The Critical Theology of Theodore Parker

By John Edward Dirks | Go to book overview
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Moved and Handled in a Letter to All Those Gentlemen

Boston, 1840


If the subjects you are debating concerned simply the two respectable persons who alone, as yet, have taken part in the discussion, the public would not have listened to their words; nor should I have troubled your wisdom with this letter. But the matter before you is one of wide and deep concernment, which affects the whole community. You therefore, I doubt not, will pardon a plain man for addressing a few words, to your respectful consideration. The humble style, and perhaps uncouth phraseology of my letter, I trust, you will candidly excuse, when I assure you that "ower much o' my life has been spent at the plough, and ower little at the college or the schule." I am but an obscure man; my name, I think, is strange to your ears. But I have interests at issue which depend on the question you are debating.

Our age, Gentlemen, as Mr. Norton so acutely remarks, is one of movement and transition. Great questions which the world had previously passed upon and settled, come up to receive a new solution. "Terrible questions," as some one says, "are raised by human Reason," and matters taken for granted hitherto, or decided by authority that is merely personal, now solicit rejudgment, by which, in some cases, it seems likely that


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