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couragement to proceed in the dispatch of such business as properly belongs to them, and to grant them powers requisite to carry on so good a work: in conclusion, “ earnestly recommending to them to avoid disputes; and determining to do all that in her lies to compose and extinguish them."
It is to be hoped, that this last part of her majesty's letter will be the first she will please to execute; for, it seems, this very letter created the first dispute, the fact whereof is thus related :-The Upper House, having formed an address to the queen before they received her majesty's letter, sent both address and letter together to the Lower House, with a message, excusing their not mentioning the letter in the address; because this was formed before the other was received. The Lower House returned them, with a desire that an address might be formed with a due regard and acknowledgments for the letter. After some difficulties, the same address was sent down again, with a clause inserted, making some short mention of the said letter. This the Lower House did not think sufficient, and sent it back again with the same request; whereupon the archbishop, after a short consultation with some of his brethren, immediately adjourned the convocation for a month; and no address at all was sent to the queen.
* During the reign of King William III, the Convocation was segularly summoned to meet at the same time with the parliament; but was as regularly prorogued without being allowed an opportunity to proceed to business. In 1709, the Lower House of Convocation refused to submit to prorogation, claiming a privilege to continue sitting as long as the parliament. In 1710, the ministry, who had come in by the cry that the church was in danger, expected not a little support from the Convocation, especially from the Lower House, which was under the management
I understand not ecclesiastical affairs well enough to comment upon this matter; but it seems to me, that all methods of doing service to the church and kingdom, by means of a convocation, may be at any time eluded, if there be no remedy against such an incident. And, if this proceeding be agreeable to the institution, spiritual assemblies must needs be strangely contrived, very different from any lay senate yet known in the world. Surely, from the nature of such a synod, it must be a very unhappy circumstance, when the majority of the bishops draws one way, and that of the lower clergy another. The latter, I think, are not at this time suspected for any principle bordering upon those professed by enemies to episcopacy; and if they happen to differ from the greater part of the present set of bishops, I doubt it will call some things to mind, that may turn the scale of general favour on the inferior clergy's side; who, with a profound duty to her majesty, are perfectly pleased with the present turn of affairs. Besides, curious people will be apt to inquire into the dates of some promotions; to call to mind what designs were then upon vil, and thence make malicious deductions. Perhaps they will observe the manner of voting on the bishops' bench, and compare it with what shall pass in the upper house of convocation. There is, however, one comfort, that, under the present dispositions of the kingdom, a dislike to the proceed
of Atterbury. In the Upper House, the low church tenets predominated, owing to the influence of Tennison, the primate, and of such other prelates as had been promoted while the Whigs were in power. Hence various disputes took place betwixt the houses ; nor were they able to agree upon the terms of a representation to the
queen in answer to her letter.
ings of any of their lordships, even to the number of a majority, will be purely personal, and not turned to the disadvantage of the order. And for my part, as I am a true lover of the church, I would rather find the inclinations of the people favourable to episcopacy in general, than see a majority of prelates cried up by those, who are known enemies to the character. Nor, indeed, has anything given me more offence for several years past, than to observe how some of that bench have been caressed by certain persons, and others of them openly celebrated by the infamous pens of atheists, republicans, and fanatics,
Time and mortality can only remedy these inconveniences in the church, which are not to be cured, like those in the state, by a change of ministry. If we may guess the temper of a convocation from tlie choice of a prolocutor, as it is usual to do that of a house of commons by the speaker, we may expect great things from that reverend body, who have done themselves much reputation, by pitching upon a gentleman of so much piety, wit, and learning, for that office, and one who is so thoroughly versed in those parts of knowledge, which are proper for it.* I am sorry that the three Latin speeches, delivered upon presenting the prolocutor, were not made public; they might perhaps have given us some light into the disposition of each House; and, besides, one of them is said to be so peculiar in the style and matter, as might have made up in entertainment what it wanted in instruction.t
* Atterbury, afterwards bishop of Rochester.
+ He probably alludes to that made by Dr Tennison, archbishop of Canterbury; a dull and heavy, though very worthy man. He was a keen adherent of the Whig party.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 1711.
Nullæ sunt occultiores insidiæ, quam ea, quæ latent in simulatione
officii, aut in aliquo necessitudinis nomine.
It is extremely difficult to explore those designs which are concei
ved under the veil of duty, and lie hid under the pretence of friendship.
The following answer is written in the true style,
and with the usual candour of such pieces; which I have imitated to the best of my skill, and doubt not but the reader will be extremely satisfied with it.
The Examiner cross-examined; or, A full Answer to
the last Examiner.
If I durst be so bold with this author, I would gladly ask him a familiar question :-Pray, sir, who made you an examiner? He talks in one of his insipid papers of eight or nine thousand corruptions, while we were at the head of affairs; yet in all this time he has hardly produced fifty:
But I shall confine myself at present to his last paper. He tells us, the queen began her reign with a noble benefaction to the church. Here's priestcraft with a witness! This is the constant language of your highfliers, to call those who are hired to teach the religion of the magistrate, by the name of the church. But this is not all; for, in the very next line, he says, It was hoped the nation would have followed this example. You see the faction begins already to speak out; this is an open demand for the abbey-lands. This furious zealot would have us priest-ridden again, like our popish ancestors; but it is to be hoped the government will take timely care to suppress such audacious attempts; else we have spent so much blood and treasure to very little purpose, in maintaining religion and the Revolution. But what can we expect from a man, who at one blow endeavours to ruin our trade ? A country, says he, may flourish (these are his own words) without being the common receptacle for all nations, religions, and languages. What! we must immediately banish or murder the Palatines; forbid all foreign merchants not only the Exchange but the kingdom; persecute the dissenters with fire and faggot; and make it high treason to speak any other tongue but English. In another place, he talks of a serpent with seven heads, which is a manifest corruption of the text; for the words, seven heads, are not mentioned in that verse. However, we know what serpent he would mean; a serpent with fourteen legs, or indeed no serpent at all, but seven great men, who were the best ministers, the truest Protestants, and the most disinterested patriots that ever served a prince. But nothing is so inconsistent as this writer. I know not whether to call him a Whig or a Tory, a Protestant or a Papist; he finds fault with convocations; says, they are assemblies strangely contrived, and yet lays the fault upon us, that we bound their hands: I wish