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others, and be vigilant for the good of his fellow-subjects.
This generous inclination no man pofseffes in a warmer degree than yourself; which, that Heaven would reward with long possession of that reputation into which you have made so early an entrance, the reputation of a man of sense, a good citizen, and agreeable companion, a disinterested friend, and an unbiaffed patriot, is the hearty prayer of, Sir, your most obliged, and most obedient, hunible servant,
[1713.) WHILE you the fierce divided Britons awe,
And Cato with an equal virtue draw,
* Prefixed to the Tragedy of “ Cato.”
LET TER CCCCXXIX*.
To the CLERGY of the Church of Englandt.
Jan. 19, 1713-14. T is with a just deference to your great
power and influence in this kingdom, that I lay before you the following comment upon the laws which regard the settlement of the imperial crown of Great Britain. My purpose in addresfing these matters to you is, to conjure you, as Heaven has blefled
talents and opportunities, to recommend them, in
your writings and discourses to your fellow-subjects.
In the character of pastors and teachers, you have an almost irresistible power over us of your congregations; and, by the admirable institution of our laws, the tenths of our lands, now
* Prefixed to the celebrated pamphlet called “ The Crisis." See p.101. In the 8th number of The Englifhman,'Oct. 22,1713, Mr. Steele inserted a letter, giving notice, that • The Crifis' was then ready for the press; and concluding in these words : “ The “ price of this discourse will be but one thilling; and persons « who are willing to subscribe for numbers of them, are desired « to leave their names and fuch numbers with Mr. Samuel “ Buckley, at the Dolphin, in Little Britain. I beg the favour “ of you to insert this in your very next paper; for I shall go
vern myself, in the number I print, according to the number “ of subscriptions." fter the subscription had continued open more than two months, • The Englishmam,' N° 26, Dec. 26, acquainted the publick, that, “ at the desire of several ladies of “ quality, the publication of · The Crifis' is put off till the fe• male world have expressed their zeal for the publick by a sub“ scription as large as that made among the other fex." The Crisis appeared, on the 19th of January, 1714.
in your poffeffion, are destined to become the
Give me leave, who have in all my words and
the affections of the people, for ends very different from the promotion of religion and virtue. Give me leave also to take notice, that
* See his declaration, already cited in p. 282, in respect to 6. The Christian Hero.” He adds, however, that, “ finding him“ self slighted, instead of being encouraged, for his declaration as “ to religion, it became incumbent on him to enliven his cha“ racter; for which reason he wrote • The Funeral,' in which, “ though full of incidents that move laughter, Virtue and Vice “ appear just as they ought to do.”
these suggestions have been favoured by some few unwary men in holy orders, who have made the constitution of their own country a very little part of their study, and yet made obedience and government the frequent subjects of their difcourses.
These men, from the pompous ideas of im. perial greatness, and submission to absolute emperors, which they imbibed in their earlier years, have, from time to time, inadvertently uttered notions of power and obedience abhorrent from the laws of this their native country.
I will take the further liberty to say, that if the acts of parliament mentioned in the following treatise had been from time to time put in a fair and clear light, and been carefully recommended to the perusal of young gentleinen in colleges, with a preference to all other civil inftitutions whatsoever; this kingdom had not been in its present condition : but the constitution would have had, in every member the universities have sent into the world, ever fince the Revolution, an advocate for our rights and liberties.
There is one thing which deserves your most serious confideration. You have bound yourselves, by the strongest engagements that Religion can lay upon men, to support that succession which is the subject of the following papers ; you have tied down your souls by an oath to maintain it as it is settled in the House of Ha
nover; nay, you have gone much fürther than is usual in cafes of this nature, as you have perfonally abjured the Pretender to this Crown, and that expressly, without any equivocations or mental reservations whatsoever, that is, without any possible escapes, by w ich the subtlety of temporizing casuists might hope to elude the force of these solenın obligations. You know much better than i do, whether the calling God to witness to the fincerity of our intentions in these cases, whether the iwearing upon the holy Evangelists in the most solemn manner, whether the taking of an oath before multitudes of tellow-subjects and fellow-Christians in our public courts of justice, do not lay the greatest obligations that can be laid on the consciences of men. This I am sure of, that if the body of a Clergy, who confiderately and voluntarily entered into these engagements, should be made use of as instruments and examples to make the nation break through them, not only the succession to our Crown, but the very essence of our Religion is in danger. What a triumph would it furnish to those evil men among us who are enemies to your
sacred order! what occafion would it ad. minister to Atheists and Unbelievers, to say that Christianity is nothing else but an outward fhow and pretence among the most knowing of its professors ! What could we afterwards object to Jeluits? what would be the scandal brought