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[97] of that impulse which makes the most conservative temperament yearn to identify itself, at least for once in its life, with the party of revolt. It will seem incredible in future years that young people were sometimes forbidden to read the “Autocrat of the breakfast table,” as being a work of irreligious tendency; yet its author's criticisms on the then established faith of New England were from the point of view of human sympathy and not of technical theology. He did not wish, in his own words, to suggest perplexities in order to “bother Bridget, the wild Irish girl, or Joyce Heth, the centenarian, or any other intellectual non-combatant” ; but he simply wished to base religion upon justice and common humanity. The sentence which seemed most profane, “If a created being has no rights which his Creator is bound to respect, there is an end to all moral relations between them,” would now alarm few thinking persons. The “crippled souls” of the world were those who roused all his sympathy most promptly. As for the external side, he was all his life a regular church-goer on the ground, as he said, that there was “in the corner of his ”

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Joyce Heth (1)
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