Boston: Printed in the Year, 1743. First edition. Removed pamphlet, 6.88 x 4.38 inches, 29,  pages plus terminal blank. Small piece torn from the fore-edge of the title page, just touching one letter; another small, closed tear from the foot; a little browned and worn; a very good copy. Item #18988
“Gentlemen, Why would you prevent my Preaching? Is it because I don’t yell, and roar, and endeavour to affright weak People? Is it because I don’t cry to them to come to Christ, and threaten them with being double damn’d if they don’t come to Christ?” A detailed self-defense after defeat in the long-running Stone-Osborn controversy: Osborn had been removed from his position preaching at Eastham, on Cape Cod, after two decades of alarums and excursions on the part of Rev. Nathaniel Stone of Brewster (Stone was characterized by Cotton Mather as a “wilful, furious, wretched minister”), Stone at times relying on dodgy documentation; Osborn was eventually dismissed, ostensibly for Arminian tendencies—but perhaps also because of a son fathered out of wedlock, as well as his own willingness to baptize children “born too soon.” A presentation copy, with the neat ink inscription across the head of the title page, “A Gift of the Author to Edward Wigglesworth 1743.” Osborn, who had turned to teaching school in Boston after losing his position on Cape Cod, has a number of pointed criticisms here against itinerant ministers, and was thus likely hoping to find an ally with Wiggleswoth (the first Hollis professor of divinity at Harvard) in his quest for reinstatement. For an entertaining and detailed account of the Stone-Osborn controversy, see Gustavus Swift Paine. “Ungodly Carriages on Cape Cod.” The New England Quarterly 25, no. 2 (1952): 181-98. Evans 5265.