She used in later years to shake her head as she recalled a naughty mot of hers apropos of Parker's preaching: “I would rather,” she said, “hear Theodore Parker preach than go to the theatre; I would rather go to the theatre than go to a party; I would rather go to a party than stay at home!”
A letter to her sister Annie shows the trend of her religious thought in these days.
Sunday evening, December 8, 1844. Dear Annie,
Do not let the Bishop or Uncle or any one frighten you into any concessions — tell them, and all others that, even if you agree with them in doctrine, you think their notion of a religious life narrow, false, superficial.
You owe it to truth, to them, to yourself, to say so. I think perfect and fearless frankness one of our highest duties to man as well as to God.
Only see how one half the world pragmatically sets its foot down, and says to the other half, “Be converted, my opinion is truth!
I must be right and you must be wrong,” --while the other half timidly falters a reluctant acquiescence, or scarce audible expression of doubt, and continues troubled and afraid and discontented with itself and others.
Let me never think of you as in this ignominious position, dear Annie.
Do not think that I misapprehend you. I know you do not agree in doctrine with me, but I know too that you do not feel that you can abandon your life and conscience to the charge and guidance of such a man as Eastburn, or as Uncle Ben.
Do not, therefore, be
Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York. 1916.
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