Markesan May 7th/60Dear Friend: Yours in reply to mine has just come to hand, and glad am I to learn that you are still persevering with the spirit of a true Scotchman, and that in a good cause. But what are you fitting for John? You tell me that you are studying Greek. I would infer from that, that you design becoming a minister of the gospel. If that is the case John I shall be glad to know that you have so concluded, and I hope to God that I may one day have the honor of sitting an attentive listener to your words. You exacted a promise from me that I would write you my opinion regarding matters of religion. I promised you that I would ponder the matter well and let you known the conclusions of my reflections. I must confess John that I am more in the mist than before. The more I think of it the more bewildered I become. Can it be possible that that God who made us and gave us life will punish us in the terrible manner spoken of in the good book? Would it be just in him, who know what we would do ere we were born to condemn us to eternal punish- ment? No I cannot reconcile my mind to the thought. You may say that we are free moral agents. What then. He implanted that spirit in me good as well as bad. Am I accountable? Suppose John, that you or I were parents. We bring home some beautiful picture or perhaps some candy we lay the candy on the chair and hang the picture on the wall, and then tell our children that they must neither touch the one nor look at the other, on the penalty of a whopping could that be right? The Bible told us that God made Adam & Eve and placed them in the garden of Eden, giving them the use of the garden, with the single proviso that the tree of life, the should not touch. You know the result! The devil triumphed. is he greater than the Supreme Being. I think not still this would 613
1863 May 7
Original letter dimensions: 31.0 x 19.5 cm
Reel 01, Image 0523
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