Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

COTTON. 157 called Seaborn. Upon their arrival at Boston,-the town, whieh had been hitherto called Trimountain, on account of its three hills, was, out of respect to Mr. Cotton, who went from Boston in Lincolnshire, now called Boston.. This learneddivine, presently after his arrival, was chosen colleague to Mr. John Wilson, in the church at Boston, which soon proved an unspeakable blessing to the town. It was in part owing to his wisdom and influence, that in a few years it became the capital of the whole province. Previous to Mr. Cotton's arrival, the civil and ecclesiastical constitu- tions were both in avery shattered state ; but, by his vigorous and judicious efforts, the utmost order and agreement were promoted ; and, it is said, he was more useful than any other person in the settlement of the civil as well as the ecclesiastical polity of New England .f About the year 1642, when the episcopal power began to decline in Eng- land, several of the leading members in both houses of par- liament wrote to him, warmly pressing him to return to his native country ; but lie, enjoying the blessings of peace and safety, was unwilling to venture out in the midst of the storm.t He therefore continued at Boston to the day of his death. About this time, numerous antinomian and familistic errors began to be propagated in various parts of New England, particularly at Boston. This raised a dreadful tempest among the people. Mrs. Hutchinson, and Mr. Wheelwright, her brother, were at the head, and Mr. Cotton was deeply involved in the unhappy affair. Indeed, some of our historians do not hesitate to affirm, that he imbibed some of their wild opinions ; but, uponfarther examination, he saw his error, and renounced them.s Others deny the whole charge, and endeavour to prove it altogether a slander intended to injure his All, however, agree, that at the synod of Cambridge, in 1646, he openly declared his utter dislike of all those opinions, as being- some of them heretical, some blasphemous, some erroneous, and all incongruous. At the above synod, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Richard Mather, and Mr. Ralph Partridge, were each appointed to draw up a platform of church government, with a view to collect one out of theta all at the next o Morseand Parish's Hist. of New Eng. p. 40. -1 Ibid. p. 54. Mather's Hist. b. iii. 20-23. Bailie's Dissuasive, p. 57-59.-Morse and Parish's Hist. p. 142. X hiatiser's Hist. b. iii. p. 21:-Peirce's Vindication, part i. p. 207.