Ode on the Mythology of the Ancient British Bards

In the Manner of TALIESIN,
Recited on P R I M R O S E H I L L
On the Summer Solstice of 1792, and ratified* at the subsequent Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice.

Hir y bydd Brython, fal Carcharorion,
Ym mraint Alltudion Tir SAXONIA,
Eu Ner a folant Eu Hiaith a gadwant
Eu Tir a gollant ond Gwyllt WALIA.
TALIESIN, anno 550.
Long shall the Britons humbled low remain,
For ages drag the Saxons' galling chain;
But faithful still their Ancient God adore,
Pure keep their language as in days of tore;
Be robb'd of native lands, from all exil'd,
But Walia's rough uncultivated wild.
Gwir, yn erbyn y Byd.
I.e.—Truth against all the World.

*A poem, &c. admitted at one meeting, approved of by a second, and ratified by a third, may allowably be published. Ancient usage.

I SAW yon orb, yon source of light,
Give to this world its new-born day,
When first arose in fulgence bright,
The glories of primeval day;
The MUSE then own'd me, with a smile,
I join'd her chorus, that around
Bade HEAV'N'S eternal dome resound;
Warm through my soul her thrilling transport ran,
From FATE releas'd, no more to creep
A grovelling worm, or, in the deep,
To dread the billow's angry swell,
Or wing the skies, or through the desart yell;
Of LIBERTY possess'd, I felt myself a MAN,

How fair was NATURE's early morn!
How sweetly bloom'd her vernal day!
I then, on FANCY's pinion borne,
Trac'd laughing PLEASURE's devious way:
Lur'd by thy glare, insidious PRIDE,
From REASON's paths I wander'd wide;
TRUTH, from supernal realms above,
Call'd, unobey'd, in lays of love;
Pow'r's hell-born wish had now my soul possess'd:
Whilst, fearless of an anger'd GOD,
I brandish'd high the TYRANT's rod,
Gave WAR's fierce hand my whetted steel,
What millions bled beneath my trampling heel!
Drench'd was each thought in HELL that fill'd my venom'd breast.

How felt this world by slaught'ring hand!
How stream'd the blood from pole to pole!
It call'd on HEAV'N! whose high command
Spurn'd from its light my reptile soul,
To crawl a Serpent, and to roar
A Tiger on the Libyan shore!
I felt the scourge of wrath profound,
When raving in the madden'd Hound,
For painful MEMORY was living still:
O! racking CONSCIENCE! 'twas thy sting!
'Twas known to thee when erst a King,
How far beyond what tongue can tell,
I fewel'd high the sulphur'd flames of HELL;
And, on a Rebel's throne, scoff'd at th' ALMIGHTY's will.

Yet, pity'd still by LOVE DIVINE,
Through slow gradations up I came;
Endu'd with passions more benign,
I cropp'd the meads a Lambkin tame;
Then, penitent in yonder vale,
I mourn'd, a timid Nightingale;
The tallon'd Hawk assail'd my bow'r,
He now possess'd my Regal Pow'r;
Who can thy depth, ETERNAL MERCY, scan?
From death on wings of Rapture borne,
I soar'd a Lark, and hymn'd the morn;
The Sportsman heard my joyful sound;
His brutal shaft soon brought me to the ground;
To nobler life restor'd, I breath'd, once more, a MAN.

Where still the Bardic song remains,
I strove to combat baneful STRIFE;
A Druid, on Silurian plains,
I walk'd the thorny roads of life;
How often there has ENVY's dart
Pierc'd, sorely pierc'd, my slander'd heart!
And wanton CRUELTY was there,
She struck me with her poison'd spear;
Snarl'd fierce her dogs at SPITE's infernal door:
Yet, armed with suff'ring fortitude,
I, dauntless, bore their onset rude,
And, penitent for ancient pride,
I life resign'd, a willing victim dy'd;
Eternal JUSTICE claim'd, and I could give no more.

Reviv'd, in yon supernal clime,
The joys of TRIUMPH tun'd my song;
And, BRITAIN's BARD(1), with Ode sublime,
I join'd the bright angelic throng;
Lov'd BRITAIN; then thy Bardic laws(2)
We fram'd, whilst HEAV'N, with loud applause,
Approv'd the code, confirm'd for thee,
What breath the soul of LIBERTY,
Warm VIRTUE's ardors(3), and seraphic PEACE,
Decreed the guardians of thy weal,
And stamp'd with TRUTH's eternal seal,
Though now by Tyrants here suppress'd,
They govern still those mansions of the BLESS'D:
Songs of CELESTIAL REALMS! their glories never cease.

Dear to my soul's expanding pow'rs
Were those unfading lawns above;
Whilst, in their amaranthine bowr's,
I struck the thrilling lyre of LOVE;
Yet, for my BRITAIN's honour'd Isle,
I left those blissful scenes awhile,
To tune along my Native shore,
The strain sublime of Bardic lore:
Come, LIBERTY! with all thy sons attend!
We'll raise to thee the manly verse;
The deeds inspir'd by thee rehearse;
Whilst, rous'd on GALLIA's injur'd plain,
Stern legions feel thy flame in ev'ry vein;
Thee, GODDESS, thee we hail! the world's eternal friend.

Join here thy Bards, with mournful note,
They weep for AFRIC's injur'd race;
Long has thy MUSE in worlds remote,
Sand loud of BRITAIN's foul disgrace;
Thy MUSE can see where PITY waits,
In tears, at HEAV'NS wide-op'ning gates:
At MERCY's throne those tears prevail,
Almighty JUSTICE hears the tale;
Indignant hears! bids venging thunders roll!
The flaming bolt is held on high,
See! BRITAIN, see! with REASON's eye!
'Tis levell'd at thy flinty breast!
Oh! hear, in chains, yon captiv'd soul distress'd!
His groans, that call to thee, resound from pole to pole.

Whilst vengeance, from th' ALMIGHTY's hand,
Falls, wrathful, on yon TYRANT's head
That deals in blood; whilst o'er the land
Its horrors deep are widely spread;
See where descend Celestial throngs!
They chaunt for thee, triumphant songs,
Great WILBERFORCE! for thee they bring
Yon chariot of th'ETERNAL KING!
HEAV'N feels new raptures at thy bless'd ascent!
Whilst AFRIC, faithful to thy fame,
Reveres, adores, thy sainted name;
And thou shalt smile from native skies
On soft HUMANITY's far searching eyes,
Rouse up her ardent soul, and aid her warm intent.

By gnashing fiends no more pursu'd,
LOVE shall thy fervent thoughts employ;
Through life eternally renew'd,
Through bless'd vicissitudes of joy;
Born to new scenes of pure delight,
New glories bursting on thy sight;
'Tis thine with extacy to range
Where HEAV'N presents th'eternal change;
Where perfect bliss no chilling languor knows:
Thus, in Celestial Mansions dwell
Those that in VIRTUE dar'd excel;
There WISDOM's humble sons rejoice;
There meek BENEVOLENCE exalts her voice;
And TRUTH's illumin'd soul with warmth immortal glows.

New time appears! thou glorious WEST(4)!
How hails the world thy rising Sun!
O! TRUTH, in rays of glory dress'd,
Thy deathless reign is now begun;
Thy golden days of old renown
Return again—vile Error flown
Hides, madden'd, in his native HELL;
How loudly roar'd his parting yell,
As to th'Infernal Deep he skulk'd away,
PEACE in her azure vest(5) appears,
Wipes from all eyes the streaming tears;
At her approach the fiends of War
Fall, raving, from the Tyrant's bloody car;
And sham'd AMBITION hides far from the blaze of day.

MADOCIAN plains(6)! O! let me sing
The tenants of your happy shades;
Meek PEACE that bids her carols ring
Through vocal groves and echoing glades;
Bold VIRTUE that in rustic weeds
Her sickle bears, or lambkin feeds;
SIMPLICITY with infant mein
That gambols, graceful, on the green;
Walks with maternal NATURE hand in hand;
I long to climb your ancient hills,
To rove beside your pursing rills,
With BRITAIN's Muse; and to rehearse
Those peerless glories in immortal verse,
Won by th' unrivall'd names that bless'd your favour'd Land.

Now glancing o'er the rolls of HEAV'N,
I see, with transport see, the day,
When, from this world, OPPRESSION driv'n
With gnashing fangs flies far away,
Long-banish'd VIRTUE now returns;
BENEVOLENCE, thy fervor burns;
PEACE, dove-ey'd PEACE, with sunny smile,
High lifts her wand in BRITAIN's Isle;
HELL'S horrid gorge receives the Despot PRIDE;
The Bardic song shall now resound,
Trill through these templed hills(7) around,
Come! Sons of TRUTH! your paths are clear,
In robes of light(8), in heav'nly forms appear,
For JUSTICE wears her crown, reigns now th'eternal guide.

I that shall soon return with joy
To known abodes of bliss above;
Here the sweet British Muse employ
To teach th'angelic laws of LOVE;
Soon shall I quit this earthly gloom,
And on my grave the daisy bloom;
Ye Bards, remember what my verse
Dar'd here of dauntless TRUTH rehearse,
TRUTH learn'd in HEAV'N.— But now the setting Sun(9)
Calls weary'd man to soft repose;
Calm night has tranquil joys for those
`` That, rul'd by WISDOM'S sacred laws,
``Who hear CONSCIENCE carol in her own applause—
Retires our Holy Day(10), the wonted song is done.

Duw a phob Daioni.

I.e. — God, and all that is good.

(1) Britain's Bard] i.e. Now finally restored to his true character and ultimate station, as originally destined by the CREATOR.
(2) Bardic laws—We framed, &c.] The Ancient Bardic Insti-
tution is founded on Theocratic principles, and the idea of Divine
(3) Virtue's ardors, &c.] Nothing can be more rigid, pure, and
at the same time more sublime, than the old Bardic Morality.
(4) Glorious West.] America, where first since the world began, appears of, apparently, Human Institution, a government founded
on the true principles of Liberty, Justice, and the Rights of Humanity. “Video Solem orientem in Occidente,” said, prophetically, an ancient Sage.
(5) Peace in her azure vest.] Alluding to the unicoloured robe of sky-blue which the Bard of the Primitive Order wore, as Herald of Peace: in this he could pass unmolested from one hostile country, or party, to another; his person was held sacred.— See the note on p. 3.
(6) Madocian plains.] Alluding to the discovery of America, by Madoc, a Welsh Prince, in the 12th century.— See the note on p. 64.
(7) Templed hills.] The Bardic Circle, or Druidic Temple, as some call it, wherein the Bards meet, is formed of stones called meini gwynion (white stones), or meini crair (stones of testimony(, and in the middle of it the maen gorsedd (presidial stone); by all but the Bards called an Altar.
(8) Robes of light.] The Bards of the Druidic Order wore unicoloured robes of white, emblematic of Truth, which was, figuratively, said to be of the colour of light, or the Sun: and unicoloured, or in ever thing, time, and place, one and the same thing.
(9) Setting Sun.] The Bardic meetings cannot be holden but in a conspicuous place, whilst the Sun is above the horizon.— See the note on p. 39.
(10) Our HOLY DAY.] The Solstices and Equinoxes are Holy or solemn BARDIC DAYS, whereon the four Grand meetings of {held} the year are holden.— See the note in p. 60.


THE Patriarchal Religion of ANCIENT BRITAIN, called Druidism, but by the WELSH most commonly called Barddas, (BARDISM,) though they also term it Derwyddoniaeth, (DRUIDISM,) is not more inimi- cal to CHRISTIANITY than the religion of NOAH, JOB, or ABRAHAM:— it has never, as some imagine, been quite extinct in BRITAIN; the Welsh Bards have through all ages, down to the present, kept it alive: there is in my possession a manuscript synopsis of it by Llywelyn Sion, a Bard, written about the year 1560; its truth and accuracy are corroborated by innumerable notices, and allusions in our Bardic manuscripts of every age up to TALEISIN in the sixth century, whose poems exhibit a complete system of DRUIDISM, by these (undoubtedly authentic) writings it will appear that the Ancient British CHRISTIANITY was strongly tinctured with DRUIDISM. The old Welsh Bards kept up a perpetual war with the Church of Rome, and from it experienced much persecution. Narrow understandings may conceive that they were the less CHRISTIANS for having been DRUIDS. The doctrine of the metempsychosis is that which of all others most clearly

“— Vindicates the ways of GOD to Man.”

It is sufficiently countenanced by many passages in the New Testament, and was believed by many of the Primitive Christians, and by the Essenes amongst the Jews.

How truly ridiculous to an Ancient British Mythologist, appears the BARD of GRAY with its savage Scandinavian Mythology; the same may be said of other English Poems, that, except in this particular, possess the highest poetical excellence.

I cannot help thinking that the British Bardic Mytheology would supply Poetry with many new ideas, and much of very pleasing imagery; it seems to me far more rational, sublime, and congenial to Human Nature, than the superlatively barbarous and bloody Theology of the EDDA, which some depraved imaginations are so charmed with.

There are in the world writers of matchless impudence—these will, without knowing a word of the Welsh language, without having ever seen one of its many thousands of manuscripts, arrogantly tell the public that what is here said of BARDISM is all a fiction. Just as if a man, without knowing any thing of the Greek language, should peremptorily tell us that such persons as Homer, Pindar, or Aristotle, never existed, or that the writings attributed to these great men are gross impositions on the credulity of mankind.

The following preliminary aphorisms are thought necessary:

I. All animated beings originate in the lowest point of existence (ANNWN), whence, by a regular gradation, they rise higher and higher in the scale of existence till they arrive at the highest state of happiness and perfection that is possible for finite beings. {ever to attain to.}

2. All the states of animation below that of humanity are necessarily; and where evil unavoidable preponderates no being can, consistent with Justice, be deemed culpable, nor are they objects of punishment. — Here Fate reigns.

3. Beings, as their souls, by passing from ferocious to more gentle and harmless animals, approach the state of Humanity, become ameliorated in their dispositions, less influenced by Evil, and attain to some degree of negative goodness.

4. Every being is destined to fill an allotted place in the creation, and endued with those sensibilities, benign propensities, and mental capacities, that are requisite to render him happy in that station, which he never can be in any other lastingly, and to this the Creator will finally bring him.

5. Beings, having been led up through such a succession of animal existences as are necessary towards unfolding their destined character, and preparing them for their ultimate office in the Creation, arrive at the state of HUMANITY, where Good and Evil are so equally balanced, that LIBERTY takes place, the WILL becomes FREE; whence MAN becomes accountable for his actions, having a power of attaching himself either to the Good or the Evil as he may, or may not, subject his propensities to the control of Reason and unsophisticated Nature, these being the fixed Laws of the CREATOR.

6. Man being possessed of LIBERTY has the power of coacting with the DEITY, and of attaching himself to GOOD, and by persevering in this course till death arises to such a state above HUMANITY as corresponds with his accessions of Goodness, and with that degree in which they preponderate against EVIL.

7. In all the States of existence above HUMANITY Good preponderates, and therein all Beings are necessarily good; hence they can never fall, but are still advancing higher and higher in the scale of happiness and perfection, till they arrive at their final destination, where every being, in his allotted place, will be completely happy to all Eternity, without the possibility of ever falling into Evil; and, being convinced that he could not possibly be equally happy in any other station, will never have any desire to quit that wherein he is.

8. Man, attaching himself to Evil, falls in Death into such an animal state of existence as corresponds with the turpitude of his soul, which may be so great as to cast him down into the lowest point of existence, whence he shall again return through such a succession of animal existences as are most proper to divest him of his evil propensities. After traversing such a course (treiglo'r Abred), he will again rise to the state of HUMANITY, whence, according to contingencies, he may rise or fall; yet should he fall he shall again rise; and, should this happen for millions of ages, the path to happiness is still open to him, and will so remain to all eternity; for, sooner or later, he will infallibly arrive at his destined station of happiness, whence he never falls. Eternal Misery is a thing impossible; it cannot possibly consist with the attributes of GOD, who is never actu- ated by malevolent resentment that proceeds from a display of superior power, which originates in PRIDE. GOD IS LOVE in the most positive and unlimited degree; he resists Evil for the sake of annihilating it, and not for the mere malevolent purpose of punishing.

9. Finite Beings can never comprehend Infinity; they cannot conceive any thing of GOD, but as something external to themselves individually different, and, consequently, finite. The DEITY for this reason, though in himself infinite, manifests himself to finite comprehensions as a finite being, as in the Person of JESUS CHRIST, &c.

10. The ultimate states of HAPPINESS are eternally undergoing the most delightful renovations in endless succession, without which no Finite Being could ever, consistent with happiness, endure the tædium of ETERNITY. These renovations will not, like the deaths of the lower states of existence, occasion a suspension of memory and consciousness of self-identity.

11. Memory, and the consciousness of having transgressed the Laws of GOD, are suffered to remain sometimes in the lower states of existence after death, as a temporary punishment, and for implanting in them an aversion to Evil.

12. Man, on arriving at a state above HIMANITY, recovers the perfect recollection of all his former modes of existence, and to eternity retains it. It is this, and this only, that constituted a Being's consciousness of having been, and of still being, ever since its first creation, through all states of animated existence, identically one and the same: he could not otherwise say to himself, I was the Animal, I was the Man, or any other being, that at such a period passed, lived, acted, felt, and experienced in such a manner: without this perpetuation of conscious memory, death would be absolute annihilation, and not a change in the mode of existence: without this a being in any superior state would be a new CREATURE, and not a continuation of a former.

13. No knowledge can be acquired but by experience – to obtain all possible knowledge, it is necessary to pass through all possible modes of existence, and to experience all that is peculiarly known to every one of these, each of them affording such a supply of knowledge that no other possibly can. Man in the states of happiness recovers the memory of all that he observed and experienced in every mode of existence through which he has passed.

14. All the knowledge that in the state of HUMANITY we have of supernal existence has been communicated by Celestial Beings, who, of their own Benevolence, subjected to that of the DEITY, return for a while to this world to inform man of what is necessary for him to know of his duty, and of what constitutes happiness in this and in future states, and what, by perseverance in VIRTUE, he may hope for, and be assured of. Knowledge of this kind has been thus communicated to man in all parts of the World, though more eminently so, by the Jewish Prophets and Jesus Christ, in whom all that can be comprehended of the DEITY by Finite Beings was, and in him eternally will be, manifested. BARDISM always refers its origin to Divine communications, and never talked of, I know not what, Religion of Nature.

15. The propensities of animals to prey upon, and destroy, each other is a regulation of Divine Benevolence for expediting the progress of beings through their several destined modes of existence to the states of happiness.

16. Man subjecting himself to Death in the cause of Truth, Justice, and Virtue, and for these foregoing all the enjoyments of this world, and life itself, does the most meritorious act of goodness that he possibly can; and thus, attaching himself to the highest degree of virtue and holiness, passes by Death to the highest and ultimate state of Celestial Felicity.

17. Man, having been guilty of crimes that are punishable by Death, must be so punished; and by giving himself up a voluntary victim to Death, being conscious of deserving it, does all that lies in his power to compensate for his crimes; attaches himself to the greatest degree of good that he possibly can, by giving up all of life and its enjoyments, by suffering, voluntarily, all that ought to be inflicted on him, for his transgression; he by such a Death passes to the highest state of happiness.

18. The sacrifice of animal, which were always those if the least ferocity of disposition, was a religious co-operation with Divine Benevolence, by raising such an animal up to the state of HUMANITY, and consequently expediting his progress towards Felicity, it was not to appease, we know not what, Divine wrath, a thing that cannot possibly exist; the idea of which is, of all others, the most blasphemously disgraceful to the DEITY.

19. Man must not, but from an absolute necessity to save his own life, commit depredations on any animated beings, or kill them to gratify wanton propensities, he must never inflict death or torture but in cases of self-preservations, not of sensual indulgence, or of malevolent animosity. No inferior being destroys another, but to save his own life, which he cannot otherwise possibly do. Many must govern himself by the same Law of Nature, which is that of GOD.

20. Man cannot possibly commit any act that is not more or less conducive to the general and ultimate good; he, though it is forbidden him, but wantonly killing an innocent creature, removes it to a higher state of existence, and consequently benefits it; on a similar plan has GOD infallibly secured much more than an ample recompence for all the wrongs that nay being may suffer from another.

21. Fortitude is the greatest and first of all virtues: without it no other virtue can be practised; what we do from the excitements of pleasure and self-gratification is not, or but by a very in- ferior kind of, Virtue. We can never unequivocally evince our love of Virtue, Justice, Benevolence, or any thing else, but by suffering willingly for its sake. Without fortitude we shrink from all that is good and laudable, if with it any, even the least, degree of suffering is connected. The commission of all Vice proceeds from the fear of practising its opposite Virtue.

22. Pride is the utmost degree of human depravity; it supplies the motive for perpetrating every kind of wickedness, it aims at Superiority and Power, which none but GOD is, of right, entitled to. Man may confer conditionally, and for the general good, a well restrained and limited power on superior merit; but none are entitled to usurp it. Self-created superiority, and power over others, is a dethroning of the ALMIGHTY as far as man can do it. PRIDE is the destroyer (CYTHRAUL) of the works of the CREATOR, the subverter of all order, forces itself obtrusively into a station that was never allotted to it. All men are equal in the CREATOR's paternality, as his children: and to superior worth and virtue he has secured infallibly the approbation of the truly Good and Wise, who will ever voluntarily exalt it to its merited height if not frustrated by the PROUD, who always, and often with temporary success, aim at usurping what is only due to transcendent Virtues and beneficent Abilities: PRIDE casts down into the lowest point of existence.

23. The soul is an inconceivably minute particle of the most refined matter, is necessarily endued with life, and never dies; but at the dissolution of one body it passes into another higher or lower in the scale of existence, where it expands itself into that form and corporeity which its acquired propensities necessarily give it, or of that animal (with whose body it becomes clothed) wherein only such propensities can possibly reside naturally. —By the way, let us ask what modern Philosophers, or rather Anti-philosophers, mean by unembodied and immaterial beings or spirits, existing either in happines or misery? if any thing can be understood of IMMATERIALITY it must be NONENTITY; mere NOTHING; unless we conceive it to be the DEITY, who is infinite, which immateriality also is, and cannot be divided, or limited. We cannot possibly conceive any idea of a FINITE INTELLIGENT Being, without annexing to it something (however subtile and refined) like materiality.

24. LIBERTY once obtained will never be lost; it consists in a perfect knowledge of the causes of Evil in every mode of existence, and of all the operative principles of NATURE. Permanently perfect LIBERTY can never universally take place till all Beings and all Modes of existence are entirely divested of their EVILS.

25. The state of HUMANITY being that of LIBERTY is the only State of Probation; it is, for that reason, on the actions of this state only that Divine Judgement will be passed.

26. The Creation is still in its Infancy: GOD will, by the pro- gressive operations of his Providence, bearing all Beings to the point of LIBERTY (which is the Human State) wherein only, even by GOD himself, Evil can be combated and subdued; wherein all power begins, exists, and subsists.

27. Evil, and all its causes, once perfectly known, which it cannot be till all Beings have passed through all possible Modes of finite existence, will be for ever hated and avoided; but, being in itself possible, it will, with all other possibilities, eternally exist in its abstract principles, all possibilities are things of eternity.

28. All Modes of existence which are necessarily as numerous as Divine Conception can make them, will for ever remain in existence with no other change than that of being thoroughly divested of all their Evils, and continue eternally as beautiful varieties in the Creation, which without this numerosity of externalities would not possess perfect beauty.

29. All the various Modes of existence, for ever externally the same, will, when internally divested of all EVILS, be occupied successively by Celestials, or those that inhabit the Circle of Felicity, these, amongst other changes, will vary and delightfully relieve what would otherwise be insupportable in Eternity to finite Beings. All these Modes of existence will, when purged of their Evils, be equally perfect, equally happy, equal in the general estimation, and equally fathered by the Creator. Peace, Love, and ineffable Benignity filling the whole Creation. All mental and corporeal affections and propensities of benign tendency will remain for ever, and constitute the joys of the Celestial existences.

30. Our infallible rule of Duty is, not to do or desire any thing but what can eternally be done and obtained in the Celestial states, wherein no Evil can exist. The Good and Happiness of one Being, must not arise from the Evil, or misery, of another.

Such are the outlines of Bardism, Druidism, or the Ancient British Philosophy, at least of what it is as refined by Christianity, in which the Bards adopted nothing that was averse to their Ancient Theology, but what rather confirmed the truth of it.

Christianity at its early introduction into Britain about the year 62, found nothing in Druidism inconsistent with its own doctrines, if we admit (which, perhaps, in a qualified sense, with the Christian Bards, we may) the doctrine of the Metempsychosis.

The Bards or Druids continued for many centuries after they became Christian, the Ministers of Religion, even till, and probably in some places long after, the time of the two Athanasian and incipiently Popish Bishops, Germanius and Lupus; this is pretty evident from our oldest and most authentic manuscripts. The Bards have through all ages considered themselves as a properly qualified Priesthood or Ministrators of Religion. Much more might be said on this subject; which neither room nor propriety admit of in this place.