Download Full Text (30.1 MB)




letter, McIlvaine, Shaftsburg


Note: Parts of this transcription are taken from Bedell’s “translation” of the letter, which was included in the folder with the letter itself.


Dec: 28. 1860

My dear friend,

“I do acknowledge my father this day.” I now write as I ought to have done long ago, and say that tho I have neglected the practical duty, I have not been naturally guilty; for I have eve, had you in my mind, and one last happy intercourse at St. Giles.

First; I thank you for your letter - I sent it to the Prince Albert; who desired Col: Phipps to say how gratified he was by its contents.This is very intelligible without supposing the use of more courtly phrase. The action of a visit of our young heir apparent to the people of the U.S. was one of high wisdom, and, by God’s good Providence, most abundantly successful.

We are [anguished] in throes, as you are; tho trouble cannot be very far distant even for us. When did the whole world, I speak not of individual states, have such such constant reason to exclaim at at one and the same time, “[Lo] has [attached] a day may bring forth”? As a bystander, I foresee benefit to the Northern States of America, should separation take place, and then to many other nations and interests as a person involved in the issue and on the spot I might probably take a very different view.

Since you left us, we have had much variety, many things, as [Tacitus] describes them, “[in Latin] Catea, tristia ambigua, manifesta.” But he [cloud] “no bigger than a man’s hand,” which fills me with dismay, is the rise and growth of neology, in our Universities, our Schools, among our Parochial Clergy, and the Nonconformist Minister, in our literature, our Divinity, and our social life. Hitherto it has only given disesteem and a shade to Evangelical truths; but [the] time is not for distant when when it will become a recognized and favored system; when all appointments, by the ministers of the Crown at least, will be made in that sense; and when, Liturgical Revision having been a ended, our [founders] even will be red[?] of that pernicious Heresy.

P[?] & Tractarianism we can set at defiance - we are sure of the people, a large proportion of the middle class, and nearly all the Dissenters, when we appeal to them on the well known history and doctrines of Papal Dominion. But on Rationalism it is the [worse]. Never has Satan shown himself so astute, so wise, so [conversant] with the hearts of the human race. The People do not comprehend what it means, and are utterly indifferent, as it cannot be proved to to affect either their life ties or their taxes - The middle class take the same view, and are, moreover, pleased by the air of [Liberality] it creates, and the lazy moderation it introduces, while the [Dissenters], delighted to be freed from simply Evangelical controversies, are charmed to [?] as intellectual race with their [rivals] of the Ch. of England, and handle the Scripture [?] a way in which they would [venture] to [address] these congregations.

We have no standing - [points], [humanly] speaking, of [resistance] - our very [best] arguments to dissuade are to [sic] many, the [?] [inducements]. God help us in His mercy and [evict] this mischief But I fear that, “[wrath] is gone out” against the existing gen[eration].

[New] services in the [Theater] are [eschewed], and with good forever and [?] confidence among us forever [south] - The mess of the working classes, I have generally observed, will either have no religion at all; or they will have [?] of the best quality - [power], simple, Gospel Truth - if is this which we give them at the Theatiers; and it is this which as ever has produced deep and lasting effects on many hearts!

But how manifestly is this a time, and that system, a process, of selection! The [?] [?] cause form the very [priests] left in the States; the [handedness] or the [?] that [Jecorrich] - of this [thread] [pends] who comes to the [?] and all so many [christen], ‘No’ all rightfulness!

Imitations have arisen, and with some [day] [after] in our [quested] [look] - some day - [they] have formed a Committee, to [conduct] the [?] of the [?] because, [?] & Carter - Zeal, [Jameson], and I really believe, sincerity impact there [?] [war]; but I cannot command [their] table or from C L their judgement. It does require [fortitude] L W[higgins] [matter] to be [?], and cease shocked, by this ‘forceeding - Tree & bell affected men are full of their giving and die [afforded]. Between eras, they say, a fringe [?], and is connected with the [?] or [primarities] [?] - This will [accent] for his [struggle], and define [?] of the del[?] of [life]; but it will [?] this timid, or di[?] the [?]; and be “are I a q[?] [sheail]”.

[?] all this [?] be [?] in the face of state of things; and will be God’s chosen way of lowering [?] I filling of ballier for the adorance of His [Son], in as much as there [?] announce faithfully the great and leading defines of Salvation --

My wife and I have been reading with zeal [?] and deep [?], “the Truth and the Life” by a certain Bishop and [?] G.S. of whom be caprice and say that, a simplicity effectively and in the [?] of our land, the second heavean is the affected [?]than any are be [?] you know, or heard of.

May God & his energy send our enemy [dead]!

[?][?] are cloudy; may the appearance for the Spring [?][?] - questions. [look] state remainder [?] of [?][?][?] and his XXI chapter, “I will obtain observations, observations if “and it shall be his [?], until he came whose right it is; and I will give it [?].” [?] is a cause of [dissatisfaction], [dying] by inches, and breathing out, as she dies, [?] & [carried] against [?] & religious [?], first Italy, & then in all parts of the world.

[Yet], politically speaking, while [we] [hail] [?] [?] as one [?] [for] Italian freedom, we must deplore it as one [?] [away] [from] [resistance] to the [aggressive] [?] of France.

Italy is [in agonies] & [in] [great danger]. [?] [?] [partially] [delivered] [?] he might so [obtain] [?] & [?]; and [now] he [?] her, [upholds] [?] [?] [?], [?] the Pope in Rome, [that] he may [?] her “[?]”. [?], [blood], I had, pillage, [?] [?] and life is [?] & [Sicily], and [?], the life taken of all [one] to face for the [?] of [twenty] [?] of her. The [?] of [?] was a [quest] [?] I always said so; and [?] [?] be against it will all his face. [?] I am [?], thought so too. But [?] [?] it, and [?] [?] [?] to one [quest] said to [?] a [?].

[?] is, as usual, mean, self. [?], ambitious, follying, & cowardly - had being able to support Ambition in the [?] of Italy, She became a small [?] on [?]. When she [?] as the sad in [?] of [Liberty] in [?], by [?] and face [?] one letters - subjects on the [?] - the [?] of the heart is full of mischief, he is one [?] as to [?], [?] [?] as to [?]. He has, a [?] for the offering (Yet may he leave of their informations) for [?] Armies. They [?] to [?] their ambitions, &[?] he [?], the internal of his [?]! But [?] [are] they detained? [?] said “It [?] for one, and that “Each for the other.

[?] is actually [?]; her army is made all of boys, and she has not a [?] to offend to [?] it with the [?] p?] & Eiffel [?] - Remember her all to your daughter; & may God [?] you in -?] & in Eternity. Yours truly,

Bishop Mc[?] Shaftsburg

Letter to Charles P. McIlvaine