An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of by Bernard Mandeville

By Bernard Mandeville

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Cleo. That Christ and his Apostles taught by Example as well as Precepts the Practice of Humility and the Contempt of Riches; to renounce the Pomp and Vanity of the World, and mortify the Flesh, is certain: And that this was striking at the very Fundamentals of Human Nature, is as certain. This could only be perform'd by Men preternaturally affected; and therefore the Founders of Christianity being gone, it could not be expected, that the same Austerity of Life and Self-denial should be continued among the Successors of them, as soon as the Ministry of the Gospel became a Calling, that Men were brought up to for a Livelihood; and considering how essential those mortifying Principles are to Christianity, it is not easy to conceive, how the one could be made still to subsist, when the other should cease to be.

Think of them? What they please, so they dare not to open their Lips against them, or any Thing which the Clergy are pleas'd to call Sacred. In all Roman Catholick Countries, you know, no Books or Pamphlets may be publish'd, but what are Licensed; and no Man is allow'd to divulge any Sentiments concerning Religion, that are not entirely Orthodox; which in all Countries, so regulated, is a vast Ease and an unspeakable Comfort to the Clergy of the establish'd Church. Hor. I never thought to hear you speak against the Liberty of the Press.

Cleo. I verily believe, that there are no better Soldiers, than there are among the Christians; and I believe the same of Painters; but I am well assured, that the best in either Calling are often far from being the best Christians. The Doctrine of Christ does not teach Men to Fight, any more than it does to Paint. That Englishmen fight well is not owing to their Christianity. The Fear of Shame is able to make most Men brave. Soldiers are made by Discipline. To make them proud of their Profession, and inspire them with the Love of Glory, are the surest Arts to make them valiant: Religion has Nothing to do with it.

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