« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Benjamin (Laney) Lord Bishop of Peterborough, Hugh (Lloyd) Lord Bishop of Llandaff, Richard (Sterne) Lord Bishop of Carlisle, Brian (Walton) Lord Bishop of Chester, and John (Gauden) Lord Bishop of Exeter. London, »66o, 4to.
3. Lex Ignea, or the School of Righteousness; a sermon preached before the king, October 10, 1666, at the solemn Fast appointed for the late fire in London. Published by his majesty's special command. London, 1666, 410.
4. A Sermon preached to the House of Peers, November 13, 1678; being the Fast-day appointed by the King to implore the mercies of Almighty God, in the protection of his majesty's sacred person, and his kingdoms. London, 1678, 410. These discourses were reprinted together in 1693, 8vo.
g. Modern Politicks taken from Machiavel, Borgia, and other modern authors, by an eye witness, i2mo. 1658.
6. Nineteen Letters to Mr. North, published in 1757, $vo. He also published Bishop Andrews's Defence of the Vulgar Translation of the Bible, with a Preface of his own; and lie drew up the Offices for January 30, and May 29. His Grace left behind him a vast quantity of papers in MS, which, on the decease of .his nephew, were fold to bifliop Tanner for eighty guineas, who gave them, with the rest of bis MSS. to the Bodleian Library.
TO" THE ED1TOK OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN**
HAVING, in my remarks on the subsisting laws respecting Curates and clerical Residence^ spoken re-, pcatedby of Patronage, as of very great importance to the church, the right use of it benefiting in tlae highest degree, «eli<rious society, and the abuse of it frustrating the wisest re
Elations that can be made, as well as occasioning severe and rtfu! restraints; 1 propose now to enter into, the subject, ■tore particularly.
However important the duty may be, of conferring beneices so as to produce the greatest possible good, 1 know nonet which is less attended to by the worthier fort of men; I mean, as to its nature and principles. In conversation about disposing of them, men even of probity use a levity, and 4 torn of thought and expression, as if duty, virtue, moral obligation had no concern in the matter: every thing turns vpon that which in reality is foreign to the subject; that k, the emoluments annexed for wife and good ends of government; and which are most wrongly used when they are not made to answer those ends.
The only right conception of the matter seems to me to be this simple and plain one.—It is evidently necessary forthe safety and welfare of a nation, as well as lor the general good of mankind, that a religious society should be established under national protection, and supported by the community. That is, that religious offices should be instituted, and suitable persons appointed to fill them; forming different ranks, and having different degrees of authority: and as thefe'petsons must have been educated for these offices, and must give up all other pursuits in order rightly to perform the duties ot them, it is. highly reasonable that; these offices should be
made made Benefices; or that whoever fills any one of them, should be enabled to live in comfort, and should be respected, according to his rank and authority, by all different orders of the people. He should also have power of doing good, by alms, hospitality, and study. No minister should be contemptuously regarded by those whom he instructs; (" let no man despise thee." Titus ii. 15.) or by any whose respect for him will improve their own moral and religious principles. Such an institution must strike all thinking men, and lovers of the general happiness, as indispensable; but on an approach to the actual formation of it, this question must soon occur; who (hall fix upon the persons to fill these offices? the general answer must be, those who can best judge of the fitness of different men to undertake the duties of the offices; and who are least likely to be drawn aside from appointing the fittest, by the emoluments which have been annexed to the offices, for purposes of public utility,—On this ground it would be settled, that Kings should appoint a considerable number of ministers of religion, they being persons of liberal education, able to converse with men of the most improved minds, and possessing a degree of opulence, to which the provision for any churchminister could bear no proportion. Besides that, they must be particularly sensible of the incalculable benefit of maintaining general virtue and religion.—In the next place, supposing Kings thus to nominate those who were fittest to bear rule in the church, the persons so appointed, whom we call Bijhops, should be entrusted with fixing upon ministers to fill a considerable number of theoffices below their own, in dignity and wealth: for they must be very good judges of learning and clerical merit; must have an uncommon share of sagacity in discerning genuine worth from spurious; and their ample incomes and spiritual characters must cause them to regard the profits of benefices in no other light but as conducing to the ends for which they were originally designed.—Again, Noblemen, and Gentlemen of large estates, must, if not very much corrupted, think it extremely important that their tenants and dependants should receive wholesome instruction, and be thoroughly honest, faithful and well-principled. And the education of the nobility and gentry must be, as to the general nature of it, considerably better than that of ranks much lower than their own; and their wealth and delicacy of honor must make them disdain to draw any profit to themselves, from what either laws or charitable benefactors had dedicated to the public good: nobles therefore and
gentlemen of large estates seem proper to fix upon some clerical ministers, particularly to instruct and exhort their own tenants and dependants.*
I cannot conceive ecclesiastical Patronage to have arisen otherwise than as now described; when it has got into lower hands, where the emoluments have been important to the patron, it has probably been owing to the Patronage having been attached to some smaller portion os land, apart of a large estate divided for some particular purposes; but it is of the last importance to keep continually in mind, that to whomsoever the power is delegated of naming to offices in the church, whether to kings, or bishops, or nobles, or more private persons, the profits by which ministers are suppprted, all come from other sources, and are only committed to them in trust. + They either came from laws, as taxes come into the national treasury; that is, from all citizens, according to some certain regulations; or from pious and charitable donors. A king has no more private property in the emoluments annexed to the offices to which he names, than he has in the taxes, raised to pay the army and the navy. A bishop no more than in the revenues of an hospital; a nobleman no more than in a subscription purse. Every act therefore, every thought or arrangement, in a Patron, whilst he is about naming a church-minister, which is, in any way, founded on the idea or nature of private property, is essentially wrong, unjust, dishonest.
This plain general account of ecclesiastical Patronage ic really the whose of the matter: and any man who made it familiar to- his mind, and acted from it, steadily and habitually,
* Sir Wm. Blackstone speaks (vol. ii.p. 21, 8vo.) of gentlemen of large estates as anciently endowing their own churches, and, on that account, having the right of Patronage; bat this does not maSe any material difference in the duties and obligations of their successors. Nor does it account for large Patronage vested in king* or bishops. What was needful to be done, if it were not executed in one way would be in another; therefore the particular mode is aot necessary to be known. In matters of very remote antiquity, flie reason' of the thing, is as much to be trusted to; as very obscure information, or conjectures, concerning; facts.
t In Mr. H. Thornton's speech, Friday, May 8, 1807, on his being elected for Southwark, what he says of the elective franchise may be applied to ecclesiastical Patronage. "The elective fran"chise was no longer considered as an important trust, but as some"thing profitable to the individual who exercised it."
would would act rightly. But when men come to apply general rules, from which thev had rather be free, to particular cafes, they cap, in every cafe, find some excuse, or dispensation: or they can summon up forces to resist even the general rule itself. This is the only reason why we should proceed Farther, pr enter into more particular observations. Such power, and such desire of evading, might justify a few deductions, in the way of corollaries.
A Patron who names his Son to a benefice, as a provision, because he is his son, is guilty of a breach of trust.—For as he is intrusted with power for the public good, and as being one of the persons most likely to name a minister who will best teach the people, and periorm all ministerial duties, the consideration of providing for a son, than which nothing can be more proper in itself, should be entirely out of sight, ■whilst he is acting in the character of a Patron. From whomsoever the profit annexed to the benefice came, it was never meant as a provision for his son.
Any Patron who confers a benefice as a reward for past
services, done either in education, elections, or in any other
way, acts as dishonestly as the treasurer of an hospital would
do, who should pay his servants their wages out of the
money entrusted to him by the governors of the hospital.
All things provided by the public, in order to excite right sentiments of religion in the minds of the people, are upon one and the fame footing; dress,'pulpit, organ, building, tithes and glebe. Whatever is right with regard to the tithes and glebe, must be right with regard to the rest. He who turns the tithes and glebe, in any way, to his private advantage, may be equally justified in taking part of the surplice for his wearing apparel, leaving just enough to cover the shoulders of the minister; or in adorning his children with the laced velvet pulpit-cloth, putting a homely serge in its room; or in making his blacksmith organist (as Mr. Mason, the poet, told me he did with his barrel-organ at Aston); or in. cutting off a corner of the church for a commodious stable. All these liberties might be taken without putting a slop to the performance of divine service; which is quite as much as can be said when a Patron appoints an unfit minister, instead of one, who would have made devotion and instruction pleasing and interesting, as well as improving; who would have served God, and caused many others to serve him, in the beauty of holiness.
It z a