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blood of those who dared to deny, or even to doubt, the absurd and idle dogmas which the monks every where invented ; and their horrid barbarities were attempted to be justified by propagating the notion, that severity with heretics was the only mode of preserving the true faith. Oh, how blind is human folly ! how obdurate are hearts vitiated by pride! How can that be the true faith, which tears asunder every

social tie, annihilates all the feelings of nature, places cruelty and horror on the throne of humanity and love, and scatters ferocious fury, and insatiable hatred, through the paths of life? But we may now indulge a pleasing hope that the period is at hand, when the sacred TEMPLE OF Reli. GIon, purified, by the labours of learned and truly pious men, from the foul ftains with which fanaticism and ambition have so long defaced it, fhall be restored to its own divine fimplicity; and only the voice of gentleness, of, love, of peace, of VIRTUE, and of godliness, be heard within its walls. Then will every Christian be truly taught the only means by which his days may be useful, and his life happy; and Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, Protestants, and every really religious class of men, will unite in acts of sincere benevolence and universal peace. No quftere, gloomy, and dispiriting duties, no itrational penances and unnatural mortifications, will be enjoined; no intolerant cruelties be indicted; no unsocial institutions established ; no rites of solitary selfishness be required, but Reason and Religion, in divine perfection, will reassume their reigns; an unaffected and sincere devotion will occupy every mind; the Almighty will be worshipped in spirit and in truth; and we shall be convinced that « The wicked are like the « troubled sea when it cannot reft; but that the « work of righteousness is peace; and the effect “ of righteousness, quietude and assurance for

ever.To effect this, a rational retirement from the tumults of the world will be occafionally necessary, in order to commune with our own hearts, and be fill, and to dispose our minds to such a train of thinking, as shall prepare us, when the giddy whirl of life is finished, for the society of more exalted spirits.

Oh! would mankind but make fair Trurb their guide,
And force the helm from Prejudice and Pride,
Were oncethese maxims fix'd, that God's our friend,
Virtue our good, and HAPPINES$ our end,
How soon must Reason o'er the world prevail,
And Error, Fraud, and Superstition fail!
None would hereafter, then, with groundless fear,
Describe the ALMIGHTY, cruel and severe ;
Predestinating some, without pretence,
To heaven; and some to hell for no offence;
Inflicting endless pains for transient crimes,
And favouring sects or nations, men or times.

To please him, none would foolishly forbear
Or food or rest, or itch in shirts of hair ; :
Or deem it merit to believe, or teach,
What Reason contradicts, or cannot reach;
None would fierce Zeal for Piety mistake,
Or Malice, for whatever tenet's sake,
Or think salvation to one sect confin'd,
And heaven too narrow to contain mankind :
No more would brutal rage disturb our peace,
But, envy, hatred, war and discord cease;
Our own and others' good each hour employ,
And all things smile with universal joy.
Fair VIRTUE then, with pure Religion join'd,
Would regulate and bless the human mind,
And man be what his Maker first design'd.

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OF THE DANGER OF IDLENESS, &c. 295

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IDLI
DLENESS is truly faid to be the root of all

evil; and Solitude certainly encourages in the generality' of its votaries, this baneful disposition. Nature has so framed the character of man, that his happiness essentially depends on his passions being properly interested, his imagination busied, and his faculties employed ; but these engagements are seldom found in the vacant scenes and tedious hours of retirement from the world, except by those who have acquired the great and happy art of furnishing their own amusements: an art which, as we have already shewn, can never be learnt in the irrational folitude of caves and cells.

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The idleness which folitude is fo apt to induce, is dangerous in proportion to the natural strength, activity and spirit of the mind; for it is observed, that the higheft characters are frequently goaded by that restlessness which accompanies leisure, to acts of the wildest outrage and greatest enormity. The ancient legislators were

so conscious that indolence, whether indulged in Solitude or in Society, is the nurse of civil commotion, and the chief instigator of moral turpitude, that they wisely framed their laws to prevent its existence.

SOLON observing that the city was filled with persons who assembled from all parts on account of the great security in which people lived in Attica, . that the country withal was poor and barren, and being conscious that merchants, who traffic by sea, do not use to transport their goods where they can have nothing in exchange, turned the attention of the citizens to manufactures, and for this purpose made a law, that he who was three times convicted of idleness, should be deemed infamous ; that no son Thould be obliged to maintain bis father, if he had not taught him a trade; that trades should be accounted bonourable ; and that the council of the Areopagus should examine into every man's means of living, and chastise the idle with the greatest severity. DRACO conceived it so necessary to prevent the prevalency of a vice to which man is by nature prone, and which is so destructive to his character, and ruinous to his manners, that he punished idleness with death. The tyrant PisiSTRATUS, as THEOPHRASTUS relates, was so convinced of the importance of preventing idleness among his subjects, that he made a law

against

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