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admitted, that the national happiness and enjoyment are much increased in the present civilised state. As before observed, the pro

portion of those who enjoy the luxuries and conveniences of life is much greater; even among the lower class much less deficiency of food, clothing, and shelter is found than formerly, incomparably less than in the other and inferior stages of civilisation before enumerated. The famines, the plagues, and even the epidemics which in former days ravaged all parts of the world, have disappeared (the two former particularly) from nations in this advanced state. Every man is now a free agent, and can act as he pleases if he harm not his neighbour; the human mind is expanded by the spread of education, and the desire to improve their condition stimulates the activity and ingenuity of all classes. No people in ancient days ever approximated to such a state of society; a state to which all European nations are fast progressing, and to which other parts of the world, where information and facility of communication can be obtained, will advance.

We have observed that both the foundation and key-stone of civilisation is moral prin

ciple, founded on religion, which ought to pervade the community.

"A commonwealth ought to be but as one huge Christian personage, one mighty growth and stature of an honest man, as big and compact in virtue as in body; for look what the grounds and causes are of single happiness to one man, the same ye shall find them to a whole state, as Aristotle, both in his Ethics and Politics, from the principles of reason, lays down by consequence, therefore, that which is good and agreeable to monarchy will appear soonest to be so, by being good and agreeable to the true welfare of every Christian; and that which can be justly proved hurtful and offensive to every true Christian, will be evinced to be alike hurtful to monarchy for God forbid that we should separate and distinguish the end and good of a monarch from the end and good of the monarchy, or of that from Christianity.'

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A profound observer of human nature says, "I take goodness in this sense, the seeking the weal (welfare) of men ; which is that the Greeks call Philanthropia. This of all virtues and dignities of the mind is the greatest, being

Milton, Reformation in England.

the character of the Deity; and without it man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing, no better than a kind of vermin."*

In his latter position Bacon was correct: by virtue he meant that moral principle that has already been stated as one of the most powerful elements of all civilisation,-a principle that cannot exist without true religious belief, the deficiency of which has checked the improvement in civilisation of all the nations which history has placed on record. Without this, physical advantages, however great, are but weak auxiliaries, for wherever moral principle is wanting, only a spurious kind of civilisation is found-only that described to have existed in ancient days, as will appear in the following pages. In this spurious civilisation, without moral principle or religious belief, what is public opinion? It becomes the voice of national selfishness, sanctioning, if not applauding, the perpetration of acts in violation of the duty of man to his fellow men. To this deficiency of virtue in nations may be mainly attributed the fall of mighty states, and the tardy progress of civilisation throughout the world.

* Bacon's Essays.

In speaking of the calamities consequent on a want of religion, it is remarked, "Discord must inevitably prevail among men who have lost all sense of divine superintendence, and who have no higher motive of action or forbearance than present opinion or present interest. Surely there will come a time when every passion shall be put upon the guard by the dread of general depravity; when he who laughs at wickedness in his companion, shall start from it in his child: when the man who fears not for his soul, shall tremble for his possessions: when it will be discovered that religion only can secure the rich from robbery, and the poor from oppression,-can defend the state from treachery, and the throne from assassination."*

It may be said, that admitting this principle to be true, how does it happen that since our admirable religion has appeared, eighteen centuries have passed, during which civilisation has made but slow progress. There is no doubt that Europe would have advanced much more rapidly had moral principle founded on religion been prevalent in the population of this portion of the

*Dr. Johnson.

globe. Perhaps the best answer we can give is to quote the words of one of the great ornaments of the last century, Dr. Paley, who thus accounts for the corruption of the early and middle ages, and the degraded state from which the European population might have emerged centuries ago, if moral principle had been more fully extended-if, as he observes*, "the simplicity of Christianity had never been lost sight of, and had earlier been recovered from beneath that load of unauthorised traditions which the ignorance of some ages, and the learning of others, the superstition of weak, and the craft of designing men, have (unhappily for its interest} heaped upon it" in former centuries.

If in the following pages it should be demonstrated that, in all countries, as civilisation and public opinion advance, liberty and the welfare of the people are increased; and if it also can be shown that, as a nation is unacquainted with the requisites for civilisation, no matter what institutions may be formed, its government must be insecure, if not arbitrary, it will not be hazarding too much, or forming too hasty a conclusion, to * Vol. i. p. 5. Introd. Moral Philos.

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