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[82] correctly some forty different meanings of this term, together with several subordinate senses in which it occurs, all of which are in common use. Our language — and of what language is not the same true?--our literature, our theology, our politics — society on all sides — is bristling with rights! Now, is it not obvious that there must be some generic idea which classifies all the different meanings and applications of this term, and which has its foundation in the common sense, the common reason of all mankind?

If, then, we inquire what are our rights in any given case, this question directly involves that other and ultimate question, What is the right in itself? the solution of which solves at once the general question in regard to all cases. And although the case in which our rights may appear must be first in point of time before our minds, to call up our idea of the right, still our definite antecedent idea of the right is the logical condition on which we determine whether the right appears in that case.

Call then, to your mind, an instance of justice, and one of injustice: a case of virtue and a case of crime: an example of heroism and an example of weakness : does not each of these cases embody, the one class your idea of the right in itself, and the other your idea of the wrong in itself?

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