« AnteriorContinuar »
MAGAZINE AND REVIEW;
DIVINE AND USEFUL
That Church alone which first began at Jerusalem on earth, will bring
Printed by J. G. Burnard, No. 57, Snow Hill,
62, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD. .
MAGAZINE AND REVIEW,
FOR JULY 1806.
Take we due care, that something of the wisdom of the serpent may al
ways accompany the innocence of the dove; and that religion and discretion may constantly go hand in hand.
Life of the Right Rev. GEORGE BULL, D.D. sometime
Lord Bishop of St. David's.
HIS great man was the son of an opulent tradesman
at Wells in Somersetshire, where he was born March 25, 1634. He received his education at Tiverton school, in the county of Devon, from whence he was reinoved to Exeter college before he had obtained bis fourteenth year, and was placed under the tuition of Mr. Ackland, with whom, on their leaving the university, he resided till he was about pineteen years of age. After quitting Mr. Ackland, he went to live with a Mr. Thomas, rector of Ubley in Somerset, with a view of prosecuting his theological studies. A worse choice could not have been made; for this gentleman was not only very insufficient, but extremely bigoted to the doctrines of Calvin, and to the Presbyterian discipline. But Mr. Thomas's son, who afterwards became prebendary of Wells, was of a more enlarged mind, and furnished Mr. Bull with the works of Hooker, Hammond, Grotius, &c. much against the wish of his father, who would frequently say, “ My son will corrupt Mr. Bull.” Thus it pleased God to correct the disadvantages of his education, and by a favourable circumstance, to strike such light into his mind as preserved him from the bad principles of those times, and directed his undersļanding in distinguishing truths of the great, est importance. Vol. XI. Churchman's Mag. for July, 1806. B
Soon after leaving Mr. Thomas, he received holy orders privately from ihe hands of Dr. Skinner, the suffering Bishop of Oxford, who had the courage to send many labourers into the Lord's Vineyard, when tl:e exercising his episcopal office was made penal by the parliament. Mr. Bull was ordained both deacon and priest in one day, and that when he was no more than one and lwenty. Though this was not strictly canonical, yet the exigency of the times gave it a sanction. Shortly after this, he accepted the small living of St. George's, Somersetshire, a few miles below. Bristol, where he found many Quakers, and other wild sectaries, who held very extravagant opinions; but by his constantly preaching twice every Lord's day, by his sound doctrine and exemplary life, by his great charities, (for he expended more annually in relieving the poor of all sorts, than the whole income of his living amounted to,) and by his prudent behaviour, he gained very much upon the affections of his parishioners, and was very instrumental in preserving many, and reclaiming others, from those pernicious errors which then were common among them. He had not been long settled in this place, when a singular circumstance happened, which greatly increased his reputation. The matter was this : One Sunday when he had begun his sermon, as he was turning over his bible to explain some texts of scripture which he had quoted, his notes, containing several small pieces of paper, flew out of his bible into the middle of the church, to the great entertainment of many of the congregation, who concluded that their young
minister would be completely at a nonplus for want of his materials; but some who were more considerate, gathered up the notes, and carried them to him in the pulpit. Mr. Ball took them, but perceiving most of his hearers inclined to triumph over him in his confusion, and to insult his youth, immediately put the notes into his book, and having shut it, continued the subject extempore with the greatest coolness and order, without being once at a loss.
The iniquity of the times would not bear the regular rise of the Liturgy: to supply which defect, Mr. Bull formed all the devotions he offered up in public, out of the Book of Common Prayer, which did not fail to supply him with fit matter and proper
upon sions. He did this with so much fervour and ardency of affection, and with so powerful an emphasis in every