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a wise man prefer the knowledge of a troublelome and afflicting cruth, before a pleasant error that would chees his foul with joy and comfort, and be attended with no ill consequences ? Surely no man of common sense would thank him, who had put in his power to execute the fudden suggestions of a fit of paffion or madness; or ima. give himself obliged to a perlon, who by forwardly informing him of ill news, had caused his foul to antici pate that sorrow which she would have acver felt, fo long as the ungrateful truth lay concealed.

Let us then respect the happiness of our species, and in this light examine the proceedings of the Free-think. ers From what giants and monsters would thcfe-knighterrants undertake to free the world? From the ties that religion imposeth 00 our minds, from the expectation of a future judgment, and from the terrors of a troubled copscience, not by reforming mens lives, but by giving encouragement to their vices. What ase those impor tant truths of which they would convince maokind? That there is no such thing as a wile and just providence; That the mind of man is corporcal : That religion is a Itate-trick, contrived to make mép honest and virtuous, and to procure a fubfistence exhorting them to be lost others for teaching and and immortality brought to light by the gospel, are fables and impostures. From believing that we are made in the image of God, they would degrade us to 20. opinion that we are on a level with the beasts that perish. What pleasure, or what advantage do these notions bring to mankind? Is it of any use to the public, that good men should lose the comfortable prospect of a reward to their virtue, or the wicked: be encouraged to perlift in their impiety, from an aflurance that they shall not be punished for it hereafter.

Allowing, therefore, thefe men to be patrons of liber ty and truth, yet it is of such truths and that sort of lit berty which makes them jultly be looked upon as ene mies to the peace and happinels of the world. But, upon a thorough and impartial view, it will be found, that their endeavours, instead of advanciog the cause of libery and truth, tend only to introduce Slavery and .ers rot among men. Therc are two parts in our nature ;

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the baser, which consists of our senses and passions; and the more noble and rational, which is properly the human part, the other being common to us with brutes. The inferior part is generally much stronger, and has always the start of reason; 'which, if in the perpetual struggle between them, it were not aided from heaven by religion, would almost universally be vanquished, and man become a slave to his passions ; which, as it is the molt grievous and shameful Havery, so it is the genuine result of that liberty which is proposed by overturning religion. Nor is the other part of their design better executed. Look into their pretended truths : Are they not so many wretched abfurdities, maintained in oppofi. tion to the light of nature and divine revelation, by ny innuendoes and cold jests, by such pitiful sophilms, and fuck confused and indigested notions, that one would vehemently fufpect those men usurped the name of Freea tbinkers with the same view that hypocrites do that of godliness, that it may ferve for a cloke to cover the contrary defect?

I shall close this discourse with a parallel reflection on these three {pecies, who feem to be allied, by a certain agreement, in mediocrity of understanding. A critic is entirely given up to the pursuit of learning: when he bas, got it, is his judgment clearer, his imagination livelier, or his manners more polite than those of other men ? Is it observed, that a miser, when he has acquired his superfluous testate, eats, drinks, or feeps with more satisfaction, that he has a chearfuller mind, or relishes any of the enjoyments of life better than his neighbours ? The Free.thinkers plead hard for a licence to think freely. They have it: But what use: do they make of it? Are they eminent for any sublime discoveries in any of the arts and sciences ? Have they been authors of any inventions that conduce to the well-being of mankind ? Do their writings fhew a greater depth of design, à clearer method, or more jult and correct reasoning than those of other men ? : There is a great resemblance in their genius ; but the critic and miser are only ridiculous and contemptible creatures, while the Free thinker is also a pernicious one.



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N° 84.

Wednesday, June 17.

S. as cal


Non misura cutem nisi plena cruoris hirudo.

Hor. Ars Poet, v. ult.

ed be ne ng er

Sticking like leeches till they burst with blood.


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To the honoured Ne 8 IOR IRONSIDE, Esq;

Middle-Temple, June 12.
Resuming you may sometimes condescend to take

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fure you; which I proceed to without farther apology, as well knowing the best compliment to a man of bufi. ness is to come to the point,

There is a filly habit among many of our minor orators, who display their eloquence in the several coffeehovies of this fair city, to the no small annoyance of considerable numbers of her Majesty's spruce and loving subjects; and that is, a humour they have got of twifting off your buttons. These ingenious geotlemen are not able to advance three words, till they have got falt hold of one of your buttons ; but as soon as they have procured such an excellent handle for discourse, they will indeed proceed with great elocution. I know not how well fome may have escaped ; but for my part, I have otten met with them to my coft; having, i betieve, within these three years lalt palt, been argued out of feveral dozens, insomuch that I have for some time ordered my tailor to bring me home wiih every fuit a dozen at lealt of spare ones, to supply the place of such as from time to time are detached as ao help to diicourse, by the vehement gentlemen before meution. ed. This way of holding a man in discourte, is much practised in the coffee houses within the city ; and does not indeed fo much prevail at the politer end of the towo. It is likewise more frequently made uie of a• mong the small politicians, than any other body of mea. Vol. II.


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I am therefore something cautious of entering into a controversy with this species of statesmen, especially the younger fry: for if you offer in the lealt to dissent from any thing that one of these advances, he immediately steps up to you, takes hold of one of

your butions, and indeed will soon convince you of the ftrength of his argumentation. I remember, upon the news of Dunkirk being delivered into our hands, a brisk little fellow, a politician, and an able engineer, had go: into the middle of Batson's coffee-house, and was fortifying Graveling, for the service of the Most ChriStian King, with all

imaginable expedition. The work was carried on with such fuccels, that in less iban a quarter of an hour's time he had made it almost imprego nable ; and, in the opinion of several worthy ciuzeas who had gathered round him, full as strong, both by sea and land, as Dunkirk ever could pretend to be. I happened, however, unadvisedly to attack some of his outworks ; upon which, to thew his


skill like wise in the offensive part, he immediately made an alsault upon one of my buttons, and carried it in less than two minutes, notwithstandiog I made as handsome a defence as was possible. He had likewise invested a second, and would .certainly have been malter of that 100 in a very little time, had he not been diverted from this enterprise by the arrival of a courier, who brought advice, that his presence was absolutely necessary in the disposal of a beaver ; upon which he raised the liege, and indeed retired with some precipitation. In the coffee-houses here about the Temple, you may harangue even.among our dablers in politics for about two but. tons a day, and many times for less.

I had yesterday the good fortune to receive very considerable additions to my knowledge in state-affairs; and I find this morning, that it has not stood me in above a button. Io most of the eminent coffee houses at the other end of the town, for example, to go no farther than Will's in Covene garden, the so refined, that you may hear and be heard, and not be a button the worle for it, Besides the gentlemen before mentioned, there are o thers who are no less active in their harangues, but with gentle services rather than robberies. These while they



are improving your understanding, are at the same time setting off your person; they will new plait and adjult your neck cloth.

But thoagh I can bear with this kind of orator, who is so humble as to aim at the good will of his hearer by being his valet de chambre, 1 must rebel against another fort of them. There are some, Sir, that do not ilick to take a man by the collar when they have a mind to perfuade him. It is your business, 1 humbly prefume, Mr Ironside, to interpose, that a mao is not brought over to his opponent by force of arms. li were requisite, therefore, that you lhould name a certain interval, which ought to be preserved between the speaker and him to whom he speaks. : For, fure, no man has a right, because I am not of his opinion, to take any of


cloaths from me, or dress me according to his own liking. I affure you, the most becoming thing to me in the world, is, in a campaign periwig to wear one fide before, and the other cast apon the collateral shoulder. But there is a friend of mine, who dever talks to me, but he throws that which i wear forward upon my shoulder ; 1o thật io reltoring it to its place, I lose two or three hairs our of the lock upon my buttons ; though ! neyer

touched him in my whole life, and have been acquainted with him this ten years. I have seen my eager friend in dans ger Sometimes of a quarrel by this ill custom ; for there are more young gentlemen who can feel than can anderstand. It would be therefore a good office to my good friend, if you advised him not to collar any man, bat one who knows what he means; and give it him as a standing precaution in conversation, that none but a very good friend will give him the liberty of being seen, feli, heard, and underltood, all at once. I am,


Tour molt humble fervant,


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P.s. I have a filter who faves herself from being kandled by one of these manual rhetoricians, by giving

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