Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/174

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124
DEVONSHIRE CHARACTERS

Theology, and wrote twelve volumes of MS. on the subject.

Then he shifted to Drewsteignton. His preaching was complained of to the Bishop of Exeter, who sent for him. He took his twelve volumes of MS. with him and showed them to the Bishop, and bade him look through them and mark any lapse from orthodoxy.

This was more than the Bishop was disposed to do; he ran his fingers through the pages, he could do no more. "What the parishioners objected to," said Davy, "was not that I taught false doctrine, but that I rebuke vicious habits that prevail." Actually, doubtless, it was his long-winded discourses on the evidence for a God, and for the immortality of the soul, that the people objected to. They, simple souls, no more needed these evidences than they did that they themselves lived and talked and listened.

The Bishop was courteous, and promised Davy that he would give him any living that fell vacant, and asked him if he had a preference for one. Davy humbly replied that there was a certain benefice likely to be vacated very shortly that would suit him exactly. The Bishop promised to remember this, and of course forgot, and appointed some one else, one more of a toady, or better connected.

Davy continued his mechanical work and executed several ingenious pieces of machinery.

Then he was appointed to the curacy of Lustleigh at £40 per annum; but from that sum was deducted £5 for the rent of the rectory in which he had to live, the incumbent being non-resident.

Whilst at Lustleigh he published by subscription six volumes of sermons and lost £100 by the transaction, as many of the subscribers failed to pay for the books sent to them.