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assaults except those which the individual may himself authorize by his own acts.
A third right man has in society is that of believing as he thinks proper; this right is called liberty of conscience. Every man has his own convictions. They are his own individual property. He cannot escape from them, no power on earth can obliterate them. Thought is free and faith is free. No tyrant can bind thought, no inquisitor can root out faith. Like thought, faith is progressive. An attempt to interfere with faith, by cramping it within inelastic laws, is a violation of right. Palings will not stand against the wind. If faith increase in volume, the old banks will not prevent a flood. Only by almost superhuman efforts can a torrent of religious belief be brought to the stagnation of Lake Moeris.
If faith is and must be free, its expression must be free also. Worship is the language of belief: none have a right to interfere with liberty of worship, any more than they have to constrain liberty of speech. The liberty to serve God as he thinks proper is so essential to man, that if it be denied him, he will be ready to overturn all the political institutions of his country to regain it; for religious sentiment is the fiercest of passions if excited by injustice. It is a gentle, steady flame, when nicely raised to its proper pitch: woe to the hand that by violence turns it higher. It will lose steadiness and brilliancy, and roar into fanaticism.
To grow, and develop its manly proportions the body must not be weighed down with chains, nor cramped in an iron cage gradually contracting; and faith, to reach its perfection must be given entire liberty to extend itself. What is living religion? It is the human soul growing towards the Ideal, throwing out tendrils here and there, and ever ascending from bud to bloom; ever enriched by the fact of its perfectability, operating incessantly on the trammels an establishment may lace around it, straining them and bursting them, ever seeking its proper expansion, and ever therefore impatient of restraint. It is like the great tun of Heidelberg: into it the new wine is yearly poured upon the old wine, and the old perfumes the new with its bouquet, whilst the new regenerates the old by its vigour. The employment of restraint and persecution to keep down the effervescing spirit of religion, by Inquisition, Star-Chamber, or Privy Council, is a policy as shortsighted as it is immoral.
The fourth right of man in society is that of giving free expression to his convictions. This right comprehends the liberty of instruction, and that of expressing one's thoughts through the press, by speech, or any other means of publication.
The faculty of teaching freely is a right, for instruction is a duty. Man feels the need of giving utterance to his thoughts, and this need is imperious like a duty demanding accomplishment. He feels that to keep the truth to himself is a crime equal to that of compressing the utterance of it in another.
The fifth natural right is that of appropriation. The liberty to take possession of the objects of the exterior world necessary for his physical life, is demanded by the very constitution of man. All controversies on the rights of property have never touched the primitive rights of man to enjoy the fruits of his toil, and satisfy the needs of his nature. No man or corporation has a right to employ any man without giving him the equivalent of his labour. Slavery is therefore immoral, so also is the under-payment of labourers or servants.
The fact of the general recognition of this right opens access to property to all.
These five are the primitive rights of man living in society, rights which are inalienable and sacred, if based on God, for they are rights without which social civilization, and the development of man as an individual, are impossible.
If the rights of man be not founded on a dogma, the dogma of man's creation by God for a determined end, the perfect development of his faculties, they are without guarantee, for their existence imposes no duties on others, corresponding to them; and right becomes a caprice and duty becomes optional.
“With fearless heart man makes appeal to Heaven,
And thence brings down his everlasting rights,
1 Schiller: Wilhelm Tell, act ii. sec. 2.
THE BASIS OF AUTHORITY
“Humana societas debet esse perfecta respublica."-BELLARMINE.
The physical condition of man renders society necessary– The Social In
stinct-Social organizations the product of the ideas of right and authority—The family, the first society—The idea of parental authority a prolongation of the idea of right—That authority ceases when the child has become a man-for then its rights are equal to its father's rightsTwo kinds of authority, Moral authority and effective authority Moral authority must rest on God- necessitates the hypothesis of free will-Effective authority must derive from man--its mode of exercise compulsion--not to be confused with sovereignty-Sovereignty, the right to violate rights with impunity—Sovereignty only possible, logi. cally, if God be denied-Attempt to subordinate sovereignty to moral authority impossible—The only possible mode of preserving moral authority and effective authority intact is to distinguish them, and derive the one from God, the other from men-Effective authority not necessarily immoral.
AN has received fewer physical advantages from
nature than any other animal. For the protection of his organs he has an envelope as delicate as a rose-leaf, which can be rent by a thorn. The beasts are wrapped in wool or fur, the birds in non-conducting plumage. They have claws and fangs, and are well-shod, and move with agility, but man is tender-footed, slow in his motions, his nails and teeth are fragile.
Our first parents lived in a condition of marked in
feriority. They were naturally incapacitated from enduring the intemperance of the seasons, seeking and finding their food, and protecting themselves from the dangers that encompassed them. Shrinking from the bramble's straggling braids, flying before the wolf, limping over the stones, was man the lord of creation ? The eagle reigned among the birds, and the lion was monarch among the beasts, and in the order of strength man was perhaps the fiftieth, perhaps the hundredth.
But in him was the capability of progress, and this very inferiority which martyred him was the kingmaker that finally crowned him.
No sooner did he perceive the danger of his position than he sought means to remedy it; the well-being that resulted from his efforts opened a field to his aspirations and intelligence. But the creative power distinguishing his race from all others, and giving it its immense superiority, has only devolved on him upon a condition.
Take a man, place him outside of all society, leave him to his own inspirations; he will do a little more than will an animal born at the same time, but he will not advance far in the study of the world and the appropriation of material for his use. He will begin like the first man, by taking the first step in civilization. If men were to succeed one another in isolation, each would be learning the alphabet of experimental truths, and none would be able to put the letters together into practical rules. The thousandth generation would remain within the limits of the first, as the generations of animals always reproduce the features of the first. Our race, adorned with a precious faculty, would be condemned to the labour of Sisyphus, who rolled a stone to the summit of a mountain, only to have to recommence his interminable labour, for it rushed into the plain through