The second of those remedies is the frequency 
and gaiety of public diversions. The 
state, by encouraging, that is, by giving entire 
liberty to all those who, from their own 
interest, would attempt, without scandal or 
indecency, to amuse and divert the people 
by painting, poetry, music, dancing; by all 
sorts of dramatic representations and exhibitions
would easily dissipate, in the greater 
part of them, that melancholy and gloomy 
humour which is almost always the nurse of 
popular superstition and enthusiasm. Public 
diversions have always been the objects of 
dread and hatred to all the fanatical promoters 
of those popular frenzies. The gaiety and 
good humour which those diversions inspire
were altogether inconsistent with that temper 
of mind which was fittest for their purpose, 
or which they could best work upon. Dramatic 
representations, besides, frequently exposing 
their artifices to public ridicule, and 
sometimes even to public execration, were, 
upon that account, more than all other diversions
the objects of their peculiar abhorrence
In a country where the law favoured the 
teachers of no one religion more than those 
of another, it would not be necessary that 
any of them should have any particular or 
immediate dependency upon the sovereign or 
executive power; or that he should have any 
thing to do either in appointing or in dismissing 
them from their offices. In such a situation
he would have no occasion to give 
himself any concern about them, further than 
to keep the peace among them, in the same 
manner as among the rest of his subjects
that is, to hinder them from persecuting
abusing, or oppressing one another. But it 
is quite otherwise in countries where there is 
an established or governing religion. The 
sovereign can in this case never be secure
unless he has the means of influencing in a 
considerable degree the greater part of the 
teachers of that religion
The clergy of every established church 
constitute a great incorporation. They can 
act in concert, and pursue their interest upon 
one plan, and with one spirit as much as if 
they were under the direction of one man; 
and they are frequently, too, under such 
direction. Their interest as an incorporated 
body is never the same with that of the sovereign
and is sometimes directly opposite to 
it. Their great interest is to maintain their 
authority with the people, and this authority 
depends upon the supposed certainty and 
importance of the whole doctrine which they 
inculcate, and upon the supposed necessity 
of adopting every part of it with the most implicit 
faith, in order to avoid eternal misery
Should the sovereign have the imprudence 
to appear either to deride, or doubt himself 
of the most trifling part of their doctrine, or 
from humanity, attempt to protect those who 
did either the one or the other, the punctilious 
honour of a clergy, who have no sort of 
dependency upon him, is immediately provoked 
to proscribe him as a profane person, 
and to employ all the terrors of religion, in 
order to oblige the people to transfer their 
allegiance to some more orthodox and obedient 
prince. Should he oppose any of their 
pretensions or usurpations, the danger is 
equally great. The princes who have dared 
in this manner to rebel against the church
over and above this crime of rebellion, have 
generally been charged, too, with the additional 
crime of heresy, notwithstanding their 
solemn protestations of their faith, and humble 
submission to every tenet which she 
thought proper to prescribe to them. But 
the authority of religion is superior to every 
other authority. The fears which it suggests 
conquer all other fears. When the authorized 
teachers of religion propagate through 
the great body of the people, doctrines subversive 
of the authority of the sovereign, it is 
by violence only, or by the force of a standing 
army, that he can maintain his authority
Even a standing army cannot in this case give 
him any lasting security; because if the soldiers 
are not foreigners, which can seldom be 
the case, but drawn from the great body of 
the people, which must almost always be the 
case, they are likely to be soon corrupted by 
those very doctrines. The revolutions which 
the turbulence of the Greek clergy was continually 
occasioning at Constantinople, as 
long as the eastern empire subsisted; the 
convulsions which, during the course of several 
centuries, the turbulence of the Roman 
clergy was continually occasioning in every 
part of Europe, sufficiently demonstrate how 
precarious and insecure must always be the 
situation of the sovereign, who has no proper 
means of influencing the clergy of the established 
and governing religion of his country. 
Articles of faith, as well as all other spiritual 
matters, it is evident enough, are not 
within the proper department of a temporal 
sovereign, who, though he may be very well 
qualified for protecting, is seldom supposed 
to be so for instructing the people. With 
regard to such matters, therefore, his authority 
can seldom be sufficient to counterbalance 
the united authority of the clergy of the established 
church. The public tranquillity
however, and his own security, may frequently 
depend upon the doctrines which 
they may think proper to propagate concerning 
such matters. As he can seldom directly oppose 
their decision, therefore, with proper weight 
and authority, it is necessary that he should 
be able to influence it; and he can influence 
it only by the fears and expectations which 
he may excite in the greater part of the individuals 
of the order. Those fears and expectations