Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/66

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A. Well then, to your question concerning religion, inasmuch as I told you, that all virtue is comprehended in obedience to the laws of the commonwealth, whereof religion is one, I have placed religion amongst the virtues.

B. Is religion then the law of a commonwealth?

A. There is no nation in the world, whose religion is not established, and receives not its authority from the laws of that nation. It is true, that the law of God receives no evidence from the laws of men. But because men can never by their own wisdom come to the knowledge of what God hath spoken and commanded to be observed, nor be obliged to obey the laws whose author they know not, they are to acquiesce in some human authority or other. So that the question will be, whether a man ought in matter of religion, that is to say, when there is question of his duty to God and the King, to rely upon the preaching of his fellow-subjects or of a stranger, or upon the voice of the law?

B. There is no great difficulty in that point. For there are none that preach here or anywhere else, or at least ought to preach, but such as have authority so to do from him or them that have the sovereign power. So that if the King give us leave, you or I may as lawfully preach as any of them; and I believe we should perform that office a great deal better, than they that preached us into the rebellion.

A. The Church morals are in many points very different from these, that I have here set down, for the doctrine of virtue and vice; and yet without any conformity with that of Aristotle. For in the Church of Rome, the principal virtues are, to obey their doctrine, though it be treason, and that is to be religious; to be beneficial to the clergy, that is their piety and liberality; and to believe upon their word that which a man knows in his conscience to be false, which is the faith they require. I could name a great many more such points of their morals, but that I know you know them already, being so well versed in the cases of conscience written by their schoolmen, who measure the goodness and