Page:Omniana.djvu/330

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312
OMNIANA.

This is, however, manifestly dishonest, and dangerous; and there must exist therefore a power in the state to prevent, suppress, and punish it. IX. The advocates of toleration have never been able to agree among themselves concerning the limits to their own claims; have never established any clear rules, what shall and what shall not be admitted under the name of religion and conscience. Treason and the grossest indecencies not only may be, but have been called, by these names: as among the earlier Anabaptists. X. And last, it is a petitio principii, or begging the question, to take for granted that a state has no power except in case of overt-acts. It is its duty to prevent a present evil, as much at least as to punish the perpetrators of it. Besides, preaching and publishing are overt acts. Nor has it yet been proved, though often asserted, that a Christian sovereign has nothing to do with the external happiness or misery of the fellow creatures entrusted to his charge.