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of a full heart, and unconscious of any listener but God, exclaiming,—“God be merciful to me a sinner - a vile sinner- a miserable sinner !”.
As he drew nearer to the confines of the next world, he became more fit to partake of its spiritual enjoyments. A student who resided with him, and watched the gradual decay of nature, observed that God was indeed
preparing him for the change, and causing his light to shine more and more unto the perfect day; his benignity became still more remarkable, his conversation more sweet and heavenly, his prayers more frequent and fervent. The same student could often, from his chamber, overhear the bishop making known his requests to God, and repeating portions of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Here was an instance that
Heaven waits not the last moment; owns her friends
The immediate cause of bishop Wilson's death was a cold caught by walking in his garden after evening prayers, in very damp weather. And nature held out but a very short time against the assault of the last enemy. His fever being accompanied by delirium, prevented our receiving any of those beautiful and persuasive instructions which are so often learned at the bedside of the dying christian ; yet was there a light shining through the cloud which rested upon his mind; for his words betokened that if his mind had wandered from earthly things, it had settled upon heavenly.
His spirit was soon after admitted to the glorious liberty of the sons of God. He died March the 7th, 1755, in the ninety-third year of his age, and the fiftyeighth of his consecration.
One feeling of sorrow pervaded the island on hearing the melancholy tidings of the decease of this generous, excellent, and venerable friend. A concourse, from which few were absent except the sick and infirm, assembled to follow his remains from Bishop's-court to the grave, a distance of two miles; and tears and sighs and tender thoughts did more honour to the departed than the pomp and parade of more costly funerals. The body was borne by the tenants of the estate, and the Rev. Philip Moore preached the funeral sermon.
A plain monument in the church-yard of Kirk-Michael denotes the spot where the mortal remains of this holy man were deposited, surrounded by the ashes of many who, poor perhaps in this world, but rich in faith, were through his means made heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him. The following is the inscription.
Sleeping in Jesus,
here lieth the body of THOMAS WILSON, D.D.
Lord Bishop of this Isle,
This monument was erected
a native of this parish, who, in obedience to the express commands of his father, declines giving him the character he so
The principal features of bishop Wilson's character, as far as we have the means of ascertaining it, have been so particularly noticed in this memoir, that it can only be necessary to say here in a very few words, that we have represented him as being a zealous, devout, single-minded and really good man; as a bishop, aiming to do all to the glory of God; most exemplary as a son, a husband, and a father ; of a peculiarly sweet disposition and temper; that he was benign, generous, disinterested; rarely equalled in his unbounded beneficence to all who stood in need of his assistance; of great fortitude, and remarkable simplicity; and though not possessed of any extraordinary mental faculties, yet eminently endued with good sense. Never, perhaps, did a purer spirit wing its way from the earthly house of this tabernacle to the building of God, the house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.
may not be uninteresting to the reader to know that when he enters St. Paul's cathedral, the dark-coloured steps on which he treads were the produce of quarries in the Isle of Man, and the gift of bishop Wilson.
A FEW PASSAGES FROM BISHOP WILSON'S PAPERS
ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE PRECEDING MEMOIR.
RESOLUTIONS MADE AT THE TIME OF HIS ORDINATION.
REFLECTIONS AFTER HIS RECOVERY FROM THE FEVER
WHICH SEIZED HIM SEP. 29, 1693. 6 REFLECTIONS UPON MY OWN PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES,
OCT. 21, 1696."
HIS PRAYER WHEN HE WAS ENTHRONED IN THE CA
THEDRAL OF ST. GERMAIN.
THE PRAYERS WHICH HE USED BEFORE HIS SERMONS.
LETTERS FROM BISHOP HORNE AND FROM MR. WILLIAM
MATTHEWS, UPON THE PUBLICATION OF BISHOP WILson's LIFE AND WRITINGS.