Hannah More to William Wilberforce


MS: Weston Library, University of Oxford, MS Wilberforce c. 48, ff. 17-8
Published: Undetermined

My dear Friend

We have been under great concern about you, having heard you had a bad attack of illness. Sir T. Acland relieved us by saying you were much better. I thank God for this.

I send £20 for the Churches. I had rather have sent it for the pulpits which I fear will be less attended to. I grieve for poor Sargeant Lloyd and Sabet seem to have sedulously copied the Apostacy of Judas.

We have been alarmed by a very bad report of dear Lady Olivia, but as we heard it in a round about way I hope it may have been exaggerated If one of your daughters or your Secretary acknowledge the receipt of the Bill perhaps you will be so good as desire them to mention Lady O. I had just before had a comfortable letter with a most pleasing account of the devout state of poor Robert’s mind, and of their convert from popery. I tremble for her important life I have a low spirited letter from the poor persecuted Bishop. I tremble for his health and his fortune. When I think that News papers and Magazines, besides 23 pamphlets were filled with such a poor insignificant as myself three /years/ will may I feel with more than common interest for this excellent /Man./ As to the cause itself the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. As the persecutors will not learn candour, I hope the pious will learn prudence.

Have you seen the new Bampton Lectures by Miller. they are not very popular at Oxford, for there is in them neither controversy, nor ceremony nor abuse of calvinism. To me it is a work of no common merit. The style is rough and clumsy, that is, it is the style of two hundred years /ago with/ parentheses half a dozen in a page, yet very powerful and significant. I like it the better perhaps because the whole design is to prove a favourite opinion of mine that the adaptation of the Scripture to the wants and the character of man is one of the strongest internal evidences of its truth. To one of my small reading there appears great originality in the work. He does not write from books but from his own Mind. The Bible and his own heart furnish out the Volume

Those painful and offensive facts which are so faithfully recorded and which have given such a handle to infidels, and which make some /bitter/ people desirous to abridge the Bible, he insists are not only evidences of its truth and /of/ the fidelity of the writers, but serve to show man to himself such as he really is, and that the errors which even good Men committed serve to explain those laws /in Leviticus/ which appear to us absurd and necessary; if the errors had not been committed there would have been no enactments. – At times I was stagger’d and even revolted, but I trusted the Author would get himself off, which he always does. I would not recommend the book to young Christians. The Author is an admirable Scholar quite young, has been very wild, but is now a most Exemplary curate in a little country parish. He is of no party, neither writes for or against any of the isms therefore is less likely to be popular especially as he has few Attractions of language. I wish he had not in a note spoken of the piety of Maltby. the Notes are dull and of little use. He has learnt none of the Artifices of an Author.

I believe you have had two or three applications for your interest to get a Mrs. Miller, Widow of a Clergyman into Bromley College. I am desired to recommend her to you. I do not know her: but I have done as I was bid. Mr. Harford (a relation of our friend) says he obtained for her thro Ld. Ellenborough ten pound pr. Ann: from the Clergy Society long ago. –

Tho I must have said too much already to one so immersed in cares and dates, yet I must revert to the subject with which I began – pray let some one tell me how you are. Dont write yourself.

Poor P. suffering as usual, myself tolerably

Your dear Son I hope is doing well at Cambridge. Best regards to Mrs. W –

Yours ever my dear friend H More