« السابقةمتابعة »
reader to suppose that Christ or his apostles re be provided for. Yet where is any considerable garded an establishment as an eligible institution. body of dissenters to be found who do not provide « We find, in his religion, no scheme of building up themselves with a chapel and a preacher ! And if a hierarchy, or of ministering to the views of human those churches which are not established, do in fact governments. Our religion, as it came out of provide public instruction, how is it shown that it the hands of its Founder and his apostles, exhibited would not be provided although there were no esa complete abstraction from all views either of eccle- tablished religion in a state ? Besides, the dissenters siastical or civil policy." * The evidence which these from an established church provide this under pecufacts supply respecting the moral character of reli- liar disadvantages; for after paying, in common gious establishments, whatever be its weight, tends with others, their quota to the state religion, they manifestly to show that that character is not good. have to pay in addition to their own. But perhaps I do not say because Christianity exhibited this it will be said that dissenters from a state religion - complete abstraction,” that it therefore necessarily are actuated by a zeal with which the professors of cond-mned establishments; but I say that the bear that religion are not; and that the legal provision ing and the tendency of this negative testimony is supplies the deficiency of zeal. If this be said, the against them.
enquiry imposes itself-How does this disproportion In the discourses and writings of the first teachers of zeal arise ? Why should dissenters be more zealof our religion, we find such absolute disinterest. ous than churchmen? What account can be given of cdness, so little disposition to assume political su the matter, but that there is something in the paperiority, that to have become the members of an tronage of the state which induces apathy upon the
established church would certainly have been incon church that it prefersOne other account may in,sistent in them. It is indeed almost inconceivable deed be offered that to be a dissenter is to be a
that they could ever have desired the patronage of positive religionist, whilst to be a churchman is frethe state for themselves or for their converts. No quently only to be nothing else; that an establishment man conceives that Paul or John could have parti. embraces all who are not embraced by others; and cipated in the exclusion of any portion of the Chris- that if those whom other churches do not include tian church from advantages which they themselves were not cared for by the state religion, they would enjoyed. Every man perceives that to have done not be cared for at all
. This is an argument of ap. this, would have been to assume a new character, a parent weight, but the effect of reasoning is to dicharacter which they had never exhibited before, minish that weight. For what is meant by " ineluand which was incongruous with their former prin- ding,” by “ caring for," the indifferent and irreli. ciples and motives of action. But why is this in- gious ? An established church only offers them iscongruous with the apostolic character unless it is struction; it does not compel them to come in," incongruous with Christianity ? Upon this single and we have just seen that this offer is made by unground, therefore, there is reason for the sentiment established churches also. Who doubts whether in of “ mauy well-informed persons, that it seems ex a district that is sufficient to fill a temple of the tremely questionable whether the religion of Jesus state religion, there would be found persons to offer Christ admits of any civil establishment at all.” † a temple of public worship though the state did not
I lay stress upon these considerations. We all compel it? Who doubts whether this would be the know that much may be learnt respecting human case if the district were inhabited by dissenters ! duty by a contemplation of the spirit and temper of and if it would not be done supposing the inhabitants Christianity as it was exhibited by its first teachers. to belong to the state religion, the conclusion is in- , When the spirit and temper is compared with the evitable, that there is a tendency to indifference re. essential character of religions establisbments, they sulting from the patronage of the state. are found to be incongruous foreign to one an
Let us listen to the testimony of Archbishop New. other-having no natural relationship or similarity. i come. He speaks of Ireland, and says,
« Great I should regard such facts, in reference to any ques numbers of country parishes are without churches, tion of rectitude, as of great importance; but upon notwithstanding the largeness and frequency of para subject so intimately connected with religion itself, | liamentary grants for building them;" but meetingthe importance is peculiarly great.
houses and Romish chapels, which are built and reII. The question of the utility of religious esta- paired with greater zeal, are in suficient numbers blishments is to be decided by a comparison of their about the country. This is remarkable testimony advantages and their evils.
indeed. That church which is patronised and largeOf their advantages, the first and greatest appears ly assisted by the state, does not provide places for to be that they provide, or are assumed to provide, public worship: those churches which are not pa· religious instruction for the whole community. If tronised and not assisted by the state, do provide
this instruction be left by the state to be cared for them, and provide them in " sufficient numbers " and by each Christian church as it possesses the zeal or " with greater zeal.” What then becomes of the arguthe means, it may be supposed that many districts ment, that a church establishment is necessary in will be destitute of any public religious instruction. order to provide instruction which would not otherAt least the state cannot be assured before hand that wise be provided ? every district will be supplied. And when it is con Yet here one point must be conceded. It does not sidered how great is the importance of regular pub- follow because one particular state religion is thus lic worship to the virtue of a people, it is not to be deficient, that none would be more exemplary. The denied, that a scheme which, by destroying an esta fault may not be so much in religious establishments blishment, would make that instruction inadequate | as such, as in that particular establishment which
or uncertain, is so far to be regarded as of question- | obtains in the instance before us. · able expediency. But the effect which would be Kindred to the testimony of the Irish primate is
produced by dispensing with establishments is to be the more cautious language of the archdeacon of estimated, so far as is in our power, by facts. Now | Carlisle :-“ I do not know," says he, “ that it is in dissenters are in the situation of separate unesta any degree true that the influence of religion is the blished churches. If they do not provide for the greatest where there are the fewest dissenters.”+ This, public officers of religion voluntarily, they will not I suppose, may lawfully be interpreted into positive Paley : Evidences of Christianity, p. 2, c 2.
• Sre Gisborne's Duties of Men, + Simpson's Plea for Religion and the Sacred Writings.
+ Paley: Evidences of Cbristianity.
language that the influence of religion is the great religion had not been sought out, it possesses little est where there are numerous dissenters. But if validity now. These evidences are brought before numerous adherents to unestablished churches be the world in a form so clear and accessible to literary farourable to religion, it would appear that, although and good men, that, in the present state of society, there were none but unestablished churches in a there is little reason to fear they will be lost for country, the influence of religion would be kept up. want of an established church. Nor is it to be for. If established churches are practically useful to reli. gotten that, with respect to our own country, the gion, what more reasonable than to expect that best defences of Christianity which exist in the lanwhere they possessed the more exclusive operation, guage, have not been the work either of the esta* their utility would be the greatest ? Yet the contrary, blished clergy or of members of the established , it appears, is the fact. It may indeed be urged that church. The expression, that such "an order of it is the existenee of a state religion which animates clergy is necessary to perpetuale the evidences of the zeal of the other churches, and that in this man revelation," appears to contain an illusion. Eviner the state religion does good. To which it is a dences can in no other sense be perpetuated than by sufficient answer, that the benefit, if it is thus occa being again and again brought before the public. sioned, is collateral and accidental, and offers no tes If this be the meaning, it belongs rather to the timony in favour of establishments as such;—and teaching of religious truths than to their discovery; this is our concern. Besides, there are many sects but it is upon the discovery, it is upon the opporto animate the zeal of one another, even though none tunity of research, that the argument is founded: were patronised by the state.
and it is parti
arly to be noticed, that this is the To estimate the relative influence of religion in primary argument which Paley adduces in deciding two countries is no easy task. Yet, I believe, if we is the first and most fundamental question upon the compare its influence in the United States with that subject." which it possesses in most of the European countries It pleases Providence to employ human agency in which possess state. religions, it will be found that the vindication and diffusion of his truth; but to emthe balance is in favour of the community in which ! ploy the expression “the knowledge and profession there is no established church : at any rate, the ba- 1 of Christianity" cannot be upholden without an estalance is not so much against it as to afford any evi blished clergy, approaches to irreverence. Even a dence in favour of a state religion. A traveller in rejector of Christianity says, “ If public worship be America has remarked, " There is more religion in conformable to reason, reason without doubt will the United States than in England, and more in prove adequate to its vindication and support. If it England than in Italy. The closer the monopoly, be from God it is profanation to imagine that it the less abundant the supply.”* Another traveller stands in need of the alliance of the state.". And writes almost as if he had anticipated the present it is clearly untrue in fact; because, without such a disquisition_“ It has been often said, that the dis- clergy, it is actually upheld, and because, during the inclination of the heart to religious truth, renders three first centuries, the religion subsisted and spread a state establishment absolutely necessary for the and prospered without any encouragement from the purpose of Christianizing the country. Ireland and state. And it is remarkable, too, that the diffusion of America can furnish abundant evidence of the fal. Christianity in our own times in Pagan nations, is lacy of such an hypothesis. In the one country we effected less by the clergy of established churches see an ecclesiastical establishment of the most costly than by others. † description utterly inoperative in dispelling igno Such are amongst the principal of the direct adcance or refuting error; in the other no establish vantages of religious establishments as they are ment of any kind, and yet religion making daily and urged by those who advocate them. Some others hourly progress, promoting enquiry, diffusing know will be noticed in enquiring into the opposite ques. ledge, strengthening the weak, and mollifying the tion of their disadvantages. hardened." +
These disadvantages respect either the institution In immediate connexion with this subject is the itself-or religion generally -or the civil welfare of argument that De Paley places at the head of those a people. which he advances in favour of religious establish I. The institution itself. “ The single end we ments-that the knowledge and profession of Chris- ought to propose by religious establishments is, Timnity cannot be upholden without a clergy supported the preservation and communication of religious by legal provision, and belonging to one sect of Chris- knowledge. Every other idea, and every other end, tians. The justness of this proposition is founded that have been mixed with this, as the making of the upon the necessity of research. It is said that church an engine, or even an ally, of the state; con“ Christianity is an historical religion," and that the verting it into the means of strengthening or diffutruth of its history must be investigated ; that in sing influence ; or regarding it as a support of regal
, : order to vindicate its authority and to ascertain its in opposition to popular forms of government; have truths, leisure and education and learning are indis served only to debase the institution, and to introduce pensable that such "an order of clergy is ne into it numerous corruptions and abuses."! This is cessary to perpetuate the evidences of revelation, undoubtedly true. Now, we affirm that this “deand to interpret the obscurity of those ancient wri- basement of the institution,” this “introduction of tings in which the religion is contained.” To all numerous corruptions and abuses,” is absolutely insethis there is one plain objection, that when once the parable from religious establishments as they ordinevidences of religion are adduced and made public, arily exist; that wherever and whenever a state so when once the obscurity of the ancient writings is prefers and patronises a particular church, these interpreted, the work, so far as discovery is con debasements and abuses and corruptions will inevit. cerned, is done; and it can hardly be imagined that ably arise. an established clergy is necessary in perpetuity to • An engine or ally of the state.” How will you do that which in its own nature can be done bat once. Whatever may have been the validity of this • Godwin's Pol. Just. 2, 608. argument in other times, when few but the clergy + In the preceding discussion, I have left ont all reference to possessed any learning, or when the evidences of the proper qualification or appointment of Christian ministers,
and have assumed (but without conceding) that the magistrato + Duncan's Trav. in America. is at liberty to adjust those matters if he pleases. 1 See Mor. and Pol. Phi). b. 6, c. 10.
Paley: Mor. and Pol. Phil. b. 6, c. lv.
frame-I will not say any religious establishment, / tained, tnat in a mixed government it will be found but-any religious establishment that approaches to that an establishment adheres to that branch of the the ordinary character, without making it an engine government by which its own pre-eminence is most or ally of the state ? Alliance is involved in the very supported. In England the strictest alliance is beidea of the institution. The state selects, and pre tween the church and the executive; and accord. fers, and grants privileges to, a particular church. | ingly, in ruptures between the executive and legisThe continuance of these privileges depends upon lative powers, the establishment has adhered to the the continuance of the state in its present principles. | former. There was an exception in the reign of If the state is altered, the privileges are endangered James II. : but it was an exception which confirms the or may be swept away. The privileged church, rule ; for the establishment then found or feared that therefore, is interested in supporting the state, in its alliance with the regal power was about to be broken. standing by it against opposition; or, which is the Seeing, then, the debasement of a Christian church same thing, that church becomes an ally of the state. --that the introduction into it of corruptions and You cannot separate the effect from the cause. abuses, is inseparable from religious establishments, Wherever the state prefers and patronises one what is this debasement and what are these abuses church, there will be an alliance between the state and corruptions ? and that church. There may be variations in the Now, without entering into minute enquiry, many strength of this alliance. The less the patronage of evils arise obviously from the nature of the case. the state, the less strong the alliance will be. Or Here is an introduction, into the office of the Christian there may be emergencies in which the alliance is sus- ministry, of motives, and interests, and aims, foreiga pended by the influence of stronger interests;
but to the proper business of the office; and not only still the alliance, as a general consequence of the foreign but incongruous and discordant with it. preference of the state, will inevitably subsist. When, Here are secular interests mixed up with the motives therefore, Dr Paley says, that to make an establish- of religion. Here are temptations to assume the ment an ally of the state is to introduce into it nu ministerial function in the church that is established,
merous corruptions and abuses, he in fact says, that for the sake of its secular advantages. Here are • to make an establishment at all is to introduce into inducements, when the function is assumed, to ac1 a church numerous corruptions and abuses.
commodate the manner of its exercise to the incli. It matters nothing what the doctrines or constitu nations of the state; to suppress, for example, tion of the church may be. The only point is, the some religious principles which the civil powes alliance, and its degree. It may be episcopal, or does not wish to see inculcated; to insist for the presbyterian, or independent; but wherever the de same reason with undue emphasis upon others; in gree of alliance--that is, of preference and patronage a word, to adjust the religious conduct so as to -is great, there the abuses and corruptions will be strengthen or perpetuate the alliance with the state. great. In this country during a part of the seven It is very easy to perceive that these temptations teenth century, independency became, in effect, the will and must frequently prevail; and wherever they established church. It became of course an ally of do prevail, there the excellence and dignity of the the state; and fought from its pulpits the battles of Christian ministry are diminished, are depressed the state. Nor will any one, I suppose, deny that there Christianity is not exemplified in its purity: this alliance made independency worse than it was there it is shorn of a portion of its beams. The exbefore ,-that it “introduced into it corruptions and tent of the evil will depend of course upon the vigour abuses."
of the cause; that is to say, the evil will be proporThe less strict the alliance, the fewer the corrup tionate to the alliance. If a religious establishment tions that spring from an alliance. One state may were erected in which the executive power of the impose a test to distingnish the ministers of the pre- country appointed all its mininisters, there would, I ferred church, and leave the selection to the church doubt not, ensue an almost universal corruption of itself: another may actually appoint some or all of the ministry. As an establishment recedes in its the ministers. These differences in the closeness of constitution from this closeness of alliance, a corthe alliance will produce differences in the degree of responding increase of purity may be expected. corruption; but alliance and corruption in both cases During the reformation, and in Queen Elizabeth's there will be. He who receives a legal provision time, “of nine thousand four hundred beneficed from the minister of the day, will lend his support to clergy,” (adherents to Papacy,) “only one hundred the minister of the day. He who receives it by the and seventy-seven resigned their preferment rather operation of a general law, will lend his support to than acknowledge the Queen's supremacy,"
," * yet the that political system which is likely to perpetuate Pope to them was head of the church. that law.
ticular manner in whicb the establishment of a “ The means of strengthenin or diffusing influ church injures the character of the church itself is, ence.'
This abuse of religious establishments is by the temptation which it holds out to equivocation presupposed in the question of alliance. It is by the or hypocrisy. It is necessary to the preference of means of influence that the alliance is produced the teachers of a particular sect, that there should There may be and there are gradations in the be some means of discovering who belong to that directness or flagrancy of the exercise of influence, sect :—there must be some test. Before the man but influence of some kind is inseparable from the who is desirous of undertaking the ministerial office, selection and preference of a particular church. there are placed two roads, one of which conducts
“ A support of regal in opposition to popular forms to those privileges which a state religion enjoys, and of government." This attendant upon religious the other does not. The latter may be entered by establishments is accidental. An establishment will all who will : the former by those only who affirma support that form, whatever it be, by which it is it their belief of the rectitude of some church forms or self supported. In one country it may be the ally of some points of theology. It requires no arguof republicanism, in another of aristocracy, and in ment to prove that this is to tempt men to affirm that another of monarchy; but in all it will be the ally which they do not believe: that it is to say to of its own patron.
The establishment of France the man who does not believe the stipulated points, supported the despotismn of the Louises. The estab Here is money for you if you will violate your conlishmen of Spain supports at this hour the pitiable policy of Ferdinand. So accurately is alliance main • Southey : Book of the Church, Sir Thomas More.
science. By some the invitation will be accepted ; alter, can only then be right when the church is at and what is the result ? Why that, just as they are present as perfect as it can be ; and no one perhaps going publicly to insist upon the purity and sanctity will gravely say that there is any established church of the Moral Law, they violate that law themselves. on the globe which needs no amendment. Dr The injury which is thus done to a Christian church | Hartley devoted a portion of his celebrated work by establishing it, is negative as well as positive. to a discussion of the probability that all the existYou not only tempt some men to equivocation or ing church establishments in the world would be hypocrisy, but exclude from the office others of dissolved; and he founds this probability expressly sounder integrity. Two persons, both of whom do upon the ground that they need so much reformation. not assent to the prescribed points, are desirous of “ In all exclusive establishments, where temporal entering the church. One is upright and conscien emoluments are annexed to the profession of a certious, the other subservient and unscrupulous. An tain system of docrines, and the usage of a certain establishment excludes the good man and admits the routine of forms, and appropriated to an order of bad. “ Though some purposes of order and tran men so and so qualified, that order of men will naquillity may be answered by the establishment of turally think themselves interested that things should creeds and confessions, yet they are at all times at continue as they are. A reformation might endanger tended with serious inconveniences : they check their emoluments."* This is the testimony of a enquiry; they violate liberty; they ensnare the dignitary of one of these establishments. And the consciences of the clergy, by holding out tempta fact being admitted, what is the amount of the evil tions to prevarication.” |
which it involves ? Let another dignitary reply : And with respect to the habitual accommodation “ He who, by a diligent and faithful examination of of the exercise of the ministry to the desires of the the original records, dismisses from the system one state, it is manifest that an enlightened and faithful article which contradicts the apprehension, the exminister may frequently find himself restrained by a perience, or the reasoning of mankind, does more species of political leading-strings. He has not the towards recommending the belief, and with the befull command of his intellectual and religious attain lief the influence of Christianity, to the understandments. He may not perhaps communicate the whole | ings and consciences of serious enquirers, and through counsel of God. It was formerly conceded to the
them to universal reception and authority, than can English clergy that they might preach against the be effected by a thousand contenders for creeds and horrors and impolicy of war, provided they were not
ordinances of human establishments.” If the benefits chaplains to regiments or in the navy. Conceded! of dismissing such an article are so great, what must Then if the state had pleased, it might have with | be the evil of continuing it! If the benefit of disheld the concession; and accordingly from some the missing one such article be so great, what must be state did withhold it. They were prohibited to the evil of an established system which tends habipreach against that, against which apostles wrote ! tually and constantly to retain many of them? Yet What would these apostles have said if a state had these “ articles, which thus contradict the reasoning bidden them keep silence respecting the most un
of mankind,” are actually retained by established christian custom in the world? They would have churches. “ Creeds and confessions," says Dr Paley, said, Whether we ought to obey God rather than “however they may express the persuasion, or be man, judge ye. What would they have done? They accommodated to the controversies or to the fears would have gone away and preached against it as be of the age in which they are composed, in process of fore. One question more should be asked—What would time, and by reason of the changes which are wont they have said to an alliance which thus brought the to take place in the judgment of mankind upon reChristian minister under bondage to the state ? ligious subjects, they come at length to contradict
The next point of view in which a religious es the actual opinions of the church whose doctrines tablishment is injurious to the church itself is, that they profess to contain.”+ It is then confessed by it perpetuates any evils which happen to exist in it. the members of an established church that religious The reason is this : the preference which a state establishments powerfully obstruct the belief, the gives to a particular church is given to it as it is. influence, the universal reception and authority of If the church makes alterations in its constitution, its Christianity. Great, indeed, must be the counter discipline, or its forms, it cannot tell whether the advantages of these establishments if they counter. state would continue to prefer and to patronise it. balance this portion of its evils. Besides, if alterations are begun, its members do not II. This last paragraph anticipates the second know whether the alacrity of some other church class of disadvantages attendant upon religious esmight not take advantage of the loosening alliance tablishments: their ill effects upon religion generally. with the state, to supplant it. In short, they do not It is indisputable, that much of the irreligion of the know what would be the consequences of amendments, world has resulted from those things which have nor where they would end. Conscious that the been mixed up with Christianity, and placed before church as it is possesses the supremacy, they think
mankind as parts of religion. In some countries, it more prudent to retain that supremacy with ex
the mixture has been so flagrant that the majority of isting evils, than to endanger it by attempting to re the thinking part of the population have almost reform them. Thus it is that whilst unestablished jccted religion altogether. So it was, and so it may churches alter their discipline or constitution as need be feared it still is, in France. The intellectual part appears to require, established churches remain cen of her people rejected religion, not because they had tury after century the same. Not to be free to examined Christianity and were convinced that it
was a fiction, but because they had examined what • "Chillingworth declared in a letter to Dr Sheldon, that if was proposed to them as Christianity and found it he subscribed he subscribed his own damnation, and yet in no was absurd or false. So numerous were the “ articles long space of time, he actually did subscribe to the articles of the church, again and again.' Simpson's Plea.
that contradicted the experience and judgment of + Paley: Mor. and Pol. Phil. b. 6, c. 10.
mankind,” that they concluded the whole was “Honest and disinterested boldness in the path of duty is
fable, and rejected the whole. one of the first requisites of a minister of the gospel." Gisborne, But how shall they be thus disinterested ? Mem, in
Now that which the French church establishment
did in an extremo degree, others do in a less degree. ş it was not to religious establishments that Protestants were indebted for the first efforts of reforination. They bavo
Archdeacon Blackburn's Confessional : Pref. uniforinly resisted reformation.
+ Paley · Mor. and Pol. Phil. 6. 6, c. 10.
Mem. in the MS.
If the French church retained a hundred articles that I evidence, that the cause of true Christianity has very contradicted the judgment of mankind, and thus made materially suffered in the world in consequence of a nation of unbelievers, the church which retains ten the connexion between the church and the state. It or five such articles, weakens the general influence of is probably in great measure the consequence of religion although it may not destroy it.
such an union that the church has assumed, in alNor is it merely by unauthorized doctrinal articles most all Christian countries, so secular a character or forms that the influence of religion is impaired, but —that Christianity has become so lamentably mixed by the general evils which affect the church itself. It is up with the spirit, maxims, motives, and politics of sufficiently manifest, that whatever tends to diminish a vain and evil world. Had the union in question the virtue, or to impeach the character, of the mini never been attempted, pure religion might probably sters of religion, must tend to diminish the influence have found a freer course; the practical effects of of religion upon mankind. If the teacher is not Christianity might have been more unmixed and good, we are not to expect goodness in the taught. more extensive; and it might have spread its infla If a man enters the church with impure or unworthy ence in a much more efficient manner than is now motives, he cannot do his duty when he is there. If the case, even over the laws and politics of kings he makes religion subservient to interest in his and nations. Before its union with the state, our own practice, he cannot effectually teach others to holy religion flourished with comparative incorruptmake religion paramount to all. Men associate ness ; afterwards it gradually declined in its purity (they ought to do it less) the idea of religion with and its power until all was nearly lost in darkness, that of its teachers; and their respect for one is superstition, and spiritual tyranny."
“ Religion frequently measured by their respect for the other. should remain distinct from the political constitution Now, that the eífect of religious establishments has of a state. Intermingled with it, what purpose can been to depress their teachers in the estimation of it serve, except the baneful purpose of communicamankind, cannot be disputed. The effect is, in ting and of receiving contamination ? ” truth, inevitable. And it is manifest that whatever III. Then as to the effect of religious establishconveys disrespectful ideas of religion diminishes its ments upon the civil welfare of a state-we know influence upon the human mind. In brief, we have that the connexion between religious and civil welseen that to establish a religion is morally perni. fare is intimate and great. Whatever therefore cious to its ministers; and whatever is injurious to diminishes the influence of religion upon a people, them diminishes the power of religion in the world. diminishes their general welfare. In addition, how
Christianity is a religion of good-will and kind ever, to this general consideration, there are some affections. Its essence, so far as the intercourse of particular modes of the injurious effects of religious society is concerned, is Love. Whatever diminishes establishments which it may be proper to notice. good-will and kind affections amongst Christians, And, first, religious establishments are incompaattacks the essence of Christianity. Now, religious tible with complete religious liberty. This considerestablishments do this. They generate ill-will, ation we requested the reader to bear in mind when heart-burnings, animosities—those very things which the question of religious liberty was discussed. I our religion deprecates more almost than any other. “ If an establishment be right, religious liberty is It is obvious that if a fourth or a third of a commu not; and if religious liberty be right, an establishnity think they are unreasonably excluded from ment is not." Whatever arguments therefore exist privileges which the other parts enjoy, feelings of to prove the rectitude of complete religious liberty, jealousy or envy are likely to be generated. If the they prove at the same time the wrongness of reliminority are obliged to pay to the support of a gious establishments. Nor is this all; for it is the religion they disapprove, these feelings are likely to manifest tendency of these establishments to with. be exacerbated. They soon become reciprocal ; at hold an increase of religious liberty, even when on tacks are made by one party and repelled by another, other grounds it would be granted. The secular till there arises an habitual sense of unkindness or interests of the state religion are set in array against ill-will.* The deduction from the practical influ an increase of liberty. If the established church ence of religion upon the minds of men which this allows other churches to approach more nearly to effect of religious establishments occasions, is great. an equality with itself, its own relative eminence is The evil, I trust, is diminishing in the world; but diminished; and if by any means the state religion then the diminution results, not from religious esta adds to its own privileges, it is by deducting from blishments, but from that power of Christianity the privileges of the rest. The state religion is, which prevails against these evils.
besides, afraid to dismiss any part even of its conFrom these, and from other evidences of the inju- fessedly useless privileges, lest, when an alteration rious effects of religious establishments upon the is begun, it should not easily be stopped. And there religious condition of mankind, we shall perhaps be is no reason to doubt that it is temporal rather than prepared to assent to the observations which follow: religious considerations-interest rather than Chris“ The history of the last eighteen centuries does, tianity—which now occasions restrictions and disaindeed, afford, in various ways, a strong presumptive bilities and tests. • I once met with rather a grotesque definition of religious generally been the work of religious establishments
In conformity with these views, persecution has dissent, but it illustrates my proposition :-"Dissenterism". that is, “systematic opposition to the established religion." Indeed, some alliance or some countenance at least
“ The placing all the religious sects (in America) upon an from the state is necessary to a systematic persecuequal footing with respect to the government of the country, has effectually secured the peace of the community, at the same
tion. Popular outrage may persecute men on ac. time that it has essentially promoted the interests of truth and count of their religion, as it often has done ; but virtue."-Mem. Dr Priestly, p. 175. Mem. in the MS.
fixed stated persecutions have perhaps always been Pennsylvania. -“ Although there are so many sects and such a difference of religious opinions in this province, it is
the work of the religion of the state. It was the surprising the harmony which subsists among them; they state religion of Rome that persecuted the first consider themselves as children of the saine father, and live
Christians; not to mention that it was the state bike brethren because they have the liberty of thinking like men; to this pleasing harmony, in a great measure, is to be
religion of Judea that put our Saviour himself to attributed the rapid and flourishing state of Pennsylvania death._ “ Who was it that crucified the Saviour of above all the other province's." Travels through the Interior Parts of North America, by an Officer.
• J. J. Gurney : Peculiarities, c. 7. officer was Thomas Aulurey, who was taken prisoner by the
+ Charles James Fox: Fell's Life. Americans,
Essay 3, c. 4.
Mem. in the MS.