Mayhew, Experience

Mayhew, Experience a noted American divine, for years actively engaged in missionary labors among the Indians, was born Jan. 27, 1673. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all most successfully engaged as missionaries to the Indians before him. In March, 1694, about five years after the death of his father, he began to preach to the Indians, taking the oversight of five or six of their assemblies. The Indian language had been familiar to him from infancy, and he was employed by the commissioners of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in New England to make a new version of the Psalms and John, which work he executed with great accuracy in 1709. He died Nov. 29. 1758, aged eighty-five. He published a sermon entitled All Mankind by Nature equally under Sin (1724): — Indian Converts (1727), in which he gives an account of the lives of thirty Indian ministers, and about eighty Indian men, women, and youth, worthy of remembrance on account of their piety: — Letter on the Lord's Supper (1741): — Grace Defended (1744), in which he contends that the offer of salvation made to sinners in the Gospel contains in it a conditional promise of the grace given in regeneration. In this he says he differs from most Calvinists; yet he supports the doctrines of original sin, of eternal decrees, and of the sovereignty of God in the salvation of man. His son Zechariah succeeded him in the missionary field, making five generations thus engaged. The age attained by the Mayhews is remarkable: the first, Thomas, died aged ninety; Experience, eighty-four; John, grandson of the first John, eighty- nine; his brother Jeremiah, eighty-five; Dr. Matthew, eighty-five; Zechariah, seventy-nine. — Indian Conv., Appendix, p. 306, 307; Chauncy's Remarks on Landaff's Sermon, p. 23; Cyclop. Rel. Knowledge, s.v.

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