« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
ON THE CONVERSION OF A SINNER.
till the children have declared, by the lips of their when baptism precedes instruction, as men are parents, that they desire it—that they believe—that made Christians, in the first instance, without inihcy renounce the world and the devil. And as the struction, so they believe that they may remain church wishes them to preserve these dispositions Christians without being instructed; and instead throughout life, she expressly enjoins upon them of its being the case, that the primitive Christians to keep them inviolate; and by an indispensable expressed ihe warmest gratitude for a grace, which command, she requires the parents to instruct their the church only granted after reiterated petitionschildren in all these things; for she does not wish the Christians of these days, manifest nothing but that those whom, from their infancy, she has nou- ingratitude for this same blessing conferred uprished in her bosom, should be less enlightened, and on them, before they were in a state to ask it. If less zealous than those whom she formerly received the church, so decidedly abhorred the occasional, as her own; she cannot be satisfied with a less de- though extremely rare instances of backsliding gree of perfection in those whom she herself has among the primitive Christians, how ought she to trained, ihan in those whom she admits to her com- hold in abhorrence, the falling again and again of munion,
modern Christians, notwithstanding the far higher Yet the rule of the church is so perverted from degree in which they stand indebted to the church, its original intention, that it cannot be thought of for having so speedily and liberally removed them without horror. Men think no more of the pecu- from that state of curse, in which, by their natural liar blessing which they have received, because birth, they were involved. She cannot see without they did not themselves ask it, because they do not bitter lamentation, this abuse of her richest bleseven remember having received it. But since it is sings; and that the course which she has adopted evident, that the church requires no less piety in for her childrens' safety, becomes the almost certain those who have been brought up from infancy as occasion of their ruin; for her spirit is not changed, the servants of faith, than in those who aspire to though the primitive custom is.* become such, it becomes such persons to set before them the example of the ancient catechumens of the early church, to consider their ardor, their devotion,
CHAPTER XXV. their dread of the world, their noble renunciation of it; and if they were not thought worthy to receive baptism, without these dispositions, those who do not find such dispositions in themselves, should he has really touched, is a degree of knowledge
The first thing which God imparts to a soul that at once submit to receive that instruction which and perception altogether extraordinary, by which they would have had, if they were now only about the soul regards both itself and other things in a to seek an entrance into ihe communion of the church. It becomes them still further to humble
totally novel manner. themselves to such a penitence, as they may wish soul a restlessness which thwarts the repose that
This new light excites fear, and imparts to the never again to throw aside; such that they may it had formerly found in the wonted sources of inhenceforth find less disgust in the austere mortifica
dulgence. tion of the senses, than of attraction in the criminal
The man can no longer relish, with tranquillity, pleasures of sin. To induee them to seek instruction, they must be ed. Á perpetual scrupulousness haunts him in his
the objects by which he had been previously charınmade to understand the difference of the customs which have obtained in the church at different allow him any longer to find the wonted sweetness
enjoyments; and this interior perception will not times. In the newly formed Christian church, the in those things to which he had yielded with all the catechumens, that is, those who offered for baptism, melting fulness of the heart. were instructed before the rite was conferred ; and they were not admitted to it, till after full instruc- of piety, than in the vanities of the world. On one
But he finds yet more bitterness in the exercises tion in the mysteries of religion; till after penitence side, the vanity of the things that are seen, is felt for their former life; till after great measure of knowledge, of the grandeur and excellence of a profession of the Christian faith and obedience, on * These views of M. Pascal, evidently originate in which they desire to enter for ever; till after some the difficulty presented to a believing mind, by the eminent marks of real conversion of heart, and an formal and irreligious state of the Christian churches. extreme desire for baptism. These facts being The thought will occur to a considerate mind, lately made known to the whole church, they then confer- awakened to feel the power of true religion, after a red upon them the sacrament of incorporation or youth of nominal religion and real carelessuiersinitiation, by which they became members of the “Whence does this evil arise ?" And this reference church.* But now, since baptism has been, for to the mode of admitting converts from heathenism, many very important reasons, permitted to infants in earlier days, is one way of settling the point, to before the dawn of reason, we find, through the which young Christians frequently have recourse. negligence of parents, that nominal Christians grow Yet this is cutting the knot, instead of untying it. It is old without any knowledge of our religion. an error which originates in an unfounded and ima
When teaching preceded baptism, all were in- ginary notiou of the state of the Christian church at structed; but now, that baptism precedes instruc- any time. A little patience and experience-a little tion, that teaching which was then made necessary practical knowledge of how the Christian system for the sacrament, is become merely voluntary, and works, would give a very different view of the matter. is consequently neglected, and almost abolished.- It is, however, on this summary mode of setting the Reason ihen showed the necessity of instruction ; difficulty, to which the inexperienced mind resortsand when instruction went before baptism, the ne- that the Anabaptist churches found their peculiar nocessity of the one, compelled men necessarily to tions, and justify their separation ; and it is in the ready have recourse to the other. But in these days, application of this notion to meet the difficulty when
it first arises, that they find their success. Pascal, after * This was the case with converted heathens; but mature deliberation on the facts of the case, did not if M. Pascal conceived it to be the case with the at all see the necessity of renouncing the custom of children of baptized believers, he is in error; and the infant baptism. He could distinguish between an evil whole tenor of the history of the church will prove that casually accompanied, and an ovil that originated
lin, that custom.
hiin to be so
more deeply than the hope of the things that are other, that it must be more worthy of love than any not seen ; and, on the other, the reality of invisible thing else. things affects him more than the vanity of the He sees wat in the love which he has cherished things which are seen. And thus the presence of towards the world, he has found in it, owing to his the one, and the absence of the other, excite his blindness, the second quality of these two, for he disgust, so that there arises within him a disorder had discovered nothing more worthy of his love, and confusion which he can scarcely correct, but but now as he sees not in it the former quality also, which is the result of ancient impressions long ex- he knows that it is not the sovereign good. He perienced, and new impressions now first commu- seeks it then elsewhere; and knowing, by an illunicated.
mination altogether pure, that it does not exist in He considers perishable things as perishing, and the things which are within him, or around him, even as already perished; and, in the certain con- or before him, he begins to seek for it in those viction of the annihilation of all that he has loved, things which are above. he trembles at the thought; whilst he sees, that This elevation of soul is so lofty and transcendant, every moment goes to rob him of the enjoyment of that it stops not at the heavens; they have not what happiness, and that that which is dearest to him, is would satisfy him; nor at the things above the heaperpetually gliding away; and that at length a day vens, nor at the angels, nor at the most perfect of will come, in which he will find himself berett of creaied beings. lt darts through universal creall on which he had built his hope. So that he sees ation, and cannot pause till it has reached the very clearly, that as his heart is devoted only to things throne of God; there the soul begins to find repose, in themselves fragile and vain, his soul must, at the and grasps that real good which is such, that ihere exit from this life, find itself solitary and destitute, is nothing more truly worthy of love, and that it since he has taken no care to unite himself to a cannot be taken from him but by his own consent. real and self-subsistent good, which could support For though he does not yet taste those enjoyhim in, and subsequently to, this present existence. ments by which God blesses the services of ha
And hence he begins to consider as a nonentity, bitual piety, he learns, at least, that the creatures every thing which returns to nothingness—the hea- can never deserve his love more than the Creator; vens, the earth, his body, his relations, his friends, and his reason, aided by the light of grace, teaches his enemies, wealth or poveriy, humiliation or him that there is nothing more worthy of love than prosperity, honor or ignominy, esteem or contempt
, God, and that He cannot be taken away except authority or insignificance, health or sickness, and from those who reject him-since to desire God, 'is even life itself. In fact, whatever is shorter in du-to possess him; and to refuse him, is to lose him. ration than his soul, is incapable of satisfying the And thus he rejoices in having found a blessing desires of that soul, which earnestly seeks to esta- which cannot be torn from him as long as he wishes blish itself on a basis of felicity as durable as itselt. to possess it, and which has nothing superior to He begins to regard with astonishment, the blind- itself.
And with these novel reflections he enters upon ness in which he has been plunged; and, when he considers on the one hand, the length of time that he the view of the grandeur of his Creator, and upon has lived without any such thoughts, and the great acts of the deepest humiliation and reverence. number of persons who live with equal thought-counts himself as less than nothing in that prelessness; and, on the other, how clear it is that the sence; and, being unable to form of himself ar. soul being immortal, cannot find happiness in the idea sufficiently humiliating, or 10 conceive of the things that perish, and which must, at all events, be sovereign good a thought sufficiently exalted, he taken from him by death; then there comes upon the last abysses of nothingness, whilst he surveys
makes repeatedly fresh efforts to lower himself to hin a holy anxiety and astonishment, which gives God still in interminably multiplying immensities; rise to salutary sorrow. For he considers, that however great may be the he adores in silence, he looks on himself as a vile
and, at last, exhausted by this mighty conception, number of those who grow old in the ways of the and useless creature, and by repeated acts of veneworld, and whatever authority may be in the mul- | ration, adores and blesses his God, and would for titude of examples, of those who place their happi
ever bless and adore. ness in this world, it is nevertheless certain, that even if the things of this world had in them some God has manifested his infinite majesty to a worth
Then he sees something of the grace by which substantial delight--an assumption which is talsified less worm-be is ashamed and confounded at havby the fatal and continual experience of an infinite ing preferred so many vanities to such a Divine number of persons—the loss of these things is cer- Master; and, in the spirit of compunction and penitain, at the moment when death separates us from tence, he looks up for his compassion to arrest that thein.
anger, the effect of which, seen through these imSo that, if the soul has amassed a treasure of mensities, seems to hang over him so awfully. temporal good, whether of gold, of science, or of
He sends up ardent prayers to God, to obtain reputation, it is inevitably necessary, that it must this mercy, that as it has pleased him to disclose one day find itself denuded of all the objects of its himself to his soul, it would please him also to lead felicity ; and hence it appears, that though many it to himself, and prepare for him the means of objects have had in them that which ministered sa- reaching him. For it is to God that he now astisfaction, they had not that which would have sa- pires, and, at the same time, he only aspires to tisfied him permanently; and that even if they pro- reach him by those means which come from God cored him a happiness that was real, they could himself, for he wishes God himself to be his way, not procure a happiness that was lasting, because it his object, and his end. Then on the result of these must be terminaied by the limits of human life.
prayers, he learns that he ought to act conformably Then hy a holy humility, which God has exalted to the new light which he has received. above pride, the man begins to rise above the com- He begins to know God, and to desire to go to mon habits of men in gencral. He condemns him; but he is ignorant of the mode of reaching their conduct; he detests their maxims; he laments him. If, then, his desire is sincere and real, just as their blindness; he devotes himself to the search a person who wishes to go to a particular spot, but for that which is truly good; he arrives at the con- who has lost his way, and knows that he is in error, viction, that it must possess these two qualities- has recourse to those who are well acquainted with the one, that it must be as durable as himself--the l it, so he seeks advice from those who can teach
him the way that leads to the God, from whom he and I am a fool to contest the point. This arrangehas so long been alienated. And in thus seeking to ment keeps us in peace; which is of all blessings know this way, he resolves to regulate his conduct the greatest. for the remainder of his life by the iruth, as far as 8. From the habit of seeing kings surrounded he knows it; and seeing that his natural weakness, with guards, and drums, and officers, and with all together with the habitual tendency which he now these appendages which tend to create respect and has to the sin in which he has lived, bave incapa- terror, it happens, that the countenance of kings, citated him for reaching the happiness of which he even though seen sometimes without these adjuncts, is in search, he implores from the mercy of God still awakens in their subjects the same reverential those gracious aids by which he may find him, de- feeling; because, even then, we do not mentally sevote himself to him, and adhere to him for ever. parate their person from the train with which we Heartily occupied by the loveliness of the Divine usually see them attended. The multitude who excellency-old as eternity, in fact, but to him so kpow not that this effect has its origin in custom, new ;-he feels that all he does ought to bear him believe it to originate in native feeling; and hence towards this adorable object; he sees pow clearly arises such expressions as, The character of dithat he ought henceforth only to think of adoring vinity is imprinted on his countenance, &c. God, as his creature, of gratitude to him for un- The power of kings is founded on the reason, numbered obligations, of penitence as guilty, and and on the folly of the people; but most chiefly on prayer as necessitous; so that his entire occu- their folly. The greatest and most important thing pation should be to contemplate, and love, and in the world has weakness for its basis; and this praise him throughout eternity.
basis is wonderfully secure, for there is nothing more certain, than that the people will be weak,
whilst that which has its foundation in reason only, CHAPTER XXVI.
is very insecure, as the esteem for wisdom. REASONS FOR SOME OPINIONS OF THE PEOPLE.
9. Our magistrates have well understoond this I WRITE my thoughts here without order, but pro mystery. Their crimson robes, their ermine, in bably not in'mere unmeaning confusion.' It is, in which they wrap themselves, the palaces of justice, fact, the true order, and will mark my object, even the fleur-de-lis-all this pomp and circumspection by the disorder itself.
was necessary; and if physicians had not their We shall see that all the opinions of the multi- cassock and iheir mule; and if theologians had tude are very sound : that the people are not so not their square cap, and their flowing garments, weak as they are reported; and, that consequently, they would never have duped the world, which the opinion which would destroy the opinion of the could not withstand this authenticating demonstrapeople, will be itself destroyed.
tion. Soldiers are the only men who are not in 2. It is true in one sense, that all the world is in some measure disguised; and that is, because their a state of delusion; for although the opinions of own share in the matter, is the most essential part the people are sound, ihey are not so as held by of it. They gain their point by actual force-the them, because they conceive the truth to reside others by grimace. where it does not. There is truth in their opi- ! On this account our kings have not had recourse nions, but not where they suppose.
to such disguises. They have not masked them3. The people reverence men of high birth.-selves in extraordinary habits, in order to appear Your half-informed men despise them, affirming, impressive; but they have surrounded themselves that birth is not a personal advantage, but a mere with guards, and lancers, and whiskered faces, men accident. Your really superior men honor them, who have hands and energies only for this service. pot on the ground of the popular notion, but for The drums and trumpets which go before them, loftier reasons. Certain zealots of narrow views, and the legions that surround them, make even despise them, notwithstanding those reasons which brave men tremble. They not only wear a dress, secure to them the respect of superior men, because but they are clothed with might. A man had need they judge by a new light, that their measure of have an unprejudiced mind, to consider merely as piely imparıs. But more advanced Christians give another man, the Grand Signior surrounded by his ihem honor, according to the dictates of light yet glittering train of 40,000 Janissaries. superior; and thus opinions, for and against, obtain If magistrates were possessed of real justice, if in succession, according to the light possessed. physicians knew the true art of healing, there were
4. Civil wars are the greatest of evils. They no need of square caps. The majesty of science are certain, if it is wished to recompense merit, for would be sufficiently venerable alone. But possessall would affirm that they deserved reward. The ed, as they mostly are, with only imaginary science, evil to be feared from a fool who succeeds by in- they must assume these vain adornments which imheritance, is neither so great, nor so certain. press the imagination of those among whom they
5. Why follow the majority? Is it because they labor, and, by that means, they obtain respect. We have more reason? No. But because they have cannot look at an advocate in his gown and his more force. Why follow ancient laws, and ancient wig, without a favorable impression of his abilities. opinions? Are they wiser? No. But they stand The Swiss are offended at being called gentleapart from present interests: and thus take away men, and have to establish the proof of their low the root of difference.
origin, in order to qualify them for stations of im6. The empire founded on opinion and imagina- portance.* tion, sometimes has the upper hand; and this do- 10. No one chooses for a pilot, the highest born minion is mild and voluntary. The empire of passenger on board. force reigns always. Opinion is, as it were, the All the world sees that we labor with uncertainty queen of the world; but force is its tyrant.
before us, either by sea, in battle, &c. but all the 7. How wisely are men distinguished by their world does not see the law of the chances, which exterior, rather than their interior qualifications. shows that we do rightly. Montaigne saw that a Which of us two shall take the lead? Which shall narrow mind is an offence, and that custom rules yield precedence? The man of least talent? But every thing—but he did not see the reason of this. I am as clever as he. Then we must fight it out Those who see only effects, and not their causes, for this. But he has four lacqueys, and I have but
There is a visible difference: we have only At Basle they must renounce their nobility, in to count them. It is my place then to give way; I order to enter the senate.
are in relation to those who discover the causes, as gained their esteem, and we will esteem you as those who have eyes only, compared with those who they do.” have mind. For the effects are perceptible to the 18. If a man stands at the window to see those senses, but the reasons only to the understanding. who pass, and I happen to pass by, can I say that And though, in fact, these effects are perceived by he placed himself there to see me?' No: for he did the understanding, yet such a mind, compared with not think of me particularly. But if a man loves that which discovers the causes, is as the bodily a woman for her beauty, Does he love her? No: senses to the intellectual powers.
for the small-pox which destroys her beauty with11. How is it that a lame man does not anger us, out killing her, causes his love to cease. And if but a blundering mind does? Is it, that the cripple any one loves me for my judgment or my memoadmits that we walk straight, but a crippled mind ry, Does he really love me? No: for I can lose accuses us of limping? But for this, we should these qualities without ceasing to be. Where then feel more of pity than of anger.
is this me, if it is neither in the body nor the soul ? Epictetus asks also, Why we are not annoyed if And how are we to love the body or the soul, except any one tells us that we are unwell in the head, and it be for those qualities which do not make up this yet are angry if they tell us that we reason falsely, me, because they are perishable ? For can we love or choose unwisely ļ The reason is, that we know the soul of a person abstractedly; and some qualities certainly that nothing ails our heads; or that we are that belong to it? That cannot be; and it would not crippled in the body. But we are not so cer- be unjust. Then they never love the person, but tain that we have chosen correctly. So that having only the qualities; or, if they say that they love the only assurance, inasmuch as we perceive the mat- person, they must say also, that the combination of ter distinctly, whilst another sees it as clearly the qualities constitutes the person. contrary way, we are necessarily brought into doubt
19. Those things about which we are most anxand suspense; and still more so, when a thousand ious, are very often a mere nothing; as, for inothers laugh at our decision; for we must prefer stance, the concealment of our narrow circumour own convictions to those of ever so many others, stances. This evil of poverty is a mere nothing, and yet that is a bold and difficult course. Now, we that imagination has magnified to a mountain. never feel this contradiction of our senses in a case Another turn of thought would induce us to tell it of actual lameness.
without difficulty. 12. Respect for others requires you to inconve- 20. Those who have the power of invention are nience yourself. This seems foolish; yet it is very but few. Those who have not are many, and conproper. It says, " I would willingly inconvenience sequently, the strongest party. And generally, we myself seriously, if it would serve you, seeing that see that they refuse to the inventors the praise that I do so when it will not.” Besides, the object of they deserve, and that they seek by their inventions. this respect is to distinguish the great. Now, if If they persist in seeking it, and treat contemptuously respect might show itself by lolling in an elbow those who have not this talent, they will gain nochair, we should respect all the world, and then thing but a few hard names, and they will be treated we should not distinguish the great; but being as visionaries. A man should take care, therefore, put to inconvenience, we distinguish them plainly not to plume himself upon this advantage, great as enough.
it is; and he should be content to be esteemed by 13. A superior style of dress is not altogether the few, who really can appreciate his merits. vain. It shows how many persons labor for us. A man shows by his hair thai he has a valet and perfumer, &c.; and by his band, his linen, and lace,
CHAPTER XXVII. &c. It is not then, a mere superficial matter, a mere harness, to have many hands employed in our service.
There are plenty of good maxims in the world; 14. Strange indeed! they would have me not pay we fail only in applying them. For instance, it is respect to that man dressed in embroidery, and fol- without doubt that we should expose life to defend lowed by seven or eight lacqueys. Why he would the public good; and mary do ihis; but scarcely horse-whip me if I did not. * Now, this custom is a any one does this for religion. It is necessary that matter of compulsion; it does not exist between two there be inequality in the state of man; but that behorses, when one is better caparisoned than the ing granted, the door is opened, not only to the other.
highest domination, but to the highest degree of It is droll in Montaigne, that he does not see the tyranny. It is needful to allow some relaxation of difference between admiring what we see, and ask- mind; but this opens the door to the loosest dissipaing the reason of it.
tions. The limits should be marked; they are not 15. The people have some wise notions: for ex- laid down. The laws would prescribe them, but ample, the having chosen amusement and hunting, the human mind will not endure it. in preference to poetry. Your half-learned gentry 2. The authority of reason is far more imperious laugh at them, and deSight in pointing out their than that of a master; for he who disobeys the one, solly in this; but for reasons which they cannot is unhappy; but he who disobeys the other, is a perceive, the people are right. It is well also to dis- fool. tinguish men by externals, as by birth or property. 3. Why would you kill me? Why? do you not The world strives to show how unreasonable this live across the water? My friend, if you lived on is; but it is perfectly reasonable.
this side, I should be an assassin; it would be un16. Rank is of great advantage, as it gives to a just to kill you in this way; but since you live on man of eighteen or twenty years of age, a degree of the other, I am brave, and the act is just. acceptance, publicity, and respect, which another 4. Those who live irregularly, say to those who can scarcely obtain by merit at fifty. There is a live discreetly, that it is they who swerve from the gain, then, of thirty years without difficulty. dictates of nature, and that they themselves live
12. There are men, who, to show us that we are according to it; as those who are in a vessel bewrong, in not esteeming them more highly, never lieve that the people on shore are receding from fail to bring forward the names of those ersons of them. Both parties use similar language. There quality who think well of them. I would answer should be a fixed point to decide the case. The them, Show us the merit by which you have port settles the question for those in the vessel,
DETACHED MORAL THOUGHTS.
but where shall we find this fixed point in mo-, decides, and he an interested party. It ought to be rals ?*
a third and an indifferent person. 5. As fashion makes pleasure, so does it justice. 13. Language such as this, is false and tyranniIf men really knew what justice is, they would cal: "I am well-looking; then men ought to fear never have admitted this commonest of all maxims me: I am strong; then men should love me." Tythroughout the world, that each should follow the ranny is to seek to obtain that by one means, which custom of his own country. Real equity would should only be obtained by another. We owe difhave subjugated all nations, by its native brilliancy; ferent duties to different kinds of merit; a duty of and legislators would not have taken in the stead love to that which is amiable; of fear, to that which of this invariable rule of right, the fancies and ca- is mighty; of teachableness, to the learned, &e. prices of Persians and Germans, &c. It would This duty should be done. It is unjust to withhold have been set up in all the states of the earth, and this. It is unjust to require more. And it savors at all times.
equally of error and of iyranny to say, “He has no 6. Justice is that which is by law established; might, then I will not esteem him. He has no taand hence all our established laws are to be neces- lent, therefore I will not fear him.” Tyranny consarily accounted just, because tney are established. sists in the desire of universal dominion, unwar
7. The only universal rules are, the laws of the ranted by our real merit. land in ordinary matters. In extraordinary mat- 14. There are vices which have no hold upon us, ters, the majority carries it. Why is this? From but in connection with others; and which, when the power that exists in it.
you cut down the trunk, fall like the branches. And hence, also, kings who possess an extrinsic 15. When malice has reason on its side, it looks force, do not follow even the majority of their mi- forth bravely, and displays that reason in all its nisters.
lustre. Wher austerity and self-denial have not 8. Undoubtedly an equality of rights is just ; but realized true happiness, and the soul returns to the not being able to compel men to be submissive to dictates of nature, the re-action is fearfully extrajustice, legislators have made them obedient to vagant. force.' Unable to fortify justice, they have justified 16. To find recreation in amusements, is not hapforce; so that justice and force uniting, there might piness; for this joy springs from alien and extrinbe peace, for that is the sovereign good-summum sic sources, and is therefore dependent upon, and jus, summa injuria.
subject to interruption by a thousand accidents, The power of the plurality is the best way; be which may minister inevitable afliction. cause it is a visible power; and it has force to com- 17. The highest style of mind is accused of folly, mand obedience. Yet this is the counsel only of as well as the lowest. Nothing is thoroughly apinferior men.
proved but mediocrity. The majority has broughı If they could, they should have put power into the this about; and I instantly fixes its fangs on whathands of justice; but since power will not let itself ever gets beyond it either way. I will not resist be used as men please, because it is a palpable qua- their rule. I consent to be ranked among them; lity, while justice is an intellectual quality, of which and if I object to be placed at the low extreme, it is they may dispose as they please, they have placed not because it is low, but because it is the extreme; justice in the hands of power, and now they call for I should in the same way refuse to be placed at that justice which power requires to be observed. the highest. To get really beyond mediocrity, is
9. It is just, that whatever is just should be ob- to pass the limits of human nature. The dignity served. It is necessary that whatever is the strong of the human soul, lies in knowing how to keep the est should be obeyed. "Justice without power is in- middle course; and so far from there being greatefficient; power without justice is tyranny. Justice ness in leaving it, true greatness consists in never without power is gainsayed, because there are al-deviating from it. ways wicked men. Power without justice is soon
18. No man obtains credit with the world for taquestioned. Justice and power must be brought lent in poetry, who does not fairly hang out the sign together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, of a poet; or for a talent in nathematics, if he has and whatever is powerful may be just.
not put up the sign of a mathematician. But your Justice may be disputed; bui power speaks pretty truly honest men have recourse to no such expeplainly, and without dispute. So that it needs but dients. They no more play themselves off for poets, to give power to justice; but seeing that it was not than for embroiderers. They are neither called possible to make justice powerful, they have made poets nor geometers; but they are at home in all ine powerful just.
these matters. Men do not make out specifically 10. It is dangerous to tell the people that the laws what they are. When they enter a room, they speak are not just; for they only obey them because they of the topic then in discussion. They do not disbelieve them to be just. They must be told there- cover a greater aptness for one subject than for anfore at the same time, that they must obey them as for to such persons it is a matter of equal indiffer.
other, except as circumstances call out their talents; laws; as they obey their superiors, not because they are just, but because they are their superiors. If ence, that it should not be said, “That man talks you make them comprehend this, you prevent all remarkably well,” when conversational powers is sedition. This is the true definition of justice.
not the point in question, or that this should be said 11. It were well for the people to obey laws and when a man is pointed out, on his entering a room,
of them when it is. It is poor praise, therefore, customs, because they are laws; and that they understood that this made them just. On this ground, to, where the merit of some verses is to be consi
as a great poet, or that he should only be referred they would never deviate from them; whilst on the dered. Man is full of wants; he only loves those other hand, if their justice is to rest on any other who can satisfy them. “He is a good mathemabasis, it may easily be brought into question, and tician;" they say, “but then I must be bored inces. then the people are made liable to revolt.
santly with mathematics :" or, “That man tho. 12. When it is made a question, whether we roughly comprehends the art of war; but I do not should make war, and kill so many men, and doom wish to make war with any man.” Give me, then, so many Spaniards to die, it is one man only who a polite man, with general talents, to meet and sup
ply all my necessities. The answer of M. Pascal would be, In the Holy 19. When in health, we cannot at all judge how Scriptures.
we would act in sickness; but when sickness comes,