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For by withdrawing the parishioner from the charge of his appointed minister, it has introduced a way of thinking more fuited to the frequenters of conventicles, than to the members of the established church; by which the office of the parish priest is in a manner fuperfeded by that of the preacher.

Confidering, therefore, that we live in an age, in which many, who neither know the fcripture, nor the nature of CHRIST's church, think they can make their own religion, their own church, and their own ministers, it is not to be wondered at, that it fhould by degrees become a matter of indifference with Christians where they are affembled, provided they like their teacher. But this plan of erecting chapels for the emolument of individuals not only introduces among us extra-parochial affemblies of an anomalous kind, deftructive of the connection which ought to subsist between minister and people; but being incompatible with that principle of unity upon which the church of CHRIST is founded, and fubverfive of that order and discipline by which it ought to be maintained, tends to undermine the establishment itself. We are told by a celebrated writer* of the present day, that fhould the diffenters from the efta❤

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Archdeacon PALEY,

blishment become a majority of the people, the eftablishment itself ought to be altered. This must be allowed to be a very fummary, though to many it will appear to be neither a very fatisfactory nor very practicable way of fettling a moft important concern. How far an old proverb, though not conftrued literally, ought to weigh in this cafe, thinking men will be apt to confider.

"Eft turba femper argumentum poffimi.”

Indeed this strange and novel idea of putting the establishment of the Christian religion, as it were, to the vote, by making it dependent on the voice of the majority; thus bowing the knee to popular opinion, rather than to the GOD of our fathers; (in conformity with which the proteftant government of this country may be called upon to defert the caufe of proteftantifm, and become the eftablifher* of Romish error and fuperftition;) is an idea, which as it was not to be expected from a minifter of the church, muft, it is to be concluded, not have been confidered by the Archdeacon in all its bearings.

* In Ireland, upon a moderate calculation, there are four Roman Catholics to one Proteftant. In conformity therefore with the idea here advanced by the Archdeacon, the Roman Catholic ought to be the established religion in Ireland. To detail the operation of fuch an unlimited principle, would be an infult to the reader.

That fuch should be the ground upon which Dr. PRIESTLEY places this fubject, can be no matter of furprise to us, when we confider that fuch is the ground upon which he builds his projected reformation of our church. In the character of a decided fectarist, a bold and open enemy to our ecclefiaftical constitution, he tells us plainly, that means are preparing for its destruction; and that the final accomplishment of the undertaking waits only for the time, when the majority of the people shall be separated from it.

Now though I do not think Dr. PRIESTLEY'S religious tenets calculated to gain him many converts among the people, and confequently no ferious apprehenfions are to be entertained on that fcore; it may not, however, be amifs to draw a leffson of prudence from the Doctor's information on this occafion. "Fas eft et ab hofte doceri."

Certain it is, that separation from the established church of this country has of late years abundantly ¡ncreased; and it is equally certain, that in proportion as this is the cafe, the establishment itself is weakened. For whatever be the different opinions of different fects, and what enmity foever they may bear towards each other on that account, the destruction of the establishment is a point upon which they are

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at all times ready to join hand in hand. Now, if to this confideration we add the circumftance of that divifion, which is growing up as it were within the church, by which the parochial connection between minister and people is destroyed; in confequence of which, all ideas about a church establishment are every day growing more and more out of fight; we muft not be surprised, if an evil, which every think, ing well-wisher to his country deprecates, should advance upon us with more hasty steps than we may at present be willing to believe. This appears to be an object that well deferves the attention of those whofe office it is to watch, " ne quid detrimenti ref. publica capiat."

Should our governors think as they ought upon this fubject, that our ecclefiaftical establishment has in the present, as in every former day of trial, proved the firmest support to the government of this country, they will of course conclude that it is worth preserving, To fpeak with an immediate reference to thofe mad doctrines, the unhingers of all regular fociety, which have of late been circulated with fuch pernicious induftry, the clergy of the establishment may fay with OTHELLO, that they have " done the state some fervice," Indeed, to conftitutional government at all

times they have felt it their duty to promote the firmest attachment. It will therefore be but a prudent exertion of political wisdom, to provide all means, confiftent with found judgment, for the more general extension of the benefits of an establishment, to which the government of this country confeffedly ftands indebted, with the view of counteracting. as much as may be the prefent plan of limiting and contracting them.

The most decifive experiment having been made, that the principles of non-conformity ultimately produce faction in the ftate, and infidelity in the church; those to whom the guardianfhip of our conftitution has been committed, cannot better discharge their truft, than by giving all poffible encouragement to the building additional churches in all populous places, where those already built prove too small for the accommodation of the inhabitants.

Whereas, if to remedy this inconvenience, the prefent mode of erecting chapels at the charge of individuals, with an eye to private emolument, continue to be adopted, we are promoting the very object which Dr. PRIESTLEY has before him; for we are thereby feparating the great body of the people from the established church; and in a manner

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