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the huge diftance moft of them often are at from the
Parifh-Church and Minifter, and he from them,
makes it impoffible for fuch remote Parifhioners to
receive the Benefit, they otherwife would, from his
Ministry, or for him to have the knowledge of
what paffes among them, or of the dangers their
Families are in. In thefe vaft Parishes the Sheep
are always obnoxious to the Wolves, and apt to
wander from the fold; and to cure this evil, eve-
fuch Parish is to be divided into two or more,
according to its bignefs, or if it continue as one.
Parifh, it ought to have more Churches and Priests
in proportion to its compafs and extent.

The third manifeft Caufe of the growth of Popery, which proceeds from the Poverty of the Clergy, is molt commonly found in conjunction with the fecond; they, generally fpeaking, in the Country being the Parishes of great extent and compass, where the Tythes are alienated from the Church. I fhall 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 lefler Parishes, and that isi reftoring the Tythes to the parochial Priefts. The purchase of them by the Nation would be eafy in times of Peace and Plenty; but by the purchase of them, I mean the purchase of + appropriated, as well as impropriated Tythes, and alfo the pur chafe of them where Lands by Papal Exemptions, Modus's, or other Caufes are now Tythe-free. The benefit our Country would receive by this purchafe, would be an ample recompence for the coft. For firft it would make an atonement for the Sacrilege


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


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of the Nation, which for many Years hath been the judicial, as well as natural Caufe of many and great Evils to it; and by confequence the happy effects of fuch a reftitution would be returned in numerous bleffings to the State, as well as to the Church. Secondly, the Tythes fo purchafed and reftored 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 purchafing 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 Parifh-Priefts, whereof at least two thirds live meanly or miferably; there will then, in all appearance, be a competent maintenance for double the number, which God and the Neceffities of the Church Teem to require. Thirdly, The Church being thus furmifhed with a fufficient number of parochial Priefts and Cures, the People will not fo eafily be led aftray; nor Wolves of any Sect, efpecially of the Popifh, have fuch convenient opportunities of devouring the Flock. On the contrary, when the Church is fo well provided in all places with parochial Priefts, fhe will foon be in a condition to reduce the ftray Sheep to her fold, and to reprife upon the Emiflaries of all forts, particularly thofe of the Romish Church, by converting Papifts in all places, where they most abound. Fourthly, Out of the firft Fruits of the Tythes fo established and réftored, and the tenths of them, a competent maintenance may be found for more Diocefan Bifhops, as well as more Parish Priefts: I mean more Diocefan Bifhops 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 truft, 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 Propofal enacted for incorporating the Bishop and Clergy of every Diocess to provide for their own Poor, I fhould then fay with joy, Lord, now letteft thou thy Servant depart in peace, for mine Eyes have feen thy Salvation. But fince I am too far advanced in Years to hope to fee fuch an happy change, I will pray for it, as long as I live; trufting that God in Mercy to his Church will in his good time pour out a Spirit of Reformation upon the Priefts, and Princes, and People of this Land, that they may all agree to perfect and amend whatsoever is wanting or amifs in the. Church.

This is the Scheme, which I humbly offer to them, as the beft I know, and most becoming a Christian State, for the fuppreffion of Popery, and with it all other Sects among us. There is nothing in it, that I know can juftly offend any fort of Men, but Atheists, or Deifts, or fome other fort of Enemies to Chrift(if there be any) who hate a Prieft as fuch, and dare blafphemoufly call the divine Inftitution of Priesthood, by the fpiteful name of Prieftcraft. It is a Scheme of Edification and not of Deftruction to Men or Families. It is confiftent with entire liberty of Conscience, it hurts no Man's Perfon or Eftate; it fills no Jails with Prifoners, nor Courts of Judicature with bloody Criminal Trials, and needs no other affiftance from the Secular Powers, but only not to encourage thofe who are Enemies to the Church. The bleffing of God, I am perfuaded, would go along with it;


and in this Confidence of his Bleffing I have propofed it, as it were on a Table expofed to publick view. I hope all Men will accept my good intentions, however they may diflike what I have propofed; and if our Superiours think I have taken too much liberty, as a private Perfon, 1 hope in a time of fo much Freedom ufed by all forts 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 Notion they have of the Catholick Church, was fent to me by the Reverend and Learned Mr. Edm. Chithull, Fellow of C. C. C. Oxford, too late to be inferted 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 thefe and other authorities fooner to me, had I had the happiness to be fooner acquainted with him.

For the Reverend Dr. Hickes, at his House in Ormond-ftreet.

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 "tranfmitting to you the Opinion of the Greeks "concerning the Primacy of the Pope and the U"niverfality of the Church.

"Those which I have tranfcribed into the en"clofed Paper, are very exprefs and very authen"tick; and will therefore, I hope, come up to

your expectations. But if you defire farther to "confult their particular enlargements upon these "Subjects, be pleas'd in this or in any other mat"to lay your Commands upon

Tour obliged humble Servant,

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Edm. Chifhull.


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