Imatges de pÓgina

pany, if any Man that is called a Brother, (or Fela low-Christian) be either a Fornicator, or Covetous, or an Idolater, or a Railer, or a Drunkard, not to eat with him. Now there is one flagrant Instance of this Vice however, in the Bishops and the superior Clergy, which is open ard publick; I mean, when they waste those Ecclefiaftical Revenues that are intrusted with them, for the Use of the Poor and the lower Orders, and raise their Families to great Riches and Dignities by this Abuse of them : This Practice is absolutely forbidden in the Canons of the Apostles, where this Christian Law is deliver'd in the following Words: (Can. xxxix.] Let the Bishop have the Care of Ecclefiaftical Revenues, and administer them as in the Presence of God. But otis not lawful for bim to appropriate any part of them to bim felf, or to give the Things of God to bis own Kindred. But if they be poor, let them support them as poor. But let him not, under such Prétences, alienate the Revenues of the Church.-(Can, xl.] Let the proper Goods of the Bishop, if he bas any, and those belonging to the Lord, be openly distinguished, that he may have Power, when be. dies, to leave bis own Goods as be pleases, and to wbom be pleases; that under Pretence of the Ecclefiaftical Revenues the Bishop's own may not come sport, &c. Now this being certainly the Case, and these Canons, at least the first fifty, of which these are two, being Part of the Ecclefiaftical Laws of Christendom, and even of this Nation at this Day, I should think it a Duty plainly incumbent on our present Bifhops, and superior Clergy, in this Time of Di


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stress, and under the present Admonitions of Providence, to separate what they have of their own pacernal Inheritance, from what they have gotten unjustly by the Church, and to restore to the Church, or to the Poor, what they have so long used as their own, contrary to the express Laws of Christianity. If the present Clergy of London, as Bishop Sherlock, like a Christian Bishop, charges upon them, Letter, Pag. 12, 13. are to awaken the

People, to call them from the Lethargy, in which they have too long lived, and make them see their own Danger, to speak to them to persuade them, as knowing the Terror of the Lord

to speak to their Hearts and Consciences, with ' such Plainness, as becomes the Ministers of the

Gospel, to tell them, in Season and out of Seafon, " that unless they repent they must perish.

With what Advantage may all this be done, if once the Bishop himself, and the rest of his Brethren and superior Clergy, many of which reside in great Part in his Diocese, in the same City of London, will heartily comply with this well-meant Admonition? Which I earnestly beg they will not take amiss at my Hands. And on the contrary, how Night and poor will all these Exhortations appear among the Laity, if it be rejected? And so much shall suffice for an Account of those heavy Enormities, which now lie upon us, as Breaches of the everlasting Covenant of God, or the Ten Commandments.

But now, it may not be improper to enquire here, what are those particular Judgment, which N 2


the foregoing Signis suppose to be soon, very food, coming upon the Jews and Christians at least, if not on the rest of the World also? And which the horrid Crimes already specified most juftly deserve. And 'tis the more necessary for me to specify them, as far as I am able, because I have not observed, that among the terrible Threatnings or Denunciations in the Prophecies relating to these Times, and appearing above, even such as are to destroy the Wicked, that is the greatest Part of Mankind, I have not taken Notice, that the particular Sorts of those Judgments are distinctly mention'd. And because in my Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, of Jan. 23d, 1747-8, already set down, Pag. 405, 406, 407. I intimated my Knowledge, of at least some of them, in the Words following: - If our thirteen Times in a Year • cursing the Eusebians or Primitive Christi• ans, by publick Authority in the Athanahan Creed, were once corrected, our Manners in . Court and Country throughly amended, and

our Prayers, on all such Occasions, were more so• lemn and serious than they now are, we might • hope that God Almighty would pity us, and our

poor dumb Creatures, and procure both them a • Release from this Distemper, and ourselves a De• liverance from the Effects of it, and from those • other great and amazing Judgments, which I

fully and suddenly expect as a Consequence of

what is already begun; and this upon the most « authentick Evidence ; [I meant of Scripture Prophecies.']


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Now as to that particular Judgment, I mean the Murrain, upon the horn's Cattle, which this Letter was especially concern'd about; we know that all which has been done by the Publick of a religious Nature, has been the bare ordering a single Col. lect to be added within the Bills of Mortality, in the publick Worship, without any farther Attempt for a through Reformation in the other. Instances there mention'd. And that this is in Reality, One of those Judgments intended by God Almighty, at this critical Time, appears by its large Spreading, and long Continuance, notwithstanding all the medical and political Means for its Stopage, made Use of till this very Day. Nay, by its still spreading farther and farther, in some Places, at this very Time. But that Almighty God has not been fatisfied with that poor and mean Thing, of the Addition of a single Collect, is evident, not only by this spreading of the Contagion ever since it has been used, but by the latest. Storms and Earthquakes as Signals of the Divine Displeasure, continuing against us, particularly in or near Italy, and in England, and its Plantations, and the Borders of France and Spain ; which Countries have been greatly subject of late to those terrible Judgments. And indeed, the Crimes above-mention'd aré vastly foo great to be aton'd after sogrifing a Manner. Shall I not visit for these Things, faith the Lord? Shall not my Soul be avenged on such a Nation as this? [Jer. V, 29.) Nay, when these two latest Earthquakes had greatly alarm'd the Citizens of London, and requir'd the most importunate and


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solemn Prayers and Humiliations; I hear not that the Publick has done any Thing more, when somewhat was to be done for Form's Sake, than the Appointment of that single, tho' very good Collect, to be used in Lent only, through that City and within the Bills of Mortality, but no farther ; surely, this is affronting God Almighty, instead of propitiating him, and appealing his Anger, which is for certain very great already, and if not regarded, will for certain be much greater against us. As I know the Diffenters in general have long had weekly an appointed Place and Time of publick Supplication at London, on Purpose to deprecate the Displeasure of Almighty God, as to the Murrain among the Cattle; and in which, they do not now forget the Earthquakes and other Marks of God's Anger against

so I reckon this Murrain among the Cattle as the first of those terrible Judgments already come upon us, and upon Europe, for our heinous Offences. The Hand of the Lord has certainly been upon the horned Part of our Cattle, [Exod. ix. 3.) as it was upon the Horses, and upon the Ases, upon the Camels, upon the Oxen, and upon the Sheep, in the Days of Pharoah King of Egypt, even a very grievous Murrain.

However, Pharoah's Heart, [v. 7.] like that of many of ours, espes cially of our Courtiers now, was harden'd, and did not let the People of Israel go. Whether, if we still harden our Hearts under our present partial Mur. rain, we may not thereby provoke God to make it universal as to the other Cattle ; nay, as to a Plague

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