Hints to Heretics

Dare to be honest...

This is going to be a place where I post (daily, I hope) excerpts from things written by freethinkers throughout history. In no specific order. The first one, because I happened to find this one just now, while looking at the
Boston Investigator (I've never really heard of him before) is this from Horace Seaver, editor of the Investigator after Abner Kneeland:

Hints to Heretics

Be courageous. Dare to be honest, just, magnanimous, true to your country, to yourselves, to the world. Dare to do to others as you would have them do to you. Most men are cowards. They are afraid to speak and to act when duty calls, and as duty requires. Few men will suffer themselves to be called cowards; and yet they betray their cowardice by the very course they take to resent the insult. A man may intrepidly face the cannon’s mouth, and be an arrant coward after all.

There is a higher, a nobler courage, than was ever displayed in the heat of battle, or on the field of carnage. There is a
moral courage, which enables a man to triumph over foes more formidable than were ever marshalled by any Caesar. A courage which impels him to do his duty, to hold fast his integrity, to maintain a conscience void of offence, at every hazard and sacrifice, in defiance of the world. Such is the courage that sustains every good man, amidst the temptations, allurements, horrors, conflicts, opposition, ridicule, malice, cruelty, or persecution, which beset and threaten him at every stage of his progress through life.

Horace Seaver (1810-1889), Occasional Thoughts of Horace Seaver. From Fifty Years of Free Thinking. Selected from the Boston Investigator, 1888.

So who was Seaver? A New York Times obituary, dated 22 August 1889, reads:

“OBITUARY NOTES. Horace Seaver, editor of the Investigator, died yesterday afternoon in Boston. He was born in Boston in 1810, and his connection with the Investigator dates from 1837, when he contributed to that paper a series of articles that attracted wide attention. In 1838 he became editor of the paper and Josiah P. Mendum proprietor, a partnership which had existed uninterruptedly for fifty-one years. Mr. Seaver devoted a great deal of time to lecturing, his chief theme being "Free Thought." He was a great anti-slavery man, and was a warm friend of Wendell Phillips, Parker Pillsbury, and William Lloyd Garrison.”