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days. Some clouds seemed to be hovering about when you wrote last, but there were also clear shinings between them. And I am in hopes that every effort will be attended with success, which has for its object the giving permanence to the habitual serenity of your thoughts.
Every time I receive your signature, it gladdens my heart, by proving that my name is recorded in your memory. But this is not the only pleasure. I always find those just sentiments in the letter which are worthy of your adoption. I am, Madam, very sincerely Your most obedient Servant
JAMES WINTHROP TO MERCY WARREN
Cambridge, 12 Nov., 1809
Agreeably to your directions of the 4th instant I saw Mr. Baldwin, and requested the loan of Mr. Dickenson's works. He had been prepared for the application by Judge Thatcher, and with great politeness agreed immediately. I have, however, no doubt of his complying even as readily as he did, without any such previous application. The goodness of his disposition and the habitual intercourse between us would have been sufficient. To morrow I propose to carry the books to Boston in order to their being forwarded in the way you propose. I long to see Maria, but hardly expect it this time, so give my love to her when you see her.
You have often checked me for indulging in such levity of imagination, and trivial conversation; but I do it partly upon the principle of its restoring the equilibrium of my faculties, when fatigued by severe application either to study or business. I find by experience, that what is called generous living does not answer the end. Two or three times since my last visit to Plymouth, I have tried a glass of wine, but it each time did me hurt. With respect to the produce of the vine I am almost a nazarite, and find the meagre draft of warm water to produce more uniform health and spirits, than is derived from wine.
About three months ago I collected my tracts on the prophecies,
and republished them, with some additional remarks.1 The whole makes a book of about the size of a Psalm Book. The printer undertook to sell them and to allow a year for doing it, provided I would advance a certain sum to begin, and I promised at the same [time] not to distribute any till he had made his trial. I believe he has sold about half a dozen in this vicinity. If it goes on in the same proportion in other towns, I must make my savings against next summer in order to indemnify him.
In the additional remarks one or two pages are bestowed upon the New testament principles of health. It is hoped that the clergy, if any of them will be at the trouble of examining them, will find the opinions sufficiently orthodox. The privation of the Pope of his temporal sovereignty is an additional proof of our general theory.
My best respects to your immediate connexions, and my best wishes for the confirmation of your health and prosperity. I am, Madam, with great respect Your most obedient servant
JAMES WINTHROP TO MERCY WARREN
CAMBRIDGE, 25 July, 1810
MADAM, -This morning I received the honor of your letter dated the 20th and it can hardly be necessary to say that I was exceedingly gratified. The ease and the politeness with which you have stated your opinions upon certain points of our faith, discover the same elevated and discriminating mind, which has always marked your writings, and been the admiration of your friends.
Though I have given a view of the subject of prophecy, which appears to me to be more connected and systematic, than any other work that has come to my hands on this subject; though my understanding is convinced, so that repeated reviews of the work have not shewn me any error; yet I cannot blame those whose habits of considering the subject are different from mine, for not 1 Appendix to the New Testament, printed by Hilliard and Metcalf, Cambridge, 1809.
being ready at once to change their opinions. We both look for the coming of the Lord, and for his setting up in some part of the creation, a visible kingdom, where his saints "will see him as he is," at that time; and the reason assigned is that they will have bodies like his. Whatever may be the texture of spiritual bodies, they will be discernible by spiritual organs, as material bodies are perceived by material organs. Hence Saint Paul draws the conclusion, that we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. So far we all agree.
The question that remains is, where this is to be? It will be readily confessed, that it is equally in the power of Deity to prepare for himself a throne, either on this planet or in any other part of the Universe, on which he will not disdain to sit. Wherever it will be, his condescension will be manifested by his becoming the visible president of his creatures. Commentators in general have supposed some other place for the consummation of these prophecies, but I have adopted that which fulfils them here as being more systematic, and more consonant to the measuring of them by time. And I believe the system you have just read provides for all the times mentioned, and estimates those that are future by the same principles as those already past. This is an advantage.
The instances of visible translation which you have with so much ability stated all of them apply to the intermediate state. It is expressly declared of Christ that he will again appear to his disciples in the same visible form as when he was taken from among them. We believe the same thing of Enoch, Elijah, and all the dead saints. The mode of their recovery or return is no where explained but we believe in the event. Prophecy in this, as in most other instances, has mentioned the event without pointing out the mode. As a large part of the series is already completed, and appears to have come round naturally, the conclusion seems to be just that the residue will also be fulfilled in such a manner as to give the least possible shock either to our sense or our understanding. As for example Christ is to be the Universal Prince, the preparation is now making by the Union of a number of European States to establish a maritime law of Nations. This is
from time to time published by the head of the confederation. When this business has become Universal, the guardian of the law will reside at Jerusalem, and all the questions of the Intercourse between Nations will be referred to him, and his decision will be final. At present people are classing into parties upon this very question. One party looks with horror upon the European Confederation, while the other party thinks a law of nations to be precisely what is wanting to secure the freedom of the seas. But a law without any officer having authority to execute it, is an absurdity. Hence arises the need of an Universal Government, and as I read the prophecies such an one we shall have in about half a century. The Judgment on the Ancient establishments is now far advanced, and reckoning the fall of Antichrist as the signal, the time fast approaches for the triumph of the saints.
But I shall tire your patience, and must therefore conclude with adding the wishes of Mrs. Hilliard to my own that your health and enjoyment may still remain an happiness to those who are already advanced in life, and a light to those who are advancing. I am, Madam, very respectfully Your most obedient servant, JAMES WINTHROP
JAMES WINTHROP TO JAMES WARREN
CAMBRIDGE, II Nov., 1810
DEAR SIR, I thank you for your appendix to Madam's letter. If I can learn what book or kind of book you wish to read, it will part of my happiness to help you to it. It is diverting to see Great Britain nestling in a distress of her own creating. When her orders in Council were made, it was with an evident view to monopolize all the trade of the World; but if she had, it could not have supported her. It is true that the trade of neutrals was cramped, and by the countervailing orders of France nearly annihilated. Very little trade was carried on with France, except by English vessels specially licensed by both governments, and the case was the same in England. Thus these two powers excluded neutrals and paid each other for making war. They have
now got to understand it. The neutrals have begun to establish manufactures for their own supply, the English have found so little vent for their fabrics, especially woollen, that they sell for little more than half the usual price, and when we take into consideration the improvement made by their importation of Spanish sheep, the cloths do not probably sell for a quarter of the price, that cloth of equal goodness would have borne two years ago. Ça ira, they fall into a pit of their own digging. Yours sincerely, JAMES WINTHROP
JAMES WINTHROP TO MERCY WARREN
Cambridge, Decr. 14, 1810
MADAM, — At the end of the College Vacation in February, I received from you Mr. Baldwin's books, accompanied by your charming letter. I immediately returned the books to the owner and delivered him your message. He desired me to make his respects to you, and to say that whenever he goes to Plymouth he will not fail to wait upon you. He was gratified with the idea of having rendered a service, tho' a small one, to a person of your eminence in the literary as well as polite world.
I have not seen the Ægis. Nobody here takes it. I take the Chronicle and other Democratic papers from Boston, except the Patriot which did not need aid. The eastern papers I took while they continued democratic. When they apostatised, they lost me for a customer. I do not now take the Boston papers for the sake of reading them, but it is necessary to contribute toward public information, and I have chosen the democratic side. The federals are willing to read if they are not called upon to pay. By this means readers are found. They do not however always read with judgment. An instance I recollect. One of my federal neighbors with whom the Democrat was left, sent it home after he had read it and sent me word that there was a most excellent speech of Mr. Otis in it. I a little wondered at the intelligence, and on searching for the speech found only the remarks upon it. It happened to be on the opposite side of the question from my