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He used to consider the thirty-nine articles of religion, as mere articles of peace; of which it was impossible that the framers could ex. pect any one person to believe the whole, as they contain altogether about two hundred and forty distinct, and many of them inconsistent, propositions.

Notwithstanding the great liberality of opi. nion which Mr. Paley exhibited in his lectures, and constantly inculcated upon bis pupils, he refused to sign the clerical petition to the House of Commons in 1772, for a relief from subscription to articles of religion, though he approved the object of the petition, and wished to see it accomplished.-Ought he not then to have given the petition the sanction of his name? On this occasion he is reported to have said," I cannot afford to have a conscience;" but no serious stress ought to be laid on such effusions of jocularity or inconsideration. If all a man's light, humorous, or inadvertent sayings were to be brought up in judgment against him, the purest virtue, and the brightest wisdom, would hardly be able to endure the ordeal. The best and the wisest men are often remarkable for particular inconsistencies.

Though Mr. Paley refused to lend his name to the clerical petition, yet he appears afterward to have vindicated the object which it proposed to obtain, in the defence of a pamphlet written by Bishop Law, entitled, “ Considerations on the propriety of requiring a subscription to Articles of Faith.” The defence which is just mentioned has been uniformly ascribed to Mr. Paley: and though it must be reckoned among his more juvenile performances, yet it must be allowed, in many instances, to have exhibited a display of ability, and a force of argument, worthy of his more improved judgment, and his more matured abilities.

Wbile Paley was engaged in the office of tuition at Christ's College, his celebrity induced the late Earl Camden to offer him the situation of private tutor to his son. But this was incompatible with his other occupations, and was accordingly declined.

In 1775 Mr. Paley began to receive solid proofs of Bishop Law's regard. The ecclesiastical patronage, which is attached to the see of Carlisle, is very scanty and poor; but after providing for his son, Bishop Law conferred upon Paley the best benefices which he had to bestow. He was collated to the rectory of Musgrove in Westmoreland, which was at that time worth about 801, a-year. He was soon after presented to the vicarage of Dalston in Cumberland : and on the 5th of September 1777, he resigned the rectory of Musgrove upon being inducted to the more valuable benefice of Appleby. Whilst he was in possession of this benefice, he published a little work, denominated “ The Clergyman's Companion in Visiting the Sick.” Such a book was much wanted; and as it contains a judicious selection of prayers for different occasions, it has supplied the clergy with a very useful auxiliary in their devotional occupations.

In 1780, Paley was preferred by his patron, Bishop Law, to a prebendal stall in the cathedral of Carlisle, which was worth about four hundred pounds a year. And in August 1782, he was appointed Archdeacon of Carlisle; a sort of sinecure; but by which his clerical dignity was increased, and his temporal income enlarged.

In 1785 the period arrived when Mr. Paley, who had hitherto published only a pamphlet, or a few occasional sermons, was to appear as an author in a larger and more substantial form. It was in this year that his Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy issued from the press. This work soon experienced a degree of success,

not indeed greater than its general excellence deserves, but greater than any work of merit, on its first appearance, usually receives. In this most useful production Paley exhibits no dazzling novelties; and makes no parade of new discoveries ; for what that is new was likely to be said on such a subject, of which the great principles are coeval with the existence of man upon the habitable globe? But though the matter, of which this work consists, is so old, and has so often been fabricated into a diversity of forms by other writers, yet the capacious mind of Paley has formed it anew into a system in which there is so much clearness in the arrangement, so much cogency in the reasoning, and so much precision in the language, that there is no moral treatise by which it is surpassed in the great merit of general usefulness. Mr. Paley did not make his materials; he found them already made; but his own bands raised the fabric; and of that fabric the merit is all his own.

Some few parts of Mr. Paley's moral, and more of his political reasoning are liable to objections, but with all its defects, his “ Moral and Political Philosophy" constitutes a valu

ble addition to that department of our literature. As it forms one of the lecture books for the students in the University of Cambridge, this circumstance must have tended greatly to augment its circulation, and to extend its usefulness.

In addition to his other honours and emoluments in the see of Carlisle, Mr. Paley was, at the end of the year 1783, appointed chancellor of that diocese. In the year 1787 he lost his venerable friend and patron, the Bishop of Carlisle, who died on the 14th af August, at the advanced age of eighty-four. Bishop Law was an honest and intrepid inquirer after truth; and though he was inferior to his younger friend in intellectual energy, yet it would have made no small addition to Paley's fame, if he had equalled his affectionate and revered patron in the fearless declaration of all his theological opinions.

It is highly honourable to Paley that he was among the first of those, who expressed a decided opinion against the iniquity of the slave-trade. What he wrote that subject, and particularly his unreserved reprobation of the abominable traffic, in his Moral Philosophy, contributed very much to accelerate the abolition. It was, for a long time, a mere question of interest with a considerable part of the community ; but moral considerations, in unison with the amiable spirit of the gospel, and the tender sympathies of humanity, at length triumphed over the sordid projects of avarice and cruelty.

Mr. Paley, much to his honour, suggested a plan for promoting the civilization of Africa, and for making some restitution to that out

raged continent, for the cruelty, the injustice, and the oppression, which it had so long ex. perienced. He proposed to export from the United States of America several little colonies of free negroes, and to settle them in different parts of Africa, that they might serve as patterns of more civilized life to the natives in their several vicinities.

In the year 1790 Mr. Paley published his Horæ Paulinæ, in which he appears to have displayed

yed more originality of thought, more sagacity of remark, and more delicacy of discrimination, than in any of his other works. The great object of this volume is to illustrate and enforce the credibility of the Christian revelation, by shewing the numerous coincidences between the Epistles of Paul and the Acts of the Apostles. These coincidences, which are often incorporated or intertwined in references and allusions, in which no art can be discovered, and no contrivance traced, furnish numerous proofs of the truth of both these works, and consequently of that of Christianity. The Epistles of Paul and the Acts of the Apostles mutually strengthen each other's credibility; and Mr. Paley has shewn, in the clearest manner, how one borrows light from the other; and how both conjunctively reflect the splendour of their united evidence on some of the principal facls and most important truths in the memoirs of the Evangelists.

Some of the coincidences which Mr. Paley discovers, seem too minute for common observation ; but his remarks shew their importance, while they evince the keenness of his intellectual sight. The merit of this perform ance, though it has been generally acknow

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