Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1880)
I next mi a mountain lofty and far,
Was placed, and beheld the fair evening star;
(For the sun was just setting alar in the west,
And all living creatures were going to rest.)
I looked and beheld that the sky was nglow;
The sun, setting, splendors untold did show;
And the doors of his light, as it were, did unfold,
And Hooded the mountain with gl ries of gold.
And the world down below with her carpet of green,
And the blue sky above, with the sun's light betwecn,
AU these il was granted to me to be seen.
I paused in retleclion; for thinking in mind,
I wondered if any one ever could find
A power to compare with the power of the mind.
HEN a comparison is made between
the liberty we really possess, and
that which we should have, it will be
found that we are far from practically re.
alizing that liberty which, in principle,
we make the corner stone of our Republic.
To be sure, we are no longer burdened
with some forms of oppression. Govern
mental interference- with private rights,
and the despotism of personal rule arc :ut
little fell; and as these are the most com
mon and obvious forms of oppression, we
often Halter ourselves that the last foe to
liberty has been subdued, and thai noth
ing remains to be done in the future.
But I fear we flatter ourselves too soon.
We must remember that there can be an
oppression by society but little, if any,
less burdensome than the most absolute
personal rule. The individual may have
little liberty, on account of the prejudices
and customs that society impose upon
Liberty of act, liberty of thought even,
have narrow limits for development, since
the majority seldom giant to others the
full and fiee expression of their opinions.
But those who think that the individual if
of minor importance, and belice that all
men should be moulded after u pattern
which they themselves determine, will in.
sist that the individual cannot be allowed
to develop himself as he will; but that
the restraining power of Hociety must be
wrought in to curb the infamous and de
structive doctrines propagated b) him.
But why are these opinions branded with
the epithets infamous and destructive?
Who is to decide whether these innova
lions are right or wrong? Evidently,
those only, who are in favor of the estab
lished custom, and who are opposing the
desired change. But what authority have
the,) to determine for others what is right,
and what is wrong? None at all, unless
we are ready to admit thai "Whatever is,
is right," and also to grant that any thing
established by custom is infallible. But
what would be the lesult of such a princi
ple? Firsts to cut offal change, and thus
to prohibit any advancement in thefutuie;
and next, to bind men down to a similar,
ity in thought and action; of itself, de
structive to all progress. But, perhaps,
the opponents of individual liberty will
reply thai this is an extreme view, and
that, in this day and age of the world, no
one wishes to cm tail the liberty of the in
dividual except in cases where his actions
are manifestly injurious, not only to him
self, but also to other member of society;
hence mutual rights demand that he
should be restrained by law or custom.
If this weie Hue, it would heal we could
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