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Popular Discontent
			

                                II.

                     POPULAR DISCONTENT.

       BV T. McCANTS STEWART, OF THE NEW YORK BAR.
 [A Lecture delivered in Tremont Temple, Boston, Mass., January 2d, 1891, for the benefit of the
         Wendell Phillips' Hall Associaton, Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, President.]

  Our ancestors have bequeathed unto us a discontent against
certain existing conditions that is growing and spreading like
a cloud over this and other lands. It is in the air. Its ominous
signs confront us on every hand. It is not local, not transient,
not spasmodic, not riotous or disorderly.  It is the steady evolu-
tion of a great principle, the growth of a great germinal idea, the
intelligent protest of a progressive generation, the awakening of
nations to the doctrine of human rights. It is a many-millioned
cry for justice. That,cry is heard across the trampled centuries.
It has caught up the voices of the wronged and the oppressed.
It swells with the heavings of humanity. It grows and gathers
as it comes nearer. To deny it, to stop our ears against it and
refuse to listen, is folly and worse than folly. It is a stentor that
will speak, and when it speaks in the sovereignty of its might it
will thunder with more than Etna's mouth to mark an epoch of
eruption.
  The power which gives shape and significance to such a grow-
ing feeling of universal discontent is nothing less than the force
and ferment of intellectual inquiry, based upon intelligence as it
is developed among mankind. Its root is in the dark; but the
light hath touched it, and little by little it shall push out and up
until at length it shall stand forth like some fabled monster,
many-tongued, deep-mouthed and strong enough to take a hug
with the tempest. In view of such a fact and the tremendous
and irresistible force that lies back of it, it is worth our while,
surely, in a calm and dispassionate spirit to examine carefully its
cause, its origin, its course and its significance, and to note certain
phases of it, especially as it affects our own land and nation.
  To dissect away with a few strokes all false conceptions of this
crust-lifting discontent is a prime duty on the part of every intel-
ligent investigator. Discontent is dissatisfaction with existing con-
ditions; but whether it be a virtue or an evil depends largely, if not
entirely, upon the form in which it manifests itself A discontent
that simply mutters,that exhausts itself in complaints, that carries a
knife but no salve, no bandage, that bewails dolefully existing
conditions as evil, but suggests no remedial measures and formu-
                                (357)




			
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Item Description Next Next

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 07, Num. 4

Popular Discontent

McCants

Volume:  07
Issue Number:  04
Page Number:  357
Date:  04/1891


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