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for legilation, and were worthy of it. But

whilst

• and vicarages, as have been, or shall be received by • the said treasurers, and have not otherwise been dis• posed of, for the maintenance of ministers, to such s person or persons respectively, to whom the said rents • and revenues have been or shall be ordered or afligned

by the committee for plundered ministers, for augmentation of maintenance for officiating in any church • or chapel in England and Wales.' After the commonwealth took place, the commons of England, in parliament assembled, on the 30th of April, 1649, proceeded farther to pass ! an act for the abolishing of . deans and chapters, canons, prebends, and other of• ficers and titles, of or belonging to any cathedral or col• legiatechurch or chapel within England or Wales.' Their plea for this was neceflity. Having seriously * weighed, say they, the necessity of raising a present < supply of money for the prelent safety of this com

monwealth ; and finding that their other securities are ( not satisfactory to lenders, nor sufficient to raise so « considerable a sum as will be necessary for the said • service, are necessitated to sell the lands of the deans • and chapters, for the paying of publick debts, and for • the raising of three hundred thousand pounds for the

present supply of the pressing necessities of the com• monwealth, do enact, &c.'— However, they were not for throwing them away, as much as money was wanting. For none of these lands were to be sold under twelve years purchase, though the lands of the bishops had been allowed to be sold for ten ; a tolerable good price, considering the high interest of money, which was at about eight per cent. at this time, and the possibility of their being one time or other reclaimed by their former possessors. Out of these lands thus appointed to be sold, there was excepted, by another act of June the 8th, 1649, all tythes appropriate, obla• tions, obventions, portions of tythes appropriate, of • or belonging to the archbishops, bishops, deans, and

. deans

whilst the parliament was thus nobly em

ployed

V

deans and chapters, all which, together with twenty 'thousand pounds yearly rent, formerly belonging to " the crown of England, the commons thought fit to « be settled for a competent maintenance of preaching ( ministers, where it was wanting, in England and Wales.' This competent maintenance, in their opinion, was one hundred pounds per annum, which they allotted to the state preachers, without, however, taking away any thing from the rich rectories, which were preserved whole and entire. I suppose there are but few disinterested persons but will think this a much better regulated maintenance than what before had been allotted. If an established clergy be useful and neceffary, and if the public must maintain them, as seems to have been the received opinion, upon whatsoever reafons founded, surely it behoves the legislature to prevent one part of them from rioting in wealth, and the other almost starving through poverty! Complaints, I know, have been made of the scantiness of our ecclesiastical revenues : but how this can be, when such a multipli. city of very lucrative preferments are daily heaped on a fingle person, is hard to imagine! A tolerably equi. table distribution would, at once, silence every objection on this head, of any reasonable man. ndeed, some very sensible persons have been against loading the public with the maintenance of the clergy, on account of several inconveniences attending it. Heretofore, • says Milton, in the first evangelic times (and it were • happy for Christendom if it were so again) ministers of

the Gospel were by nothing else distinguished from • other christians, but by their spiritual knowledge and

sanctity of life, for which the church elected them

to be her teachers and overseers, though not thereby • to separate them from whatever calling she then found • them following besides. As the example of St. Paul • declares, and the first times of christianity. When I once they affected to be called a clergy, and became,

« as

er c'exampanity; became;

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ployed at home and abroad, (for the Dutch

war

" as it were, a peculiar tribe of Levites, a party, a dir

tinct order in the commonwealth, bred up for divines « in babling schools, and fed at the public coit, good • for nothing else, but what was good for nothin', they « soon grew idle; that idleness, with fulness of bread, « begat pride and perpetual contention with their feedoers, the despised laity, through all ages ever since, to • the perverting of religion, and the disturbance of all • Christendom. And we may confidently conclude, it “ will never be otherwise, whilst they are thus upheld • undepending on the church, on which alone they an• tiently depended, and are, by the magistrate, publickly « maintained, a numerous faction of indigent persons, 5 crept for the most part out of extream want and bad ( nurture, claiming, by divine rigiit and freehold, the " tenth of our estates, to monopolize the ministry, as o their peculiar, which is free and open to all able

christians, elected by any church. Under this pre6 tence, exempt from all other employment, and en.

riching themselves on the public, they last of all prove « common incendiaries, and exalt their horns against < the magistrate himself that maintains them, as the

priest of Rome did soon after againit his benefactor s the emperor, and the presbyters of lote in Scotland. • Of which hireling crew, together with all the mis• chiefs, diftentions, troubles, wars meerly of their • kindling, Christendom might soon rid herself and be « happy, if christians would but know their own dignity, • their liberty, their adoprion, and let it not be wondered, • if I say, their spiritual priesthood, whereby they have all Cell te s equally access to any ministerial function, whenever

a pminitions of the called by their own abilities, and the church, though () Prose they never came near commencement or universis d. p. 636.

vol. 4 ty (e), Mr. IVall, in his fine letter to Milton, dated

Guusisam, May 26, 1659, has the following pallage. ! I have sometimes thought (concurring with your aí fertion of that storied voice that should speak from

• heaven)

war was not terminated, though the Enga

lish,

cdit.

"heaven) when ecclesiastics were endowed with worldily preferments, Hodie venenum infunditur in ecclefiam: ' for, to use the speech of Genesis iv, ult, according to ( the sense which it hath in the Hebrew, then began men to corrupt the worship of God. I shall tell you

a supposal of mine, which is this: Mr. Dury has be• ftowed about thirty years time in travel, conference

and writings, to reconcile Calvinifts and Lutherans, (and that with little or no success. But the fortest way were, take away ecclesiastical dignities, ho« nours and preferments, on both sides, and all would • soon be hushed; the ecclesiastics would be quiet, and (8) Preface " then the people would come forth into truth and li ber to Milton's ty (f). These were the sentiments of some of the dog

sh Iconoclasics, fons of liberty in the age of which I am now speaking : Lond. 1756. sentiments proceeding from minds full of concern for 410. truth and virtue, though they had little prospect of being hearkened to by the bulk of mankind, who prefer wealth, pomp and ease to every thing rational, virtuous and manly. The scheme of the parliament pretended not to this high perfection. It only suppress’d the dignity, state and excessive wealth of the lordly ecclefiaftics, whilst it left them enough for every virtuous and laudable purpose, and prevented them from feeling the want of the real necessaries their stations. were thought to require. Were I to deliver my own sentiments for the real good of ecclefiaftics of all sorts and kinds, I would say with a late writer concerning the jesuits in particular; "render them poor, and they will

18) Reflec. ' be humble; render them poor, and they will be use- tions of a "ful; render them poor, and they will become holy (3).' Portuguese But to go on. Besides the care taken of their parowany chial clergy, the parliament shewed their benevolence presented by to the universities, by enacting, · That the trustees, in the Jesuits • whose hands the dean and chap er lands were vested • for the use of the public, shall, from time to time, 152. 8vo. • pay out of the above-mentioned twenty thousand) Lond. 1760. X 4

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lif, for the most part, were successful) the

lord,

! two thousand pounds yearly, for the increase of the ? maintenance of the master ships of colleges in both

universities, where maintenance is wanting, regard ? being to be had unto the number of houses of learn? ing in each university, that are fit to have an increase < of maintenance, and to make an aflignment of main

tenance unto them accordingly ; provided it do not exceed one hundred pounds per annum to any one of

them.' This bounty was not ill bestowed. For

never, perhaps, were there men of more real merit in (5) Preface the university of Cambridge than now. Witness the to Tuck- names of Cudworth, IV hichcott, Il ilkıns, and many others ney's ard, mentioned by the very ingenious Dr. Salter (b), who eduWhichcrti's

cated a race of men that were'an honour to their counLond. 1753. try; I mean Tilletson, Barrow', Smith, Mre, and such See also like, who opposed themselves to popery in the most try: note (ccc}. ing

ing times, and taught men the principles of true religion and virtue. Whether Oxford was quite so happy, I know not; though, 'tis certain, many eminent men were educated there in these times, particularly Mr. Loike, whose writings on toleration and government will be for ever read and admired by men of sense and

honefty.---What the sum total produced by the sale :) Sirvey of the lands of the bishops, deans and chapters, amount, of the Ca- ed to, I cannot say.-- But here follows an account

of the sale of the bishops lands in the province of York, York, &c. 410. 1727. as given by Mr. Broun IV illis (i).

Let

thed

als at

Sale

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