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The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, February, 1880   By:

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The Christian Foundation,


Scientific and Religious Journal

Vol. 1. No 2.

February, 1880.


The Influence Of The Bible Upon Civil And Religious Liberty. Liberty Of Conscience. The Orthodoxy Of Atheism And Ingersolism, By Rev. S. L. Tyrrell. The Shasters And Vedas, And The Chinese, Government, Religion, Etc. Ancient Cosmogonies. Some Of The Beauties (?) Of Harmony Among Unbelievers. Is God The Author Of Deception And Falsehood? Darwinism Weighed In The Balances. Was It Possible?


Civil government is a state of society in which men are reduced to order; it is a government in which every citizen has full power over his own rights, but is not at liberty to infringe upon the rights of others. The deepest thought in the word civil is the idea of being hedged around by restraints, so as to be shut in from all privilege, or right, of meddling with the rights of others. The Welsh use the word "cau," to shut, inclose, fence, hedge.

Civil liberty is liberty modified by the rights of others. No man has a right, by any Divine warrant, to infringe upon the rights of another; and cannot do it without forfeiting more or less of his own. This thought, that a man may forfeit his rights, is as essential to proper conceptions of civil government, and civil liberty, as the thought that a man has rights; for if there be no forfeiture of rights through crime, then all legal punishments are without foundation in justice; even the right of self defense, individually and nationally, ceases to exist. And if this be taken away, all support and strength in civil government is gone; anarchy and ruin only may remain. In all civilized nations a man is regarded as forfeiting his right, even to life , by trampling upon the life right of another, and, while the danger lasts, the assailed may defend his life, in the absence of any other defense, even at the expense of the life of the assailant. To deny this doctrine of the right of self defense, it is only necessary that we deny that a man can forfeit the right of life. To do this is equal to the affirmation that God is the author of coexisting and conflicting rights. Such rights can exist only at the expense of the destruction of all governments, both human and Divine, as well as all healthy influences of social institutions. It is essential to civil liberty to restrain men from all interference with the rights of others. The greatest degree of civil liberty is enjoyed where men are successfully restrained from such officious interposition. A people may enjoy civil liberty without extending the right of suffrage to all ages and to both sexes; without making all eligible to office; without abolishing paternal authority over minors; without abolishing the punishment of criminals, or the right of the State to the service of its citizens when the public good requires it.

The word civil also signifies courteous, complaisant, gentle and obliging, well bred, affable, kind. From this it will be seen that civil government depends upon the intelligence and righteousness of the people. The absence of all legal demands and all legal restraints would be the absence of all government. It would be libertinism or lawlessness. The great majority of men, from the earliest ages of the world to the present time, have been under the control of tyrants, and have known little exemption from despotic rule. There is not a single Pagan, Mahomedan, or anti Christian country to day in which the spirit of liberty has an abiding place. She may have brooded over them at intervals, but, like Noah's bird, found no resting place.

The influence of the Bible preventing the young, the mature, and the aged from crime, causing men and women to love and respect our humanity, is of necessity to the same extent the very life of civil government, and consequently the life of civil liberty... Continue reading book >>

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