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these liberties, they expressed an uncommon concern for the interests of the suffering church; not considering that if we shall be shut out of heaven for our sins, it will be no great comfort to us what church we were members of on earth.
"The chaplain saw this with grief, and therefore, after general discourses and intimations that had little or no effect, he applied to his patron more closely, and in a letter he wrote to him laid down his and the vices of the family, in terms so home and serious, and yet so manly, that one could not imagine a mind so void of goodness as to be offended with his holy freedom. He desired him to consider what injury he did to the distressed church for which he always expressed so commendable a zeal. He intimated to him that this was both the cause of her sufferings, and that which made her the scorn of her enemies: that her friends did her more dishonour than her enemies could do her hurt, so that she may truly say, in the words of Zechariah, xiii. 6. ' These are the wounds I received in the house of my friends!' He assured him, that for his own part, he durst not seem to countenance such criminal liberties, lest the enemy should say that the ordinances of the Gospel were profaned with the consent of her ministers. And then, forgetting, or rather despising his own interest, the uncertainty of the times, and all the expectations he might have from a person of so good an interest in the world, he earnestly pressed either to be hearkened to in this matter, or to be immediately discharged from his office.
"His patron was so far from being offended with this first liberty of his faithful chaplain, that he heard him with submission, knowing well whose ambassador he was; and ever after honoured him as his friend."
The prayer which Mr. Wilson constantly offered up in private for the family, has been preserved in the memorandum book, from which other extracts have been already made.
But little is known of the character and disposition of lord Strange, or of his progress while under the care of Mr. Wilson. His tutor's desire was, " to instruct him in all the ways of religion, piety, and honour," that he might be " useful to the world, and that his station and power might be beneficial to mankind." One little anecdote only has been preserved concerning him. One day, as lord Strange was going to set his name to a paper which he had not read, Mr. Wilson dropped some burning sealingwax on his finger: the sudden pain made him very angry; but his tutor soon pacified him by observing, that he did it in order to impress a lasting remembrance on his mind never to sign or seal any paper which he had not first attentively examined. Lord Strange died at Venice in 1699, the year after the removal of Mr. Wilson to another sphere of action.
Had George Herbert lived a little after this period, we might have supposed that the example of this excellent man suggested the following remarks extracted from the second chapter of his Country Parson. "Let not chaplains think themselves so free as many of them do, and because they have different names think their office different. Doubtless they are parsons of the families they live in, and are entertained to that end, either by an open or implied covenant. Before they are in orders, they may be received for companions or discoursers; but after a man is once minister, he cannot agree to come into any house where he shall not exercise what he is, unless he forsake his plough and look back. Wherefore they are not to be over-submissive and base, but to keep up with the lord and lady of the house, and to preserve a boldness with them and all, even so far as reproof to their very face, when occasion calls, but seasonably and discreetly. They who do not thus, while they remember their earthly lord, do much forget their heavenly: they wrong the priesthood, neglect their duty, and shall be so far from that which they seek with their over-submissiveness and cringing, that they shall ever be despised. They who, for the hope of promotion, neglect any necessary admonition or reproof, sell, with Judas, their Lord and Master."
The year 1697 was the last in which he was to reside with the family of the earl of Derby, for early in the following year he was appointed to the bishopric of Sodor and Man.
The circumstances attending this appointment were singular and characteristic. The nomination to the see was vested in his patron, the earl of Derby, subject to the approbation of the king; and it had been suffered to continue vacant from the death of Dr. Baptiste Levinz in 1693. After a lapse of four years, the earl offered the bishopric to his chaplain, who declined it, alleging that he was unequal to so great a charge, as well as unworthy of it. Thus the matter rested till Dr. Sharp, archbishop of York, complained to king William that a bishop was wanting in his province, to fill the see of Man. The king was thus induced to send for the earl of Derby, who was then master of the horse, and urged the necessity of immediately nominating a bishop; upon which the earl again pressed the preferment on Mr. Wilson who (to use his own expression) was thus "forced into the bishopric." On the 15th of January 1697-8, he, being first created doctor of laws by the archbishop of Canterbury, was confirmed bishop of Man, at Bow church, by Dr. Oxenden, dean of the Arches: and the next day he was consecrated at the Savoy church by archbishop Sharp, assisted by the bishops of Chester and Norwich.
We have now arrived at a period in this good man's life when he begins to be better known. And as his name is in no way connected with the politics of the day, or with public events, we may be permitted, instead of following the order of dates, to bring together in each of the succeeding chapters such little notices as show his temper and spirit in some distinct point of view; and we hope that they will combine to present an eminent and engaging example of one who, in the direction of his life, endeavoured by prayer, watchfulness, and diligence, to keep a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man. His discharge of the duties of the episcopal office may naturally claim our first attention.
HIS CONDUCT AS A BISHOP.
"A bishop is a pastor set over other pastors. They were to ordain elders. They might receive an accusation against an elder. They were to charge them to preach such and such doctrines; to stop the mouths of deceivers; to set in order the things that were wanting."
Bishop Wilson's Sacra Privata.
Such was bishop Wilson's opinion of the nature of that high office in the church of Christ with which he was now invested; and, as far as we can judge from the memorials of his life which have been preserved, he endeavoured, by the grace of God, to discharge its duties faithfully to the end of his days. And happy indeed was that island in being the object of his paternal care. At the age of thirty-four he was enthroned in the cathedral of St. Germain, on the 11th of April 1698, six days after his landing in the island.
His devotional exercises on this occasion indicate a heart fully sensible of the goodness of God manifested in his elevation, and a desire that it might not be bestowed upon him in vain. He confesses his unworthiness of the great favours he received; beseeches guidance and a blessing upon himself and his charge; seeks protection from the temptations which may be peculiar to his new condition; and particularly asks, that if affliction be required for his correction, it may not be withheld.
A few months after, on the occasion of his laying the foundation-stone of a new chapel, to be built at his own expense, he writes in his memorandum-book the