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Mr. V-Cr and the I-ds of H-S,
By their humble Servant,
THE SH A V E R.
THE TWELFTH EDITION,
J. JOHNSON, No. 72, St. Paul's Church-Yard;
You must know, my friend, that I am
a gentleman in the country, and by craft a Shaver of very considerable scope; notwithstanding I haveturned preacher of late, and seem to be pretty successfulat my preachment, as the sale of this sermon will testify. I have been a great man for the news, as we Shavers commonly are, and, among other papers, I usually took in the St. James's Chronicle; a paper that is filled in all the four corners; but if you ask with what, on my word, I must refer you to people of greater penetration than I am to find that out. Well I paid and I read to no purpose for a long while; till at last I chanced to Spy An Extract of a Letter from Oxford, and I wot it pleased me mightily.
[iv] It told us how that, Six
young men were expelled the university for holding Methodistical tenets, and for praying, reading, and expounding the scriptures in a private house. Well thought I, that may work for the good of the church; but then I did not so much approve of the principal crime of those called Methodists, being said tobe reaaing and expounding the scriptures, &c. thought I, that is going fomewhat too far. Could they find nothing worse against them, than praying; reading and expounding the scriptures in a private house? Could not
they have provedtbendrunkards? Or made it evident that they were given to wenching?-(things very common in fome places,) - Or could they not have convicted the young fellows of having reviled the miracles of Christ and of Moses, that their expulsion might have appeared the more eligible?
Not long afler, I happened to see another account from Oxford, wrote by the Rev. Dr. Oxonienfis; and that account made me resolve upon something. For he tells us, that one of the Six was formerly a Publican, another had been a Blacksmith, à third a Barber, and a fourth bad been a Teacher in a School under Wey.
Well, you must know my grandfather was a publican, my uncle a blacksmith, I myself am a shaver, which is by interpretation a barber, and my eldest son, a promising lad, is designed for a schoolmaster : therefore seeing the honours of our family cast down into the puddle by the arrogance of Oxonian priests, I began to grow surly upon it; but did not yet think of preaching. What brought me to that was, finding from the learned Dr. Oxonienfis, that those young men had preached without orders. Then, thought I, I will even have a trial at it myself. Well, you mufi know we have a good fort of a fellow to our Parfon; a gentleman who loves his bottle and his friend, if it was for a whole night together, and there is never a youth in all the parish who will fing a merrier catch, nor tell a prettier story than bimself; for he is what ye may call a merry Parson. With him I am pretty familiar, and I thought I would even borrow bis Sunday's stile, and his orthodox plan, knowing him to be a true churchman, and I would try what I could do at preaching. But I had certainly been disappointed in an audience, it an happy imagination had not befriended me ; but no sooner had I bestirred my imagination, than I was wafted from Clarely-common to the great ball at Od, before the V-C