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and thought, and which it was admitted came within the letter and spirit of their charter. But though he failed in this endeavour, he was not discouraged, as the following pages will shew, from pursuing steadily his favourite object, the civilization and conversion of the Negro Slaves in our West-India colonies.
In the mean time his attention to the duties of his diocese was constant and unwearied. Amongst other things, he took infinite pains to establish an annual subscription for the relief of his poorer clergy. Such an institution, more particularly in the Archdeaconry of Richmond, was greatly wanted; and by urging the subject in the course of conversation, and circulating besides a printed letter, in which he very strongly pressed the necessity of the measure, he at last succeeded.
His efforts were also directed with the same active zeal to the establishment of Sunday Schools. Of this admirable plan, first suggested by Mr. Robert Raikes, of Gloucester, for diffusing amongst the poor the principles of religious knowledge, at an age when they are most capable of receiving them, and in a manner which in no respect interferes with their ordinary occupations, he had early conceived a very favourable opinion, and in several instances privately encouraged it. But, as an act of prudence, he determined not to give it the sanction of his public approbation, till, as he observes, "time and experience, and more accurate inquiry, had enabled him to form a more decided judgment of its real value, and its probable effects." When, however, repeated information from various quarters, and particularly
from some of the largest manufacturing towns in his diocese, had convinced him that such institutions, wherever the experiment had been fairly tried, had produced, and could not fail to produce, if discreetly regulated, essential benefit, he no longer hesitated in promoting them generally throughout his diocese. With this view, as the wisest and most effectual mode of giving publicity to his sentiments, he addressed to his clergy a very excellent letter, containing,: in a short compass, a plain, temperate, and judicious exposition of the advantages of Sunday Schools, and of the rules by which they should be conducted.
The time had now arrived, when the Bishop of Chester was destined. to fill a still more distinguished situation in the English church. The high character
he he had long maintained; his zeal, his activity, his judgment, his powers of usefulness in every branch of his profession, and all these illustrated and adorned by a most unblemished life, and the most conciliating and attracting manners; naturally marked him out as a person eminently qualified to supply the vacancy which had for some time been expected in the See of London. Accordingly, the very next day after the death of Dr. Lowth, which took place at the Palace at Fulham, November the 3d, 1787, the Bishop, who was then at Hunton, received by a king's messenger the following letter from Mr. Pitt:
"My Lord, "in consequence of the death of the Bishop of London, which took place yesterday, I lost no time in making it my humble recommendation to His Majesty, that your Lordship might be appointed to succeed him. I have this moment received His Majesty's answer, expressing His entire approbation of the proposal, and authorizing me to acquaint your Lordship with His gracious intentions. I have peculiar satisfaction in executing this commission, and in the opportunity of expressing the sentiments of high respect and esteem with which I have the honour to be, "My Lord, "Your Lordship's most obedient "and most humble servant,