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of society. Indeed it is almost impossible to preserve them distinct; and therefore, in every view which I have exhibited of the characters themselves, though with a special regard to the turpitude which attaches to each, the consequences of each to society unavoidably introduced themselves. It will be but little therefore which I have to add thereto, in deciding conclusively which is most injurious to society. Indeed I know of no data, from which it can be inferred, that the hypocrite is less injurious to society than the profligate. The one works his mischief openly, the other with fraud and disguise'; if this be all the difference, it must be a nice scale that weighs it. But to estimate the comparative extent of the mischief, Where is a ruin of character and dignified enjoyment to be found; in the widest range which profligacy has ever taken, in its most audacious outrages, equal to that which the hypocrisy of the church effected for ages in the most cultivated regions of our globe? the influence of which
is felt, severely felt to this hour in every European nation, and probably will be felt for ages! Hypocrites of a high form are indeed fewer than profligates of the same order, but their influence is proportionally greater, of which history tells many a melancholy tale. Profligacy acts many
horrid deeds; but it often relents at the sight of its own mischiefs, and makes whát compensation is possible to the victims of its outrage. Hypocrisy has no tear of penitence to shed, no compensation to offer; it exults over its ruin, and, with a heart hardened to all compassionate feeling, contemplates the most horrid and the most desolating spectacles. History presents nothing so repulsive to the better nature of man, as the tortures, and murders, and auto da fès of the Romish Inquisition, the bloody crusades of Provence and Toulouse, the massacres of Paris and of Ireland, or even the campaigns of the duke of Alva, the religious wars of France, and the vindictive revocation of the edict of Nantz. These were
all the work of ambition under the mask of religion, by which the great managers of such horrors, without any religion in them selves, could convert the multitude into furies and devils. Catharine de Medicis, the most seducing and the most wicked female hypocrite perhaps that ever lived, when a great victory of the Huguenots threatened destruction to the Catholic cause, with perfect sang-froid as to any religion said, “Well then, we must say our prayers in French.” Yet on the pretence of religion she conceived, planned, and in person executed the horrid massacre of Bartholomew. . The hypocrites of common life we have this evening described, who, for the low purpose of sordid gain, in the form of harmless insignificance steal into the confidence and undermine the charities of man, present an extent of mischief, which is not equalled perhaps by any outrages of profligacy.
I forbear to observe, that the open attack of the profligate puts man upon his guard, and places generally in his hands the means
of defence, but shall close with what I deem alone to be conclusive; that it is the essential tendency of hypocrisy to eradicate the very credibility of virtue, of all honest, ingenuous principle. Religion and patriotism are the most exalted virtues of the human mind, and the most sacred depositaries of the happiness of man; but the deadliest stab which they have received is from the hypocrisy of its pretended friends. This diffuses a general distrust, annihilates the very faith in virtue and honesty altogether, and, as if the whole were but a fiction, subverts all confidence, spreads a general corruption, and almost unmakes man—so far as regards every resemblance of his glorious Author.
PROBABLE ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF THE IM
MATERIALITY OF THE SOUL,
The title which I have assumed for the essay
of this evening has the appearance of modesty, but not more of modesty, gentlemen, than is real. For, from all that I have read, and all that I have thought on so interesting a subject, I am persuaded, that nothing amounting to demonstrative conviction is to be acquired in favour either of the materiality or immateriality of the human soul. Probability is all that is to be attained ; and, as in innumerable other instances, which occur in the wide range of human inquiry, it is well if we can discover on what side the weight of probability lies. We know certain properties of body, and we know certain properties of what we call the mind or soul, by which I