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• fubfcribed the Oaths above appointed, and 'fhould at any Time after, during the Time of
his, her, or their keeping any Publick or Private • School or Seminary, or instructing any Youth 'as Tutor or School-Master in Reading, Scho.
lastick, Academical, or other Literature, * knowing or willingly resort to, or be present ' at any Conventicle, Assembly, or Meeting,
within England, Wales, or Town of Berwick
on Tweed, for the Exercise of Religion in any • other Manner than according to the Liturgy . and Practice of the Church of England; or ' Mall knowing or willingly be present at any
Meering or Assembly for the Exercise of Re• Jigion, altho' the Liturgy be there used, ' where Her Majesty (whom God long Pre"serve) and the Princels Sopbia, or such others
as fhall froin time to time be lawfully appoint
ed to be pray'd for, shall not there be pray'd ' for in express Words, according to the Li. • turgy of the Church of England, shall
• Provided always, That any person who 'fhall find him or themselves aggrieved by any ' fuch Judgment of the said Justice or Juftices,
may appeal to the general Meeting of the Ju. • ftices of the Peace of the next Quarter Seffions, ' to be held for the County, Riding, City, or
Town Corporate, where the Ofence shall have been committed ; who are hereby impowo,
ered there and then finally to hear and deter* mine the same,and noCertiorarishall be allowed
to remove any Convi&ion, or other Proceed. ing for or concerning any Matter or Thing in this A& contained, but the Justice of Peace
• fall proceed thereupon, any such Writ or 6 Writs of Certiorari notwithstanding, And be
it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, & That if any Person licensed as aforesaid thall • teach any other Catechism than the Catechism • set forth in the Liturgy of the Church of ( England, or an Exposition thereof allowed,
or hereafter to be allowed by the Bishop of ! the Diocess, the Licence of such Person Mall < from thenceforth be
and such • Person shall be liable to "And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, · That it shall and may be lawful to and for "the Bishop of the Diocess, or other proper ! Ordinary, to cite any person or Persons
whatsoever keeping Schools or Seminaries, ! or teaching without Licence as aforefaid, and « proceed against and punish such Person or « Persons by Ecclefiadical Censare, this A& or ' any other Law to the contrary notwithftan• ding. Provided always, That no Person of • fending against this Act hall be punished twice $ for the same Offence.
There has not, ever since this Bill was first talked of, any Definition or Description been made of what this same Schism is; nor bas it been thought fit to explain whether the Word is to be taken in a Religious or a Political Sense: But as the Bill is proposed in a Parliament, and not a Convocation, we must receive it only in a Civil Contideration, and underftand that the Schismaticks marked out in this Bill, are such as do not conform to the Church as it is established by Law, and not as they are Persons who live in an erroneous Way with Regard to Faith or Piety.
, · The first Thing that occurs to me on this Occasión, is, That by the A&t of Union, the Churches of England and Scotland are equally exempted from any Innovation. The Schism seems to be too Geographical, for as the whole united Kingdom is equally under the Care of the Parliament, it seems a great Omission, that Diflenters in the North Part of Britain should not be as much discouraged as they are in the South: According to Justice, Episcopal Cler. gy should be under the same Disadvantages in Scotland, as Diffenting- Teachers are in England. But let us, according to the · Bill, keep to Schifm on this side the Tweed,
By this Bill, without Regard to any thing done in favour of the Diflenters in the Reign of King William, (who by the Way was as much King of England as King Charles) this Ad of King Charles the Second, of Pious Memory, is professedly supported, and certain Breaches against it urged as a Reason for bringing in this. In the first Year of King William and Queen Mary, of ever blessed and glorious Memory, an Ad passed to exempt the Proteftant Subje&s difsenting from certain Laws; among which certain Laws, is recited this of the Izth and 14th of King Charles the Second. :
This A& therefore, in a stealing and too art. ful a Manner, takes away the Toleration of Diflenters; for the Force of it is dire&ted to take place in Confirmation of a Law which they are exprefiy defended againlt by the faid Ad of Toleration. Is this done like Neighbour to Neighbour? Like Englishman to Em. glilaman? Give me leave to tell you, Sir, you Senators may do what you please to one ano.
ther, may do what you please with the Perfons of your own Members, we without Doors know you to be only our Attorneys, and thai you are not sent thither to impose your Angers, Passions, or Prejudices, upon particular Per sons or Parties, but to propose calmly and im. partially, according to the Rules of natural and civil Right, Matters which may be for the Benefit of the whole Kingdom. Now, Sir, I say, if the Purpose of this Bill be to deprive the Diflenters of the Liberty of receiving Inftru; Ators into their Families, or publick Schoolmasters or School-mistreffes but under the above.' mentioned Restri&ions, this Bill is to deprive them of all Right, both Natural, Religious, and Civil.
It is inconsistent with the Natural and Original Right of Mankind; for it is an undoubted Truth, thar Men have as much Right to the Means of Knowledge as to the Means of Life: To abridge Men (where there is no Guilt) of a Natural Right, by a small Penalty, is as on. jult, tho' not as cruel, as to abridge them of fuch Right by a greater Penalty. And you may, with equal Justice, take away the Lives of the Diflenters, as punish the Diffenters in their Liberty or their Estates for inftru&ring Children their own way.
This is a Siep of the highest Degree of Vio lation, and there can be no Progress further but cutting their Throats; it is going much faster than our Neighbour Nation went in the like Design. By the Edict of Nants in France, the Hugonots had Liberty of Conscience and Toleration ; by that Edid they had Universities of their own, namely, Sedan and Saumur. These
sublisted till a little while before the Revocation of the Edi&t. Private Schools subGfted to the last. Protestants might breed their Children with Papists if they would, but Papists. were discouraged if they sent their Children to Protestants; but still Protestants might educate their Children their own way; so if you please it may be here. It is enough for our Church to let Diflenters educate no Children but their own, and if they will send their Children to us for Education, they may be wellcome; further to go is agaiust all natural Justice.
As to Religious Right, our Blessed Saviour and his Apostles neither used or directed any other Means againlt Gain-layers than Evidence; and we are often told from the Pulpit by our beft Divines, that in the first Centuries, all Apologies for the Christian Religion conftantly in. filted on this as a Fundamental Truth, That it was unlawful to restrain Men from the Means of loftru&tion in the differeni Forms of Religion. It is against the Interest of the Church of England, as it is a Protestant Church in general; for it is the Chara&eristick of Protestant Churches to admit with all Candour the Li. berty of studying the Scriptures, and consequently of teaching and being taught them. The Scriptures (by being open to Men who are not allowed to Commune with others upon them, and learn from whom they please with all Freedom) may.serve only to aggravate their Guilt in conforming to what they in their Consciences may think Criminal. The Design of the Toleration A& was to give Ease to scrupu: lous Consciences; that supposes there are Men who think they cannot in Conscience Commu.