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abuse ages armed Assembly asylum attempts authority basis believe bill violates bound Christian religion ciety citizens civil government civil policy civil society clergy cognizance consequences consideration considered contradiction conviction counties Creator dangerous deemed degree dence deny depend derivative destroy dictates of conscience duty ecclesiastical establishments encroachment enjoy equal right erect evidence example exclusion Executive exempt flourished folly forbearance force former free exercise freedom fruits fundamental gift greatest hold human policy influence instances invade juris late latter less liberties limited with regard lustre maintain majority measure member of civil MEMORIAL minds nation nature necessary opinions opposition persecuted precedent principle PRINTED proper proportion proposed protecting question region religious render request retaining rulers sanctions sect secure seen session soon subscribers sufferer support of civil teachers tend tion trial true trust truth tyranny unalienable UNIVERSE valid Virginia voice warning wholly wish
Seite 6 - Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late revolution. The...
Seite 4 - That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.
Seite 11 - Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of revelation from coming into the Region of it; and countenances, by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of...
Seite 10 - Christian forbearance, love and charity,"* which of late mutually prevailed, into animosities and jealousies, which may not soon be appeased. What mischiefs may not be dreaded, should this enemy to the public quiet be armed with the force of a law?
Seite 6 - Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?
Seite 4 - Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.
Seite 4 - This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated in their own minds, cannot follow the dictates of other men. It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men is a duty towards the Creator.
Seite 9 - ... the proposed establishment is a departure from that generous policy which, offering an asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every nation and religion, promised a lustre to our country and an accession to the number of its citizens. What a melancholy mark is the bill of sudden degeneracy! Instead of holding forth an asylum to the persecuted, it is itself a signal of persecution. It degrades from the equal rank of citizens all those whose opinions in religion do not bend to those of the
Seite 7 - ... profess, and to observe the religion which we believe to be of Divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man : To God, therefore, not to men, must an account of it be rendered.