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DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MEN AND OF CITIZENS, - Richard Price, A Discourse on the Love of Our Country 
A Discourse on the Love of Our Country, delivered on Nov. 4, 1789, at the Meeting-House in the Old Jewry, to the Society for Commemorating the Revolution in Britain. With an Appendix. Second edition (London: T. Cadell, 1789).
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DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MEN AND OF CITIZENS,
THE Representatives of the people of France formed into a National Assembly, considering that ignorance, neglect, or contempt of human rights, are the sole causes of public misfortunes and corruptions of government, have resolved to set forth in a solemn declaration, these natural, imprescriptible, and unalienable rights: that this declaration being constantly present to the minds of the members of the body social, they may be ever kept attentive to their rights and their duties: That the acts of the legislative and executive powers of government being capable of being every moment compared with the end of political institutions, may be more respected: and also, that the future claims of the citizens, being directed by simple and incontestible principles, may always tend to the maintenance of the Constitution, and the general happiness.
For these reasons, the National Assembly doth recognize and declare, in the presence of the Supreme Being and with the hope of his blessing and favour, the following sacred rights of men and of citizens.
I. Men were born and always continue free, and equal in respect of their rights. Civil distinctions, therefore, can be founded only on public utility.
II. The end of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance of oppression.
III. The nation is essentially the source of all sovereignty; nor can any individual, or any body of men be entitled to any authority which is not expressly derived from it.
IV. Political liberty consists in the power of doing whatever does not injure another. The exercise of the natural rights of every man, has no other limits than those which are necessary to secure to every other man the free exercise of the same rights; and these limits are determinable only by the law.
V. The law ought to prohibit only actions hurtful to society. What is not prohibited by the law should not be hindered; nor should any one be compelled to that which the law does not require.
VI. The law is an expression of the will of the community. All citizens have a right to concur, either personally or by their representatives, in its formation. It should be the same to all, whether it protects or punishes; and all being equal in its sight, are equally eligible to all honours, places, and employments, according to their different abilities, without any other distinction than that created by their virtues and talents.
VII. No man should be accused, arrested, or held in confinement, except in cases determined by the law, and according to the forms which it has prescribed. All who promote, solicit, execute, or cause to be executed arbitrary orders, ought to be punished: and every citizen called upon or apprehended by virtue of the law, ought immediately to obey, and renders himself culpable by resistance.
VIII. The law ought to impose no other penalties than such as are absolutely and evidently necessary; and no one ought to be punished but in virtue of a law promulgated before the offence, and legally applied.
IX. Every man being presumed innocent till he has been convicted, whenever his detention becomes indispensible, all rigour to him, more than is necessary to secure his person, ought to be provided against by the law.
X. No man ought to be molested on account of his opinions, not even on account of his religious opinions, provided his avowal of them does not disturb the public order established by the law.
XI. The unrestrained communication of thoughts and opinions being one of the most precious rights of man, every citizen may speak, write, and publish freely, provided he is responsible for the abuse of this liberty in cases determined by the law.
XII. A public force being necessary to give security to the rights of men and of citizens, that force is instituted for the benefit of the community, and not for the particular benefit of the persons with whom it is entrusted.
XIII. A common contribution being necessary for the support of the public force, and for defraying the other expences of government, it ought to be divided equally among the members of the community, according to their abilities.
XIV. Every citizen has a right, either by himself or his representative, to a free voice in determining the necessity of public contributions, the appropriation of them, and their amount, mode of assessment, and duration.
XV. Every community has a right to demand of all its agents an account of their conduct.
XVI. Every community in which a separation of powers and a security of rights is not provided for, wants a constitution.
XVII. The right to property being inviolable and sacred, no one ought to be deprived of it, except in cases of evident public necessity legally ascertained, and on condition of a previous just indemnity.
I hope I shall be excused for taking the liberty to offer the following remarks on the tenth of these articles:
Intolerance in Religion, and restraints on the discussion of speculative points, have been some of the chief causes of the slow progress of human improvement, and of the miseries of the world. I could therefore have wished to see, in such an instruction to the world as this declaration contains, an article strongly marking and reprobating these evils. This tenth article does not, I think, sufficiently answer this purpose. For it is obvious, that in Turkey, writing against Mahomet; in Spain, against the Inquisition; and in every country, against its established doctrines, is a disturbance of public order established by law; and, therefore, according to this article, punishable.
The eleventh article is worthy of the very respectble proposer of it, but in some degree liable to the same objection. Laws may be unjust, and determine the fairest discussions of speculative points, and the best publications, to be abuses of liberty. At Rome, a few years ago, the publication of one of the greatest productions of human genius was deemed an abuse of liberty, and prohibited, because it asserted the motion of the earth. Even in England, at this day, its laws determine every thing written or spoken against the doctrine of the Trinity, to be an offence punishable by fines and imprisonment.
The declaration that would best meet my wishes in this instance would be:
“That every man has a right to profess and practise, without molestation or the loss of any civil privilege, that mode of religious faith and worship which he thinks most acceptable to his maker; and also to discuss freely by speaking, writing, and publishing all speculative points, provided he does not by any overt act or direct invasion of the rights of others, break the peace, or attempt to injure any one in his person, property, or good name.”
In a Tract on the American Revolution, I have given an account of the reasons, which in my opinion require such an extent of religious and intellectual liberty as these words imply; and which prove that civil power, without concerning itself about opinions or the tendencies of opinions, ought to confine itself to the preservation of peace and the protection of universal liberty, as far as it is not employed to injure itself.
The tenth article, on which I have here remarked, was probably a compromise between opposite sentiments in the National Assembly of France, and may, I hope, in some future time, be re-considered. M. Rabaud de St. Etienne, a protestant clergyman, and a member of the Assembly, delivered a speech against it full of eloquence and the justest sentiments. This speech was afterwards printed, and circulated at Paris; and I cannot help wishing that a translation of it, as there printed, may be soon published and circulated in this kingdom.
SOCIETY for commemorating the Glorious Revolution of 1668.
At the Anniversary Meeting of this Society, held at the London Tavern, Nov. 4, 1789,
The Rt. Hon. Earl Stanhope in the Chair,
A Report from the Commitee was brought up, from which the following is an extract:
“Your Committee are persuaded, that by the union of the friends of freedom, their rights are ascertained and established; and trusting that it will be highly honourable to avow ourselves, in the most explicit manner, advocates for the pure and genuine principles of civil and religious liberty, they have with this view prepared a book, in which those gentlemen who are inclined to let their names be transmitted to posterity, as the friends of the great and glorious Revolution of 1688, may insert them after the following preamble, and a declaration of assent to the three following propositions.