Letter from James Arlington Bennet, 24 October 1843

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Oct 24 1843
Dr. General. I am happy to know that you have taken possession of your New Establishment & presume you will be eminently successful & happy in it together with your good lady & family. You are no doubt already aware that I have had a most interesteresting visit from your most excellent & worthy friend. Pres. , with whom I have had a glorious frolick in the clear blue ocean; for most assuredly a frolic it was, without a moments reflection or Consideration. Nothing of this kind would in the least attach me to your person or cause. I am capable of being a most undeviating friend without being governed by the smallest religious influence. As you have proved yourself to be a philosophical Divine you will excuse me when I say that we must leave these influences to the mass. The boldness of your plans & measures together with their unparalled Success, so far, are calculated to through <throw> a charm over your whole being & to point you out as the most extraordinary man of the present Age. But my mind is of so mathematical & philosophical a cast that the Divinity of Moses makes no impression on me, and you will not be offended when I say that I rate you higher as a Legislature than I do Moses because we have you present with us for examination whereas Moses derives his Chief Author[ity] from prescription & the lapse of time.
I cannot however say but you are both right, It being out of the power of men to prove you wrong. It is no mathematical problem & can therefore get no mathematical solution. I say therefore go a head, you have my good wishes. You know Mahomet had his “right hand man.”
<Confidential excepting to your immediate friends.> [p. [1]]
Oct 24 1843
Dr. General. I am happy to know that you have taken possession of your New Establishment & presume you will be eminently successful & happy in it together with your good lady & family. You are no doubt already aware that I have had a most interesteresting visit from your most excellent & worthy friend. Pres. , with whom I have had a glorious frolick in the clear blue ocean; for most assuredly a frolic it was, without a moments reflection or Consideration. Nothing of this kind would in the least attach me to your person or cause. I am capable of being a most undeviating friend without being governed by the smallest religious influence. As you have proved yourself to be a philosophical Divine you will excuse me when I say that we must leave these influences to the mass. The boldness of your plans & measures together with their unparalled Success, so far, are calculated to throw a charm over your whole being & to point you out as the most extraordinary man of the present Age. But my mind is of so mathematical & philosophical a cast that the Divinity of Moses makes no impression on me, and you will not be offended when I say that I rate you higher as a Legislature than I do Moses because we have you present with us for examination whereas Moses derives his Chief Authority from prescription & the lapse of time.
I cannot however say but you are both right, It being out of the power of men to prove you wrong. It is no mathematical problem & can therefore get no mathematical solution. I say therefore go a head, you have my good wishes. You know Mahomet had his “right hand man.”
Confidential excepting to your immediate friends. [p. [1]]
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