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thor. And I remember, that when Mr. Cotes and I formerly talked with him about antient Chronology, I found his Notions so weak, that I expected very little from his own Chronology, when it should be publish'd. Which Expectation altho' I used to suggest to my Friends before such Publication, yet would none of them believe me at that Time, though they did afterward. The fame Sir Isaac Newton did also so imperfectly understand the farnous Prophecy of Daniel's Lxx Weeks, and some of the Prophecies in the Revelation of St. John, even after the successful.Labours of the great Mr. Mede (whom I have heard him own as the best of its Expositors) and others following him, that, upon fpending once with him alone, A. D. 1706, about four Hours on the Apocalypse, I could hardly as. sent to more than one of his Expositions, viz. the Distinction of the IV Monarchies in prophetick Language, Geographically, as well as Chronologically; which therefore, by his Permission, I preserved in ry own Essay on that Book, p. 258, 259 of the frst Edition, and p. 296, 297, 298, of the second. Tho' after all it must be allowed, that Sir Isaac Newton's Judgment did not fail him near fɔ often in his Exposition of Prophecies, (unless we except that of the Lxx Weeks, which seems to me exceeding weak) as it did in his Chronology. Of which Matters, see my Confutation of bis Chronology, and short View of bis Expositions of Daniel and the Revelation : Of which hereafter.
During my being Chaplain to Bishop Moor, which was from 1694 to 1698, Bishop Burnet, who was his particular Friend, committed to his Perusal his Explication of the xxxix Articles of the Church of England in MS. who committed it to my Perusal; without the least Indication who was the Author.. Wherein I made a few Corrections ; which I suppose were communicated to him. But when I returned the MS. Bishop Moor asked me, Whom I took to be the Author ? I immediately added, that No-body could write it but Bishop Burnet : Whom he then allowed to be the true Author.
While I was also Chaplain there, the same Bishop Burnet committed to Bishop Moor's Perusal, a Vindication of himfelf from the Reflexions Bilhop Stilling fleet had made upon him, for requiring Bonds of Refignation from those whom he made Prebendaries of Sarum, in case they left that Diocese: In order to relinquish the Wages when they relinquished the Work, for which it was given : And that those that succeeded to the Work might have the Wages allotted to it. This Vindication the Bishop gave me to transcribe : Which I did, with full Approbation of its Concents : But without taking a Copy for myself, which I was not impowered to do.
This Paper was not then published ; because Bishop Stilling fleet was so very great a Man, that prudent People did not think it proper he should be quarrelled with. Yet when I perceived that Bishop Burnet's Son, Mr. Thomas, (now Mr. Justice Burnet)
was publishing his Father's Life, which he has done with great Reputation, I went to him, and told him, what an excellent Paper his Father had written, and I had transcrib’d: With my Desire that if he had it he would publish it. He confefsed he had a Copy of it in the Country; but seemed not willing to publish it : Nor has he yer published it, as it highly deserves. See the late Lord Nottingham's Letter to Dr. Waterland, to the like Purpose, published by Dr. Newton, at the End of his unanswerable Treatise against Pluralities, p. 463, 464.
During the same time that I was Chaplain 10 Bishop Moor, somewhat happened at Norwich with relation to the forementioned Bishop Stillingfleet's Family; which for a while put me into a great Disorder, and is fit to be here related. The Bishop had a Son of St. John's College, Cambridge, by Profession a Physician, and one that wanted not good Parts ; but of whom I had heard a very
bad Character às to his Morals. He was sent by his Father to his Friend and my Patron Bishop Moor, - for a private Ordination, to capacitate him for a Living. Now in such Cases 'tis usually expected, that the Chaplain should present the Candidate for Orders to the Bishop, and folemnly to declare his Opinion as to his Fitness for thofe Orders which the publick Form of Ordination requires: As I once presented the well known Mr. Echard, the Historian, both to Deacons and Priests Orders there ; and never any one but him: Whose Character was unacceptionable. When I understood this, I was in
great Perplexity, as not intending ever to present or consent to the Presentation of a bad Man to Holy Orders: And yet being unwilling to disoblige so great a Man as Bishop Stillingfleet, I do not remember that I directly told my Uneasiness to any Body, unless it was guest at from my Countenance, or accidental Intimations. However, Archdeacon Jeffries soon came, and voluntarily offered to ease me of my Trouble; and said, He had heard a better Character of him than I had, and would examine and present him, which he did. And I have lately heard, he proved afterward a worthy Man..
It was also during my being Chaplain to Bishop Moor, that I published my firft Work, intitled, A New Theory of the Earth, from its original to the Cansummation of all Things, wherein the Creation of the World in fix Days, the Universal Deluge, and the General Conflagration, as laid down in the Holy Scriptures, are sewn to be perfezly agreeable to Reason and Phylofophy. With a large Introduction concerning the genuine Nature, Stile, and Extent of the Mofaick History of the Creation : Price, as in the rest, bound, 6s. This Book was shewed in MS. to Dr. Bentley, and to Sir Christopher Wren, but chiefly laid before Sir Isaac Newton himself, on whose Principles it depended, and who well approved of it: The Epitome of it was made by me long afterward, in order to its Insertion into a foreign Journal : And has been added in the 5th Edition, which yet may almost be called the 7th, since the first had 1500 Copies printed off at once. Whence it is plain that this Work was exceeding well
received by the learned World. As to which Reception hear the great Mr. John Lock, who speaks thus in his Letter to Mr. Molyneaux, concerning this my new · Theory, soon after it was published: Dated from Oates, Feb. 22, 1696-7. “ You “ desire to know what the Opinion of the Inge" nious is concerning Mr. Whilton's Book. I “ have not heard any one of my Acquaintance
speak of it, but with great Commendations, as " I think it deserves, and truly I think he is more " to be admired that he has laid down an Hypo- thesis whereby he has explained so many won“ derful, and before inexplicable Things in the
great Changes of this Globe, than that some of " theni should not easily go down with some Men; " when the whole was intirely new to all. He is ૮૮ one of those Sort of Writers that I always fancy - should be most esteemed and encouraged ; I am " always for the Builders, who bring some Addi« tion to our Knowledge, or at least some new
Thing to our Thoughts."
And tho that great Geometrician, Mr. John Keill, soon wrote somewhat against it twice, yet was it not till after such fair Concessions as defeated, in great Measure, his own pretended Confutations. However, I immediately reply'd twice; and the Substance of those Replies is inserted in their proper Places, in the later Editions : Tho' indeed the third Edition had by far the greatest Improvements : Since which I have made very few Alterations that are considederable,