Mitchell, Jonathan

Mitchell, Jonathan a Presbyterian divine of note, was born in England in 1624. He came to this country in 1635. Jonathan was afforded all the advantages of education within reach. After due preparation, he was entered at Harvard College, and graduated in 1647. He was ordained at Cambridge, August 21, 1650, and settled as minister in that place. Soon after this president Dunstar embraced the principles of the Baptists. This was a peculiar trial to Mitchell; but, though he felt it to be his duty to combat the principles of his former tutor, he did it with such meekness of wisdom as not to lose his friendship. Mitchell's controversy resulted in the removal of president Dunstar from the college. In 1662 he was a member of the synod which met in Boston to discuss and settle a question concerning Church- membership and Church discipline, and the report was chiefly written by him. The determination of the question relating to the baptism of the children of those who did not approach the Lord's table, and the support thus given to what is called the half-way covenant, was more owing to him than to any other man. SEE HALF-WAY COVENANT. Time has shown that the views which this good man labored so hard to establish on this point cannot be sustained without ruining the purity of the churches. Jonathan Mitchell was eminent for piety, wisdom, humility, and love. He possessed a retentive memory, and was a fervent and energetic preacher. He died July 9,1668. He published several letters and sermons, for which consult Justin Winsor's Catalogue of the Prince Library (Boston, 1870, royal 8vo). One Life, by C. Mather; Magnalia, 3:158-185; Hist. Soc. 7:23 27, 47-52. (J.H.W.)

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