[from Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley]



Bishop’s-Court, Dec. 21, 1763.

Now, Sir, in answer to your letter of the 17th, I have to observe, that I know of no Manks-man, who has shewn any dislike, as you seem to suppose, to the Society’s printed Proposals ; but, to the scheme of the poor wrong-headed bishop, for introducing Manks printed. Gospels and Liturgy, several are disapprovers, both North and South, in this Ellan Shaint : as if he were intending to ruin the country, by extending the light of our holy religion to them who lit in darkness, for want of a Manks book, .S whereby to see, with their own eyes, the wonderful dispensation of God’s revealing goodness to the sons of men.

But, that the printed Proposals were received coldly, is also too sure ; and that by those, who, I should have thought, would have lifted up their hands and voices to heaven, in thankfulness for such providential assistance.

Discouraged ! my friend ; no ! Those, or a a hundred pails of water poured on my design, will never quench the living fire of my zeal to pursue it, so long as I have breath to speak with, or a pen to write. The vast eagerness and joy with which the first specimen has been received and sought for, have amply convinced me of the utility of my undertaking, had I no previous persuasion in my own mind, of the real benefit it must needs be, to the souls of the far greater part of the people of my charge And when they come to have four Mank Gospels, and Acts of the Apostles, which are just now finished, let the native railers against Manks-printing vent their remarks with as much wit and acrlrrooy as they please , whilst our foreign friends go on zealously to promote it with their truly Christian contributions

I will vouch for our having no need to fear writing to men like yourself. Mr. Broughton, the secretary, is a modest, humble, piously-disposed brother, and to him you are to write : and the members, who generally assemble once a week, to receive letters and requests from their correspondents, are, for the most apart, arch deacon Yardley their treasurer, and a few more worthy clergy men and others, who are disposed to giv themselves the trouble of going as far as Hatton-Garden 1 , where, I take it, the number is but small, compared with their quarterly or yearly meetings, to settle accounts. And therefore, why you should he more solicitous about the manner of writing to your brethren in London, than to your brother at Bishop’s-Court, I know not.

What " countenance you are kept in by great names and good company," for omitting to note material articles in letters to you, I can’t guess at. Great names do not belong to your correspondents in this land : but, if one here be meant, I have only to say, you may possibly be not far from the mark. Sometimes, indeed, I do omit noticing certain articles ; perhaps more through design than obstinacy ; as being points or subjects, upon which I do not choose to enter or enlarge.

Whatever some may think of pyrnean obstacles , I assure you I have been near upon a balance, once or twice, whether I should not bestride my Manks Bock, to try to surmount them, in order to help a lame brother at the ensuing festivity. But, indeed, and indeed, my dear sir, the sight of that long-suspended edifice 2, so zealously begun, for the honour of GOD, and the good of his church, so abashes and confounds me, that I know not well how to face my brother subscribers to that excellent, and once thought necessary work !

And now, it is time to say manum de tabula: not because of length, for that is an old-fashioned apology, the most unmeaning and unnecessary of any that ever entered into epistolary forms. The longest letter, of upwards of twenty pages, (for such I have by me from my English correspondents,) do not take up more than a quarter of an hour’s reading : and who, ever, apologizes for a personal chat, that takes up more than an hour? But, having now paid my respects to every paragraph of yours, requiring notice, I am inclined to withdraw ; making my best bow to your better-half, and assuring you that I am, dear sir, faithfully yours,


Like some good. gossip, who, when she is going, and can’t stay, talks half an hour with the door in her hand ; here I am still.

It may not be amiss, when you happen to meet Mr. Quayle, if you give him the satisfaction of knowing that I have received all thy: packets, as far as O inclusive. Tell Thomas Stevens when you see him, that when I am as near him as he was to the bishop not long since, I will give him my thanks in person for sending them. But I thought he would not have been within a few yards of me, without favouring me with a visit. His father would not have walked off so, without coming in to give me a smieliam 3. Thank him, however, for the care of my packets; and beg of him always to send them by some safe hand he can trust.

And so much for this long packet-paragraph. ‘



1 The office is now in Bartlet’s Buildings, Holborn.

2 The new chapel, named St. Mark’s, a few miles from Douglas; to the building and endowment of which his lordship was a great benefactor ; and where, on its being consecrated the Rev. Philip Moore preached the dedication sermon, from St. Luke, Chap. vii. verse 5. For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a Synagogue. Mrs. Hester Hildesley also, his lordship’s sister, was very liberal to the structure after his decease. " It may be worthy of remark," says Mr. Feltham, " that there is no other Form for the Consecration of churches, chapels, and burial-grounds, but that drawn up by bp. Wilson ; which is so excellent a composition, that on similar occasions it has been adopted by some of our English bishops." Tour, p. 245

3 Salutation


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