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REASONS IN FAVOUR OF SECTARIAN NAMES CONSIDERED.
2. People give names; should not be ashamed of them. 3. Names are definite and signify what one believes. 4. Conveniency. 5. Fought for them. Standards. 6. Unreasonable demands.
IN stating these reasons, I desire to do full justice to them, by giving a true reflex of the ideas which, are settled or floating in thy mind respecting them. I will not vaguely address myself to what are called "Associations," and "Societies," but to thyself, and without equivocation or sophistry, will honestly express the sentiments of my mind concerning thy reasons for the retention of thy sectarian name.
Many of thy reasons I must take the liberty to call excuses, explanations, modifications, mitigations, extenuations, and justifications of thy position; but as they all dove-tail into the subject under consideration, and which somehow or other, would be incomplete without them, it would not be doing thee full justice to pass them by unnoticed; therefore, had I
as many ears as there are sectarian names, I would turn every one towards thee, and most humbly beseech thee to speak on. In the first place I will consider thy plea for the retention of the name on the ground of custom.
as we are.
Custom has very much to do with our make up as we pass through life. We wake up of a morning and find strange fashions fitting both men and women, and can scarcely tell why or wherefore, except that it is custom or fashion to be and appear Custom and fashion belong to the same family. The former sits on the nave of the wheel of time, and the latter on the outer rim, and both spin round at different rates and exert a wonderful influence on men and manners, leading people to think strange thoughts, to perform foolish actions, and in thousands of instances to ape their "betters." Jeames in stripes and plush, apes my lord, and Betty with brush and duster, apes my lady. And Mrs. Gamp at No. 1, goes to the Wesleyan church, because Mrs. Ginks at No. 2 goes there; and consequently, Mrs. Gamp is called what she of course considers herself to be, namely, a "Wesleyan." Mortals have
strength enough to accommodate themselves to any custom or fashion; and the same strength enables them to turn custom out of doors and trample it under their feet with scorn. Thy godfathers and godmothers, if thou ever hadst any, gave thee a name, and custom and law, if they do not compel, at least expect thee to retain it; this, thou canst not conveniently throw aside without sacrifice. Thy tailor makes thee a coat with laps, and buttons, and lace, which carries thee gallantly through promenade and ball; this, thou canst throw off without the least inconvenience either to thy neighbour or to thyself. In like manner thy sectarian associations have cut out for thee, thy present sectarian name, whether thou like it or not; but I assure thee, that if thou art so disposed, thou canst throw it off without injuring thine own soul, or the soul of that Sect which claims thee. Many a daughter of Eve, has flung many a fashion to the winds, because it was one which her heart silently condemned. And thou being a son of both Adam and Eve, surely wilt not suffer thy sister to outstrip thee in courage and daring, but wilt as readily ignore a sectarian custom which thy heart condemns. If thou
wouldst be rid of a name which to thee has lost its first meaning, when paradise and fairies and angels flung around it a halo of poetic mystery and beauty, akin to what is fully felt where statues weep, and virgins pray, and peasant girls in ecstasy, torment their pious souls away, I say to thee, pluck up courage and ape thy betters. "But who are they?" sayst thou. I tell thee, not thy coat and trousers, and stick, and godfather and godmother, and deacon, and barber, and squire, and parson; but the veritable EGO, that sits behind thy skull, peeping out of its windows and which so frequently beholdeth vanity. Thy mind is bigger than thy body, and thy soul bigger than both put together. The custom of calling thyself by a sectarian name may be a good one, but if thy soul shows thee a more excellent way, by all means strive to enter that way and walk therein until she calls thee out of it again. If custom is the only plea thou hast to urge in thy defence, all I will say just now is: Custom is uncertain and changeable. It is unsafe to build anything upon it which is intended to endure. Thy present sectarian name perhaps was unknown to thy ancestors, and it
may be, that posterity will be ashamed of it and ignore it. The fashions of this world, including the names of sects and the glory of them, are passing away. Allow me now to consider a stronger reason than that of custom, which induces thee to retain thy name.
2. People do, and will give me a name, whether I like it or not, therefore I take it, and will not be ashamed of it, but most gladly glory in it.
I admire the bold spirit which leads thee to accept thy sectarian name with such a heroic submission. I admit that people will give thee a name whether thou likest it or not; that thou dost not court the name, but that it is thrust upon thee; and also, that glorying in it, thou wilt stick to it, and art determined to defend it to the last. Such I believe are not only thy sentiments, but also those of thousands who live about us.
If man were merely a passive machine with no powers of resistance, he might be expected to keep all that was earthly, or heavenly, that people thought fit to thrust upon him. But man does possess a power of resistance which
enables him to defy both