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ductive of the most dangerous Consequences. Absurd and blasphemous Notion! as if all Happiness was not connected with the Practice of Virtue, which necessarily depends upon the Knowledge of Truth j that is, upon the Knowledge of those unalterable Relations which Providence has ordained that every thing should bear to every other. These Relations, which are Truth itself, the Fonndation of Virtue, and consequently the only Measures of Happiness, should be likewise the only Measures by which we should direct our Reasoning. To these we should conform in good Earnest; and not think to force Nature, and the whole Order of her System, by a Compliance with our Pride and Folly, to conform to our artificial Regulations. It is by a Conformity to this Method we owe the Discovery of the few Truths we know, and the little Liberty and rational Happiness we enjoy. We have something fairer Play than a Reasoner could have expected formerly; and we derive Advantages from it which are very visible.
The Fabrick of Superstition has, in this our Age and Nation, received much ruder Shocks than it had ever felt before; and through the Chinks and Breaches of our Prison, we see such Glimmerings of Light, and feel such refreshing Airs of Liberty, as daily raise our Ardour for more. The Miseries derived to Mankind from Superstition under the Name of Religion, and of ecclesiastical Tyranny under the Name of Church Government, have been clearly and usefully exposed. We begin to think and to act: from Reason and from Nature alone. This is true of several, Wit?tjll is By far the Majority in the fame old State of Blindness and Slavery; and much is it to be feared that we shall perpetually relapse, whilst: the real productive Cause of all this superstitious Folly, enthusiastical Nonsense, and holy Tyranny, holds a reverend Place in the Estimation 'even of those who are otherwise enlightened.
Civil Government borrows a Strength from ecclesiastical; and artificial Laws receive a Sanction froni artificial Revelations. The Ideas of Religion and Government are closely connected; and whilst we receive Government as a thing necessary, or even useful to our Well-being, we shall, in Spite of us, draw in, as a necessary, though undesirable Consequence, an artificial Religion of some kind orother. To this the Vulgar will always be voluntary Slaves; •and even those of a Rank of Understanding superior 'Will now and then involuntarily feel its Influence. It is therefore of the deepest Concernment to us to be set right in this Point; and to be well fatisfied whether civil Government be such a Protector from natural Evilst, and such a Nurse and Increaser of Blessings, as those of warm Imaginations promise. In such a Discussion, far am I from proposing in the least to reflect on our most wise Form of Government; no more than I would, in the freer Parts of my philosophical Writings, mean to object to the Piety, Truth, and Perfection of our molt excellent Church. Both, I am sensible, have their Foundations on a Rock. No Discovery of Truth can pre
judice them. On the contrary, the more closely the Origin of Religion and Government are examined, the more clearly their Excellencies muft appear. They came purified from the Fire. My Business is not with them. Having entered a Protest against all Objections from these Quarters, I may the more freely enquire, from History and Experience, how far Policy has contributed in all Times to alleviate those Evils which Providence, that perhaps has designed us for a State of Imperfection, has imposed; how far our physical Skill has cured our constitutional Disorders; and whether it may not have introduced stew ones, curable perhaps by no Skill.
In looking over any State to form a Judgment on it; it presents itself in two Lights, the external and the internal. The first, that Relation which it bears in Point of Friendship or Enmity to other States^ The second, that Relation its component Parts, the Governing and the Governed, bear to. each other . The first Part of the external View of all States, their Relation as Friends, makes so trifling a Figure in History, that I am very sorry to fay, it affords me but little Matter on which to expatiate. The good Ossices done by one Nation to its Neighbour [a] ; the Support given in public Distress ; the Relief afforded in general Calamity; the Protection
[a] Had his Lordsliip lived to Out Days, to have seen the noble Relief given by this Nation to the distressed Vurtuguest, he had perhaps owned this Part of his Argument a little weakened 5 but we do' not think ourselves intitled to alter his Lordihip's Words, but that wei arc bound to follow Jijjn exactly.
Vol, II, G granted granted in immergent Danger; the mutual return or* Kindness and Civility; would afford a very ample and very pleasing Subject for History. But, alas! all the History of all Times, concerning all Nations, does not afford Matter enough to fill ten Pages, though it should be spun out by the Wire-drawing Amplification of a Guicciardini himself. The glaring Side is that of Enmity. War is a Matter which fills all History, and consequently the only, or almost the only, View in which we can see the External of political Society, is in a hostile Shape; and the only Actions, to which we have always seen, and still see all of them intent, are such, as tend to the Destruction of one another. War, fays Machiavel, ought to be the only Study of a Prince; and by a Prince, he means every sort of State however constituted. He ought, fays this great political Doctor, to consider Peace only as a Breathing-time, which gives him Leisure to contrive, and furnishes Ability toexecute,military Plans. A Meditation on the Conduit of political Societies made old Hobbes imagine, that War was the State of Nature; and truely, if a Man judged of the Individuals of our Race by their Conduct when united and packed into Nations and Kingdoms, he might imagine that every sort of Virtue was unnatural and foreign to the Mind of Man.
The first Accounts we have of Mankind are but so many Accounts of their Butcheries. All Empires have been cemented in Blood; and in those early Periods when the Race of Mankind began first to form themselves into Parties and Combinations,
the the first Effect of the Combination, and indeed the End for which it seems purposely formed, and best calculated, is their mutual Destruction. All ancient History is dark and uncertain. One thing however is clear. There were Conquerors, and Conquests in those Days; and consequently all that Devastation, by which they are formed, and all that Oppression by which they are maintained. We know little of Sasojiris, but that he led out of Egypt an Army of above 700,000 Men; that he over-ran the Mediterranean Coast as far as Colchis; that in some Places, he met but little Resistance, and of course shed not a great deal of Blood; but that he found in others, a People who knew the Value of their Liberties, and fold them dear. Whoever considers the Army this Conqueror headed, the Space he traversed, and the Opposition he frequently met; with the natural Accidents of Sickness, and the Dearth and Badness of Provision to which he must have been subject in the Variety of Climates and Countries his March lay through, if he knows any thing, he must know, that even the Conqueror's Army must have suffered greatly; and that, of this' immense Number, but a very small Part could have returned to enjoy the Plunder accumulated by jhe Loss of so many of their Companions, and the Devastation of so considerable a Part of the World. Considering, I fay, the vast Army headed by this Conqueror, whose unwieldy Weight was almost alone sufficient to wear down its Strength, it will be' far from Excess to suppose that one half was lost in the Expedition. If this was the State of the VictoC a riousy