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licencers thought. And though I knew that England then was groaning loudeft under the Prelaticall yoak, nevertheleffe I took it as a pledge of future happines, that other Nations were fo perfwaded of, her liberty. Yet was it beyond my hope that thofe Worthies were then breathing in her air, who fhould be her leaders to fuch a deliverance, as fhall never be forgott'n by any revolution of time that this world hath to finish. When that was once begun, it was as little in my fear, that what words of complaint I heard among learned men of other parts utter'd against the Inquifition, the fame I fhou'd hear by as lerned men at . home utterd in time of Parlament againft an order of licencing; and that fo gencX 4


rally, that when I had disclos'd myself a companion of their discontent, I might fay, if without envy, that he whom an honeft quaftorship had indear'd to the Sicilians, was not more by them importun'd against Verres, then the favourable opinion which I had among many who honour ye, and are known and refpected by ye, loaded me with entreaties and perfwafions, that I would not despair to lay together that which juft reafon fhould bring into my mind, toward the removal of an undeferved thraldom upon learning. That this is not therefore the disburdning of a particular fancie, but the common grievance of all those who had prepar'd their minds and ftudies above the vulgar pitch to advance truth

in others, and from others to entertain it, thus much may fatisfie. And in their name I fhall for neither friend nor foe conceal what the generall murmur is; that if it come to inquifitioning again, and licencing, and that we are so timorous of our felvs, and fo fufpicious of all men, as to fear each book, and the fhaking of every leaf, before we know what the contents are, if some who but of late were little better then filenc't from preaching, fhall come now to filence us from reading, except what they please, it cannot be gueft what is intended by fom but a fecond tyranny over learning: and will foon put it out of controverfie that Bishops and Presbyters are the fame to us both name and thing. That thofe

evills of Prelaty which before from five or fix and twenty Sees were diftributivly charg'd upon the whole people, will now light wholly upon learning, is not obfcure to us whenas now the Paftor of a.. fmall unlearned Parish, on the sudden shall be exalted Arch-bifhop over a large dioces of books, and yet not remove, but keep his other cure too, a mysticall pluralift. He who but of late cry'd, down the fole ordination of every novice Batchelor of Art, and deny'd fole jurifdiction over the fimpleft Parishioner, fhall now at home in his privat chair asfume both these over worthiest and excellenteft books and ableft authors that write them. This is not, Yee Covnants and Proteftations that we have made,

this is not to put down Prelaty, this is but to chop an Epifcopacy, this is but to tranflate the Palace Metropolitan from one kind of dominion into another, this is but an old canonicall flight of commuting our penance. Toftartle thus be times at a meer unlicenc't pamphlet will after a while be afraid of every conventicle, and a while after will make a conventicle of every Chriftian meeting. But I am certain that a State govern'd by the rules of justice and fortitude, or a Church built and founded upon the rock of faith and true knowledge, cannot be fo pufillanimous. While things are yet I not constituted in Religion, that freedom of writing should be restrain'd by a difcipline imitated from the Prelats, and learnt

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