« PreviousContinue »
Is it not therefore probable that a low diet, with bleeding, purging, or fome other fuitable evacuations, might be excellent remedies for this intemperate and preternatural beat? Undoubtedly many peccant humours, which break out in a kind of morbid zeal, might, as well as enthufiafm and fanaticifm, be carried off by phyfical applications and a proper regimen.
About the middle of the last century, when the difeafe of enthufiafm was very epidemic, and the rage of zeal ran to distraction, a quaker went to Rome to convert the pope, and was admitted to audience: immediately after which the pope ordered his chief physician to take the utmost care of the poor man, and when cured that he should be fent to his own country, and no injury whatever offered to him. In this action the pope certainly Shewed as much humanity as knowledge of human
Happy would it have been, if all popes, and all others in authority, bad behaved in the fame mild and charitable manner, and that no violence or cruelties had ever been exercised upon innocent and well-meaning enthufiafts. But as to botbeaded zealots, who are naturally inclined to mifchief, befide the falutary methods above-mentioned, it is abfolutely necessary for the peace and safety of fociety, as well as for their own particular benefit, that they should be kept under proper restraint, and never be trusted with power; for power would
greatly increase their most defperate fymptoms, and in fuch hands be attended with extreme ill confe✓quence to the public. If Becket and Laud, instead of being thus armed, had been put under a proper regimen, and fent to fuch a place as Bedlam, it might have been of fingular service to themselves, and would have prevented infinite evils which this nation fuffered by their mad and outrageous behaviour.
This preface being lengthened beyond what was at first intended, very little more will be added. If the Author of thefe Essays, because he has called in queftion fome opinions commonly received as orthodox, fhould be afperfed with being a profligate perfon, and writing with a view of encouraging licentiousness, he hopes his manner of life will difprove the former, and that what he now offers to the public will demonftrate the latter to be falfe. He hath on this occafion examined his own heart with all poffible ftrictness and impartiality, and is well affured that the principal, if not the only motive of what he has here written, is a fincere defire to diffuade men from the practice of cruelty of all kinds; to prevail with them to form rational, and, as much as in them lies, worthy opinions concerning the Deity and the methods of worshipping him; and confequently the writer's real intention is to promote humanity, virtue, piety, and true religion.
A fecond Letter to the fame,
Effay the First.
Of cruelty proceeding from covetoufness or rapacioufnefs,
King Lewis XIV of France, the author of great de-
Afketch of that prince's true character,
Effay the Second.
Of Pagans believing their gods to be cruel,
To believe or teach that God commands men to commit
Of devotional cruelties exercifed by Pagans upon them-
Inftances of thefe,
The cruelty of mens facrificing mere animals, 118 to 122
Eminent and orthodox faints and fathers of the church
nor the clergy arrive at a plenitude of power, 'till the