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ture, the exaction of tithes by our Clergy has been. The incumbent of a parish, in the county of Effex, knowing his tithes to be rated confiderably under their value, affembled the principal farmers, and defired them to propofe fuch an augmentation as to them fhould appear reafonable and fair. They did fo; their propofition was accepted; and the confequent increase in the revenue of the incumbent was about 300l. The farmers who made this arrangement answered for the reft; but when it was communicated to one man, who had paid three pounds and was now called upon to pay five, he refused to comply. So well convinced, however, were the others that they had made a profitable bargain for themselves, that they agreed to pay the ftipulated addition for their brother. This went on for a fhort time, when the malcontent, imagining they must have fome potent reafon for this unexpected liberality, infifted on an extenfion of it, and the other farmers actually confented to pay the whole of his tithe for him. In proportion to their conceffions, as might easily have been foreseen, his demands rofe; and he had the effrontery to infift on a compenfation for his compliance with their requests not to make his refufal to pay the addition a fubject of litigation. Even in this unprecedented claim they acquiefced, and allowed him five pounds a year;-but the whole bufinefs was at length difclofed to the incumbent who immediately took the man's tithe in kind, when it produced no lefs than Seventy pounds !—This anecdote, the authenticity of which may be relied on, requires no comment from us.

It is with the utmost aftonishment we perufed the following fatanic remark, taken from a periodical publication conducted by the Secretary to the Board of Agriculture. "Satan himself could not have devifed a greater fource of mifchief in the Chriftian world, than the payment of tithes." If this agricultural correfpondent had ever read the fcriptures, he would have known that his affertion was as blafphemous as it was falfe.-But, really, if the Board of Agriculture continue to tolerate the improper conduct of its agents, in their interference in matters as foreign from the object of the inftitution itfelf, as it is above their knowledge and abilities, it will be high time for the well difpofed part of the community to petition Parliament, that three thousand pounds of the public money may no longer be annually devoted to the fupport of a novel establishment which betrays a difpofition to fubvert the most ancient and the most facred eftablishment of the realm.

The author recommends that an act fhould be paffed, empowering the Clergy to grant a leafe of their tithes, for the fame term for which the holders of eftates for life may now grant leafes, (twenty-one years) with the confent of the patron and ordinary: we do not immediately perceive any objection to this propofition; though how fuch a measure would produce any favourable effect when we now fee the proprietors of freehold eftates, who have the power, almoft invariably, refufe to grant leafes to their tenants it is not eafy to


conceive; and, indeed, if the abominable avarice and extortion which farmers have difplayed of late fhould continue to exift, we perceive no other remedy for a difpofition, the perpetuation of which muft inevitably ruin the country, but the retention of the ability, by the proprietor, to difpoffefs them at his pleasure ;-unlefs indeed, the legiflature were to interfere, which it does not feem inclined to do, and impofe a maximum upon corn.

The following comparison of the landed produce of the kingdom, with the amount of the tithes, is well worthy the serious attention of all who either write or speak on the subject.

"The landed rental and product of England fhall be here ftated on the editor's authority in the Annals of Agriculture, vol. xxviii. p. 430, at 26,000,000l. per annum of rent, and 100,000,000l. per annum product*. The tenth part of this produce would have been the property of the prefent tithe-holders, had the right to tithes now exifted to the fame extent as at the original fettlement of them. But, according to a calculation in An Efay on the Revenues of the Church of England, perhaps about onefifth part of the agricultural produce of the kingdom, through various caufes, may be difcharged from the payment of tithes; and therefore the titheable agricultural produce must be stated at only 80,000,000l. per annum, and the real value of tithes, if actually paid, at 8,000,000l. per annum. "The whole number of impropriations in the kingdom, whether lay or ecclefiaftical, is about 3,840;-of rectories, vicarages, &c. formerly and at prefent in charge in the King's books, about 8,650;-and of rectories, vicarages, donatives, and independent curacies, and chapelries, never in charge, about 1,550. To give the utmost latitude to the charge of tithes which can be reasonably allowed,--the present average value of each impropriation fhall be taken at 2001. per annum; which is a very high valuation, when it be recollected, that a great number of the impropriations have been partly or wholly reftored to their refpective vicarages: the prefent aggregate value of the rectories, vicarages, &c. formerly and at prefent in charge, shall be taken at fixteen times their aggragate value in the King's books; which is one-fixteenth above the prefent average value of all rectories, vicarages, &c. in the kingdom, as will be fhewn in a fublequent paffage and the prefent aggregate value of the rectories, vicarages, donatives, and independent curacies and chapelries never in charge, thall be taken as each in the receipt of an income of 501. per annum from tithes; though above two-thirds of them, poffibly, do not derive any part of their income from tithes

* In the Middlefex Agricultural Report, p. 435, the agricultural product of South Britain is ftated at 130,000,000l. per annum.

† In Beeke's Obfervations, the tithe-free lands are ftated at a seventh only. In Liber Regis by Bacon, many hundred chapels are enumerated in the northern and fome other diocefes, as chapels to or in parithes. But, as thefe muft have been originally Chapels of Eafe to other churches, (though many of them may be now diftinct parifhes of themfelves,) or have been built on fpeculation in populous parts of the kingdom, it is not poffible that they can have much, if any, connection with tithes.

3.840 Impropriations at 2001. each per annum

- £:768,000

8,650 Rectories, vicarages, &c. at fixteen times their value in the King's books, 1,740,7521. but deducting 501. from each 1,308,302 on the average for glebe and augmentation lands, fees, &c. 1550 Rectories, vicarages, &c. never in charge, at 501. each

Total receipt from tithes



"Thus do the tithe-holders receive for their tithes little more than a fourthpart of the real value of them :-a moft convincing proof of the falfehood and malignity of those who affert, and of the credulity of thofe who believe, the oppreffive influence and injurious confequences of tithes upon agricultural purfuits."

The leaft objectionable mode of commuting tithes ever yet fuggefted, by giving the Clergy land in lieu of them, is here fhewn to be highly objectionable; but our limits will not allow us to prefent our readers with the arguments on this part of the subject, powerful as they certainly are.-We fhall extract two more patlages, one of which we recommend to the notice of the farmer, and the other, consisting of a string of interrogatories, we call upon the innovating statesmen of the day to answer.


Though it has been afferted, that the land occupiers of this kingdoni are the most valuable clafs in fociety, and though, with their families and dependents, they fhould amount to one-half of the national population, and even the fource of one-half of the national wealth; yet there does not appear much reafon or equity in relieving them at the expence of the other half of our wealth and population. In fact, the occupiers of rented lands, or nearly the whole body of farmers, do not contribute towards the fupport of the national religious establishment, by the payment of their tithes, as that deduction is indirectly allowed them in their rents; nor, in fact, do land proprietors, of whom a few may be land occupiers alfo, more directly contribute, either by the payment of their own tithes, or by the allowances for them in the rents of their tenants. Nine-tenths only of their eftates, or of the produce of them, do actually belong to the land proprietors, though they may oftenfibly appear poffeffors of the whole. Of the tenth-part they are fiduciary proprietors only; and as that tenth-part cannot be charged beyond the actual value of its produce, fo is the occupation of it on the average commuted at fcarcely more than a fourth-part of its apparent real value.

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But, fhould tithes be freely and wholly abolished without any commutation whatever, the fupport of the national religious eftablishment muft become a general concern. Land occupiers would then foon find, that though indeed they were releafed from the payment of tithes, they would have incurred much larger expences, in the increase of their rents beyond all proportion to their accustomed outgoings for tithes, and in their direct perfonal contribution alfo to the fupport of the national religion. And then would the larger part of our population likewife, whether friends or enemies to the establishment, find themselves called upon by an actual payment, or more directly under the difguife of fome fpecies of general taxation, (chiefly affecting the neceffaries of life, perhaps, as thofe alone




are articles of univerfal and permanent confumption,) to contribute equally to the maintenance of a religious eftablishment, which they did not regard, or from which they diffented, or to whofe fupport they had not hitherto contributed."

"But, indeed, if exifting circumftances do call for national attempts at experimental improvements, why muft the property of the church, above all other property, be felected, for the trial of thefe experimental improvements? Why muft the most ancient and indefeafible property in the kingdom be facrificed, rather than that which is more modern, and, perhaps, lefs fecured? Why is the property of the Church to be made the fcapegoat, and bear with it into the wilderness of the cftablishment's deftruction, the feveral obftacles to the improvement of landed property and its products? Would other proprietors of landed property approve of being violently difpoffeffed of their freeholds ? What would be the language, behaviour, and exertions of lay-proprietors of lands at fuch an attempt?"

The thanks of the Clergy, the thanks of the community, are due to Mr. Cove, for the fpirit and ability which he has evinced in the difcuffion of his fubject;-for the perfpicuity and strength of his arguments-and no member of either Houfe of Parliament, who may be called upon to give a vote upon this question, will have faithfully difcharged his duty to his King, his country, and himself, if he come to a decifion before he has perufed this tract.

A Letter to the Hon. Spencer Perceval, Solicitor General to his Majesty, in Confequence of the Notice given by him, in the last Seffion of Parliament, that he would, in the prefent, bring forward a Bill for the Punishment of the Crime of Adultery. 8vo. Pr. 36. Rivingtons, Cobbett and Morgan. London. 1801.


UR opinion on the fubject of Adultery, and on the legislative meafures propofed for checking its deftructive progress, in the laft Seffion of Parliament, was fully explained at the time; and most happy are we to find, in the pamphlet before us, principles and fentiments perfectly congenial with our own. Having faid this, to beftow on thefe pages that commendation to which they are unquestionably entitled, would be to expofe ourselves to the imputation of egotifm, while, on the other hand, to withhold it would be an act of injuftice to the author. In this dilemma, we fhall be fparing of our comments, and profuse of our extracts. From his first propofition no honeft man can poffibly withhold his perfect aflent.

"That the happinefs of the people is the great end, and fhould be the invariable object, of government, are truths (is a truth) which no one pretends to controvert; and that their happiness depends chiefly upon their morals is equally indifputable: it follows, then, that the morals of a country are its most important concern, and that which fhould engage the unremitting attention and the constant folicitude of Government.”

The author then proceeds to thew that the rapid progress of the fin of Adultery has an immediate tendency to eradicate all moral principle


from the human mind. After fpecifying the dreadful penalties inflicted by the Almighty, on those who were guilty of it, before and after the ettablishment of Chriftianity, he adverts to the profligate practife of the times, which extorts from him expreffions of furprize mingled with virtuous indignation.

Judging from the corrupted manners of the Chriftian world, no one would fuppofe that the Revelation of the Divine will, which that world profeffes to believe, could contain fo fevere a denunciation against the breach of the nuptial vow! Nor would it be poffible for fo depraved a ftate of manners to exist, if a large proportion of the profeffors of Christianity did not fuffer their paffions to feduce them, either into a forgetfulness of that denunciation, or into a perfuafion that its penalty will not be inflicted. It is, indeed, but too evident, that many, who call themselves Chriftians, not only adapt their fyftems of religion and morality to their corrupt propenfities and vicious courfes, but even dare to fit in judgment upon the facred oracles of truth, to explain away the laws prefcribed by their Creator, nay, to make his attributes conform with their low and debafing ideas of perfection, and to pronounce, with blafphemous prefumption, that it would be incompatible with his juftice to execute the ftatutes which he has enacted and promulgated.

"The impiety of fuch conduct can only be equalled by the infatuation with which it is marked. If a doubt could arife respecting what is written upon this fubject, what egregious folly would it be to incur even the risk of future and lafting mifery, for the fake of a gratification, which, befides being momentary, is fraught with the utmoft temporal infelicity, both private, and public. But no fuch doubt can exift after an attentive perufal of the holy Scriptures. In whatever manner, the Divine wrath may be hereafter manifefted against thofe finners, whom death fhall have overtaken in a state of impenitence, the most terrible difplay of it is clearly and unequivocally denounced against all who violate the nuptial tie. Unlefs all credit be refused to Revelation; unlefs our religion be altogether an impofture; unless mankind be totally deftitute of any clear communication of the Divine will, and of any well grounded hope of a future exiftence; the Adulterer is exprefsly excluded from the manfions of eternal blifs, and devoted to a state of endless misery and despair.”

But even in this extreme feverity of an offended God, his justice and goodness are vifible, as the author clearly and forcibly demonftrates, by fhewing its tendency to prevent the commiffion of a fin, which is deftructive of man's happiness, and ftrikes at the very root of fociety. The effect of its ravages on a fingle family is thus ably and truly depicted, and affords a fair fpecimen of its fatal confequences on a ftate.

Contemplate in idea (what it is your high privilege to enjoy in reality) that molt bright and hopeful scene, which difplays a faithful and affectionate pair, united by ties which, they fondly think, death only can diffolve, engaged in training up their beloved offspring, the dear pledges of their mutual attachment, in the practice of religion and of filial duty; in the cultivation of fraternal affection; in habits of fubordination, refpect, induftry, and moral difcipline; and thus preparing them for all the duties of focial life-qualifying them both for happinefs and utility-and, through them, providing for a tranfmif.on of the like ineftimable advantages to their children's children.

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