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Solomon Stoddard

1643-1729. American Congregational pastor. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Harvard College and became its first librarian (1667). Ordained in 1672, he was pastor of the church at Northampton from 1672 until 1729. He was partially responsible for the formulation and defense of the Half- Way Covenant*; his apology for this practice was set out in his first major work, Doctrine of Instituted Churches Explained and Proved from the Word of God (1700). He moved further away from traditional Puritanism with his teaching that baptized persons should be admitted to the Lord's Supper even if they could not testify to a conversion experience. Stoddard argued that the Lord's Supper might act as a “converting influence.” His other works include An Appeal to the Learned (1709), Questions on the Conversion of the Indians (1723), and Safety in the Righteousness of Christ (4th ed., 1792). Stoddard was the grandfather of Jonathan Edwards.*