HotFreeBooks.com
Some Remains (hitherto unpublished) of Joseph Butler, LL.D.
by Joseph Butler
Home - Random Browse

Transcribed from the 1853 Rivingtons edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org



SOME REMAINS (HITHERTO UNPUBLISHED) OF JOSEPH BUTLER, LL.D.

SOMETIME LORD BISHOP OF DURHAM.

"I am more indebted to his writings than to those of any other uninspired writer, for the insight which I have been enabled to attain into the motives of the Divine Economy and the grounds of moral obligation."

From a Letter of the late Bishop Kaye, of Lincoln.

LONDON: RIVINGTONS, WATERLOO PLACE. 1853.

LONDON: GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE



PREFACE.

It has long been a subject of regret that we should have so few remains of so great a writer as the author of the "Analogy," not only the greatest thinker of his day, but one almost equally remarkable for his personal religion and amiability.

The few fragments and letters which remain unpublished, derive from this circumstance a value wholly incommensurate with their extent, though, as to the few I have been able to recover, they seem to me worthy of notice even for their own sake.

There can, I suppose, be no doubt but that many letters on subjects connected with their common pursuit,—the defence of religion by rational arguments,—must have passed between Dr. Clarke and the "Gentleman in Gloucestershire," even up to the time of the former's decease; and the specimen I am now able to exhibit certainly excites a wish that one could recover more of a series which it is most likely that Dr. Clarke at least carefully preserved. The three letters now printed were all addressed to Dr. Clarke; the first and last, though little known, were published many years ago in the European Magazine.

The second and third Fragments are printed as they were written, having apparently been noted down from time to time as the ideas occurred to their author; thus at the end of the first paragraph of the third Fragment, the word "direction" was originally written "advice," but was subsequently altered in a different ink, being the same with that in which the sentences immediately following were written. I have not thought myself at liberty to make any attempt to reduce these Fragments to better consistency; indeed, their present disordered state seems to me rather to add to their interest, as showing the mode in which the stones were gathered for building up such works as the "Analogy" and the "Sermons." It will be observed that I have found a difficulty in reading the last part of the third Fragment, and I am by no means sure that I have quite hit the sense intended; I should like it to apply either to the Cross set up at Bristol, or to the famous Charge delivered at Durham.

I have added a cotemporary notice of the buildings at Bristol, and an anecdote showing how they were thought of, as well as a statement, made after the Bishop's death, of his proceedings with regard to the church, which is now St. George's, near Bristol, in order to establish the fact of the separation of the property there mentioned from the bulk of his estate;—showing his desire to do something for the benefit of the people of Kingswood, a district the moral degradation of which had already attracted the attention of Whitefield and Wesley.

The following extract has been kindly communicated to me from the Diary of Dr. Thomas Wilson, the son of the great Bishop of Sodor and Man; and I print it here more especially to invite the attention of all who take an interest in these things to the fact, that a copy may have been made for the King of the sermon there mentioned, and may possibly even yet be in existence somewhere; if so, it cannot but be worth the trouble of recovery and publication.

1737, December, Friday, 23rd. "The Master [i.e. Sir Joseph Jekyll, Master of the Rolls] told me that the King desired that Dr. Butler, Clerk of the Closet to the late Queen, might preach before him in the Princess Amelia's apartments. He preached upon the subject of being bettered by afflictions, which affected His Majesty so much that he desired the sermon, and assured him that he would do something very good for him. The Master desired that it might be known publicly, it was told him by the Bishop of Oxford [Seeker]. The Master seemed mightily pleased, and was in hopes it would be of great service to the public as well as his private family, which will be a pleasure to every body, and make even the death of Her Majesty (so great a seeming loss) of advantage to the nation."

I have been mainly induced to publish these Remains by the pleasure with which some copies I had given away privately have been received, and I confess that the fruit I should be most gratified to see, would be the recovery of some longer work, not less worthy of its Author's reputation.

EDWARD STEERE, LL.D.

University College, London, 1st September, 1853.



FRAGMENTS.

From the autographs of Bp. Butler now in the library at the British Museum. [Add. MS. 9815.]



I.

God cannot approve of any thing but what is in itself Right, Fit, Just. We should worship and endeavour to obey Him with this Consciousness and Recollection. To endeavour to please a man merely, is a different thing from endeavouring to please him as a wise and good man, i.e. endeavouring to please him in the particular way, of behaving towards him as we think the relations we stand in to him, and the intercourse we have with him, require.

Almighty God is to be sure infinitely removed from all those human weaknesses which we express by the words, captious, apt to take offence, &c. But an unthinking world does not consider what may be absolutely due to Him from all Creatures capable of considering themselves as His Creatures. Recollect the idea, inadequate as it is, which we have of God, and the idea of ourselves, and carelessness with regard to Him, whether we are to worship Him at all, whether we worship Him in a right manner, or conceited confidence that we do so, will seem to imply unspeakable Presumption. Neither do we know what necessary, unalterable connexion there may be, between moral right and happiness, moral wrong and misery.

Sincerity is doubtless the thing, and not whether we hit the right manner, &c. But a sense of the imperfection of our worship, apprehension that it may be, and a degree of fear that it is, in some respects erroneous, may perhaps be a temper of mind not unbecoming such poor creatures as we are, in our addresses to God. In proportion as we are assured that we are honest and sincere, we may rest satisfied that God cannot be offended with us, but indifference whether what we do be materially, or in the nature of the thing abstracted from our way of considering it, Good and Right,—such indifference is utterly inconsistent with Sincerity.

No person who has just notions of God can be afraid of His displeasure any further than as he is afraid of his own Character, whether it be what it ought: but so far as a man has reason to fear his own character, so far there must be reason to fear God's displeasure, or disapprobation; not from any doubt of His Perfection and Goodness, but merely from the belief of it.

Is it possible that people can be Scepticks in Opinion, and yet without any doubtfulness, or solicitude about their Actions and Behaviour?



II.

What a wonderful incongruity it is for a man to see the doubtfulness in which things are involved, and yet be impatient out of action, or vehement in it! Say a man is a Sceptick, and add what was said of Brutus, quicquid vult valde vult, and you say, there is the greatest Contrariety between his Understanding and his Temper that can be expressed in words.

* * * * *

In general a man ought not to do other people's duty for them; for their duty was appointed them for their exercise; and besides, who will do it in case of his death? Nor has a man any right to raise in others such a dependance upon him as that they must be miserable in case of his death, tho' whilst he lives he answers that dependance.

* * * * *

Hobbs' definition of Benevolence, that 'tis the love of power is base and false, but there is more of truth in it than appears at first sight; the real Benevolence of men being, I think, for the most part, not indeed the single love of power, but the love of power to be exercised in the way of doing good; that is a different thing from the love of the good or happiness of others by whomsoever effected, which last I call single or simple Benevolence. How little there is of this in the world may appear by observing, how many persons can bear with great tranquillity that a friend or child should live in misery, who yet cannot bear the thought of their death.

Good men surely are not treated in this world as they deserve, yet 'tis seldom, very seldom their goodness which makes them disliked, even in cases where it may seem to be so: but 'tis some behaviour or other, which however excusable, perhaps infinitely overbalanced by their virtues, yet is offensive, possibly wrong; however such, it may be, as would pass off very well in a man of the world.



III.

Shall I not be faithful to God? If He puts a part upon me to do, shall I neglect or refuse it? A part to suffer, and shall I say I would not if I could help it? Can words more ill-sorted, more shocking be put together? And is not the thing expressed by them more so, tho' not expressed in words? What then shall I prefer to the sovereign Good, supreme Excellence, absolute Perfection? To whom shall I apply for direction in opposition to Infinite Wisdom? To whom for protection against Almighty Power?

Sunday Evening, June 13, 1742.

Hunger and thirst after Righteousness till filled with it by being made partaker of the Divine nature.

Ad te levo oculos meos, qui habitas in coelis. Sicut oculi servorum intenti sunt ad manum dominorum suorum, sicut oculi ancillae ad manum dominae suae; ita oculi nostri ad Deum nostrum, donec misereatur nostri.

As all my passions and affections to my Reason such as it is, so in consideration of the fallibility and infinite deficiencies of this my Reason, I would subject it to God, that He may guide and succour it.

Our wants as Creatures: our Demerits as Sinners.

That I may have a due sense of the hand of God in every thing, and then put myself into His hand to lead me through whatever ways He shall think fit; either to add to my burden, or lighten it, or wholly discharge me of it.

Be more afraid of myself than of the world.

To discern the hand of God in every thing and have a due sense of it.

Instead of deluding oneself in imagining one should behave well in times and circumstances other than those in which one is placed, to take care and be faithful and behave well in those one is placed in.

That God would please to make my way plain before my face, and deliver me from offending the scrupulousness of any {11}, or if not, O assist me to act the right part under it!



LETTERS.

I.

From a Copy formerly belonging to Dr. Birch, and now in the library at the British Museum. [Add. MS. 4370.]

REV. DR.

'Twas but last night I received your letter from Gloucester, having left that place three weeks since. It revived in my mind some very melancholy thoughts I had upon my being obliged to quit those studies, that had a direct tendency to divinity, that being what I should chuse for the business of my life, it being, I think, of all other studies the most suitable to a reasonable nature. I say my being obliged, for there is every encouragement (whether one regards interest or usefulness) now-a- days for any to enter that profession, who has not got a way of commanding his assent to received opinions without examination.

I had some thoughts, Sir, of paying you my acknowledgments in person for that surprising air of candour and affability with which you have treated me in the Letters that have passed between us. But really I could not put on so bold a face, as to intrude into a gentleman's company with no other excuse but that of having received an obligation from him. I have not the least prospect of ever being in a capacity of giving any more than a verbal declaration of my gratitude: so I hope you'l accept that, and believe it's with the utmost sincerity I subscribe myself,

Sir,

Your most obliged, most obedient humble servant,

J. BUTLER.

Hamlin's Coffee-house, Tuesday Morning.



II.

The original of this Letter with the answer, which is roughly written on the blank leaf, is, I believe, now in the library of Oriel College, Oxford. I am indebted for my copy to the kindness of the Rev. J. H. Newman, D.D., formerly of that College.

REV. SIR,

I had long resisted an Inclination to desire your Thoughts upon the difficulty mentioned in my last, till I considered that the trouble in answering it would be only carrying on the general purpose of your Life, and that I might claim the same right to your Instructions with others; notwithstanding which, I should not have mentioned it to you had I not thought (which is natural when one fancies one sees a thing clearly) that I could easily express it with clearness to others. However I should by no means have given you a second trouble upon the subject had I not had your particular leave. I thought proper just to mention these things that you might not suspect me to take advantage from your Civility to trouble you with any thing, but only such objections as seem to me of Weight, and which I cannot get rid of any other way. A disposition in our natures to be influenced by right motives is as absolutely necessary to render us moral Agents, as a Capacity to discern right motives is. These two are I think quite distinct perceptions, the former proceeding from a desire inseparable from a Conscious Being of its own happiness, the latter being only our Understanding, or Faculty of seeing Truth. Since a disposition to be influenced by right motives is a sine qua non to Virtuous Actions, an Indifferency to right motives must incapacitate us for Virtuous Actions, or render us in that particular not moral agents. I do indeed think that no Rational Creature is strictly speaking Indifferent to Right Motives, but yet there seems to be somewhat which to all intents of the present question is the same, viz. a stronger disposition to be influenced by contrary or wrong motives, and this I take to be always the Case when any vice is committed. But since it may be said, as you hint, that this stronger disposition to be influenced by Vicious Motives may have been contracted by repeated Acts of Wickedness, we will pitch upon the first Vicious Action any one is guilty of. No man would have committed this first Vicious Action if he had not had a stronger (at least as strong) disposition in him to be influenced by the Motives of the Vicious Action, than by the motives of the contrary Virtuous Action; from whence I infallibly conclude, that since every man has committed some first Vice, every man had, antecedent to the commission of it, a stronger disposition to be influenced by the Vicious than the Virtuous motive. My difficulty upon this is, that a stronger natural disposition to be influenced by the Vicious than the Virtuous Motive (which every one has antecedent to his first vice), seems, to all purposes of the present question, to put the Man in the same condition as though he was indifferent to the Virtuous Motive; and since an indifferency to the Virtuous Motive would have incapacitated a Man from being a moral Agent, or contracting guilt, is not a stronger disposition to be influenced by the Vicious Motive as great an Incapacity? Suppose I have two diversions offered me, both of which I could not enjoy, I like both of them, but yet have a stronger inclination to one than to the other, I am not indeed strictly indifferent to either, because I should be glad to enjoy both; but am I not exactly in the same case, to all intents and purposes of acting, as though I was absolutely indifferent to that diversion which I have the least inclination to? You suppose Man to be endued naturally with a disposition to be influenced by Virtuous Motives, and that this Disposition is a sine qua non to Virtuous Actions, both which I fully believe; but then you omit to consider the natural Inclination to be influenced by Vicious Motives, which, whenever a Vice is committed, is at least equally strong with the other, and in the first Vice is not affected by Habits, but is as natural, and as much out of a man's power as the other. I am much obliged to your offer of writing to Mr. Laughton, which I shall very thankfully accept of, but am not certain when I shall go to Cambridge; however, I believe it will be about the middle of the next month.

I am, Rev. Sir, Your most obliged humble Servant,

J. BUTLER.

Oriel, Oct. the 6th.

THE ANSWER.

Your objection seems indeed very dexterous, and yet I really think that there is at bottom nothing in it. But of this you are to judge, not from my assertion, but from the reason I shall endeavour to give to it.

I think then, that a disposition to be influenced by right motives being what we call rationality, there cannot be on the contrary (properly speaking) any such thing naturally in rational creatures as a disposition to be influenced by wrong motives. This can be nothing but mere perverseness of will; and whether even that can be said to amount to a disposition to be influenced by wrong motives, formally, and as such, may (I think) well be doubted. Men have by nature strong inclinations to certain objects. None of these inclinations are vicious, but vice consists in pursuing the inclination towards any object in certain circumstances, notwithstanding reason, or the natural disposition to be influenced by right motives, declares to the man's conscience at the same time (or would do, if he attended to it) that the object ought not to be pursued in those circumstances. Nevertheless, where the man commits the crime, the natural disposition was only towards the object, not formally towards the doing it upon wrong motives; and generally the very essence of the crime consists in the liberty of the will forcibly overruling the actual disposition towards being influenced by right motives, and not at all (as you suppose) in the man's having any natural disposition to be influenced by wrong motives, as such.



III.

From the original, now in the library at the British Museum. [Add. MS. 12,101.]

REV. SIR,

I had the honour of your kind letter yesterday, and must own that I do now see a difference between the nature of that disposition which we have to be influenced by virtuous motives, and that contrary disposition, (or whatever else it may properly be called,) which is the occasion of our committing sin; and hope in time to get a thorough insight into this Subject by means of those helps you have been pleased to afford me. I find it necessary to consider such very abstruse questions at different times and in different dispositions; and have found particular use of this method upon that abstract subject of Necessity: for tho' I did not see the force of your argument for the unity of the Divine Nature when I had done writing to you upon that subject, I am now fully satisfied that it is conclusive. I will only just add that I suppose somewhat in my last letter was not clearly expressed, for I did not at all design to say, that the essence of any crime consisted in the man's having a natural disposition to be influenced by wrong motives.

I was fully resolved to have gone to Cambridge some time in this Term, not in the least expecting but that I might have the Terms allowed there which I have kept here, but I am informed by one who has been there that it is not at all to be depended upon; but that it's more likely to be refused than granted me. My design was this; when I had taken the Degree of Batchelor of Arts at Cambridge, (which I would have done to have the Priviledge of that Gown,) to take that of Batchelor of Law a year afterwards, but if I cannot have the Terms I have kept for Batchelor of Arts allowed there, it will be highly proper for me to stay at Oxford to take that degree here, before I go to Cambridge to take Batchelor of Law. I will inquire concerning the truth of what the gentleman told me, and if I find he is mistaken and that I can take the degree of Batchelor of Arts at Cambridge next June, which is the time I shall be standing for it, and Batchelor of Law a year after that; I will make bold to accept of your kind offer to write to Mr. Laughton, and will acquaint you with it as soon as I am satisfied, otherwise I will give you no further trouble in the matter; and indeed I am sorry I should have given you any already upon it, but I thought I had sufficient reason to be satisfied, and had not the least suspicion in the world that there was any uncertainty about getting the Terms allowed, so I hope you will excuse it.

I am with the greatest respect and gratitude for all your favours,

Rev. Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant,

J. BUTLER.

Oriel Coll., Oct. 10, 1717.

I should have written yesterday, to prevent your trouble of writing to Mr. Laughton, but I was not informed of what I have mentioned before last night.

* * * * *

This Letter, as well as the one immediately preceding, appears to have been intended by Dr. Clarke for publication, as in both the concluding passages relating to private matters have been struck through, and on the back of this last is written, "These to be added to the next edition of Leibnitz's Letters." I believe those Letters never reached a second edition.



PRAYERS.

From a Copy in Bp. Butler's handwriting, now in the library at the British Museum. [Add. MS. 9815.]

O Almighty God, Maker and Preserver of the world, Governor and Judge of all creatures, whom Thou hast endued with understanding so as to render them accountable for their actions and capable of being judged for them; we prostrate ourselves as in Thy presence, and worship Thee the Sovereign Lord of all, in Whom we live and move and have our being. The greatness and perfection of Thy Nature is infinitely beyond all possible comprehension, but in proportion to our capacities we would endeavour to have a true conception of Thy Divine Majesty, and to live under a just sense and apprehension of it: that we may fear Thee and hope in Thee as we entirely depend upon Thee: that we may love Thee as supremely good, and have our wills conformed to Thy will in all righteousness and truth: that we may be thankful to Thee for every thing we enjoy, as the gift of Thine hand, and be patient under every affliction as what Thou sendest or permittest.

We desire to be duly sensible of what we have done amiss, and we solemnly resolve before Thee, that for the time to come we will endeavour to obey all Thy commands as they are made known to us.

We are Thy Creatures by Nature; we give up ourselves to be Thy servants voluntarily and by Choice, and present ourselves, body and soul, a living sacrifice to Thee.

But, O Almighty God, as Thou hast manifested Thyself to the world by Jesus Christ; as Thou hast given Him to be a Propitiation for the sins of it, and the Mediator between God and Man; we lay hold with all humility and thankfulness on so inestimable a Benefit, and come unto Thee according to Thine appointment in His Name, and in the form and manner which He has taught us.

Our Father, &c.



MORNING PRAYER.

Almighty God, by whose protection we were preserved the night passed, and are here before Thee this morning in health and safety; we dedicate this day, and all the days we have to live to Thy service; resolving, that we will abstain from all evil, that we will take heed to the thing that is right in all our actions, and endeavour to do our duty in that state of life in which Thy Providence has placed us. We would remind ourselves that we are always, wherever we may go, in Thy presence. We would be always in Thy fear; and we beg the continuance of Thy merciful protection, and that Thou would'st guide and keep us in all our ways through Jesus Christ our Lord.



EVENING PRAYER,

Almighty God, whose continued providence ordereth all things both in Heaven and Earth; Who never slumberest nor sleepest; but hast divided the light from the darkness, and made the day for employment and the night for rest to Thy creatures the inhabitants of the earth: we acknowledge with all thankfulness Thy merciful preservation of us this day, by which we are brought in safety to the evening of it. We implore Thy forgiveness of all the offences which we have been guilty of in it, whether in thought, word, or deed; and desire to have a due sense of Thy goodness in keeping us out of the way of those temptations by which we might have fallen into greater sins, and in preserving us from those misfortunes and sad accidents, common to every day, and which must have befallen many others. We humbly commit ourselves to the same good providence this night, that we may sleep in quiet under Thy protection, and wake, if it be Thy will, in the morning in renewed life and strength. And we beg the assistance of Thy grace to live in such a manner, that when the few days and nights which thou shalt allot us in this world be passed away, we may die in peace, and finally obtain the resurrection unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

* * * * *

Almighty God, Whose tender mercies are over all Thy works, who feedest the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field, and hast given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, we desire to have our souls possessed with a due sense of Thy blessings, and to show forth our thankfulness by moderation and temperance in the use of them, by being kind and compassionate to those who are in distress, and by all those good works which Thou hast appointed us to walk in. And we humbly hope we shall at last experience all Thy goodness to us consummate in that future state, which Thou hast prepared for them that love and fear Thee through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



EXTRACT FROM THE MS. COLLECTIONS

From the MS. Collections of the Rev. W. Cole, now in the Library at the British Museum. Vol. 10, p. 92, taken at Bristol in the year 1746.

Having done with what is in the Cathedral, let us just step into the Bishop's Palace on the south side of it: and here we cannot help observing the generous Temper of the present worthy prelate; who in a poor Bishoprick of about 500 pounds per ann. has already laid out on building an entire new Palace in the room of the old one which was gone to decay, above 3000 pounds. The small Chapel belonging to the old one is standing; but entirely new fitted up, furnished in an elegant Taste and newly wainscoted and a Tribune from one of his Lordship's rooms to look into it at the west end, over the door which is entirely new. The altar piece is of black marble inlaid with a milk white cross of white marble; which is plain and has a good effect. In the East window over it is a small Crucifix with the B. Virgin and St. John under the Cross weeping, of old glass; and not very curious. Over the new Door into the Chapel from the Hall, in a void space made on purpose, is a very old Coat of Glass of the Arms of Berkly ensigned with a mitre: and this is another reason to make one think that the old Abbey of Bristol gave these arms to their Founder, for their own Coat. I was pleased to find the present Bishop paid such a regard to the memory of the Ancient Abbey and its Founders, as to preserve this old memorial of them with so much care and precaution. A pattern worthy to be imitated in an age, that to my knowledge, in certain places, has not only had such marks of their benefactors taken away in order to get up modern crown glass; but has also given away and destroyed such memorials of them, as the care of their predecessors for 3 or 400 years have with the utmost gratitude and veneration preserved.

Over the hall chimney-piece, which is preserved with equal care by his Lordship, are the arms of Bishop Wright impaled by his See, and a mitre over them, and R. W. on each side of them; as also Wright impaling per Pale unde six martlets countercharged for Fleetwood.

I don't see his Lordship's Arms in any part of the Palace, which has so just a title to have them in every part of it; but however, I shall give them a place here in gratitude to his memory who so well deserves of this place, which, though I have no concern in, nor no acquaintance with his Lordship, yet one always has a value for a grateful and benevolent mind.

The arms of Joseph Butler, Lord Bishop of Bristol and Dean of St. Paul's, are: A. three covered Cups on Bend S, inter two Bendlets engrailed G.

His Lordship was, on the decease of the late Lord Bishop of Hereford, by his Majesty appointed Clerk of the Royal Closet; and it is said that he has also a promise, on the next vacancy, of a translation to the rich See of Durham, which will be well bestowed on a person of his Lordship's large and universal benevolence.

* * * * *

From the same.

Dr. Freeman, speaking of the chapel in the palace at Bristol, told me that he was mentioning the neatness and elegance of it to Bishop Young at Therfield, who told him, that however he might admire the decency and elegance of it, yet upon his waiting, upon some occasion or other, on my Lord Hardwick, his Lordship spoke to him of it, and asked him whether he had not a design of pulling down the cross of marble over the Altar, which he thought was offensive; to which the Bishop replied, that it was probable that he should not have set it up there, but that he should not choose to have it said that Bishop Young had pulled down what Bishop Butler had erected.



STATEMENT CONCERNING THE CHURCH AT KINGSWOOD.

From a MS. in the British Museum. [Add. 9815.]

When the late Lord Bishop of Durham first intended to have a place of Divine Worship erected in Kings Wood, his Scheme was,—To solicit Subscriptions for building a Chapel, and to give 400 pounds towards the Endowment of it, in order to get the like Sum from the Governors of Q. Ann's Bounty. And he was pleased to lay his Commands upon me to make Application to persons the most likely to contribute to that good Work.

The report I brought him in Consequence of such Application, was to this Effect, that they highly approved of the pious and charitable design, but disliked the particular Scheme of erecting a Chapel of Ease to the Church of St. Philip and Jacob, as this would not answer the good purposes his Lordship intended; and therefore proposed a Division of the Parish, and the Erection of a new Parish and parish Church.

His observations on this Proposal were the following,—That the intended Chapel in Kings Wood would not have been a Chapel of Ease to Saint Philip and Jacob, but distinct from it, as the Incumbent would have had nothing farther to do with the Chapel, or the income of it, but barely to nominate the Curate, who from thence forward would have been independent of him: However he thought the Scheme of erecting a new Parish to be much preferable in itself, but was attended with more difficulties; and therefore gave up his own Scheme with pleasure, if the Parties concerned would join their Endeavours to Execute the other.

Upon this occasion He not only permitted, but ordered me to say to all Persons, and in all Companies, that he had allotted a Benefaction of 400 pounds for that Use. And when some of the principal Parishioners had fixed upon the Boundaries of their new intended Parish, and had presented a kind of Petition or Memorial to him, To have those limits specified in the intended Act of Parliament, they used the following expressions. "Whereas it hath been made known unto Us,—That your Lordship hath proposed to endeavour to obtain an Act of Parliament for Dividing the said Parish of St. Philip and Jacob, and for erecting and endowing a Church for the said Parishioners,—And that you have been pleased to offer a large Subscription thereto, We therefore with grateful Hearts humbly take this opportunity of tendering you our hearty thanks for this your pious and charitable Intention, and being very desirous that the same may be executed, beg leave to assure your Lordship, that we will use our best Endeavours for promoting the same, &c."

Which Petition or Memorial He ordered his Secretary to copy out on two Pieces of Parchment. And then he, the Bishop, sent them to me to carry them to the Parishioners to be signed; and directed me at the same time to desire some of the parishioners to attend him at his Palace, which was on a Sunday Evening; And in their and my Presence he wrote the following words at the Bottom of one of the Petitions:

"I see no objection against the Division of the Parish above mentioned, and hope the Gentlemen, whose Consent is necessary, will agree to it, since the Inhabitants are the best judges, what is for their own Convenience: and it is a matter of very little Concern to any but them.—Jo. BRISTOL."

Likewise when the Fields, which lay contiguous to the intended Church, were to be purchased, he went to see them, and then and there declared in my hearing, and, as far as I can recollect, in the hearing of several persons there present, viz. Messrs. King, Harrison, &c., That he would purchase them for the use of the intended Church, as soon as ever Sir Abraham Elton, the then Proprietor, could dispose of them.

Also He ordered me, at different times, to bring him a List or Account of all the monies advanced, or engaged for: And I always put down his name with 400 pounds opposite to it, which he approved of.

Moreover, in the preamble of the Act of Parliament, drawn up by Mr. Pearson his Lordship's Secretary, under his Direction, there are these words:

"And the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Durham (late of Bristol) for promoting so good a design is disposed and ready to give the sum of 400 pounds towards the Endowment of the new intended Vicarage, &c."

Which words in the first copy ran thus, "And the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Bristol, &c.," He being then Bishop of the See of Bristol; And I have heard his Lordship repeat those words in perusing the said Copy.

Farther; upon the Coming of the present Lord Bishop of Bristol to this See, He ordered me to draw up a short State of the Case relating to the new intended Church, and the Several Expences necessary for completing the Design, which Paper was afterwards shown to the Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament for building the said Church, And they Requested, That it might be printed. But before it was sent to the press, I transmitted a Copy to the late Lord Bishop of Durham, then in London, to know if his Lordship approved of the Publication of it, and whether He would please to make any alteration. His answer was, That he saw no need of Alterations, and thought that the Printing and Dispersing of it might be of service to the charity.

I then directed Mr. Oliver the Printer to call upon his Lordship for the Manuscript, which he did; and after printing the same, He carried fifty Copies to his Lordship for his own use; One of which Copies was sent to a pious and charitable lady, but whether by his Lordship, or his Secretary, I cannot say; The Issue of which was, A Benefaction of 200 pounds sent to his Lordship, To be disposed of either for the building or the Endowment as his Lordship thought fit. Now in the printed paper above mentioned, there are the following remarkable expressions—

"The late Lord Bishop of Bristol, now of Durham, and the Right Worshipful the Mayor and Corporation of Bristol, have contributed large Sums for carrying the said good Purposes into Execution, &c."

And upon all times and occasions, after he had Purchased the contiguous Grounds above mentioned of Sir Abraham Elton for the sum of 375 pounds, He used to say, That the purchase was for the use of the new Intended Church, and did wish, That some little adjoining Tenement might be found, to be purchased with the remaining Sum of 25 pounds in order to make up the even money of 400 pounds.

Also when I waited on his Lordship last in London, I was desired by Mr. Willoughby, the treasurer for the said Church, to ask his Lordship, How he would please to have the rents of the purchased Grounds disposed of, as some rents were then become due, viz. whether to be applied towards the endowment—or the Building. And his answer was, That the rents, being the Interest of the money allotted for the Charity should be applied to the charity, as well as the Principal: But whether towards the Endowment or Building He was not yet determined: He believed, the Endowment: but would fix his answer, when he came down to Bristol.

And after his coming down, He several times said, that he would give orders concerning that affair.

He also sent to me one time to acquaint me, That he had a Benefaction put into his hands of 200 pounds (the benefaction above mentioned), And was pleased to desire my advice, Whether it should be applied towards the Endowment,—or the Building. My answer was, That as the Building was so far advanced, There was not much danger, but that Contributions might be raised to finish it,—Either by voluntary Subscriptions,—or a General collection round the city,—or by both methods together. But it would not be found so easy a matter to raise Contributions for the Endowment. And the Sums hitherto procured were very far from being a Competency for a Resident Minister. I then mentioned his Benefaction of 400 pounds, and the 400 pounds from Q. Ann's Bounty, as being a sum which might be depended on,—Also the benefaction of 200 pounds in his Lordship's Hands; which possibly might obtain 200 pounds more from the Bounty;—So that the whole Sum, to be reckoned upon, even with the supposed addition of 200 pounds from the Bounty, would only amount to 1200 pounds, which at 3 per cent., would make an Income of 36 pounds a year.

His Lordship was pleased to approve of this Reasoning upon the Case, and said, The 200 pounds should go towards the Endowment: And as his own was a bad Life, the Benefaction should be enrolled in the name of Mr. Pearson, in order to try to obtain 200 pounds more from Q. Ann's Bounty.

All these particulars I am willing to testify upon Oath.

THE END.

GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE, LONDON.



Footnotes

{11} I have been quite unable to decipher the original of this; by the letters it seems to make "from offendimtum of Scrupleousness."

Home - Random Browse