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[75] for I find the same muscle imperfectly developed in myself. Each muscle needs the greatest development, and perfection will come with the equilibrium of the most vigorous opposites, and not with their atrophy. Pull your side of the boat and let me pull mine. Too much time is wasted in port's swearing at starboard and starboard at port. Your main duty is to be sincere and to be strong and to pull.

But I believe that Garrison was right for other reasons than these. He was conscious of a new moral obligation to refrain from violence of all kinds, and it came to him as an abstract unqualified principle of universal application. It is of the very nature of moral principles that they transcend present environments and point to the future. The fact that they are impracticable is the very source of their strength, for the attempt to apply them tends to transform the world. What dead things our principles would be if we could actually live up to them! They create and regenerate because they are impossible. It is impossible to be perfect in an imperfect environment, and yet it is our duty to be perfect: and this inherent contradiction in the moral world is the reason for the paradoxical character of all great teaching and the guaranty of perpetual improvement in the human race. Hence we cannot express our

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William Lloyd Garrison (1)
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