Delegate Thatcher

    march 1786–january 1789

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    To Thomas Thacher

    Biddeford        24 March 1786

    Dear Brother—

    Some time since I recieved a Letter from you containing a most dolefull account of your miseries1—What is the matter with you, that you should be always grumbling at your situation?

    You dont appear to me to have a greatfull sense of the many blessings you are surrounded with—I can hardly concieve of a mans being unhappy—who has a is free from pain & has a Conscience void of offence—A rational Creature, capable of contemplating the inexhaustible beauties of nature with food to eat & raiment to put on can never be unhappy—tis impossible unless something is wrong within—

    As I have told you once & again—& for which you have almost called me an Atheist, you have indulged a rong mode of thinking—you view the gloomy side of Life, & paint every thing as tho some evil Being had the absolute Command of this lower world—and Benevolence & Good humour were no part of his Composition—You are wrong—Tom—Every thing in the natural world is a Demonstration that Infinite Wisdom pressed into action by unbounded Benevolence is at the head of all things.

    Man, among other things, is made right & perfect—& were he not such a fool as always to be seeking out frightfull Inventions of his own brain he might be as happy here, as ever father Adam was before silly Eve led him astray as the story goes—But man made to be happy—& born perfect is first spoiled in the Cradle—and his ruin compleated in the second stage of his Education thus habit gets the better of nature and by [the] time he is sixteen he becomes so warped t[hat a] hundred years, were he to live so long, would not be enough to streighten him as at first—

    You must correct your Religion, Tom, or you will never get right—You paint the Deity as you would a Savage—or some wild Creature of Pray—naturally inimical to the human Race—

    Such a being I dont worship—such a being reason can never bid any one to worship—

    He is an object of aversion & dread—Such a being, if there be any, has nothing to do in human affairs—But such an one does not exist—Devils & Hobgoblins are all alike—begotten by fear [in] the Body of Ignorance—and ought long before this time to have been expunged [from] the Creeds of rational Beings—

    Then & not before will Knowledge prevail & Reason assume its office & become the Director of human nature.

    Adieu—dear Deacon,

    [P.S.] make my Love & Sally’s to Brother & sister Gorham2

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    ALS, TFP