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governor, under pretence that the bishop had acted illegally and extra-judicially, fined him fifty pounds, and his two vicars-general who had been officially concerned in the suspension, twenty pounds cach. This fine they all refused to pay, as an arbitrary and unjust impositiou ; upon which the governor sent a party of soldiers to seize their persons, and on the 29th of June 1722, committed them to close confinement in the castle of Ruthin, and at the same time forbade any person being admitted within the walls to see or converse with them. The concern of the people was so great, when they heard of this insult offered to their beloved instructor, pastor, and friend, that they assembled in crowds, and were with difficulty restrained from pulling down the governor's house ; but were diverted from that purpose, by the mild behavior and persuasion of the bishop, who was permitted to speak to them through a-grated window, or address them from the walls of the prison, whence he blessed and exhorted hundreds of them daily, telling them that he meant to appeal unto Cæsar, meaning the King. He likewise sent a circular letter to his clergy, to be publicly read in the churches and throughout the island ; which comforted and appeased the people who had so much reason to reverence and love their bishop.

The worthy prelate and his vicars-general were confined in this prison two months, and treated with all the strictness of persons confined for high treason ; they were allowed no attendants but com. mon jailors, and those were instructed to use their prisoners ill. A strange return this for a long course of favors and hospitality which the governor and his wife had received from the bishop at his house, where they had frequently resided for days and weeks together.

On the fourth of Jaly 1724, the king and council reversed all the proceedings of the officers of the island, declaring them to be op, pressive, arbitrary and unjust ; but they could grant no costs; and the expenses of the trial felt very heavy on the bishop, although he was assisted by a subscription to the amount of nearly four hundred pounds.

The bishop was advised by his solicitor to prosecute the governor and others in the English courts of law, to recover damages, as a compensation for his great expenses, but to this he could not be persuaded. He had established the discipline of the church, and le sincerely and charitably forgave his persecutors ; nay, one of the most inveterate of thein, being afterwards confined for debt, the bishop visited and administered comfort unto him. The king ofiered him the bishopric of Exeter, vacant by the translation of Dr. Blackburn to the see of York, to reimburse him ; but he could not be prevailed on to quit his diocese. His majesty therefore promised to defray his expenses out of the privy purse,


and in charge to Lord Townsend, Lord Carleton, and Sir R. Walpole, to put it into his remembrance ; but going soon afterwards to Hanover and dying there, this promise was never fulfilled. Having seitled the parochal libraries in the Isle of Man, and established pebiy schools throughout the diocese, under the government of the clergy in their respective parishes, in 1724, he founded a school at Burton, the place of his nativity, and in 1732, built a school, and


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a house for the master, endowing it with a revenue of thirty pounds per annum.

In 1730, the bishop established a fund for the support of clergymen's widows and children in the island, which was the more necessary, as, from the smallness of the livings, few were able to make a provision for their families. A sum of money was raised by subscription, and placed in the funds. Some years after, this sum was considerably augmented by purchasing of the Duke of Athol, the thirds of the living of Kirk-Michael, which his Grace made over to the Trustees for the use of that charity forever.

In 1739, the clergy of the island were thrown into great trouble and perplexity by the death of the Earl of Derby, who dying without issue, the lordship of Man, as a barony in fee, became the property of the Duke of Athol, who had married the heiress of a late Earl of Derby. This had well nigh deprived the clergy of their subsistence ; for the livings of the Isle of Man consist of a third of the impropriation, which had been purchased of a former Earl of Derby, by a collection made in the episcopate of Dr. Barrow, in the reign of Charles II. At the same time, to strengthen the title, and secure the purchase, an estate in England belonging to the Earl of Derby, had been collaterally bound for the payment of the clergy. Now, on the alienation of the island from the Derby family, the Duke of Athol claimed the impropriations as an inseparable appendage to his estate and royalty, of which it could not be divested by any right that had or could be shown. The deeds of conveyance from the Earl of Derby to bishop Barrow, by some means or other, had been lost from the records of the island, and the clergy were in danger of losing all their property ; and to such great distress were they driven, that, unable to contest their rights by law, they would have taken a very trifling consideration for thcir loss. The Duke of Athol's claim was incontestible ; but by the pains and industry of the bishop and his son Dr. Wilson, the deeds which secure the impropriations to the clergy were at last discovered in the Rolls chapel, where they had been deposited for safe keeping. This put an end to the great dispute, and in 1745, they were exemplified under the great seal, and every precaution was taken for the future payment of the money.

In 1740, the scarcity of corn was very great in the Isle of Man ; added to this appearance of famine, an epidemic flux raged in the island, and carried off many of its inhabitants. The corn bcing al. most exhausted, the bishop, together with the Duke of Athol, immediately contracted for two ship loads; and these ships arrived just time enough to save the people of the island from starving : yet the poor could not even now obtain support, from the high price that it sold at. Our good and charitable prclate however assisted them. He says, “ what I give to the poor at home, I give gratis ; having through God's blessing, about one hundred and fifty Winchester bushels to spare ; but my method in the four towns has been, to buy it at the market price, which is high enough indeed, and to order it to be sold at half prime cost, but only to poor people, and not above two pecks to any body."* In 1741, the bishop pub

* Letter to his son, April 2, 1741.

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lished his instructions to the Indians ; but he seems to have had no great opinion of its success ; in a letter to his son he says, “ I will now fall on the preface without delay, I have the poorest opinion of my own abilities; and I can approve of little I have done on this head ; but since it is gone so far, there is no drawing back.”* The

Instructions” however, passed through several editions, and are continued to be read with great edification.

Some time about 1743 and 1744, the bishop settled a plan for translating the New Testament into the Manks language. This design had been originally concerted between himself and Dr. Walker, when prisoners in castle Ruthen. The bishop did not live to see farther progress made in that great work, than the translation of the gospels, and the printing of St. Matthew. This, however, was afterwards completed by his very worthy successor, bishop Hildes ly, and the clergy, assisted by the society for the promotion of christian knowledge. In summing up the character of this truly good man, every part of his life affords a display of the most genuine charity and benevolence ; whether we consider him as a son, a husband, a parent, a master, or a bishop, we shall find few equal, not one superior to him.

Having the precepts of his divine Master always before bim, with the lives and writings of the apostles and primitive christian fathers ; he from them laid down his plan of life, and steadily copied their example. There is scarcely a part of human science that could be valuable or serviceable to his diocese which he did not understand : he was an excellent classical scholar, and understood the Hebrew well. In the younger part of his life he had a poetical turn, but afterwards he laid aside such amusements, as thinking them inconsistent with his episcopal character. He had studied and practised physic with success. For some time after he settied in the island, he was the only physician in ii; keeping a shop of drugs for general use, which he distributed, as well as his advice gratis : but when some gentlemen of the faculty came, he gave up to them that part of the practice which alone could conduce to their emolument, but the poor he always kept to himself. He instructed young candidates for orders, and maintained them at home under his own immediate care ; nor did he ordain them, until he found, by a strict and čareful examination, that they were perfectly well quali. fied. He was an ablc mathematician, an excellent botanist; and if we view him as a farmer, we find, that by a judicious and successful cultivation of the ecclesiastical demesnes, which before his coming to the island produced little or nothing, he in a few years fed and clothed the poor of his diocese. The whole was a sheep walk ; but by tillage and manure, it bore excellent corn ; and his coffin was made from one of the elm trees which he had planted soon after his coming to the island, and which was cut down and sawed into planks for that purpose, a few years before his death. He was so charitable, that it was not unaptly observed by a gentleman of the island, who knew him well, that “ he kept beggars from every body's door but his own.” He always kept an open hospitable table, covered with the produce of his own demesnes, in

October 10, 1739.

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a plentiful, not extravagant manner. As the friendly host or master of that table, he was the most entertaining and agreeable, as well as instructive ; his manners, though always consistently adorned with christian gravity, were ever gentle and polite ; and from bis native sagacity, and distinguished erudition, he seemed to have the world in possession. He was the divine, the scholar, and the gentleman. He often on a Sunday visited the different parishes of his diocese without giving them notice ; and after doing the duty of the day, returned to Bishop's Court to dinner, and this he did after he was eighty years of age, on horseback. This was a constant obligation upon the clergy and the people to be mindful of their duty; and four times in every year he made a general visitation, enquiring into the behavior and conduct of all the parishioners, and exhorting them to the practice of religion and virtue ; and at his annual convocation, he delivered his charges with all the grace and dignity of an apostle. He was so fond of his own flock, and so attached to his diocese, that no temptation could seduce him from their service, no offer could remove him.

We have already mentioned, that Queen Anne would have given him an English bishopric ; king Gcorge the I. made him the same offer; and in 1735, Queen Caroline was very desirous of keeping him in England : but though he was much bound to her Ma. jesty's goodness, he could not be persuaded. Indeed the whole of his conduct, and every action of his life, showed him to be no otherwise a man of this world, than as a minister to do good to his fellow creatures, while living in it ; and the people of the island were so thoroughly persuaded of his receiving a larger proportion of God's blessing, that they seldom began harvest till he did ; and if he passed along by the field, they would leave their work to ask his blessing, assured, that that day would be prosperous. Nor was this opinion confined to the obscure corner where he resided ; in Warrington, nay, in London, there were those living a few years ago, who remembered crowds of people flocking round him with the cry of “ Bless me too, my Lord.”

The charities which he bestowed himself, and the contributions which he obtained of others, are proofs of his munificence, and the benevolence of his disposition. We have not room to enumerate them, but they are such as cannot fail to excite in us the most lively affection for so much rcal piety and goodness, seldom found in the like degree to possess a human character.

Thus by living a sober, righteous and godly life, this venerable and apostolic bishop attained to the ninety-third year of his age, and the fifty-eighth of his consecration ; and gently expired on the 7th of March 1755. The immediate cause of his death was a cold caught by walking in his garden in a severe and damp day, after evening prayers ; dying as he lived, praising God in psalms and detached sentences of the “ Te Deum."

The tenants about his demesnes were the persons appointed to bear the bishop to his grave ; and each had a mourning coat given for the occasion. But from the palace to the church, which was a distance of two miles, he was attended by all the inhabitants of the island as mourners, except those whom necessity, age, or sickness, confined at home; and at every resting place, there was a contest among the crowd to bear him on their shoulders ; and happy were they who could pay this last sad office to the deceased bishop, their beloved friend and sincere benefactor. His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Morice, of Douglas. Lamentation filled the church ; it stifled the utterance of the preacher, and wrung the hearts of the congregation.

The bishop was interred at the east end of Kirk-Michael churchyard, near the chancel. Over his grave is placed a square marble monument, surrounded with iron rails, through which may be read the following modest inscription

Sleeping in Jesus, here lieth the body of
THOMAS WILSON, D. D. Lord Bishop of this Isle,

Who died March 7th, 1755,
Aged 93, and in the 58th year of his consecration.

Let this Isle speak the rest,

And so it will ! When turning to the stranger or their children, the grateful Manksmen will relate a tale of the wondrous goodness of their dear, their much loved, much lamented bishop, telling them, whose hunger he had satisfiel, to whose thirst he had given drink; what stranger he had relieved: whose nakedness he had clothed ; whosc sickness he had ministered to ; and what prisoners he had visited. The widow and her lisping orphans, declared the praises of their pious benefactor, and perhaps some faithful minister of the gospel will conclude the story by saying, that he was a bishop « blameless as the steward of God ; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre ; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate ; holding fast the faithful word as he had been taught, and that he was able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convince the gainsayers'


Every scribe which is instructed into the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is an horischolder, which bringeth forth out of his treasures things - new and old--Matthew xiii. 52. THE next considerable writer among the Fathers, to Yustin Martyr, was

Ireneus, bishop of Lyons, in France. He flourished towards the latter end of the second century, and suffered martyrdom not far from the year 200. In his day the church began to be disturbed by a number of heresies, particu. Jarly the Valentinians and Mercionites, so called, from two men who were the authors of those sects; and who broached many strange and whimsical notions concerning the person and character of Jesus Christ. Against these, and in dcfence of the truth once delivered to the sairts, Ireneus wrote largely; and the greater part of his works have been preserved to our times.

It should be well considered that this man tells us he had in his youth seen and conversed with men who had been conversant with some of the apostles, particularly St. Fohn; his testimony is therefore of great weight in determining what apostolical practice was, and how it had continued 10 his time. The following extract, though not directly in proof of a poiut in

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