“To the law,” then, “and to the testimony.”
Do they sanction the principles I have sought to establish?
Do they accord to man any other subjective right of self-control than simply the right
to do that which in itself is right
--that is, good
? True, they assume that he has the power
to do wrong, but at the same time they deny to him all right
to do wrong.
All those scriptures which forbid his doing wrong
, and enjoin it upon him to do right
, under severe penalties for disobedience, are in proof.
They are too numerous and familiar to require that I quote them.
They all assume that he has power to do either right
, but only a right
to do that which is right
. Whoever, then, sets up a right
to do a thing, and can give no better reason for it than that he has power to do it in virtue of his humanity, and that therefore others should not interpose obstacles in the way of his doing it; on peril of abridging him of a natural right, assumes far more than the Scriptures allow him; nay, he assumes that which is forbidden him in Holy Scripture, no less than in reason and common sense; and if allowed to exercise such lawless power, under the plea of natural right
, he could not fail to put an end to all law, and to precipitate society into a state of anarchy.
Therefore, the government which places minors, aliens, and