sealed my lips on that subject forever.
I have never since ventured to ask anybody any questions on that subject, but have studied it out for myself as well as I could.
Soon after that the doctor preached a sermon in which he denounced skepticism in his own vigorous terms, and consigned to perdition all the great teachers of heresy, of whom he mentioned the names—before unheard, I am sure, by the great majority of cadets, though their works were to be found in the West Point
and all other public libraries.
I never looked into any of those books, though other cadets told me that they, at his suggestion, had sought there for the information the good doctor had refused to give us. I have never, even to this day, been willing to read or listen to what seemed to me irreverent words, even though they might be intended to convey ideas not very different from my own. It has seemed to me that a man ought to speak with reverence of the religion taught him in his childhood and believed by his fellow-men, or else keep his philosophical thoughts, however profound, to himself.
Another sermon of the good doctor of divinity, which I did not happen to hear, on the Mosaic history of creation, contained, as stated to me, a denunciation of the ‘God-hating geologists.’
That offended me, for I had, in common with all other cadets, learned greatly to admire and respect our professor of geology.
So I did not go to the Bible
-class any more.
But the professor of ethics continued to drive his fine fast horse, much the best one on the Point
, and I believe the best I had ever seen.
Hence he continued to enjoy my esteem, though perhaps he did not know it.
Near the beginning of the last year of my cadet life an event occurred which very nearly proved fatal to my prospects, and I have often wondered that it did not have some effect on my hopes.
But, singularly enough, I never had a moment's doubt or anxiety as to the final