previous next

[187] have lost their power. The cant of democracy upon the lips of men who are living down its principles is, to an earnest mind, wellnigh insufferable. Pertinent were the queries of Eliphaz the Temanite, ‘Shall a man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? Shall he reason with unprofitable talk, or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?’ Enough of wearisome talk we have had about ‘progress,’ the rights of ‘the masses,’ the ‘dignity of labor,’ and ‘extending the area of freedom’! ‘Clear your mind of cant, sir,’ said Johnson to Boswell; and no better advice could be now given to a class of our democratic politicians. Work out your democracy; translate your words into deeds; away with your sentimental generalizations, and come down to the practical details of your duty as men and Christians. What avail your abstract theories, your hopeless virginity of democracy, sacred from the violence of meanings? A democracy which professes to hold, as by divine right, the doctrine of human equality in its special keeping, and which at the same time gives its direct countenance and support to the vilest system of oppression on which the sun of heaven looks, has no better title to the name it disgraces than the apostate Son of the Morning has to his old place in heaven. We are using strong language, for we feel strongly on this subject. Let those whose hypocrisy we condemn, and whose sins against humanity we expose, remember that they are the publishers of their own shame, and that they have gloried in their apostasy. There is a cutting severity in the answer

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Johnson (1)
Boswell (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: