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Re: Harold, about those letters!

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  • rlbaty50
    ... As a followup to my earlier post (suggesting Maury left the church going duties to his wife and children and didn t care much for organized religion ),
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 5, 2004
      --- In creationism@yahoogroups.com, "Harold R. Holmyard III"
      <hholmyard@o...> wrote, in part:

      > I looked through the letters of Maury that are
      > on-line, and he was evidently a believer. He
      > speaks of going to church and Bible studies. He
      > quotes the Bible once and wishes God's blessings
      > on his loved ones.

      As a followup to my earlier post (suggesting Maury left the church
      going duties to his wife and children and didn't care much
      for "organized religion"), and not knowing which letters you
      might have reference to, I give the following in support of my
      earlier comments:

      From:

      A Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, U.S.N. & C.S.N.
      by Diana Fontaine Maury Corbin (his daughter)
      pages 28 & 29

      ####################################

      > The following is a remarkable letter from a young
      > man of twenty-eight to his elder brother. He writes
      > as if he felt every word, although he did not become
      > a professing Christian himself until 1867, when he
      > joined the Episcopal Church while in London after
      > the war: -

      > > Fredericksburg, November 16, 1834

      > My Dear Brother,

      > For several days I have been promising myself
      > this pleasure. I am at leisure to-day, and
      > housed in consequence of the sleet, which fell
      > last night, and the bleak wind which is
      > whistling at the windows. Last Sunday I wrote
      > to our good old mother, and during the week I
      > mailed to her a religious paper – Which Ann
      > takes – and proposes, after she herself shall
      > have finished it, to send for Ma's entertainment.

      > Aleck tells me, Dick, that you have joined the
      > Campbellites and become a disciple! . . .

      > I do not regret to hear that you have turned
      > away from worldly things. . .

      > There is another thing, Dick: persons professing
      > to be Christians are very apt to make the conduct
      > of their brother-professors around them a standard
      > for their own conduct towards God. This may,
      > without knowing it, and unless one keep a watchful
      > eye upon his own heart, tend, more or less, to
      > lead us to regard unduly the opinions of the world,
      > and prompt us to do what an untrammeled conscience
      > would condemn.

      > Learn your duties, Dick, from the Bible. There
      > you have them laid down in example, law, and
      > precept. I love to see Christians after the Bible
      > and according to their own consciences, and not
      > according to the opinions of men. I hope, Dick,
      > whatever persuasion you join, that you will be
      > a Christian according to the Bible as you
      > understand it.

      > As ever, yours,
      > Mat.

      ######################################

      Maury's personal religious beliefs might be the subject of some
      little controversy; he was quite the controversialist in his own
      right without regard to religion. In today's vernacular, it might be
      opined that he knew well how to play the "religion card"????

      Sincerely,
      Robert Baty
    • rlbaty50
      ... Like Patricia Jahns, I have become disillusioned with the hero Maury while being fascinated by the real story of the man. Following are some additional
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 5, 2004
        --- In creationism@yahoogroups.com, "Harold R. Holmyard III"
        <hholmyard@o...> wrote, in part:

        > Thanks for the information. . .
        > I do not know what to make of it.

        Like Patricia Jahns, I have become disillusioned with the hero Maury
        while being fascinated by the "real" story of the man. Following are
        some additional notes that you might also find interesting, including
        a further reference to his joining the church.

        ###############################################

        From:

        Matthew Fontaine Maury
        &
        Joseph Henry

        By Patricia Jahns

        In the Mall in Washington, D.C. there is only one statue. It is of
        Joseph Henry. . .He made the Smithsonian his monument. . .Of the
        people who stood in Joseph Henry's was, who tried to keep him small
        in the world's eyes, the most important was another scientist, the
        best-known of his day. This man was Matthew Fontaine Maury. . .

        Page viii

        These two (Henry & Maury), who could only express contempt for each
        other – Maury called Henry a "closet scientist" and Henry said Maury
        was not ethical – were caught up in the turmoil that was to end in
        the Civil War.

        Page 4

        For the South Maury began to invent "infernal machines" that drowned
        men while they slept, and many a bad night it gave him, too.

        Page ix

        We were taught that Matthew Fontaine Maury was the Pathfinder of the
        Seas. . .I became his champion (ah, well; aren't we all drawn to the
        underdog!). Unraveling his story became a hobby over the years, a
        source of the greatest interest. Little by little I was
        disillusioned in the hero Maury. In the fascinating person, in the
        scientist, never.

        Page x

        At last Mat was able to make a decision that had been bothering him
        for a long time. Although he was intensely religious, and felt close
        to Big Nannie because she spent so much time on her knees, he had
        never joined a church. After many a long talks with Dr. Tremblett he
        at last decided to join the Episcopal Church. In Tremblett's
        Anglican church in Belsize Park, Maury was confirmed by Dr. Quintard,
        the Bishop of Tennessee, who had come to England to raise money for
        the Episcopalian-sponsored University of the South, at Sewanee.
        Joining him were Matsy and Lucy. Big Nannie, an Episcopalian
        herself, could see some of her prayers answered.

        Page 281

        ########################################

        While not referenced above, I have thought it quite fascinating how
        Maury was a mover and shaker to get disgruntled southerners to move
        to Mexico. I have read he even became a Mexican citizen. I think
        that effort failed when Maximillan failed.

        Sincerely,
        Robert Baty
      • rlbaty50
        Frances Leigh Williams has one of the better biographies out as to Matthew Fontaine Maury, and some of what she says appears to have some application in the
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 5, 2004
          Frances Leigh Williams has one of the better biographies out as to
          Matthew Fontaine Maury, and some of what she says appears to have
          some application in the present discussion.

          On page 151 she writes:

          > As he weighed the proposal he would make, Maury later
          > told his family, that verse (Psalm 107) came often to
          > his mind but even more frequently the words of the
          > 8th Psalm. . .

          > Those words convinced Maury that he was right in his
          > belief that there were natural paths through the sea,
          > even as there were natural paths through mountain
          > passes, if man would but persist until he discovered
          > them.

          That has a footnote #43 for more information and, in relevant part,
          the footnote states:

          > The fact that the 8th Psalm influenced MFM's thinking
          > in this way was stated to me by his granddaughter,
          > Mrs. N. Montgomery Osborne, or Norfolk, VA.

          The above references might help further understand my earlier
          suggestion that Maury was glad to have God on board in support of his
          personal beliefs rather than the more common claim that Maury "just
          took God at his word".

          Further, it seems many of the Maury claims such as are in dispute
          involve anecdotal stuff that typically distorts reality and is quite
          difficult to tie down with confidence. If Steve Rudd's
          alleged "eyewitness" really saw something concerning any sick-bed
          incident, wouldn't it be nice if he would be a little more honest and
          open in getting the material out for our consideration. I suspect it
          isn't what Steve Rudd hopes for it or what the "eyewitness" suggests.

          Sincerely,
          Robert Baty
        • rlbaty50
          ... The scholars are the ones that wrote the biographies and such; I m really quite the tyro. The Maury matters just happened to have caught my attention at a
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 5, 2004
            --- In creationism@yahoogroups.com, "Harold R. Holmyard III"
            <hholmyard@o...> wrote:

            > You sound to me like something of a Maury scholar.
            > Thanks for the information about Maury and Psalm 8.
            > I've enjoyed this exchange, because it has been
            > positive for me. We're studying something real,
            > facts that I can actually understand and verify to
            > some degree. It may not take me far on the
            > creationist issue, but I know more about my world.

            The scholars are the ones that wrote the biographies and such; I'm
            really quite the tyro. The Maury matters just happened to have
            caught my attention at a good time, I guess, and I spent some little
            time, talent, and money trying to "dig into the details".

            I've enjoyed the exchange myself.

            In contrast to many such efforts over the years, this exchange has
            been quite pleasant.

            I would that others with more resources would have done more to
            improve on the historical Maury and debunk the mythical Maury so
            popular with some religous folk.

            They could have done wholesale with considerable expertise what I am
            limited to doing retail with only my "feeble" abilities.

            Sincerely,
            Robert Baty
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