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living of an hundred, perhaps an hundred and • fifty pounds per annum : they have a family to : maintain: they are to appear according to their
ftation : they know. not, how to appear otherwife; their birth and education have raised them above the fordid ideas of penury. Distressed on all sides, and dejected, how can they elevate an oppreffed mind? - Nay, many of them are for.ced to perform the duties of their function, per
haps through their whole lives, for less wages - than are paid to a common Excise-man: lefs than
almost any journeyman mechanic can procure ! What wonder, that such men are obliged to mingle with improper company. ; that they fall · into vices ;. into contempt?:- : i į s . Of the superior Clergy, what fhall I fay! I know many of them 'truly worthy. ', But again; how many seem to forget, that they are clergymen, that they have the care of souls; rarely · visiting their charges, or, perhaps giving them occasionally a dry harangue, :-- while too, too often they carry themselves with a loftinefs, ill-besuiting the humility of their function ; and from their over-grown re:venues allow a scanty pittance to a worthy man (a brother) to perform the labour! I will not go higher. Let me only observe, that as clergymen of all degrees and distinctions are as lights set upon an hill; so deficiencies in their conduct are more observable ; and consequently they are called to greater caution.
Ву - By these means, and the like (which I need not enumerate) the clergy are brought into contempt : thus they have given the most prevailing handle to fectaries. The ill examples of the clergy, are a common topic with them; and it is - much to be wished, there were no truth in their remarks. When they speak of proud, lazy, immoral clergymen, it is a bitter reproach. God wipe it from our land, and stop the mouths of these men. I am convinced, nothing will tend so much to stop their mouths, and ftem their progress, as zeal and activity in our clergy. There is a strong attachment in the people to the regular clergy; where such are active and exemplary, there are found but few Methodists or Dissenters. - What then, you may fay, is to be done? Hear an old man for once; it is the last time perhaps I may ever deliver my thoughts to the public: my fun is just about to fet, and the days of darkness are hasting upon me: may my last words (if these be such) prove serviceable to religion and my country!
Our gracious Monarch hath assured us, that .“ he will on all occafions, distinguish persons of · Piety and Virtue.” Thřs is the first and furest method, to promote Picty and Virtue amongst the clergy, as well as all orders of men. What encouragement hath a man to apply himself to the labour of learning, and the toils of the ministerial function --. (if we abate the in
felt satisfaction arifing from conscious duty) when he is well-assured, that he shall neither meet with regard nor attention : nay, perhaps, shall rather meet with sneers and neglect. When he sees, that to preferment other roads lie open ; and that the advanced station, is not the wellearned purchase of real merit? But fhould the serious clergyman, whose blameless and shining conduct; whose earnest and constant labours in the pulpit, and in other parts of his duty; whofe abilities, fincerity, and piety are evident; should he, should fuch men be called out and diftinguished; should the royal favour mark out fuch; we should soon see a harvest of good men, diligent in their ministerial functions, and cheared with the pleasing reflection, that they were fecuring their best interests, while they were recommending themselves to their princes or their bishops favour! -The lukewarm and the worthless would thus be ashamed into duty; and we fhould see virtue and religion assume the faireft appearance. -God affist and ftrengthen our gracious King in this good work. :
A second method to serve religion, by afsifting its ministers, would be, to render their lives more free from the uneasy distraction of worldly anxieties, by giving them a more comfortable subsistence. I do not take upon me, either to direct or suggest, how this may be accomplished. It deserves the attention of our fuperiors. In
this charitable age, no confiderations could be more charitable, Mark me, I do not plead for wealthy fupplies, or the means of luxurious live ing: I ask, (and no man can say it is unreasonable) that those who minister to us in holy things, should not be farved — should have a competency. Those who administer to our pleaJures, players, fingers, dancers, &c. are not satisfied, but with their thousands per annum ! Countrymen and fellow Christians, is not this the greatest reproach upon us ? we give these men fuch fums, to fpend in the vileft manner ;--and our clergy, men of liberal education, and, for the most part, (where neceffity is not too powerful) men of good lives have not fifty, not an hundred pounds a year to support themselves and families ! ought these things fo to be! " But many of them, you say, have their thousands a year: accumulate preferments upon preferments: , and, like the horse-leech, still cry, Give, give? these too are often hardest upon their inferior brethren -- what would you say of these?” Truly, nothing : I will only refer you to my last remark, concerning the first method to promote Piety and Virtue ! - This will suffice for an :answer to any objections from the trifling or im-. moral conduct of the clergy. i One method more, I would offer, “ Ordain fewer, ordain none who have not been of the university; or, are not very faining exceptions."
As to the latter branch of this advice, it may sure, easily, be complied with. It is a shame to see so many illiterate mechanics in our city pulpits. I heard one, reading prayers the other day, who miscalled every proper name in the lessons, and mis-pronounced half the words in the service. Not long since there were five of these men candidates,-(Fratres eheu dilectissimi!) for a citylecture : poemakers formerly, weavers, bakers, &c. now right good and reverend divines! This is a grievous nuisance: a fad offence and opprobrium to religion. And what is worse, some of these interlopers have been apostles, and wandring -prophets among the methodists! I know that it is said, there is a scarcity in the northern counties; and therefore the Bishops are obliged to ordain men not regularly bred. This may be fome excuse, in these cases : but let not such northern men disgust us in the pulpits of our capital; and let not mechanics be ordained for the service of the metropolis. Hence the shabby gown and tattered cafsock, which pains us, . draggling in the streets ; hence prating in the ale-house, &c. .
But how, “ Ordain fewer ?” Fewer, who come with regular testimonials from universities? It is cruel to disappoint young men, whose parents have fitted them for this occupation;
spent much money in their education, and thus · incapacitated them from any other means of live