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Time he made it his principal Study to fet
every Thing he undertook to treat upon in
the cleareft Point of View -, to bring his
Thoughts and his Arguments asclofe together,
and to exprefs them in as few and as intelligible
Words as poffible ; admitting none but what
-conveyed fome new Idea, or were neceflary


Life of Archbiflwp S E c K E R . Ixxix
to throw new Lighten the Subject; and never
wafting his own Time or that of others, by
ftepping out of his Way for needlefs Em-
bellifhments. But though in general he thus
confined himfelf to the fevere Laws of didactic
Compolition, (in which indeed confifted his
chief Excellence) yet he could be, where the
Occafion called for it, pathetic, animated, ner-
vous ' y could rife into that true Sublime, which
confifts not in Pomp of Diction but Grandeur
of Sentiment, exprefTed with Simplicity and
Strength ; of which his Sermons afford feveral
admirable Specimens.

It feldom happens that Men of a ftudious
Turn acquire any great Degree of Reputa-
tion for their Knowledge of Bufmefs.
Love of Solitude and Contemplation which
generally attends true Genius, and is ne-
ceflary for any confiderable Exertion of it,
gives at the fame Time a certain Indolence
and Softnefs to the Mind, which equally in-
difpofes and unfits it for taking a Part in the
bufy Scenes of Life. But Dr. SECKER'S Ta-
lents were formed no lefs for Action than
Speculation ; nor was he more embarrafTed
with Difficulties in the mofl intricate Affairs,
than in the deepefl Studies, In all the fe-

Ixxx Life of Archbijhop S E c K t R .
veral Stations that he pafTed through, he let
Nothing fuffer for Want of Attention and Care.
Wherever his Advice and Affiftance were called
for, he never failed to be prefent, was fcru-
pulouily punctual to his Appointments, fhew-
ed himfelf a perfect Matter of the Buiinefs
that came before him, and went through it
with Calmnefs and Difpatch. And it was
very obfervable, that though in all important
Tranfactions, no one had greater Ideas, or
proceeded on more enlarged and liberal Prin-
ciples ; yet where it was necelTary, he could
take Notice of the fmalleft and jfeemingly
moft trifling Circumftances, and enter into the
minuteft Details with a Penetration and Exact-
nefs, which are feldom feen even in thofe who
are moft pradtifed in worldly Concerns.

His Learning was very exteniive, and on
thofe Points, which he fhidied with any
Degree of Attention, profound. He was
well acquainted with the Greek and Latin
Languages ; had in the younger Part of his
Life read with Tafle the belt Authors in
each ; and of the latter more efpecially had
imbibed fo ftrong a Tincture, that when he
was near feventy, after a Difufe of above forty
Years, he compofed the Latin Speech printed


Life of Archbifiop S E c K E R . Ixxxi
at the End of his Charges ; the Style of which
is nervous, manly, and corredb

He poiTefTed a large Share of critical Pene-
tration, and fcarce ever read any Book of Note
without making Remarks upon it. Some of
thsfe frill remain amongft his Manufcripts.
Some he communicated at different Times to
the Editors or Tranflators of feveral Claffic
Authors. But his chief Labours of this Kind
were bellowed on the holy Scriptures, for
which he came well prepared by his Know-
ledge of the original Languages in which
they were written. In Hebrew Literature
more efpecially, his Skill was fo well known
and acknowledged, that few Works of Emi-
nence in that Branch of Learning were pub-
limed, without being firft fubmitted to his
Examination, and receiving confiderable Im-
provement from his CorredionSi He was
the firft Promoter, and always a liberal En-
courager, of that very ufeful Work, 'The Col-
lation of the Hebrew Ma?iufcHpts of the Old
T'eftament, undertaken by Dr. KENNICOTT,
and now brought to a Conclulion. The
greateft Part of his leifure Hours was em-
ployed in ftudying the original Text of the
facred Writings : in comparing it with all the

VOL. I. antient

Ixxxii Life of Archbijbop S E c K E R .
antient Verfions ; in collecting together the Re-
marks made upon it by the moil ingenious and
learned Authors, antient and modern, Jewifh
and Chriltian - y in applying to the fame Pur-
pofe every Thing he accidentally met with in
the Courfe of his reading, that had any
Tendency to explain and illuflrate it ; and
fuperadding to the Whole, his own Ob-
fervations and Conjectures, fome of which
have been fince confirmed by the beft Ma-
nufcripts. The Refult of thefe Labours ap-
pears, in fome Degree, in the fhort and ma-
iterly Explications of Scripture, interfperfed
occaiionally in his Lectures and Sermons ;
but more particularly in the interleaved Bibles,
and the theological DifTertations hereafter

But his Attention was not folely confined to
the Scriptures. He had fcudied carefully fome
of the beit Chriftian Writers of the primitive
Ages, and without relying implicitly on their
Judgement, or adopting their Errors, knew
well how to avail himfelf, ,@f their real Excel-
lencies. Of Eccleliaftical Hiftory he was a
great 'Mailer: had a clear Idea of the Pro-
grefs of ChrifKanity from its firil Promulgation
to the prefent Times, of the various Revolu-

Life of Archbifoop S E c K E R . Ixxxiii
tions it had patted through* the different
Grounds on which it had been oppofed or vin-
dicated, the Steps by which the Corruptions
of it had been gradually introduced, the Arts
by which they had been fo long maintained,
and the providential Coincidence of Events
which afterwards contributed to remove
them. He was well acquainted with the va-
rious Seels, into which the Church was an-
tiently, and is at prefent divided ; he under-
ftood the Nature and Tendency of their re-
fpe<5tive Tenets, the State of the Contro-
verfies fubfiftirtg amongft them, the refpeftive
Merits, of their beft Writers, the proper Con-
duel: to be obferved towards each, and the good
tJfes that might be made of all. And though
in his Writings he never made a needleis
(Mentation of all this Learning, yet they who
examine fome of the plained of them clofely
and critically, will find them to be the Refill t
of deep Thought and a comprehenfive Know-
ledge of his Subject ; will find that he ex-
prefTes himfelf on almoil every Point with
Propriety, Precifion, and Certainty; without
any thing crude or injudicious, without any
of thofe ram AlTertions and hafty Conclufions,
into which they, who havs but a fuperficial
g 2 View

Ixxxi v Life of Archbijhop S E c K E R .

View of Things, and know not what G round

they ftand upon, are perpetually falling.

The beft modern Publications in moil Parts
of ufeful Learning, but more efpecially thofe
which immediately related to his own Pro-
feliion, or were in any Degree connected
with it, he conftantly read j was one of the
firft to give a fatisfaclory Account of them,
to commend them if they deferred it, to point
out and obviate their Errors, if they con-
tained any which he thought material. But
there was one Part of his literary Character
extremely amiable, and, in the Degree at leaft,
almoft peculiar to him ; and that was, the in-
credible Pains he would take in reviling, cor-
recting, and improving the Works of others.
This he did in numberlefs Inftances beiides
thofe which have here been mentioned, with
equal Zeal and Judgment -, and fome of thofe
Compofitions which now ftand defervedly
higheft in the EfKmation of the Public, and
will go down with encreafmg Fame to fu-
ture Ages, owe no inconfiderable Share of
: their Merit to his Corredrions and Communi-
, cations.

The Number of valuable Writings which
he has left behind him is very confiderable.


Life of Archbifoop S E c K E R . lxxx.v
Beiides the two Volumes of occafional Ser-
mons, which appeared in his Life-time, the
Lectures on the Catechifm and the Charges
published fince his Death, and the four Vo-
lumes of Sermons now . offered to the Public,
he has bequeathed to the Manufcript Library
at Lambetby a great Variety of learned and cu-
rious Pieces, written by himfelf, to be pre-
ferved there under the fole Care of the Arch-
bifhop for the Time 'being, and to be infpected
by no one without his Grace's exprefs Per-

Amongft thefe Manufcripts, fome of the moil
remarkable are; an interleaved EngHJI} Bible,
in four Volumes in Folio, with occafional Re-
marks ; upon the New Teftament very co-
pious -, tending chiefly to clear up Difficulties,
and to correct and improve the prefent Tranf-
lation, with a View probably to a new one ;
MICHAELIS'S Hebrew Bible, rilled with Com-
parifons of the antient Verfions, Emendations,
and Conjectures on the original Text ; two
Folio Volumes of Notes upon Daniel -, a great
Number of critical DifTertations on contro-
verted PafTages of Scripture ; Remarks on
fome modern Publications ; and feveral Vo-
lumes of Mifcellanies, written in the former
g 3 Part

Ixxx vi Life of Archbijhop t S E c K E R .

Part of his Life, containing chiefly Extracts

from various Authors, and Obfervations upon

them, the Objections of fceptical Writers to the

Truth of Revelation, with Anfwers to fome ?

.and MaterJtfif or Hints for Anfwers to many


It may juftly feem furprifing, that in a Life
fo active, fo full $' Employment and Avoca-
tion from Study *, the Archbilhop could find
Leifure to read fo much, and to leave behind
him fo many Writings; fome of them learned
and critical ? all of them full of good Senfe and
ufeful Knowledge. The Fad: is, that in him
were united two Things which very rarely
meet together, but, when they do, can produce
Wonders, ftrong Parts, and unwearied Induftry.
He rofe at-^ix the whole Year round, and had
often fpent a bufy Day, before others began to
enjoy it. His whole Time was marked out
and appropriated in the moft regular Manner
to particular Employments, and he never fuf-

* Ille primum habuit in multiplicibus quibus diflriftus eft
curis, nullideefle; neque quifquam fuit qui literarum ftudiis
majorem operam otiofus pofuit, quam ille occupatifiimo in
loco. In aliis quidem hominibus ingenium excellens, et mul-
tiplicem fcientiam agnofcimus, in aiiis confiliurn, auctoritatem,
probitatem, conftantiam ; in quo autem hasc omnia iu abundc
tonvenerint haud facile inveniemus. Concio adClerum^ c? 1 ora-
Ztxncula, a Gulielmo ^Larkkatn halites, 1769, P. 25. Sold by


Life of Archbifliof SEEKER. Ixxxvii
fered even thofe broken Portions of it, which
are feldom much regarded, to be idly thrown
away. The Strength of his Conftitution hap-
pily kept Pace with the Activity of his Mind,
and enabled him to go on incerfantly from one
Bufinefs to another with almoft unremitted Ap-
plication, till, his Spirits being quite exhaufted,
he was obliged at laft to have Recourfe to Reft,
which however he always took Care to make
as fhort as poflible.

Induftry like this, continued through a long
Courfe of Years, could not poffibly be the Effect
of any Thing but that which was indeed at
the Bottom of it, a ftrong Senfe of Duty. It
was not becaufe the Archbifhop had lefs Rolifh
for Eafe, or lefs Diflike to Fatigue than other
Men, that his Diligence and Perfeverance fo
far exceeded theirs; but becaufe he thought
himfelf bound to labour for the Good of Man-
kind, and that all Indolence and Self-indul-
gence, which interfered with this, was in fome
Degree criminal. Whenever therefore he was
engaged (as he was almoft continually) in ferv-
ing others, he never reckoned his own Time
or Pains for any Thing, nor did it feem fo
much as once to enter into his Thoughts, that
he ought to allow himfelf any Amufement.
g 4 Even

Ixxxviii Life of Arcbbijhop S E c K E R .
Even the Pleafures of polite Literature, which
were highly grateful to him, he thought himfelf
obliged to relinquifh for the peculiar Studies of
his Profeffion, and thefe again for the practical
Duties of Religion, and the daily Offices of
common Life. On this Principle he made it
a Point to be at all Times acceffible. Even in
thofe early Hours, which were more peculiarly
dedicated to Retirement and Study, if any one
came to him on the fmalleit Pretence of Bufi-
nefs, he would inftantly break off the rnofl
pleaiing or moil abflrufe Speculations, receive
his Vifitor with perfect good Humour, and
facrifice thofe precious Moments to Duty, to
Civility, to the flighteft Propriety, which he
would on no Account have given up to Re^ -
laxation or Repofe.

This indeed was only one Inftance, amongft
many others, of that wonderful Command he
had obtained over his moft favourite Inclina-
tions, and the Facility with which he controlled
his ftrongeft Paflions. His Temper was na-
turally quick and impatient; but by keeping
a watchful Eye over the Movements of his
own Mind, and prefcribing to himfelf certain
excellent Rules and Precautions to which he
inviolably adhered, he fo totally fubdued this


Life of Archbifiop S E c K E R . Ixxxix
dangerous Propenfity, that few who knew him
had any Sufpicion of his being fubjecl to it.
Sometimes indeed, on very trying Occaiions, he
might be feen ready to kindle on a fudden into
fome Exprefiions of Anger, and as fuddenly
recollecting and checking himfelf ; keeping
down the riiing Tumult within him, and re-
fuming almoft inftantaneoufly his ufual Mild-
nefs and Compofure.

In him appeared all the Efficacy of religious
Principle, the Calmnefs, the Greatnefs of
Mind, the Fortitude, the Chearfulnefs, which
no other Principle could infpire, fupport, and
improve through a whole Life. That fervent
yet rational Piety, which glowed in his Writ-
ings, which animated his Devotions, was the
genuine Effufion of his Soul, the fupreme
Guide and Director of his Actions and Defigns.
It was not, as is fometimes the Gafe, afiumed
occalionally, and laid afide when the Eye of
the World was not upon him 3 but was the
fame in private as in public, to thofe who ob-
ferved him at a Diftance, and thofe who lived
and converfed intimately with him, who had
Opportunities of feeing him at all Hours, and
under all Circumstances, in his retired and fe-
as well as in his freer! and moil chearful


xc Life of Archbifiop S E c K E R .

Moments. The Honour of God, and the
Interefts of Religion, were evidently neareft
his Heart. He thought of them, he talked of
them, he was concerned and anxious for them,
he fought out for Opportunities of advancing
them, he. was careful not to fay or do any
Thing that might hurt them in the Eftimation
of Mankind. This it was which kept up that
uniform Decency and Propriety fo remarkable
in his whole Deportment, which preferved
him from every unbecoming Levity of Beha-
viour and Converfation, added Weight and
Dignity to his Character, and raifed him above
all the common MeannefTes of merely fecular

His Soul was generous beyond Defcription.
Even when his Income was but moderate, and
the Provifion made for his Family very {lender,
he lived hofpitably, and gave liberally. As
his Revenues encreafed, his Beneficence rofe
in Proportion, infomuch, that after the firft
Expences of his Promotion to the See of Can-
terbury were over, his charitable Donations
were confiderably more than two thoufand
Pounds a Year. On all proper Occalions his
Heart and his Hand were fo free, that he
feemed not to have, as indeed he had not, the


Life of Archbifiop S E C K E R . xci

leafl Regard for Money. The Eafe and Readi-
nefs with which he gave away the largefl Sums,
plainly fliewed, that long Habit had rendered
it quite natural and familiar to him, and that
he faw Nothing wonderful or extraordinary in
Acts -of Generofity, which others could not
obferve without Surprize,

They who applied to him on Account of
any public Subfcription, in Favour of any Thing
ufeful or even ornamental to his Country, com-
monly received much more than they expected j
and were frequently withheld from repeating
their Solicitations, through Fear, not of being
.denied, but of trefpaffing too far on a Libe-
rality that feemed to know no Bounds. In
Matters of private Charity, the Number of in-
digent Perfons whom he relieved by occafional
Benefactions, or fupported by annual Penfions,
was very great. Yet his Favours were not
lavifhed away with undiftinguifhing Profulion.
He took Pains to find out the real Merits and
Diftreffes of thofe who afked Relief from him,
and endeavoured, as far as he was able, to
fmgle out the virtuous and religious, as pe-
culiar Objects of his Bounty. He thought it
a material Part of true Benevolence, to have
an Eye not only to the Removal of Mifery,


xcii Life of Archbifhop S E c K E R .
but the Encouragement of Piety and good Mo-
rals . With this View he was particularly at-
tentive to fuch Charities as were calculated to
advance ufeful Knowledge or fpiritual Improve-
ment y which he made a Point of encouraging
by his Example, not only as being in , them-
felves highly beneficial, but alfo ftrangely difre-
garded fometimes by very worthy, and, in other
Refpects, very confiderate Perfons.

In the Government of his Family, there was
an Air of Eafe and Generoiity without any
Affectation of Magnificence or Show. His
Houfe was hofpitable, and his Table plentiful,
yet plain and fimple. He wifhed to have every
Thing fuitable to his Rank, but would con-
fent to Nothing beyond it. He thought it
right in one of his Station and Profeffion to
difcduntenance, as far as he could, all luxurious
Elegancies. He would therefore never give
into feveral fafhionable Accommodations, nor
admit extraordinary Delicacies to his Table, nor
even accept them when offered to him. He
Deceived his Company with Politenefs and good
Humour $ and entertained them, when he was in
Health and Spirits, with lively and improving
Converfation. He could make pertinent Ob-
fervations on almoft any Topic that happened


Life of Archlifiop S E c K E R . xciii
to be ftarted, how remote foever from the na-
tural Courfe of his Studies. Men of eminent
Worth or Learning he diftinguifhed by pecu-
liar Notice, led the Difcourfe to fuch Sub-
jects as called out their refpeclive Excellencies,
and mewed that they fpoke before one who
could judge well of their Merits.

Yet it mufr. be owned that he was not al-
ways equally affable and obliging. There was
fometimes a Referve and Coldnefs in his Man-
ner, that threw a Damp on Converfation, and
prevented Strangers from being perfectly at their
Eafe before him. This was by fome imputed
to Pride. But in Reality it arofe from very
different Caufes ; fometimes from bodily Pain,
which he often felt when he did not own it ;
fometimes from his Spirits being wafted or de-
prelTedby the Fatigues of the Morning; fome-
times from accidental UneafinefTes ariling in the
Courfe of Bufmefs, which he could not im-
mediately {hake off his Mind. To this mould
be added, that the natural Loftinefs of his
Figure, and the Opinion generally and juflly
entertained of his Learning and Stridnefs of
Life, were ofthemfelves apt to produce a kind
of Awe and Conftraint in his Company, when
he was far from wifhing to infpire it.


xciv Life of Arcbbifoop S E c k E k .

It was remarkable that he chofe always
rather to talk of Things than Perfons ; was
very fparing in giving his Opinion of Cha-
rafters, very candid when he did. Of his own
good Deeds or great Attainments he never
fpoke, nor loved to hear others fpeak. Com-
pliments were very irkfome to him. They
vifibly put him out of Humour, and gave him
adtual Pain ; and he would fometimes exprefs
his Diflike of them in fuch plain Terms, as
effectually prevented a Repetition of them from
the fame Perfon.

To his DomefHcs he was a gentle and in-
dulgent Mafter. Many of them he fuffered
to continue with their Families in his Houfe
after they were married. None of them were
difcharged on Account of Sicknefs or Infir-
mity, but were affifted with the beft Advice
that could be had at a great yearly Expence*
Thofe who had attended him in Illnefs, or
ferved him long and faithfully; he never fail-
ed to reward with an unfparing Hand. To-
wards his other Dependants, his Behaviour was
even and friendly. He expected every one
about him to do their Duty, of which he him-
felf firil fet them the Example ; and, pro-*
vided they did fo with any tolerable Care, they


Life of Archbljhop S E c K E R . xcv
were fecure of his Favour. Of flight Faults
he took no Notice ; of great ones he would
exprefs his Senfe at the Time ftrongly ; but
never fuffered them to dwell or rankle on his
Mind, or operate to the future Prejudice of
thofe whofe general Conduct was right. To
his Relations he was continually doing the
befl-natured, the handfomeft, the moft gene-
rous Things -> affifting them in Difficulties,
comforting them in Affliction, promoting their
Interefts, and improving their Circumftances
reafonably, not aggrandizing or enriching them

The unaltered Kindnefs he mewed to the
two Ladies that lived with him from the Time
of his Marriage to that of his Death, that is,
for upwards of two-and-forty Years, was a re-
markable Inilance of fteady Friendship; and
mewed that his Soul was no lefs formed for
that rare Union of virtuous Minds, than for
every other generous Affection . The younger of
thofe two Ladies, Mrs. CATHERINE TALBOT,
(who, to the fmefl Imagination and the moft
elegant Accomplifhments of her Sex, added the
gentleft Manners, and a Difpofition thoroughly
benevolent and devout,) did not long furvive the


xcvi Life of Arcbbifhop S E c K E R .
Archbifhop. She died on the 9th of January
laft, in the 49th Year of her Age.

Thus much it has been judged requifite to
lay before the World in Relation to Archbifhop
SECKER ; not with any View of exalting his
Character higher than it deferves, which is
quite needlefs ; but of making its real Value
more generally known, and of refcuing it from
the Mifreprefentations of a few miiinformed
or malevolent Men. To fome, no Doubt, the
Portrait here drawn of him will appear a
very flattering one ; but it will be much eafier
to call than to prove it fuch. Nothing has
been advanced but what is founded on the
moft authentic Evidence, nor has any Cir-
cumftance been delignedly {trained beyond the
Truth. And if his Grace did really live and
ad; in fuch a Manner that the moil faithful
Delineation of his Conduct muft necefTarily
have the Air of a Panegyric, the Fault is not in
the Copy, but in the Original.

After this plain Reprefentation of Facts
therefore, it cannot be thought neceilary to
enter here into a particular Examination of
the various Falmoods, which his Grace's Ene-
mies have fo induftrioufly circulated, in or*


Life of Arclbifoop SECKER. xcviir
der to fix, if poflible, fome Stain upon his Re-
putation. It would be very unreafonable to
expeft that he of all others, fo high in Rank
and fo aftive in the Difcharge of his Duty,
fhould, amidft the prefent Rage of Defama-
tion, efcape without his full Share of Cen-
fure ; and it would be very weak to appre-
hend the leaft ill Confequences from it. There
is fo little Doubt from what Quarter thofe In-
vectives come, and to what Caufes they are
owing, that they do not appear to have made
the mghteft Impremon on any unprejudiced
Mind, and, for Want of Ground to fupport
them, are finking hourly into Oblivion. If a
Life fpent like Archbifhop SECKER'S, and a
Spirit fuch as breathes through every Page of
his Writings, are not a fufficient Confutation
of all fuch idle Calumnies, it is in vain to think
that any Thing elfe can be fo. All that his
Friends have to do, is to wait a little While
with Patience and Temper. Time never fails
to do ample JuiHce to fuch Characters as his ;
which, if left to themfelves, will always rife by
their own Force above the utmoft Efforts made
to deprefs them, and acquire freh Luftre every
Day in the Eyes of all confiderate and difpaf-
fionate Men.
VOL. I. fa

are comprized in Twelve Volumes Octavo?
Onfift of

Seven Volumes of Sermons on feveral Sub-

Two Volumes of Lectures on the Church

Catechifm :


One Volume of Charges to the Clergy of the
Diocefes of Oxford and Canterbury.

The above Ten Volumes publimed fmce his
Grace's 'Deceafe, by Dr. P or feus and Dr. Stinton.

One Volume of Nine Sermons on the War and
Rebellion, publimed by the Author in 1758,
when Bifhop of Oxford : And

One Volume of Fourteen occafional Sermons,
printed by his Grace in 1766.

The whole Twelve Volumes may be had of J. and

1 2 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

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