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or, lastly, from grief, or fatigue, both which strongly, solicit that relief which inebriating liquors administer, and also furnish a specious excuse for complying with the inclination. But the habit, when once set in, is continued by different motives from those to which it owes its origin. Persons addicted to excessive drinking suffer, in the intervals of sobriety, and near the return of their accustomed indulgence, a faintness and oppression circa præcordia, which it exceeds the ordinary patience of human nature to endure. This is usually relieved for a short time by a repetition of the same excess ; and to this relief, as to the removal of every longcontinued pain, they who have once experienced it, are urged almost beyond the power of resistance. This is not all: as the liquor loses its stimulus, the dose must be increased, to reach the same pitch of elevation or ease ; which increase proportionably accelerates the progress of all the maladies that drunkenness brings on. Whoever reflects upon the violence of the craving in the advanced stages of the habit, and the fatal termination to which the gratification of it leads, will, the moment he perceives in himself the first symptoms of a growing inclination to intemperance, collect his resolution to this point; or (what perhaps he will find his best security) arm himself with some peremptory rule, as to the times and quantity of his indulgences. I own myself a friend to the laying down of roles to ourselves of this sort, and rigidly abiding by them. They may be exclaimed against as stiff, but they are often salutary. Indefinite résolutions of abstemiousness are apt to yield to extraordinary occasions; and extraordinary occasions to occur perpetually. Whereas, the stricter the rule is, the more tenacious we grow of it; and many a man will abstain rather than break his rule, who would not easily be brought to exercise the same mortification from higher motives. Not to mention, that when our rule is once known, we are provided with an answer to every importunity.
There is a difference, no doubt, between convivial intemperance, and that solitary sottishness which waits neither for company nor invitation. But the one, I am afraid, commonly ends in the other : and this last in the basest degradation to which the faculties and dignity of human nature can be reduced.
I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind. And, therefore, God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. It is true that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion ; for while the mind of man
looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no farther ; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity. Nay, even that school which is most accused of atheism doth most demonstrate religion; that is, the school of Leucippus, and Democritus, and Epicurus. For it is a thousand times more credible, that four mutable elements and one immutable fifth essence duly and eternally placed 'need no God, than that an army of infinite small portions, or seeds unplaced, shouldh ave produced this order and beauty without a divine marshal. The scripture saith, “ The fool hath said in his heart there is no God :" it is not said, “ The fool hath thought in his heart;" so as he rather saith it by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it. For none deny there is a God, but those for whom it maketh that there were no God. It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this, that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted in it within themselves, and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others; nay more, you shall have atheists strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects; and, which is most of all, you shall have of them that will suffer for atheism, and not recant; whereas, if they did truly think that there were no such thing as God, why should they trouble themselves ? Epicurus is charged, that he did but dissemble for his credit's sake when he affirmed there were blessed natures, but such as enjoyed themselves without having respect to the government of the world ; wherein they say he did temporize, though in secret he thought there was no God; but certainly he is traduced, for his words are noble and divine : *“ Non Deos vulgi negare profanum; sed vulgi opiniones Diis applicare profanum." Plato could have said no more. And although he had the confidence to deny the administration, he had not the power to deny the nature. The Indians of the west have pames for their particular gods, though they have no name for God; as if the heathens should have had the names Jupiter; Apollo, Mars, &c. but not the word Deus; which shows, that even those barbarous people have the notion, though they have not the latitude and extent of it: so that against atheists the very savages take part with the very subtilest philosophers. The contemplative atheist is rare; a Diagoras, a Bion, a Lucian perhaps, and some others; and yet they seem to be more than they are; for that all that impugn a received religion or superstition are by the adverse part branded with the name of atheists. But the great atheists indeed are hypocrites, which are ever handling holy things, but without feeling ;
• It is not profane to deny the gods of the vulgar ; but it is profane to apply the vulgar opinions to the gods.
so as they must needs be cauterized in the end. The causes of atheism are, divisions in religion, if they be many; for any one main division addeth zeal to both sides, but many divisions introduce atheism. Another is, scandal of priests, when it is come to that which S. Bernard saith, *“ non est jam dicere, ut populus, sic sacerdos ; quia nec sic populus, ut sacerdos.” A third is, a custom of profane scoffing in holy matters, which doth by little and little deface the reverence of religion And, lastly, learned times, especially with peace and prosperity ; for troubles and adversities do more bow men's minds to religion. They that deny a God destroy man's nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. It destroys likewise magnanimity, and the raising of human nature; for take an example of a dog, and mark what a generosity and courage he will put on when he finds himself maintained by a man, who to him is instead of a God, or + “ melior natura :" which courage is manifestly such as that creature, with that confidence of a better nature than his own, could never attain. So man, when he resteth and assureth hiraself upon divine protection and favour, gathereth a force and faith which human nature in
* We can no longer say, “ As is the people, so is the priest !” for the prople now are not so bad as the priest.
+ Better nature.