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1 You may leap thefe Ditches too with-
c out much Difficulty,, but you won't
4 fo eafily get over the Laws againft
4 Trefpals, that fortify thbfe Ditches
4 to better Purpofe than any Quickfet.
Be advifed by me. Mount your
4 Horfes again, and purfue the King's
4 High-way, like honeft Men, who
4 dare keep the Caufeway of the Crown.

* There is no Slavery in fo doing.
4 The King himfelf, God blefs' his
4 Majefly, mufl be fatisfied with it,
4 when he travels. Here he ftop'd,
14 ?jid ftrdden Shame feized the whole

4 Company


Company. They fneaked to their
' Horfes, and galloped forward, as faft
* as they could, to make amends for
c the Time they had loft.

So ended this Conteft, in which, for
once, fober Senfe and Reafon got the
better of that fpecious kind of Mad-
nefs, which, under the Pretence of Li-
berty, would turn us wild into the
Fields, a kind of Beaft more Savage
than any other, as not fparing its own
Kind, and- whilft it is miiled by a falfe
Notion of Nature, committing Things-
that Nature abhors.



The Sixth.

Sciagenes and Sefas.

CCIAGENES. Say what you
will, and magnify the Good that
is done by the Cbriftian Religion, at
what Rate you pleafe j I fay, it doth
more Harm than Good in the World.
There are two Things in which a Man
may be rendered better or worfe, by
the Doctrines he hears, and the Princi-
ples he embraces ; to wit, his Mind
and his Actions. Now in both, your
Religion hath greatly injured us. As to
our Minds, did they ever fhew fuch
Extravagance under the Influence of
any Syftem of Doctrines that has ob-
tained in the World, as under the Chri.


( 7 )

flian ? To illuftrate this by a Recital of
all the ftrange and fenfelefs Opinions
that your feveral Sects have contended
for, would be a very odious and tedious
Undertaking. As to our Actions,
which it {hould be the Bufinefs of Re-
ligion to regulate, how miferably they
have been perverted by the Chriitian
Religion, any one may perceive, who
reads the Hiftory of the Chriftians.
The Author of your Religion has told
us, that we are to know a Tree by its
Fruit; by this Rule, his muff have been
a very corrupt Tree, for its Fruits have
always been very unwholefome, as well
as diftafteful, ever fmce the firft plant-
ing. Chriftianity has affected the Ac-
tions of its Profeffors in two different
Ways. It has furnhlied fome with an
hypocritical Covering for fuch Enor-
mities as cannot bear the publick In-
fpection, it has tempted them to put
on the Appearance of Virtue, and
make that ferve inftead of the Thing;
whilfl it hath fupplicd others with Pre-

tences, for openly committing the moft
horrid Crimes. Perfecution, Rebellion,
Tyranny, and Bloodfhed, hang in Cluf-
ters, on the Gofpel Vine, and weigh
it down, in fpight of the Support afford-
ed it by Prieftcraft, and the Power of
the Church.

S E LA S. You judge moft unfairly,
S'tiflgentS) in afcribing thofe ill Effects,
to the Chriftian Religion, which are
diredlly contrary to its Doctrines, its
Precepts, and the Examples it recom-
mends to our Imitation. The abfurd
Opinions, that fome, who called them-
felves Chriftians, have broached and
abetted, were the Produce of their own
extravagant Imaginations. Our Saviour
fcwed Wheat, but the Folly and wild
Enthufiafm of Mankind, have fown
Tares among it. Nor, can wicked
Actions be attributed, with any Juftice,
to Principles, altogether rational and
virtuous, altho' they may be committed,
by the ProfefTors of thofe Principles.
You are a Lawyer j muft we burn our



( 72 )

Statutes, and the whole Corpus Jurum,
becaufe you fecretly take Fees on one
Side of a Caufe, and openly plead on
the other ? Muft Phyfick and Surgery
be prohibited, becaufe an ignorant Quack
fhall miftake, and give Hemlock for a
Cordial, or, becaufe a murdering Phy-
fician {hall take a Fee, from a young
libertine Heir, to fend his fickly Father
out of the World ? Chrift planted a
Vine, and its Fruits are Meeknefs, and
Charity, and Obedience, to the higher
Powers, and Self-denial ; which, as they
are Virtues, much againft the Grain of
the World, we may be fure they muft
have weighed down the Chriftian Re-
ligion, with that Load of Odium that
attends them, had it not been fupported
by the Vine-flock of God's continual
Grace. Pride indeed, and Avarice,
fpring up near the Root of the Vine,
and twifting themfelves among its Bran-
ches, mix their pale and baneful Berries,
with its' beautiful and wholefome Clut-


( 73 )

THE greater Part by far, both of
the Knowledge and Virtue that is in'
the World, fprings from the Chriftian
Religion; tho' idle Pretenders to Know-
ledge, have taken Occafion from thence,
to pefter the World, with a thoufand
vain Speculations, and pernicious Re-
finements ; and, altho* wicked and felf-
interefted Men have impudently pre-
tended to draw the Motives of their
unrighteous Practices, from a Delire
to promote its Welfare. If indeed
Mankind had never reafoned abfurdly,
nor acted wickedly, before they em-
braced the Chriftian Religion, we might,
with the greater {hew of Truth, af-
cribe the Folly and Vice, too often to
be met with among Chriftians, to our
Religion, rather than to the Infirmity^
and Degeneracy of our Nature. But,
as it is quite otherwife, and as there;
has really been more Knowledge, and
ftridler Virtue among the Wormippers
of Chrift JefiiSy than among thofe who
were ignorant of Chriflianily, Expe-
H rience

( 74 )

rience is againft you, I will tell thec
a Tale-, if thou wilt liften it, O

1 IN the old Egyptian Chronicles,
c we are told, that the Sun, once upon

* a Time, being highly provoked at the

* Wickednefs of Mankind, which he
was daily obliged, not only to behold,
' but to lend his Light to, refolved ne-

* ver more to offend the Purity of his
Eye, nor pollute the Luftre of his
1 Rays, with the Corruptions of the hu-
c man Race. Full of Indignation he
' turned his foaming Steeds, and drove
c the bright Chariot of the Day fo far
' into the Eaflern Sky, that it appear-

* ed like a Star of the third Magnitude.
e From thence, with a certain Penury

* of Light, he twinkled faintly on this
c ungrateful World, that had fo much

* abufed his Bounty. However, not
c intending to leave himfelf intirely
c without a Witnefs, nor to plunge the
c World in utter Darknefs, he ordered
c his Sifter, the Moon, with her Train


( 75 )

of Plants, to ftay behind, partly to
afford Mankind a fmall Portion of
that derivative Light which they en-
joyed ; and partly to obferve, in their
Periods round this World, the Beha-
viour of Mankind during his Abfence.
Mortals, inilead of lamenting his De-
parture, hailed the Darknefs, and
rejoiced in that Secrecy which it af-
forded their Crimes ; the Beafts of
Prey rumed from their Dens, and
exercifed their Fury, without Reftraint
or Fear : Their favage Nature grew
ten-fold more outrageous, by the
boundlefs and uninterrupted Licence
the continual Night afforded them :
The Fruits of the Earth, with all the
Variety of fweet-fmelling Herb, or
beautiful Flower, faded away, and
ilirunk into their primitive Seeds,
whilft nothing but the baneful Yew,
and the cold Hemlock, with other
poifonous Weeds, dverfpread the damp
and dreary Soil. As thefe, with now
and then a Dragon-, or a Tyger, when
H 2 < they

(76 )

< they could kill jthem, were the only
' Food of Mankind, they filled them
e with various Diflempers, and (hortned
their fearful and miferable Days.
e From thence too, as well as from the
Coldnefs and Inclemency of the Air,
together with the continual Darknefs,
the Heart of Man grew numb and
' infenfible, grew fierce and boiflerous,
' grew gloomy and fullen. . Charity
' grew Cold, and hardened to an Icicle.
' Humanity, in paffing from Man to

< Man, was frozen by the Bleaknefs
( of the Air j and being fhivered to
c Pieces, was blown away by the Winds
in Snow. Fraud and Theft, and Ra-
pine, fkreened by the black Wing of
* Darknefs, with lawlefs and ungo-
vernable Impunity, blended right and

< wrong, and confounded Property.
Pride and Anger, Envy and Malice,
{talked Abroad in the thick Cloud of
Night, and made fuch hideous Ha-
' vock, that the Moon is faid, to have
' fickened at the Sight, and fallen into


(77 )

thofe fainting Fits that have eve*
fince, at certain Seafons, oppreiTed
her, and overcome her Light. Every
one kindled up a Fire of his own, and
called it his Sun j while thofe who
happened to live near each other,
made greater Fires by their common
Labour, on every high Hill, which
they alfo called their publick Sun?,
comforting themfelves with thofe, and
forgetting the true Sun ; by which, at
the fame Time that they defpifed its
Abfence, they acknowledged the Ne-
ceffity of its Influence. At length,
the Fuel began to fail, and the Fires
to go out. The Wicked lived and died
in Works of Darknefs, in Fury, and
Violence, and Terror. The virtuous
few that flill remained, wandered up
and down, a Prey to all they met,
and fought in vain for Light. The
Moon pitying their undeferved Suf-
ferings, and fearing the total Extinc-
tion of human Nature, fent a Mef-
fage, by a Comet, which approached
H 3 'the

the mod diftant Part of her Orbit,

* acquainting her Brother with the State
e of human Affairs, and befeeching him
c to return, if not to fave a Race un-
grateful to him, yet at leaft for the
' Prefervation of thofe who loved the
1 Light, and lived a Life becoming it.

The Sun, fays the Chronicle, moved

with Companion, and hoping that

' the Miferies Man had fuffered by the

' Abfence of his Rays, would have

c fubdued his inordinate Paffions, and

* drfpofed him to a more decent Con-
' duct, fet out again for this World j
< and, as he drew nearer, the Heavens,
4 to the Eaflward (hone with glorious
' Light, and glowed with unufual Heat.

* Left lie mould furprize and dazzle the
World by a fudden and unexpected
c Arrival, he fent the Morning Star
before him, as his Harbinger, to pre-

* pare his Way ; which the Eaftern
' Aftronomers no fooner obferved, but
they publiihed the glad Tidings, to
the great Comfort of the Good, and

1 the

(79 )

e the no fmall Diftnay of the Evil.
' However, notwithstanding this Pre-
' paration, there were but few, even
' of thofe who wiflied for his Return,

* who could bear the Brightnefs of the

* Day-fpring when it vifited them ; io
1 tender had the long continued Dark-
{ nefs rendered their Eyes. It was
' fome Time before they could inure
.' themfelves to the ftrong Beams of
1 Light that {hone io powerfully on
' them. There were Numbers whom
' the Length of Night had entirely
' blinded, who comprehended not the
c Light, but attributed their {tumbling
' and flraying to a Continuation of
' Darknefs, when it was really owing
to a Defeft in their own Opticks. All

* Nature welcomed the Return of the

* Sun with a joyful Salutation, except

* the Owls, and Beads, and Men of
1 Prey, who had tyrannized in the
1 Dark. The Lyons, the Tygers, the

< Bears, and the Wolves, betook

< themfelves to their dark Caves and

H 4 { gloomy


' gloomy Den?, becaufe their Deeds

' were evil. The more fubtile Serpent

* put on a mining Garment, which it

* pretended to have borrowed from the

* new Beams of the Morning, and

* practifed its Frauds in Day-lighr.
' The more impudent Vulture and
' Hawk, {laid, and outfaced the Sun,

* directing themfelves by its Light in
' the bloody Deeds they committed*
' Among Men, fome roufed by its Ar-

* rival, rejoiced, and went forth to

* their honeft Labours in the Vineyard,
' or among their Folds, whilft others
4 took the Advantage of it, to opprefs
' their Neighbours with open Robberies
' and cruel Wars ; and when it ferved

* them ill for fuch Purpofes, they re-
f viled it, and wiflied that thofe Clouds

* which it had raifed, might {hut out
c its Light from the World, or intire-

* ly extinguish it. At length, there
< arofe a Sstft of Philofophers, falfely

* fo called, who endeavoured to prove,


( 8. )

that the Sun was of bad Confequencc
to the Happincfs of the World.
' THEY bade their Difciples obferve
how its Heat fublimed the Poifon of
the baneful Weed, giving Growth to
the horrid Bramble, and the prickly
Thorn j but took no Notice of its
calling forth the ufeful Tree, with
the wholefome Herb, and cloathing
Nature in its fplendid Attire of Flowers,
perfumed with ten Thoufand O-
tlours. They accufed it with caufing
Calentures and Fevers, ungratefully
forgetting, that it had removed thofe
numberlefs Diforders that proceeded
from the immoderate Cold, and the
damp Vapours. They made it the
Caufe of Putrefaction and Stench in
Pools and Fens, without confidering
that its. genial 'Heat ferments the
warm Spirits and volatile Odours of
the Spices. They were too (hort
fighted, to fee the remote Benefit of
thofe feeming or immediate Inconve-
nkncies that attended the Influence of

< the

( 82 )

the Sun. They could not dive fo far
into Nature, as to find out the fecret
Properties of Things, and therefore
did not confider, that what is hurtful
in one Cafe, is moft ufeful in another,
for which it is peculiarly defigned.
They taught, that it was the Source
of violent Paffions , and Madnefs,
without remembring that, whilft it
gently foftened and warmed the ma-
terial World, it infufed a fympathe-
tick Tendernefs and Mildnefs into the
Intellectual. They apprehended it
would fet the World on Fire, becaufe
it had thawed its Ice. They con-
templated the Comets with more Plea-
fure, and commended them as brighter
Luminaries than the Sun. They ad-
mired the Meteors, as infinitely more
glorious than the Source of Day.
They faid, the Sun was the Prifon of
impious Souls, and that its Light was
elaborated by Fiends, afcribing all
the Wonders it performs in this lower
World, to the Devils that work in its

* fiery

fiery Furnace : Nay, they curfed the
Moon and the Planets, for no other
Reafon, but becaufe they borrowed
their Light from the Sun. Some of
them lighted up Candles at Noon-
day, and pretending to do their evil
Deeds by thofe, afcribed all the Light
about them, each to his own glimmer-
ing Taper. Others maintained, that
the Eye itfelf was a luminous Body,
endued with innate Light j by the E-
manation? of which, they faid, Vi-
fion was performed j and, that it was
not only fuperfluous, but dangerous
to let in the adventitious Light of the
Sun, left it fhould extinguish the na-
tural Rays of the Eye. All this, and
a great deal more they urged, becaufe,
the Day Light was an Enemy to their
Works of Darknefs. The All- feeing
Sun was not ignorant of their Hypo-
crify, their Ingratitude and Malice ;
but he neither approached to fet them
on Fire, nor retired again to leave them

in Darknefsj he only faid,


" MY Sifter moves and mines on,
without being difturbed or detained
" by the ill Humour of thofe Curs,
" who bark at her from the Earth.
" In like Manner, I fhall pour out my
" Heat and Light promifcuouily on
<c all, on the Evil as well as the Good,
" that whilft it directs and comforts
" thefe, it may be a continual Witnefs
" againfl thofe. My Influence is good
" in itfelf, and its Luftre glorious, as
" well when it mines on a Dunghil,
" as when it paints the radiant Bow
" in the Clouds. I decree, that my
" Rays fhall be to every Man, as he
<c is difpofed to receive them ; Good to
tc the Good, according to his Nature;
<{ and Evil to the Evil, according to his.
" Whilft they (hall enable fame to fee,
" they mail deprive others of their
" Sight, who have a previous Difpo-
" fition to Blindnefs. Whilft they di-
" reel: and enlighten the Upright, in
his honeft Calling, and are a Blefiing
** to him, they mall detect and accufe

" the

<c the Fraudulent, and bring a Curfe
" on his Ways. They are calculated
<{ for Good, and by Nature fitted for
" it only ; yet they may be turned a-
c< fide from the direct Purfuit of that
c< End, and made to co-operate with
" evil Caufes in perpretating Works of
" Darknefs. They are by Nature the
" Vehicles of Truth, although Daemons
" may array themfelves in Robes of
" Light, in order to deceive.


The Seventh.

NO City was more commodioufly
fituated, governed by wifer Laws,
nor inhabited by a more virtuous and
courageous People than Hierapolis.
The Confequences of this were, that,
in the Space of about three hundred



Years, it became Miflrefs of many
Nations, and gained Ground a-pace ,
in all the other Parts of the known
World. It did not long enjoy this
Power, until it began to abufe it.
Luxury, that fubdues even Conquerors,
fupported by Wealth and Eafe-, fpread
a-pace among the Hierapolitans t banim-
ed the original Simplicity of their Man-
ners, and fubftituted Foppery and Va-
nity in the Place of it. This Corrup-
tion of Manners was foon followed by
an Affectation of ufelefs Niceties and
Novelties in Knowledge, and by falfe
Politicks. Hence it came to pafs, that,
in a little Time, the Laws, although
as intelligible as common Senfe itfelf,
and as determinate as the utmoft Cau-
tion could make them, began to be va-
rioufly interpreted ; infomuch that they
were forced, by an Infinity of Glofles,
to fpeak the Language of Artifice and
Faction ; nay , and of Contradiction
too, oftener than that of Truth and
Juflice. This clogged the Wheels of
3 the

( 8 7 )

the Government, and, what was worfe,
turned them afide from the right Way.
Different Parties founded themfelves on
different Interpretations. Folly , En-
thuliafm, and Fraud had each its own
Interpreters, to extra<5l fuch Opinions
from the Laws, while they were forced
to pafs through bad Heads, and worfe
Hearts, as threw all into Confufion,
and flopped the Progrefs of their Arms
abroad, and {hed their Blood within the
Walls, in mutual Slaughter and Der

AT length one Party, growing more
powerful than the reft, engroffed the
Revenues of the City, new-modelled
the Body of the Laws, adding, or tak-
ing away what they thought proper,
impoflng their own Senfe of what re-
mained, and prohibiting, under fevere
Penalties, the popular Perufal of the
Laws themfelves. This Party chofe an
Head, whom they called Dictator,
and on him conferred an unlimited
Power, to impofe fuch Interpretations


( 88 )

of the Laws < as he pleafed on the Hie-
ropolitans, and to govern them at his
own Difcretion.

THIS Tyrant, thus inverted with
the fupreme Authority, changed the
Name of the City, and called it after
his own, Dictator ia: He alfo contriv-
ed a very horrible kind of Dungeon,
to which he confined all fuch Perfons
as prefumed either to read the ancient
Laws, or difpute his abfolute Authority
in any Cafe. There was a kind of Prefs
in this Dungeon, in which the Party
offending being placed, his Fortune,
his Confcience, or his Life, were fqueez-
ed out of him. He ere<fted publick
Stews, from whence he drew confide-
rable Revenues. To conclude, he made
rniferable Slaves of the poor Difttfto-
rians, who were fo enervated by Luxu-
ry and Vice of every kind, and fo en-
tirely broken by the Power of this Ty-
rant, that they had no Strength nor
Inclination to refift him.

3 AT

(89 )

AT length his Folly, his Infolence,
and his Exactions, becoming intolerable,
the few, who remained ftill uncor-
rupted and uninilaved, agreed to quit
the City, and commit themfelves to
the Sea, in quell of fome new Country,
where they might fettle and govern
themfelves by the ancient Hieropolitan
Laws, purged from all Abufes, and
laid open to every Member of the
Community. There were no more of
thefe found, than three or four Ships
were fufficient to receive. Thefe Vef-
fels had fcarcely provided themfelves
with Neceflaries, and put from Shore,
when the Alarm of their Departure
was given j upon which the Tyrant
ordered out to the Purfuit, as many
Dictator i an Gallies as could be got
ready. But a Storm arifing, and they
being ill provided, as putting out in
hafte y and little acquainted with the
Service, were all loft but a few;,
which, being for feveral Days toffed
about by the Storm, happened to meet,
I and

( 9 )

and come to an Engagement with the
Adventurers, who eafily defeated them,
tor they had none but Diftatorian Slaves
on board. The Adventurers, rejoicing
in this Victory, as an happy Prefage
of their future Fortunes, purfued their
Courfe, as well as the Storm, which
was now lels violent, would permit.
Their Captains knew well how to
govern, and their Pilots to fteer. Their
Sailors plied upon Deck with Diligence,
and were eager to affift and relieve each
other. However, as there was not a
fufficient Number of experienced Sea-
men to man all the Veffels, fome of
them were wrought by Paffengers and
Sailors in Conjunction, which occafion-
ed great Difordersj for the Paflengers,
not being acquainted with the Buftnefs,
and yet very defirous to labour for the
common Safety, did but embarrafs one
another, and hinder the Work they
endeavoured to advance. Some, who
thought they could never do too much,
pulled the Ropes with fuch- Violence,


( 9' )

that they frequently broke them. Others,
by tugging contrary Ways, deftroyed
the Effects of each other's Strength.
The Decks were fo crouded by People,
who knew only how to make Confu-
fion, that the Sailors had not Room to
ftir; and there was fuch a loud and di-
ffracted Clamour of fome roaring one
thing, and fome another, that neither
the Captain nor the Pilot could be
heard. Whenever the Ship heeled, they
cried out, We are all loft ! And tumbled
over one another in Heaps, fome being
forely bruifed, and others falling over-
board into the Sea.

B y thefe Means, and the Darknefs
of the Nights, the Ships loft Sight of
one another, and fell off to different
Courfes. The largeft of them, which
was alfo the beft manned, made towards
a certain Ifland, which was at a fufli-
cient Diftance from the Port of D/-
tfatoria; and yet fo near, that it might
be reached, without expofing the Vef-

I 2 fcl

(92 )

fel to the many Dangers incident to too
long a Voyage.

THERE was a Pafienger on board
this Veflel, who by the Time it had
been a Week at Sea, had gained a
fmattering of the Sailors Art, and, being
very whimfical and overbearing, thought
himfelf capable of giving Law to the
Matter, and all the Crew. He pretend-
ed great Diflike to the Ship, and the
Government of it, and, praclifing fe-
cretly with the fimpler Sort, in which
he was affifted by certain Diffatorians,
who, making a Shew of Abhorrence to
the Tyrant, came on board purely to
raifeDifturbances; he gained over fome
to his Party, and made them ferious
Converts to his feigned Difcontents.
Thefe he affembled one Day privately
in the Hold, aud harangued them in
the following Manner :

* I CANNOT but lament, my Fellow-
1 Sailors, that, after all our Endeavours
to fly from the Wickednefs of Ditta-
1 fon'a, and the divine Judgments due


( 93 }

to it, we are ftill deeply infected
with the nrft, and confequently have

* but too much Reafon to dread the
latter. In the firft Place, we left a
Tyranny in order to put ourfelves
under the kinder Influence of a free
1 Government. But what have we
4 gained by our Attempt ? Are we not

* ftill under the Government of one ?

* What Security can we have, that he
will not tyrannize like him ofX)J8a-

* toria? Nay, I can aflure you, his
' Principles are perfectly Di&atorian,

* and you yourfelves may perceive it;,
for he goes habited like the Difia-
1 torians, he cocks his Hat,- and laughs
like one of the Prophane* He cannot
' fink a Dungeon, in the Ship - 3 but, as
' foon as we come afhore, you may ex-

* pedt it, for he talks much of Difci-

* line and Government j and it is but
1 two Days fince, as you all can witnefs,
4 he confined me to this Hold, for fay-

* ing, that we ought not to fuffer our-
^ felves to be guided by a Pilot,/ but


( 94)

' commit ourfelves to the Steerage of
Providence. Now the Hold is but
c another kind of Dungeon ; and, fince
4 he hath fo foon begun to play the
< Governor, we may be fure he will,
in a little Time, aft the Tyrant.
4 Truft him not, O my Fellow- Tailors ;
4 for he is an haughty Lord, and a

* proud Tyrant. He is a Diflatoriaq in
4 his Heart. Again, we left Diffato-
4 ria in order to purge ourfelves of the
4 Luxury, and ftrip ourfelves of the

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