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Date of this Version
The work reprinted here, An Earnest Exhortation to the Inhabitants of New-England to Hearken to the Voice of God in His Late and Present Dispensations As Ever They Desire to Escape Another Judgement, Seven Times Greater Then Any Thing Which as Yet Hath Been (1676), is transcribed from the copy held by the American Antiquarian Society. It is Mather's theological explication of King Philip’s War (1675-76) as God’s punishment of his people for their backsliding. Characteristic of the homiletic tradition of the jeremiad is Increase Mather’s paradigmatic response to the war with the Indian Sachem Metacom and his action plan to appease his wrathful God. An Earnest Exhortation is one of the most revealing documents of the period of how the Puritan ministry squarely located cause and effect of all their actions in God’s providential and soteriological design for New England. The work was originally published in Boston in 1676, and was commonly bound with his A Brief History of the Warr with the Indians in New-England.
Contains a brief biography and assessment of Increase Mather. The work is about 15,000 words long, and can be printed on 22 sheets of letter-sized paper.
The text was prepared by Reiner Smolinski and appeared in his The Kingdom, the Power, & the Glory: The Millennial Impulse in Early American Literature (Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall-Hunt, 1998), pp. 77–98.
Introduction copyright © 1998 Reiner Smolinski.