in the ratio in which the pure intelligence and feelings of obligation or duty are practically
For a child who had become, to a certain extent, a subject of duty, and was disposed to fulfil this duty, but was kept, per force
, in the physical condition of infancy until he lost the use of his limbs, would be considered as deprived of the right of self-control to that extent, and thereby cruelly treated.
The agent in such a case would be severely punished, and the child committed to other hands.
Hence, in the ratio in which the pure intelligence is unfolded, and feelings of obligation arise, or conscience is developed, and becomes the practical rule of action, the individual acquires
the right of self-control, and only in that ratio.
This right may ultimately reach to all things in themselves good — the civil government always holding the authority to punish departures from duty, and thereby always abridging men of the moral power to do wrong, (because it never could be their right to do wrong,) and always fortifying them in the right exercise of liberty of will, by furnishing motives, addressed to their intelligence and passions, to observe the right and to avoid the wrong in the exercise of the volitive power.
Therefore, the natural right of man
is the right to such absolute control by others, in the earlier