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“ [405] disorder, tumult, or quarrel, except for Father Mathew's aid.” Any man can build a furnace, and turn water into steam,--yes, if careless, make it rend his dwelling in pieces. Genius builds the locomotive, harnesses this terrible power in iron traces, holds it with master-hand in useful limits, and gives it to the peaceable service of man. The Irish people were O'Connell's locomotive; sagacious patience and moderation the genius that built it; Parliament and justice the station he reached.

Every one who has studied O'Connell's life sees his marked likeness to Luther,--the unity of both their lives; their wit; the same massive strength, even if coarse-grained; the ease with which each reached the masses, the power with which they wielded them; the same unrivalled eloquence, fit for any audience; the same instinct of genius that led them constantly to acts which, as Voltaire said, “Foolish men call rash, but wisdom sees to be brave;” the same broad success. But O'Connell had one great element which Luther lacked,--the universality of his sympathy; the far-reaching sagacity which discerned truth afar off, just struggling above the horizon; the loyal, brave, and frank spirit which acknowledged and served it; the profound and rare faith which believed that “the whole of truth can never do harm to the whole of virtue.” From the serene height of intellect and judgment to which God's gifts had lifted him, he saw clearly that no one right was ever in the way of another, that injustice harms the wrongdoer even more than the victim, that whoever puts a chain on another fastens it also on himself. Serenely confident that the truth is always safe, and justice always expedient, he saw that intolerance is only want of faith. He who stifles free discussion secretly doubts whether what he professes to believe is really

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Maurice O'Connell (3)
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