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Due to a perceived lack of resources, historians of colonial-era Virginia have generally heaped their attention on regional politics and virtually ignored the area's rich religious history. Even at a time of revived interest in Virginia's religious atmosphere, few scholars have opted to examine what is perhaps one of the region's most valuable primary resources: sermon literature. Edward L. Bond offers a reappraisal of religion's place in the colonies, fully chronicling as well as contextualizing the practice of religion and church activities in early America. He explains the inextricable ties between religious life and community life, setting the stage for sermons and original documents that color in a vibrant picture of life in the Virginia colony. The sermons appear as they do in the original, with all notes and marginalia intact. Bond's own notes provide definitions of obscure words and terms, explanations of arcane allusions, and references for unattributed citations. His commentary vastly enriches our appreciation not only of the texts, but also of their writers and the important role these clergymen played in shaping the young nation. Spreading the Gospel in Colonial Virginia is fascinating reading for armchair and professional historians alike, and is an ideal teaching tool for courses in early American history.
Part 1 Introduction Chapter 2 A Brief History of Religion in Colonial Virginia Part 3 Documents Chapter 4 John Page: A Deed of Gift to My Dear Son Chapter 5 James Blair: Our Saviour's Divine Sermon on the Mount Chapter 6 James Maury Chapter 7 Samuel Davies Chapter 8 Thomas Bacon: Second Sermon on Colossians 4:1 Chapter 9 William Dawson: A Christmas Sermon Chapter 10 William Stith: The Nature and Extent of Christ's Redemption Chapter 11 Charles Clay: Sermon on Canticles 2:13 Chapter 12 The Baptist Perspective