Изображения страниц

they ought to have double advantage. Protection in property, leave to trade and purchase, &c. are enough for a government to give. Employments in a state are a reward for those who entirely agree with it, &c. For example, a man who upon all occasions declared his opinion of a commonwealth to be preferable to a monarchy, would not be a fit man to have employments; let him enjoy his opinion, but not be in a capacity of reducing it to practice, &c.

Page 287. “ There can be no alteration in the established mode of church discipline, which is not made in a legal way.” Oh! but there are several methods to compass this legal way, by cunning, faction, industry. The common people, he knows, may be wrought upon by priests; these may influence the faction, and so compass a very pernicious law, and in a legal way ruin the state; as king Charles I. began to be ruined in a legal way, by passing bills, &c.

Page 288. As every thing is persecution which puts a man in a worse condition than his neighbours.” It is hard to think sometimes whether this man is hired to write for, or against dissenters, and the sects. This is their opinion, although they will not own it so roundly. Let this be brought to practice: make a quaker lord chancellor, who thinks paying tithes unlawful. And bring other instances to show that several employments affect the church.

Ibid. “Great advantages which both church and state have got by the kindness already shown to dissenters. Let them then be thankful for that. We humour children for their good sometimes, but too much may hurt. Observe that this 64th paragraph just contradicts the former. For, if we have advantage by kindness shown dissenters, then there is no necessity of banishment, or death. Page 290.

“ Christ never designed the holy sacrament should be prostituted to serve a party. And that people should be bribed by a place to receive unworthily.” Why, the business is, to be sure, that those who are employed, are of the national church; and the way to know it, is, by receiving the sacrament, which all men ought to do in their own church; and if not, are hardly fit for an office; and if they have those moral qualifications he mentions, joined to religion, no fear of receiving unworthily. And for this there might be a remedy: to take an oath that they are of the same principles, &c. for that is the end of receiving; and that it might be no bribe, the bill against occasional conformity would prevent entirely.

Ibid. “ Preferring men not for their capacity, but their zeal to the church.” The misfortune is, that if we prefer dissenters to great posts, they will have an inclination to make themselves the national church, and so there will be perpetual struggling; which case may be dangerous to the state. For, men are naturally wishing to get over others to their own opinion: witness this writer, who has published as singular and absurd notions as possible, yet has a mighty zeal to bring us over to them, &c.

Page 292. Here are two pages of scurrilous faction, with a deal of reflections on great per

Under the notion of high churchmen, he runs down all uniformity and church government. Here is the whole lower house of convocation, which

represents the body of the clergy, and both universities, treated with rudeness, by an obscure, corrupt member, while he is eating their bread.


Page 294. “ The reason why the middle sort of people retain so much of their ancient virtue, &c. is because no such pernicious notions are the ingredients of their education; which it is a sign are infinitely absurd, when so many of the gentry and nobility can, notwithstanding their prepossessions, get clear of them.” Now the very same argument lies against religion, morality, honour, and honesty; which are, it seems, but prejudices of education, and too many get clear of them. The middle sort of people have other things to mind than the factions of the age. He always assigns many causes, and sometimes with reason, since he makes imaginary effects. He quarrels at power being lodged in the clergy: when there is no reasonable protestant, clergy or laity, who will not readily own the inconveniences by too great power and wealth, in any one body of men, ecclesiastics, or seculars : but, on that account to weed up the wheat with the tares; to banish all religion, because it is capable of being corrupted; to give unbounded licence to all sects, &c.-And if heresies had not been used with some violence in the primitive age, we should have had, instead of true religion, the most corrupt one in the world. Page 316.

“ The Dutch, and the rest of our presbyterian allies, &c.” The Dutch will hardly thank him for this appellation. The French huguenots, and Geneva protestants themselves, and others, have lamented the want of episcopacy, and approved ours, &c. In this and the next paragraph, the author introduces the arguments he formerly used, when he turned papist in king James's time; and loth to lose them, he gives them a new turn; and they are the strongest in his book, at least have most artifice.

Page 333. “ 'Tis plain, all the power the bishops have, is derived from the people, &c.” In general the distinction lies here. The permissive power of exercising jurisdiction lies in the people, or legislature, or administrator of a kingdom ; but not of making him a bishop: as a physician that commences abroad, may be suffered to practise in London, or be hindered; but they have not the power of creating him a doctor, which is peculiar to a university. This is some allusion; but the thing is plain, as it seems to me, and wants no subterfuge, &c. Page 338.

A journeyman bishop to ordain for him.” Does any man think, that writing at this rate does the author's cause any service? is it his wit or his spleen that he cannot govern?

Page 364. “Can any have a right to an office, without having a right to do those things in which the office consists ?” I answer, the ordination is valid. But a man may prudentially forbid to do some things: as a clergyman may marry without licence or banns; the marriage is good; yet he is punishable for it. Page 368.

“ A choice made by persons who have no right to choose, is an error of the first concoction.” That battered simile again! this is hard. I wish physicians had kept that a secret, it lies so ready for him to be witty with.

Page 370. “ If prescription can make mere nullities to become good and valid, the laity may be capable of all manner of ecclesiastical power, &c.” There is a difference; for, here the same way is kept, although there might be breaches; but it is quite otherwise, if you alter the whole method from what it was at first. We see bishops: there always were bishops: it is the old way still. So a family is still held the same, although we are not sure of the purity of every one of the race. Page 380.

“ It is said, that every nation is not a complete body politic within itself, as to ecclesiasticals. But the whole church, say they, composes such a body, and Christ is the head of it. But Christ's headship makes Christians no more one body politic, with respect to ecclesiasticals, than to civils." Here we must show the reason and necessity of the church being a corporation all over the world; to avoid heresies, and preserve fundamentals, and hinder the corrupting of scripture, &c.

But there are no such necessities in government, to be the same every where, &c. It is something like the colleges in a university; they are all independent, yet joined, are one body. So a general council consisteth of many persons independent of one another, &c.

However, there is such a thing as jus gentium, &c. And he that is doctor of physic, or law, is so in any university in Europe, like the Respublica Litteraria. Nor to me does there seem any thing contradicting, or improper in this notion of the catholic church; and for want of such a communion, religion is so much corrupted, and would be more, if there were not more communion in this than in civils. It is of no import to mankind how nations are governed; but the preserving the purity of religion is best held up by endeavouring to make it one body over the world. Something like as there is in trade. So to be able to communicate with all Christians we come among, is at least to be wished and aimed at, as much as we can. Page 384.

“In a word, if the bishops are not supreme, &c.” Here he reassumes his arguments



« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »