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this head; but since it is gone so far, there is no drawing back."
4. A Commentary upon the Holy Bible.
5. A Short Introduction to the Lord's Supper. A work not superseded, perhaps not surpassed, by any other upon the same subject. Writing to his son, who had sent to him some letters which were highly commendatory of his publications, he says, "I am not elated with the letters you enclosed me; if any good is likely to be done, far be it from me to take the praise to myself; let it be ascribed to the good Spirit of God; and let me take the shame to myself for the many faults I plainly see in it, and for the negligence with which it is performed. May God forgive me these, and pardon the things I have been wanting in, and the good I might and have not done in the way of my duty, in a long, long life, and in my proper calling; and I shall bless his name for ever I"
6. Short Observations on the Historical Books oft/ie Old Testament.
7. Morning and Evening Prayers and Meditations for Families, and for Persons in Private.
8. Maxims of Piety and of Christianity.
9. Forms of Prayer for several public occasions. Amongst these is a Form of Prayer for the Herring Fishery. The bishop says, in his History of the Isle of Man, that "formerly herrings were the great staple commodity of this Isle, of which, (within the memory of some now living), near twenty thousand barrels have been exported in one year to France and other places. The time of herring-fishing is between July and All-hallows' tide. The whole fleet of boats, (every boat being about the burthen of two tons) are under the government of the waterbailiff on the shore, and under one called a vice-admiral at sea, who, by the signal of a flag, directs them when to shoot their nets, &c In acknowledgment of
this great blessing, and that God may be prevailed with to continue it, (this being the support of the place), the whole fleet duly attend divine service on the shore, at the several ports, every evening before they go to sea; the respective incumbents on that occasion making use of a form of prayer, lessons, &c. lately composed for that purpose." This pious practice is still continued.
10. Instructions for an Academic Youth, and a Catechetical Instruction, both intended for Candidates for Holy Orders.
In addition to these, many prayers, memoranda, and a few letters on clerical subjects, have been printed in the accounts of his Life, by the Rev. Mr. Cruttwell and the Rev. Mr. Stowell.
This chapter may appropriately conclude with an extract from a letter written by the celebrated Dr. Samuel Johnson to the son of this admirable prelate;—" To think on bishop Wilson with veneration is only to agree with the whole christian world. I hope to look into his books with other purposes than those of criticism, and, after their perusal, not only to write but to live better."
Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for pow'r,
But in his duty prompt, at every call
Goldsmith's Deserted Village.
The small revenues of the bishopric of Man amounted in the time of bishop Wilson to no more than three hundred pounds a-year, and he found that the lands annexed to it were nothing better than tracts of pasturage for sheep. It soon occurred to him to turn these lands to more profitable account by husbandry; and by skilful management he soon made them produce more than was required to supply his house; a portion of the residue was bartered for other commodities which his farms did not furnish; and what remained was devoted to charitable purposes. Thus it happened that he was able to employ considerable sums in promoting the glory of God and the good of man.
He wished to act in accordance with the sentiment which was thus expressed (we believe) by bishop Fleetwood, "Let us proportion our alms to our incomes, lest God should proportion our incomes to our alms."
In the spirit of this maxim he always appointed a certain portion of his income for pious uses, and at various intervals we find him increasing the sum thus appropriated. The following is one of his memoranda of this kind. "Bishops Court, Feb. 18, 1718.
"To the glory of God; I find by constant experience that God will be no man's debtor. I find that I have enough and to spare; so that for the future I dedicate four tenths to pious uses, one tenth of the demesnes and customs which I receive in monies, and of my English estate as above. And the good Lord accept his poor servant in this service, for Christ's sake. Amen."
His charity to the poor was so enlarged that the destitute never came to his door in vain. Being told that unworthy persons were often the objects of his bounty, he replied, "I would rather give to ten unworthy, than that one deserving object should go away without relief." Mr. Moore says in the sermon preached at the bishop's funeral, "His charity and beneficence to the poor and needy shine the brightest and most distinguished of all his other numerous virtues and graces. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, comforting the afflicted, administering to the distresses of all, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow—these acts of humanity and christian charity were the joy, the delight, the great employment and pleasure, of his soul. And to this it was owing, that during his episcopate, no country in the christian world had fewer public beggars to be seen therein; for he kept the poor from almost every body's doors but his own."
In order to supply the poor with clothing, he kept tailors and shoemakers in constant employment at his own house. And as his pecuniary means were small, he commonly procured the materials for that purpose by bartering the produce of his farm. It is related that one day, giving orders to his tailor to make for him a cloak, he desired that it might be quite plain, and have merely a button and loop to keep it together. "But my Lord," said the tailor, "what would become of the poor buttonmakers and their families if every one thought in that way? they would be starved outright." Do you say so John ?" replied the bishop, "why then button it all over, John."
Some occasions of a most trying nature occurred to draw forth all the energies, as well as to awaken the most tender feelings, of this generous mind. A small duty was paid by all vessels putting into the ports of the island, and, as the contraband trade increased, a portion of this was employed in rendering the harbours more convenient and secure. Thus many hands were drawn away from agricultural labour to carry on these works, and many more were employed about the shipping in various capacities. The neglect of the land was a necessary consequence; the consumption of corn became greater than the produce; and the Manksmen were dependent upon England for the supply of their wants. Hence in dear or scarce years they were in the greatest distress, and sometimes even experienced the miseries of famine.
Such was the wretched condition of the people in the year 1740. Their crops, never sufficient, were in the preceding harvest remarkably light. The bishop writes to his son (July 15, 1739) "The severest drought that I ever knew. A great deal of corn will never be mowed or reaped; and the poor farmers, not being able to dispose of their cattle, will many of them be ruined, I fear." England had equally suffered by this unpropitious weather. The