8/17/2011 at 12:37 PM
"Solomon Stoddard (September 27, 1643, baptized October 1, 1643 – February 11, 1728 or 1729) was the American colonial minister who succeeded Rev. Eleazer Mather as pastor at Northampton, Massachusetts, where he died, after Mather's death. Stoddard significantly liberalized church policy while promoting more power for the clergy, decrying drinking and extravagance, and urging the preaching of hellfire and the Judgment."
"...graduated from Harvard College in 1662. "
"[Stoddard]....was the American colonial minister who succeeded Rev. Eleazer [Cotton] Mather as pastor at Northampton, Massachusetts, where he died, after Mather's death.....[Mather]... is often remembered for his role in the Salem witch trials."
".......he received the calling to Northampton Church to replace the late Eleazar Mather. Stoddard accepted the offer, and relocated to Northampton in 1670. Within a few months, Stoddard had married Mather's widow, née Esther Wareham (circa 1644 - February 10, 1736), moved into his house, and took over his pulpit to become Northampton's second minister. He held the post for 55 years, and he and Esther produced thirteen children."
"....Stoddard contradicted nearly every standard belief of his Puritan colleagues...." His religious philosophy attempted to relax standard Puritan beliefs, but was strongly contested in his day.
".....Stoddard may have been too liberal for his grandson Jonathan Edwards, but he was apparently lampooned for prudishness concerning petticoats by none other than Benjamin Franklin. Stoddard published a pamphlet in 1722 entitled "Answer to Some Cases of Conscience" in which he argued that the newly fashionable hoop petticoats were immoral. He stated that the petticoats were "Contrary to the Light of Nature" and that "Hooped Petticoats have something of Nakedness". Franklin's satirical response was an anonymous pamphlet entitled "Hoop-Petticoats Arraigned and Condemned, by the Light of Nature, and Law of God"...."
"....His venerable Looks let us descry He taller was than mean or common size, Of lovely Look, with majesty in's Eyes. From Nature's Gate he walk'd like King's on Earth There's scarce such Presence seen 'mongst human breath -------------------- Solomon was a well known Puritan Religious leader. Had something to do with shaping the way the religion is commonly practiced these days."