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vi. 6," and ends with “more than Thine own life.”
,” The latest ordination entered in it is in 1726.
The earliest in date, however, and the most interesting of the four MSS., is that which is here denominated “M. H.,” being the contents of a little book clasped in brass, which was given to the Bishop on his ordination as deacon, by the friend of his youth, Archdeacon Michael Hewetson. It contains, 1st, in Hewetson's hand (as I suppose), “ Memorandums concerning the Consecration of the Church of Kildare,” &c., pp. 1–7; 2nd, Personal memoranda of Wilson's own, pp. 7-27; 3rd, (reckoning from the other end of the book, and using Roman numerals) “Occasional Devotions,” Prayers, and a few Meditations, from p. i. to p.ci. The total number of pages (including blank ones from ci. to cxxxi.) is 163. This MS. begins, “ Mich. Hewetson's Memorandums," and ends on the cover at the other end, “ "Aplotov civai.” On that fly-leaf is written, “ Thomas Wilson of Knowsley in Lancashire, 1697. "Epyov éot orovdalov elvai. Aristot.”—“Prov. xxviii. 9, He y turneth away his ear from hearing yo law, even his prayer shall be an abomination. ’ Ιδιώτου μεν είναι κακίαν, το φαύλον πράσσειν άρχοντος δε, το μη ώς άριστον είναι.” The two latter quotations are plainly of later date than the former, and written since he became a bishop.
The small portion of the Sacra Privata not now appearing in any of these MSS. is printed from the original edition of Bp. Wilson's Works, 4to., London, 1781; as is specified in the notes on the several places, particularly at pp. 91, 95. The Supplement is compiled partly from fragmentary portions of the above-mentioned MSS., partly from certain loose papers in Wilson's hand, most kindly communicated for the
“ Be ye per
purpose by the Rev. William Gill, Vicar of Kirk Malew; and partly from the contents of a MS. Book similar to the above-mentioned, by Dr. Wilson, marked No. 10, and now in the possession of Sion College.
In Mr. Gill's papers, and occasionally in the other MSS., mutilations to a certain extent appear, caused, no doubt, by persons allowed to have a sentence or two by way of relic.
II. The “Maxims of Piety and Morality” are given entirely from the original MS., also in possession of Sion College. It consists of two very small books, numbered 5 and 6 by Dr. Wilson. No. 5, mutilated at the beginning, (see p. 375, note o,) contains 168 pages; from 145 to 167 (inclusive) is a blank ; and there is some mutilation also at the end. It begins, “ Tho. Sodor and Man," and ends, fect, &c.”
The continuation, marked by Dr. Wilson “Book 6. Read and approved,” begins “Mediis immotus in undis,” with the Bishop's motto, “ Tuta et Parvula laudo ;” and after some fly-leaves, (as described in p. 447,) carries on Dr. Wilson's paging from No. 5, p. 144, to p. 274. Then come blank leaves, with a few
. stray entries, filling up the number of pages to 302 : the last words are, “ The world is a Tickle Horse."
The Bishop himself, p. 145, entitles the Book “Maxims of Piety and Morality.” Under that title, Cruttwell, authorized by Dr. Wilson, published a large selection from these two MSS., arranging it under alphabetical headings. The whole is now printed in the order itself of the MS., and in general with the abbreviations therein adopted ; and with the spelling also, except in palpable cases of clerical error. The Bishop's unstudied way of writing, it was thought, and the manner in which one thing followed another in his MSS., would shew how his mind and heart were employed, and, on the whole, prove more interesting than any selection or new arrangement that could be made; while by a careful index all the purposes of alphabetical order might be secured.
But Sion College supplied another MS. also, with a good deal of interesting matter, none of which has hitherto seen the light: the principal contents of which are here subjoined by way of “Supplement” to the Maxims. An account of this MS. will be found in p. 503. It is by no means a mere commonplace book, although much of it consists of extracts and analyses of what occurred to him in his reading; but in almost every instance they appeared to the Editor to have something of his peculiar touch, so as to make it, on the whole, worth while to publish them in extenso. The other contents of the MS., so far as they may require publication, will appear (D.V.) in the concluding “Fasciculus” of Bishop Wilson's Works, together with the Parochialia and other interesting tracts, as a second part of the volume reserved for his Life.
The Editor is deeply grateful to the authorities of Sion College for the free use which he has been allowed to make of the precious remains of Bishop Wilson under their care; and to the Rev. W. Denton, the latest editor of Sacra Privata, for all kinds of valuable, or rather invaluable, help.