William Blake, Annotations to Boyd’s Historical Notes on Dante
Such were the effects of intolerance even in the extreme. In a more moderate degree, every well-regulated government, both ancient and modern, were so far intolerant, as not to admit the pollutions of every superstition and every pernicious opinion. It was from a regard to the morals of the people, that the Roman Magistrates expelled the Priest of Bacchus, in the first and most virtuous ages of the republic. It was on this principle that the Persians destroyed the temples of Greece wherever they came.
If Well regulated Governments act so who can tell so well as the hireling Writer whose praise is contrary to what he Knows to be true
Persians destroy the Temples & are praised for it
The Athenians and Romans kept a watchful eye, not only over the grosser superstitions, but over impiety . . . Polybius plainly attributes the fall of freedom in Greece to the prevalence of atheism . . . It was not till the republic was verging to its fall, that Caesar dared in open senate to laugh at the SPECULATIVE opinion of a future state. These were the times of universal toleration, when every pollution, from every clime, flowed to Rome, whence they had carefully been kept out before.