The Observator: [Selections]
MOst Prefaces are (Effectually) Apologies; and neither the Book, nor the Author, one Jot the Better for them. If the Book be Good, it will not Need an Apology; If Bad, it will not Bear One: For where a man thinks, by Calling himself Noddy, in the Epistle, to Atone, for Shewing himself to be one, in the Test; He does (with Respect to the Dignity of an Author) but Bind up Two Fools in One Cover. But there's no more Trusting some People with Pen, Ink, and Paper, then the Maddest Extravagants in Bedlam, with Fire, Sword, or Poyson. He that Writes Ill, and Sees it, why does he Wrote on? And, with a kind of Malice Prepense, Murder the Ingenious part of Mankind? He that Really Believes he Writes Well; why does he pretend to Think Otherwise? Now take it which way you please, a man runs a Risque of his Reputation, for want, either of Skill, and Judgment, the One way; Or of Good Faith, and Candor the Other. Beside a Mighty Oversight, in Imagining to bring himself off, from an Ill Thing, Done, or Said, by Telling the World that he did it for This or That Reason. When a Book has once past the Press into the Publique; there's no more Recalling of it, then of a Word Spoken, out of the Air again. And a man may as well hope to Reverse the Decree of his Mortality, as the Fate of his Writings. In short: When the Dice are Cast, the Author must stand his Chance.
Now that I may not be thought to Enterfere with my self, by Declaiming against One Preface in Another: I do here previously Renounce to All the Little Arts and Forms of Bespeaking the Good Will of the Reader; As a Practice, not only Mean, Light, and Unprofitable; but wholly Contrary to the Bent of My Inclination; as well as Inconsistent with the very Drift, and Quality of my Design. For These Papers were Written, Indifferently, for the Enformation of the Multitude; and for the Reproof of a Faction: Two Interests that I am not much Sollicitous, or Ambitious, to Oblige: And upon This Consideration it is, that I have Address'd them to the Reader in Generall; as a Calculation that will serve for All Meridians: But if I could have Resolved upon a Dedication, with any Particular Mark, or Epithete of Distinction; it should have been, To the IGNORANT, the SEDITIOUS, or the SCHISMATICAL Reader; for There, properly, lies my Bus'ness.
The Reader will find in the First Number of This Collection, the True Intent, and Design of the Undertaking; And he will likewise find, in the very Date of it, (April 13, 1681.) the Absolute Necessity of some Such Application, to Encounter the Notorious Falshoods; the Malicious Scandals, and the Poysonous Doctrines of That Season.
Whether I had Sufficient Ground, or Reason, for the Warmth I have Exprest in These Papers, upon Several Occasions, (out of an Affectionate Sense of my Duty, and a Zeal for the Peace, Welfare, and Safety of my Country;) I Dare, and I Do Appeal to the King, and his Ministers; to the Consciences of as many of his Majesties Subjects, as are not Stark Blind because they WILL not See; and to the Justice of the Nation. I do Appeal, I say, to his Majesties Proclamations; to his Royal Declaration; Several Orders of Councel; the Examinations, and Confessions of Unquestionable Witnesses; The Solemnity of so many Tryals, Sentences, and Executions; and the Criminals, Every Man of 'em, Either Acknowledging the Crime, or Justifying the Treason: But the FACT, however made as Clear as the Day. There's the Flight of the Conspirators; Their Arms Seiz'd; Their Councels Laid Open; Men Listed; The Methods of the Confederacy Detected, to the very Time, and Place for the Perpetration of the Villany; to the very Circumstance of the Providential Fire at Newmarket, that Disappointed it. I have All These Demonstrative Proofs, and Convincing Evidences, to Warrant me in the most Violent Presumptions of a Rebellion in Agitation: And the Phanatiques Themselves made good the Worst Things that ever I said of the Party: In Vindication of the Importunity of All my Foreboding, if not Prophetical Suspicions: Nay, they were come to the very Point, and Crisis of the Operation, of That Unaccountable, and Amazing Vote. [If his Majesty shall come by Any Violent Death (which God Forbid) it shall be Reveng'd to the Utmost upon the Papists.] The King, and the Duke were to be Murder'd by Republican, and Fanatical Rebells: There's your VIOLENT DEATH, And Then [Reuenge it upon the Papists:] For [the Thing (says Keeling) was to be laid upon the Papists as a Branch of the Popish Plot. Walcots Tryal. Fol.9.] And the Next Step was, for the Traytors to Unriddle the Mystery, and to Expound, Who were the Papists. [The Lord Mayor, and the Sheriffs] were Three of 'em. They, were to be Kill'd; And [as many of the Lieutenancy as they could get; And the Principal Ministers of State; My Lord Halifax, My Lord Rochester, and my Lord Keeper: (They were Three Papists more.) My Lord Keeper was to have been Hang'd upon the same Post that College had hung. Sir John Moor to be Hung-up in Guildhall, as a Betrayer of the Rights and Liberties of the City. And the Judges Lordships to be Flayed, and Stuff'd, and Hung-up in Westminster Hall: And a great many of the Pensionary Parliament Hang'd-up, as Betrayers of the Rights of the People. Walcots Tryal, p.15.] You have here, a Practical Explanation of the True-Protestant Way, (in case of the King's Violent Death) of Revenging it to the Utmost upon the Papists.] And This Intended Assassination (says Ferguson (in the same Page) [Is a Glorious Action, and such an Action as I HOPE TO SEE PUBLIQUELY GRATIFY'D BY PARLIAMENT; And Question not but you will be Fam'd for it, and Statues Erected for you, with the Title of LIBERATORES PATRIAE. Ibid.] Now when Matters were come to This Pass once, I think it was High Time to Write Observators.
I might Enlarge my self, upon the Inducements that Mov'd me to Enter upon This Province; The Needfullness, of some Popular Medium for the Rectifying of Vulgar Mistakes, and for Instilling of Dutyfull, and Honest Principles into the Common People, upon That Turbulent and Seditious Juncture: But I am not Willing to Clogg my Preface, with the Repetition of what I have spoken so Expressly to, in the Book.
I am now to Advertise the Reader, in the next Place; That as I have not Strain'd, so much as One Syllable, in the Whole Course of These Papers, beyond the Line of Truth, Nor let fall One Word, Contrary to my Conscience; Nor Layd-on so much as One False Colour, for a Blind, or a Disguise: As I have not done any Thing of All This, I say; Nor Gratify'd so much as One Passion to the Prejudice, of any MAN, or THING; or of Common Justice it Self: So neither, on the Other hand, was I less Cautious, and Considerate, in the Undertaking of This Duty, then I have been Clear, and Impartial, in the Discharge, and Manage of it.
I was no sooner Possess't, of the Reason, and the Expedience of the Thing; but I feel presently to Deliberate upon the Individious Difficulties; The Scandals, Reproaches, and a Thousand Other Mischiefs, and Inconveniencies, that would probably Attend it. I laid them All before me; And upon a Full Computation of the Matter, Pro and Con; I Resolv'd, at last, to Put pen to paper; not without some Vanity perhaps, in Affecting the Honour of being Revil'd, but the Blasphemers of God, and the King. I shall say Nothing of the Traytors; The Papists; The Fidlers; The All-manner-of-Rogues, and Debauchees that they have made me: For their Cause is Founded upon a Sacrilegious Hypocrisy; Maintain'd by Fraud, Scandal, and Imposture. And when they have a mind to Blacken a man, 'tis not a Straw matter, for any Foundation of Fact, or History: But Paint him as like the Devil as they Can; and to make short Work on't, One Fanatique Sits to Another, for the Picture. But These Scurrilities have more of Noise in 'em, then of Weight: And Those People that had the face to Calumniate Charles the First, for a TYRANT, and a PAPIST; And the Confidence, at This very day, to do as much for Charles the Second; They that Preach REBELLION out of the GOSPEL; Give it the Name of GOD'S TRUTH, GOD'S CAUSE; And offer up the Bloud of Kings as an Acceptable Sacrifice to Jesus Christ: What Christian will not Value himself, upon the Reputation of lying under the Scourge of Those Tongues, and Pens, that Offer these Outrages to their Maker, and their Saviour? So that these Clamours, and Maledictions, I look upon, as Matter, rather of Advantage, then Discredit; Where Loyalty to the King, and to the Church, is made the Crime: But yet I must Confess, I had Some Other Mortifications in my Thought, that went a little Nearer me.
As first, the Indecency of a Gentlemans Entring into a Street-Brawl, (and Barefac'd too) with the Sink of Mankind, both for Quality, and Wickedness. 21y. The Disproportion, and the Indecorum of the Thing, for an Old Fellow that now Writes Sixty Eight, to run about, a Masquerading, an Dialoguing of it, in Twenty Fantastical Shapes, only to furnish a Popular Entertainment, and Diversion. 31y. The Scandalous Appearance of it, for Me to take up the Profession, and Bus'ness of a Pamphleteer; and (almost) to Lose the Name of my Family, by it, in Exchange for That of the Observator. 41y. I had This Prospect before me too. What Construction would be made upon't; (If I may speak it with Modesty) even to the Lessening of my Character; And Consequently, to my Detriment, Every way, as well in Respect of Fortune, as Esteem: For men are apt, in such Cases as This, to Mistake, the Intent, as well as the Reason of the Office; and to Impute the most Sacred, and Consciencious Zeal of an Upright Heart, in the performance of the most Important, and Necessary Duty, only to a Levity of Mind, perchance; Or in Other Terms; to an Over Officious, and Pragmatical Itch of Medling: It makes a man to be lookt upon, as if a Pamphlet were his Masterpiece; and when he's once Nail'd to That Post, he may reckon upon't, that he' at the Top of his Preferment. Upon These Four Difficulties, I Reason'd with my self, after This Manner. To the First; What do I care, for having so much Dirt Thrown at me, that will Wash off again? And at the worst, the Engaging with such a Rabble of Contaminated Varlets, is no more than Leaping into the Mud to help my Father. Secondly. 'Tis not for a man in years, to do so and so. Well! And here's a Reputative Circumstance, on the One hand, against an Indispensable Duty, on the Other. The Common people are Poyson'd, and will run Stark Mad, if they be not Cur'd: Offer them Reason, without Fooling, and it will never Down with them: And give them Fooling, without Argument, they're never the Better for't. Let 'em Alone, and All's Lost. So that the Mixture is become as Necessary, as the Office; And it has been My Part, only to Season the One with the Other. Thirdly, I must Set the Conscience of the Action, against the Reproch. And Lastly; 'Tis nothing to me what Other People Think, so long as I am Conscious to my Self that I Do what I Ought.
All This I Computed upon, before-hand; And thus far, I have not been Deceiv'd in my Account. I have been Baited with Thousands upon Thousands of Libells. I have Created Enemies that do me the Honour to Hate me, perhaps, next to the King Himself (God Bless him) and the Royal Family. Their Scandals are Blown over: Their Malice, Defeated, And whenever my Hour comes, I am ready to Deliver up my Soul, which the Conscience of an Honest Man, as to what I have done, in This Particular: And I do here Declare, in the Presence of an All-Seeing, and an All-Knowing God, That as I have never yet receiv'd any Answer, more then Cavil, and Shuffling, to the Doctrine, and Reasoning of These Papers: So I never made use of Any Sophism, or Double Meaning, in Defence of the Cause that I have here taken upon me to Assert: but have dealt Plainly, and Above-Bord, without either Fallacy, or Collusion.
After This View of the Worst side of my Case; (And (in truth) a kind of Abstract of it, in Minutes) I should be Extremely wanting, both to God and Man, in not taking This Occasion, of making known to the world, the Many Generous Instances of Affection, and Respect, which I have received, not only from the most Considerable Part of his Majesties Loyal Subjects of All qualities, and Degrees; but Particularly from the Two Famous Universities themselves: And, in short, from the most Eminent Persons of the Long Robe, in their Several Professions: In Testimony of their Favourable Acceptance of my Honest Endeavours toward the Service, both of the Church, & the State. And this I am Obliged to leave behind me, upon Record; out of a Double Right, & Regard, as well to my Friends, as to my Self: For I reckon upon it, as an Accumulation of Honour, to Me, to be Rescu'd out of the hands of Publique Enemies, and Apostates, by Men of the Clear Contrary Character; That is to say; by Men of Unquestionable Integrity, and of Unspotted Faith.
My Back Friends are as Merry, now, as a Laugh on One side of the Mouth can Make 'em; at the Conceit of calling the several Presents which have been made me (and they are very Considerable) by the name of a Gathering; and they do not Stick to put it about, That I was my Own Sollicitor for the Begging of it. I have been Told of One, that said as much; for whose sake, I would Advise All Parents to take it for a Warning, not to Stuff their Childrens heads so Damnably, with Greek and Latin as to leave no Room for Brains, and Good Manners. But what if it be a Gathering? Are not All Publique Benevolences; Publique Works; Publique Acknowledgments; the same Thing? Neither do I find any more Scandal, in receiving a Reward for a Service in a Common Cause, then in a Lawyers taking a Fee, in a Private One: But be it what it will: I shall Transmit the Acknowledgment of it, with This Paper, as the Glory of my Life: And Value my self Incomparably more upon so Eminent a Mark of a General Esteem; then upon the Advantage of Ten times a Greater sum, by Any Other way. But Gatherings, with some People, are only Honourable, when they are Apply'd to the Maintaining of Conspirators, and Affidavit-Men: And they Account Money much better Bestow'd upon the Subversion of the Government, then toward the Defending of it: but That Orange is Squeez'd a far as 'twill Drop, already.
Now to the Calumny of My Setting This Bus'ness afoot; First, I thank God, that neither my Mind, nor my Condition were ever Sunk so Low, yet, as to Descend to That way of Application. 21y, As I hope to be Sav'd, the Matter was Proceeded upon, in Several Places, and a Long time, before ever I had the Least Inkling, or Imagination of it; and when it was so far Advanc'd, without my Privity, I must Certainly have been both a Great Fool, and a Great Clown, either to have Oppos'd, or Refus'd, a token of so Obliging, and so Generous a Respect. To Conclude; If any man has been so Misled, as to Intend That for a Personal Charity; which I cannot Honourably Own the Receiving of, under That Notion; I am ready to Return him his Proportion, with a Thousand Acknowledgments: But This shall not Hinder me yet, from Cherishing in my Thoughts, the Remembrance of what Honour soever has been done me for the sake of the Publique.
The Reflexions that have been Pass'd upon my Quality, and Conversation, need no Further Answer, then to Appeal to my very Name, and my Acquaintance: but for the Charge of being a Papist, it is as False, as it is Malicious.
I am to say One Word more now, concerning my L. Shaftsbury; whose Name, and Title, I have often Occasion to make mention of, in This Book. The Reader is to take Notice, that it is Intended of the Late Earl of Shaftsbury, who Dy'd at Amsterdam, Jan. 1682/3. The Surviving Heir of That Honour, and Family, having ever Demean'd himself with a Remarkable Loyalty, and Respect, toward the King, and his Government.
Wh. I had'em all; but there's a great deal of Trash; and so I e'en rid my hands of'em; though some of'em did pretty well too; considering those Dark Times. Now here can I sit as Snug as a Hare in her Form, and Chat away a Winters Evening with a Good Fire, a Pipe, and a Friend, and never feel how the time spends.
Wh. Matters of State, History, Travells, The Rights and Power of the People, Reformation, Religion, Discipline, Admonitions, Remonstrances, Petitions, Appeals; as ye see'em mark'd upon the Shelves. But all this is nothing, you'l say, when y'ave seen my Gallery. Open that same Door before ye.
Wh. Ay Ay; 'Tis all one for that. Now all to'ther side is Dissenting Protestants; as Cartwright, Brown, Barrow, Robinson, Hetherington, Trask, Naylor, Best, Biddle, Muggleton. And here are your Muncerians, Apostoliques, Separatists, Libertines, Georgites, Familists, Ranters Seekers, Sweet-Singers, Antinomians, Arrians, Socinians, Millenayres, Quakers: And in Two words; all the Godly Party. They make Fourteen Folio's of Catalogue.
Wh. Two of 'em are altogether upon the Art of Government, and the Third is Cramm'd with Lampoon and Satyr. You sha'not name me any one Copy that has scap'd me; nor any Exigent of State; but I'le furnish ye out of these Papers with an Expedient for't.
Wh. In Foresight, Experience, Presence of Thought, Prudence of Direction, and Vigour of Execution. To be short; Every Motion of the Head, the Eye, the Hand, the Foot, the Body, Contributes a part to this Great Work.
Wh. With as much Ease as Fencing, or Dancing. There are Three or Four Dissenting Academies here about the Town, where People are taught to Nod, Wink, Gape, Cough, Spit; Nay the very Turning of their Hum's and Haw's, by Rule and Method; when to Smite the Breast, and when to Dust the Cushion; when to Leap in the Pulpit, and when to Swim; when to be Serene, and when to Thunder: Nay the Faces they are to make at every Period; and the very Measure of their pauses; that the Parenthesis may be large enough for the Groans, & Ejaculations of the Secret ones to Play in; they are taught to Pray for the King with One Tone and Countenance, and for the Parliament with another.
To. I have Observ'd them indeed to Cry with a Loud Voice, Lord! strengthen the Hands of the One, & then to drop the Note into a kinde of a Piping whisper, with a Lord! Turn the Heart of the Other; which is as much as to say, Alas! the Poor Gentleman is out of his way, and we must set all hands at work to bring him to comply with his Parliament, though that Handy work, at last, bring his Royall Head to the Scaffold.
Wh. If you wou'd not be a Rogue now and tell tales, I could let ye in to the whole Popular Mystery; and shew ye the Folly, and the Vanity of any other Claim to Sovereign Power. And then I have all the Prints brought me as soon as ever they come out.
To. Let me see then. Pious Frauds; Mentall Reservations; Infallibility of the Assembly; Baxters Saints; Cases of Conscience; Dispensations, Contributions, Maxims, Intelligence, Orders, Committees, Juryes, Caballs, Religion, Property, Demands, Proposals, Grievances, Pretenses, Salvo's, Distinctions, Explanations, Projects, Directions, Advices, Resolutions, Invectives, Fictions, Forms of Reproaches, suited to All Persons, Orders, and Qualities; True-Protestant Privileges; The Doctrine of Probabilityes, and Implicit Obedience.
Wh. They are so, when they are apply'd to the service of the Church of Rome: but the True Protestant-Cause Sanctifies the Principle. As there's a great difference betwixt the Popes Excommunicating of an Hereticall Prince; and the Generall Assemblys Excommunicating of an Antichristian, Episcopall Prince; betwixt a Popish Gunpowder-Treason, in the Cellers, under the Parliament-House; and a Gunpowder Commission to Kill and Slay within the walls of the Same House, above ground; though to Carnal Eyes they may both appear to Center in the same Point: And so in like manner, betwixt a Conspiracy of Papists to cut off the King, and Subvert the Government; and a True-Protestant-Association, to the very same Effect: Nay with this Advantage too; that the Latter Propounds the Accomplishing of that, in a matter of a month or six weeks, which the Zeal of their Fore-fathers was at least Ten, or a dozen years a doing.
Wh. You cannot Imagine, though an Embroder'd Cope may be an Abomination, what a Cordial the Pearl of it is to a True-Protestant Professor. Lambs-Wool drinks no way better than out of a Chalice. Or in other Cases; 'Tis but Destroying the Popish Form of an Idolatrous Vessell, and the Intrinsick Value is never the less Current according to the Standard of the Reformation. The Picture of the Blessed Virgin, with our Saviour in her Arms, is never a jot the worse for sale to a Painter, for being an object of Idolatry about the Altar.
To. And yet I have seen it Committed to the Flames, but it has been an Oversight, betwixt the Zeal and the Ignorance of the Magistrate. How many Curious Crucifixes, and Reliques, with Delicate Inlayings, and Carvings have I seen Expos'd at Gill the Constables in Westminster; truly, at very Reasonable Rates?
Wh. Not likely; but then ye must know, they were Seiz'd in One Capacity, and sold in Another; for they were vended in the Contemplation of the Workmanship, though they were taken as the Fooleries of a False Religion. We have in our days seen the Representation of the Trinity, Demolish'd in a Church-Window, with Extraordinary Zeal and Approbation.
To. Why truly I am as much against the making of any Image or Figure of God the Father under the Form of a Man, as any body; for Twenty Mistakes and Inconveniences that may arise upon the consideration of such an Object; but I know no hurt in the world in the Representing of our Saviour under a Human shape; or of the Holy Ghost under the shadow of a Dove: beside that the thing is presum'd to have been done by Authority; for otherwise, the same Zeal that Destroys but the Window of the Church, would not stick at the Destroying perhaps of every thing else that belongs to't. But prethee tell me One thing, suppose the Blessed Trinity, so Represented, should be the Seal of an Ancient Community, or Society of men, what's the difference betwixt that Figure, in Graving, or in Nealing; in Silver, or in Glass? Would not you as much scruple that putting of that Seal to a Lease, as the seeing of that Figure in a Church-Window?
Wh. Here you may have all the Papers as they come out, Fresh and Fresh: All the Arguments, and Politiques of the Dissenting Party; Chuse your own Theme, Take your own time, and Treat upon your own Conditions.
To. That's as fair as any Mortall can wish; So that when the day does not afford other matter to work upon, we may Look a little more narrowly into the Merits of the Cause. And so much for that. But here let me ask ye a Question: Do you know a Little Cause-Jobber yonder somewhere about Kings-street, in Covent Garden?
To. The very same. He was saying t'other day that [L'Estrange was a Pensioner of Cromwels; a Papist; and that he durst not bring his Action against any man for Calling him so: That he was a Rogue; a Fidler; Liv'd in Covent-Garden a good while, and got his Living by his Trade; And that a Magistrate, not far from that place, would Justify it. The Two first Points, I suppose, will be Disputed in another place: And for the Fidler: 'Tis well known that L'Estrange liv'd Eight or Nine years in one of the Piazza-Houses there; and kept Servants that would have Scorn'd to have Sorted themselves with any thing so mean as this Paltry Varlet. But to the Business. How far will the Privilege of a True-Protestant-Whig Justify a Villain in so many Scandalous Lyes?
Wh. So far as the Common Good of the Cause is more Valuable then the single Credit of a Private Person. But say ye now to Curtis's Advertisement (in his Last Mercury) of Tong's Narrative, and Case; concerning L'Estrange, printed for C W?
To. I say, 'tis first, a Cheat; for 'tis none of Tong's Writing; 21y, 'Tis Another Cheat; for 'twas Printed for Langley Curtis, with his Name to Tongs Appointment for the Printing of it: Only he has Fobb'd a New, and a False Title-Page to't. But what says Mr. Oates, all this while, to L'Estranges Enformation against Tonge, in the Shammer Shamm'd? where that young Fellow has the Impudence to declare under his hand, the very Foundations of Oates's Plot to be a Cheat: And I appeal to all Good Protestants for Justice upon that Scandalous Wretch.
Wh. Nay, 'tis a horrible Abuse, and really the man stands in's own light: What was't? 500 or a 1000 Pound that he recover'd of One that did not say the Hundredth part of what this comes to? The Lord Deliver me! I knew the Time when 'twas half a Hanging-matter to have made the least doubt of any Branch of the Hellish Plot: But for this Audacious Fool to say in Expresse Terms, that [the Four Jesuites Letters, wherein Oates pretended was the whole Discovery, were counterfeits] is utterly Intolerable. I'le e'en go my ways immediately, and talk with the Doctor about it.
A. Come, Come; 'Tis the Press that has made'um Mad, and the Press must set'um Right again. The Distemper is Epidemical; and there's no way in the world, but by Printing, to convey the Remedy to the Disease.
A. The Removing of the Cause. That is to say, the Undeceiving of the People: for they are well enough Disposed, of themselves, to be Orderly, and Obedient; if they were not misled by Ill Principles, and Hair'd and Juggled out of their Senses with so many Frightful Stories and Impostures.
A. Take it in few words then. My business is, to encounter the Faction, and to Vindicate the Government; to detect their Forgeries; to lay open the Rankness of their Calumnies and Malice; to Refute their Seditious Doctrines; to expose their Hypocrisy, and the bloudy Design that is carry'd on, under the Name, and Semblance, of Religion; And, in short, to lift up the Cloke of the True Protestant (as he Christens himself) and to shew the People, the Jesuite that lies skulking under it.
A. Tis Impossible to say either what a Dissenter IS, or what he is NOT. For he's a NOTHING; that may yet come to be ANY thing. He may be a Christian; or he may be a Turk; But you'l find the best account of him in his Name. A DISSENTER, is one that thinks OTHERWISE. That is to say, let the Magistrate think what he pleases, the Dissenter will be sure to be of another Opinion. A Dissenter is not of This, or of That, or of Any Religion; but A Member Politique of an Incorporate Faction: or Otherwise; A Protestant-Fault-Finder in a Christian Commonwealth.
A. No, by no means: The Party is neither the Worse, for having Ill men in it, nor the Better, for Good. For whatever the Membersare, the Party is a Confederacy; as being a Combination against the Law.
A. A man may Mean well, and Do Ill; he may shed Innocent Bloud, and think he does God good Service. 'Tis True: A man cannot help Thinking' but he may help Doing: He is Excusable for a Private Mistake, for That's an Error only to himself; but when it comes once to an Overt Act, 'tis an Usurpation upon the Magistrate, and there's no Plea for't.
A. I do look upon Such a Protestant to be a kind of an Adjective Noun-Substantive; It requires something to be joyn'd with it, to shew its Signification. By Protestancy in General is commonly understood a Separation of Christians from the Communion of the Church of Rome: But to Oppose Errors, on the One hand, is not Sufficient, without keeping our selves Clear of Corruptions, on the Other. Now it was the Reformation, not the Protestation, that Settled us upon a true Medium betwixt the two Extremes.
A. Take notice, First, that the Name came Originally from the Protestation in 1529. against the Decree of Spires; and that the Lutheran Protestants and Ours of the Church of England, are not of the Sam Communion. Now Secondly; If you take Protestants in the Latitude with our Dissenters, they are not so much a Religion, as a Party; and whoever takes this Body of Dissenters for Members of the Reformed Religion sets up a Reformation of a hundred and fifty Colours and as may [sic] Heresies. The Anabaptists, Brownists, Antinomians, Familists, &c. do all of the set up for Dissenting Protestants; but God forbid we should ever enter these People upon the Roll of the Reformation.
A. Just as I do of Protestant Muncer, and Protestant Phifer; a Brace of Protestants that cost the Empire 150000 Lives: and our own Pretended Protestants too, of Later Date, have cost This Nation little lesse.
A. I See well enough what they Say, and I know what they do. Consider, First, that they are Profess'd Anabaptists: Smith no less than a pretended Prophet; and the Other, a kind of a Wet Enthusiast. Secondly; 'tis the very Doctrine of the Sect to root out Magistracy, Cancel Humane Laws; Kill, and take Possession; and wash their Feet with the Bloud of the Ungodly; and where ever they have set Footing, they have Practic'd what they Taught. Are not these likely men now, to help out a King, and a Religion, at a dead lift? If you would be further satisfy'd in the Truth of things, reade Sleidan, Spanhemius, Gastius, Hortensius, Bullinger, Pontanus, The Dipper dipp'd, Bayly's Disswasive, Pagets Heresiography, &c. Hortensius tells ye, how Jack of Leydens Successor murthered his Wife, to make way to his Daughter, P. 74. and after that, cut a girls throat, for fear she should tell Tales. Gastius tells us of a Fellow that cut off his brothers Head, as by Impulse, and then cry'd, The Will of God is fulfilled, lib. I. Pa. 12. Jack of Leyden started up from Supper, to do some business (he said) which the Father had commanded him, and cut off a Soldiers Head; and afterwards cut off his Wives head in the Market-place. Sleydans Comment. Lib. 10.
A. If you do make him any thing, I'le make him That. But in one word, they are Factious and Necessitous; and consequently, the fittest Instruments in the world, for the promoting of a Sedition. First, as they are Principled for't; and then, in respect of their Condition; for they are every man of them under the Lash of the Law, and Retainers to Prisons; So that in their Fortunes they can hardly be worse. Insomuch, that it is a common thing for them to lend a Name to the countenancing of a Libel which no body else dares own.
A. It is the business of every Sheet they Publish, to Affront the Government the Kings Authority, and Administration; the Privy-Council; the Church, Bench, Juries, Witnesses; All Officers, Ecclesiastical, Military, and Civil: and no matter for Truth or Honesty, when a Forg'd Relation will serve their turn. 'Tis a common thing with them, to get half a dozen Schismaticall Hands to a Petition, or Address in a corner, and then call it, the sense of the Nation: and when all's done, they are not above twenty Persons, that make all this clutter in the Kingdom.
A. To make the Government Odious, and Contemptible; to magnifie their own Party; and fright the People out of their Allegeance, by Counterfeit Letters, Reports, and false Musters, as if the sober and considerable part of the Nation were all on their side.
Q. We are in Common Charity to allow, for Errors, and Mis-reports, and not presently to make an Act of Malice, and Design, out of every Mistake. Can you shew me any of these Counterfeits, and Impostures that you speak of? These Cheats upon the People, and Affronts upon the Government?
A. Yes, yes; Abundantly. And Il'e give you Instances immediately upon every poynt you'l ask me: Only This note, by the way; That let them be mistakes, or Contrivances, or what you will, they all run Unanimously against the Government, without so much as one Syllable in favour of it: Which makes the matter desperately suspitious.
A. Some Persons (Says Smiths Prot. Int. N. 7.) in Norwich, &c. who have a greater stock of Confidence, and Malice, then Wisdom, and Honesty, are so far transported with Zeal to serve the Devil, or his Emissaryes the Papists, that they are now Prosecuting several Dissenting Protestants upon Stat. 35. Eliz. &c. (And so the Protestant-Mercury, N. 15.) Some People at Norwich, are playing the Devil for Godsake: several honest, peaceable, Protestant Dissenters, having been troubled for not coming to Church, or having been Present at Religious Meetings &c.] Now what greater Affront can there be to Government, then This language, First, from an Anabaptist that is a Professed Enemy to all Government; and Secondly, from a Private Person, Bare-fac'd, to arraign a Solemn Law: A Law of this Antiquity; a Law of Queen Elizabeth's, (a Princesse so much Celebrated by our Dissenters themselves for her Piety, Good Government, and Moderation;) a Law which, upon Experience, has been found so Necessary, that the bare Relaxing of it, cost the Life of a Prince, the Bloud of two or three hundred thousand of his Subjects, and a Twenty-years-Rebellion? To say nothing of the dangerous Consequence of making it Unsafe for Magistrates to discharge their Dutyes, for fear of Outrages, and Libells.
A. Smith (in his Vox Populi, P. 13.) saith, that the King is oblig'd to pass or Confirm those Laws his People shall Chuse.] at which rate, if they shall tender him a Bill for the Deposing of himself, he is bound to agree to't. Secondly, in the same Page, he Denies the Kings Power of Proroguing, or Dissolving Parliaments; which is an Essential of Government it self, under what Forms so-ever, and he's no longer a King, without it. And then for his Administration, P. 1. the Anabaptist charges upon his Majesty [those many surprizing and astonishing Prorogations, and Dissolutions (as he has worded his Meaning) to be procur'd by the Papists.] And then, P 15. he wounds both the King, and his Council, at a Blow; in falling upon those that make the King break his Coronation-Oath; arraigning his Council in the First place, and the King himself in the Second' and that for no less than the breach of Oath, and Faith.——Wee'l talk out the Rest at our next Meeting.
A. My way (and you must know) lies more to History, and Books, and Politicks, and Religion, and such as That, But take this along with you too; that I am for turning over of Men, as well as Books; for that's the Profitable Study when all's done.
A. That is to say, I Read Them; I Study them; I speak of turning over their Actions, not their Body s. And Pray observe my Simile. Every Action of a man s Life resembles a Page in a Book. D'ye Mark me?
A. Why thereafter as the Subject is, As for History; ye have Clarks Lives, and Examples; Lloyd's Memoirs; the Popes Warehouse, &c. For Politicks; There's Mr. Baxters Holy Commonwealth, the Assemblys Catechism, The Letter about the Black Box, &c. For Law, ye have Mr. Prinn's Soveraign Power of Parliaments; Smiths Vox Populi, &c. For Morals, There's Youth's Behaviour; And then For Deep Knowledge, ye have Brightman's Revelations Reveal'd; Lilly's Hieroglyphicks; the Northern Star, Jones of the Heart: All Excellent Pieces in their Kinds, and not Inferior (perhaps) to any of the Ancients.
A. Ha Ha Ha. That Same Titus is an Errant Puppy, a Damn'd, Insipid, Lying Coxcomb. Titus Livius a good Historian sayst thou? Why if I had a Schoolboy that writ such Latin I'de tickle his Toby for him.
A. He was an Arbitrary, Oppressing, Tyrannical Fellow. And then for his Bravery, he did pretty well at the Battel of Leipsick, and after that, at Lepanto; and when you have said that, you have said all.
A. And that's Impossible, let me tell ye; Utterly Impossible: For I reade just six times as much as any other Man. I have Read more Folio's then ever Tostatus read Pages. In one Word; I reade as much in one hour, as any other man reads in six.
A. Why you must know I have a notable Faculty that way. I read ye two Pages at a view: the Right-hand Page with one eye, and the Left with t'other, and then I carry three Lines before me at a time with each eye.
A. I remember six times more than I reade; for I supply all that was left out, and yet 'tis a wonderfull thing, I cannot for my heart's blood remember Faces. I dare swear I have taken one man for another twenty times; but I am altogether for Things, and Notions, d'ye see, and such like; Countenances, let me tell ye, don't AFFECT me; And yet I have a strange aversion for the two Faces I saw with you t'other day.
A. Well! but I may live to see their Honours laid in the dust tho' for all that. Prethee why is not Circingle-man, Lawn-sleeve-man, Mitre-man, as good a name as Church-man? Pray what Family is the same Church-man of, for I know a world of the Name? He's of the Prelatical House, I suppose, Is he not?
A. Only Antichrist is the Head of the Family. Come let me talk a little roundly to ye. How many sound Protestant Divines may there be of that House now, d'ye think, in England, and Wales, and the Town of Berwick upon Tweed? not above Six, if I be a Christian, and all the rest are Tantivy's, and worshippers of the Beast: But I may live yet to have the scowring of some of their Frocks for 'em.
A. Who! Towzer? that Impudent Dog; That Tory-Rascal; That Fidling Curr. He's in the Plot with Celiers, and young Tong, as sure as thou'rt alive, and as Rank a Papist (let him swear what he will) as ever Piss't.
A. Yes: And go on still with the Hellish Popish Plot, as heartily as ever they did before. Why don't you see how the Toad Brazens it out still that he was not at Somerset-House? tho' Prance and Mowbray swear they saw him there?
Q. But now you mind me of Somerset-House; Do'nt you remember a young Fellow of Cambridge that Refus'd to receive the Sacrament, because (as he told his Master) he was reconcil'd to the Church, of Rome, and Converted ,and Baptiz'd at Somerset-House? This is an old story ye must know. Why might not this be Towzer?
Q. Thou'rt e'en as busy with a Backside as a Glyster-Pipe. But (sluttery a part) Pray have a care what ye say; for if a Proselyted Papist be not to be trusted upon his Oath, what becomes of the Kings Evidence that swear under the same Circumstances? But here's enough of this; and Pre'thee tell us now, how go squares in the State all this while?
A. Oh very bad, very bad, nothing but Tory-Rorys, from the top to bottom. Tory-Judges; Tory-Jurys; Tory-Justices; Tory-officers; Tory-Crackfarts; Tory-Pamphlets. All, Certiorari-men, and Yorkists. But I rattled up some of 'em there at the — What d'ye call't-House — Oh they'r grown strangely Insolent since these Bawling Addresses.
A. Why they set ever Rascally Squire and Doctor above me: Nay, they'l scarce put off their hats to me unless I begin; and then they stand grinning at Me and my Train. Would you think now that a fellow should have the Impudence to call Me to an account, for nothing in the world, but saying, that he had a Bitch to his Wife, and she a Rogue to her Husband. And then to be call'd Sirrah for my pains, only for telling a Court-Kinsman of his that I should Lace the Rogue, his Cozens Coat for him. Well If I had not sent a Fool o'my errant I had had the Rascal in Lob's Pound before this time.
A. What not when the Protestant Religion lies at stake? Why Pre'thee I tell the Proudest of 'em all to their Teeth, that they are Villains and Scoundrells. What do I care for their Graces and Reverences. they Pimp for Preferment, and some of 'em shall hear on't too next Parliament. But Hark ye I have a great deal of work upon my hands, and I want an Ammanuensis out of all Cry.
A. I'l tell ye then. A Taylor had made him a Garment: and afterwards coming to him for the mony, he deny'd the Receit on't and being prest upon it, he offer'd to purge himself upon Oath, that he never had any such Garment. Upon this, the matter rested for a while; but any length, it was prov'd where he had Sold it, and so the Taylor had satisfaction. In short, I turn'd him away apon't, for he is no servant for me that's taken in a false Oath.
A. Nay that's true; considering what a deal of other business I have; for really there would be no Justice done, if I did not look after Witnesses, Jury's, Choice of City-Officers, Election of Members to serve in Parliament, both for Town, and Country; the disposing of Ecclesiastical Dignitys; the Jurisdictions of Courts; the Government of Prisons; the Regulation of Messengers Fees: In one word, the stress of the whole Government lyes in a manner upon my shoulders; And I am so Harrass'd with it, that I profess I was e'en thinking, a little before the Meeting of the last Parliament, to lay out a smatter of Twenty or Thirty Thousand Pound upon some Pretty Seat in the Country, and Retire.
A. Yes, I have seen the world to my Cost. 'Twas a sad thing for me, you must think, that never went to bed in my Mothers House without four or five Servants to wait upon me, (and if I had a mind to a Tart, a Custard, or a Cheesecake at any time, I had 'em all at command:) to be Hackny'd, and Jolted up and down in a Forreign Country like a Common Body.
Q. What a Blessed sort of Subjects and Christians are these, that value themselves in the One Capacity, for their Contempt of Authority: And in the other, for the Zeal of Flying out into Blasphemys, and Execrations, instead of Prayers? But what shall I call this at last? A Romantique, or an Historical Observator?
5. Vol. 3, Numb. 88
A Schism a Greater Judgment then a Pestilence. The Natural Rhetorique of the Non-Cons. The Danger of them. Several Sorts and Degrees of Danger. Of Coming About, or Coming Over. The Cause Transferr'd from Government to Religion.
Munday, September 28, 1685.
OBSERVATOR. If I were the Master of a Territory, I would as soon Trust so many Spirits in my Pulpits, to Blow a Pestilence thorough my Dominions, as so many of our Non-Conforming Divines; and reckon my People much Safer too, under the Danger of a Plague, then under the Consequences of a Schism: For the One Taints but the Bodies of Men; the Other Destroys their very Souls; the One takes them Promiscuously, the Good, and the Bad, One with Another: But the 'Tother Marks, and Singles-out the Best Men for Ruine, with a Privilege of Exemption, to those that neither fear God, nor Man. The One Sweeps away a number of Single Persons; the Other Tears to pieces the Sinews of a Community. The One does, in some Degree, Conduce to the Purging of a Wicked Nation, when the Wrath of Heaven is Appeas'd by the Discharge of some Dreadfull Judgment upon't; (as the Air is Clear'd by Thunder) The Other does All that is Possible to the Filling-up of the Measure of a Publique Iniquity; and the making of a Land Ripe for Vengeance.
TRIMMER. Prethee what Danger? Or what needs this Lashing, when they are All Tongue-Ty'd; and Driven into Holes, and Hiding-Places, to keep out of the way of Messengers, and Constables, and out of the Clutches of the Corporation-Act, and Other Penal Laws against their Private Meetings?
Obs. What dost thou Talk of Tongue-Ty'd? Why I will undertake it; (and in Serious Good Earnest too) Gagg the Whole Set of'em Give Every man his Pulpit, or his Chair, and only a Bare Standing in't; and if they do not Wink, and a Nod, and Cuff any Prince in Christendom out of his Dominions, without a Word Speaking, I'le be thy Bond-slave. Why they do not do their Bus'ness, man, by the Force of Logique, Grammar, or by the Dint of Theology: But by Groans, Pangs, Tragical Ululations, Silent Interjections, Whining Apostrophes, Melting Epiphonemas; and in a word; by the Helps of Natural Rhetorick, without Need, of either Sense, or Syllables.
Obs. No No. They do Talk for Fashion-sake: But Observe it while you will; They move the Passions of their Auditory, in the Belfry, or the Church-Porch, Forty times more then Directly under the Pulpit: For the Emphasis of an Action; a Motion, Tone, or Countenance, makes a much Deeper Impression, than that of a Naked, Empty, Sound: And for My Part, I fancy, it might do as well for 'em to Whistle their Preachments as to Articulate them: For the Master-piece, or the All in All of it, lies Mainly, in Hitting the Tune.
Obs. 'Tis Both in One: For it is the Ridiculous Truth, and the Just Reason, Method, and State of the Matter: And when People are once Juggled Out of their Wits, they must be Fool'd Into 'em again. Now there needs no more to the doing of That Work, then the bare Drawing of the Curtain, and letting People into the Tyring-Room. For the Cause, is all over, Theatrical: The Actors are Hypocrites, in their Manners, as well as in the Etymon; and the whole Manage, fitter for a Stage, then a Pulpit. So that the most Certain Way in Nature, for the making of the Practice, Odious; and the Disabusing of the Undiscerning Multitude, is to lay Open their False Colours, Shapes, & Disguises; and Expose Every thing in its Naked Simplicity to the Light.
Trim. And what if a man should Allow This sort of People now, to be the most Uncouth, Hideous Monsters of the Creation? To have the Teeth, the Nails, the Fierceness, the Strength, & the Appetite of the most Ravenous of Wild Beasts? This Discourse, of Caution, and Description, might do well enough in the Countrys of Lyons, and Tygers: But what's All This, to his Majesties Dominions, where there are either None of These Creatures, at all, or No Other, at least, then such as have their Nails Par'd, and their Chops Muzzled: And no more Danger of them, at present, then of our Beeves, and Muttons.
Obs. Dost not thou know that there are Several Sorts, & Degrees of Danger? A man may be Wheedled into a Precipice, as well as Thrown into't: A man may be Hugg'd or Suck'd to Death, without any Biting, or Scratching in the Case: A man may be Poyson'd in his Porridge, as well as Strangl'd in his Bed: A man may have False Opinions Impos'd upon him by a Fallacy, or Fraud in Argument, as well as Extorted from him, by the Force of Menace, and Torment. And his Bus'ness, at last, is done, as Dead, One way as T'other: And so for the Degrees of Danger; There's Danger at Hand; there's Danger at a Distance; Danger in Design, and Danger in Practice; And Danger, in fine, through All the Preparatory, and Mediate Tendencies to Mischief, to the Last Effect that Pushes it self forth to Execution.
Obs. 'Tis true; The Faction is not in Condition to Attacque the Government by Force: Their Armies are Scatter'd, and their Squadrons Defeated; the Whole Party put to their Shifts; and the very Best of 'em, has enough to do to save his Own Bacon. Their Teeth are Drawn, I'le Allow ye, All but here and there a Stump; And yet they'l Pinch, Plaguily, though they cannot Worry, and Tear: And with Time, and Good Discipline, they'l come to Grow again. They have the Same Principles to friend, that ever they had: Only they must be Manag'd Another Way: And there can never Want Matter, for Artificial Flattery, Wheedling, Imposture and Hypocrisy, to Work upon. They are not in Condition to Advance, at this time of Day, in the face of the Sun, and of the Government, with their Petticoats Flying, under the Auspicious Direction of their Tutelary Angel, Ferguson; and [Fear Nothing but God] for their Motto. But they must Supply want of Strength, by Stratagem; and Carry-on their Approaches, out of sight. 'Tis only a little more Patience, and the Work will be brought about, as sure at the Long-Run, by a Mine, as by a Battery: And the Certifying of a Hundred and Fifty Perrots into the Service, and Protection Of the Government, will be of Greater Effect, then the Drawing-up of Ten Thousand men in Arms, Against it. Now These Methods lye All Open still, only they are somewhat more About. Now as to Dangers Remote, or Nearer hand; Dangers of Design, or Dangers of Practice: All the Preparatories, & Dispositions to Mischief, in their Secret Impulses, and Causes, are as Vigorous Now, as Ever they were, that is to say, within Two or Three Motions of a Publique Violence: Only This Difference in the Case, that we have Hitherto, been in the Greatest Danger of our Profess'd, & Open Enemies: And Now, God bless us from our Pretending Friends: For all on a Sudden, the Trimmers are come-up to be Stark Church-of-England-men; And the Phanatiques, gotten a Form Higher, into the Seat or Classes of the Trimmers.
Trim. Thou art Well, neither Full nor Fasting. Neither Fanatique, nor Trimmer, nor Church-of-England-man I perceive, will please ye; The Controversy of a New King; or a Common-Wealth, is Out of Doors; The Question of Liberty of Conscience; The Privilege of Private Meetings for Religious Worship; And a Challenge of Dispensation from the Rites, Ceremonies, and Discipline of the Church, are All layd aside. And All This will not serve the Turn yet. Now if Men go to Church; Take Tests, make Declarations; And Do and Perform All that the Law Requires of'em; where's the Danger of These People I beseech ye?
Obs. Not in their coming over with their Bodies, but in Staying behind, in their Good Wills, and Affections: Nay, and in their Communicating with the Church in the Morning, and in the Afternoon, with the Schism: And pray will you Note in them, One Thing More too. 'Tis worth the while, when they Ramble from their Own Parish, to Observe whither they go: For I have known the very Streets Throng'd, out of Distance of Hearing One Word that the Minister says, with the Same Superstition, that the Quakers Flock to the Door, when they are Lock'd-out of the Meeting-House: In which Case, It has yet the Semblance of a Private Meeting; And in Truth, looks liker a Political Muster, then a Religious Exercise: But Heark ye for One Word, before we go any further; Suppose a Man should have sayd about the Beginning of July Last, in a Brisk Reply to a Reflexion made upon the Western-Rebells; (at that time in their Pride and Glory) [The King has as Loyal Subjects in That Army as Any are in T'other.] Wouldst thou have me, in Construction of Common Sense, and Honesty, look upon That Person, to be, Effectually Come over, and in the State of a True Church-of-England-man; only for Keeping the Law, with his Heels, when he Breaks it, with his Tongue, and Doctrine? Now this is more then I Owe ye, upon the Matter in hand: For you have Carry'd the Question quite back again, from the Non-Con-Ministers, to the Generality, and the Multitude of the Dissenters: which is a Point Wholly Excepted, and out of the Limits of Our Debate: For All their Conventicles without a Mouth, are Monsters; Meer Nullities, & Bilks, without a Teacher: So that I have Restrain'd my Applications, Singly, to the Rabbi's of the Faction, as Including, and Implying the Sense, and the Intent of their Disciples: Nay and so far Including it, that they are Barely, the Passive Instruments of their Leaders. Now These Heads of the Divided Parties, are a sort of People, that do not, by any Means, fall within the Charitable Prospect of Your Qualifications: For they Stand-off, in Contempt, and Defyance of the Orders, & Censures of the Church, and of the Law, as much at This Instant, as ever they did. Their Followers Maintain, and Support them in That Stubbornness of Disobedience; And so the Opposition stands yet Firm, in Effect, though with Less Noise of Menace, and Tumult. The Branches, 'tis True, are Lopt; but the Root, not so much as Touch'd; Nay, and in such a Condition of Vegetative Virtue, and Vigour, that it wants nothing but Time, and a Favourable Season to make it Sprout again. And This you may Assure your self of, that Nothing less than an Utter, an Open, a Solemn, and an Irrevocable Divorce, betwixt These Libertine-Seducers, and Those that have been Trepann'd, and Inveigled, out of the Bosom of the Church, into the Arms of the Schism: Nothing I say, less then Some such Unalterable Act, or Decree of Separation, can ever Secure, either the Church, or the State from the Pernicious Consequences of this Intelligence: For betwixt Blind Pity, and Foolish Zeal, on the One hand, and all the Arts, of Moving, and Provoking Those Passions, and Affections, on the Other, there is kept-up, and Cherish'd, a Communication of Reciprocal Kindness, between them that keeps the Fire alive still in the Embers, 'till by Degrees, it Blows-up All at last into a Common Flame. Now take away These Bellows, and T'other Sparks, and a man may Sleep in his Bed, without Dreaming of Conflagrations, or the Dread of Rising with his Throat Cut.
Trim. I will not Excuse some Hot-Headed Blades, that let their Tongues run before their Wits; And make it a Point of Honour, to Brave All the Terrors of Death, and Dungeons, in defence of the Cause that they have Undertaken. The Less said, the Better; Though a Body cannot, in Generosity, but have some sort of Compassion, for a Man that Suffers Death, with Constancy of Mind, Even in a Mistaken Cause, if it be according to his Conscience.
Obs. If these Impressions were Inbred, and the Errors purely their Own, it would be a Point, not only of Good Nature, but of Common Justice, and Humanity, to have a Tenderness for People under an Invincible Mistake: But you have Started the Strongest Argument in the World, against your self here, by Enforcing the Necessity of Clearing the Stage of the Seditious Oracles, that Inspire These Desperate Resolutions.
Trim. Why All matter of Violence, Heat of Dispute, and Clamour of Argument, is at an End. You hear no more of your Scottish, and Western Declarations; No more Competitors for the Crown; or Confederates for a Republique: And therefore prethee, let us be at Peace while we May be at Peace; and do not stand Puzzling the People with Danger, where No Danger is.
Obs. Soft, and Fair, Trimmer; those Declarations, Practices, and Attempts, are not to be Repeated again in the same Age: But there are more ways to the Wood then One: And 'tis All a case, to a man that's Robb'd, whether the Thieves came in at the Door, or at the Window. 'Tis very Right, That, since the Breaking of the Rebellion, the Non-Cons lay their Fingers upon their Mouths; and not One Word of Late, upon the Subject of Liberties, and Properties; or of the Danger of Tyranny, and of Arbitrary Power: But All other Grievances are Now Swallow'd-up in One: They are All in Tears for fear of the Protestant Religion; and That's the Topique that's now Carry'd-on, through All Shapes, Figures, and Disguises.
6. Vol. 3, Numb. 202
The way of Promoting Fears, and Jealousies. The People meerly Passive in the Bus'ness. Both Parts seem to Contend for the Same Common Principles. The Rise of Jelousies.
Saturday, August 21. 1686.
TRIMMER. The Accommodating of Words, Phrases, and Texts to the Matter in hand, with the Interjecting, here and there, of Certain Emphatical Winks, and Innuendo's, to the Common People, will do the Bus'ness of Fears and Jelousies, you need never Doubt it, without any more Ceremony.
OBSERVATOR. I do no more Doubt it, then I do, that a Proper Remedy; Rightly Prepar'd; and Administer'd in the Due Time and Proportion, will Work such or such an Effect. But the Skill lyes, in the Judgment of the Distemper; The Constitution of the Patient; The Choice of the Physick; The Prescription of the Composition, the Preparation, and the Dos. Now Your way of Operating, is only the Mechanicall Part of the Bus'ness; and no more, then the giving of a Box, a Gally-pot, or a Glass, with a Note of Directions, out of One hand into Another: which Any Porter that Plyes at the Next Corner, would do as Dext'rously, as ever a Doctor of the College. The Difficulty, and the Mystery, is Over, before You have any thing to Do with it: The Poysonous, and Intoxicating Draught, Prepar'd; The Multitude set a-Gaping for't, and Your Office, is only at last, to Pour it down their Throats. There's Matter of History, and Fact, enough, 'this true, to Satisfy any man, that People may be made as Mad with Cant, and Gibberish, as if they had taken Henbane; and that the Sting of Jelousy, will put them out of their Wits as soon as the Biting of a Mad-Dog: But we are in the Dark all this while, for the Rise, the Progress, and the Methods of Enflaming Jelousies, to bring'em up to that Pitch. Prethee let me Understand a little of their Birth, Growth, Discipline, and Education; How they are Fed, Nourish'd, and Entertain'd? What's the End, and Use of them? What Language do they Speak; or how comes it to pass, that the Same Words, and Phrases, without Any Intelligence with Grammar, Logique, Common Usage, or Propriety, should Transport Some Men into Outrages, Palpitations of the Heart, Horrors, and Tremblings, both of Mind, and of Body; and yet Work no more upon Others, then they did, before the very Letters of'em were taken out of the Alphabet? I do not call ye to a Strict Shrift upon Every Point, but I Expect you shall say something to the Whole Matter; for a Few Words, in Order, will give a man more Light to the Reason of a thing, then as many Volumes, in Confusion.
Trim. You are in the Right; that the Craft lies in the Project, and the Preparatory Manage of this Affair, and that the Danger is gone too Far, when the Mine is already Wrought; the Powder Dispos'd, and nothing wanting to the Final Execution of the Mischief, but the Lighting of the Match, and the Applying of the Coal to the Train. You have Well and Truly enough Observed, the Wonderfull Force, that Some Certain Words, and Phrases have; upon the Affections of the Multitude; without the Least Shadow of any Logical, Grammatical, or Philosophical Reason for the Operation of them. Now you must know, that These Words, and Phrases, are made Use of, and Understood, in the way of a Cypher, or a Jargon, and not according to the Ordinary Acceptation of them, in a Regular way of Writing, or of Speaking; So that, Effectually, the Efficacy of such Words, and Phrases, is given for Granted; and how they come to Obtain that Force, remains the Single Question.
Now towards the Understanding of this Matter, you must Consider, that no State can be Supplanted, but by Turning the Peoples Hearts, against the Persons, & the Actions of their Superiors: So that in All Conspiracies to Destroy a Government, Fears & Jelousies, are the Corner Stone of the Babel. Their Hearts are no sooner Lost, but they withdraw their Bodies too, and so, by Degrees, Erect Laws, and Religions of their Own; and look upon themselves, by This time, as in Another Common-wealth.
Trim. This is the very Course, and Progress of a Popular Jelousy: But pray take Notice as we go, that the People, are thus far, Meerly Passive; and Contribute No Otherwise, to the Ruine of the Publique, then a Snapping Sea does, to the Sinking of a Vessell, when the Billows are Hurry'd-on by the Violence of an Irresistible Tempest: if the Winds would but let the Waves alone, they'd be Quiet. When they come once to Gather into [Private Meetings,] (or as you call them, Conventicles) you may Then accompt upon it, that they are as good as put to School, to Learn the Mystery of their Profession. For there are Canting-Schools, as well as Reading-Schools; and under This Discipline, they come by Insensible Degrees, to part with their English Tongue, as well as with their English Principles, and Manners. Nay, and Effectually, to take up such Uncouth, Novel, and Strange Thoughts, Opinions, and Practices, that it looks, as if the English-Man, the Christian, and the Subject, were all lost in a Disguise. They are now, you must know, under New Lords, and Consequently, under New Laws; where they are Train'd-up to New Ways of Understanding Things, and to a New Idiome of Expressing them. Religion, Law, Government, Conscience, Good Manners, are so Sacred in Themselves, that the Worst of Men cannot but Pretend a Veneration for them; but how to Baffle, or to Elude the Force, the Obligation, and the Authority of them; and, at the Same Time, to set-up for the Asserters, and Supporters of These Publique Rights, Privileges, and Duties, There lies the Difficulty of the Understanding.
Obs. That is to say, how to Resolve Religion, into an Empty Notion: To Talk Christianity into a Paradox; and, with Christ in our Mouths, at London, to fall down, and Worship Mahomet, in Buda: How to Confound Gods, and the Governments Friends and Enemies, so as to make the Common People take One for T'other. Now This can be no way done, but by setting-up the Counterfeit of Religion, Law, and Conscience, against the Genuine, and Authentique Original; and by making Evil, to be Good, and Good, to be Evil.
Trim. You must Note, further, that in This Opposition, the Main Cause appears to be the very Same, on Both sides; and Both Parts seem to Contend, for the Same Common Principles, of Divine Worship, and of Civil Obedience.
Obs. Only the One Flies to the Invisible Lights and Dictates of the Spirit, in Matter of Religion; (taking Fancy for Revelation) and, in the Matter of Government, has Recourse to Certain Unaccountable Whimsies, of [Powers Reserv'd,] where there never was any Power at all; & These Fooleries, they Trump upon the Little People, under the Pompous Name of [FUNDAMENTALS;] while the Rulers, on the Other hand, Stick to the Law, to the Text, and to the Approved Senses of the Best Interpreters of Both, for their Guide.
Trim. Very Good! And after they have Departed from the Common Rule, and Divided themselves from the Common Interest; it is but Reasonable to Expect, that they will Set-up Another Interest, and Another Rule to Themselves.
Trim. Why their way is, only to put Religion, and Government in Another Dress; but under the Name, of [Religion,] and [Government,] Still; and then to lay on a Superstructure, Answerable to the Foundation; I speak of the Leaders only; for their Disciples are Blanck Paper; and ready for any Impression. They Talk, to the Ears, and to the Passions of their Hearers, not to their Understandings: and their Auditors gather more of their Meaning, from their Gestures, Actions, Countenances, and from Pathetical Tones, then from the Words Themselves. As for Sense, or No Sense, 'tis all a Case; for 'tis the Jingle, not the Matter, that does Their Bus'ness. The Less the People Understand, the More they are Edify'd; for they take the Congruities of Carnal Reason, for Vain Philosophy; and Incomprehensible Nonsense, passes for the Work of the Light Within. Their Religion lies alltogther in Groan, and Rapture: They Sacrifice to the Unknown God; and in One Word; They Supply the Want of Knowledge, with an Excess of Zeal; and when they cannot Understand the Plain English of a Discourse, they Wrap Themselves up in the Mystery. The making of a Party, & the Saving of their own Skins, are the Two Main Points of the Leaders; and therefore, they Cover themselves under Ambiguity, & Riddle; & Compass those Matters, by Theatrical Gesticulations, & Actions, which they dare not Venture upon, in Words at Length, or by the Dint of Argument; for there is no Law against making of Faces, and Dusting of Cushions, They are told Mightily, and Plainly, or Heaven, and Hell; but in such a Manner, that they will Never Allow God, and the Government to be Both of a side. Schism is Dignified with the Name of Conscience; the Story of their Grievances, is the Bitterest of Satyrs; Their very Petitions have the force of Invectives; and the Smoother, the Softer, you find the Surface of them, the Falser, and the more Dangerous they are at the Bottom: For betwixt the Persecution that is Insinuated, on the part of the Government, & the Innocence, the Piety, and the Modesty, on that of the Sufferers, Nothing can more Provoke, a Horror, and Indignation for the One, or a Tenderness, & Compassion, for the Other.
Trim. Come Come. I tell ye Nakedly how things Are, and not how they Ought to be: and I speak of Those Men too, that neither Do, nor Will, nor Can make a Right Judgment upon the Matter in Issue. They do not take down Reasons in Connexion; neither do their Teachers so much as Offer at'em; But their Work is, only to Feed Itching Ears, and Humours, with New-Quoyn'd Words. Affectate Phrases: And briefly, to Instruct their Disciples, by Signs and Tokens, like so many Dancing Horses to fall Lame upon all Four, for the Pope; to come-over, for the Grand Vizier; and at the very Sound of Babylon, Anti-Christ, or Absolute Power, to Snort, and Boggle, as if they Smelt Fire. If I may tell ye the Arrant Truth, and Simplicity of my Heart; This is the very Train of a Popular Institution. They are Tutor'd, and Inur'd, to the Assuming of such and such Passions, upon such and such Occasions; and they do All their Ayres, and Tricks, by the Direction of the Hand, or Eye. They Dance to Sounds, Hints, Nodds, Forms, and Syllables; not to the force of Fair Reasonings, and Natural Conclusion; Nay, they are Taught, when to be Angry; when to be Pleas'd; and their very Inclinations, and Aversions, are none of their Own, Neither: The Whole Bus'ness, in short, is Artifice, Manage, and Practice; for All their Mistakes, and Mis-understandings, take the Same Biass.
Obs. I do Observe, indeed, that they Shelter themselves under the Dark Prophets, and the Revelation. The Number of the Beast, they have all at their Fingers Ends; the Geneva-bibles are Thumm'd over and over, at the Same Texts: As upon the Subject of the Groves, & the High Places, Christian Liberty, Will-Worship, Humane Inventions, Idolatry, Superstition, &c. There's not a Verse in the whole Bible, against Persecution, but makes them Shake their Heads at the Government. Popery by Interpretation, is Episcopacy: The Liberty of the Subject, has an Aking Tooth at the Prerogative of the Prince: but finally; such and such Terms, and Forms of Speaking, are by Common Consent, to pass for Current, under such or such a Sense, and Meaning, how Contrary soever, to their Proper, and Genuine Signification, or Import. But this speaks only to the Propagating of Jelousies, not to the Rise of them.
Trim. If you Ask me the [Rise] of Jelousies, I must Answer ye, that they are Begotten betwixt Ambition, Avarice, Hypocrisy, Craft, Malice, and Disloyalty, on the One side; and Ignorance, Obstinacy, Blind Zeal, and an Impetuous Temerity, on the Other.