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lar merit, fome of whom were distinguished by their exertions in the fenate, and others in the field. To these men, whose talents are fo fplendid, and whofe worth has been fo thoroughly tried, you would without doubt do right to trust the protection of our liberties; nor would it be easy to say, to whom they might more fafely be entrufted. Then, if you leave the church to its own government, and relieve yourself and the other public functionaries from a charge fo onerous, and fo incompatible with your functions; and will no longer fuffer two powers, fo different as the civil and the ecclefiaftical, to commit fornication together, and by their mutual and delufive aids in appearance to ftrengthen, but in reality to weaken and finally to fubvert each other; if you fhall remove all power of persecution out of the church, (but perfecution will never ceafe, fo long as men are bribed to preach the gofpel by a mercenary falary, which is forcibly extorted, rather than gratuitously beftowed, which ferves only to poifon religion and to strangle truth), you will then effectually have caft thofe money-changers out of the temple, who do not merely truckle with doves but with the dove itself, with the Spirit of the Most High. Then, fince there are often in a republic, men who have the fame itch for making a multiplicity of laws, as fome poetafters have for making many verfes, and fince laws are usually worfe in proportion as they are more numerous, if you fhall not enact fo many new laws as you abolish old, which do not operate fo much as warnings against evil, as impediments in the way of good; and if you shall retain only thofe, which are neceffary, which do not confound the diftinctions of good and evil, which, while they prevent the frauds of the wicked, do not prohibit the innocent freedoms of the good, which punish crimes, without interdicting thofe things which are lawful, only on account of the abufes to which they may occafionally be expofed. For, the intention of laws is to check the commiffion of vice, but liberty is the best fchool of virtue, and affords the ftrongest encouragements to the practice. Then if you make a better provision for the education of our youth than has hitherto been made, if you prevent the promifcuous inftruction of the docile,
and the indocile, of the idle and the diligent, at the public coft, but reserve the rewards of learning for the learned, and of merit for the meritorious. If you permit the free difcuffion of truth without any hazard to the author, or any fubjection to the caprice of an individual, which is the best way to make truth flourish and knowledge abound, the cenfure of the half-learned, the envy, the pufillanimity or the prejudice which measures the difcoveries of others, and in fhort every degree of wiidom by the measure of its own capacity, will be prevented from doling out information to us according to their own arbitrary choice. Lastly, if you fhall not dread to hear any truth, or any falfehood, whatever it may be, but if you shall least of all liften to those, who think that they can never be free, till the liberties of others depend on their caprice, and who attempt nothing with fo much zeal and vehemence, as to fetter, not only the bodies but the minds of men, who labour to introduce into the ftate the worst of all tyrannies, the tyranny of their own depraved habits and pernicious opinions; you will always be dear to those, who think not merely that their own fect or faction, but that all citizens of all defcriptions fhould enjoy equal rights and equal laws. If there be any one, who thinks that this is not liberty enough, he appears to to be rather inflamed with the luft of ambition, or of anarchy, than with the love of a genuine and well regulated liberty; and particuarly fince the circumstances of the country, which has been fo convulfed by the storms of faction, which are yet hardly still, do not permit us to adopt a more perfect or defirable form of government.
For it is of no little confequence, O citizens, by what principles you are governed, either in acquiring liberty, or in retaining it when acquired. And unless that liberty, which is of fuch a kind as arms can neither procure nor take away, which alone is the fruit of piety, of justice, of temperance and unadulterated virtue, fhall have taken deep root in your minds and hearts, there will not long be wanting one who will fnatch from you by treachery what you have acquired by arms. War has made many great whom peace makes fmall. If after being released from the toils of war, you neglect the arts of peace, if your
peace and your liberty be a state of warfare, if war be your only virtue, the fummit of your praise, you will, believe me, foon find peace the most adverse to your interests. Your peace will be only a more diftreffing war; and that which you imagined liberty will prove the worst of slavery. Unless by the means of piety, not frothy and loquacious, but operative, unadulterated and fincere, you clear the horizon of the mind from thofe mifts of fuperfti tion, which arise from the ignorance of true religion, you will always have those who will bend your necks to the yoke as if you were brutes, who notwithstanding all your triumphs will put you up to the highest bidder, as if you were mere booty made in war; and will find an exuberant fource of wealth in your ignorance and fuperftition. Unless you will fubjugate the propenfity to propensity to avarice, to ambition and fenfuality, and expel all luxury from your felves and from your families, you will find that you have cherished a more stubborn and intractable defpot at home, than you ever encountered in the field; and even your very bowels will be continually teeming with an intolerable progeny of tyrants. Let these be the first enemies whom you fubdue; this conftitutes the campaign of peace; these are triumphs, difficult indeed, but bloodlefs; and far more honourable than those trophies, which are purchased only by flaughter and by rapine. Unless you are victors in this fervice, it is in vain that you have been victorious over the defpotic enemy in the field. For if you think that it is a more grand, a more beneficial, or a more wife policy, to invent fubtle expedients for increafing the revenue, to multiply our naval and military force, to rival in craft the ambaffadors of foreign ftates, to form skilful treaties and alliances, than to adminifter unpolluted juftice to the people, to redress the injured, and to fuccour the diftreffed, and fpeedily to restore to every one his own, you are involved in a cloud of error; and too late will you perceive, when the illufion of thofe mighty benefits has vanished, that in neglecting thefe, which you now think inferior confiderations, you have only been precipitating your own ruin and despair. The fidelity of enemies and allies is frail and perifhing, unless it be cemented by the principles of justice; that wealth and those honours,
which most covet, readily change masters; they forfake the idle, and repair where virtue, where industry, where patience flourish moft. Thus nation precipitates the downfal of nation; thus the more found part of one people fubverts the more corrupt; thus you obtained the afcendant over the royalifts. If you plunge into the fame depravity, if you imitate their exceffes, and hanker after the fame vanities, you will become royalifts as well as they, and liable to be fubdued by the fame enemies, or by others in your turn; who, placing their reliance on the fame religious principles, the fame patience, the fame integrity and difcretion which made you strong, will defervedly triumph over you, who are immerfed in debauchery, in the luxury and the floth of kings. Then, as if God was weary of protecting you, you will be feen to have paffed through the fire that you might perish in the fmoke; the contempt which you will then experience will be great, as the admiration which you now enjoy; and, what may in future profit others, but cannot benefit yourselves, you will leave a falutary proof what great things the folid reality of virtue and of piety might have effected, when the mere counterfeit and varnished refemblance could attempt such mighty achievements, and make fuch confiderable advances towards the execution. For, if either through your want of knowledge, your want of constancy, or your want of virtue, attempts fo noble, and actions fo glorious, have had an issue so unfortunate, it does not therefore follow, that better men should be either less daring in their projects or lefs fanguine in their hopes. But from fuch an abyfs of corruption into which you fo readily fall, no one, not even Cromwell himself, nor a whole nation of Brutus's, if they were alive, could deliver you, if they would, or would deliver you, if they could. For who would vindicate your right of unreftrained fuffrage, or of choofing what reprefentatives you liked best, merely that you might elect the creatures of your own faction, whoever they might be, or him, however small might be his worth, who would give you the most lavish feasts and enable you to drink to the greatest excefs? Thus not wisdom and authority, but turbulence and gluttony would foon exalt the vileft miscreants
from our taverns and our brothels, from our towns and villages to the rank and dignity of fenators. For, fhould the management of the republic be entrusted to perfons to whom no one would willingly entrust the management of his private concerns; and the treafury of the state be left to the care of those who had lavished their own for tunes in an infamous prodigality? Should they have the charge of the public purfe, which they would foon convert into a private, by their unprincipled peculations? Are they fit to be the legiflators of a whole people who themselves know not what law, what reason, what right and wrong, what crooked and straight, what licit and illicit means? who think that all power confifts in outrage, all dignity in the parade of infolence? who neglect every other confideration for the corrupt gratification of their friendfhips, or the profecution of their refentments? who difperfe their own relations and creatures through the provinces for the fake of levying taxes and confifcating goods; men, for the greater part, the moft profligate and vile, who buy up for themfelves what they pretend to expose to fale, who thence collect an exorbitant mass of wealth, which they fraudulently divert from the public fervice; who thus fpread their pillage through the country, and in a moment emerge from penury and rags, to a ftate of fplendour and of wealth? Who could endure fuch thievifh fervants, fuch vicegerents of their lords? Who could believe that the masters and the patrons of a banditti could be the proper guardians of liberty? or who would fuppofe that he should ever be made one hair more free by fuch a fet of public functionaries (though they might amount to five hundred elected in this manner from the counties and boroughs) when among them who are the very guardians of liberty, and to whofe cuftody it is committed, there mufl be fo many, who know not either how to use or to enjoy liberty, who either understand the principles or merit the poffeffion? But what is worthy of remark, those who are the most unworthy of liberty, are wont to behave most ur.gratefully towards their deliverers. Among fuch perfons, who would be willing either to fight for liberty, or to encounter the leaft peril in its defence? It is not agreea