Carribean-born Scottish Martyr, Political Reformer
Individuals may perish; but truth is eternal.
True religion, like all free governments, appeals to the understanding for its support, and not to the sword. All systems, whether civil or moral, can only be durable in proportion as they are founded on truth and calculated to promote the good of mankind. This will account to us why governments suited to the great energies of man have always outlived the perishable things which despotism has erected. Yes, this will account to us why the stream of Time, which is continually washing away the dissoluble fabrics of superstitions and impostures, passes without injury by the adamant of Christianity.
Those who are versed in the history of their country, in the history of the human race, must know that rigorous state prosecutions have always preceded the era of convulsion; and this era, I fear, will be accelerated by the folly and madness of our rulers. If the people are discontented, the proper mode of quieting their discontent is, not by instituting rigorous and sanguinary prosecutions, but by redressing their wrongs and conciliating their affections. Courts of justice, indeed, may be called in to the aid of ministerial vengeance; but if once the purity of their proceedings is suspected, they will cease to be objects of reverence to the nation; they will degenerate into empty and expensive pageantry, and become the partial instruments of vexatious oppression. Whatever may become of me, my principles will last forever. Individuals may perish; but truth is eternal. The rude blasts of tyranny may blow from every quarter; but freedom is that hardy plant which will survive the tempest and strike an everlasting root into the most unfavorable soil.