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this rule comes to be applied, will be found a very | By a man who acts with a view to a future judgsignificant part of the direction. It obliges the ma- ment, the authority of a religion is the first thing gistrate to reflect, not only whether the religion inquired after; a religion which wants authority, which he wishes to propagate amongst his sub- with him wants every thing. Since then this aujects, be that which will best secure their eternal thority appertains, not to the religion which is welfare; not only, whether the methods he employs most commodious,—to the religion which is most be likely to effectuate the establishment of that sublime and efficacious,--to the religion which suits religion, but also upon this farther question: best with the form, or seems most calculated to Whether the kind of interference which he is uphold the power and stability, of civil governabout to exercise, if it were adopted as a common ment,—but only to that religion which comes from maxim amongst states and princes, or received as God; we are justified in pronouncing the true a general rule for the conduct of government in religion, by its very truth, and independently of matters of religion, would, upon the whole, and in all considerations of tendencies, aptness, or any the mass of instances in which his example might other internal qualities whatever, to be universally be imitated, conduce to the furtherance of human the best. salvation. If the magistrate, for example, should From the first proposition follows this inference, think that, although the application of his power that when the state enables its subjects to learn might, in the instance concerning which he de- some form of Christianity, by distributing teachliberates, advance the true religion, and together ers of a religious system throughout the country, with it, the happiness of his people, yet that the and by providing for the maintenance of these same engine, in other hands, who might assume teachers at the public expense; that is, in fewer the right to use it with the like pretensions of rea- terms, when the laws establish a national religion, son and authority that he himself alleges, would they exercise a power and an interference, which more frequently shut out truth, and obstruct the are likely, in their general tendency, to promote means of salvation; he would be bound by this the interest of mankind; for, even supposing the opinion, still admitting public utility to be the su- species of Christianity which the laws patronise preme rule of his conduct, to refrain from expe- to be erroneous and corrupt, yet when the option dients, which, whatever particular effects he may lies between this religion and no religion at all, expect from them, are, in their general operation, (which would be the consequence of leaving the dangerous or hurtful. If there be any difficulty people without any public means of instruction, in the subject, it arises from that which is the or any regular celebration of the offices of Chriscause of every difficulty in morals ;-the competi- tianity,) our proposition teaches us that the foriner tion of particular and general consequences; or, alternative is constantly to be preferred. what is the same thing, the submission of one ge But after the right of the magistrate to establish neral rule to another rule which is still more a particular religion has been, upon this principal, general.
admitted; a doubt sometimes presents itself, wheBearing then in mind, that it is the general ther the religion which he ought to establish, be tendency of the measure, or, in other words, the that which he himself professes, or that which he effects which would arise from the measure be observes to prevail amongst the majority of the ing generally adopted, that fixes upon it the cha- people. Now when we consider this question racter of rectitude or injustice; we proceed to with a view to the formation of a general rule inquire what is the degree and the sort of inter- upon the subject, (which view alone can furnish a ference of secular laws in matters of religion, just solution of the doubt,) it must be assumed to which are likely to be beneficial to the public be an equal chance whether of the two religions happiness. There are two maxims which will contain more of truth,--that of the magistrate, or in a great measure regulate our conclusions upon that of the people. The chance then that is left this head. The first is, that any form of Chris- to truth being equal upon both suppositions, the tianity is better than no religion at all : the second, remaining consideration will be, from which arthat, of different systems of faith, that is the best rangement more efficacy can be expected ;- from which is the truest. The first of these positions an order of men appointed to teach the people their will hardly be disputed, when we reflect that own religion, or to convert them to another ? In every sect and modification of Christianity holds my opinion, the advantage lies on the side of the out the happiness and misery of another life, as former scheme; and this opinion, if it be assented depending chiefly upon the practice of virtue or to, makes it the duty of the magistrate, in the of vice in this; and that the distinctions of virtue choice of the religion which he establishes, to and vice are nearly the same in all. A person consult the faith of the nation, rather than his own. who acts under the impression of these hopes and The case also of dissenters must be determined fears, though combined with many errors and su- | by the principles just now stated. Toleration is perstitions, is more likely to advance both the of two kinds ;-the allowing to dissenters the unpublic happiness and his own, than one who is molested profession and exercise of their religion, destitute of all expectation of future account. but with an exclusion from offices of trust and The latter proposition is founded in the consider- emolument in the state; which is a partial toleation, that the principal importance of religion ration : and the admitting them, without distincconsists in its influence upon the fate and condi- tion, to all the civil privileges and capacities of tion of a future existence. This influence be- other citizens; which is a complete toleration. longs only to that religion which comes from God. Theexpediency of toleration, and consequently the A political religion may be framed, which shall right of every citizen to demand it, as far as relates embrace the purposes, and describe the duties of to liberty of conscience, and the claim of being propolítical society perfectly well; but if it be not de- tected in the free and safe profession of his relilivered by God, what assurance does it afford, gion, is deducible from the second of those proposithat the decisions of the Divine judgment will tions which we have delivered as the grounds of have any regard to the rules which it contains ? | our conclusions upon the subject. That proposi
tion asserts truth, and truth in the abstract to be gation or the impression of truth : on the contrary, The supreme perfection of every religion. The whilst it stays not to distinguish between the au. advancement, consequently, and discovery of truth, thority of dillerent religions, it destroys alike the is that end to which all regulations concerning re- intluence of all. ligion ought principally to be adapted. Now, every Concerning the admission of dissenters from species of intolerance which enjoins suppression the established religion to offices and employments and silence, and every species of persecution which in the public service, (which is necessary, to renenforces such injunctions, is adverse in the progress der toleration complete,) doulits have been enterof truth; forasmuch as it causes that to be fixed by tained, with some appearance of reason. It is one set of men, at one time, which is much better possible that such religious opinions may be holdand with much more probability of success, left to en, as are utterly incompatible with the necessary the independent and progressive inquiry of sepa- functions of civil government; and which opinions rate individuals. Truth results from discussion consequently disquality those who maintain them and controversy, and is investigated by the labours from exercising any share in its administration. and researches of private persons. Whatever, There have been enthusiasts who held that Christherefore, prohibits these, obstructs that industry tianity has abolished all distinction of property, and that liberty, which it is the common interest and that she enjoins upon her followers a comof mankind to promote. In religion, as in other munity of goods. With what tolerable propriety subjects, truth, if left to itself, will almost always could one of this sect be appointed a judge or a obtain the ascendency. If different religions be magistrate, whose office it is to decide upon quesprofessed in the same country, and the minds of tions of private right, and to protect men in the men remain unfettered and unawed by intimida- exclusive enjoyment of their property ? It would tions of law, that religion which is founded in be equally absurd to intrust a military command maxims of reason and credibility, will gradually to a Quaker, who believes it to be contrary to the gain over the other to it. I do not mean that men Gospel to take up arms. This is possible; therewill formally renounce their ancient religion, but fore it cannot be laid down as an universal truth, that they will adopt into it the more rational doc- that religion is not, in its nature, a cause which trines, the improvements and discoveries of the will justify exclusion from public employments. neighbouring sect; by which means the worse When we examine, however, the sects of Chrisreligion, without the ceremony of a reformation, tianity which actually prevail in the world, we will insensibly assimilate itself to the better. If must confess that, with the single exception popery, for instance, and protestantism, were per- of refusing to bear arms, we find no tenet in any mitted to dwell quietly together, papists might not of them which incapacitates men for the service become protestants (for the naine is commonly the of the
state. It has indeed been asserted, that last thing that is changed, *) but they would be discordancy of religions, even supposing each come more enlightened and informed; they would religion to be free from any errors that affect the by little and little incorporate into their creed many safety or the conduct of government, is enough to of the tenets of protestantism, as well as imbibe a render men unfit to act together, in public stations. portion of its spirit and moderation.
But upon what argument, or upon what expeThe justice and expediency of toleration we rience, is this assertion founded? I perceive no found primarily in its conduciveness to truth, and reason why men of different religious persuasions in the superior value of truth to that of any other may not sit upon the same bench, deliberate in quality which a religion can possess: this is the the same council, or fight in the same ranks, as principal argument; but there are some auxiliary well as men of various or opposite opinions upon considerations, too important to be omitted. The any controverted topic of natural philosophy, hisconfining of the subject to the religion of the state, tory, or ethics. is a needless violation of natural liberty, and is an
There are two cases in which test-laws are instance in which constraint is always grievous. wont to be applied, and in which, if in any, they Persecution produces no sincere conviction, nor may be defended. One is, where two or more reany real change of opinion; on the contrary, it ligions are contending for establishıment; and vitiates the public morals
, by driving men to pre- where there appears no way of putting an end to varication; and commonly ends in a general though the contest, but by giving to one religion such a secret infidelity, by imposing, under the name of decided superiority in the legislature and governrevealed religion, systems of doctrine which men ment of the country, as to secure it against dancannot believe, and dare not examine: finally, it ger from any other. I own that I should assent disgraces the character, and wounds the reputa- to this precaution with many scruples. If the distion of Christianity itself, by making it the author senters from the establishment become a majority of oppression, cruelty, and bloodshed.
of the people; the establishment itself ought to he Under the idea of religious toleration, I in altered or qualified. If there exists amongst the clude the toleration of all books of serious ar- different sects of the country such a parity of gumentation: but I deem it no infringement of numbers, interest, and power, as to render the religious liberty, to restrain the circulation of ridi-preference of one sect to the rest, and the choice cule, invective, and mockery, upon religious sub of that sect, a matter of hazardous success, and of jects; because this species of writing applies doubtful election, some plan similar to that which solely to the passions, weakens the judginent, and is meditated in North America, and which we contaminates the imagination, of its readers; has have described in a preceding part of the present no tendency whatever to assist either the investi- chapter, though encumbered with great difficulties,
may perhaps suit better with this divided state of * Would we let the name stand, we might often at church whatever. In all other situations, the eso
public opinion, than any constitution of a national tract men, without their perceiving it, much nearer to ourselves, than, if they did perceive it, they would be tablishment will be strong enough to maintain it. willing to coine.
self. However, if a test be applicable with justice
apon this principle at all
, it ought to be applied | might insinuate themselves into offices of trust in regal governments, to the chief magistrate him- and authority, hy subscribing political assertions, sell, whose power might otherwise overthrow or and yet retain their predilection for the interests change the established religion of the country, in of the religious sect to which they continued to opposition to the will and sentiments of the people. belong. By which means, government would
The second case of exlcusion, and in which, I sometimes find, though it could not accuse the think, the measure is more easily vindicated, is individual, whom it had received into its service, that of a country in which some disaffection to the of disaffection to the civil establishment, yet that, subsisting government happens to be connected through him, it had communicated the aid and with certain religious distinctions. The state un- influence of a powerful station to a party who doubtedly has a right to refuse its power and its were hostile to the constitution. These answers, confidence to those who seek its destruction. however, we propose rather than defend. The Wherefore, if the generality of any religious sect measure certainly cannot be defended at all, exentertain dispositions hostile to the constitution, cept where the suspected union between certain and if government have no other way of knowing obnoxious principles in polities, and certain tenets its enemies than by the religion which they pro- in religion, is nearly universal; in which case, it fess, the professors of that religion may justly be makes little difference to the subscriber, whether excluded from offices of trust and authority. But the test be religious or political; and the state even here it should be observed, that it is not is somewhat better secured by the one than the against the religion that government shuts its other. doors, but against those political principles, which, The result of our examination of those general however independent they may be of any article tendencies, by which every interference of civil of religious faith, the members of that communion government in matters of religion ought to be tried, are found in fact to hold. Nor would the legisla- is this: " That a comprehensive national religion, tor make religious tenets the test of men's incli- guarded by a few articles of peace and conformity, nations towards the state, if he could discover any together with a legal provision for the clergy of other that was equally certain and notorious that religion; and with a complete toleration of all Thus, if the members of the Romish church, for dissenters from the established church, without the most part adhere to the interests, or maintain any other limitation or exception, than what ariscs the right, of a foreign pretender to the crown of from the conjunction of dangerous political dispothese kingdoms; and if there be no way of dis- sitions with certain religious
tenets; appears to be, tinguishing those who do from those who do not not only the most just and liberal, but the wisest retain such dangerous prejudices; government is and safest system, which a state can adopt ; inwell warranted in fencing out the whole sect from asmuch as it unites the several perfections which situations of trust and power. But even in this a religious constitution ought to aim at :-liberty example, it is not to popery that the laws object, of conscience, with means of instruction; the but to popery as the mark of jacobitism; an equivo- progress of truth, with the peace of society; the cal indeed and fallacious mark, but the best and per- right of private judgment, with the care of the haps the only one, that can be devised. But then public safety." it should be remembered, that as the connexion between popery and jacobitism, which is the sole cause of suspicion and the sole justification of
CHAPTER XI. those severe and jealous laws which have been Of Population and Provision ; and of Agriculenacted against the professors of that religion, was accidental in its origin, so probably it will be
ture and Commerce, as subservient thereto. temporary in its duration ; and that these restric The final view of all rational politics is, to protions ought not to continue one day longer than duce the greatest quantity of happiness in a given some visible danger renders them necessary to the tract of country. The riches, strength, and glory preservation of public tranquillity.
of nations; the topics which history celebrates, After all, it may be asked; Why should not and which alone almost engage the praises and the legislator direct his test against the political possess the admiration of mankind; have no value principles themselves which he wishes to exclude, farther than as they contribute to this end. When rather than encounter them through the medium they interfere with it, they are evils, and not the of religious tenets, the only crime and the only less real for the splendour that surrounds them. danger of which consist in their presumed al Secondly: Although we speak of communities liance with the former? Why, for example, as of sentient beings; although we ascribe to should a man be required to renounce transub- them happiness and misery, desires, interests, stantiation, before he be admitted to an office in and passions; nothing really exists or feels but the state, when it might seem to be sufficient individuals. The happiness of a people is made that he abjure the pretender? There are but two up of the happiness of single persons; and the answers that can be given to the objection which quantity of happiness can only be augmented by this question contains : first, that it is not opinions increasing the number of the percipients, or the which the laws fear, so much as inclinations; and, pleasure of their perceptions. that political inclinations are not so easily detected Thirdly: Notwithstanding that diversity of by the affirmation or denial of any abstract pro- condition, especially different degrees of plenty, position in politics, as by the discovery of the freedom, and security, greatly vary the quantity religious creed with which they are wont to be of happiness enjoyed by the same number of united :-secondly, that when men renounce their individuals; and notwithstanding that extreme religion, they commonly quit all connexion with cases may be found, of human beings so galled the members of the church which they have left; by the rigours of slavery, that the increase of that church no longer expecting assistance or numbers is only the amplification of misery; yet, friendship from them: whereas particular persons within certain limits, and within those limits
to which civil life is diversified under the tem- | seldom be found to be that which actually checks perate governments that obtain in Europe, it may the progress of population in any country of the be affirmned, I think, with certainty, that the quan- world; because the number of the people have tity of happiness produced in any given district, seldom, in any country, arrived at this limit, or so far depends upon the number of inhabitants, even approached to it. T'he fertility of the ground, that, in comparing adjoining periods in the same in temperate regions, is capable of being improved country, the collective happiness will be nearly by cultivation to an extent which is unknown; in the exact proportion of the numbers; that is, much, however, beyond the state of improvement twice the number of inhabitants will produce in any country in Europe. In our own, which double the quantity of happiness : in distant pe- holds almost the first place in the knowledge and riods, and different countries, under great changes encouragement of agriculture, let it only be supor great dissimilitude civil condition, although posed that every field in England, of the same the proportion of enjoyment may fall much short original quality with those in the neighbourhood of the numbers, yet still any considerable excess of the metropolis
, and consequently capable of the of numbers will usually carry with it a prepon- same fertility, were, by a like management, made deration of happiness ; ihat, at least, it may and to yield an equal produce; and it may be asserted, ought to be assuined, in all political deliberations, I believe with truth, that the quantity of human that a larger portion of happiness is enjoyed provision raised in the island would be increased amongst ten persons, possessing the means of five-fold. The two principles, therefore, upon healthy subsistence, than can be produced by which population seems primarily to depend, the five persons, under every advantage of power, fecundity of the species, and the capacity of the affluence, and luxury.
soil, would in most, perhaps in all countries, From these principles it follows, that the quan- enable it to proceed much farther than it has yet tity of happiness in a given district, although it is advanced. The number of marriageable women, possible it may be increased, the number of in- who, in each country, remain unmarried, afford a habitants remaining the same, is chiefly and most computation how much the agency of nature in naturally affected by alteration of the numbers: the diffusion of human life is crainped and conthat, consequently, the decay of population is the tracted; and the quantity of waste, neglected, or greatest evil that a state can suffer; and the im- mismanaged surface, -together with a comparison, provement of it, the object which ought, in all like the preceding, of the crops raised from the soil countries, to be aimed at, in preference to every in the neighbourhood of populous cities, and unother political purpose whatsoever.
der a perfect state of cultivation, with those which The importance of population, and the supe- lands of equal or superior quality yield in different riority of it to every other national advantage, situations, - will show in what proportion the inare points nece to be inculcated, and to be digenous productions of the earth are capable of understood; inasmuch as false estimates, or fan- being farther augmented. tastic notions, of national grandeur, are per The fundamental proposition upon the subject petually drawing the attention of statesmen and of population, which
must guide every endeavour legislators from the care of this, which is, at all to improve it, and from which every conclusion times, the true and absolute interest of a country: concerning it may be deduced, is this: "Wherever for which reason, we have stated these points the commerce between the sexes is regulated by with unusual formality. We will confess, how- inarriage, and a provision for that mode of subever, that a competition can seldom arise between sistence, to which each class of the community is the advancement of population and any measure accustomed, can be procured with ease and cerof sober utility ; because, in the ordinary progress tainty, there the nuinber of the people will inof human afiairs, whatever, in any way, con- crease; and the rapidity, as well as the extent of tributes to make a people happier, tends to render the increase, will be proportioned to the degree in them more numerous.
which these causes exist." In the fecundity of the human, as of every This proposition we will draw out into the seother species of animals, nature has provided for veral principles which it contains. an indefinite multiplication. Mankind have in I. First, the proposition asserts the “necessity creased to their present number from a single of confining the intercourse of the sexes to the pair; the offspring of early marriages, in the or- marriage-union.” It is only in the marriage-union dinary course of procreation, do more than replace that this intercourse is sufficiently prolitic. Bethe parents: in countries, and under circum- side which, family establishments alone are fitted stances very favourable to subsistence, the popu- to perpetuate a succession of generations. The lation has been doubled in the space of twenty, offspring of a vague and promiscuous concubinage years; the havoc occasioned by wars, earthquakes, are not only few, and liable to perish by neglect, famine, or pestilence, is usually repaired in a short but are seldom prepared for, or introduced into time. These indications sufficiently demonstrate situations suited to the raising of families of their the tendency of nature, in the human species, to own. Hence the advantages of marriages. Now a continual increase of its numbers. It becomes, ature, in the constitution of the sexes, has pro therefore, a question that may reasonably be provided a stimulus which will infallibly secure the pounded, what are the causes which confine or frequency of marriages, with all their beneficial check the natural progress of this multiplication? effects upon the state of population, provided the And the answer which first presents itself to the male part of the species be prohibited from irthoughts of the inquirer is, that the population of regular gratifications. This impulse, which is sufa country must stop when the country can main- ficient to surmount almost every impediment to tain no more; that is, when the inhabitants are marriage, will operate in proportion to the difalready so numerous as to exhaust all the pro- ficulty, expense, danger, or infainy, the sense of vision which the soil can be made to produce. guilt, or the fear of punishment, which attend liThis, however, though an insuperable bar, will | centious indulgences. Wherefore, in countries in
which subsistence is become scarce, it behoves the culiarity arises, not probably from any civil advanstate to watch over the public morals with in- tages, any care or policy, any particular consticreased solicitude; for nothing but the instinct of tution or superior wisdom of government; but nature, under the restraint of chastity, will induce simply from hence, that the species of food to men to undertake the labour, or consent to the sa- whích custom hath reconciled the desires and incrifice of personal liberty and indulgence, which clinations of the inhabitants, is that which, of all the support of a family, in such circumstances, others, is procured in the greatest abundance, Tequires.
with the most ease, and stands in need of the II. The second requisite which our proposition least preparation. The natives of Indostan being states as necessary to the success of population, is, confined, by the laws of their religion, to the use “the ease and certainty with which a provision of vegetable food, and requiring little except rice, can be procured for that mode of subsistence to which the country produces in plentiful crops; which each class of the community is accustomed." and food, in warm climates, composing the only It is not enough that men's natural wants be want of life; these countries are populous, under supplied; that a provision adequate to the real all the injuries of a despotic, and the agitations exigencies of human life be attainable: habitual of an unsettled government. If any revolution, saperfluities become actual wants; opinion and or what would be called perhaps refinement of fashion convert articles of ornament and luxury manners, should generate in these people a taste into necessaries of life. And it must not be ex- for the flesh of animals, similar to what prevailspected from men in general, at least in the present amongst the Arabian hordes; should introduce relaxed state of morals and discipline, that they flocks and herds into grounds which are now cowill enter into marriages which degrade their con- vered with corn; should teach them to account a dition, reduce their mode of living, deprive them certain portion of this species of food amongst the of the accommodations to which they have been necessaries of life; the population, from this sinaccustomed, or even of those ornaments or ap-gle change, would suffer in a few years a great pendages of rank and station which they have diminution: and this diminution would follow, in been taught to regard as belonging to their birth, spite of every effort of the laws, or even of any or class, or profession, or place in society: The improvement that might take place in their civil same consideration, namely, a view to their ac- condition. In Ireland, the simplicity of living customed mode of life, which is so apparent in the alone, maintains a considerable degree of popula. superior order of the people, has no less influence tion, under great defects of police, industry, and upon those ranks which compose the mass of the commerce. community. The kind and quality of food and Under this head, and from a view of these conliquor, the species of habitation, furniture, and siderations, may be understood the true evil and clothing, to which the common people of each proper danger of luxury. country are habituated, must be attainable with Luxury, as it supplies employment and proease and certainty, before marriages will be suf- motes industry, assists population. But, then ficiently early and general to carry the progress there is another consequence attending it, which of population to its just extent. It is in vain to counteracts and often overbalances these advanallege, that a more simple diet, ruder habitations, tages. When, by introducing more superfluities or coarser apparel, would be sufficient for the pur- into general reception, luxury has rendered the poses of life and health, or even of physical ease usual accommodations of life more expensive, arand pleasure. Men will not marry with this en- tificial, and elaborate, the difficulty of maintaining couragement. For instance: when the common a family conformably with the established mode people of a country are accustomed to eat a large of living, becomes greater, and what each man proportion of animal food, to drink wine, spirits, has to spare from his personal consumption proor beer, to wear shoes and stockings, to dwell in portionably less: the effect of which is, that marstone houses, they will not marry to live in clay riages grow less frequent, agreeably to the maxim cottages, upon roots and milk, with no other above laid down, and which must be remembered clothing than skins, or what is necessary to de- as the foundation of all our reasoning upon the fend the trunk of the hody from the effects of subject, that men will not marry t) sink their cold; although these last may be all that the sus place or condition in society, or to forego those tentation of life and health requires, or that even indulgences which their own habits, or what they contribute much to animal comfort and enjoy- observe amongst their equals, have rendered nement.
cessary to their satisfaction. This principle is ap. The ease, then, and certainty, with which the plicable to every article of diet and dress, to houses, means can be procured, not barely of subsistence, furniture, attendance; and this effect will be felt but of that mode of subsisting which custom hath in every class of the community. For instance: in each country established, form the point upon the custom of wearing broad-cloth and fine linen, which the state and progress of population chiefly repays the shepherd and flax-grower, feeds the depend. Now, there are three causes which evi- manufacturer, enriches the merchant, gives not dently regulate this point: the mode itself of sub- only support but existence to multitudes of famisisting which prevails in the country; the quan- lies: hitherto, therefore, the effects are beneficial ; tity of provision suited to that mode of subsistence, and were these the only effects, such elegancies, which is either raised in the country or imported or, if you please to call them so, sach luxuries, into it; and, lastly, the distribution of that provision. could not be too universal. But here follows the
These three causes merit distinct consideration. mischief: when once fashion hath annexed the
I. The mode of living which actually obtains in use of these articles of dress to any certain class, a country. In China, where the inhabitants fre- the middling ranks, for example, of the comquent the sea shore, or the banks of large rivers, munity, each individual of that rank finds them and subsist in a great measure upon fish, the to be necessaries of life
, that is, finds himself mpulation is described to be excessive. This po- | obliged to comply with the example of his equals,