It had been let loose many centuries earlier, and here and there there had always been witnesses to it; but in his own day and generation Garrison
was a pioneer of non-resistance, and he was no imitator or repeater, but he felt its direct claims in his own consciousness.
And men are governed and must be governed by their feelings.
We are in the habit of talking of logic as if it were superior to sentiment; but all logic starts out from sentiment, and every syllogism can be traced back to a feeling — a taste — about which it is not to be disputed.
Even mathematics, the most logical of sciences, rests upon axioms, and axioms are feelings.
We say that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, because we “feel” that it is; and in the same way we believe that two parallel lines can never meet, and that one and one always make two.
But these are all mere feelings, and the new mathematicians are actually arguing to-day that parallel lines can meet, and that our axiomatic feelings are erroneous.
Men often think that they are guided by reason, while as a matter of fact they really feel their way; and it is not a bad plan when logic leads you to some act which shocks your feelings, to use these latter as tests of logic.
It is this humble, instinctive way of behaving which we call commonsense,