UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The religious beliefs of Dean Swift Lewis, Hunter Campbell 1928

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1928_a8_l3_r3.pdf [ 76.02MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0097735.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0097735-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0097735-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0097735-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0097735-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0097735-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0097735-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0097735-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0097735.ris

Full Text

U . B . C . L I B R A R Y CAT WO. fby. nxt Re-Li Rj, ACC. wo. ' THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF DEAN SWIFT HUNTER CAMPBELL LEWIS Thesis submitted for the Degree of MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of ENGLISH THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1928 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Introduction i - iv Fart One Part Two 21 Part Three 61 Part Four 100 Conclusion 147 INTRODUCTION Prom the date of his first literary effort in prose, the fame of Jonathan Swift was assured. Recognized, on the appear-ance of his second work, as "the greatest genius of his age", he has retained that title through two centuries; and, in spite of detractors, has been allowed to hold a place in the hier-archy of English literature_, that is remarkable for its steadi-ness and for its relative height. That he has suffered so few vagaries of reputation argues not only an evenness and contin-uity of inspiration, but a merit in his work that defies the fluctuating literary styles of the changing generations. What is more remarkable is that Swift should rank as high as he does, for, though his output was large, the proportion of purely lit-erary pieces was small. Of the twelve volumes which make up his "Collected Prose Works" not more than three were the resixlt of conscious literary effort; and the addition of two volumes of poetry and "The Journal to Stella" still leaves his work small. Yet his place is as firm as that of any but the greatest writers in the language;—and vrould doubtless remain so even were all his works lost save "Gulliver's Travels" and "The Tale of a Tub". Pew other reputations have been held so high by the strength of two books. In our day "Gulliver" is by far the better known of the two, and in its unfailing popularity lies the secret of Swift's continued renown. In his day it enjoyed an even greater demand, but could only confirm a reputation already established. In more ways than one Swift's place was determined by the "Tale of a Tub." As a 'litterateur' it was his first title to fame; as a clergyman it was his cross. It is one of Fate's ironies that what made him great deprived him, also, of the reward due to greatness; that what he attacked he should later defend. That Swift was not primarily a literary man is a fact that is commonly ignored, but which is true none the less. Litera-ture was for him but an incidental concern, and, at best, held but third place in his heart, since the first and the second were shared by the Church and the State. These two interests combine in a (Jordian knot which even he must have failed to untangle. His religion turned him to affairs of the state, and his statecraft taught him a use for religion. These two con-cerns engaged him constantly and made more complex a nature nev-er simple. The most significant fact in Swift's career was that he belonged to the ranks of the Churchmen. Metaphorically he car-ried the banner of the. Church, literally he wore its robes. Yet this has not tempted Swift's commentators to make any con-sistent study of the body of beliefs that actuated him through-out his life. In this paper I attempt to do a fraction of this: —to discover what reasons lay behind his choice of the church as a vocation; to develope his religious and political beliefs into a coherent system, indicating where possible their reac-tions upon one another; and, finally, to account for some of the more unexpected of these beliefs by showing their origins in the political system of Hobbes, and by indicating their af-finity to the thought of that writer. In selecting this subject I was influenced by two cir-cumstances in particular: first, that in Swift's expressed religions beliefs there are a number of glaring and unaccount-able inconsistencies, and an even greater number of discrepan-cies between beliefs that he expressed and disbeliefs that he either expressed or implied; second, the discovery in Swift's works of some passages which bore a sufficient resemblance to certain of the principles of Hobbes to suggest a definite in-fluence. Since my choice lay between tracing a number of in-fluences rather cursorily, or tracing one rather thoroughly, and since I was under no illusions regarding the possible inter-est which this essay might have for anyone else, I chose the latter because I felt that it would be more interesting and more valuable to myself. The reason that I chose to trace the influence of Hobbes, instead of that of Locke, Filmer, Harring-ton or some one else was that I found Hobbes' theory more in-trinsically interesting than the theories of the others, and that it was more unexpected to find Swift falling under the in-fluence of a reputed heretic like Hobbes, than under the influ-ence of some man, like one of those mentioned, who was in good standing with the church, The form which this essay has taken necessitates two com-ments. The subject is so intricate that a certain number of repetitions, (usually involving some change in emphasis) have been necessary; and a large number of possible arrangements of material have had to be considered and discarded. The one iv which I have used is likely not the best, but promised, in so far as I could judge, the greatest degree of coherence. Because the beliefs of Swift that have been treated are ones that have not previously received much discussion, I thought it wise to justify my conclusions by a liberal use of quota-tions. The same reason will account, in part, for a similar free use of quotations, in the sections devoted to establish-ing the influence between Hobbes and Swift. And to this may be added the fact that a certain similarity of tone, which I hoped to show, could be indicated in no other way. UBC Scanned by UBC Library TIIS RELIGIOUS 32LI27S OP DSA3" o'./IFT P.aRT I. CHOICE CD Tim CHtTCH Though his religious beliefs deserve examination for their own sake, three circumstances at least indicate how important a part they played in Swift's life, and suggest how necessary it is to understand them in order to understand' many other things that at first may appear to be unconnected with them. The first is that throughout the period of his maturity the question of religion was one which provoked an amazing amount of thought and discussion, and was in conse-quence, one that might be expected to interest and influence him considerably. The second is not conjectural but is the fact that his first and, with only one possible exception, his greatest piece of work, "it Tale of a Tub", devotes itself very largely to a discussion of an important phase of religion. A third reason is that throughout Swift's life and his writ-ings the thing which xaost frequently and moot violently anger-ed him was the activity, in one way or another, .of the two principal enemies of the established church, the Deists and the Dissenters. Just what the influences wera that led Swift to turn to the church for his vocation it is difficult to discover. Two things seem comparatively certain: the first that his choice 2 was voluntary and not the result of circumstances; the other that his choice was not the result of any particularly spirit-ual bent in his character. Cr^ik says:"1" "he now accepted the career to which his connections, his education, his opportunities, possibly also his inclination had turned his thoughts." But of these influences only the one least stressed seems to be of any importance,—and it not quite understandable. The "connections" to which Aiken refers is undoubtedly "a connection" rather than several. It is true that among Swift's direct ancestors there had been an apparent predilec-2 tion for the Church. From his "Fragment of Autobiography" it appears that both his great grandfather, William Swift, and his grandfather, Thomas Swift, had been clergymen. Of these, however, only the latter can be supposed to have influenced Swift in the least. Of his grsat great grandfather, who was also a clergyman, he makes no mention whatever, and was apparently ignorant both of him and of his vocation, for he refers to his great grandfather, William, as the founder of his own branch of the Swift family. This William Swift, however, was, on the authority of Jonathan's cousin and bio-grapher, Deane Swift, the son of Thomas and his successor in the parish of St. Andrew in the city of Canterbury. Of even his great grandfather he knows very little and he shows no 4 particular interest in him or in his affairs. "He was," 1. Craik I, 59 2. Swift, XI, 367 3. Ibid. 368 n.2. 4. Ibid. 368-9 3 he says, "a divine of some distinction. There is a seirnon of his extant, and the title is to be seen in the catalogue of the Bodleian Library, but I never could get a copy, and I suppose it would now be of little value His original picture was in the hands of Godwin Swift of Dublin Esquire, his great grandson (Swift's uncle); as well as that of his wife, who seems to have a good deal of the shrew in her countenance"; and again, "he seems to have been a person somewhat fantastic; for he altered the family coat of arms..." Beyond this he makes very little comment of any sort and none of moment nor any which shows personal regard or admira-tion. With Thomas Swift the case is different. In him his grandson Jonathan is undoubtedly interested, and shows his interest by recording details of whatever incidents in his grandfather's life he could remember from stories told to him, or coula collect from other sources. "...Thomas seems to have been a clergyman before his father's death. He was a vicar of Goodrich (and)...had likewise another church living, withd>out one hundred pounds a year in land."-1- The facts which really attracted Swift to the life of his grandfather, had little enough to do with his being a clergyman. He was, it appears, "much distinguished by his courage as well as by his loyalty to King Charles the First, and the sufferings he underwent for that prince, more than any person of his con-1. Swift ill, 378. 4 dition in England...He was plundered by the Roundheads six and thirty, some say above fifty, times."1 To this, however, he did not submit with Christian meekness nor humility. There was as little regard for the doctrine of "the other cheek" in Thomas as there was in his more famous grandson; and one feels that it is this quality that attracts the latter. Thomas continued to preach against the Roundheads— bade his parishioners to "Give unto oaesar the things that are Caesar's"; contributed to a Royalist garrison, which was hard pressed for funds, "three hundred broad pieces of gold, which as it proved a seasonable relief, must be allowed an extraordinary supply from a private clergyman of a small 2 estate..." Later he became actually a "fighting parson", and, by a clever device consisting of spikes placed in a ford, he managed to destroy two hundred (of a party of three hundred) Roundheads who attempted to cross. As might be supposed, this loyal Cavalier was deprived of his living on the success of the Parliamentary party; and unfortunately for him "he died before the return of King Charles the Second,....who had promised that he would promote Mr. Swift in the church, and other ways reward his family for his extraordinary zeal and persecutions in the Royal cause."3 This narration is followed and concluded by the energetic and probably not ingenuous remark that "Mr. Swift's merit died with him." 1. Swift XI, 371. 2. Ibid, 372. 3. Ibid, 373. 5 The unrewarded deeds of his grandfather, "so eminent for his loyalty and his sufferings," remedied in no way the displeasure W'ich the grandson felt at a fresh neglect which he considered had been shown to himself by the English Government. To summarize, then, the possible influences of "connec-tions" on the young Jonathon, is. his selection of the church ais a field for his pent up activity: he had a clergyman grandfather whom he admired very much, but whom he admired for his fighting qualities rather than for his priestly ones. T!e hear much of the ancestor's sturdy, dogged adherence to the Royalist cause and little enough of his functions as Vicar of Goodrich. There was also a great grandfather of whom Jonathan was at least aware and whose picture he had probab-ly seen many times as a boy. The only feeling that appears to have been stirred by it, however, was the judgment that he was an eccentric, to have changed the family coat of arms; for the curiosity with regard to his ancestor's sermon, un-doubtedly, was of much later growth. If the tendency to be-come a minister were the result of heredity instead of en-vironment, the fact that his great great grandfather Thomas Swift as well as his great great grandmother's father, Bishop Godwin of Bath had also been clergyman might be of importance. There is no indication, ho..ever, that Swift was aware of these ancestors at all, though in the present generations of 6 the family of Swift (lineally descended from Godwin the uncle who supported Jonathan in his school and college days) there is a picture of this latter remote ancestor dressed in the ruffles ana lace of the Tudor bishops' costume. In addition to his priestly progenitors, Swift had at least one contemporary and one almost contemporary, relative who were in orders. A cousin, Thomas, became a vicar of Puttenham, probably a few years before Jonathan turned to the church and this cousin had gone to 'i'rinty with him. Still there is no indication that Swift felt ary great friendship or admiration then and certainly he felt nothing but contempt afterwards. This Thomas was the "little-parson cousin" who attempted to father the anonymous "Tale of a Tub", and"about whom Swift wrote to his publisher suggesting that he ask the claimant to explain some things: if he did, then said Swift, 'you will if he pleases set his name to the next edition. I should be glad to see how far the foolish impudences of a dunce will go'""*" This then sets aside the possibility of any influences from this source. Thomas' father, also Thomas, who married the daughter of Sir V'illiam Davenant, was a Vicar in Oxfordshire. He was the second son, however, in the family of which Jonathan's father was the seventh or eighth and died young leaving his widow vithout support so it may be safely assumed that, if his example exerted any influence whatever, it would direct Swift away froffr~rather than to the church. 1. Swift XI, 574 n. S. 7 The second influence which Craik notes is education; but, when it is said that Swift's education directed him toward the church, only one thing can be meant, and that is that it didn't direct him anywhere else. Even this hardly presents the truth, for, though the poorness of his record as a student did ex-clude him, perhaps, from the life of a scholar or pedagogue such a life would have been constitutionally impossible for him, whatever his standing. There was in his character too much energy, too intense an interest in affairs, too violent a partisanship to allow him to seclude himself behind Univer-sity walls. This conclusion seems to be the only definite one that can be drawn from what is ascertainable about his education. He did not specialize in any particular field it is true, but neither did nine tenths of tie men that he knew outside of the church. The only indication of unusual ability that Swift showed in his youth, he showed very early. On liis own word it is stated that he was able to read any chapter from the Bible when he was in his third year. Having shown this one burst of precocity he settled down to the humdrum existence of a rather dull and very unhappy student. The discontent that enveloped him throughout his college days is not difficult to understand. Of the family to which his father belonged, probably Goav/in alone has received an education that would equip him to make a way for himself in the world. The Thomas Swift who had earned for himself such 8 fame as a Royalist had not been able to provide very well for his family. Since he was disinherited in.his youth; robbed times without number, even of the clothes on his back; since he had given freely -what had escaped the Roundheads, for the support of his King, and, finally, since he was ejected from his livings when the parliament men became victors, it is not surprising that he had nothing left with which to educate his family of fourteen. Five of his ten sons fled to Ireland, and, of these, Godwin the oldest had, somehow or other, beer-given a thorough legal training and had qualified at Grays Inn. In Ireland his successes were rapid. Three of his four wives brought him dowries. Through the first he received the important, and well paid post of attorney-general of the County Palatinate of Tipperary, and, in one way and another, soon came to be one of Dublin's most wealthy and influential citizens. A younger brother, Jonathan, "seventh or eighth son" of Thomas the militant vicar had no such start, and in Dublin made his living and little more through various trifling, though reasonably well paid, positions of a clerical nature which Godwin probably secured for him in the government or in the courts. When he died at the age of twenty-five he left only £ 2 0 a year to provide for a young daughter and a charm-ing, and pregnant wife, who seven months later, bore an infant, Jonathan, who eventually became, intellectually the strongest and keenest figure in a not impoverished age. Unfortunately the £z0 annuity could not provide for Mrs. Swift and her two children, and the wealthy Godwin had to come to their assistance. Just how graciously or generous-ly this assistance was given, it is difficult to estimate, for there are two conflicting sides supported by the evidence. On the one hand, there are the facts that Jonathan was born in §7 Holy's Court, which was the biggest house in what was then, Craik asserts, one of the best 1 o cafc ioiB in Dublin. It would appear, therefore, that Mrs. Swift was kept in about the state that she was accustomed to; and that the youthful Jonathan was given as good an education as was available. At the age of six he was sent to Kilkenny school, "which was then proba ly the most famous in Ireland and which had the rare for-tune of educating within a few years Swift, Congreve, and Ber-keley."'" Eight years later, in 1682, he entered Trinity Col-lege Dublin as a pensioner2 or ordinary undergraduate and grad-uated without distinction in 1685, aet. 17. This sums up the evidence in favor of the generosity of Godwin Swift. Apparently, 1. Lecky (1): I, XIV. 2. Students at the University of Dublin are admitted on four standings: (a) fellow commoners who pay higher fees than the ordinary undergraduates or pensioners and have certain advantages of precedence, including the right of dining at the fellows* table; (b) Pensioners— who are the ordinary undergraduates, (c) Sizars, who now win some exemption from fees but formerly were granted their sigarship on the nomination of fellows; (d) Noblemen, noblemen's sons and baronets have the privilege of forming a separate order with peculiar advantages on the payment of additional fees. Snc. Brit. 8:520a. 10 although Temple Scott says that his "assistance was not forth-coming in any large measure,1 in so far as the amount was concerned his support was adequate. It is the other side of the picture, however, that is of most importance to students of Swift for, lit his yough, his nature seems to have received that twist of "bitterness that characterized him throughout his life. In spite of the ap-parent generosity of Godwin, Jonathan, in his maturity never felt anything but bitterness and dislike for the memory of his uncle, who died in 1688. "He gave me," he says, "the education of a dog."" Again in referring to his life at Trinity, and without any attempt either to minimize or exag-gerate his own condition, he says, (speaking of himself in the third person), "by the ill-treatment of his nearest rela-tions he was so discouraged and sunk in his spirits that he too much neglected his academic studies, for some parts of which he had no great relish by nature, and turned himself to reading history and poetry; so that when the time came for taking his degree of bachelor of arts, he rvas stopped of his degree for dullness and insufficiency; and at last hardly ad-mitted in a manner, little to his credit, which is called in that college speciali gratia....with four more on the same footing."0 There is no passion here, 110 attempt to exaggerate unkindness nor to extenuate his own "insufficiency." It is the briefest and most unadorned story possible, written in 1. Swift XI, 56S, n.5. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 576-7. 11 maturity, and after his uncle xvas dead. It says simply that he was dull and got along badly with his studies because he was not interested in his work and was unhappy. Why? The answer can probably be supplied from his later life. Always Swift's pride was the most vulnerable spot in his armor—a spot still weak in maturity, but one that un-doubtedly had been toughened by experience. "He gave me the education of a dog." Without wishing to torture more from a metaphor than it properly contains, one feels that more can be taken from this than lies on the surface. The unkind fate of a dog is not so often that of starvation as of being the slave to his master's will—of being forced to watch contin-ually the looks and gestures of that master in order that it shall not fall from a temporary grace, or to fawn, to submit in order to regain that lost state. The young Jonathan pro-bably felt his ability though he could not show it, felt both the power and the desire to be not only his own master, but the master of others. Over-modesty was never one of his faults in later life. What he thought himself entitled to, he was ready enough to take. But if the thing given implied dependence on his part, suggested inferiority or seemed to be below his deserts, he would have none of it. Years later he left Sir William Temple for very much these reasons and later still quarreled with Harley, the Prime Minister, for sending him £50, when he was thinking of himself, and quite rightly too, as a power in the land. 12 This feeling, combined with a sensitivity that was almost morbid made of the young and penniless Jonathan a very easy prey—too easy a prey for anyone who either wished to show, or was too maladroit to avoid showing, his purchased authority or even generosity. If one supposes, as one may fairly do, without being unduly critical of Godwin, that he had some of the callousness for the feelings of others which this same nephew showed in later years, one may easily imagine that Jonathan suffered intensely at this time. The school which he attended at Kilkenny was only a few miles from the family house,"1" Swiftsheath, owned by Godwin. Was he invited there by his uncle? Was his position in the school that of a member of the wealthy and well known family of Swift; or was he a poor relation? Was he made happy in the many little ways that were possible under the circumstances? There is no word of it. In Dublin also Godwin Swift had a big and fash-ionable home. What was Jonathan's reception there: what were his terms of familiarity? Again there is word of none. Instead one hears only of the hard, grudging, penurious uncle whose favors almost had to be forced from him and were, in consequence, wormwood in the mouth of his nephew. Even as a boy Jonathan could not brook this kind of generosity--and yet he had to. He is found, as a result, morose, suffering, con-stantly aware that he is living on the gratuity of another--1. Craik: I, 134. 13 another whom he probably felt ought to be glad of his privi-lege instead of constantly trying to avoid his duty. In ex-tenuation of Godwin it might be mentioned that, though for long it was not km>vm, his fortune dissipated to suoh an extent, that at last he either had, or thought he had, to withdraw support from his sister-in-law and her children. By this time bitterness had eaten into Jonathan's soul. His oversensitive-ness, his tendency to be introspective, combined with his naturally egoistic and domineering spirit had served to warp a nature that was, it appears, ready to warp. His constant fury at his uncle's slights and demands so occupied his mind that he had little room for other interests. Even his own edu-cation which he knew that he must have, he despised because it was his uncle's gift; and a gloomy bitterness so filled him that it colored all recollections of his college days. Almost to the end of his life his dislike for his uncle con-r tinued and found expression in frequent and harsh criticisms. Nothing can be derived from such circumstances as these, to warrant the opinion that Swift was directed to the Church by his education. The third factor that Craik mentions as being influential in turning Swift to the Church is that of his opportunities. But what the special opportunities were that led him in this direction it is difficult to see. In 1688 Godwin Swift died and in the same year anarchy and civil war broke out in Ireland. 14 The time had come for Jonathan to become self supporting and circumstances turned him to England, where his mother was living with her relatives in Leicester. He went first to visit her and then, through her influence, secured a position as secre-tary to Sir William Temple. Here again, however, it was a tie of relationship rather than any ability of his own that probably secured the post for him. Mrs. Swift was related to Temple's wife, and was thus able to secure some interest for her son. It is also said that the Swifts and the Temples had been on terms of considerable intimacy in Ireland. But these two things were not enough to secure for Jonathan, now aged 22, a position of very much dignity. His secret:ryship does not seem to have been to his liking and undoubtedly involved tasks too trivial to satisfy the young man just becoming aware of the powers that were in him. Probably in consequence of this Swift stayed scarcely a year with Temple, and returned, then, to Ireland in an effort to establish some more independent means of livlihood. He took with him letters to persons of some political importance in which his patron spoke without any particular enthusiasm of his ability. These letters, it is worth noting, aid not recom-mend him for any position connected with the church, but for a post as tutor at Trinity, or as an amanuensis to some states-man. They were unsuccessful in securing him a position, how-ever, and in about a year and a half he returned to Sir William Temple at Moor Park where he was received on terms that were more agreeable to his independent temper. One can only infer 15 that when deprived of Swift's services Temple realized their proper value in a way that he had not done when his secretary was with him. In any case, the responsibility that was put upon Swift and the confidence that was felt in him were both increased. In his autobiography he tells how King William sent to Temple for advice with regard to the passing of a cer-tain bill to which the king was averse, "whereupon Mr. Swift was sent to Kensington with the whole account of the matter in writing to convince the king and the earl how ill they were informed...Mr. Swift, who was well versed in English History.... gave the King a short account of the matter but a more large one to the Earl of Portland."-'- There seem to have been a good many other meetings with the King. On one occasion His Majesty showed Swift the Dutch method of cutting and eating asparagus, on another offered him a commission in the Dragoons, and again assured him of a prebend of Canterbury or Westminster when it appeared that Swift wished to turn to the Church for a living. This last offer, however, came considerably after the preced-ing two. In all, Swift stayed three times with Sir William Temple. The first stajr was the short and unhappy one of less than a year, which by his own account, terminated in 1690 at the advice of his physician who recommended Irish air as a remedy for the ill health, now setting in, which harassed him through-1. Swift ill, 378. — — — 16 out his life. After a year and a half in which he tried vainly to establish himself, he returned to England and event-ually to the service of Sir William Temple where, as already noted, he was received on better terms than before, and v/here the conditions were such that, had he so wished, he might very easily have gained political notice and political position. It seems evident that he did not wish this. King William must have had a liking for Swift or he would not have chatted with him about Butch gardening and manners, nor would he have offered him the army commission which he did. Swift must also have commanded considerable respect or else he would never have been sent by Temple to carry a message to the King, nor have been given the privilege, which he apparently had, of interpreting it personally and verbally. And surely, alsD, if the conditions of his life were such as to throw these notable opportunities and contacts in his way, they were much more likely to present to him more numerous opportunities through less elevated channels. There was only one king, but there were scores of prominent statesmen who respected and consulted with Sir William Temple. It doesn't seem to be unwarrantable then, to assume that, even though offers may not have come unsought, Swift might very easily have secured them had he wished for political preferment. But his ambitions lay in another direction. He tells that during his second stay at Moor Park, he, "having lived with 17 Sir Y7illiam Temple sometime, and resolving to settle himself 1 in some way of living, was inclined to take orders." And he persevered in this inclination. First he took an M. A. at Oxford in 1692, and then returned to Moor Park, confronted by a new difficulty. "He had a scruple of entering the church g merely for support",—a scruple which is noteworthy because of its infrequency in Swift's time, when the church was looked upon very commonly as the last polite resort of gentlemen of little means, regardless of whether they possessed either desire to enter its service, or ability to carry out their pre-scribed duties. With some difficulty Swift got around this objection. To do so he applied to his patron, who, being a pompous and extremely conceited man, did not value such signs of independence, for some office which would be of a permanent nature and which would make him self supporting. Finally Sir William complied, though none too gracefully, and "being Master of Rolls in Ireland offered him an employ of about jj 120 a year in that office. Whereupon Mr. Swift told him that since he had now an opportunity of living without being driven into the Church for a maintenance, he was resolved to go to Ireland 3 4 and take holy orders," which he did. Craik says that Swift refused Temple's offer because of his pride, and refers to the office as "a petty and subordinate post in the very law 1. Swift XI 378-9. 2. Ibid, 379. 3. Ibid, 379. 4. Craik I, 59. 18 courts where some of his kinsmen had been, and others still were, leading counsellors." After all even Swift, without previous experience, would scarcely have expected to start at new work such as this, in a position which carried either great dignity or a good salary. And further, the salary was i;20 a year in advance of that which he received in his first living. The evidence seems to support Swift's own statement that he refused this offer and turned to the church because he was so "inclined." After a few months as priest of the Prebend of Eilroot Swift says that he became weary of his position, resigned his living in favor of a friend who was encumbered by a large family and returned to England. Deane Swift, however, explains this return as the result of earnest solicitations on the part of Sir William Temple. The fact that Swift's status, on his reestablishment at Moor Park, was that of friend and confidant, rather than of secretary; that he was held in high esteem to the end of Temple's life, in 169S; that he was made his literary executor, and the recipient of whatever profits might accrue therefrom; and that he received a bequest of £l00 in addition, all lend support to the story. So again it appears that the influences ana opportunities of Swift's life were working against, rather than toward, the church. After the death of his patron Swift turned again to his own choice, or at least attempted to do so. Some years earlier 19 it appears King William had promised Sir William Temple a pre-bend in Canterbury or Westminster for Swift. Nov/ Swift attemp-ted to remind the king of this promise, petitioned him through the Earl of Romney, "who professed much friendship for him," and waited in vain for the appointment. The Earl of Romney forgot or did not bother. In any case the petition never came before the king, and Swift again was thwarted and again was forced to fall back for employment upon something that was at least partially secular. The Earl of Berkley, newly appointed as a Lord Justice of Ireland, made him secretary ana chaplain to himself, in which capacity Swift acted for several months. His application for a Deanery was not granted through the machinations and bribery of certain interested parties. On February 24, 1699 he was, to his disgust, "put off" with a minor living "namely the Rectory of Ayher, and the Vicarage of Laracor. and Rathbeggars in the Diocese of Heath."1 In the next year the Prebend of Danlaven in the Cathedral of St. Patrick was conferred upon him; and a year later he was granted the degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University of Dublin. His installment as Dean of St. Patrick's in 1713 completes the list of appointments which he held in the Church, and it, like all others, was bestowed upon him in lieu of something better which he had actively sought. There were many other opportunities which presented themselves to him from time to time, in the 1. Swift XI, 381. 10 earlier and in the later years of his life alike. But always by choice he remained in the church, and that he did so can be accounted for only by the existence of the "inclination" which he had mentioned. UBC Scanned by UBC Library PAST II PRIVATE BELIEFS Why did Swift choose to turn his tremendous energy, his zeal, and his overwhelming cleverness to the support of the Church? He possessed few of the qualities that are convention-ally (and perhaps rightly) thought to characterize Churchmen. He was not a mystic, nor even a very spiritual nan. He was not a theologian. Few things annoyed him more than the hair-splitting disputes of pedantic divines. He was not imbued with a pastor's solicitude for his flock, and showed outwardly at least little of the sympathy and tenderness that is usually considered as part of the stock-in-trade of a clergyman. But, granting these wants, the life and the writing of Swift both show constantly the presence of at least two general beliefs that make his turning to the church natural and almost inevit-able. The first of these may he termed, for lack of a better-word, spiritual, though, applied thus, it contains much less of mystical, meaning than has been given to -it subsequently. The second reason is political and will be dealt with in due course. The task of discovering what Swift's spiritual beliefs were is an exceptionally difficult, and in any precise sense, probably an impossible, one. The difficulty arises from the fact that he had two religions, an external and an internal one; 21 and that he was as sedulously care i'ul in hiding the former as he was in declaring the character of the latter. There is more than a suggestion of insincerity in the attitude thus described. Yet it is not, on analysis, at all what it appears. For Swift the phrase "the Church and State" did not represent two separate bodies, nor even two bodies welded together by common interests, members or functions, but a single body, an identity that showed itself in different manifestations. To understand Swift's attitude to religion, and more particularly, to the Church, it is necessary, first, to look beyond him at some of the general beliefs that were current in his day. It is necessary to look farther back than the deistic controversy in which he took a doughty part, and find some of the grounds of belief which affected both parties in that futile, uneven and undignified squabble. In doing this it is necessary, also, to loosen the boundaries of what was ordinarily described as deism. In the conflict that was waged in the. eighteenth century the division seemed clear enough—one man was orthodox, another was a deist; but the tests that were applied were for the most part simple ones. Certain obvious tenets of the Established Church were defended or attacked, and even they were usually of a vague and general nature. "Is the Bible a forgery or the word of the living God? Is Christianity an imposture or the light which alone can lighten the world?""1" These and other 1. Leslie Stephen I, 91. questions of similar character suggest the calibre of the dispute. The shot was large enough in all conscience,—so large that a phenomenal charge was necessary to make it move. And on the side of the deists the phenomenal charge was lack-ing, for in their ranks were few men of note, whether as scholars or writers. T7ith one or two exceptions, they were small fry who made a poor showing before the intellectual giants arrayed against them. Far beyond the dignity of the dispute were the ranks and titles of the disputants who supported the cause of the church. Nearly all of the keenest minds, the most thorough scholars, the most penetrating philosophers, the ablest writers rallied to her aid. Berkeley and Locke brought philosophy to bear her support, though with results that neither foresaw. Bentley, the famous Master of Trinity, and one of the most trenchant writers of his time, was on her side; while the basic defense was provided by the vigor and learning of an unusually large and scholarly group of divines, which included, be it noted, not only such members of the established church as TTarburton, Butler, and V'aterland, but also eminent dissenters and non-jurors. The literature on the subject reveals the names of such men as Leslie and Law of Lardner, Doddridge and Leland. It is almost needless to say that the Deists succumbed before such a defense; but the character of the defense is a fit subject for study. Such a variety of names, such a diver-sity of creeds raise an expectation that the army of the church 24 was not an homogenous one, that the fighters stood, not shoulder to shoulder but fought, eaoh from his own private oitadel; and such was the case. Leslie Stephens says that "the orthodox flag covered differences wider than those which separated its followers from its enemies." The established church in England was so saturated with rationalism that the deists never had even a fighting chance. They were trying to down a larger rationalism with a smaller, and obviously they could not succeed. In France the same controversy led to far different results; but there the orthodox beliefs lacked first the defenders, and second the width which was necessary V to give them room to manoevre. Deism in England was the name of a small sect but was, unknown to the church, a part at least of the orthodox creed. Two men, more than any others, nere responsible for the rationalism that pervaded the beliefs of the established church. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke,—and the greater of these was Hobbes. Since the publication of the "Leviathan" in 1651, he had been persistently attacked, refuted, buried in obloquy and hurled to oblivion by staunch defenders of religion and liberal principles. But in spite of this his doctrines had remained active, and his influence had, both consciously and unconsciously, worked its way into the foundations of English thought. Though he was spurned by the righteous as an enemy of liberty, an arch-heretic, little short of a fiend, the close knit texture of his thought bound in the meshes, the minds, the very vrords of his detractors. There was sanething 25 that the English call English about Hobbes; something that the Romans might have called Roman; the Greeks, Greek; the Germans, German; but never the French, French. His thought had a solidness, a coherence, a toughness of quality, that defied attack. The parts were so interwoven, so mutually supporting, so interdependent that points of attack were few, and if found, usually gave but a trifling advantage to the finder. Hence, the ineffectiveness of the many refutations that were published against his doctrines. The one vulnerable point in Hobbes armor was his starting point. Grant that and one may pound away interminably at the rest without result. Locke was the only man in the period acute enough to discover this, and he had neither the wish nor the intention of refuting Hobbes. He changed some things, developed others. But the divines, or the theologically minded men were disqualified from the start, as serious adversaries, for tliey were forced to admit his first premiss, for it was also a premisk of the Christian dogma. "Original Sin....is the fault and the corruption of the nature of everyman, that natur-ally is engendered in the offspring of Adam; whereby man is.... of his own nature inclined to evil" says the ritual of the Church."1" In a time "wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their ovm invention shall furnish them...(there is) continuall feare, and danger of vio-lent death; and the life of man (is) solitary, poore, nasty, 1. Prayer Book, Article of Religion II. £6 brutish, and short,"1 said Hobbes. From the same starting point orthodox Christian apologists and Hobbes set out for incompat-ible goals. But Hobbes cut his path so carefully, cleared it so consistently, that the orthodox Christian was tempted along it in spite of himself; and when he withdrew he couldn't for-get. In briefest outline the scheme of Hobbes' civil and ecclesiastical polity follows. In the state of Nature man's condition is evil, unhappy and dangerous. He has large rights, but little opportunity to enjoy them or to benefit from them. Whatever he can take he has a right to; but, since this right belongs equally to all men, there is a continual st'te of actual or potential war, either of which has the same unsett-ling result. And man's overwhelming desire is for peace. To gain this he must contract with his neighbors; but a contract is worthless without a law to secure its continued validity; and such a law implies the existence of a superior power with superior rights. In order to establish such a power every man agrees with every other, to give over his rights to a single man, who is necessarily excluded from the contract. The last point is the particular innovation of Hobbes. Instead of a contract between subject and sovereign, he assumed a contract between subject and subject whereby each covenanted to hand over his rights to a third person who was, by definition, sovereign, and who, by virtue of his office, had absolute con-1. Hobbes, Lev. 64-5. 27 trol, and power equivalent to the sum total of the natural powers of his subjects. The most striking thing about Hobbes' scheme is the absolute and arbitrary quality of the sovereign's powers, which included amongst others, those of complete con-trol over propertyof making and administering laws, ana of giving final judgments on opinions and doctrines which are expounded. In addition, he is not to be held liable for any excesses, persecutions or other such acts, since his deeds are the authorized deeds of his subjects, and since he is not bound to them by any contract. A critical study of the Bible by the historical method indicated, Hobbes thought, that the Kingdom of God is a tem-poral kingdom, and that the Divine ''.'ill is revealed through reason and the laws of nature. Since, by mutual agreement the sovereign has been given the right to make all civil (temporal) laws, he becomes, in consequence, the interpreter"1" of Divine Law, and God's viceregfet. This raised a difficulty which Hobbes saw. Though the sovereign may have been given the right to declare the Divine Law it is impossible thst he should have the power to force belief, for, as Hobbes admits, "Belief, 2 and Unbelief never follow mens commands." In consequence, he points out that "there is a Publique, and a Private Worship. Publique, is the Worship that a Common-wealth performeth as one Person. Private,§is that which a Private person exhibiteth." 1. Hobbes, Lev. Oh. 25 and Oh. 40. 2. Ibid, p. 270 3. Ibid. 193. 28 And "S3eing a Common-wealth is but ono Person, it ought also to exhibite to God but one Worship; which then it doth when it commandeth it to be exhibited by Private men, Publiquely. And this is Pub1ique Worship; the property whereof is to be U n i f o r m e . T h e reasons for this will be shown later on, in explaining Swift's political-religious beliefs. Here, however, my purpose is simply to show that a well established theory of the State permitted the coincident existence in one man, of two creeds, an internal and an external one. Though in public each man must conform to the requirements of the uniform re-ligion prescribed by the state, he may still believe as he will in private,—"he is bound...to obey it but not bound to believe it."2 Though the foregoing explanation does not remove the dis-crepancies, it should make more intelligible Swift's contra-dictory religious beliefs. Without it, the contradiction which is obvious between the creed which he expressed and the opinions which are implied, or which may be inferred from, the penetrating and coldly rational character of his mind, is almost incredible. But, when it is discovered that the political theories w.ich he held led him to accept and publicly to approve the established doctrines in religion, regardless of what, in the privacy of his own mind, he really believed, the actual worth of these publicly expressed doctrines may be properly estimated. For the moment they may be set aside while the 1. Hobbes, Lev. 196. 2. Ibid. 152. 29 general outlines of Swift's 'private worship' are sought. When one comes to the point, however, where uefiniteness is essential,—where it should he said he believed this or that dogma, he followed this or that creed, even the general out-lines shimmer off into vague uncertainty. What did Swift believe? How can one discover the secret beliefs of a secre-tive man,—beliefs that he was determined never to reveal be-cause he thought that to do so would be to loosen one more stone in the already shaky foundations of the church; "I am in all my opinions to believe according to my own impartial reas; n; which I am bound to inform or improve as far as my capacities will permit," he says."1" That for a start would be promising. Swift's impartial reason was one to be respected, one which could see through shams at a glance, coulG pierce the most specious insincerities. And he has no spiritual or metaphy-sical inhibitions to hamper its application: "I sua. not ans-werable to God for the doubts that arise in my own breast since they are the result of that reason which he hath planted 9 in me." But here the promise ends with the condition that he adds. I am not answerable to God, he says "if I take care to conceal those doubts from others, if I use my best efforts to subdue them, and if they have no influence on the conduct of my life."3 The clamps aredown. Swift will make no revela-tion of his inner beliefs by conscious word or act. 1. Swift III, 507. 2. Ibid, 308 2. Ibid, 306. 30 Where now to turn? His sermons are by definition useless. But did he not give himself away in some moments of intense and personal emotion? Search reveals nothing that is worthy of mention. In the "Account of his Mother's Death", he says1 "If the way to Heaven be through piety, truth, justice, and charity she is there"; but this quotation proves nothing. It may be, and probably is, expressive of scepticism regarding the existence of Heaven, and the spiritual requirements which the church makes for admission; but it is too inconclusive to have any value as evidence. It might, in fact, be used as evidence to support the contention that Swift believed that there was a Heaven to which his mother had very deservedly gone; but its use would be equally improper there. There are "Three Prayers Used by the Dean for Mrs. Johnson in Her Last o Sickness", to which one naturally turns. There is no question of the emotion that Swift felt at this time, of his heart-breaking anxiety over the illness and probable death of "the truest most virtuous and valuable friend" that he, "or perhaps any other person ever was blessed with." But in spite of this he speaks in the person of a clergyman. The prayers are intense, simple and one must say sincere. Yet they are conventional and reveal nothing of Swift's inner beliefs. Stella's virtues are the traditional ones which have been adopted as particular-ly seductive to the Christian God, the grounds of appeal for 1. Swift XI, 387. 2. Ibid. Ill, 311-14. 3. Ibid. XI, 127. 31 M s mercy are the conventional ones of innate individual worth-lessness coupled with aspirations toward something better, and the promises are the usual ones of gratitude and worship. It was Swift speaking, but it was also Dean Swift. In a poem1 of 1731, he concludes that, "Where v-.r the damned do chiefly abound Most certainly there is Hell to be found," and goes on to specify the particular types that will thus locate the lower i-'egions: "Damn'd poets, damn * d critics, damn'd blockheads, damn'd knaves, Damn'd senators bribed, damn'd. prostitute slaves," and so, through a list that is plainly indicative of his dis-likes, but which, from the beginning to the metrically dull but ironic couplet that concludes it,— "And Hell to be sure is at Paris or Rome How happjr for us that it is not at home," — is so obviously a poetic fancy,that it would be absurd to use it as a basis for any inferences whatever. Swift appears to have been too well schooled in his duty to allow himself any unusual liberty, even when under the stress of emotion. It is useless, therefore, to follow this line of search any farther, for each particular circumstance that is examined provides the same.baffling results. Yet there is suf-1. Swift, Poems, I, 212. 32 ficient evidence available to make it appear highly probable that Swift was unorthodox in his religious beliefs. What be-liefs he actually did hold it is impossible to say. His duti-ful reticence on this subject was effective in obscuring posi-tive beliefs; and the most that can be done is to show that he doubted or discredited some of the items in the accepted Chris-tian creed. In advance it may be said that the evidence which can be adduced is not, with perhaps two exceptions, of a char-acter which makes single items very conclusive, it must be considered as a whole; but as a whole it seems moderately con-vincing. A preliminary step that is worth taking is to see wnether or not Swift held any beliefs which, though not in themselves necessarily indicative of doubt or disbelief, made tne existence of such doubt more plausible than if they did not exist. The opinion, held by Swift, that a state for the sake of its own peace must have an uniform established religion is such a be-lief. Since this point has been slightly touched on already, and is to be discussed at some length in a later section of the paper, it will be sufficient to assume it categorically for the present. This opinion has held with remarkable earnest-ness by Swift. Of no other thing was he more positive than that the church established by the State must be supported at all costs, that even to argue against it was a sin, and that a man should make no complaint at being thus forced by 33 duty to hide his own beliefs in the recesses of his own heart. "Everyman as a member of the commonwealth ought to be content with the possession of his own opinion in private, without per-plexing his neighbour or disturbing the public."1 And in addition to this, every loyal subject should do everything pos-sible to establish firmly the national church, or else he will endanger the state by destroying its unity. In view of these convictions, it is obvious that Swift's defence of the religion of the State may be explained adequately, without assuming the existence of an actual belief in the things he defended. Neutral evidence such as the point just discussed, in it-self offers no proof either way. It simply clears the ground of possible obstacles to the use of more positive proof. This more positive proof is not all of it specific, but that in no way decreases its importance. One or two particular cases have far more value as evidence if they can be shown to be homogen-ous with some general tendency of the person than a far greater number of cases that are isolated.. In the present instance this can be done. Swift was a man who, without evidence, would be suspected of being a possible disbeliever. The whole temper of his "mind was critical and doubting. He was always on the lookout for shams of any kind, and he was usually able to find them. It is not necessary to raise any question regarding the worth of the Christian religion to see what Swift's natural reaction would be. His "grand maxim" lile that of bis Houyhnhntns, 1. Swift VIII, 39 b, 34 was "to cultivate reason anu be wholly governed by it.""1" The fact is too commonly and emphatically stated throughout his works to need verifying here. It is only necessary to note that, with one significant exception, he applies reason every-where. To be "wholly governed by it" is a phase which he often - 2 uses. "I am in ALL opinions to believe according to my own impartial reason"0 he said; and this is typical of his often-stated and constantly-applied principles regarding religion— typical with one exception. To believe or act contrary to reason was to be affected, to indulge in hypocrisy, selfishness or cant, and all of these Swift considered "wicked." Regardless of whether religion should or should not be susceptible to the tests of reason, the fact remains that ortho-dox Christianity rests not on reason but on faith,—at least in so far as most of its fundamental dogmas are concerned. Swift's natural reaction, then, would be to attack them as shams. But does he? He could not, for Christianity was the authorized religion of the nation and, as such, had to be accepted. To revolt against it, he thought, meant the downfall of the state, and would bring the same consequences as to spread "doctrines A of sedition and rebellion."" He was sure that "you should be careful not to disturb the peace of the Church by writing against it, though you are sure that you are right." The situa-tion was difficult but Swift met it, if not in the most logical 1. Swift, VIII, 273. 2. Capitals are mine. 3. Swift, III, 507. 4. Ibid, 192. ^JJPPI. 55 way, at least in the most logical way possible for a man who held his beliefs. Ee made an exception in the case of re-ligion and argued against the application to it, of reason. For his own part, he seldom attempted to argue for Christianity as such, but limited himself to asserting it and arguing for the established church. When he did discuss it, however, he took high ground, denied the applicability of reason en d in-sisted on faith. Curiously, in the sermon which represents this stand best, the "Sermon on the Trinity" he contradicts himself, and admits that "every man is bound to follow the rules and directions of that measure of reason which God hath given him." 77ith this the other opinions expressed in the same sermon, that "these miracles and many others are positively affirmed in the Gospel; and these we must believe","'" and that, "it would be well if people would not lay so much weight on their own reason in matters of religion" are thoroughly in-compatible. The most likely explanation of this seems to be that Swift was making an earnest but not entirely successful effort to conform to his own principles; that in his own mind he applied reason, and doubted; but that externally, for the sake of the state, he applied faith, and believed. Negative evidence though not always conspicuous is, when found, of a very convincing character; and in Swift's work there is a great deal of such evidence indicating if not dis-belief, a lack of interest, in the tenets of the Christian faith. I. Swift III, 154. 2. Ibid. 135. 36 Negative evidence is the absence of favorable evidence from places where, had such existed, it might have been expected to show. If the place from which favorable evidence is absent really warrants its presence, the lack of it usually indicates that it does not exist. There are many such places in Swift's writing. As a clergyman of a definitely militant stamp, he became engaged in many religious disputes. As a political de-fender of the Established Church of England he was involved in still more. He did much writing as a critic of morals, religion, and the ehvroh and as the inventor of a Utopia and two semi-Utopias he discussed most of the public institutions. In all of these capacities he had not only reasons but unexcel-led opportunities to become a Christian apologist; but he ig-nored the reasons and neglected the opportunities. Although there is much that is satirical in the "Project for the Advancement of Religion and Manners", it is, neverthe-less, a serious and reasoned attack against atheism, irreligion and immorality, and as such it was understood by Swift's con-temporaries. Lord Berkeley thought that if it were put in the hands of C.ueen Anne, it would act as an antidote to the .'is-favor into which "the Tale of a Tub" was said to have brought Swift, and told him so. "I earnestly entreat you", he wrote, immediately after seeing the pamphlet, "if you have not done it already, that you would not fail of having your bookseller enabling the Archbishop of T^ rlc to give a boo'.: to the "ueen, for, with Mr. Nelson, I am entirely of opinion that Her Majesty's j reading of the book of the Project for the Increase of Morality 1 •'••'• || and Piety may be of great use to that end."x That Swift meant | the advice that he .gave in this essay is conclusively proved I by the fact that in the interpolated sixth chapter, in the "Voyage to Lilliput" he describes the admirable laws and in-ij ' "" ' .'•'• stitutions of that country; and, amongst others, mentions cer-i- tain ones which apply the suggestions of his "Project". The first reason which Swift gave, for writing the paper was that, "hardly one in a hundred among our people of quality or gentry, appears to act by any principle of religion; that great numbers of them do entirely discard it, and are ready to own their dis-belief of all revelation."2 Surely this is a place where Swift, if he had anything to say about the Spiritual values of re-ligion, would have said it; if he had any belief in the creeds of Christianity, he would have expressed it; if he had any faith in the efficacy of prayer or spiritual regeneration, he would have urged that others share it. But he says nothing of these things whatever. His argument is political; and can scarcely be called ethical in the ordinary sense, for he thinks that morality should be improved by discriminating against the immoral, when political preferences are shown. It may be urged that these things are not in the tone of the project, j but-Swift set his own tone; and even though he left the "Pro-ject as it is, it would not have been unnatural for him to 1. Swift's Correspondence I, 152 2. Swift III, 29 38 discuss the other aspects in another essay. He never does. His other essays, like this one, argue for Christianity and revelation on the ground that they are beliefs prescribed by the State, and that to neglect them is to harm the state. The "Tale of a Tub" is another instance of the same thing. Swift "thought the numerous and gross corruptions in Religion and Learning might furnish matter for a satire that would be useful and diverting."1 "The abuses in Religion, he proposed to set forth in the Allegory of the Coats, and the Three 2 Brothers;" and he is prepared to "forfeit his life, if any one opinion can be fairly deduced from that book which is con-3 trary to Religion or Morality." But then, as now, there were many who had difficulty in accepting this statement. It is not surprising that Swift had to complain4 that, among the clergy, there were many who were "not always very nice In dis-tinguishing between their enemies and their friends." He it is true, "advances no opinion they reject, nor condemns any 5 they receive" if the externals of religion are considered. He was as devoted to the establishment as they. But some dif-ference in opinion existed between them as to what were inci-dentals and what were not. Even Martin, it will be remembered, "where he observed the embroidery to be worked so close as not to be got away without damaging the cloth, or where it served to hide or strengthen any flaw ir, the body of the coat contracted by the perpetual tampering of workmen upon it;... o concluded the wisest course was to let it remain." 1. Swift I, 12. 2. ibid. 3. Ibid. 13. 4. l"id. 11 .3. o. Ibid. S8 This being properly interpreted may, and probably does, con-stitute an heresy. Very small things have very great impli-cations in religion, and to say that some of the creeds of the church are irrelevant is, in a general sense, heretical. The importance of the particular items referred to determines the seriousness of the offense; and though Swift was careful not to commit himself in a particular sense, he had spoken throughout with the utmost levity regarding points of doctrine. In consequence, it was not, nor is not, unjust to suppose that, for those points of doctrine, he felt no reverence, though at the same time he believed that, being acoepted by the church, they must be accepted by him. In this connection it should be noted that Swift uses what appears to be a device to allow him to adhere to this principle of conformity, and at the same time, to voice his disapproval or doubt of some of the church doctrines.' On the whole, he observes,the "letter" in the deference which he shows to Martin; that he is equally careful of the "spirit" is doubtful. His principal sin, in this res-pect, is one which it is difficult to pin on him, for tech-nical exercises would disqualify the criticism. But Swift seems very commonly to attack Martin obliquely through his attacks on Peter and Jack; to attack in them doctrines that he might have attacked in Martin. And, to repeat, there are many points lacking in the "Tale of a Tub" which seem to be essential to a satire on "the abuses of Religion." No criticism is levelled against the many 40 corruptions of a spiritual nature that existed, no stress is laid on the necessity which an orthodox Christian would feel for what is usually called a'spiritual rebirth of the church.'• Whether Swift can be convicted of specific disbeliefs or not, it is certainly true that neither his tone nor general attitude is indicative of the least respect for the beliefs which he discusses. The absence of ideal religions from "Gullivers Travels" is perhaps the most significant item of all, in considering Swift's beliefs. In some sense Lilliput, Brobdingnog and Houyhnhnhm—land are all of them Utopias. Certainly the last is; and the other two are used for the same purpose, namely that of showing outstanding perfections in their institutions, which may be considered for themselves, or as contrasts to emphasize the defects in less perfect institutions of a similar nature in the land of the writer. To the method of contrast there may be added two other possible methods of accomplishing the latter end: that of allowing the Utopians to criticize the institutions, customs, and so on, of the author's land, which are described to them by a visitor; and that of showing the evil, weakness or stupidity of institutions or habits in the author's country by revealing these qualities in recognizably similar institutions etcetera, in the imagined country (which, ipso facto, ceases to be a Utopia in the strict sense .of the word.) The three devices are used by Swift; yet, in spite of the splendid opportunities offered, nothing is done by the first and 41 most important method and nothing of consequence v.'ith the other two. In none of the three lands does any religion worthy of the name exist; there is not a trace, except in the land of the Houyhnhnms, of anything that could be used as a model, and to imitate it would be to desert rather than to follow Christ-ianity. The information regarding the religions of these three lands is so trifling in quantity that it is worth men-tioning it in detail to show the equivalent triviality in content. The details which are used only to point out faults in the English religion may be ignored for the moment, since they obviously have no exemplary value. In Lilliput there is a religion of same hind, which might be thought to consist 2 5 of two political parties. This religion has had prophets, 4. and still possesses an Alcoran" or bible, about the meanings of which subjects quarrel, though this is improper, since the interpretation of it is "to be left....in the power of the 5 chief Magistrate to determine." It contains a number of ab-surd doctrines or superstitions, which are retained, lest their loss would upset the common people. Political discretion 7 has led the Lilliputians to exclude from public office all those who do not believe in a.Divine Providence. The last two points will be discussed more particularly in another place but are given in essence here. Comment on the religion des-cribed is superfluous, since, really, there is none. And what 1. Swift VIII, 46. 2. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 50 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 50. 6. Ibid. 5S 7. Ibid. 61. 42 is given here, it should he understood, is not an outline but all the information that Swift has supplied on the sub-ject of the religion of the Lilliputians. The Brobdingnagian religion may be disposed of even more summarily. In it Wednesday1 was observed as the Sabbath; and the tower of its chief temple "is not above three thousand foot"^ though it is the highest in the kingdom. Again, this is not an abbre-viated description but is everything that Sv-ift has to say. Houyhnhnm-land, the real Utopia, is even more barren of information. The Horses had, it would appear, neither Sabbath nor temple nor tower. They were "naturally disposed to every 3 virtue (and) wholly governed by reason"; and it is not even suggested that either of these attributes has any connection with a creed. Religion, in fact, is not even mentioned in A the Fourth Book.. A set of most estimable virtues" is given them it is true; but they are virtues that have been claimed equally by the rankest of atheists and the most devout of Christians. Only one inference may be drawn from the tr-.at.uent, or rather the lack of treatment, that Swift gave to religion in "Gulliver's Travels." The conditions were perfect for des-cribing an ideal system, for showing benefits to be derived from it and the piety which it inculcated. He was intensely interested in the affairs of the Church in England; and the book was not the result of a single mood, but of eleven years 1. Swift VIII, 101. 2. Ibid. 116. 3. Ibid, 284. 4. Ibid. 279-80. 'of thought and writing. He did treat creatively such allied subjects as politics, ethics, literature, domestic relations, procreative economy and law. Yet what did lie do with the Christian religion? In Lilliput, he gave it the straggling outlines of a weakly political establishment; in Brobdingnag, a holy day and a steeple; and in ITouyhnhnm-lancJ, he substituted for religion, as a superior guide to conduct, the thing that in England he applied everywhere, except in religion,—neemely reason. The unavoidable conclusion seems to be that, away from the political establish ment of a church, which sanded his loyalty, Swift had neither interest nor belief in religion. Of the two methods of criticism which Swift used in Gulliver, little need be said, though one or two points are important and will be treated separately in another pisoe. Briefly it may be said that the faults in the English church which they indicated were chiefly, insufficient political sub-ordination; too much writing of commentaries to be consistent with the supreme control of the legislature; the choice of unworthy bishops; violent controversy on trivial points, and failure to make the nation virtuous, "o one of these empha-sizes the spiritual evils of disbelief and irreverence ;£ilch would certainly have disturbed a faithful Christian. The list of places in which Cwift. ixight be expected to have defended the doctrines of the Christian church but did not, could be extended indefinitely. The most obvious of those remaining are "The Sentiments of a Church of England ?"an", the "Letter to a Young Clergyman" and the numerous tracts on the Sacramental Test. All of these are seriously concerned with the welfare and the necessity of religion; yet none of them indicates any sincere belief. Though the first asserts that, "whoever professes iiinself a member of the Church of England, OUGHT1 to believe a God and his providence, together with revealed religion and the divinity of Christ" , yet it turns out to be a political tract in defease of Uniformity and against the temporal evils of religious Schisms. Though the second embodies his advice to a young man who h-.s just become a clergyman, it contains chiefly a warring not "to at-tempt explaining the mysteries of the Christian religion"," out "to deliver the doctrine as the church holds it, and con-firm it by Scripture,"* and, for the rest, resolves itself into an essay on style in preaching. The third, the. tracts, though, they are concerned with the "Sacrament of the Bod; and Blood of Christ....whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers of the Kingdom of Heaven"" are so exclusively political that as regards either tone or flatter they might as well have no connection with the church at all. It is impossible, here, to discuss these examples •with more point, or eveo to refur to the numerous other papers which exhibit the same 'absence of evidence' of any actual belief in the doctrines of the church. But anyone who is Ibid pitals mine CJ» oV; .uT< . - J .t , • O • 5. The t?ook of Common Pre. o. 45 familiar with, the whole of Swift's works, and who realizes the extent to which he was restricted from open expression by his political beliefs, will be very sensible of the force of this negative evidence. Throughout his works there are scattered expressions of opinion which seem to indicate the existence in Swift's mind of general doubts regarding religion. A few typical ex-amples will illustrate this point as •veil as many; and the most satisfactory ones that can be found are those which, come from his "Thoughts on Religion".1 Since these consist of discon-nected opinions set down only for hims.lf, they may be assumed to represent his r.al thoughts. Two or three of these have been quoted already in various connections; that regarding the necessity of believing according to "imparted reason"; and that regarding the keeping private of one's own opinions, in order to conform more completely to the established religion. Though not, strictly, expressive, of doubt these are significant; two others seem, expressly, to suggest doubt. It is very improba-ble that, in the privacy of his stud;', Swift would h;,ve jotted down "the want of belief is a defect the t pug'-t to he concealed when it cannot be overcome,""" ./ere it not for his own guidance, in the treatment of hi; own doubt. And neitw ,r would he have been concerned with whether or not he was answrrsMt* rvn; rnr> his doubts had he been without them. Yet he sayc, "I 1. Swift, III, G07-9. 2. Ibid, 3C6. 46 answerable to God for the doubt that arise in my own breast, since they are the cors:uence of that reason which he hath planted in me."1 His reason, it appears, was playing havoc with the beliefs that he felt that he should, hold. In a more particular sense there are also many indica-tions of doubt, some of which are trivial, others very im-portant. In the Fourth Book of Gulliver, for instance, he discusses doctrinal points of considerable, if not absolute, importance with an air which suggests that they ure trivial. The distinctions which are indicated by his metuphors are IT LI J ONRF IJ L V L I C ~J J L L ' J X ^ . V , —I LIM .' J - 1. V . , O J. UL >- J — — V • W . The answer to one difference of opinion, "whether flesh be bread, or bread flesh",0 may not determine whether a man is a Christian; but it has always been a point of the greatest im-portance in Catholic Protestant controversies.. In such disputes there was no more ardent Protestant than Swift. II' V'-on, points of belief in that question are -ere baubles to him, what of his other religious beliefs? In the "Tale of a Tub" be refers,, with almost deistic free-dom, to principles of good and evil. One statement '.ade there seems to indicate an attitude too intellectual and too scepti-cal regarding the ideas of God and sin to be oo :v;tible with a faith in biblical mythology and the storedress of revealed religion. He said "as the most uncivilized parts mankind 1. Swift III, 303. 2. Ibid. VIII, 234. 5. Ib i d. 47 have some way or other climbed up into the conception of a God, or Supreme Power, so they have seldom forgot to provide their fears with certain ghastly notions, which, instead of better, 1 have served them pretty tolerably for a devil." This statement to have its full force, ought to be considered in the content from which it is taken. The notion that man is the creator of his own gods and devils seems to be implicit in this passage, and yet it was one of the points which eighteenth century di-vines were most anxious to deny. Christianity meant to them, preeminently, a belief in the infallibility of the whole of Scripture. In spite of Swift's boast that he never borrowed an idea from anyone it is certain that he borrowed several from a variet CJ of places. Max Poll points out a striking similarity between the description of the death of a Houyhnhrm and a passage in Godwins, "Voyage of Domingo Gonzales to the World of the Moon." He quotes the following excerpt from it:—"I was once at the departure of one of them, and was much surprised that notwith-standing the happy life he lived, and the multitudes of friends and children he should forsake, yet as soon as he understood his end. to approach, he prepared a great feast and, inviting all whom he esteemed, exhorted them to be merry and rejoice with him since the time was cane he should nor, leave the counterfeit pleasures of that world, and be made true partaker of all true joy and perfect happiness."" Poll's contention that this as-1. Swift I, 111. 2. Poll. 3. Poll: 21. 4-8 sage shows an influence seems to be "/ell founded. In describ-ing a Houyhnhnm's death, he sags that when he knows that he is "to retire to his first mother",1 he calls his friends together to a feast, at which there are no signs of gloom. "And... when the dying Ilouyhnhumn's return those visits, they take a solemn leave of their friends, as if they wore going to some remote part of the country where they designed to pass the rest of their lives."" TThat would be conspicuous in a Christian writer, under any circumstances is emphasized by the general similarity, in this case, between Godwin and Swift. In spite of the fact that Godwin's dying man feels happiness at the approach of death, and at the prospect of leaving the "counter-feit pleasures" of the \,orlu, Swift, ./hose Horses have led exactly the same hind of happy existence, has them depart with all the phlegm of pagan philosophers. Though there is nothing that is not admirable in the death described, there is certain-ly nothing Christian about it. 'They are not preparirg for a future life, for pure joy, nor perfect happiness. They are neither joyful nor depressed, like perfect stoics they are pre-pared to return to their "first mother" just v s they wo'old have been prepared to continue living. This description of death cannot have been accidental. If Swift was influenced by Cod-win he passed over one suggestion and took and. elaborated another. The first was Christian, the second pagan. And even though he was not influenced, the notion of death and of future rewards 1. Swift VIII, 28o. 2. Ibid. 49 and punishments is too conspicuous a part of the Christian re-ligion to be passed over unconsciously, what is true of a lay Christian is doubly true of a clergyman who preaches and buries. The description which Swift gave implies neither future life, nor a personal God and yet it is intended to be ideal. The con-clusion that Swift believed in neither has added to it, in this instance, a suggestion of the then, new heresy of Pantheism. To return to a "first mother" must be understood to be a very different affair from gor'ng to a Heavenly Father. If the last point implies a disregard for the whole Christian dogma, the next two and the final points do the same thing by denying items so important, th-t to deny them means to deny all. In the interpolated chapter six of the "Voyage to Lilliput," Swift ostensibly satirizes the custom of burying the dead with their heads to the v.hst, in or tier that e- '..ill rise on the Day of Judgment facing the Son of I.Ian who '.vill come "as lightning out of the East".1 But his satire includes more than this, as the passage which follows shows."" "They (the Lilliputians) bury their dead with their heads directly downwards, because they hold an opinion that in eleven thouss.nu moons they are all to rise again,, in which period, the earth (which .they con-ceive to be flat) will turn upside down, and by this means they shall, at their resurrection be found ready standing on their feet. The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues in compliance to 1. Matt: 24:27 2. Swift VIII, 59. 50 the vulgar." That the burial practice just mentioned should be laughed at is nothing, for it is obviously an irrelevant superstition, and is not an article of faith in the Christian religion. But in the "opinion" that they hold, two absurdities are involved, —the first (and it is significant that it is the first) is that "they are all to rise again" and the second that they must be buried in a position that will make that rising conven-ient. The first of these is obviously the belief in the Resur-rection, which undeniably, is a belief that is vital to the Christian doctrine. And there seems to be no doubt that it is included by Swift as part of the doctrine which the learned privately confess to be an absurdity. The last sentence of the quotation also is packed with meaning; and this is particularly true when it is considered in relation to other thin_s which Swift has said without refer-ence to this. In the already mentioned "Thoughts on Religion", he says "To remove opinions fundamental in religion is impossib and the attempt wicked, whether those opinions be true or false unless your avowed design be to abolish that religion altogethe The grounds of this belief are, for the moment, irrelevant, but its existence in his mind is not. The very frequency with which this opinion is repeated, in one form or another, through out Swift's works, suggests that he had doubts that he con-stantly had to repress. Public assertions, however, do not de-1. Swift III 307. 51 mand private application, it may be said. But when the belief is also expressed in the most private manner possible, its value as indicating an application to Swift himself is tremen-dously increased. Though with no implication of an exclusive reference, the last-quoted statement is really applied to the doctrine of Christ's Divinity:1 and is used to condemn the efforts of the Socinians to discredit it. In this connection it deserves separate consideration, for, in another piece, Swift says re-garding the same doctrine, "the Christian religion in the most early times was proposed to the Jews and heathens without the article of Christ's divinity: which I remember Brasmus accounts for by its being too strong a meat for babes. Perhaps if it were now softened by the Chinese missionaries the conversion of those infidels would be less difficult:....But in a country already Christian, to bring so fundamental a point into debate can have no consequences that are not pernicious to morals and public peace." The only justifiable inference thet can be drawn from this is that Swift himself felt the doctrine to be so weak, if not so untenable, that, for purposes of converting the heathen, it might advisably be omitted; though, (according to his principle) he thought that in countries where it was already known it should be retained. The effect of the evidence that has been advanced is very 1. Swift III., 307. 2. Ibid, SOS. 5S strongly against the existence, in Swift of any sincere belief in the tenets of orthodox religion. In no case has the avail-able evidence in support of a particular point been exhausted. Doubt of a general and of a particular character has been shown to exist in both private and public expressions. The effect of the negative evidence alone is very convincing. A verjr obvious omission has made it appear that Swift lacked belief in a future life of rev/ard or punishment. And, finally, he has ex-pressed doubt of tenets as essential to the Christian religion as that of the Resurrection, the Day of Judgment and the Di-vinity of Christ. The conclusion seems inevitable, that in his private religion, Swift was, not only unorthodox, but definitely sceptical of the truth of orthodox beliefs. It must be admitted that in Swift's sermons and in a great many other places there is considerable evidence of an oppo-site character. But the fact that his official role was that of a believer, makes this inevitable, and adds point to whatever evidence of disbelief his life contained. It must be remem-bered, also, that at various times in his life, he undoubtedly held different degrees of belief or disbelief, and that in con-sequence there are bound to be inconsistencies. Between the question of doubting a spiritual creed and that of making a materialistic application of it, there is considerable relationship. In the article on Swift in the Encyclopaedia Britannica references is made to the "extreme 1. Jon. Swift: Garnett & Seecombe: Enc. Brit. 53 materialism" of his religious views. This is typical of the opinions generally held and advanced hy critics of Swift, friendly and unfriendly alike. But they are only partially true. No distinction is made between the public and the private religion, and such a distinction is necessary if any accurate opinion is to be reached. The criticisms that have been made are for the most part sound ones, when applied to Swift's formal religion. They are so sound in fact that they are truisms. His public worship was, by definition, practical and was performed for the benefit of the state; and not for the purposes of raising the spirituality of the state, but for keeping its peace, simplifying its government, making uniform its peo-ple. Hence, materialism is its essence. But when that is said Swift's own religious opinions and temper are left untouched. Enough has now been said to indicate the independent and probably heretical character of some of these. It is left, then, to de-termine whether the usual estimate with regard to his religious character is correct. TTas he materialistic? Character, religious or other, is an extremely inaccesible thing. It is something which cannot be determined from a part of the works or a part of the life of any man, but is something that represents the essence of the man himself, and hence, must be drawn from the sum total of his multitudinous words, thoughts, and deeds. The difficulty of deciding that this nan or that is honest, or brave, is apparent,—or becomes so when an attempt is made. Even in the case of a simple character a life is a 54' much too complex thing to be labelled in that fashion; contains too many contradictions,extends too far, is filled with too many half-seen or half-understood truths. When the character, as ia the case of Swift, is highly intellectual and self-conscious the difficulties increase tremendously. And when the highly intellectual and self-conscious character deliberately adopts two codes, one of which he chooses to show while the other he is determined to hide; when he is particularly reticent about revealing anything that may be considered intimate or private; and when in addition he finds a sardonic satisfaction in being misunderstood, in fooling mankind, the impossibility of saying with satisfactory assurance that he was or was not spiritual, shows itself. Yet one responds intuitively to a man's works in much the same manner that one responds to the man himself and, without any process of conscious analysis, forms a conclusion about him. In this intuitive fashion one feels that Swift is not adequate-ly described by the word materialistic; that, though one part of his nature has been accounted for, there is another and subtler part neglected. There is a great deal in Swift to justify the conclusions that he is materialistic. But there is also considerable evidence, w'-ich seems to support the intuitive feeling that, underneath the materialism, there is a good deal-perhaps too much—that is spiritual. The most obvious method by which to uphold this belief would he to take the priori stand that Swift did have a spiritual nature, an-:, to rationalize that 55 conclusion by adducing items of evidence to support it. This method, however, proves unconvincing. There are, in the first place, few things that it can be insisted are purely spiritual, and are incapable of other interpretation. In addition, a very large number of examples would be required to justify the making of a general conclusion about the man's whole nature. The method, moreover, is not entirely sound, but savours of assumption, and manipulation of evidence which does not b3^  its nature exclude other interpretations. Instead, it seems better to observe the known and admitted qualities in Swift's nature, and the influ-ences that came to beer upon his life; then, by inferring the causes of the former and the effects of the latter, to make possible an estimate of the total result of these conflicting forces. From these general considerations more convincing, if less specific, conclusions should arise. Leslie Stephen1 has said that "when a creed is dying the importance of preserving the moral law naturally becomes a pressing consideration with all strong natures", and goes on to point out that it was to this duty that Swift turned all his energies. Furiously he attacked the evils that he found on every hand; with unequalled vigour defended the sheep from the fleece-covered wolves. Lustily drawn and well directed his arrows of poisoned invective or withering satire sought their marks and found them. Hypocrisy, egoism, injustice, cant and vices un-numbered he sought to destroy-by revealing their natures. 1. Leslie Stephen II, 371. 56 Stung but not slain by his arrows the wounded wolves dropped their sheep's clothing; but there, very often, everything ended. To the hunterfe dismay the sheep would not see. IhLluly they noted that a change had occurred but to theui the change was un-meaning. Once a sheep always a sheep, they said to themselves, and so trusted on, and so suffered on. Cut to. the quick, and his passionate nature stirred to its depths at seeing his best efforts made futile by stupidity and intellectual sloth he turned to the immediate cause. "Use your reason, use your reason, you fools," was his text. He shrieked it, whispered it, sang it, played it, made jokes about it. If only his foolish generation could be made to reason, he told himself, all would be well. 'Reason' became an obsession—not a monomania, for there were other things the world needed, but fast the capacity to reason must be developed. Then—--and here Swift himself faltered. Was reason enough? Would it untangle the knots of existence. In his intellectual isolation Swift looked about for support and found none. Paltry props here and there, but nothing to trust. A prophet, he was, without faith in his God. The doctrine he preached turned and rent itself. The church was his starting point,"and the teaching of the church more than anything else must suffer from the onslaught of reason. He himself had felt the effects and on ever, hand he saw the results in the deism, irreligim> and atheist;, that had become prevalent. His own advice led to materialism: and materialism in religion was an evil which he saw but knew not how to escape. 57 In his public person he advocated it, in his private person shunned it. Contradictions naturally arise. The Houyhnhrms are the inhabitants of his Utopia and "their grand maxim is to cultivate reason and be wholly governed by it."1 Yet in spite of his allegiance to the "unerring rules of reason"2 in his Sermon on the Trinity he thinks that "It would be well if people would not lay so much weight on their own reason in matters of religion, as to think everything impossible and absurd which they cannot conceive." So, reason both must and must not be used to achieve an improvement in the world. Swift was undoubtedly aware of the impasse into which he had led himself; and the intensity of his anger at himself and at the world probably owes much of its violence to the sense of being foiled. But when he was foiled why should he go on? A psy-chologist .ould foresee part of what happened. He would ex-pect the energy not to dissipate but, inhibited in its natural outlets, to expend itself through new channels; but he would not expect it to continue to discharge through the old. The new channels were an increased fury at mankind, not exclusive of himself. But the original activity continued. Along with the intellectual there was a powerful emotional stimulus. Rea-son might destroy his religion if his religion were only of intellectual origin. It did destroy that part rather complete-ly, one feels. Yet, the emotional, the spiritual, element carried Swift on in spite of his logic.. He felt bitterly alone-1. Swift VIII, 278 b. 2- Ibid, 2 8 £ • F 58 in a solitude half of his own making, friends and oonversa-; tion -..-ere necessary to the peace of a mind V at contained auch conflicts. One of the principal complaints of orthodoxy against deism was that it made of the world and consequently of religion "a mere machine."x Swift could see the tiling happening in his own mind, rebelled against it but could not •prevent it. He knew that religion should be more than it was. t- He said as much many times, but he was not sufficiently a mystic : to invent a wsligion that would fill his want. ""7e have," he said in one place "just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love, one another." It was some spirit-!; ual benefit that he hoped for ..hen he contradicted himself and V advised his congregation to fall back on faith. In many other : places in those purposely sane and practical sermons (which he f, himself characterized as little more than political tracts) the same spiritual longing breaks stubbornly,through. In him the conflict was always present. TThat he believed it is difficult : to say: sometimes in nothing--sometimes in God. But constant-i ly he seems to have felt either the presence of, or the nee'4 of, some power outside himself to support him and to console his solitary heart. The condition was a painful, but not an unusual, one. No belief dies without a struggle and those who are clos-:.. est to it suffer most from its deathwrithings. Had Swift been less practical, more of a mystic, he could have adjusted himself by inventing a god. Had he- been more sentimental or a less 1. Shaftsbury: II, 337. 59 aoute critic he might have become a Deist. he been less an idealist, less intensely spiritual he would not have suffered from the loss which his reason caused him. Deing what he was, he clung firmly to what he could; relinquished wit}- stem resig-nation what was wrung from him; and with bitterness- felt his loss. The origin of the struggle which • _ul':..d in this loss, the manner of it, and its results ..ill, -1 the enpewee of some repetition, appear .wore definite in a sum lary that brings them closer together than they hare been in the preceding discus-sion. The mental constitution of Jonathan Swift consisted of two incompatible elements. The first of these was ur. intellect that was remarkably practical in its nature and concrete in its imagery. The second was the deeply rooted awareness, characteristic of the devotees of the Christian religion., of the existence of and necessity foe a power outside himself capable of controlling and of supporting him. The presence of this feeling in an individual is what is indicated when he is called spiritual. Had the intellectual bias of the time been less materialistic^ had Swift's faith been strong enough to conquer his intellect or weak enough to be silenced T.g it, no permanent conflict need have ensued. Constituted as he nas, however, he was driven into a position that involved the diffi-culties of a stalemate and a logical dilerma. he had emotions or a spiritual consciousness t.hat had outlived the creed to which it belonged, and which the intellect had destroyed, And I. 2 0 he had a relentlessly logical intellect that nothing could per-manently disable. Thus there were present in him at the same ' time a spiritual sense that, because of its tenacit"r and vigor, he felt to be constitutionally necessary, and intellec-tual ideas that could neither destroy nor sanction.it, but which managed at best to thwart its admitted functioning. The consequences of Swift's failure to discover the basic fallacy in his dilemma were, for himself misdirected energy and con-stant mental conflict, for others conspicuous and puzzling inconsistencies. This spiritual quality in him shows itself as a motive of his actions rather than expresses itself in ' them. And this inhibited energy directed i.:.1;o channels of which the. intellect approved accounts for the statement, al-ready quoted, which Leslie Stephen made regarding S./ift.1 "When a creed is dying the importance of preserving the moral lav; naturally becomes a pressing consideration v.;itli all strong natures." One thinv is perhaps worth adding. The presence of this spiritual element, so often a virtue, is in Swift's case, a defect. This factor, forced to disguise itself, discharged its force into channels of morality hut it lowered the quality of that morality. It was an inhibiting influence on Swift's particular genius which depended upon the action of an unflinchingly logical mind on material per-ceived with abnormal accuracy. 1. Leslie Stephen II, 571. PART HI PUBLIC BE HEPS Eeliefs, like men, defy classification. They are too vague in their outlines, too loose in their content, too frequently altered. Division destroys them by changing proportions. With very qualified success and a number of undesirable consequences, an attempt has been made to separate Swift's private from his public beliefs, and to outline the former. This treatment, however, must be recognized as artificial, and must not be allowed to obscure the fact that Swift himself never thought of any such formal division. Some tilings he believed, but, for very good reasons, kept to himself; others he believed and made public as well; some things he doubted and lashed with his sarcasm; others he doubted but passed off for truth, forced, by a principle that he thought was sound, to devices against which his whole nature rebelled. The thoughts belonging to the first and to the last of the groups just mentioned, may be said, with approximate accuracy, to belong to his private and to his public beliefs respectively. But to which the others belong, and for what length of time, who will venture to say? The part of Swift's beliefs that has been called 'public' contains two ele-ments—politics and religion—that are so completely fused that any attempt to disengage them is almost sure to do h a m to one or both; neither is it apparent that there is any advantage to be gained by,making a more minute division. In consequence, the body of his public beliefs will be thought of as 'religious-political, and no deliberate effort will be made to treat them separately. In general, Swift's publicly stated beliefs were simple, and conservative. His religion conformed to that of the Es-if tablished Church which, in turn, was the theology of a group | of ecclesiastics who were unextreme in their views, rational-istic in temper, and yet within limits willing to adjust their Ifreligion to the services of the State. An attempt to examine the church doctrines of the period represented by Swift's life, f leads inevitably into a study of government, just as a study of the theory of government leads inevitably to that of the ec-clesiastical polity. That there should be such a close connec-| tion seems surprising, that it should be necessary seems im-possible in this day of irresponsible sects, moderate creeds, and unmaligned disbelievers. The almost complete fusion, of the Y interests of the Church and State becomes very readily compre— hensible, however, when a backward glance is cast over the \ history of the two preceding centuries. Ho justification nor •'}t even explanation can be offered for the fury of the conflicts, -fk y which arose from religious prejudice and intolerance, or from the sharp divisions which were drawn between creed and creed, or sect and sect. Nevertheless, whether understood or not, the existence of perpetual religious animosities must be ac-cepted as a fact, and their importance estimated from the con-sequences which they had. Prosperity or poverty, peace or i 69 civil war, commonwealth, or monarchy, independence or servi-t tude, were choices that were determined or tremendously in-fluenced by considerations of a religious character. Politics and religion have never been independent of one ; another; but, from the time that Henry VIII became Head of the Church as well as King, the association between them be-came tremendously more complex and binding. Political motives, unnoticed, were transmuted into religious ideals; doctrinal disputes which should have belonged to divines, became first national questions and then civil wars. The CJ.fusion between the two was amazing; the associations more complex than can ever be shown. To political questions which required, clear thought and deliberate action was added the fervid emotion of religious and often of fanatical zeal. Thai issues were ob-scured in both parties, religious and civil.. The church, on the other hand, often lost her identity in politics and became little more than a political pawn. From, the time of Henry VIII until well into the eighteenth century the history of England was also a history of religious doctrines and quarrels. Thejft banishment from England of Papal authority by Henry, its fanatical and bloody return under Hary, the numerous, religious revolts and the constant uncertainty resulting from Elizabeth's policy of balance were old stories in the late seventeenth century but not old enough to have lost their influence. Politics was still regarded in terms of Catholic and Protestant; its background was the church. In Swift's time, however, there were nearer and more complicated troubles. Charles had displayed too much toleration toward Catholics, had been guilty of sympathy with them, had claimed the same absolute and divine right in the state that he was supposed to have in the church, and these faults along with his purely political indiscretions had served to raise the parliament against him. Seven dreadful years of civil war had followed, and prominent among the others was the religious battle cry. Popery was feared and fought and vanquished where no Popery existed, The war was ended with the overthrow of the monarchy and the beheading of Charles. A new nightmare followed close on the heels of the last, and with the Common-wealth there was instituted a new period of religious fanati-cism. The promised safety from Catholicism was a safety also from all religions save that of the dominant sect of the Puri-tans. The parliament was almost as much concerned with affairs of the church as with those of state, it sang hymns and carried on its business with the formulae of the Church ana the language of the Bible. The Religious excesses and fanaticism of the Puritan leaders finally turned the nation's eyes toward Charles' son and a restoration of the monarchy. But the influence of Some was still feared and laws were passed preventing toleration 65 of Catholics and excluding a Catholic king, The now overthrown dissenters were also discriminated against and, along with Pap-ists, were excluded from holding public office. For a time the fear of Catholicism was overshadowed by more immediate danger offered to an insecurely-seated king by the large dissenting element in the nation. The accession of James, his conversion to the Roman faith and his stubborn de-termination to reinstate Catholicism on an equality with the religion of the Established Church, soon brought the danger back into its former prominence. A political, though only a poli-tical, sympathy nurtured between papists and dissenters by the Act of Indulgence, which made them both eligible for office, doubled the gravity of the threat offered. The drastic measure of forcing James to abdicate and of instituting a new succession seemed to be the only means of escape, and this was the way that was chosen. The Hano'verian line was enthroned in England by the English Church faction, and all seemed secure. But on the continent first one and then a second pretender claimed, without success, the English throne. The Pretenders were sup-ported in England by the Jacobites who withheld their alle-giance to William on the grounds that already they had sworn it to James and_his successors. Naturally the Jacobites also were excluded frcta office and the Churchmen who belonged to their ranks were given the name of Nonjurors. Thus three religious groups threatened the sovereignty, Catholics, Jacobites and Dis-senters, 66 Swift was born only eighteen years after Charles was beheaded; seven years after the Restoration; and was twenty-one years old when the Revolution took place. His closeness to these events made it inevitable that he should see them in the light of the religious prejudice that has caused them and grown from them. With greater politicians than Swift the same thing had happened. The Puritans had thought that the Common-wealth was a period of grace, blessed by God. Lord Clarendon had looked upon the Restoration as the ultimate triumph of right over wrong and the sign of God's approval. That he should have headed every chapter in his long "History of the Civil War" with two or three appropriate verses from the bible seems in this day a very curious fact, and indicates clearly the. close relation that existed in his mind between politics and religion. This feeling, too, was not restricted to indi-viduals but was shared by the nation. The extent to which the two were united is shown by the fact that party names often stood for church divisions, and church names as frequently indicated political parties. Swift refers in one place to the Whigs and Tories "borrowing one of their appellations from the Church, with the addition of High and Low;"1 and in another says that "The terms High-Church and Low-Church, as commonly used, do not so much denote a principle as they distinguish a (poli-tical) party."2 I n the "Drapier's Letters"5 he makes an analy-1. Swift III, 64. 2. Ibid., IV, 255. 3. Ibid. 192. sis of the political situation which illustrates perfectly the way in which political and religious interests were sub-stituted and combined: "The parties in this kingdom...are, First those who have been charged or suspected to favour the Pretender; and those who are zealous opposers of him. Second-ly of those who were for and against toleration of dissenters by law. Thirdly of High and low Church; or (to speak in the cant of the times) of Whig and Tory: And, Fourthly, of court and country. If there be any more, they are beyond my obser-vation or politics." Even though Swift did not wholly ap-prove of this confusion of interests it was inevitable that he should feel the effects of it; in him a similar identifi-cation of religious and political motives had taken place. Throughout his work, whether religious or political, there is a constant joining of the ideas and intentions of the one with the feelings appropriate to the other. In a double sense religion and politics were inextricably joined. The direction of events during the two preceding centuries and the suffering and danger which they had entailed account for the emotional fusion which existed between Church and State in the eighteenth century. In addition there was a very solid intellectual justification for their interdependence in the doctrines of government advanced by Hobbes. In them-selves these doctrines are of very great importance; for any thorough comprehension of the political, or of the religious, thought of the century following their publication it is essen-tial that they be understood. They not only exerted a very great direct influence, but they also bred theories and counter-theories that had notable effects. As explanatory of the be-liefs of Swift they acquire an additional importance, for on them much is elaborated and explained which Swift, uncharmed by philosophy or the abstractions of logic, treated summarily. His conclusions, in a surprising number of cases were identi-cal with those of Hobbes, but lacked the rational justification which Hobbes supplied. In consequence, it is necessary to examine with some minuteness the parts of Hobbesitheory that are particularly relevant, and especially those parts that are concerned with the relationships of church and state. The church, he thought, was not so much an integral part as a function of the Commonwealth—a manifestation of the sovereign. And, as a corollary of that, arose the belief al-ready noted that there might and probably should be two relig-ions simultaneously existant in the mind of a subject. In spite of the deductive character of his theory Hobbes had too much sympathy with experimental science to wish to shun inductive methods of thought, too much of the scholar's interest in truth to allow it to go by unregarded. Consequently, though it was necessary to have a state-imposed religion his theory allowed for the existence of individual beliefs as well. Hobbes had defined the church as "a Company of men profes-69 sing Christian Religion, united in the perscn of one soveraign: at whose command they ought to assemble, and without whose authority they ought not to assemble."1 He had shown, also, that the authority of the sovereign was absolute, and that there was no distinction possible between temporal and spiritual power; but that "Temporal and Spiritual Government are but two words brought into the world to make men see double and mistake their lawful sovereign. The Governor of the state and the governor of the religion must be one or else there must needs follow faction and civil war in the Civill War re between p the church and state." "For when Christian men take not their Christian Soveraign for God's prophet, they must either take their owne dreams far the prophecy they mean to bee governed by, and the tumour of their own hearts for the Spirit of God; or they must suffer themselves to bee led by some strange prince, or by some of their fellow subjects, that can bewitch them, by slaunder of the government into rebellion, without other miracle to confirm their calling....and by this means destroying all laws both divine and humane, reduce all Order Government and Society to the first Chaos of violence and rz Civill Warre." To avoid these terrible consequences it is required of us, Hobbes says, "to observe for a Rule, that doc-trine, which, in the name of God hee (i.e. the Sovereign) hath commanded to be taught." These quotations embody fairly well 1. Lev. £52. 2. Ibid. 234-5 3. Ibid. 234. 70 I the duty of the subject and the consequences of failure to perform that duty. However, .Hobbes establishes the dictatorial rights of the •W; Sovereign in a much more satisfactory fashion than merely by 1 pointing out evil results and ways to avoid them. To do this p he uses two arguments. The first is based on a critical exami-•* nation of the bible from which he infers that no kingdom but % a temporal kingdom can have any meaning in the world and that i" hence 'prophet' was used in the old Testament as synonomous §S; with king. Of such prophets Moses was typical and therefore "whosoever in a Christian Common-wealth holdeth the place of Moses is the sole messenger of God and beareth his "'"commandments." Unquestionably the person v.ho holds that place is the king, and Hobbes concludes, therefore, that, "The monarch or Sover-| eign assembly only, hath immediate authority from God, to teach and instruct the people; no man but the sovereign receivetii 2 his power from...the favor of none but God." His second argument to prove that the king, and the king alone, has been divinely authorized to determine what doctrines shall be "taught to the people has more rational validity. Divine law is simply that which emanates from the will of God, and may be given directly, as when given by supernatural revela-tion (the Bible), or may be given indirectly, as when natural 1. lev. 256. 2. Ibid. 127. 71 Laws, (which "being eternall and universall are all Divine")1 are revealed through reason. But "all laws written and unwrit-2 ten have need of interpretation." Who then is to interpret? A man may not perform this office for himself, for though he may feel the greatest certainty still he may be mistaken. Delusion or hallucination may have taken the appearance of re-velation. And further, if every man became a prophet unto himself there would be unlimited diversity of worship in the Commonwealth. "But seeing a Common-wealth is but one person, it ought also to exhibit but one worship." It is obvious, then, that a man must depend on someone whom God has authorized to declare his laws. "But this authority of man to declare 4 what be these positive laws of God, how can it be known?" Hobbes answers his own question. It is evidently impossible, he says, that without a particular revelation to himself a man can be assured of a revelation in another, for again the same elements of possible error enter in. This leads him to believe that "In a Common-wealth a Subject that has no certain and assured revelation particularly to himself concerning the Will of God, is to obey, for such, the command of the Common-wealth; for if men were at liberty to take for God's command-ments, their own dreams and fancies, or the dreams and fancies of private men, scarce two men v/oulcl agree on what is God's commandment; and yet in respect of them every man would des-pise the Common-wealth....therefore in all things not contrary 1. Lev. 151. 2. Ibid. 146. 3. Ibid. 196 4. Ibid. 152. 72 to moral law (that is to say, to the law of nature), all subjects are bound to obey that for divine law, which is de-clared to be so by the laws of the Common-wealth What-soever is not against the law of Nature may be made law by them that have the sovereign power and there is no reason men should be the less obliged to it when 'tis propounded in the name of God."1 In this way, Hobbes has placed divine lav; both as it is revealed through the operation of natural laws, and as it is presented through revelation, within the jurisdiction and subject to the interpretation of "them that have the sovereign power". In effect divine law and natural law become identical, and whatever may be done with the latter may be done with the farmer also. How complete is the power of the king or the sovereign assembly may be seen readily by consulting the terms of contract from which the commonwealth springs. Stated summarily, Hobbes says, "it belongeth...to the sovereign power to be judge, or constitute all judges of opinion and doctrines, as a thing necessary to peace." And peace, by his theory, is the ultimate object which the contractors have hi view when they unite to form a Commonwealth. But before the Common-wealth is formed there are, strictly speaking, no laws in the sense that the word is used after a contract has been agreed upon, namely in the sense of civil laws. 1. Lev. 153. 2. Ibid. 95. 73 Even a Law of Nature is excluded by this. "A Law of lature is a precept or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same; and to omit that by which he thinketh it may be best preserv-ed."1 In consequence of this definition the determining factor is always a particular man's reason as applied to him-self—what "he thinketh" serves best to preserve his existence becomes a Natural Law. Its interpretation is a wholly subjec-tive and individual affair quite unaffected by rightness or error in his judgment. When a commonwealth is formed each member transfers to the sovereign this right to make individual decisions. For, in a Commonwealth, "....everyone....shall authorise all the actions and judgments of that man, or assembly of men (chosen 2 to represent him) in the same manner as if they were his own." However, until the sovereign (man or assembly) has indicated his will or passed a judgment there is no civil law, namely, no law "that men are....bound to observe because they are rz members....of a Commonwealth." Eence it is clear that even a law of nature is not actually a law until it is made so by a declaration of the sovereign. Once that is done it is abso-lutely binding on every subject. There is one restriction placed upon the exercise of this 1. Lev. £52. 2. Ibid. 234-5 3. Ibid. 234. 74 absolute power by the sovereign, but it is a purely theoretical one. "The law can never be against reason,"1 Hobbes admits; but the subject has forfeited his right to judge whether or not this condition is being fulfilled. It is "the reason of this, our artificial man, the Commonwealth (is the Sovereign), and his % 2 ^command that maketh lav/." This obviously leaves the power to § ' || make any law as completely in the person of the sovereign as :".' before. His reason is the only check on his own reasonableness; and the subject is bound by the mere fact that he is a subject to obey whatever law the sovereign power decides upon. To the present argument, the thing that is of vital import-ance is that Hobbes, by his identification of natural and divine law, has placed the latter as absolutely under the control of the king or the established government as -the former. The will of the legislative body is the thing which must, and the only thing which can, declare a civil law. Similarly it must and alone can declare the divine law and thereby establish a relig-ion. Hobbes states this time and again; but in no way can the implication of this theory be shown more clearly than by a com-parison of the powers possessed by typical representatives of the two elements—a Judge and a clergyman. "In all courts of justice" Hobbes says, "the sovereign is he that judgeth."5 "The interpretation of all laws depends upon the authority sovereign; and the interpreters can be none but those which the sovereign...shall appoint."4 "The subordinate 1. Lev. 143. 2. Ibid. 143. 3. Lev." 14". 4. Lev. 14 76 judge" Hobbes says again, "ought to have regard to the reason, which moved his sovereign to make such law, that his sentence may be according thereunto, which then is his sovereign's sen-tence; otherwise it is his own, and an unjust one."1 From these quotations the complete dependence of the decrees of the subor-dinate judge upon the interpretation of the sovereign or supreme judge, is apparent. The actual judge on the bench, is simply a mouthpiece, through whom the king speaks, and has no particle of freedom in the interpretation which he puts upon laws. Since he acts in the king's person, his mind is the king's mind. As the judge administers the civil law, so also does the pastor teach the divine law. If Hobbes makes any distinction in delineating the relationship of judge to sovereign and pastor to sovereign it is that he makes the dependence in the latter case somewhat more explicit. Kings are not only supreme judges but also "supreme pastors of their people, and have power to 9 ordain what pastors they please, to teach the Church."" From this "it followeth...it is from the civil Sovereign that all other pastors derive their right of teaching, preaching, and other functions pertaining to that office; and .that they are but his ministers; in the same manner as (are) magistrates of towns, judges in Courts of Justice, and commanders of armies." Of all the pastors in a commonwealth only "the king....executeth his office of supreme pastor, by immediate authority from God, that 1. Lev. 143. 2. Lev. 234. 3. Xev. 294. 77 is to say in God's right, or jure Divino." The others perform their duties only by "jure civili", and, in consequence, may teach only what the sovereign may determine. Every loophole which might admit individual interpretation is carefully stopped. The slight distinction which may be drawn between a Pastor or teacher and a prophet might allow such a thing; but it does not. A prophet, Hobbes says, is either supreme or subordinate; "is the civill Soveraign, or by the civill Soveraign authorized." "¥hen, therefore, a Prophet is said to speak in the Spirit, or by the Spirit of God, we are to understand no more, but that he speaks according to God's will, declared by the Supreme Prophet."'" Thus the jurisdiction of the Civil Government completely comprehends the church, its offices and its teachings. In short, the ecclesiastical and the civil polity are one. The laws of the land are the laws of the church. "The "Leviathan"., in which Hobbes stated his theory in its most coherent and thorough form was badly received during his life, and, in fact, has never had, in spite of its tremen-dous indirect influence, frank acceptance by any large element in either the church or the state. It was so uncompromisingly logical in its application of principles and so far-reaching in its scope that though the members of every faction found some belief in it that attracted them, they found others with 1. Lev. 295. 2. Ibid. 253. t- 78 which they could not agree. Even the banished Stuarts, who would have found the defense of absolute monarchy invaluable, were compelled to withdraw the support which they had ten. ta-tively given to the book on its publication, when they dis-covered the distinction that Hobbes drew in it between "rex de facto" and "rex de jure", and the theoretic justification it contained for the pledging of allegiance to the former. The Commonwealth-men found themselves in a similar predica-ment. Having usurped political control, they were in sore need of a theory that would justify and defend a de facto govern-ment. Eut to defend a de facto king was another matter. Their rebellion had been, in large part, against a king as such, and pre-eminently against the investiture of absolute control in any one element of the government. In consequence, they did not dare to offer support to a theory that argued, not only for monarchy as the most satisfactory form of government, but for absolute monarchy as the only form that was theoreti-cally tenable. To the churchmen the Leviathan offered the same contradiction in interests that it did to the politicians. Ever since the severance of the Church of England from Rome in the reign of Henry VIII, it had been willing enough to lend its support to any theory that provided a divine origin for the step taken at that time of installing the king as its temporal and spiritual head. But they felt bound to reject a doctrine that, when it consulted scripture at all, was based on es unorthodox an interpretation as that of Hobbes; and which, 79 though professing to make of the Church and State two mani-festations of a single absolute power, in effect left the former as little more than a supporting dependency of the latter. In consequence the Church, as a unit, refused to countenance the theory of Hobbes, and the churchmen spent much of their literary energy in the eminently praiseworthy task of refuting him and those freethinking individuals who had committed themselves, in part or in whole, to his beliefs. The outcome of these conflicting opinions is not surpris-ing. People commonly believe what they wish to believe; and though the various parts of Hobbes* theory were singularly intertwined and interdependent some were taken and some were left. Hobbes was publicly anathematized on all sides for his unacceptable doctrines, but those of his beliefs that could be held by particular persons or parties were soon consciously or uncon-sciously, adopted. As soon as Charles became the king de facto, the Stuarts and the loyalist party in general dropped their antagonism; and if they did not adopt Hobbes in a very definite fashion, they refrained from doing so only for diplo-matic reasons. Amongst the Puritans the same tendency is shown. On the very eve of the return to a monarchical form of Government, Hilton published his "Heady and Easy ''ay to Establish a Free Commonwealth", and in it advocates a grand or general council, which, being well chosen should be perpet-ual, thereby indicating the general distrust that was arising with regard to the more democratic forms of government, arid 80 a desire to return to a form of absolutism almost as complete as that of a monarchy. The Church, too, in spite of the resis-tance offered by the reactionary Nonjuror element that it contained, became increasingly rationalistic in its beliefs, and increasingly Erastian in its policies, in both of which tendencies Hobbes was unquestionably the most important, though the unacknowledged, influence. Between Swift whose life long devotion was given to the church, and Hobbes who was Machiavellian in the thoroughness with which he subordinated everything else to the sovereign or the state, it would seem natural to find a radical disag-reement, anu this to all appearances did exist. There were a great many things in Hobbes* theories that antagonized Swift both as a loyal churchnan and as a supporter of the Revolution. Nearly every reference that he makes to Hobbes is adversely critical or uncomplimentary. Very properly he considered him as an heretic, an enemy of revealed religion anc the intel-lectual parent of the deists and freethinkers to whom he felt the most intense antagonism. Hobbes* theory, too, denied a number of political beliefs to which Swift fervently adhered. According to it, no act on the part of the sovereign could justify rebellion by the subject; and Swift, on the other hand, was in complete sympathy with the Revolution. In this connection Sheridan3 speaks of "the glorious Revolution; to 1. Swift III, 64. 2. Ibid., IV, 255. 3 . Ibid. 192. 81 which., he says, "there was not a faster friend in England than himself (Swift)." The second fundamental difference in opinion arises from Hobbes' belief that the sovereign pos-sessed absolute control in the state. The sovereign's reason he insisted was the only determining factor in the government, and in consequence counsellors could give counsel but could do nothing more. They possessed no authority and exercised no powers in the government beyond what were bestowed on them by the sovereign. With this opinion Swift was in complete disagreement. He says in one place that "Where any one person or body of men who do not represent the whole, seize into their hands the power in the last resort, there is properly no longer a govern .ent...but the corruption of one. This distinction excludes arbitrary power in whatever numbers; which, notwith-standing all that Hobbes, Filmer and others have said.to its -advantage, I look upon as a greater evil than anarchy itself. It is not necessary, however, to. stress the points on which Swift and Hobbes come into conflict for their situations in the societies of their times as well as their places in the history of thought are such as to suggest the probability of many and-wide differences in opinion. That they seem to re-present two extremes in their attitudes to ecclesiastical affairs makes whatever agreement can be found-the more note-worthy. In reality the antagonism which existed was not as complete as it might appear, and instead of spreading from 1. Swift, III, 41. 2. Ibid, 112. 82 the general points suggested above, seems to localize about them, leaving a large field for agreement where consistency might prohibit such agreement. There is enough similarity between the two men to draw them together to a considerable extent. Hobbes shows in his thinking and in the expression of his thoughts many characteristics that also exist in Swift, and for which Swift either showed or expressed admiration. Each man shows the same dislike for abstraction, and lays the same emphasis on exactness of thought and expression; and each realizes more fully than most writers the necessity far defining terms before attempting to v.se them. T, th shew per-sistence and logical doggedness in following an idea as far as it will lead, and an unflinching acceptance of the logical outcome of such enquiry. Though Swift has ar questionably the greater ability as a writer, the samo simple and effective bluntress characterizes the writings of the two. A Wew.eral outline of the religious-political beliefs of Hobbes has been given already. The extent to which Swift shared these -..ill become apparent as soon as his beliefs are stated. Before attempting to indicate the connections which existed between the thought of these two men it is necessary to point out that Swift was thoroughly familiar vi th the works of Hobbes. The frequency of his references and the type of criticism which he levels against them oule provide sufficient proof. To take but one of these examples Swift says in "The Sentiments Kf?: 83 o-f a Church of England h!an" that "this error..deceived Hobbes | himself so far as to be the foundation of all the political mistakes in his book, where he perpetually confounds the exe-cutive with the legislative power."1 Swift, '..ho did not speak in generalities, would not have spoken of '''all" the political mistakes, nor have said that Hobbes "perpetually" made the error mentioned, had he not been speaking of something with regard to which he was very well informed. (Just in passing a slight but significant emphasis in this quotation seems to merit notice. Swift says th.-.t Hobbes "himself" made this mistake which seems to imply a very considerable respect for the perspicuity and soundness of Hobbes reasoning in general, and surprise that in this particular he has failed). There is another passage in Swift's works moreover that indicates con-clusively, if indirectly, that Swift had a very detailed know-ledge of Hobbes' political theories. Esther Johnson received almost all her surprisingly liberal education from Swift, either while Swift was at Sir hilliam Temple's or after she came to Ireland. She had it is true "a good insight into physic, and knew somewhat of anatomy, in both which she was instructed in her younger days, by an eminent physician who had her long under his care."" For the rest, however, she would seem to be chiefly indebted to Swift for her education, tie says, with the reticence that always seized aim when speaking of any creditable action of his own, that "I knew 1. Swift, H I , 67. 2. Ibid. XI, 132. 84 her from, six years old, and had some share in her education, by directing what boohs she should read."1 Speaking of a later period, after Stella had established herself in Ireland Sheridan says of Swift, "In his whole deportment he still maintained the character of a tutor, a guardian, and a friend."2 From these and numerous other similar passages it seems safe to infer that, in general, what Stella knew, Swift laiew also, and that they spent much time in discussing together the things which they read. Swift with the reticence just referred to, never pretended to scholarly knowledge, though there is no doubt whatever that he possessed it. Thatever evidence of it is given however, is always, as in this case, indirect. In his thoughts "On the Death of Mrs. Johnson" he says that "She understood the nature of government, and could point out 3 all the errors of Hobbes, both in that and religion." From this and the facts already mentioned, it seems safe to conclude that Swift also "could point out all the errors of Hobbes" in both religion and government. It would be absurd to suggest that Swift's beliefs, either religious or political, were those of Hobbes. In many instances the two are directly contrary and. in more they vary to a larger or a less degree. Other political theorists enter into Swift's code to determine it on points which are often of the utmost importance. Locke, Harrington, even Fiimer, make contributions; 2. Sher. I, 56. 1. Swift, HI, 127. 3. Swi ft, XI, 132. 35 yet there seems to be a constant tendency to conform to Hobbes whenever possible, at least to approach him when complete con-formity is not possible. Formally, and in the person of a clergyman, Swift was compelled to be anti-IIobbesian. The arcli-heretic, about whom so many stories were rife, could not be admitted into the mental stock-in-trade of any clergyman— much less into that of one who felt his responsibilities to the church as heavily as Swift did. Hobbes had stirred the antagonism of the Church to such an extent that, as Aubrey tells, "There v/as a report (and surely true) that in parlia-ment.... some of the Bishops made a motion to have the good old 1 gentleman burn't for a heretic," sometime after the Restora-tion. The motion, if made, was never put into effect, for nothing happened to Hobbes himself. He was frightened into the probably unnecessary expedient of burning some of his manu-scripts but was not physically disturbed. The fact that there was even such a report, however, is sufficient to indicate the intensity of the dislike which the church felt for him and his theories. It is further certain that a second printing of the "Leviathan" was prohibited by the Bishops because of the here-g tical and anti-ecclesiastical doctrines which it contained."' 1. Aubrey I, 35S. 2. On Sept. 3, 1663, Pepys complains that he vent to his booksellers "for Hobbe's Leviathan which is now might-ily called for; and what was heretofore sold for S s. I now give 24 s. for, at the second hand, and is sold for 30 s., it being a book the bishops will not let be printed again. ~?epys Diary, YJheatley ed. vii.i , 21. 86 Under the influence of suggestion and compulsion from both within and without, the Church, as such, struggled to retain a fragment of the authority which had belonged to it in pre-Reformation days. The Reformation had been, only in part, a religious rebellion, for, though what became the Established Church of England had thrown off its allegiance to Rome, the Government of England had done the same and even more. It had thrown off its allegiance to Rome and to religion. During the Middle Ages a king could, without question, be lawfully resist-ed or even deposed if he behaved contrary to the wishes or principles of the Roman Catholic Church. But with the Reforma-tion things had changed. The king, according to Filmer, the government, whether Monarchical, Aristocratic, or Democratic, according to Hobbes, and in any case the state had put on all the supremacy and absolutism, which had been stripped from Rome. In the glow of its first release from P:pal authority the Church of England' had not realized or, at least, had not, seriously resented this swing of the pendulum. The king was its head, and as such, the more power he had, the more divine his mission, the more honor it appeared would belong to the church. But it soon became apparent that a king could not be two persons; that, notwithstanding the theory, in practice he could not be equally the spiritual and the temporal head of the nation. One or other interest must be supreme. Had everts been other than they were it is not impossible, though difficult to imagine, that England might have become an ecclesiastical state. 87 As things were her religion became that of a political church. To the clergy this was not, on the whole, distasteful, so long as some appearance of their pre-Reformation power was left them. They were in the first place Englishmen before they were churchmen, and were quite as eager to help their first as their second parent. Interest also led them in the same direction. Eut they continued to insist, without much consistency at times, that the church though an integral part of the state, had also a separate existence, that although their authority was from the king, it was also exempt from him in that it was given them by God through Christ, his apostles, and his bishops. In short, they clung to Episcopacy, the well-known variation of the older Papal theory, and claimed to be linked definitely with the apostles, by a long line of direct transmissions of the Divine power. Hobbes'theory permitted no such division in the State. From his careful and philosophical study of the nature and ex-tent of authority, he concluded that it must be single and absolute; that there could be no distinction between spiritual and temporal power; and that in the church, as in the state, there should be one controlling will, and that the will of the king or of the sovereign assembly. Hence the antagonism of the church, and hence some, at least, of Swift's surface an-tagonism. Whether or not Swift was aware of his debt to Hobbes 88 is neither a question of importance nor one that could be very conclusively settled. Such questions are notoriously difficult if not impossible to answer even in cases where the relation is a simple one; here it is eminently complex. Traditional opin-ion, loyalty to his church and the habits of thought induced by the many deistic controversies into which he flung himself, would tend to make his attitude to Hobbes* ideas inimical, and unreceptive. His ovm vigorous mind, on the other hand, found much in the thinking of the older man appealed to him, many ideas with which he agreed, and, at least, two general opinions which were his ovm. The first of these was of the extreme im-portance of statecraft, the second, of the insignificance of man as an individual, and his utter inability to care for him-self or even to act independently toward any good end. This similarity would tend to counteract whatever antipathy he felt. Exactly what consequence would arise from the existence at the same time, in the mind of Swift, of two such contradic-tory impulses, it is difficult to say. We can say, however, that some parts of Hobbes ideas he repudiated vigorously and sincerely, some he probably attempted to disentangle from their implications and frankly accepted, while a far greater body of them unconsciously and hence, Unadmittedly, entered his own thinking as influences that are sometimes unrecognisable as Hobbes, sometimes indefinable in Swift. But, whether they were acquired by the second or by the third of these methods, he r f''. 89 holds many opinions that may be recognized with varying degrees of definiteness as emanations of Hobbes' doctrine. Although there is much difference of opinion among philosophers with regard to the origins of government, they are, in essentials, agreed as to its aims. Ho great significance, therefore, can be attached to Swift's following or faling to follow anyone in particular. Since Locke's explanation is adequate, and since, as that of the 'Philosopher of the Revolution' it was commonly accepted without qualification during Swift's time, it would be natural to find that Swift did the same thing. He does accept it but not without an addition from Hobbes, although the difference between the two men is largely one of where each places the emphasis in his premisses. Locke says that "Govern-ment has no other end but the preservation of property", where-as Hobbes traces it primarily to man's desire to preserve his own person from the evils anu dangers of V:'ar. "The finall Cause End or Dtsijne of men (who naturally love Liberty and Dominion over others,) in the introduction of that restraint upon them-selves, (in which we see them live in Common-wealths,) is the foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented life thereby: that is to say, of getting themselves out of that 2 miserable condition of YTarre...." Swift here, as in many places where he ostensibly follows Locke, qualifies him by the addition of eomething that commonly comes from Hobbes. The 1. Locke (2): 163. 2. Lev. 67. 90 commonness of the opinion and the siightness of the essential differences makes the resemblance here of trifling importance. Still it is worth noting that Swift combines the other two men. "Where security of person and property are preserved.... there the great ends of government are provided for."1 With regard to a much more important point, there is a very striking difference of opinion, between Swift and Hobbes. This difference, however, appears to be much greater than it actually is. Hobbes sets no limit to the rights and powers of the Sovereign. His prerogative is absolute; what he does is 'just', for the simple reason that he does it. The king quite literally can do no wrong,—other than such wrongs as he does to himself or to the Commonwealth by weakening himself or it, and, for these he is responsible only to Nature or to God who will attend to the exaction of punishment. The subject has no right, under anjr circumstances, to rebel or even to complain. But by "Sover-eign" Hobbes must be understood to mean "Sovereign Power". His own studies led him to regard as most satisfactory a Common-wealth in which a single person held the Sovereignty; but this does not lead him to exclude other kinds. "The difference of Commonwealths" he says, "consisteth in the difference of the Sovereign.... .and it is manifest that there can be but Three kinds of Commonwealth. For the Representative must needs be One man or More; and if More, then it is the Assembly of All, or but of a Part."2 These he calls respectively Monarchy, 1. Swift, III, 41. 2. Ibid, 112. 91 Democracy and Aristocracy, and what he says regarding the first applies with equal force to the other two. Between Hobbes and Swift there had been the Revolution and, with it, a marked in-crease in democratic principles and tendencies. Referring to the change that had taken place in England Swift speaks with obvious disapproval. "As a house thrown down by a storm, is seldom rebuilt without some change in the foundation; so it hath happened, that, since the late Revolution, men have sat much looser in the true fundamentals both of religion and government, and....for private ends men ,are) taking up those very opinions professed by the leaders in that rebellion, which carried the blessed Martyr to the s c a f f o l d . Y e t , in spite of the disapproval which he showed of the new principles rising up about him, Swift was an unqualified supporter of the Revo-lution and had himself acquired in actual practice .•'.any of the newer opinions regarding government. For him, intelleetually at least, the sovereign was no longer uivine, and absolute, as Bilmer would have had him, nor absolute as Hot bes would have had him, but instead was one of three governmental elements amongst whom a perpetual balance must be maintained. A very cursory sketch of this theory of government is all that is re-quired for the present purpose. It was the Balan.ce of Power theory, which was current in 17CC and was n composite of Har-rington's and Locke's ideas. A few excerpts from S.ift's first political essay, "The Contests aud Dissensions in Athens and 1. Swift III, 64. 2. Ibid., IV, 255. 3. Ibid. 192. 92 Rone" published in 1701, will serve best to make its outlines 1 clear, "in all government there is an absolute unlimited power, which naturally and originally seems to be placed in the whole body (of the people). This unlimited power is what the best legislators of all ages have endeavored in their several schemes or institutions of government, to deposit in such hands as would preserve the people from rapine and Oppression within, as well as violence from without. Host of them seem to agree in this, that it was a trust too great to be committed to any one man or assembly, and, therefore, they left the right still in the whole body; but the administrative or executive part in the hands of the one, the few, or the many, into which three powers all independent bodies of men seem naturally to divide.... How, the three forms of government... differ only by the civil administration being placed in the hands of one, or sometimes two (as in Sparta) who are called Hinrs; or in a senate who wire called the HobIss; or in the people collective or repre-sentative, who may be called the commons....but the power in the last resort was always meant by legislators to be held in balance among all three. And it will he an eternal rule in "politics among every free people, that there is a balrn.ee of power to be carefully held by every state, within itself, as well as among several stftes with oach other."1 "It is not necessary thct the power should be equally divided between these 1. Swift III, 64. 2. Ibid., IV, 255. 3. Ibid. 1 9 2 . ISsS: 93 three; for the balance may be held by the weakest, who by his address and conduct....may keep the scales duly poised 'Then the balance is broken, whether by the negligence, folly or weakness of the hand that held it, or by mighty weights fallen into either scale, the power will never continue long in equal divisions between the two remaining parties, but will run entirely into one. This gives the truest account of what is understood....by the word Tyrrany, which is not meant for the seizing of the uncontrolled or absolute power, into the hands of a single person, but for the breaking of the balance by whatever hand, and leaving the power wholly in one scale: For tyrrany and usurpation in a st-te are by no means confined to i any number"t...."(which) makes appear the error of those, who think.... that power is always safer lodged in many hands than in one." This account of government is obviously popular and in-complete, and contains some of the confusion it indicates that is usually incident to summary treatments of such exten-sive subjects. "Then Swift refers to "power in the last resort" the context suggests that he is peaking about administrative, whereas he meant legislative power. TThen to this explanation are added his opinions, given elsewhere, that "the supreme power in a state can do no wrong, because whatever that doth, o is the action of all":" that, "under no pretense wiistever is it lawful to resist the supreme magistrate"-.u and that, "by 1. Swift, I, 236. 2. Ibid., III.. 70. 3. Ibid. 67. 94 the supreme magistrate is properly understood the legislative power which in all government must he absolute and unlimited,"1 the direction in which English political theory was moving becomes apparent. Starting from the extreme position held by Hobbes two methods of change were possible; either that of decreasing the prerogative of the Sovereign, or that of trans-ferring it to some other element in the state, thereby consti-tuting a new Sovereign power with all the privileges and abso-lute authority of the first. The latter has beentbe constant tendency in English governmental history, and is the policy which seemed necessary and least objectionable to Swift. Driven on by reason, he saw the need of change and advocated it; yet his prejudice was all in favor of leaving the kingly .authority as it was. Even in his first political pamphlet a growing affinity to Hobbes in this respect is shown in the general dis-trust which he feels for popular assemblies, and in the almost indefinable way in which he allows the power of the people to become that of the Sovereign. As he grew older this affinity became more pronounced, though the tendencies that it implied became constantly less common around him. He never failed to insist that the ultimate source of authority and absolute power lay in the;whole body of the people, but he seldom failed either, to resent movements which suggested a 'paring' of the sover-eign's prerogative. From the time of the Restoration the Con-1. Swift, III, 41. 2. Ibid, 112. 95 stitution had eeprived the reigning monarch of all claim to divine rights and absolute authority and although Sheridan could say quite truly of Swift that, "As no one understood the English Constitution better, so no one loved it ;;iorc or would have gone greater lengths to preserve i f he was nevertheless directly opposed to the opinion of tve repuhlicae , 1 out, T-. who thought with the Hevolutionar. Con ons of 1C4C~ 'that the people under Cod are the Original of all JUL t powers'' end that the Commons as their representatives "have the supreme authority of the nation."' ^igornor- Sidney's !hiseo"rsos. co-..cerni:-g Government, is a moderate and reasoned refutation of PiLnor's doctrine of divine right, a defense of the constitution and of the right of the subject to resist hi: gly oppression; a ad an argument ir, favor of incr .need . ferity for tv Corneous and Aristocracy. —11 of those things S- i dt himself defended and yet he classed the boo' with the '.lemoirs' of the regicide Ludlow. In one of his Enamirsr paper s'"'ho eritizes "seditions and republican tracts; such as Ludlow's h... noire', Sidney's 'Of Government' and many others" on the ground of "their endless lopping of the prerogative, and mincing into nothing her Majes-ty's titles to the Crown." Swift obviously nednes his conces-sions under protest, and feels with Hobbes that the fewer of IT such boohs the better; that","another infiriity of the Common-wealth is the Liberty of disputing against alsolute Power, by 1. Sheridan X, 57. 5. Swift IX, £50. 4. Ibid. 2. Resolution of the Commons in Pushuorths Historical Collections 4, ii, p. 1535. ed. 1701. 5. Lev. 177. 96 Pretenders to Political Prudence; (who), animated by-False Doctrines, are perpetually meddling with the Fundament-all Lav/es, to the molestation of the Common-wealth; like the little worms physicians call Ascarides.""1 He is willing to admit on occasion that "the king's prerogative is bounded and limited by the good and the welfare of his peopleu<Vut that, after all would be admitted by Hobbes who said, ;'i'o the care of the Soveraign belongeth the making of Good Laws....(and) A Law may be conceived to be Good when it is for the benefit of the Soveraign; though it be not Necessary for the People; hut-it is not so. For the good of the Sovereign and People cannot be separated."5 The point on which the two did disagree was, whether anything could be done should the king apply bad laws. Hobbes would say no; that the king's authority was absolute. Swift said that "the Ting never issues out a proclamation hut to enjoin what the lav/ permits him. He will not issue out a proclamation against law, or if such a thing should happen by a mistake, we are no more obliged to obey it than to run our heads into the fire."'* This is constitutional enough, wholly ii the spirit of the Revolution, and remote enough from the abso-lutism of Hob be' s sovereign. Yet it is believed rather thai, felt. His democratic principles are extremely moderate, his de (Terence to ana regard for the old kingly prerogative was both instinctive and deep and. it \-ts with regret that he saw 1. A tyne of intestinal worm. a. Sun i. !±, .a. 3. Lev.* 105 4. Swift VI, -lit. 97 it transferred or curtailed. The qualified manner in which he grants the prevalent and necessary changes is shown very well, in both the spirit and the words of the following quotation, which describes his own more than the Tories creed. "As they (the Tories) prefer a well regulated monarchy before all other forms of government; so they think it next to impossible to alter that institution here, without involving the whole island in blood and desolation. They believe that the prerogative of a Sovereign ought at least to be held as sacred and inviolable as the rights of his people, if only for this reason, because without a due share of power he will not be able tc protect them. They think that by many known laws of this realm, both statute and common, neither the person, nor lawful authority of the prince, ought upon any pretence whatever to be resisted or disobeyed."1 "His personal failhgs we have nothing to do with, and errors in government are to be imputed to his minis-ters of state.1'" The opinions advanced here lack, it is true, the sweeping effect that Hobbes would have given them. Yet they savour strangely of Hobbes,—even sound like him in places. In the first sentence, it may be noted, Swift is using one of Hobbes' famous arguments in favor of submitting to the sovereign power under all circumstances, "that the greatest, that in any forme of Government can possibly happen to the people in general, is scarce sensible in respect of the miseries, and horrible calamities, that accompany a Civill Hai-re. 1. Swift LI, 232. 2. Ibid. IV, 200. 5. Lev. 96. 98 The foregoing digression on politics lias not been un-studied, and has been made primarily to establish a fact that is in a sense part of Swift's religious beliefs and which at the same time conditions them. It is, stated in its simplest terms, that under God the Sovereign power or legis-lative bodjr is absolute and indivisible. There is nothing within the commonwealth and nature that it cannot do; and it can co nothing without the operation of all of its several parts. A second but almost equally important point arises from this examination of Swift's politics in the sympathy which it shows to exist between him and a man of such different active political tenets as Hobbes. What Swift's creed was and the extent of his agreement with Hobbes may be made more defi-nite by the following summary: First, both men believed that the Sovereign power was absolute, indivisible and incapable of doing wrong. Second, they both believed that this power arose ultimately from the body of the people (using that term to mean not the section of the people represented by the Commons, but the sum of the populace, the aristocracy and the monarch), and not from the character of the sovereign. Third, Swift differed from Hobbes in that he believed the sovereign power was retained by the people, instead of transferred to the king; or to be precise that it should be shared with the people, since already it had been wrongfully seized by the king. In this he 1. There is no more inwsrd virtue in the greatest emperor than in the meanest of his subjects. IT, 199. 99 left the legislative power as absolute as before and to this extent was in agreement with Hobbes, but changed the body which exercised it. This was at variance with one popular tendency which was simply to curtail the powers of the king. Fourth, due to lack of faith in the commons ana all kinds of assemblies'^ " he distrusted the preceding belief but never gave it up. He shows,- however, a constant tendency to gravi-tate toward Hobbes by allowing in his reasoning the Power of the people to identify itself with that of the king; by using terms that indicate the latter though they mean the fom.er; by defending the prerogative in almost the terms of an 'absolutist'; by attacking political schemes that were hardly more liberal than some of his own, on the ground that they infringed the royal prerogative. 1. It is hard to recollect one folly, infirmity, or vice, to which a single i a n is subjected : . n < „ from ':ich a bo dy o f c orx :o n s (p ub lie c o nv: n tin s, 1,2 0 C) e i th o r collective or r-. presented , can. be wholly exempt. For beside that 'hey are composed of mer. w i t h nil their infinities avout the^, they have also the ill fortune to be generally led and influenced iy the very worst among themselves. I, -.01. PART IV PUBLIC BELIEFS (continued) Perhaps with minute accuracy selecting each word, per-haps carelessly and in either case privately, Swift once said, "I look upon myself, in the capacity of a clergyman, to be one appointed by Providence for defending.a post assigned me, and for gaining over as many enemies as I can. Although I think my cause is just, yet one great motive is my submitting to the pleasure of Providence, and to the laws of my country."1 This frequently praised statement which, at first glance, suggests that it may be the key to Swift's religious life, becomes, under analysis, baffling. The difficulty is not that of finding an interpretation, but that of selecting one of several. Tvhy does he use the word 'Providence'—a word specially favored by deists? 'That is the post to which he is assigned? Is it the religion of Christ? and if so, why has he not defended it more ably,,more consistently? Salvation is mentioned probably not above half a dozen times in Swift's total writings; and exhortations to any kind of spiritual rebirth are almost equally rare. If the 'post' is the orthodox and estab-lished church, as such, the case is different. He has defended that lustily; and if enemies are those who would establish other religions he has labored mightily to gain them over; but that is assuming the thing to be proved. And what does he mean by 1. Swift III, 30S. 100 PV • • • 101 'motive'? 'Motive* to do what? To defend his post presumably, or to gain over enemies. To what action of Providence or law of his country does he submit when he does either? And what 'cause' is just? Is it the cause of revealed religion, or of the English Church or is it, perhaps, the cause of morals and manners? The first he frequently asserted and the other two much more frequently defended. Eut again where do the pleasure of Providence and the laws of his country enter in? On the whole, it would appear that the thought was expressed carelessly, since there is no evidence that Swift was trying to be either subtle or obscure. If this be the case, it seems just to interpret this statement in the light of others. In that light three things of importance are said: first that he is devoted to the s-rvice and defence of the Established Church, second, that as a clergyman, he derives the powers peculiar to his station from God, and third that he exercises them under sanction of the laws of the state. Roughly this describes Swift's position with regard to the established religion. The first point is so obviously true that it need not be stressed. In his youth, influenced by motives that were perhaps moral, perhaps social, he selected the church either as the means best suited to effect an improve-ment in English life and manners, or the bulwark to English morality most in need of defense. Having made his choice, he stuck with admirable constancy to the duties which it entailed 102 and with admirable loyalty gave his best efforts to the support of the cause which he had adopted. It should be noted, however, that the cause was not ultimately the church, although the church was, in Swift's opinion, the lever best suited to his task, and, as such, received his constant support. Ever since Addison, doubtless suspecting Swift of being the author of "A Tale of a Tub", recognized him as "the Greatest Genius of his Age",-*- few have denied that his mental qualities were rare and excellent. But, granting what it would be imper-tinent to support, they w re not sufficient to prevent him from falling into various inconsistencies of thought and of belief. One or two of these have been pointed out already. Another appears in the present connection. Influenced by the orthodox creed of the Church and by the desire to save the church from becoming a mere political engine he supports such creeds as that of a divine power in the clorgy received.from God through other channels than the Sovereign, and therefore of the existence in the Established Church of two supreme powers, i.e. God and the Sovereign. And at the same time, influenced by the relations between the civil and the ecclesiastical polity outlined by Hobbes he becomes materialistic in aim, Erastian in belief, and argues staunchly for the right of the legislative Power to control the affairs and beliefs of the church. With regard to his first position Swift makes himself 1. Craik: I, 167. 103 clear. "The Church of England," he asserts, "is no creature of the civil power either as to its polity or doctrines. The fundamentals of both were deduced from Christ and His apost-les."1 This throws the proof of his statement upon the much disputed question of Episcopacy. To his congregation he up-holds the belief, asserting that "the government of bishops, which having been ordained by the apostles themselves, had continued without interruption in all Christian churches for 2 above fifteen hundred years." A rhetorical query, in one of his papers concerning the repeal of the Test Act, '"."."nether Episcopacy, which is held by the church to be a divine and apostolic institution, be not a fundamental point of religion, particularly in that essential one of conferring holy orders?" obviously demands the answer 'yes'. At the same time Swift himself does not always insist that the belief is necessary. In a paper that was so far from being polemic that it was A written deliberately with the knowledge that it woula harm" him, Swift says of a Church of England man that," "though he will not determine whether Episcopacy be of divine right, he is sure it is most agreeable to primitive institution,... and under our present institution best calculated .for our civil state." 1. Swift III, S4. 2. Swift IV, 192. . 3. Swift IV, 70. 5. Swift, III, 5-4-5 4. "...to show how far it was impossible for him to unite with the h'higs, he wrote his 'Sentiments of a Church of England 'Tan;' a production which caused the first estrangement between him and the heads of the party then in power." Hoscoe: I, xxviii. 104 Tlxis uncertainty on Swift's part with regard to Episco-pacy indicates, even in the most orthodox part of his beliefs, the influence of Erastianism. Among religious writers of the post-Reformation period there was not entire uniformity of opinion it is true. A few such eminent churchmen as Sanderson and Baxter, while never casting off the doctrine of a spiritual succession of bishops, indicated obliquely by their attitudes to certain unepiscopal sects that they did not consider the belief absolutely essential; after the Revolution this posi-tion became somewhat more common, as an incident in the general weakening that took place, of the positions held by the Church. The leaders, however, and officially the Established Church itself never made such concessions. Eari'ow, a Restoration divine is fairly representative of the orthodox view, and he insisted upon the essential unity of the Universal Church of Christ, and, in consequence, upon its independence of any par-ticular state. He also considered the belief in Episcopal rule as essential and called its rejection, "in the proper sense of the word, a deadly schism."1 The influence of a subsequent important group of writers, the Cambridge Flatonists, was in an opposite direction; but they as latitudinarians were much disliked by Swift. As a member of the High-Church party, the natural stand for him to have taken was that of an un-qualified supporter of the spiritual integrity and indepen-1. "De Regimine Episcopal!" Rioted in Overton and Relton, p. 288. 105 denoe of the Church of Christ and of its divine origin. This is unquestionably what he intended to do, but his rationaliz-ing temper, critical acumen and Hobbesian conviction of the absolute power of the state betrayed him as a churchman. The belief which he wished to defend rested on a belief in the episcopal succession,—and for him, that was an open question. Swift's loyalty, however, was, in this case at least, greater than his consistency, and, robbed of the premises, he still held to the conclusion. Hobbes had said that only "the Soveraign executeth his Office of Supreme Pastor, by immediate Authority from God;"1 "every other doth it by the Authority of the Commonwealth given him by the King or Assembly that representeth it;"^ and bishops should sign themselves, "By the favor of the King's Majesty, Bishop of such a Diocese"0 lest they, "slip off the collar of their Civill Subjection, con-trary to the unity and defence of the Common-wealth."- Swift, as will soon appear, sympathized to a considerable extent, with this belief, so repugnant to the Church; but he also continued to assert the orthodox opinion that the clergy and church were the recipients of certain unique rights, by divine gift, though he admitted the exercise or those rights was subject to the approval of the civil sovereign power. In refuting some argu-ments of Matthew Tindal, a deist, who had written a booh on the 1. Lev. 2S5. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 106 the "Rights of the Christian Church" he says, "Although the Supreme power can hinder the clergy or church from....perform-ing any ecclesiastical office, as they may from eating, drink-ing, or sleeping; yet they cannot themselves perform those offices which are assigned to the clergy by our Saviour and his apostles; or if they do, it is not according to the divine institution, and, consequently, null and void....The world is not of His kingdom, nor can ever please Him by interfering in the administration of it, since He hath appointed minis-ters of his own, and hath empowered and instructed them for that purpose: so that I believe the clergy....would think it reasonable to distinguish between their power, and the liberty of exercising this power. The former they claim immediately from Christ, and the latter from the permission, connivance or authority of the civil government,"1 and by way of defence adds "with which the clergy's power, according to the solu-tion I have given cannot possibly interfere."" In the same paper he asks, "Is it any sort of proof that I have no right because a stronger power will not let me exercise it?'"-1 Contrary to Swift's opinion the answer is clearly 'yes'. The paradox involved in setting up coevally, two supreme powers suggests at once a fallacy; a dictionary confirms it. There is no such thing as either a right or a power that cannot be exercised. Furthermore, if the civil power is able 1. Swift, III SS. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 107 to prohibit the exercise of a power delegated by Christ, the power of Christ has no longer any right to be considered su-preme. The question, however, hasn't sufficient intrinsic interest to merit more elaborate analysis. Before leaving this aspect of Swift's public religion, it is only necessary to mention the two rather indefinite points in Swift's creed which suggest a possible influence of Hobbes: the failure to assert satisfactorily an actual ecclesiastical independence; and the leaving of the question of the Bpiscopacy unsettled in spite of the presence of a churchman's desire to give divine powers to the bishops. Swift seems to have felt that when he had asserted the existence of divine (if impotent!) powers in the clergy that he had done all that could or should be done to establish ecclesiastical independence. He denies the charge that the church maintains "imperium in imperio, ^  and asserts that such independent power in the church "is what no one divine of any reputation, and very few at all, did ever maintain." The truth of this last statement depends only on the defini-tion of what are aivines "of reputation". The point was both advanced and defended very frequently, by divines at least of importance. That Swift did neither, how ver, is the point of significance here. Having built his castle, he will now give it away; having asserted the independence of the Church he 1. Swift, 89. 2. Ibid. 108 will not subordinate it to the State; having insisted that "the Church of England is no creature of the civil power, either as to its polity or doctrines",1 he is prepared to say "It is grown a mighty conceit among some men to melt down the phrase of a 'Church Established by Law' into that of the Religion of the Magistrate;... If by the magistrate.... they 9 mean the legislature we desire no more." Once he gets away from theory and abstraction into what might be celled the phy sical, as opposed to the Spiritual, life of the Church, Swift knows very much better what he believes, and his beliefs, without conscious disloyalty to the Church, are both frankly Erastian, and frankly Hobbesian. The last quotation might very easily have been from the "Leviathan", for Hobbes has sa the same thing in a score of different ways, some of which have been quoted previously. Neither can it be supposed that the "Religion of the Magistrate" stood for anything less ab-solutely subject to the civil power than the "h'orship of the Sovereign" which Hobbes would set up. "ith characterised definiteness Swift insists that "whoever professes himself a member of the Church of England, ought to believe a Cod and his providence, together with revealed religion, on• the divir ity of Christ."5 But the duty involved arises :Crem the fact that this creed is the established one; net from emy virtue inherent in it. At the some mime, it .oulu be both irrolevan 1. Swift, III, 94. 2. Swift, IV, 11. 3. Swift, ill, 54. 109 and untrue to suggest that Swift uid not find special virtues in the religion of the Christian Church. Whether or not he privately accepted all the doctrines that it upheld he did admire intensely its morality. Yet he felt th t in this as in other particulars, he must submit to the supreme power of the state. "In every government," he said, "there is placed a supreme, absolute, unlimited power to which passive obedience is d u e , " a n d whatever (it pleases) to enact or to repeal in the settled forms, whether it be ecclesiastical or civil, immediately be come th law or null it; And there is no manner of doubt, but the same authority, whenever it pleaseth may abolish Christianity and set up the Jewish, Mahometan or heathen religion. In short they may do anything within the compass of human powar."3 He was not so absurd as to claim.that a civil edict, from no matter ..hat authority, could "alter the nature of things." If the religion has.an intrinsic virtue, no authority could alter that and he clinches his argument with a conclusively apposite comparison, "If a king and parliament" he asks, "should please to enact, that a woman who hath been a morth married, is virgo intacta. would that actually restore her to her primitive state0'0 But within "the compass of human power", the supreme assembly with justice may wo anythin^. 'r logical considerations are set aside, there uj longer ear-any doubt as to the present anu actual position .. xeh thru 1. Swift, LI, 216. 2. Ibid. 1-1, CO. 3. 110 system gave to the church, a position of such complete depen-dency that when Hobbes had argued for the same his book had been suppressed. An apparent reservation which Swift makes signifies nothing, for, whether stated or not, it is logically inevitable, and for that matter, had been made before and much more accurately by Hobbes. It is that the' "decrees may be against equity, truth, reason, and religion, but they are not against law; because law is the will of the supreme legislature, and that is themselves." The items of equity and of reason re-quire careful examination before they can be properly admitted in this statement; Swift * s intention, however, is perfectly clear, and identical with that of Hobbes when he said "It is true that they that have the Soveraigne power, may commit Iniquite; but not Injustice, or Injury in the proper signifi-2 cation." "And the definition of Iniustiee is no other than the not Performance of Covenant."0 Both men base their reason-ing on the same grounds, that "because every Subject is by this Institution (the Common-wealth) Author of all the Actions and Judgments of the Soveraigne Instituted; it followes that whatsoever he doth, it can be no injury (Injustice) to any A of his Subjects." This conception of the absoluteness of the power exer-cised by the Sovereign (which may be allowed, as in the "Levia-than" to mean also the Sovereign assembly) raises an inevit-able difficulty which already has been mentioned briefly. 1. Swift, III, SO. 2... -ev. 22. 3. Ibid. 74. 4. iDid. 92. Ill The state, remaining within its rights, may decree that any given belief is to be accepted by the people. At the same time, it cannot alter the nature of things; and hence can change neither the thing to be believed nor the subject's reason. The subject himself is equally impotent. The great-est loyalty, the greatest desire to conform to the will of the Sovereign leaves the quality of the object unaffected, and his reason, acting on that object, as it has always done. How Hobbes solved this difficulty has been shown. His detached intellectual attitude allowed him to advocate fear-lessly methods of conduct that have, in general, been condemn-ed by mankind. Too independent to be tied by conventional thought, he insisted that, regardless of what a man's inner rational beliefs might be, he was justified in giving publicly his assent to the doctrines set up by the state, for "Profes-sion with the tongue is but an externall thing, and no more than any other gesture whereby we signifie our obedience."1 Lord Clarendon, probably the greatest statesman in his century, was an ardent monarchist; and though both deeply religious and sincerely anxious for the welfare of the church, he was not averse to using it as a bulwark of monarchical power. Yet he disapproved so vigorously of Hobbes' theories that he wrote a 'Survey' of the Leviathan, against what Button describes as "essential immorality"2 at which he rebelled. The two points with which he disagreed most were that the Sovereign could 1. Lev. 270. 2. Hutton, 286. 112 prescribe doctrines and that a man could justifiably hold in-compatible 'beliefs' in his public and his private life. Swift's admiration for Clarendon, his devotion to the church and his own brusque sincerity in most things all sug-gest that, in this controversy, he would side with the states-man rather than the philosopher; but such was not the case. The hypothesis, assumed when discussing Swift's private reli-gion, that he too believed there should be a "publique and a private worship" is indubitably true. That this belief was disinterested, and that it followed logically and inevitably upon other beliefs which he energetically supported are the best defences that can be offered for a doctrine that Claren-don described as a justification of Jesuitical hypocrisy. Since Swift was convinced that a subject was bound to obey the sovereign assembly in every particular, and since the sovereign assembly had declared for a uniform religion on the grounds that it was essential for peace, and since it is a fact of experience that the reason is not subject to the will, he was compelled to hole either the doctrine that he did or one that was worse. If he had not been sincerely disinterest-ed and practical he would doubtless have held the latter as the Catholic Church and the Commonwealth Presbyterians had done. The church would have been, a gainer, at the price, it is true, of even greater hypocrisy, had the privilege of a private opinion been denied. And if, as seems apparent, Sww.ft 118 had doubts which his inherent sincerity and his esteem for reason must have urged him to declare, his holding of a belief which prevented that, proves, more than anything else, the absence of personal motives. Swift sanctions the existence (when it is necessary7) of this double code so confidently and in such a variety of places that it is impossible to doubt his own conviction. Its Tightness is asserted in places as different as his casual, disconnected "Thoughts on Religion",1 which was intended for O no eye but his own, his sermons" delivered in St. Patrick's Cathedral, and his published writings, such as "The Senti-ments of a Church of England Man"0 and "A Project for the 4 Advancement of Religion." It was not only a part of his ex-ternal creed but also entered into his own life, and was the starting point and foundation of much of his thought and action. Swift, it has b~en pointed out, turned to the uhurch solely under the impulse of his own desire, without either compulsion or the prospect of unusual reward. But, regardless of what subconscious motives there may have been behind his action, it is indisputable that he neither expected to nor did concern himself with the more spiritual aspects of religion. His interest, though often altruistic, was not "otherworldly." The thing for which he struggled doggedly, if without hope, was practical in nature and was no less than an improvement 1. Swift, III, 307-9. 2. Swift, IV, 111-230. 5. Ibid, III, 49 sow. d. Ibid, III, 21 sec;. 114 of the conditions mental, moral and physical of human life and in particular of English life. To his practical mind, life could not be cut up-into clearly divided sections. A man's religion could no more be separated from the other circumstances of his existence than he himself could be con-ceived as existing in the state without feeling some kind of a response to and exercising some kind of an influence 011 the religion which the state professed. Thus Church and State were inextricably interwoven in Swift's mind, and he simply chose to work for the general betterment of the people of the nation, through the medium of the Church because he felt that through it the same general end might be achieved more effectively that he would have striven for through other chan-nels had his activity been more purely political. He had early discovered that "the ruin of a state is generally pre-ceded by an universal degeneracy f manners, and contempt of religion,"1 and that such "is entirely our case at present."2 From this he naturally concluded that an effectual attempt to reform the existing state of morality and religion was neces-sary,— "more necessary than people commonly apprehend."" The methods which Swift advocated for effecting this needed re-formation indicate very clearly the sense in which he used the word religion when he applied it to the public observances of the state. It meant not a spiritual condition, nor a belief 1. Swift, III, 41. 2. Swift, III, 41. 3. Ibid. 115 but a mode of conduct. "To say a man is bound to believe," be admits, "is neither truth nor sense. You may force men by interest or punishment to sv/ear they believe, and to act as if they believed; (but) you can go no further."1 Yet in his "Project for the Advancement of Religion and the Reforma-tion of Manners" Swift advocates the use of both interest and punishment. He thinks that "if virtue and religion were es-tablished as the necessary titles to reputation and prefer-ment, and if vice and infidelity were not only loaded with infamy, but Biade the infallible ruin of all men's pretensions our duty, by becoming our interest would take root in our 2 natures." Obviously he is speaking of two very different things when he speaks of 'beliefs' in the one quotation and 'religion' in the other; and the difference is exactly that which exists between the Hobbes' "private and publique worshi] The resemblance in thought, of Swift's and Hobbes'opinions is made apparent by the following quotation: "A private man has alwaies the liberty, Ibecause thought is free,) to be-leeve, or not beleeve in his heart ," Hobbes says, "But when it comes to confession of that faith, the Private Reason must submit to the Publique; that is to say, to God's Lieu-3 tenant." It is not necessary, however, to depend on inference for proof that Swift accepted and conscientiously adhered 1. Swift, III, 307. 2. Ibid., 43. 3. Lev. 240. 116 to this distinction, and the mode of conduct necessitated by it. Two or three scattered quotations (which must perforce be brief) cannot carry with them the degree of conviction that constant, though not often concise, references throughout his writings give. There one statement must be taken with another, and the effect of these is to give what seems con-clusive proof. The fact that he makes numbers of assertions which collectively amount to an expression or rather to a great many expressions of this opinion, establishes his posi-tion beyond doubt. This is the result, for instance, of con-sidering together the four following excerpts, all of which are commonplaces with him, and, in one form or another, are repeated many times. The statements selected are these: "that a religious conscience.... is necessary.... to conduct us in every station and condition of our lives";1 that "conscience properly signifies that knowledge which a man has within him-self of his own thoughts and actions";2 "that every man is bound to follow the rules and directions of reason"; and finally "that men ought to worship the gods according to the laws of the country."'1 This last statement Swift quoted from Plato but might just as easily have quoted froi Hobbes, who constantly repeats that "(men should obey) for a Pule, that Doctrine, which, in the name of God, hee(the sovereign) hath 1. Swift, IV. 126. 2. Ibid. 120 3. Ibid,,130. 4. Ibid, III, 62. 117 commanded to bee taught.11 However it is unquestionably his own opinion also, and when joined to the ones that precede, allows only one inference to be drawn,—that a man publicly may affirm one thing and privately believe another. In several places, moreover, speaking under widely different cir-cumstances, and for reasons as dissimilar as possible. Swift has expressed himself concisely on this subject. For only his own eye he wrote ''Every man, as a member of the common-wealth, ought to be content with the possession of his own opinion in private, without perplexing his neighbour or dis-turbing the public."" To his congregation he said, "In any matter where you have the Church's opinion against you, you should be careful not to break the peace of the Church by writing against it though you are sure that you are right. Other quotations that have been and will be made, confirm the fact that Swift held this particular ana unique doctrine of Hobbes; but they cannot be more explicit. There remain two closely related sections of Swift's poli-tical-religious creed to be examined; and, in these as in most of those that have been discussed, he shows his beliefs more frequently, by applying them than by any statement of theory. This characteristic of Swift can not be made emphatic by short and broken quotations that have no context. It seems clear, nevertheless, that he had but slight reward for theory, 1. Lev. 234. 2. Swift, III, 307. 3. Ibid 172, and IV, 128-35 passim. 118 that his field was action, not philosophy. In consequence, he seldom presents, and less seldom presents fully, the in-tellectual framework that would explain or justify his par-ticular attitudes or acts. From these acts as starting-points, it is usually necessary to reason inductively to the general beliefs which will include them and account for them. This holds true with regard to the place and functions which Swift gave to the church ana similarly applies to the discovery of his attitude toward Uniformity in Religion and its reverse— Dissent. A good deal has been said to show that Swift was neither very sensitive to the spiritual elements in religion nor very interested in them. He was not disposed to belittle them, but was more likely to pass them by in favor of things that were more accessible to his acute judgment. The stand which he took, regarding the mysteries of the Christian religion was one which, while defensible, seems oddly unlike Swift; it was the old position that "God thought fit to communicate some things to us in part, and leave some part a mystery,"1 and that, in consequence, it was vain for man, with his inadequate intellect to attempt to penetrate them. In his "Sermon on the Trinity" Swift dwells very seriously on the necessity for faith and for the realisation, "that things may be above our reason without being contrary to it.M<i It might be said that the 1. Swift, 17, 131. 2. Ibid, 133. 119 whole sermon is spiritual in tone, and certainly it could not be maintained that it is not. Even here, however, Swift has an air of intellectualising. He had undertaken to defend the mysteries against the Deists, (as he would have defended any-thing that they had attacked, one sometimes fears); and now he brings them out in the armour he had prepared, and shows it to his congregation, that they may benefit. The defense, it must be confessed, while not original and not impenetrable, was as good as any that he could have found. Yet though it agrees with his contempt for the reasoning power of man, it is not the kind of defense that would naturally appeal to Swift, for it forced him into an inconsistency. Two qualities that are strangely suggestive of deism are set high amongst the virtues of the admirable Houyhnhnms,—friendship and benevolence. But they are not the highest, for "their grand manim is to culti-vate Reason and be wholly governed by it.""*" And everywhere Swift shows his own dependence on the pow.r of reason, and his belief that if * animalis rationis capax' would only become 'animal ratione' conditions would be remarkably improved. The deists argued for the freer use of reason too, but centered their energy on having it applied to religion. Swift, the great advocate of reason, would have it applied in all things,— "to conduct us in every st-tion and condition of our lives"— except one and that one was religion, in so far as it was 1. Swift, VIII, 278b. 120 publicly preached. Privately it will be remembered he said "I am in all opinions to believe according to my own impartial reason; which I am bound to inform and improve";- but in his sermons he tells his parishioners that "it would be well if people would not lay so much weight on their own reason in matters of religion, as to think everything impossible and ab-surd which they cannot conceive."" To prove inconsistency, however, does not alter the "act that Swift did attach some value to the spiritual side of religion. Only on a comparatively few occasions, however, did wwift express any extreme rt r- . or an; *wwj _  eui. u a s practi— cally beneficial aspects of religion. These expressions too, were usually made under circumstances v-hicb would cause him to feel keenly aware of his position as a clergyman--a position which, he has told us, aroused a not ins: .... L er-blo sense of duty and responsibility. The attitude w1 ich he adopted with regard to Schism in the church is much more d:.arasteristic of his general stand which in this, as in most things, was marked by the regard which it showed for practical her-?fits of an unremote character. "I leuve it among the divines," he said, "to dilate upon the danger of Schism, as a spiritual evil, but T would consider it only as a tempera! one."" This passage is reminiscent of the dictum of Hobbes that, th.or.gh after the Resurrection there ,a-.w. be a spiritual institution of some kind, 1. Swift, III, 507. 2. Ibid, 17, 155. ry TV T T V ^ "I O • UlUi j iiX, 'Ji» 121 "there is....110 other Government in this life, neither of State, nor Religion, but Temporall."1 There were two kinds of temporal gain which Swift thought might arise from reli-gion and which 'may be described as ethical and political. But for Swift, these two could not be separated, for, in his view, the state incorporated everything, and politics, in consequence, was very much concerned with the morals of the nation. Sometimes he emphasizes one aspect more than the other, as he does in his "Sentiments of a Church of England Man," and in many of his Examiner Papers, where religion is discussed in its political implications; or as he does in his sermon on "The Testimony of Conscience" and in his "Project for the Advancement of Religion," in both of which ethical con-siderations predominate. In the last-mentioned paper he regrets that "in this projecting age....there have never been any (projects) for the improvement of religion and morals; which....would be the best natural means for advancing the public felicity of the State, as well as the present happiness of every individual";^ and proceeds to remedy the neglect. First, he says, he will diagnose the disease then suggest the remedy. The disease is that morality has disappeared, and that the mode of life which is popular el lows conduct which he considers wrong and harmful. Men, "never go about as in former times, to hide or palliate their vices, but expose them freely 1. Lev. 252. 2. Swift, III, 28. 122 to view, like any other common occurrences of life, without the least reproach from the world or themselves. For instance: any man will tell you he intends to be drunk this evening, or was so last night with as little ceremony or scruple as he would tell you the time of the day. He will let you know he is going to a whore or that he has got a clap, with as much indifference, as he would a piece of public news. He will swear, cruse, or blaspheme, without the least passion or pro-vocation. And, though all regard for reputation is not quite laid aside in the other sex, 'tis, however, at so low an ebb, that very few among them seem to think virtue and conduct of absolute necessity for preserving it Besides these cor-ruptions already mentioned, it would be 'endless to enumerate such as arise from excess of play or gaming: The cheats, the quarrels, the oaths, the blasphemies among the men; among the women the neglect of household affairs, the unlimited freedoms, the undecent passion; and lastly, the known inlet to all lewd-ness, when after an ill run the person must answer the defects of the purse; the rule on such occasions holding true in play as it does in law; quod non habet in crumena, luat in corpora." These are both the signs of the disease and the disease itself. The remedy that was to be applied is not one that would appeal to an idealist nor to a romantic. Swift is not concerned, apparently, about the actual state of religion but thinks that a cure would be effected if some method to enforce the observance of religious form could be devised. The "projec 1. Swift III, 2S. 123 which he advances was never adopted, but it seems likely that had it been, it would have succeeded, though some doubt may be felt as to the value of such success. Certainly, in itself, it is not admirable, for it consisted of compulsion, bribery and cozenage on the part of the State. A similar end is sought bjr less objectionable means in the sermons mentioned. The argument is directed against the Deists who were support-ers of natural religion but it seems to fall short of its pur-pose. The necessity for revealed religion as a guide to virtue is urged as against the unsupported aid of natural morality, or moral honesty. Swift declares that a religious conscience is necessary but breaks his connection with revealed religion by adopting Hobbes' definition of Conscience. "A religious Conscience",^ he says, "is the only true solid foundation of virtue;" and unless men are guided by its advice and judgment "they can give no security that they will be either good sub-jects, faithful servants of the public or honest in their mutual dealings: since there is no other tie through vhich the pride or lust or avarice or ambitions of mankind will not cer-2 tainly break, one time or another." The sense in which Hobbes uses the word conscience is somewhat unusual. He nays that "it is either science or opinion that we commonly mean by the word conscience";3 and defines "science" as "knowledge of coi-4 sequences"" or "evidence of truth from some....principle of 1. Swift, IV, 126. 2. Ibid. 127. 3. Hum. Hat. in Hobbes Wks, iv, 29-30. 4. Lev. 42. 124 sense"." Elsewhere he says "A man's Conscience, and. his Judg-ment is the same thing; and as the Judgment, so also the Con-science may be erroneous.Compare with this what Swift says: "For as conscience is nothing else but the knowledge we have of what we are thinking and doing; so it can guide us no farther tha that knowledge reacheth; (and hence) in cases too difficult or doubtful for us to comprehend or determine there conscience is not concerned, because it cannot advise in what it doth not under 5 stand." In this hobbes and Swift are close to one another, but not to 'the still small voice' of orthodoxy, to which even the deist Shaftstury seems to approach closer when he refers to conscience as the "natural sense of the odiousness of crime and injustice.Indirectly Swift here makes the claim of the deists that the will of God is revealed naturally through the normal functioning of reason, rather th-n as the church insisted, through the medium of revelation. The other of the two ends which Swift hoped to .accomplish by means of religion was political in nature. For this, how-ever, he did not rely so much upon religion in general as upon uniformity in religion. He makes a good, many statements which indicate a belief that the conditions of civil life and of government would both be improved by religion, as such. TIe says, for example (in a context which shows that the terms he uses are intended to be synoi.omous with religion) that "the more justice and piety the people have the better it is for tnem: for chat 125 would prevent the penury of farmers and the oppression of exacting, covetous landlords. In another place he thinks that, since it would raise the standard of conduct among pub-lic officials, that "a reformation in mens faith and morals is the best natural as well as religious means to bring the war to a good conclusion."1 In general, however, his argu-ments in this connection either state or imply that it is to an uniform established religion that he refers. "That which hath corrupted religion", he says, "is the 1 iberty unlimited of expressing all opinions."2 Since the two ideas we re so closely interwoven in Swift's mind, there seems to he no ad-vantage in forcibly separating them. Nowhere do Hobbes and Swift come closer together in thought than in their opinions regarding the necessity for uniformity in religion. There are two ways of showing the existence of such a necessity and both men use the two. The first of these is to show that the structure of the state is such that it logically necessitates a religion that is the religion of the state and hence both subordinate and uniform. The second is to point out the evils that may be avoided or that must be expect-ed, depending on whether the religion is kept uniform or allow-ed to break into various Schisms. Hobbes deduced that religion had sprung from four causes which he named and of which two, fear, and the desire to knovj the causes of natural bodies are most important. Fear, he 1. Swift, III, 41. 2. Ibid, 112. 126 thinks, accounts largely for the religions of the Gentiles; "but the acknowledging of one God, Eternall, Infinite, and Omnipotent, may more easily be derived, from the desire men have to know the causes of naturall bodies, and their severall vertues, and operations."1 Anyone who attempts thus to reason back "shall at last come to this, that there must be....a First and an Eternall cause of all things, which is that which men mean by the name of God."*' Thus "an opinion of a Deity,.... can never be so abolished out of humane nature, but that new 3 Religions may againe be made to spring out of them." As might be expected, Swift pays but slight attention to such theorizing; at least he indulges in very little of it himself. He insists, in one place, upon "the absolute necessity of Divine Revelation, to make the knowledge of the true God and the practice of virtue more universal in the world." Hobbes too admits divine revelation; but here Swift is not really arguing about the absolute necessity of religion. He is rather supporting the one point of ultimate importance to the Estab-lished Church and refuting the contentions of contemporary deists that reason applied to nature supplies an adequate in-terpretation of the will of God. A national religion existed; that was the important thing to him. Unquestionably he believ-ed in the necessity of some kind of religion but, since he was not a philosopher, he did not expend his energy on remote and theoretic considerations. Since he accepted so many of 1. Lev. 55. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid, SO. 127 Hobbes' beliefs, he presumably agreed with him that, "where God himselfe, by supernaturall Revelation, planted Religion; there he also made to himselfe a peculiar Hingdome; and gave Lawes, not only of behaviour towards himselfe; but also to-wards one another; and thereby in the Kingdome of God, the Policy, and Lawes Civill, are a part of Religion; and there-fore the distinction of Temporail, and Spiritual Domination, hath there no place."1 That the logical outcome of this appears to be subordination of the state to the church, is irrelevant, as previous explanation has shown. The one thing that is es-sential in this scheme is that both be under the control of a single power. The subordinate position of the church and the extent of its dependence have been pointed out in discussing Swift's view of the relation of the state and the church. It now re-mains but to show how much importance he attached to uniform-ity in religion. For him, as for Hobbes, government originated in men's desire for peace, and its character was determined with that end in view. When government failed, it failed in allow-ing a state of war to exist, which is, obviously, no improve-ment Ibut rather the reverse) upon the state of nature. Hence Swift was the avowed enemy of anything which threatened to stir up civil enmity, or disturb the settled form of government. Nothing, he thought, was more likely to do this than religious 1. Lev. 60. 128 disputes and to avoid it nothing gave more promise than the national acceptance of an established church. The question, therefore, is not one of belief as such, but of national unity for the purpose of increasing prosperity and preserving peace; uniformity and dissent are not two questions but one,—the sides of a coin. For centuries the greatest danger threatening England's settled form of government had been that offered by the Roman Catholic Church. With the devolution, however, this, though not removed, had been robbed of any immediacy and had been superseded by a newer and more imminent one. National opinion was, as a mass, against Catholicism but was becoming more and more tolerant of protestant dissent. In this toleration Swift saw a grave danger of so subtle and insinuating a kind that he feared it would have done its harm before it was recognized. Swift's feeling, on this score, seems to have been a sur-vival, in his case, of something that had become or rapidly was becoming obsolete among most of his contemporaries. At the Restoration, and for from one to two generations after, his fears would have been those of the whole Tory or Royalist party. As enemies of monarchy and the instigators of civil war, Dissenters constituted the enemy and, for a time, were given a respect as enemies far beyond what their numbers 'war-ranted. The superiority as fighters w ich the Cromwellian forces had shown had impressed the King's men somewhat unduly; and the knowledge that these veterans were still, as civilians, 129 scattered throughout the country, coupled with the suspicion that they were all dissenters, led to a conviction that dissent must be kept severely in check or the most fearful consequences might arise. At the time of the Restoration and for many years after, the terrors of the Civil war held a very prominent place in men's minds, and made mild men harsh and severe ones fanati-cal in their determination to stamp out whatever might, if given the chance, lead to a repetition of the horrors which it had involved. As time passed'several discoveries were gradually made which altered the attitude of the nation toward those whose religious peculiarities made them appear, at first, to be ene-mies of the state. The first of these was that, instead of being numerically strong, they formed a minority of small pro-portions as compared to those who preferred or conformed to the Established Church. In addition it soon became evident that the dissenters were as averse to a civil war as their successful enemies. The Protectorate had not been either a success, nor a permanent form, and the Puritans, Presbyterians, and Independents not only had suffered physical hardships in setting it up but had discovered that, once instituted its administration had involved them in differences of opinion, struggles and restrictions that were very far from the ideal condition which they had fondly imagined would follow the change from monarchy. If they had not recovered faith in a monarchy they had, at leant, lost it in a republican form of 130 government. The third discovery that was made was that, though a minority, the dissenters were numerous enough to he either politically useful or dangerous depending on whether they sided with Whigs or Tories. The V.'hig party as the more liberal and the more democratic of the two was natur-ally the one to make a bid for their support. In doing this they inevitably sacrificed the interests of the Church of England end thereby deprived themselves of the support of Swift, who was probably the most able and influential politi-cian of Queen Anne's reign. The inordinate importance which Swift attached to uniformity in religion convinced him that, whether deliberate or unconscious, any tendency that weakened it was bound to prove disastrous to the nation. In this connection two points come up that are strongly indicative of the political view which Swift took of religion. The first of these is that he made no difference in meaning between the distinctions that were indicated by :he names High Church and Low Church and the names Whig and Tory. The Low Church was a name loosely applied to the less doctrinate section of the Church of England and in its "doctrine of un-limited toleration" Swift saw the same danger that he found in the liberal principles which the Y.'higs professed with regard to monarchy and the Established Church. Both ?/ere inclined to minimize or deprecate the virtue of uniformity and to tolerate or uphold the claims of the Dissenters; and these were the 131 principles that turned Swift into a Tory and a High Churchman. The first of these facts is usually stressed and the second ignored, whereas the emphasis should all he on the latter. It was'because High Church meant Tory to Swift, because only in the Tory party was he able to maintain his life-long belief in the extreme importance of uniformity in the church to unity in the government, that he changed from the whig party to which by neither temper nor environment, did he belong. The second of these points is that Swift united in his ovm mind groups expressing such dissimilar opinions as Dissent-ers, Deists, and Atheists. Had his classification been de-termined by religious intentions, this could not have been done for the groups are thoroughly antagonistic. Leland and Chand-ler, both of them dissenters, were, for instance, as energetic and as able in their refutations of deism as any English church divine; and many deists, such as 'Tollaston and Shaftsbury, were religious in temper and definite in their assertions of the existence of a Deity. But Swift grouped them in religion, and levelled his attacks against them in common because of their similar relationships to the Established Church. They wore all enemies of uniformity, and uniformity, it may be said with truth, was the religion of Swift. It is true that Swift frequently did charge dissenters, deists, and atheists air e with wicked-ness, libertinism, and general immorality of life, and though, in many particular instances, these charges had foundation, 132 in far more they had none, and were made through preju-dice and an unfounded conviction that any desire to loosen the bonds of the establishment could arise only from a desire for looseness of conduct. In one of his Examiner papers Swift said ,"By Dissenters... I mean the Presbyterians as they include the Anabaptists, Independents and others" which0have been melted down into them since the Restoration"; and elsewhere adds that "the atheists, libertines, despisers of religion and revelation (deists) in general, that is to say all those who usually pass under the name of free thinkers do properly join with the same body; because they likewise preach up moderation and are not 1. In contemporary writing there are various references to the immoral practices and general loose living of members of dissenting sects. In 'The Mechanical Operation of the Spirit* Swift refers to Adam Heuster and other leaders among the dissenters. Temple Scott says in a note that he and others mentioned wore notorious free livers. (I, 203 n.) Heuster himself was. a Socinian first and later a Mohammedan^ In jsome sects women went naked because thus they were supposed to represent the naked truth, which under these circumstances, would prove attractive. The Hanicheans, who provided the starting point for many seventeenth and eighteenth century sects, regarded carnal sins as berg, at worst, forms of bodily disease. Analogous with this was the belief common among English fanatics, that an elect person could not sin even though he committed acts which in then,selves were gross and evil. 2. Some idea of the numbers of these dissenting sects may be rained from a list of names given in Lord Clarendon's •History of the Rebellion'. He refers to the "anti-tri-nitarians, arians, socininns, anti-scripturists, ana-baptists, antinomians, arninians, familists, brownists, separatists, independents, libertines, and seekers." In his copv of this book Swift had. a marginal annotation,— "Hhat a medley of religions! in all thirteen." In another place Swift adds a few names which Clarendon overlooked, or wnich had come into use since his time. They are, Sweet-singers, Quakers, and :>higgle ton ians. 121,25 3. Swift IX, 234-. so overnice to distinguish between an unlimited liberty of conscience, and an unlimited freedom of opinion."1 Thus it is safe to say that except in particular cases where some statement happens to be irrelevant, all Schisms from the es-tablished church receive the same criticism from Swift, and that frequently it is intended collectively though the names of only one or two are mentioned. That Swift's extreme antipathy to sects was based on the same grounds as that of Hobbes, is indubitable. In many plac in a form too lengthy to quote, he states that the greatest objection to. them arose from the unsettling influence which they had on government. In far more places he assumes this and, not infrequently states or implies it within quotable length, as in the following passage: "About the middle of Queen Elizabeth's reign I take the power between the nobles and the commonsto have been in more equal balance than it was ever before or sino,e. But then or soon after arose a faction in England, which, under the name of Puritans, began to grow popular by moulding up their new Schemes of religion with republican principles in government; and, gaining upon the prerogative as well as the nobles, under several denomination for the space of about sixty years did at last overthrow the constitution, and, according to the usual course of such rovo tions, did introduce a tyrrany, first of the people and then 1. Swift VIII, 53 b, single person."1 His statements are frequently much more ex-treme than this. In the "Sermon on the Martyrdom of Hing Charles I," he speaks of, "the folly and madness of those old puritan fanatics, that they must needs overturn heaven and earth, vio-late all the laws of Sou and an, make their country a field of blood, to propagate whatever wild or wicked opinions came into their heads, declaring all their absurdities and blasphemies to proceed from the Holy G h o s t . T h e resemblance both in thought and expression between this and various passages in the "Levia-than" is quite obvious. Hobbes says in one place, for instance, that "if men were at liberty to take from Godfe Commandments, their own dreams, and "ancles, or the dreams and fancies of private men; scarce two men would agree on what is God's Com-mandment; and 3ret in respect of them, every man would despise the Commandments of the Common-wealth."w And again: ""..'hen Christian icn, take not their Christian Hovervign, for Cod's Prophet: they must either take their ov/ne hpeames, for the Pro-phecy they mean to be governed by, and the tumour of their own hearts for the Spirit of Cou; or they must suffer themselves to bee led by some of their fellow subjects, that can be-witch them, by slaunder of the government, into rebellion; and by this means destroying all laws, both divine and humane, reduce all Order, Government and Societg, to the first Chaos of Violence, and Civill Tarre."4 This similarity is too slight to suggest borrowing on the part of Swift; but, on the 1. Swift, I, 204-5. 2. Ibid, IV, 156. 5. Lev. 155. Ibid. 254-5. 135 other hand, it is groat enough to emphasise an affinity that is otherwise so obvious, and to suggest a very considerable de-gree of familiarity with Hobbes. The depth of Swift's dislike and distrust of the Puritans is unfathomable, and always it turns on the principal item that they had upset the government. "The murderous Puritan Parliament", he says, "...could not agree upon any one method of settling a form, either of religion or civil government; but changed every day from Schism to Schism, from heresy to heresy, from one faction to another: Prom whence arose that wild confusion in our several ways of serv-ing God, and those absurd notions of civil, pow r, which have so often torn us with factions more than any other nation in Europe."1 Yihat was true of the old Puritans was still ture, Swift thought, of the dissenters of his day. Consequently he never ceased to urge both his congregations and the nation to be on their guard, in. such undisguised terms and for such apparent reasons as these: "If there be any sect or sort of people among us, who profess the same principles in religion and government as those puritan rebels put in practice, I think it is the interest of all those who love the Church and King, to keep up as strong a party against them as possible." It was because he believed that the dissenters, "observing a party then forming against the old principles in Church and State, 1. Swift, III, 41. 2. Ibid, 112. 136 under the name of Whigs and Low Churchmen,... .listed them-selves of it, where they have ever since continued,"1 that, averse to political parties as he was, he kept up a constant war with the Whigs. And probably his most frequently re-peated criticism was that "the Whigs will be unable to form a settled government because they are made up of too many 2 different religions." Swift's criticism of the Whigs on the score of their instability is not inspired only by the pre-sence in their ranks of Puritans. It must not be forgotten that free thinkers of all kinds had the same kind of in-fluence as dissenting religious sects, and they, he rightly thought, had taken their place in the more liberal ranks of the Whigs. His statement, though exaggerated, is true in the main, "that of every hundred professed atheists, deists and socinians in the kingdom, ninety-nine at least are staunch thorough-paced Whigs." And that his principal, though not his only, objection to them is political is made sufficiently evident by the fact that he concludes his ironic "Abstract" of Collins "Discourse on Preethinking," with the serious opinion that, "The consequences of atheistical opin-ions published to the world are not so immediate, or so sen-sible, as doctrines of rebellion and sedition, spread in pro-per season. However, (he says) I cannot but think the same consequences are as natural and probable from the former, 1. Swift, IX, 236. 2. Ibid, 229 3. Swift III, 139. 137 though more remote."1 To the dissenters and freethinkers of whatever type must be added, a third group which endangered the state, but so remotely, Swift thought, that they need not be seriously feared. This group was the Papists whose last noteworthy effort to secure either recognition or paver had been in the reign of James II. His deposition and the acts of parliament securing a protestant succession had rendered their activities abortive for that, and in Swift's opinion, for all future time. In consequence he was not alarmed by the cry of the Whigs, and therefore of the Dissenters, regarding the danger of a re-institution of Catholicism in England. In fact he distrusted that cry, considering it a party manoeuvre, used to screen plans which he thought more dangerous, because more possible of execution, and more imminent. He did not even trust the sincerity of their cry for he remembered that, in the reign of Charles II, they had quite properly been considered "a faction ready to join in any design against the government in church 2 or State"; that they "were then exactly upon the same foot 5 with our Hon Jurors now,...who want nothing but the power to ruin us";4 and that when opportunity arose, "the Dissenters 1. Swift III, 194. 2. Ibid. IX, 235. 4. Ibid. 3. The term nonjuror meant, those churchmen whose consciences would not allow them to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary after the Revolution of 1688, because they had previously taken similar oaths to James II The death of James did not release them from their obligation; for they had sworn to be 138 fell into the basest compliances with the (Catholic) court (of James), approved of all proceedings, by their numerous and fulsome addresses, and took employments and commissions by vir-tue of the dispensing por/er, against the direct laws of the land."1 The conclusion which Swift draws from all this is ad-vanced in part for diplomatic reasons, but only in part, for he very sincerely distrusts the dissenters. He thinks that "if ever the Pretender comes in, they will, next to those of his own religion, have the fairest claim and pretensions to his favor, from their merit and eminent services to his supposed father, who, without such encouragement, would probably never 2 have been misled to go the lengths he did." For these reasons therefore, and because he thinks that there is no immediate danger from the Pretender he suspects that the cry of Popery is nothing morethan apolitical device. But he also thinks that it is an extremely dangerous political device and one which should be shown in its true colors. Behind their apparent de-votion to the English government the Dissenters were carrying on an insidious and destructive attack on it. "I make no com-parison at all," he says, "between the two enemies: Popery and Slavery are without doubt the greatest and most dreadful of any; but I may venture to affirm, that the fear of these, have (continued) faithful not only to the king himself, but to 'his heirs and lawful successors'." p. 2. The Nonjurors Overton. This oath was a necessary qualification for office in Church or State. 1. Swift IX, 130. 2. Ibid. 159 not, at least since the Revolution, been so close and pressing upon us, as that from another faction" (i.e. the dissenters). In reply to Gilbert Burnett, Bishop of Sarum, who was one of the most insistent warners against Catholicism Swift, twisting a biblical quotation that he had used, until it suggests Hobbes' metaphor of the Ascarides, says "there are indeed too many adders in this nation's bosom, adders in all shapes, and in all habits, whom neither the Queen nor parliament can charm to 2 loyalty, truth, religion, or honour." These adders, needless to say, are dissenters; and Swift's belittling of the danger of a new invasion of Papacy does not indicate the slightest sympathy with it, but rather his appreciation of a nearer and graver danger which was being obscured by what he considered tilting at windmills. The quotations which have been used should have made ap-parent that what Swift disliked most in non-conformists of all kinds, was not the presence or absence of any particular religi-ous belief, but that they dissented from the established forms and creed of religion. That this is the case; and that his faith in the virtue of uniformity arises from the Iiobbesian belief that only in entire unity of opinion can peace be fos-tered, is made further evident by definite statements regarding the policy of the church. In reply to the charge of its enemies that it showed a persecuting spirit, he insists that "Since the 1. Swift IX, 289. 2. Ibid, III, 138. 140 number of sectaries doth not concern the clergy either in point of interest or conscience...'tis more fair and reason-able to suppose their dislike proceeds from the dangers they apprehend to the peace of the commonwealth."1 Schism, it will be remembered, he wished to consider as a temporal, rather than as a spiritual evil. Hobbes had said of religious dis-affection that "there must needs follow faction and Civil 2 war in the Common-wealth," and Swift thinks that "any great separation from the established worship, though to a new one that is more pure and perfect, may be an occasion of endanger-ing the public peace."0 Hobbes' reason has been given and Swift's is the same. It is because the Schism "Will compose a body always in reserve prepared to follow any discontented heads upon the plausible pretext of advancing true religion and 4 opposing error, superstition and idolatry." These dangers which Swift sees in non-conformity, lead naturally to the steps which he would take against it. He is not an extremist, he thinks, professes (very moderate) prin-ciples of moderation and says "I believe I am no bigot in re-ligion."5 The statement is true if it may be applied to relig-ion as such; it can be maintained in only a most limited compara tive sense if it is allowed to mean adherence to the forms of the established church. A realist by nature, Swift grants what he is compelled to and but—little more; that little, too, on 1. Swift III, 65. 2. Lev. 252. 3. Swift III, 62. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 52. 141 examination, usually proves to pertain to religion in the first rather than the second sense. He, "does not reckon every Schism of that damnable nature which some would represent";1 yet "he is very far from closing in with the new opinion of those who would make it no crime at all, and argue at a wild rate that God Almighty is delighted with the variety of worship, as he is with the variety of n a t u r e . S i n c e sects are es-tablished, however, he would not have them forcibly extermi-nated. They are tolerated in a state only "because they are rz already spread"; but where this is the case, "'tis fit they should enjoy a full liberty of conscience, and every other pri-vilege of freeborn subjects."^ This would be, at any time, a 'moderate' opinion, were it complete. The qualification that he makes changes the whole quality of his opinion for he makes it, "every other privilege of freeborn subjects to which no power is annexed;" and adds, "to preserve their obedience upon all emergencies, a government cannot give them too much ease, 5 nor trust them with too little power." It is safe enough to allow them full freedom of conscience; but "it is absurd that any person v/no professeth a different form of worship from that which is national should (even!) be trusted with a vote for electing members in the House of Commons. Because every man is full of zeal for his own religion;....and therefore will endeavor to his utmost to bring in a representative of his own 1. Swift III, 61. 2. Ibid. 5. Ibid. 55 4. Ibid. 62. 5. Ibid. 142 principles, which, if they be popular, may endanger the religion established; which as it hath formerly happened may alter the whole frame of government."''" Even the reservation to Dissenters of freedom of con-science amounts to very little, with the Hobbesian interpreta-tion of the phrase which Swift uses. Dissenters, he complains have misinterpreted this privilege and have made "wicked en-p deavors" to have it "not only understood to be the liberty of believing what men please" but also of acting according to their belief, and "of endeavoring to propagate the belief as much as they can, and to overthrow the faith which the laws have already established;" whereas, "properly speaking (it) is no more than a liberty of knowing our own thoughts; which 4 liberty no one can take from us." This is the sense in which Hobbes used the term Liberty of Conscience; he admitted the right of each individual to use his conscience, or, in other words, his judgment, but he said that "Liberty signifieth only the absence of extei-nall Impedi-5 ments of motion." Denying, as he does, the right of a sub-ject to freedom of speech, of property of action, on the ground that the subject has set up another will to supersede his own, Hobbes still maintains that the subject has freedom of con-science, which he, like Swift, admits cannot be taken away. 1. Swift IZ, 180. 2. Swift IV, 121. 5. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Lev. 110. 148 But at the same time the Sovereign may v/ith justice prohibit any action which might arise from this private belief. Even this, however, it is worth noticing, is not, according to Hobbes, an actual infringement cf Liberty for, "Whatsoever a subject is compelled to do in obedience to his Soveraign, and doth it not in order to his own mind, but in order to the laws of his country, that action is not his, but his Sovereigns"1 By this reasoning such actions cannot infringe upon liberty of conscience. Corresponding with SwifUs idea that an attempt to act according to conscience is a'wicked endeavor', is Hobbes' opinion that "Another doctrine repugnant to Civill Society is, that whatsoever a man does against his Conscience is Sinne; and it dependeth on the presumption of making himself judge p of Good and Evill."" In order to realize how arbitrary and how anti-liberal these doctrines are, it is necessary to disas-sociate them from a purely political scheme and think of them RR as they would exist in an actual society. Lecky's opinion on this point is unqualified: "At the very period when the prin-ciple of toleration was first established in England, by the union of the Spirit of Scepticism with the Spirit of Christian-ity, the greatest living antichristian writer was Hobbes, who was perhaps the most unflinching of all the supporters of per-secution. It was his leading doctrine that the civil power and the civil power alone, has an absolute right to determine the 1. Lev. 270. 2. Ibid. 172. 3. Lecky, II, 82. 144 religion of the nation, and that, therefore, any refusal to acquiesce in that religion is essentially an act of rebellion." So much for Swift's preceptor in toleration. It is only in comparison with him that Swift is tolerant, and not in any independent sense. The steps which Swift was prepared to take in order to eradicate unorthodox opinions, v/ere drastic ones which again find their counterparts in the methods advised by that apostle of absolutism, Hobbes, who, as might be expected, justified the most extreme censorship of the press and of speech. "It is annexed to Soveraignty," he says in the "leviathan," "to be Judge of what Opinions and Doctrines are averse, and what con-ducing to Peace; and consequently, on what occasions, how farre, and what, men are to be trusted withall, in speaking to Multi-tudes of people; and who shall examine the Doctrines of all bookes before they be published. For the Actions of men pro-ceed from their Opinions; and in the wel governing of Opinions, consisteth the well governing of men's Actions, in order to their Peace, and Concord."1 Becoming more specific he says "The Interpretation of the lawes of Hature, (i.e. of Season) in a Common-wealth dependeth not on the books of Morall Philo-sophy. The Authority of writers, without the Authority of the Common-wealth, maketh not their opinions Law, be they never p so true." 1. Lev. 95. 2. Ibid. 146. 145 Swift, it will be remembered, was of the same opinion, and determined the worth of a religious opinion not by its truth but by the relation in which it stood to the established creed. The following statement is only one of many expressions of this belief. "To remove opinions fundamental in religion, is impossible, and the attempt wicked, whether those opinions be true or false."1 So, in the Sermon on the Trinity, often pronouncing his own authorized dictum that a mystery is a mystery and must remain so, he "exhorts all men to avoid read-ing those wicked books written against this doctrine, as danger-2 ous and pernicious." But he does not stop with such half-way measures as exhortations. He actively approved a bill which went before the House of Commons in March, 1712, which was aimed to suppress "papers and pamphlets reflecting upon the persons and management of the ministry," and which contained "blasphem-ies against God and religion."4 The bill, apparently through lack of support by either party, simply disappeared. Swift, however, never abated his support of censorship. In his cri-ticism of Tindal's "Bights of the Christian Church,".which is a very careful and temperate contribution to the Deist literature of the day, he thinks, "there are but two things wonderful in this book: First how any man in the Christian country could have the boldness and wickedness to write it: and how any government would neglect punishing the author of it, if not 1. Swift, III, 507. 2. Ibid., IV, 156. 3. Ibid, X, 124. 4. Ibid. 146 as an enemy of religion, yet a profligate trumpeter of Sedition^" The title of the book indicates well enough the kind of sedition which it contained. This is only a particular application of the belief which he consistently held, that religion and poli-tics should be exempted from all speculation; that, to use the words of Hobbes, there should be no "liberty of Disputing 2 against absolute Power, by pretenders to Politicall Prudence"; and, to quote Hobbes again, "the People are to be taught that they ought not to be in love with any forme of Government they see in their neighbor hat ions", nor any form of religion that is not established in their own. Swift's general posi-tion is summed up fairly well in the "Sentiments of a Church of England Man" where "he thinks it a scandal to government that such an unlimited liberty should be allowed of publishing boohs, against those doctrines in religion, wherein all Chris-tians have agreed, much more to connive at such tracts as reject all revelation, and by their consequences often den;r the very being of a God."^ In conclusion it will be necessary only to turn from the restrictions which Swift would put upon the press and those who have the public ear, to the instructions which he gives to private men, and in particular, to members of his church. If they have doubts or private unorthodox opinions they are not responsible he tells them; but nevertheless they should try to get rid of them. "If any man hath any new visions of his 1. Swift III, 115. 2. Lev. 177 3. Ibid. 180. 4. Swift III, 61. 147 own it is his duty to be quiet and possess them in silence without disturbing the community by a furious zeal for making proselytes. 'This was the folly and madness of those ancient puritan fanatics."1 His final injunction implies much that has been said here about Swift's religious-political beliefs and will serve to conclude this examination of them. "In any matter where you have the Church's opinion against you, you should be careful not to break the peace of the Church by 2 writing against it though you are sure that you are right." ^ -I* * ^ V ¥ ^ The last quotation strikes the note of a groat part of Swift's life. He was a churchman through and through, and one'of the staunchest supporters that the establishment ever had. Even though it has been argued in this paper that Swift gave to the properly constituted government, precedence over everything else, it is, none the less true, that he was a great and loyal friend of the church. A treatment of this kind almost necessarily does harm, whether it confers a cor-responding benefit or not; it inevitably stresses one aspect of a question at the expense of others. A point that is im-portant, but important only in a given context acquires greater 1. Swift IV, 198, n. 2. Ibid, III, 179. 148 instead of less weight when it is forced to stand by itself. In this way I feel that a great deal of injustice has been done Swift in the present paper. Inconsistencies have been dragged to the front, and, in the process of proving them to be "hat they are, they have been allowed to obscure the back-ground of clear and fearless thinking that make up most of Swift's mental activity. It has been found that he, a church-man, was prepared to sacrifice the church to the state; but it lias not been adequately insisted that he -*evor did desert her interests, nor that, had he >.' so, it would have been with sorrow and a purpose. The only thing that co«ld hove induced him to take such a step would have been, some greater benefit to be derived thereby, which, l?e foresaw, not to himself but to the nation at large. Swift had a normal man's ambitions but none of the inordinate lust for promotion that has common-ly been assigned lo him. The impropriety of hi- double stand-ard of religious beliefs has become unnecessarily prominent simply because it has been referred, to so often. Without at-tempting either to blame or to condone, I should like to suggest that most of us have similarly double sets of beliefs which would look equally immoral if they were abstracted from our lives. Tennyson has even been admired for the superior toler-ance which he showed in "In Hemuriem", when he charges those who, like himself, had "reached a purer air", to "Leave thou thy sister when she prays Her early heaven, her happy views." 14-9 The contemporary attitude with regard to matters of belief may be analyzed into the same elements. There is very little difference between failing to insist on a belief that one holds and insisting on a belief that one doesn't hold. The results, perhaps, are happier, but the principle is the same. An even greater injustice has been done to Swift in stressing so exclusively the theoretical side of his life and ignoring the practical. -.11 of his exceptional abilities lay-in the latter field. He was a doer rather- than a thinner; and -ven his thinking, at its best, was thinking of a practical nature about practical things. He made no pretence of being a philosopher; rather he scorned philosophy, for he suspected that its connection with life might be weak. Life, for Swift, was the sole object of interest; but h.is interest ..as coupled with a remarkably keen perception of realities, arm an abnormal detestation of shams. The life that he saw about him was not the core of life; he felt it his mission to strip off some of the husk that obscured the reality beneath. He felt it necessary to act physically and mentally in order to do this and his whole life and thought is marked by the vigor of his intention and of his accomplishment. He was de-termined to see things, excepting only religion, as they were: he did so, and acted with force upon what he saw. Swift's starting-point, in spite of his reputed misanth-ropy, was that of all great men. A sense of power forced him to apply that power somewhere. Life is divided into two parts, 150 a self and a world; and, normally, only the latter offers itself to be acted upon. Great men and small, turn to this task, and the groat or.es leave for a time, some kind of a mark,—and that mark is the badge of their greatness. The efforts of some have been toward good, but others, as great, have acted for evil. The two groups have been commonly charged with malice or with missionary zeal respectively. Neither charge need be assumed, though the assumption, in many cases, may be correct. But a latent power must expend itself some-where and it may do that without conscious intent. This seems to have been the case with Swift. His maxim, "vive la baga-telle," defends him from the serious charge of being overly-zealous to change the world to his own model. Yet he had most disinterested motives and honestly struggled against a tide of ignorance and viciousness which he knew he could not conquer. Early in his life he became convinced that a we 11-governeu state was an absolute essential to any degree of human happiness or improvement. He thought too, that the church was, at once, its greatest support and its gravest danger. Eight or wrong, good or bad, there would always be a church end that church would always hold the key to the failure or success of the nation, and therefore, of life. Dissention in the church would, as it had done often before, become strife in the state, and would ultimately destroy it. Hence Ihsre .ast be peace and peace could only cone through unity. Granting the unity, vicious conduct could still be fatal to the state. "That 151 Swift considered vicious can be discovered easily, for be never speaks vaguely on that subject. The thingsth'< t would give the state strength were primarily friendship and benevo-lence and they must be fostered. If men wore reasonable these qualities would be developed naturally as was done amonj. the Houyhnhnms. But man didn't use his reason and no other institution was so well fitted to function for it as the church. To maintain peace in the state by establishing unity and by improving conduct, these were the aims ..hioh Swift sat himself, and the means he selected, the church. Hobbes compared the place of a clergy ran with that of a judge or a captain. The latter analogy represents the posi-tion of Swift with a good deal of accuracy. His regime t was the church, and its interests were his. He stood or fell by it, was prepared to sacrifice himself ""or it and never ceased demanding its rights and its privileges. . Te 1 „a _ was as « churchman, just as an officer is famous as the leader of iis regiment; yet it would he as inaccurate to say I;hat Swift's service was ultimately rendered to the church as that the soldierly discipline the ranks and ;.evotinw m w o . go the welfare of '•'... establishments g h a • "or " ir ave. n.i-for.iit., to the church becomes thus what an'.*h w -s to .. . . - _ 1 ,1'tii C./..13 established many of Swift's inconsistencies see • ..ore intelli-gible and less contradictory. There was always t'-o tendency to lot his sympathies mrr. h im slightly o-rr cl ark, and nition though any brief mention must be inadequate, ."la hatred of non-essentials helped to turn him away from the refinements o" theology, toward t.'ww thwt v.'ere ...ore ethical th-..n affairs of the Spirit, ''iinoe the union of divinity a:il humanit;,- is the gr at article of our religion, it is odd," he said, "to see .-owe clergymen in f-eir writirgs of divinity wholly devoid of V m j u n i t y H i s reaction '/as positive and some.mat extreme. He became "a clergyman wholly devoid of divinity." About religion, as about .vere thing else, he was never an optimist, rearing the uorst he >. ad uis b-i-st, sometimes u_n ise~ ly , sometimes ..i1. re 0 . eooe, wo s .•.is • • -- • m e ..- s.. e — ing of uivines," he tho • >_h t, "helps to pres rve /ell-iw .-lined men in the course of virtue, but seldom or never reclaims the v i c i o u s . B u t , that he always did his aaty as a pastor is well indicated by his story o~ the many sermons at Laracor which he oo . o; :;ed with ".seorly hclov-eC. Po^er",—since Boger the eenton made up his whole congreg timi. Swift o .•  e .... i e a remark tha t forms a curiously appropriate ee-w; rues on -or o *'.s paper. si a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, re-ligion, learning, etcetera, beginning from his youth, ana so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contra-1. Swift I, EES. 2- Tbid. '200. 153 dictions would appear at last!"-'" Swift saw himself as he did the world—clearly. UBC Scanned by UBC Library BIBLIOGRAPHY Craik, Henry Hobbes, Thos. Hobbes, Taos. Hut ton, v;. IT. Lecky, '.7. P. H. -Lee:-.; , hr. 2. 'I. -Locke, John Overton, J. H. Life of Jonathan Swift: 2 vols. ITacmillan, London, 1SS4 The English Uorks of Thomas Hobbes; 11 vols. ad. Hi. Holesworth, John Bohn, London, 1840. Levi a th an, isve rynan The English Church from Charles I to Death of Anne, 1C -1714 Hucmillan, London, 1903. History of Rationalism in Europe, Z vols, in 1., Longnars Green Co., London, 1S1C. Autobio grayhi on1 Intro duetion Prose Horhs of Jonathan Swift, Temple Scott, Of Civil Government, Everyman, .7. H. Bout, London The TTon- J urc r s, Thomas Hhittaker, Hew Yor' 1?0J Overton, J. H. and Relton, F. -Pepys, Samuel Poll, ITax Roscoe, T. The English Church, 1714 to 1600, 1 "acmiilan, London, 1924. Diary of; ed. H. P. nieatley, G. Pell e: Sons, London, 1924 The Sources of Gulliver's Travels, Univ. of Cincinnati, Pul. Ho. 24, Pub. of the Univ. of Cincinnati, Se:t.Ix, Vol. III. Life of Swift, in Vol. I, '.Tor' Jonathan Swift. Henry <.-. Bohn, London, 1350. of Shaftsbury, Anthony, Earl of Characteris ticks, 5tJr Edition, x702. Stephen, Les1ie History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, 2 vols. Smith Eider Co., London, 1870. Swift, Jonathan, Sw1ft, Jona than, Sheridan, Thomas, -Pmshworth, John, UBC Scanned by UBC Library Prose Works of, ed. Temple Scott, 12 vols. G. Bell £ Sons, London, 1902-22. Poems of, ed. Ernest Browning, 2 vols. (Jr. Bell ?c Sons, London, 1910. Life of Jonathan Swift, Vol. I., in Works of the Bev. Dr. Jonathan Swift, 17 vols. G. Bathurst, etc., London, 1794. Historioal Collections, Robert Boulter, London, 1682. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0097735/manifest

Comment

Related Items