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expressed by different words), to guard against attaching too great importance to the use of any particular term: and lastly, to avoid, as much as possible, introducing or keeping up the use of any peculiar set of words and phrases, any "fixed terms, as Bacon calls them, as the badge of a party.
A neglect of this last rule, it is obvious, must greatly promote causeless divisions and all the evils of party-spirit. Any system appears the more distinct from all others, when provided with a distinct, regular, technical phraseology, like a corporate body, with its coat of arms and motto. By this means, over and above all the real differences of opinion which exist, a fresh cause of opposition and separation is introduced among those who would perhaps be found, if their respective statements were candidly explained, to have in their tenets no real ground of disunion. Nor will the consequences of such divisions be as trilling as their causes; for when parties are once firmly established and arrayed against each other, their opposition will usually increase; and the differences between them, which were originally little more than imaginary, may in time become serious and important. Experience would seem to teach us that the technical terms which were introduced professedly for the purpose of putting down heresies as they arose, did but serve rather to multiply heresies. This, at least, is certain, that as scientific theories and technical phraseology gained currency, party animosity raged the more violently. Those who, having magnified into serious evils by injudicious opposition, heresies in themselves insignificant, appealed to the magnitude of those evils to prove that their opposition was called for: like unskilful physicians, who, when by violent remedies they have aggravated a trifling disease into a dangerous one, urge the violence of the symptoms which they themselves have produced, in justification of their practice. They employed that violence in the cause of what they believed to be divine truth, which Jesus Himself and his Apostles expressly forbade in the cause of what they knew to be divine truth. "The servant of the Lord,' says Paul, must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, in meekness instructing them that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth."
On the whole, there is nothing that more tends to deprave the moral sense than Party, because it supplies that sympathy for which Man has a natural craving. To any one unconnected with Party, the temptations of personal interest or gratitication are in some degree checked by the disapprobation of those around him. But a partizan finds himself surrounded by persons most of whom, though perhaps not unscrupulous in their private capacity, are prepared to keep him in countenance in much that is unjustifiable,-to overlook or excuse almost anything in a zealous and efficient partizan,—and even to applaud what in another they would condemn, so it does but promote some party-object. For, Party corrupts the conscience, by making almost all virtues flow, as it were, in its own channel. Zeal for truth becomes, gradually, zeal for the watchword—the shibboleth—of the party; justice, mercy, benevolence, are all limited to the members of that party, and are censured if extended to those of the opposite party, or (which is usually even more detested) those of no party. Candour is made to consist in putting the best construction on all that comes from one side, and the worst on all that does not. Whatever is wrong, in any member of the party, is either boldly denied, in the face of all evidence, or vindicated, or passed over in silence; and whatever is, or can be brought to appear, wrong on the opposite side, is readily credited, and brought forward, and exaggerated. The principles of conduct originally the noblest, disinterested self-devotion, courage, and active zeal, Party perverts to its own purposes; veracity, submissive humility, charity-in short, every christian virtue,—it enlists in its cause, and confines within its own limits; and the conscience becomes gradually so corrupted that it becomes a guide to evil instead of good. The light that is in us becomes darkness.''
• We may not take up Mahomet's sword, or like unto it; that is,
to propagate religion by wars, or by sanguinary persecutions to force consciences.'
Although Bacon thus protests against the forcing of men's consciences,' yet I am not quite sure, whether he fully embraced the principle that all secular coercion, small or great, in what regards religious faith, is contrary to the spirit of Christianity; and that a man's religion, as long as he conducts himself as a peaceable and good citizen, does not fall within the province of the civil magistrate. Bacon speaks with just horror of sanguinary persecutions. Now, any laws that can be properly called . sanguinary’-any undue severity—should be deprecated in all matters whatever; as if, for example, the penalty of death should be denounced for stealing a pin. But if religious truth does properly fall within the province of the civil magistrate if it be the office of government to provide for the good of the subjects, universally, including that of their souls, the rulers can have no more right to tolerate heresy, than theft or murder. They may plead that the propagation of false doctrine—that is, what is contrary to what they hold to be true,—is the worst kind of robbery, and is a murder of the soul. On that supposition, therefore, the degree of severity of the penalty denounced against religious offences, whether it shall be death, or exile, or fine, or imprisonment, or any other, becomes a mere political question, just as in the case of the penalties for other crimes.
1 SeeAnnotations' on Essay xxxix.
But if, on the contrary, we are to understand and comply with, in the simple and obvious sense, our Lord's injunction to
render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and to God the things that are God's ;' and his declaration that his 'kingdom is not of this world;' and if we are to believe his Apostles sincere in renouncing, on behalf of themselves and their followers, all design of propagating their faith by secular force, or of monopolizing for Christians as such, or for any particular denomination of Christians, secular power and political rights, then, all penalties and privations, great or small, inflicted on purely religious grounds, must be equally of the character of persecution (though all are not equally severe persecution), and all alike unchristian. Persecution, in short, is not wrong because it is cruel, but it is cruel because it is wrong.
The following is an extract from a Protestant book, published a few years ago:— The magistrate who restrains, coerces, or punishes one who is propagating a true religion, opposes himself to God, and is a persecutor; but the magistrate who restrains, coerces, or punishes one who is propagating a false religion, obeys the command of God, and is not a persecutor.'
This is a doctrine which every persecutor in the world would fully admit.
ESSAY IV. OF REVENGE.
REVENGE is a kind of wild justice which the more Man's 10 nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out: for as for the first wrong, it does but offend the law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy, but in passing it over he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon: and Solomon, I am sure, saith, 'It is the glory of a man to pass by an offence." That which is past is gone and irrecoverable, and wise men have enough to do with things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labour in past matters. There is no man doth a wrong for the wrong's sake, but thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or honour, or the like; therefore why should I be angry with a man for loving himself better than me? And if any man should do wrong, merely out of ill-nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or brier, which prick and scratch, because they can do no other. The most tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy: but then, let a man take heed the revenge be such as there is no law to punish ; else a man's enemy is still beforehand, and it is two for one.
Some, when they take revenge, are desirous the party should know whence it cometh: this is the more generous; for the delight seemeth to be not so much in doing the hurt, as in making the party repent: but base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in the dark.
Cosmus, Duke of Florence, had a desperate saying against perfidious or neglecting? friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable. "You shall read,' saith he, that we are commanded to forgive our enemies, but you never read that we are commanded to forgive our friends. But yet the spirit of Job3 was in a better tune: “Shall we,' saith he, 'take good at God's hands, and not be content to take evil also and so of friends in a proportion. This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would
heal and do well. Public revenges are for the most part fortunate; as that for the death of Cæsar; for the death of Pertinax; for the death of Henry III. of France; and many more. But in private revenges it is not so; nay, rather vindictive persons live the life of witches, who, as they are mischievous, so end they unfortunate.
ANTITHETA ON REVENGE
Contra. Vindicta privata, justitia agrestis. Qui injuriam fecit, principium malo * Private revenge is wild justice.” dedit: qui reddidit, modum abstulit.
"He who has committed an injury has Qui vim rependit, legem tantum made a beginning of evil; he who reviolat, non hominem.
turns it, has taken away all limit from • He who returns violence for violence, it.' offends against the law only— not against the individual.'
· Vindicta, quo magis naturalis, eo
magis coërcenda. *Utilis metus ultionis privatæ; nam • The more natural revenge is to man, leges nimium scepe dormiunt,
the more it should be repressed.' * Private vengeance inspires a salutary fear, as the laws too often slum Qui facile injuriam reddit, is fortasse
tempore, non voluntate posterior erat.
“He who is ready in returning an injury, has, perhaps, been anticipated by his enemy only in time.'
ANNOTATIONS. Some, when they take revenge, are desirous the party should
know whence it cometh.
It is certainly, as Bacon remarks, ‘more generous'—or less ungenerous—to desire that the party receiving the punishment should know whence it cometh. Aristotle distinguishes opy?
- Resentment' or 'Anger') from Migos -- 'Hatred,' (and when active, · Malice')—by this. The one who hates, he says, wishes the object of his hatred to suffer, or to be destroyed, no matter by whom; while resentment craves that he should know from whom, and for what, he suffers. And he instances Ulysses in the Odyssey, who was not satisfied with the vengeance he had
* See, in Guy Mannering, Pleydell's remark, that if you have not a regular chimney for the smoke, it will find its way through the whole house.