Montpellier Jany 21 1834
I have recd. your letter of the 7th. inst. It is one added to a number which had led me to decline all correspondence on Religious questions especially where the object or the effect might be to bring me before the public. To this rule I have adhered, notwithstanding the opinions, even in opposite extremes, which have been imputed to me. I give you due credit for the motives which prompted your letter, and doubt not you will do equal justice to mine in the reply. Wishing it to be regarded as altogether a private one I have so marked it, as above.
Doctr. Waterhouse was not mistaken in his allusions to my age. I am now approaching my 84th. year, with an addition to its ordinary infirmities, of the effect of an obstinate Rheumatism on my entire frame; a condition sufficiently admonishing me to abstain as much as possible from the use of my pen on difficult or delicate subjects. With respectful salutations