Obrazy na stronie

charity was managed by him with all possible secrecy, with the most amiable condescension and kindness to those who were the objects of it, and in every respect with the greatest wisdom and circumspection. For indeed he was blessed with an excellent understanding and judgment, improved by much reflection and observation of the world, as well as large and well selected reading. Having in early life laid his foundation in the sciences, and formed his taste on the best models of antiquity, he thenceforth devoted his time and talents to his peculiar profession; and human learning became the hand-maid of theology. Of the success of his labours in this sublime study, and of the extent and accuracy of his knowledge, it is needless to speak; of this his works, in which intelligence at once various and profound is so admirably brought to bear on the subject in hand, are a lasting monument. He har in truth the most perfect command of all his intellectual stores ; and so intimately was he versed in the celebrated authors of Greece and Rome, and their great English rivals, that there was scarcely a shining passage in their immortal works, that was not treasured up in his wonderful memory. His conversation, whether with a few or more was rich, animated and interesting ; and perhaps no one endowed with any degree of sensibility, ever was in his company without feeling himself, for the time, happier and better. His chearfulness was invariable, and his civility the genuine virtue of the heart; and that a heart overflowing with benevolence, and hallowed by religion. From this source streamed an effulgence of countenance, which those only who beheld can adequately conceive; but which perhaps was never better expressed, than in the words of our great poet :

Till oft converse with heav'nly habitants,
Begin to cast a beam on th’ outward shape,

The unpolluted temple of the mind. He was graceful in person, of middle stature, and rather thin, till he made his second tour into Italy; when he returned and continued of a fuller habit. He had long used glasses, but sight excepted, his bodily senses were unimpaired, and his teeth as firm and as white as ivory. But“ of the soul alone the form is immortal,” and of that the fairest ornament was piety. His piety was an early habit, and it never forsook him. It was the guide of his youth, the support of manhood, the

In foreign countries this was his comfort ; in all the felicity of his native land, whose constitution none more ardently loved and admired, as few better understood ; in all the felicity of this favoured land, religion was his delight, and the CHURCH OF ENGLAND HIS GLORY. His piety by its transcendant loveliness doubtless won many to righteousness. It was humble and unobtrusive, never courted human applause, but associated with joy and serenity, was ever ready at home and abroad, in the moment of gladness, or day of affliction, to advance the love of God, the belief of his Gospel, and the good of mankind.

His candour was as striking as his other virtues. He gave full praise to merit, wherever it appeared, and was most willing to make allowance for human infirmity. The depravity of the age, that stale topic of the idle and censorious, was no subject of complaint with him, he hoped and believed better things of the world he lived in. He was


of old age.

a kind


a kind and gracious master; a most generous and faithful friend. Greater humanity has rarely dwelt in man; nor ever with more perfect obedience to a still higher principle. To behold him when he parted with those he loved, or when they were removed by death, was a lesson of affection to the heart, and of faith to the soul.

Never, perhaps, in these latter ages has any man in a like situation been equally esteemed, and equally lamented.' His parish; his friends and all good men grieved for an event, that extinguished one of the brightest ornaments of religion and learning, and took from the poor, the widow, and the orphan a protector, a guide, a father : of whom we may affirın without a figure, that his every sentiment was piety, and every deed beneficence; his spirit was meekness, and his soul charity.

Such was his life; and hisdeath was similar, equally serene, resigned, and edifying. Without a struggle, without a sigh, his heart fixed on Heaven, and his looks directed thither, he closed his eyes, never to open till the resurrection of the just.

His discourse on our blessed Saviour's Resurrection which he began in 1778, and to which we have alluded, was faithfully printed from a corrected manuscript after his death under the inspection of Dr. Loveday, to whom the work was intrusted. The only testimony which it is necessary to produce, to its merit in this place, is that of professor White, who in a note subjoined to the preface of his Diatessaron thus observes :

“ Cum virum optimum Townsonum, (Westio quidem præunti) in libello nuper edito supremum partem Historiae Evangelicæ insigni diligentia atque acri judicio pertractasse viderim, et rationes suas plerisa que Eruditis probasse, temperare mihi non potui quin ad methodum ejus in ea parte mea quoque conformarem.”

We now close the account of this excellent man with the letter of Lord North, and the answer to his Lordship agreeable to our promise.

Lower Grosvenor-street, Aug. 11, 1733. Sir, Although I recollect our former acquaintance with great pleasure, it is not on account of that acquaintance, nor of your long and intimate connexion with those whom Í shall ever love and esteem, that I trouble you with this letter. Upon the death of Dr. Wheeler, the King .commanded me to look out for a proper successor ; by which words his Majesty understood some person confessedly qualified for the divinity chair ; whose promotion should be acceptable to the public at large, and, particularly, to the University of Oxford. I have since endeavoured to execute his Majesty's commands, and, after the most minute in. quiries, I cannot find any person in the kingdom who corresponds so exactly to his Majesty's definition of a divinity professor, as Dr. Townson ; a gentleman whose character is universally beloved and esteemed, and whose general learning, and particular knowledge in theology has been acknowledged in the most distinguished manner by the University, where the professorship is now vacant. You will therefore, I hope, give me an opportunity of acquiring credit to myself, of pronjoting theological knowledge, and of giving satisfaction to the public and to his Majesty, by accepting a situation, which by the public testimony of the

University University of Oxford, and by the general consent

of all who are acquainted with you, you are the properest person in England to fill. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect,

Sir, your most faithful,
humble servant,


The Answer.

Malpas, Cheshire, Aug. 16, 1783. MY LORD, It is hardly possible for me to express the sense I have of your Lordship's goodness to me, and of the honour your Lordship has done me, in thinking of me for the vacant divinity professorship. But I am now so far in the decline of life, that I am very apprehensive, or rather satisfied, that I am not equal to the exertions, which a faithful discharge of the duties of that office would require. Regard therefore for your Lordship's credit, and the good of the University, both which I am highly bound to consult, as well as the peace of my own mind, lays me under a necessity of intreating your Lordship, that, with that goodness, with which you have offered me this preferment, your Lordship will permit me to decline it.

It is a most pleasing consideration to me, that a place which I have the strongest reason to value and esteem is under the protection of a nobleman so studious, as well as able, to promote its welfare, and to second his Majesty's royal care for his University, as a seat of religion and literature. I hope and trust it can without difficulty supply a person more in the vigour of his age, and every way qualified to answer his Majesty's and your Lordship's expectations in this charge and dignity. ,'

Lord Bagot has promised to call here in a day or two, on his way into Wales. But I could not think of delaying a moment to make my acknowledgments to your Lordship. Nor indeed did I wish to have any personal conference with him, till the matter was decided. I am already sufficiently distressed with the thought that I must thus answer an offer made me in such a manner, and in such terms; happy only in this, that your Lordship retains a remembrance of our former acquaintance, and is pleased to notice it.

I am, my Lord,
With the utmost gratitude and respect,
Your Lordship's most obliged
And faithful humble servant,


Vol. V. Charchm. Mag. Oct. 1803.








(Continued from p. 80.)



GEN ΓLEMEN, , “THE prophecies of Daniel are all of them related to one another,

as if they were but several parts of one general prophecy given at sev

The first is the easiest to be understood; and every following prophecy adds something new to the former.”

“ The apocalypse of John is written in the same stile and language with the prophecies of Daniel, and hath the same relation to them which they have to one another; so that all of them together, make but one complete prophecy.”

These judicious observations of Sir Isaac Newton, on the mysterious visions of Daniel and John, p. 24. 252, intimating their mutual relation to each other, and altogether forming one general and complete scheme of prophecy; reaching from the term of their commencement, to the end of the world; furnish the best and safest clue for investigating the time of the coming of the son of man in the clouds of heaven; by a careful and critical comparison of the corresponding parts of each.

This most signal prophecy, is introduced in the course of Daniel's second vision of the four wild beasts, chap. vii. more distinctly characterizing the rise and fortunes of the four great kingdoms which had been represented by the image composed of four metals, in the first. Chap. 2.

The first kingdom of the Babylonians, is here represented by a fierce lion with eagle's wings; such it was in the days of Nebuchadnezzar the great, " at whose presence all people, nations, and languages trembled and feared :whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive, and whom he would he set up, and whom he would he put down," Daniel v. 19, But it now appeared in its decline, under Belshazzar the last king, with " its zings plucked;" and of a tamer disposition, with "a man's heart.

The second kingdom of the Medo Persians, by a ravenous bear, with three tusks in its mouth, descriptive perhaps of their wasteful incursions

westward and northward and southward;" as noticed in the third vision, of the Ram with two horns, of which, that which rose last, (the Persian,) was higher" (than the Median.) Chap. viii.

The third kingdom of the Macedo Grecians, by a swift “ Leopard, with four wings upon its back, and four heads," denoting perhaps the speed and rapidity with which Alexander the great, conquered Greece, Persia, Egypt, and India ; (who is described in the next vision, as a he Goat coming from the west, upon the face of the whole earth, which touched not the ground"



for swiftness;) and the four heads” descriptive of the four kingdoms founded by his successors.

The fourth of the Romans, by a nameless wild beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly, with great iron teeth, which devoured and brake in pieces the whole earth,” and trampled upon the residue with its feet;

and it was diverse from all the foregoing beasts, and it had ten horns.”—This description corresponds in its « iron teeth” to the iron legs" of the image, in the first vision; denoting the Roman power in its strength; with " ten toes partly of iron and partly of clay," or partly strong and partly feeble, in its decline corresponding to these ten horns, and it differed in its form of government, from the foregoing monarchies, which it subdued in its republican state. And it is still more circumstantially described in the apocalypse, with “the body of a Leopard, the teeth of a Bear, and the mouth of a Lion," or compounded of ihe three foregoing, in the order of conquest; " having also seven heads, and upon its heads ten horns; and upon its heads ten crowns; and as being invested: by the Dragon, with his power and his throne, and great authority.”, Rev. xiii. 1.2. The seven heads, (an additional circumstance noticed by John) denoting seven hills," on which ancient Rome was seated; and also stten kings,” or successive changes of government, from its rise to its papal state, Rev. xvii. 9, 10. and “ the ten horns with crowns, "ten kings" or kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was split, by the fierce and barbarous nations who invaded it near the end of the fourth, and in the course of the fifth century, Dan. vii. 24; Rev. xvii.

And the Apostle has disclosed the real tutelary God of Rome, “the devil or satan," that “old serpent that deceiveth the whole world,” whose awful name was forbidden to be pronounced, and was known only to the heads of their priesthood or sacred college; and so studiously concealed among their religious mysteries, that " a certain tribune, who dared to divulge it, was crucified;" as we learn from Servius on Virgil, Georg. lie 499. and Pliny has assigned the reason of this remarkable secrecy lest their enemies might entice him over to them; for it was customary among the Romans in their wars with the neighbouring states, to invoke the tutelary God of the state, and to promise him the same, or higher rark and worship among the Romans.Nat. His. 28,2. See the form of evo. cation, at the conquest of Carthage, Macrob, Saturnal. 3, 8. and Mede

While the prophet. Daniel was contemplating the ten horns, in the lat, ter stage of the Roman empire, “lo, another little horn sprouted up among them; before which three of the former horns were rooted up: and lo, in this horn were eyes like a mau's eyes, and a mouth speaking great things” "and his look was more stout than his fellows.".

This little horn is eminently characteristic of the Roman Ecclesiastical power or Papacy; which grew up, from an inconsiderable beginning in the See of Rome, among the barbarous invaders of the Roman empire in the west, and was fostered by their superstition, when they became converted from paganism to christianity. Accordingly, this little horn, is represented in the sequel, as "rising after, or behind, and diverse from the former," in ecclesiastical jurisdiction; " which should subdue three kings; and should speak (great) words against the MOST HIGH; and should wear out the saints of the MOST HIGH: (for it should muke


P 672.

war, with

« PoprzedniaDalej »