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God against the Revolution: The Loyalist Clergy’s Case against the American Revolution, Gregg L. Frazer

Reviewed by T. J. Tomlin

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Throughout the American Revolution, Loyalists prayed that God would save the King and bring an impious rebellion to an end. In this well-researched book, Gregg L. Frazer analyzes sermons and pamphlets written by Loyalist clergy to uncover the multifaceted bases on which those who maintained fealty to the Crown justified their decision. This group of just over 200 clergymen was overwhelmingly (76 percent) Anglican, and Frazer draws most heavily on the “significant commentary” (p. 29) left by five of its most prolific and influential members. Frazer aims to “fill the knowledge gap regarding the content of those writings” (p. 2) and to correct what he views as a one-dimensional historiographical treatment of the Loyalists more generally: “Loyalists do not fit nicely into a simplistic category, were not ideologically shallow, and were not motivated by fear” (p. 227).

In Chapter 1, which serves as the book’s introduction, Frazer explains that he will let these authors “speak for themselves free of secondary commentary.” He hopes this will allow them “to make their own case for the reader to evaluate, as eighteenth-century readers were asked to do” (p. 33). This gives the book an almost singular focus on the rhetoric and logic that Loyalist cler

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