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TWO TREATISES OF GOVERNMENT.

IN THE FORMER THE FALSE PRIN

CIPLES AND FOUNDATION OF SIR

ROBERT FILMER AND HIS FOL.

LOWERS ARE DETECTED AND

OVERTHROWN.

THE LATTER IS AN ESSAY CON

CERNING THE TRUE ORIGINAL

EXTENT AND END OF CIVIL

GOVERNMENT,

P R E F A C E

Reader, thou haft here the beginning and end of a discourse concerning government; what fate has otherwise difpofed of the papers that should have filled

up

the middle, and were more than all the rest, it is not worth while to tell thee. These, which remain, I hope are sufficient to establish the throne of our great restorer, our prefent King William ; to make good his title, in the consent of the people, which being the only one of all lawful governments, he has more fully and clearly, than any prince in Christendom ; and to justify to the world the people of England, whose love of their just and natural rights, with their resolution to preserve them, saved the nation when it was on the very brink of slavery and ruin. If these papers have that evidence, I fatter myself is to be found in them, there will be no great miss of those which are lost, and my reader may be satisfied without them: for I imagine, I shall have neither the time, nor inclination to repeat my pains, and fill up the wanting part of my answer, by tracing Sir Robert again, through all the windings and obscurities, which are to be met with in the several branches of his wonderful fystem. The king, and body of the nation, have since so throughly confuted his Hypothesis, that I suppose no body hereafter will

any one

have either the confidence to appear against
our common safety, and be again an advocate
for flavery; or the weakness to be deceived
with contradictions dressed up in a popular
stile, and well-turned periods : for if
will be at the pains, himself, in those parts,
which are here untouched, to strip Sir Ro-
bert's discourses of the flourish of doubtful
expressions, and endeavour to reduce his
words to direct, positive, intelligible propo-
fitions, and then compare them one with an-
other, he will quickly be satisfied, there was
never so much glib nonsense put together in
well-founding English. If he think it not
worth while to examine his works all thro',
let him make an experiment in that part,
where he treats of usurpation; and let him
try, whether he can, with all his skill, make
Sir Robert intelligible, and consistent with
himself, or common sense. I should not
speak so plainly of a gentleman, long since
past answering, had not the pulpit, of late
years, publicly owned his doctrine, and made
it the current divinity of the times. It is
necessary those men, who taking on them to
be teachers, have so dangerously misled others,
should be openly shewed of what authority
this their Patriarch is, whom they have so
blindly followed, that so they may either
retract what upon so ill grounds they have
vented, and cannot be maintained ; or else
justify those principles which they preached
up for gospel; though they had no better an

author

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author than an English courtier : for I should not have writ against Sir Robert, or taken the pains to Thew his mistakes, inconsistencies, and want of (what he so much boasts of, and pretends wholly to build on) scripture-proofs, were there not men amongst us, who, by crying up his books, and espousing his doctrine, save me from the reproach of writing against a dead adversary. They have been fo zealous in this point, that, if I have done him any wrong, I cannot hope they should spare me I wish, where they have done the truth and the public wrong, they would be as ready to redress it, and allow its just weight to this reflection, viz. that there cannot be done a greater mischief to prince and people, than the propagating wrong notions concerning government; that so at last all times might not have reason to complain of the Drum Ecclesiastic. If any one, concerned really for truth, undertake the confutation of my Hypothesis, I promise him either to recant my mistake, upon fair conviction ; or to answer his difficulties. But he must remember two things,

First, That cavilling here and there, at some expression, or little incident of

my

dilcourse, is not an answer to my book.

Secondly, That I thall not take railing for arguments, nor think either of these worth my notice, though I shall always look on myself as bound to give satisfacton to any pne, who shall appear to be conscientiously

scrupulous

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