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others, expressed his astonishment at the manner with which I had been neglected by the court, and, making an apology for his frankness, told me, with evident concern, that he was sure I should never be translated.- He also said, that I was considered as a man of far too independent a spirit for them, and had long been put down in the queen's black book. "I was more delighted with this disinterested approbation of an iron-master' (by the way, be had offered his diocesan a loan of five or ten thousand pounds) 'than by the possession of an archbishopric acquired by a selfish subserviency to the despotic principles of a court. -Still, however, the primacy was uppermost in his mind.
An inquiry into the religion of a mind thus worldly and ambitious thus wayward and fretful, can neither be very interesting nor very pleasing ; but we are invited to it by many passages in the present voluine, and should scarcely satisfy the expectations of the public were we wholly to omit it. We begin then with a very reniarkable passage, which strikingly corroborates an observation of Warburton, that long addiction to mathematical pursuits incapacitates the mind froni weighing the various degrees of moral evidence.
I was early in life accustomed to mathematical discussion and the certainty attending it, and not meeting with that certainty in the science of metaphysics, of natural and revealed religion, I have an habitual tendency to hesitation of judgment, rather than to a peremptory judgment on many points. But I pray God to pardon this my wavering in less essential points, since it proceeds not from any immoral tendency,' (certainly it did not, at any period of his life,) and is attended by a firm belief of a resurrection, and a future state of retribution as described in the Gospels.'
From the silence of this passage on other doctrines of revelation, it might have been inferred that he was a Socinian, but from that imputation he has sufficiently redeemed himself in other parts of the present volume. His religion, according to himself, was that of the New Testament, as distinct froin all commentaries, systems, or articles of human invention, and thence alone he appears to have discovered the divinity of the second and third persons of the Holy Trinity. On the subject of the Atonement, even when it might seem most naturally to have presented itself, he observes a deep and awful silence.* Impregnated as was his ample and expansive understanding with the sublime pbilosophy of Newton, he seems to have contemplated the Deity, together with eternity and infinite space, something in the spirit of that mighty master-Non est eternitas et infinitas, sed Eternus et lufinitus --Non est duratio et spatium, sed durat et adest---durat semper et, adest ubique, durat ab eterno in eternum, ab infinito in infinitum.'+ Still it was the science of
* It is but justice to his memory to add, that in one of his Discourses, published in 1815, he determines, though with some hesitation, in favour of a proper satisfaction for sin in the sufferings of Christ. † Præf, ad Principia.
religion' religion'---still his feelings were rather those of an excursive curiosity wandering over the imagined improvements of intellect in eternity, and an endless supply of objects for it to grasp, than wbat may properly be called Christian faith or hope. A passage, written almost at the close of his life, confirms our opinion on this subject.
Though the light of Revelation hath not, perhaps cannot make it appear what we shall be, yet a due reflexion on the necessity of dying, accompanied with the blessed hope of being raised from the dead, and of ascending a step higher in the gradation of intellectual existence, may make us expect with composure and comfort the inevitable change, when we shall become, like the angels of God, immortal, placed, it may be, among the lowest ranks of angelic beings, but neither debarred the means nor deprived of the hope of “rising to the highest.”.
Of this opinion, neither irrational nor unpleasing, yet still grounded on the principles of analogical probability rather than of any distinct revelation, we may say, in the author's own words, and in their intended application to himself— Ingruit senectus, appropinquat mors, et melioris ævi dies, cum hæc clarius elucebunt.**
The prelates of the English church, notwithstanding the great disadvantages under which, as married men, they are usually placed in comparison of their catholic predecessors, have been distinguished from the Reformation downward for works of munificence.Much indeed cannot be expected from the bishops of Landaff as such, but we have to commend the subject of this Article, together with Dr. Preston, bishop of Fernes, his school-fellow and friend, for having bestowed a thorough reparation on Heversham School, the place of their early education. Our prelate's account of some intended charities will excite a smile. After the outrages at Biriningham he had intended to bestow a hundred pounds on Dr. Priestley, but his intrepidity was overcome by an apprehension of the clamour it might occasion.--Could it not have been conveyed in an anonymous envelope, or with an injunction of secrecy ? - The intention we suspect to have been defeated by another principle.The profits arising from the Apology for the Bible (viz. one thousand pounds) he had intended to consecrate to some work of charity, and had proceeded so far with the work as to write an inscription for the front of his intended edifice--" 'Tis in capitals already.'
The general style of this volume, and of all the bishop's English works, is such as nearly to place them above the petty cavils of criticism-clear and energetic, with occasional strokes of coarseness, and a general air of bravura, which exactly accorded with the tone of his conversation and the expression of his countenance. The great and only considerable defect of it is a perpetual ten
* Advertisement to the bishop's Miscellaneous Tracts, published A. D. 1815. Th is probably the last sentence which he ever wrote on any religious or literary subject.
dency to scraps of Latin, which were meant to pass for proofs of erudition among his admirers, though they are generally taken from very ordinary and trivial sources. To know how to quote well from the writers of antiquity is one of the greatest artifices of lite, ralure; whereas to court vulgar applause by vulgar citations, is a mark at once of bad taste and of low ambition in a scholar.
One other trait of character in this bishop, which had its origin in constitutional intrepidity, we cannot but notice with regretnamely, a total want of delicacy, which led him to neglect the feelings of the living for themselves or their departed friends. In whatever terms he may animadvert upon a character, the name is given at length. The most exalted personages of the kingdoni are treated with the same coarse freedom as the meanest, without circumlocution or disguise, while his cominunications with correspondents of high rank, on matters of conscience, and of a nature purely professional, are marked by the same unseemly disclosure of names and titles :-on such subjects he ought to have remembered and imitated the impenetrable secrecy of the church of Rome. There is a single expression so gross that, during the life-time of one person, we could neither quote nor distinctly refer to it without a degree of indelicacy approaching to that of the writer.
On the portrait here exhibited of this perfectly original character the following reflexions naturally arise. --He was governed through life by the two leading principles of interest and ambition, both of which were thwarted in his political conduct by a temper so wayward, and a presumption so overweening, that the disappointment produced by their collision embittered his mind, and exasperated his latter days to a very high degree of malignity. Accomplished as he was in academical learning, he had no ingenuous and disinterested love of knowledge: he read only that he might teach, and he taught only that he might rise. After he became a bishop,
Et spes et ratio studiorum in Cæsare tantum; and when he felt himself neglected, he avowedly and professedly abandoned all study, because (says he) eagerness in the pursuit of knowledge was a part of my teniper, till' (and only till) the acquisition of knowledge was attended with nothing but the neglect of the king and his ministers.' Disgusted therefore and disappointed, as much as broken in constitution, he withdrew into the wilds of Westmoreland without a library, and to this privation he voluntarily submitted almost thirty years. Lord Falkland was wont to commiserate the situation of country gentlemen in rainy weather; but who can pity a bishop, wealthy enough to purchase a magnificent library, and with a vigorous and excursive understanding to make use of it, who spontaneously abandoned himself to oblivion of all his former pursuits of literature during those long periods of rain and snow which prevail on the banks of Winandermere ? To the consolation of a meagre and spiteful political pamphlet and the ennui of his own corroding reflexions he chose to resign himself-he was his own tormentor.
Infinite and unspeakable are the consolations which this prelate, during bis long retirement, might have found in the pursuits of practical religion ; and great the services which he might have rendered to Christianity in general by plain and popular tracts, which from him would have required little exertion. He had a clear, familiar style, great force of ihought and great power of illustration. It might have occurred to him, that though he was in effect without a bishopric, he was still a bishop; though he had abandoned his chair, he was yet professor of divinity; though he had placed himself at a distance from his cure of souls, he was yet a clergyman. He might have remembered, that all his brethren, who in former times had been expelled from their sees by civil convulsions, had in poverty and exile been exemplary for diligence in preaching, writing and study; and that he stood single and alone in the history of episcopacy, as a man who, in voluntary banishment, and in possession of all the emoluments of his profession, had degraded himself to a mere layman.* If it should be urged that the exhausted state of his mental faculties, as well as his bodily health precluded such exertions, the work now before us bears ample testimony to the contrary.--Let but the subject of politics be started, and he would write and debate almost to the last with all the vigour of his best days.
But there his treasure was, and there his heart was also. The awful secret, therefore, must come out. He had, as far as we can perceive, no very powerful feeling of practical religion. He had pursued it (so far as he had studied the matter at all) like any other science. Had he drunk deeply of the genuine spirit of Christianity, how would its benign influences have gilded and dignified his declining age! Already possessed of high rank and of wealth perpetually increasing, other dispositions, such as become the sinking years of every Christian, but especially of every Christian bishop, would have taken place of that envy, hatred, malice and all uncharitableness, with which his whole mind and spirit appear to have been corroded during the last twenty years of his life. But a translation was refused hin refused to the writer of the successful and admirable Reply to Paine. Yes, and it is well known that a bishopric was refused to Paleyť
* This is the more to be regretted, because the few specimens of bis powers as a preacher, wbich he has left behind him in the Miscellaneous Volumes of his works, A.D. 1815, (for we desire to distinguish them from his political discourses,) are compositions of the very first order, aud when aided by his perso1), voice, and manner in the pulpit, always produced a powerful impression. His discourse on the first and second Adam, and the nature of death as affected by each, is almost unequalled in originality of thought, and vigour of expression. † Not asked by himself, or with his own knowledge.
who, without a murmur or a sigh for the disappointment, and with a constitution as deeply shattered as that of Bishop Watson, eontinued to benefit his church and country to the end of his life. If ambition and rapacity, when carried to such extravagant lengths, were not things too serious to be laughed at, who could command his muscles at the absurdity of a man, who leaves his native village a poor scholar, and eats his own heart for the rest of his days because he only returns to it Bishop of Landaff! who sets out with three hundred pounds, and scarcely thinks one hundred thousand an adequate provision for his family!
But, as this fact of a non-translation is not only the great source of all the obloquy and abuse poured out on kings, queens and ministers in the present work, but the great theme and topic of declamation for his party, we shall take leave to enter somewhat at large into the merits of the case.
The patron of several benefices presents a clergyman to one of the poorest among them, on which it so happens that there is no parsonage-house, though a residence might easily be obtained. But upon this plea the incumbent almost entirely neglects the concerns of his parish, excepting when an opportunity presents itself of thwarting the patron's interest and inclinations in the vestry, which he is sure to seize with eagerness. He is also possessed of another lucrative office, which, like the first, he has converted into a sinecure, and having a private estate, resides wholly upon the last. A domestic calamity takes place in his patron's family, which this gentleman converts into an occasion of fomenting domestic animosities, and then takes it extremely ill that he has not the choice of every benefice in the family as it becomes vacant. We would ask now, whether, in the common usage of the world, a patron would not be justified in repeated præteritions? And where is the difference between such a case and Bishop Watson's claims upon
crown, coupled with the grounds of their rejection?
But here, it has been said, was an instance of peculiar and unex. ampled merits in the cause of religion, to which the bishop in question has rendered more eminent services than any or all of his brethren. Let it be understood that these peculiar and unexampled merits consist in the production of two pamphlets, each it is allowed use ful and excellent in its way. But most things may be taken by two bandles; and if our author and his disappointed advocates ground upon these short productions of a very powerful pen a claim to one of the more opulent or more exalted dignities of the church, we see the case in a very different, or rather opposite point of view. Let it be remembered, that some years before the pub. lication of the former of these, their author had been in the enjoy.