Page 4069

4069 REFLECTIONS.

enlightenment and peace-one of the most

essential is toleration. It is a thing which

the world has never yet enjoyed-is just

now beginning to enjoy. Almost every page

of the ancient and medieval history of mankind has been made bloody with some form

of intolerance. Until the present day the

baleful shadow of this sin against humanity

has been upon the world. The proscriptive

vices of the Middle Ages have flowed down

with the blood of the race, and tainted the

life that now is with a suspicion and distrust

of Freedom. Liberty in the minds of men

has meant the privilege of agreeing with the

majority. Men have desired free thought,

but fear has stood at the door. It remains

for the present to build a highway, broad

and free, into every field of liberal inquiry,

and to make the poorest of men who walks

therein more secure in life and reputation

than the soldier who sleeps behind the rampart.

Proscription has no part nor lot in the

modern government of the world. The

stake, the gibbet, and the rack, thumbscrews, swords, and pillory, have no place

among the machinery of civilization. Nature

is diversified; so are human faculties, beliefs,

and practices. Essential freedom is the right

to differ, and that right must be sacredly

respected. Nor must the privilege of dissent be conceded with coldness and disdain,

but openly, cordially, and with good-will.

No loss of rank, abatement of character, or

ostracism from society must darken the

pathway of the humblest of the seekers

after truth. The right of free thought, free

inquiry, and free speech to all men, everywhere, is as clear as the noonday and bounteous as the air and the sea.

A second auxiliary in the forward movement of our age will be found in the emancipation of woman. There are two stations to

which woman may be logically assigned.

One is the harem of the Turk; the other is

the high dais of perfect equality with man.

The Middle Ages gave her the former place.

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

sought to fix her in a station between the two

extremes. The present, having discovered

that human rights are not deducible from

physiological distinctions, seeks to make her

as free as man. The. tyranny and selfishness of political parties will for a while retard what they cannot prevent, and then,

by an attempted falsification of history, will

seek to make it appear that they have been

the champions of the cause by which one half of the human race are to be enfranchised-removed from the state of political

and domestic serfdom to become a great

and salutary agency in the social and political reforms of the age.

It follows naturally to add that the creation of a universal citizenship by means of

universal education is a third force, which is

to bring in and glorify the future of all

lands. Just in proportion as the democratic

principle encroaches upon absolutism in the

domain of Government, will the necessity

for enlightening the masses become more

and more imperative. The development of

a high degree of intelligence is, in all free

Governments, a sine qua non of their

strength and perpetuity. Without it such

Governments fall easy victims to ignorant

military captains and civil demagogues of

high or low repute.

Whether, indeed, the republican form of

government be better than monarchy turns

wholly Upon the intelligence of the governed.

Where this is wanting, the king appears,

and the people find in him a refuge from the

ills of anarchy; but when the antecedent

condition of public intelligence exists where every man, by the discipline of virtuous schools, has been in his youth rooted

and grounded in the fruitful soil of knowledge, the salutary principles and. practices

of self-restraint, and the generous ways of

freedom--there indeed has neither the military leader with his sword, the political

demagogue with his fallacy, nor the king

with his crown and Dei gratia, any longer a

place or vocation among the people.

Gradually-as we devoutly hope-the

New Order of Humanity is coming into the

world. Long and hard has been the struggle

of its coming. The life of man, beginning

in savagery, has not issued into the empire

of promise all at once, or in a brief period

of endeavor. On the contrary, our race has

risen by ages of toil and sorrowful evolution. But the movement from darkness to