1832 · New York
Cholera reached the Western Hemisphere during the second pandemic (1829-1851). Many contemporary journalistic sources associated the disease with "large numbers of Irish and other emigrants," a "class of persons particularly exposed and carrying the disease wherever they go." This particular sermon, preached upon Isaiah 26:9 ("When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness"), lays the blame not on recent emigrants but rather on a wicked and atheistic generation who no longer fear God, and has forgotten Him. "Most were thought to have willfully weakened their bodies through unwholesome ways of life and were now being punished for their sins. According to religious leaders, the three prominent abominations of the time were sabbath-breaking, intemperance, and debauchery, and cholera was viewed, as here, as a disease of "'mental and corporeal debility.'"
The preacher, Gardiner Spring (1785-1873), was an American minister of the Brick Presbyterian Church from his ordination in 1809 until his death, as well as prolific religiou author. He is perhaps most famous for his Gardiner Spring Resolutions which effectively precipitated the creation of the Presbyterian Church of the Confederate States of America and the schism of the Presbyterian Church along regional lines, which lasted from the American Civil War until 1983.
Checklist American Imprints 14822. Sabin 89779.
REFERENCES: New York Commercial Advertiser. 1832 Jun. 18. Referenced in: "AIDS: The Burden of History," Elizabeth Fee and Daniel M. Fox, eds. (Inventory #: 2902)