Sayfadaki görseller

became an indispensible duty upon the pastors 'thereof to defend it. To this purpose he very appositely quoted that law at Athens, which in case of any dangerous commotions and disturbances in the state, excused those who had espoused the party in opposition to that which finally prevailed, as having engaged therein honestly, though with a mistaken zeal ; whilst

a severe penalty was inflicted upon those who contented themselves quietly under their vines at home without engagiug on either side'; which indifference or neutrality was condemned as proceeding from a resolution to risk nothing for the public good. It is remarkable, that Hoadley, in his an. fwer, declares he was more concerned on. account of this ad. versary than any other; and no doubt he had more to apprehend from bishop Potter's character at that time, than that of all his other antagonists put together.

Some time after this controversy, our prelate obtained the particular friendship of the princess of Wales, afterwards queen Caroline, and upon the accession of George II. to the throne, he preached the coronation sermon, which was printe ed: and the chief direction of the public affairs, with regard to the church, was tendered to him, but he declined the offer, thinking it would involve him too much in state affairs. He then retired to discharge the duties of his bishopric and profelsorship; and there continued till, by the death of archbilhop Wake in 1736, he was called to the metropolitan chair. This high station he filled during the space of ten years with great reputation, wholly attentive to the duties of his eccle. liaftical function, without engaging too highly in the secular affairs incident to that great office. Thus employed, he fell into a lingering disorder, which put a period to his life in 1747, leaving behind him the character of a prelate of distinguished piety and learning, ftri&tly orthodox with regard to the doctrines of the Church of England, and a zea. Jous and vigilant guardian ihereof, against all the attempts that were made to subvert and undermine the establishment during his presidency. This brought upon him the illiberal censures of that weak and conceited old man William Whir. ton, who, in the memoirs of his own life, tells a foolish tale respecting his recommending Dr. Potter to queen Caroline for the archbishopric of Canterbury, though the fact is indif. putable that the bishop was in the confidence and favour of that princess long before the came to the throne. The concluding remark of Whiston respecting this great prelate is very curious.

“ I am sorry, very sorry to say it, that archbishop Potter seemed to me almost as unwilling to open his


eyes to see the grievous errors of Athanasianism, which are now so fully detected as to be sinking out of the learned world, as any of the Papists were to see the other gross errors of Popery at the Protestant reformation.” Here we Tee that the ground of Whiston's enmity to the archbishop was the firme ness of the latter in maintaining the orthodox faith, of which the former was through life the furious but weak assailant.

Another person who bore the archbishop no good-will, was Dr. Conyers Middleton, who ascribed the loss of the mastership of the Charter-House to the prelate's interference. The archbishop more than fufpected that Middleton was a deift, and on that account he conscientiously opposed his appointment to that station. Middleton's rival' was Mr. Mann, author of a “ Harmony of the Gospels," and "Critical Notes on particu: lar passages of Scripture.” He was a perfon of considerable learning, but not very found in his theological principles, and when he waited upon the archbishop to thank him for his vote, he had the impertinence to say, “I suppose your grace knows that you have made choice of an Arian." The archbishop was ftartled, but soon recolle&ting himself, made answer “ An Arian perhaps may be better than a Deift."

In 1759, was published in three volumes o&avo, Theological Works of Dr. John Potter, late archbishop of Canterbury, containing his Sermons, Charges and Discourse of Church Government and Divinity Lectures," a colle&tion which ought to be in every clergyman's library. His grace had a large family, but was survived only by three daughters and two sons, of whom the eldeft, John Potter, was presented to the rectory of Wrotham, and the vicarage of Lydd, both in Kent, by his father, who likewife gave him a handsome portion, but being offended with him for marrying indiscreetlv, he left the bulk of his fortune to his younger son Thomas Porter, esq. register of Canterbury.

« The



Rhode Island, July 20, 1730, DEAR ARCHDEACON, TT is now, I believe, a full twelvemonth since I heard from

you, though you are indebted several letters to me. I have been long informed by the public news, of Dr. Clay, ton's being made bishop of Kilalla, but have not heard from himself, though he owes me a letter. Since we are not likely to see him in America, I wish him all success in Ireland.

Dear Archdeacon, I must intreat you at this juncture to take up your old character of agent for the college, * which (if you do not exert yourself ) is in a very hopeless way. The bilhop of Kilalla will at your desire put, or (if gone to his diocele) order to be put into your hands, the patents and papers, and college seals, which I left with him. And you will, I doubt not, do whatsoever shall seem proper to be done, in order to retrieve and further our affairs, at leaft to bring them to some conclusion, that I may know what I am to de. pend on, and what course I am to take.


* Dr. Berkeley soon after his being made dean of Derry,offered to resign that valuable preferment, and to devote the remainder of his life to the instruction of youth, in a college to be founded in the island of Bermuda. Three junior fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, and two gentlemen of fortune, whose names were James and Dalton, engaged with him in this.project. Dr. Berkeley obtain. ed some private subscriptions to his scheme, and by considerable research he ascertained the value of certain lands in the island of St. Christopher's, ceded by France at the treaty of Utrecht, by the sale of which he undertook to raise a large sum, proposing that part of the purchase money should be applied to the erection of the college. He then found means to convey his proposal to Geo.l. who commanded Sir Robert Walpole to carry it through the house of commons.; the king also granted a charter for the erection


I formerly told you I had no profpet of settling any where but at 'Bermuda. The chief advantage proposed by settling a college on the continent, was the convenience of procuring young Americans to be educated in it, but that advantage is not to be found here, there being within this government but a handful of the old natives, and those ser. vants or labourers for the English. That race of men are Strangely consumed since the English settlements in these parts, which I suppose hath been owing to their excess in spirituous liquors more than to their wars with our colonies. 'The fa£t is, that for several hundred miles from the sea-coast here are no settlements of them at present. Besides, labour is very dear in these parts, not to mention some other cir. cumstances, in which I take Bermada to have the advantage. But the chief point is, that Bermuda was marked out by the patents and the parliamentary address. I must therefore once more intreat you to use your utmost endeavours to procure the money, and to say and do every thing that you shall think proper, and most likely to conduce to that end. I do moft fincerely and heartily wish you a bishop, and that you had the Queen's ear, which would enable you to do a great deal of good. You have several apertures or avenues to court, which few have; and I really think it your duty to improve them, and to be at least as industrious to put yourself in the way of doing good, as the generality are for obtaining pre


of a college by the name of St. Paul's college in Bermuda, to con. sist of a president and nine fellows, who were obliged to maintain and educate Indian scholars at the rate of ten pounds per annum for each. An address was accordingly presented from the house of commons to his majesty, praying that he would grant for the use of the president and fellows of the college, such sums out of the produce of the lands for sale in St. Christopher's, as his majesty should think proper. The sum of 10,000l. was immediately promised by the minister for the purpose, though with no sincerity of intention to fulfill the engagement. Relying however upon this pledge, dean Berkeley embarked with his lady and some friends, in September 1728, and sailed for Rhode Island, which lay nearest to Bermuda, intending to wait there for the remittance from go vernment. In this, however, he was disappointed. The money never came, and after remaining in America two years, he had the mortification to find that Sir Robert Walpole did not intend to perform his promise. On this the dean returned to Europe, and restored all the private subscriptions which he had received for the promo tion of this benevolent project, by which he was himself a consia derable loser,

[ocr errors]

ferment for other ends. I have wrote long since to the bilh

р of Bangor* to use his interest with the Queen, but have not yet received any answer.

I have fpent seven years of the prime of my life in conftant toil and uneasiness; I have neglected my own affairs much to my loss, and been at great expence to pursue a scheme countenanced and approved in the most public manner by the court, the ministry, and the parliament, and in the end I am laughed at for being bubbled; but surely it ought to be apprehended that some part of the dishonour may alight upon somebody else.

I relied on a royal charter, and a wiser man than I would have thought he walked securely on such a foundation. My own sufferings and labour, and losses, I should count as nothing if the design succeeds, but if it be knocked on the head, I shall not be the only person disappointed: many worthy persons of all ranks, who wished it success, and zealously encouraged it, will share in the uneasiness of seeing it miscarry; to prevent which, I know you will do all that is possible to be done. My hopes, dear Archdeacon, are altogether in you, whose friendship and goodness I have so often experienced, which will not suffer me to doubt that all your industry, interest, and skill, will be exerted in the present critical juncture. For if the money be not paid now, it had as well be absolutely denied: the patent ordering its payment out of the first and readiest monies returned into the treasury from St, Christopher's, we had a right to demand it long since, and Dr. Clayton pressed for it to no purpose. This hath disheartened my associates, who I cannot hope will hold out much longer, and some, I fear, have given over all thoughts of it.

The companions of my voyage are fill at Boston. I had a letter lately from Mr. Dalton, that informs me he is going for England, and that his things are packing up to be put on fhip-board: but I hear since from another hand, that he is {mitten with a young lady, which may probably alter his resolution. Keep this to yourself, possibly there may be nothing in it. But this corner affords little news, so you must take such as I have. I had like to have forgot that Sinibert is to be married in a few daies to a young woman at Boston. I do not hear what her fortune is.

Long since, you gave me a hint that some people suspe&ted me of dangerous designs, and that I was privy to the great numbers of Irish that come over to New England, and settle near Bolton. Now though I shall make no apology to you, * Bishop Sherlock.


« ÖncekiDevam »