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John Trenchard, A Collection of Tracts, vol. I [1751]

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John Trenchard, A Collection of Tracts. By the Late John Trenchard, Esq; and Thomas Gordon, Esq; The First Volume. (London: F. Cogan, 1751).

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About this Title:

Volume 1 of a two part collection of essays by Trenchard and Gordon which includes essays on standing armies, various sermons, on debt, taxation, and religion.

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The text is in the public domain. It was scanned and originally put online by Google for non-commercial, educational purposes. We have retained the Google watermark as requested but have added tables of contents, pagination, and other educational aids where appropriate.

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Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [i]
Printed for F. Cogan, at the Middle Temple Gate, in Fleet-street.
Edition: current; Page: [ii] Edition: current; Page: [iii]

to William Hippisley, Esq;

HOWEVER surprized you may be at this Dedication, the World would have been much more so, had I prefixed any other Name, than that of the Heir of the late Great Mr. Trenchard, who as he had appointed you the Successor to his Fortune, it would have been a Kind of Profanation to put his Works under any other Protection.

That I have annexed the detached Pieces of his Coadjutor, was to oblige Edition: current; Page: [iv] such Gentlemen, as had their other Writings, which these Volumes will complete, and therefore hope you’ll excuse the Liberty of adding them to His.

An Advantage which that Gentleman always gloried in, and which his Patron was so gracious to permit. It would be unjust to Mr. Gordon, not to say how much he acknowledged both his Fame and Fortune were founded on his Favour; and was indeed proud to proclaim, he was the Man whom Mr. Trenchard deigned to honour, and whose Interest he was pleased to promote.

Confident of your Pardon, Sir, I shall deviate from the Rule of Dedicators; by reciting the Praises of your late Relation, instead of dwelling on Your’s; convinced you had rather deserve than receive them.

Nothing is more true than Mr. Dryden’s Observation.

Edition: current; Page: [v]

On Adamant our Wrongs we all engrave, But write our Benefits upon the Wave.

Otherwise what Cause can be assigned, that his Great and Disinterested Deeds; Great, as they were truly Disinterested, done at the Hazard of his Life and Fortune, should lie buried from the World, and in Danger of total Extinction.

For such was his Zeal in his Country’s Service at the Revolution, to venture every Thing in Opposition to superior Odds, when to be vanquished was to become a Victim, and the Block must have put a Period to the Patriot.

Which Prospect did not however deter him from Assisting the Prince of Orange with all his Fortune, to the Amount of Forty Thousand Pounds, and also to borrow Twenty Thousand Pounds more, all which he lent him without any Advantage.

So vast a Sum, when Cash was so scarce, and consequently so much the Edition: current; Page: [vi] more valuable, gave his Majesty such a powerful Proof of his Loyalty to his Country and Regard for him, that when it was moved in Council, by Lord Hallifax, soon after, to take him into Custody for writing the History of Standing Armies, the King put an End to the Affair, by saying: No Gentleman he was convinced had a sincerer Attachment to his Person, or wished more the Prosperity of the Kingdom. And therefore would not hear of the least Violence or Affront being offered to One for whom he had the highest Honour.

How precious ought his Memory then to be to Posterity; who stand so largely indebted to him for their Liberties.

It would swell this Address to a Volume, to recount all his noble Transactions. Suffice it therefore to observe, they all were of the same Tendency, deduced from the same Principle, and directed to the same glorious Purpose.

As You, Sir, early imbibed, pursue his Precepts, and emulate your great Edition: current; Page: [vii] Preceptor, so shall you be honoured by all the eminently Good while here, and recorded in the Annals of Glory when gone. I am,

With Honour,
Your Most Obliged, and
Devoted Humble Servant,
The Editor.
Edition: current; Page: [viii]

To the PUBLIC.

WE have annexed our Authorities for ascribing those Tracts to Mr. Trenchard, which are imputed to Him. Mr. Collins, who was intimate with both him and Mr. Gordon, has, in his Catalogue, ascertained most of the Pieces here inserted; as to the others, we appeal to their surviving Friends for the Truth of our asserting, We know them to be so.

1. Argument against Standing Armies, 1st Part, 1697
2. Argument, &c. 2d Part 1697
3. Answer to the Ballancing Letter, by the Author of the Argument, &c. 1697
4. History of Standing Armies, &c. 1698
All these acknowledged to be Mr. Trenchard’s, and several Times printed with his Name.
5. Thoughts of a Member, &c. 1719
6. Reflections on the Old Whig 1719
7. Comparison of the Proposals, &c. 1720
8. Considerations on the Public Debts, &c. 1720
9. The Natural History of Superstition 1709
For the Authority of these, see the Article Trenchard in the General Dictionary; likewise Collins’s Catalogue 1st Part; and Mr. Gordon refers to No. 8 as Mr. Trenchard’s in one of his Cato’s Letters.
10. A Letter of Thanks from the Author of the Comparison of the Proposals of the Bank and South-sea Companies, to the Author of the Examination of the South-sea Scheme, &c.

This is likewise mentioned in the General Dictionary as Mr. Trenchard’s.

Edition: current; Page: [x] Edition: current; Page: [(3)]

a collection of Tracts.

An Argument, shewing that a Standing Army is inconsistent with a Free Government, and absolutely destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy.
An. 1697.


To all those whom it may concern.

Qui capit, ille facit.

WHEN I consider your great Zeal to your Country, how much you have exposed yourselves for its Service, and how little you have improved your own Fortunes, I think it is but Justice to your Merits to make your Encomiums the Preface to the following Discourse. ’Tis you that have abated the Pride, and reduced the Luxury of the Kingdom: You have been the Physicians and Divines of the Common-wealth, by purging it of that Dross and Dung, which corrupts the Minds, and destroys the Edition: current; Page: [(4)] Souls of Men. You have convinced us, that there is no Safety in Counsellors, nor Trust to be put in Ships under your Conduct.

You have cleared the Seas, not of Pirates, but of our own Merchants, and by that Means have made our Prisons as so many Storehouses to replenish your Troops. In fine, to use the Expression of the Psalmist, Your Hearts are unsearchable for Wisdom, and there is no finding out your Understanding. When I consider all this, and compare your Merits with your Preferments, how came you by them, and your Behaviour in them, I cannot but think a Standing Army, a Collateral Security to your Title to them, and therefore must commend your Policy in promoting it. For by these Kings reign, and Princes decree Justice. These will be our Magistrates, who will not bear the Sword in vain. These, like the Sons of Aaron, will wear their Urim and Thummim on their Backs and Breasts, and will be our Priests, who will hew the Sinners to pieces, as Samuel did Agag before the Lord in Gilgal. By these you will be able to teach us Passive Obedience, as Men having Authority, and not as the Scribes. You will have your Reasons in your Hands against resisting the higher Powers, and will prove your Jus Divinum by the Sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

Your Honours
Most Obedient Slave and Vassal,
A. B. C. D. E. F. G.
Edition: current; Page: [(5)]

WHEN I consider what a dismal Scene of Blood and Desolation hath appeared upon the Theatre of Europe during the Growth and Progress of the French Power, I cannot sufficiently applaud and admire our thrice happy Situation, by which we have long enjoy’d an uninterrupted Course of Peace and Prosperity, whilst our Neighbouring Nations have been miserably harassed by perpetual War: For lying open to continual Invasion, they can never enjoy Quiet and Security, nor take a sound Sleep, but Hercules like, with Clubs in their Hands: So that these Halcyon Days which we enjoy amidst such an universal Hurricane, must be solely attributed to our Tutelar God Neptune, who with a Guard of winged Coursers so strongly intrenches us, that we may be said to be mediâ insuperabiles undâ, and not unfitly compar’d to the Earth, which stands six’d and immoveable, and never to be shaken but by an internal Convulsion. And as Nature has been thus liberal to us in our Situation, so the Luxuriancy of our Soil makes it productive of numerous Commodities fit for Trade and Commerce: And as this Trade renders us Masters of the Silver and Gold of the East and West without our toiling in the Mine, so it breeds us Multitudes of able bodied and skilful Seamen to defend the Treasures they bring home, that even Luxury itself, which has been the Bane and Destruction of most Countries where Edition: current; Page: [6] it has been predominant, may in some measure be esteemed our Preservation, by breeding up a Race of Men amongst us, whose Manner of Life will never suffer them to be debauched, or enervated with Ease or Idleness. But we have one thing more to boast of besides all these Felicities, and that is, of being Freemen and not Slaves in this unhappy Age, when an universal Deluge of Tyranny has overspread the Face of the whole Earth; so that this is the Ark out of which if the Dove be sent forth, she will find no Resting-place till her Return.

Our Constitution is a limited mix’d Monarchy, where the King enjoys all the Prerogatives necessary to the Support of his Dignity, and Protection of his People, and is only abridged from the Power of injuring his own Subjects: In short, the Man is loose, and the Beast only bound; and our Government may truly be called an Empire of Laws, and not of Men; for every Man has the same Right to what he can acquire by his Labour and Industry, as the King hath to his Crown, and the meanest Subject hath his Remedy against him in his Courts at Westminster: No Man can be imprisoned, unless he has transgressed a Law of his own making, nor be try’d but by his Neighbours; so that we enjoy a Liberty scarce known to the antient Greeks and Romans.

And lest the extraordinary Power intrusted in the Crown should lean towards Arbitrary Government, or the tumultuary Licentiousness of the People should encline towards a Democracy, the Wisdom of our Ancestors hath instituted a middle State, viz. of Nobility, whose Interest it is to trim this Boat of our Commonwealth, and to skreen the People against the Popularity of the Commons, since if either Extream prevail so far as to oppress the other, they are sure to be overwhelmed in their Ruin. And the Meeting of these three States in Parliament is what we call our Government: for without all their Consents no Law can be made, nor a Penny of Money levied upon the Subjects; so that the King’s Necessities do often oblige him to summon this Court, which is the Grand Inquest of the Kingdom, where the People speak boldly their Grievances, and Edition: current; Page: [7] call to account overgrown Criminals, who are above the Reach of ordinary Justice: so that the Excellence of this Government consists in the due Ballance of the several constituent Parts of it, for if either one of them should be too hard for the other two, there is an actual Dissolution of the Constitution; but whilst we can continue in our present Condition, we may without Vanity reckon our selves the happiest People in the World.

But as there is no Degree of Human Happiness but is accompanied with some Defects, and the strongest Constitutions are most liable to certain Diseases; so the very Excellence of our Government betrays it to some Inconveniencies, the Wheels and Motions of it being so curious and delicate that it is often out of Order, and therefore we ought to apply our utmost Endeavours to rectify and preserve it: and I am afraid it is more owing to the Accident of our Situation, than to our own Wisdom, Integrity or Courage, that it has yet a Being; when we see most Nations in Europe over-run with Oppression and Slavery, where the Lives, Estates and Liberties of the People are subject to the lawless Fancy and Ambition of the Prince, and the Rapine and Insolence of his Officers; where the Nobility that were formerly the bold Assertors of their Country’s Liberty, are now only the Ensigns and Ornaments of the Tyranny, and the People Beasts of Burden, and barely kept alive to support the Luxury and Prodigality of their Masters.

And if we enquire how these unhappy Nations have lost that precious Jewel Liberty, and we as yet preserved it, we shall find their Miseries and our Happiness proceed from this, That their Necessities or Indiscretion have permitted a Standing Army to be kept amongst them, and our Situation rather than our Prudence, hath as yet defended us from it, otherwise we had long since lost what is the most valuable Thing under Heaven: For, as I said before, our Constitution depending upon a due Ballance between King, Lords and Commons, and that Ballance depending upon the mutual Occasions and Necessities they have of one another; if this Cement be once broke, there is an actual Dissolution of the Government. Edition: current; Page: [8] Now this Ballance can never be preserved but by an Union of the natural and artificial Strength of the Kingdom, that is, by making the Militia to consist of the same Persons as have the Property; or otherwise the Government is violent and against Nature, and cannot possibly continue, but the Constitution must either break the Army, or the Army will destroy the Constitution: for it is universally true, that where-ever the Militia is, there is or will be the Government in a short Time; and therefore the Institutors of this Gotbick Ballance (which was established in all Parts of Europe) made the Militia to consist of the same Parts as the Government, where the King was General, the Lords by virtue of their Castles and Honours, the great Commanders, and the Freeholders by their Tenures the Body of the Army; so that it was next to impossible for an Army thus constituted to act to the Disadvantage of the Constitution, unless we could suppose them to be Felons de se. And here I will venture to assert, that upon no other Foundation than this, can any Nation long preserve its Freedom, unless some very particular Accidents contribute to it; and I hope I shall make it appear, that no Nation ever preserved its Liberty, that maintained an Army otherwise constituted within the Seat of their Government: And let us flatter ourselves as much as we please, what happened Yesterday, will come to pass again; and the same Causes will produce like Effects in all Ages.

And here I can’t avoid taking Notice of some Gentlemen who a few Years since were the pretended Patriots of their Country, who had nothing in their Mouths but the sacred Name of Liberty, who in the late Reigns could hardly afford the King the Prerogative that was due to him, and which was absolutely necessary to put in motion this Machine of our Government, and to make the Springs and Wheels of it act naturally, and perform their Function: I say, these Gentlemen that could not with Patience hear of the King’s ordinary Guards, can now discourse familiarly of twenty thousand Men to be maintained in Times of Peace; and the odious Excuse they give for this infamous Apostacy is, That if they should not gratify the Court in Edition: current; Page: [9] this modest Request, another Party may be caressed who will grant this, or any thing else that is asked, and then they say Matters will be much worse; as if Arbitrary Government was a different Thing in their Hands, from what it is in others, or that the Lineaments and Features of Tyranny would become graceful and lovely when they are its Valet de Chambres. But let them not deceive themselves, for if they think to make their Court this Way, they will quickly find themselves outflattered by the Party they fear, who have been long the Darlings of Arbitrary Power, and whose Principles as well as Practices teach them to be Enemies to all the legal Rights, and just Liberties of their Native Country; and so these wretched Bunglers will be made use of only to bring together the Materials of Tyranny, and then must give Place to more expert Architects to finish the Building.

And though we are secure from any Attempts of this Kind during the Reign of a Prince who hath rescued us from a Captivity equal to what Moses redeemed the People of Israel from: A Prince whose Life is so necessary to the Preservation of Europe, that both Protestant and Popish Princes have forgot their ancient Maxims, and laid aside their innate Animosities, and made it their common Interest to chuse him their Patron and Protector: A Prince in whom we know no Vices but what have been esteemed Vertues in others, viz. his undeserved Clemency to his Enemies, and his exposing too much that Life upon which depends not only our Safety, but the Liberties of all Europe, and the Protestant Religion through the World: I say, was this most excellent Prince to be immortal (as his Great and Glorious Actions) we ought in common Prudence to abandon all Thoughts of Self-preservation, and wholly to rely on his Care and Conduct. But since no Vertue nor Pitch of Glory will exempt him from paying the common Debt to Nature, but Death hath a Scythe which cuts off the most noble Lives; we ought not to intrust any Power with him, which we don’t think proper to be continued to his Successors, and doubtless our great Benefactor will not regret this, or any thing else that can reasonably be demanded in order to compleat Edition: current; Page: [10] that Deliverance so far advanced by his invincible Courage and Conduct; for to set us, like Moses, within View of the Promised Land, with a ne plus ultra, is the greatest of all Human Infelicities, and such I shall always take our Case to be, whilst a Standing Army must be kept up to prey upon our Entrails, and which must in the Hands of an ill Prince (which we have the Misfortune frequently to meet with) infallibly destroy our Constitution. And this is so evident and important a Truth, that no Legislator ever founded a free Government, but avoided this Caribdis, as a Rock against which his Commonwealth must certainly be shipwrack’d, as the Israelites, Athenians, Corinthians, Achaians, Lacedemonians, Thebans, Samnites, and Romans; none of which Nations whilst they kept their Liberty were ever known to maintain any Soldiers in constant Pay within their Cities, or ever suffered any of their Subjects to make War their Profession; well knowing that the Sword and Sovereignty always march Hand in Hand, and therefore they trained their own Citizens and the Territories about them perpetually in Arms, and their whole Commonwealths by this Means became so many several formed Militias: A general Exercise of the best of their People in the Use of Arms, was the only Bulwark of their Liberties; this was reckon’d the surest Way to preserve them both at home and abroad, the People being secured thereby as well against the Domestick Affronts of any of their own Citizens, as against the Foreign Invasions of ambitious and unruly Neighbours. Their Arms were never lodged in the Hands of any who had not an Interest in preserving the Public Peace, who fought pro Aris & Focis, and thought themselves sufficiently paid by repelling Invaders, that they might with Freedom return to their own Affairs. In those Days there was no Difference between the Citizen, the Soldier, and the Husbandman, for all promiscuously took Arms when the public Safety required it, and afterwards laid them down with more Alacrity than they took them up: So that we find amongst the Romans the best and bravest of their Generals came from the Plough, contentedly returning when the Work was over, and never demanded their Triumphs till they had laid down their Commands, Edition: current; Page: [11] and reduced themselves to the State of private Men. Nor do we find that this famous Commonwealth ever permitted a Deposition of their Arms in any other Hands, till their Empire increasing, Necessity constrained them to erect a constant stipendiary Soldiery abroad in Foreign Parts, either for the holding or winning of Provinces: Then Luxury increasing with Dominion, the strict Rule and Discipline of Freedom soon abated, and Forces were kept at home, which soon prov’d of such dangerous Consequence, that the People were forced to make a Law to employ them at a convenient Distance; which was, that if any General marched over the River Rubicon, he should be declar’d a public Enemy; and in the Passage of that River this following Inscription was erected, Imperator five miles, five Tyrannus armatus quisquis fistito, vexillumque armaque doponito, nec citra hunc amnem trajicito: And this made Cesar when he had presumed to pass this River, to think of nothing but pressing on to the total Oppression of the Empire, which he shortly after obtained.

Nor, as I said before, did any Nation deviate from these Rules but they lost their Liberty; and of this kind there are infinite Examples, out of which I shall give a few in several Ages, which are most known, and occur to every one’s Reading.

The first Example I shall give is of Pisistratus, who artificially prevailing with the Athenians to allow him fifty Guards for the Defence of his Person, he so improved that Number, that he seiz’d upon the Castle and Government, destroy’d the Commonwealth, and made himself Tyrant of Athens.

The Corinthians being in Apprehension of their Enemies, made a Decree for four hundred Men to be kept to defend their City, and gave Tymophanes the Command over them, who overturned their Government, cut off all the principal Citizens, and proclaim’d himself King of Corinth.

Agathocles being the Captain-General of the Syracusians, got such an Interest in the Army, that he cut all the Senators to pieces, and the richest of the People, and made himself their King.

Edition: current; Page: [12]

The Romans for fear of the Teutones and Cimbri, who like vast Inundations threatned their Empire, chose Marius their General, and, contrary to the Constitution of their Government, continued him five Years in his Command, which gave him such Opportunity to insinuate, and gain an Interest in their Army, that he oppressed their Liberty; and to this were owing all the Miseries, Massacres, and Ruins which that City suffered under him and Sylla, who made the best Blood in the World run like Water in the Streets of Rome, and turn’d the whole City into a Shambles of the Nobility, Gentry and People.

The same Thing enabled Cesar totally to overthrow that famous Commonwealth; for the Prolongation of his Commission in Gaul gave him an Opportunity to debauch his Army, and then upon a pretended Disgust he marched to Rome, drove out the Senators, seiz’d the Treasury, fought their Forces, and made himself perpetual Dictator.

Olivarotto di Fermo desired Leave of his Fellow-Citizens, that he might be admitted into their Town with a hundred Horse of his Companions; which being granted, he put to the Sword all the principal Citizens, and proclaim’d himself their Prince.

Francis Sforza being General of the Milanese, usurped upon them, and made himself Duke of Milan.

After Christiern the Second King of Denmark had conquer’d Sweden, he invited all the Senators and Nobility to a magnificent Entertainment, where after he had treated them highly for two Days, he most barbarously butcher’d them: None escaped this Massacre but the brave Gustavus Ericson, who was then a Prisoner; but he afterwards escaping through a thousand Difficulties, by his good Fortune, Courage and Conduct, drove the Danes out of Sweden, and restor’d the Swedes to their antient Kingdom. Nothing then was thought too great for their generous Deliverer, every Mouth was full of his Praises, and by the Universal Voice of the People he was chosen their King; and to consummate the last Testimony of their Gratitude, they trusted him with an Army: but they soon found their Mistake, for it cost them their Liberty; and having granted that Edition: current; Page: [13] unum magnum, it was too late to dispute any thing else: His Successors having been pleased to take all the rest, and now they remain the miserable Examples of too credulous Generosity.

The Story of Denmark is so generally known, and so well related by a late excellent Author, that it would be Impertinence in me to repeat it; only this I will observe, that if the King had not had an Army at his Command, the Nobles had never delivered up their Government.

Our Countryman Oliver Cromwel turned out that Parliament under which he served, and who had got Immortal Honour through the whole World by their great Actions; and this he effected by the Assistance of an Army, which must be allowed to have had as much Virtue, Sobriety, and publick Spirit, as hath been been known in the World since amongst that Sort of Men.

The last Instance I shall give, is of a French Colony, as I remember in the West-Indies, who having War with the neighbouring Indians, and being tired in their March with the Extremity of Heat, made their Slaves carry their Arms, who taking that Opportunity fell upon them, and cut them to Pieces: A just Punishment for their Folly. And this will always be the Fate of those that trust their Arms out of their own Hands: For it is a ridiculous Imagination to conceive Men will be Servants, when they can be Masters. And as Mr. Harrington, judiciously observes, whatever Nation suffers their Servants to carry their Arms, their Servants will make them hold their Trenchers.

Some People object, that the Republicks of Venice and Holland are Instances to disprove my Assertion, who both keep great Armies, and yet have not lost their Liberty. I answer, that neither keep any standing Forces within the Seats of their Government, that is, within the City of Venice, or the great Towns of the United Provinces; but they defend these by their own Burghers, and quarter their Mercenaries in their conquered Countries, viz. the Venetians, in Greece, and the Continent of Italy, and the Dutch in Brabant and Flanders; and the Situation of these States makes their Armies, so posted, not dangerous to them; for the Venetians cannot be attacked without a Fleet, nor the Dutch be ever conquered by their own Edition: current; Page: [14] Forces, their Country being so full of strong Towns, fortified both by Art and Nature, and defended by their own Citizens, that it would be a fruitless Attempt for their own Armies to invade them; for if they should march against any of their Cities, ’tis but shutting up their Gates, and the Design is spoiled.

But if we admit that an Army might be consistent with Freedom in a Commonwealth, yet it is otherwise in a free Monarchy; for in the former ’tis wholly in the Disposal of the People, who nominate, appoint, discard, and punish the Generals and Officers as they think fit, and ’tis certain Death to make any Attempt upon their Liberties; whereas in the latter, the King is perpetual General, may model the Army as he pleases, and it will be called High-treason to oppose him.

And though some Princes, as the Family of the Medicis, Lewis the XIth, and others laid the Foundation of their Tyrannies without the immediate Assistance of an Army, yet they all found an Army necessary to establish them; or otherwise a little Experience in the People or the Change of their Condition, would have made them disgorge in a Day, that ill-gotten Power they had been acquiring for an Age.

This Subject is so self-evident, that I am almost asham’d to prove it: For if we look through the World, we shall find in no Country, Liberty and an Army stand together; so that to know whether a People are Free or Slaves, it is necessary only to ask, whether there is an Army kept amongst them? And the Solution of that preliminary Question resolves the Doubt: As we see in China, India, Tartary, Persia, Ethiopia, Turkey, Morocco, Muscovy, Austria, France, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Tuscany, and all the little Principalities, of Germany and Italy, where the People live in the most abandoned Slavery; and in Countries where no Armies are kept within the Seat of their Government, the People are free, as Poland, Biscay, Switzerland, the Grisons, Venice, Holland, Genoa, Geneva, Ragusa, Algiers, Tunis, Hamborough, Lubeck, all the free Towns in Germany, and England and Scotland before the late Reigns. This Truth is so obvious, that the most barefaced Advocates for an Army do not directly deny it, but qualify the Matter by telling us, that Edition: current; Page: [15] a Number not exceeding fifteen or twenty thousand Men are a Handful to so populous a Nation as this: Now I think that Number will bring as certain Ruin upon us, as if they were as many Millions, and I will give my Reasons for it.

It is the Misfortune of all Countries, that they sometimes lie under an unhappy Necessity to defend themselves by Arms against the Ambition of their Governors, and to fight for what’s their own; for if a Prince will rule us with a Rod of Iron, and invade our Laws and Liberties, and neither be prevailed upon by our Miseries, Supplications, or Tears, we have no Power upon Earth to appeal to, and therefore must patiently submit to our Bondage, or stand upon our own Defence; which if we are enabled to do, we shall never be put upon it, but our Swords may grow rusty in our Hands: For that Nation is surest to live in Peace, that is most capable of making War; and a Man that hath a Sword by his Side, shall have least occasion to make use of it. Now I say, if the King hath twenty thousand Men before hand with us, or much less than half that Number, the People can make no Effort to defend their Liberties, without the Assistance of a Foreign Power, which is a Remedy most commonly as bad as the Disease; and if we have not a Power within ourselves to defend our Laws, we have no Government.

For England being a small Country, few strong Towns in it, and those in the King’s Hands, the Nobility disarmed by the Destruction of Tenures, and the Militia not to be raised but by the King’s Command, there can be no Force levied in any Part of England, but must be destroyed in its Infancy by a few Regiments: For what will three or four thousand naked and unarm’d Men signify against as many Troops of mercenary Soldiers? What if they should come into the Field, and say you must choose these and these Men your Representatives; where is your Choice? What if they should say, Parliaments are seditious and factious Assemblies, and therefore ought to be abolished; what is become of your Freedom? Or if they should encompass the Parliament-house, and threaten if they do not surrender up their Government, they will put them to the Sword; what is become of the Edition: current; Page: [16] old English Constitution? These Things may be, and have been done in several Parts of the World: What is it that causeth the Tyranny of the Turks at this Day, but Servants in Arms? What is it that preserved the glorious Commonwealth of Rome, but Swords in the Hands of its Citizens?

And if besides this, we consider the great Prerogatives of the Crown, and the vast Interest the King has and may acquire by the Distribution of so many profitable Offices of the Houshold, of the Revenue, of State, of Law, of Religion, and the Navy, together with the Assistance of a powerful Party, who have been always the fast and constant Friends to arbitrary Power, whose only Quarrel to his present Majesty is, that he has knocked off the Chains and Fetters they thought they had locked fast upon us; a Party, who hath once engaged us in an unhappy Quarrel amongst ourselves (the Consequence of which I dread to name) and since in a tedious and chargeable War, at the vast Expence of Blood and Treasure, to avoid that Captivity they had prepared for us: I say, if any one considers this, he will be convinced that we have enough to do to guard ourselves against the Power of the Court, without having an Army thrown into the Scale against us: And we have found oftner than once, by too fatal Experience the Truth of this; for if we look back to the late Reigns, we shall see this Nation brought to the Brink of Destruction, and Breathing out the last Gasp of their Liberty; and it is more owing to our good Fortune, than to any Effort we were able to make, that we escaped the fatal Blow.

And I believe no Man will deny, but if Charles the First had had five thousand Men before hand with us, the People had never struck a Stroke for their Liberties; or if the late King James would have been contented with Arbitrary Power without bringing in Popery, both he and his Black-Guards would have bound us Hand and Foot before this Time: But when their ill contrived Oppression came Home to their own Doors, they quickly shewed the World how different a Thing it was to suffer themselves, and to make other People suffer, and so we came by our Deliverance; and though the late King had the Nobility, Gentry, Clergy, People, and his own Army Edition: current; Page: [17] against him, and we had a very wise and couragious Prince nearly related to the Crown, and backed by a powerful State, for our Protector, yet we account this Revolution next to a Miracle.

I will add here, that most of the Nations I instanced before were enslaved by small Armies: Oliver Cromwel left behind him but 17000 Men; and the Duke of Monmouth, who was the Darling of the People, was suppressed with two thousand; nay, Cæsar seized Rome itself with five thousand, and fought the Battle of Pharsalia, where the Fate of the World was decided, with twenty two thousand; and most of the Revolutions of the Roman and Ottoman Empires since, were caused by the Pretorian Bands, and the Court Janizaries; the former of which never exceeded eight, nor the latter twelve thousand Men: And if no greater Numbers could make such Disturbances in those vast Empires, what will double the Force do with us? And they themselves confess it, when they argue for an Army; for they tell us we may be surprized with ten or fifteen thousand Men from France, and having no regular Force to oppose them, they will over-run the Kingdom. Now if so small a Force can oppose the King, the Militia, with the united Power of the Nobility, Gentry and Commons, what will an equal Power do against the People, when supported by the Royal Authority, and a never failing Interest that will attend it, except when it acts for the publick Good?

But we are told this Army is not design’d to be made a Part of our Constitution, but to be kept only for a little Time, till the Circumstances of Europe will better permit us to be without them. But I would know of these Gentlemen, when they think that Time will be? Will it be during the Life of King James, or after his Death? Shall we have less to fear from the Youth and Vigour of the pretended Prince of Wales, than now from an unhappy Man sinking under the Load of Age and Misfortunes? Or will France be more capable of offending us just after this tedious and consumptive War, than hereafter, when it has had a breathing Time to repair the Calamities it has suffered by it? No: We can never disband our Army with so much Safety as at this Time; and this is well known by these Conspirators against their Country, who are satisfied Edition: current; Page: [18] that a Continuation of them now, is an Establishment of them for ever: For whilst the Circumstances of Europe stand in the present Posture, the Argument will be equal to continue them; if the State of Europe should alter to the Advantage of France, the Reason will grow stronger, and we shall be told we must increase our Number: But if there should be such a Turn of Affairs in the World, that we were no longer in Apprehension of the French Power, they may be kept up without our Assistance; nay, the very Discontents they may create shall be made an Argument for the continuing of them. But if they should be kept from oppressing the People, in a little Time they will grow habitual to us, and almost become a Part of our Constitution, and by Degrees we shall be brought to believe them not only not dangerons, but necessary; for every Body sees, but few understand, and those few will never be able to persuade the Multitude that there is any Danger in those Men they have lived quietly with for some Years, especially when the disbanding them will (as they will be made believe) cost them more Money out of their own Pockets to maintain a Militia, and of this we have had already an unhappy Experience. For Charles the Second being connived at in keeping a few Guards (which were the first ever known to an English King besides his Pensioners, and his Beefeaters) he insensibly increased their Number, till he left a Body of Men to his Successor, great enough to tell the Parliament, he would be no longer bound by the Laws he had sworn to; and under the Shelter and Protection of these he raised an Army that had put a Period to our Government, if a Complication of Causes (which may never happen again) had not presented the Prince of Orange with a Conjuncture to assert his own and the Nation’s Rights. And though we have so lately escaped this Precipice, yet Habit has made Soldiers so familiar to us, that some who pretend to be zealous for Liberty, speak of it as a Hardship to his present Majesty, to refuse him as many Men as his Predecessors, not considering that the raising them then was a Violation of our Laws, and that his Government is built upon the Destruction of theirs, and can no more stand upon the same Rubbish, than the Kingdom of Heaven be founded in Unrighteousness.

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But the Conspirators say, we need be in no Apprehensions of Slavery, whilst we keep the Power of the Purse in our own Hands: Which is very true; but they do not tell us that he has the Power of raising Money, to whom no one dares refuse it.

  • Arma tenenti
  • Omniu dat qui justa negat.

For ’tis as certain that an Army will raise Money, as that Money will raise an Army; but if this Course be too desperate, ’tis but shutting up the Exchequer, and disobligeing a few Tally-Jobbers (who have bought them for fifty per Cent. Discount) and there will be near three Millions a Year ready cut and dryed for them: And whoever doubts whether such a Method as this is practicable, let him look back to the Reign of Charles the Second. And I am afraid the Officers of the Exchequer have not much reason to value themselves for their Payments in this Reign: At least the Purchasers of the Annuities are of that Opinion, and would be apt to entertain some unseasonable Suspicions, if they had not greater Security from his Majesty’s Virtue, than the Justice of such Ministers. But if we could suppose (whatever is the Fate of other Countries) that our Courtiers design Nothing but the Publick Good, yet we ought not to hazard such unusual Virtue by leading it into Temptation, which is Part of our daily Duty to pray against. But I am afraid we do not live in an Age of Miracles, especially of that Sort; our Heroes are made of a coarser Allay, and have too much Dross mixed with their Constitutions for such refined Principles: For in the little Experience I have had in the World, I have observed most Men to do as much Mischief as lay in their Power, and therefore am for dealing with them as we do with Children and mad Men, that is take away all Weapons by which they may do either themselves or others an Injury: As I think the Sheep in Boccaline made a prudent Address to Apollo, when they desired, that for the future Wolves might have no Teeth.

When all other Arguments fail, they call to their Assistance the old Tyrant Necessity, and tell us the Power Edition: current; Page: [20] of France is so great, that let the Consequence of an Army be what it will, we cannot be without one; and if we must be Slaves, we had better be so to a Protestant Prince than a Popish one, and the worst of all Popish ones the F——— King. Now I am of Mr. Johnson’s Opinion, that the putting an Epithet upon Tyranny is false Heraldry; for Protestant and Popish are both alike; and if I must be a Slave, it is very indifferent to me who is my Master, and therefore I shall never consent to be ruled by an Army, which is the worst that the most barbarous Conquest can impose upon me; which notwithstanding we have little reason to fear whilst we keep the Seas well guarded.

It is certain there is no Country so situated for Naval Power as England. The Sea is our Element, our Seamen have as much hardy Bravery, and our Ships are as numerous, and built of as good Materials as any in the World: Such a Force well applied, and managed, is able to give Laws to the Universe; and if we keep a competent Part of it well armed in Times of Peace, it is the most ridiculous Thing in Nature to believe any Prince will have Thoughts of invading us, unless he proposes to be superior to us in Naval Power: For the Preparations necessary for such an Undertaking will alarm all Europe, give both to us and our Confederates Time to arm, and put ourselves in a Posture of Defence. And whoever considers that the Prince of Orange with six hundred Ships, brought but fourteen thousand Men, and the mighty Spanish Armado (then the Terror of the World) imbarked but eighteen thousand, he will be assured that no Invasion can be so sudden upon us, but we shall have time to get ready our whole Fleet, bring some Forces from Scotland and Ireland, and prepare our own Militia if there shall be Occasion for it; especially in Times of Peace, when we shall have the Liberty of all the Ports of France, and shall, or may, have Intelligence from every one of them.

But they tell us such a Wind may happen as may be favourable to our Enemy, and keep us within our own Ports; which I say, as France lies to England, is almost impossible: For if we lie about Falmouth, or the Land’s End, no Fleet from Brest, or the Ocean, can escape us Edition: current; Page: [21] without a Miracle; and if the Design be to invade us from any Port in the Channel, a very few Ships (which may safely lie at Anchor) will certainly prevent it: Nor is it to be conceived that that cautious Prince will be at a vast Expence for the Contingency of such a critical Wind, or will send an Army into a Country where their Retreat is certainly cut off, when the failing in any Part of his Design will bring a new War upon him, which lately cost a third Part of his People, a great many large Countries, and strong Towns, with all the Honour he had heaped up by his former Victories, to get rid of.

And here I must confess, that the Misapplication of our Naval Foree (which is our known Strength) for these last eight Years, is the strongest, as it is the most usual Argument against me: Which unriddles a Mystery I did not understand before, though I never was so foolish as to believe all the Errors of that Kind were the Effects of Chance or Ignorance, or that losing so many Opportunities of destroying the French Fleet had not some extraordinary, though occult Cause; and yet, notwithstanding the restless Attempts of our Enemies, and the paltry Politicks of our own wretched St———n, this Fleet triumphantly defended us, so that our Enemies in eight Years War, could not get one Opportunity of invading our Country.

It is objected, that the Officers of our Fleet may be corrupted, or that a Storm may arise which may destroy it all at once, and therefore we ought to have two Strings to our Bow. By which I perceive all their Fears lie one way, and that they do not care if they precipitate us into inevitable Ruin at Home, to prevent a distant Possibility of it from France. But I think this Phantom too may be laid by a well-trained Militia, and then all their Bugbears will vanish. This Word can be no sooner out, but there is a Volley of small Shot let fly at me: What must we trust our Safety to an undisciplined Mob, who never dreamt of fighting, when they undertook the Service; who are not inured to the Fatigue of a Camp, or ever saw the Face of an Enemy? And then they magnify mercenary Troops, as if there was an intrinsick Virtue in a Red-coat, or that a Raggamuffin from robbing of Henroosts, in two Campaigns could be cudgeled into a Edition: current; Page: [22] Hero. Tho’ I must confess the Conduct of the Court in industriousty enervating this Force, does in some measure justify their Objections: For the detestable Policie of the last Reigns were with the utmost Art and Application to disarm the People, and make the Militia useless, to countenance a Standing Army in order to bring in Popery and Slavery; and if any Methods were proposed to make it more serviceable, the Court would never suffer them to be debated; and such Officers as were more zealous in exercising their Companies than others, were reprimanded, as if they design’d to raise a Rebellion. And now the worthy Patriots of this Reign are taking Advantage of the traiterous Neglect and infamous Policies of the last. But why may not a Militia be made useful? Why may not the Nobility, Gentry, and Freeholders of England be trusted with the Defence of their own Lives, Estates and Liberties, without having Guardians and Keepers assign’d them? And why may they not defend them with as much Vigour and Courage as Mercenaries who have nothing to lose, nor any other Tie to engage their Fidelity, than the inconfiderable Pay of Six-pence a-day, which they may have from the Conqueror?

Why may not the Laws for shooting in Crossbows be changed into Firelocks, and a competent Number of them be kept in every Parish for the young Men to exercise with on Holidays, and Rewards offered to the most expert, to stir up their Emulation?

Why may not the whole Militia of England be reduced to sixty thousand, and a third part of those kept by turns in constant Exercise?

Why may not a Man be listed in the Militia till he be discharged by his Master, as well as in the Army till he be discharged by his Captain? And why may not the same Horse be always sent forth, unless it can be made appear he is dead or maimed?

Why may not the private Soldiers of the Army, when they are dispersed in the several Parts of the Kingdom, be sent to the Militia? And why may not the inferior Officers of the Army in some proportion command them?

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I say, these and other like Things may be done, and some of them are done in our own Plantations, and the Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, as also in Poland, Switzerland, and the Country of the Grisons; which are Nations much less considerable than England, have as formidable Neighbours, no Sea nor Fleet to defend them, nothing but a Militia to depend upon, and yet no one dares attack them: And we have seen as great Performances done formerly by the Apprentices of London, and in the late War by the Vaudois in Savoy, the Miquelets in Catalonia, and the Militia in Ireland, as can be parallel’d in History: And so it would be with us, if the Court would give their hearty Assistance in promoting this Design; if the King would appear in Person at the Head of them, and give Rewards and Honour to such as deserve them, we should quickly see the young Nobility and Gentry appear magnificent in Arms and Equipage, shew a generous Emulation in outvying one another in Military Exercises, and place a noble Ambition in making themselves serviceable to their Country; as anciently the Achaians and Thebans from being the most contemptible Nations in Greece, by the Conduct of Pelopidas, Epamonidas, and Philopemen, came to have the best disciplin’d Troops and most excellent Soldiers in the World.

They object, that such a Militia as this is a Standing Army, and will be as dangerous, and much more chargeable. I answer;

That there can be no Danger from an Army where the Nobility and chief Gentry of England are the Commanders, and the Body of it made up of the Freeholders, their Sons and Servants; unless we can conceive that the Nobility and Gentry will join in an unnatural Design to make void their own Titles to their Estates and Liberties: And if they could entertain so ridiculous a Proposition, they would never he obeyed by the Soldiers, who will have a Respect to those who send them forth and pay them, and to whom they must return again when their Time is expired. For if I send a Man, I will as surely choose one who shall fight for me, as a Mercenary Officer will choose one that shall fight against me; and the late Governments are Witnesses to the Truth Edition: current; Page: [24] of this, who debauched the Militia more than ever I hope to see it again, and yet durst never rely upon them to assist their Arbitrary Designs; as we may remember in the Duke of Monmouth’s Invasion, their Officers durst not bring them near his Army for fear of a Revolt. Nay, the Pensioner-Parliament themselves turn’d short upon the Court, when they expected them to give the finishing Stroke to our Ruin.

To the last Part of the Objection, That this Militia will be more chargeable than an Army; I answer, That since (as I suppose) no Man proposes wholly to lay them aside; if we add the extraordinary Expence of maintaining twenty thousand Men to the ordinary Charge of the Militia, it is much more than sufficient to make the latter useful. But if this Objection were true, it ought not to enter into Competition with the Preservation of our Laws and Liberties; for it is better to give a third Part of my Estate, if it were necessary, than to have all taken from me.

And though it should be granted, that a Militia is not as serviceable as an Army kept to constant Discipline, yet I believe these Gentlemen themselves will confess, that sixty thousand of them trained as before, are as good as twenty thousand of their standing Troops, which is the Question; for it’s impossible to have them both useful at the same Time, they being as incompatible as broad and clipt Money, never current together; and therefore the Court must depend wholly upon a Militia, or else they will not depend upon them at all. And this by the Way may silence that Objection, that we must keep our Army till the Militia be disciplin’d; for that will never be done whilst the Court has an Army: and the same Objection will be made seven Years hence as now; so that a small Army can be of no Use to us, but to make our Fleet neglected, to hinder the Militia from being trained, and enslave us at home; for they are too few to defend us against an Invasion, and too many for the People to oppose.

I dare speak with the greater Assurance upon this Subject, having the Authority of as great Men as the World hath produced for my Justification. Machiavel spends several Chapters to prove, that no Prince or State ought Edition: current; Page: [25] to suffer any of their Subjects to make War their Profession, and that no Nation can be secure with any other Forces than a settled Militia. My Lord Bacon in several Places bears his Testimony against a Standing Army, and particularly he tells us, that a Mercenary Army is fittest to invade a Country, but a Militia to defend it; because the first have Estates to get, and the latter to protect. Mr. Harrington hath founded his whole Oceana upon a trained Militia; and I have lately read a French Book, called a History of the Politicks of France, which says, Enfin si on veut ruiner Les Anglois il suffit de les obliger a tenir des Troupes sur pied. Nay, I believe no Author ever treated of a Free Government, that did not express his Abhorrence of an Army; for, as my Lord Bacon says, whoever does use them, though he may spread his Feathers for a Time, he will mew them soon after; and raise them with what Design you please, yet, like the West-India Dogs, in Boccaline, in a little Time they will certainly turn Sheep-biters.

Perhaps it will be said, that the Artillery of the World is changed since some of these wrote, and War is become more a Mystery, and therefore more Experience is necessary to make good Soldiers. But wherein does this Mystery consist? not in exercising a Company, and obeying a few Words of Command; these are Mysteries that the dullest Noddle will comprehend in a few Weeks. Nay, I have heard that the modern Exercise is much shorter and easier than the Antient. But the great Improvements in War are in regular Encampments, Fortification, Gunnery, skilful Engineering, &c. These are Arts not to be learned without much Labour, and Experience, and are as much gained in the Closet as in the Field; and I suppose no Man will say, that the keeping Standing Forces is necessary to make a good Engineer.

As to actual Experience in War, that is not essential either to a Standing Army or a Militia, as such; but the former may be without it, and the latter gain it according as they have Opportunities of Action. ’Tis true, at present the Army hath been trained up in a long War, and hath gained great Knowledge: But these Men will not be lost when they are disbanded, they will be still in England; and if the Parliament does give them a Gratuity Edition: current; Page: [26] suitable to the Service they have done their Country, will be ready to resume their Arms whenever Occasion offers.

But I desire to know of these Patriots how comes an Army necessary to our Preservation now, and never since the Conquest before? Did ever the prevailing Party in the Wars of York and Lancaster attempt to keep up a Standing Army to support themselves? No: They had more Sense than to sacrifice their own Liberty, and more Honour than to enslave their Country, the more easily to carry on their own Faction. Were not the Spaniards as powerful, as good Soldiers, and as much our Enemies, as the French are now? Was not Flanders as near us as France? And the popish Interest in Queen Elizabeth’s Time as strong as the Jacobite is now? And yet that most excellent Princess never dreamt of a Standing Army, but thought her surest Empire was to reign in the Hearts of her Subjects, which the following Story sufficiently testifies. When the Duke of Alanson came over to England, and for some Time had admired the Riches of the City, the Conduct of her Government, and the Magnificence of her Court, he asked her amidst so much Splendor where were her Guards? Which Question she resolved a few Days after as she took him in her Coach through the City, when pointing to the People, (who received her in Crowds with repeated Acclamations) These, said she, my Lord, are my Guards; These have their Hands, their Hearts, and their Purses always ready at my Command: And these were Guards indeed, who defended her thro’ a long and successful Reign of forty four Years against all the Machinations of Rome, the Power of Spain, a disputed Title, and the perpetual Conspiracies of her own Popish Subjects; a Security the Roman Emperors could not boast of, with their Pretorian Bands, and their Eastern and Western Armies.

Were not the French as powerful in Charles the Second and King James’s Time, as they are after this long and destructive War, and a less Alliance to oppose them? And yet we then thought a much less Army, than is now contended for, a most insupportable Grievance; insomuch that in Charles the Second’s Reign, the Grand-Jury presented them, and the Pensioner Parliament voted them to Edition: current; Page: [27] be a Nusance, sent Sir Jos. Wil———son to the Tower, for saying, the King might keep Guards for the Defence of his Person, and addressed to have them disbanded. And now our Apostates would make their Court, by doing what the worst Parliament ever England saw, could not think of without Horror and Confusion. They say the King of France was in League with our late Kings, so he is with us; and he would have broke it then, if he had thought it safe, and for his Interest as much as now. But they say we have more disaffected Persons to join with him; which I must deny, for I believe no King of England, in any Age, had deservedly more Interest than the Present, and if during such an expensive War, in which we have consumed so much Blood and Treasure, paid such vast and unequal Taxes, lost so many thousand Ships, and bore a Shock by recoining our Money, which would have torn up another Nation from its Foundation, and reduced it to its ancient Chaos, when most Countries would have sunk under the Misfortune, and repined at their Deliverance, (as Men in Sickness commonly quarrel with their dearest Friends) I say, if at that Time he had so great and universal an Interest, there can be no doubt but in Times of Peace, when the People reap the Fruits of that Courage and Conduct he hath shewn in their Defence, he will be the most beloved and glorious Prince that ever filled the English Throne.

I will make one Assertion more, and then conclude this Discourse, viz. That the most likely Way of restoring King James, is maintaining a Standing Army to keep him out.

For the King’s Safety stands upon a Rock, while it depends upon the solid Foundation of the Affections of the People, which is never to be shaken, till it is as evident as the Sun in the Firmament, that there is a formed Design to overthrow our Laws and Liberties; but if we keep a standing Army, all depends upon the uncertain and capricious Humours of the Soldiery, which in all Ages have produced more violent and sudden Revolutions, than ever have been known in unarmed Governments: For there is such a Chain of Dependance among them, that if two or three of the chief Officers should be disobliged, or have Intrigues with Jacobite Mistresses; Edition: current; Page: [28] or if the King of France could once again buy his Pensioners into the Court or Army, or offer a better Market to some that are in already, we shall have another Rehearsal Revolution, and the People be only idle Spectators of their own Ruin. And whosoever considers the Composition of an Army, and doubts this, let him look back to the Roman Empire, where he will find out of twenty-six Emperors, sixteen deposed and murdered by their own Armies; nay, Half the History of the World is made up of Examples of this Kind: But we need not go any farther than our own Country, where we have but twice kept Armies in Times of Peace, and both Times they turned out their own Masters. The first under Cromwell, expelled that Parliament under which they had fought successfully for many Years; afterwards under General Monk they destroyed the Government they before set up, and brought back Charles the Second, and he afterwards disbanded them, left they might have turned him out again. The other Instance is fresh in every one’s Memory, how King James’s Army joined with the Prince of Orange, now our rightful and lawful King. And what could have been expected otherwise from Men of dissolute and debauched Principles, who call themselves Soldiers of Fortune? Who make Murder their Profession, and enquire no farther into the Justice of the Cause, than how they shall be paid; who must be false, rapacious, and cruel in their own Defence. For having no other Profession or Subsistence to depend upon, they are forced to stir up the Ambition of Princes, and engage them in perpetual Quarrels, that they may share of the Spoils they make. Such Men, like some Sort of ravenous Fish, fare best in a Storm; and therefore we may reasonably suppose they will be better pleased with the Tyrannical Government of the late King, than the mild and gracious Administration of his present Majesty, who came over to England to rescue us from Oppression, and he has done it, and triumphs in it in Spight of his Enemies.

In this Discourse I have purposely omitted speaking of the lesser Inconveniences attending a Standing Army, such as frequent Quarrels, Murder, and Robberies; the Destruction of all the Game in the Country; the Quartering upon Publick, and sometimes private Houses; the Influencing Elections of Parliament, by an artificial Distribution Edition: current; Page: [29] of Quarters; the rendering so many Men useless to Labour, and almost Propogation, together with a much greater Destruction of them, by taking them from a labourious Way of Living, to a loose idle Life; and besides this, the Insolence of the Officers, and the Debaucheries that are committed both by them, and their Soldiers in all the Towns they come in, to the Ruin of Multitudes of Women, Dishonour of their Families, and ill Example to others; and a numerous Train of Mischiefs besides, almost endless to enumerate. These are trivial as well as particular Grievances in respect of those I have treated about, which strike at the Heart’s Blood of our Constitution, and therefore I thought these not considerable enough to bear a Part in a Discourse of this Nature: Besides, they often procure their own Remedy, working Miracles, and making some Men see that were born Blind, and impregnable against all the Artillery of Reason; for Experience is the only Mistress of Fools: A wise Man will know a Pike will bite, when he sees his Teeth, which another will not make Discovery of but by the Loss of a Finger.

What I have said here against Standing Armies, I would be understood of such as are the Instruments of Tyranny and their Country’s Ruin, and therefore I need make no Apology to our own which was raised by the Consent of the Parliament, in this just and necessary War, and next under God and our Great and glorious Deliverer, have by their Bravery and Conduct preserxed our Liberties, and the Protestant Religion through Europe. For if in future Reigns any Designs should be levelled against our Laws, we may be assured these Men would be discarded, and others promoted in their Rooms, who are fit for such arbitrary Purposes.

Nor do I think it reasonable that our Army should be ruined by that Peace, which by their Courage and Fidelity they have procured for their Country; and I doubt not but the Generosity and Gratitude of the Parliament will give them a Donative equal to their Commissions, which, when the Foreigners are paid and sent Home, will amount to no extraordinary Sum; at most, ’tis but supposing the War to have six Months longer Continuance, which is an easy Composition for the Charge of Edition: current; Page: [30] keeping them. But if there are any Gentlemen amongst them who think we can no otherwise express our Gratitude, by signing and sealing our own Ruin, I hope we shall disappoint their Expectations, and not give the World occasion to tell so foolish a Story of us, as that we turned to grass one of the most powerful Monarchs in the World for breaking our Laws, that we have maintained an eight Years War, at the Expence of forty Millions of Money, and the Blood of three hundred thousand Men, to justify the glorious Action we have done; that by it we preserved all Europe besides, and lost our own Liberties; at least I hope it shall not be said we consented to it.

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the second part of an Argument, Shewing, that a Standing Army Is inconsistent with a Free Government, and absolutely destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy. With Remarks on the late published LIST of King James’s Irish Forces in France.
Anno 1697.


THE following Considerations were written, and designed to be published soon after the Argument against a Standing Army appeared. But a Report being given ont, That the Advocates for a Standing Army would do Wonders on that Subject, ’twas thought convenient to expect Their Atchievements, that if their Success should prove in any measure answerable to their Confidence, the Publick might have been no farther importuned about the Matter. I think I may justly say, This Mountain, after all its Pangs and Convulsions, has brought forth nothing but a ridiculous Mouse. And therefore I shall submit to the Judgment of all impartial Englishmen, what is here said in Confirmation of the Argument: Which I hope will be of greater Weight, because taken from our own History.

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WE have much Talk of a Standing Army which is to be in the Time of Peace, but no Body can tell us what they are to do: We know their usual Commission is to kill and slay; But where is the Enemy? Men talk of this with as much Certainty, as if they were already established. Which is yet the more surprising, if we reflect on one of the Articles of Charge against the late King James. It is plain therefore that all this is Practice, and that these bold Forestallers of Parliaments would fain enact without Doors, which from the Foundation of this Kingdom was never attempted within.

These Gentlemen are also pleased to affirm it necessary to have a vast Body of Forces continued on foot: Whereas the first Project we find for a Standing Army, in the Year 1629, requires only three thousand Foot in constant Pay, to bridle the Impertinence of Parliaments; to over-awe the Parliament and Nation; to make Edicts to be Laws; to force upon the People vast Numbers of Excises; and in short, to overturn the whole Frame of this noble English Government. Whoever has a Mind to peruse that dangerous Scheme in Rushworth’s Appendix, pag. 12. and what he says of it in his History, will see enough.

I marvel whose Advocates these Men are in this Matter: For I am satisfied none of those brave Englishmen, who have fought honourably abroad, ever meant, when the Service was over, to be a Charge, Burden and Terror at home to their own Country; nor to disfranchise Edition: current; Page: [33] us of two of our Native Liberties, Freedom from Martial Law, and Billetting of Soldiers; and thereby directly to take away from themselves, as well as from their Fellow-subjects, one half of the Benefit of the Petition of Right, and in consequence the other half too, The Freedom of their Persons and Estates.

I shall therefore consider of a Standing Army, without minding who is for it, or who is against it in this Age, and only shew what are like to be the Consequences of it in future Reigns. And I have Reason to do thus, because if the Parliament give the best King a Standing Army, the worst King shall hereafter claim and have it.

We have many Instances where Parliaments in a kind Fit, by one sudden Grant, have entailed a World of lasting Misery upon the Nation. I will mention but one; The Kingdom was newly delivered from a bitter Tyrant, I mean King John, and had likewise got rid of their perfidious Deliverer the Dauphin of Frauce; who after the English had accepted him for their King, had secretly vowed their Extirpation, which the(a) Viscount of Melun, a Frenchman, being at the Point of Death, disclosed; they were moreover blessed with a young Prince, of whom they conceived mighty Hopes, in the Hands of a very wise and honest Council. This was Life from the Dead, and a true Revolution. In the Transport of all this Happiness, about the 7th Year of this new King, Henry the Third, the Parliament granted him the Wardship of their Heirs, Knighton, p. 2430. records it thus; Magnates Angliæ concesserunt Regi Henrico Wardas Hæredum & terrarum suarum, quod fuit initium multorum malorum in Anglia. He says, this Grant was the Beginning of many Mischiefs in England. In the Year 1222 these Mischiefs had their Rise and Beginning; but where they ended, no old Chronicle could ever tell: For after this intolerable Bondage had continued above four hundred Years, the Nation at last ransomed themselves in our Time by giving the Excise. It is a Grief to all After ages to find a Parliament so miserably overseen, for they both mistook their Man; and the hopeful Prince proved as bad as if the very Soul of Edition: current; Page: [34] his Father John had passed into him, which is the common Character given him by all the Antient Historians: And then they utterly mistook the Nature of the Grant, and did not foresee what a Misery and Vassalage it might prove to their Posterity. I appeal to all the Antient Nobility and Gentry, who know any thing of the Affairs of their own Families, whether it was so or not: And yet these were honest and brave Men, who would rather have died than have been the Authors of so much Mischief: but they were led by false Appearances, that by having the King Guardian of their Children, they could not be wronged; they would have the best Education at Court, stand fair for future Preferment, and that a happier Provision for their Posterity could not be made: Neither could it, for the very Learning which this instructive Passage has given to their late Posterity, countervails all the Mischiefs that are past.

But the Advocates for a Standing Army tell us, That though the Wards by being annexed to the Crown, and so becoming a Prerogative, could not be parted with, which was the Cause of the long Continuance of that Mischief, after it was known and felt to be so; yet all this is cured by making the Act Temporary, and settling a Standing Army only during his Majesty’s Reign, or for Years, or they know not how. I find they have a great Mind to their Cucumber, for they are content to have it dressed and pickled any Way.

I answer, That succeeding Princes, if they find an Army, will keep it, and will not trouble themselves whether the Law be temporary or Perpetual. A plain Instance we have of this in the Customs: For tho’ Tunnage and Poundage, and the other Impositions, are a Subsidy and free Gift, and the King’s Answer to the Bill thanks the Subjects for their Good-wills. And though Parliaments have always used such Cautions and Limitations in those Grants, as might prevent any Claim, and heretofore limited them to a short Time, as for a Year or two; and if they were continued longer, they have directed a certain Space of Cessation, or Intermission, that so the Right of the Subject might be the more evident; at other times they have been granted upon Occasion of War for a certain Number of Years, with Proviso, Edition: current; Page: [35] that if the War were ended in the mean time, then the Grant should cease; and of course they have been sequestred into the Hands of some Subjects for the guarding of the Seas:

Notwithstanding all this, though the Parliament so carefully guarded their Grants, yet King Charles the First took this Subsidy without any Grant at all, for sixteen Years together; tho’ several Parliaments in the mean time forbad the Payment of it, and voted all those to be publick Enemies that did not refuse it. The like did his Son the late King James till his Parliament gave it him: and in his first Speech to them he demanded it as his own, by the Name of my Revenue. And why then shall not another Prince come and say the same. Give me my Army, if he ever have a Parliament to ask? To limit a Prince with Laws where there is an Army, is to bind Sampson with his Locks on.

Having made appear, that an Army now will be an Army always, I come in the next Place to show, what the Consequences of it will be, both by the Experience of former Ages, and by the Nature of the Thing.

In all Ages and Parts of the World, a Standing Army has been the never-failing Instrument of enslaving a Nation; which Richard the Second, (Walsing. pag. 354.) compassing to do here in England, accordingly used the Means. For the Safety of his Person, he assembled together (multos Malefactores) a great Number of profligate Persons out of the County of Chester, who should keep Watch and Ward continually about him in their Turns. This Life-guard of his consisted of four thousand Archers; who committed such Outrages amongst the People, over awed the Parliament, and aided him in his Tyrannical Proceedings in such a manner, as could not be believed, if it were not witnessed by a whole Parliament, and his own Confession,(b) Art. the 5th.

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In short, tho’ many of those Cheshire Men plunder’d and lived upon Free-quarter; beat, wounded, killed and ravished where-ever they came: Yet because they enabled him to execute all his cruel and arbitrary Designs in Parliament, he countenanced them in all their Crimes, as confiding in them, and trusting in their Defence of him against all the Realm beside: For which Cause all the Lieges of his Realm had great Matter of Commotion and Indignation.

This Parliament was in the 21st of his Reign, and in it the Frame of this English Government was quite destroyed. I need not shew in what Particulars, for that is done already by Bacon, and many other Lawyers. But in short, the King was made absolute, and the whole Power of Parliament, which might remedy Things afterwards, was given up: For it was made Treason for any Man to endeavour to repeal any of the Arbitrary Constitutions that were then made.

I am even ashamed, when I observe former Princes so zealous for oppressing and wronging a Nation, and so bent upon it, to reflect how cold and remiss many Subjects have been at all Times, and how unconcerned to preserve their indispensible Rights, which are the very Being both of themselves and their Posterity: To see King John ready to pawn his Soul, and offer Miramolim the Emperor of Morrocco to turn Turk, and to make his Kingdom tributary to him only, to get his Assistance to enslave this Nation and Subjects to take no Care of their English Liberties, which certainly are proved to be worth keeping by the Eagerness of bad Princes to take them away.

But to return to our Cheshire-men, and to the Parliament which they had in Charge, Sagittariis inumerabilibus Edition: current; Page: [37] vallato, walled about with an infinite number of Archers, as it is described Artic. 4. The Parliament was hereby so overawed, that in what they did were Magis timore Regis ducti quam mentium ratione,Walsing. led more by fear of the King than their Consciences; their Souls were not their own. And besides the Standing Awe and Terror which this Guard was to both Houses during their Session, their happened a Passage at last which put them all into a very great Fright: It is thus set down by Stow, p. 316. ‘And then licence being had to depart, a great stir was made, as is used; Whereupon the King’s Archers, in number 4000, compassed the Parliament House (thinking there had been in the House some Broil by fighting) with their Bows bent, their Arrows notched, and drawing ready to shoot, to the terror of all that were there; but the King herewith coming, pacified them.”

These Men did the King such acceptable Service, that he could do no less than make some return to his Implements, which he did in honouring Cheshire for their sakes. In this Session of Parliament he made it a Principality, Cap. 9. and himself Prince of Cheshire: And so as Bacon says, Countries go up, and Kingdoms go down: This had never risen again but by a happy Revolution, which followed in less than two Years. So much for the Cheshire-men.

But what signify the Proceedings of this villanous Crew to an Army, who are all of them Men of Honour, and perhaps in Parliament time shall be ordered a hundred Miles off? these cannot wall in, surround, begirt and beset a Parliament, nor consequently hinder it from being a Free Parliament. That I deny, for I hope such an Army may differ in Judgment, and can petition a Parliament at that distance; and we very well know that their Desires are always Commands. The Parliament in 41, long before there was any breach with the King, were in a fair way to have been petitioned out of doors by an Army 150 miles off, tho’ there was the Clog of a Scotch Army at the heels of them, who upon the least Motion would certainly have followed. And if Denzill Holles had not locked the Doors, and communicated the Matter to the House, who immediately fell upon the Officers Edition: current; Page: [38] that were Members, Colonel Ashburnham, Willmot, Pollard, &c. and quashed the Design, it had brought the whole Nation into great Confusion. The Petition of an Army is like that of the Cornish-men in Henry the Seventh’s Time; it is always a strong Petition.

Nay, an Army could not go out in this hnmble way to over-rule a Parliament. If they are in being, they influence; and in Cesar’s easy way they conquer, by looking on. The very Reputation of a Force to back them, will make all Court Proposals speak big, tho’ never so contrary to the Interest of the Nation. For there is no debating nor disputing against Legions. It will tempt them to do many things they durst not otheawise think of: What is much out of our reach, rarely is the Object of our Thoughts; but the Facility of Execution is generally the first Motives to an Attempt. Now it is abundantly the Interest of Court-Flatterers to live under a corrupt Reign. Then Bribes and Confiscations fill their Coffers. No Man’s Wife or Daughter is free from their Lust, or Estate from their Avarice. They extort Presents from the Nobility, Goods from the Tradesmen, and Labour from the Poor. In short, all is their own. And ’tis to be feared, these Gentlemen (unless they have more Vertue than usually falls to their Share) will put Princes upon such Counsels as promote their own Advantage. They will tell them how mean it is to be awed by a few Country Gentlemen, when all the Kings in Europe besides are got out of Pupilage, as Lowis XI called it. They will fill their heads with a thousand trifling Jealousies of Monsters, Commonwealths, and such like Bugbears: and it hath been difficult even for the wisest Princes to free themselves from this sort of Cattle. False Prophets shall arise that shall deceive even the Elect. Nothing but the Fear of Punishment, and the being made a Sacrifice to the People’s just Revenge, can make such Men honest: But if they have an Army to protect them, all these Considerations are laid aside, and all Arguments are answered in a Word, The King has an Army. The King has an Army, stops all Mouts, and cuts off all Reply. It is as if it should be said, Set your hearts at rest, for the King has all Power in his hands, and you have none: He has all your Estates, Lives and Liberties, under his Edition: current; Page: [39] Girdle: Slaves, and talk! The King has an Army, is a confuting Answer to every thing but a better Army, which Thanks be to God and his present Majesty we have found. But as we are not to live upon Miracles, so we are not to tempt Dangers.

I have stayed the longer upon this Point in shewing how inconsistent an Army is with the Freedom of Parliament, because they being the Keepers of our English Liberties, can ill perform that Office, when they have parted with their Power into other hands. They are the last Resort of the Subject for the Redress of their Grievances. But how shall they relieve the poor Royston-men, for instance, from the Oppression and Insolences of the Souldiery, when perhaps they shall be subject to the like themselves? The Projectors are aware of this terrible Inconvenience, and therefore they propose an Expedient, That it shall be the King’s Army, but the Parliament shall have the paying of them; whereby they shall be as much the Parliament’s humble Servants as the Parliament their proper Masters.

Much at one I believe. For the Long Parliament had not such a King and Parliament Army as this, but an Army that was all their own, their Creatures, as the Court-word is; raised, listed, commissioned, and paid wholly by themselves, and not in Partnership; and that had manfully fought all their Battles: And yet upon the first Distaste they were pleased to take, they distressed their own Masters, and with a high hand forced them to banish eleven of their principal Members, Denzil Holles, Sir Phillip Stapylton, Glyn, and such other great Men. Sir Philip Stapylton died in his Banishment. At another time they would not suffer near a hundred Members to enter into the House, whom they thought not well affected to the Business then in hand, and at the same time evil intreated and imprisoned about forty Members. This they called purging the House. After they had thus handled them at several times, in conclusion, the Officers came and reprimanded the House, bid take away that Fool’s Bawbe the Mace, violently pulled the Speaker out of the Chair, drove out the Members, and locked up the Doors, and so good night to the Parliament. The Wisdom of that Parliament may have been very great, but it was Edition: current; Page: [40] Nonsense for them to think, that an Army does not know its own Strength. For without dear-bought Experience any body may know before-hand what will be the natural Consequences of a Standing Army. From the Day you set them up, you set up your Masters; you put yourselves wholly into their hands, and are at their discretion. It is the Conquest of the Nation in the silentest, shortest, and surest way. They are able to dispose of your Lives and Estates at Will and Pleasure: And what can a foreign Conquer do more? If after this we live and possess any thing, ’tis because they let us: and how long that shall be, neither we, no nor they themselves know.

Nay, in many respects an authorized Standing Army is far worse than a foreign Invasion, and a Conquest from abroad. For there we have a chance for it; but this is a Conquest in cold Blood, which may not be resisted. And we lose the inseparable Rights of the Conquered, which is to rescue and deliver themselves, and throw off the Yoke as soon as they can. It is likewise a great Aggravation of our Misery, to be enslaved at our Cost and Charges: Be sides the bitter Resentments of Unkindness and Breach of Trust, if it be done by those who ought to protect us, and provide better for us; at least should not leave us in a worse Condition than they found us. But above all, if we contribute to our own Thraldom by our Folly, Flattery and little self-seeking; if the Destruction of us and our Posterity be of ourselves, that Reflection hereafter will have a Sting in it; and it will not be enough to say, Who would have thought it?

Now in being over-poweeed and conquered by a Foreign Enemy we contract none of this Guilt, and suffer it as a bare Calamity. But there is no great fear of that, for the Duke de Rohan is our Guarantee that we cannot be conquered from abroad; who in a spiteful Description of England says, it is a great Animal that can be destroyed by nothing but isself. Every body must die when their time is come: And Empires as well as private Men must submit to Time and Fate; Governments have their Infancy, their Meridian and their Decay; and the Preludes to their Destruction are generally Luxury and Pride, Sloth, Prodigality, Cowardice, Irreligion, Self-interest, Edition: current; Page: [41] and an universal Neglect of the Publick. God grant this be not the Condition of a Nation I know.

Well, ’tis all one; for let a Standing Army be what is will, still we must have it for this unanswerable Reason, viz. The Defence of the Nation from a sudden Invasion: for unless, say they, you have an Army to lie leiger, you are liable to be overrun by a foreign Enemy e’re you are aware; and you will shew less Wit than Æsop’s Rhinocenos; you will have your Men to raise, and your Teeth to whet, when you should use them. This Thought I confess is very natural and obvious, and therefore could not possibly escape our wise Forefathers; yet we canot learn that ever they put it in practice, which is a great sign they did not like it. No, we are all well assured that they would not have suffered a Mercenary Army to defend the Nation if they would have done it gratis. They would rather have mistrusted it would double the Invasion, and make it as big again as it was. I do not speak this by guess, but have it from the wise Sir Robert Cotton, who being consulted, 3 Caroli, in a difficult State of Affairs, amongst other things gave this Advice at the Council-Table: Rushworth, pag. 469. There must be, to withstand a Foreign Invasion, a proportion of Sea and Land Forces. And it is to be considered, that no March by Land can be of that speed to make head against the landing of an Enemy: Then that follows, That there is no such Prevention as to be Master of the Sea.

For the Land Forces, if it were for an offensive War, the Men of less Livelihood were best spared; and we used formerly to make such Wars Purgamenta Reipublicæ, if we made no farther Purchase by it. But for the Safety of the Commonwealth, the Wisdom of all times did never intrust the Publick Cause to any other than to such as had a Portion in the Publick Adventure. And that we saw in eighty eight, when the Care of the Queen and of the Council did make the Body of that large Army no other than of the Trained Bands.

In the same Advice to the King he lets him know how the People resented his keeping up an Army in the Winter, tho we were then in War both with France and Spain. The words are these:

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And the dangerous Distastes to the People are not a little improved by the unexampled Course, as they conceive, of retaining an Inland Army in Winter Season, when former Times of general Fear, as in eighty eight, produced none such; and makes them in their distracted Fears conjecture idly, it was raised wholly to subject their Fortunes to the Will of Power rather than of Law, and to make good some farther Breach upon their Liberties and Freedoms at Home, rather than defend us from any Force abroad. And tells the King the Consequences of these Jealousies is worthy a prudent and preventing Care.

But what signify the Proceedings of former Ages to us? say the Projectors, the World is strangely altered, and the Power of France is become so formidable, that it can never be opposed in the Elizabeth way. They still keep up an Army of three or four hundred taousand Men, and how shall us defend ourselves against all those, without ten or fifteen thousand disciplined Trops?

I think the Author of the Argument, page 18. and 19, hath sufficiently shewed the Difficulty, of not Impossibility, of a Foreign Invasion, whilst we are superior at Sea; the great improbability the French King should engage in such a Design, and much greater he should succeed in it. Bur that we may for ever lay this Goblin, we will admit our Fleets to be kidnapp’d by an unlucky Wind, whilst the French land twenty thousand Men in our Country. To in gratitude for this Concession I hope my Adversaries will grant that their Fleet cannot get back again without our meating with them, (since the same Wind that carries them home, will carry us out); or if they will not be so good-natur’d as to allow this, I will undertake for them (for we live in an undertaking Age) that they will agree we shall intercept their Supplies. Then the Case is thus, That twenty thousand Men, of which few can be Horse, are landed in England, without any humame probability of being supplied from abroad.

I say, this Army shall never march twenty miles into the Country; for they cannot put themselves in a marching Posture in less than a fortnight or three weeks; and by that time we may have 100000 Milita drawn down upon them, whereof ten thousand shall be Horse, and as Edition: current; Page: [43] many Dragoons as we please: And if this Militia does nothing else but drive the Country, cut off their Foragers and Stragglers, possess themselves of the Defiles, and intercept Provisions, their Army must be destroyed in a small Time.

Of this Kind I could give many Instances out of History: But because antient Ones they say, will not fit our Purpose, I will give you a late one out of Ireland.

1st. I think it will be readily agreed, there are ten Men in England, for one in Ireland.

2dly. That King William had more English and Scotch to join with him in Ireland, than the French King hath Malecontents in Ireland.

3dly. That even our Militia have more Courage than Irishmen. And yet tho’ we had eight thousand Horse and above thirty thousand Foot in Ireland, and a great Part of the Country in our Possession, yet we were more than four Years in conquering the Rest, and almost a Miracle we did it then. And I believe no Man will deny, if we could not have supplied our Army from England, but they had all there perished; such is the Advantage of fighting upon one’s own Dunghill.

And to shew what Treatment the French are like to meet with in England, I will put you in Mind of the Purbeck Invasion, which was so private, that it was seen only by an old Man and a Boy: And yet though the Country thought the Government against them, we had above forty thousand Volunteers in Arms, in two or three Days Time, who came thither on their own Accord to give them the Meeting; and if they had been there, I doubt not would have given a good Account of them. Our Court when it was over shewed their Dislike of it, and questioned the Sheriff of Dorsetshire about it. And though we have forgot it, yet I believe the French will remember Purbeck; for it shewed the true Spirit and Genius of the English Nation.

To conclude, The whole Management of this Project is ridiculous; but the fatal Consequences of it require deeper Thought: For when we have fooled ourselves into the Bondage of a Standing Army, how shall we ever get out of it again? Not as the Nation freed themselves from the Court of Wards. We cannot buy it off for Edition: current; Page: [44] two very good Reasons: No Money will be taken for it, and we shall have Nothing to give which is not theirs already: Our Estates, Lives and Liberties will be all at their Command. They will have the Keys of our Money, and the Titles to our Lands in their Power.

This last and irreparable Mischief and Misery the Projectors had prepared for us. But under a gracious King and a wise Parliament, I hope we shall never see it. His Majesty’s Declaration is directly against a Standing Army, As a Means to assist all Arbitrary Designs, and thereby enslave the Nation; directly against all wicked Attempts of Conquest, and all Despotick Government; ’tis full of Liberty and Property in every Part: So that we are sure to be safe on that side. And this Declaration was so highly valued, and so wholly relied upon by the Parliament, that it is incorporated into our Laws as the only Redress of our past Grievances and Oppressions, and the best Foundation of our future Happiness: And with entire Confidence that his Majesty would continue to act in pursuance of that Declaration, the Parliament resolved that he should be, and be declared King. So that it is to be accounted the Pacta Conventa of this Government.

Here I know the Projectors will say, That the Army condemned by the Declaration, was the late King James’s Army, kept up in Time of Peace, without Consent of Parliament; whereas this Standing Army is to be kept up with their Consent.

True it was so, and therefore it was a Riot and unlawful Assembly every Hour it stood; and having no Law for it, it might have been presented or indicted; to no Purpose indeed: But as an Invasion upon the Subject it might be resisted and pulled down as a Nusance, whenever the Nation found themselves able. But suppose this Army had been made Part of the Constitution, and had obtained an Act of Parliament for it, which is as much as we can have for a King or a Queen; what then had become of us? They were Aids and Instruments of Arbitrary Government before, but then they had been legal Instruments, and had enslaved us by Authority. In short we could not have relieved ourselves from them, nor any one else in our Behalf, because our own Act and Deed would have always been good against us. The delightful Notion Edition: current; Page: [45] we know his Majesty by, is that of our Deliverer, which he was upon this Occasion. But these mischievous Projectors would turn it into such a Deliverance, as if we had been helped over a Ford, to be afterwards lost in the Sea. And as to the Parliament, we are safe on that Side, for a Reason, amongst others, which is in the Declaration in these Words: And it cannot be imagined that those who have invited us, or those that have already come to assist us, will join in a wicked Design of Conquest, to make void their own Titles to their Honours, Estates and Interests.

A POSTCRIPT, With Remarks on a late published List of Irish Papists, now in the French King’s Service.

THE Advocates for a Standing Army having lately published a List of an Army of Irish and other Papists now in the French King’s Service, which they say are ready when called for, I could not let that Paper go, without some Remarks; because it informs us of some things, that, if I mistake not, deserve the Consideration of all true English men, and are as followeth.

1. That there is in France an Army of eighteen thousand Irish and other Papists, with King James at the Head of them.

2. That they are ready to be transported hither when called for.

3. They give broad Hints that there is a Sort of Men amongst us, who will call for them.

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4. That these Irish and their Correspondents will answer whatever has been or shall be written against a standing Army.

To the first I answer, that though the Irish are the best Troops in the World to plunder, murder, and massacre the innocent and defenceless People, yet they are the worst of all Soldiers when they meet with Resistance. The late War in Ireland, particularly the Siege of London-derry, and the routing of Justin Maccarty, one of their best Officers, who was at the Head of a considerable Army, by a small Number of the despised Militia, has abundantly demonstrated this Truth. And it deserves the Resentment of the English Nation, to find the Enemies of their Country endeavouring at last to fright them with that despicable Crew, when the Terror they would have given us of the French Armies has proved ineffectual. Besides, the French King is in Possession of these Irish Troops; they serve him, and are paid by him: And no Man but a publick Boutefeu would have the Confidence to say, He will lend them to King James to invade us: For what will that be less than declaring a new War? And they who think it in the Power of the French King to assist King James against us, without any Breach of the late Treaty, do in effect say, That due Care has not been taken of the Nation, than which there cannot be a more scandalous Reflection on his Majesty.

To the second and third of their Menaces I shall only say, that it is somewhat Extraordinary, that Men should dare publickly to avow their Correspondence with our Enemies, to own themselves acquainted with their Designs against us, to threaten the People with an Army of Irish Banditti, and to let us know that there are some amongst us ready to join them. But the Great Council of the Nation being now assembled, will undoubtedly make such Provision for our Safety, that neither they nor their Correspondents shall be able to hurt us.

In the last Place they tell us, that this is an Answer to The Argument against a standing Army, and to all that has or shall be written on that Subject. Here’s thorough Work indeed: And it is Pity it should want a Place in the next Edition of the Irish Wisdom. Mr. Bayes’s fighting Edition: current; Page: [47] singly against whole Armies is nothing to it: For he like a modest Man, was only for routing such as should be raised, and never once dreamt of destroying them before they had a Being.

It is hoped therefore that this last Goblin will do us no more hurt than all the Rest, that have been industriously raised to terrify the People, and to disturb the Publick Peace.

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John Trenchard
Trenchard, John

A Letter from the Author of the Argument against a Standing Army, to the Author of the Ballancing Letter.


THO’ the Journeymen Scribblers with all their Scurrility can’t provoke me to give them an Answer, yet when I see myself levell’d at in such soft Language and Gentleman-like Behaviour, I am the more afraid; Timeo Danaos, & dona ferentes.

You have been pleas’d in your last Paragraph to own the Matter to be so nice and important, that it ought to be severely examin’d without false Colours and popular Rhetorick; and you are pleas’d to give yourself the Character of one zealous for Liberty, a great Adventurer for it, and to have a great Stake in it. If you are the Gentleman I guess you to be, I believe your Stake is now considerable; but you being a great Adventurer in getting it, it is not worth magnifying yourself for it: which gives me Occasion to say I am not of a desperate Fortune, and what Stake I have being provided for me by my Ancestors, I am more afraid of losing it than if it were my own Acquisition. And after this short Preface, I will proceed to examine into the Matter without false Colours or popular Rhetorick.

I think your Letter hath shew’d these three Things.

  • 1. What you would have.
  • 2. How long you would have it.
  • 3. For what Reasons.
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First, I perceive you would have us believe we have an Honourable Peace to the Wonder of the World, and that nothing can hurt us but Animosities and Jealousies amongst ourselves: And secondly, you would have a Land Force to maintain this Peace. Now, Sir, I must beg your Pardon if my Faith differs from your’s; for I can’t believe we have an Honourable Peace in case we are oblig’d to keep up a Standing Force to maintain it. Peace is a Cessation of the Exercise of the Use of Arms, that we may with Safety turn our Swords into Plough-shares, and Spears into Pruning-hooks; and the Prayers of the Church commanded by his Majesty for Thanksgiving for this Peace, have taken in that very Text: And if this our Peace will not answer this Character, it is not such a Peace as you would have us believe we are bless’d with. But since we have not such a Peace (for you know better than I) I will go on for Argument-sake with your’s, to supply this Imperfection in it. You are pleas’d to say, Page 3. when you seem to prepare us to consider of the Necessity of a Land Force, you are far from the Thoughts of a Standing Army. Now I’ll tell you, Sir, what I apprehend a Standing Army to be; Horse and Foot rais’d under Commission granted by the King, with Swords and Pistols, Pikes and Muskets, Powder and Ball to kill Men. If you by your Land Force mean none of all these, I am very impertinent in differing with you. But till you are pleas’d to distinguish your Land Force from this Description, I belive all Men will think you mean the same by a Land Force, as I do by a Standing Army; which if you do, then you have declar’d your Thoughts against it, and made yourself guilty of the most apparent Contradiction that ever I saw wrote in so good a Stile.

The next Thing you shew is, How long you would have these Land Forces continue, and that is from Year to Year: Which put me in Mind of a Covenant us’d in conveying Lands in Holland, whereby the Seller warrants the Land to the Purchaser for a Year and a Day, which, according to their Law, is for ever; and so, I suppose, when you say from Year to Year, you mean in secula seculorum, as will appear by and by.

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The third Thing is, for what Reasons you would have this. And, First, you abhor to give his Majesty a Jealousy of his People, as if he were not safe amongst them without Guards: But you say the Case at present is, Whether, considering the Circumstances that we and our Neighbours are now in, it may not be prudent and necessary for us to keep up a reasonable Force from Year to Year; and so you seem to lay a great Stress upon the Fashion of other Countries. You say Pag. 4. the whole World, more particularly our Neighbours, have now got into the mistaken Notion of keeping up a mighty Force; and the most powerful of these happens to be our next Neighbour, who will very probably keep up great Armies, and we may appear too inviting if we are in an unguarded Condition.

Now, Sir, as to the Fashion of other Countries. I remember that God having declared Laws to the Israelites, commanded them to keep them, and not to follow or hanker after the Fashions of other Nations, either in Worship or Government. And if we are in the Fashion of our Neighbours in having an Army, we must have their fashioned Government too. It is the Fashion of the French King to have a Standing Army, and it is the Fashion of his Subjects to be Slaves under that Standing Army. I observe Men that are addicted to Fashions, follow them in every Thing. Now to be Freemen under a Standing Army is not the Fashion of our Neighbours. And I am afraid we shall never think ourselves compleatly in the Fashion till we have got Wooden Shoes too.

But I see, Sir, you are not so much a Fop as to be in the Fashion, for Fashion Sake, but that you think there is a Necessity for it; for you are afraid of being invaded by our Neighbours, the next and greatest of whom will probably keep up great Armies. And here by the Way, before I forget it, I would put you in Mind of your Tenure from Year to Year; for I think by this Argument you would have our Land Force to continue as long as the French King is in a mistaken Notion of Keeping up great Armies, so that from Year to Year is already become a Phrase for ever. For my Part I should be unwilling Edition: current; Page: [51] to stay for any Thing I wish for, till the French King disbands his Army. Therefore, Sir, do not draw Men into your Proposals, by sowing Pillows under them, by soft Language, of a Land Force, not Standing Army, from Year to Year, under the Consideration of Parliament. Let us have plain Words, and then your Proposals, according to your own Reasons, must be for a Standing Army in England, as long as the French King, or any of his Successors, keep up a Standing Army in France: you had as good open your Matter fairly at first, for every thing else is but flourish till you come to the Point.

Now, Sir, I confess I give as little Credit to the Words and Leagues of Princes as you do, and depend more upon their Interest than Integrity for the Performance of them, and therefore am not for leading them into Tempations to attack us, and would always have a Defence suitable to our Danger. Nature hath armed all Creatures with Weapons to oppose those that assault them, and the Policy of Man hath found out several artificial ones for himself. Now the sole Debate between us is, in whose Hands these Weapons should be put.

Of this Matter I have discoursed from the 18th to the 26th Page of my Argument, which you neither can or do pretend to answer, and therefore I refer you thither again: Indeed in your 9th, 10th, and 11th Pages, you tell us, that regular and disciplined Troops are far superior to the best and strongest Militia in the World, admitting this Condition, that there are no regular or disciplined Troops in that Militia. But I will make bold to tell you, that a Militia may be as well disciplined as any Army; nay our own Army, if they were disbanded, will most of them be sent to the Militia; and I suppose calling them by a new Name, will not make them worse Soldiers. Now as to your Instances in History, I shall only make this small Objection to them all, that you are mistaken in every particular. For the Persian Army was made up of Standing Troops, kept up in the several Provinces of the Empire, and not of Militia, as you falsly insinuate: And with these Armies they conquered easily the several Principalities which made up their vast Empire, which were defended by Standing Armies; but when they came to Edition: current; Page: [52] fight with the Greek Militia, all their mighty Armies came to Nothing. Of this we have the Instances of Xenophon, who with ten thousand Greeks, marched three thousand Miles through their Country, in spight of a numerous Army observing him. Afterwards of Agesilaus, who with a small Spartan Militia had put an End to the Persian Empire, if the Factions of Greece had not called him home. The mighty Army of Xerxes was destroyed by a Greek Militia. Nay the better Part of Alexander’s Army was made up of a Militia taken out of the several Cities of Greece.

The Instance you give of the Romans makes as much against you; for they found more Difficulty in conquering a few little Commonwealths about them, who fought by Militias, than Asia, Egypt, and all the arbitrary Governments they conquered, which fought against them with standing Armies. Who will deny that Cæsar’s Conquests over the Gallick Militia, were greater than Pompey’s over the Asiatick standing Armies? And whereas you say, Page 11th, that nothing stood before the Roman Armies whilst they were kept under Discipline; but when all their Order was broke, and they became a Militia, the Northern Nations in Europe, as well as the Saracens in the East, over-run the Roman Empire, I must take leave to say, the just contrary to this is true: For whilst they fought by a Militia, they conquered the whole World; but afterwards, in the Time of the Emperors, when they kept up Standing Armies of three hundred and sixty thousand Men, as Tacitus reckons them, they were over-run by every barbarous Nation that invaded them.

Your Instance of Hannibal is Nothing to the Purpose, for the Carthaginians did not beat the Romans, but Hanbal the Roman Generals. He got no Victory but by his own single Conduct; and when the Romans fought against any other General, they were seldom unsuccessful.

The Turks also met with much more Trouble in subduing the Hungarian and Epirot Militia, than all their Empire besides. Scanderbeg, with a small Militia came off constantly successful in two and twenty Battles against their numerous Standing Armies. Huniades and his Son Mathias, fought always with Militias against the Turkish Edition: current; Page: [53] Standing Armies, and performed such Actions as Posterity can hardly believe, and I am sure were never equalled by any other Force.

And whereas you say the Preservation of England in Queen Elizabeth’s Time was by Accident, and we must not always expect to live upon Miracles: I do not find but that excellent Princess, and her Court were of another Opinion. We do not find her, or her Creatures, after the Spaniards were defeated, to use this Cant to the Parliament. “Gentlemen, you see what a Danger you have lately escaped, we were preserved by Providence and Chance, but I hope you will not always expect Miracles: It is necessary to keep up a Standing Force, for I cannot depend upon the Defence of my People.” She scorned such Trash, and would have caged any evil Counsellor, who durst give her such Advice: She thought herself safe in the Affection of her People, though this Gentleman, at above a hundred Years Distance, tells her the contrary.

But you seem very apprehensive of being surprized without Notice; and mention, Page 5th, the late Attempts from la Hogue and Calais; and that if in a Time of War and Jealousy we were so near being fatally over-run, without Warning or Intelligence, it is much more possible to see such Designs laid in Times of Sloth and Quiet, when we are under no Fears, and have no Notice of it. Sir, I have no better Opinion of our Intelligence, during the War, than you have. However the Business of la Hogue was the Talk of the Exchange, and in all the publick Prints, besides the Gazette, two Months before it happened: And as to that of Calais, His Majesty, by his extraordinary Care, surprized the Enemy with seventy Sail on their Coasts, which they never expected. And that our Notice should be more difficult in Peace than War, I cannot understand, since in the latter all Ports are shut, and Merchants stopt, and in the former the Ports are open, Travellers abroad, Merchants at Sea, and an Embassador at their Court.

Page the 8th, You give a great Character of arbitrary Government, where Men are ruined that fail in performing what is expected from them, or in keeping the Secrets that are enjoined them, by which the Prince can execute Edition: current; Page: [54] Things in other Manner, than can be conceived by those that live in free Governments. I am sure if Impunity of those who fail in performing their Duty, and in keeping our Secrets be the Character of a free Government, we are free with a witness. But I cannot see why the punishing of them should be, inconsistent with a free Government.

And after all, you seem to apprehend as ill Consequences from a Standing Army as I do, as Page the 14th, where speaking of the Dangers of it, you say, This is a large Field, and History is so full of Instances of this Kind, that it will be easy to open copiously on the Subject. From the Pretorian Cohorts down to our modern Armies, enough can be gathered to give a very frightful Represensation of a Standing Army. And afterwards Page the 15th, I do not deny but several Inconveniences may be apprehended from a Standing Force, and therefore I should not go about to persuade you to it, if the Thing did not seem indispensably Necessary. Now I suppose by indispensable Necessity, you mean, you are sure without this Army that our Neighbours will invade us, and that it is impossible our Fleets or Militia, however managed, can be able to defend us: Whether there is such a Necessity or not, I refer you to my Argument; and if there is not, you have given up the Question: For you, in effect, admit a certain Slavery on one Side, and if there is but contingent Ruin on the other, it is easy to determine of which side the Ballance lies. But you say that the Parliament shall overlook it, but will you be Security the Army shall not overlook the Parliament? O but that cannot be, if they are kept up from Year to Year! Cæsar, with all his Genius, could not work his Army to it in less than ten Years.

Sir, If that be the exact Time of corrupting an Army, pray consider that ours hath been kept up nine Years already. But I am as far from any Jealousy of his present Majesty as you are, and yet I am not afraid to say, that Army which can do no hurt, can do no good.

It is impossible to consider of a Standing Force which shall be sufficient to oppose a Foreign Power, without considering it at the same Time sufficient to suppress the Edition: current; Page: [55] Subject at home: For they must beat those who you suppose can beat us; and I must confess I am unwilling to depend on their good Will.

Sir, Page 15, you seem to think me a jealous, melancholy and timorous Man, over-run with the Spleen; but I fancy myself as free from all this without a Place, as perhaps you are with one. Come don’t fear your Stake, I dare give you Land Security that you will come off a Winner.

And as for the gallant Gentlemen of the Army, whom you fear will be Losers, I shall be as ready as you to recompense them for their Bravery. But to suppose our Fleets to be surprized and betrayed, and our Militia to be recreant, and all our Intelligence, Fidelity and Courage to be lodged in a Standing Army, I must confess is out of my Power.

In Page the 8th you say, you cannot see some Men grow all on a sudden such wonderful Patriots, so jealous of the Prerogative, such Zealots for publick Liberty, without remembering what their Behaviour was in the late Reigns. Now I must own to you, I am better pleased to see this, than to see some Men, who were such wonderful Patriots, &c. in the last Reigns, act the same Part now, as much as in them lies, as the others did formerly.

Before I have done I must take Notice of one Passage in your 10th Page You say whenever the fatal Time comes that this Nation grows weary of Liberty, and has neither the Virtue, the Wisdom, nor the Force to preserve its Constitution, it will deliver up all, let all the Laws possible, and all the Bars imaginable be put in the Way to it. It is no more possible to make a Government immortal, than to make a Man immortal. When I join this to the sensible Impressions you seem to have of the Danger of a Standing Army in the next Line, and an indispensable Necessity of keeping one, methinks you give broad Hints that you think our Time is come. But I doubt not but there is Virtue enough yet in England, to preserve our Constitution, though a wiser Head than yours designed its Ruin.

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I will conclude in telling you we have a happy Government, where the King hath all the Power necessary to execute the Laws. All Title arises upon an equal Distribution of Power; and he that gets an Over-ballance of Power (for you and I are a ballancing) takes away the Title from the Rest, and leaves them a Possession without a Right, which is a Tenure at the Will of the Lord.

Sir, in Hopes you will keep up your Correspondence, I conclude myself,

Your most humble Servant.
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a short History of Standing Armies in England.
Anno 1698.


THERE is nothing in which the Generality of Mankind are so much mistaken as when they talk of Government. The different Effects of it are obvious to every one, but few can trace its Causes-Most Men having indigested Ideas of the Nature of it, attribute all public Miscarriages to the Corruption of Mankind. They think the whole Mass is infected, that it is impossible to make any Reformation, and so submit patiently to their Country’s Calamities, or else share in the Spoil: whereas Complaints of this Kind are as old as the World, and every Age has thought their own the worst. We have not only our own Experience, but the Example of all Times, to prove that Men in the same Circumstances will do the Edition: current; Page: [58] same Things, call them what Names of Distinction you please. A Government is a mere Piece of Clockwork; and having such Springs and Wheels, must act after such a Manner: And therefore the Art is to constitute it so that it must move to the public Advantage. It is certain that every Man will act for his own Interest; and all wise Governments are founded upon that Principle: So that this whole Mystery is only to make the Interest of the Governors and Governed the same. In an absolute Monarchy, where the whole Power is in one Man, his Interest will be only regarded: In an Aristocracy the Interest of a few; and in a free Government the Interest of every one. This would be the Case of England if some Abuses that have lately crept into our Constitution were remov’d. The Freedom of this Kingdom depends upon the People’s chusing the House of Commons, who are a Part of the Legislature, and have the sole Power of giving Money. Were this a true Representative, and free from external Force or private Bribery, nothing could pass there but what they thought was for the public Advantage. For their own Interest is so interwoven with the People’s, that if they act for themselves (which every one of them will do as near as he can) they must act for the common Interest of England. And if a few among them should find it their Interest to abuse their Power, it will be the Interest of all the rest to punish them for it: and then our Governmene would act mechanically, and a Rogue will as naturally be hang’d as a Clock strike Twelve when the Hour is come. This is the Fountain-head from whence the People expect all their Happiness, and the Redress of their Grievances; and if we can preserve them free from Corruption, they will take Care to keep every Body else so. Our Constitution seems to have provided for it, by never suffering the King (till Charles the Second’s Reign) to have a Mercenary Army to frighten them into a Compliance, nor Places or Revenues great enough to bribe them into it. The Places in the King’s Gift were but few, and most of them Patent Places for Life, and the rest great Offices of State enjoy’d by single Persons, which seldom fell to the Share of the Commons, such as the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, Privy-Seal, Lord High-Admiral, &c. and when these Offices were possess’d by the Lords, the Commons were severe Edition: current; Page: [59] Inquisitors into their Actions. Thus the Government of England continu’d from the Time that the Romans quitted the Island, to the Time of Charles the First, who was the first I have read of that made an Opposition to himself in the House of Commons the Road to Preferment; of which the Earl of Strafford and Noy were the most remarkable Instances, who from great Patriots became the chief Assertors of Despotic Power. But this serv’d only to exasperate the rest; for he had not Places enough for all that expected them, nor Money enough to bribe them. ’Tis true, he rais’d great Sums of Money upon the People; but it being without Authority of Parliament, and having no Army to back him, it met with such Difficulties in he raising, that it did him little Good, and ended at last in his Ruin, though by means of a long and miserable War, which brought us from one Tyranny to another; for the Army had got all Things into their Power, and govern’d the Nation by a Council of War, whieh made all Parties join in calling in Charles the Second: So that he came in with the general Applause of the People, who in a kind Fit gave him a vast Revenue for Life. By this he was enabled to raise an Army, and bribe the Parliament, which he did to the Purpose: but being a luxurious Prince, he could not part with great Sums at once. He only fed them from Hand to Mouth: So that they found it as necessary to keep him in a constant Dependance upon them, as they had upon him. They knew he would give them ready Money no longer than he had absolute Necessity for them, and he had not Places enough in his Disposal to secure a Majority in the House; for in those early Days the Art was not found out of splitting and multiplying Places; as instead of a Lord Treasurer to have Five Lords of the Treasury; instead of a Lord Admiral, to have Seven Lords of the Admiralty; to have Seven Commissioners of the Customs, Nine of the Excise, Fourteen of the Navy Office, Ten of the Stamp Office, Eight of the Prize Office, Sixteen of the Commissioners of Trade, Two of the Post Office, Four of the Transports, Four for Hackney Coaches, Four for Wine-Licences, Four for the Victualling Office, Multitudes of other Offices which are endless to enumerate. I believe the Gentlemen who have the good Fortune to be in some of these Imployments, will think I complement them, Edition: current; Page: [60] if I should say they have not been better executed since they were in some Hands, than when in fewer: and I must confess, I see no Reason why they may not be made twice as many, and so ad infinitum, unless the Number be ascertain’d by Parliament; and what Danger this may be to our Constitution, I think of with Horror. For if in Ages to come they should be all given to Parliament Men, what will become of our so much boasted Liberty? What shall be done when the Criminal becomes the Judge, and the Malefactors are left to try themselves? We may be sure their common Danger will unite them, and they will all stand by one another. I do not speak this by Guess; for I have read of a Country where there was a constant Series of Mismanagement for many Years together, and yet no Body was punish’d: And even in our own Country I believe, some Men now alive can remember the Time, when if the King had but twenty more Places in his Disposal, or disposed of those he had to the best Advantage, the Liberty of England had been at an End. I would not be understood quite to exclude Parliament men from having Places; for a Man may serve his Country in two Capacities: but I would not have it to be a Qualification for a Place, because a poor Borough thinks a Man fit to represent them, that therefore he must be a Statesman, a Lawyer, a Soldier, an Admiral, and what not? If this Method should be taken in a future Reign, the People must not expect to see Men of Ability or Integrity in any Places, while they hold them by no other Tenure than the Disservice they do their Country in the House of Commons, and are sure to be turned out upon every prevalent Faction on the other Side. They must then never expect to see the House of Commons act vigorously for the Interest either of King or People; but some will servilely comply with the Court to keep their Places, others will oppose it as unreasonably to get them: And those Gentlemen whose Designs are for their Country’s Interest, will grow weary of the best Form of Government in the World, thinking by Mistake the Fault is in our Constitution. I have heard of a Country, where the Disputes about Offices to the Value of thirty thousand Pounds per Annum, have made six Millieus ineffectual; what by some Mens prostitute Compliance, and others openly clogging the Wheels, it has caus’d Want and Necessity Edition: current; Page: [61] in all Kinds of Men, Bribery, Treachery, Profaneness, Atheism, Prodigality, Luxury, and all the Vices that attend a remiss and corrupt Administration, and a universal Neglect of the Public. It is natural to run from one Extreme to another; and this Policy will at last turn upon any Court that uses it; for if they should be resolv’d to give all Offices to Parliament-men, the People will think themselves under a Necessity to obtain a Law that they should give none, which has been more than once attempted in our own Time. Indeed, though there may be no great Inconvenience in suffering a few that have Places to be in that House, such as come in naturally, without any indirect Means, yet it will be fatal to us to have many: For all wise Governments endeavour as much as possible to keep the Legislative and Executive Parts asunder, that they they may be a Check upon one another. Our Government trusts the King with no Part of the Legislative but a Negative Voice, which is absolutely necessary to preserve the Executive. One Part of the Duty of the House of Commons is to punish Offenders, and redress the Grievances occasion’d by the Executive Part of the Government; and how can that be done if they should happen to be the same Persons, unless they would be publick-spirited enough to hang or drown themselves?

But in my Opinion, in another Thing of no less Importance, we deviated in Charles the Second’s Time from our Constitution; for though we were in a Capacity of punishing Offenders, yet we did not know legally who they were. The Law has been always very tender of the Person of the King, and therefore has dispos’d the Executive Part of the Government in such proper Channels, that whatsoever lesser Excesses are committed, they are not imputed to him, but his Ministers are accountable for them: His Great Seal is kept by his Chancellor, his Revenue by his Treasurer, his Laws are executed by his Judges, his Fleet is manag’d by his Lord High Admiral, who are all accountable for their Misbehaviour. Formerly all Matters of State and Discretion were debated and resolv’d in the Privy Council, where every Man subscrib’d his Opinion, and was answerable for it. The late King Charles was the first who broke this most excellent Part of our Constitution, by settling a Cabal or Cabinet Council, where all Edition: current; Page: [62] Matters of Consequence debated and resolved, and then brought to the Privy Council to be confirmed. The first Footsteps we have of this Council in any European Government were in Charles the Ninth’s Time of France, when resolving to massacre the Protestants, he durst not trust his Council with it, but chose a few Men whom he call’d his Cabinet Council: And considering what a Genealogy it had, ’tis no Wonder it hath been so fatal both to King and People. To the King; for whereas our Constitution has provided Ministers in the several Parts of the Government to answer for Miscarriages, and to skreen him from the Hatred of the People; this on the contrary protects the Ministers, and exposes the King to all the Complaints of his Subjects. And ’tis as dangerous to the People; for whatever Miscarriages there are, no Body can be punish’d for them; for they justify themselves by a Sign Manual, or perhaps a private Direction from the King; and then we have run it so far, that we cannot follow it. The Consequence of this must be continual Heartburnings between King and People; and no one can ses the Event.

IF any Man doubts whether a Standing Army is Slavery, Popery, Mahometism, Paganism, Atheism, or any Thing which they please, let him read,

First, The Story of Matho and Spendius at Carthage, and the Mamalukes of Egypt.

Secondly, The Histories of Strada and Bentivolio, where he will find what Work nine thousand Spaniards made in the Seventeen Provinces, though the Country was full of fortified Towns, possessed by the Low Country Lords, and they had Assistance from Germany, England and France.

Thirdly, The History of Philip de Commines, where he will find that Lewis the 11th inslaved the vast Country Edition: current; Page: [63] of France with 25000 Men, and that the raising 500 Horse by Philip of Burgundy, sirnamed the Good, was the Ruin of those Provinces.

Fourthly, Ludlow’s Memoirs, where he will find that an Army raised to defend our Liberties, made Footballs of that Parliament, at whose Actions all Europe stood amazed, and in a few Years set up ten several Sorts of Government contrary to the Genius of the whole Nation, and the Opinion of Half their own Body: Such is the Influence of a General over an Army, that he can make them act like a Piece of Mechanism, whatever their private Opinions are.

Lastly, Let him read the Arguments against a Standing Army, the Discourse concerning Militias, the Militia Reform’d, and the Answers to them: But lest all this should not satisfy him, I will here give a Short History of Standing Armies in England, I will trace this Mystery of Iniquity from the Beginning, and show the several Steps by which it has crept upon us.

The first Footsteps I find of a Standing Army in England since the Romans left the Island, were in Richard the Second’s Time, who raised four thousand Archers in Cheshire, and suffered them to plunder, live upon Free Quarter, beat, wound, ravish and kill wherever they went; and afterwards he called a Parliament, encompassed them with his Archers, forced them to give up the whole Power of Parliaments, and make it Treason to endeavour to repeal any of the Arbitrary Constitutions that were then made; but being afterwards obliged to go to Ireland to suppress a Rebellion there, the People took Advantage of it, and dethron’d him.

The Nation had such a Specimen in this Reign of a Standing Army, that I do not find any King from him to Charles the First, that attempted keeping up any Forces in Time of Peace, except the Yeomen of the Guard, who were constituted by Henry the Seventh; and though there were several Armies raised in that Time for French, Scotch, Irish, other foreign and domestic Wars; yet they were constantly disbanded as soon as the Occasion was over. And in all the Wars of York and Lancaster, whatever Party prevailed, we do not find Edition: current; Page: [64] they ever attempted to keep up a Standing Army. Such was the virtue of those times, that they would rather run the hazard of forefeiting their Heads and Estates to the rage of the opposite Party, than certainly inslave their Country, tho’ they themselves were to be the Tyrants.

Nor would they suffer our Kings to keep up an Army in Ireland, tho’ there were frequent Rebellions there, and by that means their Subjection very precarious; as well knowing they would be in England when called for. In the first three hundred Years that the English had Possession of that Country, there were no Armies there but in times of War. The first Force that was establish’d was in the 14th of Edward the fourth, when 120 Archers on Horseback, 40 Horsemen, and 40 Pages were establish’d by Parliament there; which six Years after were reduc’d to 80 Archers, and 20 Spearmen on Horseback. Afterwards in Henry the Eighth’s time, in the Year 1535, the Army in Ireland was 300; and in 1543, they were increased to 380 Horse and 160 Foot, which was the Establishment then. I speak this of times of Peace: for when the Irish were in Rebellion, which was very frequent, the Armis were much more considerable. In Queen Mary’s time the Standing Forces were about 1200. In most of Queen Elizabeth’s Reign the Irish were in open Rebellion; but when they were all suppress’d, the Army establish’d was between 1500 and 2000: about which number they continued till the Army rais’d by Strafford, the 15th of Charles the 1st.

In the Year 1602 dy’d Queen Elizabeth, and with her all the Virtue of the Plantagenets, and the Tudors. She made the English Glory sound thro’ the whole Earth: She first taught her Country the Advantages of Trade; set bounds to the Ambition of France and Spain; assisted the Dutch, but would neither permit them or France to build any great Ships; kept the Keys of the Rivers Maes and Scheld in her own hands; and died with an uncontrol’d Dominion of the Seas, and Arbitress of Christendom. All this she did with a Revenue not exceeding 300000 pounds per Annum; and had but inconsiderable Taxes from her People.

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No sooner was King James come to the Crown, but all the Reputation we had acquir’d in her glorious Reign was eclips’d, and we became the scorn of all Nations about us, contemned even by that State we had created, who insulted us at Sea, seiz’d Amboyna, Poleroon, Seran, and other Places in the East-Indies, by which they ingross’d that most profitable Trade of Spices; fish’d upon our Coasts without paying the customary Tribute, and at the same time prevail’d with the King to deliver up the Cautionary Towns of Brill, Ramekins, and Flushing, for a very small Consideration, tho’ there were near six Millions Arrears. He squandred the public Treasure, discountenanc’d all the great Men who were rais’d in the glorious Reign of his Predecessor, cut off Sir Walter Raleigh’s Head, advanced Favourites of his own, Men of no Merit, to the highest Preserment; and to maintain their Profuseness, he granted them Monopolies, infinite Projects, prostituted Honours for Money, rais’d Bevevolences and Loans without Authority of Parliament. And when these Grievances were complain’d of there, he committed many of the principal Members without Bail or Mainprise, as he did afterwards for presuming to address him against the Spanish Match. He pardon’d the Earl of Somerset and his Wife for Sir Thomas Overbury’s Murder, after he had imprecated all the Curses of Heaven upon himself and his Posterity; and it was generally thought because the Earl was Accessary to the poisoning Prince Henry. He permitted his Son-in-law to be ejected out of his Principalities, and the Protestant Interest to be run down in Germany and France, while he was bubbled nine Years together with the hopes of the Spanish Match, and a great Fortune. Aferwards he made a dishonourable Treaty of Marriage with France, giving the Papists Liberty of Conscience; and indeed, as he often declared, he was no otherwise an Enemy to Popery, than for their deposing of Kings, and King-killing Doctrine. In Ireland he gave them all the Incouragement he durst; which Policy has been follow’d by all his Successors since to this present Reign, and has serv’d ’em to two purposes: One is, by this they have had a pretence to keep up Standing Armies there to awe the Natives: and the other, that they might make use of the Natives Edition: current; Page: [66] against their English Subjects. In this Reign that ridiculous Doctrine of Kings being Jure Divino was coined, never before heard of even in the Eastern Tyrannies. The other Parts of his Government had such a mixture of Scharamuchi and Harlequin, that they ought not to be spoken of seriously; as Proclamations upon every Trifle, some against talking of News; Letters to the Parliament, telling them he was an old and wise King; that State Affairs were above their reach, therefore they must not meddle with them, and such like Trumpery. But our happiness was, that this Prince was a great Coward, and hated the sight of a Soldier; so that he could not do much against us by open force. At last he died (as many have believed) by Poison, to make room for his Son Charles the First.

This King was a great Bigot, which made him the Darling of the Clergy; but having no great reach of his own, and govern’d by the Priests (who have been always unfortunate when they have meddled with Politics) with a true Ecclesiastic Fury he drove on to the Destruction of all the Liberties of England. This King’s whole Reign was one continued Act against the Laws. He dissolved his first Parliament for presuming to inquire into his Father’s Death, tho’ he lost a great Sum of Money by it, which they had voted him: He entred at the same time into a War with France and Spain, upon the private Piques of Buckingham, who managed them to the eternal Dishonour and Reproach of the English Nation; witness the ridiculous Enterprizes upon Cadiz and the Isle of Rhee. He delivered Pennington’s Fleet into the French hands, betrayed the poor Rochellers, and suffered the Protestant Interest in France to be quite extirpated. He raised Loans, Excises, Coat and Conduct-mony, Tunnage and Poundage, Knight-hood and Ship-money, without Authority of Parliament; imposed new Oaths on the Subjects, to discover the value of theit Estates; imprisoned great numbers of the most considerable Gentry and Merchants for not paying his Arbitrary Taxes; some he sent beyond Sea, and the poorer sort he prest for Soldiers. He kept Soldiers upon free Quarter, and executed Martial Law upon them. He granted Monopolies without number, and broke the bounds of the Forests. Edition: current; Page: [67] He erected Arbitrary Courts, and enlarged others, as the High Commission-Court, the Star-Chamber, Court of Honour, Court of Requests, &c. and unspeakable Oppressions were committed in them, even to Men of the first Quality. He commanded the Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Lincoln not to come to Parliament; committed and prosecuted a great many of the most eminent Members of the House of Commons for what they did there, some for no cause at all, and would not let them have the benefit of Habeas Corpus; suspended and confin’d Arch-Bishop Abbot, because he would not license a Sermon that asserted Despotic Power, whatever other cause was pretended. He suspended the Bishop of Glocester, for refusing to swear never to consent to alter the Government of the Church; supported all his Arbitrary Ministers against the Parliament, telling them that he wondred at the foolish Impudence of any one to think he would part with the meanest of his Servants upon their account: and indeed in his Speeches, or rather Menaces, he treated them like his Footmen, calling them Undutiful, Seditious, and Vipers. He brought unheard of Innovations into the Church; preferred Men of Arbitrary Principles, and inclinable to Popery, especially those Firebrands, Laud, Mountage, and Manwaring, one of whom had been complained of in Parliament, another impeached for advancing Popery, and the third condemned in the House of Lords. He dispensed with the Laws against Papists, and both encouraged and preferred them. He called no Parliament for twelve years together, and in that time governed as arbitrarily as the Grand Seignior. He abetted the Irish Massacre, as appears by their producing a Commission under the Great Seal of Scotland, by the Letter of Charles the 2d in favour of the Marquess of Antrim, by his stopping the Succours that the Parliament sent to reduce Ireland six Months under the Walls of Chester, by his entring into a Treaty with the Rebels after he had engaged his Faith to the Parliament to the contrary, and bringing over many thousands of them to fight against his People. It is endless to enumerate all the Oppressions of his Reign; but having no Army to support him, his Tyranny was precarious, and at last his ruin. Tho’ he extorted great Edition: current; Page: [68] Sums from the People, yet it was with so much difficulty, that it did him little good. Besides, he spent so much in foolish Wars and Expeditions, that he was always behind-hand; yet he often attempted to raise an Army.

Upon pretence of the Spanish and French War he raised many thousand Men, who lived upon free Quarter, and robb’d and destroyed wherever they came. But being unsuccessful in his Wars abroad, and prest by the Clamours of the People at home, he was forced to dishand them. In 1627 he sent over 30000 l. to Holland to raise 3000 German Horse, to force his arbitrary Taxes; but this matter taking Wind, and being examined by the Parliament, Orders were sent to countermand them. In the 15th Year of his Reign he gave a Commission to Strafford to raise 8000 Irish to be brought into England: but before they could get hither, the Scots were in Arms for the like Oppressions, and marched into Northumberland, which forcing him to call a Parliament, prevented that design, and so that Army was disbanded. Soon after he raised an Army in England to oppose the Scots, and tampered with them to march to London, and dissolve the Parliament: But this Army being composed for the most part of the Militia, and the matter being communicated to the House, who immediately fell on the Officers that were Members, Ashburnham, Wilmot, Pollard, &c. the design came to nothing. After this there was a Pacification between the King and the Scots; and in pursuance of it both Armies were disbanded. Then he went to Scotland, and endeavoured to prevail with them to invade England; but that not doing, he sent a Message to the Parliament, desiring their concurrence in the raising 3000 Irish to be lent to the King of Spain; to which the the Parliament refused to consent, believing he would make another use of them. When he came back to London, he picked out 3 or 400 dissolute Fellows out of Taverns, gaming and brothel Houses, kept a Table for them; and with this goodly Guard all armed he entred the House of Commons, sat down in the Speaker’s Chair, demanding the delivery of 5 Members: But the Citizens coming down by Land and Water with Musquets upon their Shoulders to defend the Parliament, he attempted Edition: current; Page: [69] no further. This so enraged the House, that they chose a Guard to defend themselves against future Insults, and the King soon after left London. Some time before this began the Irish Rebellion, where the Irish pretended the King’s Authority, and shewed the Great Seal to justify themselves; which whether true, or false, raised such a jealousy in the People, that he was forced to consent to leave the Management of that War to the Parliament: Yet he afterwards sent a Message to them, telling them he would go to Ireland in Person; and acquainted them, that he had issued out Commissions for raising 2000 Foot and 200 Horse in Cheshire for his Guard, which they protested against, and prevented it. By this we may see what Force was thought sufficient in his Reign to enslave the Nation, and the frequent Attempts to get it.

Then the Civil Wars broke out between him and his People, in which many bloody Battels were fought; two of the most considerable were those of Newbury, both won by new Soldiers, the first by the London Militia, and the latter by an unexperienced Army, which the King used to call in derision the New Nodel. And some years after, the Battle of Worcester was in a great measure won by the Country Militia, for which Cromwel discharged them with anger and contempt, as knowing them Instruments unfit to promote his Tyrannical Designs. At last by the fate of the War the King became a Prisoner, and the Parliament treated with him while in that condition, and at the same time voted that some part of the Army should be disbanded, and others sent to Ireland to reduce that Kingdom; upon which the Army chose Agitators among themselves who presented a Petition to both Houses, that they would proceed to settle the Affairs of the Kingdom, and declare that no part of the Army should be disbanded till that was done. But finding their Petition resented, they sent and seized the King’s Person from the Parliaments Commissioners, drew up a Charge of High Treason against eleven principal Members for endeavouring to disband the Army, entred into a private Treaty with the King: But he not complying with their demands, they seized London; and notwithstanding the Parliament had voted the King’s concession a ground for a future Settlement, they resolved to put him to Death, and in Edition: current; Page: [70] order thereto purged the House, as they called it, that is, placed Guards upon them, and excluded all Members that were for agreeing with the King; and then cut off his Head.

After this they let the Parliament govern for five Years, who made their Name famous thro’ the whole Earth, conquered their Enemies in England, Scotland and Ireland; reduced the Kingdom of Portugal to their own Terms; recovered our Reputation at Sea; overcame the Dutch in several famous Battles; secured our Trade and managed the public Expences with so much frugality, that no Estates were gained by private Men upon the public Miseries; and at last were passing an Act for their own Dissolution, and settling the Nation in a free and impartial Commonwealth; of which the Army being afraid, thought it necessary to dissolve them, and accordingly Cromwel next Day called two Files of Musqueteers into the House, and pulled the Speaker out of the Chair, behaving himself like a Madman, vilifying the Members, and calling one a Whoremaster, another a Drunkard, bidding the Soldiers take away that Fool’s bauble the Mace; and so good-night to the Parliament.

When they had done this Act of violence, the Council of Officers set up a new form of Government, and chose a certain number of Persons out of every County and City of England, Scotland and Ireland: and these they invested with the Supreme Power, but soon after expelled them, and then Cromwel set up himself, and framed a new Instrument of Government by a Protector and a House of Commons, in pursuance of which he called a Parliament. But they not answering his Expectations, he excluded all that would not subscribe his Instrument; and those that remained, not proving for his Purpose neither, he dissolved them with a great deal of opprobrious Language. He then divided England into several Districts or Divisions, and placed Major Generals or Intendants over them, who governed like so many Bashaws, decimating the Cavaliers, and raising Taxes at their Pleasure. Then forsooth he had a mind to make himself King, and called another Parliament to that purpose, after his usual manner secluding such Members as he did not like. To this Assembly he offered another Instrument Edition: current; Page: [71] of Government, which was by a Representative of the People, a 2d House composed of 70 Members in the Nature of a House of Lords, and a single Person; and left a Blank for what name he should be called, which this worthy Assembly filled up with that of King, addressed to Cromwel that he would be pleased to accept it, and gave him power to nominate the Members of the Other House. This the great Officers of the Army resented, for it destroyed all their hopes of being Tyrants in their turn, and therefore addressed the Parliament against the Power and Government of a King, which made Cromwel decline that Title, and content himself with a greater Power under the name of Protector. Afterwards he named the Other House, as it was called, for the most part out of the Officers of the Army; but even this Parliament not pleasing him, he dissolved them in a fury, and governed the Nation without any Parliament at all till he died.

After his death the Army set up his Son Richard, who called a new Parliament; but their procceedings being not agreeable to the humour of the Soldiery they forced the Protector to dissolve them: then they deposed him, and took the Power into their own hands; but being unable to wield it, they restored the Commonwealth, and soon after expelled them again, because they would not settle the Military Sword independent of the Civil: Then they governed the Nation by a Council of War at Wallingford-House, and chose a Committee of Safety for the executive part of the Government; but that Whim lasted but a little time before they chose Conservators of Liberty; and that not doing neither, they agreed that every Regiment should choose two Representatives, and this worthy Council should settle the Nation; when they met, sometimes they were for calling a new Parliament, sometimes for restoring the old, which was at last done. By this means all things fell into Confusion, which gave Monk an opportunity of marching into England, where he acted his part so dexterously, that he restored the King with part of that Army which had cut off his Father’s Head.

This is a true and lively Example of a Government with an Army; an Army that was raised in the Cause, Edition: current; Page: [72] and for the sake of Liberty; composed for the most part of Men of Religion and Sobriety. If this Army could commit such violences upon a Parliament always successful, that had acquired so much Reputation both at home and abroad, at a time when the whole People were trained in Arms, and the Pulse of the Nation beat high for Liberty; what are we to expect if in a future Age an ambitious Prince should arise with a dissolute and debauched Army, a flattering Clergy, a prostitute Ministry, a Bankrupt House of L———ds, a Pensioner House of C———ns, and a slavish and corrupted Nation?

By this means came in Charles the Second, a luxurious effeminate Prince, a deep Dissembler, and if not a Papist himself, yet a great favourer of them: But the People had suffered so much from the Army, that he was received with the utmost Joy and Transport. The Parliament in the Honymoon passed what Laws he pleased, gave a vast Revenue for Life, being three times as much as any of his Predecessors ever enjoyed, and several Millions besides to be spent in his Pleasures. This made him conceive vaster hopes of Arbitrary Power than any that went before him; and in order to it he debauched and enervated the whole Kingdom: His Court was a scene of Adulteries, Drunkenness, and Irreligion, appearing more like Stews, or the Feasts of Bacchus, than the Family of a Chief Magistrate: And in a little time the Contagion spread thro’ the whole Nation, that it was out of the Fashion not to be leud, and scandalous not to be a public Enemy: Which has been the occasion of all the Miseries that have since happened, and I am afraid will not be extinguished but by our ruin. He was no sooner warm in his Seat but he rejected an advantageous Treaty of Commerce which Oliver made with France, as done by an Usurper; suffered the French to lay Impositions upon all our Goods, which amounted to a Prohibition, insomuch that they got a Million a Year from us in the overbalance of Trade. He sold that important Fortress of Dunkirk, let the French seize St. Christophers and other places in North America

He began a foolish and unjust War with the Dutch; and tho’ the Parliament gave him vast Sums to maintain it, yet he spent so much upon his Vices, that they got Edition: current; Page: [73] great advantages of us, and burnt our Fleet at Chatham. At last he made as dishonourable a Peace with them, as he had done a War; perpetual reproach to our Country, that our Reputation at Sea should be sunk to so low an ebb as to be baffled by that Nation, who but a few Years before had sent a blank Paper to the Parliament, to prescribe to them what Laws they pleased. During this War the City of London was fired, not without violent suspicions that the Fireballs were prepared at Whitehall. Soon after this he entred into the Triple Alliance to oppose the growing greatness of France, and received a great Sum from the Parliament to maintain it, which he made use of to break the same League; sent Mr. Coventry to Sweden to dissolve it; and entred into a strict Alliance with France, which was sealed with his Sister’s Blood. In Conjunction with them he made a new War upon Holland, to extirpate Liberty, and the Protestant Religion; but knowing the Parliament were averse to the War, and would not support him in it, he attempted before any War declared to seize their Smyrna Fleet, shut up the Exchequer, and became so mean as to be a Pensioner to France, from whence his Predecessors with Swords in their Hands had so often exacted Tribute. He not only suffered, but assisted them to arrive at that pitch of Greatness, which all Europe since hath sufficiently felt and lamented. He sent over ten thousand Men to assist in subduing Flanders and Germany, by whose help they did several considerable Actions. He sent them Timber, Seamen, Ship Carpenters, and Models, contrary to the Policy of all Nations; which raised their Naval Force to a degree almost equal to our own: And for their exercise, he suffered them to take multitudes of English Ships by their Privateers, without so much as demanding satisfaction.

During this War he issued out a Declaration suspending the Penal Laws, which appears to be designed in favour of the Papists, by his directing a Bill afterwards to be stolen away out of the House of Lords, for indulging Protestant Dissenters, whom he persecuted violently most of his Reign, while he both countenanced and preferred Papists broke the Act of Settlement in Ireland, restored them to their Estates, issued forth a Proclamation Edition: current; Page: [74] giving the Papists liberty to inhabit in Corporations, and married the Duke of York not only to a Papist, but one in the French Interest, notwithstanding the repeated Addresses of the Parliament to the contrary. It was in this Reign that that cursed and detestable Policy was much improved of bribing Parliaments, by distributing all the great Employments in England among them, and supplying the Want of Places with Grants of Lands and Money. No Man could be preferred to any Employment in Church or State, till he had declared himself an open Enemy to our Constitution, by asserting Despotic Power under that nonsensical Phrase of Passive Obedience, which was more preach’d up than all the Laws of God and Man. The Hellish Popish Plot was stifled, proved since too true by fatal Experience; and in the Room of it Protestant ones were forg’d, and Men trapann’d into others, as the Meal-Tub, Fitz Harris’s, the Rye-House, Newmarket, and Black-Heath Plots; and by these Pretences, and the Help of Packt Judges and Juries, they butchered some of the best Men in England, set immoderate Fines upon others, gave probable Suspicion of cutting the Lord Essex’s Throat; and to finish our Destruction, they took away the Charters, as fast as they were able, of all the Corporations in England, that would not choose the Members prescribed them.

But he durst not have dreamt of all these Violations if he had not had an Army to justify them. He had thoughts at first of keeping up the Parliament-Army, which was several times in Debate. But Chancellor Hyde prevailed upon him by this Argument, that they were a Body of Men that had cut off his Father’s Head; that they had set up and pulled down ten several Sorts of Government; and that it might be his own Turn next. So that his Fears prevailing over his Ambition, he consented to disband them; but soon found how vain and abortive a Thing Arbitrary Power would prove without an Army. He therefore try’d all ways to get one; and first he attempted it in Scotland, and by means of the Duke of Lauderdale, got an Act passed there, whereby the Kingdom of Scotland was obliged to raise 20000 Foot and 2000 Horse at his Majesty’s Call, to march into any Part of his Dominions; and this Law is in Edition: current; Page: [75] Being at this Day. Much about the same Time he raised Guards in England (a Thing unheard of before in our English Constitution) and by Degrees increas’d them, till they became a formidable Army; for first they were but very few, but by adding insensibly more Men to a Troop or Company, and then more Troops or Companies to a Regiment, before the second Dutch War he had multiplied them to near 5000 Men. He then began that War in Conjunction with France, and the Parliament gave him two Millions and a half to maintain it, with Part of which Money he rais’d about 12000 Men, which were called the Black-Heath Army (appointing Marshal Shomberg to be their General, and Fitz Gerald, an Irish Papist, their Lieutenant-General) and pretended he rais’d them to attack Holland; but instead of using them to that purpose, he kept them encamped upon Black-Heath, hovering over the City of London, which put both the Parliament and City in such Confusion, that the King was forced at last to disband them. But there were several Accidents contributed to it: First, the ill Success he had in the War with the Dutch, such Gallantries being not to be attempted but in the highest Raptures of Fortune: Next, the never to be forgotten Generosity of that great Man General Shomberg, whose mighty Genius scorn’d so ignoble an Action as to put Chains upon a free People; and last of all, the Army themselves mutinied for want of Pay; which added to the ill Humours that were then in the Nation, made the King willing to disband them. But at the same time, contrary to the Articles of Peace with the Dutch, he continu’d ten thousand Men in the French Service, for the most part under Popish Officers, to be season’d there in slavish Principles, that they might be ready to execute any Commands when they were sent for over. The Parliament never met, but they address’d the King to recall these Forces out of France, and disband them; and several times prepar’d Bills to that purpose, which the King always prevented by a Prorogation; but at last was prevail’d upon to issue forth a Proclamation to recall them, yet at the same time supplied them with Recruits, encourag’d some to go voluntarily into that Service, and press’d, imprison’d, and carried over others Edition: current; Page: [76] by main Force; besides, he only disbanded the new rais’d Regiments, and not all of them neither, for he kept up in England five thousand eight hundred and ninety private Men, besides Officers, which was his Establishment in 1673.

The King having two great designs to carry on together, viz. Popery and Arbitrary Power, thought this Force not enough to do his Business effectually; and therefore cast about how to get a new Army, and took the most plausible way, which was pretending to entet into a War with France; and to that purpose sent Mr. Thyn to Holland, who made a strict League with the States: And immediately upon it the King called the Parliament, who gave him 1200000 Pounds to enter into an actual War, with which Money he raised an Army of between twenty and thirty thousand Men within less than forty Days, and sent part of them to Flanders. At the same time he continued his Forces in France, and took a Sum of Money from that King to assist him in making a private Peace with Holland: So that instead of a War with France, the Parliament had given a great Sum to raise an Army to enslave themselves. But it happened about this time that the Popish Plot broke out, which put the Nation into such a Ferment, that there was no stemming the Tide: So that he was forced to call the Parliament which met the 23d of October 78, who immediately fell upon the Popish Plot and the Land Army. Besides there were discovered 57 Commissions granted to Papists to raise Men, countersigned J. Will———son; for which, and saying that the King might keep Guards if he could pay them, he was committed to the Tower. This so enrag’d the Parliament, that they immediately proceeded to the disbanding of the Army, and passed an Act that all raised since the 29th of September 77 should be disbanded, and gave the King 693388 pounds to pay off their Arrears, which he made use of to keep them up, and dissolved the Parliament; but soon after called another, which pursued the same Counsels, and passed a second Act to disband the Army, gave a new Sum for doing it, directed it to be paid into the Chamber of London, appointed Commissioners of their own, and passed a Vote, That the continuance of any Standing Forces in this Edition: current; Page: [77] Nation other than the Militia, was illegal, and a great Grievance and Vexation to the People; so that Army was disbanded. Besides this, they complain’d of the Forces that were in France, and addressed the King again to recall them, which had some Effect; for he sent over no more Recruits, but suffered them to wear out by degrees. The Establishment upon the Dissolution of this Army, which was in the Year 1679-80, were 5600 private Soldiers, besides Officers. From this time he never agreed with his People, but dissolved three Parliaments following for enquiring into the Popish Plot; and in the three last Years of his Reign called none at all. And to crown the work, Tangier is demolished, and the Garrison brought over, and placed in the most considerable Ports in England; which made the Establishment in 1683-4, 848z private Men, besides Officers. It is observable in this King’s Reign, that there was not one Sessions but his Guards were attacked, and never could get the least Countenance from Parliament; but to be even with them the Court as much discountenanced the Militia and never would suffer it to be made useful. Thus we see the King husbanded a few Guards so well, that in a small Number of Years they grew to a formidable Army, notwithstanding all the Endeavours of Parliament to the contrary; so difficult it is to prevent the growing of an Evil, that does not receive a check in the beginning.

He increased the Establishment in Ireland to 7700 Men, Officers included; whereas they never exceeded in any former Reign 2000, when there was more occasion for them: The Irish not long before having been entirely reduced by Cromwell, and could never have held up their Heads again without his Countenance. But the Truth of it was, his Army was to support the Irish, and the fear of the Irish was to support his Army.

Towards the latter end of this King’s Reign the Nation had so entirely lost all sense of Liberty, that they grew fond of their Chains; and if his Brother would have suffered him to have lived longer, or had followed his Example, by this time we had been as great Slaves as in France. But it was God’s great Mercy to us that he was made in another Mold, Imperious, Obstinate, and a Bigot, pushed on by the Counsels of France and Rome, and the Edition: current; Page: [78] violence of his own Nature; so that he quickly run himself out of breath. As soon as he came to the Crown, he seized the Customs and Excise without Authority of Parliament: He picked out the Scum and Scandals of the Law to make Judges upon the Bench; and turned out all that would not sacrifice their Oaths to his Ambition, by which he discharged the Lords out of the Tower, inflicted those barbarous Punishments on Dr. Oates, Mr. Johnson, &c. butchered many hundreds of Men in the West, after they had been trapanned into a Confession by promise of Pardon, murdered Cornish, got the Dispensing Power to be declared in Westminster-hall, turned the Fellows of Magdalen-college out of their Freeholds, to make way for a Seminary of Priests, and hanged Soldiers for running away from their Colours. He erected the ecclesiastical Commission, suspended the Bishop of London, because he would not inflict the same Punishment upon Dr. Sharp, for preaching against Popery. He closetted the Nobility and Gentry, turned all out of Employment that would not promise to repeal the Test, put in Popish Privy-Counsellors, Judges, Deputy Lieutenants, and Justices of Peace; and to get all this confirmed by the shew of Parliament, he prosecuted the Work his Brother had begun in taking away Charters, and new modelled the Corporations, by a sort of Vermin called Regulators. He received a Nuntio from Rome, and sent an Ambassador thither. He erected a Popish Seminary at the Savoy to pervert Youth, suffered the Priests to go about in their Habits, made Tyrconnel Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, turned all the Protestants out of the Army and most of the Civil Employments there, and made Fitton (a Papist, and one detected for Perjury) Chancellor of that Kingdom. He issued out a Proclamation in Scotland, wherein he asserted his Absolute Power, which all his Subjects were to obey without reserve; a Prerogative, I think, never claimed by the Great Turk, or the Mogul. He issued out a Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, ordered it to be read in all Churches, and imprisoned and tried the seven Bishops, because they humbly offered their Reasons in a Petition against it: And to consummate all, that we might have no Hopes of retrieving our Misfortunes, Edition: current; Page: [79] he imposed a counterfeit Prince of Wales upon the Nation.

Soon after he came to the Crown, the Duke of Monmouth landed, and in a few Weeks got together six or seven thousand Men: But they having neither Arms or Provisions, were easily defeated by not many more than 2000 of the King’s Troops. Which leaves a sad Prospect of the Consequence of a Standing Army: For here was a Prince, the Darling of the common People, fighting against a bigotted Papist, that was hated and abhored by them, and yet defeated by so small a Number of Men, and many of them too his Friends; such is the Force of Authority. King James took occasion from hence to increase his Army to between fifteen and sixteen thousand Men, and then unmasked himself, called his Parliament, and in a haughty Speech told them, He had increased his Army, put in Officers not qualified by the Test, and that he would not part with them. He asked a Supply, and let them know he expected their compliance. This was very unexpected to those Loyal Gentlemen, who had given him such a vast Revenue for Life, who refused to take any Security but his Majesty’s never-failing Word for the Protestant Religion, and indeed had done for him whatever he asked; which yet was not very extraordinary, since he had the choosing of most of them himself. But even this Parliament turned short upon an Army; which puts me in mind of a saying of Machiavel, viz. That it is as hard a matter for a Man to be perfectly bad as perfectly good; though if he had lived at this Time, I believe he had changed his Opinion. The Court laboured the matter very much; and to shew that good Wits jump, they told us that France was grown formidable, that the Dutch Forces were much increased, that we must be strong in proportion for the preservation of ourselves and Flanders, and that there was no Dependance upon the Militia. But this shallow Rhetoric would not pass upon them. They answered, that we had defended ourselves for above a thousand Years without an Army; that a King’s truest Strength is the Love of his People; that they would make the Militia useful, and ordered a Bill to be brought in to that Purpose. But all this served only to fulfil their Iniquity; for they had done their own Edition: current; Page: [80] Business before, and now he would keep an Army up in spite of them: So he prorogued them, and called no other Parliament during his reign; but to frighten the City of London, kept his Army encamped at Hounslowheath, when the Season would permit, which put not only them but the whole Nation into the utmost Terror and Confusion. Towards the latter End of his Reign he had increased his Army in England to above twenty thousand Men, and in Ireland to eight thousand seven hundred and odd.

This King committed two fatal Errors in his Politicks, The first was his falling out with his old Cronies the Priests, who brought him to the Crown in spite of his Religion, and would have supported him in Arbitrary Government to the utmost; nay, Popery (especially the worst Part of it, viz. the Domination of the Church) was not so formidable a Thing to them, but with a little Cookery it might have been rendered palatable. But he had Priests of another sort that were to rise upon their Ruins; and he thought to play an easier Game by caressing the Dissenters, employing them, and giving them Liberty of Conscience: Which Kindness looked so preposterous, that the wise and sober Men among them could never heartily believe it, and when the Prince of Orange landed, turned against him.

His second Error was the disobliging his own Army, by bring over Regiments from Ireland, and ordering every Company to take in so many Irish Papists; by which they plainly saw he was reforming his Army, and would cashire them all as fast as he could get Papists to supply their room. So that he violated the Rights of the People, fell out with the Church of England, made uncertain Friends of the Dissenters, and disobliged his own Army; by which means they all united against him, and invited the Prince of Orange to assist them: Which Invitation he accepted, and landed at Torbay the 5th of November, 1688, publishing a Declaration, which set forth all the Oppressions of the last Reign [but the keeping up a Standing Army] declared for a free Parliament, in which things were to be so settled that there should be no danger of falling again into Slavery, and promised to Edition: current; Page: [81] send back all his foreign Forces as soon as this was done.

When the News of his Landing was spread through England, he was welcomed by the universal Acclamations of the People. He had the Hands, the Hearts, and the Prayers of all honest Men in the Nation: Every one thought the long wished for time of their Deliverance was come. King James was deserted by his own Family, his Court, and his Army. The Ground he stood upon mouldred under him; so that he sent his Queen and Foundling to France before him, and himself followed soon after. When the Prince came to London, he disbanded most of those Regiments that were raised from the time he landed; and King James’s Army that were disbanded by Feversham, were ordered to repair all again to their Colours: Which was thought by some a false step, believing it would have been more our Interest to have kept those Regiments which came in upon the Principle on which this Revolution is founded, that Forces that were raised in violation of the Laws, and to support a tyrannical Government: Besides, the miserable Condition of Ireland required our speedy Assistance, and these Men might have been trusted to do that work.

Within a few days after he came to Town, he summoned the Lords, and no long after the Members of the three last Parliaments of King Charlis the Second, and was addressed to by both Houses to take upon him the Administration of the Government, to take into his particular care the then present Condition of Ireland, and to issue forth Circulatory Letters for the choosing a Convention of Estates. All this time Ireland lay bleeding, and Tyrconnel was raising an Army, disarming the Protestants, and dispossessing them of all the Places they held in Lanster, Munster and Connaught, which occasioned frequent Applications here for Relief, though it was to send them but one or two Regiments; and it that could not be done, to send them Arms and Commission, which in all probability would have made the Reduction of that Kingdom very easy. Yet though the Prince’s and King James’s Army were both in England, no relief was sent, by which means the Irish got possession of the whole Kingdom, but Londonderry and Inniskilling, the former Edition: current; Page: [82] of which Towns shut up its Gates the ninth of December, declaring for the Prince of Orange, and addressed for immediate Relief, yet could neither get Arms or Ammunition till the 20th of March; and the Forces that were sent with Cunningham and Richards arrived not there till the 15th of April, and immediately after deserted the Service, and came back again, bringing Lundy the Governor before appointed by his Majesty with them, and alledged for their Excuse, that it was impossible to defend the Town. But notwithstanding this Treachery, such was the resolution of the besieged, that they continued to defend themselves with the utmost Bravery, and sent again for Relief, which under Kirk came not to them till the 7th of June, nor were these poor Creatures actually relieved till the 30th of July, though there appears no reason why he might not have done it when he first came into the Harbour, which was more than seven Weeks before. Thus we see the Resolution of these poor Men wearied out all their Disappointments.

When the Convention met, they resolved upon twenty eight Articles, as the Preliminaries upon which they would dispose the Crown; but this Design dwindled into a Declaration of our Rights, which was in thirteen Articles, and the most considerable, viz, That the raising and keeping up a Standing Army in times of Peace is contrary to Law, had tagg’d to it these Words, without Authority of Parliament, as if the consent of the Parliament would not have made it legal without those words, or that their Consent would make it less dangerous. This made the Jacobites say in those early Days, that some evil Counsellors designed to play the same game again of a Standing Army, and attributed unjustly the neglect of Ireland to the same Cause, because by that omission it was made necessary to raise a greater Army to reduce it, with which the King acquainted the Parliament the 8th of March, when speaking of the deplorable Condition of Ireland, he declared he thought it not adviseable to attempt the reducing it with less than 20000 Horse and Foot. This was a bitter Pill to the Parliament, who thought they might have managed their Share of the War with France at Sea; but there was no Remedy, a greater Army must be raised, or Ireland lost; and to gild Edition: current; Page: [83] it, all the Courtiers ushered in their Speeches with this Declaration, that they would have been the first for disbanding them when the War was over; and this Declaration has been made as often as an Army has been debated since during the War, and I suppose punctually observ’d last Sessions. At last the Thing was consented to, and the King issu’d forth Commissions for the raising of Horse, Foot, and Dragoons. In this Army very few Gentlemen of Estates in Ireland could get Employments, though they were in a miserable Condition here, and made their utmost Application for them; it being a common Objection by some Colonels, that a Man had an Estate there, which in all likelihood wou’d have made him more vigorous in reducing the Kingdom. It was long after this Army was rais’d, before they could be ready to be transported; and even then it was commonly said, that Shomberg found many Things out of Order; and when they were at last transported, which was about the middle of August, they were not in a Condition to fight the Enemy, though lately baffled before Londonderry, especially their Carriages not coming to them till the 24th of September, when it was high time to go into Winter Quarters. By this means the Irish got Strength and Courage, and three fourths of our Army perish’d at the Camp at Dundalk.

But though our Army could do nothing, yet the Militia of the Country, almost without Arms or Cloaths, performed Miracles, witness that memorable Siege of Londonderry, the Defeat of General Mackarty, who was intrench’d in a Bog with ten thousand regular Troops, and attack’d by fifteen hundred Inniskilling Men, defeated, himself made a Prisoner, and three thousand of his Men kill’d; and a great many other gallant Actions they perform’d, for which they were dismissed by Kirk with Scorn and Ignominy, and most of their Officers left to starve. Thus the War in Ireland was nurs’d up either through Chance, Inadvertency, or the Necessity of our Affairs (for I am willing to think it was Design) till at last it was grown so big, that nothing less than his Majesty’s great Genius, and the usual Success that has always attended his Conduct, could have overcome it.

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When the Parliament met that Winter, they fell upon the examination of the Irish Affairs; and finding Commissary Shales was the cause of a great part of the Miscarriages, they addressed his Majesty that he would be pleased to acquaint the House who it was that advised the imploying him, which his Majesty did not remember. They then addressed, that he would be pleased to order him to be taken into Custody, and it was done accordingly; upon which Shales sent a Letter to the Speaker, desiring he might be brought over to England, where he would vindicate himself, and justify what he had done. Then the House addressed his Majesty again, that he might be brought over with all convenient speed; and the King was pleased to answer, that he had given such Orders already. Then the House referred the matter to a private Committee; but before any Report made, or Shales could be brought to England, the Parliament was prorogued, and after dissolved; and soon after he fell sick and died.

The neglect of Ireland this Year made it necessary to raise more Forces, and increase our Establishment, which afterwards upon pretence of invading France was advanced to eighty seven thousand six hundred ninety eight Men. At last by our great Armies and Fleets, and the constant expence of maintaining them, we were too hard for the Oeconomy, Skill, and Policy of France; and notwithstanding all our Difficulties, brought them to Terms both Safe and Honourable.

It not being to the purpose of this Discourse, I shall omit giving any account of the Conduct of our Fleet during this War, how few Advantages we reaped by it, and how many Opportunities we lost in destroying the French. Only thus much I will observe, that tho’ a great part of it may be attributed to the Negligence, Ignorance, or Treachery of inferior Officers, yet it could not so universally happen thro’ the whole course of the War, and unpunished too, notwithstanding the clamours of the Merchants, and repeated complaints in Parliament, unless the cause had laid deeper: What that is, I shall not presume to enquire; but I am sure there has been a very ill Argument drawn from it, viz. That a Fleet is no security to us.

As soon as the Peace was made, his Majesty discharged a great part of the foreign Forces; and an Advertisement Edition: current; Page: [85] was published in the Gazette, that ten Regiments should be forthwith disbanded; and we were told, as soon as it was done, that more should follow their example. But these Resolutions, it seems, were altered, and the modish Language was, that we must keep up a Standing Army. Their Arguments were turned topsy turvy: For as during the War the People were prevailed upon to keep up the Army in hopes of a Peace; so now we must keep them up for fear of a War. The Condition of France, which they had been decrying for many Years, was now magnified: We are told, that it was doubtful whether the French King would deliver up any of the Towns; that he was preparing a valt Fleet upon the Lord knows what Design; that it was impossible to make a Militia useful; that the warlike King Jemmy had an Army of eighteen thousand Irish Heroes in France, who would be ready when called for; and that the King of Spain was dying. The Members of Parliament were discoursed with as they came to Town; ’twas whispered about, that the Whigs would be all turned out of Employments: A new Plot was said to be discovered for murdering the King, and searches were made at Midnight thro’ the whole City to the discovery of Plenty of Fornicators but no Traitors. The Placemongers consulted among themselves, and found by a wonderful Sympathy they were all of one Opinion; and if by any means they could get a few more to be of the same, the day was their own: So they were positive of success, and very sure they should carry it by above a hundred Voices.

The House had not sat a Week, but this matter came to be debated; and the Question in the Committee was, Whether all Forces raised since the Year 80 should be disbanded? Which was carried in the Affirmative, the Court being not able to bring it to a division; and the next Day when it was reported, they did not attempt to set aside the Vote, but to recommit it, upon pretence it tied the King to the old Tory Regiments, (tho’ by the way, none of those Regiments have been since disbanded) and some said they thought the Forces in 80 too many. I can safely say, tho’ I had frequent discourse with many of them, yet I never heard any one of them at that time pretend to be for a greater force than this Vote left the Edition: current; Page: [86] King: But let what will be their Reasons, it was carried against them by a Majority of 37, the Affirmatives being 185, and the Negatives 148. I will not here take Notice of what some People have said, viz. That of the 148 who were for recommitting the Vote, 116 had Places, because I doubt the fact; nor do I believe their Places would biass them.

This was a thorow Victory, and required great Skill and address to retrieve. The fears of France were again multiplied; ’twas said there was a private Article that King James was to leave France, which the French refused to perform; that Boufflers and the Earl of Portland had given one another the Life; that some of the latter’s Retinue had been killed; that the French Ambassador was stopped, the King of Spain dead, and abundance more to this purpose. The Club was set up at the R—, great Applications made, the Commission of the Excise was declared to be broke (by which nine Commissioners Places were to be disposed of, and above 40 Persons named for them) and many of the Country Gentlemen were gone home. Thus recruited, they were ready for a new Encounter: and since by the Rules of the House they could not set aside the former Vote directly, they would try to do it by a side Wind; which was by moving, that directions might be given to the Committee of Ways and Means to consider of a supply for Guards and Garisons: But the other side, to obviate this, offered these Words as an Amendment, viz. According to the Vote of the 11th of December. This matter was much laboured, and the Gentlemen that were against the Army explained themselves, and declared they were not for obliging the King to the Regiments in 80, but that they insisted only on the Number, and he might choose what Regiments he pleased. By this Means they carried it, but not without great opposition, (tho’ I presume from none of those Gentlemen who declared in all Places they were for recommitting the former Vote only for the Reasons before given) besides, they were forced to explain themselves out of a considerable part of it, for they allowed the King the Dutch Regiments, and the Tangeriners; which in my Opinion could not be well understood by the former Vote, the meaning of which seems to be that the Edition: current; Page: [87] King should have all the Forces that Charles the 2d had in 80 in England, and these were not then here; the Holland Regiments being paid by the States, and their Soldiers; and the others 500 Leagues off at Tangier. But all this advantage would not satisfy the Army-Gentlemen: For in the Committee they endeavoured again to set aside the Vote, by moving for a Sum of 500000 Pounds per Annum for Guards and Garrisons, without naming any certain Number (which would have maintained above 20000) but this could not be carried; therefore they came to a sort of Composition, to have but 10000, whereof a great number were to be Horse and Dragoons; and the Sum given to maintain them was 350000 Pounds; But notwithstanding this they moved afterwards for 3000 Marines (alledging that these were not a Land-Force, but a Water-Force) which was carried.

Here I will beg leave to observe one thing, that nothing would satisfy the Courtiers at the beginning of the Winter but to have the Forces established by the Parliament, and upon other Terms they would not accept them; and in all Companys said, that any Minister that advised the King to keep them up otherwise, or any Officers that continued his Commission ought to be attainted of High Treason: About which I shall not differ with these Gentlemen, nor do I arraign them for altering their Opinion; for perhaps they may conceive that a Vote to give 350000 Pounds for Guards and Garrisons, is a sufficient Authority against Law to quarter Soldiers in all parts of England, as well out of Garisons, as in them, and as well at a distance from the King’s Person, as about it.

Thus what our Courts for above a thousand Years together had never Effrontery enough to ask; what the Pensioner Parliament could not think of without Astonishment; what King James’s Parliament (that almost chosen by himself) could not hear debated with Patience, we are likely to have the honour of establishing in our own Age, even under a Deliverance.

Now we will examine how far they have complied with the Resolutions of the House of Commons. Having so far gained upon the first Vote by the means before related, ’twas not easy to be imagined but they would nicely perform Edition: current; Page: [88] the rest, without any art or evasion: But instead of this, they formed a certain number of Men out of every Troop and Company, and kept up all the Officers, who are the most essential and chargeable part of an Army, the private Soldiers being to be raised again in a few Days whenever they please. This is such a disbanding as every Officer would have made in his Company for his private advantage, and always did in Charles the 2d’s time, and even in this Reign when they were not in Action: So that all the effect of such a Reform is to hinder the Officers from false Musters, and save the pay of a few common Soldiers.

But this would not satisfy the People, and therefore they dishanded some Regiments of Horse, Foot and Dragoons, and thought of that profound Expedient of sending a great many more to Ireland; as if our grievance was not the fear of being enslaved by them, but lest they should spend their Money among us. I am sorry the Nation is grown so contemptible in these Gentlemens Opinions, as to think that they can remove our fears of a Standing Army by sending them threescore Miles off, from whence they may recall them upon a few Days notice. Nay an Army kept in Ireland, is more dangerous to us than at home: For here by perpetual converse with their Relations and Acquaintance, some few of them perhaps may warp towards their Country; whereas in Ireland they are kept as it were in a Garison, where they are shut up from the communication of their Countrymen, and may be nursed up in another Interest. This is true, that ’tis a common Policy among Arbitrary Princes often to shift their Soldiers Quarters, lest they should contract friendship among the Natives, and by degrees fall into their Interest.

It may be said perhaps, That the People of Ireland will pay them; which makes the matter so much the worse, for they are less likely to have any regard to their Country. Besides if we consider the Lords Justices Speech to that Parliament, wherein they are let know that his Majesty Expects that they will continue the Subsistence to the disbanded Officers, and support the present Establishment (which by the way is near three times as great as Charles Edition: current; Page: [89] the Second’s) and this without any other Ceremony or qualification of Time (with which his Majesty was pleased to express himself to his English and Scotch Parliaments) we may be convinced that they are not in a Condition to dispute this matter; especially at a time when they apprehend Hardships will be put upon them in relation to their Trade: And therefore we may be sure they will gratify the Court to the utmost of their Power, in hopes, if they cannot prevent the passing a Law against them, to obtain a connivance in the execution. We may add; by this means they will keep their Money in their own Country, a great part whereof came formerly to England, and have an opportunity of returning the Compliment we designed them last Year, if we don’t prevent it by dishanding the Army there, as Strafford’s Army in Ireland was formerly in the 15th of Charles the first, and lately another in 1678 by our English Parliaments.

I cannot avoid taking notice here, how different the modish Sentiments are in Ireland and England: For there the Language is, We must comply with the Court, in keeping up the Army, or otherwise the Woollen Manufacture is gone; and here the Men in fashion tell us, that an Army must be kept in Ireland to destroy the Woollen Manufacture, and execute the Laws we make against them; and in order to it the People of Ireland are to pay them.

This project of sending Men to Ireland was so transparent, that they durst not rely upon it; and therefore they told us, that as fast as Money could be got, they would disband more Regiments. The People were in great Expectation when it would be done, and several times it was taken notice of in Parliament; and the Courtiers always assured them that nothing hindred it but the want of Money to pay them off. ’Twas confidently said in all publick places, that eighteen Regiments more would be disbanded, and the Regiments were named; and I have heard it with great Assurance affirmed by the Agents and Officers themselves, that the King had signed it in Council. Thus the Session was worn out, till the House of Commons, tired with Expectation, addressed his Majesty, That he would be pleased to give order that a List be laid before the House of the Army disbanded, and intended to be Edition: current; Page: [90] disbanded, and of the Officers Names who are to have half pay; and his Majesty was pleased to answer, That he would comply with the desires of the House, as soon as conveniently be could: But the Parliament sitting not above a Month afterwards, his Majesty sent them no farther answer.

At last the Parliament rose, and instead of disbanding they brought over a great many foreign Regiments, and sent them to Ireland, as well as three more English ones. But even all this would not bring their Army in England down to ten thousand Men; so that they made another Reform, and since have incorporated the Officers of the disbanded Regiments in Ireland into the Standing Troops, by which means they have got an Army of Officers: Whereas if these Gentlemen design their Army to defend us against a sudden Invasion, or to be in readiness against the King of Spain’s Death, in my poor Opinion they should have kept up the private Soldiers, and disbanded all the Officers but such as are just necessary to exercise them; for Officers will be always ready to accept good Employments, whereas the private Soldiers will be very difficulty listed again in a new War, though we all know they are easily to be got together, when they are only to insult their Countrymen.

One good effect of this Army has already appeared; for I presume every Body has heard how prevailing an Argument it was in the late Elections, That if we choose such a Man, we shall be free from Quarters: And I wish this Argument does not every day grow stronger. Nay, who knows but in another Reign the Corporations may be told that his Majesty expects they will choose the Officers of the Army, and the Parliament be told that he expects they will maintain them?

But to set this matter in a full view, I will here put down the Establishment of King Charles the Second in 88, which was the foundation of the Vote of the 11th of December, as also his present Majesty’s: And in this, as well as my other Computations, I do not pretend but I may be mistaken in many Particulars, though I have taken what care I could not to be so; nor is it material to my purpose, so that the variation from Truth is not considerable.

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I shall also set down King William’s Establishment as the Regiments were before the Reform, because all the Officers still remain, and a great part of the private Soldiers, which I take to be in effect full Regiments; the rest being to be raised again in a few days, if they are designed for home Service, but, as I said before, the hardest to be got if they are designed for Spain or Flanders. But herein if any Man differs from me, he may make his own deductions.

The Establishment of Charles the Second in England in the Year Eighty.

Horse and Dragoons in England.
Troops, & Comp. Com. Offic. Non Com. Of. Private Men. Total Numb.
Troops of Guards 3 48 15 600 663
The Royal Regiment of Horse 8 34 40 400 474
A Troop of Dragoons raised in July, 1680. 1 4 8 40 52
Total Horse and Dragoons 12 86 63 1040 1189
Foot in England.
Gentlemen Pensioners 1 6 0 40 46
Yeomen of the Guard 1 7 0 100 107
The First Regiment of Foot-Guards 24 75 192 1440 1707
The Coldstream Regiment 12 39 96 720 855
The Duke of York’s Regiment 12 39 96 630 765
The Holland Regiment 12 39 96 600 735
Independent Companies 26 78 208 1260 1546
Total Foot in England 88 283 688 4790 5761
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King Charles the Second’s Establishment in Ireland in the Year Eighty.

Troops of Horse 24 96 196 1080 1372
His Foot in Ireland.
Yeomen of the Guard 1 3 0 60 63
A Regiment of Guards 12 40 99 1120 1259
Single Companies 74 222 444 4440 5166
Total Foot in Ireland 87 265 543 5620 6428

I have not here put down the Garrison of Tangier which was about three thousand Men, because that Place is now lost, and consequently wants no Garrison.

I will now set down his present Majesty’s Establishment, and then compare them both together.

Horse and Dragoons upon the English Establishment.
Three Troops of Horse Guards 3 48 15 600 663
One Troop of Dutch Guards 1 15 5 200 220
One Troop of Horse Grenadiers 1 11 20 180 211
Lord Oxford’s Regiment 9 40 45 531 616
Lord Portlaud’s Horse Dutch Regiment 9 42 54 603 699
Lumley’s Regiment 9 40 45 531 616
Wood’s Regiment 6 28 36 354 412
Arran’s Regiment 6 28 36 354 412
Windham’s Regiment 6 28 36 354 412
Shomberg’s Regiment 6 28 36 354 412
Macclesfield’s Regiment 6 28 36 354 412
Raby’s Dragoons 8 37 72 480 589
Flood’s Dragoons 8 37 72 480 589
Lord Essex’s Dragoons 8 37 72 480 589
Total Horse and Drag. in Eng. 86 447 580 4855 6876
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Foot on the English Establishment.
Gentlemen Pensioners 1 6 0 40 46
Yeomen of the Guard 1 7 0 100 107
Lord Rumney’s four Battalions 28 99 222 2240 2563
Lord Cutt’s two Battalions 14 51 112 1120 1283
The Blue Guards a Dutch Regiment, four Battalions 26 96 208 2366 2670
E. of Orkney’s a Scotch Reg. 26 88 208 1560 1656
Selwin’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Churchil’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Trelawny’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Earle’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Seymour’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Colt’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Mordant’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Sir David Collier’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Sir C. Here’s Fusileers in Jersey 13 46 104 780 930
Collingwood’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
A Company at Upnor Castle 1 2 6 50 58
Total Foot in England 227 793 1796 15276 17865
Horse and Dragoons upon the Irish Establishment.
Luson’s Regiment 6 42 30 354 412
Langston’s Regiment 6 42 30 354 412
Lord Gallaway’s a French Reg. 9 113 45 531 689
Ross’s Dragoons 8 37 72 480 589
Ecklins’s Dragoons 8 37 72 480 589
Cunningham’s Dragoons 8 37 72 480 589
Mermon’s a French Regiment 8 74 144 480 698
Total Horse and Drag. in Irel. 53 338 465 3159 3962
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Foot upon the Irish Establishment, with the disbanded Officers incorporated.
Fairfax’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Collumbine’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Webb’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Granvill’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Brewer’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Jacob’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
How’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Steward’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Hanmore’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Titcomb’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Stanley’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Bridges’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Fr. Hamilton’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Ingolsby’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Pisar’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Bellafis’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Guflavus Hamilton’s Reg. 13 66 104 780 950
Tiffany’s Regiment 13 66 104 780 950
Martoon’s a French Reg. 13 83 104 780 967
Lamellioneer’s a French Reg. 13 83 104 780 967
Belcastle’s a French Reg. 13 83 104 780 967
Holt’s Reg. in W. Ind. which is not upon the Irish Est. 13 44 104 780 928
Total Foot in Ireland 286 1481 2288 17160 20929

I will now compare both Establishments together.

His Establishment in England.
Charles the Second’s Horse in Eighty in England 12 86 63 1040 1189
His Foot in England 88 283 688 4790 5791
His Horse & Foot in Eng. 100 369 751 3830 6950
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His Establishment in Ireland.
His Horse in Ireland 24 96 196 1080 1372
His Foot in Ireland 87 265 243 5620 6428
His Horse & Foot in Irel. 111 361 739 6700 7809
All his Army in England and Ireland.
His Horse in England and Ireland 36 183 259 2120 2561
His Foot in England and Ireland 175 548 1231 10410 12189
All his Army in England and Ireland 211 730 1490 12539 14750
King William’s Establishment.
His Horse in England 86 441 580 5855 6876
His Foot in England 227 793 1796 15276 17865
All his Forces in England 313 1234 2376 21131 24741
His Establishment in Ireland.
His Horse in Ireland 53 338 465 3159 3962
His Foot in Ireland 286 1481 2288 17160 20929
All his Forces in Ireland 339 1819 2753 20319 24891
All his Army in England and Ireland.
His Horse and Dragoons in Eng. and Ireland 139 779 1045 9014 10838
His Foot in England and Ireland 513 2274 4084 32436 38794
All his Army in England and Ireland 652 3053 5129 41450 49632
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So that his present Majesty in England and Ireland alone has above three times as many Troops and Companies as Charles the Second in the Year Eighty, almost five times as many Commission Officers, near four times as many Non-Commission Officers; and when the Commanders shall have Orders to recruit their Companies, will have more than three times the Number of common Soldiers, besides the disbanded Officers which are not incorporated into other Regiments; and upon the Establishment they now stand, are as much Creatures to the Court, as if their Regiments were in Being.

His Majesty’s Forces in Scotland, which in the Year Eighty consisted of 2806 Men.

The Troops of Guards 1 15 5 120 140
The Royal Reg of Dragoons 8 37 72 320 429
Jedborough’s Dragoons 6 27 54 240 321
The Royal Reg. of Foot Guards 16 51 128 912 1091
Rew’s Fusileers 16 51 128 640 819
Collier or Hamilton’s Drag. 16 51 128 640 819
Maitland’s Dragoons 16 51 128 640 819
In Garrisons 4 12 24 295 331
All his Forces in Scotland 83 295 667 3807 4769

These Forces are as they are now reduc’d and allowed by the Parliament of Scotland, for Reasons best known to themselves; which without doubt must be very good ones, and ’tis commonly said, that ten Privy Counsellors of that Kingdom, who appear’d against the Army, are turn’d out of the Council; which, if true, I presume will be a sufficient Warning to our Gentlemen at home.

However, there is this Use in the Scotch Army, that if the Parliament of England shall be prevail’d on to think any Forces necessary, a lesser Number will be sufficient.

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His Majesty’s Forces in Holland.
Lawder’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
William Collins’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Muray’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Ferguson’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
Stranaver’s Regiment 13 44 104 780 928
13 44 104 780 928
All the Forces in Holland 78 264 624 4680 5568
S O that his Majesty’s whole Army consists of 813 3612 6420 49937 59969

Of these seven thousand, eight hundred, and seventy seven, are Foreigners, which is the first foreign Army that ever set Foot in England, but as Enemies.

Since the writing of this I am informed, that Brudenall’s Regiment is in Being, and that Eppinger’s Dragoons are in English Pay, which if true, will make the whole Army sixty odd thousand Men; but in this as well as many other Parts of the List I may be mistaken, for which I hope I shall be excused, when I acquaint the Reader that I was forced to pick it out from accidental Discourses with Officers, having applied to my Lord R—’s Office without Success, though I made such Interest for it as upon another Occasion would not have been refused.

If the Prince of Orange in his Declaration, instead of telling us that we should be settled upon such a Foundation that there should be no Danger of our falling again into Slavery, and that he would send back all his Forces as soon as that was done, had promis’d us that after an eight Years War (which should leave us in Debt near twenty Millions) we should have a Standing Army established, a great many of which should be Foreigners, I believe few Men would have thought such a Revolution worth the Hazard of their Lives and Estates; but his Edition: current; Page: [98] mighty Soul was above such abject thoughts as these; his Declaration was his own, these paltry Designs are our Undertakers, who would shelter their own Oppressions under his Sacred Name.

I would willingly know whether the late King James could have enslaved us but by an Army, and whether there is any way of securing us from falling again into Slavery but by disbanding them. It was in that sense I understood his Majesty’s Declaration, and therefore did early take up Arms for him, as I shall be always ready to do. It was this alone which made his assistance necessary to us, otherwise we had wanted none but the Hangman’s.

I will venture to say, that if this Army does not make us Slaves, we are the only People upon Earth in such Circumstances that ever escaped it, with the 4th part of their number. It is a greater force than Alexander conquered the East with, than Cæsar had in his Conquest of Gaul, or indeed the whole Roman Empire; double the number that any of our Ancestors ever invaded France with, Agesilaus the Persians, or Huniades and Scanderbeg the Turkish Empire; as many again as was in any battle between the Dutch and Spaniards in forty Years War, or betwixt the King and Parliament in England; four times as many as the Prince of Orange landed with in England; and in short, as many as have been on both sides in nine Battles of ten that were ever sought in the World. If this Army does not enslave us, it is barely because we have a virtuous Prince that will not attempt it; and it is a most miserable thing to have no other Security for our Liberty, than the Will of a Man, though the most just Man living: For that is not a free Government where there is a good Prince (for even the most arbitrary Governments have had sometimes a Relaxation of their Miseries) but where it is so constituted, that no one can be a Tyrant if he would. Cicero says, though a Master does not tyrannize, yet it is a lamentable consideration that it is in his Power to do so; and therefore such a Power is to be trusted to none, which if it does not find a Tyrant, commonly makes one; and if not him, to be sure a Successor.

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If any one during the Reign of Charles the Second, when those that were called Whigs, with a noble Spirit of Liberty, both in the Parliament House and in private Companies, opposed a few Guards as Badges of Tyranny, a Destruction to our Constitution, and the Foundations of a Standing Army: I say, if any should have told them that a Deliverer should come and rescue them from the Oppressions under which they then laboured; that France by a tedious and consumptive War should be reduced to half the Power it then had; and even at that time they should not only be passive, but use their utmost Interest, and distort their Reason to find out Arguments for keeping up so vast an Army, and make the Abuses of which they had been all their lives complaining, Precedents to justify those Proceedings; whoever would have told them this, must have been very regardless of his Reputation, and been thought to have had a great deal of ill-nature, But the truth is, we have lived in an Age of Miracles, and there is nothing so extravagant that we may not expect to see, when surly Patriots grow servile Flatterers, old Commonwealthsmen declare for the Prerogative, and Admirals against the Fleet.

But I wonder what Arguments in Nature our Hirelings will think of for keeping up an Army this Year. Good Reasons lie within a narrow Compass, and might be guessed at; but nonsense is infinite. The Arguments they chiefly insisted upon last year were, That it was uncertain whether the French King would deliver up any of his Towns if we disbanded our Army; that King James had 18000 Men at his devotion kept by the King of France; that a great Fleet was preparing there upon some unknown Design; that the King of Spain was dying; that there was no Militia settled; and that they would keep them up only for a year to see how the World went. This with a few Lies about my Lord Portland’s and Bouffler’s quarrelling, and some Prophecies of our being invaded in six Months, was the substance of what was said or printed.

Now in fact the French King has delivered up Giron, Roses, Belver, Barcelona, and a great Part of the Province of Catalonia: The Town and Province of Luxemburg, and the County of Chiny; the Towns of Mons, Edition: current; Page: [100] Charleroy, Courtray, and Acth in the Spanish Provinces, to the King of Spain.

The Town of Dinant to the Bishop of Liege.

The Towns of Pignerol, Cazal, Susa, Montmelian, Nice, Villa Franca, all Savoy, and part of Piedmont to the Duke of Savoy.

The Cities of Treves, Germensheim, and the Palatinate; the County of Spanheim, Veldentz, and Dutchy of Deuxponts; the County of Mombelliand, and some Possessions of Burgundy; the Forts of Kiel, Fribourgh, St. Peterfort, Destoile, the Town of Philipsburgh, and most of Alsace, Eberenburg, and the Dutchy of Lorrain to the Empire: Has demolished Hunningen, Montroyal, and Kernburg.

He has delivered up the Principality of Orange to the King of England.

These are vast Countries, and contain in bigness as much ground as the Kingdom of England, and maintain’d the King of France above 100000 Men; besides he had laid out vast Sums in the Fortifications he delivered up and demolished. Add to this, his Kingdom is miserably impoverished and depopulated by this War; his Manufactures much impaired; great Numbers of Offices have been erected, which like Leeches draw away the People’s Blood; prodigious Debts contracted, and a most beneficial Trade with England lost. These things being considered, there can be little danger of their shewing overmuch wantonness, especially for some years; and yet still we must be bullied by the name of Frdnce, and the Fear of it must do what their Power could never yet effect: which is a little too gross, considering they were enslaved by the same means. For in Lewis the XIth’s Time, the French gave up their Liberties for fear of England, and now we must give up ours for fear of France.

Secondly, Most of King James’s English and Irish forces which we have been so often threatned with, are disbanded; and he is said to subsist upon his Majesty’s Charity, which will be a sufficient Caution for his good behavionr.

Thirdly, The French Fleet, which was another Bugbear, exceeded not this year 20 Sail, nor attempted any Thing, though we had no Fleet out to oppose them:

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Fourthly, The King of Spain is not dead, nor in a more dangerous Condition than he has been for some years; and we are not without hopes that his Majesty by his extraordinary Prudence has taken such care as to prevent a new War, in case he should die.

Fifthly, As to the Militia, I suppose every Man is now satisfied that we must never expect to see it made useful till we have disbanded the Army. I would not be here understood to throw the whole Odium of that Matter upon the Court; for there are several other Parties in England, that are not over-zealous for a Militia. First, those who are for restoring King James’s trumpery, and would have the Army disbanded, and no Force settled in the room of it. Next, there are a mungrel sort of Men who are not direct Enemies to the King, yet because their fancied merit is not rewarded at their own price, they are so shagreen that they will not let him have the Reputation of so noble an Establishment. Besides these, there are others that having no Notion of any Militia but our own, and being utterly unacquainted with ancient and modern History, think it impracticable: And some wretched things are against it because of the Charge; whereas if their Mothers had taught them to cast accompts, they would have found out that 52000 Men for a Month, will be but the same charge to the Subject as four thousand for a year, supposing the pay to be the same; and reckoning it to be a third part greater, it will be equivalent to the charge of 6000: And if we should allow them to be out a fortnight longer than was designed by the last Bill for exercising in lesser Bodies, then the utmost Charge of such a Militia will be no more than to keep up 9000 Men the year round. None of the Parties I mentioned will openly oppose a Militia, though they would be all glad to drop it: And I believe nobody will be so hardy as to deny, but if the Court would shew as much Vigour in prosecuting it, as they did last year to keep up a Standing Army, that a Bill would pass; which they will certainly do if we disband the Army, and they think it necessary; and if they do not, we have no reason to think an Army so. When they tell us we may be invaded in the mean time, they are not in earnest; for we all know if the King of France has any Edition: current; Page: [102] Designs, they look another Way: Besides, he has provided no Transports, nor is in any readiness to make an Invasion; and if he was, we have a Fleet to hinder him; nay, even the Militia we have in London and some other Counties, are moderately exercis’d: and I believe those who speak most contemptibly of them will allow them to have natural Courage, and as good Limbs as other People; and if they will allow nothing else, then here is an Army of an hundred or six score thousand Men, ready listed, regimented, horsed and armed; and if there should be any Occasion, his Majesty can put what Officers he pleases of the old Army over them, and the Parliament will be sitting to give him what Powers shall be necessary. We may add to this, that the disbanded Soldiers in all probability will be part of this Body; and then what fear can there be of a scambling Invasion of a few Men?

I have avoided in this place discoursing of the Nature of Militia’s, that Subject having been so fully handled already; only thus much I will observe, that a Standing Army in Peace will grow more effeminate by living dissolutely in Quarters, than a Militia that for the most part will be exercised with hard labour. So that upon the whole matter, a Standing Army in Peace will be worse than a Militia; and in War a Militia will soon be come a disciplined Army.

Sixthly, the Army has been kept up for a Year; which is all was pretended to; and notwithstanding their Prophecies, we have had no Invasion, nor danger of one.

Lastly, the Earl of Portland and Marshal Boufflers were so far from quarrelling, that perhaps no English Ambassador was ever received in France with more Honour.

But further, there is a Crisis in all Affairs, which when once lost, is never to be retrieved. Several Accidents concur to make the disbanding the Army practicable now, which may not happen again. We have a new Parliament, uncorrupted by the Intrigues of the Courtiers: Besides, the Soldiers themselves hitherto have known little but the Fatigues of a War, and have been so paid since, that the private Men would be glad to be distanded; and the Officers would not be very uneasy at Edition: current; Page: [103] it, considering they are to have half Pay, which we must not expect them hereafter when they have lived in Riot and Luxury. Add to this, we have a good Prince, whose Inclinations as well as Circumstances will oblige him to comply with the reasonable Desires of his People. But let us not flatter ourselves, this will not be always so. If the Army should be continued a few Years, they will be accounted part of the Prerogative, and ’twill be thought as great a violation to attempt the disbanding them, as the Guards in Charles the Second’s time; it shall be interpreted a design to dethrone the King, and be made an Argument for the keeping them up.

But there are other Reasons yet: The public Necessities call upon us to contract our Charge, that we may be the sooner out of Debt and in a Condition to make a new War; and ’tis not the keeping great Armies on foot that will enable us to do so, but putting ourselves in a Capacity to pay them. We have had the experience of this in eight Years War; for we have not been successful against France in one Battle, and yet we have weighed it down by meer natural Strength, as I have seen a heavy Country Booby sometimes do a nimble Wrestler: And by the same Method (for our Policy, Oeconomy, or Conduct) we must encounter them hereafter, and in order to it should put ourselves in such Circumstances, that our Enemies may dread a new Quarrel, which can be no otherwise done, but by lessening our Expences, and paying off the public Engagements as fast as we are able. ’Tis a miserable thing to consider that we pay near 4000000 l. a Year upon the account of Funds, no part whereof can be applied to the public Service, un less they design to shut up the Exchequer; which would not be very prudent to own. I would therefore ask some of our Men of Management; suppose there should be a new War, how they propose to maintain it? For we all now know the End of our Line, we have nothing left but a Land Tax, a Poll, and some few Excises, if the Parliament can be prevailed upon to consent to them. And for once I will, suppose, that all together, with what will fall in a Twelvemonth, will amount to 3000000 l. and a half, which is not probable; and we will complement them, by supposing they shall not in case Edition: current; Page: [104] of a new War give above fourteen or fifteen per cent. for Premiums and Interest, then the Remainder will be 3000000 l. I believe I may venture to say, they will not be very fond of lessening the Civil List, and lose their Salaries and Pensions. Then if we deduct 700000 Pound per Annum, upon that account there will be 2300000 pound per Annum, for the use of the War, if the People pay the utmost Penny they are able; so that the Question will not be as in the last War, how we shall carry it on against France at large, but how 2300000 Pound shall be disposed of to the greatest advantage; which I presume every one will believe ought to be in a good Fleet.

This leads me to consider what will be the best, if not the only way of managing a new War in case the King of Spain’s Death, and a new Rupture with France; and I will suppose the Nation to be as perfectly free from all incumbrances as before the War. Most Men at this time of Day, I believe, will agree with me that ’tis not our business to throw Squibs in Flanders, send out vast Sums of Money to have our Men play at bopeep with the French, and at best to have their Brains beat out against stone Walls: But if a War is necessary there, ’tis our Interest to let the Dutch and Germans manage it, which is proper for their Situation, and let our Province be to undertake the Sea; yet if we have not Wit and honesty enough to make such a bargain with them, but that we bring ourselves again to a necessity of maintaining Armies there, we may hire Men from Germany for half the price we can raise them here, and they will be sooner ready than they can be transported from hence, that Country being full of Men, all Soldiers inured to Fatigue, and serving for much less pay than we give our own: Besides, we shall carry on the War at the expence of others Blood, and save our own People, which are the strength and riches of all Governments; we shall save the charge of providing for the Officers when the War is done, and not meet with such difficulties in dishanding them.

There are some Gentlemen that have started a new method of making War with France, and tell us it will be necessary to send Forces to Spain to hinder the French from possessing that Country; and therefore we must Edition: current; Page: [105] keep them up here to be ready for that Service: Which by the Way is acknowledging the Horse ought to be disbanded, since I presume they don’t design to send them to Spain. But to give this a full Answer, I believe it is every ones Opinion that there ought to be a strong Fleet kept up at Cales, or in the Mediterranean, superior to the French; and then ’twill be easier and cheaper to bring the Emperor’s Forces by the way of Final to Spain, than to send Men from hence; and they are more likely to be acceptable there, being of the same Religion, and Subjects to the House of Austria; whereas ’tis to be feared our Men would be in as much Danger from that begotted Nation as from the French: Besides, the King of Portugal is arming for his own defence, and a sum of Money well disposed there, will enable him to raise double the Forces upon the Spot as can be sent from hence with the same Charge.

But for once I will admit it necessary we should send Forces both to Flanders and Spain; yet ’tis no consequence that we must keep up a Standing Army in England till that Time comes. We may remember Charles the Second rais’d between 20 and 30000 Men to fight against France in less than forty Days; and the Regiments this King raised the first Year of his Reign were compleated in a very short Time; for my own part, I am of opinion, that a new Army may be raised, before Ships and Provisions will be ready for their Transportation, at least if the Management is no better than it was once upon a Time; and perhaps it may happen that the King of Spain may die in the Summer-time, and then we shall have the Winter before us. We may add to this, that the King of France has disbanded a great many Men, that his Country now lies open in a great many Places; that the Germans and Dutch keep great Numbers of Men in constant Pay; and in all probability there will be a Peace with the Turks: That Portugal and the Italian Princes must enter into the Confederacy in their own Defence; and that the French will lie under an equal Necessity to raise Forces with a much less Country than in the former War, to oppose such a mighty Union of Princes, who will attack him upon the first Attempt he makes upon Spain.

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And after all, what’s the mighty Advantage we propose by keeping this Force? Why forsooth, having a small Number of Men more (for the Officers will always be ready, and now a great part of the private Soldiers are to be rais’d in case of a new War) ready six Weeks sooner to attack France. And I durst almost appeal to these Gentlemen themselves, whether so small a Balance against France is equivalent to the Hazard of our Liberties, Destruction of our Constitution, and the constant Expence of keeping them up, to expect when the King of Spain will be pleased to die.

If these Gentlemen are really afraid of a new War, and don’t use it as a Bugbear to fright us out of our Liberties, and to gain their little Party-Ends, the Way to bring the People into it heartily, is to shew them that all their Actions tend to the public Advantage, to lessen the national Expences, to manage the Revenue with the greatest Frugality, to postpone part of their Salaries, and not grow rich while their Country grows poor, to give their hearty Assistance for appropriating the Irish Lands gain’d by the People’s Blood and Sweat to the public Service, as was promis’d by his Majesty, and not to shew an unhappy Wit in punishing some Men, and excusing others for the same Fault, and spend three Months in Intrigues how to keep up a Standing Army to the Dread of the greatest Part of the Nation; for let them fancy what they please, the People will never consent to the raising a new Army till they are satisfied they shall be rid of them when the War is done; and there is no Way of convincing them of that, but the disbanding these with Willingness. When we see this done, we shall believe they are in earnest, and the People will join unanimously in a new War; otherwise there will always be a considerable Part of the Nation (whatever personal Honour they have for his Majesty, or Fears of France) that will lie upon the Wheels with all their Weight, and do them more harm than their Army will do them good.

To conclude, we have a wise and virtuous Prince, who has always endeavour’d to please his People by taking those Men into his Councils, which they have recommended Edition: current; Page: [107] to him by their own Choice; and when their Interest has declin’d, he has gratified the Nation by turning them out. I would therefore give this seasonable Advice to those who were once called Whigs, that the way to preserve their Interest with his Majesty is to keep it with the People; that their old Friends will not desert them till they desert their Country, which when they do, they will be left to their own proper Merits; and though I am not much given to believing Prophecies, yet I dare be a Prophet for once, and foretell that then they will meet with the Fate of King Physician and King Usher in the Rehearsal, Their new Masters will turn them off, and no Body else will take them.

The Thoughts of a Member of the Lower House, in Relation to a Project for restraining and limitting the Power of the Crown in the future Creation of Peers.
Anno 1719.

AS I have not the Honour to be a Member of the Upper House of Parliament, so I do not presume to know what is doing there; but claim the Privilege of a free born Englishman to speak or write my Mind impartially and openly, upon which my own or my Country’s Liberties are concerned, whilst there is no Law to forbid me: and much more to, when what I have to say is in vindication of the Laws and Constitution in being.

The common Subject of popular Discourse, is concerning a Project said to be in Agitation, which is to give the King Power to create twenty-five Scotch Peers to sit in their own Right in Parliament, in lieu of the Sixteen who are to be elected by the Peerage there; and after the Creation of Six more for Great Britain, the Prerogative of making any further Creations is to be taken Edition: current; Page: [108] from the Crown, unless upon the Extinction of the Families in Possession of the Peerage.

Now I am free to own, that I think a Law would be fatal to the Monarchy, and the Liberties of the People, and make our Government Aristocratical, without the outward Appearances of it, or the Regulations which are peculiar and essential to that Sort of Dominion; and consequently it will reduce us to the worst Sort of Oligarchy.

Our present Constitution consists of the King, the Peers who act in their own Right, and the Representatives of the People. In the Union and Agreement of these Constituent Parts consists our Government: If they differ irreconcileably, there is an actual Dissolution of it without any Remedy but the last. And since it is impossible, in the Nature of human Things, but Mens Opinions and Interests will often vary and clash; therefore the Institutors of this Species of Monarchy have contrived so proper a Ballance of Power between the several Parts of it, that each State can give some Check to both the other; and two concurring, have always their Power to bring the third to Reason without recurring to Force, which dissolves the Government.

If the King had the Prerogative of raising Money, and could protect the Instruments of unlawful Power, it’s evident the Monarchy would be absolute; but the Privilege remaining in the People, the Crown must often recur to their Assistance, and then they always have it in their power to do themselves right: Which keeps the Ministry in perpetual Dependance and Apprehension.

On the other side, if the House of Commons was fixed and indissolvable, the Government would soon devolve into an ill-contrived Democracy, and the Crown would have no Remedy but Acquiescence or Force. Such a Body of Men would soon find and feel their own Strength, and always think it laudable to encrease it: And there are so many Emergencies happen in all States, that there can never be wanting favourable Opportunities to do it; when the Ambition of some, the Resentment of others, and the Appearance of Publick Good, spur them on; till at last by insensible and unobserved Degrees, even to themselves, they would engross and possess the whole Edition: current; Page: [109] Power of the State. There has been but one Instance since the Institution of this Monarchy, when the Commons have been trusted with such a Power; and if a noble Historian is to be believed, that House consisted of Men as incorrupt, of as much Wisdom and publick Virtue, as ever sat within those Walls: Yet the Lust of Dominion soon got the better of all their Virtues, and they first garbled their own House, by expelling their refractory Members; then deposed the King, and at last the House of Lords; and assumed a greater Tyranny to themselves, than they opposed in the Crown.

The effectual Remedy our Constitution has provided against this Evil, is a Dissolution, which breaks all Cabals and Conspiracies, and gives the People (who can never hove any Interest in publick Disturbances) and Opportunity to chuse others in their room, more calm, of less violent Dispositions, and not engaged in such Attempts; which Power always hanging over their Heads, must be a constant Restraint upon their Actions.

But the Circumstances of Publick Affairs often not admitting of this Remedy without the extremest Necessity, the Lords are always at hand to skreen the Crown, whose Honours and Dignities flow from it, and are protected by it; and whilst kept in a proper Dependance, must ever support that Power which supports themselves: Yet never can have an Interest to make it arbitrary, which would render themselves useless to it, and level them again with the People.

There is not a more certain Maxim in Politicks, than that a Monarchy must subsist by an Army of Nobility; the first makes it despotick, and the latter a free Government. I presume none of those noble Personages themselves, who have the Honour to make up that Illustrous Body, do believe they are so distinguished and advanced above their Fellow-Subjects for their own sakes: They know well they are intended the Guardians as well as Ornaments of the Monarchy, and essential Prerogative of which it must be to add to, and augment their Numbers in such proportion, as to render them a proper Ballance against the Democratical part of our Constitution, without being formidable to the Monarchy itself, the Support of which is the Reason of their Institution.

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Without this Power in the Crown they must be dangerous to it, and be able to impose what Conditions of Government they please. It is the only Resourse the King and People have against any Exorbitances and Combinations of their Body. Whilst such a Prerogative remains in the Crown, there can seldom or never be an occasion to make use of it. Their Lordships are too much concerned in the Preservation of their own Dignities, to provoke the Crown to a Remedy that is always at hand; and the Crown cannot debase the Nobility, and make it cheap, without lessening its own Splendour and Power. And this seems to be the only Limitation the Nature of the thing will admit of, without dissolving this Species of Government.

If this prerogative is taken away, the House of Lords will be a fixed independent Body, not to be called to an account like a Ministry, nor to be dissolved or changed like a House of Commons: The same Men will meet again with the same Resolutions, and probably heightened by Disappointment, and nothing can stand before them. If their Lordships should take it into their Thoughts to dislike the Ministry, and commit them them to Prison, I would willingly know who would fetch them out. Or, if the House of Commons should be so unwary as to give them Offence, and their Lordships think fit to declare they could act no longer in concert with a Body of Men who had used them ill, it’s evident the Crown must exert its Authority to chuse another more to their Lordships Fancy, and afterwards use its utmost Efforts to keep them in a becoming Complaisance to their Betters. If they should resolve to have all the great Employments of Englana in themselves and Families; or should take a Conceit to be like the Nobles of some other Conntries, to pay no Taxes themselves, and yet receive the greatest part of what is paid by others in Salaries and Pensions; I would ask the Advocates for such a Law, what resourse the Crown and People have? and I shrewdly suspect they will propose no other than what the Commons of Denmark made use of upon the very same Occasion.

The Lords have already all the Property of Great-Britain under their Jurisdiction; and I think no one will say that there is any Difference in Nature between the last Edition: current; Page: [111] Appeal without being accountable, and a Power of Legislation, but what consists in the Moderation of the Judges: And if this exceeding great Power must irrevocably be vested in the very same Persons, I see nothing the Commons have left to desire, but to entitle themselves to their Favour and Protection, by wearing their Badges as formerly.

But as their Lordships are too wise and virtuous to attempt any such Actions of Knight Errantry as are abovementioned, so they will be under no necessity to do it; for there is an easier and gentler way of attaining the same Ends. There are so many Emergencies, Difficulties, and Factions arise in all States, the Crown will be often so necessitous, and the Commons divided, that a fixed and powerful Body, always determined to their own advantage, by a dexterous Management of such Events, must soon possess themselves of all they desire; and ’twill be in vain to oppose with one View what will be often given them with another.

I will not presume to judge whether their Lordships Judicature was always what it now is; but every Day’s Experience shews in lesser Instances what a Body of Men, united in the same Interest, are capable of doing. We have oftner than once seen a Number of Merchant’s incorporated prove a Match for the whole Kingdom, and I fear shall too often see it again. History tells us how the Priesthood by being an united and regular Body, always lying upon the Catch, and acting with the same Views, from living upon the Charity and Benevolence of their Hearers, in a few Ages became the Lords and Masters of Mankind, and in defiance of that Religion they professed to teach.

It is true, this Prerogative of the Crown is liable to be abused, and has been so in a late glaring Instance; but if that is a sufficient Reason to take it away, I doubt there will be few remain. The King neither has or can have any Prerogative but what the People are interested in: It is a Trust for the Pnblick Good, which in the Nature of it is capable of being betrayed; but the proper Remedy is to punish the Authors and Advisers of the Abuse, and not destroy the whole Constitution for an Enormicy of one Part of it.

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It is a proper Object of the Legislative Power to consider whether any Men ought to enjoy the highest Privileges and Honours in a Commonwealth, as a Reward for their endeavouring to destroy it; but with all the Clamour this Grievance has justly produced, has there been any thing like this attempted? No, on the contrary, the grand Criminal sits triumphant, glories in his Wickedness, and carries off the Price of it; and his Rivil in Guilt and Power, even now presumes to expect an Act of the Legislature to indemnify him, and sanctify his Villainy, and I doubt not but both expect once more to give Laws to the Kingdom.

It is urged that it is safer to trust this Power with the Lords than an unlimited one with the Crown, to make what Creations it pleases, though to serve the vilest Purposes. But the Nature of Power is very little understood by those who own this Opinion, which can never be truly dreadful, but when it is unaccountable and irretrievable. The Crown must often apply to the People for their Assistance, and the People as often have the Oppertunity to represent their Grievances, and punish the Authors of them, which must necessarily keep the Ministry within some Bounds; but there can be no Limitation to the House of Peers, if such an Act passes, but what flows from their Lordships Justice, Moderation and Satiety of Power.

Even that daring Minister durst not have ventured upon such an Act of it, if he had not had a House of Commons to support him, and hoped to cover all his Crimes in a Revolution. I am persuaded he never once dreamed under a just Government to find the Impunity and Indulgence he bas since been favoured with, and even from the very Persons who make those Crimes the Pretence for such an Attempt: But if nothing else was intended by it, unless to prevent the like Grievance, there is an easy and ready way to do it, by providing that no Peer shall give his Vote within a limited time after his Creation, without the Consent of the House. To obtain this, there would be no need of Court-Intrigues, Sollicitations, or keeping the Secret till the latter End of the Sessions, when the Country Members are at their Seats, and the Lawyers in their Circuits.

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Having, as I conceive, amply shewn that a Law of this kind would totally overturn our Constitution, and change it into an Oligarchy; I should think it frivolous to descend to lower Considerations, did not we too often see Men affected with Arguments which regard themselves and Families, whilst they are insensible of what they suffer in common with the whole Nation: And therefore I shall offet some of the lesser Objections to it.

It is a most violent and outragious Breach of the Union, and dispossesses one of the States of Scotland of the most valuable Part of their Peerage, and of that Right which they expresly stipulated to be reserved to them when they consented to part with the rest, by which means they will be in a worse Condition than the meanest Subject in the Kingdon; they will neither be capable of sitting in the House of Lords or Commons, or giving their Votes for either; and in consequence will be the only Subjects in Great Britain, not represented, or capable of being represented in Parliament: And this Disability and severe Punishment is inflicted upon them without any Crime done, or pretended to be done by them, and even without any Pretence of publick Necessity, but on the contrary there is a visible Danger in doing it; and I doubt not but in proper time it will be made a pregnant Argument for keeping up standing Troops to oblige their Submission to it.

It is giving a Power, without Reproach or Clamour, to add such a number to the Upper House, as must, without uncommon Virtue in their Lordships, lay all things waste, and at the mercy of the Ministry, without the possibility of their being called to an account; for if the making but twelve Peers at once, to serve a Court-Purpose, was such a Blow upon our Liberties, what are we not to fear from the creating one and thirty; and to do it by the Continuance, if not Direction of an Act of Parliament, which takes off all that Odinm, and Load of Scandal, which the former Abuse justly occasioned?

If it may be lawful to suppose so unlikely a thing, as that the Ministry are capable of acting against the Publick Good; or if, for our Sins, the Nation was punished with the loss of the present Set, and Tories could work themselves into their Places, and form a Scheme for their own Edition: current; Page: [114] Security whieh may entail a Civil War upon the Nation; what may not be apprehended from such a Power trusted with them?

It takes away from the King the brightest Jewel of his Crown, which is the Distribution of Honours, and in effect of Office too, which must then be at the mercy of that House. It deprives the Commons of England of the Means of attaining those Honours which ough to be the Rewards of virtuous Actions, and the Motives of doing them. I presume no one will suggest that all the Merit is exhausted by their present Lordships; and therefore what imaginary Reason can be given, why any number of Men, who enjoy themselves the Highest Dignities and Privileges in a Commonwealth, should shut the Door upon all others who may have equal Birth, Desert, and Fortune?

As it makes the King and Ministry entirely at the mercy of the Lords, so it makes the Commons more dependent on the Crown; for when the Advantages of the Nobility are so great, and the means of attaining them so difficult, what Applications and Sollicitations must be made to the Ministry upon the least Appearance of a Vacancy? which must keep the most considerable Members of the Lower House in a perpetual Dependance, and give the Ministry much more Trouble than they affect to avoid.

But amidst all the numerous Objections to this worthy Scheme, I am free to own there is one thing in it which deserves Commendation; for it has producud a never-before-known Unanimity amongst our Great Men: It has yoked the Lion with the Lamb, the Whigs with the Tories, Men in Power with those they have turned out of it: Ministers of State are become Patriots, complain of their own Power, and join with their professed Enemies in lessening that Prerogative they have so often occasion for.

I confess, such Phænomena’s and uncommon Appearances, like Comets or Eclipses, are apt to fright ignorant People, and make them expect some great Event at hand: But as those who are more familiar with the Stars, know the latter are only the common and regular Productions of Nature; so such who have more narrowly observed the Virtues of our great Men, especially during Edition: current; Page: [115] this last Session of Parliament, are well assur’d they intend nothing but to serve their Country. However, I think they will both judge right, upon such great Occasions, to scatter their lesser Conjurers abroad, and disperse the malign Influence such Constellations and unusual Conjunctions may have upon weak Minds.

Some Reflections upon a Pamphlet, called, The Old Whig.
Anno 1719.

SINCE the publishing of The Thoughts, the Town has been informed by two Pamphlets on the other Side; one intitled, Considerations, &c. and the other, The Old Whig. The last Gentleman seems to be sensible of his Defect in point of Length, and so promises another; which puts me in mind of a Country Girl who offer’d her Service to a Belle Lady. This Lady being over-nice, observed to the Wench that she made her Courtesies but very aukwardly: To which the other replied, Indeed, Madam, I make them very ill, but you shall have the more of them, the more of them, the more of them: And so she duck’d for half an Hour together.

However, to do Justice to this Author, I acknowledge he has unanswerably shewn the great Inconveniences which will happen to the Crown and People, if the Lords are multiplied too fast: and I was in great hopes he had convinced those who set him to work, of the Unreasonableness of Creating One and Thirty; or, if he will have it so, but Fifteen at once; when he gives us such shrewd Hints that we have too many already. But upon Perusal of his Performance the second time, I find that is not the Thing aimed at. We have a very Edition: current; Page: [116] good Ministry at present, which God bless; and the Author seems to be of my Opinion, that we shall never have such another: And therefore it is wise to secure them during their own Time, and let those who come next look to themselves.

I find this Gentleman is of the Opinion of the Law-Books, That the Crown is always in its Infancy; and therefore it is proper to take away from it all Knives, Scissars, &c. by which it might cut its Fingers. He thinks it is no safer to trust it with any Prerogative for its own Good, than for that of the People: Whereas I was weak enough to believe, the Weapons for its own Preservation could not be placed in better Hands than its own.

It’s evidently the Interest of the Crown to make Lords enough to keep the Ballance of the Government even; and yet not so many, as to make them terrible to itself. It’s as plain, in the Opinion of the Projectors themselves, that the Crown has never yet committed an Excess in the latter; since there were never so many Lords as there are now, and yet by their intending to make more, they confess they have not enough already. But why they should Prophecy that for the future the Crown and all other subsequent Ministers shall conspire against themselves as well as their Country, if such a Law does not pass, I can’t imagine. As for my part, I should think a Man stark mad, if he called out in the Streets Help! Help! that the Neighbours might come in, and hinder him from killing himself.

These Considerations, I am persuaded, would have some weight with our Author, if he did not think we were blessed with so foreseeing and virtuous a Ministry, as could minutely hit the just Proportion and Ballance of Power which will exactly suit the several Parts of our Constitution at present, and in all Generations to come, and that they will make no ill Use of any Power they are trusted with; to which I confess myself unable to give any Answer.

I agree also with our Author in several other useful Discoveries dispersed throughout his Pamphlet: As, that Men of great Estates had rather be Lords than Commoners, Edition: current; Page: [117] and that the more of them which are taken out of the House of Commons, the fewer will remain behind; that Commoners for the most part have more Wit than ——— ———; That Lords have not always been made for Merit; that the more of them are, the more Privileges there will be; (I don’t say, with the Author, the more Mischief:) That any Prerogative in the Crown against the Publick Interest will do more Harm than Good; that Ministers will do their own Business, whatever becomes of the King or People; that the Negative Power is useful to the Crown; that an ill King, if he has no more Wit, may throw his Troop of Horse into the House of Lords; (I pray God keep them out of the House of Commons!) With several other seasonable and important Maxims in Politicks, very necessary to be well understood in this Controversy.

And so having done him all the Justice due from a fair Adversary, in owning every thing which is material in his Pamphlet; I shall just hint at one or two things that I think are not so, and in which I cannot agree with him.

He says, though I admit with him that our present Government consists of three States, yet by the Reasoning of my Pamphlet I make them but two; and this seems to be his own Opinion: And the Reason is, according to his own Emphatical Way of Expression, that the King may add a Troop of Horse to the Lords, and then in all likelihood he may get a Majority. But notwithstanding this pregnant Objection, I can’t help thinking the Lords are one State with a Witness. They have an equal Power in making all Laws, and the Execution of them all in the last Instance, when they are made, without being accountable. They have the sole Possession of all Honours; their Persons are like Holy Ground, Sacred, and not to be profan’d or touched with Lay-hands; and whatever they think fit to do, we must say nothing of it at the peril of Scan’ Mag’. If they should commit High Treason or Felony, they can’t be punished unless they have a Mind to it: And as for any Judgment that can be given against them in other Courts for Crimes which are not Capital, they can appeal to themselves, Edition: current; Page: [118] and so cannot fail of equal Justice. There was once upon a Time a General Council of Ecclesiasticks, (who sure must be more Holy than any Laymen) who made a Canon that the Evidence of a Layman should not be valid against a Clergyman.

There is another thing in which this Author has express’d himself so cautiously, that I cannot tell whether we are agreed or not. He says, “the three States should be entirely separate and distinct from each other, so that no one of them may lie too much under the Influence and Controul of either of the Collateral Branches.” If he means by these significant Words too much, not at all, I beg leave to differ from him; and appeal to the Reader, whether he has not formed a State of War instead of a Civil State. But if he means they ought to have such an Influence and Controul upon one another, as to prevent coming to Extremes, I don’t see but we are well agreed and I beg of him to read over my Pamphlet once more.

However, there is one Point in which I must beg leave to differ altogether from him, and which indeed is the only thing he has offered against my Pamphlet; viz. If you trust a wise Body of Men with such Power, they will never play Paw-pay Tricks with it. But since we Authors for the most part have more Wit than Money, which may happen to be the Case of my present Brother; I doubt he will not be able to give good City-Security for it. And therefore I recommend to his Consideration, that in the Paper he has promised he will propose a Remedy, how we shall help ourselves if it happens otherwise.

So I conclude, with due Defference to his Performance; which I confess has said not only all the Subject will admit of, but a great deal more.

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A Modest Aplogy for Parson Alberoni, Governor to King Philip, a Minor, and universal Curate of the whole Spanish Monarchy; the whole being a short, but unanswerable Defence of Priestcraft, and a New Confutation of the Bishop of Bangor.
Anno 1719.


AS the Characters and Descriptions in this little Treatise are intended for a Picture of one Set of Men only, who have distinguished themselves as much by their uncommon Practices and Positions, as I have done by this uncommon Apology, I may reasonably hope that none will rail at it, who are not hit by it. Therefore if any Gentlemen please to take it ill that I have published their Portraitures, I am ready to thank them: Their Anger will be my Defence; and it will be sufficient, for the Justification of my Copy, that there are really such Originals. They have long sat for their Picture, and the Features are so strong and obvious, that it was scarce possible to miss them. If they appear frightful, now they are drawn, the Fault is not in me.

How amiable is the Character of a Clergyman, when it is not stained by the Wearer! And every good Man will honour that Minister who does not dishonour himself That there are still many such, is my Pleasure, that there are not more, is my Concern.

I added an Explanation of this Kind by way of Postscript to the second Edition, and have prefixed it as a Preface to the others. It may be necessary to the Wilful and the Weak.

The Guesses which have been made about the Author, give me Occasion to declare to the World, that my Name never yet was in Print.

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IT is surprizing what sublime Consequences are produced by the humblest Instruments. One would think that Brass is a Metal void of Comliness and Merit, either in Colour or Smell; and yet a suitable Portion of it, placed conveniently upon the Forehead, does frequently entitle the Bearer to the highest Stations in Church and State. It often makes a bold Figure at the Head of a Regiment, and often commands Attention at the Council-Table. In Westminster-Hall it is loud, and therefore successful; and, in Parliament popular and persuasive, for the same Reason. And then again, if you take it in another Capacity, it still carries all before it. Thomas a Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury, as have been since several other good Doctors of equal Meekness and Merit, whom my fear of giving Offence keeps me from mentioning; and at this very Time, a certain Apostolical Gentleman, who shall also be nameless, is Cardinal of a great Church betwixt Newgate and Tyburn.

O Catholick Brass, manifold are thy Virtues! I admire thy Interest, though I never felt thy Friendship; an obstinate Fellow, one Modesty by Name, never suffering me to take Acquaintance with thee. Thou fortunate Favourite of the Court and the Cassocks, many a fair Lady hast thou won, and many a fair Post enjoyed! Powerful also is thy Force in Argument: How invincibly hast thou supported the Divine Right of Kings and Clergy, their unbroken Succession, and unlimited Power, to the utter Confusion of common Sense, and the Bishop of Bangor.

But to proceed with the mighty Events that arise from contemptible Causes; every Body has heard that the famous Sir John Whittington, at his first setting out into the World, had no greater Cargo than a homely Tabby Cat, and she too, like other mortal Merchandize, subject to Tare and Tret. But she proved a mighty Hunter, and, by her Teeth and Reputation, promoted her Fellow Traveller to the chief Post in the chief City. And thus to draw a Moral from the Story, The Destruction of Rats became the Generation of a Knight and a Lord Mayor.

I have heard, in foreign Countries, of a fleshy headed Chamber-Maid, who from pinning her Misiress’s Rump, got astride three Nations, and rode them almost out of Edition: current; Page: [121] Breath; for she was Corpulent, and, for the most part, had a Spur in her Head.

Even the great Virgil became a Courtier by being a Farrier; and a lapster has been the Elements of an Ambassador.

Arts and Sciences themselves have had their Birth from trivial Chance. Musick, as sweet a Girl as she is, had a dirty Anvil for her Mother, and a base born Hammer for her Father, and was midwifed into the World by a sooty Blacksmith. And Astrology derives its Genealogy from Cow-keeping, the Chaldæan Herdsmen having, while they looked after their Flocks, grown familiar with the Stars. Thus Venus had her Water first watched by Rusticks, who, one would think, could have neither sufficient Breeding, nor Capacity for Pimping———but the most elegant Arts were rude in their Beginnings.

A Friar, whilst he was boiling up a Balsam for a broken Shin, stumbled upon the Generation of Gunpowder, which was therefore conceived in the Womb of a Gallipot, made pregnant by a Priest.

The great Pope Sixtus the Fifth owed his triple Crown to the keeping of Pigs, and from a mean Swineherd mounted till he came to be Chief of another Herd, still preserving an Analogy between his first and last Employment.

The great Tompion had never made Watches, had he not first made Hob-nails.

All this Waste of Learning, which, in other Hands, might fill many Books, may serve to introduce the Manner and Motive by which I came to be an Author. Know then, Curious Reader, that a Stationer in the City having, last Week, trusted me with an Inkhorn and the Appurtenances, I began immediately to make Use of it, and upon a Trial of my Genius, I found I could make as good a Figure in print as some other famous Writers, whose Merit is best known to themselves.

My first Attempt was upon the Witty and Voluminous Mr. Mist, the Journalist, because I would begin with something signal at my first setting out. I found his Paper, after much search, in a blind Ale house, near Hockley in the Hole. Having met my Rival for Fame, instantly I drew my Pen, and by several bold Strokes upon his Edition: current; Page: [122] Margin, discovered plainly, that Sense and Modesty were not his Seconds, for they both proved mine. But for all this dreadful Enmity between us, I will candidly own that the Jews, for whom he lately drew up an inimitable Petition, have almost as good a Title as himself to one sort of Advancement in a Christian Commonwealth. My Antagonist would certainly fill a particular tall Post, which is empty oftener than it should be, with becoming Merit and Justice. But see, how these Parsons run away with Preferments from the Laity! This very Post is, I am told, conferred, for the present, upon a genuine Son of the Church, who has conscientiously deserved it.

Behold, kind Reader, A true and full Account of the Origination of this admirable Pamphlet. If Heaven spare me my Life and my Inkhorn, it is likely I may swell into Volumes, as divers and sundry useful Writers have done for no better Reason.

Having thus succeeded beyond Expectation in my first Essay, I am emboldened thereby to an Undertaking equal, if possible, to my last, and from the Defence of Mr. Mist, I intend to pass, perhaps naturally enough, to an Apology for the Reverend Parson Alberoni, who by the high Station he enjoys, of Viceroy over the King of Spain, is become the Mark of much unreasonable Envy. This Task of mine will lead me to open and justify the Grounds and commendable Aims of the flourishing Trade of Priestcrast, for which I promise myself the pious Thanks of the Convocation, the next Time it sits.

I hope I shall need no Excuse for the sharp Things which my Zeal for the Church and the Cardinal will tempt me to utter.

As to the trifling Charge against my Client, that he has commanded his Pupil, to break through Faith and Treaties, and surprize his Neighbours, though it be very true there is Nothing at all in it. I behold with Shame the Ignorance of Mankind as to what passes daily among us. Do not all know that Oaths and Obligations, when they are so saucy as to fetter the Catholick Pleasure or Profit of the Clergy, are ever broken through by the whole Body, with great Fortitude and Unanimity. Nor is there any Malignity in this convenient Piece of Wickedness; for the most damnable Sin ceases to be so, as soon as the Priest has unchristen’d Edition: current; Page: [123] it, and sucked out its Venom with a Salvo: When he has done this, as a goodly Casuist finely observes, Licet ante peccaverint, jam non peccant: That is, The most gross Sinners are now innocent, being undamnea by the Priest.

This ought to be meant of the Laity; for as to the Clergy, who are the avowed Porters of Heaven, and Comptrollers of its Power and Keys, and Treasurers of its Wrath and Mercies, I can’t conceive they should be at any Time in an unsanctified State, let them do what they will. To us indeed, who being Laymen, and only the Beasts of the People, see no further than the Externals of Things, a Parson may appear a very sad Fellow, and tainted with that which, in one of another Cloth, might seem great Lewdness. But alas! they have an indelible Character which consecrates all their Actions, and is the spiritual Salt that keeps the Corruptions of the Clergy from stinking.

It may perhaps not be unbecoming my present Design, to inquire into what Nook or Quarter of the Priest this indelible Character, convey’d by Ordination, lurks; and I think it is evident it cannot lodge in the Cassock or Habit, since the same has been often worn by Lay-Girls, who being only Companions to the holy Priests in their Labours and Exercises, could not pretend to take Orders, to be ever instituted and inducted.

Nor can this essential and unalterable Spot reside in the Carcass of the Priest. For when a Levite has been maliciously tossed off a Beam, and expir’d for want of footing, or died a natural Death of Debauchery, or in any other manner worthy of himself, it has never been known that the said Carcass forgave Sins, or executed any other Branch of the Ecclesiastical Office. For it is remarkable, that, when a Parson is dead, he lies as quiet and peaceable as another Body, which is a Confutation of a Point generally believ’d, namely, That a Priest is never a good Neighbour.

I would not have it alledged that the abovenamed Stain of Priesthood, sticks like Bird-lime, to the Soul of the Doctor, when the same has given his Body the Slip, or that he keeps his Orders when he has lost his Organs. Profane Wits will make a Jest of a Ghost in Orders, and, Edition: current; Page: [124] looking upwards, be surpriz’d to find a Priest in a Place where no one would expect him. But let such a Scoffer be answerable for his own Mirth, I am sure I have a very good Meaning.

However, though this indelible Character must for ever remain a profound Mystery to me, who am but an uncircumcis’d Layman, and though I am in Duty bound to know what I cannot understand; I have still something further to say in Defence of my favourite Cardinal, his leaping over Oaths, which, as I have already prov’d, cannot tie down a Churchman.

Archbishop Laud, besides his taking and tendering Oaths with an &c. which some weak fanatical Ministers would not swallow, and were therefore, like silly Fellows, unworthy of their Cloth and Order, undone because they would not be forsworn; I say, besides this Essay of his Perjury for the Good of himself and the Church, He and the King obliged the Clergy of Scotland to swear to a Canonical Conformity to a Liturgy, a Year before it was made. And I have read of a Monarch, a Glorious Churchman, for whom, once a Year, many godly Revilings and Falshoods are utter’d, and many Handkerchiefs wet, who, besides many other Instances of his Sincerity and Devotion, swore to the Espousals of one Lady, while he was engag’d by Heart and Hand to another whom he afterwards married.

What I would from hence infer in favour of my Client, is, that if a Popish Prince and a Popish Priest have as good a Right to be forsworn as an English Catholick Prince, and an English Catholick Priest, the Cardinal and his Pupil stand justified.

You must own, Reader, a Monopoly of Perjury is not publick spirited — I do not indeed envy any of our own Clergy their full Share, who may have been trading that Way; but to engross the whole Community would be unfair Trafficking.

But to go on with my Apology,———Kings are accountaile to none bat God, and the Priests to none but themselves. As this Principle is exactly agreeable to the Pretensions and Practices of the Church in all Ages, I would be glad to see the daring Infidel who calls it in Question. The Lay-World may make Oaths, and take Edition: current; Page: [125] them, but so long as their Force depends upon the Pleasure and Explications of the Clergy, they will be but of small Service to Mankind. I will vouch for the Priests, that they always scorn’d to be barr’d by the triffling Regards of Conscience and Swearing, from the more catholick Pursuits of their Pleasure and Power; and History, both Antient and Modern, will vouch for me. I will give Instances.

When the Prince is hard-hearted enough to humour the Church-Men, by oppressing and plundering the Laity, and Politick enough to divide the Spoils with them, then it is Damnation to resist him, because he has a Divine Right to be Mischievous to all Men but themselves: But if his Majesty is so ill advised, as to provoke their Rage by his Benevolence to Mankind; or, if by a schismatical Adherence to Truth and Liberty, he frustrate their Hopes of making him a good Church-Man, the Church grows presently in imminent Danger from Virtue and Moderation, who are notorious Dissenters from Orthodoxy, then it is little better than Damnation not to resist him, and Woes are denounced against the fearful Heart and the weak Hand.

As to his present Majesty, there are those of the Clergy, who have forsworn to be true and faithful to him, over and over, and yet do not so much as pretend they mean any such Matter. They say they must swear or starve, which is a Confession that they would rather be damned than fast. What a Tribe of Simpletons were the Martyrs in all Ages! their heterodox Notions made them erroneously prefer their Souls to their Bellies, and even to their Lives——— And yet they had a stronger Plea for conforming to Idolatry and Perjury; as Death and Tortures are somewhat more frightful than bare Deprivation———But now a-Days, by universal Consent, Tithes bear a higher Price than Conscience in any Market in England.

In Edward the Sixth’s Time, the Clergy, to shew themselves true Conformists, forsook their Harlots and the Mass, and were, to appearance, reconcil’d to one Woman, and the New Testament. In Queen Mary’s Reign they abandoned the Gospel and their Wives, and re-became Orthodox Catholicks, and to prove it, grew Edition: current; Page: [126] godly Burners of all that had either a Conscience or a Bible. Upon Queen Elizabeth’s Accession to the Throne, they once more, like conformable Friends to themselves, forswore and complied, and afterwards plotted and rebelled. But her Reign proved long and glorious. And indeed some, who have not that Reverence for the Gown, which they ought to have, are of Opinion, it is a certain Symptom of happy Times, when the Priests run mad and cabal; for, say they, while the People are suffered to enjoy their own, the Clergy can have no Plunder; whereas, in a general Oppression, the Prince and Priests generally divide Stakes———They add, that Wolves and Ravens never fare best but where there are most Carcasses. But these Things ought not to be spoken, and,

I wonder how any Man in his Senses dare say such disrespectful Things of the Officers of God Almighty’s Revenue, who also are a Board of Commissioners for managing his Power, or rather their own Power, by his Ministration.

In the Business of Excommunication, for Instance, do we not see their Maker is made little better than their Executioner? He is oblig’d not only to ratify their Sentence, but to deliver the Person excommunicate into the safe Custody of Satan, their Goaler in Comitatu Hell. The Prisoner the while, not finding himself a bit restrained by his crediting Landlord, the Devil, goes to the Court and for a little Money is absolved, be his Crime what it will, and this Sentence also must be ratified in Heaven, and the former unratified; and the great God, as if he were the Constable of the Court, must take the Prisoner out of a Goal, where he never was, and from the Custody of a Goaler, whom he never saw, and reinstate him in a Church which perhaps he never owned. Thus is the Creator of all things, and the Giver of all Good, made the Instrument of their Anger and Avarice, and a Property to bring them Reverence and Money.

These Things are not at all aggravated here, and yet the bare mention of them may seem to expose them; but I mean no more by it than to shew the wonderful and inconceivoable Power of the Priesthood, who are as implicitly obeyed in Heaven, as they ought to be on Earth, and have the upper and infernal Worlds as much in their Gift, Edition: current; Page: [127] as he has, who is the Maker of both; nay much more, for, as a Reverend Doctor of our Church has it, he has given them his Commission to dispose of them, and he cannot contradict himself. They will not allow the King of Kings the common Prerogative of pardoning a poor Felon, once in a Sessions, without their consent, and then he must not be Punished. How great and awful must these Men be, who are thus absolute over the Absolute, and Kings of the King of Kings! This may perhaps seem to represent them as no Friends to Monarchy, but this cannot be imagined, since they themselves are Monarchs of God and Men.

After all this Omnipotence which I have proved to be in the Clergy, where is the need of believing in any other God, or of living as if there was one? No, no, if you would be absolved and saved, believe in the Priest, and live in the fear of the Cassock. What can be more handy than our having a Forgiver, and a Saviour in every Parish, besides Deputy-Pardonners, and Journey-men-Saviours?

There is indeed an antient Treatise named Scripture, which, if we give any Credit to it, would be apt to stagger this our Faith in the Clergy. It was of great Repute at the Reformation by a few Doctors, who, not knowing their own Power, basely sacrificed the Interest of the Surplice to that of Christianity. But their Successors, wiser than these old Fellows, and better Church-Men, finding that the said Book was pragmatical, and would be opposing the Policy and Proceedings of their Society, translated all the Reverence, which was formerly paid to that venerable old Book, to a Book of Canons, composed on purpose, as a Rival to bring the other under disgrace, insomuch that it is now for the most part condemned to the mean Office of teaching Children to read. A certain modern Bishop has indeed done his malicious part to restore it to its pristine Regard and Dignity, but as he is zealously opposed by all the truly Orthodox, it is hoped by many he will not succeed.

Commend me to the German Monk whom I have seen mentioned somewhere, I think by Monsieur Le Clerc. This genuine Priest, faithful to the Interest of his Order, told his Penitents, in the godliness of his Zeal, That Edition: current; Page: [128] there was a certain Book writ in Greek, called the New Testament, which was full of Heresies; and another certain Book, writ in Hebrew, called the Old Testament, which, if they believed it, would make them all Jews.

I would recommend the Example of this Monk to our own Monks, but they have saved me the trouble.

There is an Outcry in the Mouths of too many of the Laity against the Clergy, which I think is very unreasonable; they accuse them of an implacable Enmity to Knowledge and Illumination; which is very true and yet very just. How often must these perverse Men be told, that Learning and Eyes in the Laity are the greatest Causes of the Contempt of the Clergy? Why should we be inquiring into Points which ought only to be believed thoroughly, but never understood nor conceived? It ought to suffice us to know that the Priests know all Things. This might at first have prevented Dissenters, and ought now to reclaim them. If we did but humbly and lazily follow our Guides, it would save us much Trouble, and yet put them to none.

Besides, this Charge is too general; for they are always willing we should read and understand those few Texts that speak civilly of the Priesthood, and wish, no doubt, there were more of them. Nay, now and then they are so courteous as to split a Verse in the Bible with us, and, keeping one half to themselves, give us generously the other. For Example, Be wise as Serpents, and innocent as Doves, in a Text they seem very ready to divide with us. The Harmlesness of the Pidgeon is at our Service, but we must not pretend to rob them of the Serpent.

The cunningest Serpent that ever was, I mean the Devil in Milton, compassed the Earth by Night, and could not endure the enlightned Side of the Globe.

  • The Space of seven continued Nights he rode
  • In Darkness———

How agreeable the Policy of the Arch-Fiend is to the other Gentlemen in Black, I need not explain.—Without Doubt the Wisdom and good Parts, even of the Devil, are imitable. Who can blame them for hiding Deformities Edition: current; Page: [129] and cloven Feet? Should Knowledge and the Scriptures be let loose against the Clergy, what dreadful Havock would they make. These merciless Informers would make their Reputation to be only Daub and Varnish; and their Wealth, only Booty and Plunder: For what would not two such hold Lihertines swear? Can we blame Men for warding against their mortal Foes.

For the Safety therefore of the Parsons, in their Fortunes and Characters, I will consult my intimate Friends the two Houses, about stopping the Mouth of the Bible, and the Bishop of Bangor. This, I hope, my Friends will comply with, for I know they love to do popular Things, and will be proud to please the Convocation.

I have been long thinking of a Project to reconcile Religion and the Church to each other. They were originally intimate Friends, but at present they live at mortal Odds.

I would not say one Word, upon any Consideration, to persuade the Clergy to give Christianity the upper hand of their Interest, for I love them too well to affront them; neither would I have them affright themselves with my reconciling Design above mentioned, for I have given it over as utterly impracticable; but as I am their Friend and Apologist, I beg leave to recommend to them the Removal of unpopular Qualities and Practices, of which they are fond. And

First, I would advise them to conceal that unprofitable Propensity which is in them, to burn or strangle Dissenters. Persecution is certainly a laudable Calling, when any thing is to be got by it; and in such a Case, I am not for robbing the Clergy of their Dues, but at present there is neither Gain nor Credit in it: And therefore I beseech them, as they love themselves which is the strongest Motive my Invention can dictate, to banish this Pennyless-Spirit: The Malignity of the Times has deprived them of the Power of doing Catholick Mischief and Murder for the Welfare of the Church.

In order to persuade them effectually to close with this my Advice, I pray the Clergy not to judge of other Men’s Consciences by their own. It would be really whimsical, in a few Men, who are void of Hearing, to set up for adjusting or restraining the Laws of Harmony. The Pleasure Edition: current; Page: [130] of Procuration is Greek and Hebrew to an Eunuch; and indeed to a Creature that is gelt, Liberty of Cod-piece must have a very odd Sound.

Another Point which seems wrong in them, is their stiling themselves the Ambassadors of a great Potentate, who, I am afraid, will not own them. We all know their Instructions, as mystical as they would keep them, and I fear me, were they examined by them, like many other Statesmen, they would be found too great to be good. Should the late Earl of Mar, who hath given some shrewd Suspicions of his being for the Pretender, take it in his Head to call himself King George’s Ambassador, would not his Practices, in some small Measure, bring in Question his Professions? The Application is easy; it is only supposing the Devil a Pretender to the Kingdom of Heaven.

There is, in a certain Diocess in this Nation, a Living worth about Six Hundred Pounds a Year. This, and two or three more Preferments, maintain the Doctor in becoming Ease and Corpulancy. He keeps a Chariot in Town, and a Journey-Man in the Country; and his Curate and his Coach-Horses are his equal Drudges, saving that the four Legged Cattle are better fed, and have sleeker Cassocks than his Spiritual Dray-Horse. The Doctor goes down once a Year to sheer his Flock, and fill his Pockets, or, in other Words, to receive the Wages of his Embassy; and then, sometimes in an Afternoon, if his Belly do not happen to be too full, he vouchsafes to mount the Pulpit, and to instruct his People in the Greatness of his Character and his Dulness. This composes the whole Parish to Rest; but the Doctor one Day denouncing himself the Lord’s Ambassador with greater Fire and Loudness than could have been reasonably expected from him, it rouzed a Clown of the Congregation, who waked his next Neighbour, with———Do’st hear, Tom, dost hear? Ay, says Tom, yawning, what does he say? Say, answered the other, He says a plaguy Lye to be sure; he says as how he is the Lord’s Humbassandor; But I think he is more rather the Lord’s Receiver-General, for he never comes but to take Money.

Six Hundred Pounds a Year is modestly Speaking, a competent Fee for lulling the largest Congregation in England asleep once in a Twelve-Month.———Such Tithes are Edition: current; Page: [131] the Price of Napping, and such mighty Odds there are between a Curtain-Lecture and a Cushion-Lecture.

The next Piece of Counsel I would give my Friends in Black, is, that when they are caught in a small Crime, or so, they would not always be throwing the Blame upon a Couple of civil Persons and good Neighbours, called Flesh and Blood; it is not satisfactory. A Bear when he is hungry, may eat up a good Christian, and give as strong a Reason for it.—No, let them Sin as they Preach, and scorn to tell us why or wherefore.

Their Ambition, of being such near Kinsmen to the Apostles, has likewise done them a Diskindness. A Priest may be a boon Companion, and an admirable Church-man, and yet not be a Bit like his Cousin St. Paul. It is therefore for the Honour of the Clergy, that I would have them drop their Alliance with the Saints: People will be making shameful Comparisons, in which the Gown, I doubt, will suffer; for know all Men, by these Presents, the Railing at the Government, and Undermining it, and the Contempt of Temperance, and Oaths, with other Modes that are now Orthodox, were not Apostolical Virtues in Former Days: And whereas Humility, Meekness, Patience, brotherly Love and Charity, are, at this Day, every Mother’s Son of them, Dissenters and Schismaticks, the same were in some small Repute many Hundred Years ago. But what is that to our present Apostles?

I often amuse myself with considering the Greatness and Multiplicity of the Characters belonging to the Orthodox Clergy. The meanest Reader of them is a Kinsman to the Apostles and our Saviour’s Lieutenant, and Door-Keeper of Heaven and Hell, and the Creator of Christians, and the Forgiver of Sins, and a Trumpeter, and a Watchman, and a Journey-man, and—(I am out of Breath) an Ambassador.

But as great Men as they are, it is hard, methinks, that an honest Lay-Man, when he dies, cannot step up Stairs, without a Ticket from an Ambassador, who is perhaps a Bed, or out of Humour, or taking his Bottle or his Girl, and the like.

My Friends, the Ambassadors have another Custom too, which savours not so much of the Serpent as it ought Edition: current; Page: [132] to do. A Man cannot grow eminent for his Knowledge and Writings, but forth with the Ambassadors grow fearful of him, and cry Atheist at him. This I would pray them to forbear. I own I have my own Ends in giving them this wholesome Admonition; for, to tell it to my dear Friend, the World, as a Secret, which I desire may go no further, I begin myself to be more than apprehensive of the Charge of Atheism against me.

The Church-Men have, moreover, found it for their Interest, Time out of Mind, that most of their Foes should drink a Bumper to Beelzebub next their Heart every Morning. Now, I declare I am not at all acquainted with the Devil, and I desire the Ambassadors, if he should tell them the contrary, not to credit him for, whatever they may think of it, he’s a sad lying Fellow.

Mr. Lock I grant, gave them sufficient Cause to abuse him, by his speaking well of human Understanding, and explaining the Scriptures. But for myself, I vow and protest, upon the Word of an Author, I never yet did the Clergy the least ill Office, by teaching Mankind either Reason or Religion: I confess, I love them both well enough to merit the Character of an Infidel, but I keep my Affection to Piety and Truth, to myself, for fear of provoking the Ambassadors; they being engaged in another Interest.

I who am their Apologist, must own, it is not without Reason they look asquint upon Humanity, and useful Knowledge, and Moderation, and the like Lay-Vertues. A Man that wants Legs, would certainly think himself insulted and reproached, should a pragmatical Fellow take it in his Head to be dancing and cutting Capers before him. Folks that have no Teeth, do not love Crust.

But notwithstanding all these friendly Concessions of mine in Favour of the Ambassadors, I must still pray them, for the future, to keep their Atheism to themselves, tho’ they may have a great deal of it to spare. For, while there are yet a few left, who make bold to believe there is another God besides the Clergy, an Adherence to Scripture and common Sense will not fail to be approved by many, and would be by more, were it thought consistent with the Dignity and Designs of the Ambassadors, to permit the common People to return to their Senses.

Edition: current; Page: [133]

But this, alas, is not to be expected, so long as Judgment and Understanding are so apparently opposite to the Rights of the Church.

The Roman Clergy are justified in keeping the Laity in Subjection and Ignorance, by a bold Pretence to Infallibility: Whereas our Priests, equally bold, but less reasonable, would make us Slaves and Blockheads, and yet cannot give us Reason for it. It is confessed they have a certain hard Word, one Orthodox, which is their Friend at a pinch, and serves them on all Occasions, for a ready Answer to every Objection. But this same Orthodox, tho’ it fully convinces many good Church-Men, yet bath lost its Original meaning, and, for many Ages, signified either every Thing, or nothing. Indeed, when the Church hath her Hands unbound, Orthodox is a Word of high Importance, and constantly signifies the Pillory and Whipping-Post, and the Church that has these reforming Engines of its Side, is, of course, the most Apostolical.

This Orthodox has likewise been compelled to mean several other Meanings, upon several Occasions. Sometimes it is an Altar, and sometimes a Book of Canons; sometimes a Convocation, and sometimes a Mob; it is this Minute a Bishop in his Throne, and the next, a Tithe-Pig. Now and then it is Slavery and unlimited Loyalty, and presently it is Sedition and Rebellion, without reserve. It is a Tyrant when a Master, and an Incendiary when a Servant, and either plotting Mischief or acting it. When it is a Doctor, it argues by strong Hand, and, as ill as it likes the Bible, it would keep it all to itself. When it is in Adversity, it snatches up the first Remedy that comes to its Hand, lawful or unlawful; but to others in the same Circumstances it recommends Prayers and Tears, especially when they are to no purpose: If you give it all it asks, it will perhaps seem contented; but if you shew its hated Foe, Moderation, the least Countenance, it will spit in your Face, and call you Son of a Whore: For, whatever Disguise it appears in, it is very apt to be in a Passion, and call Names; nay, if its Hands are not tied, it will bite and scratch, and kick, and fling, and bounce and bellow, and knock down all Edition: current; Page: [134] that come near it, unless they swear a bloody Oath, they are for the Church.

But as useful as this Orthodox is to the Clergy, it will never justify them, in the Opinion of impartial Judges, for marking the best and most elevated Spirits with the Brand of Atheism. Virtue, Learning, and Humanity, will find Friends in spite of Orthodoxy, and many of the Laity will live in the Fear of God, let the Clergy take it ever so ill; and others will be Lovers of Truth and Mankind, at the hazard of being hated by the Church.

I must now have some Talk with my Friends, the Ambassadors, upon another Point, and that is their Claim of Divine Right to every Thing which they have a Mind to call theirs.

It is certain the Monks acquired most of their Possessions by such Means and Arts as would have been scandalous and diabolical, had they been practised by Lay-Men. But Clerks only have the sacred Privilege of tricking and playing the Devil for the Prosperity of the Church. Now these Possessions of the Monks, tho’ forfeited to the Crown by the Law, for having been fraudulently got, and unjustly kept, to maintain Laziness and Debauchery, are to this Hour claimed by our present Monks, as the undoubtd Successors of the other bald Vermin, in Purity of Doctrine and of Manners. Thus aiming in every Point to resemble these their pious Predecessors, they would willingly hold their Lands by Roguery and Divine Right.

The antient Monks were much more generous and reasonable than the present Set; for they gave their Bubbles an Equivalent for their Wealth ——— They would at any time Jockey away a small Tenement in Abraham’s Bosom for a rich Manor in England; whereas our modern Monks, notwithstanding their avowed Authority over their Maker, and his Dominions above, are so far from dealing like Chapmen, that, in Exchange for our Possessions, they do not so much as offer us a little Bargain in Paradise. If the Propriety of that Ground be theirs, they might at least tender a future Cottage for a present Palace, and the rather, because by Experience we know, that when we are at their Mercy, they allow us, in this Life, little else but Dungeons, Whips and Chains, and Edition: current; Page: [135] the like Inducements, to reverence the Priesthood, who, for the Good of our Souls, use our Bodies bloody ill. And it cannot be denied, when the Ambassadors are let loose, they act as if they were, in Truth, the Scourges of God, by divine Right.

Now, I their Apologist, do earnestly perswade the Ambassadors to drop their Claim. All the Laicks who read the Bible know there is nothing of it in that Book, and they do not see that the Clergy live in so good an Understanding and Conformity with their Maker, as to merit from him a Grant of all the Lands in England by Word of Mouth.

What they have by human Right let them keep, and make much of it; nay, (to please them) let them wrangle and go to Law about it as much and as often as they will ——— But this is a Hint they do not want. A Parson’s Bull and his Grey Pad feed on Tithe-Hay and Corn, which is the Provender of these Brutes by Divine Right, and yet I never observed they grew fatter upon this divine Food than a Lay-Bull and a Lay-Stone-Horse, or were less addicted to Carnality and Lewdness.

I shall say nothing here of the Divine Right which doubtless the Ambassadors have to Pluralities and Non-Residence: Only by the by, suppose the Earl of Stair should desire his Majesty to make him Ambassador to half a dozen Courts beside that of France, and undertake to execute all these Employments by his Footmen, I fancy his Excellency would be roundly told, that Discharging an Ambassy by a Curate is such a Solœcism in Politicks as a Lay-Minister must not be guilty of.

I now proceed to another Catholick Topick which is run into prodigious Luxuriancy and Irregularity; I mean the good Art of Lying for the Church. I do not intend to debar the Ambassadors from their most righteous and most antient Practice of martyring their Conscience to their Cassock, and venturing their precious Souls against the dangerous and fanatical Encroachments of their old Foe, Truth, which was never a Friend to the Trade of the Tippit. It is to be wished, however, that their laudable Zeal for this venerable Usage were a little limited; and therefore that it may not grow useless by being altogether boundless, as it is at this Day, I, the Edition: current; Page: [136] Apologist for the Church, prompted by pure Affection, will make bold to lay down two Rules to be observed by the Ambassadors, who are Liars for the good of it, as well as Sir Henry Wootton was for the good of the State.

And First, I implore them, as they love their precious Livings, not to fib out of the Bible. I know it is the hardest Thing in the World to break Men of a long and strong Habit, particularly when they much delight in it; but I pray them to consider that the Bible is the most aukward Creature under the Sun at fathering a Lie. You may easily know when he is quoted for a Falshood, for if you ask him, he will deal uprightly with you and tell you the naked Truth. It was a malicious Thing of our Ancestors, and great Blow upon the Ambassadors, to teach this Foreigner our Language; for ever since he has been naturalized, and taught English, he blabs out every Thing he knows.

Good Doctors, take Warning from the wretched Fate of a Brother Doctor, who in a furious Fit of Zeal, to destroy his Country, and save the Church, took a Passage or two out of the Bible, that were not in it. Upon this some unleavened Laymen, who had a singular Affection for Scripture, but were bitter Enemies to the Church, went and consulted their old Friend the Bible, who told them frankly, and like a Neighbour, that this Saviour of the Church had belied him; and, after spending some Moments in Admiration of the Doctor’s want of Memory, added, that the Doctor and he had never been, in the least, acquainted in all their Lives.

A sore Stroke this upon our Ambassador, but it did not rest here. These hard-hearted Laymen, preferring the Reputation of an obsolete Treatise to that of a modish Ambassador, hung up the Story at Westminster-hall, and then published it to all the World. Which dreadful Usage did so provoke the meek Ambassador, that from that Hour to this he could never endure Law, or Gospel, or Truth, or good Manners; but, being now both distracted and hardened to a Degree, he swears and rails, and lies more or less every Day in the Week, but most terribly on Sundays.

Behold the Damage which accrues to the Church from the aptness of the Bible to tell Tales.

This Boldness in us Lay-Animals, or, as a great Church Man loves to call us, The Beasts of the People, to meddle Edition: current; Page: [137] with Knowledge, and study the Word of God, is undoubtedly a shameful Insult upon the Ambassadors, and a manifest Impropriation of their Rights and Profits. But there is no Help for it, the Laity will, against all Reason, be exercising their Reason, and judging in Thing which, though plain and necessary, ought to remain a profound Mystery. All this is the more intolerable, for that both the Prophets and Apostles give a very harsh and unkind Character of our present Orthodox Clergy. It is well for these Calumniaters and Low Churchmen, that they are dead.

Having now shewed the Ambassadors that it is by no Means safe, even when the Church is in the greatest Danger, to lie for its preservation out of the Holy Scriptures, which are ever backward to own and vindicate the Cause of the Cassock; I proceed to give them a Rule to lie by, when they fetch their Falshoods out of their own Heads———And it is only this, to lie with Probability. How many a glorious Catholick Forgery has been murdered by making it too Catholick, that is, too monstrous. What Pity it is there should be any Excess in Piety, and good Works.

In the Time of the late Rebellion I dined by Accident at a Gentleman’s House in the West, who made no secret of his being a Jacobite, or, as he explained it, a true Churchman. The Parson, I found, was gone to the next Village to cater for News, and, being impatiently expected by the Squire, arrived just as we were sitting down to Dinner. Well, Doctor, says his Worship, What is the Word? Mar, Mar, Sir, replied the Doctor, What should it be? Here all the Family chuckled, perceiving the good Man had got a Packet that pleased him. However, before he broached his best News, he let us know that King George (to whom he gave another Name) had got a Guard about him, consisting of five thousand Turks, and ten thousand Presbyterian Parsons. These ill Tidings made Madam sigh for the Church, and therefore the Doctor hastened to tell her better. Come, Madam, says he, hold up, Day dawns in the North, the brave Mar has two hundred thousand Highlanders well armed and principled, to serve your Ladyship and the Church; and three hundred and fourscore great French Ships of War, were Edition: current; Page: [138] this Morning seen making towards Portsmouth. The Lady thanked God with an Ejaculation, and his Ambassador with a Glass of Sherry. He then proceeded to assure us, That the Duke of Argyle’s Army had deserted to a Man, and that his Grace, himself, was fled in a poor fishing Boat, to Greenland, or somewhere far away; that his Majesty had stole away from St. James’s, and was not to be found high nor low; and that the Duke of Marlborough bit his Thumbs, and looked as pale as Ashes. This great News procured the Ambassador the other Glass of Sherry, and Madam clapped the other Custard upon his Plate. He then assured us, of his own Knowledge, that the Duke of Berwick, had on some Occasion or other given the Earl of Stair a terrible Box on the Ear, and ordered him to leave the Kingdom in three Hours, on pain of being put in the Stocks. A brave Man this Duke of Berwick, says a Booby at the Parson’s Elbow, the Squire’s eldest Son. Ay, says the Parson, and

  • Here is to Berwick the bold,
  • And may his Grace live to grow old.

He went on in this Wantonness of Fancy, and lied and rhimed beyond all Bounds. The Squire squeezed him by the Hand, and put his Health round, and I saw nothing but Mirth and Gaiety. For myself, I laughed with the rest, and owned the Ambassador’s News to be wonderful strange. He was afterwards very Arch upon a brace of Turks, and a Garden of Turnips that he had planted in his Majesty’s Bed-chamber. But as he was going on in his News and Calumny, and just shipping off the Royal Family, for whom he had provided a Lodging somewhere in Holland, an honest Gentleman came in with the printed Account of both the Battle of Preston, and that of Dumblain; for, living far from a Post Town he had his Letters but once a Week. The Ambassador was instantly taken with an Occasion to make Water, and left both his News and his Custard unfinished. But I told the Gentleman the Wonders the Doctor had told us, and he shewed us the monstrous impossibility of them; which had so good an Effect, that tho’ he continues his Trade to this Day, and lies as fervently as ever, especially Edition: current; Page: [139] from his wooden Sanctuary, yet the perverse People uncharitably refuse to be any longer his Rogues and Zealots; whereas before this his unhappy Detection he could set them a Railing and Swearing, and Mobbing at his Christian Pleasure. It is true, many of the good Women, are still his Believers and Conformists; but this is ascribed to a Cause not quite so spiritual.

Take Warning, O Reverend Ambassadors, from the forlorn Miscarriage of this your blundering Brother, who, transported with Orthodox Zeal, carried a well-meaning Lye beyond the Bounds of Likelihood, and has thereby utterly disabled himself from serving the Church and his Order, as long as he lives———Better, oh better he had been a Bed that inauspicious Day, though with his Handmaid as usual.

Not so the artful and eloquent Father Francis, who holds forth a Lye, and weeps over a Lye, with a praiseworthy Cunning and Dexterity. He dresses up the pretty Puppit so amiably, all at the Cost and Charges of his own Fancy, and laments over it so movingly, that there is not a dry Eye, nor a dry Handkerchief, in the whole Congregation. The Tears and Rage of his Hearers are equally in his Power; the whole Order would no doubt envy him, were he not, though greatly lewd an excellent Churchman.

He was once raising the Pity of his Hearers for a hopeful, unfortunate young Gentleman, who, though born to three great Estates, was so ill used, and persecuted, that he had not a Hovel to put his Catholick Head in. In short, he described the poor Lad’s Circumstances so artfully, and lamented him so pathetically, that I thrust my Hand into my Pocket, and, had the Pretender been within three Pews of me, I should infallibly have reached him half a Crown; a larger Charity than I give to every poor Body. I perceived the same Sympathy and Commiseration in the Looks of the whole Church.

On every Thirtieth of January, how many Butchers does he send Home, calling for their Cleavers, to hew in Pieces all the Presbyterian Demons, that had a Hand in the Slaughter of the Martyr! For it is a standing Maxim and Resolve amongst the Ambassadors, that all the Dissenters, who ever lived, or shall live, to the end of the Edition: current; Page: [140] World, must be the individual Men that murdered King Charles the First, with their own Hands. Another Time he gave us a frightful Image and Description of Oliver Cromwell’s Time; but he threw so many Modern Incidents into the Character, that the whole Congregation mistook him to mean the present Reign, and I, like a Booby amongst the rest, was of the same Opinion; and he put me so out of Humour with the Court and the Ministry, that I snatched up my Hat and Cane, and went directly to expostulate with a Secretary of State, upon the dreadful Doings and Mismanagements which Friar Francis had pointed at: I likewise intended to admonish the Courtiers to be ruled by the Clergy, if they expected to prosper. But when I came to St. James’s, I found that Things had quite another Face there, than when they came out of the Mouth of Friar Francis. So I kept my Business to myself, and sneaked off, warned however to trust no more to the Representations of this Reverend Father in Guile.

But, I hope, for the sake of the Ambassadors, no Body else will take the same Pains to be untaught the Apostolical Forgeries, which their Excellencies may find it convenient to broach from Time to Time.———Such a rash Proceeding would utterly destroy the Credit of the Cassock throughout this Land. But my hononrable Friends know themselves very safe in the conformable Credulity of their Hearers: And yet I must still praise that wary Doctor most who lies best, that is, like Friar Francis, most artfully. He well knows, that the pious Art of Falshood is the only Engine they have left to defend the Reputation of the Crape, and to wound that of their great Rival for Power the Government. He therefore manages with Care and Art this last Shift.

I have already given a Reason sufficient, why Oaths ought not to Hamstring the Ambassadors, to which I will here add, in Defence of the innocent Sin of Perjury, that if their universal Custom and Practice in all Ages, be of any Force, as sometimes Custom alone creates Law, then here is an Apology, in a few Words, for such Genuine Clergymen as have forsworn to his present Majesty for the Preservation of their Cupboards and Tithes, of which the Holy-Church hath made them Overseers. It is not, therefore, without valuable Considerations, that the conscientious Edition: current; Page: [141] Priests have reconciled themselves to this innocent Sin, and made Perjury the easiest Task under the Sun. Not but that the conformable, good Creatures can abstain from it (as much as they are used to it) when there is more got by Nonjuring.

I knew the Ambassador of a Parish near the Bath, who had for many Years sworn and prayed with constant Conformity, and enjoyed his Living and his October, without the least Tumult in his Conscience, till the beginning of the late Rebellion; but this same Conscience of his (being something of a Time server) no sooner heard the High-landers were risen, but it began to rise too, and gave the Doctor several Hints, which he thought were just and reasonable. In short it drew up a remonstrance to him by which it appeared, that if he did but handle the present Opportunity well, he might bid fair to get something, without losing any thing. The Doctor was ready to follow the Advice of so rational a Conscience, and so pretended to quit his Parish, because as he told the People in a doleful Discourse at parting, he could not with any Conscience, pray for a Prince who had no Right, and so forth. Thus the Doctor seemed to risk a small Living for the good of his poor Soul, and a Deanery: And only seemed, for being as cautious as he was Conscientious, he had his Church supplied with a Deputy Ambassador, vulgarly called a Curate. However, the Doctor enjoyed the Honour and Character of a Confessor for a few Weeks, and then the Defeats of Mar and Foster gave him such convincing Proofs of his Majesty’s Right, that his courteous Conscience, the best natured yielding Thing alive, made him and Perjury cordial Friends once more. He took the Oaths, and kept his Parish, and prays now for the Government with the same Sincerity as ever.

Before I have done, I must have a little Chat with my Friends, the Ambassadors, upon the Head of Politicks; and I cannot but conceive they are somewhat too fickle and changing in their Friendship and Enmity to Princes and States; and Inconstancy in Schemes is an essential Error in Statesmen.

The Ambassadors were, for some Time, exceeding fond of the late French King, who indeed took prevailing Methods to please them. In the first Place he exerted the Edition: current; Page: [142] full Prerogative of a Monarch by Divine Right, upon his Lay-Subjects, and treated them as Slaves, born to breath but for his Pleasure. Secondly, He strove gloriously, by Frauds and Violence, to destroy the most powerful and most obnoxious Nest of Republicans in the World, dull Dutch-men, that will be for Trade and Liberty of Conscience, let our Clergy say what they will to the contrary—. Thirdly (O glorious Article!) He exercised such wholesome Severities on Dissenters, that every true Church-man ought to Worship him to all Eternity. And yet, after all this complicated Merit, they withdrew their Protection from him, as soon as he grew Friends with King William. But he quickly merited their Smiles; for he bravely broke his Faith, and fell a murdering the D—d Dutch again: And during the whole Course of the War, they continued to grieve for his Losses, and to curse the Duke of Marlborough for stopping the Course of his most Christian Cruelties. But still they grumbled at his Slowness in lending them a few Ships and Troops to do a certain Jobb which they had much at Heart, because it would have changed the ill-contrived Model of our Laws and Religion into a Form more pleasing to them.

The Regent too was honoured with their good Graces, while he was suspected of aiding the Rebellion for the Church; but, now it appears he has no Spight against their Country and Constitution, they have taken a mortal one at him.

Sweden was once the only Object of their Affection and their Prayers, whilst its King was expected with a Fleet and Army to rescue the Church, by Fire, and Sword, and Popery from the Danger of a Protestant Government. But Sweden failed them, and presently.

The Czar of Muscovy got into their Favour, and it was strongly hoped, that that meek Monarch would set Fire to the Nation, and help the Church; and though he baulked them, the Ambassadors are still fond of him, he having, by Humanity to his Son, and several others, shewn that he knows the use of wholesome Severities; besides, ’tis thought he has no Good-Will for England.

The Turk was at one Time a very popular Church-Man, for he was at War with the Christians, and therefore———great Things were expected from him by the Ambassadors Edition: current; Page: [143] for the Prosperity of the Church: But Prince Eugene, who is not a good Church-Man, drove their Mahometan Friend back to his Whore-House again———

Even the Emperor himself, when he was reported he had given his Sister to the Pretender, was honoured with the Character of a Well-wisher to the Church of England; but that Lye not proving true, his Imperial Majesty lost Ground amongst the Ambassadors, and is at present in such Disgrace with them, that nothing, but his going to Mass, makes them keep Measures with him.

The Dutch were ever the Objects of their Indignation and utter Aversion, but at this present Time, even these Republicans, and No-Christians, by their Slowness in signing the Quadruple-Alliance, have won the Hearts of our Ambassadors, and the Hogan Mogans have now the good Fortune to be deemed judicious and moderate Schismaticks; but I am in great Dread, that they will very shortly anger the Church again.

But Parson Alberoni, my Client, is, of all the Potentates in Europe, the Pope himself not excepted, their present Favourite and Darling, as I, though unworthy, expect soon to be, for penning this unanswerable Encomium upon Him and Them.

Their Love of this Potent, High Church-Man, who, like another Cardinal Laud, leads his Pupil by the Nose, and the Purse-Strings, can proceed from nothing but their Fondness for Works of Charity, to which, it seems, my Client shews a strong Inclination, particularly, in an Instance or two that cannot but please the Church.

We all know there are several worthy English Gentlemen, the good Friends of our Ambassadors, and loyal Sufferers for the Church, who live like Vagrants in Italy, and are fed with Crumbs from the Pope’s Table. Now the loving Cardinal has, in his Royal Bounty, invited these pious Protestants into his Kingdom, offering them a Morsel, and a Bed, though it is feared the present Parliament hath taken such uncatholick Resolutions as may put the Cardinal’s Majesty out of Humour, and tempt him to change his Mind.

Sir George Bing too is never to be forgiven by any Man who wishes well to the Church and Uniformity, for creating such a dangerous Schism in the Cardinal’s Fleet, who Edition: current; Page: [144] were too Orthodox Catholicks to digest the dreadful Heresy of Protestant Powder and Ball.

It was rude in St. George to break the Heads of so many civil Spaniards, who were Men of peaceable Behaviour, and no-wise addicted to Fighting. It is true they afterwards behaved themselves like Heroes, when they refought the English in the Marquis de Beretti Landi’s Papers, where his Excellency has made them shew the true Spanish Bravery, by beating Sir George bravely, and running away from him bloodily. And it is plain to all the World, that they shewed, by a bold Flight, they scorned to die to please that merciless Heretick.

I could add many Particulars to illustrate the Worth of my eminent Client Parson Alberoni, whose great Capacity to rule his Master is visible to Mankind. I could likewise insist that he has as good a Right as any other Priest or Vicar whatsoever, to act as becomes his Order, by nourishing War and Desolation.

But I will wave the Detail of these Points, tho’ there is a great deal in them, having a grand Thing to urge in his Behalf, which renders him singularly Dear to all true Church-Men——— Reader, a Word in your Ear; Parson Alberoni intends, if King George would but let him, to restore———and the Church-Lands;

  • O Sanctum, festumq; diem!———

Having left this important Whisper upon the Reader’s Memory, I shall say no more.

N. B. Not one of the numerous Answers which will be made to this Apology, will be worth reading, But, at the earnest Report of my Bookseller, I design to write and publish a Reply to myself, which I desire every Body to Buy.

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An Apology for the Danger of the Church, Proving, that the Church is, and ought to be always in Danger; and that it would be dangerous for her to be out of Danger. Being a Second Part of the Apology for Parson Alberoni.
Anno 1719.

THE Prospect of doing great and useful Actions, or the Consideration of having done them, must needs be Matter of Pleasure and Triumph to a Mind honestly ambitious. It is therefore no little Joy to me to reflect, that I have been a Person of notable Moment and Significancy this Winter; by my strenuous Defence of High-Church, and the Trade thereof. I have placed its true Sons and Overseers in a true Light, in which every one may behold them, and bow down with his Face to the Earth.

As all pious Deeds meet with some Reward, either in the internal Satisfaction of the Mind, or from the Monuments of Praise erected by Mankind to the Doer, I have no Reason to say that my late Apology went without its Recompence; since by it I have gain’d, what I sincerely aim’d at, to the Genuine Priesthood all due Honour, and to myself ———. But it becomes me who am but a private Gentleman, to serve my Country for nothing.

There is, however, some good Fortune generally attending the brave Man who draws in Defence of the Church. She is a lucky old Body, and few find Cause to repent of having done her a good Turn. I myself, her weak tho’ voluntary Champion, am two Pair of Shoes and a Beaver the richer, for wearing out three Pens, and exhausting a Halfp’ worth of Ink in her Service. I still Edition: current; Page: [146] want a Sword-knot, and a Tooth-pick-case, which I make no Question of earning in a few Days from the Steeple. I have for that Purpose, at this very Juncture, seventeen Pamphlets in my Head, all carved out into proper Method and Paragraphs, and ten of them are already sold to my Bookseller, who purchases my Brains at so much a Sheet. I would willingly sell him the other seven, and throw two or three little ones into the Bargain; but he shakes his Ears, and seems to say, he has ventur’d enough already.

In this Manner is my pregnant Head become an Office of Wit and Manuscripts, to be employ’d wholly in the Interest of the Sacred Brood of Aaron.

Pursuant to this I have a Project now on Foot, which, if duly encouraged, will tend to the universal Credit and Emolument of this distress’d Church. In short, it is my Purpose to expose my Head, and the Furniture thereof, to Sale by Auction, at St. Paul’s Chapter-house, on the 30th of May next; at which Time and Place, I do hereby humbly hope and beg, the Presence and Encouragement of all the Reverend Zealots within this Realm. The Particulars are as follows.


Of unborn Pamphlets, and Satires, to be publish’d as soon as they are brought forth, for the Benefit of our Mother-Church, and her hopeful Boys, the Parsons.

Imprimis, The Nature and Necessity of an Ecclesiastical Delirium, or the Art of holy Foaming. Written in the Stile of the eloquent Dr. Sacheverel.

2. The holy Monopoly; or a new Conveyance of an old Grant, sign’d and seal’d above; proving the Clergy to be the natural Lords of all the Women and Land in Great Britain, and the rightful Occupiers of both, in Spite of all Lay——— and Rent-Rolls whatsoever.———A valuable Pamphlet!

3. The Tribe of Issachar; or an Argument to prove that the Laity have a Right to no Liberty, but that of being Slaves to the Clergy. To which is added, An Appendix, proving, that the Parsons ought to govern the World.

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4. The Modern Paradox; or a Demonstration that Ungodliness may be orthodox, and a good Life damnable. The whole being intended for a Defence of the Rev. Dr. Sacheverel, and a Reproof to Mr. Whiston.

5. The Truth of Contradiction; or Church-Arithmetick, demonstrating, That three is one, and one is three.

6. The Unreasonableness of understanding the Scripture.

7. The absolute Necessity of understanding our Duty to the Clergy.

8. The Innocence of Perjury and Rebellion, on one Side.

9. A plain Proof that Laymen may lawfully commit Sin, if they will pay for it, and kneel for Pardon to the Clergy.

There are several more MSS. of the like Nature and Tendency, which may be seen at the Place of Sale, with the Price mark’d upon them.

I have already confessed, that my humble Attempts to serve the Church have not altogether missed their Recompence; and if the late blessed Martyr, Jemmy Shepherd, with some other orthodox Gentlemen, who fought and were hang’d for the Church, did not fare so merrily, it was because the Clergy were not consulted and obey’d, as questionless they ought to have been. But thus it will ever be, while the King and Parliament are suffer’d to act independently on the Convocation.

Since therefore I have succeeded in my honest Endeavours, to set up the Parsons as the Idols of the Universe, I cannot, in Gratitude to them and myself, forbear pursuing my Blow, till I have satiated their holy Leachery, and Mr. Leslie’s Prophecy, by persuading Mankind, to fall down before them, with their Faces to the Earth, and lick up the Dust of their Fest. And when I have once oblig’d the Lay Gibeonites to be as respectful and miserable as becomes them, the Clergy and I will sit down together, and sacrifice to Wine and Tobacco.

In the mean while it shall be my present Task to confound Gainsayers, by proving, That the Church is, and Edition: current; Page: [148] ought to be in Danger, and that it would be dangerous for her to be out of Danger.

But before I proceed, I must, for my own Security from Cavillers, and for the greater Clearness of my Discourse, settle the Idea which I and all Men ought to have of the Church, by defining the Word. The Church then, is a sable Society of Gentlemen, wearing broad Hats and deep Garments; who possess great Part of the Wealth and Power of the World, and would have All, as a Reward for keeping Mankind in decent Ignorance and Bondage.

And now I enter upon my Design, with great Alacrity of Heart.

I own the Gospel makes this Story of the Church’s Danger a meer Fable; but be it also known, that tho’ our Saviour says the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, our Parsons will not take his Word for it. I am sorry with all my Heart, for the great Misunderstanding and Difference which there are between Jesus Christ and his Ambassadors, almost in every Point of Belief and Practice; and, I confess, it is very odd, that they who pretend all their Power to be from him, should not credit his most solemn Promises; but I see no Remedy for these Things.

I that am a Layman, find great Comfort in being a Christian and a Believer; and particularly I am so much of a Heretick, as to think, that when our Saviour said, his Father was greater than he, he did not tell a Word of a Lie; I know his Ambassadors are of another Opinion; but I have Faith in Christ Jesus.

The Danger of the Church comes from divers Causes, the principal of which I shall reckon up.

And first, common Sense and Sobriety are great Enemies to the Church. While Folks are sober and rational, they can see about them, and want that large Competency of Blindness which so eminently qualifies a Man for a good Churchman. So long as they are destitute of that Title to Orthodoxy, they will be attending to the Means of their own Interest and Safety, than which no greater Rubs can be thrown in the Priesthood’s Way.

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Not many Years ago, when we were beating our Enemies, and defending ourselves and Europe from Chains; when Success and Reputation attended us abroad, and we flourish’d in Peace and Security at home; an ignorant Person would think we were a happy People, and indeed we were so: But what then? Our Happiness, Virtue, and Concord, were not only utterly inconsistent with the Welfare of the Church; but put it into terrible Danger: And therefore all her true Sons bent their whole Might and Zeal to relieve her by distracting the Nation; and their pious and fiery Endeavours, at last, made the People mad, and the Church safe. Its strongest Votaries, the ingenious Vulgar, drank away their Reason and Humanity, and committed Bloodshed and Blasphemy, every where, for the Church, with vast Zeal and Success; and the Church gather’d most Strength when Religion and Reason had least. As for those Fanatical sober Rogues, that kept their Senses, they were devoutly knock’d down by those who were so orthodox as to have none. At this blessed Juncture the Clergy had the Happiness to see more Blood and Beer drawn for the Church, than ever had been before on any Occasion whatsoever. And it is always an infallible Sign of the Church’s Health and Prosperity, when the Business of Excisemen and Surgeons increases beyond measure.

It will fall naturally under this Head, to observe who are the Church’s best and stanchest Friends.

And in the first Place, there are many Noble Lords, who are born Friends to the Church, and live and die in that Friendship. There is the little Lord Apemore, who has bestow’d his whole Heart upon Parsons and Race-Horses. He knows nothing else, and, happily for the Church, cares for nothing else. He seems, with St. Francis, to be an implacable Foe to all human Knowledge and Charity; but he can say the Athanasian Creed, drink Damnation to the Whigs, and is upon the whole a compleat Churchman. Lord Apemore was once Drinking a Health to his Horse Frederick, and among those who heard it, it went round; but when it came to the Turn of a Whig in Company to drink, he being thick of Hearing, mistook, and, throwing up his Hat Edition: current; Page: [150] with loyal Noise and Affection, drank Prince Frederick. Upon which the Peer, rising from his Seat, Dam me, Sir, what d’ye mean, Sir? Dam me, Sir, d’ye know where you are, Sir? Dam me, Sir, we know no Prince Frederick here, Sir; and Dam me, Sir, we are drinking a better Man’s Health, Sir. This excellent Speech has gain’d his Lordship the Reputation of a Wit, and a brave Man, among all the Parsons and ’Squires round the Country.

Corpulus is another right Honourable Person, who has been a true Churchman from his Cradle. To a Concussion in that Machine it is thought he is indebted for his Orthodox Principles, and his Security from the dangerous Influence of human Reason. I could give ample Proofs of this, but his Lordship through the whole Course of his Life has done it to my Hand. He makes a Joke of the King’s Title, and of his own Oath to maintain it; he is as honourably ignorant as becomes a Great Personage and a true Churchman, and he never goes to Bed without swallowing eight Quarts, and as many Thousand Oaths. Let the World judge if this Man be not a cordial and approved Friend to the Hierarchy.

The Lord Syntax is past Forty, and has all the Rules of Grammar by Heart; but notwithstanding this great Accomplishment, the Cawl is not yet taken off his Face, and he is still a Minor. But being a Babe in common Sense, he is consequently a resolute High Churchman.

Lord Gemini does likewise demand honourable Mention on this Occasion. Nature was very negligent when she made this Great Man, for he is an unfinish’d Piece of brown Earth, and his Mind (if he has one) tallies exactly to his Outside. He cannot shut his Mouth, nor hold his Tongue. However, half made as he is, he is full of bright Zeal; and, when he is in the House, he seems to mean several Speeches for the Church, but no Mortal is so well bred as to hear him: And yet, his Mouth, as I said, being always ready open, he proceeds eternally.

I confess, that Earl Tahnan, though he is a Churchman, wants two essential Qualifications for that Character: Edition: current; Page: [151] He has Sense, and he is never drunk. But, quoth Cato, who had not a due Respect for Priesthood and Tyranny: Solus Cæsar ad evertendam Rempublicam sobrius advenit. To be just to Earl Talman, I grant he was twice a Whig upon valuable Considerations, and once out of a Pique. But at present he is a great Churchman, because he has not a proper Reason to be otherwise.

Lord Bowling-Green is no Fool neither, nay he was a Wit and a Writer during the Life of a great Poet, whose Death had such an Effect upon him, that he has not writ a Line since. But, though the Peer has Sense, yet it happens so oddly, that he is a true Churchman. But malicious People pretend to give you a Reason for it, by alledging that he leans towards Infidelity. If this be true, the Thing is not at all strange.

I was going on with my Characters of this Sort, but I must remember that I have not now Time to write a Folio.

From what has been said, I hope it is evident, why most of our Rural Squires and Pursuers of Foxes are excellent High Churchmen. These married Minors are all under the Dominion of their Wives and the Parsons, who regale one another with Caudle and Orthodoxy, and so forth, and govern these simple Vehicles of Worship and Nonsense, and mould their Hearts and their Heads into what Faith and Figure they please. And it must be acknowledged, to the Honour of these genuine Gentlemen, that they have an admirable Knack at Planting Orthodoxy in all its Branches, where ever they come.

Andrew la Fool, Esq; keeps special Beer, and has a Wife who loves the Church and all its Tackle. Andrew never dines without seven Parsons at his Elbow.

Squire Toby lived in a married State nine Years without Issue; he at length took a Chaplain into his House, and now his Wife is with Child. See, says Toby, the Blessing that attends the keeping of a Clergyman in one’s House! And yet, but to please my Wife, I had not done it.

I am far from being surpriz’d that our Rural Members vote on all Occasions for the Church. Is not filial Duty a potent Reason? And is there no Gratitude, nor Affection, due to the good Men who brought them probably Edition: current; Page: [152] into World, and certainly into the House: For, our Country Candidates have an Agent, to be sure, if not a Father, in every Parish in the County, who carries all the Votes in the Village under his Girdle.

Nor are these Sons of the Cassock, last mentioned, any more rebellious in their Capacity than in their Inclinations. Their pious and convenient Ignorance is a certain Pledge for their Zeal, and these two are perpetually of a Size.

As to the Bebaviour and Practice of these Levitical Cubs, it is the easiest Task in the World; Their whole Business is to be drunk and Orthodox.

Having now shewn why so many Lords and Commons are true Church-men, I need say nothing of the Rabble, since they are so for the same Reason, and therefore ’tis no wonder the Church has such a Majority amongst them. The Church if the Mob forsake it, is undone.

Hence it is that for good and pious Ends I have, as Council for the Clergy, drawn the following Deed of Conveyance, which, I do not doubt, will be readily signed and sealed by the Parties concerned. The Purport of it is to enrich the Church-Interest with a Multitude of Persons whom the Whigs may well spare.

“Whereas there are divers and sundry well-meaning ignorant Persons in this Land, who call themselves Whigs, and yet want the necessary Marks and Qualifications belonging to that Character, which is maintained by a good Understanding, and by a powerful Love for Truth and Liberty, and, in general, by a just Sense of Things; And whereas the aforesaid good and sensless Persons do originally and naturally belong to the Class of true Church-men, whose Cause has from the beginning been supported by Number and Nonsense; We therefore whose Names are hereunto subscribed, taking into our tender Consideration the Interest of the Clergy, do as Representatives of the whole Body of Whigs in Great Britain, by these Presents renounce, release, and for ever quit our Claim, to all Boobies, and Idiots who may have run blindly into our Party; And we do hereby freely, and of our own meet Motion, resign and make over the said Fools and Naturals unto the High Church of England, whose Edition: current; Page: [153] proper Goods and Chattles they are, the said Church knowing full well how to apply the Blindness and Stupidity of them the said Asses to admirable and Orthodox Ends and Purposes, Witness our Hands. &c.

A. B. cum Sociis suis.

I have but one Scruple upon my Conscience in relation to this Grant of mine in behalf of the Church. I doubt it will obstruct the Bill for Preventing the Growth of Peerage, if ever it should come in again: And, on the contrary, make many new Creations necessary to fill up the Vacancies it will occasion. But let our Superiors look to that. The Church in the mean while ought to pray servently for Success to such a Bill; for if it pass, I will be bold to prophesy, that fifty Years hence the whole House, at least a great Majority, will be genuine Church-men; unless the same be first rendered intirely empty by a rigorous Execution of this my Conveyance.

Another traiterous Enemy to the Church hath been the Weather.

When that remarkable Phenomenon appeared about three Years since, every one that had Orthodox Eyes saw Armies and Champions in the Air, brandishing their Broad Swords, and threatning present Death and Destruction to all Fanaticks and Low Church-men; yet so it shamefully happens, that that Caravan of Tory-Clouds has neither brought over the Pretender, nor struck any other Blow on the Church’s side.

The Wind likewise plaid the Truant from the Church, and in spight of the Prophesies and Prayers of all the Parsons and other old Women in the Nation, Sir George Bing’s Fleet was not sunk. One would naturally take the Sea, by its Noise and Roaring, to be an Orthodox Person; but, by its late great Civilities to our Ships, it seems to have quite deserted the Church-Interest, and tacked about to the Whigs.

I happened to be down in Essex about the time when Sir John Norris was sent into the Baltick to detain the moderate and pious King of Sweden from that Expedition, from which our Church expected great Salvation, as the Reverend Mr. T———zealously phras’d it, and on Edition: current; Page: [154] Sunday I went to Church. Our Parson, after taking his Text, and making a Flourish or two about the Meaning of it, told us, that tho’ the Doom denounced against the Ships of Tarshish and the ISLES, was an old Prophesy, it might probably, nay it did certainly extend much further, and we were encouraged to hope great Effects from it, in this our Day. You shall see, says he, and I speak it from the Mouth of Inspiration itself, you shall suddenly see the Wonders of the Lord in the Deep. Can the Almighty prosper those Ships that are the Bulwarks of Usurpation, Commonwealths and Schism? No, he cannot, he must not, if he be true to his own Word, if he has any Regard for his own Church and People. His whole Sermon was to the like Purpose, and he seemed to have strong and Christian Hopes that our Navy would perish. But notwithstanding that he preached and foamed with wonderful Zeal, and vented great Eloquence and Spittle; and notwithstanding that he threatened the Lord, if he did not grant a Tempest; and the People, if they did not pray for it; yet neither God nor the Weather obey’d him, and Sir John and his Squadron went in Safety.

In short, there has not been a Blast of Wind, or a Shower of Rain these five Years, but what has been drawn, Head over Heels, into the Party and Interest of the Church. It thundered for the Church, and snowed for the Church, and froze for the Church. And yet the Whigs who have got all the Money in the Nation, have so bribed the Elements, that they have quite forsook the Catholick Cause. We had last Summer, very hot Weather, when in the Opinion of all the Orthodox, boded nothing less to the Nation, than a general Famine and Pestilence, for the Martyrdom of the blessed Martyr, and the keeping out of the Pretender. But these pestilential Friends of the Church, though earnestly wished for, and positively foretold, have not done the Church the least Service, by laying waste their native Country. How often was the King’s Army to have been frozen up in Scotland, during the late Rebellion, and most of the Parsons in the Kingdom had pawn’d their Word and Faith upon it. But in the Issue, neither the Frost nor the Snow help’d the Church and the Pretender.

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In last Autumn Word was brought to the Parson of a certain Parish, that such a Boy in the Village was just then killed with Thunder and Lightning. Is he? says the Parson, it is what I always foretold, that that Boy would come to a dismal End, for he went constantly to a fanatick Conventicle; and neither I nor his School-master could disswade him from it. Ay, but Sir, replied the Messenger, who brought the Doctor these glad Tidings, Gaffer Pitchfork is murder’d too, with thick same toady Clap of Thunder, and you do know, Sir, he was a Main Man for the Church, and fought bravely for putting up the Maypole. At this the Doctor scratch’d his Head, and said, It is appointed to all Men once to die.

My Landlady at Hartly Row, who is a good Church-woman, and very great with the Parson of the Parish, is well assured, that the late Meteor is a visible Judgment upon us, for our putting down the Convocation, as she calls it. I hope, when his Majesty hears this, he will summon the Parsons again to save us from Comets and Lightning, and to rebuke the Nation once more for Infidelity, in not believing in them, and also to convince the Bishop of Bangor, by censuring him.

What Pity is this, that neither the Clouds, nor the Sun, nor the Moon, nor the Stars, nor any Thing above them, can be brought to favour the Cause of the Church!

Providence is likewise, I fear, become an Enemy to High-Church; for it disappoints her on all Occasions.

At a Time when her Foundations seem’d to be laid deep, and her Designs ripe for Execution, on an unlucky First of August, the Church’s Nurse died, and the Babe fainted. All the holy Treachery and Violence, used then by the Church’s Friends, and all their seasonable Violations of Treaties and Oaths, were for that Bout utterly lost, and their Conscience and Honesty thrown away to no Purpose.

This was an unkind Discourtesy, which I fear they will never forgive, and yet in about a Year’s Time afterwards, the Church was play’d another slippery Trick, as bad as the former, by the removing out of this mortal Life a Monarch who was Champion and Gladiator in chief for our Orthodox Clergy.

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Relying on the Faith of Treaties abroad, and the Obligation of Oaths at home, we were quite destitute of Forces, when the late Earl of Mar by rebelling against his Maker and his King, in Favour of Popery and the Church, became the Darling of our genuine Parsons, who presently voted him a righteous Iustrument in the Hand of Providence, to bring in the Pretender, and rescue them from the insupportable Ties of Faith and Morality, a Burthen which neither they nor their Predecessors ever would bear, and it must be owned, they had then a tempting Opportunity to avow publickly their long and constant Perjury and Expectations, without any apparent Danger of temporal Loss (a Consideration always uppermost with them) and yet they were so cautious as only to mutter their Hopes privately to all the World.

The same French Forces which had so long contended the Prize with all Europe, had now nothing else to do but to break the Peace, and please the Parsons, and replant Tyranny and Roman Orthodoxy amongst us.

Here was now a pleasing Prospect for the Church, Mar had a large Army of invincible Highlanders; a formidable Invasion from abroad daily threatened us; we had Tumults, Madness, Confusion and Disaffection in every Parish in the Nation, and in every County a Rising was feared and expected; and in short things, were running into a total Dissolution. So much had our peaceful Clergy done, and so much had they to hope from their own Doings. The Church was very cock-a-hoop, and held up its Head and crowed. By their Behaviour and Assurance, I dare pronounce that these pious Peace-makers and Ambassadors of the meek Jesus, would not have taken a Composition of three Parts of the Church-Lands for their Hopes of the Pretender and the whole. They were even sure of their Point.

There is a Parson in Somersetshire (to name no more) who from the Revolution had raved every Sunday with great Zeal and Devotion against Foreigners. He had sworn to King William, and hated him, and spread the same Hatred through the whole Parish, every one of whom he had debauched with Drunkenness and Disloyalty. Upon his Majesty’s Accession, he likewise swore to him and abused him, renewing with greater Virulence than Edition: current; Page: [157] ever his Imprecations upon Foreigners. In one of his Sermons he had this Expression; Suppose the Time should come when we shall have a King that does not understand the Common Prayer what think we will become of the poor Church? This excellent Christian, when he thought the Invasion and Desolation, which he had long wished to his native Country, were at hand, began to tell his People, that there was a wide Difference betweem some Foreigners and others, and that as they ought to abhor, and even destroy, such of them as were the open or secret Enemies of the Church, so it was their Duty to honour and entertain, and even to divide their Substance with such Foreigners as came to save it. This was Hint enough, and the Doctrine was so clear, that a pretty young Girl asked her Mother, who had as much Knowledge as her self, Whether these brave Outlandish Men would marry with us poor English Volks?

With such sort of Management it is no wonder that the poor Orthodox Vulgar are worked up into the greatest Credulity and Rage. I have met with some of them who thought it no Sin to murder the Hanoverians, so that they said, they were Men-Eaters: And when I asked them how they came to know so much of the Hanoverians, they answered, Oh, our Parson has told us enough of they. Nay, some of them believe that his Majesty eat up all the Children he ever had, except the Prince, and they pretend to tell you how His Royal Highness was saved from the same Fate.

To some of the Clergy alone appertains the sacred Right of doing well by deceiving, and of promoting Ruin, Ignorance and War for the Prosperity of the Church; and such are the Men whom the Nation pays to propagate Truth and Morality, and maintain Peace.

I will not here pretend to make an exact Computation and Comparison between the Number of the well affected and ill affected Parts of the Clergy; but I am not at all apprized that I wrong them, if I venture to say, that not one in seven of these conscientious Pastors opened his Mouth against the late Rebellion in the Western Counties.

In the Pulpit they either say nothing of his present Majesty or that which is much worse than nothing; whereas in the late Reign they were so blasphemously loyal, that Edition: current; Page: [158] they seemed to have forgot Jesus Christ, to preach up the Q———n.

But I was saying, that at one Juncture, I mean during the Rebellion, the Hopes and Views of our Genuine Clergy were in a promising Posture, and very near fulfilling, and many of them were so discerning as to see the Finger of God in the Rebellion, and they became Sureties every where for Providence, that it would go through with the Work which they had begun. But Providence had deserted them and has never returned since.

And thus Providence refuses to aid, though so often commanded, the Interest of Perjury and Rebellion, though they are both so evidently for the Good of the Church.

I do not know whether they may not, in their private Junto’s and Cabals, have come to a Resolution, that Providence is a Schismatick; and the more, because it is plain that both Providence, and the Author of Providence, are irreclaimable Dissenters from the Principles and Practises of High-church. They seem to be so sensible of this, that they have long since displaced the Almighty, as much as in them lies, from any Power or Concernment in this World, or the other, having dubbed themselves Gods and Forgivers; and exercising with Authority all the great Offices of Omnipotence.

The Bishop of Bangor too, is the Occasion of no small Terror to the Church, and in Confederacy with her mortal Foes, marching, as he does, at the Head of Truth, Reason, Scripture and Sincerity, and the like fanatical Fellows, who have the Heresy and Impudence to espouse an Interest diametrically opposite to that of the Convocation.

This ill advised Bishop is so romantick and froward, as to think, that the Clergy ought to depart from several Points, which, though they are bloody Antagonists to the Spirit of the Gospel, yet do evidently tend to the Glory of the Church. His Lordship ridiculously believes that when a Man is a good Man, though in this Particular he differs widely from the Parsons, yet God will have Mercy upon him. But, to silence this perverse Writer for ever, let him know that these Clergy have endeavoured to pluck God’s own Keys out of his Hands, and to hinder him from shewing Mercy, or opening Edition: current; Page: [159] Paradise, if he would. They like Sine Cures so well that they have a Mind to make the Almighty’s Government a Sine Cure too. Are not such Priests brave Fellows who would make their Maker a Minor, and themselves his Directors and Guardians? When his Lordship is informed of this, I hope he will drop the Controversy.

The Bishop is also grievously deceived in another Instance; He is of Opinion that the Clergy ought to be the Propagators and Defenders of Liberty and the Gospel. See here the Ignorance of a Father of the Church! He does not know that Christianity may be at the last Gasp, and yet the Church in a most flourishing Condition.

I could mention many more Mistakes of the Bishop’s; and particularly he is so ill a Churchman, as to think there is some Force in Oaths, and that they who take them should not altogether break them. But as his Lordship is out-voted, upon this Article, by a vast Majority of most Orthodox Teachers, I take it he deserves no other Confutation: Besides, this is a sort of Reasoning which he is used to.

There is no doubt a very good Reason to be given, why these Reverend Examples of Truth and Piety play with Oaths, and call upon the tremendous Name of God to a Lie. They themselves say it is for Bread, though some others think it is for Drink. However that be, it is plain Perjury is but a small Fault, if any. Now suppose His Majesty, taught by the Church, should break his Oath, and seize its Possessions, I know the Parsons are so reasonable a Sort of People, that they would never upbraid His Majesty for walking in their Steps, and being forsworn. But I doubt his Majesty is so much of a King, and a Christian, that he will never be brought to follow his Clergy in this Path.

Before I have done with this Head, I must give the Parsons one Caution. I beg them for the Time to come, never to upbraid any Body with the Practice of Occasional Conformity; since probably some bitter Presbyterian, who does not honour the Cloth, may give them to understand, that it is almost as innocent to take the Church-Sacrament for a Place, as it is to be forsworn for a Living.

The Happiness of Mankind is moreover a great and powerful Antagonist to the Church.

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Here in England we enjoy such a shameful Share of Wealth and Liberty, that it is no Wonder at all our Clergy are perpetually grumbling. If we were but so reasonable and orthodox as to part with all our Substance and Privileges to them, it is almost probable, that these our good Guides to Misery and Salvation, would grow content and easy, which it is impossible for Men of their Spirit and Pretensions to be; so long as we are so saucy and heterodox as to be rich and free.

In the Territories of the Church abroad, the Priests enjoy the great good Fortune of having never a happy Layman under their Dominion; and having beside, the Power of Fire and Sword, there is not a single Schismatick, nor the Appearance of Heresy and Knowledge amongst them; but Church Affairs go on in a blessed Course of Tyranny, Sodomy, and Stupidity, without Rub or Disturbance. Can any one wonder that our zealous Clergy are tempted to an Imitation of such a pious Pattern of genuine Church Power and Plenty, where the Bible is locked up, and the Laity starve?

The Nature of our Government and Constitution, brings also no small Danger to the Church.

In this Country the Orthodox Clergy cannot excommunicate and damn a Man, but presently the Heterodox Law grants him a Replevin. Besides, we have several other Bars to the Felicity of the Church; We have a Parliament, and we have Trade, and, which is worse than all, the Convocation cannot do what they please, and the King will not part with his Prerogative to prorogue them. So that the Law on one Side, and the Prerogative on the other, grind the poor Church between the upper and the nether Millstone, as Mr. Leslie emphatically complains.

There is one Instance particularly, in which the Prerogative bears hard upon the Church. The Parsons, you must know, to prove themselves a well-born People, go for their Parentage seventeen hundred Years backwards, and father themselves upon the Apostles. Now not being able to prove this, either by Record, or Resemblance, they have given Occasion to some prophane Folks to alledge, that the Priests must needs be Bastards, because their Parents utterly disown them, and they are kept by the Parish. But they, on the other hand, scorning to part with their Edition: current; Page: [161] Apostolick Birth, have forged out a vast Chain, long enough to hold ten Millions of Foxes, and this they call the Chain of Succession; one End of which is tied to the Apostles, and the other to themselves; and it reaches from Jerusalem to Lambeth, taking Rome in its Way. This is an important, and even miraculous Chain; for, though it has frequently been broke, and there are Gaps in it seventy Years long, yet it has never been once interrupted to this Day. It is like Milton’s Bridge, built by Sin and Death, over the Chaos, wonderful and invisible. It is pity this Cable-rope of Succession should lie thus incog. when in the Opinion of High-Church, the whole Hierarchy hangs by it. It is therefore no wonder they maintain it with most Apostolick Wrath and Obstinacy.

But even here now, in the momentous Point of Succession, the Prerogative breaks in upon the Cassock, and the King, who is but a Layman, creates Bishops, and, by this Act of his, does, as it were, beget Sons and Heirs to the Apostles. This is a sad Encroachment upon the Privileges of the Parsons, who have doubtless a Divine Right to breed each other. I know they pretend they still choose their Bishops, and, on that Occasion mock God with Prayers, as if they really did. Thus an Apothecary’s Boy, or an old Woman, by order of the Doctor, administers a Clyster; and, if a Cure ensues, the Boy or the old Woman was the Physician.

There are many other Faults in our Laws, in Relation to the Church, of which the Priesthood have just Reason to complain. Smithfield is turned into a meer Market, where Bullocks are butchered instead of Hereticks, and the Clergy are never again like to be complimented with a Burnt Offering from thence; and a Dissenter may now be so saucy as to worship God, and the Parson cannot punish him for it; and the Laity are suffered to believe, that the revealed Will of God is not hid; and there is a dangerous Opinion prevailing among us, that the Almighty will not tumble us into Hell, for Sincerity and Well-meaning. And, to add no more, the Clergy have not the Government of all Things.

The next Thing I shall mention, which has administered great Grief and Danger to the Church, is the High Duty upon French Wine and Brandy. This Grievance is Edition: current; Page: [162] sufficient to make all the genuine Parsons in England Male-contents. For, though they drink Malt Liquor in great Quantities, and though that be of a windy Nature, and is a great Help to Zeal, yet a Dram is the Life of Orthodoxy, and Claret is clear Wit to use their own waggish Stile. I know a Parson who drinks nothing but Small-beer, and he is a Whig, as one may easily imagine, and unless he change his Liquor in order to change his Principles, he is like to continue a Whig till Doomsday. So much does the Church lose by a sober Son.

Another Cause from which the genuine Churchmen are in great Danger, is a Reformation of Manners, which would strip them of many pretty Liberties, and force upon them the Bitterness of Morality, which is too strong Meat for these Babes. As Orthodoxy and Lewdness are often the lovingest Neighbours in the World, it must needs go to their Heart to be parted.

In Popish Countries, for Example, where the Clergy often fall into such Carnal Crimes and Copulations, as our spotless Society of Saints here at home do abhor; Would it not be a heavy Judgment upon a pious Priest to be stripp’d at once of his Whore and his Altar? And then, Would not an Embargo on Toping, in the same Countries, have an Aspect every Bit as terrible towards the Church? For, there are, beyond Sea, such Monsters as drunken Priests; though my Countrymen, who never see such Sights here in England, may imagine I talk wildly. And now for an honest tippling Priest, who would as freely suffer Death as Thirst, to be thus reformed out of his Bottle, and divorced from his croney Barrel, would be downright Persecution, and wound the Church through his Sides.

A Reformation is likewise so tyrannical and hard-hearted, as to oblige the Clergy to live as if there was really something in Religion, beside Farce and Tithes; and it expects too that these spiritual Militia, should be, at least, now and then upon Duty, and not live idle above fix Days in seven, and upon the seventh, not above nineteen Hours in four and twenty.

Besides, a Reformation would be for reviving the Force of Scripture Laws, which bear wondrous hard upon the Clergy. I remember particularly, the third Chapter to Edition: current; Page: [163] Timothy lays such intolerable Injunctions and Restraints upon them, as must needs be as far from the Liking of the genuine Parsons, as I am sure they are from their Practice; for the aforesaid Chapter expects they should be no Brawlers, nor Strikers, nor greedy of filthy Lucre, nor given to Wine; nor lifted up with Pride; but, on the contrary, that they should be blameless, vigilant, sober, of good Behaviour, and apt to teach; and I know not how many more Impossibilities.

A Gentleman in this City, whose Heart is set upon a Reformation of Manners, gave me not long ago, the Perusal of his Creed, out of which I drew the following dangerous Positions, and now I publish them, that the genuine Clergy may guard against them.

1. He believes that a Man may be saved by adhering to naked Truth and plain Religion.

2. That it is not damnable, not to believe what we cannot believe.

3. That Christianity is as good a Man as Orthodoxy, saving the Judgment of the Clergy.

4. That it is possible for a Pastor to have Grace in his Heart, though he has ne’er a Rose in his Hat, and that he may tell Truth, and instruct the People, though he be not wrapped up in twenty Ells of Holland.

5. That an innocent Infant may be saved, without a Parson’s dropping Water upon its Face.

6. That a well disposed Person may eat Bread, and drink Wine, in Remembrance of our Saviour’s Death, without the Priest’s Form of Words, which yet do not change the Elements, which yet are a proper Sacrifice, which yet is not Flesh and Blood.

7. That God may possibly pardon a repenting Sinner, though the Parson do not absolutely give his Consent, and order him so to do.

8. That a Man may venture to understand the understandable Parts of Scripture.

9. That there is such a Thing as a scrupulous Conscience; With Submission to the Parsons.

10. That a Man may keep his Oath to King George, and yet not be damned for it; again saving the Opinion and Practice of High-Church.

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11. That the Clergy as well as others, would be better, if they had fewer Faults.

12. That Dissenters are our Fellow-Creatures.

13. That Religion is a Rational Thing.

My Acquaintance (above-mentioned) holds all these and more such heretical Notions, which, were they tolerated, would bring no small Danger to the Church. But I hope, her genuine Sons will continue their Zeal, and defend her against them all.

Among many other Causes which I could assign for the Danger of the Church, I shall mention but two; and these are two Holy Days, the 30th of January, and the 29th of May; a Couple of Days that send many a pious Priest to meet his Fate. Then it is that our Orthodox Parsons exerts their Wrath and Eloquence with huge Might and Success. They demolish the Whigs, and then kill themselves with Joy and Drinking. Cups and Carousals, succeed to Zeal and Scolding, and many an able-bodied Levite sacrifices his Sobriety and his Tabernacle, to the Health and Confusion of the Church and Low-Church-Men. They send Dissenters to the Devil, but go first themselves, to tell him they are coming.

Thus half the genuine Clergy lay Hands upon themselves, and pour their own Deaths down their Throats. Some of them depart spiced with right Nantz, others sows’d in October, some pickled in Florence, and many steep’d in Oxford-Ale. Ah these drunken Holydays! (says my witty Friend, Dr. Byfield) no Body gets by them but Lucifer and the Excisemen. They have turned the whole Year into an idle Jubilee, and the Common-Prayer Book into an Almanack. I hate their superstitious Trumpery———It is only the Whore of Babylon in an English Vizor, and the Pope in a Periwig. Premember the Time, when we neither minded Surplices nor Saints Days; and then! Drunkenness was sent to the Stocks, and Whoring to the House of Correction. But now! the Priests are gone astray, and the People follow them.

I am acquainted with a Rosicrucian in this Town, who holds a Correspondence with the other World, and in it with Hugh Peters particularly, from whom he lately received the following Epistle, a Copy of which he gave me. As it is the newest and best Apology that ever was Edition: current; Page: [165] made for Drunkenness, I chearfully publish it, for the peculiar Service of my Ecclesiastical Clients.

To the truly illuminate, and sublimate by the Symphony of the Spirit of Essence, bright above Brightness, and Blossom of invisible Knowledge, Jacob Fitz Behmen, living in the World; Hugh Peters, a visionary Elect, wisheth Perpetuity of Permanence.

“You tell me that your Friend, the Doctor, drinks and decays apace, and that we Ghosts may soon expect his Company, he being already almost one of us. I am glad of the News, and shall be pleased to see him. But I cannot with you condemn him for swallowing so much Brandy and Wine: On the contrary, I applaud him, for his artful Seasoning of himself, with hot Liquors for his Removal into this warm Climate, where, let me tell you, ’tis Dog-days all the Year.

“It was for want of this extreme Unction, that Julius Cæsar (the soberest Tyrant and Whoremaster in the World) was plagued with the dry Gripes half a Century after his Arrival on this side the Grave. Alexander the Great, by Report, was wiser, for ’tis a Tradition here, that his Ghost came reeking from a drunken Feast, like a Butterfly preserved in Spirit of Wine.

“Many great Men, and Judges of the Earth, have tried the same Expedient with comfortable Success: But above all other Species of Mortals the Reverend the Clergy, my Brother-Trade, who understand their Interest in the upper World, the best of all other Characters of Crafts whatsoever, are not wanting in Foresight and Sagacity to fortify themselves with hot Liquors and hot Sermons, against the Influence of this hot Region. You know while they are in your World, they are great Monopolizers of Fire and Brimstone and when they come hither we do not grudge them their own Commodity.

“It is from this Tribe of Men chiefly we have an Account of what is doing on the funny Side of the Globe; for, being all profess’d Politicians and Newsmongers, we find them the best Intelligencers imaginable. Besides, they are constantly coming, and by that Means, we never want Advices. So that whenever we spy a Edition: current; Page: [166] black Ghost stalking towards the Ferry, we all cry out, with one Mouth, a Mail from Mankind!

“At all Seasons of the Year we have them pretty thick; but it is incredible what Gluts of them arrive a few Days after the 30th of January, and the 29th of May. And the Reason is obvious; for———

Here Friend Hugh falls into the same Observations which I have already made, and shews, beyond Contradiction, how his Brother-Trade, as he calls them, kill themselves with Preaching and Debauchery, at these High-Church Tides. Nothing so quickly destroys the Constitution, and the Understanding, as Brandy, and Tobacco, and Zeal.

I have now, I may modestly boast, fully proved the Danger of the Church; and, by assigning the true Causes of that Danger, I am the only Advocate she has, who have not lyed upon this Occasion, seeing all the numerous Assertors of her holy Peril, who went before me, do, in the Account they give thereof fib most outragiously; though I, who am not of their Order, dare by no Means say so. These Men lay all the Blame of this Matter upon Infidels and profane Persons; but I can never join with them in such an unreasonable Charge; for I cannot think it at all likely that the Clergy would wilfully murder their own Mother, and so be guilty of Manslaughter.

My next Task is to prove, that the Church ought to be in Danger, and this I shall do by shewing, that she gets by it.

Pity is a potent Passion, and whoever has the Art of gaining it, seldom fails to draw our Affections along with it. Now the Church having no other Way of being beloved but to be pitied, she must, in Order to that, appear exceeding miserable and woful.

Misery is often the greatest, and sometimes, the only Merit, which attends Persons and Things. For Proof of this, I never saw a Rogue going to be hanged, though ever so wicked and ugly, but he was first pitied, and then praised; especially by the Women, who have a strange Biass to weeping and being deceived.

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Hence it proceeded that when the Doctor and his High-Church were both thought in a hopeful Way to the Gallows, our Orthodox Compassion got the better of our Heretical Reason, and the Champion merited our Mercy meerly by meriting a Halter.

The Church, therefore, if she would be safe, must be always in Danger; while she is so, our Concern for the old Woman in Distress, will throw Dust in the Eyes of our Understanding, and effectually prevent a Discovery of her Nakedness and Wrinkles.

And now to conclude, what remains but that the Danger of the Church, which is grown so necessary to her well being, be established by a Canon, and made the thirty tenth Article of her Faith, to be believed on Pain of Damnation? In the mean while, let me assume to myself the just Glory of having started the Design of such an Article, by shewing its Reasonableness.

Lastly, loving Reader, let me acquaint thee in a few Words, with my own Usefulness and Importance, which makes me, indeed, a little proud, but not a Bit vain.

And in the first Place, I have written a matchless Defence of Priestcraft, a Task never attempted before. And yet the Masters and Guardians of that noble Science, have proved but unthankful Clients, and even railed at me, their Apologist, most unmercifully, and indeed unanswerably. But I have always observed, that Orthodoxy has admirable Talents for selling of Oysters. I am, in particular, beholden to a great Doctor, famous for Paunch and Principles, who preached a whole Sermon against me, in which he foamed and reviled, beyond a Possibility of Reply. Lord love him, if possible, it is the only Way of Reasoning he knows.

I have likewise been most christianly cursed in many other Pulpits, with the same Force of Bitterness and Lungs. Bless me, that my loving priestly Friends will not be taught more Wit! I had been rallying a Sort of Men who are very sad Fellows, and shameful Enemies to Conscience, Truth, and their Country; and presently up start the Lord’s Ambassadors, and cry, we are the Men, damn the Author. At such odds are they with common Sense, and the Mercy of God?

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Secondly, I have convinced several Laymen, that there is another God besides the Clergy, though they had lived long in Ignorance as to that Point. And I have Advice from divers Counties in England, that when the Parsons cock their Beavers, and gives themselves Airs, the Country Folks cut them down with a Text out of Parson Alberoni. When a Vicar in Kent the other Day, sent his Clerk to a sensible Clown in the Parish, to demand his Easter-Dues on Pain of Excommunication. What, says Ralph to Sternhold, I warrant ye, you come Ambussador now from the Lord’s Receiver General, don’t you? And the chief Inhabitants of a Parish in Surry, have sent a Letter to their Docter here in Town, begging him, if his Belly be not too full, to come down and preach among them, and not to affront them any longer with his Journey-man.

Thirdly, I have conferred Reputation upon six and fifty Authors, every one of whom was graciously pleased to write my Book after it was in Print, and they are heartily welcome. All their other Works, when once they got into the Corner of a Bookseller’s Shop grew rickety for want of handling, and so could never travel over the Counter, till a Grocer’s Prentice carried away the helpless Creatures in a charitable Wheel-barrow. Seven of these worthy Gentlemen, and one of them a grave Counsellor in the Temple, confessed to me that they were the Authors of the Apology, but modestly begged me not to discover them. I must however thank the bountiful Mr. P———H———, for his uncommon Goodness in adopting my poor fatherless Child, as soon as it was brought forth into the public. I fear it is more than ever I shall be able to do for one of his.

I am told that one of these Fathers of my Pamphlet, threatens to break Squares with the Court, because they have not yet rewarded him with a thousand Pounds a Year. But, I doubt, this ingenious Pelferer of my Parts and Performance, is too hasty, Why, even I, who have written full four Half Sheets, for the Good of my self and my Country, am not yet Lord High Admiral, nor have so much as the Proffer of a Blue Garter; which so discontents me, that I will write no more these three Days; but then I will set about my Apology for great Men, in which I will Edition: current; Page: [169] prove them to be the civillest Creatures breathing to their own publick Persons. Reader, Adieu, for a Fortnight.

P. S. I acknowledge the former Part of this Book has been laid at the Door of a Gentleman or two, whose Names do me Honour. I wish they may be as well pleased on this Occasion as I am.

A Dedication to a Great Man, concerning Dedications: discovering amongst other wonderful Secrets, what will be the present Posture of Affairs a Thousands Years hence.


A Passage or two in this little Essay having been liable to Exceptions, without my foreseeing it, I am very ready to explain them. By the Jewish Pretender is meant Absolom; aud what is said about the Bible, is so far from any Satire on that Sacred Book, that it is manifestly and only, one upon them who make but little or no Use of it.

As to the Characters and Inscriptions at the End, I still them so Just, that I am not like to repent of them; which may serve to shew me as much a Friend to well-grounded Panegyrick, as I ever shall be a Foe to all false Colouring. There is no such Thing as Praise and Blame, where they are not applied; and as I take upon me to expose the one, I think I need ask no Pardon for attempting to practice the other.

Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas
My Lord,

YOUR Lordship and I are not at all acquainted, I therefore take Leave to be very familiar with you, and to desire you to be my Patron, because you do not know me nor I you: Nor can this Manner of Address seem strange to your Lordship, whilst it is warranted by Edition: current; Page: [170] such numerous Precedents. I have known an Author praise an Earl for twenty Pages together, though he knew nothing of him, but that he had Money to spare. He made him Wise, Just and Religious, for no Reason in the World, but in Hopes to find him Charitable; and gave him a most bountiful Heart, because he himself had a most empty Stomach. This Practice being general, it is a very easy Matter to guess, by the Size of the Panegyrick, how wealthy the Patron may be, or how hungry the Author; if it exceeds three Pages, you may pawnall the Blood in your Body upon it, the Writer has fasted three Days; and that his Lordship, among all his other good Parts, has at least ten thousand Pounds a Year.

From all this we may learn, that a Great Man’s Fortune is as easily known from a Dedication to him, as from the Rent-Roll of his Estate; and that his Bounty to the Author, is only Wages for publishing his Wealth to the World.

It is likewise evident, that no Lord of a low Fortune must expect an humble Admirer amongst us Wits and Writers, unless he bargain with us at a set Price, and give us so much a piece for every good Quality he has Occasion for.

We must not therefore judge of the High and Mighty as they are described in the Frontispiece of Books and Poems. Your Dedicators are a Sort of Intellectual Taylors, that cut out Cloaths for a Great Man’s Mind, without ever taking Measure of it. They have indeed two Rules from which they never depart: First, The Dress must be Gaudy; and Secondly, It must never fit. Their Business is to make it of a vast Dimension, and to cover it all over with Tinsel. If the Suit be bulky and shining, the Poet has the Reputation of a skilful Tradesman, for the Stuff and the Exactness are never consulted.

I would upon this Occasion, congratulate the Quality upon the Advantage which it is to them, to have their Characters drawn by such as either do not, or dare not, know them; and consequently will be sure not to put their Graces, and Lordships, and Ladyships, out of Countenance———A convenient Piece of good Breeding! for which, I hope, they are thankful.

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For myself, when I see a long Drift of Excellencies and Talents crammed down a Nobleman’s Throat, who has no Relish of them or Right to them, I am not at all surprized, because I am sure it is not meant as an Encomium upon his Honour, but merely as a Declaration of the Author’s Wants, and a heavy Complaint of Nakedness and Hunger.

Some may reckon a Dependance on a Great Man the best Reason and Foundation for dedicating to him; but I am not of their Opinion. For my Part, I have no Manner of Dependance on any Star and Garter in Great-Britain, as any one may observe from the Cheerfulness of my Looks, and the Integrity of my Life. I own, that setting up for a Writer, I judged it convenient to me, and my Book, to call in your Lordship for an Assistant, but no farther than just to set off and honour my Title-Page. I at first, indeed, intended to let the whole Credit of the Thing remain with you, by entitling my Pamphlet, An Essay of a Man of Quality: But my Bookseller who is a smoaky Fellow, and understands the Pulse of the People perfectly well, fell into a great Rage, and asked me for the five Shillings again, which he had advanced to me, by Way of Encouragement, a Week before. He told me, he had neither Pleasure nor Profit in selling waste Paper to the Grocers at two Pence a Pound. Why, says he, the famous Dassy might as rationally have writ Aqua Fortis upon his Elixir: An Essay of a Man of Quality, If I were to chain the Book to my Counter, it would not make it a more everlasting Shop-keeper than this very Title: It is as bad as a Spell; and the most adventurous Reader will not presume to open the Book that is fortified with it.———No, no; if you must have the Front of your Book embellished with something of Title, you may call it, A Letter to a great Man: Since you do not name him, People will naturally imagine there is something in it exceeding saucy and satirical; and that very Thought will make your Pamphlet popular.———I have followed his Advice, and am t’other five Shillings the richer for it.

But, as I was telling your Lordship, Reliance on a great Man is not a good Reason for dedicating to him; for either he will receive the Present of your Praise as a just Edition: current; Page: [172] Tribute for such your Dependance; (and then where is your Pay, and the due Hire of your Sweat and Invention?) or else he will reward you with a Sort of Coin, called Promises, stamped with his Honour, but never current amongst Shop-keepers and Victuallers. Alas! Who will give you an Ell of Cloth, or a Cut of Beef upon it? It is a lamentable Thing the World should be arrived to such a Pitch of ill Breeding, that now a Days a great Man’s Word and Honour are as little minded by the rest of the World as by himself.

And so I will proceed to assert, That the only proper Patron for an Author to inscribe his Works to, is one to whom he is an utter Stranger, who having had no Manner of Commerce with the aforesaid Author, can understand his Dedication to be nothing else but an elegant Demand for such a Sum of Ready Money. Dedications are therefore Bills of Exchange, drawn by the Witty upon the Great, and payable at Sight. But, left the worthy Offering should not be understood, or recompensed as it ought to be, through the deplorable Ignorance of the Quality, whose high Characters place them far above the Reach of Knowledge and the Impulses of Humanity, I have for the Benefit of my worthy Companions in the Labours of the Standish, drawn up the following Form, with which I would have all Dedications to conclude.

The Right Honourable Dives Earl of Widefield, Debtor to Paul Poorwit, for the following Goods sold and delivered.
£. s. d.
Imprimis, For a large Stock of Learning very much wanted 02 10 00
Item, For a Barrel of rare Eloquence, admir’d by all the World, but never yet used 05 00 00
Item, For as much Justice and Honour as a Great Man has occasion for 00 01 01½
Item, Por a Hogshead of Courage that never saw the Sun 10 00 00
Item, For half a Pound of Wit and Humour, being all I had to spare, but very good in then Kind, and Dog-cheap 01 00 00
Item, For several Thimble-fulls of Generosity, a scarce Commodity 00 02 05
Item, For a long Line of Lineage, and great Quantities of ancient Blood, neither of them measured, but only guest at 05 00 00
Item, For praising your Ancestors, unknown 01 10 00
Item, For admiring your Lady’s Beauty, unsight, unseen 00 10 00
Item, For a graceful Person, all of my own making 02 10 00
Sum Total 28 03 06½
Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas
My Lord,

I Have sent you the above mentioned Goods, being the best my Garret affords, and at the lowest Price. I hope they will please you. You will find in the Cargo several Things which I have not Itemed; viz. A large Parcel of Virtue, and another of good Nature; because I knew you wanted them as much as any of the rest.———These too Articles will raise the Whole to, at least, even Thirty Pounds; and I have drawn a Bill upon your Lordship accordingly, which I beg your Lordship to pay at Sight; for, I assure you, I have had pressing Occasion for the Money long before it was due. I might have found Chapmen for these Goods among very many of the Nobility and Gentry, as unprovided with them as yourself; but out of pure Respect to your Lordship, I resolved you should have the Refusal.———In firm Expectation of your approaching Bounty, I am

My Lord, Your Lordships most Obliged, Most Devoted, Most obedient, Most, &c.

In this plain Manner would I have Authors treat their Patrons. The said Thirty Pounds may probably be all the Poet’s Stock; and Wits, dealing the least upon Credit, either in Selling or Buying, of any Trading People in the World, have the more Occasion for Ready Money.

Your Lordship may by this perceive, how I expect to be treated and rewarded for the following Panegyrick on yourself.

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In attempting your Character, (to use the fashionable Phrase) I shall begin with the Antiquity of your House, equally Old and Illustrious. Your Ancestors, won Honours, and you, my Lord, wear them; how well they become you, I need not say, the same being as evident to the whole World as to me. You would, no Doubt, acquire new Ones, were there any Room left for them; but what Occasion have you to toil and struggle for that which is already provided for you by others? And it is a plain Instance of your consummate Prudence, that your Ease is by no Means interrupted by any the least Pursuit of this Kind. If any dare insolently call in Question your Glory, shew them your Coat of Arms, and the Number of your Manours; strike them Dumb, by telling them of the Nobility of your Blood, and Blind, by shewing them the Splendor of your Race.

Nobility is held by Patent, and where is the Necessity of another Tenor by Virtue? A Piece of Parchment is a much more portable Instrument. Your Lordship seems apprized of the Difficulty of excelling in any Thing, and therefore wisely forbears drudging for Fame. Your Ancestors excelled for you: They, by having many Accomplishments, have saved you the Trouble of having any. The Lustre of their Names shines still upon you, tho’ exceedingly weakened by the Length of the Journey, having spent many of its Rays in its Passage thro’ three or four Generations, who wanted its Influence as much as yourself. Thus, if we trace the Merit of a great Family, it is like the Course of a River inverted, largest towards the Fountain.

Should any one make an ill-bred Comparison (which God forbid) betwixt your Lordship and the Founders of your House, you could shew him, or I for you, that you possess several Arts and Acquirements, which the old fashioned Fellows, with all their Abilities and long Beards were utter Strangers to. If one of your Forefathers was a great Orator, and could do Wonders with his Mouth, your Lordship is as dexterous in the Exercise of the Organ next to it, and can take Snuff with great Volubility of Nostril. What tho’ another of your Grand-fires was an able Politician, a Person of great Cunning and Brains? The outside of his Head was not half so well instructed Edition: current; Page: [175] as your own: You have more Curls in the Covering of yours, than he had Wiles in the Lining of his: His was Equipp’d by painful Study, yours is Edifyed by your painful Barber. A Third was a brave Soldier, but were he put to handle your Cane or your Snuff-Box, he would be at as great a Loss, as you, my Lord, wou’d be to handle his Truncheon. A Fourth sat up at Nights, and lived by his Clients; but your Lordship, more Happy and less Learned, lies a Bed all Day, and lives by your Tenants. All these laboured for your Grandeur and Support, foreseeing, as one would imagine, that you would have Need of their Aid. And it cannot be deny’d, that it is possible one may be so great a Man as to be good for little. Wisdom and Worth, we see, cannot be entailed like Titles and Acres. It were, indeed, to be wished, that a wise Head and an honest Heart could beget their Likeness, and that famous Men could transmit their Parts with their Titles to their Posterity; but since that cannot be, their Descendants must comfort themselves with being a-kin to Merit, tho’ ever so remotely.

Nothing is more frequent and natural, than to value ourselves upon that which is none of ours. Of this I have, in my Time, seen several merry Instances. I knew a Thresher in Wiltshire, who was so elevated upon his Brother’s being made a Parson, and promoted to a Curacy of Twenty Pounds a Year, that he threw away his Flayl, as a Discredit to one who was nearly related to so great a Man, and betook himself to poaching in the River, as a more Gentleman-like Way of Life. It was observed of him, that ever afterwards he rowled his Stockings, whereas he had before always humbly buttoned his Breeches over them. It is said he threatens to leave the Village where he was born, because the ill-bred Inhabitants still continue to stile him no higher than bare Gaffer Thump, as they used to do notwithstanding that his Brother is a Curate: But it is thought this high-spirited Person will be disappointed, for that no Parish will receive him without a Certificate. I would, out of the Benignity of my Nature, comfort all Great Men, who have noble Blood but vulgar Understandings, with the Repartee of a West Country Blacksmith, Edition: current; Page: [176] who, in a Dispute with a Barber that called him an ignorant Fellow, answered, with equal Scorn, That tho’ he could neither read nor write, his Father had been Game keeper to the Lord of a Manour. The Barber who was but the Son of a Barber, finding himself out-match’d in Family, very respectfully gave up the Dispute to his Betters.

It is scarce to be perceived how diffusive and multiplying a little good Blood is: The Increase of the Blessed Virgin’s Milk, by the Magick and Management of Popish Monks, is not more miraculous. How many Thousands find themselves enriched by it, or rather impoverished! For nothing is more apt to turn the Brain; and it is often got into the Head, when there is not half a Drop of it in the Arteries.

We may observe, by the Way, that we are ever nearest related to the greatest Man of our Blood, tho’ removed seven Generations from him. If our Great-Grandfathers for Instance, was a wise Man, and our Grandfather and Father a Brace of Fools, we skip the two last, and become, after a wonderful Manner, the immediate Descendants of the first. Thus a Man becomes the very next in Blood to, perhaps the first of his Name, who lived 300 Years ago, and scorns to be in the least a kin to the Person that begot him: You shall not meet with a Jew who is the Son of his Father———No, he’s the Son of Abraham, who has been dead so many thousand Years, and yet is still forced to father a swarthy Race of Brokers and B———g———ers. In the same Manner has King Cadwallader begot every Mother’s Son that has been born in Wales for five hundred Generations. I know a Lady, who is far gone in Genealogy and Pride, whose Father had, with a great Title and Estate, a great Faculty likewise of Drivelling; him she never mentions, as being, I suppose, no ways related to him; but a great Man of her Name, who lived in the Reign of William Rufus, is her good and right well beloved Kinsman——— He was, I take it, either her Uncle, or at farthest, her Cousin-German.

This picking and culling of our Ancestors, (as if it lay at our Mercy, after we are brought into the World, who should bring us thither) shews great Ambition, but small Edition: current; Page: [177] Policy. For, certainly, we should be exceeding careful not to mention ourselves with such of our Ancestors with whom we cannot stand a Comparison. A Dwarf may strut upon the Shoulders of a Giant, but still his Dwarfship is the more conspicuous from the Company he keeps; and many a Man climbs only to shew his elevated Littleness. This is all wrong ——— They that would appear tall, ought to converse only with the short, if they would take a natural Method of coming at the Scope of their Ambition. I therefore approve the Prodence and Policy of our worshipful Country Squires and Fox-hunters, who, for the Sake of having daily Companions, at least, something, below themselves in Speech and Understanding, spend all all their Time with dumb Creatures, and live and die among Horses and Dogs. An honest Gentleman, whose speaking Organs would be of no Use to him in the Senate or in Conversation, shall be very eloquent in an Assembly of Hounds, and, with great Force and Fluency of Throat, out-do his Brother Orators in their own Way. The Wisdom of These Worthies, who are educated in the Kennel, goes farther yet; for every Man chuses for his Tator that Beagle whose Voice he is most capable of imitating: Insomuch, that as soon as I hear one of those Academicks begin his Excise, that is, to open, I can presently pronounce whose Pupil he has been, whether bred under Doctor Jowler, or Doctor Sweetlips. At present Doctor Ringwood is more famous than all the rest for the Number of Scholars he has train’d up; I know several of them myself, and particularly a hopeful young Gentleman, the eldest Son of a Baronet, who is a great Proficient in this Kind of Throat Learning.———It is believed, he is now fit to head the Pack himself in the Absence of his said Master, the polite Dr. Ringwood. When this ingenious young Heir displays his Wind-Pipe, his Mother’s Heart beats for Joy, and the old Knight tells the Company with a Wink and a Nod, Harry is Father’s own Son.———Now thus far all is well, when Ambition goes Hand in Hand with Capacity. But Sir John, not content with these Excellencies in himself and his Son, will be ever and anon mentioning the Virtues and Talents of his Ancestors, who Edition: current; Page: [178] were indeed great Men: However, the Knight never concludes without insinuating his own Praise, and that of his Heir, by asserting, That not one of his Forefathers could compass a Bumper, or fill a Hunting-Horn.

Having thus, my Lord, done Justice to your Pedigree, I shall proceed next to the Consideration of your Fortune.

The Founders of Families are generally provident enough to support the Titles they leave behind them with suitable Estates; which is a most commendable Care: For, alas! as the World runs, what is Blood without Riches? Money and Land are the very Touchstones of Quality. Antiquity may be overlook’d, but Acres are visible Honours. Nothing is more illustrious than a long Rent-Roll; without it the most sounding and splendid Patent has no Power over the Hearts or Hats of an Assembly. It is confess’d, neither Family nor Riches make the least Alteration in the human Frame. An Ear dom can’t cure a stinking Breath, nor take the Scull half an Inch thinner; and a Great Man may be a Dwarf or a Scoundrel, with half a Million of Money, or half a County in his Possession. Alexander the Great had a wry Neck, (perhaps with carrying the Globe upon his Back) of which the Property of the World could not cure him. But I am only talking of reputed, and not real, Greatness, and cannot but congratulate your Lordship upon the real Kindness which is done you, in particular, by this Distinction.

You, my Lord, have a double Right to Respect, from your Title, and from your Affluence. The latter is indeed the less worthy; and yet, such is the Bigottry of the World to Wealth, that were it not for that, the former would hardly be regarded. Nay, to deal ingenuously with your Lordship, had I not known you to be Rich, I should, perhaps, never have known you to be Noble; and then your Lordship and I should never have been Patron and Client, nor Mankind been instructed in your Character. I would not therefore for less than thirty Pounds, that your Lordship should have wanted this Opportunity of obliging Posterity and myself. Go on, my Lord, in the Paths of Honour, that is, in the Edition: current; Page: [179] Art of getting; and continue to be deserving, that is, to be Rich.

From your Lordship’s Wealth it is natural enough to make a Transition to your Lordship’s Wit; since, according to the laudable Civility of the World, the Man who has Sufficiency of Bags is sure to be endow’d with Sufficiency of Brain. It is very observable, that though Wit has seldom or never the Sense to fall into the Road of Gain, and therefore your witty Men are the foolishest Fellows in the World, that is to say, the poorest; yet Riches, on the contrary, never fail to dubb a Fool a wise Man; and a Dunce no sooner ceases to be poor, but he is transmuted into a shrewd cunning Fellow. The Reason of this must be, that the Wit of a poor Man, lying only in the Inside of his Head, is altogether invisible and unregarded; whereas the Wit and Parts of the Wealthy being entirely without the Scull, and consisting of Assets and Effects, are honour’d because they are obvious. A Man, who has Wit in Chestfulls, and a Genius that consists of several Manours, will never want the Praises which are due to such uncommon Talents. I could mention many worthy Citizens who have vast Capacities at Sea, and are wonderfully witty in Warehouses, and most ingenious in Bank Stock, besides others, whose Abilities are as conspicuous in the Exchequer.

I cannot but lament, on this Occasion, with a seeling Concern, the invincible Obstacles which hinder that unhappy Wit, which is merely internal, from rising into Notice and Reputation. Alas! (absit invidia verbo) there is no Wit at all in being hungry, and where is the Jest of having but one Shirt? A Wig without Buckle is but dull Entertainment, and a Threadbare Coat has no Manner of Force upon the Muscles. I can speak it from Experience, there is no Joke in an empty Purse. I had therefore no Expedient left to procure me a little Wit, but the letting out my Parts to Hire, as I now do to your Lordship. Thirty Pounds, my Lord, frugally manag’d, will make me a wise Man for three Months together. Your Lordship, who hath Talents of a vast Extent for several Miles round you, and vast Parts in Cash and Bank Bills, has not only a sufficient Bulk of Penetration Edition: current; Page: [180] and Wisdom to serve you for Life, but will doubtless transmit the same substantial Accomplishments undiminish’d to your Posterity. My Lord Clarendon tells us, That Oliver Cromwel’s Abilities seem’d to raise in Proportion to his Advancement in Power: And your Lordship’s Wit and Sense, that are now so bulky, and of such mighty Circumference, would certainly have been invisible to the Buzzard World, to this Hour, had not your Fortune lifted them and you into Observation.

I do not say all this to prove to your Lordship, that your Lordship has a great deal of Wit; it is the last Thing you want to be convinc’d of.—But it is my Ambition to get myself a little Wit and Wisdom with your Money; and it is but reasonable I should do something for it. I owe my Landlady for a Quarter’s Lodging, and my Laundress for a Month’s Washing; they are the two first whom I intend to satisfy that I am a sensible Man: For I already find, by their sower Looks, they begin to question my Parts. My Shoemaker too, and several other Tradesmen, want sadly to handle some Proofs and Instances of my Wit and Genius. It would be barbarous in your Lordship to let me pass any longer for a Fool amongst these Fellows whom one cannot live without. For a small Matter of that Sort of good Sense, which is call’d Money, I shall find Admiration among them, and, which is better, Credit and New Shoes. I have often been witty, to the best of my Skill, at the Tavern over a Bottle of Wine; but the Blockhead the Vintner is so dull and covetous, that he can see no Wit about me, but what I tell out between my Finger and my Thumb, a Piece of Ingenuity which I am not always Master of. O the Degeneracy of the Age! Ben Johnson has frequently paid his Reckoning in a Couplet, and liv’d comfortably and merrily a whole Winter’s Night upon a Punn. Alas! I do not believe, in this Iron Age, a Canto of a hundred Staves would bring a Quart of Sherry, or a Pound of Salmon. Many a Wit would be forc’d to pawn his Coat (if any Person would take it) for a Dinner, did not the charitable Bookseller advance him Half a Crown on his new Poem, and by that Means pay him Half in Hand.

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If a certain eminent Merchant had not manifested his uncommon Understanding in the uncommon Number o his Ships, and his harmonious Disposition (tuneful would have done better) in the chiming of his Bags, the Bluntness of the incomparable Mr. Durfey’s Nature would never have rais’d so many plauditory Plants in the large Field of the said Merchant’s Commendations: But that venerable Lyrick knew too well the Easiness of his Patron’s Humour, not to expect from it an Order upon his Goldsmith, where the harmonious Knight keeps the opulent Marks of his uncommon Understanding. How large Taste he afforded Mr. Durfey of his Parts, I know not; what I am to expect from your’s, my Lord, I know, and so will your Lordship too, when you have perus’d this uncommon Dedication.

I have, by this Time, I hope, with sufficient Clearness, display’d to my Readers, that is, to the whole World, the Quality and Extent of your Lordship’s Wit. If I have but little to say of your Eloquence, it is because you have hitherto shewn but little. But this is owing to nothing but Choice and Reservedness, on your Part: Your Modesty, my Lord, like a Pot-lead, smothers the Overflowings of your Spirit, and suppresses the Ebullition of your Rhetorick. It becomes me to believe you could do Wonders this Way, if you would. Why will you thus neglect and conceal your Abilities, and obstinately persist to be only a Hearer in the Senate? I do not question, but even this Omission and seeming Indolence is praise-worthy and publick-spirited. Your Lordship, no doubt, considers, that the very Listeners in public Assemblies are promoting the Trade of their Country, while they consume Snuff, and wear out Handkerchiefs. Thus is the Interest of Mankind advanc’d by Idleness and Incapacity itself.

Besides, when I reflect how much Tongue-Artillery is daily walled without doing the least Execution, I must applaud it as a Piece of Prudence and Humanity in your Lordship, to avoid the shedding of innocent Words. How many excellent Orators have we, who are instructive without being understood, severe without being felt, and loud without being heard. What Pity is this! Commend me to those that sit still and take Snuff, because they have Edition: current; Page: [182] nothing else to say. I have often lamented and sigh’d in my Closet, that Mens Tongues should have more Speed than their Understandings. When our Spirits are heavy and grave, it is but reasonable the Tongue should be shod with Lead. But alas! our Chops, when once they are set a going, generally shew our Intellects a Pair of Heels, and gallop away with such Fleetness, that even the Memory itself is distanc’d, as swift as it is.

Were the Tongue only to move by the Direction of good Sense, how many worthy English Gentlemen and fine Ladies would live and die secretly dumb? This putting of the Jaws upon hard Labour without Profit, and committing a Rape upon People’s Ears without the Consent of their Hearts, is a notorious Nuisance and Breach of the Peace. It is an Offence to others, and a Distemper in ourselves. This Disease I call the Upward Looseness; and it is in several Respects as nauseous as that below; nay, it sometimes equally affronts the Sense of Smelling, as when the Speaker’s Lungs are not over-orthodox, or so.

It is really a miserable Case, that, when a chattering Booby finds himself loaded with a turbulent Quantity of Words and Wind, which he has a Mind to discharge, I must be oblig’d to stand the Shot of his Noise and Nastiness for perhaps an Hour or two together. This, I am sure, is contrary to the Rules of Equity and Cleanliness; but it seems I am bound to it by the Laws of Courtesy and good Breeding.

What I have here said of Loquacity, concerns only private Conversation: But when this Insult upon our Senses appears in publick Assemblies, it is yet more intolerable. Why must prating Oafs (empty of every Thing but Froth and Clamour) be for ever suffer’d, without Rebuke, to be spewing up their ill scented Crudities in the Faces of Men that are either Wise or Brave? I would humbly propose, for the Ease of this Christian Country, that whenever an Orator of this Sort begins to gape and strain, one of the Company shall go up to him, and, taking hold of his Button, tell him, Sir, I am sorry to see you troubled with so violent a Vomiting: Or, perhaps, it may be more proper, without saying a Edition: current; Page: [183] Word, to run with a Chamber-pot, and hold it up to his Chin. For this Purpose, I would decree, that every Place of publick Meeting in this Istand be provided with one or more of these necessary Vessels, either to receive or restrain the Overflowings of indigested Oratory. If one of these emetick Speakers cannot conveniently be come at, it is only crying, To the Chamber-Pot; and, if he has Shame in him, he will grow well, and sit down.

There is something exceeding insolent in these long-winded Talkers. What Right has any Man living to lay an Embargo upon my Throat, when at the same Time he keeps his own open? He that usurps the whole Discourse, lays this modest Injunction upon the whole Company; namely, to be silent, and hear him.

The Ladies, indeed, who understand their Privileges much better than we do our’s, are not enslav’d by our Rules; but, tho’ there be a Score of them together, exert the Faculty of Speech all at once: And really, if we do but remember that it is their whole Business and Ambition to be only voluble, without troubling themselves with being intelligible, we cannot blame them for exercising their Tongues, as they do their Fans, in all Weathers, merely for a little Parade, or because they are used to it. Ladies, therefore, when they are fluttering either of these inoffensive Instruments, ought not to be interrupted with an Offer of the Chamber-Pot, for, if it be only the Pravity of the Intention that makes Actions criminal, it is evident they can be no Offenders, who speak without any Intention at all. I know the fair Prattlers are so overstock’d with Self-denial, that they will humbly disown this my Justification of them, as what they do not deserve; but I am resolv’d to persist, and make them innocent in Spite of themselves. But as for those of my own Sex, who are addicted to purge at the Mouth, I shall never revoke my Decree against them, or any of them, except such as honour the Truth, and freely consess, that though they talk much, they mean nothing. And indeed it cannot be denied, that very many well-meaning Persons are Rhetorical for no Reason in the Earth, but because they are not Retentive; and so are forc’d to break Words purely for their Ease. When a Edition: current; Page: [184] Man’s Tongue is always ready bridl’d and saddl’d, he cannot help it if it will run away him.

This Kind of Eloquence, like an ill Breath, is curable but one Way, and that is, by tying a certain Ligature, call’d a Halter, round the Patient’s Neck, and girding it, till you have quite stopp’d up the Gutter through which the aforesaid Excrements do issue.

But as this Remedy might prove somewhat dangerous to many Thousands of his Majesty’s good Subjects, I shall be cautious in recommending this publick-spirited Project, tho’ I am fully convinc’d it would effectually destroy all his Enemies within these his Dominions. But as I am a Friend to the Tranquillity and Noses of Mankind, I will make bold to prescribe a Succedancum; that is to say, an Equivalent for Hanging.

As a Specifick therefore against the dreadful Effects of this fœtid and epidemical Distemper, I would advise the sick Body, when the Fit is coming upon him, which he will perceive by an ungovernable Agitation in his Jaws, and an incessant Rattling in his Throat, to withdraw himself immediately from Company, and employ these indesatigable Organs in running over a Chapter or two in the Bible. People, I know, particularly my Patients, will make a horrid Outcry against the Distastefulness of this Remedy, but that can be no Objection against the Use of it, since the bitterest Drugs are often the most successful. Besides, it is well known, that all Medicines that dispose to Sleep, are harsh and unpalatable. Of this Nature are the numerous and powerful Opiats, which come daily from the Press and the Pulpit. A Dose or two of Scripture, if People would but be persuaded to take it (Sed hic Labor, hoc Opus est)) would compose those Convulsions of the Chops, and that Flux of Speech, which hitherto have been thought incurable. But let none despair; for tho’ their Mouths be dry, and their Lips chopp’d with the perpetual Evacuation of Eloquence and Spittle; tho’ their Heads ach with Nodding, and their Eyes with Winking; nay, though their Throats should be riven with Hemming, and their Wind-pipes with Straining; nay, even tho’ their very Arms should be jaded with explaining their Stories, and their Canes worn out with enforcing their Orations, yet I, the Doctor, Edition: current; Page: [185] will, by the Blessing of the Bible on my Endeavours, work a perfect Cure.

This Secret, which I found out by great Industry and long Study, I might, like other great Physicians, have kept to myself; but I prefer Knowledge and the Good of Mankind to living in Ignorance, and keeping a Coach.

For your many excellent Speakers that cannot read, I must find out some other Cure. Perhaps it may be no ineffectual Method to ask them, whether they will give what they say under their Hands, and to present them at the same Time with Pen, Ink, and Paper: You shall find they will immediately grow shy of attesting it in so solemn a Manner, and so recover to avoid Disgrace. N. B. This Remedy effectually cures talkative Beaus.

As to the Ladies, who hate every Thing that is unpleasant or unfashionable, I know my Scripture-Specifick will never go down with them without a great deal of Art. These genteel well-bred Patients would think me a strange rude Fellow, should I advise them to so vulgar a Thing as the Reading of an old Book; and so I find I must grown canning, that I may not be thought clownish. Being well acquainted with the inquisitive Spirit which is in them, I intend to recommend the Bible to them as a Book that contains many strange Adventures, and many Secrets which they never heard of before: There they will find Gallantry and Intrigues, Songs, Dances, and pretty Fellows, Mobbings, Rebellions, and the Church; Hereditary Right, and a Jewish Pretender, who was a very handsome Man, but had his Title and Complexion both ruin’d by the Gallows; and there they will find Courts, Ravishings, and Adultery, and every Thing that can please and entertain them: Besides, the Book is finely bound and gilt. I mention the strongest Motive last, because they may remember it most.

I am sensible few of our fine Ladies are furnish’d with this useful Book, the same being got intirely into the Hands of their Servants, and other mean People, who are poor-enough to be good Christians. I must therefore acquaint the Quality, that the said Book, call’d a Bible, may be met with at the Booksellers; Mr. Baskett, encourag’d, I suppose, by this Project of mine, having, Edition: current; Page: [186] not long since, ventur’d upon a new Impression; otherwise, ’tis thought, Bibles might, in a small Time, have been out of Print.

To convince the whole World that I am altogether disinterested in this useful Discovery, I must, in Justice to myself, declare, that I have never seen the Colour of Mr. Baskett’s Money; for, tho’ I belong to the Society for the Reformation of Manners, I do utterly decline the usual Perquisites arising from the Execution of that Office. If Mr. Baskett indeed should force a Bribe upon me, I know the Courtesy of my Nature will by no Means suffer me to affront so worthy a Person by a rigid Refusal, it being my stedfast Principle to suffer rather than resist, upon such powerful Trials; as many of our good and modest Doctors are forc’d into Greatness and Bishopricks, in spite of their obstinate and repeated Nolo. But, though I shall not not fall out with Mr. Baskett for a small Matter, I protest before Hand, that if he offers me above a Hundred Guineas, I shall be strangely surpriz’d.

However, if Mr. Baskett behaves himself, as he ought to do, upon this Occasion, I intend to make over to him, his Heirs, and Assigns, the Right of Printing and Publishing my Works for the Space of Three Hundred Years; at the End of which Time, I do Will and Ordain, that the said Right shall become general, and enrich the whole Body of Booksellers, without Distinction, requiring them, however, as a public Emolument for so public a Benefit, to apply a small Portion of their Profits towards pulling down the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, and rebuilding the same in a Manner worthy of me and my Country, the Honour whereof is hereby consulted, as well as the Reputation of Sir Christopher Wren. I should be willing to retrieve his Credit sooner, but as the said Fabrick is never mention’d among Works of Architecture, the present Architect’s Name lies safely concealed.

I do also Will and Appoint, that in the Year 2718, that is to say, a Thousand Years hence, the said Company of Booksellers shall, at my Expence, that is to say, out of the Revenues accruing from my Works, erect Edition: current; Page: [187] two Marble Statues to the Prince then reigning, the one at Charing-Cross, and the other before the Theatre at Oxford, with the following Inscriptions.

Upon that at Charing-Cross.

TO George the Twentieth, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, and Emperor of all Europe, Arbitrator of the Peace of Asia, and Defender of the Faith; Pious, Clement, Just; the Nursing Father of Liberty and Mankind; bold for Truth, Religion, Law, in Opposition to Tyranny, Persecution, Superstition: His Zeal temper’d with Charity, his Virtue with Affability: A Prince of unparallel’d Self-denial, who loses the Appearance of much Glory by concealing the Substance: By preventing Necessities and Oppressions he prevents the Renown of relieving them. Thus is his Merit the more excellent by being less visible. The Joys and Fears of his Subjects are his own: Their Peace is the End of all his Wars, and his Wars the Means of their Peace. He is magnanimous and wary. His Courage never betrays Want of Circumspection, nor his Circumspection Want of Courage; they are both eminent. His Liberality is not confin’d to Worth reveal’d, but generously contributes to raise it; others have rewarded Merit, but he makes it. He is happy in the Choice and Talents of his Ministers, and they in the Favour and Fortune of their Master. In short, this mighty Emperor seems, in his whole Life and Royal Virtues, to copy out, with great Exactness and Success, the most glorious and popular of all his numerous Ancestors, George the First; whose Name, notwithstanding the Dust and Forgetfulness with which other great Princes, and their Atchievements, are cover’d, is still fresh and amiable in our History and Conversation: It was He who laid the Foundation of the settled Prosperity of our Country, and the continu’d Freedom of Europe, aided by the Counsels and Negotiations of Sunderland, Stanhope, and Cadogan, great Statesmen, of superior Capacities, and boundless Humanity. By their Ministration, in this Reign, was first shaken, and, at last, overthrown, a Edition: current; Page: [188] formidable Race of ancient Pagans (long since extinct) named Papists, the blind and bloody Slaves of a wily Wizard at Rome, who by the Magick of Falshood and Ignorance, and by continued and unrelenting Murders, poisoned, stupified, and misled Christendom for many Centuries. Among the deathless Glories of that King’s Reign, was his having for a Subject John Duke of Marlborough, surnamed the Great, who for Victories, Triumphs, and Clemency, first shaded the Lustre of Julius and the great Macedonian. Him all succeeding Heroes, guided by his Example, and fired by his Successes, have strove to emulate, but could never equal. Then also flourished the immortal Mr. Addison, whose Fame is in every Mouth, and his Works in every Hand. In his Writings are still seen, in all their Freshness and Glory, the divine Atchievements of William the Third, and the mighty Marlborough. The Want of such a Genius and such a Pen, is the Grief and Misfortune of the present Times, and has been the Complaint of every Age between him and us. To compleat the Praises of that Reign, Parker presided in the Senate, and, out of it, comptrolled the Law; King adorned the Bench, and Hoadley the Mitre.

In this Place, some Ages since, stood a brazen Equestrian Statue of an old British King, whose Name is omitted, because his Reign was unfortunate and his End unhappy. His Bigotry to the Ecclesiasticks was his Foible, and at length his Destruction. Whilst, deluded with their false Incense, aud mistaking Self-Interest in them for Loyalty to him, he made them more than Suctjects, he made himself less than a Sovereign. He broke the Constitution, because it would not bend, and banished the Laws, because they would not flatter. He sacrificed the Crown to exalt the Mitre, and oppressed his Subjects to support the Crown. Monarchy and the Church became at last hateful, by making themselves dreadful, and by grasping at too much, lost all. The Nation, after twelve Years Patience under the continued Assaults of Rapine and Tyranny, had a fortuitous but favourable Opportunity put into their Hands, to relieve themselves. They soon found themselves strong and therefore grew unmanageable, Edition: current; Page: [189] and, confounding Slavery with Obedience, shook off both. The rest is too Tragical.

The whole History of this ill-advised Prince is a Panegyrick upon his present Majesty, who fortifies his Throne, and blesses his People, by following closely the Wisdom and Example of his great Ancestor above mentioned, the First of his Name.

Upon the Statue at Oxford.

TO George the Twentieth, by the Grace of God, &c. A Prince whose strongest Right to govern Mankind proceeds from his being the best and wisest of Mankind. Nothing can equal the People’s Affection to their Monarch, but the Monarch’s Benevolence to his People. A noble Emulation! Their Happiness is his Study; his Safety is their Care. He rules by deserving to rule. This is his Opinion, this his Practice. He owns no Right from Heaven but to do Good, nor from Men but to protect them. He detests being a Tyrant, because his Ancestors were Kings. He thinks it Diabolical Reasoning that, because he ought to defend, he may therefore destroy. That Kings are the Ordinances of God, merely for being the Scourges of God, he thinks to be a Proposition as dreadful as absurd, which may, with equal Justice, entitle Robbers and Murderers to Impunity and Non-Resistance. The People are not jealous of the Prince’s Power, nor the Prince of the People’s Liberty. He glories in being limited by the Law of the Land, but more in being unlimited by the Love of his Subjects. His Wisdom and Power are employed for them; their Hearts and their Purses are open to him; both happy in mutual and unrestrained Confidence. He loves all his Subjects, and is by all his Subjects beloved, this renowned Nursery of Learning setting an illustrious Copy of Religion and Loyalty to the remotest Nations of his Empire.

And yet from this Seat of Knowledge formerly issued many black Mists of Prejudice and Ignorance, and even the peaceful Muses were drawn into Sedition and Outrages. The blackest Perjuries and most destructive Principles were openly encouraged and defended; and Religion was brought into real Danger, to keep the Church Edition: current; Page: [190] out of it. Every Action and every Name that did Honour to the Nation and to Mankind, was blackened and depressed, whilst the vilest Villanies against Truth and Liberty were countenanced and extolled. Honest Men were brow-beaten, weak Men deluded, and Profligates supported and protected; religious Houses were pulled down by the drunken Rabble, and the Church vindicated by blaspheming Mobs. Hereditary Right was supported by Perjury, and Non-Resistance by Rebellion. Men of Virtue and Sobriety were termed Fanaticks, and the Defenders of Peace, Liberty and Law, Republicans: But George the First, who had all those Evils in a particular Manner to struggle with, as being levelled at his Person and Title, at last overcame them all. He reform’d the Priesthood and purified the University, and in Spite of Pride, Interest, and a Degeneracy almost total, reconciled these haughty Bodies of Men to Evangelical Religion and legal Obedience. He was the Founder of our present Greatness; for arriving at which, he chose and practised the most natural, most amiable Arts. He made the Good of Mankind the Measure of his Power; and by making his Subjects wise and virtuous, taught them to be great. He made his People powerful, and they him irresistable. Dying, he left behind him such a Pattern of Government, which has never failed to render all succeeding Kings, who have followed it, prosperous and popular. This they have all attempted, but his present Majesty with the most Success.

Of the Reign of George the First no more needs be said; it shines, at this Distance, in the Histories and Poems of that Time; a Time fruitful in Men of Learning and Genius, favoured and patronized, more particularly, by the then Duke of Newcastle, who, from his early Infancy to the End of a most distinguished and honourable Life, gave infinite Proofs of a large Soul, and a disinterested Love to Mankind, Liberty, and the more elegant Arts. But the Character of that great and popular Lord is well known, and his Memory honoured in the same Degree as was his Life.

Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas
My Lord,

After an Absence of several Pages, I again return to your Lordship, who must, to excuse me, consider, I Edition: current; Page: [191] have been attending a much greater Man: But having now, I hope, sufficiently instructed Posterity about erecting and dedicating the above-named Statues, and having made ample Provisions for the Expence of the same, I am once more at your Service.

I should now proceed to display and extol, as becomes me, your Lordship’s great Piety and Gallantry, the Gravity of your Carriage, and the Liveliness of your Behaviour, the Grandeur of your Deportment and the Humility of your Conversation; and, most particularly, I should celebrate your great Generosity to myself, and your great Frugality to all the World: And your Lordship may depend upon it, I will very soon gratify my own Ambition, by equipping you with all these great Gifts, and many more.

At present a Thing has happened, which interrupts me in the Discharge of this my necessary Duty. A Thing, which the Shyness of my Nature will have me to conceal from all the World, but so good and loving a Friend as your Lordship. My Lord, it is now Twelve o’Clock, and I want a Dinner, and alas, I doubt my Bookseller will not trust me with a Shilling, without mortgaging these my Papers into his Hands for the Sum aforesaid. Thus must half your Lordship, that is, half your Character, be pawn’d, that I may dine. Be assured of hearing from me soon, for I have your Measure, and, as becomes your faithful Taylor, will finish your Sute with all Speed. I am, with wonderful Devotion, and great Haste (it is now a Quarter after Twelve)

My very good Lord, Your Lordship’s most dutiful, and most obedient humble Servant.

P. S. To avoid the Envy that eminent Writers must ever expect, I have determined not to put my Name to my Work, ’till the Thirtieth Edition of this Treatise, which perhaps may not be this Month yet; by which Time it is presumed, that all those who detract from its Excellencies, will be hissed into Silence and Shame by the whole World.

I designed to have subjoined at the End a Table of the Principal Matters, as other great Authors have done, but Edition: current; Page: [192] going about it, I quickly found I must transcribe the whole Book into an Index, and so gave it over.

Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas

A Letter to the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury; proving, That his Grace cannot be the Author of the Letter to an eminent Presbyterian Clergyman in Swisserland, in which the present State of Religion, in England, is blackened and exposed, and the present Ministry are misrepresented and traducted.

My Lord,

THERE is lately printed in Swisserland, a Book entituled, Oratio Historica de Beneficiis in Ecclesiam Tigurinam collatis. “An Historical Oration concerning the Mercies bestowed upon the Church of Zurich.” In the 14th Page of which Oration he gives an Account of the present State of the English Church, as the same was transmitted from hence in an Epistle to a principal Person (or Ruler) there, from one of the like, or greater Character here.

As this Epistle gives a frightful Representation of the State of Religion amongst us, in general; and, more particularly, of the Distresses and Dangers, which accrue to the Church of England, from Schism, Heresy, and the Ministry, I herewith send it to your Grace. I have translated it for the Benefit of my less learned Readers, and made some Observations of my own to expose a lurking [Editor: illegible words] who deceives and prejudices the World abroad [Editor: illegible words] image of our Church Affairs under your [Editor: illegible words] administration. And I do it the rather, because, Edition: current; Page: [193] my Lord, some People are so very ignorant and malicious as to surmise that your Grace was the Author of that Letter, which is so inconsistent with your former Life and Character.

Oratio Historica de Beneficiis in Ecclesiam Tigurinam collatis, Pag. 14.

ECCLESIA Anglicana divisionibus perrupta est, & Schismatibus divisa. Tot ac tam variis Hominum ab ipsius sacris sese segregantium generibus confusa, ut nubis propriis nominibus vel ipsi se distinguere valeant, vel aliis describere. Atque utinam etiam hoc ultimum nobis querelae argumentum esset! Sed impleri oportet quæcumque spiritus Dei olim futura prædixit; adeo & inter nos ipsos exsurrexerunt viri loquentes perversa. Et quid dico, viri? Immò Pastores, Episcopi ipsi manibus Ecclesiam diruunt, in quâ ministrant; ad cujus doctrinam pluries subscripsere: Quibus defensio Ecclesiæ commissa, quorum munus est invigilare contra hostes ejus, eosque pro meritis redarguere, compescere, punire. Etiam hi illius Ecclesiæ auctoritatem labefactare nituntur, pro quâ non tantum certare, verum, si Res ita postularet, etiam mori debuerint. Quæ sint horum Novatorum placita, ex duobus nuperis scriptis Gallico sermone libellis aliquatenus discernere valeatis. Uno hìc verbo dixisse sufficiat, his hominibus omnes Fidei Consessiones, omues Articulorum subscriptiones, animitùs displicere. Velle eos libertatem, seu verius licentiam omnibus concedi, quæcumque libuerit non tantum credendi, sed dicendi, scribendi, prædicandi; etiam si Gratia Spiritûs Sancti, Christi Divinitas, alia omnia Religionis nostræ principia maximè fundamentalia, exinde forent evertenda. Quis hæc Christianus, de hominibus nomine saltem Christianis, dici non obstupescat! Quis non doleat hujusmodi λύϰδς βαϱεἶς non tantùm non ab Ovili longè arceri, verùm etiam intra ipsa Ecclesiæ pomœria recipi? Ad honores, ad officia, ad gubernacula ejus admitti? At verò ita se Res habet. Dum ad ea, quæ sunt hujus seculi, unicè respicimus, prorsum obliviscimur eorum quæ ad alterum spectant. Et quiæ horum hominum tolerantiâ & promotione quidam se populi favorem conciliaturos sperant, quibus id unicè cordi, ut in suis sese dignitatibus & potentiâ tueantur, parum Edition: current; Page: [194] curant quid de Ecclesiâ; de Fide, de Religione, de ipse denique Jesu Christo, ejusque veritate eveniat, Ignoscas, vir spectatissime, si, dum justo animi dolori indulgeam, indignationem meam contra hosce Religionis nostræ inimicos paulò asperius, quam pro more meo, expresserim. Reum me potarem proditæ Fidei, si non his Hæreticis, quâvis occasione oblatá, Anathema dixerim, &c.

In English thus,

‘THE Church of England is broken by Parties, and rent by Schisms, and in short, distracted with such a Number, and Variety of Separatists, that they want apt Names to distinguish themselves from one another, and to describe themselves to the rest of the World.

‘And I wish even this were our highest Ground of Complaint! But it must be fulfilled, what the Holy Spirit foretold in Times past; so that among ourselves Men have arisen, speaking perverse Things. But why do I say Men? When even Pastors, nay, Bishops themselves pull down with their own Hands the Church in which they minister, and to whose Doctrine they have over and over subscribed, even they to whom the Preservation of the Church is committed, and whose Business and Duty it is to watch against her Enemies, and to oppose, and restrain, and punish them. Yes, they strive to undermine and over-turn the Authority of that Church, for which they ought not only to contend, but, if Occasion were, to lay down their Lives.

‘What the Pleas and Pretensions of these Innovators are, you may in some measure learn, from a couple of French Pamphlets lately published. Let it here suffice to say in one Word, that these Men are angry at all Confessions of Faith, and all Subscriptions of Articles, and are for granting a general Liberty, or rather a general Licence to all Men, not only to believe, but to speak, and write and preach whatever they please, tho’ at the Expence and Ruin of the Grace of the Holy Edition: current; Page: [195] Spirit, the Divinity of our blessed Saviour, and all the other Fundamental Principle: of our Religion.

‘Who that is a Christian can without Astonishment hear these Things, of Men that call themselves Christians? And who can avoid lamenting, that these ravening Wolves λύϰδς βαϴεīς are, not only not driven far away from the Sheepfold, but even received within the very Enclosures of the Church, and admitted to her Honours, her Offices, and her Government? And yet so it unfortunately is.

‘But while we only strive for the Things of this Life, we wofully neglect those which belong to another. And because some hope, by the Toleration an Advancement of such Men, to catch the Favour of the People, and by that Means, maintain themselves in that which they have only at Heart, their Power and Places, they care not what becomes of the Church, or of the Earth, or of Religion, or indeed of Jesus Christ himself, and his Cause.

‘You will pardon me, Sir, that, to gratify a just Sorrow, I thus express my Indignation, with more than usual Bitterness, against these Enemies of our Religion. I should accuse myself of betraying the Faith, did I not, on every Occasion, denounce Damnation against these Hereticks, &c.

Thus far the Letter, as it is quoted in the Oration above-mentioned. Your Grace will perceive in it a Spirit, which shews what blind Zeal, and Uncharitableness, go to the Composition of a High Churchman, who must see double, and represent at Random, else it would be impossible for him, either to discover the Danger of the Church himself, or to shew the same to others. A Character by no Means becoming your Grace.

A High Churchman may be denominated from divers Marks and Exclamations. He must be devout in damning of Dissenters; he must swear bloodily for the Church, and its great modern Apostle, the late Duke of Ormond, with some other pious forsworn Gentlemen, who are well affected to Popery and the Convocation; he must rebel for Passive Obedience; he must uphold Divine Right by diabolical Means; and, in fine, he must be loud and zealous for Hereditary, Indefeasible, and the like Orthodox Nonsense. Edition: current; Page: [196] But there is one Sign more of a true Churchman, which is more lasting and universal than all the rest, and that is a firm and sensless Perswasion that the Church is in Danger. If a Man believes this, it is enough, his Reputation is up; and tho’ his Life shew more of the Dœmon than the Christian, he shall be deemed an excellent Churchman. This is to true, that, if any Honest, Atheistical Churchman will but Curse and Roar against a Toleration of Dissenters he shall be sure to find a Toleration himself for the blackest Villanies, and be rewarded with Reputation into the Bargain, and, if possible, with Power.

There was a Fellow in Oxfordshire, one Jack Brunt, who had made himself famous for Zeal, and Reguery. His whole Life was religiously wasted in getting Drunk for the Church, and robbing of Hen Roosts. In short, he was the best Churchman, and the greatest Thief, in all the Neighbourhood, and in high Esteem with every one that honoured the Cause of Drunkenness and Orthodoxy. But for all this Merit, as Jack was carrying off half a Dozen Cabbages from Farmer Butter’s Garden, he was unluckily apprehended, and carryed before Justice Plowden. However, as Jack was upon his Examination, and high his Committment, the Parson of the Parish, hearing of his Tribulation, came to intercede for so worthy a Fellow-Labourer in the Cause of Tipling and Conformity. The first Thing the Doctor said was, that tho’ Jack was addicted to Reguery, yet he was Honest. How, Sir! an honest Thief! replied the Squire, spitting and staring. I mean, he is for the Church, answered the Parson. The Church, Man! says his Worship ——— I hope the Common Prayer Book does not feed on Cabbages. But consider, Sir, said the Doctor again, the Prosecutor is a notorious Dissenter. And what if he be, quoth the Justice? Have not Presbyterians a Toleration to eat their own Cabbages? Away, Away, Mr. What d’ye call; I love the Church very well, and yet I’ll have this Fellow whipped. Jack was accordingly committed, and all the while he peep’d through the Grate, he modestly acquainted every one who came to see him, that his Sufferings were all for the Church. And in this the Parson joined with him, and collected Money all round the Country for Jack, by the Name Edition: current; Page: [197] of an honest Churchman who was persecuted by a Fanatick. He particularly told a zealous Gentlewoman, the better to dispose her to be liberal, that Jack had cursed King George, at a publick Ale House in Ab———n.

My Lord, I have repeated this Story, to shew you what you no doubt know and lament; namely, that this mad Fondness for the Name and Power of the Church, has dissolved the Bonds of Justice and Charity, and confounded Merit and Villany, and sanctisied the vilest immoralities.

Your Grace does, without Question, behold, with Grief and Shame, that those who are employed, and even greatly rewarded, to keep up the Land Marks between Virtue and Vice, do notwithstanding trample upon Peace and Truth, and animate the mad Multitude to seek their Salvation in the Paths of Wickedness and Destruction.

Had your Grace been the Author of the Letter, instead of bewailing Notions and Opinions, which no Body can help, and which hurt no Body, you would havelmented and rebuked, that which is truly lamentable, that shameless Corruption of Manners, and that horrid Prostitution of Conscience and Oaths, which are countenanced and practised by many who are fond of the Word Church, but are at great Enmity with Religion and Liberty.

I grant that such Persons are Orthodox Conformists to all the Ceremonies and Bowings enjoined by Authority, and true Believers of all the Misteries which the Church has thought fit to maintain in Opposition to carnal Reason that being no Guide in spiritual Matters, which being inconceivable, ought therefore to be believed. But as a good Life and chaste Behaviour are of some Use and Importance to Human Society, your Grace to be sure wishes that all your Clergy were of my mind, and would not only believe well, but, if it may be, live well also.

I am perhaps proposing a Task to them, for which some of them will not thank me. But as the Advantages which arise from Virtue, and good Conscience, are many and obvious to me; and as the dreadful Practice of Perjury is not only very common, but even impiously justified Edition: current; Page: [198] in some of our Pulpits, by those whose Duty it is to shew its Horror, and press its Punishment, were Religion any Part of their Aim; and as all Sorts of Lewdness and Vice accompany this infamous Departure from common Honesty, this truly damnable Schism from the Spirit of Christianity; I cannot love Religion and my Country so little as to be altogether silent on these important Heads.

With what Face and Conscience can that Man, or Minister, who breaks avowedly the third Command, perswade the keeping of the other Nine? And are there not Clergymen who pray for his Majesty in the Desk, and damn both him and his Title in the Pulpit? Who swear to him, and betray him? Who pledge their Souls for their Allegiance to him, and yet think him an Usurper; and do their hellish Endeavours to dethrone him? And are not such Atheists zealous for the Church, and loud in the Cry of her Danger?

Are not such Men manifest Foes to Christianity, and all social Virtues, who, by their blasphemous Practices, and their unhappy Power over the stupid Vulgar, do what in them lyes to break the Bonds of Human Faith, and Society, and to banish Truth, good Nature, and Morality from the Face of the Earth?

Is not this, my Lord, a shocking Scene? And are not these diabolical Teachers? And yet they are all Orthodox to the Back, and far from pulling down the Church with their own Hands, tho’ they are Enemies to God and Man.

It is plain these are not the Men meant by the Complainer, who only laments the Diversity of Opinions amongst us; as if our Belief and Sentiments, which are perhaps the Effects of Education; or Complexion, were such terrible Things, tho’ all their Guilt consists in provoking the Pride of the worst Sort of Priests, who by their Lives seem to know no Religion but Superstition and Cruelty.

These Jacobite Parsons who take the Oaths to a Prince whom they abhor, and are perpetually betraying, shew, that their Consciences are either feared beyond feeling, or that they have none at all. Can such Monsters, who are the Pests and Shame of their own Species, Edition: current; Page: [199] tell us that they are Christians (for as to their being true Churchmen, we make no doubt of it) and yet go on, as they do, to make void the eternal Laws of God and Nature, by swearing falsly, and using the great and solemn Name of God purely to deceive? How little do they seem to believe of that Divine Vengeance and Damnation, which they so liberally denounce against others?

Their other Morals are of a piece with their dreadful and repeated Perjuries. To come Drunk to the Sacrament; to debauch and play at Cards on Sunday; to be perpetually Wrangling with their Neighbours; to be ever sowing Sedition and Falshood, and fomenting Strife; to be perpetually flinging Hell Fire at all who will not be Forsworn like themselves; to be Idle, Riotous, Drunken, Unclean, are all so many current Symptoms of a Conscience prostituted or dead. Quis hæc Christianus de hominibus nomine saltem Christianis, dici non obstupescat! &c.

Of all these crying Enormities, tho’ manifest and far spread, this Mourner, this Mouth and Representative of the Church takes not the least Notice. It is Orthodoxy, it is Jurisdiction, which he contends for; Things, which however void of true Piety, or inconsistent with it, yet are the Limbs and Citadels of a corrupt Priesthood.

To put this Business of Orthodoxy and Impiety still in a stronger Light, I will beg leave to suppose, that there are, or may be, such Characters as the following, and by them it will appear how a very ill Man, when he is for the Church, becomes a very good Man; and, on the contrary, how a very good Man, when the Church is against him, is made a very ill Man.

For Instance then.

One Parson is Drunken and Quarrelsom, but then he bows to the Altar, and thinks King William is damned.

Another cheats every Body, and pays no Body, but he drinks to the Royal Orphan, and cannot abide King George.

A Third neither preaches nor prays, but he does a more meritorious Thing ——— ——— he constantly and servently Curses the Germans and Presbyterians.

A Fourth has a hot Constitution, and lies with every Edition: current; Page: [200] Woman he meets, but he has chaste Principles, and swears by his Maker, that Bishops are by Divine Right.

Another lets his Father starve in a Goal, and the old miserable Man, who had in pair’d his Substance to breed his Son a Parson, writes a Petition to this hopeful Child, to send him Bread or a Coffin, and can procure neither, but perishes; but for all that, this unnatural, pious Priest, Rears for the Danger of the Church, and is a dutiful Son of it.

A Sixth is an Evidence upon a Trial, and forswears himself; but the Cause was for Tythes, and he did it out of Love for the Church.

A Seventh is a Scoffer, who has laugh’d Religion out of the World, but he hated my Lord Wharton like a Toad, and got Drunk frequently with Lord Harry for the Prosperity of the Church.

Now for the Low Church Clergy.

One is a pious Man, and lives in the Fear of God; will that do? No, he thinks Dissenters may be saved.

Another has great Learning and Industry, and employs them both honestly and carefully. That’s nothing ——— he come over with King William, and helped against King James and Popery.

A Third is a great Master of Reasoning, his Life is unblameable, and his Sincerity and Integrity are unquestionable. What then? He is not a good Churchman; ——— He says Presbyterians should not be hanged for following their Consciences, and keeping the Sabbath.

A Fourth is a pious Person, a constant Attendant upon the Service of the Church, and charitable beyond belief. Psha! What of all that? That Bishop is a Presbyterian; ——— he said the Duke of Ormond was a Traytor.

A Fifth is strictly Devout and Religious, an unmoveable Adherent to Truth, and one who sacrificed his All, even his daily Bread, to his Conscience, which is neither fashionable, nor conforming, therefore he should be burnt, because he would not forswear himself, and say he believed in St. Athanasius.

Well! A Sixth is a great Champion for Natural and Revealed Religion, the Truth of which he has demonstrated, Edition: current; Page: [201] and his Piety and Parts are admirable; a Man, who has missed the Mitre by deserving it! Why, he ought to be burnt too, because he is for founding Faith upon Scripture ONLY.

A Seventh is an aged Person, Venerable for Learning and Piety, who has done Service to Religion and Mankind, by his infinite Labours in History Sacred and Profane, which he has elegantly connected; but notwithstanding all this he is no Churchman; he is tainted with Moderation.

The last I shall mention is one, who gives up his Life to good Works, and his Income to Charity. But this excellent Christian is a bad Churchman, for he was heard to say, once upon a Time, that King Charles the first, and Archbishop Laud, were but MEN.

This, my Lord, is the State of the Case between High Church and Low Church; and let common Sense determine, which is the more material to Religion, the Belief of a Point of Speculation, perhaps false, perhaps insignificant, perhaps blasphemous, for ’tis unproved, and may be any Thing; or, the utmost Sincerity and Goodness in Lise and Opinion?

Having thus taken a general View of our Mourner’s Elegy, I shall now consider it more particularly, Piece by Piece; and in doing this, I shall be greatly help’d by your Lordship’s Judgment and Authority, since out of your Writings alone I shall be able to shew sufficiently the Deceit and groundless Clamours of this lurking Author.

First, he says, That the Church of England is broken by Parties, and rent by Schisms, and, in fine, distracted with such a Number and Variety of Separatists, &c.

And here I think it is plain that the Author does not by the Church mean Religion; for as Religion does not only permit, but even command Men to act from Conviction, there will ever be different Opinions about Spirituals, so long as there are different Complexions, and different Understandings amongst Mankind. All Religion does infer Conscience and voluntary Choice, and he, who has not these for his Motives to Devotion, but stupidly follows the uncertain Authority of Names and Persons, may indeed Edition: current; Page: [202] be a very good Conformist, and pay great Reverence to the Clergy; but will never bring along with him an acceptable Worship to God, or Benefit to his own Soul; which, I think, with humble Submission to the Author, are two Things worth minding, tho’ Obedience to Church Authority seems with him to be of much greater Moment.

If I think I am, certainly, or most probably in the Right, and yet act contrary to what I think so, I am then as certainly in the wrong.

I wish this Author (whoever he be) had consulted your Grace’s Judicious and Christian Defence of the Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of England, in the several Articles expounded by Monsieur De Meaux, as well as your admirable Sermon, entituled, False Prophets, &c. before he had thus treacherously betrayed his native Country, basely misrepresented the Church of England to a Presbyterian Clergy Abroad; and factiously vilified and traduced the best Law which was ever enacted for the Honour and Defence of the Protestant Religion, and of those Principles which has deservedly advanced your Grace to the most eminent Station in the Church and Kingdom.

In the first of these Books* your Grace excellently observes, that “In Matters of Faith a Man is to judge for himself, and the Scriptures are a clear and sufficient Rule for him to judge by, and therefore if a Man be evidently convinced upon the best Enquiry he can make, that his particular Belief is founded upon the Word of God, and that of the Church is not, he is obliged to support and adhere to his own Belief in Opposition to that of the Church.” And (as your Grace proceeds in the same strain of good Sense and Charity) “the Reason of this must be very evident to all those who own, not the Church, but the Scriptures, to be the ultimate Rule, and Guide of their Faith. For, if this be so, then individual Persons as well as Churches, must judge of their Faith according to what they find in Scripture ——— and, if they are convinced that there is a Disagreement in any Point of Faith, between the Voice of the Church and that Edition: current; Page: [203] of Scripture, they must stick to the latter rather than the former; they must follow the Superior, not Inferior Guide.——— This Method is most just and reasonable, and most agreeable to the Constitution of the Church of England, which does not take upon her to be the absolute Mistress of her Members, but allows a higher Place and Authority to the Guidance of the Holy Scriptures than to that of her own Decisions.

Quorsum mihi mea Conscientia, si mihi, secundum alienam Conscientiam vivendum est, et moriendum? said John Gerson, Chancellor of Paris. “To what purpose have I a Conscience of my own, if the Conscience of another Person must be my only Rule of Living and Dying”?

Your Grace, in your Sermon preach’d at St James’s, Westminster, on the Fifth of November, 1699. and intitaled, False Prophets tried by their Fruits; I say, your Grace, ever zealous for Truth and Liberty, does there assert, in Opposition to the Pretensions of designing Men, who call themselves the Church, and have usurped Authority over the Consciences of Men, “That the Right of examining what is proposed to us in Matters of Religion, is not any special Privilege of the Pastors or Governors of the Church, but is the common Right and Duty of all Christians whatsoever.(b)

And, if, in Consequence of this Examination, a Man, be convinced, “that his particular Belief is founded upon the Word of God, and that of the Church is not,” your Grace has told us, in your Defence of the Exposition above cited, “that such a Man is obliged to support and adhere to his own Belief in Opposition to that of the Church”.

Here we have your Grace’s publick Opinion, that we are obliged to follow a private non-conforming Conscience to a Conventicle whenever we think the established Church is in the Wrong. For as your Grace further observes,(c) Every particular Person is to answer to God for his own Soul, and must examine, as far as he is able, both what he believes, and how he practices, and upon what Grounds he does Edition: current; Page: [204] both; and not follow any Assembly, tho’ of never so much seeming Authority.

And yet (continues your Grace) how confidently do some Men tell us, that we must believe them before our own Reason ——— that it is Schism and Heresy, and I know not what besides, to doubt of, or differ with them in any thing that they require us to believe; and that much better were it to shut our Eyes altogether, and go on blindfold under their Conduct, than to follow the clearest Light that Scripture, or Reason, or even Sense it self, can give us.

But let them (says your Grace) assume what Authority they please to themselves, and raise what Clamour they can against us, when all is done, this Conclusion will remain firm as Heaven, and clear as any first Principle of Science, that, if the Scriptures be, as we all agree that they are, the Word of God, and were written for our Instruction, then we must follow the Conduct of them, and hold fast to the Truth which they deliver, tho’ not only a Company of assuming Men, calling themselves the Church, but the whole World should conspire against us.”

In this unanswerable manner has your Grace, long before you came to be at the Head of the Church, shewn the Reasonableness, and even the Necessity of Separation, and ridiculed the stale and deceitful Cry of Heresy and Schism, which being nothing else but a Departure from the Way of thinking established by Law, and an Adherence to Truth as it appears, and not as it is representea by human Authority, are not only the most harmless, but the most commondable Things in the World. Taking them in this view, they are not only Bosom Friends to Christian and Civil Liberty, but even the necessary Effects of it; and nothing but the fiercest Tyranny can deprive them of Elbow-room. I am almost of Opinion, that if it had not been for the Puritans, we should have been, long since, not only without the Protestant Religion, but without any Religion at all. It is certain, these old Fellows, as queer and fanatical, as they were, always opposed the Growth of Ceremonies and Arbitrary Power; and, if your Grace’s Predecessor, Archbishop Laud, when Edition: current; Page: [205] many peaceable and illustrious Protestant Dissenters fled from his Fury to the Wild Beasts and Rattle-Snakes of America, could have sent all the rest after them, he might have sucessfully Popified us into that abject Slavery and Uniformity, which his good Catholick Christianity had projected for us.

And therefore, without mincing the Matter, or falling into the senseless Ditty of lamenting our Divisions in Opinion, I heartily thank God that we have Dissenters, and I hope we shall never be without them. They are Centries and Watchmen against the sly Intrigues and Conspiracies of our Churchmen, who, could they but wheedle or drive all Men into one Belief, would soon grow as independant and uncontroulable as the Pope or the Czar. Bigottry, Chains, and Cruelty, are always, and in all Places, the certain Issue of Uniformity, which is itself of an infamous Race, being begot by the Craft of the Priests upon the Ignorance of the Laity, I think it puts Uniformity, and what is generally called Schism, in a true Light; that Tyranny can never subsist without the first, nor Liberty without the latter.

For my Part, I do not know one Dissenter in England but who sincerely believes the Scriptures, and faithfully adheres to King George and his Government, and, in consequence of both, prays to God heartily, and pays his Taxes cheerfully, let the Church boast as much of her conforming Sons if she can.

Oh! but Schism and Dissenters break the Peace of the Church! ——— I never much liked this same Phrase, the Peace of the Church, because there is always something very bad tacked to the Tail of it. For, in short, those who have the Impudence to appropriate that Name (the Church) to themselves, will never be at Peace till they have got the Possession of our Estates, and the keeping of our Senses; so that Religion, and Property, and Reason, and Conscience, must all go to Pot, to give such a Church Peace. Nothing else will do. At this present Time, the Church, besides the great Encrease of her Revenues, enjoys all the Advantages which she ever had since the Reformation, except that of worrying Schismaticks; and yet, by daily Experience we see, and by Edition: current; Page: [206] this very Letter we see, that the High Church Parsons will not be at Peace.

I have thus far spoke my Mind frankly upon the Topick of Schism, emboldened so to do by your Grace’s great Name and Example, who have in many Places and Discourses, taught Mankind not to be alarmed with Words and Bugbears. Your Grace “(f) accounts it a meanness of Spirit to desert the Truth, or be afraid to own it, though never so much clomoured against by ignorant or designing Men;” of which Truth, you say, every Man must judge for himself; as I have quoted it already.

The next Complaint in the Letter is, Of Men who speak perverse Things, and of Pastors, nay Bishops, who pull down the Church, and undermine its Authority, though they have subscribed to its Doctrine, and therefore ought to contend for it, and even die for it.

Here is the most rank, though impotent Malice, shewn against the best Bishop, best Protestant, and best Man, whoever adorned the Mitre, and for the best Actions he was capable of, viz. for his comprehensive Love to Mankind, and for strenuously supporting those Principles, upon which alone the Protestant Religion, his Majesty’s Title, and the Liberties of the World, can be defended; all which entitles him in a particular Manner to your Grace’s Protection, who have always maintained the same and now worthily enjoy the Rewards of your Virtue.

But it is no wonder, that my Lord Bishop of Bangor should suffer under the Rage of a wicked and despairing Faction, when even your Grace’s great Post and Character do not protect your Innocence from their feeble Assaults; otherwise they could never have surmised your Grace to be the Author of so senseless a Declamation, against one of your own Order, and in contradiction to the whole Tenor of your Life, the Expectations of your Friends, I will not say Engagements to those who had the Honour to prefer you.

Your Grace has always, in your excellent Writings, asserted the contrary Principles, and therefore this foolish Paper must have been vomited by some soul-mouthed High Church Man, and one of those new sort of Disciplinarians, who, your Grace, in your Appeal, assures us, Edition: current; Page: [207] are risen up from amongst ourselves, who seem to comply with the Government of the Church, much upon the same account as others do with that of the State, not out of Conscience to their Duty, or any Love they have for it, but because it is the established Church, and they cannot keep their Preferments without it. They hate our Constitution, and revile all that stand up in good earnest for it; but for all that, they resolve to hold fast to it, and so go on to subscribe and rail.

These are the Church Monsters, or many headed Hydras, which have been heroically vanquished and deseated by your Grace and the Bishop of Bangor, who have ever maintained the King’s Supremacy, and the total Dependance of the Clergy upon the Laity, and have manfully opposed Civil and Ecclesiastical Tyranny, in all their Shapes; for which you have been falsly represented as Judas’s, Church-Empsons, and Church-Dudleys, and what not? And now, my Lord, you having disarmed them of all fair Weapons, they have recourse to Stink-pots, and would so defile and contaminate the Champions of our Liberty, that none who have not High Church Noses can come within the Reach of them.

The Letter Writer comes next to shew, What are the Pleas and Pretensions of these Innovators, as he calls them, and these, he says, may be learned from a Couple of French Pamphlets lately published, the Authors of which and their Confederates, whom he has before described, are angry at all Confessions of Faith, and all Subscription of Articles, and are for a general Toleration, which he invidiously calls, a general Licence, and he might, with the same Candour have christened it a general Libertinism.

One of the Treatises here referred to, is written by Mr. Durette, and, I suppose, the other by Mr. Pilloniere, and both intended to expose the Absurdity, and shew the Ridicule of broad brimmed Hats and grave Faces, meeting in Synods to reveal the revealed Will of God, and to make Creeds and Confessions of Faith, and carry them by a Majority of Voices (often of Proxies) which the Laity are to believe at present, and in all Generations to come.

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I very much suspect the virulent Libeller, under the shelter opposing these poor French Refugees, intends to level his bold Invective against your Grace’s Person and Writings, in which you have so openly and significantly declared your Opinion of what is to be expected from such Assemblies of Clergymen, who have no other Business there but to spread Uncharitableness and Dissention amongst the People, and to usurp Wealth, Dominion, and Power to themselves.

In your Authority of Christian Princes, you excellently well observe,(g) that nothing more exposed our Christian Profession heretofore, or may more deserve our serious Consideration at this Day, than the Violence, the Passion, the Malice, the Falseness, the Oppression, which reigned in most of the Synods held by Constantine, and after him by the following Emperors, upon Occasion of the Arian Controversy, bitter are the Complaints which we are told that great Emperor made of them: The Barbarians, says he, in a Letter to one of them, for fear of us, worship God, but we mind only what tends to Hatred, to Dissenter, and in one Word to the Destruction of Mankind.

You further observe of Synods in general,(h) viz. What good can be expected from the Meeting of Men, when their Passions are let loose, and their Minds disordered, when their Interest and Designs, their Friends and Parties, nay their very Judgments and Principles lead them different ways, and they agree in nothing so much as their being very Peevish; when their very reason is depraved, and they judge not according to Truth and Evidence, but with respect to Persons, and every one opposes what another of a different Perswasion moves or approves of

I heartily concur with your Grace in your Opinion of such Assemblies; and, indeed, I cannot see what good they can do, were it possible that they were inclined to do it: The common Pretence is to make Faith, explain Religion, and to teach the Holy Ghost to talk intelligibly: Vain and weak Men! as if the Almighty was not capable of making himself understood without their help, when he intends to be understood; or as if a few fallible Mortals neither more wise, or more honest than other Men, were capable of discovering what the Almighty has a Edition: current; Page: [209] mind to conceal; or as if the Divine Goodness would cruelly hide from us what is necessary for us to know.

If the Scriptures are so abstruse, and want so much Explanation, how are they so plain that he who runs may read? And how can God Almighty (whose Laws they are) be said to Will that all Men should come to the Knowledge of the Truth? And how are the great Things of Religion revealed to Babes and Sucklings, and hid from the Learned and Wise?

The Romish Clergy act consistent with themselves, who pretend to believe the Holy Ghost presides in their General Councils, and consequently may be allowed to explain his own Meaning, but it is incorrigible Impudence in Protestant Priests to assume to talk or write better than the Holy Spirit himself, when they pretend not to his Assistance, nor will accept of any other if they can help it.

And therefore I shall conclude this Head, and stop this Reviler’s Mouth, by telling him in your Grace’s Words,(i) “That nothing at this Day preserves us from Ruin and Desolation, but that we (the Clergy) have not Power of ourselves to do the Church a Mischief; and the Prince who sees too much of our Temper, is too gracious to us, and has too great a Concern for the Church’s Good, tot suffer us to do it.”

The Letter goes on, and the next Passage is pregnant with Anger and Scurrility. “Who, (says the Author) that is a Christian can avoid lamenting that these ravening Wolves (I wish he does not mean such Men as your Grace, and the Bishop of Bangor, &c.) are, not only driven far away from the Sheepfold, but even received within the Inclosures of the Church, and admitted to her Honours, her Offices, and Government? But so it unfortunately is, while we only strive for the Things of this Life, we wofully neglect those which belong to another. And because some hope by the Toleration, and Advancement of such Men, to catch the Favour of the People, and thereby maintain themselves, in that which they have only at Heart, their Power and Places, they care not what becomes of the Church, or of the Faith, or of Religion, or indeed of Jesus Christ himself, and his Cause.

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Here now is a Volley of Rage and ugly Names, enough to distance Billingsgate, and to put all reasonable and moderate Railing out of Countenance for ever. How, thought I, when I read it first; have we got Bungey here? It savours filthily of the Sermon at St. Paul’s, and breathes the very same Truth and good Sense. Pray God the poor Orthodox Lunatick may come off no worse than he did last Time———I know a galled Back will not agree with his cholerick Soul, and I see no Hopes of escaping. Blessed Memory is no more, and within these five Years we have had one rebelling Priest hanged, and another seditious Priest set in the Pillory———Once more Heaven preserve poor Bungey. But while I was in the midst of my Soliloquy, I happily remembered that the Letter was writ in Latin; and so I cleared myself of my Fears, and the Doctor of the learned Scandal.

From the Falshood of the Assertions, and the Bitterness of the Stile, I should have suspected Friar Francis for the Author; but as it bears no Tincture of his Spirit and Parts, I am sure none of this dull Dirt is of his flinging.

Upon the whole, my Lord, I am come to a Persuasion, that this wretched Author is some wooden Implement of the late Reign, some Northern Genius, some Holy Bigot, and some Bungler of Peace, made use of by his Masters, as a foul Hand to sign away the Protestant Religion, and the Liberties of Europe.

Supposing this Author to be a Papist (which is most likely) this doleful Ditty of his will run most naturally in the following Stile, into which I have paraphrased it.

“Who that is a good Catholick can avoid crossing himself, and saying his Pater Noster, when he sees that, tho’ the Titular Bishop of Bangor’s Heterodox Principles are the Barrier of the great Schism, called the Reformation, and are the Gulph over which no rational Englishmen can pass into the Bosom of Mother Church; yet that Arch Heretick is, not only not burnt, but even sacrilegiously exercising the Office of a pretended Bishop, and poisoning the People with the damnable Doctrines of private Judgment, and Liberty of Conscience, and falsly asserting that the Priests cannot forgive Sin, and command Heaven. But so it unfortunately happens, that while we only strive for Religion and Liberty, we wofully forget those Things which Edition: current; Page: [211] belong to the Church; and because some hope, by their favouring and protecting of Protestants, to gain the good Will of Protestants, and thereby gratify their Schismatical Ambition of being at the Head of the Protestant Interest; they care not what becomes of his Holiness the Pope, the Real Presence, nor indeed of Transubstantiation itself.”

Your Grace, my Lord, will perceive how naturally this silly Declamation, full of Froth, and Empty of Reasoning, runs into Ridicule. And, in short, there is no other way of answering it, but by giving it a Turn of this Sort; for it is all Noise and Scolding, it fixes upon no certain Point, nor does it state or confute any particular Error.

But even this is not so wild and absurd as the latter Part of the Paragraph which charges some Men in Power and Places with advancing or favouring such Enemies to the Cause as this Author describes: For what has not been done for the Church? Or what has been done against it? Have not the utmost Endeavours been used to bring some of our late Queen’s Favourite Lords into the Ministry? Has not Lord ——— been made a Duke, and it is thought with intent to employ his great Abilities in Accounts, and his Integrity in making them up, at the Head of the Preasury? Was not a Bill intended to be brought into the House of Commons to restore the pious Lord B———k to his Estate and Honour, and to the Church again? Were not the utmost Efforts used to remove a great Person from all Power, for no other Reason, which can be imagined, but his being ungracious to the Church? And was there not a very good Law intended, to have enabled them to execute these pious Designs?

Has there been any Thing done towards that fairy Project, of Regulating and Reforming the Universities? Or has there been any Resentment shewn to their choosing the Brother of a Traitor for their Chancellor, when the Heir to the Crown would have honoured that Post? So careful have we been of provoking the Clergy!

Was not an Instrument drawn and agreed to for silenceing a Controversy, in which so many good Churchmen were miserably baffled, in order to rescue them out of the Clutches of their merciless Enemies, in which the kind Projectors did not scruple to talk Nonsense in Compliment Edition: current; Page: [212] to modern Orthodoxy, and the Committee of the Lower House of Convocation?

What Clergyman has been preferr’d or countenanced there, or any where else, who has given Offence to the Church? What has been done for the Bishop of Bangor? Or what has not been done by some People against him? His great Enemy, who very orthodoxly belied him, is highly preferr’d, but we may be sure not for that Reason. Some, who pretend to be his Friends, give out, that his Lordship was promised to be Clerk of the King’s Closer, but the Event shews it was only a Whig Lie, for another has been promoted to that Honour, without his Application, to prevent one, so unacceptable to the Clergy as his Lordship, from having a near Admittance to his Majesty’s Person.

Is there any such Thing as Liberty of Conscience given to Protestant Dissenters in Ireland? And has there been so much as an Attempt made to restore Arms into their Hands, which were taken from them in the last Reign, though the Papists and Jacobites in that Kingdom are almost ten Times the Number of all the Protestants together?

It’s true, my Lord, that after many Struggles, and a Thousand Promises, a Bill has past to repeal the Occasional and Schism Acts in England, but ’tis plain the Dissenters are more beholding to his Majesty’s Justice and Wisdom, than to the Endeavours of those who were sick of it whilst they solicited it, and renounced the Principle which alone can justify it, by declaring for the Test Act, though your Grace, by the Reasoning of your admirable Writings, have so unanswerably proved, that the Dissenters have an indisputable Right to all the Privileges of their Fellow-Subjects, notwithstanding their unavoidable Differences in Religious Opinions.

To conclude, are we not sending a great Fleet to the Baltick to prevent even the most distant Danger to the Church; and are we not told by the Regent’s Manifesto, that even Gibraltar would have been given up to procure that Peace which is so much wished for by all good Churchmen. I could enumerate many other private Virtues, which will approve some of them, not only true Churchmen, but the Church’s best Friends, and therefore, Edition: current; Page: [213] my Lord, I think it is very severe and barbarous to use them thus, at a Time too when they can’t get a good Word from its Enemies; I affirm to your Lordship, upon my Conscience and Honour, that I have not heard one Anti-Churchman speak well of them, or drink their Health the last whole Session of Parliament, or ever since. When I consider all this, my Lord, I am at a Loss again, about the true Author of this Libel; for I can’t conceive how an experienced Statesman, and able Negociator, should be so ill-inform’d of our publick Affairs, as to hope for Success in publishing so groundless a Calumny, therefore I despair of being able to unkennel this High-Church-Vermin, unless your Grace helps me out.

How ridiculous an Imputation is it in our Defamer, to charge his some Men with an Intent of making themselves Popular, and courting the Favour of the People to maintain themselves in what they have only at Heart, their Power and Places: As for my part, I know no such Men, and if there are any such, I wish them better Luck: I can judge of Men no otherwise than by their Actions, and therefore I do by these Presents acquit our Author’s some Men from any such false, groundless, and criminal Designs, and all the Men I know in England will do them the same Justice.

Make themselves Popular with an Intent to keep their Places, quoth a! Any impartial Person who hath Eyes in his Head, will swear upon the Evangelists, that they never so much as aimed at it. I will appeal to any one, if in all the Steps they have taken, they have not ventured their Places with a great deal of Frankness and Bravery, and their Enemies wonder how they have kept them so long, and therefore ’tis evident from all that has been said, that our Author’s some Men are not so extraordinary at keeping themselves in their Places, that they are not guilty of favouring the Bishop of Bangor, and his Adherents, and that they do not take any Measures to make themselves Popular, but that, in short, they are for the Establish’d Church, and Establish’d Faith, and are foully belied if they have not been your Graces, humble Servants in more Instances than one.

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Our Author’s concluding Words are remarkable ones, says he, “You will pardon me, Sir, that, to gratify a just Sorrow, I thus express my Indignation, with more Bitterness than usual, against these Enemies of our Religion. I should accuse myself of betraying the Faith, did I not, on every Occasion, denounce Damnation against these Hercticks.

Here now is a true Image of a priestly Spirit, destitute of all Humanity and the Fear of God, and fraught with Fire and Brimstone, which he scatters so freely among the Sons of Men. ’Tis (I had almost said) well that the more merciful Devils have the Custody of these flaming Materials. Dreadful! that honest Men, and sincere Christians, should be wantonly consigned over to Eternal Flames, for adhering to the Truth, or what appears to them to be so, which is all that is required of them! This, in short, is the Case——— They please God, and make the Parsons mad.

Your Grace perceives, and, no doubt, with Horror, the execrable Genius and Malice of this Author, who, by the assuming Stile of his Cursing of Christians, seems willing to be thought a Firebrand of Authority, and an Atheist of Power. What a Blessing it is to this Church and Nation, that such a ravening Wolf does not fill your Lordship’s Chair!

Gratulor huic Terræ———

I wish this Curser would be instructed by your Lordship’s excellent Words, particularly where you so warmly, so christianly reccommend a mutual Charity, which alone, you say, can secure us omidst all our Errors, and which with an Agreement in what is most necessary, will to the Honest and Sincere, be sufficient for our eternal Security. This, your Grace adds, should make us more sparing in our Anathema’s, and more zealous in our Prayers for one another. With much more excellent Advice to the same Purpose, your Grace also in your excellent Sermon printed in 89, has this Remarkable and Christian Passage, “Who am I, that should dare to pronounce a Sentence of Reprobation against any one, in whom there will appear all the other Characters of an humble, upright, sincere Christian, only because he is not so wise, Edition: current; Page: [215] and it may be wiser than I am, and sees further than I do, and therefore is not exactly of my Opinion in every Thing?”

To give a Man to the Devil, is an odd way of keeping him from the Devil, which I, with humble Submission to the Lower House of Convocation, ignorantly imagined was the Profession and Duty of every Clergyman.

I have thus, my Lord, taken to Pieces this venomous Author, and shown his Spirit. He has reviled, beyond Sea, one whom he dares not attack, at Home: And he s[Editor: illegible letters]ulk'd and scolded in Swisserland, because his base Spirit must breathe somewhere.

But praised be Almighty God, however he may gratify himself by reviling other Bishops, the Nation is blessed in your Grace with a Metropolitan of such Uniformity in Life and Principles, as must ever bastle Calumny, and confound the Malice of his and the Church’s Enemies, and who will never give Occasion to such a Story as is told of a Western Bishop at the Revolution, who fled from the Protestent Religion and the Prince of Orange at Exeter, to King James and Father Peters at London, and was made Archbishop for his Loyalty and Passive Obedience. But, as he was going Northward to take Possession of his new Dignity, he bethought himself that the Bible was better, and like to get the better of his Holiness and Popery, and so he declared for the Prince, and a Free Parliament, upon the Road.

I have the Honour to be, with profound Veneration,

My Lord, Your Grace’s most dutiful Son, and most obedient, humble Servant.
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A true Account of a Revelation lately discovered to Jeremiah van Husen, a German Physician. As be deliver’d it on Oath before John Shephered, Esq; One of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace; foretelling many strange Events; particularly, the End of the World.
Anno 1719.

John Shephard
Shephard, John
June 1. 1719.
Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas

THIS Day Jeremiah van Husen of Cripplegate, London, came before me, and made Oath, that on May the 29th, as he walk’d backwards and forwards in his Parlour, between the Hours of Seven and Eight in the Morning, he perceived an Impression made on him, like speaking distinctly in the German Language; but that truly he neither heard a Voice, or saw any Appearance. He deposeth likewise, that endeavouring to remove the Surprize, by recollecting what he had before employ’d his Thoughts upon, and by reasoning with himself, that what he had just now felt was only the Effect of his own Imagination, occasion’d by too intense an Engagement on the Subject which then employ’d him, he was a second Time strongly impress’d with the following Particulars; which when they had been gradually manifested to his Understanding, and all deliver’d in the Order wherein they now lie, and the Revelation was over, they all appear’d at one View to his Apprehension, and then ran themselves over again in his Memory in the said Order. He deposeth likewise, that during the said 29th Day of May, he found his Mind at Ease, but that the Particulars of the Revelation very often recur’d to his Thoughts; that he slept very Edition: current; Page: [217] well that whole Night, and Two Hours longer than usual, without any Dream or Interruption: But that, on the next Day, May the 30th, about 10 a Clock in the Morning, he perceiv’d a vehement Disturbedness in his Breast, which wou’d not suffer him to sit still, or remain long in one Posture or Place; that he perceiv’d a want of Appetite, and Disinclination to every Thing about him; that he continued in this restless Condition till Bed-time, a little before which he found his Head very much disorder’d; but that he slept well all that Night.

He farther deposed, That on the next Morning, May 31. he waked with high Disorders both in his Head and Breast; that he rose about Six, and finding himself discompos’d to a strange degree, he went abroad and walk’d till Twelve into the Country; that his Disorder continuing, and rather encreasing than diminishing, he return’d home, and threw himself on the Bed in hopes of Rest; that he roll’d there for Two Hours, without any redress; that by Six in the Evening all his Limbs and Joints partook of the Malady; that he felt no sharp or pungent Pains, but an universal Disquietude and Pressure; that he was unable to eat, and what little Wine he drank appear’d nauseous; that he continued in this Condition all Night, without any Degree of Sleep, and that in the Morning his Breast seem’d to him to swell even to bursting; that for the last Twenty Four Hours he had no remembrance of the Revelation: But that on this Day, June the 1st, they all present themselves to him, and give him Torture, and seem to press him to declare them; that he found himself begin to be easy upon the first Resolution to come to me; and that now he has made Oath of the following Particulars, he finds himself in the same Condition wherein he was before he was first seiz’d on May the 29th,


I observ’d him to deliver the following Particulars with great Calmness and Facility, and having desir’d him to sit down and refresh himself with what my House affords, I discoursed with him for Two Hours together, and found him a sensible intelligent Person, well vers’d, I believe, and skill’d in his own Business; and that he Edition: current; Page: [218] has nothing, not one Word to add or diminish to what he has here sworn to, and is intirely insensible how these Things were communicated or convey’d to him, or how he felt their Force, or the other Sensations which affected him, having never troubled himself with Politicks or Party-quarrels, or ever employ’d any previous Thoughts upon the Things hereafter deliver’d.

Jurat. coram me Hor. & Dic prædict.
John Shephard.

THE Spaniards will reimbark June the 25th, 1719. and narrowly escape the English Fleet, June 30. of the same Month. July the 9th, they will land in Scotland with all their Force and warlike Stores. The 20th of the same Month their Fleet returning Home, will be shatter’d by a Storm, and drove on the Coast of Wales. August the 20th, the Pretender will be at the Head of all his Army on a Plain near England. On the 29th there will be a bloody Field Battle in Scotland. On November the 3d, there will be another in England. October the 2d, King GEORGE lands. January the 1st following, there will be a strange and pompous Procession through London. The 3d, 4th, and 5th, great and bloody Doings at Tower-Hill. A Massacre in Ireland next December. The French King dies on Christmas-day. Seventeen Provinces declare for Philip. March 1720, 10000 English land at Ostend. May that Year, a bloody Fight at Poictou. June, the Regent visits Lisle. King Philip sups at Blois that Month. July, the Spaniards revolt, and make Alberoni and Don Rodriguez Governors of the Kingdom, and Prince of Asturias. August 14, Philip and the Duke of Orleance engage in a Field Battle in Normandy. Philip is taken Prisoner. The Duke of Savoy enters Lorrain about this Time. August the 18th, 1720. the Turk, Muscovite, and Swede, enter into a Tripple Alliance. Princess Sobieski dies of Child Birth about this Time. The Pretender is also lost near the Coast of Norway. The English Fleet bombard Civitta Vecchia, The Emperor takes Rome this Winter, deposes the Pope; and names a Bishop. Summer 1721, the Italian Bishops deny the Infallibility and Supremacy. The Emperor dies in June. The Elector of Hanover chosen Edition: current; Page: [219] Emperor. The French Church reforms. Peace with the North. 1722, the Turks embrace Christianity. September, this Year, the Great Mogul conquers Persia. Convocations dissolv’d by an Act of Parliament in England. A Shower of Rain like Milk, in Suabia. The Czar is Master of all Tartary. The Chinese turn Papists, and make Father Mezerial their Pope. The West-Indians universally dispossess and destroy the Europeans. 1723, Popery Establish’d at Genevv. September this Year, the Dutch are Tributary to the King of Prussia. King Philip dies in the Isle of Wight, Sweden conquers Pomerania. Poland is swallowed up by an Earthquake. Three Hundred Sixty Five Religions in Holland. None in England. The Barrier broken. Germany reforms. 1724, Spain builds a Fleet to conquer the West-Indies. England and France join with them. 1725, a Comet burns Tartary, China, and Muscovy. This Year a Toleration granted in France, Spain, and Italy. Venice is burnt this Year by an accidental Fire. 1726, Anti christ is first discover’d in Shropshire. In 1729 is manifest over all Europe. A War between Germany and England. Another between the Turk and Muscovite, about Transubstantiation. Geneva reforms again. The Swedes turn Turks. The English and Spanish Fleets quarrel, and fight at Rio de la Plata. The French Fleet revolt to the King of Mexico. A Battle in the Air seen at Vienna, Stockholm, and London, on the same Day. The Jews keep Christmas this Year. Laws against Immorality annull’d in England. The Greek Church turn’d Arians. Prophets arise and convert the Africans. The Devil worshipp’d at Jerusalem. A Civil War in England, about the Nature of Schism. Strange Alterations in the Climates all over Europe. Calabria and Sicily over-run with a Conflagration. Polygamy and Witchcraft very frequent in Ireland. The Scotch turn Mahometans. Swedes conquer Denmark, and establish Presbytery. The Line of Stanislaus made Viceroys of Denmark. Aurora Borealis burns up all Gothland and Finland. Strange Sea Monsters infest the English Coasts. At this Time there is no King in France. September this Year, all Arabia sinks under Water. December the Arabians embrace Popery. January 1730, Four Comets appear at the Four Cardinal Edition: current; Page: [220] Points of the Hemisphere. February, the Mediterranean Sea overflows on each Side. Asia Minor depopulated with Sea Monsters. Popery laid aside all the World over. March, this Year, the Sun intensely hot over all the World. The Persians conquer Muscovy, June, the French and Spaniards join and destroy the Dutch. July, Anti-christ is discover’d in Asia, and Men universally there call themselves Biblists. Europe is all in one Apostasy. The West-Indians embrace Christianity universally, by the preaching of Prophets, and their Power of Miracles. In December, they convert Europe. The Sun rises Blew sometimes. Land falls in England. No Company at Jonathan’s. Africa is of one Mind and one Faith with America. Europe begins to repent. In January, the Great Beast is seen at Genoa and Stockholm at the same Time, and drowns himself at both Places. Strange Bulls infest Ireland. In March, England is Orthodox. Wonderful Storms all over the Face of the Sky. Wales is burned by Eruptions of Bituminous Matter. Scotland infested with breaking out of the Blood, and with Blains: Christ is own’d there. Narriadism very frequent in this World. Three General Councils, one in Germany, one in China, another in Madagascar. On September 15, it appears, that all Mankind agree. The Magazines every where blown up in France and Germany, by Meteors. The Ships burnt at Portsmouth and Chatham, by a subterraneous Fire. The Czar of Muscovy cuts his Throat. Heidegger dies of Fits. The Sun looks no bigger than a Cheshire Cheese. The Play-House shut up. Coach-makers turn Prophets. Cooks preach; Hail, Thunder, Lightning. September the 29th, the grand Pay-Day; at Twelve at Night, the End of the World.

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A Comparison between the Proposals of the Bank and the South-Sea Company, wherein is shewn, that the Proposals of the First are much more advantageous to the Publick, than those of the Latter; if they do not offer such Terms to the Annuitants as they will accept of.
Anno 1720.

AS I have compared in my own Mind, the constant Encrease of our Publick Debts, to a Cloud gathering over the Southern Seas, impregnated with Thunder and Lightning, and big with the Magazines of an Hurricane, which at last sweeps away Houses and Woods, as well as every thing else before it; so I receive the truest Pleasure in observing an universal Disposition in my Countrymen, to endeavour to discharge themselves honourably from so dreadful a Burthen. I think it is every honest Man’s Duty to give his utmost Assistance to so desirable a Work; and therefore I think myself obliged to offer such Considerations to my Superiors, as appear to me necessary to make the Attempt effectual; that it may not end in a Job to get Plumbs for a few Projectors, ruin Thousands, and disappoint the Publick.

I am unfashionable enough to declare my Thoughts openly, that as I think it is the highest Crime, so I wish the greatest Punishment was inflicted upon any Persons in his Majesty’s Councils, and the Management of his Finances who shall presume to Stock-job and Buffet about the Publick Revenues; and by the Knowledge of their own Intentions, to raise them and depress them at their Pleasure, and as they see their Advantage; and so to make Bargains, Edition: current; Page: [222] for themselves, whilst they are ruining the Kingdoms. I hope there are no such now: But I doubt it is too melancholy a Truth, that to this Conduct in former Reigns, we owe the greatest part of our Miseries.

I dare own too, that I heartily wish the Bank of England had found it their Interest to have made such a Proposition as might have been acceptable to the Parliament; because I conceive they could have effected it with Advantage to themselves, as well as to the Publick, for the following Reasons.

1. They are in Possession of a great Credit, and by their Bills alone could have paid some Millions of the Debt.

2. They have near Four Millions of it already engrafted in their Stock, and without doubt have great Effects besides, which they have bought in the several Funds, and consequently they would have had so much less of the Publick Debts to have discharged.

3. They have oftener than once already saved the Kingdom, by bringing down the Price of Interest, assisting it in its greatest Exigencies, and have always acted with Reputation and Candour: And indeed, from the Nature of their Constitution, it is almost impracticable for them to do otherwise, or for their Directors to enrich themselves at the Society’s Cost; and therefore very many People would have engaged with them, who will not venture their Money in a Trading Company; where the Managers too often squander away and parcel out amongst themselves, their Relations and Followers, the Publick Money, under the Pretence of Traffick, and then must make their Proprietors Recompence, by dividing out their Capital, which they make them to believe is only Interest, and the Profit of the Trade; by which means, the more of their Principal is taken away (like a Hole in the Wall) the greater it grows, and for a Time sells for more too: But at last, the poor People find themselves beggared, and have no way to prevent their Ruin, but by selling out betimes, and ruining others.

4. If the Bank had undertaken it, there could have been little Danger threatened to the Publick from the Influence of so formidable a Society; because another great Body would be subsisting with Twelve Millions Capital: Edition: current; Page: [223] Which, added to the Assistance of the East India Company, might, and probably would have been a great Ballance against it; besides there could have been no Danger of the Courtiers over-loading them with new Favours.

5. The Capital of the Bank is Seven Millions less than that of the South-sea Company; and therefore the Profits arising to the Proprietors, from paying off the othet Funds, and striking New Stock in lieu of them, must have been divided upon a proportionably less Capital; and consequently, they could have afforded to have allowed much greater Encouragement to the Annuitants, with yet greater Profit to themselves; and in Fact, they did openly and above board offer Seventeen Hundred Pounds Bank-Stock, for every Hundred Pounds per Annum of the long Annuities; which is Twenty Five Years Purchase and an Half, if their Stock continued at One Hundred and Fifty, and Thirty Four Years Purchase, if it ascended to Two Hundred; and in the like Proportion, according as it rose more or less.

However, as every true Englishman ought to have no View in an Affair of this great Importance, but what would most conduce to the publick Benefit; so all the Advantages above-mentioned did not, nor ought to have hindred the Acceptance of a better Proposal from the South-Sea Company, who have certainly offered more advantageous Terms to the Publick, provided they offer equal Terms too, to bring in the Annuitants, and are contented with their Bargain in the Manner it is made; which no one sure can doubt of, it being by their own Acknowledgment a very good one; since they, in effect, declared they were ready to give more, if any others would give as much.

Therefore I take the less Notice of the little Jobbing Tricks played, and Reports given about in the Alley, to raise Stock, viz. That New Advantages are to be given. New Trades annexed, and that since the Publick expect from them to raise such Sums of Money, they must find Means to enable them to do it: Such Artifices and such jugling Proceedings, can never enter into the Thoughts of any Member of that Honourable House, which accepted the Proposal. Who can suspect that the Guardians of the Publick Treasure, will ever wantonly squander Edition: current; Page: [224] away any part of an advantageous Contract they have made for their Country; and give better Terms than are asked, if these can be performed? And if not, it is still more absurd to imagine, that they will reward any Number of Men whatsoever, for betraying the Publick, by offering a Project which they could not execute, and disappointing another, which could not have miscarried.

It will be embezzling the publick Treasure, and encreasing our Burthens, instead of lessening them, if we give away needlesly not only what is already Money or Wealth, but such Advantages and Privileges as will purchase them from any other Body of Men; for it will be ridiculous to say, any Concession will cost the Publick nothing, which will hurt and prejudice the Publick, or yield the Publick something: Besides, ’tis but common Justice to the Bank of England, (to those whose Conduct we are beholden even for the present Proposal) to give them the Preference; if by adding, curtailing, tossing, tumbling, or mangling the accepted Proposition, it should be rendered but equally advantageous to theirs, much more if it should become less so; the Breach of the Contract will lie at their Door alone, who decline to execute it, or confess they can’t execute it by demanding New Conditions.

The reason I think it necessary to say thus much is, because I find many Persons engaged in the South-Sea Company, who think, or pretend to think, that they have the Choice of the Alternative, either to buy in the Annuitants, or to pay Six Hundred Thousand Pounds in lieu of it, which I dare say is not the Thought of any Man in the Kingdom, besides some of themselves: We all understand, that they offered the Penalty only as an Earnest, to assure us that they intend to give such Conditions as the Annuitants will be inexcusable; if they do not accept of; which ought to be equal at least to those already offered by the Bank; and I could wish they would silence the Scruples of some, and the Calumnies of others, by obliging themselves to it in the Bill, or at least would make as open and frank a Declaration of their Intention, as the Bank has done.

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For the Proposal of the Bank is exceedingly more advantageous than that of the South Sea; provided the Bank Proposition brings in the Annuitants, and the South Sea Company only pays the Penalty, even tho’ the Latter should be kept strictly to their Bargain; for all that then would accrue to the Publick by it, would be but four Millions Six Hundred Thousand Pounds, when it’s all paid: And ’tis more than probable, that Sum, as great as it is, will not in Reality lessen the publick Debts at all (it’s well if it does not encrease them) because the Annuities, in all likelihood, will rise in Value above Twenty Years Purchase (the Price the Publick are to redeem them at by this Proposal) more than that Sum will discharge: Whereas what the Bank offers, will effectually pay off so much of our Engagements.

They offer directly l. 3,300,000
The difference in prompt Payment from what the South-Sea offer, more than 200,000
Offered to be allowed to the Annuitants 2,367,600
In all l. 5,867,600

There is besides the Difference which might probably accrue to the Publick by the Bank’s offering to be redeemed at 1724, and the South-Sea’s accepted Alternative, to be redeemable at 1727; which by some is computed at more than Eleven Hundred Thousand Pounds, and by themselves at not less than Seven.

As I think I have fully shewn, that the Proposal of the Bank of England is vastly better to the Publick than that of the South Sea, if the First brings in the Annuitants, and the Others do not; so I will as plainly shew, that if the Latter are not obliged to offer them such Conditions as it will be their Interest to accept, that they must be Men of very uncommon Virtue, and intirely detached from all personal Considerations, if they do it of their own Accord.

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’Tis evident, that all the Advantage which can accrue to them by this Bargain, (which they Purchase at so many Millions) over and above receiving good Interest for Seven Years, is the striking New Capital for as much as they pay of the publick Debt; that is to say, for every Hundred Pounds they discharge, they are to have the Liberty to add and sell to the fairest Bidder, One Hundred Pounds of New Stock; and if that can be sold at the current Price (which we will suppose to be One Hundred and Seventy) then Seventy Pounds will be got by the Company; which Profit arising equally upon near Sixteen Millions, there will remain more than Seven Million, clear Profit to the Company, after Four Millions paid to the Publick; and so proportionably more or less, as the Stock rises or falls.

Now it must be obvious to every one, that it can never be their Interest to bring in the Annuitants, before all the redeemable Funds are paid off, and the New Stock is struck and sold; for that would be to call in Shares to divide this great Sum with themselves, and lessen their own Profit above half, by admitting Fifteen Millions more Capital: They will hardly think it worth their Time to give the Publick Four Years and an Halfs Purchase for such Annuitants, and to give the Annuitant great Encouragement besides, to accept the aforesaid Favour; and if they do not, I am persuaded they have too much Modesty to expect the Annuitants to come in without it: Since, as is said before, almost the only Foundation of their Stock now bearing such a Price, is the Advantage which will arise from selling the New Interest.

Besides, how long can it be reasonably supposed, Twenty Seven Millions more of principal Stock will be selling off? (which Sum the whole will amount to at One Hundred and Seventy per Cent.) for if we could suppose (which I take to be a very sanguine Imagination) that the Sixteen Millions paid off would all be vested in this Company, there will yet remain Eleven Millions, for which fresh Money must be found.

It is very unlikely, that so great an Interest should be sold, without spending part of the Term in doing it, Edition: current; Page: [227] or sinking the Stock, (which will spoil all) and then how can the South-Sea offer the Annuitants such Terms as the Bank have already proposed? For when the Advantage arising from this Bargainis at an end, the Seven Millions divided amongst the present Proprietors, and their Term of Seven Years shortned, what imaginary Hopes can there be, that their Stock will keep at the advanced Price? which it must do, to enable them to pay Four Years and a half Purchase to the Publick, and yet give such Encouragement, as the Annuitants will accept of; nor is it possible to suppose a Circumstance, how they shall be capable of doing all this, without its appearing at the first View, that it is more their Interest to pay the Penalty.

Therefore I hope I shall not deserve the Imputation of Calumny, if I surmise, that no Member of the South-Sea Company can oppose a Proposition so reasonable, as that they should be obliged to declare what Conditions they will give to the Annuitants; but such who design not the publick Interest, but their own; who intended us a Missisippi Company, would have had vastly greater Advantages squandered away for less than half the Sum which is now offered, and who have been cooking up a Project for Seven or Eight Months last past, under the Pretence of paying off the Publick Debts, but in Truth to new burthen the Publick, and enrich themselves; and who, if they are let alone, will turn this great Design into a private Job; and when they have worked up their Stock by Management to an unnatural Price, will draw out, and leave the Publick to shift for itself, till the Season comes round about for gathering new Plumbs.

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Some Considerations upon the State of our Publick Debts in general, and of the Civil List in particular.
Anno 1720.

IF by the social Laws of Life we are obliged to aid one another, and to do kind Offices undesired, it will follow that every Opportunity of doing good, is a call to do good; and this Duty must encrease in proportion to the Importance of the Occasion, and consequently the Publick has a Right to our first and best Service.

Armed with this Principle of Love to my Country, I set forth in an untrodden Path, and shall regard no Obstructions or Difficulties I meer in my Way; but will unasked, and I fear unthanked too, offer my Assistance to my Superiors, and endeavour to strengthen their Hands in promoting the Happiness of our Country, and removing its Burthens; which I hope to do, by shewing them a short way to those good Ends.

The Power and Happiness of any Country depends in a great Measure upon a skilful and frugal Management of the Publick Treasure, which my Lord Coke justly calls, Tutela Pacis & firmamentum Belli: By this Conduct chiefly the Seven Provinces, not of more Extent than Yorkshire, have proved their State as considerable as some of the greatest Powers in Europe; and by the neglect of it, we have seen, but few Years since, the once formidable Kingdom of Spain expecting its Fate and the Decision of its Empire from two inconsiderable Armies of Foreigners contending within its own Bowels; and the Spaniards themselves were little more than Spectators.

’Tis with Grief and Indignation I say it, that England too, which seems designed by Nature and Situation to be Edition: current; Page: [229] the Pride and Glory of the World, that has so large a Dominion, so extensive a Trade and immense Revenue, should be sunk and oppressed by Debts and Anticipations, by needless Offices and Sallaries, and, I wish I could say only, as needless Pensions, to such a Degree as to be scarce a Match for the lesser States of Christendom: We too plainly confess the Truth of this by our Manner of carrying on the present War; for though France and the Emperor are our Allies, and we have no Land Armies to maintain upon the Continent, nor expensive Expeditions to the West-Indies, yet we run in Debt every Year greatly to maintain in Effect only a defensive War against a Country, which was of no Weight during the last and former Contests, in the contrary Scale.

Upon this Occasion I cannot but wonder at the Stupidity and mistaken Avarice of too many of my Countrymen, who in a late Reign thought it worth their Time to purchase little seeming Advantages to themselves and Families at the expence of their Country’s Ruin, and were contending with so much eagerness for a narrow Cabbin, when the Ship itself is sinking: ’Twas stupendious to see Men of great Families and greater Estates watching the Smiles and Nods of hungry Courtiers, courting Dependance, and worshipping those who must otherwise have worshipped them, and this often too, for such Considerations as did scarce defray the Charge of bringing themselves into this State of Servitude.

What was then become of the noble Spirit of our illustirous Ancestors, who made the proudest Ministers to tremble, and regarded neither the Smiles or Frowns even of Princes, when they stood between them and their Duty to their Country. In those Days they scorned to sacrifice their own Honour and Liberty, as well as the Publick Good, to a Paultry Pension, which they were able to give; nor did they quit their Family Seats (where they lived with a becoming Splendor, and received a willing Homage from their obliged and grateful Neighbours) to dance Attendance with a White Wand, or perhaps only for the Use of a Box and Dice. O Tempora! O Mores! Who would have expected to have seen grave Patriots transformed into Harlequins, and our haughtiest Pretenders become Gentlemen Ushers?

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But it’s still more amazing that Men of vast Fortunes, all depending upon the prudent Administration of the Publick Affairs, and the frugal Management of our Finances, should be so very Indolent, as to give themselves no Thought, but how to form new Funds, and make new Bargains, without once considering how the Old can be supported.

I wish they would now and then put the Case to themselves, That ’tis possible we may have a new War with France, and that the Kingdom will, and ought to be saved, whatever becomes of them and their Interests; That there is no Expedient within the reach of Politicks to prevent a War with a Potent Neighbour, but by being able to make it; That the People are not capable of paying Ten Shillings in the Pound, nor will ever consent to do it; That ’twill soon be impossible to find out new Funds; and then let them reflect what is next to be done.

I wish they would not spend all their Time in the Alley, and in carousing with one another over Champain and Burgundy, but would now and then descend to drink a Cup of Ale in the Company of poor despised and mortgaged Country Gentlemen, where it may be of Use to them to hear other Languages: It’s true their Ears will be offended with the unusual and ungrateful Sounds of Extortion and Bribery, of juggling Bargains, made between former Ministers and Stock-Jobbers, Money then borrowed by the same Persons in one Capacity and lent in another; desperate Debts bought up by Confederacy for trifling Sums, and then made good; Publick Money got into private Hands, and then lent to the Publick again for great Præmiums, and a great Interest, and afterwards squandred away to make room for new Projects: It’s possible too some of these Rusticks may shew a little Uneasiness to see those, who but few Years since would not have kept on their Hats before them, ride now about in Coaches and Six, with pompous Liveries and Attendants, maintained out of their Estates, whilst themselves walk on Foot; and all this while possibly their Country-Understandings, may not find out the least Merit, Virtue, or Publick Services done, by these shining Gallants to countenance such a Distinction.

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How unreasonable soever these Suggestions and Discourses are (which perhaps may be said to proceed from Emulation, Envy, and often from Disaffection) yet ’tis certain they come from those who have and always will have a great share in our Legislature, in spight of all that can be done to prevent it.

Those too, who are most depended upon, will, I doubt not, then, like another sort of Vermin, know how to quit a falling House, and speak in a different Strain; They will tell us that nothing is just or unjust, but as it promotes or hinders the Publick Good.

They will tell us it’s barbarous to blow up Houses, and sometimes shut them up with People in them; and yet ’tis often done to prevent the spreading of Fires, and infectious Distempers, and no Law gives Remedy for such Injuries.

We shall be told Towns, Countries, and Provinces are laid waste by those whose Duty ’tis to protect them, when ’tis necessary to oppose or distress a Publick Enemy, without the Imputation of Cruelty or Want of Humanity.

We shall be told Towns besieged have thought it lawful to eat one another, rather than submit to a barbarous Enemy.

They will tell us such Exigencies may happen to a State, that it may not only be lawful, but the Duty of Legislators, to seize Wealth and Treasure wherever they find it; and the want of such a seasonable Resolution, lost Constantinople to the Turks.

God forbid that this Nation should ever be reduced to such a fatal Necessity! My Heart akes, and my Pen trembles when I mention it: I abominate the Thought; and the Intent of this Paper is to prevent it, and to call upon my Countrymen to join Hand and Heart, and to lay aside their little Party Animosities, and unite this once to save themselves and Country; which must be done by curbing those who will otherwise curb us; by contracting the Publick Expences of all Kinds, by cutting off and retrenching Pensions, as well as useless and exorbitant Salaries, (if any such there be) by examining into every Branch of the Publick Revenue, as well as the Publick Expence, and seeing it be brought in carefully, and laid out frugally.

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What can be more invidious than for a Nation, staggering under the Weight and Oppression of its Debts, eaten up with Usury, and exhausted with Payments, to have the additional Mortification of seeing private and worthless Men riot in their Calamities, and grow rich whilst they grow Poor; to see the Town every Day glittering with New and Pompous Equipages, whilst they are mortgaging and selling their Estates; to see blazing Meteor, suddenly exhaled out of their Jakes, and their Mud (as in Egypt) warmed into Monsters.

No Man, who has the least regard to Publick or Private Happiness, will complain of, or regret, those Expences which have a visible Tendency to his Country’s Good: Every Man receives again with Interest his Proportion of such Taxes, which he pays with one Hand and receives with the other, and his Share in the general Felicity is his ample Recompence; but then he has a Right to expect they be laid out to the Uses for which they are given, and with the greatest Frugality, and that private Men be not enriched at the Publick Cost, but as they have contributed to the Publick Good.

I hope I may without Offence to any honest Man affirm, that all which I have complained of, was our own Case during the last four Years of the Queen’s Reign. I hope it is otherwise now. I saw then, as I thought, the Nation sinking under a most corrupt and foolish Administration, just ready to be delivered up to its Hereditary and most inveterate Enemy, enervated by a long and tedious War, its Traffick betrayed, its Finances discomposed, its People disaffected, its Clergy corrupted, and every Thing, tending to an universal Ruin and Desolation; when I seemed to hear a Voice from Heaven, which promised us a second Redemption.

If any one had then known that we should be blessed with the best Prince living, who desired nothing of us but to make ourselves happy, and to whose Favour we could no otherwise address ourselves, but by Professions to serve our Country; who shared in all our Feelings, and panted to case them; and in order to it chose his Ministry out of the most remarkable Opposers of the former wicked Administration: If this Person had then told us, that the late vile Miscreants should escape untouched, and carry off Edition: current; Page: [233] their Plunder with Impunity; That little should be attempted to reform the People, and less the Clergy; That nothing considerable should be done to lessen the Publick Burthens; but on the contrary Pensions, Salaries and Fees should encrease immensely; That in four Years time, the National Debts should be encreased by many Millions, without any visible Advantage accruing to the Publick; nay, that the most considerable if not the only Advantage stipulated for us by the Projectors of the last treacherous Peace, should be but once thought of being given up; I say, whoever should have surmised all this, must have passed for a Madman or Traytor.

As for myself, I am thoroughly satisfied that nothing has been wanting on his Majesty’s Part, and I hope those whose Business it is, will convince us by their hearty and vigorous Efforts this present Sessions, that no Lukewarmness, affected Difficulties, or worse Views, but true and real Disappointments, have hindered it on theirs.

If it was proper for me to put my Name to this Paper, I am perswaded all who know me will do me the Justice to own, I was long partial to these Gentlemens Interests, often fought their Battles, and sincerely wish for a fair Occasion to do so again; not by receiving any particular or personal Favours to my self, which I neither expect, want or desire, but in common to my Countrymen and Fellow Subjects.

With Impatience I expect this Satisfaction, and with Pleasure and Transport hear, that the Blessing is near of an honourable and advantageous Peace, and doubt not but my Countrymen will take this Opportunity to compleat their Happiness, and endeavour to extricate the Nation out of all its Difficulties: We are in no Circumstances of engaging in Fairy and Fantastical Wars, or of making fruitless and wanton Expeditions, or indeed any at all, which are not indispensably necessary to our own Preservation.

Every Man ought to contribute his utmost to save himself and Country: Those who have long enjoyed useless Offices, or more useless Pensions ought of their own accord to throw them into the Publick Stock: Such as worthily execute Employments beneficial to their Country, ought to content themselves with moderate Rewards, and Edition: current; Page: [234] accept their own and the Publick Security, as Part of their Recompence. Those whose Fortunes depend more immediately upon the present Establishment, ought not to dinn our Ears with Bargains founded in Watonness, (not to say Corruption) but willingly acquiesce with less Interest to secure the Principal; and I hope the Landed Interest will contribute freely towards paying off those Debts of which every Man owes a Part in Proportion to his Estate; and I could wish too the Parliament would oblige all Officers to bring in a List of their Fees, have them compared with what they were anciently, and settle them for the future in such Manner that every one may know what he is to pay, with the severest Penalties upon those who extort more.

This Conduct will make us great and happy, the Terror of our Enemies and the Refuge of our Friends; but then the Money so raised or saved must be applied to the Discharge of the Public Burthens, and not made Stales and Funds for new Ones; which will be to encrease our Calamity, and make our Condition desperate. I hope every Member of the House of Commons, conscious of his own Abilities, will propose what he conceives conducive to this great End; not think it the Province of particular Men, and so wait for Projects cook’d up by Stock-Jobbers, to serve present Views, and enrich those further, who are too rich already, by making their Country poor.

As for my own Part, since I am at Liberty to speak my Mind where it might be of greater Use, I will do it where and how I can; and ’till I see that I am stopping the Tide with my Thumb, will do my best to save my Prince and Country, nor shall regard whom I please or offend; I will neither be frightned, bribed or provoked out of the Principles I have always professed, and always practis’d.

My fix’d Purpose is, if this Essay meets with a Reception answerable to the Good I intend, to enquire further into the Causes of all our Misfortunes; to probe and search our Wounds to the Core, and to offer at an adequate Remedy, which I shall submit to my Superiors Consideration; but, in this Paper I shall only animadvert upon the present State of the Civil List, and hope to Edition: current; Page: [235] propose a Way to render it most advantageous to His Majesty, and the least burthensome to his People.

I bless God that I can lay my Hand upon my Heart, and safely declare, That I am, ever was, and believe ever shall be, heartily and affectionately attached to His Majesty’s Person and Title, which I sincerely esteem to be the best, if not the only, Right any mortal Man can have to Dominion over his Fellow-Creatures: As upon the most disinterested Observation of his Actions, and the truest Information I can get of his Temper and Inclinations, I am fully convinced he has all those Imperial Qualities, which are necessary, to make a People great and happy; so I cannot but exceedingly lament that our Corruptions, Factions and Follies should render us incapable of making the true Use and Advantage of Virtues uncommon to so high a Station: Like Beneficent Heaven, he bids us be wise, great and happy, and we return the Gift upon his Hands, and long and lust again for our Egyptian Bondage.

Therefore if any Errors or Abuses should creep into the Administration, or the old Ones be not enough reformed, they ought not, nor will be imputable to him; but they alone ought to be answerable, whose Posts and Stations give them admittance to his Royal Ear, and whose Business and Duty it is to acquaint him with his own Affairs, and to represent to him fairly and undisguisedly the Circumstances and Wants of his People; the Neglect of which Duty ought to be Capital.

But to return to the Subject I am to treat upon: The Civil List was not excessive, till the Reign of Charles the 2d, who bringing over with him French Inclinations, a French Religion, and French Luxury, and soon after having also got a French Mistress, and procured the whole Publick Revenue to be settled upon himself for Life, amongst other Instances of his Frugality advanced the Establishment of the Civil List to near Five Hundred and Eighty Thousand Pounds per Ann, which then answered the Purposes of that corrupt and vicious Court, and enabled it to make the first Essays of Pensioning Parliaments. It was something retrenched in King James’s time, though the Queen Regnant, Queen Dowager, and Princess Anne’s Courts were kept out of it.

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When King William was settled upon the Throne, it was thought by many, who were most Zealous for fixing him there, that this Excess of the Civil List ought to be remedied, especially considering what an expensive War we were engaged in. They thought it very strange that he, who had received three Crowns from the Peoples Gift, should contribute nothing, nor abate the least from the Demands of the two former Kings to maintain a War, entered into to support him in the Throne he sate upon; but this was esteemed by others of more Breeding uncourtly Language, ungrateful to a Benefactor, who condescended to wear the Crown only for our Sakes; and so these unfashionable People were deemed Male-contents, Whimsical, Grumblers, never satisfied with any Government, and not much better than Jacobites, and at last were forced to acquiesce, and consent that as the King deserved more than any of his Predecessors, so his Civil List ought at least to be as great as any of theirs; and the general Opinion was that Six Hundred Thousand Pounds per Annum, bein gan even Sum, should be given for that Purpose.

But even this was not thought enough for some Gentlemens Purposes, who by a new Feat of Legerdemain, carried on by the Assistance of an ancient and a dexterous Member, (who knew how to serve himself and the Court by seeming to oppose it, which I thank God is not the Providence of any Persons now) obtained a Revenue of Seven Hundred Thousand Pounds per Annum, to be granted to the King for Life, and to be first raised out of certain Funds, which produced a larger Sum, applicable afterwards to such Uses as the Parliament should appoint; which had this further Inconvenience also attending it, that the Courtiers not being to receive any Advantage by the Surplus were nor likely to be very solicitous what become of it, provided the Fund given produced enough to answer their own Demands, and therefore might possibly think themselves at Liberty to gratify their Friends and Creatures, by charging it with needless Officers, and indulging them afterwards in making their Fortunes as they could.

This Proceeding gave a general Offence, nor did the Parliament long acquiesce under it; but as soon as they Edition: current; Page: [237] had a little manumitted themselves from the Influence of the Conjurur’s Wand, determined to resume an Hundred Thousand Pounds per Ann. of what they had unwarily given, and not suffer the Courtiers to riot in Luxury and Corruption, whilst they were exhausting their very Vitals, and sinking under the Load of their Debts and Payments. This Resolution was not to be withstood; so the Court Managers were forced to consent that Three Thousand Seven Hundred Pounds per Week should be first taken out of the appropriated Funds and applied to other Uses, and the Remainder, which was valued at about Six Hundred Thousand Pounds per Ann. was given to the Crown, with Expectation that the Court when it was their own would manage it better.

This was the Circumstance of the Civil List in King William’s time, and such it was continued to Queen Anne, who gave in one Year a Hundred Thousand Pounds to the Use of the War, maintained her own and Prince George’s Courts out of it, gave Fifty Thousand Pounds per Ann. to the Building of Blenheim, as much more as ’tis said somewhere else, and the Managers are foully belied too, if they did not find out extraordinary Recompences for extraordinary Services; nor do I remember to have ever heard of any Defect in the Civil List, till an ignominious Peace was to be ignominiously defended, and an English Parliament was to be chosen to bring about a French Revolution.

In order to these worthy Ends, we were told, that the Funds given for the Civil List had near produced the Sum intended; That the Queen had given the first Fruits to the pious Clergy; not without proper Hints besides, that the Fifty Thousand Pounds per Ann. had been punctually paid; by which Means the Civil List was much in Arrears, and that the Sum of Five Hundred Thousand Pounds was wanting, without which God knows what would became of the Ch———h and the P———r.

All honest Men then saw and lamented what might be the Consequence of such an Attempt: They dreaded a Precedent which might and probably would be followed by every succeeding Ministry; and then what must Edition: current; Page: [238] become of the Kingdom, when the abusing of an old Trust is a sufficient Pretence for asking a new one? Prodigailty is to be furnished with new Means of Profusion, and embezelling the Publick Treasure is a Reason for a Parliament to give more, to answer Purposes which they never approved, and perhaps will never know.

If the Nation shall encourage the Exceeding of that Income by paying them off, the Royal Revenue, and consequently the Royal Authority, will have no Bounds but will run behind again, in order to be cleared again, and so create a new Circulation of Wants and Supplies, as if there were enough already, and we must ever hereafter give what any aew Ministry shall think fit to ask. A new and dangerous Method of squeezing the Kingdom, when it had given almost its all before!

But so it was resolved, for an extraordinary Occasion required extraordinary Measures, which were however happily disappointed by his Majesty’s coming to the Crown; nor can it be wondered if in the first Transports of a People just rescued from Misery and Destruction, they thought nothing too much for their great Benefactor.

Notwithstanding our heavy Load of Debts, they gave him a Civil List greater than any of his Predecessors, as it was not charged with their Burthens, nor liable to any Deficiencies, as King William’s and the Queen’s were.

King Charles the 2d maintained the Queen’s Court, and his numerous Descendants, out of his. King James maintained his Queen’s Court, the Queen Dowager’s, and the Princess Anne’s Family. King William maintained also the Princess Anne, the Queen Dowager, and the Duke of Gloucester; and Queen Anne, all which is abovementioned; whereas a separate Revenue of an Hundred Thousand Pounds per Ann. is granted to the Prince for the Appenage of himself and Family.

Nor was the least regard had to his Majesty’s other Dominions, which might reasonably contribute to the Support of their King’s Court, who honours them so often with his Presence, and leaves the mediate Heir to his Crown amongst them.

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As I heartily rejoice at this Zeal and Affection shewn to his Person and Government, so the Intent of this Paper is to make it as useful and advantageous to him, as it is chargeable to his Subjects, which will take off all Pretences of new Demands in future Reigns, (for we are sure of no such in this) and though they will be then made in the Name of the Crown, yet may be afterwards squandred to fatten Horse leeches by sucking the Hearts Blood of the People.

As the Crown never was, so it’s ridiculous to believe it ever will be better, for such irregular Supplies: The Demands upon it will rise in exact proportion to their fancied Riches, and the Weakness of the Ministry; Every one will think he has a right to share in the Profit, who has had a share in the Guilt, and endless Importunities must distract the Court, as well as exhaust the Nation. Whereas a general good Husbandry will soon put an end to all wild and impertinent Solicitations: No one will pretend to what no one has: Worthless Men will not spend their Substance, in hopes to repair themselves out of the Kingdom’s Ruins; bur the Direction of the publick Affairs will fall naturally into Hands, who have Interest but in the publick Happiness.

It must have been an unspeakable Dissatisfaction to a Prince so famous thro’ the World for the Government of his Family, for his Frugality in laying out his Revenues, and known Oeconomy of all his Affairs in his other Dominions, to see People here so overwhelmed with Vice and Faction, with Corruption and Prodigality, that no Incomes will satisfy them, no Gratification oblige them, nor no Principles influence them. How must he have been surprised when he first heard of a Custom in the latter Part of the Queen’s Reign, of hiring Men to be preferr’d, and of giving great Sums to them to accept of great Places; as if there was any Office in England could be filled but with one Man, and that no other Person could be found who would emhrace it upon the Motives of its native Honour and Advantage; Without doubt he made the Reflection, that such Officer was to abuse and pervert the Authority of his Place, to do Work which he knew was unjustifiable and unsase, and therefore when he ventured his Head he was to be Edition: current; Page: [240] considered and rewarded for his Boldness and his Danger.

How much must he have been amazed when he was told of another Practice then, of giving great Pensions to Men of great Fortunes when they were dismiss’d from their Employments, and often for Crimes; That one was to be rewarded for being turn’d out of a profitable Office, and another for accepting it, and that the Nation was to pay them both. Certainly he ask’d, if they deserved their Employments, why were they turned out of them; and if not, why must they have an Equivalent? But the Mystery was unravelled when he was informed, that dirty Work had been, and was still to be done, and that no one who had once been in the Secret, was ever to be disobliged; That their Successors had no Quarrel to their Conduct, but to their Places, and were resolved to proceed in the same Methods, and so were providing only for themselves and their own Security in Reversion.

How must he have lamented the poor Queen’s Unhappiness to be served by so weak and corrupt a Ministry, that though her People, without regard to the heavy Pressures they lay under, had given her a most ample and truly Royal Revenue to support the Splendor and Magnificence of her Court; yet like Æneas’s Banquet it was almost devoured, or snatch’d away by the polluted Claws of obscure and ravenous Harpies; so that what remained was scarce enough to maintain her Table and private Expences, and she herself, like Tantalus, was the only Person that wanted in the midst of Profusion: When he was informed that Part of it was eaten up by supernumerary Officers of no Use to her State, or Service to her Person: that more of it was swallowed by the exorbitant Bills of Stationers, Gardeners, Builders of all Kinds, Officers of the Kitchen and Houshold, and many others who claimed a sort of Prescription to Roguery, and would think themselves injured if they could not wrong the Crown, and like Pellicans pull out the Entrials of the Parent who fed and raised them. But how much more yet must he have been astonish’d, when he was told that the greatest Part of his Revenue was lavish’d in Pensions, and given away to those who were not only Edition: current; Page: [241] possess’d of most of the great Employments in England before, but had every Day new ones created for them, without regard to any other Merit or Qualifications, but knowing how to make a proper Application of two Monosyllables.

So wife a King could not avoid making the natural Observations which resulted from this unhappy Conduct: Undoubtedly he pitied the Condition of Princes, who in the midst of all the outward Shew and Pageantry of Greatness are often encompass’d, and I may almost say imprisoned, by the most ambitious and corrupt of Men; that they must see with such Mens Eyes, and hear with their Ears; that vertuous Men always are endeavoured to be kept from their Presence by such Miscreants, more than an infectious Distemper, knowing that Vice and Folly must fly before them, like Phantoms at the Approach of the Morning Sun. He knew well that as such Insects are raised out of corrupted Matter, by the Heat of a Summer’s Day; so they always fly and seek for new Shelter upon the Appearance of a Shower, or the Approach of the Evening Star.

In the prosperous Condition of their Affairs such a servile Crew, like the Scum of fermented Liquors, will rise uppermost, and appear always in sight, haunting their Courts, flattering their Persons, indulging their Vices, and promoting their Expences; whilst wise and good Men, conscious of their own Virtue, and Abilities, will expect to be sought after, tho’ are seldom enquired for, till the Remedy is too late, and ’tis out of their Power to help their Prince, and save their Country.

He easily perceived from what Sources such Mischiefs flowed upon the Queen and People. He saw that her Ministry by their Folly and Crimes had reduced themselves even to a Necessity of bribing Men to do their own Business, and paying them to serve themselves. Having first resolved to raise their own Fortunes upon the Publick Ruins, and to sacrifice their Prince’s and Country’s Happiness to their own Ambition and Covetousness, they were obliged to make use of the private Interests and Passions of Men, and endeavour to subdue every Spirit of Opposition, and every popular Tongue upon any Terms: They knew by Experience that a good Gift Edition: current; Page: [242] would soften an angry Heart, and a good Post convince a refractory Enemy or a Publick Spirit, who by such Means would roundly and readily come into Motions and Measures which before had appear’d monstrous and dangerous; some were paid for speaking, others for holding their Tongues, some for assisting, others for not opposing: Nor did they value the Expence, knowing a Bucket full of Water thrown into a Pump will fetch up all that is in the Well.

He then saw clearly the Reason why the Nation had never resented the most exorbitant Offences, viz. because the Ministry would not make a Rod for themselves, and punish Crimes which they were resolved to commit; and why any Method was never sincerely propos’d by them, or thought of to reduce the national Expences, which were the Harvest of the Managers, and the Mines out of which they dug their Wealth. And ’tis indeed but too true if there ever appear’d any faint or seeming Offer to ease the National Debts, it always terminated in a Jobb to enrich private Men, and encrease our Burthens.

He saw the Folly and Ridicule of heaping up Places and Pensions often upon Men, who must have starved if they were to have got but Five Pounds by their Merit. He was too well acquainted with Mankind not to know, that the Clamours and Importunities of such Wretches are endless and infinite; who never know what is fit to ask, when they have to do with those who do not know what is fit to give; That such Demands will multiply upon a Ministry faster than the Hydra’s Heads, and the gratifying One will produce an Hundred.

Men who are contented in their own Obscurity, when they see Worthlessness rewarded and bought up at a high Price, will put in their Claim too; and think themselves upon a level in Merit with those that have none, and so ruin themselves and Country in spight, if they are not gratified. When Pensions grow common, and are promiscuously given to those who have deserved them, and those who have not, the Demand and Application for them will grow universal: Every one will esteem it a sort of Contempt to him to be left out, and think himself as well intitled, as another who is not intitled at all. So that what is taken from the People’s Industry, and Edition: current; Page: [243] given for the People’s Protection will be squandred away to support Laziness, Prodigality and Vice, and the Bread of the Children will be thrown to Dogs.

He must have again condoled the unhappy Queen’s Circumstances, whose foolish and depraved Ministry in the latter Part of her Reign had servilely flatter’d and co-operated with a few Male and Female Parasites, who besieged her Person and poisoned her Ears, who were every Day lessening their Prince’s Interest with her People, and ungratefully sacrificing their Benefactor’s Honour, Happiness and Security to their own sordid Avarice and insatiable Pride, by engaging her in Alliances and Treaties unacceptable to her Subjects, and by keeping an open Market, and selling to the fairest Bidder all Offices and Employments which were not as before dispos’d of, and by that means perverting the National Justice, impairing the Publick Revenue, and adding greatly to her People’s burthens; for undoubtedly whoever is vile enough so to buy an Employment, will think it Lawful to make the best of it afterwards, and will stick at no Methods to do it, when he is sure of Protection from those who have received his Money.

All this must have made him reflect upon the Vicissitude of humane Affairs, and wonder at the Corruption and Degeneracy of a Nation, so famous through the World for being tenacious of their Liberties, and often defending them at the hazard of their Lives, and every thing else that was dear to them; that they should be in his time sunk so low, and become so contemptible, that not one single Briton should dare to open his Mouth, and but breathe his Resentments against these glaring and exorbitant Abuses.

He certainly look’d upon this as an Opportunity put by Heaven into his Hands, to acquire Reputation to himself and do good to Mankind, and formed a generous and steady Resolution to call up all our ancient Virtue, and restore so great a People to themselves. Almighty God cannot open a larger or nobler Scene to a truly Great Man for the Exercise of his Virtues, than to set him at the Head of a corrupted People, that he may have the Honour of restoring and reforming them, which Edition: current; Page: [244] is a Glory beyond all the gaudy Triumphs of fabulous and imaginary Heroes.

But every honest Man ought to give his Help too, to this great Work, and to assist our Illustrious Benefactor in his Generous Design, and first shew our Gratitude to him by endeavouring to lighten his Crown and make it sit easy upon his Head; which can be only done by supporting his Dignity in the Manner which will most endear him to his People.

As the Parliament has given him a large and most noble Revenue, so it cannot be doubted from their known Loyalty but they will do every Thing in their Power to make it effectual to him, and render their own Gifts compleat; that he may receive what his People pay, and they have the Pleasure to see that they are contributing to the Honour and Splendor of the Crown, and not to the enriching of some of the worst Men amongst them, as has been the Case in former Reigns.

Indeed this Distemper by long Habit seems to be grown so inveterate, and so many private Interests are concerned in preventing the Remedy, that it is become a Work equal to the Legislative Power. Besides, the Royal Authority ought always to be screen’d from the Load of Envy and Anger, which will always attend a Reformation of this Kind. As there are great Numbers whose Interest will be affected by it, and their darling Gain be at an End, so those that undertake it must expect all the Resentments which can be suggested by Rage and Disappointment.

Nor can this Regulation be expected from the Favourites of Princes and the Followers of their Courts and Fortunes: It would be Cruelty as well as Folly to hope for such Assistance. Interest and Self-love will stand in the Way, and they must hurt themselves to serve the Publick, and lessen their own Income to encrease their Master’s: But the Body of a grateful People can have no Interest but in their Prince’s Felicity, nor can they give a greater Instance of their Affection and Duty to him, than to rescue his Person and Revenue out of Jaws which would devour them both, if ever that should happen to be the Case; nor can a Parliament of England do a Edition: current; Page: [245] more acceptable Action, or better recommend themselves to their Principals, against a succeeding Election.

At present, I thank God, we have nothing to fear from our industrious, publick-spirited and upright Ministry; but considering the usual Jumble and Rotation of Factions in this Kingdom, who knows how long we may be bless’d with them? Therefore we have Reason to hope from the known Justice and Wisdom of our Representatives, that an effectual Method will be found out to hinder us from relapsing into the Calamities before complained of, and which have proved so fatal to both Prince and People.

I am sufficiently sensible of my own Inability to propose a proper Remedy for these Evils, and know well that there are many others more equal to the Undertaking; which they have hitherto neglected either from Despair of the Cure, or worse Reasons; but I have sometimes known a Patient given over by a famed Physician, and cured by an Empirick.

It is one Degree of public Virtue not to despair of the public Happiness. The Romans, the best Judges of Merit, received honourably a Run-a-way General, quia non desperavit de republica: Many a State has been destroyed by weak and worthless Instruments, and why may not one be saved by them? A Flock of Geese once saved the Capitol by their cackling. Therefore encouraged by these Reasons and Examples, I offer to the Consideration of my Representatives,

First, That a Commission be established by the Legislature, who shall be empowered to enquire by Oath into the Abuses of Collecting and Managing every Branch of the Publick Revenue, as well as of the civil List; to examine into the supernumerary and useless Offices, as well as exorbitant Salaries and extorted Fees; to look into the Bills of the lower Officers of the Houshold, of the Builders, Stationers, Gardeners, with all the ravenous Crew; to search into the Pensions and the pretences for granting them, and indeed into every Part of the Expence of the Civil List except his Majesty’s Privy Purse, and lay this Enquiry before the Parliament in the succeeding Sessions, and under what Heads they conceive there may be a Regulation of the Expence.

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Secondly, That it be made High Treason for any Person to pay, or any Member of Parliament to receive, in trust or otherwise, any Pension, Sum of Money or other Gratuity from the Crown, unless it be entered in a publick Office, with the Reasons for giving or granting it, to which Office every one may have Admittance, and that all present Pensions be resumed.

Such a Proceeding would be worthy of an English Parliament, worthy the Respect they owe to their King, and giving him a substantial and truly Royal Income to himself, instead of making him a Nominal Trustee to receive his Revenue only for the use of others. This would be doing it in the most acceptable and grateful Method, by taking the Odium to themselves, and leaving the whole Benefit to their Prince. This must be also most engaging to his Virtuous Ministry, who will have the Joy and Transport of seeing and sharing in a proper Degree his Grandeur and Magnificence, without the uneasy Task of their Predecessors, (viz) of making new and ungrateful Demands upon an exhausted People. It must be an unspeakable Satisfaction to them too, to be freed from the daily and restless Importunities of clamorous Pretenders to Pensions, by having an Answer always ready in their Mouths, which must silence every impertinent and unreasonable Demand.

It cannot therefore be questioned but Persons of their Sagacity and tender Sense of Virtue, must rejoice and heartily concur in a Design so glorious to his Majesty, advantageous to his People, and conducive to their own Honour and Quiet, and will undoubtedly give all private and prudent Assistance to it in their Power. What a Pleasure must it be to them to see, during their Administration, their Country eased of its heavy Burthens; and as it were, relieved from the Jaws of Death, and become again a flourishing and most Potent Kingdom! All who had the Honour to know them before they were worthily advanced to their present Greatness, have heard them frequently exert their known Eloquence upon this Subject, and have Reason to hope, indeed I may say expect, that they will now make good their repeated Promises.

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As to myself, who own many Obligations to their Goodness, as well upon the Publick Account, as for a very late Favour personally intended me, I shall take every Opportunity of acknowledging my Gratitude; and, being sensible I can no way make myself so acceptable to them, as by endeavouring to serve my Country, intend to continue in the same Method, and hope, in due time, to lay before them, what Sums may be saved in the Collection of the Publick Revenues, as well as in the Expence.

I believe it may be easily made out, that the Management of the Revenues alone in the late Reign, cost the People more than the whole Produce amounted to in Queen Elizabeth’s Time. And in this, I do not include the immense Advantages then got by indirect Means, in all the Offices, and particularly in the Navy, which cost the Kingdom many times as much as the Officers could get to themselves, not only by greatly enhancing the Price of all Stores and Provisions, but in discontenting the Seamen, and driving them into Foreign Service, without which it’s thought our present Enemies could not have appeared upon the Seas.

At present I shall put them in Mind only of the different Management of the Directors of two of the City Companies, and the late Directors for the Publick.

South-Sea Company.
Governors and Directors 5500
Treasurer 200
Deputy Treasurer 150
Secretary 200
Accountant 200
Two other Accountants 250
Four Clerks 230
Four Treasurers Clerks 220
House-Keeper, Door-Keepers and Beadle 180
Incidents about 600
In all not more per Annum than 8000
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Bank of England.
Governor, Deputy Governor, and Directors 4000
Secretary 200
Accountant 200
One Cashier 250
Three other Cashiers 450
Other Clerks, about 5000
In all something more per Annum than 10000

As I do not pretend to be exact in the Computation aforesaid, so I can be much less so in the supposed Profits of the Exchequer Offices, for obvious Reasons; and therefore I can only estimate them at the reputed Values, in which I am persuaded I do not exceed the Truth.

Lord Treasurer 8000
Secretary 8000
Four 1st Clerks 6000
Auditor General 8000
Clerks 3000
Tellers and Clerks 10000
Pells and Clerks 5000
Remembrancers 6000
Auditors of the Revenue 3000
Auditors of the Imprest 8000
Pipe 5000
Other Officers 5000
Incident Charges 15000
In all 90000

I thing it will not be denied, notwithstanding this great difference in the Expence, that the Receipts and Payments are greater in the Bank than in the Exchequer; nay ’tis remarkable that most of the Publick Payments are now made at the Bank, there being an Officer from thence constantly attending the Exchequer, ready to give Bank Bills to all who have Demands of Money. So that many of the Offices there are now become Sine-cures, as others of them were before.

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Before I conclude, I think myself obliged to do all Right to the late Officers of the Exchequer; and as I have without reserve censured their Errors, so I ought equally to applaud their Vertues, and to own that the Revenue which passed through their Hands was really and in truth manag’d by Under-Clerks, at less Expence than even in the Bank itself; insomuch, as I am told, the great Accounts of the Army, which amounted to so many Millions, as well as the Customs, &c. were passed and checqued only by Deputy Clerks, with small Salaries in the Auditors of the Imprests Offices? nay, it’s said the Frugality was then so great, that the vast Sums gained during the last War by the returning of the Publick Money abroad were not accounted for at all; to which happy Parsimony we owe the Discoveries of many of the brightest Genius’s of the Age, who in all Appearance might have been otherwise buried in Obscurity, and so lost to the World for want of proper Opportunities to exert their great Talents.

Haud facile emergunt quorum virtutibus obstat

Res augusta Domi.

A Learned Dissertation upon Old Women, Male and Female, Spiritual and Temporal in all Ages; whether in Church, State, or Exchange-Alley. Very seasonable to be read at all Times, but especially at particular Times.
Anno 1720.

IT is recorded in the Memories of divers Story-Tellers in and about this Metropolis, that the Sage and Eloquent Dr. Byfield, who goeth about, pouring forth his Divine Breathings in Coffee-houses, and presenting his Books Gratis to all who will pay him for them: I say, Edition: current; Page: [250] it is credibly reported that the said Doctor having a Suit in Chancery with a certain Chymist, and a venerable Serjeant being of Counsel for his Adversary; he, the said Doctor, humbly moved my Lord Chancellor that Mrs. Byfield, the Wife of him the said Doctor, might be allowed to answer and refute the Harangue of him the said Serjeant; and mark the Reason! for (said the Doctor) she, My Lord, is an Old Woman too!

Whether this Request was granted, or only entered upon Record, the Tradition sayeth not. If the Challenge was not accepted, surely it is great Pity; seeing that from a Match so natural, and a Contention so Equal, much Elegant Entertainment would have resulted to the Grave and Learned Brothers (or shall I rather say, Sisters) of the Long Robe, who, during the Strife, must have stood strangely and equally poized in their Affections and Wishes, as being equally allied to either Combatant. I have indeed, heard it urged, by the Partizans of the Old Woman in Petty-coats, that the Other in the Coif, jealous of his Reputation, and doubtful how the Issue might determine the Prize of Eloquence, fled the Pit, and left, ingloriously, his Antagonist whetting her Gums, and mumbling Revenge. But the Learned and Acute Sir ——— ———, Knight, Serjeant at Law, does, with great Submission, conceive that this last Clause of the Tradition wants Proof.

I must own it would have been exceeding Unnatural and Unscriptural for Mrs. Byfield and the Serjeant to have entred the Lists against each other, upon this Occasion; or, indeed, upon any other whatsoever: Forasmuch as is written in the Hundred Thirtieth and Third Psalm, Verse the First; Behold how good and how pleasant it is for BRETHREN to dwell together in Unity: And therefore it is my own private Opinion of this Matter, that the whole Bench and Bar, taking it into their serious Consideration, as what might affect them all, offered their Mediation, and stopped the Progress of their pernicious Difference. And in this I have the concurring Opinion of ——— and ——— and ——— and ——— and ——— and ——— with several Others, all able Lawyers, and Parties concerned.

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There is a waggish Acquaintance of mine, who carries the Analogy between Old Women and grave Barristers, further than, in my Judgment, Need requires he should. ‘Don’t you observe, says he, that they have the same Enmity to Silence, and possess the same Eternal Wetness of Beard? Pray, distinguish, if you can, between Pleading and Scolding; and, whatever you do, mark that hobling Amble in their Gate; that involuntary Nod of the Head; that contracted plodding Forehead; that wise unmeaning Face, and these desolate Gums! and then, confess the invincible Likeness——— I would furthermore put you in Mind of their Equal Taste in Dress, and their Equal Resemblance therein — Black Gowns and red Petticoats! two Colours, in which it is hard to say, whether my Lord J———e mimicks Granny, or Granny my Lord J—e! Granny moreover wears forward Night-Cloaths, and ties her Pinners, before to hide a Bald-Pate; and Mr. Serjeant, and his Betters, bury their Faces in mighty Periwigs, which inviron either Chap, and lie, like comely Mares Tails, on either Breast— for why, they are only Hairy Machines to conceal long Ears!’

At the Assizes in Carmarthen-Shire, some Years ago, a Welshman, who had never seen so fine a Shew before, asked a Neighbour of his, who was knowing in these Matters, ‘What Shentleman was that upon the Pench in hur Cown, and hur Pelt, and her Plack Cap? Why, marry, quoth Morgan, hur is an Old Woman that takes hur Nap upon hur Cushion, and then hur tells the Shewry hur Tream.

It is plain from St. Paul, that Old Wives Fables were current and prevailing in his Time, and he warns St. Timothy, (the most Reverend, the Lord Archbishop of Ephesus,) against them; desiring his Grace, to exercise himself rather unto Godliness. But notwithstanding that the Apostle’s Works are still read, tho’ they do not say a Word of South-Sea Stock; yet Old Wives are in as good Esteem as ever, and their Tales bear as good a Price. There is particularly a numerous Tribe of Ancient Gentlewomen, call’d Schoolmen and Fathers, who are reputed a Company of Venerable Gossips, whose Evidence may Edition: current; Page: [252] be taken in Trials about Norwich Crapes, wide-knee’d Breeches, the Power of the Constable, the Primitive Institution of Parish-Clerks, the Decimation of Eggs by Original Patent, Whoring, Scolding, and Court’sying towards the Rising-Sun; and the like momentous Points between Men and Monks.

But it is very true, that these old Bodies do often contradict one another in their Evidence; either because they know not the Truth, or will not speak it; both which are frequently the Case———. But here a ready Expedient is offered; for the pious Attornies who produce them, modestly reject every part of the Evidence which makes against them, as forged or erroneous, and are pleased only to accept so much of the same, as makes for them, as undoubtedly genuine and valid. And if no part of it will serve their Turn; yet we, the Defendants, are bound to believe that it does; and that is as well. For the pious Attornies above-written, claim, from Time immemorial, a Right to be Prosecutors, and Judges, and Witnesses; at least, Witnesses for their Witnesses, in every Law-Suit which they undertake. And, if we do not acquiesce in all this a Lawyer of this Sort has told us, what Sentence we are to expect; even this, G———d———mn you and yours to all Eternity. (Tale of Tub in 12mo. p. 104.)

The Admirers and Followers of these old dusty Gossips, are themselves of the same Character and Predicament; for, as the Saying is, Old Women of all Religions are the same. We are not therefore to wonder, if we find in the whole Breed, an equal Appetite for Flogging, Hoarding, Backbiting, and Scolding. From Gammar Aaron down to Gammar Satanasius, and from Gammar Satanasius down to Gammar Becket, and from Gammar Becket down to Gammar Laud, and from Gammar Laud (keeping still in the same See) down to Gammar ——— ——— you find the self same Spirit, and the self same Arts. The Multitude have been still bubbled, and taught or scared into the Worship of golden Calves, or black Calves, or some other sorts of Calves: And the same Lying, Falshood, and Cruelty, have gone on in an uninterrupted Line of Succession, and uninterrupted Submission.

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It is marvellous and inconceivable, the Stupidity and Duncibleness of Mankind. ‘O World! when wilt thou come out of thy Infancy, and assume a Beard; and a Mind worthy of that Beard! learn to despise long Coats; reject thy Leaders and thy Leading-Strings; stand upon thy own Legs; be of Age; look round thee, and distinguish, at last, Truth and Freedom from Restraint and Disguises. But in Case, my dearest Child, that thou art already superannuated; as, considering the Greyness of thy Head, and the Greenness of thy Behaviour, I fear me thou art; Then, O Reverend Granny, lost is my Labour, and vain are my Instructions! I will, however, bear my Testimony in thy Behalf, and shew thee, with the help of thy Spectacles, how thou art ever ridden by old Women, thyself an old Woman!’

Queen Semiramis was the greatest King that swayed the Scepter of Assyria, and exceeded by far all that succeeded her. She was indeed a most valiant Man, but very lewd, which is no Fault in Princes; what is very common being very pardonable. To her succeeded her Son, King Sardanapalus the Queen, who from his Infancy was an old Woman, and very naturally spent all his Time, and his Spinning amongst young ones. But for all the Harmlessness of this He-Queen, he met an untimely Fate, and violent Hands were laid upon the Lord’s Anointed, to the great Grief of all the true Churchmen, that is the genuine Worshippers of Bel and the Dragon, of those Days.

Those who came after him were for the most part like him; and from Semiramis to the End of the Babylonian Monarchy, which lasted for several Ages, all the Kings proved to be of the Female Gender, except herself. When the Monarchy was translated to the Medes and Persians, there was but one Emperor, and that was Cyrus, who happened to be a Man: All the rest were old Women; Creatures that lived in their Dining Rooms, admired their fine Furniture, wore rich Brocades, play’d with their Monkies, beat and bit and scratched their Servants, and drank Cawdle, the Tea of the Time; and in fine, said and did, just as do and say our aged Countesses in t’other End of the Town.

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At length the Magicians, or Priests of the Established Church of Babylon, having great Interest at Court, and Encouragement from the Prince, knocked him on the Head in Return for his Love; and, by the Murder of his whole Race, and further Cruelty and Craft, seated themselves in his Throne, and yet kept the Murder and Usurpation a Secret from all the World, for some Time. But the reigning Conjurer being, like the rest of the Tribe, given to Wenching, a Mistress of his was directed by her Brother, who suspected sacred Roguery, to search his Majesty’s Head for Ears; and upon Inquiry, she found he had none. For, it had happened, some Time before, that the whole Order had their Luggs lopped off for some pious Pranks by them play’d.

Upon this Discovery, the Grandees invaded the Royal Palace, alias the Royal Brothel, and put all these old Women, that is to say the Clergy, that is to say the Usurpers, to the Sword. So here ended the Reign (tho’ not the Roguery) of these consecrated Monarchs, or spiritual Sovereigns, or Pagan Popes, or cropped Prelates, or Representatives of ———’s Person, or, &c.

Proceed we next to the Election of a new old Woman. For, the Lineal Entail was broken in the Murther of Adam’s Heir at Law, by the Babylonian Parsons; tho’ some of their Brethren since have pretended to patch it together again, Impossibilities being of no Weight in the Schemes of Magicians.

In this Election one Darius carried the Diadem by the Merit of his Stone-Horse; which Stone-Horse, had it not been for the Folly or Partiality of the Nobility, ought to have mounted that Throne; and then might have been alledged, what now cannot be alledged, namely that once in a Century a Creature of some Manhood filled it.

It is the Opinion of that able Critick and Cabbalist, Rabbi Nick Nack Ben Dry Pate, that the Historians are all Lyars and Dunces in the Account they pretend to give of this Matter; For, says he, I will lay an even Wager of fifty to One, that when the Crown of Persia was, by a Vote of the judicious House of Lmacr———ds there, hung upon a Nag’s Nostrils, whose Neighing was to create a Master of Mankind, and declare the Lord’s Anointed; Darius did not act by the Craft of his Groom (which is Edition: current; Page: [255] the Opinion of Ctesias, Berosus, Plutarch, &c.) but by the Counsel of his Chaplain, who advised him, as soon as ever he came to the randying Ground, to Bray with all his Might; and if you take this Method, added the sage Doctor, and Bray with becoming Vehemence, by G———I’ll venture my Soul upon it, you are Monarch of the East. For, continued his Reverence, in such a Hurry and Discord of the Passions, as will necessarily fill every Breast upon so great an Occasion, who will distinguish Chesnut’s Voice from your Lordship’s Voice, or a F——— from a Pair of Bag-pipes? Rabbi Nick-nack adds, that Earl Darius finding this Expedient the easiest and most natural to him of all the Expedients in the World; whenever he found himself upon the Place of Trial, clapped his Finger to one Nostril, and brayed with t’other, with so bewitching and so Royal an Accent, that the whole House of Nobles then present whipped off their Hats, and bowing with their Faces to the Earth, as if the Chaplain himself, or an Altar had stood in their Way, cried out with one Accord, O King Darius, live for ever. He was then taken and crowned, being first anointed, and having taken an Oath to defend the Rights of the Clergy and Convocation; the Archbishop performing the Ceremony, the Reverend Dr. Tygris reading Prayers, and the Chaplain aforesaid preaching the Sermon, which was ordered to be printed by his Majesty’s special Command; and he had the first good Living that fell.

So easily are Kingdoms earned, and by such certain Signs and Criterions does Heaven point out the Persons of Princes; who, being of Divine Institution, the Divine Will must, in the Case before us, be exceeding clearly conveyed through the Snout of a Horse, or of an Ass; a very usual Vehicle of Instruction, in all Ages and Climates!

But as every old Woman that totters under a Crown, rules or scolds, or blasphemes, or murders, or burns, by Divine Appointment; so the old Women, alias Emperors of Persia, continued to plague Mankind, and Misgovern, as Heaven’s Lieutenants, till Alexander the Great, who in the Beginning of his Reign, was indeed a King of the Masculine Gender, came with all the Violence of War, as Heaven’s Lieutenants also, to dethrone Edition: current; Page: [256] and put an End to them: For he that was strongest always happened to have the Divine Authority on his Side, contrary, and yet agreeable, to the Orthodox System.

Victrix Causa Diis placuit.

Alexander himself soon degenerated, and, before he arrived to the Flower of his Age, grew an old Woman, like the rest; became wonderfully addicted to Scolding, and doated upon nothing but fine Gowns, and Citron Water.

His immediate Successors resembled him; they were at first Men, and at last Drivelers; and, for those Kings who succeeded them, they were old Wives from their Cradles.

There never was, in all the East, a braver Race of Men than the Amazons, whose Queens were also the bravest of Kings. Tamerlane too happened to be a Prince of a Male Genius; but excepting as before excepted, there has scarce ever been known such a Character as a King in all the great Continent of Asia, tho’ abounding in Monarchs. Their frequent exercising of Craft and Cruelty does in no degree determine them Men; the same being also exercised, though in a smaller Measure, by Crocodiles, Wolves, Kites, Adders, and the like Emblems and Patterns of such Imperial old Women as play the Devil by Divine Right.

But these Royal Vermin, who sucked the Blood of their Subjects, and were the relentless Foes of Mankind, became all, in their Turn, the Booty and Vassals of the Romans, who knocked them on the Head or imprisoned them, or suffered them to enjoy a precarious and slavish Sovereignty, just as they had behaved themselves.

The Romans were a Nation of Men, and Friends to their Species, Lovers of Liberty and Despisers of Life, when these two Blessings were incompatible. They propagated Politeness and Laws; and hunted down Tyrants and Barbarity, where-ever they came. They taught Mankind to distinguish between manly Obedience, proceeding from rational Consent, which is the Allegiance of Subjects; and involuntary Submission, extorted by Edition: current; Page: [257] Fears and Force, which is the Lot and Condition of Slaves.

Their Religion was of a Piece with their Politicks, and part of them. The Civil Magistrate was either the Priest himself, or the Priest was prompted by him; and the only Piece of Priestcraft which the old Repnblican Clergy practised, was to lie laudably, by the Direction of the Magistrate, for the Good of the Common-wealth. The Hands of the Government were not tied up from encouraging publick Spirit, by the paultry Fear of alarming the Ecclesiasticks. Every Principle and every Action, which promoted their present Liberty and Prosperty, was lawful, virtuous, and religious, in the Eyes of that noble People; who had no Idea of the Encroachment of Liberty upon Religion, or of the Church’s clashing with the State, or of the Creature’s contending for Superiority with its Creator. These were Monsters yet unborn, and Absurdities as yet univented, which lived not till Liberty was dead, and till old Women succeeded Heroes.

The Romans preserved their Liberty so long as they preserved their Virtue. At last Ambition and Bribery seized the Senate House, and were followed by every evil Art and every wicked Purpose: The Corruption began at the Great, who spread it among the People, and debauched them in order to enslave them. Shews, Farces, and Masquerades, made them idle, and depending upon those who gratified them with these fine Sights and Diversions. At long run, their highest Ambition was to live and see Shews. In the End, being fully purged of all Sense of Virtue and Freedom, the whole Roman People, who had conquered the World, and polished it; they who had deposed Tyrants, and set Mankind free, became themselves an easy Prey to a Traitor of their own raising.

Men have been, and are, generally taught (from their early Youth) to admire and reverence the First Cæsar: At which I am astonished; for he was one of the most wicked and bloody Men that ever the Earth bore. He stuck at no Villany, no Vileness, no Destruction, to gain his Ends, and ruin his Country. Omnium Fæminarum Maritus, & omnium Virorum Uxor, is the least worst Character that can be given of him. If he was sometimes Edition: current; Page: [258] guilty of Mercy, it was from no Tenderness of Heart, or for any Righteous Purpose; but purely to catch Gudgeons, and make his Tyranny popular. In short, Julius Cæsar, like most other Conquerors, is entituled, in an humbler Degree, to that sort of Glory, which is due to Belzebub, for daring the Almighty, and defacing the Creation.

Those who succeeded him in the Usurpation of Rome, were for the most Part such an execrable Race of Vermin, that there is scarce any other Character to be given of them, than that Emperor and Old Woman were Terms synonymous ever afterwards.

The Empress Claudius deserves particular Notice. She left the Empire to the Administration of whatever Person happened to be most in her good Graces, for the Time being: And so sometimes her Wife was Queen, and sometimes her Footman; while the good Woman Claudius herself turned Author, and scribled, and gormandized, and got drunk, every Day of her Life. Nec temere unquam Triclinio abscessit nisi distentus & madens, says Suetonius. Just like the Learned and Valiant Monarch of another Country, I mean Queen James the First of Magnagascar; who, bating her Aversion to Tobacco, was as true an Old Woman as ever driveled, or tippled Geneva. Queen James was also a Royal Benefactor to Grubstreet, and President of the Learned Society there. She writ Books, and made Speeches, and was greatly Subject to the Looseness; which last I take to be the true Reason why the learned Queen James’s Performances smell but little of the Conjuror; seeing that it is observed by Mr. Locke in his Treatise of Education, that they who are very Loose, have seldom strong Thoughts.

Behold here, O curious Reader, a full and true Character of our present Writers upon most Subjects! even because they write with empty Bellies, or with Pills in their Bellies; and therefore our Preachers and Poets do confess, in their Productions, the Slipperiness of their Guts. Lamentable Case! that amongst all the Legions of the Learned, there is hardly to be found one shrewd Costive Fellow, except myself, and my Admirers.

This Malady of the Guts is also productive of pernicious Effects amongst Statesmen and Crown’d Heads. Edition: current; Page: [259] Her late Majesty took Physick that very Day upon which she Signed the Treaty at Utrecht; and it was observ’d that all the while it was making, her Ministry went frequently to the Little House. And indeed it is well known, that during the last Three Years of her Reign, Dr. Ar———th———t was constantly about her, either by himself, or Proxy; that is to say, either the Physician, or the Glister-Pipe was in daily Practice. The late D———of O———was taken with a strange Griping of the Guts, when he was in Flanders, which lasted all the Time he stay’d there, and was the untoward Reason why he deserted the Allies. But notwithstanding this, it is thought his late Grace would never have run away from England, had not a Right Reverend Son of the Mitre, for his own Righteous Ends, persuaded him that he looked pale, and beg’d him in all Love to take a Purge; he follow’d the Ghostly Advice; and behold its Operation! The very next Day he started from his Close stool, mounted his Horse, and gallop’d away, as fast as if Jack Ketch had been at his Heels, and never halted till he came to the Pretender, who is himself a poor Laxative Knight as ever wore a Garter, and has a Court most miserably afflicted with the Bloody-Flux.

There is a considerable King in Europe, who has been troubled with Agues, Loosnesses, and Evil Counsellors, for two or three Years: At last he was prevailed upon to take Astringents, and turn off the Cardinal; and now all is like to go well with him again.

As to ourselves; God be praised, we are blessed with a Set of Able, Costive St———s—m-n, who have not gone to Stool these three Years, except as hereafter is excepted; that is to say, when they preferred———and———and———and———and———cum multis aliis; as also when they entered into a ——— with ——— and ——— &c. as likewise when they declared that they had no Intention to repeal———; as also when they neglected to ——— and ——— and ——— and ——— and ——— and ——— and ——— and ———; as likewise when they contrived how to silence———; as also when they quarrel’d with ——— and ——— and ———; as likewise when they formed a Scheme to gain such a vast———; as also when they agreed to give up———and———; as likewise when they Edition: current; Page: [260] were entering into a Coalition and Concert with———and———and———: As also when they encouraged———and———and———and———.

Were I to go over all the Items and Exceptions, I should never have done; and so I turn my Foot into my first Path, and proceed with my Dissertation upon Old Women.

To Queen James succeeded another Queen; I mean he who was nick-named the Confessor. Like King, like Counsellors! this sucking Monarch got him a Wife, and yet went still in Leading-Strings: Mother William Laud, and Madam the Duke of Buckingham, who had been his Father’s Mistress, were his Governors, unlimited and uncontroulable.

The Kingdom grew ashamed and weary of being governed and oppressed by such a Grizzel, and so pulled her out of her Elbow-Chair, and never suffered her to set her Breech in it afterwards; tho’ she tried all Means whatsoever, sometimes scolding, sometimes beseeching, sometimes tricking, and sometimes hiring Bullies to fight for her.

After a long civil Contention for Liberty and Dominion, which I pass over in Silence, because it was between Men and Men, who do not belong to this my Subject; come we, in the next Place, to the riotous Reign of Queen Sardanapalus the IId. who neglected God and Men to drink French Wine, and play with French Harlots and Lap-Dogs. There began then to be a great Decay of Sobriety, Virtue and Manhood; and nothing triumphed but the Excise, Fornication and the Church.

After a long Reign of Luxury and Feminine Weaknesses, Queen Sardanapalus departed this Life, by the pious Assistance of the Priests and her Brother the Princess James, who mounted the Throne, and shewed herself as errant an Old Wife as ever shook a Sceptre.

She, e’er she had well broken the Coronation Oath, which she had not yet taken, taking into her serious Consideration the obvious Infirmities of her Sex and her Understanding, put herself, the first Thing she did, under the Guardianship, and absolute Direction of an old Harlot at Rome, famous for her stinking Breath, and her triple Night-cap. Then her Majesty went on, like a Creature Edition: current; Page: [261] superannuated, as she was, to play strange Pranks, some ludicrous, and some mischievous. She worshipped Wafers, pretended to devour her Mediator, and claimed a Right to eat up her People. Nobody would take her Bond for a Groat; and she herself owned that her Oath was not worth a Rush. As she was an Old Woman herself, so she acted by Old Women; and particularly, she got a Jewry of Old Wives in Long Coats and Coifs, to pronounce a Verdict, that she might lawfully and innocently do what Mischief and Wickedness the would: And so said the Sacred Sisters of the Surplice; alledging that every Old Gentlewoman wearing a Crown, had a Divine Charter from God to resemble Satan as much as she pleased.

Queen James, encouraged by all these fine Speeches, let loose his Inclinations, and devilized with all his Might. But, as he was driving furiously over the Life and Limb of every Subject that stood in his Way, without any Resistance, which was prohibited by the Convocation, he unadvisedly galloped over a Nest of the Wayward Sisters aforesaid, and took away the Articles of their Club. This hurt and provoked them damnably. For, though they are the most patient Creatures upon Earth, when Evil befalls others; and will upon that Occasion urge the Sanctity of Submission, with wonderful Zeal; yet such is their mortal Antipathy to Suffering in their own Persons, that, upon any Trial of that Kind, they seem to be the only People upon the Globe, to whom God has given least of the Grace of Resignation.

Queen James now found that this was their true Spirit. For, though they had themselves pointed out to him the very High Road to Oppression; yet no sooner had he given them a Royal Gripe, but they set up their Apostolick Throats, and yelled so loud, that they were heard all over the Kingdom, and roused the Multitude from all Quarters to their Assistance; that very Multitude, whom they had, a few Days before, been infatuating into the Disposition and Acquiescence of Slaves, they had now the Art and the Impudence to animate into Rebels, in their own Sense of the Word.

The manly Part of the Nation, and Lovers of Liberty, cook Advantage of the Phrenzy of the Prince, and the Edition: current; Page: [262] Animosity of the Wayward Sisters, to frighten Queen James into a Nunnery, and to set a King upon the Throne; the only One they had seen there, since the Days of King Bess, of manly Memory.

The Wayward Sisters, finding that they had now in Reality got a King over them, and not a Queen under them; which last had been their Lot and Felicity for near a Hundred Years; and perceiving withal that the King would not kneel to them, or put his Power and Scepter into their Hands; they grew devilish outrageous and turbulent. The first Thing they did, in their Anger, was to vote themselves forsworn; for, slap-dash, they stripped the King at one Pull, of his Divine Right, and made a Present of it to the excluded Queen James, from whom they had also rent it in their Wrath, a Month or two before.

But, in Spite of their Craft, and Disloyalty, the King kept his Crown; and in Spite of his Mercy and Merit, they preserved their Aversion and Malignity.

A Queen came next; and, with her, Prosperity and a Kingly Government, for several Years; which once more disappointed and provoked the Wayward Sisters, who yelped as bitterly as ever; but yelped unheard, till her Majesty grew old and into a Resemblance of her Ancestors; and then all Things went Topsy-turvey, and the Wayward Sisters flourished and rejoiced. But just as they were in full Cry, and daily Expectation of their Hereditary Old Woman from Abroad, the other at Home drop’d, before they could bring it to pass; and the Kingdom got a King a Second Time, and still keeps him, notwithstanding all the Struggles, and Sedition, and Praying, and Counter praying, and Preaching, and Drinking, and Lying, and Swearing, and Forswearing of the Wayward Sisters, in order to send him Home again.

It is indeed agreeable to the Ambition and Self-love of the Wayward Sisters to hate Kings; for a Monarch that resolves to be a Man, will never put himself under the Dominion of Old Women, nor gratify their Spleen: Whereas, when a Queen Reigns, the Wayward Sisters are all Kings. Behold the Reason of their present Rage! The present Monarch does not touch their Roast, nor their Boil’d; their Sack, nor their Sherry; their Copy-Holds, nor their Peter-Pence. On the contrary, he gives Edition: current; Page: [263] them all good Usage and Encouragement, he prefers the Worthy, and is not severe to the Worthless. But all this pleases not the Wayward Sisters They cannot impose upon their Prince, nor piss upon the Laws, nor oppress the People, nor prey upon Scrupulous Consciences, nor be forsworn with Success. These are their great Grievances; or, if they have greater, I wish they would produce them. If his Majesty would but please to condescend to their modest Demands, and be led, like their Pupil, or driven like their Property; he might make Beggars or Bacon of his Subjects, and welcome: Nay, Divine Authority would be belied, and Scripture misquoted, to support him in it. But as he behaves himself at present, he will never be the Favourite of the Wayward Sisters.

I have thus, with great Labour of Body and Brain, searched into the Records of Time, and given my attentive Reader an edifying Abstract of Universal History, of which I have shewn Old Women to have been the Principal Heroes. If we look now into the Disputes and Transactions between Nation and Nation, we shall assuredly find that they ever prevailed, or miscarried, according as they employed Men or Old Women in the Management of their Affairs Civil and Military.

And not to go too far backward in this Disquisition, let us only remember with what a different Spirit and Success the Affairs of France were conducted by that Court Forty Years ago, from what the Affairs of another Court were, which shall be nameless: And the Reason lay here; The French Ministers wore Beards, and the B--t-sh Ministers wore Petticoats; choice Guardians of the Nation! Who, whilst they were supported in their Avarice and Merry-makings, from St. Germain’s, cared not what became of their Country, or of Europe, or of Christianity.

In the Matters of Peace and War, the Case is just the same. In the last War, for Example, against France, a Male General was employed, and under him a Race of Men; and they hewed down all Opposition: Neither Stone-Walls, nor Entrenchments, nor Numbers, nor the Danger of the Church could stand before them: Nor could Rivers or Louis-d’Ors retard their Bravery. They stormed Towns, they routed Armies, they eat Fire, and Edition: current; Page: [264] did every Thing with a Masculine Air: Alas! what were a Hundred Thousand French Girls, whether Nuns or Soldiers, in their Hands? And for Half a Score Mareschals of France, they considered them as only so many dancing Old Women on Horseback, with Feathers in their Caps, and Distaffs in their Hands, who never missed being kicked Head over Heels, and sent to Paris to get their Wigs new-powdered; which yet did not mend the Matter.

It is thought, if the War had continued, that Madame de Maintenon would have headed the Army in Flanders, and recruited it with several antiquated Belles, and the Nymphs of St. Cyr: This filled all the Heroes at Versailles with burning Envy, and they all brigued against her going: But it is thought that all their Politicks would have failed them, had they not luckily represented to the Grand Monarch, who was every Day growing Less, the Invincible Louis, who was every Day beaten, the Immortal Man, who was dangerously Ill of a Fistula; that if he made his Old Nurse a General, he would have no Body to tend his Issue behind. This made great Impression upon him; and so Goody Villars was appointed Commander in Chief, instead of Goody Scarron. As soon as she came into the Field, she gave out scolding Speeches how she would do several Womanly Exploits. But she was well paid for her prating, and forced to run to save her Life.

This was the unequal Strife during the Course of the War between Swords and Distaffs. But when Things began to look towards an Accommodation, the Tables were quite turned. France which hitherto had sent old Wives for Warriors, appointed Now vigourous Men for her Negociators: And another Kingdom, which, to its deathless Glory, had employed Heroes to fight, did to its endless Infamy, employ old Women to treat; wretched toothless, impotent Old Women, who, had their Luck been of a Size with their Brains, must have born the Parish Badge! The lively and ingenious John of Lapland, and the able and accomplished Thomas Lord Spellwell, are a Brace of hopeful Statesmen! And yet with all their Zeal and humble Compliances, they had not the common Capacity to sell the Honour of their Country, even Edition: current; Page: [265] after others had brought it to Market for them, without the Assistance of Prompters.

To come now, towards the End, to speak of my own Country, of which I have not hitherto said one Word; I am sorry to say, that the Increase of Old Women grows marvelously great amongst us. It is moreover grievous to consider, by what heavy and contemptible Instruments this shameful Change is wrought. Lo! our Evil cometh from the dull Heart of the City, and we are enchanted by a stupid Kennel of Stock-Jobbers, who cheat us out of our Money and our Sex, and then stand God-fathers to us, and, by way of tender Derision, christen us Bubbles!

Let us, my Brethren and Countrymen, either properly and patiently put on Petticoats; or resume our Manhood, and shake off this shameful Delusion, this filthy Yoke, put upon our Necks by dull Rogues from Jonathan’s; plodding Dunces! who carry their Souls, if they have any, in their Pockets; and who, if you take them out of the Alley, have not the Understanding of Carmen, nor the Agreeableness of Baboons.

I shall conclude this light Paper with some Thoughts of a grave Nature, and dwell for Two or Three Pages, upon a Subject which gives me infinite Delight; I mean, the present Concord between St. James’s and Leicesterfields.

An Essay upon the late Union of the Whig-Chiefs.

THE Reconciliation of our Two Courts is of such happy Consequence to the Nation, and the Royal Family, as must be highly pleasing to all Men who love either. Differences of this kind are nothing rare; but they generally have publick ill Consequences, and weaken the Hands, and embarrass the Wheels of Government. I thank God, the late one has produced more Coldness than Violence, and more Talk than Terror. Edition: current; Page: [266] It is to be presumed, that nothing was done on either Side during the Breach, which may occasion painful Pangs, or angry Reflections, now it is cured. I doubt not but the Union is as sincere, as I wish it lasting.

Tho’ I always looked upon the late Misunderstanding as a great Evil; yet, now it is past, I do not know whether some Good may not come of it. It will have shewn the Whigs that they are much mistaken, if upon every Fit of Spleen or Disgust, they think to meet a Resource among the Tories, who are not used to give any Quarter, much less Shelter to Men who will but part with a Piece of their Principle. He who goes over to them, must not go halting. If they have a Mind to go to Rome, or the Pretender; it is not enough that you do not oppose them, or even that you wish them a good Journey: If you do not go along with them, and accompany them to the very last Stage, you do nothing. A Vote and a Speech now and then will not serve them; they must have all your Votes, and all your Speeches, otherwise you will never be loved nor trusted

It will also have taught the Tories, that the Whigs, however divided, are still too many for them, and can subsist without sneaking Compliances, or dangerous Coalitions with them. There have been but few Instances, of late, where they have been suffered to exert that Spirit of Oppression, which is inseparable from them; and fewer, I hope, of their being offered Seats near the Helm. The Principle of a Whig, and that of a Jacobite, are so opposite and hererogeneous, that there can be no other Mixture or Comprehension between them, but that of the One’s devouring the Other. Every other Project for reconciling them, is Madness or Knavery, and there is not at present the least possible Pretence for it; which I take to be none of the least Blessings attending the present Agreement.

The Whig Interest is again united, and for ought I know, the more strongly for having been disunited. It is therefore a happy and unexceptionable Season for doing all those necessary publick-spirited Things, which are wanting for the Establishment of Whiggism, but which were prevented by the late Rupture. I hope it will now be enquir’d, whether our Universities are not the very Edition: current; Page: [267] Sinks of Sedition, and of every wicked Principle; and whether enjoying as they do, at the Nation’s Cost, Eare and Abundance, they do not pay the Nation, in return, with disaffected, slavish Doctrines, and poisoned Youth. Let the Universities remain but unpurged, and the Jacobites may sneer in our Face at every other Scheme of ours for our Security.

Princes are always respected Abroad, in proportion to their Strength at Home. It is not to be doubted but this our Domestick Unanimity will raise our foreign Credit still higher, and make the Peace with Spain, which seems to linger, go on with greater Alacrity and Ease; and it is reasonably hoped, that hereafter we shall be more upon the Square with our good Allies, both in the Administrations of War, and in the Negotiations of Peace, than our Circumstances have hitherto suffered us to be.

I therefore congratulate my Countrymen upon the present happy Pacification and Unanimity. It will make us considerable to our Friends, and formidable to our Foes. It will enable us to avow, protect, and encourage every publick Principle; and leave us without Excuse, if we disown or neglect it. It will render every Opposition impotent, and every Shift and Procrastination scandalous. It will serve to shew, whether our past Omissions and Trimmings were founded upon real Weakness, or sleeveless Pretences; and whether we wanted Power or Inclinations to bid Defiance to Craft and Corruption. Here are publick Grievances, and here is a Call and an Opportunity to redress them. Here are Enemies in our Bosom, and here is a fit Occasion and Capacity to quell and disarm them———If we are in Earnest, the Success is sure. In this Case to succeed well, is only to mean well; and nothing but selfish personal Regards, can obstruct the publick Good, which therefore, we hope, will not be obstructed at all.

We may presume, that no Man, who calls himself a Whig, will make Delay or Difficulty, to come roundly into every Scheme which will bring Advantage to his Country, and Honour to himself; we may particularly expect that no Man who bears that Character, will oppose or postpone the Scouriug of those Nests of Pedants, who sill the Kingdom with Locusts and Disloyalty; who, Edition: current; Page: [268] by their execrable Positions and Example, have dissolved all the Ties of Conscience and common Honesty; who have sanctified the hellish Sin of Perjury, and tacked Fame and Reputation to Sedition and Rebellion. They have been heaving at our Constitution, railing at Liberty Civil and Religious, and poisoning the Nation Time out of Mind: So that I cannot see how we can any longer neglect putting a Stop to this popular Contagion, without giving up the first Law of Nature, that of Self-Preservation and Self-Defence.

The Prospect I have of the Cure of this great Evil, gives me Joy, as the Continuance of it has often given me Sadness; and I amuse myself with the certain Expectation of a new and agreeable Scene. What I have said may probably appear warm Language; but it is intirely the Effect of publick Spirit, and of my own private Judgment. God knows, I have no personal Animosity towards these Men, who, as to their Morals, deserve Pity; and as to their Genius and Productions, are below Contempt: And as to their Income and Circumstances, no Body envies them their Plenty and Idleness; nor are we demanding a Reformation of Gluttony and Laziness. All that we contend for is, the taking away of their Stings; we will tolerate them to be Drones, but cannot allow them to turn our World upside down.

Considerations offered upon the approaching Peace, and upon the Importance of Gibraltar to the British Empire, being the Second Part of the Independant Whig.
Anno 1720.

THE former Part of the Independent Whig appeared abroad about the Time the Peerage Bill made its Exit in the House of Commons: What were the secret Motives Edition: current; Page: [269] for that Bill, or what hopeful Ends were to have been served by it, I do not pretend to explain, nor indeed, for the Ease of my own Mind, do I care to guess; because it is a Case of Conscience with me, and a standing Maxim, to speak no Ill of the Deceased; I shall therefore only say with Mr. Dryden, De mortuis nil nisi bonum; Peace be with the Manes of the Bill.

I am willing to think there was no Intention to engage us in a Northern War, in order to serve Purposes directly in the Teeth of the Act of Settlement of the Crown; or if there was any such, I am persuaded it is now laid aside, and therefore I have also laid aside my Purpose of considering the Consequences of such a War, as I promised in my last.

The Age of killing Monsters is long since past and gone, and there lives now neither a Hercules nor a Theseus, to subdue Hydra’s and Dragons; and I should be sorry to see my Countrymen revive those Ages of Knight Errantry, and arrive at such a Degree of Quixotism, as to range over the World in quest of Adventures, and to become the Righters of Wrongs, and Redressers of Injuries, through the whole Universe.

It would indeed be a greater Piece of Romantick Gallantry, than any those fabulous Heroes ever undertook, for a Nation living at so great a Distance, to throw away an Advantageous Trade, and engage in an impracticable War against a Power guarded two Thirds of the Year with Ice and Snow, fortified with impregnable Towns, which will be covered with numerous Armies, and no ways to be attacked but with Troops marching from distant Countries, without Magazines, without Forage, and without Pay, unless WE supply them; and this too without any Prospect of Advantage accruing to ourselves, but only to serve the Interests of another State, and to preserve a Country of no Concern to us; the whole Value of which, if every Foot of Ground in it was to be sold, would probably not pay the Charge and Losses of one Year’s War.

As this is too wild a Thought to enter into the Mind of any English Man, so I conceive it unnecessary at present to say any more of it; and therefore I have in this Second Part considered a Question which is more the Object of our present Hopes and Fears, viz. What would be the Consequence Edition: current; Page: [270] of delivering up Gibraltar upon any Consideration whatsoever.

I design to continue this Paper weekly, in a Half-Sheet, which will first appear on Wednesday, the 20th Day of this Month, in which I shall meddle with Politicks only occasionally, my principal Intention being to expose the Malignity and Danger of certain Principles, which prevail too much, and I wish I could not say, are too little discouraged.

I hope in this Undertaking I shall be suffered to build up with the same Impunity with which others are suffered to pull down.

I own there are Methods, which, if practised, would prove much more effectual than mine, and root out that Disease which I can only resist. In the mean time it shall be my Care to shew the Necessity of some such Methods, by shewing the Danger we are in while we want them. When Doctrines are avowedly spread, that strike at the Peace and Liberty of Mankind, it is the undoubted Right, and Duty of every Man, to guard himself and others against them; and it is as much the Duty of Governors to preserve their Subjects from the Contagion of such destructive Principles, as from Force and Invasions.

The Felicity of the People is the End of Magistrates; and all Arts and Practices that lessen that Felicity, call for their Correction and Cure. Now I defy the Wit of Man to reconcile the Happiness of the World to many of our High Flying Tenets; on the contrary, where-ever they prevail, I will undertake to shew, That the severest Misery, even brutish Ignorance, abject Slavery, Poverty and Wickedness, do also prevail. I never looked upon an armed Host to be half so terrible as an Army of aspiring Ecclesiasticks. The former may be repulsed by Strength and Bravery, which signify nothing against the latter, who make your own Heart conspire against you, by filling it with false Terrors. Dominion is the Word, Servitude the Duty, and Damnation the Penalty.

Till therefore our Superiors shall be at leisure to put a final Stop to the Growth of those Principles that infatuate the Multitude, and undermine our Constitution, I, who am so unfashionable a Man as to have more Concern for the Publick, than Consideration for myself stand up an Advocate Edition: current; Page: [271] for the Rights of Mankind, to expose those Claims that contradict Reason and the Gospel, and bring Contempt upon the Clergy.

I confess this Subject has been largely discussed by several Hands, who were equal to the Undertaking, and made Truth triumph over Falshood. Foremost in the List (or in any other that could be made on this Occasion) stands the Bishop of Bangor, a Champion for Truth, and a sore Adversary to all that have been hers. His Enemies have confessed their Impotence and Defeat in their Recourse to Invention and Calumny; and have attacked his Reasoning; and his Reputation, with equal ill Fortune and Malice. Notwithstanding which, they have gone on, and still go on, and neither Modesty, Remorse, Shame, nor the Reflection upon their own repeated Oaths and Subscriptions, can deter them from spreading their Poison every Day, in every Place, and upon every Occasion. So that they make it necessary to repeat the Antidote, otherwise they will call Silence Conviction, and interpret a Contempt of them and their wild Performances, to be an Acknowledgment of their wild Principles.

I am far from pretending to equal, much less mend, what his Lordship has done. But my Design is to start new Topicks, strike out new Tracts, and throw the same Subject into new Lights; in doing which, I shall frequently use a Freedom, and manner of Stile not common, perhaps not permitted to Men in Holy Orders.

I hope to give the Dispute a new Turn, and instead of a long Train of consequential Arguments, to reduce it to a few self-evident Propositions, which I shall endeavour occasionally to embellish with agreeable Incidents: The Reverend, Right Reverend, or most Reverend Doctor, shall wear a a Fool’s Cap if he deserves it, though it happens to be a Cardinal’s: Besides, many will read a Half-Sheet who will not read a Volume.

In this great Undertaking I hope to have Aid from some better Hands, and as the Subject is now pretty well understood, I expect, and shall be ready to receive any casual Assistance that may be sent me, reserving to myself the Liberty of altering (if it require Alteration) and adapting it to my own Design, of which I must be allowed to be the properest Edition: current; Page: [272] Judge. Whoever therefore would correspond with me, may direct to the Independent Whig, at Mr. Roberts’s the Publisher in Warwick-Lane.

As to the Propagation and Success of the Weekly Paper abovementioned, I can do no more than bestow upon it my chief Labour and Study; and for other Helps and Support, it must rely on those who like it.

I hope no one will think me so foolish as to expect Encouragement from those who ought to give it, and as I do not pretend to bear the Charge of Printing such a Paper myself, so the Continuance of it must depend upon the Encouragement it receives from Abroad.

AS the Dismission of Cardinal Alberoni from the Court and Councils of the King of Spain, and the Hopes of an approaching Peace, engage the Thoughts and Wishes of every Man in England, who has any Love for his Country, or laments the present State of our Debts and Taxes; so I esteem it not only the Right, but the Duty of every honest Man, to offer to his Superiors such Considerations as he conceives may render the Peace advantageous, and make us some Recompence for the Profusion of Wealth it has cost the Nation, at a Time too when we were loaded with so many Millions of Debts.

It will be a Sevice also to the present Ministry, by wiping off any malicious Charge, if any such there be, of their having run into an unadvised and foolish War. If the War was necessary (without which it is inexcusable, notwithstanding the great and surprizing Success which we have had in it) no doubt the Conditions of Peace will be suitable, and demonstrate, that without a War, we could not have had them. What we gain by the Peace will justify the Expences of the War; and we shall have new Advantages of Trade, and new Fortresses and Securities to defend those Advantages. If we have not Possession given us of some Ports in the West-Indies, the Island of Majorca ought at least to be added, for the Support of Port Mahon, and a competent Tract of Land ought to be annexed to Gibraltar, for the Convenience and Maintenance of the Garrison, as is usual in like Edition: current; Page: [273] Cases, and ought to have been done at first. At present they have not a Foot of Ground about it, either for Gardens or Pasture, but they are coop’d up within their Stone Walls, and left to make the best of their enclosed Rock.

Without such Conditions and Securities all Treaties signify nothing, and may, and probably will be broken as soon as made. Here we can expect no help from Allies and Guarantees, who will always emulate, and privately conspire against the great Naval Power, and growing Trade of England, which is the Envy and Terror of the World.

I would indeed be glad to know what Advantages, or even Performance of Articles England has ever received from her good Allies? ’Tis true they have often done us the Favour to accept of our Help when they wanted it; and I am told, some of them have threatened to accept it no more, unless we give it them upon their own Terms. But pray, how has the Favour been return’d to us? What has the Emperor done for us, in Recompence for all we have done, and are still doing for him? Unless in the Help he gave us last Year against the Pretender and his Madam. Or what Assistance have the Dutch afforded us in this Expensive, and as we are told, necessary War? Have they not eat the Bread of Quietness and Security, while we have been running into Perils and Battles for them and all Europe? They have lain still, easing their Country of publick Burthens, whilst we have been encreasing ours; they have grown Rich by the Trade which we have lost, and, ’tis said, have even supplied our Enemies with the Materials of War, to fight against us. And yet ’tis certain, that they are as much (if not more) interested in the Balance of Europe than we are, as they are nearer the Danger, and have not Seas to guard them. As to the Balance of Power in the North, they are much more concerned than we, not only as their Trade thither is vastly greater than ours, but as they have no other Source of Naval Stores; whereas very little Wit and Honesty would supply us with all we want from our own Plantations. Whilst we have been wasting our Strength, and our Substance, and losing our Traffick, they have lain still, and continue to lye still, accepting, Edition: current; Page: [274] and returning Compliments from, and to the Courts of Spain and of the Czar, and are just ready to receive all the Advantages of the Russian Trade (which at the Revolution they were in full Possession of) whenever we shall be mad or foolish enough to throw it away. And what Assistance these our kind Allies gave us in the first Rebellion against his present Majesty, and in the late terrible Spanish Invasion, we shall be better informed, when the Accounts relating to that Affair are fully stated and balanced.

Sure we shall not be always the Cullies of Britain! Our Allies must and will make us some Amends at last, for all which we have done for them; and they have now an Opportunity of doing it, by getting for us some of those Advantages which they have received from our Friendship.

It was an old Observation of Philip de Comines, concerning us Englishmen, That we have ever lost by our Heads what we have gained by our Hands, and have always given up by Treaty what we had won by the Sword. The Reason which he gives for this is a very good one. He says, That all our great Men were in Pension to the Kings of France. Monsieur de Witt does perhaps mean something like this, when he says, That our Court has been always the most thievish Court in Europe. However, I do not find but that whatever Bargains our Ministers made for, or rather of, their Country, they generally made very good ones for themselves, at least to the best of their Skill. Dunkirk was not delivered for nothing, nor, I dare say, the last Peace made without the Contrivers finding their own Account in it, whatever their Country suffered.

But these Things are pass’d and gone, and God has now sent us a Ministry who will mend all those Faults which they were the first to condemn. The Interest of the Publick is their Interest. They have no secret Purposes to serve by dark and shameful Treaties. They have no new Revolutions to bring about, nor can they disgust their own Party by acting freely and boldly for the Good of their Country, which is not the Case of the Heads of another Party. In fine, they have no desperate Game to play, to defend them from the Effects of desperate Edition: current; Page: [275] Measures, nor have they, like the others, been trapanned and outwitted by France, nor have ungenerous Advantages been taken of their Credulity, when they had engaged themselves and their Country beyond Retreat.

We may therefore well expect that our present Peace-Makers will, by the Advantages which they procure for us, reproach the Neglect, Ignorance, and Treachery of the last. There is nothing that the most sanguine Imagination can form, which we may not hope at the ensuing Treaty, from the singular Part which we have taken in this War. We struck the first Blow, and have ever since pursued it with great Ardor and Expence. We have beaten and destroyed the Enemies Fleets, insomuch that the poor Remains of their great naval Strength can, at present, do no more than skulk in their Ports, and hide themselves in Corners. We have procured noble Advantages, and even Kingdoms to our Allies. Add to this, that we entered single into the Strife and the Danger. The Regent indeed moved to our Aid a good while after, and the Dutch not at all, tho’, as has been before observed, more than equally engaged by all the Ties and Motives which could engage us, at least by all those which we have yet avowed.

How absurd therefore is it, for any one to surmise or fear, that we should receive the Conditions which we ought to give, purchase a Reconciliation at the Price of all our Victories, and buy a Peace when we may command it?

It is an undeniable Instance of the Innocence of our great Men, and of their Contempt of the poor Efforts of their Enemies Malice, that they took not the least notice of a Pamphlet published last Year with a pompous Title; it was called, The King of France’s Declaration of War, &c. which directly undertakes, in Pages the 29th and 34th, to procure from the King of England the Restitution of Gibraltar to Spain.

They knew very well that so wild a Calumny could make no Impression upon any judicious Man, and they laugh’d at the Simplicity and Malice of others, and gave them leave to play with their own Folly: They knew very well that a Fortress conquered by the Fleets and Edition: current; Page: [276] Armies, by the Blood and Treasure of England, and solemnly yielded up by Treaty made with England, became Part of the English Dominions, and subject to the Legislative Power of England, and could not be disannexed but by Act of Parliament; and consequently, any Agreement to deliver up such a Fort to an Enemy, is High Treason within the Statute of the 25th of Edward the Third; and to give it to any one else, is one of those High Treasons reserved by that Act for the Judgment of Parliament.

They knew too that no Pocket Agreement is of any Force in England; that we are bound by no Treaties but what are solemnly entered upon Record; and every one might satisfy himself that there was no such there.

However, as the bare mentioning of such a Thing, though without the least Ground, has Thunderstruck many honest, though timorous Men, I shall endeavour to undeceive them, by shewing, it is impossible that any virtuous and wise Ministry, as we all know ours are, can ever hereafter fall into any Measures so fatal to their Country; and this I shall do, by shewing, the Advantage and Importance of that Port to the Sovereignty of the Seas.

The Town of Gibraltar is built upon a Rock which reaches a League into the Sea, and was formerly called one of the Pillars, or the ne plus ultra of Hercules. It is joined to Spain by a small Neck of Land, which being narrow and plain, may be easily cut through and separated from the Continent, so as to form the whole into an Island; and it is undoubtedly true, that a Mole may be made at a moderate Expence, capable of holding Thirty large Men of War.

It lies within a few Leagues of Tangier, in Africa, and commands the Mouth of the Streights. It sees all Ships that sail from the Mediterranean to the Ocean, and thither, and consequently makes it impracticable for any other Nation to Trade there without our leave, but by the Protection of such Fleets and Convoys as will make any Trade unprofitable; at the same Time it protects our own Traffick, and furnishes Store-houses either for War or Commerce, and a convenient Place of Refreshment to our Ships in their Voyages to and from Africa, Edition: current; Page: [277] Italy, the Levant, and sometimes the East and West-Indies.

It gives us the Means of carrying on a private and advantageous Commerce with Spain, notwithstanding all the Prohibitions they can make, or Precautions they can use. It lies at Hand to intercept their East and West-India Fleets with the Spoil and Riches of both Worlds: It separates and divides Spain from itself, and hinders all Communication by Sea from the different Parts of their Dominions, and consequently must keep them in a perpetual Dependance, and put them under a Necessity to court our Friendship, as well as fear our Enmity: It gives us an Opportunity to pry into all their Measures, observe all their Motions, and, without the most stupid Remisness on our Parts, renders it impracticable for them to form any Projects, or carry on any Expeditions against us, or our Allies, without our having due Notice.

It destroys any Attempts to Naval Power in France, which can never be formidable at Sea, whilst Gibraltar remains in our Hands. It hinders the Communication between their Ports and Squadrons in the Ocean and the Mediterrancan: It makes it impossible for them to supply their Southern Harbours with Naval Stores either for Building or Repairing of Fleets; of which they were so sensible last War, that as soon as Sir George Rook had possessed himself of it, they saw themselves under a Necessity to lay aside their usual Caution, and dare him in open Battle, and not meeting the Success they hoped for, the very same Year, to the unspeakable Prejudice of their other Affairs, besieged it in Form, aud lost a French and Spanish Army before it, and never afterwards appeared with a Fleet upon the Seas again during the whole War, but suffered their great Ships to moulder and rot in their Harbours, for want of the Means to fit them out again.

It will give us Reputation and Figure in those Seas, which are always rewarded with Power and Riches. It will oblige all Nations who Trade in the Mediterranean, or have Empire there, to court our Friendship, and keep Measures with us. It will Awe even the Courts of Rome and Constantinople, and make them afraid to disturb or provoke us. It will intimidate the Piratical States, who Edition: current; Page: [278] when they see Vengeance so near at Hand, will not dare to disturb our Trade, whilst they are destroying that of all others. These Advantages are immense, and will give us all the Carriage Trade of the Mediterranean, whose Merchants must make use of our Ships when they find it not safe to venture in any other.

But we are told, the keeping it is a great Charge to us. Strange surprizing Instance of our new Frugality, and good Husbandry! That we, who for Thirty Years together have rioted in Millions, and ’till Heaven bless’d us with the present Ministry, never minded what we gave, nor to whom; we, who drain’d the Exchequer, and mortgaged the Nation, should now, from a Principle of Saving, sacrifice the sole Fruit of all our Expences to prevent a Charge, which is but equal to that of a few Useless Pensions! Thank Heaven, from lavishing Millions, we are grown Thrifty in Pounds, Shillings and Pence.

But how comes it to pass that this was not thought on before? We have been at a prodigious Expence in supplying it with Garrisons, with Military Stores, with Provisions, and in defending it against a vigorous Siege; All which might have been saved, and without doubt very many Advantages, and a round Sum (besides the Contractors licking their own Fingers) might have been stipulated for the Nation, if the least Hint had been given that it was to be disposed of.

However, I own good Husbandry never comes too late, and I hope it will go a little further, and that we shall contract the Publick Expences of all kinds, cut off and retrench unnecessary Offices, Salaries and Pensions, pay off, or lessen the publick Engagements, and rescue the People from the Oppressions of their rigorous Debts and Payments, which have near exhausted the Vitals of the Nation, and without a speedy Remedy, will soon bring it into an incurable Consumption.

It is alledged that Port Mahon will answer all the Purposes of Gibraltar, and therefore there can be no Use in keeping them both. The contrary to which must be evident to any one who but looks into the Map, for the Island Minorca lies many Hundred Miles further up towards the Gulph of Lyons, and in Truth, out of the Road of all Ships Trading to Sicily, the Adriatick, the Edition: current; Page: [279] Levant, or Africa. It is situated at such a distance from France and Spain, that the greatest Fleets can escape unobserved, unless we keep perpetually before their Ports to watch and pursue them, which is exceeding dangerous, if not impracticable in those Seas. We shall be out of the Way of all Intelligence, and if we should by chance have it, in all likelihood shall be too late to take Advantage of it; besides, I am told, there are but few Winds with which Ships can get in or out of Port Mahon, and, when they are once there, the Passage is so narrow that a very small Squadron can keep the greatest from sailing out.

But I think nothing is plainer, than that it will be exceeding difficult, if not impossible, to keep the Island of Minorca without the Possession of Gibraltar, at least it will be more expensive to us than both are now; especially if France and Spain should join again; which Event, I think, we ought to keep always in View, for then Gibraltar will be the only Resource we have to carry on any Trade in the Mediterranean, and to prevent the Union of the French and Spanish Fleets with themselves or each other.

All the Objections (and many more) which I have before made, against the facility of a Communication of the different Ports of France and Spain with one another, will be stronger against us; for they have others, near to Gibraltar, where Fleets may lie safe, and have a chance to escape us, by catching at favourable Opportunities, and the Advantage of Winds; whereas we must run all Hazards, and trust to our Strength alone, without any Harbour to retreat to, in case of Storms or other Accidents.

What Means have we of sending Naval Stores and Recruits to our Garrisons, and often Provisions for them, without a Port to protect us during a Thousand Leagues Sailing? Portugal will not be suffered to receive or relieve us, and then we must run the Gantlet by single Ships, with scarce a Chance to escape, or send Convoys upon the smallest Occasions, capable of fighting the united French and Spanish Power; which will be attended with such Difficulties as must be allowed unanswerable Edition: current; Page: [280] Arguments in the Mouths of a corrupt Ministry to sell that too, when a fair Chapman appears.

But it is not only my own Opinion, but that of much better Judges, that these Two important Posts might be kept with little Charge to England, even without ballancing the Advantages we receive by them: Methinks it should be worth the Thoughts and Leisure of a British Parliament to ask a few Questions concerning them, (viz.) Upon what Foundation they stand? What becomes of their Revenues? Whether applied to the Benefit of their Governors, or to the Publick? What Protection the People there meet with, and what Civil Government is established amongst them, and how the Military interferes with it? I doubt not but these Questions will be answered to Satisfaction, and the Directors of our Affairs, when the publick Occasions will give them leave to open their Schemes, have Proposals ready to lay before our Representatives, which will make those Towns, and the Island belonging to one of them, as useful to the Publick as they have been hitherto to their Governors, and some others. I am persuaded, if they were made Free Ports, where all Nations might find Encouragement and Security, they would soon grow so Rich and Powerful, as in a great Measure to pay for their own Protection. Gibraltar lies much more fortunately for Trade than Leghorn, which stands out of the Way, and in a Corner; and yet, I am told, the single Advantage of a Free Port renders that Town one of the greatest Articles in the Grand Duke’s Revenue.

This is the Circumstance, these the Advantages of our keeping the Possession of Gibraltar. Our Enemies, and our Allies too, know them, and, I doubt, dread them; and, I thank God, the Nation knows them. And that we could have had no tolerable Success in the last or present War without this Town, therefore I cannot suspect that so wise and honest a Ministry will take any such Step without the Advice of Parliament.

We ought not to be suprized if the Nations of Europe and Africa should wish it in Hands less potent at Sea, and who would consequently enjoy it more harmlesly to its Neighbours: It must be undoubtedly terrible to any People who would be our Rivals in Trade or Naval Edition: current; Page: [281] Power, or indeed to any State that aspires to Empire, which can never be accomplished without Fleets as well as Armies.

But sure we are not fallen into such Contempt with our Enemies, our Neighbours, or our Allies, nor can they have so mean an Opinion of our Sense and Discernment, and the Integrity of our Statesmen, as but to hint such a Thing to them.

If we part with Gibraltar, to what Purpose have we made War? To what Purpose bestowed great Sums, and gained great Victories? Have we beat the Enemy, and forced them to beg Peace, and yet must bribe them to accept of it? Have we conquered, and shall they give Terms, and get Towns by losing Battles? Or, if we do not part with Gibraltar for the sake of Peace, pray what Consideration are we to receive for the sake of Gibraltar? Sure we do not make War only for our Allies, and leave our Allies to make Peace for us; and Peace, and War, are not both made at our Costs and Charges.

We have given no Jealousy or Offence to our Allies, in applying any Part of our Force to the West Indies, or in seizing and planting Countries there, as the French have done, but have acted a faithful, expensive, and hazardous Part for our Allies; and while our Ships of War have been employed for them, our Merchant Ships have fallen by Scores into the Hands of Pirates, for want of sufficient Convoys. Our whole Guinea Trade has been lost this Year by that Means, there being, as I am told, not one Man of War to spare, from the Service of the Confederates, to defend it. Our Trade in every other Branch of it, suffers not a little from this Fidelity of ours to our Foreign Friends. I say nothing of the present State of our Manufactures, and of our Poor; it is too mournful and too manifest.

Has any English Ministry ever presumed to propose to the King to deliver up the Dutchies of Bremen and Verden in Order to procure a Peace in the North, to settle the so much desired Balance of Power there, and to prevent the Charge to England of sending out annual Fleets at a very great Expence? And yet, it is said, his Majesty, before the last Treaty with Sweden, pretended no Edition: current; Page: [282] Title to those Countries, but a Mortgage from a Prince, who had no other himself than Conquest. And dares any one to propose to a British King the delivering up to a baffled and subdued Enemy, the most important Place in the World to the Trade and Naval Empire of England, the Key of the Mediterranean, the Terror of our Enemies, and the best Pledge of new Friendships, and this too after we have undoubted Title to it, to which those Nations are Guarantees, who have the greatest Interest to wrest it out of our Hands?

But to whom shall this great and most important Concession be made? Not to a provoked, vanquished, and inveterate Enemy, to enable him to revenge the Affronts he has received: It cannot be in Compliment to the Emperor, for whom we are conquering Kingdoms and Provinces; nor to the Dutch, who would not move to our Assistance, but have laid still taking Advantage of our Misfortunes, and enjoying the Fruits of our Labour and Expences: Much less can we suppose it should be done in Favour of France.

I confess there are many Reasons why they should desire it; but they are unanswerable Reasons too why we should hear such a Proposition with Horror. Every true English Man must tremble at the growing Power of France, to see it, like the Phœnix, rise young, fresh, and vigorous, out of its own Ashes: ’Tis a terrible as amazing, to behold a despotick Government in a few Months possessed of the greatest Credit which ever appeared in the World, and to clear itself of an Hundred Millions of Debt, without paying one Penny; and this done too, not by any Act of Power, but by the Consent and Applause of the whole Kingdom. New Fleets are building, new Armies raising, new Countries planting, new Provinces conquering, whilst we have been loading the Publick with new Debts, Salaries, new Pensions, and no Method as yet proposed, (I will not say thought of) to ease our Burthens.

Sure these can’t be Reasons to take such a Thorn out of the Foot of France, and to remove such an Obstacle to their Greatness: The enterprizing Genius of that Nation is as well known, as it is formidable to all its Neighbours, but in particular to us. I would ask, in Edition: current; Page: [283] case of a new Rupture, what Resource we have but in our Fleets, and by the help of Gibraltar, to make it impracticable for their Squadrons in the Ocean and Mediterranean to join? We know by woful Experience, what Help we are to expect from our Allies, when we have no more Millions to give. We are not able to keep great Standing Armies at home, nor is it consistent with our Liberty to do so; and therefore we ought to take every Measure to encrease our Naval Strength, and to put new Bridles upon those who are, or may soon be, our Rivals.

The Nation in the World whose Power we have most Reason to guard against, is that of France, and yet I don’t know by what Fatality it has often so happened that we have been the unhappy Instruments of promoting it. Oliver Cromwel gave the first Rise to its Greatness at Land, and King Charles the Second at Sea: The late Queen, whose Heart was intirely English, by an ignominious Peace, restored it, when it was reduced to the lowest Extremity, and must have submitted to any Conditions she had thought fit to impose. But sure it will never be said that a Whig Ministry, the Patrons of Liberty, the constant and declared Enemies of those Proceedings, should act so far in Defiance of all their known Principles, as voluntarily, and unconstrained, in the midst of our Victories, to throw away any part of that national Security, which even the late Betrayers purchased at the Expence of their Country’s Honour (and I doubt was no otherwise to be had) and which are the only Rewards and Recompence of a tedious, successful, and glorious War, carried on at an immense Expence of Blood and Treasure, of which we and our Posterity shall long feel the severe Effects.

Edition: current; Page: [284]
Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas

A Letter to a Leading Great Man, concerning the Rights of the People to petition, and the Reasonableness of complying with such Petitions.
Anno 1720.

Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas

To the Right Honourable R— W—, Esq;


The following Papers, which are address’d to an anonymous Leading Great Man, cannot improperly be put into your Hands, considering the important Figure you have always made in publick Affairs. The warm and disinterested Concern you have at all Times shewn for your Country; especially the Zeal with which you formerly opposed a Corrupt and Wicked Administration; must lead your Countrymen, upon every National Distress to look to You: and the rather at this Time, when the National Distress is as much greater, as your Power now is greater to remedy it.

They consider you not only able, but willing, to relieve the general Calamity; and ready to punish, with strictest Justice, the Authors and Abettors of that Calamity: which they take to be the first Stop towards removing their Grievances, and restoring Publick Credit. These Sentiments are now the Voice of the People; and that Voice, ’tis not to be doubted, will be heard and complied with by you, considered both as a wise and vertuous Minister. They know, that no indirect Methods can be us’d by you, to protect Criminals, who were wicked enough, to raise themselves upon the Ruin of their Country: They know, that instead of skreening any such mighty Offenders, you will exert your Edition: current; Page: [285] whole Capacity, to bring to Light any Secrets of the Conspirators. They know, that as you have clean Hands yourself, you will industriously endeavour to punish those corrupt and mercenary Wretches, who gave up the Publick, that they might prey upon the Publick. They know, therefore, that you will encourage and promote a Compliance with the Sense of the Nation, express’d in this dutiful and precedented Way of Petitions.

This is their Consolation in the midst of their Distress: Whereas, had you been one of the Parricides; or had you shar’d underhand in any of the Common Plunder; had you since been advanc’d, to shelter any of the Guilty, or given any Reason to suspect it, thereby to prevent the public Enquiry’s taking Effect; ’twould be a melancholy Consideration to your Countrymen: And instead of the present Pleasure they feel, in knowing so Wise, so Honest, so Uncorrupt a Person as yourself fills the Post you enjoy; they would then suffer all that Uneasiness, which must follow from the contrary Reflection: Instead of seeing you continued, with great Satisfaction, in your present high Station; they would, soon, triumph over the Disgrace of One, who was an Enemy to his Country: For, a Guilty Great Man cannot long support himself amongst an Injured Free People. I am, SIR,

Your Humble Servant.
Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas

Since you make so considerable a Figure in the House of Commons, and are for weighty Reasons preferr’d to some of the chiefest Trusts; I know no other single Person, to whom a Subject, of the highest Importance to the Publick, can be so properly addressed.

I would nevertheless not be understood, as if I supposed the Fate of Great Britain to depend upon the Influence of any one Man, how Great soever: For your Part, you must certainly disdain such a fulsome Compliment from servile-minded Flatterers. Although we have been basely bereav’d of our Property, the Spirit of Liberty still remains, and will exert itself on worthy Occasions: Nor are we, as yet, to be manag’d like a Flock of Sheep, Edition: current; Page: [286] who follow the Bell-Weather, as Cato complain’d of the Romans in his Time.

But tho’ I hope there is none amongst us, that has it in his Power to ruin his Country; there are some, whose great Abilities and elevated Station, may enable them to do it the greatest Service. And if they who have these Qualifications, have also that bold Virtue, which Truth and Justice should inspire, Interest, Inclination, or Duty will draw in others to assist them.

You, Sir, have not only these Advantages, but also every other Requisite, to entitle you to the Appellation of a Great and Leading Man. To qualify a Person compleatly for this Station, he must first have made a very considerable Figure in the Court; for upon this Eminence his Parts shine: There he has gained Knowledge and Experience in Affairs of State, and there he has had Opportunities of making Creatures and Dependants. After this, he must be turned out, and in Disgrace, which often creates him an Interest with many of the People; nothing being more frequent, than to see the Prince’s cast Favourites become the Favourites of the Vulgar; the discountenanced and weaker Side being glad of all Helps, especially to have a Leader of Importance. And lastly, he must be taken into Favour again, and courted and caressed much more than formerly. These are Circumstances that cannot fail to render a Man significant, and give him Weight with all Sides, at least for a Time, or till some considerable Point is gained. And perhaps you are the only Instance that can be produced in this or any other Age, in whom so many Things have concurr’d to make you necessary to the Publick.

But to render a Person in your Station truly serviceable, as well as to confirm his Power; it must appear by all his Actions that he takes more Care to advance the Common Interest, than to build up his own Fortune; that he is not over greedy for himself; that he shews no Endeavours to engross the Prince, or to confine the Royal Favour only to himself, his Family, or Creatures; that he does not so much consider who are his personal Friends, as who best love, and can best serve the Publick; that he has a disinterested Mind, clean Hands, and an undaunted Spirit, to pursue what is right, and avoid Edition: current; Page: [287] what is wrong; and that he desires to have Power and Interest, rather by his proper Merits and Endowments, than from the Station he is in. When all this becomes visible both to those who wish him ill, and wish him well, he will quickly grow to have Authority with the whole People, and by this means be more powerfully enabled to promote the Service of his Prince.

You, Sir, have an Opportunity now put into your Hands of giving the most distinguishing Marks of Affection to your Country, whereby you will procure the Esteem of wise and honest Men, and shew that you truly deserve those many Favours which are already heap’d upon you and your Friends. Such a Behaviour as is expected from you at this Time, will raise your Virtue to a Pitch above the reach of Envy and Detraction, and confirm that Character, which you have merited on former Occasions, of being a strenuous Assertor of the Liberties of your Country. Your Attachment to this Principle, cannot be more plainly manifested, than by espousing with all your Might the Cause of your injured Fellow Subjects, That their Petitions be answered, and their Grievances rearess’d.

If you have lately discovered any Sentiments in this Particular, contrary to the Opinion of other Patriots, and of all Mankind, I doubt not but the declared Voice of the People, in their humble Addresses to the Parliament from every Part of the Kingdom, has by this Time determined your Conduct, and that you’ll hearken to the general Cry for Justice on those that have betray’d and unaone us. Persons who possess eminent Places in the Commonwealth, are the Servants of the Commonwealth, and equally obliged in Duty to comply with the unanimous Bent of the Subjects, as with the positive Commands of their Sovereign: Which can seldom clash, when the Prince has nothing at Heart more than the Welfare of his People.

Affairs are now approaching to a Crisis, Discontents rise high: And it greatly concerns his Majesty’s Interest, and the Peace of the Community, that those be given up to the general Resentment, who are the Objects of the general Resentment. One of the bravest of our Kings, Henry the Fourth, removed from Court four of his Servants Edition: current; Page: [288] at once, for no other Reason, but that they were so unfortunate, as not to be grateful to the People: And probably the Vices of these four Favourites were concealed from the King, tho’ visible to others. If therefore so great a Monarch judg’d it prudent not to oppose the Inclinations of his Subjects, in a Point of smaller Consequence; it will very ill become any private Man to think of contending with the People, by obstructing Justice on those who lie under the heavy Weight of their Accusation.

It is therefore, Sir, the more incumbent on you to acquit yourself impartially in the present Affair; and the rather, because the Generality are apprehensive of some extraordinary Step, by the Promotion of a Genius like your’s; which they fear may be able to protect Great and Mighty Criminals from the Indignation of their injured Fellow Subjects. The common Clamour is against the late Directors of the South-Sea Company, and those who acted under them: But are there not others equally, if not more guilty, that directed them throughout the whole Scene of Villany, who seem, as it were, to outbrave the Justice of their Country, by supporting themselves in their Stations, as if their Conduct had been unquestionable?

There is not a truer Symptom of a corrupted and depraved State, than to see Persons continued in the Possession of Power, whose Innocence is generally suspected. It shews that Guilt has many Favourer and Protectors, than which there cannot be a more melancholly Prospect. But on the other Hand, ’tis a foolish and desperate Thing for single Persons, let their Interest be ever so great, to think of facing so powerful an Enemy as the whole People, by the Strength and Faction of their Friends. An honest Man and a good Patriot will quit the Stage of Business, and retire, rather than involve the Publick in his Troubles or Misfortunes; for we are to suffer for our Country, but our Country is not to suffer for us: Equidem pro Patria qui lætum oppetissent sæpe fando audivi: qui Patriam pro se perire æquum, hi primi inventi sunt.

They, who in order to their own Security take upon them to play this Game, and who seem to have Edition: current; Page: [289] drawn in many to be concerned for them, will find at last, that instead of real Friends, they have made two Sorts of Enemies; those whom they have provoked, and those whom they have deluded; and are, in the Event, sure to be made a Sacrifice to publick Necessity.

I would recommend to Men of Rank and Figure, if such there are, who may have incurred the Displeasure of their Country, the resigned and submissive Behaviour of a certain great Man not long since; who, tho’ he was brought upon the Stage and acquitted, nevertheless quitted his Post, judging it not very decent for a Person once struck at, to intermeddle in the Affairs of Government.

There is also another Reason alledged by many not so favourable, which I need not mention to you, who are best acquainted with the Truth.

Such a Behaviour as that Great Man’s might perhaps, in some Measure, contribute to abate the general Resentment. But if this should not be thought the safest Course by some, who cannot well defend their Innocence; if they have any Vertue left they will rather chuse to decline their Trial by a voluntary Exile, and suffer in their own Fame, Ease and Fortune, than make a Step which may tend to weaken the Laws, and whereby the Dignity and Majesty of the Commonwealth may be lessened and impaired. For when the Guilty endeavour to escape by Power and Interest, the Laws are so far despised and trampled under, and a Precedent is established for Impunity; than which nothing can be of more dangerous Consequence to the Publick. When P. Scipio Africanus was charged by the Petillii for having suffered, through his Neglect, the Treasure of King Antiochus to be embezzel’d, he retired to Literum (upon Pretence of Sickness) with a Resolution not to stand his Trial. Yet as to him such an Accusation would have weighed little, put in the Ballance with all his brave Exploits in Africk, Spain, and Asia. For tho’ the Administration was then severe, ’tis not unlikely but that small Failing would have been forgiven in so great a Man. But he was not so puffed up with the Marks of general Love and popular Affection, as to outdare the Justice of his Country, and was unwilling to give the Constitution such a Wound as his Acquittal must have proved; the Example of which Edition: current; Page: [290] would have hurt the State of Rome, more than Banishment could hurt him, for it would have opened a Gap, and authorized all the Corruptions that followed.

It cannot surely surprize you to find the Body of this Nation so generally provoked, at the subtle Arts and Endeavours of these superior Criminals, to stifle all Evidence of their Guilt. ’Tis this has put the People upon petitioning their Representatives, a Method seldom practised by them, except in extraordinary Cases. If every one, conscious of his own Villany, had fled from Justice, as Mr. Knight has done (or was forced to do) we could not have hoped or expected to have Justice satisfyed. But when every Man of them is in our Power, and confidently attending the Issue of the Proceedings of Parliament, it must needs fire every honest Breast with Indignation, to think that they have so long escaped the Vengeance due to their Crimes, through the Default of legal Evidence. And until by this, or some other Means, Satisfaction is done to a suffering People, it will be difficult to put a Stop to their universal Cry for Justice.

I do not yet hear that there are any, who dare now be bold enough openly to challenge or dispute the Right which the People have to address their Sovereign, or their Representatives, on so extraordinary an Occasion. But I know thus much has formerly been done; and that even since we had this Privilege confirmed to us in the Claim of Right at the Revolution; nay, there was a House of Commons in a late Reign, which expressed their Displeasure and Resentment against this Practice, in one particular Instance, in a very singular and remarkable Manner. When the Gentlemen, Freeholders, and Justices of the Peace, of the County of Kent, humbly petitioned that honourable House, to go upon the Supplies, for enabling King William to carry on the War against France, the Time having been far spent, and the Season approaching for opening the Campaign, the Petition was voted scandalous, insolent, and seditious, tending to destroy the Constitution of Parliament, and to subvert the Established Government of this Realm; and the Persons who delivered it were not only taken into Custody of a Serjeant at Arms, but afterwards committed to Prison. I leave it to your Judgment, and the General Opinion at Edition: current; Page: [291] that Time, what Motives induced that House to act in such Manner; but from thence some People assumed a License to run down the Practice of Petitioning, as factious, unwarrantable, and destructive of the Power and Authority of Parliaments; and indeed, there are never wanting, on all Occasions, Persons fit to be the Tools of a Party, who are ready to defend or impugn any Point, as they receive Instructions from their Superiors.

I think therefore, it will not be improper by way of Anticipation, to stop the Mouths of designing Men, especially since there are already many, who discourage such a Procedure at this Time; basely insinuating the ill Tendency thereof towards inflaming the Multitude, and consequently begetting a Civil War.

This, no doubt, was the Opinion of that grave and judicious Alderman, who singly voted against the late Petition of the City, alledging that it was like erecting a Beacon to alarm the Nation, and set all in a Flame. But he might with more Propriety have spoken thus, if the City and County of Gloucester had not, by their earlier Petition, given a worthy Precedent to this great Metropolis and the whole Kingdom, whereby they have purchased to themselves an immortal Honour.

It seems to me, that there cannot be a more scandalous Reflection on the present Parliament, than to suggest distrustful Consequences of the Application of the People to their Representatives, in a reasonable and good Cause: For it would be, in effect, to involve the Parliament in Guilt; which no Man will dare to think, and far less to utter. Or can it be imagined, that in the most glorious Age of Liberty, it will be reckoned a Crime in the People to declare their just Complaints; and to approach those by Petition, who know their Grievances, and are able to redress them? The Right of Petitioning is a Privilege which Mankind could never part with; and therefore it has been indulged them in the most arbitrary Governments. Julius Cæsar freely permitted it, when his Will was a Law to the People of Rome. And his Successors, some of them more tyrannical than he, granted the same Liberty, so long as the Lex Regia prevailed. Rescribere Principi, to Petition their Emperor, was one Edition: current; Page: [292] of the last Privileges that People enjoyed. What a Stain therefore would they bring on the Memory of King George’s Reign, who insinuate any Displeasure it might give his Majesty or his Government, to exert a Privilege which the Romans were not denied under a State of Tyranny? The Government is good, tho’ the Times are bad. Our King and Parliament are much disposed as we can possibly desire, to hearken to the Petitions of the People, or even to prevent them: And the People, who are ever quiet under a right Administration, know their Duty, and will not be tumultuous nor unreasonable in their Complaints; so that those are either very shallow, or very wicked, who surmise any Danger or Inconveniency to the Kingdom from the Multitude of Petitions.

’Tis the Interest, as well as the Inclination, of the People to live in Peace, and enjoy their own Labour; at least this may be said of Great Britain, for we have seldom had open Breaches and Divisions, but they proceeded from some fatal Error or Weakness in those who ruled; which will evidently appear to any, who take a View of the several Reigns from the Norman Invasion downwards. But there is no Precedent in our History, where the Body of the People ever contended with their own Representatives, and the King at their Head. It is a Thing too monstrous to suppose; and if ever it should happen (which God forbid) one may easily conjecture on which Side the Fault would lie.

When the Subjects are aggrieved, injured or oppress’d, they know their first Remedy, and seldom or never have proceeded to violent Methods, without having petitioned their Governors for Redress in an humble Manner. But when this has proved ineffectual, they have convinced their Sovereigns to their Cost, how unreasonable a Thing it is to be Deaf to the Voice of the People. And we have had both good and bad Kings, who by their Practice have owned thus much; the one sort voluntarily, and the other by Compulsion, opening their Ears to the Complaints of their Subjects.

Such Petitions were frequent in the Reigns of Edward II, and Edward III. And then even Ireland was allowed to represent its Grievances, and petition for a Parliament.

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Bishop Burnet, in his History of the Reformation, informs us, that Henry VIII. told his Subjects when in Arms against him in Yorkshire, that they ought not to have rebell’d, but to have apply’d themselves to him by Petition.

King James I. declared himself in this Point very fully in several Proclamations. He begins one which was published in the 11th Year of his Reign, in this remarkable Manner; The Complaint lately exhibited by certain Noblemen and others, of our Kingdom of Ireland, suggesting Dise orders and Abuses, as well in the Proceedings of the latbegun Parliament, as in the Martial and Civil Government of the Kingdom, we did receive with all extraordinary Grace and Favour. And by another Proclamation he declares, That it was the Right of his Subjects to make their immediate Addresses to him by Petition. And in another he tells the People, That his own, and the Ears of his Privy Council, did still continue open to the just Complaints of his People.

And King Charles I. by his Declaration in 1644. declared his Royal Will and Pleasure, that all his loving Subjects, who had any just Cause to present, or complain of any Grievances, might freely address themselves, by their humble Petitions, to his sacred Majesty, who would graciously hear their Complaints.

Nor is this Condescension of our Kings to hearken to the Grievances of their Subjects, any Thing more than what the Law requires, for no People have a more ample Claim to the Right of Petitioning, than the People of Great Britain. Lord Chief Justice Hobbard says, Access to the Sovereign must not be shut up in Case of the Subjects Distress. And it was one of the Crimes for which the Spencers were banished, and afterwards hang’d, that they hindered the King from receiving and answering Petitions from great Men and others. And one Article against the Lord Strafford was, Tat he issued out a Proclamation and Warrant of Restraint, to inhibit the King’s Subjects to come to the Fountain, their Sovereign, to deliver their Complaints, of Wrongs and Oppressions. But there cannot be a more plain Declaration of this Right, than the Statute of the 13th of Charles II. which nevertheless was made to restrain the free Practice of it. And indeed, there Edition: current; Page: [294] never was any Reign in which petitioning was so much discountenanced: Nay, it was prohibited by Proclamations, as tending to Sedition and Rebellion. Yet, Sir, you know very well, that the Methods then taken, by procuring Counter-Addresses, which expressed an Abhorrence of Petitioning, and by dissolving four Parliaments successively, (who did little Business, except the first) for the Regard they shewed to the Voice of the People, did rather heighten than abate the universal Displeasure against the Proceedings of those Times. In that Juncture, the City of London gave an early Proof of their Zeal for the Welfare of their Country, by petitioning the King for the sitting of the Parliament in 1679, to try the Offenders, and redress all the most important Grievances, no otherwise to be redress’d. This was in the first of those Parliaments: And the Commons in the fourth Parliament Resolv’d, “That the Thanks of this House be given to the City of London, for their manifest Loyalty to the King, their Care, Charge, and Vigilancy, for the Preservation of his Majesty’s Person, and of the Protestant Religion.”

It will never be forgotten, with what Vigour our Parliament did then maintain the Right of the People to Petition. Their several Resolutions on this Head, are so many standing Monuments of their everlasting Fame. On the 20th of October 1680. the Commons Resolv’d, Nemine Contradicente, That it is, and ever hath been, the undoubted Right of the Subjects of England, to petition the King for the calling and sitting of Parliaments, and redressing Grievances. Resolv’d, That to traduce such petitioning as a Violation of Duty; and to represent it to his Majesty as tumultuous and seditious, is to betray the Liberty of the Subject, and contributes to the Design of subverting the ancient legal Constitution of this Kingdom, and introducing arbitary Power.

Order’d, That a Committee be appointed to enquire of all such Persons as have offended against these Rights of the Subjects. And Sir Francis Wythens being found guilty in this Particular, they voted him a Betrayer of the undoubted Rights of the Subjects of England: And ordered that he should be expelled the House, and that he should receive his Sentence upon his Knees.

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After this the City of London having petitioned the House against Sir George Jefferys, their Recorder, and it being referred to a Committe, they passed the following Vote Resolved, That this Committee is of Opinion, that by the Evidence given to this Committee it does appear that Sir George Jefferys, Recorder of the City of London, by traducing and obstructing petitioning for the sitting of this Parliament, hath betrayed the Rights of the Subject. To which the House agreed, and ’twas ordered, that an humble Address be made to his Majesty to remove him out of all publick Offices. They farther order’d, that the Committee should enquire of all such Persons as had been advising or promoting of the Proclamation, stil’d a Proclamation against tumultuous Petitioning. And the Grand Juries of the Counties of Somerset and Devon, having expressed their Detestation of such Petitioning, the House ordered, that the two Foremen of the Juries, two others, should be sent for into Custody of the Serjeant at Arms, to answer for Breach of Privilege (as they called the Abhorrence of Petitioning) by them committed against the House. They also voted, that on Thomas Herbert, Esq; should be sent for in Custody, for prosecuting John Arnold, Esq; at the Council Table, for promoting a Petition, and procuring Subscriptions. To them they added two others upon the same Account, whom they called Betrayers of the Liberties of the Subject. And lastly, they ordered an Impeachment against Sir Francis North, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Sir William Scrogs, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, Sir Thomas Jones, one of the Justices of the same Bench, and Sir Richard Weston, one of the Barons of the Exchequer, for advising Proclamations against Petitioning.

Thus, Sir, I have laid before you the Sense of an English House of Commons, with respect to this Right of Petitioning. Their Behaviour in asserting it, will be as thankfully remember’d by all Posterity, as it it worthy to be imitated on every the like Occasion, by their Successors in the same Trust and Honour. And if they had been suffer’d to sit, to do this Nation the Service they intended, the Petitions of the People would have been comply’d with; and the Betrayers of their Country Edition: current; Page: [296] given up to their Resentment. In which Case, we should not have had a Popish Successor, nor known the Calamities we have since undergone on that Account. But such are the fatal Consequences of disregarding the Voice of the People!

Sir, the People of Great Britain will not be disregarded. Experience tells us, that it is not safe to provoke them, who know their own Privileges so well, and how to assert the same. King John was obliged by Force to redress the Grievances of the Nation, when the milder Methods of petitioning and remonstrating proved ineffectual; and also to confirm by his great Charter the Liberty of the People, to even compel him for the future, in Cases of the like Necessity, by seizing his Castles, Lands, and Revenues, and by pursuing those to utter Destruction, that should take up Arms for him. And when he afterwards broke his Oath and Promise, the Barons said, What shall we do with this wicked King? If we let him alone, he will destroy us and our People; it is expedient therefore, that he be expelled the Throne, we will not have him any longer to reign over us; And accordingly, in a General Assembly, with the Approbation of all the Realm, they adjudged him unworthy to be a King. To this effect we find, according to the Custom of those Times, a long Rhyme in the Chronicle of Mailros, deploring the Infelicity of that Affair, That the Body should attempt to rule the Head, and the People to be above their King; but adding, that there was a great and manifold Necessity that it should be so.

  • Ordinem præposterum Anglia sancivit,
  • Mirum dictu dicitur tale quis audivit?
  • Nam præesse Capiti Corpus concupivit;
  • Regem suum regere Populus quæsivit.
  • Causa tamen multiplex illud exigebat, &c.

’Tis this Consideration of the Power of the People, which makes an honest House of Commons terrible to potent Offenders, who are very well assured, that they will always be seconded by the irresistible Power and Inclination of the People. And of this the Ministers of King Charles II. were highly sensible, when they ventured Edition: current; Page: [297] upon the most dangerous Courses, Prorogations and Dissolutions of Parliaments, by which alone they could defend themselves from the Effect of their Resentment. Such an Expedient, however, will never be attempted, but in weak and wicked Reigns. Some of our Kings have chose rather to sacrifice their dearest Favourites, than to run the Hazard of their own Ruin, by so desperate a Proceeding. Henry III. who exasperated the Nobility and People, by keeping evil Counsellors about his Person, and being obstinately bent to protect them, found it his Interest at last to come to his Parliament, and to consent to their Requests, by removing the Bishop of Winton, and banishing Peter de Rivalis, his two beloved Favourites. Nay, the Parliament sent him a Message, that if he would not do this, They all by the common Council of the whole Kingdom, would expel him with his evil Counsellors out of the Kingdom, and consult about the Creation of a new King. And you know, Sir, that K. Charles I. was obliged to devote his chief Minister, the Earl of Strafford, to Destruction, by consenting to the Act of Attainder against him. The Mention of which Great Man, puts me in mind of Another, for whom you, Sir, have no small Kindness, who has thought fit to imitate him in this Particular, of making an Opposition to the Court in the H———e of C———ns the Road to Preferment. He indeed was the first that ever did so, and from an eminent Patriot became the chief Assertor of despotick Power: But whoever is resolv’d to follow his Steps, let him withal remember his Fate.

All Ages give us Instances of Princes, betray’d by the Craft and Falshood of ill Ministers, when they have once gained Credit to have their bold Advice, given behind the Curtain, put in Execution, contrary to the Interests of the People. We find that King Edward the Second, for following evil Counsel, and refusing to hearken to the Voice of the People, was by Advice and Consent of all the Prelates, Earls and Barons, and of the whole Community of the Kingdom, deposed from the Government.

We have another remarkable Instance in Richard II. to whom his Parliament sent Messages, to declare to him among other Things, That they found in an ancient Statute, and it had been done in fact not long before, that Edition: current; Page: [298] if the King, through any evil Counsel, or foolish Contumacy, or out of Scorn, or some petulant Wilfulness, or any other irregular Way, shall alienate himself from his People, &c. that then it shall be lawful for them, to depose that same King from his Royal Throne.

King James II. is the latest Example, who opposed the Voice of the People, by adhering to the Counsels and Intrigues of wicked Men, and thereby lost his Kingdoms. He would not receive the Complaints of his Subjects, but imprisoned the Bishops for humbly petitioning. When their Grievances were become intolerable, the People invited a Force to compel him to redress them. And one of the principal Motives; which inclined the Prince of Orange to assist them, was to traverse the wicked Advice and Counsel of the Ministers of that and the former Reign, as appears by his Declaration from the Hague the 10th of October, 1688, which says, That those evil Counsellors that had then Credit with King James, had overturn’d the Laws, Liberties and Religion of the Realm, and subjected all Things to an arbitrary Power; and he enumerates the villanous Advice and Practice they were guilty of, particularly, That they procured the Parliament to be dissolved, when they could not prevail with the Members to comply with their wicked Designs. Therefore the Declaration adds, That the Prince came over with a Force sufficient to defend himself from the Violence of these evil Counsellors. This Declaration was seconded by the Resolutions of the States General, the 28th of the same Month, who thereby declare, they assisted the Prince of Orange, because King James, by ill Counsel, and guided by his Ministers, attempted to subvert the Fundamental Laws and Religion of the Nation, &c. The Lords and Commons in the Convention, were also of the same Opinion with the Prince and States, and therefore in their Declaration of their Rights and Privileges, presented to King William and Queen Mary, the 13th of February following, They declared, That King James, by the Assistance of evil Counsellors and Ministers employ’d by him, did endeavour to subvert the Protestant Religion, and the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom.

You see, Sir, it is manifest, from the foregoing Examples (and I could mention many more if it were necessary) Edition: current; Page: [299] how dangerous a Thing it is for bad Princes, and their evil projecting Ministers, to slight the Complaints of the People. As for Parliaments, I must confess, that there can hardly an Instance be given of one, before the Age we live in, which greatly disobliged the People: Nor would ever any since, have merited their Displeasure, if the Artifices of the Court, in some of the late Reigns, had not biass’d and restrained them from their Duty to their Country. Parliaments were always reckoned the proper Guardians of Liberty and the Laws, and a necessary Fence against the arbitrary Power of Princes. For which Reason, they have ever been uneasy to such as had a Mind to contend with the People about their Rights. The Ministry of King James I. made him afraid of Parliaments, as an Eclipse of his Power; so that he was always glad to be rid of them before the necessary Business of the Kingdom was done. Under King Charles I. they proceeded farther to question their Authority, and controul their Proceedings, and to toss them up and down by sudden Adjournments, Prorogations and Dissolutions, till at last, it was resolved to have no more Parliaments, and to forbid the People to make Mention of Them; the Consequence of which destructive Counsels, fell heavy on the Authors, and were such as I dread and abhor to remember. But they took different Measures in the following Reign, to subvert our Constitution, as to Parliaments: For, having found by Experience, that a Free-Parliament could not be awed, they resolved to attempt that by Fraud, which was not to be compassed by Force. And thus, you know, Sir, began the damnable invented Project of corrupting Parliaments, which prosper’d so well at first, that the King thought fit to continue one near eighteen Years. The same Method has been taken in succeeding Reigns, to the almost undoing England; and indeed it is so sure a Way to compleat its Ruin, that we may already wonder that we have so much as the Name of a Free-People left.

Nothing but a free and uncorrupt Parliament, can save the Nation at this Time; a Parliament, which will grant the Petitions of the People, who unanimously pray for Redress of Publick Offenders. And ’tis our Edition: current; Page: [300] only surviving Comfort, that such a Parliament as the People want and wish for, is now sitting. As it is the Duty, and has been the Practice of such of our Kings, who have been faithful to the Trust reposed in them by the People, and regardful of their own Honour, to punish their Officers and Ministers for Malversation: (witness King Alfred, who caused forty four Justices to be hang’d in one Year, for illegal, false and corrupt Judgments; so it belongs to our Parliaments to redress the Grievances occasioned by the Executive Part of the Government, and other National Grievances, and to punish guilty Ministers, and other great Offenders. Of this all Ages give us Precedents; and nothing has been so mischievous to the Kingdom, as the Supineness of some late Reigns, in not making so frequent and signal Examples among the Ministerial Dispensers of our Laws, and among the Officers of our Kings; as our Ancestors us’d to do.

I hope you don’t think, Sir, that I accuse any Persons, who have a Share in the present Administration; God forbid there should be any Room to suspect them. Yet you must give me leave to say, that we have great and powerful Offenders to deal with. But there is no Man so great, that a British Parliament cannot reach; nor no Art so deep, that they cannot discover. I have read of a Country where there was a constant Series of Mismanagement for many Years together, and yet no Body was punished; when Offices were given in the Nature of Bribes and Pensions, and constantly taken away upon Non compliance with the Court Measures; when by splitting of Places among several Persons, which were formerly executed by one, or by reviving such as were sunk, or by creating others which were altogether useless or unnecessary, or by Promises of Preferment to those who could not presently be provided for, the Court had made above two hundred Members absolutely dependent on them. But blessed be God, we live in better Times! We have a gracious King, who makes his Interest the same with that of his People, and a Parliament the Guardians of the People’s Liberties; who will let the whole World see that they are neither to be perverted by Places, or deceiv’d by false Appearances; that they know how Edition: current; Page: [301] to honour and reverence his Majesty, and punish the Destroyers of their Country.

As for you, Sir, I’m persuaded it must now be your Opinion, that nothing at present could more contribute to undo us, than to be supine and indifferent, when the greatest Villanies have been committed, and to manage the Discovery with a cold Prosecution. But if you think there are so many engag’d in the late Conspiracy against their Country, that ’tis advisable to connive, and not prosecute it any farther; I’m sure, if it is so formidable than ’tis dangerous to enquire farther into it, it is much more dangerous to let it alone.

A Supplement to the London-Journal of March 25, 1721; being the State of the Case relating to the Surrender of Mr. Knight, Farther Considered.
Anno 1728.

Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas
April 21, 1721.

To the Author of the London Journal.


MR. Knight being still protected at Antwerp, notwithstanding the pressing Instances made by His Majesty for his Surrender; I desire you will, as a Supplement to your Paper of the 25th of last Month, give the following Argument to the Publick as soon as possible; which I have just receiv’d in a Letter from a very great Civilian at Brussels; and which I have faithfully translated, that the English Nation may see the Sentiments of a Brabander, upon the great Point in Questiokn, between the High and Mighty States of Brabant, and our Abus’d and Unhappy Country.

I am, SIR, Your Constant Friend.
Edition: current; Page: [302]

A Native of Great Britain, and Person in a publick Office, where he had the Management of publick Money, being suspected of Maiversation, was personally and juridically cited to appear before competent Judges, to answer to Interrogatories relating to certain Facts laid to his Charge; which was comply’d with accordingly: But he (fearing a Decree against him of bodily Imprisonment) takes his Measure to escape, and actually flies the Kingdom; carrying with him (as ’tis presumed) considerable Sums, as well in Money as Effects. And after having crossed the Sea, and Flanders, and Brabant, as far as to Tirlemont, (with an apparent Intention of leaving Brabant) he there is overtaken and seized by the Authority of the Government.

The Question is,

Whether any Potentate, Authority, or Judge, being thereto duly required, can, with Justice, refuse to surrender the Person so arrested, and hinder his transport out of Brabant; in order to be delivered to the Power so claiming and demanding him?

The Opinion is in the Negative.

In order to consider the Question thoroughly, we must in the first place examine, upon what Eoundation such a Refufal can be supposed to be laid; and shew that none of them are of any Avail in the present Case.

This Refusal may be founded upon two Heads;

The First, is the Right of Azylum or Refuge simple and common.

The Second, is the particular Privileges of Brabant, granted to them by the 17th Article of the Joyful Entry*, which forbids the transporting of a Prisoner out of the Province.

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As to the Right of Azylum or Refuge, ’tis neither founded upon Divine Right, nor the Right of Nature, nor the Right of Nations, but purely positive. [Ains purement positif.] On the contrary: Suum cuique tribuere, & crimina non relinquere impunita, [to give to every Man his Due, and not to leave Crimes unpunished,] is agreeable to all Right. And in order to distinguish, whether the pretended Right of Azylum can take place, we must consider the Case either as Criminal or Civil.

It is most certain, that even in Germany (where by Reason of the great Numbers of Princes and States, the Jealousy of their Privileges, in relation to the Azylum, or of giving Refuge and Protection [called Freijhung] is greater than any where else) the Person now arrested, would never have had the Privilege of Azylum: For there ’tis properly designed, pro subditis & etiam forensibus in principis territorio delinquentibus, [For Subjects, and also, for Strangers transgressing within the Territories of the Prince.] For which, the decisive Reason in the Case of Foreigners is, That the Person committing the Fault or Delinquency within the Territory of the Prince, may be said to violate only the Jurisdiction of the Lord, and not of any other Prince; and therefore he against whom the Crime is committed, may remit the Crime: [tit. Pro Forensibus: Quod delinquens in Prinipis territorio solummodo jurisdictionem Domini, (non verò alterius Principis) violare dicatur. Ideo hanc injuriam quoque remittere potest is in quem injuria commissa est. Quod variis rationibus confirmat Nicolaus ab Ehrenbach Tract. de jure Azyli.]

And although that upon the Dispute, Whether a Prince of the Empire, setting up an Azylum or Right of Refuge in any City of his Dominions, can bestow upon it so great a Privilege, as that a Foreigner being a Delinquent, or committing his Crime out of the Dominions of the said Prince, [which is the present Case] can enjoy so far an Immunity, that this Azylum or Right of Refuge can be of Force and Extension to all the Criminals in the Empire? I say, although the Affirmative of the Case thus stated may be probable, grounded principally upon this, Because the Avocations and Commissions of Delinquents Edition: current; Page: [304] do now depend upon the Will and Pleasure of the Prince of the Territory, whether he will send back the Delinquent at the Instance of the Requirer or not? Yet all Authors agree, That these sort of Azylums (so commended in Deuteronomy and Joshua) are only so far praise-worthy, and ought of right to subsist, whilst they afford Protection (not to voluntary Delinquents, nor to deceitful ones) but to imprudent Persons: Haec Azyla tantum Laudem mereri, & de Jure subsistere, quando patrocinantur non voluntariis nec dolosis [Den Muthwinligen und vorsetzlichen] sed imprudentibus.

Now that the Malversations which a Person commits, in his Office, and in the Money depending thereon, are voluntary and deceitful Crimes, is as clear as possible, and is further confirmed by the Flight of the Delinquent out of Great Britain; which excludes him from the Right of Azylum in all Nations; more especially he having been personally cited, and having answered to Interrogatories, (which is a Commencement of a criminal Procedure) the Delinquent being fixed and limited to a certain Town, Province, or Kingdom for his Prison; in which Case; (were there no other) the Right of Refuge in a Foreign Country is very disputable; I say, upon this very Head.

And without entering into the Discussion of this Question, ’tis not to be believed, that the Sovereign will ever grant a Protection or Azylum in his Territories to a Delinquent who was but a Passenger thorough them, and was already upon the utmost Limits of them, in order to save himself in some other Country.

Besides, it is to be observed, That the German Authors, treating of this Matter, spake, de forensibus, sed sub Imperio; [of Foreigners, but such as are under the Jurisdiction] and not of absolute Strangers: Forasmuch as ’tis commonly received among all Potentates of the Earth, who are not in actual War, (and in particular, by the Great Allies) that Princes take not the Subjects or Vassals of each other into their Protection, without their Prince’s particular Consent, let the Case be either Criminal or Civil (as Bodin, in his Treatise, de Republicâ, very well observes;) unless the Person so protected were Edition: current; Page: [305] banished by his Prince. This agrees with Solon’s Law, which forbids, that any Foreigner should have the Right of Burgessship in Athens, who was not banished from his own Country; and without giving these Instances, we may generally say, in the Terms of the Law, That the Right of Burgessship is not lost, nor the Power of the natural Prince over his Subject taken away by Reason of his changing his Place or Country.

’Tis very true, that often Princes do draw, and entice Strangers to them, either upon the Score of Religion, or to People their Country, or in order to weaken the Power of their Neighbours, or to gain excellent Artificers, and Persons of superior Abilities, or upon other Views. But on the other hand, we likewise see that all Princes do what is in their Power to hinder this Practice, by forbidding their Subjects to quit their Dominions without Leave: Thus ’tis in Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Naples, and elsewhere; the Nobility of which cannot absent themselves without Permission.

And altho’ the Low Countries (especially Brabant) be a very free Country, where, according to the Ordinances of the Year 1312, Strangers might come and establish their Housholds, and these might afterwards remove themselves whither they pleased: Yet the several Placards of the 18th of September, 1567; the 1st of July, 1609; the 15th of November, 1627, with the Notes of Zipens de notitiâ Juris Belgici, according to the Customs of Flanders, by him cited, shew that this Liberty is very much limited in several Particulars; and even in our Days we see the Fiscals exert themselves, when the Case touches the Conservation of the Good of the State, in whatsoever Province, City, or Fraternities of Trade (wherein the Diminution, or Disadvantage of the Publick, may be concerned) it may happen. And therefore (over and above the several Treaties) Princes make By-Laws and Ordinances for the Conservation of the State, which ought certainly to be reckoned among the Fundamental Laws, tho’ they may not perhaps be called by that Name. And we may conclude with Bodinus, that Princes are accustomed among themselves for this Reason to put in force Rogatory Commissions, or Letters of Marque, Edition: current; Page: [306] to make their Subjects obey, and to evoke or reclaim the Causes and Pursuits against them, (except in Cases of Right determined;) and upon this Point we often see War declared between the Princes requiring and refusing.

Now as to the Second Head founded upon the particular Privileges of Brabant, this ought not to come under Consideration till the Person arrested has declared, by some Remonstrance, that he insists upon it, and pretends to make his use of it. For whosoever builds upon a Privilege, ought to alledge and prove it first. Notwithstanding, whilst we are in the Dark, whether such Remonstrance was ever made or not, we may venture to say, that this Privilege can no way operate in the present Case. All that the Person arrested can alledge must be, that the Text of the Joyful Entry, in the 17th Article, wherein it is said, So what Person; Whatsoever Person, &c. comprehends in general, and without Distinction, Restriction, or Modification (in respect to the Person arrested) all sorts of People, whether of Brabant, or of all the Low Countries, or any other way a Subject of the Prince, or an utter Stranger; and that this Privilege is real, and attached and annexed to the Land of Brabant. But if any one wou’d penetrate into the true Sense of this they wou’d find that the Meaning of it must be, that when a Brabander is made a Prisoner in Brabant, the Duke shall neither cause, nor suffer him to be conveyed a Prisoner out of the Land of Brabant. The Word So what Person, finds its Signification in the Person of a Subject of Brabant, of whatsoever Condition or Sex it may be, whether Man or Woman, Ecclesiastick or Secular, Noble or Ignoble. The Word Gevangen, or Prisoner, signifies properly a Criminal Prisoner; and the meaning is, that a Brabander being there made Prisoner, shall be absolutely and finally judged by Judges of Brabant, and according to the Laws of Brabant [as in England, all Persons are to be tried by the Vicinage.] This Law, in its self is good and just, and this corresponds with many other of the Articles in the same Joyful Entry, which speak of Judges, and the Execution of Justice; but if we should stretch the Interpretation of it to Strangers Edition: current; Page: [307] indifferently, it wou’d become very unjust.

All Privileges are to be regularly taken upon the Foot of Remuneration; and shou’d this Article be construed so generally, as to extend to Strangers, it wou’d follow, that all Nations in the World had merited from the Brabanders and their Duke.

In the Duke of Alva’s Time, this Matter was pushed very far in favour of the Belgian Provinces in general (they being all then united under the same Sovereign) but never in favour of absolute Strangers. And altho’ we should suppose that Great Britain had merited very much at the Brabanders Hands, wou’d it therefore follow, or be thought to be allowed in favour of a particular Subject of Great Britain, to the Disadvantage of that King, the Kingdom, or the States of it? Ought this Merit to be recompenced the quite contrary way?

In fine, let us take this Privilege in the most general and comprehensive Sense; and for as strong and fundamental a Law as some wou’d have it: I am going to prove, that it can have no manner of Operation in the present Case.

By the 24th Article of the Joyful Entry ’tis stipulated, That the Duke shall not suffer his Subjects of Brabant to arrest or implead each other out of the Jurisdiction of Brabant: And you may note, by the way, that this Law binds and obliges a Subject of Brabant, tho’ he be out out of the Prince’s Territory; and this shews you, that as well in Brabant as elsewhere, what we averred before is true, viz. that the Power of the Prince over his Subject is not lost or diminished by the changing his Place of Abode or Country; and most certainly can never be supposed otherwise, quando mutatio est momentanea, when this Change is of a sudden, and but for a short time: And every Man will readily believe, that if this case should happen in Great Britain, the King would give a speedy Redress upon the first Requisition and Instance of the Duke of Brabant. These two Privileges, contained in the 17th and 24th Articles (whereof the Second, taken generally, is more strong than the First) ought, with great Reason, to lie under the same Restrictions and Modifications. The Second is actually modified Edition: current; Page: [308] in Terms by the said 24th Article, wherein these Words follow immediately those before quoted, unless the Person to be arrested be a Fugitive; if then, a Brabander may lawfully arrest his Debtor Brabander out of that Country, in case he be a Fugitive; it is much more equitable to grant the same Privilege in Brabant to Strangers.

But further, whoever peruses the Treaties between England and the Sovereign of Brabant, will find by them, that the Obligations between these two Nations are much stronger than between Brabant and any other Foreign Country. The Treaty of 1495, confirmed by several subsequent Treaties, viz. those of 1604, 1630, and 1660, contains this Clause, as translated out of the Latin, Chap. 27, That any Subject of either of the two Princes, alledging, That his Debitor is justly suspected to be a Fugitive, the said Debitor ought to be put and held under Arrest, unless he proves, that he ought not to be suspected of being such Fugitive. But here the Question is not between particular Subjects of the different Potentates, whereof the one is barely suspected of Flight; but wherein a King, a Kingdom, a whole Nation is concerned, pursuing a Subject, truly a Fugitive, by such plain Proofs as admit of no Contradiction: A Subject in a publick Office, entrusted with the Management and Disposal of vast Sums of Money, whereon depends the Publick Credit of the whole Nation: A Person who ought to be sent back to be judged according to the Laws of his own Country; it being a Thing impossible, that those Laws should be thoroughly understood by any Judges of a strange Country.

And who can imagine, that the Sovereign of Brabant should refuse to send him home, considering, that by the Stipulations in the Treaties, the two Princes have obliged themselves reciprocally to procure and promote, in all Things, whatsoever shall be to the Advantage of each of them and of his Nation; and also, to hinder every thing that may be any ways hurtful? And as to the States of Brabant, how should they dare to oppose the Surrender and Return of such a Criminal? Surely, they would not be willing that the like should happen Edition: current; Page: [309] in their own Case, if one of the Receivers of publick Money should run away and take shelter in Great Britain. There is a Rule which is very good and natural, which dictates, Quod tibi non nocet, Alteri Prodest, facile est concedendum! maxime dum non solum non prodesset, sed multum noceret si non fieret. Whatever does you no harm, and does Another Person good, ought to be easily granted; but especially, when it would do no good, but might do a great deal of harm if it were not done. Now No-body can see what Harm or Wrong it would do the Brabanders, if the Person arrested were sent over; or to their Privilege, whereof the Sense and Meaning has been declared dubious by the Act of the Magistrate of Brussels, made the 6th Day of October, 1692, and signed, H. Jacobs, at the Instance of the Scout of Amsterdam against Peter Baltazar Lievens, a Bankrupt of Amsterdam, detained a Prisoner in the Vrunt, (a Prison so called at that Time) the Words of that Act are, That whereas the Prisoner pleaded, that the Privileges of Brabant ought to operate in his Favour, altho’ he was neither a Brabander nor a Subject of his Majesty; under the Pretext, that the Article was couched in general Terms; therefore, in order to avoid any Infraction, it was resolved, to leave the Sense and Iaterpretation of it to the Council of Brabant: Which at last was finally determined and put beyond all doubt by the Decree of the Governour General, with the Advice and Consent of the said Council and of the Estates. By Virtue of which, the Prisoner was surrendered, and put into the Possession of the Resident of the States-General of the United Provinces.

There were these further Differences and Singularities between this and the present Case; That the said Lievens was a Roman Catholick; and alledged, that he retired into Brabant in order to have the freer Exercise of his Religion. That he came into Brabant, with a Design to fix his Houshold and Family there; that he had already for a long time dwelt there. That the Jurisdiction of the Judge over him in Holland, was not yet thoroughly founded by any Act of Summons, or otherwise.

In the present Case it is therefore most certain, that the Requisitories, or Instances of his Majesty of Great Edition: current; Page: [310] Britain’s Ministers ought to take place, notwithstanding all Privileges of this Nature; which according to the Opinion of the before-cited Zipeus, (in his Introduction) might even be abrogated. His Words are as follows———Sed & hæc ipsa (privilegia) frequentem patiuntur abrogationem, si quod in utilitatem publicæ considerationis concessum est incipiat vergere in nimium damnum, vel etiam modum excedat: Et etiam possunt ipsi ordines privilegia concessa remittere, dummodo causa aliqua subsit; imo potest princeps Leges publicas & promissas non tenere si irrationibiles sint vel deveniant, & aliud salus publica exigat.——— But the very Privileges do frequently bear an Abrogation, if what was at first granted for the Sake of the publick Utility, should begin to turn to its great Damage, or should exceed a just Measure; and the very States themselves can, upon Occasion, remit the Privileges granted to them: Nay the Prince may suspend the publick Laws and his Promises, if they be or become unreasonable, and the Publick Safety require it.

And ’tis believed, for this very Reason, at the Time of the Joyful Entry of Philip the Second [Charles the 5th of immortal Memory, being then present and assisting, in the Year 1549] after several Conferences and Debates held between the Prince and the States (by Commissaries, who thoroughly understood the Authority and Superiority of the Prince, as well as the Original Rights and Privileges of the Country) upon occasion of changing or moderating the Articles, according as they should be observable, or non-observable, in respect to the Promise made by the Prince, to observe them in the last Article but one that this Clause was added,——— so far as the said Articles are to be observed, or are observable; which Clause has ever since been inserted in all the subsequent Joyful Entries. And we think ’tis sufficiently demonstrated, that the Privilege in Question is among the Number of the Non-observables with Regard to Foreigners. And namely, in the Case of a Subject of Great Britain; who besides of all the foregoing Reasons, was in procinctu, just ready to run out of Brabant itself, and has thereby rendered himself unworthy of any Privileges belonging to a Brabander.

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The Character of an Independent Whig.
Anno 1720.

INdependency at Court is a Heresy in Politicks, never pardoned, much less countenanced there. Our Whig, therefore, adheres to his Principles, and has no Pretensions to a Place.

Caret invidenda sobrius aula. He scorns all implicit Faith in the State, as well as the Church. The Authority of Names is nothing to him; he judges all Men by their Actions and Behaviour, and hates a Knave of his own Party, as much as he despises a Fool of another. He consents not that any Man, or Body of Men, shall do what they please. He claims a Right of examining all publick Measures, and, if they deserve it, of censuring them. As he never saw much Power possessed without some Abuse, he takes upon him to watch those that have it; and to acquit or expose them, according as they apply it, to the Good of their Country, or their own crooked Purposes.

As to Religion, our Whig is a Protestant; not because he was born so, according to the canting Absurdity in Vogue; or bred so, since in Infancy Religion is acquired like a Lesson in Grammar, purely by the Help of Memory; and therefore Children learn it, whether it be good or bad, as they do Language, from their Nurse, or their Parents. But he is a Protestant because his Judgment and his Eyes inform him, that the Principles of that Faith are warranted by the Bible, and consistent with our Civil Liberties; and he thinks every System which is not so, to be Forgery and Imposture, however dignified or distinguished.

In Consequence of this, he has a great Respect for the Office of a Clergyman; and for his Person, if he deserves Edition: current; Page: [312] it. But if his Doctrine or Practice disgraces his Order, our Whig owns his Contempt for the Men. The Clergy are the best or the worst of Men; and as the first cannot be too much honoured, the latter cannot be too much despised. It is of good Example, and there is equal Reason in it. Why should Virtue and Villany fare alike? Names do not change Qualities, nor Habits Men. Where is the Equity of Rewards and Punishments, and consequently the Force of all Laws, human and divine, if vile Men must be reverenced, and the good can be no more?

It is but reasonable that all Men should be judged by their Actions, and reverenced, or scorned, according to the Goodness or Wickedness of their Lives, without any Regard had to their Titles or Garbs; which signify no more than a Breath of Wind, or the Bark of a Tree.

There is not a greater Insult upon the Understandings of Mankind, than for Priests to challenge Respect from their Habit, when they have forfeited it by their Behaviour. There is no Sanctity in Garments. A Rose in a Man’s Hat does not enlarge his Piety. Grace is not conveyed by a Piece of Lawn, or Chastity by the wearing of a Girdle. A black Gown has neither Sense, nor better Manners, than a black Cloak. Nor is a black Cloak more edifying than a Fustian Frock; no more than a Cambrick Bib is an Antidote against Lewdness, or an Atonement for it.

This consecrating of Garments, and deriving Veneration from a Suit of Cloaths, is barefac’d Priestcraft. It is teaching the Practice of Idolatry to a Gown and Cassock. If a little senseless Pedant, who is a living Contradiction of Virtue and Breeding, can but whip into Orders, and cover himself with Crape, the first Thing he does is to overlook and affront all Mankind, and then demand their Reverence. His Surplice is his Citadel, and he claims the Impunity of an Ambassador for being graceless and saucy.

As to the common Defence which is made for their Immoralities; namely, That they are Flesh and Blood as well as other Men, it is a wretched Piece of Sophistry. If they are not better than others, how are they fit to mend others? And if they cannot leave their Captivity Edition: current; Page: [313] to Sin and Satan, how come they to claim so near an Alliance with Heaven? If they have God’s Commission in their Pockets, and yet will engage in another Service, what Name and Treatment do they deserve? We know the Fate of Rebels and Deserters in a Lay Government. Can Men succeed to the Apostles with the Qualities and Behaviour of Apostales? How will they reconcile a holy Calling to infamous Lives? A Clergyman who is as bad as an ill Layman, is confequently worse. In that Character there is no Medium between doing Good and doing Mischief; since the Influence of Example is stronger than that of Precept. As the Doctrine and Practice of Piety, make up the Profession of a Clergyman, he who deserts Truth and Holiness deserts his Profession, and ought to be no longer owned for a Teacher of Religion, but shunned and hated, as a Foe to Religion and Mankind.

The Clergy have made such a terrible and inhuman Use of Power, in all Ages and Countries where they could come at it, that our Whig is for keeping their Nails always par’d, and their Wings clipp’d, in this Particular. Reason and Liberty are the Two greatest Gifts and Blessings which God has given us, and yet where-ever a priestly Authority prevails, they must either fly or suffer. They are Enemies to the Craft, and must expect no Toleration. Darkness and Chains are the surest Pillars of the sacerdotal Empire, and it cannot stand without them.

Let us remember Archbishop Laud, who having got the Regal Power out of a weak Prince’s Hands, into his own, set his Face against Truth, Property, Conscience, and Liberty, and trampled them all under Foot for several Years together. A Spirit of Cruelty and Dominion govern’d this Man, and he govern’d King and People. His Heart was so impiously bent upon destroying Conscience and the Constitution, and exalting the Priesthood, that when any Man was oppressed in a paltry, tyrannical, Bishop’s Court, the Judges in Westminster-hall durst not obey their Oaths, and the Law, by relieving him; but were forced to be forsworn, to avoid the Anger of his Grace. This upstart, Plebeian Priest, hoped to see the Time, when ne’er a Jack Gentleman in Edition: current; Page: [314] England would dare to stand before a Parson with his Hat on. A fine Scene truly! to see a Gentleman of Fortune and Breeding, stand stooping, and bare-headed, to a small, ill-nurtured Vicar; who had, perhaps, formerly clean’d his Shoes, and lived upon the Crumbs that came from his Table!

Let us look back into former Ages, and round Europe at this Day, and see whether abject Slavery in the People is not, and always has been, the certain Consequence of Power in the Priests. It cannot be denied.

I thank God I know no Power our Clergy have, but that of suing for Tithes, and the like Privileges, which they receive from the Law alone. Those Ecclesiasticks who claim, by Divine Right, any other Power, than that of Exhortation, talk Nonsense, and bely the New Testament. To the Law, and the People who made that Law, they owe their Bread; and to set up for an Independency in Opposition to both, and pretend to a Mastership over them, is arrogant, dangerous, and ought to be penal. I am told it is capital, here in England, for a Protestant to go over to the Romish Religion; and yet shall a Priest dare publickly, from the Press and the Pulpit, to claim, and justify, the most essential, and most formidable Principles of Popery; and thereby declare his Reconciliation with that bloody Religion, which is supported by Fraud, Bondage, and human Slaughter: And shall he for all this go unquestioned? This, in my Opinion, is to contend with Impunity for Usurpation and Rebellion.

Some would seem to qualify these Pretensions, by saying, That they claim a Power. Which seems, in this Case, a Sort of a Contradiction. For if it is a Power, and yet depends upon another Power, then is it, properly speaking, a Jurisdiction of Subjection, and an Authority under an Authority. And while the Law and the Hierarchy are thus own’d to be Master and Man, we desire no more.

Our Whig is for an unlimited Toleration of all Dissenters whatsoever, who own the Laws and our Civil Form of Government. As to their religious Opinions, they are justified in them by Sincerity; and even where that is wanting, God alone is able to judge, and alone Edition: current; Page: [315] has a Right to punish. In Matters of Conscience, he who does his best does well, though he is mistaken. Here all Men must determine for themselves: He who follows another in this Case, without Enquiry, is Man’s Votary, and not God’s. As we have a Right to enquire into the Truth of any Religion, we have also a Right to leave it, if it appears false: But if it stands the Test of Examination, and appears true, then is our Adherence to it founded upon our own Judgment, and not upon Authority. If there be no Right of Inquiry, where is the Use of Perswasion, which implies Doubt? Or of reading the Scripture, which implies Understanding? We believe not a Thing ’till we think it true; and cannot believe it, if we think it false: And to punish Men for having Eyes, or having none, is equally diabolical and tyrannical.

Men disagree daily about Matters, which are subject to the Examination of Sense; and is it likely that we can be all of a Mind about Things which are invisible and disputable? Doctors themselves are daily cavilling; every one contradicts another, and yet all are in the right, and each demands our Faith to his particular Invention. We cannot follow all; and among equal Authorities pray which is the best? For the same Reason that we cannot believe every one of them, we need believe none of them, upon their own Word.

Our Whig goes farther, and thinks that all Protestants ought to be equally employed in a State to which they are equally well affected. The Magistrate has nothing to do with Speculations that purely concern another Life: Nor is it of any Consequence to him, whether his Subjects have a greater Fondness for a Cloak or a Surplice: Their Affections to the political Power, and their Capacity to serve it, are only to be consulted and encouraged. Provided a Man loves Liberty and his Country, what is it to the Commonwealth whether he sings his Prayers or says them? Or whether he thinks a Bishop or a Presbyter the nearer Relation to St. Paul.

These Two Words (Bishop and Presbyter) signify, in Scripture, one and the same Thing, and are equally used to signify one and the fame Officer. Our great Churchmen, indeed, have been pleased to think the Bible mistaken Edition: current; Page: [316] in this Matter, and to be in the right themselves they have made Episcopacy and Presbytery as opposite to each other as Paradise and Purgatory; and have frequently gone to cutting of Throats to prove their Point.

I must confess a Diocese, and a Seat in the House of Lords, are unanswerable Reasons for the Divine Right of Episcopacy. There is no Way of confuting them. You may as well argue with a Guinea-Merchant against the selling of Slaves.

Besides, a lordly Creature, who never preaches (Miracles having long ago ceased) and keeps a great Table and Equipage, and enjoys all the great and good Things of this Life, carries in all these Marks such an Evidence of his being St. Paul’s right Heir, in a lineal Descent, that I wonder any Body dare doubt it.

However, as the plainest Things in Faith are made doubtful among Divines, who have an admirable Knack at starting Difficulties, where no Body else would expect them; our Whig is of Opinion, that the Teacher who walks on Foot, has as good a Title to dispute about Religion, and maintain his own, as the Right Reverend Doctor, who supports his Orthodoxy with a Coach and Six; and should be as much encouraged by the Civil Magistrate, if his Principles and Behaviour square with the Constitution. Is a Man a better Neighbour, or Subject, for nodding to a Table, at the upper End of a Chancel, or for pronouncing his Faith towards the East? Our Churchmen may find good Cause to enjoin these necessary Things, which the Scripture had forgot, and enjoy great Benefit and Obedience from the Practice of them; but in temporal Matters, I am not fully convinced that they make a Man’s Head wiser, or his Heart honester.

I cannot here omit taking Notice of an old fallacious Cry, which has long rung in our Ears; namely, that of no Bishop, no King. This solid Argument was used, with Royal Success, by King James the first, when he sate Deputy for the Clergy, and disputed with the Puritans, at the Conference at Hampton-Court. It was indeed, the best he could use; however he strengthned, and embellished it, with several imperial Oaths, which he swore Edition: current; Page: [317] on that Occasion, to the utter Confusion of his Antagonists, and the great Triumph of the genuine Clergy and the Archbishop; who bestowed the Holy Ghost upon his Majesty, for his Zeal and Swearing on the Church’s Side.

This stupid Saying has formerly filled our Prisons with Dissenters, and chased many of them to America; and by this Means weakened the Kingdom and the Protestant Religion, to keep up good Neighbourhood between the Bishops, and the Prince. But they were neither the Bishops, nor their Creatures, that restored King Charles the second, but a Set of true Presbyterians, who were rewarded for it with Gaol, Fines, and Silent Sabbaths.

Loyalty is not confined to the Mitre. Bishops have given more Disturbance, and occasioned more Distresses to Prince and People, than any other Sort of Men upon Earth. This I can prove. Our own Bishops, for near an hundred Years before the Revolution, were in every Scheme for promoting Tyranny and Bondage. On the other Hand, our Dissenters were ever eminent Opposers of Arbitrary Power, and alway lived peaceably under those Princes who used them like Subjects. If they took up Arms when they were oppressed, Churchmen have done the same, and often without that Cause.

Had it not been for Dissenters, I question whether we should now have had either this Constitution, this King, or this Religion. It is well known that a great Majority of our Churchmen have got Claims and Principles utterly irreconcileable to either. The most mischievous Tenets of Popery are adopted and maintained, and the Ground upon which our Security and Succession stand, is boldly undermined. It is dreadful, and incredible what a Reprobate Spirit reigns amongst the High Clergy.

The Convocation have fallen fiercely upon those who have fallen upon Popery and Jacobitism. And what a Popish, Impious and Rebellious Spirit reigns at Oxford, they themselves save me the Trouble of declaring. Disaffection is promoted; open and black Perjury is justified; and it is held lawful to defy Almighty Vengeance for a Morsel of Bread. A Man’s Conscience is tried by an Oath, and he that can swallow any has none.

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But it is not enough to shipwreck their Souls for their Livings, nor to keep this hellish Corruption at Home. As they practise so they teach, and the spreading of their own Guilt, and the making others as bad as themselves (if Laymen can be so) is made the Duty of their Functions, and the Business of their Lives. Can Antichrist do worse? And are these Men who walk in the Paths of Atheism and Perdition, fit to lead others to Holiness and Eternal Life?

One of the greatest Men of the last Age told King William, That the Universities, if they continued upon the present Foot, would destroy Him, or the Nation, or some of his Successors. And they have ever since been endeavouring to make good his Words. That Prince was so thoroughly apprized of the dangerous Genius and Principles of these two Bodies of Men, that he intended a Regulation, but, as it is said, was prevented by the pernicious Advice of the late Duke of S———, who had at that Time gained the King’s Confidence, and was at the Head of the Whigs, but was betraying both, and making a Party with the Tories, as afterwards plainly enough appeared.

How far, and how fast, these Seminaries have since then corrupted and inflamed the People, every Body knows, and the Nation feels. Had it not been for them we should have lighter Taxes and fewer Soldiers.

Upon the Coming in of his present Majesty, we thought we had a Right to expect such Measures of Government as would not only secure Us for the Time being, but prevent a Relapse into the Dangers out of which Providence had just plucked Us by the Death of——— It is certain that the King brought along with him, and still preserves a Disposition to do Us all the Good which we can propose or desire.

All those Whigs therefore who had no secret Ends to serve by dark Dealings with the Tories, nor private Fortunes to raise by neglecting or perplexing the Publick, insisted upon the Punishment of those who had bargained away the Nation, and upon a Visitation of the Universities, and both were undertaken and promised. But why neither was done, they who are concerned can best Edition: current; Page: [319] tell, if telling was proper. In the mean Time they cannot blame us for guessing.

I am only sorry that the great and surprizing Tenderness, which some have shewn for the High Clergy, has not been able to produce one Instance of Loyalty or Moderation. Perhaps the Priesthood will accept of no Alliance without a total Alteration; and that the Adoption of two or three eminent Persons of their Faction into Partnership with some other eminent Persons, pretending to be of a different Faction, will not do.

However that be, the Universities seem to dread no such Things as a Visitation. Whether they take their Conjectures from our other Measures for Reformation, I cannot say.

The same Spirit which leads us to lessen our Taxes and clear the Publick, and to enlarge the Bottom of Liberty and the Protestant Faith by unyoking of Dissenters, will carry us also to remove the Corruption of our Seminaries, and their disaffected Spawn in too many Parishes. But when such a Spirit will arise, we are not able to foretel. We have been already long deluded with many Prophecies and Promises of that Kind, which, as positive as they were, and as probable as they appeared, have never been fulfilled. We have been even tired with hoping and believing, and now Despair and Infidelity have succeeded, and are like to last as long as their Causes last.

Our Liberties, in the mean Time, lye exceeding precarious. The High Clergy have still the same Engines to play against them, which in Time past have gone very near utterly to overturn them. Their Divine Right is preserved as the Apple of their Eye; a blind Belief in them is inculcated with all their Might; and a blind Obedience to any Royal Idol, who will purchase their Flattery by worshipping them, is at all Times the Burden of their Harangues. As to this last Article, we are I thank God, very safe at present; but the present will not be always.

I could here wonder, for two or three Pages, at the marvellous Strength of Nonsense, and the pitiful Weakness of Human Minds, who by the Perswasion of Falshood and Contradiction can grow zealous for their own Bonds Edition: current; Page: [320] and Wretchedness. And yet is it not so in most Countries, where People are miserable by the Advice of their Priests to please a Tyrant?

There are Bounds set to the Power of our Princes by the same Laws which made them Princes. An English King is limited as well, though not as much as a Dutch Stadtholder, and for the same Reason. The Difference of Names alters not the Case. Would a Dutch Priest dare, in that free Country, to tell the People, that they ought to be Slaves to an Officer of their own making, and yet go without a Whipping, or a Dismission, or something still worse? Is it High Treason to assert that a King has no Title, and ought to be deposed? And is it no Crime to argue and maintain that the People are Slaves, and their Lives and Property at the Mercy of one whom they created, and whose Duty it is, to defend those Lives and that Property?

It is true, too many of the High Clergy never once practise this Doctrine themselves and never encourage it in others but for profitable Purposes. But such is their want of Shame, that they never quit it, and yet never observe it. They preach against Rebellion, and practise Rebellion, just as they are pleased or out of Humour.

Our Whig sees with Pain and Fear the dangerous Condition of our Debts and Taxes. They are a heavy and melancholy Load upon the Nation, and will be so, till it pleases God to raise up proper Hands to relieve us, and who will set about it while it is yet practicable, before more new Wars have puzzled and encreased our Accounts beyond a Possibility of clearing them. They are at present a Canker in the Hearts of many People, and create numerous Foes, whom we in vain strive to terrify or reconcile, if we do not lessen their Burdens.

From hence the Enemies of our Peace and Liberty take Pretence, and find ample Materials, for sowing Disaffection; and we in vain confront, or contradict them. If we are asked, when we shall have done fighting and taxing? we either know not what to answer, or if we name a Time for their ending, at least for their beginning to end, they will not take our Word.

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With the Cure of publick Evils Disaffection will be cured also. All Men, therefore, who are Friends to the King, or the Nation, will labour this Happiness; will avoid entring into all Wars which are not absolutely necessary to the publick Security, and will take every Opportunity to end those which are so, upon honourable Terms: And by this Test let them be tried: We have before our Eyes a pregnant Instance in France (and, I doubt, a dangerous one too for its Neighbours) where an almost universal Disaffection is changed into an universal Love to the Administration, upon the Appearance of its acting for the publick Good.

We have so good a Prince, that let our Debts be ever so high and embarrassed, we have no Reason to fear a Sponge, or a Standing Army, to clear the Kingdom of its Mortgages, though it could be done no other Way: And in his Goodness is our greatest Hope. There are many good Subjects who terrify themselves with such Indignations, which, indeed, are truly terrible, where they well grounded. But his Majesty’s Virtue, and the importunate Call of the Nation, will, no doubt, be too hard, at last, for all ill Management or worse Designs of any who may find their Account in dabling in publick Misfortunes; and who, whilst they think they tread upon a Worm, may rouse a Lion.

Let us remember the sad Fate of Sweden and Denmark. They run into Debts by running into Wars, and the Court took Advantage of their Necessities to seize their Liberties. They grew Slaves by growing insolent. Under his Majesty’s Reign we fear no such thing; and I hope, we shall scorn to suffer it under any other. Besides, as we are told a Remedy is intended, I doubt not but we shall see it the ensuing Sessions, when our Burdens will be eased, and our Difficulties removed. There is a noble Fund of Wealth in the Nation, and we are yet redeemable, if proper Persons offer to undertake it.

Our Whig is a declared Enemy to all Wars, if they are not absolutely necessary. Though he honours a Soldier as he does a Physician, yet he prays to God that he may never have Occasion for either. Arbitrary Courts abroad, are, for the most Part, composed of Officers of the Army; and our Whig has so great a Weakness Edition: current; Page: [322] about him, that he cannot, without very uneasy Images, fee a Glare of Scarlet where he would least wish it. He would not have the Men of the Sword grow familiar to the Eyes of the People, nor become the Equipage of our British Kings.

Military Men are a proper Equipage for those Princes who are Fathers of their People against their Will; who lay the Foundations of Justice in Fear and Blood, and use the Sword as the most natural Means to support those Foundations. In Countries that are enslav’d, the Sword is the Civil Magistrate: That it is not ours is almost a Wonder, considering the Disposition in many of our former Princes to Armies. Our Kings of the Norman Race were perpetually raising English Forces for the Preservation of their French Dominions, and engaging us in eternal Wars on that Score. The Army that enslaved Sweden was raised for the Defence and Enlargement of their German Provinces, which were always a Burden to that Kingdom, and, at length, its utter Ruin.

We do not at present see in Great Britain many more Forces than are necessary to the Civil List; and I hope in proper Time there will not be one more. They furnish another Topick for Clamour to the disaffected, who raise Rebellions, and when they have given Occasion for more Soldiers and more Taxes, cry out, Oppression! Oppression! Sure these People are mad; they dread the Power of the Court, and yet are every Day helping it to more.

If a right Use had been made of the late Rebellion, we might have had now no new ones to fear. But, for whatever Reasons I will not pretend to guess, the Surgeons of that Time were so exceeding gentle in their Operations, that they left a Core in the Wound. Without doubt the Motives for Clemency were irresistible.

I must here acquit His Majesty from the Imputation of any Fondness for a Standing Army. I dare say the Proposal to Disband our Forces after the Rebellion, met with no delay from Him; and I have been told that he lately refused a very importunate Request to increase His Troops. I must also do Justice to the Gentlemen of the Army for having so well done their Duty. If our High Clergy were but equally faithful to their Oaths, and equally Edition: current; Page: [323] Friends to their Country, we should have seen neither new Troops, nor Rebellions. The Army has saved us from the High Church. But for all that I have said, I should be sorry to see the People of England either Love or Fear a standing Force: To do either infers Danger.

I doubt not but when his Majesty shall think fit to Disband more Troops, his Ministry will act with Alacrity and without Art: Because the dismissing of some common Soldiers only, after much Expectation from one Party, and more Noise from another, will be subject to unkind Interpretations.

I hope the Power of Quartering Soldiers is always impartially executed, and that no Consideration is of any Force on this Occasion, but that of the publick Security, and the Loyalty or Disloyalty of the Towns. I am perswaded we shall never hereafter see a Regiment removed out of a Town avowedly disaffected, into another which does not want Dragoons to keep it quiet, purely because the commanding Officer has it in his Eye to stand Candidate for that Town, if ever there should be another Occasion; as I am informed has been practised in former Reigns.

Our Whig was well enough pleased with our Attack upon the Spanish Fleet. It became us, as Sovereigns of the Sea, to pull down betimes the rising Maritime Power of Spain, and thereby secure our Dignity and Trade. But whether the Blow was well pursued, I am not a proper Judge. I shall only say, for the Honour of Great Britain, that we are certainly the best Allies in the whole World and have the most civil way of fighting our Neighbours Battles for them.

It is a very uncommon, though perhaps a necessary Kindness to employ at an immense Expence the Royal Navy of England as Transports for the Emperor’s Troops, and to cruise about a Country at such a distance from us, and for so long a Time together. I doubt not but there will be very good Reasons given for it, if the Parliament shall ever think fit to call for them.

I must here do our Superiors the Justice to own that they take effectual and speedy Methods to finish the Edition: current; Page: [324] Spanish War. For notwithstanding that we had a great Fleet in the Streights, and another in the Baltick, a Third was dispatched with much Resolution and Expence to frighten the Cardinal into pacifick Measures, and to conquer Vigo, tho’ we were threatned at the same Time at Home with a dreadful Invasion from the late Duke of Ormond. But no domestick Danger can hinder a brave People from exerting their martial Genius, and making a heroick Figure abroad.

In this Vigo Expedition it is said we have had wonderful Success. For not to mention that the Town would infallibly have been plundered, had not the Inhabitants gutted their Houses when they run away, it is certain that we have vanquished several great Guns and brought them away Captives. It is also credibly reported, that we have taken from the Enemy some of their Fishing Tackle.

Our Whig allows Great Men to have their private Failings and Passions. It cannot be otherwise; and they are unreasonable and ill bred who upbraid them with it. But in the Name of God let them not indulge them at the Expence of the Nation. Let them not postpone the Care of the publick Welfare to mind their own. Let them not out of personal Piques give up Whig Boroughs into Jacobite Hands. Let them not for the sake of a Mistress or a Crony disable worthy Men, and patronise worthyless. Let them not run into mad Dangers, and then endeavour to alter and confound the Constitution for their personal Security from those Dangers. Let them not out of Self-ends, and for secret (perhaps pernicious Jobs) be tampering and juggling with the Nation’s Enemies, and deserting and betraying that Party which is eminent for its Love of Liberty, to those who are its stigmatized Enemies.

The Duke of Buckingham, chief Minister to the blessed Martyr, involved his Country in two Wars at a Time, when the Exchequer was empty, with the two great neighbouring Kingdoms, because he was baulked in his lustful Designs upon a French Lady and a Spanish. And the Duke of Lauderdale, because he was disobliged by the Kirk, a Member of which he once was, ruled his Edition: current; Page: [325] native Kingdom of Scotland by a great Army and sanguinary Laws, all the Reign of King Charles the Second.

I cannot forbear digressing a little here, to shew the wretched State of Scotland at that Time. High Church, which by Force and Cruelty had expelled Presbytery, enjoyed then a rare Time of revelling in the Blood of Schismaticks. The Orthodox Priests became every where Informers against the Preaching and Praying of Nonconformists, and the Soldiers, to please the Priests, became their Butchers. And the poor religious People, when caught provoking the Clergy by Devotion, were unmercifully put to Death without Law, Jury, or Record. So were those Men rewarded, who had received, and crowned that King, when his Life was sought by those who took away his Father’s.

But to return. I can prove it, that the whole Legislative Power of this Nation has been in former Reigns engaged in gratifying a diabolical Passion of one Man; and our Security and Liberties have been sacrificed to Humour or a Mistress. When a Minister makes haste to be rich, the Service of his Country must either lye still, or go on no faster than he gets by it. A whole People was finely employed when they were labouring for the Pocket of one who was betraying them at the same Time. Most Men are willing to allow a great Officer, if he would but carefully cook the Nation’s Money, to lick his own Fingers and thrive upon his Employment. But he who exhausts the Nation for his own Use, is a publick Highwayman, and the whole Kingdom should be his Prosecutors. I do not believe that there are such Practices at present——— I pray God defend us from the future. That such Things may be safely done, is evident from hence, that of all the overgrown Leeches of the last Reigns (for I suppose there have been none in this) not one has been yet drained of his ill got Wealth.

Gaming is so dreadful a Vice, especially in those who are any way intrusted with our Liberties, that I cannot pass over it in silence.

A Man who will venture his Estate will venture his Country. He who is mad enough to commit his All to Edition: current; Page: [326] the Chance of a Dye, is like to prove but a faithless Guardian of the Publick, in which he has perhaps no longer any Stake. It is a Jest, and something worse in a Man who flings away his Fortune this way, to pretend any Regard for the good of Mankind. His Actions give his Words the Lie. He sacrifices his own Happiness, and that of his Family and Posterity, to a Sharper or an Amusemen, and by doing it shews that he is utterly destitute of common Prudence and natural Affection; and on the contrary, an Encourager and Example of the most destructive Corruption; and after all this ridiculously talks of his Zeal for his Country, which consist in good Sense and Virtue joined to a Tenderness for one’s Fellow Creatures. When he has wantonly reduced himself to a Morsel of Bread, he will be easily perswaded to forsake his Wretchedness and accept of a Bribe. Who would trust their Property with one who cannot keep his own? The same vicious Imbecility of Mind which makes a Man a Fool to himself, will make him a Knave to other People. So that this wicked Proneness to play, which is only the impious Art of undoing and being undone, cuts off every Man who is possessed with it, from all pretence either to Honesty or Capacity. I doubt England has paid dear for such Extravagancies. A Law-maker and a Gamester, is a Character big with Absurdity and Danger. I wish that in every Member of either House Gaming were attended with Expulsion and Degradation; and, in every Officer Civil or Military, with the Loss of his Place. A Law enjoining this Penalty would be effectual, and no other can. We see it goes on, upon the present Foot, in spight of Satyr and Acts of Parliament. I would have this execrable Corruption meet with no Encouragement. The Frowns of the Court would certainly put a check to it, but then there must not be an Office kept on purpose for it.

Our Whig has an equal Aversion to Masquerades. They are a Market for Maidenheads and Adultery; a dangerous Luxury opposite to Virtue and Liberty. There was something like them formerly in the Reigns of our worst Princes, by the Name of Masks. As the present Reign resembles these in nothing else, so neither would Edition: current; Page: [327] I have it resemble them in this. They were revived, or rather introduced, after the French way by a Foreign Ambassador, whose only Errand then in England could be but to corrupt and enslave us, and for that End this mad and indecent Diversion was practis’d and exhibited by him as a popular Engine to catch loose Minds, or to make them so, with great Success. What good Purpose they can serve now, I would be glad to know;——— The Mischief of them is manifest both to the Publick, and private Persons; a Handle is taken from them to traduce some great Characters, whom I would have always reverenced; and they are visibly an Opportunity and Invitation to Lewdness.

If People will have Amusements, let them have warrantable and decent ones; as to Masquerades, they are so much the School of Vice, that excepting a Law to declare it innocent and safe, I question whether Human Invention can contrive a more successful Method of propagating it.

The Practice of the Commonalty is formed upon the Example of the Great, and what the latter do the former think they may do. If a City Wife has it in her Head, against her Husband’s Inclinations, to take the Pleasures of the Masquerade, she has but to tell him that my Lady Dutchess ——— is to be there (no doubt upon the same Errand) and the poor, sober, saving Man must submit, and be content to be in the Class of his Betters.

From this Source of Prostitution I fear many a worthy Man takes to his Arms a tainted and vicious Wife, and finds in her a melancholy Reason both for himself and his Posterity to curse and detest Masquerades, and all those that encouraged them. I was in hopes they were at an end. I heard that the Theatre in the Hay-Market was to be used intirely another way, and that our Understandings were only to be affronted this Winter in that Place with Italian Quavers and Cremona Fiddles; for which I was not sorry, since the leaving of Debauchery for the sake of Nonsense, is still some degree of Reformation. Let us make much of it———Though I would feign hope it is not the only one we are like to see.

Some weak People would insinuate, as if those in high Place promoted these infamous Amusements as a Means Edition: current; Page: [328] to divert busy Heads from diving into their Actions——— But this must be a malicious and sensless Slander, since all the Measures of these Gentlemen are so clear and honourable that they themselves need fear no Scrutiny.

Having neither Wife nor Daughter of my own I am anxious only for the Ease and Reputation of those that have. So that I have no Motive but the Love of publick Virtue to say what I have said upon this Theme.

I could wish that those Reverend Gentlemen, whose Business and Duty it more properly is, to expose this Scene of Iniquity, had prevented me. If our Lent Preachers have omitted it, I can ascribe it to nothing but Forgetfulness, or their good Breeding. And yet where is there a more necessary, where a more affecting Subject? Here, O ye Bishops, Priests and Deacons, shew the Zeal with which you abound; here shew Danger, not to the Church indeed, but Danger to Virtue, Danger to Christianity! Here alarm your Peoples Ears, here rouse their Passions; and cease combating harmless Notions and dry Ideas, till you have utterly defeated glaring Vice and exorbitant Debauchery.

Our Whig is an irreconcilable Enemy to the selling of Places, or conferring them partially. To be given to the Worthiest, is the publick Voice upon this Occasion. They are the national Rewards for well deserving, or a Capacity of deserving well; and it is evident Injustice, and a kind of Robbery, to dispose of them upon other Motives. If the Candidate has Merit, the tacit Consent of the People is already on his Side; and why should he give Money for that which is his due? If he has not Merit, why should he have the Recompence of it? Freely you have received, freely give, is a Precept which has Reason as well as Inspiration to recommend and enforce it.

Most or all of the great Places are given Gratis to those who, as to their Fortunes, do not want them, and no Cause can be assigned but Avarice and want of Human Compassion why any of the small ones should be sold, when they are sought for the most part as the Means of Life and Subsistence.

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He that can bargain away a little Post, would from the same vile Principle dispose of a great Kingdom upon valuable Considerations; and sooner, as the Price must be greater, and consequently the Motives stronger.

Every Guilt of this kind, when detected, should be branded with Incapacity and a publick Mark of Infamy. It is making Traffick of one’s Country; It is plundering Worth of its Birthright; and it has a degree of Malignity and Vileness in it, which ought to be narrowly watched and severely punished. It is true this Villany cannot be always detected openly; but by observing Mens Circumstances we may guess whether they spend or lay up more than their honest Income; and if they do, we may take them for Criminals, and either oblige them to account for the Exceedings, or disable them from hurting us more in the same Station.

In King Charles the Second’s Time, a French Woman or two, and a Tribe of other hungry Courtiers who came with him from beyond Sea, did by the Connivance of the Ministry, and in Confederacy with them, make a fair Penny of the Birthright of Britains. The Parliament of that Time, who should have been the Guardians and Watchmen of the Publick, were themselves engaged in a Trade of Corruption, and spoke, or held their Tongues, as they were paid. In that Long Parliament there was a Majority of Pensioners, who overlooked these dark Dealings, and many more, particularly that of the arbitrary Encrease of the Prince’s Guards, which was the first Approach towards a standing Army. These Guards have never been reduced since. This shews the dreadful Danger of Precedents.

But neither ought Places to be bestowed out of private and personal Regards. I have heard of the Time, when a mean obscure Jacobite, was put into a fine Post for Life, purely for a Piece of Work which deserved no more than an Attorney’s Fee. Besides, the Publick had no concern in it. When at the same Time, very many deserving Whigs remain’d unprovided for, and even neglected, though they had done their Country more Service than some who had much better Luck.

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There were a Sort of Men amongst us many Years since, who being of great Consequence to themselves, had adopted the Craft of Churchmen, and very solemnly assured us that the Nation was always in imminent Danger when they were not in Place. But as soon as the Steerage was committed to them, and they were got into a way of thriving, all was safe, and yet nothing altered. It was of no Moment how other Posts were conferred, provided they enjoyed the greatest, and the Power of giving the smaller. If a Pretender was worth Money, or had done a private Job, no matter for his Parts and Principles; Worthlessness and Jacobitism were no Bars to Preserment; nay, the Tories were invited to accept of very good Places and welcome, provided they aimed not at the highest of all. But for the Whigs of the private and inferior Class, they were at Liberty to do what Good they pleased to their Country and to Mankind, without the least Pretensions to the Friendship of the Great: On the contrary, they were told they very arrogantly disobliged them, and marred their Schemes by their officious Behaviour.

I am persuaded it is otherwise now, and that in due Time we shall see the Bishop of Bangor preferred suitably to his great Merit. I hope it is not inconsistent with any Schemes. I am sure the Interests of Truth and Liberty are nearly concerned in it. For my part, I should not wonder if both Houses of Parliament adressed his Majesty to give his Lordship the best Bishoprick in England, as he is the best Defender of the Liberties of England.

I hope it is not true what I am told, namely, That the Bishop has not only met with hard Usage and Disappointment, but even hard Names from some People, for his keeping up a Spirit which hindered the Adoption of some true Sons of the Church into certain Schemes.

Let me alone and I will let you alone, is no longer the Language of Children at play. A much wiser sort of People have taken it up, and it appears to be the first Article of a certain Bargain, which all last Winter we were put in Hopes of.

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If such People could have their Will, the Seminaries and their Missionaries might go on to scatter their Poison, and level their Doctrines against the fundamental Security of this Nation; to strike at the Root of our Peace; to over-bear the most glaring Truths with bold and Dangerous Falshoods, and to have it in their Power to make us miserable Bondmen whenever they have a fair Opportunity. Then not a Stroke must be struck that may displease or disappoint them; not a Corruption be removed that they are fond of; not a Clergyman rewarded nor any Body else, who has writ in Defence of Liberty, and made them angry.

But Almighty God has been so merciful to this poor Nation, as to bless us with a Ministry, who, scorning all mean Transactions, will also scorn to enter into any Measures of Union and Confederacy with the High Clergy, till the whole Body of them have given us demonstrative Proofs of their Attachment to our present Settlement and Civil Rights; but will, on the contrary, enable the Dissenters, in the mean Time, to defend us and themselves against any future Attempts to disturb and enslave us.

While His Majesty reigns, let Him have what Counsellors He will, our Liberties will be secure. His very Person and Countenance shew Him to be a virtuous, wise and beneficent Prince, and every Action of His Life confirms it. But will He live for ever? And can we forget our many Struggles with the High Clergy for the Preservation of our Liberty? Are not these Men, whom we set up and maintain, for ever endeavouring to pull us down, and to make a Prey of our Prosperity, and Slaves of our Persons? Do they not claim our Lands for their Possessions, and us for their Vassals? Have we not been forced to wage War with our own Mercenaries?

May we not therefore expect during His Majesty’s Reign Security against the Time to come? Have we not been promised it? And will any Body dare to affirm that he refuses it? No, no. I wish others were as ready to ask as he will be to comply. His first and chief Care, the Nation’s Happiness, is concerned in it; and the Nation’s Edition: current; Page: [332] Principal Care, the Security of His Person and Family, is also concerned in it: And they who oppose or neglect it, oppose and neglect both.

The Dissenters have undeniably proved themselves excellent Subjects and Englishmen; and it will always be their Interest to do so, while they have Protection and Encouragement, which God and Nature, and our Constitution allow them. They aim at no Independent Power. They have no Pretensions upon the Lands and Liberties of England. They have to a Man kept their Oaths to the Government, and opposed the Rebellion. They are a sober and industrious People, and Promoters of Morality and Trade, two great Props of Liberty. And the highest Objection against them is, That they will not kneel down to a Priest, nor worship a piece of Crape. Yet they still stand where they did, and are like to stand; for it seems there are many Asseverations and Oaths gone forth against them, That the Dissenters shall rise no higher.

It is fit the Dissenters should know that they deserve, in every Respect, the best Usage the Nation can give them; and the honest part of the Nation, to do it Justice, is not to blame if they want it.

Every Government stands by confiding in those that love it. The present Ministry owe their being so to their Principles of Liberty, and their Adherrence to the Succession. And is it not equally reasonable that the Dissenters, who have the same Plea, should possess in a proper Degree the same Favour? And yet have they any other Reward than Two or Three meer Negatives? They contributed largely to save the Nation, and therefore they are not persecuted. Exceeding kind and bountiful!

Their Zeal and Industry, to say nothing of their Expences, in chusing Protestant Members for the present Parliament, will, I don’t doubt, be powerful Motives with grateful Men to relieve these their Friends and Befactors from the Fetters of Tests which were intended against Papists. And the remarkable Spirit and Alacrity which they shewed in quelling the late Rebellion, tho’ at the Danger of Penalties and Prosecutions, was likewise Edition: current; Page: [333] a loud Demand upon those who could take their Thoughts off themselves, and turn them to the publick Interest, to distinguish with Qualifications and Rewards such a numerous Body of well affected Men.

That such a publick Spirited Design could not have been carried through, will hardly be believed. Projects of a very different and and inferior Nature have been attended with surprizing Success. And not one Bill, or Scheme, that had the least Face of publick Good, has miscarried. No; we have been triumphant in our Undertakings in the House of Commons: Insomuch that it is hard to determine which is more remarkable, the Zeal of that House for the Ease and Interest of the Publick, or its commendable Faith in the Ministry.

A certain Project indeed was very justly, and very fortunately for Great Britain, received by all disinterested Persons with a general Abhorrence. What must some Men have done, when nothing can screen them but the altering and overturning of Foundations?

But to return, and put the Behaviour of High Church in Ballance with that of the Dissenters. The corrupt Clergy were through all England pushing at our Settlement with all their Might and Malice. Some of them indeed were wary and silent, but their good Will was never the less. So true is it, that they who are not for us, are against us? Even in their Neutrality they were forsworn. Thus the Ambassadors of Peace and Truth, and the great Advocates for Non-Resistance, became the Trumpeters of War, and the Patrons of Perjury and Rebellion.

If the Dissenters knew what Bargains are driven, and with what Contempt they are spoken of and what a mortal Antipathy there is in some People against giving them any substantial Advantages, they would not be so very free in drinking certain Healths, which are now, for good Causes, omitted by their truest Patrons in Town. But I am told they themselves begin to be pretty well cured of their wonted Fondness that way. God knows, they have sufficient Reason, Mr. W ——— was once their great Favourite: They see how he served them. Have Edition: current; Page: [334] they found others much kinder? I wish that even their professed Plenipo’s, who lose nothing by being at the Head of their Affairs, do not now and then drop their Zeal for Separation, in Consideration of a Bank Bill, or a pretty Income. It is certain they go every Length; whether consistently with their Commission, let their Principals judge.

There has been lately a Motion made in the Irish Parliament, in favour of Protestant Dissenters in that Kingdom. I will not suppose they are beholding for this Favour to the Author of the Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury; but of this I dare be positive, That if some People have half as much Zeal for passing such a Bill in Ireland, as they had, and, I am told, still have, for passing another in England, it will not hereafter miscarry.

P. S. In the Second Part of this Character will be considered the Affair of a Northern War.

A Discourse of Standing Armies; Shewing the Folly, Uselesness, and Danger of Standing Armies in Great Britain.
Anno 1722.

When, in King William’s Reign, the Question was in Debate, Whether England should be ruled by Standing Armies? The Argument commonly used by some who had the Presumption to call themselves Whigs, and owned in the Ballancing Letter, supposed to be written by one who gave the Word to all the rest, Edition: current; Page: [335] was, That all Governments must have their Periods one Time or other, and when that Time came, all Endeavours to preserve Liberty were fruitless; and shrewd Hints were given in that Letter, that England was reduced to such a Condition; that our Corruptions were so great, and the Dissatisfaction of the People was so general, that the publick Safety could not be preserved, but by encreasing the Power of the Crown: And this Argument was used by those shameless Men, who had caused all that Corruption, and all that Dissatisfaction.

But that Gentleman and his Followers were soon taught to speak other Language: They were remov’d from the Capacity of perplexing publick Affairs any more. The Nation shew’d a Spirit that would not submit to Slavery; and their unhappy and betrayed Master, from being the most popular Prince who ever sat upon the English Throne, became, through the Treachery of his Servants, suspected by many of his best Subjects, and was rendered unable, by their Jealousies, to defend himself and them; and so considerable a Faction was formed against his Administration, that no good Man can reflect without Concern and Horror, on the Difficulties which that Great and Good King was reduced to grapple with, during the Remainder of his troublesome Reign.

I have lately met with some Creatures and Tools of Power, who speak the same Language now: They tell us, that Matters are come to that Pass, that we must either receive the Pretender, or keep him out with Bribes and Standing Armies: That the Nation is so corrupt, that there is no governing it by any other Means; And, in short, that we must submit to this great Evil, to prevent a greater; as if any Mischief could be more terrible than the highest and most terrible of all Mischiefs, universal Corruption, and a military Government. It is indeed impossible for the Subtilty of Traitors, the Malice of Devils, or for the Cunning and Cruelty of our most implacable Enemies, to suggest stronger Motives, for the undermining and Overthrow of our excellent Establishment, which is built upon the Destruction of Tyranny, and can stand upon no other Bottom. It is Edition: current; Page: [336] Madness in Extremity, to hope that a Government founded upon Liberty, and the free Choice of the Assertors of it, can be supported by other Principles; and whoever would maintain it by contrary ones, intends to blow it up, let him alledge what he will. This gives me every Day new Reasons to believe what I have long suspected; for, if ever a Question should arise, Whether a Nation shall submit to certain Ruin, or struggle for a Remedy? these Gentlemen well know which Side they will chuse, and certainly intend that which they must chuse.

I am willing to think, that these impotent Babblers speak not the Sense of their Superiors, but would make servile Court to them from Topicks which they abhor. Their Superiors must know, that it is Raving and Phrenzy to affirm, that a free People can be long govern’d by impotent Terrors; that Millions will consent to be ruin’d by the Corruptions of a few; or that those few will join in their Ruin any longer than the Corruption lasts: That every Day new and greater Demands will rise upon the Corruptors; that no Revenue, how great soever, will feed the Voraciousness of the Corrupted; and that every Disappointment will make them turn upon the Oppressors of their Country, and fall into its true Interest and their own: That there is no Way in Nature to preserve a Revolution in Government, but by making the People easy under it, and shewing them their Interest in it; and that Corruption, Bribery, and Terrors, will make no lasting Friends, but infinite and implacable Enemies; and that the best Security of a Prince amongst a free People, is the Affections of his People, which he can always gain by making their Interest his own, and by shewing that all his Views tend to their Good. They will then, as they love themselves, love him, and defend him who defends them. Upon this faithful Basis, his Safety will be better established, than upon the ambitious and variable Leaders of a few Legions, who may be corrupted, disoblig’d, or surpriz’d, and often have been so; and hence great Revolutions have been brought about, and great Nations undone, only by the Revolt of single Regiments.

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Shew a Nation their Interest, and they will certainly fall into it: A whole People can have no Ambition but to be governed justly; and when they are so, the Intrigues and Dissatisfactions of Particulars will fall upon their own Heads. What has any of our former Courts ever got by Corruption, but to disaffect the People, and weaken themselves? Let us now think of other Methods, if it is only for the Sake of the Experiment. The Ways of Corruption have been tried long enough in past Administrations: Let us try, in this, what publick Honesty will do, and not condemn it, before we have fully proved it, and found it ineffectual; and it will be Time enough to try other Methods, when this fails.

That we must either receive the Pretender, or keep up great Armies to keep him out, is frightful and unnatural Language to English Ears: It is an odd Way of dealing with us, that of offering us, or forcing upon us, an Alternative, where the Side which they would recommend, is full as formidable as the Side from which they would terrify us. If we are to be governed by Armies, it is all one to us, whether they be Protestant or Popish Armies; the Distinction is ridiculous, like that between a good and a bad Tyranny: We see, in Effect, that it is the Power and Arms of a Country, that forms and directs the Religion of a Country; and I have before shewn, that true Religion cannot subsist, where true Liberty does not. It was chiefly, if not wholly, King James’s usurped Power, and his many Forces, and not his being Papist, that rendered him dreadful to his People. Military Governments are all alike; nor does the Liberty and Property of the Subject fare a bit the better, or the worse, for the Faith and Opinion of the Soldiery. Nor does an Arbitrary Protestant Prince use his People better than an Arbitrary Popish Prince, and we have seen both Sorts of them changing the Religion of their Country, according to their Lust.

They are therefore stupid Politicians, who would derive Advantages from a Distinction which is manifestly without a Difference: It is like, however, that they may improve in their Subtilties, and come, in Time, to distinguish between corrupt Corruption, and uncorrupt Corruption, between a good ill Administration, and an Edition: current; Page: [338] ill good Administration, between oppressive Oppression, and unoppressive Oppression, and between French Dragooning and English Dragooning; for there is scarce any other new Pitch of Nonsense and Contradiction left to such Men in their Reasoning upon Publick Affairs, and in the Part they act in them.

Of a Piece with the rest, is the stupid Cunning of some Sort of Statesmen, and practised by most Foreign Courts, to blame the poor People for the Misery they bring upon them. They say they are extremely corrupt, and so keep them starving and enslaved by Way of Protection. They corrupt them by all manner of Ways and Inventions, and then reproach them for being corrupt. A whole Nation cannot be bribed, and if its Representatives are, it is not the Fault, but the Misfortune of the Nation; and if the Corrupt save themselves by corrupting others, the People who suffer by the Corruptions of both, are to be pitied, and not abused. Nothing can be more shameless and provoking, than to bring a Nation by execrable Frauds and Extortions, against its daily Protestations and Remonstrances, into a miserable Pass, and then father all those Villanies upon the People who would have gladly hanged the Authors of them. At Rome, the whole People could be entertained, feasted, and bribed; but it is not so elsewhere, where the People are too numerous, and too far spread, to be debauched, cajoled, and purchased; and if any of their Leaders are, it is without the People’s Consent.

There is scarce such a Thing under the Sun as a corrupt People, where the Government is uncorrupt; it is that, and that alone, which makes them so; and to calumniate them for what they do not seek, but suffer by, is as great Impudence, as it would be to knock a Man down, and then rail at him for hurting himself. In what Instances do the People of any Country in the World throw away their Money by Millions, unless by trusting it to those who do so? Where do the People send great Fleets, at a great Charge, to be frozen up in one Climate, or to be eaten up by Worms in another, unless for their Trade and Advantage? Where do the People enter into mad Wars against their Interest, or, after victorious ones, make Peace, without stipulating for one Edition: current; Page: [339] new Advantage for themselves; but, on the contrary, pay the Enemy for having beaten them? Where do the People plant Colonies, or purchase Provinces, at a vast Expence, without reaping, or expecting to reap, one Farthing from them, and yet still defend them at a further Expence? Where do the People make distracted Bargains, to get imaginary Millions, and after having lost by such Bargains almost all the real Millions they had, yet give more Millions to get rid of them? What wise or dutiful People consents to be without the Influence of the Presence of their Prince, and of his Virtues, or of those of his Family, who are to come after him? No— these Things are never done by any People; but, whereever they are done, they are done without their Consent; and yet all these Things have been done in former Ages, and in neighbouring Kingdoms.

For such guilty and corrupt Men, therefore, to charge the People with Corruption, whom either they have corrupted, or cannot corrupt, and, having brought great Misery upon them, to threaten them with more, is, in effect, to tell them plainly, ‘Gentlemen, we have used you very ill, for which you who are innocent of it, are to blame; we therefore find it necessary, for your Good, to use you no better, or rather worse; and if you will not accept of this our Kindness, which, however, we will force upon you, if we can we will give you up into the terrible Hands of raw Head and bloody Bones; who, being your Enemy, may do you as much Mischief, as we who are your Friends have done you.’ I appeal to common Sense, Whether this be not the Sum of such Threats and Reasonings in their native Colours.

The Partizans of Oliver Cromwell, when he was meditating Tyranny over the Three Natious, gave out, that it was the only Expedient to balance Factions, and to keep out Charles Stuart; and so they did worse Things to keep him out, than he could have done if they had let him in. And, after the King’s Restoration, when there was an Attempt made to make him absolute, by enabling him to raise Money without Parliament; an Attempt which every Courtier, except Lord Clarendon, came into; it was alledged to be the only Expedient to keep the Nation from falling back into a Commonwealth; as if Edition: current; Page: [340] any Commonwealth upon Earth was not better than any Absolute Monarchy. His Courtiers foresaw, that by their mad and extravagant Measures, they should make the Nation mad, and were willing to save themselves by the fatal Destruction of the Nation; they therefore employed their Creatures to whisper abroad stupid and villainous Reasons why People should be content to be finally undone, lest something not near so bad should befall them.

Those who have, by abusing a Nation, forfeited its Affections, will never be for trusting a People, who, they know, do justly detest them; but having procured their Aversion and Enmity, will be for fortifying themselves against it by all proper Ways; and the Ways of Corruption, Depredation, and Force, being the only proper ones, they will not fail to be practised; and those who practise them, when they can no longer deny them, will be finding Reasons to justify them; and because they dare not avow the true Reasons, they must find such false ones as are most likely to amuse and terrify: And hence so much Nonsense and Improbability uttered in that Reign, and sometimes since, to vindicate guilty Men, and vilify an innocent People, who were so extravagantly fond of that Prince, that their Liberties were almost gone, before they would believe them in Danger.

It is as certain that King James II, wanted no Army to help him to preserve the Constitution, nor to reconcile the People to their own Interest: But, as he intended to invade and destroy both, nothing but Corruption and a Standing Army could enable him to do it; and, thank God, even his Army failed him, when he brought in Irish Troops to help them. This therefore was his true Design; but his Pretences were very different: He pleaded the Necessity of his Affairs, nay, of publick Affairs, and of keeping up a good Standing Force to preserve his Kingdoms forsooth from Insults at home and from abroad. This was the Bait; but his People, who had no longer any Faith in him, and to whom the Hook appeared threatening and bare would not believe him, nor swallow it; and if they were jealous of him, restless under him, and ready to rise against him, Edition: current; Page: [341] he gave them sufficient Cause. He was under no Hardship nor Necessity but what he created to himself, nor did his People withdraw their Affections from him, till he had withdrawn his Right to those Affections. Those who have used you ill, will never forgive you; and it is no new Thing wantonly to make an Enemy, and then to calumniate and destroy him for being so.

When People, through continual ill Usage, grow weary of their present ill Condition, they will be so far from being frightn’d with a Change, that they will wish for one; and instead of terrifying them, by threatning them with one, you do but please them, even in Instances where they have no Reason to be pleased. Make them happy, and they will dread any Change; but while they are ill used, they will not fear the worst. The Authors of publick Misery and Plunder, may seek their only Safety in general Desolation; but, to the Pople, nothing can be worse than Ruin, from what Hand soever it comes: A Protestant Musket kills as sure as a Popish one, and an Oppressor is an Oppressor, to whatever Church he belongs: The Sword and the Gun are of every Church, and so are the Instruments of Oppression. The late Directors were all stanch Protestants; and Cromwell had a violent Aversion to Popery.

We are, doubtless, under great Necessities in our present Circumstances; but to increase them, in order to cure them, would be a preposterous Remedy, worthy only of them who brought them upon us; and who, if they had common Shame in them, would conceal, as far as they could, under Silence, the heavy Evils, which, tho’ they lie upon every Man’s Shoulders, yet lie only at the Doors of a few. The Plea of Necessity, if it can be taken, will justify any Mischief, and the worst Mischiefs. Private Necessity makes Men Thieves and Robbers; but publick Necessity requires that Robbers of all Sizes should be hanged. Publick Necessity therefore, and the Necessity of such pedant Politicians, are different and opposite Things. There is no Doubt, but Men guilty of great Crimes, would be glad of an enormous Power to protect them in the greatest; and then tell us there is a Necessity for it. Those against Edition: current; Page: [342] whom Justice is armed, will never talk thus, and ever think it necessary to disarm her. But whatever sincere Services they may mean to themselves by it, they can mean none to his Majesty, who would be undone with his Subjects, by such treacherous and ruinous Services: And therefore it is fit that Mankind should know, and they themselves should know, that his Majesty can and will be defended against them and their Pretender, without Standing Armies, which would make him formidable only to his People, and contemptible to his Foes, who take justly the Measure of his Power from his Credit with his Subjects.

But I shall consider what present Occasion there is of keeping up more Troops than the usual Guards and Garrisons, and shall a little further animadvert upon the Arts and frivolous Pretences made Use of, in former Reigns, to reduce this Government to the Condition and Model of the pretended jure Divino-Monarchies, where Millions must be miserable and undone, to make one and a few of his Creatures lawless, rampant, and unsafe.

It is certain, that Liberty is never so much in danger, as upon a Deliverance from Slavery. The remaining Dread of the Mischiefs escaped, generally drives, or decoys Men into the same or greater; for then the Passions and Expections of some, run high; and the Fears of others make them submit to any Misfortunes to avoid an Evil that is over; and both Sorts concur in giving to a Deliverer all that they are delivered from: In the Transports of a Restoration, or Victory, or upon a Plot discovered, or a Rebellion quelled, nothing is thought too much for the Benefactor, nor any Power too great to be left to his Discretion, tho’ there can never be less Reason for giving it to him than at those Times; because, for the most part, the Danger is past, his Enemies are defeated and intimidated, and consequently that is a proper Juncture for the People to settle themselves, and secure their Liberties, since no one is likely to disturb them in doing so.

However, I confess, that Custom, from Time immemorial, is against me, and the same Custom has made most of Mankind Slaves: Agathocles saved the Syracusians, and afterwards destroyed them. Pisistratus pretending Edition: current; Page: [343] to be wounded for protecting the People, prevailed with them to allow him a Guard for the Defence of his Person, and by the Help of that Guard usurp’d the Sovereignty: Cæsar and Marius delivered the Commons of Rome from the Tyranny of the Nobles, and made themselves Masters of both Commons and Nobles: Sylla delivered the Senate from the Insolence of the People, and did them more Mischief than the Rabble could have done in a Thousand Years: Gustavus Ericson delivered the Swedes from the Oppression of the Danes, and made large Steps towards enslaving them himself: The Antwerpians called in the Duke of Allencon, to defend them against the Spaniards; but he was no sooner got, as he thought, in full Possession of their Town, but he fell upon them himself with the Forces which he brought for their Defence. But the Townsmen happened to be too many for him, and drove these their new Protectors home again: Which Disappointment, and just Disgrace, broke that good Duke’s Heart. Oliver Cromwell headed an Army which pretended to fight for Liberty, and by that Army became a Bloody Tyrant; as I once saw a Hawk very generously rescue a Turtle Dove from the Persecutions of two Crows, and then eat him up himself.

Almost all Men desire Power, and few lose any Opportunity to get it, and all who are like to suffer under it, ought to be strictly upon their Guard in such Conjunctures as are most likely to encrease, and make it uncontroulable. There are but two Ways in Nature to enslave a People, and continue that Slavery over them; the first is Superstition, and the last is Force: By the one, we are perswaded that it is our Duty to be undone; and the other undoes us whether we will or no. I take it, that we are pretty much out of Danger of the first, at present; and, I think, we cannot be too much upon our guard against the other; for, tho’ we have nothing to fear from the best Prince in the World, yet we have every thing to fear from those who would give him a Power inconsistent with Liberty, and with a Constitution which has lasted almost a Thousand Years without such a Power, which will never be asked with an Intention to make no Use of it.

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The Nation was so mad, upon the Restoration of King Charles II. that they gave to him all that he asked, and more than he asked: They complemented him with a vast Revenue for Life, and almost with our Liberties and Religion too; and if unforeseen Accidents had not happened to prevent it, without doubt we had lost both; and if his Successor could have had a little Patience, and had used no Rogues but his old Rogues, he might have accomplished the Business, and Popery and Arbitrary Power had been Jure Divino at this Day; but he made too much haste to be at the End of his Journey; and his Priests were in too much haste to be on Horseback too, and so the Beast grew skittish, and overthrew them both.

Then a new Set of Deliverers arose, who had saved us from King James’s Army, and wou’d have given us a bigger in the Room of it, and some of them Foreigners; and told us that the King longed for them, and it was a Pity that so good a Prince should lose his Longing, and miscarry; but he did lose it, and miscarried no otherwise than by losing a great Part of the Confidence which many of his best Subjects before had in his Moderation; which Loss, made the Remainder of his Reign uneasy to him, and to every good Man who saw it: I remember, all Men then declared against a Standing Army, and the Courtiers amongst the rest, who were only for a Land Force, to be kept up no longer than till the King of France disbanded his, and till the Kingdom was settled, and the People better satisfied with the Administration; and then there was nothing left to do, in order to perpetuate them, but to take Care that the People should never be satisfied: An Art often practis’d with an amazing Success.

The Reasons then given for keeping up an Army were, the great Number of Jacobites, the Disaffection of the Clergy and Universities, the Power and Enmity of France, and the Necessity of preserving so excellent a Body of Troops to maintain the Treaty of Partition, which they had newly and wisely made: But notwithstanding the Army was disbanded, no Plot, Conspiracy, or Rebellion, happened by their disbanding: The Partition Edition: current; Page: [345] Treaty was broke; a new Army was raised, which won Ten times as many Victories as the former, and Europe, at last, is settled upon a much better Foot than it would have been by the Partition Treaty. The Emperor is as strong as he ought to be. The Dutch have a good Barrier. Another Power is raised in Europe to keep the Ballance even, which neither can nor will be formidable to us without our own Fault; France is undone, and the Regent must be our Friend, and have Dependance upon our Protection; so that some few of these Reasons are to do now, what altogether we could not do then, tho’ we are not the tenth Part so well able to maintain them as we were then

I should be glad to know in what Situation of our Affairs it can be safe to reduce our Troops to the usual Guards and Garrisons, if it cannot be done now? There is no Power in Europe considerable enough to threaten us, who can have any Motives to do so, if we pursue the old Maxims and natural Interest of Great Britain; which is, To meddle no farther with Foreign Squabbles than to keep the Ballance even between France and Spain: And this is less necessary too for us to do now, than formerly; because the Emperor and Holland are able to do it, and must and will do it without us, or at least with but little of our Assistance; but if we unnecessarily engage against the Interests of either, we must thank ourselves, if they endeavour to prevent the Effects of it, by finding us Work at Home.

When the Army was disbanded in King William’s Reign, a Prince was in Being who was personally known to many of his former Subjects, and had obliged great Numbers of them; who was supported by one of the most powerful Monarchs in the World, that had won numerous Victories, and had almost always defeated his Enemies, and who still preserved his Power and his Animosity: His pretended Son was then an Infant, and for any Thing that then appeared, might have proved an active and a dangerous Enemy, and it was to be feared, that his Tutors might have educated him a half Protestant or at least have taught him to have disguised his true Religion: At that Time, the Revolution, and Revolution-Principles, Edition: current; Page: [346] were in their Infancy; and most of the Bishops and dignified Clergy, as well as many others in Employment, owed their Preferments and Principles to the abdicated Family, and the Reverse of this, in our Case now.

France has been torn to Pieces by numerous Defeats, its People and Manufactures destroyed by War, Famine, the Plague, and their Missisipi Company; and they are so divided at Home, that they will find enough to do to save themselves without troubling their Neighbours, and especially a Neighbour from whom the governing Powers there, hope for Protection. The Prince who pretended to the Thrones of these Kingdoms is dead, and he who calls himself his Heir is a bigotted Papist; and has given but little Cause to fear any Thing from his Abilities or his Prowess. The Principles of Liberty are now well understood, and few People in this Age, are Romantick enough to venture their Lives and Estates for the personal Interests of one they know nothing of, or nothing to his Advantage; and we ought to take Care that they shall not find their own Interest in doing it; and, I conceive, nothing is necessary to effect this, but to resolve upon it. Almost all the dignified Clergy, and all the Civil and Military Officers in the Kingdom, owe their Preferments to the Revolution, and are as loyal to his Majesty as he himself can wish. A very great Part of the Property of the Kingdom stands upon the same Bottom with the Revolution. Every Day’s Experience, shews us how devoted the Nobility are to gratify their King’s just Desires and Inclinations; and nothing can be more certain, than that the present House of Commons, are most dutifully and affectionately inclined to the true Interest of the Crown, and to the Principles to which his Majesty owes it. And besides all this Security, a new Conspiracy has been discovered and defeated; which gives full Occasion and Opportunity to prevent any such Attempts for the future; which can never be done, but by giving no Provocation to new ones; in both which, I hope, we shall have the hearty Concurrence of those who have the Honour to be employed by his Majesty; by which they will shew, that they are as zealous Edition: current; Page: [347] to prevent the Necessity of Standing Armies, as I doubt not but the Parliament will be.

I presume, no Man will be audacious enough to propose, that we should make a Standing Army Part of our Constitution; and, if not, when can we reduce them to a competent Number better than at this Time? Shall we wait till France has recovered its present Difficulties; till it’s King is grown to full Age and Ripeness of Judgment; till he has dissipated all Factions and Discontents at home, and is fallen into the natural Interests of his Kingdom, or perhaps aspires to Empire again? Or shall we wait till the Emperor, and King of Spain, have divided the Bear’s Skin, and possibly become good Friends, as their Predecessors have been for the greatest Part of Two Centuries, and perhaps cement that Friendship, by uniting for the common Interests of their Religion? Or till Madam Sobiesky’s Heir is of Age, who may have Wit enough to think, that the Popish Religion is dearly bought at the Price of Three Kingdoms? Or are we never to Disband, till Europe is settled according to some modern Schemes? Or till there are no Malecontents in England, and no People out of Employments who desire to be in them.

’Tis certain, that all Parts of Europe which are enslaved, have been enslaved by Armies, and ’tis absolutely impossible, that any Nation which keeps them amongst themselves, can long preserve their Liberties; nor can any Nation perfectly lose their Liberties, who are without such Guests: And yet though all Men see this, and at Times confess it, yet all have joined, in their Turns, to bring this heavy Evil upon themselves and their Country. Charles the Second formed his Guards into a little Army, and his Successor encreased them to three or four Times then Number; and without doubt these Kingdoms had been enslaved, if known Events had not prevented it. We had no sooner escaped these Dangers, but King William’s Ministry formed Designs for an Army again, and neglected Ireland (which might have been reduced by a Message) till the Enemy was so strong, that a great Army was necessary to recover it; and when all was done Abroad, that an Army was wanted for, they Edition: current; Page: [348] thought it convenient to find some Employment for them at Home. However, the Nation happened not to be of their Mind, and disbanded the greatest Part of them, without finding any of these Dangers they were threatned with from their Disbanding. A new Army was raised again, when it became necessary, and disbanded again, when there was no more Need of them; and his present Majesty came peaceably to his Crowns, by the Laws alone, notwithstanding all the Endeavours to keep him out, by long Measures concerted to that Purpose.

It could not be expected from the Nature of human Affairs, that those who had formed a Design for restoring the Pretender, had taken such large Steps towards it, and were sure to be supported in it by so powerful an Assistance as France was then capable of giving, should immediately lose Sight of so agreeable a Prospect of Wealth and Power, as they had before enjoyed in Imagination; yet it seems very plain to me, that all the Disturbance which afterwards happen’d, might have been prevented by a few timely Remedies; and when at last it was defeated with a vast Charge and Hazard, we had the Means in our Hands of rooting out all Seeds of Faction and future Rebellions, without doing any thing to provoke them; and ’tis certain, his Majesty was ready to do every thing on his Part to that Purpose, which others over and over promised us; and what they have done, besides obliging the Nation with a Septennial Parliament, encreasing the publick Debts a great many Millions, and by the South-Sea Project paying them off, I leave to themselves to declare.

However, I confess, an Army at last became necessary, and an Army was raised time enough to beat all who opposed it: Some of them have been knock’d on Head, many carried in Triumph, some hang’d and others confiscated, as they well deserved; and, I presume, the Nation would scarce have been in the Humour to have kept up an Army to fight their Ghosts, if a terrible Invasion had not threatned us from Sweden, which however, was at last frighted into a Fleet of Colliers, or naval Stores, indeed I have forgot which. This Danger being over, another succeeded, and had like to have stole upon us from Cales, notwithstanding all the Intelligence we could Edition: current; Page: [349] possibly get from Gibraltar, which lies just by it; and this shews, by the way, the little Use of that Place: But we have miraculously escaped that Danger too; the greatest Part of their Fleet was dispersed in a Storm, and our Troops have actually defeated in the Highlands some Hundreds of the Enemy, before many People would believe they were there. Since this, we have been in great Fear of the Czar; and last Year, one Reason given by many for continuing the Army was, to preserve us against the Plague.

But now the King of Sweden is dead, the Czar is gone a Sophi-hunting, the Plague is ceased, and the King of Spain’s best Troops have taken up their Quarters in Italy, where if I guess right, they will have Employment enough, and what are we to keep up the Army now to do, unless to keep out the Small-Pox? Oh! but there is a better Reason than that, namely, a Plot is discovered, and we can’t find out yet all who are concerned in it, but we have pretty good Assurance, that all the Jacobites are for the Pretender, and therefore we ought to keep in Readiness a great Number of Troops (who are to sleep on Horseback, or lie in their Jack-Boots) which may be sufficient to beat them all together, if they had a Twelvemonth’s Time given them to beat up for Volunteers, to buy Horses and Arms, to form themselves into Regiments, and exercise them; lest, instead of lurking in Corners, and prating in Taverns, and at Cock-Matches, they should surprize Ten or Twelve Thousand armed Men in their Quarters: I dare appeal to any unprejudiced Person, whether this is not the Sum of some Mens Reasonings upon this Subject?

But I desire to know of these sagacious Gentlemen, in what Respect shall we be in a worse State of Defence than we are now, if the Army was reduced to the same Number as in King William’s Time, and in the latter End of the Queen’s Reign, and that it consisted of the same Proportion of Horse and Foot, that every Regiment had its compleat Number of Troops and Companies, and every Troop and Company had its Complement of private Men? ’Tis certain, upon any sudden Exigency, his Majesty would have as many Men at command as he has now, and, I presume, more common Soldiers, who are Edition: current; Page: [350] most difficulty to be got upon such Occasions; for Officers will never be wanting, and all that are now regimented will be in Half-pay, and ready at Call to beat up and raise new Regiments, as the others could be filled up, and they may change any of the old Men into them, which reduces it to the same Thing. By this we shall save the Charge of double or treble Officering our Troops, and the Terror of keeping up the Corpse of Thirty or Forty Thousand Men, though they are called only Thirteen or Fourteen; and sure it is high Time to save all which can be saved, and, by removing all Causes of Jealousy, to unite all, who for the Cause of Liberty, are zealous for the present Establishment, in order to oppose effectually those who would destroy it.

I will suppose, for once, what I will not grant, that those call’d Whigs are the only Men amongst us who are heartily attached to his Majesty’s Interest; for I believe the greatest Part of the Tories, and the Clergy too, would tremble at the Thought of Popery and Arbitrary Power; which must come in with the Pretender. But taking it to be otherwise, ’tis certain that the Body of the Whigs, and indeed I may say almost all except the Possessors and Candidates for Employments or Pensions, have terrible Apprehensions of a Standing Army, as the Tories themselves; and dare any Man lay his Hand upon his Heart and say, that his Majesty will find greater Security in a few Thousand more Men already regimented, than in the Steady Affections of so many Hundred Thousands who will be always ready to be regimented; When the People are easy and satisfy’d, the whole Kingdom is his Army; and King James found what Dependance there was upon his Troops, when his People deserted him. Would not any wise and honest Minister desire, during his Administration, that the Publick Affairs should run glibly, and find the hearty Concurrence of the States of the Kingdom, rather than to carry their Measures by perpetual Struggles and Intrigues, to waste the Civil Lift by constant and needless Pensions and Gratuities, be always asking for new Supplies, and rendering themselves, and all who assist them, odious to their Country-Men?

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In short, there can be but two Ways in Nature to govern a Nation, one is by their own Consent, and the other by Force: One gains their Hearts, and the other holds their Hands; The first is always chosen by those who design to govern the People for the People’s Interest, and the other by those who design to oppress them for their own; for whoever desires only to protect them, will covet no useless Power to injure them; There is no fear of a People’s acting against their own Interest, when they know what it is, and when, through ill Conduct or unfortunate Accidents, they become dissatisfied with their present Condition, the only effectual Way to avoid the threatning Evil, is to remove their Grievances.

When Charles Duke of Burgundy, with most of the Princes of France, at the Head of an Hundred Thousand Men, took up Arms against Lewis the Eleventh, that Prince sent an Embassy to Sforsa Duke of Milan, desiring that he would lend him some of his Veteran Troops; and the Duke returned him for Answer, That he could not be content to have them cut to Pieces, (as they would assuredly have been) but told him at the same time, That he would send him some Advice which would be worth Ten times as many Troops as he had; namely, that he should give Satisfaction to the Princes, and then they would disperse of Course; and the King improv’d so well upon the Advice, that he diverted the Storm, by giving but little Satisfaction to the Princes, and none at all to those who followed them. The Body of the People in all Countries are so desirous to live in quiet, that a few good Words, and a little good Usage from their Governors, will at any Time pacify them, and make them very often turn upon those Benefactors, who by their Pains, Expence, and Hazard, have obtained those Advantages for them; and indeed, when they are not outragiously oppressed and starved, are almost as ready to part with their Liberties, as others are to ask for them.

But what I have before said, I would not be understood, to declare absolutely against continuing our present Forces, or increasing them, if the Importance of the Occasion requires either; and the Evils threatened, are Edition: current; Page: [352] not yet dissipated; But I could wish that, if such an Occasion appears, those who think them at this Time necessary, would declare effectually, and in the fullest Manner, that they design to keep them, no longer than during the present Emergency; and that, when it is over, they will be as ready to break them, as I believe the Nation will be to give them, when just Reasons offer themselves for doing so.

A List of the Present Standing Forces.

Foot Guards.
Numb. of Men. Abroad and where.
D. of Malborough, 1st Reg. England 1529
Earl Cadogan, 2d Reigm. England 982
Earl of Dunmore, 3d Regim. England 986
Total 3493
Earl Orkney Ireland
Col. Kirk Britain 445
Lieutenant-Gen. Wills England 445
Coll. Cadogan England 445
Major-Gen. Pierce Gibraltar.
Brigadier Dormer Ireland
Col. O’Hara Ireland
Col. Pocock Ireland
Col. James Otway Port Mahon.
Brigad. Groves England 445
Col. Mountague England 445
Brigad. Stanwix England 445
Col. Cotton Gibraltar.
Col. Clayton Britain 445
Col. Henry Harrison Britain 445
Col. Cholmly Britain 445
Major-Gen. Wightman Ireland
Col. Crosby Port Mahon.
Col. George Groves Ireland
Col. Egerton Gibraltar.
Lieutenant-Gen. Maccartney. England 445
Col. Handafide Ireland
Major-Gen. Sabine England 445
Total 4895
Col. Howard Ireland
Col. Middleton Ireland
Col. Anstruther Ireland
Major-Gen. Whetham Ireland
Col. Barril Ireland
Lord Mark Kerr. Ireland
Brigad. Bisset Port Mahon.
Lord John Kerr Ireland
Brigad. Bon Ireland
Col. Hawly Ireland
Col. Chudleigh Ireland
Col. Charles Otway Port Mahon.
Col. Lanoe Ireland
Lord Hinchingbrook Ireland
Col. Lucas West-Indies.
Brigad. Ferrars Ireland
Col. Philips America.
In all 40 Regiments.
Horse Guards.
Numb. of Men. Abroad and where.
D. of Mountague, 1st Troop England 181
Marq. of Hartford, 2d Troop England 181
Lord Newburgh, 3d Troop England 181
Lord Forrester, 4th Troop England 181
Col. Fane, 1st Troop of Gren. England 176
Col. Berkeley, 2d Troop of Gren. England 177
Total of Horse Guards 1077
Marquess of Winchester England 310
Lord Cobham England 292
Lord Londonderry England 196
Major-Gen. Wade England 196
Major-Gen. Wynn Ireland
Lord Shannon Ireland
Brigadier Napier Ireland
Col. Legonier Ireland
In England Total of Horse 2071
Numb. of Men. Abroad and where.
Sir Charles Hotham England 207
Col. Campbel England 207
Lord Carpenter England 207
Major-Gen. Evans Britain 207
Col. Sidney Ireland
Earl of Stairs Britain 207
Col. Kerr Britain 207
Brigadier Bowles Ireland
Brigadier Crofts Ireland
Brigadier Gore England 207
Brigadier Honywood England 207
Col. Bowles Ireland
Brigadier Munden Ireland
Col. Neville Ireland
In England Total of Dragoons 1656
Horse and Dragoons 3727

English and British Establishments at present.

Foot-Guards. 3493
Foot in England and Britain, 11 Regiments, 4895
Horse-Guards, and light Horse, 2071
Dragoons in England and Britain, 8 Regiments, 1656
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Irish Establishment.

Foot, 20 Regiments, is two Battalions, 9203
Horse four Regiments, 776
Dragoons eight Regiments, 1333

N. B. The above List is imperfect, there being more Forces upon the British Establishment than are here specify’d.

The Nature and Weight of the Taxes of the Nation: Shewing that, by the Continuance of Heavy Taxes and Impositions, and the Mis-application of Publick Money, Trade is destroy’d, the Poor increased; and the Miseries and Misfortunes of the Whole Kingdom demand the Consideration of the Freeholders of Great Britain, at the Ensuing Election.
Anno 1722.

Thomas Gordon
Gordon, Thomas

To the Freeholders and Others, Electors of Members to serve in the Parliament.


YOU are Possessors of a very great Share of Power, inherited by you in Right of your Birth, or else by some other generous Title made to you, in virtue of your Edition: current; Page: [356] being Free Subjects of the Kingdom of Great Britain; and are thereby vested with that Trust and Property, which, as they are directed and disposed of by you, will always have the most universal and affecting Influence on the Success or Prosperity, the Distress or Misery, of this your Renown’d Native Country.

I think it, therefore, not improper, at this Juncture, and from a View so animating and enlivening as the Happy State of the Commons, and People of England, in Regard of their Liberties and Constitution, to offer with some Application to You, a short Account of the present Circumstances of Affairs (in some particular Relations only) since it is meerly from Your Caution, and a right Direction of your Voices in the ensuing Elections, that we can possibly expect to have Matters in any tolerable Measure brought to Rights again.

Gentlemen; It is not foreign to the Occasion I now take of addressing myself to you, to remind you of the Treachery and horrible Practices that were late a-foot, by the most wicked Execution of Evil Powers granted to the South-Sea-Company Directors, and even some then at the H———m not unsuspected; and that it would have been esteemed, during those fatal Transactions, no small Comfort and Satisfaction to have found almost any single Man in P———t untainted with the blackest Infection that ever so predominantly reign’d amongst us. How should we prize those few Members that used the most indefatigable Diligence, and made the utmost Efforts that were possibly in the Power of any particular Number of Men, in endeavouring to discover, without Affection or Favour, or any interested Regards whatever, those who had been Accomplices or active in the Completion of their Country’s Ruin, notwithstanding they were oppressed and borne down by Ignorance, Noise, and Numbers? But I just mention this, as it was the Antecedent and Fore-runner of the Consequences of the Subject I shall here limit myself to, viz. The Complaints and Poverty of the Nation; The Incumbrances under which we at present labour, and the little Prospect we have of being relieved from this melancholy Situation, occasioned by that destructive, sinful Scheme, and the unaccountable Management of M———rs.

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What I propose to submit to the Consideration of the Publick, is; The terrible State and Burthen of the Nation’s Debts; which, for these Seven Years, we have been fondly deluded that every Sessions was to ease us in; and that the infallible Effects of a Septennial Parliament, would be Peace and Tranquillity, a Flourishing Trade, a Freedom from Taxes, a General Affluence and Plenty, and many such Pledges of Security and Happiness ——— But alas! what have we received in the room of These!

I do not design to have any Retrospection to particular Persons, or here to censure Them, nor to enter into a Justification of any who might be so miserably imposed upon by those Misoreant Blood-suckers, as to give Credit to their self-designed Schemes, and to believe them meant for the Publick Good: I shall point out (not according to the Opinion of any Set or Party of Men; but) what is the Result of all calm and sober Mens Thoughts concerning the General Demand and Solicitation that most visibly appears for the Discharging the Debts of the Nation, as the necessary Means of supporting the Kingdom, and maintaining (under an almost universal Bankruptcy) common Honesty and Compassion between Man and Man. In what manner, as the Case now stands, are we to proceed for the Elections of a New Parliament? Does not the Circumstances of the Nation require the nicest Care and Circumspection to apply ourselves to the chusing of Gentlemen of Honour and Integrity; such who will enquire into the Disposition and Expending of those Sums that have been collected by Taxes, during this Parliament, from the Free-holders, and other Subjects of this Free Kingdom? Are we to be drain’d of the Cash that remains with the People? Or are we to force a Majority of those who would repeat a second South-Sea Scheme? What Horror should it raise in us, when we reflect of many Persons of Honour and Family that scarce dare venture in Publick! Are not our Gaols, Mint, and Privileged-Places fill’d with Bankrupts of Note and Worth? What then, except an Abatement of Taxes, can produce the least sudden Effect of Plenty among us? The taking off of little inconsiderable Duties, will no ways be a Ballance, Edition: current; Page: [358] if a long dismal Catalogue of others are to rest upon the Score.

I believe no one will deny, that great Debts, and a Continuation of fresh and additional Taxes to those Debts, are not some of the most deplorable Grievances that can depress a Nation; for that Taxes are originally a Mark of Servitude, is agreed to by all: But the more Humane, and Mild, and Just a Government is, the less Rigorous and Severe it is in its Taxes on the People. Customs, Payments, and Taxes, remaining upon a People for a Series of Time, and with frequent Assurances of their continuing but for a short Space longer; will consequently keep a People, who have not totally lost all Sense of Liberty, or are not over-whelmed in Afflictions, Tyranny and Oppressions, in a continual Expectation of a Discharge from those Tributes and Taxes; and an absolute Delay thereof will be esteemed as the savage Exactions of an over-grown Power and Government.

The Ancient Romans (not a little skill’d in Civil Government) who, when they were Masters of a very great Empire in the World, endeavoured universally to make their People easy, in Relation to Taxes; and they found nothing contributed more to the fixing and firmly establishing of their Power and Conquests: And instead of cruel or exorbitant Taxes, oft-times generously vested in the People many noble Privileges and Immunities. It is the Mark of equal Wisdom, as well as Justice, in all Governments, so to temper their Conduct, in respect of all Taxes to be levied, as not to purchase to themselves, in the least Degree, any Odium or Reflection of being the Authors of Violence and Rapine upon their Subjects. Certain natural Civilities (if I may so speak) Laws Human and Divine; whereof Christianity, the most binding Law; forbid whatever tends to the Propagation of Slavery, Defraud, Exorbitancy, &c. wisely knowing them to be most prejudicial to the Success and Advantage, or the promoting of a willing Submission to States or Princes.

The Romans, as they were punctual in their Payments, likewise always observed strictly to dispose of any Spoils, gotten in War from their Enemies, so regularly and Edition: current; Page: [359] equally, as not to gratify the savage Herds of covetous, ambitious, or aspiring Courtiers; and whenever their Government had Occasion for Impositions, either for Encouragement or Support of its Subjects, they raised them by such Intervals, that apparently expressed the Necessity of laying them on: And when Publick Hostilities were over, and Worthy Patriots rewarded, those Taxes forthwith ceased, and did not continue to be a lasting Ravage on the People. Had they been artful, in inventing and contriving Ways and Methods of Taxing the People, and bringing in unreasonable Sums into the Possession of the Government, and without publickly and fairly accounting for the Receipt of those Levies; the Subjects, undoubtedly, would have pleaded their Privileges, as Romans, of narrowly inspecting and enquiring into the Management and Disposal of such large Advances made upon them. I do not find, that they admitted of any Device or Pretences for the raising Money, but when the chief Reasons thereof were notorious to the whole Common-wealth; and such as tended to promote the Peace and Reputation of the Government, where-ever their Fame reached, throughout the whole World, by paying their Army, Publick Ministers and Officers, and carefully discharging the State from lasting Debts and Incumbrances; which, where the contrary prevails, it will naturally tempt and draw on to Bribery and Violence; perhaps, in the End, to open Rebellion and Ruin.

And if this is the Case, as to Taxes and Impositions under Heathen Government; Let us make an Inquiry how it is, or ought to be, where the Rule and Power is exercised by Christains and Protestants; the latter of these boasting much of their Superiority in Wisdom and Prudence, as to all Points relating to Human Society; and thence form a Comparison of our own Nation with the other Kingdoms of Europe.

To begin with the Taxes imposed by Common-wealths: That of the Dutch, which I may venture to pronounce, in some Regard, as powerful and arbitrary as any Government whatever; yet has always taken Care so to particularize their Impositions, that but few of their Subjects know and are apprized of the Necessity and absolute Reasons Edition: current; Page: [360] there are for them; and the Government so justly and clearly accounts for the Collection and Management of the Nation’s Levies, that, I believe the poorest Working-Man in Holland is convinced of the requisite Demand there is for them, and is satisfied of the honest Disposition thereof. ’Tis true, indeed, the Excise there is very great, and their continued Wars (which they have not been exempt from more than we of this Island) has occasioned them to make great Levies upon their People; but they have so wisely and honestly order’d it, as always immediately to reduce them as soon as ever the Cause ceased: So that the Subjects are thereby able to vye with any Nation, in Matters of Trade or Riches. And the Hollanders exceed all Common-wealths I ever heard or read of, in a numerous Common People, Wealth, and Coin. It must then be granted, That their Taxes are so easy and reasonable, and so prudently directed, that they do not impoverish, and do the People any Harm.

The Venetians, whom, in Point of their Greatness and Antiquity, I ought to have mentioned first, as they are far from being a poor Common-wealth; yet, the Customs and Impositions which they have at any Time laid upon the Subject (although scarce ever free, for any Space from dismal and cruel Wars with the Turks) are not found to have diminished or encroached upon the Private Property of the People; insomuch, that the Justice and Prudence of that State, in Regard to the expending of their Taxes, have amounted to an Equivalent and Recompence unto the People, during the Continuance of their Impositions. The Christians, who live in several Places under the Turkish Dominions, are not exercised with more excessive Taxes, than those that live in some Countries where the Name of Christ is Preached, though His Followers there are loaded with an Excise for every Bit of Bread, and even the Meat that they eat. But I shall come to a Period in Relation to the Taxes imposed by Common-wealths; And I only observe, that what I have here mentioned, may demonstrate and certify to us, the vast Distinction between raising of Taxes to supply the Publick Exigencies and Demands, a discreet and honest Disposal thereof; and the certain consequent Ruin that attends a State’s Edition: current; Page: [361] laying hold of every little Opportunity for encreasing and continuing of their Taxes and Levies, and the constantly forcing Money out of the Hands of Quality, Gentry, and Commonalty.

I shall now specify some few Instances of this Matter, as it stands under certain Monarchies and Kingdoms.

In the Empire, the Taxes being moderate and low, the People generally, by that Means, have the Opportunity to improve themselves as much as the Nature of so poor a Soil will admit of; which nevertheless, they could not attempt, were they under the Indigency of great Taxes join’d to their Native Poverty.

The Kingdom of Spain copies much the same Method, in Relation to their new Levies and Taxes; and which are not constant and lasting, but irregular, and of a short Duration: And although they have great Armies usually a-foot, yet by the Dispositions made in them, and the Quarterings of those Forces, the People do not seel the Maintenance of them; meerly by the Strength of the Taxes levied upon them and the Payments they make.

Portugal is, indeed, somewhat cruel in its Demands upon the Exportations made by their Merchants, thereby raising a prodigious Revenue, and becoming Masters of immense Quantities of Specie; which nevertheless, is but an unfruitful Weight in their own Hands, any longer than they permit the full Currency of it among their People, and the Exportation of it to other Nations, as a Means to make amends to their Subjects (thereby encouraging of Trade) for they extort from them by very heavy Taxes.

As I have hitherto mentioned those States which I regard as easier Taxed, in some Cases, than our own; and has, consequently, tended to secure them from Poverty, and aggrandized and encreased their Power and Riches: I will now, therefore, refer to the Kingdom of France, our nearest Neighbour and Acquaintance, though by its unbounded Impositions, and tyrannical Exactions, has only gained the just Detestation and Abhorrence of all other Nations (in respect of those cruel Levies made upon the People, both Clergy and Laity.) And the Effect of their barbarous Impositions, has constantly proved Edition: current; Page: [362] widely different from the Design and Intention of the Government in the first raising of them; For, without reflecting whether they have any Concern for cruelly impoverishing and draining the whole People of their Money; yet, it is certain, they never imagined that their Treasures would have been so very much expended out of their own Dominions, in aiming at Foreign Conquests; which, from their restless Ambition, and their frequent invading of their Neighbours, has almost always happened to them; and which I may venture to pronounce, without the Spirit of Prophecy, will prove the constant Fate of all Kingdoms and States that copy after the like Practice; or are over-forward with their Fleets and Armies, under Pretences of Assisting others, when their proper Interest is not concerned, or, at most, is evidently best preserved by not intermeddling in distant Broils, very remore and far off from them. I expect now, perhaps, some Queries to be put to me, as, What requires such Reasoning as this in a Time of General Peace? Or what Preparations do we see making to interpose in the Affairs of Others? To which I shall only answer, That as such like Transactions have happened, even in a Kingdom well known to us, and at certain Times, not out of the Memory of Man; so, for the future, we may find it most profitable to avoid the same Scene over again.

But I proceed to what I propose to myself in this Discourse, namely, a Comparison of our Taxes with those I have mentioned Abroad; and then to inquire into the Causes of the Kingdom’s paying such Great Taxes. And, secondly, What Use is made of those Taxes; Whether Trade be decayed, and the Poor increased by them; and, in the End, Recommend the applying to a New Parliament for Remedy in these Particulars. Which it behoves us, with more than ordinary Ardour, to hope and strive may consist of such Worthy Patriots, who will vigorously, and without Partiality, oppose that rampant Arbitrary Force of Private Interest that seems violently to bestride and abuse the Nation.

And, first, it will be necessary, in comparing of our own Taxations with those already spoken of, to consider the Laws and Manner of different Countries in raising of Edition: current; Page: [363] Levies and Taxes upon their Subjects; and then, as to the Bulk and Continuance of their Taxes.

First, The Customs and Manner of Taxing are almost as various as the Climates; But to reduce myself from multiplying of Words, or the instancing from all the Kingdoms in Europe, I will only mention the most notable.

Germany, whose Taxes arise mostly from a Tenure, or Obligation, of its Principalities, Dukedoms, Free Cities, &c. to furnish a certain equal and just Sum, in Return for those Considerations granted to them by the Government or Empire. They have likewise a Method of levying Money in the Diets: Neither of which Ways are very Burthensome to the Lords and Nobles, or Tyrannical or Oppressive to the Commonalty.

In Spain, though the Taxes may be wholly imposed by the King and Council; yet, Regard is observed in a Case of so general Concern, in taking Advice of the Nobility, and other Societies, that they may be formed and laid with a Degree of Acquiescene and Agreement of the Subject; and by that Means are not tiresome, nor felt so sensibly by them.

It has happened in this Age, even in a Country where Liberty, Justice, and Property, are pretended to be encouraged and protected, and pleaded for and extolled beyond any other Constitution in the World, that the Sufferings of the Subjects have, in such a Nation, proved unspeakable, from giving into the airy, fantastick Schemes of ambitious, covetous, and vain glorious Statesmen, and the deceitful Crafts of designing Undertakers or Directors, countenanced by mercenary Powers granted to them; and to compleat these Proceedings, fresh Straits and Emergencies, secret Expeditions, Fleets and Armies, have added fresh Taxes to the Account. Such Transactions admit of as large a Field of expatiating on the Crisis of a Kingdom’s Credit and Riches, as the most predominant Power whatever prevailing over them.

But to go on, as before: France, where the Taxes are of a very considerable Size, and the King’s Power of raising Money, depending in great Measure on his Inclination; yet, nevertheless, it is the Practice of that Crown, in order to the obtaining of any Supply from Edition: current; Page: [364] the People, to consult the Parliament, and to have Recourse to their Ordinances, for Levies and Duties to be placed on such Commodities only, as they think most expedient. And I cannot help remarking that although their Impositions and Taxes have many times been sudden and weighty upon the Subjects; yet, I have not observed so general Complaints and Outcries of Mis application and ill Management, as have frequently prevailed in other Countries; which, if upon just Grounds, will give great Relief to a People under the Payment of acute Taxes.

In Sweden, they seem to have a peculiar Happiness allotted to their Country, as to the Ways of making great Part of their Levies: For as they abound in Mines of Copper, Iron, Tin, &c. from whence the Crown is allowed a Tenth; as also, from all Corn, Cattle, &c. and in great Measure the Riches of the Church-Lands; so that the People are very much exempt from burthensome Taxes, except in an extraordinary War (as of late they have been engaged in) when the King has a Power to raise a Tribute from his Subjects.

The Subjects of Muscovia are wont to raise their Taxes from the Commodities of their own Growth only, which the Tradesmen and Dealers pay, and are afterwards allowed a Licence and Permission to vend them in what Manner they please.

The Duke of Florence, who is placed in a most fruitful Part of the World, and his Subjects in the Enjoyment of a most flourishing Trade; has the Opportunity of raising to himself what Helps he pleases, without being able greatly to impoverish the People. However, it is evident, the Levies and Taxes made upon them, are not so much as perceived by them: For what a Mart of Riches and Trade do they appear to be, surpassing most of the Potentates in Europe.

In Venice there can be no very irksome or oppressive Taxes, unless we can suppose the whole Commonwealth voluntarily to engage themselves into such Payments; for as they consist of an Aristocracy, so the Senate, who represents the whole People and Body of their Dominions, are watchful and diligent in maintaining the Good and Liberty of those they preside over and mean to take care of.

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The Kings of Poland are so tyed up, that they can come at no Money; but by the unanimous Ordinances of the whole Diet.

The Taxes of Denmark are very easy and inconsiderable: They pay a Duty on Cattle, Corn, and some Commodities; but to no great Value: For the greatest Part of the Production of their own Revenue, is collected from all Ships and Vessels passing the Sound, by which Means they are happily prevented labouring under any Burthen of Taxes themselves: Nor do I find that Government at any Time requiring any more than a moderate Supply or Aid from the People.

I think, I have gone through with a brief Account of the Nature and Bulk of the Taxes and Impositions, as they are at present imposed and levied in most of the Kingdoms and Governments in Europe; And I shall now come to a Comparison of the State of our own Taxes with those of our Neighbours and Foreign Nations near us, and the Examination (as I proposed) of the Reasons thereof, and the Application of them: Our having struggled for several Years past with this Load upon our Backs, is obviously the Occasion of the insupportable Encrease of the Poor amongst us; and although it be constantly pleaded, to mollify this Weight and Pressure upon us, That Money in this Kingdom is never raised, but by Consent of Parliament; and that it is only made Use of in Defence of Religion, Liberty and Property (which truly are glorious Jewels, worthy to contend for) and that any, who think they have at any Time, with their Eyes open, seen some different Practices, they must be Enemies to the real Peace and Welfare of the Kingdom, prejudiced and contriving against its Happiness and Advantage; yet, I say, this is notoriously but little Ease to us. For how is it that Property and Liberty appear more bright and flourishing under heavy Payments and Taxes renewed from Year to Year? Or can it be proved, that a Free People can taste the highest Enjoyments that can flow from thence, when loaded with numerous Duties, and immersed in Debts of such a Magnitude, that the discharging thereof is almost impracticable with the Safety of the Nation? And that our Credit and Reputation is growing and increasing, notwithstanding Edition: current; Page: [366] we are like to be driven to the unavoidable Choice of Two melancholy Extremes, viz. The blotting out of our Books, and an effacing as irretrievable an infinite Number of Creditors, who have lawful and just Claims upon us; or, The paying of Debts by the Virtue of wild Schemes, and by that Means to sink under a final Bankruptcy. Ought not such a People to reflect with Horror and Anguish of Heart, at any who either by Mismanagement or Villany have reduced them to so terrible an Ebb? The Difference in Ireland from other Countries, in laying on of Impositions, is only this; That all are alike affected by the Taxes they pay, proportionably to the Expence of their Quality and Station; though this will not prove intirely a Compensation; for unless in the Money that is raised there is a nice Observation and Care had to our Manufacturies, so as not to hinder or bar the Trade of the Nation; all the Regards otherwise, for the Subject, will affect them only in Point of Honour and Shew.

And as to continual getting together large Sums of Money from the Subjects Annually, or filling the Coffers of the Crown by Taxes and Levies, the utmost and most consummate Skill and Honesty will become necessary to assign and appropriate them, that they may in some Measure redound to answer the Uses they were at first said to be raised for. And if Laws are often repeated for the granting New Supplies, and by large Sums at a time, then an Enquiry into the Necessity, Design and Application of Extraordinary Aids and Assistances, will earnestly and prevalently take Place: And if several Millions Sterling (incredible Sum!) should appear to have been criminally or foolishly imbezzled or unaccounted for, What, except the Divine Interposition, could prevent inevitable Ruin and Destruction? Where would remain the Defence of a Kingdom, if it were dispoiled of its Treasure to be diminished and sunk by Improvidence, or Ignorance, or the insatiable Appetites of innumerable rapacious Pensioners.

Indeed, the Uses and Designs for which Monies are levied with us, are commonly disclosed and made appear in Parliament; and afterwards, whether there have been Edition: current; Page: [367] Dispositions and Appropriations accordingly. And it is incumbent on every Member sitting in the House of Commons, to endeavour, with the utmost Truth and Honour, that the Grounds of all Supplies and Taxes be rendred plain, and reasonable, and conformable, to Regards had for the Love and Care of their Country, and the indispensible Dictates of Integrity and Compassion. This leads me, therefore, to an Examination into the Causes (as far as one without Doors may venture to be curious) of our present Taxes.

At the Time of his Majesty’s happy Coming to the Throne, the Nation (which had laboured under the deepest Apprehensions and Fears, what would be the Event of the wicked and clandestine Measures of the Last Ministry of the late Reign) discovered an immediate Change of their Confusions, to a Pitch of Joy and Satisfaction, arising from the refreshing Prospect they had of being delivered and secured from the Purposes and Persons of those detestable abhorred Administrators; and a remarkable Sense and Confidence that was (with Reason) placed on the Illustrious House of Hanover, for a sure and final Support and Refuge for the Nation, in the utmost Extremes, to betake to; visibly actuated and prevailed among those few Friends then remaining to an expiring Country: But we were soon disturbed in the Quiet and happy Enjoyment of His Majesty’s Family Reigning over us (and of the Assurances of Peace and Plenty thereby secured to us, the Favour of Heaven then smiling on us;) by an open declared Rebellion against the King’s Right and Government; and this promoted by the very Persons who had been solicitous in tendring the utmost Services to Him, and his Royal Relations; and to aggravate and enrage their Crime, had sworn Allegiance and Fidelity to Him, and abjured the Person of the Pretender.

I recollect these Passages, as they were indeed, in some Degree, the sad Grounds of succeeding Charges and Troubles to the Nation; though by the Bravery and Vigilancy of the Army, the Address and Wisdom of the Council at home, we at length surmounted these Straits and Difficulties; and made such prudent Provisions by Edition: current; Page: [368] Parliament, for Supplies, to defray our vast Expences (which so great an Event must naturally put us to) as were consistent with the Ease and Ability of the Subject, and highly conducive to the Honour and Dignity of the Kingdom.

But may we be suffer’d to demonstrate the Grounds and Reasons of the present Payments continued or revived from Session to Session? May we be permitted to ask, If there are any necessary Provisions for the Houshold or Court? Or that we ought to guard and fence against extraordinary and sudden Eruptions and Wars, by having a loaded Treasury? Is there any large Increase of Naval or Land Forces requisite to be made? Do we find the Circulation of Money and Credit risen to so great an Height among us, that we can easily dispense with numerous Taxes? Do they enrich the Nation, and promote our Trade, and enhance our Credit and Reputation Abroad? Or can we suppose a Redemption could be made of the Losses occasioned in the late South-Sea Riot, by Impositions or Levies upon the Commonwealth? Or ought we to expect the surest and best Subjects, I mean the Landed Men, will consent to be immersed in a Flood of Taxes, for the easing of Numbers of insatiate Persons, who have miscarried by their black and horrid Schemes? O Tempora! O Mores!

But I will pursue the Thread of my Discourse. ’Tis certain, beyond Contradiction, that gross and weighty Taxes will tend to impoverish a Nation; contract its Treasures, dissipate its Trade, and give Birth to Poverty and Discontent; unless open Wars are stopped, and a declared Necessity of watching the Motions of our Adversaries, or Circumstances of the like Kind, which will always produce general and publick Charges.

To come, therefore, nearer the Matter. Will not many and over burthensome Charges on a Commonwealth naturally hinder the employing Numbers of Poor and Idle Persons; and also cause a Decay of that Industry and Labour, which would otherwise strengthen the Whole Body: So that what would terminate to the general Use of the Publick, is hereby prevented by Methods that virtually, if not immediately, affect the universal Industry Edition: current; Page: [369] and Diligence that ought much rather to take Place; for every Member of the Body Politick, is refreshed and animated by the Life and Motion that there is in the Whole.

It will possibly hardly be believed, that from the present Annual Income of the Taxes, even here in this Kingdom, that the meaner Subjects pay many Times the Proportion to the Publick Levies, out of their daily Expences, more than they did a dozen Years ago; and so, indeed, every Degree and Rank amongst us; with this Mitigation, that would but the latter Sort reject Opportunities of gratifying their Extravagance, they would be able, on Publick Occurrences, by doubling their own Quota of Payments, vastly to assist the Bulk of their Fellow-Subjects.

Have we not been in great Expectations, every Session, of Alterations to be made in the decreasing the Burthen of Taxes! How long will Troubles and Disasters happen to us? For my Part, I shall alway, with the utmost Alacrity make the small Share of Payments that will be levied upon me, as an Individual of the Common-wealth, and which are enacted by Authority for the Good, Honour, and Safety of His Majesty, and His Royal House; and with a sincere Heart and Readiness, as far as I am able, contribute to all Advances that may be thought at any Time requisite thereunto; as we have always (next under God) found them, in repeated Instances, the only Defence and Bulwark of this Nation; our utmost Chearfulness in being at some Expence and Charge for the Enjoyment of so many Advantages and invaluable Securities, is the least Return we can make: This is absolutely the real Sentiment and Resolution of every well meaning and honest Freeholder in England. After this Declaration, one cannot be suspected of any other in this kind of ill-natured Address, than soliciting the highest Caution and Scrutiny at the approaching Elections; neither can it be esteemed impertinent to take more Care for the future, that we may thereby escape falling again into Romantick wicked Schemes of Hair-brained Politicans, in the room of Dispositions that would certainly be of Benefit and Improvement to the Kingdom.

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I shall now proceed to enquire concerning the Use and Applications of the Taxes; since I look upon it almost as a Position, that the Poor are Increased, and Trade Decayed thereby: And upon this Point there is a great deal might be said; the Nature of Trade in England does nearly concern and affect us, and the Decay and Want of it at any Time, is mostly the Occasion of all Publick Miseries and Inconveniencies; for though our Lot is so fortunately ordered for us, that in manufacturing of our own Commodities (which are the Product of our Nation only) and which we are risen to a great Degree of Perfection in; yet the Ballance of our Treasures and Riches must be produced from a Free and Flourishing Trade; otherwise we shall soon become as poor and defenceless as the most barren, arbitrary Country in Europe. Our Trading, in all Ages past, sufficiently has demonstrated, that the Opulence of the Kingdom can only arise from hence; and it is the Height of Vanity to imagine, that Returns of Great Charges and Duties are not a Hindrance and Depressure to it; or that a Reformation, as to our Wealth and Credit, can possibly be accomplished, whilst we are impaired by Misfortunes, or too great Impositions. ’Tis a known Assertion, That the Improvement of our Trade, is the Employment of our Poor; but at this Time of Day, we meet with those who pretend to convince us of the contrary; as if great Taxes and Levies were not hurtful to the Commonwealth and destructive to Trade.

There can be no greater Deformities in the English State, than that Industry and Trade should be discouraged or interrupted, be it by Funds, fictitious Schemes, or plundering Corporations, instead of spreading abroad the Products of our own Arts and Manufactures by a Foreign Trade and Commerce, and which would center in raising the Fortunes of the Subject, the Grandeur and Revenue of the Crown, and the Acquisitions of the Kingdom.

The Levying, (with us at any Time) of numerous Taxes, though it doth not immediately carry off the Stock of the Nation, yet it virtually and most assuredly is prejudicial to us, as it takes off and deprives (during the Continuance of them) multitudes of Hands of the Edition: current; Page: [371] Poor, which otherwise could be afforded to be employed; and thereby at length becomes a Disease to every County in the Island, by infecting them with Idleness and Poverty; the constant Mischiefs that will flow in upon us from fix’d and durable Taxes, which, when naturely considered, will always gain Abatements and Allowances for Trade.

Men of Industry and Trade, the Merchants and others when promoted and encouraged, will be emulous to reduce the State of the Commonwealth to its wonted Standard, and thereby give Reason to pride herself beyond all other Kingdoms, in the Riches of her Commerce: And by the Observations I have always made as to our own People, and from the Neighbouring Parts around us, we have ever flourished most, and the Dominions of our Little Spot appeared in the greatest Security, by encouraging an open, unlimitted Trade, and exploding all Practices that tended to circumvent or depress our Swarms at home, in the Management of their Arts and Commodities here, or the Merchandizing of them abroad: For, to confess the Truth, we must own, that we are not distinguishable by our Industry; and altho’ we have so many Commodities peculiar to our own Growth, and very considerable to us by Special Licences and Grants in the Setlements of those Manufacturies; yet we should find them incredibly useless without such Encouragements; and this arising from an Idolence and Neglect that seems to prevail in our Constitution and Dispositions; so that whenever I see in other Countries the Power and Riches of a small State, or a little Dukedom, from a Right Management and Direction of the various Occupations of their People, and the Employing of their Poor; I grieve for the want of the utmost Encouragement that might be indulged to the Subjects of Great Britain; which contains in its Inclosures, Thousands of Artists and Mechanicks, most excellent in their Kinds, and Variety of Manufactures, which, carefully maintained and supported, would be so many Means of rendering us (I may say) the most formidable and happy Power in the World. Shall we then, instead of forwarding of Trade, sooner comply with the ravenous Inclinations of a Set of Men, who like Hawks and Vultures, live upon Edition: current; Page: [372] Prey, without ever doing Good to the State; but are continually upon the Flight to devour? And a continual Duration of large Taxes and Duties, are mischievous Moths, that in Time will eat out the Heart and Vitals of the Kingdom, by blunting the Tools of the Industrious, that would be prositable to the whole Community, as well as to themselves, were they not pinch’d by Duties and Payments. And farther, as to the Gentry and better Sort of Persons, who should be Benefactors to their Country by a constant, regular Expence, and a Consumption of the Commodities of Trade; I say, these in Time of long and lasting Impositions, will be apt to change their Measures, and to deprive the Publick of the usual expected Benefit accruing from them, by locking up and hoarding what they would otherwise, in Times of Respite from Taxes, expend and lay out; and then nothing but downright Force will draw out of Holes the Specie of the Nation, which we may be assured will be hidden and concealed, as the only Means to evade the Power of Publick Exactions.

But how is it to be wished, That the ensuing Supreme Council of the Kingdom may pursue such Methods that will effectually ease our Trade, and establish our Manufacturies; which will ever be a Preservation to us from being punished with Cruelties, Wants and Disorders that the contrary Defect will constantly produce. I don’t know, whether downright Prohibition of Trade from abroad, and if no Money was to be Levyed at Home by Taxes, might not prove as little hazardous to the Wealth and Credit of the Nation, as Practices of vast Duties and Impositions, which weaken and depress all Commerce; besides great Payments in other kinds that should affect all Denominations of Men.

If we consider ourselves from the Native Commodities we enjoy, viz. Meat, Drink, Bread, Cloaths, and these in such Plenty as to be able to dispose of by Traffick to other Nations; the many Mechanical Arts and Manufacturies whereof, we have in Perfection, all unanimously tending to advance the Riches and Power of the Kingdom: I say, from these Views ’tis astonishing to what Course or Cause the Consequences of such Blessings are fled! Our Labour and Trade seem to be at a Stand, and Edition: current; Page: [373] Arts and Sciences to be discontinued by us; not considering that an Interruption but even of a few Months, may deprive us of both Men and Arts (for there is no disusing of these to be admitted of for Times and Seasons) by a surprizing Change of Hands; and thereby our Neighbours to receive the Products of our Single Growth, and the Superior Arts and Endowments that our own People were alone Possessors of.

Is there such a visible Cessation I am speaking of? And does it arise from an Indolence and Inactivity in the People? Or, Is it seemingly caused by any extraordinary Pressure on Trade from considerable Imposts and Taxes? Or, To what must we assign it? Or, Is this a Charge no ways to be carried to the Account? And the aforementioned Paradox felt as an evident Truth? viz. That Payment and Taxes, are so many numerous Treasures to a Kingdom? But ’till I am my self convinced of it, I cannot forbear attributing the decay and want of Trade (in most Considerations) proportionably as the Demands and Levies are upon it to those Issues and Duties; and I know of no sure Purposes or Methods that will fail of encreasing our common Stock whilst we are dejected with these Pressures and Weights. And to evince the Truth of this, it would not require me to exceed the Limits of a Pamphlet; for I am morally certain, that the Levying of prodigious numerous Taxes, in the Compass of a few Years Time, will be an Equivalent and Over-ballance upon the Subject for the Amount of all the Profits of Trade, of three times that Space of Years: And the Keenness of Artists, Mechanicks, Husbandmen, as well as Traders and Merchants, will be so pall’d and ruined thereby, that they will rather chuse to confine themselves to the uncertain, dangerous, and, I am sure, wicked Gains of Stock jobbing, and unlawful Contracts, than to the honest and commendable Returns of Money by Trade; and which really can only maintain and secure the Profits of Private Men, as well as that of a whole Nation also.

The Seperation of Trade from us, or whatever remotely inclines thereto, will infallibly be a Grievance of the highest Extreme to us; and if ever the Subjects and Merchants should be loaded with Multitudes of Duties Edition: current; Page: [374] and Taxes, we should then unavoidably be brought, in the End, to such a fatal Consequence. And is it unreasonable to dread the Truth of this Assertion, or, to conceive, that we assuredly feel any Effects of a want of Trade? Do we never hear it repeated (on that wonted famous Mart of Trade, the Royal Exchange of London) There is no Trade? Are these Situations real Truth and Fact? Or, is it only Clamour and Faction? Can we subsist under so unhappy a State, if it proves true? Do not the Principal Branches of our Riches and Credit depend upon our Commerce? Can there be Exception taken against those who at all Times are vigilant to prevent the Decline of Trade? ——— But to give a very few Proofs more: The Collecting of vast Treasures by diversity of Taxes and Levies, will naturally create a Diminution and Loss of Specie to the Subject; a Discouragement which proves unspeakable in Trading; for though Abroad, we deal Commodity in Exchange for Commodity (which does not always happen neither) yet Seamens Wages, Shipping, and Bills of Exchange, must be paid in Cash; and however Private Men may subsist, yet Trade must be at a Stand, and the Publick generally impoverished by Loads of Taxes and Want of Specie: And as often as great Payments are pressed for, ’tis so many fresh Obstacles to the carrying on of the Profits and Flourishing Condition of a Nation.

Another Mark of Decay may be suspected from the little Stock of Ready Money which there is in the Country, from the Difficulty Landlords have of getting their Rents. The Country is considerably changed in this Point, so that it is become almost invidious to mention it; and upon this Article we may be convinced of the Necessity of the Augmentation of Trade abroad, as the ultimate, only Remedy that can be made use of for the gaining an immediate Redress on this Head, and strengthning the Credit and Reputation of the Kingdom. And it is no Error to insist, that Trade may be sorely hurt and injured by the Disadvantage of heavy Taxes; and the Want of Business to all Traders fully verifies it to us.

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After such like Enquiries and Researches as these, I cannot but be persuaded, That every honest English-man and Free-holder, will naturally join with me in making some serious Conjectures, what will be the Issue of our State and Condition: And that Fears and Apprehensions, which prompt us to the securing the Manufactures, Arts and Industry of the Nation, are not improper or injudicious; for the Increase of our Poor, and the Decay of our Commerce, are Omens that merit our strictest Vigilance and Enquiry. And herein Men of Fortunes and Substance in Trade, I am sure, will concur with me.

The Evils and Dangers that will most infallibly press upon us from great and extreme Taxes, are very evident; and it must be acknowledged a singular Instance of Wisdom and Care for the Publick, when Parliaments are most inquisitive concerning the Condition of the State, as to this Matter, above all; And it is vain for us to imagine Expedients can be found out, unless we are all tho