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beft fuits their own turn of mind; for such as assume a character that nature never
gave them, will scarcely ever make a figure in life, be happy in themselves, or useful to the world. It will be found true, we are inclined to think, by most readers, that they seldom have been more pleased, or less tired with any work, than when they were reading the life of a particu. lar person, especially if it was the life of one whose turn of mind was somewhat similar to their own; and it is a good way to find out the leading passion, particular ge. nius, taste, and inclination, by observing what sort of lives please us moft, which w like best to talk of, and which make the trongest impression on our minds. We be. lieve the lives of illustrious men, written by Plutarch, have formed many great itatesmen, and many
great heroes. The, trophies of Miltiades would not let Themistocles feep. 'They who discover a greater admiration of the rapid and ungovernable bravery of Charles XII. than of the sedate and consummate conduct of the duke of Marlborough, and take more pleafure in reading the history of such as bear a nearer refemblance to the Swede than to the English hero, will probably be found, in fact, more fit to head a desperate attack, than to conduct a rational enterprize. They who find themselves less tired when reading the life of a good prelate than of a celebrated general, are, it may be presumed, formed by nature to wear the sacred or civi)
with a better grace, than they could weild the staff of a commander in chief, They who are more charmed with accounts of such persons as lived in elegant retirement, far removed from the hurry of courts and bufiness, than of those who spend their lives amidst the bufle and intrigues of the world, will find themselves improperly placed, when they entirely forsake their more privaté walk of life, and enter deeply into the af. fairs of public management. The subject of these memoirs, if properly attended to, that course we are not to follow, and will have an influence in forming the heart to generous prin ciples, while, at the same time, the understanding is presented with an excellent pattern of wise and virtuous conduct. If the portrait of the bishop of Bath and Wells is not adorned with the striking beauties of the sublime, or may not be a complete finished piece, yet his genius, talents, and manner of life, are worthy of esteem, and, we hope, may have such an effect upon our paflions, as to excite a laudable imitation.
The father and grandfather of this worthy prelate were gentlemen of good property in Norfolk,
5. who with their
oxen ploughed their own estates,” living upon, and occupying their own lands. But the bishop of Bath and Wells has not been indebted chiefly to family connexions, for civil honours and ecclesiastical preferments, which sprung from much nobler sources, learning, piety, and real "-merit; and to these we may place his lord ship's attention, even at this day, when about 69 years of age, in selecting and preferring only men of worth and learning to church liv, ings.
Our good bishop imbibed the first rudiments of his education aç the public grammar school at Norwich, till he was turned of fifteen years of age ; at which time he received an invitation' to "Cambridge from his uncle Dr. Moss, dean of Ely (who then, in the decline of life, was settled there) and was admitted by him a student of Caius college, under the protection of Dr. Gooch, his intimate friend, then master of the college, and afterwards bishop of 'Ely: Having taken his degree of matter of arts, he was appointed domestic chaplain to Dr. Sherlock (another intimate friend of the dean's) then bishop of Sarum, and afterwards of London, by whom he was preferred in a most ample manner, suitable to his great mę. rit ; first in the diocese of Sarum, and then in that of London: but what contributed most to his happiness was, that his abilities and exemplary life gained him the entire confidence and friendthip of thạt great man, with whom he lived in the strictest friendship till his death. It is not usual with fuch characters like Dr. Sherlock to be indifferent as to the foundation on which they build their ef. teem ; and that unbounded regard he bestowed upon the bishop of Bath and Wells, is the strongest proof we can produce of his real
worth, and Dr. Sherlock's judicious difcernment.
In the diocese of Sarum, the first preferment of the bishop of Bath and Wells was the prebend of Burbage; and after this he was elected by the dean and chapter a canon residentiary. He was also, we find, at one time rector of St. Andrew Undershaft, London; from whence, upon the promotion of bishop Secker to the deanery of St. Paul's, he was collated to the rectory of St. James, Westminster, in 1751, on the refignation of that bishop. And in 1759 he was promoted to the rectory of St. George, Hanover-square, on the death of Dr. Trebeck. On the death of bihop Squire, in 1766, he was consecrated bishop of St. David's; from whence, in 1774 he was translated to the fee of Bath and Wells; the annual income of which, as rated in the king's books, is 5331. is. 3d. The place of his country residence, Wells palace, Somersethire, and his town house is in Grosvenorplace. His lordship married the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Hales, a family long distinguished more by their fplendid virtues than thining honours. By that lady the bishop has had two sons and two daughters : of the former, the eldelt is now a student in Chrift
Church, Oxford, and the other is at Eton school.
The worthy bishop of Bath and Wells has published several ano. nymous tracts, and some occafional fermons, besides that juftly much admired one preached at St. James's, Weitminster, an occasion of the earthquake. In the course of four years his lord ship preached what are generally call.ed Boyle's lectures, to which none but men of the first abilities have been
appointed. These discorirses are not yet published, but as their noble plan is the defence of Chriftianity against the cavils of Jews, Mahometans,
and modern unbelievers, it is our earneft request, in behalf of the Christian world, that his lord ship would order them to the press ; by which he will not only gratify the hope and ardent wishes of the public, but also in crease his own sum of delight, which is continually doing good.
“In empire high, or in proud science deep, “ Ye born of earth! on what can you con
fer, « With half the dignity, with half the gain,
The guít, the glow of rational delight, “ As 'on this theme, which angels praise
and share ? « Man's fates and favours are a cheme in heaven.".
father what was the fignification of such or such a passage. The good old man used seemingly to reprove him for his forwardness, though inwardly rejoicing, and blessing God at the same time, that he had made him the father of such a child.
Having given him fuch instruction as himself was capable of, he fent him to perfect his studies with Clemens, who was at that time regent of the Catechist school at Alexan. dria, under whom he made a vast progress in learning. From him he removed to Ammonius (called Sac. cas, from his having carried facks; for he was by employment a porter) under him Origen made himself master of the platonic notions, tho' not above the age of seventeen. At this time his father was imprisoned on account of his religion, and afterwards beheaded ; in consequence of which his estate was confiscated, During his confinement, his fon passionately exhorted him to be faithful unto death; and fearing, left the deplorable condition in which his mother and brethren would be left, night have some influence on his mind : among other things he said to him, “ Take heed, father, that for our fakes you do not change.” And so great was the courage, and so eager the desire of this stripling to suffer martyrdom himself, that scarce any considerations could prevail on him to desist from offering himself thereto. His mother befought him with the utmost tenderness to spare himself, if not for his own, yet for her fake and the rest of his relations. But finding that all her intreaties were ineffectual, she in the night took away his cloaths, shirts, &c. and this constrained him to remain at home.
After the death of his father, both himself and the rest of the family were reduced to great ftraits ; but the good providence of God interposed for their relief, A rich and
honourable matron pitying his case, contributed liberally to his relief, as she did to that of many
others; and among them maintained one Paul, 'a ringleader of all the hereticks at Alexandria. To this man, on account of his eloquence, daily resorted an innumerable multitude, not only of hereticks, but of the orthodox also: and to such a degree had he obtained the favour of the lady, that the adopted him for her son. Origen, though his livelihood (and perhaps that of his mother and brethren likewise) depended on her bounty, would never comply with this favourite, nor so much to join in
prayer with him ; a remarkable proof of the true greatness of his mind!
Being now about eighteen years old, and having perfected his stu. dies, he opened a school for instruction in the liberal arts; and notwithstanding his youth, his lectures were attended by perfons of the greatest reputation for learning: in consequence of which, many emi. nent hereticks were by him brought over to the true faith; for which some of them afterwards suffered martyrdom. And fo great was his reputation, that before the age of nineteen he was made master of the school at Alexandria, and had scholars in great abundance ; but find. ing his employment too heavy, he left off teaching the arts, and confined himself entirely to Christian instruction. This he attended to with the greatest diligence,and no leis success: For he not only established those who were already Christians, but also gained over a great number of Gentile philosophers to the faith; several of whom afterwards loit their lives for their adherence thereto.
The persecution being renewed at Alexandria with great severity, scarce any one would venture to visit those who were in prison on account. of religion ; but Origen boldly undertook this office, and attended
the martyrs to the very place of ex time, and explained to her the prinecution, embracing and encourag ciples of religion, he returned again ing them as they passed along, to Alexandria. which fo enraged the multitude Some time after this he began to against him, that they poured upon
write commentaries on the holy him whole showers of stones, and scriptures; his industry and dilimany times his life was
gence in which were ncredible, eft danger. Once, having leized few parts of the bible escaping his upon him, they shaved his head, critical researches. The knowledge after the manner of the Egyptian he hereby acquired was fo great, priests, and set him on the iteps of that Jerome professes, he would be Serapis's temple, commanding him content to bear all that load of envy to give branches of palm to those which was cast upon his name, if that went up to perform their rites ; he had but his skill in the holy but instead of fo doing, he with an scriptures. undaunted mind, cried out, “ Come Affairs of the church calling him hither and take the branch of into Arabia, he went through PaChrift."
lestine, and at Cefarea was ordain. Much about the same time, his ed presbyter, by Alexander, bifhop great regard for chastity, joined of Jerafalem, and Theoctiftus of with a literal interpretation of that Cesarea. This was highly resented passage in St. Mathew,
" There by Demetrius, as an affront to his be eunuchs which have made them authority: and as he had for some felves eunuchs for the kingdom of time borne Origen a fecret grudge, heaven's fake," prompted him to on account of the great reputation a very fingular a&t of indiscretion. which his learning and virtue had But he afterwards confessed his mis. procured him, he now caused Anatake, and condemned this impru themas to be thundered out against dent step:
him, charging him with all, that In order more
accurate malice could invent, and particuftudy of the holy fcriptures, he fet larly with making himself an euhimself to learn the Hebrew lan nuch, though he had before adguage, which was very little under mired and commended him for so Itood by the Christians of that time; | doing. He procured his condeinnanor did this hinder his activity in tion in two several fynods; one of his other employments, which he which decreed that he should be baattended to with his usual dili. nished from Alexandria, and the gence.
other pronounced him degraded His fame increasing, a message from the priesthood, his chief fawas sent to Demetrius the bishop, vourers subscribing the decree. from the governor of Arabia, ex And Jerome fays, that the greatest presing his desire that Origen might part of the Christián 'world confentbe dispatched with all speed, to ed to his condemnation ; even Rome impart to him the Christian doctrine. itself convening a synod against him, Accordingly he went into Arabia; not for any innovation or heresy, and having performed his errand, but merely out of envy, as not be. he was afterwards honourably con ing able to bear the glory to which ducted to Antioch, at the request of his learning and eloquence had Mammea, mother of the emperor sed him: and yet for all this Alexander Severus, who was desir he ftill retained his priesthood, ous to fee and hear him, that she publickly preaching in the church, might know what it was for which being honourably entertained by the whole world had him in such ve the inore moderate and wife, whereneration. Having staid there some ever he caine.