A billion consciences sitting under the serene surface of the water.
This was enough to trouble the consciences of many excellent men; and it became necessary to devise a compromise that should set their minds at rest, by showing them that they could be at once good citizens and good Catholics.
For the Society, as befitted the great exponent of authority and the keeper of the consciences of many kings, had always been on the side of political autocracy; and therefore it became increasingly unpopular, when once the tide of French intelligence began to set in the direction of revolutionary reform.
They speak of the "breathing time" which they have had of late, and their hope that God would, as they say, "incline the magistrates' hearts so for to tender our consciences as that we might be protected by them from wrong, injury, oppression and molestation"; and then they proceed: "But if God withhold the magistrates' allowance and furtherance herein, yet we must, notwithstanding, proceed together in Christian communion, not daring to give place to suspend our practice, but to walk in obedience to Christ in the profession and holding forth this faith before mentioned, even in the midst of all trials and afflictions, not accounting our goods, lands, wives, children, fathers, mothers, brethren, sisters, yea, and our own lives, dear unto us, so that we may finish our course with joy; remembering always that we ought to obey God rather than men."
He left Brussels for Breda, and issued in April 1660, together with the letters to the council, the officers of the army and the houses of parliament and the city, the declaration of an amnesty for all except those specially excluded afterwards by parliament, which referred to parliament the settlement of estates and promised a liberty to tender consciences in matters of religion not contrary to the peace of the kingdom.
In January 1604 peaceable Roman Catholics could live unmolested and "serve God according to their consciences without any danger."
In the agitation of their consciences and affections, the disciples have started into groups or clusters along the table, some standing, some still remaining seated.
Meanwhile the constant repetition of confession and reconciliation, together with the fact that the most tender consciences would be the most anxious for the assurance of forgiveness, led to the practice being considered a normal part of the Christian life.
Taken from the life by Disraeli himself, accompanied by one or two members of the Young England party of which he was the head, it was the first of its kind; and the facts as there displayed, and Disraeli's interpretation of them - a marvel of perceptive and prophetic criticism - opened eyes, roused consciences, and led direct to many reforms.
A plain man perplexed by such disagreements might naturally hold that any opinion maintained by a pious and orthodox writer must be a safe one to follow; and thus weak consciences were subtly tempted to seek the support of authority for some desired relaxation of a moral rule.
That of his own policy, by giving satisfaction to the religious feeling of the country, allowed him to put down the constitutional democratic Church, to rally round him the consciences of the peasants, and above all to deprive the royalists of their best weapon.
In 321 Constantine, seeing probably that he had been wrong in abandoning his usual policy of toleration, sought to retrace his steps by granting the Donatists liberty to act according to their consciences, and declaring that the points in dispute between them and the orthodox should be left to the judgment of God.
After the Restoration there began a persecution of Friends and other Nonconformists as such, notwithstanding the king's Declaration of Breda which had proclaimed liberty for tender consciences as long as no disturbance of the peace was caused.
This freedom of the will is clearly expressed in Yasna, 31, I I: "Since thou, 0 Mazda, didst at the first create our being and our consciences in accordance with thy mind, and didst create our understanding and our life together with the body, and works and words in which man according to his own will can frame his confession, the liar and the truth-speaker alike lay hold of the word, the knowing and the ignorant each after his own heart and understanding.
To face the Riksdag with such a war as this upon their consciences was a trial from which the Hats naturally shrank; but, to do them justice, they showed themselves better parliamentary than military strategists.
Kittens have no consciences, so they eat whatever pleases them.
The reasons that compelled their departure determined their quality; they were all men of rigorous consciences, who loved their fatherland much, but religion more, driven from home not by mercantile necessities or ambitions, but solely by their determination to be free to worship God.
The papacy had abandoned none of its pretensions to dominate consciences, not of Catholics only, was again proved in 1910 when, at the very moment when the pope was praising the English people for the spirit of tolerance which led the British government to introduce a bill to alter the form of the Declaration made by the sovereign on his accession into a form inoffensive to Roman Catholics, he was remonstrating with the government of Spain for abrogating the law forbidding the Spanish dissident churches to display publicly the symbols of the Christian faith or to conduct their services otherwise than semi-privately.
But the surrender of the king festered in Scottish consciences; for the country was far from acquiescing in the transaction.
It was broken by the two last Stuart kings, who employed methods the most brutal and repulsive for the crushing of consciences trained in the theocratic ideas of Knox and Melville.
However, the peasantry found, in the abjuration, matter contrary to their consciences, and while some recusants were shot out of hand, a girl named Margaret Wilson, with an old woman, Margaret MacLauchlan, were tied to stakes and drowned by the incoming tide, near Wigtown (13th of May 1685).
A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.