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against which the abfolute Freedom of the Prefs is the only Prefervative? For what else spreads light, or diffuses knowledge through the world? But it seems, as a sense of the value of health is fometimes loft in the midft of its full enjoyment; fo men, through a habit of liberty, may become infenfible of its ineftimable worth: otherwife would not every one awake, roufe himself, and fay, when the moft dear and valuable of all the privileges, that government is defigned -to protect, is menaced, "That he will "fooner part with life itself than with "that liberty without which life is not "worth the having: that he will sooner "fuffer his eyes to be put out, than his
understanding to be extinguished."
We are told in hiftory of a people that, after they had been inured to fla very, were in a panick fear, when their liberty was offered to them. And this terrible effect of flavery ought to make every lover of mankind tremble at the thoughts of any steps or approaches towards the diminution of liberty. "For "without it, as Homer has told us, "men foon ceafe to be men: they foon "cease to be rational creatures."
Now without the abfolute unbounded freedom of writing and publishing, there is no liberty; no fhadow of it: it is an empty found. For what can Liberty mean, if it does not mean, the Liberty of exercifing, improving, and informing *The Cappadocians.
our understandings? "A people have "Liberty," said a truly good king of England, "when they are free as thought is free. What is it that makes a city, "(faid the good Alcæus, a poet, whose muse was always facred and faithful to the beft of caufes) it is not walls and buildings; no, it is being inhabited by men: by men, who know them
felves to be men, and have fuitable "notions of the dignity of human na
ture: by men, who know what it is
alone that exalts them above the *"brutes." Can we be either virtuous or religious, without the free ufe of our reafon, without the means of knowledge? And can we have knowledge, if men
dare not freely study, and as freely communicate the fruits of their studies? What is it that diftinguishes human fociety from a brutish herd, but the flouTifhing of the Arts and Sciences, the free exercise of Wit, and Reason? What can government mean, intend, or produce, that is worthy of man, or beneficial to him, as he is a rational creature, befides Wifdom, Knowledge, Virtue, and Science? Is it merely indeed that we may eat, drink, fleep, fing, and dance, with fecurity, that we choose governours, fubject ourselves to their adminiftration, and pay taxes? Take away the Arts, Religion, Knowledge, Vertue, (all of which muft flourish, or fink together) and, in the name of goodness,
what is left to us that is worth enjoying
or protecting? Yet take away the Liberty of the prefs, and we are all at once ftript of the use of our noblest faculties: our fouls themselves are imprifoned in a dark dungeon: we may breathe, but we cannot be faid to live.
If the end of governors and govern
ment is not to diffuse with a liberal unsparing equal hand, true rational happinefs; but to make the bulk of mankind beafts of burden, that a few may wallow in brutish pleasures: then it is confiftent politicks to root out the defire and love of Light and Knowledge. Certain Scythian flaves, that they might work the harder, had only their eyes destroyed. But to extinguish human understanding,