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Mr. Alsop's State of CONFORMI
TY: Or, An Account of a Conver: sation between a Gentleman of Oxford, and Mr. Alfop, the great Rabbi of the Dissenting Party, about bis Majesty's Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, in the rear 1687; as also, whether the Church of England-Men, or Presbyterians, are most inclin'd to an Accommodationi.
By Mr. Tho. Brown.
ING James had no fooner declar'd for
Liberty of Conscience, but the Rabbies K of the
Pirenters forfook their lurking Holes, among the godly Sisters, and with their crop-ear’d Sanctimony spread
the Land, like the Locusts of Ægypt, and almost as numerous. Their diminutive Habit and Band fhow'd them the fpurious Spawn of their good Fatliers the fesuits, who, at this time, began to parade it in Couples aborit St. James's, Whitehall, and the Savoy L4!!
Tubs on the fudden grew dear; and, I'm told, one Cooper got an. Eitate by a Cargo of old Wine Cafks, to furnish them with Pulpits. The dying Embers of Schism, and Heresy being blown up by this Declara. tion, it burst out in every Corner: Here started up Presbyterians, there Muggletonians; one making God damn all but themselves, and the other faving him the Labour, and doing it themselves. Here pirk'd up Anabaptifs, there your formidable Fifth. MonarchyMen, who were for beginning the Kingdom of King Fefies from that of King James, and purring an End to Antichrist, by striking in with the Pope. In short, Antimonians, Socinians, Ranters, Cauters, Bromwifts, Quakers, and a thousand nameless and fenfeless Ring Leaders of Roguery and Heresy, oper'd each his Shop of License, which he call'd the power of the World ; and, like Quacks, that pretend lying Won- ders in their Bills, in such a Plenty of Fools and Knaves as this Country abounds with, scarce a gifted Cobler, but found Contribution of much more comfortable Importance, than his abdicated Last and Awl; so much more gainful it was to stitch Souls than Soals.
The Bugbear Popery, that, at a Diftance used to raise the Cries of the whole deep-mouth'd Pack, when now it was present, found them the most complaifant Creatures in the World. They were grown ro familiar, chat in the fame. Coffee-House you might fee a Jefirit and a Holder-forth join wich amicable Spite in running down the Church of England.
Well, they gave themselves violento Airs of religious Moderation, Loyalty, and Conscience, and a thousand Things elfe, of which they formerly abhorr’d the very Name, more than a Miser Keftitution, a Lawyer the End of a Chancery-Suit, a Sex. ton a liealthy Summer, or an. Apothecary the Difpen. Sary. 'Twas pleasant to hear the Papists preach a. gainst Persecution, and the Fanaticks for Paffive Obedience and Submision to the Royal Declaration.
The Exclusion-Men extol Succession, and deify that very Prince on the Throne, when a known Papift, as the Restorer of God to his Empire over Conscience, whom they Itrove so much to deprive of it, when he was but thought so: To hear them address with Lives. and Fortunes for the Royal Family, who had beheaded one King, and endeavour'd the same to a second, and wish, that they had Casements in their Breasts for his Majesty to see the Sincerity of their Hearts, when their Afier Conduct shew'd what confirm'd Hypocrites they. were ; but chey consider'd first, that it was but a Wish, and next, that they fpoke to a Man of abundance of it Credulity.
Rut not to dwell longer on this Preamble, you . must know, that Oxford it self was not free from the Visitation; for Allop, one of the chief Demigogues of the Schism, was there, and, like another Gene. tleman in Black, Sought whom he might devour. .A-mongst the rest, he attack'd che Tabernacle of a. young Gentleman of my Acquaintance with more. than Jesuitical. Impudence and Complaisanies, and of ten beat about the Bush, to start a Convera in him.it One of their Conferences he related to me in the , fol.. lowing. Manner.
Mr. Allop and my self being met, and fallen an. our usual Dispute.; I am surpriz’d, faid I, to find those, who used, always to rail more at the very kan.. tom of POPERY, which they imagin’d to be in the Church of England, than Porters at the Penny Porty: should be fo fond of Popery in, its own proper. Perfon. Thac those very
ple, who had brought one King to the Block, under Pretence of his invading Property, and the Laws of the Land, Should fo zealously address another for doing the, Thing in Reality. Like, a certain Puriran Alderman, that raild at the Lewi. ness of the Play bonge in a Brothel. For what is this Declaracion, but cutting off all Law, Roos and Branch, and resolving all Properry inco the King's Will, while you allow him the Power of fufpending
or dispensing with Acts of Parliament ? For if he has Power to difpenfe with one, he has with all : So that you might as justly have seiz'd your Neighbour's Eface, should the King have dispens’å with that Law that fecur'd it, as enjoy'd his Difpenfing with the At of Conformity.
I have heard you, reply'd Mr. Allop, with as much Patience as a Court of Delegates a Bawdy Cause; but let me tell you, young Gentleman, you're a little too hot in this Affair. Moderation would give you another View; and, with Submiffion, I will give it you in a fairer Light.
Suppose then here an honest well-meaning Man, that travelling in the Dark, falls into a Pond; he finds he must either drown, or get out of the Water, by clambering up the side of a fine inclos'd Garden : Do you think the owner of it could reasonally plead Damages, or fue the drowning Man for a Trespass ? Thus it is with us; our Cause must fink, or we must take Hold of this opportunity to escape with our Lives. Pray which is most reasonable for us to confider, our Deliverance from hafty Destruction, or the Fences of your fine Garden? Oh! but why would we clofe with the Papists, for this Advantage ? A drowning Man would not refuse to catch Hold of a Cord, tho thrown out by an Enemy; and since you, who pretend to be our Friends, ufe us like Ene. mies, certainly we fhould be lookid on as Fools in Grain, to reject an Eafe, tho' offer'd by thofe you call our Enemies.
Alas ! Sir, faid ly you have set the Matter in a very wrong Light ;, for this Pellow you mention, was so far from an honest well-meaning Man, or his Fall into the Pond accidendal, and in the Dark, thac he jump'a in purely out of Spite, and that in the full Force and Light of the Mid-day Sun, only because he had no other way of destroying the Fences of the fine Garden you speak of, as you may know by che whole Story, On the Borders of the
famous Tweed, there liv'd a Gentleman of a very large Estate, and a larger Mind ; he was not for racking his Tenants, but allow'd them the full Ens joyment of a certain Manour, on Condition that they should manage it well, and pay him a PepperCorn a Year Quit-Rent; nor could he suppose those hard Conditions, when they were to reap the Benefit and Fruit of their Labour. Bur in Process of Time, this good Landlord had Occasion to go a Journey into a far Country, and so calls' all his Tenants toge ther, and tells them, he's leaving them for a little while ; but advises them; as they tender his Love, to mind their Plantations, keep up the Pences, and watch for one another, with a mutual Help and "? Love; for they were near scurvy Neighbours, who would continually be endeavouring to ruin them, either by Fraud or open Force, by carrying Stories, fowing Diffention, and perswading them, that either this Care of your Ground is superfluous, or that " you take not Care enough of it, or the like; but do you mind what I say, and when I return, I will bring an ample Reward for those who have observ'd : those Directions. This being said, and all Things prepar'd, the Landlord goes his Journey. Their pil. fering Neighbours understanding he was gone, whose Wisdom and Power they stood in Awe of, make many a Trip over the Tweed, now and then catch a strage gling Cock' or Hen; bite often,' by the mutual Vigilance of the T'enants, they went Home by Weeping. Cross, with broken Heads and Cruis'd Sides." Ai lait, the wilj Kerns finding it in vain to attempt onz their Hen-roosts and Hedges by open Force, while they were thus united, contrive to let them together by the Ears. ' First they divided their Bands, and infinuated themselves into the Families of the poor good-narur'd Tenants; then they carry'd Pick-thanks Srories from one to another, and being naturally cunning and mischievous, they began to perswade* fome one, Way, and some another, in the Obfer- x