Nor less mistaken will they be, that shall judge me in the least discontented, or any ways disposed to disturb the peace of the present settled Church: for, in good truth, I have neither lost King’s, nor Bishop’s lands, that should incline me to a surly and quarrelsome complaining; as many be, who would have been glad enough to see His Majesty restored, and would have endured Bishops daintily well, had they lost no money by their coming in.
I am not, I will assure you, any of those Occasional Writers, that, missing preferment in the University, can presently write you their new ways of Education; or being a little tormented with an ill-chosen wife, set forth the doctrine of Divorce to be truly evangelical.
The cause of these few sheets was honest and innocent, and as free from all passion as any design.
As for the last thing which I supposed objected_, viz., that this book is altogether needless, there having been an infinite number of Church and Clergy-menders, that have made many tedious and unsuccessful offers: I must needs confess, that it were very unreasonable for me to expect a better reward.
Only thus much, I think, with modesty may be said; that I cannot at present call to mind anything that is propounded but what is very hopeful, and easily accomplished. For, indeed, should I go about to tell you, that a child can never prove a profitable Instructor of the people, unless born when the sun is in_ Aries; or brought up in a school that stands full South: that he can never be able to govern a parish, unless he can ride the great horse; or that he can never go through the great work of the Ministry, unless for three hundred years backward it can be proved that none of his family ever had cough, ague, or grey hair; then I should very patiently endure to be reckoned among the vainest that ever made attempt.
But believe me, Reader! I am not, as you will easily see, any contriver of an incorruptible and pure crystaline Church, or any expecter of a reign of nothing but Saints and Worthies: but only an honest and hearty Wisher that the best of our Clergy might, for ever, continue as they are, rich and learned! and that the rest might be very useful and well esteemed in their Profession!_
THE GROUNDS & OCCASIONS OF THE CONTEMPT
OF THE CLERGY AND RELIGION
That short discourse which we lately had concerning the Clergy, continues so fresh in your mind, that, I perceive by your last, you are more than a little troubled to observe that Disesteem that lies upon several of those holy men. Your good wishes for the Church, I know, are very strong and unfeigned; and your hopes of the World receiving much more advantage and better advice from some of the Clergy, than usually it is found by experience to do, are neither needless nor impossible.
And as I have always been a devout admirer as well as strict observer of your actions; so I have constantly taken a great delight to concur with you in your very thoughts. Whereupon it is, Sir, that I have spent some few hours upon that which was the occasion of your last letter, and the subject of our late discourse.