Letter to James Arlington Bennet, 8 September 1842

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of nature, and of self preservation; to think, and act, and say as they please while they maintain a due respect, to the rights, and privileges of all other creatures; infringing upon none. This doctrine, I do most heartily subscribe to, and practise; the testimony of mean men to the contrary, notwithstanding. But Sir, I will assure you, that my soul, soars far above all the mean, and grovelling dispositions of men, that are disposed to abuse me and my character; I therefore shall not dwell upon that subject. In relation to those men the you speak of, referred to above; I will only say, that there are thousands of such men in this church; who, to be <​if a man is​> found worthy to associate with, will call down the envy of a mean world, because of their high and noble demeanor; and it is with unspeakable delight, that I contemplate them as my friends and brethren. I love them with a perfect love; and I hope they love me, and have no reason to doubt but they do.
The next in consideration, is . I was, his friend, I am yet, his friend, as I feel myself bound to be a friend to all the sons of Adam, wether they are just or unjust; they have a degree of my compassion & sympathy. If he is my enemy, it is his own fault; and the responsibility rests upon his own head, and instead of railing <​reigning​> his character before you; suffice it to say that his own conduct wherever he goes, will be sufficient to recommend him to an enlightened public, wether for a bad man, or a good man. Therefore, whosever will associate themselves [p. 2]
of nature, and of self preservation; to think, and act, and say as they please while they maintain a due respect, to the rights, and privileges of all other creatures; infringing upon none. This doctrine, I do most heartily subscribe to, and practise; the testimony of mean men to the contrary, notwithstanding. But Sir, I will assure you, that my soul, soars far above all the mean, and grovelling dispositions of men, that are disposed to abuse me and my character; I therefore shall not dwell upon that subject. In relation to those men you speak of, referred to above; I will only say, that there are thousands of such men in this church; who, if a man is found worthy to associate with, will call down the envy of a mean world, because of their high and noble demeanor; and it is with unspeakable delight, that I contemplate them as my friends and brethren. I love them with a perfect love; and I hope they love me, and have no reason to doubt but they do.
The next in consideration, is . I was, his friend, I am yet, his friend, as I feel myself bound to be a friend to all the sons of Adam, wether they are just or unjust; they have a degree of my compassion & sympathy. If he is my enemy, it is his own fault; and the responsibility rests upon his own head, and instead of reigning his character before you; suffice it to say that his own conduct wherever he goes, will be sufficient to recommend him to an enlightened public, wether for a bad man, or a good man. Therefore, whosever will associate themselves [p. 2]
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