Called Unto Liberty, John Allen, 1783
When I view the original right, power and charter, confirm’d, sealed, and ratified to the province, or inhabitants of Rhode-Island, and its standing in full force, and unrepealed for more than an hundred years, which is as follows: “Be it enacted, that no freeman, shall be taken, or imprisoned, or deprived of his freehold, or liberty, or free custom, or be out-law’d, or exil’d, or otherwise destroy’d, nor shall be oppressed, judged or condemned, but by the law of this colony. And that no man of what state or condition soever, shall be put out of his lands or tenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor banished (observe this my Lord), nor any ways destroy’d, or molested, without being, for it, brought to answer, by a due course of law of this colony”: Methinks, that even your Lordship, will not blame them if they stand fast in the liberty wherein they were made free.
As a fly, or a worm, by the law of nature has as great a right to liberty, and freedom (according to their little sphere in life), as the most potent monarch upon the earth: And as there can be no other difference between your Lordship, and myself, but what is political, I therefore without any further apology, take leave to ask your Lordship, whether any one that fears God, loves his neighbour as himself (which is the true scripture-mark of a christian), will oppress his fellow-creatures? If they will, where are the beauties of Christianity? Not to be seen in this life, however they may be seen in the next.
Source: John Allen, Excerpt from his 1783 Sermon, “An Oration Upon the Beauties of Liberty”.
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Called Unto Liberty is a project of Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.
The Moral Liberal recommends Ezra Taft Benson’s: The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner