OBSTACLES TO UNION REMOVED OR QUIETED.
The early confederacy of New England, though all its colonies were non-conformists, refused fellowship to Rhode Island on account of its variance in dissent. Virginia and Maryland were settled in connection with the church of England, which at the period of the revolution was still the established church of them both. In the constitution of the Carolinas the philosopher Locke introduced a clause for the disfranchisement of the atheist, not considering that the power in the magistrate to inflict a penalty on atheism implied the power which doomed Socrates to drink poison and filled the catacombs of Rome with the graves of martyrs. On the other hand, the Baptists, nurslings of adversity, driven by persecution to find resources within their own souls, when they came to found a state in America, rested it on the truth that the spirit and the mind are not subordinate to the temporal power. For the great central state, the people called Quakers in like manner affirmed the right to spiritual and intellectual liberty, and denied to the magistrate all control over the support of religion. To form a perfect political union it was necessary, in all that relates to religion, that state should not be in conflict with state, and that every citizen, in the exercise of his rights of intercitizenship, should be at his ease in any state in which he might sojourn or abide. In a republican country of wide extent, ideas rule legislation; and the history of reform is the history of thought, gaining strength as it passes from mind to mind, till it finds a place in a statute. We have now to see how it came to pass