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THE

ORTHODOX CHURCHMANS MAGAZINE AND REVIEW,

For FEBRUARY 1804.

This is the way that all men should take now, when the rumour of contention groweth so great: 1. With HUMILITY to crave at God's hand the direction of his Spirit: 2. then with Diligence to reade and learne the Scripture, whereby to judge: 3. and so with Love to the persons of the men, and with a mind prepared to yield to the truth, to travel through the questions.

White.

BIOGRAPHY.

THE LIFE OF THE 'REV. PHILIP SKĖLTON.

(Continued from Page 7.) AN

FTER Mr. Skeltop had removed to Dublin, he

sometimes had lodgings for a few months in the summer at the Hibernian School in the Phænix Park. Here he catechized the children every Sunday in the chapel, at the communion table, and lectured most instructively on the catechism. One of his lectures I had the happiness to hear, and was pleased and improved by it. He was indeed remarkably fond of both soldiers and seamen, and once gave this advice to Miss Bruce, “marry a soldier, my girl, for you will find more honest soldiers thạn honest parsons.”

In 1782 Mr. Skelton was depr#red. by death of his old. friend and patron the Bishop of Clogher, who lived until he was above ninety.; so long did it please God to bless the world with this. good Bishop, who, to the honour of his country, was born in England. He had the satisfaction of having promoted some worthy men of great merit, but lule interest; among whom, beside Mr.

Vol. VI. Churchm. Mag. Fcb. 1804 K Skelton,

Skelton, is Dr. Thomas Campbell, who has paid a just tribute of praise to him in the Philosophical survey of Ireland. The Bishop was a pious, humble, good-natured man; a generous encourager of literature, kind to his domestics, and justly esteemed by all those who had an opportunity of knowing his virtue.

The same year produced also another event, which affected Mr. Skelton even more sensibly than the death of his good friend the Bishop of Clogher. It being uncommonly wet and cold, both in seed-time and summer, the poor scanty crop, that escaped from the inclemency of the weather, was not fit to be cut down until winter approached, and then it was mostly destroyed by the rain. Mr. Skelton foresaw, with many others, that a dearth would be the consequence of all this, and endeavoured like the Patriarch of Egypt, to provide against this calamity. In the winter he sent first a large sum of his own to Drogheda to buy oatmeal for his poor, and then applied, as usual, to those who had landed property in the parish; all of whom contributed, except a Mr. Dwho holds a Bishop's lease. With these contributions, and an additional sum of his own, he bought more meal at Drogheda, where the whole was stored during the winter, in order to be conveyed in certain portions to his parish, when the dearth should require it. He was not deceived in His apprehensions. The famine that prevailed in the summer of 1783, was the most severe that even history records to have taken place in Ireland. The poor in many parts must have died of hunger, had they not been relieved by the liberal donations of those whom Providence blessed with riches. While the famine was advancing towards its height, Mr. John Latouche carried a message to Mr. Skelton from his father to this effect: “ That if he wanted money to buy meal for his poor, he might draw on his bank for any sum he stood in need of, which he.

would

of his own.

would willingly bestow for so good a purpose.”

Mr. Skelton, who had never seen the good old gentleman, being surprized at this uncommon liberality, replied, that he was very grateful for his kind offer, but that he had sufficient to keep his poor alive, without taking money from him, who employed his wealth in doing good. The generosity of this truly charitable man, who is now gone to reap the fruits of his labours, and of his worthy family, whose purses have been always open to relieve the distressed, needs not my commendation.

Mr. Skelton, during this dearth, entrusted the distribution of the meal to his curate Mr. Auchinleck, who assured me, that this good clergyman laid out in it, besides the contribution of others, two hundred pounds

At dinner he used to say, I cannot suffer my poor parishioners to starve in hard times, for they have fed me on good fare these many years past. His first toast now after dinner was the family of the Latouches, who had souls, he said, of a superior nature to the

generality of men. His next was Richmond the dancing master, which he usually prefaced with these words; "I give you the health of a hero, Ricltmond the dancing master.” He then told of the noble exploits performed by this brave old man, a short account of which I transcribe from his senilia, "One night, after bis seventy-fifth year, having read prayers with his family, he heard, as he was going to "bed, a loud cry of murder, in a female voice, repeated "from an house, not far from his own, in Prince's Street, Dublin. This hurried himn down to his parlor

a case of pistols in his hands, followed by his daughter. The cry still continuing, he opened a win, dow, but it was too dark without to see any thing. a providential apprehension for his daughter, K2

though

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though none for himself, he had just time to push her “ from the window behind the adjoining pier, when one w of the robbers, of whom there were six, fired on him, “ and the ball passed through the place, where his “ daughter stood. Richmond, by the light of the vil“ lain's discharge, shot him dead. He and a brave servant boy of his then sallied into the street, where perceiving by the woman's cries, that the rest of the gang “had got into the house of a neighbour confined to his “bed by sickness; and were, by repeated wounds, mur

dering the servant maid; he, his,boy, and some of the “ watch then coming to his assistance, soon cleared the “ house, fought the gang in the street, knocked one of “ them down with a clubbed pistol, pursued the rest, and “ took two of them, whom he lodged in Newgate, before " he returned 10 his terrified family. The prisoners he “ afterwards prosecuted to the gallows. It was but too

plain, this was the firsť time the brave man had been

concerned in blood. It was with difficulty that the “minister of bis parish could prevent his sinking under “ the grief of having sent a fellow-creature into eternity “ with a load of guilt on his head. Some time after, “ this undaunted man going homeward at night, found

a servant boy crying in the street, who had been just “ then robbed by three footpads of a tankard, which he sá had been sent out with for some drink. These Rich“mond instantly pursued into a close back yard, being

joined by a stranger of a spirit like his own. They “were fired upon by the villains, but they took two of " Thein, and afterwards had them convicted and exe(6 cuted.”

If Richmond had lived in heroic ages, he would have been crowned with laurel, Skelton said, as a public benefactor of mankind; and then accused his country of

ingratitude,

66

1

ingratitude, for not rewarding his useful services. The Duke of Rutland, during his lieutenancy, once met Mr. Richmond - in the park, and asked him, if he were the person mentioned by Mr. Skelton in his last volume. He answered he was. His Excellency then promised to provide for him, but died before he was able to effect it.

A few months before the dearth already mentioned, a young man from Fintona, who was then a journeyman apothecary in Dublin, being attacked by a violent disorder, Mr. Skelton paid a nurse-tender half a guinea a week to take care of him, and employed a physician to visit him twice a day. When he grew a little better he sent him to Fintona for the advantage of his native air; and on his return to Dublin had a place provided for him. His father, who was then dead, had been a great favourite with Mr. Skelton, as he dealt extensively in linen

yarn, and was thus very useful to the industrious poor at Fintona.

While he was employed in supplying the wants of his indigent parishioners, he had an interview, in May of the same year, 1783, with the late missionary Mr. Wesley. This being their first meeting, they had no religious altercation. A few days after, Mr. Wesley paid him a second visit, who told him something which he thought a little extraordinary: “ A woman,” Mr. Wesley said, “ had come over to him from England, who was plagued. with a strange disorder in her belly; on which, being pressed to speak plainly, and tell her complaint, he owned, after some hesitation, that it was the devil, she said, she had gót in her belly, and had applied for cure to many Protestant bishops, popish priests, and presbyterian preachers, but all to no purpose.”—“ What will you do thenr" he asked. “I expect,” he replied, to

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