dare not say out. From a long-sighted prudence,
he observes the maxim of the ancient sage, that we
should ever conduct ourselves toward our enemy as if
he were one day to be our friend. He has too
much good sense to be affronted at insults. He
is too well employed to remember injuries and too indolent
to bear malice. He is patient, forbearing, and
resigned on philosophical principle; he submits to
pain because it is inevitable, to bereavement, because
it is irreparable, and to death because it is his destiny.
If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined
intellect preserves him from the blundering discourtesy
of better, perhaps, but less educated minds, who,
like blunt weapons, tear and hack instead of cutting
clean, who mistake the point in argument, waste their
strength on trifles, misconceive their adversary,
and leave the question more involved than they find
it. He may be right or wrong in his opinion, but
he is too clear-headed to be unjust; he is as simple
as he is forcible, and as brief as he is decisive.
Nowhere shall we find greater candor, consideration,
indulgence; he throws himself into the minds of his
opponents, he accounts for their mistakes. He
knows the weakness of human reason as well as its
strength, its province, and its limits. If he
can be an unbeliever, he will be too profound and large-minded
to ridicule religion or to act against it; he is too
wise to be a dogmatist or fanatic in his infidelity.
He respects piety and devotion; he even supports institutions
as venerable, beautiful or useful, to which he does
not assent; he honors the ministers of religion, and
it contents him to decline its mysteries without assailing
or denouncing them. He is a friend of religious
toleration, and that not only because his philosophy
has taught him to look on all forms of faith with an
impartial eye, but also from the gentleness and effeminacy
of feeling which is attendant on civilization.
* * * * *
By GRENVILLE KLEISER
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