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who, properly speaking, can be termed non-residents: for surely we are not to reckon in that number those, who, for want of glebes, are forced to retire to the nearest neighbouring village for a cabin to put their heads in : the leading man of the parish, when he makes the greatest clamour, being least disposed to accommodate the minister with an acre of ground. And, indeed, considering the difficulties the clergy lie under upon this head, it has been frequent matter of wonder to me, how they are able to perform that part of their duty so well as they do.

There is a noble author, * who has lately addressed to the house of commons an excellent discourse for the encouragement of agriculture; full of most useful hints, which I hope that honourable assembly will consider as they deserve. I am no stranger to his lordship; and, excepting in what relates to the church, there are few persons with whose opinions I am better pleased to agree; and am therefore grieved when I find him charging the inconveniences in the payment of tithes upon the clergy and their proctors. His lordship is above considering a very known and vulgar truth, that the meanest farmer has all manner of advantages against the most powerful clergyman, by whom it is impossible he can be wronged, although the minister were ever so ill disposed; the whole system of teasing, perplexing, and defrauding the proctor, or his master, being as well known to every ploughman, as the reaping or sowing of his corn, and much more artfully practised. Besides, the leading man in the parish must have his tithes at his own rate, which is

* Lord Molesworth.

If hops,

hardly ever abové 'one quarter of the valué. And I have heard it computed by many skilful observers, whose interest was not concerned, that the clergy did not receive, throughout the kingdom, oné half of what the law's have made their due.

As to his lordship's discontent against the bishop's 'court, I shall not interpose farther than in venturing my private opinion, that the clergy would be very glad to recover their just dues, by a more short, decisive, and compulsive method, than such a cramped limited jurisdiction will allow.

His lordship is not the only person disposed to give the clergy the honour of being the sole encouragers of all new improvements. hemp, flax, and twenty things more, are to be planted, the clergy alone must reward the industrious farmer, by abatement of the tithe. What if the owner of nine parts in ten, would please to abate proportionably in his rent for every acre thus improved? Would not a man just dropped from the clouds, upon a full hearing, judge the demand to be at least as reasonable?

I believe no man will dispute his lordship's title to his estate; nor will I the jus divinum of tithes, which he mentions with some émotion. I suppose

the affirmative would be of little advantage to the clergy, for the same reason, that a maxim in law has more weight in the world than an article of faith. And yet I think there may be such a thing as sacrilege ; because it is frequently mentioned by Greek and Roman authors, as well as described in Holy Writ. This I am sure of, that his lordship would at any time excuse a parliament for not concerning itself in his properties, without his own consent.

The observations I have made upon his lordship's discourse, have not, I confess, been altogether proper to my subject : however, since he has been pleased therein to offer some proposals to the house of commons with relation to the clergy, I hope he will excuse me for differing from him; which proceeds from his own principle, the desire of defending liberty and property, that he has so strenuously and constantly maintained.

But the other writer openly declares for a law empowering the bishops to set fee-farms; and says, “Whoever intimates, that they will deny their consent to such a reasonable law, which the whole nation cries for, are enemies to them and the church.” Whether this be his real opinion, or only a strain of mirth and irony, the matter is not much. However, my sentiments are so directly contrary to his, that I think, whoever impartially reads and considers what I have written upon this argument, has either no regard for the church established under the hierarchy of bishops, or will never consent to any law, that shall repeal or elude the limiting clause relating to the real half value, contained in the act of parliament decimo Caroli, for the preservation of the inheritance, rights and profits of lands belonging to the church and persons ecclesiastical ; which was grounded upon reasons that do still and must for ever subsist.

October 21, 1723,






Jan, 1724.

MY LORD, Your Grace having been pleased to communicate to us a certain brief, by letters patent, for the relief of one Charles M'Carthy, whose house in College-green, Dublin, was burnt by an accidental fire; and having desired us to consider of the said brief, and give our opinions thereof to

your Grace:

We, the clergy of the city of Dublin, in compliance with your Grace's desire, and with great acknowledgments for your paternal tenderness toward us, having maturely considered the said brief by letters patent, compared the several parts of it with what is enjoined us by the rubrick (which is confirmed by act of parliament) and consulted persons skilled in the laws of the church; do, in the names of ourselves and of the rest of our brethren the clergy of the diocese of Dublin, most humbly represent to your grace :

First, That by this brief, your Grace is required and commanded, to recommend and command all the parsons, vicars, &c, to advance so great an act of charity.

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