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relief) notwithstanding the unprecedented depreciation of produce, a large portion of the Tithes remains unaltered, than which a stronger argument could not be adduced in favor of my sentiments; and convinced, as I am, of the truth of these statements, I cannot but hope, that the proposers of commutation will be induced to forego their intended measure. Should they, however persist in their design, let the guardians of the Church unite with one spirit to ward off the spade of innovation from the foundations of our venerable fabric. Let all the members of the Church, alive to a sense of their duty, and the value of their principles, combine their efforts to preserve them. True to its own cause, and faithful to itself, the Church has nothing to fear. But as the higher wisdom consists in the prevention rather than the remedy of ills, let it deprecate in its infancy every speculative change. Let it show itself not less earnest in preventing any interference with its own concerns, than zealous in the judicious management of them. Awake to its real interest, and acting upon these principles, it may equally disregard the contrivance of any secret, or the clamors of any open, foe.

Considering therefore, under these views, the destruction of the system of Tithes to involve in it the destruction of the establishment, and believing the establishment to be intimately connected with the preservation of national independence, and the real cause of liberty, I shall address a few remarks upon this point to all who profess themselves to be the friends of freedom. When I speak of freedom, I do not mean the restless and turbulent spirit of the ancient states of Greece, or of popular Rome, which, under the vain-glorious pretence of the public weal, demanded

of every individual a self-devotion, that rendered him in reality a slave-a spirit, that with the mere exception of the demagogues of the day, made the state every thing, the individual, nothing that in one case spread a military despotism, for its own aggrandisement, over the rest of the world, and in the other, rendered each state, by turns, the victim of a barbarous and relentless tyranny. It is not to be denied, that such a spirit produced a lustre and a coloring in the grand historical picture of the human race, that by seducing the eye, throws into shade whatever is unseemly and deformed. Still further, it is not to be denied, that it left us much to imitate, and still more to admire. But whether we view it closely and deliberately, as patriotism or as liberty, how low, how selfish, how worldly. minded, does such a spirit appear, compared with that exalted freedom, which Christianity hallows, and which I may with confidence assert, that England more than any other great nation enjoys. A constitution, indeed, where, under "kind equal rule, and all-protecting freedom," the laws govern, is, in many points of view, a great system of Christian forbearance. That any human institution is entitled to such unqualified praise, it would be presumption to pronounce. But how far our constitution has a comparative claim to such praise, we may appeal to the testimony and admiration of surrounding Europe-to our ele vated character amidst the nations of the world-to an uncorrupted administration of the laws-an unrestrained religious worship-a security of property and person-safety from abroad and tranquillity at home-and a diffusion of intellect and opulence, unexperienced in the annals of the human race. Under this double operation of the motive and the means, how various are the institutions and how wide the blessings, derived from the voluntary act of indi

viduals! how unprecedented are the efforts made to ameliorate the condition of mankind! under the guidance of this spirit, how unoffensively and how legitimately does the influence of our country seem to spread over the globe! the tacit consent of the whole civilized world to this dominion of example and opinions, at once constitutes and confers a greatness that merely arms could never obtain or uphold.

Placed as we are in such an enviable rank, beyond all comparison with other countries and past ages, opulent and powerful, yet neither feared abroad, (unless in arms) nor enslaved at home, surely some praise, in producing such a state of things, will be ascribed to the established clergy. And by those who impartially contemplate their numbers, their constitution, and necessary influence on society, their due share of praise will not be withheld. I am not absurdly pretending that many other great and powerful causes have not, under providence, conspired in effecting such great and happy results. All I am desirous to maintain, is that the clergy have assisted the growth and cooperated in the preservation of the freedom we enjoy. Their influence is not to be deemed less real and effective, because silent. We are not to expect from them public professions or avowed sentiments upon this subject, These are not within their province. Yet, it is not too much to say, that to their firmness in resisting the usurpations and overbearing spirit of an ambitious hierarchy, which, from its pretensions to infallibility, must necessarily be despotic, we perhaps chiefly owe our liberal constitution, both in church and state-occasions too might be referred to in modern times, on which the clergy have almost universally and openly espoused the cause of free¬

dom, when specifically connected with the principles of humanity and religion.' In maintaining, however, that the clergy are one of the great bulwarks of national liberty, I wish not to cite selected instances of their sentiments upon any particular occasions, in support of my proposition. I give no weight to any particular line of political conduct or preferences, which are often merely local, or at least, of ephemeral importance. I appeal to no test, upon which opinions obviously fluctuate, and upon which, in a free country, the expressed sentiments of men almost ne- ' cessarily vary. I refer to causes more deeply seated and more certain in their operation and effect. I rather point your attention to their constitution, their protestant principles, their birth, their studies, and station in society.

The clergy, although drawn from every rank in a very large proportion, emanate from the middle classes of society. They are planted throughout every part of the population-their sacred office and character leads them to the lowest and blends them with the highest classes-no ministry, otherwise constituted, could so well bring (which religion enjoins) the "rich and the poor together"-they are at once a centre of union and a bond of national strength. So circumstanced, and for so long a period, their influence upon society must have been incalculably great.

'I am aware that the clergy very generally support the government. I admit that particular reasons may induce them to lean to government. I might urge too, that from general and professional motives, they ought so to do. Leaving this point undiscussed, at least, I may state that before this can be alleged as a crime, the government must be proved oppressive and unjust.

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History tells us how difficult it is, to preserve essential freedom together with opulence and power. In the cor rupt course of human affairs, wealth and greatness gene, rally destroy the freedom that created them. Yet England is rich, powerful, and free Could this have been the state of our country, I ask, had not the free spirit of our constitution, government, and laws, been cherished by the clergy? Our reflections too will tell us, what history does not contradict, that all independent nations enjoy as much freedom as they deserve, or in other words, as they are fit for. Attaching the force of this truth to the contemplation of our immense revenues and unprecedented power, I cannot but be deeply impressed with the necessity of the continued influence of the established clergy. And so full is my conviction upon this point, that I could not contemplate under any circumstances the destruction of the establishment without dating the ruin of national freedom from the date of its downfall.

I have been the more willingly induced to enter upon this topic, because those, who dissent from this or any national religious establishment (which has now from long experience proved itself not only consistent with, but conducive to, the greatest possible degree of social happiness and freedom) being bound together in a common union, for the sake of what they call religious, are too apt to ima gine themselves exclusively the friends of civil liberty. But granting that they were able to obtain the full accomplishment of their wishes, which, under the specious name of religious liberty, is to sweep away the establishment, I should wish to learn from them what possible good they expect to derive from it, When I consider the unin

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