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Edit. p. 40.
Article, viz. that of Qualifications (the great Source of Evil in our Church) and here I fhall offer those Gentlememen the Advice of a Lay. man concerning it, and hope he will be favourably heard by those Clergy and Laity, since he belong'd to the latter himself, and has long been admitted as an able Counsellor for the other, viz. Sir Simon Degge, old
“ It is to be hop'd that our Noble Lords, when they consider the great " Damage the Church sustains by Pluralities, the many poor Souls that “ are neglected in danger to perith, the great Discouragement it is to “ Learned Men, when they see many of meaner Worth enjoy two Liv“ings apiece, besides'Prebendaries, Deaneries, SinoCura's, &c. and the “abler and better Men, for want of Friends, is never able to rise higher “ than a poor Curacy of 30 or 401. a Year; when they consider how
great a Scandal it is to our Church, and it is to be fear'd attended with " a Curse; I say, it is to be hop'd their Lordships will become so much
Self-deniers, as to lay down this Privilege where they receiv'd it ; “ certainly a Blelling and the Prayers of the poor Clergy wou'd attend it. “ But if their Lordthips fhou'd not be willing to lay alide this Privilege, “ the Archbishops, who have the Power of Dispenlation, might remedy “ it in part, or in all; or his Sacred Majelty, in denying Confirmation. “ God grant all may be done for the good of the Church.
In this Prayer, and these Sentiments, all good Men, 'tis hop'd, will concur with this worthy Knight.
Your affuftionate Wellwisher
S I have, for some Years past, been a constant Reader of your
gazine, I begin to fancy my Knowledge and Underitarding very much improv'd, and that I am capable of cutting as good a Figure in few of its Pages, as some others you admit to that Honour. On these Presumptions, Sir, I have ventur'd to present you with my firit Cffay on the Subject of Tythes, which I observe is become very popular of late; and if you will do me the favour to communicare my Sentiments to the Publick, on that Head, it may encourage me to furnish you (in a time of Scarcity) with more of my Lucubrations. As I am a Member of the establih's Church, I will not, with the Quakers, call Tytles an Antichristian Yoke of Bondage ; but as I am a Farmer, and get my Broad by tenting Land, unless some better Arguments are produc'd in favour oí them, chan what have been of late advanc’d, I hall be oblig'd to think them an unequal and intolerable Opprefion. That loft Gentleman who ligne T. B in his second Letter to J. H (in your last Magazine, P: 541.) has put me out of all Patience by the following Paffares, 21%. “If the Lavy * allow'd of Alienations, &c. the Title muit be valid, and rothing but “ Superstition could tempt a Man against all Lulls to dispute it, conlider. “ ing that he is himself no Sufferer by the liien.cion. Pag: 543. G." " Can the disposal of a Thing by publick Authority, v. hich had no privata "Owner be doing Injury to any private Man whativever? ? 344." Olight
“ any Man.”
they never to return again to the People? The obvious Aswer is, “They
For Goodness fake, Mr. Urban, what do these Gená
I would farther ask these Gentlemen, whether I buy my Beasts, Sheep, Sow, Geese, Hens, &c. the Cheaper for being Tythable if not, Pray what Consideration is made me for such Tythes ? I don't write after this manner out of any Disrespect to the Clergy ; for, as I have been formerly taught, that the great Creator of all Things, who bleffes our Industry with an Increase, hath a Right to dispose of it as he pleases, and as he once ordained Tythes for maintaining his Service, and support of the Poor, either let
the Clergy prove, beyond Contradi&tion, the pre: sent appropriation of Tythes to be of Divine AUTHORITY, or never trouble themselves by thinking to amuse the World any longer with such equivocal and impertinent Arguments, as the validity of ancient Grants of Alienations; when they know, from the nature and reason of Things, that Tythes now, never were, nor never could be, in the Poffeffion, or at the Disposal of our Progenitors. Consequently, if there be no fuch Divine Right as is above hinted, tho' these Advocates may imaginę they can make Black White, or White Black, I am afraid they will never prevail with the Thinking Part of Mankind, to believe any otherwise, than that Tything is a very great Iniquity, had it not been establish'd by Law, I am, Sir,
Your bumble Servant,
On the CORPORATION and TEST Act.
Thought enough 'had been said in my last, (Gent. Mag. Vol. IX. P.76.)
to clear me of the Charge of Inconsistency, and think so still, especially as it is only charged, not proved. I affirm, the Corporation and Teft Afts, as they now stand, to be oppressive and iniquitous Laws, to Qccafion an unavoidable Profanation, &c. and therefore ought to be repealed; and yet I cannot see it to be the Business or Duty of Diflenters to push and struggle for the Repeal; because their religious Liberties are untouch'd; because the World censures the Motives of their vehement Struggles for it, and this hath disquieted the Nation; because they have no Warrant for such a Conduct, but may poffbly err therein ; because Providence wrought out every Branch of our present Liberty, and can easily perfect it if it be the Divine Will; and because, I fear, if obtained, it would fail of accomplishing many of the valuable Ends hoped for from it. These Considerations, for ought that hath yet been offer'd to invalidate them, seem to me fufficient to support and justify such an Opinion. But I have freely censured the Indolence, &c. of those who are chiefly aggrieved thereby, who are touched in what should be a very tender Part, for whose immortal Honour it would be unanimously to concur in seeking the Repeal, and whose Endeavours rightly apply'd that way, would bid fairelt for Success, consistently with the Peace of the Nation. Where now lies the Inconsistency ? For my Life I cannot discern it ; unless it had been proved, that what is the Duty of the Legislature, and of the Church-Clergy, is equally incumbent on every Dissenter. And I take it a little unkindly, that my Antagonist, The Confiftent Dissenter, Vol. IX. p. 116. (whom, for Brevity fake, I beg leave hereafter to entitle Mr. C. D. ) who sees it in so glaring a Light, hath not been so kind clearly to demonstrate it to a weak Brother.
My Remark on his Uniformity still appears just, notwithstanding his evasive Explanation of it. Uniformity must stand opposed to what denotes more Forms than one ; to express which, if he can find a fitter Term than Variety, I shall freely consent. There may be a regular, periodical Succession of like Appearances, or Évents, without an Unifor. mity. It is plain to me, that consistency is all he means by it. Such Misapplication of Words has been the Inlet to great Confusion, hath led many to contend learnedly in the dark, and others with their own Shadows. But Uniformity and Coniftency are favourite Terms, which some Gentlemen wonderfully affect and assume, who are blind to their own Arrogance. Should another, with equal Authority and Propriety, ftile himself Orthodox, I need not say what Treatment he must expect from the confiflent Cbrifians of the Age. · His laft Remarks are many of them so trivial, they scarcely deserve Animadversion. The first I meet with that merits regard is this, That Paul the Roman insisted on his Privileges, while Paul the Christian was one of the humbles Men upon Earth. He said so when the Scourge was on his Back, and, as far as concerned corporal Punishment and Severities, inflicted contrary to Law, but no farther : And his Advice to the Chridian Romans was, not to mind high Things, but be contented with mean
Things; for so many think toīs maravis Cuetag órefuse should be render'd, Rom. xii. 16. as it is in the Margin of some Bibles; he exhorts every Soul be fubjet to the higher Powers; and tells them, they must needs be subject, not only for
fear of Wrath, but also for Conscience fake. , Mr. C. Ď. wisely charges me with want of Confideration, because, according to my own İdea of the Term World, i fand excluded from being any Judge as to the Odium the Dissenters Strugglings infer on them. But Jure, if I have either Eyes or Ears, I may, with a moderate share of Confideration, become well apprized of the Judgment others pass on their Conduct. His Remark on the Judgment of the World, tho’just in itself, is, I think, nothing to the purpose, when we are enquiring only whether their Conduct infers an Odium on them or not, and in what degree of Comparison with the supposed Odium arising from these A&s.
I intimated “ that the Charge of Ambition or Avarice is too much coun“ tenanced by their own Conduct.” Well, what then? Why, according to Mr. C. D. it follows, that this must have made them, or, at least, bath made them odious in my Eyes. But unless the Rules of Logick are lately alter'd, and the Rules of Christianity too, I may safely deny such Consequence. The Weakness, or Inadvertency, of a Brother claims my Pity and best Advice; but tho' he should fall into the grofseft Errors, or foulcit Sins, or even commic Acts of declared Hostility against me, I hope I would not hate him. I am sure Christ has taught me otherwise. Surely then Mr. C. D.'s Conclusion, that such a Hint is enough to make me odious in the eyes of Dissenters, was not well considered. I hope they have not so learned Christ,
If his way of Reasoning on my third Confideration be allow'd, it will prove too much; for it will
, if I mistaké not, prove the Almighty to be the Author, or, at least, Abettor of the most horrid Crimes. I presume u will be granted me, that it was the Will of God that the Patience of % ihould undergo a severe Trial; he therefore plucked up the Hedge his Providence had made round about him, and all he had, and put all into Satan's Power, his Lile only excepted : But if it was the Will of Gon tirat job should be tried by whatever Acts of Outrage and Violence the Devil could incite the Sabeans and Chaldeans to commit against him, then, according to Mr. C. D. there is no avoiding the Consequence, that it must be also the Will of God, that the Sabeans and Chaldeans should be guilty of complicated Robbery and Murther. A fine Cafuift this! It pais me in mind of a certain Gentleman of my Acquaintance, who was, by fis, a little disorder'd in his Senses, in which, however, he had sometimes much more sprightly turns of Thought than that I am going to redite: This Gentleman went one Day to the Vicar of the Parish where he liv'd, and after fome other fialny Expreslions, took his leave of him in these words, Sir, your Philosophy is good for nothing, and your Divinity is worse than your Pbilosophy
. He remarks on my fourth Consideration, that notwithstanding former Interpositions of Providence in their favour, the Dilinters bave not the least ground, in future time, to hope fir Success on any othar
than using their own Endeavours. It is granted. But what rust those Endeavours be? Must we disquiet the Nation, and distress the Ministry! Let them be such as the Scripture warrants, and we are agreed : There we are directed to be careful for norbing, but in every thing, by Prayer
and Supplication, with Thanksgiving, make knoton our Requests to God. Endeavours of this kind have been remarkably Successful in former Cases, of far greater Importance. And when he hath pointed out to me any other kind of Endeavours, warranted by Scripture, in any such like Care, I here promise, readily and vigorously, to concur with him therein.
I might, under this Head, ask him, why he hath not, pursuant to his own Affirmation, and my Demand thereupon, pointed out what other Endeavours were used by the Dissenters for procuring the forementioned Indulgence, Toleration, and Repeal of the Scbifm-Aft; but I need not so poor a Triumph. And in answer to his cunning, far-fetch'd Quibble, fhall only fay, that a religious Dependance on the Conduct of Providence, well becomes both our Regards to a human Legiflature, and the diving Footstool.
Far from giving up my ffth Reason, I still infift, that the Repeal of these Acts would not fully answer such valuable Ends as the fanguine Hopes of many have suggested; I mean with respect to the Diflenters. All that have conversd freely on this Topick, with the most pushing Diflenters, know, that tho? the Profanation (which, as I have thew'd, chiefly concerns the Church-Clergy) is not forgot upon Occasion, yer the principal and best Motive they ingilt on, respecting themselves, is a more zealous suppression of Immoralities, &c. in case some Branches of the Magistracy could be got into their hands. But Iftill question much, whether, even in this Case, this good End would be generally, or in any high degree answer'd, for the Reasons formerly mention'd; and bez cause I have observed of fome Dissenters, who have been admitted into the Office of a Church-Warden, which in some Places occasions Feasting and Drinking with other Parish-Officers, that, instead of making their Associates better, they have themselves been made worse by such Communication, and have contracted ill Habits thereby, which have not presently wore off.
A late Event confirms me in the Opinion, that my fixth Reason is a good one; therefore tho' it be true that Oppression makes a wife Man mad, I hope it will be granted, that he is wiser who' bears it with a Ateady Equanimity; and for the other, (I beg Pardon for saying) methinks Patience upon force should be a Medicine more than sufficient,