As it is now in England, where they are accounted by many, the Dross and Refuse of the nation. Men think it a stain to their blood to place their sons in that function; and women are ashamed to marry with any of them.
It hath been observed, even by strangers, that the iniquity of the present Times in England is such, that the English Clergy are not only hated by the Romanists on the one side, and maligned by the Presbyterians on the other...; but also that, of all the Christian Clergy of Europe, whether Romish, Lutheran, or Calvinistic, none are so little respected, beloved, obeyed, or rewarded, as the present pious, learned, loyal Clergy of England; even by those who have always professed themselves of that Communion.
THE GROUNDS & OCCASIONS OF THE CONTEMPT
OF THE CLERGY AND RELIGION
In a LETTER written to R.L.
Printed by W. GODBID for N. BROOKE
at the Angel in Cornhill. 1670.
This work is dated August 8, 1670. ANTHONY A.
WOOD in his Life (Ath.
Oxon. I. lxx. Ed. 1813), gives the following account of our Author.
February 9  A.W. went to London, and the next day he was kindly receiv’d by Sir LIOLIN JENKYNS, in his apartment in Exeter house in the Strand, within the city of Westminster.
Sunday 11 [Feb. 1672], Sir LIOLIN JENKYNS took with him, in the morning, over the water to Lambeth, A. WOOD, and after prayers, he conducted him up to the dining rome, where archb. SHELDON received him, and gave him his blessing. There then dined among the company, JOHN ECHARD, the author of The Contempt of the Clergy, who sate at the lower end of the table between the archbishop’s two chaplaynes SAMUEL PARKER and THOMAS THOMKINS, being the first time that the said ECHARD was introduced into the said archbishop’s company. After dinner, the archbishop went into his withdrawing roome, and ECHARD with the chaplaynes and RALPH SNOW to their lodgings to drink and smoak.
[JOHN EACHARD, S.T.P., was appointed Master of Catherine Hall, Cambridge, in 1675.]
THE PREFACE TO THE READER.
I can very easily fancy that many, upon the very first sight of the title, will presently imagine that the Author does either want the Great Tithes, lying under the pressure of some pitiful vicarage; or that he is much out of humour, and dissatisfied with the present condition of affairs; or, lastly, that he writes to no purpose at all, there having been an abundance of unprofitable advisers in this kind.
As to my being under some low Church dispensation; you may know, I write not out of a pinching necessity, or out of any rising design. You may please to believe that, although I have a most solemn reverence for the Clergy in general, and especially for that of England; yet, for my own part, I must confess to you, I am not of that holy employment; and have as little thought of being Dean or Bishop, as they that think so, have hopes of being all Lord Keepers.