Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 23.djvu/162

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Gresley
Gresley
154

its teaching. In 1835 he published ‘Ecclesiastes Anglicanus: being a Treatise on the Art of Preaching as adapted to a Church of England Congregation,’ and in 1838 his ‘Portrait of an English Churchman,’ which ran through many editions. In 1839 he began, in conjunction with Edward Churton [q. v.], a series of religious and social tales under the general title of ‘The Englishman's Library,’ 31 vols., 12mo, London, 1840–39–46. Of these tales he wrote six:

  1. ‘Clement Walton, or the English Citizen’ (vol. i.).
  2. ‘The Siege of Lichfield, a Tale illustrative of the Great Rebellion’ (vol. xiii.).
  3. ‘Charles Lever, or the Man of the Nineteenth Century’ (vol. xv.).
  4. ‘The Forest of Arden, a Tale Illustrative of the English Reformation’ (vol. xix.).
  5. ‘Church-Clavering, or The Schoolmaster’ (vol. xxiv.), in which he developed his views on education.
  6. ‘Coniston Hall, or the Jacobites’ (vol. xxxi.).

In November 1840 Gresley became a prebendary in Lichfield Cathedral, an honorary preferment (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, i. 642). To describe the influence upon his own mind of the Oxford movement, and to illustrate the ‘danger of dissent,’ he wrote ‘Bernard Leslie, or a Tale of the Last Ten Years,’ 2 pts., 12mo, London, 1842, 1859. To ‘The Juvenile Englishman's Library’ (21 vols., 1845–44–49), edited successively by his friends F. E. Paget and J. F. Russell, he contributed ‘Henri de Clermont, or the Royalists of La Vendée: a Tale of the French Revolution’ (vol. iii.), and ‘Colton Green, a Tale of the Black Country’ (vol. xv.). About 1850 Gresley removed to Brighton, and acted as a volunteer assistant priest in the church of St. Paul. He preached every Sunday evening, worked untiringly among rich and poor alike, and exercised much power as a confessor. His ‘Ordinance of Confession,’ published in 1851, caused considerable stir, although he did not wish to make confession compulsory. In 1857 he accepted the perpetual curacy of All Saints, Boyne Hill, near Maidenhead, Berkshire, where a church, parsonage-house, and schools were in course of erection at the expense of three ladies living in the Oxford diocese. He settled there before either church or house was ready, and worked there with great success. His schools obtained a specially high reputation. Later in life Gresley, with a view to checking the spread of scepticism, published ‘Sophron and Neologus, or Common Sense Philosophy,’ in 1861; ‘Thoughts on the Bible,’ in 1871; ‘Priests and Philosophers,’ in 1873; and ‘Thoughts on Religion and Philosophy,’ in 1875. From the last two of these works selections, under the title of ‘The Scepticism of the Nineteenth Century,’ were published, with a short account of the author, and portrait, by a former curate, S. C. Austen, in 1879. Gresley died at Boyne Hill on 19 Nov. 1876, and was buried in the churchyard. In 1828 he married Anne Wright, daughter and heiress of John Barker Scott, banker, of Lichfield, and had by her nine children, all of whom he survived. His other writings include:

  1. ‘Sermons on some of the Social and Political Duties of a Christian,’ 12mo, London, 1836.
  2. ‘The Necessity of Zeal and Moderation in the present circumstances of the Church enforced and illustrated in Five Sermons preached before the University of Oxford,’ 12mo, London, 1839.
  3. ‘Some Thoughts on the Means of working out the Scheme of Diocesan Education,’ 8vo, London, 1839.
  4. ‘Remarks on the necessity of attempting a Restoration of the National Church,’ 8vo, London, 1841.
  5. ‘Parochial Sermons,’ 12mo, London, 1842.
  6. ‘The Spiritual Condition of the Young: Thoughts suggested by the Confirmation Service,’ 12mo, London, 1843.
  7. ‘St. Stephen: Death for Truth,’ being No. ix. of ‘Tracts for Englishmen,’ 12mo, 1844.
  8. ‘Anglo-Catholicism. A short Treatise on the Theory of the English Church,’ 8vo, London, 1844.
  9. ‘Frank's First Trip to the Continent’ (Burns's ‘Fireside Library’), 12mo, London, 1845.
  10. ‘Suggestions on the New Statute to be proposed in the University of Oxford,’ 8vo, London, 1845.
  11. ‘A Short Treatise on the English Church,’ 12mo, London, 1845.
  12. ‘Evangelical Truth and Apostolical Order; a Dialogue,’ 12mo, London, 1846.
  13. ‘The Real Danger of the Church of England,’ 8vo, London, 1846; 6th edit. 1847.
  14. ‘A Second Statement of the Real Danger of the Church of England … containing Answers to certain Objections [by F. Close and others] which have been made against his former Statement,’ 8vo, London, 1846.
  15. ‘A Third Statement of the real danger of the Church of England, setting forth the distinction between Romanists and Anglicans, and the identity of Evangelicals and Puritans,’ 8vo, London, 1847.
  16. ‘Practical Sermons,’ 12mo, London, 1848.
  17. ‘The Use of Confirmation’ (No. xi. of ‘The London Parochial Tracts,’ 8vo, 1848, &c.).
  18. ‘A Word of Remonstrance with the Evangelicals, addressed to the Rev. Francis Wilson … in reply to his Pamphlet called “No Peace with Tractarianism,”’ 8vo, London, 1850; 3rd edit. 1851.
  19. ‘A Help to Prayer, in Six Tracts,’ 12mo, Oxford and London, 1850.
  20. ‘Stand Fast and Hope. A Letter’ [on the decision of the Privy Council in the