“Raising the Martial Spirit”
Generosity and a liberal spirit make men to be humane and genial, openhearted, frank and sincere, earnest to do good, easy and contented, and well wishers of mankind…Nor can any man any more be a martialist than he can be a gentlemen, unless he is generous, liberal, and disinterested. To be liberal, but only of that which is his own; to be generous, but only when we have first been just; to give when to give deprives us of a luxury or a comfort, this is martialism.
The duty of the martialist is to endeavor to make men think better of his neighbor; to quiet, instead of aggravating difficulties, to bring together those who are severed or estranged; to keep friends from becoming foes, and to persuade foes to become friends. To do this he must needs control his own passions, and be not rash and hasty, nor swift to take offense, nor easy to be angered.
We are told therefore, that controlling your own temper, and governing your own passions, you fit yourself to keep peace and harmony among other men, especially among brethren. The duty of a martialist as an honest man is plain and easy. Speak falsely not at all, neither in a little thing nor in a great, neither in substance nor in circumstance, neither in word or in deed…A martialist must avoid that which deceives, equally that which is false. That any man should be the worse for us, by either act or intention, is against the rule of equity, of justice, and of charity. See that no man must repent that he has relied upon your resolve, your profession, or your word. Truth is a Divine attribute and foundation of every virtue.
Martialist must be kind and affectionate…There needs to be much more of the spirit of ancient fellowship among us; more tenderness for each others faults, more forgiveness, more solicitude for each others improvement and good fortune; somewhat of brotherly feeling, that it be not a shame to use the word “brother.
“Martialist must do all in their power, by direct exertion and cooperation to improve and inform as well as to protect the people, to better their physical condition, relieve their miseries, supply their wants and minister to their necessities. Let every martialist in this good work do all that is in his power.
Wrong and injustice once done cannot be undone; but are eternal in their consequences; once committed, are numbered with the irrevocable Past; that the wrong that is done contains its own retributive penalty as surely and as naturally as the acorn contains the oak.
Surely, we shall do less wrong and injustice, if the conviction is fixed and embedded in our souls that everything done is done irrevocably, that even the omnipotence of God cannot uncommit a deed, cannot make that undone which has been done; that every act of ours must bear its allotted fruit, according to the everlasting laws of Universal Nature.
We may be able to say – this man has lied, has pilfered, has forged…who has gone through life with clean hands. But we cannot say that the former has not struggled long, though unsuccessfully, against temptations under which the second would have succumbed without an effort. We can say which has the cleanest hands before man; but not which has the cleanest soul before God.
Let each man ask his own heart. Of how many of our best and of our worst acts and qualities are our most intimate associates utterly unconscious. How many virtues does the world give us credit for that we do not possess; or vices condemn us for, of which we are not the slaves. It is a small portion of our evil deeds and thoughts that ever comes to light; and of our few redeeming goodnesses, the largest portion is known to God alone.