• Early American Congregationalist Minister Richard Dey's Manuscript Sermon

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    REV. RICHARD VARICK DEY (1801-1837) was pastor of the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Greenfield, CT was a popular minister whose sermons were heard by many who enjoyed hearing him as a public speaker.  Attendance was so great when he delivered his farewell sermon that the galleries of the old meeting-house had to be propped to sustain the additional weight.  His father built a house for him that remains standing.  Dey’s sermons were laced with wit.  He never hesitated to speak his mind in and outside the pulpit and never hesitated to rub against popular dogma or theological tenet that he himself did not hold.


    Offering a 77-page manuscript sermon, delivered in New York on February 20th, 1830 by Dey, on the Book of Mark V. 36, entitled “Only believe.” As expected, strong religious content regarding condemnation, forgiveness, salvation.


    In very small part, “...No man can be saved who does not first feel himself a lost sinner and that he must be rescued from eternal ruin only by faith on Jesus Christ...The first act of faith induces a man to believe that he is the wretched fallen creature which the word of God declares him to be as it paints him in all the blackness of his natural character, and that his heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked...and will press his heart that most precious declaration that the son of God was manifested to take way the sins of the world...Let no man say that he has given himself simply, and solemnly and absolutely to Christ, who is not as disposed to obey him as he is anxious to be saved by him...Faith consists...in its personal application...Let it never be forgotten there is no union, where there is no fruitfulness of sanctification and grace resulting...Good works are necessary as the evidences or fruits of faith...Faith if itself is insufficient for salvation...[Man is a drunkard – but he is a believer; therefore he expects Heaven...”


    Boldly written and quite readable. Pages near the end are disbound but all are apparently present.  Expected light soiling and toning.  A fine example of early Religious Americana.  Research, which contains a picture of Dey’s home, built in 1823 by his father, is included.


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