MANUSCRIPT SERMON, NO. 39, REFLECTING ON 3 CH.: REVELATION PART 18 V.: "I counsel thee to buy of me gold, tryed in the fire, that thou mayst be rich."
Old South, Boston: 1782-1788. Stitched sheets, 8 x 6 1/2 in.,  pp., in a neat hand. First and last leaves detached, with no loss, several manuscript corrections. Signed on the last page by Rev. Dr. Eckley, Old South, Boston, and noting that the sermon was "Preached at the Chapel 17 November 1782. / At the Old South 2 Sab. Feby. 1784 from 13 Math. 45.46. / At the Old South 2 Sab. November 1784. / At the Old South 1 Sab. March 1788." A sermon on man's understanding of scripture, its mystical and literal meanings. Item #67585
Rev. Joseph Eckley (1750-1811) was a graduate of the College of New Jersey [now Princeton], and became pastor of the Old South Church in Boston in 1779, serving there until his death. He took charge of the church in the midst of the American Revolution when, according to a history of the church, the meeting house was in disrepair and the British were threatening the coast line. [see: "The History of the Old South Church (Third church) Boston, 1669-1884," by Hamilton A. Hill (Boston & NY: 1890)]. The New Jersey Historical Society has a collection of some of his Revolutionary War era sermons. According to their brief biography of Eckley he was considered a conservative pastor, but with moderate theological opinions. In addition to his ministry, he served as chaplain of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1783 and was a state senator in 1784. He was a Federalist and an abolitionist.
Rev. Eckley appears to make reference to the Revolutionary War on pp. 13-14 of this sermon, in a passage describing Greek history: "When the Grecians were invaded by a powerful army of some millions of men, the spirit of that nation was so aroused, as to become as one man. Union of interest tends to promote ardor of affection - & ardor of affection often produces happiness. And in this land when at the beginning of the war the like ardor & zeal prevailed, from a consciousness of union of thoughts & interest, witness the pleasure attending such a state of mind in preference to cooler desires, or a more languid frame and thus in heaven when the saints & angels are one in mind, & the cause & interest of the diety theirs, & the vast works which he does, those very works in which they delight, & even engage in furthering, what will be that ardor - what will be that strength, where things of infinite magnitude will be presented to engage the mind, & every degree of consciousness existing of the most perfect union of sentiment & desires, from God himself, to the [last?] of all the angels or saints in heaven."