In Dickinson’s teen years, a wave of religious revivals moved through New England. One by one, her friends and family members made the public profession of belief in Christ as seen in this 1850 “Articles of Faith and Government of the First Church in Amherst, Mass.” In a letter to friend Abiah Root in 1846, Dickinson wrote, “I feel that I have not yet made my peace with God. I am still a s[tran]ger – to the delightful emotions which fill your heart. I have perfect confidence in God & his promises & yet I know not why, I feel that the world holds a predominant place in my affections.” Though she weighed the matter passionately, Dickinson ultimately did not confess the faith required to become a full member of the Church.
Emily Dickinson to Abiah Root (L13), September 8, 1846, in The Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1965), 1:36.
Courtesy of Jones Library Special Collections