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Every individual human being has not the righ:s and only a right, but is under an indispensible duties of tle foobligation to adopt that religious cult or as of indivimode of worship, which, after due deliberation, in the sincerity of his heart, he thinks his Creator requires of him; it follows of course, that a society composed of such individuals muft, collectively taken, enjoy the same right, and be under the same duty and obligation. As, therefore, it is neither my intention nor purpose to examine, or even consider the reasons, grounds, or merits of the religious persuasion of any one individual, so shall I equally avoid the discussion or examination of the internal evidence of that religion, which the majority of this community has thought proper to countenance and support by civil sanctions. The civil establish- Tlie civil estab. ment of a religion affects in no manner the ligion atteets truth or falsehood of the religion itself. the religion it* « The magistrate (or supreme civil power) in Turkey has just the same uncontrouled civil right to establish the religion he ap. proves, as a Christian magistrate has to establish his choice: christianity made no alteration in this case; but left civil power as is found it; and if it was before the judge,
lishment of re
what religion it should establish, it continues so still.” And the same learned author, who is remarkable for perspicuity and strength of argument, further says; * “ Nothing, therefore, can be more unjust or impertinent, than those suggestions, that upon my principles, popery will be the true religion in Spain, presbytery in Scotland, and Mahometism in Turkey. These are, indeed, the established religions in those places; but not one jot the more true for being established. To the laws establishing religion, civil obedience is due, in the same measures and under the same reserves in Spain, as in England; but assent of judgment against private convictions is no part of the obligations arising from the establishment in either.”
Thus did our British ancestors adopt for rel gion in this fome centuries the Druidical institutions;
after that, they embraced the Christian religion, under king Lucius, which was preached to them by St. Damianus, sent hither from Rome for that purpose by St. Eleutherius; and when the Saxons conquered the island, a part of the community retired into the mountains of Wales, to preserve their liberties and religion from the innovations and en-.
Changes in succeflion of the
• Rogers's Vindication, p. 208.
croachments of their new masters. The
When I speak of the adoption of religion Chriftianity e-
the adoption of
gated and established the Christian religion: the effects of preaching are perluasion and conviction; and these essentially presuppose the freedom of the person to be persuaded and convinced. Persuasion and conviction formally exclude every idea of necessity and compulsion.
From the first formation of man to the present hour, the following saying of dean Tucker was equally true: *“No human authority ought to compel man to surrender to any one his right of thinking and judging for himself in the affairs of religion, because this is a personal thing between God and his conscience, and he can neither be saved nor damned by proxy."
earliest traces of our constitution bespeak its interwoven texture of church with state. Upon the avowed assumption, that religion generally promotes morality, our ancestors wisely determined, that a religious establishment should be fanctioned by the community, and the legal establishment of it should form an essential part of the English constitution. Now although government, as we have before seen, be effential to
connection of church and Itate,
* Vid. Religious Intolerance no part of the general plan, either of the Mosaic or Christian Dispensation, by Jof. Tucker, D. D. Dean of Glouc. 1774.
society, yet the particular form of govern.
tion to what