Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXVI.: The same Subject continued. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XXVI.: The same Subject continued. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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The same Subject continued.
SIR John Chardin* says, that there is not a navigable river in Persia, except the Kur, which is at the extremity of the empire. The ancient law of the Gaurs, which prohibited sailing on rivers, was not therefore attended with any inconvenience in this country, though it would have ruined the trade of another.
Frequent bathings are extremely useful in hot climates. On this account they are ordained in the Mahometan law, and in the Indian religion. In the Indies it is a most meritorious act to pray to† God in the running stream: but how could these things be performed in other climates?
When a religion adapted to the climate of one country clashes too much with the climate of another, it cannot be there established; and whenever it has been introduced, it has been afterwards discarded. It seems to all human appearance, as if the climate had prescribed the bounds of the Christian and the Mahometan religions.
It follows from hence, that it is almost always proper for a religion to have particular doctrines, and a general worship. In laws concerning the practice of religious worship, there ought to be but few particulars: for instance, they should command mortification in general, and not a certain kind of mortification. Christianity is full of good sense: abstinence is of divine institution; but a particular kind of abstinence is ordained by human authority, and therefore may be changed.
OF LAWS AS RELATIVE TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION AND ITS EXTERNAL POLITY.
[* ]Travels into Persia, vol. 2.
[† ]Bernier’s Travels, vol. 2.