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ing up the Degrees and Estates allowed in his Time, could not find in the Church of Christ. And I assure you, my Lord, that it will better stand with the Maintenance of Christian Religion, that in the Stead of the same Prebendaries were twenty Divines, at ten Pound apiece, like as it is appointed at Oxford and Cambridge, and twenty Students in the Tongues and French, to have ten Marks apiece. For if such a Number be not there Residerit, to what Intent should so many Readers be there? And surely it were great Pity, that so many good Lectures should be there read in vain. For as for your Prebendaries, they cannot attend to apply for making of good Cheer. And as for your twenty Children in Grammar, their Master and their Usher be daily otherwise occupied in the Rudiments of Grammar, than that they have Space and Time to hear the Lectures. So that to these good Lectures is prepared no convenient Auditory. And therefore, my Loril, I pray you let it be considered, what a great Lols it will be to have so many good Lectures read without Profit to any, faving to the six Preachers. Farther, as concerning the Reader of Divinity and Humanity, it will not agree well, that one Man should be Reader of both Lectures : For he that studieth in Divinity must leave the Reading of profane Authors, and shall have as much to do as he can, to prepare
his Lecture to be substantially read: And in like Manner, he that readeth in Humanity had not Need to alter his Study, if he should make an erudite Lecture. And there, in mine Opinion, it would be
Office for two sundry learned Men. Now concern-
But to proceed: We are now come to this Pass, that if the Law of the Land permit us, we seem to have hardly any Notion left of a Law of Christ, that may forbid us any Thing whatsoever. For a Specimen of this, I must tell a melancholy Story of my own Knowledge. When I was once talking with the Lord Chief Justice King, one brought up among the Diffenters at Exeter, under a most Religious, Christian, and Learned Education: We fell into a Debate about signing Articles, which we did not believe for Preferment; which he openly justified, and pleaded for it, that We must not lose our Usefulness for Scruples. (Strange Doctrine in the Mouth of one bred up among Diffenters! whose whole Diffent from the legally established Church was built on Scruples.] I reply'd, that I was sorry to hear his Lordship say so; and desired to know, whether in their Courts they allowed of such Prevarication or not? He answered, They did not allow of it. Which produced this Rejoinder from me, s pose God Almighty should be as just in the next " World, as my Lord Chief Justice is in this, " where are we then ?." To which he made no Anfwer. And to which the late Queen Caroline added, when I told her the Story, Mr. Whifton, no Answer was to be made to it.
Nay farther, if the Remarks on a Part of a Bill brought into the House of Lords, by the Earl of Nottingham, 1721, and intituled, A Bill for the more effettual Suppression of Blasphemy and Profaneness, supposed to be written by the Bishop of Lone don, be not quite mistaken, “ That those of the
• Clergy, who are understood to be Favourers of the “ Arian Doctrines, (for that was the Blasphemy and
Profaneness here principally meant) will subscribe 65 the Test therein mentioned against Arianism, is “ most certain; because the Test is Part of the “ thirty-nine Articles: And it is an avowed Prin“ ciple among them, that those Articles may law“ fully and conscienciousy be subscribed in any “ Sense, in which they themselves, by their own “ Interpretation, can reconcile them to Scripture ; “ without Regard to the Meaning and Intention, “ either of the Persons who first compiled them, “ or who now impose them.--'Tis also said here, “ That this Method of Subscribing has been occa“ sionally mentioned as a very lawful and regular « Way, in many other of the Arian Books; and "s is what they all openly and professedly maintain ci in their common Conversation : That several of “ them have actually subscribed, and received Pro“ motions since they fell into these Opinions, and r became Advocates for them. And the Author ct says, he had not known or heard of any one “ Man among them who has declin'd the Offer of « Promotion, on Account of his not being able to « Subscribe.” Now tho' this is said in much too general a Manner, and both Mr. Emlyn and myself always, and Dr. Clarke and Mr. Jackson after some Time, have refused all Preferments that require that Subscription: Not to name others within my Acquaintance, because their Cafes are not so well known: Yet 'are such Examples, to be sure, very rare among us; and the Generality seen, by their
Practice, to approve of the Lord King's grand Expedient; Not to lose their Usefulness for Scruples.
Now that the Reader may fee, in short, what a Circle a poor Clergyman of the Church of England is to run through, before he can be legally poffeffed of a Living at this Day, and which I must have run through myself, before I could have been possess'd of the Living of Pensehürft, some Time fince offered me, had I accepted it, of which here : after, take this doleful Catalogue, in the Words of Sir Simon Degg, in his Parsons Counsellor, printed 1676, Chap. vi. as follows.
“ The sixth Chapter shews what a Clerk is to so do before, at, and after his Admission, Institu“ tion, and Induction, to make him a compleat « Parfon.
- No Man at this Day, says the Author, is ca
pable to be a Parson, Vicar, &c. before he is a " Priest in Orders; which he cannot be before he “ is twenty-four Years of Age, as has been said; 65 and if any Person shall be Admitted, Instituted, " and Inducted into any Living, before he is in “ Holy Orders, his Admission, Institution, and “ Induction are void, by the late Act of Unifor“ mity. Secondly, he must make his Subscrips " tion [to the thirty-nine Articles, &c.] accord
ing to the faid Act; and have a Certificate from " the Bishop, &c. under his Hand and Seal, " that he hath so done; and then, within two « Months after he is Inducted, he must, upon “ fome Sunday or Lord's Day, during Divine “ Service, (that is, after some Part of the Divine