John Muir


[John Muir]


[David Gilrye Muir]



in connection with the religious training which is supposed to follow it is likely to do very much good. - I was happized three times this morning. [yet?] (according to the old way of [dividing?] a sermon) in balmy sunshine that pen- etrated to my very soul, warming all the faculties of spirit, as well as the points & marrow of the body. 2d in the mysterious rays of beauty that emanate from plant corollas, & 3d in the spray of the lower Yosemite falls. , My 1st baptism was by [illegible]. The 2d by houring, & the 3d by sprinkling consequently, all Baptists are my brethering & all will allow that Ive' "got religion"



Yosemite not dated Baptism & [illegible] [1870]

Balmy Sabbath morning in Yosemite Apr 10th -

Dear Brother Your geographical religion & commercial letter was hand- ed me this morning by a little blackeyed witch of a girl to only one in the Valley - I also rec'd your note of Feb 8th in due time (that is anytime) & I propose to answer them as one thus accomplishing two at a blow' but I am bewildered by the magnitude & number of the subjects of which they treal. I think that since my pen is perturbed by too big a quantum of levity for Sabbath writing I shall begin with baptism hoping that my


muddy ink & muddy thoughts will settle to the seriousness or anger that naturally belongs to the subject I do not like the doctrine of close communion as held by hard shells, because the whole clumsy structure of the thing rests upon a foundation of coarse- grained dogmatism - Imperious, bollapright exclusiveness upon any subject is hateful, but it becomes absolutely hideous & empions in matters of religion, where all men are equally interested - I have no patience at all for the man who complacently wipes his pious lips & waves me away from a simple rite which commemorates the love & sacrifice of Christ - telling me "Go out from us for you are not of us", & all this not for want of Christian


love on my part, or the practice of self denying virtues in seeking to elevate myself; but simply because in his infallable judgement I am mistaken in the number of quarts of that common liquid we call water which should be made use of in baptism - - - - - - - I think infant baptism by sprinkling or any other mode is a beautiful & impressive ordinance, & however the scrip- ture of the thing is interpreted no parent can be doing an unseemly or unchristian act in dedicating a child to God & taking upon him vows to lead his child in the path that all good people believe in. The baptism of an old sinner is apt to do but little good but the baptism of an infant




Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0247

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

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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



2 pages



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