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[128] works of supererogation by the way of ‘testimony’ against their neighbors' mode of worship. And so from pillory and whipping-post, from prison and scaffold, they sent forth their wail and execration, their miserere and anathema, and the sound thereof has reached down to our day. May it never wholly die away until, the world over, the forcing of conscience is regarded as a crime against humanity and a usurpation of God's prerogative. But abhorring, as we must, persecution under whatever pretext it is employed, we are not, therefore, to conclude that all persecutors were bad and unfeeling men. Many of their severities, upon which we now look back with horror, were, beyond a question, the result of an intense anxiety for the well-being of immortal souls, endangered by the poison which, in their view, heresy was casting into the waters of life. Coleridge, in one of the moods of a mind which traversed in imagination the vast circle of human experience, reaches this point in his Table-Talk. ‘It would require,’ says he, ‘stronger arguments than any I have seen to convince me that men in authority have not a right, involved in an imperative duty, to deter those under their control from teaching or countenancing doctrines which they believe to be damnable, and even to punish with death those who violate such prohibition.’ It would not be very difficult for us to imagine a tender-hearted Inquisitor of this stamp, stifling his weak compassion for the shrieking wretch under bodily torment by his strong pity for souls in danger of perdition from the sufferer's heresy. We all know with what satisfaction the

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