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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 74

The Duty of the Individual

The Duty of the Individual.

The first might be based upon St. Paul's words already [unclear: qu] (1 Cor. viii. 21) which definitely map out the Christian's course without [unclear: ra] to the number of companions who may take the same path. And so Christ saying about the widow's mites exemplifies that not the size or result of [unclear: f] gift but the spirit of the giver makes it acceptable to God. This is [unclear: f] spiritual aspect of a principle which in its general form [unclear: ha] good of the dynamics of matter also, namely, that the true [unclear: ta] of force is tendency and direction and not visible effect, Thus [unclear: it] that, though one man stand alone among a million, right is still right [unclear: s] he must follow it. Take a concrete case:—A murder is about to be committed; an onlooker could prevent it by raising his hand; he [unclear: for] to do so. Whatever the law may say, he is morally us guilty of the [unclear: mud] as though he had himself struck the blow. Increase the onlookes twenty; the responsibility of the first is not reduced, though not [unclear: it] equalled by that of each of the others. Multiply again by a million; [unclear: f] responsibility of each still remains undiminished. More than that; [unclear: w] murderers a million, the single onlooker would be still responsible in [unclear: so] as he had not exerted himself to stop the crime. Fortunately there are such odds against us here; we can plead no physical fear, no overwhelming force, for our justification. The only heroism that the occasion calls fore admits of is that, for the sake of our suffering fellows, we shall forever small physical indulgence.