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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37


page 68


It is no doubt a great consolation to the people of England that their chains have been forged by their own representatives, and riveted on them by the authority of statutes.

Punishment is an active ruler; it is the true manager of public affairs; it is the dispenser of laws; and wise men call it the sponsor of all orders for the discharge of their several duties.

A free people may be sometimes betrayed; but no people will betray themselves and sacrifice their liberty unless they fall into a sate of universal corruption: and when they are once fallen into such a state they will be sure to lose what they no longer enjoy.

For a generation manifestly called upon to witness the most solemn and terrible changes, the deadliest sin is thoughtlessness—the most noxious food is prejudice—the most fatal disease is party spirit.

What can mean the liberty of a people that has raised over itself men who can commit any crime by that people's power, and yet without their will? What is done today against the stranger may be done tomorrow against themselves. The freeman becomes a slave because he has been a culprit. Retribution may overtake, but a world's hate and a just God's vengeance must follow.

The excise was introduced in spite of Parliament, in the time of the civil wars, but only continued from month to month. Charles the First charges the Parliament with imposing insupportable taxes and odious excises upon their fellow-subjects. Excises are innovations of so modern a date that the very name is not to be found in our early law books.

The innocency of the heart is absolutely necessary to preserve the freedom of the mind.

When (says Dr Jonathan Edwards) I am violently beset with temptation, or cannot get rid of evil thoughts, I resolve to do something in arithmetic or geometry, or some ether study which necessarily engages all my thoughts, and unavoidably keeps them from wandering.

"Hole-and-corner" arguments (said Bismarck), when supported by a majority of European bayonets, usually gained the day.