Of the Inequality of Parishes.

1. B
Efore we pass from hence, we shall offer to consideration the inequality of Parishes in, and about London, evident in the proportion of their respective Burials; for in the same year were buried in Cripple-gate-Parish 1191, that but twelve died in Trinity-Minories, St. Saviour's Southwark, and Botolph's Bishop-gate, being of the middle size, as burying five and 600 per Annum; so that Cripple-gate  is an hundred times as big as the Minories, and 200 times as big as St. John the Euangelist's, Mary-Cole-church, Bennet's Grace-church, Matthew-Friday-street, and some others within the City,

  2.  Hence may arise this Question, Wherefore should this inequality be continued? If it be Answered, Because that Pastours of all sorts, and sizes of Abilities, may have benefices, each man according to his merit: we Answer, That a two hundredth part of the best parson's learning is scarce enough for a Sexton. But besides, there seems no reason of any differences at all, it being as much Science to save one single soul, as one thousand.

  3.  We encline therefore to think the Parishes should be equal, or near, because, in the Reformed Religions, the principal use of Churches is to Preach in: now the bigness of such a Church ought to be no greater, then that, unto which the voice of a Preacher


of middling Lungs will easily extend; I say, easily, because they speak an hour, or more together.

  4.  The use of such large Churches, as Paul's, is now wholly lost, we having no need of saying perhaps fifty Masses all at one time, nor of making those grand Processions frequent in the Romish church;  nor is the shape of our Cathedral proper at all for our Preaching auditories, but rather the Figure of an Amphi-Theatre with Galleries, gradually over-looking each other; for unto this Condition the Parish-Churches of London  are driving apace, as appears by the many Galleries every day built in them.

  5.  Moreover, if Parishes were brought to the size of Colman-street, Alhallows-Barking, Christ-Church, Black-Friers,  &c. in each whereof die between 100 and 150, per Annum, then an hundred Parishes would be a fit, and equal Division of this great charge, and all the Ministers (some whereof have now scarce fourty pounds per Annum) might obtain a subsistance.

  6.  And lastly, The Church-Wardens, and Over-seers of the Poor might finde it possible to discharge their Duties, whereas now in the greater out-Parishes many of the poorer Parishioners through neglect do perish, and many vicious persons get liberty to live as they please, for want of some heedfull Eye to overlook them.


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