made up my mind to follow your suggestion and was about sitting down to write an address in good earnest. I have been prevented however by finding that it would be difficult to spare, from my other engagements, the time necessary for such a composition.--
Present my compliments to Judge Howe-- Mrs. Bryant desires her best regards--
I am Madam
Your obt. & much obliged Servt.
WILLIAM C. BRYANT
MANUSCRIPTS: UVa (final); NYPL-GR (draft) ADDRESS: Mrs. Sarah L. Howe / Northampton.
Great Barrington Jan. 15, 1825.
I have this day received a circular from a committee of whom you are the chairman requesting my attendance in Boston on the 27th at a meeting of the friends of religion from various parts of New England. 2
I regret that it will not be in my power to attend the meeting. My heart however will be with them in the important object they propose to themselves, and any judicious & moderate measures calculated to promote it will have I am persuaded the hearty concurrence and assistance of many friends of rational Christianity in this part of the country. Indeed it seems to me that it is high time that some sort of concert should be entered some systematic combination--some degree of mutual understanding & united exertion should take place among those who profess to hold liberal principles on the subject of religion were it for no other purpose but to confirm & encourage those who like us in the County of Berkshire dwell in the very shadow--and under the very frown of orthodoxy. --It is true that many of us while we do not wish to make our faith a subject of wrangling & contention, yet make no secret of their opinions on religious subjects; but is probably no less true that many who have in their hearts embraced the same opinions are restrained from avowing them by the dread of unpopularity. We do not suffer ourselves to doubt that religious truth will ultimately prevail, but the distance at which we live from the places where it is taught and our comparatively small com-