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An Elay on the Right of Conscience.
237 quire, the several towns, parishes, As to the first of these propofitions' precinets, and other bodies politic, or that the happiness of the people essenreligious focieties, to make suitable tially depends upon piety and moralprovifion, at their owo expence, for ity; I believe it will not be denied by the inftitutioa of the public worhip any one, who hath seriously thought of God, and for the support and main- upon the matter. There may be tenance of public protestant teachers fome who, with Hobbs and his disciof piety, religion, and morality, in all ples, suppose, that there is a natural cases where such provision thall not fatality attending all the affa'rs and be made voluntarily.
actions of this life, and that therefore, And the people of this common- there is nothing in the universe, but wealth have also a right to, and do, wbat is as it ought to be, or that could invest their legislature with authority be otherwise than it is; and may feel to eajoin upon all the subje&ts an at- themselves supported by a miscontendance upon the instructions of the struction of Pope's sentiment, of “ parpublic teachers aforesaid, at stated tial evil being universal good.” To times and seasons, if there be any on there we have nothing to say, but to whose joftruations they can con(cien- those, the feelings of whose minds tiously and conveniently attend. urge them to acts of morality, or
Provided not withAtanding, that the whose consciences point them to a several towns, parishes, precinas, and future judgment, we need not urga other bodies.polisic, or religious soci. any thing in support of a proposition eties, Mall, at all times, have the ex- which they cannot but approve. The clusive right of electing their public Supreme Being has favoured the world teachers, and of contrading with them with so many motives to provoke manfor their support and maintenance. kivd to acts of social benevolence,
And all monies paid by the subject that one would suppose the divine goto the support of public worfhip, and vernment to be conducted with folly, of the public teachers aforesaid, shall, unless there were necessary to ouė is be require it, be uniformly applied happiness here. One only inftanco to the support of the public teacher or Thall be mentioned. Take away from teachers of his own religious re&t or the human race the idea of their mordenomination, provided there be any tality, and in a very short space of on whore inftru&tions he attends ; 0. time the ferocity and turpitude of man therwise, it may be paid towards tlie would burst forth in the most horrid support of the ieacher or teachers of acts of violence, hurried on by ambithe parish or precina, in which the tion and avarice, with all their dreadlaid mop es are raised.
fulconcomitants, deluging the world And every denomination of chrifti. in misery. How wise then is it in goans, demeaning themselves peaceably, vernment to inculcate the ideas of and as good subjeets of the Common: death and judgment? wealth, Mall be equally under the The second propofition is full as protection of the law : And no subor- plain ; that those sentiments, necessary dipation of any one seat or denomina- io our security as a people, cannot be tion to another shall ever be establish- generally diffused without the institued by law.
tion of public worship, and public moThe first clause in this article con- ral teaching; for how Mould the ideas tains three propositions. First, that of religion and morality be impressed the happiness of a people depends on the rising generation, without inapon piety and morality. Secondly, fruitutions of this nature, or where that these cannot be generally diffused hould the force of example arise from, without public worship. And, thirdly, if there were no such public inftituti that the goveroment has a right to ons ? He who attempts to prove that take a part of the property of the ci- these inftitutions are not necessary,optizens, and appropriate it for this pur- poses himself to the opinion of the pore.
whole world, supported by the expe
rience of many thousand ages. The pulsion of attending on that accounta words of that good writer, the Presi. I do not conceive. That there should dent de Goguet, may be brought in be inftitutions of public worship, and support of this sentiment, Origin of public teachers of religion and moralLaw, vol. ift. p. 23, “ The establish. ity, will be generally agreed. . But the “ment of a solemo and public wor. contention is, how they fall be efta. " Ihip has, without doubt, contributed blished, by whom they shall be supti mont of all to civilize mankind, and ported, and whether any Mall be " to support and strengthen societies. Compelled to attend? Was I to mark « The existence of a Supre.ne Being, out a new system, I might do it quite « Sovereign Judge of all things, and differently from the one adopted by « absolute Master of all events, is one the people ; but I would not engage «t of the first truths which effects the that it ihould be ball so good.
The “ mind or an intelligent creature, who only consideration before me is, how Ris willing to make use of his reason, this fyftem shall be supported, and yet " From this heart felt sentiment arises the rights of conscience preserved. "the natural idea of having recourse And here no difficulty could arise, if
in calamities to that Almghty Be- men were contented to render to conKing, of invoking him in present dan- science the things that belong to it, " ger, and of endeavouring to ob and to civil society that which belongs "iain the favour and protection of to the support of it. If the instituti " this omnipotent Sovereign of the on of public worthip, and the support " universe, by external expreffions of of public teachers of religion and * fubmiffion and respect. Religion morality, are effential to the very ex" then is prior to the establishinent of istence of civil fociety, then ali the “ civil society, and independent of members of that fociety ought, ac“ human conventions." And again, cording to the quanti:y of the pro“ into whatever country we transport perty secured to them by government, "l ourselves,we shall every wliere meet io contribute towards the fupport “ with altars, facr fices, festivals, re- of them ; not paying in expectation « ligious ceremonies, pref's temples, that what they do will obtain a paru or places folemnly and publicly con. oon of their tios, or bring them nigh“ secrated to the Deity." How inex- er to final happiness ; but as memcurable then would the people of this bers of civil society, seeking the secuCommonwealth have been, had they rry of their per'ons and property. not declared their right in a matter lo. If the objection is, that in this way important to their public and parti. men may be compelled to contribute cular felicity. Perhaps the interest of to the support of a false worthip, or the individuals in a ftate of futurity to the teaching of principles which does not so much depend upon these are opposes io morality ; this is inftitutions, as some people imagine; clearly pollible ; but I apprehend, that but yet no one can say, but that the it is as cleariy certain, that a govern. wile Author of our nature has lo con- meat cannot exist without public wor. Lected our happ pess in this world Ship and pubic teaching of morality ;. with our felicity in the other, that and as the experience of ages fully while we pursue the former with fine evinces, that laws are neceffary to this cerity in the way he has directed us, important purpose, the above obje&iwe are ensuring the latter. It is evi- on lays no fronger again it this, than eently the case as to private virtues, others might against any other inftituthere the same path leads to hap- tion of government ; for as the human piness in boih worlds.
race are imperfect, and prone to ty. though our future happiness is not the ranny, they may abuse any other in. care of government, or the object of ftitution agreed upon by society in the legislative authority, this should not same manner,in which they may abuse be an addit onu motive to the institu- this. In this view of the matter, the ting of public worship, without a com- argument would conclude, if it proved
An Ejay on the Right of Conscience. any thing,againft every human inftitu. of the public, or urge a sentiment, tion ; and put a final end to all govern- which will be regarded or rejected, as
each particular person mall choose. The provision, in the article under But this I believe may be clearly exconfideration, appears to me to take pected, that each devout, good man will off all foundation from this obje&ion. attend on public worship from the The towns and precinats have secured highest pofsible motives, while the to them the right of ele&ting their own good citizen, who regards his own teacher; and as they have a right to safety as a member of civil communidecide for themselves on what is the ty, will at all times attend, when he true religion, or the beft mode of is not necessarily detained from it. worthip, they can never have a reli- The laft clause, in the declaration gious tyranny efablidhed over them, of rights, may hereafter be made the as towns, precin&ts, or parishes. As in oftensible foundation of persecution. transactions of this nature, it is neces. The expression, “ that every denomifary that the voice of the majority “nation of chriftians demeaning themMould govern, the minority might be “ selves peaceably, thalt be equally deprived of their religious liberty, if " under the protection of the law,* it was not provided that all the money seems to hold up the idea, that none paid by the citizen shall be applied to but chriftians are entitled to this prothe support of the teacher of his own teation. This is the only clause in the fedt or denomination, if he attends whole syftem which does not compleatupon any. And it candot be thought ly coincide with freedom of conscience unreasonable, that if he attends upon
in the fulleit extent of it. But even Dope, it fall then be paid to the sup- this may, in providence, have the best Port of the teacher of the parish where- effe&ts, it may from time to time, to he belongs. Surely this cannot be serve as an alarm, and may awaken opposed by the conscience of any ho- the people to an attention to their Deft, well-informed man; for the idea safety. An apology may however be is, that this tax is, to the security of necessary, fince (och a clause has crept our persons and property in govern.
into our Frame of Government. There ment ; and he who would mun the were so many prejudices operating in payment of his share, has not much the numerous assembly which compilconscience to boast of. Where any ed this system, that it would have. society makes provision voluntarily been very extraordinary, if no imper. for the fopport of public worship and feaion could have been found in it. public teaching, in their own way, Upon the whole we may conclude, the government has nothing to do that the government we are under af. with them.
fords, if properly exercised and admiHad the Conflitution made provisi- niftered, the greatest freedom of coo on for compelling men to attend upon science of any one under Heaven ; for public worship, there might have been it does nothing more than enforce and reason for an alarm. But there is no inculcate those principles, the exercise such authority lodged in the magiftrate of which would have been necessary by the people ; nor even to compel an to the existence of the human race in attendance upon public teachings of a greater degree than they now are, religion and morality, unless where if civil government had never been the subje&t chooses to do it. For they establithed. have a right to enjoin the citizen to If the obrervations which have comattend, if there is any teacher on posed this Effay upon the Rights of whose inftrudion he can conscientioul- Conscience, have entertained one cily and conveniently attend. But the tizen, or furnished a serious enquir. Citizen muft at all times be the role er with one idea, the author is fully judge of the feelings of his own con- compensated for the time he has spent science ; and therefore this clause in it and if he has done no injury to does no more than express the with the public, he is happy.
To the Editors of the Boston MA distant planets, who cause no percepti
ble motion of the fluids on the surface Gentlemen,
of the earth, be suppoied to produce If the piece
on Judgment of such changes? the Weather," and the other and one only, to whom we can ascribe
One celestial body there is however, “ on the Winds and Move- these effects in any ellential degree, ment of Clouds,” Mould either namely, the moon, by whole neainers of them meet with your appro- magnitude, a conftant motion of the bation, by inserting them in fea, and the atmosphere is maintainycur Magazine for this Month, and as the effe&ts all fiuids, to in the you would gratify the will of air there is a tide na:sed as well as in
A SUBSCRIBER. the sea. The sun, however, has some April 6th, 1784.
Mare therein, for at the new moon,
when they are in conjunction, the at. On Judgment of the Weather.
tractive force of both being united,
and at the full, when in oppostion, Varios lunæque labores, &c. (which operates alike) the highest tides Teach me the various labours of the are raised. Moon.
Now it is evident that whatever Virgil.
can caure such a movement of the wa. REDICTIONS of the weather ter, a dense fluid, must also move the
air, which is also a fluid niore rare fied, Tealous on which they are founded the atmosphere must become more few. Christmas, and ine eleven fol. dense at such times and places as the lowing days, can mark the months for tides are highest. the year : The fire, in the ears of some, can give the fovod of treading charged with vapour at such ime,
The air therefore, being higher foow, or dropping rain ; pay more, that innocent domeitic anımal,theCa!, and produce rain. Hence it is com
will be more likely to form into clouds can raise a storm by turning her back to the fire ; but.Candlen.as Day, more far diftant from the new or full moon.
mon that the greatest storms come pot fure ftill, can give an infallible lign The moon is sometimes nearer the for the rest of winter ; nor is the muon
earth than at other times ; when nearro unfriendly as not, to lend her horns eft, it is called her perigee ; when each month for ao iudex of the weather. On the breast bone of a goose when her perigee happens near the
furtheft difiant, her apogee. Now some can read the future seasons ;
new or full moon, then the tides will while others, disdainiog, to borrow
have an additional attraction, and the ought from terrestrial objects, ascend
fluids be raised more into the atmoi. the upperieg ons, build ineir whole fabric on the conjunction or opposition phere : Hence the greater fall there.
of in rain or Inow may be expected. of the most distine plane's, and fill those necessary productions (our Dia- The water which falls from the 1:08) with infallible predictions of the clouds must have been raifed from the weather; so that he who reads them rea, rivers, lakes, and surface of the need never journey in the wet, nor earth into the air, and that this thould the carelul farmer iow in vain, reapin be caused by the moon, fince the can a badiime, or have his hay wet. by her attraction Taise a ride in the
What eifect (to be more serious) sea, cannot be thought frange. Wa. can any certain days have on the wea: ter may be rarehed into air, and air ther at any diftant period ? How can may be condensed into water. The the horns of the moon, the booe oí a fungit must be acknowledged, has some goose, or an hundred such like ligos, mare also in this, since his beat has a equally ridiculous, which might be tendency to rarefy and expand the va. mentioned, have any influence on the pour and cause it to ascend. The seasons ? Or with what propriely can mon acts by her attraction only, the
Observations on the Wind, &c.
239 Sun by both by his attra&ion and pow. ' do not chance to fall on them ro sen fier to rarely.
bly as to be perceived. As to the The tides are constant, & 'tis proba- time being, which is all that in this ble there is also a continual'attra&ion case need concern us, there are but as well asrarefaction of the Auide,caus- few who cannot perceive when a storm ing them to ascendinto the air,& there is at hand, by the dampness of the air, may be always a discharge of the same the setting of the wind, or the appearfrom the clouds in some places or other. ance of the clouds. There may therefore be rain at any
PHILO SELENÆ. time of the moon. The atmospheremay also be high charged with Auids, & yet no rain for a long time:For there must be a degree of cold in order to con: Obfervations on the Wind and deose the fuids so as to form clouds, Movement of Clouds. which cannot be formed if the air is equally rarefied; some parts muft have *HE Wind is nothing but a stream a greater degree of cold than others,
or torrent of air, as a river is a or the clouds would all expand into fream or torrent of water. The air; thus if the atmosphere is heavy
cause of winds is any thing that can enough to support a fog, from the sea, destroy the equilibrium of the air, and, or lakes, or marshy land, so as to raise by acting on some part with a greater it to a cloud, it may then soon become force, produce such a ftream or current larger, join others that have been rais- of air as is called wind. ed in the same manner, receive sup- The common causes thereof are ra. plies from the surrounding air, from
refactions and condensations in fome whose coldness the adhesion of the par. particular place, the pressure of clouds ticles (like those round a pot of cold which alier the balance of the atmoswater in commer) may be accelera- phere, and heat and cold. ted, and the clouds greaily augmented. The air which is less rarefied, or exAdd to this also, that when a cloud panded by heat, and consequently gets to be very large and dense, it will more denre, must have a motion toby attraction, not only draw supplies wards those parts which are more rafrom the surrounding air, but also refied, to produce an equilibrium. The from the sea, rivers, and wet earth, cold and dense aii, by reason of its even while it is empting itself of its greater gravity, presseth upon the fruitful contents.
hot and rarefied ; therefore the rarefi. Since the forming of clouds depends ed air will be put in motion, either on so many casual circumstances, and parallel to the surface, or ascend higher the uncertainty where they will emp: into the atmosphere; being thus ascenty, when formed, how little can be ded,it must disperse itself to restore the known before hand of the matter? balance ; by which means there will What folly is it every year to be at be two currents of air formed, for the pains of publishing the weather that which is thus rarefied and driven for the ensuing season? What little upwards will go back above, in a consuccess do they have in this matter ? A trary direction to the air below. blind man may by chance Moot right, Clouds will also produce the same and a blind man, or an ignorant negro effect: Their condensation'makes them might perhaps mark the weather in a ponderous and their quick movement Calendar, with as good success as some causeth a great pressure on the lower others have done.
air, which, of consequence, muft move However, if any are anxious to know in a direction oppolite to the current before hand what the weather will be, above ; for as the clouds will not sufthey may know for certaiaty, that fer it to ascend, it muft therefore move when the tides are highest, there will under them, till having past them, it be a greater quantity of Auids in the can expand, to restore the equilibrium air, anat if they place themselves a- of the air. broad about the time that the tides The common opinion therefore,that begin to abate, and the Auids return, the whole of the clouds in a storm alit is ten to one that some parts thereof ways move from that point from