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And os Our
A G A.';Yfl S t
The Exorbitant 'claims and
tHE. SEVENtH EDItION,
With Additions and Amendments.
U-st-31 T O T H E
«*' LOWER HOUSE
O U, Gentlemen, who are the Representatives of the Clergy of England, are proper Patrons of a Work, which treats of Religion, and the Clergy. It is written to promote Liberty, Virtue, and Piety; the Interests of which, I hope, you will always espouse, and esteem as your own; and will consequently approve my Design, and give A 2 mome your Thanks, whatever may have
been the Success of my Endeavours.
The many wild and unscriptural Claims started, and impetuously maintained, by very many of those whom you represent, (and I wish I could say denied, though but faintly, by any considerable Number of others) gave Occasion to the following Sheets; and, having in them stiewn to my Brethren, the Laity, the Absurdity and Impiety of those Claims, by Arguments fetched from Reason, the Gospel, and the Laws of our Country; I shall, ia this Address to yourselves, endeavour to convince you, that it is your Interest to drop them; and if Lean succeed in this, I presume, that all other Arguments may be useless.
These Gentlemen, in the Heat of their Demands and Contention for Power, have gone so far towards Rome, and borrowed so many of her Principles, that I fee no other Medium left for them, but either to proceed on in their Journey thither,
(which, (which, as they have managed Matters, is' now a very lhort one) or to turn back to the Principles of the Reformation, (a very long Journey, I confess !) and accept ot the Bistiop of * Banger's Scheme, as much as they hate it and him. That Scheme, though it may not be altogether so palatable, yet is a safe Scheme: And though: it does not intitle them to all the Power . and Wealth in England, yet it secures to them what they have.
Consider, Gentlemen, that you cannot take as much of Popery as you pleaie, and leave the rest. Machiavel has long since told us, that no Government can subsist long but upon its original Foundation, and by recurring often to the Principles upon which it was first founded. Tt will indeed stand upon no other; and when that is sapped and undermined, the Superstructure must fall to the Ground, the old Inhabitants must find out new Materials, erect new Buildings upon other Foanda
* Dr. Benjamin Hstdlej, now Lord Bistiop of Winchester.
A 3 tions.