The Trial of Albert Barnes – A Defense of New England Theology

 A Defense of New England Theology by Albert Barnes is a very rare book, originally published in 1829.

What is commonly referred to as “Moral Government Theology” today has its roots in what was called “New England Theology” or “New School Theology” during the revivals of the 18th and 19th Century. Notable men like Jonathon Edwards Jr, Nathaniel W. Taylor, Moses Stuart, Albert Barnes, Lyman Beecher, Nathan Beman, Caleb Burge, Charles G. Finney, John Morgan, Henry Cowles, Asa Mahan, John Miley, and others contributed to that theological movement, though there were some differences or variations between these men.

 Though the spread of “New School Theology” in those days was widely received amongst Calvinists and Arminians, there were some who opposed it. Albert Barnes was officially accused of heresy for his “New School” views on human ability, imputation, and atonement, by Rev. Dr. George Junkin, who belonged to the “Old School Calvinism” camp. In this volume, Albert Barnes defended his theological views as orthodox and was consequently acquitted of all heresy charges by the Synod of Philadelphia and the Second Presbytery of Philadelphia.

 This book was originally titled, “The Way of Salvation; A Sermon, Delivered at Morristown, New Jersey, February 8th, 1829, By Albert Barnes. Together with Mr. Barnes’ Defense of the Sermon, Read Before the Synod of Philadelphia, at Lancaster, October 29th, 1830, and His ‘Defense’ Before the Second Presbytery of Philadelphia, in Reply to the Charges of the Rev. Dr. George Junkin.”

 While there are certain points in his defense that some in the Moral Government movement might differ with him on, his work has been reprinted for its great historic value and overall theological truth.


Albert Barnes (1789-1870) was a pastor, author, and Bible commentator. He pastored the large and influential First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. He is best known for his extensive notes on the Bible. Millions of copies of his notes have been printed and distributed throughout the world. He is also well known for his classic book on, “The Atonement,” which expounds the Governmental Theory.


194 pages


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