Зображення сторінки

Let not those judgments fall upon us which our sins have justly deserved; and grant that thy great mercy and forbearance may oblige us to bring forth fruits meet for repentance.

"Have mercy upon the work of thy hands, that all the world may come to the knowledge of Thee, and of thy goodness in Jesus Christ; that all who are weary with the burthen of their sins, may know where to find rest unto their souls.

"Preserve thy church in the midst of this uncertain world, and prepare her for what thy providence shall bring forth; that neither prosperity may corrupt thy faithful servants, nor adversity discourage them from professing the truth.

"Keep this church and nation in the peaceable enjoyment of thy word and sacraments; and grant that we may live answerable to the means of grace which thy providence hath afforded us.

"Bless all the reformed churches; keep them from all wicked and dangerous errors; and bring into the way of truth all such as have gone astray; that thy kingdom, and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, may be glorified.

"O God! whose kingdom ruleth over all, bless these nations to which we belong; that peace, and truth, and justice—that true religion and piety, may be secured and countenanced; that all ignorance and profaneness, and whatever else opposeth thy Divine will made known to us, may be effectually discharged. To this end we pray God to hear us, for the king's majesty, that his days may be many, his government happy, his commands just and equal, and his people faithful and obedient: — for the royal family, that we may be blessed with a succession of princes fearing God: — for all such as are in council and authority, (and especially for the high court of parliament,) that they may consult the honour of God, the true interest of his church, and the welfare of the people: — for the bishops and pastors of Christ's flock, that they may constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke and oppose vice, and be living examples of those graces and virtues which they recommend to others: and the Lord Jesus Christ be always with them according to his promise; and grant unto the people of their flocks that they may profit by them daily.

"Blessed God and lover of souls, preserve, by Thy grace, those that are in the way of life; enlighten the minds of the ignorant; awaken the consciences of the careless; silence the gainsayers; convert the profane; and bring them all to Thine .everlasting kingdom.

"We commend unto the tender mercy of God, all sick and dying persons; all that are in affliction of mind or body, or under any pressing calamity; all that are poor, and have none else to help them; and especially all such as suffer persecution for a righteous cause.

"Lord, pity and sanctify the miseries of this life, to the everlasting benefit of all that suffer; that the tears of the oppressed, the pains of the afflicted, the wants of the poor, may all help forward and end in the salvation of their immortal souls.

"We beseech God to hear our prayers for all those that never pray for themselves; that they may see the danger, before it is too late, of living without God in the world.

"And God Almighty grant that we may all of us have worthy thoughts of His majesty—for His great power in creating us — for His wonderful providence in preserving us — for His great goodness in redeeming us by Jesus Christ; for whose doctrine and example, and for the examples of all His faithful servants, we pray God make us truly thankful, and grant us grace to follow their steps, that we may with them be made partakers of a blessed resurrection.

"That we may obtain these blessings, and whatever else is needful for us, let us all join, and with one heart and voice pray to God in that perfect form of words which Jesus Christ hath taught us —' Our Father which art in heaven,' &c."

Two of the letters which Dr. Wilson, the bishop's son, received after the publication of his father's life and writings, will give an additional interest to this memoir.


"I am charmed with the view the books afford me of the good man your father, in his diocese and in his closet. The Life, the Sacra Privata, the Maxims, the Parochialia, &c. &c. exhibit altogether a complete and lovely portrait of a christian bishop going through all his functions with consummate prudence, fortitude, and piety; the pastor and father of a happy island for near threescore years! The case is really an unique in ecclesiastical story.

"The Sermons are the affectionate addresses of a parent to his children, descending to the minutest particulars, and adapted to all their wants. In a delicate and fastidious age, they may perhaps be slighted for their plainness and simplicity; but they were just what they should be for the place and for the people. To use an illustration of his own, he is the best physician who cures the most patients: and at the last great day, may they who value themselves on their learning, their elegance, and their eloquence, give as good an account of their stewardship as the bishop of Sodor and Man I"


Waleot, 12th month, 12, 1780.

"My worthy friend — There are times when our minds are particularly impressed with sentiments of a social kind, and our souls expand in the feeling of religious good. Such are the times when communication will not only be sincere, but carry with it an evidence of that truth which reduces to one level the little and the great. Our minds are blessed various ways; but all good is derived from the one immortal source of it, even from God himself. Yet I desire to receive and esteem as I ought, those instrumental means which Divine Providence is appointing in aid of human weakness.

"I am now reading with admiration and delight the works of thy late venerable father, so lately given as another scriptural blessing to mankind. And while I read, I cannot but secretly applaud the twofold motive by which they were brought forth and ushered into the world: in the old age of his son; a last testimony of filial reverence, and a laudable concern for the good of the present and succeeding generations! Suffer me, then, to congratulate thee on living to see the publication of this invaluable work. Thy only remaining solicitude must be that of all good men, that the public in general may be wise- enough to read it with a serious and devout attention. But, alas I my good friend, so general is the folly of the multitude, so great their depravity of mind, that wisdom is treated with contempt; and the writings of the wise and good, inspired from heaven for the purpose of salvation, must give way to the amusements of a comedy, and be rejected for the poison of a ludicrous romance! There are other classes of readers, too, from whom little must be expected; speculative men, whose principal aim is to find out some new thing, that they may be wiser in their own conceit, and able to amuse their fellow-creatures without the requisite qualifications for making them better: such men will perhaps affect to treat the most spiritual part of this excellent work as the fruit of a mind unnecessarily burthened with a weight of extreme devotion; others, admitting in theory all due reverence to the christian religion, yet under the influence of prejudice in matters of mere opinion, may not receive the work with that willing mind which would lead them to look into a book published by some favourite sectary, or some wild enthusiast. But as the memory of the just is blessed, so are their works. And though there were among the Jews those who disregarded Moses and the Prophets; and the present age aboundeth with those who will neither hear them nor the Gospel of Him who is risen from the dead: yet shall the words of the wise remain, to be as goads and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one Shepherd. They are not given forth in vain, for they are parts of that universal and eternal Word of God, which shall accomplish the work whereunto he hath sent it.

"The Sermons, I think, are simple, clear, and interesting, beyond any body of discourses which I have seen. The other parts are certainly not inferior in their kind. But what a rich fund of pure, sublime, and heavenly devotion is the Sacra Privata! There we find the true picture of a truly christian mind. A progressive series of faithful exercises, in communion, through Jesus Christ,

« НазадПродовжити »