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ster, whose principal attribute is malignancy, and whose cruelty is so great that his chief delight is in torturing the poor souls of men; and, that all who are not put through the peculiar mechanically-converting process of their church, will have to dwell with the aforesaid monster through eternity’s countless ages, weeping, wailing, and gnashing their teeth. The heterodow tell me to disregard all such declarations. They go so far, on the other extreme, as to open the gates of heaven and let me in ; and not only me, but the whole human family indiscriminately, regardless of good or bad propensity, and chain impure souls, whether they will or no, to the throne of the Eternal. ' Now, under this weight of opposite opinion and conflicting doctrine, in politics, morals, social science, and religion, the mind is well-nigh overwhelmed ; and the question of, “What is man's duty in relation to all these principles generally, or to any one creed, or faith, or doctrine, in particular 7” rebounds back again with increased perplexity. If all men had one object, one desire, and all their interests were one, then would there be no difficulty in solving the question. But the very reverse is the fact. Man comes into the world, and, in many instances, he finds it a vast antagonism. The immediate interests of scarcely any man are his. Nor would it be for his highest good that they should. Things around him are continually changing. The claims of domestic relations, political duties, moral obligations, and sectarian tenets, are daily
urged upon him. If his mind is not prejudiced in favor of any one principle in particular, he scarcely knows which way to turn. Truth, although all around him, and knocking at the door of his heart for admittance, appears more remote than ever. Then, alas ! what course is left for an unbiased man to pursue 7 In what direction must he move 7 And how far is he responsible, or accountable, for the evils which the countless number of principles are advocated to remedy ? These are questions which every man must ask himself, and for himself, and must act out his own answerings. Every man has an orbit wherein to move, as distinctly marked as the path of a planet around the sun. Hence, each for himself must observe, read, digest, reason, hear, think, and speak. No man can do these for him, and no man can fill his place, or perform the business, which duty and destiny require of him. He must cast off, if possible, all prejudice, of whatsoever nature, kind, or degree, and be ever ready to examine, long and carefully, every principle presented for consideration; and, if he find it stand the test of his own examination, and do not run in collision with the chaims of the moral law, he should at once adopt it, no matter what previously-formed opinions it may come in contact with. A mind that will act thus, will scarcely ever imbibe error. There is no necessity that an individual should adopt any one principle exclusively, and then, resting upon his one idea, defend himself against the clamorous importunities of all the rest. Heart and understanding should be open for the reception of every truth; and when adopted, " by a train of measures which shall be called expedients, make the attempt to put it into practice, as quickly as it can be done consistently with the interests, the rights, the feelings, and the views of others. Act out the expedients at once, with the view of ultimately arriving at the end. No denunciation of others must mark our conclusions. The presentation of the question, if presented at all, might not have been in the same form to others as to us. Due allowance must be made for prejudice and previously-formed opinions, owing to education and condition, with all the various internal and external associations and influences which have formed the mind, biased the . judgment, and controlled the character. It is the business of man to reach out after a principle, but not contend at once for its ultraisms. Our expediences must be shaped to meet the principle, for the principle can never be shaped to reach us. He can not find the beginning, nor will he be able to find the end. Principles are infinite, and they can not, in their infinite applications, be at once applied to the finite. Man is mortal; his being is limited; his vision is shortsighted. Principles are immortal; their existence without beginning or end; they penetrate eternity. Man, at the best, but gropes his way through life to a knowledge of himself, his duty, and his destiny; therefore it is the highest folly for the mortal to attempt the immortal, or the finite to reach the infinite. ,
Hence we should think that we may be wrong, but believe that we are right. Believe others to be right also, although think—should they differ with us—they are wrong. Never know anything of the justice or the truthfulness of any subject further than to believe it right and true in our opinion. Very little can be really known : very much can be profitably believed. Be free from conceit and presumption, and be an humble worshipper upon the altar of Truth. Whoever acts under the influence of such principles and feelings as these, if he can not answer the question, “What is duty” will never be at a loss to perform it, in relation to the great principles which are advocated at the present day. Not E. – In justice to the author of the above, it is proper to state that his entire
article is not here presented, for the reason that it was not furnished in season. The remainder will be published next year.-- Ed.
NEw York, July, 1846
THE 0 RPH ANS' L AMENT,
ALONE – alone !—
Those who loved us well are gone !
BaltiMoRE, MD., August, 1846.