are in themselves truths
, are right utterances.
There are many facts, to which, if we were to give utterance, we should only speak the truth, but at the same time we all know that they should lie buried (perhaps for ever) in the depths of our own hearts.
To injure our neighbor by speaking the truth when no claim of paramount justice demanded it, and the claims of charity or kindness forbade it, would be a wicked act. For a child in a similar way to injure a parent would be the conduct of a demon.
All such acts, though they envelop a right principle — truth — do at the same time envelop a wrong principle — malevolence;
and it is the nature of wrong principle to stamp every act into which it enters with the character of guilt--it is wrong
The conclusion we reach is this: If the abstract or generic principle of an action be wrong
, the action itself is therefore wrong;
but that, if the abstract principle be right
, it does not follow that the action is therefore right
, but that the action itself is either right or wrong
, as may be determined by the presence or absence of certain other coincident principles; or, as we usually say, as may be determined by the circumstances.
If, then, the abstract principle of the institution of domestic slavery be wrong, the institution itself is wrong, and ought to be abolished; but if