BELLAMY, JOSEPH: Congregationalist; b. at New Cheshire, Conn., Feb. 20, 1719; d. at Bethlehem, Conn., Mar. 6, 1790. He was graduated at Yale, 1735, and was licensed to preach at the age of eighteen; was ordained pastor of the church at Bethlehem Apr. 2, 1740. During the Great Awakening he preached as an itinerating evangelist; later he established a divinity school in his house, where many prominent New England clergymen were trained. He was a disciple and personal friend of Jonathan Edwards, and the most gifted preacher among his followers, being thought by some to be equal to Whitefield. In his True Religion Delineated (Boston, 1750) he sets forth in spirited style the plan of salvation and of the Christian life after the Edwardean conception, and he explicitly advocates the doctrine of a general atonement. In the Wisdom of God in the Permission of Sin (1758) he argues that, while sin is a terrible evil, God permits it as a necessary means of the best good, and the universe is "more holy and happy than if sin and misery had never entered." God could have prevented sin without violating free will. On the whole his work was more general than specific, modifying the prevalent conceptions in the direction of greater simplicity and reasonableness. He sometimes approaches quite near subsequent forms of expression. A collected edition of his works appeared at New York (3 vols, 1811), and another (and better) at Boston, with memoir by Tryon Edwards (2 vols., 1850).