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By Bernard Mandeville

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The Church of Rome is never without Men of great Parts and Application; she entertains Numbers of them; and there is no Government, without Exception, of which the true Interest is so well understood, or so steadily pursued without Interruption, as hers. Hor. But why may not Protestants have Men of good Sense and Capacity among them, as well as _Roman Catholicks_? Do not other Countries produce Men of Genius as well as _Italy_? Cleo. Perhaps they do; tho' none more. The Italians are a subtle People; and I believe, that consummate Knowledge in State Affairs, and Worldly Wisdom are less precarious at _Rome_, than in any other Place you can name.

It is from this Policy of hers, that all Names of Dignity and Distinction among Christians, as Earl, Baron, Duke, Marquis, &c. had originally their Rise as Hereditary Titles. To the same have been owing all the various Ceremonies of Institutions and Instalments; and Coronations, as well as Inthronizations. Of the Orders of Knighthood, and the vast Multiplicity of them, I have spoke already. Hor. You give more to the Church of Rome than her Due: Most Countries in Christendom have Orders of Knighthood peculiar to themselves, and of which it is evident, that they were instituted by their own Sovereigns.

Besides Canonizations keep up the Reputation of the Roman Catholick Faith; for the new Saints, that are made from Time to Time, are always fresh Witnesses, that Miracles are not ceas'd, and consequently that the Church of Rome continues to be the same Church which Christ and his Apostles first establish'd. Cleo. You are in the Right; and whilst we consider and give Credit to those Pretences, the Design must seem to be religious; and every Roman Catholick, who is firm in his Belief; is obliged to think, that whatever Cost is bestow'd upon Canonizations, no Money could be laid out better.

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An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War [with accents] by Bernard Mandeville


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