On this page
- Text (2)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
scripture ami Ae government established i « all places by the apottles ; which at first was universally the same in all churches etud congregations ; not differing or distinguished by the diversity of countries , ^ territory or civil bounds . That church , that from
the name of a distioacl place ,, takes authority to set up a distinct faith or government , i « a schism and faction , nut a church . It were an injury to condemn the papist
of absurdity and contradiction for adhering to his catholic Romish religion , if we , for the pleasure of a king and his politic considerations , shall adhere to a catholic English *
No . IX . The Clergy . Heretofore iu the first evangelic times , ( &ad it were happy for Christendom if it were sa again , )
laifiisters of the gospel were by nothing else distinguished from other Christians , but by their spiritual knowledge and sanctity of life for which the church elected them to
be her teachers and overseers , though not thereby to separate them from whatever calling she then found them following befrtdee , as the example of St . Paul declares * and the first times of
Christianity . When once they affected to be called a clergy and became , as it were * a peculiar tribe of Levites , a party > a distinct order in the commonwealth , bred
up for divines in babling schools , and fed at the public cost , good for nothing else but what was good for nothing , they soon grew idle : that idleness with fulness of bread , begat pride and perpetual contention with their feeders * the
despised laity , through all ages ever since , to the perverting of religion and the disturbance of all Christendom . And we may coa * fidently conclude , h never will to otherwise , while they tire thus lap *
held undepending oo the church , on which atone they atKiently depended , and are by the magistrate publicly maintained a numefotw faction of indigent persons , crept for the most part out of extreme
want and bad nurture , ctauning by divine right and freehold , tfe « tenth of our estates , to monopolise the ministry as their peculiar which is free and open to all atola Christians , elected by any churek *
Under this pretence , exempt from all other employ meat * » nd en * riching themselves on the public , they last of all prove common incendiaries , and exalt their horns against the magistrate him *
self that maintains them , as the Priest of Rome did soon alter , against his benefactor , the emperor , and the Presbyters of late ift Scot * land , of which hireling crew ,
together with all the mischiefs , dissensions , troubles , wars merely of their kindling , Christendom migbt soon rid herself and be happy , if Christians would but know vheir
own dignity , their liberty , their adoption-, and let it not be wondered if I say , their spiritual prirathood , whereby they b $ . ve all eqnalm ly access to stay mu \ isteriat ftW 4 $ »
tion , whenever called by Vbeir qw » i abilities and th $ church , though they never came near commencement or University * But while Protestants , to avoid the due
larbouv of understanding their awii religio . 0 , are conteiH to lodge it in the breast , or rather in Ufc © books of a clergyro * a , mnd to take it thence by scrap * and m * mm&ek *»
5 & John Milton .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1813, page 30, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2424/page/30/