An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of by Bernard Mandeville

By Bernard Mandeville

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That Englishmen fight well is not owing to their Christianity. The Fear of Shame is able to make most Men brave. Soldiers are made by Discipline. To make them proud of their Profession, and inspire them with the Love of Glory, are the surest Arts to make them valiant: Religion has Nothing to do with it. The Alcoran bids its Followers fight and propagate their Faith by Arms and Violence; nay, it promises Paradise to All, who die in Battle against Infidels; yet, you see, how often the Turks have turn'd Tail to the _Germans_, when the latter An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War [with accents] 42 have been inferiour in Number.

Cleo. That Christ and his Apostles taught by Example as well as Precepts the Practice of Humility and the Contempt of Riches; to renounce the Pomp and Vanity of the World, and mortify the Flesh, is certain: And that this was striking at the very Fundamentals of Human Nature, is as certain. This could only be perform'd by Men preternaturally affected; and therefore the Founders of Christianity being gone, it could not be expected, that the same Austerity of Life and Self-denial should be continued among the Successors of them, as soon as the Ministry of the Gospel became a Calling, that Men were brought up to for a Livelihood; and considering how essential those mortifying Principles are to Christianity, it is not easy to conceive, how the one could be made still to subsist, when the other should cease to be.

Cleo. That Clergymen may be made Use of as Incendiaries, and by perverting the Duties of their Function, set Men together by the Ears, is very true; but no Man was ever made to fight by having the Gospel preach'd to him. From what I have said of Self-liking and Human Nature, the Reason is manifest, why among People, that are indifferent to one another, it is a difficult Task to make a Man sincerely love his Neighbour, at the same Time, that it is the easiest Thing in the World to make him hate his Neighbour with all his Heart.

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