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with articulating the pulses of the air instead of inhaling it in the more healthful and profitable exercise of yawning. That which doth not withstand, hath itself no standing place. To fill a station is to exclude or repel others,—and this is not less the definition of moral, than of material, solidity. We live by continued acts of defence, that involve a sort of offensive warfare. But a man's principles, on which he grounds his hope and his faith, are the life of his life. We live by faith, says the philosophic Apostle; and faith without principles is but a flattering phrase for wilful positiveness, or fanatical bodily sensation. Well, and of good right therefore, do we maintain with more zeal, than we should defend body or estate, a deep and inward conviction, which is as the moon to us; and like the moon with all its > massy shadows and deceptive gleams, it yet lights us on our way, poor travellers as we are, and benighted pilgrims. With all its spots and changes and temporary eclipses, with all its vain halos and bedimming vapors, it yet reflects the light that is to rise on us, which even now is rising, though intercepted from our immediate view by the mountains that inclose and frown over the vale of our mortal life.
This again is the mystery and the dignity of our human nature, that we cannot give up our reason, without giving up at the same time our individual personality. For that must appear to each man
to be his reason which produces in him the highest sense of certainty; and yet it is not reason, except so far as it is of universal validity and obligatory on all mankind. There is a one heart for the whole mighty mass of humanity, and every pulse in each particular vessel strives to beat in concert with it. He who asserts that truth is of no importance except in the signification of sincerity, confounds sense with madness, and the word of God with a dream. If the power of reasoning be the gift of the Supreme Reason, that we be sedulous, yea, and militant in the endeavor to reason aright, is his implied command. But what is of permanent and essential interest to one man must needs be so to all, in proportion to the means and opportunities of each. Woe to him by whom these are neglected, and double woe to him by whom they are withholden; for he robs at once himself and his neighbour. That man's soul is not dear to himself, to whom the souls of his brethren are not dear. As far as they can be influenced by him, they are parts and properties of his own soul, their faith his faith, their errors his burthen, their righteousness and bliss his righteousness and his reward--and of their guilt and misery his own will be the echo. As much as I love my fellow-men, so much and no more will I be intolerant of their heresies and unbelief-and I will honor and hold forth the right hand of fellowship to every individual who is equally intolerant
of that which he conceives such in me.- -We will both exclaim-'I know not what antidotes among the complex views, impulses and circumstances, that form your moral being, God's gracious providence may have vouchsafed to you against the serpent fang of this error,—but it is a viper, and its poison deadly, although through higher influences some men may take the reptile to their bosom, and remain unstung.'
In one of those poisonous journals, which deal out profaneness, hate, fury, and sedition through the land, I read the following paragraph. "The Brahmin believes that every man will be saved in his own persuasion, and that all religions are equally pleasing to the God of all. The Christian confines salvation to the believer in his own Vedas and Shasters. Which is the more humane and philosophic creed of the two?" Let question answer question. Self-complacent scoffer! Whom meanest thou by God? The God of truth ?—and can He be pleased with falsehood, and the debasement or utter suspension of the reason which he gave to man that he might receive from him the sacrifice of truth? Or the God of love and mercy? -and can He be pleased with the blood of thousands poured out under the wheels of Jaggernaut, or with the shrieks of children offered up as fire offerings to Baal or to Moloch?-Or dost thou mean the God of holiness and infinite purity?— and can He be pleased with abominations unut
terable and more than brutal defilements,-and equally pleased too as with that religion, which commands us that we have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but to reprove them ; —with that religion, which strikes the fear of the Most High so deeply, and the sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin so inwardly, that the believer anxiously inquires: Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?—and which makes answer to him,-He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?* But I check myself. It is at once folly and profanation of truth, to reason with the man who can place before his eyes a minister of the Gospel directing the eye of the widow from the corpse of her husband upward to his and her Redeemer,-(the God of the living and not of the dead)—and then the remorseless Brahmin goading on the disconsolate victim to the flames of her husband's funeral pile, abandoned by, and abandoning, the helpless pledges of their love-and yet dare ask, which is the more humane and philosophic creed of the two?—No! No! when such opinions are in question I neither am, nor will be, nor wish to be regarded as, tolerant.
* Micah vi. 7, 8.-Ed.
Knowing the heart of man is set to be
I HAVE thus endeavoured, with an anxiety which may perhaps have misled me into prolixity, to detail and ground the conditions under which the communication of truth is commanded or forbidden to us as individuals, by our conscience; and those too, under which it is permissible by the law which controls our conduct as members of the state. But is the subject of sufficient importance to deserve so minute an examination? O that my readers would look round the world, as it now is, and make to themselves a faithful catalogue of its many miseries! From what do these proceed, and on what do they depend for their continuance? Assuredly, for the greater part, on the actions of
* Epistle to the Countess of Cumberland.-Ed,