[Manchester—Sunday, 10 July 1870]

Sunday July 10. Yesterday Dickens’s pictures & works of art were sold. I fear before Fechter can arrive.

Went to church as Jamie seemed to think he should feel better for doing so. The preacher a young illiterate man from Vermont, gave us the bleakest and narrowest of Calvinistic talk. He said goodness consisted of several things which he proceeded to name as heads for his discourse. “1st reading the bible. 2d prayer, 3—total abstinence from which point he went on to say that he never knew a man to touch liquor and be a Christian. Mr. Dickens came to his death because of the bottle and he was so depraved as to have lost the power of reform. Having wished at last to give it up he found it was impossible!!” Much more such nonsense we were obliged to hear, while the trees waved out side and everything called us into the fresh wide air of nature. It is not only sad but mysterious to me that our country people should have no recourse but either to stay away from Public Worship altogether or submit to such an infliction as the discourse of this morning; for the people themselves do not at all subscribe to the narrow doctrines of the preacher and were much hurt by his narrow sectarianism today.

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