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of friends to which he had been accustomed, and which could inspire him with the greatest cheerfulness. Mr. Secker, therefore, who knew this, was extremely anxious to draw him out into a more active and conspicuous scene, and omitted no opportunity of expressing this desire to such as he thought capable of promoting it. Having himself been appointed king's chaplain in 1732 he took occasion, in a conversation which he had the honor of holding with queen Caroline, to mention to her his friend Mr. Butler. The queen said she thought he had been dead. Mr. Secker assured her he was not. Yet, her majesty afterwards asked Archbishop Blackburn if he was not dead; his answer was,
“ No, madam; but he is buried.” Mr. Secker continuing his purpose of endeavoring to bring his friend out of his retirement, found means, upon Mr. Charles Talbot's being made lordchancellor, to have Mr. Butler recommended to him for his chaplain. His lordship accepted, and sent for him; and this promotion calling him to town, he took Oxford in his way, and was admitted there to the degree of doctor-of-law, on the 8th December, 1733. The lordchancellor, who gave himn also a prebend in the church of Rochester, had consented that he should reside at his parish of Stanhope one half of the year.
Dr. Butler being thus brought back into the world, his merit and his talents soon introduced him to particular notice, and paved the way for his rising to those high dignities which be afterwards enjoyed. In 1736, he was appointed clerk-of-the-closet to queen Caroline; 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." His attendance upon his royal mistress, by her especial command. was from seven to nine in the evening every day and though this particular relation to that excellent and learned queen was soon determined by her death in 1737, yet he had been so effectually recommended by her, as well as by the late lord-chancellor Talbot, to his majesty's favor, that, in the next year, he was raised to the highest order of the church, by a nomination to the bishopric of Bristol; to which see he was consecrated on the third of December, 1738. King George II. not being satisfied with this proof of his regard to Dr. Butler, promoted him, in 1740, to the deanry of St. Paul's, London; into which he was installed on the 24th of May in that year. Finding the demands of this dignity to be incompatible with his parish-duty at Stanhope, he immediately resigned that rich benefice. Besides our prelate's unremitted attention to his peculiar obligations, he was called upon to preach several discourses on public occasions, which were afterwards separately printed, and have since been annexed to the latter editions of the Sermons at the Rolls-chapel.
In 1746, upon the death of Dr. Egerton, bishop of Hereford, Dr. Butler was made clerk-of-the-closet to the king; and on the 16th October, 1750, he received another distinguished mark of his majesty's favor, by being translated to the see of Durham. This was on the 16th of October; in that year, upon the decease of Dr. Edward Chandler, our prelate, being thus appointed to preside 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
principal object of it was, “ External Religion.” The bishop having observed, with deep concern, the great and growing neglect of serious piety in the kingdom, insisted strongly on the usefulness of outward forms and institutions, in fixing and preserving a sense of devotion and duty in the minds of men. In doing this, he was thought by sexeral persons to speak too favorably of Pagap and Popish ceremonies, and to countenance, in a certain degree, the cause of superstition. Under that apprehension, an able and spirited writer, who was understood to be a clergyman of the church of England, published in 1752, a pamphlet, entitled, “A serious Enquiry into the Use and Importance of External Religion: occasioned by some passages in the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Durham's Charge to the Clergy of that Dio. cese;-Humbly addressed to his Lordship.” Many persons, however, and we believe the greater part of the clergy of the diocese, did not think our prelate's charge so exceptionable as it appeared to this author. The charge, being printed at Durbam, and having never been annexed to any of Dr. Butler's other works, is now become extremely scarce; and it is observable, that it is the only one of his publications which ever produced him a direct literary antagonist.
By this promotion, our worthy bishop was furnished with ample means of exerting the virtue of charity; a virtue which eminently abounded in him, and the exercise of which was his highest delight. But this gratification he did not long enjoy. He had been but a short time seated in his new bishopric, 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 is said to have expressed some regret, that he should be taken from the present world so soon after he had been rendered capable of becoming much more useful in it. In his last illness, he was carried to Bristol, to try the waters of that place; but these proving ineffectual, he removed to Bath, where, being past recovery, he died on the 16th of June, 1752. His corpse was conveyed to Bristol, and interred in the cathedral there, where a monument, with an inscription, is erected to his memory.
On the greatness of Bishop Butler's character we need not enlarge; for, his profound knowledge, and the prodigious strength of his mind, are amply displayed in his incomparable writings. His piety was of the most serious and fervent, and, perhaps, somewhat of the ascetic kind. His benevolence was warm, generous, and diffusive.. Whilst he was bishop of Bristol, he expended, in repairing and improving the episcopal palace, four thousand pounds, which is said to have been more than the whole revenues of the bishopric amounted to, during his continuance in that see. Besides his private benefactions, he was a contributor to the infirmary at Bristol, and a subscriber to three of the hospitals at London. He was likewise a principal promoter, though not the first founder, of the infirmary at Newcastle, in Northumberland. In supporting the hospitality and dignity of the rich and powerful diocese of Durham, he was desirous of imitating the spirit of his patron, Bishop Talbot. In this spirit, he set apart three days every week for the reception and entertainment of the principal gentry of the country. Nor were even the clergy who had the poor. est benefices, neglected by him. He not only occasionally invited
them to dind with him, but condescended to visit them at their respective parishes. By his will be left five hundred pounds to the society for propagating the gospel in foreign parts, and some legacies to his friends and domestics. His executor and residuary legatee was his chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Foster, a divine of distinguished literature. Bishop Butler was never married. Soon after his decease, the following lines, by way of epitaph, were written concerning him; and were printed first, if we recollect aright, in the London Magazine.
Beneath this marble Butler lies entombed,
Who, with a soul inflamed by love divine,
Like the bright lamps before the holy shrine.
His eloquence was like a chain of gold,
That the wild passions of mankind controlled;
These he, with bounteous hand, did well dispense;
Bent to fulfil the ends of Providenoe;
His heart a mirror was, of purest kind,
Where the bright image of his Maker shined;
TO THE REVEREND
DR. THOMAS BALGUY,
ARCHDEACON AND PREBENDARY OF WINCHESTER, &c.
I TRUST you will excuse the liberty I have taken of préfixing your name to the following sheets; the latter part of which, I am confident, will not be thought undeserving of your approbation; and of the former part you will commend the intention at least, if not the execution. In vindicating the character of Bishop BUTLER from the aspersions thrown upon it since his death, I have but discharged a common duty of humanity, which survivors owe to those who have deserved well of mankind by their lives or writings, when they are past the power of appearing in their own defence. And if what I have added, by way of opening the general design of the works of this great Prelate, be of use in exciting the younger class of students in our universities to read, and so to read as to understand, the two volumes prepared and published by the Author himself; I flatter myself I shall have done no inconsiderable service to morality and religion., Your time and studies have been long successfully devoted to the support of the same great cause; and in what you have lately given to the world, both as an author and an editor, you have largely contributed to the defence of our common Christianity, and of what was esteemed one, who was perfectly competent to judge, its best establishment, by the Church of ENGLAND. In the present publication I consider myself as a fellow-laborer with you in the same design, and tracing the path you have trod before, but at great distance, and with unequal paces. When, by his MAJESTY's goodness, I was raised to that station of eminence in the church, to which you had been first named, and which, on account of the infirmity of your health, you had desired to decline; it was honor enough for me on such an occasion to have been thought of next to you: And I know of no better rule by which to govern my conduct, so as not to discredit the royal hand which conferred on me so signal and unmerited a favor, than in cases of difficulty to put the question to myself, how you would probably have acted in the same situation. You see, Sir, I still look up to you, as I have been wont, both as my superior and my example. That I niay long reap the benefit of your advice and friendship; and that such a measure of health and strength may be continued to you, as may enable you to pass the evening of your days with comfort, and enjoy the blessings of the life you love, is the cordial wish of,
BY THE EDITOR.
"When I consider how light a matter very often subjects the best established charat.
"ters to the suspicions of posterity, posterity often as malignant to virtue as the age “that saw it was envious of its glory; and how ready a remote age is to catch at a low “ revived slander, which the times that brought it forth saw despised and forgotten “ almost in its birth; I cannot but think it a matter that deserves attention.”- Letter to the Editor of the Letters on the Spirit of Patriotism, &c. by Bishop WARBONTÓN. See his Works, vol. vii. p. 547.
THE charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Durham, which is subjoined to the present volume, was printed and published in the year 1751, by the learned Prelate, whose name it bears; and, together with the Sermons and Analogy of the same writer, both too well known to nee a more particular description, completes the collection of his works. It has long been considered as a matter of curiosity, on account of its scarceness; and it is equally curious on other accounts, its subject, and the calumny to which it gave occasion, of representing the Author as addicted to superstition, as inclined to
popery, and as dying in the communion of the church of Rome. The improved edition of Biographia Britannica, now publishing under the care of Dr. Kippis, having unavoidably brought this calumny again into notice; it may not be unseasonable to offer a few reflections in this place, by way of obviating any impressions that may hence arise, to the disadvantage of so great a character as that of the late Bishop BUTLER; referring those who desire a more particular account of his life, to the third volume of the same entertaining work, printed in 1784. Art. BUTLER (Joseph.).
I. The principal design of the Bishop, in his Charge, is to exhort his Clergy to “ to do their part towards reviving a practical sense of religion amongst the people committed to their care;" and, as one way of effecting this, to - instruct them in the importance of external religion," or the usefulness of outward observances in promoting inward piety. Now, from the compound nature of man, consisting of two parts, the body and the mind, together with the influence which these are found to have on one another, it follows, that the religious regards of such a creature ought to be so framed, as to be in some way properly accommodated to both. A religion which is purely spiritual, stripped of every thing that may affect the senses, and considered only as a divine philosophy of the mind, if it do not mount up into enthusiasm, as has frequently been the case, often sinks, after å