universities filled with the most eminent men 
of letters that are to be found in the country. 
In the latter, we are likely to find few 
eminent men among them, and those few 
among the youngest members of the society
who are likely, too, to be drained away from 
it, before they can have acquired experience 
and knowledge enough to be of much use to 
it. It is observed by Mr. de Voltaire, that 
father PorĂ©e, a jesuit of no great eminence 
in the republic of letters, was the only professor 
they had ever had in France, whose 
works were worth the reading. In a country 
which has produced so many eminent men of 
letters, it must appear somewhat singular, 
that scarce one of them should have been a 
professor in a university. The famous Cassendi 
was, in the beginning of his life, a 
professor in the university of Aix. Upon 
the first dawning of his genius, it was represented 
to him, that by going into the church 
he could easily find a much more quiet and 
comfortable subsistence, as well as a better 
situation for pursuing his studies; and he 
immediately followed the advice. The observation 
of Mr. de Voltaire may be applied
I believe, not only to France, but to all 
other Roman Catholic countries. We very 
rarely find in any of them an eminent man 
of letters, who is a professor in a university
except, perhaps, in the professions of law 
and physic; professions from which the 
church is not so likely to draw them. After 
the church of Rome, that of England is by 
far the richest and best endowed church in 
Christendom. In England, accordingly, the 
church is continually draining the universities 
of all their best and ablest members
and an old college tutor who is known and 
distinguished in Europe as an eminent man 
of letters, is as rarely to be found there as in 
any Roman catholic country. In Geneva
on the contrary, in the protestant cantons of 
Switzerland, in the protestant countries of 
Germany, in Holland, in Scotland, in Sweden
and Denmark, the most eminent men of 
letters whom those countries have produced, 
have, not all indeed, but the far greater part 
of them, been professors in universities. In 
those countries, the universities are continually 
draining the church of all its most eminent 
men of letters
It may, perhaps, be worth while to remark
that, if we except the poets, a few orators, 
and a few historians, the far greater part of 
the other eminent men of letters, both of 
Greece and Rome, appear to have been either 
public or private teachers; generally either 
of philosophy or of rhetoric. This remark 
will be found to hold true, from the days of 
Lysias and Isocrates, of Plato and Aristotle, 
down to those of Plutarch and Epictetus
Suetonius, and Quintilian. To impose upon 
any man the necessity of teaching, year after 
year, in any particular branch of science 
seems in reality to be the most effectual method 
for rendering him completely master of 
it himself. By being obliged to go every 
year over the same ground, if he is good for 
any thing, he necessarily becomes, in a few 
years, well acquainted with every part of it: 
and if, upon any particular point, he should 
form too hasty an opinion one year, when he 
comes, in the course of his lectures to reconsider 
the same subject the year thereafter, 
he is very likely to correct it. As to be a 
teacher of science is certainly the natural 
employment of a mere man of letters; so is 
it likewise, perhaps, the education which is 
most likely to render him a man of solid 
learning and knowledge. The mediocrity of 
church benefices naturally tends to draw the 
greater part of men of letters in the country 
where it takes place, to the employment in 
which they can be the most useful to the 
public, and at the same time to give them the 
best education, perhaps, they are capable of 
receiving. It tends to render their learning 
both as solid as possible, and as useful as possible. 
The revenue of every established church
such parts of it excepted as may arise from 
particular lands or manors, is a branch, it 
ought to be observed, of the general revenue 
of the state, which is thus diverted to a purpose 
very different from the defence of the 
state. The tithe, for example, is a real land-tax
which puts it out of the power of the 
proprietors of land to contribute so largely towards 
the defence of the state as they otherwise 
might be able to do. The rent of land
however, is, according to some, the sole fund
and, according to others, the principal fund
from which, in all great monarchies, the exigencies 
of the state must be ultimately supplied. 
The more of this fund that is given to 
the church, the less, it is evident, can be spared 
to the state. It may be laid down as a certain 
maxim, that all other things being supposed 
equal, the richer the church, the poorer 
must necessarily be, either the sovereign on 
the one hand, or the people on the other; 
and, in all cases, the less able must the state 
be to defend itself. In several protestant 
countries, particularly in all the protestant 
cantons of Switzerland, the revenue which 
anciently belonged to the Roman catholic 
church, the tithes and church lands, has been 
found a fund sufficient, not only to afford 
competent salaries to the established clergy
but to defray, with little or no addition, all 
the other expenses of the state. The magistrates 
of the powerful canton of Berne, in 
particular, have accumulated, out of the savings 
from this fund, a very large sum, supposed 
to amount to several millions; part of 
which is deposited in a public treasure, and 
part is placed at interest in what are called 
the public funds of the different indebted nations 
of Europe; chiefly in those of France