- William R. Casto
Ellsworth, Oliver (29 April 1745–26 November 1807), chief justice of the United States, was born in Windsor, Connecticut, the son of David Ellsworth and Jemima Leavitt, prosperous farmers. Ellsworth was born during the Great Awakening into a New Light family. Throughout his life he cleaved to a strict Calvinism—later known as the New Divinity—based on thorough-going doctrines of predestination and original sin. Ellsworth firmly believed that individuals could not earn their salvation but instead could only receive salvation as a matter of God’s unilateral grace. This New Divinity Calvinism was the major philosophical influence in his life....