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Church of England Magazine.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. THOMAS SCOTT,
LATE RECTOR OF ASTON SANDFORD.
We have long desired to insert in late Rev. Thomas Scott, never our publication a brief Memoir of before published, with occasional this most valuable : servant of observations. Christ; but have hitherto been THOMAS Scott was the tenth prevented from carrying our wishes child of Mr. John Scott, and into effect, partly because we felt was born at Braytoft, near Spilsby, that
very many of our readers had in Lincolnshire, Feb. 16, 1747. access to the admirable life pub- His mother's maiden name was lished above ten years since by his Wayet, a descendant of a family son, the late Rev. John Scott, and well known and respected at partly because we indulgèd a hòpe Boston in that eounty,and the name that when his health and leisure of one of whose ancestors appears would permit, that lamented indi- aynexed to the death warrant of vidual 'would himself add to the Charles I.; One elder sister of numerous favours conferred on our Mrs. Scott had married previously publication, a brief account of bis the celebrated Capability Brown, father from his own pen, which and another the late Dr. Cook, might afford instruction to many many years organist at Westminwho are not able to procure the ster Abbey. Life and Letters already published, Mr. Scott of Braytoft, was a and might induce others to examine man of a small and feeble body, for themselves that work which but of uncommon energy of mind affords to the young Christian, and and vigour of intellect. Deprived especially the young Minister, a of his father in early life, he exmore valuable mine of instruction erted himself with great activity and edification than any other work in providing for his widowed moof equal dimensions which has ther and her orphan children; and appeared within our recollection. though his efforts on their behalf Our Memoir indeed will principally were attended with the desired be compiled from the two volumes results they yet prevented him for published by the late Rev. John many years from making that proScott; the one entitled, The Life vision for his own rapidly increasof the Rev. Thomas Scott, includ- ing family which he earnestly ing a narrative drawn up by him- desired. His eldest son was howself, and copious extracts of his ever sent to Scorton School in Letters; the other, which though Yorkshire, a seminary at that time less known, is truly valuable, in good repute, and after his school entitled, Letters and Papers of the education was completed, he en
gaged in the medical profession ; In some respects indeed this conbut, when on the eve of being ap- duced to Mr. S's improvement, for pointed surgeon to a man of war, as there were EIGHTY boys in the he died of a malignant fever at school, many of whom were far Portsmouth. Notwithstanding this more liberally supplied with melancholy event, which
pocket money than Mr. S., he not deeply felt by the whole family, unfrequently turned his talents to Mr. Scott was still desirous of account by supplying exercises for bringing up one of his sons to the others for very trifling remuneramedical profession, and the educa- tion. In this way he acquired tion of Mr. Thomas Scott was great facility in translating Latin conducted with a view to that into English, and English into object. After learning the rudi- Latin, an attainment which matements of Latin, &c. at Burgh, and rially contributed to his success in afterwards at Bennington, Mr. after life. His experience howT. S. also was sent to Scorton ever at Scorton induced Mr. Scott School, where he continued five most decidedly to protest against years without revisiting home dur- large public schools, where the ing the whole period; nor need boys are unavoidably a very great this excite much surprise when the part of their time from under the difficulty of travelling in those eye of the master, and at a distance days is taken into account, and from parents and relations, whose when it is remembered that Scorton presence would impose restraint is a hamlet of the parish of Bolton, upon them; and he therefore about five miles from Richmond strenuously advocated wherever in Yorkshire, and not less than a practicable, a domestic and secludhundred and forty miles from ed education. Braytoft. There were then,'Mr. On Mr. Scott's return from S.observes, 'several turnpike roads Scorton in 1762, he was placed in the neighbourhood, and with a Surgeon at Alford, who through the village, but I do not
appears to have been a skilful but remember that I ever saw or heard unprincipled person. He had not of a stage coach. The effects of however been very long bound such long separations from pa- apprentice, when a disagreement rents, brothers, sisters, and other with his master took place, in near relations is justly censured by consequence of which he returned Mr. Scott as being far from favour- home; and as the terms demanded able to the formation of the moral for his entire liberation, appeared and social character in future life. to his father unreasonable, while The periodical meetings of fami- the master hoped, by preventing lies at each returning vacation Mr. Scott's engaging in any other powerfully tends to rekindle affec- situation, he would eventually tion, and to diminish those selfish ensure compliance with his exand tyrannical feelings which are tortionate demands, the indentures too often contracted at school. were still retained, and a complete
Mr. T. Scott appears to have and final stop put to Mr. Scott's made considerable proficiency at medical career. Scorton, though far less than under Nor was this the only painful favourable circumstances consequence.
Mr. Scott had acted might have been expected. The improperly in the first instance, master, though an able man, had and when the affair became public, become old and lethargic, and was he was regarded by his father, as in consequence exposed to various having brought reproach, not only impositions, which the ushers bow
upon himself, but also ever active, could scarcely obviate. family, who had been uniformly
respected for strict propriety of through roads only practicable by behaviour. Hence he inflicted on horsemen, and not very safe for his son many severe reproofs, and them, the Sunday duties were much harsh treatment; nor were any
too often hastily and superficially vigorous efforts made either for mol- performed, and the pastoral office lifying his late master, or providing almost entirely neglected. There for his son in any
while was thus in many parts a darkness as is too often the case with young which might almost be felt, and persons at that time of life, the in comparatively few places were reproof Mr. T. Scott deserved, the people favoured with any clear instead of leading to humiliation exposition of Christian doctrine, or and repentance, only produced sul- powerful enforcement of Christian lenness and discontent; his father's duty. That great deficiencies still presence was avoided, and the exist among clergymen in various society of the menials of the family parts of the couutry, is deeply to be was chosen, while such degrading feared, but during the last century associations naturally produced a most amazing improvement has new causes of offence. He was in taken place, and is, we trust, still consequence employed in the most advancing. laborious parts of the work belong- Such however being the state ing to a Grazier; and as his father of religious instruction at the time usually kept about a thousand of which we are speaking, it is no sheep, and much of his farm con- way surprising that Mr. Scott felt sisted of low land, which was often little on the subject of religion, flooded, Mr. T. Scott was intro- His mind however was deeply duced at the beginning of winter, impressed by a remonstrance of to scenes of hardship, and exposed the surgeon above referred to, to many dangers from wet and cold, who, though himself a very improfor which his previous habits had per character, yet on one occasion not prepared him. In consequence, reminded his apprentice that he he was frequently ill, and at length ought to recollect that his conduct suffered such repeated and obsti- was not only displeasing to him, nate maladies, that his life was (who was his earthly master) but more than once despaired of. Yet also wicked in the sight of God, a kind of indignant proud self- With this remark Mr. S. revenge kept him from complain. much affected; it ofttimes reing, though he was naturally impa- curred to his mind, and appears to tient of reproach or suffering. have been of great service to him
During this period his mind in after-life. was very feebly, if at all under When about the age of sixteen, the influence of religious prin- Mr. Scott was of course, (accorciples. His parents were exem- ding to the requirements of our plary in their moral conduct and church, which had happily not deportment, and their family in then lost their authority) expected general well-ordered; but through to attend at the Lord's table; his the whole of that part of the coun- conscience had also been awakened try at the time of which we are by some discoveries of natural speaking, there was a lamentable corruption, and partly to quiet its deficiency of religious instruction; remonstrances, and partly to premany of the clergy were far pare for the ordinance to which he from what they ought to have was called, he made some attempts been, and as most of them were at reformation, procured a form compelled by circumstances to of prayer, attended at the Lord's supply two or three churches, and table, and continued his devotions hurry away from one to the other, for a time; when his alarms being
quieted, and new temptations oc- the treatment he met with at home curring, be gradually laid aside was calculated to produce. The his religion, until his fears were best mode of draining the adjoinafresh excited by another exhorta- ing fens was at that time warmly tion to attend the Lord's table; his discussed, and Mr. Scott addressed repentance was then renewed, the a letter on the subject, to one of divine ordinance was again at- the provincial papers, which extended on, and alas, after a time, cited great attention, and induced his serious feelings again lost sight various conjectures as to its author ; of. Such for the most part were
while he was himself astonished Mr. Scott's proceedings for nine at bis humble production being years, at some periods being ex- attributed to some of the most ce: dingly alarmed, and very ear- distinguished characters in the nest in prayer and supplication; neighbourhood ; this unexpected at others, living entirely without circumstance occurring at a season prayer, and conforming in many when he was much depressed by respects to the evil examples of the taunts and reproaches he met tho around, though various cir. with encouraged him to persevere cumstances concurred in preserving for some time in his attempts at him from the more debasing vices improvement; at length however of profaneness and intemperance, “ hope deferred maketh the at all times too common among heart sick,” be very nearly deterthose employed in agricultural mined on relinquishing his exerpursuits.
tions ;- he was
now five-andDuring this long period various twenty ; he had become accusreveries of future advancement tomed to his employment, and presented themselves to his mind, seasoned against its hardships, and and especially when the tempta- as his only brother was already tions of the low-lived persons into settled in a farm in a neighbourwhose company he was occasion- ing parish, and his father now in ally brought, had seduced him into advanced life was subject to many conduct which he reviewed with infirmities, he naturally concluded
At such periods he that he should eventually succeed would form plans of study, resume to his father's business and be tbus his neglected books, and speculate comfortably provided for; to his on obtaining admission at the uni- surprise, however, he discovered versity, and entrance into the that his father had made a difchurch. On more mature consi- ferent arrangement, that the lease deration, however, the difficulties of the Braytoft farn was left to appeared insuperable, The books bis elder brother; and that the only he had studied at Scorton, were provision designed for himself was left behind; he had a few Latin the occupation of some marsh lands authors, and an old Greek Gram- where there was no house, and no mar, but not even a Greek Testa- reasonable prospect of a provision, ment; and his father, though him- or even maintenance for a family. self remarkably fond of reading, On this discovery he immediately yet threw every discouragement in determined to make some effort, the way of his son's pursuits; and however desperate, to extricate thus often drove him intɔ com- himself from what appeared a pany and engagements of an inju hopeless situation. His Latin rious nature.
An ordinary mind books and Greek Grammar were would probably have sunk under immediately resumed and seduloussuch discouragements; but acciden- ly plied at every moment of leital circumstances relieved Mr. Scott sure, his father expressing much from the desponding feelings which astonishment at this sudden change
of conduct; until a severe, and Green. After examining him in possibly undeserved reproof, after a the Greek Testament, the Archday of hard labour, induced him deacon asked many questions, and to give vent to his feelings, and to concluded by assuring him of a throw aside his shepherd's frock, favourable report to the bishop. with a declaration of his purpose Thus encouraged, Mr. Scott imme.
more to resume it. i'hat diately sold a few sheep, the produce night Mr. S. lodged at his brother's, of a lamb given bim by his father but considering the next morning several years before, and went to live that a large flock of ewes in yean- at Boston, where under the superining time had no one to look after tendence of the above-mentioned them, he returned, and after paying clergyman, he diligently applied the requisite attention, set off for to the study of the Greek TestaBoston, where a clergyman re- ment, the writing of Latin, &c. sided with whom he had a slight and at length, in less than seven acquaintance, and with some tre- weeks, having obtained a title and pidation communicated his purpose sent in testimonials, he proceeded of attempting to obtain orders. to London, in hopes of being orThe clergyman was astonished, he dained. On arriving in town howhad only known Mr. Scott as a ever, he was informed that his shepherd, and he therefore im- papers had not been received in mediately inquired, Do you know time, and that other circumstances any thing of Latin and Greek ? not satisfactory, and that Mr. S. replied that he had re- therefore he could not be admitted ceived some education, but that as a candidate. On this he earnestfor ten years he had not seen a ly requested an interview with the Greek book except the Grammar. bishop, who asked him many The clergyman instantly took down questions as to his life, his family, a Greek Testament, and put it into his prospects, his reasons for deMr. Scott's hands, who, without siring admission to orders, &c. to difficulty read several verses, giv
which Mr. Scott returned unreing both the Latin and English served answers, being satisfied that rendering, as had been the custom independently of religious motives, at Scorton School. On this the sincerity and frankness are the best clergyman having strongly ex- policy. His lordship, however, pressed his surprise, said, Our still declined admitting him as a visitation will be next week ; the candidate, but intimated that in Archdeacon, Dr. Gordon, will be case he procured his father's conhere, and if you will be in the sent, and a letter from any benetown, I will mention you to him ficed clergyman in his neighbourand induce him, if I can, to send hood, with whom his lordship was
Mr. Scott of course acquainted, he might probably assented, and immediately returned admit him at the next ordination. to his father's house for the in- Mr. Scott, much discouraged at terval, knowing that his assistance the result, and almost despairing was just at that season wanted for of success, after staying a few days services which his father was not in town, returned home. At length accustomed to entrust to labourers, he says, I reached Braytoft after and was himself no longer able to walking twenty miles in the foreperform.
noon; having dined, I put off my At the appointed time Mr. clerical clothes, resumed my shepScott returned to Boston, and was herd's dress and sheared eleven introduced to the Archdeacon, large sheep in the afternoon. who was also examining chaplain This was however his last lato the then Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. bour of the kind. The spirit of