The law does not require a man to cease to be a man, and act without regard to consequences, when he becomes a juror.
The trial by jury is a trial by ‘the country,’ in contradistinction to a trial by the government. The jurors are drawn by lot from the mass of the people, for the very purpose of having all classes of minds and feelings, that prevail among the people at large, represented in the jury.
I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect – in terror.
Legally speaking, the term ‘public rights’ is as vague and indefinite as are the terms ‘public health,’ ‘public good,’ ‘public welfare,’ and the like. It has no legal meaning, except when used to describe the separate, private, individual rights of a greater or less number of individuals.
A man’s ‘original and natural right’ to make all contracts that are ‘intrinsically obligatory,’ and to coerce the fulfillment of them, is one of the most valuable and indispensable of all human possessions.
A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this – that offences against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made – not to understand – but to feel – as crime.
Men’s moral principles are weak enough without their being made subordinate to selfishness; and their selfishness is quite active enough, without any such effort as Christianity makes to constitute it the mainspring of all their conduct.
Any government, that is its own judge of, and determines authoritatively for the people, what are its own powers over the people, is an absolute government of course. It has all the powers that it chooses to exercise. There is no other or at least no more accurate definition of a despotism than this.
We live in a world of diverse cultures, and we know very little about social engineering and how to ‘build nations.’ And when we cannot be sure how to improve the world, hubristic visions pose a grave danger.
Martyrdom is evidence only of a man’s honesty – it is no evidence that he is not mistaken. Men have suffered martyrdom for all sorts of opinions in politics and in religion; yet they could not therefore have all been in the right; although they could give no stronger evidence that they believed themselves in the right.