Изображения страниц

After attaining his seventy-ninth year, this worthy archbilhop died in his palace at Lambeth, Dec. 14, 1715, and was privately interred the week after, in the chancel of Lambeth church.

His character was thus drawn soon after his death, by one who well knew him.

"He was a prelate, who, through the whole course of his life, always practised that integrity and resolution he first set out with, nor was influenced by the changes of the age he lived in, to act contrary to the pure and peaceable spirit ©f the gospel, of which he was so bright an ornament. And as he was an exact pattern of that exemplary piety, charity, stedfailness, and good conduct, requisite in a governor of the Church, so perhaps since the primitive age of Christianity, and the time of the Apostles, there has been no man whose learning and abilities have better qualified him to discharge and defend a trust of that high importance."

Among his numerous liberal benefactions, we (hall only notice the following. To the governors of Queen Anne's bounty for the augmentation of small livings, one thousand pounds. To the corporation for the relief of clergymens widows and chikhen, 500I. To Bene't College, Cambridge, a mortgage of Idnds in Huntingdonshire, of the value ot one thousand pounds; also the perpetual advowson of the rectories of Stalbridge, in Dorsetshire, and Duxfofd St. Peter's in Cambridgeshire. He founded and endowed a charity school at Lambeth, for the education of twelve poor girls, and another charity school at Croydon, to which, besides what he had given in his life time, he bequeathed the sum of four hundred pounds.

His regard to the apostolical constitution of the Church of England, appears from the following circumstance. Having by his will bequeathed to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, the sum of five hundred pounds, he* afterwards, by a codicil, revoked ■ the fame, assigning the reason as follows:

"Whereas in my last will I bequeathed to the Society dt promovendo Evangelio, the sum of five hundred pounds: now I do hereby revoke that clause, and every part of it, jtnd do declare the whole to be null and void, as if it had never been. But my present will is, that my executors or their administrators, or assigns, do well and truly pay to the said society, within one month, or two at the farthest,

after after the appointment and consecration, by lawful authority, of two Protestant Bishops, one for the continent, another for the Isles in North America, the sum of one thousand pounds, to be applied in equal portions, to the settlement of such bishops in the forementioned fees. Until such lawful appointment and consecrations are compleated, I am very sensible (as many of my brethren of that society also are) that, as there has not hitherto been, notwithstanding much importunity and many promises to the contrary; so there never will or can be any regular church discipline in those parts, or any confirmations, or due ordinations, or any setting apart, in ecclesiastical manner, of any publick places for the more decent worship of God; or any timely preventing or abating of factions and divisions, which have been, ana are at present, very rife; no ecclesiastically legal discipline, or corrections of scandalous manners, either in the clergy or laity; or synodical assemblies as may be a proper means to regulate ecclei?astical proceedings. In the mean time, till such appointment and consecration as abovesaid, are completed, my will is, that my executors do not pay the said thou. sand pounds, or any part or portion of it, or any interest for the whole or any part of it, to the said society; but as they have an opportunity to put out the said sum, or part of it to interest upon sure public funds, and to apply such interest; to the benefit of such Missionaries, being Englishmen, and of the province of Canterbury, as they shall find upon good information, to have taken due pains in the respective places which have been committed by the said society to their care, in the said foreign Plantations, and have been by unavoidable accidents, sickness, or other infirmities of the body, or old age, disabled from the performance of their duties, in the said places or precincts, and forced to return to England."

Vqi, XIII. Churchm. Mag. Jot November 1807.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

PATRONS in very high situations, as ministers of state, for instance, when they fix upon wrong objects for preferments, often do it through weakness; thev want firmness to withstand powerful applications; which sometimes operate by flattery, sometimes by moving compassion, sometimes by pleading old friendship, or urging old obligations; sometimes by the more polite fort of menaces: but when they find a sufficient stock of fortitude to resist applications so far as to act on principles of prudence, I have sometimes thought, that, besides neglecting their duty and betraying their trust, they mistake even the prudent part: for nothing can animate those who are brought up in ease and luxury, to improve or exert themselves, so much as a certainty that if they do not, they shall be superseded, and if they do, they shall retain their superiority ;—and what good can any minister derive from being supported by the insipid, the ignorant, the idle, who moreover think themselves very little obliged to him, or pei haps are offended, though they accept his preferment, that he does not give them better? especially as by throwing away his honors and advantages upon them, he is exciting disgust and contempt, if not indignation and abhorrence, in the minds of men of abilities and integrity. I cannot but think that the most public-spirited appointments would answer the purposes of prudence best. Those who deserve distinctions molt, and in the eyes of superior beings, are entitled to them in strict justice, are not one thousandth part so selfsufficient as those who deserve them least: and therefore the most able would show the most gratitude. It is only men of real merit, of found moral and religious principles, who can be depended on to be steadily and constantly grateful; Ful: they are humble and modest; they estimate highly every benefit conferred upon them; they feel it warmly; it finks deeply into their hearts. And though their influence may seem -at first comparatively small; it soon rises above that of mere rank or wealth, if properly encouraged; and in cafe of such changes and chances as have lately been observable in Europe, and as all things human are liable to, it is only from solid merit, and from virtuous application of the mind, that unshaken fidelity and effectual support can. reasonably be expected.

A minister of state seems sometimes to think it his duty to reward services by conferring a lucrative office on him who does them. When the services have been done to the public, rewarding them thus is thought an instance of public spirit; but to me it seems clearly wrong. I do not mean that rewards are wrong; God forbid! but they may be wrongly drawn from a fund which is appropriated to some other purpose, and that for the public good. Either the office conferred as a reward is useless, and therefore ought to be abolished, or the person who has done the services is wrongly appointed to it. Did he, indeed, shew by those services that he was the most- proper person for that office, all would be well; but the probability is greatly against that: nor will it be pretended, that when offices are conferred as rewards, they are always given to those who are best qualified to do the duties of them. An unfit man then prevents one who is fit, from acting in an useful employment. I repeat, that this seems clearly wrong. Suppose a man has saved the life of his prince, or has gained an important victory; I would have him amply and honorably rewarded, but by the person whom he has benefited, that is, the artificial person, the nation; not by perverting property dedicated to some particular service, or bequeathed by some patriotic founder. The propriety, or even the justice, os continuing offices, now become useless, in order that the emoluments set apart for making them useful, should operate as a reward, is to me inconceivable: besides that such offices will not so often be conferred to benefit the public, as to attach the benefited person to a particular minister; (which, by the way, they sometimes fail to do); and so when that minister is in opposition, the crown is granting arms against itself; and that without any saving to the public; tor if an useless or nominal place is worth three thousand pounds a year, the public has as much to contribute, sor nothing, or for worse

U u 2 . than.

than nothing, as if it every year gave three thousand pounds to one who had performed some real and signal service.— The injustice is still more striking if a man is appointed to any lucrative office, in church or state, because his relative has "done the state some service."

There is one kind of application which should be mentioned separately: I mean that made by ihejemaie sex: this seems very much in fashion at present; but it may have been so in all ages when manners have been polilhed, and any thing of a spirit of chivalry, or gallantry,* has prevailed. Female influence on Patronage has been very powerful in France, and contributed, I should conjecture, in no trifling degree, to the Revolution, with all its disgusting and detestable horrors. But what does reason dictate on this head? Reason seems to fay, that authority, so often conferred by female influence, is no light matter; it is not a feather, to be placed tt as best to gratify female taste and elegance; it is that power which is to regulate very important acts of great numbers of men; to abridge their liberty, to over-rule their judgment, their learning and experience; perhaps to endanger their lives. Surely conferring this in order to avoid the imputation of detective politeness to a fine lady, is a curious as well as cruel sacrifice of the public good!—When the mother, the sister, the virtuous female friend interferes, the sentiment which is to influence Patronage, being respectable in itself, is with more difficulty overcome by a good mind; but yet it should be recollected, that filial affection was not implanted in our breasts for purposes of political government; and that great harm may arise from its being perverted to purposes very distant from those for which it was intended: and the observation may be extended to other connections. No one has been more happy in the exercise of filial affection than myself; yet it would have given me infinite pain had she to whom 1 am obliged above all other females, endeavoured to use maternal influence to turn me from executing any trust to the best of my own judgment.— But why do I speak of myself? the great pattern of moral excellence, who whilst in agonizing pain made provision for his mother, by recommending her to the protection of a beloved friend, did not think it wrong to check her importunity when (he interfered with the business of his sacred and

most iii '■ , ....

* For Gallantry, in the sense in which it is here used, see Mr. Hume's Essay on the Rise of Arts and Sciences,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »