No. 516. Wednesday, October 22, 1712. Steele.

Immortale odium et nunquam sanabile vulnus. Inde furor vulgo, quod Numina vicinorum Odit uterque locus, quum solos credit habendos Esse Deos quos ipse colat.'

Of all the monstrous Passions and Opinions which have crept into the World, there is none so wonderful as that those who profess the common Name of Christians, should pursue each other with Rancour and Hatred for Differences in their Way of following the Example of their Saviour. It seems so natural that all who pursue the Steps of any Leader should form themselves after his Manners, that it is impossible to account for Effects so different from what we might expect from those who profess themselves Followers of the highest Pattern of Meekness and Charity, but by ascribing such Effects to the Ambition and Corruption of those who are so audacious, with Souls full of Fury, to serve at the Altars of the God of Peace.

The Massacres to which the Church of Rome has animated the ordinary People, are dreadful Instances of the Truth of this Observation; and whoever reads the History of the Irish Rebellion, and the Cruelties which ensued thereupon, will be sufficiently convinced to what Rage poor Ignorants may be worked up by those who profess Holiness, and become Incendiaries, and under the Dispensation of Grace, promote Evils abhorrent to Nature.

This Subject and Catastrophe, which deserve so well to be remarked by the Protestant World, will, I doubt not, be considered by the Reverend and Learned Prelate that Preaches to-morrow before many of the Descendants, of those who perished on that lamentable Day, in a manner suitable to the Occasion, and worthy his own great Virtue and Eloquence.

I shall not dwell upon it any further, but only transcribe out of a little Tract, called, The Christian Hero, published in 1701, what I find there in Honour of the renowned Hero William III. who rescued that Nation from the Repetition of the same Disasters. His late Majesty, of glorious Memory, and the most Christian King, are considered at the Conclusion of that Treatise as Heads of the Protestant and Roman Catholick World in the following Manner.

'There were not ever, before the Entrance of the Christian Name into the World, Men who have maintained a more renowned Carriage, than the two great Rivals who possess the full Fame of the present Age, and will be the Theme and Examination of the future. They are exactly form'd by Nature for those Ends to which Heaven seems to have sent them amongst us: Both animated with a restless Desire of Glory, but pursue it by different Means, and with different Motives. To one it consists in an extensive undisputed Empire over his Subjects, to the other in their rational and voluntary Obedience: One's Happiness is founded in their want of Power, the other's in their want of Desire to oppose him. The one enjoys the Summit of Fortune with the Luxury of a Persian, the other with the Moderation of a Spartan: One is made to oppress, the other to relieve the Oppressed: The one is satisfy'd with the Pomp and Ostentation of Power to prefer and debase his Inferiours, the other delighted only with the Cause and Foundation of it to cherish and protect 'em. To one therefore Religion is but a convenient Disguise, to the other a vigorous Motive of Action.

'For without such Ties of real and solid Honour, there is no way of forming a Monarch, but after the Machiavillian Scheme, by which a Prince must ever seem to have all Virtues, but really to be Master of none, but is to be liberal, merciful and just, only as they serve his Interests; while, with the noble Art of Hypocrisy, Empire would be to be extended, and new Conquests be made by new Devices, by which prompt Address his Creatures might insensibly give Law in the Business of Life, by leading Men in the Entertainment of it. [1]

'Thus when Words and Show are apt to pass for the substantial things they are only to express, there would need no more to enslave a Country but to adorn a Court; for while every Man's Vanity makes him believe himself capable of becoming Luxury, Enjoyments are a ready Bait for Sufferings, and the Hopes of Preferment Invitations to Servitude; which Slavery would be colour'd with all the Agreements, as they call it, imaginable. The noblest Arts and Artists, the finest Pens and most elegant Minds, jointly employ'd to set it off, with the various Embellishments of sumptuous Entertainments, charming Assemblies, and polished Discourses; and those apostate Abilities of Men, the adored Monarch might profusely and skilfully encourage, while they flatter his Virtue, and gild his Vice at so high a rate, that he, without Scorn of the one, or Love of the other, would alternately and occasionally use both: So that his Bounty should support him in his Rapines, his Mercy in his Cruelties.

'Nor is it to give things a more severe Look than is natural, to suppose such must be the Consequences of a Prince's having no other Pursuit than that of his own Glory; for, if we consider an Infant born into the World, and beholding it self the mightiest thing in it, it self the present Admiration and future Prospect of a fawning People, who profess themselves great or mean, according to the Figure he is to make amongst them, what Fancy would not be debauched to believe they were but what they professed themselves, his mere Creatures, and use them as such by purchasing with their Lives a boundless Renown, which he, for want of a more just Prospect, would place in the Number of his Slaves, and the Extent of his Territories? Such undoubtedly would be the tragical Effects of a Prince's living with no Religion, which are not to be surpassed but by his having a false one.

'If Ambition were spirited with Zeal, what would follow, but that his People should be converted into an Army, whose Swords can make Right in Power, and solve Controversy in Belief? And if Men should be stiff-neck'd to the Doctrine of that visible Church, let them be contented with an Oar and a Chain, in the midst of Stripes and Anguish, to contemplate on him, whose Yoke is easy, and whose Burthen is light.

'With a Tyranny begun on his own Subjects, and Indignation that others draw their Breath independent of his Frown or Smile, why should he not proceed to the Seizure of the World? And if nothing but the Thirst of Sway were the Motive of his Actions, why should Treaties be other than mere Words, or solemn national Compacts be any thing but an Halt in the March of that Army, who are never to lay down their Arms, till all Men are reduc'd to the necessity of hanging their Lives on his wayward Will; who might supinely, and at leisure, expiate his own Sins by other Mens Sufferings, while he daily meditates new Slaughter, and new Conquest?

'For mere Man, when giddy with unbridled Power, is an insatiate Idol, not to be appeased with Myriads offer'd to his Pride, which may be puffed up by the Adulation of a base and prostrate World, into an Opinion that he is something more than human, by being something less: And, alas, what is there that mortal Man will not believe of himself, when complimented with the Attributes of God? Can he then conceive Thoughts of a Power as Omnipresent as his! But should there be such a Foe of Mankind now upon Earth, have our Sins so far provoked Heaven, that we are left utterly naked to his Fury? Is there no Power, no Leader, no Genius, that can conduct and animate us to our Death or our Defence? Yes; our great God never gave one to feign by his Permission, but he gave to another also to reign by his Grace.

'All the Circumstances of the illustrious Life of our Prince, seem to have conspired to make him the Check and Bridle of Tyranny; for his Mind has been strengthened and confirmed by one continual Struggle, and Heaven has educated him by Adversity to a quick Sense of the Distresses and Miseries of Mankind, which he was born to redress: In just scorn of the trivial Glories and light Ostentations of Power, that glorious Instrument of Providence moves, like that, in a steddy, calm, and silent Course, independent either of Applause or Calumny; which renders him, if not in a political, yet in a moral, a philosophick, an heroick, and a Christian Sense, an absolute Monarch; who satisfy'd with this unchangeable, just, and ample Glory, must needs turn all his Regards from himself to the Service of others; for he begins his Enterprize with his own Share in the Success of them; for Integrity bears in it self its Reward, nor can that which depends not on Event ever know Disappointment.

'With the undoubted Character of a glorious Captain, and (what he much more values than the most splendid Titles) that of a sincere and honest Man, he is the Hope and Stay of Europe, an universal Good not to be engrossed by us only, for distant Potentates implore his Friendship, and injur'd Empires court his Assistance. He rules the World, not by an Invasion of the People of the Earth, but the Address of its Princes; and if that World should be again rous'd from the Repose which his prevailing Arms had given it, why should we not hope that there is an Almighty, by whose Influence the terrible Enemy that thinks himself prepar'd for Battel, may find he is but ripe for Destruction? and that there may be in the Womb of Time great Incidents, which may make the Catastrophe of a prosperous Life as unfortunate as the particular Scenes of it were successful? For there does not want a skilful Eye and resolute Arm to observe and grasp the Occasion: A Prince, who from [2]

'--Fuit Ilium et ingens


[Footnote 1: The extract is from very near the close of Steele's Christian Hero. At this part a few lines have been omitted. In the original the paragraph closed thus:

'... the Entertainment of it, and making their great Monarch the Fountain of all that's delicate and refined, and his Court the Model for Opinions in Pleasure, as well as the Pattern in Dress; which might prevail so far upon an undiscerning world as (to accomplish it or its approaching Slavery) to make it receive a superfluous Babble for an Universal Language.']

[Footnote 2: Here Steele abruptly breaks with 'Fuit Ilium'--the glory has departed--on the sentence:

'A Prince who from just Notion of his Duty to that Being to whom he must be accountable, has in the Service of his Fellow Creatures a noble Contempt of Pleasures, and Patience of Labours, to whom 'tis Hereditary to be the Guardian and Asserter of the native Rights and Liberties of Mankind;'

A few more clauses to the sentence formed the summary of William's character before the book closed with a prayer that Heaven would guard his important life.]

Translation of motto:
JUV. Sat xv. 34.
'--A grutch, time out of mind, begun,
And mutually bequeath'd from sire to son:
Religious spite and pious spleen bred first,
The quarrel which so long the bigots nurst:
Each calls the other's god a senseless stock:
His own divine.'