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I am informed that a club of Deists have been busily employed in drawing up an answer to some part of my “View of the Deistical Writers.” It was designed to be published this last spring; but they have thought proper to defer it. Whatever becomes of any attempts of mine, I am satisfied that our holy religion, as delivered in the scriptures, is established on solid and immovable foundations, which all the malice and subtilty of its adversaries shall never be able to subvert. But it is a thing I can hardly account for that any persons, who would be thought to have a regard for the in. terests of virtue, and the good of mankind, should labour, with an indefatigable zeal and industry, as far as in them lies, to banish Christianity out of the world, and to set men loose from the sacred obligations it lays them under.
I wish your lordship all manner of success in the execu. tion of the excellent design you have formed of getting the holy scriptures, or some portions of them, rendered into the vulgar tongue of that people whom providence has put under your pastoral care. This is the most likely means of leading them into the right knowledge and practice of religion.
That the God of all grace may bless your pious and be. nevolent intentions and endeavours for the edification of his church, and render you eminently useful in that part of his vineyard in which he has placed you, is the sincere and earnest prayer of, my lord, your lordship's most obedient and obliged humble servant,
Bishop Hildesley to Dr. Scott, his Physician.
Bishop's-Court, March 27, 1772. I AM now come to ask your advice concerning the present state of my health : though, at the same time, I am doubtful of the propriety of inquiring what is to be done with, or for, an old inan of 73. However, you will permit me to tell my story. You must know then that, about three weeks since, I was seized with a debility of body; I say of body, because I had no particular defect in any limb or joint, more than a general weakness, so as to be unable to carry myself upright; insomuch as twice to fall from my chair, and once froin my bed, but without any paralytical symptoms, or the least disorder in my head.
This was my state for about a fortnight, when I began to mend, so as to be left to walk out by myself, which I could not do for some days.
I hope as the summer rises I shall rise with it; but I really began to think I was upon my last legs. I sleep well, and eat a tolerable meal; I take, &c. &c. and, notwithstanding this alarming circumstance of bodily infirmity, I have some thoughts, God willing, of visiting my Sherburn demesne about midsummer,--if nothing extraordinary happens to hinder me.
Some of my friends in England urge me to go to Bath ; I suppose on account of my cholicky disorder : but I imagine those waters will not suit me. Tunbridge and Scarsborough I have found benefit from ; Harrowgate I have more fancy to; but those cold springs, at my time, some are utterly against ; and I am less disposed to them myself, as my old scorbutic complaint is in great measure gone. Scarborough I have but one objection to; and that is, the intolerably steep hill to walk up from the spring. Which of all the above-mentioned I should be glad of your direction about.
That I night not disappoint you of the satisfaction of your gratuitous act of voluntary friendship, communicated through Mr. Wilks, I intend the guinea I put into Mr. Dury's hands as a compensation for what I now send for ; and which I hope you will accept from, dear sir, your obliged friend, and thankful humble servant,
M. SODOR AND MANN.
A Narrative of the Bishop's last Illness and death. It is remarkable that, for a fortnight before he died, he was apparently in better health and spirits than he had been for some months before. This is what they here call a lightning before death; for, on the very day before he was taken ill, Sunday the 29th of Norember, 1772, he performed the whole duty of the day in his chapel, seemingly with much ease and pleasure to himself, as well as to the great satisfaction of all his hearers; went through his domestic duties of devotion in the sanie manner; and, as usual, spoke for an hour in the evening to his servants and the family on religious duties and subjects; which was his constant custom.
The next day, Nov. 30, being a holiday, (St. Andrew's,) he read the service of the day in his chapel equally well and clear as the day before; but, it being a wet stormy day,
instead of his usual morning's walk, he took several turns, the length of his hall and parlour, for above an hour, talking to his sister of various matters, and about his intended journey to Sherburn and London next summer: and, on her observing to him, that he would require a judicious servant to attend him, on account of his but indifferent state of health at times, he said, “any servant would do for him; and that he should have been well enough, had he not been plied with too much laudanum in his former illness at Ballamore.”
As he walked to and fro he sometimes took up a Spectator that his sister had been reading, and cast his eye over it for a few minutes, and so continued his walk; then took it up again, till he had read it through*.
He this day had a neighbouring clergyman to dine with him. Dined with a tolerably good appetite; sat conversing with him till between three and four o'clock; rose from his chair without much effort; saw his guest to the hall; and returned to the parlour, but with a tottering hasty kind of gait, which sometimes took him since his former illness. On this his sister begged him to sit down, but he did not; asked if Mr. Corbet was gone, for that there were two letters which might be sent by bim, and took them out of his case. Mr. Corbet was called, and came in with his sister, and found him in his chair. He took no notice of them, but seeined intent on reading, or looking for something; on which the gentleman went away without the letters. In less than two minutes his sister returned, and found he had fallen off his chair, but had fast hold of a moulding under the window-seat, which he had pulled off in attempting to rise. On his sister's approach he turned round, and, looking up in ber face, said with a smile, " Hetty, I cannot rise.” How sbe
How sbe got him up and seated him in his chair she knows not, for they were alone, and she much frightened. He had still the two letters in his hand, which his sister took, and sent them after Mr. Corbet to the stables; still imagining this would go off like something of the same kind that had alarmed them about a fortnight before. On one of the servants coming in with a petition relative to a suit in the Bishop's Court, his sister found that he had lost bis speech,
• It is a striking circumstance, that the passage read was in Saturday's paper for July 26, in rol. VI. written by Audison; and most peculiarly applicable to the prelate's character and present state.
and the use of one hand, indeed of one side, entirely. But, thinking this might rouse his attention, she put the petition into his hand, which he read through; and it plainly appeared that he understood it, as he repeatedly afterwards mentioned, though with much difficulty, the petitioner's place of abode. He then had the sheet turned, and seemed still to read where nothing was written; made some sign, by pointing, as if he wanted an almanack, which his sister opened to him in December; and he ran his finger forward upon it till about the seventh or eighth day.
A letter coming in from Ramsay was read to him; but he took no notice of it, and seemed quite insensible of any thing; and in this condition he was carried to his bed, when Mr. Wilks arrived about five the same evening, and Dr. Scott, being sent for from Douglas, got to Bishop's Court the same night. Before the Doctor came, the Bishop had got some warm claret and currant jelly, and would have his sister take a cup of the same. In the mean time, his stupor and insensibility increasing, all that could be done in the medicinal way proved ineffectual. He seemed to make some attempts to speak at times, but hardly any thing intelligible. And thus he continued till the Sunday night following, December 6, and expired quietly about one in the morning of the 7th. much and greatly lamented by his whole diocese, who have lost in him a most affectionate and faithful pastor, ever attentive to the spiritual and temporal welfare of the people committed to his care.
His zeal and piety in getting the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, together with the book of Common Prayer, printed and published in the Manks tongue, for the use of his diocese, is, above all others, the strongest and nost lasting proof that can be given of his ardent love and concern for the good of his spiritual charge. And these he carried with him to the grave, and even into the grave, as he had by his will directed, that the funeral office and serinon should be all in Manks, which was performed accordingly.
Dr. Hildesley left a donative of corn to the amount of some four, some five pounds apiece to every parish and town in the isle; three hundred pounds to the Society for promoting Christian knowledge, towards a future edition of the Manks Bible, &c. together with some handsome legacies to his relations and particular friends; who, exclusive of this tender evidence of his esteem, will have reason
1 to remember him with that gratitude and respect which were most justly due to so revered and respectable a character.
MR. URBAN, The two following letters, which, it is believed, are not to be found in any collection of Swift's Works, bear undoubted marks of his peculiar turn of thought, and style of writing. Although the matter of both be familiar and trivial, they may serve to throw some new light on the two periods of his life to which they relate. Swift was 31 when
. the first was written. The second was addressed to the same gentleman, atier an interval of 33 years. He was then in his 64th year. The lady be alludes to under the name of Eliza was probably Miss Jane Waring, of Belfast, to whom an excellent letter from Swift appears in his Works. The Mr. Windar to whom this letter is addressed succeeded Swift in the prebend of Kilroot, and was grandfather of Lord Macartney, whose mother, Elizabeth, was the youngest daughter of Mr. Windar.
For the Rev. Mr. Windar, Prebendary of Kilroot. (To be left at Belfast, in the county of Antrim, Ireland.]
Nloor-Park, Jan. 13, 1698. I am not likely to be so pleased with any thing again this good while as I was with your letter of December 20th ; and it has begun to put me into a good opinion of my own merits, or at least my skill at negociation, to find I have so quickly restored a correspondence that I feared was declining; as it requires more charms and address for women to revire one fainting flame than to kindle a dozen new ones. But, I assure you, I was very far from imputing your silence to any bad cause (having never entertained one single ill