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AND THE DUTY OF THE LEGISLATURE

IN THE PRESENT RELATION

BETWEEN

THE POOR AND THE STATE,

BRIEFLY

CONSIDERED IN A LETTER

TO

GEORGE PALMER, ESQ. M.P.

OF NAZING PARK, ESSEX.

BY THE REV.

CHARLES MILLER, M.A.

VICAR OF HARLOW, ESSEX.

“Habet etiam Ecclesia Pauli Eleemosynarium. Is homo pius et pauperum necessitatibus
compatiens sit. Ejus officium est statutis diebus Eleemosynas distribuere egentibus uti volue-
rint illi qui publicam in Eleemosynam reditus contulerunt; et pauperes si qui sint qui juxta
Ecclesiam moriuntur in majori coemeterio gratis sepelire.”-Appendix in Hist. Eccles. Cath.
S. Pauli; Dugdale.

“ Then followed the Service of Morning Prayer for that day ..... Provision was made
instantly for Alms to the Poor."-Ceremonies observed at the Dedication to Christ's honour and
service of Lichfield Cathedral, by Bishop Hacket, on Christmas Eve, 1669. See Antiquities, &c.
London, 1717.

“ Church-fasts kept, will accustom men to habits of self-denial, and we may hope that luxury
will diminish and alms-giving increase. The Offertory will not then, as now, be almost a
mockery of offering; not as now, rarely read, but regularly and largely contributed to.”-
Bishop of Oxford's Charge, 1842.

LONDON:
PRINTED FOR J. G. F. & J. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE, PALL MALL ;

AND SOLD BY

BURNS, 17, PORTMAN STREET; & PARKER, OXFORD.

1842.

1016

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A

L E T T E R,

&c.

MY DEAR SIR, CORRESPONDENTS, it is said, sometimes reserve their most important communications for a postscript. Adopting the spirit of this rule, I will place my most valuable matter in the Appendix'. My title-page will also be interesting and instructive, as showing the feelings of our forefathers towards the poor and the needy. The Bishop of this diocese has recently used the offertory, and with good success, for the Colonial Bishopric fund: the Bishop of Oxford connects the offertory with alms-giving, and all churchmen must hope that his Lordship’s auspicious foreboding will be realized, and that the Church will resume her parental duties as guardian of the poor. Having begun and ended my letter so well, if the intervening observations should weary you, I must plead the

· The Appendix is also published separately.

A 2

example of the old warrior, who placed his choice troops in the rear and the van; but

κακούς εις μέσσον έλασσε.

.

It will be necessary for Mr. Gladstone to remind the people of England, as well as the electors of Newark, that the “ general obligation of Ministers now in power is to maintain the institutions of the country upon their ancient foundations,” for by their acts they seem rather wedded to the principle of maintaining the modern commissions upon their modern foundations. I wish we had the courage to throw overboard our modern theories and our quack medicines, and for the removal of our social disorders to submit to such a course of discipline as would be prescribed to us by commissioners of tithes and poor-laws, trained in the school of Archbishop Whitgift. Indeed, it is striking that our Church and our State embarrassments appear to have arisen from those principles or practices which have caused us to neglect the poor. An inquiry into the poor-laws, and the condition of the poor, ought to be preceded by an inquiry into the condition of the nation. Perhaps there may be a connection between the distresses of the poor and the failure of banks, and an undue tendency to speculation; and these evils again may have arisen from that spirit which, blind to the sin of covetousness and regardless of the just claims of parish and country, has been raising a clamour against usury laws, and tithe laws’, and corn laws,

2 See Note A at the end.

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