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TO THE MOST REVEREND FATHER IN GOD,
LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, &c.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GRACE ;
presume to call your Grace's attention to the following strictures on the political constitution of Tiverton, not with a view of engaging a notice of the many irregularities which prevail among us, but to place before your Grace, one, which has been designated by as true a christian as we have now on this side the grave, "a gross abuse, to use a soft expression,”
Among the distinguishing epithets we should all wish to hear generally applied to our clergy, are the following, -"Ambassadors of Christ, — “Messengers of the Most High,"_"Ministers of God,”—“Ministers of our Lord and Saviour,”— "Elders worthy of double honor;"—to these, indeed, they seem entitled from their holy employment in the vineyard of their blessed Master, advancing his kingdom by every means in their power, especially “ by rightly dividing the word of truth." They are expressly forbidden also, “to entangle themselves with the affairs of this world,” and are set apart from their brethren, in order that their sole attention may be devoted to religion : and, for this purpose, a late excellent and learned Judge * has informed us, “ large privileges are allowed them by the municipal laws.” I will only submit to your Grace, whether the clergy will enjoy that spiritual influence, so much to be desired, and which the above high distinctions, one should be led to think, would ensure to them, as long as we read in our newspapers such information as the following ! The Reverend has been elected Mayor of
The Reverend is made Alderman in the place of the late Mr. The Reverend - is elected Mayor of
Died on Tuesday the at the Reverend incuinbent
* I canuot refrain from reminding the reader of the character drawn of our excellent church, and its ministers, by this discreet Judge.
" It is the glory of the Church of England that she inculcates due obedience to lawful authority, and hath been, in her principles and practice, ever most unquestionably loyal. The clergy of her persuasion, holy in their doctrines, and unblemished in their lives and conversation, are also moderate in their ambition, and entertain just notions of the ties of society, and the rights of civil government. As in matters of faith and morality, they acknowledge no guide but the scriptures, so, in matters of external polity and private right, they derive all their title from the civil magistrate.”
of and of a Capital Burgess (in another paper this reverend gentleman was called an Alderman) of the Borough of
To this, which I have copied from a single provincial 'newspaper, I have to add, that in the borough of Tiverton, there are no less than four reverend cominon council-men, beneficed, some in distant dioceses, and others many miles from the town and parish, in wbich they have sworn, they will be at all times aiding and assisting to the mayor in all things appertaining to the well
. governing thereof : an addition to whom we may soon expect, as at a late election of "the most honest and discreet inhabitant,” to fill a vacancy in the common council, a gentleman was selected who was not a householder, but an inmate in a parent's family, who, when he arrives at the proper age, (it is said) intends to offer himself a candidate for holy orders.
Your Grace has declared it to be “ not convenient" to admit such candidates to holy orders, as have been engaged in secular pursuits; and I know an instance of your Grace having discountenanced such an application, though the age of the applicant was not more than thirty-five. He was also a graduate of one of our universities, and as to character, your Grace's own hand bore testimony the most favorable, by urging the great respect your Grace entertained for him, on account of the general estimation in which he was held in the neighbourhood where he had resided many years. I have no doubt experience most fully sanctioned your Grace's determination, though argument may not be able to convince every person of the justness of the principles on which your Grace acted. Surely then, such secular employments, as those just mentioned, will at once strike your Grace, as being most inconsistent with that high character which should mark the christian priesthood, and ill according with that example who has told us, that “his kingdom was not of this world.”
From the knowledge I possess of your Grace's anxiety, to promote to the utmost, the welfare and prosperity of our pure and reformed church, I feel confident, my placing before your Grace, this (in the opinion of many) degradation of the “holy calling," will not only experience your Grace's approbation, but will, I hope, meet the sanction of all those who wish well to our “Zion."
That God Almighty may long preserve your Grace for the good and honor of our church, is the earnest wish of,
""; "My Lord,,
and obedient servant,
F. L. J.
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE THE
EARL OF HARROWBY,
LORD PRESIDENT OF HIS MAJESTY's COUNCIL, LORD HIGH STEWARD OF TIVERTON, CAPITAL BURGESS OF TIVERTON, &c. &c.
After the maturest deliberation on my own part, and at the flattering suggestion and earnest * recommendation of many very respectable inbabitants of Tiverton, I venture to place before my fellow townsmen, and the public, some cursory observations on the political constitution of our town. My object, my Lord, is not to destroy that which it was intended should be handed down to us,
Quod nobis a majoribus traditum est, but solely to obtain a redress of those grievances, which our corporate officers have so unhesitatingly heaped upon those, whom the charters of James and George have incorporated.
With every possible respect for your Lordship’s public character, and with sentiments of the sincerest admiration for the many virtues which adorn your Lordship’s private life, I have when engaged