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giving it up into other hands. It was a resolution founded only on a strong sense of duty; for it was with feelings of sincere and painful regret that he discontinued his pastoral connexion with a parish, where he had lived with many on terms of friendly intercourse, and in which he had so much reason to hope that he had not laboured in vain. But the affairs of a large diocese now demanded his attention, and to these he determined to sacrifice every other consideration.
From various causes, it was not till the 4th of July 1777, that he went to Chester, where he lost no time in entering with zeal and ardour into the functions of his office. As soon as circumstances would permit, he confirmed in several places, and in the summer of the year following held his primary visitation.
The The Charge which he delivered to his clergy on that occasion was printed at their request, and is now for the first time added to his Works. Why it was omitted in the volume of tracts which he afterwards published, I am unable to say. It is undoubtedly a performance of great merit, and should not be suffered to sink into oblivion. The reader will find in it the main outlines of the clerical character very ably drawn. The education which a clergyman should receive; the peculiar studies which he should afterwards prosecute ; the dignity and importance of the ministry; the various duties, exclusively of the mere stated discharge of the offices of the church, which are inseparably attached to it; the advantages of personal residence upon his cure; more especially the indispensable necessity of example, to give weight and efficacy to his instruction; all these considerations are urged with force and impression: and, amongst other points, the following remarks, upon a subject deeply involving the respectability of our order, cannot be too widely diffused. "Under the head of appearance," says the Bishop, "give me leave to mention the article of dress, in which I have observed with concern, that some of the younger clergy in several parts of the kingdom (I mean not particularly in this) have been gradually departing from that gravity and sobriety, which the nature of their profession, as well as the injunctions of the church, require. We are distinguished from all other persons by a peculiar habit, and instead of being ashamed, we ought rather to be proud of it, as a badge of that high and honourable calling to which we have been admitted. If, from a
childish childish passion for show, we endeavour to drop this distinction as much as possible, and to appear as little like clergymen, as with any decency we can; instead of procuring us admiration and respect, it will only expose us to contempt."
Towards the conclusion of this year, 1778, the Bishop had an opportunity of very highly gratifying his own feelings, by being enabled to relieve the distress of a poor clergyman in his diocese, whose situation and circumstances were made known to him in the following letter:
"My Lord, "Impelled by a gloomy fit of reflection (and many I have, God knows) on my condition; I prostrate myself at your feet, imploring in the humblest manner compassion and regard. If distress has eloquence, and may be permitted to E plead, plead, I have, alas! but too powerful an advocate in my favour.
"I am, my Lord, the Curate of Wood Plumpton, near Preston, where I have served, as such, for about forty-two years successively, and led withal an obscure contemplative life. I am now in the sixty-seventh year of my age, and have brought up six sons and six daughters to men's and women's estate, and am grandfather to twenty-seven children. All my annual income is only something more than forty pounds. I had a small tenement here that came by my wife, but, as I had contracted small debts time after time, in so long a series of family occasions, have sold it to discharge those engagements; so that my bare salary is all that I now enjoy for the support of myself and family: and such is the indigence I am reduced to at present, that