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them, once every Week on the ufual Days,
but alfo every Sunday Evening, either at the
Church or one of the Chapels belonging to it.
They were received with univerfal Approbation,
and attended regularly by Perfons of all Ages
and Conditions. The Judgement of the Public
has lince confirmed the Opinion of his Parimi-
oners, and eftablimed the Reputation of this
Work, as one of the fulleft, clearefl, and ex-
adleft Compendiums of revealed Religion that
the Englifh Language affords.

The Sermons which at the fame Time he
fet himfelf to compofe were truly excellent
and original. His Faculties were now in their
full Vigour, and he had an Audience to fpeak
before that rendered the utmoft Exertion of
2 them

xx Life of Archbijhop S E c K E R .
them neceffary* He did not however feek to
gratify the higher Part by amufing them with
refined Speculations or ingenious EfTays, unin-
telligible to the lower Part, and unprofitable to
both ; but he laid before them all, with equal
Freedom and Plainnefs, the great Chriftian
Duties belonging to their refpective Stations,
and reproved the Follies and Vices of every
Rank amongft them without Diftinction or
Palliation, He ftudied human Nature tho-
roughly in all its various Forms, and knew
what Sort of Arguments would have moft
Weight with each Clafs of Men. He brought
the Subject home to their Bofoms, and did not
feem to be merely faying ufeful Things in their
Prefence, but addreffing himfelf perfonally to
every one of them. Few ever pofleffed, in a
higher Degree, the rare Talent of touching on
the moft delicate Subjects with the niceft Pro-
priety and Decorum, of faying the moft familiar
Things without being low, the plairieft without
being feeble, the boldeft without giving Of-
fence. He could defcend with fuch fmgular
Eafe and Felicity into the minuteft Concerns of
common Life, could lay open, with fo much
Addrefs, the various Workings, Artifices,
and Evafions of the human Mind ; that his
5 Audience

Life of Archbtjhop S E c K E R . xxi

Audience often thought their own particular
Cafes alluded to, and heard with Surprize their
private Sentiments and Feelings, their Ways of
reafoning and Principles of acting, exactly
flated and defcribed. His Preaching was, at
the fame Time, highly rational, and truly
evangelical. He explained with Perfpicuity,
he afTerted with Dignity, the peculiar charac-
teriftic Doctrines of the Gofpel. He inculcated
the Utility, the NeceiTity of them, not merely
as fpeculative Truths, but as actual Inflruments
of moral Goodnefs, tending to purify the
Hearts, and regulate the Lives of Men; and
thus, by God's gracious Appointment, as well
as by the infeparable Connection betwixt true
Faith and right Practice, leading them to Sal-

Thefe important Truths he taught with the
Authority, the Tendernefs, the Familiarity,
of a Parent inftruciing his Children. Though
he neither pofTeiTed nor affected the artificial
Eloquence of an Orator who wants only to
amufe or to miflead, yet he had that of an
honeft Man who wants to convince, of a
Chriftian Preacher who wants to reform and
to fave, thofe that hear him. Solid Argument,
manly Senfe, ufeful Directions, fhort, nervous,
c 3 flriking

xxii Life of Archbifiop S E c K E R .
ftriking Sentences, awakening Queftions, fre-
quent and pertinent Applications of Scripture ;
all thefe following each other in quick Succef-
lion, and coming evidently from the Speaker's
Heart ; enforced by his Elocution, his Figure,
his Action, and above all by the correfponding
Sanctity of his Example, ilamped Conviction
on the Minds of his Hearers, and fent them
Home with Impreffions not eafy to be effaced.
It will readily be imagined that with thefe
Powers he quickly became one of the moft
admired and popular Preachers of his Time.
And though it is not to be expected that his
Sermons will now afford the fame Pleafure,
or produce the fame Effects, in the Clofet,
that they did from the Pulpit, accompanied as
they then were with all the Advantages of his
Delivery ; yet it will plainly appear, that the
Applaafe they met with was founded no lefs
on the Matter they contained, than the Man-
ner in which they were fpoken.

On the Death of Archbimop WAKE, Dr..
POTTER was appointed to fucceed him in the
See of Canterbury, and that of Oxford was
offered to Dr. SECKER, who at firfl declined it.
But at the earn eft Requefl of Bifhop SHERLOCK,
who was deiirous to obtain the BiiTiopric of


Life of Archbijhofy S E c K E R . xxiii
Brljlol for his Brother-in-law Dr. GOOCH, he
was at Length prevailed on to accept the Pro-
pofal, and was confirmed Bifhop of Oxford in
the Month of May 1737. Towards the End
of the fame Year died Queen CAROLINE, and
the Sunday following Bifhop SECKER preached
a Sermon on that Occafion, at St. James's
Church, which the PrincefTes defired to fee,
and ihowed it to the King, who read it, It
was afterwards published in the Second Volume
of his Qccajional Sermons > which appeared in his
Life- time.

When the unfortunate Breach happened be-
twixt the late King and the Prince of Wales,
his Royal Highnefs having removed to Norfolk-
Honfe, which is in the Pariih of St. James's, at-
tended Divine Service conftantly in that Church,
The firft Time he came there, the Clerk in
Orders, Mr, BONNEY, inadvertently begun
Prayers with his ufual Sentence of Scripture,
I will arife and go to my Father , &c. This
quickly became the Subject of much Converfa-
tion - y and an Addition was made to it, that
the Rector preached on the Fifth Command-
ment, Honour thy father and thy Mother, &c.
which was fo pofitively aflerted, that Bifhop
SHERLOCK could only defend him, by faying
$ . that

xxiv Life of Archbifoap S E c K E R .
that he muft certainly have been in a Courfe of
Sermons -on the Commandments, and therefore
could not Help preaching upon that particular
one in its Turn. But the Truth was, he
preached on a quite different Text, The Lord
is good to all, &c. and the whole Sermon was
on that Subject. The Prince was pleafed to
mew his Lordmip feveral Marks of Civility
and Condefcennon. Pie had the Honour of bap T
tizing all his Highnefs's Children, except two ;
and though he did not attend his Court, which
was forbidden to all thofe who went to the
King's, yet on every proper Occafion he be-
haved with all the Submiffion and Refpedt due
to his illuftrious Rank, In Confequence of
this, his Influence with the Prince being fup-
pofed much greater than it really was, he was
fent, by the King's Direction,, with a Meffage
to his Royal Highnefs ; which not producing
the Effects expected from it, he had the Mif-
fortune to incur his Majefty's Difpleafure -, who
had been unhappily perfuaded to think that he
might have done more with the Prince than he
did, though indeed he could not. For this
Reafon, and becaufe he fometimes acted with
thofe who oppofed the Court, the King did not
fpeak to him for a great Number of Years.

Life of Archbiflwp SECKER. xxv
In February 1742-3 a Bill was brought into
Parliament to take off the high Duties on
fpirituous Liquors, and to lay on others much
lower in their Room. As this Alteration was
thought likely to have a moft pernicious Effect
on the Health and Morals of the common Peo-
ple, it met with a vigorous Oppofition in the
Houfe of Lords, efpecially from the Bench of
Bifhops, all of whom voted, and feveral fpoke,
againft it. Amongft the latter were Bifhop
SHERLOCK and Bifhop SECKER : A.nd when
it palTed, the Bifhop of Oxford entered his
DhTent. Mr. SANDYS was then Chancellor of
the Exchequer, and this was confidered as his
Bill ; yet foon after, on the Death of Bifhop
HOUGH, he very generoufly endeavoured, with-
out Dr. SECKER' s Knowledge, to obtain for
him the See of Worcefter. It was in the Courfe
of the fame Year that his Lordfhip received
a Letter from Dr. WISH ART, Provofl of Edin-
burgh College, recommending to him hjs Bro-
ther and Mr. WALLACE, Deputies from the
eftablifhed Clergy of Scotland, to promote a
Bill in Parliament for providing a Maintenance
for their Widows and Children, which many
of them imagined the Bifhops would oppofe.
J}r. SECKER paid them all the Civility, and


xxvi Life of ArMifoop S E c K E R .

did them all the Service he could. None of

the Bench oppofed their Bill either publicly or

privately, and it was moved for by a Bifhop at

each of its three Readings in the Houfe of


About the Middle of October, in the fol-
lowing Year, died SARAH, Duchefs Dowager
of Marlborough . She was buried at Blenheim,
by Bifhop SECKER, whom me had appointed
one of her Executors. For this Choice me could
have no other Reafon than the high Opinion
fhe entertained in common with the reft of the
World, of his Underftanding and Integrity;
for he never paid the leafl Court to her, either
by private Adulation, or by accommodating his
public Conduct to her Grace's political Senti-
ments. On his being made Bifhop of OXFORD,
me paid him fome common Civilities of Neigh-
bourhood, and defired, by Lord CORNBURY, to
fee him. When he had vifked her a few Times,
fhe requefted him to be one of her Executors,
and read to him the Claufe in her Will relat-
ing to them, in which fhe had given each of
them .2000, and indemnified them from any
Miflakes which they might honeftly make.
Before he gave his Confent, he confulted Lord
Chancellor HARDWICKE upon it, who advifed


Life of Archblfoop S E c K E R , xxvii
him to accept the Truft. After this he vifited
her Grace occafionally every Winter. She
never afked him any Queftions, nor gave him
any Hints, about the pafl or future Difpofal of
his Vote in Parliament. He always fpoke his
Mind to her very freely, how much foever it
differed from hers, and me bore it, for the moft
Part, patiently. He blamed her for leaving
Ib much of her Eftate to Perfons not related
to her, and particularly for giving any Thing
to himfelf, who, he told her, was as rich as
her Grace. Thefe Remonftrances me did not
jeem to take well, and never faid any Thing
more to him about her Will. He therefore
concluded that me had fhruck him out from
being one of her Executors, but it proved
otherwife. She gave each of them an addi-
tional .500. None of her Money ever came
into his Lordfhip's Hands to be difpofed of by
him in her Life-time. But he had good Rea-
fon to think that me gave away large Sums in
Charity, to the Amount of feveral Thoufands
every Year.

Some Time before this, the Nation began to
be alarmed with the Appearances of a Rebellion.
About the Middle of February, 1743-4, the
|Cing fent a Meffage to both Houfes of Par-

xxvjiii Life of Archbijhop S E c K E R .
liament, acquainting them, that the Pretender's
Son was meditating an Invafion of this King-
dom from the Coaft of France. The Bimop
of OXFORD took theearlieft Opportunity, after
this Declaration, of fignalizing his Affedion to
the Government, and exciting that of others,
by cpmpofmg a Sermon on the Occafion, which
he preached at Sf. jfames's Church the 26th of
the fame Month. A Motion was foon after
made in the Houfe of Lords to attaint the Pre-
tender's Son. It met with fome Oppofition,
but was ftrenuoufly fupported by the Friends of
the ConfHtution, and amongft others by Bifhop
S E c K E R, who made a fpirited extempore
Speech in its Favour. When the Rebellion
actually broke out in September, 1745, he fent
immediately a circular Letter upon it to his
Clergy, and drew up and promoted an Addrefs
from them to the King. On his Return to
London in Oftober* he preached the abovemen-
tione4 Sermon again at his Church and both his
Chapels, with fome Alterations and Improve-
ments, and leaving it to be printed, went down
to a County Meeting at Oxford, and back again
in a few Days to St. jfames's, when he prefented
his Sermon to the King. It was much read
and admired, and has been ranked, by the beft


Life of Archbifoop S E c K E R . xxix
Judges, amongft the Firft of the many excel-
lent Ones which were published on that Occa-
fion. *

In the Spring of the Year 1748 Mrs. SECKER
died of the Gout in her Stomach. She was a
Woman of great Senfe and Merit, but of a
very weak and lickly Conftitution. They had
been married upwards of twenty Years, during
the greateft Part of which Time, her extreme
bad State of Health and Spirits had put his
Affection to the fevereft Trials ; by which,
inftead of being leffened, it feemed to become
ftronger every Day. He attended her in all
her long Illneffes with the greateft Care and
Tendernefs, and was always ready to break off
any Engagement, any Study, provided his
Company would procure her a Moment's Eafe
or Chearfulnefs.

Not long after this a Bill came into the Houfe
of Lords, and afterwards paffed into an Act,
by which all Letters of Orders to Scotch Epif-
copal Minifters, not granted by a Bifhop of the
Church of England QV Ireland, were difallowed
from Michaelmas, 1748, whether dated before
that Time or after. This the Bifhop of O#-

* It is now in the Volume of Sermons printed by himfelf
when Bilhop of Oxford, in 1758.


xxx Life of Archbifoop S E c K E fc .
ford thought a great Hardship, and fpoke
largely againft it in the Houfe. He was an-
fwered, but with much Civility and Refpedt, by
Lord Chancellor HARDWICKE, who favoured
the Bill. In the Committee however the Ma-
jority were againft it, of which all the Bifhops
prefent made Part. Bifhop THOMAS, of
Lincoln, alfo fpoke againft it upon the Report.
But there they were outvoted. Dr.WiSHART,
the Provoft of Edinburgh College, told his
Lordfhip afterwards, that he thought the Bill
was too hard on the Epifcopal Minifters, and
that the Bifhops had done right.

The Part which Dr. SECKER took in this
Affair did him not the leaft DifTervice with his
Friend the Lord Chancellor, whofe Sentiments
he oppofed; and who a little before had made a
Propofal to him, that if the Deanery of St. Paul's
became vacant, he mould take it in Exchange
for the Rectory of Sf. James's, and the Pre-
bend of Durham. The Bifhop accepted the
Offer, but told his Lordfhip he mould not
remind him of it, which he never did. Not-
withftanding that, about two Years afterwards,
on the Nomination of Dr. BUTLER, Dean
of Sf. Paitfs, to the See of Durham, Lord
HARDWICKE immediately wrote to the Duke of


Life of Archbifiop S E c K E R . xxxi
Newcaftle, who was then at Hanover with
the King, recommending the Bimop of Oxford
for the Deanery. His Majefty conferred, and
he was inftalled in December, 1750.

It was no Wonder that after prefiding over
fo extenfive and populous a Parifh for upwards
of Seventeen Years, Bifhop SECKER mould
willingly confent to be releafed from a Burthen,
which began now to grow too great for his
Strength. Some of his Parimioners too had
requited him but ill for the Pains he fmcerely
took to ferve them in all Refpedts. But far
the largeft and moli creditable Part of them
were duly fenfible of what they owed to him ;
and moft deeply regretted the Lofs of a Paftor,
whofe Character they reverenced, and by whofe
Labours and Inflruclions they had fo greatly
profited. When he preached his Farewell Ser-
mon, the whole Audience melted into Tears.
He was followed with the Prayers and good
Wimes of thofe whom every honeft Man would
be moft ambitious to pleafe ; and there are
Numbers foil living, who retain a ftrong and
grateful Remembrance of his inceflant and
tender Solicitude for their Welfare.

Having now more Leifure both to profecute

his own Studies,, and to encourage thofe of

4. others*

xxxii Life of Archbifiop S E c K E R .
others, he gave Dr. CHURCH confiderable
Amftance, in his Jirfl andjecond Vindication of
the miraculous Powers, &c. againftDr. MIDDLE-
TON, which were published in the Years 1750
and 1751 ; and he was of equal Ufe to him in
his Analyjis of Lord BOLINGBROKE'J Works,
which appeared a few Years afterwards. About
the fame Time began the late Archdeacon
SHARp'sControverfy with theFollowers of Mr.
HUTCH IN SON, which was carried on to the End
of the Year 1755. The Subjects of it were,
the Meaning of the Words Elohim and Berith>
the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language and
Character, the Expofition of the Word Cheru-
bim. Thefe Pieces made together three Volumes
in Octavo. Bifhop SECKER read over all Dr.
SHARP'S Papers before they went to the Prefs,
and corrected and improved them throughout.

But the Eafe which this late Change of Situ-
ation gave him was very foon difturbed by a
heavy and unexpected Stroke, the Lofs of his
three Friends, Bimops BUTLER, BENSON, and
BERKELEY, who were all cut off within the
Space of one Year. Of thefe eminent Men
who were thus joined in Death, as they had
been throughout Life, and with whom Bilhop
SECKER was moft intimately connected from


Life of Archbijljop S E c K E R . xxxiii
his earlier! Years, two are fo well known to
the World by their immortal Writings, and
the juft Applaufe of contemporary Authors,
that they need no other Memorial. But the
Name of BENSON, being written only on the
Hearts of thofe that knew him, deferves fome
'further Notice in this Place.

* He was educated at the Charter-houfe, and
removed from thence to Chrijl Church in Ox-
ford, where he had feveral noble Pupils, whofe
Friendihip and Veneration for him continued to
the End of Life. His favourite Study in early
Years was the Mathematics, in which he was
well fkilled, and had allb an excellent Tafte for
Painting, Architecture, and the other fine Arts.
He accompanied the late Earl of POMFRET in
his Travels, and in Italy became acquainted
with Mr. BERKELEY, as he did at Paris with
Mr. SECKER. He was, from his Youth to his.
lateft Age, the Delight of all who knew him.
His Manner and Behaviour were the Refult of
great natural Humanity, polifhed by a thorough
Knowledge of the World, and the moil per-
fect good Breeding, mixed with a Dignity,
which, on Occafions that called for it, no one

* This Account of Bifliop BENSON is given in the Words of
a Pcrfon who knew him well, and to whom this Narrative is in-
debted for a few other Communications of the fame Nature.

VOL. I. d more

xxxiv Life of ArMifoop S E c K E R .
more properly fupported. His Piety, though
awefully find:, was inexpreifibly amiable. It
diffufed fuch a Sweetnefs through his Temper,
and fuch a Benevolence over his Countenance,
as none . who were acquainted with him can
ever forget. Bad Nerves, bad Health, and
naturally bad Spirits were fo totally fubdued
by it, that he not only feemed, but in Reality
was, the riappieil of Men. He looked upon
all that the World calls important, its Plea-
fures, its Riches, its various Competitions,
with a playful and good-humoured Kind of
Contempt ; and could make Perfons amamed
of their Follies, by a Raillery that never gave
Pain to any human Being. Of Vice he always
fpoke with Severity and Deteflation, but looked
on the vicious with the Tendernefs of a pity-
ing Angel. His Turn was highly fociable, and
his Acquaintance very exteniive. Wherever he
went, he carried Chearfulnefs and Improvement
along with him. As Nothing but the Interefls
of Chriftianity and Virtue feemed confiderable
'enough to give him any 1 ailing Anxiety; fo, on
the other Hand, there was no Incident fo trifling
from which he could not raife Amufement and

It was much agairift his Will that he was


Life of Archblfiop SECKER. xxxv
appointed Bifhop of Gloucejler, and from that
See he would never remove. He was however
a vigilant and active Prelate* He revived the
very ufeful Institution of rural Deans, he aug-
mented feveral Livings j he beautified the Church,
and greatly improved the Palace* It was an
Ad: of Kindnefs to his Friend which coft him
his Life. At the Requeft of Dr. SECKER he
went from Gloucejler to Eatb to vifit Biihop
BUTLER, who lay ill at that Place, and he found
him almoil at the Point of Death. After one
Day's Stay there, he was obliged to go to the
northern Extremity of his Diocefe, to confirm.
The Fatigue of thefe Journies, (for, according
to his conffont Practice, he travelled on Horfe-
back) and his Bulinefs together, produced an
Inflammation, and that a Mortification, in his
Bowels, of which he died. The Bimop of
Oxford was appointed one of his Executors>
with a Legacy of . 300. which he refufed to

In the Beginning of the Year 1753, a Bill
for the Naturalization of the yews, commonly
called the Jew Bill, hud palled both Houfes
of Parliament with little or no Oppofition.
But a great Clamour being raifed againft it
without Doors, it was thought advifeable that
d 2 the

xxxvi Life of Archbifoop S E c K E R .
the Duke of Newcaftk fhould move for the
Repeal of it, on the firft Day of the Seffion in
the next Winter. And he defiring to be
feconded by a Binhop, Dr. SECKER was fixed
on for that Purpofe. He accordingly rofe up
after the Duke, and made a Speech, which had
the good Fortune to be remarkably well re-
ceived j though Lord Weftmordand faid, that
for fome Time he thought the Bilhop had
been fpeaking againft the Repeal, having
advanced more in Favour of the Bill than he
had ever heard before. He fpoke afterwards
for a Claufe to diiable Jews from being Pa-
trons of Livings, which fome thought they
might; but the Delire of the Houfe for the
fimple Repeal prevailed, and he was advifed
not to divide it on the Claufe. On this Occa-
fion it was that he vindicated his Friend Dr.
SHERLOCK, with great Spirit, againft fome
fevere Attacks made upon him by a noble Lord
in Relation to this Bill ; for which generous
Proceeding he had the Bimop's Thanks.

During the whole Time that he was Dean of
St. PWs, he attended Divine Service conftantly
in that Cathedral twice every Day, whether
in Refidence or not ; and, in Concert with the
other three Refidentiaries, eflablifhed the Cuf-


Life of Ar Mi/hop S E c K E R . xxxvii
torn of always preaching their own Turns in the
Afternoon, or exchanging with each other
only; which, excepting the Cafe oflllnefs, or
extraordinary Accidents, was very punctually
obferved. The Fund, appropriated to the Repairs
of the Church, having by Neglecl: and wrong
Management fallen into much Confufion, he
took great Pains in examining the Accounts,
reducing Payments, making a proper Divifion
of Expence betwixt the Dean and Chapter on
one Side, and the three Truftees on the other,
and prevailing on the latter to agree to that
Divifion ; by which Means the Fund was put
on fuch a Footing, that it encreafed afterwards
conliderably, and promifed to be fufficient for
the Purpofcs it was defigned to anfwer. In the
following Year he was engaged in another very
troublefome Tran faction, making an Agreement
with the Inhabitants of St. Faith's Parifh, con-
cerning their Share of St. Paul's Church-yard.
And he left behind him a great Number of
Papers relative to both thefe Points. He pro-
cured the old Writings of the Church to be put
in Order, and an Index made to them. He
collated a Copy of the old Statute-Book, as it is
called, with that which is ufed'as the Original,
and corrected a Multitude of Miitakes in that
d 3 Tranfcript.

xxxv iii HL,ifc of Archbljkop SECKER,
Tranfcript. He examined alfo the Regifters
and Books in the Chapter-Houfe, extracted out
of them what feemed material, and left the
Extracts in the Hands of his Succeflbr.
In the Summer Months he refided conftantly
at his Epifcopal Houfe at Cuddefden. The
Vicinity of that Place to the Univeriity of
Oxford, and the natural Connection which his
Station gave him with the Members of that
learned Body, could not but be very pleafmg
to a Man of his literary Turn. Yet his Situ-*
ation, agreeable and honourable as it was to
him, had notwithstanding its Difficulties. To
appear with any confiderable Degree of Credit
amongft fo many Men of the firft Eminence
for Genius and Erudition, and to preferve the.
Reverence due to the Character of a Diocefan,
^midft fuch violent Party-dilTeniions as at that
Time unhappily prevailed there, required no
fmall Share of Ability and Prudence. Dr f
SECKER however had the good Fortune to
fucceed in both thofe Points. His Houfe was
the Refort of thofe who were moil diftinguifhed
for .academical Merit, arid his Converfation fuch
as was worthy^ of his Guefts, who always left
him with a high Efteem of his Underilanding
gnd Learning. And though in the warm Con-

Life of Archbifoop SECKER. xxxix
teftin 1754, for Reprefentatives of the County,
(in which it was fcarce poffible for any Perfon of
'Eminence to remain neuter) he openly efpoufed

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