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2 occurrences of "roots of mechanical collation"
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2 occurrences of "roots of mechanical collation"
[Clear Hits]


[1] THE Roman Catholick Bill, having some small Appearance of Severity, has made many Old Whigs to wish, That it had rather pass'd under some Tory Administration, than at a Time, when we see no Men in Power, but the undoubted Friends of Liberty and Moderation. But these are whimsical People, who don't think it sufficient to have their Friends in Power.

[2] THESE Gentlemen don't consider, that Things take their Qualities from those that do them. If an Enemy strikes, we know he intended Mischief; but if a Parent makes us feel his Blows, and breaks a Limb or two with the Weight of 'em, we know that he designed our Good, and so should rejoice under his Paternal Care and Tenderness.[1]

[3] THIS is the Light in which Dutiful Subjects, and True Members of a Party, should behold their Friends in Power.

[4] THE Roman Catholick Non-conformity may be justly said to be purely Religious, there being not an Instance, that I remember, since the Revolution, of any one who has changed his Religion, who has not immediately conformed to the Government. Nay, most of the late Converts have happened to give such Proof of their Affection to our Constitution, as to receive very distinguishing Marks of Royal Favour.

[5] NOW weak Minds may imagine, that therefore there is some Degree of Religious Persecution in this Bill; but with me it is sufficient to consider, that there are no Gentlemen in Power, but what are Friends to Religion, and Enemies to Persecution.

[6] HAD this Bill pass'd at any Time, when the chief Power was in one Head strong, Lawless[2] Minister, who thought himself superiour to all Rules; who had no Regard either how he divided his Friends, or increased his Enemies; that hated every thing that was Legal and Regular, and scarce delighted in Gain, except it was Plunder; had this Bill passed in such Times, there would have been some Reason to have disliked it: But as we know the Reverse of all this to be true at present, there is as much Reason for all good Subjects to be free from all Uneasiness under it.

[7] THE more obvious Reasons for this Bill seem to me to be as follow:


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I. TO curb and restrain the restless Endeavours of the Papists, to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom.

FOR John Plunket, whose whole Estate is taken from him, and who was a principal Agent in the late most horrid and dreadful Plot, appears, upon the strictest Examination, to be a Papist.

II. THE Papists being charged as Idolaters, such a Mark as this set upon them, must satisfy all good People, that the Ministry are no way inclined to Idolatry, which must be a great Benefit to the Kingdom.[3]

III. THAT the Papists may not lie under any worldly Temptation to continue in a Religion so destructive of their Souls.

THIS Reason, indeed, seems a little to contradict a late Favour granted to the Quakers, which is such an Encouragement to continue in their Delusion, that if they were to turn Christians, they would forfeit their Title to it.

IV. TO enable us to procure better Terms for the Foreign Protestants in Popish Dominions.

V. TO induce all Roman Catholick Princes to be steady and sincere in their Alliances to support the Protestant Succession in England.

VI. TO prevent any more Religious Wars; for the Papists being stript of their Money, will not be able to contribute any Thing towards them.

VII. THAT it may henceforward be a Rule, that all Plots be paid for by a Tax upon some Party, or Body of the People, that the Nation in general may be frighted at the Return of them.

[8] IT is something particular, that our Protestant Women are to clear themselves from a Share in this Catholick Bill, by taking all the Oaths that relate to the Government. The Clemency and Wisdom of the Legislature has taken such Care of our Female Children, that they shall not have these Oaths forc'd upon them, 'till they are arrived at the Maturity of Eighteen. Whether they are to be Confirmed first by the Bishop, or to stay for Confirmation 'till they have seasoned their Minds with these Oaths, is not mentioned in the Bill.

[9] I DON'T know of any Provision that is made for very Old or Infirm Women. It is a Convenience for such to live where the Parson is a Justice of the Peace, that when he brings the Sacrament to their Beds, he may tender the Oaths along with it.

[10] I HAVE heard some People very large in their Exclamations against Creeds and Forms of Faith, as too great Restraints upon the Minds of Protestants.

[11] BUT, perhaps, to be obliged to Swear, is not so great a Restraint, as to be obliged to Believe.

[12] I SUPPOSE these Oaths must be something more than barely Law-


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ful, and that the taking of them must be something like keeping the Commandments, or else it would hardly suit with the Temper of our Religion to set whole Families a Swearing all over the Kingdom.—I have heard of General Fasts to implore the Blessings of God upon a Kingdom; Whether this general Swearing be intended to avert any Judgments of Heaven, I can't presume to say.

[13] Dr. WAKE (now Archbishop of Canterbury) published a Practical Discourse concerning Swearing, in the Year 1696. P. 141. This learned Divine says, It were much to be wished, that the Necessities of Government would permit, that an Oath should never be imposed upon, nor required of, any, but upon some greater Exigence, to be sure, more seldom than now it is.

[14] THIS great Divine condemns the too much Swearing at that Time, though it is to be observed, that there was then no Oath of Abjuration, nor were any Persons oblig'd to take the others, except they were in some Post or Office.

[15] WERE his Grace to write upon the same Subject in some future Time, when Oaths shall be multiplied, he must either alter his Divinity, or carry his Charge much higher, and affirm, as he does in another Place, that because of Swearing, not only Mens Souls suffer, but our very Land itself mourneth.

THIS Learned Divine goes on thus:

[16] AND when it is required, such Care should be taken in the administring of it, as to raise in Mens Minds a serious Consideration of what they are about, &c. I don't know of any Provision of this kind in the Act, or that there is any Methods prescribed in it to raise Mens Minds to a Religious Reverence of an Oath: Nor have I heard that the Bishops, in their several Diocesses, are taking Pains to instruct their Young and Antient Females, in the Sacred Solemn Nature of an Oath, or to prevent their taking these in Rashness.

[17] THE Penalty that attends Recusancy is no great Motive to Consideration and Seriousness; and if Dr. Hoadly, the late Bishop of Bangor, will shew, how People who Swear to save their Estates, can be said to swear in Sincerity, He will do an acceptable Piece of Service to the Female World.

[18] HIS Grace of Canterbury tells us, p. 67. As for those Oaths which are impos'd by the Publick Authority, the Subject's Rule must be, to yield to them, in all Honest and Lawful Matters, and to take such as he can, with a good Conscience, take.

[19] THIS shews us the Error of some People, who disregard what it is to which they Swear, and throw all upon the Legislature, and think that they may swear to any thing that is required by Authority; or, as a Lady said, in great Wrath,[4] and great Principle, That she would Swear any thing, rather than any Government should get Six pence by her.—But if Oaths, as this great Divine observes, tho' impos'd by Authority, are only to be taken, because they contain Lawful and Honest Matters, and such as are consistent with a good Conscience, as they are at present; How is it, that this Doctrine is not press'd and recomended at this Juncture?

[20] THE Arch-Bishop, speaking of Assertory Oaths, saith, p. 15. He


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forswears himself, who swears to the Truth of any Fact, which he either certainly knows to be false, or does not know to be true.—It matters not whether a Man certainly knows what he swears to be false, it is enough that he does not know it to be true. Nay, should it happen to be true, yet if he thought otherwise, and yet swore to the Truth of it, he forswore himself.

[21] THIS Learned Arch-Bishop farther says, “That he who would swear with a good Conscience, must duly consider what he is about to say, and proceed according to the strictest Measures of Truth and Fidelity; and that he forswears himself, if he swears to a Matter as certain, of which he has only a probable Assurance.” Now, if some certain Oaths were to be try'd by this Standard, altho' they might be demonstrable Truths, yet this may not be so clear to all Old Women and Girls, as to need no Explication; and therefore whoever shall swear to those Truths, without as full Assurance of their being so, as I have, must, according to this Doctrine, forswear themselves.

[22] HOW necessary is it therefore, that all who have any Land in the Kingdom, should now be inform'd of the Nature of Certainty and Probability; and the Degrees of Knowledge which every one must have of those Matters to which he Swears?

[23] WERE the Laity, Male and Female, Young and Old, to swear, That Episcopacy is of Divine Right, and that the Presbyters have no Authority to Ordain in the Church, I question not but Nineteen in Twenty of a certain Order, would warn the People committed to their Care, of the Danger of such Oaths, and tell their tender Females Ten thousand Horrors of Perjury.

[24] The little Ebony Doctor [5] would have his Conscience awaken'd upon such an Occasion, and exert his Casuistry[6] for the good of Souls. He would plainly prove, That such Oaths would curse the Island, and bring us into the Condition of Sodom and Gomorrha.

[25] IT is not long since I saw the Hands of many of our Reverend Bishops subscrib'd to an Abhorrence of the late Unnatural Rebellion; and that Abhorrence was publish'd thro' the Kingdom.


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[26] COULD I see as many Reverend Hands to this Case of Conscience, to instruct the Young and Old that are to swear all over the Kingdom, demonstrating, that it is as safe to abjure the Pretender, as to trust in God, their very Enemies would be forced to own, That they fear'd God, as much as they honour'd the King.

[27] BUT if all Orders of People are to be left to themselves, and neither inform'd how to swear with full Assurance of the Truth of what they are to affirm, nor exhorted to refuse, till they can swear with such Safety, I shall only recommend to that Reverend Bench these Words of Scripture:—Son of Man! I have made thee a Watchman unto the House of Israel; therefore hear the Word at my Mouth, and give them Warning from me; When I say unto the Wicked, Thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not Warning, nor speakest to warn the Wicked from his wicked Way, to save his Life; the same wicked Man shall die in his Iniquity; but his Blood will I require at thy Hand!

[28] I HOPE, Sir, that you will think this as fit your Paper as my former Letters, and believe me to be

Your most Sincere Admirer,
A. B.