If it be feared that this discourse may unhappily …

If it be feared that this discourse may unhappily advantage others
in such unlawful courses; it is considerable that it does not only teach
how to deceive, but consequently also how to discover delusions. And
then besides, the chief experiments are of such nature, that they cannot
be frequently practised, without just cause of suspicion, when as it is
in the magistrates power to prevent them. However, it will not follow,
that every thing must be suprest which may be abused. There is nothing
hath more occasioned troubles and contention, than the art of writing,
which is the reason why the inventor of it is fabled to have sown
serpents teeth. And yet it was but a barbarous act of Thamus, the
Egyptian king, therefore to forbid the learning of letters: we may as
well cut out our tongues, because that member is a world of wickedness.
If all these useful inventions that are liable to abuse, should
therefore be concealed, there is not any art or science which might be
lawfully profest.

Bishop John Wilkins, Mercury,
or the Secret and Swift Messenger: Shewing How a Man May with Privacy
and Speed Communicate His Thoughts to a Friend at a Distance
, published 1641, the first work on cryptography in the English language.

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