By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. — Volume 04 - Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church — Volume 2
Author: Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. — Volume 04 - Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church — Volume 2" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.























A Letter Concerning the Sacramental Test

The Presbyterian's Plea of Merit

Narrative of Attempts for the Repeal of the Sacramental Test

Queries relating to the Sacramental Test

Advantages proposed by Repealing the Sacramental Test

Reasons for Repealing the Sacramental Test in Favour of the Catholics

Some Few Thoughts concerning the Repeal of the Test

Ten Reasons for Repealing the Test Act


On Mutual Subjection

On the Testimony of Conscience

On the Trinity

On Brotherly Love

On the Difficulty of Knowing One's Self

On False Witness

On the Wisdom of this World

On Doing Good

On the Martyrdom of King Charles I

On the Poor Man's Contentment

On the Wretched Condition of Ireland

On Sleeping in Church


I. Remarks on Dr. Gibbs's Paraphrase of the Psalms

II. Proposal for Preventing the further Growth of Popery

III. Swift and Serjeant Bettesworth

IV. A True and Faithful Narrative of what passed in London



The portrait which forms the frontispiece to this volume is taken, by
permission, from the painting in the possession of the Earl of Howth,

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****








In the "foreword" to the reprint of this tract in the "Miscellanies" of
1711, Swift remarks: "I have been assured that the suspicion which the
supposed author lay under for writing this letter absolutely ruined him
with the late ministry." The "late ministry" was the Whig ministry of
which Godolphin was the Premier. To this ministry the repeal of the Test
Act was a matter of much concern. To test the effect of such a repeal it
was determined to try it in Ireland first. There the Presbyterians had
distinguished themselves by their loyalty to William and the Protestant
succession. These, therefore, offered a good excuse for the introduction
of such a measure, particularly when, in 1708, an invasion was rumoured,
they were the first to send in loyal addresses to the Queen. Swift
likened this method to "that of a discreet physician, who first gives a
new medicine to a dog, before he prescribes it to a human creature."
Further, the Speaker of the Irish House had come over to England to
agitate for the repeal. On this matter Swift wrote to Archbishop King,
under date April 15th (the letter was first published by Mr. John
Forster in his "Life of Swift," p. 246), as follows: "Some days ago my
Lord Somers entered with me into discourse about the Test clause, and
desired my opinion upon it, which I gave him truly, though with all the
gentleness I could; because, as I am inclined and obliged to value the
friendship he professes for me, so he is a person whose favour I would
engage in the affairs of the First Fruits.... If it became me to give
ill names to ill things and persons, I should be at a loss to find bad
enough for the villainy and baseness of a certain lawyer of Ireland
[Speaker Brodrick, afterwards Lord Midleton], who is in a station the
least of all others excusable for such proceedings, and yet has been
going about most industriously to all his acquaintance of both houses
towards the end of the session to show the necessity of taking off the
Test clause in Ireland by an act here, wherein you may be sure he had
his brother's assistance. If such a project should be resumed next
session, and I in England, unless your grace send me your absolute
commands to the contrary, which I should be sorry to receive, I could
hardly forbear publishing some paper in opposition to it, or leaving one
behind me, if there should be occasion." In August of the same year the
agitation for the repeal was renewed, and in December Swift published
his "Letter on the Sacramental Test," writing as if from Dublin and as a
member of the Irish House of Commons. When he writes to King in the
following month he makes a mild attempt to convince the Archbishop that
the pamphlet was not of his authorship. "The author has gone out of his
way to reflect on me as a person likely to write for repealing the test,
which I am sure is very unfair treatment. This is all I am likely to get
by the company I keep. I am used like a sober man with a drunken face,
have the scandal of the vice without the satisfaction." But King was not
deceived. In his reply to Swift he simply remarks: "You need not be
concerned: I will engage you will lose nothing by that paper." Swift,
however, lost more than the Archbishop thought; for "that paper" led to
his severance from the Whigs, and, in after life, to much contumely cast
on his character for being a political renegade. Because "he was not
Whig enough;" because he would not forsake his Church for his party,
critics and biographers have thought fit to make little of him, and to
compare him to his discredit with contemporaries whose intellects he
held in the palm of his hand, and to whom he might have stood as a moral

Swift refers to this tract in his "Memoirs relating to the change in the
Queen's Ministry," as follows:--"It was everybody's opinion, that the
Earl of Wharton would endeavour, when he went to Ireland, to take off
the test, as a step to have it taken off here: upon which I drew up and
printed a pamphlet, by way of a letter from a member of parliament here,
shewing the danger to the Church by such an intent. Although I took all
care to be private, yet the Lieutenant's chaplain, and some others
guessed me to be the author, and told his Excellency their suspicions;
whereupon I saw him no more until I went to Ireland."

The tract is one of the most favourable specimens of Swift's
controversial method and trenchant satire. The style is
excellent--forcible and pithy; while the arguments are like most of
Swift's arguments, aptly to the point with yet a potentiality of
application which fits them for the most general statement of the
principles under discussion. Scott considers the pamphlet "as having
materially contributed to the loss of the bill for repeal of the Test Act
during the Earl of Pembroke's vice-royalty." In the same year Swift
wrote "A Letter to a Member of Parliament in Ireland on choosing a new
Speaker there." This short tract bears also on the question of the Test;
but it is not included in this volume, since it was intended as an
electioneering pamphlet.

I have been unable to obtain access to a copy of the first edition of
the "Letter on the Sacramental Test." The text here given is that of the
"Miscellanies" of 1711, collated with that given in the "Miscellanies,"
1728, and with those printed by Faulkner, Hawkesworth, and Scott.




[Footnote 1: This "Advertisement" is taken from "Miscellanies in Prose
and Verse," printed for John Morphew, 1711. On page 314 of that volume
it forms a "foreword" to "A Letter concerning the Sacramental Test." It
is omitted from the reprint in the "Miscellanies" of 1728. The page
which Swift says he has taken leave to omit cannot be identified.
Probably this was another of Swift's manoeuvres for concealing the
identity of the author. The "Advertisement" of George Faulkner to his
edition of Swift's Works (vol. iv., 1735) is as follows:

"In the second volume of Doctor Swift's and Mr. Pope's 'Miscellanies,' I
found the following treatise, which had been printed in London, with
some other of the Dean's works, many years before, but at first came out
by itself in the year 1708, as the date shews: And it was at a juncture
when the Dissenters were endeavouring to repeal the Sacramental Test, as
by common fame, and some pamphlets published to the same purpose, they
seem to be now again attempting, with great hope of success. I have,
therefore, taken the liberty to make an extract out of that discourse,
omitting only some passages which relate to certain persons, and are of
no consequence to the argument. But the author's weight of reasoning
seems at present to have more weight than it had in those times, when
the discourse first appeared.

"The author, in this letter, personates a Member of Parliament here
[Dublin], to a Member of Parliament in England.

"The Speaker mentioned in this letter was Allen Broderick, afterwards
Chancellor and Lord Middleton; and the prelate was Dr. Lyndsay,
afterwards Lord Primate," [T.S.]]

_The following letter is supposed by some judicious persons to be of the
same author, and, if their conjectures be right, it will be of no
disadvantage to him to have it revived, considering the time when it was
writ, the persons then at the helm, and the designs in agitation,
against which this paper so boldly appeared. I have been assured that
the suspicion which the supposed author lay under for writing this
letter, absolutely ruined him with the late ministry. I have taken leave
to omit about a page which was purely personal, and of no use to the

Dublin, Dec. 4, 1708.


I received your letter, wherein you tell me of the strange
representations made of us on your side of the water. The instance you
are pleased to mention is that of the Presbyterian missionary, who,
according to your phrase, hath been lately persecuted at Drogheda for
his religion: But it is easy to observe, how mighty industrious some
people have been for three or four years past, to hand about stories of
the hardships, the merits, the number, and the power of the
Presbyterians in Ireland, to raise formidable ideas of the dangers of
Popery there, and to transmit all for England, improved by great
additions, and with special care to have them inserted with comments in
those infamous weekly papers that infest your coffee-houses. So, when
the clause enacting a Sacramental Test was put in execution, it was
given out in England, that half the justices of peace through this
kingdom had laid down their commissions; whereas upon examination, the
whole number was found to amount only to a dozen or thirteen, and those
generally of the lowest rate in fortune and understanding, and some of
them superannuated. So, when the Earl of Pembroke was in Ireland and the
Parliament sitting, a formal story was very gravely carried to his
Excellency by some zealous members, of a priest newly arrived from
abroad to the north-west parts of Ireland, who had publicly preached to
his people, to fall a-murdering the Protestants; which, though invented
to serve an end they were then upon, and are still driving at, it was
presently handed over, and printed with shrewd remarks by your worthy
scribblers. In like manner, the account of that person who was lately
expelled our university for reflecting on the memory of King William,
what a dust it raised, and how foully it was related, is fresh enough in
memory.[2] Neither would people be convinced till the university was at
the pains of publishing a Latin paper to justify themselves. And, to
mention no more, this story of the persecution at Drogheda, how it hath
been spread and aggravated, what consequences have been drawn from it,
and what reproaches fixed on those who have least deserved them, we are
already informed. Now if the end of all this proceeding were a secret
and mystery, I should not undertake to give it an interpretation, but
sufficient care hath been taken to give it sufficient explanation.[3]
First, by addresses artificially (if not illegally) procured, to shew
the miserable state of the dissenters in Ireland by reason of the
Sacramental Test, and to desire the Queen's intercession that it might
be repealed. Then it is manifest that our Speaker, when he was last year
in England, solicited, in person, several members of both Houses, to
have it repealed by an act there, though it be a matter purely national,
that cannot possibly interfere with the trade and interest of England,
and though he himself appeared formerly the most zealous of all men
against the injustice of binding a nation by laws to which they do not
consent. And lastly, those weekly libellers, whenever they get a tale by
the end relating to Ireland, without ever troubling their thoughts about
the truth, always end it with an application against the Sacramental
Test, and the absolute necessity there is of repealing it in both
kingdoms. I know it may be reckoned a weakness to say anything of such
trifles as are below a serious man's notice; much less would I disparage
the understanding of any party to think they would choose the vilest and
most ignorant among mankind, to employ them for assertors of a cause. I
shall only say, that the scandalous liberty those wretches take would
hardly be allowed, if it were not mingled with opinions that _some men_
would be glad to advance. Besides, how insipid soever those papers are,
they seem to be levelled to the understandings of a great number; they
are grown a necessary part in coffee-house furniture, and some time or
other may happen to be read by customers of all ranks, for curiosity and
amusement; because they lie always in the way. One of these authors (the
fellow that was pilloried I have forgot his name)[4] is indeed so grave,
sententious, dogmatical a rogue, that there is no enduring him; the
_Observator_[5] is much the brisker of the two, and I think farther gone
of late in lies and impudence, than his Presbyterian brother. The reason
why I mention him, is to have an occasion of letting you know, that you
have not dealt so gallantly with us, as we did with you in a parallel
case: Last year, a paper was brought here from England, called, "A
Dialogue between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Mr. Higgins," which we
ordered to be burnt by the common hangman, as it well deserved; though
we have no more to do with his Grace of Canterbury[6] than you have with
the Archbishop of Dublin[7]; nor can you love and reverence your prelate
more than we do ours, whom you tamely suffer to be abused openly, and by
name, by that paltry rascal of an _Observator_; and lately upon an
affair wherein he had no concern; I mean the business of the missionary
at Drogheda, wherein our excellent primate was engaged, and did nothing
but according to law and discretion. But because the Lord Archbishop of
Dublin hath been upon several occasions of late years, misrepresented in
England, I would willingly set you right in his character. For his great
sufferings and eminent services he was by the late King promoted to the
see of Derry. About the same time, he wrote a book to justify the
Revolution, wherein was an account of King James's proceedings in
Ireland, and the late Archbishop Tillotson recommended it to the King as
the most serviceable treatise that could have been published at such a
juncture.[8] And as his Grace set out upon those principles, he has
proceeded so ever since, as a loyal subject to the Queen, entirely for
the succession in the Protestant line, and for ever excluding the
Pretender; and though a firm friend to the Church, yet with indulgence
toward dissenters, as appears from his conduct at Derry, where he was
settled for many years among the most virulent of the sect; yet upon his
removal to Dublin, they parted from him with tears in their eyes, and
universal acknowledgments of his wisdom and goodness. For the rest, it
must be owned, he does not busy himself by entering deep into any party,
but rather spends his time in acts of hospitality and charity, in
building of churches, repairing his palace, in introducing and
preferring the worthiest persons he can find, without other regards; in
short, in the practice of all virtues that can become a public or
private life. This and more, if possible, is due to so excellent a
person, who may be justly reckoned among the greatest and most learned
prelates of his age, however his character may be defiled by such mean
and dirty hands as those of the _Observator_ or such as employ him.[9]

[Footnote 2:  The Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, had
lately expelled Edward Forbes for the cause mentioned in the text. [S.]]

[Footnote 3:  Faulkner prints: "But sufficient care hath been taken to
explain it." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 4: Daniel Defoe (1663?-1731), the son of a Cripplegate
butcher. Entered business as a hosier, but failed. In 1695 he was
appointed one of the commissioners for duties on glass. Wrote "The True
Born Englishman" (1701); "The Shortest Way with the Dissenters," for
which he was pilloried, fined, and imprisoned; and numerous other works,
including "Robinson Crusoe;" "Life of Captain Singleton;" "History of
Duncan Campbell;" "Life of Moll Flanders;" "Roxana;" "Life of Colonel
Jack;" "Journal of the Plague;" "History of the Devil;" and "Religious
Courtship." He edited a paper called "The Review," to which Swift here
refers, and against which Charles Leslie wrote his "Rehearsals." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 5: John Tutchin, a virulent writer of the reign of James II.
For a political work in defence of Monmouth he was sentenced by Judge
Jefferies to be whipped through several market towns. He wrote the
"Observator" (begun April, 1702), and suffered at the hands of the
Tories for his writings. He died in great poverty in 1708, at the age of
forty-seven. He was also the author of a play entitled, "The Unfortunate
Shepherd." Pope refers to these punishments meted out to Defoe and
Tutchin, in the second book of the "Dunciad":

  "Earless on high, stood unabashed De Foe,
  And Tutchin flagrant from the scourge below." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 6: Dr. Thomas Tenison (1636-1715), born at Cottenham,
Cambridgeshire. For his attacks on the Roman Catholics he was in 1691
created Bishop of Lincoln. He was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1694.
He wrote a "Discourse of Idolatry," an answer to Hobbes, and published
several sermons. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 7: Dr. William King. See vol. iii., p. 241, note. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 8:  Dr. King was twice imprisoned in the castle of Dublin
after the landing of King James in Ireland in 1699, and narrowly escaped
assassination. The title of the work alluded to is: "The State of the
Protestants in Ireland under the late King James's Government, in which
their carriage towards him is justified, and the absolute necessity of
their endeavouring to be freed from his Government, and of submitting to
their present Majesties, is demonstrated." [S.]]

[Footnote 9:  The portion of this paragraph beginning with "The reason
why I mention him," to the end, "such as employ him," is omitted by
Faulkner. [T.S.]]

I now come to answer the other part of your letter, and shall give you
my opinion freely about repealing the Sacramental Test; only whereas you
desire my thoughts as a friend, and not as I am a member of parliament,
I must assure you they are exactly the same in both capacities.

I must begin by telling you, we are generally surprised at your
wonderful kindness to us on this occasion, it being so very industrious
to teach us to see our interest in a point where we are so unable to see
it ourselves. This hath given us some suspicion; and though in my own
particular, I am hugely bent to believe, that whenever you concern
yourselves in our affairs, it is certainly for our good, yet I have the
misfortune to be something singular in this belief, and therefore I
never attempt to justify it, but content myself to possess my own
opinion in private, for fear of encountering men of more wit or words
than I have to spare.

We at this distance, who see nothing of the spring of actions, are
forced by mere conjecture to assign two reasons for your desiring us to
repeal the Sacramental Test: One is, because you are said to imagine it
will be one step towards the like good work in England: The other more
immediate, that it will open a way for rewarding several persons who
have well deserved upon a great occasion, but who are now unqualified
through that impediment.

I do not frequently quote poets, especially English, but I remember
there is in some of Mr. Cowley's love verses, a strain that I thought
extraordinary at fifteen, and have often since imagined it to be spoken
by Ireland:

  "Forbid it Heaven my life should be
  Weigh'd with her least conveniency:"

In short, whatever advantage you propose to yourselves by repealing the
Sacramental Test, speak it out plainly, 'tis the best argument you can
use, for we value your interest much more than our own: If your little
finger be sore, and you think a poultice made of our vitals will give it
any ease, speak the word and it shall be done; the interest of our whole
kingdom is at any time ready to strike to that of your poorest fishing
towns; it is hard you will not accept our services, unless we believe at
the same time that you are only consulting our profit, and giving us
marks of your love. If there be a fire at some distance, and I
immediately blow up my house before there be occasion, because you are a
man of quality, and apprehend some danger to a corner of your stable;
yet why should you require me to attend next morning at your levee with
my humble thanks for the favour you have done me?

If we might be allowed to judge for ourselves, we had abundance of
benefit by the Sacramental Test, and foresee a number of mischiefs would
be the consequence of repealing it, and we conceive the objections made
against it by the dissenters are of no manner of force: They tell us of
their merits in the late war in Ireland, and how cheerfully they engaged
for the safety of the nation; that had they thought they had been
fighting only other people's quarrels, perhaps it might have cooled
their zeal; and that for the future, they shall sit down quietly and let
us do our work ourselves; nay, that it is necessary they should do so,
since they cannot take up arms under the penalty of high treason.

Now supposing them to have done their duty, as I believe they did, and
not to trouble them about the _fly on the wheel_; I thought Liberty,
Property and Religion had been the three subjects of the quarrel, and
have not all those been amply secured to them? Had they not at that time
a mental reservation for power and employments? And must these two
articles be added henceforward in our national quarrels? It is grown a
mighty conceit among some men to melt down the phrase of a _Church
Established by law_ into that of the _Religion of the Magistrate_; of
which appellation it is easier to find the reason than the sense: If by
the magistrate they mean the prince, the expression includes a
falsehood; for when King James was prince[10], the Established Church
was the same it is now. If by the same word they mean the Legislature,
we desire no more. Be that as it will, we of this kingdom believe the
Church of Ireland to be the National Church, and the only one
established by law, and are willing by the same law to give a toleration
to dissenters: But if once we repeal our Sacramental Test, and grant a
toleration, or suspend the execution of the penal laws, I do not see how
we can be said to have any Established Church remaining; or rather why
there will not be as many established churches, as there are sects of
dissenters. No, say they, yours will still be the National Church,
because your bishops and clergy are maintained by the public; but, that,
I suppose, will be of no long duration, and it would be very unjust it
should, because, to speak in Tindal's phrase,[11] it is not reasonable
that revenues should be annexed to one opinion more than another, when
all are equally lawful, and 'tis the same author's maxim, that no
freeborn subject ought to pay for maintaining speculations he does not
believe. _But why should any man, upon account of opinions he cannot
help, be deprived of the opportunity of serving his Queen and country?_
Their zeal is commendable, and when employments go a begging for want of
hands, they shall be sure to have the refusal, only upon condition they
will not pretend to them upon maxims which equally include atheists,
Turks, Jews, infidels, and heretics, or which is still more dangerous,
even Papists themselves; the former you allow, the other you deny,
because these last own a foreign power, and therefore must be shut out.
But there is no great weight in this; for their religion can suit with
free states, with limited or absolute monarchies, as well as a better,
and the Pope's power in France is but a shadow; so that upon this foot
there need be no great danger to the constitution by admitting Papists
to employments. I will help you to enough of them who shall be ready to
allow the Pope as little power here as you please; and the bare opinion
of his being vicar of Christ is but a speculative point, for which no
man it seems ought to be deprived of the capacity of serving his

[Footnote 10: The words from "the expression" to "was prince" are
omitted by Faulkner in his edition. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 11: See vol. iii, p. 9, note. [T.S.]]

But, if you please, I will tell you the great objection we have against
repealing this same Sacramental Test. It is, that we are verily
persuaded the consequence will be an entire alteration of religion among
us in a no great compass of years. And, pray observe, how we reason here
in Ireland upon this matter.

We observe the Scots in our northern parts, to be a brave, industrious
people, extremely devoted to their religion, and full of an undisturbed
affection towards each other. Numbers of that noble nation, invited by
the fertilities of the soil, are glad to exchange their barren hills of
Loquabar, by a voyage of three hours, for our fruitful vales of Down and
Antrim, so productive of that grain, which, at little trouble and less
expense finds diet and lodging for themselves and their cattle.[12]
These people by their extreme parsimony, wonderful dexterity in dealing,
and firm adherence to one another, soon grow into wealth from the
smallest beginnings, never are rooted out where they once fix, and
increase daily by new supplies; besides when they are the superior
number in any tract of ground, they are not over patient of mixture; but
such, whom they cannot assimilate, soon find it their interest to
remove. I have done all in my power on some land of my own to preserve
two or three English fellows in their neighbourhood, but found it
impossible, though one of them thought he had sufficiently made his
court by turning Presbyterian. Add to all this, that they bring along
with them from Scotland a most formidable notion of our Church, which
they look upon at least three degrees worse than Popery; and it is
natural it should be so, since they come over full fraught with that
spirit which taught them to abolish Episcopacy at home.

[Footnote 12: From this passage, perhaps, Johnson derived the famous
definition of oats, in his Dictionary, as the food of horses in England,
and of men in Scotland. [S.]]

Then we proceed farther, and observe, that the gentlemen of employments
here, make a very considerable number in the House of Commons, and have
no other merit but that of doing their duty in their several stations;
therefore when the Test is repealed, it will be highly reasonable they
should give place to those who have much greater services to plead. The
commissions of the revenue are soon disposed of, and the collectors and
other officers throughout this kingdom, are generally appointed by the
commissioners, which give them a mighty influence in every country. As
much may be said of the great officers in the law; and when this door is
open to let dissenters into the commissions of the peace, to make them
High Sheriffs, Mayors of Corporations, and officers of the army and
militia; I do not see how it can be otherwise, considering their
industry and our supineness, but that they may in a very few years grow
to a majority in the House of Commons, and consequently make themselves
the national religion, and have a fair pretence to demand the revenues
of the Church for their teachers. I know it will be objected, that if
all this should happen as I describe, yet the Presbyterian religion
could never be made the national by act of Parliament, because our
bishops are so great a number in the House of Lords, and without a
majority there, the Church could not be abolished. But I have two very
good expedients for that, which I shall leave you to guess, and I dare
swear our Speaker here has often thought on, especially having
endeavoured at one of them so lately. That this design is not so foreign
from some people's thoughts, I must let you know that an honest
bellwether[13] of our house (you have him now in England, I wish you
could keep him there) had the impudence some years ago, in Parliament
time, to shake my Lord Bishop of Kilaloe[14] by his lawn sleeve, and
tell him in a threatening manner, "that he hoped to live to see the day
when there should not be one of his order in the kingdom."

[Footnote 13: Supposed to be Mr. Broderick. [F.]]

[Footnote 14: Dr. Lindsay, afterwards Lord Primate. [S.]]

These last lines perhaps you think a digression; therefore to return: I
have told you the consequences we fully reckon upon from repealing the
Sacramental Test, which although the greatest number of such as are for
doing it, are actually in no manner of pain about it, and many of them
care not threepence whether there be any Church, or no; yet because they
pretend to argue from conscience as well as policy and interest, I
thought it proper to understand and answer them accordingly.

Now, sir, in answer to your question, whether if an attempt should be
made here for repealing the Sacramental Test, it would be likely to
succeed? The number of professed dissenters in this Parliament was, as I
remember, something under a dozen, and I cannot call to mind above
thirty others who were expected to fall in with them. This is certain,
that the Presbyterian party having with great industry mustered up their
forces, did endeavour one day upon occasion of a hint in my Lord
Pembroke's speech, to introduce a debate about repealing the Test
clause, when there appeared at least four to one odds against them; and
the ablest of those who were reckoned the most staunch and
thorough-paced Whigs upon all other occasions, fell off with an
abhorrence at the first mention of this.

I must desire you to take notice, that the terms of Whig and Tory, do
not properly express the different interests in our parliament. I
remember when I was last in England, I told the King, that the highest
Tories we had with us would make tolerable Whigs there; this was
certainly right, and still in the general continues so, unless you have
since admitted new characteristics, which did not come within our
definition.[15] Whoever bears a true veneration for the glorious memory
of King William, as our great deliverer from Popery and slavery; whoever
is firmly loyal to our present Queen, with an utter abhorrence and
detestation of the Pretender; whoever approves the succession to the
Crown in the House of Hanover, and is for preserving the doctrine and
discipline of the Church of England, with an indulgence for scrupulous
consciences; such a man we think acts upon right principles, and may be
justly allowed a Whig: And I believe there are not six members in our
House of Commons, who may not fairly come under this description. So
that the parties among us are made up, on one side, of moderate Whigs,
and on the other, of Presbyterians and their abettors; by which last I
mean, such who can equally go to a Church or Conventicle, or such who
are indifferent to all religion in general, or lastly such who affect to
bear a personal rancour toward the clergy: These last are a set of men
not of our own growth, their principles at least have been imported of
late years; yet this whole party put together will not, I am confident,
amount to above fifty men in Parliament, which can hardly be worked up
into a majority of three hundred.

[Footnote 15: The passage beginning with "I remember when I was last in
England," and ending with "within our definition," is omitted by
Faulkner. [T.S.]]

As to the House of Lords, the difficulty there is conceived at least as
great as in ours. So many of our temporal peers live in England, that
the bishops are generally pretty near a par of the House, and we reckon
they will be all to a man against repealing the Test; and yet their
lordships are generally thought as good Whigs upon our principles as any
in the kingdom. There are indeed a few lay lords who appear to have no
great devotion for Episcopacy; and perhaps one or two more with whom
certain powerful motives might be used for removing any difficulty
whatsoever; but these are in no sort of a number to carry any point
against the conjunction of the rest and the whole bench of bishops.

Besides, the whole body of our clergy is utterly against repealing the
Test, though they are entirely devoted to her Majesty, and hardly one in
a hundred who are not very good Whigs in our acceptation of the word.
And I must let you know, that we of Ireland are not yet come up to other
folk's refinements; for we generally love and esteem our clergy, and
think they deserve it; nay, we are apt to lay some weight upon their
opinion, and would not willingly disoblige them, at least unless it were
upon some greater point of interest than this. And their judgment in the
present affair is the more to be regarded, because they are the last
persons who will be affected by it: This makes us think them impartial,
and that their concern is only for religion and the interest of the
kingdom. Because the act which repeals the Test, will only qualify a
layman for an employment, but not a Presbyterian or Anabaptist preacher
for a church-living. Now I must take leave to inform you, that several
members of our House, and myself among the rest, knowing some time ago
what was upon the anvil, went to all the clergy we knew of any
distinction, and desired their judgment of the matter, wherein we found
a most wonderful agreement; there being but one divine that we could
hear of in the whole kingdom, who appeared of a contrary sentiment,
wherein he afterwards stood alone in the convocation, very little to his
credit, though, as he hoped, very much to his interest.

I will now consider a little the arguments offered to shew the
advantages, or rather the necessity, of repealing the Test in Ireland.
We are told, the Popish interest is here so formidable, that all hands
should be joined to keep it under; that the only names of distinction
among us ought to be those of Protestant and Papist, and that this
expedient is the only means to unite all Protestants upon one common
bottom. All which is nothing but misrepresentation and mistake.

If we were under any real fear of the Papists in this kingdom, it would
be hard to think us so stupid, not to be equally apprehensive with
others, since we are likely to be the greatest, and more immediate
sufferers; but on the contrary, we look upon them to be altogether as
inconsiderable as the women and children. Their lands are almost
entirely taken from them, and they are rendered incapable of purchasing
any more; and for the little that remains, provision is made by the late
act against Popery, that it will daily crumble away: To prevent which,
some of the most considerable among them are already turned Protestants,
and so in all probability will many more. Then, the Popish priests are
all registered, and without permission (which I hope will not be
granted) they can have no successors; so that the Protestant Clergy will
find it perhaps no difficult matter to bring great numbers over to the
Church; and in the meantime, the common people without leaders, without
discipline, or natural courage, being little better than "hewers of
wood, and drawers of water," are out of all capacity of doing any
mischief, if they were ever so well inclined. Neither are they at all
likely to join in any considerable numbers with an invader, having found
so ill success when they were much more numerous and powerful; when they
had a prince of their own religion to head them, had been trained for
some years under a Popish deputy, and received such mighty aids from the
French king.

As to that argument used for repealing the Test, that it will unite all
Protestants against the common enemy, I wonder by what figure those
gentlemen speak who are pleased to advance it: Suppose in order to
increase the friendship between you and me, a law should pass that I
must have half your estate; do you think that would much advance the
union between us? Or, suppose I share my fortune equally between my own
children, and a stranger whom I take into my protection; will that be a
method to unite them? Tis an odd way of uniting parties, to deprive a
majority of part of their ancient right, by conferring it on a faction
who had never any right at all, and therefore cannot be said to suffer
any loss or injury if it be refused them. Neither is it very clear, how
far some people may stretch the term of common enemy. How many are there
of those that call themselves Protestants, who look upon our worship to
be idolatrous as well as that of the Papists, and with great charity put
Prelacy and Popery together, as terms convertible?

And, therefore, there is one small doubt, I would be willingly satisfied
in before I agree to the repealing of the Test; that is, whether, these
same Protestants, when they have by their dexterity made themselves the
national religion, and disposed the Church revenues among their pastors
or themselves, will be so kind to allow us dissenters, I do not say a
share in employments, but a bare toleration by law? The reason of my
doubt is, because I have been so very idle as to read above fifty
pamphlets, written by as many Presbyterian divines, loudly disclaiming
this idol Toleration, some of them calling it (I know not how properly)
a rag of Popery, and all agreeing it was to establish iniquity by law.
Now, I would be glad to know when and where their successors have
renounced this doctrine, and before what witnesses. Because, methinks I
should be loth to see my poor titular bishop _in partibus_, seized on by
mistake in the dark for a Jesuit, or be forced myself to keep my
chaplain disguised like my butler, and steal to prayers in a back room,
as my grandfather[l6] used in those times when the Church of England was

[Footnote 16: This is Thomas Swift, vicar of Goodrich, in Herefordshire,
"much distinguished by his courage, as well as his loyalty to King
Charles the First, and the sufferings he underwent for that prince, more
than any person of his condition in England." See the "Fragment of
Autobiography," printed by Scott and Forster in their Lives of Swift.

But this is ripping up old quarrels long forgot; Popery is now the
common enemy, against which we must all unite; I have been tired in
history with the perpetual folly of those states who call in foreigners
to assist them against a common enemy: But the mischief was, those
allies would never be brought to allow that the common enemy was quite
subdued. And they had reason; for it proved at last, that one part of
the common enemy was those who called them in, and so the allies became
at length the masters.

'Tis agreed among naturalists that a lion is a larger, a stronger, and
more dangerous enemy than a cat; yet if a man were to have his choice,
either a lion at his foot, bound fast with three or four chains, his
teeth drawn out, and his claws pared to the quick, or an angry cat in
full liberty at his throat; he would take no long time to determine.

I have been sometimes admiring the wonderful significancy of that word
persecution, and what various interpretations it hath acquired even
within my memory. When I was a boy, I often heard the Presbyterians
complain that they were not permitted to serve God in their own way;
they said they did not repine at our employments, but thought that all
men who live peaceably ought to have liberty of conscience, and leave to
assemble. That impediment being removed at the Revolution, they soon
learned to swallow the Sacramental Test and began to take very large
steps, wherein all that offered to oppose them, were called men of a
persecuting spirit. During the time the Bill against Occasional
Conformity was on foot, persecution was every day rung in our ears, and
now at last the Sacramental Test itself has the same name. Where then is
this matter likely to end, when the obtaining of one request is only
used as a step to demand another? A lover is ever complaining of cruelty
while anything is denied him, and when the lady ceases to be cruel, she
is from the next moment at his mercy: So persecution it seems, is
everything that will not leave it in men's power to persecute others.

There is one argument offered against a Sacramental Test, by a sort of
men who are content to be styled of the Church of England, who perhaps
attend its service in the morning, and go with their wives to a
conventicle in the afternoon, confessing they hear very good doctrine in
both. These men are much offended that so holy an institution as that of
the Lord's Supper should be made subservient to such mercenary purposes
as the getting of an employment. Now, it seems, the law, concluding all
men to be members of that Church where they receive the Sacrament; and
supposing all men to live like Christians (especially those who are to
have employments) did imagine they received the Sacrament in course
about four times a year, and therefore only desired it might appear by
certificate to the public, that such who took an office were members of
the Church established, by doing their ordinary duty. However, lest we
should offend them, we have often desired they would deal candidly with
us; for if the matter stuck only there, we would propose it in
parliament, that every man who takes an employment should, instead of
receiving the sacrament, be obliged to swear, that he is a member of the
Church of Ireland by law established, with Episcopacy, and so forth; and
as they do now in Scotland, _to be true to the Kirk_. But when we drive
them thus far, they always retire to the main body of the argument, urge
the hardship that men should be deprived the liberty of serving their
Queen and country, on account of their conscience: And, in short, have
recourse to the common style of their half brethren. Now whether this be
a sincere way of arguing, I will appeal to any other judgment but

There is another topic of clamour somewhat parallel to the foregoing: It
seems, by the Test clause, the military officers are obliged to receive
the Sacrament as well as the civil. And it is a matter of some patience
to hear the dissenters declaiming upon this occasion: They cry they are
disarmed, they are used like Papists; when an enemy appears at home, or
from abroad, they must sit still, and see their throats cut, or be
hanged for high treason if they offer to defend themselves. Miserable
condition! Woful dilemma! It is happy for us all, that the Pretender was
not apprized of this passive Presbyterian principle, else he would have
infallibly landed in our northern parts, and found them all sat down in
their formalities, as the Gauls did the Roman senators, ready to die
with honour in their callings. Sometimes to appease their indignation,
we venture to give them hopes that in such a case the government will
perhaps connive, and hardly be so severe to hang them for defending it
against the letter of the law; to which they readily answer, that they
will not lie at our mercy, but let us fight our battles ourselves.
Sometimes we offer to get an act, by which upon all Popish insurrections
at home, or Popish invasion from abroad, the government shall be
empowered to grant commissions to all Protestants whatsoever, without
that persecuting circumstance of obliging them to say their prayers when
they receive the Sacrament; but they abhor all thoughts of occasional
commissions, they will not do our drudgery, and we reap the benefit: It
is not worth their while to fight _pro aris et focis_, and they had
rather lose their estates, liberties, religion and lives, than the
pleasure of governing.

But to bring this discourse toward a conclusion: If the dissenters will
be satisfied with such a toleration by law as hath been granted them in
England, I believe the majority of both Houses will fall readily in with
it; farther it will be hard to persuade this House of Commons, and
perhaps much harder the next. For, to say the truth, we make a mighty
difference here between suffering thistles to grow among us, and wearing
them for posies. We are fully convinced in our consciences, that _we_
shall always tolerate them, but not quite so fully that _they_ will
always tolerate us, when it comes to their turn; and _we_ are the
majority, and _we_ are in possession.

He who argues in defence of a law in force, not antiquated or obsolete,
but lately enacted, is certainly on the safer side, and may be allowed
to point out the dangers he conceives to foresee in the abrogation of

For if the consequences of repealing this clause, should at some time or
other enable the Presbyterians to work themselves up into the National
Church; instead of uniting Protestants, it would sow eternal divisions
among them. First, their own sects, which now lie dormant, would be soon
at cuffs again with each other about power and preferment; and the
dissenting Episcopals, perhaps discontented to such a degree, as upon
some fair unhappy occasion, would be able to shake the firmest loyalty,
which none can deny theirs to be.

Neither is it very difficult to conjecture from some late proceedings,
at what a rate this faction is likely to drive wherever it gets the whip
and the seat. They have already set up courts of spiritual judicature in
open contempt of the laws: They send missionaries everywhere, without
being invited, in order to convert the Church of England folks to
Christianity. They are as vigilant as _I know who_, to attend persons on
their death-beds, and for purposes much alike. And what practices such
principles as these (with many other that might be invidious to mention)
may spawn when they are laid out to the sun, you may determine at

Lastly, Whether we are so entirely sure of their loyalty upon the
present foot of government as you may imagine, their detractors make a
question, which however, does, I think, by no means affect the body of
dissenters; but the instance produced is, of some among their leading
teachers in the north, who having refused the Abjuration Oath, yet
continue their preaching, and have abundance of followers. The
particulars are out of my head, but the fact is notorious enough, and I
believe has been published; I think it a pity, it has not been remedied.

Thus, I have fairly given you, Sir, my own opinion, as well as that of a
great majority in both Houses here, relating to this weighty affair,
upon which I am confident you may securely reckon. I will leave you to
make what use of it you please.

I am, with great respect, Sir,

Yours, &c.

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****



THE reference casually made by Swift, in his "Letter on the Sacramental
Test," to his grandfather and the "malignant Church," probably points to
one of the causes for his persistent dislike towards the Protestant
dissenters. His attitude displays a profound disgust both for their
teaching and their conduct; and he found, very early, occasion to
ridicule them, as may be seen in his description of Jack, Martin, and
Peter in "A Tale of a Tub" (see vol. i. of this edition). In
spite, however, of this attitude, Swift seems to have remained silent on
the question of the repeal of the Test Act for a period of more than
twenty years. He had published his "Letter from a Member of the House of
Commons in Ireland" in 1708; but it was not until 1731 that he again
took up his pen against Dissent.

In that year, and in the two subsequent ones, the Presbyterians fought
very strenuously for a mitigation of the laws against them; and the
literature which has been handed down to us of that fight is by no means
insignificant. The tracts which we know to be of Swift's authorship are:
"The Presbyterians' Plea of Merit" (1731); "A Narrative of the several
Attempts which the Dissenters of Ireland have made for a repeal of the
Sacramental Test" (1731); "The Advantages proposed by Repealing the
Sacramental Test impartially considered" (1732); "Queries Relating to the
Sacramental Test" (1732); "Reasons humbly offered to the Parliament of
Ireland for Repealing the Test in favour of Roman Catholics" (1733);
"Some Few Thoughts Concerning the Test;" and, according to Sir Walter
Scott, "Ten Reasons for Repealing the Test Act."

Monck Mason, in his elaborate note on this particular literature of the
period (see "History of St. Patrick's Cathedral," pp. 387, 388, notes),
gives a list of sixteen pamphlets, many of which he considers to be so
well written that they would have done no discredit to Swift himself.
The list is here transcribed for the benefit of the student:

(i.) "Nature and Consequences of the Sacramental Test considered; with
Remarks humbly offered for the Repeal of it." 1732.

(ii.) "Remarks on a Pamphlet, entitled, 'The Nature and Consequences of
the Sacramental Test Considered.'" Dublin, 1732, 12mo.

(iii.) "The History of the Test Act: in which the Mistakes in some
Writings against it are Rectified, and the Importance of it to the
Church explained." Printed at London and Dublin: and reprinted by George
Faulkner. 1733, 12mo.

(iv.) "Plain Reasons against the Repeal of the Test Act; humbly offered
to publick Consideration." Dublin: printed by George Faulkner. 1733,

(v.) "The Test Act Examined by the Test of Reason." Dublin, 1733, 12mo.

(vi.) "The Case of the Episcopal Dissenters in Scotland, and that of the
Dissenters in Ireland Compared; with Relation to Toleration, and a
Capacity for Civil Offices. In a Letter to a Member of Parliament."
Dublin, 1733, 8vo.

¶ This tract refers to another entitled: "The Tables Turned against the
Presbyterians; or, Reasons against the Sacramental Test, by a General
Assembly of Scotland."

(vii.) "The Case of the Test Considered, with respect to Ireland."
Dublin, Faulkner, 1733.

(viii) "The natural Impossibilities of better Uniting Protestants &c. by
Repealing the Test." Dublin: Printed by George Faulkner, 1733.

(ix.) "Ten Reasons for Repealing the Test Act."

¶ Scott reprints this as Swift's from the broadside original.

(x-xi.) "A Vindication of the Protestant Dissenters from the Aspersions
Cast upon them in a late Pamphlet, entitled, 'The Presbyterians 'Plea of
Merit &c.,' with some Remarks on a Paper called 'The Correspondent,'
giving a pretended Narrative, &c."

¶ Swift refers to this pamphlet in his "Roman Catholic Reasons for
Repealing the Test." It is also noted by the printer of the undated
second edition of the London reprint of "The Plea."

(xii.) "The Dispute Adjusted, about the _proper time_ of applying for a
Repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts: by shewing that _no time is
proper_. By the Reverend Father in God, Edmund Lord Bishop of London."

¶ Faulkner, in the second edition of "The Presbyterians' Plea,"
advertises this tract to appear in 1733. The author of "The Case of the
Episcopal Dissenters in Scotland" mentions that it has been "lately
re-printed" in Ireland, but that it is "falsely ascribed to the Bishop
of London."

(xiii.) "The Test Act considered in a Political Light." 1733. Broadside.

(xiv.) "Queries upon the Demand of the Presbyterians to have the
Sacramental Test Repealed at this Session of Parliament." 1733.

¶ These Queries differ somewhat from those put by Swift in 1732.

(xv.) "A Letter from a Freeman of a certain Burrough, in the North of
Ireland, to his Friend and Representative in Parliament; shewing Reasons
why the Test Act should not be Repealed." 1733. Broadside.

  "The Grunter's Request
       To take Off the Test."
                     [A Poem.] 1733. 12mo.

Scott suggests ("Life of Jonathan Swift," 1824, p.401) that "probably
more occasional tracts" were written by the Dean on the subject of the
Test "than have yet been recovered." The curious student may satisfy
himself on this matter by reading the above pamphlets. Neither Monck
Mason, Dr. Barrett, nor Scott himself, cared to take upon themselves to
decide whether any of them were by Swift; nor have any of the Dean's
modern biographers thrown any light on the subject. A point to note in
this consideration is the fact that Faulkner, in his collected edition
of Swift's works, did not include any of these; and, as he himself
published many of them, he would certainly have known something of their

Swift's agitation against the repeal of the Test was so successful that
the Irish House of Commons found itself in a majority for the Test. In
addition to the prose tracts Swift wrote a stinging poem "On the Words
Brother Protestants and Fellow Christians," an expression familiarly
used by the advocates for the Repeal of the Test Act. This poem brought
him into personal conflict with one Serjeant Bettesworth, who "openly
swore, before many hundreds of people, that upon the first opportunity,
by the help of ruffians, he would murder or maim the Dean of St.
Patrick's." The lines to which the Serjeant took exception were:

  "Thus at the bar the booby Bettesworth,
  Though half-a-crown o'erpays his sweat's worth;
  Who knows in law, nor text, nor margent,
  Calls Singleton his brother serjeant."

The affair ended in the further ridicule of Bettesworth, who complained
in the Irish House of Commons that the lampoon had cost him £1,200 a
year. A full account of Swift's interview with Bettesworth is given by
Swift in a letter to the Duke of Dorset, dated January, 1733-1734; and
the "Grub Street Journal" for August 9th, 1734, tells how the
inhabitants of the City of Dublin came to Swift's aid. Perhaps
Bettesworth finally found consolation in the thought, satirically
suggested by Dr. William Dunkin, that, after all, it might be worth the
loss of money to be "transmitted to posterity in Dr. Swift's works."

  "For had he not pointed me out, I had slept till
  E'en Doomsday, a poor insignificant reptile;
  Half lawyer, half actor, pert, dull, and inglorious,
  Obscure, and unheard of--but now I'm notorious:
  Fame has but two gates, a white and a black one;
  The worst they can say is, I got in at the back one:
  If the end be obtained 'tis equal what portal
  I enter, since I'm to be render'd immortal:
  So clysters applied to the anus, 'tis said,
  By skilful physicians, give ease to the head--
  Though my title be spurious, why should I be dastard,
  A man is a man though he should be a bastard.
  Why sure 'tis some comfort that heroes should slay us,
  If I fall, I would fall by the hand of Aeneas;
  And who by the Drapier would not rather damn'd be,
  Than demigoddized by madrigal Namby."[1]

[Footnote 1: Namby was the nickname for Ambrose Philips.]

Scott, and all Swift's editors and biographers, state that "The
Presbyterians' Plea of Merit" was first published in 1731. What
authority they have for this statement, I have not been able to
discover. My own research has, so far, failed to find a copy of it with
the date, 1731, on the title-page. The edition upon which the present
text is based, is that printed by Faulkner in 1733, of the title-page of
which, a facsimile is here given. This, I believe to be the first
edition. Scott, following Nichols, states that in the first edition of
"The Plea," the "Ode to Humphry French, Esq.," appeared, and that in the
second edition, this ode was omitted to make room for the "Narrative of
the Several Attempts made for the Repeal of the Test Act." Now in the
British Museum, there are two _undated_ editions of "The Plea," which
bear out this statement; but these, as the title-pages inform us, are
London reprints of Dublin editions. Since, however, no one has recorded
dated Dublin editions corresponding exactly to these London reprints,
the evidence of the reprints counts for very little. Monck Mason, a very
accurate authority, usually, says distinctly, "The Plea" was printed in
1731, and a second edition issued in 1733; but one gathers from his note
that the only edition in his possession was that of 1733, and this has
neither the "Ode" nor the "Narrative"; the last page consisting of an
advertisement of the collected editions of Swift's works, which Faulkner
was then preparing. The first of the London reprints bears no indication
of any particular edition; the second has the words "second edition" on
the title-page. In his note to this reprint of the "Narrative," and in
his "Life of Swift," Scott refers to a Dublin periodical called "The
Correspondent" (in which the "Narrative" was first published) as being
printed in 1731. The only edition of this periodical, of which I have
either seen or heard, is the copy in the British Museum, and that copy
distinctly states: "Printed by James Hoey in Skinner-Row, 1733." If,
therefore, this be the first edition of "The Correspondent," the
"Narrative" must be ascribed to the year 1733, and the second edition of
"The Plea" to the end of the same, or the beginning of the following
year. I conclude, therefore, first, that the first edition of "The Plea"
is that dated "Dublin, 1733;" second, that the undated London reprint
with the "Ode" is of the same year; and, lastly, that the undated second
London reprint with the "Narrative," is probably of the year, 1734.
Examining Scott's text of this tract, one is forced to the conclusion
that he could not have seen the Dublin edition of 1733; whereas, its
almost exact similarity to the London reprint suggests that he used
that. For purposes of the present text all three editions have been
collated with one another, and with those given by Faulkner, Hawkesworth
and Scott.


  _Presbyterians_ PLEA
  In Order to take off the
  Impartially Examined.



  Printed and fold by GEORGE FAULKNER, in
  _Essex-Street_, opposite to the _Bridge_, 1733.

We have been told in the common newspapers, that all attempts are to be
made this session by the Presbyterians, and their abettors, for taking
off the Test, as a kind of preparatory step, to make it go down smoother
in England. For, if once their light would so shine, the Papists,
delighted with the blaze, would all come in, and dance about it. This I
take to be a prudent method; like that of a discreet physician, who
first gives a new medicine to a dog, before he prescribes it to a human

[Footnote 1: See note prefixed to the "Letter on the Sacramental Test."

The Presbyterians have, ever since the Revolution directed their learned
casuists to employ their pens on this subject; by shewing the merits and
pretensions upon which they claim this justice; as founded upon the
services they did toward the restoration of King Charles the Second; and
at the Revolution under the Prince of Orange. Which pleas I take to be
the most singular, in their kind, that ever were offered in the face of
the sun, against the most glaring light of truth, and against a
continuation of public facts, known to all Europe for twenty years
together. I shall, therefore, impartially examine the merits and conduct
of the Presbyterians, upon those two great events; and the pretensions
to favour, which they challenge upon them.

Soon after the Reformation of the Church in England, under Edward the
Sixth, upon Queen Mary's succeeding to the crown, who restored Popery,
many Protestants fled out of England, to escape the persecution raised
against the Church, as her brother had left it established. Some of
these exiles went to Geneva; which city had received the doctrine of
Calvin, and rejected the government of bishops; with many other
refinements. These English exiles readily embraced the Geneva system;
and having added farther improvements of their own, upon Queen Mary's
death returned to England; where they preached up their own opinions;
inveighing bitterly against Episcopacy, and all rites and ceremonies,
however innocent and ancient in the Church: building upon this
foundation; to run as far as possible from Popery, even in the most
minute and indifferent circumstances: this faction, under the name of
Puritan, became very turbulent, during the whole reign of Queen
Elizabeth; and were always discouraged by that wise queen, as well as by
her two successors. However, their numbers, as well as their insolence
and perverseness, so far increased, that soon after the death of King
James the First, many instances of their petulancy and scurrility, are
to be seen in their pamphlets, written for some years after; which was a
trade they began in the days of Queen Elizabeth: particularly with great
rancour against the bishops, the habits, and the ceremonies: Such were
that scurrilous libel under the title of Martin Mar-prelate,[2] and
several others. And, although the Earl of Clarendon[3] tells us, that,
until the year 1640, (as I remember) the kingdom was in a state of
perfect peace and happiness, without the least appearance of thought or
design toward making any alterations in religion or government; yet I
have found, by often rummaging for old books in Little Britain and
Duck-Lane, a great number of pamphlets printed from the year 1530[4] to
1640, full of as bold and impious railing expressions, against the
lawful power of the Crown, and the order of bishops, as ever were
uttered during the Rebellion, or the whole subsequent tyranny of that
fanatic anarchy. However, I find it manifest, that Puritanism did not
erect itself into a new, separate species of religion, till some time
after the Rebellion began. For, in the latter times of King James the
First, and the former part of his son, there were several Puritan
bishops, and many Puritan private clergymen; while people went, as their
inclinations led them, to hear preachers of each party in the parish
churches. For the Puritan clergy had received Episcopal orders as well
as the rest. But, soon after the Rebellion broke out, the term Puritan
gradually dropped, and that of Presbyterian succeeded; which sect was,
in two or three years, established in all its forms, by what they called
an Ordinance of the Lords and Commons, without consulting the King; who
was then at war against his rebels. And, from this period the Church
continued under persecution, till monarchy was restored in the year

[Footnote 2: According to Mr. Edward Arber the writers of these famous
tracts were the Rev. John Penny and Job Throckmorton, Esq. He calls
these two writers "the most eminent prose satirists of the Elizabethan
age." For a full account of these tracts and the controversy, see Mr.
Arber's "Introductory Sketch to the Martin Mar-prelate Controversy,
1588-1590" (1879, English Scholar's Library). The aim of the Mar-prelate
writers is thus stated by the able author of that sketch: "To ridicule
and affront a proud hierarchy [the bishops] endowed with large legal
means of doing mischief, and not wanting in will to exercise these
powers to the full. The spell of the unnatural civil power which had
been enjoyed by the Papal prelates in this country remained with their
Protestant successors until this Controversy broke it: so that from this
time onwards the bishops set about to forge a new spell, 'the Divine
Right of their temporal position and power', which hallucination was
dissolved by the Long Parliament: from which time a bishop has usually
been considered no more than a man" (Preface, pp. 11-12). [T.S.]]

[Footnote 3: Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon (1608-1674), the author of
the "History of the Great Rebellion." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 4: The original edition has 1630. [T.S.]]

In a year or two after; we began to hear of a new party risen, and
growing in the Parliament, as well as the army; under the name of
Independent: It spread, indeed somewhat more in the latter; but not
equal with the Presbyterians, either in weight or number, till the very
time[5] that the King was murdered.

[Footnote 5: Faulkner prints: "until some time before the King was

When the King, who was then a prisoner in the Isle of Wight, had made
his last concessions for a peace to the Commissioners of the Parliament,
who attended him there; upon their return to London, they reported his
Majesty's answer to the House. Whereupon, a number of moderate members,
who, as Ludlow[6] says, had secured their own terms with his Majesty,
managed with so much art, as to obtain a majority, in a thin house, for
passing a vote, that _the King's concessions were a ground for future
settlement_. But the great officers of the army, joining with the
discontented members, came to a resolution, of excluding all those who
had consented to that vote; which they executed in a military way.
Ireton told Fairfax the General,[7] a rigid Presbyterian, of this
resolution; who thereupon issued his orders for drawing out the army the
next morning, and placing guards in Westminster-hall, the Court of
Requests, and the lobby; who, in obedience to the General, in
conjunction with those members who opposed the vote, would let no member
enter the House, except those of their own party. Upon which, the
question for bringing the King to justice, was immediately put and
carried without opposition, that I can find. Then, an order was made for
his trial; the time and place appointed; the judges named; of whom
Fairfax himself was one; although by the advice or threats of his wife,
he declined sitting among them. However, by fresh orders under his own
hand, which I have seen in print, he appointed guards to attend the
judges at the trial, and to keep the city in quiet; as he did likewise
to prevent any opposition from the people, upon the day of execution.

[Footnote 6: Edmund Ludlow (1620?-1693) lieutenant-general of the
Parliamentary army. He was one of the judges of King Charles's trial,
and who signed the death-warrant. He died at Vevay, in Switzerland,
where he had fled on finding that Charles's judges were not included in
the Act of Indemnity. His memoirs were printed at Vevay in 1698-1699.3
vols. 8vo. It is to these Swift refers. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 7: Ireton and Fairfax were two famous generals of the
Parliamentary army serving with Cromwell. [T.S.]]

From what I have already deduced, it appears manifest, that the
differences between those two sects, Presbyterian and Independent, did
not then amount to half so much as what there is between a Whig and Tory
at present among us. The design of utterly extirpating monarchy and
episcopacy, was equally the same in both; evidently the consequence of
the very same principles, upon which the Presbyterians alone began,
continued, and would have ended in the same events; if towards the
conclusion, they had not been bearded by that new party, with whom they
could not agree about dividing the spoil. However, they held a good
share of civil and military employments during the whole time of the
usurpation; whose names, and actions, and preferments, are frequent in
the accounts of those times. For I make no doubt, that all the prudent
Presbyterians complied in proper seasons, falling in with the stream;
and thereby got that share in employments, which many of them held to
the Restoration; and perhaps too many of them after. In the same manner,
we find our wisest Tories, in both kingdoms, upon the change of hands
and measures at the Queen's death, have endeavoured for several years,
by due compliances, to recover the time they had lost by a temporary
obstinacy; wherein they have well succeeded, according to their degrees
of merit. Of whose names I could here make honourable mention, if I did
not fear it might offend their modesty.

As to what is alleged, that some of the Presbyterians declared openly
against the King's murder, I allow it to be true. But, from what
motives? No other can possibly be assigned, than perfect spite, rage,
and envy, to find themselves wormed out of all power by a new infant
spawn of Independents, sprung from their own bowels. It is true; the
differences in religious tenets between them are very few and trifling;
the chief quarrel, as far as I remember, relating to congregational and
national assemblies. But, wherever interest or power thinks fit to
interfere, it little imports what principles the opposite parties think
fit to charge upon each other: for, we see, at this day, that the Tories
are more hated by the whole set of zealous Whigs, than the very Papists
themselves; and, in effect, as much unqualified for the smallest office:
although, both these parties assert themselves to be of the same
religion, in all its branches of doctrine and discipline; and profess
the same loyalty to the same Protestant King and his heirs.

If the reader would know what became of this Independent party, upon
whom all the mischief is charged by their Presbyterian brethren; he may
please to observe, that during the whole usurpation, they contended by
degrees with their parent sect, and, as I have already said, shared in
employments; and gradually, after the Restoration, mingled with the mass
of Presbyterians; lying ever since undistinguished in the herd of

The Presbyterian merit is of as little weight, when they allege
themselves instrumental towards the King's restoration. The kingdom grew
tired with those ridiculous models of government: First, by a House of
Lords and Commons, without a king; then without bishops; afterwards by a
Rump[8] and lords temporal: then by a Rump alone; next by a single
person for life, in conjunction with a council: by agitators: by
major-generals: by a new kind of representatives from the three
kingdoms: by the keepers of the liberties of England; with other schemes
that have slipped out of my memory. Cromwell was dead; his son Richard,
a weak, ignorant wretch, who gave up his monarchy much in the same
manner with the two usurping kings of Brentford.[9] The people harassed
with taxes and other oppressions; the King's party, then called the
Cavaliers began to recover their spirits. The few nobility scattered
through the kingdom, who lived in a most retired manner, observing the
confusion of things, could no longer endure to be ridden by bakers,
cobblers, brewers, and the like, at the head of armies; and plundering
everywhere like French dragoons: The Rump assembly grew despicable to
those who had raised them: The city of London, exhausted by almost
twenty years contributing to their own ruin, declared against them. The
Rump, after many deaths and resurrections, was, in the most contemptuous
manner, kicked out, and burned in effigy. The excluded members were let
in: a free Parliament called in as legal a manner as the times would
allow; and the King restored.

[Footnote 8: This name was given to that part of the House of Commons
which remained after the moderate men had been expelled by
military-force. [S.]]

[Footnote 9: In the "Rehearsal."]

The second claim of Presbyterian merit is founded upon their services
against the dangerous designs of King James the Second; while that
prince was using all his endeavours to introduce Popery, which he openly
professed upon his coming to the crown: To this they add, their eminent
services at the Revolution, under the Prince of Orange.

Now, the quantum of Presbyterian merit, during the four years' reign of
that weak, bigoted, and ill-advised prince, as well as at the time of
the Revolution, will easily be computed, by a recourse to a great number
of histories, pamphlets, and public papers, printed in those times, and
some afterwards; beside the verbal testimonies of many persons yet
alive, who are old enough to have known and observed the Dissenters'
conduct in that critical period.

It is agreed, that upon King Charles the Second's death, soon after his
successor had publicly owned himself a Roman Catholic; he began with his
first caresses to the Church party; from whom having received very cold
discouraging answers; he applied to the Presbyterian leaders and
teachers, being advised by the priests and Popish courtiers, that the
safest method toward introducing his own religion, would be by taking
off the Sacramental Test, and giving a full liberty of conscience to all
religions, (I suppose, that professed Christianity.) It seems, that the
Presbyterians, in the latter years of King Charles the Second, upon
account of certain plots, (allowed by Bishop Burnet to be genuine) had
been, for a short time, forbid to hold their conventicles: Whereupon,
these charitable Christians, out of perfect resentment against the
Church, received the gracious offers of King James with the strongest
professions of loyalty, and highest acknowledgments for his favour. I
have seen several of their addresses, full of thanks and praises, with
bitter insinuations of what they had suffered; putting themselves and
the Papists upon the same foot; as fellow-sufferers for conscience; and
with the style of, _Our brethren the Roman Catholics_. About this time
began the project of closeting, (which has since been practised many
times, with more art and success,) where the principal gentlemen of the
kingdom were privately catechised by his Majesty, to know whether, if a
new parliament were called, they would agree to pass an act for
repealing the Sacramental Test, and establishing a general liberty of
conscience. But he received so little encouragement, that, despairing of
success, he had recourse to his dispensing power, which the judges had
determined to be part of his prerogative. By colour of this
determination, he preferred several Presbyterians, and many Papists, to
civil and military employments. While the king was thus busied, it is
well known, that Monsieur Fagel, the Dutch envoy in London, delivered
the opinion of the Prince and Princess of Orange, concerning the repeal
of the Test; whereof the king had sent an account to their Highnesses,
to know how far they approved of it. The substance of their answer, as
reported by Fagel, was this, "That their highnesses thought very well of
a liberty of conscience; but by no means of giving employments to any
other persons, than those who were of the National Church." This opinion
was confirmed by several reasons: I cannot be more particular, not
having the paper by me, although it hath been printed in many accounts
of those times. And thus much every moderate churchman would perhaps
submit to: But, to trust any part of the civil power in the hands of
those whose interest, inclination, conscience, and former practices have
been wholly turned to introduce a different system of religion and
government, hath very few examples in any Christian state; nor any at
all in Holland, the great patroness of universal toleration.

Upon the first intelligence King James received of an intended invasion
by the Prince of Orange; among great numbers of Papists, to increase his
troops, he gave commissions to several Presbyterians; some of whom had
been officers under the Rump; and particularly he placed one Richards, a
noted Presbyterian, at the head of a regiment; who had been governor of
Wexford in Cromwell's time, and is often mentioned by Ludlow in his
Memoirs. This regiment was raised in England against the Prince of
Orange: the colonel made his son a captain, whom I knew, and who was as
zealous a Presbyterian as his father. However at the time of the
prince's landing, the father easily foreseeing how things would go, went
over, like many others to the prince, who continued him in his regiment;
but coming over a year or two after to assist in raising the siege of
Derry, he behaved himself so like either a coward or a traitor, that his
regiment was taken from him.

I will now consider the conduct of the Church party, during the whole
reign of that unfortunate king. They were so unanimous against promising
to pass an act for repealing the Test, and establishing a general
liberty of conscience; that the king durst not trust a parliament; but
encouraged by the professions of loyalty given him by his Presbyterian
friends, went on with his dispensing power.

The Church clergy, at that time are allowed to have written the best
collection of tracts against Popery that ever appeared in England; which
are to this day in the highest esteem. But, upon the strictest enquiry,
I could never hear of above one or two papers published by the
Presbyterians at that time upon the same subject. Seven great prelates
(he of Canterbury among the rest) were sent to the Tower, for presenting
a petition, wherein they desired to be excused in not obeying an illegal
command from the King. The Bishop of London, Dr. Compton,[10] was
summoned to answer before the Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Affairs,
for not suspending Dr. Sharp[11] (afterwards Archbishop of York) by the
King's command. If the Presbyterians expressed the same zeal upon any
occasion, the instances of it are not as I can find, left upon record,
or transmitted by tradition. The proceedings against Magdalen College in
Oxford, for refusing to comply with the King's mandate for admitting a
professed Papist upon their foundation, are a standing proof of the
courage and firmness in religion shewn by that learned society, to the
ruin of their fortunes. The Presbyterians know very well, that I could
produce many more instances of the same kind. But these are enough in so
short a paper as I intend at present.

[Footnote 10: Henry Compton (1632-1713), educated at Oxford, was created
Bishop of London in 1675. During the Revolution of 1688 he conveyed the
Princess Anne from London to Nottingham. After, he crowned her Queen of
England. He was the author of a few works of little importance, such as
the "Treatise on the Holy Communion." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 11: John Sharp (1644-1714) was educated at Cambridge, and
created Archbishop of York in 1691. He gave great offence to James II.
by his preaching against Roman Catholicism. This is the same Archbishop
Sharp who prevented Swift's appointment to a bishopric, by urging that
the author of "A Tale of a Tub" was not a proper person to hold such an
office. See note prefixed to "A Tale of a Tub," vol. i., p. xcvi, of this
edition of Swift's Works. [T.S.]]

It is indeed very true, that after King William was settled on the
English throne, the Presbyterians began to appear, and offer their
credentials, and demand favour; and the new King having been originally
bred a Calvinist, was desirous enough to make them easy (if that would
do it) by a legal toleration; although in his heart he never bore much
affection to that sect; nor designed to favour them farther than it
stood with the present scheme of politics: as I have long since been
assured by the greatest men of Whig principles at that time in England.

It is likewise true, nor will it be denied; that when the King was
possessed of the English crown; and the remainder of the quarrel was
left to be decided in this kingdom; the Presbyterians wisely chose to
join with the Protestant army, rather than with that of King James their
old friend, whose affairs were then in a manner desperate. They were
wise enough to know, that this kingdom, divided against itself, could
never prevail against the united power of England. They fought _pro aris
et focis_; for their estates and religion; which latter will never
suffer so much by the Church of England as by that of Rome, where they
are counted heretics as well as we: and consequently they have no other
game to play. But, what merit they can build upon having joined with a
Protestant army, under a King they acknowledged, to defend their own
liberties and properties against a Popish enemy under an abdicated King;
is, I confess to me absolutely inconceivable; and I believe will equally
be so for ever, to any reasonable man.

When these sectaries were several years ago making the same attempt for
abolishing the Test, many groundless reports were industriously and
seasonably spread, of an invasion threatened by the Pretender on the
north of Ireland. At which time the Presbyterians in their pamphlets,
argued in a menacing manner, that if the Pretender should invade those
parts of the kingdom, where the numbers and estates of dissenters
chiefly lay; they would sit still, and let us fight our own battles;[12]
since they were to reap no advantage, whichever side should be victors.
If this were the course they intended to take in such a case; I should
desire to know, how they could contrive safely to stand neuters,
otherwise than by a compact with the Pretender and his army, to support
their neutrality, and protect them against the forces of the Crown? This
is a necessary supposition; because they must otherwise have inevitably
been a prey to both. However, by this frank declaration, they
sufficiently shewed their good-will; and confirmed the common charge
laid at their door; that a Scottish or northern Presbyterian hates our
Episcopal Established Church more than Popery itself. And, the reason
for this hatred, is natural enough; because it is the Church alone, that
stands in the way between them and power, which Popery doth not.

[Footnote 12: See the poem, reprinted by Monck Mason ("History of St.
Patrick's," p. 388 note), entitled:

  "The Grunters' request
  To take off the Test,"

in which the poet advises his "lauds" to "faight y'er ain battel."

Upon this occasion I am in some doubt, whether the political spreaders
of those chimerical invasions, made a judicious choice in fixing the
northern parts of Ireland for that romantic enterprize. Nor, can I well
understand the wisdom of the Presbyterians in countenancing and
confirming those reports. Because it seems to cast a most infamous
reflection upon the loyalty and religious principles of their whole
body: For if there had been any truth in the matter, the consequence
must have been allowed, that the Pretender counted upon more assistance
from his father's friends the Presbyterians, by choosing to land in
those very parts, where their number, wealth, and power most prevailed;
rather than among those of his own religion. And therefore, in charity
to this sect, I rather incline to believe, that those reports of an
invasion were formed and spread by the race of small politicians, in
order to do a seasonable job.

As to Popery in general, which for a thousand years past hath been
introducing and multiplying corruptions both in doctrine and discipline;
I look upon it to be the most absurd system of Christianity professed by
any nation. But I cannot apprehend this kingdom to be in much danger
from it. The estates of Papists are very few; crumbling into small
parcels, and daily diminishing. Their common people are sunk in poverty,
ignorance, and cowardice, and of as little consequence as women and
children. Their nobility and gentry are at least one-half ruined,
banished, or converted: They all soundly feel the smart of what they
suffered in the last Irish war. Some of them are already retired into
foreign countries; others as I am told, intend to follow them; and the
rest, I believe, to a man, who still possess any lands, are absolutely
determined never to hazard them again for the sake of establishing their
superstition. If it hath been thought fit, as some observe, to abate of
the law's rigour against Popery in this kingdom, I am confident it was
done for very wise reasons, considering the situation of affairs abroad
at different times, and the interest of the Protestant religion in
general. And as I do not find the least fault in this proceeding; so I
do not conceive why a sunk discarded party, who neither expect nor
desire anything more than a quiet life; should under the names of
highflyers, Jacobites, and many other vile appellations, be charged so
often in print, and at common tables, with endeavouring to introduce
Popery and the Pretender; while the Papists abhor them above all other
men, on account of severities against their priests in her late
Majesty's reign; when the now disbanded reprobate party was in power.
This I was convinced of some years ago by a long journey into the
southern parts; where I had the curiosity to send for many priests of
the parishes I passed through; and, to my great satisfaction found them
everywhere abounding in professions of loyalty to the late King George;
for which they gave me the reasons above-mentioned; at the same time
complaining bitterly of the hardships they suffered under the Queen's
last ministry.

I return from this digression to the modest demands of the Presbyterians
for a repeal of the Sacramental Test, as a reward for their merits at
the Restoration and the Revolution; which merits I have fairly
represented as well as my memory will allow me. If I have committed any
mistakes they must be of little moment. The facts and principal
circumstances are what I have obtained and digested, from reading the
histories of those times, written by each party; and many thousands have
done the same as well as I, who I am sure have in their minds drawn the
same conclusions.

This is the faction, and these the men, who are now resuming their
applications, and giving in their bills of merit to both kingdoms upon
two points, which of all others, they have the least pretensions to
offer. I have collected the facts with all possible impartiality, from
the current histories of those times; and have shewn, although very
briefly, the gradual proceedings of those sectaries under the
denomination of Puritans, Presbyterians, and Independents, for about the
space of an hundred and eighty years, from the beginning of Queen
Elizabeth to this present time. But, notwithstanding all that can be
said, these very schismatics (for such they are in temporals as well as
spirituals) are now again expecting, soliciting, and demanding, (not
without insinuating threats, according to their custom) that the
Parliament should fix them upon an equal foot with the Church
established. I would fain know to what branch of the legislature they
can have the forehead to apply. Not to my lords the bishops; who must
have often read, how the predecessors of this very faction, acting upon
the same principles, drove the whole bench out of the house; who were
then, and hitherto continue one of the three estates. Not to the
temporal peers, the second of the three estates; who must have heard,
that, immediately after those rebellious fanatics had murdered their
king, they voted a House of Lords to be useless and dangerous, and would
let them sit no longer, otherwise than when elected as commoners: Not to
the House of Commons; who must have heard, that in those fanatic times
the Presbyterian and Independent commanders in the army, by military
power, expelled all the moderate men out of the house, and left a Rump
to govern the nation. Lastly, not to the Crown, which those very saints
destined to rule the earth, trampled under their feet, and then in cold
blood murdered the blessed wearer.

But, the session now approaching, and a clan of dissenting teachers
being come up to town from their northern headquarters, accompanied by
many of their elders and agents, and supported by a general
contribution, to solicit their establishment, with a capacity of holding
all military as well as civil employments; I think it high time, that
this paper should see the light. However, I cannot conclude without
freely confessing, that if the Presbyterians should obtain their ends, I
could not be sorry to find them mistaken in the point which they have
most at heart by the repeal of the Test; I mean the benefit of
employments. For, after all, what assurance can a Scottish northern
dissenter, born on Irish ground, have, that he shall be treated with as
much favour as a true Scot born beyond the Tweed?

I am ready enough to believe that all I have said will avail but little.
I have the common excuse of other men, when I think myself bound by all
religious and civil ties, to discharge my conscience, and to warn my
countrymen upon this important occasion. It is true, the advocates for
this scheme promise a new world, after this blessed work shall be
completed: that all animosities and faction must immediately drop; that
the only distinction in this kingdom will then be of Papist and
Protestant. For, as to Whig and Tory, High Church and Low Church,
Jacobite and Hanoverian, Court and Country party, English and Irish
interests, Dissenters and Conformists, New Light and Old Light,
Anabaptist and Independent, Quaker and Muggletonian, they will all meet
and jumble together into a perfect harmony, at the sessions and assizes,
on the bench and in the revenues; and upon the whole, in all civil and
military trust, not excepting the great councils of the nation. For it
is wisely argued thus, that a kingdom being no more than a larger knot
of friends met together, it is against the rules of good manners to shut
any person out of the company, except the Papists; who profess
themselves of another club.

I am at a loss to know what arts the Presbyterian sect intends to use,
in convincing the world of their loyalty to kingly government; which
long before the prevalence, or even the birth of their independent
rivals, as soon as the King's forces were overcome, declared their
principles to be against monarchy, as well as Episcopacy and the House
of Lords, even till the King was restored: At which event, although they
were forced to submit to the present power, yet I have not heard that
they did ever, to this day, renounce any one principle by which their
predecessors then acted; yet this they have been challenged to do, or at
least to shew that others have done it for them, by a certain
doctor,[13] who, as I am told, has much employed his pen in the like
disputes. I own, they will be ready enough to insinuate themselves into
any government: But, if they mean to be honest and upright, they will
and must endeavour by all means, which they shall think lawful, to
introduce and establish their own scheme of religion, as nearest
approaching to the word of God, by casting out all superstitious
ceremonies, ecclesiastical titles, habits, distinctions, and
superiorities, as rags of Popery; in order to a thorough reformation;
and, as in charity bound, to promote the salvation of their countrymen:
wishing with St. Paul, that the whole kingdom were as they are. But what
assurance will they please to give, that when their sect shall become
the national established worship, they will treat Us Dissenters as we
have treated them? Was this their course of proceeding during the
dominion of the saints? Were not all the remainders of the Episcopal
Church in those days, especially the clergy, under a persecution for
above a dozen years, equal to that of the primitive Christians under
heathen emperors? That this proceeding was suitable to their principles,
is known enough; for many of their preachers then writ books expressly
against allowing any liberty of conscience, in a religion different from
their own; producing many arguments to prove that opinion; and among the
rest one frequently insisted on; that allowing such a liberty would be
to establish iniquity by a law: Many of these writings are yet to be
seen;[14] and I hear, have been quoted by the doctor above mentioned.

[Footnote 13: Dr. Tisdal, in a tract entitled, "The Case of the
Sacramental Test stated and argued." Tisdal died 4th June, 1736. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 14: See many hundred quotations to prove this, in the treatise
called "Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence." [Note in Faulkner's
edition, 1738.]]

As to their great objection of prostituting that holy institution, the
blessed Sacrament, by way of a test before admittance into any
employment; I ask, whether they would not be content to receive it after
their own manner, for the office of a judge, for that of a commissioner
in the revenue, for a regiment of horse, or to be a lord justice? I
believe they would scruple it as little, as a long grace before and
after dinner; which they can say without bending a knee; for, as I have
been told, their manner of taking bread and wine in their conventicles,
is performed with little more solemnity than at their common meals. And,
therefore, since they look upon our practice in receiving the elements,
to be idolatrous; they neither can, nor ought, in conscience, to allow
us that liberty, otherwise than by connivance, and a bare toleration,
like what is permitted to the Papists. But, lest we should offend them,
I am ready to change this test for another; although, I am afraid, that
sanctified reason is, by no means, the point where the difficulty
pinches; and only offered by pretended churchmen, as if they could be
content with our believing, that the impiety and profanation of making
the Sacrament a test, were the only objection. I therefore propose, that
before the present law be repealed, another may be enacted; that no man
shall receive any employment, before he swears himself to be a true
member of the Church of Ireland, in doctrine and discipline, &c., and,
that he will never frequent, or communicate with any other form of
worship. It shall likewise be further enacted, that whoever offends,
&c., shall be fined five hundred pounds, imprisoned for a year and a
day, and rendered incapable of all public trust for ever. Otherwise, I
do insist that those pious, indulgent, external professors of our
national religion, shall either give up that fallacious hypocritical
reason for taking off the Test; or freely confess, that they desire to
have a gate wide open for every sect, without any test at all, except
that of swearing loyalty to the King: Which, however, considering their
principles, with regard to monarchy yet unrenounced, might, if they
would please to look deep enough into their own hearts, prove a more
bitter test than any other that the law hath yet invented.

For, from the first time that these sectaries appeared in the world, it
hath been always found, by their whole proceeding, that they professed
an utter hatred to kingly government. I can recollect, at present, three
civil establishments, where Calvinists, and some other reformers who
rejected Episcopacy, possess the supreme power; and, these are all
republics; I mean Holland, Geneva, and the reformed Swiss cantons. I do
not say this in diminution, or disgrace to commonwealths; wherein, I
confess, I have much altered many opinions under which I was educated,
having been led by some observation, long experience, and a thorough
detestation for the corruptions of mankind: Insomuch, that I am now
justly liable to the censure of Hobbes, who complains, that the youth of
England imbibe ill opinions, from reading the histories of Ancient
Greece and Rome, those renowned scenes of liberty and every virtue.

But, as to monarchs; who must be supposed well to study and understand
their own interest; they will best consider, whether those people, who
in all their actions, preachings, and writings, have openly declared
themselves against regal power, are to be safely placed in an equal
degree of favour and trust with those who have been always found the
true and only friends to the English establishment. From which
consideration, I could have added one more article to my new test, if I
had thought it worth my time.

I have been assured by some persons who were present, that several of
these dissenting teachers, upon their first arrival hither to solicit
the repeal of the Test, were pleased to express their gratitude, by
publicly drinking the healths of certain eminent patrons, whom they
pretend to have found among us; if this be true, and that the Test must
be delivered up by the very commanders appointed to defend it, the
affair is already, in effect, at an end. What secret reasons those
patrons may have given for such a return of brotherly love, I shall not
inquire: "For, O my soul come not thou into their secret, unto their
assembly mine honour be not thou united. For in their anger they slew a
man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their
anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel; I will
divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel."

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****






This tract occupies Nos. iii. and iv. of a periodical paper called "The
Correspondent," originally printed at Dublin "by James Hoey in
Skinner-Row, 1733." The text here given is that of the original
"Correspondent"; that given by Scott and Nichols is evidently taken from
the London reprint. It will be seen that the matter as it was originally
printed contains much more than was afterwards reprinted. I have
indicated in footnotes where Scott's omissions occur. The title of the
periodical runs: "The Correspondent, No. iii. [No. iv.] Humbly inscribed
to the Conforming Nobility and Gentry of Ireland." Nos. i. and ii. dealt
with "Old and New Light Presbyterians"; but these are not by Swift. In
Nichols's edition this pamphlet appears in the second volume of the
"Supplement to Dr. Swift's Works," 1779, p. 307. See note to the
previous pamphlet, where the question of the date of the first
publication of this tract is discussed. It may be, as Monck Mason
suggests ("History of St. Patrick's," p. 389, note h), that a separate
and second edition of this "Narrative" was likewise printed, of the same
size as "The Presbyterians' Plea," and bound up, occasionally with that
pamphlet; but such an edition I have never seen. The only reprint of the
time examined, is that by A. Dodd, of Temple Bar, affixed to the second
London edition of "The Presbyterians' Plea of Merit," and the date of
which may be put down to 1734.



My intention is in this and some following "Correspondents," to
vindicate the Test Act, from the insolent aspersions which are thrown
upon it, and to answer objections, which are raised against it,
particularly by an anonymous author, in a paper entitled, "The Nature
and Consequence of the Sacramental Test considered," &c., printed _anno_
1731, upon the opening of the last session of parliament, and now

As a proper introduction to this, I must take leave to put the
conformists in mind, of what (upon recollection) they may very well
remember, and which in some measure they have been formerly apprised of,
and that is in[1] a narrative of the several attempts, which the
Dissenters of Ireland have made, for a repeal of the Sacramental Test.

When the oath of supremacy was repealed which had been the Church's
great security since the second of Queen Elizabeth, against both Papists
and Presbyterians, who equally refused it, I presume it is no secret now
to tell the reader, that the repeal of that oath opened a sluice and let
in such a current of dissenters into some of our corporations, as bore
down all before them.

[Footnote 1: From the beginning of this paragraph to the word "in" is
omitted in the editions issued by Scott and Nichols. The words "A
Narrative... Sacramental Test" are used by Scott as part of the
sub-title of the tract; but he adds the date, 1731. This is a mistake,
since "The Correspondent" appeared in 1733; and if it did appear in the
second edition of "The Plea," that edition was published either in the
same or in the following year. [T.S.]]

Although the Sacramental Test had been for a considerable time in force
in England, yet that law did not reach Ireland, where the Church was
more oppressed by dissenters; and where her most sanguine friends were
glad to compound, to preserve what legal security she had left, rather
than to attempt any new, or even to recover what she had lost: And in
truth they had no reason to expect it, at a time when the dissenters had
the interest to have a motion made and debated in parliament, that there
might be a temporary repeal of all the penal laws against them, and when
they were so flushed with the conquest they had made in some
corporations, as to reject all overtures of a toleration; and to that
end, had employed Mr. Boyse[2] to write against it with the utmost
contempt, calling it "a stone instead of bread; a serpent instead of a

[Footnote 2: In his note Scott calls him "Samuel" Boyse, but he is
distinctly mentioned further on in the tract as "Jo: Boyse." The Rev.
Joseph Boyse was a native of Leeds, who had settled in Dublin in 1683 as
joint-pastor with Dr. Daniel Williams. He died in poverty in 1728; and
in the same year his works were published in two folio volumes. His son,
Samuel Boyse, the poet, died in 1749. [T.S.]]

When the Church was in this situation, the clause of the Sacramental
Test was happily sent over from England, tacked to the Popery Bill,
which alarmed the whole body of the dissenters to that degree, that
their managers began to ply with the greatest artifice, and industry, to
prevent its passing into a law. But (to the honour of that parliament be
it spoken), the whole body of both Lords and Commons (some few excepted)
passed the clause with great readiness, and defended it afterwards with
as great resolution.

The immediate consequence of this law was the recovery of several
corporations, which the conformists had given to the dissenters, and the
preservation of others, to which the "enterprising people" had made very
bold and quick approaches.

It was hoped that this signal defeat would have discouraged the
dissenters from any further attempts against a law, which had so
unanimously passed both houses: But the contrary soon appeared. For,
upon meeting of the Parliament, held by the Earl of Pembroke,[3] they
quickly reassumed their wonted courage and confidence, and made no
doubt, but they should either procure an absolute repeal thereof, or get
it so far relaxed, as that they might be admitted to offices of military
trust: To this, they apprehended themselves encouraged by a paragraph in
his Excellency's speech to both Houses (which they applied to
themselves) which was, "That the Queen would be glad of any expedient,
for strengthening the interests of her Protestant subjects of Ireland."

[Footnote 3: It will be remembered that the earl's viceroyalty commenced
April 7th, 1707. It was in his train that Swift came to England in that

The advocates for the dissenters immediately took hold of this handle,
and in order to prepare the way for this expedient, insisted boldly upon
their merit and loyalty, charged the Church with persecution, and
extolled their signal behaviour in the late Revolution, to that degree,
as if by their signal prowess, they had saved the nation.

But all this, was only to prepare the way for the grand engine, which
was forming to beat down this law; and that was their expedient

The first of this kind was, from a provincial synod of the northern
dissenters, beginning with high encomiums upon themselves, and as high
demands from the public, "for their untainted loyalty in all turns of
government," which they said, was "the natural consequence of their
known principles"; expressions, which, had they been applied to them by
their adversaries, must have been understood as spoken ironically, and
indeed to have been the greatest sarcasm imaginable upon them;
especially, when we consider the insolent treatment given to her Majesty
in the very same address; for immediately after they pass this
compliment upon themselves, they tell her Majesty, they deeply regret
the Sacramental Test; and frankly declared, that neither the gentlemen,
nor people of their persuasion, could (they must mean _would_) serve
her, whatever exigencies might arise, unless that law was repealed.

The managers for the kirk, following this precedent, endeavoured to
obtain addresses to the same purpose from the corporations, and though
they proved unsuccessful in most, they procured them from several of our
most considerable conforming corporations; and that too at a critical
juncture, when numbers of Scotch Presbyterians, who had deserved well in
the affair of the Union, and could not be rewarded in England (where the
Test Act was in force) stood ready to overrun our preferments as soon as
the Test should be repealed in Ireland.

But after all when it came to a decisive trial in the House of Commons,
the dissenters were defeated.

When the managers found the House of Commons could not be brought into
that scheme of an expedient, to be offered by them; their refinement
upon this, was, to move for an address, "That the House would accept of
an expedient from her Majesty," but this also was rejected; for by this
project, the managers would have led the Queen into this dilemma, either
to disoblige the whole body of the dissenters, by refusing to name the
expedient, or else to give up the conformists to the insults and
encroachments of the dissenters, by the repeal of that law, which was
declared by the House of Lords, to be the great security of the
Established Church, and of the English interest of Ireland.

The next attempt they made against the Test was during the government of
Lord Wharton.[4]

[Footnote 4: Wharton was appointed Lord Lieutenant on November 25th,
1708. This Wharton is the Thomas, Lord Wharton, against whom Swift wrote
one of his bitterest and most personal attacks. He was the eldest son of
Philip, Lord Wharton, and was created a marquis by George I. He died
April 12th, 1715. The ballad of "Lillibullero" is attributed to him.

The dissenters seemed more resolute now than ever, to have the Test
repealed, especially when his Excellency had declared from the throne,
"that they were neither to be persecuted nor molested." For they who had
all along called the Test Act a persecution, might reasonably conclude
that grievance would be removed; when they were told by the chief
governor, that they were not to be even "molested." But to their great
confusion, they were soon undeceived, when they found upon trial, that
the House of Commons, would not bear the least motion towards it.

Their movements to repeal the Test Act being stopped this way; the
managers were obliged to take several other ways to come at it: And at
the time, that some pretended to soothe, others seemed to threaten even
the legislature, with a view, (as must be presumed) that those, whom
they could not cajole, might be frightened into it.[5]

[Footnote 5: Scott omits the words from "with a view" to the end of the
paragraph. [T.S.]]

There happened about the time, when the project of the expedient was on
foot, an excellent occasion, to express their resentments against this
law, and that was, when great numbers of them refused the oath of
allegiance, and to oppose the Pretender; insisting upon a repeal of the
Test Act, as the condition of their arming in defence of their Queen and

The government was not reduced to such straits, as to submit to that
condition; and the Test stood firm, in spite of both the dissenters and
the Pretender, until the latter was driven from our coasts: And then,
one would have thought the hopes of the former, would have vanished with

But it proved quite contrary: For those sons of the earth, rebounding
with fresh vigour from their falls, recovered new strength and spirit
from every defeat, and the next attempt was bolder (considering the
circumstances they were in) than any they had made before.

The case was this: The House of Lords of Ireland had accused them to the
Queen of several illegal practices, which highly concerned the safety of
our constitution, both in church and state: The particulars of which
charge, were summed up in a representation from the Lords to this

"That they (the dissenters) had opposed and persecuted the conformists,
in those parts where their power prevailed, had invaded their
congregations, propagated their schism in places where it had not the
least footing formerly; that they were protected from a legal
prosecution by a _noli prosequi_ in the case of Drogheda."

"That they refused to take conforming apprentices, and confined trade
among themselves, exclusive of the conformists."

"That in their illegal assemblies they had prosecuted and censured their
people for being married according to law."

"That they have thrown public and scandalous reflections upon the
Episcopal order, and upon our laws, particularly the Sacramental Test,
and had misapplied the royal bounty of £1,200 _per annum_, in
propagating their schism, and undermining the Church: And had exercised
an illegal jurisdiction in their Presbyteries and Synods," &c.

To this representation of the Lords, the dissenters remonstrate in an
address to the Queen, or rather an appeal to their own people, in which,
although it is evident, they were conscious of those crimes whereof they
stood accused, as appears by the evasions they make to this high charge.
Yet even under these circumstances (such was their modesty) they pressed
for a repeal of the Test Act, by the modest appellation of a grievance
and odious mark of infamy, &c. Of which more hereafter. There is one
particular in another address which I cannot omit. The House of Lords in
their representation, had accused one dissenting teacher in particular
(well known to Mr. Boyse). The charge was in these words:

"Nor has the legislature itself escaped the censure of a bold author of
theirs, who has published in print, that the Sacramental Test is only an
engine to advance a state faction, and to debase religion, to serve base
and unworthy purposes."

To this, Mr. Boyse answers, in an address to the Queen, in the year
1712, subscribed only by himself, and five more dissenting teachers, in
these words.

"As to this part of their Lordships' complaint, we beg leave to lay
before your Majesty the words of that author, which are these.

"'Nor can we altogether excuse those, who turn the holy Eucharist into
an engine, to advance a state faction, and endeavour to confine the
communion table of our Lord, by their arbitrary enclosures to a party;
religion is thereby debased to serve mean and unworthy purposes.' We
humbly conceive that the author in that passage, makes no mention of the
legislature at all, &c., and we cannot omit on this occasion, to regret
it, as the great unhappiness of this kingdom, that dissenters should now
be disabled from concurring in the defence of it, in any future exigency
and danger, and should have the same infamy put upon them with the Irish

"We therefore humbly hope, that your Majesty shall consider, how little
real grounds there are for those complaints made by their Lordships."

What a mixture of impudence and prevarication is this! That one
dissenting teacher accused to his prince of having censured the
legislature, should presume, backed only by five more of the same
quality and profession, to transcribe the guilty paragraph, and (to
secure his meaning from all possibility of being mistaken,) annex
another to it; wherein, they rail at that very law, for which he in so
audacious a manner censured the Queen and Parliament, and at the same
time should expect to be acquitted by her Majesty, because he had not
mentioned the word "legislature": 'Tis true the word legislature is not
expressed in that paragraph; but let Mr. Boyse[6] say, what other power
but the legislature, could in this sense, "turn the holy Eucharist into
an engine to advance a state faction, or confine offices of trust, or
the communion table of our Lord, by their arbitrary enclosures, to a
party." It is plain he can from his principles intend no others, but the
legislators of the Sacramental Test; though at the same time I freely
own, that this is a vile description of them: For neither have they by
this law, made the Sacramental Test an engine to advance, but rather to
depress a state faction, nor have they made any arbitrary enclosures, of
the communion table of our Lord, since as many as please, may receive
the Sacrament with us in our churches; and those who will not, may
freely, as before, receive it in their separate congregations: Nor in
the last place, is religion hereby debased, to serve mean and unworthy
purposes; nor is it any more than all lawgivers do, by enjoining an oath
of allegiance, and making that a religious test. For an oath is an act
of religious worship as well as the Eucharist.

[Footnote 6: Scott remarks that "Mr. Boyse is here and in other places,
spoken of as alive, which was the case, I presume, when the tract first
appeared in 'The Correspondent.'" The tract, however, was printed in
the periodical in 1733, and Boyse died in 1728. It may be that when Swift
first wrote "The Narrative," Mr. Boyse was alive; in that case its date
must be put down to an earlier year than either 1733 or even 1731. Or it
may be that the style of so referring to Boyse was used for an
argumentative effect, to appeal to any reader who was in sympathy with
Boyse's opinions. [T.S.]]

Upon the whole, is not this an instance of prodigious boldness in Mr.
Boyse, backed with only five dissenting teachers, thus to recriminate
upon the Irish House of Lords (as they were pleased to call them in the
title of their printed address,) and almost to insist with her Majesty,
upon the repeal of a law, which she had stamped with her royal
authority, but a few years before?

The[7] next instance, of the resolution of the dissenters, against this
law, was the attempt made during the government of the Duke of

[Footnote 7: From this paragraph to the end is taken from "The
Correspondent," No. iv. The text as given by Scott is considerably
altered from that which appeared in the periodical. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 8: From September, 1713, until the Queen's death in 1714.

This attack was by the whole compacted body, of their teachers and
elders, with a formidable engine, called a "representation of
grievances," in which, after they had reviled the Test Act, with the
same odious appellations, and insisted upon the same insolent arguments,
for the repeal thereof, which they had formerly urged to the Queen: They
expressed themselves to his Grace in these words:

"We beg leave to say, that those persons must be inexcusable, and
chargeable, with all the bad consequences that may follow, who in such a
kingdom as this, disable, disgrace, and divide Protestants; a thing that
ought not to be done at any time, or in any place, much less than in
this," &c.

Is it possible to conceive any thing more provoking than this humble
supplication of these remonstrators? Does not this sound like a demand
of the repeal of the Test, at the peril of those, who dare refuse it? Is
it not an application with a hat in one hand, and a sword in the other,
and that too, in the style of a King of Ulster, to a King of Connaught,
--"Repeal the Test, or if you don't........."

But to proceed in this narrative: Notwithstanding the defeat of the
dissenters in England, in their late attempt against the Test, their
brethren in Ireland, are so far from being discouraged, that they seem
now to conceive greater hopes of having it repealed here, than ever.[9]
What grounds they have for these hopes, was a secret to us, and I
presume, to themselves; however private whispers begin now to grow into
general rumours, and their managers proceed with great art and
assiduity, from feeling of pulses, to telling of noses.

[Footnote 9: From this word to the end of this paragraph is omitted by

In order to prepare necessaries, and furnish topics for this attempt,
there was a paper printed upon the opening of last session, and now
republished; entitled, "The Nature and Consequences of the Sacramental
Test considered, with reasons humbly offered for the Repeal

[Footnote 10: This pamphlet was reprinted in London in 1732. See note
prefixed to "The Presbyterians' Plea of Merit" [T.S.]]

It is not my intention, to follow this author, through all the mazes and
windings of his reasoning upon this subject, which (in truth) seem such
incoherent shreds, that it is impossible to tie them together; and
therefore, what I purpose is, to answer such objections to the Test, as
are advanced either by this author, or any other which have any
appearance of reason, or plausibility.

I know it is not prudent to despise an adversary, nor fair to prepossess
readers, before I show this bold and insolent writer, in his proper
figure and dress; and therefore, however I may take him to be a feeble
advocate for the repeal of the Test, in point of reasoning, yet I freely
allow him to be a most resolute champion in point of courage, who has,
with such intrepidity, attacked, not only the first enactors of this
law, but all such, who shall continue it, by giving their negatives to a
repeal. I will in this "Correspondent" only transcribe a few quotations
from this author, to shew the gallantry of this aggressor.

Page the 19th[11] he says: "the truth is the imposition of the Test, and
continuing it in such a state of the kingdom, appears (at first sight,)
so great an absurdity in politics, as can never be accounted for."

[Footnote 11: Page 23 in edition London, 1732. [T.S.]]

Who are these absurd politicians? Who first passed, and secondly
continue the Sacramental Test, in all the preceding attempts of the
Dissenters to repeal it? Are they not the majority of both Houses of

[Footnote 12: Omitted by Scott in his edition, 1824. [T.S.]]

But to strengthen his reflections, page 26,[13] he gives the whole
legislature to understand, that continuing the Test, does not become the
wisdom, and justice of the legislature, under the pretence of its being
for the advantage of the state, when it is really prejudicial to it; and
further tells us, it infringes on the indisputable rights of the

[Footnote 13: Pp. 32-33 in London reprint. Scott places passages here in
quotation marks, the original in "The Correspondent" has no such marks,
nor are the passages quoted verbatim from the pamphlet referred

Page, the 57th,[14] he says, "The gentlemen of the House of Commons, who
framed the bill, to prevent the farther growth of Popery, instead of
approving the Test clause which was inserted, publicly declared their
dislike to it, and their resolution to take the first opportunity of
repealing it, though at that time they unwillingly passed it, rather
than lose a bill they were so fond of. This resolution has not been as
yet fulfilled, for what reasons, our worthy patriots themselves know

[Footnote 14: P. 71 in London reprint [T.S.]]

I should be glad this author would inform us, who, and how many of those
members joined in this resolution, to repeal the Test; or where that
resolution is to be found, which he mentions twice in the same
paragraph; surely not in the books of the House of Commons!

If not, suppose some few gentlemen in the House of Commons, and to be
sure very few they were, who publicly declared their dislike to it, or
entered into any resolution; this, I think, he should have explained,
and not insinuated so gross a reflection on a great majority of the
House of Commons, who first passed this law, and have ever since opposed
all attempts to repeal it; these are the gentleman whom, in sarcasm and
irony, he is pleased to call the "worthy," that is, the unworthy
patriots themselves.

But to mention no more, he concludes his notable piece, with these
remarkable words, pages 62-63.[15]

[Footnote 15: P. 79 of London reprint. [T.S.]]

"Thus it appears, with regard to the Protestant succession, which has
now happily taken place, how reasonable it is to repeal the Sacramental
Test, and that granting that favour to the Dissenters," which, by the
way, cannot be granted but by parliament; "can be disagreeable to none,
who have a just sense of the many blessings we enjoy, by the Protestant
succession, in his Majesty's royal family."

I will not trouble the reader with any more quotations, to the same
purpose, out of this libel, for so I must now call it, but take leave to
make some general observations on those paragraphs I have mentioned.

[Footnote: This paragraph is omitted by Scott. [T.S.]]

I conceive, it will be readily allowed, that in all applications, either
from any body of men, or from any particular subject to the legislature,
or any branch thereof, we are to take the highest encomiums as purely
complimental; if there be the least insinuation of disrespect or
reflection therein, in such cases I say, you are to take the compliments
in the lowest sense, but all the reflections in the highest sense the
expressions can bear; inasmuch as, the first may be presumed matter of
form, the latter must be matter of resentment.

[Footnote: This paragraph is much curtailed by Scott, who combines it
with the next paragraph of the present text. [T.S.]]

Now, if we apply this observation, to what this bold adventurer has
said, with respect to the legislators, of the Sacramental Test; Does he
not directly and plainly charge them with injustice, imprudence, gross
absurdity and Jacobitism? Let the most prejudiced reader that is not
pre-determined against conviction, say, whether this libeller of the
parliament, has not drawn up a high charge against the makers and
continuers of this law.

It is readily allowed, that this has been the old style of these
champions, who have attacked the Test, as in the instances before
mentioned, with this difference, that he descends lower in his charge,
and has been more particular than any of his brethren.

[Footnote: This paragraph is omitted by Scott. [T.S.]]

Notwithstanding my resentment, which to be sure, he does not value, I
would be sorry he should bring upon himself the resentment of those he
has been so free with, and I cannot help advising him, to take all
possible care, and use all effectual means, to conjure the printer,
corrector, and publisher of this libel to secrecy; that however the
author may be suspected, he may not be discovered. Upon the whole, is
not this author, justly to be reputed a defamer, till he produces
instances wherein the conforming nobility and gentry of Ireland, have
shown their disaffection to the succession of the illustrious House of

Did they ever refuse the oath of abjuration, or support any conforming
nonjuring teachers in their congregations? Did ever any conforming
gentlemen, or common people, refuse to be arrayed, when the militia was
raised, upon the invasion of the Pretender? Did any of them ever shew
the least reluctance, or make any exception against their officers,
whether they were Dissenters or Churchmen?

It may be said, that from these insinuations, I would have it
understood, that the dissenters encouraged some of their teachers, who
refused the oath of abjuration; and that even in the article of danger,
when the Pretender made his attempt in Scotland, our northern
Presbyterians shewed great reluctance in taking arms, upon the array of

I freely own it is my intention; and I must affirm both facts to be
true, however they have the assurance to deny it.

What can be more notorious, than the protection, countenance, and
support, which was continued to Riddall, McBride, and McCrackan,[16] who
absolutely refused the oath of abjuration; and yet were continued to
teach in their congregations, after they returned from Scotland, when a
prosecution was directed, and a council in criminal causes, was sent
down to the county of Antrim to prosecute them.

[Footnote 16: Riddall, McBride, and McCrackan were three Presbyterian
clergymen who refused to take the oath of abjuring the Pretender. Of
Riddall and McCrackan little is known; but John McBride (1651?-1718)
(according to the writer in the "Dictionary of National Biography") was
born in Ulster, and graduated at Glasgow. He was a strong advocate of
the Hanoverian succession, but avoided the oath of abjuration, in 1703,
by retiring to Glasgow. He returned to Belfast in 1713, and died there.
His humorous excuse for non-abjuration is recorded by the writer of the
article in the Dictionary, and is worth repeating: "Once upon a time
there was a bearn, that cou'd not be persuaded to bann the de'el because
he did not know but he might soon come into his clutches." [T.S.]]

With respect to the parliament; did ever any House of Commons shew
greater alacrity in raising money, and equipping ships, in defence of
the King, than the last House did upon the expected invasion of the
Pretender? And did ever any parliament give money with greater
unanimity, for the support of the Crown, than the present has done,
whatever the wants of their private families might be? And must a very
great majority of those persons, be branded with the infamous aspersion
of disaffection to the illustrious House of Hanover, should they refuse
to give their voices for the repeal of the Test?

I am fully persuaded that this author, and his fellow-labourers, do not
believe one word of this heavy charge; but their present circumstances
are such, that they must run all hazards.

In many places their congregations are sub-divided, and have chosen an
_Old_ and _New Light_ teacher, and consequently those stipends must
support two, which were enjoyed by one before.[17]

[Footnote 17: This paragraph is omitted by Scott. [T.S.]]

A great number of the nonconforming gentlemen daily leave them, though
they have not made any convert to their persuasion, among the conforming
gentlemen of fortune; many who were nonconformists themselves, and many
men whose parents were elders, or rigid nonconformists, are now constant
communicants, and justices of peace in their several counties; insomuch,
that it is highly probable, should the Test continue twenty years
longer, there would not be a gentleman left to solicit a repeal.

I shall hereafter take occasion to shew, how inconsiderable they are,
for their numbers and fortunes, who can be served or obliged by this
repeal, which number is daily lessening.

The dissenting teachers are sufficiently aware, that the general
conformity of the gentlemen, will be followed, by the conformity of
numbers of the people; and should it not be so, that they will be but
poorly supported by them; that by the continuance of the Test, "their
craft will be in danger to be set at nought," and in all probability,
will end in a general conformity of the Presbyterians to the Established

So that, they have the strongest reasons in the world, to press for the
repeal of the Test; but those reasons, must have equal force for the
continuance of it, with all that wish the peace of the Church and State,
and would not have us torn in pieces, with endless and causeless

There is one short passage more, I had like to have omitted, which our
author leaves as a sting in the tail of his libel; his words are these,
page 59th.[18]

[Footnote 18: P. 74 in London reprint. [T.S.]]

"The truth is, no one party of a religious denomination, in Britain or
Ireland, were so united, as they, (the dissenters) indeed, no one, but
they, in an inviolable attachment to the Protestant succession." To
detect the folly of this assertion, I subjoin the following letter from
a person of known integrity, and inviolably attached to the Protestant
succession, as any dissenter in the kingdom, I mean Mr. Warreng of
Warrengstown, then a member of parliament, and commissioner of array, in
the county of Down, upon the expected invasion of the Pretender.

This letter was writ in a short time after the array, of the militia,
for the truth of which I refer to Mr. Warreng himself.


"That I may fulfil your desire, by giving you an account, how the
dissenters in my neighbourhood behaved themselves, when we were
threatened with an invasion of the Pretender. Be pleased to know, that
upon an alarm given of his being landed near Derry, none were more
zealous and ready in setting watch and keeping guard, than they, to
prevent such disorders, as might happen at that time, by ill-designing
persons, passing through, and disturbing the peace of the country.

"But when the government thought fit, to have the kingdom arrayed, and
sent commissioners into these parts, some time after it appeared, that
the dissenters had, by that time, been otherwise instructed, for several
who were so forward before, behaved themselves after a very different
manner, some refusing, and others with reluctancy, appearing upon the
array, to be enlisted, and serve in the militia.

"This behaviour surprised me so much, that I took occasion to discourse
several of them, over whom, I thought I had as much influence, as any
other person, and found them upon the common argument, of having their
hands tied up by a late act of parliament, &c. _Whereupon I took some
pains to shew the act to them, and wherein they were mistaken._ I
further pressed their concurrence with us, in procuring the common peace
and security of our country, and though they seemed convinced by what I
said, yet I was given to understand, their behaviour was according to
the sentiments of some persons, whom they thought themselves obliged to
observe, or be directed by, &c."

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****





    Very proper to be read (at this Time) by every Member of the
    Established Church.


The text of this tract is based on that of the original broadside,
collated with those given by Faulkner and Scott. In 1733 was also
published a broadside with the title: "Queries upon the Demand of the
Presbyterians to have the Sacramental Test repealed at this Session of
Parliament." These queries seem to be based on those by Swift, though
they are not quite the same.


  IN THE YEAR 1732.


Whether hatred and violence between parties in a state be not more
inflamed by different views of interest, than by the greater or lesser
differences between them, either in religion or government?

Whether it be any part of the question, at this time, which of the two
religions is worse, Popery, or Fanaticism; or not rather, which of the
two, (having both the same good will) is in the hopefullest condition to
ruin the Church?

Whether the sectaries, whenever they come to prevail, will not ruin the
Church as infallibly and effectually as the Papists?

Whether the prevailing sectaries could allow liberty of conscience to
Dissenters, without belying all their former practice, and almost all
their former writings?

Whether many hundred thousand Scotch Presbyterians, are not full as
virulent against the Episcopal Church, as they are against the Papists;
or, as they would have us think, the Papists are against them?

Whether the Dutch, who are most distinguished for allowing liberty of
conscience, do ever admit any persons, who profess a different scheme of
worship from their own, into civil employments; although they _may_ be
forced by the nature of their government, to receive mercenary troops of
all religions?

Whether the Dissenters ever pretended, until of late years, to desire
more than a bare toleration?

Whether, if it be true, what a sorry pamphleteer asserts, who lately
writ for repealing the Test, that the Dissenters in this kingdom are
equally numerous with the Churchmen: It would not be a necessary point
of prudence, by all proper and lawful means to prevent their further

The great argument given by those whom they call _Low_ Church men, to
justify the large tolerations allowed to Dissenters, hath been; that by
such indulgencies, the rancour of those sectaries would gradually wear
off, many of them would come over to us, and their parties, in a little
time, crumble to nothing.


If what the above pamphleteer asserts, that the sectaries, are in equal
numbers with conformists, it doth not clearly follow, that those
repeated tolerations, have operated directly contrary to what those
_Low_ Church politicians pretended to foresee and expect.

Whether any clergyman, however dignified or distinguished, if he think
his own profession most agreeable to Holy Scriptures, and the primitive
Church, can really wish in his heart, that all sectaries should be upon
an equal foot with the Churchmen, in the point of civil power and

Whether Episcopacy, which is held by the Church to be a divine and
apostolic institution, be not a fundamental point of religion,
particularly in that essential one of conferring holy orders?

Whether, by necessary consequences, the several expedients among the
sectaries to constitute their teachers, are not absolutely null and

Whether the sectaries will ever agree to accept ordination only from

Whether the bishops and clergy will be content to give up Episcopacy, as
a point indifferent, without which the Church can well subsist?

Whether that great tenderness towards sectaries, which now so much
prevails, be chiefly owing to the fears of Popery, or to that spirit of
atheism, deism, scepticism, and universal immorality, which all good men
so much lament?

Granting Popery to have many more errors in religion than any one branch
of the sectaries; let us examine the actions of both, as they have each
affected the peace of these kingdoms, with allowance for the short time
which the sectaries had to act in, who are in a manner _but of
yesterday_. The Papists in the time of King James II. used all
endeavours to establish their superstition; wherein they failed, by the
united power of English Church protestants, with the Prince of Orange's
assistance. But it cannot be asserted, that these bigotted Papists had
the least design to depose or murder their King, much less to abolish
kingly government; nor was it their interest or inclination to attempt

On the other side the Puritans, who had almost from the beginning of
Queen Elizabeth's reign, been a perpetual thorn in the Church's side,
joining with the Scotch enthusiasts, in the time of King Charles the
First, were the principal cause of the Irish rebellion and massacre, by
distressing that Prince, and making it impossible for him to send over
timely succours. And, after that pious Prince had satisfied his
Parliament in every single point to be complained of; the same sectaries
by poisoning the minds and affections of the people, with the most false
and wicked representations of their King, were able, in the compass of a
few years, to embroil the three nations in a bloody rebellion, at the
expense of many thousand lives; to turn the kingly power into anarchy;
or murder their Prince in the face of the world, and (in their own
style) to destroy the Church _root and branch_.

The account therefore stands thus. The Papists aimed at one pernicious
act, which was to destroy the Protestant religion; wherein, by God's
mercy, and the assistance of our glorious King William, they absolutely
failed. The sectaries attempted the three most infernal actions, that
could possibly enter into the hearts of men, forsaken by God; which
were, the murder of a most pious King, the destruction of our monarchy,
and the extirpation of the Church; and succeeded in them all.

Upon which, I put the following queries. Whether any of those sectaries
have ever yet in a solemn public manner, renounced any one of those
principles upon which their predecessors then acted?

Whether, considering the cruel persecutions of the Episcopal Church,
during the course of that horrid rebellion and the consequences of it,
until the happy Restoration; is it not manifest, that the persecuting
spirit lieth so equally divided between the Papists and the sectaries,
that a feather would turn the balance on either side?

And, therefore, lastly, Whether any person of common understanding, who
professeth himself a member of the Church established, although,
perhaps, with little inward regard to any religion (which is too often
the case) if he loveth the peace and welfare of his country; can, after
cool thinking, rejoice to see a power placed again in the hands of so
restless, so ambitious, and so merciless a faction, to act over all the
same parts a second time?

Whether the candour of that expression, so frequent of late in sermons
and pamphlets, of the "strength and number of the Papists in Ireland,"
can be justified? For as to their number, however great, it is always
magnified in proportion to the zeal, or politics, of the speaker and
writer; but it is a gross imposition upon common reason, to terrify us
with their strength. For Popery, under the circumstances it lieth in
this kingdom; although it be offensive, and inconvenient enough, from
the consequences it hath to increase the rapine, sloth and ignorance, as
well as poverty of the natives; is not properly dangerous in that sense,
as some would have us take it; because it is universally hated by every
party of a different religious profession. It is the contempt of the
wise: The best topic for clamours of designing men: But the real terror
only of fools. The landed Popish interest in England, far exceedeth that
among us, even in proportion to the wealth and extent of each kingdom.
The little that remaineth here, is daily dropping into Protestant hands,
by purchase or descent; and that affected complaint of counterfeit
converts, will fall with the cause of it in half a generation; unless it
be raised or kept alive, as a continual fund of merit and eloquence. The
Papists are wholly disarmed. They have neither courage, leaders, money,
or inclinations to rebel. They want every advantage which they formerly
possessed, to follow that trade; and wherein, even with those
advantages, they always miscarried. They appear very easy, and satisfied
under that connivance which they enjoyed during the whole last reign;
nor ever scrupled to reproach another party, under which they pretend to
have suffered so much severity.

Upon these considerations I must confess to have suspended much of my
pity towards the great dreaders of Popery; many of whom appear to be
hale, strong, active young men; who, as I am told, eat, drink, and sleep
heartily; and are very cheerful (as they have exceeding good reason)
upon all other subjects. However, I cannot too much commend the generous
concern, which, our neighbours and others, who come from the same
neighbourhood, are so kind to express for us upon this account; although
the former be further removed from the dangers of Popery, by twenty
leagues of salt water: But this, I fear, is a digression.

When an artificial report was raised here many years ago, of an intended
invasion by the Pretender, (which blew over after it had done its
office) the Dissenters argued in their talk, and in their pamphlets,
after this manner, applying themselves to those of the Church.
"Gentlemen, if the Pretender had landed, as the law now standeth, we
durst not assist you; and therefore, unless you take off the Test,
whenever you shall happen to be invaded in earnest, if we are desired to
take up arms in your defence, our answer shall be, Pray, gentlemen,
fight your own battles,[1] we will lie by quietly; conquer your enemies
by yourselves, if you can; we will not do your drudgery." This way of
reasoning I have heard from several of their chiefs and abettors, in an
hundred conversations; and have read it in twenty pamphlets: And, I am
confident, it will be offered again, if the project should fail to take
off the Test.

[Footnote 1: See note, p. 40, referring to the poem:

  "The Grunters' request
  To take off the Test." [T.S.]]

Upon which piece of oratory and reasoning I form the following query.
Whether, in case of an invasion from the Pretender (which is not quite
so probable as from the Grand Signior) the Dissenters can, with prudence
and safety, offer the same plea; except they shall have made a previous
stipulation with the invaders? And, Whether the full freedom of their
religion and trade, their lives, properties, wives and children, are
not, and have not always been reckoned sufficient motives for repelling
invasions, especially in our sectaries, who call themselves the truest
Protestants, by virtue of their pretended or real fierceness against

Whether omitting or neglecting to celebrate the day of the martyrdom of
the blessed King Charles the First, enjoined by Act of Parliament, can
be justly reckoned a particular and distinguishing mark of good
affection to the present government?

Whether in those churches, where the said day is observed, it will fully
answer the intent of the said Act; if the preacher shall commend,
excuse, palliate, or extenuate the murder of that royal Martyr; and lay
the guilt of that horrid rebellion, with all its consequences, the
following usurpations, the entire destruction of the Church, the cruel
and continual persecutions of those who could be discovered to profess
its doctrines, with the ensuing Babel of fanaticism, to the account of
that blessed King; who, by granting the Petition of Right, and passing
every bill that could be asked for the security of the subject, had, by
the confession even of those wicked men, before the war began, left them
nothing more to demand?

Whether such a preacher as I have named, (whereof there have been more
than _one_ not many years past, even in the presence of viceroys) who
takes that course as a means for promotion; may not be thought to step a
little out of the common road, in a monarchy where the descendants of
that most blessed Martyr have reigned to this day?

I ground the reason of making these queries, on the title of the act; to
which I refer the reader.

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****






Dublin, Printed; London, Re-printed for J. Roberts at the Oxford Arms in
Warwick Lane. 1732. (Price Six-pence.)


The text here given is that of the London reprint of the original
edition, which has been collated with that given by Faulkner (vol. iv.,
1735). In 1790 the tract was reprinted by J. Walters, and it is
evidently from this reprint that Scott obtained his text; for the two
agree in almost every particular.



Whoever writes impartially upon this subject, must do it not only as a
mere secular man, but as one who is altogether indifferent to any
particular system of Christianity. And, I think, in whatever country
that religion predominates, there is one certain form of worship and
ceremony, which is looked upon as the established, and consequently only
the priests of that particular form, are maintained at the public
charge, and all civil employments are bestowed among those who comply
(at least outwardly) with the same establishment.

This method is strictly observed, even by our neighbours the Dutch, who
are confessed to allow the fullest liberty to conscience of any
Christian state; and yet are never known to admit any persons into
religious or civil offices, who do not conform to the legal worship. As
to their military men, they are indeed not so scrupulous, being, by the
nature of their government, under a necessity of hiring foreign troops
of whatever religious denomination, upon every great emergency, and
maintaining no small number in time of peace.

This caution therefore of making one established faith, seems to be
universal, and founded upon the strongest reasons; the mistaken, or
affected zeal of obstinacy, and enthusiasm, having produced such a
number of horrible, destructive events, throughout all Christendom. For,
whoever begins to think the national worship is wrong, in any important
article of practice or belief, will, if he be serious, naturally have a
zeal to make as many proselytes as he can, and a nation may possibly
have an hundred different sects with their leaders; every one of which
hath an equal right to plead; they must "obey God rather than man," must
"cry aloud and spare not," must "lift up their voice like a trumpet"

This was the very case of England, during the fanatic times. And against
all this, there seems to be no defence, but that of supporting one
established form of doctrine and discipline; leaving the rest to a bare
liberty of conscience, but without any maintenance or encouragement from
the public.

Wherever this national religion grows so corrupt, or is thought to do so
by a very great majority of learned[1] people, joined to the governing
party, whether prince or senate, or both, it ought to be changed,
provided the work might be done without blood or tumults.[2] Yet,
whenever such a change shall be made, some other establishment must
succeed (although for the worse), allowing all deviations that would
break the union to be only tolerated. In this sense, those who affirm,
that every law, which is contrary to the law of God, is void in itself,
seem to be mistaken. For, many laws in Popish kingdoms and states, many
more among the Turks, and perhaps not a few in other countries, are
directly against the divine laws; and yet, God knows, are very far from
being void in the executive parts.

[Footnote 1: Scott has "landed." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 2: Scott has "confusion." [T.S.]]

Thus, for instance, if the three estates of Parliament in England
(whereof the lords spiritual[3] are one) should agree, and obtain the
royal assent to abolish Episcopacy, together with the liturgy, and the
whole frame of the English church, as "burthensome, dangerous, and
contrary to Holy Scripture"; and that Presbytery, Anabaptism, Quakerism,
Independency,[4] or any other subdivided sect among us, should be
established in its place; without question, all peaceable subjects ought
passively to submit, and the predominant sect must become the religion
established, the public maintaining no other teachers, nor admitting any
persons of a different religious profession, into civil offices; at
least, if their intention be to preserve the nation in peace.

[Footnote 3: Scott inserts here the words: "who represent the Church."

[Footnote 4: Scott inserts here "Muggletonianism, Brownism, Familism."

Supposing then, that the present system of religion were abolished; and
Presbytery, which stands much the fairest, with its synods and classes,
and all its forms and ceremonies, essential or circumstantial, were
erected into the national worship: Their teachers, and no others, could
have any legal claim to be supported at the public charge, whether by
stipends or tithes; and only the rest of the same faith to be capable of
civil employments.

If there be any true reasoning in what I have laid down, it should seem,
that the project now in agitation for repealing the Test Act, and yet
leaving the name of an establishment to the present national church, is
altogether inconsistent, and may admit of consequences, which those, who
are the most indifferent to any religion at all, are possibly not aware

I presume, whenever the Test shall be repealed, which obliges all men,
who enter into office under the Crown, to receive the sacrament
according to the rites of the Church of Ireland, the way to employments
will immediately be left open to all dissenters, (except Papists) whose
consciences can suffer them to take the common oaths in such cases
prescribed, after which they are qualified to fill any lay station in
this kingdom, from that of chief governor, to an exciseman.

Thus of the three judges on each bench, the first may be a Presbyterian,
the second a Free-will Baptist, and the third a Churchman; the Lord
Chancellor may be an Independent; the revenues may be managed by seven
commissioners of as many different sects; and the like of all other
employments. Not to mention the strong probability, that the lawfulness
of taking oaths may be _revealed_ to the Quakers, who then will stand
upon as good a foot for preferment, as any other loyal subject. It is
easy[5] to imagine, under such a motley administration of affairs, what
a clashing there will be of interests and inclinations, what puttings
and haulings backwards and forwards, what a zeal and bias in each
religionist, to advance his own tribe, and depress the others. For, I
suppose nothing will be readier granted, than that how indifferent
soever most men are in faith and morals, yet whether out of artifice,
natural complexion, or love of contradiction, none are more obstinate in
maintaining their own opinions, and worrying all who differ from them,
than those who publicly shew the least sense, either of religion or
common honesty.

[Footnote 5: Scott has "obvious." [T.S.]]

As to the latter, Bishop Burnet tells us, that the Presbyterians, in the
fanatic times, professed themselves to be above morality; which, as we
find in some of their writings, was numbered among the "beggarly
elements"; and accordingly at this day, no scruples of conscience with
regard to conformity, are in any trade or calling, inconsistent with the
greatest fraud, oppression, perjury, or any other vice.

This brings to my memory a passage in Montaigne, of a common prostitute,
who, in the storming of a town, when a soldier came up to her chamber,
and offered violence to her chastity, rather chose to venture her neck,
by leaping out of the window, than suffer a rape; yet still continued
her trade of lewdness, whilst she had any customers left.[6]

[Footnote 6: The passage referred to by Swift is to be found in the
first chapter of the second book of Florio's translation of Montaigne's
"Essays"--"Of the Inconstancie of our Actions." [T.S.]]

I confess, that in my private judgment, an unlimited permission of all
sects whatsoever (except Papists) to enjoy employments, would be less
pernicious to the public, than a fair struggle between two contenders;
because in the former case, such a jumble of principles, might possibly
have the effect of contrary poisons mingled together, which a strong
constitution might perhaps be able for some time to survive.

But however, I shall take the other, and more probable supposition, that
this battle for employments, is to be fought only between the
Presbyterians, and those of the church _yet_ established. I shall not
enter into the merits of either side, by examining which of the two is
the better spiritual economy, or which is most suited to the civil
constitution: But the question turns upon this point: When the
Presbyterians shall have got their share of employments (which, must be
one full half, or else they cannot look upon themselves as fairly dealt
with) I ask, whether they ought not by their own principles, and by the
strictest rules of conscience, to use the utmost of their skill, power,
and influence, in order to reduce the whole kingdom to an uniformity in
religion, both as to doctrine and discipline, most agreeable to the word
of God. Wherein, if they can succeed without blood (as, under the
present disposition of things, it is very possible they may) it is to be
hoped they will at last be satisfied: Only I would warn them of a few
difficulties. The first is for compromising that important controversy
about the _Old Light_ and the _New_;[7] which otherwise may, after this
establishment, split them as wide as Papist and Protestant, Whig and
Tory, or Churchmen and Dissenters; and consequently the work will be to
begin again. For in religious quarrels, it is of little moment how few
or small the differences are, especially when the dispute is only about
power. Thus the jealous Presbyterians of the north, are more alienated
from the established clergy, than from the Romish priests; taxing the
former with idolatrous worship, as disguised Papists, ceremony-mongers,
and many other terms of arts, and this for a very powerful reason,
because the clergy stand in their way, which the Popish priests do not.
Thus I am assured, that the quarrel between _Old_ and _New Light men_,
is managed with more rage and rancour, than any other dispute of the
highest importance; and this because it serves to lessen or increase
their several congregations, from whom they receive their contributions.

[Footnote 7: See "The Correspondent," Nos. 1 and 2, 1733, and note
prefixed to present reprint of "Narrative of Several Attempts for the
Repeal of the Sacramental Test" [T.S.]]

Another difficulty which may embarrass the Presbyterians after their
establishment, will be how to adjust their claim of the kirk's
independency on the civil power, with the constitution of this monarchy;
a point so delicate, that it hath often filled the heads of great
patriots with dangerous notions of the church-clergy, without the least
ground of suspicion.

As to the Presbyterians allowing liberty of conscience to those of
Episcopal principles, when their own kirk is predominant, their writers
are so universally agreed in the negative, as well as their practice
during Oliver's reign, that I believe no reasonable Churchman, (who must
then be a dissenter) will expect it.

I shall here take notice, that in the division of employments among the
Presbyterians, after this approaching repeal of the Test Act, supposing
them, in proper time, to have an equal share, I compute the odds will be
three or four to one on their side, in any further scheme they may have
towards making their religion national. For I reckon, all those
gentlemen sent over from England, whatever religion they profess, or
have been educated in, to be of that party: Since it is no mark of
prudence, for any persons to oppose the current of a nation, where they
are in some sort only sojourners, unless they have it in direction.

If there be any maxim in politics, not to be controlled, it must be the
following: That those whose private interest is united with the interest
of their country, supposing them to be of equal understanding with the
rest of their neighbours, will heartily wish, that the nation should
thrive. Out of these are indubitably excepted all persons who are sent
from another kingdom, to be employed in places of profit or power;
because they can possibly bear no affection to the place where they
sojourn, even for life; their sole business being to advance themselves,
by following the advice of their principals. I except, likewise, those
persons who are taken into offices, although natives of the land,
because they are greater gainers while they keep their offices, than
they could possibly be by mending the miserable condition of their

I except, Thirdly, all hopers, who, by balancing accounts with
themselves, turn the scale on the same side; because the strong
expectation of a good certain salary, will outweigh the loss by bad
rents, received out of lands in moneyless times.

If my lords, the bishops, who, I hear, are now employed in a scheme for
regulating the conduct and maintenance of the inferior clergy, shall in
their wisdom and piety, and love of the church, consent to this repeal
of the Test, I have not the least doubt, that the whole reverend body
will cheerfully submit to their spiritual fathers, of whose paternal
tenderness for their welfare, they have already found so many amazing

I am not, therefore, under the least concern about the clergy on this
account. They will (_for some time_) be no great sufferers by this
repeal; because I cannot recollect among all our sects, any one that
gives latitude enough to take the oaths required at an institution to a
church-living; and, until that bar shall be removed, the present
Episcopal clergy are safe for two years. Although it may be thought
somewhat unequal, that in the northern parts, where there may be three
Dissenters to one Churchman, the whole revenue should be engrossed by
one who hath so small a part of the cure.

It is true, indeed, that this disadvantage, which the Dissenters at
present lie under, of a disability to receive church-preferments, will
be easily remedied by the repeal of the Test. For the dissenting
teachers are under no incapacity of accepting civil and military
employments, wherein they agree perfectly with the Popish clergy, among
whom great cardinals and prelates have been commanders of armies, chief
ministers, knights of many orders, ambassadors, secretaries of state,
and in most high offices under the Crown, although they assert the
indelible character, which no sectaries among us did ever assume. But,
that many, both Presbyterians and Independents, commanders, as well as
private soldiers, were professed preachers in the time of their
dominion, is allowed by all. Cromwell himself was a preacher, and hath
left us one of his sermons in print[8]: So was Col. Howard, Sir George
Downing,[9] and several others whose names are on record. I can,
therefore, see no reason why a painful Presbyterian teacher, as soon as
the Test shall be repealed, may not be privileged, to hold along with
his spiritual office and stipend, a commission in the army, or the civil
list _in commendam_: For, as I take it, the Church of England is the
only body of Christians, which, in effect, disqualifies those who are
employed to preach its doctrine, from sharing in the civil power,
further than as senators; which, however, was an institution[10] begun
in times of Popery, many hundred years before the Reformation, and woven
with the very institution of this limited monarchy.

[Footnote 8: Scott inserts here the words: "exactly in the same style
and manner with those of our modern Presbyterian teachers." [T.S.]]

[Footnote 9: Sir George Downing (1623?-1684) born in England, completed
his education at Harvard, Mass., U.S.A. In 1650, we hear of him
as scout-master general of Cromwell's army in Scotland. He wrote many of
the letters in "Mercurius Politicus." Distinguished himself principally
as Cromwell's ambassador in France and Holland. Through Thomas Howard,
however, he obtained an opportunity while legate in Holland for the Rump
Parliament, for ingratiating himself in Charles II.'s favour. This
Howard was brother to the Earl of Suffolk. As a consequence of this
favour, Downing was made a baronet at the Restoration; and although a
man of undoubted ability, his character has come down to us by no means
free from taint. Many of his despatches are quoted by Clarendon in that
writer's great history. Downing also wrote: "A Reply to the Remarks of
the Deputies of the States-General upon Sir G. Downing's Memorial,"
1665,; and "Discourses vindicating his Royal Master from a Libel," 1672.

[Footnote 10: Scott has, instead of "which, however, was an
institution," the words, "yet this was a privilege." [T.S.]]

There is indeed another method, by which the stipends of dissenting
teachers may be raised, and the farmer much relieved; If it should be
thought proper to reward a people so deserving, and so loyal by their
principles. Every bishop, upon the vacancy of a church-living, can
sequester the profits for the use of the next incumbent. Upon a lapse of
half a year, the donation falls to the archbishop, and after a full year
to the Crown, during pleasure; therefore it would be no hardship for any
clergyman alive, if, in those parts of Ireland, where the number of
sectaries much exceed that of the conformists, the profits, when
sequestered, might be applied to the support of the dissenting teacher,
who hath so many souls to take care of, whereby the poor tenants would
be much relieved in these hard times, and in a better condition to pay
their rents.

But there is another difficulty in this matter, against which a remedy
doth not so readily occur. For, supposing the Test Act repealed, and the
Dissenters in consequence fully qualified for all secular employments,
the question may still be put, whether those of Ireland will be often
the persons on whom they shall be bestowed; because it is imagined,
there may be another _seminary_[11] in view, _more numerous_ and _more
needy_, as well as _more meriting_, and more easily contented with such
low offices, as some nearer neighbours hardly think it worth stirring
from their chimney-sides to obtain. And, I am told, it is the common
practice of those who are skilled in the management of bees, that when
they see a foreign swarm at some distance, approaching with an intention
to plunder their hives, these artists have a trick to divert them into
some neighbouring apiary, there to make what havoc they please. This I
should not have hinted, if I had not known it already, to have gotten
ground in many suspecting heads: For it is the peculiar talent of this
nation, to see dangers afar off: To all which I can only say, that our
native Presbyterians, must, by pains and industry, raise such a fund of
_merit_, as will answer to a birth six degrees more to the north. If
they cannot arrive at this perfection, as several of the established
church have compassed by indefatigable pains, I do not well see how
their affairs will much mend by repealing the Test; for, to be qualified
by law for[12] an employment, and yet to be disqualified in fact, as it
will much increase the mortification, so it will withdraw the pity of
many among their well-wishers, and utterly deprive them of that merit,
they have so long made of being a loyal, true Protestant people,
persecuted only for religion.

[Footnote 11: Scotland.]

[Footnote 12: Scott has "to accept." [T.S.]]

If this happen to be their case, they must wait maturity of time, till
they can by prudent, gentle steps make their faith become the religion
established in the nation, after which, I do not in the least doubt,
their taking the most effectual methods to secure their power against
those who must then be Dissenters in their turn, whereof, if we may form
a future opinion from present times, and the disposition of Dissenters,
who love to make a thorough reformation, the number and qualities will
be very inconsiderable.

Thus I have with the utmost sincerity, after long thinking, given my
judgment upon this arduous affair; but with the utmost deference and
submission to public wisdom and power.

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****






In the 4to edition of Swift's works (1755) is given the following note:

"The author having before examined 'The Presbyterians' Plea of Merit'
with respect to their own principles and practices, has in this tract
put them in the balance against Papists."

In a reprint of this tract in the second volume of "Political Tracts," 2
vols. 8vo, 1738, London, is the following "Advertisement"--neither
Scott, Faulkner, nor Hawkesworth give this. Probably it appeared in the
first edition; but as I have not been able to come across this, I am not

"In the years 1732, and 1733, an attempt was made for repealing the Test
Act in Ireland, introductory of a like attempt in England. The various
arguments for it were answered in every shape; but no way more
effectually than by examining what pretence the Presbyterians had to
share in all the privileges of government, either from their own
principles and behaviour, or compared with those of other sectaries.
Under the former head they were fully silenced by our author in 'The
Presbyterians' Plea of Merit Impartially Examined'. They are now put in
the balance with Papists, whom though they have sometimes styled their
brethren in adversity, yet when placed in competition, they will hate as
brethren likewise. But let them here dispute the preference, and then put
in their claim to be part of the establishment." "The arguments
pretended to be urged by the Roman Catholics, in this tract," says Monck
Mason, "consist partly of true statements and partly of ironical
allusions, which are combined together into such a trellis work, as to
render it almost unassailable."

The text here given is that from the 4to edition (1755) of Swift's
Works, collated with that in the second volume of "Political Tracts"
above referred to.


  Humbly offered to the PARLIAMENT of IRELAND
  _For Repealing the_

  Drawn partly from Arguments as they are
  Catholics, and partly from Arguments
  common to them with their Brethren the


It is well known, that the first conquerors of this kingdom were English
Catholics, subjects to English Catholic kings, from whom, by their
valour and success, they obtained large portions of land given them as a
reward for their many victories over the Irish: To which merit our
brethren the Dissenters of any denomination whatsoever, have not the
least pretensions.

It is confessed, that the posterity of those first victorious Catholics
were often forced to rise in their own defence, against new colonies
from England, who treated them like mere native Irish, with innumerable
oppressions; depriving them of their lands, and driving them by force of
arms into the most desolate parts of the kingdom. Till in the next
generation, the children of these tyrants were used in the same manner
by new English adventurers, which practice continued for many centuries.
But it is agreed on all hands, that no insurrections were ever made,
except after great oppressions by fresh invaders. Whereas all the
rebellions of Puritans, Presbyterians, Independents, and other
sectaries, constantly began before any provocations were given, except
that they were not suffered to change the government in Church and
State, and seize both into their own hands; which, however, at last they
did, with the murder of their King and of many thousands of his best

The Catholics were always defenders of monarchy, as constituted in these
kingdoms. Whereas our brethren the Dissenters were always republicans,
both in principle and practice. It is well known that all the Catholics
of these kingdoms, both priests and laity, are true Whigs in the best
and most proper sense of the word; bearing as well in their hearts, as
in their outward profession, an entire loyalty to the royal house of
Hanover in the person and posterity of George II. against the Pretender
and all his adherents. To which they think themselves bound in gratitude
as well as conscience, by the lenity wherewith they have been treated
since the death of Queen Anne, so different from what they suffered in
the four last years of that Princess, during the administration of that
_wicked_ minister, the Earl of Oxford.

The Catholics of this kingdom humbly hope, that they have at least as
fair a title as any of their brother Dissenters, to the appelation of
Protestants. They have always protested against the selling, dethroning,
or murdering their Kings: Against the usurpations and avarice of the
court of Rome: Against Deism, Atheism, Socinianism, Quakerism,
Muggletonianism, Fanaticism, Brownism, as well as against all Jews,
Turks, Infidels, and Heretics. Whereas the title of Protestants assumed
by the whole herd of Dissenters (except ourselves) dependeth entirely
upon their protesting against archbishops, bishops, deans, and chapters,
with their revenues; and the whole hierarchy. Which are the very
expressions used in The Solemn League and Covenant,[1] where the word
Popery is only mentioned _ad invidiam_; because the Catholics agree with
the Episcopal church in those fundamentals.

[Footnote 1:   A solemn league and covenant entered into between the
Scots and English fanatics, in the rebellion against King Charles I.,
1643, by which they solemnly engaged, among other things, "To endeavour
the extirpation of prelacy, that is, church government by archbishops,
bishops, deans, archdeacons, and all other episcopal officers,
depending on that hierarchy." [H.]]

Although the Catholics cannot deny, that in the great rebellion against
King Charles I. more soldiers of their religion were in the Parliament
army than in His Majesty's troops; and that many Jesuits and friars went
about in the disguise of Presbyterian and Independent ministers, to
preach up rebellion; as the best historians of those times inform us;
yet the bulk of Catholics in both kingdoms preserved their loyalty

The Catholics have some reason to think it a little hard, when their
enemies will not please to distinguish between the rebellious riot
committed by that brutal ruffian, Sir Phelim O'Neal[2] with his
tumultuous crew of rabble; and the forces raised afterwards by the
Catholic lords and gentlemen of the English pale, in defence of the King
after the English rebellion began. It is well known, that His Majesty's
affairs were in great distraction some time before, by an invasion of
the covenanting, Scottish, kirk rebels, and by the base terms the King
was forced to accept, that they might be kept in quiet, at a juncture
when he was every hour threatened at home by that fanatic party, which
soon after set all in a flame. And, if the Catholic army in Ireland
fought for their King against the forces sent over by the Parliament,
then in actual rebellion against him, what person of loyal principles
can be so partial to deny, that they did their duty, by joining with the
Marquis of Ormonde, and other commanders, who bore their commissions
from the King? For which, great numbers of them lost their lives, and
forfeited their estates; a great part of the latter being now possessed
by many descendants from those very men who had drawn their swords in
the service of that rebellious Parliament which cut off his head, and
destroyed monarchy. And what is more amazing, although the same persons,
when the Irish were entirely subdued, continued in power under the Rump;
were chief confidants, and faithful subjects to Cromwell, yet being wise
enough to foresee a restoration, they seized the forts and castles here,
out of the hands of their old brethren in rebellion, for the service of
the King; just saving the tide, and putting in a stock of merit,
sufficient not only to preserve the lands which the Catholics lost by
their loyalty; but likewise to preserve their civil and military
employments, or be higher advanced.

[Footnote 2: Sir Phelim O'Neill (1604?-1683) one of the most
picturesque characters of Irish history. For his share in the rebellion
of 1641 he was expelled from the Irish House of Commons. The rebellion
was an attempt to assist Charles as against the Parliament, and O'Neill
forged a commission, purporting to come from the King, authorizing the
Irish to rise in his favour. The Scottish settlers in Ulster, on whom
O'Neill relied for aid disappointed him, and he thereupon set to work to
reduce all their towns. The famous siege of Drogheda was one of the many
incidents of his campaign. He joined forces with his kinsman, Owen Roe
O'Neill, but a jealous difference on his part urged Sir Phelim to
support Ormonde, in 1640, in that general's endeavours for a peace. Sir
Phelim, however, was not included in the benefit of the Articles of
Kilkenny, and a price was placed on his head. He was betrayed by Philip
Roe McHugh O'Neill, brought to Dublin, and executed as a traitor.

Those insurrections wherewith the Catholics are charged from the
beginning of the seventeenth century to the great English rebellion,
were occasioned by many oppressions they lay under. They had no
intention to introduce a new religion, but to enjoy the liberty of
preserving the old; the very same which their ancestors professed from
the time that Christianity was first introduced into this island, which
was by Catholics; but whether mingled with corruptions, as some pretend,
doth not belong to the question. They had no design to change the
government; they never attempted to fight against, to imprison, to
betray, to sell, to bring to a trial, or to murder their King. The
schismatics acted by a spirit directly contrary; they united in a Solemn
League and Covenant, to alter the whole system of spiritual government,
established in all Christian nations, and of apostolic institution;
concluding the tragedy with the murder of the King in cold blood, and
upon mature deliberation; at the same time changing the monarchy into a

The Catholics of Ireland, in the great rebellion, lost their estates for
fighting in defence of their King. The schismatics, who cut off the
father's head, forced the son to fly for his life, and overturned the
whole ancient frame of government, religious and civil; obtained grants
of those very estates which the Catholics lost in defence of the ancient
constitution, many of which estates are at this day possessed by the
posterity of those schismatics: And thus, they gained by their rebellion
what the Catholics lost by their loyalty.[3]

[Footnote 3: This paragraph is omitted in edition of 1743, but it is
printed in that of 1755. [T.S.]]

We allow the Catholics to be brethren of the Dissenters; some people,
indeed, (which we cannot allow) would have them to be our children,
because _we_ both dissent from the Church established, and both agree in
abolishing this persecuting Sacramental Test; by which negative
discouragement we are both rendered incapable of civil and military
employments. However, we cannot but wonder at the bold familiarity of
these schismatics, in calling the members of the National Church their
brethren and fellow Protestants. It is true, that all these sects
(except the Catholics) are brethren to each other in faction, ignorance,
iniquity, perverseness, pride, and (if we except the Quakers) in
rebellion. But, how the churchmen can be styled their fellow
Protestants, we cannot comprehend. Because, when the whole Babel of
sectaries joined against the Church, the King, and the nobility for
twenty years, in a match at football; where the proverb expressly tells
us, that _all are fellows_; while the three kingdoms were tossed to and
fro, the churches, and cities, and royal palaces shattered to pieces by
their balls, their buffets, and their kicks; the victors would allow no
more _fellows at football_: But murdered, sequestered, plundered,
deprived, banished to the plantations, or enslaved all their opposers
who had lost the game.

It is said the world is governed by opinion; and politicians assure us,
that all power is founded thereupon. Wherefore, as all human creatures
are fond to distraction of their own opinions; and so much the more, as
those opinions are absurd, ridiculous, or of little moment; it must
follow, that they are equally fond of power. But no opinions are
maintained with so much obstinacy as those in religion, especially by
such zealots who never bore the least regard to religion, conscience,
honour, justice, truth, mercy, or common morality, farther than in
outward appearance; under the mask of hypocrisy, to promote their
diabolical designs. And therefore Bishop Burnet, one of their oracles,
tells us honestly, that the _saints_ of those fanatic times, pronounced
themselves above morality; which they reckoned among "beggarly
elements"; but the meaning of those two last words thus applied, we
confess to be above our understanding.

Among those kingdoms and states which first embraced the Reformation,
England appears to have received it in the most regular way; where it
was introduced in a peaceable manner, by the supreme power of a King,[4]
and the three estates in Parliament; to which, as the highest
legislative authority, all subjects are bound passively to submit.
Neither was there much blood shed on so great a change of religion. But
a considerable number of lords, and other persons of quality through the
kingdom still continued in their old faith, and were, notwithstanding
their difference in religion, employed in offices civil as well as
military, more or less in every reign, until the Test Act in the time of
King Charles II. However, from the time of the Reformation, the number
of Catholics gradually and considerably lessened. So that in the reign
of King Charles I. England became, in a great degree, a Protestant
Kingdom, without taking the sectaries into the number; the legality
whereof, with respect to human laws, the Catholics never disputed: But
the Puritans, and other schismatics, without the least pretence to any
such authority, by an open rebellion, destroyed that legal Reformation,
as we observed before, murdered their King, and changed the monarchy
into a republic. It is therefore not to be wondered at, if the
Catholics, in such a Babel of religions, chose to adhere to their own
faith left to them by their ancestors, rather than seek for a better
among a rabble of hypocritical, rebellious, deluding knaves, or deluded

[Footnote 4: Henry VIII [H.]]

We repeat once more, that if a national religion be changed by the
supreme legislative power, we cannot dispute the human legality of such
a change. But we humbly conceive, that if any considerable party of men
which differs from an establishment, either old or new, can deserve
liberty of conscience, it ought to consist of those who for want of
conviction, or of a right understanding the merits of each cause,
conceive themselves bound in conscience to adhere to the religion of
their ancestors; because they are of all others least likely to be
authors of innovations, either in Church or State.

On t'other side; If the reformation of religion be founded upon
rebellion against the King, without whose consent, by the nature of our
constitution, no law can pass. If this reformation be introduced by only
one of the three estates, I mean the Commons, and not by one half even
of those Commons; and this by the assistance of a rebellious army:
Again, if this reformation were carried on by the exclusion of nobles
both lay and spiritual (who constitute the two other parts of the three
estates) by the murder of their King, and by abolishing the whole system
of government; the Catholics cannot see why the successors of those
schismatics, who are universally accused by all parties except
themselves, and a few infamous abettors, for still retaining the same
principles in religion and government, under which their predecessors
acted; should pretend to a better share of civil or military trust,
profit and power than the Catholics, who during all that period of
twenty years, were continually persecuted with utmost severity, merely
on account of their loyalty and constant adherence to kingly power.

We now come to those arguments for repealing the Sacramental Test, which
equally affect the Catholics, and their brethren the Dissenters.

_First_, We agree with our fellow Dissenters; that "persecution merely
for conscience' sake, is against the genius of the Gospel."[5] And so
likewise is "any law for depriving men of their natural and civil rights
which they claim as men." We are also ready enough to allow that "the
smallest negative discouragements for uniformity's sake are so many
persecutions." Because, it cannot be denied, that the scratch of a pin
is in some degree a real wound, as much as a stab through the heart. In
like manner, an incapacity by law for any man to be made a judge, a
colonel, or justice of the peace, "merely on a point of conscience, is a
negative discouragement," and consequently a real persecution: For, in
this case, the author of the pamphlet quoted in the margin[6] puts a
very pertinent and powerful question: That, "If God be the sole lord of
the conscience, why should the rights of conscience be subject to human
jurisdiction?" Now to apply this to the Catholics: The belief of
transubstantiation "is a matter purely of religion and conscience, which
doth not affect the political interest of society as such. Therefore,
Why should the rights of conscience, whereof God is the sole lord, be
subject to human jurisdiction?" And why should God be deprived of this
right over a Catholic's conscience any more than over that of any other

[Footnote 5: _Vid_. Reasons for the Repeal of the Sacramental Test.
[Note in edit. 1738.]]

[Footnote 6: _Idem_.]

And whereas another author among our brethren the Dissenters, hath very
justly complained, that by this persecuting Test Act, great numbers of
true Protestants have been forced to leave the kingdom, and fly to the
plantations, rather than stay here branded with an incapacity for civil
and military employments; we do affirm, that the Catholics can bring
many more instances of the same kind; some thousands of their religion
have been forced by the Sacramental Test, to retire into other
countries, rather than live here under the incapacity of wearing swords,
sitting in Parliament, and getting that share of power and profit which
belongs to them as fellow Christians, whereof they are deprived "merely
upon account of conscience, which would not allow them to take the
sacrament after the manner prescribed in the liturgy." Hence it clearly
follows in the words of the same author,[7] "That if we Catholics are
uncapable of employments, we are punished for our dissent, that is, for
our conscience, which wholly turns upon political considerations."

[Footnote 7: See "Reasons against the Test." [Note in edit. 1738.]]

The Catholics are willing to acknowledge the King's supremacy, whenever
their brethren the Dissenters shall please to shew them the example.

Further, The Catholics, whenever their religion shall come to be the
national established faith, are willing to undergo the same test offered
by the author already quoted. His words are these: "To end this debate,
by putting it upon a foot which I hope will appear to every impartial
person a fair and equitable one; We Catholics propose, with submission
to the proper judges, that effectual security be taken against
persecution, by obliging all who are admitted into places of power and
trust, whatever their religious profession be, in the most solemn manner
to disclaim persecuting principles." It is hoped the public will take
notice of these words; "Whatever their religious profession be;" which
plainly include the Catholics; and for which we return thanks to our
dissenting brethren.

And, whereas it is objected by those of the established Church, that if
the schismatics and fanatics were once put into a capacity of possessing
civil and military employments; they would never be at ease till they
had raised their own way of worship into the national religion through
all His Majesty's dominions, equal with the true orthodox Scottish kirk;
which when they had once brought to pass, they would no more allow
liberty of conscience to Episcopal Dissenters, than they did in the time
of the great English rebellion, and in the succeeding fanatic anarchy
till the King was restored. There is another very learned schismatical
pamphleteer,[8] who in answer to a malignant libel, called, _The
Presbyterians' Plea of Merit, &c_., clearly wipes off this aspersion; by
assuring all Episcopal Protestants of the present Church, upon his own
word, and to his own knowledge, that our brethren the Dissenters will
never offer at such an attempt. In like manner, the Catholics when
legally required, will openly declare upon their words and honours,
that, as soon as their negative discouragements and their persecution
shall be removed by repealing the Sacramental Test, they will leave it
entirely to the merits of the cause, whether the kingdom shall think fit
to make their faith the established religion or not.

[Footnote 8: "Vindication of the Protestant Dissenters." This pamphlet
has been mentioned in the note prefixed to "The Presbyterians' Plea of
Merit." It was written as a reply to that tract, and to the

And again, Whereas our Presbyterian brethren in many of their pamphlets,
take much offence, that the great rebellion in England, the murder of
the King, with the entire change of religion and government, are
perpetually objected against them both in and out of season, by our
common enemy, the present conformists: We do declare in the defence of
our said brethren, that the reproach aforesaid is _an old worn-out
threadbare cant_, which they always disdained to answer: And I very well
remember, that, having once told a certain conformist, how much I
wondered to hear him and his tribe, dwelling perpetually on so beaten a
subject; he was pleased to divert the discourse with a foolish story,
which I cannot forbear telling to his disgrace. He said, there was a
clergyman in Yorkshire, who for fifteen years together preached every
Sunday against drunkenness: Whereat the parishioners being much
offended, complained to the archbishop; who having sent for the
clergyman, and severely reprimanded him, the minister had no better an
answer, than by confessing the fact; adding, that all the parish were
drunkards; that he desired to reclaim them from one vice before he would
begin upon another; and, since they still continued to be as great
drunkards as before, he resolved to go on, except his Grace would please
to forbid him.

We are very sensible how heavy an accusation lieth upon the Catholics of
Ireland; that some years before King Charles II. was restored, when
theirs and the King's forces were entirely reduced, and the kingdom
declared by the Rump to be settled; after all His Majesty's generals
were forced to fly to France, or other countries, the heads of the said
Catholics who remained here in an enslaved condition, joined to send an
invitation to the Duke of Lorrain; engaging, upon his appearing here
with his forces, to deliver up the whole island to his power, and
declare him their sovereign; which, after the Restoration, was proved
against them by Dean Boyle, since primate, who produced the very
original instrument at the board. The Catholics freely acknowledge the
fact to be true; and, at the same time appeal to all the world, whether
a wiser, a better, a more honourable, or a more justifiable project
could have been thought of. They were then reduced to slavery and
beggary by the English rebels, many thousands of them murdered, the rest
deprived of their estates, and driven to live on a small pittance in the
wilds of Connaught; at a time when either the Rump or Cromwell
absolutely governed the three kingdoms. And the question will turn upon
this, Whether the Catholics, deprived of all their possessions, governed
with a rod of iron, and in utter despair of ever seeing the monarchy
restored, for the preservation of which they had suffered so much, were
to be blamed for calling in a foreign prince of their own religion, who
had a considerable army to support them; rather than submit to so
infamous an usurper as Cromwell, or such a bloody and ignominious
conventicle as the Rump. And I have often heard, not only our friends
the Dissenters, but even our common enemy the Conformists, who are
conversant in the history of those times, freely confess, that
considering the miserable situation the Irish were then in, they could
not have thought of a braver or more virtuous attempt; by which they
might have been instruments of restoring the lawful monarch, at least to
the recovery of England and Scotland, from those betrayers, and sellers,
and murderers of his royal father.

To conclude, Whereas the last quoted author complains very heavily and
frequently of a _brand_ that lies upon them, it is a great mistake: For
the first original brand hath been long taken off. Only we confess, the
scar will probably remain and be visible for ever to those who know the
principles by which they acted, and until those principles shall be
openly renounced; else it must continue to all generations, like the
mark set upon Cain, which some authors say descended to all his
posterity: Or like the Roman nose and Austrian lip, or like the long bag
of flesh hanging down from the gills of the people in Piedmont. But as
for any brands fixed on schismatics for several years past, they have
been all made with cold iron; like thieves, who by the benefit of the
clergy are condemned to be only burned in the hand; but escape the pain
and the mark, by being in fee with the jailor. Which advantage the
schismatical teachers will never want, who, as we are assured, and of
which there is a very fresh instance, have the souls, and bodies, and
purses of the people a hundred times more at their mercy, than the
Catholic priests could ever pretend to.

Therefore, upon the whole, the Catholics do humbly petition (without the
least insinuation of threatening) that upon this favourable juncture
their incapacity for civil and military employments may be wholly taken
off, for the very same reasons (besides others more cogent) that are now
offered by their brethren the Dissenters.

_And your petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, &c_.[9]

Dublin, Nov. 1733.

[Footnote 9: In this controversy the author was again victorious, for
the Test was not repealed. [H.]]

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****



[Footnote 1: The text is that of the quarto edition (1765) of Swift's
Works. [T.S.]]

Those of either side who have written upon this subject of the Test, in
making or answering objections, seem to fail by not pressing
sufficiently the chief point upon which the controversy turns. The
arguments used by those who write for the Church are very good in their
kind, but will have little force under the present corruptions of
mankind, because the authors treat this subject _tanquam in republicâ,
Platonis, et non in fæce Romuli_.

It must be confessed, that, considering how few employments of any
consequence fall to the share of those English who are born in this
kingdom, and those few very dearly purchased, at the expense of
conscience, liberty, and all regard for the public good, they are not
worth contending for: And, if nothing but profit were in the case, it
would hardly cost me one sigh when I should see those few scraps thrown
among every species of fanatics, to scuffle for among themselves.

And this will infallibly be the case, after repealing the Test.

For, every subdivision of sect will, with equal justice, pretend to have
a share; and, as it is usual with sharers, will never think they have
enough, while any pretender is left unprovided. I shall not except the
Quakers; because, when the passage is once let open for all sects to
partake in public emoluments, it is very probable the lawfulness of
taking oaths, and wearing carnal weapons,[2] may be revealed to the
brotherhood; which thought, I confess, was first put into my head by one
of the shrewdest Quakers in this kingdom.[3]

[Footnote 2:  The Quakers were more likely to admit this relaxation of
their peculiar tenets, as, upon their first appearance as a sect, they
did not by any means profess the principle of non-resistance, which they
afterwards adopted. [S.]]

[Footnote 3: The Quaker hinted at by Dr. Swift was Mr. George Rooke, a
linen-draper. In a letter to Mr. Pope, Aug. 30, 1716, Dr. Swift says,
"There is a young ingenious Quaker in this town, who writes verses to
his mistress, not very correct, but in a strain purely what a poetical
Quaker should do, commending her look and habit, &c. It gave me a hint,
that a set of Quaker pastorals might succeed, if our friend Gay would
fancy it; and I think it a fruitful subject: pray hear what he
says."--Accordingly Gay wrote "The Espousal, a sober Eclogue, between
two of the People called Quakers." [S.]]

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****



[Footnote 1: "This Tract is from a rare broadside copy. It appears to be
written by the Dean, and the arguments correspond with those he uses
elsewhere"  So says Scott; but Monck Mason considers this tract no more
the work of Swift than several others he mentions. See note prefixed to
"The Presbyterians' Plea of Merit." [T.S.]]


Because the Presbyterians are people of such great interest in this
kingdom, that there are not above ten of their persuasion in the House
of Commons, and but one in the House of Lords; though they are not
obliged to take the sacrament in the Established Church to qualify them
to be members of either House.

2. Because those of the Established Church of this kingdom are so
disaffected to the King, that not one of them worth mentioning, except
the late Duke of Ormond,[2] has been concerned in the rebellion; and
that our Parliament, though there be so few Presbyterians, has, upon all
occasions, proved its loyalty to King George, and has readily agreed to
and enacted what might support his government.

[Footnote 2: James Butler, Duke of Ormond (1610-1688), was
lieutenant-general of the army of Ireland during the rebellion of 1641.
After his defeat of General Preston, in 1643, he was appointed
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; but retired to France on the fall of the
Stuart dynasty. The execution of Charles caused Ormond to land again in
Ireland for the purpose of rousing that country in favour of the royal
cause; but he forsook it on the landing of Cromwell. At the Restoration
he came over with Charles, and was raised, for his services, to the
dukedom. He was, however, deprived of his lord-lieutenancy for his
friendship for the exiled Clarendon. He had a narrow escape for his life
from the plots of Colonel Blood, whom he forgave at the request of the
King. In 1682 he was rewarded by being promoted to an English dukedom.

3. Because very few of the Presbyterians have lost an employment worth
£20 per annum, for not qualifying themselves according to the Test Act;
nor will they accept of a militia commission, though they do of one in
the army.

4. Because, if they are not in the militia and other places of trust,
the Pretender and his adherents will destroy us; when he has no one to
support him but the King of Spain; when King George is at a good
understanding with Sweden, Prussia, and Denmark; and when he has made
the best alliances in Christendom. When the Emperor, King of Great
Britain, the French King, the King of Sardinia, are all in the quadruple
alliance against the Spaniard, his upstart cardinal,[3] and the
Pretender; when bloody plots against Great Britain and France are blown
up; when the Spanish fleet is quite dispersed; when the French army is
overrunning Spain; and when the rebels in Scotland are cut off.

[Footnote 3: Cardinal Julius Alberoni (1664-1752), born at Parma,
obtained the favour, when a humble parish priest, of the Duke of
Vendôme, by informing that general of the whereabouts of some corn, which
the country folk had hidden. He followed the Duke to Spain, and
was successful in bringing about the marriage between the Princess of
Parma and Philip V. For this service he was made Prime Minister of
Spain, a cardinal, and Archbishop of Valencia. He entered heartily into
Philip's designs for recovering Spain's lost territory, and showed
even more boldness than his royal master in their execution. His
reduction of Sardinia precipitated the alliance between England, France,
Holland, and afterwards, Austria. Spain, with Alberoni as its guiding
spirit, supported the Jacobite cause to harass England, and conquered
Sicily. But at Messina the Spanish fleet was destroyed by the English,
and in the north of Spain the forces of Philip were repulsed by the
French. In the end, Spain gave way, and Alberoni was dismissed to retire
to Rome, and to be safely lodged in the Jesuits' College there. On his
release he returned to his native town, but died at Rome. [T.S.]]

5. The test clause should be repealed, because it is a defence against
the reformation the Presbyterians long since promised the churches of
England and Ireland, viz. "We, noblemen, barons, knights, gentlemen,
citizens, burgesses, ministers of the Gospel, commons of all sorts in
the kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland, &c.[4] each one of us
for himself, with our hands lifted up to the most high God, do swear,
first, That we shall sincerely, really, and constantly, through the
grace of God, endeavour, in our several places and callings, the
preservation of the reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, in
doctrine, worship, discipline, and government. Secondly, That we shall
in like manner, without respect of persons, endeavour the extirpation of
Popery, Prelacy; that is, church-government by archbishops, their
chancellors, and commissaries, deans, deacons, and chapters,
archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical officers depending on that

[Footnote 4: _Vide_ "Confession of Faith," pp. 304, 305.]

6. Because the Presbyterian Church-Government may be independent of the
state. The Lord Jesus is King and Head of his Church;[5] hath therein
appointed a government in the hands of church-officers, distinct from
the civil magistrate. As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of
ministers to consult and advise with about matters of religion; so, if
magistrates be open enemies to the Church, the ministers of Christ of
themselves, by virtue of their office, or they with other fit persons,
upon delegation from their churches, may meet together in such

[Footnote 5: "Confession of Faith," p. 87.]

[Footnote 6: _Ibid_., pp. 88, 89.]

7. Because they have not the free use of their religion, when they
disdain a toleration.

8. Because they have so much charity for Episcopacy, as to account it
iniquitous. The address of the General Assembly to the Duke of
Queensbury in the late reign says, that to tolerate the Episcopal clergy
in Scotland would be to establish iniquity by a law.

9. Because repealing the test clause will probably disoblige ten of his
Majesty's good subjects, for one it can oblige.

10. Because, if the test clause be repealed, the Presbyterians may with
the better grace get into employments, and the easier worm out those of
the Established Church.

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****


The following Form of Prayer, which Dr. Swift constantly used in the
pulpit before his sermon, is copied from his own handwriting:

"Almighty and most merciful God! forgive us all our sins. Give us grace
heartily to repent them, and to lead new lives. Graft in our hearts a
true love and veneration for thy holy name and word. Make thy pastors
burning and shining lights, able to convince gainsayers, and to save
others and themselves. Bless this congregation here met together in thy
name; grant them to hear and receive thy holy word, to the salvation of
their own souls. Lastly, we desire to return thee praise and
thanksgiving for all thy mercies bestowed upon us; but chiefly for the
Fountain of them all, Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name and words we
further call upon thee, saying, 'Our Father,' &c."


These twelve sermons are what have been handed down to us of a bundle of
thirty-five which Swift, some years before his death, gave to Dr.
Sheridan. Swift had no great opinion of them himself, if we may judge
from what he said to his friend when he offered him the bundle. "You may
have them if you please; they may be of use to you, they never were of
any to me." There is not much in any of them of that quality which
characterizes the average sermon. For the artifices of rhetoric which
are usually employed to move hearers Swift had no small contempt. He
aimed to convince the mind by plain statements of common-sense views. He
had no faith in a conviction brought about under the stress of emotional
excitement. His sermons exactly answer to the advice he gave a young
clergyman--"First tell the people what is their duty, and then convince
them that it is so." In the note to his reprint of these sermons Sir
Walter Scott has very admirably summed up their qualities.

"The Sermons of Swift," says Scott, "have none of that thunder which
appals, or that resistless and winning softness which melts, the hearts
of an audience. He can never have enjoyed the triumph of uniting
hundreds in one ardent sentiment of love, of terror, or of devotion. His
reasoning, however powerful, and indeed unanswerable, convinces the
understanding, but is never addressed to the heart; and, indeed, from his
instructions to a young clergyman, he seems hardly to have considered
pathos as a legitimate ingredient in an English sermon. Occasionally,
too, Swift's misanthropic habits break out even from the pulpit; nor is
he altogether able to suppress his disdain of those fellow mortals, on
whose behalf was accomplished the great work of redemption. With such
unamiable feelings towards his hearers, the preacher might indeed
command their respect, but could never excite their sympathy. It may be
feared that his Sermons were less popular from another cause, imputable
more to the congregation than to the pastor. Swift spared not the vices
of rich or poor; and, disdaining to amuse the imaginations of his
audience with discussion of dark points of divinity, or warm them by a
flow of sentimental devotion, he rushes at once to the point of moral
depravity, and upbraids them with their favourite and predominant vices
in a tone of stern reproof, bordering upon reproach. In short, he tears
the bandages from their wounds, like the hasty surgeon of a crowded
hospital, and applies the incision knife and caustic with salutary, but
rough and untamed severity. But, alas! the mind must be already
victorious over the worst of its evil propensities, that can profit by
this harsh medicine. There is a principle of opposition in our nature,
which mans itself with obstinacy even against avowed truth, when it
approaches our feelings in a harsh and insulting manner. And Swift was
probably sensible, that his discourses, owing to these various causes,
did not produce the powerful effects most grateful to the feelings of
the preacher, because they reflect back to him those of the audience.

"But although the Sermons of Swift are deficient in eloquence, and were
lightly esteemed by their author, they must not be undervalued by the
modern reader. They exhibit, in an eminent degree, that powerful grasp
of intellect which distinguished the author above all his
contemporaries. In no religious discourses can be found more sound good
sense, more happy and forcible views of the immediate subject. The
reasoning is not only irresistible, but managed in a mode so simple
and clear, that its force is obvious to the most ordinary capacity. Upon
all subjects of morality, the preacher maintains the character of a rigid
and inflexible monitor; neither admitting apology for that which is
wrong, nor softening the difficulty of adhering to that which is right; a
stern stoicism of doctrine, that may fail in finding many converts, but
leads to excellence in the few manly minds who dare to embrace it. In
treating the doctrinal points of belief, (as in his Sermon upon the
Trinity,) Swift systematically refuses to quit the high and pre-eminent
ground which the defender of Christianity is entitled to occupy, or to
submit to the test of human reason, mysteries which are placed, by their
very nature, far beyond our finite capacities. Swift considered, that, in
religion, as in profane science, there must be certain ultimate laws
which are to be received as fundamental truths, although we are
incapable of defining or analysing their nature; and he censures those
divines, who, in presumptuous confidence of their own logical
powers, enter into controversy upon such mysteries of faith, without
considering that they give thereby the most undue advantage to the
infidel. Our author wisely and consistently declared reason an
incompetent judge of doctrines, of which God had declared the fact,
concealing from man the manner. He contended, that he who, upon the
whole, receives the Christian religion as of divine inspiration, must be
contented to depend upon God's truth, and his holy word, and receive
with humble faith the mysteries which are too high for comprehension.
Above all, Swift points out, with his usual forcible precision, the
mischievous tendency of those investigations which, while they assail
one fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, shake and endanger
the whole fabric, destroy the settled faith of thousands, pervert and
mislead the genius of the learned and acute, destroy and confound the
religious principles of the simple and ignorant."

In 1744, Faulkner printed three sermons as a single volume; these were
"On Mutual Subjection," "On Conscience," and "On the Trinity." The other
sermons appeared in the various editions issued by Nichols and others.
The text here given is that of the volume of 1744, of Hawkesworth and



I PETER, V. 5.

"--Yea, all of you be subject one to another."

The Apostle having in many parts of this epistle given directions to
Christians concerning the duty of subjection or obedience to superiors;
in the several instances of the subject to his prince, the child to his
parent, the servant to his master, the wife to her husband, and the
younger to the elder; doth here, in the words of my text, sum up the
whole, by advancing a point of doctrine, which at first may appear a
little extraordinary: "Yea, all of you," saith he, "be subject one to
another." For it should seem, that two persons cannot properly be said
to be subject to each other, and that subjection is only due from
inferiors to those above them: yet St Paul hath several passages to the
same purpose. For he exhorts the Romans, "in honour to prefer one
another:"[1] and the Philippians, "that in lowliness of mind they should
each esteem other better than themselves;"[2] and the Ephesians, "that
they should submit themselves one to another in the fear of the
Lord."[3] Here we find these two great apostles recommending to all
Christians this duty of mutual subjection. For we may observe by St
Peter, that having mentioned the several relations which men bear to
each other, as governor and subject, master and servant, and the rest
which I have already repeated, he maketh no exception, but sums up the
whole with commanding "all to be subject one to another." From whence we
may conclude, that this subjection due from all men to all men, is
something more than the compliment of course, when our betters are
pleased to tell us they are our humble servants, but understand us to be
their slaves.

[Footnote 1: Rom. xii. 10.]

[Footnote 2: Philip. ii. 3.]

[Footnote 3: Ephes. v. 21.]

I know very well, that some of those who explain this text, apply it to
humility, to the duties of charity, to private exhortations, and to
bearing with each other's infirmities: And it is probable, the apostle
may have had a regard to all these: But however, many learned men agree,
that there is something more understood, and so the words in their plain
natural meaning must import; as you will observe yourselves, if you read
them with the beginning of the verse, which is thus: "Likewise ye
younger submit yourselves unto the elder; yea, all of you be subject one
to another." So, that upon the whole, there must be some kind of
subjection due from every man to every man, which cannot be made void by
any power, pre-eminence, or authority whatsoever. Now, what sort of
subjection this is, and how it ought to be paid, shall be the subject of
my present discourse.

As God hath contrived all the works of nature to be useful, and in some
manner a support to each other, by which the whole frame of the world
under his providence is preserved and kept up; so, among mankind, our
particular stations are appointed to each of us by God Almighty, wherein
we are obliged to act, as far as our power reacheth, toward the good of
the whole community. And he who doth not perform that part assigned him,
toward advancing the benefit of the whole, in proportion to his
opportunities and abilities, is not only a useless, but a very
mischievous member of the public: Because he taketh his share of the
profit, and yet leaves his share of the burden to be borne by others,
which is the true principal cause of most miseries and misfortunes in
life. For, a wise man who doth not assist with his counsels, a great man
with his protection, a rich man with his bounty and charity, and a poor
man with his labour, are perfect nuisances in a commonwealth. Neither is
any condition of life more honourable in the sight of God than another;
otherwise he would be a respecter of persons, which he assureth us he is
not: For he hath proposed the same salvation to all men, and hath only
placed them in different ways or stations to work it out. Princes are
born with no more advantages of strength or wisdom than other men; and,
by an unhappy education, are usually more defective in both than
thousands of their subjects. They depend for every necessary of life
upon the meanest of their people: Besides, obedience and subjection were
never enjoined by God to humour the passions, lusts, and vanities of
those who demand them from us; but we are commanded to obey our
governors, because disobedience would breed seditions in the state. Thus
servants are directed to obey their masters, children their parents, and
wives their husbands; not from any respect of persons in God, but
because otherwise there would be nothing but confusion in private
families. This matter will be clearly explained, by considering the
comparison which St Paul maketh between the Church of Christ and the
body of man: For the same resemblance will hold, not only to families
and kingdoms, but to the whole corporation of mankind. "The eye," saith
he,[4] "cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the
head to the feet, I have no need of thee. Nay, much more, those members
of the body which seem to be more feeble, are necessary. And whether one
member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be
honoured, all the members rejoice with it." The case is directly the
same among mankind. The prince cannot say to the merchant, I have no
need of thee; nor the merchant to the labourer, I have no need of thee.
Nay, much more those members, &c. For the poor are generally more
necessary members of the commonwealth than the rich: Which clearly
shews, that God never intented such possessions for the sake and service
of those to whom he lends them: but because he hath assigned every man
his particular station to be useful in life; and this for the reason
given by the apostle, "that there should be no schism in the body."[5]

[Footnote 4: 1 Corin. xii. 21, 23, 26.]

[Footnote 5: 1 Corin. xii. 25.]

From hence may partly be gathered the nature of that subjection which we
all owe to one another. God Almighty hath been pleased to put us into an
imperfect state, where we have perpetual occasion of each other's
assistance. There is none so low, as not to be in a capacity of
assisting the highest; nor so high, as not to want the assistance of the

It plainly appears from what hath been said, that no one human creature
is more worthy than another in the sight of God; farther, than according
to the goodness or holiness of their lives; and, that power, wealth, and
the like outward advantages, are so far from being the marks of God's
approving or preferring those on whom they are bestowed, that, on the
contrary, he is pleased to suffer them to be almost engrossed by those
who have least title to his favour. Now, according to this equality
wherein God hath placed all mankind, with relation himself, you will
observe, that in all the relations between man and man, there is a
mutual dependence, whereby the one cannot subsist without the other.
Thus, no man can be a prince without subjects, nor a master without
servants, nor a father without children. And this both explains and
confirms the doctrine of the text: For, where there is a mutual
dependence, there must be a mutual duty, and consequently a mutual
subjection. For instance, the subject must only obey his prince, because
God commands it, human laws require it, and the safety of the public
maketh it necessary: (For the same reasons we must obey all that are in
authority, and submit ourselves, not only to the good and gentle, but
also to the froward, whether they rule according to our liking or no.)
On the other side, in those countries that pretend to freedom, princes
are subject to those laws which their people have chosen; they are bound
to protect their subjects in liberty, property, and religion; to receive
their petitions, and redress their grievances: So, that the best prince
is, in the opinion of wisemen, only the greatest servant of the nation;
not only a servant to the public in general, but in some sort to every man
in it. In the like manner, a servant owes obedience, and diligence and
faithfulness to his master, from whom, at the same time, he hath a just
demand for protection, and maintenance, and gentle treatment. Nay, even
the poor beggar hath a just demand of an alms from the rich man, who is
guilty of fraud, injustice, and oppression, if he doth not afford relief
according to his abilities.

But this subjection we all owe one another is nowhere more necessary
than in the common conversations of life; for without it there could be
no society among men. If the learned would not sometimes submit to the
ignorant, the wise to the simple, the gentle to the froward, the old to
the weaknesses of the young, there would be nothing but everlasting
variance in the world. This our Saviour himself confirmed by his own
example; for he appeared in the form of a servant, and washed his
disciples' feet, adding those memorable words: "Ye call me Lord and
Master, and ye say well, for so I am. If I then your Lord and Master
wash your feet, how much more ought ye to wash one another's feet?"
Under which expression of washing the feet, is included all that
subjection, assistance, love, and duty, which every good Christian ought
to pay his brother, in whatever station God hath placed him. For the
greatest prince and the meanest slave, are not, by infinite degrees so
distant, as our Saviour and those disciples whose feet he vouchsafed to

And, although this doctrine of subjecting ourselves to one another may
seem to grate upon the pride and vanity of mankind, and may therefore be
hard to be digested by those who value themselves upon their greatness
or their wealth; yet, it is really no more than what most men practise
upon other occasions. For, if our neighbour who is our inferior comes to
see us, we rise to receive him, we place him above us, and respect him
as if he were better than ourselves; and this is thought both decent and
necessary, and is usually called good manners. Now the duty required by
the apostle, is only that we should enlarge our minds, and that what we
thus practice in the common course of life, we should imitate in all our
actions and proceedings whatsoever; since our Saviour tells us, that
every man is our neighbour, and since we are so ready in the point of
civility, to yield to others in our own houses, where only we have any
title to govern.

Having thus shewn you what sort of subjection it is which all men owe
one to another, and in what manner it ought to be paid, I shall now draw
some observations from what hath been said.

And _first_: A thorough practice of this duty of subjecting ourselves to
the wants and infirmities of each other, would utterly extinguish in us
the vice of pride. For, if God hath pleased to entrust me with a talent,
not for my own sake, but for the service of others, and at the same time
hath left me full of wants and necessities which others must supply; I
can then have no cause to set any extraordinary value upon myself, or to
despise my brother, because he hath not the same talents which were lent
to me. His being may probably be as useful to the public as mine; and,
therefore, by the rules of right reason, I am in no sort preferable to

_Secondly_: It is very manifest, from what hath been said, that no man
ought to look upon the advantages of life, such as riches, honour,
power, and the like, as his property, but merely as a trust, which God
hath deposited with him, to be employed for the use of his brethren; and
God will certainly punish the breach of that trust, although the laws of
man will not, or rather indeed cannot; because the trust was conferred
only by God, who hath not left it to any power on earth to decide
infallibly whether a man maketh a good use of his talents or no, or to
punish him where he fails. And therefore God seems to have more
particularly taken this matter into his own hands, and will most
certainly reward or punish us in proportion to our good or ill
performance in it. Now, although the advantages which one man possesseth
more than another, may in some sense be called his property with respect
to other men, yet with respect to God they are, as I said, only a trust:
which will plainly appear from hence. If a man doth not use those
advantages to the good of the public, or the benefit of his neighbour,
it is certain he doth not deserve them; and consequently, that God never
intended them for a blessing to him; and on the other side, whoever doth
employ his talents as he ought, will find by his own experience, that
they were chiefly lent him for the service of others: for to the service
of others he will certainly employ them.

_Thirdly_: If we could all be brought to practise this duty of
subjecting ourselves to each other, it would very much contribute to the
general happiness of mankind: for this would root out envy and malice
from the heart of man; because you cannot envy your neighbour's
strength, if he maketh use of it to defend your life, or carry your
burden; you cannot envy his wisdom, if he gives you good counsel; nor
his riches, if he supplieth you in your wants; nor his greatness, if he
employs it to your protection. The miseries of life are not properly
owing to the unequal distribution of things; but God Almighty, the great
King of Heaven, is treated like the kings of the earth; who, although
perhaps intending well themselves, have often most abominable ministers
and stewards; and those generally the vilest, to whom they entrust the
most talents. But here is the difference, that the princes of this world
see by other men's eyes, but God sees all things; and therefore whenever
he permits his blessings to be dealt among those who are unworthy, we
may certainly conclude that he intends them only as a punishment to an
evil world, as well as to the owners. It were well, if those would
consider this, whose riches serve them only as a spur to avarice, or as
an instrument to their lusts; whose wisdom is only of this world, to put
false colours upon things, to call good evil, and evil good, against the
conviction of their own consciences; and lastly, who employ their power
and favour in acts of oppression or injustice, in misrepresenting
persons and things, or in countenancing the wicked to the ruin of the

_Fourthly_: The practice of this duty of being subject to one another,
would make us rest contented in the several stations of life wherein God
hath thought fit to place us; because it would in the best and easiest
manner bring us back as it were to that early state of the Gospel when
Christians had all things in common. For, if the poor found the rich
disposed to supply their wants; if the ignorant found the wise ready to
instruct and direct them; or if the weak might always find protection
from the mighty; they could none of them with the least pretence of
justice lament their own condition.

From all that hath been hitherto said, it appears, that great abilities
of any sort, when they are employed as God directs, do but make the
owners of them greater and more painful servants to their neighbour, and
the public; however, we are by no means to conclude from hence, that
they are not really blessings, when they are in the hands of good men.
For first, what can be a greater honour than to be chosen one of the
stewards and dispensers of God's bounty to mankind? What is there, that
can give a generous spirit more pleasure and complacency of mind, than
to consider that he is an instrument of doing much good? that great
numbers owe to him, under God, their subsistence, their safety, their
health, and the good conduct of their lives? The wickedest man upon
earth taketh a pleasure in doing good to those he loveth; and therefore
surely a good Christian, who obeys our Saviour's command of loving all
men, cannot but take delight in doing good even to his enemies. God, who
giveth all things to all men, can receive nothing from any; and those
among men, who do the most good, and receive the fewest returns, do most
resemble their Creator: for which reason, St Paul delivereth it as a
saying of our Saviour, that "it is more blessed to give than to
receive." By this rule, what must become of those things which the world
valueth as the greatest blessings, riches, power, and the like, when our
Saviour plainly determines, that the best way to make them blessings, is
to part with them? Therefore, although the advantages which one man hath
over another, may be called blessings, yet they are by no means so in
the sense the world usually understands. Thus, for example, great riches
are no blessing in themselves; because the poor man, with the common
necessaries of life enjoys more health, and hath fewer cares without
them: How then do they become blessings? No otherwise, than by being
employed in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, rewarding worthy
men, and in short, doing acts of charity and generosity. Thus likewise,
power is no blessing in itself, because private men bear less envy, and
trouble, and anguish without it. But when it is employed to protect the
innocent, to relieve the oppressed, and to punish the oppressor, then it
becomes a great blessing. And so lastly even great wisdom is in the
opinion of Solomon not a blessing in itself: For "in much wisdom is much
sorrow;" and men of common understandings, if they serve God and mind
their callings, make fewer mistakes in the conduct of life than those
who have better heads. And yet, wisdom is a mighty blessing, when it is
applied to good purposes, to instruct the ignorant, to be a faithful
counsellor either in public or private, to be a director to youth, and
to many other ends needless here to mention.

To conclude: God sent us into the world to obey his commands, by doing
as much good as our abilities will reach, and as little evil as our many
infirmities will permit. Some he hath only trusted with one talent, some
with five, and some with ten. No man is without his talent; and he that
is faithful or negligent in a little, shall be rewarded or punished, as
well as he that hath been so in a great deal.

Consider what hath been said; and the Lord give you a right
understanding in all things. To whom with the Son and the Holy Ghost, be
all honour and glory, now and for ever.



"----For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience."

There is no word more frequently in the mouths of men, than that of
conscience, and the meaning of it is in some measure generally
understood: However, because it is likewise a word extremely abused by
many people, who apply other meanings to it, which God Almighty never
intended; I shall explain it to you in the clearest manner I am able.
The word conscience properly signifies, that knowledge which a man hath
within himself of his own thoughts and actions. And, because, if a man
judgeth fairly of his own actions by comparing them with the law of God,
his mind will either approve or condemn him according as he hath done
good or evil; therefore this knowledge or conscience may properly be
called both an accuser and a judge. So that whenever our conscience
accuseth us, we are certainly guilty; but we are not always innocent
when it doth not accuse us: For very often, through the hardness of our
hearts, or the fondness and favour we bear to ourselves, or through
ignorance or neglect, we do not suffer our conscience to take any
cognizance of several sins we commit. There is another office likewise
belonging to conscience, which is that of being our director and guide;
and the wrong use of this hath been the occasion of more evils under the
sun, than almost all other causes put together. For, as conscience is
nothing else but the knowledge we have of what we are thinking and
doing; so it can guide us no farther than that knowledge reacheth. And
therefore God hath placed conscience in us to be our director only in
those actions which Scripture and reason plainly tell us to be good or
evil. But in cases too difficult or doubtful for us to comprehend or
determine, there conscience is not concerned; because it cannot advise
in what it doth not understand, nor decide where it is itself in doubt:
but, by God's great mercy, those difficult points are never of absolute
necessity to our salvation. There is likewise another evil, that men
often say, a thing is against their conscience, when really it is not.
For instance: Ask any of those who differ from the worship established,
why they do not come to church? They will say, they dislike the
ceremonies, the prayers, the habits, and the like, and therefore it goes
against their conscience: But they are mistaken, their teacher hath put
those words into their mouths; for a man's conscience can go no higher
than his knowledge; and therefore until he has thoroughly examined by
Scripture, and the practice of the ancient church, whether those points
are blameable or no, his conscience cannot possibly direct him to
condemn them. Hence have likewise arisen those mistakes about what is
usually called "Liberty of Conscience"; which, properly speaking, is no
more than a liberty of knowing our own thoughts; which liberty no one
can take from us. But those words have obtained quite different
meanings: Liberty of conscience is now-a-days not only understood to be
the liberty of believing what men please, but also of endeavouring to
propagate the belief as much as they can, and to overthrow the faith
which the laws have already established, to be rewarded by the public
for those wicked endeavours: And this is the liberty of conscience which
the fanatics are now openly in the face of the world endeavouring at
with their utmost application. At the same time it cannot but be
observed, that those very persons, who under pretence of a public spirit
and tenderness towards their Christian brethren, are so zealous for such
a liberty of conscience as this, are of all others the least tender to
those who differ from them in the smallest point relating to government;
and I wish I could not say, that the Majesty of the living God may be
offended with more security than the memory of a dead prince. But the
wisdom of the world at present seems to agree with that of the heathen
Emperor, who said, if the gods were offended, it was their own concern,
and they were able to vindicate themselves.[1]

[Footnote 1: The saying of Tiberius as given by Tacitus ("Annals," bk.
i., c. lxxiii.), _Deorum offensa diis curæ_. [T.S.]]

But although conscience hath been abused to those wicked purposes which
I have already related, yet a due regard to the directions it plainly
giveth us, as well as to its accusations, reproaches, and advices, would
be of the greatest use to mankind, both for their present welfare and
future happiness.

Therefore, my discourse at this time shall be directed to prove to you,
that there is no solid, firm foundation for virtue, but on a conscience
which is guided by religion.

In order to this, I shall first shew you the weakness and uncertainty of
two false principles, which many people set up in the place of
conscience, for a guide to their actions.

The first of these principles is, what the world usually calls _Moral
Honesty_. There are some people, who appear very indifferent as to
religion, and yet have the repute of being just and fair in their
dealings; and these are generally known by the character of good moral
men. But now, if you look into the grounds and the motives of such a
man's actions, you shall find them to be no other than his own ease and
interest. For example: You trust a moral man with your money in the way
of trade; you trust another with the defence of your cause at law, and
perhaps they both deal justly with you. Why? Not from any regard they
have for justice, but because their fortune depends upon their credit,
and a stain of open public dishonesty must be to their disadvantage. But
let it consist with such a man's interest and safety to wrong you, and
then it will be impossible you can have any hold upon him; because there
is nothing left to give him a check, or put in the balance against his
profit. For, if he hath nothing to govern himself by, but the opinion of
the world, as long as he can conceal his injustice from the world, he
thinks he is safe.

Besides, it is found by experience, that those men who set up for
morality without regard to religion, are generally but virtuous in part;
they will be just in their dealings between man and man; but if they
find themselves disposed to pride, lust, intemperance, or avarice, they
do not think their morality concerned to check them in any of these
vices, because it is the great rule of such men, that they may lawfully
follow the dictates of nature, wherever their safety, health, and
fortune, are not injured. So, that upon the whole, there is hardly one
vice which a mere moral man may not upon some occasions allow himself to

The other false principle, which some men set up in the place of
conscience to be their director in life, is what those who pretend to
it, call _Honour_.

This word is often made the sanction of an oath; it is reckoned a great
commendation to be a man of strict honour; and it is commonly
understood, that a man of honour can never be guilty of a base action.
This is usually the style of military men; of persons with titles; and
of others who pretend to birth and quality. It is true, indeed, that in
ancient times it was universally understood, that honour was the reward
of virtue; but if such honour as is now-a-days going will not permit a
man to do a base action, it must be allowed, there are very few such
things as base actions in nature. No man of honour, as that word is
usually understood, did ever pretend that his honour obliged him to be
chaste or temperate; to pay his creditors; to be useful to his country;
to do good to mankind; to endeavour to be wise, or learned; to regard
his word, his promise, or his oath; or if he hath any of these virtues,
they were never learned in the catechism of honour; which contains but
two precepts, the punctual payment of debts contracted at play, and the
right understanding the several degrees of an affront, in order to
revenge it by the death of an adversary.

But suppose, this principle of honour, which some men so much boast of,
did really produce more virtues than it ever pretended to; yet since the
very being of that honour dependeth upon the breath, the opinion, or the
fancy of the people, the virtues derived from it could be of no long or
certain duration. For example: Suppose a man from a principle of honour
should resolve to be just, or chaste, or temperate; and yet the
censuring world should take a humour of refusing him those characters;
he would then think the obligation at an end. Or, on the other side, if
he thought he could gain honour by the falsest and vilest action, (which
is a case that very often happens,) he would then make no scruple to
perform it. And God knows, it would be an unhappy state, to have the
religion, the liberty, or the property of a people lodged in such hands,
which however hath been too often the case.

What I have said upon this principle of honour may perhaps be thought of
small concernment to most of you who are my hearers: However, a caution
was not altogether unnecessary; since there is nothing by which not only
the vulgar, but the honest tradesman hath been so much deceived, as this
infamous pretence to honour in too many of their betters.

Having thus shewn you the weakness and uncertainty of those principles
which some men set up in the place of conscience to direct them in their
actions, I shall now endeavour to prove to you that there is no solid,
firm foundation of virtue, but in a conscience directed by the
principles of religion.

There is no way of judging how far we may depend upon the actions of
men, otherwise than by knowing the motives, and grounds, and causes of
them; and, if the motives of our actions be not resolved and determined
into the law of God, they will be precarious and uncertain, and liable
to perpetual changes. I will shew you what I mean, by an example:
Suppose a man thinks it his duty to obey his parents, because reason
tells him so, because he is obliged by gratitude, and because the laws
of his country command him to do so; but, if he stops here, his parents
can have no lasting security; for an occasion may happen, wherein it may
be extremely his interest to be disobedient, and where the laws of the
land can lay no hold upon him: therefore, before such a man can safely
be trusted, he must proceed farther, and consider, that his reason is
the gift of God; that God commanded him to be obedient to the laws, and
did moreover in a particular manner enjoin him to be dutiful to his
parents; after which, if he lays due weight upon those considerations,
he will probably continue in his duty to the end of his life: Because no
earthly interest can ever come in competition to balance the danger of
offending his Creator, or the happiness of pleasing him. And of all this
his conscience will certainly inform him, if he hath any regard to

_Secondly:_ Fear and hope are the two greatest natural motives of all
men's actions: But, neither of these passions will ever put us in the
way of virtue, unless they be directed by conscience. For although
virtuous men do sometimes accidentally make their way to preferment, yet
the world is so corrupted, that no man can reasonably hope to be
rewarded in it, merely upon account of his virtue. And consequently, the
fear of punishment in this life will preserve men from very few vices,
since some of the blackest and basest do often prove the surest steps to
favour; such as ingratitude, hypocrisy, treachery, malice, subornation,
atheism, and many more which human laws do little concern themselves
about. But when conscience placeth before us the hopes of everlasting
happiness, and the fears of everlasting misery, as the reward and
punishment of our good or evil actions, our reason can find no way to
avoid the force of such an argument, otherwise than by running into

_Lastly_: Conscience will direct us to love God, and to put our whole
trust and confidence in him. Our love of God will inspire us with a
detestation for sin, as what is of all things most contrary to his
divine nature; and if we have an entire confidence in him, _that_ will
enable us to subdue and despise all the allurements of the world.

It may here be objected, if conscience be so sure a director to us
Christians in the conduct of our lives, how comes it to pass, that the
ancient heathens, who had no other lights but those of nature and
reason, should so far exceed us in all manner of virtue, as plainly
appears by many examples they have left on record?

To which it may be answered; first, those heathens were extremely strict
and exact in the education of their children; whereas among us this care
is so much laid aside, that the more God hath blessed any man with
estate or quality, just so much the less in proportion is the care he
taketh in the education of his children, and particularly of that child
which is to inherit his fortune: Of which the effects are visible enough
among the great ones of the world. Again, those heathens did in a
particular manner instil the principle into their children, of loving
their country; which is so far otherwise now-a-days, that, of the
several parties among us, there is none of them that seems to have so
much as heard, whether there be such a virtue in the world; as plainly
appears by their practices, and especially when they are placed in those
stations where they can only have opportunity of shewing it. Lastly; the
most considerable among the heathens did generally believe rewards and
punishments in a life to come; which is the great principle for
conscience to work upon; Whereas too many of those who would be thought
the most considerable among us, do, both by their practices and their
discourses, plainly affirm, that they believe nothing at all of the

Wherefore, since it hath manifestly appeared that a religious conscience
is the only true solid foundation upon which virtue can be built, give
me leave, before I conclude, to let you see how necessary such a
conscience is, to conduct us in every station and condition of our

That a religious conscience is necessary in any station, is confessed
even by those who tell us, that all religion was invented by cunning
men, in order to keep the world in awe. For, if religion, by the
confession of its adversaries, be necessary towards the well-governing
of mankind; then every wise man in power will be sure not only to choose
out for every station under him such persons as are most likely to be
kept in awe by religion, but likewise to carry some appearance of it
himself, or else he is a very weak politician. And accordingly in any
country where great persons affect to be open despisers of religion,
their counsels will be found at last to be fully as destructive to the
state as to the church.

It was the advice of Jethro to his son-in-law Moses, to "provide able
men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness," and to place
such over the people; and Moses, who was as wise a statesman, at least,
as any in this age, thought fit to follow that advice. Great abilities,
without the fear of God, are most dangerous instruments, when they are
trusted with power. The laws of man have thought fit, that those who are
called to any office of trust should be bound by an oath to the faithful
discharge of it: But, an oath is an appeal to God, and therefore can
have no influence except upon those who believe that he is, and that he
is a rewarder of those that seek him, and a punisher of those who
disobey him: And therefore, we see, the laws themselves are forced to
have recourse to conscience in these cases, because their penalties
cannot reach the arts of cunning men, who can find ways to be guilty of
a thousand injustices without being discovered, or at least without
being punished. And the reason why we find so many frauds, abuses, and
corruptions, where any trust is conferred, can be no other, than that
there is so little conscience and religion left in the world, or at
least that men in their choice of instruments have private ends in view,
which are very different from the service of the public. Besides, it is
certain, that men who profess to have no religion, are full as zealous
to bring over proselytes as any Papist or fanatic can be. And therefore,
if those who are in station high enough to be of influence or example to
others; if those (I say) openly profess a contempt or disbelief of
religion, they will be sure to make all their dependents of their own
principles; and what security can the public expect from such persons,
whenever their interests, or their lusts, come into competition with
their duty? It is very possible for a man who hath the appearance of
religion, and is a great pretender to conscience, to be wicked and a
hypocrite; but, it is impossible for a man who openly declares against
religion, to give any reasonable security that he will not be false and
cruel, and corrupt, whenever a temptation offers, which he values more
than he does the power wherewith he was trusted. And, if such a man doth
not betray his cause and his master, it is only because the temptation
was not properly offered, or the profit was too small, or the danger was
too great. And hence it is, that we find so little truth or justice
among us, because there are so very few, who either in the service of
the public, or in common dealings with each other, do ever look farther
than their own advantage, and how to guard themselves against the laws
of the country; which a man may do by favour, by secrecy, or by cunning,
although he breaks almost every law of God.

Therefore to conclude: It plainly appears, that unless men are guided by
the advice and judgment of a conscience founded on religion, they can
give no security that they will be either good subjects, faithful
servants of the public, or honest in their mutual dealings; since there
is no other tie through which the pride, or lust, or avarice, or
ambition of mankind will not certainly break one time or other.

Consider what has been said, &c.



"For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word,
and the Holy Ghost; and these Three are One."

This day being set apart to acknowledge our belief in the Eternal
Trinity, I thought it might be proper to employ my present discourse
entirely upon that subject; and, I hope, to handle it in such a manner,
that the most ignorant among you may return home better informed of your
duty in this great point, than probably you are at present.

It must be confessed, that by the weakness and indiscretion of busy (or
at best, of well-meaning) people, as well as by the malice of those who
are enemies to all revealed religion, and are not content to possess
their own infidelity in silence, without communicating it to the
disturbance of mankind; I say, by these means, it must be confessed,
that the doctrine of the Trinity hath suffered very much, and made
Christianity suffer along with it. For these two things must be granted:
First, that men of wicked lives would be very glad there were no truth
in Christianity at all; and secondly, if they can pick out any one
single article in the Christian religion which appears not agreeable to
their own corrupted reason, or to the arguments of those bad people, who
follow the trade of seducing others, they presently conclude, that the
truth of the whole Gospel must sink along with that one article; which
is just as wise, as if a man should say, because he dislikes one law of
his country, he will therefore observe no law at all; and yet, that one
law may be very reasonable in itself, although he does not allow it, or
does not know the reason of the law-givers.

Thus it hath happened with the great doctrine of the Trinity; which word
is indeed not in the Scripture, but was a term of art invented in the
earlier times to express the doctrine by a single word, for the sake of
brevity and convenience. The doctrine then, as delivered in Holy
Scripture, although not exactly in the same words, is very short, and
amounts only to this, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are
each of them God, and yet there is but one God. For, as to the word
Person, when we say there are three Persons; and as to those other
explanations in the Athanasian Creed this day read to you (whether
compiled by Athanasius or no) they were taken up three hundred years
after Christ, to expound this doctrine; and I will tell you upon what
occasion. About that time there sprang up a heresy of a people called
Arians, from one Arius the leader of them. These denied our Saviour to
be God, although they allowed all the rest of the Gospel (wherein they
were more sincere than their followers among us). Thus the Christian
world was divided into two parts, until at length, by the zeal and
courage of St Athanasius, the Arians were condemned in a general
council, and a creed formed upon the true faith, as St Athanasius hath
settled it. This creed is now read at certain times in our churches,
which, although it is useful for edification to those who understand it;
yet, since it containeth some nice and philosophical points which few
people can comprehend, the bulk of mankind is obliged to believe no more
than the Scripture doctrine, as I have delivered it. Because that creed
was intended only as an answer to the Arians in their own way, who were
very subtle disputers.

But this heresy having revived in the world about a hundred years ago,
and continued ever since; not out of a zeal to truth, but to give a
loose to wickedness, by throwing off all religion; several divines, in
order to answer the cavils of those adversaries to truth and morality,
began to find out farther explanations of this doctrine of the Trinity,
by rules of philosophy; which have multiplied controversies to such a
degree, as to beget scruples that have perplexed the minds of many sober
Christians, who otherwise could never have entertained them.

I must therefore be bold to affirm, that the method taken by many of
those learned men to defend the doctrine of the Trinity, hath been
founded upon a mistake.

It must be allowed, that every man is bound to follow the rules and
directions of that measure of reason which God hath given him; and
indeed he cannot do otherwise, if he will be sincere, or act like a man.
For instance: If I should be commanded by an angel from heaven to
believe it is midnight at noon-day; yet I could not believe him. So, if
I were directly told in Scripture that three are one, and one is three,
I could not conceive or believe it in the natural common sense of that
expression, but must suppose that something dark or mystical was meant,
which it pleased God to conceal from me and from all the world. Thus, in
the text, "There are Three that bear record," &c. Am I capable of
knowing and defining what union and what distinction there may be in the
divine nature, which possibly may be hid from the angels themselves?
Again, I see it plainly declared in Scripture, that there is but one
God; and yet I find our Saviour claiming the prerogative of God in
knowing men's thoughts; in saying, "He and his Father are one;" and,
"before Abraham was, I am." I read, that the disciples worshipped him;
that Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God." And St John, chap, 1st,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God." I read likewise that the Holy Ghost bestowed the gift of
tongues, and the power of working miracles; which, if rightly
considered, is as great a miracle as any, that a number of illiterate
men should of a sudden be qualified to speak all the languages then
known in the world; such as could be done by the inspiration of God
done. From these several texts it is plain, that God commands us to
believe that there is an union and there is a distinction; but what that
union, or what that distinction is, all mankind are equally ignorant,
and must continue so, at least till the day of judgment, without some
new revelation.

But because I cannot conceive the nature of this union and distinction
in the divine nature, am I therefore to reject them as absurd and
impossible; as I would, if any one told me that three men are one, and
one man is three? We are told, that a man and his wife are one flesh;
this I can comprehend the meaning of; yet, literally taken, it is a
thing impossible. But the apostle tell us, "We see but in part, and we
know but in part;" and yet we would comprehend all the secret ways and
workings of God.

Therefore I shall again repeat the doctrine of the Trinity, as it is
positively affirmed in Scripture: that God is there expressed in three
different names, as Father, as Son, and as Holy Ghost: that each of
these is God, and that there is but one God. But this union and
distinction are a mystery utterly unknown to mankind.

This is enough for any good Christian to believe on this great article,
without ever inquiring any farther: And, this can be contrary to no
man's reason, although the knowledge of it is hid from him.

But there is another difficulty of great importance among those who
quarrel with the doctrine of the Trinity, as well as with several other
articles of Christianity; which is, that our religion abounds in
mysteries, and these they are so bold as to revile as cant, imposture,
and priestcraft. It is impossible for us to determine for what reasons
God thought fit to communicate some things to us in part, and leave some
part a mystery. But so it is in fact, and so the Holy Scripture tells us
in several places. For instance: the resurrection and change of our
bodies are called mysteries by St Paul: and our Saviour's incarnation is
another: The Kingdom of God is called a mystery by our Saviour, to be
only known to his disciples; so is faith, and the word of God by St
Paul. I omit many others. So, that to declare against all mysteries
without distinction or exception, is to declare against the whole tenor
of the New Testament.

There are two conditions that may bring a mystery under suspicion.
First, when it is not taught and commanded in Holy Writ; or, secondly,
when the mystery turns to the advantage of those who preach it to
others. Now, as to the first, it can never be said, that we preach
mysteries without warrant from Holy Scripture, although I confess this
of the Trinity may have sometimes been explained by human invention,
which might perhaps better have been spared. As to the second, it will
not be possible to charge the Protestant priesthood with proposing any
temporal advantage to themselves by broaching or multiplying, or
preaching of mysteries. Does this mystery of the Trinity, for instance,
and the descent of the Holy Ghost, bring the least profit or power to
the preachers? No; it is as great a mystery to themselves as it is to
the meanest of their hearers; and may be rather a cause of humiliation,
by putting their understanding in that point upon a level with the most
ignorant of their flock. It is true indeed, the Roman church hath very
much enriched herself by trading in mysteries, for which they have not
the least authority from Scripture, and were fitted only to advance
their own temporal wealth and grandeur; such as transubstantiation, the
worshipping of images, indulgences for sins, purgatory, and masses for
the dead; with many more: But, it is the perpetual talent of those who
have ill-will to our Church, or a contempt for all religion, taken up by
the wickedness of their lives, to charge us with the errors and
corruptions of Popery, which all Protestants have thrown off near two
hundred years: whereas, those mysteries held by us have no prospect of
power, pomp, or wealth, but have been ever maintained by the universal
body of true believers from the days of the apostles, and will be so to
the resurrection; neither will the gates of hell prevail against them.

It may be thought perhaps a strange thing, that God should require us to
believe mysteries, while the reason or manner of what we are to believe
is above our comprehension, and wholly concealed from us: neither doth
it appear at first sight, that the believing or not believing them doth
concern either the glory of God, or contribute to the goodness or
wickedness of our lives. But this is a great and dangerous mistake. We
see what a mighty weight is laid upon faith, both in the Old and New
Testament. In the former we read how the faith of Abraham is praised,
who could believe that God would raise from him a great nation, at the
very time that he was commanded to sacrifice his only son, and despaired
of any other issue. And this was to him a great mystery. Our Saviour is
perpetually preaching faith to his disciples, or reproaching them with
the want of it: and St Paul produceth numerous examples of the wonders
done by faith. And all this is highly reasonable: For faith is an entire
dependence upon the truth, the power, the justice, and the mercy of God;
which dependence will certainly incline us to obey him in all things.
So, that the great excellency of faith, consists in the consequence it
hath upon our actions: as, if we depend upon the truth and wisdom of a
man, we shall certainly be more disposed to follow his advice.
Therefore, let no man think that he can lead as good a moral life
without faith as with it; for this reason, because he who hath no faith,
cannot, by the strength of his own reason or endeavours, so easily
resist temptations, as the other who depends upon God's assistance in
the overcoming his frailties, and is sure to be rewarded for ever in
heaven for his victory over them. "Faith," says the apostle, "is the
evidence of things not seen": he means, that faith is a virtue by which
anything commanded us by God to believe appears evident and certain to
us, although we do not see, nor can conceive it; because, by faith we
entirely depend upon the truth and power of God.

It is an old and true distinction, that things may be above our reason,
without being contrary to it. Of this kind are the power, the nature,
and the universal presence of God, with innumerable other points. How
little do those who quarrel with mysteries, know of the commonest
actions of nature! The growth of an animal, of a plant, or of the
smallest seed, is a mystery to the wisest among men. If an ignorant
person were told that a loadstone would draw iron at a distance, he
might say it was a thing contrary to his reason, and could not believe
before he saw it with his eyes.

The manner whereby the soul and body are united, and how they are
distinguished, is wholly unaccountable to us. We see but one part, and
yet we know we consist of two; and this is a mystery we cannot
comprehend, any more than that of the Trinity.

From what hath been said, it is manifest that God did never command us
to believe, nor his ministers to preach, any doctrine which is contrary
to the reason he hath pleased to endow us with; but for his own wise
ends has thought fit to conceal from us the nature of the thing he
commands; thereby to try our faith and obedience, and increase our
dependence upon him.

It is highly probable, that if God should please to reveal unto us this
great mystery of the Trinity, or some other mysteries in our holy
religion, we should not be able to understand them, unless he would at
the same time think fit to bestow on us some new powers or faculties of
the mind, which we want at present, and are reserved till the day of
resurrection to life eternal. "For now," as the apostle says, "we see
through a glass darkly, but then face to face."

Thus, we see, the matter is brought to this issue: We must either
believe what God directly commands us in Holy Scripture, or we must
wholly reject the Scripture, and the Christian religion which we pretend
to profess. But this, I hope, is too desperate a step for any of us to

I have already observed, that those who preach up the belief of the
Trinity, or of any other mystery, cannot propose any temporal advantage
to themselves by so doing. But this is not the case of those who oppose
these doctrines. Do _they_ lead better moral lives than a good
Christian? Are _they_ more just in their dealings? more chaste, or
temperate, or charitable? Nothing at all of this; but on the contrary,
their intent is to overthrow all religion, that they may gratify their
vices without any reproach from the world, or their own conscience: and
are zealous to bring over as many others as they can to their own
opinions; because it is some kind of imaginary comfort to have a
multitude on their side.

There is no miracle mentioned in Holy Writ, which, if it were strictly
examined, is not as much, contrary to common reason, and as much a
mystery, as this doctrine of the Trinity; and therefore we may, with
equal justice deny the truth of them all. For instance: It is against
the laws of nature, that a human body should be able to walk upon the
water, as St Peter is recorded to have done; or that a dead carcass
should be raised from the grave after three days, when it began to be
corrupted; which those who understand anatomy will pronounce to be
impossible by the common rules of nature and reason. Yet these miracles,
and many others, are positively affirmed in the Gospel; and these we
must believe, or give up our holy religion to atheists and infidels.

I shall now make a few inferences and observations upon what has been

_First_: It would be well, if people would not lay so much weight on
their own reason in matters of religion, as to think everything
impossible and absurd which they cannot conceive. How often do we
contradict the right rules of reason in the whole course of our lives!
Reason itself is true and just, but the reason of every particular man
is weak and wavering, perpetually swayed and turned by his interests,
his passions, and his vices. Let any man but consider, when he hath a
controversy with another, although his cause be ever so unjust, although
the world be against him, how blinded he is by the love of himself, to
believe that right is wrong, and wrong is right, when it maketh for his
own advantage. Where is then the right use of his reason, which he so
much boasts of, and which he would blasphemously set up to control the
commands of the Almighty?

_Secondly_: When men are tempted to deny the mysteries of religion, let
them examine and search into their own hearts, whether they have not
some favourite sin which is of their party in this dispute, and which is
equally contrary to other commands of God in the Gospel. For, why do men
love darkness rather than light? The Scripture tells us, "Because their
deeds are evil;" and there can be no other reason assigned. Therefore
when men are curious and inquisitive to discover some weak sides in
Christianity, and inclined to favour everything that is offered to its
disadvantage; it is plain they wish it were not true, and those wishes
can proceed from nothing but an evil conscience; because, if there be
truth in our religion, their condition must be miserable.

And therefore, _Thirdly_: Men should consider, that raising difficulties
concerning the mysteries in religion, cannot make them more wise,
learned, or virtuous; better neighbours, or friends, or more serviceable
to their country; but, whatever they pretend, will destroy their inward
peace of mind, by perpetual doubts and fears arising in their breasts.
And, God forbid we should ever see the times so bad, when dangerous
opinions in religion will be a means to get favour and preferment;
although, even in such a case, it would be an ill traffic, to gain the
world, and lose our own souls. So, that upon the whole, it will be
impossible to find any real use toward a virtuous or happy life, by
denying the mysteries of the Gospel.

_Fourthly_: Those strong unbelievers, who expect that all mysteries
should be squared and fitted to their own reason, might have somewhat to
say for themselves, if they could satisfy the general reason of mankind
in their opinions: But herein they are miserably defective, absurd, and
ridiculous; they strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel; they can believe
that the world was made by chance; that God doth not concern himself
with things below; will neither punish vice, nor reward virtue; that
religion was invented by cunning men to keep the world in awe; with many
other opinions equally false and detestable, against the common light of
nature as well as reason; against the universal sentiments of all
civilized nations, and offensive to the ears even of a sober heathen.

_Lastly_: Since the world abounds with pestilent books particularly
against this doctrine of the Trinity; it is fit to inform you, that the
authors of them proceed wholly upon a mistake: They would shew how
impossible it is that three can be one, and one can be three; whereas
the Scripture saith no such thing, at least in that manner they would
make it: but, only, that there is some kind of unity and distinction in
the divine nature, which mankind cannot possibly comprehend: thus, the
whole doctrine is short and plain, and in itself incapable of any
controversy: since God himself hath pronounced the fact, but wholly
concealed the manner. And therefore many divines, who thought fit to
answer those wicked books, have been mistaken too, by answering fools in
their folly; and endeavouring to explain a mystery, which God intended
to keep secret from us. And, as I would exhort all men to avoid reading
those wicked books written against this doctrine, as dangerous and
pernicious; so I think they may omit the answers, as unnecessary. This I
confess will probably affect but few or none among the generality of our
congregations, who do not much trouble themselves with books, at least
of this kind. However, many who do not read themselves, are seduced by
others that do; and thus become unbelievers upon trust and at
second-hand; and this is too frequent a case: for which reason I have
endeavoured to put this doctrine upon a short and sure foot, levelled to
the meanest understanding; by which we may, as the apostle directs, be
ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of
the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear.

And, thus I have done with my subject, which probably I should not have
chosen, if I had not been invited to it by the occasion of this season,
appointed on purpose to celebrate the mysteries of the Trinity, and the
descent of the Holy Ghost, wherein we pray to be kept stedfast in this
faith; and what this faith is I have shewn you in the plainest manner I
could. For, upon the whole, it is no more than this: God commandeth us,
by our dependence upon His truth, and His Holy Word, to believe a fact
that we do not understand. And, this is no more than what we do every
day in the works of nature, upon the credit of men of learning. Without
faith we can do no works acceptable to God; for, if they proceed from
any other principle, they will not advance our salvation; and this
faith, as I have explained it, we may acquire without giving up our
senses, or contradicting our reason. May God of his infinite mercy
inspire us with true faith in every article and mystery of our holy
religion, so as to dispose us to do what is pleasing in his sight; and
this we pray through Jesus Christ, to whom, with the Father and the Holy
Ghost, the mysterious, incomprehensible ONE GOD, be all honour and glory
now and for evermore! _Amen_.


[Footnote: 1 Notwithstanding the text and title of this sermon, and the
many excellent observations which it contains in illustration of both,
there are several passages in it which the dissenters of the time would
hardly consider as propitiatory towards the continuance of brotherly
love. There are also various allusions to the parties which raged at the
time, and some which appear to have been written in defence of the
preacher's character, then severely arraigned by the Irish Whigs, and
held in abhorrence by the people of Dublin, by whom he was afterwards
idolized. [S.]]


"Let brotherly love continue."

In the early times of the Gospel, the Christians were very much
distinguished from all other bodies of men, by the great and constant
love they bore to each other; which, although it was done in obedience
to the frequent injunctions of our Saviour and his apostles, yet, I
confess, there seemeth to have been likewise a natural reason, that very
much promoted it. For the Christians then were few and scattered, living
under persecution by the heathens round about them, in whose hands was
all the civil and military power; and there is nothing so apt to unite
the minds and hearts of men, or to beget love and tenderness, as a
general distress. The first dissensions between Christians took their
beginning from the errors and heresies that arose among them; many of
those heresies, sometimes extinguished, and sometimes reviving, or
succeeded by others, remain to this day; and having been made
instruments to the pride, avarice, or ambition, of ill-designing men, by
extinguishing brotherly love, have been the cause of infinite
calamities, as well as corruptions of faith and manners, in the
Christian world.

The last legacy of Christ was peace and mutual love; but then he
foretold, that he came to send a sword upon the earth: The primitive
Christians accepted the legacy, and their successors down to the present
age have been largely fulfilling his prophecy. But whatever the practice
of mankind hath been, or still continues, there is no duty more
incumbent upon those who profess the Gospel, than that of brotherly
love; which, whoever could restore in any degree among men, would be an
instrument of more good to human society, than ever was, or will be,
done by all the statesmen and politicians in the world.

It is upon this subject of brotherly love, that I intend to discourse at
present, and the method I observe shall be as follows:--

I. _First_, I will inquire into the causes of this great want of
brotherly love among us.

II. _Secondly_, I will lay open the sad effects and consequences, which
our animosities and mutual hatred have produced.

III. _Lastly_, I will use some motives and exhortations, that may
persuade you to embrace brotherly love, and continue in it.

I. _First_, I shall enquire into the causes of this great want of
brotherly love among us.

This nation of ours hath, for an hundred years past, been infested by
two enemies, the Papists and fanatics, who, each in their turns, filled
it with blood and slaughter, and, for a time, destroyed both the Church
and government. The memory of these events hath put all true Protestants
equally upon their guard against both these adversaries, who, by
consequence, do equally hate us. The fanatics revile us, as too nearly
approaching to Popery; and the Papists condemn us, as bordering too much
on fanaticism. The Papists, God be praised, are, by the wisdom of our
laws, put out of all visible possibility of hurting us; besides, their
religion is so generally abhorred, that they have no advocates or
abettors among Protestants to assist them. But the fanatics are to be
considered in another light; they have had of late years the power, the
luck, or the cunning, to divide us among ourselves; they have
endeavoured to represent all those who have been so bold as to oppose
their errors and designs, under the character of persons disaffected to
the government; and they have so far succeeded, that, now-a-days, if a
clergyman happens to preach with any zeal and vehemence against the sin
and danger of schism, there will not want too many, in his congregation,
ready enough to censure him as hot and high-flying, an inflamer of men's
minds, an enemy to moderation, and disloyal to his prince. This hath
produced a formed and settled division between those who profess the
same doctrine and discipline; while they who call themselves moderate
are forced to widen their bottom, by sacrificing their principles and
their brethren to the encroachments and insolence of dissenters, who are
therefore answerable, as a principal cause of all that hatred and
animosity now reigning among us.

Another cause of the great want of brotherly love is the weakness and
folly of too many among you of the lower sort, who are made the tools
and instruments of your betters to work their designs, wherein you have
no concern. Your numbers make you of use, and cunning men take the
advantage, by putting words into your mouths, which you do not
understand; then they fix good or ill characters to those words, as it
best serves their purposes: And thus you are taught to love or hate, you
know not what or why; you often suspect your best friends, and nearest
neighbours, even your teacher himself, without any reason, if your
leaders once taught you to call him by a name, which they tell you
signifieth some very bad thing.

A third cause of our great want of brotherly love seemeth to be, that
this duty is not so often insisted on from the pulpit, as it ought to be
in such times as these; on the contrary, it is to be doubted, whether
doctrines are not sometimes delivered by an ungoverned zeal, a desire to
be distinguished, or a view of interest, which produce quite different
effects; when, upon occasions set apart to return thanks to God for some
public blessing, the time is employed in stirring up one part of the
congregation against the other, by representations of things and
persons, which God, in his mercy, forgive those who are guilty of.

The last cause I shall mention of the want of brotherly love is, that
unhappy disposition towards politics among the trading people, which has
been industriously instilled into them. In former times, the middle and
lower sorts of mankind seldom gained or lost by the factions of the
kingdom, and therefore were little concerned in them, further than as
matter of talk and amusement; but now the meanest dealer will expect to
turn the penny by the merits of his party. He can represent his
neighbour as a man of dangerous principles, can bring a railing
accusation against him, perhaps a criminal one, and so rob him of his
livelihood, and find his own account by that much more than if he had
disparaged his neighbour's goods, or defamed him as a cheat. For so it
happens, that, instead of enquiring into the skill or honesty of those
kind of people, the manner is now to enquire into their party, and to
reject or encourage them accordingly; which proceeding hath made our
people, in general, such able politicians, that all the artifice,
flattery, dissimulation, diligence, and dexterity, in undermining each
other, which the satirical wit of men hath charged upon courts; together
with all the rage and violence, cruelty and injustice, which have been
ever imputed to public assemblies; are with us (so polite are we grown)
to be seen among our meanest traders and artificers in the greatest
perfection. All which, as it may be matter of some humiliation to the
wise and mighty of this world, so the effects thereof may, perhaps, in
time, prove very different from what, I hope in charity, were ever
foreseen or intended.

II. I will therefore now, in the second place, lay open some of the sad
effects and consequences which our animosities and mutual hatred have

And the first ill consequence is, that our want of brotherly love hath
almost driven out all sense of religion from among us, which cannot well
be otherwise; for since our Saviour laid so much weight upon his
disciples loving one another, that he gave it among his last
instructions; and since the primitive Christians are allowed to have
chiefly propagated the faith by their strict observance of that
instruction, it must follow that, in proportion as brotherly love
declineth, Christianity will do so too. The little religion there is in
the world, hath been observed to reside chiefly among the middle and
lower sorts of people, who are neither tempted to pride nor luxury by
great riches, nor to desperate courses by extreme poverty: And truly I,
upon that account, have thought it a happiness, that those who are under
my immediate care are generally of that condition; but where party hath
once made entrance, with all its consequences of hatred, envy,
partiality, and virulence, religion cannot long keep its hold in any
state or degree of life whatsoever. For, if the great men of the world
have been censured in all ages for mingling too little religion with
their politics, what a havoc of principles must they needs make in
unlearned and irregular heads; of which indeed the effects are already
too visible and melancholy all over the kingdom!

Another ill consequence from our want of brotherly love is, that it
increaseth the insolence of the fanatics; and this partly ariseth from a
mistaken meaning of the word moderation; a word which hath been much
abused, and bandied about for several years past. There are too many
people indifferent enough to all religion; there are many others, who
dislike the clergy, and would have them live in poverty and dependence;
both these sorts are much commended by the fanatics for moderate men,
ready to put an end to our divisions, and to make a general union among
Protestants. Many ignorant well-meaning people are deceived by these
appearances, strengthened with great pretences to loyalty: and these
occasions the fanatics lay hold on, to revile the doctrine and
discipline of the Church, and even insult and oppress the clergy
wherever their numbers or favourers will bear them out; insomuch, that
one wilful refractory fanatic hath been able to disturb a whole parish
for many years together. But the most moderate and favoured divines dare
not own, that the word moderation, with respect to the dissenters, can
be at all applied to their religion, but is purely personal or
prudential. No good man repineth at the liberty of conscience they
enjoy; and, perhaps a very moderate divine may think better of their
loyalty than others do; or, to speak after the manner of men, may think
it necessary, that all Protestants should be united against the common
enemy; or out of discretion, or other reasons best known to himself, be
tender of mentioning them at all. But still the errors of the dissenters
are all fixed and determined, and must, upon demand, be acknowledged by
all the divines of our church, whether they be called, in party phrase,
high or low, moderate or violent. And further, I believe it would be
hard to find many moderate divines, who, if their opinion were asked
whether dissenters should be trusted with power, could, according to
their consciences, answer in the affirmative; from whence it is plain,
that all the stir which the fanatics have made with this word
moderation, was only meant to increase our divisions, and widen them so
far as to make room for themselves to get in between. And this is the
only scheme they ever had (except that of destroying root and branch)
for the uniting of Protestants, they so much talk of.

I shall mention but one ill consequence more, which attends our want of
brotherly love; that it hath put an end to all hospitality and
friendship, all good correspondence and commerce between mankind. There
are indeed such things as leagues and confederacies among those of the
same party; but surely God never intended that men should be so limited
in the choice of their friends: However, so it is in town and country,
in every parish and street; the pastor is divided from his flock, the
father from his son, and the house often divided against itself. Men's
very natures are soured, and their passions inflamed, when they meet in
party clubs, and spend their time in nothing else but railing at the
opposite side; thus every man alive among us is encompassed with a
million of enemies of his own country, among which his oldest
acquaintance and friends, and kindred themselves, are often of the
number; neither can people of different parties mix together without
constraint, suspicion, or jealousy, watching every word they speak, for
fear of giving offence, or else falling into rudeness and reproaches,
and so leaving themselves open to the malice and corruption of
informers, who were never more numerous or expert in their trade. And as
a further addition to this evil, those very few, who, by the goodness
and generosity of their nature, do in their own hearts despise this
narrow principle of confining their friendship and esteem, their charity
and good offices, to those of their own party, yet dare not discover
their good inclinations, for fear of losing their favour and interest.
And others again, whom God had formed with mild and gentle dispositions,
think it necessary to put a force upon their own tempers, by acting a
noisy, violent, malicious part, as a means to be distinguished. Thus hath
party got the better of the very genius and constitution of our people;
so that whoever reads the character of the English in former ages, will
hardly believe their present posterity to be of the same nation or

III. I shall now, in the last place, make use of some motives and
exhortations, that may persuade you to embrace brotherly love, and
continue in it. Let me apply myself to you of the lower sort, and desire
you will consider, when any of you make use of fair and enticing words
to draw in customers, whether you do it for their sakes or your own. And
then, for whose sakes do you think it is, that your leaders are so
industrious to put into your heads all that party rage and virulence? Is
it not to make you the tools and instruments, by which they work out
their own designs? Has this spirit of faction been useful to any of you
in your worldly concerns, except to those who have traded in whispering,
backbiting, or informing, and wanted skill or honesty to thrive by
fairer methods? It is no business of yours to inquire, who is at the
head of armies, or of councils, unless you had power and skill to
choose, neither of which is ever likely to be your case; and therefore
to fill your heads with fears, and hatred of persons and things, of
which it is impossible you can ever make a right judgment, or to set you
at variance with your neighbour, because his thoughts are not the same
as yours, is not only in a very gross manner to cheat you of your time
and quiet, but likewise to endanger your souls.

_Secondly_: In order to restore brotherly love, let me earnestly exhort
you to stand firm in your religion; I mean, the true religion hitherto
established among us, without varying in the least either to Popery on
the one side, or to fanaticism on the other; and in a particular manner
beware of that word, moderation; and believe it, that your neighbour is
not immediately a villain, a Papist, and a traitor, because the fanatics
and their adherents will not allow him to be a moderate man.

Nay, it is very probable, that your teacher himself may be a loyal,
pious, and able divine, without the least grain of moderation, as the
word is too frequently understood. Therefore, to set you right in this
matter, I will lay before you the character of a truly moderate man, and
then I will give you the description of such a one as falsely pretendeth
to that title.

A man truly moderate is steady in the doctrine and discipline of the
Church, but with a due Christian charity to all who dissent from it out
of a principle of conscience; the freedom of which, he thinketh, ought
to be fully allowed, as long as it is not abused, but never trusted with
power. He is ready to defend with his life and fortune the Protestant
succession, and the Protestant established faith, against all invaders
whatsoever. He is for giving the Crown its just prerogative, and the
people their just liberties. He hateth no man for differing from him in
political opinions; nor doth he think it a maxim infallible, that virtue
should always attend upon favour, and vice upon disgrace. These are some
few lineaments in the character of a truly moderate man; let us now
compare it with the description of one who usually passeth under that

A moderate man, in the new meaning of the word, is one to whom all
religion is indifferent; who although he denominates himself of the
Church, regardeth it no more than a conventicle. He perpetually raileth
at the body of the clergy, with exceptions only to a very few, who, he
hopeth, and probably upon false grounds, are as ready to betray their
rights and properties as himself. He thinketh the power of the people
can never be too great, nor that of the prince too little; and yet this
very notion he publisheth, as his best argument, to prove him a most
loyal subject. Every opinion in government, that differeth in the least
from his, tendeth directly to Popery, slavery, and rebellion. Whoever
lieth under the frown of power, can, in his judgment, neither have
common sense, common honesty, nor religion. Lastly, his devotion
consisteth in drinking gibbets, confusion, and damnation[1]; in
profanely idolizing the memory of one dead prince,[2] and ungratefully
trampling upon the ashes of another.[3]

[Footnote 1: The subject of these political toasts was the theme of much
discussion in Ireland. [S.]]

[Footnote 2: King William.]

[Footnote 3: Queen Anne.]

By these marks you will easily distinguish a truly moderate man from
those who are commonly, but very falsely, so called; and while persons
thus qualified are so numerous and so noisy, so full of zeal and
industry to gain proselytes, and spread their opinions among the people,
it cannot be wondered at that there should be so little brotherly love
left among us.

_Lastly_: It would probably contribute to restore some degree of
brotherly love, if we would but consider, that the matter of those
disputes, which inflame us to this degree, doth not, in its own nature,
at all concern the generality of mankind. Indeed as to those who have
been great gainers or losers by the changes of the world, the case is
different; and to preach moderation to the first, and patience to the
last, would perhaps be to little purpose: But what is that to the bulk
of the people, who are not properly concerned in the quarrel, although
evil instruments have drawn them into it? For, if the reasonable men on
both sides were to confer opinions, they would find neither religion,
loyalty, nor interest, are at all affected in this dispute. Not
religion, because the members of the Church, on both sides, profess to
agree in every article: Not loyalty to our prince, which is pretended to
by one party as much as the other, and therefore can be no subject for
debate: Not interest, for trade and industry lie open to all; and, what
is further, concerns only those who have expectations from the public:
So that the body of the people, if they knew their own good, might yet
live amicably together, and leave their betters to quarrel among
themselves, who might also probably soon come to a better temper, if
they were less seconded and supported by the poor deluded multitude.

I have now done with my text, which I confess to have treated in a
manner more suited to the present times, than to the nature of the
subject in general. That I have not been more particular in explaining
the several parts and properties of this great duty of brotherly love,
the apostle to the Thessalonians will plead my excuse.--"Touching
brotherly love" (saith he) "ye need not that I write unto you, for ye
yourselves are taught of God to love one another[4]." So that nothing
remains to add, but our prayers to God, that he would please to restore
and continue this duty of brotherly love or charity among us, the very
bond of peace and of all virtues.

[Footnote 4: 1 Thess. iv. 9.]

_Nov._ 29, 1717.


[Footnote 1: Prefixed to the issue in volume ten, "Miscellanies," 1745,
is the following:


"The manuscript title page of the following sermon being lost, and no
memorandum writ upon it, as there were upon the others, when and where
it was preached, made the editor doubtful whether he should print it as
the Dean's, or not. But its being found amongst the same papers; and the
hand, though writ somewhat better, bearing a great similitude to the
Dean's, made him willing to lay it before the public, that they might
judge whether the style and manner also does not render it still more
probable to be his." [T.S.]]


"And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this
great thing?"

We have a very singular instance of the deceitfulness of the heart,
represented to us in the person of Hazael; who was sent to the prophet
Elisha, to enquire of the Lord concerning his master the King of Syria's
recovery. For the man of God, having told him that the king might
recover from the disorder he was then labouring under, begun to set and
fasten his countenance upon him of a sudden, and to break out into the
most violent expressions of sorrow, and a deep concern for it;
whereupon, when Hazael, full of shame and confusion, asked, "Why weepeth
my lord?" he answered, "Because I know all the evil that thou wilt do
unto the children of Israel; their strongholds wilt thou set on fire,
and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their
children, and rip up their women with child." Thus much did the man of
God say and know of him, by a light darted into his mind from heaven.
But Hazael not knowing himself so well as the other did, was startled
and amazed at the relation, and would not believe it possible that a man
of his temper could ever run out into such enormous instances of cruelty
and inhumanity. "What!" says he, "is thy servant a dog, that he should
do this great thing?"

And yet, for all this, it is highly probable that he was then that man
he could not imagine himself to be; for we find him, on the very next
day after his return, in a very treacherous and disloyal manner
murdering his own master, and usurping his kingdom; which was but a
prologue to the sad tragedy which he afterwards acted upon the people of

And now the case is but very little better with most men, than it was
with Hazael; however it comes to pass, they are wonderfully unacquainted
with their own temper and disposition, and know very little of what
passes within them: For of so many proud, ambitious, revengeful,
envying, and ill-natured persons, that are in the world, where is there
one of them, who, although he has all the symptoms of the vice appearing
upon every occasion, can look with such an impartial eye upon himself,
as to believe that the imputation thrown upon him is not altogether
groundless and unfair? Who, if he were told by men of a discerning
spirit and a strong conjecture, of all the evil and absurd things which
that false heart of his would at one time or other betray him into,
would not believe as little, and wonder as much, as Hazael did before
him? Thus, for instance; tell an angry person that he is weak and
impotent, and of no consistency of mind; tell him, that such or such a
little accident, which he may then despise and think much below a
passion, shall hereafter make him say and do several absurd, indiscreet,
and misbecoming things: He may perhaps own that he has a spirit of
resentment within him, that will not let him be imposed on, but he
fondly imagines that he can lay a becoming restraint upon it when he
pleases, although 'tis ever running away with him into some indecency or

Therefore, to bring the words of my text to our present occasion, I
shall endeavour, in a further prosecution of them, to evince the great
necessity of a nice and curious inspection into the several recesses of
the heart, being the surest and the shortest method that a wicked man
can take to reform himself: For let us but stop the fountain, and the
streams will spend and waste themselves away in a very little time; but
if we go about, like children, to raise a bank, and to stop the current,
not taking notice all the while of the spring which continually feeds
it, when the next flood of temptation rises, and breaks in upon it, then
we shall find that we have begun at the wrong end of our duty, and that
we are very little more the better for it, than if we had sat still, and
made no advances at all.

But, in order to a clearer explanation of the point, I shall speak to
these following particulars:--

_First_: By endeavouring to prove, from particular instances, that man
is generally the most ignorant creature in the world of himself.

_Secondly_: By inquiring into the grounds and reasons of his ignorance.

_Thirdly_ and _Lastly_: By proposing several advantages that do most
assuredly attend a due improvement in the knowledge of ourselves.

_First_, then: To prove that man is generally the most ignorant creature
in the world, of himself.

To pursue the heart of man through all the instances of life, in all its
several windings and turnings, and under that infinite variety of shapes
and appearances which it puts on, would be a difficult and almost
impossible undertaking; so that I shall confine myself to such as have a
nearer reference to the present occasion, and do, upon a closer view,
shew themselves through the whole business of repentance. For we all
know what it is to repent, but whether he repents him truly of his sins
or not, who can know it?

Now the great duty of repentance is chiefly made up of these two parts,
a hearty sorrow for the follies and miscarriages of the time past, and a
full purpose and resolution of amendment for the time to come. And now,
to shew the falseness of the heart in both these parts of repentance,

_First_: As to a hearty sorrow for the sins and miscarriages of the time
past. Is there a more usual thing than for a man to impose upon himself,
by putting on a grave and demure countenance, by casting a severe look
into his past conduct, and making some few pious and devout reflections
upon it, and then to believe that he has repented to an excellent
purpose, without ever letting it step forth into practice, and shew
itself in a holy conversation? Nay, some persons do carry the deceit a
little higher; who if they can but bring themselves to weep for their
sins, they are then full of an ill-grounded confidence and security;
never considering that all this may prove to be no more than the very
garb and outward dress of a contrite heart, which another heart, as hard
as the nether millstone, may as well put on. For tears and sighs,
however in some persons they may be decent and commendable expressions
of a godly sorrow, are neither necessary, nor infallible signs of a true
and unfeigned repentance. Not necessary, because sometimes, and in some
persons, the inward grief and anguish of the mind may be too big to be
expressed by so little a thing as a tear, and then it turneth its edge
inward upon the mind; and like those wounds of the body which bleed
inwardly, generally proves the most fatal and dangerous to the whole
body of sin: Not infallible, because a very small portion of sorrow may
make some tender dispositions melt, and break out into tears; or a man
may perhaps weep at parting with his sins, as he would bid the last
farewell to an old friend.

But there is still a more pleasant cheat in this affair, that when we
find a deadness, and a strange kind of unaptness and indisposition to
all impressions of religion, and that we cannot be as truly sorry for
our sins as we should be, we then pretend to be sorry that we are not
more sorry for them; which is not more absurd and irrational, than that
a man should pretend to be very angry at a thing, because he did not
know how to be angry at all.

But after all, what is wanting in this part of repentance, we expect to
make up in the next; and to that purpose we put on a resolution of
amendment, which we take to be as firm as a house built upon a rock; so
that let the floods arise, and the winds blow, and the streams beat
vehemently upon it, nothing shall shake it into ruin or disorder. We
doubt not, upon the strength of this resolve, to stand fast and unmoved
amid the storm of a temptation; and do firmly believe, at the time we
make it, that nothing in the world will ever be able to make us commit
those sins over again, which we have so firmly resolved against.

Thus many a time have we come to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper,
with a full purpose of amendment, and with as full a persuasion of
putting that same purpose into practice; and yet have we not all as
often broke that good purpose, and falsified that same persuasion, by
starting aside, like a broken bow, into those very sins, which we then
so solemnly and so confidently declared against?

Whereas had but any other person entered with us into a vow so solemn,
that he had taken the Holy Sacrament upon it, I believe had he but once
deceived us by breaking in upon the vow, we should hardly ever after be
prevailed upon to trust that man again, though we still continue to
trust our own fears, against reason and against experience.

This indeed is a dangerous deceit enough, and will of course betray all
those well-meaning persons into sin and folly, who are apt to take
religion for a much easier thing than it is. But this is not the only
mistake we are apt to run into; we do not only think sometimes that we
can do more than we can do, but sometimes that we are incapable of doing
less; an error of another kind indeed, but not less dangerous, arising
from a diffidence and false humility. For how much a wicked man can do
in the business of religion, if he would but do his best, is very often
more than he can tell.

Thus nothing is more common than to see a wicked man running headlong
into sin and folly, against his reason, against his religion, and
against his God. Tell him, that what he is going to do will be an
infinite disparagement to his understanding, which, at another time, he
sets no small value upon; tell him that it will blacken his reputation,
which he had rather die for than lose; tell him that the pleasure of sin
is short and transient, and leaves a vexatious kind of sting behind it,
which will very hardly be drawn forth; tell him that this is one of
those things for which God will most surely bring him to judgment, which
he pretends to believe with a full assurance and persuasion: And yet for
all this, he shuts his eyes against all conviction, and rusheth into the
sin like a horse into battle; as if he had nothing left to do, but, like
a silly child to wink hard, and to think to escape a certain and
infinite mischief, only by endeavouring not to see it.

And now to shew that the heart has given in a false report of the
temptation, we may learn from this, that the same weak man would resist
and master the same powerful temptation, upon considerations of
infinitely less value than those which religion offers, nay such vile
considerations, that the grace of God cannot without blasphemy be
supposed to add any manner of force and efficacy to them. Thus for
instance, it would be a hard matter to dress up a sin in such soft and
tempting circumstances, that a truly covetous man would not resist for a
considerable sum of money; when neither the hopes of heaven nor the
fears of hell could make an impression upon him before. But can anything
be a surer indication of the deceitfulness of the heart, than thus to
shew more courage, resolution, and activity, in an ill cause, than it
does in a good one? And to exert itself to better purpose, when it is to
serve its own pride, or lust, or revenge, or any other passion, than
when it is to serve God upon motives of the Gospel, and upon all the
arguments that have ever been made use of to bring men over to religion
and a good life? And thus having shewn that man is wonderfully apt to
deceive and impose upon himself, in passing through the several stages
of that great duty, repentance, I proceed now, in the

_Second place_: To inquire into the grounds and reasons of this
ignorance, _and to shew whence it comes to pass that man, the only
creature in the world that can reflect and look into himself, should
know so little of what passes within him, and be so very much
unacquainted even with the standing dispositions and complexion of his
own heart_. The prime reason of it is, because we so very seldom
converse with ourselves, and take so little notice of what passes within
us: For a man can no more know his own heart than he can know his own
face, any other way than by reflection: He may as well tell over every
feature of the smaller portions of his face without the help of a
looking-glass, as he can tell all the inward bents and tendencies of his
soul, those standing features and lineaments of the inward man, and know
all the various changes that this is liable to from custom, from
passion, and from opinion, without a very frequent use of looking within

For our passions and inclinations are not always upon the wing, and
always moving toward their respective objects, but retire now and then
into the more dark and hidden recesses of the heart, where they lie
concealed for a while, until a fresh occasion calls them forth again: So
that not every transient, oblique glance upon the mind can bring a man
into a thorough knowledge of all its strength and weaknesses; for a man
may sometimes turn the eye of the mind inward upon itself, as he may
behold his natural face in a glass, and go away, "and straight forget
what manner of man he was." But a man must rather sit down and unravel
every action of the past day into all its circumstances and
particularities, and observe how every little thing moved and affected
him, and what manner of impression it made upon his heart; this done
with that frequency and carefulness which the importance of the duty
does require, would in a short time bring him into a nearer and more
intimate acquaintance with himself.

But when men instead of this do pass away months and years in a perfect
slumber of the mind, without once awaking it, it is no wonder they
should be so very ignorant of themselves, and know very little more of
what passes within them than the very beasts which perish. But here it
may not be amiss to inquire into the reasons why most men have so little
conversation with themselves.

And, _first:_  Because this reflection is a work and labour of the mind,
and cannot be performed without some pain and difficulty: For, before a
man can reflect upon himself, and look into his heart with a steady eye,
he must contract his sight, and collect all his scattering and roving
thoughts into some order and compass, that he may be able to take a
clear and distinct view of them; he must retire from the world for a
while, and be unattentive to all impressions of sense; and how hard and
painful a thing must it needs be to a man of passion and infirmity, amid
such a crowd of objects that are continually striking upon the sense,
and soliciting the affections, not to be moved and interrupted by one or
other of them. But,

_Secondly:_ Another reason why we so seldom converse with ourselves, is,
because the business of the world takes up all our time, and leaveth us
no portion of it to spend upon this great work and labour of the mind.
Thus twelve or fourteen years pass away before we can well discern good
from evil; and of the rest so much goes away in sleep, so much in the
proper business of our calling, that we have none to lay out upon the
more serious and religious employments. Every man's life is an imperfect
sort of a circle, which he repeats and runs over every day; he has a set
of thoughts, desires, and inclinations, which return upon him in their
proper time and order, and will very hardly be laid aside, to make room
for anything new and uncommon: So that call upon him when you please, to
set about the study of his own heart, and you are sure to find him
pre-engaged; either he has some business to do, or some diversion to
take, some acquaintance that he must visit, or some company that he must
entertain, or some cross accident has put him out of humour, and
unfitted him for such a grave employment. And thus it cometh to pass
that a man can never find leisure to look into himself, because he does
not set apart some portion of the day for that very purpose, but
foolishly defers it from one day to another, till his glass is almost
run out, and he is called to give a miserable account of himself in the
other world. But,

_Thirdly_, Another reason why a man does not more frequently converse
with himself, is, because such conversation with his own heart may
discover some vice or some infirmity lurking within him, which he is
very unwilling to believe himself guilty of. For can there be a more
ungrateful thing to a man, than to find that upon a nearer view he is
not that person he took himself to be? That he had neither the courage,
nor the honesty, nor the piety, nor the humility that he dreamed he had?
That a very little pain, for instance, putteth him out of patience, and
as little pleasure softens and disarms him into ease and wantonness?
That he has been at more pains, and labour, and cost, to be revenged of
an enemy, than to oblige the best friend he has in the world? That he
cannot bring himself to say his prayers, without a great deal of
reluctancy; and when he does say them, the spirit and fervour of
devotion evaporate in a very short time, and he can scarcely hold out a
prayer of ten lines, without a number of idle and impertinent, if not
vain and wicked thoughts coming into his head? These are very unwelcome
discoveries that a man may make of himself; so that 'tis no wonder that
every one who is already flushed with a good opinion of himself, should
rather study how to run away from it, than how to converse with his own

But further, if a man were both able and willing to retire into his own
heart, and to set apart some portion of the day for that very purpose;
yet he is still disabled from passing a fair and impartial judgment upon
himself, by several difficulties, arising partly from prejudice and
prepossession, partly from the lower appetites and inclinations. And,

_First_: That the business of prepossession may lead and betray a man
into a false judgment of his own heart. For we may observe, that the
first opinion we take up of anything, or any person, does generally
stick close to us; the nature of the mind being such, that it cannot but
desire, and consequently endeavour to have some certain principles to go
upon, something fixed and unmoveable, whereon it may rest and support
itself. And hence it comes to pass, that some persons are with so much
difficulty brought to think well of a man they have once entertained an
ill opinion of: and perhaps that too for a very absurd and unwarrantable
reason. But how much more difficult then must it be for a man, who takes
up a fond opinion of his own heart long before he has either years or
sense enough to understand it, either to be persuaded out of it by
himself, whom he loveth so well, or by another, whose interest or
diversion it may be to make him ashamed of himself! Then,

_Secondly_: As to the difficulties arising from the inferior appetites
and inclinations, let any man look into his own heart, and observe in
how different a light, and under what different complexions, any two
sins of equal turpitude and malignity do appear to him, if he has but a
strong inclination to the one, and none at all to the other. That which
he has an inclination to, is always drest up in all the false beauty
that a fond and busy imagination can give it; the other appears naked
and deformed, and in all the true circumstances of folly and dishonour.
Thus stealing is a vice that few gentlemen are inclined to; and they
justly think it below the dignity of a man to stoop to so base and low a
sin; but no principle of honour, no workings of the mind and conscience,
not the still voice of mercy, not the dreadful call of judgment, nor any
considerations whatever, can put a stop to that violence and oppression,
that pride and ambition, that revelling and wantonness, which we every
day meet with in the world. Nay, it is easy to observe very different
thoughts in a man, of the sin that he is most fond of, according to, the
different ebbs and flows of his inclination to it For as soon as the
appetite is alarmed, and seizeth upon the heart, a little cloud
gathereth about the head, and spreads a kind of darkness over the face
of the soul, whereby 'tis hindered from taking a clear and distinct view
of things; but no sooner is the appetite tired and satiated, but the
same cloud passes away like a shadow, and a new light springing up in
the mind of a sudden, the man sees much more, both of the folly and of
the danger of the sin, than he did before.

And thus having done with the several reasons why man, the only creature
in the world that can reflect and look into himself, is so very ignorant
of what passes within him, and so much unacquainted with the standing
dispositions and complexions of his own heart: I proceed now, in the

_Third_ and _Last_ place, to lay down several advantages, that do _most
assuredly_ attend a due improvement in the knowledge of ourselves. And,

_First_: One great advantage is, that it tends very much to mortify and
humble a man into a modest and low opinion of himself. For let a man
take a nice and curious inspection into all the several regions of the
heart, and observe every thing irregular and amiss within him: for
instance, how narrow and short-sighted a thing is the understanding;
upon how little reason do we take up an opinion, and upon how much
less sometimes do we lay it down again, how weak and false ground do we
often walk upon with the biggest confidence and assurance, and how
tremulous and doubtful are we very often where no doubt is to be made.
Again; how wild and impertinent, how busy and incoherent a thing is the
imagination, even in the best and wisest men; insomuch that every man
may be said to be mad, but every man does not shew it. Then as to the
passions; how noisy, how turbulent, and how tumultuous are they, how
easy they are stirred and set a-going, how eager and hot in the pursuit,
and what strange disorder and confusion do they throw a man into; so
that he can neither think, nor speak, nor act as he should do, while he
is under the dominion of any one of them.

Thus let every man look with a severe and impartial eye into all the
distinct regions of the heart, and no doubt, several deformities and
irregularities, that he never thought of, will open and disclose
themselves upon so near a view; and rather make the man ashamed of
himself, than proud.

_Secondly:_ A due improvement in the knowledge of ourselves does
certainly secure us from the sly and insinuating assaults of flattery.
There is not in the world a baser and more hateful thing than flattery;
it proceeds from so much falseness and insincerity in the man that gives
it, and often discovers so much weakness and folly in the man that takes
it, that it is hard to tell which of the two is most to be blamed. Every
man of common sense can demonstrate in speculation, and may be fully
convinced, that all the praises and commendations of the whole world can
add no more to the real and intrinsic value of a man, than they can add
to his stature. And yet, for all this, men of the best sense and piety,
when they come down to the practice, cannot forbear thinking much better
of themselves, when they have the good fortune to be spoken well of by
other persons.

But the meaning of this absurd proceeding seems to be no other than
this; there are few men that have so intimate an acquaintance with their
own heart, as to know their own real worth, and how to set a just rate
upon themselves, and therefore they do not know but that he who praises
them most, may be most in the right of it. For, no doubt, if a man were
ignorant of the true value of a thing he loved as well as himself, he
would measure the worth of it according to the esteem of him who bids
most for it, rather than of him that bids less.

Therefore, the most infallible way to disentangle a man from the snares
of flattery, is, to consult and study his own heart; for whoever does
that well, will hardly be so absurd, as to take another man's word,
before his own sense and experience.

_Thirdly:_ Another advantage from this kind of study, is this, that it
teaches a man how to behave himself patiently, when he has the ill
fortune to be censured and abused by other people. For a man who is
thoroughly acquainted with his own heart, does already know more evil of
himself, than anybody else can tell him; and when any one speaks ill of
him, he rather thanks God that he can say no worse. For could his enemy
but look into the dark and hidden recesses of the heart, he considers
what a number of impure thoughts he might there see brooding and
hovering, like a dark cloud, upon the face of the soul; that there he
might take a prospect of the fancy, and view it acting over the several
scenes of pride, of ambition, of envy, of lust, and revenge; that there
he might tell how often a vicious inclination has been restrained, for
no other reason but just to save the man's credit or interest in the
world; and how many unbecoming ingredients have entered into the
composition of his best actions. And now, what man in the whole world
would be able to bear so severe a test, to have every thought and inward
motion of the heart laid open and exposed to the views of his enemies?

_Fourthly_, and _Lastly:_ Another advantage of this kind is, that it
makes men less severe upon other people's faults, and less busy and
industrious in spreading them. For a man, employed at home, inspecting
into his own failings, has not leisure to take notice of every little
spot and blemish that lies scattered upon others. Or if he cannot escape
the sight of them, he always passes the most easy and favourable
construction upon them. Thus, for instance; does the ill he knows of a
man proceed from an unhappy temper and constitution of body? He then
considers with himself, how hard a thing it is, not to be borne down
with the current of the blood and spirits, and accordingly lays some
part of the blame upon the weakness of human nature, for he has felt the
force and rapidity of it within his own breast; though perhaps, in
another instance, he remembers how it rages and swells by opposition;
and though it may be restrained, or diverted for a while, yet it can
hardly ever be totally subdued.

Or has the man sinned out of custom? He then, from his own experience,
traces a habit into the very first rise and imperfect beginnings of it;
and can tell by how slow and insensible advances it creeps upon the
heart; how it works itself by degrees into the very frame and texture of
it, and so passes into a second nature; and consequently he has a just
sense of the great difficulty for him to learn to do good, who has been
long accustomed to do evil.

Or, lastly, has a false opinion betrayed him into a sin? He then calls
to mind what wrong apprehensions he has made of some things himself; how
many opinions, that he once made no doubt of, he has, upon a stricter
examination found to be doubtful and uncertain; how many more to be
unreasonable and absurd. He knows further, that there are a great many
more opinions that he has never yet examined into at all, and which,
however, he still believes, for no other reason, but because he has
believed them so long already without a reason. Thus, upon every
occasion, a man intimately acquainted with himself, consults his own
heart, and makes every man's case to be his own, (and so puts the most
favourable interpretation upon it). Let every man therefore look into
his own heart, before he beginneth to abuse the reputation of another,
and then he will hardly be so absurd as to throw a dart that will so
certainly rebound and wound himself. And thus, through the whole course
of his conversation, let him keep an eye upon that one great
comprehensive rule of Christian duty, on which hangs, not only the law
and the prophets, but the very life and spirit of the Gospel too:
"Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto
them." Which rule, that we may all duly observe, by throwing aside all
scandal and detraction, all spite and rancour, all rudeness and
contempt, all rage and violence, and whatever tends to make conversation
and commerce either uneasy, or troublesome, may the God of peace grant
for Jesus Christ his sake, &c.

Consider what has been said, &c.



"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

In those great changes that are made in a country by the prevailing of
one party over another, it is very convenient that the prince, and those
who are in authority under him, should use all just and proper methods
for preventing any mischief to the public from seditious men. And
governors do well, when they encourage any good subject to discover (as
his duty obligeth him) whatever plots or conspiracies may be anyway
dangerous to the state: Neither are they to be blamed, even when they
receive informations from bad men, in order to find out the truth, when
it concerns the public welfare. Every one indeed is naturally inclined
to have an ill opinion of an informer; although it is not impossible but
an honest man may be called by that name. For whoever knoweth anything,
the telling of which would prevent some great evil to his prince, his
country, or his neighbour, is bound in conscience to reveal it. But the
mischief is, that, when parties are violently enflamed, which seemeth
unfortunately to be our case at present, there is never wanting a set of
evil instruments, who, either out of mad zeal, private hatred, or filthy
lucre, are always ready to offer their service to the prevailing side,
and become accusers of their brethren, without any regard to truth or
charity. Holy David numbers this among the chief of his sufferings;
"False witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out
cruelty."[1] Our Saviour and his apostles did likewise undergo the same
distress, as we read both in the Gospels and the Acts.

[Footnote 1:  Psalm xxvii. 12.]

Now, because the sign of false witnessing is so horrible and dangerous
in itself, and so odious to God and man; and because the bitterness of
too many among us is risen to such a height, that it is not easy to know
where it will stop, or how far some weak and wicked minds may be carried
by a mistaken zeal, a malicious temper, or hope of reward, to break this
great commandment delivered in the text; therefore, in order to prevent
this evil, and the consequences of it, at least among you who are my
hearers, I shall,

I. _First_: Shew you several ways by which a man may be called a false
witness against his neighbour.

II. _Secondly_: I shall give you some rules for your conduct and
behaviour, in order to defend yourselves against the malice and cunning
of false accusers.

III. And _lastly_: I shall conclude with shewing you very briefly, how
far it is your duty, as good subjects and good neighbours, to bear
faithful witness, when you are lawfully called to it by those in
authority, or by the sincere advice of your own consciences,

I. As to the first, there are several ways by which a man may be justly
called a false witness against his neighbour.

_First_, According to the direct meaning of the word, when a man
accuseth his neighbour without the least ground of truth. So we read,
that Jezebel hired two sons of Belial to accuse Naboth for blaspheming
God and the King, for which, although he was entirely innocent, he was
stoned to death.[2] And in our age it is not easy, to tell how many men
have lost their lives, been ruined in their fortunes, and put to
ignominious punishment by the downright perjury of false witnesses! The
law itself in such cases being not able to protect the innocent. But
this is so horrible a crime, that it doth not need to be aggravated by

[Footnote 2: i Kings, xxi. 8-13.]

A second way by which a man becometh a false witness is, when he mixeth
falsehood and truth together, or concealeth some circumstances, which,
if they were told; would destroy the falsehoods he uttereth. So the two
false witnesses who accused our Saviour before the chief priests, by a
very little perverting his words, would have made him guilty of a
capital crime: for so it was among the Jews to prophesy any evil against
the Temple: "This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God,
and to build it in three days;"[3] whereas the words, as our Saviour
spoke them, were to another end, and differently expressed: For when the
Jews asked him to shew them a sign, he said, "Destroy this temple, and
in three days I will raise it up." In such cases as these, an innocent
man is half confounded, and looketh as if he were guilty, since he
neither can deny his words, nor perhaps readily strip them from the
malicious additions of a false witness.

[Footnote 3: Mat. xxvi. 6]

_Thirdly_: A man is a false witness, when, in accusing his neighbour, he
endeavoureth to aggravate by his gestures and tone of his voice, or when
he chargeth a man with words which were only repeated or quoted from
somebody else. As if any one should tell me that he heard another speak
certain dangerous and seditious speeches, and I should immediately
accuse him for speaking them himself; and so drop the only circumstance
that made him innocent. This was the case of St Stephen. The false
witness said, "This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against
this holy place and the law."[4] Whereas St Stephen said no such words;
but only repeated some prophecies of Jeremiah or Malachi, which
threatened Jerusalem with destruction if it did not repent. However, by
the fury of the people, this innocent holy person was stoned to death
for words he never spoke.

[Footnote 4: Acts, vi. 13.]

_Fourthly_: The blackest kind of false witnesses are those who do the
office of the devil, by tempting their brethren in order to betray them.
I cannot call to mind any instances of this kind mentioned in Holy
Scripture. But I am afraid, this vile practice hath been too much
followed in the world. When a man's temper hath been so soured by
misfortunes and hard usage, that perhaps he hath reason enough to
complain; then one of these seducers, under the pretence of friendship,
will seem to lament his case, urge the hardships he hath suffered, and
endeavour to raise his passions, until he hath said something that a
malicious informer can pervert or aggravate against him in a court of

_Fifthly_: Whoever beareth witness against his neighbour, out of a
principle of malice and revenge, from any old grudge, or hatred to his
person; such a man is a false witness in the sight of God, although what
he says be true; because the motive or cause is evil, not to serve his
prince or country, but to gratify his own resentments. And therefore,
although a man thus accused may be very justly punished by the law, yet
this doth by no means acquit the accuser, who, instead of regarding the
public service, intended only to glut his private rage and spite.

_Sixthly_: I number among false witnesses, all those who make a trade of
being informers in hope of favour or reward; and to this end employ
their time, either by listening in public places, to catch up an
accidental word; or in corrupting men's servants to discover any unwary
expression of their master; or thrusting themselves into company, and
then using the most indecent scurrilous language; fastening a thousand
falsehoods and scandals upon a whole party, on purpose to provoke such
an answer as they may turn to an accusation. And truly this ungodly race
is said to be grown so numerous, that men of different parties can
hardly converse together with any security. Even the pulpit hath not
been free from the misrepresentation of these informers; of whom the
clergy have not wanted occasions to complain with holy David: "They
daily mistake my words, all they imagine is to do me evil." Nor is it
any wonder at all, that this trade of informing should be now in a
flourishing condition, since our case is manifestly thus: We are divided
into two parties, with very little charity or temper toward each other;
the prevailing side may talk of past things as they please, with
security; and generally do it in the most provoking words they can
invent; while those who are down, are sometimes tempted to speak in
favour of a lost cause, and therefore, without great caution, must needs
be often caught tripping, and thereby furnish plenty of materials for
witnesses and informers.

_Lastly_: Those may be well reckoned among false witnesses against their
neighbour, who bring him into trouble and punishment by such accusations
as are of no consequence at all to the public, nor can be of any other
use but to create vexation. Such witnesses are those who cannot hear an
idle intemperate expression, but they must immediately run to the
magistrate to inform; or perhaps wrangling in their cups over night,
when they were not able to speak or apprehend three words of common
sense, will pretend to remember everything the next morning, and think
themselves very properly qualified to be accusers of their brethren. God
be thanked, the throne of our King[5] is too firmly settled to be shaken
by the folly and rashness of every sottish companion. And I do not in
the least doubt, that when those in power begin to observe the
falsehood, the prevarication, the aggravating manner, the treachery and
seducing, the malice and revenge, the love of lucre, and lastly, the
trifling accusations in too many wicked people, they will be as ready to
discourage every sort of those whom I have numbered among false
witnesses, as they will be to countenance honest men, who, out of a true
zeal to their prince and country, do, in the innocence of their hearts,
freely discover whatever they may apprehend to be dangerous to either. A
good Christian will think it sufficient to reprove his brother for a
rash unguarded word, where there is neither danger nor evil example to
be apprehended; or, if he will not amend by reproof, avoid his

[Footnote 5: George I.]

II. And thus much may serve to shew the several ways whereby a man may
be said to be a false witness against his neighbour. I might have added
one kind more, and it is of those who inform against their neighbour out
of fear of punishment to themselves, which, although it be more
excusable, and hath less of malice than any of the rest, cannot,
however, be justified. I go on, therefore, upon the second head, to give
you some rules for your conduct and behaviour, in order to defend
yourselves against the malice and cunning of false accusers.

It is readily agreed, that innocence is the best protection in the
world; yet that it is not always sufficient without some degree of
prudence, our Saviour himself intimateth to us, by instructing his
disciples "to be wise as serpents, as well as innocent as doves." But if
ever innocence be too weak a defence, it is chiefly so in jealous and
suspicious times, when factions are arrived to an high pitch of
animosity, and the minds of men, instead of being warmed by a true zeal
for religion, are inflamed only by party fury. Neither is virtue itself
a sufficient security in such times, because it is not allowed to be
virtue, otherwise than as it hath a mixture of party.

However, although virtue and innocence are no infallible defence against
perjury, malice, and subornation, yet they are great supports for
enabling us to bear those evils with temper and resignation; and it is
an unspeakable comfort to a good man under the malignity of evil
mercenary tongues, that a few years will carry his appeal to an higher
tribunal, where false witnesses, instead of daring to bring accusations
before an all-seeing Judge, will call for mountains to cover them. As
for earthly judges, they seldom have it in their power; and, God knows,
whether they have it in their will, to mingle mercy with justice; they
are so far from knowing the hearts of the accuser or the accused, that
they cannot know their own; and their understanding is frequently
biassed, although their intentions be just. They are often prejudiced to
causes, parties, and persons, through the infirmity of human nature,
without being sensible themselves that they are so: And therefore,
although God may pardon their errors here, he certainly will not ratify
their sentences hereafter.

However, since as we have before observed, our Saviour prescribeth to us
to be not only harmless as doves, but wise as serpents; give me leave to
prescribe to you some rules, which the most ignorant person may follow
for the conduct of his life, with safety in perilous times, against
false accusers.

1st, Let me advise you to have nothing at all to do with that which is
commonly called politics, or the government of the world, in the nature
of which it is certain you are utterly ignorant, and when your opinion
is wrong, although it proceeds from ignorance, it shall be an accusation
against you. Besides, opinions in government are right or wrong, just
according to the humour and disposition of the times; and, unless you
have judgment to distinguish, you may be punished at one time for what
you would be rewarded in another.

2dly, Be ready at all times, in your words and actions, to shew your
loyalty to the king that reigns over you. This is the plain manifest
doctrine of Holy Scripture: "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man
for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme," &c.[6] And
another apostle telleth us, "The powers that be are ordained of God."
Kings are the ordinances of man by the permission of God, and they are
ordained of God by his instrument man. The powers that be, the present
powers, which are ordained by God, and yet in some sense are the
ordinances of man, are what you must obey, without presuming to examine
into rights and titles; neither can it be reasonably expected, that the
powers in being, or in possession, should suffer their title to be
publicly disputed by subjects without severe punishment. And to say the
truth, there is no duty in religion more easy to the generality of
mankind, than obedience to government: I say to the generality of
mankind; because while their law, and property, and religion are
preserved, it is of no great consequence to them by whom they are
governed, and therefore they are under no temptation to desire a change.

[Footnote 6: I Peter, ii. 13.]

3dly, In order to prevent any charge from the malice of false witnesses,
be sure to avoid intemperance. If it be often so hard for men to govern
their tongues when they are in their right senses, how can they hope to
do it when they are heated with drink? In those cases most men regard
not what they say, and too many not what they swear; neither will a
man's memory, disordered with drunkenness, serve to defend himself, or
satisfy him whether he were guilty or no.

4thly, Avoid, as much as possible, the conversation of those people, who
are given to talk of public persons and affairs, especially of those
whose opinions in such matters are different from yours. I never once
knew any disputes of this kind managed with tolerable temper; but on
both sides they only agree as much as possible to provoke the passions
of each other, indeed with this disadvantage, that he who argueth on the
side of power may speak securely the utmost his malice can invent; while
the other lieth every moment at the mercy of an informer; and the law,
in these cases, will give no allowance at all for passion, inadvertency,
or the highest provocation.

I come now in the last place to shew you how far it is your duty as good
subjects and good neighbours to bear faithful witness, when you are
lawfully called to it by those in authority, or by the sincere advice of
your own consciences.

In what I have hitherto said, you easily find, that I do not talk of
bearing witness in general, which is and may be lawful upon a thousand
accounts in relation to property and other matters, and wherein there
are many scandalous corruptions, almost peculiar to this country, which
would require to be handled by themselves. But I have confined my
discourse only to that branch of bearing false witness, whereby the
public is injured in the safety or honour of the prince, or those in
authority under him.

In order therefore to be a faithful witness, it is first necessary that
a man doth not undertake it from the least prospect of any private
advantage to himself. The smallest mixture of that leaven will sour the
whole lump. Interest will infallibly bias his judgment, although he be
ever so firmly resolved to say nothing but truth. He cannot serve God
and Mammon; but as interest is his chief end, he will use the most
effectual means to advance it. He will aggravate circumstances to make
his testimony valuable; he will be sorry if the person he accuseth
should be able to clear himself; in short, he is labouring a point which
he thinks necessary to his own good; and it would be a disappointment to
him, that his neighbour should prove innocent.

5thly, Every good subject is obliged to bear witness against his
neighbour, for any action or words, the telling of which would be of
advantage to the public, and the concealment dangerous, or of ill
example. Of this nature are all plots and conspiracies against the peace
of a nation, all disgraceful words against a prince, such as clearly
discover a disloyal and rebellious heart: But where our prince and
country can possibly receive no damage or disgrace; where no scandal or
ill example is given; and our neighbour, it may be, provoked by us,
happeneth privately to drop a rash or indiscreet word, which in
strictness of law might bring him under trouble, perhaps to his utter
undoing; there we are obliged, we ought, to proceed no further than
warning and reproof.

In describing to you the several kinds of false witnesses, I have made
it less necessary to dwell much longer upon this head; because a
faithful witness like everything else is known by his contrary:
Therefore it would be only a repetition of what I have already said to
tell you, that the strictest truth is required in a witness; that he
should be wholly free from malice against the person he accuses; that he
should not aggravate the smallest circumstance against the criminal, nor
conceal the smallest in his favour; and to crown all, though I have
hinted it before, that the only cause or motive of his undertaking an
office, so subject to censure, and so difficult to perform, should be
the safety and service of his prince and country.

Under these conditions and limitations (but not otherwise,) there is no
manner of doubt but a good man may lawfully and justly become a witness
in behalf of the public, and may perform that office (in its own nature
not very desirable) with honour and integrity. For the command in the
text is positive as well as negative; that is to say, as we are directed
not to bear false witness against our neighbour, so we are to bear true.
Next to the word of God, and the advice of teachers, every man's
conscience, strictly examined, will be his best director in this weighty
point; and to that I shall leave him.

It might perhaps be thought proper to have added something by way of
advice to those who are unhappily engaged in this abominable trade and
sin of bearing false witness; but I am far from believing or supposing
any of that destructive tribe are now my hearers. I look upon them as a
sort of people that seldom frequent these holy places, where they can
hardly pick up any materials to serve their turn, unless they think it
worth their while to misrepresent or pervert the words of the preacher:
And whoever is that way disposed, I doubt, cannot be in a very good
condition to edify and reform himself by what he heareth. God in his
mercy preserve us from all the guilt of this grievous sin forbidden in
my text, and from the snares of those who are guilty of it!

I shall conclude with one or two precepts given by Moses, from God, to
the children of Israel, in the xxiiid of Exod. 1, 2.

"Thou shalt not raise a false report: Put not thine hand with the
wicked, to be an unrighteous witness.

"Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil, neither shalt them speak
in a cause to decline after many, to wrest judgment."

Now to God the Father, &c.


[Footnote 1: The title of this sermon as given in Contents of Swift's
"Works," vol. viii., pt. i. (4to, 1765) is, "A Sermon upon the
Excellence of Christianity in Opposition to Heathen Philosophy." [T.S.]]

I COR. III. 19.

"The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."

It is remarkable that, about the time of our Saviour's coming into the
world, all kinds of learning flourished to a very great degree, insomuch
that nothing is more frequent in the mouths of many men, even such who
pretend to read and to know, than an extravagant praise and opinion of
the wisdom and virtue of the Gentile sages of those days, and likewise
of those ancient philosophers who went before them, whose doctrines are
left upon record either by themselves or other writers. As far as this
may be taken for granted, it may be said, that the providence of God
brought this about for several very wise ends and purposes: For, it is
certain that these philosophers had been a long time before searching
out where to fix the true happiness of man; and, not being able to agree
upon any certainty about it, they could not possibly but conclude, if
they judged impartially, that all their enquiries were, in the end, but
vain and fruitless; the consequence of which must be not only an
acknowledgment of the weakness of all human wisdom, but likewise an open
passage hereby made, for the letting in those beams of light, which the
glorious sunshine of the Gospel then brought into the world, by
revealing those hidden truths, which they had so long before been
labouring to discover, and fixing the general happiness of mankind
beyond all controversy and dispute. And therefore the providence of God
wisely suffered men of deep genius and learning then to arise, who
should search into the truth of the Gospel now made known, and canvass
its doctrines with all the subtilty and knowledge they were masters of,
and in the end freely acknowledge that to be the true wisdom only "which
cometh from above." (James, iii. 15, 16, 17.)

However, to make a further enquiry into the truth of this observation, I
doubt not but there is reason to think that a great many of those
encomiums given to ancient philosophers are taken upon trust, and by a
sort of men who are not very likely to be at the pains of an enquiry
that would employ so much time and thinking. For the usual ends why men
affect this kind of discourse, appear generally to be either out of
ostentation, that they may pass upon the world for persons of great
knowledge and observation; or, what is worse, there are some who highly
exalt the wisdom of those Gentile sages, thereby obliquely to glance at
and traduce Divine Revelation, and more especially that of the Gospel;
for the consequence they would have us draw is this: That, since those
ancient philosophers rose to a greater pitch of wisdom and virtue than
was ever known among Christians, and all this purely upon the strength
of their own reason and liberty of thinking, therefore it must follow,
that either all Revelation is false, or, what is worse, that it has
depraved the nature of man, and left him worse than it found him.

But this high opinion of heathen wisdom is not very ancient in the
world, nor at all countenanced from primitive times: Our Saviour had but
a low esteem of it, as appears by His treatment of the Pharisees and
Sadducees, who followed the doctrines of Plato and Epicurus. St Paul
likewise, who was well versed in all the Grecian literature, seems very
much to despise their philosophy, as we find in his writings, cautioning
the Colossians to "beware lest any man spoil them through philosophy and
vain deceit." And, in another place, he advises Timothy to "avoid
profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science, falsely so
called;" that is, not to introduce into the Christian doctrine the
janglings of those vain philosophers, which they would pass upon the
world for science. And the reasons he gives are, first, That those who
professed them did err concerning the faith:

Secondly, Because the knowledge of them did encrease ungodliness, vain
babblings being otherways expounded vanities, or empty sounds; that is,
tedious disputes about words, which the philosophers were always so full
of, and which were the natural product of disputes and dissensions
between several sects.

Neither had the primitive fathers any great or good opinion of the
heathen philosophy, as it is manifest from several passages in their
writings: So that this vein of affecting to raise the reputation of
those sages so high, is a mode and a vice but of yesterday, assumed
chiefly, as I have said, to disparage revealed knowledge, and the
consequences of it among us.

Now, because this is a prejudice which may prevail with some persons, so
far as to lessen the influence of the Gospel, and whereas therefore this
is an opinion which men of education are like to be encountered with,
when they have produced themselves into the world; I shall endeavour to
shew that their preference of heathen wisdom and virtue, before that of
the Christian, is every way unjust, and grounded upon ignorance or
mistake: In order to which I shall consider four things.

_First_, I shall produce certain points, wherein the wisdom and virtue
of all unrevealed philosophy in general, fell short, and was very

_Secondly_, I shall shew, in several instances, where some of the most
renowned philosophers have been grossly defective in their lessons of

_Thirdly_, I shall prove the perfection of Christian wisdom, from the
proper characters and marks of it.

_Lastly_, I shall shew that the great examples of wisdom and virtue
among the heathen wise men, were produced by personal merit, and not
influenced by the doctrine of any sect; whereas, in Christianity, it is
quite the contrary.

_First_, I shall produce certain points, wherein the wisdom and virtue
of all unrevealed philosophy in general fell short, and was very

My design is to persuade men, that Christian philosophy is in all things
preferable to heathen wisdom; from which, or its professors, I shall
however have no occasion to detract. They were as wise and as good as it
was possible for them under such disadvantages, and would have probably
been infinitely more with such aids as we enjoy: But our lessons are
certainly much better, however our practices may fail short.

The first point I shall mention is that universal defect which was in
all their schemes, that they could not agree about their chief good, or
wherein to place the happiness of mankind, nor had any of them a
tolerable answer upon this difficulty, to satisfy a reasonable person.
For, to say, as the most plausible of them did, that happiness consisted
in virtue, was but vain babbling, and a mere sound of words, to amuse
others and themselves; because they were not agreed what this virtue
was, or wherein it did consist; and likewise, because several among the
best of them taught quite different things, placing happiness in health
or good fortune, in riches or in honour, where all were agreed that
virtue was not, as I shall have occasion to shew, when I speak of their
particular tenets.

The second great defect in the Gentile philosophy was, that it wanted
some suitable reward proportioned to the better part of man, his mind,
as an encouragement for his progress in virtue. The difficulties they
met with upon the score of this default were great, and not to be
accounted for: Bodily goods, being only suitable to bodily wants, are no
rest at all for the mind; and, if they were, yet are they not the proper
fruits of wisdom and virtue, being equally attainable by the ignorant
and wicked. Now, human nature is so constituted, that we can never
pursue anything heartily but upon hopes of a reward. If we run a race,
it is in expectation of a prize, and the greater the prize the faster we
run; for an incorruptible crown, if we understand it and believe it to
be such, more than a corruptible one. But some of the philosophers gave
all this quite another turn, and pretended to refine so far, as to call
virtue its own reward, and worthy to be followed only for itself:
Whereas, if there be anything in this more than the sound of the words,
it is at least too abstracted to become a universal influencing
principle in the world, and therefore could not be of general use.

It was the want of assigning some happiness, proportioned to the soul of
man, that caused many of them, either, on the one hand, to be sour and
morose, supercilious and untreatable; or, on the other, to fall into the
vulgar pursuits of common men, to hunt after greatness and riches, to
make their court, and to serve occasions; as Plato did to the younger
Dionysius, and Aristotle to Alexander the Great. So impossible is it for
a man, who looks no further than the present world, to fix himself long
in a contemplation where the present world has no part: He has no sure
hold, no firm footing; he can never expect to remove the earth he rests
upon, while he has no support beside for his feet, but wants, like
Archimedes, some other place whereon to stand. To talk of bearing pain
and grief, without any sort of present or future hope, cannot be purely
greatness of spirit; there must be a mixture in it of affectation, and
an alloy of pride, or perhaps is wholly counterfeit.

It is true there has been all along in the world a notion of rewards and
punishments in another life; but it seems to have rather served as an
entertainment to poets, or as a terror of children, than a settled
principle, by which men pretended to govern any of their actions. The
last celebrated words of Socrates, a little before his death, do not
seem to reckon or build much upon any such opinion; and Cæsar made no
scruple to disown it, and ridicule it in open senate.

_Thirdly_, The greatest and wisest of all their philosophers were never
able to give any satisfaction, to others and themselves, in their
notions of a Deity. They were often extremely gross and absurd in their
conceptions; and those who made the fairest conjectures are such as were
generally allowed by the learned to have seen the system of Moses, if I
may so call it, who was in great reputation at that time in the heathen
world, as we find by Diodonis, Justin, Longinus, and other authors; for
the rest, the wisest among them laid aside all notions after a Deity, as
a disquisition vain and fruitless, which indeed it was, upon unrevealed
principles; and those who ventured to engage too far fell into
incoherence and confusion.

_Fourthly_, Those among them who had the justest conceptions of a Divine
Power, and did also admit a Providence, had no notion at all of entirely
relying and depending upon either; they trusted in themselves for all
things: But, as for a trust or dependence upon God, they would not have
understood the phrase; it made no part of the profane style.

Therefore it was, that, in all issues and events, which they could not
reconcile to their own sentiments of reason and justice, they were quite
disconcerted: They had no retreat; but, upon every blow of adverse
fortune, either affected to be indifferent, or grew sullen and severe,
or else yielded and sunk like other men.

Having now produced certain points, wherein the wisdom and virtue of all
unrevealed philosophy fell short, and was very imperfect; I go on, in
the second place, to shew in several instances, where some of the most
renowned philosophers have been grossly defective in their lessons of

Thales, the founder of the Ionic sect, so celebrated for morality, being
asked how a man might bear ill-fortune with greatest ease, answered, "By
seeing his enemies in a worse condition." An answer truly barbarous,
unworthy of human nature, and which included such consequences as must
destroy all society from the world.

Solon, lamenting the death of a son, one told him, "You lament in vain:"
"Therefore" (said he) "I lament, because it is in vain." This was a
plain confession how imperfect all his philosophy was, and that
something was still wanting. He owned that all his wisdom and morals
were useless, and this upon one of the most frequent accidents in life.
How much better could he have learned to support himself even from
David, by his entire dependence upon God; and that before our Saviour
had advanced the notions of religion to the height and perfection
wherewith He hath instructed His disciples? Plato himself, with all his
refinements, placed happiness in wisdom, health, good fortune, honour,
and riches; and held that they who enjoyed all these were perfectly
happy: Which opinion was indeed unworthy its owner, leaving the wise and
the good man wholly at the mercy of uncertain chance, and to be
miserable without resource.

His scholar, Aristotle, fell more grossly into the same notion; and
plainly affirmed, "That virtue, without the goods of fortune, was not
sufficient for happiness, but that a wise man must be miserable in
poverty and sickness." Nay, Diogenes himself, from whose pride and
singularity one would have looked for other notions, delivered it as his
opinion, "That a poor old man was the most miserable thing in life."

Zeno also and his followers fell into many absurdities, among which
nothing could be greater than that of maintaining all crimes to be
equal, which, instead of making vice hateful, rendered it as a thing
indifferent and familiar to all men.

_Lastly_: Epicurus had no notion of justice but as it was profitable;
and his placing happiness in pleasure, with all the advantages he could
expound it by, was liable to very great exception: For, although he
taught that pleasure did consist in virtue, yet he did not any way fix
or ascertain the boundaries of virtue, as he ought to have done; by
which means he misled his followers into the greatest vices, making
their names to become odious and scandalous, even in the heathen world.

I have produced these few instances from a great many others, to shew
the imperfection of heathen philosophy, wherein I have confined myself
wholly to their morality. And surely we may pronounce upon it in the
words of St James, that "This wisdom descended not from above, but was
earthly and sensual." What if I had produced their absurd notions about
God and the soul? It would then have completed the character given it by
that apostle, and appeared to have been devilish too. But it is easy to
observe, from the nature of these few particulars, that their defects in
morals were purely the flagging and fainting of the mind, for want of a
support by revelation from God.

I proceed therefore, in the third place, to shew the perfection of
Christian wisdom from above, and I shall endeavour to make it appear
from those proper characters and marks of it by the apostle before
mentioned, in the third chapter, and 15th, 16th, and 17th verses.

The words run thus:

"This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual,

"For where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil

"But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable,
gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without
partiality, and without hypocrisy."

"The wisdom from above is first pure." This purity of the mind and
spirit is peculiar to the Gospel. Our Saviour says, "Blessed are the
pure in heart, for they shall see God." A mind free from all pollution
of lusts shall have a daily vision of God, whereof unrevealed religion
can form no notion. This it is which keeps us unspotted from the world;
and hereby many have been prevailed upon to live in the practice of all
purity, holiness, and righteousness, far beyond the examples of the most
celebrated philosophers.

It is "peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated." The Christian
doctrine teacheth us all those dispositions that make us affable and
courteous, gentle and kind, without any morose leaven of pride or
vanity, which entered into the composition of most heathen schemes: So
we are taught to be meek and lowly. Our Saviour's last legacy was peace;
and He commands us to forgive our offending brother unto seventy times
seven. Christian wisdom is full of mercy and good works, teaching the
height of all moral virtues, of which the heathens fall infinitely
short. Plato indeed (and it is worth observing) has somewhere a
dialogue, or part of one, about forgiving our enemies, which was perhaps
the highest strain ever reached by man, without divine assistance; yet
how little is that to what our Saviour commands us? "To love them that
hate us; to bless them that curse us; and do good to them that
despitefully use us."

Christian wisdom is "without partiality;" it is not calculated for this
or that nation of people, but the whole race of mankind: Not so the
philosophical schemes, which were narrow and confined, adapted to their
peculiar towns, governments, or sects; but, "in every nation, he that
feareth God and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him."

_Lastly_: It is "without hypocrisy:" It appears to be what it really is;
it is all of a piece. By the doctrines of the Gospel we are so far from
being allowed to publish to the world those virtues we have not, that we
are commanded to hide, even from ourselves, those we really have, and
not to let our right hand know what our left hand does; unlike several
branches of the heathen wisdom, which pretended to teach insensibility
and indifference, magnanimity and contempt of life, while, at the same
time, in other parts it belied its own doctrines.

I come now, in the last place, to shew that the great examples of wisdom
and virtue, among the Grecian sages, were produced by personal merit,
and not influenced by the doctrine of any particular sect; whereas, in
Christianity, it is quite the contrary.

The two virtues most celebrated by ancient moralists were Fortitude and
Temperance, as relating to the government of man in his private
capacity, to which their schemes were generally addressed and confined;
and the two instances, wherein those virtues arrived at the greatest
height, were Socrates and Cato. But neither those, nor any other virtues
possessed by these two, were at all owing to any lessons or doctrines of
a sect. For Socrates himself was of none at all; and although Cato was
called a Stoic, it was more from a resemblance of manners in his worst
qualities, than that he avowed himself one of their disciples. The same
may be affirmed of many other great men of antiquity. From whence I
infer, that those who were renowned for virtue among them, were more
obliged to the good natural dispositions of their own minds, than to the
doctrines of any sect they pretended to follow.

On the other side, As the examples of fortitude and patience, among the
primitive Christians, have been infinitely greater and more numerous, so
they were altogether the product of their principles and doctrine; and
were such as the same persons, without those aids, would never have
arrived to. Of this truth most of the apostles, with many thousand
martyrs, are a cloud of witnesses beyond exception. Having therefore
spoken so largely upon the former heads, I shall dwell no longer upon

And, if it should here be objected, Why does not Christianity still
produce the same effects? it is easy to answer, First, That although the
number of pretended Christians be great, yet that of true believers, in
proportion to the other, was never so small; and it is a true lively
faith alone, that by the assistance of God's grace, can influence our

_Secondly_, we may answer, That Christianity itself has very much
suffered by being blended up with Gentile philosophy. The Platonic
system, first taken into religion, was thought to have given matter for
some early heresies in the Church. When disputes began to arise, the
Peripatetic forms were introduced by Scotus, as best fitted for
controversy. And, however this may now have become necessary, it was
surely the author of a litigious vein, which has since occasioned very
pernicious consequences, stopped the progress of Christianity, and been
a great promoter of vice, verifying that sentence given by St James, and
mentioned before, "Where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and
every evil work." This was the fatal stop to the Grecians, in their
progress both of arts and arms: Their wise men were divided under
several sects, and their governments under several commonwealths, all in
opposition to each other; which engaged them in eternal quarrels among
themselves, while they should have been armed against the common enemy.
And I wish we had no other examples from the like causes, less foreign
or ancient than that. Diogenes said Socrates was a madman; the disciples
of Zeno and Epicurus, nay of Plato and Aristotle, were engaged in fierce
disputes about the most insignificant trifles. And, if this be the
present language and practice among us Christians, no wonder that
Christianity does not still produce the same effects which it did at
first, when it was received and embraced in its utmost purity and
perfection. For such a wisdom as this cannot "descend from above," but
must be "earthly, sensual, devilish; full of confusion and every evil
work": Whereas "the wisdom from above, is first pure, then peaceable,
gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without
partiality, and without hypocrisy." This is the true heavenly wisdom,
which Christianity only can boast of, and which the greatest of the
heathen wise men could never arrive at.

Now to God the Father, &c. &c.



[Footnote 1: "I did very lately, as I thought it my duty, preach to the
people under my inspection, upon the subject of Mr. Wood's coin; and
although I never heard that my sermon gave the least offence, as I am
sure none was intended; yet, if it were now printed and published, I
cannot say, I would insure it from the hands of the common hangman; or
my own person from those of a messenger." See "The Drapier's Letters,"
No. VI.

"'I never' (said the Dean in a jocular conversation), 'preached but
twice in my life; and then they were not sermons, but pamphlets.' Being
asked on what subject, he replied, 'They were against Wood's
halfpence.'"--Pilkington's _Memoirs_, vol. i. p. 56.

"The pieces relating to Ireland are those of a public nature; in which
the Dean appears, as usual, in the best light, because they do honour to
his heart as well as to his head; furnishing some additional proofs,
that, though he was very free in his abuse of the inhabitants of that
country, as well natives as foreigners, he had their interest sincerely
at heart, and perfectly understood it. His sermon upon Doing Good,
though peculiarly adapted to Ireland and Wood's designs upon it,
contains perhaps the best motives to patriotism that were ever delivered
within so small a compass."--BURKE.]



"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men."

Nature directs every one of us, and God permits us, to consult our own
private good before the private good of any other person whatsoever. We
are, indeed, commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves, but not as
well as ourselves. The love we have for ourselves is to be the pattern
of that love we ought to have towards our neighbour: But, as the copy
doth not equal the original, so my neighbour cannot think it hard, if I
prefer myself, who am the original, before him, who is only the copy.
Thus, if any matter equally concern the life, the reputation, the profit
of my neighbour, and my own; the law of nature, which is the law of God,
obligeth me to take care of myself first, and afterwards of him. And
this I need not be at much pains in persuading you to; for the want of
self-love, with regard to things of this world, is not among the faults
of mankind. But then, on the other side, if, by a small hurt and loss to
myself, I can procure a great good to my neighbour, in that case his
interest is to be preferred. For example, if I can be sure of saving his
life, without great danger to my own; if I can preserve him from being
undone, without ruining myself, or recover his reputation without
blasting mine; all this I am obliged to do: and, if I sincerely perform
it, I do then obey the command of God, in loving my neighbour as myself.

But, beside this love we owe to every man in his particular capacity
under the title of our neighbour, there is yet a duty of a more large
extensive nature incumbent on us; which is, our love to our neighbour in
his public capacity, as he is a member of that great body the
commonwealth, under the same government with ourselves; and this is
usually called love of the public, and is a duty to which we are more
strictly obliged than even that of loving ourselves; because therein
ourselves are also contained, as well as all our neighbours, in one
great body. This love of the public, or of the commonwealth, or love of
our country, was in ancient times properly known by the name of virtue,
because it was the greatest of all virtues, and was supposed to contain
all virtues in it: And many great examples of this virtue are left us on
record, scarcely to be believed, or even conceived, in such a base,
corrupted, wicked age as this we live in. In those times it was common
for men to sacrifice their lives for the good of their country, although
they had neither hope or belief of future rewards; whereas, in our days,
very few make the least scruple of sacrificing a whole nation, as well
as their own souls, for a little present gain; which often hath been
known to end in their own ruin in this world, as it certainly must in
that to come.

Have we not seen men, for the sake of some petty employment,  give up
the very natural rights and liberties of their country, and of mankind,
in the ruin of which themselves must at last be involved? Are not these
corruptions gotten among the meanest of our people, who, for a piece of
money, will give their votes at a venture, for the disposal of their own
lives and fortunes, without considering whether it be to those who are
most likely to betray or defend them? But, if I were to produce only one
instance of a hundred wherein we fail in this duty of loving our
country, it would be an endless labour; and therefore I shall not
attempt it.

But here I would not be misunderstood: By the love of our country I do
not mean loyalty to our king, for that is a duty of another nature; and
a man may be very loyal, in the common sense of the word, without one
grain of public good at his heart. Witness this very kingdom we live in.
I verily believe, that, since the beginning of the world, no nation upon
earth ever shewed (all circumstances considered) such high constant
marks of loyalty in all their actions and behaviour, as we have done:
And, at the same time, no people ever appeared more utterly void of what
is called a public spirit. When I say the people, I mean the bulk or
mass of the people, for I have nothing to do with those in power.

Therefore I shall think my time not ill spent, if I can persuade most or
all of you who hear me, to shew the love you have for your country, by
endeavouring, in your several stations, to do all the public good you
are able. For I am certainly persuaded, that all our misfortunes arise
from no other original cause than that general disregard among us to the
public welfare.

I therefore undertake to shew you three things.

_First_: That there are few people so weak or mean, who have it not
sometimes in their power to be useful to the public.

_Secondly_: That it is often in the power of the meanest among mankind
to do mischief to the public.

And, _Lastly_: That all wilful injuries done to the public are very
great and aggravated sins in the sight of God.

_First_: There are few people so weak or mean, who have it not sometimes
in their power to be useful to the public. Solomon tells us of a poor
wise man who saved a city by his counsel. It hath often happened that a
private soldier, by some unexpected brave attempt, hath been
instrumental in obtaining a great victory. How many obscure men have
been authors of very useful inventions, whereof the world now reaps the
benefit? The very example of honesty and industry in a poor tradesman
will sometimes spread through a neighbourhood, when others see how
successful he is; and thus so many useful members are gained, for which
the whole body of the public is the better. Whoever is blessed with a
true public spirit, God will certainly put it into his way to make use
of that blessing, for the ends it was given him, by some means or other:
And therefore it hath been observed in most ages, that the greatest
actions, for the benefit of the commonwealth, have been performed by the
wisdom or courage, the contrivance or industry, of particular men, and
not of numbers; and that the safety of a kingdom hath often been owing
to those hands from whence it was least expected.

But, _Secondly_: It is often in the power of the meanest among mankind
to do mischief to the public: And hence arise most of those miseries
with which the states and kingdoms of the earth are infested. How many
great princes have been murdered by the meanest ruffians? The weakest
hand can open a flood-gate to drown a country, which a thousand of the
strongest cannot stop. Those who have thrown off all regard for public
good, will often have it in their way to do public evil, and will not
fail to exercise that power whenever they can. The greatest blow given
of late to this kingdom, was by the dishonesty of a few manufacturers;
who, by imposing bad ware at foreign markets, in almost the only traffic
permitted to us, did half ruin that trade; by which this poor unhappy
kingdom now suffers in the midst of sufferings. I speak not here of
persons in high stations, who ought to be free from all reflection, and
are supposed always to intend the welfare of the community: But we now
find by experience, that the meanest instrument may, by the concurrence
of accidents, have it in his power to bring a whole kingdom to the very
brink of destruction, and is, at this present, endeavouring to finish
his work; and hath agents among ourselves, who are contented to see
their own country undone, to be small sharers in that iniquitous gain,
which at last must end in their own ruin as well as ours. I confess, it
was chiefly the consideration of that great danger we are in, which
engaged me to discourse to you on this subject; to exhort you to a love
of your country, and a public spirit, when all you have is at stake; to
prefer the interest of your prince and your fellow-subjects before that
of one destructive impostor, and a few of his adherents.

Perhaps it may be thought by some, that this way of discoursing is not
so proper from the pulpit. But surely, when an open attempt is made, and
far carried on, to make a great kingdom one large poorhouse, to deprive
us of all means to exercise hospitality or charity, to turn our cities
and churches into ruins, to make the country a desert for wild beasts
and robbers, to destroy all arts and sciences, all trades and
manufactures, and the very tillage of the ground, only to enrich one
obscure ill-designing projector, and his followers; it is time for the
pastor to cry out that the wolf is getting into his flock, to warn them
to stand together, and all to consult the common safety. And God be
praised for His infinite goodness in raising such a spirit of union
among us, at least in this point, in the midst of all our former
divisions; which union, if it continue, will, in all probability, defeat
the pernicious design of this pestilent enemy to the nation.

But, from hence, it clearly follows how necessary the love of our
country, or a public spirit, is in every particular man, since the
wicked have so many opportunities of doing public mischief. Every man is
upon his guard for his private advantage; but, where the public is
concerned, he is apt to be negligent, considering himself only as one
among two or three millions, among whom the loss is equally shared, and
thus, he thinks, he can be no great sufferer. Meanwhile the trader, the
farmer, and the shopkeeper, complain of the hardness and deadness of the
times, and wonder whence it comes; while it is, in a great measure,
owing to their own folly, for want of that love of their country, and
public spirit and firm union among themselves, which are so necessary to
the prosperity of every nation.

Another method by which the meanest wicked man, may have it in his power
to injure the public, is false accusation, whereof this kingdom hath
afforded too many examples: Neither is it long since no man, whose
opinions were thought to differ from those in fashion, could safely
converse beyond his nearest friends, for fear of being sworn against, as
a traitor, by those who made a traffic of perjury and subornation; by
which the very peace of the nation was disturbed, and men fled from each
other as they would from a lion or a bear got loose. And, it is very
remarkable, that the pernicious project now in hand to reduce us to
beggary, was forwarded by one of these false accusers, who had been
convicted of endeavouring, by perjury and subornation, to take away the
lives of several innocent persons here among us; and, indeed, there
could not be a more proper instrument for such a work.

Another method by which the meanest people may do injury to the public,
is the spreading of lies and false rumours, thus raising a distrust
among the people of a nation, causing them to mistake their true
interest, and their enemies for their friends: And this hath been
likewise too successful a practice among us, where we have known the
whole kingdom misled by the grossest lies, raised upon occasion to serve
some particular turn. As it hath also happened in the case I lately
mentioned, where one obscure man, by representing our wants where they
were least, and concealing them where they were greatest, had almost
succeeded in a project of utterly ruining this whole kingdom; and may
still succeed, if God doth not continue that public spirit, which He
hath almost miraculously kindled in us upon this occasion.

Thus we see the public is many times, as it were, at the mercy of the
meanest instrument, who can be wicked enough to watch opportunities of
doing it mischief, upon the principles of avarice or malice; which, I am
afraid, are deeply rooted in too many breasts, and against which there
can be no defence, but a firm resolution in all honest men, to be
closely united and active in shewing their love to their country, by
preferring the public interest to their present private advantage. If a
passenger, in a great storm at sea, should hide his goods that they
might not be thrown overboard to lighten the ship, what would be the
consequence? The ship is cast away, and he loses his life and goods

We have heard of men, who, through greediness of gain, have brought
infected goods into a nation, which bred a plague, whereof the owners
and their families perished first. Let those among us consider this and
tremble, whose houses are privately stored with those materials of
beggary and desolation, lately brought over to be scattered like a
pestilence among their countrymen, which may probably first seize upon
themselves and their families, until their houses shall be made a

I shall mention one practice more, by which the meanest instruments
often succeed in doing public mischief; and this is by deceiving us with
plausible arguments, to make us believe that the most ruinous project
they can offer is intended for our good, as it happened in the case so
often mentioned. For the poor ignorant people, allured by the appearing
convenience in their small dealings, did not discover the serpent in the
brass,[2] but were ready, like the Israelites, to offer incense to it;
neither could the wisdom of the nation convince them, until some, of
good intentions, made the cheat so plain to their sight, that those who
run may read. And thus the design was to treat us, in every point, as
the Philistines treated Samson, (I mean when he was betrayed by Delilah)
first to put out our eyes, and then bind us with fetters of brass.

[Footnote 2: "Brass" may be read "Wood's halfpence." [T.S.]]

I proceed to the last thing I proposed, which was to shew you that all
wilful injuries done to the public, are very great and aggravated sins
in the sight of God.

_First:_ It is apparent from Scripture, and most agreeable to reason,
that the safety and welfare of nations are under the most peculiar care
of God's providence. Thus He promised Abraham to save Sodom, if only ten
righteous men could be found in it. Thus the reason which God gave to
Jonas for not destroying Nineveh was, because there were six score
thousand men in that city.

All government is from God, Who is the God of order, and therefore
whoever attempts to breed confusion or disturbance among a people, doth
his utmost to take the government of the world out of God's hands, and
to put it into the hands of the Devil, who is the author of confusion.
By which it is plain, that no crime, how heinous soever, committed
against particular persons, can equal the guilt of him who does injury
to the public.

_Secondly_: All offenders against their country lie under this grievous
difficulty, that it is next to impossible to obtain a pardon, or make
restitution. The bulk of mankind are very quick at resenting injuries,
and very slow in forgiving them: And how shall one man be able to obtain
the pardon of millions, or repair the injuries he hath done to millions?
How shall those, who, by a most destructive fraud, got the whole wealth
of our neighbouring kingdom into their hands, be ever able to make a
recompence? How will the authors and promoters of that villainous
project, for the ruin of this poor country, be able to account with us
for the injuries they have already done, although they should no farther
succeed? The deplorable case of such wretches, must entirely be left to
the unfathomable mercies of God: For those who know the least in
religion are not ignorant that, without our utmost endeavours to make
restitution to the person injured, and to obtain his pardon, added to a
sincere repentance, there is no hope of salvation given in the Gospel.

_Lastly_: All offences against our own country have this aggravation,
that they are ungrateful and unnatural. It is to our country we owe
those laws which protect us in our lives, our liberties, our properties,
and our religion. Our country produced us into the world, and continues
to nourish us so, that it is usually called our mother; and there have
been examples of great magistrates, who have put their own children to
death for endeavouring to betray their country, as if they had attempted
the life of their natural parent.

Thus I have briefly shewn you how terrible a sin it is to be an enemy to
our country, in order to incite you to the contrary virtue, which at
this juncture is so highly necessary, when every man's endeavour will be
of use. We have hitherto been just able to support ourselves under many
hardships; but now the axe is laid to the root of the tree, and nothing
but a firm union among us can prevent our utter undoing. This we are
obliged to, in duty to our gracious King, as well as to ourselves. Let
us therefore preserve that public spirit, which God hath raised in us
for our own temporal interest For, if this wicked project should
succeed, which it cannot do but by our own folly; if we sell ourselves
for nought; the merchant, the shopkeeper, the artificer, must fly to the
desert with their miserable families, there to starve or live upon
rapine, or at least exchange their country for one more hospitable than
that where they were born.

Thus much I thought it my duty to say to you, who are under my care, to
warn you against those temporal evils, which may draw the worst of
spiritual evils after them; such as heart-burnings, murmurings,
discontents, and all manner of wickedness which a desperate condition of
life may tempt men to.

I am sensible that what I have now said will not go very far, being
confined to this assembly; but I hope it may stir up others of my
brethren to exhort their several congregations, after a more effectual
manner, to shew their love for their country on this important occasion.
And this, I am sure, cannot be called meddling in affairs of state.

I pray God protect his Most Gracious Majesty, and this kingdom, long
under his government, and defend us from all ruinous projectors,
deceivers, suborners, perjurers, false accusers, and oppressors; from
the virulence of party and faction; and unite us in loyalty to our King,
love to our country, and charity to each other.

And this we beg for Jesus Christ His sake: To Whom, &c.



GENESIS, XLIX. 5, 6, 7.

"Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their

"O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine
honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in
their self-will they digged down a wall.

"Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was
cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel."

I know very well, that the Church hath been often censured for keeping
holy this day of humiliation, in memory of that excellent king and
blessed martyr, Charles I., who rather chose to die on a scaffold, than
betray the religion and liberties of his people, wherewith God and the
laws had entrusted him. But, at the same time, it is manifest that those
who make such censures are either people without any religion at all, or
who derive their principles, and perhaps their birth, from the abettors
of those who contrived the murder of that prince, and have not yet shewn
the world that their opinions are changed. It is alleged, that the
observation of this day hath served to continue and increase the
animosity and enmity among our countrymen, and to disunite Protestants;
that a law was made, upon the restoration of the Martyr's son, for a
general pardon and oblivion, forbidding all reproaches upon that
occasion; and, since none are now alive who were actors or instruments
in that tragedy, it is thought hard and uncharitable to keep up the
memory of it for all generations.

Now, because I conceive most of you to be ignorant in many particulars
concerning that horrid murder, and the rebellion which preceded it; I

_First_, relate to you so much of the story as may be sufficient for
your information:

_Secondly_, I will tell you the consequences which this bloody deed had
upon these kingdoms:

And, _Lastly_, I will shew you to what good uses this solemn day of
humiliation may be applied.

As to the first: In the reign of this prince, Charles the Martyr, the
power and prerogative of the king were much greater than they are in our
times, and so had been for at least seven hundred years before; And the
best princes we ever had, carried their power much farther than the
blessed Martyr offered to do in the most blameable part of his reign.
But, the lands of the Crown having been prodigally bestowed to
favourites, in the preceding reigns, the succeeding kings could not
support themselves without taxes raised by Parliament; which put them
under a necessity of frequently calling those assemblies: And, the crown
lands being gotten into the hands of the nobility and gentry, beside the
possessions of which the Church had been robbed by King Henry the
Eighth, power, which always follows property, grew to lean to the side
of the people, by whom even the just rights of the Crown were often

But further: Upon the cruel persecution raised against the Protestants,
under Queen Mary, among great numbers who fled the kingdom to seek for
shelter, several went and resided at Geneva, which is a commonwealth,
governed without a king, and where the religion, contrived by Calvin, is
without the order of bishops. When the Protestant faith was restored by
Queen Elizabeth, those who fled to Geneva returned among the rest home
to England, and were grown so fond of the government and religion of the
place they had left, that they used all possible endeavours to introduce
both into their own country; at the same time continually preaching and
railing against ceremonies and distinct habits of the clergy, taxing
whatever they disliked, as a remnant of Popery, and continued extremely
troublesome to the Church and state, under that great Queen, as well as
her successor King James I. These people called themselves Puritans, as
pretending to a purer faith than those of the Church established. And
these were the founders of our Dissenters. They did not think it
sufficient to leave all the errors of Popery, but threw off many
laudable and edifying institutions of the primitive Church, and, at
last, even the government of bishops; which, having been ordained by the
apostles themselves, had continued without interruption, in all
Christian churches, for above fifteen hundred years. And all this they
did, not because those things were evil, but because they were kept by
the Papists. From thence they proceeded, by degrees, to quarrel with the
kingly government; because, as I have already said, the city of Geneva,
to which their fathers had flown for refuge, was a commonwealth, or
government of the people.

These Puritans, about the middle of the Martyr's reign, were grown to a
considerable faction in the kingdom, and in the Lower House of
Parliament. They filled the public with the most false and bitter libels
against the bishops and the clergy, accusing chiefly the very best among
them of Popery; and, at the same time, the House of Commons grew so
insolent and uneasy to the King, that they refused to furnish him with
necessary supplies for the support of his family, unless upon such
conditions as he could not submit to without forfeiting his conscience
and honour, and even his coronation oath. And, in such an extremity, he
was forced upon a practice, no way justifiable, of raising money; for
which, however, he had the opinion of the judges on his side; for,
wicked judges there were in those times as well as in ours. There were
likewise many complaints, and sometimes justly, made against the
proceedings of a certain court, called the Star-chamber, a judicature of
great antiquity, but had suffered some corruptions, for which, however,
the King was nowise answerable, I cannot recollect any more subjects of
complaint with the least ground of reason, nor is it needful to
recollect them, because this gracious King did, upon the first
application, redress all grievances by an act of Parliament, and put it
out of his power to do any hardships for the future. But that wicked
faction in the House of Commons, not content with all those marks of his
justice and condescension, urged still for more; and joining with a
factious party from Scotland, who had the same fancies in religion,
forced him to pass an act for cutting off the head of his best and chief
minister; and, at the same time, compelled him, by tumults and
threatenings of a packed rabble, poisoned with the same doctrines, to
pass another law, by which it should not be in his power to dissolve
that Parliament without their own consent. Thus, by the greatest
weakness and infatuation that ever possessed any man's spirit, this
Prince did in effect sign his own destruction. For the House of Commons,
having the reins in their own hands, drove on furiously; sent him every
day some unreasonable demand, and when he refused to grant it, made use
of their own power, and declared that an ordinance of both Houses,
without the King's consent, should be obeyed as a law, contrary to all
reason and equity, as well as to the fundamental constitution of the

About this time the rebellion in Ireland broke out, wherein his
Parliament refused to assist him; nor would accept his offer to come
hither in person to subdue those rebels. These, and a thousand other
barbarities, forced the King to summon his loyal subjects to his
standard in his own defence. Meanwhile the English Parliament, instead
of helping the poor Protestants here, seized on the very army that his
Majesty was sending over for our relief, and turned them against their
own Sovereign. The rebellion in England continued for four or five
years: At last the King was forced to fly in disguise to the Scots, who
sold him to the rebels. And these Puritans had the impudent cruelty to
try his sacred person in a mock court of justice, and cut off his head;
which he might have saved, if he would have yielded to betray the
constitution in Church and state.

In this whole proceeding, Simeon and Levi were brethren; the wicked
insinuations of those fanatical preachers stirring up the cruelty of the
soldiers, who, by force of arms, excluded from the house every member of
Parliament, whom they apprehended to bear the least inclination towards
an agreement with the King, suffering only those to enter who thirsted
chiefly for his blood; and this is the very account given by their own
writers: From whence it is clear that this Prince was, in all respects,
a real martyr for the true religion and the liberty of the people. That
odious Parliament had first turned the bishops out of the House of
Lords; in a few years after, they murdered their King; then immediately
abolished the whole House of Lords; and so, at last, obtained their
wishes, of having a government of the people, and a new religion, both
after the manner of Geneva, without a king, a bishop, or a nobleman; and
this they blasphemously called "The kingdom of Christ and his saints."

This is enough for your information on the first head: I shall therefore
proceed to the second, wherein I will shew you the miserable
consequences which that abominable rebellion and murder produced in
these nations.

_First:_ The Irish rebellion was wholly owing to that wicked English
Parliament. For the leaders in the Irish Popish massacre would never
have dared to stir a finger, if they had not been encouraged by that
rebellious spirit in the English House of Commons, which they very well
knew must disable the King from sending any supplies to his Protestant
subjects here; and, therefore, we may truly say that the English
Parliament held the King's hands, while the Irish Papists here were
cutting our grandfathers' throats.

_Secondly:_ That murderous Puritan Parliament, when they had all in
their own power, could not agree upon any one method of settling a form
either of religion or civil government; but changed every day from
schism to schism, from heresy to heresy, and from one faction to
another: From whence arose that wild confusion, still continuing in our
several ways of serving God, and those absurd notions of civil power,
which have so often torn us with factions more than any other nation in

_Thirdly:_ To this rebellion and murder have been owing the rise and
progress of atheism among us. For, men observing what numberless
villainies of all kinds were committed during twenty years, under
pretence of zeal and the reformation of God's Church, were easily
tempted to doubt that all religion was a mere imposture: And the same
spirit of infidelity, so far spread among us at this present, is nothing
but the fruit of the seeds sown by those rebellious hypocritical saints.

_Fourthly:_ The old virtue and loyalty, and generous spirit of the
English nation, were wholly corrupted by the power, the doctrine, and
the example of those wicked people. Many of the ancient nobility were
killed, and their families extinct, in defence of their Prince and
country, or murdered by the merciless courts of justice. Some of the
worst among them favoured, or complied with the reigning iniquities, and
not a few of the new set created, when the Martyr's son was restored,
were such who had drunk too deep of the bad principles then prevailing.

_Fifthly:_ The children of the murdered Prince were forced to fly, for
the safety of their lives, to foreign countries; where one of them at
least, I mean King James II., was seduced to Popery; which ended in the
loss of his kingdoms, the misery and desolation of this country, and a
long and expensive war abroad. Our deliverance was owing to the valour
and conduct of the late King; and, therefore, we ought to remember him
with gratitude, but not mingled with blasphemy or idolatry. It was happy
that his interests and ours were the same: And God gave him greater
success than our sins deserved. But, as a house thrown down by a storm,
is seldom rebuilt without some change in the foundation; so it hath
happened, that, since the late Revolution, men have sat much looser in
the true fundamentals both of religion and government, and factions have
been more violent, treacherous, and malicious than ever, men running
naturally from one extreme into another; and, for private ends, taking
up those very opinions professed by the leaders in that rebellion, which
carried the blessed Martyr to the scaffold.

_Sixthly:_ Another consequence of this horrid rebellion and murder was
the destroying or defacing of such vast number of God's houses. "In
their self-will they digged down a wall." If a stranger should now
travel in England, and observe the churches in his way, he could not
otherwise conclude, than that some vast army of Turks or heathens had
been sent on purpose to ruin and blot out all marks of Christianity.
They spared neither the statues of saints, nor ancient prelates, nor
kings, nor benefactors; broke down the tombs and monuments of men famous
in their generations, seized the vessels of silver set apart for the
holiest use, tore down the most innocent ornaments both within and
without, made the houses of prayer dens of thieves, or stables for
cattle. These were the mildest effects of Puritan zeal, and devotion for
Christ; and this was what themselves affected to call a thorough
reformation. In this kingdom those ravages were not so easily seen; for
the people here being too poor to raise such noble temples, the mean
ones we had were not defaced, but totally destroyed.

Upon the whole, it is certain, that although God might have found out
many other ways to have punished a sinful people, without permitting
this rebellion and murder, yet as the course of the world hath run ever
since, we need seek for no other causes, of all the public evils we have
hitherto suffered, or may suffer for the future, by the misconduct of
princes, or wickedness of the people.

I go on now upon the third head, to shew you to what good uses this
solemn day of humiliation may be applied.

_First_: It may be an instruction to princes themselves, to be careful
in the choice of those who are their advisers in matters of law. All the
judges of England, except one or two, advised the King, that he might
legally raise money upon the subjects for building of ships without
consent of Parliament; which, as it was the greatest oversight of his
reign, so it proved the principal foundation of all his misfortunes.
Princes may likewise learn from hence, not to sacrifice a faithful
servant to the rage of a faction, nor to trust any body of men with a
greater share of power than the laws of the land have appointed them,
much less to deposit it in their hands until they shall please to
restore it.

_Secondly_: By bringing to mind the tragedy of this day, and the
consequences that have arisen from it, we shall be convinced how
necessary it is for those in power to curb, in season, all such unruly
spirits as desire to introduce new doctrines and discipline in the
Church, or new forms of government in the state. Those wicked Puritans
began, in Queen Elizabeth's time, to quarrel only with surplices and
other habits, with the ring in matrimony, the cross in baptism, and the
like; thence they went on to further matters of higher importance, and,
at last, they must needs have the whole government of the Church
dissolved. This great work they compassed, first, by depriving the
bishops of their seats in Parliament, then they abolished the whole
order; and, at last, which was their original design, they seized on all
the Church-lands, and divided the spoil among themselves; and, like
Jeroboam, made priests of the very dregs of the people. This was their
way of reforming the Church. As to the civil government, you have
already heard how they modelled it upon the murder of their King, and
discarding the nobility. Yet, clearly to shew what a Babel they had
built, after twelve years' trial and twenty several sorts of government;
the nation grown weary of their tyranny, was forced to call in the son
of him whom those reformers had sacrificed. And thus were Simeon and
Levi divided in Jacob and scattered in Israel.

_Thirdly_: Although the successors of these Puritans, I mean our present
Dissenters, do not think fit to observe this day of humiliation; yet,
since it would be very proper in them, upon some occasions, to renounce
in a public manner those principles upon which their predecessors acted;
and it will be more prudent in them to do so, because those very
Puritans, of whom ours are followers, found by experience, that after
they had overturned the Church and state, murdered their King, and were
projecting what they called a kingdom of the saints, they were cheated
of the power and possessions they only panted after, by an upstart sect
of religion that grew out of their own bowels, who subjected them to one
tyrant, while they were endeavouring to set up a thousand.

_Fourthly_: Those who profess to be followers of our Church established,
and yet presume in discourse to justify or excuse that rebellion, and
murder of the King, ought to consider, how utterly contrary all such
opinions are to the doctrine of Christ and his apostles, as well as to
the articles of our Church, and to the preaching and practice of its
true professors for above a hundred years. Of late times, indeed, and I
speak it with grief of heart, we have heard even sermons of a strange
nature; although reason would make one think it a very unaccountable way
of procuring favour under a monarchy, by palliating and lessening the
guilt of those who murdered the best of kings in cold blood, and, for a
time, destroyed the very monarchy itself. Pray God, we may never more
hear such doctrine from the pulpit, nor have it scattered about in
print, to poison the people!

_Fifthly:_ Some general knowledge of this horrid rebellion and murder,
with the consequences they had upon these nations, may be a warning to
our people not to believe a lie, and to mistrust those deluding spirits,
who, under pretence of a purer and more reformed religion, would lead
them from their duty to God and the laws. Politicians may say what they
please, but it is no hard thing at all for the meanest person, who hath
common understanding, to know whether he be well or ill governed. If he
be freely allowed to follow his trade and calling; if he be secure in
his property, and hath the benefit of the law to defend himself against
injustice and oppression; if his religion be different from that of his
country, and the government think fit to tolerate it, (which he may be
very secure of, let it be what it will;) he ought to be fully satisfied,
and give no offence, by writing or discourse, to the worship
established, as the dissenting preachers are too apt to do. But, if he
hath any new visions of his own, it is his duty to be quiet, and possess
them in silence, without disturbing the community by a furious zeal for
making proselytes. This was the folly and madness of those ancient
puritan fanatics: They must needs overturn heaven and earth, violate all
the laws of God and man, make their country a field of blood, to
propagate whatever wild or wicked opinions came into their heads,
declaring all their absurdities and blasphemies to proceed from the Holy

To conclude this head. In answer to that objection of keeping up
animosity and hatred between Protestants, by the observation of this
day; if there be any sect or sort of people among us, who profess the
same principles in religion and government which those puritan rebels
put in practice, I think it is the interest of all those who love the
Church and King, to keep up as strong a party against them as possible,
until they shall, in a body, renounce all those wicked opinions upon
which their predecessors acted, to the disgrace of Christianity, and the
perpetual infamy of the English nation.

When we accuse the Papists of the horrid doctrine, "that no faith ought
to be kept with heretics," they deny it to a man; and yet we justly
think it dangerous to trust them, because we know their actions have
been sometimes suitable to that opinion. But the followers of those who
beheaded the Martyr have not yet renounced their principles; and, till
they do, they may be justly suspected. Neither will the bare name of
Protestants set them right. For surely Christ requires more from us than
a profession of hating Popery, which a Turk or an atheist may do as well
as a Protestant.

If an enslaved people should recover their liberty from a tyrannical
power of any sort, who could blame them for commemorating their
deliverance by a day of joy and thanksgiving? And doth not the
destruction of a Church, a King, and three kingdoms, by the artifices,
hypocrisy, and cruelty of a wicked race of soldiers and preachers, and
other sons of Belial, equally require a solemn time of humiliation?
Especially since the consequences of that bloody scene still continue,
as I have already shewn, in their effects upon us.

Thus I have done with the three heads I proposed to discourse on. But
before I conclude, I must give a caution to those who hear me, that they
may not think I am pleading for absolute unlimited power in any one man.
It is true, all power is from God, and, as the apostle says, "the powers
that be are ordained of God;" but this is in the same sense that all we
have is from God, our food and raiment, and whatever possessions we hold
by lawful means. Nothing can be meant in those, or any other words of
Scripture, to justify tyrannical power, or the savage cruelties of those
heathen emperors who lived in the time of the apostles. And so St Paul
concludes, "The powers that be are ordained of God:" For what? Why, "for
the punishment of evil doers, and the praise, the reward, of them that
do well." There is no more inward value in the greatest emperor, than in
the meanest of his subjects: His body is composed of the same substance,
the same parts, and with the same or greater, infirmities: His education
is generally worse, by flattery, and idleness, and luxury, and those
evil dispositions that early power is apt to give. It is therefore
against common sense, that his private personal interest, or pleasure,
should be put in the balance with the safety of millions, every one of
which is his equal by nature, equal in the sight of God, equally capable
of salvation; and it is for their sakes, not his own, that he is
entrusted with the government over them. He hath as high trust as can
safely be reposed in one man, and, if he discharge it as he ought, he
deserves all the honour and duty that a mortal may be allowed to
receive. His personal failings we have nothing to do with, and errors in
government are to be imputed to his ministers in the state. To what
height those errors may be suffered to proceed, is not the business of
this day, or this place, or of my function, to determine. When
oppressions grow too great and universal to be borne, nature or
necessity may find a remedy. But, if a private person reasonably expects
pardon, upon his amendment, for all faults that are not capital, it
would be a hard condition indeed, not to give the same allowance to a
prince, who must see with other men's eyes, and hear with other men's
ears, which are often wilfully blind and deaf. Such was the condition of
the Martyr, and is so, in some degree, of all other princes. Yet this we
may justly say in defence of the common people, in all civilized
nations, that it must be a very bad government indeed, where the body of
the subjects will not rather choose to live in peace and obedience, than
take up arms on pretence of faults in the administration, unless where
the vulgar are deluded by false preachers to grow fond of new visions
and fancies in religion; which, managed by dexterous men, for sinister
ends of malice, envy, or ambition, have often made whole nations run
mad. This was exactly the case in the whole progress of that great
rebellion, and the murder of King Charles I. But the late Revolution
under the Prince of Orange was occasioned by a proceeding directly
contrary, the oppression and injustice there beginning from the throne:
For that unhappy prince, King James II., did not only invade our laws
and liberties, but would have forced a false religion upon his subjects,
for which he was deservedly rejected, since there could be no other
remedy found, or at least agreed on. But, under the blessed Martyr, the
deluded people would have forced many false religions, not only on their
fellow-subjects, but even upon their sovereign himself, and at the same
time invaded all his undoubted rights; and, because he would not comply,
raised a horrid rebellion, wherein, by the permission of God, they
prevailed, and put their sovereign to death, like a common criminal, in
the face of the world.

Therefore, those who seem to think they cannot otherwise justify the
late Revolution, and the change of the succession, than by lessening the
guilt of the Puritans, do certainly put the greatest affront imaginable
upon the present powers, by supposing any relation, or resemblance,
between that rebellion and the late Revolution; and, consequently, that
the present establishment is to be defended by the same arguments which
those usurpers made use of, who, to obtain their tyranny, trampled under
foot all the laws of both God and man.

One great design of my discourse was to give you warning against running
into either extreme of two bad opinions, with relation to obedience. As
kings are called gods upon earth, so some would allow them an equal
power with God, over all laws and ordinances; and that the liberty, and
property, and life, and religion of the subject, depended wholly upon
the breath of the prince; which, however, I hope was never meant by
those who pleaded for passive obedience. And this opinion hath not been
confined to that party which was first charged with it, but hath
sometimes gone over to the other, to serve many an evil turn of interest
or ambition, who have been as ready to enlarge prerogative, where they
could find their own account, as the highest maintainers of it.

On the other side, some look upon kings as answerable for every mistake
or omission in government, and bound to comply with the most
unreasonable demands of an unquiet faction; which was the case of those
who persecuted the blessed Martyr of this day from his throne to the

Between these two extremes, it is easy, from what hath been said, to
choose a middle; to be good and loyal subjects, yet, according to your
power, faithful assertors of your religion and liberties; to avoid all
broachers and preachers of newfangled doctrines in the Church; to be
strict observers of the laws, which cannot be justly taken from you
without your own consent: In short, "to obey God and the King, and
meddle not with those who are given to change."

Which that you may all do, &c.



"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content"

The holy Scripture is full of expressions to set forth the miserable
condition of man during the whole progress of his life; his weakness,
pride, and vanity; his unmeasurable desires, and perpetual
disappointments; the prevalency of his passions, and the corruptions of
his reason; his deluding hopes, and his real, as well as imaginary,
fears; his natural and artificial wants; his cares and anxieties; the
diseases of his body, and the diseases of his mind; the shortness of his
life; his dread of a future state, with his carelessness to prepare for
it: And the wise men of all ages have made the same reflections.

But all these are general calamities, from which none are excepted; and
being without remedy, it is vain to bewail them. The great question,
long debated in the world, is, whether the rich or the poor are the
least miserable of the two? It is certain, that no rich man ever desired
to be poor, and that most, if not all, poor men, desire to be rich;
whence it may be argued, that, in all appearance, the advantage lieth on
the side of wealth, because both parties agree in preferring it before
poverty. But this reasoning will be found to be false: For, I lay it
down as a certain truth, that God Almighty hath placed all men upon an
equal foot, with respect to their happiness in this world, and the
capacity of attaining their salvation in the next; or, at least, if
there be any difference, it is not to the advantage of the rich and the
mighty. Now, since a great part of those who usually make up our
congregations, are not of considerable station, and many among them of
the lower sort, and since the meaner people are generally and justly
charged with the sin of repining and murmuring at their own condition,
to which, however, their betters axe sufficiently subject (although,
perhaps, for shame, not always so loud in their complaints) I thought it
might be useful to reason upon this point in as plain a manner as I can.
I shall therefore shew, first, that the poor enjoy many temporal
blessings, which are not common to the rich and the great: And,
likewise, that the rich and the great are subject to many temporal
evils, which are not common to the poor.

But here I would not be misunderstood; perhaps there is not a word more
abused than that of the poor, or wherein the world is more generally
mistaken. Among the number of those who beg in our streets, or are
half-starved at home, or languish in prison for debt, there is hardly
one in a hundred who doth not owe his misfortunes to his own laziness,
or drunkenness, or worse vices.

To these he owes those very diseases which often disable him from
getting his bread. Such wretches are deservedly unhappy: They can only
blame themselves; and when we are commanded to have pity on the poor,
these are not understood to be of the number.

It is true, indeed, that sometimes honest, endeavouring men are reduced
to extreme want, even to the begging of alms, by losses, by accidents,
by diseases, and old age, without any fault of their own: But these are
very few in comparison of the other; nor would their support be any
sensible burthen to the public, if the charity of well-disposed persons
were not intercepted by those common strollers, who are most
importunate, and who least deserve it. These, indeed, are properly and
justly called the poor, whom it should be our study to find out and
distinguish, by making them partake, of our superfluity and abundance.

But neither have these anything to do with my present subject; For, by
the poor, I only intend the honest, industrious artificer, the meaner
sort of tradesmen, and the labouring man, who getteth his bread by the
sweat of his brows, in town or country, and who make the bulk of mankind
among us.

_First_: I shall therefore shew, first, that the poor (in the sense I
understand the word) do enjoy many temporal blessings, which are not
common to the rich and great; and likewise, that the rich and great are
subject to many temporal evils, which are not common to the poor.

_Secondly_: From the arguments offered to prove the foregoing head, I
shall draw some observations that may be useful for your practice.

I. As to the first: Health, we know, is generally allowed to be the best
of all earthly possessions, because it is that, without which we can
have no satisfaction in any of the rest. For riches are of no use, if
sickness taketh from us the ability of enjoying them, and power and
greatness are then only a burthen. Now, if we would look for health, it
must be in the humble habitation of the labouring man, or industrious
artificer, who earn their bread by the sweat of their brows, and usually
live to a good old age, with a great degree of strength and vigour.

The refreshment of the body by sleep is another great happiness of the
meaner sort. Their rest is not disturbed by the fear of thieves and
robbers, nor is it interrupted by surfeits of intemperance. Labour and
plain food supply the want of quieting draughts; and the wise man
telleth us, that the sleep of the labouring man is sweet. As to
children, which are certainly accounted of as a blessing, even to the
poor, where industry is not wanting; they are an assistance to honest
parents, instead of being a burthen; they are healthy and strong, and
fit for labour; neither is the father in fear, lest his heir should be
ruined by an unequal match: Nor is he solicitous about his rising in the
world, farther than to be able to get his bread.

The poorer sort are not the objects of general hatred or envy; they have
no twinges of ambition, nor trouble themselves with party quarrels, or
state divisions. The idle rabble, who follow their ambitious leaders in
such cases, do not fall within my description of the poorer sort; for,
it is plain, I mean only the honest industrious poor in town or
country, who are safest in times of public disturbance, in perilous
seasons, and public revolutions, if they will be quiet, and do their
business; for artificers and husbandmen are necessary in all
governments: But in such seasons, the rich are the public mark, because
they are oftentimes of no use, but to be plundered; like some sort of
birds, who are good for nothing, but their feathers; and so fall a prey
to the strongest side.

Let us proceed, on the other side to examine the disadvantages which the
rich and the great lie under, with respect to the happiness of the
present life.

First, then; While health, as we have said, is the general portion of
the lower sort, the gout, the dropsy, the stone, the cholic, and all
other diseases, are continually haunting the palaces of the rich and the
great, as the natural attendants upon laziness and luxury. Neither does
the rich man eat his sumptuous fare with half the appetite and relish,
that even the beggars do the crumbs which fall from his table: But, on
the contrary, he is full of loathing and disgust, or at best of
indifference, in the midst of plenty. Thus their intemperance shortens
their lives, without pleasing their appetites.

Business, fear, guilt, design, anguish, and vexation are continually
buzzing about the curtains of the rich and the powerful, and will hardly
suffer them to close their eyes, unless when they are dosed with the
fumes of strong liquors.

It is a great mistake to imagine that the rich want but few things;
their wants are more numerous, more craving, and urgent, than those of
poorer men: For these endeavour only at the necessaries of life, which
make them happy, and they think no farther: But the desire of power and
wealth is endless, and therefore impossible to be satisfied with any

If riches were so great a blessing as they are commonly thought, they
would at least have this advantage, to give their owners cheerful hearts
and countenances; they would often stir them up to express their
thankfulness to God, and discover their satisfaction to the world. But,
in fact, the contrary to all this is true. For where are there more
cloudy brows, more melancholy hearts, or more ingratitude to their great
Benefactor, than among those who abound in wealth? And, indeed, it is
natural that it should be so, because those men, who covet things that
are hard to be got, must be hard to please; whereas a small thing maketh
a poor man happy, and great losses cannot befall him.

It is likewise worth considering, how few among the rich have procured
their wealth by just measures; how many owe their fortunes to the sins
of their parents, how many more to their own? If men's titles were to be
tried before a true court of conscience, where false swearing, and a
thousand vile artifices, (that are well known, and can hardly be avoided
in human courts of justice) would avail nothing; how many would be
ejected with infamy and disgrace? How many grow considerable by breach
of trust, by bribery and corruption? How many have sold their religion,
with the rights and liberties of themselves and others, for power and

And, it is a mistake to think, that the most hardened sinner, who oweth
his possessions or titles to any such wicked arts of thieving, can have
true peace of mind, under the reproaches of a guilty conscience, and
amid the cries of ruined widows and orphans.

I know not one real advantage that the rich have over the poor, except
the power of doing good to others. But this is an advantage which God
hath not given wicked men the grace to make use of. The wealth acquired
by evil means was never employed to good ends; for that would be to
divide the kingdom of Satan against itself. Whatever hath been gained by
fraud, avarice, oppression, and the like, must be preserved and
increased by the same methods.

I shall add but one thing more upon this head, which I hope will
convince you, that God (whose thoughts are not as our thoughts) never
intended riches or power to be necessary for the happiness of mankind in
this life; because it is certain, that there is not one single good
quality of the mind absolutely necessary to obtain them, where men are
resolved to be rich at any rate; neither honour, justice, temperance,
wisdom, religion, truth, or learning; for a slight acquaintance of the
world will inform us, that there have been many instances of men, in all
ages, who have arrived at great possessions and great dignities, by
cunning, fraud, or flattery, without any of these, or any other virtues
that can be named. Now, if riches and greatness were such blessings,
that good men without them could not have their share of happiness in
this life; how cometh it to pass, that God should suffer them to be
often dealt to the worst, and most profligate of mankind; that they
should be generally procured by the most abominable means, and applied
to the basest and most wicked uses? This ought not to be conceived of a
just, a merciful, a wise, and Almighty Being. We must therefore
conclude, that wealth and power are in their own nature, at best, but
things indifferent, and that a good man may be equally happy without
them, provided that he hath a sufficiency of the common blessings of
human life to answer all the reasonable and virtuous demands of nature,
which his industry will provide, and sobriety will prevent his wanting.
Agur's prayer, with the reasons of his wish, are full to this purpose:
"Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for
me; lest I be full and deny thee, and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or, lest I
be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."

From what hath been said, I shall, in the second place, offer some
considerations, that may be useful for your practice.

And here I shall apply myself chiefly to those of the lower sort, for
whose comfort and satisfaction this discourse is principally intended.
For, having observed the great sin of those, who do not abound in
wealth, to be that of murmuring and repining, that God hath dealt his
blessings unequally to the sons of men, I thought it would be of great
use to remove out of your minds so false and wicked an opinion, by
shewing that your condition is really happier than most of you imagine.

_First:_ Therefore, it hath been always agreed in the world, that the
present happiness of mankind consisted in the ease of our body and the
quiet of our mind; but, from what has been already said, it plainly
appears, that neither wealth nor power do in any sort contribute to
either of these two blessings. If, on the contrary, by multiplying our
desires, they increase our discontents; if they destroy our health, gall
us with painful diseases, and shorten our life; if they expose us to
hatred, to envy, to censure, to a thousand temptations, it is not easy
to see why a wise man should make them his choice, for their own sake,
although it were in his power. Would any of you, who are in health and
strength of body, with moderate food and raiment earned by your own
labour, rather choose to be in the rich man's bed, under the torture of
the gout, unable to take your natural rest, or natural nourishment, with
the additional load of a guilty conscience, reproaching you for
injustice, oppressions, covetousness, and fraud? No; but you would take
the riches and power, and leave behind the inconveniences that attend
them; and so would every man living. But that is more than our share,
and God never intended this world for such a place of rest as we would
make it; for the Scripture assureth us that it was only designed as a
place of trial. Nothing is more frequent, than a man to wish himself in
another's condition; yet he seldom doth it without some reserve: He
would not be so old; he would not be so sickly; he would not be so
cruel; he would not be so insolent; he would not be so vicious; he would
not be so oppressive, so griping, and so on. From whence it is plain,
that, in their own judgment, men are not so unequally dealt with, as
they would at first sight imagine: For, if I would not change my
condition with another man, without any exception or reservation at all,
I am, in reality, more happy than he.

_Secondly_: You of the meaner sort are subject to fewer temptations than
the rich; and therefore your vices are more unpardonable. Labour
subdueth your appetites to be satisfied with common things; the business
of your several callings filleth up your whole time; so that idleness,
which is the bane and destruction of virtue, doth not lead you into the
neighbourhood of sin: Your passions are cooler, by not being inflamed
with excess, and therefore the gate and the way that lead to life are
not so straight and so narrow to you, as to those who live among all the
allurements to wickedness. To serve God with the best of your care and
understanding, and to be just and true in your dealings, is the short
sum of your duty, and will be the more strictly required of you, because
nothing lieth in the way to divert you from it.

_Thirdly_: It is plain from what I have said, that you of the lower rank
have no just reason to complain of your condition: Because, as you
plainly see, it affordeth you so many advantages, and freeth you from so
many vexations, so many distempers both of body and mind, which pursue
and torment the rich and powerful.

_Fourthly_: You are to remember and apply, that the poorest person is
not excused from doing good to others, and even relieving the wants of
his distressed neighbour, according to his abilities; and if you perform
your duty in this point, you far outdo the greatest liberalities of the
rich, and will accordingly be accepted of by God, and get your reward:
For it is our Saviour's own doctrine, when the widow gave her two mites.
The rich give out of their abundance; that is to say, what they give,
they do not feel it in their way of living: But the poor man, who giveth
out of his little stock, must spare it from the necessary food and
raiment of himself and his family. And, therefore, our Saviour adds,
"That the widow gave more than all who went before her; for she gave all
she had, even all her living;" and so went home utterly unprovided to
supply her necessities.

_Lastly_: As it appeareth from what hath been said, that you in the
lower rank have, in reality, a greater share of happiness, your work of
salvation is easier, by your being liable to fewer temptations; and as
your reward in Heaven is much more certain than it is to the rich, if
you seriously perform your duty, for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven; so
your neglect of it will be less excusable, will meet with fewer
allowances from God, and will be punished with double stripes: For the
most unknowing among you cannot plead ignorance of what you have been so
early taught, I hope, so often instructed in, and which is so easy to be
understood, I mean the art of leading a life agreeable to the plain and
positive laws of God. Perhaps you may think you lie under one
disadvantage, which the great and rich have not; that idleness will
certainly reduce you to beggary; whereas those who abound in wealth lie
under no necessity either of labour or temperance to keep enough to live
on. But this is indeed one part of your happiness, that the lowness of
your condition, in a manner, forceth you to what is pleasing to God, and
necessary for your daily support. Thus your duty and interest are always
the same.

To conclude: Since our blessed Lord, instead of a rich and honourable
station in this world, was pleased to choose his lot among men of the
lower condition; let not those, on whom the bounty of Providence hath
bestowed wealth and honours, despise the men who are placed in a humble
and inferior station; but rather, with their utmost power, by their
countenance, by their protection, by just payment of their honest
labour, encourage their daily endeavours for the support of themselves
and their families. On the other hand, let the poor labour to provide
things honest in the sight of all men; and so, with diligence in their
several employments, live soberly, righteously, and godlily in this
present world, that they may obtain that glorious reward promised in the
Gospel to the poor, I mean the kingdom of Heaven.

Now, to God the Father, &c,


[Footnote 1: This is not very properly styled a sermon; but, considered
as a political dissertation, it has great merit, and it is highly worthy
of the subject, and the author. Most of the circumstances here founded
upon, as the causes of national distress, are the subject of separate
disquisitions in those political writings connected with Ireland. But
they are here summed up, and brought into one view; and the opinions
expressed form a sort of index to the Dean's tenets upon the state of
that country. [S.]]


"That there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is the people that
is in such a case."

It is a very melancholy reflection, that such a country as ours, which
is capable of producing all things necessary, and most things convenient
for life, sufficient for the support of four times the number of its
inhabitants, should yet lie under the heaviest load of misery and want,
our streets crowded with beggars, so many of our lower sort of
tradesmen, labourers, and artificers, not able to find clothes and food
for their families.

I think it may therefore be of some use to lay before you the chief
causes of this wretched condition we are in, and then it will be easier
to assign what remedies are in our power toward removing, at least, some
part of these evils.

For it is ever to be lamented, that we lie under many disadvantages, not
by our own faults, which are peculiar to ourselves, and which no other
nation under heaven hath any reason to complain of.

I shall, therefore, first mention some causes of our miseries,--which I
doubt are not to be remedied, until God shall put it in the hearts of
those who are stronger to allow us the common rights and privileges of
brethren, fellow-subjects, and even of mankind. The first cause of our
misery is the intolerable hardships we lie under in every branch of our
trade, by which we are become as hewers of wood, and drawers of water,
to our rigorous neighbours.

The second cause of our miserable state is the folly, the vanity, and
ingratitude of those vast numbers, who think themselves too good to live
in the country which gave them birth, and still gives them bread; and
rather choose to pass their days, and consume their wealth, and draw out
the very vitals of their mother kingdom, among those who heartily
despise them.

These I have but lightly touched on, because I fear they are not to be
redressed, and, besides, I am very sensible how ready some people are to
take offence at the honest truth; and, for that reason, I shall omit
several other grievances, under which we are long likely to groan.

I shall therefore go on to relate some other causes of this nation's
poverty, by which, if they continue much longer, it must infallibly sink
to utter ruin.

The first is, that monstrous pride and vanity in both sexes, especially
the weaker sex, who, in the midst of poverty, are suffered to run into
all kind of expense and extravagance in dress, and particularly priding
themselves to wear nothing but what cometh from abroad, disdaining the
growth or manufacture of their own country, in those articles where they
can be better served at home with half the expense; and this is grown to
such a height, that they will carry the whole yearly rent of a good
estate at once on their body. And, as there is in that sex a spirit of
envy, by which they cannot endure to see others in a better habit than
themselves, so those, whose fortunes can hardly support their families
in the necessaries of life, will needs vie with the richest and greatest
amongst us, to the ruin of themselves and their posterity.

Neither are the men less guilty of this pernicious folly, who, in
imitation of a gaudiness and foppery of dress, introduced of late years
into our neighbouring kingdom, (as fools are apt to imitate only the
defects of their betters,) cannot find materials in their own country
worthy to adorn their bodies of clay, while their minds are naked of
every valuable quality.

Thus our tradesmen and shopkeepers, who deal in home goods, are left in
a starving condition, and only those encouraged who ruin the kingdom by
importing among us foreign vanities.

Another cause of our low condition is our great luxury, the chief
support of which is the materials of it brought to the nation in
exchange for the few valuable things left us, whereby so many thousand
families want the very necessaries of life.

_Thirdly_, In most parts of this kingdom the natives are from their
infancy so given up to idleness and sloth, that they often choose to beg
or steal, rather than support themselves with their own labour; they
marry without the least view or thought of being able to make any
provision for their families; and whereas, in all industrious nations,
children are looked on as a help to their parents; with us, for want of
being early trained to work, they are an intolerable burthen at home,
and a grievous charge upon the public, as appeareth from the vast number
of ragged and naked children in town and country, led about by strolling
women, trained up in ignorance and all manner of vice.

_Lastly_, A great cause of this nation's misery, is that Egyptian
bondage of cruel, oppressing, covetous landlords, expecting that all who
live under them should make bricks without straw, who grieve and envy
when they see a tenant of their own in a whole coat, or able to afford
one comfortable meal in a month, by which the spirits of the people are
broken, and made for slavery; the farmers and cottagers, almost through
the whole kingdom, being to all intents and purposes as real beggars as
any of those to whom we give our charity in the streets. And these cruel
landlords are every day unpeopling their kingdom, by forbidding their
miserable tenants to till the earth, against common reason and justice,
and contrary to the practice and prudence of all other nations, by which
numberless families have been forced either to leave the kingdom, or
stroll about, and increase the number of our thieves and beggars.

Such, and much worse, is our condition at present, if I had leisure or
liberty to lay it before you; and, therefore, the next thing which might
be considered is, whether there may be any probable remedy found, at the
least against some part of these evils; for most of them are wholly

But this being too large a subject to be now handled, and the intent of
my discourse confining me to give some directions concerning the poor of
this city, I shall keep myself within those limits. It is indeed in the
power of the lawgivers to found a school in every parish of the kingdom,
for teaching the meaner and poorer sort of children to speak and read
the English tongue, and to provide a reasonable maintenance for the
teachers. This would, in time, abolish that part of barbarity and
ignorance, for which our natives are so despised by all foreigners: this
would bring them to think and act according to the rules of reason, by
which a spirit of industry, and thrift, and honesty would be introduced
among them. And, indeed, considering how small a tax would suffice for
such a work, it is a public scandal that such a thing should never have
been endeavoured, or, perhaps, so much as thought on.

To supply the want of such a law, several pious persons, in many parts
of this kingdom, have been prevailed on, by the great endeavours and
good example set them by the clergy, to erect charity-schools in several
parishes, to which very often the richest parishioners contribute the
least. In those schools, children are, or ought to be, trained up to
read and write, and cast accounts; and these children should, if
possible, be of honest parents, gone to decay through age, sickness, or
other unavoidable calamity, by the hand of God; not the brood of wicked
strollers; for it is by no means reasonable, that the charity of
well-inclined people should be applied to encourage the lewdness of
those profligate, abandoned women, who crowd our streets with their
borrowed or spurious issue.

In those hospitals which have good foundations and rents to support
them, whereof, to the scandal of Christianity, there are very few in
this kingdom; I say, in such hospitals, the children maintained ought to
be only of decayed citizens, and freemen, and be bred up to good trades.
But in these small-parish charity-schools which have no support, but the
casual goodwill of charitable people, I do altogether disapprove the
custom of putting the children 'prentice, except to the very meanest
trades; otherwise the poor honest citizen, who is just able to bring up
his child, and pay a small sum of money with him to a good master, is
wholly defeated, and the bastard issue, perhaps, of some beggar
preferred before him. And hence we come to be so overstocked with
'prentices and journeymen, more than our discouraged country can employ;
and, I fear, the greatest part of our thieves, pickpockets, and other
vagabonds are of this number.

Therefore, in order to make these parish charity-schools of great and
universal use, I agree with the opinion of many wise persons, that a new
turn should be given to this whole matter.

I think there is no complaint more just than what we find in almost
every family, of the folly and ignorance, the fraud and knavery, the
idleness and viciousness, the wasteful squandering temper of servants,
who are, indeed, become one of the many public grievances of the
kingdom; whereof, I believe, there are few masters that now hear me who
are not convinced by their own experience. And I am not very confident,
that more families, of all degrees, have been ruined by the corruptions
of servants, than by all other causes put together. Neither is this to
be wondered at, when we consider from what nurseries so many of them are
received into our houses. The first is the tribe of wicked boys,
wherewith most corners of this town are pestered, who haunt public
doors. These, having been born of beggars, and bred to pilfer as soon as
they can go or speak, as years come on, are employed in the lowest
offices to get themselves bread, are practised in all manner of
villainy, and when they are grown up, if they are not entertained in a
gang of thieves, are forced to seek for a service. The other nursery is
the barbarous and desert part of the country, from whence such lads come
up hither to seek their fortunes, who are bred up from the dunghill in
idleness, ignorance, lying, and thieving. From these two nurseries, I
say, a great number of our servants come to us, sufficient to corrupt
all the rest. Thus, the whole race of servants in this kingdom have
gotten so ill a reputation, that some persons from England, come over
hither into great stations, are said to have absolutely refused
admitting any servant born among us into their families. Neither can
they be justly blamed; for although it is not impossible to find an
honest native fit for a good service, yet the inquiry is too
troublesome, and the hazard too great for a stranger to attempt.

If we consider the many misfortunes that befall private families, it
will be found that servants are the causes and instruments of them all:
Are our goods embezzled, wasted and destroyed? Is our house burnt down
to the ground? It is by the sloth, the drunkenness or the villainy of
servants. Are we robbed and murdered in our beds? It is by confederacy
with our servants. Are we engaged in quarrels and misunderstandings with
our neighbours? These were all begun and inflamed by the false,
malicious tongues of our servants. Are the secrets of our families
betrayed, and evil repute spread of us? Our servants were the authors.
Do false accusers rise up against us (an evil too frequent in this
country)? They have been tampering with our servants. Do our children
discover folly, malice, pride, cruelty, revenge, undutifulness in their
words and actions? Are they seduced to lewdness or scandalous marriages?
It is all by our servants. Nay, the very mistakes, follies, blunders,
and absurdities of those in our service, are able to ruffle and
discompose the mildest nature, and are often of such consequence, as to
put whole families into confusion.

Since therefore not only our domestic peace and quiet, and the welfare
of our children, but even the very safety of our lives, reputations, and
fortunes have so great a dependence upon the choice of our servants, I
think it would well become the wisdom of the nation to make some
provision in so important an affair. But in the meantime, and, perhaps,
to better purpose, it were to be wished, that the children of both
sexes, entertained in the parish charity-schools, were bred up in such a
manner as would give them a teachable disposition, and qualify them to
learn whatever is required in any sort of service. For instance, they
should be taught to read and write, to know somewhat in casting
accounts, to understand the principles of religion, to practise
cleanliness, to get a spirit of honesty, industry, and thrift, and be
severely punished for every neglect in any of these particulars. For, it
is the misfortune of mankind, that if they are not used to be taught in
their early childhood, whereby to acquire what I call a teachable
disposition, they cannot, without great difficulty, learn the easiest
thing in the course of their lives, but are always awkward and unhandy;
their minds, as well as bodies, for want of early practice, growing
stiff and unmanageable, as we observe in the sort of gentlemen, who,
kept from school by the indulgence of their parents but a few years, are
never able to recover the time they have lost, and grow up in ignorance
and all manner of vice, whereof we have too many examples all over the
nation. But to return to what I was saying: If these charity children
were trained up in the manner I mentioned, and then bound apprentices in
the families of gentlemen and citizens, (for which a late law giveth
great encouragement) being accustomed from their first entrance to be
always learning some useful thing, [they] would learn, in a month, more
than another, without those advantages, can do in a year; and, in the
meantime, be very useful in a family, as far as their age and strength
would allow. And when such children come to years of discretion, they
will probably be a useful example to their fellow-servants, at least
they will prove a strong check upon the rest; for, I suppose, everybody
will allow, that one good, honest, diligent servant in a house may
prevent abundance of mischief in the family.

These are the reasons for which I urge this matter so strongly, and I
hope those who listen to me will consider them.

I shall now say something about that great number of poor, who, under
the name of common beggars, infest our streets, and fill our ears with
their continual cries, and craving importunity. This I shall venture to
call an unnecessary evil, brought upon us for the gross neglect, and
want of proper management, in those whose duty it is to prevent it. But
before I proceed farther, let me humbly presume to vindicate the justice
and mercy of God and His dealings with mankind. Upon this particular He
hath not dealt so hardly with His creatures as some would imagine, when
they see so many miserable objects ready to perish for want: For it
would infallibly be found, upon strict enquiry, that there is hardly one
in twenty of those miserable objects who do not owe their present
poverty to their own faults, to their present sloth and negligence, to
their indiscreet marriage without the least prospect of supporting a
family, to their foolish expensiveness, to their drunkenness, and other
vices, by which they have squandered their gettings, and contracted
diseases in their old age. And, to speak freely, is it any way
reasonable or just, that those who have denied themselves many lawful
satisfactions and conveniences of life, from a principle of conscience,
as well as prudence, that they might not be a burthen to the public,
should be charged with supporting others, who have brought themselves to
less than a morsel of bread by their idleness, extravagance, and vice?
Yet such, and no other, are far the greatest number not only in those
who beg in our streets, but even of what we call poor decayed
housekeepers, whom we are apt to pity as real objects of charity, and
distinguish them from common beggars, although, in truth, they both owe
their undoing to the same causes; only the former is either too nicely
bred to endure walking half naked in the streets, or too proud to own
their wants. For the artificer or other tradesman, who pleadeth he is
grown too old to work or look after business, and therefore expecteth
assistance as a decayed housekeeper; may we not ask him, why he did not
take care, in his youth and strength of days, to make some provision
against old age, when he saw so many examples before him of people
undone by their idleness and vicious extravagance? And to go a little
higher; whence cometh it that so many citizens and shopkeepers, of the
most creditable trade, who once made a good figure, go to decay by their
expensive pride and vanity, affecting to educate and dress their
children above their abilities, or the state of life they ought to

However, since the best of us have too many infirmities to answer for,
we ought not to be severe upon those of others; and therefore if our
brother, through grief, or sickness, or other incapacity, is not in a
condition to preserve his being, we ought to support him to the best of
our power, without reflecting over seriously on the causes that brought
him to his misery. But in order to this, and to turn our charity into
its proper channel, we ought to consider who and where those objects
are, whom it is chiefly incumbent upon us to support.

By the ancient law of this realm, still in force, every parish is
obliged to maintain its own poor, which although some may think to be
not very equal, because many parishes are very rich, and have few poor
among them, and others the contrary; yet, I think, may be justly
defended: For as to remote country parishes in the desert part of the
kingdom, the necessaries of life are there so cheap, that the infirm
poor may be provided for with little burden to the inhabitants. But in
what I am going to say, I shall confine myself only to this city, where
we are overrun not only with our own poor, but with a far greater number
from every part of the nation. Now, I say, this evil of being encumbered
with so many foreign beggars, who have not the least title to our
charity, and whom it is impossible for us to support, may be easily
remedied, if the government of this city, in conjunction with the clergy
and parish officers, would think it worth their care; and I am sure few
things deserve it better. For, if every parish would take a list of
those begging poor which properly belong to it, and compel each of them
to wear a badge, marked and numbered, so as to be seen and known by all
they meet, and confine them to beg within the limits of their own
parish, severely punishing them when they offend, and driving out all
interlopers from other parishes, we could then make a computation of
their numbers; and the strollers from the country being driven away, the
remainder would not be too many for the charity of those who pass by to
maintain; neither would any beggar, although confined to his own parish,
be hindered from receiving the charity of the whole town; because, in
this case, those well-disposed persons who walk the streets will give
their charity to such whom they think proper objects, wherever they meet
them, provided they are found in their own parishes, and wearing their
badges of distinction. And, as to those parishes which bordered upon the
skirts and suburbs of the town, where country strollers are used to
harbour themselves, they must be forced to go back to their homes, when
they find nobody to relieve them, because they want that mark which only
gives them licence to beg. Upon this point, it were to be wished, that
inferior parish officers had better encouragement given them to perform
their duty in driving away all beggars who do not belong to the parish,
instead of conniving at them, as it is said they do for some small
contribution: For the whole city would save much more by ridding
themselves of many hundred beggars, than they would lose by giving
parish officers a reasonable support.

It should seem a strange, unaccountable thing, that those who have
probably been reduced to want by riot, lewdness, and idleness, although
they have assurance enough to beg alms publicly from all they meet,
should yet be too proud to wear the parish badge, which would turn so
much to their own advantage, by ridding them of such great numbers, who
now intercept the greatest part of what belongeth to them: Yet it is
certain, that there are very many who publicly declare they will never
wear those badges, and many others who either hide or throw them away:
But the remedy for this is very short, easy, and just, by trying them
like vagabonds and sturdy beggars, and forcibly driving them out of the

Therefore, as soon as this expedient of wearing badges shall be put in
practice, I do earnestly exhort all those who hear me, never to give
their alms to any public beggar who doth not fully comply with this
order, by which our number of poor will be so reduced, that it will be
much easier to provide for the rest. Our shop-doors will be no longer
crowded with so many thieves and pickpockets, in beggars' habits, nor
our streets so dangerous to those who are forced to walk in the night.

Thus I have, with great freedom, delivered my thoughts upon this
subject, which so nearly concerneth us. It is certainly a bad scheme, to
any Christian country, which God hath blessed with fruitfulness, and
where the people enjoy the just rights and privileges of mankind, that
there should be any beggars at all. But, alas! among us, where the whole
nation itself is almost reduced to beggary by the disadvantages we lie
under, and the hardships we are forced to bear; the laziness, ignorance,
thoughtlessness, squandering temper, slavish nature, and uncleanly
manner of living in the poor Popish natives, together with the cruel
oppressions of their landlords, who delight to see their vassals in the
dust; I say, that, in such a nation, how can we otherwise expect than to
be over-run with objects of misery and want? Therefore, there can be no
other method to free this city from so intolerable a grievance, than by
endeavouring, as far as in us lies, that the burthen may be more equally
divided, by contributing to maintain our own poor, and forcing the
strollers and vagabonds to return to their several homes in the country,
there to smite the conscience of those oppressors, who first stripped
them of all their substance.

I might here, if the time would permit, offer many arguments to persuade
to works of charity; but you hear them so often from the pulpit, that I
am willing to hope you may not now want them. Besides, my present design
was only to shew where your alms would be best bestowed, to the honour
of God, your own ease and advantage, the service of your country, and
the benefit of the poor. I desire you will all weigh and consider what I
have spoken, and, according to your several stations and abilities,
endeavour to put it in practice; and God give you good success. To Whom,
with the Son and Holy Ghost, be all honour, &c.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.



"And there sat in a window a certain young man, named _Eutychus_, being
fallen into a deep sleep; and as _Paul_ was long preaching, he sunk down
with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead."

I have chosen these words with design, if possible, to disturb some part
in this audience of half an hour's sleep, for the convenience and
exercise whereof this place, at this season of the day, is very much

There is indeed one mortal disadvantage to which all preaching is
subject; that those who, by the wickedness of their lives, stand in
greatest need, have usually the smallest share; for either they are
absent upon the account of idleness, or spleen, or hatred to religion,
or in order to doze away the intemperance of the week; or, if they do
come, they are sure to employ their minds rather any other way, than
regarding or attending to the business of the place.

The accident which happened to this young man in the text, hath not been
sufficient to discourage his successors: But because the preachers now
in the world, however they may exceed St Paul in the art of setting men
to sleep, do extremely fall short of him in the working of miracles;
therefore men are become so cautious as to choose more safe and
convenient stations and postures for taking their repose, without hazard
of their persons; and, upon the whole matter, choose rather to trust
their destruction to a miracle, than their safety. However, this being
not the only way by which the lukewarm Christians and scorners of the
age discover their neglect and contempt of preaching, I shall enter
expressly into consideration of this matter, and order my discourse in
the following method:

_First:_ I shall produce several instances to shew the great neglect of
preaching now amongst us.

_Secondly:_ I shall reckon up some of the usual quarrels men have
against preaching.

_Thirdly:_ I shall set forth the great evil of this neglect and contempt
of preaching, and discover the real causes from whence it proceedeth.

_Lastly:_ I shall offer some remedies against this great and spreading

_First:_ I shall produce certain instances to shew the great neglect of
preaching now among us.

These may be reduced under two heads. First, men's absence from the
service of the Church; and secondly, their misbehaviour when they are

The first instance of men's neglect, is in their frequent absence from
the church.

There is no excuse so trivial, that will not pass upon some men's
consciences to excuse their attendance at the public worship of God.
Some are so unfortunate as to be always indisposed on the Lord's day,
and think nothing so unwholesome as the air of a church. Others have
their affairs so oddly contrived, as to be always unluckily prevented by
business. With some it is a great mark of wit, and deep understanding,
to stay at home on Sundays. Others again discover strange fits of
laziness, that seize them, particularly on that day, and confine them to
their beds. Others are absent out of mere contempt of religion. And,
lastly, there are not a few who look upon it as a day of rest, and
therefore claim the privilege of their cattle, to keep the Sabbath by
eating, drinking, and sleeping, after the toil and labour of the week.
Now in all this the worst circumstance is, that these persons are such
whose companies are most required, and who stand most in need of a

_Secondly:_ Men's great neglect and contempt of preaching, appear by
their misbehaviour when at church.

If the audience were to be ranked under several heads according to their
behaviour, when the word of God is delivered, how small a number would
appear of those who receive it as they ought? How much of the seed then
sown would be found to fall by the way-side, upon stony ground or among
thorns? And how little good ground would there be to take it? A preacher
cannot look round from the pulpit, without observing, that some are in a
perpetual whisper, and, by their air and gesture, give occasion to
suspect, that they are in those very minutes defaming their neighbour.
Others have their eyes and imagination constantly engaged in such a
circle of objects, perhaps to gratify the most unwarrantable desires,
that they never once attend to the business of the place; the sound of
the preacher's words doth not so much as once interrupt them. Some have
their minds wandering among idle, worldly, or vicious thoughts. Some lie
at catch to ridicule whatever they hear, and with much wit and humour
provide a stock of laughter, by furnishing themselves from the pulpit.
But, of all misbehaviour, none is comparable to that of those who come
here to sleep; opium is not so stupefying to many persons as an
afternoon sermon. Perpetual custom hath so brought it about, that the
words, of whatever preacher, become only a sort of uniform sound at a
distance, than which nothing is more effectual to lull the senses. For,
that it is the very sound of the sermon which bindeth up their
faculties, is manifest from hence, because they all awake so very
regularly as soon as it ceaseth, and with much devotion receive the
blessing, dozed and besotted with indecencies I am ashamed to repeat.

I proceed, _Secondly_, to reckon up some of the usual quarrels men have
against preaching, and to shew the unreasonableness of them.

Such unwarrantable demeanour as I have described, among Christians, in
the house of God, in a solemn assembly, while their faith and duty are
explained and delivered, have put those who are guilty upon inventing
some excuses to extenuate their fault: This they do by turning the blame
either upon the particular preacher, or upon preaching in general.
First, they object against the particular preacher; his manner, his
delivery, his voice are disagreeable, his style and expression are flat
and low; sometimes improper and absurd; the matter is heavy, trivial and
insipid; sometimes despicable, and perfectly ridiculous; or else, on the
other side, he runs up into unintelligible speculation, empty notions,
and abstracted flights, all clad in words above usual understandings.

Secondly, They object against preaching in general; it is a perfect road
of talk; they know already whatever can be said; they have heard the
same an hundred times over. They quarrel that preachers do not relieve
an old beaten subject with wit and invention; and that now the art is
lost of moving men's passions, so common among the ancient orators of
Greece and Rome. These, and the like objections, are frequently in the
mouths of men who despise the "foolishness of preaching." But let us
examine the reasonableness of them.

The doctrine delivered by all preachers is the same: "So we preach, and
so ye believe:" But the manner of delivering is suited to the skill and
abilities of each, which differ in preachers just as in the rest of
mankind. However, in personal dislikes of a particular preacher, are
these men sure they are always in the right? Do they consider how mixed
a thing is every audience, whose taste and judgment differ, perhaps,
every day, not only from each other, but themselves? And how to
calculate a discourse, that shall exactly suit them all, is beyond the
force and reach of human reason, knowledge, or invention. Wit and
eloquence are shining qualities, that God hath imparted, in great
degrees, to very few, nor any more to be expected, in the generality of
any rank among men, than riches and honour. But further: If preaching in
general be all old and beaten, and that they are already so well
acquainted with it, more shame and guilt to them who so little edify by
it. But these men, whose ears are so delicate as not to endure a plain
discourse of religion, who expect a constant supply of wit and eloquence
on a subject handled so many thousand times; what will they say when we
turn the objection upon themselves, who, with all the rude and profane
liberty of discourse they take, upon so many thousand subjects, are so
dull as to furnish nothing but tedious repetitions, and little paltry,
nauseous common-places, so vulgar, so worn, or so obvious, as, upon any
other occasion, but that of advancing vice, would be hooted off the
stage? Nor, lastly, are preachers justly blamed for neglecting human
oratory to move the passions, which is not the business of a Christian
orator, whose office it is only to work upon faith and reason. All other
eloquence hath been a perfect cheat, to stir up men's passions against
truth and justice, for the service of a faction, to put false colours
upon things, and by an amusement of agreeable words, make the worse
reason appear to be the better. This is certainly not to be allowed in
Christian eloquence, and, therefore, St Paul took quite the other
course; he "came not with excellency of words, or enticing speech of
men's wisdom, but in plain evidence of the Spirit and power." And
perhaps it was for that reason the young man Eutychus, used to the
Grecian eloquence, grew tired and fell so fast asleep.

I go on, _Thirdly_, to set forth the great evil of this neglect and
scorn of preaching, and to discover the real causes from whence it

I think it is obvious,[1] that this neglect of preaching hath very much
occasioned the great decay of religion among us. To this may be imputed
no small part of that contempt some men bestow on the clergy; for,
whoever talketh without being regarded, is sure to be despised. To this
we owe, in a great measure, the spreading of atheism and infidelity
among us; for religion, like all other things, is soonest put out of
countenance by being ridiculed. The scorn of preaching might perhaps
have been at first introduced by men of nice ears and refined taste; but
it is now become a spreading evil, through all degrees, and both sexes;
for, since sleeping, talking, and laughing are qualities sufficient to
furnish out a critic, the meanest and most ignorant have set up a title,
and succeeded in it as well as their betters. Thus are the last efforts
of reforming mankind rendered wholly useless: "How shall they hear,"
saith the apostle, "without a preacher?" But, if they have a preacher,
and make it a point of wit or breeding not to hear him, what remedy is
left? To this neglect of preaching, we may also entirely impute that
gross ignorance among us in the very principles of religion, which it is
amazing to find in persons who very much value their own knowledge and
understanding in other things; yet, it is a visible, inexcusable
ignorance, even in the meanest among us, considering the many advantages
they have of learning their duty. And it hath been the great
encouragement to all manner of vice: For, in vain we preach down sin to
a people, "whose hearts are waxed gross, whose ears are dull of hearing,
and whose eyes are closed." Therefore Christ Himself, in His discourses,
frequently rouseth up the attention of the multitude, and of His
disciples themselves, with this expression, "He that hath ears to hear,
let him hear." But, among all neglects of preaching, none is so fatal as
that of sleeping in the house of God; a scorner may listen to truth and
reason, and in time grow serious; an unbeliever may feel the pangs of a
guilty conscience; one whose thoughts or eyes wander among other
objects, may, by a lucky word, be called back to attention: But the
sleeper shuts up all avenues to his soul: He is "like the deaf adder,
that hearkeneth not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so
wisely." And, we may preach with as good success to the grave that is
under his feet.

[Footnote 1: Hawkesworth (Swift's "Works," vol. xiii., 1762) inserts
here "to believe." [T.S.]]

But the great evil of this neglect will further yet appear, from
considering the real causes whence it proceedeth; whereof the first, I
take to be, an evil conscience. Many men come to church to save or gain
a reputation; or because they will not be singular, but comply with an
established custom; yet, all the while, they are loaded with the guilt
of old rooted sins. These men can expect to hear of nothing but terrors
and threatenings, their sins laid open in true colours, and eternal
misery the reward of them; therefore, no wonder they stop their ears,
and divert their thoughts, and seek any amusement rather than stir the
hell within them.

Another cause of this neglect is, a heart set upon worldly things. Men
whose minds are much enslaved to earthly affairs all the week, cannot
disengage or break the chain of their thoughts so suddenly, as to apply
to a discourse that is wholly foreign to what they have most at heart.
Tell a usurer of charity, and mercy, and restitution, you talk to the
deaf; his heart and soul, with all his senses, are got among his bags,
or he is gravely asleep, and dreaming of a mortgage. Tell a man of
business, that the cares of the world choke the good seed; that we must
not encumber ourselves with much serving; that the salvation of his soul
is the one thing necessary: You see, indeed, the shape of a man before
you, but his faculties are all gone off among clients and papers,
thinking how to defend a bad cause, or find flaws in a good one; or, he
weareth out the time in drowsy nods.

A third cause of the great neglect and scorn of preaching, ariseth from
the practice of men who set up to decry and disparage religion; these,
being zealous to promote infidelity and vice, learn a rote of buffoonery
that serveth all occasions, and refutes the strongest arguments for
piety and good manners. These have a set of ridicule calculated for all
sermons, and all preachers, and can be extreme witty as often as they
please upon the same fund.

Let me now, in the last place, offer some remedies against this great

It will be one remedy against the contempt of preaching, rightly to
consider the end for which it was designed. There are many who place
abundance of merit in going to church, although it be with no other
prospect but that of being well entertained, wherein if they happen to
fail, they return wholly disappointed. Hence it is become an impertinent
vein among people of all sorts to hunt after what they call a good
sermon, as if it were a matter of pastime and diversion. Our business,
alas! is quite another thing, either to learn, or, at least, be reminded
of our duty, to apply the doctrines delivered, compare the rules we hear
with our lives and actions, and find wherein we have transgressed. These
are the dispositions men should bring into the house of God, and then
they will be little concerned about the preacher's wit or eloquence, nor
be curious to enquire out his faults and infirmities, but consider how
to correct their own.

Another remedy against the contempt of preaching, is, that men would
consider, whether it be not reasonable to give more allowances for the
different abilities of preachers than they usually do; refinements of
style, and flights of wit, as they are not properly the business of any
preacher, so they cannot possibly be the talents of all. In most other
discourses, men are satisfied with sober sense and plain reason; and, as
understandings usually go, even that is not over frequent. Then why they
should be so over nice in expectation of eloquence,[2] where it is
neither necessary nor convenient, is hard to imagine.

[Footnote 2: Hawkesworth (1762 edit.) has "over nice and expecting for
sense"; but both the 4to and the 8vo of 1764 agree with Scott as above.

_Lastly:_ The scorners of preaching would do well to consider, that this
talent of ridicule, they value so much, is a perfection very easily
acquired, and applied to all things whatsoever; neither is anything at
all the worse, because it is capable of being perverted to burlesque:
Perhaps it may be the more perfect upon that score; since we know, the
most celebrated pieces have been thus treated with greatest success. It
is in any man's power to suppose a fool's cap on the wisest head, and
then laugh at his own supposition. I think there are not many things
cheaper than supposing and laughing; and if the uniting these two
talents can bring a thing into contempt, it is hard to know where it may

_To conclude:_ These considerations may, perhaps, have some effect while
men are awake; but what arguments shall we use to the sleeper? What
methods shall we take to hold open his eyes? Will he be moved by
considerations of common civility? We know it is reckoned a point of
very bad manners to sleep in private company, when, perhaps, the tedious
impertinence of many talkers would render it at least as excusable as at
the dullest sermon. Do they think it a small thing to watch four hours
at a play, where all virtue and religion are openly reviled; and can
they not watch one half hour to hear them defended? Is this to deal like
a judge, (I mean like a good judge) to listen on one side of the cause,
and sleep on the other? I shall add but one word more: That this
indecent sloth is very much owing to that luxury and excess men usually
practise upon this day, by which half the service thereof is turned to
sin; men dividing the time between God and their bellies, when after a
gluttonous meal, their senses dozed and stupefied, they retire to God's
house to sleep out the afternoon. Surely, brethren, these things ought
not so to be.

"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." And God give us all grace to
hear and receive His holy word to the salvation of our own souls.

*****       *****       *****       *****       *****




"THE following manuscript was literally copied from the printed original
found in the library of Dr. J. Swift, Dean of St Patrick's, Dublin, in
the year 1745. The marginal notes and parodies were written by the
Dean's own hand, except such as are distinguished with this mark [O/]
with which I am only chargeable. Witness my hand, this 25th day of
February, 1745. WILLIAM DUNKIN.

"N.B.--The original was by me presented to his excellency Philip Dormer
Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, lord lieutenant general and general
governor of Ireland. W.D."

The manuscript to which Dr. Dunkin refers is in the library of Trinity
College, Dublin. The present text is taken from a transcript which is at
the South Kensington Museum, and which appears to be the identical
transcript used by Nichols for his reprint in the quarto edition, vol.
xiv. At the end of this MS. is the following note:

"The above was written from the manuscript mentioned in the first page,
now in the hands of Nicholas Coyne, Esq., being the only copy in the
kingdom of Ireland; he having purchased the original, and
afterwards generously given it to his friend Dr. Dunkin, finding the
doctor extremely uneasy at the disappointment the Earl of Chesterfield
was like to meet with, as he had promised the earl to attend the
auction, and procure it for him at any price; and is now transcribed by
Neale Molloy, of Dublin, Esq'r, by the favour of the said Nicholas
Coyne, his brother-in-law; and sent by him to his kinsman, and dear
friend, Charles Molloy, of London, Esq're.

"_Dublin, 26th, of May_, 1748."

The "Epistle Dedicatory" to Princess Anne, in Dr. Gibbs's volume, has
also been annotated, chiefly by Dr. Dunkin; but as these are mostly too
filthy to be published, I have omitted the few notes by Swift,
which consist merely of marginalia corrections of words and a few
satirical interpolations of no great consequence. I have corrected Dr.
Gibbs's text by the original edition of his "Paraphrase" (1701). The
corrections were necessary, since the transcript could not be absolutely
relied on.



On "The first Fifteen Psalms of David, translated into Lyric Verse:
Proposed as an Essay, supplying the Perspicuity and Coherence according
to the Modern Art of Poetry; not known to have been attempted before in
any Language. With a Preface containing some Observations of the great
and general Defectiveness of former Versions in Greek, Latin, and
English. By Dr. [James] Gibbs. London: printed by J. Mathews, for John
Hartley, over-against Gray's-Inn, in Holborn. MDCCI."


DR GIBBS.                                      DR SWIFT.
I. PSALM OF DAVID, (1)                         (1)I warn the reader that
_Comparing the different state of the          this is a lie, both here
righteous and the wicked, both in this         and all over the book;
and the next world._                           for these are not Psalms
                                               of David, but of Dr.

1  Thrice happy he! that does refuse.          (2) But I suppose with
     With _impious_ (2) _sinners_ to combine;  _pious_ sinners a man may
   Who ne'er their wicked way pursues,         combine safely enough
     And does the scorner's _seat_(3)_decline_
                                               (3)What part of speech
                                               is it?

2  But still to learn, and to obey             (4) All.
     The Law of God is his delight;
   In that employs himself all day,            (5) A man must have
     And reads and thinks thereon at(4)        some time to sleep; so
        night.(5)                              that I will change the
                                               verse thus:
                                                "And thinks and dreams
                                                  thereon all night."

3  For as a tree, whose spreading root         (6) Look ye; you must
     By some prolific stream is fed,           thin the boughs at the
   Produces (6) fair and timely fruit,         top, or your fruit will
     And numerous boughs adorn its head:       be neither fair or
   Whose (7) very leaves, tho' storms descend, timely.
     In lively verdure still appear
                                               (7) Why, what other part
   Whose (7) very leaves, tho' storms descend, of a tree appears in lively.
     In lively verdure still appear;           verdure, beside the
   Such blessings always shall attend          leaves?
     The man that does the Lord revere.           These very leaves on
                                                    which you penn'd
                                                  Your woeful stuff, may
                                                       serve for squibs:
                                                  Such blessings always
                                                        shall attend
                                                  The madrigals of Dr.

4  Like chaff with every wind disperst:(1)     (1) "Disp_u_rst,"
                  [rhyming with "curst"]       Pronounce this like a

6  And these to punishment may go. (2)         (2) If they please.

["The above may serve for a tolerable specimen of Swift's remarks. The
whole should be given, if it were possible to make them intelligible,
without copying the version which is ridiculed; a labour for which our
readers would scarcely thank us. A few detached stanzas, however, with
the Dean's notes on them, shall be transcribed." Thus writes Scott; but
I have added a great many more, which deserve reprinting, if only for
their humour. [T.S.]]

    DR GIBBS.                                  DR SWIFT.

    II. PSALM OF DAVID.                        (1) I do not believe
                                               that ever kings entered
1  Why do the heathen nations rise,            into plots and
     And in mad tumults join!                  confederacies against
                                               the reign of God
2  Confederate kings vain plots (1) devise
     Against the Almighty's reign:
   His Royal Title they deny,                  (2) What word does
     Whom God appointed Christ;                that plural number
                                               belong to?
3  Let us reject their (2) laws, they cry,
     Their binding force resist.

7  And thus to Him was pleased to say,         (3) An excellent drug-
     As I His words declare; (3)               german.

9  But those, that do thy laws refuse,         (4) After a man is
      In pieces thou shalt break;              broken in pieces,
    And with an iron sceptre bruise (4)        'tis no great matter
      Their disobedient (5) _neck_.            to have his neck

                                               (5) Neak.

10  Ye earthly kings, the caution _hear_;      (6) Rulers must _learn_
      Ye rulers, _learn_ the same; (6)         it, but kings may only
                                               _hear_ it.

11  Serve God with reverence, and with _fear_(7)
      His joyful praise proclaim;              (7) Very proper to make a
                                               joyful proclamation with

12  Confess the Son, and own His (8) reign,    (8) Of Blackmore's
      Ere He to wrath inclines;                reign.
    And, so resenting your disdain,
      Confound your vain designs: (9)          (9) You with his lines

    For should the madness of His foes (1)     (1) For should the foes
      Th' avenging God incense,                of David's ape
    Happy are they that can repose             Provoke his grey
      In Him their confidence. (2)             goose quills,
                                               Happy are they that
                                               can escape
                                               The vengeance of
                                               his pills.

                                               (2) Admirably reasoned
                                               and connected!


_When he fled from his son Absalom._           To Dr. Gibbs, _ex aquâ
                                               in ignem_.

4  When to the Lord for help I cry,            (3) Sec_o_ure.
     He hears me from the Throne on high;
                                               (4) By this I think it
5  And thus I sleep and wake secure, (3)       is clear that he cries
     Guarded by His almighty Power. (4)        in his sleep.

6  No fears shall then my soul depress,*       *Depre_a_se, Lo_a_rd,
     Though thus my enemies increase;          Scoticé.

7  And (5) therefore, now arise, O Lord,*      (5) He desires God's
     And graciously thy help afford:           help, because
                                               he is not afraid of
                                               his enemies; others,
                                               I think, usually
                                               desire it when they
                                               _are_ afraid.

8  And _thus_ (6) to grant a sure defence,     (6) The doctor hath a
     Belongs to God's (7) omnipotence;         mighty affection for the
                                               particle _thus_: he uses
                                               it four times in this
                                               Psalm, and 100 times in
                                               other places, and
                                               always wrong.

                                               (7) That is as much as
                                               to say, he that can do
                                               all things can defend a
                                               man; which I take to be
                                               an undoubted truth.


_Reproving and admonishing his enemies_.       Not to burlesque
                                               his Psalms.

1  As Thou hast always taken care              A pretty phrase!
     My sufferings to remove.

2  But you, my frail (1) malicious foes,       (1) Are they malicious
     Who do my power despise;                  out of frailty, or frail
   Vainly how long will ye oppose,             out of malice?
     And (2) falsely calumnize!
                                               (2) That is, they say
                                               _false_ things

                                               I will discover the
                                               doctor's  secret of
                                               making the coherence
                                               and connection, in
                                               the Psalms that he
                                               brags of in his title
                                               and preface: he lays
                                               violent hands on certain
                                               particles,(such as _and,
                                               when, since, for, but,
                                               thus, so_, &c.) and
                                               presses them to his
                                               service on all occasions
                                               sore against their wills,
                                               and without any regard
                                               whether the sense will
                                               admit them or no.

3  Since those alone the Lord has blest,       (3) 'Tis plain the doctor
     That do from sin refrain;                 never requested to be a
   He therefore grants what I request, (3)     poet.
     And hears when I (4) complain:

                                               (4) If your requests be
                                               granted, why do you

 But of Thy face to us do Thou                 What is it, to
   The favour still dispense;                  dispense the favour
                                               of his face?

7  Then shall my soul with more divine         (5) I have heard of a
     And solid joys abound,                    crown or garland of corn,
   Than they with stores of corn and wine,     but a crown of wine is
     Those earthly riches, crown'd: (5)        new, and can hardly be
                                               explained, unless we
                                               suppose the wine to be
                                               in icicles.

8  And thus confiding, Lord, in thee           (6) And yet, to shew I
     I take my calm repose; (6)                         tell no fibs,
   For thou each night protectest me           Thou hast left me in
     From all my (7) treacherous foes                   thrall
                                                 To Hopkins, eke, and
                                                         Doctor Gibbs
                                               The vilest rogue of all.

                                               (7) Aye, and _open_ foes
                                               too; or his repose would
                                               not be very calm.


Trusting in God, he implores protection        Especially Doctor
from his enemies._                             Gibbs.

1  O Lord, receive my fervent prayer,          (1) I suppose he
     Relieve my soul opprest with care,        thought it would be
   And hear my loud (1) complaint;             heard the better for
                                               being loud.
                                                [Greek: Oion aento mega
                                                kekraigenai kai ochlaeson
                                                einai.]--LUC. TIM.,

2  On Thee alone I can rely,
     Do Thou, my God, to whom I fly,
   My sad (2) petition grant:                  (2) My poor petition.
                                               Ay, a sad one indeed.

5  They on thy favour can't rely,              (3) Such vile poetry.
     That practice such iniquity, (3)          What is the meaning of
   For Thou wilt punish those                  that word, _such_, in
                                               this place?

6  That do malicious lies (4) invent,          (4) Malicious lines.
     And would to death the innocent
   By treacherous means (5) expose.            (5) By doggrel rhimes.

8  Lord, in Thy Laws (6) direct my ways,       (6) He perseveres--not
     Since those my watchful foe surveys,      that he values the Laws,
   And make me persevere:                      but because his foes
                                               watch him. A good

9  They flatter to destroy:

10  But let, O Lord, the vengeance due         (7) Horrid rhimes.
    Those in their horrid crimes (7) pursue,   (8) Def_o_y.
      Who do Thy power defy: (8)


_Penitently complaining of his sufferings_.    By this translator.

I  Thy heavy hand restrain, (9)                (9) Thy heavy hand
     With mercy, Lord, correct;                             restrain;
   Do not, (1) as if in high disdain,          Have mercy, Dr. Gibbs:
     My helpless soul reject:                    Do not, I pray thee,
                                                        paper stain
2  For how shall I sustain                     With rhymes retail'd in
  (2)Those ills, which now I bear!                         dribbs.
  My vitals are consumed with pain,
  (3)My soul oppress'd with care:              (1)That bit is a most
                                               glorious botch.
                                               (2)The squeaking of a

                                               (3)To listen to
                                               thy doggrel.

5  For in the silent grave,                    } Very true all that.
     When there I lie obscure,
   No gracious favours I can have,
     Nor magnify Thy power:

6  Lord, I have pray'd in (1) vain             (1)The doctor must
     So long, so much opprest;                 mean himself, for I hope
   My very (2) cries increase my pain,         David never thought so.
     And tears prevent my rest;
                                               (2)Then he's a dunce
7  These do my sight impair,                    for crying.
     My flowing eyes decay,
   While to my enemies I fear
     Thus (3) to become a prey.                (3)That is, he is afraid
                                               of becoming a prey to his
                                               enemies while his eyes
                                               are sore.

8  But, ye vain forces! fly, (4)               (4)Fl_o_y.
     For God, Whom I adore,                    Why then does he
                                               tell us just before that
                                               he has prayed in vain,
                                               and is afraid of becoming
                                               a prey to his enemies?

9  My impious foes does still destroy,
     When I His aid implore.

10 O Lord, by Thy fierce hand repell'd,
     With sudden shame retire (5)              A very proper word
                                               for a man that is repell'd
                                               by a fierce hand.


_When unjustly persecuted,(6) and accused of   (6) By Doctor Gibbs.
treachery against King Saul._

I  O Lord my God, since I repose               (7) By chance.
     My trust in Thee alone, (7)

   Save and defend me from my foes,
      That furiously come on: (8)              (8) Advance.

2  Lest, like a ravenous lion, they            What sort of lions are
     My captive soul devour,                       they that devour souls?

4  If I've not spared him though he's grown(9) (9) Gro_u_n.
     My causeless (1) enemy,
                                               (1) If he be grown his
                                               _causeless_ enemy I presume
                                               he is no longer _guiltless_.

5  Then let my life, and future (2) crown      (2) He gives a thing
     Become to him a prey:                     before he has it, and
                                               gives it to him that has
                                               it already; for Saul is
                                               the person meant.

6  But, Lord, thy kind assistance (1) lend,    (1) But why _lend?_
     Arise in my defence;                      Does he design to return
   According to Thy laws, (2) contend          it back when he has done
     For injured innocence:                    with it?

                                               (2) Profane rascal! he
                                               makes it a struggle and
                                               contention between God
                                               and the wicked.

7  That all the nations, that oppose, (3)      (3) Opp_a_use.
     May then confess Thy power:
   Therefore assert my righteous cause,
     That they may Thee adore: (4)             (4) Ado_u_re.

8  For equal judgment, Lord, to Thee           (5) Yet in the very
     The nations (5) all submit;               verse before he tells of
   Be therefore (6) merciful to me.            nations that _oppose_.
     And my just soul acquit: (7)
                                               (6) Because all nations
                                               submit to God, therefore
                                               God must be merciful to
                                               Dr. Gibbs.

                                               (7) Of what?

9  Destroy the wicked in their plots:          Poor David never could
     The just with blessings crown:                            acquit
   For all the ways and secret thoughts (8)    A criminal like thee,
     Of both to Thee are known.                Against his Psalms who
                                               couldst commit
                                               Such wicked poetry.

                                               (8) Thots.

10 Thus by God's gracious providence (9)       (9) Observe the
     I'm still preserved secure, (1)                      connection.
   Who all the good and just defends           (1) Sec_ou_re.
     With a resistless (2) power.
                                               (2) That's right, doctor;
                                               but then there will
                                               be no _contending_, as
                                               you desired a while ago.

                                               'Tis wonderful that
                                               Should save thee from the
                                               Who hast in numbers
                                                          without sense
                                               Burlesqued the holy

11 All men He does with justice view,          (1) That's no great
     And their iniquity                        mark of viewing them
   With direful vengeance can pursue,          with justice. God has
     Or patiently (1) pass by:                 wiser ends for passing by
                                               His vengeance on the
                                               wicked, you profane

13 For He the artillery directs,               What's that charge? it
     The sudden charge ordains,                must allude to a charge
                                               of gunpowder, or it is

15 Lo! now th'inflictions (2) they design'd    (2) Ay, but what sort of
     By others to be borne,                    things are these
   Even all the mischiefs (3) in their mind              inflictions?
     Do on themselves return: (4)
                                               (3) If the mischiefs be
                                               in their mind, what need
                                               they return on
                                               themselves? are they not
                                               there already?

                                               (4) Ret_o_rn.

16 By their own treachery betray'd             (5) Pills
     To the same ills, (5) that they
   Invented, and with those essay'd            (6) Rich.
     To make the poor (6) their prey:
                                               Does this verse end
                                               according to the more
                                               modern art of poetry, as
                                               the author speaks in his

17 O Lord, how glorious are the ways           Do not these verses end
     Of Thy good Providence!                   very sublimely?
   Thou, Lord, Whose blessed Name I
     True justice dost dispense


1  The mighty powers, that celebrate           That's a lie; for if
     Thy endless praises, can't relate         they
   The glory they in Heaven survey:            can survey it they can
                                               easily relate it.

2  _Young_ helpless _infants_ at the breast    Young younglings.
     Their great Creator have confest,         [The italics are
   And in their weakness spoke Thy pow'r,      Swift's.] This stanza
                                               is just upon the purlieus
                                               between sense and

4 Lord, what is wretched (7) man, I cry,       (7) A very proper epithet
Or all his sinful progeny,                     for those who are scarce
  That thou to them dost prove so kind!        inferior to angels.

5  To honour Thou dost them prefer,            A fine cadence that.
     To angels scarce inferior,

6  They over all Thy works command:

7  The flocks and herds o'er every field       (1) That's a lie, for
     To their just lords obedience yield,          sometimes they trespass
   And all (1) in full subjection stand:       on other men's grounds.

8  O'er all the birds, that mount the air,     (2) App_ai_r.
     And fish, that in the floods appear,(2)
   Man bears an arbitrary sway:                Those, I think, are
                                               not very many: they are
                                               caught, but till then we
                                               have no great sway over


3  Confounded at the sight of Thee             (3) The doctor's mistaken;
     My foes are put to flight; (3)            for, when people are
                                               confounded, they cannot

4  Thus thou, great God of equity,             (4) Against Sternhold
     Dost still assert my right. (4)           and Hopkins.

6  Insulting foes, how long can ye             (5) b_o_st.
     Of ruin'd cities boast! (5)               Blunderings, _Siccorrige
   Your plunderings now as well as they        meo periculo_. That's a
     Are in oblivion lost:                     lie, for Gibbs remembers

7  But God eternally remains (6)               (6) That's false and
     Fixt in His throne on high,               profane; God is not fixed

8  And to the world from thence ordains        (7) Did anybody ever
     Impartial equity:(7)                      hear of _partial_ equity?

9  And for their injured souls extend          That extending a refuge,
     A refuge most secure.                     is pretty.

12 He hears the injured poor, and then         _i.e._ is angry at their
     Does all their cries resent.              cries.

13 And thus consider still, O Lord,            (8) Nothing is restored
     The justice of my cause;                  but what has been taken
   Who often hast my life (8) restor'd         away; so that he has been
     From death's devouring jaws:              often raised from the
                                               dead, if this be true.

15 The heathen nations are dismay'd (9)        (9) We heard a while
     They're all to ruin brought,              ago their very names were
   For in the treacherous nets, they laid,     dead,[1] now (it seems)
     Ev'n they themselves are caught:          they're only dismay'd.

[Footnote 1: Ver. 5. "They and their very names are dead."]

16 Lo, thus the Lord to execute
     True judgment still inclines;             This is profane, as if
                                               it were only an
                                               inclination in God to be


1  Lord, why in times of deep distress         If the woes require aid
     Dost Thou from us retire,                 it is to increase them,
   When dismal woes our souls oppress,         they cannot require it
     And Thy kind aid require!                 against themselves.

2  The wicked do with lawless pride (1)        (1) Proide. Pronounce
     The helpless persecute;                   it like the Scotch.
   But let them be themselves destroy'd,
     And fall in their pursuit:                Ay, let them!

3  For still they triumph, when success        I cannot crock this
     Does their designs attend,                stave.
   And then their ways, who thus oppress,
     Profanely they commend:

       *       *       *       *       *

5  And from the barbarous (2) paths they tread,(2) The author should
     No acts of Providence                     first have premised what
   Can e'er oblige them to recede,             sort of paths were
     Or stop (3) their bold offence;           properly barbarous. I
                                               suppose they must be
                                               very deep and dirty, or
                                               very rugged and stony;
                                               both which I myself
                                               have heard travellers
                                               call barbarous roads.

                                               (3) Which is the way to
                                               stop an offence?
                                               Would you have it
                                               stopped like a bottle,
                                               or a thief?
                                               For what end? is it
                                               to catch a louse, better
                                               lay wait for the rich by

8  And for the poor in secret they
     Do treacherously lay wait:
                                               As a lion observes with
9  As hungry lions do their prey               watchful eyes, just so a
     Observe with watchful eyes,               wicked man surprises
   So heedless innocents would they            with sudden force--a very
     With sudden force surprise;               just simile.
   And then, like lions merciless,             They surprise them like
     Their trembling souls devour;             lions, but then they devour
   And thus the helpless do oppress (4)        devour them [like] lions.
     When captives to their power;

                                               (4) This line is dry
                                               nonsense or false grammar
                                               and will bear no jest.

13                         no more             No mo_u_r. Pronounce
                [rhyming with pow'r.]          this like my lady's

14                         deserts             Des_a_rts. Pronounce
               [rhyming with hearts.]          this like my lady's


1                        come on,              Come _u_n. Pronounce
                 [rhyming with shun.]          this like a

                                               The force of his argument
                                               lies here: he does
3  For if the Power, in which they trust,      not fear his enemies,
     Should fail, how helpless are the just!   because if God's power
                                               should fail he has no

6  And on their impious heads will pour        (1) A shower of snares
     Of snares (1) and flames a dismal shower; on a man's head would
   And this their bitter cup must be           do wonderful execution.
     (2) To drink to all eternity:             However, I grant it is a
                                               scurvy thing enough to
                                               swallow them.

                                               (2) To taste the doctor's


1  O Lord, some help for me provide,           He can confide in but
     For in but few I can confide,             few because all are.
   All men are so perfidious grown;            perfidious. Smoke

2  True mutual kindness they pretend,          Did ever any man
                                               pretend mutual
                                               kindness to another?

3  But God those flatterers will confound,     Qu: whether flatterers
     That with abusive lies abound,            usually abound with
   And proudly boast their vicious ways,       abusive lies?

4  That say, with our deceitful tongues        If they say thus they
                                               are silly flatterers.

6  And since He thus was pleased to say,       That comparison is
     Like gold refined from base alloy,        well applied.
   His promise never can deceive; (3)
                                               (3) Deceive. Pronounce
                                               this like a beau.

7  And therefore will their cause assert,      Examine well the grammar
     Who thus are pure and true of heart,      and sense and the
   And save them from the enemy;               elegance of this

8  For, when th' ungodly meet success,         Here the author separates
     The wicked more and more increase,(1)     the wicked from
   And proudly all their foes defy.            the ungodly.

                                               (1) Incr_ess_.


1  How long wilt Thou neglect,                 A civil question that!
     O Lord, to hear me pray!

3  Attend, and hear my cries,                  Mind me, Sir!
     Some comfort now disclose,
   E'er grief has shut my weeping eyes         Which would be nonsense,
     In death's obscure repose:                put in prose.

4  Lest my proud enemy,
     If now my trust should fail,
   And those that persecute me cry;
     See, thus we still prevail:               A pretty speech that!


1  Hence virtue in the world declines,         Without question virtue
     And all men vicious grow.                 declines with a vengeance
                                               when all men
                                               grow vicious.

2  And see who would His being own,            What other way is
     And Him, as God, adore:                   there of adoring?

3  (2) But they were all perverted grown,      (2) But they were all
     Polluted all with blood,                  perverted grown,
   And other impious crimes; not one           In spite of Dr. Gibbs
     Was either just (3) or good.                     his blood:
                                               Of all his impious
                                                     rhimes not one
                                               Was either just or good.

                                               (3) For a man (it seems)
                                               may be good and not

4  Are they so stupid (4) then, said (5) God,  (4) The fault was not_
     Who thus My (6) saints devour!            that they devoured__
   These (7) crimes have they not understood,  saints,_ but that they
     Nor thought upon My power!                were stupid.
                                               Qu: Whether stupidity
                                               makes men devour saints,
                                               or devouring saints
                                               makes a man stupid? I
                                               believe the latter,
                                               because they may be apt
                                               to lie heavy in one's

                                               (5) Clod.

                                               (6) Strains.

                                               (7) Rhimes.

7  (1) O, that His aid we now might have       (1) And O that every
     From Sion's holy hill,                           parish clerk,
   That God the captive just would save,       Who hums what Brady cribs
     And glad all Israel.                      From Hopkins, would read
                                                    this work,
                                               And glad the
                                                 heart with Gibbs.


_Representing the character of a good man_.    And a bad poet.

2 Sincere, and just, who never lie;_

3 And so their neighbour ne'er deceive,        How _so_?

5  All those that lead a life like this        (2) And so the doctor
     Shall reign in everlasting bliss. (2)     now may kiss----!


Fiddling  Impudent  Nauseous     Illiterate  Scoundrel
 oolish    dle       onsensical   gnorant     cot











  "Insani sanus nomen ferat, aequus iniqui,
  Ultra quàm satis est, virtutem si petat ipsam."

  HOR. Epist. 1. vi. 16.

This "Proposal," which has not been included in the editions of Swift's
Works issued by Scott, Faulkner, or Hawkesworth, appeared originally,
but in a shorter form, in the "Tatler" (No. 220, September 4th, 1710).
In this form the whole of the first portion, from the beginning to the
paragraph commencing "The Church thermometer," is omitted, as are also
the last paragraphs of the essay, including the "Advertisement." The
text of the present reprint I have taken from the "Miscellanies," vol.
viii., 1745 (pp. 217-229). In all modern editions of the "Tatler" this
paper is ascribed to Addison; but the style and the subject are so
characteristic of Swift that, although I am not in a position to say
definitely that it is by him, I think it deserves a place in the form of
an Appendix. The date of its appearance in the "Tatler" is somewhat
against Swift having written it, since he was at that time on his way to
London; and of the few contributions he sent to the "Tatler" it is agreed
by all editors that the first is the paper on the same subject as the
letter to the Lord High Treasurer, which appeared in No. 230 (September
28th, 1710).




Having, with great sorrow of heart, observed the increase of Popery
among us of late years, and how ineffectual the penal laws and statutes
of this realm have been, for near forty years last past, towards
reclaiming that blind and deluded people from their errors,
notwithstanding the good intentions of the legislators, and the pious
and unwearied labours of the many learned divines of the Established
Church, who have preached to them without ceasing, although hitherto
without success:

Having also remarked, in his Grace's speech to both Houses of
Parliament, most kind offers of his Grace's good offices towards
obtaining such further laws as shall be thought necessary towards
bringing home the said wandering sheep into the fold of the Church, as
also a good disposition in the parliament to join in the laudable work,
towards which every good Protestant ought to contribute at least his
advice: I think it a proper time to lay before the public a scheme which
was writ some years since, and laid by to be ready on a fit occasion.

That, whereas the several penal laws and statutes now in being against
Papists, have been found ineffectual, and rather tend to confirm, than
reclaim men from their errors, as calling a man coward, is a ready way
to make him fight; It is humbly proposed,

I. That the said penal laws and statutes against Papists, except the law
of Gavelkind, and that which disqualifies them for places, be repealed,
abrogated, annulled, destroyed, and obliterated, to all intents and

II. That, in the room of the said penal laws and statutes, all
ecclesiastical jurisdiction be taken from out of the hands of the clergy
of the established Church, and the same be vested in the several popish
archbishops, bishops, deans and arch-deacons; nevertheless so as such
jurisdiction be exercised over persons of the Popish religion only.

III. That a Popish priest shall be settled by law in each and every
parish in Ireland.

IV. That the said Popish priest shall, on taking the oath of allegiance
to his majesty, be entitled to a tenth part or tithe of all things
tithable in Ireland, belonging to the papists, within their respective
parishes, yet so as such grant of tithes to such Popish priests, shall
not be construed, in law or equity, to hinder the Protestant clergyman
of such parish from receiving and collecting his tithes in like manner
as he does at present.

V. That, in case of detention or subtraction of tithes by any Papist,
the parish priest do have his remedy at law in any of his majesty's
courts, in the same manner as now practised by the clergy of the
Established Church; together with all other ecclesiastical dues. And,
for their further discovery to vex their people at law, it might not be
amiss to oblige the solicitor-general, or some other able king's
counsel, to give his advice, or assistance to such priests gratis, for
which he might receive a salary out of the Barrack Fund, Military
Contingencies, or Concordatum; having observed the exceedings there
better paid than of the army, or any other branch of the establishment;
and I would have no delay in payment in a matter of this importance.

VI. That the archbishops and bishops have power to visit the inferior
clergy, and to extort proxies, exhibits, and all other perquisites usual
in Popish and Protestant countries.

VII. That the convocation having been found, by long experience, to be
hurtful to true religion, be for ever hereafter abolished among

VIII. That, in the room thereof, the Popish archbishops, bishops,
priests, deans, arch-deacons, and proctors, have liberty to assemble
themselves in convocation, and be impowered to make such canons as they
shall think proper for the government of the Papists in Ireland:

IX. And that, the secular arm being necessary to enforce obedience to
ecclesiastical censure, the sheriffs, constables, and other officers, be
commanded to execute the decrees and sentences of the said popish
convocation, with secrecy and dispatch, or, in lieu thereof, they may be
at liberty to erect an inquisition, with proper officers of their own.

X. That, as Papists declare themselves converts to the Established
Church, all spiritual power over them shall cease.

XI. That as soon as any whole parish shall renounce the Popish religion,
the priest of such parish shall, for his good services, have a pension
of £200 per ann. settled on him for life, and that he be from such time
exempt from preaching and praying, and other duties of his function, in
like manner as protestant divines, with equal incomes, are at present.

XII. That each bishop, so soon as his diocese shall become protestants,
be called, My Lord, and have a pension of two thousand pounds per annum
during life.

XIII. That when a whole province shall be reclaimed, the archbishop
shall be called His Grace, and have a pension of three thousand pounds
per ann. during life, and be admitted a member of his majesty's most
honourable privy council.

The good consequences of this scheme, (which will execute itself without
murmurings against the government) are very visible: I shall mention a
few of the most obvious.

I. The giving the priest a right to the tithe would produce law-suits
and wrangles; his reverence, being entituled to a certain income at all
events, would consider himself as a legal incumbent, and behave
accordingly, and apply himself more to fleecing than feeding his flock;
his necessary attendance on the courts of justice would leave his people
without a spiritual guide; by which means protestant curates, who have
no suits about tithes, would be furnished with proper opportunities for
making converts, which is very much wanted.

II. The erecting a spiritual jurisdiction amongst them would, in all
probability, drive as many out of that communion, as a due execution of
such jurisdiction hath hitherto drove from amongst ourselves.

III. An inquisition would still be a further improvement, and most
certainly would expedite the conversion of Papists.

I know it may be objected to this scheme, and with some shew of reason,
that, should the Popish princes abroad pursue the same methods, with
regard to their protestant subjects, the Protestant interest in Europe
would thereby be considerably weakened: but as we have no reason to
suspect Popish counsels will ever produce so much moderation, I think
the objection ought to have but little weight.

A due execution of this scheme will soon produce many converts from
Popery; nevertheless, to the end may it be known, when they shall be of
the true Church, I have ordered a large parcel of ecclesiastical or
Church thermometers to be made, one of which is to be hung up in each
parish church, the description and use of which take as follows, in the
words of the ingenious Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.

The[1] Church thermometer, which I am now to treat of, is supposed have
been invented in the reign of Henry the Eighth, about the time when that
religious prince put some to death for owning the Pope's supremacy, and
others for denying transubstantiation. I do not find, however, any great
use made of this instrument till it fell into the hand of a learned and
vigilant priest or minister, (for he frequently wrote himself both the
one and the other) who was some time Vicar of Bray. This gentleman lived
in his vicarage to a good old age; and after having seen several
successions of his neighbouring clergy either burnt or banished,
departed this life with the satisfaction of having never deserted his
flock, and died Vicar of Bray. As this glass was first designed to
calculate the different degrees of heat in religion, as it raged in
Popery, or as it cooled, and grew temperate in the Reformation, it was
marked at several distances, after the manner our ordinary thermometer
is to this day, viz. extreme hot sultry hot, very hot, hot, warm,
temperate, cold, just freezing, frost, hard frost, great frost, extreme

[Footnote 1: In the "Tatler" this paragraph is preceded by the
following: "_From my own apartment, Sept. 4._--Having received many
letters filled with compliments and acknowledgments for my late useful
discovery of the political barometer, I shall here communicate to the
publican account of my ecclesiastical thermometer, the latter giving as
manifest prognostications of the changes and revolutions in Church, as
the former does of those in State, and both of them being absolutely
necessary for every prudent subject who is resolved to keep what he has,
and get what he can." [T.S.]]

It is well known, that Torricellius,[2] the inventor of the common
weather-glass, made the experiment of a long tube which held thirty-two
foot of water; and that a more modern virtuoso finding such a machine
altogether unwieldly and useless, and considering that thirty-two inches
of quicksilver weighed as much as so many foot of water in a tube of the
same circumference, invented that sizeable instrument which is now in
use. After this manner, that I might adapt the thermometer I am now
speaking of to the present constitution of our Church, as divided into
High and Low, I have made some necessary variations both in the tube and
the fluid it contains. In the first place I ordered a tube to be cast in
a planetary hour, and took care to seal it hermetically, when the sun
was in conjunction with Saturn. I then took the proper precautions about
the fluid, which is a compound of two different liquors; one of them a
spirit drawn out of a strong heady wine; the other a particular sort of
rock-water, colder than ice, and clearer than crystal. The spirit is of
a red, fiery colour, and so very apt to ferment, that, unless it be
mingled with a proportion of the water, or pent up very close, it will
burst the vessel that holds it, and fly up in a fume and smoke. The
water, on the contrary, is of such a subtile, piercing cold, that,
unless it be mingled with a proportion of the spirits, it will sink
almost through every thing it is put into, and seems to be of the same
nature as the water mentioned by Quintus Curtius, which says the
historian, could be contained in nothing but in the hoof, or (as the
Oxford Manuscript has it) the skull of an ass. The thermometer is marked
according to the following figure, which I set down at length, not only
to give my reader a clear idea of it, but also to fill up my paper.

[Footnote 2: Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647) was assistant to
Galileo, and is famous as the discoverer of the phenomena on which he
made the barometer. In 1644 he published "Opera Geometrica." [T.S.]]


The reader will observe, that the Church is placed in the middle point
of the glass between Zeal and Moderation, the situation in which she
always flourishes, and in which every good Englishman wishes her, who is
a friend to the constitution of his country. However, when it mounts to
Zeal, it is not amiss; and, when it sinks to Moderation, it is still in
admirable temper. The worst of it is, that when once it begins to rise,
it has still an inclination to ascend, insomuch that it is apt to climb
from Zeal to Wrath, and from Wrath to Persecution, which often ends in
Ignorance, and very often proceeds from it. In the same manner it
frequently takes its progress through the lower half of the glass; and,
when it has a tendency to fall, will gradually descend from Moderation
to Lukewarmness, and from Lukewarmness to Infidelity, which very often
terminates in Ignorance, and always proceeds from it.

It is a common observation, that the ordinary thermometer will be
affected by the breathing of people who are in the room where it stands,
and indeed it is almost incredible to conceive how the glass I am now
describing, will fall by the breath of the multitude crying Popery; or,
on the contrary, how it will rise when the same multitude (as it
sometimes happens) cry out in the same breath, _The Church is in

As soon as I have finished this my glass, and adjusted it to the
above-mentioned scale of religion, that I might make proper experiments
with it, I carried it under my cloak to several coffee-houses, and other
places of resort, about this great city. At Saint James's Coffee-house
the liquor stood at Moderation; but at Will's, to my extreme surprise,
it subsided to the very lowest mark of the glass. At the Grecian it
mounted but just one point higher; at the Rainbow it still ascended two
degrees; Child's fetched it up to Zeal, and other adjacent coffee-houses
to Wrath.

It fell in the lower half of the glass as I went further into the City,
till at length it settled at Moderation, where it continued all the time
I stayed about the Change, as also whilst I passed by the Bank. And here
I cannot but take notice, that, through the whole course of my remarks,
I never observed my glass to rise at the same time that the stocks did.

To complete the experiment, I prevailed upon a friend of mine, who works
under me in the occult sciences, to make a progress with my glass
through the whole Island of Great Britain; and, after his return, to
present me with a register of his observations. I guessed beforehand at
the temper of several places he passed through, by the characters they
have had time out of mind. Thus that facetious divine, Dr. Fuller,[3]
speaking of the town of Banbury near a hundred years ago, tells us, it
was a place famous for cakes and zeal, which I find by my glass is true
to this day, as to the latter part of his description; though I must
confess, it is not in the same reputation for cakes that it was in the
time of that learned author; and thus of other places. In short, I have
now by me, digested in an alphabetical order, all the counties,
corporations, and boroughs in Great Britain, with their respective
tempers, as they stand related to my thermometer. But this I shall keep
to myself, because I would by no means do any thing that may seem to
influence any ensuing election.

[Footnote 3: Thomas Fuller, D.D. (1608-1661) was the author of "History
of the Worthies of England," "History of the Holy War," and many other
works distinguished for their humour and style. [T.S.]]

The point of doctrine which I would propagate by this my invention, is
the same which was long ago advanced by that able teacher Horace, out of
whom I have taken my text for this discourse: We should be careful not
to over-shoot ourselves in the pursuits even of virtue. Whether zeal or
moderation be the point we aim at, let us keep fire out of the one, and
frost out of the other. But, alas! the world is too wise to want such a
precaution. The terms High-Church and Low-Church, as commonly used, do
not so much denote a principle, as they distinguish a party. They are
like words of battle, they have nothing to do with their original
signification, but are only given out to keep a body of men together,
and to let them know friends from enemies.

I must confess I have considered, with some attention, the influence
which the opinions of these great national sects have upon their
practice; and do look upon it as one of the unaccountable things of our
times, that multitudes of honest gentlemen, who entirely agree in their
lives, should take it in their heads to differ in their religion.[4]

[Footnote 4: Here the "Tatler" paper ends. [T.S.]]

I shall conclude this paper with an account of a conference which
happened between a very excellent divine (whose doctrine was easy, and
formerly much respected) and a lawyer.

       *       *       *       *       *

And behold a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master,
what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou?

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all
thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my

And Jesus answering, said; A certain man went down from Jerusalem to
Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and
wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and, when he
saw him, he passed by on the other side.

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him,
and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and, when
he saw him, he had compassion on him.

And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine; and
set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of

And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave
them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him, and whatsoever
thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that
fell among the thieves?

And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go,
and do thou likewise. Luke x. 25 to 38.

       *       *       *       *       *


There is now in the press a proposal for raising a fund towards paying
the National Debt by the following means: The author would have
commissioners appointed to search all the public and private libraries,
booksellers shops and warehouses, in this kingdom, for such books as are
of no use to the owner, or to the public, viz. all comments on the Holy
Scriptures, whether called sermons, creeds, bodies of divinity, tomes of
casuistry, vindications, confutations, essays, answers, replies,
rejoinders, or sur-rejoinders, together with all other learned treatises
and books of divinity, of what denomination or class soever; as also all
comments on the laws of the land, such as reports, law-cases, decrees,
guides for attorneys and young clerks, and, in fine, all the books now
in being in this kingdom (whether of divinity, law, physic, metaphysics,
logics or politics) except the pure text of the Holy Scriptures, the
naked text of the laws, a few books of morality, poetry, music,
architecture, agriculture, mathematics, merchandise and history; the
author would have the aforesaid useless books carried to the several
paper-mills, there to be wrought into white paper, which, to prevent
damage or complaints, he would have performed by the commentators,
critics, popular preachers, apothecaries, learned lawyers, attorneys,
solicitors, logicians, physicians, almanac-makers, and others of the
like wrong turn of mind; the said paper to be sold, and the produce
applied to discharge the National Debt; what should remain of the said
debt unsatisfied, might be paid by a tax on the salaries or estates of
bankers, common cheats, usurers, treasurers, embezzelers of public
money, general officers, sharpers, pensioners, pick-pockets, &c.



The _rencontre_ with Serjeant Bettesworth, to which reference has
already been made in the note prefixed to "The Presbyterians' Plea of
Merit," is further illustrated by the Resolution which the inhabitants
of the Liberty of St. Patrick's passed, and which they presented to the
Dean. Bettesworth, as a note in the thirteenth volume of Swift's works
(1762) states, "engaged his footman and two ruffians to attend him, in
order to secure the dean wherever they met him, until he had gratified
his resentment either by maiming or stabbing him." Accordingly, he went
directly to the deanery, and hearing the Dean was at a friend's house
(Rev. Mr. John Worrall's in Big Ship Street), followed him thither,
charged him with writing the said verses, but had not courage enough to
put his bloody design in execution. However, as he had the assurance to
relate this affair to several noblemen and gentlemen, the inhabitants of
the Liberty of St. Patrick's waited upon the Dean, and presented the
following paper, signed by above thirty of them, in the name of
themselves, and the rest of their neighbourhood:

"We the inhabitants of the Liberty of the Dean and Chapter of St
Patrick's Dublin, and the neighbourhood of the same, having been
informed, by universal report, that a certain man of this city hath
openly threatened, and sworn before many hundred people, as well persons
of quality as others, that he resolves upon the first opportunity, by
the help of several ruffians, to murder or maim the Reverend the Dean of
St. Patrick, our neighbour, benefactor, and the head of the Liberty of
St Patrick, upon a frivolous unproved suspicion of the said Dean's
having written some lines in verse reflecting on the said man.

"Therefore, we, the said inhabitants of the said Liberty, and in the
neighbourhood thereof, from our great love and respect to the said Dean,
to whom the whole kingdom hath so many obligations, as well as we of the
Liberty, do unanimously declare, that we will endeavour to defend the
life and limbs of the said Dean against the said man, and all his
ruffians and murderers, as far as the law will allow, if he or any of
them presume to come into the said Liberty with any wicked malicious
intent against the house, or family, or person, or goods of the said
Dean. To which we have cheerfully, sincerely, and heartily set our

Swift, at the time of receiving this Resolution lay very ill in bed, and
was unable to receive the deputation in person. He, however, dictated
the following reply:


"I receive, with great thankfulness, these many kind expressions of your
concern for my safety, as well as your declared resolution to defend me
(as far as the laws of God and man will allow) against all murderers and
ruffians, who shall attempt to enter into the liberty with any bloody or
wicked designs upon my life, my limbs, my house, or my goods. Gentlemen,
my life is in the hand of God, and whether it may be cut off by
treachery or open violence, or by the common way of other men; as long
as it continueth, I shall ever bear a grateful memory for this favour
you have shewn, beyond my expectation, and almost exceeding my wishes.

"The inhabitants of the liberty, as well as those of the neighbourhood,
have lived with me in great amity for near twenty years; which I am
confident will never diminish during my life. I am chiefly sorry, that
by two cruel disorders of deafness and giddiness, which have pursued me
for four months, I am not in condition either to hear, or to receive
you, much less to return my most sincere acknowledgements, which in
justice and gratitude I ought to do. May God bless you and your families
in this world, and make you for ever happy in the next."

The poem itself to which Bettesworth took exception is herewith
reprinted, as well as three others occasioned by the Bettesworth action.



IRELAND. 1733.

  "An inundation, says the fable,
  Overflow'd a farmer's barn and stable;
  Whole ricks of hay and sacks of corn
  Were down the sudden current borne;
  While things of heterogeneous kind
  Together float with tide and wind.
  The generous wheat forgot its pride,
  And sail'd with litter side by side;
  Uniting all, to shew their amity,
  As in a general calamity.
  A ball of new-dropp'd horse's dung,
  Mingling with apples in the throng,
  Said to the pippin plump and prim,
  'See brother, how we apples swim.'
    Thus Lamb, renown'd for cutting corns,
  An offer'd fee from Radcliff scorns,
  'Not for the world--we doctors, brother,
  Must take no fees of one another.'
  Thus to a dean some curate sloven
  Subscribes, 'Dear sir, your brother loving.'
  Thus all the footmen, shoeboys, porters,
  About St James's cry, 'We courtiers.'
  Thus Horace in the house will prate,
  'Sir, we, the ministers of state.'
  Thus at the bar the booby Bettesworth,
  Though half a crown o'erpays his sweat's worth;
  Who knows in law nor text nor margent,
  Calls Singleton[1] his brother sergeant.[2]
  And thus fanatic saints, though neither in
  Doctrine nor discipline our brethren,
  Are brother Protestants and Christians,
  As much as Hebrews and Philistines:
  But in no other sense, than nature
  Has made a rat our fellow-creature.
  Lice from your body suck their food;
  But is a louse your flesh and blood?
  Though born of human filth and sweat, it
  As well may say man did beget it.
  And maggots in your nose and chin
  As well may claim you for their kin.
    Yet critics may object, why not?
  Since lice are brethren to a Scot:
  Which made our swarm of sects determine
  Employments for their brother vermin.
  But be they English, Irish, Scottish,
  What Protestant can be so sottish,
  While o'er the church these clouds are gathering,
  To call a swarm of lice his brethren?
    "As Moses, by divine advice,
  In Egypt turn'd the dust to lice;
  And as our sects, by all descriptions,
  Have hearts more harden'd than Egyptians;
  As from the trodden dust they spring,
  And, turn'd to lice, infest the king:
  For pity's sake, it would be just,
  A rod should turn them back to dust.
    Let folks in high or holy stations
  Be proud of owning such relations;
  Let courtiers hug them in their bosom,
  As if they were afraid to lose 'em:
  While I, with humble Job, had rather
  Say to corruption--'Thou 'rt my father.'
  For he that has so little wit
  To nourish vermin, may be bit."

[Footnote 1: Henry Singleton, Esq., then prime sergeant, afterwards
lord-chief-justice of the common pleas, which he resigned, and was some
time after made master of the rolls. [F.]]

[Footnote 2: These lines occasioned the personal attack upon the Dean.



  "In your indignation what mercy appears.
  While Jonathan's threaten'd with loss of his ears;
  For who would not think it a much better choice,
  By your knife to be mangled than rack'd with your voice.
  If truly you [would] be revenged on the parson,
  Command his attendance while you act your farce on;
  Instead of your maiming, your shooting, or banging,
  Bid _Povey_[2] secure him while you are haranguing.
  Had this been your method to torture him, long since,
  He had cut his own ears to be deaf to your nonsense."

[Footnote 1: Now first published from a copy in the Dean's handwriting;
in possession of J. Connill, Esq. [S.]]

[Footnote 2: Povey was sergeant-at-arms to the House of Commons.]



  _To the Tune of "Derry Down."_

    "Jolley boys of St Kevan's,[4] St Patrick's, Donore,
  And Smithfield, I'll tell you, if not told before,
  How Bettesworth, that booby, and scoundrel in grain,
  Has insulted us all by insulting the Dean.
        Knock him down, down, down, knock him down.

[Footnote 3: "Grub Street Journal," No. 189, August 9th, 1734.--"In
December last, Mr. Bettesworth of the city of Dublin, serjeant-at-law,
and member of parliament, openly swore, before many hundreds of people,
that, upon the first opportunity, by the help of ruffians, he would
murder or maim the Dean of St. Patrick's, (Dr. Swift). Upon which
thirty-one of the principal inhabitants of that liberty signed a paper
to this effect: 'That, out of their great love and respect to the Dean,
to whom the whole kingdom hath so many obligations, they would endeavour
to defend the life and limbs of the said Dean against a certain man and
all his ruffians and murderers.' With which paper they, in the name of
themselves and all the inhabitants of the city, attended the Dean on
January 8, who being extremely ill in bed of a giddiness and deafness,
and not able to receive them, immediately dictated a very grateful
answer. The occasion of a certain man's declaration of his villainous
design against the Dean, was a frivolous unproved suspicion that he had
written some lines in verse reflecting upon him."]

[Footnote 4: Kevan Bayl was a cant expression for the mob of this
district of Dublin.]

    "The Dean and his merits we every one know,
  But this skip of a lawyer, where the de'il did he grow?
  How greater his merit at Four Courts or House,
  Than the barking of Towzer, or leap of a louse!
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "That he came from the Temple, his morals do show;
  But where his deep law is, few mortals yet know:
  His rhetoric, bombast, silly jests, are by far
  More like to lampooning, than pleading at bar.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "This pedlar, at speaking and making of laws,
  Has met with returns of all sorts but applause;
  Has, with noise and odd gestures, been prating some years,
  What honester folk never durst for their ears.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "Of all sizes and sorts, the fanatical crew
  Are his brother Protestants, good men and true;
  Red hat, and blue bonnet, and turban's the same,
  What the de'il is't to him whence the devil they came.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "Hobbes, Tindal, and Woolston, and Collins, and Nayler,
  And Muggleton, Toland, and Bradley the tailor,
  Are Christians alike; and it may be averr'd,
  He's a Christian as good as the rest of the herd.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "He only the rights of the clergy debates;
  Their rights! their importance! We'll set on new rates
  On their tithes at half-nothing, their priesthood at less;
  What's next to be voted with ease you may guess.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "At length his old master, (I need not him name,)
  To this damnable speaker had long owed a shame;
  When his speech came abroad, he paid him off clean,
  By leaving him under the pen of the Dean.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "He kindled, as if the whole satire had been
  The oppression of virtue, not wages of sin:
  He began, as he bragg'd, with a rant and a roar;
  He bragg'd how he bounced, and he swore how he swore.[5]
                                    Knock him down, &c.

[Footnote 5: See the Dean's letter to the Duke of Dorset, in which he
gives an account of his interview with Bettesworth, about which he
alleges the serjeant had spread abroad five hundred falsehoods. [S.]]

    "Though he cringed to his deanship in very low strains,
  To others he boasted of knocking out brains,
  And slitting of noses, and cropping of ears,
  While his own ass's zags were more fit for the shears.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "On this worrier of deans whene'er we can hit,
  We'll shew him the way how to crop and to slit;
  We'll teach him some better address to afford
  To the dean of all deans, though he wears not a sword.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "We'll colt him through Kevan, St Patrick's, Donore,
  And Smithfield, as rap was ne'er colted before;
  We'll oil him with kennel, and powder him with grains,
  A modus right fit for insulters of deans.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "And, when this is over, we'll make him amends,
  To the Dean he shall go; they shall kiss and be friends:
  But how? Why, the Dean shall to him disclose
  A face for to kiss, without eyes, ears, or nose.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "If you say this is hard on a man that is reckon'd
  That sergeant-at-law whom we call Kite the Second,
  You mistake; for a slave, who will coax his superiors,
  May be proud to be licking a great man's posteriors.
                                    Knock him down, &c.

    "What care we how high runs his passion or pride?
  Though his soul he despises, he values his hide;
  Then fear not his tongue, or his sword, or his knife;
  He'll take his revenge on his innocent wife.
           Knock him down, down, down, keep him down."


  "Dear Dick, pr'ythee tell by what passion you move?
  The world is in doubt whether hatred or love;
  And, while at good Cashel you rail with such spite,
  They shrewdly suspect it is all but a bite.
  You certainly know, though so loudly you vapour,
  His spite cannot wound who attempted the Drapier.
  Then, pr'ythee, reflect, take a word of advice;
  And, as your old wont is, change sides in a trice:
  On his virtues hold forth; 'tis the very best way;
  And say of the man what all honest men say.
  But if, still obdurate, your anger remains,
  If still your foul bosom more rancour contains,
  Say then more than they, nay, lavishly flatter;
  'Tis your gross panegyrics alone can bespatter;
  For thine, my dear Dick, give me leave to speak plain,
  Like very foul mops, dirty more than they clean."

[Footnote 1: Dr. Theophilus Bolton. [T.S.]]

The letter to the Earl of Dorset, containing Swift's version of the
story is as follows:

"January, 1734.


"It has been my great misfortune that since your grace's return to this
kingdom I have not been able to attend you, as my duty and gratitude for
your favours as well as the honour of having been so many years known to
you obliged me to do. I have been pursued by two old disorders, a
giddiness and deafness, which used to leave me in three or four weeks,
but now have continued four months. Thus I am put under a necessity to
write what I would rather have chosen to say in your grace's presence.

"On Monday last week towards evening there came to the deanery one Mr.
Bettesworth; who, being told by the servants that I was gone to a
friend's house,[1] went thither to inquire for me, and was admitted into
the street parlour. I left my company in the back room and went to him.
He began with asking me 'whether I were the author of certain verses
wherein he was reflected on.' The singularity of the man, in his
countenance, manner, action, style, and tone of voice, made me call to
mind that I had once seen him about two or three years ago at Mr.
Ludlow's country-house. But I could not recollect his name; and of what
calling he might be I had never heard. I therefore desired to know who
and what he was; said 'I had heard of some such verses, but knew no
more.' He then signified to me 'that he was a serjeant-at-law and a
member of parliament.' After which he repeated the lines that concerned
him with great emphasis; said 'I was mistaken in one thing, for he
assured me he was no booby, but owned himself to be a coxcomb.' However,
that being a point of controversy wherein I had no concern, I let it
drop. As to the verses, he insisted, 'that by his taste and skill in
poetry he was as sure I wrote them as if he had seen them fall from my
pen.' But I found the chief weight of his argument lay upon two words
that rhymed to his name, which he knew could come from none but me. He
then told me 'that, since I would not own the verses, and that since he
could not get satisfaction by any course of law, he would get it by his
pen, and show the world what a man I was.' When he began to grow
over-warm and eloquent I called in the gentleman of the house from the
room adjoining; and the serjeant, going on with less turbulence, went
away. He had a footman in the hall during all his talk, who was to have
opened the door for one or more fellows, as he has since reported; and
likewise that he had a sharp knife in his pocket, ready to stab or maim
me. But the master and mistress of the house, who knew his character and
could hear every word from the room they were in, had prepared a
sufficient defence in such a case, as they afterward told me. He has
since related to five hundred persons of all ranks about five hundred
falsehoods of this conversation, of my fears and his own brutalities,
against all probability as well as fact; and some of them, as I have
been assured, even in the presence of your grace. His meanings and his
movements were indeed peevish enough, but his words were not. He
threatened me with nothing but his pen, yet owned he had no pretence to
wit. And indeed I am heartily glad for his own sake that he proceeded no
farther, for the least uproar would have called his nearest neighbours
first to my assistance, and next to the manifest danger of his life; and
I would not willingly have even a dog killed upon my account. Ever since
he has amused himself with declaring in all companies, especially before
bishops and lords and members of parliament, his resolutions for
vengeance and the several manners by which he will put it in execution.

[Footnote 1: The Rev. Mr. Worrall's. [T.S.]]

"It is only to the advice of some judicious friends that your grace owes
the trouble of this letter; for though I may be dispirited enough by
sickness and years, yet I have little reason to apprehend any danger
from that man; and those who seem to have most regard for my safety are
no more apprehensive than myself, especially such as best know his
character; for his very enemies and even his ridiculers, who are of the
two by far the greater number, allow him to be a peaceable man in all
things except his words, his rhetorical actions, his looks, and his
hatred to the clergy; which however are all known by abundance of
experience to be perfectly harmless, and particularly as to the clergy.
I do not doubt but, if he will be so good to continue steadfast in his
principles and practices, he may at proper junctures contribute very
much to the honour and interests of that reverend body, as well as
employ and improve the wit of many young gentlemen in the city, the
university, and the rest of the kingdom.

"What I have said to your grace is only meant as a poor endeavour to
preserve myself in your good opinion and in the continuance of your
favour. I am, with the highest respect, etc."






WILLIAM WHISTON (1667-1752), born at Norton, Leicestershire, was
educated at Tamworth School and Clare College, Cambridge. He resigned
the living at Lowestoft, presented to him by his patron and friend,
Bishop Moore, of Norwich, on accepting the Professorship of Mathematics,
vacated by Sir Isaac Newton. He was a profound scholar and
mathematician, but obtained a somewhat harassing fame by his propagation
of Arianism. Indeed, his public lectures and sermons, as well as his
publications vindicating his attitude, forced the authorities to deprive
him of his lectureship, and expel him from the university. In 1717
Whiston founded a Society for Promoting Primitive Christianity, and its
meetings were held at his house in Cross Street, Hatton Garden. But the
society lived only for two years. In that curious medley, "Memoirs of
the Life of Mr. William Whiston, by himself," we are told that he had a
model made of the original Tabernacle of Moses from his own plans, and
toured the country giving lectures on the coming of the Messiah, the
restoration of the Jews to their own country, and the rebuilding of the
Temple according to the model. The Millennium he foretold would commence
in 1766.

He wrote a prodigious number of tracts, pamphlets, commentaries, and
biblical expositions in support of his particular view of Christianity;
but the works for which he is now remembered are his astronomical and
mechanical papers and his well-known translation of Josephus's "History
of the Jews."

The pamphlet which follows is written in ridicule of Whiston's prophetic
pronouncements. Scott ascribes its authorship to Swift; but the
"Miscellanies" of 1747 and Hawkesworth in the edition of 1766 of Swift's
Works place it in the list of "Contents," with other pieces, under the
heading, "By Mr. Pope and Mr. Gay."

The present text is practically that given by Scott, which is based on
that in the third edition of the "Miscellanies" of 1732.




  _What passed in_ London, _during the General Consternation
  of all Ranks and Degrees of Mankind_;

  FRIDAY _last_.

On Tuesday the 13th of October, Mr. Whiston held his lecture, near the
Royal Exchange, to an audience of fourteen worthy citizens, his
subscribers and constant hearers. Besides these, there were five chance
auditors for that night only, who had paid their shillings a-piece. I
think myself obliged to be very particular in this relation, lest my
veracity should be suspected; which makes me appeal to the men who were
present; of which number I myself was one. Their names are,

  Henry Watson, _Haberdasher_.
  George Hancock, _Druggist_.
  John Lewis, _Dry-Salter._
  William Jones, _Corn-Chandler._
  Henry Theobald, _Watchmaker_.
  James Peters, _Draper_.
  Thomas Floyer, _Silver-Smith._
  John Wells, _Brewer_.
  Samuel Greg, _Soap-Boiler_.
  William Cooley, _Fish-monger_.
  James Harper, _Hosier_.
  Robert Tucker, _Stationer_.
  George Ford, _Iron-monger_.
  Daniel Lynch, _Apothecary_.

  William Bennet,    }
  David Somers,      }
  Charles Lock,      } _Apprentices_.
  Leonard Daval,     }
  Henry Croft,       }

Mr. Whiston began by acquainting us, that (contrary to his advertisement)
he thought himself in duty and conscience obliged to change the subject
matter of his intended discourse. Here he paused, and seemed, for a
short space, as it were, lost in devotion and mental prayer; after
which, with great earnestness and vehemence, he spake as follows:

"Friends and fellow-citizens, all speculative science is at an end: the
period of all things is at hand; on Friday next this world shall be no
more. Put not your confidence in me, brethren; for to-morrow morning,
five minutes after five, the truth will be evident; in that instant the
comet shall appear, of which I have heretofore warned you. As ye have
heard, believe. Go hence, and prepare your wives, your families, and
friends, for the universal change."

At this solemn and dreadful prediction, the whole society appeared in
the utmost astonishment: but it would be unjust not to remember, that Mr.
Whiston himself was in so calm a temper, as to return a shilling a-piece
to the youths, who had been disappointed of their lecture, which I
thought, from a man of his integrity, a convincing proof of his own
faith in the prediction.

As we thought it a duty in charity to warn all men, in two or three
hours the news had spread through the city. At first, indeed, our report
met with but little credit; it being, by our greatest dealers in stocks,
thought only a court artifice to sink them, that some choice favourites
might purchase at a lower rate; for the South Sea, that very evening,
fell five _per cent._, the India, eleven, and all the other funds in
proportion. But, at the Court end of the town, our attestations were
entirely disbelieved, or turned into ridicule; yet nevertheless the news
spread everywhere, and was the subject matter of all conversation.

That very night, (as I was credibly informed) Mr. Whiston was sent for to
a great lady, who is very curious in the learned sciences, and addicted
to all the speculative doubts of the most able philosophers; but he was
not now to be found; and since, at other times, he has been known not to
decline that honour, I make no doubt he concealed himself to attend the
great business of his soul: but whether it was the lady's faith, or
inquisitiveness, that occasioned her to send, is a point I shall not
presume to determine. As for his being sent for to the secretary's
office by a messenger, it is now known to be a matter notoriously false,
and indeed at first it had little credit with me, that so zealous and
honest a man should be ordered into custody, as a seditious preacher,
who is known to be so well-affected to the present happy establishment.

'Twas now I reflected, with exceeding trouble and sorrow, that I had
disused family prayers for above five years, and (though it has been a
custom of late entirely neglected by men of any business or station) I
determined within myself no longer to omit so reasonable and religious a
duty. I acquainted my wife with my intentions: But two or three
neighbours having been engaged to sup with us that night, and many hours
being unwarily spent at cards, I was prevailed upon by her to put it off
till the next day; she reasoning, that it would be time enough to take
off the servants from their business (which this practice must
infallibly occasion for an hour or two every day) after the comet had
made its appearance.

Zachery Bowen, a Quaker, and my next neighbour, had no sooner heard of
the prophecy, but he made me a visit. I informed him of everything I had
heard, but found him quite obstinate in his unbelief; for, said he, be
comforted, friend, thy tidings are impossibilities; for, were these
things to happen, they must have been foreseen by some of our brethren.
This indeed (as in all other spiritual cases with this set of people)
was his only reason against believing me; and, as he was fully persuaded
that the prediction was erroneous, he in a very neighbourly manner
admonished me against selling my stock at the present low price, which,
he said, beyond dispute, must have a rise before Monday, when this
unreasonable consternation should be over.

But on Wednesday morning (I believe to the exact calculation of Mr.
Whiston) the comet appeared; for, at three minutes after five by my own
watch, I saw it. He indeed foretold, that it would be seen at five
minutes after five; but, as the best watches may be a minute or two too
slow, I am apt to think his calculation just to a minute.

In less than a quarter of an hour, all Cheapside was crowded with a vast
concourse of people, and notwithstanding it was so early, it is thought
that, through all that part of the town, there was not man, woman, or
child, except the sick or infirm, left in their beds. From my own
balcony, I am confident, I saw several thousands in the street, and
counted at least seventeen, who were upon their knees, and seemed in
actual devotion. Eleven of them, indeed, appeared to be old women of
about fourscore; the six others were men in advanced life, but (as I
could guess) two of them might be under seventy.

It is highly probable, that an event of this nature may be passed over
by the greater historians of our times, as conducing very little or
nothing to the unravelling and laying open the deep schemes of
politicians, and mysteries of state; for which reason, I thought it
might not be unacceptable to record the facts, which, in the space of
three days, came to my knowledge, either as an eye-witness, or from
unquestionable authorities; nor can I think this narrative will be
entirely without its use, as it may enable us to form a more just idea
of our countrymen in general, particularly in regard to their faith,
religion, morals, and politics.

Before Wednesday noon, the belief was universal, that the day of
judgment was at hand, insomuch, that a waterman of my acquaintance told
me, he counted no less than one hundred and twenty-three clergymen, who
had been ferried over to Lambeth before twelve o'clock: these, it is
said, went thither to petition, that a short prayer might be penned, and
ordered, there being none in the service upon that occasion. But, as in
things of this nature, it is necessary that the council be consulted,
their request was not immediately complied with; and this I affirm to be
the true and only reason, that the churches were not that morning so
well attended, and is in noways to be imputed to the fears and
consternation of the clergy, with which the freethinkers have since very
unjustly reproached them.

My wife and I went to church, (where we had not been for many years on a
week-day,) and, with a very large congregation, were disappointed of the
service. But (what will be scarce credible) by the carelessness of a
'prentice, in our absence, we had a piece of fine cambric carried off by
a shop-lifter: so little impression was yet made on the minds of those
wicked women!

I cannot omit the care of a particular director of the Bank; I hope the
worthy and wealthy knight will forgive me, that I endeavour to do him
justice; for it was unquestionably owing to Sir Gilbert Heathcote's[1]
sagacity, that all the fire-offices were required to have a particular
eye upon the Bank of England. Let it be recorded to his praise, that in
the general hurry, this struck him as his nearest and tenderest concern;
but the next day in the evening, after having taken due care of all his
books, bills, and bonds, I was informed, his mind was wholly turned upon
spiritual matters; yet, ever and anon, he could not help expressing his
resentment against the Tories and Jacobites, to whom he imputed that
sudden run upon the Bank, which happened on this occasion.

[Footnote 1: Sir Gilbert Heathcote had before signalized his care for
the Bank when in equal danger, by petitioning against the Lord-Treasurer
Godolphin's being removed, as a measure that would destroy the public
credit. [H.]]

A great man (whom at this time it may not be prudent to name) employed
all the Wednesday morning to make up such an account, as might appear
fair, in case he should be called upon to produce it on the Friday; but
was forced to desist, after having for several hours together attempted
it, not being able to bring himself to a resolution to trust the many
hundred articles of his secret transactions upon paper.

Another seemed to be very melancholy, which his flatterers imputed to
his dread of losing his power in a day or two; but I rather take it,
that his chief concern was the terror of being tried in a court, that
could not be influenced, and where a majority of voices could avail him
nothing. It was observed, too, that he had but few visitors that day.

This added so much to his mortification, that he read through the first
chapter of the book of Job, and wept over it bitterly; in short, he
seemed a true penitent in everything but in charity to his neighbour. No
business was that day done in his counting-house. It is said too, that
he was advised to restitution, but I never heard that he complied with
it, any farther than in giving half-a-crown a-piece to several crazed
and starving creditors, who attended in the outward room.

Three of the maids of honour sent to countermand their birth-day
clothes; two of them burnt all their collections of novels and romances,
and sent to a bookseller's in Pall-Mall to buy each of them a Bible, and
Taylor's "Holy Living and Dying." But I must do all of them the justice
to acknowledge, that they shewed a very decent behaviour in the
drawing-room, and restrained themselves from those innocent freedoms,
and little levities, so commonly incident to young ladies of their
profession. So many birth-day suits were countermanded the next day,
that most of the tailors and mantua makers discharged all their
journeymen and women. A grave elderly lady of great erudition and
modesty, who visits these young ladies, seemed to be extremely shocked
by the apprehensions, that she was to appear naked before the whole
world; and no less so, that all mankind was to appear naked before her;
which might so much divert her thoughts, as to incapacitate her to give
ready and apt answers to the interrogatories that might be made her. The
maids of honour, who had both modesty and curiosity, could not imagine
the sight so disagreeable as was represented; nay, one of them went so
far as to say, she perfectly longed to see it; for it could not be so
indecent, when everybody was to be alike; and they had a day or two to
prepare themselves to be seen in that condition. Upon this reflection,
each of them ordered a bathing-tub to be got ready that evening, and a
looking-glass to be set by it. So much are these young ladies, both by
nature and custom, addicted to cleanly appearance.

A west-country gentleman told me, he got a church-lease filled up that
morning for the same sum which had been refused for three years
successively. I must impute this merely to accident: for I cannot
imagine that any divine could take the advantage of his tenant in so
unhandsome a manner, or that the shortness of the life was in the least
his consideration; though I have heard the same worthy prelate aspersed
and maligned since, upon this very account.

The term being so near, the alarm among the lawyers was inexpressible,
though some of them, I was told, were so vain as to promise themselves
some advantage in making their defence, by being versed in the practice
of our earthly courts. It is said, too, that some of the chief pleaders
were heard to express great satisfaction, that there had been but few
state trials of late years. Several attorneys demanded the return of
fees that had been given the lawyers; but it was answered, the fee was
undoubtedly charged to their client, and that they could not connive at
such injustice, as to suffer it to be sunk in the attorneys' pockets.
Our sage and learned judges had great consolation, insomuch as they had
not pleaded at the bar for several years; the barristers rejoiced in
that they were not attorneys, and the attorneys felt no less
satisfaction, that they were not pettifoggers, scriveners, and other
meaner officers of the law.

As to the army, far be it from me to conceal the truth. Every soldier's
behaviour was as undismayed, and undaunted, as if nothing was to happen;
I impute not this to their want of faith, but to their martial
disposition; though I cannot help thinking they commonly accompany their
commands with more oaths than are requisite, of which there was no
remarkable diminution this morning on the parade in St James's Park. But
possibly it was by choice, and on consideration, that they continued
this way of expression, not to intimidate the common soldiers, or give
occasion to suspect, that even the fear of damnation could make any
impression upon their superior officers. A duel was fought the same
morning between two colonels, not occasioned (as was reported) because
the one was put over the other's head; that being a point, which might,
at such a juncture, have been accommodated by the mediation of friends;
but as this was upon the account of a lady, it was judged it could not
be put off at this time, above all others, but demanded immediate
satisfaction. I am apt to believe, that a young officer, who desired his
surgeon to defer putting him into a salivation till Saturday, might make
this request out of some opinion he had of the truth of the prophecy;
for the apprehensions of any danger in the operation could not be his
motive, the surgeon himself having assured me, that he had before
undergone three severe operations of the like nature with great
resignation and fortitude.

There was an order issued, that the chaplains of the several regiments
should attend their duty; but as they were dispersed about in several
parts of England, it was believed, that most of them could not be found,
or so much as heard of, till the great day was over.

Most of the considerable physicians, by their outward demeanour, seemed
to be unbelievers; but at the same time, they everywhere insinuated,
that there might be a pestilential malignancy in the air, occasioned by
the comet, which might be armed against by proper and timely medicines.
This caution had but little effect; for as the time approached, the
Christian resignation of the people increased, and most of them (which
was never before known) had their souls more at heart than their bodies.

If the reverend clergy shewed more concern than others, I charitably
impute it to their great charge of souls; and what confirmed me in this
opinion was, that the degrees of apprehension and terror could be
distinguished to be greater or less, according to their ranks and
degrees in the church.

The like might be observed in all sorts of ministers, though not of the
Church of England; the higher their rank, the more was their fear.

I speak not of the Court for fear of offence; and I forbear inserting
the names of particular persons, to avoid the imputation of slander; so
that the reader will allow the narrative must be deficient, and is
therefore desired to accept hereof rather as a sketch, than a regular
circumstantial history.

I was not informed of any persons, who shewed the least joy; except
three malefactors, who were to be executed on the Monday following, and
one old man, a constant church-goer, who being at the point of death,
expressed some satisfaction at the news.

On Thursday morning there was little or nothing transacted in
'Change-alley; there were a multitude of sellers, but so few buyers,
that one cannot affirm the stocks bore any certain price except among
the Jews; who this day reaped great profit by their infidelity. There
were many who called themselves Christians, who offered to buy for time;
but as these were people of great distinction, I choose not to mention
them, because in effect it would seem to accuse them both of avarice and

The run upon the Bank is too well known to need a particular relation:
for it never can be forgotten, that no one person whatever (except the
directors themselves, and some of their particular friends and
associates) could convert a bill all that day into specie; all hands
being employed to serve them.

In the several churches of the city and suburbs, there were seven
thousand two hundred and forty-five, who publicly and solemnly declared
before the congregation, that they took to wife their several
kept-mistresses, which was allowed as valid marriage, the priest not
having time to pronounce the ceremony in form.

At St Bride's church in Fleet-street, Mr. Woolston,[2] (who writ against
the miracles of our Saviour,) in the utmost terrors of conscience, made
a public recantation. Dr. Mandeville[3] (who had been groundlessly
reported formerly to have done the same,) did it now in good earnest at
St James's gate; as did also at the Temple Church several gentlemen, who
frequent coffeehouses near the bar. So great was the faith and fear of
two of them, that they dropped dead on the spot; but I will not record
their names, lest I should be thought invidiously to lay an odium on
their families and posterity.

[Footnote 2: Thomas Woolston (1669-1733), a deistical writer, born at
Northampton; became a Fellow of Sidney College, Cambridge. For his work,
"Six Discourses on the Miracles of Christ," he was sentenced to
imprisonment for one year and fined one hundred pounds. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 3:  Bernard de Mandeville, M.D., author of the "Fable of the
Bees," a deistical work, the scope of which was to prove, that private
vices are public benefits. The work was attacked by Bishop Berkeley in
his "Alciphron." De Mandeville was born in Holland about 1670, but came
over to England and settled there about the middle of the eighteenth
century. He also wrote "The Virgin Unmasked," "The Grumbling Hive," and
"Free Thoughts on Religion." He died in 1733. [T.S.]]

Most of the players, who had very little faith before, were now desirous
of having as much as they could, and therefore embraced the Roman
Catholic religion: the same thing was observed of some bawds, and ladies
of pleasure.

An Irish gentleman out of pure friendship came to make me a visit, and
advised me to hire a boat for the ensuing day, and told me, that unless
I gave earnest for one immediately, he feared it might be too late; for
his countrymen had secured almost every boat upon the river, as judging,
that, in the general conflagration, to be upon the water would be the
safest place.

There were two lords, and three commoners, who, out of scruple of
conscience, very hastily threw up their pensions, as imagining a pension
was only an annual retaining bribe. All the other great pensioners, I
was told, had their scruples quieted by a clergyman or two of
distinction, whom they happily consulted.

It was remarkable, that several of our very richest tradesmen of the
city, in common charity, gave away shillings and sixpences to the
beggars who plied about the church doors; and at a particular church in
the city, a wealthy church-warden with his own hands distributed fifty
twelve-penny loaves to the poor, by way of restitution for the many
great and costly feasts, which he had eaten of at their expense.

Three great ladies, a valet-de-chambre, two lords, a
customhouse-officer, five half-pay captains, and a baronet, (all noted
gamesters,) came publicly into a church at Westminster, and deposited a
very considerable sum of money in the minister's hands; the parties,
whom they had defrauded, being either out of town, or not to be found.
But so great is the hardness of heart of this fraternity, that among
either the noble or vulgar gamesters, (though the profession is so
general,) I did not hear of any other restitution of this sort. At the
same time I must observe, that (in comparison of these) through all
parts of the town, the justice and penitence of the highwaymen,
housebreakers, and common pickpockets, was very remarkable.

The directors of our public companies were in such dreadful
apprehensions, that one would have thought a parliamentary inquiry was
at hand; yet so great was their presence of mind, that all the Thursday
morning was taken up in private transfers, which by malicious people was
thought to be done with design to conceal their effects.

I forbear mentioning the private confessions of particular ladies to
their husbands; for as their children were born in wedlock, and of
consequence are legitimate, it would be an invidious task to record them
as bastards; and particularly after their several husbands have so
charitably forgiven them.

The evening and night through the whole town were spent in devotions
both public and private; the churches for this one day were so crowded
by the nobility and gentry, that thousands of common people were seen
praying in the public streets. In short, one would have thought the
whole town had been really and seriously religious. But what was very
remarkable, all the different persuasions kept by themselves, for as
each thought the other would be damned, not one would join in prayer
with the other.

At length Friday came, and the people covered all the streets;
expecting, watching, and praying. But as the day wore away, their fears
first began to abate, then lessened every hour, at night they were
almost extinct, till the total darkness, that hitherto used to terrify,
now comforted every freethinker and atheist. Great numbers went together
to the taverns, bespoke suppers, and broke up whole hogsheads for joy.
The subject of all wit and conversation was to ridicule the prophecy,
and rally each other. All the quality and gentry were perfectly ashamed,
nay, some utterly disowned that they had manifested any signs of

But the next day even the common people, as well as their betters,
appeared in their usual state of indifference. They drank, they whored,
they swore, they lied, they cheated, they quarrelled, they murdered. In
short, the world went on in the old channel.

I need not give any instances of what will so easily be credited; but I
cannot omit relating, that Mr. Woolston advertised in that very
Saturday's Evening Post, a new Treatise against the Miracles of our
Saviour; and that the few who had given up their pensions the day
before, solicited to have them continued: which as they had not been
thrown up upon any ministerial point, I am informed was readily granted.


  Abjuration oath.
  Accusation, false, a means for injuring a community.
  Action, motives for, often interested.
  Administration and Legislature.
  Agriculture, encouraged by the clergy.
  Alberoni, Cardinal.
  Ale-houses, should be closed at midnight.
  Ammianus Marcellinus.
  Anne, Queen, her good qualities,
    "Bounty" of.
  Arber, Mr. Edward.
  Army, English, its bad discipline.
  Aristotle, his dictum about happiness and wisdom.
  Asgill, John, biographical sketch of.
  Athanasian creed.
  Atheism, not worse than superstition or enthusiasm,
    rise of, due to the Rebellion and murder of King Charles I.
  Atheist, a perfect, is a perfectly moral man.
  Atterbury, Bishop.

  Bacon, Lord.
  Basilovitz, John.
  Baumgarten's "Travels".
  Beggars, often intercept charity intended for the poor,
    distinct from the poor,
    in Ireland,
    methods for dealing with them,
    should wear badges.
  Belief, want of, a defect.
  Benefices, value of dividing them.
  Berkeley, Earl of,
    his letter to Swift.
  Berkeley, Lady,
    Swift's character of.
  Bettesworth, Sergeant, his rencontre with Swift,
    Dr. Dunkin on,
    and Dr. Theophilus Bolton.
  Bible, the, difficult to understand.
  Biblical terminology.
  Bill for a Modus,
    its hardships on the clergy.
  Bill of Division,
    its injustice.
  Bill of Residence,
    its injustice.
  Bindon, F., portrait of Swift.
  Bishoprics, value of,
    manner of filling Irish,
    necessity for increasing their revenues.
  Bishops, their tyranny,
    their power derived from the people
    comparison between English and French,
    Swift's description of the Irish,
    arguments against their power to let leases,
    their action at the Reformation,
    reduction of their revenues,
    evil of giving them power to let leases for lives,
    their power over church lands,
    two kinds lately promoted.
  Blasphemy, "breaking" for.
  Bolingbroke, Lord.
  Bolton, Dr. Theophilus, Archbishop of Cashel,
    and Bettesworth.
  Bouffiers, Mons.
  "Bounty," Queen Anne's,
    Charles the Second's.
  Bowen, Zachery.
  Boyce, S.
  Boyle, Dean.
  Boyse, J.
  Brodrick, Allen.
  Brown, Rev. Mr.
  Budgell, Eustace, his appropriation of Tindal's effects.
  Bull, Dr. George.
  Burke, Edmund, on Swift's sermon on "Doing Good."
  Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury,
    on occasional conformity,
    Swift's satire on,
    Dartmouth on,
    biographical sketch of,
    "History of the Reformation,"
    "Vindication of the Church and State of Scotland,"
    his criticisms on the Tories,
      Swift's rejoinder,
    his argument against Popery,
      Swift's rejoinder,
    his opinion of the clergy,
    reference to the Tory clergy,
    Swift's criticism on his methods,
    Swift's criticism on his style,
    on Presbyterians,
    the oracle of the hypocritical zealots.
  Business, corruptions in.

  Campegi, Cardinal.
  Carr, Charles, Bishop of Killaloe.
  Catholic Church, the necessity for a head.
  Catholics, Roman, their persecutions of Protestants,
    their favour with King James II.,
    reasons for repeals of Test Act in their favour,
    first conquerors of Ireland,
    their rebellions were purely defensive measures,
    always defenders of the monarch,
    are true Whigs,
    their loyalty to the Hanoverian House,
    have as fair a title to be called Protestants as Dissenters,
    the bulk of them loyal to King Charles I.,
    lost their estates in Ireland for fighting for the king,
    merits of, and Dissenters, contrasted,
    arguments for repeal of Test Act affecting the equally with
  Dissenters,  the heavy accusation they lie under,
  Catholicism and Protestantism, differences between.
  Catholicism, Roman, its condition in England.
  Cato, the wisest Roman,
    a stoic by manners not by conviction.
  Censor, the office of, suggestion for its establishment in England.
  Charity, the outcome of self-knowledge.
  Charles I., Act of, concerning the bishops and the church lands,
    his trial,
    sermon on the martyrdom of,
    his ill-treatment by the Puritans
    ingratitude to him by the House of Commons
    history of the events which led to his death
  Charles the Second's Bounty
  Cheerfulness, a blessing of the poor
  Chesterfield, Earl of
  Children, a blessing and assistance to the poor
  Chinuchii, Cardinal de
  Chocolate Houses
  Christianity, Real or Primitive,
    inconveniences attending its abolition
    advantages proposed by its abolition
    has no share in the opposition to sectaries
    abolition of, would mean loss of occupation to freethinkers
    no necessity for extirpating it
    evils attending its abolition
    its organization
    its truth denied by freethinking
    usefulness of preaching on its mysteries
    its want of truth a source of joy to the wicked
    suffered by being blended with Gentile philosophy
  Church and Dissent, their mutual attitudes
  Church, sleeping in, sermon on
  Church, the, not answerable for the depravity of human nature
    its total exclusion of Dissent from its emoluments
    the necessity for it being a corporation
    duty to, of the members of
    condition of, in Ireland
  Church of Christianity, its inconsistencies
  Church of England Man, his religious attitude
    his attitude to the various forms and ceremonies
    his toleration for worship
    his passion for the Church
    his abhorrence of flinging scandals upon the clergy
    his opinion that publications against religion should not be
  unlimited  his sentiments with respect to government
    his idea of the freedom of a nation
    he is not bound to opinions of either party
    independent of the civil power
  Churches, necessity for their increase
    their destruction due to the Rebellion
  Church lands,
    reasons for the rise in the value of
    bad effects if sold to the laity
  Church of Ireland, the National Church
  Church revenues, expedients for increasing
  Church thermometer
  Clarendon, Edward Hyde, Earl of,
    "History of the Great Rebellion"
  Clendon, John
  Clergy, the, their ignorance and servility
    mistaken in not mixing more with the laity
    care to be taken by them because of the distinct habit they wear
    better if they appeared dressed like ordinary men
    unreasonableness of the charge of their persecuting spirit
    their antagonism to Dissent springs from a worthy motive
    have they any power independent of the civil
    their relation to Divine Right
    their love of power not a peculiar characteristic
    their claim to judicial power
    the allegation that it is their interest to corrupt religion,
    combated  excellent as a body
    what they pretend to
    their power in choosing bishops
    Burnet's opinion of the
    the Tory, Burnet's reference to
    presumption on their part to teach matters of speculation
    the bill for their residence
    English _versus_ Irish
    English, their poverty
    concerning the hatred against
    not popular in Christian countries
    their writings against popery
    consequences to them of the repeal of the Test Act
    their attitude to the Test Act
  Clergy, Irish, James I.'s dealings with
    condition of
    their maintenance precarious
    their resort to flattery for preferment
    plan for a parliamentary taxation of
    their impoverished state
    want in them of concerted action
    attitude of landlords to
    their right to self-taxation,
    their interests allied with the interests of the country
  Clergyman, Swift's position as a
    Young, letter to
  Clergymen, handicapped by small means
   the fates of
  Climate, its influence on Government
  Cokayne, Sir Thomas
  Collins, Anthony
    biographical sketch of
    Swift's attitude to
    his "Discourse of Freethinking" put into plain English by Swift
  Collins, J. Churton, his opinion of Swift's motive in writing the
  "Project"  his opinion on Steele and "The Guardian"
    on Swift's criticism of Burnet
  Commissioners, Itinerary, for inspection of official conduct
  Common-place books, use of
  Commons, Irish House of, its alacrity in supporting the king against
        the Pretender
  Commonwealth, our duty to
    corruptions in
  Community, influence of private people on
    injured by false accusations
    injured by false rumours
  Commutation, its purpose
  Compton, Dr. Henry, Bishop of London
  Concordate of the Gallican church
  Connill, J.
  Conscience, liberty of
    testimony of, sermon on
    its definition
    our director and guide
    its limitations
    no higher than knowledge
    liberty of
    a due regard to its dictates conducive to general happiness
    well founded, if guided by religion
    moral honesty in place of
    a good guide to motives
    fear and hope the offsprings of
    directs us to the love of God
    the laws appeal to
  Constantine the Great
  Constitution, English, a growth
  Contentment, the poor man's, sermon on
  Convocation, Lower House of
  Convocation, should be abolished among Protestants
  "Correspondent, The"
  Corruption, in all departments of trading
  Cotton, Sir John
  Court Party
  Coward, William, biographical sketch of
  Coyne, Nicholas
  Craik, Sir Henry, his opinion on Swift's tract on Collins
  Cranmer, Archbishop
  Creation, scripture system of
  Creech, Thomas
  Cromwell, Oliver, his notion of liberty of conscience
  Cromwell, Richard
  Cromwell, Thomas

  Dartmouth, Lord, his opinion of Burnet
  Deanery, income necessary for a
  Death, its evil an impossibility
  Debt, National, proposal for a fund for
  Deceit, its practice detrimental to the well-being of a community
  De Foe, D.
  Deposition, can a king of England be deposed?
  Devil, the, his power
  Diogenes, his saying, "that a poor old man was the most miserable
         thing in life"
     his opinion of Socrates
  Disobedience, breeds sedition in a state
  Dissenters, their natural union with Whigs
    their attitude to the Bills of Residence and Division
    their enjoyment of toleration
    Swift's attitude to
    his description of them in "A Tale of a Tub"
    tracts written by Swift against them
    their expedient addresses of loyalty
    representation of the House of Lords against
    address of, against their representation
    their encouragement to refuse the oath of abjuration
    the disadvantages they lie under will be remedied by the repeal of
              the Test Act
    allied to the Puritans
  Divine Right, the clergy's relation to
  Dolben, Bishop of Rochester
  Dorset, Earl of, Swift's letter to
  Doubts, not answerable for
  Downing, Sir George
  Drogheda, persecution at
    siege of
  Dudley and Empson
  Dunkin, Dr. William, on Serjeant Bettesworth
    his copy of Dr. Gibbs's "Paraphrase of the Psalms"
  Duns Scotus
  Dunton, John
  Dutch, the, their recognition of liberty of conscience in religious
    their Commonwealth
    though they have liberty of conscience they yet enforce tests for
  Duties, of each to the other in a state

  Ecclesiastical jurisdiction, should be vested in the hands of catholic
                 archbishops and bishops
  Education, value of, to a young clergyman
  Elisha and Hazael
  Employments, battle for
  Empson and Dudley
  English language, value of its study
  "Englishman, The"
  Establishment, enquiry into its nature
  Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli
  Evans, Dr., Bishop of Meath
  Executive Power, the care it should take

  Faction, detrimental to brotherly love
  Fagel, Mons
  Fairfax, General
  Faith, its great power
  Falkiner, Sir F.
  Falkland, Viscount, biographical sketch of
        his method in writing
  False witness, sermon on,
  Fanatics, their insolence
  Filmer, Sir Robert, biographical sketch of
  First fruits and tenths
  First fruits
  Flattery, self-knowledge secures us against
         its snares
  Flax, bill for the encouragement of its growth
  Forbes, Edward
  Forster, Dr., Bishop of Raphoe
  Forster, John, his "Life of Swift"
    his suggested date for the writing of "The Project" and "The
  Fountaine, Sir A.
  Freedom, of a nation, in what it consists
  Freethinker, indispensable duty of
  Freethinkers, their natural connection with Whigs
    the most virtuous people in all ages
    ignorance and vice their principal characteristics
  Freethinking, its mischief
    denies Christianity
    and missionaries
    enjoined by Christ
    means free-speaking and free-writing
    some thoughts on
  Friendship, depends on brotherly love
  Fuller, Dr. Thomas

  Gallican Church, concordate of
  Gaming, addiction to
    how to stop it
  Gardiner's "History of England"
  Gay, John, "The Espousal"
  Genevan system
  Gibbs, Dr., Swift's Remarks on his Paraphrase of the Psalms
  Gildon, Charles
  Giving, more blessed than receiving
  Good, doing, sermon on
  Gospel, the, too difficult for freethinkers
    want of faith in
    value of its truth
  Government, Hobbes's principles of, combated
    if every species of, be equally lawful, they are not equally
  expedient  English, its advantage over all other forms
    its nature least understood by lawyers
    in the body of the people
    how invested in England
    what it cannot do
    its relation to a state religion
    from God
  Grabe, Dr.
  Grant, Col. F.
  Greed, often results in ill to a state
  "Grub Street Journal," on the Swift-Bettesworth Controversy
  "Guardian, The"

  Hanover Club
  Happiness, does not depend on wealth
  Harley, Earl of Oxford
  Hazael and Elisha
  Health, the best of all earthly possessions
  Heathcote, Sir Gilbert
  Heathens, the groundwork of their virtues
  Henry VII., value of land and money in the reign of
  Henry VIII.,
    his seizures of Church revenues
    his attitude to Catholicism
    his favouritism
    his attitude to the clergy
  Heptarchy, the, its power
  Heresy, the beginning of dissent among the early Christians
  Heylin, Dr. Peter
    "Observations on the History of Presbyterians"
  Hickeringil, Edmund, biographical sketch of
  Hickes, Dr. George,
    biographical sketch of
    his replies to Tindal
  High Church, how considered by the press
  Hilary, St.
  Hill, Samuel
  Hobbes, Thomas,
    biographical sketch of
    Swift's arguments against his theory of the sovereign power
    his opinion that the youth of England corrupted their political
      principles by reading the classical writers
    his opinion of the bad influence of classical histories
  Holiness, of life, most worthy to God
    the worst governed country on account of its having no state
  religion Honour,
    largely a false principle
    private, different from public
  Hospitality, depends on brotherly love
  House of Commons, Irish, the clergy's complaint against
  Howard, Robert, Bishop of Elphin
  Howard, Col. Thomas
  Huguenots, the
    a virtue fitting every station in life
    the outcome  of self knowledge
  Hypocrisy, better than vice

  Ignorance, the mother of superstition, but not of devotion
    legislation against, ineffective
    an incentive to good conduct
  _Imperium in imperio_, doctrine of
    differences between, and Presbyterians
    their end
  Infidelity, its infamy
    their advice interested
    cannot satisfy the general reason of mankind
    the fallacy of their arguments against the Trinity
  Informers, their interest
  Inns of Court, "the worst instituted seminaries in any Christian
  Intemperance, dangerous to upright men
  Interest, self, the spring of most actions
  Interests, private and national
    present condition of the Church in
    wretched condition of plantations in
    condition of the clergy of
    first conquerors of, English Catholics
    Rebellion in
    its misery and want
    the causes of this misery
    its intolerable hardships
    the folly and vanity of its landowners
    pride and vanity of its people
    discouragement of its manufactures
    idleness and sloth in
    cruelty by which it is governed
    bondage of its laws
    counteracting influence against the government
    foundations and charities in
    fraud of the servants in
    necessity for proper training of the children of the poor in
    the beggars in
    its poor laws
    methods for dealing with beggars
    badges for beggars in
    sermon on wretched condition of
  Ireton, General

  James the First's Bounty
  James I., his dealings with the Irish clergy
  James II.,
    his abdication
    attempted illegal and unjustifiable exercise of power
    his conduct contrasted with that of Charles I.
    his relations with the Church
  Jerome, St.
  Jethro, his advice to Moses
  Jews, disbelief in their teachings
  John, King
  Johnson, Esther, three prayers for
  Johnson, Rev. Samuel

  Kevan Bayl's new ballad
  King, Dr. W.,
    Archbishop of Dublin
    biographical sketch of
    the Dublin clergy's representation to
    his way of encouraging the clergy to residence
    Swift's letter to, on the Repeal for the Test Act
  Kit-Cat Club
  Kite, Serjeant

  Lancaster, Henry Duke of
  Land, history of the rise in the value of
  Landlords, Irish, their attitude to their clergy
  Laud, Archbishop
  Lauderdale, Lord
  Laws, human and divine
    of all people least understand the nature of government
    ignorant of the early history of England
  Learning, its prevalence during early Christian times
  Leases, bishops'
    evils of letting, for lives
  "Legion Club, The"
  Legislature and administration
  Legislature, the supreme power in a state
  Leslie, Charles
  Libertines, their principles
    Roman idea of
    enjoyment of, better than contentions
  Life, its love, an essential impulse of our nature
    a trust from God
    its advantages for general use
  Limiting Act
  Lindsay, Dr.
  Linen, encouragement of its manufacture
  Loch, Lord
  Locke, John,
    his idea of government
    "Human Understanding"
    its influence on the kingdom
    the power it may have for good
    a law for closing its ale-houses at twelve
  Londonderry, siege of
  Lords, House of,
    character of
    their representation against Dissenters
  Lorrain, Duke of
  Love, brotherly,
    among the early Christians
    the causes of the want of, among us
    Papists and fanatics one cause for the want of
    weakness and folly a cause for the want of
    its non-insistence a cause of the want of
    politics a cause of the want of
    the evil consequences of the want of
    the want of, puts an end to hospitality and friendship
    motives for embracing
    injured by faction
    helped by religion
    of country, defined
  Love, the last legacy of Christ
    of self, not a fault
  Loyalty, a means to obtaining good character
  Ludlow, Edmund

  Magdalen College, its justification of William of Orange's declaration
    their abuses
    care taken in their appointment
    supreme, doctrine of resistance to
  Mandeville, Bernard de
  Manilius, Marcus
    degeneracy of, a preceding to the ruin of a state
    its corruption ruin to a state
    depravation of
  Manufacture, influence of, on a community
  Margarita. _See_ Margherita, Francesca de l'Epine
  Margherita, Francesca de l'Epine
  Marprelate tracts
  Marsh, Dr. Narcissus
  Marten, John
  Martyrdom of Charles I.,
    its lessons
    the duty of all protestants to keep holy the day of the
  Mason, Monck,
    his "History of St. Patrick's Cathedral"
    his list of tracts on the Test Act controversy
    on the date of the "Narrative of the attempts against the Test Act"
    on "Roman Catholic reasons for the Repeal of the Test"
  McBride, John
  M'Carthy, Charles
  Midleton, Lord
  Milton, John, his work on Divorce
  Minutius Felix, Marcus
    as much a mystery as the Trinity
    positively affirmed by the Gospels
  Missionaries and freethinking
    a clerical cry
    in politics, true and false
  Modus, a
    petition against
  Molesworth, Robert, Viscount
  Molloy, Neale
    absolute, doctrine of
    hereditary, to be preferred to elective
    the hereditary right to be sacred, if not dangerous to the
    King _de facto_, and King _de jutre_
    succession discussed
  Monasteries, their scandals
  Money, history of its values
  Montaigne, citation from
  Moore, Bishop, of Norwich
  Moral honesty, in place of conscience
    classical _versus_ scriptural
    without religion is a half virtue
  Morals, schemes for the improvement of
  More, Dr. Henry
  More, Sir Thomas
  Mortmain, statute of
  Motives, the best ground for judgments
    to declare against, is to declare against scripture
    conditions when it may be suspicious
    faith, necessary for a belief in
    nature full of
    not contrary to reason

  "Narrative of what passed in London"
  National debt, proposal for a fund for
  Neighbour, our duty to
  Nelson, Mr.
  Nichols's "Speculum Sarisburianum"

  Oath of abjuration
  Oath of supremacy.
    St. Peter's directions for
    St. Paul's directions for
    avoid running into extremes on the question of
  "Observator, The"
  Occasional conformity
  Office, qualifications for, as they are generally accepted
  "Old and New Lights"
  Oldisworth, Mr.
  O'Neill, Owen Roe
  O'Neill, Philip Roe McHugh
  O'Neill, Sir Phelim
    difference in, not a matter for quarrel
    compared with fashions
    its power
    difficulty of changing in
  Orange, William of
  Ormonde, Marquis of
  Oxford, Earl of
  Oxford University, its revenues

    in Ireland, their reduced condition
    loyalty to King George
    no cause for fear from the
  Parishes, their union under one incumbent
  Parliaments, annual
  Parties, our attitude to
  Party Government,
    tends to enslave senates
    tends to misunderstanding of personal character
    establishes an incorrect standard for character
  Passive obedience
  Peace, the last legacy of Christ
  Pedantry, the fear of
  Pembroke, Lord
  Penn, William
  Penny, Rev. John
  Peter the Cruel
  Philip II. of Spain
  Philips, Ambrose
  Philosophy, classical
    unrevealed, imperfect
    fails to explain the Deity
    its failure to inculcate the doctrine of Providence
    defective in its moral teachings
    contrasted by personal examples with Christian
    disputes amongst the teachers of
    Christian, its perfection
    teaches reliance on God
    teaches courtesy and kindness
    is "without partiality"
    is without hypocrisy
    contrasted by personal examples with unrevealed
  Pilkington, M., reference to sermon on "Doing Good"
  Plato, his maxim on worship
    his divine precept
    his doctrine of happiness
  Platonic philosophy, its relation to the early church
  Plays, their bad influence on morals
  Politics, dangerous to upright men
  Poor, the, are not the object of envy
    less subject to temptations than the rich
    the blessings they enjoy
    their power for doing good to others
    have a greater share of happiness than the rich
  Poor Laws, Irish
  Pope, the supremacy of
    his power in France
  Popery, Burnet's arguments against,
    its dangers
    national leaning to
    the most absurd system of Christianity
    its merits
    Protestants must not be charged with its errors and corruptions
    its increase
    penal laws against should be abrogated
    its priests should be settled by law in Ireland
    its priests should be entitled to tithe
    the results of this
    proposal for effectually preventing its growth
  Popes, their seizure of power
  Potter, Dr. John, biographical sketch of
  Power, absolute, belief in, dangerous to any state
    not pleaded for by Swift
  Pratt, Dr., Dean of Down
  Prayer, an evening
  Preaching, value of practice in
    simplicity in, a prime requisite
    the popular manner the best
    styles to be avoided in
    the moving manner
    jesting in
    plain reasoning in
    pathetic _versus_ rational
    two principal branches of
    quotations in
    uselessness of taking the mysteries of Christian religion for
    subjects for
    not to perplex with doubts in
    one of the disadvantages it labours under
    its great neglect
    its neglect attended by the misbehaviour of worshippers
    objections against, and the unreasonableness of these
    causes for the neglect and scorn of
    neglect of, due to ignorance of religious principles
    neglect of, due to an evil conscience
    neglect of, due to the heart being set upon worldly things,
    neglect of, due to the habit of decrying religion,
    neglect of, remedies against,
    good preaching, not so essential as right dispositions,
  Preferment, qualifications necessary for,
    given for zeal and not capacity,
  Presbyterianism, possibility of its becoming the National Church,
    consequences from its establishment as the national religion,
    in Ireland, persecuted for their religion,
    their complaint against persecution,
    their "Plea of Merit,"
    "Plea of Merit," discussion as to date of its first edition,
    differences between, and Independents,
    against the execution of King Charles I,
    and King James II.,
    and the Pretender,
    their loyalty and religious principles,
    their plea of merit absurd,
    their great position in Ireland,
    their loyalty to King George,
    will join the army but not the militia,
    their case to defend the country against the Pretender,
    must not be reformed,
    their church government independent of the state,
    their opinion of Episcopacy,
  Press, legislation for its limitation,
    its restraint a badge of popery,
  Pretender, the, his cause,
    not supported by the Irish dissenters,
  Priests, cannot be relied on for anything relating to religion,
    hired to lead men into mischief,
  Princes, influence of their bad example,
    their duties for good,
    their influence on a nation,
    should be careful in choosing advisers,
  Prophets, the, were freethinkers,
  Proselytism, consequences of,
    dangerous in a state,
  Prostitution, condemned by the priests,
  Protestantism and Catholicism, differences between,
  Publicans, suggestion for their prosecution if they serve drink to
              drunken persons,
  Public spirit, a blessing,
  Punishment, eternal, doctrine of,
  Puritans, the,
    destroyers of the Reformation,
    their attitude to the state in the time of Charles I,
    their murderous parliament,
    they corrupted the old virtues of the English nation,
    how they injured the country,

  Quakers, the,
  Quarrels, religious,
  Queen, the, her power for good,
    her power over the stage,
  Quotations, value of their sparing use,

  Reason, particular, fallible,
  Rebellion of 1648,
    objections against,
    of 1642,
    the of 1688
    contrary to the teaching of Christ
  "Reconciler, The"
  Reeves, Rev. Mr., Swift's letters to Dr. King
  Reformation, its establishment
    censure of the clergy on its methods
  "Rehearsal, The"
  Religion, schemes for the improvement of
    its negligence by the people
    suggestion for it being necessary to any preferment
    should be made fashionable
    necessity for union in
    impossible to remove opinions in its fundamentals
    thoughts on
    further thoughts on
    national, legal to change
    necessary for the well-governing of mankind
    its denial often the spring of sin
    to raise difficulties against, not conducive to virtuous living
    conducive to brotherly love
  Resolutions, easily broken
  Restitution, impossible to make, when the injury is to a state
  Resurrection, doctrine of
  Revolution, considerations for,
  Reward, an incentive to good conduct
  Rich, the, more subject to diseases
    often have little appetites
    subjected to worry
    their wants are more numerous than those of the poor
    are more prone to melancholy
    often grow so, by unjust means
    their only advantage that of the power they possess to be good to
  Richards, Col.
  Richard III.
  Riches, may be blessings
    attainment of, does not necessitate the possession of noble
  qualities  not conducive either to ease of body or quiet of mind
  "Rights of the Christian Church," Tindal's book examined
    its notoriety due to its critics
  Rome, decline in the spirit of liberty there
  Rooke, Mr. George, linen-draper and Quaker
  Rumours, false, the spreading of, a means for injuring a community
  Rump parliament

  Sacheverell, Dr. Henry
  Sacrament, the
    Its mercenary use
    Presbyterian objection to prostituting the service of
    our falsification of the
  Sancroft, Archbishop
  Satan, his depths
  St. Patrick's, liberty of, petition of to Swift
  St. Paul, on obedience
    on mutual service
    his opinion of philosophy
  St. Peter, on obedience
  Schism, its danger and spiritual evil
  Schoolmen, the
  Scotch, the
    characteristics of
  Scott, Sir W., his opinion on Swift's tract on Collins
    his criticism on Swift for writing his tracts against the bishops
    his criticism on Swift's tracts against the bishops
    his suggestion on Swift's Test tracts
  Scriptures, various,
    various readings in
    Christian, different opinions about, among Christians themselves
    the, abounding in expressions setting forth the depravity of man
  Sects, the reason for their toleration in a state
    their position in a state
    the power they should have
  Sedition, caution for its prevention
  Self-knowledge, the want of, common
    man himself most ignorant in
    reasons for the ignorance of
    self-communion conducive to
    business interferes with the time for
    fear of discovering vices interferes with
    inclination often a hindrance to
    advantages of
    humility the outcome of
    a security from flattery
    its value in time of adversity
    its charity
  Self-love not a fault
  Senates, their disregard of outside proposals
  Sermons, the reading of
  Sermons, Swift's, on Mutual Subjection
    on the Testimony of Conscience
    on the Trinity
    on Brotherly Love
    on the Difficulty of Knowing One's Self
    on False Witness
    on the Wisdom of this World
    on Doing Good
    on the Martyrdom of King Charles I
    on the Poor Man's Contentment
    on the Wretched Condition of Ireland
    on Sleeping in Church
  Servants, Irish, fraud of
  Service, mutual
  Sharp, Dr. John, Archbishop of York
  Shaster, the
  Sheridan, Dr. T.
  Shrewsbury, Duke of
  Sin, original, doctrine of
  Sleep, often a poor man's privilege
  Sleeping in church, sermon on
  Smallridge, Dr.
  Smoking, habit bad among the youth
  Society for propagating Free-thinking
  Socinus, Leelius
    his teachings on worship
    the greatest of the heathen philosophers
    Diogenes' opinion of
  Solemn league and covenant
    on wisdom
  Solon, his confession of weakness, against death
  Somers, Lord
  South, Dr. Robert
  Spinke, J.
  Spinoza, Baruch
  Stage, the, the necessity for its reformation
  Stanhope, Dormer, Earl of Chesterfield
  State, the, ruined by corruption of manners
  States-General, the
  Stearne, Dr. John, Bishop of Clogher
  Steele, Sir R. his opinions of the "Project," in the "Tatler"
    his opinion of Swift in the "Apology"
    the "Guardian"
  Stephen, Leslie, "History of English Thought in Eighteenth Century"
  Stillingfleet, Edward, Bishop of Worcester
  Stratford, Earl of
  Style, faults to be avoided in
  Suarez, Francis
  Subjection, mutual, sermon on
    its practice extinguishes pride
    its practice contributes to the general happiness
    brings about contentment
  Succession, can the people of England alter the
    instances in Greek and Roman history where it was altered
  Sunday, the difference between, and weekdays
  Swan, Captain
  Sweet singers
  Swift, his attitude towards the Church of England,
    his position as a religious thinker
    his High Church leanings made evident
    his relation to the Whigs considered
    as a party man
    his letter to Pope
    his championship of the Church of England
    his sentiments with regard to it
    no bigot either in religion or politics
    his friendship with men of both parties
    "the Importance of the 'Guardian' considered"
    his letter to Stella on Collins's tract
    his belief in the dignity of the Church.
    his disinterested use of the Deanery lands
    his disinterestedness in his remarks on the bishops
    his opinion on his office of a clergyman
    loss of favour with the Whigs for writing his "Letter on the
  Sacramental    Test"
    his rencontre with Serjeant Bettesworth
    his sermons
    criticisms on
    reference to his sermon on "Doing Good"
    controversy with Serjeant Bettesworth
    his letter to the Earl of Dorset
    his reply to the address of the inhabitants of the Liberty of St.
    his poem on "Brother Protestants and Fellow Christians"
    his epigram to Serjeant Kite
  Swift, Thomas
  Synesius of Gyrene

  "Tale of a Tub"
  Taxation, unequal
  Taylor, Dr., Jeremy
  Technical language, bad for style
  Temple, Sir W.
  Tenison, Dr. Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury
  Test Act
    letter on
    reasons for repealing it combated
    alteration in religion, if it be repealed
    the consequences of its repeal on the offices of the Crown
    likelihood of the success of the agitation for repeal of
    attitude of the clergy to
    arguments for its repeal combated
    Churchman's argument against, combated
    Swift's tracts against
    Swift's successful agitation for
    to be repealed in Ireland first
    Presbyterians' attitude towards the
    vindication of
    attempts made by Dissenters for the repeal of
    Dissenters. efforts for its repeal
    address of Dissenters against
    criticism on the pamphlet on "The Nature and Consequences of the
         Sacramental Test"
    queries relating to
    criticism on the advantages proposed by its repeal
    to write impartially on, one must be indifferent to particular
    of Christianity
    consequences of its repeal to the clergy
    its repeal will remedy the disadvantages the Dissenters lie under
    reasons offered for its repeal in favour of Catholics
    King Charles Second's
    arguments for its repeal affecting Dissenters and Roman Catholics
    equally ostensible commendation of a criticism on "The Presbyterians
    Plea of Merit"
    some few thoughts on
    ten reasons for repealing it
  Thales, his dictum for bearing ill-fortune
  Thermometer, the church
  Throckmorton, Job
  Tiberius, his saying about the offences against the gods
  Tidcomb, Colonel
  Tillotson, Archbishop
  Tindal, Dr. Matthew, biographical sketch of
    considerations as to his fitness for writing on Christianity
    Swift's criticism on the style of his book
    his disregard for truth and justice
    his motives for writing his book
    his vanity
    published his book in hopes of being bribed to silence
    nature and tendency of his work
    his ridicule of Christianity
    his work "a twig for sinking libertines to catch at"
  Tisdal, Dr., his tract on "The Sacramental Test"
    their application to the maintenance of monasteries, a scandal
  Tofts, Mrs. Catherine
  Toland, John
  Tom's coffee-house
  Toricellius Evangelista
  Tories, their aims
    their aversion for sects which once destroyed the constitution
    their veneration for monarchical government
    and Whigs, their common agreements
    their differences
  Tradesmen, power they have for public weal or woe
  Trimmers, the
  Trinity, doctrine of
    sermon on
    defence of, by the learned, a mistake
    our ignorance or incapacity no test of its fallacy
    its affirmation, opinion, and distinction, a mystery
    to declare against mystery is to declare against Scripture
    faith necessary for a belief in
    probably we could not understand it, if it were explained
    fallacy of the infidel's arguments against
  Tutchin, John

  Universities, the want of discipline there

  Varro, Marcus Terentius
  Vicar, condition of a
  Vicar general
  Victorious, Fabius Marius

  Wallis, Dr. John
  Walls, Archdeacon
  Warreng, Mr., letter from
  Washington's "Observations on the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the
         Kings of England
  Waterford, Swift and the vacancy of its see
  Wharton, Henry, biographical sketch of,
    Emmet's character of
  Whig and Tory contrasted
    attitude to each other
    their common agreements
    their differences
  Whigs, their want of zeal against Popery
    definition of
    their encouragement of intemperate language
    their Jacobitism
    their scandalous reflections on the universities
  Whiston, Dr. W.
    biographical sketch of
    his prophecy
  White's coffee-house
  Williams, Dr. Daniel
  Wisdom, sorrow in much
    heathen, high opinion of
    bad opinion of
  Witness, faithful, duty to bear
    false, how a man may be justly so-called
    how to defend against
  Women of the day, their low standard of morality
  Wood's project, sermon on
  Woollen manufacture
  Woolston, Thomas
  World, the wisdom of the, sermon on
  Worrall, Rev. John
  Worship, Plato's maxim on
    Socrates on
    the established, any separation from, dangerous to the public peace
  Wotton, Dr. W.

  "Yahoo's Overthrow, The"
  York, Duke of, Popish plot against

  Zeal, in politics, dangerous in a state
    violent, a synonym for pride
  Zendavesta, the
  Zeno, makes vice indifferent

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. — Volume 04 - Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church — Volume 2" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.