may consist in the fear of deprivation 
or other punishment, and in the expectation 
of further preferment
In all Christian churches, the benefices of 
the clergy are a sort of freeholds, which they 
enjoy, not during pleasure, but during life or 
good behaviour. If they held them by a 
more precarious tenure, and were liable to be 
turned out upon every slight disobligation 
either of the sovereign or of his ministers, it 
would perhaps be impossible for them to 
maintain their authority with the people, who 
would then consider them as mercenary 
dependents upon the court, in the sincerity of 
whose instructions they could no longer have 
any confidence. But should the sovereign 
attempt irregularly, and by violence, to deprive 
any number of clergymen of their freeholds
on account, perhaps, of their having 
propagated, with more than ordinary zeal
some factious or seditious doctrine, he would 
only render, by such persecution, both them 
and their doctrine ten times more popular
and therefore ten times more troublesome and 
dangerous, than they had been before. Fear 
is in almost all cases a wretched instrument 
of government, and ought in particular never 
to be employed against any order of men who 
have the smallest pretensions to independency
To attempt to terrify them, serves only to 
irritate their bad humour, and to confirm 
them in an opposition, which more gentle 
usage, perhaps, might easily induce them 
either to soften, or to lay aside altogether. 
The violence which the French government 
usually employed in order to oblige all their 
parliaments, or sovereign courts of justice
to enregister any unpopular edict, very seldom 
succeeded. The means commonly employed, 
however, the imprisonment of all the 
refractory members, one would think, were 
forcible enough. The princes of the house 
of Stuart sometimes employed the like means 
in order to influence some of the members of 
the parliament of England, and they generally 
found them equally intractable. The parliament 
of England is now managed in another 
manner; and a very small experiment
which the duke of Choiseul made, about 
twelve years ago, upon the parliament of 
Paris, demonstrated sufficiently that all the 
parliaments of France might have been managed 
still more easily in the same manner. 
That experiment was not pursued. For 
though management and persuasion are always 
the easiest and safest instruments of 
government as force and violence are the 
worst and the most dangerous; yet such, it 
seems, is the natural insolence of man, that 
he almost always disdains to use the good instrument
except when he cannot or dare not 
use the bad one. The French government 
could and durst use force, and therefore disdained 
to use management and persuasion
But there is no order of men, it appears I 
believe, from the experience of all ages, upon 
whom it is so dangerous or rather so perfectly 
ruinous, to employ force and violence, as upon 
the respected clergy of an established 
church. The rights, the privileges, the personal 
liberty of every individual ecclesiastic
who is upon good terms with his own order
are, even in the most despotic governments
more respected than those of any other person 
of nearly equal rank and fortune. It is so in 
every gradation of despotism, from that of the 
gentle and mild government of Paris, to that 
of the violent and furious government of Constantinople. 
But though this order of men 
can scarce ever be forced, they may be managed 
as easily as any other; and the security 
of the sovereign, as well as the public tranquillity
seems to depend very much upon the 
means which he has of managing them; and 
those means seem to consist altogether in the 
preferment which he has to bestow upon them. 
In the ancient constitution of the Christian 
church, the bishop of each diocese was elected 
by the joint votes of the clergy and of the 
people of the episcopal city. The people did 
not long retain their right of election; and 
while they did retain it, they almost always 
acted under the influence of the clergy, who, 
in such spiritual matters, appeared to be their 
natural guides. The clergy, however, soon 
grew weary of the trouble of managing them, 
and found it easier to elect their own bishops 
themselves. The abbot, in the same manner
was elected by the monks of the monastery
at least in the greater part of abbacies. All 
the inferior ecclesiastical benefices comprehended 
within the diocese were collated by 
the bishop, who bestowed them upon such 
ecclesiastics as he thought proper. All church 
preferments were in this manner in the disposal 
of the church. The sovereign, though 
he might have some indirect influence in those 
elections, and though it was sometimes usual 
to ask both his consent to elect, and his approbation 
of the election, yet had no direct or 
sufficient means of managing the clergy. The 
ambition of every clergyman naturally led him 
to pay court, not so much to his sovereign as 
to his own order, from which only he could 
expect preferment
Through the greater part of Europe, the 
pope gradually drew to himself, first the collation 
of almost all bishoprics and abbacies
or of what were called consistorial benefices
and afterwards, by various machinations 
and pretences, of the greater part of inferior 
benefices comprehended within each diocese, 
little more being left to the bishop than what 
was barely necessary to give him a decent 
authority with his own clergy. By this arrangement 
the condition of the sovereign was 
still worse than it bad been before. The clergy 
of all the different countries of Europe were 
thus formed into a sort of spiritual army, dispersed 
in different quarters, indeed, but of