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other more effectual Methods for that purpofe. But as it may well be fuppofed, That the Queen's patronizing of thefe Endeavours could not but give Credit and Strength to them; fo the Affair, by Her Death (it may as easily be imagined) muft lofe a great Advantage: But yet the Lofs (tho' it appeared exceedingly great) did not difcourage thofe that were ingaged in this Enterprize. For as they first fet about it with little or no Expectation of fuch a Patronefs, because they thought it would be an acceptable Service to the King of Kings, and that it would promote the true Interefts of Religion, and the Welfare of their Country: So the fame Confiderations obliged them to pursue their Defign with equal Vi gour and Zeal, tho' they were deprived of fo great a Friend and Protector. And Divine Providence had by this time seemed to favour their Endeavours, by the great and remarkable Succefs that had attended them; for Multitudes of Offenders had been by their means brought to Punishment. The Publick Oppofition that was at first made to their Undertaking was broke through, (which the Lord Bishop of Gloucester, who hath been a great Encourager of this Undertaking, gave an Account of in his Vindication of it, which, it may be wished, there may never be any further Occafion to remember) and the Honesty of t had recommended it to the Virtuous and Unprejudiced part of the Nation, whom the Ac
count of these Matters had reached; the Enemy, after a fevere Examination, having not been able to discover, that any illegal Methods had been used, or that any fecular Interest was pursued by thofe, who beftow'd their Time and their Pains in carrying on fo ungrateful and hazardous a Work, as that of Reformation will be always found, fince it is the Oppofing of ill Men, in their finful Indulgencies, which are often more defirable to them than their very Lives. With thefe Encouragements they profecuted their Bufinefs, increafing their Number by the Addition of Perfons of confiderable Note, and of the beft Character; fome of whom, tho' they were of different Opinions from thofe of the Establish'd Church, as to fome Points concerning Religion, were willing to unite their Strength in the common Caufe of Chriftianity, and engage in fo Noble a Defign, that had done fo much Good: By whofe joint Endeavours, great Advances have been made towards a Reformation of Manners, which is every Day getting ground, Persons of vari ous Ranks, of confiderable Fortunes, and of the clearest Character, offering Affiftance to it, not only in and about the City of London, but from several Parts of the Kingdom.
But fince it hath been long defired, that a more diftinct and clear View may be given to the World of this Undertaking, and of the Advances
Advances of it, which thofe that have been principally concerned in it (fo industriously confulting Privacy) have not hitherto been prevailed on, by any Temptations, either of Vanity or Refentment, to make publick; being more defirous that it fhould be known by the good Effects it produces, than by any Hi ftory or Narrative; I ask, leave to present the World with a fhort Scheme of the Defign, and fome Account of the Managers of it, that the well-difpofed part of the Nation that have hitherto been Strangers to it may, by the Knowledge thereof, be induced to join in fo good a Work, and now especially, fince this Conjuncture is fo favourable to it, beyond our Expectation.
There is a very large Body of Perfons, compos'd of the Original Society before-mentioned, with the Additions that have been fince made of Perfons of Eminency in the Law, Members of Parliament, Justices of Peace, and confiderable Citizens of London of known Abilities and great Integrity, who frequently meet to confult of the best Methods for carrying on the Business of Reformation, and to be ready to advise and affift others that are already ingaged, or any that are willing to join in the fame Defign.
This Society is at a confiderable Yearly Charge for the effectual managing their Bu finefs; but takes no Contributions of any but their
their own Members, by whofe Endeavours, as was faid before, Thousands of Offenders, in London and Westminster have been brought to Punishment for Swearing, Drunkenness, and Prophanation of the Lord's-Day; and a great part of the Kingdom has been awakened, in fome measure, to a fence of their Duty in this respect, and thereby a very hopeful Progress is made towards a General Reformation.
A Second Society is of about Fifty Perfons, Tradesmen and others, who have more especi ally applyed themselves to the Suppreffion of Lewdness, by bringing the Offenders to legal Punishment: These may have actually fuppreffed and rooted out about Five Hundred Disorderly Houfes, and caused to be punished fome Thousands of Lewd Perfons, befides Swearers, Drunkards, and Prophaners of the Lord'sDay, as may appear by their Printed Lifts of Offenders. These Perfons, by their prudent and legal Management of their Business, have received great Countenance and Encouragement in our Courts of Judicature, and very particular Encouragement and Affiftance, for feveral Years past, from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, who are fenfible of the great Service that is done by them, which they exprefs upon proper Occafions.
A Third Society, is of Constables, (of which fort of Officers Care is taken to form Yearly
a new Body in this City) who meet to confider of the most Effectual way to dif charge their Oaths, to acquaint, one another with the Difficulties they meet with, to refolve on proper Remedies, to divide themfelves in the feveral Parts of the City, fo as to take in the whole to the best Advantage, for the infpecting of Disorderly Houfes, taking up of Drunkards, Lewd Perfons, Prophaners of the Lord's-Day, and Swearers, out of the Streets and Markets, and carrying them before the Magistrates; and I must obferve, that this is found a very fuccefsful Method for Conftables to take, for the Suppreffing of the abominable Sin of wearing, when Private Perfons are negligent in giving of Informations, and the Magiftrate is carclefs of his Duty.
A Fourth Rank of Men, who have been fo highly Inftrumental in this Undertaking that they may be reckoned a Corner-Stone of it, is of fuch as have made it fome part of their Business to give Informations to the Magiftrate, as they have had Opportunity, of fuch Breaches of the Laws as were before mentioned. Many of thefe Perfons have given the World a great and almost unheard-of Example, in this corrupt Age, of Zeal, and Christian Courage, having underwent, at the beginning more efpecially of thefe Proceedings, many Abuses, and great Reproaches, not only from exasperated and hardned Offenders,