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their own) would ufurp the tribunal. Of course, no certain laws, establishing invariable grounds of hope and fear, would keep the actions of men in a certain course, or direct them to a certain end. Nothing stable in the modes of holding property, or exercifing function, could form a folid ground on which any parent could fpeculate in the education of his offspring, or in a choice for their future establishment in the world. No principles would be early worked into the habits. As foon as the most able inftructor had completed his laborious course of inftitution, instead of fending forth his pupil, accomplished in a virtuous difcipline, fitted to procure him attention and refpect, in his place in fociety, he would find every thing altered; and that he had turned out a poor creature to the contempt and derifion of the world, ignorant of the true grounds of eftimation. Who would infure a tender and delicate fenfe of honour to beat almoft with the first pulfes of the heart, when no man could know what would be the test of honour in a nation, continually varying the ftandard of its coin? No part of life would retain its acquifitions. Barbarifm with regard to fcience and literature, unskilfulness with regard to arts and manufactures, would infallibly fucceed to the want of a steady education and fettled principle; and thus the commonwealth itself would, in a few generations, crumble away, be difconnected into the dust and powder of individuality, and at length difperfed to all the winds of heaven.

To avoid therefore the evils of inconstancy and verfatility, ten thousand times worse than those of obftinacy and the blindeft prejudice, we have confecrated the state, that no man should approach to look into defects or corruptions but with due caution; that he fhould never dream of beginning its reformation by its fubversion; that he fhould approach to the faults of the state as to the wounds of a father, with pious awe and trembling folicitude. By this wife prejudice we are taught to look with horror on those children of their country who are prompt rafhly to hack that aged parent in pieces, and put him into the kettle of magicians, in hopes that by their poisonous weeds, and wild incantations, they may


regenerate the paternal conftitution, and renovate their father's life.

Society is indeed a contract. Subordinate contracts for objects of mere occafional intereft may be diffolved at pleafure-but the state ought not to be confidered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or fome other fuch low concern, to be taken up for a little temporary intereft, and to be diffolved by the fancy of the parties. It is to be looked on with other reverence; because it is not a partnership in things fubfervient only to the grofs animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all fcience; a partnership in all art ; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of fuch a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Each contract of each particular state is but a clause in the great primeval contract of eternal fociety, linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the vifible and invifible world, according to a fixed compact fanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds all phyfical and all moral natures, each in their appointed place. This law is not fubject to the will of thofe, who by an obligation above them, and infinitely fuperior, are bound to fubmit their will to that law. The municipal corporations of that univerfal kingdom are not morally at liberty at their pleasure, and on their fpeculations of a contingent improvement, wholly to feparate and tear afunder the bands of their fubordinate community, and to diffolve it into an unfocial, uncivil, unconnected chaos of elementary principles. It is the firft and fupreme neceffity only, a neceffity that is not chosen but chooses, a neceflity paramount to deliberation, that admits no difcuffion, and demands no evidence, which alone can justify a refort to anarchy. This neceffity is no exception to the rule; because this neceffity itself is a part too of that moral and phyfical difpofition of things to which man must be obedient by confent or force; but if that which is only fubmiffion to neceffity


fhould be made the object of choice, the law is broken, nature is difobeyed, and the rebellious are outlawed, caft forth, and exiled, from this world of reason, and order, and peace, and virtue, and fruitful penitence, into the antagonist world of madness, difcord, vice, confufion, and unavailing forrow.

Thefe, my dear Sir, are, were, and I think long will be the fentiments of not the least learned and reflecting part of this kingdom. They who are included in this defcription, form their opinions on fuch grounds as fuch perfons ought to form them. The lefs enquiring receive them from an authority which thofe whom Providence dooms to live on trust need not be ashamed to rely on. Thefe two forts of men move in the fame direction, though in a different place. They both move with the order of the univerfe. They all know or feel this great ancient truth" Quod illi principi et præpotenti Deo qui omnem hunc mundum regit, nihil eorum quæ "quidem fiant in terris acceptius quam concilia et cætus


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hominum jure fociati quæ civitates appellantur.' They take this tenet of the head and heart, not from the great name which it immediately bears, nor from the greater from whence it is derived; but from that which alone can give true weight and fanction to any learned opinion, the common nature and common relation of men. Perfuaded that all things ought to be done with reference, and referring all to the point of reference to which all fhould be directed, they think themselves bound, not only as individuals in the fanctuary of the heart, or as congregated in that personal capacity, to renew the memory of their high origin and caft; but also in their corporate character to perform their national homage to the inftitutor, and author and protector of civil fociety; without which civil fociety man could not by any poffibility arrive at the perfection of which his nature is capable, nor even make a remote and faint approach to it. They conceive that He who gave our nature to be perfected by our virtue, willed alfo the neceffary means of its perfection-He willed therefore the ftate-He willed its connection with the fource and original archetype of all perfection They who are convinced of this his will, which is the law of laws and the fovereign

fovereign of fovereigns, cannot think it reprehenfible, that this our corporate fealty and homage, that this our recognition of a figniory paramount, I had almost faid this oblation of the ftate itfelf, as a worthy offering on the high altar of univerfal praise, fhould be performed as all public folemn acts are performed, in buildings, in mufic, in decoration, in fpeech, in the dignity of perfons, according to the customs of mankind, taught by their nature; that is, with modeft fplendour, with unaffuming ftate, with mild majefty and fober pomp. For thofe purposes they think fome part of the wealth of the country is as ufefully employed as it can be, in fomenting the luxury of individuals. It is the public ornament. the public confolation. It nourishes the public hope. The pooreft man finds his own importance and dignity in it, whilft the wealth and pride of individuals at every moment makes the man of humble rank and fortune fenfible of his inferiority, and degrades and vilifies his condition. It is for the man in humble life, and to raise his nature, and to put him in mind of a state in which the privileges of opulence will ceafe, when he will be equal by nature, and may be more than equal by virtue, that this portion of the general wealth of his country is employed and fanctified.

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I affure you I do not aim at fingularity. I give you opinions which have been accepted amongst us, from very early times to this moment, with a continued and general approbation, and which indeed are fo worked into my mind, that I am unable to diftinguish what I have learned from others from the results of my own meditation.

It is on some such principles that the majority of the people of England, far from thinking a religious, national establishment unlawful, hardly think it lawful to be without one. In France you are wholly mistaken if you do not believe us above all other things attached to it, and beyond all other nations; and when this people has acted unwifely and unjustifiably in its favour (as in some inftances they have done moft certainly) in their very errors you will at least discover their zeal.

This principle runs through the whole fystem of their polity. They do not confider their church establishment



as convenient, but as effential to their ftate; not as a thing heterogeneous and feparable; something added for accommodation; what they may either keep up or lay afide, according to their temporary ideas of convenience. They confider it as the foundation of their whole conftitution, with which, and with every part of which, it holds an indiffoluble union. Church and state are ideas infeparable in their minds, and scarcely is the one ever mentioned without mentioning the other.

Our education is fo formed as to confirm and fix this impreffion. Our education is in a manner wholly in the hands of ecclefiaftics, and in all stages from infancy to manhood. Even when our youth, leaving schools and universities, enter that molt important period of life which begins to link experience and study together, and when with that view they vifit other countries, instead of old domestics whom we have feen as governors to principal men from other parts, three-fourths of those who go abroad with our young nobility and gentlemen are ecclefiaftics; not as auftere masters, nor as mere followers; but as friends and companions of a graver character, and not seldom perfons as well born as themselves. With them, as relations, they most commonly keep up a close connexion through life. By this connexion we conceive that we attach our gentlemen to the church; and we liberalize the church by an intercourfe with the leading characters of the country.

So tenacious are we of the old ecclefiaftical modes and fashions of institution, that very little alteration has been made in them fince the fourteenth or fifteenth century; adhering in this particular, as in all things else, to our old fettled maxim, never entirely nor at once to depart from antiquity. We found thefe old institutions, on the whole, favourable to morality and difcipline; and we thought they were fufceptible of amendment, without altering the ground. We thought that they were capable of receiving and meliorating, and above all of preferving the acceffions of fcience and literature, as the order of Providence should fucceffively produce them. And after all, with this Gothic and monkish education (for fuch it is in the ground-work) we may put in our claim to as


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