"paraselene", n., fig. use (new), 1724

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Jul 2 22:29:32 UTC 2013

"A few young Ministers, who have prov'd such Apostates, as to deny
and renounce the Ministry of these Churches, and gone home to our
Bishop for orders, have made a great Noise at home, as well as
here.  But they signify very Little, and can draw no Disciples after
them, except a few, that are a Scandal and Blemish to the wretched
parraselene [sic] which they go over to, and serve as a praeservative
which antidotes our people against a Church that have such people for
the Only Pillars of it."

Cotton Mather, letter to Isaac Noble, Jan. 14, 1723-24.  Amer.
Antiquarian Soc.  In _Diary of Cotton Mather, Ungar ed., 2nd
printing, p. 694.  (The pagination may be the same as in the MHS
_Collections_, ser. 7, vol. 8.)

"paraselene, n.", new use OED3, fig.  The notion is of a false moon
(the Church of England) that has attracted some apostates from "these
churches" (the Congregational), but those apostates are no credit to
the Church of England and such poor models of Christian ministers
that they immunize our people against defections.  ("Our Bishop" is
the Bishop of London, nominally in charge of all Protestant churches
in the colonies, by whom a Church of England minister for the
colonies had to be ordained, and "at home", in England.  In actuality
the Bishop of London had no power over the Congregational and other
Dissenting churches of New England.)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list