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many to speculate upon a utopia, which they thin they have a right to enter, and of which they a persuaded that their rulers, and the rich and grea monopolize the golden key.

All men are agreed that happiness is better tha misery; that virtue is more commendable tha vice; and that liberty, personal and political, is better than bondage and despotic influence; but we find that philosophers, and those who appeal to their own reason, greatly differ as to the best means of attaining what they all allow to be so desirable. How incoherent and crude, if not palpably absurd, is frequently the reasoning of the greatest men upon the phenomena of nature, amongst which, those of the human mind are not the least difficult! How often does it happen that some oversight, or strange delusion, occasions us to arrive at an erroneous determination in even very common matters! It is evident that the Pagans were completely at a loss respecting any standard of moral discipline; and although we may possess one, yet as when the mariner unconsciously misled by the variation of his compass, deviating but one point, veers perhaps hundreds of miles from his proper course; so, but a slight deviation may lead the ablest and best men far from the direct path of moral rectitude.

Philosophers generally view the faculty of reason in its full operation, as if all men were or might be altogether under its influence; when in reality, very few ever think of deliberately exercising it in

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the business of life. Men are far more led by experience, or constrained by circumstances, than guided by reason; which is in strictness the rigid arrangement and application of facts in the order of cause and effect; but is in term commonly misapplied to what is nothing more than mere inferences and supposition. Ignorance, in its widest import, and prejudice, and passion, are the natural hindrances of reason, and education is not enough to remove them; for it is an ignorance of particular contingencies and circumstances, which nothing but actual experience may be adequate to dispel. Hence the fallibility of human reason, and its incompetency to ensure an undeviating course of either individual or national prosperity.

"Let us retire," said the philosophers, “into the happy valley, where we may uninterruptedly follow the dictates of reason, and enjoy the harmonies of an intellectual and natural state of existence. We will cultivate our own lands, hew our own wood, carry our own water, and secure our own felicity."

Thus resolving, they went, and some of them enjoyed for many years a life of rural retirement, for it was nothing more. Some, however, soon tired of this exclusive state of existence. And finally, the next generation differing about their individual interests and duties, and led by other inclinations, blended again with the society around them, and participating in its habits, partook equally of its many vicissitudes. Then said the

philosophers," it is evident that we cannot get all men to be guided by reason." In short, on speculative points, few minds think alike; neither can every individual in the society, at discretion, become a philosopher.

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The very order of society depends upon various individuals devoting their heads and hands to various occupations; so that whatever democracy there may be nominally created with respect to popular acts, there is no democracy in nature with respect to the functions of the mind. A democracy is perhaps the most plausible form of government in popular theory, yet very inferior in practical results, because the government and its offices are too much at the mercy of those who are too little skilled to do or suggest any thing politically efficient. "How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plough, and that glorieth in the goad? That driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labours, and whose talk is of bullocks? He giveth his mind to make furrows; and is diligent to give the kine fodder. So every carpenter and work-master, that laboureth night and day; and they that cut and grave seals, and are diligent to make great variety, and give themselves to counterfeit imagery, and watch to finish a work: the smith also sitting by the anvil, and considering the ironwork, the vapour of the fire wasteth his flesh, and he fighteth with the heat of the furnace; the noise of the hammer and anvil is ever in his ears, and his eyes look

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and in the experience of a thousand years we observe the gradual development of national institutions, customs, and laws, which have become so identified with the genius of the nation, that we might scarcely know, if it were not for historic records, whether they have given birth to the character of the people, or the latter had given birth to them. It is by such a mutual adaptation alone, that the conduct of a community becomes harmonized and systematic. And it is by a due attention to the lessons of experience, that useful reforms, according to the circumstances of the times, are introduced without violence either to individual interests, or the harmony of the political constitution. The abstract reasoning of individuals, apart from the dictates of common experience, is as arbitrary as any of the assumptions and gratuitous theories of ancient philosophers. The object of all of them is the promotion of human happiness and prosperity. The objects of science also can only be attained by eliciting facts; for we cannot reason beyond our facts. And politics itself is a practical science, and is as liable to derangement by the speculations of theorists, as the affairs of individuals are by their own.

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But what signifies perfection in the machine, if the primum mobile be itself inadequate or inappropriate? All the parts would soon become disjointed, or for ever stand still. If the people themselves be degenerated and depraved, which of them either would or could pursue the routine of

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