Изображения страниц

fruits. He left nothing to his widow but the copy of his posthumous sermons, which was afterwards fold for 2500 guineas. The annuity granted by the King to his widow was at first 400I. which, on account of some unforeseen losses £he had sustained, was augmented with 200I. more: both which were continued till her death in January 1701-2. And so solicitous was his majesty for the regular payment of her pension, without any deduction, that he always called for the money quarterly, and sent it to her himself.

The archbishop was buried in the church of St. Laurence

^ewry, and the funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Burnet ifliop of Sarum. On the left fide of the Communion Table in that church, a neat marble monument is erected to his memory, on which is the following modest inscription:

P. M.

Heverendissimi et Sanctissimi Præsulis


Archiepiscopi Cantuariensis,

Concionatoris olim hac in Ecclefia

per annos xxx celeberrimi,

Qui obit x°. Kal. Dec. Mdclxxxxiv

Ætatis Suæ Lxiiii'.


Conjux illius mæstissima.*

• For the preceding memoir, we are indebted to Mr, Todd's account of the Deans of Canterbury. 8vo. 1793.

[ocr errors][merged small]

IN practice, the most effectual hindrance to a right exercise of Patronage is probably encouraging the notion that it is impra8.ica.blc. How is a king, or his minister, it may be said, to know the comparative merits of all who might be candidates for his preferments? Besides, is he to pay no regard to those, or the children of those, who have always (hewn themselves zealously attached to his interests? Is not one of a numerous family to be preferred to the only son of a man who is in no want? This is sometimes said, or something to the same effect; and great Patrons are sometimes ready to adopt the excuse, as it saves them a great deal of trouble; saves them the pain of rejecting the applications dt their friends, or favourites; and allows them to indulge their indolence, as well as their interested pursuits, their private tastes and partialities. I remember, just at the time when Dr. Balguy had the offer of the bishopric of Gloucester, before he had refused it, I happened to be on a visit in a housejn the country, where that most accomplished gentleman and man of the world, Lord Barrington (then secretary at war, I think,) was of the party. Dr. Balguy being mentioned, I found myself saying, artlessly, but perhaps rather warmly, "now will one great national disgrace be wiped off! "—His lordship's extreme good breeding made him attentive to every body; he asked particulars, and I explained, that the disgrace arose from the uncommon excellence of Dr. Balguy's character, his abilities, knowledge, and the very great ser

Kk vices

Vol. XIII. Churckm. Mag. for 08ober 1807.

vices he had publicly performed, and was likely to perform in the situation now offered him. His lordship replied, that probably his majesty's ministers might not have been sufficiently acquainted with the doctor's merits, whilst he was suffered to remain a private man, (or to that effect): here I could not so far abandon the ground I had thoughtlessly taken, as not to observe, in the least offensive language that would occur, that I considered it as a principal part of the business of his majesty's ministers to make such enquiries after merit of every kind, that none which had appeared in its proper place, with effect and without obtrusion, should escape their notice. The same thing I would observe now. Those who are entrusted with extensive Patronage, should esteem it an indispensable part of their duty to invent and execute measures of their own for ascertaining comparative merits; and should provide such sources of intelligence, especially in seminaries of various sorts, theological, literary, military, naval, &c. that they should never be disgraced by any one's proving, that thev had overlooked what would have done them honour, and service to the public. I have said that great Patrons should have measures of their own for discovering merit, because prudent men, who have their eyes continually fixed on the means of advancing themselves, would soon find out any settled rules, and suit their behaviour to them. There may be more to do in this way than can, in some cases, be reasonably expected from Patrons who have much important business; but doing every thing is a long long way from doing nothing. I cannot but think it is as important to employ agents in getting intelligence of merit, as to pay spies at a high rate for the usual secret services.—A great Patron might do something, by getting from different persons, in any mart of merit, lifts of those who distinguished themselves. It might often happen, that different names would stand at the head of those lists; but if there was an agreement as to who should stand second, that would be a circumstance very much in favor of a person so recommended. This is only meant as a hint of the fort of methods by which intelligence might be gained. I suppose no one person who makes out such a list, to know whether any one makes out other lists.

But the thing which most completely frustrates all attempts at a right selection, is the encouraging of Applications. In some statutes of corporate bodies an application, made by any friend, is a disqualification. When an office is laborious and

difficult, difficult, a person may make a simple declaration that he is willing to undertake the duties of it; but that is very disferent from what is called making interest. I can fee no probability that Patronage will ever answer its proper ends, till all proposals come from the Patron. Applications are scarcely ever made by those who ought to succeed ; ac least they are not made in so pressing and earnest a manner by them, as by those who ought not to succeed. Applications are the tools by which presumption, vanity, selfistiness, envy, low cunning, work their way in the world; undermining every thing that is noble and ingenuous; scarcely ever are they the instruments of modest merit; which indeed is the only true merit; they involve Patrons in difficulties, sometimes very distressing; and in quarrels; frequently bring upon them more resentment from the disappointed than gratitude from the successful. A great proportion of these evils would be prevented by Patrons makingit a general rule to receive no applications; nothing beyond a simple declaration of willingness to undertake. How far a Patron mould go without such a declaration must depend upon circumstances; where the willingness is self-evident, even the simple declaration mould be forbidden. Some Christians have disallowed even applications tor Holy Orders; but it seems really impracticable, in our extensive dioceses, for a bishop to determine whom he shall ordain, without a declaration on the part of the candidate for orders. Yet our church may be truly said to encourage tbe notion of its ministers being called, in a manner inconsistent with vain, ambitious, and interested men appointing themselves to important offices. And men who gain important offices, do in effect appoint themselves, when they never would be appointed if it were not for applications made by them, or on their suggestion; and such applications as Patrons are apt to deem irresistible.—For my part, I would carry the matter so far, that even civil magistrates should be called; as jfu/tices of the peace, by the lord lieutenant of the county. Certainly many very worthy magistrates are self-called; that is, act from their own choice, not invited by the lord lieutenant, and would be the persons called by the public; but there would still be an improvement, if the superior would make himself acquainted with the characters of all within his county, and, with public views, name a sufficient number, and they accept the office from him: who would refuse when so distinguished? Such a mode of appointment would improve even that part of our

Kk2 government,

government, which, upon the whole, now merits great commendation. No magistrates wpuld be enslaved to the private interest of any individual, or party: none would be corrupt, or oppressive: none very ignorant or foolish could push themselves into office. A pushing man is almost always unfit for the business at which he aims; and he generally excludes some one more fit than himself. The most foolish man I ever knew, who was not treated as an ideot, was an active justice of the peace; and, by all accounts, had low cunning enough, with seasonable help, to make money of his trade.—-In your life ot archbishop Whitgift (vol. xii. p. 162.) you fay, "about the fame time he was invited to court, to "preach before Queen Elizabeth, who was so pleased with "his discourse as immediately to appoint him her chaplain." I abstain from all invidious comparisons; I only remark, as my subject requires, that no pressing applications appear to have been made on the part of Whitgift; no brigue, no pushing: all was done according to the method here proposed, by invitation from the Patron.

But although abuse of Patronage is a very heinous breach of trust, and a very important evil, yet it may sometimes seem to be abused when a candid man would impute little or no blame to the Patron. In the first place, the fault admits of a great variety of degrees: merit has numberless degrees; and so has each branch of any single kind of merit; or of merit belonging to any one situation. There may al so be occasion to balance acknowledged merit in some things, against demerit in other things. Superior abilities are sometimes rendered useless to him who possesses them, by his malignant or intractable temper; and one's desire to assist the just and benevolent, is often defeated by a want of the inferior virtues, such as cleanliness, courtesy, attention, cheerfulness, punctuality, orderliness: or by a want of knowledge in trivial matters.—Modest merit is certainly the best, and the most to be depended on; but it appears the least; especially to those who judge hastily, which the least wise are the most apt to do. The Patron has to take care that he is not deceived by artful address, or dazzled by flashy pretensions: you can fee a hundred faults in a man, which are all artfully hidden from the Patron whom he courts; you have been contumelioufly neglected, or even injured, by him, but to his Patron he is all attention and fairness. Then, there are qualifications showy but not solid; there are others solid but not showy: those who judge the Patron, should remember, that it is no easy matter to see the


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »