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At this advanced period of Mr. Warburton's life that preferment which his abilities might have claimed, and which had hitherto been withheld, seemed to be approaching towards him.
Very early in April 1753 he was promoted * to a prebendal stall in the cathedral of Gloucester ; and had reason to expect that he should be farther
* “ I should be sorry that a newspaper should tell you, before I can do it, of Lord Chancellor's favour to me; which receives its value from the very polite manner of doing it. Last Sunday be sent me a message, with the offer of a prebend of Gloucester, as a mark of his regard, and wishes that it had been better. I desired Mr. Charles Yorke to tell him, that no favours from such a hand could be unacceptable. He said, he always had it in his intention; though he said no more of his design, than I did of any expectation or desire.--I said, I should be sorry that a friend who interests himself so much as you do in what concerns me, should hear of the Chancellor's kindness to me first from a newspaper. But enough of this : which is only considerable to me from the very obliging manner of conferring the favour, though I believe it is the best prebend he has to give." Letter to Mr. Hurd, April 5, 1753.-—- Again, soon after : “ In two or three days I shall set out either for Prior Park or Gloucester. Don't you laugh when I mention Gloucester? Birch introduced the directions he gave me about taking possession, &c. not amiss. He said, it was so long since I had any preferment, that I must have forgot all the formalities of the Law. There was another thing he did not dream of-that it is so long since I had occasion to enquire about the formalities, that I am become very indifferent to the things themselves."
+ A few days before this promotion he had paid a handsome compliment to the talents of Mr. Hogarth, by the present of a ten-pound note, as noticed in the following letter: “ DEAR SIR,
March 28, 1753. “ I was pleased to find by the public papers that you have determined to give us your original and masterly thoughts on the great principles of your profession. You owe this to your Country, for you are both an honour to your profession, and a shame to that worthless crew professing virtù and connoisseurship, to whom all that grovel in the splendid poverty of wealth and taste are the miserable bubbles. I beg you would give me leave to contribute my mite towards this work, and permit the inflosed to entitle me to a subscription for two copies. ! I am, dear Sir (with a true sense of your superior talents),
Your very affectionate humble servant, W. WARBURTON."
promoted to the Deanry of Bristol, then shortly expected to be vacant *.
After the publick had been some time promised (it may, from the alarm which was taken, be almost said threatened with) the appearance of Lord Bolingbroke's Works, - they were about this time printed. The known abilities and infidelity of this Nobleman had created apprehensions, in the minds of many people, of the pernicious effects of his doctrines ; and nothing but the appearance of his whole force could have convinced his friends how little there was to be dreaded from arguments against Religion so weakly supported. The personal enmity which had been excited many years before between the Peer and our Author, had occasioned the former to direct much of his reasoning against two works of the latter. Many answers were soon published, but none with more acuteness, solidity, and sprightliness, than “ A View of Lord Bolingbroke's Philosophy, in two Letters to a friend,
* “ The report you speak of is partly false, with a mixture of truth; and is a thing that touches me so little, that I never mentioned it to any of my friends, who did not chance to ask about it. I have no secrets that I would have such to you. ! would have it so to others, merely because it is an impertinent thing, that concerns nobody; and its hcing in common report, which nobody gives credit to, covers the secret the better, in, stead of divulging it. The simple fact is only this: that nut kong since, the Duke of Newcastle sent word, by a noble personage, to Mr. Allen, that he had a purpose of asking the King for the Deanry of Bristol for me, if it should become vacant while he is in credit, as a thing which, he supposed, would not be unacceptable to us, un account of its neighbourhood to this place. And now, my dearest friend, you have the whole secret: and a very foolish one it is. If it comes, as Falstaff says of honour, it comes unlooked for, and there's an end. But he had a good chance, because he did not deserre what he was so indif- . ferent about. What my chance is by this scale, I leave to be adjusted between my friends and enemies." Letter to Mr. Hurd, 1753.-—“We passed by the Deanery-house, in our way to the Hot Wells. I know you smile. But if you and the Duke of New. castle knew with what indifference, I should be much despised, at least by one of you." July 14, 1754. + “ The Divine Legation,” and “ The Alliance." See rol II. p. 269.
1754;" the Third and Fourth Letters were published in 1755, with another edition of the two former; and in the same year a sınaller edition of the whole; which, though it came into the world without a name, was universally ascribed to Mr. Warburton, and afterwards publicly owned by him. To some copies of this is prefixed an excellent complimentary epistle from the President Montesquieu, dated « Paris, May 26, 1754."
In September 1754 Mr. Warburton was appointed one of his Majesty's Chaplains in ordinary *; and in that year he published a second volume of “Sermons fo at Lincoln's Inn.”
*“You see in the papers an article that relates to me. It may be so, or it may not, for I have no account of it. When I know the truth of it, you shall. They know I can hold nothing in any of the new-founded Churches along with the prebend of Gloucester (Bristol is one) without being King's chaplain. On this account I had a promise very lately; but whether the performance will follow so soon is a great question.” Sept. 30, 1751.-"You expect perhaps I should tell you of the wonders I met with in this new Elysium. I found but two things to admire, as excellent in their kinds; the one is the Beef-eaters, whose broad-faces bespeak such repletion of body and inanition of mind as perfectly fright away those two enemies of man, famine and thought. The other curiosity is our Table-decker, of so placid a mien and so entire a taciturnity (both of them improved by the late elopement of his wife), that he is much fitter for the service of a Minister of State than of the Gospel. In short, I found him the only reasonable man not to converse with.” Oct. 28, 1754.“Last Friday I came to this place with a purpose to stay a week with them. The next day an express came to me from Bath, acquainting me with the death of the Dean of Bristol. You know, I bad a kind of promise of it some time ago from the Duke of Newcastle. What alterations some late transactions, or rather what revolutions they have made in his Grace's promissory system, I can't tell. But I am very indifferent of obligations from that quarter ; so I stay here with much tranquillity and unconcern, instead of posting to his levée. But this is not properly the subject of my letter, though I make it a part of it, as knowing the chance I have in the next turn of the Ecclesiastical Lottery; which, for a Deanery, will give you vastly more pleasure than it gives me.”
t See vol. II. p. 269. In 1755 appeared “Remarks on Dr. Warburton's Sermon, concerning the Nature and End of the Lord's Supper; wherein is shewn, in Opposition to that Writer, that the Lord's Supper neither is, nor can be, of the Nature of a Feast on the Sacrifice. In a Letter to By: a Country Clergyman."
In resigning his prebend at Gloucester, he was presented, in March 1755, to a stall at Durham *, on the death of Dr. Mangey t. This preferment was given him by Bp. Trevor, at the request of Mr. Murray, then Attorney General.
About the same time the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by Dr. Herring, then archbishop of Canterbury; and, a new impression of “ The Divine Legation” having been called for, he printed a fourth edition of the first part of it, corrected and enlarged, divided into two volumes, with a dedication to the Earl of Hardwicke.
In the same year appeared “A Sermon preached before his Grace Charles Duke of Marlborough, President, and the Governors of the Hospital for the Small-pox and for Inoculation, at the Parish Church of St. Andrew, Holborn, on Thursday,
* Soon after he had attained the last preferment, he wrote the “Remarks on Neal's History of the Puritans,” since inserted in the Quarto Edition of his Works.
† “ You will see in the papers an article that mentions me, which will give you pleasure, on which account I thought myself obliged to confirm it to you. The Bishop of Durham, concurring with the Attorney General in their good opinion of me, has given me the prebend which was lately Mangey's, near 5001. He had other friends, you may imagine, to oblige; so I have resigned the prebend of Gloucester, and I shall resign another piece of preferment in the country. But the free motion and friendly manner in which this thing was done, you will easily believe, enhances the value of it to me. My friends are solicitous in these matters for me; I myself, at this time of life, extremely little.” Letter to Mr. Hurd, March 21, 1755. -- Mr. Hurd in answer says, “ It makes me truly happy that I can now, at length, honestly congratulate with you on a preferment, worth your acceptance. The Church has been so long and deeply in your debt, that it will seem but common justice if it now pays you with interest. Not that I look upon this prebend as such payment; which delights me principally, as it does you, from its' being given at this time, and by such a person. I have no words to tell you how much I honour the Attorney General. The nobleness of mind, he has shewn on this occasion, is only to be matched by that which every body takes notice of in a late Apologist. If the world were made acquainted with particulars, it would, methinhs, be taken for one of the niost beautiful events in both your lives, that he should confer and you receive such a favour at this juncture."
April the 24th, 1755,” 4to; and in 1756, “ Natural and Civil Events the Instruments of God's Moral Government, a Sermon preached on the last Public Fast-day, at Lincoln's-Inn Chapel,” 4to.
In 1757, a pamphlet was pubļished, under the title of “Remarks on David Hume's Essay on the Natural History of Religion;" composed from marginal observations made by Dr. Warburton* on read
* This tract is adopted in the Quarto Edition of Bishop Warburton's Works; and he shall give his own account of it: “ There is. an epidemic madness aniongst us : to-day we burn with the feverish heat of Superstition; to-norrow we stand fixed and frozen in Atheism. Expect to hear that the churches are all crowded next Friday, and that on Saturday they buy up Hume's new Essays; the first of which (and please you) is the natural History of Religion ; for which I will trim the rogue's jacket, at least sit upon his skirts, as you will see when you come hither, and find his margins scribbled over, In a word, the Essay is to establish an Atheistic naturalism, like Bolingbroke; and he goes upon one of Bolingbroke's capital arguments, that Idolatry and Polytheism were before the worship of the one God. It is full of absurdities : and here I come in with him; for they shew themselves knaves: but, as you well observe, to do their business, is to shew them fools. They say this man has several moral qualities. It may be so. But there are vices of the mind as well as body: and a wickeder heart, and more determined to do public mischief, I think I never knew. This Essay has so much provoked me, that I have a great deal to say to him occasionally on other accounts." Letter to Mr. Hurd, Feb. 7, 1757. -and, some time after: “As to Hume, I had laid it aside ever since you was here. I will now, however, finish my skeleton. It will be hardly that. If, then, you think any thing can be made of it, and will give yourself the trouble, we may perhaps between us do a little good, which I dare say we shall both think worth a little pains. If I have any force in the first rude beating out of the mass, you are best able to give it the elegance of form and splendor of polish. This will answer my purpose, to labour together in a joint work to do a little good. I will tell you fairly, it is no more the thing it should be, and will be, if you undertake it, than the Dantzick iron at the forge is the gilt and painted ware at Birmingham. It will make no more than a pamphlet; but you shall take your own time, and make it your summer's amusement, if you will. I propose it to bear something like this title, Remarks on Mr. Hume's late Essay, called "The Natural History of Religion,' by a Gentleman of Cambridge, in a Letter to the Rev. Dr. W. I propose the address should be with the dryness and reserve of a stranger, who likes the method of the Letters on Bolipgbroke's Philosophy, and