John Muir


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They have precise dogmatic insight of the “intentions” of the Creator. It is hardly possible to be guilty of irreverence in speaking of their God any more than of heathen idols. He is regarded as a civilized, law-abiding gentleman, in favor of a Republican form of government of a limited monarchy, believes in the literature and language of England, is a warm supporter of the English constitution and of all well gotten up Sabbath schools and missionary societies, and in all respects it is as purely a manufactured article as any puppet of a half penny theatre; and of course, with such views of the Creator, it is not surprising that erroneous views should be entertained of the creation. To such properly trimmed people the sheep, for example, is an easy problem – “food and clothing for us,” eating grass and daisies white by divine appointment for this predestined purpose, on perceiving the demand for wool that would be occasioned by the apple Fall. The horse also “to carry us” and to work, and the ox for beef, and the cow “to mother us” with milk – all this is plain, but the countless herds of wild horses and buffalo ought to be dragging gashing plowshares behind them “to conquer the stubborn soil.” Dogs too, to follow our foxes, and to bark for and preserve us, the good, and frighten the wicked. Among birds we have hens for albumen for our puddings and cakes, all managed nicely “for us” in proper order, etc. Whales are store-houses of oil “for us” to help out the stars in lighting our nights, until the discovery of Pennsylvania wells. Among plants, to say nothing of the cereals, hemp is a plain case for the

Date Original

July 1867


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist