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Analogy of religion to the constitution and course of nature: part I : of natural religion , 2nd ed. The old connection with the Talbots might well account for these preferments, to which, however, we are told that Secker again contributed. Queen Caroline took great interest in philosophical discussions. Butler, as a friend of Clarke's, may have been introduced at these during his preachership at the Rolls. Secker, who in had become chaplain to the king, mentioned his friend soon afterwards to the queen, who said that she thought he had been dead. The queen died next year 20 Nov.
Butler, according to Lord Hervey Memoirs, ii.
A month later, as Secker told Jekyll, who told Dr. George II, in any case, desired to carry out the queen's wishes.
Butler received next year an offer from Walpole of the bishopric of Bristol, from which Dr. Gooch was translated to Norwich. In a letter to Walpole dated Stanhope, 28 Aug. Butler was allowed to hold his prebend at Rochester resigning that at Salisbury and his rectory at Stanhope in commendam , until , when he was appointed dean of St. He was installed 24 May, and resigned his other preferments.
Butler spent considerable sums in improving the bishop's palace at Bristol; some report from three to five thousand pounds, others the whole income of the see for twelve years Bartlett's , Butler , p. The merchants of the town offered a large gift of cedar, part of which he carried afterwards to Durham.
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The few glimpses of Butler's private life belong to this period. A long argument took place, in which Butler supported the claims of reason, while Byrom defended the claims of authority. Byrom dined with Butler 14 Feb. In August Wesley had an interview with Butler. They had caused scandal, and the bishop probably felt it a duty to remonstrate. Wesley declined to give any promise Tyerman's Life of Wesley , i. At Bristol, Butler made the acquaintance of Josiah Tucker, afterwards the well-known dean of Gloucester. Butler made Tucker his domestic chaplain, and gave him a prebend in the cathedral.
Tucker tells us that Butler used to walk for hours in the garden behind his palace at night, and upon one such occasion suddenly asked his chaplain whether public bodies might not go mad as well as individuals, adding that nothing else could account for most of the transactions in history Tucker's Humble Address and earnest Appeal to the Landed Interest , p.
Some Remains (Hitherto Unpublished) of Joseph Butler, LL.D.
On the death of Archbishop Potter in an offer of the primacy was made to Butler, who had in been made clerk of the closet to the king on the death of Egerton, bishop of Hereford. Hearing, however, that his uncle had a chance of the archbishopric, he came up to town prepared to advance 20, l. In the bishopric of Durham was offered to Butler. It was proposed to him that the lord-lieutenancy of the county, previously attached to the bishopric, should be given to a layman, and that the deanery of St. Paul's to be vacated by him should be conferred upon Secker on condition that Butler should give the stall at Durham vacated by Secker to Dr.
Butler declined to allow the dignity of the see to be diminished by the separation of the lord-lieutenancy, or to agree to a contract which he thought simoniacal. He was accordingly appointed to the bishopric unconditionally. The arrangement, however, as to Chapman and Secker was carried into effect. The lord-lieutenancy was not separated from the bishopric till the next vacancy. A plan for establishing bishops in the American colonies was suggested at this time by Butler Annual Register , , p.
It came to nothing, but was noticed in a later controversy between Secker and a Dr. Mayhew, of Boston, in A contemporary reference is made in R. He delivered a charge in printed in his works. He speaks incidentally of the influence of outward form in strengthening the beliefs, superstitions, and religions of heathens, Mahommedans, and Catholics. This pamphlet was republished with Blackburne's name by R. It is only worth notice as partly accounting for the report afterwards spread, that Butler had died a catholic.
Another circumstance which aroused the suspicions of his contemporaries was his erection in the chapel of his palace at Bristol of a slab of black marble over the altar, with an inlaid cross of white marble. It remained till the destruction of the palace in the Bristol riots of Secker on 23 May said that he regretted the cross, but emphatically denied the truth of the rumour.