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Under Colour of a Zeal towards you, Men may sometimes act not only with Impunity but Popularity, what would render them, with. out that Hypocrisie, insufferably odious to their Fellow. Subjects.
Under this Pretence Men may presume to practise such Arts for the Destruction and Dif. honour of their Country, as it would be impious to make use of even for its Glory and Safety: Men may do in the highest Prosperity, what it would not be excusable to attempt un. der the lowest Neceflity! .
The Laws of our Country, the Powers of the Legislature, the Faith of Nations, and the Honour of God, may be too weak Confide. rations to bear up against the popular, tho' groundless Cry of the Church. This fatal Prepoffeffion may shelter Men in raising the French Name and Roman Catholick Interest in Great Britain, and consequently in all Europe,
It behoves you therefore, Gentlemen, to consider, whether the Cry of the Church's Danger may not at length become a Truth: And as you are Men of Sense and Men of Honour, to exert your selves in undeceiving the Multitude, whenever their atfectionate Concern for you may prove fatal to themselves,
You are surrounded by a learned, wealthy, and knowing Gentry, who can diftinguish your Merit, and do Hongur to your Characters. They know with what Firmness as Englishmen, with what Self-Denial as Prelates, with what Charity as Chriftians, the Lords the Bishops, Father's cf the Church, have behaved themselves in the Publick Cause: They know what Con. tumelies the rest of the Clergy have undergone,
what Discountenance they have laboured under, what Prejudice they have suffered in their Mi. nistry, who have adhered to the Cause of Truth: But it is certain that the Face of things is now too melancholy to bear any longer false Appearances; and common Danger has united Men, who not long ago were artfully inflamed against each other, into some Regard of their common Safety.
When the World is in this Temper, those of our Pastors, whose exemplary Lives and charitable Dispositions both adorn and advance our holy Religion, will be the Objects of our Love and Admiration; and those who pursue the Gratifications of Pride, Ambition, and A. varice, under the sacred Character of Clergy. men, will not fail to be our Contempt and Derision.
Noife and Wrath cannot always pass for Zeal; and if we fee but little of the publick Spirit of Englishmen or the Charity of Chri
ftians in others, it is certain we can feel but » little of the Pleafure of Love and Gratitude,
and but faint Emotions of Respe&t and Ve. Deration in our felves.
It will be an A&ion worthy the Ministers of the Church of England, to distinguish them. selves for the Love of their Country; and as we have a Religion that wants no Affistance from Artifice or Enlargement of Secular Power, but is well supported by the Wisdom and Piety of its Preachers, and its own native Truth, to let Mankind see that we have a Clergy who are of the People, obedient to the fame Laws, and zealous not only of the Supremacy and Prerogative of our Princes, but of the Liber
ties of their Fellow-Subje&s: This will make us who are Your Flock burn with Joy to fee, and with Zealto imicate your Lives and A&ions. It cannot be expected but that there will be, in so great a Body, light, superficial, vain, and ambitious Men, who being untouched with the fublime Force of the Gospel, will think it their interest to infinuate Jealousies between the Clergy and Laity, in Hopes to derive from their Order a Veneration which they know they cannot deserve from their Virtue. But while the most worthy, conspi. cuous, learned, and powerful of your sacred Fun&ion are moved by the noble and generous Incentives of doing Good to the Souls of Men, we will got doubt of seeing by your Ministry the Love of our Country, due Re. gard for our Laws and Liberties, and Resent. ment for the Abuse of Truth, revive in the Hearts of Men. And as there are no Instru. ments under Heaven fo capable of this great Work, that God would make you such to this divided Nation, is the hearty Prayer of,
Your most Dutiful,
and most Obedient
RICHARD STEEL E.
P R E F A CE.
I Never saw an unruly Crowd of People cool I by Degrees into Temper, but it gave me an
Idea of the Original of Power and the Na. ture of Civil Inftitutions. One particular Man has usually in those cases, from the Dignity of his Appearance, or other Qualities known or i. magined by the Multitude, been received into sudden Favour and Authority; the Occasion of their Difference has been represented to him, and the Matter referred to his Decision.
This first Step towards acting reasonably has brought them to themselves; and when the Per. fon, by an Appeal to whom they first were taken out of Confusion, was gone from amongst them, they have calmly taken further Measures from a Sense of their common Good
Absolute unlimited Power in one Person seems to bave been the first and natural Recourse of Mankind from Disorder and Rapine; and such. a Government must be acknowledged to be better than no Government at all: But all Re. Arictions of Power made by Laws and Participation of Sovereignty among several Persons, are apparent Improvements made jupon what began in that unlimited Power. This is what seems reasonable to common Sense; and the Manner of maintaining absolute Dominion in one Person,
where-ever it subfifts, verifies the Observation : For the Subječtion of the People to such Autho. rity is supported only by Terrors, Sudden and private Executions, and Imprisonments; and not as with happy Britons, by the Judgment, in Cases of Liberty and Property, of the Peers, and Neighbours of Men accused or prosecuted. This absolute Power in one Person, as it is ge. nerally exercised, is not indeed Government, but at best clandejtine Tyranny, supported by the Confederates, or rather Favourite-Slaves of the Tyrant.
I was glad to find this natural Sense of Power confirmed in me by very great and good Men, who have made Government, and the Principles on which it is founded, their profelled Study and Meditation.
A very celebrated Author bas these Words;
The Case of Man's Nature standing as it does, some kind of Regiment the Law of Nature doth require; yet the kinds thereof being many, Nature tieth not to any one, but leaveth the Choice as a thing arbitrary. At the first, when some certain kind of Regiment was once approved, it may be that nothing was then further thought upon for the Manner of governing, but all permitted unto their Wisdom and Discretion which were to rule; 'vill by Experience they found this for all Parts very inconvenient, so as the thing which they had devised for a Remedy did indeed but increase the Sore which it should have cured. They saw that to live by one Man's Will became the Cause of all Mens Misery, This constrained them to come unto Laws, wherein all Men might fee their Duties before