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my Lords, in you, and your brethren,
to pretend to do men's business without their confent; and great ambition to pretend to be their Masters, without any juft right or authority. It is a burden grievous to be borne, for men to be obliged to commit their Spiritual concerns to perfons they cannot truft nor confide in ;-who inftead of feeking to fave their fouls, prey upon their fubstance, and riot in their poffeffions.
One grievous burden you lay upon our shoulders is yourselves; the majority of the nation reckon you a heavy bur den, and long to be freed from you.Your extravagant incomes might do much good; your Lordships devour more in a year than all the Clergy of Scotland. And yet the people there are as nice and intelligent, and know more of religion, than the greatest part of the people in any of your Diocefes; even the poor Diffenters within your own
bounds will compare with any of your people, who are immediately under your very nofes. Is it not, moft Reverend and right Reverend Fathers in ;
a burden grievous to be borne, to fee a man, who never preaches above once a year, devour twelve or fifteen thousand pounds per annum, and one who drudges from day to day, not have as much as keep his family from rags, nor himself from beggary?You fay that it is the Conftitutioni-may Heaven foon diffolve it; for God never made it. You know this, Gentlemen, as well as I; your Confciences have told it you a thousand times, but Honour, Power, and Luxury, have rendered you callous to all conviction.
It is a burden grievous to be borne, and which you never touch with one of your fingers, though you lay it on, I mean your Spiritual Courts. In these you reign like lions in their dens, and tear
to pieces all who have the misfortune to fall under your power. Your Courts refemble the fabled Castles of the Giants, where nothing is to be feen but the spoils of victims devoured by your mercilefs hands. Woe to the man who enters within your Spiritual dominions; for though his foul can never be the better by any thing you can do, his body, his interest and substance, fhall be confiderably worse. Ye Culprits, who have ever been within the walls of thefe inquifitions, fay, What help, what aid, did you receive from the fingers of the Bishops? was not his little finger heavier than the loins of your Saviour, who is all mercy and goodnefs? What do you think of his Chancellor, Proctors, and Apparitors? Saw you any mercy in their visage, or clemency in their looks? Nay, này; every one would look for his gain from his quarter, as long as you had a farthing. His Lordship's finger would not
ease your burden, nor mitigate your fine, however grievous to be borne.
The Articles, Liturgy, and Athanafian Creed, are heavy burdens, and grievous to be endured, which you zealously bind on other men's fhoulders, though you give them nothing for bearing them. You do not add twenty pounds a year to the living of a poor Curate for subscribing and reading these badges of fuperftition. If a man is fo obliging as to fell you his Confcience, you ought undoubtedly to keep his teeth going. Many of your underlings would never read nor fubscribe a fingle Article of those fopperies, were it not for a little temporary enjoyment; and far too small, my Lords, for fo much obedience. If they would cleave to the Lord Jefus Christ, he would reward them better for their fervice. You ought to confider them; many of them are dutiful crea
tures, and obey your mandates with
punctuality: But it is hard to perform fuch difagreeable business for fuch puny rewards. A little help would be of fome fervice a hundred instead of forty pounds a year would make the Athanafian Creed go better down. You can easily afford it out of fo many thou fands. I wonder much, confidering the temper of the times, that there are any Creeds read at all; for it is feldom that fome Churches have any Sermons.
The Damnation of your Creed is griev ous to be borne-who can rehearse it without faying, Miferere, Domine. I wonder you are not afhamed to deal fo often in unreasonable Damnation.-Shall all men be damned who do not believe the Athanafian Creed? then all the Apostles are in a miserable fituation. Your Lordships, I am afraid, will ftand a poor chance. Afk your Consciences if you believe it. Horrefco referens, eft horribile ditu. If