It dissolves the spell of Authority; it makes him distrustful of Great Names.
It lessens his terror of Public Opinion; for he has confronted it—discovered that it slows more teeth than it uses—that it harms only those who fear it—that it bows at length in homage to him whom it cannot frighten.
It throws him upon his own moral
Formerly, Fear came to his assistance in moments of temptation; hell-fire rolled up its column of lurid smoke before him in the dreaded distance.
But now he sees it not. If he has the Intelligence to know, the Heart
to love, the Will to choose, the Strength to do, tile right; he does it, and his life is high, and pure, and noble.
If Intelligence, or Heart, or Will, or Strength is wanting to him, he vacillates; he is not an integer, his life is not. But, in either case, his Acts are the measure of his Worth.
Moreover, the struggle of a heretic with the practical difficulties of life, and particularly his early struggle, is apt to be a hard one; for, generally
, the Ridel, the Respectable, the Talented, and the Virtuous of a nation are ranged on the side of its Orthodoxy in an overwhelming majority.
They feel themselves allied with it—dependent upon it. Above all, they believe in it, and think they would be damned if they did not. They are slow to give their countenance to one who dissents from their creed, even though he aspire only to make their sloes, or clean them, and though they more than suspect that the rival shoemaker round the corner keeps a religious newspaper on his counter solely for the effect of the thing upon pious consumers of shoe-leather.
To depart from the established Faith, then, must be accounted a risk, a danger, a thing uncomfortable and complicating.
But, from the nettle Danger, alone
, we pluck the flower Safety.
And he who loves Truth first—Advantage second—will certainly find Truth at length, and care little at what loss of Advantage.
So, let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind—with which safe and salutary text we may take leave of matters theological, and resume our story.
The political events which occurred during Horace Greeley
's residence in Westhaven
were numerous and exciting; some of them were of a character to attract the attention of a far less forward and thoughtful boy than he. Doubtless he read the message of President Monroe
in 1821, in which the policy of Protection