26th September 1824

Took a Walk in the fields heard the harvest cricket & shrew-mouse uttering their little chickering songs among the crackling stubbles. The latter makes a little ear-piercing noise not unlike a feeble imitation of the skylark & I verily believe this is the noise said to be made by the little swift-footed bird calld the cricket lark.
Came home & read a chapter or two in the New Testament. I am convinced of its sacred design & that its writers were inspird by an almighty power to benefit the world by their writings that was growing deeper & deeper into unfruitful ignorance, like bogs & mosses in neglected countrys, for want of culture — but I am far from being convincd that the desird end is or will be attaind at present while cant & hypocrisy are blasphemously allowd to make a mask of religion, & to pass as current characters I will not say that this is universal, God forbid.
Sarah Houghton-Walker's book examines Clare's worldview concentrating on Christian Faith, comparing that (amongst many other insights) with simple Church attendance and, it seems, the prevailing hypocrisy in the early 19th century. It is an important book looking, in Ronnie Blythe's words (in a letter to me), "at the most neglected of areas of Clare studies". It is expensive, but a worthwhile investment.

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