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[47]

However carelessly many persons are accustomed to speak on this subject, yet we may assure ourselves that a little reflection will satisfy any candid mind that the principle is a legitimate one, and cannot with any degree of propriety be regarded as sinful. It will readily occur to all intelligent minds, that this principle enters more or less as an essential element into every form of human government. No government can be appropriate to human beings, in their present fallen condition, that does not embody this generic element in a greater or less degree.

A form of control, clearly embodying the idea of government, and at the same time conferring absolute freedom, is a solecism. If men would uniformly govern themselves aright by their own wills, there could be no necessity for government, or room for its exercise, at least in the sense in which we now understand the term. A government adapted to such a people, I allow, might be without the element of physical control, so indispensable in human governments. It would be (compared to human) a modification of government — if government it might be called — for which our language supplies no term. We cannot conceive it to be appropriate to any intelligences this side of the “spirits of just men made perfect in heaven.” These, we conceive, are sufficiently

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