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self that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth ; and this I did in Jerusalem. Many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I often punished them in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. But as I went to Damascus, with authority and commillion from the chief priests, at mid-day, Oking! I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me, and them who journeyed with me, And when we were all fallen to the earth, 1 heard a voice speaking to me, and saying, in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, who art thou, Lord ? And he replied, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared to thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister, and a witness both of these things, which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear to thee; delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles, to whom I now fend thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; that they may receive forgiveness of fins, and inheritance amongst them who are fanctified by faith that is in me.
Whereupon, O king A grippa! I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision ; but showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and through all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes, the Jews caught me in the temple; and went about to kill
Having, however, obtained help from God, I continue, to this day, witnesling both to small and great, say. ing no other things than those which the prophets and Mofes declared fhuuld come ; that Christ should suffer ; that he would be the first who should rise from the dead; and that he would show light to the people, and to the Gentiles.
And as he thus fpoke for himself, Festus said, with a loud voice, “ Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning hath made thee mad.” But he replied, I am not mad, most no. ble Feftus; but speak the words of truth and foberness. For the king knoweth these things, before whom I also speak freely. I am persuaded that none of these things are hid
den from him : for this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets ? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said to Paul, “ Almost thou persuadeft me to be a Christian." And Paul replied, “ I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds."*
SECTION IV. Lord Mansfield's Speech in the House of Peers, 1770, on the
Bill for preventing the Delays of Žuftice, by claiming the Privilege of Parliament. MY LORDS,
When I consider the importance of this bill to your lordships, I am not surprised it has taken up so much of your consideration. It is a bill, indeed, of no common magni. tude ; it is no less than to take away from two thirds of the legillative body of this great kingdom, certain privileges and immunities of which they have been long possessed. Perhaps there is no situation the human mind can be placed in, that is so difficult and so trying, as when it is made a judge in its own cause. There is something implanted in the breast of man so attached to felf, fo tenacious of privileges once obtained, that in such a situation, either to discuss with impartiality, or decide with justice, has ever been held the summit of all human virtue. The bill now in question puts your lordships in this very predicament ; and I have no doubt the wisdom of your decision will convince the world, that where felf-interest and justice are in opposite scales, the latter will ever preponderate with your lordships.
Privileges have been granted to legislators in all ages, and in all countries. The practice is founded in wisdom; and, indeed, it is peculiarly essential to the constitution of this country, that the members of both houses should be free in their persons, in cases of civil suits : for there may come a time when the safety and welfare of this whole empire may depend upon their attendance in parliament. I am far from advising any measure that would in future endanger the ftate : but the bill before your lordships has, I am confident, no such tendency ; for it expressly secures the perfons of members of either house in all civil suits. This being the cafe, I confess, when I see many noble lords, for whose judgment I have a very great respect, standing up to oppose a bill which is calculated merely to facilitate the recov. ery of jus and legal debts, I am astonished and amazed. They, I doubt not, oppose the bill upon public principles : I would not wish to insinuate, that private interest had the least weight in their determination.
* How happy was this great Apostle, even in the most perilous circumstances Though under bonds and oppression, his mind was free, and raised above every fear of man. With what dignity and composure does he defend himself, and the noble cause he bad espolised ; whilst he displays the most compassionate and generous feelings for those who were strangers to the sublime re. ligion by which he was animated !
The bill has been frequently proposed, and as frequently has miscarried : but it was always lost in the lower house. Little did I think, when it had passed the commons, that it poflibly could have met with such opposition here. Shall it be said, that you, my lords, the grand council of the nation, the highest judicial and legislative body of the realm, endeavour to evade by privilege, those very laws which you enforce on your fellow subjects ? Forbid it justice! I am sure, were the noble lords as well acquainted as I am, with but half the difficulties and delays occasioned in the courts of justice, under pretence of privilege, they would not, nay, they could not, oppose the bill.
I have waited with patience to hear what arguments might be urged against this bill ; but I have waited in vain ; the truth is, there is no argument that can weigh against it. The justice and expediency of the bill are such as render it self-evident. It is a proposition of that nature, which can nei. ther be weakened by argument, .nor entangled with fophiftry. Much, indeed, has been said by some noble lords, on the wisdom of our ancestors, and how differently they thought from us. They not only decreed, that privilege should prevent all civil suits from proceeding during the fitting of parliament, but likewise granted protection to the very servants of members. I shall say nothing on the wildom of our ancestors; it might perhaps appear invidious; that is not necessary in the present case. I shall only fay, that the noble lords, who flatter themselves with the weight of that reflection, should remember, that as circumstances alter, things themselves should alter. Formerly, it was not so fashionable either for masters or servants to run in debt, as it is at present. Formerly, we were not that great commercial nation we are at present ; nor formerly, were mere chants and manufa&urers members of parliament, as at
present. The case is now very different: both merchants and manufacturers are, with great propriety, elected members of the lower house. Commerce having thus got into the legislative body of the kingdom, privilege must be done away. We all know, that the very foul and essence of trade are regular payments; and fad experience teaches us, tliat there are men, who will not make their regular payments without the compulsive power of the laws. The law then ought to be equally open to all. Any esemption to particular men, or particular ranks of men, is, in a free and commercial country, a solecism of the groffest nature.
But I will not trouble your lordships with arguments for that, which is sufficiently evident without any. I shall only fay a few words to some noble lords, who foresee much inconvenience, from the persons of their servants being liable to be arrested. One noble lord observes, That the coachman of a peer may be arrested while he is driving his mafter to the House, and that, consequently, he will not be able to attend his duty in parliament. If this were actually to happen, there are so many methods by which the member might still get to the House, that I can hardly think the noble lord is ferious in his objection. Another noble peer said, That by this bill one might lose his most valuable and honest servants. This I hold to be a contradiction in terms: for he can neither be a valuable servant, nor an honest man, who gets into debt which he is neither able nor willing to pay, till compelled by the law. If my fervant, by unforeseen accidents, has got into debt, and I ftill wish to retain him, I certainly would pay the demand. But upon no principle of liberal legislation whatever, can my servant have a title to set his creditors at defiance, while, for forty shillings only, the honest tradesman may be torn from his family, and locked up in a gaol. It is monstrous injustice! I Aatter myself, however, the determination of this day will entirely put an end to all these partial proceedings for the future, by passing into a law the bill now under your lordships' confideration.
I come now to fpeak; upon what, indeed, I would have gladly avoided, had I not been particularly pointed at, for the part
I have taken in this bill. It has been said, by a noble lord on my left hand, that I likewise am running the race of popularity. If the noble lord means by popularity, that applause bestowed by after-ages on good and virtuous actions, I have long been struggling in that race : to what
purpose, all trying time can alone determine. But if the Boble lord means that mushroom popularity, which is raised without merit, and lost without a crime, he is much mis. taken in his opinion. I defy the noble lord to point out a single action of my life, in which the popularity of the times ever had the smallest influence on my determinations. I thank God I have a more permanent and steady rule for my conduct, the dictates of my own breast. Those who have foregone that pleasing adviser, and given up their mind to be the slave of every popular impulse, I sincerely pity : I pity them still more, if their vanity leads them to mistake the shouts of a mob, for the trumpet of fame. Experience might inform them, that many, who have been saluted with the huzzas of a crowd one day, have received their execrations the next ; and many, who, by the popularity of their times, have been held up as spotless patriots, have, nevertheless, appeared upon the historian's page, when truth has tri. umphed over delusion, the affaflins of liberty. Why then the noble lord can think I am ambitious of present popularity, that echo of folly, and shadow of renown, I am at a loss to determine. Besides, I do not know that the bill now before your lordships will be popular : it depends much upon the caprice of the day. It may not be popular !o compel people to pay their debts; and, in that case, the present mult be a very unpopular bill. It may not be popular neither to take away any of the privileges of parliament ; for I very well remember, and many of your lordships may remember, that, not long ago, the popular cry was for the extension of privilege ; and fo far did they carry it at that time, that it was said, the privilege protected members even in criminal actions ; nay, such was the power of popular prejudices over weak minds, that the very decisions of some of the courts were tinctured with that doctrine. It was un. doubtedly an abominable doctrine ; I thought so then, and I think so still; but, nevertheless, it was a popular doctrine, and came immediately from those who are called the friends of liberty; how deservedly, time will show. True liberty, in my opinion, can only exist when justice is equally admin. istered to all ; to the king and to the beggar. Where is the justice, then, or where is the law that protects a member of parliament more than any other man, from the punishment due to his crimes ? The laws of this country allow of no place, nor any employment to be a sanctuary for crimes; and where I have the honour to sit as judge, neither