John Muir


Ambrose Newton


image preview


dreadful must be the condition of those, who when called to pass through the same bitter waters of sorrow, have no heavenly arm to rest upon. All human aid, so utterly powerless and can look for none from God. How greatly we should prize and love that gospel which shows us the hand of a kind heavenly parent directing all the good and ill that makes life the changeful and mysterious thing which it is. One of our neighbors must be borne to the grave tomorrow - a Christian who long has known the power of a Saviours love, she died in hope of the glory of God about to be revealed to her. Like summer plants the most sainted believer sickens and dies but thanks be to God for the gospel which proclaims immortality for those cold limbs about to be folded in the coffin. I sometimes fear that I am not prepared to die at any time, that I do not keep the shortness and uncertainty of life sufficiently in view, and it seems too that I do not think enough of heaven as a reality. I have faith but surely it is weak; for I do not find these unseen realities in my everyday thoughts and plans, were I sure that in a few years I should go to France and that I might be taken there at any time I am sure that it would exert a controlling influence upon all of my plans, but here is a city whose maker and builder is God - Heaven in whose length and breadth not a mortal or unholy thing is found, to this place I admit and claim that at any time I may be removed, and still, strange to say, I almost forget it in seeking a path through this world.


Fountain Lake, [Wisc.]

Date Original

1864 Feb 16


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier

MSS 307 Muiriana

File Identifier


Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

1864 Feb 16 P2 JM to dear friends (Newtons)


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle