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with impure hands ought not to offer sacrifice to that God, whose pure eyes abhor iniquity.
There was in his Sermons no improper rhetoric, nor such perplexed divisions, as may be said to be like too much light, that so dazzles the eyes, that the sight becomes less perfect but there was therein no want of useful matter, nor waste of words; and yet such clear distinctions as dispelled all confused notions, and made his hearers depart both wiser, and more confirmed in virtuous resolutions.
His memory was so matchless and firm, as 'twas only overcome by his bashfulness; for he alone, or to a fiiend, could repeat all the Odes of Horace, all Tully's Offices, and much of Juvenal and Persius, without book: and would say, "the repetition of one of the Odes of Horace to himself, was to him such music, as a lesson on the viol was to others, when they played it to themselves or friends." And though he was blest with a clearer judg ment than other men, yet he was so distrustful of it, that he did over-consider of consequences, and would so delay and re-consider what to determine, that though none ever determined better, yet, when the bell tolled for him to appear and read his Divinity Lectures in Oxford, and all the Scholars attended to hear him, he had not then, or not till then, resolved and writ what he ment to determine; so that that appeared to be a truth, which his old dear friend Dr. Sheldon would often say, namely, "That his judgment was so much superior to his fancy, that whatsoever this suggested, that disliked and controlled; still considering, and re-considering, till his time was so wasted, that he was forced to write, not, probably, what was best, but what he thought last." And yet what he did then read, appeared to all hearers to be so useful, clear, and satisfactory, as none ever determined with greater applause. These tiring and perplexing thoughts, begot in him an averseness to enter into the toil of considering and determining all casuistical points; because during that time, they neither gave rest to his body or mind. But though he would not be always loaden with these knotty points and distinctions; yet the study of old records, genealogies, and Heraldry, were a recreation and so pleasing, that he would say they gave rest to his mind. Of the
last of which I have seen two remarkable volumes; and the Reader needs neither to doubt their truth or exactness.
And this humble man had so conquered all repining and ambitious thoughts, and with them all other unruly passions, that, if the accidents of the day proved to his danger or damage, yet he both began and ended it with an even and undisturbed quietness; always praising God that he had not withdrawn food and raiment from him and his poor family; nor suffered him to violate his conscience for his safety, or to support himself or them in a more splendid or plentiful condition; and that he therefore resolved with David, “That his praise should be always in his mouth."
I have taken a content in giving my Reader this character of his person, his temper, and some of the accidents of his life past; and more might be added of all: but I will with sorrow look forward to the sad days, in which so many good men suffered, about the year 1658, at which time Dr. Sanderson was in a very low condition as to his estate; and in that time Mr. Robert Boyle*— a gentleman of a very noble birth, and more eminent for his liberality, learning, and virtue, and of whom I would say much more, but that he still lives-having casually met with and read his Lectures de Juramento, to his great satisfaction, and being informed of Dr. Sanderson's great innocence and sincerity, and that he and his family were brought into a low condition by his not complying with the Parliament's injunctions, sent him by his dear friend Dr. Barlowt-the now learned Bishop of Lincoln507. and with it a request and promise. The request was, that he would review the Lectures de Conscientiâ, which he had read when he was Dr. of the Chair in Oxford, and print them for the good of posterity :-and this Dr. Sanderson did in the year 1659. -And the promise was, that he would pay him that, or a greater
* This amiable philosopher, was born Jan. 25th, 1626-27, at Lismore, in the province of Munster, in Ireland. He was a scholar, a gentleman, a christian of the most exalted piety and charity, and a very eminent Natural philosopher. He died Dec. 30th, 1691.
† Dr. Thomas Barlow, was born in 1607, at Orton, in Westmoreland, was made Bishop of Lincoln, in 1675, and died at Buckden, in 1691. His character appears to have been vacillating; he was not among the venerable Prelates who stood forth the Protectors of the Protestant Religion in 1688. His theological learning has never been excelled.
sum if desired, during his life, to enable him to pay an amanuensis, to ease him from the trouble of writing what he should conceive or dictate. For the more particular account of which, I refer my Reader to a letter writ by the said Dr. Barlow, which I have annexed to the end of this relation.
Towards the end of this year, 1659, when the many mixed sects, and their creators and merciless protectors, had led or driven each other into a whirlpool of confusion: when amazement and fear had seized them, and their accusing consciences gave them an inward and fearful intelligence, that the god which they had long served was now ready to pay them such wages, as he does always reward witches with for their obeying him when these wretches were come to foresee an end of their cruel reign, by our King's return; and such sufferers as Dr. Sanderson-and with him many of the oppressed Clergy and others—could foresee the cloud of their afflictions would be dispersed by it; then, in the beginning of the year following, the King was by God restored to us, and we to our known laws and liberties, and a general joy and peace seemed to breathe through the three nations. Then were the suffering Clergy freed from their sequestration, restored to their revenues, and to a liberty to adore, praise, and pray to God in such order as their consciences and oaths had formerly obliged them. And the Reader will easily believe, that Dr. Sanderson and his dejected family rejoiced to see this day, and be of this number.
It ought to be considered-which I have often heard or readthat in the primitive times men of learning and virtue were usually sought for, and solicited to accept of Episcopal government, and often refused it. For they conscientiously considered, that the office of a Bishop was made up of labour and care; that they were trusted to be God's almoners of the Church's revenue, and double their care for the poor; to live strictly themselves, and use all diligence to see that their family, officers, and Clergy did so ; and that the account of that stewardship must, at the last dread. ful day, be made to the Searcher of all Hearts: and that in the primitive times they were therefore timorous to undertake it. It may not be said, that Dr. Sanderson was accomplished with these, and all the other requisites required in a Bishop, so as to be able
to answer them exactly but it may be affirmed, as a good preparation, that he had at the age of seventy-three years-for he was so old at the King's Return-fewer faults to be pardoned by God or man, than are apparent in others in these days, in which, God knows, we fall so short of that visible sanctity and zeal to God's glory, which was apparent in the days of primitive Christianity. This is mentioned by way of preparation to what I shall say more of Dr. Sanderson; and namely, that, at the King's return, Dr. Sheldon, the late prudent Bishop of Canterbury, than whom none knew, valued, or loved Dr. Sanderson more or better, -was by his Majesty made a chief trustee to commend to him fit men to supply the then vacant Bishoprics. And Dr. Sheldon knew none fitter than Dr. Sanderson, and therefore humbly desired the King that he would nominate him: and, that done, he did as humbly desire Dr. Sanderson that he would, for God's and the Church's sake, take that charge and care upon him. Dr. Sanderson had, if not an unwillingness, certainly no forwardness to undertake it; and would often say, he had not led himself, but his friend would now lead him into a temptation, which he had daily prayed against; and besought God, if he did undertake it, so to assist him with his grace, that the example of his life, his cares and endeavours might promote his glory, and help forward the salvation of others.
This I have mentioned as a happy preparation to his Bishopric; and am next to tell, that he was consecrated Bishop of Lincoln at Westminster, the 28th of October, 1660.
There was about this time a Christian care taken, that those whose consciences were, as they said, tender, and could not comply with the service and ceremonies of the Church, might have satisfaction given by a friendly debate betwixt a select number of them, and some like number of those that had been sufferers for the Church-service and ceremonies, and now restored to liberty; of which last some were then preferred to power and dignity in the Church. And of these Bishop Sanderson was one, and then chose to be a moderator in that debate: and he performed his trust with much mildness, patience, and reason; but all proved ineffectual: for there be some prepossessions like jealousies, which, though causeless, yet cannot be removed by reasons as apparent
as demonstration can make any truth. The place appointed for this debate was the Savoy in the Strand: and the points debated were, I think, many; some affirmed to be truth and reason, some denied to be either; and these debates being then in words, proved to be so loose and perplexed as satisfied neither party. For sometime that which had been affirmed was immediately forgot or denied, and so no satisfaction given to either party. But that the debate might become more useful, it was therefore resolved, that the day following the desires and reasons of the Nonconformists should be given in writing, and they in writing receive answers from the conforming party. And though I neither now can, nor need to mention all the points debated, nor the names of the dissenting brethren; yet I am sure Mr. Baxter was one, and am sure what shall now follow was one of the points debated.
Concerning a command of lawful superiors, what was sufficient to its being a lawful command; this proposition was brought by the conforming party.
"That command which commands an act in itself lawful, and no other act or circumstance unlawful, is not sinful."
Mr. Baxter denied it for two reasons, which he gave in with his own hand in writing, thus:
"Because that may be a sin per accidens, which is not so in itself, and may be unlawfully commanded, though that accident be not in the command." Another was, "That it may be commanded under an unjust penalty."
Again, this proposition being brought by the Conformists, "That command which commandeth an act in itself lawful, and no other act whereby any unjust penalty is enjoined, nor any circumstance whence, per accidens, any sin is consequent which the commander ought to provide against, is not sinful."
Mr. Baxter denied it for this reason, then given in with his own hand in writing thus: "Because the first act commanded may be per accidens unlawful, and be commanded by an unjust penalty, though no other act or circumstance commanded be such."
Again, this proposition being brought by the Conformists, "That
* Richard Baxter was born at Rowton, in Shropshire, in 1615, and was a Chaplain in the Parliamentary Army, though he was a defender of Monarchy. He refused the Bishopric of Hereford, and died in 1691.