BOOK XII. CONTAINING THE SAME INDIVIDUAL TIME WITH THE FORMER.
12. Chapter xii. Relates that Mr Jones continued his journey...
In short, our own religion furnishes us with adequate ideas of the
blessing, as well as curse, which may attend absolute power. The
pictures of heaven and of hell will place a very lively image of both
before our eyes; for though the prince of the latter can have no power
but what he originally derives from the omnipotent Sovereign in the
former, yet it plainly appears from Scripture that absolute power in
his infernal dominions is granted to their diabolical ruler. This is
indeed the only absolute power which can by Scripture be derived from
heaven. If, therefore, the several tyrannies upon earth can prove any
title to a Divine authority, it must be derived from this original
grant to the prince of darkness; and these subordinate deputations
must consequently come immediately from him whose stamp they so
To conclude, as the examples of all ages shew us that mankind in
general desire power only to do harm, and, when they obtain it, use it
for no other purpose; it is not consonant with even the least degree
of prudence to hazard an alteration, where our hopes are poorly kept
in countenance by only two or three exceptions out of a thousand
instances to alarm our fears. In this case it will be much wiser to
submit to a few inconveniencies arising from the dispassionate
deafness of laws, than to remedy them by applying to the passionate
open ears of a tyrant.
Nor can the example of the gypsies, though possibly they may have long
been happy under this form of government, be here urged; since we must
remember the very material respect in which they differ from all other
people, and to which perhaps this their happiness is entirely owing,
namely, that they have no false honours among them, and that they look
on shame as the most grievous punishment in the world.