A Sermon preached at the Ordination, held at Christ Church, Novi

21, 1779, by John Lord Bishop of Oxford. By John Ran

dolph, M, A. Student of Christ Church, 4to. Is, Fletcher, : Oxford ; Rivington, London.

The duty of a minister of the Gospel is weighty and im+ portant. It should not be entered on' rafhly, but with due confideration. Exemplary morals, and confiderable attainments in knowledge are essentially requisite to discharge this sacred office "decently and in order." But how few, if we enter into a strict scrutiny, shall we find of this valuable stamp?

Tempora mutantur nos et mutamur in illis. That too many are honoured with this title, without troubling their heads about necessary studies, is too noto rious to be denied. This fashionable a padlo 66 want of science” contributés greatly to bring the clergy into contempt.

The discourse before us is suitable to the occasion on which it was delivered ; in which Mr. Randolph speaks of profane learning as fubordinate and introductory to that which is facred. To set which argument in a clear light, he gives us a plain enumeration of particulars : such as, a knowledge of languages, the science of criticism, history, the inferior sciences of geography and chronology, the philofophical sciences, and even (says he) “ the elegant arts should not be neglected.'

After treating concisely on the above particulars, and pointing out their utility with respect to the study of Theo logy, Mr, Randolph thus concludes his sensible discourse :

* A mind thus stored and prepared would certainly come with great advantage and ability to religious studies; betides, the mere technial knowledge thus acquired, by frequent exercise, and by haviðg taken such a compass, it would be much enlarged and strengthened.

“ Nor is experience wanting to confirin this notion. Superftition, enthusiasm, and infidelity have always had their foundation in ignorance. The superstitions of the Roman Catholic religion arole and took root in times when good literature was loft to the world. The modern enthusiasts are usually those who have come to the study of sacred learning with minds ill-prepared for its reception, and have built their errors upon misinterpretation, or upon that common mistake of arguing from detached paffages feparated from the context. It is the same with modern infidelity, however it may plume itself on its fuperior talents ; still it has its foundation in gross ignorance, and often in'an ignorance of plain 3

elementary ledge.

elementary principles : there may, perhaps, be something plaug. ble at first sight ; there may be a superficial glare sufficient to en. gage and perplex weak, minds; but I am persuaded, if we had had more found learning amongst us, the most popular of these compilations, whether they pass under the name of philosophy or of history, would never have risen to eminence. It may be said, that some of them are the work of ingenuity and of bright parts ; perhaps so, though this is to attribute to them more than most of them deserve, still they are founded in ignorance, while men vain. ly presume to fcan what is beyond their reach, and aspire at once to those things which are not to be attained but by degrees and by caurious steps. There is one fure way of striking at the root of this evil, and that not so much by desultory attacks, as by spreading wide the influence of better principles and of founder know

• Thus, I think, from the institutions of our church, froin the bistory and experience of pait and present times, and from the nature of the thing itself, we may ealily discern a strong connexion between the cause of learning in all its several branches and that of religion ; and I would be understood to speak at present of human learning not as valuable in itself, but as subfervient and fubfidiary to something of higher importance; as preparing the way and opening the mind for the reception of greater truths, as tending to form that great character which shall embrace all these parts of learning as secondary and subordinate to that which is its principal study, and fhall then apply the whole with united force to the promoting the knowledge of Chriftian faith, and the exer. cise of Chriftian charity : casting down imaginations, and every bigb thing that exalteth itself againg the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Chrift, 16 It

may be urged that all this is within the reach of few, be it fo; perhaps of none ; but by holding forth that which is perfect as a model, we shall be able to approach nearer to it. Some portion at least is in every man's power. And it is an undeniable consequence, that if these gifts may be applied to so good purposes, they call for our most earneit endeavouring; and on the other hand, we may be assured, that if our endeavours are earnest and fincere, the gracious affistance of God will not be wanting in this, and all our other labours. Then may we apply. to ourselves with confidence those most comfortable words of our Saviour Christ to his apoftles, and through them to his church : And lo I am with Jou alway, even unto the end of the world."


* Mathew, C. 28, V. 20.


Thoughts on the Treaty now agitating between Government and the

East India Company, shewing the conceived Defeets of the Propositions drawn up by the Court of Directors; and containing a new set of Propositions, perhaps more advantageous to the Public, to the East India Company, and the oppressed Inhabibitants of Hindoftan. By Archibald Mitchell, late Major of Engincers, belonging to the Establishment of Fort St. George. 4to. 25. 6d. Donaldson:

It is an old saying, that it would be happy for the arts if none but artists presumed to judge of them. We may extend the observation, and affirm, that it would be happy for the interests of knowledge and learning in general, if none presumed to write, nor even to talk of any thing but what they understood. And, yet, how widely do men deviate from this excellent rule? How many tours of England have been written by those who were never out of the found of Bow bell ? And how many travels thro’ foreign countries have been composed by those who were never out of Great-Britain? This habit, indeed, of talking of things we do not understand, seems to be an old disease of mankind. The pedant, who presumed to instruct Hannibal in the art of war, tho’ he had never seen the face of an enemy, appears to have been of this family. Major Mitchell is of a very different lineage. He talks of nothing of which he is not a perfect master; for having resided long in the East Indies, he cannot but be supposed to be intimately acquainted with the subject of which he treats, and which, we inuft own, he handles in a very rational and ingenious manner. Instead of a charter for ten years, he proposes that the company should have a charter for thirty years, and that the public and the company should equally share in the profits, and in the collection of the revenues; and the direction of the

government. He alledges, that neither the directors nor the minifter have chose to speak out their fentiments clearly, but that, if they had done so, they would have expressed themselves ini the following, or, at least, in somewhat similar terms:

" Having adjufted the dividend for the profits on trade, the proposition goes to state the mode, in which the reinaining profits of the company, accruing from the territorial revenue, is to be İhared between the public and the India proprietors : ie proposes, that all above eight per cent. should be given to the state, until the profits amount to fixteen


cent. When they exceed fixteen per cent. the surplus to be equally divided between the public and company. The plain English of which propofitiou I take to Vou: XI, Сс


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

be this ; . We (that is adminiftation) will not revolt the proprie. sors, by asserting, in direct terms, that every farthing of revende shall be ours, but we shall take care to have it fo, by infifting on receiving all up to fixteen per cent. which we are perfuaded, is the utmost extent of probable profit that will acerue from the company's poffeifions. Should, however, the profits, by a degree of good management very unlikely to happen, exceed that propor. tion, we will then copdefcend to admit the company to an equal fhare of this imaginary furplus, this bubble of expectation, never to be realised. In return for this great condescension on our part, you shall have the honour of being the fole drudges in the management of this business, because we are convinced, by the wonderful extent of your past æconomy, and by the great care you have thewn to provide for the lasting prosperity of your poffeffions, as well as by the effectual means you have used to secure all the riches of India to yourselves, and to let none of them to go into the pockets of your fervants, that you are exceedingly equal to this arduous employment.--Moreover, we will not affront you, by making an offer for paying for one half of the fortifications, buildings, guna, &c. &c. constructed and provided by you, at an immense expence, for the necessary security of your poffeffions :--you fall have the merit of making a present of all that to the state, in re turn for the honour it does you, by calling you it's


and we will content ourselves with the whole of the prokts, without heing at a farthing expence, or bearing any of the drudgery.”

• If after reading this fair state of the proposal, any one will fill be hardy enough to throw down the gauntler, as á champion for the justice and moderation of government, I certainly shall not except the challenge, not chusing to fight wind-mills, nor to run my head against stone walls.

" I now proceed to the last head of difcuffion, namely to exac mine,

The degree of exclusive controul and management, proposed to be vested in the company, independent of government."

" In examining which, I fall first consider the demands and expectations of the directors, on this head, in behalf of the com pany; and then advert to the requisition of the minister on behalf of the state,

“ The directors begin their propofitions, by requiring, Tha all their charter rights and privileges, shall be preserved to them entire. Had they condescended to have exprefled this wish, with fome degree of limitation, I conceive, it would have been both more inodest and more juft. For example, had they thought proper to. insert the following clause, namely-So far as regards our exclufive trade, and the management of our commerce, perhaps the requisition would have been niore reasonable, as well as more respectful, than as it stands at present. Their demand may be thus tranflated : “ We expect, not only the exclusive management of our trade, the fole object of our former charter privileges (in which claim they are perfectly well founded) but we infitt allo on the en


cire administration of the territory--the sole right of Indian legiflation--and the undivided exercise of collecting and employing the revenges, We are aware that this demand is rather outré on our part, but fill we will be much obliged to you, if you will grant it. We should offend the proprietors if we acted otherwise ; and if you give it us, we will make it up to you in more effential matters : for we will permit you to pocket the whole revenues, if you will give us all the porver. We must be, at the least we must appear to be, the fole governors and treasurers. We must have the oftenfible difposal of all places, and have it absolutely in our power to enrich our friends and dependents at the expence of the public. In short, we will do all the bufiness-take a ditile care of the company-a great deal of your friends and our friends, and let the public at large shift for themselves. Finally, we infift upon being great men, in appearance, but you shall have all the power, under the role.'

so Gentlemen, replies the minister, I pardon' the prefumption of your demand, on account of the motive from whence I conceive it to have originated, namely, your defire to approve yourselves the faithful guardians of the rights of your conftituents; but I will not so far degrade your discernment, as to suppose, that your claim to exclusive manageinerit of revenue as well as trade, can be justi. fied by yoar private opinions, and conviction of it's equity and propriety. Surely, Gentlenien, a participation of revenue necef: farily implies a proportionable share, in the management of those countries from whence that revenue is to arise. In regard to in." fluence, under the rose, it would be highly unbecoming in the mic nister of this great nation, in the adjustment of fo important a business as the

present, to appear to give weight to, or to be actuated by, fuch indirect motives. Besides, neither my time, iny in. clination, nor the turn of my mind, lead me to court such influence. Other ministers, perhaps of less official connection with the company, may have courted it, and may have obtained it. The motives of my claim, in behalf of the state, to a fare of territorial management, however unpopular that claim may be, I am yet not alhamed to own, because I am convinced, it is founded both on justice and expediency; nor has the past management of the company's poffeffions, in @he hands of the directors, and of servants of their appointing, had any tendency to lessen that persuafion. Partnership (I speak to you now as merchants) neceffarily involves in it a share of direction. When I say this, I am at the same time, perfectly aware, of the degree of unpopularity and jealousy that will be excited, especially in the present moment, by the adoption of any measure that tends to increase the power, and to extend the influence of the crown, however juft, however necessary it may be on the present occasion. On thảr account I am disposed to wave my claim to oftenfible, domestie management, and to confine it within the bounds already prescribed by parliament, of no. minating the governor general and fupreme council in Bengal, as being the executive power in the administration of revenue. On Сс 2


« ElőzőTovább »