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and a regard to reputation; and either with or without better
principles, is a useful practice.

But such virtue as this will not save a republic, unless
based on better principles than a regard to custom or to re-
putation. The reason is obvious; such morality will often,
not to say generally, yield to selfishness; that is, to the am-
bition of obtaining power and wealth. When strongly
tempted by private interest, men often find the means of
enlisting reason in its service; and invent excuses for disre-
garding the public good, which ought to be, and for the
preservation of republican government, must be, the ruling
motive of citizens.

The virtue which is necessary to preserve a just admin-
istration and render a government stable, is christian virtue,
which consists in the uniform practice of moral and religious
duties, in conformity with the laws both of God and man.
This virtue must be based on a reverence for the authority
of God, which shall counteract and control ambition and
selfish views, and subject them to the precepts of divine au-
thority. The effect of such a virtue would be to bring the
citizens of a state to vote and act for the good of the state,
whether that should coincide with their private interest or
not. But when or where has this virtue been possessed by
all the citizens, or even by a majority of the citizens of a
state? History does not authorize us to believe that such
virtue has ever existed in the body of citizens in any com-
munity; or to presume that such a community will ever

If such virtue as this can be introduced into a communi-
ty, the opinion that intelligence and virtue will preserve a re-

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