A Species of Robbery—John Taylor, 1852

John Taylor (1808-1887)
Portrait of John Taylor – © 2017 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.


There is also another political party, who desire, through the influence of legislation and coercion, to level the world. To say the least, it is a species of robbery; to some it may appear an honorable one, but, nevertheless, it is robbery. What right has any private man to take by force the property of another? The laws of all nations would punish such a man as a thief. Would thousands of men engaged in the same business make it more honorable? Certainly not. And if a nation were to do it, would a nation’s act sanctify a wrong deed? No; the Algerine pirates, or Arabian hordes, were never considered honorable, on account of their numbers; and a nation, or nations, engaging in this would only augment the banditti, but could never sanctify the deed.

I shall not, here, enter into the various manners of obtaining wealth; but would merely state, that any unjust acquisition of it ought to be punished by law. Wealth is generally the representation of labour, industry, and talent. If one man is industrious, enterprising, diligent, careful, and saves property, and his children follow in his steps, and accumulate wealth; and another man is careless, prodigal, and lazy, and his children inherit his poverty, I cannot conceive upon what principles of justice, the children of the idle and profligate have a right to put their hands into the pockets of those who are diligent and careful, and rob them of their purse. Let this principle exist, and all energy and enterprise would be crushed.

Source: John Taylor. “Government of God,” 1852, p. 23.

Called Unto Liberty is a collection of sermons, pamphlets, documents, and quotes from the Judeo-Christian perspective in regards to the cause of liberty which date from the American colonial era right on up to our present day, researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Self-Educated American.