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W. Penn a
all the boasted improvement of men, or melioration of the human race, &c. in reality, and in the general, amount to any more, than what is intimated by this similitude? viz.
66 Like leaves on trees the race of man is found;
POPE'S HOMER. The worthy founder and father of the province moter of appears to have been well acquainted with the true improve- means of this melioration, in the state of mankind, ment, &c. by insisting, so much as he did, on the early culti
vation of piety and virtue, and on a good education of youth, in its different branches; with a just and vigorous magistracy, or government, and good order; of which he was ever the firm friend and supporter, not to say, the reformer, or improver, of it, for the benefit, and further happiness of civil society; as sufficiently appears by his writings, and in his excellent example of that of Pennsylvania;-in which, as he exhibited himself a ftrenuous advocate, and a remarkable extender of justice, mercy, and all rational liberty, so was he also a severe enemy to all licentiousness, injuftice, and criminal indulgence of vice and wickedness.
66 There can be no pretence (says he) of confrom W. science, to be drunk, to whore, to be voluptuous, writings. to game, to swear, curse, blafpheme and prophane;
no such matter. These are fins against nature; and against the government, as well as against the written laws of God. They lay the ax to the root of human society; and are the common enemies of mankind. It was to prevent these enormities,
that government was instituted; and shall govern- Duty of ment indulge that, which it is instituted to cor- the magif
. rect? This were to render the magistracy useless, and the bearing of the sword vain; there would be then no such thing, in government, as a terror to evildoers; but every one would do that, which he thought right in his own eyes; God almighty deliver us from this fort of tyranny.!"
“ Nothing (continues he) weakens kingdoms Great imlike vice; it does not only displease Heaven, but portance of
& disable them;"_" It is our interest to be good; and it is none of the least arguments for religion, that the piety and practice of it is the peace and prosperity of government; and consequently that vice, the enemy of religion, is, at the same time, the
enemy of human fociety. What, then, should be more concerned for the preservation of virtue, than government? that, in its abstract, and true fense, is not only founded upon virtue, but without the preservation of virtue, it is impossible to maintain the best constitution, that can be made. And, however some particular men may prosper that are wicked, and some private good men miscarry, in the things of this world, in which fenfe, things may be said to happen alike to all, to the righteous as to the wicked, yet I dare boldly affirm, and challenge any man to the truth thereof; that, in the many volumes of the history of all ages and kingdoms of the world, there is not one instance to be found, where the hand of God was against a righteous nation, or when the hand of God was not against an unrighteous nation, first or last; nor where a just government perished, nor an unjust government long prospered. Kingdoms are rarely so short lived as men; yet they also have a time to die; but as temperance giveth health to men, so virtue gives time to kingdoms; and as vice brings men betimes to their graves, so nations to their ruin,"
Modes of government,
Respecting modes of government, the memo. rable founder of that of Pennsylvania declares, “ There is hardly one frame of government, in the world, so ill designed by its first founder, that, in good hands would not do well enough; and history tells us, the best, in ill ones, can do nothing, that is great or good; witness, the Jewish; and the Roman states. Governments, like clocks, go from the motion, which men give them; and as governments are made and moved by men, fa by them are they ruined too: wherefore governments rather depend upon men, than men upon governments. Let men be good and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill they will cure it: but if men be bad, let the government be never fo good, they will endeavour to warp and spoil it to their turn.”_" That, therefore, which makes a good constitution, must keep it, viz. men of wisdom and virtue; qualities, that, because they descend not with worldly inheritances, must be carefully propagated by a virtuous education of youth; for which after ages will owe more to the care and prudence of founders, and the successive magistracy, than to their parents, for their private patrimonies.”'
“ I would think (says he in another place) portance of that there are but few people fo vicious, as to care good edu
to see their children fo; and yet to me it seems a plain case, that, as we leave the government, they will find it: if fome effectual course be not taken, what with neglect, and what with example, impiety and the miseries that follow it, will be entailed upon our children. ' Certainly it were better the world ended with us, than that we should transmit our vices, or fow thofe evil feeds, in our day, that will ripen to their ruin, and fill our country with miseries, after we are gone; thereby exposing it to the curse of God, and violence of our neighbours. But it is an infelicity, we ought to bewail, that men are apt to prefer the base pleasures of their present extravagances to all endeavours after a future
benefit; for, besides the guilt, they draw down upon themselves, our poor posterity must be greatly injured thereby; who will find those debts and incumbrances harder to pay than all the rest, we can leave them under."
“ Upon the whole matter (continues he) I take Good eduthe freedom to say, that, if we would preserve our cation cona government, we must endear it to the people. To
good godo this, besides the necessity of present, just and vernment. ] wise things, we must secure the youth: this is not to be done, but by the amendment of the
of their education; and that with all convenient speed and diligence. I say, the government is highly obliged: it is a sort of trustee for the youth of the kingdom; who, though now minors, yet will have the government, when we are gone. Therefore depress vice, and cherish virtue; that through good education, they may become good; which will truly render them happy in this world, and a good way fitted for that which is to come. If this be done, they will owe more to your memories for their education, than for their estates."
Such maxims and advice are of universal con- Men's opia cernment, and interesting to all governments; but nions vary the opinions of different men frequently vary much
much, &c. on the same subjects; and that, even, on important as well as trifling affairs; and their conduct is no less contradictory, and sometimes seemingly irrational; they are so liable to embrace opposite extremes, that they often deviate from the middle way of rectitude: Hence, while the forward, felfish and lefs qualified, frequently from finister, or mean views, folicit and succeed into the public offices and magistracy, as well as into divers other important les of de departments of life, for which they are unfit and fed in goimproper, it is to be regretted, that sometimes the vernment more worthy, and better qualified, who are actu- ftracy, &c. ated, in what they do, by more generous principles, too often from diffidence of their own abilities,
" What pow'r was fit I did on all bestow;
But ambition is rooted in human nature, and ways of am- demands restraint; it affumes all manner of appearbition, &c.
ances whatsoever, and is now working wonders, in the world, under the name of equality and the rights of man;-Hence to mistake innovation for renovation, and a love of change for melioration, connected with such an idea of self-independency, as is inconsistent with the enlargement of civilization, or of the social happiness of mankind, in any great or extensive degree, have ever produced those pernicious consequences, which have flowed from the revolutionary governments of nations and countries; whose felicity consists in the unity, harmony, or a just dependency of their parts; and the more extensive those parts are, in such a state, the greater and more durable is most likely to be the happiness of those very constituent and particular parts, as
well as of the whole; and vice versa. Compari- For as an assemblage of similar rays of light effects of adds to the lustre of each individual ray, of which unity, &c. it is composed; and the larger the assemblage, fo
much greater is that lustre, in proportion to the number of rays; so the happy, or unhappy state of mankind individually may be considered, as augmented, or diminished, beyond the possibility of a folitary enjoyment only, according to the general prevalency and extensiveness of these two different states, in a national or collective capacity:The just and proper consideration of which might
have no small tendency to incite men more effecto unity & tually to cultivate and extend such a state of harharmony,
mony and unity in the world, as necessarily must, above all other means, ever constitute, preserve
son of the