two hundred years. We have a people that can think, a people that can read; and out of the millions of refuse lumber, God selects one in a generation, and he is enough to save a State.
One man that thinks for himself is the salt of a generation poisoned with printing ink or cotton dust.
The Puritans scattered broadcast the seeds of thought.
They knew it was an error, in counting up the population, to speak of a million of souls because there was a million of bodies,--as if every man carried a soul!
but they knew, trusting the mercy of God, that by educating all, the martyrs and the saints — that do not travel in battalions, that never come to us in regiments, but come alone, now and then one--would be reached and unfolded, and save their own time.
Puritanism, therefore, is action
; it is impersonating ideas; it is distrusting and being willing to shake off what are called institutions.
They were above words; they went out into the wilderness outside of forms.
The consequence was, that throughout their whole history, there is the most daring confidence in their being substantially right.
The consequence is, that when Conservatism comes together to-day, whether in the form of a “Union meeting,” --dead men turning in their graves and pretending to be alive,--whether it be in this form, or any other, its occupation is to explain how, a hundred years ago, it was right, and not to see the reflection of a hundred years ago staring them in the face to-day.
Like the sitting figure on our coin, they are looking back; they have no eyes for the future.
The souls that God touches have their brows gilded by the dawn of the future.
A man present at the glorious martyrdom of the 2d of December, said of the hero-saint who marched out of the jail, “He seemed to come, his brow radiant with triumph.”
It was the dawn of a future day that gilded his brow.
He was high