Charles Chauncy, 1705 - 1787

Charles Chauncy was an American Universalist minister and, next to Jonathan Edwards, was probably the most influential clergyman of his time in New England.  He was disenchanted with Calvinist revivalism because he felt it to be based upon a delusion.  According to the Universalist tenet, the salvation of Christ would be given to all people without exception, and therefore to bring men to God through generating fear of divine punishment was misdirected and misleading.  As a leader of a group of contrarian religious thinkers, Chauncy was a forerunner of American TranscendentalismOrestes Brownson, before he became a Transcendentalist, had been a Universalist minister.