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an conceptable "Os venera, the volud and food
ing friend to fill up that void, which the death of this his earliest and dearest friend created in his heart. Accordingly, under this severe loss, he consoled himself, and soothed his afflicted mind, by presenting to the world the third and fourth volumes of the sermons, and the volume of occasional discourses of this venerable departed prelate. A more acceptable gift to the pious and devout Christian could not be presented. There are in all the writings of Bishop Horne such a sweetness of diction, such a persuasive and complacent manner, and at the same time such powerful descriptions of futurity, as cannot but produce the intended effect upon the mind. A man may read many works of divinity, and be greatly pleased and edified by them; but I will venture to say, that if he be possessed of the true Christian spirit, he will always return to the writings of this great teacher with a keener zest; and, to use his own emphatic language, in his preface to the Commentary on the Psalms, “he that tastes them oftenest will relish them the most." It is much to be lamented, and Mr. Stevens used frequently to lament, that the Bishop had not prepared for the press some sermons he had written on the 11th chapter of the Hebrews, mentioned in page 121 of Horne's life: for all who have had the good fortune to see the manuscript of the three first of them, as I have, would have rejoiced at the whole being completed, so as to meet the public eye, in the perfect state the Bishop himself wished.
But it is not only for three volumes of Horne's Discourses that we are indebted to Mr. Stevens; for to his hints also we are obliged for the celebrated Letters on Infidelity, written by the Bishop, and which are addressed to Mr. Stevens, under the initials of W. S. Esq. The history of these letters is this :Soon after the death of Mr. David Hume, Dr. Adam Smith had published a letter respecting
him, which the Bishop calls the employment of em . balming a philosopher, and therefore the Bishop, then Dr. Horne, thinking that Dr. Smith's letter might be of very dangerous consequence, addressed • an anonymous answer to him, of which the argument is convincing, and the humour most easy, natural, and admirable. This production of Dr. Horne was so well received, that Mr. Stevens sug-in gested the idea of the Letters on infidelity; for in the introductory letter the Bishop thus writes :" Dear Sir, you express your surprise, that after the favourable manner in which the letter to Dr. Smith was received by the public, and the service, which, as you are pleased to say, was effected by it, nothing further should have been attempted; especially as “ An Apology for the Life and Writings of David Hume, Esq. made its appearance soon afterwards, and some posthumous tracts of that philosopher have been since published, to complete the good work he had so much at heart, not to mention other productions on the side of infidelity. A few strictures on the nature and tendency, the principles and reasonings of such performances, thrown out from time to time, in a concise and lively way, you observe, are better calculated to suit the taste and turn of the present age, than long and elaborate dissertations : and you see no reason why a method practised by Voltaire (and so much commended by D'Alembert) against religion, should not be adopted by those who write for it. In compliance with these hints, and that you may not think me desirous of leading an idle life, when there is so much work to be done, I have a resolution to look over my papers, and address what I may happen to find among them to'yourself, in a series of letters." It is quite manifest then from this letter, that to Mr. Stevens's hints and suggestions to Dr. Horne the world is indebted for the production of those inimitable letters, in
which the infidels of that day were held up to deserved ridicule and contempt. To the same source the world is much indebted for many of the materials of which Mr. Jones composed the life of Bishop Horne, as is manifest from the Prefatory Epistle to the life addressed to William Stevens, Esq. I have already mentioned in a former part of this work, that the fourth edition of the Hebrew and English Lexicon was addressed to him and three other gentlemen by the Rev. John Parkhurst. Such were the literary compositions of Mr. Stevens, and such the labours of others, in which he took an active and zealous part.
It is well known to the readers of history, that from the time of the Reformation till the year 1610, the state of Church Government in Scotland was in a very fluctuating condition; but in that year James the First of England, and of Scotland the Sixth, after his accession to the English throne, established Episcopacy in Scotland, which, however, again fell a sacrifice to the troubles in the reign of Charles the First, when all order, civil and ecclesiastical, became a prey to the tyrannical government of puritanism and Cromwell. As soon as the restoration of the royal family took place in the person of Charles the Second, Episcopacy also was restored in Scotland, and continued to be the established government of the Scottish Church till the Revolution of 1688. When that happened I believe the fact to be, that King William * applied to the Scotch Bishops to exert their influence
* See a curious letter on this subject from Bishop Rose, Bishop of Edinburgh, at the time of the Revolution, in the Gentleman's Magazine for April, 1774, which he had addressed to. Bishop Campbell, another Scottish Bishop, author of a celebrated work on the Intermediate State. See also Skinner's Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, 2d vol. p. 523.
in his behalf; and on condition of their complying with his wishes, offered to protect and support their Church. This proposal, however, was unanimously rejected; and therefore the same convention of estates, which conveyed the Crown to William and Mary, abolished Episcopacy, and substituted Presbytery as the established form of Church Government in Scotland: and thus things have remained to the present day. It is not necessary for me in this place to go through a very minute detail of the sufferings of the Clergy of that Church for exactly one century: but I must, in a life of Mr. Stevens, who took so active a part in her behalf, and who lived to see her emerging from the obscurity in which she had so long groaned, from an adherence to the literal sense of the apostolical precept of submission to the supreme power, take some notice of the leading points respecting it. It may also be of use to those who have not paid that attention to the nature and constitution of the Christian Church, as unconnected with the State, which ought to be known by all well informed Members of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Great Britain or Ireland.
The consequence of what was done by the Convention of Estates, and an Act of the Scottish Parliament which followed it, was, that fourteen Bishops, including the two Archbishops of St. Andrew's and Glasgow, and about 900 Clergy, having refused to submit to the new Government, were obliged to relinquish their charge, in which Presbyterian Ministers were generally placed. Notwithstanding this total overthrow of Episcopacy, and the very severe penal laws, which passed against the Clergy, on account of their real or supposed disaffection, which gained much countenance from their refusing to take the oaths, (and thence the name of Non-jurors) or to pray for the King by name in the forms of divine worship, they almost all continued to officiate privately to such as were disposed to attend upon their ministrations. The Bishops, though they had lost their dignities, revenues, seats in Parliament, and all temporal power, preserved their spiritual power in the Church, which is inherent in the nature of their office, taking care, as often as vacancies happened in the College of Bishops, to preserve the succession by new and regular consecrations. But as the necessities of their now small body, as a Church, did not require the continuance of so large a number of the Episcopal Order, they have allowed the Episcopal College to sink to about six in number, and there are about sixty Clergymen of their communion besides in Scotland. But although many of the old members of this Church, from their notions of indefeasible hereditary right, did not feel themselves at liberty to renounce their allegiance to that family, to which some of them had sworn allegiance; many of her Clergy did not suppose their religion had any thing to do with politics; nor did they take upon them to give an opinion upon the question between the House of Stewart and the family of our present gracious Sovereign. But it is due to them to say, that no set of men could have behaved with more resignation under such afflicting circumstances: they took no part, fomented no disturbances in the rebellion of 1715, nor in that of 1745, although the then reigning powers thought it necessary at that time to pass most severe laws against themr; but they continued in the quiet, decent, and peaceable exercise of their spiritual functions, in the miserably restrained manner, in which they were permitted by the penal laws to exercise them. It was with heart-felt joy, therefore, that the heads of this Church, upon the death of the only person who continued his claim, in opposition to the reigning family, in April 1788, found themselves at liberty to call upon the Clergy