Imatges de pàgina

“ Another angel came and stood at the altar, know that he hear us, we know that we have having a golden censer; and there was given the petitions that we desired of him” (1 Thess. unto him much incense, that he should offer it v. 17; 1 Tim. ii. 8; James, v. 16; 1 Pet. with the prayers of all saints upon the golden iv. 7; 1 John, iii. 21, 22). A wide difference altar which was before the throne. And the this between the commands and promises in smoke of the incense, which came with the the law and those in the Gospel, on the subprayers of the saints, ascended up before ject of prayer. God out of the angel's hands” (viii. 3, 4). And yet it can scarcely be pretended, that

But now, when we have made all these the greater knowledge of the elder people allowances, and have fully admitted that the made them stand less in need of instruction ; children of Israel might be taught the feels and if it be alleged, that they would be more ings and sentiments of prayer, even when no disposed to pray, because the allowed subjects express command to pray was given them, of their prayers were temporal blessings, and and no express forms of prayer were pre- the grant of their petitions was frequently scribed to them; and might be taught the immediate and extraordinary, yet this would nature and value of prayer, and all other furnish an additional reason for full instrueparts of spiritual worship through the medium tion under circumstances so peculiar and of outward ceremonies and actions, the offer- tempting, rather than lessen our surprise at ing of incense and sacrifices, which were so extraordinary a defect in the Mosaic law. figures, emblems, and symbols of prayer and Why then was this? Can we at all acpraise ; and when we have admitted also, count for it-for so considerable an omission that they could never have been ignorant of in the law? It is obvious that the case the duty of prayer, and that they observed, before us is remarkably similar to that of the for many years at least before Christ

, the omission of the doctrine of a future state in practice of prayer, private and public, --still the law; and the resemblance between these we shall find a marked and surprising differ- cases is well worthy of our attention. ence between the law and the Gospel as to the Scarcely any thing is said in the law of duty and privilege of prayer. It is scarcely Moses on the doctrine of a future state, or of necessary for me to cite passages to point the duty of prayer; yet the people knew of out this difference. Every one must recollect the doctrine of the future state, and most of abundance of passages in the New Testament them believed in it long before the era of the enjoining prayer, exhorting us to pray, en- Gospel; so also they knew of the propriety couraging us to pray, and promising an of prayer, and probably observed the pracexpress blessing upon our prayers in Christ's tice of it in private and public long before name; passages which must needs appear in the Gospel. But in both cases the prophets marked and striking contrast with those few subsequent to Moses had gradually improved sentences which we gathered from the law. the knowledge of the people, and added to “ Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and the light imparted by the law. Nevertheye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened less, it was still the glory of the Gospel to unto you.

For every one that asketh, re- shed full light upon the doctrine of " life and ceiveth ; and he that seeketh, findeth ; and immortality.” And so also it was reserved to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. If for Christ to teach his disciples how to pray ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts aright; and when they knew at length in whose unto your children, how much more shall name they should pray, to promise a blessing your Father, which is in heaven, give good upon their prayers. For indeed, as it is things to them that ask him ?” (Matt. vii. through Jesus Christ alone that we are made 7, 8, 11). “ If ye abide in me, and my heirs of eternal life, so through him alone words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, our unworthy prayers are really acceptable and it shall be done unto you. Verily, to Almighty God. And yet it was thought verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall fitting that men should believe and hope in ask the Father in my name, he will give it the doctrine of a future life, even before the you." These are the words of Christ (Matt. grounds of that doctrine and foundation of vii., Luke xi., John xv. xvi). And hence their hopes could be clearly discovered. And the commandments, exhortations, and pro- in like manner we understand, that it was mises to his disciples, “ Be sober, and watch fitting that men should observe the duty of unto prayer;” “pray without ceasing ;" "I prayer to God, even before they could be fully will that men pray every where, lifting up boly instructed in His name through whom their hands without wrath or doubting;' “ the prayers were acceptable ; just as men teach effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man their children to lisp their prayers to God availeth much;" " this is the confidence that before their understandings have attained we have in him, that if we ask any thing even to that slight knowledge of his majesty according to his will, he heareth us; and if we to which we ourselves can attain.


And two of the uses of this gradual de- | have now considered, let them enforce the claration of the truth would be these :- 1st, great Christian lesson of our own unworthiThe absence from the law of Moses both of ness, teaching us habitually and practically express general injunctions to pray, and of to ascribe the acceptance of prayer to His distinct promises of blessing on their prayers, merits alone, who presents the prayers of his would greatly tend to make the Jews in later saints before his Father's throne. Let us times acknowledge the inferiority of their law always remember that prayer is not only a to the Gospel. And it was of great conse- great duty, but a high privilege ; and let quence, as we know from St. Paul's epistle the thoughts of these great truths make to the Hebrews (Heb. vii. 18, 19; viii. 6,7; us ashamed of the careless, proud, unx. 1, &c.), that the Jews should be taught worthy offerings which we too frequently and should feel that the law of Moses--nay, dare to offer up before the majesty of God. that the law and the prophets together, were I do not speak merely of the prayers of far below the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It the wicked: even Solomon could tell us that had been necessary for many ages that they “ the sacrifice of the wicked is abominashould set a high value on the law; but now tion to the Lord.” A Christian should not at last it was become necessary that they require to be reminded, that the hands should learn its great inferiority to that Gos- which he lifts up in prayer must be “ holy." pel, of which it was but the forerunner and But what we perpetually forget, is, the the shadow.

great majesty of God to whom we pray, and 2dly, The omission in the law of com- the great unworthiness of all who worship mands and promises respecting the great him,--their utter unfitness to pray unto him natural duty of prayer, would make not Jews, except through Christ. He is the Priest who but Christians also, consider what it was offers up incense for us, and through his which really gives efficacy to their unworthy sacrifice alone our prayers are acceptable; prayers. It seems, therefore, to have been and prayer is a great privilege, which Christ ordered, that the great sacrifice on the cross has procured for us. How little do we should be at hand before that duty was most think of this, when we kneel down in our distinctly enjoined, and the highest blessings chambers, and burry over a few short distinctly promised to its observance; be- prayers, scarcely thinking of their sense and cause prayer was, in fact, only acceptable to meaning — as if this were serving God, or an offended God through the merits of that likely to profit ourselves! Nay, even in our Saviour who died on the cross to reconcile to churches, where we meet at stated seasons, him a fallen and sinful world. Till that time and devote a short space expressly to prayer, was near at hand, the offering of sacrifices, even there our thoughts wander, our eyes which represented and typified the great are distracted, we slight the duty and forget atonement, and the offering up of incense, the privilege of prayer. For our which, being offered only by the hands of the these high privileges we shall, indeed, give priest, represented not prayers simply, but account hereafter; but let us, as we easily prayers and mediation together,--had a great may, under grace, improve ourselves diliand evident propriety in the economy of the gently by them, and value them aright whilst Divine revelations. And thus the omission yet they are permitted to us; approaching in the law was part of the great scheme of the house of prayer with gladness and humipreparation for the Gospel.

lity, as the redeemed servants of the most I scarcely need remark, in the last place, high God, and earnestly seeking through the that every additional circumstance which we grace of the Holy Spirit that our prayers can discover in the great scheme of Provi. may in truth and in deed ascend up to God dence, by which preparation was made for as the incense, and that we may always offer the Gospel of Christ, was designed to impress spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through more and more deeply upon our minds the his Son. immense value and importance of that Gospel. And most assuredly every Christian, of

AN ADDRESS every age and condition, who will sincerely and carefully examine his own heart, must

Delivered on the Anniversary of a Parish

Provident Society. deeply feel the need of every circumstance which, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, that


Lale Incumbent of Ilyllon, Durham. best gift of all that prayer can procure for

" I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the us, may touch our hearts, and make us prac- man void of understanding; and lo! it was all grown over tically alive to the value and importance of

stone wall thereof was broken down."-Prov. xxiv. 30, 31. the Gospel.

We here see an instance of the way in which the Again, as to the particular circumstances

wisest of men judged of his fellow-creatures. Although concerning the duty of prayer, which we Solomon had never heard that precept of the Gospel,

use of

with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the

" By their fruits ye shall know them," yet it is evi- Scenes, in many respects similar to that which king dent that it was the rule by which he formed his Solomon describes, may sometimes be witnessed in opinion of men's characters. When he beheld a field England. Less frequently, however, do they occur overgrown with thorns, and a garden ruined with now than in former days; for our laws give every enweeds, he concluded that they belonged to the slothful couragement for the sale of property. And whenand inconsiderate man; and he was not mistaken. ever the sluggard or the wasteful prodigal wishes to

And the same rule will be found equally useful and sell his little field, industrious and thriving men in correct in discovering a man's character now, as it was abundance are found ready to buy it, and to make that in the days of Solomon. The ruined wall and the profit of it which its unworthy owner was unable to do. neglected garden will still point out the sluggard; and On every hand, in every parish, we may meet with thorns and nettles are still the fruits which mark the those two classes of character-the slothful man and man void of understanding. And as the rule may be the diligent man. And although it is not every man as easily applied to ourselves as to those we see around who has a field or a vineyard which lie may neglect, us, it will enable a man to know his own character no yet every man has something which may be improved less certainly than his neighbour's. Let us all, accord- by carc, or ruined by sloth. And I would remark, in ingly, endeavour to judge ourselves by this rule. Let further pursuing the present subject, that this holds us seek to know ourselves by our fruits, and by the true in things temporal, and in things spiritual. condition in which our heritage is kept: so shall our Let the remark be first applied to things temporal, works, if they are good, praise us; and if they are to the things and concerns of the present world. There evil, lead us to repentance and amendment.

is, perhaps, no man in this kingdom, however humble Among the ancient Jews, lands continued in the be his station, who has not had opportunities, in the same families for ever. No man could sell his inherit- course of his lifetime, of providing for a comfortable ance for more than fifty years; for the year of jubilee old age. What man is there who has arrived at three came round once in forty-nine years, and then all score years of age, but must confess, that if all the landed property returned back to the family to which pence and all the shillings wliich he has spent in folly it at first belonged. This law, which had been framed or in sin,-all which he has squandered at the publicby the Almighty himself, made the sale of lands and house, or wasted in idle bets, and wagers, and gamvineyards difficult. No spendthrist had any encou- bling, -all which he has thrown away in vanity, or in ragement to turn his field into money, for purchasers clothes which ill became his rank,—were to be all colmust have been few. No wealthy miser had any temp- lected together, it would make a goodly sum ? tation to join field to field and house to house, for How many among the poor have on various occa“ the year of release was at hand,” when his large sions had opportunities of bettering their state and estate would be again broken up into small parcels. condition, if diligence and frugality had been employed Hence men would oftentimes be compelled to keep | in improving them! What master is there who does their inheritance, and to till it that they might obtain not value a careful and industrious, an honest and bread.

sober servant? And few masters are so hard and unBut although the laws discouraged the Israelites just as not to reward and encourage such. Although from parting with the inheritance of their fathers, Joseph was brought into Potiphar's house a bondman we may readily conclude what was the disposition of and a slave, yet you will recollect that he quickly some, at least, among them; they were slothful, they ruse to a place of confidence and trust. And although were void of understanding. They took no pleasure the same Joseph was, on another occasion, unjustly in their little fields; their gardens became a waste; and maliciously cast into prison, yet even there he was their vineyard grew up into a wilderness; the king of promoted to have authority over his fellow-prisoners. Israel, as he passed through the villages of the land, Joseph was diligent, and he was not only diligent, but saw many a neglected field. He saw vineyards and conscientious. He made conscience of every duty; oliveyards which had become wild; thorns and briars and it is impossible to say whether he served his God had choked the vines, and brambles were climbing up or his master with greater faithfulness; and thus also the fig-trees. Instead of grass in the orchards, no- he found favour both with God and man. To Joseph thing but nettles could be seen. The stone walls, the words of Scripture were eminently applicable : which some of the owner's industrious forefathers had “ Seest thou a man diligent in his business ? he shall built round his garden, were broken down, and he had stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean never repaired them; where they fell down, there they

men." lay: and such as his vineyard was, such also, in all In this subject, however, there is a distinction which likelihood, was his cottage; the windows broken, and ought carefully to be made, and that is, between the roof dropping through. In wet and wintry wea- the diligent man, and the man who "maketh haste to ther he could not repair the breaches thereof, and in be rich.” Diligence is a virtue approved and comthe warm and summer season he did not feel the need mended by God; but over-anxious speed to be rich, is a of a shelter.

fault, of which the Scripture declares, that the man And if such was the habitation, what, we may who is guilty of it “ shall not be innocent." naturally ask, was the state of the owner who love of money is the root of all evil.” “ Covetousness dwelt in it? He is described as a sluggard, and a is idolatry." To set our hearts upon money, to rise man void of understanding. He was an indolent, up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of carefulness, thoughtless, idle man. He loved sleep, and gave way in order that we may gain wealth, so far from being to slumber: as the royal company went along, he according to the will of God, is directly contrary to it. seems to have been standing at the door of his house Such habits will pierce a man through with many sor“ folding his hands together for sleep,” or leaning rows; they will harden the heart, and will at last shut over the ruinous wall, idly looking at the king as he us out from the kingdom of heaven. It is of the passed by. Solomon appears to have stopped, and utmost importance, then, that whilst a man shuns one made those reflections which the scene was calculated sin, he should not fall into another; whilst he guards to excite-reflections which, perhaps, were addressed against becoming a sluggard, he must also beware of to the man himself, and which are recorded for our worldly-mindedness and a miserly love of money. The admonition to the end of the world. “ Then I saw," grace of God, if we sincerely seek it, will preserve us said the king, "and considered it well; I looked upon from all errors, and enable us to walk safely in the it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little narrow path of righteousnes slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall Would you know certainly whether it is Christian thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want diligence or a worldly mind which influences you in as an armed man."

your business, ask your conscience, how you wish, and

" The


plainly warned us, that he will take account of his servants. To every one of us he has intrusted something which we are bound to improve for his glory; some talent which at our peril we may not neglect. Let every man, then, consider his own heart as a garden, which it is his duty to cultivate for the use and pleasure of Christ. And let not your heavenly Master come year after year seeking fruit and finding none. Be ye not unfruitful towards God. Ye know the doom of the barren tree-"Cut it down ; why cumbereth it the ground ?" And in the epistle to the Hebrews, vi. 7, 8, you may see the doom of the unfruitful garden, as well as the blessing of the profitable one : " The earth, which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, whose end is to be burned,"

how you intend to employ your money, if you shall become rich? Is it your intention to spend it upon yourself, or upon others ? Is it that you may have it in your power to provide necessary food and decent raiment for your household ? or that you may purchase for yourself the luxurious enjoyments and vain pleasures of the world ?

If God should give you power to get wealth, would you honour him with your substance? would you be ready to say, with Jacob of old, “ Of all which thou givest me, I will give unto thee the tenth ?" Would you delight in almsgiving and charity ? would you remember the heathen, and share your silver and your gold with the poor missionary, who carries the Gospel of grace to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death? Would you honour the house of God in your native land, and count it both a duty and a pleasure to adorn the place where he hath set his name? And would you, in your prosperity, cast your tribute in the treasury, that in desolate and destitute places a new sanctuary might be built, where the poor and needy might worship God " without money and without price ?” Let a man thus search his heart, and prove his inward motives, and he will readily discover whether his diligence is the diligence of Joseph, or the covetousness of that fool who said to his soul, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry;" whereas God was on the eve of saying to him, " This night shall thy soul be required of thee."

But I remarked, that in spiritual things as well as in temporal, every man hias something which may be improved by diligence, or ruined by sloth. A man's heart may be called his garden or his vineyard; and there is as great a difference between one man's heart and another's, as there is between one inan's garden and another's-between the field of the sluggard and the field of the diligent husbandman. And suffer me to remind you, that it is of infinitely greater consequence to cultivate the garden of the heart than any earthly heritage. Whatever becomes of your field, at least " keep thine heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”

Have you never beheld a man whose heart was a neglected wilderness? Have you never seen one whose passions had run wild, whose tempers, whose dispositions, whose will, judgment, and affections, were ungovernable, unmanageable, alike useless and pernicious to himself and others? Hear the description of a ruined and neglected heart, as given by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, in St. Mark, vii. 21: “ From within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blas. phemy, pride, foolishness.” Is not this worse than the field of the sluggard? Is it not more shameful than the vineyard of the man void of understanding ? Surely the weeds which grow in such a heart are more hateful than nettles, more dangerous than thorns and briars! What good can be expected from such a character ? “ Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles ?” Even so, such hearts as these--and, alas! how common and how numerous they are !--can yield nothing but guilt and misery, till such time as the great Husbandman is pleased to put forth his power and grace to root up sin, and to cast in the good seed of eternal life.

In conclusion, I would say in the words of St. Paul, "Judge yourselves, that ye be not judged of the Lord.” Every thing around us is fitted to yield instruction to a thoughtful and serious mind; and when we consider how short and uncertain life is, and how surely " the hour of death and the day of judgment" are coming upon us, it will become us all, young and old, rich and poor, to prepare for that account of our talents which we must soon render up at the judgment-seat of Christ. We have all a Master in heaven, who has very

Biography. JOSEPII BUTLER, D.C.L., LORD BISHOP OF DURHAM. The commencement of the last century must be regarded as presenting in our country an aspect very far from favourable to the advancement of Christianity. The zeal of puritan times, unques, tionably not always “according to knowledge," had waxed cold : a species of lethargy seemed to have crept over the Church, notwithstanding the vehemence of a Sacheverel.

Infidelity had insinuated itself into the minds of many who outwardly professed to be believers; and the whole aspect of the times was such as could not but excite the deepest anxiety in the Christian mind. Many of the opponents of the truth were men of talent; and the insinuating mode of their writings, and the plausible arguments which they adduced, were all calculated to undermine an adherence to the truth as it is in Jesus. It pleased God, however, to raise up men eminently qualified, by their strength of mind and profound erudition, to stem the course of the pestilential currentmen fully able to sift to the bottom the sophistry of the deist, and to set forth the shallowness of the would-be philosopher: and of these, none occupied a higher place than the subject of the present memoir. “The Analogy of Religion, natural and revealed," has stamped the name of Joseph Butler with the impress of perpetual fame ; and while this great work remains, a ready answer is prepared for the gainsayer.

“ The German Reformation,” says Dr. Croly,* "revived the learning of the Scriptures. Rome was still the prominent adversary; but she had changed the ground of her title : she no longer reposed upon the mere arrogant assumption of power, nor attempted to silence all question by the sword. Her orb was falling into the wane ; it could now no more scorch than enlighten. She now grounded her claims upon antiquity, the promise of miracles, and the deposit of ecclesiastical supremacy in the hands of St. Peter. To break through those barriers, the rustic hands of the Italian reformers would have been inadequate: learning, vigorous research, and practised intellectual activity, were the true means; and a race of scholars suddenly raised their heads in Europe, the vastness, variety, and perseverance of whose learned toil, stili rank among the wonders of the human mind.

“Another age brought the struggle into our own country ... A new enemy was now to be encountered, in the infidelity of France. ... The dissolute manners of a French court, transferred to our country, at once enervated the national habits, corrupted the national mind, and repelled the national religion. Infidelity

• See Memoir of Bishop Butler, by Dr. Croly, appended to the edition of the Analogy in the Sacred Classics, edited by the Revs. R. Cattermole and H. Stebbing, London, Hatchards.

always shuns a direct collision with Scripture; and the the correspondence itself to be appended to subsequent force of the tempter was developed in leading the editions of his work. national understanding into metaphysical mysteries, Butler soon after this left the academy, “His mind obscure inquiries into the origin of things, and ar- had been exercised for some time on the subject of rogant presumptions of the designs of Providence. conforming to the established Church, and was at The direct doctrines and plain facts of revelation were length made up on the duty of doing so. His father, thus equally avoided; and the controversy was ab- and his father's Presbyterian friends, reasoned with sorbed in inquiries into fore-knowledge, free-will, and him on the subject, but without being able to alter his fate-those exciting, yet be wildering subjects, which determination. His design of becoming a dissenting the great poet of England not unsuitably assigns for minister being abandoned, he seems to have deterthe endless and melancholy employment of fallen mined at once to seek admission into the ministry of angels. But in this crisis, the manlier virtue of the the Church of England; and he entered as a comcountry nobly vindicated itself by the genius of its moner of Oriel College, Oxford, on the 17th of March, Church. Stillingfleet, Conybeare, Cumberland, and a 1714. It would seem as if scruples about the noncrowd of divines, whose learning had not blunted their conformist ministry had spread among the pupils at original sagacity, nor their sagacity had been too fas- Tewkesbury; for Secker, being unable to make up his tidious for the labour of learning, stood forward to mind on the subject, left the academy, and commenced clear religion of the clouds raised by the malice of in- the study of medicine in London. Scott* removed at tidelity, to convict the deist out of his own lips, and to the same time to Utrecht; and Bowes applied himself reinstate the national faith on the foundations of the to the study of the law, and conformed." It is imporBible. Among those highly-gifted men, the foremost tant to bear in mind, that Mr. Butler's conformity in force of understanding, the most fortunate in im- must have been the result of rational conviction, and mediate and acknowledged victory, and the most per- that in the mind of one peculiarly well qualified to manently useful in laying down principles applicable form a proper estimate as to the true position of in every future age to the great system of the divine churchmanship and dissent. The habits of early dealings with man, was the author of the volume of

years, the prejudices of early education, the anxious the Analogy."

desire of those most dear to him, to whose suggestions Of Bisliop Butler, it is to be regretted, that, compa- he was bound to pay deference, and whose opinions ratively speaking, little is left on record. By a codi- must have swayed with him not a litile, were all marcil to his will, he expressly required that his papers shalled in favour of his exercising his ministry among should be burned without being read. How great dissenters; but his mighty mind was enabled fully to must have been the loss to religion by obedience to enter into the merits of the subject, and rational conthis requirement, it is not easy to determine ; but viction led him to the established Church. And let it judging from what he did publish, it may be regarded be borne in mind, that no worldly motive could posas almost irreparable ;* for “of all the uninspired sibly have actuated him to adopt this line of proceedauthors," it has been well observed, “ whose writings ing; no prospect of advancement, or attainment of tend to clear up difficulties, to enlarge, and illuminate, high preferment. The son of a tradesmian, a consciand steady the mind, we know of none to be compared entious, still a confirmed, dissenter; himself the memwith Butler. That which doth make manifcst is ber of a dissenting academy, — what possible prospect light ;' and truly the manifestation that is made of the had he, that he should fill any other than the humblest moral constitution of our nature, in his wonderful ser

office in the ministry of the church-the humblest, not mons on the subject, is as though the clear shining of of course as far as usefulness, but as emolument, was a candle' gave us light. In nothing, perhaps, is the concerned ? and yet, on weighing the matter, he found value of Butler's profound researches more evident he had no alternative. The evils of non-conformity than in the manner in which they thue serve to shew he doubtless saw in all their length and breadth, the wisdom, the fitness, and the excellence of the sal- their height and depth; and assuredly those evils are vation provided for us in the cross of the Lord Jesus not diminished to the present day. It were well if Christ.'

many who rail at the established Church, and whose Joseph Butler was born at Wantage, in Berkshire. minds unquestionably are not precisely of the same His father, "a substantial and respectable woollen- grasp as that of Bishop Butler, would seriously con. draper," was a Presbyterian; and it was his design sider whether the circumstance of his conformity should to educate this son, his eighth child, as a minister of not induce them seriously, prayerfully, and humbly, that communion. Joseplı was first sent to the gram- and not politically, to view the important question of mar-school of his native place, then under the tuition churchmanship and dissent. “No stigma of worldof the Rev. Philip Barton, a clergyman of the esta- liness," observes Dr. Croly, “can attach to the conblished Church, where his talents and assiduity gained duct of the young inquirer on this occasion. The him his master's regard. When nearly iwenty, he Church of England could offer but few hopes to an entered a dissenting academy at Gloucester, which was

obscure youth; certainly none equal to balance the afterwards removed to Tewkesbury; and of his fellow- difficulties occasioned by the resistance of his family, students, not a few distinguished themselves in aster- the disappointment of his father's views, and the genelife. Among these were Archbishop Secker, and ral bitterness of a period when party mingled strongly John Bowes, afterwards Lord Chancellor of Ireland, with religious opinion, and the convert to reason and created a peer as Lord Bowes of Clonlyon.

incurred the almost inevitable fate of being denounced It was while at this academy that the vast powers as a traitor to principle; the connexions which so of Butler's mind began more fully to be developed. rapidly raised him were yet unformed; and when he at Dr. Samuel Clarke's work on an " a priori Demonstra-length entered himself of Oriel College in 1714, he tion of the Divine Existence and Attributes,” becaine

probably looked forward to a life of privation, solaced the subject of an anonymous correspondence between

only by the feeling that he had acted according to his the author and the young student.

Butler's modesty conscience." would not permit him to acknowledge that he was the When Butler entered at Oriel, Edward Talbot, son writer of the leiters, which were conveyed privately to of the Bishop of Oxford, was fellow of the college; the post office at Gloucester, and answers brought back by Secker. Dr. Clarke, however, subsequently

• The son of a merchant in London, went to Utrecht, and took learned the name of his correspondent, and suffered the degree of LL.D. He became a Baptist, but did not enter the

ininistry, and we believe adopted Socinian sentiinents. See review in the "Christian Examiner," March 1839, of view of Bartlett's Memoirs of Bishop Butler, in the “Christian Memvirs of the Life, Character, and Writings of Joseph Butler, Examiner” for March 1839, to which the writer is indebted for D.C.L., by Thomas Bartlett, A.M. London, J. W. Parker, 1839. much information.

See re

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