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bench, and I had foreseen also that lie must be a great-min 'ed minister indeed, who would bring forward a measure depriving him of his parliamentary influence over the spiritual lords : but I believed that what was right would take place at last, and I thought thiat, by publishing the plan, it would stand a chance of being thoroughly discussed. Men's prejudices, I was sensible, could only be lessened by degrees; and I was firmly of opinion that no change ought ever to be made in quiet times, till the utility of the change was generally ackrowledged.
• Vr Cumberland published a pamphlet against me on this occasion; but he knew nothing of the subject, and misrepresented my design. He laid himself so open in every page of his performance, that, could I have condescended to answer him, I should have made him sick of writing pamphlets for the rest of his life. Some other things were published by silly people, who would needs suppose that I was in heart a republican, and meant harm to the Church establishment. Dr Cooke, Provost of King's College, was one of those few who saw the business in its proper light: he thanked me for having strengthened the Church for at least, he said, an hundred years by ny proposal.' p. 107, 108.
Nor was it only to secure the independence of the Episcopal bench, and thereby promote the political purity of the Church at large, that his efforts were directed. He was anxious to restore the doctrinal purity of the national faith, or at least of those observances in which it is embodied. A tract had been published by the Duke of Grafton), a most sincere christian, and pious man, to whese publick character infinite injustice has been done, by the sarcastic virulence of Junius, but who deserves the high praise of having been a warm friend of civil and religious liberty, and enjoyed the useful and enviable distinction of transmitting the same principles unimpaired to his family. In this work, his Grace earnestly recommended a revisal of the Liturgy. He was, of course, bitterly attacked by bigots and hypocrites. Our author wrote a pamphlet in his defence, but so liberal, that the Duke most candidly and kindly begged him not to publish it, saying, he never would be forgiven for it. The Bishop, with his accustomed honesty and boldness, after thanking his friend for this considerate ailvicc, declared, that no view of interest could deter him from doing his duty. • How' (said he) • shall I answer this at the tribunal • of Christ? You saw the corruption of my church-vou had • some ability to attempt a reform; but secular considerations
checked your integrity, Accordingly, the pamphlet was published, under the title of Considerations on the expedien
cy of revising the Liturgy and Articles of the Church of Enge VOL. XXX. NO. 59.
• land-by a Constant Protestant' One of his principal improvements, was the omission of the Athanasian Creed; and he had concerted a bill for this purpose with the Duke, when the effects of the French Revolution put off, for a long period, all such measures. He had intended to submit the plan to the King, as well as the Archbishops, in the first instance. The King was deemed favourable to such a reform, from the anecclote related by Dr Heberden, of what happened one Sunday in Windsor Chapel. • The clergyman,' says our author, on ' a day when the Athanasian Creed was to be read, began with • Il'hosoever will be saved, &c.; the King, who usually respond
ed with a loud voice, was silent; the minister repeated, in an • higher tone, his Whosoever ; the King continued silent; at
length the Apostle's Creed was repeated by the minister, and the King followed him throughout with a distinct and audible voice.
It is pretty certain, that if such a proposition had been made by Bishop Watson, or any Whig in either House of Parliament, the Court, and its devoted servant the minister of the day, would have met it triumphantly, with an outcry of innovation, * and danger to the Church and the Religion of the country. This would have been the fate of whatever measure came from the wrong side of the question. Yet few more daring innovators have ever been employed by a Court, than Mr Pitt himself. Witness not only his early projects of Parliamentary Reform, but his Irish Union, his Sale of the Land Tax, and indeed most of his commercial and financial schemes. Not even the sacred precincts of the Church were safe from his rash intrusion, as should seem from the following anecdote, which evinces a great readiness in Mr Pitt to begin ecelesiastical changes, when he thought there was a prospect of helping the credit of the country'--that is, raising the three per cents., and keeping his beloved monied interest in good humour. A more crude, impolitic and unjust plan, than the one sketched in this passage, was, we will venture to say, never proposed by any reformer. It has every fault that a project of the kind can have; and we are truly sorry to see, that it met our author's approbation for a moment.
* In January 1799, I received from the Archbishop of Canterbury
* The remark on innovation and alarm of the Venerable Grotius --no rash, ignorant, impracticable theorist, but the writer of all others most addicted to reverence for the authority of ancient wisdom, merits attention. • Politici qui sæpe dogmata vera a falsis, salubria
a noxiis, non noscunt distinguere, omnia nova suspecta habent.'
a paper which had been sent to him by Mr Pitt, and was desired to deliver my opinion on the subject. The paper contained a plan for the sale of the tithe of the country, on the same principle that the land-tax had been offered for sale in the preceding session of Parliament. It was proposed, that the money arising from the sale of the tithe should be vested in the funds in aid of public credit, and the clergy were to receive their income from the funds: the income, however, was not to be a fixed income which could never be augmented, but was to be so adjusted as, at different periods, to admit an increase according to the advance in the price of grain. This plan was not introduced into Parliament: it niet, I believe, with private opposition fro:n the bishops, though I own it had my approbation ; but that approbation was founded on very different principles from that of aiding pubis credit; I did not indeed clearly see how, if the full value was given for the tithe, that credit would be assisted thereby. I remember having said to Mr Arthur Young on the occasion, that I for one never would give my consent, and that I thought the Houses of Parliament never would give theirs to the sale of the tithe, unless its full value was paid for it. “ Then, said he," there is an end of the whole business; for unless the people in the west, who are now most clamorous against tithe, are allowed to purchase at the price they now pay by composition, they will on their knees beg Mr Pitt to let things continue as they are.
p. 306, 307. The share which Bishop Watson, in common with the best friends of their country, and the soundest constitutional lawyers, bere in the Regency Question, is well known. It did not fail to draw down upon him the indignation of the Court and the Ministry, whose trick it was upon this, as upon all occasions of importance, to mix themselves up with the Constitution, and to represent every opposition to their measures, or attempt to de. prive them of power, as an act of disaffection to the King, and a direct invasion of the existing forın of government. The following passage on this subject, is among the number of those which have given peculiar offence in the present publication, probably because it speaks serious and undeniable truths. We will add, that no individual connected with any party was more the object of foul and undeserved abuse on the occasion in question, than the illustrious personage whose rights were then so unconstitutionally violated, and who, after a similar attempt to give him an elective and new-moulded crown, after an interval of twenty years, has since held the place of Regent. The calumnies of more recent times sink into nothing, when compared with those which the Ministerial press poured forth against the Prince of Wales in those days, under the immediate patronage of Mr Pitt, and for the purposes of his ministry.
· The restoration of the King's health soon followed. It was the artifice of the minister to represent all those who had opposed his
measures, as enemies to the King: and the Queen lost, in the opinion of many, the character which she had hitherto maintained in the country, by falling in with the designs of the minister. She imprudently distinguished by different degrees of courtesy on the one hand, and by meditated affronts on the other, those who had voted with, and those who had voted against the minister, insomuch that the Duke of Northumberland one day said to me,
“ So, My Lord, you and I also are become traitors.”
She received me at the drawing-room, which was held on the King's recovery, with a degree of coldness, which would have appeared to herself ridiculous and ill placed, could she have imagined how little a mind such as mine regarded, in its honourable proceedings, the displeasure of a woman, though that woman happened to be a Queen.
· The Prince of Wales, who was standing near her, then asked me to dine with him, and on my making some objection to dining at Carlton House, he turned to Sir Thomas Dundas, and desired him to give us a dinner, at his house, on the following Saturday. Before we sat down to dinner on that day, the Prince took me aside, explained to me the principle on which he had acted during the whole of the King's illness, and spoke to me, with an afflicted feeling, of the manner in wbich the Queen had treated himself. I must do him the justice to say, that he spoke, in this conference, in as sensible a manner as could possibly have been expected from an heir apparent to the throne, and from a son of the best principles towards both his parents. I advised him to persevere in dutifully bearing with his mother's ill humour, till time and her own good sense should disentangle her from the web which minister al cunning lad thrown around her.
• Having thought well of the Queen, I was willing to attribute her conduct, during the agitation of the Regency question, to her apprehensions of the King's safety, to the misrepresentations of the King's minister, to any thing rather than to a fondness for power.
• Before we rose from table at Sir Thomas Dundas's, where the Duke of York and a large company were assembled, the conversation turning on parties, I happened to say that I was sick of parties, and should retire from all public concerns-- -“ No," said the Prince, 66 and mind who it is that tells you so, you shall never retire : a man of your talents shall never be lost to the public.” I have now lived many years in retirement, and, in my seventy-fifth year, I feel no wish to live otherwise.' p. 225-227.
When the French Revolution had swept away, at one mighty blow, all the abuses of feudal tyranny, and seemed to promise certain liberty and prosperity to twenty-four millions of people, Bishop Watson, as may well be imagined, hailed the triumph of his favourite principles with generous enthusiasm. He was of the number of those who were led away by this feeling, and! induced to shut their eyes to dangers which might certainly bare been foreseen from a very early stage of its progress. It is unnecessary to add, that those sanguine views which he at the beginning indulged, soon gave way to the mournful realities that followed; and that no man more nobly opposed the torrent of revolutionary phrenzy. But we extract part of a letter to the Duke of Grafton on this subject, as it does him infinite credit.
““ I have not heard from you since the Birmingham riots. At the time they happened I sat down to write to Your Grace, and to say, that even my littleness would stretch itself to an hundred pounds subscription, if the friends of Dr Priestley should think of consoling him, in that way, for the loss he had sustained, and the chagrin any mind less elevated than his own must have experienced from such harsh and unmerited treatment. On second thoughts I put the letter I had written into the fire, lest such a proposal, coming from a bishop, should have tended to inflame matters, by increasing the unchristian choler of High-church men, which has already produced much mischief.
• “We live in singular times. No history, ancient or modern, furnishes an example similar to what has happened in France ; an example of a whole people (the exceptions are not worthy of notice) divesting themselves of the prejudices of birth and education, in civil and religious concerns, and adopting the principles of philosophy and good sense.
** I speak only of the general outline of their constitution ; piddling objections may be made to particular parts, and experience will point out the necessity of reconsidering many things. But notwithstanding all the ridicule which apostate Whigs have attempted to throw on the rights of man, such rights are founded in nature ; they exist antecedent to and independent of civil society ; and the French constitution is the only one in the world which has deliberately asserted these rights, and supported them in their full extent.
• * In England we want not a fundamental revolution, but we certainly want a reform both in the civil and ecclesiastical part of our constitution : men's minds, however, I think, are not yet generally prepared for admitting its necessity. A reformer of Luther's temper and talents would, in five years, persuade the people to compel the parliament to abolish tithes, to extinguish pluralities, to enforce residence, to contine Episcopacy to the overseeing of dioceses, to expunge the. Athanasian Creed from our Liturgy, to free Dissenters from test acts, and the ministers of the Establishment from subscription to human articles of faith.—These, and other matters respecting the Church, ought to be done. I want not courage to attempt doing what I think ought to be done, and I am not held back by considerations of personal interest ; but my temper is peaceable, I dislike contention, and trust that the still voice of reason will at length be heard.
As to the civil state, it cannot continue long as it is, One