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True Faith, true Policy, UNITED ran;
That was but love of God, and This, of Man.

POPE.

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OF THE NATURE AND END OF CIVIL AND

OF RELIGIOUS SOCIETY

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PRE FACE

TO THE FIRST EDITION IN

1736.

IF
Fthe Form or Matter of the ensuing Discourse may

be thought to stand in need of further Apology than that general one of the Author's weaknesses and imperfections, which is always decent, and almost always necessary, to make to the Reader, I desire this following Advertisement may pass with him for such. As to the Form, the subject being of the greatest weight and gravity in itself, and here treated abstractedly, I have aimed at nothing, in the style, but exactness in the expression, and clearness in the construction: Content to have it without further ornament than what Truth bestows upon it; and it being capable of affording Science; I have not only preserved strictness of method, but have not been over studious to decline even the Formality of it. Now these are Circuinstances which, though they assist the gentle Reader in the Intelligence of the Discourse, yet render his employment less agreeable and amusing. But this is not the

For, relying on the strength of stration, I have laboured to contract the Discourse within such a compass as that the whole may be commodiously read at once. But it treating of a great variety of particulars, I was necessitated to be very brief in

many points of importance: which had been inexcusable had not my subject confined me to qualified

Readers,

worst.

my demon

B 2

Readers, and my choice led me to such as a great Ancient requested for judges of his Writings, Taies meorum scriptorum velim judices qui responsionem non semper desiderent, quum, his quæ leguntur, audierint aliquid contradici.

As to the Matter; Writing in an age that, of all others, seems most to be attentive to disengage itself from prejudices, enlarge its views, and follow truth and nature whithersoever they lead; to so just, so generous, and prevalent a spirit, I shall liave the less occasion to apologize for the latitude of my theory. But this is the peculiar happiness of our own times. It was not always so. When Dr. Taylor, about a century ago, composed his Liberty of prophesying in defence of Religious Toleration (the first book on that subject wrote on reasonable principles), though he had so strongly vindicated the Right, and that in favour of the Established Church under oppression and persecution; which had been overthrown for the want of a Test-Law to secure her; yet such was the strange perversity of some men, at that time, that the great Author was accused and calumniated for having vindicated their right of serving God according to their Consciences; because he did it on Principles which made that Right extensive to all the rest of mankind. They would accept of Toleration on no other terms but because they were the true Church. I find my engagement to be much the same with this excellent Writer's. When attempts had been, and are still making, to violate the immunities of the Established Religion, which have proved so far successful as to induce a very prevailing opinion that it, with its attendant, a Test-Law, was a violation of the law of nature and nations, I presumed, very unworthy as I am, to stand up in its defence. And to

do

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