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6th. Allowing my views to be true, and were they universally received, "Mystery, Babylon the great is thrown down and shall be found no more at all," Rev. 18. By her sorceries have all nations been. deceived. What, pray has been the foundation of all her sorceries, by which she has deceived the nations? Dr. Beecher shall inform us. In his late sermon, preached before the American Board of Missions, speaking of the Catholic Church, he says"The great merchandise was in the souls of men; the chief staples, indulgencies to sin; and nothing but holiness of heart and life was absolutely unpardonable." But has not the great merchandise among Protestants also been "in the souls of men ?" We respectfully ask the Dr. can he deny, that he is engaged in this kind of merchandise? Is not the great work in which he is engaged-saving souls from endless misery? The radical difference between the Catholics and him is-his trade in the souls of men ends at death; the Catholics carry on the trade after it. The names of "the chief staples" may be altered, but the Dr. never will deny, that "the great merchandise" of both is in the souls of men. Catholics and Protestants are of one mind, that men have immortal souls to be saved from endless misery, and this soul-saving trade, has been carried on very extensively by both in past ages. The Catholics, have pretended to save men's souls after death as well as before it, and Protestants have called them every thing but good for this fraudulent part of the business. But why need the craftsmen of like occupation quarrel about such a trifle. Catholics, it must be owned, have greatly the advantage of Protestants, for their priests can save people's souls after death as well as before it; but Protestant priests can be of no service to people's souls after death. The following letter which I received from the late Dr.

Parish, shows that he had some plan in contemplation to be useful to the dead.

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Byfield, Sept. 9, 1824.


Though a stranger to you, the name of Balfour has long been familiar to me. You have I hear published a Book, which I much wish to read, and our Booksellers have it not. I have been toiling at the same subject, or a part of it. Taking my hint from Campbell, I have labored to establish the fact that Hades is the invisible state, between death and the resurrection. My labor has been in humble form, no arguing; but simply quoting from something more than a hundred authors, from Iræneus and Tertullian down to Thomas Scott and Timothy Dwight, to show that this has always been the opinion of the greatest Divines. My object being to get a foundation on which to build another doctrine of the Universal Church, gone out of fashion among us,prayers for the dead. I have ransacked Christian antiquity, to prove that this duty, and our notion of Hades have always been considered good divinity. Not having any idea of the quantity of materials I might find, when I commenced the inquiry, I supposed all I could find, and all I could say might be comprised in one short sermon, which would not have so full and glaring proofs, but it might be preached to an orthodox assembly; but though by degrees, I became very brief in my quotations, and very stingy, as to my own reflections; yet I think my manuscript is equal to three ordinary sermons. Nor dare I preach or print it, for I have no ambition to become the head of a Sect, or to have the honors of a martyr. Our orthodox Magazines would probably be afraid of it, anonymously. But I have forgot my errand, which was to ask whether you would send me

one of your Books, and receive for compensation one of my Bible Gazetteers, for which you may call at Armstrong's Bookstore, No. 50, Cornhill, Boston. Should this proposal meet your approbation, if you can send your Book to a driver of the Newburyport stage, directed to "Col. Jeremiah Colman, for Rev. E. Parish, Newburyport," it will be safe. Your tollkeeper might hand the Book to the driver.

If in your researches you recollect any thing respecting prayer for the dead, more than is found in Bingham's Antiquities, I shall be obliged if you will direct me. I pray you to excuse my freedom, and to believe me, cordially, Rev. Sir,

Your affectionate


How far Dr. Parish's plan was matured we are unable to say. It was expected the manuscript referred to in his letter would have been printed in the volume of his Posthumous Sermons. If report be true, he gave orders to this effect before his death. We regret its suppression, and still hope his family will favor the public with it. We have used some efforts to obtain a reading of the manuscript, but without success. The only reasons we have heard assigned for its not being published, are, it might injure the Dr's memory, and give rise to a controversy while he was not alive to defend what he had written. We are sorry if such reasons deter his family from publishing it, or are under the slightest apprehension that its appearance would sully the worthy character he sustained while he lived. Unless the Dr. prohibited its publication before his decease, the public ought not to be satisfied until it is given to the world, that all may see what were the results which a man of his mind and extensive investigations came to on the subject. Should it be

found that I am mistaken in my views, and should our orthodox brethren contrive some plan similar to the Catholics to save souls after death, I most heartily wish them success. I cannot help esteeming Dr. Parish's memory for his benevolent intention, for if the Calvinistic system be true, it is certain the greater part of the human race are in torment. Should some plan of this kind be adopted, it might be made useful in various ways. It would allay the contentions between Catholics and Protestants; it might be made to supersede the contemptible money begging system adopted to save the souls of the heathen; it would be a great conveniency to many people who will not have their souls saved in this world; and it might ultimately result in the salvation of all the damned, if souls may be saved after death as well as before it. It would at least be an improvement on Mr. Hudson's plan if it did not entirely supersede it. But if the views I have exhibited, are found upon examination to be correct, it puts a final end to all schemes of this kind and shows them to be entirely unnecessary.

But further; admitting my views correct it is manifest a most extraordinary game of imposition has been practised on the world for ages, by both Catholics and Protestants. Both have been pretending to save immortal souls from future misery, a thing which neither of them could do, for the want of the very thing they have been pretending to save.— Protestants have abused the Catholics, for pretending to save souls after death. But it is plain, the Catholic clergy have saved just as many souls after death, as the Protestant clergy have done before it, and that is none at all. How this curious imposition, first originated among Christians, and has gone on from generation to generation without detection, has been seen, Sect. 3. The immortality of the soul

and its existence to suffer or enjoy, in a disembodied state, had its origin among the heathen. It has also been shown how this and kindred doctrines found their way into the Christian Church. That those heathen opinions have formed the bases of all the superstitions in the Catholic Church, very few we think will dispute. At the Reformation some of the most glaring absurdities and superstitions were detected and rejected by the reformers through attention to the Scriptures. Among these, they rejected the imposition of saving souls after death; but still believing with the Catholic church, in the immortality of the soul and its suffering in a disembodied state, went on as before, to save souls before death. But allowing both to be equally impositions on the public, how were they ever to be detected? None returned, either from purgatory or hell, or could return, to tell the world the whole was an imposition. This was impossible, for there were no souls in either of those places to return. Catholic and Protestant clergy were then perfectly safe from all detection from this quarter. The cheat might go on forever without exposure, for "the dead know not any thing." The only way in which it ever could be detected, was by an appeal to the Bible. The reformers did appeal to this book, and exposed the one half of the cheat, the saving of souls after death. But they still retained the other half, and from their day to this, Protestants have gone on saving souls before death. This other half of the cheat which they retained, I have been attempting to expose, and by an appeal to the same book. It is well known, that in the Catholic church the use of the Scriptures was long prohibited the common people. In this way they were prevented from ever detecting the frauds prac tised on them by their clergy. It is true the Bible has been circulated among Protestants, but shame

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