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ample and as early a fhare in all the improvements in fcience, in arts, and in literature, which have illumi nated and adorned the modern world, as any other nation in Europe; we think one main caufe of this improvement was our not despifing the patrimony of knowledge which was left us by our forefathers.

It is from our attachment to a church establishment that the English nation did not think it wife to entrust that great fundamental intereft of the whole to what they truft no part of their civil or military public fervice, that is to the unsteady and precarious contribution of individuals. They go further. They certainly never have fuffered and never will fuffer the fixed estate of the church to be converted into a penfion, to depend on the treasury, and to be delayed, withheld, or perhaps to be extinguished by fifcal difficulties; which difficulties may fometimes be pretended for political purposes, and are in fact often brought on by the extravagance, negligence, and rapacity of politicians. The people of England think that they have conftitutional motives, as well as religious, against any project of turning their independent clergy into ecclefiaftical penfioners of ftate. They tremble for their liberty, from the influence of a clergy dependent on the crown ; they tremble for the public tranquility from the disorders of a factious clergy, if it were made to depend upon any other than the crown. They therefore made their church, like their king and their nobility, independent.

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From the united confiderations of religion and conftitutional policy, from their opinion of a duty to make a fure provifion for the confolation of the feeble and the inftruction of the ignorant, they have incorporated and identified the eftate of the church with the mafs of private property, of which the state is not the proprietor, either for ule or dominion, but the guardian only and the regulator. They have ordained that the provifion of this eftablishment might be as ftable as the earth on which it ftands, and fhould not fluctuate with the Euripus of funds

and actions.

The men of England, the men, I mean, of light and leading in England, whose wisdom (if they have any) is open and direct, would be afhamed, as of a filly deceitful



trick, to profefs any religion in name, which by their proceedings they appeared to contemn. If by their conduct (the only language that rarely lies) they feemed to regard the great ruling principle of the moral and the natural world, as a mere invention to keep the vulgar in obedience, they apprehend that by fuch a condu&t they would defeat the politic purpofe they have in view. They would find it difficult to make others to believe in a system to which they manifeftly gave no credit themselves. The Chriftian ftatefmen of this land would indeed first provide for the multitude; because it is the multitude; and is therefore, as fuch, the first object in the ecclefiaftical inftitution, and in all inftitutions. They have been taught, that the circumftance of the gofpel's being preached to the poor, was one of the great tefts of its true miffion. They think, therefore, that thofe do not believe it, who do not take care it should be preached to the But as they know that charity is not confined to any one defcription, but ought to apply itself to all men who have wants, they are not deprived of a due and anxious fenfation of pity to the diftreffes of the miferable great. They are not repelled through a faftidious delicacy, at the ftench of their arrogance and prefumption, from a mediCinal attention to their mental blotches and running fores. They are fenfible, that religious inftruction is of more confequence to them than to any others; from the greatness of the temptation to which they are exposed; from the important confequences that attend their faults; from the contagion of their ill example; from the neceffity of bowing down the stubborn neck of their pride and ambition to the yoke of moderation and virtue; from a confideration of the fat ftupidity and grofs ignorance concerning what imports men moft to know, which prevails at courts, and at the head of armies, and in fenates, as much as at the loom and in the field.

The English people are fatisfied, that to the great the confolations of religion are as neceffary as its inftructions. They too are among the unhappy. They feel perfonal pain and domestic forrow. In these they have no privilege, but are fubject to pay their full contingent to the contributions levied on mortality. They want this fo


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Vereign balm under their gnawing cares and anxieties, which being lefs converfant about the limited wants of animal life, range without limit, and are diverfified by infinite combinations in the wild and unbounded regions of imagination. Some charitable dole is wanting to these our often very unhappy brethren, to fill the gloomy void that reigns in minds which have nothing on earth to hope or fear; fomething to relieve in the killing langour and over-laboured laffitude of thofe who have nothing to do; fomething to excite an appetite to existence in the palled fatiety which attends on all pleasures which may be bought, where nature is not left to her own process, where even defire is anticipated, and therefore fruition defeated by meditated fchemes and contrivances of delight; and no interval, no obftacle, is interpofed between the wifh and thẻ accomplishment.

The people of England know how little influence the teachers of religion are likely to have with the wealthy and powerful of long standing, and how much lefs with the newly fortunate, if they appear in a manner no way afforted to thofe with whom they must affociate, and over whom they must even exercife, in fome cafes, fomething like an authority. What muft they think of that body of teachers, if they fee it in no part above the establishment of their domeftic fervants? If the poverty were voluntary, there might be fome difference. Strong inftances of felf-denial operate powerfully on our minds; and a man who has no wants has obtained great freedom and firmness, and even dignity. But as the mafs of any defcription of men are but men, and their poverty cannot be voluntary, that difrefpect which attends upon all Lay poverty, will not depart from the Ecclefiaftical. Our provident conftitution has therefore taken care that thofe who are to inftruct prefumptuous ignorance, those who are to be cenfors over infolent vice, fhould neither incur their contempt, nor live upon their alms; nor will it tempt the rich to a neglect of the true me'dicine of their minds. For these reafons, whilft we provide firft for the poor, and with a parental folicitude, we have not relegated religion (like fomething we were


afhamed to fhew) to obfcure municipalities or ruftic villages. No! We will have her to exalt her mitred front in courts and parliaments. We will have her

mixed throughout the whole mafs of life, and blended with all the claffes of fociety. The people of England will fhew to the haughty potentates of the world, and to their talking fophifters, that a free, a generous, an informed nation, honours the high magiftrates of its, church; that it will not fuffer the infolence of wealth and titles, or any other fpecies of proud pretenfion, to look down with fcorn upon what they look up to with reverence; nor prefume to trample on that acquired perfonal nobility, which they intend always to be, and which often is the fruit, not the reward, (for what can be the reward?) of learning, piety, and virtue. They can. fee, without pain or grudging, an Archbishop precede a Duke. They can fee a Bishop of Durham, or a Bishop. of Winchester, in poffeffion of ten thousand pounds a year; and cannot conceive why it is in worse hands than eftates to the like amount in the hands of this Earl, cr that Squire; although it may be true, that fo many dogs. and horses are not kept by the former, and fed with the victuals which ought to nourish the children of the people. It is true, the whole church revenue is not always employed, and to every fhilling, in charity; nor perhaps ought it; but fomething is generally fo employed. It is better to cherish virtue and humanity, by leaving much, to free will, even with fome lofs to the object, than to attempt to make men mere machines and inftruments of a political benevolence. The world on the whole will gain by a liberty, without which virtue cannot exist. When once the commonwealth has established the eftates of the church as property, it can, confiftently, hear nothing of the more or the lefs. Too much and too little are treafon against property. What evil çan arife from the quantity in any hand, whilft the fupreme authority has the full, fovereign fuperintendance over this, as over all property, to prevent every fpecies of abufe; and, whenever it notably deviates, to give to it a direction agreeable to the purposes of its inftitution.

In England most of us conceive that it is envy and malignity

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malignity towards those who are often the beginners of their own fortune, and not a love of the felf-denial and mortification of the ancient church, that makes fome look afkance at the diftinctions, and honours, and revenues, which, taken from no perfon, are fet apart for virtue. The ears of the people of England are distinguishing. They hear thefe men fpeak broad. Their tongue betrays them. Their language is in the patois of fraud; in the cant and gibberish of hypocrify. The people of England must think fo, when thefe praters affect to carry back the clergy to that primitive evangelic poverty which, in the fpirit, ought always to exift in them, (and in us too, however we may like it) but in the thing must be varied, when the relation of that body to the ftate is altered; when manners, when modes of life, when indeed the whole order of human affairs has undergone a total revolution. We shall believe those reformers to be then honeft enthufiafts, not as now we think them, cheats and deceivers, when we fee them throwing their own goods into common, and fubmitting their own perfons to the auftere difcipline of the early church.

With thefe ideas rooted in their minds, the commons of Great-Britain, in the national emergencies, will never feek their refource from the confifcation of the eftates of the church and poor. Sacrilege and profcription are not among the ways and means in our committee of fupply. The Jews in Change Alley have not yet dared to hint their hopes of a mortgage on the revenues belonging to the fee of Canterbury. I am not afraid that I fhall be difavowed, when I affure you that there is not one public man in this kingdom, whom you would wish to quote; no not one of any party or defcription, who does not reprobate the difhoneft, perfidious, and cruel confiscation which the national affembly has been compelled to make of that property which it was their firft duty to protect.

It is with the exultation of a little natural pride I tell you, that those amongst us who have wifhed to pledge the focieties of Paris in the cup of their abominations, have been difappointed. The robbery of your church has proved a fecurity to the poffeffions of ours. It has roufed the people. They fee with horror and alarm that enor


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