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whigs resurrection; and what structures such able artists might in a short time build upon such foundations, I leave others to conjecture. All hopes of a peace cut off; the nation industriously involved in farther debts, to a degree that none would dare undertake the management of affairs, but those whose interest lay in ruining the constitution. I do not see, how the wisest prince under such necessities could be able to extricate himself. Then as to the church; the bishops would by degrees be dismissed, first from the
parliament, next from their revenues, and at last from their office; and the clergy, instead of their idle claim of independency on the state, would be forced to depend for their daily bread on every individual. But what system of future government was designed; whether it were already digested, or would have been left for time and incidents to mature, I shall not now examine. Only upon this occasion I cannot help refecting on a fact, which it is probable the reader knows as well as myself. There was a pieture drawn some time ago, representing five persons, as large as the life,
fitting in council together, like a pentarchy; a void space was left for a sixth, which was to have been the Queen, to whom they intended that honour: but her majesty having since fallen under their displeasure, they have made a shift to croud in two better friends in her place, which makes it a complete heptarchy *. This piece is now in the country, reserved until better times ; and hangs in a hall among the pictures of Cromwell, Bradshaw, Ireton, and some other predecessors.
I must now desire leave to say fomething to a gentleman, who hath been pleased to publish a discourse against a paper of mine relating to the convocation. He promiseth to set me right without any undue reflextions, or indecent language. I suppose he means, in comparison with others, who pretend to answer the Examiner. So far he is right; but if he thinks he hath behaved himself as becomes a candid antagonist, I believe he is mistaken. He says in his title page, my representations are unfair, and my reflections unjust: and his * This heptarchy was the serpent with seven heads, mention
ed in N° 21, 22.
conclusion is yet more severe; where he doubts I and my friends are enraged against the dutch, because they preserved us from popery and arbitrary power at the revolution; and since that time from being over-run by the exorbitant power of France, and becoming a prey to the pretender. Because this author seems in general to write with an honest meaning, I would seriously put to him the question, whether he thinks, I and my friends are for popery, arbitrary power, France, and the pretender ? I omit other instances of smaller moment, which however do not suit in my opinion with due refle&tion, or decent language. The fact relating to the convocation came from a good and I do not find this author
differs from me in any material circumstance about it. My reflections were no more, than what might be obvious to any other gentleman, who had heard of their late proceedings. If the notion be right, which this author gives us of a lower house of convocation ; it is a very melancholy one, and to me seems utterly inconsistent with that of a body of men, whom he owns to have a negative: and therefore, since a great majority of the clergy differs from him in several points he advances, I shall rather chuse to be of their opinion than his. I fancy, when the whole synod met in one house, as this writer affirms, they were upon a better foot with their bishops ; and therefore, whether this treatment, so extremely de haut en bas, since their exclufion be suitable to primitive custom or primitive humility towards brethren, is not my business to enquire. One may allow the divine, or apostolick right of episcopacy, and its great fuperiority over presbyters; and yet dispute the methods of exercising the latter, which being of human institution are subject to encroachments and usurpations. I know, every clergyman in a diocese hath a great deal of dependence upon his bishop, and owes him canonical obedience: but I was apt to think, that when the whole representative of the clergy met in a fynod, they were considered in another light; at least fince they are allowed to have a negative. If I am mistaken, I desire to be excused, as talking out of my trade; only there is one thing, wherein I entirely differ from this author : since in the disputes about privileges one fide must recede; where fo very few privileges remain, it is a hundred to one odds, that the encroachments are not on the inferior clergy's side; and no man can blame them for insisting on the small number, that is left. There is one fact, wherein I must take occasion to set this author right: that the person *, who first moved the Queen to remit the firstfruits and tenths to the clergy, was an eminent instrument in the late turn of affairs; and as I am told, hath lately prevailed to have the same favour granted for the clergy of Ireland +.
But I must beg leave to inform this author, that my paper is not intended for the management of controversy; which would be of very little import to most readers, and only mispend time, that I would gladly employ to better purposes. For where it is a man's business to entertain a whole room-full, it is unmannerly to apply himself to a particular person, and turn his back upon the rest of the company.
* Earl of Oxford, lord treasurer.
+ This was done by the author's solicitation. See his letters t9 árchbishop King, vol. xii,