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students at the universities, and the clergy who had been expelled from their parishes, or driven into exile, by the sectaries. Though he was very unwilling to be interrupted in his studies by any concerns of his own, he never kept any one waiting, but would immediately come to any visitor, more especially when he was informed that a poor man wished to speak to him.

After he was released from prison, he retired to Worcestershire, where he continued his labours in the cause of religion; and in 1660, when King Charles II. was restored to the throne of his ancestors, Hammond was designed to fill the vacant see of Worcester; but as he was on his way to London, he was seized with illness; and after suffering dreadful pains with all the patience, submission, and piety which might have been expected from so holy and useful a life, he departed to his eternal reward in the fifty-fifth year of his age.

THOMAS WILSON, bishop of Sodor and Man, was born in Cheshire in 1663, and educated at the university of Dublin, where he intended to practise medicine, but was persuaded by a pious archdeacon to undertake the sacred ministry. In 1686 he was ordained deacon, and appointed to a curacy in Lancashire; and in 1689 he was raised to the priesthood, on which solemn occasion he again dedicated himself to the service of his Lord and Master, and formed the most solemn resolutions of living more than ever to the glory of that Saviour "who loved him, and gave himself for him.” In conformity with these resolutions, he discharged his sacred duties with indefatigable zeal; "holiness to the Lord" was inscribed on every part of his conduct. The lustre of such a character could not long be concealed; and in 1692 he was selected by the Earl of Derby to be his chaplain and the preceptor of his



After some time, observing with deep regret the embarrassed state of his patron's affairs, caused by habits of profusion and inattention to domestic economy, he felt it his duty to remonstrate with the earl on his conduct; and he so judiciously and wisely managed this delicate affair, that ere long he had the great satisfaction of seeing his noble friend relieved from his embarrassments, and a train of distressed tradesmen and dependents effectually relieved.


The bishopric of Sodor and Man had been vacant from the year 1693, and Lord Derby, to whom the appointment belonged as lord of the Isle of Man, offered it to his chaplain. He thankfully acknowledged the honour intended him, but declared himself unworthy of so high an office, and incapable of so arduous an undertaking; and it was only after the see had been vacant for four years, and the metropolitan had complained to the king on the subject, that Wilson was at last "forced into the see.' He was consecrated in 1697. Bishop Wilson now devoted himself most zealously to the duties of the episcopate. He felt that he had been called by Divine appointment to this arduous station, and was persuaded that every necessary help would be afforded him. He was frequent in prayer, and thence derived the skill and grace which appeared in his ministry. His life, indeed, was a life of prayer. By his frequent intercourse with Heaven, he became heavenly in his temper, his views, and his whole conversation. The temporal and spiritual state of his diocese called for most vigorous exertions. He was obliged to rebuild the episcopal mansion, which had fallen into decay, and to effect many other expensive repairs. He lamented that this forced him in some degree to intermit his charity to the poor. His attention was directed to whatever could in any degree promote the

spiritual and temporal welfare of the country. He was seen in every quarter of his diocese, counselling, guiding, and directing. His charity was always most abundant. When he possessed, early in life, only 301. per annum, he devoted one tenth of this income to the poor. As his income gradually increased, a greater share was distributed in alms. He always laid aside the proportion destined for the poor in a certain place. In this treasury, which he named "the poor's drawer," was deposited at first a tenth, then a fifth, afterwards a third, and at last half his income. Every deposit there was converted into an act both of charity and devotion; prayers and alms were incessantly united. At his house every kind of distress found relief. Whether the hungry or the naked applied, their claims were certain to be duly considered and liberally answered. In his barn was always a provision of corn and meal for the indigent; and the good bishop gave orders to his steward when corn was measured to the poor never to stroke it, as was usual, but to give heaped measure. His demesne contained several manufactories of different sorts, where artisans were engaged in preparing garments for the poor. The bishop attended even to the smallest circumstances which could benefit his people. He would purchase quantities of spectacles, and distribute them amongst the aged poor, that they might be enabled to read their Bibles.

Bishop Wilson was unwearied in his endeavours to improve the parochial schools. He was a constant and earnest preacher, and during the fifty-eight years of his episcopate he never failed every Sunday to preach or celebrate the holy rites of the Church, except when prevented by illness. Nothing could exceed his care and diligence in obtaining an effective and pious clergy. From the moment that any student declared his intention of entering the sacred

ministry, the bishop formed a close connexion with him, watched over his conduct, and guided his studies and pursuits. After his entrance on the sacred ministry, the bishop made him reside with him for a whole year, that he might exercise a more minute inspection, and administer daily instruction and advice. He held many synods of the clergy, in which several wise constitutions and canons of discipline were made and enforced. He frequently addressed his clergy in pastoral letters full of piety and wisdom; and so great was the veneration in which they held him, that half a century after his decease, aged clergy have been heard to recount the virtues of Bishop Wilson with tears of affection trembling in their eyes. Bishop Wilson acquired a knowledge of the Manks language, into which he translated several pious books, and procured the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles to be translated into that language.

Bishop Wilson was a man of prayer. He not only prayed every morning at six o'clock with his family, and also in the evening, but he retired three times every day to his private devotions. Even in the night he might be heard engaged in prayer. Sometimes the words of the Psalmist were indistinctly heard by his attendants. "I will arise at midnight, and give thanks unto thee. Praise the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, praise his holy name." Sometimes parts of the Te Deum were recognised. Such were the nightly orisons of this holy man. Words of instruction and consolation were continually flowing from his lips; so that it was scarcely possible to enjoy his society even for a short time without growing wiser and better. His actions, however, spoke more forcibly than language; the beauty of holiness shone forth in all his conversation, irradiated his countenance, and gave a peculiar charm to every thing he said or did.

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In 1722, the bishop, in the discharge of his duty as the guardian of the sacraments, forbade the governor's wife to approach the holy table, as a punishment for a very scandalous calumny which she had disseminated. A clergyman having disobeyed this injunction of the bishop, he was suspended; and the result was, that the bishop was illegally seized and imprisoned, with his two vicars-general. During this affliction, the bishop was occupied in prayer and meditation, and in plans for the advancement of his Master's kingdom. The poor were loud in their lamentations; and being indignant at the injustice practised towards their beloved pastor, they were about to level the governor's house to the ground, when they were restrained by the voice of their bishop, who spoke to them from his prison, and exhorted them to peace and submission. At length he was released on appeal to the king. The day of his release was one of universal rejoicing. The multitudes extended for three miles in length, scattering flowers beneath his feet, to the sound of music and loud rejoicings. Bishop Wilson's strictness in observing ecclesiastical discipline may be collected from the circumstances already alluded to.

At length he was to be called away to his reward in heaven. He beheld the approach of death with peace and calmness, but with the deepest humility. Shortly before his death, a crowd of poor people were assembled in the hall to receive his blessing and alms, when he was overheard saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner, a vile sinner, a miserable sinner!" He fell into delirium some weeks before his decease, but his dreams were filled with visions of angels. He died in 1755, in the ninety-third year of his age.

It would be easy to add many other instances of Christian piety from the records of the Church in the

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