Definition of RELIGION


RELIGION

Real piety in practice, consisting in the performance
of all known duties to God and our fellow men.


2. There are many actions which cannot be regulated by human laws, and
many duties are imposed by religion calculated to promote the happiness of
society. Besides, there is an infinite number of actions, which though
punishable by society, may be concealed from men, and which the magistrate
cannot punish. In these cases men are restrained by the knowledge that nothing
can be hidden from the eyes of a sovereign intelligent Being; that the soul
never dies, that there is a state of future rewards and punishments; in fact
that the most secret crimes will be punished. True religion then offers succors
to the feeble, consolations to the unfortunate, and fills the wicked with
dread.


3. What Montesquieu says of a prince, applies equally to an individual.
"A prince," says he, " who loves religion, is a lion, which yields to the hand
that caresses him, or to the voice which renders him tame. He who fears
religion and bates it, is like a wild beast, which gnaws, the chain which
re-strains it from falling on those within its reach. He who has no religion is
like a terrible animal which feels no liberty except when it devours its vic-
tims or tears them in pieces." Esp. des , Lois, liv. 24, c. 1.


4. But religion can be useful to man only when it is pure. The
constitution of the United States has, therefore, wisely provided that it
should never be united with the state. Art. 6, 3. Vide Christianity; Religious
test; Theo- cracy.




Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z