Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XVIII. - The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland
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CHAP. XVIII. - Pieter de la Court, The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland 
The True Interest and Political Maxims of the Republic of Holland (London: John Campbell, Esq, 1746).
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That freedom of religion is against all reason obstructed in Holland.
HAving hitherto spoken of four considerable ways of preserving the prosperity of Holland, I think it not fit to go over any more tending to the same end, ’till I first briefly hint how Holland hath governed itself as to the said expedients.Toleration of religion was formerly more obstructed. And first as to freedom of religion, it is certain that having ’till this time been greater in Holland than any where else, it hath brought in many inhabitants, and driven out but few; yet it is also certain, that since the year 1618. we have begun to depart from that laudable maxim more and more.
Namely by placaets against the Remonstrants and Roman catholicks.First with the Remonstrants, persecuting them by placaets, fines, and banishments, and driving them into other lands: afterwards with the Romanists, by disturbing them more and more in their assemblies with severe placaets, and more rigorous execution, notwithstanding that by the prosperity of our own government, the great increase of the protestants, the peace, and the king of Spain’s renunciation of any pretence, right, or title for himself, or his heirs after him, to these United Provinces;Altho’ the moving reasons of the first placaets now wholly cease. the moving reasons of our first placaets against the Romanists, seemed to have been taken away. So that now, in order to enjoy their liberty, they must pay a heavy tax annually, to the profit of the bailiffs and schouts, which seems to be imposed for them, and for no other cause; for the government reaps no benefit by it. This is no less unreasonable, than detrimental to the land: for if we cannot spare the benefit which accrues to us by their abode and traffick, why should we prohibit that which is not hurtful to the state, and whereof the Romish inhabitants make so great account, and without which they cannot dwell amongst us? If we permit none but small assemblies in cities, in the houses of known citizens, with such priests as are best approved of by the rulers, that inconvenience would have an end, and peace and friendship increase more and more among the good inhabitants, yea and the true religion too. And moreover, our state would avoid that vexation which now by disturbing those prohibited meetings may happen: and on the contrary, the state could incur no danger by those well known assemblies, where every one might have free access, and no matter of secrecy could be consulted of, but the publick safety would every way be better secured. But what shall we say? not only the politicians, but also the clergy are men; and commonly the sweet temper of such as have suffer’d under persecution is changed into force and violence, so soon as they become masters of others: then they forget the evangelical lesson, and the law of nature to do nothing to others but what they would have done to themselves; and on the contrary, they remember and practise that old tyrannical and accursed maxim, As he hath done to me, so will I do to him; and he that hath the power, let him use it.Psal. 119. 71. And to speak all in a word, what the psalmist says, It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes, is not truer in adversity, than in prosperity.Psal. 73. 5, 6.They are not in trouble, neither are they plagued like other men; therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain, and violence covereth them as a garment.