The Lectures

Hon. William G. Ewing of Chicago, lectured at Lancaster, N. H., Friday evening December 4. General W. P. Buckley introduced the speaker as follows:—

Ladies and Gentlemen:— We are met this evening to listen to a discourse upon a subject concerning which opinions are as diverse as they well can be upon any subject of human interest. It will be well to remember that progress along any line of human endeavor depends largely upon a diversity of opinion, and that conservatism never assisted in developing a truth nor aided in the betterment of the condition of mankind. It is therefore the duty of all not to decry a thing because it seems new, nor to deny the truth of those things which we have not thoroughly investigated. Such a course of liberality, alas, has not usually been pursued by humanity in the past. It is not necessary to go back to Socrates defying the Athenian mob four hundred years before Christ for an example of the reluctance with which newly discovered truths are accepted: the Perfect Teacher, the Perfect Example, the Perfect Man himself found his followers few at first and the doubters many; and modern secular history is full of examples of the same skepticism. Surely the lessons of modern religious history disclose sufficient useless, acrimonious, and sanguinary conflict to teach us of the twentieth century the virtue of tolerance.

And so, if there be those here, who, like myself, have not made the subject which will be discussed a matter of special study, and who, for that very reason perhaps, are unwilling to accept its doctrines, there are not here, I am sure, any who will not listen with a spirit of charity and toleration to the expression of an opinion which may differ from their own, for such is the duty of every good citizen.

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January 16, 1904

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