Contempt of all outward things, which come in competition with duty, fulfills the ideal of human greatness. This conviction, that readiness to sacrifice lifes highest material good and life itself, is essential to the elevation of human nature, is no illusion of ardent youth, nor outburst of blind enthusiasm. It does not yield to growing wisdom. It is confirmed by all experience. It is sanctioned by consciencethat universal and eternal lawgiver whose chief dictate is, that every thing must be yielded up for the right.
That which especially distinguishes a high order of man from a low order of man, that which constitutes human goodness, human nobleness, is surely not the degree of enlightenment with which men pursue their own advantage; but it is self-forgetfulness; it is self-sacrifice; it is the disregard of personal pleasure, personal indulgence, personal advantage, remote or present, because some other line of conduct is more right.