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in me in my capacity of a minister of religion. I regard the church as the great asylum of knowledge, the only department affording at once competence and leisure for the improvement of the various branches of literature, which from a want. of the one or the other of these requisites, are generally either neglected or abused. Rare, very rare indeed, is the coincidence of competent wealth, high powers of the intellect, industry, and leisure from official duties in any department. The church is well known to afford leisure enough ; but if the mighty Newton had been a churchman without patrimony or patronage, we should still be ignorant of the theory of the tides, and of the simple and delightful harmony of the world maintained by the balanced forces of gravitation and projection. How greatly religion is corrupted by ignorance, and purified and promoted by the advancement of knowledge in every direction, is evidently perceptible by all except the stupidly ignorant. Most certainly theological subjects cannot be successfully cultivated without amply deep and extensive information in other respects; and those writers, who, in their different provinces, elucidate the several objects of their study and research, contribute to assist the profound student in divinity : and nothing is more clear to me. than that the patronization of literature in all its branches by prelates would be the most efficacious mode for the improvement of religion, and the
security of the ecclesiastical establishment. Temperance, moral conduct in general, and attention to parochial duties, would hardly ever be found unconnected with habits of literary pursuit; and few men would repine at the maintenance of a system, which they saw respectably administered to the general good.
If my motive had been altogether selfish, I might, for the mere sake of a dedication, have written a theological treatise, which few would buy, fewer would read, and by which fewer still would be instructed. So much with so great ability has been already written on such subjects, that no void is left there for the useful exertion of my humble faculties. Șumite materiam vestris, qui scribitis, egnam viribus.
In the historical geography of the various regions of the globe I found a mighty void, the treatices on that subject in the names of Guthrie, Payne, and others, being most wretched performances, which convey altogether imperfect and false ideas to their readers. The geography of Pinkerton has lately appeared, so superior to these, that any comparison would be degrading, yet evidently a work of haste, erroneous in its plan, and very deficient in matter. If any men of understanding can think an apology requisite for my engaging in a historical geography, which I have styled Terraquea, I hope this will be sufficicnt. I thought I perceived also a void for a history of the late Irish rebellion, since I
suspected that nothing would be written on that subject by others, for some years without a decided partiality to the one or the other faction; for such writings alone can escape the reprobation of both in this unhappy country.
From circumstances not necessary to be stated at present, I had sometime suspected that the bishop of Ferns disapproved of the culture of at least what is termed profane literature by clergymen; and when I had' occasion to write to his Lordship concerning the presumption of Sir. R. Musgrave, in the introduction of his Lordship’s name to the public as a censurer of my book, I made a sort of apology for devoting to literature that leisure time, which might otherwise be spent less innocently or less usefully. In his Lordship's answer he says, “I know not why you vindicate to me your attention to literature; I never condemned it, and heartily wish that there was more, of it in my diocese, and directed to its proper object." As to the object, I hope, I have said enough already. This letter gave me not explicit information whether he had given authority or not to the baronet to publish his name, but intimated private conversation to that purpose, and concluded with these words; “ whenever I publicly avow opinions, I shall be ready publicly to defend them.”
, With unfeigned respect for his lordship, I really think that he cannot be a greater lover of
truth than I am, and that he is not by very many degrees so well acquainted with the transactions of the rebellion as I. I sincerely believe that his lordship has more humility than to wish to be considered as an infallible judge, and that he is too good a protestant to admit the attribute of infallibility in any of the human race. His authority therefore, however greatly respectable, decides nothing here; and when he shall once have come to the knowledge of the mean cabals of a certain philopseudic junto, he will reject the acquaintance of its members with indignation.
The most unfavourable expression in his lordship's letter was this. “I had then heard that for years past, you had expressed yourself unfriendly to the government of the country.” This charge was totally unexpected, though I knew that I had enemies who laboured by dark and devious wiles to injure me. I most solemnly protest, in this public manner, my entire innocence of all disaffection to the British constitution, or to any of its substantial experimented principles, of which I have ever, and on all oc- . casions, in act and conversation, in public and in private, been the temperate, but strenuous and steady supporter. I have given reasons, which I may publish in a more proper place, why this constitution, with all its defects and abuses, is far preferable to any other which has 'ever yet been known to exist. I have always, in
word and act, manifested my abhorrence of all mobs, opposition to law, and attempts to rectify abuses by any other means than acts of parliament. Men of the most worthy character, my intimate acquaintances, who have repeatedly heard my private sentiments, can testify this, whenever occasion may require.
Some have gained the name of loyalists, and the favour of their superiors by talking alone: I have shewn my loyalty by actions, wherever it was in my power. I exerted myself in the embodying of protestant yeomen ; I expended more in proportion to my means, for the defence of the country, than any other person within my knowledge ; I bore arms against the 'rebels as long as circumstances permitted; the only two sons of mine who were capable of bearing arms, both young, one only seventeen years of age, fought for government during the whole rebellion, declining no danger in the most bloody combats, but, God be thanked, never behaved with cruelty or injustice. Let any man come forward and contradict these facts. The bishop of Ferns is the best judge how far it may be consistent with his dignity and character to act on the belief of the information which he has received, without the forth-coming of his informers to support their charge. I believe him to be a man of much goodness of mind, and