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 suffuses his expression like the sunlight in cloud-banked western skies. But his religious faith was far from being of the dogmatic type. ‘I regard Christianity as a life rather than as a creed,’ he once said, and the whole of his writing exemplifies the statement. He found in the doctrines of the Society of Friends exactly the framework which his nature needed, saying that ‘after a candid and kindly survey’ of all the other creeds, ‘I turn to my own Society, thankful to the Divine Providence which placed me where I am; and with an unshaken faith in the one distinctive doctrine of Quakerism —the Light Within—the immanence of the Divine Spirit in Christianity.’ In this doctrine, he says elsewhere, ‘will yet be found the stronghold of Christendom, the sure, safe place from superstition on the one hand and scientific doubt on the other.’ The perfect expression of this simple and serene faith is found in The eternal goodness, and still again in the very last of all his poems. The sunset song of Tennyson's soul, just before ‘crossing the bar’ that divides the harbour of Time from the ocean of Eternity, illustrates no better than do these final lines of Whittier the matchless beauty that may crown the simplest modes of expression, if only they are based upon perfect faith and perfect sincerity. While Whittier was primarily a poet, his activities as a reformer and philanthropist, and his editorial work in connection with the many papers that claimed his services, made him an important writer of prose. The amount of his prose writing is very great, and, although the larger part of it is too ephemeral to have any place in the history of American literature, the part which has been thought worthy of inclusion in the standard edition of his collected works fills three of the seven volumes. Much of this writing is controversial in character, like the early tract on Justice and Expediency, but the greater part of it belongs to the permanent literature of New England history and thought. The most important titles are The stranger in Lowell, The Supernaturalism of New England, Leaves from Margaret Smith's journal in the province of Massachusetts Bay, and Literary Recreations and miscellanies. The story of Margaret Smith is almost a work of fiction. It recounts the imagined observations of a young woman who comes from England on a visit to the Bay Colony in its early
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