I call that mind free which ... resists the bondage of...

I call that mind free which ... resists the bondage of habit, which does not content itself with a passive, or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an angel from heaven, which, whilst consulting others, inquires still more of the oracle within itself, .... listens for new and higher monitions of conscience, and rejoices to pour itself forth to fresh and higher exertions.

I call that mind free which protects itself against the usurpations of society, which does not cower to human opinion, which feels itself accountable to a higher tribunal than man's, which respects a higher law than fashion, which respects itself too much to be the slave or tool of the many or the few, ... which guards its empire over itself as nobler than the empire of the world.

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A Wednesday Evening Meeting
January 25, 1900
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