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Collection Reference Number GLC05508.011
From Archive Folder Collection of documents relating to religion and spirituality 
Title Benjamin Rush to Polly Stockton regarding his illness
Date 9 March 1790
Author Rush, Benjamin (1746-1813)  
Recipient Stockton, Polly  
Document Type Correspondence
Content Description On the second anniversary of his recovery from illness, Rush thanks his sister for nursing him. His illness left him with strong ideas of the vanity of wealth, the evil of Sin, etc. He continues by talking about his delight in reading John Wesley's sermons concerning the rise and progress of Christianity, which Wesley described as a series of concentric circles. Rush also discusses a new translation of the four gospels by Dr. Campell of Aberdeen.
Subjects Religion  Women's History  Children and Family  Health and Medical  Christianity  Literature and Language Arts  
People Rush, Benjamin (1746-1813)  Stockton Polly Wesley, John (1703-1791)  
Place written Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Theme Religion; Women in American History; Children & Family; Health & Medicine; Arts & Literature
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
Additional Information When Alexander Hamilton was asked why the framers of the Constitution had omitted the word "God" from the document, he reportedly replied: "We forgot." Few of the nation's founders were devoutly religious. They were gentlemen of the Enlightenment, who valued rational inquiry and rejected religious enthusiasm. Thomas Jefferson's views were not unusual among the founders. He considered himself a Christian and called the teaching of Jesus Christ "the most perfect and sublime that has ever been taught by man." At the same time he apparently did not believe in Christ's divinity or in the authenticity of biblical miracles. During the 1790s, however, alarm over irreligion and secularism mounted, particularly after leaders in revolutionary France abolished Christianity and the worship of God. Open expressions of religious commitment became more pronounced. Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), the author of the following letter, was America's most distinguished physician. Here, he views benevolence toward other human beings as the highest expression of religious sentiment.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859
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