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to say,

"If you will give me so much, then I will preach, but if not, be assured I will not preach to you."

So that in answering the question, instead of determining which of the evils to choose, either to disobey God and conscience, or break honor and honesty, I would recommend an escape of both evils, by entering into no such contracts; for the natural evils of imprudence that men are fallen into, neither God nor man can prevent.

A minister must have a hard heart to wish men to be forced to pay him, when through conscience, enthusiasm, or private pique, they dissent from his ministry. The spirit of the Gospel disdains such measures.

The question before us, is not applicable to many cases in Connecticut: the dissenting churches make no contracts for a longer term than a year, and most of them make none at all. Societies of the standing order, rarely bind themselves, in contract with preachers, without binding others beside themselves; and when that is the case the bond is fraudulent; and if those who are bound involuntarily can get clear, it is no breach of honor or honesty.

A few additional remarks shall close my piece.

First. The Church of Rome was at first constituted according to the gospel; and at that time her faith was spoken of through the whole world. Being espoused to Christ, as a chaste virgin, she kept her bed pure for her husband almost three hundred years; but afterwards she played the whore with the kings and princes of this world, who, with their gold and wealth, came in unto her, and she became a strumpet. And, as she was the first Christian church that ever forsook the laws of Christ for her conduct, and received the laws of his rivals, i. e., was established by human law, and governed by the legalized edicts of councils, and received large sums of money to support her preachers and her worship, by the force of civil power, she is called the mother of harlots; and all Protestant churches, who are regulated by law, and force people to support their preachers, build meeting-houses, and otherwise maintain their worship, are danghters of this holy mother.

Second. I am not a citizen of Connecticut—the religious laws of the state do not oppress me, and I expect never will personally; but a love to religious liberty in general, induces me thus to speak. Were I a resident in the state, I could not give or receive a certificate to be exempted from ministerial taxes; for, in so doing, I should confess that the legislature had authority to pamper one religious order in the state, and make all others pay obeisance to that sheaf. It is high time to know whether all are to be free alike, and whether ministers of state are to be lords over God's heritage.

And here I shall ask the citizens of Connecticut, whether, in the months of April and September, when, when they choose their deputies for the as

sembly, they mean to surrender to them the rights of conscience, and authorize them to make laws binding on their consciences? If not, then all such acts are contrary to the intention of constituent power, as well as unconstitutional and anti-Christian.

Third. It is likely that one part of the people in Connecticut believe, in conscience, that gospel preachers should be supported by the force of law; and the other part believe that it is not in the province of civil law to interfere, or any ways meddle with religious matters. How are both parties to be protected by law in their conscientious belief?

Very easily. Let all those whose consciences dictate that they ought to be taxed by law to maintain their preacher, bring in their names to the society clerk, by a certain day, and then assess them all, according to their estates, to raise the sum stipulated in the contract, and all others go free. Both parties, by this method, would enjoy the full liberty of conscience, without oppressing one another—the laws use no force in matters of conscience the evil of Rhode Island law be escaped—and no person could find fault with it, in a political point of view, but those who fear the consciences of too many would lie dormant, and, therefore, wish to force them to pay. Here let it be noted, that there are many in the world who believe, in conscience, that a minister is not entitled to any acknowledegement for his services, without he is so poor that he cannot live without it; and thereby convert a gospel debt to alms. Though this opinion is not founded either on reason or scripture, yet it is a better opinion than that which would force them to pay a preacher by human law.

Fourth. How mortifying must it be to foreigners, and how far from conciliatory is it to citizens of the American states, that when they come into Connecticut to reside, they must either conform to the religion of Connecticut, or produce a certificate? Does this look like religious liberty, or human friendship? Suppose that man, whose name need not be mentioned, but which fills every American heart with pleasure and awe, should remove to Connecticut for his health, or any other cause, what a scandal would it be to the state, to tax him to support a Presbyterian minister, unless he produced a certificate, informing them that he was an Episcopalian.

Fifth. The federal constitution certainly had the advantage of any of the state constitutions, in being made by the wisest men in the whole nation, and after an experiment of a number of years trial upon republican principles; and that constitution forbids Congress ever to establish any kind of religion, or require any religious test to qualify any officer in any department of federal government. Let a man be Pagan, Turk, Jew or Christian, he is eligible to any post in that government. So that if the principles of religious liberty, contended for in the foregoing pages, are supposed to be fraught with Deism, fourteen states in the Union are now

fraught with the same. But the separate states have not surrendered that supposed right of establishing religion to Congress. Each state retains all its power, saving what is given to the general government, by the federal constitution. The assembly of Connecticut, therefore, still undertake to guide the helm of religion; and if Congress were disposed, yet they could not prevent it, by any power vested in them by the states. Therefore, if any of the people of Connecticut feel oppressed by the certificate law, or any other of the like nature, their proper mode of procedure will be to remonstrate against the oppression, and petition the assembly for a redress of the grievance.

Sixth. Divines generally inform us that there is a time to come, (called the Latter Day Glory,) when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters do the sea, and that this day will appear upon the destruction of antichrist. If so, I am well convinced that Jesus will first remove all the hinderances of religious establishments, and cause all men to be free in matters of religion. When this is effected, he will say to the kings and great men of the earth: "Now, see what I can do: ye have been afraid to leave the church and gospel in my hands alone, without steadying the ark by human law, but now I have taken the power and kingdom for myself, and will work for my own glory." Here let me add that, in the southern states, where there has been the greatest freedom from religious oppression, where liberty of conscience is entirely enjoyed, there has been the greatest revival of religion; which is another proof that true religion can, and will prevail best, where it is left entirely to Christ.


Ignatius, born somewhere, no matter where, Trained up in school, and taught to say his prayer, Tired with his task at the academy,

Jump'd over all to university:

The books he read, and read, then laid them down,
Bat little wiser when his task was done;
But college pedantry bore such a sway,
That soon he gained a soaring diploma,
Dubb'd like a knight on a commencement day,
Gladly he quit his task, and went his way.
He thought of doctor, lawyer, prince and priest,
And made remarks in earnest or in jest,
"Should I turn doctor, I must stem the cold,
And break my rest, to gain the shining gold;
Most make my patients think their lives and blood
Are in my hands, or I can do no good.

When men believe in witches, witches are;

But when they don't believe there are none there;
When men believe in doctors, doctors heal,
At sight of whom their patients easy feel.
If I'm a lawyer, I must lie and cheat,
For honest lawyers have no bread to eat;
'Tis rogues and villains feed the lawyers high,
And sue the men that gold and silver buy.
Should I be statesman, I must use disguise,
And, if a priest, hear nothing else but lies;
State tricks, intrigues, and arts would me confound,
And truth and honesty nowhere be found.
This way of getting money is a risk,
I judge it better to become a priest..
Preaching is now a science and a trade,
And by it many grand estates are made;
The money which I spent at grammar school
I'll treble now by teaching sacred rule.

My prayers I'll stretch out long, my sermons short,

The last write down, the first get all by rote;

While others labor six days, I but one,

For that day's work I'll gain a pretty sum..

For fifty-two days labor in a year,

The sum of eighty pounds my heart shall cheer."

So asses heads for three score pieces sold,

When famines were severe, in days of old.

Ignatius thus resolved to rise by rule,
And to a grave divine he went to school,
The science of divinity engag'd,

And read the sacred volume page by page.
The Bible was so dark, the style so poor,
He gain'd but little from the sacred store;
Pool, Whitby, Burchett, Henry, Yorick, Gill,
He read, to find what was Jehovah's will,
Gravity, rhetoric, and pulpit airs

He studied well, and how to form his prayers.
At length his master gave him commendation,
That he was qualified to preach salvation.
And with his commendation gave him more
Than twenty notes that he had us'd before;
These for his models, and his learned guides,
Helped him to form his work with equal sides.
In composition he did pretty well,

And what he could not read, he'd softly spell.
A day appointed for him to perform,
Notice was giv'n and many took th' alarm.
At the appointed hour the people came,
To hear the will of God revealed to men.
At length Ignatius came all dress'd in black,
With sacerdotal bands and three shap'd hat.
Under his arm the holy book appeared,
And in it were the notes he had prepared:
He bow'd, and bow'd, and to the pulpit steered,
Went up the stairs, and in the desk appeared,
First he address'd the throne of God supreme ;—
His master's prayer, new-moddled, did for him;
Fifty-nine minutes long, prays and repeats,—
He clos'd, and all the people took their seats..
The sacred volume next he gravely spread,
Before his eyes upon his elbow bed,
And so it happened, that Ignatius hit

The very place where all his notes were writ.

His text he told, and then began to read
What he had written, with a school-boys heed,

If he presumed to look upon the folks,

His thumb stood sentinel upon his notes.

Short were the visits that his eyes could pray;

He watch'd his notes lest he should miss his way..

At the conclusion, with an angry tone,

He said his gospel came from God alone.
From this, the preacher travell'd all around,
To see where glebes and salaries were found;
Many loud calls he had where land was poor,,
People were indigent, and had no store.
The calls he heard, but gravely answer'd, 'no;
To other places God calls me to go!

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