Thursday, September 22, 2011
Beyond Hope: Increase
Increase Mather was a rock star in 17th-century New England. By which I mean that he was an influential preacher, author, and President of Harvard. Trust me, he filled the nosebleed seats.
If you lived in 17th-century Massachusetts, you definitely would have known about Increase Mather and you may have known another Increase or two. There were several others, including Mather's grandson, who was known to his family as "Creasy."
Chances are that you, as a person living in the 21st century, do not know anyone named Increase. It's a perfectly respectable Christian virtue, with connotations of spreading the faith, growing in devotion to God, and going forth and multiplying, but it doesn't really speak to the modern world. In fact, a modern Increase would probably sound a little greedy.
Mark this one as unlikely to resurface any time soon.