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The Rev. DRTHO SNEWTON, Late LORD BISHOP of BRISTOL. Accuratelyj Engraved from a Drawing taken from
original Miniature Painting
Published by Alex? Hogg N 46 Paternoster Row, Oct?1.1788.
BE I N G
An Universal Repository of Divine Knowledge.
S E P T E M B E R, 1783.
MODERN CHRISTIAN BIOGRAPHY.
OF THE LIFE OF THR
REV. DR. THOMAS NEWTON,
LATE LORD BISHOP OF BRISTOL.
(With his Lord'hip's Portrait ele
gantly engraved and drawn from an original Miniature Painting.]
HIS good, virtuous, and pi
ous bishop, whose exemplary life has entitled him to a place in our biographical department, was born on the first of Janoary 1704. His father, a considerable brandy and cyder merchant, who had acquired a competent fortune, retired from business to the placid dwelling of rural' felicity, several years before his death. He lived beloved on account of his engaging manners, and a numerous train of virtues, we may say universally
beloved, to the age of eighty-three: but the mother of our worthy prelate, who was the daughter of a clergyman, died when young, this her only child being, at the time of her death, about a year old.
In the early part of life, the bishop of Bristol was placed in the free. Ichool of Litchfield, which has had the honour of training up, in the first rudiments of their education, many learned, and eminent men, among whom, we may rank bishop Smalridge, Mr. Wollafton, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Garrick, Lord Chief Juitice Willes, Baron Parker, Judge Noel, Lord Chief Justice Wilmot, and Mr. Baron Lloyd, In 1717
he was removed to Weft. mintter-school, and the year fol. lowing was admitted a king's scholar. Having continued there fix years, he was next elected to Trinity college in Cambridge, at
which place he constantly refided eight months, at least, in every year, till
he had taken his degree, of bachelor of arts. In the time of the long vacation, and after he had taken his degree, he was with his father and friends at Litchfield, till he returned to Cambridge to deliver the speech, on the 29th of May, in order to his being chosen fellow in the October following: Not long after his election to this fellowship, he settled in London. It having been his inclination from a child, and as he was always designed for Łoly orders, he had sufficient time to prepare himself for the important work of the ministry, and composed several sermons, which, by the advice of a good old clergyman, he took care to write in large legible characters, that he might never have occasion to copy them; and having some ilock in hand, he was not under the neceflity of making fermons in a hurry, nor of borrowing them from others, but might proceed at his leisure with more time and deli beration. His method was, in all his compofitions, to finish the whole in his mind, before he committed
any part of it to writing ; and to some of his friends, he would repeat several of his sermons verbatim, before he had wrote single tittie of them; so that, if he had pleased, he could have preached easily' without notes. Mr. Newton was ordained deacon on the twenty-first of December, 1729, and prieit in the February following. He first officiated, for a short time, as
curate of St. George's, Hanover-quare, and continued several years affillantpreacher to Dr Trebeck, whose ill state of health prevented him from performing the duties of his function. His first preferment was that of reader and afternoon preacher at Grosvenor's Chapel, in South-Aud. ley street. He was then taken into the family of lord Carpenter, af
terwards earl of Tyrconnel, to whose son he was appointed tutor. In this family he lived many yćars, much at his ease, and h. ppy iv the intimacy of lord and lady Carpenter.
In the year 1738 an acquaintance commenced between him, and that venerable prelate, Dr. Pearce, afterwards bishop of kochefter, whose life we have pourtrayed in one of our preceding numbers. By his intereft he was appointed morning preacher to the chapel in Spring Garden ; and another friend, very useful to him, was Mrs. Arne Deanes Devenith of a very good family in Dorsetshiie. This lady was married to Mr. Row, the dramatic writer, by whom she was left in circumstances far from affluent. She was afterwards married to con lonel Deanes, by whom shie was also left a widow; and upon the family estate coming to her by the death of a near relation, the resumed the family name of Devenish. Being honoured with the friend. fhip of the prince and princess of Wales, she was often with them in their privacies and retirements; and as the prince was then instructa ing his children to repeat fine moral passages out of plays, particularly out of Mr. Rowe's, which are the most chaste and moral, he defired to have a more correct edi. tien printed of Mr. Rowe's works, and recommended Mr Mallett to her for that service. She rather chose to employ a friend of her own, and engaged Mr. Newton to undertake it, who corrected the press, and wrote the dedication in her name to the prince of Wales, By these fortunate incidents the name of Mr. Neu ton came first to be known to their royal highnesses; and Mrs Devenih, strictly just to the sacred character of a true friend, took every opportunity of speaking to them in his commendation: Not content with having performed this act of friendship,
she likewise introduced him to the time as the king of France pleases acquaintance of lord Bath; and to send for them both back again.' these two introductions he after At St. George's Hanover Square, wards considered as the most happy in 1751, Dr. Newton preached a circumstances of his life.
funeral sermon, on the death of Through the interest of the Frederick prince of Wales. Hava above noble lord, in 1744, Mr. ing excused himself from complyNe ton
was preferred to the rec ing with the request of some of the tory of St. Mary le Bow in Cheap noblemen and gentlemen of the side ; so that he was forty years old veftry to publish it; the princess before he obtained any living; but dowager, to whom it was reported, having obtained this, he quitted fent Lady Charlotte Edwin to rethe chapel in Spring-gardens; va quelt a private perufal of the discated his fellowship of course; and course, with which her royal highat the beginning of the year 1745, ness was so well pleased, that the he took his degree of doctor of di appointed him immediately one of vinity ; and in 1747 he was chosen her chaplains. In 1754 the doctor lecturer of St. George's, Hanover loft his father, aged eighty-three; Square, in the room of Dr. Savage, and a few days after his wife, aged deceased. The same year he mar thirty-eight.' At this time he was ried his first wife Jane, eldest engaged in writing his Differtations daughter of the Rev. Dr. Trebeck, on the prophecies; and under any afwith whom he lived in a happy Aiction he generally found a remedy union near seven years.
by plunging deep into study. The If we consider Dr. Newton as first volume of his Dissertations was an author, his writings, particu published the following winter, but Jarly those on the propheties, are
the other two did not appear till the best eulogium. in 1749 he three years afterwards; and in this published his edition of Milton's interval of time he was appointed Paradife Loft, which met with a to preach Boyle's Lectures. The very favourable reception. The reception of his Differtations, at earl of Bath, being some time after home and abroad, was very favourin Paris, wrote to him in the fol abie. The famous count Bernlowing terms, in a letter dated storf, fo many years the great miniJanuary 2, 1750. There are iter in Denmark, in a letter to M. many persons here great admirers Schrader, one of the preceptors, of Milton. I have lent Monsieur and German secretary to Frederick Duprè your edition, and he is ex prince of Wales, wrote as follows, tremely pleased with it, and par March 29, 1760. " I am charmed ticularly with the notes." In with the Dissertations of Dr. News another letter he writes, “ Your ton. It must be confessed, theEnglish Milton has been much admired think and write with superiority." here: the edition and notes greatly In another letter he writes, News commended. Numbers of ladies ton every day delights and conas well as gentlemen understand vinces one more and more. His English enough to read it with method is undoubtedly that which pleasure, and the Milton you sent ought to be followed in treating of me has travelled already through the prophecies. I cannot believe twenty different hands. At last it that any thing more decisive has has gone into exile with Monsieur ever been written against the fee of de Maurepas, and will remain with Rome, whose adhérents must be at him at Bourges (for he is prodi a loss what to answer. This work giously plealed with it) till such cannot be too much known, and it