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and in full and certain Hope of making Profehtes, I have with much Pains and Watching, Fatigue and Study, finished my Creed; a Work much desired, and long wanted.
Take heed, my Brethren, that ye do not relapse into Infidelity ; let me caution ye not to be deluded by the Wiles and Artifices of a particular Set of People called Hocus Pocus Blades : These Sons of the Craft pretend to prove a Succellion of Leger demain Gentlemen from the first Juglers, and treading in the Paths of their Predeceflors, have entered into a mutual Compact to bambouzle our Senses, and to deprive Mankind of Reafon.
· These Men have more Ways of imposing upon you, than by their Hands, tho' I must acknowledge That to be the chief Impofition of any. You may safely believe one Thing which they tell you, tho' at the same Time they would not have you give Credit to their Words, viz. If your Eyes are not as nimble as their Fingers, they will deceive you.
So I have seen a Carpet laid, and when the proper Utensils were spread upon the Table,
a hugler begin his Farce with this fort Prologue.
Behold my little Cups and little Ball;
You may casily judge from this inimitable Piece of Poetry, that the subsequent Oratory must nceds be very clegant. He has an admirable Knack of deluding the Credulous with three little Balls, which you see him place fairly under three Cups ; but by using a few of his Rhetorical Flourishes, as Presto, pass, begone ; the three Balls are not to be found, but instead of them, you behold one large one.
Now, to convince you that he is a Master of Art, he again pronounces the aforementioned Words, which are of such Efficacy, that the one Ball vanilhes, and the Three appear in ftatu quo. Nay, he will bring back the one Ball, and change it into a living Body ; as a Hen, a Chicken, or the like: How great then is the miraculous Power of Hocus Pocus? But I should have told you, that if you have but Ten Pence in your Pocket, he will demand One with an authoritative Air,which you must pay for being
deluded; so that he is sure to have you here or there, as he terms it in the Prologue.
There are another Set of People, whom you ought carefully to avoid, Men of pretended Sanétity, I mean Priests, whose Love to their Bottle and Mistress exceeds any Layman's. And by the Bye you may note (for it is an Axiom that will not bear Contradiction) that much tutward Piety is an infallible Indication of an Exuberance of inward Knavery. They will offer to persuade you that they can wash an Æthiopian white, and release you from your Debts ; but beware that you rely not on their Words, left you incense your creditor, and be casts you into Prison for being insolvent.
A Priest, with much Importunity, was pre. vailed upon to quit his Pipe and Glass, and attend a Gentleman who was making his Exit. The Holy Father was very diligent in the Execution of his Office, and performed all the superstitious Ceremonies customary to be done to a dying Person. It happened, that while he was pronouncing the Abfolution, and one Hand was signing the Gentleman with the Mark of the Cross, the other (through Inadvertency rather than Design) was very busy in picking his
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Pockct; the fick Man's Thoughts were not so very intent upon the other World, as might be cxpected from one in his Condition, but observing what the Priest was doing, starts up in his Bed, and laid hold of his Breeches. By this 'sudden Motion he broke an Iniposthume which was within him, and had caused his being so very weak; and recovering his Health in a few Days, renounced the Heterodox Faith in which he had been educated, and embraced and adhered to that which was Orthodox.
The last Advice which I shall give you is, to weigh things maturely before you proceed to a final Determination : Condemn not other People because they cannot be of the same Opinion with you in all Matters ; for by the same Parity of Reason, they may condemn you. Remember that there are more Ways to the Wood than one : Does that Man merit the Name of Saint, Pope, or Bishop, who in a diabolical Pallion shall pronounce whole Nations damned, who cannot swallow all and singular of his Abfurdities ? Who Thall deliver over to the Devil and his Angels the major Part, not only of the Chriftian World, but also of all the Inhabitants of the Earth, to be tormented in Hell
for ever; merely because they will not facrifice their Reason (that noble Characteristic of Man, that Portion of Divine Goodness) to Forgeries and Blasphemy ? Must we be damned for opposing this false Doctrine ? This is a hard Saying, and who can bear it?
As I have laboured hard in the Vineyard, so I hope I have brought forth good Wine ; and they who approve the Juice of my Grapes, shall drink, make their Hearts glad, and be welcome. I will force no Man ; Compulfion is neither hospitable nor lawful ; I shall therefore allow a Liberty to all Men, observing the golden Rule, of doing as I would be done unto. I shall not speak in dark Parables to deceive any Man, but am willing to declare the Truth, and abide by it, tho' perhaps this may be deemed a Work too dirty for the Sons of LEVI to meddle with; which Practice I recommend to you my Fellow Believers, and perfuade myself you will fight manfully under so glorious a Banner, even tho' the Jesuits, or any of the Order of Friar Francis should oppose you.