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Tweddell explains the personal circumstances which prevent him from donating to Chase's cause more generously. He also warns Chase of a "party-spirit" in many English Christians, which leaves them bigoted and ignorant.




England voyage, Manchester, England


Ardwick, Manchester

18. Febry 1824

Right Rev. & very dear Sir,

When I had the happiness and honor of seeing you here, you were pleased to express a wish to hear from me; and I beg to assure you that no wish from you, least of all one so flattering and kind, can fail to be respected & remembered by me. The great object of your visit to this Country, and the grounds of our common Christianity, are more than sufficient to supply a subject for correspondence. I have perused the statement which you had the goodness to leave with me with the greatest interest—and with a deep conviction both of the magnitude of the object which has brought you to our shores, and, allow me to add, of the rare and generous debotedbess of mind & substance on your part to the glory of God and the salvation of souls “for whom Christ died.” How is it possible, dear Sir, for any man, himself duly impressed with such momentous considerations, to do less than [sang forth] the holy psalmist, “The Lord prosper you, we wish you good luck in the name of hte Lord”? For myself, it grieves me to make the confession but God “knoweth that I lie not,” that beyound wishes and prayers for your success—which you have & shall ever have from me (for I shall never again think of America without a devout recollection of the Bishop of Ohio). Little is in my power to offer towards the promotion of your Cause. It has been my misfortune—at the suit of a near, but unnatural, relative, to be involved for twelve years in a litigation in the Court of Chaucery—standing merely on my defence & for the preservation of my little patrimony; and whilst the issue of that suit in my favor (about a year ago) has merely re-instated me in my original rights, it has left me and my family—perhaps for another generation, burdened with heavy costs, which, in order to discharge them, form a charge upon my income both durable & oppressive. Thus the riches which a kind providence had bestowed upon me are exceedingly curtailed; and thus it is but a mite, my dear Sir, which I can put into your treasury. Such as it is, may the divine blessing go with it. It is not worth all this explanation; for should I have presumed to trouble you with the matter at all, did I not deem it in some measure due to myself, aware as I am that my friends in Manchester (tho’ not ignorant, most of them, of the above facts) seem disposed to have little respect to the peculiarity of my case, & appreciate my means much beyond what they really are. I venture on this ground to hope for your indulgence in the introduction of what otherwise would scarcely be pardonably in addressing a stranger. Before I discuss the topic, permit me to suggest that probably it will better serve your cause (at least in this place) not to insert my name in your list, but in the place of it to say “A friend.” I only offer the suggestion however from a regard to our interest. The public, ignorant of private circumstances, are easily influenced to find excuses, on some occasions, for withholding or curtailing their bounty.

I shall hope in one time to be favoured with some account from yourself of the success you have met with in London & elsewhere, since you left Manchester, I have already sufficiently expressed how sacred and powerful I deem your claims, on the principles of our common faith, to the support of all pious and liberal men in this Country & in every other, yet it requires but little knowledge of mankind to be at the same time bred to hear that even such claims are not always felt, if they be indeed acknowledged. I must add more—and I do it with grief, that there are very many, I fear, of my Countrymen—men too of piety and great private worth, whose religious views and feelings are so narrow, if not bigotted, that out of the pale of their own particular communion; or out of the circle of their own little sect or party, they can neither discern nor recognise any thing either of truth, charity or Salvation. I suppose, from all that I have heard, that you may in some instances have found this opinion verified. May the divine consolations heal any wound which [may] thus have been (perhaps unintentionally) inflicted on your generous mind. This is indeed, my dear Sir, as you described it when we conversed here, a blessed Country: we have amongst us much of the true light of Christianity, and have I trust, been made the instruments, in the the hands of providence, of diffusing it widely & successfully in other climes; but though myself an Englishman, and yet more, a Minister of our pure, established Church, I will not so disguise the truth as not to confess, that we have also amongst us—and I mean especially amongst what is called the religious world, much of what appears to be not only ignorance but strong delusion—much also of prejudice, spiritual pride, and above all uncharitableness in the midst of all our high privileges in despite of our blessed divine Religion. Many no doubt are the conspiring causes of all this, but the one that predominates & perhaps includes all the rest, is evidently party-spirit. This pervades our religionists of every description—both within & without the Established Church, to an extent which seems to me quite awful—and, did time & opportunity permit, I think I could adduce illustrations of the fact which would convince your understanding. But alas! Would they not grieve your pious, catholic spirit? I feel that they would. I have mourned over the evil myself—and seen and felt so much of it, that it is always with serious pain that I advert to the subject. Nor should I now have done so, but that it seemed to my mind as though the declaration of the fact might not be without its use to a Stranger, coming amongst us with views such as yours, and mixing much probably with the religions. But it is a wide, and momentous subject—deeply deserving the research of all who love the Truth, but for which I have no space, nor you perhaps at present any leisure. Yet I am tempted just to mention an English author who has gone into it with much candor and ability, a Mr. Whately—a Clergyman of our Episcopal Church. The title of the Book is, I think, “Bampton Lectures” by the Rev.—Whately”—it is quite a recent publication (the subject is “On the use and abuse of party-spirit in Religion”). Mr. Marrgat can doubtless direct you to it.

I have scarcely room left to convey [pious farewell’s], together with my own, most respectful and affectionate remembrance & good wishes to you & to assure you how very [?] I am — Your devoted humble servant. Robert Tweddell

Letter to Philander Chase



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