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that wilderness, and whose future domination they may possibly fear, not knowing that their natures are cfianged. 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.
A New England Man.
A PARABLE AGAINST PERSECUTION,
IN IMITATION OF SCRIPTURE LANGUAGE.
This Parable was first printed in Lord Kames's Sketches of the History of Man, in the year 1774. The author 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 remarkable 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 was expressed, when the discovery was made not long afterwards, 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 venerandae antiquitatis exemplum, Abrahamum patriarcham, hospitalitatis gloriá celebratum, vix sibi felix faustumque credidisse hospitium, nisi externum aliquem, tanquam aliquod praesidium domi, excepisset hospitem, quem omni officiorum genere coleret. Aliquando, cum hospitem domi non haberet, foris eum quaesiturus campestria petiit. Forté virum quemdam, senectute gravem, itinere fessum, sub arbore recumbentem conspicit. “Quem comiter exceptum, domum hospitem deducit, et omni officio colit. Cúm coenam appositam Abrahamus et familia ejus a 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 praevià Numinis veneratione cibum sumere.' Ad quae senex; “Ego ignicola sum, istiusmodi morum ignarus; nostri enim majores nullam talem me docuere pietatem.’ Ad quam vocem horrescens Abrahamus rem sibi cum ignicolá profano et à sui Numinis cultu alieno esse, eum ë vestigio et à coená 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 coenam dare, unumque eum momentum ferre potes?' Quâ Divină voce monitus, 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 communication relating to this subject, evidently written by a person well acquainted with the character and habits of Dr. Franklin, the drift of which was to show, that he never pretended to have originated the idea of the Parable, that as an imitation it stood on the same ground as those of Pope and other writers, and that in this light it was eminently felicitous and successful.
"This great man, who at the same time that he was desirous of disseminating an amiable sentiment, was an extreme lover of pleasantry, often endeavoured to put off the parable in question upon his acquaintance, as a portion of Scripture, and probably thought this one of the most successful modes of circulating its moral. This object would certainly have been defeated, had he prefixed to the printed copies of the Parable, which he was fond of dispersing, an intimation of its author. He therefore gave no name whatever to it, much less his own. And often as I have heard of his amusing himself on this occasion, I never could learn that he ascribed to himself the merit of the invention. His good humor constantly led him into a train of amusing stories concerning the persons, who had mistaken it for Scripture, (for he had bound it up as a leaf in his Bible, the better to impose upon them,) which, perhaps, made the point of authorship forgotten.
"Indeed, to a man of his magnitude, the accession of fame from this circumstance was too small to make it worth any risk. Artifice must rob him of more than it could yield him; and the gain was temporary, while the injury, from any undue pretension, was as permanent as his own immortal character. He was too wise to think, that the actions of a man like himself could be hid; or that the accidental researches of literary men would suffer a plagiarism of this sort to pass undiscovered, or the good nature or busy turn of mankind permit it to be unnoticed after its discovery. I am told that the Parable referred to is quoted or mentioned by Jeremy Taylor, in his Liberty of Prophrsying. Possibly Dr. Franklin heard, from some quarter or other, some general and vague account of what has thus repeatedly appeared in print, and improved the idea in the way we have seen; without being able to give it back to its proper parent, and without knowing perhaps that it claimed a parent so learned, as that your erudite correspondent has pointed out."
More recently it has been found out, that the Parable is of eastern origin. Sadus, quoted by Gentius, is the celebrated Persian poet, Saadi; and in the second book of his "Bostan" this story is contained substantially the same as in Gentius's Dedication. This fact was made known to Bishop Heber by Lord Teignmouth,