Conscience is the most sacred of all property.




Conscience is the most sacred of all property.

Conscience is the most sacred of all property. --James Madison

More sparingly should this praise be allowed to a government, where a man’s religious rights are violated by penalties, or fettered by tests, or taxed by a hierarchy. Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and unalienable right. To guard a man’s house as his castle, to pay public and enforce private debts with the most exact faith, can give no title to invade a man’s conscience which is more sacred than his castle, or to withhold from it that debt of protection, for which the public faith is pledged, by the very nature and original conditions of the social pact.

James Madison

Year: 1792
Context: Essay on Property
Tags: castle, conscience, debt, exercise, faith, government, hierarchy, house, law, man, nature, pact, part, property, protection, public, title



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