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skill in the thirteenth of the Romans will enable you (for I do not intend) to instruct him what is meant by the magistrate's being diákovos Ocoū, (the minister of God,) and having, as such, a power to reward those who do well, and to execute wrath on evil-doers.
And now, my lord, if you like such a second, yet I must own to you I do not like such a correspondent; nor can I imagine what tempted your lordship to put him to this employment; unless you chose a second in the humility of your heart, as the Roman consul did the companion of his triumphs ;
I have nothing more to trouble your lordship with at present, but to assure you that I am, in all offices of Christian friendship,
REASONS given by the dean for entering into this question, The bishop's argument in it said to depend on the principle, that religion ought not to be made a civil test. In answer to which the dean replied, is not religion the test in every case where an oath is required? The bishop now affirms that what he said referred only to the sacramental test. At this point the controversy arrived in the bishop's last performance. Before that which he has advanced is considered, it is necessary to rise a little higher, and to state the fact of the case about which the dispute is. Writers on the test err in calling the sacrament sometimes the test, and sometimes the qualification for an office. It is necessary therefore to show the true design of the legislature in requiring the sacramental test. Quotations given from Act of 13 Car. II. Stat. 2. c. 1., and 25 Car. II. c. 2. These acts being made for the security of the church as by law established, the intention plainly was, to keep nonconformists of all sorts (whose principles must necessarily lead them to injure the established church) out of offices civil and military, and out of the government of corporations. Hence it became necessary to consider what should be considered sufficient proof that a person was well affected to the ecclesiastical constitution. Visible communion is the best proof of this; and the only thing remaining was to discover what particular act of church communion would be the best evidence of a man's affection to the church. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper shown to be the most convincing in this respect : this therefore was enacted. Two things here to be observed ; first, that the barely
receiving the sacrament is not the test required by the act, but receiving it according to the usage and rights of the church of England : secondly, that the receiving of the sacrament thus is not the qualification for an office, but only the proof of such qualification : this explained ; shown also by a reference to the act of 3 Jac. I. c. 4. against popish recusants, and the act 7 Jac. I. c. 2. respecting the naturalising of strangers and the restoring to blood persons attainted. Hence the bishop is shown to argue against something which no law supposes or requires. Mr. Sykes also is shown to be in error when he speaks of the abuse of the sacrament introduced by these laws. His arraignment of the legislature on this point strongly stated. Case put to his conscience, and that of the bishop. It is observed that the argument urged in this case by his lordship and others, is just as strong against the use of oaths. The two questions which naturally arise from the true state of the case, stated. Some previous observations made on the second of these, where the bishop is said to mistake intirely, when he speaks as if the receiving of the sacrament were itself the qualification for an office, &c. and therefore seems to charge the legislature with perverting that holy institution. The first question arising from the true state of the case again stated; namely, whether it be lawful to confine offices of power and trust to such as are obedient and well affected to the ecclesiastical state and constitution of the realm. This question resolved into two points : 1. whether it be lawful in any case to -make laws by which some persons shall be rendered incapable of offices : 2. whether it be reasonable in the instance before
With regard to these two points, it is shown that it is lawful and expedient to make such laws; that to talk of the common rights of subjects in the present case is to beg the question ; that a submission of private rights to the public good is the fundamental article of government; and that it is lawful to restrain even the natural right that every man has to food and raiment: is it unlawful then to limit the capacity which subjects have to places of power and trust? There is indeed so much compassion left for cases of natural necessity, that in the last extremity we still say, necessity has no law: but it must be a sad world where avarice and the lust of power obtain the same privilege. His lordship may say that he does not plead against restraints of this sort in general, but that he confined himself to the sacramental test, and to cases where religion is concerned: this answered. Consideration of the manner in which this right, which the state has over the capaeity of all its subjects, is to be exercised. This right then being supposed, it is next considered whether there was sufficient reason for what was done in the present instance, Statement of what was done when this nation threw off the errors and absurdities of popery: the necessity of preserving an authority in church matters enlarged on. Disturbances which the peace of the protestant church has met with since its establishment. Those in the days of Edward VI. adverted to; those of Queen Mary's reign; those of Queen Elizabeth's; those of James's. State of the nation in the times of Charles I. and of the Commonwealth. Sta at the restoration; whence the necessity of the test acts is shown. But though their enactment were just and proper at the close of the troubles, still it may be said that now the case is altered, and that the dissenters may be safely trusted : this argument answered at length. The bishop is recommended, in his great zeal against all limitation of offices to members of the church establishment, to reflect that the crown itself is subject to it: this point enlarged on. One great object of the revolution was to secure and preserve the established church; to labor therefore to hurt this church is no mark of friendship to the revolution. The bishop's writings censured on this account. The legislature knows no religious rights but what are contained in the establishment of the church of England. Reasons summed up to show that it is justifiable to confine offices of power and trust to persons well affected to the ecclesiastical establishment. Another consideration urged, which makes the test with respect to corporations highly reasonable; the influence which they have in one part of the legislature: this consideration made more general, and extended to other offices in the state, Hitherto the corporation and test acts have been considered generally: brief consideration of the 25th of Charles II. in particular, in respect to an objection made against it. This act, when first made, related particularly to baptists ; in which point of view the bishop himself can see its reasonableness. The nation's obligation to this act stated. Complaint made that it was extended to protestant dissenters. This effect shown to have been foreseen: understood at the time when the toleration act was passed : allowed to remain by King William and his parliament. King William's opinion on this point shown to have been declared before the revolution. It is shown that dissenters in Holland do not enjoy greater privileges than in England. The bishop's conduct in calling openly for a repeal of the test act censured, on the ground of an act for securing the church of England as by law established in the fifth of Queen Anne, cap. 8. sect. 7. The words of the clause in this act relating to the security of the church, transcribed. The second question: supposing it
: right to put offices of power and trust into the hands of such only as are well affected to the ecclesiastical establishment, whether it be lawful to require of any man, who is willing to accept such office, that he should communicate with the church, and particularly that he should receive the sacrament according to its usage, in order to prove his communion with it? This point fully argued. His lordship's general objection that religion ought not to be a civil test, was answered by the dean's observation, that religion is the test, whenever an oath is administered. His lordship in reply appeared to deny this, and with that view compounded the terms of the question : these