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the search of which truth, I refer my Reader, that inclines to it, to Dr. Thoroton’s “ History of the Antiquities of Nottingham. shire,” and other records; not thinking it necessary here to engage him into a search for bare titles, which are noted to have in them nothing of reality: for titles not acquired, but derived only, do but shew us who of our ancesters have, and how they have achieved that honour which their descendants claim, and may not be worthy to enjoy. For, if those titles descend to persons that degenerate into Vice, and break off the continued line of Learning, or Valour, or that Virtue that acquired them, they destroy the very foundation upon which that Honour was built; and all the rubbish of their vices ought to fall heavy on such dishonourable heads; ought to fall so heavy, as to degrade them of their titles, and blast their memories with reproach and shane.
But our Robert Sanderson lived worthy of his name and family: of which one testimony may be, that Gilbert, called the Great Earl of Shrewsbury, thought him not unworthy to be joined with him as a Godfather to Gilbert Sheldon,* the late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury; to whose merits and memory, posterity—the Clergy especially—ought to pay a reverence.
But I return to my intended relaiion of Robert the Son, who began in his youth to make the Laws of God, and obedience to his parents, the rules of his life; seeming even then to dedicate himself, and all his studies, to Piety and Virtue.
And as he was inclined to this by that native goodness, with which the wise Disposer of all hearts had endowed his; so this calm, this quiet and happy temper of mind—his being mild, and averse to oppositions—made the whole course of his life
and grateful both to himself and others : and this blessed temper was maintained and improved by his prudent Father's good example; and by frequent conversing with him, and scattering short apophthegms and little pleasant stories, and making useful appli. cations of them, his son was in his infancy taught to abhor Vanity and Vice as monsters, and to discern the loveliness of Wisdom and Virtue ; and by these means, and God's concurring grace, his knowledge was so augmented, and his native goodness so con. firmed, that all became so habitual, as it was not easy to determine whether Nature or Education were his teachers.
* Dr. Gilbert Sheldon, was born July 19, 1598.—His father, Roger Sheldon. though of no obscure parentage, was a menial servant to Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury. He was of Trinity College, Oxford, and took his Master's degree in May, 1620. He was introduced to Charles I. by Lord Coventry and became one of His Majesty's Chaplains. Upon the Restoration, he was made Dean of the Chapel Royal, succeeded Dr. Juxon as Bishop of London, and after as Archbishop of Canterbury; in 1667 he was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford. He died at Lambeth, Nov. 9, 1677
And here let me tell the Reader, that these early beginnings of Virtue, were by God's assisting grace, blessed with what St. Paul seemed to beg for his Philippians;* namely, “ That he, that had begun a good work in them, would finish it.” And Almighty God did : for his whole life was so regular and innocent, that he might have said at his death—and with truth and comfort—what the same St. Paul said after to the same Philippians, when he advised them to walk as they had bim for an example.t
And this goodness, of which I have spoken, seemed to increase as his years did ; and with his goodness his Learning, the foundation of which was laid in the Grammar-school of Rotherhamthat being one of those three that were founded and liberally endowed by the said great and good Bishop of that name.-And in this time of his being a Scholar there, he was observed to use an unwearied diligence to attain learning, and to have a seriousness beyond his age, and with it a more than common modesty; and to be of so calm and obliging a behaviour, that the Master and whole number of Scholars, loved him as one man.
And in this love and amity he continued at that School till about the thirteenth year of his age ; at which time his Father designed to improve his Grammar learning, by removing him from Rotherham to one of the more noted Schools of Eton or Westminster; and after a year's stay there, then to remove him thence to Oxford. But, as he went with him, he called on an old friend, a Minister of noted learning, and told him his intentions; and he, after many questions with his Son, received such answers from him, that he assured his Father, his Son was so perfect a Grammarian, that he had laid a good foundation to build any or all the Arts upon; and therefore advised him to shorten his journey, and leave him at Oxford. And his father did so.
* Phil. i. 6.
+ Chap. iii. 17.
His father left him there to the sole care and manage of Dr. Kilbie, * who was then Rector of Lincoln College. And he, after some time and trial of his manners and learning, thought fit to enter him of that College, and, after to matriculate him in the University, which he did the first of July, 1603; but he was not chosen Fellow till the third of May, 1606; at which time he had taken his degree of Bachelor of Arts: at the taking of which degree, his Tutor told the Rector, “ That his pupil Sanderson had a metaphysical brain and a matchless memory; and that he thought he had improved or made the last so by an art of his own inven. tion.” And all the future employments of his life proved that his tutor was not mistaken. I must here stop my Reader, and tell him that this Dr. Kilbie was a man of so great learning and wisdom and was so excellent a critic in the Hebrew Tongue, that he was made Professor of it in this university; and was also so perfect a Grecian, that he was by King James appointed to be one of the Translators of the Bible; and that this Doctor and Mr. Sanderson had frequent discourses, and loved as father and son. The Doctor was to ride a journey into Derbyshire, and took Mr. Sanderson to bear him company: and they going together on a Sunday with the Doctor's friend to that Parish Church where they then were, found the young Preacher to have no more discretion, than to waste a great part of the hour allotted for his Sermon in exceptions against the late Translation of several words,-not expecting such a hearer as Dr. Kilbie,—and shewed three reasons why a particular word should have been otherwise translated. When Evening Prayer was ended, the Preacher was invited to the Doctor's friend's house; where after some other conference the Doctor told him, “ He might have preached more useful doctrine, and not have filled his auditors' ears with needless exceptions against the late Translation : and for that word, for which he
* Dr. Richard Kilbie, born at Ratcliffe, in Leicestershire, and a great benefactor to his College, since he restored the neglected library, added eight new repositories for books, and gave to it many excellent volumes. He became Rector in 1590, and in 1610 he was appointed the King's Hebrew Professor. He died in 1620.
offered to that poor congregation three reasons why it ought to have been translated as he said ; he and others had considered all them, and found thirteen more considerable reasons why it was translated as now printed ;” and told him, “If his friend, then attending him, should prove guilty of such indiscretion, he should forfeit his favour.” To which Mr. Sanderson said, “ He hoped he should not.” And the preacher was so ingenious as to say, “He would not justify himself.” And so I return to Oxford. In the year 1608,—July the 11th,—Mr. Sanderson was completed Master of Arts. I am not ignorant, that for the attaining these dignities the time was shorter than was then or is now required; but either his birth or the well performance of some extraordinary exercise, or some other merit, made him so: and the reader is requested to believe, that 'twas the last: and requested to believe also, that if I be mistaken in the time, the College Records have misinformed me: but I hope they have not.
In that year of 1608, he was—November the 7th-by his College chosen Reader of Logic in the House ; which he performed so well, that he was chosen again the sixth of November, 1609. In the year 1613, he was chosen Sub-Rector of the Col. lege, and the like for the year 1614, and chosen again to the same dignity and trust for the
In all which time and employments, his abilities and behaviour were such, as procured him both love and reverence from the whole Society ; there being no exception against him for any faults, but a sorrow for the infirmities of his being too timorous and bashful; both which were, God knows, so connatural as they never left him. And I know not whether his lovers ought to wish they had; for they proved so like the radical moisture in man's body, that they preserved the life of virtue in his soul, which by God's assisting grace never left him till this life put on immortality. Of which happy infirmities—if they may be so calledmore hereafter.
In the year 1614 he stood to be elected one of the Proctors for the University. And 'twas not to satisfy any ambition of his own, but to comply with the desire of the Rector and whole Society, of which he was a Member; who had not had a Proctor chosen out of their College for the space of sixty years ;-namely,
not from the year 1554, unto his standing ;—and they persuaded him, that if he would but stand for Proctor, his merits were so generally known, and he so well beloved, that 'twas but appear. ing, and he would infallibly carry it against any opposers; and told him, “ That he would by that means recover a right or reputation that was seemingly dead to his College." By these, and other like persuasions, he yielded up his own reason to theirs, and appeared to stand for Proctor. But that election was carried on by so sudden and secret, and by so powerful a faction, that he missed it. Which when he understood, he professed seriously to his friends, " That if he were troubled at the disappointment, it was for their's, and not for his own sake: for he was far from any desire of such an employment, as must be managed with charge and trouble, and was too usually rewarded with hard cen. sures, or hatred, or both.”
In the year following he was earnestly persuaded by Dr. Kilbie and others, to review the Logic Lectures which he had read some years past in his College ; and, that done, to methodise and print them, for the ease and public good of posterity. But though he had an averseness to appear publicly in print; yet after many serious solicitations, and some second thoughts of his own, he laid aside his modesty, and promised he would ; and he did so in that year of 1615.
And the book proved as his friends seemed to prophesy, that is, of great and general use, whether we respect the Art or the Author. For Logic may be said to be an art of right reasoning; an Art that undeceives men who take falsehood for truth ; enables men to pass a true judgment, and detect those fallacies, which in some men's understandings usurp the place of right reason. And how great a master our Author was in this art, will quickly appear from that clearness of method, argument, and demonstration, which is so conspicuous in all his other writings. He, who had attained to so great a dexterity in the use of reason himself, was best qualified to prescribe rules and directions for the instruction of others. And I am the more satisfied of the excellency and usefulness of this, his first public undertaking, by hearing that most Tutors in both Universities teach Dr. Sander. son’s Logic to their Pupils, as a foundation upon which they are to build their future studies in Philosophy. And, for a further