Sidor som bilder

by Queen, Caroline, to mention his friend Mr. Butler, The queen said she thought he had been dead : Mr. Secker assured her, however, he was not. But her majesty afterwards asked Dr. Blackburne, archbishop of York, if he was not dead; his answer was, “ No, madam, but he is buried.” Mr. Secker continuing his purpose of endeavouring to bring out his dead friend from his cemetery, found means upon Mr. Charles Talbot's being made chancellor, to have Mr. Butler recommended to him for chaplain. This his lordship gladly accepted, and sent for him. On his way to town he visited Oxford, where he was admitted to bis degree of Doctor of Laws, December, 8, 1733. Soon after he obtained a prebend in the cathedral of Rochester. Being thus brought back into the world, his merit and talents introduced him to particular notice, and paved the way for his rising to those high dignities which he afterwards enjoyed. In 1736, he was appointed clerk of the closet to the queen; and in the same year he presented to her majesty a copy of his excellent treatise, entitled “ The Analogy of Religion, natural and revealed, to the constitution and course of Nature, 8vo.” The foundation of this work, is the ignorance of man, on which our author had already bestowed considerable attention in the last of his fifteen sermons. Now, as it is confessed on all hands that there are innumerable difficulties in nature which are inexplicable, we may well reason that the author of nature, being also the author of Revelation, may on the same grounds have constituted equal difficulties, at least in this system; and, therefore, it is no more reasonable to deny the tryth of this Revelation, on account of these supposed difficulties, than it would be to contend against a. particular Providence or the existence of a Deity, from the seeming inequalities and difficulties which prevail in the universe. It is on this principle that this celebrated work is formed, and its success has been such among Christians of all denominations as to render it a text book to students in theology. ",

His attendance upon his royal mistress, by her special, command, was from seven till nine' every evening, so delighted was she with his improving conversation, and though this particular relation to that excellent and accomplished queen was determined by her death, in' 1737, yet he had been so effectually recommended by her, as, well as by the Lord Chancellor Talbot, to his inajesty's



noe sadvanced.

Del dinos, whicul Butler

favour, that the next year he was advanced to the bishoprick of Bristol. The king not satisfied with this proof of his regard to Dr. Butler, promoted him in 1740, io the d'eanry of St. Paul's, on which he resigned the reçtory of .Stanhope, which he had hitherto, and might have still held in commendam. *. In 1746, on the death of Dr. Egerton, Bishop of Here, ford, he was appointed clerk of the closer to the kingi and in 1750, was raised to the see of Durham, on the death of Dr. Edward Chandler. Our prelate being thus placed over a diocese with which he had long been connected, delivered his first, and, indeed, his last charge to his clergy, at his primary visitation in 1751. The subject of it was External Religion, in which he ably set forth, the necessity of outward forms, riies and ceremonies in rel vious worship. This charge brought upon the Bishop much ill. beral censure, which perhaps was encreased by the consideration of his having received his principal education among the Dissenters; a circumstance, how-, ever, that only serves to stamp the greater value and im. portance upon this declaration of his well-weighed and matured judgment. There was another particular which also gave offence to some squeainish and strait-laced minds, and that was his causing a cross to be inlaid in marble over the altar, in his private chapel at Bristol. Aliei h s death these things were trumped up into a charge of popery against the Bishop, from which he was effectually cleared by his friend, Archbishop Secker, in some excellent letters, under the signature of Misopseudt's. · Bishop Butler had a deep sense of religion in his mind, and was so convinced of its importance as to say, that he wished a law were in force to oblige every person who passed by a Church to take off his hat." He was also a 'strenuous recoinmender of the practice of men al or secret prayer, in the way of ejaculation, a habit certainly most powerfully calculated to strengthen the mind against temptation, and to elevate it above the world. As a proof of the abstractedness and yet strength, of his mental faculties, the late venerable Dr. Tucker, Dean of Gloucester, who was his domestic chaplain at Bristil, was wont to relate this anecdote :- It was customary for the Bishop to walk in his garden, when the weathi r permitted, even after dark, in which perambulating muitations, Mr. Tucker used to accompany hiin.


was call or secretost powerful and to elevare yet strength habit ce against temple abstracted onerable Drivain at

the late "domestic Chi Tras cuse

One evening his Lordship was buried in profound thought, and the walk was prolonged in silence for a considerable time, when the Bishop all at once broke out, by asking the chaplain “It' he did not think that madness was con tagious, and whether it was not possible for a whole nation or community to be seized with insanity?"

The dean in relating the story said, he thought it odd, and knew not what to answer at the time, but that afterwards he found from experience, there was much shrewdness and discernment in the observation.

The Bishop had been but a short time possessed of his new bishoprick, when his health began visibly to decline; and having been complimented, during his indisposition, upon account of his great resignation to the divine will, he expressed some regret that he should be taken from the world so soon after he had been rendered capable of becoming much more useful in it. In his last allness, he was carried to Bristol to try the waters of that place; but these proving ineffectual, he removed to Bath, where he died June 16, 1752. His corpse was conveyed to Bristol, and interred in the cathedral, where a monument is erected to his memory. On the greatness of the Bishop's intellectual character, it is needless to expatiale. His person was very, engaging, and his temper mild and benevolent. He expended 40001. in improving the episcopal palace at Bristol, and made great alterations in the castle at Durham. His charities were also very extensive. The following letters are pleasing specimens of the humility and sweetness of his disposition.

"GOOD SIR, “When or where this will find you, I know not; but I would not defer thanking you for the obliging satisfaction you express in my translation to the See of Durham. I wish my behaviour in it may be such as to justify his Majesty's choice, and the approbation of it, which you (much too kindly, I suppose,) think to be general. If one is enabled to do a little good, and to prefer worthy men, this indeed is a valuable of life, and will afford satisfaction in the close of it; but the change of station, in itself, will in no wise answer the trouble of it, and of getting into new forms of living; I mean with respect to the peace and happiness of one's own mind; for,“ in fortune, to be sure it will.

I am, &c. Bristol, Aug. 13, 1750. Joseph DURHAM.*

“ MY

“MY GOOD FRIEND, - I thank you for your kind congratulations, though I am not without my daubts, and fears, how far the occasion of them is a real subject of congratulation to me. Increase of fortune is insignificant to one who thought he had enougb before, and I foresee many difficulties in the station I am coming into, and no advantage worth thinking of, except some greater power of, being serviceable to others; and whether this be advantage, entirely depends on the use one shall make of it: I pray God it may be a good one. It would be a melancholy thing in the close of life, to have no reflections to entertain one's self with, but that one had spent the revenues of the bishopric of Durham in a sumptuous course of living, and enriched one's friends with the promotions of its instead of having really set one's self to do good, and promote worthy men: yet this right use of fortune and power is more difficult than the generality of even good people think, and requires both a guard upon one's self, and a strength of mind to withstarid solicitations greater (I wish I may not find it) than I am master of I pray God preserve your health; and an always dear Sir, your affectionate brother and servant,


The Bishop was never married, and constituted his chaplain the Rev. Nathaniel Forster, a divine of great worth and learning, his executor,


Matt. xxii, xxiv, xxv.



MAGAZINE. SIR, CITE are now arrived, in the course of this elaborate

W disquisition, at the last branch of the disciples' enquiry:--Kar (* To onpesor] THE SYNTEAEIAL TOY AISNOE ;

in order to explain which, (as in the foregoing, analytical process) I shall first endeavour to ascertain the proper meaning of the terms employed.

The terin 'Alwy is used with considerable variety and range of signification in the sacred and profanc classics.

1. It denotés primarily, Time, in a definite, and Duration in an indefinite sense; being derived, according to Aristotle, from aSEN wv, * always being," or existing in continued and uninterrupted succession, “ ever-during.

That this is indeed its radical or leading signification, appears from its frequent association with zpov, time,' both in the Old and New Testament:

Thus, the Hebrew phrases, Bbw ny, or obres, are rendered by the Septuagint Version, Eiş TOU duwwa Xporos, Exod. xiv. 13. Isa. xiii. 20, &c. which, else where, are rendered simply, tit*FOV awwc, for ever." See Trommius's Concordance. And the similar phrase, repo por we awwwwy, before times of old,2 Tim. i. 9. "Tit. i. 2. is more freely rendered in our public translation, before the world began,as in the parallel passage, apo xatabonns nogue,"before the foundation of the world,Ephes. i. 4; reckoning Time to commence at the creation, and to be commensurate with the duration of the world, or mundane systein, until “ time shall be no more" at its dissolution; in which sense the phrases, an' awvos, " from the beginning of time," ex T8 aswas, "since the beginning of time," Luke i. 70, &c. John iii. 22, &c. müay more strictly be rendered ; (instead of, "since the world began,") and the phrases eis tot alwvon unto the end of Time,” usually rendered in a popular sense, " for ever," because implying indefinite or unknown duration, in futute. In one passage, at least of the Old Testament, at is employed in the singular number, to denote durationi withont beginning or end, or eternity in the metaphysical sense; when applied to the High and LOFTY ONE inhabiting eternity.(xatonwo tor awra,) Isa. lyii. 15. But in the more critical phraseology of the New Testament, eterniity is denoted by the plural phrases, eis TES Clwras, for evermore,” Matt. vi, 13. Or aks TOS diwas Two Cowwe, for ever and ever." And THE DEITY; • Caorkeus two aswwwy, or ö asuu Dros, A TÅE KING ETERNAL," or " THE ETERNAL Gop,'

Rim. i. 17. Roin. xvi. 26. « The beginning and the ent, 'WAO AM, and who was, and who is TO COME.?! Rev. i. 3. amplifying Exod. iii. 14.

9. But by a usual metonymny of the persons and things

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