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that party, who, upon the supposition, that he was to be disappointed in his views with regard to the succession, would not have desired to impose the strictest limitations on the crown, and to bring our form of government as near republican as possible, in order to depress the family, which, according to his apprehension, succeeded without any juft title. The Whigs, 'tis true, have also taken steps dangerous to liberty, ander color of securing the succession and settlement of the crown, according to their views: But as the body of the party had no passion for that succession, otherwise than as the means of securing liberty, they have been betrayed into these steps by ignorance or frailty, or the interests of their leaders. The succession of the crown was, therefore, the chief point with the TORIES: The security of our liberties with the Whigs. Nor is this seeming irregularity at all difficult to be accounted for, by our present theory. Court and country parties are the true parents of Tory and Whig. But 'tis almost impossible, that the attachment of the court party to monarchy should not degenerate into an attachment to the monarch; there being so close a connexion betwixt them, and the latter being so much the more natural object. How easily does the worship of the divivinity degenerate into a worship of the idol? The connexion is not so great betwixt liberty, the divinity of the old country party or WHIGS, and any monarch or royal family; nor is it so reasonable to suppose, that in that party, the worship can so easily be transferred from the one to the other. Tho' even that would be no great miracle.
'Tis difficult to penetrate into the thoughts and sentiments of any particular man; but 'tis almost impossible to distinguish those of a whole party, where it often happens, that no two persons agree precisely in the same maxims of conduct. Yet I will venture to affirm, that it was not so much PRINCIPLE, or an opinion of indefeasible right, which attached the TORIES to the antient royal family, as AFFECTION, or a certain love and esteem for their persons. The same cause divided ENGLAND formerly between the houses of YORK and LANCASTER, and Scotland between the families of BRUCE and BALIOL ; in an age, when political disputes were but little in fashion, and when political principles must of course have had but little influence on mankind. The doctrine of passive obedience is so absurd in itself, and so opposite to our liberties, that it seems to have been chiefly left to pulpit-declaimers, and to their deluded followers among the vulgar. Men of better sense were guided by affeEtion ; and as to the leaders of this party, 'tis probable, that interest was their chief motive, and that they acted more contrary to their private sentiments, than the leaders of the opposite party. Tho’’tis almost impossible to maintain with zeal the right of any person or family, without acquiring a good-will to them, and changing the principle into affection ; yet this is less natural to people of an elevated station and liberal education, who have had full opportunity of observing the weaknefs, folly, and arrogance of monarchs, and have found them to be nothing superior, if not rather inferior, to the rest of mankind. The interest, therefore, of being heads of a party does often, with such people, supply the place both of principle and affeEtion.
SOME, who will not venture to affert, that the real difference betwixt WHIG and TORY was lost at the revolution, feem inclined to think, that the difference is now abolished, and that affairs are so far returned to their natural state, that there are at present no other parties amongst us but court and country; that is, men, who by interest or principle are attached either to monarchy or to liberty. It must, indeed, be confeft, that the Tory party seem, of late, to have decayed much in their numbers ; ftill more in their zeal; and I may venture to say, still more in their credit and authority. There are few men of knowlege or learning, at least, few philosophers, since Mr. Locke has wrote, who would not be ashamed to be thought of that party; and in almost all companies the name of OLD WHIG is mentioned as an uncontestable appellation of honor and dignity. Accordingly, the enemies of the ministry, as a reproach, call the courtiers, the true Tories: and as an honor, denominate the gentlemen in the opposition the true Whigs, The Tories have been so long obliged to talk in the republican stile, that they seem to have made converts of themselves by their hypocrisy, and to have embraced the sentiments, as well as language of their adversaries. There are, however, very considerable remains of that party in ENGLAND, with all their old prejudices; and a proof, that court and country are not our only parties, is, that almost all the diffenters side with the court, and the lower clergy, at least, of the church of ENGLAND, with the opposition. This may convince us, that fome byass still hangs upon our constitution, some extrinsic weight, which turns it from its natural course, and causes a confusion in our parties.
I SHALL conclude this subject with obferving, that we never had any Tories in SCOTLAND, according to the proper signification of the word, and that the division of parties in this country was really into Whigs and JACOBITES. A JACOBITE seems to be a Tory, who has no regard to the conftitution, but is either a zealous partizan of absolute monarchy, or at least willing to facrifice our liberties to the obtaining the succession in that family to which he is attached. The reason of the difference betwixt ENGLAND and SCOTLAND, I take to be this: Political and religious divisions in the latter country, have been, since the revolution, regularly correspondent to each other. The PRESBYTERIANS were all Whigs without exception : Those who favoured episcopacy, of the opposite party. And as the clergy of the latter feet were turned out of their churches at the revolution, they had no motive for making any compliances with the government in their oaths or their forms of prayers, but openly avowed the highest principles of their party; which is the caule, why their followers have been more violent than their brethren of the Tory party in ENGLAND *.
* Some of the opinions delivered in thefe Er- himself to the systems of either party, neither says, with regard to the public transactions in the would he fetter his judgment by his own prelait century, the author, on more accurate exami- conceived opinions and principles; nor is he nation, found occasion to retract in his Hifiory of alhamed to acknowlege his mistakes. Great BRITAIN. And as he would not ensave ,
THAT the corruption of the best things produces the worst, is grown into a max
im, and is commonly proved, among other instances, by the pernicious effects of superstition and enthusiasm, the corruptions of true religion.
THESE two species of false religion, cho' both pernicious, are yet of a very dif. ferent, and even of a contrary nature. The mind of man is subject to certain unaccountable terrors and apprehensions, proceeding either from the unhappy fituation of private or public affairs, from ill health, from a gloomy and melancholy disposition, or from the concurrence of all these circumstances. In such a state of mind, infinite unknown evils are dreaded from unknown agents; and where real objects of terror are wanting, the soul, active to its own prejudice, and fostering its predominant inclination, finds imaginary ones, to whose power and malevolence it sets no limits. As these enemies are entirely invisible and unknown, the methods taken to appease them are equally unaccountable, and consist in ceremonies, observances, mortifications, sacrifices, presents, or in any practice, however ab. surd and frivolous, which either folly or knavery recommends to a blind and terrified credulity. Weakness, fear, melancholy, together with ignorance, are, therefore, the true sources of Superstition.
But the mind of man is also subject to an unaccountable elevation and presumption, proceeding from prosperous success, from luxuriant health, from strong fpirits, or from a bold and confident disposition. In such a state of mind, the imaa gination swells with great, but confused conceptions, to which no sublunary beauties or enjoyments can correspond. Every thing mortal and perishable vanishes as unworthy of attention, . And a full range is given to the fancy in the invisible regions or world of spirits, where the soul is at liberty to indulge itself in every imagination, which may best suit its present taste and disposition. Hence arise raptures, transports, and surprizing Rights of fancy; and confidence and presumption still increasing, these raptures being altogether unaccountable, and seeming quite beyond the reach of our ordinary faculties, are attributed to the immediate inspiration of that Divine Being, who is the object of devotion. In a little time, the inspired person comes to regard himself as the chief favorite of the divinity, and when this frenzy once takes place, 'which is the summit of enthusiasm, every whimsy is consecrated: Human reason, and even morality are rejected as fallacious guides : And the fanatic madman delivers himself over, blindly, and without reserve, to the supposed illapses of the spirit, and to inspirations from above. Hope, pride, presumption, a warm imagination, together with ignorance, are, therefore, the true sources of ENTHUSIASM.
These two species of false religion might afford occasion to many speculations; but I shall confine myself, at present, to a few reflections concerning their different influence on government and society.
My first reflection is, That superstition is favorable to priestly power, and enthuNasm as much or rather more contrary to it, than found reason and philosophy. As
guides : And the car. Human reason, and is the summit of enthurnity; and superstition is founded on fear, sorrow, and a depression of spirits, it represents the man to himself in such despicable colors, that he appears unworthy in his own eyes, of approaching the divine presence, and naturally has recourse to any other person, whose sanctity of life, or, perhaps, impudence and cunning, have made him be supposed more favoured by the divinity. To him the superstitious entrust their devotions : To his care they recommend their prayers, petitions, and sacrifices : And by his means, hope to render their addresses acceptable to their incensed deity. Hence the origin of * Priests, who may justly be regarded as one of the groffest inventions of a timorous and abject superstition, which, ever diffident of itself, dares not offer up its own devotions, but ignorantly thinks to recommend itself to the divinity, by the mediation of his supposed friends and ser. vants. As superstition is a considerable ingredient in almost all religions, even the most fanatical; there being nothing but philosophy able to conquer entirely these unaccountable terrors ; hence it proceeds, that in almost every sect of religion there are priests to be found. But the stronger mixture there is of superstition, the higher is the authority of the priesthood. Modern judaism and popery, (efpecially the latter) being the most unphilosophical and absurd superstitions which have yet been known in the world, are the most enslaved by their priests. As the church of ENGLAND may justly be said to retain some mixture of popish superftition, it partakes also, in its original conftitution, of a propensity to priestly power and dominion; particularly in the respect it exacts to the facerdotal character. And tho', according to the sentiments of that church, the prayers of the priest must be accompanied with those of the laity; yet is he the mouth of the congregation, his person is sacred, and without his presence few would think their public devotions, or the sacraments, and other rites, acceptable to the divinity.
On the other hand, it may be observed, that all enthusiasts have been free from the yoke of ecclesiastics, and have exprest great independence in their devotion; with a contempt of forms, ceremonies, and traditions. The quakers are the most egregious, tho' at the same time, the most innocent enthusiasts that have been yet known; and are, perhaps, the only sect, who have never admitted priests amongst them. The independents, of all the English sectaries, approach nearest to the quakers in fanaticism, and in their freedom from priestly bondage. The presbyterians follow after, at an equal distance in both these particulars. In short, this observation is founded on the most certain experience ; and will also appear to be founded on reason, if we consider, that as enthusiasm arises from a presumptuous pride and confidence, it thinks itself sufficiently qualified to approach the Divinity, without any human mediator. Its rapturous devotions are so fervent, that it even imagines itself aftually to approach him by the way of contemplation and inward converse; which makes it neglect all those outward ceremonies and observances, to which the assistance of the priests appear so requisite in the eyes of their superftitieus votaries. The fanatic confecrates himself, and bestows on his own person a facred character, much superior to what forms and ceremonious institutions can confer on any other.
* By Priests, I here mean only the pretenders to set apart, by the laws, to the care of sacred mat. power and dominion, and to a superior fanctity of ters, and to the conducting our public devotions character, distinct from virtue and good morals. with greater decency and order. There is no rank These are very different from clergymen, who are of men more to be respected than the latter. H
the only fect, whinocent enthufiaft, quakers are the
My second reflection with regard to thefe fpecies of false religion is, that religions, which partake of enthusiasm are, on their first rise, much more furious and violent than those which partake of fuperftition ; but in a little time become much more gentle and moderate. The violence of this species of religion, when excited by novelty, and animated by opposition, appears from numberless instances ; of the anabaptists in GERMANY, the cainisars in France, the levellers and other fanatics in EngLAND, and the covenanters in ScotLAND. Enthusiasm being founded on strong fpirits, and a presumptuous boldness of character, it naturally begets the most ex. treine resolutions; especially after it rises to that height as to inspire the deluded fanatics with the opinion of divine illuminations, and with a contempt for the common rules of reason, morality and prudence.
'Tis thus enthusiasm produces the most cruel defolations in human society : But its fury is like that of thunder and tempeft, which exhaust themselves in a little time, and leave the air more calm and serene than before. When the first fire of enthusiasm is spent, men naturally, in such fanatical fects, sink into the greatest remiffness and coolnefs in facred matters; there being no body of men amongst them, endowed with sufficient authority, whose interest is concerned to support the religious fpirit : No rites, no ceremonies, no holy obfervances, which may enter into the common train of life, and preserve the sacred principles from oblivion. Superstition, on the contrary, steals in gradually and insensibly ; renders men came and fubmissive; is acceptable to the magistrate, and seems inoffensive to the people: Till at last the priest, having firmly establifhed his authority, becomes the tyrant and disturber of human fociety, by his endless contentions, perfecutions, and religious wars. How fmoothly did the Romish church advance in their acquisition of power ? But into what dismal convulfions did they throw all EUROPE, in order to maintain it? On the other hand, our sectaries, who were formerly such dangerous bigots, are now become very free reasoners; and the quakers seem to approach nearly the only regular body of deifts in the univerfe, the literati, or the disciples of Confucius in CHINA *.
My third observation on this head is, that superstition is an enemy to civil liberty, and enthusiasm a friend to it. As superstition groans under the dominion of the priests, and enthusiasm is destructive of all ecclesiastical power, this sufficiently accounts for the present obfervation. Not to mention, that enthusiasm being the infirmity of bold and ambitious tempers, is naturally accompanied with a spirit of liberty ; as fuperftition on the contrary, renders men tame and abject, and fits them for Navery. We learn from the English history, that, during the civil wars, the independents and deists, tho' the most opposite in their religious principles; yet were united in their political ones, and were alike passionate for a commonwealth. And since the origin of whig and tory, the leaders of the whigs have either been deifts or profest latitudinarians in their principles; that is, friends to toleration, and indifferent to any particular sect of christians : While the sectaries, who have all a strong tincture of enthusiasm, have always, without exception, concurred with that party, in the defence of civil liberty. The resemblance in their superstitions long united the high-church tories and the Roman catholics, in the support of prerogative and kingly power; tho' experience of the tole
* The CAINESE Literati have no priests nor ecclefiaftical establishment.