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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

512                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
ting the crime as being greater than that of burglary might
lie in the family affections and in a certain veneration for the
departed.    It is more causeless and more against nature than
most other crimes  that  men may commit.     4.   Sacrilege,
again, as being properly the stealing or robbing of property
consecrated to sacred uses out of sacred places, and as includ-
ing all malicious defacement and other injury done to such
places, may be called a crime against property ; but the feel-
ing of mankind goes beyond this estimate of its guilt.   It is
what  blasphemy  is  in  words—an  irreligious  treatment of
sacred things.    The two feelings must coexist, and the abhor-
rence of the crime on religious grounds must to some extent
influence legislation,    5-   Sorcery and witchcraft were most
righteously punished, when they were believed to be means
of injuring life, and were practised for the hurt of human be-
ings through devilish or daemoniac agency ; but the fault lay
in the belief that these crimes drew any real support from the
invisible world.    With the present  opinion  they would go
unpunished, not as not aiming to secure their end by mali-
cious practices, but as being ineffectual because no one be-
lieves in their efficiency.     6. And here it may be suggested
that religious imposture,  like other  kinds of imposture, is
properly  amenable  to  the  law.    7.   Finally,   laws for the
observance of the Lord's day are justified only so far as the
usages of society render a suspension of business necessary
on that day, and as public meetings for quiet worship require
protection against noise and tumult.    Thus, all civil processes
and proceedings in courts may rightfully cease, and no en-
forcement of payment of notes takes place in most Christian
countries.    It is of course in conformity with the prevailing
religious faith that such laws are made ; but men have a right
to exercise their faith, at least when they take part in public
worship.  Besides this, a day of general rest does vast good to
soul and body, and the legislator may rightfully protect the
religious institutions of a country, for the vitality of which
common worship  and  a day of rest  are indispensable, by
appropriate legislation.     Those, however, ought to be left