gradually settled down from the food into the blood, from the blood into the bones, from the bones into the character of the Saxon
race; and to-day, every drop of Anglo-Saxon
blood acknowledges the sacredness of property derived from a hundred ancestors.
Law, once placed on the statute-book, educates the moral sense of the community.
Many a man has no higher level than the statute-book; what is legal he respects; if he trespasses against it, he feels himself a sinner; what is illegal he shrinks from.
Now, this law, if you leave it on the statute-book, is to be the most powerful moral suasion that was ever employed to the conviction of the universal conscience of the Commonwealth
Leave it there a century, let it rest on the public opinion of the Commonwealth
, and a man will walk these streets as much ashamed of being descended from an illegal liquor dealer as from an African slave-trader.
To-day you regard that statement as fanaticism; but you forget, that the masses of mankind may get their ethics, in the first instance, from the statute-book, and only secondly from the Bible
; so that, if you will only let this statute stand, we shall have, not merely public opinion, but public virtue, to sanction it, all over the Commonwealth
But you say to me, it is a single statute.
It is not this single statute alone.
The liquor dealers of the city of Boston permit — that
is the proper word — the execution of the State
laws only so far as they do not interfere with their interest.
Take the Sunday law. If there be anything anchored in the very superstition as well as in the religious principles of Massachusetts
, it is the sacredness of the seventh day; and yet that law, two centuries old,--perhaps the most largely supported by public opinion of anything this side the law of murder,--is not executed on this peninsula, and never will be when