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gree of doctor in divinity; in his publick exercise for which, he defended the doctrine of what is usually called the "sleep of the soul." [1749.]
About the year 1760, he was appointed head librarian of the university; a situation which, as it procured an easy and quick access to books, was peculiarly agreeable to his taste and habits. Some time after this, he was also appointed casuistical professor. [1764.] In the year 1762, he suffered an irreparable loss by the death of his wife; a loss in itself every way afflicting, and rendered more so by the situation of his family, which then consisted of eleven children, many of them very young. Some years afterwards, he received several preferments, which were rather honourable expressions of regard from his friends, than of much advantage to his fortune.
By Dr. Cornwallis, then Bishop of Litchfield, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, who had been his pupil at Christ college, he was appointed to the archdeaconry of Staffordshire, and to a prebend in the church of Litchfield. [1763.] By his old acquaintance, Dr. Green, Bishop of Lincoln, he was made a prebendary of that church. [1764.] But in the year 1767, by the intervention of the Duke of Newcastle, to whose interest, in the memorable contest for the high-stewardship of the university, he had adhered in opposition to some temptations, he obtained a stall in the church of Durham. The year after this, the Duke of Grafton, who had a short time before been elected chancellor of the university, recommended the master of Peterhouse to his Majesty for the bishoprick of Carlisle. [1769.] This recommendation was made, not only without solicitation on his part or that of his friends, but without hist knowledge, until the Duke's intention in his favour was signified to him by the Archbishop. In or about the year
1777, our Bishop gave to the publick, a handsome edition, in four quarto volumes, of the Works of Mr. Locke, with the Life of the author, and a preface. Mr. Locke's writings and character he held in the highest esteem, and seems to have drawn from them many of his own principles: he was a disciple of that school. About the same time he published a tract, which engaged some attention in the controversy concerning subscription*; and he published new editions of his two principal works, with considerable additions, and some alterations. Besides the works already mentioned, he published in 1734 or 1735, a very ingen. ious Inquiry into the Ideas of Space, Time, &c. in which he combats the opinions of Dr. Clarke and his adherents on these subjects.†
* "Considerations on the propriety of requiring a Subscription to Articles of Faith."
† In addition to the works already mentioned, the Bishop's smaller publications were the following:
1. 1743. Litigiousness repugnant to Christianity. An Assize Sermon at Carlisle. (Matt. v. 40.)
2. 1746. The Nature and Necessity of Catechising, with some remarks thereon.
3. 1755. Sermon before the Irish Protestant Schools. (Jer. xxix. 7.) 4. 1768, True Nature and Interest of Religion. A Sermon on the death of Dr. Bland, prebendary of Durham. (Micah vi. 8.)
5. 1769. A Defence of Mr. Locke's Opinion concerning Personal Identity; in answer to the first part of a late Essay on that subject. Afterwards inserted at the end of the first volume of his edition of Locke's Works.
6. 1770. Observations occasioned by the Contest about Literary Property.
7. 1771. The Grounds of a Particular Providence. A Sermon before the Lords, Jan. 30. (Dan. ii. 21, 22.)
8. 1774. Sermon before the Society for the Propagation of the Gos pel. (Mal. i. 11.)
Dr. Law held the see of Carlisle almost nineteen years; during which time he twice, only, omitted spending the summer months in his diocese at the Bishop's residence, at Rose castle; a situation, with which he was much pleased, not only on account of the natural beauty of the place, but because it restored him to the country, in which he had spent the best part of his life. In the year 1787, he paid this visit in a state of great weakness and exhaustion; and died at Rose, about a month after his arrival there, on the 14th day of August, and in the 84th year of his age.
The life of Dr. Law was a life of incessant reading and thought, almost entirely directed to metaphysical and religious inquiries; but the tenet by which his name and writings are principally distinguished, is "that Jesus, at his second coming, will, by an act of his power, restore to life and consciousness the dead of the human species, who, by their own nature, and without his interposition, would remain in the state of insensibility, to which the death brought upon mankind by the sin of Adam had reduced them." He interpreted literally that saying of St. Paul, (1 Cor. xv. 21.) "As by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." This opinion had no other effect upon his own mind than to increase his reverence for Christianity, and for its divine founder. He retained it, as he did his other speculative opinions, without laying, as many are wont to do, an extravagant stress upon their importance, and without pretending to more certainty than the subject allowed of. No man formed his own conclusions with more freedom, or treated those of others with greater candour and equity. He never quarrelled with any person for differing from him, or considered that difference as a sufficient reason for questioning any man's sincerity, or judging meanly of his understanding. He was zealously attached
to religious liberty, because he thought that it leads to truth: yet from his heart he loved peace. But he did not perceive any repugnancy in these two things. There was nothing in his elevation to his bishoprick which he spoke of with more pleasure, than its being a proof that decent freedom of inquiry was not discouraged.
He was a man of great softness of manners, and of the mildest and most tranquil disposition. His voice was never raised above its ordinary pitch. His countenance seemed never to have been ruffled; it preserved the same kind and composed aspect, truly indicating the calmness and benig nity of his temper*. He had an utter dislike of large and mixed companies. Next to his books, his chief satisfaction was in the serious conversation of a literary companion, a in the company of a few friends. In this sort of society be would open his mind with great unreservedness, and with a peculiar turn and sprightliness of expression. His per son was low, but well formed; his complexion fair and delicate. Except occasional interruptions by the gout, he had for the greatest part of his life enjoyed good health; and, when not confined by that distemper, was full of motion and activity. About nine years before his death, he was greatly enfeebled by a severe attack of the gout in his stomach; and a short time after that, lost the use of one of his legs. Notwithstanding his fondness for exercise, he re signed himself to this change, not only without complaint, but without any sensible diminution of his cheerfulness and good humour. His fault (for we are not writing a pane gyrick) was the general fault of retired and studious char acters, too great a degree of inaction and facility in his publick station. The modesty, or rather bashfulness, of
* His portrait, painted by Mr. Romney, and engraved in mezzotinto, by W. Dickinson, in 1777, is a very correct likeness.
his nature, together with an extreme unwillingness to give pain, rendered him sometimes less firm and efficient in the administration of authority than was requisite. But it is the condition of human mortality. There is an opposition te between some virtues which seldom permits them to subsist together in perfection.
The Bishop was interred with due solemnity in his cathedral church, in which a handsome monument is erected to his memory, bearing the following inscription :
Columnæ hujus sepultus est ad pedem
EDMUNDUS LAW, S. T. P.
per xix fere annos hujusce ecclesiæ episcopus.
In evangelica veritate exquirenda,
ad extremum usque senectutem
nisi salva libertate,
stare non posse arbitratus.
Obiit Aug. XIV. MDCCLXXXVII.