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what shall we say to that numerous Crowd, of all Ranks and Sorts, who daily live in perpetual Disobedience to the Third, either by frequent Swearing and Cursing, or by idly using the Name of God; or by rash Imprecations on themselves or others,
when in Passion; or, which is worst of all, by down· right and wilful Perjury?
Again, What shall we say, to the yet more nume. rous Company, consisting likewise of all Ranks and Sexes, who live in an almost uninterrupted Infraction of the Fourth ; either by Card Playing, Visiting, Going to the Park, Kensington Gardins, or Riding out, as is done by the better Sort, or by walking in the Fields, and frequenting the Cake-Houses, as is done by those of a middling Rank ; 'or, which is worse, by getting drunk, and spending their Week's Mo. ney at an Ale house, or Gin-lop, as is done by the meaner Sort, and Dregs of the People ?
If these Things are so, and that they are, no Man of any Honesty or Modely can deny ; and if it e. qually behoves us, to pay an exact Obedience to each of the Ten Commandments; it must certainly equally concern us, to know the full Latitude and Extent of each of them, in order to enable us so to do; especially, as the Royal Psalmist assures us, that God's Commandments are exceeding broad. It is al'o highly needful, beyond Dispute, particularly, at a Time, when all kinds of Vice are at the greatest Height, when almost every Enormity is practised, and most of them with Impunity; when we cannot walk the Streets, without having our Ears deafened with Oaths, Blasphemy and Ribaidry; nór yet, without having not only our Eyes shock'd, but our Persons endangered, by drunken and lewd Prosticutes, with defperate Ruffians, their constant Companions ; it is highly needful we say, atsuch a Time, both that the full Latitude and Extent of each ot those Injunctions
Mhould be known, and earnestly inculcated ; and al. so, because it is certain, that Example goes before Precept, that they should be illustrated, and enforced, by proper Instances upon each Head, displaying as it were, before our Eyes, the fatal and dreadful Consequences of not observing them, and the happy Effects of a contrary Practice.
That we have no such Work as yet, will, we believe, be admitted by all; at least, Nothing of this Kind has ever come to our Hands : That it is likely to prove also of the greatest Use, we conceive, will readily be granted, by every considerate Person ; wherefore, until something of this Nature, that may be more perfect, be undertaken by an abler Pen, we hope the following Treatise, which it is intended Thall take in every one of the Ten Commandments, and that in ie's fullest Latitude, and most extensive Sense and Meaning, will meet with a favourable Ac, ceptance : And this we shall endeavonr to deserve, by sparing no Pains, to render it as accurate, and compleat, as we possibly can.
: And, because we would willingly have a Targ of
one and the other, by not troubling themselves about the Marter. i
As, in this point, we have apparently consulted the Ease, and Conveniency of our Readers, more chan our own Profit, fo shall we likewise proceed to do, with Regard to the Style; which, we will en. deavour, fhall neither be so groveling and flat, to disgust the Polite, nor yet so high-flown, and filled with Metaphors, or hard Words, as to be unintelligible to the meaneft,Capacity : In short, we shall take care to convey our Meaning, in as plain, though per. hape, not quite as vulgar Terms, as possible ; and to enforce it, in as persuasive and affecting, though not in as learned a Manner, as the Subject may require, or we perhaps might be able.. á
Thus much we thought fit to premise, not only to comply with the Custom of the Times, which ren. ders it, in a Manner, a Thiog of Course, and not to be avoided, to say somewhat, by Way of Introduction, to every new Thing that appears ; but because we conceive it altogether proper, and necessary, our Readers should be apprized, in some Measure, what they are to expect in the subsequent Sheets. Do they want Scories, that are at once morat, diverting, and instructive, they may find them here, ranged un. der the proper Heads ; but, if they seek such as are trifling, ludicrous, or loose, we would advise them to look elsewhere, they are altogether foreign to our Subject.
Our Design is, to render this Book such a one, that it may be an useful and fic Present, for a tender and careful Mother, to put into the Hands of her Children; a good Master into those of his Appren. tices or Servants ; an affectionate Husband, into those of his Wife ; or one hearty and sincere Friend, into those of another; such a one, that any Lover,
who means honestly, and has honourable Designs, may very properly put into the Hands of his Mistress; but not a loose Debauchee, into those of the innocent Maiden, whom he wants to seduce ; in short, such an one, as will be an Incentive to Vir. tue, not a Provocative to Vice. On the contrary, we hope, and intend, it fhall be a forcible Dissuasive from all sorts of evil Pradices, by displaying, at one View, and in the strongeft Light, the melancholy Tendency, and dreadful Consequences, of all luch fatal Courses.
In this little Book, as in a faithful Glass, the Great Ones of the Earth, who, though they make a Shew of acknowledging a Deity, act only in SubSurvience to their own Passions, and thole frequently of the vilest Sort, will see the pernicious Effects of lo unworthy, and so ungrateful a Procedure. We say, ungrateful, for what greater Ingratitude can there be, than for Persons, whom bountiful and all. gracious Providence has advanced, to the most exalted Stations ; has surrounded with Riches, Splendor, Honour, and Power, on purpose to be it's genuine - Substitutes, and shower and diffuse Blessings upon all under their Dominions ; by the due and equal Ad. miniftration of Justice, without Respect of Persons ; by protecting the Injured, and punishing the Oppreffor, however great ; by rewarding Merit, and chaftising of Offenders, of whatever Rank: What greater Ingratitude, we say, can there be, than for such Persons to a&t a.quite contrary Part, become quite the Reverse to their People ; instead of a Bler. ling prove the greatest of Curses ; frustrate the De. figns of bounteous Heaven, by turning Peace and Plenty, into Want, Beggary, and Confusion ; fcatLering Plagues around them, like an all-devouring Peftilence, in the Shape of the moft burthen some Taxes, and intolerable and ensnaring penal Laws; together with useless Armaments, not so much as in- B4
tended, for the Benefit of those who pay them; making the Throne a Prote&tion and Skreen for Oppreffion, instead of an Asylum for the Injured and Oppressed ; and, in short, acting in all Things just the Reverse, of that beneficent Being, whose Representatives they are, or should be ; What can be greater Ingratitude, we repeat it once more, than tor such Persons, who thew plainly, by the whole Tenor of their Lives, that God is not in all their Thoughes, never content with burthening their in. nocent and willing Subjects, with the most exceslive Impofts, to perfiit in the same desperate Course, with unrelenting Cruelty, deaf to all salutary Remonftrances, till the poor harassed Nation, linking under the Weight of their Calamities, and quite ex. hausted, becoming unable to help themselves, fall a Prey to the first Invader?
Such Persons there have been in the World, and such there may be again ; nay, such there are at present; for what elle is the Fury of Spain, whom Heaven, in ic's Wrath, has sent to be a Scourge to Christendom? We say nothing of the Kings of France and Prusia, though very little, if at all beta ter, than the haughty Parmesan : But let such merciless Tyrants, who thus act the Part of malevolent Toads, and fuck Poi fon from the fame Flowers, from whence the beneficent Bee would extract Honey, refedi, e'er it is too late, that, highly exalted as they are, chere is still One above them, who can humble them in a Moment.
At least, if they are too proud, too much elate, and blinded with Prosperity, to tell themselves this falutary Truch, this little Book, like a faithful Glass, as was before observed, will shew them, in the Persons of the high and mighty ones, of former Ages, how unitable, and uncertain all sublunary