Paley, William (DNB00)
|←Paley, Frederick Apthorp||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 43
PALEY, WILLIAM (1743–1805), archdeacon of Carlisle and author of the ‘Evidences of Christianity,’ born at Peterborough in July 1743, and baptised in the cathedral on 30 Aug. following, was the eldest child of William Paley. The elder Paley, son of Thomas Paley, owner of a small estate at Langcliffe in the parish of Giggleswick, Yorkshire, in which the Paleys had been settled for many generations (see Whitaker, Craven, pp. 140, 145), was a sizar at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduated B.A. in 1733–4, and in 1735 became vicar of Helpston, Northamptonshire. He was also a minor canon at Peterborough. On 10 July 1742 he married Elizabeth Clapham of Stackhouse in Giggleswick. In 1745 he was appointed headmaster of Giggleswick grammar school, with a salary of 80l., afterwards raised to 200l. He held this post until 1799, when he died on 29 Sept. at the age of 88; his wife having died on 9 March 1796, aged 83. The mother was a keen, thrifty woman of much intelligence. She had a fortune of 400l., which at the time of her death had been raised by good management to 2,200l. The father, a homely, sensible man, absorbed in his teaching, managed, with the help of a legacy of 1,500l., to ‘scrape together’ 7,000l. (E. Paley in Paley's Works, 1830, vol. i. p. xxiii). Their family consisted of William and three daughters. William Paley, the son, was educated at his father's school. He was a fair scholar, but specially interested in mechanics. He was too clumsy for boyish games, and his chief amusement from childhood was angling. Though very kind to animals, he also joined in the then universal sport of cockfighting. A visit to the assizes at Lancaster interested him so much that he afterwards played at judging his schoolfellows; and after the sight of a travelling quack, he tried to extract a sister's teeth. On 16 Nov. 1758 he was entered as a sizar at Christ's College, riding to Cambridge with his father. He fell off his pony seven times on the road, his father only turning his head on such occasions to say, ‘Take care of thy money, lad.’ He returned to his home, and was sent to learn mathematics under William Howarth at Topcliffe, near Ripon. On 3 Aug. 1759 he was present at the trial of Eugene Aram at York, in which he was profoundly interested, remarking that Aram got himself hanged by his own cleverness.
In October 1759 he began his residence at Christ's, his father prophesying that he would be a great man, ‘for he has by far the clearest head I ever met with in my life.’ On 5 Dec. he was elected to a scholarship appropriated to Giggleswick school; on the following day to a foundation scholarship and a Mildmay exhibition; and on 26 May 1761 to a scholarship founded by a Mr. Bunting. Anthony Shepherd, the college tutor, who became Plumian professor in 1760, thought him too good a mathematician to profit by the college lectures, but required his attendance at the Plumian lectures. Paley was very sociable, and joined in the laugh at blunders caused by his frequent absence of mind, and his uncouth country dress and manners. He said afterwards (according to Meadley) that he was idle, though not immoral, for his first two years. One morning, after a jovial evening, he was waked by a companion who had come to tell him that he was a ‘damned fool’ for wasting his abilities with men who had no ability to waste. Paley was duly impressed, took to early rising and systematic work, and became senior wrangler. His son doubts the story, principally because the two years' idleness seems to be incompatible with other facts. The event may be misdated. Paley was intimate with Unwin, son of Cowper's Mrs. Unwin, in the year below him; and was a private pupil of John Wilson, senior wrangler in 1761, and afterwards a judge. In the autumn of 1762 Paley had to keep his act for the degree of B.A. He told the moderator, Richard Watson (afterwards bishop of Llandaff), that he proposed to defend the thesis (taken from one of the text-books) ‘Æternitas pœnarum contradicit divinis attributis.’ He returned in a fright to say that the master of his college had objected to his defending such a doctrine. By Watson's advice he therefore inserted a ‘non’ before ‘contradicit’ (Watson, Anecdotes; Meadley and E. Paley vary in the details). John Frere [q. v.] of Caius, father of John Hookham Frere, was his opponent, and was second to him in the mathematical tripos of 1763. Paley was recommended by Shepherd to be second usher in the academy of a Mr. Bracken at Greenwich. He often went to the London theatres, and saw Garrick. He attended trials at the Old Bailey, and gained some knowledge of criminal law. In 1765 he won one of the member's prizes at Cambridge by an essay comparing the stoic and the epicurean morality. Paley took the epicurean side, but nearly lost the prize because he had added notes in English to his Latin dissertation. He used afterwards to confess that he had entered Cambridge in a post-chaise with the windows down, and ordered the postilion to drive slowly, so that the successful candidate might be visible on his way to read the essay in the senate-house. His awkward manner set his audience laughing during the recitation. Paley was ordained deacon, and became curate to John Hinchliffe [q. v.], then vicar of Greenwich. He continued to officiate there, although he left his school to become tutor to the son of a Mrs. Orr, and quarrelled with the master for trying to conceal Mrs. Orr's offer of the appointment (E. Paley, p. liv). Mrs. Orr was afterwards his warm friend till her death. On 24 June 1766 Paley was elected fellow of his college, and came again into residence. He was ordained priest in London on 21 Dec. 1767. Shepherd was made the sole tutor of the college in 1768, but entrusted his duties as a lecturer to Paley and his friend John Law (1745–1810) [q. v.], second wrangler in 1766, and son of Bishop Edmund Law [q. v.], then master of Peterhouse and Knightbridge professor at Cambridge. Paley and Law became intimate friends, and made excursions together in the vacations, Law providing a gig and Paley a horse. They once met Wilkes at Bath, and enjoyed an evening with him. They raised the reputation of the college by their lectures. Law took the mathematics, while Paley lectured upon ‘metaphysics, morals, and the Greek Testament.’ He lectured upon Locke to the freshmen, according to Meadley, and from Locke proceeded to Clarke's ‘Attributes’ and Butler's ‘Analogy.’ E. Paley doubts the lectures on Locke, but gives specimens of his lectures upon other subjects. Manuscript notes of his lectures were in request throughout the university, and his good humour, power of illustration, and happy art of rousing attention made him popular. In his lectures upon divinity he took the view, maintained also in his ‘Moral Philosophy,’ that the Thirty-nine Articles were merely ‘articles of peace,’ inasmuch as they contained ‘about 240 distinct propositions, many of them inconsistent with each other.’ It was impossible to suppose that the imposers could expect any man to believe all (Meadley). Paley belonged to the ‘Hyson Club’ established by the wranglers of 1757, in which year John Jebb (1736–1786) [q. v.] was second. Paley was intimate with Jebb, but declined to join in the ‘Feather's’ petition of 1772 for a relaxation of the terms of subscription, on the ground that ‘he could not afford to keep a conscience.’ He afterwards, however, wrote anonymously in defence of a pamphlet written in 1774 by Bishop Law in favour of relaxation (E. Paley confirms the authorship, which had been doubted). Paley heartily supported Jebb's abortive movement in 1774 for introducing annual examinations. Paley and Law were not officially appointed tutors till 13 March 1771. They had hitherto only received half the tuition fees, but in the next year succeeded in obtaining a ‘trisection’ from the senior tutor, Shepherd. Paley was popular at Cambridge, and the delight of combination rooms. Among his closest friends was Waring, the Lucasian professor, whose ‘Miscellanea Analytica’ he corrected for the press in 1774.
In 1774 Edmund Law, who had in 1768 become bishop of Carlisle, appointed his son to a prebend in his cathedral. He was succeeded at Christ's College by T. Parkinson, who for two years was Paley's colleague. Paley had acted as private tutor in addition to his public duties, and, according to Meadley, had shown his dislike for the practice of ‘rooting’ (the cant term for preferment-hunting, invented by Paley according to the ‘Universal Magazine’) by declining to become private tutor to the son of Lord Camden. E. Paley, however, says that the offer was not actually made. He declined another offer from Prince Poniatowski to become tutor to a Polish noble. Long afterwards, when Pitt attended the university church in 1784, Paley jocosely suggested as a suitable text: ‘There is a lad here who hath five barley loaves and two small fishes; but what are they among so many?’ The story is often told as though he had actually preached the sermon. Paley had also the credit of protesting (in 1771), with his friend Law, against their senior tutor's offer of Christ's College Hall for a concert patronised by Lord Sandwich, until a promise had been given that Sandwich's mistress should not be present (Meadley, 1810, p. 65). On 8 May 1775 he was presented to the rectory of Musgrave, Cumberland, worth about 80l. a year, by the Bishop of Carlisle. In the same autumn he became engaged to Miss Jane Hewitt, daughter of a spirit merchant in Carlisle. He returned to Cambridge, and on 21 April 1776 appeared for the last time as preacher at Whitehall, having been appointed in 1771. On 6 June he was married to Miss Hewitt at Carlisle, and finally left Cambridge for Musgrave. He had been prælector in his college 1767–9, Hebrew lecturer (probably a sinecure) from 1768 to 1770, and taxer in the university 1770–1. His wife was a very amiable woman, but compelled by delicacy to a quiet life. Paley tried farming on a small scale by way of recreation. He failed, however, to pay his expenses, and gave it up. By the end of 1776 he received the vicarage of Dalston, Cumberland, worth 90l. a year, and in 1777 the vicarage of Appleby, worth 200l. a year, resigning Musgrave. He divided the year between his two parishes, and at Appleby was intimate with the master of the grammar school, Richard Yates, whose epitaph he wrote in 1781. He welcomed the barristers on the northern circuit, especially his old tutor Wilson. In 1780 he was installed a prebendary at Carlisle, with an income of 400l. a year; and in August 1782 resigned Appleby on becoming archdeacon in succession to his friend John Law, who had been promoted to the bishopric of Clonfert. The archdeaconry was a sinecure, the usual duties being performed by the chancellor. The rectory of Great Salkeld, worth 120l. a year, was annexed to it.
Paley was now urged by his friend Law to expand his lectures into a book. The result was the ‘Principles of Morals and Political Philosophy.’ Paley had offered the manuscript to Faulder, a publisher in Bond Street, for 300l. Faulder was only willing to give 250l. The negotiation was entrusted to the Bishop of Clonfert, who was in London. Paley meanwhile received an offer of 1,000l. from Milliken, a Carlisle bookseller, who must have had a higher opinion than most of his successors of the commercial value of ethical treatises. Paley communicated the offer to the bishop, who luckily received the letter before completing the bargain with Faulder. Faulder agreed to give 1,000l. before the bishop left the house. The book was published in 1785, was adopted at once as a text-book at Cambridge, and went through fifteen editions during the author's life. Faulder must have made a good bargain. The famous illustration of the ‘pigeons’ in the chapter on ‘Property’ got for him the nickname of ‘Pigeon Paley.’ Law warned him that it might exclude him from a bishopric. ‘Bishop or no bishop,’ said Paley, ‘it shall go in’ (E. Paley, p. cclvi).
At the end of 1785 Paley became chancellor of the diocese upon the death of Richard Burn [q. v.], author of ‘The Justice of the Peace.’ He took an active part in 1789 in the agitation against the slave trade, and drew up a paper which has disappeared, though a summary was published in the newspapers. Paley presided at a public meeting held at Carlisle on 9 Feb. 1792 for the same purpose, and drew up some printed resolutions (given in Meadley, Appendix, pp. 139–52). The mastership of Jesus College, Cambridge, was offered to him in the same year by Bishop Yorke of Ely; but, after some hesitation, he decided that his position at Carlisle was too satisfactory to be abandoned (E. Paley, p. cxlviii). The offer is acknowledged in his dedication of the ‘Evidences.’ In 1790 appeared his most original book, the ‘Horæ Paulinæ.’ It had less success than the others. He soon afterwards, however, received an application from some divines at Zürich for leave to translate it into German (E. Paley, p. clvii). His wife died in May 1791, leaving four sons and four daughters. In May 1792 he was presented by the dean and chapter of Carlisle to the vicarage of Aldingham, near Great Salkeld, worth 140l. a year. In 1793 he vacated Dalston for the vicarage of Stanwix, near Carlisle, to which he was presented by the new bishop, Vernon (afterwards Harcourt). He had, he said, three reasons for changing: Stanwix was nearer his house in Carlisle, was worth 50l. a year more, and his ‘stock of sermons was recurring too rapidly.’ He had published his ‘Reasons for Contentment’ in 1792, as a warning against the revolutionary principles which were then exciting alarm. Paley thought this his best—but it was his least successful—performance. He always refrained from taking any active part in politics or professedly belonging to a party. This little book, though characteristic in its comfortable optimism, dealt too much in generalities to catch popular attention. In 1794, however, appeared his book upon the ‘Evidences of Christianity,’ which succeeded brilliantly. His services as a defender of church and state now clearly entitled him to preferment. In August 1794 Bishop Porteus, who had been a fellow of Christ's College with him, gave him the prebend of St. Pancras in the cathedral of St. Paul's. It was worth about 150l. a year, and did not involve residence. In January 1795 Bishop Pretyman gave him the subdeanery of Lincoln, worth 700l. a year, when he resigned his prebend and the chancellorship at Carlisle. He held the archdeaconry till May 1805. He performed his exercises for the D.D. degree at Cambridge directly after his institution at Lincoln, and amused his audience at a concio ad clerum by lengthening the penultimate of profugus. Before he had left Cambridge Bishop Barrington of Durham offered him the rectory of Bishop-Wearmouth, worth 1,200l. a year. He was inducted 14 March 1795, and vacated Stanwix and Aldingham.
Paley lived from this time at Monkwearmouth, except during his three months' annual residence at Lincoln. He avoided all trouble about tithes, which he had described in the ‘Moral Philosophy’ as ‘noxious to cultivation and improvement,’ by granting a lease for life to the landowners. He congratulated himself upon avoiding the risks of collection, though at some diminution of income. A remark reported by Meadley that he now did not care for bad harvests is denied by his son, and, if made, was no doubt intended as a joke. On 14 Dec. 1795 he married Miss Dobinson of Carlisle. He lived comfortably and hospitably, was a good whist-player, and amused his neighbours by his peculiarities of horsemanship in the park. He was appointed justice of the peace, and is said to have shown himself irascible in that capacity. An attempt to limit the number of licenses to public-houses, in which his brother magistrates failed to support him, brought him some trouble.
In 1800 he was for the first time attacked by a complaint which frequently recurred and involved great suffering. He was ordered to give up all public speaking. He was sent to Buxton in 1802, where he made acquaintance with Dr. James Currie [q. v.] of Liverpool. His physician, John Clark (1744–1805) [q. v.] of Newcastle, spoke highly of the courage which he displayed, and says that he was at that time writing the twenty-sixth chapter of his ‘Natural Theology,’ in which he dwells upon the relief given by intervals of ease. This, his last book, appeared in the same year. He was still able to amuse himself by reading, and spoke with great admiration of Malthus's essay on ‘Population,’ the second edition of which appeared in 1803. In 1805 he began his residence in Lincoln, where he was soon prostrated by a violent attack of his complaint, and died peacefully on 25 May 1805. He was buried in Carlisle Cathedral on 4 June by the side of his first wife. He left ‘a very competent fortune.’
Paley was above the average height, and in later life stout. He was curiously clumsy, made grotesque gesticulations, and talked, as Meadley and Best agree, with broad north-country accent. His son only admits ‘a want of refinement.’ His voice was weak, though deep; and he overcame the awkward effect of his pulpit appearances by his downright sincerity. His son apologises for his abrupt conclusions by saying that he stopped when he had no more to say. The only original portrait is said to be one taken by Romney, after 1780, for his friend Law. In 1862 it was in the possession of Lord Ellenborough, Law's nephew. He is represented with a fishing-rod in his hand. The portrait ascribed to Sir W. Beechey in the National Portrait Gallery is said to be a copy of this (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. ii. 388, 416). Lord Ellenborough states that Paley composed his books under pretence of fishing. From the statements of Meadley and his son, he seems to have been a poor angler, satisfied with a nibble in the course of a day's sport. He was given to brooding over his books, often writing and teaching his sons at the same time, and turning every odd moment to account. Though methodical in the distribution of his time, Paley's habit of scrawling down stray thoughts at intervals spoilt his handwriting, which was clear in his youth, but afterwards became almost illegible (a facsimile is given by E. Paley). His notebooks became a ‘confused, incoherent, and blotted mass,’ in which domestic details were mixed with fragments of argument and hints for sermons. He was, however, very particular about punctuation, and the only legible part of his manuscripts was ‘prodigious commas,’ ‘as long as the printer's nose.’
Paley, like his friends the Laws, inherited the qualities of a long line of sturdy north-country yeomen. He was the incarnation of strong common-sense, full of genial good humour, and always disposed to take life pleasantly. As a lawyer, the profession for which he thought himself suited, he would probably have rivalled the younger Law, who became Lord Ellenborough. He had no romance, poetic sensibility, or enthusiasm; but was thoroughly genial and manly. He was a very affectionate father and husband, and fond, like Sydney Smith, of gaining knowledge from every one who would talk to him. He only met one person in his life from whom he could extract nothing. The phrases about his conscience and others given above, often quoted to prove his cynicism, seem rather to show the humourist's tendency to claim motives lower than the true ones.
Nobody has surpassed Paley as a writer of text-books. He is an unrivalled expositor of plain arguments, though he neither showed nor claimed much originality. His morality is one of the best statements of the utilitarianism of the eighteenth century. On the publication of his ‘Moral Philosophy,’ Bentham, then in Russia, was told by G. Wilson that his principles had been anticipated by ‘a parson and an archdeacon.’ Bentham was stirred by the news to bring out his own ‘Principles of Morals and Legislation,’ 1789 (see Bentham, Works, x. 163, 165, 167, 195). As Wilson said, Paley differed from Bentham chiefly by adding the supernatural sanction, which appears in his famous definition of virtue as ‘doing good to mankind, in obedience to the will of God, and for the sake of everlasting happiness’ (Moral Philosophy, bk. i. ch. vi.). Paley acknowledged in his preface his great obligations to Abraham Tucker; but, in fact, he neither did nor professed to do more than give a lucid summary of the position of previous moralists of the same way of thinking. He differs from his predecessors chiefly in accepting more frankly a position which his opponents regarded as untenable. The limitations of his intellect appear in his blindness to the difficulties often expounded by more subtle thinkers. The book upon the ‘Evidences’ is, in the same way, a compendium of a whole library of argument produced by the orthodox opponents of the deists during the eighteenth century, and his ‘Natural Theology’ an admirably clear account of the a posteriori argument—congenial to his mode of thought, and given with less felicity by many other popular writers. In some notes published by his son (p. ccxxxiv) there are references to Boyle, Ray, Derham, and many other well-known authors; and he was helped by his friend Law and by John Brinkley [q. v.] with various suggestions.
Paley's common-sense method has been discredited by the later developments of philosophy and theology. In theological questions he sympathised with his friend Jebb and other Cambridge contemporaries, such as Frend, Wakefield, Walsh Watson, and Hey, some of whom became avowedly unitarian; while others, taking Paley's liberal view of the Thirty-nine Articles, succeeded in reconciling their principles to a more or less nominal adherence to the orthodox creed. Paley's laxity has been condemned. It is defended in his ‘Moral Philosophy,’ and appears variously in his letters to a son of Dr. Perceval, who had scrupled about taking orders (printed in Meadley, App. p. 130 seq., and Wayland, p. xvii seq., from Perceval, Literary Correspondence). A writer in the ‘Christian Life and Unitarian Herald’ of 11 July and 2 and 22 Aug. 1891 seems to prove satisfactorily, from Paley's notes for his lectures, now in the British Museum, that he accepted the unitarian interpretation of most of the disputed texts. But, however vague the interpretation put upon the subscription by Paley, there is no reason to doubt his absolute sincerity in believing that the doctrines which he accepted could be logically proved. Whether his peculiar compromise between orthodoxy and rationalism can be accepted is a different question. His books, as he says in the preface to the ‘Natural Theology,’ form a system, containing the evidences of natural and of revealed religion, and of the duties which result from both. The system has gone out of fashion; but the ‘Evidences’ still hold their place as a text-book at his university, presumably from their extraordinary merits of style; and the ‘Natural Theology’ is still mentioned with respect by many who dissent from its conclusions, or hold that it requires modification.
Paley has been sometimes accused of plagiarism. His own statement in the preface to the ‘Moral Philosophy’ is a sufficient answer to the general charge. He was writing a text-book, not an original treatise, and used whatever he found in his notes, in which he had inserted whatever struck him, often without reference to the original authors. He refers, he says, to no other books, even when using the thoughts, and ‘sometimes the very expressions,’ of previous writers. If a writer upon theology were forbidden to use old arguments, the number of theological books would be limited indeed. Paley's textbooks are so well written that they have been treated as original treatises, and an avowed summary of a whole literature is condemned for including the familiar arguments. Stress has also been laid upon special illustrations. Hallam shows that Paley adopted some illustrations from Puffendorf (Lit. of Europe, 1854, iii. 417). The famous illustration of the watch has been said to be a plagiarism from Nieuwentyt, an English translation of whose ‘Religious Philosopher’ reached a third edition in 1750. The question is discussed in the ‘Athenæum’ for 1848 (i. 803, 907, 933). The watch was, in fact, a commonplace. It occurs in Tucker's ‘Light of Nature’ and many other writers, and is traced by Hallam (ib. ii. 385) to a passage in Cicero's ‘Natura Deorum’ (for other references see Stephen, English Thought, i. 409).
Paley advised his pupils, if they should have to preach every Sunday, ‘to make one sermon and steal five’ (E. Paley, p. xci). He apparently acted upon this principle. His son, in publishing some posthumous sermons, says that only one is ‘stolen,’ but adds that three are said to be founded upon sermons by Fleetwood; and a correspondent of ‘Notes and Queries’ (1st ser. xi. 484) states that another is slightly altered from a sermon by Bishop Porteus.
Paley's works are:
- ‘A Defence of the “Considerations on the Propriety of requiring a Subscription to Articles of Faith” [by Bishop (Edmund) Law],’ anon. 1774.
- ‘Observations on the Character and Example of Christ, and an Appendix on the Morality of the Gospel,’ annexed to Bishop Law's ‘Reflections,’ 1776.
- ‘Caution recommended in the Use and Application of Scripture Language,’ visitation sermon preached at Carlisle on 15 July 1777, Cambridge, 1777, again, 1782.
- ‘The Clergyman's Companion in visiting the Sick,’ attributed to Paley, is merely a reprint of an old compilation (see E. Paley, p. xcvii).
- ‘Advice addressed to the Young Clergy of the Diocese of Carlisle’ (ordination sermon on 29 July 1781), 1783.
- ‘A Distinction of Orders in the Church defended upon Principles of Public Utility’ (preached at Dublin on the consecration of the Bishop of Clonfert, on 21 Sept. 1782), 1782.
- ‘Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy,’ 1785. A seventeenth edition of this appeared in 1809. An edition, with notes by A. Bain, appeared in 1802, and one, with notes by R. Whately, in 1859. An ‘Analysis’ by C. V. Le Grice reached a fourth edition in 1822. The chapter on the British constitution was reprinted separately in 1792.
- ‘The Young Christian instructed in Reading and in the Principles of Religion; compiled for the use of the Sunday-schools in Carlisle.’ A charge of plagiarism was made against this by J. Robertson, author of a spelling-book from which Paley had appropriated passages. Paley's clever and amusing answer is given by Meadley (App. p. 156), and in Nichols's ‘Anecdotes’ (iii. 502).
- ‘Horæ Paulinæ; or the Truth of the Scripture History of St. Paul evinced by a Comparison of the Epistles which bear his name with the Acts of the Apostles and with one another,’ 1790. A sixth edition appeared in 1809; editions, with notes, &c., by J. Tate, by T. R. Birks, and by J. S. Howson appeared in 1840, 1850, and 1877 respectively. A German translation was published in 1797.
- ‘Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Carlisle,’ 1790.
- ‘Reasons for Contentment; addressed to the Labouring Part of the British Public,’ 1793.
- ‘Memoir of Bishop Edmund Law,’ in Hutchinson's ‘History of Cumberland’ (1794) and the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ and reprinted, with notes by Anonymous, in 1800.
- ‘A View of the Evidences of Christianity,’ 1794. A fifteenth edition appeared in 1811; editions, with notes by T. R. Birks, R. Potts, and R. Whately, appeared in 1848, 1850, and 1859 respectively. An ‘Analysis,’ first published at Cambridge in 1795, went through several editions, and others have since appeared. ‘Rhymes for all the authors quoted in the first eight chapters’ was published at Cambridge in 1872, and an analysis, with ‘each chapter summarised in verse,’ by A. J. Wilkinson, in 1792.
- ‘Dangers incidental to the Clerical Character’ (sermon at St. Mary's, Cambridge, on 5 July 1795), 1795.
- ‘Assize Sermon at Durham,’ 1795.
- ‘Natural Theology; or Evidence of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity collected from the Appearances of Nature,’ 1802. A twentieth edition appeared in 1820. ‘Natural Theology,’ published 1835–9, includes Paley's ‘Natural Theology’ in vols. ii. and iii., with notes by Lord Brougham and Sir C. Bell. The other volumes are dissertations by Brougham. An Italian translation appeared in 1808, and a Spanish in 1825.
- ‘Sermons on Several Subjects,’ printed in obedience to the author's will, for distribution among the inhabitants of Bishop-Wearmouth. A surreptitious reprint induced Paley's executors to publish this, and to hand over the proceeds to charities. Other sermons were added in E. Paley's edition of his works.
- ‘Sermons and Tracts, 1808, contains Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15.
- ‘Sermons on Various Subjects,’ edited by E. Paley, 1825. The first collective edition of Paley's works appeared in 8 vols. in 1805–8; one by Alexander Chalmers appeared in 5 vols. 8vo in 1819; one by R. Lynam in 4 vols. 8vo in 1825; one by Edmund Paley in 7 vols. 8vo in 1825, and again in 4 vols. in 1838; and one by D. S. Wayland in 5 vols. in 1837. A one-volume edition was published in 1851.
[A life of Paley, in Public Characters (1802, pp. 97–127), was read by Paley himself, who made a few notes upon it, used by his son; another appeared in Aikin's General Biography, 1808, vii. 588–92. A careful Life by G. W. Meadley, his ‘constant companion’ at Bishop-Wearmouth, was published in 1809, and a second edition, enlarged, in 1810. A longer Life, by his son Edmund, was prefixed to the edition of his works in 1825. It includes some specimens of his notebooks, &c., but gives fewer facts than Meadley's, whom it corrects on particular points, though his general accuracy is acknowledged. Other lives—as that in Chalmers, one by Lynam prefixed to works in 1823, and one by D. S. Wayland prefixed to works in 1837—depend upon Meadley. A good description of Paley's lectures is given in the Universal Magazine for 1805, ii. 414, 509, by ‘a pupil,’ probably W. Frend [q. v.] An account of his ‘conversations’ at Lincoln, in the New Monthly Review for 1827, is by Henry Digby Best [q. v.]; cf. Notes and Queries, 8th ser. viii. 204; information has been kindly given by the master of Christ's College.]