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George transcribes a paragraph about the immortality of the soul, and updates his uncle on the lives of their family members in Vermont.
Dr. Browns, Lord Byron, Brattleboro, Aunt Chase, Salmon Chase, Albion
Chase, George, "Letter to Dudley Chase" (1826). Philander Chase Letters. 574.
My Dear Uncle
In the course of my reading I met with the following paragraph from Dr. Browns which as it expresses a thought which has frequently occurred to my mind, in far more perspicuous language than I could have framed I will here transcribe for your amusement.The object of the paragraph is to prove the immortality of the soul. “Where the body seems to us to perish, we know that it does not truly perish, – that everything which existed in the decaying frame continues to exist entire as it existed before, & that the only change which takes place, is a change of apposition or proximity. From the first moment at which the Earth arose, there is not the slightest reason to think that a single atom has perished. All that was, is; & if nothing has perished in the material universe; if even in that bodily dissolution which alone gave occasion to the belief of our mortality as sentient beings, there is not the loss of the most inconsiderable particle of the dissolving frame, the argument of analogy, far from leading us to suppose the destruction of that spiritual being, which animated the frame, would lead us to conclude that it, too, exists, as it before existed; & this it has only changed its relation to the particles of our material organs, as these particles still subsisting have changed the relations, which they mutually bore. As the dust has only returned to earth from which it came, it is surely a reasonable inference from analogy to suppose, that the spirit may have returned to the God who gave it.”
This tho’ no answer to the objection of the Materialist that the mind itself is nothing more than phenomena resulting from the union & origination of material particles in a particular manner, is a complete refutation of the fearful doctrine so strenuously supported by some, among them Ld. Byron, that the soul perishes with the body.
January 10. Monday–At your house.
I am almost ashamed to send this letter of shreds & patches, but I have not time to transcribe. Accompanying this you will receive a letter from Salmon which is almost entirely his own composition, excepting some very few corrections I think he improves greatly. Nothing would give the boys greater pleasure than to receive a letter from you directed personally to them, under [cover] to Aunt Chase. Yesterday Morning there was no mail south of Brattleboro, owing perhaps to the great floods. The papers are not 8 days coming from N. York, when heretofore they were only 3–something is wrong with the mail contractors.
S. B. French has had all his goods attached on a Boston debt. I understood that the last time he went to Boston he did not pay his creditors any money, but with it purchased his goods elsewhere. This gave them great offence, & they have seen fit to do as they have done.
Olivia, Betsey, Alice, & Horace have gone to Bethel. The girls intend to remain there about a week.
The most acceptable paper you could send is the Albion. I used to be well acquainted with one of the printers in the office, who would frequently bring me their paper for inspection. Write whenever you can find it convenient.
Ever your affectionate Nephew,
Hon. Dudley Chase