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Death companioneth the daily Life: Agony lieth upon the heart of Love; and the tired thought winneth no rest.
Ever and ever Love looketh for the Beloved; ever seeketh he in vain: an unfleshed skeleton is before him; he embraceth an unsubstantial thing.
He is an outcast and a wanderer.
He pitcheth his tent upon the grave : with his continual tears he nourisheth the flowers that weave a barrier between him and his home.
The curse of Cain is upon him : he may not live; and Death feareth to be his murderer.
Therefore do I weep, because on earth is no assured joy.
Evil is blended with Good; Infirmity with impassioned Will: Love is married unto Sorrow; Life unto Death; Beauty to deforming Pain.
Therefore do I mourn, because the loving eyes, dim with their present anguish, cannot behold THE FUTURE HOPE.
Leave me to vent my grief! I will mourn yet longer.
PREVENTION, NOT PUNISHMENT. The time cannot be far distant when the terms bad and good, relative to man, will have a very different signification from that which they now possess. The term bad will convey the idea only, that the individuals to whom it is applied have been most unjustly and ignorantly treated by the society in which they have been trained and educated; that, in consequence, they call upon us, individually, for our pity and deep commiseration, and, upon society, to remedy the evil with the least pain or inconvenience to the injured parties. Terms of reproach or abuse will no longer be applied to them; feelings of separation and avoidance will no longer be created against them; much less will any arrangement exist to punish them for possessing qualities which nature, or the ignorance of man, forces them to have or to acquire. Inferior qualities in individuals will thus cease to arouse anger, and all the worst feelings that can be given to man; they will, on the contrary, call forth all the energy and best feelings of our nature to remove those inferior qualities, or, if from long habit that be impracticable, to improve the individual to the extent to which he is capable of being improved.
Such conduct being uniformly pursued by those who govern society and who influence public opinion; inferior characters will soon cease to exist ; nor will there be occasion for prisons, penitentiaries, or courts of law. The immense waste of human labour and means thus saved will be applied to more rational purposes; the feelings of the comparatively well-informed and reflecting will not then be daily lacerated by seeing the time and wealth of the people squandered upon trials relative to the lives and properties of their fellow-men, for no other real object than that the few may rule over and plunder the many; that error and injustice may be perpetuated under the plausible terms of Law and Religion. No! instead of bad men being punished, no bad or inferior characters will be formed; or though such may yet exist for a short period, measures will be adopted to improve, and not to punish them, for defects emanating from others over whom the sufferers had possessed no control.
Thus, by degrees, will a universal system for the prevention of evil supersede that which has existed for numberless ages to punish it by the instrumentality of the very parties who were themselves the immediate cause of the evil, and of the miseries which evil must always produce.
Thus will the system of injustice and cruelty terminate for ever; and man will attain to that scale, in the creation, to which the original faculties of liis nature prove him to be entitled.
By these measures alone, can the world attain to that state in which peace and goodwill shall universally prevail, and knowledge everywhere supersede ignorance and superstition.- Robert Owen.
June 8, 1839.
THE QUALIFICATION. The advocates of just knowledge must be armed with courage to dare all things, and to bear all things, for the truths they revere; and to seek, as they may only find, the reward of their exertions in the impression, great or little, slow or rapid, as it may be, which their exertions may produce on public opinion, and through the public opinion, on the public practice.
Consistency.—Be not angry that you cannot make others 'as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself what you wish to be.—
Thomas a Kempis.
The greatest burden in the world is Superstition, not only of ceremonies in the church, but of imaginary and scarecrow sins at home.—Milton.
Pleasure. - Let the philosophers say what they will, the main thing at which we all aim, even in virtue itself, is pleasure. It pleases me to rattle in their ears this word, which they so nauseate to hear; and if it signify some supreme pleasure, and excessive delight, it is more due to the assistance of virtue than to any other assistance whatever.-Montaigne.
How to form a Julgment.--In forming a judgment, lay your hearts void of foretaken opinions ; else, whatsoever is done or said, will be measured by a wrong rule, like them who have the jaundice, to whom every thing appeareth yellow.—Sir Philip Sidney.
Original Sin.-The slightest acquaintance with the real principles of the human mind, with the manner in which its faculties are developed, with the entire dependence of its ideas, its dispositions and its habits on the circumstances in which it is placed, must not only make this doctrine appear, as indeed it is, disgusting and horrible, but wholly impossible.
Dr. Southwood Smith.
Lewd and wiched custom, beginning perhaps at the first amongst few, afterwards spreading unto greater multitudes, and so continuing from time to time, may be of force even in plain things io smother the light of natural understanding, because men will not bend their wits to examine, whether things, wherewith they have been accustomed, be good or evil; and thus, by process of time, wicked custom prevails, and is kept as a law. ' The authority of rulers, the ambition of craftsmen, and such like means thrusting forward the ignorant, and increasing their superstition.--Hooker.
Conscience.-In vain we look to our conscience for the knowledge of crimes; for that, as I have often urged, is but the mirror in which we see the impressions of outward objects; and a man's conscience varies with his country--it is geographical. A Hottentot's conscience dictates to him to destroy his aged father and mother, as the last act of piety. A Mahometan's allows polygamy. The consciences of the members of different sects of Christianity vary. Those of a Roman Catholic and a Quaker take different views.- Maltravers.
Crimes are multiplied, and laws are multiplied also, until men lose the idea of right and wrong in that of lawful and unlawful; and however base, perfidious, and unjust their conduct may be, they account themselves “good men and true,” if they do not incur the penalty of the law.—The Savage.
Feluns.-Men and women who have sinned on the wrong side of the statutes.- Jerrold.
Prohibition.—A rich Neapolitan merchant, Jacob Morel, prided himself in not having once set his foot out of the city, during the space of forty-eight
This coming to the ears of the Duke, Morel had notice sent him, that he was to take no journey out of the kingdom, under a penalty of ten thousand
The merchant smiled at receiving the order; but afterwards, not being able to fathom the reason of such a prohibition, grew so uneasy, that he paid the fine, and took a trip out of the kingdom.- Gregorius Leti.
Moral Truth is the speaking of things according to the persuasion of our minds, though such persuasion agree not with the reality of things, or, as we say, is contrary to fact; e. g. the affirmation that such a man is good, may true as far as regards the speaker's veracity, being according to his belief, and yet be false in fact; for Falsehood is the uttering of words contrary to the persuasion of our minds. If a man would persuade another to receive for truth an unsound doctrine, which he himself believes to be sound, he unconsciously leads, or would lead him into error, but if he wish to impose upon him for Truth, the belief of that which he knows to be an error, he is in such case absolutely guilty of Falsehood.
Deception.--All deception in the course of life, is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.- South.
Disguise.- Were we to take as much pains to be what we ought to be, as we do to disguise what we really are, we might appear like ourselves, without being at the trouble of any disguise at all.-- Rochefoucault.
That most limited and accursed of all ignorances, 'yclept a “thorough knowledge of the world.”—— Leigh Hunt.
But one Prejudice.—As the petty fish which is fabled to possess the property of arresting the progress of the largest vessel to which it clings, even so may a single prejudice, unnoticed or despised, more than the adverse blast, or the dead calm, delay the bark of knowledge in the vast seas of time.
There is no danger to a man that knows