[from Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley]
From the Rev. PHILIP MOORE.
My Lord, Douglas, Dec. 17, 1763.
I am extremely concerned that any body here, and especially that any Manks-man, should shew the least dislike to the scheme delineated in the printed Proposals. But let not this discourage your lordship, as I am persuaded that GOD, who hath put it into your heart, will also enable you to forward, and, in his own due time, to bring this great and good work to the desired conclusion.
Your lordship is pleased to dignify me with an undertaking too ponderous I am afraid. for my weak shoulders. To exculpate us of contraband dealings will not very easily be done, otherwise than as Cicero, in his oration pro Milone; candidly by owning the fact, so far as it is admissible ; and then, by putting the saddle on the right horse, to make the best apology we can for our poor people, in the several parishes of the isle ; who subsist, not by smuggling, but, like the honest industrious English peasant and farmer, by agriculture handicraft trades, and manual labour. These, I think, may be fairly excepted, and proved to have as much religion as any people of their rank in any other part of the world. These are, properly speaking, " our people ;" and they are those, for whose peculiar, if not sole benefit, your lordships undertaking is calculated.
Such are my first thoughts : in support and aid of which, permit me to beg your lordships assistance ; as I am extremely diffident of myself, and have my fears about addressing so respectable and judicious a body of men as the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, on so delicate a subject. I thank your lordship for putting me in mind of applying my annual subscription towards the good work in view, to which I shall devote it as long. as may be necessary.
The labour of the bees * goes to Whitehaven the first fair wind, by a ship belonging to one of Mr. Sewells parishioners, who engages to take care of and deliver it in safety.
I notice well your lordships gentle rebuke about expatiating, &c. in letter-writing, to the neglect and omission of more material matters . but, I stick a pin there. All I can say, is, that old habits are not easily shaken off and that I am kept in countenance by great names, and very good company.
My very good woman has her kindest duty and compliments to your lordship and lifter; with thanks for your friendly desire of seeing us at Bishops. Court. Sorry I am it is not practicable. on many accounts. As for the festivities usual here, they are pretty much laid aside ; and as for what are may be still practised, we take but a small share and less pleasure in them.
Mr. and Mrs. Clare are very well ; but :r question whether any thing less than the episcopate, could induce him to cross the Pyrenees 1 at this season of the year.
Shall I beg your lordship's pardon for so long a letter, from your most faithful servant,
* Parts of the Manks version of Scripture ; corrected in the island, for the press at Whitehaven.
1 The hills lying between Bishops Court and Douglas, so called, in allusion to those on the continent.