This fourth installment in a series exploring newly discovered manuscripts relating to the “Qualifications Controversy” that drove Edwards from his Northampton pastorate presents an unpublished oppositional dissertation by Experience Mayhew, a prominent eighteenth-century Indian missionary from Martha’s Vineyard. Next to Solomon Stoddard, Mayhew was Edwards’s most important theological target during the conflict. Where Edwards pressed toward precision in defining the qualifications for admission to the Lord’s Supper, Mayhew remained convinced that the standards for membership in New England’s Congregational churches should encompass a broad range of knowledge and experience. His rejoinder to Edwards’s Humble Inquiry provides a rare opportunity to assess the ecclesiastical conflict as it reverberated outward from Northampton and the Connecticut Valley.
Copyright © 2016, The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University. This article first appeared in Jonathan Edwards Studies: 6:1 (2016), 31-80.
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Winiarski, Douglas L. "New Perspectives on the Northampton Communion Controversy IV: Experience Mayhew’s Dissertation on Edwards’s Humble Inquiry." Jonathan Edwards Studies 6, no. 1 (2016): 31-80.