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dangerous Heights fome Men have proceeded. "Thus prepared, he thought the numerous and grofs "Corruptions in Religion and Learning might fur"nish Matter for a Satire, that would be useful and "diverting. He refolved to proceed in a Manner, "that should be altogether new; the World having "been already too long naufeated with endlefs Re

petitions upon every Subject. The Abuses in Religion, he propofed to fet forth in the Allegory of "the Coats, and the three Brothers; which was to make up the Body of the Difcourfe. Those in Learning he chofe to introduce by way of Digref"fions. He was then a young Gentleman much in "the World, and wrote to the Tafte of those who "were like himself: Thereföre, in order to ́allure "them, he gave a Liberty to his Pen, which might not fuit with maturer Years, or graver Characters; “and which he could have eafily corrected with a

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very few Blots, had he been Master of his Papers "for a Year or two before their Publication.

"NOT that he would have governed his Judgment "by the ill-placed Cavils of the Sour, the Envious, "the Stupid, and the Taftelefs; which he mentions "with Difdain. He acknowledges there are several "youthful Sallies, which, from the Grave and the "Wise, may deserve a Rebuke. But he defires to "be answerable no farther than he is guilty; and "that his Faults may not be multiplied by the igno"rant, the unnatural and uncharitable Applications "of thofe who have neither Candour to fuppofe good Meanings, nor Palate to diftinguifh true Ones." "After which he will forfeit his Life, if any one Opinion can be fairly deduced from that Book, "which is contrary to Religion or Morality.

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"WHY fhould any Clergyman of our Church be angry to fee the Follies of Fanaticism and Supersti"tion expofed, tho' in the most ridiculous Manner? "Since that is perhaps the moft probable Way to 66 cure them, or at least to hinder them from farther fpreading. Befides, tho' it was not intended for

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their Perufal, it rallies nothing. but what they "preach against. It contains nothing to provoke"them by the leaft Scurrility upon their Perfons or "their Functions. It celebrates the Church of Eng"land, as the most perfect of all others in Difcipline "and Doctrine; it advances no Opinion they reject, nor condemns any they receive. If the Clergy's "Refentments lay upon their Hands, in my humbleOpinion, they might have found more proper Ob-. jects to employ them on. Nondum tibi defuit Hoftis ; "I mean those heavy, illiterate. Scriblers, proftitute "in their Reputations, vicious in their Lives, and "ruined in their Fortunes; who, to the Shame of "good Sense as well as Piety, are greedily read; "merely upon the Strength of bold, falfe, impious "Affertions, mix'd with unmannerly Reflexions upon "the Priesthood, and openly intended against all. "Religion; in fhort, full of fuch Principles as are kindly received, because they are levelled to remove those Terrors that Religion tells Men will. "be the Confequence of immoral Lives. Nothing "like which is to be met with in this Difcourfe, tho' "fome of them are pleafed fo freely to cenfure it. "And I wish there were no other Inftance of what "I have too frequently obferved, that many of that> "Reverend Body are not always very nice in"diftinguishing between their Enemies and their "Friends.

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"HAD the Author's Intentions met with a more "candid Interpretation from fome whom, out of Refpect, he forbears to name, he might have been 66 encouraged to an. Examination of Books written "by fome of those Authors above described, whose "Errors, Ignorance, Dulnefs, and Villany, he thinks"he could have detected and expofed in fuch a "Manner, that the Perfons who are, most conceived. "to be infected by them, would foon lay them afide, "and be afhamed: But, he has now given over "thofe Thoughts; fince the weightiest Men in the queightieft Stations, are pleafed to think it a more

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dangerous Point, to laugh at thofe Corruptions in Religion which they themselves must disapprove, "than to endeavour pulling up thofe very Foundations wherein all Chriftians have agreed.

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"He thinks it no fair Proceeding, that' any Perfor "fhould offer determinately to fix a Name upon the "Author of this Discourse, who hath all along con"cealed himself from most of his nearest Friends: "Yet feveral have gone a farther Step, Letter of "and pronounced another Book to have Enthufiafm. "been the Work of the fame Hand "with this; which the Author directly "affirms to be a thorough Miftake, he having yet "never so much as read that Difcourfe: A plain "Inftance how little Truth there often is in general "Surmises, or in Conjectures drawn from a Simili

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tude of Style, or Way of Thinking.

"HAD the Author writ a Book to expose the A"bufes in Law, or in Phyfick, he believes the learn"ed Profeffors in either Faculty would have been "fo far from refenting it, as to have given him "Thanks for his Pains; especially if he had made " an honourable Refervation for the true Practice of "either Science. But, Religion they tell us, ought "not to be ridiculed; and they tell us Truth: Yet furely the Corruptions in it may; for we are taught by the triteft Maxim in the World, that Religion "being the best of Things, its Corruptions are likely "to be the worst.

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"THERE is one Thing which the judicious Read66 er cannot but have obferved, that fome of thofe Paffages in this Difcourfe which appear moft liable "to Objection, are what they call Parodies, where "the Author perfonates the Style and Manner of other Writers whom he has a Mind to expose. I "fhall produce one Inftance; it is in the 31ft Page. Dryden, L'Eftrange, and fome others I fhall not name, are here levelled at; who, having spent their "Lives in Faction and Apoftafies, and all Manner of Vice, pretended to be Sufferers for Loyalty and

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Religion. So Dryden tells us in one of his Prefaces "of his Merits and Suffering; thanks God that he "poffeffes his Soul in Patience. In other Places he talks "at the fame Rate; and L'Eftrange often uses the "like Style: And, I believe the Reader may find "more Perfons to give that Paffage an Application.. "But this is enough to direct those who may have "overlooked the Author's Intention.

"THERE are three or four other Paffages which "prejudiced or ignorant Readers have drawn by "great Force to hint at ill Meanings; as if they "glanced at fome Tenets in Religion. In Anfwer "to all which, the Author folemnly protefts he is " entirely innocent, and never had it once in his

Thoughts, that any Thing he faid would in the "leaft be capable of fuch Interpretations; which he "will engage to deduce full as fairly from the most "innocent Book in the World. And it will be ob"vious to every Reader, that this was not any Part "of his Scheme or Defign; the Abuses he notes, "being fuch as all Church of England Men agree in "Nor was it proper for his Subject to meddle with "other Points, than fuch as have been perpetually "controverted fince the Reformation.

"To inftance only in that Passage about the three "wooden Machines mentioned in the Introduction. "In the original Manufcript, there was a Defcripti"on of a Fourth, which those who had the Papers in "their Power, blotted out, as having fomething in it' "of Satire; that, I fuppofe, they thought was too par ❝ticular; and therefore they were forced to change "it to the Number Three; from whence, fome have "endeavoured to fqueeze out a dangerous Meaning "that was never thought on. And indeed the Con

ceit was half spoiled by changing the Numbers ; "that of Four being much more Cabalistick, and "therefore better expofing the pretended Virtue of "Numbers; a Superftition there intended to be ridi

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"ANOTHER Thing to be obferved, is, that there "generally runs an Irony through the Thread of the "whole Book; which the Men of Tafte will obferve " and distinguish, and which will render fome Obje"Ctions that have been made, very weak and infignificant.:

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"THIS Apology being chiefly intended for the "Satisfaction of future Readers, it may be thought "unneceffary to take, any Notice of fuch Treatifes as have been writ against this enfuing Difcourse; "which are already funk into wafte Paper and Obli-> "vion, after the ufual Fate of common Anfwerers"to Books which are allowed to have any Merit. "They are indeed like Annuals that grow about a 66 young Tree, and seem to vye with it for a Sum-<< mer, but fall and die with the Leaves in Autumn, “and are never heard of any more. When Dr. "Eachard writ his Book about the Contempt of the "Clergy, Numbers of thofe Anfwerers immediately 66 ftarted up, whofe Memory if he had not kept a"live by his Replies, it would now be utterly un"known that he were ever anfwered at all. There. "is indeed an Exception, when any great Genius "thinks it worth his while to expofe a foolish Piece. "So we ftill read Marvel's Anfwer to Parker with "Pleasure, tho' the Book it answers be funk long

ago; fo the Earl of Orrery's Remarks will be read "with Delight, when the Differtation he expofes "will neither be fought nor found. But these are no "Enterprizes for common Hands, nor to be hoped

for above once or twice in an Age. Men would.. "be more cautious of lofing their Time in fuch am "Undertaking, if they did but confider, that to an

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fwer a Book effectually, requires more Pains and › "Skill, more Wit, Learning and Judgment, than "were employed in the writing it. And the Author "affures thofe Gentlemen who have given themselves > "that Trouble with him, that, his Difcourfe is the "Product of the Study, the Obfervation, and the In-.. “vention of several Years; that he often blotted

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