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scheme preferred to the common one, it may be observed, in the last place, that an establishment, made only on the motives of CIVIL UTILITY, secures that very end, which the other pretends solely to aim at in establishing a church; and which yet, by pursuing in a visionary manner, it never attains : I mean, the advancement of truth. For if public utility and truth do coincide, then to provide for that utility is, at the same time, providing for truth, its inseparable associate. On the whole then we see that, in this case, to aim at truth is losing as well that, as utility; but to aim at utility is gaining both together.

I will conclude, in requesting my reader to have this always in mind, THAT THE TRUE END FOR WHICH RELIGION IS ESTABLISHED IS, NOT TO PROVIDE FOR THE TRUE FAITH, BUT FOR CIVIL UTILITY, as the key to open to him the whole mystery of this controversy; and the clew to lead him safe through all the intricacies, and perplexities, in which it has been involved.

The settling this matter on true foundations seems to be the only thing wanting to perfect the felicity of the British constitution. For while literary, civil and religious liberty, by occasionally undergoing a free scrutiny, have at length become generally understood; this last remaining question, of so much importance, concerning an established religion, hath been so little examined to the bottom, or the true principles of it searched into, that the one party defended it on such as directly tend to overthrow every thing already settled in favour of religious, and even civil and literary liberty: and the other opposed it on such as must make all that liberty, they themselves had been long contending for, and had at length obtained, degenerate into the worst licentiousness. Now whether we have contributed any thing to facilitate the removal of this last obstruction to a state of sober and perfect liberty, is submitted to the judgment of the Public.

whether

CHAP. V.

THE CONCLUSION, IN WHICH THE REMAINING
OBJECTIONS OF BOTH PARTIES ARE CONSIDERED.

1

THE wild Indians, amidst their uncultivated wastes, sec the beauty and use of every thing around them; and are not such fools as to complain for want of better accommodations than what they find provided to their hands. Yet as important as this truth is to them, they are little solicitous to enquire from whence all this order and harmony arises : they have received it from their ancestors, that the earth was supported on the back of a huge tortoise; and they do not take it well to have their tortoise disturbed or laughed at. The friends of our happy establishment have, many of them, a little of this Indian taste. In their fear of shaking foundations, they are unwilling that the weight of the constitution should be removed from the tortoise of old opinion, to l'est upon a theory which they think does not exactly tally with fact, as few theories do. This

may be thought a notable objection. But on what inistaken principle it stands, I shall now endeavour to shew. The word THEORY has been appro. priated (as it were) to the explanation of a natural system. Now as such theories are good only in proportion to their agreement with fact; and as

nature

nature so much withdraws herself from our inquiry; it is no wonder that it should have grown into an observation, that few theories agree with fact; and that this should be esteemed, what it really is, an objection to theories of this kind.

But our theory is an explanation of an artificial, not a natural system : in which measures very different from the latter are to be followed. For truth being the end of all kinds of theories, a right theory of nature is to be obtained only by pursuing fact; for God is the author of that system : but in a theory of politics, which is an artificial system, to follow fact is no certain way to truth, because man is the autor of that system. Abstract ideas, and their general relations, are the guides to lead us into truth; and fact hath, with good reason, but a subsidiary use. As therefore the method to be pursued is different, so should the judgment be, which is passed upon it: the goodness of this theory being estimated, not according to its agreement with fact, but right reason, In the former case, the theory should be regulated by the fact: in the latter, the fact by the theory.

But still, fact, as we say, hath even here its subsidiary use. For as this theory must be founded on the principles of right reason to render it just; so, to satisfy us that it is real, that it is practicable, and no fanciful Utopia, it must be supported by fact : that is, it must be shewn that the policy, explained and justificd in the theory, hath been practised to the common benefit of all. This is the use, and the only usé, of consulting fact in these kinds of theories. And this, I presume, will be enough to recommend the theory of this ALLIANCE: 'which was written with. no other view, than to furnish every lover of his coun• Vol. VII. U

try

try with reasonable principles, to oppose to the destructive fancies of the enemies of our happy establishment. Not to reform the fundamental constitutions of the state; but to shew they needed no reforming: an attempt, I should think, neither irrational, nor unseasonable.

An example, used before, will illustrate what we have been now saying. The theory of civil society, founded on the original compact, when it was first urged against the advocates for arbitrary government, had the fortune to fall into ill hands, the enemies of their country; who inforced it, not to defend the liberties we enjoyed, but to alter the nature of the constitution : the consequence was, that the authors being justly obnoxious, the principles were suspected, and then rejected. Afterwards they fell into more temperate hands; and being then employed to justify the subjects' rights under our limited monarchy, they were in a little time generally received; and men were brought to found their liberties on those prin ciples; which liberties, till then, they chose to claim on the precarious grants of ancient monarchs, or the illiberal tenure of more ancient custom.

As to our adversaries, if they thought that the few cant terms of Natural Rights, Civil Liberty, Priestcraft, and Persecution, curiously varied by a jargon of sophistical logic, would be sufficient to undo what the wisdom of all ages and people has concurred to establish, many of them have lived to see themselves mistaken.

But if reason be what they require, and that they think they have a right to expect a reason for every thing, we have here endeavoured to satisfy them. If they like, as it is probable they will, their own reasons

better,

better, it will then come to be a dispute about taste. I have given them corn. They chuse to stick by their acorn-husks. Much good may do them.

Nothing remains but to remove an argument ad invidiam, the only logic hitherto employed against this theory, and which would persuade the reader that it MAKES RELIGION A TOOL OF POLITICS, If by this they mean, that I believe there is a political use of religion, whereby it niay be made to advance the good of civil society; and that therefore I have endeavoured to make this use of it; they do me no wrong..

I not only believe so, but I have shewn * that we have not a more illustrious instance of the wisdom and goodness of God, than in his thus closely uniting our present and our future happiness. I believe what the BEST GOOD MAN of our order was not ashamed to own before me.

A politique use of religion (says het) „“ there is. Men fearing God are thereby a great “ deal more effectually than by positive laws restrained “ from doing evil, inasmuch as those laws have no “ further power than over our outward actions only, ** whereas unto mens inward cogitations, unto the

privie intents and motions of their hearts, religion 6 serveth for a bridle. What more savage, wilde, “ and cruell, than man, if he see himselfe able, “ either by fraude to over-reach, or by power to “ overbeare, the laws whereunto he should be sub

Wherefore in so great boldness to offend, it 66 behoveth that the world should be held in awe, not

by a vaine surmise, but a true apprehension of -- somewhat, which no man may thinke himselfe able

" to withstand. THIS IS THE POLITIQUE USE OF -- RELIGION.” Thus the admirable Hooker, where

* See The Divine Legation of Moses, Books I. II. III,
* Eccl. Pol. B. V. Sect. 2.

5. ject?

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