Long discourses, and philosophical readings, at best, amaze and confound, but do not instruct children. When i say, therefore, that they must be treated as rational creatures, i mean that you must make them sensible, by the mildness of your carriage, and in the composure even in the correction of them, that what you do is reasonable in you, and useful and necessary for them; and that it is not out of caprichio, passion or fancy, that you command or forbid them any thing.
The power of the legislative being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.
The indians , whom we call barbarous, observe much more decency and civility in their discourses and conversation, giving one another a fair silent hearing till they have quite done; and then answering them calmly, and without noise or passion. And if it be not so in this civiliz'd part of the world, we must impute it to a neglect in education, which has not yet reform'd this antient piece of barbarity amongst us.
If to break loose from the bounds of reason, and to want that restraint of examination and judgment which keeps us from choosing or doing the worst, be liberty, true liberty, madmen and fools are the only freemen: but yet, i think, nobody would choose to be mad for the sake of such liberty, but he that is mad already.
Brutes abstract not. -- if it may be doubted, whether beasts compound and enlarge their ideas, that way, to any degree; this, i think, i may be positive in, that the power of abstracting is not at all in them; and that the having of general ideas is that which puts a perfect distinction betwixt man and brutes, and is an excellency which the faculties of brutes do by no means attain to.
When i had gone through the whole, and saw what a plain, simple, reasonable thing christianity was, suited to all conditions and capacities; and in the morality of it now, with divine authority, established into a legible law, so far surpassing all that philosophy and human reason had attained to, or could possibly make effectual to all degrees of man kind; i was flattered to think it might be of some use in the world.
How then shall they have the play-games you allow them, if none must be bought for them?" i answer, they should make them themselves, or at least endeavour it, and set themselves about it. ...And if you help them where they are at a stand, it will more endear you to them than any chargeable toys that you shall buy for them.
[i]t being reasonable and just, i should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion.
Thirdly, the supreme power cannot take from any man any part of his property without his own consent: for the preservation of property being the end of government, and that for which men enter into society, it necessarily supposes and requires, that the people should have property, without which they must be supposed to lose that, by entering into society, which was the end for which they entered into it; too gross an absurdity for any man to own.
The tendency to cruelty should be watched in children and if they incline to any such cruelty, they should be taught the contrary usage. For the custom of tormenting and killing other animals will, by degrees, harden their hearts even toward man. Children should from the beginning, be brought up in an abhorrence of killing or tormenting living beings.
Thus the law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other mens actions, must, as well as their own and other mens actions, be conformable to the law of nature, i.E. To the will of god, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.