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I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall an. swer for myself this day before thee, concerning all the things whereof I am accused by the Jews : especially, as I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are aniong the Jews. Wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently,
My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among ny own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews ; who knew me from the beginning, (if they would testify,) that
fer the straitest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers ; to which promise, our twelve gibes, continually serving God day and night, hope to uome: and, for this hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am acused by the Jews.
Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself
, that lought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Sazareth : and this I did in Jerusalem. Many of the saints hut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests : and when they
were put to death, I gave my voice gainst them. And I often punished them in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme ; and being exceedingły nad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange eities. But as I went to Damascus, with authority and commission from the chief priests, at mid-day, 0 king! I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sup, shining round about me, and them who journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard. a voice .peaking to me and saying, in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, who art thou, Lord? And he replied, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet : for I have appeared to thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister, and a witness both of these things, which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear to thee ; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I now send thee, to open their cyes, and to turn thera from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; that they may re ceive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance amongst them who are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Whereupon, 0 king Agrippa! I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision ; but showed first to them of Damascus, and
at Jerusalein, and through all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and lern to God, and do works mect for repentance. For these causes, the Jews caught me in the temple ; and event anot to kill me Having, however, obtained help from God, I continue to this day, witnessing hot's to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses declared should come ; that Christ shoutil soffer; that he would be the first who should rise from the dead, and that he would show light to the people, and to the Gentiles.
And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said, with a loud voice, “Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning Bath made thee mad.” But he replied, I am not mad, most noble Festus ; but speak the words of truth and soierness. For the king knoweth these things, before whom I also speak freely. I am persuaded that none of these things are hi Iden from him : for this thing was not done in a corner: King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets ? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said to Paul, “ Almost thou per: suadest me to be a Christian.” And Paul replied, “ I would to God, that not only thon, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, ex: cept these bonds.?*
Lord Mansfield's speech in the House of Peers 1770, on
the bill for preventing the delays of justice, by claiming the Privilege of Parliainent.
MY LORDS, WHEN I consider the importance of this bill to your Lord. ships, I am not surprised it has taken up so much of your con. sideration. It is a biil, indeed, of no common magnitude ; it is no less than to take away from two thirds of the legislative body of this great kingdom, certain privileges and immunities of which they have been long possessed. Perhaps there is no situation the human mind can be placed in, that is so difficult and so trying, as when it is made a judge in its own cause.
How happy was this great Apostie, eren in the most perilous cir. cumstances ! Though under brinds and oppressioni, his mind was 18, and raised above every fear of inan. With what dignity and compositre does lie defend himself, and the noble cause lie had espouser! : ishilst he displays the most compassionale and generous feelings, for the who wore strangers to the sublime religion by which he was auimutad' There is something implanted in the breast of man so attached to self, so tenacious of privileges once obtained, that in such a situation, either to discuss with impartiality, or decide with justice, has ever been held the summit of all hu. man virtue. The bill now in question puts your lordships in this very predicament; and I have no doubt the wisdom of your decision will convince the world, that where self-interest and justice are in opposite scales, the latter will ever preponderate with your lordships.
Privileges have been granted to legislators in all ages, and in all coun:ries. The practice is founded in wisdom; and, indeed, it is peculiarly essential to the constitution of this country, that the members of both houses should be free in their persons, in cases of civil suits: for there may come a time when the safety and welfare of this whole empire, may depend upon their attendance in parliament. I am far from advising any measure that would in future endanger the state: but the bill before your lordships has, I am confident, no such tendency; for it expressly secures the persons of members of either house in all civil suits. This being the case, I confess, when I see many noble lords, for whose judgment I have a very great respect, standing up to oppose a bill which is calculated merely to facilitate the recovery of just and legal debts, I am astonished and amazed. They, I doubt not, oppose the bill upon public principles : I would not wish to insinuate, that private interest had the least weight in their determination.
The bill has been frequently proposed, and as frequently has miscarried : but it was always lost in the lower house. Little did I think, when it had passed the commons, that it possibly could bave met with such opposition here. Shall it ve said, that yo!, my lords, the grand council of the nation, the highest judicial and legislative body of the realm, endeavour to evade, by privilege, those very laws which you enforce on your fellow-subjects ? Forbid it justice llam sure, were the noble lords as weli acquainted as I am, with but half the difficulties and delays occasioned in the courts of justice, under pretence of privilege, they would not, nay, they could not, oppose this bill.
I have waited with patience to hear what arguments might be urged against this bill; but I have waited in vain : the truth is, there is no argument that can weigh against it. The justice and expediency of the bill are such as render it selfcrident. It is a proposition of that nature, which can neither
be weakened by argument, nor entangled with sophistry Much, indeed, has been said by some noble lords, on the wis. dom of our ancestors, and how differently they thought from us. They not only decrcell, that privilege should prevent all civil suit from proceeding during the sitting of parliament, but likewise granted protection to the very servants of members. I shall say nothing on the wiselom of our ancestors; it might perhaps appear invidious: that is not necessary in the present case. I shall only say, that the noble lords who flintter themselves with the weight of that reflection, should remeinber, that as circumstances alter, things themselves should alter. Formerly, it was not so fashionable either for masters or servants to run in debt, as it is at present. Formerly, we were not that great commercial nation we are at present; nor formerly were merchants and manufacturers menibers of
par's liament as at present. The case is now very different: both merchants and innnufacturers are, with great propriety, elected members of the lower house. Commerce having thus gor into the legislative body of the kingdom, privilege must be done away. We all know, that the very soul and essence of trade are regular payments; and sad experience teaches us, that there are men, who will not make their rezular payments without the compulsive power of the laws. The lirw then ought to be eqnally open to all. Any exemption to particular men, or particular ranks of men, is, in a free and commercial country, a solecism of the grossest nature.
But I will not trouble your lordships with arguments for that, which is sufficiently evident without any. I shall only say a few words to some noble Jords, who foresee much inconvenience, from the persons of theirservants being liable to be arrested. One noble lord observes, That the coachman of a a peer may be arrested, while he is driving his master to the house, and that consequently, he will not be able to attend his duty in parliament. If this were actually to happen, there are so many methods by which the member might stiil get to the house, that i can hardly think the noble lord is serious in his objection. Another noble peer said, That by this bill, one might lose his most valuable and honest servants. This I hold to be a contradiction in terms: for he can neither be a valuable servant, nor an honest man, who gets into debt which he is neither able nor willing to pay, till compelled by the law. If my servant, by unforeseen accidents, has got in. to debt, and I still wish to retain him, I certainly would pay the demand. But upon no principle of liberal legislation
whatever, can my servant have a title to set his creditors at defiance, while, for forty shillings only, the honest tradesmian may be torn from his fimily, and locked up in a gaol. It is monstrous injustice! I flatter myself, however, the determination of this day will entirely put an end to all theso partial proceedings for the future, by passing into a law the bill now under your lordslips' consideration.
I come now to speak, upon what, indeed, I would have gladly avoided, had I not been particularly pointed at, for the part I have taken in this bill. It has been said, by a noble Toril on my left hand, that I likewise am running the race of popularity. If the noble lord means by popularity, that applause bestowed by after-ages on good and virtuous actions, I have long been struggling in that race: to what purpose, alltrying time can alone determine. But if the noble lord means that mushroom popularity, which is raised without merit, and lost without a crimé, he is much mistaken in his opinion. I defy the noble lord to point out a single action of 'my life, in which the popularity of the times ever had the smallest influence on my determinations. I thank God I have a more permanent and steady rule for my conduct;--the dictates of my own breast. Those who have forgone that pleasing adviser, and given up their mind to be the slave of every popular impulse, I sincerely pity : I pity them still more, if their vanity leads them to mistake the shouts of a mob, for the trumpet of fame. • Experience might inform them, that miny, thò have bcen saluted with the huzzas of a crowd one day, have received their execrations the next; and many, who hy the popularity of their times, have been held up its spotless patriots, have, nevertheless,appeared upon the histo rian's page, when truth has triumphed over delusion, the assassins of liberty. Why then the noble ford can think I am ambitious of présent popularity, that echo offolly, and shadow of renown, I am at a loss to determine. Besides, I do not know that the bill now before your lordships will be popular: it depends much upon the caprice of the day. It may not be popular to compel people to pay their debts; and, in that case, the present must be a very unpopular bill. It may not be popular either to take away any of the privileges of parliament; for I very well remember, and many of your loruships may remember, tbal, not long ago, the popular cry was for the extension of privilege; and so fu did they carry it at that tiice, that it was wid, the privilege protected members even iocriminal actione; nay, such was the power of popular