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they hold their exalted station, as to reckon the man their enemy, and the enemy of the Constitution, who preached the very principles upon which alone they were sent for, and placed over this great and free country.
Though levee-conversations are but silly things in themselves, and the silliest of all possible things when repeated, yet I must mention what happened to myself at the King's levee, in November, 1787. I was standing next to a Venetian nobleman; the King was conversing with him about the republic of Venice, and hastily turning to me said, “ There, now, you hear what he says of a republic.” My answer was, “ Sir, I look upon a republic to be one of the worst forms of government.
The King gave me, as he thought, another blow about a republic. I answered, that I could not live under a republic. His Majesty still pursued the subject; I thought myself insulted, and firmly said, “ Sir, I look upon the tyranny of any one man to be an intolerable evil, and upon the tyranny of an hundred to be an hundred times as bad. The King went off His Majesty, I doubt not, had given credit to the calumnies which the court-insects had buzzed into his ears, of my being a favourer of republican principles, because I was known to be a supporter of revolution principles, and had a pleasure in letting me see what he thought of me. This was not quite fair in the King, especially as there is not a word in any of my writings in favour of a republic, and as I had desired Lord Shelburne, before I accepted the bishopric, to assure His Majesty of my supreme veneration for the Constitution. If he thought that, in giving such assuranee, I stooped to tell a lie for the sake of a bishopric, His Majesty formed an erroneous opinion of my principles. But the reign of George the Third was the triumph of Toryism. The Whigs had power for a moment, they quarrelled amongst themselves, and thereby lost the King's confidence, lost the people's confidence, and lost their power for ever ; or, to speak more, philosophically, there was neither Whiggism nor Toryism left; excess of riches, and excess of taxes, combined with excess of luxury, had introduced universal Selfism.' p. 193, 194.
• I had long suspected that I was, from I know not what just cause, obnoxious to the Court; but I did not, till after the archbishopric of York had been given to the Bishop of Carlisle, know that I had been proscribed many years before. By a letter from a noble friend, the Duke of Grafton, dated 10th December, 1807, I was informed that one of the most respectable earls in the kingdom, who had long known my manner of life, on a vacancy of the mastership of Trinity College, had gone of his own accord (and without his ever mentioning the circumstance to me) to Mr Pitt, stating what just pretensions I had to the offer of it; that Mr Pitt concurred with him, but said that a certain person would not hear of it. Ought I to question the veracity of Mr Pitt? No, I cannot do it. What then ought I to say of a certain person who had repeatedly signified to me his high
approbation of my publications, and had been repeatedly heard to say to others, that the Bishop of Landaff had done more in support of religion than any bishop on the bench? I ought to say with St Paul, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
· Notwithstanding this anecdote, I cannot bring myself to believe that the King was either the first projector or the principal actor in the sorry farce of neglecting a man whom they could not dishonour, of distressing a man whom they could not dispirit, which has been playing at Court for near twenty-six years.
* But be the dramatis personie whom they may, the curtain which will close the scene is fast falling both on them and me; and I hope $0 to attemper my feelings of the wrong they have not wilfully, perllaps, but unadvisedly done me, as to be able at the opening of the next act to embrace them with Christian charity and unfeigned good will; for the detestable maxim, Qui nescit dissimulare nescit regnare, will not be heard of in heaven. The knowledge, that the neglect I had suffered was rather owing to the will of the monarch than to the ill will of the minister, gave me pleasure. It removed in a degree from my mind a suspicion which I had long reluctantly entertained, that Mr Pitt had always been my enemy. I did not expect, indeed, that any minister would be very zealous ip promoting a man who professed and practised parliamentary and personal independence; but Mr Piti had been under obligations to me, and he knew that I had always been the warm friend of his warm friend the Duke of Rutland : and I was unwilling to suppose him capable of forgetting either obligations or connexions in the pursuit of his ambition.
* As to the King's dislike of me, unless his education had made him more of a Whig, it was natural enough. My declared opposition to the increased and increasing influence of the Crown had made a great impression on His Majesty's mind; for on the day I did homage, he asked the Duke of Rutland if his friend the Bishop of Landaff was not a great enemy to the influence of the Crown; saying, at the same time, that he wished he had not a place of two hundred a-year ta give away.
• I presume not to question the truth of this declaration of His Majesty, but I speak with some certainty of the truth of the Duke of Rutland's reply, — " That the Bishop of Landaff was an enemy to the increase of the influence of the crown, from an apprehension that it would undermine the constitution." This apprehension was not then unfounded, nor has it since then been lessened, but greatly augmented, especially by the enormous augmentation of the national debt.'p. 478_480.
Of the Monarch of these realms, we are heartily disposed to speak with all the respect and tenderness due to his exalted rank, and his unhappy situation. But he is now as far removed from the tumults of earthly affairs as if the grave had closed upon his venerable age--and the stern impartiality of history already
awaits his actions. Among his good qualities, was a steadfast attachment to the Church; and it was in part founded upon, and warmed by feelings of real piety towards Religion itself. Is it then conceivable that one so zealous for Christianity should have overlooked the vast services which sạch men as Paley and Watson had rendered to the Gospel cause? Its most subtle and effectual enemy Mr Gibbon, had been permitted to hold office under our pious sovereign; yet the men whose best powers of reason and eloquence had been most successfully employed in restoring it to the confidence of reasoning men, shaken by Gibbon's attacks, were objects of jealousy, distrust, neglect and aversion, through the whole of his long reign. Even when Mr Pitt would have placed them in the stations which they merited, and which the real interests of religion and the establishment required them to fill, this pious prince interposed; and, to the still greater discredit of the minister, his veto was found all powerful. Was his Majesty insensible to their high deserts ? Unless we doubt his own words above cited, we cannot imagine it. Was he insincere in his religious zeal ? No man will suspect it who has an accurate idea of his character. Was his affection for the ecclesiastical establishment of the country false and hollow? The obvious harmony between that attachment and his principles of civil government, forbid the supposition. What, then, shall we say ? He knew the merits of Paley and Watson-he acknowledged their services to the Church and the Gospel-he was a sincere friend of both Gospel and Church-But he was a temporal monarch, reigning by Tory principles, and he hated Whiggism in all its forms. This feeling absorbed every other; and a patron of liberal policy in vain served the cause of religion and its establishments. His sins were counted against him-his services availed him not—the religious Head of the Church was lost in the Royal Head of the Tories,
But though this may account for such conduct by assigning its motives, does it afford any justification of it—we will not say in the eye of conscience, or of an enlarged reason—but in point of common worldly prudence? When the religion of the State was exposed to imminent peril, especially during the period of the French revolution ; when the cause of the Church and the State were more particularly identified, by the common danger to which all establishments then seemed exposed; when the alliance, reprobated by the best Christians as well as the soundest statesmen, between the Government and the Hierarchy, for secular and party ends, was thought most indispensable by the High-Church Tory faction-surely policy would have loudly, even if justice and gratitude were silent, called for the elevation, to conspicuous stations in the national establishment of the two
most eminent divines who united the character of philosophers and theologians. To fortify the outworks of the system, by conferring eminent posts of trust and command on those who had evinced themselves best qualified to defend the citadel; nay, to augment its dignity in the eyes of men, by the accession of two such brilliant ornaments as Paley and Watson ; would have been only the course of conduct prescribed by the ordinary rules of worldly wisdom. To keep them in comparative obscurity in order to gratify a personal feeling of dislike, while the most ordinary of the priestly kind, timeserving courtiers, empty relatives of titled servility, or tutors to young men of borough influence, were raised daily over their heads, surely argues a want of even the moderate qualities of practical skill in governing men and warding off danger, in which the art of King-craft has been observed so often to consist. We pass from the subject with feelings of much less respect for the talents of the Sovereign and the honesty of his ministers, than we had, before reading the present work, been led to entertain.
We have alluded to the controversy with Gibbon. Our author was never forgiven by the zealots for having treated that celebrated writer with common civility. Bishop Hurd said insolently and maliciously of the Apology, (a work composed in one month, and which neither he nor his patron Warburton could have equalled in a lifetime), that it was well enough, if the author was in earnest.' As if a Christian polemic could not evince sincerity without losing his temper, and abandoning the charity which the Gospel most especially teaches. Here, again, his present Majesty was unhappily found to take the wrong and bigotted side. Of the book he said, we are afraid a little ignorantly, that it was misnamed for the Bible wanted no Apology. And of the following letter to Gibbon, he was pleased to express disapprobation at the levee to the author himself; calling it an odd letter.' We differ with Dr Watson in thinking the remark applied to the observations upon a future state. His Majesty must surely have meant to speak of the courtesy with which Gibbon is treated in it; this at least was the tone taken by all the zealots of the Church,
““Sir-It will give me the greatest pleasure to have an opportunity of becoming better acquainted with Mr Gibbon ; I beg he would accept my sincere thanks for the too favourable manner in which he has spoken of a performance which derives its chief merit from the elegance and importance of the work it attempts to oppose.
" I have no hope of a future existence except that which is grounded on the truth of Christianity ; I wish not to be deprived of this hope : but I should be an apostate from the mild principles of the religion I profess, if I could be actuated with the least animosity against those
who do not think with me, upon this of all others the most important subject. I beg your pardon, for this declaration of my belief: But my temper is naturally open; and it ought, assuredly, to be without disguise to a man whom I wish no longer to look upon as an antagonist, but a friend. I am, &c.
R. Watson.” Upon the folly of those who think an infidel cannot be sincerely or effectually opposed, without the language of invective and abhorrence, we need hardly make any comment. If the infidel is sincere, he is indeed an object of the deepest compassion, for he has sacrificed to his reason the most delightful and permanent gratification of his hopes; but surely anger is the last feeling that he ought to excite in a true Christian's mind. To attack by ribaldry, or with virulence, or before the multitude, what millions of our fellow creatures believe and hold sacred, as well as dear, is, beyond all question, a serious offence; - and the law punishes it as such. But to investigate religious questions as philosophers, calmly and seriously, with the anxiety which their high importance and the diffidence which their intricacy prescribes, is not only allowable but meritorious; and if the conscientious inquirer is led by the light of his understanding to a conclusion differing from that of the community, he may still, we should think in many cases, promulgate it to the philosophical world: the cause of religion will only gain by the free discussion of the question, and the unfettered publication of the result. To affect infidelity, and espouse its cause insincerely, for spiteful, or factious, or immoral purposes, is a grave crime; but not much worse than theirs who affect religion to serve similar ends. Charity is as much the duty of the one side as of the other, towards honest adversaries; but surely, if it is incumbent in a peculiar manner on either, it is upon those who defend and profess the gospel of peace and universal good-will. Does any sober-minded man now think that Christianity gained more by the furious intolerance, the repulsive dogmatism, of Warburton and Priestley, than by the truly benevolent and liberal manner of discussion adopted by Watson and Paley; or that the base and foul-mouthed followers of the former, who in our times run down Watson as insincere, because he was moderate, are better friends to the cause they affect for interested purposes to have so much at heart, than the venerable Bishop Bathurst, and the other ornaments of the Church, whose exemplary spirit of tolerance bears a true and natural proportion to their profound learning, and pure unaffected piety?
We have already seen several instances of Mr Pitt's coincidence with the worst of the errors which we have been exposing. In this, as in all other matters where the loss of power