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causes : But they are infinitely uncertain, and much more obscure, and much more difficult to trace, than the foreign causes that tend to raise, to depress, and sometimes to overwhelm a community.
The appointment of festive anniversaries has ever in the sense of mankind been held the best method of keeping alive the spirit of any institution.
APPEALS TO THE POOR AGAINST WAR.
THE ground of a political war is of all things that which the poor labourer and manufacturer are the least capable of conceiving. This sort of people know in general that they must suffer by war. It is a matter to which they are sufficiently competent, because it is a matter of feeling.. The causes of a war are not matters of feeling, but of reason and foresight, and often of remote considerations, and of a very great combination of circumstances, which they are utterly incapable of comprehending; and, indeed, it is not every man in the highesť classes who is altogether equal to it. Nothing, in a general sense, appears to me less fair and justifiable, (even if no attempt were made to inflame the passions) than to submit a matter on discussion to a tribunal incapable of judg. ing of more than one side of the question.
ARBITRARY power is so much to the depraved taste of the vulgar, of the vulgar of every description, that almost all the dissensions which lacerate the commonwealth, are not concerning the manner in which it is to be exercised, but concerning the hands in which it is to be placed. Somewhere they are resolved to have it. Whether they desire it to be vested in the many or the few, depends with most men upon the chance which they imagine they themselves may have of partaking in the exercise of that arbitrary sway, in the one mode or in the other.
It is by lying dormant a long time, or being at first very rarely exercised, that arbitrary power steals upon a people. On the next unconstitutional act, all the fashionable world will be ready to say-Your prophecies are ridiculous, your fears are vain, you see how little of the mischiefs which you formerly foreboded are come to pass. Thus, by degrees, that artful softening of all arbitrary power, the alleged infrequency or narrow extent of its operation, will be received as a sort of aphorism-and Mr. Hume will not be singular in telling us, that the felicity of mankind is no more disturbed by it, than by earthquakes, or thunder, or the other more unusual accidents of nature.
A true natural aristocracy is not a separate interest in the state, or separable from it. It is an essential integrant part of any large body rightly constituted. It is formed out of a class of legitimate presumptions, which, taken as generalities, must be admitted for actual truths. To be bred in a place of estimation ; to see nothing low and sordid from one's infancy ; to be taught to respect one's self; to be habituated to the censorial inspection of the public eye; to look early to public opinion; to stand upon such elepvated ground as to be enabled to take a large view of the wide-spread and infinitely diversified combinations of men and affairs in a large society; to have leisure to read, to reflect, to converse; to be enabled to draw the court and attention of the wise and learned wherever they are to be found ;---to be habituated in armies to command and to obey ; to be taught to despise danger in the pursuit of honour and duty; to be formed to the greatest degree of vigilance, foresight, and circumspection, in a state of things in which no fault is committed with impunity, and the slightest mistakes draw on the most ruinous consequences--to be led to a guarded and regulated conduct, from a sense that you are considered as an instructor of your fellow-citizens in their highest concerns, and that you act as a reconciler between God and man-to be employed as an administrator of law and justice, and to be thereby amongst the first benefactors to mankind—to be a professor of high science, or of liberal and ingenuous art-to be amongst rich traders, who from their success are presumed to have sharp and vigorous understandings, and to possess the virtues of diligence, order, constancy, and regularity, and to have cultivated an habitual regard to commutative justice—these are the circumstances of men, that form what I should call a natural aristocracy, without which there is no nation. Sce NOBILITY.
We know, and is our pride to know, that man is by his constitution a religious animal; that atheism is against not only our reason but our instinct; and that it cannot prevail long.
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Boldness formerly was not the character of Atheists as such. They were even of a character nearly the reverse; they were formerly like the old Epicureans, rather an unenterprizing race. But of late they are
grown active, designing, turbulent, and seditious. They are sworn enemies to Kings, Nobility, and Priesthood. We have seen all the Academicians at Paris, with Condorcet, the friend and correspondent of Priestley, at their head, the most furious of the extravagant Republicans.
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Of all men, the most dangerous is a warm, hotheaded, zealous Atheist. This sort of man aims at dominion, and his means are, the words he always has in his mouth, “ L'égalité naturelle des Hommes, et la Souverainté du Peuple.”
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They who have made but superficial studies in the natural history of the human mind, have been taught to look on religious opinions as the only cause of enthusiastic zeal, and sectarian propagation. But there is no doctrine whatever, on which men can warnı, that is not capable of the very same effect. The social nature of man impels him to propagate his principles, as much as physical impulses urge him to propagate his kind. The passions give zeal and vehemence. The understanding bestows design and system. The whole man moves under the discipline of his opinions. Religion is among the most powerful causes of enthusiasm. When any thing concerning it becomes an object of much meditation, it cannot be indifferent to the mind. They who do not love religion, hate it. The rebels to God perfectly abhor the author of their being. They hate him “ with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their soul, and with all their strength.” He never presents himself to their thoughts, but to menace and alarm them.
They cannot strike the sun out of Heaven, but they are able to raise a smouldering smoke that obscures him from their own eyes. Not being able to revenge themselves on God, they have a delight in vicariously defacing, degrading, torturing, and tearing in pieces his image in man. Let no one judge of them by what he has conceived of them, when they were not incorporated, and had no lead. They were then only passengers in a common vehicle. They were then carried along with the general motion of religion in the community, and without being aware of it, partook of its influence. In that situation, at worst, their nature was left free to counterwork their principles. They despaired of giving any very general currency to their opinions. They considered them as a reserved privilege for the chosen few. But when the possibility of dominion lead, and propagation presented themselves, and that the ambition, which before had so often made them hypocrites, might rather gain than lose by a daring avowal of their sentiments, then the nature of this infernal spirit, which has “ evil for its good," appeared in its full perfection. Nothing indeed but the possession of some power can with any certainty discover, what at the bottom is the true character of any man.
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I call it atheism by establishment, when any state, as such, shall not acknowledge the existence of God as a moral governor of the world; when it shall offer to him no religious or moral worship ;-when it' shall abolish the Christian religion by a regular decree; when it shall persecute with a cold, unrelenting, steady cruelty, by every mode of confiscation, imprisonment, exile, and death, all its ministers ;—when it shall generally shut up, or pull down, churches; when the few buildings which remain of