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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 734

Phillips, Samuel, 1690-1771. Letter, 1744.

This forty-nine page theological letter was written by Rev. Samuel Phillips (1690-1771; Harvard AB 1708) of Andover, Massachusetts, to Rev. William Balch (1704-1792; Harvard AB 1724) of Bradford, Massachusetts, on February 12, 1744.


  • 1744


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1 boxes

This forty-nine page letter, written on February 12 in 1744, deals with justification by faith vs. justification by works. It is an autograph manuscript, signed by Rev. Phillips at the end of the letter. It is addressed to Rev. William Balch, (1704-1792) of Bradford, Massachusetts. Balch was born in Beverly, September 30, 1704, and he graduated from Harvard in 1724. He was ordained as pastor of the church in Bradford, Massachusetts on June 7, 1727, and remained the pastor there for sixty-four years, until his death in 1792.

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Phillips (1690-1771) was the son of a goldsmith in Salem, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard College and graduated in 1708. He was a schoolmaster for a year at Chebacco (now Essex); he also preached at Norton. Phillips began to preach on April 30, 1710 at a new meeting-house in Andover. On December 12 of the same year, after the prescribed fast had been observed, he received a formal election as minister, at a salary of sixty pounds a year while he remained unmarried and ten pounds in addition "when he shall see reason to marry." Unwilling to assume such a charge while he was so young and untried, he postponed his ordination until October 17, 1711. Soon after be moved into the parsonage, which was erected in 1710 on the southeast corner of what are now School and Central Streets. Phillips remained the pastor of this parish until his death in 1771.

Acquisition Information

Front cover of letter says “From Miss Hannah Russell, N. Yarmouth, Maine.”

Processing Information

Processed by Fran O'Donnell, 2014.
Link to catalog
Phillips, Samuel, 1690-1771. Letter, 1744: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library

Repository Details

Part of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School Repository

Special Collections at Andover-Harvard Theological Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies.

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