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they all as diligently employed as they ought to be; either in the service of their King and Country, or in regulating their own families, or being useful to their neighbours; in those places where their property or their influence lie? What example do they set to the lower orders, of whose excesses, ori. ginating from a contempt of religion, they so loud. ly complain ?
Of the bishops and clergy of all denominations, I should be very sorry to say any thing that might lessen them in the eyes of the nation; for, if we
be preserved, it must be by their means. The bishops of the established church are, in general, learned and good men, and much are we indebted to the King and his advisers for having set such a man at the head of the church, as now fills that important station. Of some few of them, indeed, I cannot refrain from speaking in terms of the inost unqualified disapprobation. Although vested with the most sacred of all trusts, they abandon their posts, and, at a moment when their presence is most wanting, to their clergy and others to instruct, to direct, to encourage, to console, they chufe to fly on different pretexts, and reside in another kingdom. These are the worst of absentees, spending the incomes of their fees on themselves and their families, without the smallest advantage to the country which has so liberally provided for them, that they might inceffantly watch over the interests of virtue and religion, and giving such just cause of discontent and grief, to the Protestant, and of ridicule, abuse, and triumph to the Dissenter. If we look to those of
that body, who have a more proper senfe of their high function, and are employed where they ought to be, we shall find that they take more pains, have more work to do, and do it more effectually than is generally supposed either by their luke-warm friends or avowed enemies. Yet, if St. Paul were among them, I think he would work harder than any of them, and adopt some stronger measures to bring back to their duty such Clergymen as have deserted it. For (sorry I am to say it) though you will find so many among the lower Clergy who do their duty and take care of their flocks, you will find too many also, who neglect both, and spend their time in public places, in dancing or card-playing, or dangling at the Castle, or elsewhere, in hopes of preferment. If such be. lieve in a day of reckoning, I can only say, they have a sort of courage, which I have not.
As to the Bishops and Clergy of the Roman Catholic persuasion, I am told that amongst them there are many learned and exemplary men. But are they all of that independent mind that will serve them to fpeak candidly and roundly to thofe on whom they depend for their subsistence? Do none of them conform themselves to the manners of the class of people with whom they chiefly converse; and accompany them to the Ale-house or the Drain-Shop? Are they forward or zealous in inculcating that loyalty and submission to legal Government, which they tell us they learn from their religious principles? And are they as attentive to the morals of their flock, and to D
the religion of the spirit amongst them, as they are to outward rites and observances, and the distinctions that unhappily separate us ?
To the diffenting Clergy I would apply all that I have faid of the Roman Catholics, substituting to the last question this plain one : Do they make reli. gion and morals more the subject of their exhortations than politics? Have they nothing to answer for the innovating spirit that has filled the North with crimes ?
Among the Lawyers, Merchants, Traders, Far . mers, and others engaged in business, we find many honest, generous, and charitable men ; but we also find among them many dishonest, profligate, and covetous characters. The very best of them are, I fear, as much engrossed by worldly business, and wordly cares and wordly amusements, as if they were to live here for ever. How little of their time or their attention do they take from those pursuits to devote to religion, or to their improvement in yirtue and morals ?
Lastly, look at the lower classes. How willingly would I draw a veil over some part of the pi&ure which they present ? Great allowances ought to be made for their little instruction and scanty advantages; and it must be confessed that, until of late, they were generally acquiring habits of industry, and making daily advances in morality and good order. Nay even at this moment, when the spirit of licentiousness and anarchy has so extensively pos
sessed them, and driven such numbers of them into every species of outrage and violence, I think them to be, in their general description, peaceable, well disposed, amenable to law, with a turn for religion, and a desire of instruction. But when I admit all ahis, let us look to the public streets, let us look to the places of idle and profligate refort, let us look to the inside of their own dwellings, let us look to our prisons, and our courts of justice, what drunkenness, what blasphemy, what riot and disorder, what murders, and burnings, and rapine, what subornation and perjury, assail our ears and our eyes ? Even taking things in the most favourable light, are they all as honest, sober and industrious, as we could with them to be? Do they spend all they earn in feeding and clothing themselves, and their wives and families ? And do they earn all they can ? Are the Sundays spent in Church or at Chapel, or at the Ale-house and Whiskey-shop? Abroad, in bad company, or at home with their families? Do they instruct their children themselves, or accept with hearty thanks those instructions which are provided for them by the bounty of their neighbours ?
Having now turned our eyes on tlie various classes of which this nation is composed, can we be at a loss to know what that Reform is, which our case requires ?-Surely, No. It is as plain, as plain can be, that the Reform we want, and the only Reform which can save us, (but which certainly will save us, if adopted in time) is
A THOROUGH REFORM OF PRINCIPLES AND
ALI RANKS OF PEOPLE
Let the King and Queen continue to set an exam.
« Oh hard condition, twin-born with Greatness!