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I had prolonged; the whole family loaded me with caresses and kindness, and when the peasant was alone with me I enquired how he came to be so well provided for. I kept my word with you, father, (said the man) and resolved to lead a good life: I begged my way hither, which is my native country, and engaged in the service of the master of this farm; and gaining his favour by my fidelity and attachment to his interests, he gave me his only daughter in marriage: God has blessed my endeavours; I have amassed a little wealth, and I beg that you will dispose of me and all that is mine : I shall now die content, since I have been able to see and testify my gratitude towards my deliverer.' I told him I was well repaid for all I had done by the use he had made of his preservation. I could not be prevailed on to accept the offers he made me; but did not refuse remaining with him for some days, during which time I received a treatment fit for a monarch ; and when he could no longer prevail on me to stay, he mounted me on his best horse, and never quitted me to my journey's end."
Thus was a subject saved to the State by the divine mercy of a friar, a subject whose generations may by this time have populated a province; and in the moments of future dangers be able to serve the sovereign of an empire, by saving his country from a destructive enemy.
To come nearer home, to show the merciful spirit (if possible) in a more amiable light, I will narrate, on a future day, an occurrence that befell our own countryman the tuneful Shenstone, at his Farme-Orne, near Birmingham.
The tuneful bard, whose sweet descriptive song,
ON THE MOON.
A Parish is that circuit of ground in which the souls under the care of one Parson or Vicar do inbabit. These are com, puted to be acar ten thousand in number. How antient the division of parishes is, may at present be difficult to ascer tain, for it seems to be agreed on all hands, that in the carly ages of Christianity in this island, parishes were unknown,
or at least signified the same that a diocese does now. There was then no appropriation of ecclesiastical dues to any particular church ; but every man was at liberty to contribute his tithes to whatever Priest or chu
church he pleased, provided only he did it to some or if he made no special ape pointment or appropriation thereof, they were paid into the hands of the Bishop, whose duty it was to distribute them among the Clergy, and for other pious purposes, according to his own discretion.
Mr. Camden:says, England was divided into parishes by Archbishop Honorius about the year 630. Sir Henry Hobart lays it down, that parishes were first erected by the Council of Lateran, which was held A. D. 1179. Each widely differing from the other, and both of them perhaps from the truth ; wbich will probably be found in the medium between the two extremes For Mr. Selden has clearly shewn, that the Clergy lived in common without any division of parishes, long after the time mentioned by Camden. And it appears from the Saxon laws, that parishes were in being long before. the date of that Council of Lateran, to which they are ascribed by Hobart.
-We find the distinction of parishes, nay even of mother churches, so early as in the laws of King Edgar, about the year 970. Before that time the consecration of tithes was in general arbitrary, that is, cvery man paid his own (as was before observed) to what church or parish he plcased. But this being liable to be attended with either fraud, or at lçast caprice, in the persons paying; and with either jealousies or mean compliances in such as were competitors for receiving them; it was now ordered by the law of King Edgar, that all tithes should be given to the mother church, to which the parish belongs. However, if any thape, or great Lord, had a church within his own demesnes, distinct from the mother-church, in the nature of a private chapel ; then, provided such church had a cöemitery or consecrated place of burial belonging to it, he might allot one third of his tithes for the maintenance of the officiating Minister : but, if it bad no coemitery, the thane must bimself have maintained his chaplain by some other means; for in such case all bis tithes were ordained to be paid to the mother church.
This proves that the kingdom was then universally divided ioto parishes; wbich division happened probably not all at
once, but by degrees. For it seems pretty clear and certain, that the boundaries of parishes were originally ascertained by those of a manor or manors : since it very seldom happens that a manor extends itself over more parishes than one, though there are often many manops in one parish. The Lords, as Christianity spread itself, begen to build churches upon their own demesnes or wastes, to accommodate their tenants in one or two adjoining Lordships; and, in order to have divine service regularly performed therein, obliged all their tenants to appropriate their tithes to the maintenance of the one officiating Minister, instead of leaving them at liberty to distribute them among the Clergy of the diocese in general ; and this tract of land, the tithes whereof were so appro. priated, formed a distinct parish. Which will well enough account for the frequent intermixture of parishes one with another. For if a Lord had a pareel of land detached from the main of his estate, bụt-not sufficient to form a parish of itself, it was natural for him to endow his newly erected church with the tithes of those lands; especially if no church was then built in any Lordship, adjoining to those outlying parcels.
Thus parishes were gradually formed, and parish churches ondowed with the tithes that arose within the circuit assigned. But some lands, either because they were in the hands of irreligious and careless owners, or were situate in forests and desart places, or for other now unsearchable reasons, were not united to any parish, and therefore continue to this day extra, parochial; and their tithes are now by immemorial custom payable to the King instead of the Bishop, in trust and confidence that he will distribụte them, for the general good of the church : yet extra-parochial wastes and marsh lands, when improved and drained, are by the statue 17 Geo. Ib.co 37. to be assessed to all parochial rates in the parish next adjoining:
- There are in the world," said the old Gentleman, "a class of beings aptly denominated: unlucky devils :" 'men who, from infâncy to youth, from youth to maturity, and from matgrity to old age, from the cradle to the grave, failed in every undertaking, reçeire for all their offences
frequently more than deserved purishment, and often for the performance of good offices little or no reward, Included in this class, if not by nature. void of superstition, I should be inclined strongly to embrace the vulgar notion that each individual is born subject to some favouring or inauspicions influence ; for, however weak in mind or weak in principle, the fingers of some men seem to be allowed the privilege of converting, like those of Midas, all they touch to gold; whilst others appear in all their conduct equally unfortunate. Few of us can review even the characters and circumstances that are comprehended within the sphere of our own knowledge, without beholding amongst them some instances of this nature. We shall there notice, some of the most honourable and prudential projects met frequently with an uninterrupted tide of the most cruel and unexpected (disappointment, whilst the measures of the feeble-minded, and the inventions of the artful, thrive with a continuance of good fortune almost beyond credence, We shall there view the best meanings repeatedly misconstrued, honest counsels, rejected with scorn, undisguised sentiments, received with insult, and fidelity of friendship sacrificed to the fictitious praises of wicked and designing sycophants. I can never persuade myself but that some men, whatever be their merit, are predestined to be in this world unpropie tious, and that others, whatsoever be their iniquity, are born to flourish. But at the same time I believe, that the prosperities of the one and the adversities of the other are no less than states of probation, which according as they are supported in this yorld will be punished or rewarded in the world to come.
"Born, he proceeded, at Liverpool, in the October of 1750, I was the youngest of a family of six children. The night of my nativity was remarkable for two occurrences; the most violent and incessant tempest that had been remembered for many years ; and a fire which happening in the house at the time of my birth, spread the greatest alarm; and though shortly extinguished, and productive of little damage to the property, occasioned, by the fright she received in consequence of this accident, the death of my esteemed mother. Thus ushered into the world in the midst of fire and water, confusion and distress, the circumstances attendant on the occasion seemed in some degree to prog. nosticate an existence predestined for misfortune.
“My father, the collector of customs for the town above. mentioned, bore in bis arduous situation a high character.. If he had not the lore of a classic or the polish of a courtier,