Dean of Christ-Church in
Ja. Allestry and Tho. Dicas, at the Bell
in Saint Paul's Church-yard.
DOctor Henry Hammond, whose Life is now attempted to be written, was born upon the 18 of August in the year 1605. at Chersey in Surrey, a place formerly of remark for J. Caesar's supposed passing his Army there over the Thames, in his Enterprise upon this Island, as also for the entertainment of Devotion in its earliest reception by our Saxon Ancestors; and of later years, for the Charity of having given burial to the equally pious and unfortunate Prince King Hen. VI.
He was the youngest Son of Dr John Hammond Physician to Prince Henry, and from that great favourer of meriting servants and their relations, had the honour at the Font to receive his Christian Name.
Nor had he an hereditary interest in Learning onely from his Father; by his Mothers side he was allied both unto it and the Profession of Theologie, being descended from Dr Alexander Nowell, the Reverend Dean of St Paul's, that great and happy Instrument of the Reformation, and eminent Light of the English Church.
Being yet in his long Coats, (which heretofore were usually worn beyond the years of Infancy,) he was sent to Eaton School; where his pregnancy having been advantag'd by the more then paternal care and industry of his Father (who was an exact Critick in the learned Languages, especially the Greek) became the observation of those that knew him: for in that tenderness of age he was not only a Proficient in Greek and Latine, but had also some knowledge in the Elements of Hebrew: in the later of which Tongues, it being then rarely heard of even out of Grammar Schools, he grew the Tutor of those who begun to write themselves men, but thought it no shame to learn of one whose knowledge seem'd rather infus'd then acquir'd; or in whom the learned Languages might be thought to be the Mother-Tongue. His skill in Greek was particularly advantag'd by the conversation and kindness of Mr Allen, one of the Fellows of the College, excellently seen in that Language, and a great assistant of Sr Henry Savile in his magnificent edition of St Chrysostome.
His sweetness of Carriage is very particularly remembred by his Contemporaries, who observ'd that he was never engag'd (upon any occasion) into fights or quarrels; as also that at times allowed for Play, he would steal from his fellows into places of privacy, there to say his Prayers: Omens of his future pacifick temper and eminent Devotion.
Which softness of temper his Schoolmaster Mr Bush, who upon his Fathers account had a tender kindness for him, lookt upon with some jealousie; for he building upon the general observation, that Gravity and Passiveness in Children is not from discretion but phlegme, suspected that his Scholars faculties would desert his Industrie, and end onely in a laborious well-read non-proficiency: but the Event gave a full and speedie defeat to those well-meant misgivings; for he so emprov'd that at Thirteen years old he was thought, and (what is much more rare) was indeed ripe for the University, and accordingly sent to Magdalen College in Oxford, where not long after he was chosen Demie; and though he stood low upon the roll, by a very unusual concurrence of providential Events, happen'd to be sped: and though having then lost his Father, he became destitute of the advantage which potent recommendation might have given, yet his merit voting for him, as soon as capable, he was chosen Fellow.
Being to proceed Mr of Arts, he was made Reader of the natural Philosophy Lecture in the College, and also was employed in making the Funeral Oration on the highly-meriting President Dr Langton.
Having taken His Degree, he presently bought a Systeme of Divinity, with design to apply himself straightway to that study: but upon second thoughts he returned for a time to Humane Learning, and afterwards, when he resum'd his purpose for Theology, took a quite different Course of reading from the other too much usual, beginning that Science at the upper end, as conceiving it most reasonable to search for primitive Truth in the primitive Writers, and not to suffer his Understanding to be prepossest by the contrived and interessed Schemes of modern, and withal obnoxious, Authors.
Anno 1629. being twenty four years of age, the Statutes of his House directing, and the Canons of the Church then regularly permitting it, he entred into Holy Orders, and upon the same grounds not long after took the degree of Bachelor in Divinity, giving as happy proof of his proficiency in Sacred, as before he had done in Secular knowledge. During the whole time of his abode in the University he generally spent 13 hours of the day in Study; by which assiduity, besides an exact dispatch of the whole Course of Philosophy, he read over in a manner all Classick Authors that are extant; and upon the more considerable wrote, as he passed, Scholia and critical emendations, and drew up Indexes for his private use at the beginning and end of each book: all which remain at this time, and testify his indefatigable pains to as many as have perus'd his Library.
In the year 1633. the Reverend Dr Frewen, the then President of his College, now Lord Arch-bishop of York, gave him the honor to supply one of his courses at the Court; where the right Honorable the Earl of Leicester happening to be an Auditor, he was so deeply affected with the Sermon, and took so just a measure of the merit of the Preacher thence, that the Rectory of Pensehurst being at that time void, and in his gift, he immediately offer'd him the presentation: which being accepted, he was inducted on the 22 of August in the same year; and thenceforth from the Scholastick retirements of an University life, applied himself to the more busy Entertainments of a rural privacy, and what some have call'd the being buried in a Living: and being to leave the House, he thought not fit to take that advantage of his place, which from Sacrilege or selling of the Founders Charity, was by custom grown to be prudence and good husbandry.
In the discharge of his Ministerial function, he satisfied not himself in diligent and constant Preaching only; (a performance wherein some of late have phansied all Religion to consist) but much more conceived himself obliged to the offering up the solemn daily Sacrifice of Prayer for his people, administring the Sacraments, relieving the poor, keeping Hospitality, reconciling of differences amongst Neighbours, Visiting the sick, Catechising the youth.
As to the first of these, his Preaching, 'twas not at the ordinary rate of the Times, an unpremeditated, undigested effusion of shallow and crude conceptions; but a rational and just discourse, that was to teach the Priest as well as the Lay-hearer. His Method was (which likewise he recommended to his friends) after every Sermon to resolve upon the ensuing Subject; that being done, to pursue the course of study which he was then in hand with, reserving the Close of the Week for the provision for the next Lords-day. Whereby not onely a constant progress was made in Science, but materials unawares were gain'd unto the immediate future Work: for, he said, be the Subjects treated of never so distant, somewhat will infallibly fall in conducible unto the present purpose.
The offices of Prayer he had in his Church, not only upon the Sundaies and Festivals and their Eves, as also Wednesdaies and Fridaies, according to the appointment of the Rubrick; (which strict duty and ministration when 'tis examined to the bottom will prove the greatest objection against the Liturgy; as that which, besides its own trouble and austerity, leaves no leisure for factious and licentious meetings at Fairs and Markets) but every day in the week, and twice on Saturdaies and Holy-day Eves: For his assistance wherein he kept a Curate, and allow'd him a comfortable Salary. And at those Devotions he took order that his Family should give diligent and exemplary attendance: which was the easilier perform'd, it being guided by his Mother, a woman of ancient Vertue, and one to whom he paid a more then filial Obedience.
As to the Administration of the Sacrament, he reduced it to an imitation, though a distant one, of Primitive frequency, to once a moneth, and therewith its anciently inseparable Appendant, the Offertory: wherein his instruction and happily-insinuating Example so farre prevail'd, that there was thenceforth little need of ever making any taxe for the poor. Nay, (if the report of a sober person born and bred up in that Parish, be to be believ'd) in short time a stock was rais'd to be alwaies ready for the apprentising of young Children, whose Parents condition made the provision for them an equal Charity to both the Child and Parent. And after this there yet remain'd a Superplusage for the assistance of the neighbour Parishes.
For the Relief of the Poor, besides the foremention'd Expedient, wherein others were sharers with him, unto his private Charity, the dedicating the tenth of all receits, and the daily Almes given at the door, he constantly set apart over and above every week a certain rate in money: and however rarely his own rent-dayes occurr'd, the indigent had two and fifty quarter-daies returning in his year. Yet farther, another art of Charity he had, the selling Corn to his poor Neighbours at a rate below the Market-price: which though, as he said, he had reason to doe, gaining thereby the charge of portage; was a great benefit to them, who besides the abatement of price, and possibly forbearance, saved thereby a daies-work.
He that was thus liberal to the necessitous poor, was no less hospitable to those of better quality: and as at other times he frequently invited his Neighbours to his table, so more especially on Sundayes; which seldome past at any time without bringing some of them his guests: but here beyond the Weekly treatments, the Christmas Festival had a peculiar allowance to support it. He knew well how much the application at the Table inforc'd the doctrines of the Pulpit, and how subservient the endearing of his person was to the recommending his instructions, how far upon these motives our Saviour thought fit to eat with publicans and sinners, and how effectual the loaves were to the procuring of Disciples.
In accordance to which his generous freedome in Almes and Hospitality, he farther obliged his Parishioners in the setting of their Tithes and Dues belonging to him: for though he very well understood how prone men are to give complaints in payment, and how little obligation there is on him that lets a bargain to consider the casual loss, who is sure never to share in a like surplusage of gain; yet herein he frequently departed from his right, in so much that having set the Tith of a large Medow, and upon agreement received part of the money at the beginning of the year; it happening that the profits were afterwards spoiled and carried away by a flood, he, when the Tenant came to make the last paiment, not onely refus'd it, but returned the former summe, saying to the poor man, God forbid I should take the Tenth where you have not the nine parts.
As by publick admonition he most diligently instill'd that great fundamental doctrine of Peace and Love, so did he likewise in his private address and conversation, being never at peace in himself, till he had procur'd it amongst his Neighbours; wherein God so blest him, that he not onely attain'd his purpose of uniting distant parties unto each other, but, contrary to the usual fate of reconcilers, gain'd them to himself: there having been no person of his function any where better beloved then he when present, or lamented more when absent, by his flock. Of which tender and very filial affection, in stead of more, we may take two instances: the one, that he being driven away, and his books plundered, one of his Neighbours bought them in his behalf, and preserved them for him till the end of the War: the other, that during his abode at Pensehurst he never had any vexatious law dispute about his dues, but had his Tithes fully paid, and not of the most refuse parts, but generally the very best.
Though he judged the time of Sickness an improper season for the great Work of Repentance; yet he esteemed it a most useful preparative, the voice of God himself exhorting to it: and therefore not onely when desir'd made his Visits to all such as stood in need of those his charities, but prevented their requests by early and by frequent coming to them. And this he was so careful of, that after his remove from Pensehurst, being at Oxford, and hearing of the Sickness of one of his Parishioners, he from thence sent to him those instructions which he judg'd useful in that Exigent, and which he could not give at nearer distance.
For the institution of Youth in the rudiments of Piety, his Custome was, during the warmer season of the year, to spend an hour before Evening-prayer in Catechifing, whereat the Parents and older sort were wont to be present, and from whence (as he with comfort was used to say) they reaped more benefit then from his Sermons. Where it may not be superfluous to observe that he introduced no new form of Catechism, but adher'd to that of the Church; rendring it fully intelligible to the meanest capacities by his explanations. It may be useful withall to advert, that if in those times Catechetical institution were very seasonable, 'twill now be much more; when Principles have been exchang'd for dreams of words and notions; if not for a worse season of profane contempt of Christian truth. But to return; Besides all this, that there might be no imaginable assistance wanting, he took care for the providing an able Schoolmaster in the Parish, which he continued during the whole time of his abode.
And as he thus labour'd in the Spiritual building up of Souls, he was not negligent of the material fabrick committed to his trust: but repair'd with a very great Expence (the annual charge of 100 l.) his Parsonage-house; till from an incommodious ruine he had render'd it a fair and pleasant dwelling, with the adherent conveniences of Gardens and Orchards.
While he was thus busie on his Charge, though he so prodigally laid out himself upon the interests of his Flock, as he might seem to have nothing left for other purposes; and his Humility recommended above all things Privacy and Retirement to him: yet when the uses of the Publick call'd him forth, he readily obey'd the summons, and frequently preach'd both at St Paul's Cross, and the Visitations of his brethren the Clergy, (a Specimen whereof appears in print) as also at the Cathedral Church of Chichester, where by the unsought-for favour of the Reverend Father in God, Brian, then Ld Bishop of that See, since of Winchester, he had an interest, and had the dignity of Arch-deacon: which at the beginning of the late Troubles falling to him, he managed with great zeal and prudence, not onely by all the charms of Christian Rhetorick, perswading to Obedience and Union, but by the force of demonstration, charging it as most indispensable duty, and (what was then not so readily believed) the greatest temporal interest of the inferior Clergy: wherein the eminent importance of the Truths he would inforce so far prevail'd over his otherwise-insuperable Modesty, that in a full Assembly of the Clergy, as he afterwards confest, he broke off from what he had premeditated, and out of the abundance of his heart spoke to his Auditory; and by the blessing of God, to which he attributed it, found a very signal reception.
In the year 1639. he proceeded Doctor in Divinity, his Seniority in the University, and employment in the Church, and (what perchance was a more importunate motive) the desire of Eleven of his Friends and Contemporaries in the same House, whom not to accompany might be interpreted an affected pride and singularity, at least an unkindness, joyntly perswading him to it.
His performance in the Act, where he answer'd the Doctors, was to the equal satisfaction and wonder of his Hearers; a Country-life usually contracting at the least an unreadiness to the dextrous management of those Exercises, which was an Effect undiscernible in him.
About this time he became a Member of the Convocation call'd with the short Parliament in 1640. as after this he was named to be of the Assembly of Divines; his invincible Loyalty to his Prince and Obedience to his Mother the Church not being so valid arguments against his nomination, as the repute of his Learning and Vertue were on the other part, to have some title to him.
And now that Conformity became a Crime, and Tumults improving into Hostility and War, such a Crime as had chastisements severe enough; though the Committee of the Countrey summon'd him before them, and used those their best arguments of persuasion, threatnings and reproches, he still went on in his regular practice, and continued it till the middle of July 1643. At which time there being in his Neighbourhood about Tunbridge an attempt in behalf of the King, and his Doctrine and Example having had that good influence, as it was supposed, to have made many more ready to the discharge of their duty; it being defeated, the good Doctor (the malice of one who design'd to succeed in his Living being withal assistant) was forc'd to secure himself by retirement; which he did, withdrawing himself to his old Tutor Dr Buckner; to whom he came about the 25 of July early in the Morning in such an habit as that Exigence made necessary for him, and whither not many daies before his old Friend and Fellowpupil Dr Oliver came upon the same Errand. Which accident, and the necessity to leave his Flock, as the Dr afterwards frequently acknowledg'd, was that which did most affect him of any that he felt in his whole life: amidst which, though he was no valuer of trifles, or any thing that look'd like such, he had so extraordinary a Dream, that he could not then despise, nor ever afterwards forget it.
'Twas thus; He thought himself and a multitude of others to have been abroad in a bright and chearful day, when on a sudden there seem'd a separation to be made, and he with the far less number to be placed at a distance from the rest; and then the Clouds gathering, a most tempestuous Storm arose, with thundring and lightnings, with spouts of impetuous rain, and violent gusts of wind, and whatever else might adde unto a scene of horrour; particularly balls of fire that shot themselves amongst the ranks of those that stood in the lesser party: When a gentle Whisper seem'd to interrupt those other louder noises, saying, Be still, and ye shall receive no harm. Amidst these terrors the Doctor falling to his Prayers, soon after the Tempest ceas'd, and that known Cathedral-Antheme begun, Come, Lord Jesus, come away; with which he awoke. The correspondent Event of all which he found verified signally in the preservation both of himself and his friends, in doing of their duties; the which with much content he was us'd to mention.
Beside, being himself taken to the Quires of Angels at the close of that Land-Hurrican of ours, whereof that dismal apparition was onely a faint Embleme; he gave thereby too literal a completion to his Dream, and the unhappy credit of bordering upon Prophecy.
In this retirement the two Doctors remained about three weeks, till an alarm was brought, that a strict enquiry was made for Doctor Hammond, and 100. l. promised as a reward for him that should produce him. Which suggestion though they easily apprehended to have a posiblity of being false, yet they concluded a necessary ground for their remove.
Upon this they resolve to be gone; and Dr Oliver having an interest in Winchester, which was then in the Kings Quarters, they chose that as the next place of their retreat. But being on the way thither, Dr Oliver, who had sent his Servant before to make provision for them, was met and saluted with the News that Doctor Frewen, President of Magdalen College, was made Bishop of Litchfield, and that the College had pitched upon him as Successor. This unlook'd-for accident (as justly it might) put Doctor Oliver to new counsels; and since Providence had found out so seasonable a relief, enclin'd him not to desert it, but fly rather to his Preferments and advantage, then merely to his refuge, and so to divert to Oxford. To this Dr Hammond made much difficulty to assent, thinking that too publick a place, and, what he more consider'd, too far from his Living, whither (his desires strongly enclining him) he had hopes (when the present fury was allay'd) to return again; and to that purpose had wrote to such Friends of his as were in power, to use their Interest for the procuring his Security. But his Letters meeting a cold reception, and the company of his Friend on one hand, and the appearance of deserting him on the other hand, charming him to it, he was at last perswaded; and encompassing Hantshire with some difficulty came to Oxford: Where procuring an appartment in his old College, he sought that peace in his Retirement and Study which was no where else to be met withal; taking no other diversion then what the giving Encouragement and instruction to ingenious young Students yielded him, (a thing wherein he peculiarly delighted) and the satisfaction which he received from the conversation of Learned men; who, besides the usual store, in great number at that time for their Security resorted thither.
Among the many Eminent persons with whom he here convers'd, he had particular intimacy with Dr Potter Provost of Qs College, to whom among other fruits of his Studies he communicated his Practical Catechism, which for his private use he had drawn up.
The Provost much taken with the designe, and no less with the performance, importun'd him to make it publick; alledging, in that lawless Age the great use of supplanting the empty form of Godliness which so prevail'd, by substituting of its real power and sober duties; of silencing Prophaneness, which then usurp'd the names of Wit and Gallantry, by enforcing the more eligible acts of the Christians reasonable service, which was not any other way so happily to be done, as by beginning at the foundation by sound, and yet not trivial, Catechetick institution.
It was not hard to convince Dr Hammond that 'twere well if some such thing were done; but that his Writing would doe this in any measure, or that he should suffer his Name to become publick, it was impossible to perswade him. The utmost he could be brought to allow of was, that his Treatise was not likely to doe harm, but had possibilities of doing (it might be) some good, and that it would not become him to deny that service to the World; especially if his Modesty might be secur'd from pressure by the concealing of him to be the Author. And this Doctor Potter, that he might leave no subterfuge, undertook, and withall the whole care of, and besides the whole charge of the Edition. Upon these termes, onely with this difference, that Doctor Hammond would not suffer the Provost to be at the entire charge, but went an equal share with him, the Practical Catechism saw the light, and likewise the Author remained in his desir'd obscurity.
But in the mean time the Book finding the reception which it merited, the good Doctor was by the same arguments constrained to give way to the publishing of several other Tracts which he had written upon heads that were then most perverted by popular Error; as of Conscience, of Scandal, of Willworship, of Resisting the lawful Magistrate, and of the Change of Church-Government; his Name all this while concealed, and so preserved, till Curiosity improving its guesses into confident asseverations, he was rumor'd for the Author, and as such publish'd to the world by the London and Cambridge Stationers, who without his knowledge reprinted those and other of his Works.
In the interim a Treaty being labour'd by his Majesty, to compose (if it were possible) the unhappy differences in Church and State, and in order thereunto the Duke of Richmond and Earl of Southhampton being sent to London; Doctor Hammond went along as Chaplain to them; where with great zeal and prudence, he labour'd to undeceive those seduced persons whom he had opportunity to converse with: and when the Treaty was solemnly appointed at Uxbridge, several Divines being sent thither in behalf of the different parties, he, among other excellent men that adher'd to the King, was made choice of to assist in that Emploiment. And there (not to mention the debates between the Commissioners, which were long since publish'd by an Honourable hand) Doctor Steward and Master Henderson were at first onely admitted to dispute; though at the second meeting the other Divines were call'd in: which thing was a surprize, and design'd for such, to those of the King's part, who came as Chaplains and private Attendants on the Lords; but was before projected and prepared for by those of the Presbyterian way. And in this conflict it was the lot of Doctor Hammond to have Master Vines for his antagonist; who in stead of tendring a Scholastick disputation, read from a paper a long Divinity-lecture, wherein were interwoven several little Cavils and Exceptions, which were meant for Arguments. Doctor Hammond perceiving this, drew forth his Pen and Ink, and as the other was reading, took notes of what was said, and then immediately return'd in order an answer to the several suggestions, which were about forty in number: which he did with that readiness and sufficiency, as at once gave testimony to his ability, and to the evidence of the Truth he asserted; which amidst the disadvantage of Extempore against Premeditation, dispell'd with ease and perfect clearness all the Sophismes that had been brought against him.
'Tis not the present work to give an account of that whole Dispute, or character the merits of those Worthy Persons who were engag'd in it, either in that or the succeeding meetings: especially since it was resolv'd by both parties, that the transactions of neither side should be made publick. But notwithstanding this, since divers persons addicted to the defence of a side, without any further consideration of Truth or common Honesty, have in this particular wounded the Doctors reputation; I shall take leave to say, that had the Victories in the field which were manag'd by the Sword been like this of the Chamber and the Tongue, a very easie Act of Oblivion must have atoned for them; since what never was, without much industry might be secur'd from being remembred. The impudent Falsity rais'd upon the Doctor was this, That Mr Vines utterly silenc'd him; insomuch that he was fain to use this unheard-of Stratageme to avoid his Adversaries demonstration, to swear by God and the holy Angels, that though at present a Solution did not occurre to him, he could answer it. Concerning this we have the Doctors own account in a Letter of his bearing date Jan. 22. Ann. 1655. directed to a friend who had advertis'd him of this report.
I have formerly been told within these few years that there went about a Story much to my disparagement, concerning the Dispute at Uxbridge (for there it was, not at Holdenby) with Mr Vines; but what it was I could never hear before: Now I doe, I can, I think, truly affirm, that no one part of it hath any degree of truth, save onely that Mr Vines did dispute against, and I defend, Episcopacy. For as to the Argument mention'd, I did neither then, nor at any time of my life, (that I can remember) ever hear it urg'd by any. And for my pretended Answer, I am both sure that I never call'd God and his holy Angels to witness any thing in my life, nor ever swore one voluntary Oath that I know of, (and sure there was then none impos'd on me) and that I was not at that Meeting conscious to my self of wanting ability to express my thoughts, or prest with any considerable difficulty, or forc'd by any consideration to wave the answer of any thing objected. A Story of that whole affair I am yet able to tell you; but I cannot think it necessary. Only this I may adde, That after it I went to Mr Marshall in my own and brethrens names, to demand three things; 1. Whether any Argument propos'd by them remain'd unanswer'd, to which we might yield farther answer: 2. Whether they intended to make any report of the past-disputation; offering, if they would, to joyn with them in it, and to perfect a Conference by mutual Consent, after the manner of that between Dr Reynolds and Mr Hart: both which being rejected, the 3. was, to promise each other that nothing should be afterwards publish'd by either without the Consent or knowledge of the other party. And that last he promis'd for himself and his brethren, and so we parted.
But while these things were in doing, a Canonry in Christ-Church in Oxford became vacant, which the King immediately bestowed on Doctor Hammond, though then absent; whom likewise the University chose their publick Orator: which Preferments though collated so freely, and in a time of Exigence, he was with much difficulty wrought upon by his Friends to accept, as minding nothing so much as a return to his old Charge at Pensehurst. But the impossibility of a sudden opportunity of going thither being evident unto him, he at last accepted; and was soon after made Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majesty.
But these new Employments no way diverted him from his former tasks; for, according to his wonted Method, he continued to address remedies to the encreasing Mischiefs of the Times, and publish'd the Tracts of Superstition, Idolatry, Sins of Weakness and Wilfulness, Death-bed Repentance, View of the Directory; as also in answer to a Romanist, who taking advantage of the publick Ruine, hoped to erect thereon Trophees to the Capitol; his Vindication of the Lord Falkland, who was not long before faln in another kinde of War.
But now the King's affairs declining every where, and Oxford being forc'd upon Articles to surrender to the Enemy, where after the expiration of six moneths all things were to be left to the lust and fury of a servile, and therefore insolent, Conquerour; though he foresaw a second and more fatal siege approaching, a leaguer of encamp'd inevitable mischiefs; yet he remitted nothing of his wonted Industry, writing his Tracts of Fraternal Correption, and Power of the Keyes, and Apologies by Letter against the Pulpit-Calumnies of Mr Cheynel, and the Exceptions taken at his Practical Catechism.
In the mean time his Sacred Majesty, sold by his Scotish into the hands of his English Subjects, and brought a Prisoner to Holdenby, where stripp'd of all His Royal Attendants, and denied that common Charity which is afforded the worst of Malefactors, the assistance of Divines, though he with importunity desir'd it; He being taken from the Parliament Commissioners into the possession of the Army, at last obtain'd that kindness from them (who were to be cruel at another rate) which was withheld by the two Houses, and was permitted the service of some few of his Chaplains, whom he by name had sent for, and among them of Doctor Hammond.
Accordingly the good Doctor attended on his Master in the several removes of Woburn, Cavesham and Hampton-Court, as also thence into the Isle of Wight, where he continued till Christmas 1647. at which time His Majesties Attendants were again put from Him, and he amongst the rest.
Sequestred from this his melancholick, but most desir'd, Employment, he return'd again to Oxford: where being chosen Sub-dean, an Office to which belongs much of the Scholastick government of the College, and soon after prov'd to be the whole, (the Dean, for the guilt of asserting the Rights of His Majesty and University in his station of Vice-Chancellor, being made a Prisoner,) he undertook the entire Management of all affairs; and discharg'd it with great sufficiency and admirable diligence, leaving his beloved studies to interest himself not onely in moderating at Divinity-disputations, which was then an immediate part of his Task, but in presiding at the more youthful Exercises of Sophistry, Themes and Declamations; redeeming still at night these Vacuities of the day, scarce ever going to bed till after midnight, sometimes not til three in the morning, and yet certainly rising to prayers at five.
Nor did his inspection content it self in looking to the general performances of duty, but descended to an accurate survey of every ones both practice and ability; so that this large Society of Scholars appear'd his private Family, he scarce leaving any single person without some mark or other of both his Charity and Care, relieving the necessitous in their several wants of Money and of Books, shaming the vicious to Sobriety, incouraging the ingenuous to Diligence, and finding stratagems to ensnare the idle to a love of Study. But above all he endeavoured to prepare his charge for the reception of the impending Persecution; that they might adorn their Profession, and not at the same time suffer for a Cause of Righteousness, and as Evildoers.
To this End he both admitted and solemnly invited all sober persons to his familiarity and converse; and beside that, receiv'd them to his weekly private Office of Fasting and Humiliation.
But now the long-expected Ruine breaking in with its full weight and torrent, the Visitors chaf'd with their former disappointments and delayes, coming with hunters stomacks, and design to boot, for to seize first and then devour the prey, by a new method of judicature being to kill and then take possession; the Excellent Doctor became involv'd in the general Calamity. And whereas the then usual Law of Expulsion was immediately to banish into the wide world by beat of Drum, injoyning to quit the Town within 24 hours upon pain of being taken and used as Spies, and not to allow the unhappy Exiles time for the dispose either of their private affairs, or stating the accounts of their respective Colleges or Pupils; the Reverend Doctor Sheldon, now Lord Bishop of London, and Dean of His Majesties Chappel Royal, and Doctor Hammond, were submitted to a contrary fate, and by an Order from a Committee of Parliament were restrained and voted to be prisoners in that place, from which all else were so severely driven. But such was the authority and command of Exemplary Vertue, that the person design'd to succeed in the Canonry of Christ Church, though he had accepted of the place at London, and done his Exercise for it at Oxford, acting as publick Orator in flattering there the then-pretending Chancellor, yet had not courage to pursue his undertaking, but voluntarily relinquished that infamous robbery, and adhered to a less scandalous one in the Country. And then the Officer who was commanded to take Doctor Sheldon and him into Custody upon their design'd removal, Colonel Evelin, then Governour of Wallingford-Castle, (though a man of as opposite principles to Church and Church-men as any of the adverse party) wholly declin'd the employment, solemnly protesting that if they came to him, they should be entertained as Friends, and not as Prisoners.
But these remorses prov'd but of little effect; the Prebend of Christ-Church being suddenly supply'd by a second choice, and Oxford it self being continued the place of their Confinement: Where accordingly the good Doctor remained, though he were demanded by His Majesty to attend Him in the Isle of Wight at the Treaty there, which then was again re-inforced. The pretence upon which both he and the Reverend Doctor Sheldon were refused was that they were Prisoners; and probably the gaining that was the cause why they were so. But notwithstanding the denial of a personal Attendance, the Excellent Prince requir'd that assistance which might consist with absence, and at this time sent for a Copy of that Sermon which almost a year before He had heard preach'd in that place. The which Sermon his Majesty, and thereby the publick, receiv'd with the accession of several others delivered upon various Occasions.
Doctor Hammond having continued about ten weeks in his restraint in Oxford, where he begun to actuate his designe of writing Annotations on the New Testament, (nor was it disproportionate that those Sacred Volumes, a great part of which was wrote in bonds, should be first commented upon by the very parallel suffering, and that the Work it self should be so dedicated, and the Expositor fitted for his task by being made like the Authors) by the interposition of his Brother in Law, Sir John Temple, he had licence granted to be removed to a more acceptable confinement, to Clapham in Bedfordshire, the House in which his worthy Friend Sir Philip Warwick lived. Where soon after his arrival, that horrid mockery of Justice, the rape and violence of all that's Sacred, made more abominable by pretending to Right and Piety, the Trial of the King, drew on; and he being in no other capacity to interpose then by writing, drew up an Address to the General and Council of Officers, and transmitted it to them. And when that unexampled VILLANY found this Excuse, that it was such as could be pleaded for, and men in cool blood would dare to own and justifie, he affix'd his Reply to the suggestions of Ascham and Goodwin. And now although he indulg'd to his just and almost-infinite Griefs, which were transported to the utmost bounds of sober Passion, the affectionate personal respect he bore unto that glorious Victime being added to the detestation due unto the guilt it self, of which no man was more sensible then he who had strange antipathies to all sin, he gave not up himself to an unactive dull amazement; but with the redoubled use of Fasting, Tears and solemn Prayer, he resum'd his wonted Studies; and besides his fitting the Annotations for the Press, and his little Tract of the Reasonableness of Christian Religion, he now composed his Latine one against Blondel in the behalf of Episcopacy. As to the first of which, (his Annotations,) the manner of its birth and growth was thus.
Having written in Latine two large volumes in Quarto of the way of interpreting the New Testament, with reference to the customs of the Jews and of the first Hereticks in the Christian Church, and of the Heathens, especially in the Grecian games, and above all the importance of the Hellenistical Dialect, into which he had made the exactest search (by which means in a maner he happened to take in all the difficulties of that Sacred Book:) he began to consider that it might be more useful to the English Reader, who was to be his immediate Care, to write in our vulgar Language, and set every Observation in its natural order, according to the guidance of the Text. And having some years before collated several Greek Copies of the New Testament, observ'd the variation of our English from the Original, and made an entire Translation of the whole for his private use; being thus prepar'd, he cast his work into that form in which it now appears. The reasons of it need not to be here inserted, being set down by his own Pen in his Preface to his Annotations.
The Tractate against Blondel grew to its last form and constitution by not-unlike degrees, having a very different occasion from the last performance. The immediate antecedent cause is own'd, and long agoe presented to the World in that writing; the more remote Original is as follows. The late most Learned Primate of Armagh having receiv'd from Dav. Blondel a Letter of Exception against his Edition of Ignatius, he communicated it to Doctor Hammond, desiring his sense of several passages therein contained, relating to the Valentinian Heresie, Episcopal and Chorepiscopal power, and some emergent difficulties concerning them, from the Canons of several ancient Eastern Councils. To all this the Doctor wrote a peculiar answer, promising a fuller account if it would be useful. Upon the receipt whereof the Archbishop being highly satisfied, return'd his thanks, and lai'd hold of the Promise: which being accordingly discharg'd, became the provision (and gave materials) to a great part of the Dissertations. The Primate's Letter ran in these words:
I have read with great delight and content your accurate Answer to the Objections made against the credit of Ignatius his Epistles, for which I do most heartily thank you, and am moved thereby farther to intreat you, to publish to the World in Latine what you have already written in English against this Objector, and that other, who for your pains hath rudely requited you with the base appellation of Nebulo for the assertion of Episcopacy: to the end it may no longer be credited abroad, that these two have beaten down this Calling, that the defense thereof is now deserted by all men, as by Lud. Capellus is intimated in his Thesis of Church-government, at Sedan lately published, which I leave unto your serious Consideration, and all your Godly labours to the blessing of our good God, in whom I evermore rest,
Rygate in Surrey, Jul. 21. 1649.
Your very loving Friend and Brother, Ja. Armachanus.
Now in this request the Archbishop was so concern'd, that he re-inforc'd it by another Letter of Aug. 30. and congratulated the performance by a third of Jan. 14.
Both which, though very worthy to see the publick light, are yet forborn, as several of the like kinde from the Reverend Fathers the Bishops of this and our Sister Churches, as also from the most eminent for Piety and Learning of our own and the neighbouring Nations: which course is taken not onely in accordance to the desires and sentiments of the Excellent Doctor, who hated every thing that look'd like Ostentation; but likewise to avoid the very unpleasing choice, either to take the trouble of recounting all the Doctors Correspondencies, or bear the envie of omitting some.
But to return to the present task, and that of the good Doctor, which now was to perfect his Commentaries on the New Testament, and finish the Dissertations: amidst which cares he met with another of a more importunate nature, the loss of his dear Mother, which had this unhappy accession, that in her Sickness he could not be permitted, by reason of his being concern'd in the Proclamation that banish'd those that adher'd to the King twenty miles from London, to visit her; nor while she pai'd her latest debt to Nature, to pay his earlier one of filial homage and attendance.
A few months after, the rigour of that restraint with the declining of the year (a season judg'd less commodious for Enterprise) being taken off, he removed into Worcestershire, to Westwood, the House of the eminently-Loyal Sr John Pakington: where being setled, and proceeding in the edition of those his Labours which he had begun at Clapham, his Majesty coming to Worcester, by his neighbourhood to that place, the good Doctor, as he had the satisfaction personally to attend his Sovereign, and the honour to receive a Letter from his own hand of great importance, for the satisfaction of his Loyal Subjects concerning his adherence to the establish'd Religion of the Church of England, wherein his Royal Father liv'd a Saint, and died a Martyr: so likewise had he on the other part the most immediate agonies for his defeat; to which was added the Calamity which fell upon the Family where he dwelt, from the Persecution and danger of the generous Master of it. But it pleased God to give an issue out of both those difficulties, especially in the miraculous deliverance of his Sacred Majestie; a dispensation of so signal an importance, that he allow'd it a solemn recognition in his constant offices during his whole life, receiving that unusual interposition of Providence as a pledge from Heaven of an arrier of mercies, to use his own words,
That God, who had thus powerfully rescued him from Egypt, would not suffer him to perish in the Wilderness; but though his passage be through the Red Sea, he would at last bring him into Canaan; that he should come out of his tribulations as gold out of the fire, purified, but not consumed.
But notwithstanding these reflexions, bottom'd upon Piety and reliance upon Heaven, the present state of things had a quite different prospect in common eyes; and the generality of men thinking their Religion as troublesome a burthen as their Loyalty, with the same prudence by which they chang'd their mild and gracious Sovereign for a bloody TYRANT, began to seek a pompous and imperious Church abroad, in stead of a pious and afflicted one at home. To which Event the Roman Missionaries gave their liberal contribution, affording their preposterous Charity to make them Proselytes who had no mind to be Confessors or Martyrs. Hereupon the Doctor thought it highly seasonable to write his Tract of Schism, and oppose it to that most popular topick whereby they amus'd and charm'd their fond Disciples. And whereas the love of Novelty prevai'ld in several other instances, as in controlling the use and authority of the Scripture, defending incestuous Marriages, Polygamy, Divorce, the anabaptizing of Infants, the schismatical Ordination of Ministers by mere Presbyters, and disuse of the Festivals of the Church; he apply'd his Antidotes to each: by which means he made himself the common mark of opposition to all parties. For (besides the assaults from a whole Classis of Antagonists which the Dissertations had engag'd against him, and to which he was preparing his defence) upon the Romanists part he was charg'd by the Catholick Gentleman and his armour-bearer S. W. on the Presbyterian account by Mr Cawdry and Mr Jeanes; and in the behalf of the Independents and Anabaptists by Master Owen and Master Tombs: not to mention several others that sought themselves a name by being his gainsayers, but fail'd of their purpose, by bringing onely spight and passion into the quarrel, and so were to be answered onely by pity and silence.
Nor did he onely stand and keep at bay this multiply'd contest; but (as if this had not been task enough) besides the intercurrent offices of life, his reception of Visits, answering of Letters, his constant Preaching and Catechising, he found leisure to write his Tract of Fundamentals, his Paraenesis, his Review of the Annotations; and amidst all, to be in debt to his importunate Antagonists for nothing but their Railing, leaving that the onely thing unanswered. Nay more then so, brought several of them even under their own hands to recognize their sense of their undue procedure us'd by them unto him: which their acknowledgments yet remain, and are producible upon occasion.
And would to God he had met no other opposition; for in the entrance on these conflicts that strength of Body which before had faithfully attended his indefatigable Minde began to fail him, and those four torments of disease, which single have been judg'd a competent tryal of humane sufferance, the Stone, the Gout, the Colick, and the Cramp, (the last of which was to him as tyrannous as any of the former) became in a manner the constant exercise of his Christian Fortitude and Patience; affording him from this time to the end of his life very rare and short intervals of vigorous Health.
But among all his Labours, although Polemick discourses were otherwise most uneasy, as engaging to converse with men in Passion, a thing he naturally abhorr'd, his Paraenesis, a perswasive and practical Tract (which now he wrote, and which upon that account was exceeding agreeable to his desires) cost him most throes and pangs of birth, as having been penn'd first in Tears, and then in Ink. For however with great serenity he entertain'd all other accidents, having habituated himself to his beloved doctrine of submitting not to the Will of God alone, but to his Wisdome, both which he was us'd to say were perfectly one thing in that blest Agent, (and accordingly in the most dismall appearance of Event made this constant Motto, Even this for good;) yet in this instance the tenderness of his Soul seem'd to have melted his resolution: the occasion of that Treatise being the interdict of Jan. 1655. which disabled the Loyall suffering Clergy from doing any Ministerial act, which he resented with the highest passion, not onely upon the general account of God's more immediate displeasure to the Nation legible therein, but (what he had much less reason to doe) in reference to his own particular, he looking on this dispensation of Providence as God's pronouncing him unworthy to doe him Service, the reproaching (to use his own words) his former unprofitableness by casting him out as straw to the dunghill. Nor should any consideration that terminated on himself have perswaded him at all to regard that tyrannous injunction, had not Charity to the Family where he was made him content to admit of an Expedient that secured all real duties, whilst he for some short time forbore that attendance on the Altar which was the very joy of his life.
And now, though his Physicians had earnestly forbidden his accustomed Fastings, and his own weaknesses gave forcible suffrages to their advice; yet he resumed his rigors, esteeming this calamity such a one as admitted no exception, which should not be outliv'd, but that it became men to be Martyrs too, and deprecate even in death.
While he thus earnestly implored the aides of Heaven, and exhorted unto present Duty, he omitted not a third Expedient, the securing a Succession to the Church, thereby to preserve its future being. And this he did not onely in reference to the superiour order of Episcopacy, which it has pleased God now to secure by another more gracious method of his favour, and even miraculous goodness; but also in the inferiour attendance on the Altar: the later of which as it was an Enterprise suiting well with his heroick Minde, so was it no way answering his narrow Fortunes. The thing in his design was this; Whereas the ancient stock of Clergy-men were by this Edict in a manner rendered useless, and the Church was at best like the Roman State in its first beginning, res unius aetatis populus Virorum, a Nation of ancient persons hasting to their graves, who must in a few years be wasted; he projected by Pensions unto hopeful persons in either University, to maintain a Seminary of Youth instituted in Piety and Learning upon the sober Principles and old establishment of the Anglicane Church. In which work though the assistances he presum'd on fail'd in a great measure, yet somewhat not inconsiderable in this kinde by himself and friends he did atchieve, and kept on foot untill his death. In his instructions to them whom he employ'd in this affair, he gave in charge carefully to seek out such as were piously enclin'd, and to prefer that qualification before unsanctified good parts; adding this as a certain Maxime, that Exemplary Vertue must restore the Church.
And whereas that black Defeat at Worcester, raising the insolent Tyrant here unto that Greatness which almost out went the impudence of his hopes, made him to be feared by forein Nations almost as much as hated by his own, the Loyal Sufferers abroad became subjected to the worst effect of Banishment, and even there expell'd and driven from their flights: so paralleling in their Exigencies the most immediate objects of that Monster's fury. The Excellent Doctor, to whose diffusive Vertue the limits of the Nation were too streight a Circle, thought this a season to exert his Charity: accordingly, though this greatest duty were solemnly declared Treason, he then continued to send over several Sums for their relief.
Which practice of his, by the surprise of the person intrusted, being discovered to the Tyrant, he was alarm'd with the expectation of that usage which was then a certain consequent of such meritorious acts. But this adventure brought nothing of amazement or disturbance to the Doctor, his most importunate reflexion being onely this, that he seem'd to have gain'd an opportunity of saying something very home to that fierce Monster concerning his foul deeds, and to discourse the appropriate wayes remaining to alleviate at least, if not to expiate for them; which he purposed within himself to press to the highest advantage: and indeed this was the onely issue of that so threatning accident, God's restraining power interposing here, and exemplifying upon him what in others he was wont to observe, that they who least considered hazard in the doing of their duties fared still best.
And this success as it was indeed, and accordingly he frequently acknowledg'd it for, an eminent act of the Divine Providence; so we may likewise take it as a signal testimony of the commanding worth the Doctor had, which extorted a reverence to his person from that worst of men, and render'd him a Sanctuary, perhaps the onely one this Architect of Mischief stood in aw of, and even his Sacrilege preserv'd inviolate.
Nor did this danger being over, as with others in all likelihood it would have done, persuade to caution for the future; but with the wonted diligence that formerly he us'd, he immediately proceeded, and chearfully went on in the pursuit of his heroick Charity.
Amidst these diversions grew up the Labours of this Heroe, the issues of his Brain, being not onely midwiv'd into the world like natural births with torment and disease, but wrote, like Caesar's Commentaries, in Dangers and in War. And now besides the Replies which the importunities of Master Owen, Master Jeanes, and Master Tombs drew from him, W. S. continuing his loud clamors and impudent triumph at his own folly, the good Doctor suffer'd himself to be engag'd on that long Answer, which prov'd the last of that kind he made, excepting that single sheet put out a few moneths before his death, as a specimen to what desperate shifts the patrons of the Roman Cause were driven: for though some of his Friends advis'd him to remit that Divinity Buffoon to be answered in his own way by a slighter pen; he by no means would admit of the proposal, resolving it unfit that another should doe in his behalf what was indecent for himself to doe; and though there was no respect to be had of W. S. yet was the Sacred Cause to be manag'd with reverence and awful regard. While this was in hand the second Review of the Annotations came to light, as also the Exposition on the Book of Psalmes, and soon after the pacifick discourse of God's Grace and Decrees, ventilated between him and his dear Friend the reverend and most learned Dr Sanderson, now Lord Bishop of Lincoln, occasion'd by some Letters which had passed on that Subject between the said Doctor and the Reverend Dr Pierce. To this immediately succeeded the Latine Tract of Confirmation, in answer to the Exceptions of Mr Daillee, which was then prepar'd for the Press, though detain'd much longer upon prudential or rather charitative considerations, a respect to which was strictly had in all the Doctor's Writings; it being his care not onely to publish sober and convincing, but withal seasonable, useful Truths.
He was likewise enterprising a farther Commentary on the Old Testament, and begun on the Book of Proverbs, and finished a third part of it: But the Completion of this and all other the great intendments of the equally Learned, Pious, and indefatigable Author, receiv'd here a full period; it pleasing the Divine Providence to take to himself this high Example of all moral and Christian Excellencies, in a season when the Church and Nation would least have been depriv'd of his Aids towards the cementing of those breaches which then began to offer at a closure.
'Tis easily to be presum'd the Reader will not be disoblig'd, if we a while divert from this remaining sadder part of the undertaken Narrative, and entertain him with a Survey of the Personal accomplishments of the Excellent Doctor. The particulars whereof would not readily have faln into the thred of History, or at least had been disjoynted there, and under disadvantage; but will be made to stand in a much fairer light, when represented to the view by way of Character and Picture.
And therefore to this prospect we chearfully invite all eyes in whose esteem Vertue it self is lovely.
THE frame of his Body was such as suited with the noble use to which it was design'd, the entertaining a most pure and active Soul, but equally to the advantages of Strength and Comeliness. His Stature was of just height and all proportionate dimensions, avoiding the extremes of gross and meager, advantag'd by a graceful Carriage, at once most grave, and yet as much obliging. His Face carried dignity and attractives in it, scarce ever clouded with a frown, or so much as darkned by reservedness. His Eye was quick and sprightful, his Complexion clear and florid, so that (especially in his youth) he had the esteem of a very beauteous person; which was lessen'd only by the colour of his Hair: though if the sentence of other Ages and Climates be of value, that reasonably might be vouch'd as an accession to it.
To this outward Structure was joyn'd that strength of Constitution, patient of severest toil and hardship; insomuch that for the most part of his life, in the fiercest extremity of cold, he took no other advantage of a fire, then at the greatest distance that he could to look upon it. As to Diseases (till immoderate Study had wrought a change) he was in a manner onely lyable to Feavers, which too a constant temperance did in a great measure prevent, and still assisted to relieve and cure.
Next to his frame of Body, if we survey his inward Faculties, we shall finde them just unto the promises of his outward shape. His Sight was quick to an unusual degree; insomuch that if by chance he saw a knot of men, a flock of sheep or herd of cattel, being ingag'd in discourse, and not at all thinking of it, he would involuntarily cast up their number, which others after long delayes could hardly reckon. His Ear was accurate and tun'd to his harmonious Soul, so that having never learned to sing by book or study, he would exactly perform his part of many things to a Harpsicon or Theorbo; and frequently did so in his more vigorous years after the toyl and labour of the day, and before the remaining studies of the night. His Elocution was free and graceful, prepared at once to charm and to command his audience: and when with Preaching at his Country charge he had in some degree lost the due manage of his voice, His late Sacred Majesty, by taking notice of the change, became his Master of Musick, and reduc'd him to his ancient decent modulation; a kindness which the Doctor very gratefully acknowledg'd to his dying day, and reported not onely as an instance of the meek and tender condescensions of that gracious Prince, but improved to perswade others by so great an Example to that most friendly office of telling persons of their Faults, without which very commonly (as here it happen'd) men must be so far from amending their Errours, that 'tis morally impossible they should ever know them.
As to his more inferiour Faculties, we must allow the first place to his Invention, his richest, altogether unexhausted treasure, whose flowings were with that full torrent, that for several years, after his choice of Subject, which generally he had in prospect beforehand, a little meditation on the Saturday night made up his Sermon: but in the last twelve of his life, finding the recollection of his thoughts disturb his sleep, he remitted the particular care of the Composition and Method of his future Discourse to the Sunday morning, wherein an hours consideration fitted him to the office of the day. With the like swiftness he dispatch'd his Writings, usually composing faster then his Amanuensis, though a very dextrous person, could transcribe after him. His Considerations of present necessity concerning Episcopacy were drawn up after ten of clock at night in a friends Chamber, who professes, that sitting by all the while, he remembers not that he took off Pen from Paper till he had done; and the very next morning, it being fully approved by the Bishop of Salisbury, he sent it to the Press: to which work he could have no premeditation or second thoughts, he being that very night after Supper employ'd by the beforementioned Lord Bishop of Salisbury, now of Winchester, on that task. So likewise he began his Tract of Scandal at eleven at night, and finished it before he went to bed. Nor was this a peculiar or extraordinary thing with him, but most customary; five sheets having amidst his other diversions been sundry times his one day's work; adding to it so much of the night as he frequently borrowed from sleep and supper. And indeed such were his diversions, so many and so importunate, that notwithstanding this incredible ease of writing, 'tis hardly imaginable how he could compass the tith of what he did. For he that shall consider his laborious way, immerst in almost infinite quotations, to which the turning over books and consulting several editions was absolutely needful; his obligation to read not onely Classick Authors, but the more recent abortions of the Press, wherein he proved frequently concerned; his perusal of the writings of his Friends and Strangers intended to be publick; his review of his own Works, and correcting them with his own hand sheet by sheet as they came forth, which he did to all his later Tracts; his reception of Visits, whether of civility, or for resolution of Conscience, or information in points of difficulty, which were numerous, and great devourers of his time; his agency for men of quality, providing them Schoolmasters for their Children, and Chaplains in their houses, in which affair he had set up a kinde of Office of address; his general correspondencies by Letter, whereof some cost him 10, others 20, 30, 40, nay 60 sheets of paper, and ever took up two dayes of the Week entirely to themselves; the time exhausted by his sicknesses, which in the later years of his life gave him but short and seldom truce, and alwayes made it necessary for him not to stir from his chair, or so much as read a letter for two hours after every meal, failance wherein being certainly reveng'd by a fit of the Gout; his not onely constant preaching and instructing the Family where he was, and his visiting the sick both there and in the Neighbourhood, but amidst all, his sure returns of Prayer, so frequent and so constant as certainly to challenge to themselves a great portion of the day: he, I say, that shall compute and summe up this, the particulars whereof are nakedly set down without any straining of the truth or flourish of expression, must be to seek what point of vacant time remain'd yet undisposed; I do not say to write books, but even to breath and rest a little in.
After a serious reflexion on the premisses, and full debate thereon, the account given by that excellent person who had the happiness of being the nearest and most constant witness of the before-recited severals, seems, the best and chiefly satisfactory that possibly can be made; that he gain'd time for his writing Books by the time he spent in Prayer, whilest (a more then ordinary assistance attending his Devotions) his Closet prov'd his Library, and he studied most upon his knees.
As to his Memory, 'twas serviceable, but not officious; faithful to things and business, but unwillingly retaining the contexture and punctualities of words: which defect he frequently lamented, it being harder with him to get one Sermon by heart then to pen twenty.
His way of Speech and faculty of communicating notions was sufficiently happy, having onely this best kind of defect, exuberance and surplusage of plenty, the tide and torrent of his matter being not easily confined by periods; whereby his style, though round and comprehensive, was incumbred sometimes by Parentheses, and became difficult to vulgar understandings: but by the use of writing, and his desire to accommodate himself to all capacities, he in his later years had master'd that defect, which was so slight, that notwithstanding it, he deserved from (the most accurate Judge and greatest Master of English Rhetorick which this age hath given) His late Sacred Majesty this Character and Testimony, That he was the most natural Orator he ever heard.
His Judgement, as in it self the highest Faculty, so was it the most eminent among his natural endowments: for though the finding out the similitudes of different things, wherein the Phansie is conversant, is usually a bar to the discerning the disparities of similar appearances, which is the business of Discretion, and that store of notions which is laid up in Memory assists rather Confusion then Choice, upon which grounds the greatest Clerks are frequently not the wisest men; He had, to his sufficient Memory and incomparable Invention, a clear discerning Judgement; and that not onely in Scholastical affairs and points of Learning, which the arguings, and besides them the designment of his writings manifest beyond dispute, but in the concerns of publick nature both of Church and State, wherein his guesse was usually as near to Prophecy as any mans; as also in the little mysteries of private manage, by which upon occasion he has unravell'd the studied cheats of great Artificers in that liberal Science, wherein particularly he vindicated a person of Honour for whom he was intrusted, and assisted frequently his friends in their domestick intercurrent difficulties.
As to acquir'd habits and abilities in Learning, his Writings having given the World sufficient account of them, there remains onely to observe, that the range and compass of his knowledge fill'd the whole Circle of the Arts, and reach'd those severals which single do exact an entire man unto themselves, and full age. To be accurate in the Grammar and idioms of the Tongues, and then as a Rhetorician to make all their graces serve his Eloquence; to have traverst ancient, and yet be no stranger in modern Writers; to be studied in Philosophy, and familiarly vers'd in all the politer Classick Authors; to be learn'd in School-divinity, and a master in Church-antiquity, perfect and ready in the sense of Fathers, Councils, Ecclesiastical Historians and Liturgicks; to have devour'd so much and yet digested it, is a rarity in nature and in diligence which has but few Examples.
But after all we must take leave to say, and do it upon sober recollection, that the Doctor's Learning was the least thing in him; the Scholar was here less eminent then the Christian: His Speculative knowledge, that gave light to the most dark and difficult proposals, became eclipsed by the more dazling lustre of his Practick. In the Catalogue of his Vertues, his Chastity and Temperance may claim the earliest place, as being the Sacrists to the rest, and in him were therefore onely not the greatest of his Excellencies, because every thing else was so.
And first, his chaste thoughts, words and carriage so disciplin'd his lower faculties, as not onely restrain'd through all the heats of youth, made more then usually importunate by the full vigour of a high and sanguine constitution, (which his escape he gratefully referr'd unto the onely mercy of Almighty God) but gave a detestation of all those verbal follies, that have not onely the allowance of being harmless mirth, but the repute of wit and gaiety of humor: so that the scurrilous jest could sooner obtain his tears in penance for it, then the approbation of a smile; and all approaches to this sin he look'd upon not onely with an utter disallowance in his Will, but a kinde of natural abhorrence and antipathy in his lower outward faculties.
In his first remove to Pensehurst he was perswaded by his friends that the Matrimonial state was needful to the bearing off those houshold cares and other intercurrent troubles which his condition then brought with it; and on this ground he gave some ear to their advices: which he did then more readily, for that there was a person represented to him, of whose Vertue as well as other more-usually-desired accomplishments he had been long before well satisfied. But being hindred several times by little unexpected accidents, he finally laid down all his pretensions upon a ground of perfect self-denial; being inform'd that one of a fairer fortune and higher quality then his was, or else was like to be, and consequently one who in common account would prove the better match, had kindness for her. Having thus resolv'd, the charity of his Mother, who undertook the manage of his Family, became a seasonable assistant and expedient in this single state; till after several years her age making those cares too great a burthen for her shoulders, he again was induc'd to resume his thoughts of Marriage. But the National disturbances (that afterwards brake out in War and Ruine) appearing then in ferment, he was again diverted by recollecting the Apostles advice, 1 Cor. 7. 26. enforc'd upon his thoughts by the reading of St Jerom's Epistle to Agereuchia, where after glorious Elogies of Marriage, the Father concluded in an earnest dehortation from it, upon a representation of a like face of things, the Goths then breaking into Italy, as they before had done into the other near parts of the Roman Empire, and filling all with slaughter, cruelty and ruine. Upon which prospect the good Doctor casting a serious Eye, and with prophetick sorrows and misgivings fearing a parallel in this our Nation, the second time deposited his conjugal intendments, and thenceforth courted and espoused (what he preserv'd inviolate) unto his death the more eminent perfection of spotless Virgin Chastity.
His Appetite was good, but the restraint of it was very eminent and extraordinary; for his Diet was of the plainest meats, and commonly not onely his dishes, but the parts of them were such as most others would refuse. Sauces he scarce ever tasted of, but often express'd it his wonder how rational Creatures should eat for any thing but health, since he that did eat or drink that which might cause a fit of the Stone or Gout, though a year after, therein unman'd himself, and acted as a beast. So that his self-denials were quite contrary to the usual ones; for considering the time lost in Eating, and the vacancy succeeding it, his meals were the greatest pressure, and his fasting-day the most sensual part of his Week.
In the time of his full and more vigorous health he seldom did eat or drink more then once in twenty four hours, and some Fruit towards night; and two dayes in every week, and in Lent and Ember-week three dayes, he eat but once in thirty six. Nor did he ever with so much regret submit unto any prescript, as when his Physicians, after his great Feaver that he had in Oxford, requir'd him to eat Suppers. Which severity of injunction he soon shook off, and returned to his beloved abstinence, untill renew'd infirmities brought him back unto the penance of more indulgence to himself.
As he had the greatest indifference to what he eat, so had he the greatest observation too, especially when it came to be made point of diet and prescription; for in this case he was most exact, never tasting of any prohibited meats, though some of them had before the advantage of being customary towards their seeming necessary. And herein his palate was so tractable and subdued to the dictates of an higher choice, that he really thought no meat pleasant, but in proportion to its wholesomeness: even his beloved Apples he would oft say he would totally abandon, as soon as they should appear to be no more then barely innocent, and not of use. And if by chance or inadvertency he had at any time tasted of an interdicted dish, as soon as he perceived it, he discovered a dislike both with himself and what he had been surpriz'd with.
The Carving at the Table he alwayes made his province, which he said he did as a diversion to keep him from eating over-much: but certainly that practice had another more immediate cause, a natural distributiveness of humour, and a desire to be employed in the relief of every kinde of want of every person. The report, and much more the sight, of a luxurious feeder would turn his Stomack, so that he was in more danger to be sick with other's Surfets then his own; Charity seeming a part of his complexion, while he perform'd a natural spontaneous penance for his neighbours Vice, as well as a deliberate one in sorrowing for it.
His temperance in Sleep resembled that of his meats, Midnight being the usual time of his going to rest, and four or five, and very rarely six, the hour of his rising. There was scarce any thing he resented so much in his infirmities and multiplied diseases as their having abridg'd him of his night-studies, professing thereby he lost not onely his greatest pleasure, but highest advantage in reference to business. And in his later time of weakness, when to take benefit of a gentle breathing sweat, which usually came in the morning, he had been engag'd by his Physician to continue in bed till it was over; and upon complaint of costiveness he was on the other side directed to rise somewhat early in the morning; this later injunction he look'd upon as a mere rescue and deliverance, often mentioning it with thanks, as if it had been an eminent favour done him.
His disposal of himself in the other parts of time was to perpetual industry and diligence: he not onely avoided, but bore a perfect hate, and seem'd to have a forcible antipathy to Idleness, and scarcely recommended any thing in his advices with that concern and vigour, as to be furnish'd alwayes with somewhat to doe. This he propos'd as the best expedient both for innocence and pleasure; assuring that no burthen is more heavie or temptation more dangerous, then to have time lye on ones hand; the idle man's brain being not onely (as he worded it) the Devils shop, but his kingdome too, a model of and an appendage unto hell, a place given up to torment and to mischief. Besides those portions of time which the necessities of nature and of civil life extorted from him, there was not a minute of the day which he left vacant. When he walked abroad, which he did not so much to recreate himself, as to obey the prescripts of his Physician, he never fail'd to take a book with him, and read all the while: And in his Chamber also he had one lay constantly open, out of which his Servant read to him while he was dressing and undressing; by which one piece of husbandry in short space he dispatch'd several considerable Volumes.
His way was still to cast into paper all his Observations, and direct them to his present purposes; wherein he had an incredible dexterity, scarce ever reading any thing which he did not make subservient in one kinde or other. He was us'd to say, he could not abide to talk with himself, and therefore was so diligently provided of that which he call'd better company. In his Sicknesses, if they were not so violent to make the recollection of thoughts impossible, he never intermitted study, but rather re-inforc'd it then as the most appropriate revulsive and diversion of pain. The Gout by its most frequent and importunate returns exceeded his other maladies; in which although the first most furious assaults were sure to beat him from his study, and for a time confine him to his bed, yet as soon as he had recovered his chair, he resum'd his pen too, and ply'd it as hard as though he had ail'd nothing.
Next to downright Idleness he dislik'd slow and dilatory undertakings, thinking it a great folly to spend that time in gazing upon business which should have served for the doing of it. In his own practice he never consider'd longer then till he could discern whether the thing proposed was fit or not: when that was seen, he immediately set to work. When he had perfected one business, he could not endure to have his thoughts lye fallow, but was presently consulting what next to set about.
But when we reckon up and audit the expences of the Doctor's Time, we cannot pass his constant tribute of it paid by him to Heaven in the offices of Prayer; which took up so liberal proportions of each day unto it's self for the ten last years of his life, and probably the preceding. Besides occasional and supernumerary addresses, his certain perpetual returns exceeded David's seven times a day. As-soon as he was ready (which was usually early) he prayed in his Chamber with his Servant, in a peculiar form composed for that purpose. After this he retired to his own more secret Devotions in his Closet. Betwixt ten and eleven in the morning he had a solemn intercession in reference to the National Calamities: to this after a little distance succeeded the Morning Office of the Church, which he particularly desired to perform in his own person, and would by no means accept the ease of having it read by any other. In the afternoon he had another hour of private prayer, which on Sundayes he enlarg'd, and so religiously observed, that if any necessary business or charity had diverted him at the usual time, he repair'd his Soul at the cost of his Body, and, notwithstanding the injunctions of his Physicians, which in other cases he was careful to obey, spent the supper-time therein. About five of the clock the solemn private Prayers for the Nation and the Evening Service of the Church return'd. At bed-time his private Prayers closed the Day: and after all even the Night was not without its Office, the LI Psalm being his design'd midnight entertainment.
In his Prayers, as his Attention was fixt and steddy, so was it inflam'd with passionate fervors, insomuch that very frequently his transport threw him prostrate on the Earth; his tears also would interrupt his words: the later happening not onely upon the pungent exigencies of present or impending Judgements, but in the common Service of the Church; which, notwithstanding his concealments, being taken notice of by a person of good sufficiency, once a member of his House in Oxford, that became of late years a Proselyte to the new extemporary way, he, among his other Topicks whereby he thought to disparage set Forms, us'd in discourse to urge the heartless coldness of them, and to adorn his triumph, would make it his solemn wonder how a person of so good parts as Dr Hammond was certainly master of, could finde motive for his tears in the confession in the beginning of the Liturgy. So much does Passion and mis-guided Zeal transport the most sensible, that this man, otherwise sagacious enough, never consider'd how ill an instance he had made; which shew'd 'twas the coldness of the Votary, and not the Prayer, that was in fault, whenever fervor was deficient at the publick Office of the Church.
The Charity and extent of his Prayers was as exuberant as the Zeal and fervour: he thought it very unreasonable that our Intercessions should not be as universal as our Saviours Redemption was; and would complain of that thrift and narrowness of minde to which we are so prone, confining our Care either to our selves and relatives, or at most to those little angles of the world that most immediately concern'd us, and which on due account bear very low proportions to the whole. There was no emergent distress, however remote, but it inlarg'd his Litany; every years harvest and new birth of mischiefs, which for several ones past constantly fell on the Orthodox and Loyal party in the Nation, remov'd it self from the sanguinary Edicts of the Tyrant, to be transcrib'd and expiated by his pathetical office of Devotion. In which Calendar and Rubrick the thirtieth of January was sure to have a very solemn place, and a peculiar Service prepar'd for it.
Nor did he onely take to heart general National concernments, but even the more private Exigencies of the sick and weak had a staple interest in his Prayers. Among all which none had so liberal a part as they that merited them least, yet wanted them most; his and (what was usually the same thing) the Churches and God's Enemies. He never thought he had assur'd his forgiveness of injuries, unless he returned good for them; and though other opportunities of this best kinde of retaliation might fail him, that of his intercessions never did.
Three persons there were who above all men by unworthy malice and impotent virulence had highly disobliged him; but he in recompence of their guilt had a peculiar dayly Prayer purposely in their behalf: and though in the openness of his Conversation with his most intimate acquaintance he confest thus much, yet he never nam'd the persons, though probably that was the onely thing which he conceal'd; it being his method to withhold nothing, especially of confidence or privacy, from one he own'd as Friend.
And having mentioned the name of Friend, however incidentally, we must not leave it without homage; Friendship being the next sacred thing unto Religion in the apprehensions of our Excellent Doctor, a Vertue of which he was a passionate lover, and with which he ever seem'd to have contracted Friendship. The union of Mindes thereby produced he judg'd the utmost point of humane Happiness, the very best production that Nature has in store, or grows from earth. So that with compassion he reflected on their ignorance who were strangers to it, saying that such must needs lead a pitiful insipid herb-John-like life.
Upon this ground he us'd with all industrious art to recommend and propagate Friendship unto others; and where he saw several persons that he judg'd capable of being made acquainted to mutual advantage, he would contrive that league; and where himself had kindness unto any so allied, he would still enjoyn them to be kinder to each other then to him; besides, he still labour'd to make all his friends endeared to each of them; resolving it to be an Errour bottomed on the common narrowness of Soul which represented Amity like sensual love, to admit no rivals, confin'd unto two persons.
When he ever happen'd to see or be in company with such as had an intimate and hearty kindness for each other, he would be much transported in the contemplation of it, and where it was seasonable, would openly acknowledge that his satisfaction.
In the list and number of his Friends there chanced to be three persons, who having in their youth contracted a strict intimacy, had undertaken the same profession; and accordingly had the same common studies and designments, and with these the opportunity through the late Troubles to live in view of each other: whom for that reason he was us'd with an obliging envy to pronounce the most happy men the Nation had.
Accordingly he profest that for his particular he had no such way of enjoying any thing as by reflexion from the person whom he loved: so that his friend's being happy was the readiest way to make him so. Therefore when one eminently near to him in that relation was careless of health, his most pressing argument was his complaint of unkindness to him. And this way of measuring felicities was so natural to him, that it would occur even in the most trivial instances: when there has been any thing at the Table peculiarly wholesome in relation to his infirmities, if his Friend, who was in a like weak condition, forbare to eat of it in civility to him, he would with vehemence of grief resent it as his singular unhappiness after so many professions not to be believed, that he had a thousand times rather that his friend should have that which was conducible to health, then to have it himself; and then assum'd, that if this were believ'd, it were impossible any one should attempt to express kindness by robbing him of his greatest pleasure.
The principal thing he contracted for in Friendship was a free use of mutual Admonition; which he confin'd not to the grosser guilts which enemies and common fame were likely to observe and minde men of, but extended it unto prudential failings, indecencies, and even suspicious and barely doubtful actions: nay beyond that, unto those vertuous ones which might have been improv'd and render'd better. He was us'd to say, it was a poor designe of Friendship to keep the person he admitted to his breast onely from being scandalous, as if the Physician should endeavour onely to secure his patient from the Plague. And what he thus articled for, he punctually himself perform'd, and exacted back again to be returned unto himself.
And if for any while he observ'd that no remembrance had been offer'd to him, he grew afraid and almost jealous of the omission, suspecting that the Courtier had supplanted the Friend, and therefore earnestly inforc'd the obligation of being faithful in this point: and when with much adoe somewhat of advertisement was pick'd up, he receiv'd it alwaies as huge kindeness; and though the whole ground of it happen'd to be mistake, yet he still return'd most affectionate thanks.
His good will when plac'd on any was so fix'd and rooted, that even supervening Vice, to which he had the greatest detestation imaginable, could not easily remove it, the abhorrencie of their Guilts leaving not onely a charity but tenderness to their Persons; and, as he has profest, his concernment rather encreas'd then lessened by this means, compassion being in that instance added unto love. There were but two things which (he would say) were apt to give check to his affections, Pride and Falseness; where he saw these predominant, he thought he could never be a friend to any purpose, because he could never hope to do any good; yet even there he would intend his Prayers, so much the more by how much the less he could doe besides. But where he saw a malleable honest temper, a Jacob's plain simplicity, nothing could there discourage him; and however inadvertency or passion, or haply some worse ingredient, might frustrate his designe, he would attend the mollia tempora, as he call'd them, those gentle and more treatable opportunities which might at last be offer'd. He so much abhorr'd artifice and cunning, that he had prejudice to all concealments and pretensions. He us'd to say he hated a Non-causa, and he had a strange sagacity in discovering it. When any with much circumlocution and contrivance had endeavour'd to shadow their main drift and purpose, he would immediately look through all those mists, and where 'twas in any degree seasonable, would make it appear he did so: His charity of fraternal correption having onely this caution or restraint, the hearer's interest, of which he judg'd, that when advice did not doe good, 'twas hardly separable from doing harm; and on this ground sometimes he did desist. But wheresoe're he gave an admonition, he prefac'd it alwaies with such demonstrations of tenderness and good will as could not fail to convince of the affectionate kindness with which 'twas sent, though it could not of the convenience or necessity to embrace it. And this he gave as a general rule, and enforc'd by his Example, never to reprove in anger, or the least appearance of it. If the passion were real, that then was evidently a fault, and the guilty person most unfit to be a judge: if it were resemblance onely, yet even that would be so like to guilt, as probably to divert the offender from the consideration of his failance to fasten on his Monitor, and make him think he was chid not because he was in fault, but because the other was angry.
Indeed the person who would not be some way mov'd with his advices must be strangely insensate and ill-natur'd. Though his Exhortations had as much evidence and weight as words could give them, he had over and above a great advantage in his maner of speaking: His little phrase, Don't be simple, had more power to charm a passion then long harangues from others; and very many who lov'd not Piety in it self, nor to be troubled with the news of it, would be well pleas'd to be invited and advis'd by him, and venerated the same matter in his language which they have derided in anothers.
He would say, he delighted to be lov'd, not reverenc'd; thinking that where there was much of the latter, there could not be enough of the former; somewhat of restraint and distance attending on the one, which was not well consistent with the perfect freedome requisite to the other. But as he was thus no friend to ceremonious respect, he was an open enemy to Flattery, especially from a Friend, from whom he started to meet the slightest appearance of that servile kindness. Having upon occasion communicated a purpose against which there happen'd to lye some objections, they being by a friend of his represented to him, he immediately was convinced, and assumed other Counsels. But in process of discourse it happen'd something fell in that brought to minde a passage of a late Sermon of the Doctor's, which that person having been affected with, innocently mentioned such apprehensions of it, and so past on to talk of other matters. The next day the Doctor having recollected that probably the approbation given to the passage of the Sermon might be an after-design to allay the plain-dealing which preceded it, expostulated his surmise, protesting that nothing in the world could more avert his love and deeply disoblige him, then such unfaithfulness. But being assur'd that there was no such art or contrivance meant, he gladly found and readily yielded himself to have been mistaken. In other cases he was no way inclinable to entertain doubts of his friends kindness: but if any irregularity chanc'd to intervene, and cause misapprehensions, he gave them not leave to root and fasten by concealment, but immediately produc'd his ground of jealousy; and exacted the like measure back again, if his own proceedings fell at any time under a doubtful or unkinde appearance. This he thought a justice essential to Friendship, without which it could not possibly subsist: For we think not fit to condemn the most notorious Malefactor before he hath had licence to propose his plea; and sure 'tis more strangely barbarous to treat a Friend, or rather Friendship it self, with less regard.
To the performances of friendship he hated all mercenary returns, whereof he was so jealous, as hardly to leave place for gratitude. Love, he said, was built upon the union and similitude of mindes, and not the bribery of gifts and benefits.
So generous was he herein, that he has oft profest, he admitted retributions of good turns, yet not so much on any score, as that his Friend might have the pleasure of being kinde.
There was a person of quality, a great and long sufferer in the late times of tryal, to whom the Doctor had frequently sent supplies, and continued so to doe, till there happened at last a change in the condition of the correspondent, such a one as, if it did not supersede the need of farther assistance, yet gave promise of an approaching affluence; whereupon the Doctor fear'd the adding a new obligation in this conjuncture of affairs might seem a piece of design rather then kindeness or charity: and though this suggestion was not of force to divert his purpose, it prov'd sufficient to suspend it, till by inquiry he found his design'd present would be a relief, and then he thought it an impertinence to consider what it could be call'd besides.
But doing good to relatives or being kind unto acquaintance were low expressions of this Vertue we exhibit. Misery and Want, where-ere he met with them, sufficiently endear'd the Object. His Alms was as exuberant as his Love; and in Calamities to the Exigence he never was a stranger, whatever he might be to the man that suffer'd.
And here the first preparative was to leave himself no motive to resist or slight the opportunities of giving; which he compass'd by being a Steward to himself as well as unto God, and parting still with the propriety of a set portion of his Estate, that when at any time he relieved the wants of any, he might become no whit the poorer by his gift, have onely the content of giving, and the ease of being rid of keeping anothers money. The rate and summe of what he thus devoted was the tenth of all his income; wherein he was so strictly punctual, that commonly the first thing he did was to compute and separate the poor mans share. To this he added every week five shillings, which had been his lowest proportion in the heat of the War in Oxford, when he liv'd upon his Pensehurst stock, and had no visible means or almost possibility of supply. Over and above this he compleated the devotions of his weekly Fast by joyning Alms thereto, and adding twenty shillings to the poor man's heap.
These were his debts to Charity, the establish'd fixt revenue of the indigent; in the dispensation of which he was so religiously careful, that if at any time he happen'd to be in doubt whether he had set apart his charitable proportions, he alwaies past sentence against himself, resolving it much better to run the hazard of having pai'd the same debt twice, then to incurre the possibility of not having done it once. But beyond these he had his freewill offerings, and those proportion'd more by the occasion of giving, then the surplusage he had to give. His poor man's bag had so many mouths, and those so often open'd, that it frequently became quite empty: but its being so never diverted him from relieving any that appear'd in need; for in such seasons he chose to give in more liberal proportions then at others.
In the time of the War at Oxford, to pass by other lesser Reliefs, and many great ones, which his industrious concealment has preserv'd from all notice of the most diligent enquiry, though he were then at a very low ebbe, he furnish'd an indigent friend with sixty pound, which never was repai'd him: as also upon another score he parted with twenty pound, and another considerable summe besides that: and to one in distress about the same time and on the same occasion an hundred pound.
In stead of hiding his face from the poor, 'twas his practice still to seek for theirs. Those persons whom he trusted with (his greatest secret and greatest business) his Charity, seldome had recourse to him, but he would make enquiry for new Pensioners: and though he had in several parts of the Nation those whom he employ'd to finde out indigent persons, and dispose his largess to them, and though the Tyranny that then prevail'd made every day store of such; his covetous bounty still grasp'd for more. Besides his ordinary provision for the neighbouring poor, and those that came to look him out in his retirement, (which were not few; for that the Liberal man dwels alwaies in the Road) his Catalogue had an especial place for sequestred Divines, their Wives and Orphans, for young Students in the Universities, and also those Divines that were abroad in Banishment: Where over and above his frequent occasional reliefs to the last of these, the exil'd Clergy, besides what he procur'd from others, he sent constantly over year by year a very considerable Summe, such a one as men of far greater revenues do not use upon any occasion to put into the Corban, and give away, much less as a troublesome excrescence every year prune off, and cast from their Estates.
Now if we enquire into the stock and fountain that was to feed all these disbursements, 'twas at his flight from Pensehurst barely three hundred pounds; which, at the sale of a Lease left him for his Portion from his Father, and the assistance of his Prebend in Christ-church, after all his lavish Charities during those years, was near upon a thousand. The taking of Use though he judg'd lawful, yet never approv'd by practice, but lent still gratis both to friends and strangers. The onely other way he had of income was the buying of Leases for years, and the printing of his Books; from the later of which when there is defaulk'd the many whole Editions he had nothing for, the charge he was at in the sending of his Copies before he printed them unto his Friends for their animadversions and advices, his sending them sheet by sheet when printed, and surveying the revises, and the great numbers he gave away to his acquaintance, it will appear that the remainder was but a slight matter. As for private contributions or assistance of that kinde, he had never any: for though there were many who would gladly have made those oblations, yet he industriously prevented them by publick avowing that he needed not. In which refusal he was so peremptory, that when being in Oxford made Prisoner at the Sign of the Bear, thence to be sent immediately to Wallingford Castle, a Gentleman, perfectly a stranger to him, and coming by chance to the Inne, and hearing of his condition, having fifty pieces by him, would needs have presented them to him; though the Doctor had before him the barbarous usage of his brethren, clap'd on Shipboord under hatches, the like to which he might probably enough meet with; and though this extraordinary occurrence seem'd to carry with it somewhat of providential designment; yet he wholly refus'd the offer, as afterwards he did a far greater Summe from a person of honour that courted him with it. Onely one twenty pound he was surpris'd by, and thought fit to accept, which after some dispute with himself he did upon these two grounds: first, that he might not gratifie the pride from whence he was us'd to say mens reluctancies to receive benefits proceeded; and secondly, that he might not give the Gentleman the discomfiture of seeing he had made an unseasonable Offer.
But with all this disproportioned Expence unto Revenue (a thing which after a very deliberate and strict enquiry remaines riddle still, and an event next door to miracle) the Doctor dayly improv'd in his Estate, and grew in spight of all his Liberality rich, being worth at the time of his death about 1500 l. which yet we are not to marvel should be strange to us, since it was so to the Doctor himself, who often profest to wonder at it, and thereupon would apply this Axiome, that Half is more then the whole, his mean Revenue by being scattered in the worst of times growing upon him, when others that had great ones, by griping made them less, and grew stark beggars.
As the Doctor was thus charitable, so was he gentile and liberal; his openness of hand in Secular occasions was proportionable to that in Sacred. When any one had sent him a slight present of Apples or the like, his reward would usually much exceed the value; and he would be so well pleased to have such an occasion of giving to a servant, saying, Alas, poor Soul, I warrant he is glad of this little matter, that this seem'd a part of the sender's Courtesy. Thus if there happen'd any other occasion of giving, or of gratifying or advancing publick works, (for instance the great Bible, upon which he was out 50 l. and re-imburst himself only by selling two Copies) he would be sure to doe it at a free and highly-ingenuous rate. So that he was sparing onely to himself, and that upon no other principle, but thereby to be liberal to those he lov'd better then himself, the necessitous and poor. A pregnant instance whereof may be, that the Doctor upon occasion calculating his Expences on himself, found them to be not above five pound in the year.
Besides this, he had a further impediment to Riches, an easiness which alone has wasted other mens estates; he commonly making those he dealt with their own arbitrators, and if they seriously profess'd they could go no higher, he descended to their termes, saying commonly, that this trash was not worth much ado. And beyond this he was so careless after bargains, that he never receiv'd script of paper of any to whom he lent, nor Bond of any for performance of Covenants, till very lately from two persons, when he found it necessary to use that method with them. He was us'd to say, that if he thought men Knaves, he would not deal with them; and if indeed they were so, it was not all his Circumspection that could prevent a Cheat: On the other side, if they were honest, there needed no such caution. And possibly if we consider the whole matter, there was not such imprudence in the manage as at first appears: for Bonds would have signified little to him, who in the best times would scarce have put them in suit; but would certainly have starv'd before he would have made an application to those Judicatories which of late prevail'd, and usurp'd the protection as well as the possession of mens rights, and were injurious not onely in their Oppressions but Reliefs.
In those black daies, being charg'd with the debt of about 50 or 60. l. formerly by him paid, being offer'd a Release if he would take his Oath of Payment, he thought the condition too unequal, and was resolv'd to double his payment rather then perform it: but a farther enquiry having clear'd the Account, he incurr'd not that penalty.
To a Friend of his who by the falseness of a correspondent whom he trusted was reduc'd to some extremity, and enquir'd what course he took to scape such usage, the Doctor wrote as follows;
To your doubt concerning my self, I thank God I am able to answer you, that I never suffer'd in my life for want of hand or seal, but think I have far'd much better then they that have alwaies been careful to secure themselves by these cautions. I remember I was wont to reproach an honest fellow-Prebend of mine, that whensoever a Siege was near, alwaies sent away what he most valued to some other Garrison or Friend, and seldom ever met with any again, the sollicitude was still their ruine: Whereas I venturing my self and my Cabinet in the same bottom, never lost any thing of this kind. And the like I have practis'd in this other Instance. Whom I trusted to be my friend, all I had was in his power, and by God's blessing I was never deceived in my trust.
And here amidst all these unlikelihoods and seeming impossibilities Riches thrust themselves upon him, and would take no refusal: it pleasing God, since he had exemplified the advices of his Practical Catechisme to the duties of Alms and charitable distributions, in him also to make good and signally exemplifie the assurance he there and elswhere made in the behalf of Almighty God upon such performance, the giving affluence of temporal wealth. Nor was he the single instance of this truth; as he had Proselytes to the speculative verity, he had Partisans also of the effect and real issue of it. About four years since a person of good Estate, and without charge of Children, coming to visit the Doctor, among other discourse happen'd to speak of the late Dean of Worcester, Dr Potter (whose memory, for his remarkable Charity and all other excellencies befitting his Profession and Dignity in the Church, is precious.) This Gentleman there related, that formerly enquiring of the Dean how it was possible for one that had so great a charge of Children, was so hospitable in his Entertainment and profuse in Liberality, not onely to subsist, but to grow rich; he answered, that several years before he happen'd to be present at a Sermon at St Paul's Cross, where the Preacher recommending the Duty of Almes and plentiful giving, assured his Auditory that that was the certainest way to compass riches. He moved therewith, thenceforward resolv'd diligently to follow the counsel and expect the issue; which was such as now created so much wonder. It fortun'd that at that time when this was telling, the Doctor's Douterai frostideV were newly come out, and therewith this Sermon of the Poor man's tithing. He therefore willing to improve the opportunity, confest that he himself was that Preacher which Doctor Potter referr'd to, and that there was the very Sermon: which immediately giving to this Visitant, he desir'd Almighty God it might have the like effect on him; and so after a short civility dismist him.
As to the way and very manner of his Charity, even that was a part of his donation and largess. One great care of his was to dispose of his reliefs so as to be most seasonable; to which purpose he had his spies and agents still imployed to give him punctual notice of the occurrents in their several stations. His next endeavour was to dispense them so as to be most endearing. To persons that had been of quality he consulted to relieve their modesty as well as needs, taking order they should rather finde then receive Alms; and knowing well they were provided for, should not yet be able to guess by what means they were so. To those who were assisted immediately from his hand, he over and above bestow'd the charities of his familiar and hearty kindness: in the expressiveness of which he was not onely assisted by his habitual humility, or positive opinion, upon which he was us'd to say that 'twas a most unreasonable and unchristian thing to despise any one for his poverty; but much more by the pleasure and transport which the very act of giving transfus'd into him: which whosoever noted, stood in need of no other proof of the truth of his usual affirmation, that 'Twas one of the greatest sensualities in the World to give. Upon which consideration he often took occasion to magnifie the exceeding indulgence of God, that had annex'd future rewards to that which was so amply its own recompence. Another circumstance in the Doctor's Liberality not to be pass'd over was his choice of what he gave; his care that it should not be of things vile and refuse, but of the very best he had. It happen'd that a Servant in the family being troubled with the Gout, the Doctor gave order that he should have some of the plaister which he us'd in the like extremity: but the store of that being almost spent, the person intrusted in this office gave of another sort, which was of somewhat less reputation. Which practice the Doctor within a while coming to know, was extremely troubled at it, and complain'd of that unseasonable kindeness unto him, which disregarded the pressing interests and wants of another person, and thereby gave him a disquiet parallel to that which a fit of the Gout would have done.
But besides this of giving, the Alms of lending had an eminent place in the practice as well as judgement of the Doctor. When he saw a man honest and industrious, he would trust him with a Summe, and let him pay it again at such times and in such proportions as he found himself able: withall when he did so, he would adde his Counsel too, examine the persons condition, and contrive with him how the present Summe might be most advantageously dispos'd; still closing the discourse with Prayer for God's blessing, and after that dismissing him with infinite affability and kindness. In which performance as he was exuberant to all, so most especially to such as were of an inferiour degree; giving this for a Rule to those of his friends that were of estate and quality, to treat their poor Neighbours with such a chearfulness, that they may be glad to have met with them. And as upon the grounds of his most gentile and obliging humanity he never suffer'd any body to wait that came to speak with him, though upon a mere visit, but broke off his beloved studies, upon which his intention was so great, that he extremely grudg'd to be interrupted by any bodily concernment of his own, and so would often intermit his prescribed walks and Suppers in pursuance of it: so with a more exceeding alacrity he came down when it was told him that a poor body would speak with him. Such of all others he lov'd not to delay; and so much he desired that others should doe the same, that when the Lady of the House, diverted either by the attractives of his discourse, or some other occasion, delay'd the clients of her Charity in Almes, or that other most commendable one in Surgery, he in his friendly way would chide her out of the room.
As Poverty thus recommended to the Doctor's care and kindness, in an especial manner it did so when Piety was added to it: upon which score a mean person in the Neighbourhood, one Houseman, a Weaver by trade, but by weakness disabled much to follow that or any other employment, was extremely his favorite. Him he us'd with a most affectionate freedome, gave him several of his Books, and examined his progress in them; invited him, nay importun'd him, still to come to him for whatever he needed, and at his death left him ten pounds as a Legacy. A little before which fatal time, He and the Lady P. being walking, Houseman happen'd to come by, to whom after the Doctor had talked a while in his usual friendly manner, he let him pass; yet soon after call'd him with these words, Houseman, if it should please God that I should be taken from this place, let me make a bargain between my Lady and you, that you be sure to come to her with the same freedome you would to me for any thing you want: and so with a most tender kindeness gave his benediction. Then turning to the Lady, said, Will you not think it strange I should be more affected for parting from Houseman then from you? His treating the poor man when he came to visit him in his Sickness was parallel hereto in all respects.
Such another Acquaintance he had at Pensehurst, one Sexton, whom he likewise remembred in his Will, and to whom he was us'd to send his more practical Books, and to write extreme kind Letters, particularly enquiring of the condition of himself and Children: and when he heard he had a boy fit to put out to School, allow'd him a pension to that purpose: and also with great contentment receiv'd from him his hearty, though scarce legible, returns.
Nor will this treatment from the Doctor seem any thing strange to them that shall consider how low a rate he put upon those usual distinctives, Birth or Riches; and withal how high a value on the Souls of men: for them he had so unmanageable a passion, that it often broke out into words of this effect, which had with them still in the delivery an extraordinary vehemence, O what a glorious thing, how rich a prize for the expence of a man's whole life were it to be the instrument of rescuing any one Soul? Accordingly in the pursuit of this designe he not onely wasted himself in perpetual toil of study, but most diligently attended the Offices of his Calling, reading daily the Praiers of the Church, Preaching constantly every Sunday, and that many times when he was in so ill a condition of health, that all besides himself thought it impossible, at least very unfit, for him to doe it. His Subjects were such as had greatest influence on Practice, which he prest with most affectionate tenderness, making tears part of his Oratory. And if he observ'd his documents to have fail'd of the desired effect, it was matter of great sadness to him; where in stead of accusing the parties concern'd, he charg'd himself that his Performances were incompetent to the designed End, and would sollicitously enquire what he might doe to speak more plainly or more movingly; whether his extemporary wording might not be a defect, and the like. Besides this, he liberally dispens'd all other spiritual aids: from the time that the Children of the Family became capable of it till his death, he made it a part of his daily business to instruct them, allotting the intervall betwixt Praiers and Dinner to that work, observing diligently the little deviations of their manners, and applying remedies unto them. In like sort, that he might ensnare the Servants also to their benefit, on Sundaies in the afternoon he catechiz'd the Children in his Chamber, giving liberty, nay invitation, to as many as would to come and hear, hoping they haply might admit the truths obliquely level'd, which bashfulness persuaded not to enquire for, lest they thereby should own the fault of forme inadvertence. Besides he publickly declar'd himself ready and desirous to assist any person single, and to that purpose having particularly invited such to come at their leisurable hours, when any did so, he us'd all arts of encouragement and obliging condescension; insomuch that having once got the Scullion in his Chamber upon that Errand, he would not give him the uneasiness of standing, but made him sit down by his side: though in other cases amidst his infinite Humility, he knew well how to assert the dignity of his place and Function from the approaches of Contempt. Upon this ground of ardent love to Souls, a very disconsolate and almost desponding person happening some years since to come to him, there to unload the burthen of his minde, he kept him privately in his Chamber for several daies with a paternal kindness, answering every scruple which that unhappy temper of Minde too readily suggested, and with unwearied patience attending for those little Arguments which in him were much more easily silenc'd then satisfied. This practice continued, till he at last discovered his impressions had in good proportion advanc'd to the desir'd effect, which proceeded carefully in this Method, that Duty still preceded Promise, and strict Endeavour onely founded Comfort.
On the same motive of this highest Charity, when some years since a young man, (who by the encouragement of an Uncle, formerly the Head of an House in Oxford, had been bred up to Learning, but by his Ejectment at the Visitation was diverted from that course to a countreylife, and being so, to engage him therein was also married and had children;) amidst his toilsome avocations continued to employ his vacant hours in study, and happening on some of the Doctor's writings, was so affected with them, as to leave his Wife and Family and Employment, to seek out the Doctor himself, whom being accordingly addrest unto, the Excellent Doctor met this unknown Romantick undertaker with his accustom'd kindness, and most readily received this Votary and Proselyte to Learning into his care and pupillage for several years, affording him all kinde of assistance both in studies and temporal support, till he at last arrived at good proficiency in knowledge, and is at present a very useful person in the Church.
Nor could this zeal to the eternal interest of Souls be superseded by any sight of danger however imminent. The last year one in the neighbourhood mortally sick of the small Pox desiring the Doctor to come to him, as soon as he heard of it, though the disease did then prove more then usually fatal, and the Doctor's age and complexion threatned it particularly so to him, and though one might discern in his countenance vigorous apprehensions of the danger, he presently suppress'd his fears, staying onely so long as to be satisfied whether the party was so sensible that a Visit might possibly be of use, and being inform'd thereof, chearfully went; telling the person that happen'd to be present, whose dreads in his behalf were not so easily deposited, that he should be as much in God's hands in the sick man's chamber as in his own: and not contented with going once, appointed the next day to have return'd again; which he had done, had not the Patients death absolv'd him of his promise.
So likewise when at another time a Gentleman of no very laudable life had in his Sickness desir'd to speak with the Doctor, which message through the negligence of the person employ'd was not deliver'd till he that sent it was in the last agonies of death; the Doctor was very much affected at it, passionately complaining of the brutishness of those that had so little sense of a Soul in that sad state: and pouring out his most fervent Praiers in his behalf, requested farther that by this example others, and in particular the Companions of that unhappy persons Vice, might learn how improper a season the time of Sickness, and how unfit a place the Death-bed is for that one great important Work of Penitence, which was intended by Almighty God the one commensurate work of the whole Life.
But though to advance the Spiritual concerns of all that could in any kinde become receptive of the good he meant them was his unlimited designement and endeavour, yet to nourish and advance the early Vertue of young persons was his more chosen study: When he saw such a one, he would contrive and seek out waies to insinuate and endear himself, lay hold of every opportunity to represent the beauty, pleasure and advantage of a pious life; and on the other side to express the toil, the danger and the mischief of brutal sensuality. Withall he would be still performing courtesies, thereby to oblige of very gratitude to him, obedience and duty unto God.
Where to pass by the many instances that he gave of this his Charity, it will not be amiss to insist on one as a specimen of the rest, which was thus. It happen'd during the Doctor's abode in Oxford in the War, that a young man of excellent faculties and very promising hopes in that place, by his love to Musick was engag'd in the company of such who had that one good quality alone to recommend their other ill ones. The Doctor finding this, though otherwise a stranger to the person, gave him in exchange his own; and taking him as it were into his own bosome, directed him to books, and read them with him, particularly a great part of Homer, at a night dispatching usually a Book, and if it prov'd Holyday, then two; where his Comical expression was, when one Iliad was done, to say, Come, because 'tis Holyday, let us be jovial and take the other Iliad, reflecting on the mode of the former Debauches, whose word it was, 'Tis Holyday, let's take the other Pint.
And as the Doctor labour'd in the rescue of single persons, he had an Eye therein to multitudes; for wherever he had planted the seeds of Piety, he presently cast about to extend and propagate them thereby to others: engaging all his Converts not to be asham'd of being reputed innocent, or to be thought to have a kindness for Religion; but own the seducing men to God with as much confidence at least as others use when they are Factors for the Devil: And in stead of lying on the guard and the defensive part, he gave in charge to chuse the other of the assailant. And this method he commended not onely as the greatest service unto God and to our neighbour, but as the greatest security to our selves; it being like the not expecting of a threatned War at home, but carrying it abroad into the Enemies country. And nothing in the Christian's Warfare he judg'd so dangerous as a truce, and the cessation of hostility. With all, parly and holding intelligence with guilt in the most trivial things, he pronounc'd as treason to our selves, as well as unto God: for while, saith he, we fight with Sin, in the fiercest shock of opposition we shall be safe; for no attempts can hurt us till we treat with the assailants: Temptations of all sorts having that good quality of the Devil in them, to fly when they are resisted. Besides, whereas young people are us'd to varnish o're their non-performance and forbearance of good actions by a pretence unto humility and bashful modesty, saying, they are asham'd for to doe this or that, as being not able for to doe it well, he assur'd them this was arrant pride and nothing else.
Upon these grounds his Motto of instruction to young persons was, Principiis obsta, and Hoc age, to withstand the overtures of ill, and be intent and serious in good; to which he joyn'd a third advice, to be furnish'd with a Friend. Accordingly at a solemn leavetaking of one of his disciples, he thus discours'd:
I have heard say of a man who upon his death-bed being to take his farewell of his Son, and considering what course of life to recommend that might secure his innocence, at last enjoyn'd him to spend his time in making of Verses and in dressing a Garden; the old man thinking no temptation could creep into either of these Employments. But I in stead of these expedients will recommend these other, the doing all the good you can to every person, and the having of a Friend; whereby your life shall not onely be rendred innocent, but withall extremely happy.
Now after all these Excellencies, it would be reason to expect that the Doctor, conscious of his Merit, should have look'd if not on others with contempt, yet on himself with some complacency and fair regard: but it was farre otherwise; there was no enemy of his, however drunk with Passion, that had so mean an Esteem either of him or of his Parts as he had both of the one and other. As at his first appearing in publick he was clearly over-reach'd and cheated in the owning of his Books; so when he found it duty to goe on in that his toilsome trade of writing, he was wont seriously to profess himself astonish'd at their reception into the world, especially, as he withall was pleas'd to adde, since others fail'd herein, whose performances were infinitely beyond any thing which he was able to doe.
From this opinion of his mediocrity at best, and the resolution of not making any thing in Religion publick before it had undergone all Tests, in point not onely of truth but prudence, proceeded his constant practice of subjecting all his Writings to the censure and correction of his friends, engaging them at that time to lay aside all their kindness, or rather to evidence their love by being rigidly censorious. There is scarce any Book he wrote that had not first travail'd on this errand, of being severely dealt with, to several parts of the Nation before it saw the light; nay so scrupulous was the Doctor herein, that he has frequently, upon suggestion of something to be changed, return'd his papers the second time unto his Censor, to see if the alteration was exactly to his minde, and generally was never so well pleas'd as when his Packets return'd with large accessions of objectings and advertisements. And in this point he was so strangely adviseable, that he would advert unto the judgement of the meanest person, usually saying, that there was no one that was honest to him by whom he could not profit; withall, that he was to exspect Readers of severall sorts, and if one illiterate man was stumbled, 'twas likely others of his form would be so too, whose interest, when he writ to all, was not to be pass'd over. Besides, those less discerning Observators, if they could doe nothing else, he said could serve to draw teeth; that is, admonish if ought were said with passion or sharpness, a thing the Doctor was infinitely jealous of in his Writings. Many years since he having sent one of his Tracts unto an eminent person in this Church, to whom he bore a very high and merited regard, to be look'd over by him, he sending it back without any amendment, but with a profuse Complement of liking every thing; the good Doctor was much affected with the disappointment, onely comforted himself herein, that he had reap'd this benefit, to have learn'd never to send his Papers to that hand again: which resolution to his dying day he kept.
Nor was this caution before the publishing of his Books sufficient, but was continued after it, the Doctor importuning still his friends to send him their Objections, if in any point they were not satisfied; which he with great indifference consider'd in his reviews and subsequent Editions: however took more kindly the most impertinent exception, then those advertisements of a different kinde which brought Encomiums and lavish praises, which he heard with as great distaste as others do the most virulent Reproaches.
A farther proof of this low esteem the Doctor had of himself (if such were possible) would be meekness to those that slighted him and disparag'd his abilities; this being the surest indication that our Humility is in earnest, when we are content to hear ill language not onely from our selves but from our enemies: which with how much indifference this inimitable person did 'tis neither easy fully to describe, nor to perswade to just belief. The short is, as he was never angry with his pertinacious dissenters for not being of his minde in points of speculation; no more was he in the least with his scornful Opposites for their being of it in their little value of his Person. And though he had, as well as other men, seeds of incitation in his natural temper, and more then others temptation to it in his dayly and almost intolerable injuryes; yet such was the habitual mastery he had gain'd over himself, that the strictest considerers of his actions have not in ten years perpetual conversation seen his Passion betray him to an indecent speech.
Nor was his sufferance of other kindes less exemplary then that he evidenc'd in the reception of Calumny and foul Reproach: for though Pain were that to which he was us'd to say he was of all things most a Coward, yet being under it he shew'd an eminent Constancy and perfect Resignation.
At the approach of Sickness his first consideration was, what Failing had provok'd the present Chastisement, and to that purpose made his earnest prayer to God (and enjoyn'd his friends to doe the like) to convince him of it; nor onely so, but tear and rend away, though by the greatest violence and sharpest discipline, whatever was displeasing in his Eyes, and grant not onely patience, but fruitfulness under the rod. Then by repeated acts of submission would he deliver himself up into God's hands to doe with him as seem'd him good; amidst the sharpest pains meekly invoking him, and saying, God's holy Will be done. And even then when on the wrack of torture, would he be observing every circumstance of allay: When 'twas the Gout, he would give thanks 'twas not the Stone or Cramp; when 'twas the Stone, he then would say 'twas not so sharp as others felt, accusing his impatience that it appear'd so bad to him as it did. And then when some degree of health was given, he exerted all his strength in a return of grateful recognition to the Author of it, which he perform'd with a vivacious sense and chearful piety, frequently reflecting on the Psalmist's phrase, that it was a joyful thing to be thankful. Which his transport whoever should attentively observe, would easily apprehend how possible it was for the infinite fruitions of another World to be made up by the perpetual act of grateful recognition, in giving lauds and singing praises unto God.
Upon this score he was a most diligent Observer of every Blessing he receiv'd, and had them still in readiness to confront unto those pressures he at any time lay under. In the intermissions of his importunate maladies he would with full acknowledgement mention the great indulgence, That he who had in his Constitution the Cause of so much pain still dwelling with him, should yet by God's immediate interposing be rescued from the Effect.
To facilitate yet more this his serenity and calm of Minde, he lay'd this Rule before him, which prov'd of great use, Never to trouble himself with the fore-sight of future Events, being resolv'd of our Saviour's Maxime, that Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof: and that it were the greatest folly in the world to perplex ones self with that which perchance will never come to pass; but if it should, then God who sent it will dispose it to the best; most certainly to his Glory, which should satisfy us in our respects to Him; and, unless it be our fault, as certainly to our Good, which, if we be not strangely unreasonable, must satisfy in reference unto our selves and private interests. Besides all this, in the very dispensation God will not fail to give such allayes which (like the cool gales under the Line) will make the greatest heates of sufferance very supportable. In such occasions he usually subjoyn'd Epictetus his Dilemma, Either the thing before us is in our power, or it is not: if it be, let us apply the Remedy, and there will be no motive for complaint; if it be not, the Grief is utterly impertinent, since it can doe no good. As also from the same Author he annex'd this consideration, that every thing has two handles; if the one prove hot, and not to be touch'd, we may take the other that's more temperate: And in every occurrent he would be sure to find some cool handle that he might lay hold of.
And to enforce all this, he made a constant recourse to the Experience of God's dealing with him in preceding accidents, which however dreadful at a distance, at a nearer view lost much of their terrour. And for others that he saw perplex'd about the manage of their difficult affairs, he was wont to ask them, when they would begin to trust God, or permit him to govern the world. Besides, unto himself and friends he was wont solemnly to give this mandate, Quod sis esse velis, nihilque malis, in his English, to rather nothing; not onely to be content or acquiesce, but be resolv'd the present state to be the very best that could be wish'd or phansied.
And thus all private concernments he pass'd over with a perfect indifference; the World and its appendages hanging so loose about him, that he never took notice when any part dropt off, or sate uneasily. Herein indeed he was concern'd and render'd thoughtful, if somewhat interven'd that had a possibility of duty appendant to it; in which case he would be sollicitous to discern where the obligation lay: but presently rescued himself from that disquiet by his addresses unto God in Praier and Fasting, which was his certain refuge in this as well as other Exigents; and if the thing in question were of moment, he call'd in the devotions of his Friends. Besides this Case he own'd to have some kinde of little discomposure in the choice of things perfectly indifferent; for where there was nothing to determine him, the balance by hanging even became tremulous and by a propensity to either side enclin'd to neither, making useless offers, but promoving nothing: which condition of minde he was wont to call the deliberation of Buridan's Ass.
Upon which grounds of all other things he most dislik'd the being left to make a choice; and hugely applauded the state of subjection to a Superiour, where an obsequious diligence was the main ingredient of Duty: as also he did the state of subjection unto pressure, as a privilege and blessing. And though he pray'd as much and withal as heartily as any person for the return of the Nation from Captivity, he alwaies first premis'd the being made receptive of such Mercy by the intervention of Repentance. He would often both publickly and privately assert solemnly, That prosperous iniquity would not be deliverance, but the most formidable judgement: That the Nation during its pressures was under the Discipline of God, given up to Satan by a kind of Ecclesiastick Censure; and should the Almighty dismiss us from his hands, and put us into our own, give us up to our selves, with a Why should you be smitten any more? this were of all inflictions the most dreadful. Though with admirable aequanimity he could run over the black Annals of this unhappy Nation while its Calamities were reckon'd up, he could scarce hear the slightest mention of its incorrigible guilt without dissolving into tears; especially when he happened to advert unto the impudence of that Hypocrisie which reconcil'd Godliness and Villany, and made it possible for men to be Saints and Devils both together: whereby Religion grew ruinous to it self, and besides the scandal of such Enormities committed in the face of the Sun, with such pretence to Zeal and Holiness, our Faith became instructed to confute and baffle Duty, the Creed and the Commandments, Belief and Practice being brought into the lists, and represented as incompatible; while the flames intended for the Sacred Lamps, the establishment of Doctrinals and Speculative Divinity, burnt up the Altar and the Temple, consumed not onely Charity, but good nature too, and untaught the common documents of honest Heathenisme.
And while this publick Soul in the Contemplation of the Mischief which our sins both were themselves and in their issues, great in their provocation and fatal in their plagues, indulg'd unto his pious and generous Griefs, yet even then considering Judgement not to be more just then useful to the sufferers, he found out means from that unlikely Topick to speak comforts to himself and others.
In that last Crisis of our gasping hopes, the defeat of the Cheshire forces, which promis'd all the Misery consequent to the sway of a Senate gorg'd in blood, and yet still thirsting more, and of a veterane Army compos'd of desperate Fanaticks engag'd in equal guilts among themselves, and equal hate against the other, and therewithal the Religion, Liberty and Being of the Nation; he thus addresses himself to the desponding sorrows of a friend.
SIR, Sept. 2.
I have received your last, and acknowledge the great fitness of it to the present opportunities under which God hath pleased to place us. If we look about us there was never any louder call to lamentation and bitter mourning; and the sharpest accents of these are visibly due to those continued Provocations which appear to have wrought all our woe: yet is there not wanting some gleam of light, if we shall yet by God's grace be qualified to make use of it. It is the supreme Privilege of Christianity to convert the saddest evils into the most medicinal advantages, the valley of Achor into the door of hope, the blackest Tempest into the most perfect eudia, and it is certain you have an excellent opportunity now before you to improve and receive benefit by; and you will not despise that affection which attempts to tell you somewhat of it. It is plainly this; That all kinde of Prosperity (even that which we most think we can justifie the most importunate pursuance of, the flourishing of a Church and Monarchy) is treacherous and dangerous, and might very probably tend to our great ills, and nothing is so entirely safe and wholesome as to be continued under God's disciplines. Those that are not better'd by such methods, would certainly be intoxicated and destroyed by the pleasanter draughts; and those that would ever serve God sincerely in affluence, have infinitely greater advantages and opportunities for it in the adverse fortune. Therefore let us now all adore and bless God's wisest choices, and set vigorously to the task that lies before us, improving the present advantages, and supplying in the abundance of the inward beauty what is wanting to the outward lustre of a Church; and we shall not fail to find that the Grots and Caves lye as open to the Celestial influences as the fairest and most beautified Temples. We are ordinarily very witling to be rich, and flatter our selves that our aims are no other then to be enabled by much wealth to doe much good; and some live to see themselves confuted, want hearts when Wealth comes in greatest abundance: so those that never come to make the experiment, have yet reason to judge that God saw it fit not to lead them into temptation, lest if they had been prov'd they should have been found faithless. And the same judgement are we now oblig'd to pass for our selves, and by what God appears to have chosen for us, to resolve what he sees to be absolutely best for us; and it must be our greatest blame and wretchedness, if what hath now befaln us be not effectually better for us, then whatever else even Piety could have suggested to us to wish or pray for. And then, I pray, judge candidly whether any thing be in any degree sober or tolerable in any of us, beside the one great necessary Wisdome as well as Duty of Resignation, and making God's choices ours also. I have been these three weeks under restraint by the Gout and other pains, and am not yet on my legs, yet blessed be God have all causes of thanksgiving, none of repining. And I shall with confidence pray and hope that the great multitudes of persons and families that are now under far sharper exercises, will finde as much greater allayes and sweetnesses, and the black Cloud (as oft it hath done) vanish undiscernibly.
And when this most unlikely Prophecy became fulfill'd, when that black cloud he spoke of, contrary to all humane expectation, broke not in Tempest, but the fairest Sun-shine that ever smil'd on this our Land, when our despairs and resolute despondencies became unravel'd by a miracle of Mercy, which after-ages will be as far from giving credit to in its endearing most improbable circumstances, as this of ours (pardon the harshness of a true comparison) is from esteeming at its merited rate; our Excellent Patriot, and best of men, seeing the dawnings of this welcome day, paid down at once his greatest thanks and heartiest deprecations as a tribute to it, passionately fearing what he had more passionately wisht for, suspecting his own hopes and weeping over his fruitions.
As to His Sacred Majesty, he look'd on His Return with pity and compassion, as bringing Him to that uneasy, if not insuperable, Task of ruling and reforming a licentious people; to that most irksome sufferance of being worried with the importunities of covetous and ambitious men, the restless care of meeting the designes of mutinous and discontented spirits: resolving, His most wisht Return could onely be a blessing to His people, but unto Him could not be so, but onely on the score, by having opportunities through glorious self-denyals to doe good. And for all other persons, he said, that having seriously considered what sort of men would be better for the Change, he could not think of any. As for the Church, 'twas certain, Persecution was generally the happiest means of propagating that; she then grew fastest when prun'd most: then of the best complexion and most healthy when fainting through loss of blood. As to the Laity, in all their several stations and estates they had so much perverted the healthfull dispensations of Judgement, that it was most improbable they should make any tolerable use of Mercy. And lastly, in reference to himself, he resolv'd (though sure on weaker grounds) Affliction most conducible. During the current of that Tyranny which for so many years we all groan'd under, he kept a constant aequable serenity and unthoughtfulness in outward accidents: but the approaching Change gave him somewhat of pensive recollection, insomuch that discoursing of occurrents, he broke forth into these words, I must confess I never saw that time in all my life wherein I could so chearfully say my Nunc dimittis as now. Indeed I do dread Prosperity, I do really dread it. For the little good I am now able to doe, I can doe it with deliberation and advice: but if it please God I should live and be call'd to any higher Office in the Church, I must then doe many things in a hurry, and shall not have time to consult with others, and I sufficiently apprehend the danger of relying on my own Judgement. Which words he spake with the greatest concernment of earnest melting passion as is imaginable. Accordingly it pleas'd Almighty God to deal; and having granted to his servant the satisfaction of a full return and gracious answer to his Prayer in the then-everyday-expected Reception of his Sacred Majesty, not to deny his other great request of not sharing a temporary advantage from it: but as his merits were far beyond those transitory ensnaring retributions, to remove him from them to those solid and unmixt Rewards, which could be nothing else then such, and would be such for ever.
But this sad part of our relation requiring to it self a fresh unwearied sorrow, and the Saint-like manner of this Excellent person's passage from the World being as exemplary and conducing to the uses of Survivers as the notice of his Life; we shall allow it a distinct appartment, and once again break off the thred of our discourse, for to resume it in its proper unentangled Clue.
AT the opening of the year 1660, when every thing visibly tended to the reduction of His Sacred Majesty, and all persons in their several stations began to make way and prepare for it, the good Doctor was by the Fathers of the Church desir'd to repair to London, there to assist in the great Work of the composure of Breaches in the Church: Which Summons as he resolv'd unfit either to dispute or disobey, so could he not without much violence to his inclinations submit unto. But finding it his Duty, he diverted all the uneasiness of antipathy and aversation into a deliberate preparation of himself for this new Theatre of affairs on which he was to enter. Where his first care was to fortifie his minde against the usual temptations of Business, Place, and Power. And to this purpose, besides his earnest Prayers to God for his assistance, and disposal of him entirely to his Glory, and a diligent survey of all his inclinations, and therein those which were his more open and less defensible parts, he farther call'd in and solemnly adjur'd that Friend of his with whom he had then the nearest opportunity of commerce, to study and examine the last ten years of his life, and with the justice due to a Christian Friendship to observe his failances of all kindes, and shew them to him: which being accordingly attempted, the product, after a diligent inquest, onely proving the representation of such defects which might have past for Vertue in another person; his next prospect was abroad, what several wayes he might doe good unto the publick: and knowing that the Diocese of Worcester was by the favour of His Majesty designed his Charge, he thought of several opportunities of Charity unto that place, and among others particularly cast in his minde for the repair of the Cathedral Church, and had lay'd the foundation of a considerable advance unto that work. Which early care is here mention'd as an instance of his inflamed desire of doing good, and singular zeal to the house of God, and the restoring of a decent Worship in a like decent place: For otherwise it was farre from his Custome to look forward into future events, but still to attend and follow after Providence, and let every day bear its own Evil. And now considering that the Nation was under its great Crisis and most hopeful method of its Cure, which yet if palliate and imperfect would onely make way to more fatal Sickness, he fell to his Devotions on that behalf and made those two excellent Prayers which were publish'd immediately after his Death, as they had been made immediately before his Sickness, and were almost the very last thing he wrote.
Being in this state of minde, fully prepar'd for that new course of life, which had nothing to recommend it to his taste but its unpleasantness, (the best allective unto him) he expected hourly the peremptory mandate which was to call him forth of his belov'd Retirements.
But in the instant more importunate, though infinitely more welcome, Summons engag'd him on his last Journey: For on the 4th of April he was seiz'd by a sharp fit of the Stone, with those symptomes that are usual in such cases; which yet upon the voidance of a Stone ceased for that time. However on the 8th of the same moneth it return'd again with greater violence: and though after two dayes the pain decreas'd, the suppression of Urine yet continued, with frequent Vomitings, and a distention of the whole body, and likewise shortness of breath, upon any little motion. When, as if he had by some instinct a certain knowledge of the issue of his Sickness, he almost at its first approach conceiv'd himself in hazard: and whereas at other times, when he saw his friends about him fearful, he was us'd to reply chearfully, that he was not dying yet; now in the whole current of his disease, he never said any thing to avert suspicion, but addrest unto its cure, telling his friends with whom he was, that he should leave them in God's hands, who could supply abundantly all the assistance they could either expect or desire from him, and who would so provide, that they should not find his removal any loss. And when he observed one of them with some earnestness pray for his health and continuance, he with tender passion replyed, I observe your zeal spends it self all in that one petition for my recovery; in the interim you have no care of me in my greatest Interest, which is, that I may be perfectly fitted for my Change when God shall call me: I pray let some of your fervour be employ'd that way. And being prest to make it his own request to God to be continued longer in the World, to the service of the Church, he immediately began a solemn Prayer, which contain'd first a very humble and melting acknowledgement of sin, and a most earnest intercession for Mercy and Forgiveness through the Merits of his Saviour: Next resigning himself entirely into his Maker's hands, he begg'd that if the Divine Wisdome intended him for Death, he might have a due preparation for it; but if his Life might be in any degree useful to the Church, even to one single Soul, he then besought Almighty God to continue him, and by his grace enable him to employ that Life be so vouchsafed industriously and successfully. After this he did with great affection intercede for this Church and Nation, and with particular vigor and enforcement pray'd for sincere performance of Christian duty now so much decayed, to the equal supplanting and scandal of that holy Calling; that those who profess'd that Faith might live according to the Rules of it, and to the Form of Godliness superadde the Power. This with some repetitions and more tears he pursued, and at last clos'd all in a Prayer for the several concerns of the Family where he was. With this he frequently blest God for so far indulging to his infirmity, as to make his disease so painless to him; withall to send it to him before he took his journey, whereas it might have taken him in the way, or at his Inne, with far greater disadvantages.
Nor did he in this Exigence desist from the exercise of his accustomed Candor and Sweetness, whereby he was us'd to entertain the addresses of the greatest Strangers. For two Scholars coming at this time to see him, when they having sent up their names, it appear'd they were such as he had no acquaintance with, though they that were about the Doctor, considering his illness, proposed that a civil excuse might be made, and the Visitants be so dismiss'd; he resisted the advice with greatest earnestness, saying, I will by no means have them sent away, for I know not how much they may be concern'd in the Errand they come about, and gave order they should be brought up: and when upon trial it appear'd that a Complement was the whole affair, yet the good Doctor seem'd much satisfied that he had not disappointed that unseasonable kindness.
Likewise his own necessities, however pressing, diverted not his concernments for those of others. It so happen'd that a neighbour-Lady languishing under a long weakness, he took care that the Church-office for the sick should be daily said in her behalf: and though at the beginning of the Doctor's illness the Chaplain made no other variation, then to change the singular into the plural, yet when his danger encreas'd, he then thought fit to pray peculiarly for him; which the good Doctor would by no means admit, but said, O no, poor Soul, let not me be the cause of excluding her; and accordingly had those Prayers continued in the more comprehensive latitude. And indeed those Offices which had a publick character upon them he peculiarly valued. For as to the forms of Devotion appropriate to his Extremity, he took care they should not exclude the publick ones, but still gave these a constant place: and when in his sharp agonies his friends betook themselves to their extemporary ejaculations, he compos'd those irregularities by saying, Let us call on God in the voice of his Church.
And in seasons of this kinde whereas the making of a Will is generally an uneasie task, as being at once a double parting with the World; to him it was in all respects agreeable and welcome. For having bequeath'd several Legacies to his relatives and friends, and left the remainder of his Estate to the disposal of his intimate and approved friend Doctor Henchman, now Ld Bp of Salisbury, as if recovered from the worst part of his disease, the necessitie of reflecting upon Secular affairs, he became strangely chearful, and overlook'd the encroaching importunate tyranny of Sickness.
On the 20th of April, being Goodfriday, he solemnly receiv'd the Sacrament; and again on the 22th of April, which then was Easter-day. At which time when the number of Communicants was too great to have place in his Bed-chamber, and the whole Office was over-long for him to goe through with, it was ordered, that the Service being perform'd in the usual appartment, a competent number should afterwards come up and communicate with him: Which though he allow'd as most fitting, yet he did so with grief and trouble, breaking out into this passionate complaint, Alas! must I be excommunicated? To be absent from any part of publick Worship he thus deeply resented: So far was he from their opinion (and they would be thought Godly too) who in their most healthful leisurable dayes make this not their penance, but election and choice.
Amidst his weakness and indisposition of all parts, in the act of celebration his Devotion onely was not faint or sick, but most intent and vigorous: yet equall'd by his infinite Humility, which discovered it self as in his deportment, so particularly in that his pathetical ejaculation, which brake forth at the hearing of those words of the Apostle, Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; unto which he rejoyn'd, in an accent that neither intended a complement to God nor men, to either of which he was not under a temptation, Of whom I am the chief.
The Exuberance of this Humility appear'd in all other occasions of instance: particularly about this time a Letter being sent unto him, in which, among many expressions of great value, there was added an intimation, That there was now hope the dayes were come when his desert should be considered, and himself imployed in the Government as well as the instruction of the Church; at this he was hugely discomposed, and expressed a grief and anguish beyond that his Sickness in any period, however sharp, had extorted from him.
But now through the long suppression of Urine the blood grown thin and serous, withall made eager and tumultuous by the mixture of heterogeneous parts, the Excellent Doctor fell into a violent bleeding at the Nose; at which the by-standers being in astonishment, he chearfully admonish'd to lay aside impatience in his behalf, and to wait God's leisure, whose seasons were still the best: withall thankfully acknowledged God's mercy in the dispensation, alledging, that to bleed to death was one of the most desireable passages out of this World.
And truly he very justly made this observation; for it pleas'd the Divine Providence strangely to balance the symptoms of the Doctor's Disease to his advantage: for the sharp paines of the Stone were allay'd by that heaviness of sense which the recuilment of serous moisture into the habit of the body and insertions of the Nerves occasion'd; and when that oppression endanger'd a Lethargick or Apoplectick torpour, he was retain'd from that by the flux of blood. Which several accidents interchangeably succeeded one the other, insomuch that in this whole time of Sickness he neither had long violence of torment, nor diminution of his intellectual faculties. And here this violent haemorrhage of which we now speak being of it self even miraculously stopt, when all applications were ineffectual, a drowsiness succeeding, which happened at the time of Prayers, though he perfectly attended, and returned to every response amidst his importunate infirmity, he very sadly resented it, saying, Alas! this is all the return I shall make to this mercy, to sleep at Prayers.
When he was in pain he often pray'd for Patience, and while he did so, evidenc'd that his Prayer was heard; for he exercised not onely that, but Thankfulness too, in his greatest extremity crying out, Blessed be God, blessed be God.
Nor did he, according to the usual method, inflict his Sickness upon those about him, by peevishness disquieting his attendants; but was pleas'd with every thing that was done, and liked every thing that was brought, condescending to all proposals, and obeying with all readiness every advice of his Physicians. Nor was it wonder he should so return unto the endeavours of his Friends, who had tender kindness for his Enemies, even the most inveterate and bloody. When the Defeat of Lambert and his Party, the last effort of gasping Treason in this Nation before its blest return unto Obedience, was told him, his only triumph was that of his Charity, saying with tears in his eyes, Poor Souls! I beseech God forgive them. So habitual was Pity and Compassion to his Soul, that all representations concentred there: Vertue had still his Prayers, because he lov'd it; and Vice enjoy'd them too, because it wanted them.
In his own greatest desolations he administer'd reliefs to those about him, mixing Advices with his Prayers, and twisting the tenderness of a Friend to that of the Christian, he then dispens'd his best of Legacies, his Blessings; most passionately exhorting the young growing hopes of the Family, whose first innocence and bashful shame of doing ill he above all things labour'd to have preserv'd, to be just to the advantage of their education, and maintain inviolate their first baptismal Vows: then more generally commended unto all the great advantage of mutual friendly Admonitions. On which occasion when the good Lady ask'd him what more special thing he would recommend unto her for her whole life, he briefly replyed, Uniform Obedience: Whereby (if we may take a Comment from himself at other times) he meant not onely a sincere reception of Duty as such, because commanded, and not because 'tis this or that, pleasant or honourable, or perchance cheap or easie duty; but withal the very condition of Obeying, the lot of not being to chuse for ones self, the being determin'd in all proposals by humane or Divine Command, and where those left at large, by the guidance of God's Providence, or the assistance of a Friend.
But amidst these most Christian divertisements, these happiest anodynes of Sickness, the 25 of April fatally drew on, wherein his flux of Blood breaking forth again with greater violence then it had done before, was not to be stopp'd by outward applications, nor the revulsives of any kind, not of its own, the opening of a Vein, first in the arm, and after in the foot; till at last the fountain being exhausted, the torrent ceas'd its course, and indeed that Vital one which its regular motion kept on foot: for the good Doctor leaving off to bleed about three of the clock in the afternoon, became very weak and dis-spirited, and cold in the extreme parts, had strength onely continued to persevere in his Devotions, which he did unto the last moment of his life, a few minutes before his Death breathing out those words which best became his Christian Life, Lord, make haste.
And so upon that very day on which the Parliament conven'd, which lay'd the foundation of our Release and Liberty, and brought at once this Nations return from its Captivity, and its Gracious Sovereign Prince, this great Champion of Religion and Pattern of all Vertue, as if reserv'd for Masteries and Combats of exigence and hazard, for Persecution and Sufferings, was taken hence, and by his loss represt the overflowing and extravagance of those joyes that waited the reception of His Sacred Majesty.
'Twill be below the greatness of the Person as well as of this Loss, to celebrate his Death in womanish complaints, or indeed by any verbal applications; his Worth is not to be describ'd by any Words besides his own, nor can any thing beseem his Memory but what is Sacred and Eternal as those Writings are. May his just Fame from them and from his Vertue be precious to succeeding times, grow up and flourish still: and when that characters engrav'd in Brass shall disappear, as if they had been writ in Water, when Elogies committed to the trust of Marble shall be illegible as whisper'd accents, when Pyramids dissolv'd in dust shall want themselves a monument to evidence that they were once so much as ruine; let that remain a known and classick History describing him in his full pourtraiture among the best of Subjects, of Friends, of Scholars, and of Men.
The dead body being opened (which here is mentioned, for that the Reader cannot want the curiosity to desire to know every thing that concerned this great Person) the principal and Vital parts appear'd sound; onely the right Kidney, or rather its remainder, which exceeded not the bigness of an Egge, was hard and knotty, and in its cavity besides several little ones, a large Stone of the figure of an Almond, though much bigger, whose lesser end was faln into the Ureter, and as a stopple clos'd it up; so that 'tis probable that Kidney had for diverse years been in a manner useless. The other Kidney was swoln beyond the natural proportion, otherwise not much decayed; but within the Ureter four fingers breadth a round white Stone was lodged, which was so fastned in the part, that the Physician with his Probe could not stir it, and was fain at last to cut it out: and so exactly it stop'd the passage, that upon the dissection the water before enclos'd gush'd forth in great abundance: from whence it appeared perfectly impossible for Art to have ennobled it self in the preservation of this great Person; as it was also manifest that nothing but the consequences of his indefatigable Study took him from us, in the perfection and maturity, the 55th year of his Life.
On the morrow in the evening, 26 day of the same moneth, he was, according to his desire, without Ostentation or Pomp, though with all becoming Decency, buried at the Neighbour-Church of Hampton, with the whole Office and usual Rites of the Church of England, several of the Gentry and Clergy of the County, and affectionate multitudes of persons of less quality attending on his Obsequies, the Clergy with ambition offering themselves to bear him on their Shoulders; which accordingly they did, and laid that Sacred burthen in the Burial-place of the generous Family which with such friendship had entertain'd him when alive: where now he rests in Peace, and full assurance of a glorious Resurrection.
Having thus given a faithful, though imperfect, draught of this excellent Person, whose Vertues are so farre from imitation by practice, that they exercise and strain the comprehension of words; and having shewed how much he has merited of this Nation in its most pressing Exigents, both by his Writings and by his Example, and perchance above both these by his unwearied intercession in Devotion; it may possibly be neither useless nor unacceptable to offer a request unto the Reader in his behalf, and shew him an Expedient whereby he may pay his debt of gratitude, and eminently oblige this holy Saint though now with God.
'Tis this, to adde unto his account in the day of Retribution by taking benefit by his Performances: and as he being dead yet speaks, so let him perswade likewise,
That the Covetous Reader would now at his request put off his sordid Vice, and take courage to be Liberal, assured by his Example, that if in the worst of times Profuseness could make rich, Charity shall never bring to beggery.
That the Proud opinionated person on the same terms would in civility to him descend from his fond heights, instructed here that lowly Meekness shall compass great respects, and in stead of Hate or Flattery be waited on with Love and Veneration.
That the Debauch'd or Idle would leave upon this score his lewd unwarrantable joyes, convinc'd that strict and rugged Vertue made an age of Sun-shine, a life of constant Smiles, amidst the dread fullest Tempests; taught the Gout, the Stone, the Cramp, the Colick, to be treatable Companions, and made it eligible to live in bad times and dye in flourishing.
That the Angry man, who calls Passion at least Justice, possibly Zeal and Duty, would for his sake assume a different temper, believe that Arguments may be answer'd by saying Reason, Calumnies by saying No, and Railings by saying nothing.
The Coward and Disloyal, that durst not own in words, much less by service and relief, his Prince, that complemented his Apostasie and Treason by the soft terms of changing an Interest, will from hence learn that the surest way to safety is to have but one Interest, and that espous'd so firmly as never to be chang'd; since such a Constancy was that which a Cromwell durst not persecute.
That the employ'd in Business would from hence dismiss their fears of regular Piety, their Suspicion that Devotion would hinder all dispatch and manage of affairs; since it appear'd, his constant Office (like the Prayer of Josuah, which made the Sun stand still) seem'd to have render'd unto him each day as long as two.
That the Ambitious person, especially the Ecclesiastick, would think employment and high place a Stewardship, that renders debtors both to God and man; a residence at once of constant labour and attendance too; a precipice that equally exposes both to envie and to ruine: and consequently to be that which should become our greatest fear and terror, but at no hand our Choice: since it was that which this heroick constancy was not ashamed to own a dread of, and whose appearance did render Death it self relief and rescue.
Lastly, that the narrow Selfdesigning person, who understands no kindness but advantage; the Senfual, that knows no love but lust; the Intemperate, that owns no companion but Drink; may all at once from him reform their brutish Errours: since he has made it evident, that a Friend does fully satisfie these distant and importunate desires, being as the most innocent and certainly ingenuous entertainment, so besides that the highest mirth, the greatest interest, and surest pleasure in the World.
They that had the happiness of a personal acquaintance with this best of men, this Saint, who seems in our decaies of ancient Vertue lent us by special Providence even for this end and purpose, that we might not disbelieve the faith of History delivering the Excellency of primitive Christians; know with what thirst and eagerness of Soul he sought the spiritual advantage of any single man how mean soever, with what enjoyment he beheld the recovery of any such from an ill course and habit. And whatever apprehensions other men may have, they will be easily induc'd to think, that if blessed Spirits have commerce with Earth, (as surely we have reason to believe it somewhat more then possible) they, I say, will resolve it a connatural and highly agreeable accession unto his fruitions, that when there is joy in the presence of the Angels of God for a sinner that repents, he may be an immediate accessory to that blessed triumph, and be concern'd beyond the rate of a bare spectator.
Perswasions to Piety nowadaies are usually in scorn call'd Preaching: but 'tis to be hoped that this, how contemptible an Office soever it be grown, will be no indecency in this instance; that 'twill not be absurd if his History, who deservedly was reckoned among the best of Preachers, whose Life was the best of Sermons, should bear a correspondence to its Subject, and profestly close with an application: That it adjures all persons to be what they promised God Almighty they would be in their Baptismal Vows, what they see the glorious Saints and Martyrs and Confessors, and in particular this holy man has been before them; be what is most honorable, most easy and advantageous to be at present; and, in a word, to render themselves such as they desire to be upon their death-beds, before they leave the World, and then would be for ever.
Which blest atchievement as it was the great design of the Excellent Doctor's both Words and Writings, his Thoughts and Actions, is also (besides the payment of a debt to Friendship and to Vertue) the onely aime of this imperfect, but yet affectionate and well-meant, account: And may Almighty God by the assistance of his Grace give all of these this their most earnestly-desired effect and issue.