« AnteriorContinuar »
from which the English have happily cleared their island. Colbert, the minister, who knew the necessity we were in of the commodities of Japan, that wants nothing from us, laboured in vain to settle a trade with that empire ; he found those people inflexible.
Thus then every thing on our Continent shows us, that we ought neither to preach up, nor to exercise non-toleration.
Let us now cast our eyes on the other hemifsphere. Behold Carolina ! whose laws were framed by the wise Lock; there every master of a family, who has only seven souls under his roof, may establish what religion he pleases, provided all those seven persons concur with him therein ; and yet this great indulgence has not, hitherto, been the occasion of any disorders. God forbid, that I should mention this as an example to every master of a family to set up a particular worship in his house: I have only introduced it to shew, that the utmost lengths to which toleration can be carried, have never yet given rise even to the flightest dissentions,
And what shall we say of those pacific primitive Christians, who have, by way of derision, been called Quakers; and who, though some of their customs may perhaps be ridiculous, are yet remarkable for the virtue and sobriety of their lives, and for having in vain endeavoured to preach peace and good-will to the rest of mankind ? There are at least an hundred thou. sand of them in Pensylvania ; discord and controversy are unknown in that happy spot where they have settled : the very name of their prineipal city, Philadelphia, is a continual memento to them, that all men are brethren, and is at once an example and reproach to those nations who have not yet adopted toleration,
To conclude, toleration has never yet excited civil wars; whereas its opposite has filled the earth with slaughter and desolation. Let any one then judge, which of the two is most entitled to our esteem, or which we should applaud, the mother who would deliver her son into the hand of the executioner, or the who would resign all right to him to save his life.
In all what I have said, I have had only the interest of nations in view, and, as I pay all due respect to the doctrines of the church, I have in
this article, only considered the physical and moral advantages of society. I therefore hope, that every impartial reader will properly weigh these truths, that he will view them in their proper light, and re&tify what may be amiss. Those who read with attention, and reciprocally communicate their thoughts, will always have the start of the author t.
+ Mr. de la Bourdonnaie, intendant of Rouen, says, that the manufacture for hats at Caudebec and Neufchatel is greatly fallen off since the refugees left that country. Mr. Foucaut, intendant of Caen, fays, that trade in general is declined through the whole generality; and Mr. de Maupeou, intendant of Poitiers, that the manufactures for druggets is quite loft. Mr. de Bezons complains, that there is now hardly any trade ftirring at Clerac and Nerac. Mr. Miroménil, intendant of Tourain, says, that the trade of Tours is diminished near ten millions per annum, and all this through the persecution raised in that part of the kingdom: See the memorials of the intendants in the year 1698. To this if we add the number of land and sea officers, and common failors, who have been forced to engage in foreign services, frequently with fatal consequences to their own
country; we shall then see whether or no persecution has been fatal to the state.
We will not here presume to offer any hints to those ministers, whose conduct and capacity are sufficiently known, and whose greatness of foul and nobleness of sentiment do honour to their illustrious birth : they will of themselves readily perceive, that the restoration of our marine will require some indulgence at least to be shewn to the inhabitants of our sea-coasts.
CH A P V.
In what Cases TOLERATION may be
ET me for once suppose, that a minister
equally noble and discerning, that a prelate equally wise and humane, or a prince who is fenfible that his interest confifts in the increased number of his subjects, and his glory in their happiness, may deign to cast their eyes on this random and defective production. In this cafe, his own confummate knowledge will naturally lead him to ask himself, what hazard fhall I run by seeing the land beautified and enriched by a greater number of industrious labourers, the aids augmented, and the state rendered more flourishing ?
Germany, by this time, would have been a desart, covered with the unburied bodies of many different sects, slaughtered by each other, had not the peace of Westphalia happily procured a liberty of conscience.