« AnteriorContinuar »
was writing for his Sister, whom he had directed to meet him: there was then nothing of Disorder discernible in his Mind by any but himself, but he had then withdrawn from Study, and travelled with no other Book than an English Testament, such as Children carry to the School; when his Friend took it into his Hand, out of Curiosity to see what Companion a Man of Letters had chosen ; "I have • but one Book,' fays Collins, but that is the 6 best.
Would not thus have address’d your Lordship
in public, but that in these our Days the Press is the only Method by which I could gain Admisfion to you, or have the Opportunity, to use our old College Phrase, of a little CONFAB: Bishops and Curates are, I believe, at present feldom seen together, except in the Prayer for the Clergy. Fortune, my Lord, who brought us fo close together at the University, where, you may remember, we were Chums, has at Length
Savo læta negotio, as the old Bard sings, in one of her strange Freaks, thrown us from the most intimate Connection into Stations of Life at the utmost Distance from each other, by making your Lordihip a Bishop, and me an-Aslistant Curate. I think, my Lord, I have
fomewhere read, that in the Roman Triumphs a Person was always appointed to attend the Conqueror, and as he paffed along to repeat to him
Thou art a Man, The following Pages may be confidered as a salutary Hint of the fame Nature, and were only meant to lay on your Lordship's Table, and as you slip on your Lawn, to whisper to you. Thou art a Clergyman.'
Though I do not (to use the Phrase of a certain Right Reverend) bask in the Sunshine of the Gospel, you will perceive, notwithstanding, in the Course of this Letter, I am not so much hurt by Disappointments, but that I can laugh at a proper Opportunity : at present, however, I am perfectly serious, and do from my Heart think and declare, that the least grateful Acknowledgement which our dignified Clergy can make, for the Honours and Rewards conferred on them, is to assist their distreiled Brethren ; to make use of their best Endeavours to support the Dignity of the ministerial Office ; and to gain thein some Deference and Respect, if they can, or will, procure them nothing else : and yet this, my Lord, I will not say wherefore, or by whom, is of late Years, most shamefully neglectedi
Your Lordship, I am convinced by.Esperience, is not without Humanity ; I have known lome Bithops, (formerly I mean) who had not a Grain of it in their whole Composition ; but that is not your Cafe ; I have therefore taken the Liberty to appeal to you, in Behalf of the inferior Clergy of these Kingdoms, who, I believe, are the most distressed, deferted, and despised Body of Men, at present, on the Face of the Earth: into the Causes of this, I propose cooly and candidly to examine, and to consult with your Lordship concerning the most probable Method of removing them. VOL. II.
I have a thousand Things to say to your Lord- . ship, on this copious Head, which I shall reserve for some future Occasion, and for the Sake of Method, confine myself at present (though I hate Confinement of every Kind) to a particular Branch of our scanty Revenue, commonly known by the Name of LECTURESHIPS,
Your Lordship being much better acquainted with ecclesiastical History than myself, could probably acquaint me with the Origin and Rise of these PAUPERTATIS SUBSIDIA: as I am not, however, very ambitious of tracing the Source of this muddy Spring, I shall defer the Search to another Opportunity, and content myself with observing (a Truth which lam every Day more and more convinced of) that the Establishment of Lectureships, in and about London, has been extremely prejudicial to the inferior Clergy of this Kingdom, and contributed, in a great Measure, to bring upon the whole Body that Poverty and Contempt into which they are now fallen ; that the Methods by which they are obtained are highly unbecoming our Character, and the Means made Use of to support them inadequate to the Duty performed; that they are acquired, in short, with Difficulty, lost with Ease, and very few of them worth the keeping: which I will endeavour to prove to your Lordship in as few Words as pofGible.
It may not, perhaps, be improper, when I talk of SERMONISERS, to follow the usual SERMON Method, and divide my Subject into three or four general Heads; and though I would not, as Lord Shaftsbury fays, Bring my Two's and Three's be· fore a fashionable Congregation,' yet, as I am talking only to your Lordihip, and what passes may never go much further than ourselves, I may as well adopt the TeXTUAL Manner ; (there, my Lord, is a new Word for Johnson's Dictionary).
I shall proceed therefore,
To consider how LECTURESHIPS are canvafled for.
What is expected from them, And THIRDL Y and LASTLY,
How they are paid, and what Emoluments usually arise to the Poffeffors of them.
First therefore, my Lord, with Regard to the canvassing for Lectureships, as usually practised amongst us, I will venture to affert, it is an Employment utterly inconsistent with the Character, and unbecoming the Dignity of a Clergyman, art Office greatly beneath the Attention of Genius and Learning, and highly unsuitable to all the Notions of Life imbibed in the Course of a genteel and liberal Education.
The Choice of a LECTURER in this Metropolis is generally vested in the whole Body of the Parish, consisting, for the most Part, of ordinary Tradesmen, sometimes very low Mechanics, Persons not always of the most refined Manners, or delicate Sensations. Your Lordship, I am sure, must remember, how cavalierly, when we were at Cambridge, (for which by the bye, we deserved to be horse-whipped) we used to treat the CANAILLE; if an honest Tradesman came dunning to our Room of a Morning before Lecture, we tipped the NON DOMI upon him; or if by Chance he gained Admittance, and grew importunate in his Solicitations, without further Ceremony fhewed him the nearest Way down Stairs. Little did some of us