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Is it not better that power thould be the standard of truth, than that we should have no fettlement, no peace, no reli

gion?

But, says another writer, as honest a man, and at least as fair a reasoner, as Dr. Johnson, “ If men were not to de“ clare their opinions in Ipight of estab- lishments either in church or state, “ truth would soon be banished the “ carth * ;' and to this agrees John Milton. What is then to be done?.

Why, says a moderator, punish the authors of these wicked publications ; for Dr. Johnson tells you; “It is yet al“ lowed that every society may punish, “though not prevent, the publication of * Dedication of the Ejay on Spirit.

“ opinions “If nothing may be published but “ what civil authority have previously “ approved, power must always be the “ standard of truth."

Would not one think that problem was thus folved at once? Is not this an alternative which even Dr. Johnson's predilection for power would hardly admit?

Hold a little, till we have shewn you the evils on the other side.

“ If every dreamer of innovations may

propagate his projects, there can be no “ settlement; if every murmurer at go“vernment may diffuse discontent, there

can be no peace; if every sceptic in “ theology may teach his follies, there “ can be no religion.”

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Is it not better that power thould be the standard of truth, than that we should have no fettlement, no peace, no religion ?

But, says another writer, as honest a man, and at least as fair a reasoner, as Dr. Johnson, “ If men were not to de“ clare their opinions in spight of estab" lishments either in church or state, “ truth would soon be banished the “ carth * ;' and to this agrees John Milton. What is then to be done?

Why, says a moderator, punish the authors of these wicked publications ; for Dr. Johnson tells you; “It is al“ lowed that every society may punish, “ though not prevent, the publication of * Dedication of the EJ ay on Spirit.

“ opinions

yet

« opinions which that society shall think • pernicious.”

We could mention very good fort of men, and no fools, who would not allow this to every society. But be this as it may, this allowance does not fatisfy our Biographer; for, says he, “ This punish« ment, though it may crush the author,

promotes the book; and it seems not “ more reasonable to leave the right of “ printing unrestrained, because writers

may be afterwards censured, than it " would be to fleep with our doors un6 bolted, because by our laws we can “hang a thief.” The conclusion is, hang every man who prints or publishes without a license.

Hardy

Hardy must be the man who can pụblifh this sophistry with so many contradictory facts staring him in the face. And distreffing must be the dilemma which obliges Dr. Johnson to admit either that the minority have propagated no projects of innovation, diffused no discontents by murmuring at government; or that his friends the ministers of state have not been able to protect the settlement, and keep the public peace. If there can be no religion upon the supposition that every sceptic may teach his follies, I am afraid the Doctor hiinself can have no religion; for such sceptics may and do teach their follies every day with all freedom.

Perhaps

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