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Inventing Eden: Primitivism, millennialism, and the making of New England

Dissertation
Author: Zachary McLeod Hutchins
Abstract:
Seventeenth-century exegetes described Eden as a three-fold paradise because they believed that Adam and Eve lived in "an external garden of delight," possessed incorrupt physiologies, and enjoyed intellectual, spiritual, and social perfections before the Fall. Accordingly, the dissertation is organized thematically, treating the ways in which New England colonists sought to mold their lands, bodies, minds, language, souls, and social spheres after the pattern provided in Eden. Chapter one traces the transition of terms used to describe the New England landscape from the present "paradise" of John Smith to the "hideous and desolate wilderness" of William Bradford and the prospective " Paradise " of Cotton Mather. Chapter two outlines programs of physiological reform, as colonists like Anne Bradstreet disciplined their physical bodies and ministers like Edward Taylor regulated the ecclesiastical body's consumption of communion in order to achieve humoral temperance--the somatic and spiritual state of Adam and Eve in Eden. Chapters three and four document Francis Bacon's influence on educational and linguistic aspirations in New England. I argue that because the encyclopedic knowledge and divinely denotative language of Adam were believed to be inseparably linked, Leonard Hoar's plans to turn Harvard into the world's first experimental laboratory in chemistry situated at a university and John Cotton's attempt to model the language of the Bay Psalm Book after the lingua humana of Eden should be understood as related endeavors, companion contributions from New England to the Baconian project for the instauration of prelapsarian intellectual perfections. Chapter five examines the ways in which ministers of the Great Awakening presented Adam and Eve to their congregants as types of Christian conversion, and chapter six details the process by which theories of natural law distilled from Genesis became the basis for colonial rebellion and republican government through the influence of Oceana , James Harrington's vision of an idealized, edenic republic. Spanning two centuries and surveying the works of major British and American authors from George Herbert and John Milton to Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin, Inventing Eden is the history of an idea that irrevocably altered the theology, literature, and culture of early modern New England.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES...................................................................................................................xii INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................................................1 Edenic Past, Edenic Future: The Turn from Primitivism to Millennialism...................3 The Limits and Labor of Eden: Separating the Ideal from the Idyllic.........................17 Invention: Discovery, Interpretation, and Innovation..................................................31 Intellectual Roots, Cultural Fruits: Grounding Intellectual History............................37 Inventing Eden: Methods and Materials......................................................................45 CHAPTERS I. FINDING PARADISE, INVENTING WILDERNESS: THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSSIBILITIES AND AGRICULTURAL REALITIES OF COLONIAL NEW ENGLAND.......................................................56

Finding Paradise: “The More I Looked, the More I Liked It.”....................................59 Cultivating Wilderness: Importing English Order and Invention................................83 Confronting Failure: The Inward Turn......................................................................102 II. A BODY UNEMBARRASSED: HUMORAL EMPOWERMENT AND ASPIRATIONS TO EDENIC TEMPERANCE..............................................111

Other-Fashioning: The Limits of Humoral Empowerment.......................................119 Engendering Edenic Temperance: The Sexing of Medicine.....................................123 Embarrassed By Sin: Humoral Correctives for Ecclesiastical Intemperance............139 The Humoral Inheritance: Pauper to Printer..............................................................156

x Edenic Body, American Identity................................................................................163 III. THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON: ADAM, EVE, AND BACON’S LEGACY IN NEW ENGLAND................................................................................165

New England as New Atlantis: Cotton’s Epistemological Mandate.........................172 The Aims of a College: Harvard’s Place in the Paradisiacal Tradition.....................180 The Wisdom of Anne Bradstreet: Imitating Elizabeth, Outdoing Solomon..............192 An Edenic Enlightenment: The Science of Mather and Edwards..............................211 IV. TRANSLATIONS OF EDEN: HEBREW, HERBERT, AND THE NEW ENGLAND INTEREST IN LINGUISTIC PURITY......................................217

Entering The Temple: Two Paths Back to Paradisiacal Purity..................................226 “In the Beginning Was the Word”: The Plain Language of the Bay Psalm Book.........................................................................................................237

“Make my Leaden Whittle, Metall Good”: Edward Taylor and the Alchemy of Eden.......................................................................................................262

Paradise Lost, Paradise Regain’d: The Eighteenth-Century Move to Milton....................................................................................................................272

V. FROM ADAM’S INNOCENCE TO EVE’S REGENERACY: ALTERNATIVE MODELS AND MORPHOLOGIES OF CONVERSION IN EARLY MODERN NEW ENGLAND.....................................279

Exemplary Pilgrims: Seventeenth-Century Narratives of Conversion......................289 First Stirrings: Preparing for the New Birth in New England...................................300 Labor and Delivery: Edwards, Eve, and the New Birth............................................314 The After Birth: Eve’s Impact on Edwards and the Awakenings..............................322 VI. ‘OUT OF CHAOS AND CONFUSION’: THE BELATED CREATION AND ANTICIPATED FALL OF HARRINGTON’S EDENIC REPUBLIC.................................................................................................328

Declaring Eden: Jefferson, Grotius, and the Natural Law Tradition.........................330 The Architecture of Eden: Right Reason and Republican Government....................344

xi A Snake in the Garden: Portents of the Fall..............................................................369 The Conclusion of the Whole Matter: Vanity of Vanities, All is Vanity..................400 APPENDICES A. A COMPENDIUM OF NEW ENGLAND FLORA AND FAUNA CATALOGUED IN ACCOUNTS OF THE 1620s AND 1630s...............................402

B. A COLOR-CODED ETYMOLOGICAL AND SYLLABIC ANALYSIS OF THREE PSALTERS.......................................................................409

BIBLIOGRAPHY..................................................................................................................452

xii LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Words Per Psalm......................................................................................................253 Table 2: A Comparative Analysis of Three Versions of the 23 rd Psalm................................254 Table 3: Etymological Composition of the Bay Psalm Book................................................255 Table 4: A Comparative Analysis of Three Psalters’ Etymological Roots...........................257

INTRODUCTION

When Christopher Columbus first arrived in the New World, he found that on the island of Española the indigenous people “all go naked, men and women, as their mothers bore them, although some women cover a single place with the leaf of a plant or with a net of cotton which they make for the purpose.” 1 Columbus eventually comes to understand both the nakedness and the strategic covering of these “Indians” in biblical terms, converting their foreign customs and the fecundity of the land into symbols of Eden. 2 By the time of his third voyage to the West Indies, Columbus had developed new theological and geographical theories to account for the edenic character of Española and the surrounding islands. He postulated that the globe was shaped like “a very round pear, which has a raised stalk . . . or like a woman’s nipple on a round ball”: the Eastern Hemisphere from which he sails is spherical, like the bottom half of a pear; the Western Hemisphere of the New World tapers inward and upward, culminating in a mountain that protrudes from the earth’s surface like the stem of a pear; and Columbus believed that the garden of Eden was located on top of that

1 Christopher Columbus, The Four Voyages of Columbus, ed. Cecil Jane, Vol. I, (New York: Dover Publications, 1988), 6. 2 Edmundo O’Gorman traces the process by which Columbus’s empirical experiences are converted into subjective realities and concludes that “neither things nor happenings are something per se; their being (not their existence) depends on the meaning given to them in within the framework of the image of realtity valid at a particular moment” (Edmundo O’Gorman, The Invention of America, [Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1961] 51). Because Columbus discovered a new—or unknown world—“within a world which, by definition allowed no such possibility,” this new world was understood as a remnant of an already known “new world”— Eden (69). Tzvetan Todorov likewise remarks on the pre-determined nature of Columbus’s discovery of Eden: “The interpretation of nature’s signs as practiced by Columbus is determined by the result that must be arrived at” (Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America, trans. Richard Howard, [New York: Harper & Row, 1984], 22).

2 mountain. Columbus’s theory contradicts both the “authoritative accounts and the experiments which Ptolemy and all the others have recorded concerning this matter” of world geography and “all the learned theologians [who] agree that the earthly paradise is in the East,” yet he maintained that Eden was located in the New World. 3

Although Columbus was certain that Eden’s presence had a tempering influence on the surrounding climate and population, with fresh water from the four rivers that he believed flowed out of the garden pushing back the salt water of the ocean, he refused even to attempt to ascertain the validity of his theory. He did not seek Eden itself because he did not believe “that the summit of the extreme point is navigable, or water, or that it is possible to ascend there, for I believe that the earthly paradise is there and to it, save by the will of God, no man can come.” Columbus exhorted Ferdinand and Isabella to send additional colonists to harvest the edenic resources and convert the innocently “simple” inhabitants of the New World, but he did not presume that his discovery will allow humanity to re-enter Eden in all its prelapsarian splendor. Instead, he thought of himself as “the messenger” of God whose arrival in the New World fulfilled the apocalyptic prophecies of Isaiah, by whose mouth God “spake so clearly of these lands . . . affirming that from Spain His holy name should be proclaimed to them.” 4 For Columbus, as Djelal Kadir notes, “the progress of the soul was no longer toward a Golden Age of yore but in an investment in the features of futurity, whether Elysian fields or Arcadian eutopias.” Columbus expounded on his millennial vision for the

3 Columbus, The Four Voyages II.30, 36, 28. 4 ibid, II.36, I.78, II.2-4.Though Columbus does not identify the specific verses in Isaiah to which he is referring, his Book of Prophecies highlights chapter fifty-one of Isaiah repeatedly, where God promises “to make her desert as a place of pleasure and her wilderness as the garden of the Lord” and indicates that the “islands shall look for me and shall wait patiently for my arm” until “the earth shall be worn away like a garment” (Christopher Columbus, The Libro de las Profecías of Christopher Columbus, trans. Delno C. West and August King, [Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1991], 175). This introduction, like Columbus’s descriptions of the New World, conflates the themes of origin and ending, Eden and Judgment, when the righteous would enjoy a paradisiacal state and the wicked would be thrust down to Hell.

3 future of this edenic New World in the Book of Prophecies, establishing a link between Eden and eschatology from the very beginning of what we now call American literature that was reaffirmed and revisited throughout the following four centuries by American—and New England—authors from Cotton Mather to Herman Melville. 5

Edenic Past, Edenic Future: The Turn from Primitivism to Millennialism While the edenic and eschatalogical themes of Columbus, Mather, and Melville are widely acknowledged, intellectual historians have recently called into question the continuity of this apocalyptic tradition, and Reiner Smolinski complains that historians of religion and literary scholars alike have projected the eschatological focus of Mather and Melville “back into the motivation of the first settlers [of New England] and thus read the literature of this transmigration in light of its later manifestation.” There simply is no evidence, Smolinski suggests, that “millenarian ideology informed the Puritan exodus during the first wave of emigration, because such issues did not become pronounced until a full decade after the first wave of settlers had arrived in New England.” 6 Others have argued that the central incentives

5 Djelal Kadir, Columbus and the Ends of the Earth, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 3. The apocalyptic bent of American literature is the subject of Douglas Robinson’s American Apocalypses. While Robinson assumes that “the very idea of America in history is apocalyptic,” this study challenges that assertion’s simplicity and illustrates the ways in which American apocalypticism is inextricably linked to primitivist priorities. Understanding this initial link between Armageddon and Eden reveals a shift in the significance of the apocalypse; whereas seventeenth- and eighteenth-century writers looked forward to the event as a transformative experience that would lead to a physical and spiritual renewal of the community, Robinson suggests that by the middle of the nineteenth century, apocalyptic meditation “becomes too efficacious, too likely to intiate a transformation that will endanger the collective vision of the community.” While the apocalyptic literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that Robinson surveys may function as “betrayals of mankind’s holiest self-conceptions, expressions of a diseased lust for racial suicide,” the first expressions of an American apocalyptic tradition were anything but—they were the means by which mankind’s holiest self-conceptions were realized, not betrayed. See Douglas Robinson, American Apocalypses, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), xi, xv, 3. 6 Reiner Smolinski, “Apocalypticism in Colonial North America,” in The Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism, Vol. 3, ed. Stephen J. Stein, (New York: Continuum, 1998), 37; Reiner Smolinski, General Introduction to The Kingdom, the Power, & the Glory, ed. Reiner Smolinski, (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1998), xii.

4 for emigration to New England were economic and not eschatological, but the primary motivation of Puritans who left their England homes for the Bay Colony could not have been a desire for wealth. As Howard Russell notes, an unemployed spinner or weaver of woolens or even an enterprising London merchant might be led by alluring reports into adventuring in a new country, [but] it would ordinarily take more than a year or two of poor markets or low income to uproot country gentlemen such as [John] Winthrop or [John] Endecott, or yeomen and husbandmen with fertile lands, ancestral rights, and assured position in Essex, Norfolk, Lincoln, or Middlesex. 7

Neither eschatology nor economic necessity can fully explain the Puritan emigration; instead, the Puritan exodus should be understood primarily as an extension of the Protestant Reformation, a movement to restore Christianity to an original state of purity in an environment free from the creeping influence of papacy. T. D. Bozeman has shown that the Puritan emigration was a movement intended to reverse “the decline of centuries but one that also curved back to restore contact with originals and return Christianity to its primitive foundations. In this context, ‘reformation’ (or ‘restoration’ or ‘restitution’), describing the distinctive task of Protestant Christians until the approaching end of the world, was distinguished by the prefix re-, signifying directedness toward the first and best.” The texts produced by Puritan emigrants in the 1630s reflect a “sustained preoccupation with moral and primitive purity”; the colonists looked to the past for a model of individual and ecclesiastical innocence, to biblical history—not to a glorious millennial future. 8 Bozeman and others identify the early Christian church of the first and second centuries as the central influence on Puritan aspirations to primitive purity, but the innocence of Eden was, arguably, an even more important standard for Winthrop and the first

7 Howard S. Russell, A Long, Deep Furrow, (Hanover: University Press of New England, 1976), 28. 8 Theodore Dwight Bozeman, To Live Ancient Lives, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), 18, 7.

5 wave of Puritan colonists to cross the Atlantic. After all, as the assembled divines of the Massachusetts Bay Colony pointedly told John Cotton during the Antinomian Controversy: to have “the Image of God in Adam renewed in us” was the entire point of the Puritan errand into the wilderness. 9

From Edenic Innocence...

The desire to make the Bay Colony specifically, and New England generally, into an exemplary society is one that has long been recognized by scholars of American literature. Sacvan Bercovitch, among others, argues that Puritan theology in New England—even during the 1630s—revolves around “a prophetic vision that unveils the promises, announces the good things to come, and explains away the gap between fact and ideal,” between the current state of New England’s churches and “millennial expectations, for America first and then the world.” 10 Those who emphasize the eschatological character of 1630s theology point, with Bercovitch, to John Winthrop’s foundational sermon, “A Modell of Christian Charitie,” as an early manifestation of millennial fervor. But Bozeman argues forcefully and persuasively that Winthrop’s call to “be as a Citty vpon a Hill” is not the “climax or conclusion to Winthrop’s principal arguments. [The words] occur, instead, in passing, in the midst of a paragraph that commences with and proceeds to other and thematically more central matters.” 11 Winthrop’s sermon clearly revolves around the idea of establishing an ideal society, but the central image of that society in the “Modell” is not the millennial New Jerusalem encoded as a “Citty vpon a Hill” or even the primitive Christian church: it is Eden.

9 John Cotton, Sixteene Questions of Serious and Necessary Consequence, in The Antinomian Controversy, 1636-1638, 2 nd ed, ed. David D. Hall, (Durham: Duke Univerity Press, 1999), 51. 10 Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad, (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), 16, 42. 11 John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” in Winthrop Papers, Vol. 2, ed. Stewart Mitchell, (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1931), 295; Bozeman, To Live Ancient Lives, 92.

6 Describing the community which he plans to establish at the Bay, Winthrop exhorts church members to acquire the love that bound their first parents together in the garden of Eden and that will allow them to enjoy a paradisiacal social unity in New England. Winthrop explains that as it was for Adam and Eve before the Fall, so too is it between the members of Christ, each discernes by the worke of the spirit his owne Image and resemblance in another, and therefore cannot but loue him as he loues himself: Now when the soule which is of a sociable nature findes any thing like to it selfe, it is like Adam when Eue was brought to him, shee must haue it one with herselfe this is fleshe of my fleshe (saith shee) and bone of my bone shee conceiues a greate delighte in it, therefore shee desires nearness and familiarity with it: shee hath a greate propensity to doe it good and receiues such content in it, as feareing the miscarriage of her beloued shee bestowes it in the inmost closett of her heart, shee will not endure that it shall want any good which see can giue it, if by occasion shee be withdrawne from the Company of it, shee is still looking towardes the place where shee left her beloued, if shee heare it groane shee is with it presently, if shee finde it sadd and disconsolate shee sighes and mournes with it, shee hath noe such ioy, as to see her beloued merry and thriueing, if shee see it wronged, shee cannot beare it without passion, shee setts noe boundes of her affeccions, nor hath any thought of reward, shee findes recompence enoughe in the exercise of her loue towardes it. 12

The sheer length of Winthrop’s encomium on Eve’s marital affections indicates that the edenic pattern she represents is more central to Winthrop’s conception of the Bay’s future than his brief reference to Christ’s sermon on the mount and the image of a city on a hill. But Eve is not the only exemplary inhabitant of Eden, and in his sermon Winthrop returns to other images and attributes of the garden repeatedly; even when he introduces alternative models of Christian charity from outside the garden, he takes pains to connect them to Eden. Winthrop does identify the early Christian church as a group that collectively attained the charity originally possessed by Eve. Because the primitive Christian church abolished private property, a product of the Fall, and because the believers, like Adam and Eve, “were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he

12 Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” 290-91.

7 possessed was his own; but they had all things common,” Winthrop understands their selflessness as an antitype to edenic charity. In describing the early Christian church, Winthrop calls attention to God’s promise that “such as haue beene most bountifull to the poore Saintes . . . shalt be like a watered Garden, and they shall be of thee that shall build the old wast places,” implicitly referencing God’s promise in Isaiah that he “will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord.” 13 Winthrop points out that “Adam in his first estate was a perfect modell of mankinde in all theire generacions, and in him this loue was perfected,” making Adam a type of all the regenerate, of every individual who achieved the love that he possessed naturally in Eden. More conventionally, Winthrop also describes Adam as a type of Christ; when charity “is thus formed in the soules of men it workes like the Spirit vpon the drie bones Ezek. 37. [7] bone came to bone, it gathers together the scattered bones or perfect old man Adam and knits them into one body againe in Christ whereby a man is become againe a liueing soule.” 14 Adam and Eve provide the climactic examples of charity in Winthrop’s sermon, and Eden is the “Modell” after which he urges his listeners to pattern their own lives. The edenic aspirations that Winthrop outlines in his “Modell” are characteristic of the earliest Puritan preaching in New England. In his Parable of the Ten Virgins, Thomas Shepard reflects on the spiritual state of the New England elect “whom God hath called out of the world, and planted in his Church” and asks, “What hath the Lord done, but opened the way to the Tree of life, and let you into Paradise again?” As Jesper Rosenmeier notes, the difference between Adam in Paradise and Shepard’s renewed Christian in New England is one of degree only: ‘Those that are renewed to Adams image in their measure, have according to that measure, power to act; … for he had power so to do

13 Acts 4:32; Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” 287-88; Isaiah 51:3. 14 Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” 290.

8 … Adam had a Law of Divinity, whereby he being a cause by Counsel, was enabled by God to carry himself toward his end. Now, we are renewed to that image in part.’ 15

Shepard’s belief in an “individual and collective renewal of man in Adam’s image” became “official doctrine” in New England, but he was not the only—or even the most prominent— preacher in New England, and other ministers invoked the edenic motif in their sermons for different purposes. 16

Whereas Shepard—and the vast majority of his contemporaries in the 1630s—viewed Eden solely as a model for the restoration of spiritual innocence, Cotton was one of the few preachers who saw in Eden a physical pattern of a millennial future even before civil unrest in England during the 1640s prompted eschatological excitement among Puritans on both sides of the Atlantic. Eden was, for Cotton, a pattern of the new heavens and the new earth that would be physically restored in the millennium when God “would come to repaire decayed nature.” 17 Given the importance of the edenic model to the primitivist aspirations that were replaced by widespread millennial fervor in the 1640s, it was, perhaps, inevitable that when “Puritan thinkers became interested in the millennial idea, they tied it firmly to [their original] primitivist priorities. The expected age of fulfillment was understood in several senses as the climax of Protestant restoration, the finally triumphant reversion to primordial conditions.” 18 By the midpoint of the seventeenth century, the millennial Eden of Cotton had replaced the primitive Eden of Shepard, and ministers who believed that the edenic perfections described in Genesis would be restored to the earth prior to the impending

15 Thomas Shepard, The Parable of the Ten Virgins, (London: J. Hayes, 1660), 5; Jesper Rosenmeier, “New England’s Perfection: The Image of Adam and the Image of Christ in the Antinomian Crisis,” The William and Mary Quarterly 27.3 (1970): 441. 16 Rosenmeier, “New England’s Perfection: The Image of Adam and the Image of Christ in the Antinomian Crisis,” 440. 17 John Cotton, The Way of Life, (London: M.F., 1641), 164.

9 apocalypse promised in Revelation had appropriated the paradisiacal rhetoric of preachers with primitivist priorities. The prospect of recapturing the prelapsarian perfections enjoyed by Adam and Eve motivated both the primitivist and the millennial movements in the seventeenth century, providing an illusion of eschatological continuity to modern critics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Eden was the ideal to which early modern New England looked as a pattern of primitive purity during the 1630s and as a model of millennial perfection in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; it is the theological touchstone that united two otherwise incompatible visions for New England’s future. ...to English Eschatology

Cotton’s conflation of Genesis and Revelation, of the beginning and end points of sacred time and sacred text, was the product of a slow evolution in Protestant apocalyptic thought from the Catholic starting points of Columbus. 19 In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, apocalyptic interpretations were primarily derived from three books of scripture: Daniel, Revelation, and the apocryphal Prophecy of Elias. 20 Sixteenth-century Protestant exegetes found in these texts a prophetic vision and timetable for what they then

18 Bozeman, To Live Ancient Lives, 18. 19 My discussion of English apocalypticism is significantly indebted to the magnificent work of Katharine R. Firth, who traces the evolution of the apocalyptic tradition in Britain from its Catholic origins into the 1640s, when she suggests that Joseph Mede makes the last original and significant contribution to the tradition for several centuries. For more on the topic, see her discussion of The Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain (Oxford University Press, 1979). Bryan Ball’s A Great Expectation (E. J. Brill, 1975) and Ernest Lee Tuveson’s Millennium and Utopia (University of California Press, 1949) and Redeemer Nation (University of Chicago Press, 1968) also provide thorough overviews of the development of millenarian thought, Ball in England and Tuveson more generally. For an overview of the quest to regain paradise that ranges from ancient to modern, see Charles L. Sanford, The Quest for Paradise, (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1961). 20 The Prophecy of Elias was the product of a third-century Midrash, and while it was considered a questionable source by many sixteenth-century Protestants, Revelation was also treated with considerable skepticism. Revelation was not initially accepted by Luther, and it was damned by faint praise from Calvin, who noted only that “it should not enjoy the same authority as the gospels.” By the mid seventeenth century, this group of texts was enlarged to include Canticles; both Thomas Brightman and John Cotton delivered commentaries on the apocalyptic tradition in commentaries on Canticles. See Firth, The Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain, 5, 9.

Full document contains 495 pages
Abstract: Seventeenth-century exegetes described Eden as a three-fold paradise because they believed that Adam and Eve lived in "an external garden of delight," possessed incorrupt physiologies, and enjoyed intellectual, spiritual, and social perfections before the Fall. Accordingly, the dissertation is organized thematically, treating the ways in which New England colonists sought to mold their lands, bodies, minds, language, souls, and social spheres after the pattern provided in Eden. Chapter one traces the transition of terms used to describe the New England landscape from the present "paradise" of John Smith to the "hideous and desolate wilderness" of William Bradford and the prospective " Paradise " of Cotton Mather. Chapter two outlines programs of physiological reform, as colonists like Anne Bradstreet disciplined their physical bodies and ministers like Edward Taylor regulated the ecclesiastical body's consumption of communion in order to achieve humoral temperance--the somatic and spiritual state of Adam and Eve in Eden. Chapters three and four document Francis Bacon's influence on educational and linguistic aspirations in New England. I argue that because the encyclopedic knowledge and divinely denotative language of Adam were believed to be inseparably linked, Leonard Hoar's plans to turn Harvard into the world's first experimental laboratory in chemistry situated at a university and John Cotton's attempt to model the language of the Bay Psalm Book after the lingua humana of Eden should be understood as related endeavors, companion contributions from New England to the Baconian project for the instauration of prelapsarian intellectual perfections. Chapter five examines the ways in which ministers of the Great Awakening presented Adam and Eve to their congregants as types of Christian conversion, and chapter six details the process by which theories of natural law distilled from Genesis became the basis for colonial rebellion and republican government through the influence of Oceana , James Harrington's vision of an idealized, edenic republic. Spanning two centuries and surveying the works of major British and American authors from George Herbert and John Milton to Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin, Inventing Eden is the history of an idea that irrevocably altered the theology, literature, and culture of early modern New England.