The attention of the student of New England theology, though it is occupied again and again with the strife of public controversy, is ever recalled from the noise of debate and the glare of publicity to the quiet of some retired study in which an obscure minister, a laborious professor, or a peaceful thinker is doing the real work of promoting the progress of the school. We must now retrace our steps, go back again to about the beginning of the century into whose struggles we have so far penetrated, and study the quiet labor which was embodied in the systems of theology which were created in those early years, and which may be called the second generation of such creations in New Eng­ land. They were systems, or the products of consistent and comprehensive thought; they were remarkably inde­ pendent in their character; but they were prepared in full knowledge of what men were disputing upon, and register the matured conclusions of their authors upon the contro­ verted topics. They are in this sense conditioned upon the controversies, even where they give little definite evidence of such a connection. They could not well be understood at an earlier point, but they must now be introduced, for without them the later controversies will also be unintelli­ gible.