Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1780. 134pp. "By Joseph Huntington D.D." written in neat ink beneath the title. Ezra Stiles's copy, with inscription at head of title: "To Revd E. Stiles. Nov. 23 1780." Several learned marginal notes by Stiles, with some text underlined. Stitched and untrimmed. Lacking the final blank. Closed tear at leaf 89-90 with slight text loss. Last several leaves with significant margin tears and loss of several letters. Hence Good only.
"In response to Stephen West's Vindication of the principles and conduct of the church in Stockbridge, concerning the excommunication of Mrs. Fisk by an ecclesiastical council convened at Stockbridge. Attributed to Joseph Huntington in Dexter's Yale graduates" [ESTC]
John Fisk had been a military officer and was now a school teacher in Stockbridge. He wooed and won the Widow Deane. Widow Deane's church warned her not to marry Fisk, whom it deemed an immoral character, primarily because of his barnyard [or military camp] language. Remorseful, Fisk sought pardon; nevertheless the church was unswayed by his purported repentance. The widow Deane went ahead and married him anyway-- she was promptly excommunicated at Stockbridge.
Stephen West wrote a pamphlet in vindication of the excommunication. Huntington disagrees, saying the Church and Council seek "to debar mankind from the plain, common right they have of chusing those companions which they like best, and which they judge will be the greatest blessings and comforts to them." Writing during the American Revolution, Huntington compares such dictatorial behavior to that of "the British Ministry."
FIRST EDITION. Evans 16804. Trumbull 888. ESTC W13558. Item #39604