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in every other respect, they enjoy the prerogatives of citizens.
Some of our bishops in France have been fufpected of thinking that their honour and interest is concerned, in not suffering any protestants within their diocese, and that this is the principal obstacle to allowing of toleration amongst us; but this I cannot believe. The episcopal body in France is composed of persons of quality, who think and act in a manner suitable to their high birth; and as Envy itfelf must confess that they are both generous and charitable, they therefore certainly cannot think that those whom they thus drive out of their diocese, would become converts in any other country, but great honour would redound from the conversion of them at home; nor would the prelate be any loser by it in his temporals, seeing, that the greater the number of the inhabitants, the greater is the value of the land.
A certain Polish bishop had a farmer, who was an Anabaptist; and a receiver of his rents, who was a Socinian. Some person proposed to the bishop to prosecute the latter in the fpiritual court, for not believing in transubstantia. tion, and to turn the other out of his farm, bee, cause he would not have his son christened till he was fifteen years of age; the prelate very prudently replied, That though he made no doubt of their being eternally damned in the next world, yet he found them extremely necef fary to him in this.
Let us now for a while quit our own little sphere, and take a survey of the rest of the globe. The grand seignior peaceably rules over subjects of twenty different religions ; upwards of two hundred thousand Greeks live unmolested within the walls of Constantinople; the Mufti hima self nominates the Greek patriarch, and presents him to the emperor ; and, at the same time, ala lows of the residence of a Latin patriarch. The sultan appoints Latin bishops for some of the Greek illes; the form used on this occasion is as follows 1:“ I command such a one to go " and reside as bifhop in the isle of Chios, ac“ cording to the antient custom and idle cereo monies of those people." The Othman empire swarms with Jacobines, Neftorians, Monothelites, Cophti, Christians of St. John, Guebres, and Banians; and the Turkish annals do
I See Ricaut.
not furnish us with orre single instance of a rebellion occafioned by any of these different feets,
Go into India, Persia, and Tartary, and you will meet with the same toleration and the fame tranquility. Peter the Great encouraged all kinds of religions throughout his vaft empire: trade and agriculture have been gainers by it, and no injury ever happened therefrom to the body politic.
We do not find that the Chinese government, during the course of four thousand years that it has subsisted, has ever adopted any other religion than that of the Noachides, which consists in the simple worship of one God; and yet it tolerates the superstitions of Fo, and that of a multitude of bonzes; which might be produce tive of dangerous consequences, did not the wisdom of the tribunals keep them within pro
It is true, that the great Yong-T.Chin, the most wife and magnanimous of all the emperors of China, drove the jesuits out of his kingdom; but this was not because that prince himself was non toleran', but, on the contrary, because the jesuiis were fo.
They themselves, in their letters, have given us the speech the emperor made to them on that occasion: “ I know, says he, that your religion
, « admits not of toleration; I know how you e have behaved in the Manillas and at Japan;
you deceived my father, but think not to de66 ceive me in the same manner.” . And if we read the whole of the conversation which he deigned to hold with them, we must confess him to be the wiseft and most clement of all princes. How could he indeed, with any con
1 listency; keep in his kingdom European philofophers, who, under the prerence of teaching the use of thermometers and colypiles, had found means to debauch a' prince of the blood ? But what would this emperor have said, bad he read our histories, and bad he been acquainted with the times of the league and the gunpowder plot?
It was fufficient for him to be informed of thie outrageous and indecent disputes between those Jesuíts, Dominicáns, Capuchins, and secular prieits; who were sent as millionaries into his dominions from one extremity of the globe to preach up truth ; instead of which, they empoyed their time in, mutually pronouncing damnation against each o her. The emperor,
then, did no more than send away a set of foreigners, who were disturbers of the public peace. But with what infinite goodness did he dismiss them! and with what paternal care did he provide for their accommodation in their journey, and to prevent their meeting with any insult on their way! This very act of baRishment might serve as an example of toleration and humanity.
+ The Japonese were the most tolerant of all nations ; twelve different religions were peaceably established in their empire: when the Jesuits came, they made the thirteenth; and, in a very little time after their arrival, they would not suffer any other but their own. Every one knows the consequence of these proceedings: a civil war, as calamitous as that of the league, foon spread destruction and carnage through the empire ; till at length the Christian religion was itself swallowed up in the torrents of blood it had set a flowing, and the Japonese for ever shut the entrance of their country against all foreigners, looking upon us as no better than savage beasts, such as those
See Kempfer, and all the accounts of Japan.