To tell the truth, in my opinion, that young man was not born to be a minister." Emerson did not long remain a minister.
In 1832 he preached a sermon in which he announced certain views in regard to the communion service which were disapproved by a large part of his congregation.
While thus coming before the open public on the lecture platform, he was all the time preparing the treatise which was to embody all the quintessential elements of his philosophical doctrine.
This was the essay Nature, which was published in 1836.
It declared a sort of intellectual independence for America.
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Henceforth we were to be emancipated from clogging foreign influences, and a national literature was to expand under the fostering care of the Republic.
This year of travel opened Emerson's eyes to many things of which he had previously been ignorant; he had profited by detachment from the concerns of a limited community and an isolated church.
After his return he began to find his true field of activity in the lecture-hall, and delivered a number of addresses in Boston and its vicinity.
One of his hearers has said: "In looking back on his preaching I find he has impressed truths to which I always assented in such a manner as to make them appear new, like a clearer revelation." Although his sermons were always couched in scriptural language, they were touched with the light of that genius which avoids the conventional and commonplace.
In his other pastoral duties Emerson was not quite so successful.