observed by Machiavel, revived, in the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries, the languishing 
faith and devotion of the catholic church
In Roman catholic countries, the spirit of 
devotion is supported altogether by the 
monks, and by the poorer parochial clergy
The great dignitaries of the church, with all 
the accomplishments of gentlemen and men 
of the world, and sometimes with those of 
men of learning, are careful to maintain the 
necessary discipline over their inferiors, but 
seldom give themselves any trouble about the 
instruction of the people
"Most of the arts and professions in a 
state," says by far the most illustrious philosopher 
and historian of the present age, "are 
of such a nature, that, while they promote the 
interests of the society, they are also useful 
or agreeable to some individuals; and, in 
that case, the constant rule of the magistrate
except, perhaps, on the first introduction of 
any art, is, to leave the profession to itself, 
and trust its encouragement to the individuals 
who reap the benefit of it. The artisans, 
finding their profits to rise by the favour 
of their customers, increase, as much as possible, 
their skill and industry; and as matters 
are not disturbed by any injudicious tampering
the commodity is always sure to be at 
all times nearly proportioned to the demand." 
"But there are also some callings which, 
though useful and even necessary in a state
bring no advantage or pleasure to any individual
and the supreme power is obliged to 
alter its conduct with regard to the retainers 
of those professions. It must give them 
public encouragement in order to their subsistence; 
and it must provide against that 
negligence to which they will naturally be 
subject, either by annexing particular honours 
to profession, by establishing a long 
subordination of ranks, and a strict dependence
or by some other expedient. The 
persons employed in the finances, fleets, and 
magistracy, are instances of this order of 
"It may naturally be thought, at first 
sight, that the ecclesiastics belong to the first 
class, and that their encouragement, as well 
as that of lawyers and physicians, may safely 
be entrusted to the liberality of individuals
who are attached to their doctrines, and who 
find benefit or consolation from their spiritual 
ministry and assistance. Their industry and 
vigilance will, no doubt, be whetted by such 
an additional motive; and their skill in the 
profession, as well as their address in governing 
the minds of the people, must receive 
daily increase, from their increasing practice
study, and attention
"But if we consider the matter more closely
we shall find that this interested diligence 
of the clergy is what every wise legislator will 
study to prevent; because, in every religion 
except the true, it is highly pernicious, and it 
has even a natural tendency to pervert the 
truth, by infusing into it a strong mixture of 
superstition, folly, and delusion. Each 
ghostly practitioner, in order to render himself 
more precious and sacred in the eyes of 
his retainers, will inspire them with the most 
violent abhorrence of all other sects, and 
continually endeavour, by some novelty, to 
excite the languid devotion of his audience
No regard will be paid to truth, morals, or 
decency, in the doctrines inculcated. Every 
tenet will be adopted that best suits the disorderly 
affections of the human frame. Customers 
will be drawn in each conventicle by 
new industry and address, in practising on 
the passions and credulity of the populace
And, in the end, the civil magistrate will find 
that he has dearly paid for his intended frugality, 
in saving a fixed establishment for the 
priests; and that, in reality, the most decent 
and advantageous composition, which he can 
make with the spiritual guides, is to bribe 
their indolence, by assigning stated salaries 
to their profession, and rendering it superfluous 
for them to be farther active, than 
merely to prevent their flock from straying in 
quest of new pastors. And in this manner 
ecclesiastical establishments, though commonly 
they arose at first from religious views, 
prove in the end advantageous to the political 
interests of society." 
But whatever may have been the good or 
bad effects of the independent provision of 
the clergy, it has, perhaps, been very seldom 
bestowed upon them from any view to those 
effects. Times of violent religious controversy 
have generally been times of equally 
violent political faction. Upon such occasions, 
each political party has either found it, 
or imagined it, for his interest, to league itself 
with some one or other of the contending 
religious sects. But this could be done only 
by adopting, or, at least, by favouring the 
tenets of that particular sect. The sect 
which had the good fortune to be leagued 
with the conquering party necessarily shared 
in the victory of its ally, by whose favour 
and protection it was soon enabled, in some 
degree, to silence and subdue all its adversaries
Those adversaries had generally leagued 
themselves with the enemies of the conquering 
party, and were, therefore the enemies 
of that party. The clergy of this particular 
sect having thus become complete masters of 
the field, and their influence and authority 
with the great body of the people being in 
its highest vigour, they were powerful enough 
to overawe the chiefs and leaders of their 
own party, and to oblige the civil magistrate 
to respect their opinions and inclinations
Their first demand was generally that he 
should silence and subdue all their adversaries
and their second, that he should bestow 
an independent provision on themselves. 
As they had generally contributed a good