“I beseech ye in the bowels of Christ, think that ye may be mistaken.” I should like to have that written over the portals of every church, every school, and every court house, and, may I say, of every legislative body in the United States. I should like to have every court begin, “I beseech ye in the bowels of Christ, think that we may be mistaken.”

Learned Hand (1872-1961) American jurist
Testimony, US Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Special Subcommittee on the Establishment of a Commission on Ethics in Government (1951-06-28)

This was a favorite phrase of Hand's regarding his own judicial philosophy. Quoting Oliver Cromwell's letter to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (Aug 1650) before the Battle of Dunbar.

Collected as "Morals in Public Life" in Irving Dillard, ed., The Spirit of Liberty (1952).

Added on 6-Nov-07 | Last updated 27-Mar-23
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