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ORTHODOX CHURCH MAN'S
MAGAZINE AND REVIEW,
For JULY, 1803.
Endeavouring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.
Ephés. iv. 3.
THE EDITORS' ADDRESS.
THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE has now
I been published upwards of two years ; and it has received that kind of progressive encouragement, particularly from persons whose ap: probation is the most flattering to the Editors, which affords the best earnest and the most auspicious omen of its permanent success.
The title of this publication sufficiently imports, that its main object is the preservation of the EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE UNITED Kingdom, in her characteristic purity, both in doctrine and discipline. Such, indeed, are the dangers to which that church is now exposed. from open enemies, and from false friends, that the want of energy in her cause would be highly criminal in any one who has the privilege of belonging to her communion. What those dangers are, it is our duty, to unfold ; that all who have any regard for the interests of the Churchi, may be inspired with a seasonable and salutary alarin for her safety, Suffice it, however, to say in this place, that, in addition to the immi. nent hazard into which the Church is brought, by the decay of religion in general, and the consequent increase of infidelity; by the lukewarm and sceptical character of the age ; and by the active and daring spirit of her avowed enemies ; she has still more to fear from a wild and fu-, rious spirit of Fanaticism which has burst forth in her very bosom, which misrepresents her doctrines, seduces many of her votaries from her plain, easy, and gladsome paths, into the perplexed and gloomy mazes of error and enthusiam, and inspires multitudes, particularly among the lower classes, with hostility to her pure and devout worship, to her salutary discipline, and to her faithful ministers.
Vol. 7. Churchi. Mag. July 1803.
The toleration which, above all other establishments, this Church has always liberally cherished, has been, and is now, more than ever, made the means of encroaching upon her rights, and of perverting her doctrines. Her most venerable, dignified, and pivus ministers, who have adorned religion by their example, and defended it by their learned labours, are frequently represented to the people as unfaithful to their trust, and unsound in their doctrine; and those are pointed out as the only True Churchmen, who promote ENTHUSIASM and encourage SCHISM.
Such being the confessed state of things amongst us in these “ peri. lous times," the Editors of the ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE cannot doubt that such a work will receive the sanction and support of every sound member of the Church of England,
In order the more effectually to expose and counteract the artifices and attacks of those who are hostile to the Church, as well as to exhibit, in a just light, the exertions inade by her friends for her preservation, it has been thought expedient to combine, with the appropriate objects of a MAGAZINE, a Review of such publications as more immediately relate to religion and morals.
In these several departments we have to thank many gentlemen for the most valuable and liberal assistance. Happily, indeed, this publication has had the effect of concentrating, in a considerable degree, the efforts of the friends of orthodoxy throughout the United Kingdom, and of shewing that the established Church has a host of faithful adhe. rents, fully able to cope with the legions of her adversaries. Never, perhaps, was a periodical publication so much indebted to gratuitious exertion : never, certainly, was any one more benefited by communications from men of talents, learning, and piety. We hope for a continuance of that aid to which we, and indeed the public at large, are so much indebted : and aware that the timely and public exposure of hostile machinations, is the ready way to render them abortive, we earnestly invite our Correspondents, from time to time, to transmit to us such well-attested facts as may be calculated to expose the arts, or point oui the progress of fanaticism, in different parts of the country. · We cannot refrain, on this occasion, from expressing an earnest wish, that our labours may be instrumental in securing to the Established Church the attachment of the rising generation. Our pages, we trust, will be deemed by those, who are invested with the important charge of education, well calculated to warn the ardent, but unsuspecting minds of generous youth, against the extraordinary snares by which they are encompassed, in these days of mad innovation, of wild fanaticism, and of daring contempt for the suggestions of experience, and for the institutions of antiquity. To those who in the shades of learned retire. ment are preparing for the busy scenes of active life, and on the soundness of whose principles and the correctness of whose views, will soon depend the welfare, the safety, and perhaps, the very existence of the state, we do not hesitate to appeal directly ; flattering ourselves that a regular and attentive perusal of this publication will inspire them with in. dignation against the base arts and sophistical reasonings, by which our religious Establishment is now attacked; and, by convincing their judgment, and interesting their feelings, in favour of our Episcopal
Church, Church, animate them to a zealous defence of this essential part of the Constitution.
In order to render the ORTHODOX CRURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE AND REVIEW at once more interesting and instructive, we have thought proper to furnish an Obituary, in which particular care shall be taken to delineate faithfully the characters of deceased persons, whose lives have entitled them to particular notice; but the chief object of which is to record, and thereby to perpetuate, the services which shall have been rendered to the Church, by the eminent piety, or the active exertions of her faithful children. In this department also we particularly request the assistance of our Correspondents ; that those persons, whose lives have done honour to their Christian profession, may," though dead, yet speak” to the living, with all that increase of force which good example instantly acquires, when elevated above the sphere of envy and prejudice in which living worth is ever confined and obscured.
• MEMOIRS OF THE REV. THOMAS TOWNSON, D.D.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
GENTLEMEN, T MUCH approve of that part of your plan which allots a portion of
your miscellany to biographical memoirs. I am of opinion it would. be a valuable contribution to your work, and render an important service to our excellent Church, were you, for the edification and entertainment of her faithful members, supplied with a somewhat minute and detailed account of those characters among the Clergy or the Laity, whether in humble or exalled stations, who, by their life and doctrine, have adorned the profession of our holy religion, and by their punctual adherence to the discipline and their unshaken attachment to the principles of Episcopacy, have shewn themselves worthy to be enrolled amongst the true sons of the Church of England. Such an exhibition of humility, learning, modesty, industry, and unwearied endeavours to advance the interests of true religion, would help to ascertain the true Churchman and increase our veneration for our holy Mother. You would see by their actions the tendency of their doctrines, and be, enabled to form no slight test of their truth. You would then draw that broad line of distinction, which none but the blind can mistake, between the real and pretended Sons of the Church. Will any man have the courage to pronounce a Nelson and a Horne not true Churchmen? Let him then name a Whitfield or a Wesley in their place. Will he. say that a Glasse and a Pott are not true Churchmen? Let then a Harker and a Haweis supply their stead. Let a Gunn, a Draper, or a Porah snatch the palm of orthodoxy from the brow of an Andrews, a Sikes, or a Robson ; let learning, piety and humility bend at the shrine of ignorance, hypocrisy and arrogance! I have been induced by these . motives to transmit you a sketch of the life of one who, in his day, B2
was a distinguished ornament of our Church-I mean the late Rev. Thomas Townson, D. D. archdeacon of Richmond, one of the rectors of Malpas in Cheshire, and some time fellow of St. Mary Magdalene College, Oxford. His life and character are drawn in the colours of truth and simplicity by him who best knew this truly amiable man, and was best able to do justice to the subject, by bim of whom, if it be a praise of the highest species, it is a tribute due to truth, to assert that he treads closely in his steps.
The Rev. Thomas Townson, D. D. was the eldest son of the Rev. John Townson, M.A. rector of Much Lees, in Essex, by his wife Lucretia, daughter of the Rev. Edward Wiltshire, rector of Kirkarders in Cumberland. Having been instructed a while by his excellent father, he was placed under the Rev. Henry Nott, vicar of the neighbouring parish of Terling, where he was soon distinguished for quickness of apprehension and a most retentive memory. From thence he was removed to the free school at Felsted, a seminary of ancient reputation, where, besides other persons of eminence, Dr. Wallis and Dr. Barrow were educated. It flourished at this time, under the direction of the Rev. Mr. Wyatt, studious alike to cultivate purity of morals and accuracy of learning in his young charge. Mr. Townson's father, however, though he confided his son to so worthy a master, did not neglect one precaution ; which was, to put into his hands such editions or such copies of Horace, and other classics, from which those passages that cannot enter the mind without contaminating it, had been carefully expunged; with an injunction religiously to avoid the danger of perusing them. He remembered with gratitude this parental' precept throughout life, and, as occasion served, gave similar advice to others; convinced that the absence of temptation, and ignorance of vice, are amongst the best preservatives against its contagion. He was entered a Commoner of Christ. Church, March 13, 1733. Here, as at school, his proficiency was rapid, and his poetical, as well as general talents, united with the utmost regularity and obligingness of manners, soon recommended him to notice and esteem. He had been at college little more than a year when he sustained an irreparable loss in the death of his honoured. father, who deceased in May, 1734, and was interred in the chancel of his own church.
In July, 1735, he was elected Demy of St. Mary Magdalen College, and, two years afterwards, Fellow of that Society, having, in the inter-' mediate year (October 20th) been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of of Arts. He conimenced M. A. June 20th, 1739, and was ordained Deacon, December 20, 1741; and Priest, September 19, 1742, by Dr.' Secker, Bishop of Oxford.
Three days after this, he set out for France and Italy, with Mr. Dawkins, in company with Mr. Drake and Mr. Holdsworth. Whilst he was on classic ground, where every scene revived the memory of some splendid atchievement, or introduced him to some illustrious antient, he did not forget his own proper business and profession. When he was at Naples, and twice visited with sympathetic fondness the tomb of his favourite Virgil, he found time, nevertheless, with a still more honoured name and sublimer poet, to contemplate the glory of God in
the works of his creation, and in his written law; and the result of his meditations appears in a very fine sermon on the 19th Psalm, begun while he was in that city.
On his return from the continent, he resumed in college the arduous and respectable employment of tuition, in which he had been engaged before he went abroad. In this capacity, besides those who were members of that foundation, he had under his care several young mer of rank and fortune, who were not less distinguished by their abilities. Mr. Lovibond, the admired author of the Tears of Old May Day, and of other elegant poems, was one of his pupils before he travelled and after he came back, Lord Bagot stood in the same relation to him ; and at this time was laid the foundation of that entire friendship between them, which was interrupted only by that event which dissolves the dearest ties of mortality.
In 1746 his friend' Mr. Wyatt resigned the vicarage of Hatfield Peverel, in Essex, of which he informed him by letter the same day, adding, “ that he thought he ought to make application for it to Mr. Dabbs," the patron, “ whose friendship it might be well worth his while to cultivate." But on the subject of soliciting for preferment his notions were more rigid than those of his worthy schoolmaster; and it is believed he took no step whatever in consequence of the advice given with so much zeal and kindness. There was no reason, however, why an affectionate mother should not voluntarily ask a favour for her son ; and the living was given him at her request, in which perhaps she was seconded by Mr. Wyatt, who was the first to acquaint him that it was conferred. He was instituted the 25th of August, by that learned and excellent prelate, Bishop Gibson.
In 1749, he was senior Proctor of the university; and it is remembered of him, that in performing the duties of that difficult office, he so tempered salutary discipline with just lenity, and so recommended whatever he did by the manner of doing it, that he was universally esteemed and beloved. The Radcliff Library was opened this year with a speech by the famed orator Dr. King ; and the celebrity graced with a large and splendid company of the friends of the university, was distinguished also by conferring honorary degrees on the trustees of Dr. Radcliff's benefaction. The speech delivered by the senior Proctor, upon the expiration of his office is usually a review of the events of the year ; and Mr. Townson, on that occasion, in an oration of classical elegance and spirit, speaking of the foregoing memorable occurrence, applauds the graceful eloquence of the orator, and mentions with much satisface tion and merited praise, two of his friends who at that time received academical honors, Mr. Drake and Mr. Bagot, now Lord Bagot. He also bestows a passing compliment on the poetry professor Mr. Lowth; which in the present day, cannot add to his fame, but since the life by which learning was advanced and religion adorned is now closed, it may safely be quoted : “ Quem de poetica sacra sic ex cathedra expli.. cantem audivimus, ut omnibus ornari rebus videretur, quæ aut naturæ munera sunt, aut instrumenta doctrinæ," This is handsome certainly ; but it should be noted as the more candid and honourable in the speaker, not only because Mr. Lowth and he were generally looked up to as the two first scholars in the university, a circumstance that in ordinary