You cannot have Liberty in this World without what you call Moral Virtue, and you cannot have Moral Virtue without the Slavery of that half of the Human Race who hate what you call Moral Virtue.
Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.
Virtue supposes liberty, as the carrying of a burden supposes active force. Under coercion there is no virtue, and without virtue there is no religion. Make a slave of me, and I shall be no better for it. Even the sovereign has no right to use coercion to lead men to religion, which by its nature supposes choice and liberty. My thought is no more subject to authority than is sickness or health.
Truth is mysterious, elusive, always to be conquered. Liberty is dangerous, as hard to live with as it is elating.[La vérité est mystérieuse, fuyante, toujours à conquérir. La liberté est dangereuse, dure à vivre autant qu’exaltante.]
It was like a new world opened to me, the world of science, which I was at last permitted to know in all liberty.