270 Thomas Hollis to Ephraim Wheaton

    London March 13, 1722/23

    Mr. Ephraim Wheten

    Deare Sir

    I have newly receivd under covert of Mr. E. Callender48 your long lookt for letter dated 25 December, and give you thanks for the account you give me of the affaires of your Church—your circumstances—and your Neibours. I am glad the books sent you are of use unto you. By the same hand you will have another forwarded, which I vallue, and supose you will. I rejoyce in the success of your ministry and increase of your church, which will naturally increase your cares, with your joy.

    I mourne because of the ignorance of your sleeping Sabatarians, let us be thankfull for our Light, pitty them and pray for them, and indeavour in Love to lead them into the Light also. God that hath shined into our hearts by his Gospel, can lead them from Sinai covenant and the law of Ceremonies, into the liberty of the new Covenant and the Grace thereof, I pitty to see Professors drawing back to the Law—and desire to remember our standing is by grace, and therefore not to be highminded over them, but Feare—remembering our Lords words, watch and pray least you enter into temptation. Every word of God is pretious, the Saints love it, and they that honour Him, He will honour, and in keeping of it, there is present peace, and a promise of future reward. We now live by Faith and not by Sight; he that inclineth to the end shal be saved. Go on Sir sowing the Seed, looking up to him whose work alone it is to give the increase, whoever be the Planter or Waterer, and as you do abound in your labours, and do find Him multiplying seed unto you, may you yet abound more and more to the end, is my sincere wish. Let no man rob us of our comfortable hope that when we cease to be here we shall be present with the Lord, in whose presence the Saint Beleivs is fulnes of Joye in a separate state—and expectation of greater in the Resurection, when it shal be fully manifested, how he Loved them. Let none jeere us out of our duty now to lisp forth his Praises with our Tongues, since we expect hereafter to sing in a better manner the Song of the Lamb, with a much more noble Chorus.

    In reference to your Pol tax and other taxes, which are necessary for suport of the Government and Society, are not to be esteemed a burden, its giving Tribute or Tythes to whom Tribute is due, unles the Taxes do oppress you, unequally, because Baptists and Separatists, if so, then let me know (who profes myself a Baptist) and I will indevour to have a word spoken for you to the Governour, that you may be eased. You know that our Profession is not mody, in your country nor ours, few if any of the Great men submitting to plain institution, and as we profes our selfs Disciples of Christs it is our duty to take up our cross with patience and pay parochial duty where we live, and voluntarily maintain our owne charge, and thankful for our Liberty as men and Christians, to our good God, who in his Providence has inspired many Magistrates and Ministers in your Province with a truer Spirit of Catholick Charity then formerly. You have heard or may be informed by Mr. Callender of my foundation in Harvard College, and the Provision I have made for Baptist youth to be educated for the Ministry, and equally regarded with Paedobaptist, if you know any as may be duely qualified, inform me, and I shal be glad to recomend them for first vacancy.

    And to close, while we Prefes to worship God nearer to the Rule of primitive institution and practice of our great Prophet and Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles, let our light so shine before men, in all holy conversation, that such whose inclinations may be reddy to speake evil of our way may be ashamed. May serious Religion and godlines in the power of it flourish among you, every thing that goes in to make a true Christian. Where the true Image of Christ is found in any, I call them the excellent of the Earth, with such I delight to sociate and Worship, whatever perticular denomination they may go by among men, and this I would do till we all come into the unity of the Faith &c. Ep[hesians] 4.3. And now Dear Sir I commend you to God and the word of his Grace &c. Acts 20. 32.

    Your Loving friend

    Thomas Hollis



    Mr. Ephraim Wheten


    in Swanzey

    New England

    The aforegoing is a literal Copy of the original (now in the possession of Capt. Seth Wheaton of Providence) taken by me this 25th January 1802.

    Samuel Eddy

    The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

    By this Public Instrument Be it Known, that on this Ninth day of September a.d. 1815 Personally appeared before me the Subscriber, Samuel Eddy of Providence in said county Esq. Secretary of the said State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and made Oath to the correctness of the aforewritten Copy according to the above Certificate made and subscribed by him at the date thereof. And I do make known that the Name “Samuel Eddy” subscribed to the said Certificate is the proper hand writing and signature of the aforesaid Samuel Eddy and that the aforegoing Certificate and Copy are both the proper handwriting of the said Samuel Eddy.

    Done in said Providence the day and year herein before written.

    Jeremiah Lippitt

    Public Notary

    College Papers, 1. 66 (No. 141). As indicated, this copy was made in 1802. Wheaton was Pastor of the Swansea Baptist Church from 1716; he died on April 26, 1734, at the age of seventy-five.