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ability, and as often for the occasion, and that God had inclined his heart to do it to the meanest of any of those poor, but precious souls, for which his Saviour vouchsafed to be crucified.
Some of these very many cases that were resolved by letters, have been preserved and printed for the benefit of posterity; as namely,
1. Of the Sabbath.
2. Marrying with a Recusant.
3. Of unlawful love.
4. Of a military life.
5. Of Scandal.
6. Of a bond taken in the King's name.
7. Of the Engagement.
But many more remain in private hands, of which one is of Simony; and I wish the world might see it, that it might undeceive some Patrons, who think they have discharged that great and dangerous trust, both to God and man, if they take no money for a living, though it may be parted with for other ends less justifi able.
time of his retirement, when the common people were amazed and grown giddy by the many falsehoods, and misapplications of truths frequently vented in sermons; when they wrested the Scripture by challenging God to be of their party, and called upon him in their prayers to patronize their sacrilege and zealous frenzies; in this time he did so compassionate the generality of this misled nation, that though the times threatened danger, yet, he then hazarded his safety by writing the large and bold Preface now extant before his last twenty Sermons ;-first printed in the year 1655;—in which there was such strength of reason, with so powerful and clear convincing applications made to the Non-conformists, as being read by one of those dissenting brethren, who was possessed with such a spirit of contradiction, as being neither able to defend his error, nor yield to truth manifest, his conscience having slept long and quietly in a good sequestered living, was yet at the reading of it so awakened, that
after a conflict with the reason he had met, and the damage he was to sustain if he consented to it,—and being still unwilling to be so convinced, as to lose by being over-reasoned,—he went in haste to the bookseller of whom it was bought, threatened him, and told him in anger, "he had sold a book in which there was false Divinity; and that the Preface had upbraided the Parliament, and many godly Ministers of that party, for unjust dealing." To which his reply was,-'twas Tim. Garthwaite,-"That 'twas not his trade to judge of true or false Divinity, but to print and sell books and yet if he, or any friend of his, would write an answer to it, and own it by setting his name to it, he would print the Answer, and promote the selling of it."
About the time of his printing this excellent Preface, I met h m accidentally in London, in sad-coloured clothes, and, God knows,
from being costly. The place of our meeting was near to Little Britain, where he had been to buy a book, which he then had in his hand. We had no inclination to part presently, and therefore turned to stand in a corner under a penthouse, for it began to rain, and immediately the wind rose, and the rain increased so much, that both became so inconvenient, as to force us into a cleanly house, where we had bread, cheese, ale, and a fire for our money. This rain and wind were so obliging to me, as to force our stay there for at least an hour, to my great content and advantage; for in that time he made to me many useful observations, with much clearness and conscientious freedom. I shall relate a part of them, in hope they may also turn to the advantage of my Reader. He seemed to lament, that the Parliament had taken upon them to abolish our Liturgy, to the scandal of so many devout and learned men, and the disgrace of those many martyrs, who had sealed the truth and use of it with their blood and that no Minister was now thought godly that did not decry it, and at least pretend to make better prayers ex tempore; and that they, and only they, that could do so, prayed by the Spirit, and were godly; though in their sermons they disputed, and evidently contradicted each other in their prayers. And as he did dislike this, so he did most highly commend the Common Prayer of the Church, saying, "the Collects were the most passionate, proper, and most elegant expressions that any language ever afforded; and that
there was in them such piety, and so interwoven with instructions, that they taught us to know the power, the wisdom, the majesty, and mercy of God, and much of our duty both to him and our neighbour; and that a congregation, behaving themselves reverently, and putting up to God these joint and known desires for pardon of sins, and praises for mercies received, could not but be more pleasing to God, than those raw, unpremeditated expressions, to which many of the hearers could not say, Amen."
And he then commended to me the frequent use of the Psalter, or Psalms of David; speaking to this purpose: "That they were the treasury of Christian comfort, fitted for all persons and necessities; able to raise the soul from dejection by the frequent mention of God's mercies to repentant sinners; to stir up holy desires: to increase joy; to moderate sorrow; to nourish hope, and teach us patience, by waiting God's leisure; to beget a trust in the mercy, power, and providence of our Creator; and to cause a resignation of ourselves to his will; and then, and not till then, to believe ourselves happy." This, he said, the Liturgy and Psalms taught us; and that by the frequent use of the last, they would not only prove to be our soul's comfort, but would become so habitual, as to transform them into the Image of his soul that composed them. After this manner he expressed himself concerning the Liturgy and Psalms; and seemed to lament that this, which was the devotion of the more primitive times, should in common pulpits be turned into needless debates about Freewill, Election, and Reprobation, of which, and many like questions, we may be safely ignorant, because Almighty God intends not to lead us to Heaven by hard questions, but by meekness and charity, and a frequent practice of devotion.
And be seemed to lament very much, that, by the means of irregular and indiscreet preaching, the generality of the nation were possessed with such dangerous mistakes, as to think, "they might be religious first, and then just and merciful; that they might sell their consciences, and yet have something left that was worth keeping; that they might be sure they were elected, though their lives were visibly scandalous; that to be cunning was to be wise; that to be rich was to be happy, though their wealth was got without justice or mercy; that to be busy in things they un
derstood not, was no sin.” These and the like mistakes he lamented much, and besought God to remove them, and restore us to that humility, sincerity, and singleheartedness, with which this nation was blessed, before the unhappy Covenant was brought into the nation, and every man preached and prayed what seemed best in his own eyes. And he then said to me, "That the way to restore this nation to a more meek and Christian temper, was to have the body of Divinity—or so much of it as was needful to be known to be put into fifty-two Homilies or Sermons, of such a length as not to exceed a third, or fourth part of an hour's reading; and these needful points to be made so clear and plain, that those of a mean capacity might know what was necessary to be believed, and what God requires to be done; and then some applications of trial and conviction: and these to be read every Sunday of the year, as infallibly as the blood circulates the body; and then as certainly begun again, and continued the year following and that this being done, it might probably abate the inordinate desire of knowing what we need not, and practising what we know and ought to do." This was the earnest desire of this prudent man. And Oh that Dr. Sanderson had undertaken it! for then in all probability it would have proved effectual.
At this happy time of enjoying his company and this discourse, he expressed a sorrow by saying to me, "Oh that I had gone Chaplain to that excellently accomplished gentleman, your friend, Sir Henry Wotton! which was once intended, when he first went Ambassador to the State of Venice: for by that employment I had been forced into a necessity of conversing, not with him only, but with several men of several nations; and might thereby have kept myself from my unmanly bashfulness, which has proved very troublesome, and not less inconvenient to me; and which I now fear is become so habitual as never to leave me: and by that means I might also have known, or at least have had the satisfaction of seeing, one of the late miracles of general learning, prudence, and modesty, Sir Henry Wotton's dear friend, Padre Paulo, who, the author of his life says, was born with a bashfulness as invincible as I have found my own to be: a man whose fame must never die, till virtue and learning shall become so useless as not to be regarded."
This was a part of the benefit I then had by that hour's conversation and I gladly remember and mention it, as an argument of my happiness, and his great humility and condescension. I had also a like advantage by another happy conference with him, which I am desirous to impart in this place to the Reader. He lamented much, that in many Parishes, where the maintenance was not great, there was no Minister to officiate; and that many of the best sequestered livings were possessed with such rigid Covenanters as denied the Sacrament to their Parishioners, unless upon such conditions, and in such a manner, as they could not take it. This he mentioned with much sorrow, saying, “The blessed Sacrament did, by way of preparation for it, give occasion to all conscientious receivers to examine the performance of their vows, since they received their last seal for the pardon of their sins past; and to examine and re-search their hearts, and make penitent reflections on their failings; and, that done, to bewail them, and then make new vows or resolutions to obey all God's commands, and beg his grace to perform them. And this done, the Sacrament repairs the decays of grace, helps us to conquer infirmities, gives us grace to beg God's grace, and then gives us what we beg; makes us still hunger and thirst after his righteousness, which we then receive, and being assisted with our endeavours, will still so dwell in us, as to become our satisfaction in this life, and our comfort on our last sick beds." The want of this blessed benefit he lamented much, and pitied their condition that desired, but could not obtain it.
I hope I shall not disoblige my Reader, if I here enlarge into a further character of his person and temper. As first, that he was moderately tall: his behaviour had in it much of a plain comeliness, and very little, yet enough, of ceremony or courtship; his looks and motion manifested affability and mildness, and yet he had with these a calm, but so matchless a fortitude, as secured him from complying with any of those many Parliament injuncions, that interfered with a doubtful conscience. His learning was methodical and exact, his wisdom useful, his integrity visible, and his whole life so unspotted, that all ought to be preserved as copies for posterity to write after; the Clergy especially, who