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intolerance *.” All this is just, and may be allowed in extenuation of that charge of literary guilt which lies so heavy on the name and memory of the hapless author.
From what has been advanced in this and the two preceding sections, I think it sufficiently appears, that whatever may be the case of a toleration without an establishment, an establishment without a toleration, is neither consistent with the true interest of religion, nor with the peace of society; that for the magistrate to interfere at all in religious matters is a point of extreme delicacy; and that when he does interfere, it should be his first care to do no harm, either by an unnecessary abridgment of the liberties of any class of citizens; by his patronage of
+ “Par quelle fatalité, par quelle inconséquence démentirions-nous dans la pratique une théorie que nous annonçons tous les jours ? Quand nos actions démentent nôtre morale, c'est que nous croyons qu'il y a quelque avantage pour nous á faire le contraire de ce que nous enseignons ; mais certainement il n'y a aucun avantage à persecuter ceux qui ne sont pas de notre avis, et à nous en faire haïr. Il y a donc, encor une fois, de l'absurdité dans l'intolérance.”
Traité sur la Tolérance, ch. 15.:
a false religion; or by his endeavours to promote the true one in ways that are not agreeable to its spirit, and that might endanger the temporal as well as spiritual welfare of the people. We have already noted some of those furious wars that have been kindled by religious persecution ; and where it does not cause an open revolt, it is sure to diffuse an angry ferment, and to engender hypocrisy, which, by gradually undermining principle, may prove more destructive than the bitterest hostile contention. And so far as religion is made a tool for political purposes, the same, or other consequences no less mischievous, may be expected to follow.
The great end of true religion is the salvation of souls; and all that men ought to do in this respect, is to attend to those means which this religion prescribes or warrants. What those means are, may be learnt from the scriptures, especially of the New Testament. Among them, we may reckon the education of youth, the restraining of immorality, the discountenance of idleness, the encouragement of honest in
dustry; and, above all, a provision of faithful men duly qualified for the ministry of the gospel, in which is eminently displayed the power of God unto salvation. That nation where this provision is best made, and the subordinate means best attended to, is undoubtedly in the happiest circumstances; and whether this is done by the people or the government, or by the co-operation of both, is a circumstance of no material consideration.
Whoever looks into the history of former ages, and observes how much religion has been obstructed and debased by tyrannic and corrupt governments, he may see reason to congratulate a people when they are left to provide for themselves in their spiritual concerns, at the single impulse of their own consciences. Yet, considering the general disregard of mankind to every thing that relates to another world, he may see still greater cause of congratulation, when, by the special favour of heaven, a people is blessed with truly enlightened and christian rulers, who are no less studious to promote their religious advantages, than to establish
and perpetuate their just rights, and secure their temporal welfare. We conclude, therefore, on the whole, that an establishment with a toleration, especially when the toleration is complete, is preferable to either of them separately; inasmuch as it unites" liberty of conscience with means of instruction; the progress of truth with the peace of society; the right of private judgment with the care of the public safety *.”
* Paley's Mor. and Pol. Phil. vol. ii. p. 344.
On the most effectual Methods by which an
established Church may support herself under a complete Toleration.
The methods most adapted to the end here proposed, appear, in my apprehension, to be the three following:
I. To provide the best means of spiritual instruction and edification.
II. To advance no unjust claims of superior purity to other churches, either in point of doctrine, worship, or discipline; and even when such claims are well founded, not to assert them with a disproportioned or unhallowed zeal.
III. Not to narrow the terms of church communion beyond the warrant of scripture.
I. The church must provide the best means of spiritual instruction and edifica