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The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. III.: Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Vol. I. by Jonathan Swift

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Page 88. "I cannot see but it is contrary to the rules of charity, to
exclude men from the Church, &c." All this turns upon the falsest
reasoning in the world. So, if a man be imprisoned for stealing a horse,
he is hindered from other duties: And, you might argue, that a man who
doth ill, ought to be more diligent in minding other duties, and not to
be debarred from them. It is for contumacy and rebellion against that
power in the church, which the law hath confirmed. So a man is outlawed
for a trifle, upon contumacy.

Page 92. "Obliging all by penal laws to receive the sacrament." This is

Page 93. "The want of which means can only harden a man in his
impenitence." It is for his being hardened that he is excluded. Suppose
a son robbeth his father on the highway, and his father will not see him
till he restoreth the money and owneth his fault. It is hard to deny him
paying his duty in other things, &c. How absurd this!

Page 95. "And that only _they_ had a right to give it." Another part of
his scheme, that the people have a right to give the sacrament. See more
of it, pp. 135 and 137.

Page 96. "Made familiar to such practices by the heathen priests." Well;
and this shews the necessity of it for peace' sake. A silly objection of
this and other enemies to religion, to think to disgrace it by applying
heathenism, which only concerns the political part wherein they were as
wise as others, and might give rules. Instance in some, &c.

Page 98. "How differently from this do the great pretenders to primitive
practice act, &c." This is a remarkable passage. Doth he condemn or
allow this mysterious way? It seems the first--and therefore these words
are a little turned, but infallibly stood in the first draught as a
great argument for Popery.

Page 100. "They dress them up in a _sanbenito_." So, now we are to
answer for the inquisition. One thing is, that he makes the fathers
guilty of asserting most of the corruptions about the power of priests.

Page 104. "Some priests assume to themselves an arbitrary power of
excluding men from the Lord's Supper." His scheme; that any body may
administer the sacraments, women or children, &c.

Page 108. "One no more than another can be reckoned a priest." See his
scheme. Here he disgraces what the law enacts, about the manner of
consecrating, &c.

Page 118. "Churches serve to worse purposes than bear-gardens." This
from Hudibras.

Page 119. "In the time of that wise heathen Ammianus Marcellinus."[18]
Here he runs down all Christianity in general.

[Footnote 18: Ammianus Marcellinus (died _c_. 390) wrote a history of
Rome in thirty-one books, of which Gibbon thought rather highly. The
history may be taken as a continuation of Tacitus and Suetonius. [T.

Page 120. "I shall, in the following part of my discourse, shew that
this doctrine is so far from serving the ends of religion, that, 1. It
prevents the spreading of the gospel, &c." This independent power in the
church is like the worms; being the cause of all diseases.

Page 124. "How easily could the Roman emperors have destroyed the
Church?" Just as if he had said; how easily could Herod kill Christ
whilst a child, &c.

Page 125. "The people were set against bishops by reason of their
tyranny." Wrong. For the bishops were no tyrants: Their power was
swallowed up by the Popes, and the people desired they should have more.
It were the regulars that tyrannized and formed priestcraft. He is

Page 139. "He is not bound by the laws of Christ to leave his friends in
order to be baptized, &c." This directly against the Gospel.--One would
think him an emissary, by his preaching schism.

Page 142. "Then will the communion of saints be practicable, to which
the principles of all parties, the occasional conformists only excepted,
stand in direct opposition, &c." So that all are wrong but they. The
Scripture is fully against schism. Tindal promoteth it and placeth in it
all the present and future happiness of man.

Page 144. All he has hitherto said on this matter, with a very little
turn, were arguments for Popery: For, it is certain, that religion had
share in very few wars for many hundred years before the Reformation,
because they were all of a mind. It is the ambition of rebels, preaching
upon the discontents of sectaries, that they are not supreme, which hath
caused wars for religion. He is mistaken altogether. His little narrow
understanding and want of learning.

Page 145. "Though some say the high-fliers' lives might serve for a very
good rule, if men would act quite contrary to them," Is he one of those
some? Beside the new turn of wit, &c. all the clergy in England come
under his notion of high-fliers, as he states it.

Page 147. "None of them (Churchmen) could be brought to acknowledge it
lawful upon any account whatever, to exclude the Duke of York." This
account false in fact.

_Ibid_. "And the body-politic, whether ecclesiastical or civil, must be
dealt with after the same manner, as the body-natural." What, because it
is called a body, and is a simile, must it hold in all circumstances?

Page 148. "We find all wise legislators have had regard to the tempers,
inclinations, and prejudices, &c." This paragraph false.--It was
directly contrary in several, as Lycurgus, &c.

Page 152. "All the skill of the prelatists is not able to discover the
least distinction between bishop and presbyter." Yet, God knows, this
hath been done many a time.

Page 158. "The Epistle to the Philippians is directed to the bishops and
deacons, I mean in due order after the people, _viz_, to the saints with
their bishops and deacons." I hope he would argue from another place,
that the people precede the king, because of these words: "Ye shall be
destroyed both you and your king."

Page 167. "The Pope and other great Church dons." I suppose, he meaneth
bishops: But I wish, he would explain himself, and not be so very witty
in the midst of an argument; it is like two mediums; not fair in

Page 168. "Clemens Romanus blames the people not for assuming a power,
but for making a wrong use of it, &c." His great error all along is,
that he doth not distinguish between a power, and a liberty of
exercising that power, &c. I would appeal to any man, whether the clergy
have not too little power, since a book like this, that unsettleth
foundations and would destroy all, goes unpunished, &c.

Page 171. "By this or some such method the bishops obtained their power
over their fellow presbyters, and both over the people. The whole tenor
of the Gospel directly contrary to it." Then it is not an allowable
means: This carries it so far as to spoil his own system; it is a sin to
have bishops as we have them.

Page 172. "The preservation of peace and unity, and not any divine
right, was the reason of establishing a superiority of one of the
presbyters over the rest. Otherwise there would, as they say, have been
as many schismatics as Presbyters. No great compliment to the clergy of
those days." Why so? It is the natural effect of a worse independency,
which he keepeth such a clatter about; an independency of churches on
each other, which must naturally create schism.

Page 183. "How could the Christians have asserted the disinterestedness
of those who first preached the Gospel, particularly their having a
right to the tenth part." Yes, that would have passed easy enough; for
they could not imagine teachers could live on air; and their heathen
priests were much more unreasonable.

Page 184. "Men's suffering for such opinions is not sufficient to
support the weight of them." This is a glance against Christianity.
State the case of converting infidels; the converters are supposed few;
the bulk of the priests must be of the converted country. It is their
own people therefore they maintain. What project or end can a few
converters propose? they can leave no power to their families, &c. State
this, I say, at length, and give it a true turn. Princes give
corporations power to purchase lands.

Page 187. "That it became an easy prey to the barbarous nations."
Ignorance in Tindal. The empire long declined before Christianity was
introduced. This a wrong cause, if ever there was one.

Page 190, "It is the clergy's interest to have religion corrupted."
Quite the contrary; prove it. How is it the interest of the English
clergy to corrupt religion? The more justice and piety the people have,
the better it is for them; for that would prevent the penury of farmers,
and the oppression of exacting covetous landlords, &c. That which hath
corrupted religion, is the liberty unlimited of professing all opinions.
Do not lawyers render law intricate by their speculations, &c. And
physicians, &c.

Page 209. "The spirit and temper of the clergy, &c." What does this man
think the clergy are made of? Answer generally to what he says against
councils in the ten pages before. Suppose I should bring quotations in
their praise.

Page 211. "As the clergy, though few in comparison of the laity, were
the inventors of corruptions." His scheme is, that the fewer and poorer
the clergy the better, and the contrary among the laity. A noble
principle; and delicate consequences from it.

Page 207. "Men are not always condemned for the sake of opinions, but
opinions sometimes for the sake of men." And so, he hopes, that if his
opinions are condemned, people will think, it is a spite against him, as
having been always scandalous.

Page 210. "The meanest layman as good a judge as the greatest priest,
for the meanest man is as much interested in the truth of religion as
the greatest priest." As if one should say, the meanest sick man hath as
much interest in health as a physician, therefore is as good a judge of
physic as a physician, &c.

_Ibid_. "Had synods been composed of laymen, none of those corruptions
which tend to advance the interest of the clergy, &c." True, but the
part the laity had in reforming, was little more than plundering. He
should understand, that the nature of things is this, that the clergy
are made of men, and, without some encouragement, they will not have the
best, but the worst.

Page 215. "They who gave estates to, rather than they who took them
from, the clergy, were guilty of sacrilege." Then the people are the
Church, and the clergy not; another part of his scheme.

Page 219. "The clergy, as they subsisted by the alms of the people, &c."
This he would have still. Shew the folly of it. Not possible to shew any
civilized nation ever did it Who would be clergymen then? The absurdity
appears by putting the case, that none were to be statesmen, lawyers, or
physicians, but who were to subsist by alms.

Page 222. "These subtle clergymen work their designs, who lately cut out
such a tacking job for them, &c." He is mistaken--Everybody was for the
bill almost: though not for the tack. The Bishop of Sarum was for it, as
appears by his speech against it. But it seems, the tacking is owing to
metaphysical speculations. I wonder whether is most perplexed, this
author in his style, or the writings of our divines. In the judgment of
all people our divines have carried practical preaching and writing to
the greatest perfection it ever arrived to; which shews, that we may
affirm in general, our clergy is excellent, although this or that man be
faulty. As if an army be constantly victorious, regular, &c. we may say,
it is an excellent victorious army: But Tindal; to disparage it, would
say, such a serjeant ran away; such an ensign hid himself in a ditch;
nay, one colonel turned his back, therefore, it is a corrupt, cowardly
army, &c.

Page 224. "They were as apprehensive of the works of Aristotle, as some
men are of the works of a late philosopher, which, they are afraid, will
let too much light into the world." Yet just such, another; only a
commentator on Aristotle. People are likely to improve their
understanding much with Locke; It is not his "Human Understanding," but
other works that people dislike, although in that there are some
dangerous tenets, as that of [no] innate ideas.

Page 226. "Could they, like the popish priests, add to this a restraint
on the press, their business would be done." So it ought: For example,
to hinder his book, because it is written to justify the vices and
infidelity of the age. There can be no other design in it. For, is this
a way or manner to do good? Railing doth but provoke. The opinion of the
whole parliament is, the clergy are too poor.

_Ibid_. "When some nations could be no longer kept from prying into
learning, this miserable gibberish of the schools was contrived." We
have exploded schoolmen as much as he, and in some people's opinion too
much, since the liberty of embracing any opinion is allowed. They
following Aristotle, who is doubtless the greatest master of arguing in
the world: But it hath been a fashion of late years to explode
Aristotle, and therefore this man hath fallen into it like others, for
that reason, without understanding him. Aristotle's poetry, rhetoric,
and politics, are admirable, and therefore, it is likely, so are his

Page 230. "In these freer countries, as the clergy have less power, so
religion is better understood, and more useful and excellent discourses
are made on that subject, &c." Not generally. Holland not very famous,
Spain hath been, and France is. But it requireth more knowledge, than
his, to form general rules, which people strain (when ignorant) to false
deductions to make them out.

Page 232. Chap. VII. "That this hypothesis of an independent power in
any set of clergymen, makes all reformation unlawful, except where those
who have this power, do consent." The title of this chapter, A Truism.

Page 234. "If God has not placed mankind in respect to civil matters
under an absolute power, but has permitted them in every society to act
as they judge best for their own safety, &c." Bad parallels; bad
politics; want of due distinction between teaching and government. The
people may know when they are governed well, but not be wiser than their
instructors. Shew the difference.

_Ibid_. "If God has allowed the civil society these privileges can we
suppose He hath less kindness for His church, &c." Here they are
distinguished, then, here it makes for him. It is a sort of turn of
expression, which is scarce with him, and he contradicts himself to
follow it.

Page 235. "This cursed hypothesis had, perhaps, never been thought on
with relation to civils, had not the clergy (who have an inexhaustible
magazine of oppressive doctrines) contrived first in ecclesiasticals,
&c." The seventh paragraph furious and false. Were there no tyrants
before the clergy, &c.?

Page 236. "Therefore in order to serve them, though I expect little
thanks, &c." And, why so? Will they not, as you say, follow their
interest? I thought you said so. He has three or four sprightly turns of
this kind, that look, as if he thought he had done wonders, and had put
all the clergy in a ferment. Whereas, I do assure him, there are but two
things wonderful in his book: First, how any man in a Christian country
could have the boldness and wickedness to write it: And, how any
government would neglect punishing the author of it, if not as an enemy
of religion, yet a profligate trumpeter of sedition. These are hard
words, got by reading his book.

_Ibid_. "The light of nature as well as the Gospel, obliges people to
judge of themselves, &c. to avoid false prophets, seducers, &c." The
legislature can turn out a priest, and appoint another ready-made, but
not make one; as you discharge a physician, and may take a farrier; but
he is no physician, unless made as he ought to be.

_Ibid_. "Since no more power is required for the one than the other."
That is, I dislike my physician, and can turn him off, therefore I can
make any man a physician, &c. "_Cujus est destruere_, &c." Jest on it:
Therefore because he lays schemes for destroying the Church, we must
employ him to raise it again. See, what danger lies in applying maxims
at random. So, because it is the soldiers' business to knock men on the
head, it is theirs likewise to raise them to life, &c.

Page 237. "It can belong only to the people to appoint their own
ecclesiastical officers." This word "people" is so delicious in him,
that I cannot tell what is included in the idea of the "people." Doth he
mean the rabble or the legislature, &c. In this sense it may be true,
that the legislature giveth leave to the bishops to appoint, and they
appoint themselves, I mean, the executive power appoints, &c. He sheweth
his ignorance in government. As to High Church he carrieth it a
prodigious way, and includeth, in the idea of it, more than others will

Page 239 "Though it be customary to admit none to the ministry who are
not approved by the bishops or priests, &c." One of his principles to

_Ibid_ "If every one has not an inherent right to choose his own guide,
then a man must be either of the religion of his guide, or, &c." That
would make delicate work in a nation. What would become of all our
churches? They must dwindle into conventicles. Show what would be the
consequence of this scheme in several points. This great reformer, if
his projects were reduced to practice, how many thousand sects, and
consequently tumults, &c. Men must be governed in speculation, at least
not suffered to vent them, because opinions tend to actions, which are
most governed by opinions, &c. If those who write for the church writ
no better, they would succeed but scurvily. But to see whether he be a
good writer, let us see when he hath published his second part.

Page 253 "An excellent author in his preface to the Account of Denmark."
This man judgeth and writeth much of a level. Molesworth's preface full
of stale profligate topics. That author wrote his book in spite to a
nation, as this doth to religion, and both perhaps on poor personal

[Footnote 19: This was Robert, Viscount Molesworth (1656-1725), who
was born in Dublin, and educated at Trinity College there. He was
ambassador at Copenhagen, but had to resign on account of a dispute with
the Danish king. The "Account of Denmark," which he wrote on his
return, was answered by Dr. King. [T. S.]]

_Ibid_ "By which means, and not by any difference in speculative
matters, they are more rich and populous." As if ever anybody thought
that a difference in speculative opinions made men richer or poorer, for
example, &c.

Page 258 "Play the Devil for God's sake." If this is meant for wit, I
would be glad to observe it, but in such cases I first look whether
there be common sense, &c.

Page 261 "Christendom has been the scene of perpetual wars, massacres,
&c." He doth not consider that most religious wars have been caused by
schisms, when the dissenting parties were ready to join with any
ambitious discontented man. The national religion always desireth peace,
even in her notions, for its interests.

Page 270. "Some have taken the liberty to compare a high church priest
in politics to a monkey in a glass-shop, where, as he can do no good, so
he never fails of doing mischief enough." That is his modesty, it is his
own simile, and it rather fits a man that does so and so, (meaning
himself.) Besides the comparison is foolish: So it is with _men_, as
with _stags_.

Page 276. "Their interest obliges them directly to promote tyranny." The
matter is, that Christianity is the fault, which spoils the priests, for
they were like other men, before they were priests. Among the Romans,
priests did not do so; for they had the greatest power during the
republic. I wonder he did not prove they spoiled Nero.

Page 277. "No princes have been more insupportable and done greater
violence to the commonwealth than those the clergy have honoured for
saints and martyrs." For example in our country, the princes most
celebrated by our clergy are, &c. &c. &c. And the quarrels since the
Conquest were nothing at all of the clergy, but purely of families, &c.
wherein the clergy only joined like other men.

Page 279. "After the Reformation,[20]I desire to know whether the
conduct of the clergy was anyways altered for the better, &c." Monstrous
misrepresentation. Does this man's spirit of declaiming let him forget
all truth of fact, as here, &c.? Shew it. Or doth he flatter himself, a
time will come in future ages, that men will believe it on his word? In
short, between declaiming, between misrepresenting, and falseness, and
charging Popish things, and independency huddled together, his whole
book is employed.

[Footnote 20: "Reformation" in 4to and 8vo editions, but Tindal's word
is "Restoration." [T.S.]]

Set forth at large the necessity of union in religion, and the
disadvantage of the contrary, and answer the contrary in Holland, where
they have no religion, and are the worst constituted government in the
world to last. It is ignorance of causes and appearances which makes
shallow people judge so much to their advantage. They are governed by
the administration and almost legislature of Holland through advantage
of property; nor are they fit to be set in balance with a noble kingdom,
&c. like a man that gets a hundred pounds a year by hard labour, and one
that has it in land.

Page 280. "It may be worth enquiring, whether the difference between the
several sects in England, &c." A noble notion started, that union in the
Church must enslave the kingdom: reflect on it. This man hath somewhere
heard, that it is a point of wit to advance paradoxes, and the bolder
the better. But the wit lies in maintaining them, which he neglecteth,
and formeth imaginary conclusions from them, as if they were true and

He adds, "That in the best constituted Church, the greatest good which,
can be expected of the ecclesiastics, is from their divisions." This is
a maxim deduced from a gradation of false suppositions. If a man should
turn the tables, and argue that all the debauchery, atheism,
licentiousness, &c. of the times, were owing to the poverty of the
clergy, &c. what would he say? There have been more wars of religion
since the ruin of the clergy, than before, in England. All the civil
wars before were from other causes.

Page 283. "Prayers are made in the loyal university of Oxford, to
continue the throne free from the contagion of schism. See Mather's
sermon on the 29th of May, 1705." Thus he ridicules the university while
he is eating their bread. The whole university comes with the most loyal
addresses, yet that goes for nothing. If one indiscreet man drops an
indiscreet word, all must answer for it.

Page 286. "By allowing all, who hold no opinions prejudicial to the
state, and contribute equally with their fellow-subjects to its support,
equal privileges in it." But who denies that of the dissenters? The
Calvinist scheme, one would not think, proper for monarchy. Therefore,
they fall in with the Scotch, Geneva, and Holland; and when they had
strength here, they pulled down the monarchy. But I will tell an opinion
they hold prejudicial to the state in his opinion; and that is, that
they are against toleration, of which, if I do not shew him ten times
more instances from their greatest writers, than he can do of passive
obedience among the clergy, I have done.

"Does not justice demand, that they who alike contribute to the burden,
should alike receive the advantage?" Here is another of his maxims
closely put without considering what exceptions may be made. The Papists
have contributed doubly (being so taxed) therefore by this rule they
ought to have double advantage. Protection in property, leave to trade
and purchase, &c. are enough for a government to give. Employments in a
state are a reward for those who entirely agree with it, &c. For
example, a man, who upon all occasions declared his opinion of a
commonwealth to be preferable to a monarchy, would not be a fit man to
have employments; let him enjoy his opinion, but not be in a capacity of
reducing it to practice, &c.

Page 287. "There can be no alteration in the established mode of Church
discipline, which is not made in a legal way." Oh, but there are several
methods to compass this legal way, by cunning, faction, industry. The
common people, he knows, may be wrought upon by priests; these may
influence the faction, and so compass a very pernicious law, and in a
legal way ruin the state; as King Charles I. began to be ruined in a
legal way, by passing bills, &c.

Page 288. "As everything is persecution, which puts a man in a worse
condition than his neighbours." It is hard to think sometimes whether
this man is hired to write for or against dissenters and the sects. This
is their opinion, although they will not own it so roundly. Let this be
brought to practice: Make a quaker lord chancellor, who thinketh paying
tithes unlawful. And bring other instances to shew that several
employments affect the Church.

_Ibid_. "Great advantage which both Church and state have got by the
kindness already shewn to dissenters." Let them then be thankful for
that. We humour children for their good sometimes, but too much may
hurt. Observe that this 64th paragraph just contradicts the former. For,
if we have advantage by kindness shewn dissenters, then there is no
necessity of banishment, or death.

Page 290. "Christ never designed the holy Sacrament should be
prostituted to serve a party. And that people should be bribed by a
place to receive unworthily." Why, the business is, to be sure, that
those who are employed are of the national church; and the way to know
it is by receiving the sacrament, which all men ought to do in their own
church; and if not, are hardly fit for an office; and if they have those
moral qualifications he mentioneth, joined to religion, no fear of
receiving unworthily. And for this there might be a remedy: To take an
oath, that they are of the same principles, &c. for that is the end of
receiving; and that it might be no bribe, the bill against occasional
conformity would prevent entirely.

_Ibid_. "Preferring men not for their capacity, but their zeal to the
Church." The misfortune is, that if we prefer dissenters to great posts,
they will have an inclination to make themselves the national church,
and so there will be perpetual struggling; which case may be dangerous
to the state. For men are naturally wishing to get over others to their
own opinion: Witness this writer, who hath published as singular and
absurd notions as possible, yet hath a mighty zeal to bring us over to
them, &c.

Page 292. Here are two pages of scurrilous faction, with a deal of
reflections on great persons. Under the notion of High-Churchmen, he
runs down all uniformity and church government. Here is the whole Lower
House of Convocation, which represents the body of the clergy and both
universities, treated with rudeness by an obscure, corrupt member, while
he is eating their bread.

Page 294. "The reason why the middle sort of people retain so much of
their ancient virtue &c. is because no such pernicious notions are the
ingredients of their education; which 'tis a sign are infinitely absurd,
when so many of the gentry and nobility can, notwithstanding their
prepossession, get clear of them." Now the very same argument lies
against religion, morality, honour, and honesty, which are, it seems,
but prejudices of education, and too many get clear of them. The middle
sort of people have other things to mind than the factions of the age.
He always assigneth many causes, and sometimes with reason, since he
maketh imaginary effects. He quarrels at power being lodged in the
clergy: When there is no reasonable Protestant, clergy, or laity, who
will not readily own the inconveniences by too great power and wealth,
in any one body of men, ecclesiastics, or seculars: But on that account
to weed up the wheat with the tares; to banish all religion, because it
is capable of being corrupted; to give unbounded licence to all sects,
&c.--And if heresies had not been used with some violence in the
primitive age, we should have had, instead of true religion, the most
corrupt one in the world.

Page 316. "The Dutch, and the rest of our presbyterian allies, &c." The
Dutch will hardly thank him for this appellation. The French Huguenots,
and Geneva Protestants themselves, and others, have lamented the want of
episcopacy, and approved ours, &c. In this and the next paragraph, the
author introduceth the arguments he formerly used, when he turned papist
in King James's time; and loth to lose them, he gives them a new turn;
and they are the strongest In his book, at least have most artifice.

Page 333. "'Tis plain, all the power the bishops have, is derived from
the people, &c." In general the distinction lies here. The permissive
power of exercising jurisdiction, lies in the people, or legislature, or
administrator of a kingdom; but not of making him a bishop. As a
physician that commenceth abroad, may be suffered to practise in London
or be hindered; but they have not the power of creating him a doctor,
which is peculiar to a university. This is some allusion; but the thing
is plain, as it seemeth to me, and wanteth no subterfuge, &c.

Page 338. "A journeyman bishop to ordain for him." Doth any man think,
that writing at this rate, does the author's cause any service? Is it
his wit or his spleen that he cannot govern?

Page 364. "Can any have a right to an office without having a right to
do those things in which the office consists?" I answer, the ordination
is valid. But a man may prudentially forbid to do some things. As a
clergyman may marry without licence or banns; the marriage is good; yet
he is punishable for it.

Page 368. "A choice made by persons who have no right to choose, is an
error of the first concoction." That battered simile again; this is
hard. I wish the physicians had kept that a secret, it lieth so ready
for him to be witty with.

Page 370. "If prescription can make mere nullities to become good and
valid, the laity may be capable of all manner of ecclesiastical power,
&c." There is a difference; for here the same way is kept, although
there might be breaches; but it is quite otherwise, if you alter the
whole method from what it was at first. We see bishops: There always
were bishops: It is the old way still. So a family is still held the
same, although we are not sure of the purity of every one of the race.

Page 380. "It is said, That every nation is not a complete body politic
within itself as to ecclesiasticals. But the whole church, say they,
composes such a body, and Christ is the head of it. But Christ's
headship makes Christians no more one body politic with respect to
ecclesiasticals than to civils." Here we must shew the reason and
necessity of the Church being a corporation all over the world: To avoid
heresies, and preserve fundamentals, and hinder corrupting of Scripture,
&c. But there are no such necessities in government, to be the same
everywhere, &c. It is something like the colleges in a university; they
all are independent, yet, joined, are one body. So a general council
consisteth of many persons independent of one another, &c.

However there is such a thing as _jus gentium_, &c. And he that is
doctor of physic, or law, is so in any university of Europe, like the
_Respublica Literaria_. Nor to me does there seem anything
contradicting, or improper in this notion of the Catholic Church; and
for want of such a communion, religion is so much corrupted, and would
be more, if there were [not] more communion in this than in civils. It
is of no import to mankind how nations are governed; but the preserving
the purity of religion is best held up by endeavouring to make it one
body over the world. Something like as there is in trade. So to be able
to communicate with all Christians we come among, is at least to be
wished and aimed at as much as we can.

Page 384. "In a word, if the bishops are not supreme, &c." Here he
reassumeth his arguments for Popery, that there cannot be a body politic
of the Church through the whole world, without a visible head to have
recourse to. These were formerly writ to advance Popery, and now to put
an absurdity upon the hypothesis of a Catholic Church. As they say in
Ireland, in King James's time, they built mass-houses, which we make
very good barns of.

Page 388. "Bishops are, under a _premunire_ obliged to confirm and
consecrate the person named in the _conge d'Elire_." This perhaps is
complained of. He is permitted to do it. We allow the legislature may
hinder if they please; as they may turn out Christianity, if they think

Page 389. "It is the magistrate who empowers them to do more for other
bishops than they can for themselves, since they cannot appoint their
own successors." Yes they could, if the magistrate would let them. Here
is an endless splutter, and a parcel of perplexed distinctions upon no
occasion. All that the clergy pretend to, is a right of qualifying men
for the ministry, something like what a university doth with degrees.
This power they claim from God, and that the civil power cannot do it as
pleasing to God without them; but they may choose whether they will
suffer it or no. A religion cannot be crammed down a nation's throat
against their will; but when they receive a religion, it is supposed
they receive as their converters give it; and, upon that foot, they
cannot justly mingle their own methods, that contradict that religion,

Page 390. "With us the bishops act only ministerially and by virtue of
the regal commission, by which the prince firmly enjoins and commands
them to proceed in choosing, confirming, and consecrating, &c." Suppose
we held it unlawful to do so: How can we help it? but does that make it
rightful, if it be not so? Suppose the author lived in a heathen
country, where a law would be made to call Christianity idolatrous;
would that be a topic for him to prove it so by, &c.? And why do the
clergy incur a _pre-munire;_--To frighten them--Because the law
understandeth, that, if they refuse, the chosen cannot be a bishop: But,
if the clergy had an order to do it otherwise than they have prescribed,
they ought and would incur an hundred rather.

Page 402. "I believe the Catholic Church, &c." Here he ridicules the
Apostles' Creed.--Another part of his scheme.--By what he says in these
pages, it is certain, his design is either to run down Christianity, or
set up Popery; the latter it is more charitable to think, and, from his
past life, highly probable.

Page 405. "That which gave the Papists so great advantage was,
clergymen's talking so very inconsistent with themselves, &c." State the
difference here between our separation from Rome, and the dissenters
from us, and shew the falseness of what he sayeth. I wish he would tell
us what he leaveth for a clergyman to do, if he may not instruct the
people in religion, and if they should not receive his instructions.

Page 411. "The restraint of the press a badge of Popery." Why is that a
badge of Popery? Why not restrain the press to those who would confound
religion, as in civil matters? But this toucheth himself. He would
starve, perhaps, &c, Let him get some honester livelihood then. It is
plain, all his arguments against constraint, &c. favour the papists as
much as dissenters; for both have opinions that may affect the peace of
the state.

Page 413. "Since this discourse, &c." And must we have another volume on
this one subject of independency? Or, is it to fright us? I am not of
Dr. Hickes's mind, _Qu'il venge_. I pity the readers, and the clergy
that must answer it, be it ever so insipid. Reflect on his sarcastic
conclusion, &c.

***** ***** ***** *****




B---P OF S----M'S



AT the time of writing this scathing piece of invective, Swift was busy
dealing out to an old friend a similar specimen of his terrible power of
rejoinder. Steele, in the newly established "Guardian," as Mr. Churton
Collins well puts it, "drunk with party spirit, had so far forgotten
himself as to insert ... a coarse and ungenerous reflection on Swift."
Swift sought an explanation through Addison, but Steele's egotism was
stronger than the feeling of friendship, and the insult remained for
Swift to wipe out in "The Importance of the 'Guardian' Considered."
Probably this severance from his friend, due to political
differences--for Steele glowed in Whiggism--deepened, if possible, his
hatred to Whigs of whatever degree; and in Burnet he found another
object for his wit. But apart from such a suggestion, there was enough
in the Bishop's attitude towards the Tories to rouse Swift to his task.
It was not enough that Burnet should accuse his political opponents of
sympathy with the French, Jacobitism, and Popery, but he must needs
flaunt his vanity in issuing, in advance, for purposes of advertisement,
the introduction to a work which was to come later. This was enough for
Swift, and the prelate who "could smell popery at five hundred miles
distance better than fanaticism under his nose," became the recipient of
one of the most amusing and yet most virulent attacks which even that
controversial age produced. "The whole pamphlet," Mr. Collins truly
says, "is inimitable. Its irony, its humour, its drollery, are

It must not, however, be imagined that Swift's opinion of Burnet is only
that which can be gathered from this "Preface." He fully appreciated the
sterling qualities of scholarship and good nature, since in his
"Remarks" on Burnet's "History of My Own Time," he says: "after all he
was a man of generosity and good nature, and very communicative; but in
his last ten years was absolutely party-mad, and fancied he saw Popery
under every bush." Lord Dartmouth has left an excellent sketch of
Burnet's character in a note to the "History of My Own Time": "Bishop
Burnet was a man of the most extensive knowledge I ever met with; had
read and seen a great deal, with a prodigious memory, and a very
indifferent judgment: he was extremely partial, and readily took
everything for granted that he heard to the prejudice of those he did
not like: which made him pass for a man of less truth than he really
was. I do not think he designedly published anything he believed to be
false. He had a boisterous, vehement manner of expressing himself, which
often made him ridiculous, especially in the House of Lords, when what
he said would not have been thought so, delivered in a lower voice, and
a calmer behaviour. His vast knowledge occasioned his frequent rambling
from the point he was speaking to, which ran him into discourses of so
universal a nature, that there was no end to be expected but from a
failure of his strength and spirits, of both which he had a larger share
than most men; which were accompanied with a most invincible assurance."
(Note to the Preface of Burnet's "History of My Own Time," vol. i. p.
xxxiii, Oxford, 1897.)

It may not be altogether out of place to give here a short biographical
sketch of Bishop Burnet.

Gilbert Burnet was born at Edinburgh in 1643. He studied first at
Aberdeen and then in Holland. In 1665, after he was elected a Fellow of
the Royal Society, he entered holy orders, became vicar of Saltoun, and,
in 1669, professor of divinity at Glasgow. The year 1673 found him in
London, engaged on his "History of the Reformation," and fulfilling the
duties of chaplain to the king, preacher to the Rolls, and lecturer of
St. Clement's. The "Reformation" appeared in three folio volumes; the
first in 1679, the second in 1681, and the third in 1714. He had already
written the "Lives of the Dukes of Hamilton," the "Life of Sir Matthew
Hale," and a "Life of the Earl of Rochester." Getting into some
political trouble he was deprived of his offices, and left England for
the continent. After travelling in France he settled in Holland, and
married a Dutch lady. When the Prince of Orange came to England to
assume the government of the country, Burnet accompanied him, and in
1689 was installed into the bishopric of Salisbury. Evidently he had too
zealous a sentiment for William and Mary, for his pastoral letter to the
clergy of his diocese, commenting on the new sovereign, was condemned by
the parliament, and ordered to be burnt by the common hangman. He
married again, on the death of his Dutch wife, a rich widow, Mrs.
Berkeley, who was his third spouse--hence Swift's caustic reference. He
died March 17th, 1714-15. In addition to his histories of the
Reformation and his own times, he wrote an "Exposition of the
Thirty-Nine Articles" (1699), the "Life of Bishop Bedell" and the other
lives already named, and several sermons and controversial pieces.

The text of this pamphlet is that of the first edition, collated with,
those given by Faulkner, Hawkesworth, the "Miscellanies" of 1745, and
Scott. It was originally published in 1713.


B--p of S--r--m's
To the Third Volume of the
History of the Reformation
of the
Church of _England_.


_----Spargere voces
In vulgum ambiguas; & quaerere confcius arma._

The Second Edition


Printed for _John Morphew, _near _Stationers Hall_. 1713. Price



Your care in putting an advertisement in the _EXAMINER_ has been of
great use to me. I do now send you my Preface to the B----p of
S----r----m's INTRODUCTION to his third volume, which I desire you to
print in such a form, as in the bookseller's phrase will make a sixpenny
touch; hoping it will give such a public notice of my design, that it
may come into the hands of those who perhaps look not into the B----p's
Introduction. I desire you will prefix to this a passage out of Virgil,
which does so perfectly agree with my present thoughts of his
L----dsh----p, that I cannot express them better, nor more truly, than
those words do.

I am, Sir,

Your most humble servant,


[Footnote 1: Mr. Nichols quotes from the "Speculum Sarisburianum," "That
the frequent and hasty repetitions of such prefaces and introductions,
no less than three new ones in about one year's time, beside an old
serviceable one republished concerning persecution--are preludes to
other practical things, beside pastoral cares, sermons, and histories."
[T. S.]]

[Footnote 2: This preface "to the bookseller" is in imitation of the
bishop's own preface to the bookseller in the "Introduction," which was
signed "G. Sarum." [T. S.]]

This way of publishing introductions to books that are, God knows when,
to come out, is either wholly new, or so long unpractised, that my small
reading cannot trace it. However we are to suppose, that a person of his
Lordship's great age and experience, would hardly act such a piece of
singularity without some extraordinary motives. I cannot but observe,
that his fellow-labourer, the author of the paper called _The
Englishman_,[3] seems, in some of his late performances, to have almost
transcribed the notions of the Bishop: these notions, I take to have
been dictated by the same masters, leaving to each writer that peculiar
manner of expressing himself, which the poverty of our language forces
me to call their style. When the _Guardian_ changed his title, and
professed to engage in faction, I was sure the word was given, that
grand preparations were making against next sessions; that all
advantages would be taken of the little dissensions reported to be among
those in power; and that the _Guardian_ would soon be seconded by some
other piqueerers[4] from the same camp. But I will confess, my
suspicions did not carry me so far as to conjecture that this venerable
champion would be in such mighty haste to come into the field, and serve
in the quality of an _enfant perdu_,[5] armed only with a pocket pistol,
before his great blunderbuss could be got ready, his old rusty
breastplate scoured, and his cracked headpiece mended.

[Footnote 3: Steele.]

[Footnote 4: Piqueerer = pickeerer (modern) = a marauder, a skirmisher
in advance of an army. From French _picorer_ = to maraud. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 5: _Enfant perdu_, one of the advanced guard; or, as
Hawkesworth notes it, "one of the forlorn hope." [T.S.]]

I was debating with myself, whether this hint of producing a small
pamphlet to give notice of a large folio, was not borrowed from the
ceremonial in Spanish romances, where a dwarf is sent out upon the
battlements to signify to all passengers, what a mighty giant there is
in the castle; or whether the Bishop copied this proceeding from the
_fanfarronade_ of Monsieur Boufflers, when the Earl of Portland and that
general had an interview. Several men were appointed at certain periods
to ride in great haste toward the English camp, and cry out,
_Monseigneur vient, Monseigneur vient:_ Then, small parties advanced
with the same speed and the same cry, and this foppery held for many
hours, until the mareschal himself arrived. So here, the Bishop (as we
find by his dedication to Mr. Churchill the bookseller) has for a long
time sent warning of his arrival by advertisements in _Gazettes_, and
now his Introduction advances to tell us again, _Monseigneur vient:_ In
the mean time, we must gape and wait and gaze the Lord knows how long,
and keep our spirits in some reasonable agitation, until his Lordship's
real self shall think fit to appear in the habit of a folio.

I have seen the same sort of management at a puppet-show. Some puppets
of little or no consequence appeared several times at the window to
allure the boys and the rabble: The trumpeter sounded often, and the
doorkeeper cried a hundred times till he was hoarse, that they were just
going to begin; yet after all, we were forced sometimes to wait an hour
before Punch himself in person made his entry.

But why this ceremony among old acquaintance? The world and he have long
known one another: Let him appoint his hour and make his visit, without
troubling us all day with a succession of messages from his laqueys and

With submission, these little arts of getting off an edition, do ill
become any author above the size of Marten[6] the surgeon. My Lord tells
us, that "many thousands of the two former parts of his History are in
the kingdom,"[7] and now he perpetually advertises in the gazette, that
he intends to publish the third: This is exactly in the method and style
of Marten: "The seventh edition (many thousands of the former editions
having been sold off in a small time) of Mr. Marten's book concerning
secret diseases," &c.

[Footnote 6: This is John Marten, the author of two treatises on the
gout, and a "Treatise of all the Degrees and Symptoms of the Venereal
Disease" (1708?-9). His notoriety brought on him the ire of a "licens'd
practitioner in physick and surgery," one J. Spinke, who, in a pamphlet
entitled "Quackery Unmask'd" (1709), dealt Marten some most uncourteous
blows. From the pamphlet, it is difficult to judge whether Spinke or
Marten were the greater quack; we should judge the former. Certainly
Marten deserves our sympathy, if only for Spinke's virulence. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 7: Page 26.]

Does his Lordship intend to publish his great volume by subscription,
and is this Introduction only by way of specimen? I was inclined to
think so, because, in the prefixed letter to Mr. Churchill, which
introduces this Introduction, there are some dubious expressions: He
says, "the advertisements he published were in order to move people to
furnish him with materials, which might help him to finish his work with
great advantage." If he means half-a-guinea upon the subscription, and
t'other half at the delivery, why does he not tell us so in plain terms?

I am wondering how it came to pass, that this diminutive letter to Mr.
Churchill should understand the business of introducing better than the
Introduction itself; or why the Bishop did not take it into his head to
send the former into the world some months before the latter; which
would have been a greater improvement upon the solemnity of the

Since I writ these last lines, I have perused the whole pamphlet (which
I had only dipped in before) and found I have been hunting upon a wrong
scent; for the author hath in several parts of his piece, discovered the
true motives which put him upon sending it abroad at this juncture; I
shall therefore consider them as they come in my way.

My Lord begins his Introduction with an account of the reasons why he
was guilty of so many mistakes in the first volume of his "History of
the Reformation:" His excuses are just, rational, and extremely
consistent. He says, "he wrote in haste,"[8] which he confirms by
adding, "that it lay a year after he wrote it before it was put into the
press:"[9] At the same time he mentioned a passage extremely to the
honour of that pious and excellent prelate, Archbishop Sancroft, which
demonstrates his Grace to have been a person of great sagacity, and
almost a prophet. Dr. Burnet, then a private divine, "desired admittance
to the Cotton library, but was prevented by the archbishop, who told Sir
John Cotton, that the said doctor was no friend to the prerogative of
the crown, nor to the constitution of the kingdom." This judgment was
the more extraordinary, because the doctor had not long before published
a book in Scotland, with his name prefixed, which carries the regal
prerogative higher than any writer of the age:[10] however, the good
archbishop lived to see his opinion become universal in the kingdom.

[Footnote 8: Page 6.]

[Footnote 9: Page 10.]

[Footnote 10: This was Burnet's "Vindication of the Authority,
Constitution, and Laws of the Church and State of Scotland," dedicated
to the Duke of Lauderdale, and published in 1672. The dedication
contains an eulogium of the duke, and the work a defence of episcopacy
and monarchy against Buchanan and his followers. At a later period, the
author did not probably recollect this juvenile publication with, much

It is somewhat remarkable to see the progress of this story. In the
first edition of this "Introduction," it should seem, "he was prevented
by the Archbishop," &c. When the "Introduction" was reprinted a year
after with the "History," it stands: "A great prelate had been
beforehand and possessed him [Sir John Cotton] against me--That unless
the Archbishop of Canterbury would recommend me--he desired to be
excused--The Bishop of Worcester could not prevail on the Archbishop to
interpose." This is somewhat less than preventing, unless the Archbishop
be meant by the "great prelate." Which is not very probable. 1. Because
in the Preface to this very third volume, p. 4, he says, "It was by
Archbishop Sancroft's order he had the free use of everything that lay
in the Lambeth Library." 2. Because the Author of "Speculum
Sarisburianum" (p. 6), tells us, "His access to the Library was owing
solely to the recommendation of Archbishop Sancroft, as I have been
informed by some of the family." 3. Because Bishop Burnet, in his
"History of My Own Times," vol. i. p. 396, says it was "Dolben, Bishop
of Rochester (at the instigation of the Duke of Lauderdale), that
diverted Sir John Cotton from suffering me to search his Library."
["Miscellanies," vol. viii. 1745.]]

The Bishop goes on for many pages, with an account of certain facts
relating to the publishing of his two former volumes of the Reformation,
the great success of that work, and the adversaries who appeared against
it. These are matters out of the way of my reading; only I observe that
poor Mr. Henry Wharton,[11] who has deserved so well of the commonwealth
of learning, and who gave himself the trouble of detecting some hundreds
of the Bishop's mistakes, meets with very ill quarter from his Lordship.
Upon which I cannot avoid mentioning a peculiar method which this
prelate takes to revenge himself upon those who presume to differ from
him in print. The Bishop of Rochester[12] happened some years ago to be
of this number. My Lord of Sarum in his reply ventured to tell the
world, that the gentleman who had writ against him, meaning Dr
Atterbury, was one upon whom he had conferred great obligations; which
was a very generous Christian contrivance of charging his adversary with
ingratitude. But it seems the truth happened to be on the other side;
which the doctor made appear in such a manner as would have silenced his
Lordship for ever, if he had not been writing proof. Poor Mr. Wharton in
his grave is charged with the same accusation, but with circumstances
the most aggravating that malice and something else could invent[13];
and which I will no more believe than five hundred passages in a certain
book of travels[14]. See the character he gives of a divine, and a
scholar, who shortened his life in the service of God and the church.
"Mr. Wharton desired me to intercede with Tillotson for a prebend of
Canterbury. I did so, but Wharton would not believe it; said he would be
revenged, and so writ against me. Soon after he was convinced I had
spoke for him, said he was set on to do what he did, and, if I would
procure any thing for him, he would discover every thing to me[15]."
What a spirit of candour, charity, and good nature, generosity, and
truth, shines through this story, told of a most excellent and pious
divine, twenty years after his death, without one single voucher[16]!

[Footnote 11: Henry Wharton (1664-1694-5), a divine, born at Worstead,
Norfolk, and educated at Cambridge. Became chaplain to Archbishop
Sancroft in 1688, and then rector of Chartham. Wrote "A Treatise on the
Celibacy of the Clergy;" "The Enthusiasm of the Church of Rome
demonstrated in the Life of Ignatius Loyola;" "A Defence of
Pluralities;" "Specimen of Errors in Burnet's 'History of the
Reformation;'" "Anglia Sacra, sive Collectio Historiarum;" and "History
of Archbishop Laud." The criticism on Burnet's "History" was written
under the _nom de guerre_ of Anthony Farmar. [T. S.]]

[Footnote 12: Dr. Atterbury.]

[Footnote 13: Page 22.]

[Footnote 14: Burnet's "Travels."]

[Footnote 15: Page 23.]

[Footnote 16: Burnet's account of this matter was reprinted in the
Preface to his "History of the Reformation," and it contains also the
bishop's rejoinder against Wharton's method of criticism in the
"Specimen": "He had examined the dark ages before the Reformation with
much diligence, and so knew many things relating to those times beyond
any man of the age; he pretended that he had many more errors in
reserve, and that this specimen was only a hasty collection of a few,
out of many other discoveries he could make. This consisted of some
trifling and minute differences in some dates and transactions of no
importance, upon which nothing depended; so I cannot tell whether I took
these too easily from printed books, or if I committed any errors in my
notes taken in the several offices. He likewise follows me through the
several recapitulations I had made of the state of things before the
Reformation, and finds errors and omissions in most of these; he adds
some things out of papers I had never seen. The whole was writ with so
much malice, and such contempt, that I must give some account of the
man, and of his motives. He had expressed great zeal against popery, in
the end of King James's reign, being then chaplain to Archbishop
Sancroft, who, as he said, had promised him the first of those prebends
of Canterbury that should fall in his gift: for when he saw that the
archbishop was resolved not to take the oaths, but to forsake the post,
he made an earnest application to me, to secure that for him at
Archbishop Tillotson's hands. I pressed him in it as much as was decent
for me to do, but he said he would not encourage these aspiring men, by
promising any thing, before it should fall; as indeed none of them fell
during his time. Wharton, upon this answer, thought I had neglected him,
looking on it as a civil denial, and said he would be revenged; and so
he published that specimen: upon which, I, in a letter that I printed,
addressed to the present Bishop of Worcester, charged him again and
again to bring forth all that he pretended to have reserved at that
time, for, till that was done, I would not enter upon the examination of
that specimen. It was received with contempt, and Tillotson justified my
pressing him to take Wharton under his particular protection so fully,
that he sent and asked me pardon. He said he was set on to it; and that,
if I would procure any thing for him, he would discover any thing to me.
I despised that offer, but said that I would at any price buy of him
those discoveries that he pretended to have in reserve. But Mr. Chiswell
(at whose house he then lay) being sick, said he could draw nothing of
that from him, and he believed he had nothing. He died about a year
after."--BURNET'S _History of the Reformation_ III, vii. [T. S.]]

Come we now to the reasons, which moved his lordship to set about this
work at this time. He "could delay it no longer, because the reasons of
his engaging in it at first seem to return upon him[17]." He was then
frightened with "the danger of a popish successor in view, and the
dreadful apprehensions of the power of France. England has forgot these
dangers, and yet is nearer to them than ever[18]," and therefore he is
resolved to "awaken them" with his third volume; but in the mean time,
sends this Introduction to let them know they are asleep. He then goes
on in describing the condition of the kingdom[19], after such a manner
as if destruction hung over us by a single hair; as if the Pope, the
devil, the Pretender, and France, were just at our doors.

[Footnote 17: Page 27.]

[Footnote 18: Page 28.]

[Footnote 19: Page 28.]

When the Bishop published his History, there was a popish plot on foot,
the Duke of York a known papist was presumptive heir to the crown, the
House of Commons would not hear of any expedient for securing their
religion under a popish prince, nor would the King or Lords, consent to
a bill of exclusion: The French King was in the height of his grandeur,
and the vigour of his age. At this day the presumptive heir, with that
whole illustrious family, are Protestants, the Popish Pretender excluded
for ever by several acts of Parliament, and every person in the smallest
employment, as well as the members in both Houses, obliged to abjure
him. The French King is at the lowest ebb of life; his armies have been
conquered and his towns won from him for ten years together, and his
kingdom is in danger of being torn by divisions during a long minority.
Are these cases parallel? Or are we now in more danger of France and
popery than we were thirty years ago? What can be the motive for
advancing such false, such detestable assertions? What conclusions would
his Lordship draw from such premises as these? If injurious appellations
were of any advantage to a cause, (as the style of our adversaries would
make us believe) what appellations would those deserve who thus
endeavour to sow the seeds of sedition, and are impatient to see the
fruits? "But," saith he[20], "the deaf adder stops her ear let the
charmer charm never so wisely." True, my Lord, there are indeed too many
adders in this nation's bosom, adders in all shapes, and in all habits,
whom neither the Queen nor parliament can charm to loyalty, truth,
religion, or honour.

[Footnote 20: Page 28.] Among other instances produced by him of the
dismal condition we are in, he offers one which could not easily be
guessed. It is this: That the little factious pamphlets written about
the end of King Charles II's reign, "lie dead in shops, are looked on as
waste paper, and turned to pasteboard." How many are there of his
Lordship's writings which could otherwise never have been of any real
service to the public? Has he indeed so mean an opinion of our taste, to
send us at this time of day into all the corners of Holborn, Duck Lane,
and Moorfields, in quest after the factious trash published in those
days by Julian Johnson, Hickeringil, Dr. Oates, and himself[21]?

[Footnote 21: The Rev. Samuel Johnson, degraded from his clerical
rank, scourged, and imprisoned, for a work called "Julian's Arts to
undermine Christianity," in which he drew a parallel between that
apostate and James, then Duke of York. [S.]

Edmund Hickeringil, a fanatic preacher at Colchester. He appears, from
the various pamphlets which he wrote during the reigns of Charles II.
and his brother, to have been a meddling crazy fool. He was born in
Essex, 1630, and was educated at Cambridge. He entered the army, and
went to Jamaica, of which place he wrote a very curious account.
Afterwards he entered holy orders, and became rector of All Saints,
Colchester. He was a most eccentric individual. [T. S.]]

His Lordship, taking it for a _postulatum_, that the Queen and ministry,
both Houses of Parliament, and a vast majority of the landed gentlemen
throughout England are running headlong into Popery, lays hold on the
occasion to describe "the cruelties in Queen Mary's reign, an
inquisition setting up faggots in Smithfield, and executions all over
the kingdom. Here is that" (says he) "which those that look toward a
popish successor must look for."[22] And he insinuates through his whole
pamphlet, that all who are not of his party, "look toward a popish
successor." These he divides into two parts, the Tory laity, and the
Tory clergy. He tells the former, though they have no religion at all,
but "resolve to change with every wind and tide; yet they ought to have
compassion on their countrymen and kindred."[23] Then he applies himself
to the Tory clergy, assures them, that "the fires revived in Smithfield,
and all over the nation, will have no amiable view; but least of all to
them, who if they have any principle at all, must be turned out of their
livings, leave their families, be hunted from place to place into parts
beyond the seas, and meet with that contempt with which they treated
foreigners who took sanctuary among us."

[Footnote 22: Page 36.]

[Footnote 23: Page 36.]

This requires a recapitulation, with some remarks. First, I do affirm,
that of every hundred professed atheists, deists, and socinians in the
kingdom, ninety-nine at least are staunch thorough-paced Whigs, entirely
agreeing with his Lordship in politics and discipline; and therefore
will venture all the fires of hell, rather than singe one hair of their
beards in Smithfield. Secondly, I do likewise affirm, that those whom we
usually understand by the appellation of Tory or high-church clergy,
were the greatest sticklers against the exorbitant proceedings of King
James, the best writers against popery, and the most exemplary sufferers
for the established religion. Thirdly, I do pronounce it to be a most
false and infamous scandal upon the nation in general, and on the clergy
in particular, to reproach them for "treating foreigners with
haughtiness and contempt:" The French Huguenots are many thousand
witnesses to the contrary; and I wish they deserved a thousandth part of
the good treatment they have received.[24]

[Footnote 24: Swift's disparaging reference to the Huguenots must be put
down to the fact that he included them among Dissenters, on account of
their Calvinism. [T. S.]]

Lastly, I observe that the author of the paper called _The Englishman_,
hath run into the same cant, gravely advising the whole body of the
clergy not to bring in Popery, because that will put them under a
necessity of parting with their wives, or losing their livings.

The bulk of the kingdom, both clergy and laity, happens to differ
extremely from this prelate, in many principles both of politics and
religion: Now I ask, whether if any man of them had signed his name to a
system of atheism, or Popery, he could have argued with them otherwise
than he does? Or, if I should write a grave letter to his Lordship with
the same advice, taking it for granted that he was half an atheist, and
half a papist, and conjuring him by all he held dear to have compassion
upon all those who believed a God, "not to revive the fires in
Smithfield," that he must either forfeit his bishopric, or not marry a
fourth wife;[25] I ask whether he would not think I intended him the
highest injury and affront?

[Footnote 25: Bishop Burnet had already been married three times. [T.

But as to the Tory laity; he gives them up in a lump for abandoned
atheists: They are a set of men so "impiously corrupted in the point of
religion, that no scene of cruelty can fright them from leaping into it
[Popery] and perhaps acting such a part in it, as may be assigned
them."[26] He therefore despairs of influencing them by any topics drawn
from religion or compassion, and advances the consideration of interest,
as the only powerful argument to persuade them against Popery.

[Footnote 26: Page 37.]

What he offers upon this head is so very amazing from a Christian, a
clergyman, and a prelate of the Church of England, that I must in my own
imagination strip him of those three capacities, and put him among the
number of that set of men he mentions in the paragraph before; or else
it will be impossible to shape out an answer.

His Lordship, in order to dissuade the Tories from their design of
bringing in Popery, tells them, "how valuable a part of the whole soil
of England, the abbey lands, the estates of the bishops, of the
cathedrals, and the tithes are;"[27] how difficult such "a resumption
would be to many families; yet all these must be thrown up; for
sacrilege in the church of Rome, is a mortal sin." I desire it may be
observed, what a jumble here is made of ecclesiastical revenues, as if
they were all upon the same foot, were alienated with equal justice, and
the clergy had no more reason to complain of the one than the other.
Whereas the four branches mentioned by him are of very different
consideration. If I might venture to guess the opinion of the clergy
upon this matter, I believe they could wish that some small part of the
abbey lands had been applied to the augmentation of poor bishoprics, and
a very few acres to serve for glebes in those parishes where there are
none; after which I think they would not repine that the laity should
possess the rest. If the estates of some bishops and cathedrals were
exorbitant before the Reformation, I believe the present clergy's wishes
reach no further than that some reasonable temper had been used, instead
of paring them to the quick: But as to the tithes, without examining
whether they be of divine institution, I conceive there is hardly one of
that sacred order in England, and very few even among the laity that
love the Church, who will not allow the misapplying of those revenues to
secular persons, to have been at first a most flagrant act of injustice
and oppression: Though at the same time, God forbid they should be
restored any other way than by gradual purchase, by the consent of those
who are now the lawful possessors, or by the piety and generosity of
such worthy spirits as this nation sometimes produceth. The Bishop knows
very well that the application of tithes to the maintenance of
monasteries, was a scandalous usurpation even in popish times: That the
monks usually sent out some of their fraternity to supply the cures; and
that when the monasteries were granted away by Henry VIII., the parishes
were left destituted, or very meanly provided of any maintenance for a
pastor: So that in many places, the whole ecclesiastical dues, even to
mortuaries, Easter-offerings, and the like, are in lay hands, and the
incumbent lies wholly at the mercy of his patron for his daily bread. By
these means there are several hundred parishes in England under L20 a
year, and many under ten. I take his Lordship's bishopric to be worth
near L2,500 annual income; and I will engage at half a year's warning to
find him above 200 beneficed clergymen who have not so much among them
all to support themselves and their families; most of them orthodox, of
good life and conversation, as loth to see the fires kindled in
Smithfield, as his Lordship, and at least as ready to face them under a
popish persecution. But nothing is so hard for those who abound in
riches, as to conceive how others can be in want. How can the
neighbouring vicar feel cold or hunger, while my Lord is seated by a
good fire in the warmest room in his palace, with a dozen dishes before
him? I remember one other prelate much of the same stamp; who when his
clergy would mention their wishes that some act of parliament might be
thought of for the good of the Church, would say, "Gentlemen, _we_ are
very well as _we_ are; if they would let _us_ alone, _we_ should ask no

[Footnote 27: Page 38.]

[Footnote 28: Scott, in a note, thinks this reflection on Burnet to be
unjust, because of that prelate's zeal "in forwarding a scheme in 1704
for Improving the livings of the poorer clergy." [T. S.]]

"Sacrilege" (says my Lord) "in the church of Rome, is a mortal sin;"[29]
and is it only so in the church of Rome? Or is it but a venial sin in
the Church of England? Our litany calls fornication a deadly sin; and I
would appeal to his Lordship for fifty years past, whether he thought
that or sacrilege the deadliest? To make light of such a sin, at the
same moment that he is frighting us from an idolatrous religion, should
seem not very consistent. "_Thou_ that sayest, a man should not commit
adultery, dost _thou_ commit adultery? _Thou_ that abhorrest idols, dost
_thou_ commit sacrilege?"

[Footnote 29: Page 38.]

To smooth the way for the return of Popery in Queen Mary's time, the
grantees were confirmed by the Pope in the possession of the abbey
lands. But the Bishop tells us, that "this confirmation was fraudulent
and invalid" I shall believe it to be so, though I happen to read in his
Lordship's history: But he adds, that although the confirmation had been
good, the priests would have got their land again by these two methods;
"first,[30] the Statute of Mortmain was repealed for 20 years, in which
time no doubt they reckoned they would recover the best part of what
they had lost; besides that, engaging the clergy to renew no leases, was
a thing entirely in their own power, and this in forty years time would
raise their revenues to be about ten times their present value." These
two expedients for increasing the revenues of the Church, he represents
as pernicious designs, fit only to be practised in times of Popery, and
such as the laity ought never to consent to: Whence, and from what he
said before about tithes, his Lordship has freely declared his opinion,
that the clergy are rich enough, and that the least addition to their
subsistence would be a step toward Popery. Now it happens, that the two
only methods, which could be thought on, with any probability of
success, toward some reasonable augmentation of ecclesiastical revenues,
are here rejected by a Bishop, as a means for introducing Popery, and
the nation publicly warned against them. The continuance of the Statute
of Mortmain in full force, after the Church had been so terribly
stripped, appeared to Her Majesty and the kingdom a very unnecessary
hardship; upon which account it was at several times relaxed by the
legislature. Now as the relaxation of that statute is manifestly one of
the reasons which gives the Bishop those terrible apprehensions of
Popery coming on us; so I conceive another ground of his fears, is the
remission of the first-fruits and tenths. But where the inclination to
Popery lay, whether in Her Majesty who proposed this benefaction, the
parliament which confirmed, or the clergy who accepted it, his Lordship
hath not thought fit to determine.

[Footnote 30: Page 39.]

The other popish expedient for augmenting church-revenues, is "engaging
the clergy to renew no leases."[31] Several of the most eminent
clergymen have assured me, that nothing has been more wished for by good
men, than a law to prevent (at least) bishops from setting leases for
lives. I could name ten bishoprics in England whose revenues one with
another do not amount to L600 a-year for each; and if his lordship's,
for instance, would be above ten times the value when the lives are
expired, I should think the overplus would not be ill disposed toward an
augmentation of such as are now shamefully poor. But I do assert, that
such an expedient was not always thought popish and dangerous by this
right reverend historian. I have had the honour formerly to converse
with him; and he has told me several years ago, that he lamented
extremely the power which bishops had of letting leases for lives,
whereby, as he said, they were utterly deprived of raising their
revenues, whatever alterations might happen in the value of money by
length of time: I think the reproach of betraying private conversation
will not upon this account be laid to my charge. Neither do I believe he
would have changed his opinion upon any score, but to take up another,
more agreeable to the maxims of his party; that "the least addition of
property to the Church, is one step toward Popery."

[Footnote 31: Page 39.]

The Bishop goes on with much earnestness and prolixity to prove that the
Pope's confirmation of the church lands to those who held them by King
Henry's donation, was null and fraudulent: Which is a point that I
believe no Protestant in England would give threepence to have his
choice whether it should be true or false: It might indeed serve as a
passage in his history, among a thousand other instances, to detect the
knavery of the court of Rome; but I ask, where could be the use of it in
this Introduction? Or why all this haste in publishing it at this
juncture; and so out of all method apart, and before the work itself? He
gives his reasons in very plain terms; we are now, it seems, "in more
danger of Popery than toward the end of King Charles II.'s reign. That
set of men (the Tories) is so impiously corrupted in the point of
religion, that no scene of cruelty can fright them from leaping into it,
and perhaps from acting such a part in it as may be assigned them."[32]
He doubts whether the High-Church clergy have any principles, and
therefore will be ready to turn off their wives, and look on the fires
kindled in Smithfield as an amiable view. These are the facts he all
along takes for granted, and argues accordingly; therefore, in despair
of dissuading the nobility and gentry of the land from introducing
Popery by any motives of honour, religion, alliance or mercy, he assures
them, that "the Pope has not duly confirmed their titles to the church
lands in their possession," which therefore must infallibly be restored,
as soon as that religion is established among us.

[Footnote 32: Page 37.]

Thus, in his Lordship's opinion, there is nothing wanting to make the
majority of the kingdom, both for number, quality and possession,
immediately embrace Popery, except a "firm bull from the Pope," to
secure the abbey and other church lands and tithes to the present
proprietors and their heirs; if this only difficulty could now be
adjusted, the Pretender would be restored next session, the two Houses
reconciled to the church of Rome against Easter term, and the fires
lighted in Smithfield by Midsummer. Such horrible calumnies against a
nation are not the less injurious to decency, good-nature, truth,
honour, and religion, because they may be vented with safety. And I will
appeal to any reader of common understanding, whether this be not the
most natural and necessary deduction from the passages I have cited and
referred to.

Yet all this is but friendly dealing, in comparison with what he affords
the clergy upon the same article. He supposes[33] all that reverend
body, who differ from him in principles of church or state, so far from
disliking Popery, upon the above-mentioned motives of perjury, "quitting
their wives, or burning their relations;" that the hopes of "enjoying
the abbey lands" would soon bear down all such considerations, and be an
effectual incitement to their perversion; and so he goes gravely on, as
with the only argument which he thinks can have any force, to assure
them, that "the parochial priests in Roman Catholic countries are much
poorer than in ours, the several orders of regulars, and the
magnificence of their church, devouring all their treasure," and by
consequence "their hopes are vain of expecting to be richer after the
introduction of Popery."

[Footnote 33: Page 46.]

But after all, his Lordship despairs, that even this argument will have
any force with our abominable clergy, because, to use his own words,
"They are an insensible and degenerate race, who are thinking of nothing
but their present advantages; and so that they may now support a
luxurious and brutal course of irregular and voluptuous practices, they
are easily hired to betray their religion, to sell their country, and
give up that liberty and those properties, which are the present
felicities and glories of this nation."[34] He seems to reckon all these
evils as matters fully determined on, and therefore falls into the last
usual form of despair, by threatening the authors of these miseries with
"lasting infamy, and the curses of posterity upon perfidious betrayers
of their trust."[35]

[Footnote 34: Page 47.]

[Footnote 35: Page 47.]

Let me turn this paragraph into vulgar language for the use of the poor,
and strictly adhere to the sense of the words. I believe it may be
faithfully translated in the following manner: "The bulk of the clergy,
and one-third of the bishops, are stupid sons of whores, who think of
nothing but getting money as soon as they can: If they may but produce
enough to supply them in gluttony, drunkenness, and whoring, they are
ready to turn traitors to God and their country, and make their
fellow-subjects slaves." The rest of the period, about threatening
"infamy," and "the curses of posterity upon such dogs and villains," may
stand as it does in the Bishop's own phrase, and so make the paragraph
all of a piece.

I will engage, on the other side, to paraphrase all the rogues and
rascals in the _Englishman_, so as to bring them up exactly to his
Lordship's style: But, for my own part, I much prefer the plain
Billingsgate way of calling names, because it expresses our meaning full
as well, and would save abundance of time which is lost by
circumlocution; so, for instance, John Dunton,[36] who is retained on
the same side with the Bishop, calls my Lord-treasurer and Lord
Bolingbroke, traitors, whoremasters, and Jacobites, which three words
cost our right reverend author thrice as many lines to define them; and
I hope his Lordship does not think there is any difference in point of
morality, whether a man calls me traitor in one word, or says I am one
"hired to betray my religion and sell my country."[37]

[Footnote 36: See note on p. 50 of vol. i. of this edition of Swift's
works. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 37: Page 51.]

I am not surprised to see the Bishop mention with contempt all
Convocations of the Clergy;[38] for Toland, Collins, Tindal,[39] and
others of the fraternity, talk the very same language. His Lordship
confesses he "is not" inclined "to expect much from the assemblies of
clergymen." There lies the misfortune; for if he and some more of his
order would correct their "inclinations," a great deal of good might be
expected from such assemblies, as much as they are now cramped by that
submission, which a corrupt clergy brought upon their innocent
successors. He will not deny that his copiousness in these matters is,
in his own opinion, one of the meanest parts of his new work. I will
agree with him, unless he happens to be more "copious" in any thing
else. However, it is not easy to conceive why he should be so "copious"
upon a subject he so much despises, unless it were to gratify his talent
of railing at the clergy, in the number of whom he disdains to be
reckoned, because he is a Bishop. For it is a style I observe some
prelates have fallen into of late years, to talk of clergymen as if
themselves were not of the number: You will read in many of their
speeches at Dr. Sacheverel's[40] trial, expressions to this or the like
effect: "My lords, if clergymen be suffered," &c. wherein they seem to
have reason; and I am pretty confident, that a great majority of the
clergy were heartily inclined to disown any relation they had to the
managers in lawn. However, it was a confounding argument against
Presbytery, that those who are most suspected to lean that way, treating
their inferior brethren with haughtiness, rigour, and contempt:
Although, to say the truth, nothing better could be hoped for; because,
I believe, it may pass for a universal rule, that in every diocese
governed by bishops of the Whig species, the clergy (especially the
poorer sort) are under double discipline, and the laity left to
themselves. The opinion of Sir Thomas More, which he produces to prove
the ill consequences or insignificancy of Convocations, advances no such
thing, but says, "if the clergy assembled often, and might act as other
assemblies of clergy in Christendom, much good might have come: but the
misfortune lay in their long disuse, and that in his own and a good part
of his father's time, they never came together, except at the command of
the prince."[41]

[Footnote 38: Page 47.]

[Footnote 39: See note, p. 9. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 40: Henry Sacheverell, D.D., was educated at Marlborough and
Oxford. At Magdalen College he was a fellow-student with Addison, and
obtained there his fellowship and doctor's degree. In 1709 he preached
two sermons, one at the Derby Assizes, and the other at St. Paul's, in
which he urged the imminent danger of the Church. For these sermons,
which the parliament considered highly inflammatory, he was, by the
House of Commons, at the instigation of Godolphin, impeached, and tried
before the Lords in 1710. He was found guilty of a misdemeanour, and was
suspended from preaching for three years. The trial made a great stir at
the time, and served but to increase the popularity of a man who, had he
been let alone, would, probably, never have been heard of. He died in
1724, holding the living of St. Andrew, Holborn, to which he was
presented after the expiration of his sentence. [T.S.]]

[Footnote 41: See Sir Thomas More's "Apology," 1533, p. 241.]

I suppose his lordship thinks, there is some original impediment in the
study of divinity, or secret incapacity in a gown and cassock without
lawn, which disqualifies all inferior clergymen from debating upon
subjects of doctrine or discipline in the church. It is a famous saying
of his, that "he looks upon every layman to be an honest man, until he
is by experience convinced to the contrary; and on every clergyman as a
knave, till he finds him to be an honest man." What opinion then must we
have of a Lower House of Convocation:[42] where I am confident he will
hardly find three persons that ever convinced him of their honesty, or
will ever be at the pains to do it? Nay, I am afraid they would think
such a conviction might be no very advantageous bargain, to gain the
character of an honest man with his Lordship, and lose it with the rest
of the world.

[Footnote 42: It must not be forgotten, that, during the reign of Queen
Anne, the body of the clergy were high-church men; but the bishops, who
had chiefly been promoted since the Revolution, were Whiggish in
politics, and moderate in their sentiments of church government. Hence
the Upper and Lower Houses of Convocation rarely agreed in sentiment on
affairs of church or state. [T. S.]]

In the famous Concordate that was made between Francis I. of France and
Pope Leo X., the Bishop tells us, that "the king and pope came to a
bargain, by which they divided the liberties of the Gallican Church
between them, and indeed quite enslaved it."[43] He intends, in the
third part of his History which he is going to publish, "to open this
whole matter to the world." In the mean time, he mentions some ill
consequences to the Gallican Church from that Concordate, which are
worthy to be observed; "The church of France became a slave, and this
change in their constitution put an end not only to national, but even
to provincial synods in that kingdom. The assemblies of the clergy
there, meet now only to give subsidies," &c. and he says, "our nation
may see by that proceeding, what it is to deliver up the essential
liberties of a free constitution to a court." [44]

[Footnote 43: Page 53.]

[Footnote 44: Page 53.]

All I can gather from this matter is, that our King Henry made a better
bargain than his contemporary Francis, who divided the liberties of the
church between himself and the Pope, while the King of England seized
them all to himself. But how comes he to number the want of synods in
the Gallican church among the grievances of that Concordate, and as a
mark of their slavery, since he reckons all Convocations of the Clergy
in England to be useless and dangerous? Or what difference in point of
liberty was there between the Gallican Church under Francis, and the
English under Harry? For, the latter was as much a papist as the former,
unless in the point of obedience to the see of Rome; and in every
quality of a good man, or a good prince, (except personal courage
wherein both were equal) the French monarch had the advantage by as many
degrees as is possible for one man to have over another.

Henry VIII. had no manner of intention to change religion in his
kingdom; he still continued to persecute and burn Protestants after he
had cast off the Pope's supremacy, and I suppose this seizure of
ecclesiastical revenues (which Francis never attempted) cannot be
reckoned as a mark of the church's liberty. By the quotation the Bishop
sets down to show the slavery of the French church, he represents it as
a grievance, that "bishops are not now elected there as formerly, but
wholly appointed by the prince; and that those made by the court have
been ordinarily the chief advancers of schisms, heresies, and
oppressions of the church." [45] He cites another passage from a Greek
writer, and plainly insinuates, that it is justly applicable to Her
Majesty's reign: "Princes choose such men to that charge [of a bishop]
who may be their slaves, and in all things obsequious to what they
prescribe; and may lie at their feet, and have not so much as a thought
contrary to their commands." [46]

[Footnote 45: Page 55.]

[Footnote 46: Page 55.]

These are very singular passages for his Lordship to set down in order
to show the dismal consequences of the French Concordate, by the slavery
of the Gallican Church, compared with the freedom of ours. I shall not
enter into a long dispute, whether it were better for religion that
bishops should be chosen by the clergy, or people, or both together: I
believe our author would give his vote for the second (which however
would not have been of much advantage to himself, and some others that I
could name). But I ask, Whether bishops are any more elected in England
than in France? And the want of synods are in his own opinion rather a
blessing than a grievance, unless he will affirm that more good can be
expected from a popish synod than an English Convocation. Did the French
clergy ever receive a greater blow to their liberties, than the
submission made to Henry VIII., or so great a one as the seizure of
their lands? The Reformation owed nothing to the good intentions of K.
Henry: He was only an instrument of it, (as the logicians speak) by
accident; nor doth he appear through his whole reign to have had any
other views than those of gratifying his insatiable love of power,
cruelty, oppression, and other irregular appetites. But this kingdom as
well as many other parts of Europe, was, at that time, generally weary
of the corruptions and impositions of the Roman court and church, and
disposed to receive those doctrines which Luther and his followers had
universally spread. Cranmer the archbishop, Cromwell, and others of the
court, did secretly embrace the Reformation; and the King's abrogating
the Pope's supremacy, made the people in general run into the new
doctrines with greater freedom, because they hoped to be supported in it
by the authority and example of their prince, who disappointed them so
far that he made no other step than rejecting the Pope's supremacy as a
clog upon his own power and passions, but retained every corruption
beside, and became a cruel persecutor, as well of those who denied his
own supremacy, as of all others who professed any Protestant doctrine.
Neither hath any thing disgusted me more in reading the histories of
those times, than to see one of the worst princes of any age or country,
celebrated as an instrument in that glorious work of the Reformation.

The Bishop having gone over all the matters that properly fall within
his Introduction, proceeds to expostulate with several sorts of
people;[47] First with Protestants who are no Christians, such as
atheists, deists, freethinkers, and the like enemies to Christianity.
But these he treats with the tenderness of a friend, because they are
all of them of sound Whig principles in church and state. However, to do
him justice, he lightly touches some old topics for the truth of the
Gospel; and concludes by wishing that the freethinkers would consider
well, if (_Anglice,_ whether) they think it possible to bring a nation
to be without any religion at all, and what the consequences of that may
prove; [48] and in case they allow the negative, he gives it clearly for

[Footnote 47: Page 56.]

[Footnote 48: Page 59.]

Secondly, he applies himself (if I take his meaning right) to Christian
papists "who have a taste of liberty," and desires them to "compare the
absurdities of their own religion with the reasonableness of the
reformed:" [49] Against which, as good luck would have it, I have
nothing to object.

[Footnote 49: Page 59.]

Thirdly, he is somewhat rough against his own party, "who having tasted
the sweets of Protestant liberty, can look back so tamely on Popery
coming on them; it looks as if they were bewitched, or that the devil
were in them, to be so negligent. It is not enough that they resolve not
to turn papists themselves: They ought to awaken all about them, even
the most ignorant and stupid, to apprehend their danger, and to exert
themselves with their utmost industry to guard against it, and to resist
it. If after all their endeavours to prevent it, the corruption of the
age, and the art and power of our enemies, prove too hard for us, then,
and not until then, we must submit to the will of God, and be silent,
and prepare ourselves for all the extremity of suffering and of
misery:"[50] with a great deal more of the same strain.

[Footnote 50: Pages 60, 61.]

With due submission to the profound sagacity of this prelate, who can
smell Popery at 500 miles distance, better than fanaticism just under
his nose; I take leave to tell him, that this reproof to his friends,
for want of zeal and clamour against Popery, slavery, and the Pretender,
is what they have not deserved. Are the pamphlets and papers, daily
published by the sublime authors of his party full of any thing else?
Are not the Queen, the ministers, the majority of Lords and Commons,
loudly taxed in print with this charge against them at full length? Is
it not the perpetual echo of every Whig coffeehouse and club? Have they
not quartered Popery and the Pretender upon the peace, and treaty of
commerce; upon the possessing, and quieting, and keeping, and
demolishing of Dunkirk? Have they not clamoured because the Pretender
continued in France, and because he left it? Have they not reported,
that the town swarmed with many thousand papists, when upon search there
were never found so few of that religion in it before? If a clergyman
preaches obedience to the higher powers, is he not immediately traduced
as a papist? Can mortal man do more? To deal plainly, my Lord, your
friends are not strong enough yet to make an insurrection, and it is
unreasonable to expect it from them, until their neighbours are ready.

My Lord, I have a little seriousness at heart upon this point, where
your Lordship affects to show so much. When you can prove, that one
single word has ever dropped from any minister of state, in public or
private, in favour of the Pretender, or his cause; when you can make it
appear, that in the course of this administration, since the Queen
thought fit to change her servants, there hath one step been made toward
weakening the Hanover title, or giving the least countenance to any
other whatsoever; then, and not until then, go dry your chaff and
stubble, give fire to the zeal of your faction, and reproach them with

Fourthly, the Bishop applies himself to the Tories in general. Taking it
for granted, after his charitable manner, that they are all ready
prepared to introduce Popery, he puts an excuse into their mouths, by
which they would endeavour to justify their change of religion. That
"Popery is not what it was before the Reformation: Things are now much
mended; and further corrections might be expected, if we would enter
into a treaty with them: In particular, they see the error of proceeding
severely with heretics; so that there is no reason to apprehend the
returns of such cruelties as were practised an age and a half ago."[51]

[Footnote 51: Page 62.]

This, he assures us, is a plea offered by the Tories in defence of
themselves, for going about at this juncture to establish the Popish
religion among us: What argument does he bring to prove the fact itself?

"Quibus indiciis, quo teste, probavit?
Nil horum: verbosa et grandis epistola venit" [52]

[Footnote 52: Juvenal, "Sat." x. 70-71. [T. S.]]

Nothing but this tedious Introduction, wherein he supposes it all along
as a thing granted. That there might be a perfect union in the whole
Christian Church, is a blessing which every good man wishes, but no
reasonable man can hope. That the more polite Roman Catholics have in
several places given up some of their superstitious fopperies,
particularly concerning legends, relics, and the like, is what nobody
denies. But the material points in difference between us and them are
universally retained and asserted, in all their controversial writings.
And if his Lordship really thinks that every man who differs from him,
under the name of a Tory in some church and state opinions, is ready to
believe transubstantiation, purgatory, the infallibility of pope or
councils, to worship saints and angels, and the like; I can only pray
God to enlighten his understanding, or graft in his heart the first
principles of charity; a virtue which some people ought not by any means
wholly to renounce, "because it covers a multitude of sins."

Fifthly, the Bishop applies himself to his own party in both Houses of
Parliament, whom he exhorts to "guard their religion and liberty against
all danger at what distance soever it may appear. If they are absent and
remiss on critical occasions," that is to say, if they do not attend
close next sessions, to vote upon all occasions whatsoever against the
proceedings of the Queen and Her Ministry; "or, if any views of
advantage to themselves prevail on them." [53] In other words, if any of
them vote for the Bill of Commerce, in hopes of a place or a pension, a
title, or a garter; "God may work a deliverance for us another way."
That is to say, by inviting the Dutch. "But they and their families,"
(id est) those who are negligent or revolters, "shall perish." By which
is meant; they shall be hanged as well as the present ministry and their
abettors, as soon as we recover our power. "Because they let in
idolatry, superstition, and tyranny." Because they stood by and suffered
the peace to be made, the Bill of Commerce to pass, and Dunkirk to lie
undemolished longer than we expected, without raising a rebellion.

[Footnote 53: Pages 67, 68.]

His last application is to the Tory clergy, a parcel of "blind,
ignorant, dumb, sleeping, greedy, drunken dogs."[54] A pretty artful
episcopal method is this, of calling his brethren as many injurious
names as he pleases. It is but quoting a text of Scripture, where the
characters of evil men are described, and the thing is done; and at the
same time the appearances of piety and devotion preserved. I would
engage, with the help of a good Concordance, and the liberty of
perverting Holy Writ, to find out as many injurious appellations, as the
_Englishman_ throws out in any of his politic papers, and apply them to
those persons "who call good evil, and evil good;" to those who cry
without cause, "Every man to his tent, O Israel! and to those who curse
the Queen in their hearts!"

[Footnote 54: This is the bishop's reference to the Tory clergy: "But,
in the last place, Those who are appointed to be the watchmen, who ought
to give warning, and to lift up their voice as a trumpet, when they see
those wolves ready to break in and devour the flock, have the heaviest
account of all others to make, if they neglect their duty; much more if
they betray their trust. If they are so set on some smaller matters, and
are so sharpened upon that account, that they will not see their danger,
nor awaken others to see it, and to fly from it; the guilt of those
souls who have perished by their means, God will require at their hands.
If they, in the view of any advantage to themselves, are silent when
they ought to cry out day and night, they will fall under the character
given by the prophet, of the watchmen in his time: 'They are blind, they
are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to
slumber: Yea, they are greedy dogs, which can never have enough. And
they are shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own
way, every one for his gain from his quarter; that say, come, I will
fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; to-morrow
shall be as this day, and much more abundant.'"--BURNET'S _History of
the Reformation_, vol. iii. p. xxii. [T. S.]]

These decent words he tells us, make up a "lively description of such
pastors, as will not study controversy, nor know the depths of Satan."
He means I suppose, the controversy between us and the papists; for as
to the freethinkers and dissenters of every denomination, they are some
of the best friends to the cause. Now I have been told, there is a body
of that kind of controversy published by the London divines, which is
not to be matched in the world. I believe likewise, there is a good
number of the clergy at present, thoroughly versed in that study; after
which I cannot but give my judgment, that it would be a very idle thing
for pastors in general to busy themselves much in disputes against
Popery. It being a dry heavy employment of the mind at best, especially
when, God be thanked, there is so little occasion for it, in the
generality of parishes throughout the kingdom, and must be daily less
and less by the just severity of the laws, and the utter aversion of our
people from that idolatrous superstition.

If I might be so bold as to name those who have the honour to be of his
Lordship's party, I would venture to tell him, that pastors have much
more occasion to study controversies against the several classes of
freethinkers and dissenters; the former (I beg his Lordship's pardon for
saying so) being a little worse than papists, and both of them more
dangerous at present to our constitution both in church and state. Not
that I think Presbytery so corrupt a system of Christian religion as
Popery; I believe it is not above one-third as bad: but I think the
Presbyterians, and their clans of other fanatics of freethinkers and
atheists that dangle after them, are as well inclined to pull down the
present establishment of monarchy and religion, as any set of Papists in
Christendom, and therefore that our danger as things now stand, is
infinitely greater from our Protestant enemies; because they are much
more able to ruin us, and full as willing. There is no doubt, but
Presbytery, and a commonwealth, are less formidable evils than Popery,
slavery, and the Pretender; for if the fanatics were in power, I should
be in more apprehension of being starved than burned. But there are
probably in England forty dissenters of all kinds, including their
brethren the freethinkers, for one papist; and, allowing one papist to
be as terrible as three dissenters, it will appear by arithmetic, that
we are thirteen times and one-third more in danger of being ruined by
the latter than the former.

The other qualification necessary for all pastors, if they will not be
"blind, ignorant, greedy, drunken dogs," &c., is, "to know the depths of
Satan." This is harder than the former; that a poor gentleman ought not
to be parson, vicar, or curate of a parish, except he be cunninger than
the devil. I am afraid it will be difficult to remedy this defect for
one manifest reason, because whoever had only half the cunning of the
devil, would never take up with a vicarage of L10 a-year, "to live on at
his ease," as my Lord expresseth it; but seek out for some better
livelihood. His Lordship is of a nation very much distinguished for that
quality of cunning (though they have a great many better) and I think he
was never accused for wanting his share. However upon a trial of skill I
would venture to lay six to four on the devil's side, who must be
allowed to be at least the older practitioner. Telling truth shames him,
and resistance makes him fly: But to attempt outwitting him, is to fight
him at his own weapon, and consequently no cunning at all. Another thing
I would observe is, that a man may be "in the depths of Satan," without
knowing them all, and such a man may be so far in Satan's depths as to
be out of his own. One of the depths of Satan, is to counterfeit an
angel of light. Another, I believe, is, to stir up the people against
their governors, by false suggestions of danger. A third is to be a
prompter to false brethren, and to send wolves about in sheep's
clothing. Sometimes he sends Jesuits about England in the habit and cant
of fanatics, at other times he has fanatic missionaries in the habits of
----. I shall mention but one more of Satan's depths, for I confess I
know not the hundredth part of them; and that is, to employ his
emissaries in crying out against remote imaginary dangers, by which we
may be taken off from defending ourselves against those which are real
and just at our elbows.

But his Lordship draws towards a conclusion, and bids us "look about, to
consider the danger we are in, before it is too late;" for he assures
us, we are already "going into some of the worst parts of popery;"[55]
like the man who was so much in haste for his new coat, that he put it
on the wrong side out. "Auricular confession, priestly absolution, and
the sacrifice of the mass," have made great progress in England, and
nobody has observed it: several other popish points "are carried higher
with us than by the papists themselves."[56] And somebody, it seems,
"had the impudence to propose a union with the Gallican church."[57] I
have indeed heard that Mr. Lesley[58] published a discourse to that
purpose, which I have never seen; nor do I perceive the evil in
proposing an union between any two churches in Christendom. Without
doubt Mr. Lesley is most unhappily misled in his politics; but if he be
the author of the late tract against Popery[59], he has given the world
such a proof of his soundness in religion, as many a bishop ought to be
proud of. I never saw the gentleman in my life: I know he is the son of
a great and excellent prelate, who upon several accounts was one of the
most extraordinary men of his age. Mr. Lesley has written many useful
discourses upon several subjects, and hath so well deserved of the
Christian religion, and the Church of England in particular, that to
accuse him of "impudence for proposing an union" in two very different
faiths, is a style which I hope few will imitate. I detest Mr. Lesley's
political principles as much as his Lordship can do for his heart; but I
verily believe he acts from a mistaken conscience, and therefore I
distinguish between the principles and the person. However, it is some
mortification to me, when I see an avowed nonjuror contribute more to
the confounding of Popery, than could ever be done by a hundred thousand
such Introductions as this.

[Footnote 55: Page 70.]

[Footnote 56: Page 70.]

[Footnote 57: Swift here disowns a charge loudly urged by the Whigs of
the time against the high churchmen. There were, however, strong
symptoms of a nearer approach on their part to the church of Rome.
Hickes, the head of the Jacobite writers, had insinuated, that there was
a proper sacrifice in the Eucharist; Brett had published a Sermon on the
"Doctrine of Priestly Absolution as essential to Salvation;" Dodwell had
written against Lay-Baptism, and his doctrine at once excluded all the
dissenters (whose teachers are held as lay-men) from the pale of
Christianity; and, upon the whole, there was a general disposition
among the clergy to censure, if not the Reformation itself, at least the
mode in which it was carried on. [S.]]

[Footnote 58: Charles Lesley, or Leslie, the celebrated nonjuror. He
published a Jacobite paper, called the "Rehearsal," and was a strenuous
assertor of divine right; but he was also so steady a Protestant, that
he went to Bar-le-Duc to convert the Chevalier de St George from the
errors of Rome. [S.] See note on p. 63. [T. S.]]

[Footnote 59: "The Case stated between the Church of Rome and the Church
of England," 1713.]

His Lordship ends with discovering a small ray of comfort. "God be
thanked there are many among us that stand upon the watch-tower, and
that give faithful warning; that stand in the breach, and make
themselves a wall for their church and country; that cry to God day and
night, and lie in the dust mourning before him, to avert those judgments
that seem to hasten towards us. They search into the mystery of iniquity
that is working among us, and acquaint themselves with that mass of
corruption that is in popery."[60] He prays "that the number of these
may increase, and that he may be of that number, ready either to die in
peace, or to seal that doctrine he has been preaching above fifty years,
with his blood."[61] This being his last paragraph, I have made bold to
transcribe the most important parts of it. His design is to end after
the manner of orators, with leaving the strongest impression possible
upon the minds of his hearers. A great breach is made; "the mystery of
popish iniquity is working among us;" may God avert those "judgments
that are hastening towards us!" I am an old man, "a preacher above fifty
years," and I now expect and am ready to die a martyr for the doctrines
I have preached. What an amiable idea does he here leave upon our minds,
of Her Majesty and her government! He has been poring so long upon Fox's
Book of Martyrs, that he imagines himself living in the reign of Queen
Mary, and is resolved to set up for a knight-errant against Popery. Upon
the supposition of his being in earnest, (which I am sure he is not) it
would require but a very little more heat of imagination, to make a
history of such a knight's adventures. What would he say, to behold the
"fires kindled in Smithfield, and all over the town," on the 17th of
November; to behold the Pope borne in triumph on the shoulders of the
people, with a cardinal on the one side, and the Pretender on the other?
He would never believe it was Queen Elizabeth's day, but that of her
persecuting sister: In short, how easily might a windmill be taken for
the whore of Babylon, and a puppet-show for a popish procession?

[Footnote 60: Page 71]

[Footnote 61: Page 72]

But enthusiasm is none of his Lordship's faculty: I am inclined to
believe he might be melancholy enough when he writ this Introduction:
The despair at his age of seeing a faction restored, to which he hath
sacrificed so great a part of his life: The little success he can hope
for in case he should resume those High-Church Principles, in defence of
which he first employed his pen: No visible expectation of removing to
Farnham or Lambeth: And lastly, the misfortune of being hated by every
one, who either wears the habit, or values the profession of a
clergyman: No wonder such a spirit, in such a situation, is provoked
beyond the regards of truth, decency, religion, or self-conviction. To
do him justice, he seems to have nothing else left, but to cry out,
halters, gibbets, faggots, inquisition, Popery, slavery, and the
Pretender. But in the meantime, he little considers what a world of
mischief he does to his cause. It is very convenient, for the present
designs of that faction, to spread the opinion of our immediate danger
from Popery and the Pretender. His directors therefore ought, in my
humble opinion, to have employed his Lordship in publishing a book,
wherein he should have asserted, by the most solemn asseverations, that
all things were safe and well; for the world has contracted so strong a
habit of believing him backwards, that I am confident, nine parts in ten
of those who have read or heard of his Introduction, have slept in
greater security ever since. It is like the melancholy tone of a
watchman at midnight, who thumps with his pole, as if some thief were
breaking in, but you know by the noise, that the door is fast.

However, he "thanks God there are many among us who stand in the
breach:" I believe they may; 'tis a breach of their own making, and they
design to come forward, and storm and plunder, if they be not driven
back. "They make themselves a wall for their church and country." A
south wall, I suppose, for all the best fruit of the church and country
to be nailed on. Let us examine this metaphor: The wall of our church
and country is built of those who love the constitution in both: Our
domestic enemies undermine some parts of the wall, and place themselves
in the breach; and then they cry, "We are the wall!" We do not like such
patchwork, they build with untempered mortar; nor can they ever cement
with us, till they get better materials and better workmen: God keep us
from having our breaches made up with such rubbish! "They stand upon the
watch-tower;" they are indeed pragmatical enough to do so; but who
assigned them that post, to give us false intelligence, to alarm us with
false dangers, and send us to defend one gate, while their accomplices
are breaking in at another? "They cry to God, day and night to avert the
judgment of Popery which seems to hasten towards us." Then I affirm,
they are hypocrites by day, and filthy dreamers by night. When they cry
unto him, he will not hear them: For they cry against the plainest
dictates of their own conscience, reason, and belief.

But lastly, "They lie in the dust, mourning before him." Hang me if I
believe that, unless it be figuratively spoken. But suppose it to be
true; why do "they lie in the dust?" Because they love to raise it: For
what do "they mourn?" Why, for power, wealth, and places. There let the
enemies of the Queen, and monarchy, and the church, lie, and mourn, and
lick the dust, like serpents, till they are truly sensible of their
ingratitude, falsehood, disobedience, slander, blasphemy, sedition, and
every evil work!

I cannot find in my heart to conclude without offering his Lordship a
little humble advice upon some certain points.

First, I would advise him, if it be not too late in his life, to
endeavour a little at mending his style, which is mighty defective in
the circumstances of grammar, propriety, politeness, and smoothness;[62]
I fancied at first, it might be owing to the prevalence of his passion,
as people sputter out nonsense for haste when they are in a rage. And
indeed I believe this piece before me has received some additional
imperfections from that occasion. But whoever has heard his sermons, or
read his other tracts, will find him very unhappy in his choice and
disposition of his words, and, for want of variety, repeating them,
especially the particles, in a manner very grating to an English ear.
But I confine myself to this Introduction, as his last work, where
endeavouring at rhetorical flowers, he gives us only bunches of
thistles; of which I could present the reader with a plentiful crop; but
I refer him to every page and line of the pamphlet itself.

[Footnote 62: In Swift's notes on Burnet's "History of his Own Times,"
he points out many instances of the deficiency here stated. [S.]]

Secondly, I would most humbly advise his Lordship to examine a little
into the nature of truth, and sometimes to hear what she says. I shall
produce two instances among a hundred. When he asserts that we are "now
in more danger of Popery than toward the end of King Charles II.'s
reign," and gives the broadest hints, that the Queen, the ministry, the
parliament, and the clergy, are just going to introduce it; I desire to
know, whether he really thinks truth is of his side, or whether he be
not sure she is against him? If the latter, then truth and he will be
found in two different stories; and which are we to believe? Again, when
he gravely advises the clergy and laity of the Tory side, not to "light
the fires in Smithfield," and goes on in twenty places already quoted,
as if the bargain was made for Popery and slavery to enter: I ask again,
whether he has rightly considered the nature of truth? I desire to put a
parallel case. Suppose his Lordship should take it into his fancy to
write and publish a letter to any gentleman of no infamous character for
his religion or morals; and there advise him with great earnestness, not
to rob or fire churches, ravish his daughter, or murder his father; show
him the sin and the danger of these enormities, that if he flattered
himself, he could escape in disguise, or bribe his jury, he was
grievously mistaken: That he must in all probability forfeit his goods
and chattels, die an ignominious death, and be cursed by posterity;

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