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To Prof. Convers Francis.

Wayland, February 27, 1856.
Concerning theology, I still have a difficulty in seeing eye to eye with you. If there is such a science, I should define it as treating of man's relations with God; while ethics treat of his relations with fellow-men. Is there any basis for a science concerning the nature of the Divine Being, and the relations of human souls with him? What have we for guides into the infinite, except faith and aspiration? And must not faith and aspiration necessarily differ in individuals, according to temperament, education, and other external influences?

I am passing through strange spiritual experiences [75] not at all of my own seeking or willing. Ideas which formerly seemed to me a foundation firm as the everlasting hills, are rolling away from under my feet, leaving me on a ladder poised on the clouds. Still the ladder stays fixed, like Jupiter and the Virgin Mary seated on clouds in pictures. I have ceased to believe that any revelation written for one age or in one age can be adapted to all ages. I once thought that an inner spiritual meaning invested the Christian sacred books with a character infinite and eternal. I tried Swedenborg's key of correspondences, but it unlocked nothing. Wander where I would, I found nothing inscribed on the walls, but that everlasting duality of “Love and wisdom.” Every mineral said it, every flower said it, and the archangel said no more.

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