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wicked things are publish'd must there be no publishing? I know it is objected that there is a medium between an abfolyte Liberty of the Press, and an absolute Suppresfion of it. Which I admit; but yet aver the medium (by which either Licensing or nothing at all is meant) is far worse on all accounts than either extreme. For though we are ins deed told, that Licensers would serve us with wholesome goods, feed us with food convenient for us, and only prevent the distribution of poison; sure such cant was never meant to impose on any, but those who are asleep, and cannot see one inch before them. Let no True Briton therefore be deceived by such fallacious speeches, but consider the necessary con
fequences which must follow, and he will soon find that it is as the flattering
language of the strange woman in the i book of Proverbs] who with her fair
smooth tongue, beguileth the simple,
and leadeth them as an ox to the slaughi ter. That plausible and deceitful lan
guage leadeth indeed into the chambers of darkness and death. But this subject
is fully handled in the excellent Treatise ü fubjoin’d. I will only propose to the
consideration of all lovers of Religion, Virtue, Science, and Mankind, the few following queries; and every one ought methinks to propose them to himself every day of his life, as making a fundamental Catechism. For if the truths, which these contain, are not fundamen
tal, man is not a man, but a beast; religion and virtue are empty names.
1. What is our most valuable part, or what is it that maketh us capable of Religion, Virtue, and rational Happinefs? Is it not our Reason or Understanding ?
2. What then is the noblest privilege that belongs to inan? Is it not the free Exercise of his Understanding, the full use of all the means of advancing in Virtue and Knowledge ?
3. What is it then that is, and must be, the chief end of government to en: courage and promote? Is it not knowledge, Virtue, and Religion
4. And can Knowledge, Virtue, or Religion, be promoted, if the only means
of promoting them are taken away? For what are the means of promoting them, but the liberty of writing and publishing, without running any risque but
that of being refuted or ridiculed, where e any thing advanced chances to labour
under the just imputation of falfhood or 1 absurdity ?