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[398] H. Wright is not an infidel, what is he? I inquire honestly, for if anybody had asked me if he was one, I should have answered yes without a moment's hesitation, in the same manner as I should have said that May was a Unitarian. . . .1

I find the following numbers missing from the Liberator of this year, and should like to have them sent me: 27, 28, 29, 30, 39, 41, 49.

Harriet Beecher Stowe to W. L. Garrison.

[Andover, December, 1853 (?).]
2 I see you have published your letter to me in the Liberator. I3 did not reply to that letter immediately because I did not wish to speak on so important a subject unadvisedly and without proper thought and reflection. The course I pursued was to make up my file of the Liberator, and give it a general investigation as to its drift and course of thought for the past summer. I have also read through with attention Theodore Parker's works on religion, which I suppose give me somewhat of a fair view of the modern form of what people have generally denominated ‘infidelity.’ I use the word here for conveniencea sake, without the slightest invidious intention. I also suppose that these works may not present the subject exactly as you view it, since no two persons of independent minds ever view a subject precisely alike; but yet by the two together I can perhaps form a general estimate, sufficiently accurate, of how your mind lies.

I do not answer this letter in the paper, because I think a more private discussion of the matter likely to prove more useful.

Briefly, then, my objection to the Liberator is not its free discussion—for that I approve; not the fact of its inquiring into the Bible and the Sabbath and other things of that kind—but the manner of it. . . . I notice [among] Mr. Parker's sermons one which contains some very excellent thoughts on the uses of the Sabbath. Considered merely as a human institution, according to him, its preservation is exceedingly desirable, and4 its obliteration would be a great calamity. I notice also a very eloquent passage on the uses and influence of the Bible. He considers it to embody absolute and perfect religion, and that no better mode for securing present and eternal happiness can be found than the obedience to certain religious precepts therein recorded. He would have it read, circulated; and considers it,

1 S. J. May.

2 Ms. no date.

3 Lib. 23.202, Dec. 23, 1853.

4 Ante, p. 226.

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