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By Bernard Mandeville

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Cleo. Not in outward Shew, because it is out of Fashion; but the inward Veneration, which is paid by many to the Things represented by those Images, is the very same as it was formerly, and owing to the same Cause. Hor. In what Part of the World is it, that you have observed this? Cleo. In _Christendom_; Here. If you was to hear a vain Man, that is a considerable Inhabitant of any large Capital, when he is speaking on the Part and in Behalf of his City, London for example, Paris or _Amsterdam_, you would find the Honour, the high Esteem, and the Deference, which in his Opinion are due to it, far superiour to any, that are now paid to Mortal Creatures.

Hor. What is it that happen'd then? 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.

What I am for, is not the Question. Priests who would bear an absolute Sway over the Laity, and live luxuriously at their Cost, ought First to make them believe Implicitly: Whereas an honest Clergy, that will teach Nothing concerning Religion, but what is consistent with good Sense, and becoming a rational Creature to believe, ought to deal uprightly with Men throughout the Whole, and not impose upon their Understandings in one Point more than they do in another. From the real Incomprehensibility of God, just Arguments must be drawn for believing of Mysteries that surpass our Capacities.

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