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and your liberty be a state of warfare, if war be your only virtue, the fummit of your praife, you will, believe me, foon find peace the most adverfe to your interests. Your peace will be only a more diftreffing war; and that which you imagined liberty will prove the worft of flavery. Unless by the means of piety, not frothy and loquacious, but operative, unadulterated and fincere, you clear the horizon of the mind from those mists of fuperftition, which arife from the ignorance of true religion, you will always have thofe who will bend your necks to the yoke as if you were brutes, who notwithstanding allyour triumphs will put you up to the highest bidder, as if you were mere booty made in war; and will find an exuberant fource of wealth in your ignorance and fuperftition. Unless you will fubjugate the propenfity to avarice, to ambition and fenfuality, and expel all luxury from your felves and from your families, you will find that you have cherished a more stubborn and intractable defpot at home, than you ever encountered in the field; and even your very bowels will be continually teeming with an intolerable progeny of tyrants. Let these be the firft enemies whom you fubdue; this constitutes the campaign of peace; these are triumphs, difficult indeed, but bloodless; and far more honourable than those trophies, which are purchased only by flaughter and by rapine. Unless you are victors in this fervice, it is in vain that you have been victorious over the defpotic enemy in the field. For if you think that it is a more grand, a more beneficial, or a more wife policy, to invent fubtle expedients for increafing the revenue, to multiply our naval and military force, to rival in craft the ambafiadors of foreign ftates, to form skilful treaties and alliances, than to administer unpolluted justice to the people, to redrefs the injured, and to fuccour the diftreffed, and fpeedily to restore to every one his own, you are involved in a cloud of error; and too late will you perceive, when the illufion of thofe mighty benefits has vanifhed, that in neglecting thefe, which you now think inferior confiderations, you have only been precipitating your own ruin and despair. The fidelity of enemies and allies is frail and perishing, unless it be cemented by the principles of juftice; that wealth and those honours,
which most covet, readily change masters; they forfake the idle, and repair where virtue, where industry, where patience flourish most. Thus nation precipitates the downfal of nation; thus the more found part of one people fubverts the more corrupt; thus you obtained the afcendant over the royalifts. If you plunge into the fame depravity, if you imitate their exceffes, and hanker after the fame vanities, you will become royalifts as well as they, and liable to be fubdued by the fame enemies, or by others in your turn; who, placing their reliance on the fame religious principles, the fame patience, the fame integrity and difcretion which made you ftrong, will defervedly triumph over you, who are immerfed in debauchery, in the luxury and the floth of kings. Then, as if God was weary of protecting you, you will be feen to have paffed through the fire that you might perish in the fmoke; the contempt which you will then experience will be great, as the admiration which you now enjoy; and, what may in future profit others, but cannot benefit yourselves, you will leave a falutary proof what great things the folid reality of virtue and of piety might have effected, when the mere counterfeit and varnished refemblance could attempt fuch mighty achievements, and make fuch confiderable advances towards the execution. For, if either through your want of knowledge, your want of conftancy, or your want of virtue, attempts fo noble, and actions fo glorious, have had an iffue fo unfortunate, it does not therefore follow, that better men fhould be either less daring in their projects or lefs fanguine in their hopes. But from fuch an abyfs of corruption into which you fo readily fall, no one, not even Cromwell himfelf, nor a whole nation of Brutus's, if they were alive, could deliver you, if they would, or would deliver you, if they could. For who would vindicate your right of unreftrained fuffrage, or of choofing what reprefentatives you liked beft, merely that you might elect the creatures of your own faction, whoever they might be, or him, however small might be his worth, who would give you the most lavish feasts and enable you to drink to the greatest excefs? Thus not wisdom and authority, but turbulence and gluttony would foon exalt the vileft mifcreants
from our taverns and our brothels, from our towns and villages to the rank and dignity of fenators. For, should the management of the republic be entrusted to perfons to whom no one would willingly entrust the management of his private concerns; and the treafury of the state be left to the care of those who had lavished their own fortunes in an infamous prodigality? Should they have the charge of the public purfe, which they would foon convert into a private, by their unprincipled peculations? Are they fit to be the legiflators of a whole people who themselves know not what law, what reason, what right and wrong, what crooked and straight, what licit and illicit means? who think that all power confists in outrage, all dignity in the parade of infolence? who neglect every other confideration for the corrupt gratification of their friendships, or the profecution of their refentments? who difperfe their own relations and creatures through the provinces for the fake of levying taxes and confifcating goods; men, for the greater part, the most profligate and vile, who buy up for themfelves what they pretend to expofe to fale, who thence collect an exorbitant mass of wealth, which they fraudulently divert from the public fervice; who thus fpread their pillage through the country, and in a moment emerge from penury and rags, to a ftate of fplendour and of wealth? Who could endure fuch thievifh fervants, fuch vicegerents of their lords? Who could believe that the masters and the patrons of a banditti could be the proper guardians of liberty? or who would fuppofe that he fhould ever be made one hair more free by fuch a fet of public functionaries (though they might amount to five hundred elected in this manner from the counties and boroughs) when among them who are the very guardians of liberty, and to whofe cuftody it is committed, there mufl be fo many, who know not either how to use or to enjoy liberty, who either underftand the principles or merit the pol feffion? But what is worthy of remark, those who are the most unworthy of liberty, are wont to behave most ungratefully towards their deliverers. Among fuch persons, who would be willing either to fight for liberty, or to encounter the leaft peril in its defence? It is not agreea
ble to the nature of things, that fuch perfons ever should be free. However much they may brawl about liberty, they are flaves, both at home and abroad, but without perceiving it, and when they do perceive it, like unruly horses, that are impatient of the bit, they will endeavour to throw off the yoke, not from the love of genuine liberty, (which a good man only loves and knows how to obtain,) but from the impulfes of pride, and little paffions. But though they often attempt it by arms, they will make no advances to the execution; they may change their masters, but will never be able to get rid of their fervitude. This often happened to the ancient Romans, wafted by excefs, and enervated by luxury: and it has ftill more fo been the fate of the moderns; when after a long interval of years they afpired under the aufpices of Crefcentius, Nomentanus, and afterwards of Nicolas Rentius, who had affumed the title of Tribune of the People, to restore the splendour, and reestablish the government of antient Rome. For, inftead of fretting with vexation, or thinking that you can lay the blame on any one but yourselves, know that to be free is the fame thing as to be pious, to be wife, to be temperate and juft, to be frugal and abstinent, and lastly, to be magnanimous and brave; fo to be the opposite of all these is the fame as to be a flave, and it ufually happens by the appointment, and as it were retributive Justice of the Deity, that that people which cannot govern themselves, and moderate their paffions, but crouch under the flavery of their lufts, should be delivered up to the fway of those whom they abhor, and made to fubmit to an involuntary fervitude. It is alfo fanctioned by the dictates of justice and by the constitution of nature, that he, who from the imbecility or derangement of his intellect is incapable of governing himself, fhould like a minor be committed to the go❤ vernment of another; and least of all, fhould he be appointed to fuperintend the affairs of others or the interest of the state. You therefore, who wish to remain free, either inftantly be wife or, as foon as foon as poffible, cease to be fools; if you think slavery an intolerable evil, learn obedience to reafon and the government of yourselves; and finally bid adieu to your diffentions, your jealoufies, your
fuperftitions, your outrages, your rapine and your lufts. Unless you will spare no pains to effect this, you must be judged unfit, both by God and mankind, to be entrusted with the poffeffion of liberty and the administration of the government; but will rather, like a nation in a state of pupillage, want fome active and courageous guardian to undertake the management, of your affairs. With respect to myfelf, whatever turn things may take, I thought that my exertions on the prefent occafion would be ferviceable to my country, and, as they have been cheerfully bestowed, I hope that they have not been bestowed in vain. And I have not circumfcribed my defence of liberty within any petty circle around me, but have made it fo general and comprehenfive, that the justice and the reasonableness of fuch uncommon occurrences explained and defended, both among our my countrymen and among foreigners, and which all good men cannot but approve, may ferve to exalt the glory of my country, and to excite the imitation of pofterity. If the conclufion do not answer to the beginning, that is their concern; I have delivered my teftimony, I would almost fay, have erected a monument, that will not readily be destroyed, to the reality of those fingular and mighty achievements, which were above all praife. As the Epic Poet, who adheres at all to the rules of that fpecies of compofition, does not profess to defcribe the whole life of the hero whom he celebrates, but only fome particular action of his life as the refentment of Achilles at Troy, the return of Ulyffes, or the coming of Æneas into Italy; fo it will be fufficient, either for my juftification or apology, that I have heroically celebrated at least one exploit of my countrymen; I pafs by the rest, for who could recite the achievements of a whole people? If after fuch a difplay of courage and of vigour, you basely relinquish the path of virtue, if you do any thing unworthy of yourselves, pofterity will fit in judgment on your conduct. They will fee that the foundations were well laid; that the beginning (nay it was more than a beginning) was glorious; but, with deep emotions of concern will they regret, that thofe were wanting who might have completed the structure. They will lament that perfeverance was not conjoined with fuch exertions and fuch virtues.