all originally depend on, and are determined by, some cause out of the Will; and so all freedom in the case is excluded, and no act of the Will can be free, according to this notion of freedom. Thus, this Arminian notion of Liberty of the Will, consisting in the Will's Self-determination, is repugnant to itself, and shuts itself wholly out of the world.
The literature of America is unlike that of every other nation, in not having its origin in poetry.
We have a history, but no traditional myths.
The first printing-press was established at Harvard College. The first book printed in America was the Bay Psalm Book, Cambridge, 1640.
At this time John Milton was pleading for the liberty of the press in England.
Among the prominent theologians of the earliest colonial times were John Cotton, Roger Williams, Thomas Hooper, Samuel Stone, John Eliot, Increase Mather, and Cotton Mather.
Many of the Governors of the young colony were men of literary culture.
The Presidents of the several colleges were also men of letters. Presi. dent Chauncey was the first of note.
The poets of the time were rare. Anne Bradstreet is regarded as the first poetess of America.
Michael Wigglesworth and Peter Folger had also some distinction as poets or rhymers. There was no true poetry written in the colonial times.
Other writers of the time were James Logan, John Woolman, President Clapp, Rev. Jonathan Dickinson, and President Burr.
Jonathan Edwards was by far the most prominent writer of the time, and was considered one of the greatest metaphysicians of the age. His principal work is On the Freedom of the Will.
MERICAN Literature may be said to have sprung into
Otis ; with the speeches and letters of the elder Adams, Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Jay, Madison, and other patriots of the Revolution. The literature of this period was as distinctly political as it was theological in the age preceding.
Orators and Political Writers. Oratory, the literature of republics, has seldom had such representatives as this country has afforded. But the literature of oratory is more or less ephemeral in its nature, and orations, if they are handed down to us at all, lack the eloquence of eye and voice and gesture that breathed inspiring life to the speaker's words. Some of the grandest oratorical efforts were never recorded.
This age of oratory in America had its counterpart in English politics. Contemporary with Patrick Henry, James Otis, Adams, and Jefferson in America, were Pitt, Burke, Fox, and Sheridan in England.
JAMES OTIS (1725-1783) was one of the ablest orators and firmest patriots of the Revolution. Of his first great speech, made in 1761, John Adams says, “ American independence was then and there born.” PATRICK HENRY (1736-1799), of Vir