pales before him in the stainlessness of his record.
He stands among English statesmen preeminently the representative, in practice and in theory, of serene faith in the safety of trusting truth wholly to her own defence.
For other men we walk backward, and throw over their memories the mantle of charity and excuse, saying reverently, “Remember the temptation and the age.”
's ermine has no stain; no act of his needs explanation or apology; and in thought he stands abreast of our age,--like pure intellect, belongs to all time.
said, in years when his words were worth heeding, “Young men, close your Byron
, and open your Goethe
If my counsel had weight in these halls, I should say, “Young men, close your John Winthrop
, your Jefferson
, and open Sir Harry Vane
The generation that knew Vane
gave to our Alma Mater
for a seal the simple pledge,--Veritas
But the narrowness and poverty of colonial life soon starved out this element.
Harvard was rededicated Christo et Ecclesiae
; and up to the middle of the last century, free thought in religion meant Charles Chauncy
and the Brattle-Street Church protest, while free thought hardly existed anywhere else.
But a single generation changed all this.
A hundred years ago there were pulpits that led the popular movement; while outside of religion and of what called itself literature, industry and a jealous sense of personal freedom obeyed, in their rapid growth, the law of their natures.
English common-sense and those municipal institutions born of the common law, and which had saved and sheltered it, grew inevitably too large for the eggshell of English dependence, and allowed it to drop off as naturally as the chick does when she is ready.
There was no change of law, nothing that could properly be called revolution,