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clamored against by the Episcopalians as persecution, the legislature of the province of Massachusetts Bay, near thirty years since, passed an act for their relief, requiring indeed the tax to be paid as usual, but directing that the several sums levied from members of the Church of England, should be paid over to the minister of that church, with whom such members usually attended divine worship, which minister had power given him to receive, and on occasion to recover the same by law.

It seems that the legislature considered the end of the tax was to secure and improve the morals of the people, and promote their happiness, by supporting among them the public worship of God, and the preaching of the Gospel; that where particular people fancied a particular mode, that mode might probably, therefore, be of most use to those people; and that, if the good was done, it was not so material in what mode or by whom it was done. The consideration that their brethren, the Dissenters in England, were still compelled to pay tithes to the clergy of the church, had not weight enough with the legislature to prevent this moderate act, which still continues in full force; and I hope no uncharitable conduct of the church towards the Dissenters will ever provoke them to repeal it.

With regard to a bishop, I know not upon what grounds the Dissenters, either here or in America, are charged with refusing the benefit of such an officer to the church in that country. Here they seem to have naturally no concern in the affair. There they have no power to prevent it, if government should think fit to send one. They would probably dislike, indeed, to see an order of men established among them, from whose persecutions their fathers fled into

that wilderness, and whose future domination they may possibly fear, not knowing that their natures are changed. But the non-appointment of bishops for America seems to arise from another quarter. The same wisdom of government, probably, that prevents the sitting of convocations, and forbids by noli-prosequis the persecution of Dissenters for non-subscription, avoids establishing bishops where the minds of the people are not yet prepared to receive them cordially, lest the public peace should be endangered.*

And now let us see how this persecution account stands between the parties.

In New England, where the legislative bodies are almost to a man dissenters from the church of England,

1. There is no test to prevent churchmen from holding offices.

2. The sons of churchmen have the full benefit of the universities.

3. The taxes for support of public worship, when paid by churchmen, are given to the Episcopal minister. In Old England,

1. Dissenters are excluded from all offices of profit and honor.

2. The benefits of education in the universities are appropriated to the sons of churchmen.

3. The clergy of the Dissenters receive none of the tithes paid by their people, who must be at the

No bishops were appointed in America till after the Revolution. Previously to that time the ecclesiastical affairs of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this country were under the charge of the Bishop of London. At length, in the year 1786, an act of Parliament was passed, empowering English bishops to consecrate to that office persons, who might be subjects or citizens of other countries. In the following year, William White and Samuel Prevost were consecrated at Lambeth Palace, the one as Bishop of Pennsylvania, the other of New York. EDITOR.

additional charge of maintaining their own separate worship.

But it is said, the Dissenters of America oppose the introduction of a bishop.

In fact, it is not alone the Dissenters there that give opposition (if not encouraging must be termed opposing), but the laity in general dislike the project, and some even of the clergy. The inhabitants of Virginia are almost all Episcopalians. The church is fully established there, and the Council and General Assembly are perhaps to a man its members; yet, when lately, at a meeting of the clergy, a resolution was taken to apply for a bishop, against which several however protested, the Assembly of the province at their next meeting expressed their disapprobation of the thing in the strongest manner, by unanimously ordering the thanks of the House to the protesters ; for many of the American laity of the church think it some advantage, whether their own young men come to England for ordination and improve themselves at the same time with the learned here, or the congregations are supplied by Englishmen, who have had the benefit of education in English universities, and are ordained before they come abroad. They do not, therefore, see the necessity of a bishop merely for ordination, and confirmation is deemed among them a ceremony of no very great importance, since few seek it in England, where bishops are in plenty. These sentiments prevail with many churchmen there, not to promote a design which they think must sooner or later saddle them with great expenses to support it. As to the Dissenters, their minds might probably be more conciliated to the measure, if the bishops here should, in their wisdom and goodness, think fit to set their sacred character in a more friendly light, by dropping their

opposition to the Dissenters' application for relief in subscription, and declaring their willingness that Dissenters should be capable of offices, enjoy the benefit of education in the universities, and the privilege of appropriating their tithes to the support of their own clergy. In all these points of toleration they appear far behind the present Dissenters of New England, and it may seem to some a step below the dignity of bishops to follow the example of such inferiors. I do not however despair of their doing it some time or other, since nothing of the kind is too hard for true Christian humility. I am, Sir, yours, &c.




THIS Parable was printed in the Boston Chronicle, 1768, and six years afterwards in Lord Kames's Sketches of the History of Man. Lord Kames introduced it with the following prefatory remark. "It was communicated to me by Dr. Franklin of Philadelphia, a man who makes a great figure in the learned world; and who would still make a greater figure for benevolence and candor, were virtue as much regarded in this declining age as knowledge." From Lord Kames's work it was taken by Mr. Vaughan, and included in his edition of Franklin's writings. From that time it was repeatedly reprinted, and much admired, as illustrating a beautiful moral, and as being a remarkabla imitation of Scripture language.

Although Lord Kames does not say, that Dr. Franklin was the author of the Parable, yet, from the manner in which he speaks of it, this inference was naturally drawn; and some degree of surprise wax expressed, when the discovery was made, not long atlerwards, that there was a similar story in Jeremy Taylor's

LIBERTY OF PROPHESYING. Curiosity was then excited, as to its real origin, for Taylor vaguely says, that he found it in "the Jews' books." Upon this hint, however, the learned commenced their researches, and the storehouses of Talmudic, Cabalistic, and Rabbinical lore were explored in vain. No such story could be found in any Jewish writing. It was at length discovered in the dedication of a book, which was translated by George Gentius from a Jewish work, and which appeared at Amsterdam in the year 1651. This dedication is written in Latin. The part relating to the Parable was selected and published, without the name of the person who had made the discovery, in The Repository, a British periodical journal, which was issued monthly from the London press. The extract is contained in the number for May, 1788. Considering the importance, which has since been attached to the history of this Parable, it seems not amiss to insert the Latin version of Gentius in this place.

"Illustre tradit nobilissimus autor Sadus venerandæ antiquitatis exemplum, Abrahamum patriarcham, hospitalitatis gloriâ celebratum, vix sibi felix faustumque credidisse hospitium, nisi externum aliquem, tanquam aliquod præsidium domi, excepisset hospitem, quem omni officiorum genere coleret. Aliquando, cùm hospitem domi non haberet, foris eum quæsiturus campestria petiit. Forte virum quemdam, senectute gravem, itinere fessum, sub arbore recumbentem conspicit.

"Quem comiter exceptum, domum hospitem deducit, et omni officio colit. Cùm cœnam appositam Abrahamus et familia ejus à precibus auspicarentur, senex manum ad cibum protendit, nullo religionis aut pietatis auspicio usus. Quo viso, Abrahamus eum ita affatur; Mi senex, vix decet canitiem tuam sine præviâ Numinis veneratione cibum sumere.' Ad quæ senex; 'Ego ignicola sum, istiusmodi morum ignarus; nostri enim majores nullam talem me docuere pietatem.' Ad quam vocem horrescens Abrahamus rem sibi cum ignicolâ profano et à sui Numinis cultu alieno esse, eum è vestigio et à cœnâ remotum, ut sui consortii pestem et religionis hostem, domo ejicit. Sed, ecce, Summus Deus Abrahamum statim monet; 'Quid agis, Abrahame ? Itane vero fecisse te decuit? Ego isti seni, quantumvis in me usque ingrato, et vitam et victum centum amplius annos dedi; tu homini nec unam cœnam dare, unumque eum momentum ferre potes?' Quâ Divinâ voce moni tus, Abrahamus senem ex itinere revocatum domum reducit, et tantis officiis, pietate, et ratione colit, ut suo exemplo ad veri Numinis cultum eum perduxerit."

In the succeeding number of The Repository appeared a com

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