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strength, shew how sincere, how
Letters relative to Mr. FAULKNER, viz.
Letters from Dr. Swift to Dr. Narcissus Marsh, Lord
Primate and Archbisoop of Dublin 357
EXODUS &X. 16. Thou Nalt not bear false witnefs against thy neigh
N those great changes that are made in a country by the prevailing of one party over another,
it is very convenient that the prince, and those who are in authority under him, should use all juft and proper methods for preventing any mischief to the public froni feditious men. And governours do well, when they encourage any good subject to discover (as his duty obligeth him) whatever plots or conspiracies may be any way dangerous to the ftate : Neither are they to be blamed, even when they receive informations from bad men, in order to find out the truth, when it concerns the public welfare. Every one indeed is naturally inclined to have an ill opinion of an informer; although it is not impossible, but an honest nsan may be called by that name.
For whoever knoweth any thing, the telling of which would prevent some great evil to his prince, his country, or his neighbour, is bound in conscience to reveal it. But the mischief is, VOL. XI. + A
that * Psal, xxvii, 12.
that when parties are violently inflaned, which seemeth unfortunately to be our cafe at present, there is never wanting a feit of evil instruments, who either out of mad zeal, private hatred, or filthy lucre, are always ready to offer their service to the prevailing fide, and beco ne accusers of their brethren, without any regard to truth or charity. Holy David numbers this among the chief of his sufferings ; Falje wiinefjes are risen up against me, and juch as breathe cut cruelty * Our Saviour and his apotiles did likewise undergo the fame distress, as we read both in the Gospels and the Acts.
Now, because the fin of false witnetling is fo horrible and dangerous in itself, and so odious to God and man: And because the bitterness of too many among us is risen to such a height, that it is not easy to know where it will stop, or liow far tome weak and wicked minds may be carried by a miltaken zeal, a malicious temper, or hope of reward, to break this great conimandment delivered in the text: Therefore, in order to prevent this evil, and the consequences of it, at least among you who are my hearers, I shall, 1. FIRST, Shew you several ways by which a
man may be called a false witness against his
neigl bour. II. SECONDLY, I shall give you some rules for
your conduct and behaviour, in order to defend yourselves against the malice and cuming
of false accusers. III. And lastly, I shall conclude with shewing
you very briefly, how far it is your duty, as good subjects and good neighbours, to bear faithful witness when you are lawfully called to it by those in authority, or by the fincere advice of your own consciences. 1. As to the first, there are several ways by