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stances of this individual case, and come to a decisión upon liberal and comprehensive views. I shall suppose that the youngest son of a great family gets a living of 1000l. a year, and takes orders; and that soon after, by the death of his elder brother, an estate of 80,0001. a-year devolves to him ;-will any one say, that this case may not happen ? Will any one say, that, if it should, this young man would be refused a seat in this house? Pray what does my having been in orders prove, but that forty-one years ago I was a young man of a fair character? We no longer live in times of popery. A man is not now all his life influenced by the prejudice that he imbibed from his nurse or his mamma.
What are holy orders, sir ? What change is operated upon a man when he receives them? Does ordination instantaneously change the human form, or the human faculties? I was not sensible of any transformation of this kind, nor am I now sensible of differing from other men. The Roman Catholics reckon seven sacraments, and ordination as one of these. At the reformation, ordination was declared to be merely a ceremony. Will any one then say that a ceremony works such an alteration in a man as to disqualify him for the office of a legislator for ever? Between the popish priests and the protestants there is a great difference : the former are enjoined perpetual celibacy; ours are allowed to marry, and upon trial, are declared by the best judges ably to perform all the duties of a husband., Shall it then be said, sir, that he who can govern a wife is unfit to assist in the government of a kingdom? I have been told, that I have a voice in the convocation. It is above forty years since I took orders, and I never once was summoned to the convocation, spoke in it, or gave a vote in it. Clergymen are ineligible as they have the care of souls. Sir, I have no soul to take care of but my own. They ought to stay at home and exercise the duties of hospitality. I have no residence, and no funds given me for this purpose. Nor have I
ány spiritual functions to exercise, however necessary it may be for others, to be absent on this account. I, sir, have now a particular claim upon the house.
Í have suffered all the disadvantages of eligibility: I formerly presented a petition to this house, which, as it could not be got rid of, cost me much trouble, and no small expence. I was under apprehension of still severer punishments. But had the noble lord then been a member of the house, how easy would have been the process ! " The reverend gentleman is ineligible, therefore let his petition be rejected.” But not a word of my ineligibility was then whispered; and now, when a respectable body of constituents come to an unanimous resolution (a loud laugh) to do me the honour to elect me their representative, it is instantly discovered that I am disqualified to sit. · Were I a Jew, sir, a Jesuit, à Mahometan, a Pagan, a Presbyterian, a Quaker, there could not be the least objection to me. In spreading the doctrines and administering the rites of these various religious sects, there is nothing corrupting ; but connection with the established church, it seems, leaves a foul and indelible stain, Sir, there is something in this a little too hard of digestion. In Roman Catholic countries there is nothing more easy than for a priest to lay down his orders, and the pope dispenses with his vow. In England every man is a pope to himself. He confesses to himself, and from himself he receives absolution. He ought, of course, to be able to become a layman, as soon as he changes his views. The noble lord has declared his chief object to be, to make the line broader and better marked, which separates the clergy from the laity. The noble lord's views in this may be very enlightened, but I would remind the noble lord, and the house, that it was the policy of our reformed ancestors to narrow and deface this line of distinction as much as possible. They, foolishly perhaps, thought that the interest of all prders should be made the same ; and that a fellow
feeling and mutual confidence should, if possible, be universally excited.
The door, however, is not absolutely barred against me. There is an unfortunate clergyman who has lately been guilty of adultery, and the cry has been loud that he should be deposed. Were he really deposed, sir, I suppose there can be no doubt, that being no longer in orders, he would be eligible to a seat in this house? To say that an adulterer is disqualified to be a member of parliament, might be prodąctive of consequences somewhat serious. It is maintained, that though a clergyman is excommunicated his character remains sacred. He goes to the devil, but he no more becomes one of the profane laity. By the bye, it is not easy to say what using a man's self as a layman may mean, or rather what it may not mean. In the year 1764, the present archbisbop of Canterbury dined in my house ; he was then a private tutor. What do you call this, sir, -is it part of the functions of a clergyman? But if gentlemen had consulted the seventy-second cannon, they would find, that if a clergyman shall pretend to exorcise any one, if he shall not keep the fasts, if he shall preach in the fields, and if he shall do, and if he shall not do, various other things, he shall, for the first offence, be suspended, for the second excommunicated, and for the third deposed. Had I then attempted to exorcise myself or others, or had I followed the example of some of the advocates of vital christianity, I should have been deposed long ago, and should now be allowed quietly to take my seat. But because, like a good subject, I chose to withdraw without stating my reasons, and thus exciting scandal, I am for ever ineligible. What if I had been tainted with infidelity, and tried to make proselytes? I should then be as competent to sit here as any member present. This reminds me of an occurrence which took place in this city a few years ago.
А poor girl, in very indigent circumstances, and
quite destitute, went to a director of the Magdalen Hospital, and applied to be taken in : “ Why, (said he) -'tis , true, there is now a vacancy, and I have no objection to admit you ; bat first let me hear something of your history. Who seduced you? Where have you lived since? “ Seduced me, sir! (exclaimed the girl) I am as innocent as the child unborn. I may be poor, your honour, but I'm very honest !" You won't do for us, then (replied the governor.)
If you wish ad mittance here, you must go and qualify yourself by prostitution."* That innocence should be in any case a disqualification!!! How would a person in orders be treated on board a ship, if in the time of danger he would not work at the pump to save the vessel from sinking, or handle a bucket when the fire was making its way to the powder-room? Yet he would be using himself as a layman if he were to do either. There are three professions of which the public are more particularly interested, and the entrance to all of them is guarded by peculiar restraints. When a man's life or his health is in danger, he applies to a physician ; when his civil rights are at stake, he consults a lawyer; and in things that concern a future state, he trusts the divine. There, fore no one is allowed to exercise these professions till he has undergone an examination, and been found properly qualified. When an admission takes place, however, there is a great difference between them, though that difference is not generally known. The lawyer and the physician can all their lives after take fees from whom they please : but he in holy orders has still no autho. rity of his own. To exercise the functions of the ministry, he must have preferment, or the licence of the bishop; and the moment he is deprived of these he ceases to be a priest. Dr. Walker defended the town of Londonderry when the military had fled, and thus prevent
** A man of honour has no ticket of admission at St. James's. They receive him like a virgin at the Magdalen's ;-Go thou and do likewise.” JUNIUS.
ed it from falling into the hands of James II. King William' was so highly pleased with his gallantry, and felt so grateful for his services that he wished to make him a bishop. But, no--the bishops interfered ; a man stained with blood, they said, was unfit to officiate in that sacred character. King William, however, gave him a regiment, and he died in Flanders fighting bravely by his side. He made as good a colonel as if he had never entered the church. It was not long since, sir, that a gentleman sat in this house, who was then a coIonel of militia, and who had formerly been in orders. [Mr. Tooke mentioned several peers who were in or. ders, and had sat in the upper house. He likewise ob. served, that the bishop of Lincoln had been secretary to Mr. Pitt, and the bishop of Meath secretary to the duke of Portland.] There were clergymen, volunteers, justices of the peace, and mayors of corporations. The reverend Mr. Frohair had been made a peer, and sat in spite of the bishops. In the year 1759, Mr. Borden was a member of that house, who was well known to hold livings at Madras. (He himself had bought one of them for a friend.) Mr. Borden, after filling various offices, finished his career as a commissioner of the victualing-office, which said Mr. T.) I trust I shall
Though I wish earnestly to be out of the house, I feel it my duty to strive to continue in it as long as I can: and I am happy to think that I am prepared to meet opposition in whatever way it may present itself. I wish the house to proceed legally. I wish that an act of parliament should be passed, founded on the broad basis of general justice.
Let the house save its character as much as possible, and try to preserve the confidence of the public. I sit down, sir, in the full confidence that individual spleen will not be gratified; and that I shall not be punished for doing that which the noble lord, had he not the monopoly of the exchequer, would probably be glad to do himself.