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the huge distance most of them often are at from the Parish-Church and Minister, and he from them, makes it impoffible for such remote Parishioners to receive the Benefit, they otherwise would, from his Ministry, or for him to have the knowledge of what passes among them, or of the dangers their Families are in In these vaft Parishes the Sheep are always obnoxious to the Wolves, and apt to wander from the fold, and to cure this evil, every such Parish is to be divided into two or more, according to its bigness, or if it continue as one Parish, it ought to have more Churches and Priests in proportion to its compafs and extent.

The third manifest Cause of the growth of Popery, which proceeds from the Poverty of the Clergy, is molt commonly found in conjunction with the second ; they, generally speaking, in the Country being the Parishes of great extent, and compass, where the Tythes are alienated from the Church. I shall not therefore particularly infift upon this Cause of the Churches great Misfortunes, but propose the best and most bleffed Remedy I know for the removal of it, wherefoever it is found in greater or lesler Parishes, and that is restoring the Tythes to the parochial Priefts. The purchase of them by the Nation would be easy in tinies of Peace and Plenty ; but by the purchase of them, I mean the purchase of + appropriated, as well as impropriated Tythes, and also the purchase of them where Lands by Papal Exemptions, Modus's, or other Causes are now Tythe-free. The benefit our Country would receive by this purchafe, would be an ample tecompence for the cost. For first it would make an atonement for the Sacrilege



+ With the purchafe-Money of which, Colleges, Ho'p its, and Collegiate Churches should be obliged to buy Lands.


of the Nation, which for many Years hath been the judicial, as well as natural Cause of many and great Evils to it; and by consequence the happy eflects of such a restitution would be returned in numerous blestings to the State, as well as to the Cliurch. Secondly, the Tythes fo pur-, chased and restored. would be a worthy Fund of Maintenance for the Children of the People, who contribute to the purchase of them; for the Clergy are the Sons of the Laity, their own Flesh and Blood, and therefore in purchasing the Tythes they purchase for their own Families, and make good provifion thereby for their Sons, and Sons and Daughters Sons for ever. And whereas now there are but about ten thoufand Parish-Priests, whereof at least two thirds live meanly or miserably; there will then, in all appearance, be a competent maintenance for double the number, which God and the Neceflities of the Church seem to require. Thirdly, The Church being thus furnished with a fufficient number of parochial Priests and Cures, the People will not so easily be led aftray ; nor Wolves of any Sect, especially of the Popish, have such convenient opportunities of devouring the Flock. On the contrary, when the Church is so well provided in all places with parochial Priests; she will soon be in a condition to reduce the stray Sheep to her fold, and to reprise upon the Emissaries of all forts, particularly those of the Romish Church, by converting Papists in all places, where they most abound. Fourthly, Out of the first Fruits of the Tythes fo established and restored, and the tenths of them, a competent maintenance may be found for more Diocesan Bishops, as well as more Parish Priests : I mean more Diocefan Bishops without Baronies, of which there is as great need, as of more Parish Priests.


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Could I see these things done, Patronage of Ecclefiaftical Livings reformed, and regulated as a pure trust, and fecured from Simoniacal Contracts (which is easy to be done) penitential Canons with an Office for reconciling Penitents made in Convocation, and the Reverend Dr. Prideaux the Dean of Norwich's Proposal enacted for incorporating the Bishop and Clergy of every Diocess to provide for their own Poor, I should then say with joy, Lord, now lettest thou thy Servant depart in peace, for mine Eyes have seen thy Salvation. But since I am too far advanced in Years to hope to see such an happy change, I will pray for it, as long as I live trusting that God in Mercy to his Church will in his good time pour out a Spirit of Reformation upon the Priests, and Princes, and People of this Land, that they may all agree to perfect and amend whatsoever is wanting or amiss in the Church.

This is the Scheme, which I humbly offer to them, as the best I know, and most becoming a Christian State, for the suppression of Popery, and with it all other Sects among us. There is nothing in it, that I know can justly offend any fort of Men, but Atheists, or Deifts, or some other sort of Enemies to Christ(if there be any) who hate a Priest as such, and dare blasphemously call the divine Institution of Priesthood, by the fpiteful name of Priestcraft. It is a Scheme of Edification and not of Destruction to Men or Families. It is confiftent with entire liberty of Conscience, it hurts no Man's Person or Estate ; it fills no Jails with Prisoners, nor Courts of Judicature with bloody Criminal Trials, and needs no other aslistance from the Secular Powers, but only not to encourage those who are Enemies to the Church. The blessing of God, I am persuaded, would go along with it;


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and in this Confidence of his Blessing I have proposed it, as it were on a Table exposed to publick view. I hope all Men will accept my good intentions, however they may dislike what I have proposed; and if our Superiours think I have taken too much liberty, as a private Person, 1 hope in a time of so much Freedom used by all sorts of Men and abused by too many, they will the more eafily pardon their humble Servant and most hearty

well-wisher to his Country,

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The following Extract of the Opinion of the

Greeks about the Pope's Supremacy, and the Noticn they have of the Catholick Church, was sent to me by the Reverend and Learned Mr. Edm. Chilhull, Fellow of C. C. C. Oxford, too late to be inserted in its proper place. But rather than the Curious and Learned Readers fhould want the benefit of it, I thought it would be acceptable to them to print it here : And I think fit to acquaint them for the Honour of that worthy Gentleman, that he had communicated these and other authorities sooner to me, had I had the happiness to be sooner acquainted with him.

For the Reverend Dr. Hickes, at his House in


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Reverend Sir,
Ince I had the honour of waiting on you,

I have been obliged to be out of Town; but being now return’d, I remember my promise of “ transmitting to you the Opinion of the Greeks " concerning the Primacy of the Pope and the U“niversality of the Church.

« Those which I have transcribed into the ens closed Paper, are very express and very authen

tick; and will therefore, I hope, come up to

your expectations. But if you desire farther to « consult their particular enlargements upon these

Subjects, be pleas'd in this or in any other mat" to lay your Commands upon faur obliged humble Servant,

Edm: Chishull.


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