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the principle that all secular coercion, small or great, in what regards religious faith, is contrary to the spirit of Christianity; and that a man's religion, as long as he conducts himself as a peaceable and good citizen, does not fall within the province of the civil magistrate. Bacon speaks with just horror of 'sanguinary persecutions.' Now, any laws that can be properly called 'sanguinary'—any undue severity—should be deprecated in all matters whatever; as if, for example, the penalty of death should be denounced for stealing a pin. But if religious truth does properly fall within the province of the civil magistrate,— if it be the office of government to provide for the good of the subjects, universally, including that of their souls, the rulers can have no more right to tolerate heresy, than theft or murder They may plead that the propagation of false doctrine—that is, what is contrary to what they hold to be true,—is the worst kind of robbery, and is a murder of the soul. On that supposition, therefore, the degree of severity of the penalty denounced against religious offences, whether it shall be death, or exile, or fine, or imprisonment, or any other, becomes a mere political question, just as in the case of the penalties for other crimes.''
But if, on the contrary, we are to understand and comply with, in the simple and obvious sense, our Lord's injunction to 'render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's;' and his declaration that his 'kingdom is not of this world;' and if we are to believe his Apostles sincere in renouncing, on behalf of themselves and their followers, all design of propagating their faith by secular force, or of monopolizing for Christians as such, or for any particular denomination of Christians, secular power and political rights, then, all penalties and privations, great or small, inflicted on purely religious grounds, must be equally of the character of persecution (though all are not equally severe persecution), and all alike unchristian. Persecution, in short, is not wrong because it is cruel, but it is cruel because it is wrong.''
1 The following is an extract from a Protestant bonk, published a few years ago:—'The magistrate who restrains, coerces, or punishes one who is propagating a true religion, opposes himself to God, and is a persecutor; hut the magistrate who restrains, coerces, or punishes one who is propagating a false religion, obeys the command of God, and is not a persecutor."
This is a doctrine which every persecutor in the world would fully admit.
On the other hand, take a passage from a Roman Catholic History 0/ England; an educational book, which, it may be fairly said, is circulated in England at the public expense, under what is called the 'Separate system;' the system which many are seeking to introduce into Ireland also.
'At last the queeu and her council had Cranmer and a great many Protestant bishops put in prison, and they were burnt for heresy. This was very shocking; but it was much more difficult to know what to do then than it is now. Heresy was punishable by death at that time by the common law of the land, as forgery was some years since, and as murder is now. Those who disturlxxl the fiiith, ami taught evil doctrines which destroyed the souls of others, were looked upon as malefactors, and as such they were given up to the law. We often hear it said that the Catholic Church must be a cruel Church to sandtion such cruel deeds; but those who say this are mistnken. The punishment was inflicted, like every other penalty of the law, by the Civil Power, not by the Church.
'And although burning peoplo at the stake is very shocking, ever)' clear-sighted person must see that it is much more shocking to destroy the souls of men by heresy. This was what the Bishops Gardiner and Bonner thought.'
The Emperor Charles the Fifth, who had a mechanical turn, and amused himself, after his abdication, in making clocks, has been said to have been convinced of the folly of his violent attempts to bring all men to religious agreement, from finding that he could never bring his clocks to keep exactly the same time. But the opposite conclusion would be the more rational. For, if you did succeed in making all your clocks agree, by the internal motions of their works, you would have no need to apply external force. But if you found that when left to themselves they varied, and yet you were resolved that they should exhibit an external agreement, your only resource would be to fix on some one as the standard by which the rest should be regulated; and to move their hands from time to time so as to make all agree. And even so, if you could induce all men by force of argument to believe exactly as you do, there would be no need of resorting to external coercion: but if you could not bring them to this agreement and yet were resolved to have external conformity, you would then resort to force to make men suppress their real sentiments.
'Though religious liberty,' I have heard it said, 'ought to be enjoyed by all, we should remember that religious liberty does not imply irreligious liberty.' This proposition is one which I have known intelligent and well-principled men led to assent to; and which, I have no doubt, would, in many circles, be received with hearty acquiescence and applause. Yet, according to the established usage of language, it is utterly untrue, and self-contradictory. When we speak of a man's being at 'liberty' to act in a certain way, we always understand that he is at liberty to act differently; that it depends on himself to do, or not to do, so and so. It would be thought absurd to speak of a Dean and Chapter being 'at liberty' to elect a certain individual, but not at liberty to refuse him; or to say of a man imprisoned, that he is at liberty to remain in jail, though not at liberty to leave it.1 And any one would say that the freedom of Parliament was at an end, if they were authorized to pass any Bill the Ministry might propose, but not, to reject it .
1 See Essay 'On Persecution,' 3rd Scries.
According to the usual and proper sense of the words therefore, it is plain that religious liberty does imply irreligious liberty; and liberty to do right, liberty to do wrong.
1 See Essay 'On the Kingdom of Christ,' note A.
ESSAY IV. OF REVENGE.
REVENGE is a kind of wild justice, which the more Man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out; for as for the first wrong, it does but offend the law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy, but in passing it over he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon: and Solomon, I am sure, saith, 'It is the glory of a man to pass by an offence.'' That which is past is gone and irrecoverable, and wise men have enough to do with things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labour in past matters. There is no man doth a wrong for the wrong's sake, but thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or honour, or the like; therefore why should I be angry with a man for loving himself better than me? And if any man should do wrong, merely out of ill-nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or brier, which prick and scratch, because they can do no other. The most tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy: but then, let a man take heed the revenge be such as there is no law to punish; else a man's enemy is still beforehand, and it is two for one.
Some, when they take revenge, are desirous the party should know whence it cometh: this is the more generous; for the delight seemeth to be not so much in doing the hurt, as in making the party repent: but base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in the dark.
Cosmus, Duke of Florence, had a desperate saying against perfidious or neglecting* friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable. 'You shall read,' saith he, 'that we are commanded to forgive our enemies, but you never read that we are commanded to forgive our friends.' But yet the spirit of Job3 was in a better tune: 'Shall we,' saith he, 'take good at God's hands, and not be content to take evil also? and so of friends in a proportion. This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal
Proverbsvx.i'. 'Neglecting. Neglectful; negligent. > Job ii.
and do well. Public revenges are for the most part fortunate; as that for the death of Cajsar; for the death of Pertinax; for the death of Henry III. of France; and many more. But in private revenges it is not so; nay, rather vindictive persons live the life of witches, who, as they are mischievous, so end they unfortunate.
ANTITHETA ON EEVENGE.
'Vindicta privata, justitia ajrrestis. 'Qui injuriam fecit, principium malo
'Private revenge is wild justice.' dedit; qui reddidit, modum nbstnlit.
'He who has committed an injury
'Qui vim rependit, legem tantum has made a beginning of evil; he who
violat, non hominem. returns it, luis taken away all limit
'lIe wlui returns violence for violence, from it.' offends against Oui law only—not against
the individual.' 'Vindicta, quo magia naturalis, eo
magis coercenda. 'Utilis metus ultionis privata?; nam 'The more natural revenge is to man,
leges niinium saipe dormiunt. the more it should lie repressed.'
'Private vengeance inspires a salutary fear, as tl\e laws loo often dum- 'Qui facile injuriam reddit, is forlasse her.'' tempore, non voluntate posterior erat.
• He who is ready in returning an injury, has, 'perhaps, liecn anticipated Iiy his enemy only in time.'
'Some, wlien they take revenge, are desirous the party should know whence it cometh.'
It is certainly, as Bacon remarks, 'more generous'—or less MMgenerous—to desire that the party receiving the punishment should 'know whence it cometh.' Aristotle distinguishes opyrj —(' Resentment' or 'Anger') from Mttro?,—' Hatred,' (and when active, 'Malice')—by this. The one who hates, he says, wishes the object of his hatred to suffer, or to be destroyed, no matter by whom; while Resentment craves that he should know from whom, and for what, he suffers. And he instances Ulysses in the Odyssey, who was not satisfied with the vengeance he had
1 See, in Guy Mannering. Pleydell's remark, that if you have not a regular chimney for the smoke, it will find its way through the whole house.