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others, and be vigilant for the good of his fellow-fubjects.
This generous inclination no man poffeffes in a warmer degree than yourself; which, that Heaven would reward with long poffeffion of that reputation into which you have made fo early an entrance, the reputation of a man of fenfe, a good citizen, and agreeable companion, a difinterested friend, and an unbiaffed patriot, is the hearty prayer of, Sir, your most obliged, and moft obedient, humble fervant,
To Mr. ADDISON.
WHILE you the fierce divided Britons awe,
And Cato with an equal virtue draw,
While Envy is itself in wonder loft,
And factions ftrive who fhall applaud you moft;
* Prefixed to the Tragedy of "Cato."
LETTER CCCCXXIX *.
To the CLERGY of the Church of England +.
Jan. 19, 1713-14 T is with a juft deference to your great power and influence in this kingdom, that I lay before you the following comment upon the laws which regard the fettlement of the imperial crown of Great Britain. My purpose in addreffing these matters to you is, to conjure you, as Heaven has bleffed you with proper talents and opportunities, to recommend them, in your writings and difcourfes to your fellow-fubjects.
In the character of pastors and teachers, you have an almost irresistible power over us of your congregations; and, by the admirable inftitution of our laws, the tenths of our lands, now
*Prefixed to the celebrated pamphlet called "The Crifis." See p. 101. In the 8th number of 'The Englishman,' O&t. 22,1713, Mr. Steele inferted a letter, giving notice, that The Crifis' was then ready for the prefs; and concluding in these words: "The "price of this difcourfe will be but one fhilling; and perfons "who are willing to subscribe for numbers of them, are defired "to leave their names and fuch numbers with Mr. Samuel "Buckley, at the Dolphin, in Little Britain. I beg the favour "of you to infert this in your very next paper; for I shall go"vern myself, in the number I print, according to the number "of subscriptions." After the fubfcription had continued open
more than two months, The Englishmam,' No 26, Dec. 26, acquainted the publick, that, “at the defire of several ladies of "quality, the publication of The Crifis' is put off till the fe"male world have expressed their zeal for the publick by a sub-"fcription as large as that made among the other fex." The Crifis appeared, on the 19th of January, 1714.
in your poffeffion, are deftined to become the property of fuch others as fhall, by learning and virtue, qualify themselves to fucceed you. Thefe circumftances of education and fortune place the minds of the people, from age to age, under your direction. As, therefore, it would be the highest indifcretion in minifters of state of this kingdom to neglect the care of being ac ceptable to you in their administration; so it would be the greatest impiety in you, to inflame the people committed to your charge, with apprehenfions of danger to you and your conftitution, from men innocent of any fuch defigns.
Give me leave, who have in all my words and actions, from my youth upwards*, maintained an inviolable respect to you and your order, to obferve to you, that all the diffatisfactions which have been raised in the minds of the people, owe their rife to the cunning of artful men, who have introduced the mention of you and your intereft (which are facred to all good men) to cover and fanctify their own practices upon the affections of the people, for ends very different from the promotion of religion and virtue. Give me leave alfo to take notice, that
* See his declaration, already cited in p. 282, in respect to "The Chriftian Hero." He adds, however, that, " finding him"felf flighted, instead of being encouraged, for his declaration as "to religion, it became incumbent on him to enliven his cha"racter; for which reafon he wrote The Funeral,' in which, "though full of incidents that move laughter, Virtue and Vice appear just as they ought to do."
thefe fuggeftions have been favoured by fome few unwary men in holy orders, who have made the conftitution of their own country a very little part of their study, and yet made obedience and government the frequent fubjects of their dif
These men, from the pompous ideas of imperial greatnefs, and fubmiffion to abfolute emperors, which they imbibed in their earlier years, have, from time to time, inadvertently uttered notions of power and obedience abhorrent from the laws of this their native country.
I will take the further liberty to fay, that if the acts of parliament mentioned in the following treatife had been from time to time put in fair and clear light, and been carefully recommended to the perufal of young gentlemen in colleges, with a preference to all other civil inftitutions whatfoever; this kingdom had not been in its prefent condition: but the conftitution would have had, in every member the univerfities have fent into the world, ever fince the Revolution, an advocate for our rights and liberties.
- There is one thing which deferves your moft ferious confideration. You have bound yourfelves, by the strongest engagements that Religion can lay upon men, to fupport that fucceffion which is the fubject of the following papers; you have tied down your fouls by an oath to maintain it as it is fettled in the Houfe of Ha
nover; nay, you have gone much further than is ufual in cafes of this nature, as you have perfonally abjured the Pretender to this Crown, and that exprefsly, without any equivocations or mental reservations whatsoever, that is, without any poffible escapes, by w ich the fubtlety of temporizing cafuifts might hope to elude the force of thefe folemn obligations. You know much better than I do, whether the calling God to witness to the fincerity of our intentions in thefe cafes, whether the fwearing upon the holy Evangelifts in the moft folemn manner, whether the taking of an oath before multitudes of fellow-fubjects and fellow-Chriftians in our public courts of juftice, do not lay the greateft obligations that can be laid on the confciences of men. This I am fure of, that if the body of a Clergy, who confiderately and voluntarily entered into thefe engagements, fhould be made use of as inftruments and examples to make the nation break through them, not only the fucceffion to our Crown, but the very effence of our Religion is in danger. What a triumph would it furnish to thofe evil men among us who are enemies to your facred order! what occafion would it administer to Atheists and Unbelievers, to say that Christianity is nothing elfe but an outward fhow and pretence among the moft knowing of its profeffors! What could we afterwards object to Jefuits? what would be the fcandal brought