<196>

7

From theology to ethics

VIRTUE AND REASON: THE METAPHYSICS OF REPUBLICANISM

Henry Neville (1620-94), devout Ciceronian, author of the Harringtonian Plato Redivivus (1681), with his translation of Machiavelli's works in 1675, cemented a firm link between the Republicans and the tradition of 'politick religion'. Machiavelli epitomized the idea of civil religion by his favourable commendation of Numa Pompilius in his Discourses on Livy. Like Moyle, Machiavelli insisted on the value of religion as a tool of political manipulation. Neville, the probable author of A True Copy of a Letter written by N. Machiavelli in Defence of Himself and His Religion (1675), vindicated the Italian as a true Harringtonian Christian applauding his prescription of the civil uses of religion. This close identification was strengthened by John Dennis, who openly cited Machiavelli against High Church antagonists. Dennis, friend and associate of Walter Moyle, combated Sacheverell's sacerdotal proposition that 'the peace, happiness, and prosperity of the secular and civil power depends upon that of the spiritual and ecclesiastical'.[1] Following Machiavelli's indictment of the papacy in Italy, Dennis insisted that Christianity frequently operated as a fomentor of schism, rather than supporter of the state. In his Vice and Luxury (1724) the debt to the Florentine notion that religion was the 'sacred cement' of civil society was re-emphasized by citations from both the Prince and the Discourses. For Dennis, as for Machiavelli, a public religion was a necessary means to lead the populace to virtue.[2]

To appeal to the Machiavellian history of Roman religion and the idea of a politic legislator was anathema in Anglican eyes. As Raab has shown in The <197> English Face of Machiavelli (1964), orthodox Christians received such civil theologies with charges of irreligion and heresy. The forcefulness of Anglican counter-polemic has obscured the full meaning of Republican civil theology, dismissing it as mere politic device. This Anglican historiographical bias has been reinforced by the hysterical Christian reaction to the powerful anticlericalism of clandestine manuscripts like the Traité des trois imposteurs which dismissed all religion as 'human fictions' and as an 'empire of fable'. Republican civil religion has too easily been indicted with the legacy of Renaissance infidelity. The arguments of heretics like Cardano, Vanini and Pomponazzi were identical, at least in Trinitarian eyes, to those of Blount, Harrington and Toland. In pejorative Anglican terms a civil religion was no religion at all, but for the Republican (like Harrington, Moyle or Toland), appealing to transcendent principles different from those accepted by the Judaeo-Christian idiom of the clergy, the injunctions of nature, reason and virtue became true theology.[3]

In order to explore the transcendent principles that underlay Republican political thought in the 1690s and 1700s the editorial publications of John Toland are most significant. In particular his important edition of Harrington's works of 1700, and his pirated 1699 version of Shaftesbury's An Inquiry Concerning Virtue proposed a naturalistic, or neo-Stoic rereading of Republicanism: Harrington (in Toland's version) was more intent on pursuing virtue than the millennium. While Pocock's analysis, of both Harrington and the country ideologies of the 1690s, has presented the complex blendings of Machiavelli, the ancient constitution, polemics against patronage, corruption and credit, the religious dimension has remained unexplored.[4] In tracing <198> the neo-Stoic idioms of Harrington's original statements, the significant re-emphasis of this Stoicism in Toland's edition of his Works in 1700, and the refinements of Shaftesbury's Cbaracteristicks (1711), and the popularization of the same in Trenchard's and Gordon's periodical publications, The Independent Whig and Cato's Letters, the intention is to argue that Republican political theory was a holistic enterprise far different from the individualism of Lockean 'rights' theories. Neo-Harringtonianism, as read through Toland's edition, was concerned not only with political and economic realities, but with a discipline of the soul. The emphasis that Toland placed upon the metaphysical identification of the body natural and the body politic in Harrington's writings, was no innovation, but a commonplace of political metaphor. This notion of man's body as a microcosm of the world or the universe, was a trope rooted in pagan philosophy: Plato had considered the government of society to be an analogue of the government of man.[5] As William Temple insisted, the Republicans followed the method of the ancient philosophers, who concentrated not upon forms of government, but upon means to 'improve men's reason, to temper their affections, to allay their passions'. Toland's rereading of Harrington's Republicanism adopted the Socratic method and argued for the close link between theories of politics, psychology and ethics.[6]

TOLAND'S HARRINGTON: THE SOUL, VIRTUE AND THE STATE

The frontispiece of Toland's edition of Harrington's Works (1700) indicates the ancient tradition within which Toland intended Harrington's works to be appreciated: land, industry and commerce combine to produce a balanced and free state. The ancient legislators Numa, Solon, Lycurgus and Confucius are supplemented by the biblical Moses and the modern example of William III. Pocock has insisted that Harrington's thought, at least in the 1650s, should be treated within a millenarian idiom: the Toland edition of Harrington's Works proposed a pantheistic and Stoic version. As Worden has so capably demonstrated in Edmund Ludlow: A Voyce from the Watchtower <199> (1978) Toland employed his editorial capacities to adapt earlier works to the exigencies of the 1690s: this is evident, too, in his Harrington edition. Although, following Pocock's opinion, there is no suggestion that Toland significantly altered the text of Harrington's works, as he did Ludlow's, his inclusion of the possibly suppositious Harringtonian work The Life of the Mechanics of Nature significantly alters the meaning of Harrington's language in the 1700s. Pocock says little about the work, deciding neither one way nor the other about its authenticity, although in this state of ambivalence he choses to exclude the piece from his own edition. The question of the authenticity of the work is at once crucial and irrelevant. We have few means to prove the answer convincingly one way or the other as no surviving manuscript has (yet) been found. If we accept Toland's rather dubious insistence that the work was Harrington's, the explicit pantheistic hylozoism of The Life of the Mechanics of Nature seems sharply at odds with the picture of Harringtonian millenarianism. If, on the other hand, the work is the result of Toland's pen (perhaps an aphoristic precis of the last two pieces in Letters to Serena) we have to ask the question why Toland wished to foist the piece on Harrington, and what effect he intended it to create on the reception of Harrington's thought.

The Mechanics of Nature is concerned with the idea of nature and the relationship between matter and spirit, and body and soul. Nature is a fundamental and divine principle, not the inert and corrupt principle of Christian metaphysics. Both the world and humankind are a combination of nature and divinity. In order to understand the world, both nature and spirit must be examined. It is this hermeneutic that Toland intended to emphasize in Harrington's thought. In Oceana Harrington set out to examine the natural principle of government (that empire follows dominion) and the spiritual premises of this natural order (the idea of the soul as the form of both government and body). In his prefatory 'Life' of Harrington, Toland portrayed Harrington as an anatomist of civic constitutions. Harrington was addicted to the study of civil government, 'being … convinced that no government is of so accidental or arbitrary an institution as people are wont to imagine, there being in societies natural causes producing their necessary effects, as well as in the earth or the air'.[7] Importantly, Toland eulogized Harrington's 'noble discovery' that empire follows the balance of property, as comparable to the discovery of printing, the compass, or Harvey's work upon the circulation of the blood. Harrington had investigated the histories of political 'constitutions', and in his work they were 'dissected and laid open <200> to all capacities'. Harrington had insisted that his project dealt not with 'notions, wandering, and ill abstracted from things' but that he had 'descended to practical observation'. Set before the histories of commonwealths, as the anatomist did so before the body, Harrington intended not to draw pictures of ideals but to examine the parts and functions of the body politic. Harrington explicitly appealed to the model of Harvey's anatomy; as the latter's principles had been gleaned from nature via the examination of particular bodies, his own ideas were achieved from the study of nature exemplified in the histories of states. The relationship between Harrington's idea of anatomy, and orthodox religious or medical perceptions of the value and purpose of anatomy, is a complex issue that needs fuller treatment elsewhere. Briefly, anatomy was considered by its religious and medical practitioners as a form of natural revelation: through the physical examination, dissection, and ocular exploration of the body the investigator could come to knowledge about the power of God. Isbrand de Diemerbroeck (translated by William Salmon) wrote in his Anatomy of Human Bodies (1689), that the anatomist's skill displayed nature that he 'might see and admire the skill and workmanship of the Divine hand in building a Tabernacle for the Soul'. Anatomy cut away superficial appearance and revealed the 'truth'. As one physician commented, anatomy could give a 'history of natural structure'. Just as the doctor insisted anatomy was 'an art which teaches the artificial dissection of the parts of the body of man, that what things in them can be known by senses, may truly appear', so Harrington was assured that 'political anatomy' displayed the true structure of the political organism.[8] Throughout Harrington's work political society was conceived of as a natural organism, a machine with principles of natural <201> regulation. A 'political anatomy' was undertaken to expose the 'natural nerves and ligaments of government'.

Toland, then, in his 'Life' and the inclusion of the Mechanics of Nature, intended to present Harrington's thought as an anatomical/metaphysical investigation of the analogical relationship between the 'human' and 'political' notions of the 'soul' and the 'body'. This conception of the relationship between the 'soul' and the 'body' owed more to ancient materialism than the Old Testament. This interpretation of Harrington's thought as operating within a naturalistic or pantheistic idiom, contradicts the recent analyses of J. G. A. Pocock and J. C. Davis. Pocock has claimed that Harrington should be interpreted in a millennial framework, a view which itself has been challenged by J. C. Davis' alternative suggestion that Harrington's thought is essentially secular. Harrington, as interpreted and projected by Toland in the 1700s (if not also of the 1650s), employed a naturalistic (i.e. neither millennial nor secular) method to understand politics. For example, Pocock uses Harrington's idea of an 'Immortal commonwealth' to identify him as a millenarian. However, further evidence of Toland's rewriting of Harrington's thought (that supplements the Mechanics of Nature) directly answers Pocock's meditations on the idea of immortality in Oceana. This can be found in 'Appendix I' to Toland's Nazarenus (1718). Here Toland dealt directly with Harrington's description of the immortal commonwealth: importantly, rather than using Judaeo-Christian ideas of the apocalypse or eschatology, Toland employed a passage from Cicero's De Republica (from Augustine's City of God, Book XXII, chapter 6). Immortality for Cicero and Harrington, according to Toland's reading, was premised upon the idea of the world's eternity. Politically, if reason and humanity could be perfected, the state should continue for ever. For Toland, Harrington's metaphysic had more to do with a pantheistic natural philosophy, than with Christianity. Toland explained that Cicero had denied the analogy between the death of an individual and the demise of government. Death to the individual was natural, and 'so very often desirable': but governments ought to be so regulated {as} 'to be of ETERNAL DURATION'. Toland continued in explicit pantheistic vein:

For as the corruption of ever generating individuals neither lessens the matter, nor disorders the form of the world, but on the contrary perpetuates it: so the species of mankind, which is the matter of government, ever continuing; if such a temperament (as Cicero somewhere calls it) or such a libration (as Harrington) be fixt in the form, as to make it proof against all internal division and external force, that government will consequently be immortal.

In very much the same way as Harrington had commented in Oceana, Toland pointed out, 'such was the language of Plato and Aristotle before'. For Toland, and Harrington, the idea of an 'Immortal government' was <202> neither a millenarian hope nor a utopic 'whim', but something that could be naturally established according to the 'intrinsic nature and constitution of the Form itself'. It was Toland's point that the Jewish government and nation under the direction of the supreme legislator Moses had come closest to establishing the conditions for 'a Government Immortal', without the aid of divine providence.[9]

Harrington, particularly in Oceana, was concerned to explore the principles of 'nature' as a divine exercise. This was a seventeenth-century enterprise, and should not dupe the modern writer into attributing materialistic or secularistic motives to Harrington's work. Modern scholarship, preoccupied with Marxist theories of historical materialism, has tended to treat Harrington's principle of empire following property as the first modern economic analysis of politics. But this is to look at only one side of Harrington's arguments. His analysis of the natural grounds of political society is premised on a pantheistic metaphysic that implies the need to examine the idea of the 'soul' as well as that of 'nature'. Harrington's continual analogy between the principle of politics and the relationship between the body and soul is not merely an anachronistic literary trope, but a constitutive metaphysical argument.[10] As the authors of Cato's Letters <203> reiterated: 'Government is {a} political, as a human body is a natural, mechanism; both have proper springs, wheels, and a peculiar organisation to qualify them for suitable motions.' Unless regulated by the physic of virtue the machine would decay.[11] This Harringtonian description of the organic nature of the body politic provided the intrinsic conceptual backcloth for the analysis of society proposed by such men as Henry Neville, Robert Molesworth, Walter Moyle and Toland.[12]

Harrington openly premised his notions of government upon the tenets of ancient prudence. Oceana (1656), Harrington's most important work, was conceived of as a handbook of these ancient traditions. According to the ancients the principles of government were twofold, 'the internal or the goods of the mind; and external, or the goods of fortune'. The description of 'power' was a material one resulting in the assertion that empire followed the balance of dominion, or property. Just as the idea of a human being was premised upon the existence of 'natural body', so the civil state was founded upon property and the goods of fortune.[13] The state was composed of both 'power' and 'authority', as the body natural was a composition of body and soul: the goods of mind and fortune 'meet and twine in the wreath or crown of empire'. When these two principles were confluent, the government came 'nearest to the work of God, whose government consists of heaven and earth'. Harrington's notion of 'authority' rested not upon any earthly prudence, but derived from 'heaven', or the image of God embodied in the soul of man. Government upon earth was capable of two types of rule, that of public interest (embodied in the pattern of ancient virtue), or of private interest epitomized in the priestcraft of modern prudence. This in itself was an analogy of the 'soul' of man, which was 'the mistress of two potent rivals, the one reason, the other passion, that are in continual suit; and according as she gives up her will to these or either of them, is the felicity or misery which man partakes in this mortal life'. Passion of the will, actualized into action brings forth 'vice and the bondage of sin', while reason enforced results in 'virtue and the freedom of the soul'.[14]

This analysis was extended into the sphere of the civil state: 'Now government is no other than the soul of a nation or a city: wherefore that which was reason in the debate of a commonwealth being brought forth by the result, must be virtue; and forasmuch as the soul of a city or nation is the <204> sovereign power, her virtue must be law'. Government which was bound by virtue embodied in law, saw empire and authority conflated. Moving gracefully from the relationship of the soul to the body, to that of the government and the state, Harrington explained: 'If the liberty of a man consists in the empire of his reason the absence whereof would betray him to the bondage of his passions; then the liberty of a commonwealth consists in the empire of her laws, the absence whereof would betray her to the lust of tyrants.' As the man who rejected the divine dictates of reason rejected God, so did the state which attempted to rule above the law. In this way Harrington undercut the hieratic argument that since the soul was above the body, so the priesthood should govern the state.[15] When power and authority were united in either the human form or the body politic, it became like 'a holy altar, and breathing perpetual incense to heaven in justice and in piety, may be something, as it were, between heaven and earth'. The form of government Harrington attempted to prescribe rested upon his 'philosophy of the soul', which consisted in the necessity of deposing the rule of passion and, 'advancing reason to the throne of empire.'[16] The 'common right' or 'law of nature' argued that the interest of the whole commonwealth was superior to the 'right or interest of the parts only'. As it was the role of reason to establish the right interest of the individual, so 'the reason of mankind must be right reason'. This implied that the dictates of right reason would so cultivate correct 'orders' that would enable each individual to perceive the interest of the whole. This achieved, the commonwealth became 'as a magistrate of God unto mankind for the vindication of common right and the law of nature'. It is important to note that in arguing this point Harrington saw no impropriety in citing Hooker, Grotius, Cicero and Machiavelli, alongside the injunctions of Scripture, because all these texts shared the principles of nature and divinity. He wrote: 'The Heathen politicians, have written, not out of nature, but as it were out of Scripture: as in the commonwealth of Israel God is said to have been king; so the commonwealth where the law is king, is said by Aristotle to be the kingdom of God.'[17]

<205>

In his System of Politics Harrington succinctly conveyed his notions of government in the form of Hippocratic aphorisms. Here the concept of government as 'soul' was made even more explicit. He wrote 'as the form of man is the image of God, so the form of a government is the image of man'. The formation of government was the creation of a 'political creature after the image of a philosophical creature'. The 'soul' was that which gave life to the matter of the body and the state. Since the 'soul' of man was essentially a religious principle because of its contemplation of divine reason, so the 'soul' of the state became a theological principle. As language was the means of communication between the 'souls' of mankind, so religion was the means of communication between the 'soul' of man and God. The body politic had a 'soul' In the form of its government, so this, too, became a mediation with the divine.[18] In radical Erastian terms the mediating role of the clergy in the state was replaced with the idea of the 'soul' of government both at the individual and the national level. The 'soul' of each individual had to bind itself freely to reason, thus 'liberty' became the premise both of religion and politics.

This system would not arise of its own accord but had to be constructed. Government was an art (Harrington citing Hobbes), 'for in the art of man (being the imitation of nature) there is nothing so like the first call of beautiful order out of chaos and confusion, as the architecture of a well ordered Commonwealth'. Good government had to be composed from the natural materials available to man; such a building would remain erect as long as the materials remained incorruptible.[19] Following the classical <206> tradition of Numa, Solon and Lycurgus, Harrington insisted that such a structure would be created by a politic legislator. Through the creation of 'orders' and laws, the mass of the people could be led to prefer the path of virtue, over that of appetite. Education was the 'plastic art of government' and was therefore a concern of the state. Harrington explained, 'now the health of a government, and the education of its youth being of the same pulse, no wonder it has been the constant practice of well-ordered commonwealths to commit the care and feeding of it to public magistrates'.[20] Harrington appealed to naturalistic metaphor to illustrate his point: man considered without 'orders' was a skeletal structure; once laws were created, flesh was put upon the body.[21] Harrington upheld the infallible political maxim, 'give us good orders, and they will make us good men'.[22]

Harrington suggested that the way to create a healthy body politic was for it to be directed by a rational soul, and to consist of members educated in the principles of virtue. The problem was how to effect this education.[23] In a society dominated by the clergy, morality and religious truth were disseminated from the pulpit: so too in Harrington's scheme was virtue to be evangelized in the Church. To this end Harrington insisted upon the necessity of a national Church, but one firmly under control of the civil power. The clergy were to have no independent wealth, or employment in the civil state; they were to be chosen and ordained by the people, who were also to contribute voluntarily to their income. Harrington's clergy were to exercise no coercive authority over matters of religion: they were merely teachers and scholars. just as the conviction of the private conscience produced a private religion, so the belief of the body politic produced a national religion.[24]

<207>

Since the Scriptures were a complex selection of works, the state had to provide means of disseminating the sacred tenets. Harrington explained, 'she must institute some method of this knowledge, and some use of such as have acquired it, which amounts to a national religion'. The duty of all men as rational creatures was to apply this 'reason' to understanding the injunctions of Scripture. Harrington enshrined this liberty of conscience in the Art of Lawgiving as a 'kind of state, where a man is his own prince'. The national Church was therefore non-coercive, compatible with the free exercise of reason in religion, but still provided a guide for those incapable of this liberty. The role of the national establishment was to teach the people to use their own reason in religious contemplation. In his Oceanic scheme Harrington provided for a council of religion, which would protect both the interests of the national Church, and the liberty of the private conscience.[25]

Harrington expressed his thought in terms of the analogy between the divinity of the body politic and that of the body natural. The relationship of the soul with the body was to be the explanatory instrument for elucidating his conception of 'political' authority. The business of the state was to establish the divine authority of reason as a means of rendering the 'soul' both of government and the individual closer to the pattern of God. The intention was to create a 'healthy' body which conformed to the dictates of reason, and transcended the private interest of passion and appetite. The implication of this system of government was that the function of authority was reduced to the issues of human psychology; the rational government was the one which encouraged the rational man. The rational and the religious were collapsed into a singular notion: the role of the state was to evangelize the claims of reason. It was this religious dimension to Harringtonianism that informed the thought of such men as Walter Moyle, John Toland and Thomas Gordon. There is some problem, at least for the Harrington of the 1690s, in describing these arguments as Christian and millenarian. Admittedly Harrington employs the Christian language of the 'soul', but in terms of a neo-Stoic framework of 'reason' and 'virtue' rather than traditional Trinitarian Christianity. Harrington's treatment is, in effect, a rereading of Christian theology into a civic theology.

The Harringtonian vision of government was similar in structure to the hierocratic: both systems aimed at providing a discipline for the 'soul' of mankind. The content of this discipline was distinct in each case. In the theocratic state, obligation to priestly authority was a religious duty, and the <208> telos of salvation was placed in the afterlife. For Harrington, religious obligation was by the individual to the dictates of reason: the telos of conformity was civil salvation. Thus Harrington in turn indicted the contemporary clergy as the perpetrators of priestcraft, who claimed 'religious' authority not in order to dispense the lessons of virtue, but to usurp 'power' for their own interest.[26]

This analysis of the proscription of priestcraft and pursuit of virtue became a commonplace in the thought of Moyle, Toland, Trenchard and Gordon. The authors of Cato's Letters succinctly presented the idea that government rested upon the control of man's mind: 'The only way of dealing with mankind, is to deal with the passions; and the founders of all states, and of all religions, have ever done so: the first elements, or knowledge of politics, is the knowledge of the passions; and the art of governing, is chiefly the art of applying to the passions.'[27] Passions were linked to ideas, or opinions, about the world. It was through this connection that the clergy, by the creation of false (ideological) perceptions of the world and the duties of religion, had erected their corrupt dominion over society. The fundamental passion was self-love: 'Every man loves himself better than his own species.'[28] Each and every action of all individuals was governed by some form of self-interest; the necessity was to direct this motivating passion towards the interest of the whole. Man simply could not operate independently of passion; 'the passions of men, which are the only motions raised within us by the motions of things without us, are soothed or animated by external causes; it is hard to determine whether there be a man in the world, who might not be corrupted by some means and applications; the nicety is, to choose those that are proper.' When the motion of passion led men to do good to others, 'it is called virtue and public spirit, and when they do hurt to others, it is called selfishness, dishonesty, hurt, and other names of infamy'.[29]

Man as a machine governed by the passions of self-interest, could not be expected to follow the tenets of 'philosophical virtue', but through the skilful construction of obliging laws men could be directed to follow 'virtue as their interest'. The obliging character of law extended from self-interest, 'therefore in the making of laws, the pleasures and fears of particular men, being the <209> great engines by which they are governed, must be consulted. Vice must be rendered detestable and dangerous, virtue amiable and advantageous'.[30] The role of government was not to 'subdue' the passions, for to do so would be to depart from nature: the intent was to 'control' the passions via the use of reason. The passions, like the body and politics, must be well balanced, 'with an impartial hand, and giving them all fair play, it is an equal administration of the appetites by which they are restrained from outrunning one another'. This conception of man's psychology was both mechanistic and organic: passion, appetite and opinion were the motors which governed all the motions of the mind. This was 'purely mechanical … and whoever would govern him, and lead him, must apply to those passions; that is pull the proper ropes, and turn the wheels which will put the machine in motion'. The politician, like Plato's guardians, could employ human weakness to render the individual happy.[31] John Toland insisted that the efficient politician must learn to 'govern all men by the springs of their own passions, and to manage the whole machine by the chains and weights of prevailing opinions'. The idea of the psychological foundations of political order and the value of religion in creating this order was the same intention behind Harrington's 'orders'.[32] The ideal government was one that placed the individual in a structure designed to turn all movements towards the public benefit.

This was similar to the prescription advanced by such men as Trenchard, Toland and the third Earl of Shaftesbury: man had to be induced to the paths of virtue using the instrument of the mind's mechanism. The most effective method for establishing discipline in man's soul was through the sovereign masters of pain and pleasure. The appetites and passions of men were too strong for the restraints of reason and the injunctions of the law of nature, thus religion was

instituted to regulate and quell them. For this end, it proposes as sanctions and restraints, the favour of God to the virtuous, and threatens his displeasure to the wicked, in this life, and, in the next, still more adequate rewards and punishments, even those of heaven and hell. This is the great design of religion; and it effectually answers the same, where its own honest and simple dictates are observed and followed.[33] <210> The radicals argued that men ought to be directed towards rational behaviour by the inclinations of their own passions. Individuals needed to be led along the paths of virtue. Hierocratic superstition had expelled virtue and morality from their terrestrial havens. The framework for these notions was not only Judaeo-Christian, but appealed to the classical neo-Stoic tradition.

NEO-STOICISM, SHAFTESBURY AND THE PURSUIT OF SOCIAL VIRTUE

Stoic ideas were readily available during the Augustan era. Justus Lipsius' seminal work De Constantia was translated in 1594, 1653, 1654 and 1670. Guilliame du Vair's French work also achieved two editions in the Restoration. The neo-Stoic influence extended throughout all forms of literature.[34] Original Stoic texts are fragmentary, so the bulk of their notions were transmitted in the commentaries of such men as Cicero and Diogenes Laertius, whose works were consistently available during the period. A useful epitome of Augustan perceptions of Stoicism can be found in Thomas Stanley's (1625-78) History of Philosophy (1655-62).[35] This work followed the example of Diogenes Laertius and intended to give an historical account of the origins and development of philosophy. Part VIII of the work dealt exclusively with the 'Stoick Philosophers'.[36] In this piece Stanley wove together a multiplicity of ancient sources including Diogenes Laertius' History, and Cicero's important works De Officiis, De Finibus and Tusculan Disputations.

For the neo-Stoic, reason was the most important facet of humanity. Reason was shared by man with the universe and God. It was a faculty endowed in man to direct him to a correct and natural pattern of virtue, and transcend the tyranny of opinion and the passions. To live according to reason was to follow God and nature. As Stanley explained:

<211>

To live according to this knowledge is all one, as to live according to virtue, not doing anything forbidden by our common law. Right reason, which is current amongst all, being the very same that is God, the governor of all. The virtue therefore, and the beatitude of a happy man, is, when all things are ordered to the correspondence of a man's genius, with the will of him who governs the universe.[37]

If we now turn to Cicero's work, in particular Tusculan Disputations, De Legibus and De Republica, the idea of the government of the state and the individual by right reason, is given a fuller treatment. The central tenor of Cicero's work was to proclaim the 'all sufficiency of virtue'.[38] Reason is presented as the joint property of man and God: its injunctions follow the dictates of nature.[39] In the Five Days Debate at Cicero's House in Tusculum (1683), an English translation of the Tusculan Disputations, the idea of the rational government of man's passions and the pursuit of natural order is central. The homology between illness in the body and the corruption of the soul by passion and false opinion is firmly established. The passions were the result of false opinion contrary to right reason and nature. Reason was considered as a type 'of Socratick medicine'. Constancy and virtue were the fruit of knowledge: philosophy was the guide to life and the physic of the soul. Cicero explained:

O Philosophy thou guide of life, instructress of vertue, and correctress of vices, what could not only we be, by the very life of men without thee? thou hast founded cities; thou hast invited scatter'd men to live in communities; thou hast link'd them to one another, first in habitations, then in marriages, then in communication by letters and words; thou was the inventress of law; thou the mistresse of manners and discipline; we fly to thee.[40]

In the De Republica and De Legibus Cicero reinforced the role of reason and law in directing the civil community, as well as the individual, to virtue.

Charles Blount was one of the most committed promoters of this Stoic version of religion as a means for controlling man's passions. He boldly explained, 'for as philosophy applies itself to reason, so doth religion to passion'. It was in this context (rather than in the name of secularization) that such men as Blount, Toland and Shaftesbury were to evangelize the claims of reason. Reason was the natural psychological director of humankind's actions. Nature had constructed humanity as a combination of <212> passion and mind, 'the passions therefore were given to be used', and reason 'set over them for their moderation and direction'. To infringe this exercise of reason either by proscription or manipulation was to 'invade the common charter of nature'. In this manner reason was lauded not as a secularizing principle, but as part of the 'spiritual' nature of humanity. It was this psychological theory that underpinned the radical polemic against priestcraft and their propagation of civil theology.[41]

Perhaps the most articulate priest of this neo-Stoic pursuit of virtue was Anthony Ashley Cooper, third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713). Shaftesbury, educated by the philosopher John Locke, was steeped in the injunctions and eloquence of the classics. This was reflected in his private regimen, correspondence and published works. Shaftesbury was a central figure in the radicalism of the late 1690s and early 1700s: an associate of men as varied as Robert Molesworth, John Toland and the Republican rector William Stephens, as well as Continental luminaries like Pierre Bayle, Jean Leclerc and Pierre Coste. His Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, and Times (1711), a collection of his previous printed and unpublished works, is a convenient epitome of the radical Harringtonian redefinition of the theologia Christiana into a deistical civil religion. For Shaftesbury religion should be reduced from 'the higher regions of divinity' to 'plain honest morals'. General Stanhope, writing to Sir John Cropley in April 1712, echoed this opinion in commenting: 'I cease not to study Characteristics, and find my value and admiration for the author increase daily, nor do I believe anything hath been writ these many ages so likely to be of use to mankind, by improving men's morals as well as their understandings.'[42] The premise of Shaftesbury's conception of the value and necessity of a civil theology rested <213> au fond in his neo-Stoic idea of human psychology. Following Harrington, he insisted that to understand the 'scheme of the passions' was the business of religion and government. Conducting his 'moral researches' into the 'social passions' he presented a succinct neo-Stoic conception of human nature.[43] In Soliloquy: or Advice to an Author Shaftesbury argued that man acted under impulse of the will which was the product of the conflicting injunctions of appetite and reason. The human mind was a muddled system of passions, fancies and appetites: the soothing balm of reason was intended to regulate and order this machine. 'The mint and foundery of the imagination' if left to its own devices would produce dangerous 'specters' which deformed the human agent. The role of reason was to defend the 'moral fortress' of the mind against the corrupting interest of fancy.[44] The end of reason was to direct the imagination to a true appreciation of good objects and to the development of 'right opinion': it was 'the regulation and government of those passions, on which the conduct of a life depends'. Although Shaftesbury cited Descartes' Treatise of Passions (1650) approvingly he insisted that the government of the passions was not simply a question of mechanistic direction, but more concerned with internal perceptions of the 'good'.[45]

The injunction to establish true and good perceptions and opinions was most evident in the issue of religion. Shaftesbury had argued in A Letter concerning Enthusiasm that religious impulses were powerful motivating forces: if left undirected they could result in absurdity and socially corrosive behaviour. The letter, originally written in 1709, focused upon a contemporary manifestation of religious excess. The French Prophets were a group of French refugees given to millenarian prophecy and self-resurrection. To the orthodox clergy such enthusiasm smacked of irreligion, impiety and Antichrist, but for Shaftesbury such actions were the result of ill-humour and diseased reason. The French Prophets were simply 'unnatural' examples of a natural religious inclination. To treat such disease with the full rigour of a coercive law was counter-productive: it would merely reinforce their 'melancholy' ways. The correct method would be to substitute benign enthusiasm for malignant. In Harringtonian terms 'ancient policy' indicated that wherever superstition and enthusiasm were treated mildly 'they never raged to that degree as to occasion bloodshed, wars, persecution and devastations in the world'. It was thus necessary that the 'people should have a public <214> leading in religion'.[46] One of the recurrent themes in this letter was that a 'good' conception of the deity was a fundamental premise for all religious belief: deviant enthusiasms modelled their opinions of the deity upon the inconstant and corrupt pattern of the human passions.[47]

This theme was given an extended treatment in Shaftesbury's An Inquiry Concerning Virtue, a text of contentious origins. The first published edition was anonymously propagated in 1699 by John Toland, who had (without permission) removed the manuscript from Shaftesbury's papers. The author was unimpressed with his protégé's illicit endeavour. Shaftesbury attempted to purchase and destroy every copy of the edition. Although he was publicly angered at the premature publication of the work, in private he made moves to engage Pierre Desmaizeux to make a French translation for Pierre Bayle. The work was finally published with authorial acknowledgement and meticulous correction in the Characteristicks (1711). The differences between the 1699 and 1711 editions are merely ones of style and orthography: Toland's pirated edition is testimony to the centrality of the text to the radical pursuit of virtue.[48]

The Inquiry attempted an assessment of the contribution of contemporary religion to the quest for virtue, and should be recognized as a 'realist' reply to the conventionalist arguments on ethics and morality proposed in both Hobbes' Leviathan (1651), and more importantly Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Writing to a clerical protégé, Michael Ainsworth (3 June 1709), Shaftesbury suggested that 'all those they call free writers now-a-days have espoused those principles which Mr Hobbes set a foot in this last age': Locke was included in this inheritance along with such men as Matthew Tindal. Arguing against Locke's position that ideas of God, order and virtue 'has no other measure, law, or rule, than fashion and custom', and that 'experience and our catechism teach us all', Shaftesbury set out to describe: 'What honesty or virtue is, considered by itself; and in what manner it is influenced by religion, how far religion implies virtue; and whether it be a true saying, that it is impossible for an atheist to be virtuous, or to show any real degree of honesty, or merit.' Nature, rather than human opinion, provided injunctions for both political and ethical behaviour.[49] Shaftesbury made the startling suggestion that <215> atheism did not necessarily imply immorality: religious belief and moral action were strictly bifurcated. The case of the 'moral' atheist suggested that contemporary religion was insufficiently coincident with the injunction to virtue. Shaftesbury's polemical point was that many 'religious' conceptions led men to actions and beliefs which were incompatible with virtue and merit. While insistent that naturally man had some conception of the eternal standard of right and wrong, he was also convinced that by 'superstition and ill custom' this perception could be warped. 'False imaginations', ideas of vengeful and inconstant deities, vague notions of tribes of unjust and uncaring divinities could easily dislocate enthusiasm from its naturally virtuous course and substitute a deviant and socially malignant zeal. As Shaftesbury commented,

that as the ill character of a God does injury to the affections of man, and disturbs and impairs the natural sense of right and wrong; so on the other hand, nothing can more highly contribute to the fixing of right apprehensions, and a sound judgement or sense of right and wrong, than to believe a God who is ever, and upon all accounts, represented such as to be actually a true model and example of the most exact justice, and highest goodness and worth.[50]

To hold a deity in awe and terror, to be bound to good acts by fear of <216> retribution was neither virtuous nor religious behaviour. Good acts must be appreciated as good in themselves.[51]

In his Miscellaneous Reflections Shaftesbury supplemented this abstract argument with an historical account of the corruption of religion and priestcraft. 'Temple had risen against temple, and priestcraft had become a science'. The heathen priests had forced a trade which had unbalanced the city. Rather than employing force, the priesthood had used their 'wits' to 'practice on the passions' of the vulgar. Employing a Harringtonian analysis, and the principles of 'political arithmetick', Shaftesbury insisted that 'the quantity of superstition (if I may so speak) will, in proportion, nearly answer the number of priests, diviners, soothsayers, prophets or such like who gain their livelyhood, or receive advantages by officiating in religious affairs'. In place of this corruption Shaftesbury proposed an enthusiastic search for virtue. The natural esteem for virtue, and detestation of evil ought to be encouraged and awakened by the state.[52]

Virtue in Shaftesbury's civil theology was a concept that would both unite man to man, and man to God. Thus virtue was recommended 'for its own sake' as a state of natural harmony. Drawing upon Platonic ideas of the beauty and truth of natural order and harmony Shaftesbury presented the analogy between the beauty of the natural order of the universe and an equivalent natural state of social harmony for humankind. As the world was in an ordered and balanced ecology, so human society was potentially a theatre of beauty and symmetry rather than conflict and contentions.[53] Like Aristotle, Shaftesbury argued that political society was natural: the ideas of a state of nature and the contractual origins of society and government were chimerical. Unlike Aristotle's vision, Shaftesbury's naturalism was not based <217> upon hierarchy and inequality but liberty and the pursuit of the good of the whole. Contrary to those who argued that man's self-interest would always override the needs of the common good, Shaftesbury argued that social affection was both natural to humankind and in its best interests. True self-interest should be followed by the pursuit of this 'common affection' rather than turning every passion 'towards private advantage, and narrow self-end'.[54] The 'health, wholeness or integrity of the particular cræture' was to be found in the 'social or natural affections' that contributed to the 'welfare and prosperity of that whole species, to which he is by nature form'd'.[55]

To establish this ordered and harmonious society it was necessary to create ordered and balanced individuals. Just as bodily health entailed a good proportion and natural order in the components of the body, so the mind needed a similar balance. The study of 'inward Anatomy' could create this harmony.[56] An understanding of the 'inward constitution' and the 'oeconomy of the passions' was crucial to the achievement of human happiness. Men were like different instruments which needed different tunings and timbres. By a 'moral kind of architecture' individual passions could be adjusted to their proper natures. When both internal and external balance could be established then both society and the individual would flourish in health and virtue.[57]

The most important passion to direct and regulate was religion. As a benign enthusiasm it ought to be nurtured. He explained, 'so far is he from degrading enthusiasm, or disclaiming it in himself; that he looks upon this passion, simply consider'd, as the most natural, and its object as the justest in the world'. Virtue itself was a noble enthusiasm 'justly directed, and regulated by that high standard which he supposes in the nature of things'. If this passion was left untended it could disjoint the natural frame of society.[58] A civil direction of religious passion would create a naturally divine society. Man would realize, 'he is not only born to virtue, friendship, honesty and faith, but to religion, piety, adoration, and a generous surrender of his mind to whatever happens from that supreme cause, or order of things, which he acknowledges intirely just, and perfect'. If religion could be established upon these civil affections mutual love and friendship would follow. Following <218> Harrington, Shaftesbury argued that the duty of the civil state was to create a system of inducements to virtue and discouragements to vice, 'to remove all prejudices against it, create a fair reception for it, and lead men into that path which afterwards they cannot easily quit'.[59] In the Moralists, the discussion was extended to argue for the necessary connection between civil liberty and the 'native liberty' of morality. As temperance and virtue could free the mind from 'inborn tyrannies' so the moral dame and her 'political sister' could combine to free humanity from the social tyrannies of passion.[60]

REPUBLICAN 'PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY' AND THE GOLDEN RULE

For the Republican the only good and true religion was a social religion. As the authors of The Independent Whig commented, religion was designed by heaven for the benefit of man: 'It teaches us to moderate our desires, calm our passions and be useful and beneficial to one another.'[61] In this vision there was a transcendence of Lockean 'rights' theories to a more holistic conception of society. The radical argument was concerned more with creating good agents and social order than defining and protecting the individual. The business of government was not security and protection but a more creative conception of human flourishing in the pursuit of virtue.

The central characteristic of the Republican attitude towards religion was that it had to induce 'morality' or 'social virtue' into political and social life. Following Shaftesbury's injunctions, the role of religion was to integrate the individual with the collective, as a well-ordered and 'natural' organism. Morality was the science of the control of the passions and private interest.[62] Thomas Gordon clearly supported this vision in his translation of Barbeyrac's preface to Pufendorf's Treatise of the Law of Nature, published in 1722, subtitled 'the History of Morality'.[63] The text insisted that 'morality is <219> the daughter of religion, that she keeps even pace with her, and that the perfection of morality is the measure of religion'. The author noted that it was necessary to have divine injunctions behind the precepts of morality, to ensure that the passions directed men to obligation via the mechanism of interest.[64] Barbeyrac excoriated the influence of the 'ecclesiasticks' who had misdirected religion away from the promotion of 'solid virtue' towards self-interest. Many churchmen among the Early Fathers had created speculative principles that were irrelevant to the cause of morality.[65] Barbeyrac's work was used extensively by the authors of The Independent Whig who insisted that 'morality is the only religion which human society, considered as such, has any occasion to see practiced'. Morality was a social virtue, that needed to be supported by revelation, because man's capacity for virtue had been clipped by the fall of Adam.[66]

The same argument was the premise of John Toland's Nazarenus (1718). His theme was the 'Original plan of Christianity': he explained, that the

Gospel consists not in words but in virtue; 'tis inward and spiritual, abstracted from all formal and outward performances: for the most exact observation of externals, may be without one grain of religion. All this is done mechanically by the help of a little bookcraft, whereas true religion is inward life and spirit.

The historical purpose of Christianity was to improve knowledge 'of the law of nature, as well as to facilitate and inforce the observation of the same'.[67] Toland completed this analysis by citing both Cicero and Benjamin Whichcote applauding the practice of right reason and insisting 'that natural religion was eleven parts in twelve of all religion'. This equation of pristine Christianity with social morality was reiterated in his Primitive Constitution of the Christian Church. As we have seen, the reduction of religion to morality was also effected by the radicals' applause for pagan, Islamic and Judaic theology.

One of the most interesting and enigmatic expositions of virtue in the period was the anonymous text Averroeana, published in 1695. The text contains a selection of letters from Averroes, 'an Arabian Philosopher', to a Greek student discoursing upon various medical and scientific principles. Supplementing this are fabricated letters from Pythagoras to an Indian king <220> discussing the nature of religion. Pythagoras stated, that 'religion, I mean, true religion, is the same in all places and at all times'. Religious ceremonies were not the esse of religion which was defined as 'a vertuous course of life'. True virtue was only to be achieved by 'living in a constant imitation of our creator, in being innocent, just and holy'. This was to be achieved through the exercise of reason and an arrival at true knowledge of divinity. Pythagoras asserted 'that a wise man can only properly be said to be a priest, a lover of God, and fit to pray; for he only can worship who confounds not the qualities of what he is to adore; but first making himself the sacrifice, erects a statue of God in his own breast, and builds in his soul a temple for the reception of the divine light'. Toland, following this thought, cited the Church Father Justin Martyr who maintained that those who lived according to reason, such as Socrates or Heraclitus, were not impious but true Christians. As Justin insisted, the Christian scheme was accessible to reason, it was 'reason itself transformed or become a man, and call'd Jesus Christ'.[68]

The Freethinkers insisted that the Christian religion was a moral creed. John Trenchard argued that, 'our saviour plainly intended to reduce men to natural religion, which was corrupted and defaced by the numerous superstitions of the Jews, and by the absurd idolatries of the gentiles'. His description of Christian doctrine was minimalistic, being reduced to the belief in one God 'and in doing good to men; and therefore he instituted a religion without priests, sacrifices and ceremonies: a religion, which was to reside in the heart, to consist in spirit and truth; and to show itself outwardly in virtuous actions'. Charles Blount in his 'Summary Account of the Deists Religion' in Oracles of Reason upheld similar beliefs; the deist intended to worship no image, to make no sacrifices, nor rely upon any mediating body but practised his religion 'by an imitation of God in all his imitable perfections, especially his goodness, and believing magnificently of it'. Blount proclaimed the moral content above the mystery of religion; living well was to be a better standard of orthodoxy than a set of sterile beliefs. The only theological 'heresy' was vice.[69]

The description of religion as morality can be illustrated in the repeated use of the Christian prescription of Matthew 7.12 that, 'whatever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them'. John Toland considered this injunction as the central premise of toleration. Men were to be treated as they behaved towards one another, thus a man's beliefs should not be subject to the supervision of authority unless they led him to antisocial actions. The 'golden rule' was an 'eternal standard, whereby to distinguish persecution for speculative opinions and harmless rites, from lawful restraints upon <221> unlawful practices'.[70] The integration of private interest with concern for public welfare was similarly an application of the golden rule. The 'rules and maxims' of law were created for mutual convenience, 'so that no man can oppress or injure another, without suffering by it himself'.[71] Religion had been designed by God to create social happiness for man. It was not made for priestly persecution, but to teach the precepts of 'virtue and social duties', to inspire men 'with social virtue … for social happiness'. Ultimately the concern was to create a 'public spirit', a Republican equivalent of Matthew 7.12, which embodied the principle, 'It is one man's care for many, and the concern of everyman for all'.[72] Thus the Bible was to be read not as a text containing 'a metaphysical science, made up of useless subtilties, and insignificant distinctions', but as a work teaching men 'how to live'. True religion was determined by social comfort and consisted of a 'comprehensive charity, this spirit of public benevolence'.[73]

Historiographically, the Republican polemic has been treated as a symptom of the advent of the saeculum rationalisticum. Thus, as Dunn has noted, after Locke there was a profound caesura in political thought: Hume and Smith, for example, heralded the 'abandonment of theocentrism'.[74] Traditionally the radical has been seen to promote modern ideas like 'science', 'progress', 'popular rights' and 'democracy'. Writers like Toland and Moyle were, however, far more comfortable with the relationship between religion and politics than modern historians have been prepared to accept. The Republicans composed historical polemics against priestcraft based on a defence of biblical injunctions like Matthew 7.12 ('Do unto others') and John 18.36 ('My Kingdom is not of this world'). Both Anglican and Freethinker shared a common theme: the business of politics and religion were fused, and 'true religion' was the telos of political society. The precise description of 'true religion' was the bone of contention. For the Anglican the pulpit was a font of sacrament and piety, for the Republican it was an instrument for annunciating virtue and morality. For both, the Church was to shame vice and dishonesty from the community, but for the radical the clerical body was a creature of the state, no independent 'fairy dominion'. The Republican Church was to enforce the injunctions of 'practical holiness', and 'every social and civil duty'. Persuasion and good example were the only tools available to this clerical body. To attempt to gain any other power was to <222> introduce the 'ghostly craft' of popery, rather than to animate a 'public spirit' in the nation.[75]

The Republican aphorism, 'liberty is salvation in politics', with its mixture of political and spiritual language, should alert us to the point that the radicals examined in this book did not employ the idea of 'liberty' simply in a juristic sense.[76] As Toland and Shaftesbury made clear (following Cicero) libertas did not imply licentiousness (an equation Anglican opponents repeatedly tried to make) but free obligation to rational law. For 'natural rights theories' the Republicans substituted a language of natural virtue. As Pocock has recently pointed out, 'alongside the history of liberalism, which is a matter of law and right, there existed throughout the early modern period a history of republican humanism, in which personality was considered in terms of virtue'.[77] Following from this, it is the argument of this book that Republican ideas of religio must be explored side by side with those of virtus in order to grasp the full meaning of the radical polemic. Until this story of the displacement of the priestly caste from the temple and the substitution of the 'rational' body politic as a mediator between the individual and 'divinity' has been accepted as a central achievement of Republican thought, the tale of the mutation of this metaphysical ideal of the body politic into the secular idea of the 'modern' state will remain obscure.

[1] H. Sacheverell, Political Union: A Discourse Showing the Dependence of Government on Religion (1700), 9; J. Dennis, The Danger of Priestcraft (1702), 5-8, 16.

[2] Dennis, Vice and Luxury, 22, 48, 81, 83, 85-7, 92-3. It is important to note that Harrington applauded Machiavelli repeatedly: according to Harrington, Machiavelli had designed a commonwealth that was a 'minister of God on earth, to the end that the world may be governed with righteousness'. Machiavelli had defended the 'Holy asylum' but was repaid by being 'pelted for it by sermons' (see Pocock, Works, 323, 392-3, 531).

[3] On the Traité des trois imposteurs, see G. Brunet, Le Traité des trois imposteurs (Paris, 1867), i-lvi and BL Stowe 47, 'The Famous Book Intitled De Tribus Impostoribus', folios 26r, 30v, 68r-v, 136-8.

[4] See J. G. A. Pocock, The Ancient Constitution (Cambridge, 1957). Pocock, 'James Harrington and the Good Old Cause', Journal of British Studies 10 (1970), Pocock, Politics, Language, and Time (1972), chapters 3-4, Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton, 1975), Part III and The Political Works of James Harrington (Cambridge, 1977) are the best accounts of Harrington's thought, although Pocock insists Harrington should be read in a millennarian context, a view from which I differ. See also C. Blitzer, An Immortal Commonwealth (Yale, 1970); J. C. Davies, Utopia and the Ideal Society (Cambridge, 1981), chapter 8; H. F. Russell-Smith, Harrington and His 'Oceana' (Cambridge, 1914); M. Downs, James Harrington (Boston, 1977); J. W. Gough, 'Harrington and Contemporary Thought', Political Science Quarterly 45 (1930). The work of S. B. Liljegren is a much underestimated source for Harrington studies, in particular his indispensable, footnoted edition of Oceana, published in Skrifter Vetenskaps-Societen 4 (Heidelberg, 1924); see also Liljegren Harrington and the Jews (Lund, 1932), and 'A French Draft Constitution of 1792 Modelled on James Harrington's Oceana', K. Humanistiska Vetenskapssam 17 (1932). One of the more recent important discussions of the religious elements in Harrington's thought is M. A. Goldie, 'The Civil Religion of James Harrington' which, although admirable in the logic of its arguments, operates within a Pocockian idiom. See below for my objections to Pocock's theses on Harrington's millenarianism. For a later development, see J. D. Coates, 'Coleridge's Debt to Harrington: A Discussion of Zapolya', JHI 38 (1977).

[5] For a general consideration of the role of the editor in the period, see R. Iliffe, 'Author-Mongering: "The Editor" between Producer and Consumer' (privately communicated paper: delivered at UCLA in January 1991). For a general discussion of the role of natural analogy in both political and scientific thought, see B. Barnes and S. Shapin (eds.), Natural Order (1979); B. S. Turner, The Body and Society (1984); E. M. W. Tillyard, The Elizabethan World Picture (1960); M. Macklem, The Anatomy of the World Relations between Natural and Moral Law from Donne to Pope (Minnesota, 1958); G. P. Conger, Theories of Macrocosm and Microcosm in the History of Philosophy (New York, 1922); for more specific discussions, see B. Williams, 'The Analogy of the City and the Soul in Plato's Republic', Phroenesis Supplement 1; P. Archambault, 'The Analogy of the "Body" in Renaissance Political Literature', Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance 29 (1967); J. Daly, 'Cosmic Harmony and Political Thinking in Early Stuart England', TAPS 69 (1979).

[6] Temple, Complete Works, I, 'Of Popular Discontents', 257.

[7] Toland, Works of Harrington, 'The Life of James Harrington', xvii; the Mechanics of Nature is at xlii-xliv. See also Trenchard and Gordon, Cato's Letters, III, 154: 'Now it seems to me, that the great secret in politicks is, nicely to watch and observe this fluctuation and change of natural power, and then adjust the political to it by prudent precautions and timely remedies.'

[8] I. de Diemerbroeck, Anatomy of Human Bodies (1689), iii. See Pocock, Works of Harrington, 162, 403, 725. On Harvey, see R. G. Frank, 'The Image of Harvey in Commonwealth and Restoration England' in J. J. Bylebyl (ed.), William Harvey and his Age (Baltimore, 1979); C. Hill, 'William Harvey and the idea of Monarchy', PP 29 (1964). It is interesting to note that one of Harrington's associates in the Rota Club was William Petty, an expert anatomist who became the Tomlins Reader in Anatomy at Oxford. In his Advice to Mr Hartlib (1648), Petty had argued for the necessity of a central school of anatomical investigation, while in his later The Political Anatomy of Ireland (1691) he specifically employed anatomical analogy to discuss Irish politics and economics. The suppositious Sarpi work, The Rights of Sovereigns and Subjects, as late as 1725 proposed to examine 'the matter to the bottom, to anatomise it, to strip it of artificial disguise, and expose it naked to the whole world' (page 2). The role of 'anatomy' displays a further link between Harrington and Henry Neville's Plato Redivivus; the body-politic analogy was a common theme throughout Neville's work. Walter Moyle (Works (1727), 'Some Account of Mr Moyle', 27) argued that the English Gentleman in Neville's dialogue was supposed to represent William Harvey. The power of the anatomy analogy would repay further examination set in the context of anatomical practices. See, for example, C. Webster, The Great Instauration (1975), 247-55, 420-3, for a discussion of the connections between natural analogy and political anatomy. Note that between 1600 and 1650 some fifty works were published concerning anatomy, while between 1650 and 1700 230 pieces were written; see K. F. Russell, British Anatomy 1525-1800 (Melbourne, 1963), 6.

[9] Toland, Nazarenus, 'Appendix 1', 2, 6-7; Cicero, De Republica (Loeb edition, 211-13); see Pocock, Works of Harrington, 72, 86 on 'the millennial note' and 142-3: 'If Harrington's Mechanics of Nature is indeed a work of hermetic character, we can better understand Toland's insistence on its sanity.' On the relationship between Harrington's natural philosophy and his political beliefs, written within the Pocockian idiom, see C. Diamond, 'Natural Philosophy in Harrington's Political Thought', JHP 16 (1978). For an attack upon this analysis, see J. C. Davis, 'Pocock's Harrington: Grace, Nature, and Art in the Classical Republicanism of James Harrington', HJ 24 (1981), and Utopia and the Ideal Society, 211-12. It is here that the close connection with Winstanley can most fruitfully be made. A recurrent theme of Winstanley's theology was that divinity and reason were very similar quantities: man's relation to God is premised on freedom through reason rather than omnipotent divine power. See C. Hill, 'The Religion of Gerrard Winstanley', PP Supplement 5 (1978), and (ed.), Winstanley: The Law of Freedom and Other Writings (1973), passim. Harrington, too, insists that God can be treated as either 'Infinite love' or 'almighty power'. True religion must be based on free submission rather than command, thus God has 'prepared before his empire, his authority or proposition'. For Harrington, Christ was to be understood as proposition rather than Godhead (see Pocock, Works, 373, 421, 539).

[10] Toland, Works of Harrington, 429-34. See Greenleaf, Order, Empiricism, and Politics for a misreading of the role of analogy in Harrington's thought. C. Blitzer, An Immortal Commonwealth, 89-108, discusses the idea of political anatomy at some length, although his arguments are faulted by the Whiggish premise that the political scientist and the political anatomist are the same man. Underestimating the rhetorical power of the body-politic analogy Blitzer writes: 'These are not meant to constitute proof of Harrington's arguments. Rather they are intended as inducement.' Again my argument is that the idea of natural analogy between city and soul is not a quaint anachronism on Harrington's part, but foundational for his thought. See P. Archambault, 'The Analogy of the "Body" in Renaissance Political Literature' which stresses (see pages 21-2): 'One of our fundamental contentions, in this study, is that the analogy of the body was never used loosely. The political writers of the late medieval and Renaissance periods did not consider it as an inert, neutral literary topos, but as capable of betraying certain political implications.' That this analogy <203> was still vigorous in the early eighteenth century is confirmed by Toland's State-Anatomy (1717), a tremendously popular work: the title is a rather bad Harringtonian pun.

[11] See Trenchard and Gordon, Cato's Letters, III, 150; see also III, 4.

[12] See H. Neville, Plato Redivivus (1681), 71, 75, 81, 82, 95, 158-9, 160-7, 174, and Thomas Goddard's hostile reply Plato's Demon, Or the State Physician Unmaskt (1684), 61, 144, 146, 147-51, 156; Toland, State-Anatomy, 12-13, citing Cicero: 'As our bodies cannot be manag'd without a mind, so a government cannot without a law rule its several parts, analogous to nerves, blood and other members.'

[13] Toland, Works of Harrington, 39, 448.

[14] Ibid., 44-5.

[15] Ibid., 45.

[16] Ibid., 242, 252.

[17] Ibid., 46-7, 52, 195. See Aubrey, Brief Lives, I, 293: 'He was wont to say that right reason is contemplation, is vertue in action, et vice versa, vivere secundum naturam is to live vertuously, the Divines will not have it so …' See Winstanley, The Law of Freedom: 'the great lawgiver in commonwealth government is the spirit of universal righteousness dwelling in mankind, now rising up to teach everyone to do to another as he would have another to do him', cited in Hill, 'The Religion of Winstanley', 44. On this point I would take issue with Hill's argument (at 55) that 'eighteenth century deism was so abstractly secular that it lacked the emotional appeal of Winstanley's ideas. Never again were serious revolutionary ideals to be expressed in religious forms in England.' See Trenchard and Gordon, Cato's Letters, III, 193-4: 'Nothing is so much the interest of private men, as to see the publick flourish … every man's private advantage is so much wrapt up in the publick felicity, that by every step which he takes to depreciate his country's happiness, he undermines and destroys his own.' The <205> conflation of public and private interest was the central theme in Shaftesbury's An Inquiry Concerning Virtue (1699); see below, pp. 210-18. For an interesting discussion of public and private interest in Harrington, see J. A. W. Gunn, Politics and the Public Interest in the Seventeenth Century (1969), 109-52. Gunn points out that many of Harrington's arguments were commonplace and conventional. Gunn's general thesis that 'Liberal or republican thought in this era was largely based upon the premise that the public good was most obviously and immediately related to the preservation of private right' (Politics and the Public Interest, 300) is certainly misapplied to Harrington (144, 151). Gunn creates problems for himself by conflating the injunctions of reason and virtue: both should be read within a neo-Stoic context, rather than rather nebulous liberal conceptions of 'individualism' and 'rational self-interest'.

[18] Toland, Works of Harrington, 499, 500. The same analogy is employed by J. Dennis in An Essay Upon Publick Spirit (1711) in Selected Works (2 volumes, 1727), I, 406-43, at 406: 'What the spirit of a man is to the body natural, that publick spirit is to the body politick.' Note that J. A. W. Gunn, Beyond Liberty and Property (Montreal, 1983), chapter 7, 'Public Spirit to Public Opinion', uses Dennis' work without acknowledging either the Harringtonian meaning or the analogical purpose of the argument.

[19] Toland, Works of Harrington, 192, 211. See Cicero, De Natura Deorum, 76: 'Nature therefore cannot be void of reason, if art can bring nothing to perfection without it, and if the works of nature exceed those of art.' See Shaftesbury to Stanhope, 7 November 1709: 'So is architecture and its beauty the same, and founded in nature, let men's fancy be never so Gothic; for there is a Gothic architecture which is false, and ever will be so, though we should all turn Goths, and lose our relish', B. Rand, (ed.), The Life, Unpublished Letters, and Philosophical Regimen of Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury (1900), 416-17. See below for a discussion of Shaftesbury's point, argued against both Hobbes and Locke, that aesthetic <206> beauty and moral truth are natural rather than conventional. For an excellent discussion of classical and Renaissance ideas of art and nature, see A. J. Close, 'Commonplace Theories of Art and Nature in Classical Antiquity and in the Renaissance', JHI 30 (1969), and 'Philosophical Theories of Art and Nature in Classical Antiquity', JHI 32 (1971).

[20] Toland, Works of Harrington, 172.

[21] Harrington explained at length: 'Diogenes seeing a young fellow drunk, told him that his father was drunk when he begat him. For thus in natural generation I must confess I see no reason; but in the political it is right. The vices of the people are from their governors; those of the governors from their laws or orders; and those of their laws or orders from their legislators. What ever was in the womb imperfect, as to their proper work, comes very rarely, or never at all to perfection afterwards; and the formation of the citizen in the womb of the commonwealth is his education' (Toland, Works of Harrington, 177; this notion is reminiscent of Marx's description of the natural determinism of society).

[22] Toland, Works of Harrington, 75-6.

[23] Harrington here addresses one of the central issues between the claims of liberty and duty: see also Hegel, The Philosophy of History, trans. J. Sibree (New York, 1956), 449: 'Plato in his Republic makes everything depend on the government, and makes disposition the principle of the state; on which account he lays the chief stress on education. The modern theory is diametrically opposed to this referring everything to the individual will. But here we have no guarantee that the will in question has the right disposition which is essential to the stability of the state.'

[24] Toland, Works of Harrington, 58.

[25] Toland, Works of Harrington, 89, 127, 448-51, 505-508. Harrington's hermeneutic is an important but understudied facet of Oceana. Certainly he considered scriptural interpretation as a crucial weapon in the destruction of priestcraft. As he commented (Pocock, Works, 307): 'But in the searching of the Scriptures by the proper use of our Universities, we have been heretofore blessed with greater victories and trophies against the purple hosts and golden standards of the Romish hierarchy, than any nation.'

[26] Toland, Works of Harrington, 37-8, 59; see J. G. A. Pocock, Virtue, Commerce, and History (Cambridge, 1986), 66: 'What we used to think of as the age of reason may just as well be called the age of virtue.' In general on the psychological tenor of political theory of the period, see A. Hirschmann, The Passions and the Interests (Princeton, 1977); the author makes no reference to any classical tradition. An important text on the passions is Descartes' Passions of the Soul (1646) usefully discussed in R. B. Carter, Descartes' Medical Philosophy (Baltimore, 1983). See also N. O. Keohane, Philosophy and the State in France (Princeton, 1980); A. Levi, French Moralists and the Theory of the Passions 1585-1689 (Oxford, 1964).

[27] Gordon and Trenchard, Cato's Letters, II, 47.

[28] Ibid., II, 50-51, 53-4.

[29] Ibid., II, 53.

[30] Ibid., II, 56, 67.

[31] Ibid., II, 43-6, III, 332-3, 335.

[32] Toland, Collections, II, 377. The idea of mechanistic control is neatly presented in Harrington's description of a carnival pageant he had seen in Italy. He wrote: 'At Rome I saw one which represented a kitchin, with all the proper utensils in use and action. The cooks were all cats and kitlings, set in such frames, so tied and so ordered, that the poor creatures could make no motion to get loose, but the same caused one to turn the spit, another to baste the meat, a third to skim the pot and a fourth to make the green sauce. If the frame of your commonwealth be not such as causeth everyone to perform his certain functions as necessarily as this did the cat to make the green sauce, it is not right' (Pocock, Works of Harrington, 744).

[33] Gordon and Trenchard, Independent Whig, 313.

[34] See G. Oestreich, Neostoicism and the Early Modern State (Cambridge, 1982); G. Monsarrat, Light from the Porch: Stoicism and Early Renaissance Literature (Paris, 1984), especially chapter 2, 'Classical Stoicism: Texts, Translations, and Translators', 21-49; F. H. Sandbach, The Stoics (1975); G. B. Kerferd, 'Cicero and Stoic Ethics' in J. R. C. Martyn (ed.), Cicero and Virgil Studies in Honour of Harold Hunt, 60-74; J. M. Rist, Stoic Philosophy (Cambridge, 1969). An important discussion of the links between anticlericalism and the impact of neo-Stoicism is P. L. Rose, Bodin and the Great God of Nature: The Moral and Religious Universe of a Judaiser (Geneva, 1980). This focuses upon Bodin's manuscript, 'Colloquium Heptaplomeres de Rerum Sublimium Arcanis Abditis'. There is no study of the relevance of this work to the English context of the late seventeenth century. It is known that Milton possessed a copy, see C. Hill, Milton and the English Revolution (1977), 109-10. Bishop John Moore also owned a copy, which was deposited in Cambridge University Library in the early eighteenth century.

[35] The second edition was 1687, and a third in 1700. Jean Leclerc was to translate portions of the work into Latin.

[36] T. Stanley, The History of Philosophy (1687), 421-91.

[37] Stanley, History of Philosophy, 462-5. For a useful account of neo-Stoicism and natural law, see M. C. Horowitz, 'The Stoic Synthesis of the Idea of Natural Law in Man: Four Themes', JHI 35 (1974).

[38] Cicero, De Divinatione, II, 1.200.

[39] Cicero, De Legibus, I, vii, xv, xxi.408-17, 423. Also De Republica, III, xxii, 360, 408, 412-13, 418, 423, 360.

[40] The Five Days Debate at Cicero's House at Tusculum (1683), especially Book IV, 'The Government of the Passions' 217-18, 223, 226-48, 268 and Book V, 'The Chief End of Man', 268-9, 280. Note that Toland (Pantheisticon, 72) cited this passage as crucial to the pantheist liturgy.

[41] Blount, Great is Diana, Preface, Sig. F3v; Blount, Anima Mundi, 124-5; Blount, Miscellaneous Works, 'Account of the Life and Death', Sig. A10r; Blount, Oracles of Reason, Preface, Sig. B3r-v.

[42] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks (3 volumes, 2nd edition, 1714), I, 41. See B. Rand (ed.), The Life, Unpublished Letters, and Philosophical Regimen (1900), 500; note at 494 (Shaftesbury to Coste, 5 June 1712) that Prince Eugene conveyed his enthusiasm for the recently published Characteristicks; see passim for correspondence with Bayle, Leclerc and Coste. On Shaftesbury, see R. Voitle, The Third Earl of Shaftesbury 1671-1713 (Louisiana, 1984); A. O. Aldridge, 'Shaftesbury and the Deist Manifesto', Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 12 (1951); S. Grean, Shaftesbury's Philosophy of Religion (Ohio, 1967). Note that Grean makes no reference to Shaftesbury's Harringtonianism, but is content to make anachronistic statements about Shaftesbury as a 'defender of liberal religion', and being on the 'liberal left wing of Protestantism', at 99-107, also 119, 260; see also J. A. Bernstein, Shaftesbury, Rousseau, and Kant (Toronto, 1980). For more detailed work, see E. Tiffany, 'Shaftesbury as Stoic', PMLA 37 (1923), 642-85; A. 0. Aldridge, 'Two Versions of Shaftesbury's Inquiry', Huntingdon Library Quarterly 13 (1950). On the emblems contained in the Characteristicks, see F. Paknadel, 'Shaftesbury's Illustrations of the Characteristicks', Journal of Warburg and Courtauld Institute 37 (1974); W. J. Ong, 'From Allegory to Diagram in the Renaissance Mind', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 17 (1958).

[43] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, I, 116, III, 143. The connection between Toland, Harrington and Shaftesbury is virtually unexplored: note that Shaftesbury sent at least two copies of Toland's edition of Harrington's works to Holland: see Russell-Smith, Harrington and His Oceana, 143. The whole of Characteristicks, at least in political and religious terms, seems to have been informed by Harringtonian ideas. The classic case is the An Inquiry Concerning Virtue. Rand, Life, Letters, {and} Private Regimen, xxiii, suggests that Shaftesbury gave Toland an annual stipend in the late 1690s.

[44] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, I, 187, 311, 320, 327; see also III, 101-4, 186, 196-200.

[45] Ibid., I, 294-5.

[46] Ibid., I, 15, 32, 17-18; see also Toland, State-Anatomy, 28. Note that Shaftesbury and Toland both cite Harrington directly here: Toland, Works of Harrington, 448. On the French Prophets, see H. Schwartz, The French Prophets, (1980).

[47] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks I, 39-40.

[48] See D. Walford, (ed.), An Inquiry Concerning Virtue (Manchester, 1977), Introduction, 1-14; Rand, Life, xxii-xxiii, 385.

[49] Rand, Life, (Shaftesbury to Ainsworth) 403-5, and (Shaftesbury to Stanhope, 7 November 1709), 413-17; Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, II, 7. See Cicero, De Legibus, I, xvii.418: 'Goodness is not a mode of opinion, but of nature.' See Aubrey, Brief Lives, I, 294, <215> 'Harrington', citing Harrington's verse: 'The state of nature never was so raw / But Oakes bore acornes and ther[e] was a law / By which the Spider and the Silkworme span; / each creature had her birthright, and must man / be illegitimate! have no child's parte! / if Reason had no wit, how came in Arte?' Note also the correspondence between Shaftesbury and Gilbert Burnet (Rand, Life, 419-21), where the former attempted to gain a chaplaincy for Ainsworth in 1710. It is also interesting to note that Shaftesbury lamented that Ainsworth was in clerical orders; he wrote in 1711: 'You have been brought into the world, and come into orders, in the worst time for insolence, riot, pride, and presumption of clergymen that I ever knew or have read of, though I have searched far into the characters of high churchmen from the first centuries that they grew to be dignified with crowns and purple, to the late time of the reformation and to our present age' (Rand, Life, 434).

[50] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, II, 12-14, 34-5, 40, 44, 45, 50-1, 118-19. Shaftesbury here follows the argument proposed by Plutarch in On Superstition, a text much favoured by John Toland who intended to publish a translation and commentary entitled Superstition Unmaskt. It is important to note that in his commendation of Pierre Bayle, Shaftesbury made clear the distinction between private speculation and morality. Writing to his printer Mr Darby in February 1702, he commented on Bayle: 'Whatever his opinions might be, either in politics or philosophy (for no two ever disagreed more in these than he and I), yet we lived and corresponded as entire friends. And I must do him the justice to say that whatever he might be in speculation, he was in practice one of the best Christians, and almost the only man I ever knew who, professing philosophy, loved truly as a philosopher; with that innocence, virtue and temperance, humility, and contempt of the world and interest which might be called exemplary' (Rand, Life, 385). Shaftesbury commented on himself: 'But as in philosophy so in politics, I am but few removes from mere scepticism, and though I may hold some principles perhaps tenaciously, they are however, so very few, plain, and simple that they serve to little purpose towards the great speculations in fashion with the world' (Rand, Life, 367).

[51] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, II, 55: 'There is no more rectitude, piety, or sanctity in a creature thus reformed than there is meekness or gentleness in a tyger strongly chained, or innocence and sobriety in a monkey under the discipline of the Whip.' See Toland, 'A Project for a Journal' in Collections, II, 201-14 at 202, on the 'beauty, harmony, and reasonableness of virtue in itself'; Toland, Clito (1700), 19: 'Virtues its own reward'; and Trenchard and Gordon, Cato's Letters, II, 236: 'Virtue is its own reward.'

[52] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, III, 42-59, 60; II, 64. This passage is a reference to Harrington, The Prerogative of Popular Government (Pocock, Works, 437-8), where in citing Diodorus Siculus on the Egyptian priesthood's land ownership, Harrington commented: 'Egypt by this means is the first example of a monarchy upon a nobility, at least distributed into three estates by means of a landed clergy, which by consequence came to be the greatest councellors of state and, putting religion unto their uses, to bring the people to be the most superstitious in the whole world.'

[53] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, I, 120, 142, 353-4; II, 17, 66, 77-81; III, 180-1. See J. Dennis, The Grounds of Criticism in Poetry (1704), 6: 'The microcosm owes the beauty and health both of its body and soul to order, and the deformity and distemper of both, to nothing but the want of order. Man was created like the rest of the creatures, regular, and as long as he remained so he continued happy; but as soon as he fell from his primitive state by transgressing order, weakness and misery were the immediate consequences of that universal disorder that immediately followed in his conceptions, in his passions and actions.'

[54] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, I, 106, 109-11, 120; II, 78-81; III, 144-6.

[55] Ibid., III, 222. This argument is explicitly Harringtonian: see Toland, Works of Harrington, 46-7. Shaftesbury was certainly one route by which Harrington's ideas were carried to later thinkers, for example Rousseau: see M. Viroli, 'The Concept of Ordre and the Language of Classical Republicanism in Jean-Jaques Rousseau' in A. Pagden (ed.), Languages of Political Theory in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1987), 160. See also M. Viroli, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and 'the Well-Ordered Society' (Cambridge, 1988), 13-16, 24-5.

[56] Shaftesbury, Characteristicks, II, 83; III, 180-1.

[57] Ibid., II, 83-4, 94-6, 130-4, 135; III, 180.

[58] Ibid., III, 33, 36-40.

[59] Ibid., I, 18-19; II, 63-4, 72-3; III, 143, 224.

[60] Ibid., II, 250-4.

[61] Gordon and Trenchard, Independent Whig, 8. See also page xlviii: 'Morality is a social virtue, or rather the mother of social virtues: it wishes and promotes unlimited and universal happiness to the whole world; it regards not a Christian more than a Jew or an Indian, any further than he is a better citizen; and not so much if he is not.' This argument clearly has continuities with Leveller polemics in favour of 'practical Christianity'; see, for example, J. C. Davis, 'The Levellers and Christianity' in B. Manning (ed.), Politics, Religion and the English Civil War (1973), and 'The Levellers and Religion' in J. F. McGregor and B. Reay, Radical Religion.

[62] Moyle, Works (1726), I, 'Mr Moyle's Charge to the Grand Jury at Liscard April 1706', 156-7.

[63] T. Gordon, The Spirit of Ecclesiasticks, 2. See R. Tuck, Natural Right Theories (Cambridge, 1979), especially 156, 158-9, 174-6 on Barbeyrac and the history of morality. Tuck makes no reference to this early Republican translation of Barbeyrac's work. Note that Gordon's translation received a hostile reply in the form of Z. Grey's The Spirit of Infidelity Detected (1723 and enlarged in 1735). S. B. Liljegren in 'A French Draft Constitution of 1792', 37-8, discusses the favourable reception of Gordon's works in France.

[64] Gordon, Spirit of Ecclesiasticks, 3: 'To give these ideas all the force they are capable of, to make them able to keep their grounds against the passions, and private interests; it is necessary there should be a superior being, a being more powerful than we are, which may compel us to conform ourselves to them invariably in our conduct, that may bind us so, that it may not be in our power to disengage ourselves at pleasure; in a word, that it may lay us under an obligation, properly so called, to follow the light of our Reason. This fear of a divinity, that punishes vice, and rewards virtue, has so great an efficacy.'

[65] Ibid., 3-4, 5-8, 13-15.

[66] Gordon and Trenchard, Independent Whig, xlix, xlv, xlviii, 312-13.

[67] Toland, Nazarenus, v, 67; see also Blount, Oracles of Reason, 199.

[68] Anon., Averroeana, 128, 129, 130, 133; Toland, Primitive Constitution of the Christian Church in Collections, II, 138-9, 140.

[69] Gordon and Trenchard, Cato's Letters, IV, 265-6; Blount, Oracles of Reason, 88-9, 91-3.

[70] Toland, The Second Part of State-Anatomy, 76-8.

[71] Gordon and Trenchard, Cato's Letters, IV, 24-5.

[72] Ibid., II, 113, 291-4.

[73] Gordon and Trenchard, Independent Whig, 58-62, 344-5, 429-439, 440.

[74] Dunn, 'From Applied Theology to Social Analysis: The Break Between John Locke and the Scottish Enlightenment' in Rethinking Modern Political Theory (Cambridge, 1985), 66-7.

[75] Gordon, Works of Tacitus, III, 222, 224-6, 226-7, 228-30, 245-55. The argument between Anglican and radical over who were the correct and legitimate promoters of virtue extended into the dispute between the High Church Jeremy Collier and John Dennis over the immorality (or not) of the stage. See J. Collier, A Short View of the Immorality of the Stage (1698), which vilifies the corruption of the theatre, and Dennis' reply, The Usefulness of the Stage (1698), which defends the stage as a competent propagator of virtue. Dennis extended this thesis in his The Grounds of Criticism in Poetry (1704) which called for a rebirth of poetic virtue. See also Dennis, An Essay on the Operas (1706) in Selected Works, I, 444-71 and C. Gildon in An Apology for Poetry written for Walter Moyle: 'The Ancients termed poesie a more excellent king of philosophy, which should from our childhood inform our lives, and teach us with pleasure, what our manners, our passions, and our actions ought to be' (Miscellaneous Letters and Essays (1694), 20-1).

[76] Trenchard and Gordon, Cato's Letters, III, 65. It seems then that the English radicals of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century pre-empted the ideas of the 'high' Enlightenment: see D. Beales, 'Christians and "Philosophes": The Case of the Austrian Enlightenment' in D. Beales, and G. Best (eds.), History, Society and the Churches (Cambridge, 1985), 171-2, citing Diderot: 'Reason is in respect to the philosophe what grace is in respect to the Christian … Civil society is, so to speak, a divinity on earth for [the philosophe]; he worships it …'

[77] J. G. A. Pocock, 'Virtue, Rights and Manners' in Virtue, Commerce and History, 45; see on the juristic tradition, Tuck, Natural Rights Theories, passim.

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