sonable in its grounds or judicious in its measures, may have contributed to occasion the extravagances in which it afterwards found new motives for precaution and restriction, by checking the active spirit which might have been usefully guided into proper channels, and thus forcing it to licentious and mischievous aberrations. The circumstances too which usually accompany all revolutions of public feeling, attended likewise on this. The spirit of the times always finds in different individuals various degrees of capacity for receiving and containing it. Those who are possessed by it instead of possessing it, are apt to attach great importance to outward badges and distinctions, to attribute to them a productive power, and to substitute them for that which can alone give them value as signs and indications of its existence. These externals, which satisfy the indolent and amuse the weak and superficial, become the ready instrument and mask of imposture. The strong and glowing language, which in such seasons of
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