Bernard de Mandeville

Some People are not to be persuaded to taste of any Creatures they have daily seen and been acquainted with, while they were alive; others extend their Scruple no further than to their own Poultry, and refuse to eat what they fed and took care of themselves; yet all of them will feed heartily and without Remorse on Beef, Mutton and Fowls when they are bought in the Market.

The multitude will hardly believe the excessive force of education, and in the difference of modesty between men and women, ascribe that to nature, which is altogether owing to early instruction: Miss is scarce three years old, but she’s spoke to every day to hide her leg, and rebuked in good earnest if she shows it; whilst little Master at the same age is bid to take up his coats, and piss like a man.

What a vast Traffick is drove, what a variety of Labour is performed in the World to the Maintenance of Thousands of Families that altogether depend on two silly if not odious Customs; the taking of Snuff and smoking of Tobacco; both which it is certain do infinitely more hurt than good to those that are addicted to them!

They that examine into the Nature of Man, abstract from Art and Education, may observe, that what renders him a Sociable Animal, consists not in his desire of Company, Good-nature, Pity, Affability, and other Graces of a fair Outside; but that his vilest and most hateful Qualities are the most necessary Accomplishments to fit him for the largest, and, according to the World, the happiest and most flourishing Societies.

Ashamed of the many frailties they feel within, all men endeavor to hide themselves, their ugly nakedness, from each other, and wrapping up the true motives of their hearts in the specious cloak of sociableness, and their concern for the public good, they are in hopes of concealing their filthy appetites and the deformity of their desires.

One good Man may take another’s Word, if they so agree, but a whole Nation ought never to trust to any Honesty, but what is built upon Necessity; for unhappy is the People, and their Constitution will be ever precarious, whose Welfare must depend upon the Virtues and Consciences of Ministers and Politicians.

It is visible then that it was not any Heathen Religion or other Idolatrous Superstition, that first put Man upon crossing his Appetites and subduing his dearest Inclinations, but the skilful Management of wary Politicians; and the nearer we search into human Nature, the more we shall be convinced, that the Moral Virtues are the Political Offspring which Flattery begot upon Pride.

Ye children of promise who are awaiting your call to glory, take possession of the inheritance that now is yours. By faith take the promises. Live upon them, not upon emotions. Remember, feeling is not faith. Faith grasps and clings to the promises. Faith says, “I am certain, not because feeling testifies to it, but because God says it.