[from Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley]
Rev. PHILIP MOORE to the Rev. Dr. WALKER, of Moffat., North Britain.
Rev. Sir, Douglas, Nov. 14, 1768.
Our present Diocesan has already met your inquiries, in a good measure, by his "Statement of Religion, &c. in our Island ;" some extracts from which I do myself the pleasure to enclose. From thence you will observe, that his lordship laments the then scantiness and inconvenience of our parish churches, together with our want of the Holy Scriptures in the native tongue. This latter defect is however considerably remedied for, since his accession, and by his assiduous applications, much has been done preparatory to its entire removal : and, in order to supply all defects, the clergy of the diocese are now engaged in translating and preparing for the press the Scriptures of the Old Testament ; which it is hoped will be ready for revision, so as to be printed in due time, before the close of the present year.
You particularly with to know how the church here is supplied with ministers;a question, which was some years since proposed also by his grace of Canterbury to our bishop *. To which I answer with pleasure, that in the reigrn of Charles II. Bp. Barrow established an academy at Castletown, for the education of young men to serve the church ; who receive their instruction from an academical professor, who is a Master of Arts from one of the Universities. There is a competent salary for the teacher, and a handsorne exhibition for the three or four youths on the establishment. There is also, at Douglas, a benefaction from a gentleman lately deceased, for the education of two candidates for the ministry. Our last academick master was the Rev. Mr. Ross, a gentleman of your country, from Musselborough. so that, you see, from these seminaries we have the blessing and benefit of a competent thare of classical, theological, and other learning in the arts and sciences, to qualify us for the ministry; which has greatlly contributed to dispel that mist of ignorance and illiterature, of which bp. Barrow so justly complained
Besides the above, there is an English petty school, with a small endowment, in every parish; where the children are taught to read and write, and instructed in the principles of the Christian Religion, previous to their further cultivation by the respective ministers. We have likewise a fund of about ten pounds per annum, for the support of poor clergymens widows, established and procured by the joint endeavours and piety of our late and present worthy bishops. On the whole, sir, you may perceive that things are much mended with us since good bishop Barrows time ; and if you are desirous to know more about us, or to be better informed as to the natural, civil, and religious state of this poor place, another visit from you would do us honour.
Your last call upon us was only a glimpse ; and you passed through like a luminous meteor. I hope your next visit will be longer, for your own sake, as well as ours ; for you have not seen the half of what you might have seen and known, had your transit been less rapid. When next you Come, I shall certify for you, that you are qualified to travel and to keep pace with the king of Denmark himself.
" Nothing thats glorious ever makes a stay;
Your blazing star but visits, and away !"
I am, dear sir, with much respect, yours, &c,
* See the Primates letter, July 3, 1764, page 506.
+ See " Enumeration of the Manks Bishops," p. 304