Friday, March 24, 2006

The Free Mind

The Free Mind
William Ellery Channing

I call that mind free which masters the senses, and which recognizes its own reality and greatness: Which passes life not in asking what it shall eat or drink, but in hungering, thirsting and seeking after righteousness.

I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which does not content itself to a passive or hereditary faith: Which opens itself to light whence-so-ever it may come; which receives new truth as an angel from heaven.

I call that mind free which is not passively framed by outward circumstances, and is not the creature of accidental impulse: Which discovers everywhere the radiant signatures of the infinite spirit, and in them finds help to its own spiritual enlargement.

I call that mind free which protects itself against the usurpations of society, and which does not cower to human opinion: Which refuses to be the slave or tool of the many or of the few, and guards its empire over itself as nobler than the empire of the world.

I call that mind free which resists the bondage of habit, which does not mechanically copy the past, nor live on in its old virtues: But which listens for new and higher monitions of conscience, and rejoices to pour itself forth in fresh and higher exertions.

I call that mind free which sets not bounds to its love, which, wherever they are seen delights in virtue and sympathizes with suffering: Which recognizes in all human beings the image of God and the rights of God's children, and offers itself up a willing sacrifice to the cause of humankind.

I call that mind free which has cast off all fear but that of wrongdoing, and which no menace or peril can enthrall: Which is calm in the midst of tumults and possesses itself though all else be lost.


At 11:36 AM, Blogger Nienke Hinton said...

This is just what I needed to read. Thx for sharing.


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