Authors

Philander Chase

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Description

Letter to his parents describing the soul and the body. He is frustrated by overly zealous and emotional believers, as they do not accurately represent God.

Date

1797

Keywords

Governor Winthrop; Mr. Brick; New York; Church of Christ; Pope; Episcopal Church; religion; other churches

Transcript

Dear Father,

By Mr. Brick, who is now in town, I received your kind, though short letter. It gives me much satisfaction to hear of the prosperity of your [Lion], even though that prosperity, in point of numbers, is but small. To be told that the whole of the state of New Hampshire was [stir’d] with the modern fanatic, puritanical red-hot Pokers would do me not half the good as it warms to hear of the Returning of one sheep to the fold from It has strayed. Now sadly, of late years have the people professing to be [?] been blinded and led out of the way! Our forefathers who came off from the Church of Christ, without any divine authority of priesthood, upon such flimsy and foolish pretences, were surely much to be blamed; and I believe that they knew themselves Deserving to be so. Else, who have they expunged the dreadful sin of Schism from their catalogue? It has ever been a practice among those who had in their steps to give a man up to the sufferings of Satan upon the least and most slight offence committed against their members, or for holding, in any wise, a different Creed from their dogmaticae apertions.

But the Rending of the Body of our Sav’r and putting him to an open shame by destroying the sinews of communion between different members of his church has ever been passed over in silence. None of their ministers have ever preached the seriousness of this sin. If any have done it, they have been those (from whom a part of their own party have against seceded and) thought their own people ignorant of their own guilt. This is very natural--and is in more than what is as to over in many of their cases. The thief, for instance, will never mention the sin of Stealing among those he knows are acquainted with of his being guilty of that sin: But should anything be taken from his own property; among those who are acquainted with his pilfering character and Behold! his outing is vociferous! how will he extol his own honesty and the excellency of his own Character!!

If the sins of the parents are literally written upon their children, we have much to amend for. And I am afraid be it as it may that if we do not more of us return to to the Sheepfold the judgments of God will fall heavily upon us--The clouds being to lower and the political as well as Religious [?] is again darkened.

This is but one Nation upon earth, at this day, who as such stands up in favor, and in defense, of the True Religion. The rest are, either (1) her mortal enemies - or (2) have stripped her of her most beautiful attire - or (3) have kicked her out of their borders - or (4) are trampling her underfoot and in her stead raising up her deadly foe fanaticism. In my opinion, to the 1st belong the Turkish and other heathen countries--to the 2nd belong the Countries under the jurisdiction of the Pope--to the 3rd France and her “[iegenerate]” (alien degenerate) allies -- and to the 4th and last America, dear, enlightened, free and independent America - a Country peopled by the factions spawn of Korah Dathan and Abiram -- a Country whose pure and Enlightened Religion has produced a rank infidel for their Chief Magistrate to lead its dear inhabitants on to the kingdom of their Master, and, for them, open the portal of eternity! Wonderful fruits of Liberty - pure and immaculate liberty! Who is so exalted as to exchange the case of Man’s best happiness, Religion!!

The Dissenters from the time that they came from the priesthood and true discipline established by [?] and his apostles, have been degrading, and bringing contempt upon the name of [?]. They with the pure faith of a turbulent ungovernable self-sufficient spirit have been tearing the Church of God pieces. As a proof of this Read Governor Winthrop’s journal - the first governor of Boston and the history of the [?] of this Country and, as a proof of this, look at the present push of Schism.

If I should go through the streets and point out to my companion the body of a person out to pieces, mangled, and thrown in a different direction- here a little and there a little- here an arm, and there a leg- here the feet and there the fingers - what would be conclusion in the mind of him who bear me company and who was an eye witness of the melancholy past. Shall I be named a madman I say that is would be “that the said person is really dead!”

To apply the case- suppose the streets thru’ which we walk were those of this blessed Country in general-- and the body which we were viewing were the Church or those who call themselves the Church in these states. Would not our conclusion be the Same? For there is scarcely two [?] who will commune with each other, the [?] to be established on various foundations. They are cut to pieces. And who with the gospel before him can say there is any life in there? It was one of the most solemn prayers of HIM who died for the sins of the world that the Church should be one (and how can it be otherwise if there be but one body) “As thou Father art in me, and I in thee, are one, so they may be one in us.”

The primitive belief concerning the Unity and Communion of Saints was much like the following. They followed up the similitude drawn by the Apostles between the Spiritual Body of [?] or his Church and the natural Body of man in this wise.

1 As all the fingers of the Natural hand hold communion thru’ the medium of [?] palm, so all the members of individual congregations hold communion with each other thro’ the medium of their Prospective Minister or Rector of the congregation.

2 As the limbs arms legs etc. hold communion with each other thru’ the Medium of the trunk or body of men, so all the several congregations with their Rectors held communion with each other thru’ the medium of their Bishop and

3dly as the limbs members be of the natural body make one complete man when joined to an [?] by the Head the fountain of that and Motion. So all the lay Members, deacons Rectors and Bishops made up one grand spiritual Body by being joined to Jesus [?] the Great Head of the Church or Bishop of Souls, “from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint suppliest [?] the effectual working in the measure of every part maketh increase of the Body unto the existing of itself in love. ( [?] H: 16) Can a limb or member of the natural body contains the principle of life within it, if it be cut off from the body? We must intercede with the Apostle to change the simile, which he has taken, or else we must grant that a member or Church which is cut off from the Church catholic cannot be in that state which is a State of Life. It is not animated with the true spirit which proceedeth from the Father of Love.

Letter to Dudley and Alice Chase

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