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Carlisle, who was archdeacon, than whom a more proper person both in station, character, and principle could not have been pitched upon, was elevated to the Irish bench of bishops; and, in consequence, the Duke of Portland had an opportunity of making this clergyman a prebendary of Carlisle. It is stated in the Public Characters, that a promise was required from the bishop of Carlisle, of the greater part of what he held, for a person on whom the Duke of Portland, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, wished to bestow it. But that this was wholly unnecessary may be well understood by any one acquainted with the general etiquette of patronage. That the insinuation is unfounded, and that no stipulation of the kind was either made or required, may be fairly presumed from its being contradicted in the margin by a decided “ · No;" which was not very likely to appear there without a full knowledge of the circumstance. On the other hand, in consequence of this change in the chapter, the archdeaconry was reserved for the bishop himself to give away, who conferred it on Mr. Paley. It is no part of the archdeacon's duty to superintend the affairs of the clergy in the diocese of Carlisle, as is the case in most other places, but that care devolves upon the chancellor altogether; so that this could not be looked upon in any other light than an addition, and that a small one, to his other preferments. The small living of Salkeld is annexed to it. This was the highest title he ever added to his name, and he even continued to be known by the title of Archdeacon Paley, long after his claim to it had ceased. Indeed whether from his easiness and liberality in transacting his own money concerns, (for though he was most minute and particular in his knowledge about money, in his dealings and transactions with others he was eminently liberal) or from the real and almost proverbial low estate of the Cumberland livings, at that time, it was only during the latter part of his residence in Cumberland that he cleared so much as an income of £500 from all his preferments. Three
years after this he was advanced to the highest ecclesiastical station with which the bishop of Carlisle had any concern, by being appointed chancellor of the diocese. In rank it is generally held to be inferior to the archdeaconry in that see as well as in others, and perhaps in value, but in duties it is much more important, and as such it was always considered by him. That he was marked out for it some time before may be collected from the following piece of private history :-Dr. Burn, the late chancellor, bad offered to resign the VOL. I.
situation in favour of Mr. Paley, on finding “ that those powers and assistance which he invariably devoted to the service of his clerical brethren a were first declining, but wished to compromise that he might retain the usual emolument." The bishop's declining health made his son, Dr. Law, very urgent with Mr. Paley, that he should undertake the office during his father's life; but he refused to have any thing to do with it, till it came fairly and freely to his acceptance. When it became vacant, by Dr. Burn's death, the bishop of Carlisle was so ill, that Mr. Paley thought it impossible to get the necessary instruments passed through the Register-office, while his patron's danger was sufficiently distant to make his acceptance of it respectable. By the unexpected exertions, however, of the registrar, who was his wife's relation, and whom from his age and testiness it was considered impracticable to hasten, at twelve o'clock at night the papers were made out. They were signed in due course, and were made still more welcome by the bishop's recovery. The death of that most respectable and amiable prelate took place about two years after this. Of his constant exertions and steady zeal in his favour Mr. Paley professed a most just and impartial sense, knowing as he did, that the very friendship and almost cordiality with which he was treated by him, sprung from the purest motives of public good, and were intended, upon that principle only, to promote the interest of his diocese. A circumstance which occurred on the bishop's death was frequently noticed by Mr. Paley, with a constant reflection upon the indecent gaping and maneuvring, as well as the system of espionage, which is thought allowable, or which is not unusually practised in almost all families. Of all others perhaps the lot of the clerical body, which might, one would suppose, be more detached from worldly motives, is least exempt from this piteous condition. It is hard that no one, from an archbishop to a curate, or if it be not to carry it too far, to the parish clerk, can pass off the stage of life without a conviction, that however he may rouse the interest, he will scarcely engage the finer feelings of his expectant brethren ? His son, the late Lord Ellenborough, was at that time engaged in the assizes at Carlisle, and his father's death being on that morning hourly expected, a horse was kept saddled in the stables at Rose castle, for the immediate despatch of a messenger to inform him of the event. When
à These are Mr. Paley's own words.
the messenger arrived in Carlisle, he found that not all his haste and preparation had prevented the news getting there before him; an expecting applicant had already set off from Carlisle to his patron, to sue for his assistance in procuring him the bishoprick. Those only might regulate such eagerness, who dispense pieces of preferment; but, if not conscious of such hastiness themselves, they are probably not unconscious that many others have the same feelings towards them.
On these successive elevations, which took place from the year 1780 to the year 1785, his sphere of action became gradually enlarged. He was looked upon from this time as a resident in Carlisle, and considered himself so far stationary in that city, as to become much interested in its society. Before his family increased, he lived out of the precincts of the cathedral; but afterwards he enlarged his prebendal house by a very considerable addition, during which time he lived in the deanery, and soon removed into the abbey. Carlisle was at that time rather distinguished as a place of resort for those who seek and who lay themselves out for agreeable intercourse. It was then a quiet place in comparison with its present state of bustle. It was much less crowded with a manufacturing population, and less opened to commercial speculations. It had been, as it now is, a principal place of interest on the west side of the north of England, as an ancient and border city. The counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland were at that time divided in interest between two eccentric noblemen, who left very little room for a third or independent party ; but for this reason its races, its elections and assizes, excited perhaps more interest, and were made more the tests of political ascendancy than they do at present. In other respects it might be called a place suitable enough for a busy sort of retirement, and contained within it a circle of enlightened and well-informed gentry. The church added much to the general stock of agreeable society; and though in a less monied way than that establishment now allows of, was no less united and active amongst the rest of the inhabitants. This being the state of the place, it was a residence well suited for a man of Dr. Paley's habits and talents for active life. His first business seems to have been to get himself fairly poised between a private individual, and one holding a responsible situation in life; but he was so averse from pushing himself into or courting notice, that he was more known in private
circles during the whole of his abode at Carlisle, than as a public character. He was too accurate a discerner of the “ tanti” of life to overstep his station. As an agreeable companion, a well informed scholar, and a useful member of the church, he is remem. bered with very kindly feelings by those who knew no more of him. His first object was his public concerns, which never for a moment were out of his view. Archdeacon and chancellor, as well as prebendary of the church, he had, as it is natural to suppose, a strong interest in the affairs of the cathedral and the clergy; yet it does not appear that he was so much concerned in the business of the chapter or the regulations of the cathedral, as about the general management of the establishment in the diocese. He was careful to keep up and promote, as far as he could, the proprieties of both. He was long the only active member of the chapter constantly resident in Carlisle ; for though the prebendary before alluded to had no other residence, he scarcely could be understood either to mix or agree with the other members of the chapter. Dr. Paley rarely preached in the cathedral more than his turn, because it fell under the province of lecturer to supply any sermons that were wanting. He seemed to prefer his own little country church and well known flock to a more promiscuous and more elegant congregation. One character of his sermons which may make his style and manner of preaching more intelligible, may be added to what has been already given, because the mention of it belongs to this place, viz. that he would give the very same sermon in the same words to a congregation of uninformed rustics, and to one formed of the highest ranks of a populous city; yet so acceptable were they to both, that by the higher ranks he was said not to be so well suited to the lower from their not being capable of estimating the superiority of his matter and treatment; and by the lower, to be heard with more interest than is usually given by them to sermons, because they always found themselves in possession of something they wished to understand, and wondered that they never understood it before. His talent for particular and minute observation, and for suiting his advice exactly to the case before him, joined to his general benevolence, enabled him to be of great use, in a quiet and silent way, to many of the clergy. In recommending, as he does in one of his charges, a personal conference with their parishioners upon religious subjects, " it is in many instances," says he, “ a defect of a studious
life, that it indisposes a man from entering with ease and familiarity into the conversation of the mixed ranks of human society." His advice was always readily and freely and heartily communicated; and in a way so apparently adapted to the level, as well as to the interest of the party concerned, that most of those who asked his advice found they were consulting a friend rather than one in an official situation. He was, however, so decided in tone, and so ready in discerning the consequences as well as motives of different actions and lines of conduct, that his advice had more the air of command and authority than he was aware of. To the lower order of clergy he was particularly attentive. To his curates, throughout his life he was strikingly liberal. Of his ecclesiastical censures he was sparing; and when he was obliged to exert them at a later period, in one flagrant instance of misconduct after repeated admonitions, his books at this day testify, that he discountenanced every kind of anonymous information ; that he sifted common report to : the bottom; that he looked upon all as prejudice that was not proved in so many words; and that his unwearied exertions to save the character of the man and the clergyman were exceeded only by his patience and impartiality in receiving any information on either side. His charges, only one of which has been hitherto made public, seldom failed to make an impression, as much from the substance of them, as from their shortness and applicability. They are many of them very original, and have been often inquired after by some of those who heard them delivered.
Of the one published, which has been a noticed as containing some allusion to political preaching, which is rather unqualified, the following remarks may give some explanation, more particular than can perhaps generally be known. It certainly is an opinion but badly supported even by the names of the present day, that the clergy have nothing to do with politics, if it be taken to extend to any thing connected with public affairs; since it seems difficult to separate the interests of an establishment so intimately interwoven with the constitution, and since the concern of our parishioners with the public body is in general but too slightly observed. Even the pious and devout Herbert could tell us, that “ his parson would make his children first Christians, then commonwealth's men." Dr.