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all others; two Qualities neither suited to the Welfare of Religion, nor of human Society? Do they not flatter and fupport the worst of Tyrants, plague and diftrefs, and often destroy, the best of Kings; and in both Cafes do they not belye the Holy Ghoft, and pervert his Meaning? Do they not pretend to be appoint ed for the Good of Mankind, and yet always make Mankind, where-ever they have Power, thoroughly miserable, bafe, poor, ignorant, and wicked? And finally, do they not invent vile Lyes for vile Ends, and then blafphemously make God Almighty to father them?

HERE is fuch a motley Mixture of oppofite Principles and Practices, as will always render thofe, who are chargeable with them, the Contempt or Abhorrence of all Men who have Eyes and Understanding. Jeft and Scorn will fubfift as long as their Caufes fubfift; and Clergymen, of all others, will be most exposed to them, while they continue to deferve them; because more Modefty, Truth, and Confistency, may be expected from them than from any others. It is but a Piece of Juftice due to Religion, to ridicule thofe, who, as far as they can, ridicule Religion, though they set up for its Defenders. Ridicule, when it has no longer Matter to feed on, will die of itself; and the Clergy, to avoid it, have no more to do, but not


to deserve it: But to go on complaining, without amending, is to nourish Raillery and Satire, by their own Actions. But as the reforming themfelves is a Practice feldom known among High Churchmen; Clamour, Lyes, and Oppreffion, are the conftant Remedies they apply to the great Grievances of Wit and Ridicule, as often as they meddle, or feem to meddle, with the Cloth. This will abundantly appear from the following Inftance, which will also fhew the wonderful Vigilance and Jealoufy of Churchmen, in Behalf of the Trade.

MOLIERE, having, in his Plays, brought upon the Stage Characters from the highest Quality and Profeffions in France, without offending either, drew, in his Tartuffe, an excellent and ftrong Picture of a Hypocrite, who, though carefully distinguished from a Man fincerely religious, yet happened to resemble the Churchmen fo much, that they raised a terrible Outcry against the Play; and, according to their laudable Cuftom, drew Heaven, Head and Shoulders, into their Quarrel. Tartuffe was, it feems, their Reprefentative General, and in ridiculing his godly Grimaces, and Stoical Devotion, Moliere, they faid, ridiculed them. In fine, by expofing the concealed Villain and Debauchee, the whole Poffe of the Priests thought themselves expofed.


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ZEALOUS therefore for the Dignity of the Caffock, and justly apprehending, that a Contempt upon Hypocrify would bring a Contempt upon the Order, they applied to the Court; I fay to the Court, where, by a religious Subferviency to the Ambition, Luft, and all the Rogueries of the Great, this Sort of Creature always finds Friendship and Counte nance. That arbitrary and debauched Court could refuse the Priests nothing; and the Play was forbid. Thus the Tartuffes of the Church redeemed from Scorn the Tartuffe of the Stage: The Picture was fecured from being fhewn, by the Number, Clamour, and Interest of the Originals.

NoT content to rail with all due clerical Bitterness against this Comedy, and curfe the ingenious Author by Word of Mouth; they detached one from their Body to cure him in Print. This Chriftian Author, without ever having feen the Play, pronounced it Diabolical: He affirmed, that Moliere had a Devil, that he was a Devil incarnate, a Devil in Man's Shape, a Libertine, an Atheist, and one who ought to be burned in this World, as he would affuredly be damned in the next. For the Vengeance of thefe Meffengers of Peace never ftops at the Death of their Victim, nor will they allow

their Maker to have more Mercy than them felves.

To fhew how juftly these holy Persons were alarmed on this Occafion, I fhall here give a Sketch of Tartuffe's Character, as drawn in that Play. He is a Fellow, who, from his godly Outfide, and great Poverty, is taken by an honeft Gentleman, credulous and devour, into his Family, and permitted to govern it. He is a great Glutton, and a great Pretender to Fafting; a great Defpifer of Money, but rooks all he can from his deluded Patron. He will not speak to my Lady's Maid, till he has covered her Bubbies with his Handkerchief, fo afraid is the Saint of Temptation; but at the fame time he tempts my Lady herfelf to Adultery, and endeavours to debauch his Benefactor's Wife with Heaven in his Mouth. The Gentleman's Son difcovers to his Father thefe Solicitations of the Hypocrite, which he had overheard; and the Lady owns and confirms them; but neither of them is believed: The poor bewitched Man cries, You are all Enemies to the godly Tartuffe; and tells him, that to make him Amends, he will give him hist Daughter, and fettle his House and Estate upon him. The Will of the Lord be done, fays the Hypocrite. Accordingly, by an inftant


Deed, to the apparent Ruin of his Family, he makes this godly, Villain Heir of all he has, with a Right of prefent Poffeffion. The Lady, not knowing what was done, does, by putting her Husband under a Table, make him a Witness of the holy Lecher's Defigns and Importunity. He is by this convinced; but when afhamed of himself, and enraged at the Ingrate, he bids him get out of his Houfe: No Sir, fays Tartuffe : It is your Turn to get out; the House is mine, and you shall know it; I will be revenged on you on Behalf of Heaven, which you would wound through my Sides. Behold an Orthodox Pattern of the usual Claim of Divine Right to the Wages of Villainy and Delufion!

ALL this Behaviour, and these Speeches, were fuch manifeft Marks of the Church, that all its genuine Sons dreaded their coming upon the Theatre. Their Rogueries are all facred, and must not be set to View.

MOLIERE, to take away, as much as was poffible, all reasonable Ground of Clamour from the Ecclefiaftics, had not fo much as fuggefted in the Play, that Tartuffe was a Prieft; and only called his Comedy, The Impoftor, in general. Befides all this, he had dreffed up his Rogue like a Man of the World. He had not given him Lo much as a flapping Bever, but a smart fecular


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