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it a privilege to live in a state of society, in which such a character as Mr. Gallison's is so generally understood, and is recompenced with such heartfelt and generous praise.
Note.-- A Memoir of Mr. Gallison would be imperfect, which did not contain the tribute of the members of the Suffolk Bar to bis worth, and we therefore add it.
On the 26th instant, the Bar of the county of Suffolk, at a meeting holden to consider what measures had become proper in consequence of his decease, unanimously passed the following votes
Voted, That the members of the Bar will attend the funeral of Mr. Gallison, and that crape be worn by the members, until the end of the present term of the Supreme Court.
Voted, That the following notice of Mr. Gallison's decease be recorded in the books of the Bar.
" The members of our association have been assembled by their common sorrow and sympathy, occasioned by the bereavement which the profession and the community have sustained in the decease of Mr. Gallison.
“ As a fraternity our strength is impaired ;-as members of society, we are sorrowers in common with all who respect learning, integrity, fidelity, piety, and whatsoever tends to adora and elevate the fellowship of men.
“The emanations from Mr. Gallison's mind and heart were so familiar to us and of such daily experience, that like some of the most common, though most precious of blessings, it is only by upexpected and irretrievable loss that their just value is perceived.
“ Professional learning, in Mr. Gallison, was scarcely a subject of remark. We all felt that he must be learned, for we all knew that he severely exacted of himself to be competent to whatsoever he undertook; -diligence aud fidelity were bis peculiar qualities; his moral sense made them so ;-he could never inspire a coufidence that he could not fully satisfy,
“It is not only a learned, a diligent, a faithful ipinister of justice, that is lost to us; the public have lost one of the purest and most indefatigable and ipost capable of all inen who have attempted to illustrate the uti. lity of professional learning ; to prove the beauty and fitness of morality, aod to give new attraction to the truth of revealed sanctions. among the favorite porsuits and objects of our deceased brother, to trace the counexion and dependence which exist between learning, religion, morality, civil freedom, and human happiness.
"The very virtyes which we admired are the cause of our present regret. His labours were incessant-and through these his course is terminated at an early age. However brief, bis life has been long enough to furnish a valuable commentary on our professional, mural, and political institutioqs. He lived long enough to prove that an unaided individual, of such qualities as those which we are called on to regret, will find a just place in the community. He has proved that an unassuining citizen of chastened temper, amiable deportment, indefatigable industry, incorruptible integrity, and sincere attachment to the public welfare, will always be felt, known, and honoured. He has proved that a man who was never known among his contemporaries, associates, and rivals to have refused to others what belonged to them; or to have assuined to himself what was not bis own, cagnot go down to the tomb unattended by general and heartfelt regret."
A copy of the records.
W. J. SPOONER, Sec't.
[The following remarks upon the rights and duties of government in relation to religion were written during the debates on that subject in the Convention, and were originally intended for the newspaper. Althongh these debates are now closed, yet as the general principles by which it ought to be settled, are at all times of deep importance, what is bere said, it is thought, may not be wholly upinteresting to the readers of the Disciple.)
REMARKS ON THE RIGHT AND DUTY OF GOVERNMENT TO
PROVIDE FOR THE SUPPORT OF RELIGION BY LAW.
The enquiry into the right of governments to support religion by law, will probably be found to resolve itself entirely into a question of expediency. As, however, in the recent discussions of this subject, in application to the third article of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights, two great questions have been made ;first, has civil government a right to provide by law for the support of religion ? and secondly, is it expedient to exercise this right?-in the remarks I am now to offer, I shall follow the same distribution.
First. As to the right of government. It is objected in the first place, that religion is a matter entirely between every man and his creator, and, of course, that civil authority can have no concern with it. This objection arises from a misapprehension of the distinction between those objects, which are the proper concern of government, and those which are not. Society is not a being, which can think and feel; but a relation of individuals, and is affected only as individuals are affected. Obvious as this truth is, a practical inattention to it has been the cause of many mistakes in political reasoning. It cannot, therefore, be the difference of public and private, that makes the distinction in this case, but it is created by considerations of practicability, expediency and justice. There are many subjects, which government cannot regulate, and there are others, where its interference would, on the whole, be prejudicial, or violate the essential principles of equity ; but whereverthe control of government is at once possible, useful and just, that control may be properly exerted. Surely the province of government is not merely to provide directly for the security of the persons and property of the citizens ; its proper sphere is whatever can promote the peace and happiness of society, in the widest view of the subject. Why else does it encourage institutions for education, for the diffusion of knowledge, the suppression of vice, and the advancement of good morals? It is true, there are various means of promoting important ends, with which it does not intermeddle; not on account of any thing in the abstract nature of these ends,
which renders them improper objects of legislation ; but because legislation cannot reach them or its interference would be productive of more mischief than advantage. Such are those charities and duties, which belong to the intimate relations of life. These are not made the subjects of law, because they are either affections which laws cannot command, or offices so indeterminate that laws cannot define them before hand; and more especially from the vexatious character of all attempts at such particular regulation. Could laws make good husbands and wives, good parents and children, good neighbours and friends, would it not be the duty of legislatures to enact them ? Could they, in short, inspire the breast of every citizen with the very spirit of true religion, with those principles of obedience to the commands of God, of subrnission to his will and trust in his pro mises, which are the only sure foundations of present peace and immortal hopes, how pitiful, as well as unnecessary, would a great portion of that mass of provisions, which now crowds our statute books, become? But what legislatures, for the reasons mentioned, cannot do directly, they can and ought indirectly to attempt; and in no way can they so effectually accomplish this, as by securing the diffusion of religious instruction.
But it is not merely from this enlarged view of the objects of government, that its right to support religion results; religion is also absolutely necessary to the attainment of those ends, which are universally acknowledged to fall within its legitimate province; the preservation of social order and its own permapency.
It is not upon the sanctions of civil law, that the rights of person and property, that faith in promises, that the mutual reli. ance and sense of security, which enter into all the transactions and intercourse of social life, and bind the members of a community together, principally depend. Take away the silent and private influences of religion and conscience, which come in upon a man in his retirement, and break off his schemes of fraud, of injustice, and treachery, and the arm of law could place but a feeble check upon human selfishness. Or rather, crimes are guarded against, not so much by those fears, which hold back the villain from perpetrating what he has conceived, as by the production of those moral habits and feelings, which prevent the very formation of guilty designs. Nor can it be too deeply realized, of what vital importance is the operation of religious principle to the very existence of political freedom; because, where the people are generally corrupt, nothing but a system of minute inspection, of universal regulation and re
straint, utterly irreconcilable with the spirit of freedom, can save the state from the most thorough licentiousness and anarchy.*
Has not government a right to provide for its own permanency and the integrity of its agents ? And without religion where would be the security of oaths, where the incorruptibleness and fidelity of officers, which are the foundation of all civil institutions and rights ? It is not merely the religious principles of rulers themselves, by which they are guided and restrained. A magistrate without religion is kept in awe; those sentiments of honour and reputation, which are sometimes a sort of substitute for conscience, are preserved in vigour and activity by the atmosphere of moral purity, created by a religious community. This is true of all governments, and it is especially true of a government like ours, which has its basis in the popular
For a clear and forcible developeinent of this topic, the social character of religion, I beg leave to refer to the sermon of the Rev. Dr. Chan ping on this subject, recently published'; where the reader will find some views of government not commonly to be met with. A sermon, of which it is praise enough to say, it is what would be expected from its author. No apology is necessary for subjoining the following extract :
“ Few inen suspect, perhaps no man comprehends, the extent of the support given by religion to every virtue. No man perhaps is aware, bow mlich our moral and social sentiments are fed from this fountain ; how powerless conscience would become without the belief of a God; how palsied would be human benevolence, were there not the sense of a higher benevolence to quicken and sustain it; how suddenly the whole sociał fabriek would quake, and with what a fearful crash it would sink into hopeless ruins, were the ideas of a Supreme Being, of accountableness, and of a future life, to be utterly erased from every mind. Once let mer thoroughly believe that they are the work and sport of chance; that no superior intelligence conceros itself with human affairs; that all tbeir improvements perish forever at death; that the weak have no guardian, and, the injured no avenger; that there is no recoinpense for sacrifices to uprightness aod the public good ; that an oath is nvheard in Heaven; that secret crimes have no witness but the perpetrator ; that human existence has no purpose, and human virtue no untailing friend; that this brief life is
every thing to us, and death is total, everlasting extinction ; once let men thoroughly abandon religion, and who can conceive or describe the extent of the desolation which would follow? We hope perhaps that buman laws and natural sympathy would hold society together
As reasonably might we believe, that were the sun quenched in the heavens, our torches could illuminate, and our fires quicken and fertilize the creation. What is there in human pature to awaken respect and tenderness, if man is the unprotected insect of a day! and what is he more, if atheism be, true ? Erase all thought and fear of God from a comm
munity, and selfishbess and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Appetite knowing no restraint, and poverty and suffering having no solace or hope, would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle; would be mocked and spurned as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self interest would suppiant every other feeling, and man would become in fact, what (be theory of atheism declares bim to be, a companion for brutes."
will. If there be any force in what has been said, those who deny to government the right to support religion by law, cannot do it on the general and abstract ground. It must then be, because it is supposed to imply in it the right of enforcing error, or involve the violation of the private rights of conscience.
The second objection, then, to the existence of this right in government is, that it implies the right of enforcing error. To every christian it might be a sufficient answer to this objection to say, that our constitution does not require instruction in any particular form of christianity, but only in christianity itself. I am aware, however, it may be said, that although it does not do this directly, yet it authorizes particular societies to do it by giving them the power to raise taxes for that purpose. But the principle of this objection, if admitted any farther than as a circumstance of expediency to be considered, would put an end to all instruction whatever. Shall no professor of a college or master of a school require the attention of his pupils to one word of moral or religious doctrine, because he may be found teaching error instead of truth? May no parent gather his offspring around him, and instil into their tender minds some notions of God, of duty, and of responsibility; must he leave them to grow up without any bias in favour of religion, or one thought of a judgment to come, because it is possible, nay in many cases certain, that pernicious errors may be imbibed in the lessons they receive? The adoption of this principle would shut up every book, that did not claim to be infallible, would close the mouth of every teacher, who did know that he was right.
Does then, in the third place, the supposition of this right in government involve the violation of the private rights of conscience ?
The rights of conscience may be supposed to have relation either to opinions, to the expression of opinions, or to actions.
1. Of opinions. We readily admit government has no right to command or forbid the exercise of certain opinions, nor is this peculiar to religious opinions, but is common to all : and for this plain reason, that the enactments of law cannot reach opinions ; and while they hold out inducements to prevarication and insincerity, belief can neither be enforced nor changed by the sanctions of civil authority. Yet there are cases of expediency, in which particular religious opinions may very justly be considered as a disqualification for office. Thus, it would have been no. violation of the rights of conscience in the first princes of the house of Hanover, during the contests with the Pretender, to have required of every candidate for an important office, either in the state or the army, an abjuration of the supremacy of the Pope.