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What sacred power, what healing art, ...
O fortitude, divinely bright! :*
When raving in eternal pains,
When from th' imperial states on high,
“ Thou, whom my soul adores alone,
" Toyon diúrnal scenes below, ..
He said'; and the with smiles divine,
in [ To be continued. ]
'ON LO V E.'
Love'! how swift thy fairest prospects fade,
And flow'rs expanding drink his orient raj.,
The flow ret droops, his luftre disappears,
Chang'd to black vapours, moorn its fate with tears,
For MOND A Y, April 28, 1783.
A PLAN for rendering MORE EQUAL the REVENUES of the
BISHOPS, and those of the INFERIOR CLERGY. Exe
ing of this address, I have two proposals to make to you: one respects the revenues of the bishops, the other those of the inferior clergy ; both of them tending to the same end : not a parity of preferments, but a better apportioned distribution of what the state allows for the maintenance of the established clergy.
To begin with the bishoprics. It would be an easy matter to display much erudition, in tracing the history of the establishment of the several archbishoprics and bishoprics, which now fubfift in England and Wales , but as the investigation would tend very little, if at all, to the illustration of the subject we are upon, I will not misspend either your grace's leisure or my own in making it. Whatever was the primary occasion of it, the fact is certain that the revenues of the bishoprics are very unequal in value, and that there is a great inequality also in the patronage appertaining to the different sees. The first proposal which I bumbly submit to your grace's deliberation, is the uri. lity of bringing a bill into parliament, to render the bihoprics more equal to each other, both with respect to income and paVol. I, 17.
tronage, by annexing part of the estates, and part of the prea ferments of the richer bishoprics, as they become vacant, to che poorer. Your grace will observe, that here is no injury pro posed to be done to the present poffeffors of the richer bíloprics; let them enjoy in peace the emoluments which their great deservings, or great good fortunes, have procured for them; and as to that disappointment of expectation which some men may suffer, it is of too vague a value to be estimated ; it is too ftrange a species of property to be valued at all. Before your grace's mind can suggest to you the difficulties of accomplishing fuch a design, or the other objections which may, probably, be made to it, allow me to point out some of the advantages which, I think, would certainly attend it.
1. By a bill of this kind, the poorer bishops would be freed from the necessity of holding ecclesiastical preferments in commendam with their bishoprics ; a practice which bears hard upon the rights and expectations of the rest of the clergy; which is disagreeable to the bishops themselves ; which exposes them to much, perhaps undeserved obloquy ; but which certainly had better not sublift in the church. I do not take upon me to fix the precise sum which would enable a bishop not to pollute gospel humility with the pomp of prelacy, not to emulate the noble and opulent in such luxuries and expensive levities as become neither churchmen nor christians ; but to maintain such a decent establishment in the world, as would give weight to his example, and authority to his admonition : to make such a mo. derate provision for his children, as their father's mode of living would give them some little right to expect ; and to recommend his religion, by works of charity, to the serious' examination of unbelievers of every denomination.
2. A second consequence of the bill proposed, would be a greater independence of the bishops in the House of Lords. I know that many will be startled, I beg them not to be offended, at the furmise of the bishops not being independent in the House of Lords ; and it would be easy enough to weave a logi. cal cobweb, large enough and strong enough to cover and protect the conduct of the right reverend bench from the attacks of those who dislike episcopacy. This, I say, would be an easy talk ; but it is far above my ability to eradicate from the minds of others (who are, notwithstanding, as well attached to the church establishment as ourselves,) a suspicion that the prospect of being translated influences the minds of the binops too powerfully, and induces them to pay too great an attention to the beck of a minister. I am far from saying, or thinking, that the bishops of the present age are more obsequious in their at
tention to minifters than their predecessors have been, or that the spiritual lords are the only lords who are liable to this suspicion, or that lords in general are the only persons on whom expectation has an influence ; but the suspicion, whether well or ill founded, is disreputable to our order; and, what is of worse consequence, it hinders us from doing that good which we otherwife might do; for the laity, whilst they entertain such a suspicion concerning us, will accuse us of avarice and ambition, of making a gain of godliness, of bartering the dignity of our of. fice for the chance of a tranfation ; in one word, of secularity : and against that accusation, they are very backward in allowing the bilhops, or the clergy in general, such kind of defence as they would readily allow to any other class of men, any other denomination of christians, under similar circumstances, of large families and small fortunes. Instead, then, of quibbling and difputing against the existence of a minister's influence over us, or recriminating and retorting the petulance of those who accuse us on that account, let us endeavour to remove the evil ; or, if it mast be admitted that this evil has any real existence, let us endeavour to remove the appearance of it. A bill of the kind here proposed, would be effectual to this purpose. For though it might be difficult to render the revenues of the dif. ferent sees precisely equal to each other ; though it might be proper that the bishops of such laborious dioceses as London, Lincoln, and Chester, should be somewhat better provided for than those of Durham, Winchester, and Ely; since it is a maxim of scripture, that the labourer is worthy of his hire ; and of common sense, that the hire should be proportioned to the la. bour ; though this, I say, might be proper, yet the disparity of income and patronage might be made so small, or so apportioned to the labour, that few bishops, unless for local considerations, would be disposed to wish for translations ; and consequeatly would, in appearance as well as in reality, be independent.
3. A third probable effect, of the proposed plan, would be a Jonger residence of the bishops in their respective dioceses, from which the beft confequences might be expected. When the temptation to wish for translations was in a great measure removed, it would be natural for the bishops, in general, to confi. der themselves as settled for life, in the fees to which they should be first appointed: this consideration would induce them to make their places of residence more comfortable and commodious ; and an opportunity of living more comfortably, would beget an inclination to live more constantly in them. Being wedded, as it were, to a particular diocese, they would think it expedien: to
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