« PreviousContinue »
of whom I have taken my text for this discourse. We should be careful not to overshoot ourselves, in the pursuits even of virtue. Whether Zeal or Moderation be the point we aim at, let us keep fire out of the one, and frost out of the other. But, alas ! the world is too wise to want such a precaution. The terms, High-church, and Lowchurch, as commonly used, do not so much denote a principle, as they distinguish a party. They are like words of battle, that have nothing to do with their original signification, but are only given out to keep a body of men together, and to let them know friends from enemies.
I must confess, I have considered, with fome attention, the influence which the opinions of these great national sects have upon their practice; and do look upon it as one of the unaccountable things of our times, that multitudes of honest gentlemen, who entirely agree in their lives, should take it in their heads to differ in their religion.
I shall conclude this paper, with an account of a conference, which happened between a very excellent divine (whose doctrine was easy, and, formerly, much respected) and a lawyer.
and , , do to inherit eternal life?
He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou ?
And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all
thy thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
But he, willing to justify himself, faid unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
And Jesus answering, said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And, by chance, there came down a certain priest that way; and, when he saw him, he paffed by on the other lide.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and paffed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was : and, when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine; and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Which, now, of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewife. Luke x. 25 to 38.
E N T.
A D V E BTIS EM
raising a fund towards paying the national debt, by the following means. The author would have commissioners appointed, to search all the public and private libraries, booksellers shops, and warehouses, in this kingdom, for such books as are of no use to the owner, or to the public, viz. all comments on the holy scriptures, whether called sermons, creeds, bodies of divinity, tomes of casuistry, vindications, confutations, essays, answers, replies, rejoinders, or sur-rejoinders ; together with all other learned treatises, and books of divinity, of what denomination or class foever ; as also, all comments on the laws of the land; such as reports, law-cases, decrees, guides for attorneys and young clerks; and, in fine, all the. books now in being in this kingdom, (whether of divinity, law, physic, metaphysics, logic, or politics,) except the pure text of the holy fcriptures, the naked text of the laws, a few books of morality, poetry, mufic, architecture, agriculture, mathematics, merchandise, and history; the author would have the aforefaid useless books carried to the several paper-mills, there to be wrought into white paper; which, to prevent damage or complaints, he would have performed by the commentators, critics, popular preachers, apothecaries, learned lawyers, attorneys, solicitors, logi. cians, phyficians, almanack-makers, and others of the like wrong turn of mind; the said paper to be sold, and the produce applied to discharge the national debt. What should remain of the said debt unsatisfied, might be paid by a tax on the salaries or estates of bankers, conmon cheats, usurers, treasurers, imbezzlers of public money, general officers, sharpers, pensioners, pick-pockets, &c.
THE P R E F A C E
POPE's and Swift's MISCELLANIES,
in four volumes 12mo, 1727.
THE papers that compose the first of these
volumes, were printed about eighteen years ago, to which there are now added two or three small tracts; and the verses are transferred into the fourth volume apart, with the addition of such others as we fince have written. The fem cond and third will consist of several small treatises in prose, in which a friend or two is concerned with us.
Having both of us been extremely ill treated by some booksellers, especially one Edmund Curll, it was our opinion, that the best method we could. take for justifying ourselves, would be, to publish whatever loose papers, in profe and verfe, we have formerly written; not only such as have already stole into the world (very much to cur regret, and perhaps very little to our credit) but such as, in any probability, hereafter may run the fame fate; having been obtained from us by the importunity, and divulged by the indiscretion of friends, although restrained by promises, which few of them are ever known to observe, and often think they make us a compliment in breaking.
But the consequences have been still worse: we have been entitled, and have had our names preVol. II.
fixed at length, to whole volumes of mean productions, equally offensive to good manners and good sense, which we never saw nor heard of till they appeared in print.
For a forgery in setting a false name to a wri. ting, which may prejudice another's fortune, the law punishes the offender with the loss of his ears: but has inflicted no adequate penalty for such as prejudice another's reputation, in doing the same thing in print; though all and every individual book, so fold under a false name, are manifestly so many several and multiplied forgeries.
Indeed we hoped, that the good nature, or at least the good judgement of the world, would have cleared us from the imputation of such things, as had been thus charged upon us by the malice of enemies, the want of judgment in friends, the unconcern of indifferent persons, and the confident affertions of booksellers.
We are ashamed to find so ill a taste prevail, as to make it a necessary work to do this justice to ourselves. It is very possible for any author to write below himself; either his subject not proving so fruitful, or fitted for him, as he at first imagined ; or his health, or his humour, or the present disposition of his mind, unqualifying him at that juncture : however, if he possessed any distinguishing marks of stile, or peculiarity of thinking, there would remain, in his least fuccessful writings, fome few tokens, whereby perfons of tafte might discover him.