« PreviousContinue »
and I believe every Gentleman will concur with me, that it is more for the Safety of the Publick we should, in this great Case, be affrighted with imaginary Danger, than lulled into imaginary Security.
I come now, Sir, to those Passages which are naa*ked in the Dedication to the CRISIS. The first Paragraph runs thus:
V I :wili take the further Liberty to say, That 1 if the Acts of Parliament mentioned in the
* fcJlowingi Treatise, had been from Time to
* Time put in a sair and clear Light, and had
* been: carefully recommended to the Perusal 4 of young Gentlemen in Colleges, with a Prefe4 rence to allother Civil Institutions, whatsoever,
* ibis Kingdom had not been in its present Con4 d*tion(.,but'the Constitution would have had, 4 in ev^y Member the Universities have sent 4 into-trK .World/liace the Revolution, an Ad4 vocate for our Rights and Liberties..
1-suppose, Sir, those .who have marked this Passage, would fetch an inuendo out of it that I speak disrespectfully of the Universities; an Imputation which 1 thought could never be laid to^my; Charge,, as naay appear by innumerable Passage's that may be drawn out of Books which. I have published. It would take up the Time ofethis.H<!Hif«: too much, should 1 deiire that all tha^r'?afiagi?s should be read; I shall therefore i only, beg Leave to make use of that Work which is infilled The EngUfoman, to vouch for me id'this Particular. In the Paper of that N«me, Numberjii I thus express my self: > , OftiiwirtiUome Laws, large .
* Provisioned theeiempla
4 ry Characters o"f our Divinei, Steele
M 3 place
* place them above the Necessity of practif
* pie. if therefore they will at any Time
And I also say in the Englijhman Number 34, * I have ever been of Opinion, that OHr (J'niverfities, as they have been the strongest 'Support of our Church, will Written by * • be no less zealous for the DeCorrefttnJmt <. fence of our Civil Liberties, of Mr. Steele. t whenever they Ihall fee them 'openly attacked. One of those illustrious Societies cannot yet have forgor, when, by a most unexampled Piece of Cruelty Six and twenty of her Members ,1 for refusing to be guilty of direct Perjury ,and bravely opposing an illegal Commission, were all of them deprived of their Fellowships, made incapable of any Ecclesiastical Dignity; and such of them as were not then in holy Orders declared and adjudged incapable of being ever admitted into the fame. I shall conclude with this Observation, That tbtse noble Foumdat ions and Monuments of tbt Virtue of our jtneestort, are in their very Nature directly opposite to Tyranny and unlimited Power; since as Ignorance is a natural Consequence of Slavery, Arts and Scitnttt may be properly called tit eldest Daughter of Liberty.
I c appears by. these, and many other Passages in my Writings, that I have retained the greatest Honour and Esteem for those learned Bodies; .in one of which I received a Part of my Education, and where 1 can still boast of mach personal Friendship and Acquaintance. Bet I believe, Sir, there are none among thole learned Societies, who will think 1 derogate from.them by anything said in this Paragraph*. They themselves bewail their Misfortune, that several Nonjurors are gone out from among them, and several still remain with them, who are the most able Defenders of that Cause, and who, if they had rightly studied our Constitution as. settled by Acts of Parliament, might have been as able Advocates for our Rights and Liberties. Sir, I have Reason to esteem the Universities, as 1 had the Happiness to have had a Part of my Education in one of them: And it is for the like Reason that I Ihall always have a Veneration for the Clergy, as having been bred up from my Infancy (which 1 know not whether my Accuser was or not) in the Doctrine of the Church of England.
The Paragraph which follows in the Dedi-. cation of the CRISIS is this* * There is one thing which deserves your most
* serious Consideration. You havebound your
* selves by the strongest Obligations that Reli'gion can lay upon Men, to support that
* Succession which is the Subject of the foN 'lowing Papers: You have tied down your 'Souls by an Oath to maintain it as it is set'tied in the House of Hat/over: Nay, you 1 have gone much further than is usual in Ga:
* ses of this Nature, as you have personally
M'4 'abjured abjured the Pretender to this CroWn; aud that exprefly, without any Equivocations or mental Reservations whatsoever; that is, without any possible Escapes, by which- the Subtlety of temporising, Casuists might hope to elude the Force of these solemn Obligations. You know much better than I do, whether the calling God to Witness to the Sincerity of our Intentions in these Cases; whether the swearing upon the holy Evatige.lists in the most solemn Manner; whether the taking of an Oath before Multitude of our Fellow Subjects and Fellow-Christians iu our publick Courts of Justice, do not lay the greatest Obligations that can be laid on the Consciences of Men. This I am sure of, that if the Body of the Clergy, who considerately and voluntarily entered into these Engagements, should be made use of as Instruments and Examples to make tbe Nation break through them, not only the Succession to our Crown, but the very Essence of our Religion is in Danger. What a Triumph would it furnish to those evil Men amongus, who are Enemies'to your sacred Order? What Occalion would it administer to Atheists and Unbelievers to fay, That Christianity is nothing else but an outward Show and Pretence among the most knowing of its Professors: What could we afterwards object tojesuists? What would be the Scandal brought upon our holy Church, which is at present the Glory and Bulwark of the Reformation? How would our present Clergy ap
Government introduced and established by a Conduct so directly opposite to all theRales of Honour, and Precepts of Christianity? A Man may own he apprehends that Holy 'Recluse Men may be mis-led by artful ones, tout any Imputation to their Characters of akness or Guilt. And l here only take the I of all Writers, to suppose a Case is not likely to happen; and by that ans to animate the Zeal of those to whom tfdress my self, for that Cause; of the Justice of Which they are already perswaded. This is a way of arguing made use Of by every one who would bring over his Reader to a Zeal for what he advances. What is more frequent than to hear from the Pulpit it self, candal that would be brought upon ChriL should the Professors of it deviate lose Rules which it prescribes? And it i just to fay, that the Preacher does thod insinuate that his Hearers are not Chrfstiaus, as it would be to imply from that Paragraph which I have now read, that our EngHjh Clergy are against the Protestant Succession: Nay, I thiak, nothing can be so great an Argument that I believe they are for it, aSthus laying before the Reader those so- Engagements that this Holy Order of 'uve enter'd into for its Preservation, ieossall Possibility of an Inuendo ita I have, in the Paragraph which imy follows, disclaimed every such Implication; where I say,
'As 1 always speak and think of your Holy • Order with the utmost Deferenceand Respect, '1 do not insist upon this Subject to insinuate M S that