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would have been by the rules of the Common Law disappropriated, had not a clause in the Statutes enacted by HENRY the Eighth intervened, to give them to the King in as ample a manner as the Abbots, and other Superiors, formerly held the same, at the time of their Dissolution. This, though perhaps scarcely defensible, was not without example, for the same was done in former reigns, when the Alien Priories,—that is, such as were filled by Foreigners only,—were dissolved and given to the Crown. Hence have sprung all the Lay Appropriations of Secular Parsonages, which we now see in the Kingdom,--they having been afterwards granted out from time to time by the Crown.2
To restore these spoliations to the Established Church has been the anxious desire of
persons, who have bequeathed extraordinary sums for such a reasonable duty,-- especially Mr. HENRY SMITĄ, Lady SLANEY, Mr. FISHBORNE, Lady CAMPDEN, Mr. MARSHALL, Lady WELD, and Mr. HAMOND.
· Blackstone's Comment. vol. i. p. 385, edit. by Archbold.
AUGMENTATIONS OF ECCLESIASTICAL
As the most valuable part of Tythes were reserved by the Appropriators to their own use, a very scanty endowment was allotted to the Vicars or the Officiating Ministers,—and, under these painful circumstances, to give the Clergy that due respect which their sacred character demands, by a decent competence, many truly pious and benevolent persons will be seen by the Reports of The Commissioners to have bequeathed sums to a large amount, to assist in the Augmentation of small Ecclesiastical Benefices
The bequests of well disposed persons to the Clergy for the preaching of Sermons, are almost as numerous as the several Parishes,—scarcely a Place being without a gift, for those salutary admonitions to the performance of our manifold Duties.
I shall briefly notice some of those Sermons which are directed by the Donors to be preached from particular Texts, and on special Occasions.
In 1660, John Wynne bequeathed 1401. to the Poor of the parish of Sandy, to be disposed of in bread to 12 such poor people, as should frequent God's ordinance,– and 20s. for a Sermon to be preached once every year on the same day of the month on which he should die, by the Minister of Sandy, for the first year, and the Ministers of Sutton and Northill, the year following in course,—the Text to be taken from the 6th chapter of St. John and the 27th verse,—and he desired, that the Minister should spend some time before or after the Sermon, in examining and instructing the poor people in the Principles of Religion
Sermons are directed to be preached at the Parish Church of Charles, in Plymouth, preparatory to the administration of the Sacrament, _and at St. Pauls, in Bedford, on the respective Feast days of St. Barnabas and St. Thomas the Apostle, suitable to the occasions of those Festivals.
Sermons are also to be preached, in the afternoon of every 5th day of November, in the church of St. Mary Redcliff, in Bristol, against Pride, Atheism, Popery and Profaneness. –At Yarm, on Sunday evening, on the first Sunday after the Epiphany, Lady-day, Midsummer - day, and Michaelmas-day, on the following
subjects, viz., on the Education of Youth, and the prevalence of good Example; on Baptism ; on Redemption; and on the Wisdom of God in the Creation. And, on the 25th of January, in the Church of St. Sepulchre, in London, wherein the preacher shall set forth the Excellency of the Liturgy of the Church of England.“
Other bequests have been made to perpetuate the glorious achievements of our National Heroes, or in thankful remembrance of God's great mercy in the personal preservation of the Donors.
In 1814, RICHARD ALDRIDGE, Esq., with true Patriotism, directed a Sermon to be preached, on the 21st of October, annually, in the parish church of St. Nicholas, in Bristol, in commemoration of the glorious Victory obtained by Lord Nelson over the Combined Fleets of France and Spain, off the Cape of Trafalgar, on the 21st of October, 1805.
• Rep. VIII. p. 752.