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John Harrison Wilson, The life of Charles Henry Dana, Appendix: Brook Farm — an address delivered at the University of Michigan on Thursday, January 21, 1895: (search)
ideal is a government of intelligence, of conviction, of conscience, and of moral duty. I remember that this party of non-resistance proved to be pretty large. Its doctrine was that you must never resist physical constraint. If a man struck you on one cheek, turn the other to him; overcome evil with good. Accordingly, there were many men, and men of bright intelligence and genuine culture, who refused to be a party in the operations of government, and who would not hold any office. Edmund Quincy, in Boston, one of the most charming men I have ever known, rejected his commission as a justice of the peace, which Governor Everett sent to him, because he could not conscientiously hold any office the exercise of which implied the use of physical force. Some of those moral standards which were set up at that time seem to us nowadays to have been fine-spun and unsubstantial. I remember one of my friends, the late Mr. Bronson Alcott, a gentleman of distinction in his day, a philosop