An Imposter to the Oracle
There was a certain bantering Droll that took a Journey to Delphos, a purpose to try if he could put a Trick upon Apollo. He carry'd a Sparrow in his Hand under his Coat, and told the God, I have something in my Hand, says he, Is it dead or living? If the Oracle should say 'twas dead, he could shew it alive; if living, 'twas but squeezing it, and then 'twas dead. He that saw the Malice of his Heart, gave him this Answer: It shall e'en be which of the two you please; for 'tis in your Choice to have it either the one or the other. Presumption leads People to Infidelity in a trice, and so by insensible Degrees to Atheism: For when men have once cast off a reverence for religion, they are come within one step of laughing at it.