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diets the rise, continuance, and fall of the Popish and Mahometan corruptions. These, the best commentators agree in opinion, were to commence in the sixth century, and at the expiration of 1260 years, calculated from that period, were finally to cease. There remained, then, as the Bishop justly observed, according to the commonly received interpretation, but a short term of about fifty or sixty years before the prophecy would be fulfilled; when Antichrist would be extirpated from the earth, and the Millennium, or the reign of Christ, would commence. This was accurately, in substance, what he delivered in the very interesting discourse to which I allude: but from the low tone of voice in which he had preached it on the Ash Wednesday preceding at the Chapel Royal, some, who heard him indistinctly, understood him
to say, that the Day of Judgment would take place in sixty years!
It was in consequence of this strange misapprehension, that he repeated the same sermon at St. George's Church, when, with a strength and firmness of tone, which reached every part of that large congregation, he stated explicitly and distinctly, that he neither pretended to prophecy nor to interpret prophecy; but that the sentiments, which he then expressed, were sanctioned by the known, recorded opinion of some of the ablest and most distinguished Divines.
I believe that no sermon ever attracted more attention than this. The veneration universally felt for his exalted character; the general idea, which prevailed, that this was the last occasion of his public preaching; the interest, which his feeble and emaciated form so powerfully ex
cited; the energy, with which, notwithstanding his infirmities, he delivered many of those sublime passages, which are interspersed through the Revelations; the animated picture, which he drew of the unprecedented and portentous aspect of the times; and the hope, which seemed to fill and elevate his soul, that this Country might possibly be the chosen instrument in the hand of God to diffuse the light of the Gospel throughout the world, and ultimately to accomplish the great schemes of Providence; all these circumstances conspired to render this discourse uncommonly affecting. It was heard with a profound stillness, of which I scarcely ever observed a similar in* stance; and it made, I trust, a deep and lasting impression on the minds of the congregation.
Not many days after, on the 20th of
the the same month, he pronounced in his official capacity, sentence of deprivation on the Rev. Francis Stone; a clergyman of his diocese, who, at the prosecution of the King's Advocate, under the direction of Government, had been clearly convicted, in the Consistory Court of London, of having preached and afterwards published a most profane and blasphemous sermon, in which, with a coarseness and vulgarity of language altogether unparalleled in modern theological controversy, he denied the grand, essential doctrine of our Church, the Divinity of Jesus Christ- The following passage, in reference to this subject, marks in a strong point of view the Bishop's sentiments, and is highly honourable to his feelings.
"It was very painful to me," he says,
"to feel myself under the necessity of
R proceeding proceeding to such extremities. It was the first instance of the kind that had occurred to me, since I sat upon the Bench; and it was totally repugnant to my wishes to punish any man for mere difference of opinion in matters of religion. But this was far from being the whole of the offence on the present occasion; for, besides the very obnoxious principles advanced in the Sermon, it reviles, and treats with the utmost indignity, contempt, and ridicule, not only all the Articles of the Church of England, but the essential, fundamental doctrines of the Gospel: and when it is considered further, that the author had himself subscribed to the very doctrines which he so strongly reprobated and inveighed against, and that by means of that subscription he held a Living in the Diocese of London, no one surely can think it