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DANIEL DEFOE (1661-1731)

Defoe was the son of a nonconformist butcher, and attended a dissenting school, where, according to his own account, he received a sound training in English and other modern languages as well as in the classics; his master, Morton, was a man of advanced ideas in education, and afterwards became vice-president of Harvard University. Defoe took part in the rebellion of Monmouth, engaged unsuccessfully in trade, and welcomed the Revolution. When William III was attacked as a foreigner, Defoe took up his defence in a satirical poem, The True-born Englishman, which ran through twenty-one editions and was sold in thousands in the streets. He published a number of political pamphlets, and one of them, The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, was so successful in its irony that it deceived both parties into accepting it as a serious plea for high church principles. When it became known that the author was a dissenter and that the tract was really a plea for toleration, the high church party were furious at the fraud practised upon them, and the dissenters were too sore and bewildered to defend him. Defoe was fined, imprisoned, and condemned to be exposed to public derision in the pillory (1703). But the people covered the pillory with flowers, drank his health, and bought copies of his Hymn to the Pillory, in which he denounced his antagonists as scandals to the times,' who are at a loss to find his guilt, and can't commit his crimes.' Defoe was not kept long in prison, and in 1704 he began the publication of the Review, which was continued till 1713 and marks an important advance in the development of journalism. As a journalist Defoe showed unwearied diligence, unsurpassed enterprise and resourcefulness, and a keen sense of popular interest. There are few features of the modern newspaper which are not represented in his writings. He wrote sometimes for one party, sometimes for another, and for some years he conducted Tory papers in the interests of the Whig government, by which he was employed in the secret service. His style is remarkably simple and direct, and the 'stories' he invented can hardly be distinguished from genuine narratives. Of his numerous works, which would make a considerable library if reprinted, the one which has earned most enduring popularity is Robinson Crusoe (1720), a realistic autobiography of a sailor cast away upon a desolate island. It has been translated into almost every literary language and has been followed by countless imitations.

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And openly disown the vile degenerate race!

For fame of families is all a cheat;

'Tis personal virtue only makes us great! (1701)

THE SHORTEST WAY WITH THE DISSENTERS

Sir Roger L'Estrange tells us a story in his collection of Fables, of the cock and the horses. The cock was gotten to roost in the stable among the horses; and there being no racks or other conveniences for him, it seems he was forced to roost upon the ground. The horses jostling about for room and putting the cock in danger of his life, he gives them this grave advice, Pray, gentle folks! let us stand still! for fear we should tread upon one another!'

There are some people in the world, who, now they are unperched, and reduced to an equality with other people, and under strong and very just apprehensions of being further treated as they deserve, begin with Esop's cock, to preach up peace and union and the christian duty of moderation; forgetting that when they had the power in their hands, those graces were strangers in their gates!

It is now near fourteen years, that the glory and peace of the purest and most flourishing church in the world has been eclipsed, buffeted, and disturbed by a sort of men whom God in his providence has suffered to insult over her, and bring her down. These have been the days of her humiliation and tribulation. She has borne with an invincible patience the reproach of the wicked; and God has at last heard her prayers, and delivered her from the oppression of the stranger.

And now, they find their day is over, their power gone, and the throne of this nation possessed by a royal, English, true, and ever constant member of, and friend to, the Church of England. Now they find that they are in danger of the Church of England's just resentments. Now, they cry out, 'Peace!' ' Union!' 'Forbearance!' and Charity!': as if the Church had not too long harbored her enemies under her wing, and nourished the viperous brood, till they hiss and fly in the face of the mother that cherished them!

No, gentlemen, the time of mercy is past, your day of grace is over, you should have practised peace, and moderation, and charity, if you expected any yourselves.

ecution of the known laws of the land, and that with but a gentle hand neither, was all that the fanatical party of this land have ever called persecution. This 5 they have magnified to a height that the sufferings of the Huguenots in France were not to be compared with them. Now to execute the known laws of a nation upon those who transgress them, after having first been voluntarily consenting to the making of those laws, can never be called persecution, but justice. But justice is always violence to the party offending, for every man is inno

We have heard none of this lesson for fourteen years past. We have been huffed and bullied with your Act of Toleration. You have told us you are the Church established by law, as well as 10 others; have set up your canting synagogues at our church doors; and the Church and her members have been loaded with reproaches, with oaths, associations, abjurations, and what not! 15 cent in his own eyes. Where has been the mercy, the forbearance, the charity you have shown to tender consciences of the Church of England that could not take oaths as fast as you made them; that, having sworn 20 allegiance to their lawful and rightful king, could not dispense with that oath, their king being still alive, and swear to your new hodge-podge of a Dutch government? These have been turned 25 out of their livings, and they and their families left to starve; their estates double taxed to carry on a war they had no hand in, and you got nothing by!

What account can you give of the 30 multitudes you have forced to comply, against their consciences, with your new sophistical politics, who, like new converts in France, sin because they cannot starve? And now the tables are 35 turned upon you, you must not be persecuted! It is not a christian spirit!

You have butchered one king, deposed another king, and made a mock king of a third, and yet, you could have the 40 face to expect to be employed and trusted by the fourth! Anybody that did not know the temper of your party, would stand amazed at the impudence as well as the folly to think of it!

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Your management of your Dutch monarch, whom you reduced to a mere King of Clubs, is enough to give any future princes such an idea of your principles as to warn them sufficiently from com- 50 ing into your clutches; and, God be thanked, the Queen is out of your hands, knows you, and will have a care of you!

There is no doubt but the supreme authority of a nation has in itself a 55 power, and a right to that power, to execute the laws upon any of that nation it governs. The

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The first execution of the laws against Dissenters in England was in the days of King James I; and what did it amount to? Truly, the worst they suffered was, at their own request, to let them go to New England, and erect a new colony; and give them great privileges, grants, and suitable powers; keep them under protection, and defend them against all invaders; and receive no taxes or revenue from them!

This was the cruelty of the Church of England. Fatal lenity! It was the ruin of that excellent prince, King Charles I. Had King James sent all the Puritans in England away to the West Indies, we had been a national unmixed church. The Church of England had been kept undivided and entire!

To requite the lenity of the father, they take up arms against the son, conquer, pursue, take, imprison, and at last put to death the anointed of God, and destroy the very being and nature of government: setting up a sordid impostor, who had neither title to govern, nor understanding to manage, but supplied that want, with power, bloody and desperate counsels and craft, without conscience.

Had not King James I withheld the full execution of the laws: had he given them strict justice, he had cleared the nation of them! And the consequences had been plain; his son had never been murdered by them, nor the monarchy overwhelmed. It was too much mercy shown them that was the ruin of his posterity, and the ruin of the nation's peace. One would think the Dissenters should not have the face to believe that we are to be wheedled and canted into peace and toleration, when they know that they have once requited us with a

civil war, and once with an intolerable and unrighteous persecution, for Our former civility.

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Nay, to encourage us to be easy with them, it is apparent that they never had the upper hand of the Church but they treated her with all the severity, with all the reproach and contempt as was possible! What peace and what mercy did they show the loyal gentry of the Church of England, in the time of their triumphant Commonwealth? How did they put all the gentry of England to ransom, whether they were actually in arms for the king or not, making people com- 15 pound for their estates, and starve their families! How did they treat the clergy of the Church of England, sequester the ministers, devour the patrimony of the Church and divide the spoil, by sharing 20 the Church lands among their soldiers, and turning her clergy out to starve! just such measure as they have meted, should be measured to them again!

mistaken prince, thinking to win them by gentleness and love, proclaimed a universal liberty to them, and rather discountenanced the Church of England 5 than them. How they requited him, all the world knows!

Charity and love is the known doctrine 25 of the Church of England, and it is plain she has put it in practise towards the Dissenters, even beyond what they ought, till she has been wanting to herself, and in effect unkind to her own sons; par- 30 ticularly, in the too much lenity of King James I, mentioned before. Had he so rooted the Puritans from the face of the land, which he had an opportunity early to have done, they had not had 35 the power to vex the Church, as since they have done.

The late reign is too fresh in the memory of all the world to need a comment. How under pretense of joining with the Church in redressing some grievances, they pushed things to that extremity, in conjunction with some mistaken gentlemen, as to depose the late king; as if the grievance of the nation could not have been redressed but by the absolute ruin of the prince.

Here is an instance of their temper, their peace, and charity!

To what height they carried themselves during the reign of a king of their own, how they crept into all places of trust and profit; how they insinuated themselves into the favor of the king, and were at first preferred to the highest places in the nation, how they engrossed the ministry; and, above all, how pitifully they managed, is too plain to need any remarks.

But particularly, their mercy and charity, the spirit of union they tell us so much of, has been remarkable in Scotland. If any man would see the spirit of a Dissenter, let him look into Scotland. There, they made entire conquest of the Church, trampled down the sacred orders and suppressed the episcopal government, with an absolute, and, as they supposed, irretrievable victory; though it is possible they may find themselves mistaken!

In the days of King Charles II, how did the Church reward their bloody doings with lenity and mercy! Except the 40 barbarous regicides of the pretended court of justice, not a soul suffered for all the blood in an unnatural war. King Charles came in all mercy and love, cherished them, preferred them, em- 45 Church find in Scotland from the

Now it would be a very proper question to ask their impudent advocate, the Observator, 'Pray how much mercy and favor did the members of the Episcopal

Scotch Presbyterian government?' And I shall undertake for the Church of England, that the Dissenters shall still receive as much here, though they de

ployed them, withheld the rigor of the
law and oftentimes, even against the
advice of his Parliament, gave them lib-
erty of conscience; and how did they
requite him? With the villainous con- 50 serve but little.
trivance to depose and murder him and
his successor, at the Rye House Plot!

King James II, as if mercy was the inherent quality of the family, began his reign with unusual favor to them. Nor 55 could their joining with the Duke of Monmouth against him, move him to do himself justice upon them. But that

In a small treatise of The Sufferings of the Episcopal Clergy in Scotland, it will appear what usage they met with. How they not only lost their livings; but, in several places, were plundered and abused in their persons, the ministers that could not conform, were turned out, with numerous families and no mainte

nance, and hardly charity enough left to relieve them with a bit of bread. The cruelties of the party were innumerable, and are not to be attempted in this short piece.

And now, to prevent the distant cloud which they perceive to hang over their heads from England, with a true Presbyterian policy, they put in for a union of nations that England might unite their 10 Church with the Kirk of Scotland, and their assembly of Scotch canting longcloaks in our convocation. What might have been, if our fanatic Whiggish statesmen continued, God only knows; but we 15 hope we are out of fear of that now.

It is alleged by some of the faction, and they have begun to bully us with it, that if we won't unite with them, they will not settle the Crown with us again; 20 but when her Majesty dies, will choose a king for themselves!"

If they won't, we must make them; and it is not the first time we have let them know that we are able. The 25 crowns of these kingdoms have not so far disowned the right of succession, but they may retrieve it again; and if Scotland thinks to come off from a successive to an elective state of government, 30 England has not promised, not to assist the right heir, and put him into possession, without any regards to their ridiculous settlements.

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heartily about the work, and come off from them, as some animals, which they say, always desert a house when it is likely to fall.

Secondly. The more numerous, the more dangerous; and therefore the more need to suppress them; and God has suffered us to bear them as goads in our sides, for not utterly extinguishing them long ago.

Thirdly. If we are to allow them, only because we cannot suppress them; then it ought to be tried, whether we can or not? And I am of opinion it is easy to be done, and could prescribe ways and means, if it were proper: but I doubt not the government will find effectual methods for the rooting of the contagion from the face of this land.

Another argument they use, which is this. That this is a time of war, and we have need to unite against the common enemy.

We answer, this common enemy had been no enemy, if they had not made him so. He was quiet, in peace, and no way disturbed and encroached upon us; and we know no reason we had to quarrel with him.

But further. We make no question but we are able to deal with this common enemy without their help: but why must we unite with them, because of the enemy? Will they go over to the enemy,

These are the gentlemen! these, their 35 if we do not prevent it, by a union with ways of treating the Church, both at home and abroad!

Now let us examine the reasons they pretend to give, why we should be favorable to them; why we should continue 40 and tolerate them among us.

First. They are very numerous, they say. They are a great part of the nation, and we cannot suppress them!

To this, may be answered:

First. They are not so numerous as the Protestants in France and yet the French king effectually cleared the nation of them at once; and we don't find he misses them at home!

them? We are very well contented they should, and make no question, we shall be ready to deal with them and the common enemy too; and better without them than with them. Besides, if we have a common enemy, there is the more need to be secure against our private enemies. If there is one common enemy, we have the less need to have an enemy in our 45 bowels!

It was a great argument some people used against suppressing the old money. that it was a time of war, and it was too great a risk for the nation to run. 50 If we should not master it, we should be undone!' And yet the sequel proved the hazard was not so great, but it might be mastered, and the success was answerable. The suppressing the Dissenters is not a harder work, nor a work of less necessity to the public. We can never enjoy a settled, uninterrupted union and tranquillity in this nation, till the spirit

But I am not of the opinion they are so numerous as is pretended. Their party is more numerous than their persons; and those mistaken people of the Church who are misled and deluded by their wheedling 55 artifices to join with them, make their party the greater: but those will open their eyes when the government shall set

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