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An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War by Bernard Mandeville

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ample Provisions for the Gratification of his Pride, as no reasonable
Man could ever think of without blushing. The only Thing they oblige
him to is, that he shall take the Satisfaction in such a Manner, as
shall be most safe to himself, and least detrimental to the Publick.
Now if you will consider first, that those who made these Regulations
were Men of undoubted Honour, who hourly feeling the Force of it
within themselves, were perfectly well acquainted with the Principle
which it is built upon; and secondly, that the profound Humility of
the Offender, and his asking Pardon of the offended, are two main
Points in the repairing of Honour, necessary _postulata_, without which
those knowing Judges thought it impossible, that an Affront could be
forgiven: If, I say, you'll consider these two Things, you'll see
plainly, what Passion in Human Nature it is, which those Laws of
Honour tally'd with, and likewise that it is true, what I have
asserted of them, that instead of reproving, curbing, or diminishing
the Frailty that is offensive, which seems to be the Intention of all
other Laws, their Aim is to prevent Mischief and do Service to the
Civil Society, by approving of, cherishing, and indulging that very
Passion, from which the Evil they would prevent can only proceed.

Hor. You think those Regulations were effectual, and yet you seem to
dislike them.

Cleo. I dislike them because they are destructive to Religion; and if
a Minister of the Gospel was to dissuade and deter Men from Duelling
he would do it in quite another Manner. By a Minister of the Gospel I
don't mean a Philosophizing Divine, or a polite Preacher, but a
sincere Follower of the Apostles, a down-right Christian. He would, in
the First Place, insist upon it, that Forgiving of Injuries was a
Christian Duty never to be dispens'd with; because it is made the
Condition on which we are taught to beg Pardon for our own Offences. In
the Second, he would demonstrate that no Man is ever to revenge
himself, how highly and how atrociously soever he might have been
injured. If ever he heard of a Man's sending a Challenge for having
been call'd Fool, or other verbal Injuries, he would reprove his
Frowardness and Want of Temper, for resenting such Trifles as the Law
of his Country thought it not worthy to take Notice of. He would
appeal to his Reason, and ask him, whether he could think, that the
Affront he complain'd of, was a sufficient Cause to take away a Man's
Life. He would represent to him the Heinousnesss of Murder, God's
express Command against it; his Justice, his Wrath, his Vengeance when
provok'd. But if all these could not divert the Dueller from his
Purpose, he would attack his stubborn Heart in its inmost Recesses,
and forget Nothing of what I told you on the Subject in our Second and
Third Conversation. He would recommend to him the Fable of the _Bees_,
and, like that, he'd dissect and lay open to him the Principle of
Honour, and shew him, how diametrically opposite the Worship of that
Idol was to the Christian Religion; the First consisting in openly
cherishing and feeding that very Frailty in our Nature, which the
latter strictly commands us with all our Might to conquer and destroy.
Having convinced him of the substantial Difference and Contrariety
between these Two Principles, he would display to him, on the one
Hand, the Vanity of Earthly Glory, and the Folly of Coveting the
Applause of a Sinful World; and, on the other, the Certainty of a
Future State, and the Transcendency of everlasting Happiness over
every Thing that is perishable. From such Remonstrances as these the
good, pious Man would take an Opportunity of exhorting him to a
Christian Self-denial, and the Practice of real Virtue, and he would
earnestly endeavour to make him sensible of the Peace of Conscience
and solid Comforts that are to be found in Meekness and Humility,
Patience, and an entire Resignation to the Will of God.

Hor. How long, pray, do you intend to go on with this Cant?

Cleo. If I am to personate a Christian Divine, who is a sincere
Believer, you must give me Leave to speak his Language.

Hor. But if a Man had really such an Affair upon his Hands, and he
knew the Person, he had to do with, to be a resolute Man that
understood the Sword, do you think he would have Patience or be at
Leisure to hearken to all that puritanical Stuff, which you have been
heaping together? Do you think (for that is the Point) it would have
any Influence over his Actions?

Cleo. If he believ'd the Gospel, and consequently future Rewards and
Punishments, and he likewise acted consistently with what he believ'd,
it would put an entire Stop to all, and it would certainly hinder him
from fending or accepting of Challenges, or ever engaging in any Thing
relating to a Duel.

Hor. Pray now, among all the Gentlemen of your Acquaintance, and such
as you your Self should care to converse with, how many are there, do
you think, on whom the Thoughts of Religion would have that Effect?

Cleo. A great many, I hope.

Hor. You can hardly forbear laughing, I see, when you say it; and I am
sure, you your Self would have no Value for a Man whom you should see
tamely put up a gross Affront: Nay, I have seen and heard Parsons and
Bishops themselves laugh at, and speak with Contempt of pretended
Gentlemen, that had suffer'd themselves to be ill treated without
resenting it.

Cleo. What you say of my self, I own to be true; and I believe the
same of others, Clergymen as well as Laymen. But the Reason why Men,
who bear Affronts with Patience, Are so generally despised is, because
Every body imagines, that their Forbearance does not proceed from a
Motive of Religion, but a Principle of Cowardice. What chiefly induces
us to believe this, is the Knowledge we have of our selves: We are
conscious within of the little Power which Christianity has over our
Hearts, and the small Influence it has over our Actions. Finding our
own Incapacity of subduing strong Passions, but by the Help of others
that are more violent, we judge of others in the same Manner: And
therefore when we see a vain, worldly Man gain such a Conquest over
his known and well establish'd Pride, we presently suspect it to be a
Sacrifice which he makes to his Fear; not the Fear of God, or
Punishment in another World, but the Fear of Death, the strongest
Passion in our Nature, the Fear that his Adversary, the Man who has
affronted him, will kill him, if he fights him. What confirms us in
this Opinion is, that Poltrons shew no greater Piety or Devotion than
other People, but live as voluptuously and indulge their Pleasures as
much, at least, as any other of the _beau monde_. Whereas a good
Christian is all of a Piece; his Life is uniform; and whoever should
scruple to send or to accept of a Challenge for the Love of God, or
but from a Fear of his Vengeance, depend upon it, he would have that
same Fear before his Eyes on other Occasions likewise: And it is
impossible that a Religious Principle, which is once of that Force,
that it can make a Man chuse to be despis'd by the World, rather than
he would offend God, should not only not be conspicuous throughout his
Behaviour, but likewise never influences the Rest of his Actions at
any other Time.

Hor. From all this it is very plain, that there are very few sincere

Cleo. I don't think so, as to Faith and Theory; and I am persuaded,
that there are great Numbers in all Christian Countries, who sincerely
believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and the old as well as new
Testament to be a Revelation from Heaven: But as to Works and Practice
I am of your Opinion; and I not only believe, that there are very few
sincere and real Christians in their Lives and Conversation, for that
is a difficult Task, but I believe likewise, that there are very Few
who are sincere in endeavouring to be so, or even in desiring to be
real Christians. But this is no Argument against Christianity, or the
Reasonableness of its Doctrine.

Hor. I don't say it is. But as the Principle of Honour, whatever
Origin it had, teaches Men to be just in all their Dealings, and true
to their Engagements, and there are considerable Numbers in every
civiliz'd Nation, who really take Delight in this Principle, and in
all their Actions are sway'd and govern'd by it, must you not allow,
that such a Principle, let it be owing to Education, to Flattery, to
Pride, or what you please, is more useful to Society than the best
Doctrine in the World, which None can live up to, and but Few
endeavour to follow?

Cleo. Tho' those who are deem'd to be Men of Honour, are far from
being all really virtuous, yet I can't disprove, that the Principle of
Honour, such as it is, does not fully as much Good to Society as
Christianity, as it is practised; I say, to Society, and only in
respect to Temporals; but it is altogether destructive as to another
World: And as the greatest Happiness upon Earth to a good Christian,
is a firm Belief, and well grounded Hope, that he shall be Happy in
Heaven, so a Man who believes the Gospel, and pretends to value
everlasting Happiness beyond any Thing of shorter Duration, must act
inconsistently with himself unless he adheres to the Precepts of
Christianity, and at the same Time explodes the Principle of Honour,
which is the very Reverse of it.

Hor. I own, that in the Light you have put them, they seem to be, as
you say, diametrically opposite.

Cleo. You see, that those who act from a Principle of Religion, fairly
attack the Heart, and would abolish Duelling and all other Mischief,
by restraining, conquering, and destroying of Pride, Anger, and the
Spirit of Revenge; but these Passions are so necessary to Society for
the Advancement of Dominion and worldly Glory, that the Great and
Ambitious could not do without them in a Warlike Nation. Those who
compiled in _France_ the Regulations we have been speaking of, were well
aware of this: They judged from what they felt within, and knew full
well, that take away Pride, and you spoil the Soldier; for it is as
impossible to strip a Man of that Passion, and preserve in him his
Principle of Honour, as you can leave him his Bed after you have taken
away the Feathers. A peaceful Disposition and Humility are not
Qualities more promising in the Day of Battle, than a contrite Heart
an broken Spirit are Preparatives for Fighting. In these Regulations,
so often mention'd, it is plainly to be seen, what Pains and Care were
taken, not to arraign, or lay the least Blame upon the Principle of
Honour, tho' the Kingdom groan'd under a Calamity which visibly arose
from, and could be the Effect of no other Cause than that very

Hor. All the Fault, in my Opinion, ought to be laid on the Tyranny of
Custom; and therefore the Marshals of _France_ were in the Right not to
depreciate or run the least Risque of destroying or lessening the
Principle of Honour, which, I am confident, has been a greater Tie
upon Men than any Religion whatever.

Cleo. It is impossible that there should be a greater Tie, a stronger
Barrier against Injustice, than the Christian Religion, where it is
sincerely believ'd, and Men live up to that Belief. But if you mean,
that the Number of Men, who have stuck to the Principle of Honour, and
strictly follow'd the Dictates of it, has been greater than that of
Christians, who, with equal Strictness, have obey'd the Precepts of the
Gospel; if, I say, you mean this, I don't know how to contradict you.
But I thought, that I had given you a very good Reason for that, when
I shew'd you, that in the Notions of Honour there are many Allurements
to draw-in vain worldly Men, which the Christian Religion has not; and
that the Severity of this is more mortifying and disagreable to Human
Nature, than the Self-denial which is required in the other. There are
other Reasons besides, which I have likewise hinted at more than once.
A Man may believe the Torments of Hell, and stand in great Dread of
them, whilst they are the Object of his serious Reflection; but he
does not always think of them, nor will they always make the same
Impression upon him, when he does. But in worshiping Honour, a Man
adores himself, which is ever dear to him, never absent, never out of
Sight. A Man is easily induced to reverence what he loves so entirely.

Hor. The Fear of Shame cannot restrain Men in Things that are done in
Secret, and can never be known. Men of Honour are true to their Trust,
where it is impossible they should be discover'd.

Cleo. That is not universally true; tho', without doubt, there are
many such. The grand Characteristick of a Man of Honour, at least of
Modern Honour, is, that he takes no Affront without resenting it, and
dares fight Any body without Exception; and such there are that have
not common Honesty, and are noted Sharpers. Besides, by Education and
conversing constantly with Men of Honour, and some of real Honour and
Probity, Persons may contract a strong Aversion to every Thing that is
dishonourable. The most effectual method to breed Men of Honour, is to
inspire them with lofty and romantick Sentiments concerning the
Excellency of their Nature, and the superlative Merit there is in
being a Man of Honour. The higher you can raise a Man's Pride, the
more refin'd you may render his Notions of Honour.

Hon. The Substance of this you have said twenty Times; but I don't
understand your adoring of one's self.

Cleo. I'll endeavour to explain it to you. I am acquainted with Men of
Honour, who seem to have a very slender Belief, if any, of future
Rewards and Punishiments, and whom yet I believe to be very just Men.
Of these there are several, whom I could entirely confide in, and
whose Words I would much rather take in Business of Moment than any
Bishop's, whom I know Nothing of. What is it that keeps these Men in
Awe? What keeps them true to their Word, and steady to their
Engagements, tho' they should be Losers by it?

Hor. I don't know any Thing but the Principle of Honour, that is
deeply rooted in them.

Cleo. Still the Thing, whatever it be, which a Man loves, fears,
esteems, and consequently reverences, is not without, but within
himself. The Object then of Reverence, and the Worshiper, who pays it,
meeting and remaining in the same Person, maynot such a Person be
justly said to adore himself: Nay, it seems to be the common Opinion,
that this is true; for unless some Sort of Divinity was supposed, to
reside in Men of Honour, their affirming and denying Things upon that
Principle could never be thought an Equivalent for an Oath, as to Some
it is allow'd to be. Pray, when a Man asserts a Thing upon his Honour,
is it not a Kind of Swearing by himself, as others do by God? If it
was not so, and there was supposed to be the least Danger, that Men,
endued with the Principle of Honour, could deceive or prevaricate, I
would fain know, why it should be binding and acquiesc'd in.

Hor. You may say the same of the Quakers; and that there must be
supposed to be some Divinity in them, that their solemn Affirmation
should be thought equivalent to an Oath.

Cleo. That's quite another Thing. The Quakers take all Oaths whatever,
whether they are made before a Magistrate or otherwise, to be sinful,
and for that Reason they refuse to Swear at all. But as it is their
avow'd Opinion, that a wilful notorious Lie is not less Criminal in
the Sight of Heaven than we take Perjury to be, it is evident, that in
giving their Testimony, they stake their Salvation equally with other
People that make Oath. Whereas those who, with us, are credited upon
their Honour, have no such Scruples, and make Oath themselves on other
Occasions: The Reason therefore why they don't try Criminals and
pronounce their Judgment upon Oath, as other Judges and Juries do, is
not, that they think appealing to God or Swearing by his Name to be
Sinful, which is the Case of the Quakers; but because they are
supposed to be altogether as credible without it, as if they did. And
if there was not some Adoration, some Worship, which Men of Honour pay
to themselves, the Principle they act from could not have produced the
visible Effects it has in so many different Nations.

Hor. You have said several Things which I cannot disprove, and some of
them, I own, are probable enough; but you are like to leave me as you
found me. The Principle of Honour has lost no Ground in my Esteem; and
I shall continue to act from it as I did before. But since you imagine
to have so plainly proved, that we are Idols to our Selves, and that
Honour is diametrically opposite to Christianity, I wonder you don't
call it the Beast in the _Apocalypse_, and say, that it is the Whore of
_Babylon_. This would be a notable Conceit, and suit Papists as well as
Protestants; nay, I fancy, that the Colour of the Whore, and her
Thirst after Blood, might be better accounted for from Duelling, than
any other Way that has been tried yet.

Cleo. The Revelations of St. _John_ are above my Comprehension; and I
shall never laugh at Mysteries for not understanding them.

Hor. What you say of Mysteries, I think, ought to be more justly
applied to the Principle of Honour, which we do understand; for
whatever it may be derived from, the Advantages the Civil Society
receives from it, both in Peace and War, are so many and so manifest,
that the Usefulness of it ought to exempt and preserve it from being
ridicul'd. I hate to hear a Man talk of its being more or less
portable, the melting of it over again, and reducing it to a new

Cleo. I know, you dislike this in the Fable of the _Bees_; but if you'll
examine into what you have read there, you'll find, that my Friend has
ridicul'd Nothing but what deserves it. There is certainly a great
Difference between the Men of Honour in former Ages and many of those,
who now-a-days assume the Title. A Man in whom Justice, Integrity,
Temperance and Chastity are join'd with Fortitude, is worthy of the
highest Esteem; but that a debauch'd Fellow, who runs in every
Tradesman's Debt, and thinks himself not obliged to pay any Thing but
what is borrow'd or lost at Play, should claim the same Regard from
us, for no other Reason than because he dares to Fight, is very

Hor. But is he serious, when he speaks of the Men of ancient Honour,
of whom he thinks _Don Quixot_ to have been the last?

Cleo. When the Romance-Writers had carried the Prowess and
Atchievements of their heroes to an incredible Pitch, was it not
ridiculous to see Men in their Senses, not only believe those
Extravagancies in good Earnest, but likewise endeavour to imitate
those fabulous Exploits, and set about copying after those imaginary
Patterns? For it was that which _Cervantes_ exposed in _Don Quixot_.

Hor. In the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century, the _Spaniards_ were the
best Soldiers in the World; they shew'd themselves on many Emergencies
to be a grave and wise Nation, and had many real Patterns of strict
Honour and great Virtue among them. Things are as often over-done in
Satyrs as they are in Panegyricks; and the Likeness of a _Caricatura_ is
no more to be trusted to than that of the most flattering Pencil.

Cleo. I shall always bear the highest Esteem for Men of strict Honour
and real Virtue, and will never ridicule what is approved of by
Custom, and the Consent of several Ages has render'd valuable; but no
Title or Dignity, no Name or Distinction can be so honourable, or so
eminent, that a serious Enquirer may not have Leave to trace it to the
Bottom. I have acknowledged, that the Word Honour, in its first and
genuine Sense, is as ancient as the oldest Language in the World. As
to my Conjecture concerning the same Word, as it signifies a Principle
which Men act from, I leave it entirely to your Judgment: But whatever
the Origin may be of either, it is certain, that whatever the Words
Honour and Honourable are join'd with, added or applied to, there is
plain Design in them of pleasing and gratifying those it concerns, on
Account of the Passion of Self-liking, and a palpable Tendency to
humour, approve of, or encrease the good Opinion Man has of himself:
As you'll find, on the Contrary, that in the Words Dishonour Shame,
Ignominy, and whatever is dishonourable, there is an Intention, or
Something imply'd, to displease and mortify those it concerns, on
Account of that same Passion of Self-liking, and an Endeavour to
lessen, contradict or destroy Self-Esteem, which is that good Opinion
which Man has of himself from Nature.

Hor. That the Words Honour and Shame are either literally made Use of,
as you say, or metaphorically applied to other Creatures or Things
inanimate, I believe: I allow likewise, that the Principle of Honour
is found in no Breast that is not possess'd of Self-liking to an
eminent Degree; but I don't think that a Fault.

Cleo. The only Fault I have found with the Principle of Honour, is,
it's clashing with the Christian Religion. I have told you the
Reasons, why the Church of _Rome_ thought it her Interest to reconcile
them, and make People believe, that they did not interfere with one
another. She has always consulted Human Nature, and ever join'd gay
Shew and Pomp, as I have hinted before, to Superstition; well knowing,
that, as to keep Man under and in Subjection, you must work upon his
Fear, so, to make him act with Alacrity, and obey with Pleasure, where
Lucre is out of Question, you must flatter his Pride. It is from this
Policy of hers, that all Names of Dignity and Distinction among
Christians, as Earl, Baron, Duke, Marquis, &c. had originally their
Rise as Hereditary Titles. To the same have been owing all the various
Ceremonies of Institutions and Instalments; and Coronations, as well
as Inthronizations. Of the Orders of Knighthood, and the vast
Multiplicity of them, I have spoke already.

Hor. You give more to the Church of _Rome_ than her Due: Most Countries
in _Christendom_ have Orders of Knighthood peculiar to themselves, and
of which it is evident, that they were instituted by their own

Cleo. But look into the Ceremonial of those Institutions, and the
great Share the Clergy has in most of them, and you'll easily see,
what Stock they sprung from. And tho' the Sovereign, in every Country,
is deem'd to be the Fountain of Honour, yet the Sovereigns themselves
had their Titles, as well as Coats of arms, from the Popes; nor had
they ever any Ensign of Honour, Power or Authority, which they could
depend upon, unless it had first been granted, or confirm'd and
ratify'd, by the See of _Rome_.

Hor. I take the _Insignia_, which the Proconsuls and Proprietors had in
the different Provinces of the _Roman_ Empire, and which _Pancirolus_ has
wrote of so amply, to have been much after the Nature of Coats of

Cleo. Those _Insignia_ belong'd to the Office; and a Governour could
only make Use of them, whilst he was in it: But hereditary Coats of
arms, that were given to particular Men or Societies, by Way of Reward
for Services perform'd, were never known; and Heraldry it Self had no
Existence, before the Pope's Supremacy had been acknowledged by the
Christian World. And if we consider the fine Opportunities, which the
most idle and indolent, the most insignificant and unworthy of the
Society, often meet with from this Invention of valuing themselves
upon Actions that were perform'd several Ages before they were born,
and bespeak a Merit which they know in their Consciences that they are
destitute of; if, I say, we consider what I have now mention'd, we
shall be forc'd to confess, that, of all Arts and Sciences, Heraldry
has been the most effectual to stir up and excite in Men the Passion
of Self-liking, on the finallest Foundation; and daily Experience
teaches us, that Persons of Education and Politeness can taste no
Pleasure in any Thing at Home or Abroad, at Church or the Play-House,
where the Gratification of this Passion is entirely excluded. Of all
the Shews and Solemnities that are exhibited at _Rome_, the greatest and
most expensive, next to a Jubilee, is the Canonization of a Saint. For
one that has never seen it, the Pomp is incredible. The Stateliness of
the Processions, the Richness of Vestments and sacred Utensils that
are display'd, the fine Painting and Sculpture that are expos'd at
that Time, the Variety of good Voices and Musical Instruments that are
heard, the Profusion of Wax-Candles, the Magnificence which the Whole
is perform'd with, and the vast Concourse of People, that is
occasion'd by those Solemnities, are all such, that it is impossible
to describe them.

Hor. It is astonishing, I own; but what would you infer from them?

Cleo. I would desire you to observe, how vastly different some of the
Ends and Purposes are, that Canonizations may be made to serve at the
same Time. It is pretended, in the First Place, that they are
perform'd to do Justice and pay Veneration to the Memory of those Holy
Persons: Secondly, that by Men's worshiping them, they may be induced,
among the Rest of the Saints, to intercede with God for the the Sins
of their Votaries: And lastly, because it is to be hoped, that among
such Numbers as assist at those Solemnities, there are many who will
be affected by them, and endeavour to imitate, in their Lives, the
holy Examples that are set before them: For there is no Time more
seasonable to stir Men up to Devotion and Sentiments of Piety, than
when Rapture and high Admiration have been rais'd in them first.

Hor. Besides Canonizations keep up the Reputation of the _Roman_
Catholick Faith; for the new Saints, that are made from Time to Time,
are always fresh Witnesses, that Miracles are not ceas'd, and
consequently that the Church of _Rome_ continues to be the same Church
which Christ and his Apostles first establish'd.

Cleo. You are in the Right; and whilst we consider and give Credit to
those Pretences, the Design must seem to be religious; and every _Roman_
Catholick, who is firm in his Belief; is obliged to think, that
whatever Cost is bestow'd upon Canonizations, no Money could be laid
out better. But if we mind, on the other Side, the strong
Sollicitations of the great Men, that either are, or pretend to be the
Relations of the venerable Person, whose Holiness they vouch for; the
vast Pains that are taken, the Intrigues that are carried on for Years
together, to procure this high Favour of the Sacred College; and when
it is obtain'd, what an Honour it is to the whole Family; the Visits
that are paid from all Parts to every Rich Man that belongs to it, and
the Compliments that are made on Account of it; besides the Privileges
they receive from it ever after; If, I say, we mind these Things on
the other Side, we shall find, that in the Motives from which Men sue
for this Honour, there is not a Grain of Religion to an Ounce of
Pride, and that what seems to be a Solemnity to celebrate the Sanctity
of the Dead, is in Reality a Stratagem of the Church to gratify the
Ambition of the Living. The Church of _Rome_ has never made a Step
without Regard to her Temporal Interest, and an After-Thought on her
Successors, _Luther_ and _Calvin_, and some Others of the chief
Adversaries of _Rome_, were Men of great Parts, that have gain'd
themselves Immortal Names; but it must be confess'd, that they rais'd
themselves altogether at the Expence of their Brethren. They gave up
both the Patrimony and Dominion of the Church, and made Presents of
them to the Secular Powers, that would espouse their respective
Causes, and establish their Doctrines; by which, and the destroying of
Purgatory, they not only stript the Clergy of their Wealth and Power
for the present, but likewise took away the Means by which, one Day or
other, it might have been possible for their Successors to retrieve
them. It is well for the Protestant Cause, that the Multitude can't
hear or know the Wishes, that are made in Secret by many of the
Clergy, nor the hearty Ejaculations, which the Men of Spirit among
them are often sending after the Memory of the first Reformers, for
having left their Order in that Pickle, and almost at the Mercy of the
Laity, after they had been made dependent on the Clergy. If those
pious Leaders had understood, or at least consulted Human Nature, they
would have known, that strict Lives and Austerity of Manners don't go
by Inheritance, and must have foreseen, that as soon as the Zeal of
the Reformation should begin to cool both the Clergy and the Laity
would relax in their Morals; and consequently, that their Successors,
after Two or Three Generations, would make wretched Figures, if they
were still to continue to preach Christianity without Deceit or
Evasions, and pretend to live conformably to the Rules of it: If they
had but reflected on what had happen'd in the Infancy of their
Religion, they must have easily foreseen what I say.

Hor. What is it that happen'd then?

Cleo. That Christ and his Apostles taught by Example as well as
Precepts the Practice of Humility and the Contempt of Riches; to
renounce the Pomp and Vanity of the World, and mortify the Flesh, is
certain: And that this was striking at the very Fundamentals of Human
Nature, is as certain. This could only be perform'd by Men
preternaturally affected; and therefore the Founders of Christianity
being gone, it could not be expected, that the same Austerity of Life
and Self-denial should be continued among the Successors of them, as
soon as the Ministry of the Gospel became a Calling, that Men were
brought up to for a Livelihood; and considering how essential those
mortifying Principles are to Christianity, it is not easy to conceive,
how the one could be made still to subsist, when the other should
cease to be. But Nothing seems more impracticable than that the
Gospel, which those Principles are evidently taught, should ever be
turn'd into an inexhaustible Fund of Worldly Comforts, Gain, Honour,
and Authority; yet this has been perform'd by the Skill and Industry
of the Architects, who have built that Master-Piece of Human Policy,
the Church of _Rome_. They have treated Religion as if it was a
Manufacture, and the Church a Set of Workmen, Labourers and
Artificers, of different Employments, that all contribute and
cooperate to produce one entire Fabrick. In the great Variety of their
Religious Houses, you have all the Severity of Manners and Rigour of
Discipline, which the Gospel requires, improved upon. There you have
perpetual Chastity, and Virgins wedded to Christ: There is Abstinence,
and Fasting; there is Mortifying of the flesh, Watching, Praying, the
Contempt of Money and Worldly Honour; a literal Retirement from the
World, and every Thing you can ask for, relating to Self-denial, as to
Carnal Enjoyments and the renouncing of Pomp and Vanity, at least to
all outward Appearance. When Men see that Strictness of Morals, and
that Christian Self-denial, which are so manifestly taught in the
Gospel, own'd by the Clergy, and some where or other actually comply'd
with, they will easily give Ear to any Thing that is said to them
besides. This grand Point concerning the Austerity of Life, and
mortifying the Flesh, being literally understood, and acknowledged by
the Clergy to be such, as the Apostles have deliver'd them without
Prevarication, it will not be difficult to make the Laity believe, not
only mysterious Contradictions, but likewise the most palpable
Absurdities, such as Transubstantiation; that the Pope is infallible,
and has the Power of Thundering out _Anathema's_ and granting
Absolutions; and consequently of damning and saving whom he pleases;
that the Pomp and Magnificence of the Sacred College, and even the
Luxury of a Court, are laudable Means, and absolutely necessary to
keep up the Dignity and outward Luster of the visible Church; and that
the Spiritual Welfare of it depends upon Temporal Authority, and
cannot be duely taken Care of without large Revenues, Princely Power,
Politicks, and Military Force. No Set of Men have deserv'd better of
the Church of _Rome_, than the Writers of Legends and the Forgers of
Miracles. In the Lives of the Saints, there is a plausible
Representation of the Church Militant; and considering how naural it
is for Man to be superstitious, and to love the _Merveilleux_, Nothing
could be thought of more agreeable or edifying than to read of such
Numbers of Holy Men and Women, that did not flinch from Combating
themselves, and to see the noble Victories that have been obtain'd
over the World, the Flesh and the Devil, in a literal Sense, as are to
be met with in those judicious Relations.

Hor. But what Analogy is there between the _Roman Catholick_ Religion,
and a Manufacture, as you insinuated?

Cleo. The Division of the whole into so many different Branches. The
great Prelates, of whom not many have any Religion at all, are yet for
Worldly Ends continually watching over the Temporal Interest of it.
The little Bishops and ordinary Priests take Care of the Mystical Part
of it; whilst the Religious Orders contribute meritorious Works, and
seem actually to comply with the harshest Precepts of Christianity,
often in a more rigid Construction than the Words themselves will

Hor. Then have the Laity no Share in it?

Cleo. Yes; but their Task is the easiest, and what they club towards
Religion chiefly consists in Faith and Money. But when Men pretend to
be Christians, and Nothing is to be met with in any Part of their
Religion, but what is easy and pleasant, and Nothing is required
either of the Laity or the Clergy, that is difficult to perform, or
disagreeable to Human Nature, there is Room to suspect, that such a
Set of People lay claim to a Title, that does not belong to them. When
Ministers of the Gospel take Pains to undermine it themselves, and
flatly deny the Strictness of Behaviour, and Severity of Manners, that
are so manifestly inculcated in every Part of it, I don't wonder, that
Men of Sincerity, who can read, should refuse to give Credit to every
Thing that is said by such Ministers. It is easier to speak with
Contempt of the recluse Lives of the _Carthusians_, and to laugh at the
Austerities of _La Trappe_, than it is to refute what might be alledg'd
from the Gospel to prove the Necessity there is, that to be acceptable
to God, Men should fly from Lust, make War with themselves, and
mortify the Flesh. When Ministers of _Christ_ assure their Hearers, that
to indulge themselves in all earthly Pleasures and Sensualities, that
are not clashing with the Laws of the Country, or the Fashion of the
Age they live in, will be no Bar to their future Happiness, if they
enjoy them with Moderation; that Nothing ought to be deem'd Luxury,
that is suitable to a Person's Rank and Quality, and which he can
purchase without hurting his Estate, or injuring his Neighbour; that
no Buildings or Gardens can be so profusely sumptuous, no Furniture so
curious or magnificent, no Inventions for Ease so extravagant, no
Cookery so operose, no Diet so delicious, no Entertainments or Way of
Living so expensive as to be Sinful in the Sight of God, if a man can
afford them; and they are the same, as others of the same Birth or
Quality either do or would make Use of, if they could: That a Man may
study and be sollicitous about Modes and Fashions, assist at Courts,
hunt after Worldly Honour, and partake of all the Diversions of the
_beau monde_, and at the same Time be a very good Christian; when
Ministers of _Christ_, I say, assure their Hearers of this, they
certainly teach what they have no Warrant for from his Doctrine. For
it is in Effect the same as to assert, that the strictest Attachment
to the World is not inconsistent with a Man's Promise of renouncing
the Pomp and Vanity of it.

Hor. But what signify the Austerity of Life and Forbearance of Nuns
and Friars, if they were real, to all the Rest who don't practise
them? And what Service can their Self-denial and Mortification be of
to the Vain and Sensual, who gratify every Appetite that comes

Cleo. The Laity of the _Roman_ Communion are taught and assured, that
they may be of great Service even to the Wicked; nay, it may be proved
from Scripture, that the Intercession of the Righteous and Innocent,
is sometimes capable of averting God's Vengence from the Guilty. This
only wants to be believed; and it is the easiest Thing in the World to
make the Multitude believe any Assertion, in which there is Nothing
that contradicts receiv'd Opinions, and the common notions which Men
have of Things. There is no Truth, that has hitherto been more
unanimously believed among all Sects and Opinions of Christians in all
Ages, than that the gospel warns Men against Carnal Pleasures, and
requires of them Humility, the Contempt of Earthly Glory, and such a
Strictness of Manners and Morality, as is difficult for Human Nature
to comply with. Now when a clergyman, who pretends to preach the
Gospel, puts such Constructions on the plainest texts, in which the
Doctrine I spoke of is literally taught, as can only tend to extenuate
and diminish the Force of them, and when moreover he leaves no Shifts
or Evasions untied, till he has destroy'd the Observance of those
Precepts; when a Clergyman, I say, is thus employ'd, it is no Wonder
that his Doctrine should raise Doubts and Scruples in his hearers,
when they compare it with the common Notions Men have of Christianity.

Hor. I am no Admirer, you know, of Priests of any Sort; but of the
Two, I would prefer a Man of Learning and good Sense, who treats me
with good Manners, recommends Virtue, and a reasonable Way of Living,
to an ill bred sour Pedant, that entertains me with fanatical Cant,
and would make me believe, that it is a Sin to wear good Cloaths, and
fill my Belly with what I like.

Cleo. There is no Doubt, but the _beau monde_, and all well bred People,
that desire to be judged of from outward Appearance, will always chuse
the most easy _Casuists_; and the more ample the Allowances are, which
Clergymen give them, of enjoying the World, the more they'll be
pleas'd with them. But this can only be of Service among the
Fashionable and the Polite, whose Religion is commonly very
Superficial, and whose Virtue is seldom extended beyond good Manners.
But what will it do to Men of greater Sincerity, that can and dare
examine themselves? What will it do to serious and able Enquirers,
that refuse to trust to Outsides, and will not be barr'd from
searching into the Bottom of Things? If this was only a Matter of
Speculation, a disputable Point in a Ceremony, as whether Men are to
sit or to stand at the Performance of it, the Thing might easily be
given up: but it plainly appears to be a Theory skilfully raised by
Clergymen, to build a Practice upon in their Favour. Those easie
Divines don't make such large Allowances to others for Nothing: They
speak one Word for the Laity, and two for themselves, and seem to have
Nothing more at Heart than to enjoy the Benefit of their own Doctrine.
It is no Wonder therefore, that so many of the Clergy are always
desirous to converse with the _beau monde_. Among the best bred People
there is seldom any Difference to be seen between Believers and
Unbelievers; neither of them give any Trouble to their Pastors, and
they are all equally cautious of offending. Polite People contradict
No body, but conform to all Ceremonies that are fashionable with
Regard to the Time and the Places they are in; and a courtly Infidel
will observe Decency at Church, and a becoming Carriage there, for the
same Reason that he does it at a Ball, or in the Drawing-Room.

Hor. As to Indulgences and large Allowances, the _Roman Catholicks_
out-do us far, especially the _Jesuits_, who certainly are the most easy
_Casuists_ in the World.

Cleo. They are so; but it is only in the Management of those, whose
Consciences are under their Direction. A Jesuit may tell a Man such or
such Things are allow'd to Him in particular, and give him Reasons for
it from his Quality, or the Post he is in, from the State of his
Health, his Temperament, his Age, or his Circumstances: But he'll not
deny or explain away the Self-denial and the Mortification in general,
that are commanded in the Gospel. When you come to this Point, he'll
not lessen the Difficulty and Irksomeness of Christian Duties to Human
Nature and the Flesh; but he'll refer you to the Founder of his Order,
and the great Self-denial he practis'd: Perhaps he'll relate to you,
how that Saint watch'd his Arms all Night, after he had dedicated
them, together with his Life, to the _Virgin Mary_. But that the Gospel
requires a literal Mortification of the Flesh, and other hard Tasks
from us, is the very Basis which the Pope's Exchequer is built upon.
He could have no Colour for enjoining Fasting and Abstinence, if it
was not supposed, that he had a Warrant for it from the New Testament.
It is this Supposition, that brings all the Grist to his Mill; and
thus a Man may eat Flesh in Lent, without a Sin; but tho' he can get
the Meat perhaps for Nothing, he shall pay for the Liberty of Eating
it. Buying Absolutions implies the Consciousness of having committed a
Crime; and No body would give Money for Indulgences, if he thought,
that what he desires to be indulged in, was lawful without them. All
Multitudes will sooner believe a Man to come from God, who leads an
Austere Life himself, and preaches Abstinence and Self-denial to
others tho' they themselves, I mean the Hearers, don't practice it, or
take any Pains to comply with his Precepts, than they will another,
who takes greater Liberties himself, and whose Doctrine is less
severe. This the wise Architects of the Church of _Rome_, who were
thoroughly skill'd in Human Nature, were well aware of; and
accordingly they have improved upon the Scriptures, and added Lustre
to all those Precepts, which is most difficult to comply with; and in
commenting on the severest Duties of Christianity, they have been so
far from extenuating and explaining away our Obligations to perform
them, that they have heighten'd and magnify'd them, not only by Words
and in Theory, but the Practice and Example; as is so manifest from
the hard and almost incredible Tasks, which many of them have actually
impos'd upon themselves, and gone through. They have flinch'd at
Nothing on this Head.

Hor. A Man must be very stupid to believe, that his close Attachment
to the World, and the Loosness of his own Morals can be atton'd for by
the recluse and strict Lives that are led in some Religious Houses.

Cleo. Not so stupid as you imagine: There is Nothing in it that
clashes with the common Notions of Mankind. Ceremonies are perform'd
by Proxy; Men are Security for one another; and a Debt is not more
effectually discharg'd, when we receive the Money from him who
borrow'd it, than when it is paid by his Bail, tho' the Principal
himself runs away. If there is but real Self-denial to be met with any
where in a Religion, it is no difficult Matter to make Multitudes
believe, that they have, or may buy, a Share in it: Besides, all _Roman
Catholicks_ are brought up in the firm Belief of the Necessity there is
of Self-denial. They are strictly forbid to eat Flesh on Fridays; and
Pains are taken to inspire them from their very Childhood with a
Honour against the breaking of this Commandment. It is incredible,
what Force such a Precept is of, and how closely the Influence of it
sticks to men, when it has been earnestly inculcated to them from
their early Youth. There is no Difficulty in the Thing when they are
grown up; and I'll engage, that a _Roman_ Catholick, who always has been
accustom'd to this Piece of Observance till he is Five and Twenty
Years of Age, will find it more easy afterwards to continue than to
leave it off, tho' he should turn Protestant, or even Turk.

Hor. I have often admired at the great Force this senseless Piece of
Superstition is of; for I have seen great Reprobates and very loose
Fellows among the _Roman_ Catholicks, who stuck at no Manner of
Debauchery, and would often talk prophanely, that yet refused to eat
Flesh on a _Friday_, and could not be laugh'd out of their Folly; tho'
at the same Time I could see, that they were actually ashamed of it.

Cleo. No Set of People have so artfully play'd upon Mankind as the
Church of _Rome_. In the Use they have made of Scripture, they have
consulted all our Frailties; and in their own Interpretations of it,
most dextrously adapted themselves to the common Notions of all
Multitudes. They knew perfectly well, not only, that all Men are born
with the Fear of an invisible Cause, but likewise that it is more
natural, or, at least, that the rude and ignorant of our Species are
always more apt to suspect, that this invisible Cause is their Enemy,
than they are to think it to be their Friend, and will sooner believe
it to be an evil and malicious, than a good beneficent Being. To turn
this to their Advantage, they made Use of all their Skill and Cunning
to magnify the Devil, and cry up his Force and Subtlety, his
supernatural Art, his implacable Hatred to Mankind, and great
Influence over Human Affairs. All the strange Stories they have
spread, the monstrous Fables they have invented, and the gross Lies
they have maintain'd, of Spirits, of Witchcraft, and Apparitions,
never had any other Tendency than to manifest the Works of Satan, and
make Every body afraid of his Power and Stratagems at all Times, and
in all Places; which has been a prodigious Gain to them. They never
taught any Thing that contradicted Vulgar Opinions, and never gave
Men any Ideas of Heaven, that were not borrow'd from Something on
Earth. That Courts of Princes are not deem'd to be compleat without
Women, has advanced the _Virgin Mary_ to be Queen of Heaven. From the
Influence of Mothers, and the Authority they are known to exercise of
their Infants, they have drawn the most childish Conclusions to raise
Superstition; for to that Notion, and the great Honour which is every
where allow'd to be due to Parents, it has been owing, that the Mother
of God in the _Roman_ Communion has been all along more address'd and
pray'd to, than her Son; and of the Two She seems to be the more
venerable Person. All Patrons in ancient _Rome_ had their Clients, whom
the protected; and all Favourites of Princes have their Creatures,
whose Interests they espouse upon Occasion: This has produced the
Invocation of Saints and Angels; and that no Advocates might be
wanting in the Celestial Court on any Emergency, the Church has
provided, that there is no Town or Country, no Handicraft or
Profession, no Pain or Disease, Danger or Distress, but there is a
kind Saint for that particular Affair, whose peculiar Province is to
preside over and take Care of every Thing that relates to it; which
has made the Number of them equal with, if not superiour to that of
the Pagan Deities. She knew, that the Incredibility of Things is no
Obstacle to Faith among Multitudes; and that in believing of
Mysteries, Propositions will not be the less swallow'd for being
contradictory to Reason.

Hor. But I thought you was not for keeping Men in Ignorance.

Cleo. What I am for, is not the Question. Priests who would bear an
absolute Sway over the Laity, and live luxuriously at their Cost,
ought First to make them believe Implicitly: Whereas an honest Clergy,
that will teach Nothing concerning Religion, but what is consistent
with good Sense, and becoming a rational Creature to believe, ought to
deal uprightly with Men throughout the Whole, and not impose upon
their Understandings in one Point more than they do in another. From
the real Incomprehensibility of God, just Arguments must be drawn for
believing of Mysteries that surpass our Capacities. But when a Man has
good Reason to suspect, that he who instructed him in these Mysteries,
does not believe them himself, it must stagger and obstruct his Faith,
tho' he had no Scruples before, and the Things he had been made to
believe, are no Ways clashing with his Reason. It is not difficult for
a Protestant Divine to make a Man of Sense see the many Absurdities
that are taught by the Church of Rome, the little Claim which Popes
can lay to Infallibility, and the Priestcraft there is in what they
say of purgatory and all that belongs to it. But to persuade him
likewise, that the Gospel requires no Self-denial, nor any Thing that
is irksome to Nature, and that the Generality of the Clergy of _England_
are sincerely endeavouring, in their Lives and Doctrine, to imitate
the Apostles, as nearly as Human Frailty will let them, and is
consistent with the Difference of the Age and Manners between their
Time and ours; to persuade, I say, a Man of Sense, that these Things
are likewise true, would not be so easy a Task. By a Man of Sense, I
mean a Man likewise of some Knowledge, who, in the First Place, has
read the Bible, and believes the Scripture to be the sole Rule of
Faith; and, in the Second, is no Stranger to our Church, or any Thing
that is openly to be seen relating to her Clergy, especially the Heads
of them, the Bishops; such as their Palaces and Manner of Living;
their Translations, Revenues and Earthly Power, together with the
Worldly Honours, Precedency and other Privileges, which our Spiritual
Lords insist upon to be their Due.

Hor. I have often laugh'd my Self at Apostles in Coaches and Six; but
what must at that Rate the Men of Sense and Sincerity among the _Roman
Catholicks_ think of their Prelates, who live in much greater Splendour
and Luxury than ours? What must they think of the Cardinals and the
Pope himself?

Cleo. Think of them? What they please, so they dare not to open their
Lips against them, or any Thing which the Clergy are pleas'd to call
Sacred. In all _Roman Catholick_ Countries, you know, no Books or
Pamphlets may be publish'd, but what are Licensed; and no Man is
allow'd to divulge any Sentiments concerning Religion, that are not
entirely Orthodox; which in all Countries, so regulated, is a vast
Ease and an unspeakable Comfort to the Clergy of the establish'd

Hor. I never thought to hear you speak against the Liberty of the

Cleo. And you never will; for tho' Orthodoxy and the National Clergy
are always the Gainers by these Curbs and Prohibitions, yet Truth and
Religion are ever the Sufferers by them. But all prudent Men ought to
behave according to the Condition they are in, and the Principles as
well as Privileges they lay claim to. Reform'd Divines own themselves
to be fallible: They appeal to our Reason, and exhort us to peruse the
Scripture Ourselves. We live in a Country where the Press is open;
where all Men are at full Liberty to expose Error and Falshood, where
they can find them; and No body is debarr'd from Writing almost any
Thing, but Blasphemy and Treason. A Protestant Clergy ought always to
remember the Reasons, which their Predecessors alledg'd for separating
themselves from the _Roman_ Communion, and never to forget, that the
Haughtiness and Luxury of the Prelates, as well as the Covetousness,
the Insolence, and barefac'd Encroachments of the Clergy, were a
considerable Part of the Complaints against Popery. No equitable
Guides, that have open'd our Eyes to see the Frailties of others,
ought to expect from us, that in Regard to themselves we should keep
them shut close, and never look upon their Behaviour. The _Roman_
Pastors, who keep their flocks in the Dark, teach them blind
Obedience, and never vouchsafe to argue with 'em any more than if they
were real Sheep. They don't advise Men to read the Bible, but such
Books of Devotion as their Priests shall think proper for them; and
are so far from appealing to their Judgment, that they conjure them,
on Pain of Damnation, never to trust their Reason, but implicitly to
believe whatever the Church shall require of them.

Hor. You put me in Mind of Father _Canaye_, the Jesuit in St. _Evremond_.
No Reason! No Reason at all!

Cleo. Where the Clergy are possess'd of, and keep up this Authority
over the Laity, and the Secular Arm is at their Devotion, to punish
whom they condemn, they need not be nice or circumspect in their
Manner of Living; and no Pomp or Luxury will easily lessen them in the
Esteem of the Multitude. No Protestant Clergy have wrote better in
Defence of the Reformation than ours; but others have certainly gone
greater Lengths in it, as to Worship and Discipline in outward
Appearance. The Difference between the _Roman Catholicks_ and us seems
to be less irreconcilable, than it is between them and the Reformed
Churches of the united _Netherlands_ and _Switzerland_; and I am fully
persuaded, that the Mother Church despairs not of bringing back to her
Bosom this run-away Daughter of hers, and making this Island one Day
or other repay with Interest the Losses she has sustain'd by its long
Disobedience. Arguments alone will never keep out Popery; and _Great
Britain_ being once reconciled to the Church of _Rome_, would add such a
Weight to her Power, that it would not be difficult for her in a
little Time to reduce all the Rest of the Protestants by main Force,
and entirely to Triumph over what She calls the Northern Heresy.

Hor. We have very good Laws to secure us from the Usurpation of _Rome_;
and the Abbey Lands, that are in the Possession of the Laity, I
believe, are a better, I mean, a stronger Argument against the Return
of Popery, than ever will be shewn in Print.

Cleo. I believe so too; but it is not easy to determine, what
Difficulties and Discouragements true Politicks and never ceasing
Industry may not surmount in Time. The Church of _Rome_ is never without
Men of great Parts and Application; she entertains Numbers of them;
and there is no Government, without Exception, of which the true
Interest is so well understood, or so steadily pursued without
Interruption, as hers.

Hor. But why may not Protestants have Men of good Sense and Capacity
among them, as well as _Roman Catholicks_? Do not other Countries
produce Men of Genius as well as _Italy_?

Cleo. Perhaps they do; tho' none more. The _Italians_ are a subtle
People; and I believe, that consummate Knowledge in State Affairs, and
Worldly Wisdom are less precarious at _Rome_, than in any other Place
you can name. Men of uncommon Genius are not born every Day, no more
in _Italy_ than any where else; but when in other Countries a good
Politician goes off the Stage, either of Life or Business, it is often
seen that a Bungler succeeds him, who in a few Years does more Hurt to
the Nation, that the other had Time to do them good in a long
Administration. This never happens at _Rome_; and there is no Court in
the Universe so constantly supplied with able Managers and crafty
Statemen as hers: For how short soever the Lives of most Popes may be,
the Sacred College never dies. Tell me now pray, what unlikely Change,
what Improbability can you imagine, of which we have not Reason to
fear, that, if it be possible at all, it may be brought about by such
a Set of Men; when every one's private Interest, as well as that of
the Common Cause, are highly concern'd in it, and they are not stinted
in Time?

Hor. Assiduity and Patience, I know, will do strange Things, and
overcome great Obstacles. That the Church of _Rome_ is more diligent and
sollicitous to make Proselytes, than the Protestants generally are, I
have long observed.

Cleo. There is no common Cause among the Reformed: The Princes and
Laity of different Persuasions would have been firmly united long ago,
if the Clergy would have suffer'd it; but Divines, who differ, are
implacable, and never known to treat any Adversary with Temper or
Moderation; and it has never been seen yet, that Two Sects of
Christians did agree, and join heartily in one Interest, unless they
were oppress'd, or in immediate Danger of suffering by a common Enemy
to both. As soon as that is over, you always see their former
Animosities revive. If the Church of _Rome_ had no Hopes left, and given
over all Thoughts of ever bringing this Kingdom back within her Pales,
you would see the English Seminaries abroad neglected and dropt by
Degrees; which she now cultivates with the utmost Care: For it is from
them only, that She can be furnish'd with the proper Instruments to
keep Popery alive in _England_, and buoy up the drooping Spirits of the
distress'd _Catholicks_, among the many Hardships and Discouragements,
they labour under beyond the Rest of their Fellow-Subjects. Such
Offices as these, are every where best perform'd by Natives: Whatever
Persuasion People are of, if the National Church of their Country, be
not of their Religion, it is natural the them to wish it was; and that
all imaginable Care is taken in the English Seminaries to encourage,
and with the utmost Skill to heighten and encrease this Natural Desire
in those under their Care, no Man can doubt who considers the
Abilities of the Tutors that are employ'd in them, and the vast
Advantage the Reduction of _Great Britain_ would be to the See of _Rome_.
Whilst those Colleges are constant supply'd with _English_ and _Irish_
Youth, the Popish Interest can never die in this Realm, nor the Church
of _Rome_ want insinuating Priests, or hearty Zealots, that will act any
part, put on any Disguise, and run any Risque for their Cause, either
in Strengthening the _Roman Catholicks_ that are among us in their
Faith, or seducing Protestants from theirs. No Foreigners could do us
half the Mischief. People love their own Language from the same
Motives as they love their Country; and there are no Priests or
Clergy, whom Men will sooner hearken to and confide in, than such, as
take great Pains and express an uncommon Zeal in their Function, at
the same Time that they exercise it at the Hazard of their Liberty or
their Lives. The Church of _Rome_ has fit Tools for every Work and every
Purpose; and no other Power upon Earth has such a Number of Creatures
to serve it, nor such a Fund to reward them when they do. That the
Protestant Interest lost Ground soon after it was well establish'd,
and is still declining more and more every Day, is undeniable. To one
_Roman Catholick_, that is converted to the Reform'd Religion, Ten
Protestants turn Papists, among the highest Quality as well as the
Vulgar. What can be the Reason of this Change? What is it that this
Evil ought to be imputed to?

Hor. Either the Church of _Rome_ is grown more vigilant and mindful of
her Cause since the Reformation, than She was in _Luther's_ Days, or the
Protestants are become more negligent and careless of theirs.

Cleo. I believe both to be true, but especially the latter; for if the
Maxims, that were most instrumental in bringing about the Reformation,
had been continued, they certainly would have prevented, at least in a
great Measure, not only this Evil, but likewise another, which is
worse, I mean the Growth of Irreligion and Impiety: Nay, I don't
question but the same Maxims, if they were to be tried again would
have that Effect still.

Hor. This is a fine Secret, and what, I dare say, the Clergy would be
glad to know. Pray, which are those Maxims.

Cleo. The Sanctity of Manners and exemplary Lives of the Reformers,
their Application and unwearied Diligence in their Calling; their Zeal
for Religion, and Disregard of Wealth and Worldly Enjoyments, either
real or counterfeited, for that God only knows.

Hor. I did not expect this. The Bench of Bishops won't thank you for
your Prescription: They would call it an Attempt to cure the Patients
by blistering the Physicians.

Cleo. Those who would call it so, must be strange Protestant Divines.

Hor. I am sure, that some, if not most of them, would think the Remedy
worse than the Disease.

Cleo. Yet there is none equal to it, no Remedy so effectual, either to
cure us of those Evils, and put an entire Stop to, or to hinder and
obstruct the Encrease as well of Atheism and Prophaneness, as of
Popery and Superstition. And I defy all the Powers of Priestcraft to
name such another, a practicable Remedy, of which there is any
Probability, that it would go down or could be made use of in a
clear-sighted Age, and among a knowing People, that have a Sense of
Liberty, and refuse to be Priest-rid. It is amazing, that so many fine
Writers among the Clergy, so many Men of Parts and Erudition should
seem very earnestly to enquire into the Causes of Libertinism and
Infidelity, and never think on their own Conduct.

Hor. But they'll tell you, that you make the Doctrine of the Gospel
stricter than it really is; and I think so too; and that you take
several Things literally, that ought to be figuratively understood.

Cleo. When Words are plain and intelligible, and what is meant by them
in a literal sense is agreeable to the Tenour and the whole Scope of
the Book in which we meet with those Words, it is reasonable to think,
that they ought to be literally understood. But if, notwithstanding
this, there are others, who are of Opinion, that these Words are to be
taken in a figurative Sense, and this figurative Sense is more forced
than the literal, and likewise clashing with the Doctrine and the
Design of the Book, we have great Reason not to side with their
Opinion: But if it appears moreover, that those who contend for the
forced, figurative Sense, should be Gainers by it, if their Opinion
prevail'd, and it would bring them Profit, Honour, Pleasure, or Ease,
then we ought to suspect them to be partial, and the figurative Sense
is to be rejected.

Hor. I don't know what to make of you to Day. You have shewn the _Roman
Catholick_ Religion to be a bare-faced Imposture; and at the same Time
you seem to blame the _Protestants_ for having left it.

Cleo. I am very consistent with my Self. I have laid open to you the
Politicks, Penetration and Worldly Wisdom of the Church of _Rome_, and
the Want of them in the Reformers, who exposed the Frauds of their
Adversaries, without considering the Hardships and Difficulties, which
such a Discovery would entail upon their Successors. When they parted
with their Power, and gave up their Infallibility, they should have
foreseen the necessary Consequences of the Honesty and Candour. A
Reform'd Church, that will own she may err, must prepare for Heresies
and Schisms, look upon them as unavoidable, and never be angry with
those who dissent from her. They ought likewise to have known, that no
Divines, who will preach the Gospel in its Purity, and teach Nothing
but Apostolick Truths without Craft or Deceit, will ever be believ'd
long, if they appeal to Men's Reason, unless they will likewise lead,
or at least endeavour or seem to lead Apostolick Lives. In all Sects
and Schisms it has always been and will ever be observed, that the
Founders of them either are, or pretend to be Men of Piety and good
Lives; but as there never was a Principle of Morality that Men have
set out from, so strict yet, that in Tract of Time Human Nature has
not got the better of it, so the Successors of those Founders always
become more remiss by Degrees, and look out for Ways and Means to
render the Practice of their Doctrine, or the Exercise of their
Function, more comfortable and commodious: And all Persuasions have
ever lost Ground, and been sunk in their Reputation in proportion, as
the Teachers of them have relax'd their Manners. No Doctrine ever
prevail'd or got any Advantage over the establish'd Religion in any
Country, that was not accompanied with a real Austerity of Life, or a
Pretence at least to a stricter Morality, and greater Forbearance,
than was generally to be seen in the National Church, at the Time in
which the Doctrine was advanced. These are eternal Truths, that must
flow from the Fabrick, the very Essence of Human Nature. Therefore the
Clergy may write and preach as they please: They may have all the
Skill and Learning that Mortals can be possess'd of, and all the
assistance into the Bargain, that the secular Power can give them in a
free Nation, they will never be able long to keep up their Credit with
a mixed Multitude, if no Show is made of Self-denial, and they will
totally neglect those Means, without which that Credit was never

The Third Dialogue Between _Horatio_ and _Cleomenes_.

Horatio. Tho' it is but Two Days ago that I troubled you almost a
whole Afternoon, I am come again to spend the Remainder of this, and
sup with you, if you are at Leisure.

Cleo. This is exceeding kind. I am no Ways engaged; and you give me a
vast Deal of Pleasure.

Hor. The more I have thought and reflected on what you said of Honour
last _Tuesday_, the more I have perceiv'd and felt the Truth of it in
Spight of my Teeth. But I shall never dare to speak of so wretched an

Cleo. The Beginning of all Things relating to Human Affairs was ever
small and mean: Man himself was made of a Lump of Earth. Why should we
be ashamed of this? What could be meaner than the Origin of Ancient
_Rome_? Yet her own Historians, proud as they were, scrupled not to
mention it, after she was arrived at the Height of her Glory, and
become a Goddess, _Dea Roma_, to whom Divine Honours were paid
throughout the Empire, and a stately Temple was erected within her own

Hor. I have often wonder'd at that _Dea Roma_, and her Statues
resembling those of _Pallas_. What could they pretend her Divinity to
consist in?

Cleo. In her vast Power, which every Freeman had the Privilege to
imagine, he had a Share in.

Hor. What a _Bizar_, what a monstrous Humour must it have been, that
could make a wife People suppose that to be a Goddess, which they knew
to be a City!

Cleo. Nothing in the Universe, but the Pride of the Citizens. But I
don't think, that the Humour, which you seem to be so much astonish'd
at, is altogether worn off yet. In Poetry, Painting and Sculpture, you
see Rivers, Towns, and Countries continue to be represented under the
Images of Men and Women as much as ever. Look upon the Marble Figures
about the Pedestal of Queen _Anne's_ Statue at St. _Paul's_.

Hor. But No body is so silly as to worship them.

Cleo. Not in outward Shew, because it is out of Fashion; but the
inward Veneration, which is paid by many to the Things represented by
those Images, is the very same as it was formerly, and owing to the
same Cause.

Hor. In what Part of the World is it, that you have observed this?

Cleo. In _Christendom_; Here. If you was to hear a vain Man, that is a
considerable Inhabitant of any large Capital, when he is speaking on
the Part and in Behalf of his City, _London_ for example, _Paris_ or
_Amsterdam_, you would find the Honour, the high Esteem, and the
Deference, which in his Opinion are due to it, far superiour to any,
that are now paid to Mortal Creatures.

Hor. I believe there is a great Deal in what you say.

Cleo. It is worth your Observation, what I am going to mention.
Wherever you see great Power and Authority lodged in a considerable
Number of Men, mind the profound Respect and Submission, each Member
pays to the whole, and you'll find, that there is great Plenty,
throughout the World, of what you said, two Days ago, was
inconceivable to you.

Hor. What is that, pray?

Cleo. Idols, that are their own Worshipers, and sincerely adore

Hor. I don't know but there may be, in your Way of construing Things:
But I came with a Design to discourse with you on another Subject.
When you said in our last Conversation, that _a peaceful Disposition
and Humility were not Qualities more promising in the Day of Battle,
than a contrite Heart and a broken Spirit are Preparatives for
Fighting_, I could not help agreeing with your Sentiments; yet it is a
common Notion, even among Men of very good Sense, that the best
Christians make the best Soldiers.

Cleo. I verily believe, that there are no better Soldiers, than there
are among the Christians; and I believe the same of Painters; but I am
well assured, that the best in either Calling are often far from being
the best Christians. The Doctrine of _Christ_ does not teach Men to
Fight, any more than it does to Paint. That _Englishmen_ fight well is
not owing to their Christianity. The Fear of Shame is able to make
most Men brave. Soldiers are made by Discipline. To make them proud of
their Profession, and inspire them with the Love of Glory, are the
surest Arts to make them valiant: Religion has Nothing to do with it.
The _Alcoran_ bids its Followers fight and propagate their Faith by Arms
and Violence; nay, it promises Paradise to All, who die in Battle
against Infidels; yet, you see, how often the _Turks_ have turn'd Tail
to the _Germans_, when the latter have been inferiour in Number.

Hor. Yet Men never fight with greater Obstinacy than in Religious
Wars. If it had not been taken for granted, that Men were animated to
Battle by Preaching, _Butler_ would never have call'd the Pulpit, _Drum

Cleo. That Clergymen may be made Use of as Incendiaries, and by
perverting the Duties of their Function, set Men together by the Ears,
is very true; but no Man was ever made to fight by having the Gospel
preach'd to him. From what I have said of Self-liking and Human
Nature, the Reason is manifest, why among People, that are indifferent
to one another, it is a difficult Task to make a Man sincerely love
his Neighbour, at the same Time, that it is the easiest Thing in the
World to make him hate his Neighbour with all his Heart. It is
impossible that Two distinct Persons or Things should be the same;
therefore they must all differ in Something.

Hor. Cannot Two Things be so exactly alike, that they shall differ in

Cleo. No: For if they are Two, they must differ in Situation, East and
West, the Right and the Left; and there is Nothing so small, so
innocent, or so insignificant, that Individuals of our Species can
differ in, but Self-liking may make a Handle of it for Quarrelling.
This close Attachment and Partiality of every Man to himself, the very
Word, Difference, points at, and upbraids us with: For tho' literally
it is only a Term, to express that Things are not the same; yet, in
its figurative Sense, Difference between Men signifies Disagreement in
Opinions, and Want of Concord. For not only different Nations, but
different Cities in the same Kingdom, different Wards, different
Parishes, different Families, different Persons, tho' they are Twins,
or the best Friends in the World, are all in a fair Way of
Quarrelling, whenever the Difference, that is between them, be that
what it will, comes to be look'd into and discuss'd; if both act with
Sincerity, and each Party will speak from the Bottom of their Hearts.

Hor. Self is never forgot; and I believe, that many love their Country
very sincerely for the Sake of One.

Cleo. Nay, what is all the World to the meanest Beggar, if he is not
to be consider'd as a Part of it?

Hor. This is a little too openly inculcated at Church; and I have
often wonder'd, how a Parson, preaching before a few Clowns in a
pitiful Village, should, after he has named all the great People in
the Nation, pray God to bless more _especially_ the Congregation there
assembled; and this at the same Time that the King and the Royal
Family are at Prayers likewise; and the House of Lords at one Church,
and the House of Commons at another. I think it is an impudent Thing
for a Parcel of Country Boobies to desire to be serv'd first, or
better, than so many Hundred Congregations, that are superiour to them
in Number and Knowledge, as well as Wealth and Quality.

Cleo. Men always join most heartily in Petitions, in which they
manifestly have a Share; and that the _Especially_, you find Fault with
was put in from that Consideration, I believe No body denies.

Hor. But there seems to be a low Artifice, a crafty Design, by which
the Compilers of those Prayers, knowingly made People lay a Stress
upon a Thing, in which there is no Reality. When I hear a Man pray for
Blessings on All, especially the Congregation where I am present, it
pleases me well enough, and the Word _Especially_, has its Effect upon
me whilst I think no further; but when I consider, that the same Words
are said to every audience of the same Church throughout the Kingdom,
I plainly find that I was pleas'd with Nothing.

Cleo. Suppose I should own, that it was a Contrivance of those, who
composed the Prayers, to raise Devotion, and that this Contrivance had
been the Effect of a thorough Knowledge of Human Nature; where would
be the Harm, since No body can be injured by it? But to return to our
Subject. If Difference in the least Things is capable of raising
Anger, there is no Doubt, but it will do it most in Things that are
very material, and of the highest Concern: And that Religion in all
Countries is an Affair of the greatest Concern, is taken for granted
by all good Men, and seldom denied by the bad. This is the Reason,
that in Religious Wars Men are more inveterate, and commit more
Cruelties, than when they fight upon other Account. Here the worst and
most vicious Men have fine Opportunities of gratifying their natural
Malice and Rancour of Heart, without being blamed for it; and placing
a Merit in doing Mischief. Therefore we see, that those, who are most
neglectful of their Duty, and act most contrary to the Dictates of
their Religion, are so often the most zealous in fighting for it.
There are other Things that help, and all contribute, to make
Religious Wars the most bloody. Men are commonly sure of Nothing so
much, as they are of the Truth of the Religion they profess; so that
in all Religious Quarrels, Every body is satisfied that he has Justice
on his Side: This must make Man obstinate. The Multitude in all
Countries ascribe to the Deities they worship the same Passions which
they feel themselves; and knowing how well pleas'd they are with Every
body that is on their Side, and will take their Part, they expect
their Reward from Heaven, which they seem to defend; and on that Score
they think with Delight on the Losses and Calamities which they make
others suffer; whether _Churchmen_ fight with _Presbyterians_, _Papists_
with _Protestants_, or _Mahometans_ with _Christians_ of any Sort. Those who
are of Opinion, that the best _Christians_ make the best Soldiers, have
commonly their Eyes on the Civil Wars both in _France_ and in

Hor. And if you compare the Prince of _Conde's_ Army with that of the
League there, or _Cromwell's_ Troops with the King's Forces here, the
_Whigs_ will tell you, that in either Nation you may meet with
sufficient Proofs, to confirm the Opinion you speak of.

Cleo. I have Nothing to do with _Whigs_ or _Tories_; but let us narrowly
look into this Affair, and examine it impartially. Religion was
brought into the Quarrel, you know, in both Kingdoms, and the Cases
between the Adversaries here and there were much the same. The
_Huguenots_ and _Roundheads_ on the one Side said, that they had Nothing
so much at Heart as Religion; that the National Worship was Idolatry;
that Christianity required no outward Shew of Altars or Vestments, but
the Sacrifice of the Heart to be seen in Men's Lives; that God was to
be serv'd with greater Strictness, than was observed by the National
Clergy; that they fought his Cause, and did not question, but by his
Help to obtain the Victory. The _Leaguers_ and _Cavaliers_ said on the
other Side, that Lay-men, especially Soldiers, where improper Judges
in Matters of Religion; that themselves were honest Men, loyal
Subjects, who fought for the establish'd Church, their King and
Country; and as to their Adversaries, that they were under a Parcel of
Hypocritical Rascals, that under the Mask of Sanctity carried on an
open Rebellion, and had no other Design than to dethrone the King, and
get the Government into their own Clutches. Let us see the Consequence
that would naturally follow from this Difference. The First, to
support their Cause, would think it necessary not to be too glaringly
inconsistent with themselves; therefore they would display somewhat
more of Devotion, and by praying often, and perhaps singing of Psalms,
make a greater Shew of Religion, than is commonly seen in Armies.
Should the Chief of such Troops, and the great Men under him, who are
most likely to get by the Quarrel, be more circumspect in their
Actions, and attend Divine Worship oftner than is usual for Persons of
Quality, their Example would influence the inferiour Officers, and
these would take Care, that the Soldiers should comply, whether they
would or not. If this was well perform'd on one Side, it is very
natural to suppose, that the other, knowing the first to be no better
Men than themselves, and believing them to be Hypocrites, would not
only be offended at their Behaviour, but likewise, in Opposition to
their Enemies, be more neglectful of Religious Duties, than well
disciplin'd Armies generally are, and the Soldiers allow'd to be more
dissolute in their Lives than is usual. By this Means the Contrast
between two such Armies, would be very conspicuous. A good Politician
may add to, or take from the Principle of Honour, what Virtue or
Qualifications he pleases; and a skillful General, who can guard his
own Actions, and will be at some Trouble in Self-denial where he may
be observed, may model an Army as he thinks fit. All Superiors, in
Camps as well as Courts, will ever serve for Patterns to their
Inferiours; and should Officers unanimously resolve to render Swearing
unfashionable, and in good Earnest set about this Task, by Example as
well as Precept and Discipline, it would not be difficult to manage
Soldiers in such a Manner, that in less than Half a Year not an Oath
should be heard among them. If there were Two Armies in the Same
Country, and of the same Nation, in one of which the Soldiers should
curse and swear, as much as is commonly done among all loose, and
ill-bred People, and in the other the Men should have been cured of
that bad Custom, it is incredible what Reputation of being Good and
Religious, those, who would only forbear Swearing, would gain beyond
their Adversaries, tho' they were equally guilty with them of Whoring,
Drinking, Gaming, and every other Vice except that one. Therefore if
one General, to please and keep in with a Party, should think it his
Interest that his Troops should make a greater Appearance of
Godliness, than is commonly observed among Military Men; and another,
to please a contrary Party, should take it to be his Interest to act
as contrary as it was possible to what his Enemies did, and endeavour
to be the Reverse of them, the Difference would be prodigious.

Hor. Then if in one Army they were Valiant, the General of the other
would endeavour to make his Men Cowards.

Cleo. They would differ in every Thing that Soldiers can differ in:
The Observance of the Point of Honour and Hatred to their Enemies are
inseparable from their Calling; therefore resenting of Affronts among
themselves, and cruel Usage to their Enemies, were not more banish'd
from the Armies of the _Huguenots_ and _Roundheads,_ than they were from
those of the _Leaguers_ and _Cavaliers._

Hor. The true Reason of the Difference, in the Lives and Morals of the
Soldiers, between the King's Forces and the Rebels, was the Difference
of their Circumstances, and the Care that was taken of them. The
Parliament's Army was regularly provided for, and always able to pay
for what they had. But the others, who were most commonly in Want,
were forced to live upon the Country, and take their Provisions where
they could get them; and this will make all Troops more dissolute and
disorderly, than is consistent with the Service, tho' they had the
best Officers in the World.

Cleo. The Misfortune you speak of, and which the King's Army labour'd
under, must every where be a great Hinderance to Discipline; and I
verily believe, that his Soldiers suffer'd very much in their Morals
on Account of it; but I am persuaded, that the Contrariety of
Principles, which I hinted at, was an Addition to that Misfortune, and
made it worse; for that the _Cavaliers_ laughed at the _Roundheads_ for
their praying so long and so often, and the great Shew they made of
Devotion, is certain; and there is always a Pleasure in appearing to
be the Reverse of what we ridicule in our Enemies. But whatever was
then, or might at any other Time, be the true Reason of the Difference
in the Shew of Piety and Goodness between two such Armies, let us see
the Consequence of it, and the Effect it would naturally have on the
sober Party. All Multitudes are superstitious; and among great
Numbers, there are always Men prone to Enthusiasm; and if the
Pretenders to Godliness had skilful Divines (as no doubt, they would
have) that knew, how to extol the Goodness and Piety of the General
and the Soldiers, declaim against the Wickedness and reprobate Lives
of the Enemies, and remonstrate to their Hearers, how God must love
the first, and, from his known Attributes, hate the latter, it would
in all Probability produce every Thing we read of in the Armies of the
Prince of _Conde_ and the Parliament. Some Colonels would preach, and
some Soldiers would learn Prayers and Scraps of Psalms by Heart, and
many of them would grow more circumspect in indulging their Vices,
than is common to Men of their Function. This latter would make the
Men more governable, and consequently better Troops, and all together
would make a great Noise. Besides, Mankind are so given to flatter
themselves, that they'll believe any Thing, that is said in their
Praise; and should, in any Regiment of such an Army, the Chaplain
display his Eloquence before a Battle, exhort the Men to Bravery,
speak in Commendation of the Zeal and Piety of the Officers and the
Troops in general, and find out some particular Reason, why God should
love and have Regard for that Regiment beyond any other, it might have
a very good Effect upon the most Wicked, as well as the better Sort.
And if this Chaplain, from what he knew of them, should pathetically
encourage them, and promise them the Victory, Enthusiasm is so
catching, that a Fellow, who lay with a Whore over Night, and was
drunk the Day before, if he saw his Comrades moved, might be
transported with Joy and Eagerness to fight, and be stupid enough to
think, that he had a Share in God's Favour. The _Greek_ and _Roman_
Histories abound with Instances of the immense Use that may be made in
War of Superstition well turn'd: The grossest, if skilfully managed,
may make the fearful, undaunted, and the loosest Livers exert
themselves to the utmost of their Power, from a firm Belief, that
Heaven is on their Side. That Superstition has had this Effect upon
Men of almost every Persuasion, as well as Heathen Idolaters, is
certain; but he must be a notable Divine, that can expect the same
from the Doctrine of _Christ_, faithfully deliver'd, and preach'd in its
Purity. It is possible therefore that any Number of Troops may, by
crafty Declamations and other Arts, be made Zealots and Enthusiasts,
that shall fight and pray, sing Psalms one Hour, and demolish an
Hospital the next; but you'll as soon meet with an Army of Generals or
of Emperours, as you will with, I won't say an Army, but a Regiment,
or even a Company of good Christians among Military Men. There never
were better Troops, or Men that behaved with greater Gallantry and
Chearfulness, than we had in the two last Wars; Officers as well as
common Soldiers; but I would as soon believe, that it was Witchcraft
that made them brave, as that it was their Religion.

Hor. Yet I have often heard it from experienc'd Officers, that the
most virtuous, the soberest, and the most civiliz'd Fellows made the
best Soldiers, and were those whom they could most depend upon.

Cleo. I heartily believe that to be true for the Generality; for I
know, that by Virtuous, you don't mean much more than tolerably
Honest, such as are not given to wrong or decieve Any body; or else
among the Officers themselves, you know, that very Few of them are
possess'd of many Christian Virtues, or would be fond of the
Character. Do but consider what is required of a Soldier. There are
Three Things which the officers are chiefly afraid of in their Men:
The First is, that they may desert, which is so much Money lost: The
Second, that they may rob or steal, and so come to be hang'd: The
Third is, that they may be sick, and consequently incapable of doing
Duty. Any middling Honest secures them entirely as to the two First;
and, without Doubt, the less vicious; that is, the more sober and
temperate the Men are, the more likely they are to preserve their
Health. As for the Rest, Military Men are easy _Casuists_ for the
Generality, and are used to give, as well as take, large Grains of
Allowance. A Soldier, who minds his Business, is seldom reproved for
taking any Pleasure he can come at, without being complain'd of: And
if he be brave, and understands his Exercise, takes Care always to be
sober when he is upon Duty, pays a profound Respect to his Officers,
as well as a strict Obedience to their Commands, watches their Eyes,
and flies at a Nod, he can never fail of being beloved. And if
moreover he keeps himself clean, and his Hair powder'd, is neat in his
Cloaths, and takes Care not to be pox'd; let him do what he pleases
for the Rest, he'll be counted a very valuable Fellow. A Man may do
all this without Christianity, as well as he can do it without having
an Estate. There are Thousands that are less circumspect and not half
so well accomplish'd, who yet are well esteem'd in that Station. And
as I have allow'd on the one Hand, that the soberest and the civiliz'd
Fellows make the best Soldiers, and are, generally speaking, the most
to be depended upon in an Army, so it is undeniable on the other,
that, if not the major, at least a very considerable Part of our best
Troops, that had the greatest Share in the Victories we obtain'd, was
made up of loose and immoral, if not debauch'd and wicked Fellows.
Nay, I insist upon it, that Jayl-birds, Rogues, who had been guilty of
the worst of Crimes, and some that had been saved from the Gallows to
recruit our Forces, did on many Occasions both in _Spain_, and _Flanders_,
fight with as much Intrepidity, and were as indefatigable, as the most
Virtuous amongst them. Nor was this any Thing strange or unexpected;
or else the recruiting Officers ought to have been punish'd, for
lifting and giving the Money of the Publick to Men, of whom there was
no Probability that they could be made Soldiers. But to make it
evident, how little the Religion and Morality of a Soldier are minded
by his Superiours, and what great Care is taken to keep up and
cultivate his Pride ----.

Hor. That latter I have seen enough of in the _Fable_ of the _Bees_. You
would speak about the Cloaths and Accoutrements.

Cleo. I wave them; tho' there it is likewise very conspicuous. I only
desire you to compare the Things he is indulg'd in, and which, if he
pleases, he may brag of, with what he is taught to be ashamed of, the
grand Offence, which, if once committed, is never to be pardon'd. If
he has but Courage, and knows how to please his Officers, he may get
drunk Two or Three Times a Week, have a fresh Whore every Day, and
swear an Oath at every Word he speaks, little or no Notice shall be
taken of him to his Dishonour; and, if he be good humour'd, and
forbears stealing among his Comrades, he'll be counted a very honest
Fellow. But if, what _Christ_ and his Apostles would have justify'd him
in and exhorted him to do, he takes a Slap in the Face, or any other
gross Affront before Company, without resenting it, tho' from his
intimate Friend, it cannot be endured; and tho' he was the soberest,
and the most chaste, the most discreet, tractable and best temper'd
Man in the World, his Business is done. No body will serve with a
noted Coward; nay, it would be an Affront to desire it of Gentlemen
Soldiers, who wear the King's Cloth; and the Officers are forc'd to
turn him out of the Regiment. Those who are unacquainted with Military
Affairs and Chaplains of Regiments, would not imagine, what a small
Portion of Virtue and Forbearance a Soldier stands in Need of, to have
the Reputation of a good Religious Man among those he converses with.
Clergymen, that are employ'd in Armies, are seldom rigid _Casuists_; and
Few of them are Saints themselves. If a Soldier seems to be less fond
of strong Liquors than others generally are; if he is seldom heard to
swear; if he is cautious in Love-Affairs, and not openly vicious that
Way; if he is not known to Steal or Pilfer, he'll be stiled a very
honest, sober Fellow. But if, moreover, such a one should behave with
Decency at Devine Service, and seem now and then to be attentive to
what is spoken; if ever he had been seen with a Book in his Hand,
either open or shut; if he was respectful to the Clergy, and zealous
against those, who are not of the same Religion which he professes to
be of, he would be call'd a very Religious Man; and half a Dozen of
them in a Regiment would, in a little Time, procure a mighty Character
to the whole, and great Honour to the Chaplain.

Hor. I dare say, that on some Occasions he would take the Liberty from
it to brag, that there were no better Christians in the World, than a
great many were, whom he had under his Care.

Cleo. Considering how Things are often magnify'd without Regard to
Truth or Merit, and what Advantages some Men will take, right or
wrong, to advance as well as maintain the Cause they get by; it is not
improbable, that three or four score thousand Men, that were kept in
good Discipline, tho' they were all taken at Random from the lowest
and idlest of the Vulgar, might be stiled an Army of good Christians,
if they had a Chaplain to every Regiment, and but Two or Three such
orderly Soldiers, as I have describ'd, in every Thousand: And I am
persuaded, that the sect or Religion, which they pretended to follow
and profess, would, by the Help of able and active Divines, acquire
more Credit and Reputation from those Few, than all the Loosness,
Debauchery and gross Vices of the Rest would ever be able to take away
from them.

Hor. But from what you have said, I should think, that the Gospel must
do Hurt among fighting Men. As such they must be animated by another
Spirit, and can receive no Benefit from the Doctrine of Peace. What
Occasion is there for Divines in an Army?

Cleo. I have hinted to you several Times, that in the Management of
Human Creatures, the Fear of an invincible Cause, which they are all
born with, was always to be consulted; and that no Multitudes can ever
be govern'd, so as to be made useful to any one Purpose, if those, who
attempt to rule over them, should neglect to take Notice of, or but
any Ways seem to slight the Principle of that Fear. The worst of Men
are often as much influenc'd by it as the best; or else Highwaymen and
House-breakers would not swear Fidelity to one another. God is call'd
upon as a Witness to the mutual Promises of the greatest Miscreants,
that they will persevere in their Crimes and Villanies, and to the
last Drop of their Blood be unalterably Wicked. This, you know, has
been done in Massacres, the blackest Treasons, and the most horrid
Conspiracies; tho' the Persons concern'd in them, perhaps, gave other
Names to their Undertakings. By this we may see, what absurd Notions
Men may have of the Deity, who undoubtedly believe his Existence: For
how flagitious soever Men are, none can be deem'd _Atheists_ but those,
who pretend to have absolutely conquer'd, or never been influenced by
the Fear of an invisible Cause, that over-rules Human Affairs; and
what I say now has been and ever will be true in all Countries, and in
all Ages, let the Religion or Worship of the People be what they will.

Hor. It is better to have no Religion, than to worship the Devil.

Cleo. In what Respect is it better?

Hor. It is not so great an Affront to the Deity not to believe his
Existence, as it is to believe him to be the most Cruel and the most
Malicious Being that can be imagin'd.

Cleo. That is a subtle Argument, seldom made Use of but by

Hor. Don't you think, that many Believers have been worse Men, than
some _Atheists_?

Cleo. As to Morality, there have been good and bad Men of all Sects
and all Persuasions; but before we know any Thing of Men's Lives,
Nothing can be worse in the Civil Society, than an Atheist, _caeteris
paribus_. For it would be ridiculous to say, that it is less safe to
trust to a Man's Principle, of whom we have some Reason to hope, that
he may be with-held by the Fear of Something, than it is to trust to
one who absolutely denies, that he is withheld by the Fear of any
Thing. The old _Mexicans_ worship'd _Vitzliputzli_, at the same Time that
they own'd his Malice, and execrated his Cruelty; yet it is highly
probable, that some of them were deterr'd from Perjury for Fear of
being punish'd by _Vitzliputzli;_ who would have been guilty of it, if
they had not been afraid of any Thing at all.

Hor. Then not to have believed the Existence of that chimerical
Monster was Atheism in _Mexico_.

Cleo. It certainly was among People that knew of no other invisible

Hor. But why should I wonder at the _Mexicans_? There are Christians
enough, of whom, to judge from their Sentiments and Behaviour, it is
hard to determine, which it is they are more afraid of, God or the

Cleo. I don't question, but among the Vulgar, more Persons have been
deterr'd from doing Evil, by what they had heard of the Torments of
Hell, than have been made virtuous by what had been told them of the
Joys of Heaven, tho' both had been represented to them as equally
infinite and unutterable.

Hor. But to return to my Question. When I ask'd what Occasion there
was for Divines in an Army, I was not ignorant of the Necessity there
is of having Religion and Priests of some Sort or other, to humour as
well as awe the Multitude; but I wanted to know the Mystery, and be
let into the Secret, by which the Doctrine of Peace is made
serviceable to the carrying on of War; for that Preachers of the
Gospel have not only exhorted Men to Battle, but likewise that they
have done it effectually; and that Soldiers have been inspired with
Courage, and made to fight with Obstinacy by their Sermons, the
History of almost every Country can witness.

Cleo. A little Accuracy will set us to Rights. That what you say has
been, and is often done by Sermons and Preachers, both Protestant and
Popish, is certainly true. But I deny, that ever it was once done by a
Preacher of the Gospel.

Hor. I don't understand your Distinction. Are not all Christian
Divines call'd Preachers, as well as Ministers of the Gospel?

Cleo. But many People are call'd, what, strictly speaking, they are
not. The Reason I have for what I say is, that there is Nothing
contain'd in the Gospel, that can have the least Tendency to promote
or justify War or Discord, Foreign or Domestic, Publick or Private;
nor is there any the least Expression to be found in it, from which it
is possible to excite or set People on to quarrel with, do Hurt to, or
any ways offend one another, on any Account whatever.

Hor. But this encreases the mystery, and makes the facts less

Cleo. I will unfold it to you. As all Priests have ever maintain'd,
that they were the Interpreters of the will of the deity they
pretended to serve, and had an undoubted Right of construing and
explaining the Doctrine and the Meaning of the Religion they taught
and presided over: As, I say, all priests have ever maintain'd this,
so the Christian Clergy, as soon as they took it in their Heads to be
priests likewise, claim'd the same Privilege; and finding several
things, which they had a Mind to, denied them in the Gospel; and that
many Conveniencies, which all other Priests had ever, not only been
fond of, but likewise enjoy'd, were in express words forbid, and
absolutely prohibited in the _New Testament_, they had recourse to the
_Old_, and providently took Care from thence to supply the Deficiency of
the _New_.

Hor. So, when they had no settled Revenue or Pomp of Dress from the
Gospel, they took up with the Tithes and Sacerdotal Ornaments of the
_Levites_, and borrow'd from the _Jewish_ Priests and Prophets every Thing
that was worth having.

Cleo. This would open too large a Field, and therefore I would look
into the Clergy's Behaviour no farther, than as it relates to Armies
and military Men, and take Notice, that whenever Pillage or shedding
of Blood are to be justified or encouraged by a Sermon, or Men are to
be exhorted to Battle, to the Sacking of a City or the Devastation of
a Country, by a pathetick Discourse, the Text is always taken from the
_Old Testament_; which is an inexhaustible Fund for Declamation on
almost every Subject and every Occasion: And there is no worldly End,
which the most ambitious Man, or the most cruel Tyrant can have to
serve, but from some Part or other of that Book a Divine of middling
Capacity may find out a proper Text to harangue upon, that shall
answer the Purpose. But to make it evident, that Divines may be useful
to all Fighting Men, without preaching of the Gospel, we need but to
consider, that among all the Wars and Dissentions, which Christians
have had with one another on innumerable Accounts, there never was a
Cause yet, so unreasonable or absurd, so unjust or openly wicked, if
it had an army to back it, that has not found Christian Divines, or at
least such as stiled themselves so, who have espoused and call'd it
Righteous. No rebellion was ever so unnatural, nor Tyranny so cruel,
but if there were men who would fight for it, there were Priests who
would pray for it, and loudly maintain, that it was the Cause of God.
Nothing is more necessary to an Army, than to have this latter
strenously insisted upon, and skilfully unculcated to the soldiers. No
body fights heartily, who believes himself to be in the wrong, and
that God is against him, Whereas a firm persuasion of the Contrary,
inspires Men with Courage and Intrepidity; it furnishes them with
arguments to justify the Malice of their Hearts, and the implacable
Hatred they bear their Enemies; it confirms them in the ill opinion
they have of them, and makes them confident of victory; _si
Deus pro nobis quis contra nos?_ In all wars it is an everlasting
Maxim in Politicks, that whenever Religion can be brought into the
Quarrel, it ought never to be neglected, and that how small soever the
Difference may be between the contending Parties, the Divines on each
Side, ought to magnify and make the most of it; for Nothing is more
comfortable to Men, than the Thought, that their Enemies are likewise
the Enemies of God.

Hor. But to make Soldiers laborious as well as governable, would it
not be useful to exhort them to Virtue, and a close Attachment to the
Principle of Honour?

Cleo. The principle of Honour is never forgot; and as to Virtue, what
is required of them is Fortitude, and to do as they are bid. And if
you'll consider what Pains are taken to make them ashamed of Cowardice
above all other Vices; and how prompt, as well as severe, the
Punishment for Disobedience is in the least Trifles among Soldiers,
beyond what it is any where else; if, I say, you'll consider these
Things on the one Hand, and on the other the great Latitude that is
given them as to Morals, in what has no Regard to the Service, you'll
find, that for the First, Divines are not wanted, and that for the
other they can do but little Good. However Morality is often preach'd
to them, and even the Gospel at seasonable Times, when they are in
Winter Quarters, or in an idle summer, when there is no Enemy near,
and the Troops perhaps are encamped in a Country, where no Hostilities
should be committed. But when they are to enter upon Action, to
besiege a large Town, or ravage a rich Country, it would be very
impertinent to talk to them of Christian Virtues; doing as they would
be done by; loving their enemies, and extending their Charity to all
Mankind. When the Foe is at Hand, the Men have Skirmishes with him
every Day, and perhaps a main battle is expected; then the mask is
flung off; not a Word of the Gospel, nor of Meekness or Humility; and
all Thoughts of Christianity are laid aside entirely. The men are
prais'd and buoy'd up in the high value they have for themselves:
their Officers call them Gentlemen and Fellow-Soldiers; Generals pull
off their Hats to them; and no Artifice is neglected that can flatter
their Pride, or inspire them with the Love of Glory. The Clergy
themselves take Care at such Times, not to mention to them their Sins,
or any Thing that is melancholy or disheartning: On the Contrary, they
speak chearfully to them, encourage and assure them of God's Favour.
They take Pains to justify, and endeavour to encrease the Animosities
and Aversion, which those under their Care have against their Enemies,
whom to blacken and render odious, they leave no Art untried, no Stone
unturn'd; and no Calumny can be more malicious, no Story more
incredible, nor Falsity more notorious, than have been made Use of
knowingly for that Purpose by Christian Divines, both _Protestants_, and

Hor. I don't use to be an Advocate for Bigots of any sort, much less
for Fanaticks, whom I hate; but facts are stubborn things. It is
impossible to reflect on the sharp and bloody Engagements in the
Rebellion, and the Devotion of _Cromwell_'s army, without being
convinced, that there must have been Men at that Time, that were both
Valiant and Religious. It is certain, that the Rebels fought well, and
that they had more Days of Fasting and Humiliation, than ever were
known among any other Soldiers.

Cleo. That there was a greater Appearance of Religion among them, than
ever was among any other regular Troops, I allow; but that none of it
could proceed from a Principle of Christianity is demonstrable.

Hor. They had Men of unquestionable Honour among them; and some of
them must have been sincere.

Cleo. A great many, I verily believe, were sincere; but let us look
into this Affair a little more narrowly. What do you think of the
General? Do you think, that _Cromwell_ was a good Christian and a pious
Man, who had Nothing so much at Heart as Religion and Liberty, and,
void of Selfishness, had devoted himself to procure Happiness Eternal
as well as Temporal to the People of _England_? Or that he was a vile
wicked Hypocrite, who, under the Cloak of Sanctity, broke through all
Human and Divine Laws to aggrandize himself, and sacrifis'd every
Thing to his own Ambition, and the Interest of his Family?

Hor. There is no Doubt, but all impartial Men must believe the latter.
But then he understood Mankind very well; his very Enemies, that were
his Contemporaries, allow'd him to be a Man of great Parts. If he had
had the the same Opinion of Christianity, which you have, and the
Unfitness of it to make Men quarrel and fight with Obstinacy, he would
never have made Use of it among his Soldiers.

Cleo. And it is clear as the sun, that he never did.

Hor. That his pretences to religion were no more than Hypocrisy, I
have allow'd; but it does not appear, that he desired others to be
Hypocrites too: On the Contrary, he took Pains, or at least made Use
of all possible Means to promote Christianity among his Men, and make
them sincerely Religious.

Cleo. You will never distinguish between Christianity, that is, the
Doctrine of Christ, and the Interpretations, that are made of it by
Clergymen; tho' I have often shew'd you the great Difference there is
between them. _Cromwell_ was a Man of admirable good Sense, and
thoroughly well acquainted with Human Nature; he knew the mighty Force
of Enthusiasm, and made Use of it accordingly. As to Strictness of
Religion and the Love of Liberty, they had all along been the darling
Pretences of the party he engaged in. The complaints of the _Puritans_
against Episcopacy, and that the Church of _England_ was not
sufficiently reformed, began in Queen _Elizabeth's_ Time, and were very
near as old as the Reformation itself. The people's Murmurings and
Struggles for Liberty were of some Standing, when King _Charles_ the
First came to the Throne: The Jealousies, which Parliaments had of the
Regal Power and Prerogative, had been openly shewn in his Father's
Reign, and, throughout the Course of it, been troublesome to his
Ministers. That the Clergy of the Church of _England_ had enjoin'd
Things, and taught what they had no Warrant for from the Gospel, and
that King _James_ the First, as well as his Son, who succeeded him, laid
Claim to a more absolute Power, than was consistent with the
privileges of Parliament and the Constitution, in undeniable. Religion
then and Liberty, being two topicks, that Abundance was to be said
upon in those Days, became the Subject and Foundation of the Quarrels
between the King and Parliament, that afterwards broke out into a
Civil War.

Hor. I was not born in _China_ or _Lapland_: there is not a Boy of Twelve
Years old, that is ignorant of the Causes of that Civil War.

Cleo. I don't question your Knowledge; but only mention these Things,
that from the Nature of the Dissentions, and the mischiefs that ensued
upon them, we might see the Impossibility, that either Party should
have acted from a Principle of Christianity. I shall now endeavor to
demonstrate to you Two Things; the First is, that Clergymen, by a
small Deviation from the Gospel, may so egregiously impose upon their
Hearers, as to make even sincere Men act quite contrary to the
Precepts of it, at the same Time that those subtle Declaimers shall
seem to be full of Zeal, and to have the highest Value for
Christianity. The Other is, that in a well disciplin'd Army, Acts of
Devotion, and an outward Shew of Religion may do vast Service for the
obtaining of Victory, tho' the General who appointed and order'd them,
was an _Atheist_; the greatest part of the Clergy, who perform'd and
assisted in them, were Hypocrites, and the Generality of the Men were
wicked Livers. As to the First, I call a Man sincere in his Religion,
who believes the Bible to be the Word of God, and acknowledging the
Difficulty he finds in obeying the Dictates of the Gospel, wishes with
all his heart, that he could practice the self-denial that is required
in it; and is sorry, that he has not the Power to govern and subdue
his stubborn Passions so well as he could wish. If to such a one, a
Clergyman should preach the Strictness of Morality, and the Necessity
of Repentance, that are taught in the Gospel, and moreover inculcate
to him, that as to Divine Worship the Ceremonial was abrogated; that
what was required of us, was the Sacrifice of the Heart and the
Conquest over our darling Lusts; and that in short the Religious
Duties of a Christian were summ'd up in loving God as his Neighbour;
this Doctrine being every Way agreeable to that of _Christ,_ a sincere
man, who had read the _New Testament_, would easily give Ear to a
Divine, who should preach it to him; and it is highly probable, that
in Matters of Conscience, and every Thing relating to his Deportment,
he should be glad of his Counsel. Suppose now, that there was another
Clergyman in the same city, who likewise pretending to preach the
Gospel, should, on the one Hand, represent the Doctrine of it as very
indulging to Human Nature, and the Practice of it easily comply'd
with, and, on the other, lay a great Stress on the Honour to be paid
to his own Person, and the Performances of a Set of Ceremonies, no
where mention'd in the Gospel; it is not likely, that our sincere Man
should approve of his Sermons; but if this Second Divine should
moreover call them Enemies to God, who should refuse to comply with
every Part of these Ceremonies, and give the Name of Hypocrite to
Every body, who should assert, that the Gospel required stricter
Morality than what he taught; if he should sollicite the Magistrate to
have all Persons punish'd, who were not of his Opinion; and if, by
his Instigation, our sincere Man should actually be persecuted and
plagued by his Fellow-Subjects; to judge from what we know of Human
Nature, such Usage would fill the sincere Man with Indignation, and
raise his Anger against all those, who were the Occasion of his
Sufferings. Let us suppose like-wise, that this Man, besides his
Sincerity, had Temper and Goodness enough to consider, that, tho' he
had been unjustly dealt with, and was highly provok'd, yet his
Religion taught and commanded him not to resent Injuries, but to
forgive his Enemies, and to Love them that hated him; it is reasonable
to think, that this Clashing between Nature and Principle would
perplex him, and himself stand in Need of good Advice, what to do in
this Dilemma. If in this Case, the Clergyman, who first preached to
him the Purity of the Christian Religion, and the Severity of its
Morals, and whom he often went to hear, should persist in the same
Sentiments; and, continuing to recommend to him the Doctrine of Peace,
make Use of all the Arguments, which the Gospel could furnish him
with, either to warn him against Anger and all sinful Passions, Malice
of Heart, Hatred and Resentment; or to exhort him to Fortitude in
Afflictions, Heroick Patience in Sufferings, and on all Emergencies an
entire Resignation to the Will of God; If, I say, the Clergyman I
mention'd should do this, whatever might be the Success he did it
with, he would have acted the good Shepherd, and his Sermons could
never be made a Handle of for War or Rebellion. But if instead of it,
he should seem to approve of the other's Anger, and, to justify it,
enter into the Merits of the Cause; if he should endeavour to
demonstrate, that all Ceremonies of Human Invention were
superstitious, and that Kneeling down, where there were Pictures and
Sculpture, was a manifest Token of Idolatry; if after this, by an easy
Transition, he should go over to the _Old Testament_, expatiate on the
Second Commandment, and produce several Instances of God's Vengeance
on Idolaters, and the utter Destruction, that had often been brought
upon them by God's own People, fighting under his Banner, and acting
by his special Commission; If a Preacher should do this, and have
Mischief in his Heart, it would not be difficult for him insensibly to
mislead his Hearers, extinguish their Charity, and, working upon the
Passions, make a sincere Man, who had really been ill treated, mistake
in his own Breast the Spirit of Revenge for Religious Zeal, and, to
maintain the Truth of the Gospel, act directly contrary to the
Precepts of it. And the more regular the Life was of such a Divine,
and the greater the Austerity of his Manners, the fitter Instrument
would he be to sow Sedition, enflame an Audience, and make Tools of
them for the Ambitious.

Hor. The First you have made out beyond my Expectations; but it has
been at the Expence of your Revolution-Principles; I hope you'll never
take them up again.

Cleo. I hope I shall have no Occasion for it: but what I have advanced
has Nothing to do with the Controversy you point at. The illegal Sway
of Magistrates is not to be justified from the Gospel, any more than
the Resistance of the People. Where Two Parties quarrel, and open
Animosities are to be seen on both Sides, it is ridiculous for either
to appeal to the Gospel. The Right, which Princes have to enjoy their
Prerogative, is not more divine, than that which Subjects have to
enjoy their Privileges; and if Tyrants will think themselves more
justifiable before God than Rebels, they ought first to be satisfied,
that Oppression is less heinous in his Sight than Revenge.

Hor. But No body owns himself to be a Tyrant.

Cleo. Nor did ever any Malecontents own themselves to be Rebels.

Hor. I can't give this up, and must talk with you about it another
Time. But now I long to hear you demonstrate the Second of your
Assertions, and make that as evident to me, as you have done the

Cleo. I'll endeavour it, if you'll give me Leave, and can have but
Patience to hear me, for you'll stand in Need of it.

Hor. You are to prove, that Acts of Devotion, and an outward Shew of
Religion, may make an Army Victorious, tho' the General was an
_Atheist_, the Clergy were Hypocrites, and the Generality of the Men
wicked Livers.

Cleo. A little more Accuracy, if you please. I said, that they might
do vast Service for the obtaining of Victory; the Service I mean,
consists in rousing the Courage of the Men, and throwing them into an
Enthusiasm, that shall dissipate their Fears, and make them despise
the greatest Dangers. There is no greater Art to make Men fight with
Obstinacy, than to make them trust to, and rely with Confidence on the
Assistance of the invisible Cause, they Fear.

Hor. But how can wicked Men be made to do this? What Reasons can they
be furnish'd with, to hope for the Assistance of Heaven?

Cleo. If you can assure Men of the Justice of their Cause, and render
that evident and unquestionable, the Business is done, and their own
Wickedness will be no Obstacle to it. Therefore this, you see, is the
Grand Point, which Priests have ever labour'd to gain among Fighting
Men in all Countries and in all Ages. How immensely soever they have
differ'd from one another in Religion and Worship, in this they have
all agreed. We were speaking, you know, of _Cromwell's_ Army; do but
recollect what you have heard and read of those Times, and you'll
find, that the Notions and Sentiments, that were industriously
instill'd into the minds of the soldiers, had a manifest tendency to
obtain this end, and that all their preaching and praying were made
serviceable to the same purpose. The _Credenda_, which the whole army,
and every individual were imbued with, even by the most moderate of
their preachers, were generally these: that the King gave ear to his
evil counsellours; that he was govern'd by his Queen, who was a rank
Papist, bigotted to her own superstition; that all his ministers were
wicked men, who endeavour'd to subvert the constitution, and aim'd at
nothing more than to render him absolute, that by his arbitrary power
they might be skreen'd from justice, and the resentment of an injured
nation: that the bishops were in the same interest; that, tho' they
had abjured the Pope's supremacy, and found fault with the luxury of
the court of _Rome_, they wanted as much to lord it over the laity
themselves, and were as fond of worldly honour, power, and authority,
of pomp and splendour, and a distinguish'd manner of living, as any
Popish prelates: that the worship of the church of _England_ was above
half Popery; that most of the clergy were idle drones, who lived upon
the Fat of the Land, and perverted the End of their Function: That by
this Means Religion it self was neglected, and, instead of it, Rights
and Ceremonies were obstinately insisted upon, that were notoriousy
borrow'd from the Heathen and Jewish Priests. That preaching
Non-resistance was justifying Tyranny, and could have no other Meaning
than to encourage Princes to be wicked, and tie the Peoples Hands,
whilst they should have their Throats cut: That in Pursuance of this
Doctrine, He, who should have been the Guardian of their Laws, had
already trampled upon them and broken his Coronation-Oath, and,
instead of being a Father to his People, had openly proclaim'd himself
their Enemy, invited, a Foreign Force into the Land, and was now
actually making War against the Parliament, the undoubted
Representatives of the Nation. Whilst these Things were said of the
Adverse Party, their own was extoll'd to the Skies; and loud Encomiums
were made on the Patriotism of their Superiours, the Sanctity and
Disinterestedness as well as Wisdom and Capacity of those Asserters of
Liberty, who had rescued them from Bondage. Sometimes they spoke of
the Care, that was taken of Religion, and a Pains-taking Ministry,
that preach'd not themselves but _Christ_, and, by their Example as well
as Precept, taught the Purity of the Gospel, and the strict Morality
that is contain'd in it, without Superstition or Allowances to please
Sinners: At others, they represented to their Hearers the exemplary
Lives of the Generals, the Sobriety of the Soldiers, and the Goodness
and Piety, as well as Zeal and Heroism of the whole Army.

Hor. But what is all this to what you was to prove? I want to know the
vast Service an outward Shew of Religion can be of to wicked Men, for
the obtaining of Victory: When shall I see that?

Cleo. Presently; but you must give me Leave to prove it my own Way. In
what I have said hitherto, I have only laid before you the Artifice,
which Every body knows was made Use of by the _Roundheads_ haranguing
their own Troops, to render the _Cavaliers_ and the King's Cause odious
and detestable to them on the one Hand, and to make them, on the
other, have an high Opinion of their own, and firmly believe, that God
could not but favour it. Now let us call to Mind the Situation of
Affairs in the Times I speak of, and the Politicks of those, who
opposed the King, and then consider, what a crafty designing General
ought to have done to make the most of the Conjuncture he lived in,
and the Zeal and Spirit that were then reigning among the Party he was
engaged in; if he had Nothing at Heart, but to advance, _per fas aut
nefas_, his own worldly Interest and his own Glory: In the First Place,
it would never have been believed that the _Presbyters_ were in Earnest,
who found Fault with and rail'd at the Luxury and loose Morals, as
well as Laziness of the National Clergy, if they had not been more
diligent in their Calling, and led stricter Lives themselves. This
therefore was complied with, and the dissenting Clergy took vast Pains
in Praying and Preaching without Book for Hours together, and
practis'd much greater Self-denial, at least to outward Appearance,
than their Adversaries. The Laity of the same Side, to compass their
End, were obliged to follow the Example of their Teachers in Severity
of Manners, and Pretences to Religion: Accordingly they did, at least
well enough, you see, to acquire the Name of the Sober Party.

Hor. Then you must think, that they had none but Hypocrites among

Cleo. Indeed I don't; but I believe, that most of the Ring-leaders who
began the quarrel with the King had Temporal Advantages in View, or
other private Ends to serve, that had no Relation either to the
Service of God or the Welfare of the People; and yet I believe
likewise, that many sincere and well-meaning Men were drawn into their
Measures. When a Reformation of Manners is once set on Foot, and
strict Morality is well spoken of, and countenanc'd by the better Sort
of People, the very Fashion will make Proselytes to Virtue. Swearing
and not Swearing in Conversation depend upon Mode and Custom. Nothing
is more reasonable, than Temperance and Honesty to Men that consult
their Health and their Interest; where Men are not debarr'd from
Marriage, Chastity is easily comply'd with, and prevents a Thousand
Mischiefs. There is Nothing more universal than the Love of Liberty;
and there is Something engaging in the Sound of the Words. The Love of
one's Country is natural and very bad Men may feel it as warm about
them, as very good Men; and it is a Principle, which a Man may as
sincerely act from, who Fights against his King, as he who Fights for
him. But these sincere and well-meaning People, that can pray and

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