THE Declaration of Independence was the basis not of a struggle for freedom from bad men, but from bad principles. The men who were oppressing the colonies would soon have passed away, but so long as these were bound by the principle of taxation without representation,—by the principle, to use a more modern phrase, that government derives its just powers from “the consent of some of the governed”—they would have known no real freedom. “Some of the governed,” as applied by the king and parliament, did not include the American colonies, and the colonies fought through seven long years to throw off that principle. Later, their descendants fought each other for five terrible years to throw out of American government what was left of that principle. And now, lo! it is established again as firmly as ever, by the new policy of imperialism. The poison is back again in the system, and must either be thrown off by another convulsion or prove fatal.
WHILE legislatures and governments are setting aside the principle of religious freedom, it becomes all the more the duty of the individual to preserve these principles for all in himself. Whatever is done by the powers that be, no one need … these principles out of his own heart and life; and that is where they will do most good to the individual.