Front Page Titles (by Subject) A Serious Expostulation with the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of London, on his Letter to the Clergy and People of London and Westminster. Anno 1750. - A Collection of Tracts, vol. 2
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A Serious Expostulation with the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of London, on his Letter to the Clergy and People of London and Westminster. Anno 1750. - John Trenchard, A Collection of Tracts, vol. 2 
A Collection of Tracts. By the Late John Trenchard, Esq; and Thomas Gordon, Esq; Vol. II. (London: F. Cogan, 1751).
Part of: A Collection of Tracts, 2 vols.
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A Serious Expostulation with the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of London, on his Letter to the Clergy and People of London and Westminster.
Those eighteen, upon whom the Tower of Siloam fell and slew them, think ye that they were Sinners above all Men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
Luke xiii. 4.
THE two successive Shocks of an Earthquake, which have lately alarmed the Cities of London and Westminster, and your Lordship’s Letter on the Occasion to the Clergy, and Inhabitants of those Cities, have led me to search into History for a memorable Instance of greater Calamities, and of the Conduct observed in the Midst of real Desolation by a celebrated spiritual Pastor, who afterwards attained to the Episcopal Dignity. In that melancholy Æra, while the Nation, single, and unallied, was struggling with three great Powers confederated against her, when a Pestilence had exhausted the City of London in 1665, and a Fire in the subsequent Year had laid thirteen thousand of its Buildings in Ashes; that very City, whose Zeal in promoting, but a sew Years before, a Cause the most obnoxious to the Church, had merited the whole Resentment of the Clergy, could yet draw from the justly admired Dr. Sprat, the following generous, and manly Consolation, together with the most laboured Applause, which his Eloquence could furnish, in Honour of the Constancy, Magnanimity, and Vigour, exerted by the Inhabitants, both in supporting, and repairing the heavy and general Calamity.
‘The Plague was indeed an irreparable Damage to the whole Kingdom; but that which chiefly added to the Misery, was the Time wherein it happened. For what could be a more deplorable Accident, than that so many brave Men should be cut off by the Arrow that flies in the Dark, when our Country was ingaged in a foreign War, and when their Lives might have been honourably ventured on a glorious Theatre in its Defence? And we had scarce recovered this first Misfortune, when we received a second and a deeper Wound; which cannot be equalled in all History, if either we consider the Obscurity of its Beginning, the irresistable Violence of its Progress, the Horror of its Appearance, or the Wideness of the Ruin it made, in one of the most renowned Cities of the World.
‘Yet when, on the one Side, I remember what Desolation these Scourges of Mankind have left behind them; and, on the other, when I reflect on the Magnanimity wherewith the English Nation did support the Mischiefs; I find, that I have not more Reason to bewail the one, than to admire the other.
‘Upon our Return, after the abating of the Plague, what else could we expect, but to see the Streets unfrequented, the River forsaken, the Fields deformed with the Graves of the Dead, and the Terrors of Death still abiding on the Faces of the Living? But instead of such dismal Sights, there appeared almost the same Throngs in all public Places, the same Noise of Business, the same Freedom of Converse, and, with the Return of the King, the same Chearfulness returning on the Minds of the People as before.
‘Nor was their Courage less, in sustaining the second Calamity, which destroyed their Houses and Estates. This the greatest Losers indured with such undaunted Firmness of Mind, that their Example may incline us to believe, that not only the best natural, but the best moral Philosophy too, may be learned from the Shops of Mechanics. It was, indeed, an admirable Thing to behold, with what Constancy the meanest Artificers saw all the Labours of their Lives, and the Support of their Families, devoured in an Instant. The Affliction, it is true, was widely spread over the whole Nation; every Place was filled with Signs of Pity and Commiseration; but those who had suffered most, seemed the least affected with the Loss: No unmanly Bewailings were heard in the few Streets that were preserved; they beheld the Ashes of their Houses, and Gates, and Temples, without the least Expression of Pusillanimity. If Philosophers had done this, it had well become their Profession of Wisdom; if Gentlemen, the Nobleness of their Breeding and Blood would have required it: But that such Greatness of Heart should be found amongst the poor Artisans, and the obscure Multitude, is no doubt one of the most honourable Events that ever happened. Yet still there is one Circumstance behind, which may raise our Wonder higher; and that is, that amidst such horrible Ruins, they still prosecuted the War with the same Vigour and Courage, against three of the most powerful States of all Europe. What Records of Time, or Memory of past Ages, can shew us a greater Testimony of an invincible and heroic Genius than this, of which I now speak? That the Sound of the Heralds proclaiming new Wars should be pleasant to the People, when the sad Voice of the Bellman was scarce yet gone out of their Ears? That the Increase of their Adversaries Confederates, and of their own Calamities, should be so far from affrighting them, that they rather seemed to receive from thence a new Vigour and Resolution? and that they should still be eager upon Victories and Triumphs, when they were thought almost quite exhausted, by so great Destructions?’ Hist. of the Royal Society, p. 120.
The fatal Alteration both in the Temper of the People, and in the Conduct of their spiritual Guides under the bare Apprehension of Calamity, may be evidently seen by the late shameful Desertion of London and Westminster, and by your Lordship’s Letter. Happy had it been for the Reputation of the People and Pastor, if another Sprat had appeared among us at this Time of our apprehended Misfortunes.
Far from awakening the superstitious Fears of the Multitude, or perverting their Fortitude and Vigour to Humiliation and Despair, as he then took the manly Part of supporting their Spirit by Consolation and Praise, so now would he undoubtedly have employed his masterly Pen in administring Comfort to a People already too much terrified with an Appearance, neither uncommon, nor dangerous, in this Country. He would not have snatched an Occasion, like this, to deject the Courage, to blind the Reason, and inhance the Terrors of his Countrymen, by construing a meer Accident of Nature into a Judgment from Heaven, well knowing, that this has been one of the primary Arts practised by Priestly-pride, and endured by Lay-bigotry in the neighbouring Nations, till the Liberty and Understanding of Europe, for the greatest Part, have been subjected to an implicit and servile Dependence on the most cruel, the most insolent and ignorant Clergy. He would not have offered Arguments, which should have given co-operating Aid to the Dreams of a poor lunatic Soldier, nor, in order to distinguish this great Metropolis as the single Mark of God’s Anger, have rashly hazarded his principal Argument on the Locality of the Earthquake, nor, in Consequence of the same Appearances in different, and more distant Parts of the Kingdom, have found himself exposed to the most mortifying Confusion, without the Possibility of Shelter or Defence. He would have protected us against the Terrors in our own Bosoms, against the Visions of Enthusiasts, and against the uncharitable Denunciation of Almighty Vengeance on two Cities, one of which, at least, may stand up and challenge all others to produce equal Examples of Vigilance, Discretion, and Impartiality, in the constant Administration of Justice, tempered with Humanity and Mercy. He would have spared us the Disgrace of adding one more Instance of national Pusillanimity to that shameful Panic in the late Rebellion; two Marks of Dishonour, which together serve but too plainly to demonstrate, that all that Constancy and Magnanimity, which a Century past were the just Subjects of his Praise, have now no longer an Existence in this Country. He would have convinced our Understanding, that there is no Retreat from that supreme Hand, which is felt every Moment of Life in the various Operations of Nature; that to search and discover her most hidden Laws is the laudable Object of our Enquiry, and the sublimest Exertion of those Lights imparted to us by our Creator; that already these successful Discoveries have, in many Circumstances removed the Fears, and erased the Superstition of Mankind; that hence, if left to the Guidance of Reason, we are led to believe, that the most inscrutable Appearances of Nature, however formidable and destructive, are but the Effects of natural Causes, a Satisfaction to all, whether fearing, or feeling such Disasters, that they are not driven from the Earth by the distinguished Wrath of their Maker, to become immediate Partakers of eternal Vengeance; herein Philosophy inforcing, and uniting with the most comfortable Doctrine of Christ, who declares for the Quiet of our Minds under such general and unavoidable Misfortunes, that neither those Galileans, whom the cruel Hand of a Tyrant was permitted to destroy, nor those whom a falling Tower overwhelmed with its Ruins, were more sinful than other Men.
But if, amid real or apprehended Danger, the individual Sinner will take Warning for himself, and call his own Heart to a strict Account; if those, whom the Excess of Riot and Debauch have carried to Violence and Outrage, will make due Compensation to their insulted Neighbour; if those who have built their Fortunes on Extortion and Rapine, will make a due Retribution to the Injured; if those who are grown grey in one continued Course of Venality and Corruption, and have sold their Consciences and their Country to satiate the Thirst of Wealth and Power, will employ their scanty Remains of Time in repairing the Ruins which their own Prostitution hath made, then may such Sinners be allowed to make a laudable Use of the dreadful Phænomena in Nature. But I leave to your Lordship, the Perusal of the following Extract from Dr. Sprat, where he most amply delivers his Sense of those, who impute these public Calamities to the Sins of others, as well as his Opinion in favour of those whom you stile little Philosophers.
‘Thus far, I trust, it will be confessed, that Experiments are unblameable. But yet there is much more behind, of which many pious Men are wont to express their Jealousy. For though they shall be brought to allow, that all these Doctrines which I have named, may seem to remain safe amidst the Studies of Natural Things; yet they still whisper, that they may chance, by Degrees, to make the Sincerity of Devotion appear ridiculous, and to bring the Strictness of holy Life out of Fashion: And that so they will silently, and by Piece-meals, demolish Religion, which they dare not openly encounter. I will therefore next endeavour the Removal of these Scruples, though I sufficiently understand that it is a very difficult Work, to confute such popular and plausible Errors, which have the Pretence of the Cause of God to confirm them.
‘The chief Substance of real and sober Piety is contained in the devout Observation of all those Ways, whereby God has been pleased to manifest his Will, and in a right Separation of our Minds from the Lusts and Desires of the World. The most remarkable Means, whereby he has made known his Pleasure, are those which have been fixed and revealed in his Word, or else the extraordinary Signs of his Authority and Command.
‘Concerning our Acknowledgment of his revealed Will in the Scripture, I have already spoken. And our Obedience to the latter, consists chiefly of two Kinds; an humble Submission to divine Prophecies, and a careful Observance of all remarkable Providences. In both which experimental Philosophy may well be justified. It may perhaps correct some Excesses which are incident to them: But it declares no Enmity against the Things themselves.
‘The Sum of the whole Doctrine of Prophecies is this, that the great Creator of the World has the Prerogative of foreseeing, appointing, and predicting all future Events: That he has often, in former Ages, made use of this Power, by the Visions and Raptures of holy Men inspired from above; that his infinite Wisdom has still the like Ability to do the same; that whenever such Predictions are accompanied with undeniable Testimonies of their being sent from Heaven, they ought to be preferred before all human Laws.
‘The true Foundation of divine Prodigies, is much of the same Nature with the other: It relies on these Suppositions, that all the Creatures are subject to God’s Word, by which they were made; that he can alter their Courses, exalt or destroy their Natures, and move them to different Ends from their own, according to his Pleasure; that this he has often done heretofore; that still his Arm is not weakened, nor the same Omnipotence diminished; that still he may change the wonted Law of the Creation, and dispose of the Beings and Motions of all Things without Controul; and that when this is done, it is with a peculiar Design of punishing, or rewarding, or forewarning Mankind.
‘To the Belief and Assertion of these Doctrines, we are obliged by the very End of Religion itself. But yet their counterfeit Colours have seduced many virtuous Minds into manifold Mischiefs.
‘The Mistakes about Prophecies may arise, either from our abusing of the old, or a vain setting-up of new. We err in the first, when we translate the ancient Prophecies from those Times and Countries, which they did properly regard, to others which they do not concern. And we offend in the second, when we admit of new prophetical Spirits in this Age, without the uncontroulable Tokens of heavenly Authority.
‘We are guilty of false Interpretations of Providences and Wonders, when we either make those to be Miracles that are none, or when we put a false Sense on those that are real; when we make general Events to have a private Aspect, or particular Accidents to have some universal Signification. Though both these may seem at first to have the strictest Appearance of Religion, yet they are the greatest Usurpations on the Secrets of the Almighty, and unpardonable Presumptions on his high Prerogatives of Punishment and Reward.
‘And now, if a moderating of these Extravagancies must be esteemed Prophaneness, I profess I cannot absolve the experimental Philosopher. It must be granted, that he will be very scrupulous in believing all Manner of Commentaries on prophetical Visions, in giving Liberty to new Predictions, and in assigning the Causes, and marking out the Paths of God’s Judgments amongst his Creatures.
‘He cannot suddenly conclude all extraordinary Events to be the immediate Finger of God, because he familiarly beholds the inward Workings of Things; and thence perceives that many Effects, which use to affright the Ignorant, are brought forth by the common Instruments of Nature. He cannot be suddenly inclined to pass Censure on Men’s eternal Condition, from any temporal Judgments that may befal them; because his long Converse with all Matters, Times and Places, has taught him the Truth of what the Scripture says, that all Things happen alike to all. He cannot blindly consent to all Imaginations of devout Men, about future Contingencies; seeing he is so rigid in examining all particular Matters of Fact: He cannot be forward to assent to spiritual Raptures and Revelations, because he is truly acquainted with the Tempers of Men’s Bodies, the Composition of their Blood, and the Power of Fancy; and so better understands the Difference between Diseases and Inspirations.
‘But in all this he commits nothing that is irreligious. It is true, to deny God has heretofore warned the World of what was to come, is to contradict the very Godhead itself; but to reject the Sense which any private Man shall fasten to it, is not to disdain the Word of God, but the Opinions of Men like ourselves. To declare against the Possibility that new Prophets may be sent from Heaven, is to insinuate that the same infinite Wisdom, which once shewed itself that Way, is now at an end. But to slight all Pretenders, that come without the Help of Miracles, is not a Contempt of the Spirit, but a just Circumspection, that the Reason of Men be not over-reached. To deny that God directs the Course of human Things, is Stupidity; but to hearken to every Prodigy that Men frame against their Enemies, or for themselves, is not to reverence the Power of God, but to make that serve the Passions, and Interests, and Revenges of Men.
‘It is a dangerous Mistake, into which many good Men fall, that we neglect the Dominion of God over the World, if we do not discover, in every Turn of human Actions, many supernatural Providences and miraculous Events. Whereas it is enough for the Honour of his Government, that he guides the whole Creation in its wonted Course of Causes and Effects: As it makes as much for the Reputation of a Prince’s Wisdom, that he can rule his Subjects peaceably, by his known and standing Laws, as that he is often forced to make use of extraordinary Justice to punish, or reward.
‘Let us then imagine our Philosopher to have all Slowness of Belief, and Rigour of Trial, which by some is miscalled a Blindness of Mind and Hardness of Heart. Let us suppose that he is most unwilling to grant that any thing exceeds the Force of Nature, but where a full Evidence convinces him. Let it be allowed, that he is always alarmed, and ready on his Guard, at the Noise of any miraculous Event, lest his Judgment should be surprized by the Disguises of Faith. But does he by this diminish the Authority of ancient Miracles? Or does he not rather confirm them the more, by confining their Number, and taking Care that every Falshood should not mingle with them? Can he by this undermine Christianity, which does not now stand in need of such extraordinary Testimonies from Heaven? Or do they not rather indanger it, who still venture all its Truths on so hazardous a Chance? Who require a Continuance of Signs and Wonders, as if the Works of our Saviour and his Apostles had not been sufficient: Who ought to be esteemed the most carnally minded, the Enthusiast, that pollutes his Religion with his own Passions, or the Experimenter, that will not use it to flatter and obey his own Desires, but to subdue them? Who is to be thought the greatest Enemy of the Gospel, he that loads Men’s Faiths by so many improbable Things, as will go near to make the Reality itself suspected, or he that only admits a few Arguments to confirm the Evangelical Doctrines, but then chooses those that are unquestionable? It cannot be an ungodly Purpose to strive to abolish all holy Cheats, which are of fatal Consequence, both to the Deceivers and those that are deceived: To the Deceivers, because they must needs be Hypocrites, having the Artifice in their keeping: To the Deceived, because if their Eyes shall be ever opened, and they chance to find, that they have been deluded in any one Thing, they will be apt not only to reject that, but even to despise the very Truths themselves, which they had before been taught by those Deluders.
‘It were indeed to be confessed, that this Severity of Censure on religious Things, were to be condemned in Experimenters, if while they deny any Wonders, that are falsely attributed to the true God, they should approve those of Idols or false Deities. But that is not objected against them. They make no Comparison between his Power, and the Works of any others, but only between the several Ways of his own manifesting himself. Thus if they lessen one Heap, yet they still increase the other: In the main they diminish nothing of his Right. If they take from the Prodigies, they add to the ordinary Works of the same Author. And those ordinary Works themselves, they do almost raise to the Height of Wonders, by the exact Discovery which they make of their Excellencies: While the Enthusiast goes near to bring down the Price of the true and primitive Miracles, by such a vast, and such a negligent augmenting of their Number.
‘By this I hope it appears, that this inquiring, this scrupulous, this incredulous Temper is not the Disgrace, but the Honour of Experiments. And therefore I will declare them to be the most seasonable Study, for the present Temper of our Nàtion. This wild amusing Men’s Minds with Prodigies, and Conceits of Providences, has been one of the most considerable Causes of those spiritual Distractions of which our Country has long been the Theatre. This is a Vanity, to which the English seem to have been always subject above others. There is scarce any modern Historian, that relates our foreign Wars, but he has this Objection against the Disposition of our Countrymen, that they used to order their Affairs of the greatest Importance, according to some obscure Omens or Predictions, that passed about amongst them, on little or no Foundations. And at this Time, especially this last Year, this gloomy and ill-boding Humour has prevailed. So that it is now the fittest Season for Experiments to arise, to teach us a Wisdom which springs from the Depths of Knowledge, to shake off the Shadows, and to scatter the Mists which fill the Minds of Men with a vain Consternation. This is a Work well becoming the most Christian Profession. For the most apparent Effect which attended the Passion of Christ, was the putting of an eternal Silence on all the false Oracles, and dissembled Inspirations of ancient Times.
‘There have been, it is true, some peculiar Occasions wherein God was pleased to convince the World from Heaven in a visible Manner. But if we consider the Arguments that used to move him to it, we may conclude that such wonderful Signs are not often now to be expected.
‘He has either done it in Times of gross Ignorance, or in the Beginning of a new Way of Religion, or for the peculiar Punishment of some prevailing Wickedness: Upon the Account of the two first, we have no Reason to expect Wonders in this Age; because all Sorts of Knowledge do so much abound, and because we have a Religion already established, against which the Gates of Hell shall never prevail.
‘The third Time has been, when God has taken to himself the exemplary Punishment of some heinous Sin. From this, indeed, our Age is no more exempted, than it is free from those Vices that are wont to provoke the Divine Vengeance. This then we confess, that even at this present God may declare himself against the Iniquities of Men, by the supernatural Tokens of his Displeasure: But yet the Interpretation of such Punishments ought to be handled with the greatest Tenderness. For as it is said of the last and general Judgment, that no Man knows the Time when it shall happen; so we may also affirm of these particular Judgments, that there is no Man who understands the Circumstances, or Occasions of their Infliction, but they are one of the deepest Parts of God’s unsearchable Councils.
‘Whenever therefore a heavy Calamity falls from Heaven on our Nation, an universal Repentance is required; but all particular Applications of private Men, except to their own Hearts, is to be forborn. Every Man must bewail his own Transgressions, which have increased the public Misery. But he must not be too hasty in assigning the Causes of Plagues, or Fires, or Inundations, to the Sins of other Men. Whoever thinks that Way to repent, by condemning the Miscarriages of those Parties that differ from his own, and by reproving them as the Authors of such Mischiefs, he is grosly mistaken: For that is not to repent, but to make a Satire: That is not an Act of Humiliation, but the greatest spiritual Pride.’
But you, my Lord, come in all Humility, not as our Accuser, but as our faithful Servant and Monitor in Jesus Christ, and tell us, that your Heart’s Desire and Prayer to God is for us, that we may be saved. Whom do you mean to save, my good Lord? Those who frequent Plays, Operas, Music, Dancings, Gardens, Cock-fighting and Prize-fighting? And why not those who frequent Masquerades, and Venetian Balls? Surely your Lordship cannot be a Stranger to the frequent legal Presentments, which, founded on the declared Sense of all sober Men, have stigmatized these dissolute Assemblies with the severest public Censure; nor can you be ignorant, that Venetian Balls, in their own native Soil, exhibit or occasion the most various Scenes of exaggerated Lewdness, which that most lewd, and effeminate of all Regions, Italy, can produce? Or did you, in the Innocence of your Heart, take it for granted, that our Imitations of these Balls were so purified by the Presence of the Greatest, as to make you fear the Censure of Uncharitableness, at least of Indelicacy, had they been included in your black Catalogue of sinful Recreations? Who knows, my Lord, that your courtly Omission of this new imported Diversion has not been the Means of sanctifying its further Use, for the very next Day after the expected Earthquake I observed one of these Venetian Balls advertised in the public Papers, as the first Place for our affrighted Countrymen to assemble and rejoice in, after the Dissipation of their Fears.
Yet, contrary to my first Design, I trifle with a serious Subject: I feel for the Vices of this Nation as much as your Lordship, not principally for those Vices which you enumerate; they merit but a small Degree of Animadversion and Concern, when compared with those which shall now become the Subject of a more impartial and unspairing Detail than yours; Enormities which you, though professing to unfold the Sins of a whole People, in the awful Name of Christ Jesus, have thought proper to pass over in Silence, and conceal.
That all-beholding Eye, which controuls the Universe, pierces through all Disguises, and perceives, that the Diffusion of Vice through this Nation is derived from one Source, the Corruption of the Great; which, promoted by the most assiduous Arts, and vindicated by venal Eloquence, has at length absorbed all Regard for the Community into the two selfish Passions of Ambition and Avarice: And, when the most vigorous Effort was made to purge that Place, which, once cleansed, would have transfused its own Purity through all Orders and Degrees of Men, did not the flagitious Opposition to that Attempt, so essential to the very Being of Virtue, and solicited by the earnest and universal Cry of the People, produce an Instance of supererogatory Prostitution, which drew Wonder even from a Minister? For Want of this Barrier to confine Corruption, Honesty has been put up to public Sale, and found its Price to the Cost of a Nation, twice betrayed; hence a Loose has been given to public Profusion, and Rapine, unchecked, and unchastised; and the illicit Gains have been as profusely squandered by Individuals in Luxury, Sensuality, and every unmanly Gratification; and hence the Means of obtaining these ignominious Emoluments have been purchased by involving the Nation in Perjury, Treachery, and a general Dissolution of Manners. Ridicule and Contempt have been cast on the Laws, and principally by those whose Influence and Power should have given them Countenance and Effect: The recent Prohibition of Gaming, calculated to extirpate that Offspring of Avarice, that Parent of Selfishness, that Enemy to Humanity, Compunction, and every social Virtue, has been shamefully baffled by the Shelter afforded to that Enormity under the privileged Roofs of the Great, and met with a more open and contumelious Disregard from Personages invested with the most sacred Ensigns of Authority, in Places of public Resort, among the Gay, the Giddy, and the Young, where the native Allurements of Vice have long been too prevalent to want Aid and Encouragement from such venerable and powerful Auxiliaries: The flagrant Example of those in high Station has necessarily extended its pernicious Effects to the lowest; then who has most Right to complain, either to God, or Man, a People abandoned by their Superiors to Corruption, or those who have encouraged the Example of Profligacy, to complain of the People?
Severity and Decency of Manners in high Life would command a similar Behaviour in the Multitude; a strict Execution of the Laws would come in Aid; since the virtuous Great must know, that the due Exertion of the legal Power is a principal Part of their Duty: Idleness, Debauchery, and wanton Recreations would not then have a Being among us to become the Objects of Animadversions and Censure, which leaving the Fountain-head of Vice untouched, and attempting the impracticable Task of restraining the Torrent at a Distance from its Source, most clearly denote the Parade of Reformation without the Reality, or even the Intention.
You conclude with recommending to the Masters and Mistresses of Families, a religious and moral Education of their Children; address yourself, my Lord, to the Offspring of high Life, as well as to the Children and Apprentices of Tradesmen; nor confine yourself to the general Phrases of Religion and Morality, but explain to the Great, wherein a religious and moral Education consists: Teach them to instil into the Bosoms of their Youth, Moderation and Oeconomy, Benevolence and Charity, to love their Neighbour as themselves, and to do unto others, as they would they were done unto; and early to know, and never to forget, that as the Public protects them in the Possession of superior Honours and Emoluments, so that Public in Return expects, and merits from their Hands, a superior and more disinterested Care of its Welfare, than from others.
Let those who are designed for the holy Cloth, and to be real Ornaments of the Church, be taught to acquire a double Portion of Humility; let Hypocrisy, Flattery, and above all, Avarice be rooted from their Hearts; let them, if engaged in Controversy, be instructed to disdain the Prostitution of advancing at one Time Doctrines and Opinions, which may be consuted out of their own Writings at another; let them be taught to shun, like Perdition, the Smiles, the Hints, the Whispers from Court-Closets; and, if endowed with the most distinguished Abilities, and adorned with all the Acquirements of Learning, let them avoid the School of Politics, as incompatible with the Churchman’s Sanctity, lest all their Accomplishments, both from Art and Nature, be rendered fatal, instead of useful to Society; and when they rise to that Degree of Dignity, where the Rights, Privileges, and Liberty of a Nation are intrusted to their Consciences and Protection, amid their many Advantages let them remember, that they are made for their Country, and not their Country for them, to be sold on every Occasion, which offers a better Preferment.
If those of exalted Condition, both in Church and State, would frame their Conduct on Principles, like these, the Manners of the middling and inferior Classes would be free from Blame; but without the Example of the Great, no Laws, no Warnings, no threatened Judgments can save a People from Destruction, I mean from Slavery.