whatever it finds written there,--except to supply such pages with brains and heart.
Now, you wanted that writer in his own pulpit, ten years ago, to do from the height of a revered, trusted, loved pulpit that which “like a thunder-storm against the breeze,” men of no repute and of few opportunities, and in small audiences have been doing for ten years. To be sure, his idea that agitation was needless is like the clown in the old classic play two thousand years ago, who, seeing a man bring down with an arrow an eagle floating in the blue ether above, said, “You need not have wasted that arrow, the fall would have killed him.”
And we shall certainly succeed.
Here we are outvoted; here we are fanatics; and here we are persecuted.
But persecution is only want of faith.
When a man does not believe what he says he does, he persecutes the man who contradicts him; when he does believe it, he sits quiet.
But all the great thinkers, all the broad minds of Europe
, are on our side.
Just now two names occur to me, Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer
,--perhaps two of the largest brains in Europe
, two of the profoundest thinkers, and yet from their works I could cull sentence after sentence that would indorse every sentiment you would hear in a twelve-month from this pulpit, organized as I have sketched it. The thinkers and the doers, the men that stand close to the popular heart, and the men sitting still and calm in the Academy, agree.
The upper and the nether mill-stone have said, “Let it come to pass!”
and we shall grind up conservatism between us. The craving of the popular mind for truth, the opening in America
for a wider intellectual and moral battle, taking into its bosom the seed which the Master
who bestows thought is ready to plant,--between us two, we shall make in this very