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would then have been a bond of union, and every individual would have known the line of conduct he was to follow. But instead of this, a revolutionary government, a thing without either principle or authority, was substituted in its place; virtue and crime depended upon accident; and that which was patriotism one day became treason the next . All these things have followed from the want of a constitution; for it is the nature and intention of a constitution to prevent governing by party, by establishing a common principle that shall limit and control the power and impulse of party, and that says to all parties, Thus Far Shalt Thou Go And No Farther. But in the absence of a constitution men look entirely to party; and instead of principle governing party, party governs principle.
An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
BEING A PLAN FOR
MELIORATING THE CONDITION OF MAN,
BY CBEATIKO IN EVERY NATION
8 National iFunfr,
To pay to every Person, when arrived at the Age of Twenty-one Years, the Sum of Fifteen Pounds Sterling, to enable him, or her, to begin the World.
Ten Pounds Sterling per Annum during Life to every Person now living, of the Age of Fifty Years, and to all Others when they shall arrive at that Age, to enable them to live in Old Age without Wretchedness, and go decently out of the World.
BY THOMAS PAINE
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY R. CARLLLE, 55, FLEET STREET.
The following little piece was written in the winter of 1795 and 96; and, as I had not determined whether to publish it during the present war, or to wait till the commencement of a peace, it has lain by me, without addition, from the time it was written.
What has determined me to publish it now is, a Sermon, preached by Watson, Bishop of Llandaff. Some of my readers will recollect, that this Bishop wrote a book, entitled "An Apology for the Bible,5* in answer to my "Second Part of the Age of Reason." I procured a copy of his book, and he may depend upon hearing from me on that subject.
At the end of the Bishop's book is a list of the works he has written, among which is the Sermon alluded to; it is entitled "The Wisdom and Goodness of God in having made both rich and poor; with an Appendix containing Reflections on the present State of England and France."
The error contained in the title of this Sermon, determined me to publish my Agrarian Justice. It is wrong to say that God made Rich and Poor; he made only Male and Female; and he gave them the earth for their inheritance."
Instead of preaching to encourage one part of mankind in insolence
it would be better that the Priests employed their time to render the condition of man less miserable than it is. Practical Religion consists in doing good; and the only way of serving God is, that of endeavouring to make his creation happy.—All preaching that has not this for its object , is nonsense and hypocrisy.
• Considerable pains have been taken to procure a perfect copy of this pamphlet, but it does not appear that any such thing was ever printed in England. The publisher is therefore reluctantly compelled to insert the hiatuses, as in the former edition.