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    FIRST RELIGIOUS IMPRESSIONS

    Before the close of this period, however, I began to suspect that Deism tended to a belief of annihilation, which was always very abhorrent to my feelings. In the fall of 1812, as I was returning to Poultney from the court at Rutland, in company with Judge Stanley, I asked him his opinion respecting our condition in another state. He replied by comparing it to that of a tree which flourishes for a time, and turns again to earth; and to that of a candle which burns to nothing. I was then satisfied that Deism was inseparably connected with, and did tend to, the denial of a future existence. And I thought to myself, that rather than embrace such a view, I should prefer the heaven and hell of the Scriptures, and take my chance respecting them. Still I could not regard the Bible as inspired.WMAD 3.2

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