How unhappy might it have been for all of us at Uganda Map this day if that jury had understood the words in that information as the Court did? Or Uganda Map if they had left it to the Court to judge whether the petition of the Bishops was or was not a libel? No, they took upon themselves to their immortal honor to determine both law and fact, and to understand the petition of the Bishops to be no libel, that is, to contain no falsehood or sedition; and therefore found them not guilty.
If then upon the whole there is so great an uncertainty among judges learned and great men in matters of this kind, if power has had so great an influence on judges, how cautious ought we to be in determining by their judgments especially in The Plantations, and in the case of libels? There is heresy in law as well as in religion, and both have changed very much. We well know that it is not two centuries ago that a man would have been burned as a heretic for owning such opinions in matters of religion as are publicly written and printed at this day. They were fallible men, it seems, and we take the liberty not only to differ from them in religious opinions, but to condemn them and their opinions too.
I must presume that in taking these freedoms in thinking and speaking about matters of faith or religion, we are in the right; for although it is said that there are very great liberties of this kind taken in New York, yet I have heard of no information preferred by Mr.
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Attorney for any offenses of this sort.