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our understandings ? - A people have * Liberty,” said a truly good king * oi England, “when they are free as thought $6 is free. What is it that makes a city, * (said the good Aicæus, a poet, whose youth muse was always facred and faithful to items the best of causes) it is not walls and * buildings; no, it is being inhabited
by men : by men, who know them* felves to be men, and have suitable 66 notions of the dignity of human na*** ture: by men, who know what it is * alone that exalts them above the
brutes.” Can we be either virtuor or religious, without the free use of our Teason, without the means of knowledged And can we have knowledge, if men ** Elfrid.
dare not freely ftudy, and as freely com-municate the fruits of their Audies? What is it that distinguishes human fociety from a brutish herd, but the flou. rifhing of the Arts and Sciences, the free exercise of Wit and Reason? What can government mean, intend, or produce, that is worthy of man, or beneficial to him, as he is a rational creature, besides Wisdom, Knowledge, Virtue, and Science? Is it merely indeed that we may eat, drink, sleep, fing, and dance, - with security, that we choose gover*nours, subject ourselves to their admi
niftration, and pay taxes ? Take away The Arts, Religion, Knowledge, Vertue, (all of which must flourish, or sink together) and, in the name of goodness,
what is left to us that is worth enjoying or protecting.? Yet take away the Liberty of the press, and we are all at once stript of the use of our noblest faculties : our souls themselves are imprifoned in a dark dungeon: we may breathe, but we cannot be said to live.
If the end of governors and government is not to diffuse with a liberal unsparing equal hand, true rational happiness; but to make the bulk of mankind beasts of burden, that a few may wallow in brutish pleasures : then it is confiftent politicks to root out the desire and love of Light and Knowledge. Certain Scythian flaves, that they might work the harder, had only their eyes deftroy.ed. But to extinguish human under
standing, 211 ] standing, and establish a kingdom of darkness, is just so far more barbarous than even that monstrous cruelty, as the mind excels the body; or as understanding and reason are superior to sense. Cardinal Richlieu says, in his Political Testament, “ That subjects with know** ledge, sense, and reason, are as mon6 strous as a beast with hundreds of eyes “ would be ; and that such a beast will “ never bear its burden peaceably. 66 Whence he infers, it is impossible to “ promote despotick power, while learn“ ing is encouraged and extended. The “ people must be hood-winked, or ra6 ther blinded, if one would have them “ tame and patient drudges. In short, « you must treat them every way like
* pack-horses or mules, dot exeepting * the bells about theit necks, which by * their perpetual jingling may be of use *6 to drown their cares. Now this is plain dealing, and consistent politicks. But to talk of Liberty and Free Government, Publick Good and Rational Happiness, as requiring limitations on the Press, and Licensers of books, is as absurd as to speak of liberty in a dungeon with chains on every limb. Hobbes toe was consistent with himself, and advises those who aim at absolute dominion, to destroy all the antient Greek and Latin authors; because, if those are read, Principles of Liberty, and just Sentiments of the Dignity and Rights of Mankind must be imbib'd. But can there be