The voluntary principle, the principle of modern English Nonconformity, is on the same grand and impressive scale.
“There is nothing which piety and zeal have ever offered on the face of the earth as a tribute to religion and religious purposes, equal to that which has been done by the voluntary principle among the people of the United States
I cannot help thinking that my Boston
informant mixes up, I say, the few lovers of perfection with the much more numerous representatives, serious, industrious, and in many ways admirable, of middle-class virtue; and imagines that in almost every town of the United States
there is a group of lovers of perfection, whereas the lovers of perfection are much less thickly sown than he supposes, but what there really is in almost every town is a group of representatives of middle-class virtue.
And the fruits by which he knows his men, the effects which they achieve for the national life and civilization, are just the fruits, be it observed, which the representatives of middle-class virtue are capable of producing and produce for us here in England
, too, and for the production of which we need not have recourse to an extraordinary supply of lovers of perfection.
“It is such people,” he says, “who keep the whole sentiment of the ”