From The Unitarians and the Universalists by David Robinson (332):

WARE, HENRY, JR. (21 April 1794, Hingham, MA-22 September l843~ Framingham, MA). Education: A.B., Harvard College, 1812. Career Minister, Second Church, Boston, MA, 1817-30; Professor of Pulpit Eloquence an~ the Pastoral Care, Harvard Divinity School, 1830-42.

Henry Ware, Jr., was an important figure in the Unitarian movement of ~ early nineteenth century and one of the leaders in the founding of the American Unitarian Association. His father had been a leader in the liberal movement, and his election in 1805 as the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard occasioned one of the earliest instances of the Unitarian-Calvinist controversy in New~ England. The younger Ware completed Harvard in 1812 and was installed as minister of Boston's Second Church in 1817, a church with a proud history but one that was struggling in terms of membership and finance when Ware took over. He was a remarkably effective minister, combining gifts of personal warmth in his visitations with pulpit eloquence. He was an early experimenter in extemporaneous preaching, and his innovative energies resulted in his being appointed to the newly created post of Professor of Pulpit Eloquence and the Pastoral Care at Harvard in 1830. He left the church in the hands of his young colleague, Ralph Waldo Emerson.  It was hoped that this academic appointment would prevent the further deterioration of Ware's frail health, but he seemed to work all the harder in this post and was plagued by periodic bouts of illness. Ware wrote sermons, theology, poetry, and fiction during his career, but his most important work was the devotional manual On the Formation of the Christian Character (1831). In it Ware argued that the aim of religion is the cultivation of the ability to give "your heart a permanent bias toward God," an aim that must be pursued by a rigorous spiritual discipline (Works, IV, p. 311). The work was an important signpost of the pietist strand in liberal religion, a strand that was significant despite the fact that the public reputation of the denomination was that of a rational religion. Although a friend, and in some senses a guide to Emerson, Ware criticized Emerson's Divinity School address for its lack of an affirmation of a personal God and published his defense of that version of theism in The Personality of the Deity (1838). After suffering from increasingly deteriorating health in his last years, Ware died in 1843.


A. On the Formation of the Christian Character (Cambridge and Boston, 1831); The Personality of the Deity (Boston, 1838); Works, 4 vols. (Boston and London, 1846-47).

B. AAUP, 472-84; DAB 19, 448-49; Heralds 2, 223-38; John Ware, Memoir of the Life of Henry Ware. Jr., 2 vols. (Boston, 1846); Daniel Walker Howe, The Unitarian Conscience: Harvard Moral Philosophy. 1805-1861 (Cambridge, MA, 1970); David Robinson, Apostle of Culture: Emerson as Preacher and Lecturer (Philadelphia, 1982).