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Title: An Enquiry into an Origin of Honour; and the Usefulness of Christianity in War
Author: Mandeville, Bernard
Language: English
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AN ENQUIRY INTO THE ORIGIN OF HONOUR AND The Usefulness of
CHRISTIANITY IN WAR.

By the Author of the FABLE of the BEES.
[Bernard Mandeville]


THE PREFACE.


I take it for granted, that a Christian is not bound to believe any
Thing to have been of Divine Institution, that has not been declared
to be such in Holy Writ. Yet great Offence has been taken at an Essay,
in the First Part of the Fable of the _Bees_, call'd An Enquiry into the
Origin of Moral Virtue; notwithstanding the great Caution it is wrote
with. Since then, it is thought Criminal to surmise, that even Heathen
Virtue was of Human Invention, and the Reader, in the following
Dialogues, will find me to persist in the Opinion, that it was; I beg
his Patience to peruse what I have to say for my self on this Head,
which is all I shall trouble him with here.

The Word Morality is either synonimous with Virtue, or signifies that
Part of Philosophy, which treats of it, and teaches the Regulation of
Manners; and by the Words Moral Virtue, I mean the same Thing which I
believe Every body else does. I am likewise fully persuaded that to
govern our selves according to the Dictates of Reason, is far better
than to indulge the Passions without Stop or Controul, and
consequently that Virtue is more beneficial than Vice, not only for
the Peace and real Happiness of Society in general, but likewise for
the Temporal Felicity of every individual Member of it, abstract from
thee Consideration of a future State, I am moreover convinced, that
all wise Men ever were and ever will be of this Opinion; and I shall
never oppose Any body, who shall be pleased to call this an Eternal
Truth.

Having allow'd and own'd thus much, I beg Leave to make a short
Grammatical Reflection on the Sounds or Letters we make use of to
express this rational Management of ourselves: For tho' the Truth of
its Excellency is Eternal, the Words _Moral Virtue_ themselves are not
so, any more than Speech or Man himself. Permit me therefore to
enquire which Way it is most probably, they must have come into the
World.

The Word _Moral_, without Doubt, comes from _Mos_, and signifies every
Thing that relates to Manners: The Word _Ethick_ is synonimous with
_Moral_, and is derived from [Greek: ithik], which is exactly the same
in _Greek_, that _Mos_ is in _Latin_. The _Greek_ for Virtu, is [Greek:
arete], which is derived from [Greek: ares], the God of War and
properly signifies Martial Virtue. The same Word in _Latin_, if we
believe _Cicero_, comes from _Vir_; and the genuine Signification likewise
of the Word _Virtus_ is Fortitude. It is hardly to be conceived, but
that in the first Forming of all Societies, there must have been
Struggles for Superiority; and therefore it is reasonable to imagine,
that in all the Beginnings of Civil Government, and the Infancy of
Nations, Strength and Courage must have been the most valuable
Qualifications for some Time. This makes me think, that _Virtus_, in its
first Acceptation, might, with great Justice and Propriety, be in
_English_ render'd _Manliness_; which fully expresses the Original Meaning
of it, and shews the Etymology equally with the _Latin_; and whoever is
acquainted with that Language must know, that it was some ages before
the _Romans_ used it in any other Sense. Nay, to this Day, the Word
_Virtus_ by it self, in any of their Historians, has the same
Signification, as if the Word _Bellica_ had been added. We have Reason
to think, that, as First, Nothing was meant by _Virtus_, but Daring and
Intrepidity, right or wrong; or else if could never have been made to
signify Savageness, and brutish Courage; as _Tacitus_, in the Fourth
Book of his History, makes use of it manifestly in that Sense. Even
Wild Beasts, says he, if you keep them shut up, will lose their
Fierceness. _Etiam sera animalia, si clausa teneas, virtutis
obliviseuntur_.

What the Great Men of _Rome_ valued themselves upon was active and
passive Bravery, Warlike Virtue, which is so strongly express'd in the
Words of Livy: _Et facere & pati fortia Romanum est._ But
besides the Consideration of the great Service, All Warriours received
from this Virtue, there is a very good Reason in the Nature of the
Thing it self, why it should be in far higher Esteem than any other.
The Passion it has to struggle with, is the most violent and stubborn,
and consequently the hardest to be conquer'd, the Fear of Death: The
least Conflict with it is harsh Work, and a difficult Task; and it is
in Regard to this, that _Cicero_, in his _Offices_, calls Modesty, Justice
and Temperance, the softer and easier Virtues. _Qui virtutibus
bis lenioribus erit ornatus, modestia, justitia temperantia,_ &c.
Justice and Temperance require Professors as grave and solemnn, and
demand as much Strictness and Observance as any other Virtues. Why
_lenioribus_ then; but that they are more mild and gentle in the
Restrain they lay upon our Inclinations, and that the Self-denial they
require is more practicable and less mortifying than that of Virtue
itself, as it is taken in it proper and genuine Sense? To be Just or
Temperate, we have Temptations to encounter, and Difficulties to
surmount, that are troublesome: But the Efforts we are oblig'd to make
upon our selves to be truyly Valiant are infinitely greater; and, in
order to it, we are overcome the First, the strongest and most lasting
Passion, that has been implanted in us; for tho' we may hate and have
Aversion to many Things by Instinct, yet this is Nothing so generally
terrible, and so generally dreadful to all Creatures, rational or not
rational, as the Dissolution of their Being.

Upon due Consideration of what has been said, it will be easy to
imagine how and why, soon after Fortitude had been honoured with the
Name of Virtue, all the other Branches of Conquest over our selves
were dignify'd with the same Title. We may see in it likewise the
Reason of what I have always so strenuously insisted upon, _viz._ That
no Practice, no Action or good Quality, how useful or beneficial
soever they may be in them selves, can ever deserve the Name of
Virtue, strictly speaking, where there is not a palpable Self-denial
to be seen. In Tract of Time, the Sense of the Word _Virtus_ received
still a grated Latitude; and it signify'd Worth, Strength, Authority,
and Goodness of all Kinds: _Plautus_ makes use of it, for Assistance.
_Virtute Deûm_, by the Help of the Gods. By Degrees it was applied not
only to Brutes, _Est in juveneis, est in equis patrum Virtus_,
but likewise to Things inanimate and was made Use of to express the
Power, and peculiar Qualities of Vegetables and Minerals of all Sorts,
as it continues to be to this Day. The Virtue of the Loadstone, the
Virtue of Opium, &c. It is highly probable, that the Word _Moral_,
either in _Greek_ or _Latin_, never was thought of before the
Signification of the Word _Virtue_ had been extended so far beyond its
Original; and then in speaking of the Virtues of our Species, the
Addition of that Epithet became necessary, to denote the Relation they
had to our Manners, and distinguish them from the Properties and
Efficacy of Plants, Stones, &c. which were likewise call'd _Virtues_.

If I am wrong, I shall be glad to see a better Account, how this
Adjective and Substantive came to be join'd together. In the mean
Time, I am very sure, that this is Nothing strain'd or forc'd in my
Supposition. That the Words, in Tract of Time, are be come of greater
Importance, I don't deny. The Words _Clown_ and _Villain_ have opprobrious
Meanings annex'd to them, that were never implied in _Colonus_ and
_Villanus_, from which they were undoubtedly derived. _Moral_, for ought I
know, may now signify _Virtue_, in the same Manner and for the same
Reason, that _Panic_ signifies _Fear_.

That this Conjecture or Opinion of mine, should be detracting from the
Dignity of _Moral Virtue_, or have a Tendency to bring it into
Disrepute, I can not see. I have already own'd, that it ever was and
ever will be preferable to Vice, in the Opinion of all wise Men. But
to call Virtue it self Eternal, can not be done without a strangely
Figurative Way of Speaking. There is no Doubt, but all Mathematical
Truths are Eternal, yet they are taught; and some of them are very
abstruse, and the Knowledge of them never was acquir'd without great
Labour and Depth of Thought. _Euclid_ had his Merit; and it does not
appear that the Doctrine of the _Fluxions_ was known before Sir _Isaac
Newton_ discover'd that concise Way of Computation; and it is not
impossible that there should be another Method, as yet unknown, still
more compendious, that may not be found out these Thousand Years.

All Propositions, not confin'd to Time or Place, that are once true,
must be always so; even in the silliest and most abject Things in the
World; as for Example, It is wrong to under-roast Mutton for People
who love to have their Meat well done. The Truth of this, which is the
most trifling Thing I can readily think on, is as much Eternal, as
that of the Sublimest Virtue. If you ask me, where this Truth was,
before there was Mutton, or People to dress or eat it, I answer, in
the same Place where Chastity was, before there were any Creatures
that had an Appetite to procreate their Species. This puts me in mind
of the inconsiderate Zeal of some Men, who even in Metaphysicks, know
not how to think abstractly, and cannot forebear mixing their own
Meanness and Imbecillities, with the Idea's they form of the Supreme
Being.

There is no Virtue that has a Name, but it curbs, regulates, or
subdues some Passion that is peculiar to Humane Nature; and therefore
to say, that God has all the Virtues in the highest Perfection, wants
as much the Apology, that it is an Expression accommodated to vulgar
Capacities, as that he has Hands and Feet, and is angry. For as God
has not a Body, nor any Thing that is Corporeal belonging to his
Essence, so he is entirely free from Passions and Fralities. With what
Propriety then can we attribute any Thing to him that was invented, or
at least signifies a Strength or Ability to conquer or govern Passions
and Fralities? The Holiness of God, and all his Perfections, as well
as the Beatitude he exists in, belong to his Nature; and there is no
Virtue but what is acquired. It signifies Nothing to add, that God has
those Virtues in the highest Perfection; let them be what they will,
as to Perfection, they must still be Virtues; which, for the aforesaid
Reasons, it is impertinent to ascribe to the Diety. Our Thoughts of
God should be as worthy of him as we are able to frame them; and as
they can not be adequate to his Greatness, so they oughts at least to
be abstract from every Thing that does or can belong to silly, reptile
Man: And it is sufficient, whenever we venture to speak of a Subject
so immensly far beyond our Reach, to say, that there is a perfect and
compleat Goodness in the Divine Nature, infinitely surpassing not only
the highest Perfection, which the most virtuous Men can arrive at, but
likewise every Thing that Mortals can conceive about it.

I recommend the fore-going Paragraph to the Consideration of the
Advocates for the Eternity and Divine Original of Virtue; assuring
them, that, if I am mistaken, it is not owing to any Perverseness of
my Will, but Want of Understanding.

The Opinion, that there can be no Virtue without Self-denial, is more
advantagious to Society than the contrary Doctrine, which is a vast
Inlet to Hypocrisy, as I have shewn at large [1]: Yet I am willing to
allow, that Men may contract a Habit of Virtue, so as to practise it,
without being sensible of Self-denial, and even that they may take
Pleasure in Actions that would be impracticable to the Vicious: But
then it is manifest, that this Habit is the Work of Art, Education and
Custom; and it never was acquired, where the Conquest over the
Passions had not be already made. There is no Virtuous Man of Forty
Years, but he may remember the Conflict he had with some Appetites
before he was Twenty. How natural seem all Civilities to be a
Gentleman! Yet Time was, that he would not have made his Bow, if he
had not been bid.

[Footnote 1: Fable of the _Bees_. p. ii. P. 106.]

Whoever has read the Second Part of the Fable of the _Bees_, will see,
that in these Dialogues I make Use of the same Persons, who are the
Interlocutors there, and whose Characters have been already draw in
the Preface of that Book.



The CONTENTS OF THE FIRST DIALOGUE.


_Honour is built upon a Passion in Human Nature, for which there is no
Name_

_The Author's Reasons for Coining the Word Self-liking_

_How the Passion of Self-liking is discovered in Infants_

_A Definition of Honour, and what it is in Substance_

_The Author's Opinion illustrated by what we know of Dishonour or Shame_

_The different Symptoms of Pride and Shame in the Mechanism of Man_

_Are both the Result of the same Passion_

_The Word Honour, as it signifies a Principle of Courage and Virtue, is
of Gothick Extraction_

_All Societies of Men are perpetually in Quest after Happiness_

_The true Reason, why no Nations can be govern'd without Religion,
enquired into_

_Why no one Sort or Degree of Idolatry can be more or less absurd than
another_

_For what Purpose all Religions may be equally serviceable_

_All Men are born with the Fear of an invisible Cause_

_The Usefulness of that Fear, as to Religion_

_The Impossibility of making_ Atheism _universally received_

_Religion no Invention of Politicians_

_The Benefit expected from the Notions of Honour_

_The Reasonableness of Mens Actions examined_

_How the Strictness of the Gospel came to be first disapproved of, and
the Consequence_

_How Mens Actions may be inconsistent with their Belief_

_That many bad Christians were yet kept in Awe by the Fear of Shame,
gave the first Handle to the Invention of Honour as a Principle_

_What it is we are afraid of in the Fear of Shame_

_Why the Principle of Honour has been of more Use to Society than that
of Virtue_

_The Principle of Honour, clashing with Christianity_

_Reasons why the Church of_ Rome _endeavour'd to reconcile them_

_The real Design of_ Legends _and_ Romances

_The Stratagems of the Church of_ Rome _to enslave the Laity_

_What gave Rise to the Custom of Duelling_



The Contents of the Second Dialogue.


_Of the Principle of Honour in the fair Sex_

_The Motives of Women who turn Nuns, seldom Religious_

_Which is most serviceable to the Preservation of Chastity in Women,
Religion, or Self-liking_

_How the Notions concerning the Principle of Honour came to be commonly
received_

_The Qualifications thought Necessary in a Man of Honour_

_But Courage alone is sufficient to obtain the Title_

_When the Fashion of Duelling was at its greatest Height_

_Courts of Honour erected in_ France

_Laws of Honour made by them to prevent Duelling_

_Why those Laws were the Reverse of all others_

_The Laws of Honour introduced as speaking_

_The Effect such Laws must have on Human Nature_

_The Arguments a true Christian would make use of to dissuade Men from
Duelling_

_The Reasons why Men are despised who take Affronts without resenting
them_

_No Scarcity of Believers in Christ_

_The Principle of Honour contrary to Christianity_

_Why the Principle of Honour is of greater Efficacy upon many than
Religion_

_How Men may adore themselves_

_Equivalents for Swearing_

_A ludicrous Proposal of_ Horatio _upon the Supposition, that Honor is an
Idol_

_A Passage in the Fable of the Bees Defended_

_Satyr as little to be depended upon as Panegyrick_

_Whatever belongs to Honour or Shame, has its Foundation in the Passion
of Self-liking_

_The Church of_ Rome's _cunning in consulting and humouring Human Nature_

_Heraldry of great influence on the Passion of Self-liking_

_Of Canonizations of Saint, and the different Purposes they serve_

_The want of Foresight in the first Reformers_

_The worldly Wisdom of the Church of Rome_

_Hor. owning the Self-denial required in the Gospel in a literal Sense_

_The great Use she has made of it_

_The Analogy between the Popish Religion and a Manufacture_

_The Danger there is in explaining away the Self-denial of the Gospel_

_How the Self-denial of some may seem to be of use to others that
practise none_

_Easy Casuists can only satisfy the_ Beau Monde

_Jesuits don't, explain away Self-denial in General_

_What sort of Preachers will soonest gain Credit among the Multitude_

_Men may easily be taught to believe what is not Clashing with received
Opinions_

_The force of Education as to Self-denial_

_The Advantage the Church of Rome has made from vulgar Nations_

_Divines, who appeal to Men's Reason, ought to behave differently from
those, who teach implicite Faith._

_Why the Luxury of a Popish Clergy gives less Offence to the Laity,
than that of Protestants_

_What the Church of_ Rome _seems no to dispair of_

_The Politicks of_ Rome _more formidable than any other_

_What must always keep up the Popish Interest in_ Great-Britain

_The most probable Maxims to hinder the Growth as well as Irreligion
and Impiety as of Popery and Superstition_

_When the literal Sense of Words is to be prefer'd to the figurative_

_What the Reformers might have foreseen_

_What has been and ever will be the Fate of all Sects_



The Contents of the Third Dialog


_The Beginning of all Earthly Things was mean_

_The Reason of the high Value Men have for things in which they have
but the least Share_

_Whether the best Christians make the best Soldiers_

_Remarks on the Word_ Difference

_An excursion of_ Horatio

_Why Religious Wars are the most Cruel_

_The Pretensions of the Huguenot Army in_ France, _and that of the_
Roundheads _in England near the same_

_What was answered by their Adversaries_

_What would be the natural Consequeuce of such Differences_

_The Effect which such a Contrariety of Interests would always have on
the sober Party_

_Superstition and Enthusiasm may make Men fight, but the Doctrine of
Christ never can_

_What is required in a Soldier to be call'd virtuous and good_

_Instances where debauch'd Fellows and the greatest Rogues have fought
well_

_What is connived at in Soldiers and what not_

_Divines in Armies seldom rigid Casuists_

_How Troops may aquire the Character of being good Christians_

_Why Divines are necessary in Armies_

_Why the worst Religion is more beneficial to Society than Atheism_

_Whether Preachers of the Gospel ever made Men Fight_

_The use that may be made of the Old Testament_

_An everlasting Maxim in Politicks_

_When the Gospel is preach'd to military Men, and when it is let aside_

_Whether_ Cromwel's _Views in promoting an outward Shew of Piety were
Religious or Political_

_The Foundation of the Quarrels that occasion'd the Civil War_

_How Men who are sincere in their Religion may be made to Act contrary
to the Precept of it_

_When the Gospel ought no longer to be appeald to_

_A promise to prove what seems to be a Paradox_

_What all Priests have labour'd at in all Armies_

_The Sentiments that were instill'd into the Minds of the_ Roundheads

_The Use which it is probable, a crafty wicked General would make of a
Conjucture, as here hinted at_

_How Men may be sincere and in many Respects morally good, and bad
Christians_

_How an obsure Man might raise himself to the highest Post in an Army,
and be thought a Saint tho' he was an Atheist_

_How wicked men may be useful soldiers_

_How the most obdurate Wretch might receive benefit as a soldier from
an outward Shew of Devotion in others_

_That Men may be sincere Believers and yet lead wicked Lives_

_Few Men are wicked from a desire to be so_

_How even bad Men may be chear'd up by Preaching_

_Hyopcrites to save an outward Appearance may be as useful as Men of
Sincerity_

_There are two sorts of Hypocrites very different from one another_



The Contents of the Fourth Dialogue.


_An Objection of_ Horatio, _concerning Fast-Days_

_What War they would be useful in, if duely kept_

_How Christianity may be made serviceable to Anti-Christian Purposes_

_What is understood in_ England _by keeping a Fast-Day_

_The real Doctrine of Christ can give no Encouragement for Fighting_

_Instances, where Divines seem not to think themselves strictly tied to
the Gospel_

_The Art of Preaching in Armies_

_The Use which Politicians may make of extraordinary Days of Devotion,
abstract from all Thoughts of Religion_

_The miserable Nations, which many of the Vulgar have of Religion_

_How the Rememberance of a Fast-Day may affect a Wicked Soldier_

_The Power which Preaching may have upon ignorant Well-wishers to
Religion_

_The Days of Supplication among the Ancients_

_A general Show of Religion cannot be procured at all Times_

_What Conjuncture it is only practicable in_

_A Character of_ Oliver Cromwell

_A Spirit of Gentility introduced among Military Men_

_An improvement in the Art of Flattery_

_A Demonstration that what made the Men fight well in the late Wars was
not their Religion_

_Why no Armies could subsist without Religion_

_A Recapitulation of what has been advanced in this and the former
Dialogue_

_Horatio's Concurrence_

ERRATA Page 81. Line 6. _read_ Influence. P. 94. l. 12. r. _Proprætors_.
P. 174. l. 3. r. Rites.



The First Dialogue Between _Horatio_ and _Cleomenes_.


_Horatio_. I Wonder you never attempted to guess at the Origin of
Honour, as you have done at that of Politeness, and your Friend in his
Fable of the Bees has done at the Origin of Virtue.

Cleo. I have often thought of it, and am satisfied within my self,
that my Conjecture about it is Just; but there are Three substantial
Reasons, why I have hitherto kept it to my Self, and never yet
mention'd to any One, what my Sentiments are concerning the Origin of
that charming Sound.

Hor. Let me hear your Reasons however.

Cleo. The Word Honour, is used in such different Acceptations, is now
a Verb, then a Noun, sometimes taken for the Reward of Virtue,
sometimes for a Principle that leads to Virtue, and, at others again,
signifies Virtue it self; that it would be a very hard Task to take in
every Thing that belongs to it, and at the same Time avoid Confusion
in Treating of it. This is my First Reason. The Second is: That to set
forth and explain my Opinion on this Head to others with Perspicuity,
would take up so much Time, that few People would have the Patience to
hear it, or think it worth their while to bestow so much Attention, as
it would require, on what the greatest Part of Mankind would think
very trifling.

Hor. This Second whets my Curiosity: pray, what is your Third Reason?

Cleo. That the very Thing, to which, in my Opinion, Honour owes its
Birth, is a Passion in our Nature, for which there is no Word coin'd
yet, no Name that is commonly known and receiv'd in any Language.

Hor. That is very strange.

Cleo. Yet not less true. Do you remember what I said of Self-liking in
our Third Conversation, when I spoke of the Origin of Politeness?

Hor. I do; but you know, I hate Affectation and Singularity of all
sorts. Some Men are fond of uncouth Words of their own making, when
there are other Words already known, that sound better, and would
equally explain their Meaning: What you call'd then Self-liking at
last prov'd to be Pride, you know.

Cleo. Self-liking I have call'd that great Value, which all
Individuals set upon their own Persons; that high Esteem, which I take
all Men to be born with for themselves. I have proved from what is
constantly observ'd in Suicide, that there is such a Passion in Human
Nature, and that it is plainly [2] distinct from Self-love. When this
Self-liking is excessive, and so openly shewn as to give Offence to
others, I know very well it is counted a Vice and call'd Pride: But
when it is kept out of Sight, or is so well disguis'd as not to appear
in its own Colours, it has no Name, tho' Men act from that and no
other Principle.

[Footnote 2: Fable of the Bees, part II. p. 141]

Hor. When what you call Self-liking, that just Esteem which Men have
naturally for themselves, is moderate, and spurs them on to good
Actions, it is very laudable, and is call'd the Love of Praise or a
Desire of the Applause of others. Why can't you take up with either of
these Names?

Cleo. Because I would not confound the Effect with the Cause. That Men
are desirous of Praise, and love to be applauded by others, is the
Result, a palpable Consequence, of that Self-liking which reigns in
Human Nature, and is felt in every one's Breast before we have Time or
Capacity to reflect and think of Any body else. What Moralists have
taught us concerning the Passions, is very superficial and defective.
Their great Aim was the Publick Peace, and the Welfare of the Civil
Society; to make Men governable, and unite Multitudes in one common
Interest.

Hor. And is it possible that Men can have a more noble Aim in
Temporals?

Cleo. I don't deny that; but as all their Labours were only tending to
those Purposes, they neglected all the rest; and if they could but
make Men useful to each other and easy to themselves, they had no
Scruple about the Means they did it by, nor any Regard to Truth or the
Reality of Things; as is evident from the gross Absurdities they have
made Men swallow concerning their own Nature, in spight of what All
felt within. In the Culture of Gardens, whatever comes up in the Paths
is weeded out as offensive and flung upon the Dunghill; out among the
Vegetables that are all thus promiscously thrown away for Weeds, there
may be many curious Plants, on the Use and Beauty of which a Botanist
would read long Lectures. The Moralists have endeavour'd to rout Vice,
and clear the Heart of all hurtful Appetites and Inclinations: We are
beholden to them for this in the same Manner as we are to Those who
destroy Vermin, and clear the Countries of all noxious Creatures. But
may not a Naturalist dissect Moles, try Experiments upon them, and
enquire into the Nature of their Handicraft, without Offence to the
Mole-catchers, whose Business it is only to kill them as fast as they
can?

Hor. What Fault is it you find with the Moralists? I can't see what
you drive at.

Cleo. I would shew you, that the Want of Accuracy in them, when they
have treated of Human Nature, makes it extremely difficult to speak
intelligibly of the different Faculties of our intellectual Part. Some
Things are very essential, and yet have no Name, as I have given an
Instance in that Esteem which Men have naturally for themselves,
abstract from Self-love, and which I have been forced to coin the Word
Self-liking for: Others are miscall'd and said to be what they are
not. So most of the Passions are counted to be Weaknesses, and
commonly call'd Frailties; whereas they are the very Powers that
govern the whole Machine; and, whether they are perceived or not,
determine or rather create The Will that immediately precedes every
deliberate Action.

Hor. I now understand perfectly well what you mean by Self-liking. You
are of Opinion, that we are all born with a Passion manifestly
distinct from Self-love; that, when it is moderate and well regulated,
excites in us the Love of Praise, and a Desire to be applauded and
thought well of by others, and stirs us up to good Actions: but that
the same Passion, when it is excessive, or ill turn'd, whatever it
excites in our Selves, gives Offence to others, renders us odious, and
is call'd Pride. As there is no Word or Expression that comprehends
all the different Effects of this same Cause, this Passion, you have
made one, _viz_. Self-liking, by which you mean the Passion in general,
the whole Extent of it, whether it produces laudable Actions, and
gains us Applause, or such as we are blamed for and draw upon us the
ill Will of others.

Cleo. You are extremely right; this was my Design in coining the Word
Self-liking.

Hor. But you said, that Honour owes its Birth to this Passion; which I
don't understand, and wish you would explain to me.

Cleo. To comprehend this well, we ought to consider, that as all Human
Creatures are born with this Passion, so the Operations of it are
manifestly observed in Infants; as soon as they begin to be conscious
and to reflect, often before they can speak or go.

Hor. As how?

Cleo. If they are praised, or commended, tho' they don't deserve it,
and good Things are said of them, tho' they are not true, we see, that
Joy is raised in them, and they are pleased: On the Contrary, when
they are reproved and blamed, tho' they know themselves to be in
Fault, and bad Things are said of them, tho' Nothing but Truth, we see
it excites Sorrow in them and often Anger. This Passion of
Self-liking, then, manifesting it self so early in all Children that
are not Idiots, it is inconceivable that Men should not be sensible,
and plainly feel, that they have it long before they are grown up: And
all Men feeling themselves to be affected with it, tho' they know no
Name for the Thing it self, it is impossible, that they should long
converse together in Society without finding out, not only that others
are influenced with it as well as themselves, but likewise which Way
to please or displease one another on Account of this Passion.

Hor. But what is all this to Honour?

Cleo. I'll shew you. When _A_ performs an Action which, in the Eyes of
_B_, is laudable, _B_ wishes well to _A_; and, to shew him his Satisfaction,
tells him, that such an Action is an Honour to Him, or that He ought
to be Honoured for it: By saying this, _B_, who knows that all Men are
affected with Self-liking, intends to acquaint _A_, that he thinks him
in the Right to gratify and indulge himself in the Passion of
Self-liking. In this Sense the Word Honour, whether it is used as a
Noun or a Verb, is always a Compliment we make to Those who act, have,
or are what we approve of; it is a Term of Art to express our
Concurrence with others, our Agreement with them in their Sentiments
concerning the Esteem and Value they have for themselves. From what I
have said, it must follow, that the greater the Multitudes are that
express this Concurrence, and the more expensive, the more operose,
and the more humble the Demonstrations of it are, the more openly
likewise they are made, the longer they last, and the higher the
Quality is of Those who join and assist in this Concurrence, this
Compliment; the greater, without all Dispute, is the Honour which is
done to the Person in whose Favour these Marks of Esteem are
displayed: So that the highest Honour which Men can give to Mortals,
whilst alive, is in Substance no more, than the most likely and most
effectual Means that Human Wit can invent to gratify, stir up, and
encrease in Him, to whom that Honour is paid, the Passion of
Self-liking.

Hor. I am afraid it is true.

Cleo. To render what I have advanced more conspicuous, we need only
look into the Reverse of Honour, which is Dishonour or Shame, and we
shall find, that this could have had no Existence any more than
Honour, if there had not been such a Passion in our Nature as
Self-liking. When we see Others commit such Actions, as are vile and
odious in our Opinion, we say, that such Actions are a Shame to them,
or that they ought to be ashamed of them. By this we shew, that we
differ from them in their Sentiments concerning the Value which we
know, that they, as well as all Mankind, have for their own Persons;
and are endeavouring to make them have an ill Opinion of themselves,
and raise in them that sincere Sorrow, which always attends Man's
reflecting on his own Unworthiness. I desire, you would mind, that the
Actions which we thus condemn as vile and odious, need not to be so
but in our own Opinion; for what I have said happens among the worst
of Rogues, as well as among the better Sort of People. If one Villain
should neglect picking a Pocket, when he might have done it with Ease,
another of the same Gang, who was near him and saw this, would upbraid
him with it in good Earnest, and tell him, that he ought to be ashamed
of having slipt so fair an Opportunity. Sometimes Shame signifies the
visible Disorders that are the Symptoms of this sorrowful Reflection
on our own Unworthiness; at others, we give that Name to the
Punishments that are inflicted to raise those Disorders; but the more
you will examine into the Nature of either, the more you will see the
Truth of what I have asserted on this Head; and all the Marks of
Ignominy, that can be thought of; have a plain Tendency to mortify
Pride; which, in other Words, is to disturb, take away and extirpate
every Thought of Self-liking.

Hor. The Author of the Fable of the _Bees_, I think, pretends somewhere
to set down the different Symptoms of Pride and Shame.

Cleo. I believe they are faithfully copied from Nature. ---- Here is
the Passage; pray read it.

Hor. [3] _When a Man is overwhelm'd with Shame, he observes a Sinking
of the Spirits; the Heart feels cold and condensed, and the Blood
flies from it to the Circumference of the Body; the Face glows; the
Neck and part of the Breast partake of the Fire: He is heavy as Lead;
the Head is hung down; and the Eyes through a Mist of Confusion are
fix'd on the Ground: No Injuries can move him; he is weary of his
Being, and heartily wishes he could make himself invisible: But when,
gratifying his Vanity, he exults in his Pride, he discovers quite
contrary Symptoms; his Spirits swell and fan the Arterial Blood; a
more than ordinary Warmth strengthens and dilates the Hear; the
Extremities are cool; he feels Light to himself, and imagines he could
tread on Air; his Head is held up; his Eyes are roll'd about with
Sprightliness; he rejoices at his Being, is prone to Anger, and would
be glad that all the World could take Notice of him._

[Footnote 3: Fable of the Bees, Page 57.]

Cleo. That's all.

Hor. But you see, he took Pride and Shame to be two distinct Passions;
nay, in another Place he has call'd them so.

Cleo. He did; but it was an Errour, which I know he is willing to own.

Hor. what he is willing to own I don't know; but I think he is in the
Right in what he says of them in his Book. The Symptoms of Pride and
Shame are so vastly different, that to me it is inconceivable, they
should proceed from the fame Passion.

Cleo. Pray think again with Attention, and you'll be of my Opinion. My
Friend compares the Symptoms that are observed in Human Creatures when
they exult in their Pride, with those of the Mortification they feel
when they are overwhelm'd with Shame. The Symptoms, and if you will
the Sensations, that are felt in the Two Cases, are, as you say,
vastly different from one another; but no Man could be affected with
either, if he had not such a Passion in his Nature, as I call
Self-liking. Therefore they are different Affections of one and the
same Passion, that are differently observed in us, according as we
either enjoy Pleasure, or are aggriev'd on Account of that Passion; in
the same Manner as the most happy and the most miserable Lovers are
happy and miserable on the Score of the same Passion. Do but compare
the Pleasure of a Man, who with an extraordinary Appetite is feasting
on what is delicious to him, to the Torment of another, who is
extremely hungry, and can get Nothing to eat. No Two Things in the
World can be more different, than the Pleasure of the One is from the
Torment of the other; yet Nothing is more evident, than that both are
derived from and owing to the same craving principle in our nature,
the Desire of Food; for when this is entirely lost, it is more
vexatious to eat, than it is to let it alone, tho' the whole Body
languishes, and we are ready to expire for Want of Sustenance.
Hitherto I have spoken of honour in its first literal Sense, in which
it is a Technic Word in the Art of Civility, and signifies a Means
which Men by Conversing together have found out to please and gratify
one another on Account of a palpable Passion in our Nature, that has
no Name, and which therefore I call Self-liking. In this Sense I
believe the Word Honour, both as a Verb and a Noun, to be as Ancient
as the oldest Language. But there is another Meaning besides,
belonging to the same Sound; and Honour signifies likewise a principle
of Courage, Virtue, and Fidelity, which some men are said to act from,
and to be aw'd by, as others are by Religion. In this latter Sense, it
is much more modern, and I don't believe to be met with a Thousand
Years ago in any Language.

Hor. How! Is it but within these Thousand Years that there have been
men of Bravery and Virtue? Have not the _Greeks_ and _Romans_ had great
Numbers of them? Were not the _Horatii_ and _Curiatii_ Men of Honour?

Cleo. They never were call'd so. All Ages and most Countries have
produced Men of Virtue and Bravery; but this I do not enquire into
now: What I assert to be modern is the Phrase, the Term of Art; it is
that which the Ancients knew Nothing of; nor can you with Ten Words,
in either _Greek_ or _Latin_, express the entire Idea which is annex'd to
the Word Honour when it signifies a Principle. To be a Man of Honour,
it is not sufficient, that he, who assumes that Title, is brave in
War, and dares to fight against the Enemies of his Country; but he
must likewise be ready to engage in private Quarrels, tho' the Laws of
God and his Country forbid it. He must bear no Affront without
resenting it, nor refuse a Challenge, if it be sent to him in a proper
Manner by a Man of Honour. I make no Doubt, but this Signification of
the Word Honour is entirely Gothick, and sprung up in some of the most
ignorant Ages of Christianity. It seems to have been Invention to
influence Men, whom Religion had no Power over. All Human Creatures
have a restless Desire of mending their Condition; and in all Civil
Societies and Communions of Men there seems to be a Spirit at Work,
that, in Spight of the continual Opposition it receives from Vice and
Misfortunes, is always labouring for, and seeking after what can never
be obtain'd whilst the World stands.

Hor. What is that pray?

Cleo. To make Men compleatly Happy upon Earth. Thus Men make Laws to
obviate every Inconveniency they meet with; and as Times discover to
them the Insufficiency of those Laws, they make others with an Intent
to enforce, mend, explain or repeal the former; till the Body of Laws
grows to such an enormous Bulk, that to understand it is a tedious
prolix Study, and the Numbers that follow and belong to the Practise
of it, come to be a Grievance almost as great as could be fear'd from
Injustice and Oppression. Nothing is more necessary than that Property
should be secured; and it is impossible but on many Occasions Men must
trust one another in the Civil Society. Now Nothing has ever been
thought to be more obligatory or a greater Tie upon Man than Religion.

Hor. This I have often wonder'd at: Considering the Absurdities on the
Religion of the _Greeks_ and _Romans,_ the bad Examples and Immoralities
of their Deities, the ridiculous Fables of a _Charon,_ a _Styx,_ a
_Cerberus,_ &c, and the obscenity display'd in several of their
Festivals, I cannot conceive how Men could expect, that such Religions
should make Men Honest, or do any good to their Morals; and yet, which
is amazing to me, most wise men in all Ages have agreed, that, without
some Religion or other, it would be impossible to govern any
considerable Nation. However, I believe it is Fact, that it never was
done.

Cleo. That no large Society of Men can be well govern'd without
Religion, and that there never was a Nation that had not some Worship,
and did not believe in some Deity or other, is most certain: But what
do you think is the Reason of that?

Hor. Because Multitudes must be aw'd by Something that is terrible, as
Flames of Hell, and Fire everlasting; and it is evident, that if it
was not for the Fear of an After-Reckoning, some Men would be so
wicked, that there would be no living with them.

Cleo. Pray, how wicked would they be? What Crimes would they commit?

Hor. Robbing, Murdering, Ravishing.

Cleo. And are not often here, as well as in other Nations, People
convicted of, and punished for those Crimes?

Hor. I am satisfied, the Vulgar could not be managed without Religion
of some Sort or other; for the Fear of Futurity keeps Thousands in
Awe, who, without that Reflection, would all be guilty of those Crimes
which are now committed only by a Few.

Cleo. This is a Surmise without any Foundation. It has been said a
Thousand Times by Divines of all Sects; but No body has ever shewn the
least Probability of its being true; and daily Experience gives us all
the Reason in the World to think the Contrary; for there are
Thousands, who, throughout the Course of their Lives, seem not to have
the least Regard to a future State, tho' they are Believers, and yet
these very People are very cautious of committing any Thing which the
Law would punish. You'll give me Leave to observe by the By, that to
believe what you say, a Man must have a worse Opinion of his Species,
than ever the Author of the _Fable of the Bees_ appears to have had yet.

Hor. Don't mistake me: I am far from believing, that Men of Sense and
Education are to be frighten'd with those Bugbears.

Cleo. And what I say, I don't mean of Libertines or Deist; but Men,
that to all outward Appearance are Believers, that go to Church,
receive the Sacrament, and at the Approach of Death are observed to be
really afraid of Hell. And yet of these, many are Drunkards,
Whoremasters, Adulterers, and not a Few of them betray their Trust,
rob their Country, defraud Widows and Orphans, and make wronging their
Neighbours their daily Practice.

Hor. What Temporal Benefit can Religion be of to the Civil Society, if
it don't keep People in Awe?

Cleo. That's another Question. We both agree, that no Nation or large
Society can be well govern'd without Religion. I ask'd you the Reason
of this: You tell me, because the Vulgar could not be kept in Awe
without it. In Reply to this, I point at a Thousand Instances, where
Religion is not of the Efficacy, and shew you withal that this End of
keeping Men in Awe is much better obtain'd by the Laws and temporal
Punishment; and that it is the Fear of them, which actually restrains
great Numbers of wicked People; I might say All, without Exception, of
whom there is any Hope or Possibility, that they can be curb'd at all,
or restrain'd by any Thing whatever: For such Reprobates as can make a
Jest of the Gallows, and are not afraid of Hanging, will laugh
likewise at Hell and defy Damnation.

Hor. If the Reason I alledge is insufficient, pray give me a better.

Cleo. I'll endeavour it. The First Business of all Governments, I mean
the Task which all Rulers must begin with, is, to make Men tractable
and obedient, which is not to be perform'd unless we can make them
believe, that the Instructions and Commands we give them have a plain
Tendency to the Good of every Individual, and that we say Nothing to
them, but what we know to be true. To do this effectually, Human
Nature ought to be humour'd as well as studied: Whoever therefore
takes upon him to govern a Multitude, ought to inform himself of those
Sentiments that are the natural Result of the Passions and Frailties
which every Human Creature is born with.

Hor. I don't understand what Sentiments you speak of.

Cleo. I'll explain my self. All Men are born with Fear; and as they
are likewise born with a Desire of Happiness and Self-Preservation, it
is natural for them to avoid Pain and every Thing that makes them
uneasy; and which, by a general Word, is call'd Evil. Fear being that
Passion which inspires us with a strong Aversion to Evil, it is very
natural to think that it will put us up on enquiring into the means to
shun it. I have told you already, in our Fifth Conversation, how this
Aversion to Evil, and Endeavour to shun it, this Principle of Fear,
would always naturally dispose Human Creatures to suspect the
Existence of an intelligent Cause that is invisible, whenever any Evil
happen'd to them, which came they knew not whence, and of which the
Author was not to be seen. If you remember what I said then, the
Reasons why no Nations can be govern'd without Religion, will be
obvious. Every Individual, whether he is a Savage, or is born in a
Civil Society, is persuaded within, that there is such an invisible
Cause; and should any Mortal contradict this, no Multitude would
believe a Word of what he said. Whereas, on the other Hand, if a Ruler
humours this Fear, and puts it out of all Doubt, that there is such an
invisible Cause, he may say of it what he pleases; and no Multitude,
that was never taught any Thing to the contrary, will ever dispute it
with him. He may say, that it is a Crocodile or a Monkey, an Ox, or a
Dog, an Onion, or a Wafer. And as to the Essence and the Qualities of
the invisible Cause, he is at Liberty to call it very good or very
bad. He many say of it, that it is an envious, malicious, and the most
cruel Being that can be imagin'd; that it loves Blood and delights in
Human Sacrifices: Or he may say that there are two invisible Causes;
one the Author of Good, the other of Evil; or that there are Three; or
that there is really but One, tho' seemingly there are Three, or else
that there are Fifty Thousand. The many Calamities we are liable to,
from Thunder and Lightning, Hurricanes and Earthquakes, Plagues and
Inundations, will always make ignorant and untaught Men more prone to
believe, that the invisible Cause is a bad mischievous Being, than
that it is a good benign one; as I shew'd you then in that Fifth
Conversation.

Hor. On this Head I own I must give up Mankind, and cannot maintain
the Excellency of Human Nature; for the absurdities in Idolatrous
Worship, that have been and are still committed by some of our own
Species, are such as no Creatures of any other could out-do them in.

Cleo. The Protestant and the Mahometan are the only National Religions
now, that are free from Idolatry; and therefore the Absurdities in the
Worship of all the Rest are pretty much alike; at least, the
Difference in the Degrees of Mens Folly, as Idolaters, is very
inconsiderable. For how unknown soever an invisible Cause, Power, or
Being may be, that is incomprehensible, this is certain of it, that no
clear intelligible Idea can be form'd of it; and that no Figure can
describe it. All Attempts then, to represent the Deity, being equally
vain and frivolous, no One Shape or Form can be imagin'd of it, that
can justly be said to be more or less absurd than another. As to the
temporal Benefit which Religion can be of to the Civil Society, or the
Political View which Lawgivers and Governours may have in promoting
it, the chief Use of it is in Promises of Allegiance and Loyalty, and
all solemn Engagements and Asseverations, in which the invisible
Power, that, in every Country, is the Object of the Publick Worship,
is involved or appeal'd to. For these Purposes all Religions are
equally serrviceable; and the worst is better than none: For without
the belief of an invisible Cause, no Man's Word is to be relied upon,
no Vows or Protestations can be depended upon; but as soon as a Man
believes, that there is a Power somewhere, that will certainly punish
him, if he forswears himself; as soon, I say, as a Man believes this,
we have Reason to trust to his Oath; at least, it is a better Test
than any other Verbal Assurance. But what this same Person believes
further, concerning the Nature and the Essence of that Power he swears
by, the Worship it requires, or whether he conceives it in the
singular or plural Number, may be very material to himself, but the
Socicty has Nothing to do with it: Because it can make no Alteration
in the Security which his Swearing gives us. I don't deny the
Usefulness which even the worst Religion that can be, may be of to
Politicians and the Civil Society: But what I insist upon, is, that
the temporal Benefit of it, or the Contrivance of Oaths and Swearing,
could never have enter'd into the the Heads of Politician, if the Fear
of an invisible Cause had not pre-existed and been supposed to be
universal, any more than they would have contrived matrimony, if the
Desire of Procreation had not been planted in Human Nature and visible
in both Sexes. Passions don't affect us, but when they are provoked:
The Fear of Death is a Reality in our Nature: But the greatest Cowards
may, and often do, live Forty Years and longer, without being
disturb'd by it. The Fear of an invisible Cause is as real in our
Nature, as the Fear of Death; either of them may be conquer'd perhaps;
but so may Lust; and Experience teaches us, that how violent soever
the Desire of Propagating our Species may be whilst we are young, it
goes off, and is often entirely lost in old Age. When I hear a Man
say, that he never felt any Fear of an invisible Cause, that was not
owing to Education, I believe him as much as I do a young married
Woman in Health and Vigour, who tells me, that she never felt any Love
to a Man, that did not proceed from a Sense of her Duty.

Hor. Does this Fear, this Acknowledgment of an invisible Cause,
dispose or excite men any more to the true Religion, than it does to
the grossest and most abominable Idolatry?

Cleo. I don't say it does. But there is no Passion in Human Nature so
beneficial, that, according as it is managed, may not do Mischief as
well as good. What do you think of Love? If this Fear had not been
common to the whole Species, none could have been influenc'd by it;
the Consequence of which must have been, that Men would have rejected
the true Religion as well as the false. There is Nothing that Men may
differ in, in which they will ever be all of the same Opinion: And
abstruse Truths do often seem to be less probable than well dress'd
Fables, when they are skilfully accommodated to our Understanding, and
agreeable to our own Way of thinking. That there is but one God, the
Creator of Heaven and Earth, that is an all-wise and perfectly good
Being, without any Mixture of Evil, would have been a most rational
Opinion, tho' it had not been reveal'd. But Reasoning and Metaphysicks
must have been carried on to a great Height of Perfection, before this
Truth could be penetrated into by the Light of Nature. _Plutarch_, who
was a Man of great Learning, and has in many Things display'd good
Sense and Capacity, thought it impossible, that one Being should have
been the Cause of the Whole, and was therefore of Opinion, that there
must have been Two Principles; the one to produce all the Good; and
the other all the Evil that is in the World. And Some of the greatest
men have been of this Opinion, both before and since the Promulgation
of the Gospel. But whatever Philosophers and men of Letters may have
advanced, there never was an Age or a Country where the Vulgar would
ever come into an Opinion that contradicted that Fear, which all men
are born with, of an invisible Cause, that meddles and interferes in
Human Affairs; and there is a greater Possibility, that the most
Senseless Enthusiast should make a knowing and polite Nation believe
the most incredible Falsities, or that the most odious Tyrant should
persuade them to the grossest Idolatry, than that the most artful
Politician, or the most popular Prince, should make Atheism to be
universally received among the Vulgar of any considerable State or
Kingdom, tho' there were no Temples or Priests to be seen. From all
which I would shew, that, on the one Hand, you can make no Multitudes
believe contrary to what they feel, or what contradicts a Passion
inherent in their Nature, and that, on the other, if you humour that
Passion, and allow it to be just, you may regulate it as you please.
How unanimous soever, therefore, all Rulers and Magistrates have
seem'd to be in promoting some Religion or other, the Principle of it
was not of their Invention. They found it in Man; and the Fear of an
invisible Cause being universal, if Governours had said nothing of it,
every Man in his own Breast would have found Fault with them, and had
a Superstition of his own to himself. It has often been seen, that the
most subtle Unbelievers among Politicians have been forced, for their
own Quiet, to counterfeit their Attachment to religion, when they
would a Thousand Times rather have done without it.

Hor. It is not in the Power then, you think, of Politicians, to
contradict the Passions, or deny the Existence of them, but that, when
once they have allow'd them to be just and natural, they may guide Men
in the Indulgence of them, as they please.

Cleo. I do so; and the Truth of this is evident likewise in another
Passion, (_viz_) that of Love, which I hinted at before; and Marriage
was not invented to make Men procreate; they had that Desire before;
but it was instituted to regulate a strong Passion, and prevent the
innumerable Mischiefs that would ensue, if Men and Women should
converse together promiscuosly, and love and leave one another as
Caprice and their unruly Fancy led them. Thus we see, that every
Legislator has regulated Matrimony in that Way, which, to the best of
his Skill, he imagin'd would be the most proper to promote the Peace
Felicity in general of Those he govern'd: And how great an Imposter
soever _Mahomet_ was, I can never believe, that he would have allow'd
his _Mussulmen_ Three or Four Wives a piece, if he had thought it
better, than one; Man should be contented with and confin'd to One
Woman; I mean better upon the Whole, more beneficial to the Civil
Society, as well in Consideration of the Climate he lived in--, as the
Nature and the Temperament of those _Arabians_ he gave his Laws to.

Hor. But what is all this to the Origin of Honour? What Reason have
you to think it to be of Gothick Extraction?

Cleo. My Conjecture concerning Honour, as it signifies a Principle
from which Men act, is, that it is an Invention of Politicians, to
keep Men close to their Promises and Engagements, when all other Ties
prov'd ineffectual; and the Christian Religion itself was often found
insufficient for that Purpose.

Hor. But the Belief of an over-ruling Power, that will certainly
punish Perjury and Injustice, being common to all Religions, what
pre-eminence has the Christian over the Rest, as to the Civil Society
in Temporals?

Cleo. It shews and insists upon the Necessity of that Belief more
amply and more emphatically than any other. Besides, the Strictness of
its Morality, and the exemplary Lives of Those who preach'd it, gain'd
vast Credit to the mysterious Part of it; and there never had been a
Doctrine or Philosophy from which it was so likely to expect, that it
would produce Honesty, mutual Love and Faithfulness in the Discharge
of all Duties and Engagements as the Christian Religion. The wisest
Moralists, before that Time, has laid the greatest Stress on the
Reasonableness of their precepts; and appeal'd to Human Understanding
for the Truth of their Opinions. But the Gospel, soaring beyond the
Reach of Reason, teaches us many Things, which no Mortal could ever
have known, unless they had been reveal'd to him; and several that
must always remain incomprehensible to finite Capacities; and this is
the Reason, that the Gospel presses and enjoins Nothing with more
Earnestness than Faith and Believing.

Hor. But would Men be more sway'd by Things they believed only, than
they would be by those they understood?

Cleo. All Human Creatures are sway'd and wholly govern'd by their
Passions, whatever fine Notions we may flatter our Selves with; even
those who act suitably to their Knowledge, and strictly follow the
Dictates of their Reason, are not less compell'd so to do by some
Passion or other, that sets them to Work, than others, who bid
Defiance and act contrary to Both, and whom we call Slaves to their
Passions. To love Virtue for the Beauty of it, and curb one's
Appetites because it is most reasonable so to do, are very good Things
in Theory; but whoever understands our Nature, and consults the
Practice of Human Creatures, would sooner expect from them, that they
should abstain from Vice, for Fear of Punishment, and do good, in
Hopes of being rewarded for it.

Hor. Would you prefer that Goodness, built upon Selfishness and
Mercenary Principles, to that which proceeds from a Rectitude of
Thinking, and a real Love of Virtue and Reasonableness of Mens
Actions?

Cleo. We can give no better Proof of our Reasonableness, than by
judging rightly. When a Man wavers in his Choice, between present
Enjoyments of Ease and Pleasure, and the Discharge of Duties that are
troublesome, he weighs what Damage or benefit will accrue to him upon
the Whole, as well from the Neglect as the Observence of the Duties
that are prescrib'd to him; and the greater the Punishment is he fears
from the Neglect, and the more transcendent the Reward is which he
hopes for from the Observance, the more reasonably he acts, when he
sides with his Duty. To bear with Inconveniencies, Pain and Sorrow, in
Hopes of being eternally Happy, and refuse the Enjoyments of Pleasure,
for Fear of being Miserable for ever, are more justifiable to Reason,
and more consonant to good Sense, than it is to do it for Nothing.

Hor. But our Divines will tell you, that this Slavish Fear is
unacceptable, and that the Love of God ought to be the Motive of good
Actions.

Cleo. I have Nothing against the refin'd Notions of the Love of God,
but this is not what I would now speak of. My Design was only to
prove, that the more firmly Men believe Rewards and Punishments from
an invisible Cause, and the more this Belief always influences them in
all their Actions, the closer they'll keep to Justice and all Promises
and Engagements. It is this that was always most wanted in the Civil
Society; and, before the Coming of _Christ_, Nothing had appear'd upon
Earth, from which this grand _Desideratum_, this Blessing, might so
reasonably be expected as it might from his Doctrine. In the Beginning
of Christianity, and whilst the Gospel was explain'd without any
Regard to Wordly Views, to be a Soldier was thought inconsistent with
the Profession of a Christian; but this Strictness of the
Gospel-Principles began to be disapproved of in the Second Century.
The Divines of those Days were most of them become arrant Priests, and
saw plainly, that a Religion, which would not allow its Votaries to
assist at Courts or Armies, and comply with the vain World, could
never be made National; consequently, the Clergy of it could never
acquire any considerable Power upon Earth. In Spirituals they were the
Successors of the Apostles, but in Temporals they wanted to succeed
the Pagan Priests, whose Possessions they look'd upon with wishful
Eyes; and Worldly Strength and Authority being absolutely necessary to
establish Dominion, it was agreed, that Christians might be Soldiers,
and in a just War fight with the Enemies of their Country. But
Experience soon taught them, that those Christians, whose Consciences
would suffer them to be Soldiers, and to act contrary to the Doctrine
of Peace, were not more strict Observers of other Duties; that Pride,
Avarice and Revenge ranged among them as they did among the Heathens,
and that many of them were guilty of Drunkenness and Incontinence,
Fraud and Injustice, at the same Time that they pretended to great
Zeal, and were great Sticklers for their Religion. This made it
evident, that there could be no Religion so strict, no System of
Morality so refin'd, nor Theory so well meaning, but some People might
pretend to profess and follow it, and yet be loose Livers, and wicked
in their Practice.

Hor. Those who profess to be of a Theory, which they contradict by
their Practice, are, without Doubt, hypocrites.

Cleo. I have more Charity than to think so. There are real Believers
that lead Wicked Lives; and Many stick not at Crimes, which they never
would have dared to commit, if the Terrors of the Divine Justice, and
the Flames of Hell, had struck their Imagination, and been before them
in the same Manner as they really believe they shall be; or if at that
Time their Fears had made the same Impression upon them, which they do
at others, when the Evil dreaded seems to be near. Things at a
Distance, tho' we are sure that they are to come, make little
Impression upon us in Comparison with those that are present and
immediately before us. This is evident in the Affair of Death: There
is No Body who does not believe, that he must die, Mr. _Asgil_ perhaps
excepted; yet it hardly ever employs People's Thoughts, even of Those
who are most terribly afraid of it whilst they are in perfect Health,
and have every Thing they like. Man is never better pleas'd than when
he is employ'd in procuring Ease and Pleasure, in thinking on his own
Worth, and mending his Condition upon Earth. Whether This is laid on
the Devil or our Attachment to the World, it is plain to me, that it
flows from Man's Nature, always to mind to Flatter, Love, and take
Delight in himself; and that he cares as little as possible ever to be
interupted in this grand Employment. As every organ, and every part of
Man, seems to be made and wisely contriv'd for the Functions of this
Life only, so his Nature prompts him, not to have any Sollicitude for
Things beyond this World. The Care of Self-Preservation we are born
with, does not extend it self beyond this Life; therefore every
Creature dreads Death as the Dissolution of its Being, the Term not to
be exceeded, the End of All. How various and unreasonable soever our
Wishes may be, and how enormous the Multiplicity of our Desires, they
terminate in Life, and all the Objects of them are on this Side the
Grave.

Hor. Has not a Man Desires beyond the Grave, who buys an Estate, not
to be enjoy'd but by his Heirs, and enters into Agreements that shall
be binding for a Thousand Years.

Cleo. All the Pleasure and Satisfaction that can arise from the
Reflection on our Heirs, is enjoy'd in this Life: And the Benefits and
Advantages we wish to our Posterity are of the same Nature with those
which we would wish to our Selves if we were to live; and what we take
Care of is, that they shall be Rich, keep their Possessions, and that
their Estates, Authority and Prerogatives shall never diminish, but
rather encrease. We look upon Posterity as the Effect of which we are
the Cause, and we reckon our Selves as it were to continue in them.

Hor. But the Ambitious that are in Pursuit of Glory, and sacrifise
their Lives to Fame and a lasting Reputation, sure they have Wishes
beyond the Grave.

Cleo. Tho' a Man should stretch and carry his Ambition to the End of
the World, and desire not to be forgot as long as that stood, yet the
Pleasure that arises from the Reflection on what shall be said of him
Thousands and Thousand of Years after, can only be enjoy'd in this
Life. If a vain Coxcomb, whose Memory shall die with him, can be but
firmly persuaded, that he shall leave an eternal Name, the Reflection
may give him as much Pleasure as the greatest Hero can receive from
reflecting on what shall really render him immortal. A Man, who is not
regenerated, can have no Notion of another World, or future happiness;
therefore his Longing after it cannot be very strong. Nothing can
affect us forcibly but what strikes the Senses, or such Things which
we are conscious of within. By the Light of Nature only, we are
capable of demonstrating to our Selves the necessity of a First Cause,
a Supreme Being; but the Existence of a Deity cannot be render'd more
manifest to our Reason, than his Essence is unknown and
incomprehensible to our Understanding.

Hor. I don't see what you drive at.

Cleo. I am endeavouring to account for the small Effect and little
Force, which Religion, and the Belief of future Punishments, may be of
to mere Man, unassisted with the Divine Grace. The Practice of nominal
Christians is perpetually clashing with the Theory they profess.
Innumerable Sins are committed in private, which the Presence of a
Child, or the most insignificant Person, might have hinder'd, by Men
who believe God to be omniscient, and never question'd his Ubiquity.

Hor. But pray, come to the Point, the Origin of Honour.

Cleo. If we consider, that men are always endeavouring to mend their
Condition and render Society more happy as to this World we may easily
conceive, when it was evident that Nothing could be a Check upon Man
that was absent, or at least appear'd not to be present, how Moralists
and Politicians came to look for Something in Man himself, to keep him
in Awe. The more they examin'd into Human Nature, the more they must
have been convinced, that Man is so Selfish a Creature, that, whilst
he is at Liberty, the greatest Part of his Time will always be
bestow'd upon himself; and that whatever Fear or Revenerence he might
have for an invisible Cause, that Thought was often jostled out by
others, more nearly relating to himself. It is obvious likewise, that
he neither loves nor esteems any Thing so well as he does his own
Individual; and that here is Nothing, which he has so constantly
before his Eyes, as his own dear Self. It is highly probable, that
skilful Rulers, having made these observations for some Time, would be
tempted to try if Man could not be made an Object of Reverence to
himself.

Hor. You have only named Love and Esteem; they alone cannot produce
Reverence by your own Maxim; how could they make a man afraid of
himself?

Cleo. By improving upon his Dread of Shame; and this, I am persuaded,
was the Case: For as soon as it was found out, that many vicious,
quarrelsome, and undaunted Men, that fear'd neither God nor Devil,
were yet often curb'd and visibly with-held by the Fear of Shame; and
likewise that this Fear of Shame might be greatly encreas'd by an
artful Education, and be made superiour even to that of Death, they
had made a Discovery of a real Tie, that would serve many noble
Purposes in the Society. This I take to have been the Origin of
Honour, the Principle of which has its Foundation in Self-liking; and
no Art could ever have fix'd or rais'd it in any Breast, if that
Passion had not pre-existed and been predominant there.

Hor. But, how are you sure, that this was the Work of Moralists and
Politicians, as you seem to insinuate?

Cleo. I give those Names promiscuously to All that, having studied
Human Nature, have endeavour'd to civilize Men, and render them more
and more tractable, either for the Ease of Governours and Magistrates,
or else for the Temporal Happiness of Society in general. I think of
all Inventions of this Sort, the same which told [4] you of
Politeness, that they are the joint Labour of Many, Human Wisdom is
the Child of Time. It was not the Contrivance of one Man, nor could it
have been the Business of a few Years, to establish a Notion, by which
a rational Creature is kept in Awe for Fear of it Self, and an Idol is
set up, that shall be its own Worshiper.

[Footnote 4: Fable of the Bees, Part. II. page 132.]

Hor. But I deny, that in the Fear of Shame we are afraid of our
Selves. What we fear, is the judgment of others, and the ill Opinion
they will justly have of us.

Cleo. Examine this thoroughly, and you'll find, that when we covet
Glory, or dread Infamy, it is not the good or bad Opinion of others
that affects us with Joy or Sorrow, Pleasure or Pain; but it is the
Notion we form of that Opinion of theirs, and must proceed from the
Regard and Value we have for it. If it was otherwise, the most
Shameless Fellow would suffer as much in his Mind from publick
Disgrace and Infamy, as a Man that values his Reputation. Therefore it
is the Notion we have of Things, our own Thought and Something within
our Selves, that creates the Fear of Shame: For if I have a Reason,
why I forbear to do a Thing to Day, which it is impossible should be
known before to Morrow, I must be with-held by Something that exists
already; for Nothing can act upon me the Day before it has its Being.

Hor. The Upshot is I find, that Honour is of the same Origin with
Virtue.

Cleo. But the Invention of Honour, as a Principle, is of a much later
Date; and I look upon it as the greater Atchievement by far. It was an
Improvement in the Art of Flattery, by which the Excellency of our
Species is raised to such a Height, that it becomes the Object of our
own Adoration, and Man is taught in good Earnest to worship himself.

Hor. But granting you, that both Virtue and Honour are of Human
Contrivance, why do you look upon the Invention of the One to be a
greater Atchievement than that of the other?

Cleo. Because the One is more skilfully adapted to our inward Make.
Men are better paid for their Adherence to Honour, than they are for
their Adherence to Virtue: The First requires less Self-denial; and
the Rewards they receive for that Little are not imaginary but real
and palpable. But Experience confirms what I say: The Invention of
Honour has been far more beneficial to the Civil Society than that of
Virtue, and much better answer'd the End for which they were invented.
For ever since the Notion of Honour has been receiv'd among
Christians, there have always been, in the same Number of People,
Twenty Men of real Honour, to One of real Virtue. The Reason is
obvious. The Persuasions to Virtue make no Allowances, nor have any
Allurements that are clashing with the Principle of it; whereas the
Men of Pleasure, the Passionate and the Malicious, may all in their
Turns meet with Opportunities of indulging their darling Appetites
without trespassing against the Principle of Honour. A virtuous Man
thinks himself obliged to obey the Laws of his Country; but a Man of
Honour acts from a Principle which he is bound to believe Superiour to
all Laws. Do but consider the Instinct of Sovereignty that all Men are
born with, and you'll find, that in the closest Attachment to the
Principle of Honour there are Enjoyments that are ravishing to Human
Nature. A virtuous Man expects no Acknowledgments from others; and if
they won't believe him to be virtuous, his Business is not to force
them to it; but a Man of Honour has the Liberty openly to proclaim
himself to be such, and call to an Account Every body who dares to
doubt of it: Nay, such is the inestimable Value he sets upon himself,
that he often endeavours to punish with Death the most insignificant
Trespass that's committed against him, the least Word, Look, or
Motion, if he can find but any far-fetch'd reason to suspect a Design
in it to under-value him; and of this No body is allow'd to be a Judge
but himself. The Enjoyments that arise from being virtuous are of that
Nicety, that every ordinary Capacity cannot relish them: As, without
Doubt, there is a noble Pleasure in forgiving of Injuries, to
Speculative Men that have refin'd Notions of Virtue; but it is more
Natural to resent them; and in revenging one's self, there is a
Pleasure which the meanest Understanding is capable of tasting. It is
manifest then, that there are Allurements in the Principle of Honour,
to draw in Men of the lowest Capacity, and even the vicious, which
Virtue has not.

Hor. I can't see, how a Man can be really virtuous, who is not
likewise a Man of Honour. A Person may desire to be Honest, and have
an Aversion to Injustice, but unless he has Courage, he will not
always dare to be just, and may on many Occasions be afraid to do his
Duty. There is no Dependance to be had on a Coward, who may be bully'd
into vicious Actions, and every Moment be frighten'd from his
Principle.

Cleo. It never was pretended, that a Man could be Virtuous and a
Coward at the same Time, since Fortitude is the very First of the Four
Cardinal Virtues. As much Courage and Intrepidity as you please; but a
virtuous Man will never display his Valour with Ostentation, where the
Laws of God and Men forbid him to make Use of it. What I would
demonstrate, is, that there are many Allowances, gross Indulgences to
Human Nature in the Principle of Honour, especially of modern Honour,
that are always exclaim'd against by the Voice of Virtue, and
diametrically opposite to the Doctrine of _Christ._

Hor. Yet the further we look back for these Seven or Eight Hundred
years, the more we shall find Honour and Religion blended together.

Cleo. When Ignorance, for several Ages, had been successfully
encouraged and was designedly introduced to make Way for Credulity,
the Simplicity of the Gospel and the Doctrine of _Christ_ were turn'd
into Gaudy Foppery and vile Superstition. It was then, that the Church
of _Rome_ began openly to execute her deep-laid Plot for enslaving the
Laity. Knowing, that no Power or Authority can be established or long
maintain'd upon Earth without real Strength and Force of Arms, she
very early coax'd the Soldiery, and made all Men of Valour her Tools
by Three Maxims, that, if skilfully follow'd, will never fail of
engaging Mankind in our Favour.

Hor. What are those, pray.

Cleo. Indulging Some in their Vices, Humouring Others in their Folly,
and Flattering the Pride of All. The various Orders of Knighthood were
so many Bulwarks to defend the Temporals of the Church, as well
against the Encroachments of her Friends, as the Invasions of her
Enemies. It was in the Institutions of these Orders, that Pains were
taken by the grand Architects of the Church, to reconcile, in outward
Shew, the Principle of Honour with that of the Christian Religion, and
make Men stupidly believe, that the Height of Pride is not
inconsistent with the greatest Humility. In these Solemnities the
jugling Priests resolved to be kept out no where; had commonly the
greatest Share; continually blending Rites seemingly Sacred with the
Emblems of vain Glory, which made all of them an eternal Mixture of
Pomp and Superstition.

Hor. I don't believe, that ever Any body set those Things in such a
Light besides your Self; but I see no Design, and the Priests gave
themselves a great Deal of Trouble for Nothing.

Cleo. Yet it is certain, that, by this and other Arts, they made
themselves sure of the most dangerous Men; for by this Means the
boldest and even the most wicked became Bigots. The less Religion they
had, the more they stood in Need of the Church; and the farther they
went from God, the more closely they stuck to the Priests, whose Power
over the Laity was then the most absolute and uncontroul'd when the
Crimes of These were most flagrant and enormous.

Hor. I believe, that among the Men of Honour Many were tainted with
Pride and Superstition at the same Time; but there were others in whom
superlative Bravery was united with the strictest Virtue.

Cleo. All Ages have had Men of Courage, and all Ages have had Men of
Virtue; but the Examples of Those you speak of, in whom superlative
Bravery was united with the strictest Virtue, were always extremely
scarce, and are rarely to be met with, but in Legends and Romances,
the Writers of both which I take to have been the greatest Enemies to
Truth and sober Sense the World ever produc'd. I don't deny, that by
perusing them Some might have fallen in Love with Courage and Heroism,
others with Chastity and Temperance, but the Design of both was to
serve the Church of _Rome_, and with wonderful Stories to gain the
Attention of the Readers, whilst they taught Bigotry, and inured them
to believe Impossibilities. But what I intended was to point at the
People that had the greatest Hand in reconciling, to outward
Appearance, the Principle of Honour with that of the Christian
Religion, the Ages This was done in, and the Reasons for which it was
attempted. For it is certain, that by the Maxims I named, the Church
made her self sure of Those who were most to be fear'd. Do but cast
your Eyes on the childish Farces, some Popes have made great Men the
chief Actors in, and the apish Tricks they made them play, when they
found them intoxicated with Pride, and that at the same Time they were
Believers without Reserve. What Impertinence of tedious Ceremonies
have they made the greatest Princes submit to, even such as were noted
for being cholerick and impatient! What Absurdities in Dress have they
made them swallow for Ornaments and Marks of Dignity! If in all these
the Passion of Self-liking had not been highly gratify'd as well as
play'd upon, Men of Sense could never have been fond of them, nor
could they have been of that Duration; for many of them are still
remaining even in Protestant Countries, where all the Frauds of Popery
have been detected long ago; and such Veneration is paid to some of
them, that it would hardly be safe to ridicule them. It is amazing to
think, what immense Multitudes of Badges of Honour have been invented
by Popery, that are all distinct from the Rest, and yet have Something
or other to shew, that they have a Relation to Christianity. What a
vast Variety of Shapes, not resembling the Original, has the poor
Cross Cross been tortur'd into! How differently has it been placed and
represented on the Garments of Men and Women, from Head to Foot! How
inconsiderable are all other Frauds that Lay-Rogues now and then have
been secretly guilty of, if you compare them to the bare-fac'd Cheats
and impudent Forgeries, with which the Church of _Rome_ has constantly
imposed upon Mankind in a triumphant Manner! What contemptible Baubles
has that Holy Toy-shop put off in the Face of the Sun for the richest
Merchandize! She has bribed the most Selfish and penetrating
Statesmen, with empty Sounds, and Titles without Meaning. The most
resolute Warriours She has forced to desist from their Purposes, and
do her dirty Work against their own Interest. I shall say Nothing of
the Holy War; how often the Church has kindled and renew'd it, or what
a Handle She made of it to raise and establish her own Power, and to
weaken and undermine that of the Temporal Princes in Christendom. The
Authority of the Church has made the greatest Princes and most haughty
Sovereigns fall prostrate before, and pay Adoration to the vilest
Trumpery, and accept of, as Presents of inestimable Worth, despicable
Trifles, that had no Value at all but what was set upon them by the
Gigantick Impudence of the donors, and the childish Credulity of the
Receivers, the Church misled the Vulgar, and then made Money of their
Errors. There is not an Attribute of God, and hardly a Word in the
Bible, to which she gave not some Turn or other, to serve her Worldly
Interest. The Relief of Witch-craft was the Fore-runner of Exorcisms;
and the Priests forged Apparitions to shew the Power they pretended
to, of laying Spirits, and casting out Devils. To make accused
Persons, sometimes by Ordeal, at others by single Combat, try the
Justice of their Cause, were both Arrows out of her Quiver; and it is
from the latter, that the Fashion of Duelling took its Rise. But those
single Combats at first were only fought by Persons of great Quality,
and on some considerable Quarrel, when they ask'd Leave of the
Sovereign to decide the Difference between them by Feats of Arms;
which being obtain'd, Judges of the Combat were appointed, and the
Champions enter'd the List with great Pomp, and in a very solemn
Manner. But as the Principle of Honour came to be very useful, the
Notions of it, by Degrees, were industriously spread among the
Multitude, till at last all Swords-men took it in their Heads, that
they had a right to decide their own Quarrels, without asking any
Body's Leave. Two Hundred Years ago----

Hor. Pardon my Rudeness, I cannot stay one Moment. An Affair of
Importance requires my Presence. It is an Appointment which I had
entirely forgot when I came hither. I am sure I have been staid for
this Half Hour.

Cleo. Pray, _Horatio_, make no Apologies. There is no Company I love
better than I do yours when you are at Leisure; but----

Hor. You don't stir out I know; I shall be back again in Two Hours
Time.

Cleo. And I shall be at Home for No body but your Self.



The Second Dialogue Between _Horatio_ and _Cleomenes_.


Horatio. I Believe I am within my Time.

Cleo. By above Ten Minutes.

Hor. When I came back in the Chair, I was thinking how artfully, all
this Afternoon, you avoided saying any Thing of Honour, as it relates
to the Fair Sex. Their Honour, you know, consists in their Chastity,
which is a real Virtue in your own Sense, not to be practis'd without
palpable Self-denial. To make a Vow of perpetual Virginity, and to be
resolute enough, never to break it, is a Task not to be perform'd
without the utmost Mortification to Flesh and Blood, especially in
handsome clever Women that seem to be made for Love, as you and I have
seen a great many in the Nunneries in _Flanders_. Self-liking or Pride
have Nothing to do there; for the more powerfully that Passion
operates in either Men or Women, the less Inclination they'll shew to
be mew'd up in a Cloyster, where they can have None but their own Sex
to converse with.

Cleo. The Reason why I said Nothing of Honour as it relates to the
fair Sex, was because we had spoke of it already in a former
Conversation; by the same Token, that I told you then, that [5] _the
Word Honour, I mean, the Sence of it, was very whimsical, and the
Difference in the Signification so prodigious, according as the
Attribute was either applied to a Man, or to a Woman, that neither
shall forfeit their Honour, tho' each should be guilty, and openly
boast of what would be the other's greatest Shame._

[Footnote 5: Fable of the Bees, part II. page 128.]

Hor. I remember it, and it is true. Gallantry with Women, is no
Discredit to the Men, any more than Want of Courage is a Reproach to
the Ladies. But do you think this is an Answer to what I said?

Cleo. It is an Answer to your Charge against me of making Use of an
Artifice, which, I declare to you, never enter'd into my Head. That
the Honour of Women in general, is allow'd to consist in their
Chastity, is very true; the Words themselves have been made Use of as
Synonimous even among the Ancients: But this, strictly speaking, ought
only to be understood of Worldly Women, who act from Political Views,
and at best from a Principle of Heathen Virtue. But the Women you
speak of among the Christians, who, having vow'd a perpetual
Virginity, debar themselves from sensual Pleasures, must be set on,
and animated by a higher Principle than that of Honour. Those who can
voluntarily make this Vow in good Humour and Prosperity, as well as
Health and Vigour, and keep it with Strictness, tho' it is in their
Power to break it, have, I own with you, a Task to perform, than which
Nothing can be more mortifying to Flesh and Blood. Self-liking or
Pride, as you say, have Nothing to do there. But where are these Women
to be found?

Hor. I told you; in the Religious Houses.

Cleo. I don't believe there is one in a Thousand that answers the
Character you gave of them. Most Nuns are made whilst they are very
young, and under the Tuition of others; and oftner by Compulsion than
their own Choice.

Hor. But there are Women grown, who take the Veil voluntarily, when
they are at their own Disposal.

Cleo. Not many, who have not some substantial Reason or other for it,
that has no Relation to Piety or Devotion; such as the Want of a
Portion suitable to their Quality; Disappointments or other
Misfortunes in the World. But to come to the Point. There are but two
Things which, in Celibacy, can make Men or Women, in Youth and Health,
strictly comply with the Rules of Chastity; and these are Religion,
and the Fear of Shame. Good Christians, that are wholly sway'd by the
Sense of a Religious Duty, must be supernaturally assisted, and are
Proof against all Temptations. But These have always been very scarce,
and there are no Numbers of them any where, that one can readily go
to. It would perhaps be an odious Disquisition, whether, among all the
young and middle-aged Women who lead a Monastick Life, and are
secluded from the World, there are Any that have, abstract from all
other Motives, Religion enough to secure them from the Frailty of the
Flesh, if they had an Opportunity to gratify it to their Liking with
Impunity. This is certain, that their Superiors, and Those under whose
Care these Nuns are, seem not to entertain that Opinion of the
Generality of them. They always keep them lock'd up and barr'd; suffer
no Men to converse with them even in Publick, but where there are
Grates between them, and not even then within Reach of one another:
And tho' hardly a Male Creature of any Kind is allow'd to come near
them, yet they are ever suspicious of them, pry into their most Secret
Thoughts, and keep constantly a watchful Eye over them.

Hor. Don't you think this must be a great Mortification to young
Women?

Cleo. Yes, a forc'd one; but there is no voluntary Self-denial, which
was the Thing you spoke of. The Mortifitation which they feel is like
that of Vagabonds in a Work-House: There is no Virtue in the
Confinement of either. Both are dissatisfied, without Doubt, but it is
because they are not employ'd to their Liking; and what they grieve
at, is, that they can't help themselves. But there are Thousands of
vain Women, whom no Thoughts of Futurity ever made any Impression
upon, that lead single Lives by Choice, and are at the same Time
careful of their Honour to the greatest Nicety, in the Midst of
Temptations, gay sprightly Women, of amorous Complexions, that can
deny a passionate, deserving Lover, whose Person they approve of and
admire, when they are alone with him in the dark; and all this from no
better Principle than the Fear of Shame, which has its Foundation in
Self-liking, and is so manifesty derived from that and no other
Passion. You and I are acquainted with Women, that have refused
Honourable Matches with the Men they loved, and with whom they might
have been Happy, if they themselves had been less intoxicated with
Vanity.

Hor. But when a Woman can marry, and be maintain'd suitably to her
Quality, and she refuses a Man upon no other Score, than that his
Fortune, or his Estate, are not equal to her unreasonable Desires, the
Passion she acts from is Covetousness.

Cleo. Would you call a Woman covetous, who visibly takes Delight in
Lavishness, and never shew'd any Value for Money when She had it: One
that would not have a Shilling left at the Year's End, tho' she had
Fifty Thousand Pounds coming in? All Women consult not what is
befitting their Quality: What many of them want is to be maintain'd
suitably to their Merit, their own Worth, which with great Sincerity
they think inestimable and which consequently no Price can be equal
to. The Motive therefore of these Women is no other, than what I have
call'd it, their Vanity, the undoubted Offspring of Self-liking, a
palpable Excess, an extravagant Degree of the Passion, that is able to
stifle the loudest Calls of Nature, and with a high Hand triumphs over
all other Appetites and Inclinations. What Sort of Education now do
you think the fittest to furnish and fill young Ladies with this high
Esteem for themselves and their Reputation, which, whilst it subsists
and reigns in them, is an ever-watchful and incorruptible Guardian of
their Honour? Would you mortify or flatter; lessen or increase in them
the Passion of Self-liking, in order to preserve their Chastity? In
short, which of the Two is it, you would stir up and cultivate in them
if you could, Humility or Pride?

Hor. I should not try to make them Humble, I own: And now I remember,
that in our Third Conversation, speaking of raising the Principle
Honour in both Sexes, you gave some plausible Reasons why [6] Pride
should be more encourag'd in Women than in Men. So much for the
Ladies. I shall now be glad to hear what you have to add further
concerning Honour, as it relates to Men only, and requires Courage.
When I took the Freedom to interupt you, you was saying Something of
Two Hundred Years ago.

[Footnote 6: Fable of the Bees part II. p. 126.]

Cleo. I was then going to put you in Mind, that Two Hundred Years ago
and upward, as all Gentlemen were train'd up to Arms, the Notions of
Honour were of great Use to them; and it was manifest, that never any
Thing had been invented before, that was half so effectual to create
artificial Courage among Military Men. For which Reason it was the
Interest of all politicians, among the Clergy, as well as the Laity,
to cultivate these Notions of Honour with the utmost Care, and leave
no stone unturn'd to make Every body believe the Existence and Reality
of such a Principle; not among Mechanicks, or any of the Vulgar, but
in Persons of high Birth, Knights, and others of Heroick Spirit and
exalted Nature. I can easily imagine, how, in a credulous, ignorant
Age, this might be swallow'd and generally receiv'd for Truth; nor is
it more difficult to conceive, how illiterate Men and rude Warriours,
altogether unacquainted with Human Nature, should be so far imposed
upon by such Assertions, as to be fully persuaded, that they were
really posses'd of; and actually animated by such a Principle,
constantly ascribing to the Force and Influence of it every Effort and
Suggestion they felt from the Passion of Self-liking. The Idol it self
was finely dress'd up, made a beautiful Figure, and the Worship of it
seem'd to require Nothing, that was not highly commendable and most
beneficial to Society. Those who pretended to pay their Adoration to
it, and to be true Votaries of Honour, had a hard Task to perform.
They were to be Brave and yet Courteous, Just, Loyal, and the
Protectors of Innocence against Malice and Oppression. They were to be
the profess'd Guardians of the Fair; and chaste, as well as profound
Admirers of the Sex: But above all, they were to be Stanch to the
Church, implicite Believers, zealous Champions of the Christian Faith,
and implacable Enemies to all Infidels and Hereticks.

Hor. I believe, that between Two and Three Hundred Years ago, Bigotry
was at the greatest Height.

Cleo. The Church of _Rome_ had, long before that Time, gain'd such an
Ascendant over the Laity, that Men of the highest Quality stood in Awe
of the least Parish-Priest. This made Superstition fashionable; and
the most resolute Heroes were not ashamed to pay a blind Veneration to
every Thing which the Clergy was pleased to call Sacred. Men had an
entire Confidence in the Pope's Power; his blessing of Swords,
Armours, Colours and Standards; and No body doubted of the Influence,
which Saints and Angels had upon Earth, the miraculous Virtue of
Relicks, the Reality of Witches and Enchantments, the Black Art, or
that Men might be made invulnerable.

Hor. But the Ignorance of those Days notwithstanding, you believe,
that there were Men of that strict Honour, you have been speaking of.

Cleo. Men of Honour, I told you, were required and supposed to be
possess'd of those Qualities; and I believe, that several endeavour'd
to be, and some actually were such, as far as Human Frailty would let
them; but I believe likewise, that there were others, who gain'd the
Title, by their Undauntedness only, and had but a small Stock of any
other Virtue besides; and that the Number of these was always far the
greatest. Courage and Intrepidity always were, and ever will be the
grand Characteristick of a Man of Honour: It is this Part of the
Character only, which it is always in our Power to demonstrate. The
best Friend a King has, may want an Opportunity to shew his Loyalty:
So a Man may be just and chaste, and yet not be able to convince the
World that he is so; but he may pick a Quarrel, and shew, that he
dares to Fight when he pleases, especially if he converses with Men of
the Sword. Where the Principle of Honour was in high Esteem, Vanity
and Impatience must have always prompted the most proud and forward to
seek after Opportunities of Signalizing themselves, in order to be
stiled Men of Honour. This would naturally occasion Quarrelling and
Fighting, as it did and had frequently done before the Time I speak
of. As Duelling was made a Fashion, the Point of Honour became, of
Course, a common Topick of Discourse among the best bred Men: By this
Means the Rules for Quarrelling and Ponctilio in Behaviour, which at
first were very uncertain and precarious, came to be better
understood, and refin'd upon from Time to Time, till, in the Beginning
of the last Century, the Sence of Honour was arrived to such a Degree
of Nicety all over _Europe_, especially in _France_, that barely looking
upon a Man was often taken for an Affront. The Custom of Duelling, by
this, was become to universal in that Kingdom, that the Judges
themselves thought it dishonourable to refuse a Challenge. _Henry_ IVth.
seeing the best Blood of France so often sacrific'd to this Idol,
endeavour'd to put a Stop to it, but was not able; and the several
Edicts made in 1602 and 1609 were fruitless. The Resolutions of
Parliament likewise, made in the Reign of _Lewis_ XIIIth. were as
ineffectual: the First Check that was given to Duelling, was in the
Minority of _Lewis_ XIVth, and from the Method by which it was prevented
at last, it is evident, that Honour is an Idol, by Human Contrivance,
rais'd on the Basis of Human Pride.

Hor. The Method by which a Stop was put to it, was strictly to punish
and never to pardon Any that either sent or accepted of Challenges,
whether they fought or not.

Cleo. This was not trusted to only. An Edict was publish'd in the Year
1651, by which Courts of Honour were erected throughout the Kingdom,
with Gentlemen Commissioners in every Bailiwick, that were to have
Advice of, and immediately to interpose in all Differences that might
arise between Gentlemen. The Difficulty they labour'd under was, that
they would abolish the Custom of Duelling without parting with the
Notions of Honour; destroying of which must have been certain Ruin to
a warlike Nation, that once had received them; and therefore they
never design'd, that the Worship of the Idol should cease, but they
only try'd, whether it was not to be satisfied with less valuable
Victims, and other Sacrifices besides human Blood. In the Year 1653,
_Lewis_ XIV. set forth another Declaration against Duels; in which
having made some Additions to his former Edict, he commands the
Marshals of _France_ to draw up a Regulation touching the Satisfactions
and Reparations of Honour, which they should think necessary for the
several Sorts of Offences. This Order was immediately obey'd, and
nineteen Articles were drawn up and publish'd accordingly. In these,
calling a Man Fool, Coward, or the Like, was punish'd with a Month's
Imprisonment; and after being released, the Offender was to declare to
the Party so offended, that he had wrongfully and impertinently
injur'd him by outragious Words, which he own'd to be false, and ask'd
him to forgive. Giving one the Lie, or threatning to beat him, was two
Month's Imprisonment, and the Submission to be made afterwards yet
more humble than the foregoing. For Blows, as striking with the Hand,
and other Injuries of the same Nature, the Offender was to lye in
Prison Six Months, unless, at the Request of the offended, half of
that Time was chang'd into a pecuniary Mulct, that might not be under
Fifteen Hundred Livres, to be paid before he was set at Liberty, for
the Use of the Nearest Hospital to the Abode of the offended; after
which, the Offender was to submit to the same Blows from the offended,
and to declare by Word of Mouth, and in Writing, that he had struck
him in a Brutish Manner, and beg'd him to pardon and forget that
Offence.

Hor. What Mortal could submit to such Condescensions?

Cleo. For Caning, or Blows given with a Stick, the Punishment was
still more severe; and the Offender was to beg pardon upon his Knees.

Hor. I should have no great Opinion of a Man's Honour, who would not
chuse to Die rather than comply with such Demands.

Cleo. Several thought as you do, and were hang'd for their Pains. But
what Need a Man come to those Extremes, when he could have
Satisfaction for any real Offence that might provoke him? For the
Articles took Notice of, and made ample Provisions against all Manner
of Injuries, from the most trifling Offences to the highest Outrages,
and were very severe against all those that should refuse to submit to
the Penalties imposed. The Marshals of _France_ remain'd the Supreme
Judges in all these Matters; and under them acted the Governours and
Lieutenants General of Provinces, in whose Absence the Gentlemen
Commissioners in every Bailiwick, having Power to call the Officers of
Justice to their Assistance, were to take all provisional Care
imaginable; so that no Lawyers or Mechanicks had a Hand in composing
any Differences concerning the Point of Honour.

Hor. All these Things, we'll say, are wisely contriv'd; but in
complaining first there is a meanness which a Man of Honour cannot
stoop to.

Cleo. That the Instinct of Sovereignty will always bid Men revenge
their own Wrongs, and do Justice to themselves, is certain. But I
wanted, to shew you the Equivalent, that wise Men substituted in the
Room of Dueling, and which Men of unqueston'd Honour took up with. The
Scheme was contrived by Men of tried Valour, whose Example is always
of great Weight: Besides, from the Nature of the Remedies that were
applied to the Evil, it must always follow, that those who had given
the greatest Proofs of their Courage, would be the most ready to
subscribe to those Articles.

Hor. In our last Conversation but one you told me, that [7] all Laws
pointed at, and tally'd with some Frailty or Passion in our Nature;
pray, what is it that these Laws of Honour tally with?

[Footnote 7: Fable of the Bees, part II. page 318.]

Cleo. It is self-evident, that they point at Self-liking and the
Instinct of Sovereignty. But what is singular in these Laws is, that
in their Operation they are the reverse of all others.

Hor. I don't understand you.

Cleo. All other Precepts and Commandments are visibly labouring to
restrain the Passions, and cure the Imperfections of our Nature; but
these Regulations of Honour are endeavouring to prevent Mischief, by
soothing and flattering the Frailties they point at. In Offences
against a Man's Honour, Pardon is not ask'd of God or the King, but of
him who receiv'd the Affront. It is he, therefore, whom all the
Address and Homage are paid to: He is the Idol that is kneel'd to, and
the only Sovereign that can forgive the Trespasses committed against
himself. The Punishment of the first Aggressor, you see, is altogether
a Compliment to the Person offended, whose Wrath the Law is so far
from blaming, that it justifies it, and gives him an Opportunity of
indulging it by the Indignity it puts upon the Offender. The real
Mischief is not apprehended from the Offender, but the Person
offended; and therefore it is him, whom the Law coaxes and wheedles
into good Humour, by offering him a Reparation that shall be equally
honourable with what he would chuse, tho' less prejudicial to the
Society. What the Law promises is a Tribute to the same Passion which
he wants to gratify, a Sacrifice to the Idol which he himself adores.
Should Any one personate these Laws, and, representing the Sentiments
on those who made them, speak to a Man of Honour, who had receiv'd an
Affront, an Officer of the Guards, we'll say, who had been call'd Fool
by his Equal, the Purport of the Discourse would be this: You are very
much in the Right, Sir, to be highly incensed against the Man who
dared to call you Fool, you that are a Man of Honour, to whom, as
such, the whole World ought to pay the highest Esteem. You have not
only an undoubted Right to do your Self justice, and revenge the
Affront that has been given you; but there is likewise such a
Necessity of your resenting it, that if you could tamely put up the
Injury you have receiv'd, and neglect demanding Satisfaction, you
would deserve to be branded with Ignominy, and all Men of Honour would
justly refuse ever to converse with you for the future. But the
Person, whom you have this Affair with, being likewise a Man of
Honour, it is greatly to be fear'd, that upon your demanding
Satisfaction of him, a Battle will ensue, which, between two Persons
who value their Honours a Thousand Times more than their Lives, will
probably be fatal to one, if not to both; you are therefore earnestly
desired by the King himself, that for his Sake you would make some
Alteration in the Manner of taking that Satisfaction which you ought
to receive; and the Marshals of _France_ have not only given it under
their Hands, that the Equivalents, which they have proposed for
Fighting, will be as entire a Reparation to your Honour as can be
obtain'd by Arms; but moreover they have promised and engaged their
Honours, that in Cases of Affronts they will take up and content
themselves with the same Equivalents, and on all Occasions submit to
the same Regulations, which you are now desired to follow. And that it
may appear, how highly reasonable this Request is; you are likewise
desired to take the following Remonstrance into your Consideration:
That the Valour and Steadiness of Men of Honour: are the grand Support
of all States and Kingdoms, is a Truth not to be denied; and that not
only the Peace and Tranquility, and all the Blessings we enjoy, but
likewise the King's Crown and Safety would be precarious without them,
is as unquestionable. For this Reason all wise Princes, Magistrates
and Governours, will ever take all imaginable Care, on the one Hand,
to cultivate and encourage the most noble Principle of Honour, and, on
the other, to encrease the Numbers of the worthy Posessors of it, by
favouring and on all Occasions shewing them the most tender Affection,
as well as highest Esteem. It is easy then to be imagin'd, that a
Monarch, who loves his People, and has the Interest of his Nation at
Heart, must be sensibly afflicted to see it become a common Practice
for such valuable Men to destroy one another, and behold that Bravery
and Spirit, which should only be made Use of against the Enemies of
the Country, hourly employ'd and lavish'd away in private Quarrels,
that can have no other Tendency that the weakening of the Kingdom, and
which, if suffer'd to go on, must compleat its Ruin.

Hor. You make these Laws speak very notably.

Cleo. I have said Nothing but what is certainly imply'd in them. Every
Man in _France_ knew, that the chief Motive of all those Edicts against
Duelling, was the Loss of the brave Men that was sustain'd by that
Custom. The Sinfulness of it was the least Consideration.

Hor. There, I believe, you wrong them, for I have seen some of these
Edicts, where Duelling is call'd an Antichristian Practice, which God
was highly offended at.

Cleo. In wording of the Edicts, indeed, some such Thing was put in for
Form's Sake; but the Regulations themselves, by which the Men of
Honour were to walk, were openly Antichristian; and in some Cases,
instead of Teaching Men to forgive those that had trespas'd against
them, they obliged and forced the Offended to shew their Resentment,
tho' they would rather not, and desired to be excused.

Hor. Where the Affront was very heinous, I know what you say is true.
But you set these Things in a strange Light. I can make the same
Glosses upon our Laws, which oblige me to prosecute a Man that has
robb'd me, if I can catch him, whether I will or not; and he shall be
hang'd, tho' I forgive him the Injury, and even would beg his Life.

Cleo. There is a vast Difference between the two Cases, a Robbery, and
an Affront: No body hinders you from forgiving a Man that robb'd you;
but notwithstanding your pardoning him, he is punish'd for acting
against the Laws; therefore his Offence is against the King, who is
the Guardian and Superintendant of them. And No body but the King can
pardon the Trespasses that are committed against his Crown and
Dignity. Whoever robs you, must be hang'd, because he robb'd, not
because he robb'd YOU in particular: Tho' you are bound to prosecute
him for Robbing you, yet the Injury is reckon'd as done to the
Publick; and you become a Criminal your Self, if you connive at his
Escape, tho' he restor'd to you what he had robb'd you of. But in the
Case of an Affront the Injury is reckon'd to be done to him only who
receiv'd it. His Anger, as I said before, is thought to be just, and
his Resentment reasonable, till an ample Satisfaction be made him;
therefore it is He who is to be appeas'd, and He only who is to be
applied to. The Laws that were compiled by the Marshals of _France_,
don't pretend to mend the Heart, and lay no greater Restraint on the
Spirit of Revenge, than Matrimony does on the Desire of Procreation;
on the Contrary, they flatter the Frailty, and are administring to the
Haughtiness of the offended: They are so far from denying him his
Demands, or refusing to give him Satisfaction for the Affront, that
they appoint it by Authority; in the ordering of which they make such
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
Christians.

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
Principle.

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
Standard.

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
unreasonable.

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
Sovereigns.

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
Arms.

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
bear.

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
uppermost?

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
Church.

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

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
acquired.



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
Origin.

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
Walls.

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
themselves.

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
Ecclesiastick_.

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
Nothing?

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
 _England_.

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
Unbelievers.

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
Cause.

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
Devil.

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
intelligible.

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
_Papists_.

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
First.

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
them.

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
fight, sing Psalms and do Mischief with a good Conscience, may in many
Respects be Morally good, and yet want most of the Virtues, that are
peculiar to Christianity, and, if the Gospel speaks Truth, necessary
to Salvation. A Man may be continent and likewise never drink to
Excess, and yet be haughty and insupportable in his Carriage, a
litigious Neighbour, an unnatural Father, and a barbarous Husband. He
may be just in his Dealings, and wrong No body in his Property, yet he
may be full of Envy, take Delight in Slander, be revengeful in his
Heart, and never known to have forgiven an Injury. He may abstain from
Cursing and all idle as well as prophane Swearing, and at the same
Time be uncharitable and wish Evil to all, that are not of his
Opinion; nay, he may mortally hate, and take Pleasure in persecuting
and doing Mischief to, all those who differ from him in Religion.

Hor. I see plainly now, how Men may be sincere in their Religion, and
by Art be made to act quite contrary to the Precepts of it: And your
Manner of accounting for this, does not only render the Sober Party
less odious, than the Orthodox have represented them; but there is
likewise greater Probability in it, than there is in what they
generally say of them: For that an Army of a great many Thousand Men
should consist of None but Hypocrites, who yet should fight well, is
an inconceivable Thing. But what is it you would say of the General?

Cleo. I would shew you, how an obscure Man, of an active Spirit and
boundless Ambition, might raise himself among such a Set of People to
the higher Post; and having once got the Supreme Command of the Army,
what Method, and what Arts it is most probable he would make Use of to
model such Troops to his Purpose, and make them serviceable to the
Advancement of his own Greatness.

Hor. But remember he must be an _Atheist_.

Cleo. He shall be so, in the Vulgar Acceptation of the Word; that is,
he shall have no Religion or Conscience; fear neither God nor Devil,
and not believe either a Providence in this World, or any Thing that
is said of another: But he must be a great Genius, daring to the
highest Degree, indefatigable, supple to his Interest, and ready as
well as capable to act any Part, and put on any Disguise, that shall
be required to serve or promote it. Every brisk, forward Man, who
pretends to an extraordinary Zeal for his Party, and the Cause he is
engaged in, and who shews Eagerness for Action, and behaves with
Intrepidity in Danger, cannot remain long unknown, where Men have
frequent Opportunities of signalizing themselves. But if he be
likewise a Man of Sense, who understands his Business, and has Conduct
as well as Courage, he can't fail of Preferment in an Army, where the
Interest of the common Cause is taken Care of. If he serves among
_Puritans_, who pretend to a stricter Morality, and to be more religious
than their Neighbours, and himself is an artful Man, as soon as he is
taken Notice of, he'll fall in with the Cant in Fashion, talk of Grace
and Regeneration, counterfeit Piety, and seem to be sincerely Devout.
If he can do this well, put on a sanctify'd Face, and abstain from
being openly vicious, it is incredible what Lustre it will add to the
Rest of his Qualifications, in such a Conjuncture: And if moreover he
is a Man of Address, and can get the Reputation of being disinterested
and a Soldier's Friend, in a short Time he'll become the Darling of
the Army; and it would hardly be safe long to deny him any Post, he
can reasonably pretend to. In all Wars, where the contending Parties
are in good Earnest, and the Animosities between them run high,
Campaigns are always active, and many brave Men must fall on both
Sides; and where there should be much Room for Advancement, it is
highly probable, that such a Man as I have describ'd, if at his first
setting out he was Captain of Horse, and had raised an entire Troop at
his own Charge, should in a few Years come to be a General Officer,
and of great Weight in all Councils and Debates. Being thus far
preferr'd, if he would make the most of his Talents, he might be of
infinite Service to his Party. An aspiring Man, whose grand Aim was to
thrive by Hypocrisy, would study the Scripture, learn the Languages of
it, and occasionally mix it with his Discourse. He would cajole the
Clergy of his Party, and often do good Offices to those of them that
were most popular. A Man of his Parts would preach _ex tempore_ himself,
and get the Knack of Praying for as many Hours as there should be
Occasion. Whoever is well skill'd in these Exercises may counterfeit
Enthusiasm when he pleases, and pretend on some Emergencies to receive
Directions from God himself; and that he is manifestly influenc'd by
his Spirit. A General Officer, who has once got this Reputation, may
carry almost any Thing; for Few that are wise will venture to oppose
what such a Man, pretending to have sought the Lord, declares to be
his Opinion. Whatever Victories might be obtain'd, and in all
Successes under his Command, a skilful Hypocrite would make a Shew of
Modesty, refuse to hear the Praises that are his due, and seem with
great Humility to give all the Glory to God only; not forgetting, at
the same Time, to flatter the Pride of his Troops, highly to commend
and magnify, first the Goodness and Bravery of the Soldiers, and then
the Care and Vigilance of the Officers under him. To be well serv'd,
he would reward Merit, punish and discountenance Vice, always speak
well and magnificently of Virtue, and seem to be just himself. But as
to Christianity it self, he would not suffer any Thing to be taught of
it, that could interfere with the Principle of Honour, or any of the
Artifices to keep up the Ill Will, and Hatred which military Men are
to be inspired with against their Enemies. The Christian Duties, which
he would chiefly take Care of and see perform'd, would be outward Acts
of Devotion, and that Part of Religion which is easily comply'd with,
and yet taken Notice of by all the World; such as frequent Prayers,
long and pathetick Sermons, singing of Psalms, and the keeping of the
Sabbath with great Strictness; all which Men may assist at and employ
themselves in, tho' their Hearts are otherwise engag'd. It is certain,
that a Man of vast Parts and superlative Ambition might, by the Divine
Permission, perform, take Care of, and compass all this, tho' he was
an _Atheist_; and that he might live and die with the Reputation of a
Saint, if he was but circumspect and wise enough to conceal himself so
entirely well, that no Penetration or Watchfulness of Mortals could
ever discover his real Sentiments. There is no Atchievement to be
expected from Soldiers, which they would not perform for such a
General; and his Name would be sufficient to fill the greatest
Profligate in an Army with a Religious Enthusiasm, if he disbelieved
not an invisible Cause.

Hor. There lies the Difficulty; it is that which I cannot comprehend.

Cleo. Wickedness, I have hinted to you before, is no Bar to
Superstition; and a great Profligate may at the same Time be a silly
Fellow, believe Absurdities, and rely on Trifles, which a Man of Sense
and Virtue could not be influenc'd or affected by. It is easily
imagin'd, that in such an Army, under such a General as I have been
speaking of, the Men would be kept under strict Discipline; and that
they would not only be compell'd, whether they would or not, to assist
at all their Exercises of outward Devotion and Publick Worship; but
likewise that the loosest Livers among them should be obliged to be
more cautious and circumspect in their Behaviour, than Soldiers
generally are. Now suppose a Man so wicked, that, tho' he has no Doubt
of Future State, the Belief of Rewards and Punishments in another
World made no impression upon him; but that he indulged every vicious
Inclination as far as he dared, lay with every Woman that would let
him, and got drunk as often as he could get an Opportunity to do it;
one that would stick at Nothing, rob or steal, kill a Man that should
anger him, if he was not with-held by the Law, and the Fear of
Temporal Punishment: Suppose likewise, that this was one of the lowest
Mob, who being in Want, and too lazy to work, should lift himself in
some Regiment or other of this Army. There is no Doubt, but this Man
would be forc'd immediately to have a greater Guard upon his Actions,
and reform, at least outwardly, more than would suit with his
Inclinations, and therefore it is not unlikely, that, what Duties
soever he might comply with, and whatever Appearance he might make
among the Rest, in his Heart he should remain the same he was before.
Yet notwithstanding all this, in a little Time he might make a very
good Soldier. I can easily conceive, how the Wearing of a Sword and
Regimental Cloaths, and always conversing with resolute and well
disciplin'd Men, among whom Arms and Gallantry are in the highest
Esteem, might so far encrease a wicked Fellow's Pride, that he should
wish to be brave, and in a few Months think Nothing more really
dreadful, than to be thought a Coward. The Fear of Shame may act as
powerfully upon bad Men, as it can upon good; and the Wickedness of
his Heart would not hinder him from having a good Opinion of himself,
and the Cause he served; nor yet from hating his Enemies or taking
Delight in destroying, plundering, and doing all Manner of Mischief.

Hor. But having no Regard to Godliness or Religion, it is impossible,
that he should be influenc'd or affected by the Prayers or other
Exercises of Devotion, which he might assist at and which, in all
Probability, he would never come near, unless he was compell'd to it.

Cleo. I don't suppose, that he would be influenced or affected by them
at all himself; but he might easily believe, that others were. I take
it for granted, that in such an Army there might have been Abundance
of well-meaning Men, that were really honest, and sincere in their
Religion, tho' they had been misled in what concern'd the Duties of
it. From the Behaviour of these, and the Imitation of others, from the
Exemplary Lives, which our Reprobate should see among them, and the
establish'd Reputation of so many Men of Honour, he would have all the
Reason in the World to think, that at least the greatest Part of them
were in good Earnest; that they relied upon God; and that the fervent
Zeal, with which they seem'd to implore his assistance, was real and
unfeign'd. All wicked Men are not inflexible; and there are great
Sinners, whom this Consideration would move to the quick; and tho'
perhaps it would not be of Force enough to reclaim them, there are
many, who, by means of it, would be made to relent, and wish that they
were better. But I don't want this help; and we'll suppose our
Profligate such a stubborn Wretch, and so obstinately vicious, that
the most moving Discourses, and the most fervent Prayers, tho' he is
forc'd to assist at them, have not the least Power to make him reflect
either on his Sins or his Duty; and that notwithstanding what he hears
and sees of others, his Heart remains as bad as ever, and himself as
immoral as he dares to be for Fear of his Officers. We'll suppose, I
say, all this; but as it is taken for granted, that he believes the
World to be govern'd by Providence ----.

Hor. But why should that be taken for granted, of a fellow so
thoroughly wicked?

Cleo. Because it is included in his Belief of a Future State, which,
in his Character, I supposed him not to doubt of.

Hor. I know it; but what Reason had you to suppose this at First, in a
Man who never gave any Signs, nor ever did insinuate, for ought you
know, that he had such a Belief?

Cleo. Because he never gave any Signs to the contrary; and in a
Christian Country, I suppose all Men to believe the Existence of a God
and a Future State, who, by speaking or writing, never declared, that
they did not. Wickedness consisting in an unreasonable Gratification
of every Passion that comes uppermost, it is so far from implying
Unbelief, or what is call'd Atheism, that it rather excludes it.
Because the Fear of an invisible Cause is as much a Passion in our
Nature, as the Fear of Death. I have hinted to you before, that great
Cowards, whilst they are in Health and Safety, may live many Years
without discovering the least Symptom of the Fear of Death, so as to
be visibly affected by it; but that this is no Sign, that they have it
not, is evident when they are in Danger. It is the same with the Fear
of an invisible Cause; the one is as much born with us as the other,
and to conquer either, is more difficult than is easily imagin'd. The
Fear of an invisible Cause is universal, how widely soever men may
differ in the worship of it; and it was never observed among a
Multitude, that the worst were more backward than the best in
believing whatever from their Infancy they had heard concerning this
invisible Cause; how absurd or shocking soever that might have been.
The most Wicked are often the most Superstitious, and as ready as any
to believe Witchcraft, consult Fortune-tellers, and make Use of
Charms. And tho' among the most brutish Part of the Mob, we should
meet with Some, that neither pray nor pay Worship to any Thing, laugh
at Things sacred, and openly disclaim all Religion, we could have no
Reason to think, even from these, that they acted from Principles of
Infidelity, when from their Behaviour and many of their Actions, it
should be manifest, that they apprehended Something or other, that
could do them Good or Hurt, and yet is invisible. But as to the vilest
Reprobates among the Vulgar, from their very Curses and the most
prophane of their Oaths and Imprecations, it is plain, that they are
Believers.

Hor. That's far fetch'd.

Cleo. I don't think so. Can a Man with himself damn'd, without
supposing, that there is such a Thing as Damnation. Believe me,
_Horatio_, there are no _Atheists_ among the Common People: You never knew
any of them entirely free from Superstition, which always implies
Belief: and whoever lays any Stress upon Predictions, upon good or bad
Omens; or does but think, that some Things are lucky and others
unlucky, must believe, that there is an over-ruling Power, which
meddles with, and interferes in Human Affairs.

Hor. I must yield this to you, I think.

Cleo. If then our wicked, obdurate Soldier believes, that there is a
God, and that the World is govern'd by Providence, it is impossible,
when Two Armies are to engage, but he must think, that it is very
material, and a Thing of the highest Importance, which of them God
will be pleas'd to favour, and wish with all his Heart, that Heaven
would be of his Side. Now, if he knows that the Troops, he serves
among, have gain'd several Advantages over their Enemies, and that he
has been an Eye-witness of this himself, he must necessarily think,
that God has a greater Regard to them, than he has to those that are
beaten by them. It is certain, that a Man, who is strongly persuaded
of this, will be more undaunted, and with the Same Degree of Skill,
Malice and Strength, fight better than he could do, if he believ'd the
Contrary. It is evident then, that the most abandon'd Rascal in a
Christian Army may be made a valuable Man on the Score of Fighting, as
soon as he can be persuaded, that God takes his Part, tho' he never
made any further Reflection: But it is inconceivable, that a Man
should firmly believe what I have said without reflecting one Time or
other on what might be the Cause of this particular Favour, this
visible Assistance of Heaven; and if ever he did, could he help
thinking on the Preaching and Praying, which he was daily present at;
and would he not be forced from all the Circumstances to believe, that
those Things were acceptable to God; and conclude upon the whole, that
those Religious Exercises were a proper Means to obtain God's
Friendship? Would he not be very much confirm'd in this Opinion, if he
saw or but heard of credible People, that, in the Enemy's Army, the
men were more cold and remiss in their Worship, or at least, that they
made a less outward Shew of Devotion, which is all that he should be
able to judge by?

Hor. But why should you think, that such an abandon'd, obdurate
Fellow, as you have supposed him to be, should ever trouble his Head
with the Difference in Worship between one Army and another, or ever
think at all on any Thing relating to Devotion?

Cleo. Because it would be impossible for him to help it. I have not
supposed, that he was either Deaf or Blind: The Things I named, and
which I imagin'd he would be forc'd to believe, would be run in his
Ears, and repeated to him over and over from every Quarter: The
Soldiers would be full of them; the Officers would talk of them. He
would be present at the solemn Thanksgivings, they paid to Heaven. The
Preachers would often be loud in commending the Godliness as well as
Bravery of the Army, and roar out the Praises of their General, that
sanctify'd Vessel, whom they would call a _Gideon_, a _Joshua_, a _Moses_,
that glorious Instrument, which God had raised and made Use of to
rescue his Church from Idolatry and Superstition, and his Saints from
Tyranny and Oppression. They would exclaim against the Wickedness and
Immorality of their Enemies, inveigh against Lawn-Sleeves and
Surplices, Altar-Pieces, and Common-Prayers; call the Orthodox Clergy,
the Priests of _Baal_, and assure their Hearers, that the Lord hated the
_Cavaliers_; that they were an Abomination to him, and that he would
certainly deliver them into the Hands of his chosen People. When a Man
is obliged to hear all this, and sees moreover the Spirit and Alacrity
that is raised in his Comrades after a moving extemporary Prayer, the
real Enthusiasm the Men are thrown into by the Singing of a Psalm, and
the Tears of Zeal and Joy run down the Cheeks of Men, whom he knows to
be Faithful and Sincere, as well as Resolute and Daring. When Man, I
say, such a one as I have describ'd, should be forc'd to hear and see
all this, it would hardly be possible for him, not to believe, in the
first Place, that God actually assisted this Army; and in the Second,
that the Means, by which that Assistance was procured, were the
Strictness of the Discipline and the Religious Duties, that were
observed in it; tho' he himself should never Join in the one, or
Submit to the other, but against his Will, and with the utmost
Reluctancy. I am persuaded, that such an Opinion, well rivetted in a
Man, would, in such an Army as I am speaking of, be of vast Use to him
in all Adventures and Expeditions of War; and that, if he was fit at
all to be made a soldier, it would in the Day of Battle inspire him
with a Confidence and Undauntedness, which the same man could never
have acquired, _Cæteris Paribus_, if he had served among other troops,
where Divine Worship had been little insisted upon, or but slightly
perform'd. And if this be true, I have proved to you, that Acts of
Devotion, and an outward Shew of Religion, may be serviceable to the
greatest Profligate for the obtaining of Victory, tho' the General
should be an _Atheist_, most of the Clergy Hypocrites, and the greatest
Part of the Army wicked Men.

Hor. I can see very well the Possibility, that a few Profligates,
among a great many others, that were not so, might be kept in Awe by
strict Discipline, and that Acts of Devotion might be serviceable even
to those, who were present at them against their Wills. But this
Possibility is only built upon a Supposition, that the Rest of the
Army should be better disposed: For if the Generality of them were not
in Earnest, you could have no outward Shew of Religion; and the Things
which you say the obdurate wretch should be forced to hear and see,
could have no Existence. No Preaching or Praying can be moving to
those, that are harden'd and inattentive; and no Man can be thrown
into an Enthusiasm upon the Singing of Psalms, and shed Tears of Zeal
and Joy in any Part of Divine Worship, unless they give Heed to it,
and are really Devout.

Cleo. I am glad you start this Objection; for it puts me in Mind of
Something, that will serve to illustrate this whole Matter, and which,
if you had not mention'd this, I should have had no Opportunity to
speak of. I took for granted, you know, that in the Quarrel between
King and the People, there had been many honest well meaning Men,
among the Sober Party, that by Artifice were drawn into the Measures
of cunning Hypocrites, who, under specious Pretences, carried on the
Rebellion with no other View than their own Advantage. But if you
recollect what I said then, you'll find, that many of those honest
well-meaning Men might have been very bad Christians. A Man may be a
fair Dealer, and wish well to his Country, and yet be very wicked in
many other Respects. But whatever Vices he may be guilty of, if he
believes the Scriptures without Reserve, is sorry for his Sins, and
sometimes really afraid, that he shall be punish'd for them in another
World, he is certainly sincere in his Religion, tho' he never mends.
Some of the most wicked in the World have been great Believers.
Consider all the Money, that has been given to pray Souls out of
Purgatory, and who they were, that left the greatest Legacies to the
Church. The Generality of Mankind believe what they were taught in
their Youth, let that be what it will, and there is no Superstition so
gross or absurd, nor any Thing so improbable or contradictory in any
Religion, but Men may be sincere in the Belief of it. What I say all
this for is to shew you, that an honest well-meaning Man may believe
the Bible and be Sincere in his Religion, when he is yet very remote
from being a good Christian. What I understand then by Sincere is
evident: Now give me Leave to tell you what I mean by Wicked, and to
put you in Mind of what I have said of it already; _viz_ that I gave
that Name to those, _who indulge their Passions as they come uppermost,
without Regard to the Good or Hurt, which the Gratification of their
Appetites may do to the Society_. But all wicked Men are not equally
neglectful of Religious Duties, nor equally inflexible; and you won't
meet with one in a Hundred so stubborn and averse to all Sense of
Divine Worship, as I have supposed our Profligate to be. My Reason for
drawing so bad a Character, was to convince you, that, if an outward
Shew of Religion could be made serviceable to the most stubborn
Reprobate, it could never fail of having a good Effect upon all
others, that should be more relenting, and assist at it with less
Reluctancy. Few Men are wicked for Want of good Will to be better: The
greatest Villains have Remorses; and hardly any of them are so bad,
that the Fear of an invisible Cause and future Punishment should never
make any Impression upon them; if not in Health, at least in Sickness.
If we look narrowly into the Sentiments, as well as Actions even of
those that persist in evil Courses for many Years, and spend their
whole Lives in Debaucheries, we shall hardly ever find, that it is
because they are obstinately bent to be Wicked; but because they want
either the Power to govern their Passions, or else the Resolution to
set about it; that they have often wish'd, that they could lead better
Lives; that they hope, God will forgive them; and that Several Times
they have fix'd a Time for their Repentance, but that always Something
or other interven'd, that has hinder'd them, till at last they died
without having ever met with the Opportunity they wish'd for. Such Men
as these perhaps would never go to Prayers, or to hear a Sermon as
long as they lived, if they could help it: But most of them, if they
were forc'd to it, would behave very well, and actually receive
Benefit from being there; especially in Armies, where Nothing being
less wanted than contrite Hearts and broken Spirits, Nothing is
mention'd that is mortifying, or would depress the Mind; and if ever
any thing melancholy is slightly touch'd upon, it is done with great
Art, and only to make a Contrast with something reviving, that is
immediately to follow, which will flatter their Pride, and make them
highly delighted with themselves. All Exhortations to Battle should be
chearful and pleasing. What is required of the Men, is, that they
should Fight undauntedly and obstinately. Therefore all Arts are made
use of to raise and keep up their Spirits on the one Hand, and their
Hatred to their Enemies on the other. To dissipate their Fears, they
are assured of the Justice and Goodness of their Cause, that God
himself is engaged, and his Honour concern'd in it; and that
therefore, if they can but shew Zeal enough for him, and are not
wanting to themselves, they need not doubt of the Victory.

Hor. It is amazing, that Believers, who are so conscious of their own
Wickedness, should be so easily persuaded, that God would do any Thing
in their Favour.

Cleo. The great Propensity we have in our Nature to flatter our
selves, makes us easy Casuists in our own Concerns. Every body knows,
that God is merciful, and that all Men are Sinners. The Thought of
this has often been a great Comfort to very bad Livers, especially if
they could remember, that ever they wish'd to be better; which, among
Believers, there is not One in a Hundred, but can. This good
Disposition of Mind a wicked Man may make a notable Construction of,
and magnify the Merit of it, till the Reflection of it is sufficient
to make his Conscience easy, and he absolves himself without the
Trouble of Repentance. I can easily conceive, how one of the Vulgar,
no better qualify'd, may assist at Publick Worship with Satisfaction,
and even Pleasure; if Preaching and Praying are managed in the Manner
I have hinted at: And it is not difficult to imagine, how by a little
paultry Eloquence, and Violence of Gestures, a Man in this Situation
may be hurried away from his Reason, and have his Passions so artfully
play'd upon; that feeling himself thoroughly moved, he shall mistake
the Malice of his Heart, and perhaps the Resentment of a great Wound
received, for the Love of God and Zeal for Religion. There is another
Class of wicked Men, that I have not touch'd upon yet; and of which
there would always be great Numbers among such Troops as we have been
speaking of, _viz._ Soldiers of the Sober Party, where Swearing,
Prophaneness, and all open Immorality are actually punish'd; where a
grave Deportment and strict Behaviour are encouraged, and where
Scripture-Language and Pretences to Holiness are in Fashion; in an
Army of which the General is firmly believed to be a Saint, and acts
his part to Admiration.

Hor. It is reasonable to think, I own, that in such an Army, to one
sincere Man, there would always be three or four Hypocrites; for these
I suppose are the Class you mean.

Cleo. They are so. And considering, that, to save Appearances,
Hypocrites are at least as good as the sincere Men I have spoken of,
it is impossible, that there should not be a great Shew of Religion
among them, if there were but eight or ten of them sincere in every
Hundred: And where such Pains should be taken to make the Men seem to
be Godly; and this Point of outward Worship should be labour'd with so
much Diligence and Assiduity, I am persuaded, that many even of those,
who should be too wicked to be Hypocrites, and to counterfeit long,
would sometimes, not only pray in good Earnest, but likewise, set on
by the Examples before them, be transported with real Zeal for the
Good of their Cause.

Hor. There is no Doubt but Enthusiasm among a Multitude is as catching
as Yawning: But I don't understand very well what you mean by too
wicked to be Hypocrites; for I look upon them to be the worst of all
Men.

Cleo. I am very glad you named this. There are two Sorts of
Hypocrites, that differ very much from one another. To distinguish
them by Names, the One I would call the Malicious, and the Other the
Fashionable. By malicious Hypocrites, I mean Such as pretend to a
great Deal of Religion, when they know their Pretensions to be false;
who take Pains to appear Pious and Devout, in order to be Villains,
and in Hopes that they shall be trusted to get an Opportunity of
deceiving those, who believe them to be sincere. Fashionable
Hypocrites I call those, who, without any Motive of Religion, or Sense
of Duty, go to Church, in Imitation of their Neighbours; counterfeit
Devotion, and, without any Design upon others, comply occasionally
with all the Rites and Ceremonies of Publick Worship, from no other
Principle than an Aversion to Singularity, and a Desire of being in
the Fashion. The first are, as you say, the worst of Men: but the
other are rather beneficial to Society, and can only be injurious to
themselves.

Hor. Your Distinction is very just, if these latter deserve to be
call'd Hypocrites at all.

Cleo. To make a Shew outwardly of what is not felt within, and
counterfeit what is not real, is certainly Hypocrisy, whether it does
Good or Hurt.

Hor. Then, strictly speaking, good Manners and Politeness must come
under the same Denomination.

Cleo. I remember the Time you would by no Means have allow'd this.

Hor. Now, you see I do, and freely own, that you have given me great
Satisfaction this afternoon; only there is one Thing you said five or
six Minutes ago, that has raised a Difficulty which I don't know how
to get over.

Cleo. What is it, pray?

Hor. I don't think we shall have Time ----

Cleo. Supper, I see, is going in.



The Fourth Dialogue Between Horatio and Cleomenes.


Horatio. I am glad my little Dinner pleased you. I don't love large
Pieces of Meat for a small Company; especially in warm Weather: They
heat the Room, and are offensive even upon a Side-board.

Cleo. It was very handsome indeed; and _Horatio_ is elegant in every
Thing. Your Favours of Yesterday, your Coming without Form, was so
engaging, that I was resolved to repay the Compliment without Delay.

Hor. Assure your self, that your Payment is not more prompt, than it
is welcome.

Cleo. I know no higher Enjoyment, than that of your Friendship. But
pray, what was the Difficulty you hinted at last Night, when Supper
broke off our Discourse?

Hor. When you spoke of Preaching and Praying in Armies, you said, that
Nothing was ever mention'd to them, that was mortifying, or would
depress the Mind. I had heard the same from you in Substance more than
once before; and I own, that the Nature of the Thing seems to require,
that Soldiers should be indulg'd in their Pride, and that all
Exhortations to Battle should be cheerful and pleasing. But the last
Time you was speaking of this, I recollected what I had read of the
Solemn Fasts, that were so frequently observed in Oliver's Days; and
presently I was puzled, and no ways able to account for the Usefulness
of them in War, by the System which you had made appear to be very
rational. The Fact it self, that _Cromwell_ appointed many Days of
Fasting and Humiliation, and made them be strictly kept, is
undeniable; but it is impossible, they should promote Chearfulness;
and what Purpose they could have been made to serve, that was not
religious, I can not conceive. The mechanical Effect, which Fasting
can have upon the Spirits, is to lower, flatten, and depress them; and
the very Essence of Humiliation is the Mortification of Pride. You
have own'd, that _Cromwell_ understood Human Nature, and was a crafty
Politician; but you would never allow, that he had the least Intention
of promoting Piety, or rendring his Men good Christians.

Cleo. The Objection you have started seems to be of great Weight at
first View; but if we look more narrowly into it, and examine this
Affair, as we have done some other Things, the Difficulty you labour
under will soon disappear. From the Nature of Man and Society it must
follow, that whatever particular Vices may be more or less predominant
in different Climates and different Ages, Luxury and Pride will always
be reigning Sins in all civiliz'd Nations: Against these two stubborn,
and always epidemic Maladies, the great Physician of the Soul has, in
his Gospel Dispensation, left us two sovereign Remedies, Fasting and
Humiliation; which, when rightly used, and duely assisted with the Exercise
of Prayer, never fail to cure the Diseases I named in the most desperate
Cases. No method likewise is more reasonable; for, tho' _Jesus Christ_
had not recommended it himself, it is impossible to think on any
Prescription, more judiciously adapted to an Ailment, than Fasting and
Humiliation, accompany'd with fervent Prayer, are to Luxury and Pride.
This is the Reason, that in private as well as public Disasters, and
all Adversities in which is was thought that the divine Anger was
visible, all Believers in _Christ_ have, ever since the Promulgation of
the Gospel, made use of the aforesaid Remedies, as the most proper
Means to obtain Pardon for their Offences, and render heaven
propitious to them. All Magistrates likewise, where the Christian
Religion has been national, have in general Misfortunes and all great
Calamities (whenever they happen'd) appointed Days to be solemnly
kept, and set aside for Prayer, for Fasting and Humiliation. If on
these Days Men should be sincere in their Devotion; if a pains-taking
Clergy, of Apostolic Lives, on the one Hand, should preach Repentance
to their Hearers, and shew them the Difference between the temporal
Evils, which they complain'd of, tho' they were less afflicting than
they had deserv'd, and the eternal Miseries, which impenitent Sinners
would unavoidably meet with, tho' now they thought little of them; if
the Hearers, on the other, searching their Consciences without
Reserve, should reflect upon their past Conduct; if both the Clergy
and the Laity should thus join in religious Exercises, and, adding
real Fasting to ardent Prayer, humble themselves before the Throne of
Mercy, with Sorrow and Contrition; if, I say, the Days you speak of
were to be spent in this Manner, they would be of use in no War, but
against the World, the Flesh, or the Devil, the only Enemies a
Christian Hero is not oblig'd to love, and over which the Triumph is
the darling Object of his Ambition, and the glorious End of his
Warfare. On the Contrary, such Fast-days would be hurtful to a
Soldier, in the literal Sense of the Word, and destructive to the
Intentions of all Armies; and I would as soon expect from them, that
they should turn Men into Trees or Stones, as that they should inspire
them with martial Courage, or make them eager to fight. But skilful
Politicians make an Advantage of every Thing, and often turn into
useful Tools the seeming Obstacles to their Ambition. The most
resolute Unbeliever, if he is a good Hypocrite, may pretend to as much
Superstition and hold Fear, as the most timorous Bigot can be really
possess'd with; and the First often gains his Point by making use of
the Religion of others, where the Latter is undone by being hamper'd
with his own.

Hor. This was very evident in _Oliver Cromwel_ and King _James_ the
Second. But what would you infer from it in Relation to Fast-Days?

Cleo. The most sacred Institutions of Christianity may, by the
Assistance of pliable Divines, be made serviceable to the most
anti-christian Purposes of Tyrants and Usuerpers: Recollect, pray,
what I have said concerning Sermons and Prayers, and what is done by
some Clergymen under Pretence of Preaching the Gospel.

Hor. I do, and can easily see, how Preachers, by a small Deviation
from the Doctrine of Peace, may insensibly seduce their Hearers, and,
perverting the End of their Function, set them on to Enmity, Hatred,
and all Manner of Mischief: But I can't understand how Fasting and
Humiliation should further, or be made any ways instrumental to that
Design.

Cleo. You have allow'd, that the Grand Point in Armies, and what has
been ever most labour'd among military Men, was to make them believe,
that Heaven, that is, the Deity they adore, was of their Side; and it
is certain, (as I have hinted before) that how widely soever Men had
differ'd in their Sentiments concerning the invisible Cause, or the
Worship it requires, they have all agreed in this; and the Use that
has been made of Religion in War has ever had a palpable Tendency this
way. The Word Fasting, indefinitely spoken, sounds very harshly to a
Man of a good Stomach; but, as practis'd religiously among
_Protestants_, it is hardly an Emblem of the Thing it self, and rather a
Joke than any grievous Penance: At least in _England_, by keeping a
Fast-Day, Men mean no more, than Eating their Dinners three or four
Hours later than they used to do, and perhaps no Supper that Night:
Which is a Piece of Abstinence, that is so far from being likely to
have an ill Effect upon the Strength or Spirits of Men in Health and
Vigour, that there is not One in Fifty, whom it will not render more
brisk and lively in the next Day. I speak of People that are not in
Want, and who, of dainty or courser Fate, eat as much much every Day
as their Appetite requires. As for Humiliation, it is a Word of
Course. Fast-Days, bar the Abstinence already mention'd, are kept no
otherwise, than the _Sunday_ is. In the Army of the Rebels, the
Chaplains perhaps preach'd and pray'd somewhat longer on those Days,
and read a few Chapters more in the Bible, than was usual for them to
do on a Sabbath-Day. But that was all.

Hor. But you have allow'd, that many of the _Roundheads_ were sincere in
their Religion, and that most of the Soldiers, tho' they were bad
Christians, were still Believers. It is unreasonable to think, that
the Solemnity of those Days, and the continual Shew of Devotion they
were spent in, should have made no Impression upon a considerable Part
of such a Multitude, as you your self suppose their Army to have been.
Where a great Number of the Vulgar, who believe Hell-Torments and
Fire Everlasting, are forced to hear, first their Lives laid open, and
their Iniquities display'd, and, after that, all the terrible Things,
that the Parson can say of Eternal Misery, it is impossible, that many
of them should not be affected with Fear and Sorrow, at least for that
Time: However, this is beyond all Dispute, that the mildest
Remonstrances that can be made on that Head, will sooner dispose Men
to Melancholy, than they will to Chearfulness.

Cleo. All this while you take that for granted, which I told you long
ago was notoriously false; _viz_. That in camps and Armies, the plain
Doctrine of _Christ_ is delivered without Disguise or Dissimulation:
Nay, I hinted to you just now, that if Repentance was preach'd among
Military Men, as might be expected from Christian Divines, Solders
would be in Danger of being spoil'd by it, and render'd unfit for
their Business. All knowing Clergymen, at first Setting out, suit
themselves and their Doctrine to the Occupations, as well as
Capacities of their Hearers: And as Court Preachers speak in Praise of
the Government, and applaud the Measures of it, shade the Vices of
Princes and their Favourites, and place their Merit in the handsomest
Light it can be seen in so Divines in Armies speak up for the Justice
of the Cause they are engaged in, and extol the Generals to the Skies;
cajole and curry Favour with the Troops, and flatter more particularly
the respective Regiments they belong to. There is not a Chaplain in an
Army, who is not perfectly well acquainted with the Duty of a Soldier,
and what is required of him. Therefore they preach Christianity to
them, as far as it is consistent with that Duty, and no farther. Where
they interfere, and are clashing with one another, the Gospel is set
aside. The Politician must have his Business done: Necessity is
pleaded, and Religion ever made to give Way to the Urgency of Affairs.
There is a vast Latitude in Preaching; and Clergymen often take great
Liberties: Being as much subject to Errour and Passion as other
People, they can give bad Counsel as well as good. Those, who are
pleas'd with a Government, we see, preach one way; and those who are
not, another. Above Half the Time of the last Reign, a considerable
Part of the _English_ Clergy exhorted their Hearers to Sedition, and in
a Contempt for the Royal Family, either openly or by sly Inuendo's, in
ever Sermon they preach'd: And every Thirtieth of _January_ The same
Church furnishes us with two contrary Doctrines: For whilst the more
prudent and moderate of the Clergy are shifting and trimming between
two Parties, the hot ones of one side assert with Vehemence, that it
is meritorious as well as lawful for the people, to put their King to
Death whenever he deserves it; and that of this Demerit, the Majority
of the same People are the only Judges. The Zealots on the other, are
as positive, that Kings are not accountable for their Actions, but to
God only; and that, whatever Enormities they may commit, it is a
damnable Sin for Subjects to resist them. And if an impartial Man,
tho' he was the wisest in the World, was to judge of the Monarch,
whose unfortunate End is the common Topick of the Discourses held on
that Day, and he had no other Light to guide him, but the Sermons of
both Parties, it would be impossible for him to decide, whether the
Prince in Question had been a spotless Saint, or the greatest Tyrant.
I name these obvious Facts, because they are familiar Instances of our
own Time, to convince us, that the Gospel is no Clog which Divines
think themselves strictly tied to. A skilful Preacher, whether it be a
Fast, or a Day of Rejoycing, always finds Ways to pursue his End,
instills into his Hearers whatever he pleases, and never dismisses an
Audience, before he has acquainted them with what he would have them
know; let the Subject, or the Occasion he preaches upon, be what they
will. Besides, an artful Orator may mention frightful Things without
giving Uneasiness to his Hearers. He may set forth the Enormity of any
great Sin, and the Certainty of the Punishment, that is to follow it.
He may display and dwell upon the Terrors of the Divine Vengeance for
a considerable Time, and turn at last all the Weight of it upon their
Adversaries; and having demonstrated to his Audience, that those whom
they are to fight against, or else the great Grandfathers of them,
have been notoriously guilty of that Wickedness, which is so heinous
in the Sight of Heaven, he may easily convince Believers, that their
Enemies must of Necessity be likewise the Enemies of God. If any
Disgrace has happen'd to an Army, or some of the Men have misbehaved,
a wary Preacher, instead of calling them Cowards, will lay all the
Fault on their little Faith, their trusting too much to the Arm of the
Flesh, and assure them, that they would have conquer'd, if they had
put greater Confidence in God; and more entirely rely'd on his
Assistance.

Hor. And so not have fought at all.

Cleo. The Coherence of these Things is never examin'd into. It is
possible likewise for a crafty Divine, in order to rouse a listless
and dejected Audience, first to awaken them with lively Images of the
Torments of Hell and the State of Damnation, and afterwards seem
happily to light on an Expedient, that shall create new Hopes, and
revive the drooping Spirits of a Multitude; and by this Means the
Courage of Soldiers may often be wrought up to a higher Pitch than it
could have been rais'd, if they had not been terrify'd at all. I have
heard of an Instance, where this was perform'd with great Success.
Provisions had been scarce for some Time; and the Enemy was just at
Hand; and Abundance of the Men seem'd to have little Mind to fight;
when a Preacher, much esteem'd among the Soldiers, took the following
Method: First, he set faithfully before them their Sins and
Wickedness, the many Warnings that they had received to repent, and
God's long Forbearance, as well as great Mercy, in not having totally
destroy'd them long ago. He represented their Wants, and Scarcity of
Provision, as a certain Token of the Divine Wrath, and shew'd them
plainly, that labouring already under the Weight of his Displeasure,
they had no Reason to think, that God would connive longer at their
manifold Neglects and Transgressions. Having convinced them, that
Heaven was angry with them, he enumerated many Calamities, which, he
said, would befal them; and several of them being such, as they had
actually to fear, he was hearken'd to as a Prophet. He then told them,
that what they could suffer in this World, was of no great Moment, if
they could but escape Eternal Punishment; but that of this (as they
had lived) he saw not the least Probablity, they should. Having shewn
an extraordinary Concern for their deplorable Condition, and seeing
many of them touch'd with Remorse, and overwhelm'd with Sorrow, he
chang'd his Note on a Sudden, and with an Air of Certainty told them,
that there was still one Way left, and but that one, to retrieve all,
and avert the Miseries they were threaten'd with; which, in short, was
to Fight well, and beat their Enemies; and that they had Nothing else
for it. Having thus disclosed his Mind to them, with all the
Appearances of Sincerity, he assumed chearful Countenance, shew'd them
the many Advantages, that would attend the Victory; assured them of
it, if they would but exert themselves; named the Times and Places in
which they had behaved well, not without Exaggeration, and work'd upon
their Pride so powerfully, that they took Courage, fought like Lions,
and got the Day.

Hor. A very good story; and whether this was preaching the Gospel or
not, it was of great Use to that Army.

Cleo. It was so, politically speaking. But to act such a Part well,
requires great Skill, and ought not to be attempted by an ordinary
Orator; nor is it to be tried but in desperate Cases.

Hor. You have sufficiently shewn, and I am satisfied, that as Fasting
is practiced, and Preaching and Praying may be managed by wary
Divines, Care may be taken, that neither the Strictness of Behaviour
observed, nor the Religious Exercises perform'd on those Days, shall
be the least Hindrance to military Affairs, or any ways mortify or
dispirit the Soldiers; but I cannot see, what Good they can do where
Religion is out of the Question. What Service would an _Atheist_, who
knew himself to be an Arch-Hypocrite and a Rebel (for such you allow
_Cromwell_ to have been) expect from them for his Purpose?

Cleo. I thought, that we had agreed, that to please the Party he was
engaged in, it was his Interest to make a great Shew of Piety among
his Troops, and seem to be religious himself.

Hor. I grant it; as I do likewise, that he throve by Hypocrisy, raised
Enthusiasm in others by Counterfeiting it himself, and that the Craft
of his Clergy was many ways instrumental to his Successes: But a
skilful Hypocrite, and able Politician, would have made no more Rout
about Religion, than there was Occasion for. They had Praying and
Singing of Psalms every Day; and the Sabbath was kept with great
Strictness. The Clergy of that Army had Opportunities enough to talk
their Fill to the Soldiers, and harangue them on what Subject they
pleased. They had such a Plenty of Religious Exercises, that it is
highly probable, the greatest Part of the Soldiers were glutted with
them: And if they were tired with what they had in Ordinary, what good
effect could be expected from still more Devotion Extraordinary?

Cleo. What you named last is a great Matter. What is done every Day is
soon turn'd into a Habit; and the more Men are accustomed to Things,
the less they mind them; but any Thing extraordinary rouses their
Spirits and raises their Attention. But to form a clear Idea of the
Use and Advantage, a mere Politician, tho' he is an Unbeliever, may
reasonably expect from Fast-Days, let us take into Consideration these
two Things: First, the Grand _Desideratum_ in armies, that is aim'd at
by Religion, and which all Generals labour to obtain by Means of their
Clergy: Secondly, the common Notions among Christians, both of
Religion and of War. The First is to persuade the Soldiers, and make
them firmly believe, that their Cause is Just, and that Heaven will
certainly be on their Side; unless by their Offences they themselves
should provoke it to be against them. All Prayers for Success,
Thanksgivings for Victories obtain'd, and Humiliations after Losses
received, are so many different Means to strengthen the Truth of that
Persuasion, and confirm Men in the Belief of it. As to the second,
Christians believe, that all Men are Sinners; that God is Just, and
will punish, here or hereafter, all Trespasses committed against him,
unless they are atton'd for before we die; but that he is likewise
very merciful, and ever willing to forgive those, who sincerely
repent. And as to War, that it is, as all human Affairs are, entirely
under his Direction, and that the side whom he is pleased to favour,
beats the other. This is the general Opinion, as well of those who
hold a Free-agency, as of those who are for Predestination. A cursory
View of these two Things, the Notions Men have of Providence and the
Grand Point to be obtain'd in Armies, will give us a clear Idea of a
Clergyman's Task among Military Men, and shew us both the Design of
Fast-Days, and the Effect they are like to produce.

Hor. The design of them is to gain the Divine Favour and Assistance;
that's plain enough; but how you are sure, they will have that Effect,
I can't see.

Cleo. You mistake the thing. The Politician may have no Thoughts of
Heaven: The Effect I speak of relates to the Soldiers; and is the
Influence, which, in all Probablility, Fast-Days will have upon
Believers, that assist in the keeping of them.

Hor. What Influence is that, pray, if it be not Religious?

Cleo. That they will inspire, and fill the Men with fresh Hopes, that
God will favour them and be of their Side. The Reputation of those
Days, that they avert the Divine Wrath, and are acceptable to Heaven,
is, in a great Measure, the Cause, that they have this Influence upon
the Men. The Heathens harbour'd the same Sentiments of their Publick
Supplications; and it has been the Opinion of all Ages, that the more
Solemn and Respectful the Addresses are, which Men put up to the
Deity, and the greater the Numbers are that join in them, the more
probable it is, that their Petitions shall be granted. It is possible
therefore, that a Politician may appoint Extraordinary Days of
Devotion, with no other View than to chear up the Soldier, revive his
Hopes, and make him confident of Success. Men are ready enough to
flatter themselves, and willing to believe, that Heaven is on their
Side, whenever it is told them, tho' they have little Reason to think
so. But then they are unsteady, and naturally prone to Superstition,
which often raises new Doubts and Fears in them. Therefore Common
Soldiers are continually to be buoy'd up in the good Opinion they have
of themselves; and the Hopes they were made to conceive, ought often
to be stirr'd up in them afresh. The Benefit that accrues from those
Extraordinary Days of Devotion, and the Advantages expected from them,
are of longer Duration, than just the Time they are kept in. With a
little Help of the Clergy, they are made to do Good when they are
over; and two or three Days or a Week after, the Usefulness of them is
more conspicuous than it was before. It is in the Power of the
General, or any Government whatever, to have those Days as strictly
kept, to outward Appearance, as they please. All Shops may be order'd
to be shut, and Exercises of Devotion to be continued from Morning
till Night; nothing suffer'd to be bought, or sold during the Time of
Divine Service; and all Labour as well as Diversion be strictly
prohibited. This having been well executed makes an admirable Topick
for a Preacher, when the Day is over, especially among Military Men;
and Nothing can furnish a Divine with a finer Opportunity of
commending, and highly praising his Audience, without Suspicion of
Flattery, than the Solemnity of such a Day. He may set forth the
outward Face of it in a lively Manner, expatiate on the various
Decorums, and Religious Beauties of it; and by faithfully representing
what Every body remembers of it, gain Credit to every Thing he says
besides. He may magnify and safely enlarge on the Self-denial, that
was practised on that Day; and, ascribing to the Goodness and Piety of
the Soldiers, what in his Heart he knows to have been altogether owing
to Discipline, and the strict Commands of the General, he may easily
make them believe, that greater Godliness and a more general
Humiliation never had been seen in an Army. If he has Wit, and is a
Man of Parts, he'll find out Quaint _Similes_, Happy Turns, and
Plausible Arguments, to illustrate his Assertions, and give an Air of
Truth to every Thing he advances. If it suits with the Times, he'll
work himself up into Rapture and Enthusiasm, congratulate his
Regiment, if not the whole Army, on the undeniable Proofs they have
given of being good Christians, and with Tears in his Eyes wish them
Joy of their Conversion, and the infallible Tokens they have received
of the Divine Mercy. If a grave Divine, of good Repute, acts this, as
he should do, with an artful Innocence and Chearfulness in his
Countenance, it is incredible what an Effect it may have upon the
greater part of a Multitude, amongst whom Christianity is not scoff'd
at, and Pretences to Purity are in Fashion. Those who were any ways
devout on that Day, which he points at, or can but remember that they
wish'd to be Godly, will swallow with Greediness whatever such a
Preacher delivers to them; and applauding every Sentence before it is
quite finish'd, imagine, that in their Hearts they feel the Truth of
every Word he utters. We are naturally so prone to think well of our
Selves, that an artful Man, who is thought to be serious, and
harangues a vulgar Audience, can hardly say any Thing in their Behalf,
which they will not believe. One would imagine, that Men, who gave but
little Heed to the Religious Exercises they assisted at, could receive
no great Comfort from their Reflection on that Day; such, I mean, as
were tired to Death with the Length of the Prayers, and almost slept
as they stood the greatest Part of the Sermon; yet many of these,
hearing the Behaviour of the Army in General well spoken of, would be
stupid enough to take Share in the Praise; and remembring the
Uneasiness they felt, make a Merit of the very Fatigue they then bore
with Impatience. Most of the Vulgar, that are not averse to Religion,
have a wild Notion of Debtor and Creditor betwen themselves and
Heaven. Natural gratitude teaches them, that some returns must be due
for the good Things they receive; and they look upon Divine Service as
the only Payment they are able to make. Thousands have made this
Acknowledgment in their Hearts, that never after cared to think on the
vast Debt they owed. But how careless and neglectful soever most of
them may be in the Discharge of their Duty, yet they never forget to
place to their Accounts, and magnify in their Minds, what little Time
they spend, and the least Trouble they are at in performing what can
but seem to have any Relation to Religious Worship; and, what is
astonishing, draw a Comfort from them by barely shutting their Eyes
against the frightful Balance. Many of these are very well pleased
with themselves after a sound Nap at Church, whole Consciences would
be less easy, if they had stay'd from it. Nay, so extensive is the
Usefulness of those Extraordinary Devotions, appointed by Authority,
in Politicks only, that the most inattentive Wretch, and the greatest
Reprobate, that can be in such an Army, may receive Benefit from them;
and the Reflection on a Fast-Day, may be an Advantage to him as a
Soldier. For tho' he cursed the Chaplain in his Heart, for preaching
such a tedious while as he did, and wish'd the General damn'd, by
whose Order he was kept from Strong Liquor such an unreasonable Time;
yet he recollects, the Nothing went forward but Acts of Devotion all
the Day long; that every Sutler's Tent was shut; and that it was Six a
Clock before he could get a Drop of Drink. Whilst these Things are
fresh in his Memory, it is hardly possible, that he should ever think
of the Enemy, of Battles, or of Sieges, without receiving real Comfort
from what he remembers of that Day. It is incredible what a strong
Impression the Face, the outward Appearance only of such a Day, may
make upon a loose wicked Fellow, who hardly ever had a Religious
Thought in his Life; and how powerfully the Remembrance of it may
inspire him with Courage and Confidence of Triumph, if he is not an
Unbeliever.

Hor. I have not forgot what you said Yesterday of the obdurate
Soldier; and I believe heartily, that the greatest Rogue may build
Hopes of Success on the Devotion of others, whom he thinks to be
Sincere,

Cleo. And if the bare outward Shew of such a Day, can any ways affect
the worst of an Army, there is no Doubt, but the better Sort of them
may get infinitely more Benefit by keeping it, and giving Attention to
the greatest Part of the Preaching and Praying that are perform'd upon
it. And tho' in Camps, there are not many Men of real Probity, any
more than in Courts; and Soldiers, who are sincere in their Religion,
and only misled in the Duties of it, are very scarce; yet in most
Multitudes, especially of the sober Party, there are ignorant
Well-wishers to Religion, that, by proper Means, may be raised to
Devotion for a Time and of whom I have said, that tho' they were bad
Livers, they often desired to repent; and would sometimes actually set
about it, if their Passions would let them. All these an artful
Preacher may persuade to any Thing, and do with them almost what he
pleases. A bold Assurance of Victory, emphatically pronounc'd by a
popular Preacher, has often been as little doubted of among such, as
if it had been a Voice from Heaven.

Hor. I now plainly see the vast Use that may be made of Fast-Days, as
well afterwards when they are over, as during the Time they are kept.

Cleo. The Days of Supplication among the Heathens, as I hinted before,
were celebrated for the same Purpose; but their Arts to make People
believe, that the Deity was on their side, and Heaven espoused their
Cause, were very trifling in Comparison to those of Christian Divines.
When the _Pagan_ Priests had told the People, that the Chickens had eat
their Meat very well, and the Entrails of the Victim were found, and
that the Rest of the Omens were lucky, they had done, and were forced
to leave the Belief of those Things to the Soldiers. But--

Hor. You need not to say any more, for I am convinced, and have now so
clear an Idea of the Usefulness of Extraordinary Devotions, and a
great Shew of Piety, among military Men; I mean the Political
Usefulness of them, abstract from all Thoughts of Religion; that I
begin to think them necessary, and wonder, how great and wise Generals
ever would or could do without them. For it is evident, that since the
Prince of _Conde's_ and _Cromwel's_ Armies, such a Shew of Godliness has
not been seen among any regular Troops, in any considerable Body of
Men. Why did not _Luxemburg_, King _William_, Prince _Eugene_, and the Duke
of _Marlborough_ follow those great Examples, in modelling their Armies
after a Manner that had bred such good Soldiers?

Cleo. We are to consider, that such a Shew of Piety and outward
Devotion, as we have been speaking of, is not to be created and
started up at once, nor indeed to be made practicable but among such
Troops as the _Huguenots_ in _France_, and the _Roundheads_ in _England_
were. Their Quarrels with their Adversaries were chiefly Religious; and
the greatest Complaints of the Malecontents in both Nations were made
against the Establish'd Church. They exclaim'd against the Ceremonies
and Superstition of it; the Lives of the Clergy, the Haughtiness of
the Prelates, and the little Care that was taken of Christianity it
self and good Morals. People, who advance these Things, must be
thought very inconsistent with themselves, unless they are more upon
their Guard, and lead stricter Lives than those, whom they find Fault
with. All Ministers likewise, who pretend to dissent from a Communion,
must make a sad Figure, unless they will reform, or at least seem to
reform every Thing they blame in their Adversaries. If you'll duely
weigh what I have said, you will find it impossible to have an Army,
in which outward Godliness shall be so conspicuous, as it was in the
Prince of _Conde's_ or _Oliver Cromwel's_, unless that Godliness suited
with the times.

Hor. What peculiar Conjuncture, pray, does that require.

Cleo. When a considerable Part of a Nation, for some End or other,
seem to mend, and set up for Reformation; when Virtue and Sobriety are
countenanced by many of the better Sort; and to appear Religious is
made Fashionable. Such was the Time in which _Cromwell_ enter'd himself
into the Parliament's Service. What he aim'd at first was Applause;
and skilfully suiting himself in every Respect to the Spirit of his
party, he studied Day and Night to gain the good Opinion of the Army.
He would have done the same, if he had been on the other Side. The
Chief Motive of all his Actions was Ambition, and what he wanted was
immortal Fame. This End he steadily pursued: All his Faculties were
made subservient to it; and no Genius was ever more supple to his
Interest. He could take Delight in being Just, Humane and Munificent,
and with equal Pleasure he could oppress, persecute and plunder, if it
served his Purpose. In the most Treacherous Contrivance to hasten the
Execution of his blackest Design, he could counterfeit Enthusiasm, and
seem to be a Saint. But the most enormous of his Crimes proceeded from
no worse Principle, than the best of his Atchievements. In the Midst
of his Villanies he was a Slave to Business; and the most
disinterested Patriot never watch'd over the Publick Welfare, both at
Home and Abroad, with greater Care and Assiduity, or retriev'd the
fallen Credit of a Nation in less Time than this Usurper: But all was
for himself; and he never had a Thought on the Glory of _England_,
before he had made it inseparable from his own.

Hor. I don't wonder you dwell so long upon Cromwell, for Nothing can
be more serviceable to your System, than his Life and Actions.

Cleo. You will pardon the Excursion, when I own, that you have hit
upon the Reason. What I intended to shew, when I ran away from my
Subject, was, that able Politicians consult the Humour of the Age, and
the Conjuncture they live in, and that _Cromwell_ made the most of his.
I don't question, but he would have done the same, if he had been born
three or four score Years later. And if he had been to command an
_English_ Army abroad, when the Duke of _Marlborough_ did, I am persuaded,
that he would sooner have endeavoured to make all his Soldiers dancing
Masters, than he would have attempted to make them Bigots. There are
more ways than one, to make People brave and obstinate in Fighting.
What in _Oliver'_s Days was intended by a Mask of Religion and a Shew of
Sanctity, is now aim'd at by the Height of Politeness, and a perpetual
Attachment to the Principle of modern Honour. There is a Spirit of
Gentility introduced among military Men, both Officers and Soldiers,
of which there was yet little to be seen in the last Century, in any
Part of _Europe,_ and which now shines through all their Vices and
Debaucheries.

Hor. This is a new Discovery; pray, what does it consist in?

Cleo. Officers are less rough and boisterous in their Manners, and not
only more careful of themselves, and their own Behaviour, but they
likewise oblige and force their Men under severe Penalties to be Neat,
and keep themselves Clean: And a much greater Stress is laid upon
this, than was Forty or Fifty Years ago.

Hor. I believe there is, and approve of it very much; white Gaiters
are a vast Addition to a clever Fellow in Regimental Cloaths; but what
mighty Matters can you expect from a Soldier's being obliged to be
clean.

Cleo. I look upon it as a great Improvement in the Art of Flattery,
and a finer Stratagem to raise the Passion of Self-liking in Men, than
had been invented yet; for by this Means the Gratification of their
Vanity is made Part of the Discipline; and their Pride must encrease
in Proportion to the Strictness, with which they observe this Duty.

Hor. It may be of greater Weight than I can see at Present. But I have
another Question to ask. The main Things, that in raising Troops, and
making War, Politicians are solicitous about, and which they seem
altogether to rely upon, are Money, great Numbers, Art and Discipline.
I want to know, why Generals, who can have no Hopes, from the Age they
live in, of thriving by Bigotry, should yet put themselves to such an
Expence, on Account of Religion in their Armies, as they all do. Why
should they pay for Preaching for Praying at all, if they laid no
Stress upon them?

Cleo. I never said, that the great Generals, you nam'd, laid no Stress
on Preaching or Praying.

Hor. But Yesterday, speaking of the Gallantry of our Men in _Spain_ and
_Flanders_, you said, that you _would as soon believe, that it was
Witchcraft that made them Brave, as that it was their Religion_. You
could mean Nothing else by this, than that, whatever it was, you was
very sure, it was not their Religion that made them Brave. How come
you to be so very sure of that?

Cleo. I judge from undeniable Facts, the loose and wicked Lives, the
Generality of them led, and the Courage and Intrepidity they were on
many Occasions. For of Thousands of them it was as evident as the Sun,
that they were very Vicious, at the same Time that they were very
Brave.

Hor. But they had Divine Service among them; every Regiment had a
Chaplain; and Religion was certainly taken care of.

Cleo. It was, I know it; but not more than was absolutely necessary to
hinder the Vulgar from suspecting, that Religion was neglected by
their Superiours; which would be of dangerous Consequence to all
Governments. There are no great Numbers of Men without Superstition;
and if it was to be tried, and the most skilful Unbelievers were to
labour at it, with all imaginable Cunning and Industry, it would be
altogether as impossible to get an Army of all _Atheists_, as it would
be to have an Army of good Christians. Therefore no Multitudes can be
so universally wicked, that there should not be some among them, upon
whom the Suspicion, I hinted at, would have a bad Effect. It is
inconceiveable, how Wickedness, Ignorance, and Folly are often blended
together. There are, among all Mobs, vicious Fellows, that boggle at
no Sin; and whilst they know Nothing to the Contrary, but that Divine
Service is taken care of as it used to be, tho' they never come near
it, are perfectly easy in their Evil Courses, who yet would be
extremely shock'd, should Any body tell them seriously, that there was
no Devil.

Hor. I have known such my self; and I see plainly, that the Use, which
Politicians may make of Christianity in Armies, is the same as ever
was made of all other Religions on the same Occasion, _viz_. That the
Preists, who preside over them, should humour and make the most of the
Natural Superstition of all Multitudes, and take great Care, that on
all Emergencies, the Fear of an invisible Cause, which Every body is
born with, should never be turn'd against the Interest those, who
employ them.

Cleo. It is certain, that Christianity being once stript of the
Severity of its Discipline, and its most essential Precepts, the
Design of it may be so skilfully perverted from its real and original
Scope, as to be made subservient to any worldly End or Purpose, a
Politician can have Occasion for.

Hor. I love to hear you; and to shew you, that I have not been
altogether inattentive, I believe I can repeat to you most of the
Heads of your Discourse, since you finish'd what you had to say
concerning the Origin of Honour. You have proved to my Satisfaction,
that no Preaching of the Gospel, or strict Adherence to the Precepts
of it, will make men good Soldiers, any more than they will make them
good Painters, or any thing else the most remote from the Design of
it. That good Christians, strictly speaking, can never presume or
submit to be Soldiers. That Clergymen under Pretence of Preaching the
Gospel, by a small Deviation from it, may easily misguide their
Hearers, and not only make them fight in a just Cause, and against the
Enemies of their Country, but likewise incite them to civil Discord
and all Manner of Mischief. That by the Artifices of such Divines,
even honest and well-meaning Men have often been seduced from their
Duty, and, tho' they were sincere in their Religion, been made to act
quite contrary to the Precepts of it. You have given me a full View of
the Latitude, that may be taken in Preaching, by putting me in Mind of
an undeniable Truth; _viz_. That in all the Quarrels among Christians,
there never yet was a Cause so bad, but, if it could find an Army to
back it, there were always Clergymen ready to justify and maintain it.
You have made it plain to me, that Divine Service and Religious
Exercises may be ordered and strictly enjoin'd with no other than
Political Views; that by Preaching and Praying, bad Christians may be
inspired with Hatred to their Enemies, and Confidence in the Divine
Favour; that in order to obtain the Victory, Godliness and an outward
Shew of Piety among Soldiers may be made serviceble to the greatest
Profligates, who never join in Prayer, have no Thoughts of Religion,
or ever assist at any Publick Worship, but by Compulsion and with
Reluctancy; and that they may have this effect in an Army, of which
the General is an _Atheist_, most of the Clergy are Hypocrites, and the
Generality of the Soldiers wicked Men. You have made it evident, that
neither the _Huguenots_ in _France_, nor the _Roundheads_ in _England_
could have been animated by the Spirit of Christianity; and shewn me
the true Reason, why Acts of Devotion were more frequent, and Religion
seemingly more taken care of in both those Armies, than otherwise is
usual among military Men.

Cleo. You have a good Memory.

Hor. I must have a very bad one, if I could not remember thus much. In
all the Things I nam'd, I am very clear. The solution likewise, which
you have given of the Difficulty I proposed this Afternoon, I have
Nothing to object to; and I believe, that skilful Preachers consult
the Occupations as well as the Capacities of their Hearers; that
therefore in Armies they always encourage and chear up their
Audiences; and that whatever the Day or the Occasion may be, upon
which they harangue them, they seldom touch upon mortifying Truths,
and take great Care never to leave them in a Melancholy Humour, or
such an Opinion of themselves or their Affairs as might lower their
Spirits, or depress their Minds. I am likewise of your Opinion, as to
artful Politicians; that they fall in with the Humour of their Party,
and make the most of the Conjuncture they live in; and I believe,
that, if _Cromwell_ had been to Command the Duke of _Marlborough_'s Army,
he would have taken quite other Measures, than he did in his own Time.
Upon the whole, you have given me a clear Idea, and laid open to me
the real Principle of that great wicked Man. I can now reconcile the
Bravest and most Gallant of his Atchievements, with his vilest and the
most treacherous of his Actions; and tracing every Thing, he did, from
one and the same Motive, I can solve several Difficulties concerning
his Character, that would be inexplicable, if that vast Genius had
been govern'd by any Thing but his Ambition; and, if following the
common Opinion, we suppose him to have been a Compound of a daring
Villain and an Enthusiastical Bigot.

Cleo. I am not a little proud of your Concurrence with me.

Hor. You have made out, with Perspicuity, every Thing you have
advanced both Yesterday and to Day, concerning the Political Use, that
may be made of Clergymen in War; but, after all, I can't see what
Honour you have done to the Christian Religion, which yet you ever
seem strenuously to contend for, whilst you are treating every Thing
else with the utmost Freedom. I am not prepared to reply to several
Things, which, I know, you might answer: Therefore I desire, that we
may break off our Discourse here. I will think on it, and wait on you
in a few Days; for I shall long to be set to Rights in this Point.

Cleo. Whenever you please; and I will shew you, that no Discovery of
the Craft, or Insincerity of Men can ever bring any Dishonour upon the
Christian Religion it self, I mean the Doctrine of _Christ_, which can
only be learn'd from the New Testament, where it will ever remain in
its Purity and Lustre.





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