Utopia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about Utopia.
receive these revenues, who have orders to live magnificently and like princes, by which means they consume much of it upon the place; and either bring over the rest to Utopia or lend it to that nation in which it lies.  This they most commonly do, unless some great occasion, which falls out but very seldom, should oblige them to call for it all.  It is out of these lands that they assign rewards to such as they encourage to adventure on desperate attempts.  If any prince that engages in war with them is making preparations for invading their country, they prevent him, and make his country the seat of the war; for they do not willingly suffer any war to break in upon their island; and if that should happen, they would only defend themselves by their own people; but would not call for auxiliary troops to their assistance.

OF THE RELIGIONS OF THE UTOPIANS

“There are several sorts of religions, not only in different parts of the island, but even in every town; some worshipping the sun, others the moon or one of the planets.  Some worship such men as have been eminent in former times for virtue or glory, not only as ordinary deities, but as the supreme god.  Yet the greater and wiser sort of them worship none of these, but adore one eternal, invisible, infinite, and incomprehensible Deity; as a Being that is far above all our apprehensions, that is spread over the whole universe, not by His bulk, but by His power and virtue; Him they call the Father of All, and acknowledge that the beginnings, the increase, the progress, the vicissitudes, and the end of all things come only from Him; nor do they offer divine honours to any but to Him alone.  And, indeed, though they differ concerning other things, yet all agree in this:  that they think there is one Supreme Being that made and governs the world, whom they call, in the language of their country, Mithras.  They differ in this:  that one thinks the god whom he worships is this Supreme Being, and another thinks that his idol is that god; but they all agree in one principle, that whoever is this Supreme Being, He is also that great essence to whose glory and majesty all honours are ascribed by the consent of all nations.

“By degrees they fall off from the various superstitions that are among them, and grow up to that one religion that is the best and most in request; and there is no doubt to be made, but that all the others had vanished long ago, if some of those who advised them to lay aside their superstitions had not met with some unhappy accidents, which, being considered as inflicted by heaven, made them afraid that the god whose worship had like to have been abandoned had interposed and revenged themselves on those who despised their authority.

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Utopia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.