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Full text of "The lives of Sir Matthew Hale, Lord Chief Justice of England, Wilmot, Earl of Rochester : and Queen Mary. To this ed. are added, Richard Baxter's Additional notes to the Life of Sir Matthew Hale, and A sermon preached at the funeral of the Earl of Rochester"





O F 


Lord Chief Juilice of England; 

WILMOT, Earl of Rochefter; 


Queen MARY. 

Written by Bifhop BirRNETTa 

To this Edition are a<«Jed, 

Richard Baxter's Additional Notes to 
. the Life of Sir MATTHEW HALE. 

A N O 

A Sermon Preached at the Funeral of the Earl 
of Rochefter, by the Rev. Mr. Parsons, 

O N D O Ns ^^^'■^, ^ ' 

Printed for T. DA VIES, in RufTel -Str-et, Covenl: -Giiden 


H - 1 "S B 2 



"hT part of hljiory is more injiru5five and 
■^ delighting, than the lives of great ajtd 
worthy men : the fhortnefs of them invites many 
readers, and there are fuch little and yet remark- 
able paffages in them, too inconfiderahle to be put 
in a general hijtory of the age in which they 
lived, that all people are very dejirous to knoio 
them. This makes PlutarcJfs lives to be more 
generally read than any of all the books vohich 
the ancient Greeks or Romans zvrit. 

Bui the lives of heroes and princes are com- 
monly filled with the account of the great things 
done by them, which do rather belong to a gene- 
ral, than a particular hifiory ; and do rather 
amufe the readers fancy with a fplendid floew of 
greatnefs, than offer him tvhat is really fo ufeful 
to himfelf : and indeed the lives of princes are 



tither writ with fo much flattery^ by thofe who 
intended to merit by it at their own hands, or 
others concerned in them •, or with fo much fpite^ 
by thofe who being ill ufed by them have re- 
venged themfelves on their memory, that there is 
not much to be built on them j and though the 
ill nature of many makes what is fatyrically writ 
to be generally more read and believed, than 
when the flattery is viftble and coarfe, yet cer- 
tainly refentment may make the writer corrupt 
the truth of hifiory, as much as intereft -, 
and fince all men have their blind fides, and 
commit errors, he that will indiiftrioufly lay thefe 
together, leaving out, or but Jlightly touching, 
what fhould be fet againfi them to balance than, 
may make a very good man appear in very bad 
colours : fo upon the whole matter, there is not 
that reafon to expeiJ either much truth, or great 
infiru5iion, from what is written concerning 
heroes or princes -, for few have been able tQ 
imitate the patterns Suetonius fet the world in 
writing the lives of the Roman emperors, with 
the fame freedom that they had led them : but 
the lives of private men, though they feldom 
entertain the reader with fuch a variety of paf- 
fagcs as the other do -, yet certainly they offer 
bim things that are more imitable, and do pre- 



fent wifdcm and 'virtue to hm^ not only in a 
fair idea^ which is often look'd on as a piece of 
the invention or fancy of the 'writer^ but in fuch 
plain and familiar injlances, as do both direct 
hirit better, and perfuade him more ; and there 
are not fuch temptations to hiafs thofe who writ 
them, fo that we may generally depend more on 
the truth of fuch relations as are given in them. 
In the age in which we live, religion and 
virtue have been propofed and defended with 
fuch advantages, with that great force of rea- 
fon, and thofe perfuaftons, that they can hardly 
be matched in former times ; yet after all this, 
there are but fezv much wrought on by them, 
which perhaps flows from this, among other 
reafons, that there are not fo many excellent 
patterns fet out, as might both in a fhorter and 
more effectual manner recommend that to the 
world, which difcourfes do but coldly -, the wit 
and file of the writer being more conjidered 
than the argument which they handle, and 
therefore the propofing virtue and religion in 
fuch a model, may perhaps operate more than 
the perfpecfive of it can do ; and for the hijlory 
of learning, nothing does fo preferve and im- 
prove it, as the writing the lives of thofe who 
have been eminent in it. 



^hen is no hook the ancients have left tis^ 
which might have informed us more than Dio- 
genes Laertius his lives of the philofophers, if 
he had had the art of writing equal to that 
great fuhje^ which he under tooky for if he had 
given the world fuch account of them^ as Gaf- 
fendus has done of Peirejky how great a flock 
of knowledge might we have had, which l>y his 
unjkilfulnefs is in a great meafure lofi \ fince we 
mufi now depend only on him, becaufe we have 
-no other ^ or better author, that has written on 
that argument. 

For many ages there were no lives writ hut 
hy monks, through whofe writings there runs 
fuch an incureahle humour of telling incredible 
and inimitable pa[fages, that little in them can 
he believed or propofed as a pattern. Sulpitius 
Severus and Jerom fhewed too much credulity 
in the lives they writ, and raifed Martin and 
Hilarion beyond what can be reafonable believed: 
after them, Socrates, Theodoret, Sozomen, and 
Palladius, took a pleafure to tell uncouth flories 
ef the monks of Thebais, and Nitra •, and ihofe 
who came after them, fccrned to fall fljcrt of 
them, but raifed their faints above thofe of for- 
mer ages, fo that one would have thought that 
tmdecent way of writing could raife no higher -, 


rhe P R E F A C E. 

£nd this humour infeuied even thofe who had 
otherwife a good fenfe of things, and a juji 
apprehenjion of mankind, as may appear in 
Matthew Paris, who though he was a writer 
vf great judgment and fidelity, yet he has cor- 
rupted his hiflory with much of that alloy : hut 
when emulation and envy rofe among the fever at 
orders or houfes, then they improved in that 
art of making romances, infiead of writing 
lives, to that pitch, that the world became ge- 
nerally much fcandalized with them. The Fran- 
cifcans and Dominicans tried who could fay the 
mofl extravagant things of the founders, or 
other faints of their orders, and the Benedic- 
tines, who thought thcmf elves po[fefi of the 
belief of the world, as well as of its wealth, 
endeavoured all that was poffible fill to keep up 
the dignity of their order, by out -lying the ethers 
all they could; and whereas here or there, a 
miracle, a vifion, or trance, might have occured 
in the lives of former faints, now every page 
was full of thofe wonderful things. 

J^or has the humour of writing in fuch a 
manner, been quite laid down in this age, though 
more awakened and better enlightened, as ap- 
pears in the life of Philip Nerius, and a great 
many more : and the jcfuits at Antwerp, are 



now taking care to load the world with a vaji 
and voluminous colle5fion of all thofe lives that 
has already /welled to eleven volumes in folio^ 
in a fmall prints and yet being digejled accord- 
ing to the calender, they have yet hut ended the 
month of April. The life of mo^/lear Renty is 
writ in another manner, where there are fo 
many excellent pajfages, that he is jtijlly to be 
reckoned amongfl the greated patterns that 
France has afforded in this age. 

But while fome have nourifhed infidelity, and 
a f corn of all f acred things, by writing of thofe 
good men in fuch a ftrain, as makes not only 
what is fo related to be difhelieved, but creates 
a diftrujl of the authentical writings of our 
moji holy faith ; others have fallen into another 
extream, in writing lives too jejunely, fwelling 
ihem up with trifling accounts of the childhood 
and education, and the domeftick and private 
affairs of thofe perfons of whom they writ, in 
which the world is little concerned; by thefe 
they become fo flat ^ that few care to read them-, 
for certainly thofe tranfa^ions are only fit to be 
delivered to poflerity, that may carry with them 
fome ufeful piece of knowledge to after-times. 

I have 


/ have now an argument before me^ which 
will afford indeed only a Jhort hiftory^ hut will 
xontain in it as great a character as perhaps can 
he given of any in this age ; ftnce there are few 
injiances of more knowledge and greater virtues 
meeting is one perfon. I am upon one account 
(bejidts many more) unfit to undertake it^ he- 
caufe I was not at all known to him, fo I can 
fay nothing from my vvm ohfervation ; hut upon 
fecond thoughts I do not know whether this may 
not qualify me to write more impartially, though 
perhaps more defe5lively, for the knowledge of 
extraordinary perfons does mojl commonly biafs 
thofe who were much wrought on by the ten- 
dernefs of their friendfhip for them, to raife their 
flile a little too high when they write concerning 
them : I confefs I knew him as much as the 
looking often upon hifn could amount to. The 
lafi year ■of his heing in London, he came always 
on Sundays (when he could go abroad) to the 
chapel of the Rolls, where I then preached: 
in my life I never f aw fo 7nuch gravity^ tempered 
-with that fweetnefs, and fet off with fo much 
vivacity, as appeared in his looks and behaviour, 
which difpofed me to a veneration for him, 
which I never had for any, with whom I was 
not acquainted: I was feeking an opportunity 



cf being admitted to bis converfation\ hut I 
underfiood that between a great want of healthy 
and a multiplicity of bufinefs^ which his employ- 
went brought upon him^ he was majler of fo 
little of his time, that IJf.ood in doubt whether 
I might prefume to rob him of any of it, and fo 
he left the town before I could refolve on dejir- 
ing to be known to him. 

My ignorance of the law of England, made 
me alfo unfit to write of a man, a great part 
of whofe character, as to his learning, is to be 
taken from his /kill in the Common Law, and his 
performance in that. But Ifhall leave that to 
thofe of the fame robe \Jince if I engaged much 
in it, I mufi needs commit many errors, writing 
cf a fubje^ that is foreign to m^^ 

1'he occafion of my undertaking this, was 
given me fir ft by the earneji defires of fame that 
have great power over me, who having been 
much obliged by him, and holding his memory 
in high eflimation, thought I might do it fome 
right by writing his life ; I was then engaged 
in the hifiory of the reformation, fo I promifed 
that as foon as that was over, I Jhculd make 
the hefl ufe I could of fuch informations and 
memorials as (Ijould be brought me. 


ne P R E F A C E. 

^his I have nczu fcrfonred in the bejl mtin- 
ner I could, and have brought into method alt 
the parcels of his life, or the branches of his 
character, ivhich I could either gather fro7n the 
informations that were brought me, or from 
thofe that were familiarly acquainted with him^ 
or from his writings. I have not applied any 
of the falfe colours with which art, or foms 
forced eloquence, might furniflj me in writing 
concerning him -, but have endeavoured to fet 
him out in the fame fimpli city in which he lived. 
I have faid little of his dome/lick concerns, fince 
though in thefe he was a great example, yet it 
Jignifies nothing to the world, to know any par^ 
ticular exercifes, that might be given to his 
patience ; and therefore I fhall draw a veil 
over all thefe, and fhall avoid faying any thing 
of him, but what may offord the reader feme pro- 
fitable inflruolion. I am under no tempt atic?is of 
faying any thing, but what I am perfuaded i$^ 
exactly true, for where there is fo much excellent 
truth to be told, it were an inexcufable fault 
to corrupt that, or prejudice the reader againji 
it, by the mixture of falfhoods with it. 

In fhort, as he was a great example while he; 
lived,, fo I wijh the fet ting him thus out to pcjle- 


'J'he P R E F A C E. 

r//y, in his own true and native colours^ may 
have its due influence on all perfonSy but more 
particularly on thofe of that profeffion, whom 
it more immediately concerns, whether on the 
hetich or at the bar. 


^' w*'0. -^-^^ x^x -^'""^ ;<^:*M 9 
o; ;^;*M ^°-'$« x^>- ^««.:^ .jg:;*)s< .^: 



O F 



Lord Chief Juftice of England. 

MATTHEW HALE, was born at 
Alderly in Glocefterftiire, Nov. i, 1609. 
His grandfather was Robert Hale, an 
eminent clothier in VVotton-under-edge, in that 
county, where he and his anceftors had lived for 
many defcents ; and they had given feveral parcels 
of land for the ufe of the poor, which were enjoyed 
by them to this day. This Robert acquired an 
eftate of ten thoufand pounds, which he divided 
almoft equally amongft his five fons ; befides the 
portions he gave his daughters, from whom a nu- 
merous pofterity has fprung. His fecond fon was 
Robert Hale, a Barrifter of Lincoln's-Inn ; he 
married Joan, the daughter of Matthew Poyntz, of 

B Alderly, 

2 The Life and Death of 

AUerly, Efquire, who was defcended from thfag 
noble family of the Poyntz's of Afton : of this mar- 
riage there was no other iflue but this one fon. His- 
Grandfather by his mother was his godfather, and 
gave him his own name at his baptifm. His father 
was a man of that ftri£tnefs of confcience, that he 
gave over the pra6llce of the law, becaufe he could 
not underftand the rcafon of giving colour in plead-* 
ings, which as he thought was to tell a lye, and 
that, with fome other things commonly pra^llfed,, 
feemed to him contrary to that exadtnefs of truth 
and juftiee which became a chriftian, fo that he 
withdrew himfelf from thelnnaof Court to live on 
his eftate in the country. Of this I was informed 
by an ancient gentleman, that lived in a friendftiip 
with his fon for fifty years, and he heard Judge 
Jones, that was Mr. Hale's contemporary, declare 
this in the King's-bench. But as the care he had 
to fave his foul, made him abandon a profefEon in 
which he might have laifed his family much higher^, 
fo his charity to his poor neighbours made him not 
only deal his alms largely among them while he 
lived, but at his death he left (out of his fmall 
eftate which was but lool. a year) 20 1. a year 
to the poor of Wotton, which his fon confirmed 
to them, with fome addition, and with this regu-^ 
lation, that it fliould be diftributed among fucb 
poor houfe-keepers, as did not receive the alms of 
the parifh ; for to give it to thofe, was only, as he 
iifed to fay, to fave fo much money to the rich, who 
by law were bound to relieve the poor of the parifti. 



' Thus he was defcended rather from a good, than 
a noble family, and yet what was wanting in the 
infignificant titles of high birth, and noble blood, 
was more than made up in the true worth of his 
anceflors. But he was foon deprived of the hap- 
pinefs of his father's care and inftrudion, for as 
he loft his mother before he was three years old, 
fo his father died before he was five ; fo early was 
he caft on the providence of God. But that un- 
happinefs was in a great meafure made up to him : 
for after fome oppofition made by Mr. Thomas 
Poyntz, his uncle by his mother, he was com- 
mitted to the care of Anthony Kingfcot, of King- 
fcot, Efquire, who was his next ktnfman, after his 
uncles, by his mother. 

Great care was taken of his education, and his 
guardian intended to breed him to be a divine, 
and being inclined to the way of thofe then called 
Puritans, put him to fome fchools that were taught 
by thofe of that party, and in the feventeenth year 
of his age, fent him to Magdalen-Hall in Oxford, 
where Obadiah Sedgwick was his tutor. He was 
an extraordinary proficient at fchool, and for fome 
time at Oxford. But the Stage-players coming 
thither, he was fo much corrupted by feeing many 
plays, that he almoft wholly forfook his ftudies. 
By this he not only loft much time, but found 
that his head came to be thereby filled with fuch 
vain images of things, that they were at beft un- 
profitable, if not hurtful to him ; and being after- 
wards fejifible of the mifchief of this, he refolved 

B 2 upon 

4 1"he Life and Death of 

upon his coming to London, (where he knew the 
opportunities of fuch fights would be more fre- 
quent and inviting) never to fee a play again, to 
which he conftantly adhered. 

The corruption of a young man's mind, in one 
particular, generally draws on a great many more 
after it, fo he being now taken off from following 
his ftudies, and from the gravity of his deportment> 
that was formerly eminent in him, far beyond his 
years, fet himfelf to many of the vanities incident 
to youth, but ftill preferved his purity, and a great 
probity of mind. He loved fine clothes, and de- 
lighted much in company : and being of a ftrong 
robuft body, he was a great mafter of all thofe 
exercifes that required much ftrength. He alfo 
learned to fence, and handle his weapons, in which 
he became fo expert, that he worfted many of the 
mafters of thofe arts : but as he was exercifmg him- 
felf in them, an inftance appeared, that fhewed a 
good judgment, and gave fome hopes of better 
things. One of his mafters told hrm, he could 
teach him no more, for he was now better at his 
own trade than himfelf was. This Mr. Hale 
look'd on as flattery ; fo to make the mafter difcover 
himfelf, he promifed him the houfe he lived in, 
for he was his tenant, if he could hit him a blow 
on the head : and bad him do his beft, for he 
would be as good as his word. So after a little 
engagement, his mafter being really fuperiour to 
him, hit him on the head, and he performed his 
promife \ for he gave him the houfe freely : and 



was not unwilling at that rate to learn fo early, to 
diftinguifh flattery from plain and fimple truth. 

He was now fo taken up with martial matters, 
that inftead of going on in his defign of being a 
fcholar, or a divine, he refolved to be a foldier : 
and his tutor Sedgwick going into the Low-coun- 
tries, chaplain to the renowned Lord Vere, he 
refolved to go along with him, and to trail a pike 
in the prince of Orange's army ; but a happy ftop 
was put to this refolution, which might have proved 
fo fatal to himfelf, and have deprived the age of 
the great example he gave, and the ufeful fervices 
he afterwards did his country. He was engaged 
in a fuit of law with Sir William Whitmore, who 
laid claim to fome part of his eftate, and his guar- 
dian being a man of a retired temper, and not 
made for bufmefs, he was forced to leave the uni- 
verfity, after he had been three years in it, and go 
to London to follicit his own bufmefs. Being 
recommended to ferjeant Glanvill for his councel- 
lor, and he obferving in him a clear apprehenfion 
of things, and a folid judgment, and a great fitnefs 
for the ftudy of the law, took pains upon him to 
perfuade him to forfake his thoughts of being a 
foldier, and to apply himfelf to the ftudy of the 
law : and this had fo good an effefi on him, that 
on the 8th of November, 1629, when he was paft 
the twentieth year of his age, he was admitted into 
Lincoln's-Inn : and being then deeply fenfible how 
much time he had loft, and that idle and vain 
things had over -run and almoft corrupted his mind, 

^ Z he 

6 1'he Life and Death of 

he refolved to redeem the time he had loft, and 
followed his ftudies with a diligence that could 
fcarce be believed, if the fignal effects of it did 
not gain it credit. He ftudied for many years at 
the rate of fixteen hours a day : he threw afide 
all fine clothes, and betook himfelf to a plain fa- 
ihion, which he continued to ufe in many points 
to his dying day. 

But, fmce the honour of reclaiming him from 
the idlenefs of his former courfe of life, is due to 
the memory of that eminent lawer, ferjeant Glan- 
vill, and fince my defign in writing is to propofe a 
pattern of heroic virtue to the world, I fliall men- 
tion one paflage of the ferjeant which ought never 
to be forgotten. His father had a fair eftate, which 
he intented to fettle on his elder brother, but he 
heing a vicious young man, and there appearing 
no hopes of his recovery, he fettled it on him, 
that was his fecond fon. Upon his death, his 
cldeft fon finding that what he had before looked 
on, as the threatnings of an angry father, was 
now but too certain, became melancholy, and that 
by degrees wrought fo great a change on him, 
that what his father could not prevail in while he 
lived, was now effc6led by the feverity of )iis lafl: 
ivill, fo that it was now too late for him to change 
in hopes of an eftate that was gone from him. 
But his brother obferving the reality of the change, 
refolved within himfelf what to do : fo he called 
him, with many of his friends together to a feaft, 
^nd after other difhes had been ferved up to the 

* dinner^ 


tlinner, he ordered one that was covered to be fet 
before his brother, and defired him to uncover it ; 
which he doing, the company vv^as furprized to find 
it full of writings. So he to3<i them, that he 
was now to do what he was fare his father would 
have done, if he had lived to fee that happy 
change, which they now all faw in his brother : 
and therefore he freely reftored to him the whole 
eftate. This is fo great an inftance of a generous 
and juft difpofition, that I hope the reader will 
eafily pardon this digreffion, and that the rather, 
fmce that worthy ferjeant was fo inftrumental in 
the happy change that followed in the courfe of 
Mr. Hale's life. 

Yet he did not at firft break off from keeping 
too much company with fome vain people, till a 
fad accident drove him from it, for he, with fome 
^ther young ftudents, being invited to be merry 
Ottt of town, one of the company called for fd 
anuch wine, that, notwithftanding all that Mr. 
•Hale could do to prevent it, he wenj on in his ex- 
"cefs till he fell down as dead before them, fo that 
all that were prefent, were not a little affrighted 
at it, who did what they could to bring him to 
himfelf again. This did particularly affedl Mr. 
Hale, who thereupon went into another room, 
and fhutting the door, fell on his knees, and 
prayed earneftly to God, both for his friend, that 
he might be reftored to life again ; and that him- 
felf might be forgiven for giving fuch countenance 
to fo much excefs ; and he vowed to God, that 

B 4 he 

•;S ^he Life and Death of 

he would never again keep company in that man- 
ner, nor drink a health while he lived. His friend 
recovered, and he moft religioufly obferved his 
vow, till his dying day. And though he was 
afterwards preft to drink healths, particularly the 
king's, which was fet up by too many as a diftin- 
guifliing mark of loyalty, and drew many into 
great excefs after his Majefty's happy reftoration ; 
but he would never difpenfe with his vow, though 
he was fometimes roughly treated for this, which 
fome hot and indifcreet men called obftinacy. 

This wrought an entire change on him : now 
he forfook all vain company, and divided" himfelf 
between the duties of religion, and the ftudies of 
his profeflion. In the former he was fo regular, 
that for fix and thirty years time he never once 
failed going to church on the Lord's day j this 
obfervation he made when an ague firft interrupted 
that conftant courfe, and he reflefted on it as an 
acknowledgment of God's great goodnefs to him, 
in fo long a continuance of his health. 

He took a ftri6l account of his time, of which 
the reader will beft judge, by the fcheme he drew 
for a diary, which I fhall infert copied from the 
original, but I am not certain when he made it ; it 
is fet down in the fame fimplicity in which he writ 
it for his own private ufe. 

I. To lift up the heart to God in thankfulnefs 

for renewing my life. 

II. To 


5'"II.To renew my covenant with God in Chrift. 

I. By renewed a£ts of faith receiving Chrift, and 

rejoycing in the height of that relation. 2. Re- 

folution of being one of his people, doing him 


• III. Adoration and prayer. 

IV. Setting a watch over my own infirmities 
and paflions, over the fnares laid in our way. 
Perimus Jicitis. 

Day Employment. 

There muft be an employment, two kinds. 

I. Our ordinary calling, to ferve God in it. It 
-is a fervice to Chrift though never fo mean. Colof. 

3. Here faithfulnefs, diligence, chearfulnefs. 
Not to overlay myfelf with more bufinefs than I 
can bear. 

II. Our fpiritual employments : mingle fonie- 
^hat of God's immediate fervice in this day. 


T. Meat and drink, moderation feafoned witTi 
fomewhat of God. 

II. Recreations, i. Not our bufinefs. 2. Suit- 
able. No games, if given to covetoufnefs or 

If alone. 

I. Beware of wandering vain luftful thoughts ; fly 
from thyfelf rather than entertain thefe. 

II. Let thy folitary thoughts be profitable, view 
the evidences of thy falvation, the llace of thy foul, 


lo The Life and Death of 

the coming of Chrift, thy own mortality, it will 
make thee humble and watchful. 


Do good to them, Ufe God's name reverently. 
Beware of leaving an ill impreffion of ill example. 
Receive good from them, if more knowings 


Caft up the accompts of the day. If ought 
amifs, beg pardon. Gather refolution of more 
vigilance. If well, blefs the mercy and grace of 
God that hath fupported thee. 

Thefe notes have an imperfeilion in the word- 
ing of them, which fhews they were only intended 
for his privacies. No wonder, a man who fet 
fuch rules to himfelf, became quickly very emi- 
nent and remarkable. 

Noy, the attorney-general, being then one of the 
greateft men of the profeffion, took early notice 
of him, and called often for him, and dire61:e4 
him in his ftudy, and grew to have fuch friend- 
ship for him, that he came to be called Young 
J^oy. He paffing from the extreme of vanity in his 
apparel, to that of negle6ling himfelf too much, 
was once taken when there was a prefs for the 
king's fervicc, as a fit perfon for it ; for he was 
a ftrong and well-built man : but fome that knew 
him coming by, and giving notice who he was, 
the prefs-men let him go. This made him return 
to more decency in his clothes, but never to any 
fuperfluity or vanity in them. Once 


Once as he was buying fome cloth for a new 
-fuit, the draper, with whom he difFered about 
the price, told him he fhould have it for nothing, 
if he would promife him an hundred pounds when 
he came to be Lord Chief Juftice of England ; to 
which he anfwered, that he could not with a 
good confcience wear any man's cloth, unlefs he 
payed for it j fo he fatisfied the draper, and carried 
away the cloth. Yet that fame d.aper lived to 
fee him advanced to that fame dignity. 

While he was thus improving himfelf In the 
ftudy of the law, he not only kept the hours of 
the hall constantly in term-time, but feldom put 
himfelf out of commons in vacation time, and 
continued then to follow his ftudjes with an un- 
wearied diligence ; and not being fatisfied with 
the books wrote about it, or to take things upon 
truft, was very diligent in fearching all records. 
Then did he make divers colle6tions out of the 
books he had read, and mixing them with his 
own obfervations, digefted them into a common- 
place book ; which he did with fo much induftry 
and judgment, that an eminent judge of the 
King's-bench borrowed it of him when he was 
Lord Chief Baron: He unwillingly lent it, becaufe 
it had been writ by him before he was called to 
the bar, and had never been thoroughly revifed by 
him fmce that time, only what alterations had 
been made in the law by fubfequent ftatutes, and 
judgments, were added by him as they had hap- 
pened : but the judge, having perufed it, faid, that 


12 ^he Life and Death of 

though it was compofed by him fo early, he did 
not think any lawyer in England could do it bet- 
ter, except he himfelf would again fet about It. 

He was foon found out by that great and learned 
antiquary, Mr. Selden, who though much fupe- 
rlour to him in years, yet came to have fuch a 
liking of him, and of Mr. Vaughan, who was 
afterwards Lord Chief Juftice of the Common- 
pleas, that as he continued in a clofe friendfhip 
with them while he lived, fo he left them at his 
death two of his four executors. 

It was this acquaintance that firft fet Mr. Hale 
on a more enlarged purfult of learning, which he 
had before confined to his own profeflion, but 
becoming as great a mafter In it, as ever any 
was, very foon, he who could never let any of 
his time go away unprofitably, found leifure to 
attain to as great a variety of knowledge, in as 
comprehenfive a manner as moft men have done 
in any age. 

He fet himfelf much to the ftudy of the Roman 
law, and though he liked the way of judicature in 
England by juries much better than that of the civil 
law, where fo much was trufted to the judge; 
yet he often fald, that the true grounds and reafons 
of law were fo well delivered In the Digefts, that 
a man could never underftand law as a fcience fo 
well as by feeking it there, and theiefore lamented 
much that it was fo little ftudied in England. 

He looked on readinefs in arithmetick as a thing 
which might be ufeful to him in his own employ- 


merit, and acquired it to fuch a degree, that he 
would often on the fudden, and afterwards on the 
bench, refolve very hard queftions, which had 
puzled the beft accomptants about town. He reftcil 
not here, but ftudied the algebra, both fpedoja 
and nwncrofa^ and went through all the other ma- 
thematical fciences, and made a great colledlion of 
very excellent inftruments, fparing no coft to have 
them as exadt as art could make them. He was 
alfo very converfant in philofoi>hical learning, and. 
in all the curious experiments, and rare difcoveries 
of this age ; and had the new books, written on 
ihofe fubje6ls, fent him from all parts, which he 
both read and examined fo critically, that if tlie 
principles and hypothefes, which he took firft up^ 
did any way prepoflefs him, vet thofe, who have 
dift'ered mod from him, have acknowledged, thai 
in what he has writ concerning the Torricellian 
experiment, and of the rarefadtion and conden- 
fation of the air, he ftiews as. great an exatSlneli, 
and as much fubtilty in the reafoning he builds 
on them, as thefe principles to which he adhered 
could bear. But indeed, it will feem fcarce cre- 
dible, that a man fo much employed, and of {o 
fevere a temper of mind, could find leikire to read, 
obferve, and wiite fo much of thefe fiibje<?l3 as he 
did. He called them his diverfions, for he often 
faid when he was weary with the ftudy of the law, 
or divinity, he ufed to recreate himfelf with philo- 
fophy, or the mathematicks ; to thele he added 
great fkill in phyfick, anatomy, and chyrurgerv : 


*14 ^^^ Life and Death of 

and he ufed to fay^ " No man could be abfolutely 
*' a mafter in any profeiHon, without having fome 
'* fkill in other faiences : " for, befides the fatis- 
fa6tion he had in the knov/Iedge of thefe things, he 
made ufe of them often in his employments. In 
fome examinations he would put fuch queftions to 
phyficians, or furgeons, that they have profefled 
the college of phyficians could not do it more ex- 
a6lly ; by which he difcovered great judgment, as 
well as much knowledge, in thefe things : and in 
his ficknefs he ufed to argue with his doclors about 
his diftempers, and the methods they took with 
them, like one of their own profeffion ; which 
one of them told me, he underftood as far as fpe- 
culation without practice could carry him. 

To this he added great fearches into ancient 
hiftory, and particularly into the rougheft and leaft 
delightful part of it, chronology. He was well ac- 
quainted with the ancient Greek philofophers, but 
want of occafion to ufe it, wore out his knowledge 
of the Greek tongue j and though he never ftudied 
the Hebrew tongue, yet by his great converfation 
with Selden, he underftood the moft curious things 
in the Rabinical learning. 

But above all thefe, he feemed to have made 
the ftudy of divinity the chief of all others, to 
which he not only diredled every thing elfe, but 
alfo arrived at that pitch in it, that thofe, who 
have read what he has written on thefe fubjedts, 
will think, they muft have had moft of his time 
and thoughts. It may feem extravagant, and al- 



inoft incredible, that one man, in no great compafs 
of years, fhould have acquired fuch a variety of 
knov^^ledge, and that in fciences that require much 
leifure and application. But as his parts were 
quick, and his apprehenfions lively, his memory 
great, and his judgment flrong ; fo his induftry 
was almoft indefatigable. He rofe always betimei 
in the morning, was never idle, fcarce ever held 
any difcourfe about news, except with fome fev»^ 
in whom be confided entirely. He entered into no 
eorrefpondence by letters, except about necefTary 
bufinefs, or matters of learning, and fpent very little 
time in eating or drinking ; for as h« never went 
to public feafts, fo he gave no entertainments but 
to the poor j for he followed our Saviour's direction 
(of feafting none but thefe) literally : and in 
eating and drinking he obl'erved not only great 
plainnefs and moderation, but lived fo philofophi- 
cally, that he always ended his meal with an ap- 
petite : fo that he loft little time at it, (that being 
the only portion which he grudged himfelf ) and 
was difpofed to any exercife of his mind, to which 
he thought fit to apply himfelf immediately after 
he had dined ; by thefe means he gained much time, 
that is otherwife unprofitably wafted. 

He had alfo an admirable equality in the temper 
of his mind, which difpofed him for what ever 
ftudies he thought fit to turn himfelf to j and fome 
very uneafy things, which he lay under for many 
years, did rather engage him to, than diftradt him 

from» his ftudies, 


i6 *The Life and Death of 

When he was called to the bar, and began to 
make a figure in the world, the late unhappy wars 
broke out, in which it was no eafy thing for a man 
to preferve his integrity, and to live fecurely, free 
from great danger and trouble. He had read the 
life of Pomponius Atticus, wrote by Nepos, and 
having obferved, that he had pafled through a time 
of as much diftradtion, as ever was in any age or 
ftate, from the wars of Marius and Scilla, to the 
beginnings of Auguftus his reign, without the 
leaft blemifh on his reputation, and free from any 
confiderable danger, being held in great efteem by 
all parties, and courted and favoured by them ; 
he fet him as a pattern to himfelf, and obferving 
that befides thofe virtues which are neceflary to all 
men, and at all times, there were two things that 
chiefly preferved Atticus, the one was his engaging 
in no faction, and medling in no 'public bufi- 
nefs ; the other was his conftant favouring and 
relieving thofe that were lowefl, which was afcrib- 
ed by fuch as prevailed to the generofity of his 
temper, and procured him much kindnefs from 
thofe on whom he had exercifed his bounty, 
when it came to their turn to govern : He refolv- 
ed to guide himfelf by thofe rules as much as was 
pofiible for him to do. 

He not only avoided all public employment, 
but the very talking of news; and was always both 
favourable and charitable to thofe who were de- 
prefied, and was fure never to provoke any in 
particular, by cenfuring or reflecting on their adi- 



ons } for many that have converfed much with 
him, have told me, they never heard him once 
fpeak ill of any perfon. 

He WZLS employed in his praclice by all the Icing's 
party. He was afligned council to the earl of 
Strafford, and archbifiiop Laud, and afterwards 
to the blefl'ed king himfelf, when brought to the 
infamous pageantry of a mock-trial, and offered to 
plead for him with all the courage, that fo glorious 
3 caufe ought to have infpired him with, but was 
not fuffered to appear, becaufe the king refufing, 
as he had good reafon, to fubmit to the court, it 
was pretended, none could be admitted to fpeak 
for him. He was alfo council for the duke of Ha- 
milton, the earl of Holland, and the lord Cape! : 
his plea for the former of thefe I have publifhed 
in the memoirs of that duke's life. Afterwards 
alfo, being council for the lord Craven, he pleaded 
with that force of argument, that the then attor- 
ney-general threatened him for appearing againft 
the governnient; to whom heanfwered, " he was 
" pleading in defence of thofe laws, wliich they 
*' declared they would maintain and prcferve ; 
*' and he was doing his duty to his clienc, fo that 
** he was not to be daunted with threatciiings." 

Upon all thefe occafions he had difcharged him-" 
felf with fo much learning, fidelity, and courage, 
that he came to be generally employed for all that 
party j nor was he fatisfied to appear for their juft 
defence ia the way of his profeffion, but he alfo 
Relieved them often in their neceffities ; which he 

C did 

iS ^he Life and Death of 

did in a Way that was no lefs prudent than cha- 
ritable, confldering the dangers of that time : for 
he did often depofit confiderable fums in the 
hands- of a worthy gentleman of the king's party, 
who knew their neceflitics well, and was to diftri- 
bute his charity according to his own difcretion,^ 
without either letting them know from whence 
it came, or giving hinifelf any account to whom, 
he had given it. 

Cromwell, feeing him pofieffed of fo much prac- 
tice, and he being one of the eminenteft men of the 
law, who was not at all afraid of doing his duty 
in thofe critical times, refolved to take him off 
from it, and raife him to the bench, 

Mr. Hale faw well enough the fnare laid for 
him, and though he did not much confider the 
prejudice it v/ould be to himfelf, to exchange the 
eafy and fafer profits he had by his pra6ti.ce, for a 
judge's place in the Common-pleas, which he was 
required to accept of, yet he did deliberate more 
on the lavvfulnefs of taking a commiffion from 
ufurpers j but having confidered well of this, he 
came to be of opinion, " that It being abfolutely 
*' necefiary, to have juftice and property kept up 
" at all times, it was no fin tg take a commiflioa 
" from ufurpers, if he made no declaration of his 
"• acknowledging their authority," which he never 
did. He was much urged to accept of it by 
fome eminent men of his own profeffion, who 
were of the king's party, as fir O lando Bridgemanj. 
and fir Geoftery Palmer i and was. alfo fati§fied 



concerning the lawful nefs^ of it, by the refolution 
of fome famous divines, irt particular Dr. Sheldon, 
and Dr. Henchman, who were afterwards promoted 
to the fees of Canterbury and London. 

To thefe were added the importunities of all 
his friends, who thought that in a time of fo 
much danger and oppreffion, it might be no fmall 
fecurity to the nation, to have a man of his inte- 
grity and abilities on the bench : and the ufurpers 
themfelves held him in that eftimation, that they 
were glad to have him give a countenance to their 
courts, and by promoting one that was known 
to have different principles from them, affedted 
the reputation of honouring and trufting men of 
eminent virtues, of what perfuafion foever they 
might be, in relation to public matters. 

But he had greater fcruples concerning the pro- 
ceeding againft felons, and putting offenders to 
death by that commiffion, fmce he thought the 
fword of juftice belonging only by right to the 
lawful prince, it feemed not warrantable to proceed 
to a capital fentence by an authority derived from 
lifurpers ; yet at firft he made diftinclion between 
common and ordinary felonies, and offences againft 
the ftate ; for the laft he would never meddle in 
them, for he thought thefe might be often legal 
and warrantable anions, and that the putting men 
to death on that account was murder j but for the 
ordinary felonies, he at firff was of opinion, that 
it was as neceffary, even in times of ufurnation, 
r© execute juftice in thofe cafes, as in matters 

C 2 of 

20 'The Life and Death of 

of property j but after the king was murdered, h? 
laid by all his colletStionsipf the pleas of the crown, 
and that they might not fall into ill hands, he 
hid them behind the wainfcotting of his ftudy, for 
he faid, *' there was no more occafion to vjfe 
" them, tin the king fliould be again reftored to 
'* his right," and fo upon his Majelly's reftora- 
tion he took them out, and went on in his defiga 
to perfe6c that great work. 

Yet, for fomc time after he was made a juJge, 
when he went the circuit, he did fit on the crown- 
fide, and judged criminals : but, having confi- 
dered farther of it, he came to think, that it 
was at leaft better not to do it ; and fo after the 
fecond or third circuit, he refufed to fit any more 
on the crown- fide, and told plainly the reafon, 
for in matters of blood, he was always to choofe 
the fafer fide. And indeed he had fo carried him- 
fe'if in fome trial?, that they v^ere not unv/illing 
he fhould withdraw from medling farther in them, 
of which I ihall give fome inftances, 

Npt long after he was made a judge, which was 
in the year 1653, when he went the circuit, a 
trial was brought before him at Lincoln, con- 
cerning the murder of one of the townfmen, 
who had been of the king's party, and was killed 
by a foldier of the garrlfon there. He was in 
the fields with a fowling piece on his Ihoulder, 
which the foldier feeing, he came to him and faid, 
it was contrary to an order which the Protestor 
had mgde, " Tk^t none who had been of the 

" king'* 


''= king's party fhould carry arms;" and fo he 
would have forced it from him ; but as the other 
did not regard the order, fo being ftronger than 
the foldier, he threw him down, and having beat 
him, he left him. The foldier went into the town, 
and told one of his fellow-foldicrs how he had 
been ufed, and got him to go with him, and lie in 
wait for the man that he might be revenged on 
him. They both watched his coming to town, 
and one of them went to him to demand his gun, 
which he refufmg, the foldier ftruck at him, and 
as they were ftruggling, the other came behind, 
and ran his fvvord into his body, of which he 
prefcntly died. It was in the time of the affizes, 
fo they were both tried : againft the one there was 
no evidence of forethought felony, fo he was only 
found guilty cf man-flaughter, and burnt on the 
hand ; but the other was found guilty of murder : 
and though colonel Whiley, that commanded the 
garrifon, came into the court and urged, that the 
man was killed only for difobeying the Protedlor's 
orders, and that the foldier was but doing his duty; 
yet the judge regarded both his reafons and 
threatenings very little, ?.nd therefore he not only 
save fentence a<?;ainft him, but ordered the execu- 
tion to be fo fuddenly done, that it might not be, 
poflible to procure a reprieve, which he believed 
would have been obtained, if there had been time 
enough granted for it. 

Another occafion was given him o-f (hewing 
llQtb his juftice and coirage, when he was in an- 

C 3 other 

22 *ithe Life and Death of 

other circuit. He underftood that the Protestor 
had ordered a jury to be returned for a trial in 
which he was more than ordinarily concerned : 
upon this information, he examined the fherifF 
about it, who knew nothing of it, for he faid he 
referred all fuch things to the undcr-flierifF ; and 
having next a(ked the under-fhcriff concerning it, 
he found the jury had been returned by order from 
Cromwell ; upon which he fhewed the flatute, 
that all juries ought to be returned by the flierifl:', 
or his lawful officer; and this not being done ac- 
cording to law, he difmillcd the jury, and would 
not try the caufe : upon which the Prote6lor was 
highly difpleafed with him, and at his return from 
the circuit, he told him in anger, hfe was not fit 
to be a judge ; to which all the anfwer he made 
was, that it was very true. 

Another thing met him in the circuit, upon which 
he refolved to have proceeded feverely. Some 
Anabaptifts had rufhed into a church, and had 
difturbed a congregation, while they were receiv- 
ing the facrament, not without fome violence ; at 
this he was higldy offended, for he faid, it was 
intolerable for men, v/ho pretended fo highly to 
liberty of confcience, to go and difturb others ; 
lefpecially thofe who had the encouragement of the 
law on their fide : but thcfe were fo fupported by 
fome great magiftrates and officers, that a flop was 
put to his proceedings; upon which he declared, 
he would meddle no more with the trials on the 


»5'/r MATTHEW HALE. 23 

When Penruddock's trial was brought on, there 
was a fpecial nieiTenger fent to him, requiring him 
to affift at it. It was in vacation time, and he 
was at his country-houfe at ^Iderly : he plainly 
4:efufed to go, and faid, the four terms, and two 
circuits, were enough, and the little interval til at 
was between, was Httle enough for his private 
affairs, and fo he excufed himfelf : he thought it 
■was not neccffary to fpeak more clearly, but if he 
had been urged to it, he would not have been 
afraid of doing it. 

He was at that lime chofcn n parliament-man, (for 
there being then no houfc of lords, judges might 
have been chofen to fit in the houfe of commons) 
and he went to il, on defign to obfiru61: the ma<i 
and wicked projects then on foot, by two parties, 
that had very different principles and ends. 

On the one hand, fome that were perhaps more 
-fmcere, yet were really brain-fick, defigned they 
knew not what, being rcfolvcd to pull down a 
ilanding miniftry, the law, and property of Eng- 
land, and all the antient rules of this government, 
and fet ud in its room an indi^-efted cnthufiatlical 

1 O 

fchcme, which they called the kingdom of Chrifl, 
or of his faints; many of them being really in ex- 
pectation, that one day or other Chrifl would 
come down, and fit among them, and at leaft they 
thought to begin the glorious thoufand years 
mentioned in the Revelation. 

Others at the fame timcy taking advantages from 
-the fears and apprehcnfions, that all the fober men 

C 4 of 

24 The Life and Death of 

of the nation were in, leaft they fhould fall under 
the tyranny oi a difl-ra6i:ed fort of people, who, to 
all their other ill principles, added great cruelty, 
which they had copied from thofe at Munfter in 
the former age, intended to improve that opportu- 
nity to raife their own fortunes and families. A- 
midft thefe, judge Hale fleered a middle courfe ; 
for as he would engage for neither fide, fo he, with 
a great many more worthy men, came to parlia- 
ment, more out of a defign to hinder mifchief, 
than to do much good ; wifely forefeeing, that the 
inclinations for the royal family were daily grow- 
ing fo much, that in time the diforders, then in 
agitation, would ferment to that happy refolution 
in which they determined in May 1660. And 
therefore all that could be then done, was to op- 
pofe the ill defigns of both parties, the enthufiafts 
as well as the ufurpers. Among the other extra- 
vagant motions made in this parliament, one was, 
to deflroy all the records in the Tower, and to 
fettle the nation on a new foundation ; fo he took 
this province to himfelf, to flicw the madnefs of 
this propofition, the injullice of it, and the mifchiefs 
that would follow on it ; and did it with fuch 
clearnefs, and ftrength of reafon, as not only 
fatisficd all fober peifons, (for it may be fuppofed 
that was foon done) but Hopt even the mouths of 
the frantic people thcmfelves. 

Thus he continued adminiftering juftice till the 
Proteilor died, but then he both refufed the 
mournings that were fent to him and his fervants 



for the funeral, and likcwife to accept of the new 
commiiTion that was oftcred him by Richard, and 
when the reft of thfe judges urged it upon hiirj, and 
employed others to prcfs him to accept of it, he 
rejeded all their importunities, and faid, he could 
ad: no longer under fuch authority. 

He lived a private man till the parliament met 
that called home the king, to which he was i-c- 
turned knight of the fl^ire from the county of 
Gloucefter. It appeared at that time how much 
he was beloved and efteemed in his neighbourhood, 
for though another, who ftood in competition with 
him, had fpent near a thoufand pounds to procure 
voices, (a great fum to be employed that way in 
thofe days) and he had been at no coft, and was 
fo far from foliciting it, that he had ftood out long 
againft thofe whoprefs'd him to appear, and he did 
not promiie to appear till three days before the 
eledion, yet he was preferred. He was brought thi- 
ther almoft by violence, by the lord (now earl of) 
Berkeley, v^ho bore all the charge of the enten- 
tainments on the day- of his election, which was 
confiderable, and had engaged all his friends and 
intereft for him : and whereas by the writ, the 
knight of the fnire muft be miles ghidlo c'lntha^ 
and he had no fword, that noble lord girt him 
with his own fword during the eIc<Stion ; b>:t he 
was foon weary of it, for the embroidery of the 
belt did not fuit well v/Ith the plainnefs of his 
cloaths: and indeed the election did not hold long, 
for us foon as ever he came into the field, he was 


5.6 The Lite and D£ath of 

chofen by much the greater number, though the 
poll continued for three or four days. 

In that parliament he bore his fhare in the 
happy period then put to the confufions that 
threatened the utter ruin of the nation, which, con- 
trary to the expedations of the moft fanguine, 
fettled in fo ferene and quiet a manner, that thofe 
■who had formerly built fo much on their fuccefs, 
calling it an anfwer from heaven to their folemn 
appeals to the providence of God, were now not 
a little confounded, to fee all this turned a^ainft 
themfelves, in an inftancemuch more extraordinary 
than any of thofe were, upon which they had 
built fo much. His great prudence and excellent 
temper led him to think, that the fooner an adt of 
indemnity were paffed, and the fuller it were of 
graces and favours, it would fooner fettle the na- 
tion, and quiet the minds of the people ; and 
therefore he applied himfelf with a particular care 
to the framing and carrying it on, in which it 
was vifible he had no concern of his own, but 
■merely his love of the public that fet him on to it. 

Soon after this, when the courts in Weftmin- 
fter-hall came to be fettled, he was made lord chief 
baron ; and when the earl of Clarendon (then lord 
chancellor) delivered him his commiffion, in the 
fpeech he made according to the cuftom on fuch 
occafions, he exprefled his efteem of him in a 
very fmgular manner, telling him among other 
things, *' that if the king could have found out 
" an honefler and fitter man for that employment, 

*' he 


.<« he would not have advanced him to It; and 

■«' that he had theiefore preferred him, becaufe he 

*« knew none that deferved it (o well." It is or- 

<iinary for pcrfons fo promoted to be knighted, but 

he defired to avoid having that honour done him, 

and therefore for a confiderable time declined all 

.opportunities of waiting on the king, which the 

lord chancellor obferving, fent for him upon bufi- 

jnefs one day, when the king was at his houfe, and 

told his I\'iajefty there was his modelt chief baron, 

upon which he v/as unexpe2:edly knighted. 

He continued eleven years in that place, ma- 
naging the court, and all proceedings in it, with 
fingular juftice. It was obferved by the whole 
nation, how much he raifed the reputation and 
pra^lice of it : and thofe who held places and of- 
. ficcs in it, can all declare, not only the impartia- 
lity of his juftice, for that is but a common virtue, 
but his generofity, his vaft diligence, and his great- 
exadlnefs in trials. This gave occafion to the only 
complaint that ever was made of him, that he did 
not difpatch matters quick enough; but the great 
care he ufed, to put fuits to a final end, as it mad^ 
him flower in deciding them ; fo it had this good 
efledt, that caufes, tried before him, were feldom, 
if ever, tried again. 

Nor did his adminiflration of juftice lie only m 
that court: he was one of the principal judges 
that fat in Cliffbrd's-Inn, about fettling the diffe- 
rence between landlord and tenant, after the 
d^rcadful fire of London. He being the firft that 


^S' Th'i Life and D£ATif of 

offered his fervice to the city, for accommodating 
all the differences that might have arifen about the 
rebuilding it, in which he behaved himfeJf to the 
fatisfaclion of all perfons concerned : fo that the 
fudden and quiet building of the city, which is juftJy 
to be reckoned one of the v^onders of the age, is in 
no fmall meafure due to the great care, which he 
and fir Orland Bridgernan, (then lord chief juftice 
of the Ccmmon-pleas, afterwards lord keeper of the 
great feal of England) ufed, and to the judgment 
they iliewcd in that affair : fince without the rules 
then laid down, there might have otherwife fol- 
lowed fuch an endlefs train of vexatious fuits, as 
might have been little lefs chargeable than the fire 
itfelf had been. But, v/ithout detraining from the 
labours of the other judges, it muft be acknow- 
ledged, that he was the moft inffrumental in that 
great work ; for he firll, by way of fchcme, contri- 
ved the rules upon which he and the reft proceeded 
afterwards, in which his readinefs at arithmetic, 
and his fkili in architecSture, were of great ufe to 

But It will not feem ftrange that a judge behav- 
ed himfelf as he did, who, at the enti-y into his 
employment, fet fuch excellent rules to himfelf, 
which will appear in the following paper copied 
from the original under hk own hand. 



Things necelTary to be continually had in 

I. That in the adminiftration of juftice, I am 
intrufted for God, the king and country ; and 

II. That it be done, i. uprightly; 2. delibe- 
rately; 3. refolutely. 

IIL That I reft not upon my own underftand- 
ing or ftrength, but implore and reft upon the 
diredlion and ftrength of God. 

IV. That in the execution of juftice I care^- 
fully lay afide my own paiTions, and not give way 
to them, however provoked. 

V. That I be wholly intent upon the bufmefs I 
am about, remitting all other cares and thoughts, 
as unfeafonable and interruptions. 

VI. That I fuffer not myfelf to be prepoffefied 
with any judgment at all, till the whole bufiriefs 
and both parties be heard. 

VII. That I- never engage myfelf in the begin- 
ning of any caufe, but referve myfelf unprejudiced 
till the whole be heard. 

VIII. That in bufinefs capital, though my na- 
ture prompt me to pity ; yet to confxder, that 
there is alfo a pity dye to the country. 

IX. That I be not too rigid in matters purely 
confcientious, where all the harm is diveifity oi 

X. Thit 

^o The Life and Death of 

X. That I be not biafled with compalBon to 
the poor, or favour to the rich, in point of 

XI. That popular, or court applaufe, or dif- 
tafte, have no influence in any thing I do in 
point of diftribution of juftice. 

XII. Not to be folJcitous what men will fay or 
tbinic, fo long as I keep myfelf exactly according 
to the rule of juftice. 

XHI. If in criminals it be a meafuring caft, to 
incline to mercy and acquittal, 

XIV. lii criminals that confift merely in words* 
•when no more harm enfues, moderation is no 

XV. In criminals of blood, if the fatSl be evw 
dent, fever ity is juftice. 

XVI. To abhor all private falicittations, of 
what kind foever, and by whom foever, in matters 

XVII. To charge my fervants, i, not to in- 
terpofe in any bufinefs whatfoever j 2. not to take 
more than their known fees ; 3. not to give any 
undue precedence to caufes j 4. not to recom- 
mend councir. 

XVIII. To be fhort and fparing at meals, that; 
I may be the fitter for bufmefs. 

He v^ould never receive private addrefles or re- 
commendations from the greateft perfons in any 
matter, in which juftice was concerned. One of 
the firft peers of England yy'Piit vncQ to his cham- 


ber and told him, '' that having a fuit In law to 
'* be tried before him, he was then to acquaint 
** him with it, that he might the better underftand 
'* it, when it fhould come to be heard in court.'* 
Upon which the lord chief baron interrupted 
him, and faid, ** he did not deal fairly to come to 
" his chamber about fuch affairs, for he never 
*' received any information of caufes but in open 
" -court, where both parties were tp be heard 
" alike j" fo he would not fuffer him to go on : 
whereupon his grace (for he was a duke) went 
away not a little diflatisfied, and complained of it 
to the kins, as a rudenefs that w^s not to be en- 
dured. But his Majefly bid him content himfelf 
that he was no worfe ufed, and faid, " he verily 
" believed he would have ufed himfelf no better, 
*' if he had gone to folicit him in any 0/ his ow» 
<' caufes," 

Another pafTage fell out in one of his circuits, 
which was fomewhat cenfurcd as an affetftation of 
an unreafonablc ftridncfs, but it flowed from his 
exadlnefs to the rules he had kt himfplf. A genr 
tleman had fent him a buck fo;- his table, that had 
a trial at the aflizes j fo when he heard his name, 
he aiked, " if he was not the fame perfon that, 
" had fent him venifon," and finding he was the 
fame, he told him, ** he could not (uS'qx the trial 
" to go on, till he had paid him for his buck i*' 
to which the gentleman anfwered, " that he never 
*' fold his venifon, and that he had done nothing 
*' to him, which be did not dp to every judge that 

" hal 

3 2 The Life and Dhath of 

'' had gone that circuit," which was confirmed by 
feveral gentlemen then prefent : but all would not 
do, for the lord chief baron had learned from So- 
lomon, that a gift pervcrteth the ways of judg- 
ment, and therefore he would not fuffer the trial to 
go on, till he had paid for the prefent ; upon which 
the gentleman withdrew the record : and at Salif- 
bury the dean and chapter having, according to the 
cullom, prefentcd him with fi?c fugar loaves. in his 
circuit, he m;ide his fervants pay for the fugar be- 
fore he would try their caufe. 

\t was not fo eafy for him to throw off the im- 
portunities of the poor, for whom his comnaflion 
•wrought more powerfully than his regard to 
wealth and greatnefs ; yet when juftice was con- 
cemed, even that did not turn him out of the 
way. There was one that had been put out of a 
place for fome ill behaviour, who urged the lord 
chief baron to fet his hand to a certificate, to 
reftore him to it, or provide him with another ; 
but he told him plainly, his fault was fuch that he 
could not do it ; the other prefTed him vehemently, 
and fell down on his knees, and begged it of him 
with many tears ; but finding that could not pro- 
vail, he faid he fhould be utterly ruined if he did 
it not ; and he fhould curfe him for it every day. 
But that having no effeci, he then fell out in all 
the reproachful words, that paflion and defpair 
could infpire him with, to which all the anfwer 
the lord chief baron made, was, " that he could 
'* very well bear all his reproaches, but he could 

"• npt 


'' not for all that fet his hand to his certificate." 
He faw he was poor, fo he gave him a large cha- 
rity and fent him away. 

But now he was to go on after his pattern, 
Pomponius Atticus, ftill to favour and relieve them 
that were loweft ; fo befides great charities to the 
ncnconformifts, who were then as he thought too 
hardly ufed, he took great care to cover them all 
he could, from the feveritics fome defigned againft 
them, and difcouraged thofe who were inclined to 
ftretch the laws too much againft them. He la- 
mented the differences that were raifed in this 
church very much, and according to the impartia- 
litv of his juftice, he blamed fome things on both 
fides, which! fhall fet down with the fame free- 
dom that he fpake them. He thought many of 
the nonconformirts, had merited highly in the 
bufmefs of the king's reftoration, and at leaft de- 
ferved that the terms of conformity fhould not 
have been made fl;ri(3:er, than they were before the 
war. There was not then that dreadful profpe£l 
of popery, that has appeared fmce: but that which 
affli'iled him moft was, that he faw the heats and 
contentions which followed upon thofe different 
parties and interefts, did take people off from the 
indifpenfable things of religion, and flackened the 
zeal of cihcrways good men for the fubftance 
of it, fo much being fpent about external and 
indifferent things. It alfo gave advantages to 
atheifts, to treat the moft facred points of our 
hgly faith as ridiculous, when they faw the pro- 
• D ftffors 

54 ^'^^ Life md Death of 

fefibrs of it contend, fo fiercely, and "with fuch 
bitternefs, about lefler matters. He was much 
ofi-ended at all thofe books that were written to 
expofe the contrary feft to the fcorn and contempt 
of the age in a wanton and petulant ftile ; he 
thought fuch writers wounded the chriftian reli- 
gion, through the fides of thofe who differed fron> 
them : while a fort of lewd people, who having 
affumed to tbemfelves the title of wits (though but 
very hw of them have a right to it) took, up from 
both hands, what they bad faid, to make one an- 
other fliew ridiculous, and from thence perfuaded 
the world to laugh at both, and at all religion 
for their fakes. And therefore he often wiftied 
there might be fome law, to make all fcurrillty or 
bitternefs in difputes about religion punifhable,. 
But as he lamented the proceedings too rigouroufly 
againft the nonv.onformifts, fo he declared himfelf 
always of the fide of the church of England, and 
faid thofe of the feparation were good men, but 
they had narrow fouls, who would break the peace 
of the church, about fuch inconfiderable matters, 
as the points in difference were. 

He fcarce ever medled in flate intrigues, yet 
upon a propofition that was fet on foot by the lord 
keeper Bridgeman, for a comprehenfion of the 
more moderate diffenters, and a limited indulgence 
towards fuch as could not be brought within the 
comprehenfion, he difpenfed with his maxim, of 
avoiding to engage in matters of ftate. There 
were feveral ui^eiings upon that occalioij. The 



divine of the church of Engknd that a; pearcd 
moft confiderable for it, was uo£lor Wllkrns, af- 
terwards promoted to the bifliopricl; of C'leHcM", a 
man of as great a mind, as true z judgment, as 
eminent virtues, and of as gooJ .: fou', as »;ny I 
ever knew. He being cetermined, r.3 weH by his 
excellent temper, as by his forefight and ^,iu:'exice, 
by which he early perceived tlie great p^cjivJic^s 
that religion received, and (he vaft dangers ihe re- 
formation was like to fall under by thofe d'^v-ifions, 
fet about that project with the magnanimhy that 
was indeed peculiar to himfelf j for though he was 
much cenfured by many of his own fide, and fe- 
conded by very few, yet he puflied it' as far as he 
could. After feveral conferences with two of the 
eminenteft of the prefbyterian divines, heads were 
agreed on, fome abatements were to be made, and 
explanations were to be accepted of. The par- 
ticulars of that projedl being thus concerted, 
they were brought to the lord chief baron, who 
put them in form of a bill, to be prefented to the 
next fefllons of parliament. 

But two parties appeared vigoroufly agamft this 
defign, the one was of fome zealous clergymen, 
who thought it below the dignity of the church to 
alter laws, and change fettlements for the fake of 
fome whom they efteemed fchifmaiics ; they alfo 
believed, it was better to keep them out of the 
church, than bring them into it, fince a fa£licn 
upon that would arife in the church, which they 
thought might be more dani^crous than the fchifm 
• D i itrelf 

3^ The Life and Death of 

itfelf was. Befides they faid, if fome things were 
now to be changed in compliance with the humour 
of a party, as foon as that was done, another 
party might demand other conceflions, and there 
might be as good reafons invented for thefe as for 
thofe : many fuch conceflions might alfo fhake 
thofe of our own communion, and tempt them to 
forfiike us, and go over to the church of Rome, 
pretending that we changed fo often, that they 
were thereby iiKlined to be of a church that was 
conflant and true to herfelf. Thefe were the rea- 
fons brought, and chiefly inflfted on, againfl: all 
comprehenfion ; and they wrought upon the greater 
part of the houle of conunons, fo that they pafled 
a vote againft the receiving of any bill for that 

There were others that oppofed it upon diffe- 
rent ends : they defigned to fhelter the papifl:s from 
the execution of the law, and faw clearly that no- 
thing could bring in popery fo well as a toleration. 
But to tolerate popery bare- faced, would have 
ftartlcd the nation too much ; fo it was neceflary 
to hinder all the proportions for union, fmce the 
keeping up the differences was the beft colour they 
could find, for getting the toleration to pafs only 
as a flackening the laws againft dilTenters, whofQ 
numbers and wealth made it advifeable to have 
fome "regard to thf m ; and under this pretence po- 
pery might have crept in more covered, and lefs 
legarded : fo thefe councils being more acceptable 
to fome concealed papiils then in gieat power, as 



lias fince appeared but too evidently, the whole 
projeft for comprehenfion was let fall, and thofe 
who had fet it on foot, came to be looked on with 
an ill eye, as fecret favourers of the diilenters, 
underminers of the church, and every thing elfe 
that jealoufy and drftafte could call on them. 

But upon this occafion the lord chief baron, and 
Dr. Wilkins, came to contratSl: a firm and familiar 
frlendfliip ; and the lord chief baron having much 
bufinefs, and little time to fpare, did, to enjoy the 
other the more, what he had fcarce ever done 
"before, he went fometimes to dine with him. And 
though he lived in great friendfliip with fome other 
eminent clergymen, as Dr. Ward, bifhop of Salif- 
bury ; Dr. Barlow, bifhop of Lincoln ; Dr. 
Barrow, late mafler of Trinity college ; Dr. 
Tillotfon, dean of Canterbury ; and Dr. Stil- 
lingflect, dean of St. Paul's, (men fo well known 
and fo much ef^emed, that as it was rto wonder 
the lord chief baron valued their converfation 
highly, fo thofe of them that are yet alive will 
think it no leffening of the character they arc fo 
defervedly in, that they are reckoned among judge 
Hale's friends) yet there was jIn intimacy and free- 
dom in his converfe with bifliop Wilkins, that 
w-as fmgular to him alone. He had durinG: the 
late wars lived in a long and intire frieiidfhip with 
the .apoftolical primate of Ireland bifliop Uflitr : 
their curious fearchcs into antiquity, and the Sym- 
pathy of both their tempers, led them to a great 
agreement almofl in every thing. He held alfo 

D 3 great 

38 The Life and Death cf 

great converfatlon wUIi Mr. L-axter, who was his 
neighbour at Afli-'n, on whom he looked as a 
perfon of great devotion and [nety, and of a very 
fubtile i:nd quid: rpprehenilon : their converfatlon 
lay mofl in metaphyfical and abftra<3:ed ideas and 

He looked with great forrow on the Impiety and 
atheifm of the age, and fo he fet himfelf to oppofe 
it, not only by the fhining example of his own 
life, but by engaging in a caufe, that indeed could 
hardly fall into better hands : and as he could not 
find a fubjeil more worthy of himfelf, fo there 
were few in the age that underftood it fo well, and 
could manage it more fkilfully. The occafion 
that firll led him to write about it was this. He 
was a ftriiSl cbferver of the Lord's day, in which, 
befides his conftancy in the public wor/hip of God, 
he ufcd to call all his family together, and repeat 
to them the heads of the fermons, with fome ad- 
ditions of his own, which he fitted for their capa- 
cities and circumftances, and that being done, 
he had a cuftom of fliutting himfelf up for two or 
three hours, which he either fpent in his fecret 
devoiions, or on fuch profitable meditations as 
did then occur to his thoughts* He writ them 
with the fame fimplicity that he formed them in 
his mind, without any art, or fo much as a thought 
to let them be publiflie:! ; he never corrected them, 
but laid di.em by, when he had finifhed them, 
having intended only to fix and prefervc his own 
reflections ia them j fo that he ufed no fort of care 



£0 polifh them, or make the firft draught perfe£ler 
than when they fell from his pen. Thefe fell into 
the hands of a worthy perfon, and he judging, as 
well he might, that the communicating them to 
the world, might be a public fervice, printed two 
volumes of them in oftavo a little before th-^ au- 
thor's death, containing his 


I. Of our latter en:1. 

II. Of wifdom, and the fear of God. 

III. or the knowledge of Chrift crucifisd. 

IV. The vidory of faiih over the world, 
y. Of humility. 

VI. Jacob's vow. 

VII. Of contentation. 

VIII. Of affliaions. 

IX. A good method to entertain unliable and 
troublefome times, 

X. Changes and troubles, a poem. 
XL Of the redemption of time. 

XII. The great audit. 

XIII. Diredions touching keeping the Lord's 
^ay, in a letter to his children. 

XIV- ?oems written u;ion Chriftmas-day. 

In the 2d Volume. 

I. An enquiry touching happinefs. 

II. Of the chief end of man. 

D 4 ni. 

40 T'he Life and Death of 

III. Upon Eclef. xii. I. Remember thy Creator .*. 

IV. Upon thePfal.li. lo. Create a clean heart 
in me j with a poem. 

V. The folly and mifchlef of fni. 

VI. Of felf-clenial. 

VII. Motives to watchful nefs, in reference to 
the good and evil angels. 

VIII. Of Moderation of the affe<5lions. 

IX. Of worldly hope and expettarion. 

X. Upon Heb. xiii. 14. We have here no con- 
tinuing city. 

XI. Of contentednefs and patience, 

XII. Of moderation of anger. 

XIII. A preparative againft affliiSlion. 

XIV. Of fubmiflion, prayer, and thankfgiving. - 

XV. Of prayer and thankfgiving on Pf. cxvi. 12. 

XVI. Meditations on the Lord's prayer, with a 
paraphrafe upon it. 

In them there appears a generous and true fpi- 
rit of religion, mix'd with a moft fcrious and 
fervent devotion, and perhaps with the more ad- 
vantage, that the ftile wants fome corre6lion, which 
fhews they were the genuine produdlions of an 
excellent mind, entertaining itfelf in fecret with 
fuch contemplations. The ftile is clear and mafcu- 
line, in a due temper between flatnefs and affec- 
tation, in which he exprefTes his thoughts both 
eafily and decently. In writing thefc difcourfes, 
having run over moft of the fubjeds that his own 
circumftances led him chiefiv to confider, he began 



to be ia fome pain to chuic nevv arguments, and 
therefore refolved to fix on a tbcme that llioulil 
hold him loirger. 

He was foon determuied ia his choice, by the 
immoral and irreligious principles and pra(2:ic^, 
that had fo long vexed his righteous foul : and 
therefore betraa a o;reat deri2,n againft atheifm ; the 
Jirft part of which is only printed, of the origi- 
nation of mankind, dcfigned to prove the creation 
of the world, and the truth of the Mofaical hif- 

The fecond part was of the nature of the foul, 
and of a future Hate. 

The third part was concerning the attributes of 
God, both from the abflrraded ideas of him, and 
the light of nature ; the evidence of providence, 
the notions of morality, and the voice of con- 

And the fourth part was conceining the truth 
and . authority of the fcriptures, with anfwers to 
the objCvSlions againft them. On wiiting thefe he 
fpent kven years. He wrote them with fo much 
confidcration, that one vi'ho perufed the original 
under his own hand, which was the firft draught 
of it, told me, he did not remember any confider- 
able alteration, perhaps not of twenty words in 
the whole work. 

The way of his writing them (only on the 
evenings of the Lord's day, when he v/as in town, 
and not much oftener when he was in the coun- 
try) made, that they are not fo contracted, as it is 


42 The Life afid Death of 

very likely he would have writ them, if he had 
been more at leifure to have brought his thoughts 
into a narrower compafs, anJ fewer words. 

But making fome allov^ance for the largenefs of 
the flile, that volume that is printed, is generally 
acknowledged to be one of the perfecleft pieces 
both of learning and reafoning that has been writ 
on that fubje£t j and he who read a great part of 
the other volumes told me, they were all of i 
piece with the firft. 

When he had jRnlfhed this work, he fent it b;^ 
an unknown hand to biftiop Wilklns, to deiir6 
his judgment of it ; but he that brought it, would 
give no other account of the author, but that he 
was not a clergyman. The bifliop and his worthy 
friend Dr. Tillotfon, read a great deal of it with 
inuch pleafure, but could not imagine who could 
be the author, and how a man that was mafter of 
fo much reafon, and fo great a variety of know- 
ledge, fhould be fo unknown to them, that they 
could not find him out, by thofe charadters which 
are fo little common. At laft Dr. Tillotfon guef- 
fed it muft be the lord chief baron, to which the 
other prefently agreed, wondering he had been fc? 
long in finding it out. So they went immediately 
to him, and the bl/hop thanking him for the en- 
tertainment he had received from his works, h6 
blulhed extremely, not without fome c'ifpleafure, 
apprehending thit the perfon he had trufted had 
difcovered him. But the bifliop foon cleared that, 
and told him, " he had difcovered himfelf, for the 

*' learning 


•* learning of that book was fo various, that 
*< none but he coulJ be the author of it." And 
that bifbop having a freedom in dcH/ering his opi- 
nion of thiniis and perfons, which perhaps few 
ever managed both with fo much plainnefs and 
prudence, told him, " there was nothing could 
*' be better faid on thefe arguments, if he could 
'* bring it intr) a lefs compafs, but if he had not 
*' leifure for that, he thought it much better to hav6 
** it come out, though a little too l^irge, than that 
*' the world fliould be deprived of the good which 
*' it muft needs do." IJut our judge had never 
the opportunity of revifmg it, fo a little before 
his death he fent the firft part of it to the prcfs. 

In the beginning of it, he gives an efiay of his 
excellent way of methodizing things, in which he 
was fo great a mafter, that whatever he under- 
took, he would prefent^y Caft into fo perfect a 
fcheme, that he could never afterwards corredl it. 
He runs out copioufly upon the argument of the 
impoflibility of an eternal fucceilion of time, td 
(hew that time and eternity are inconfiitent one 
with another; and that therefore all duration that 
was paft, and defined by time, could not be from 
eternity j and he fhews the difference between 
fucceflive eternity already paft, and one to come: 
fo that though the latter is poiTible, the former is 
not fo ; for all the parts of the former have a£lually 
been, and therefore being defined by time, cannot 
be eternal ; whereas the other are ftill future to all 
eternity, fo that this reafoning cannot be turned 


44 *^^^ Life and Death Gf 

to prove the poffibility of eternal fuccefiions, that 
have been, as well as eternal fucceffions that fhall 
be. This he follows with a ftrength I never 
jnet with in any that managed it before him. 

He brings next all thofe moral arguments, to 
prove that the wocld had a beginning ; agreeing 
to the account Mofes gives of it, as that no 
hiflory rifes higher, than near the time of the de- 
luge ; and that the firft foundation of kingdoms, 
the invention of arts, the beginnings of all reli- 
gions, the gradual plantation of the world, and in- 
creafc of mankind, and the confent of nations d6 
Jigree with it. In managing thefe, as he (hews 
profound fkill both in hiftorical and philofophical 
learning, fo he gives a noble difcovery of his great 
candour and probity, that he would not impofe on 
the reader with a falfe fhew of reafoning by argu- 
ments that he knew had flaws in them ; and, 
therefore, upon every one of thefe he adds fuch 
si lays, as in a great meafure leflened and took off 
their force, with as much exa6tnefs of judgment, 
dnd ftriilnefs of cenfure, as if he had been fet to 
plead for the other fide : and indeed fums up the 
wliole evidence for religion, as impartially as ever 
be did in a trial for life or death to the jury, 
which, how equally and judiciouHy he always did, 
the whole nation well know%. 

After that, he examines the ancient opinions of 
the philofophers, and enlarges with a great varie- 
ty of curious reflections in anfwering that only 
argument, that has any appearance of ftrength for 



the cafual produdlion of man, from the origination 
of infe<5ls out of putrified matter, as is commonly 
fuppofed ; and he concluded the book, fhewing 
how rational and philofophical the account which 
Mofes gives of it is. There is in it all a fagacity 
and quicknefs of thought, mixed with great and 
curious learning, that t confefs I never met to- 
gether in any other book on that fubjedl. AmoJi 
other conjedlures, one he gives concerning the de- 
luge is, " that he did not think the face of the 
" earth and the waters were altogether the fam^ 
" before the univerfal deluge, and after j but pof- 
" fibly the face of the earth was more even thaa 
*' now it is ; the feas poffibly more dilated and' 
" extended, and not fo deep as now." And a little 
after, " poffibly the feas have undermined much' 
** of the appearing continent of earth." This I 
the rather take notice pf, becaufe it hath been, 
fmce his death made out in a moll ingenious and 
moft elegantly written book by Mr. Burnet, of 
Chrifl's college in Cambridge, who has given 
fuch an eflay towards the proving the poiTibility 
of an univerfal deluge, ajnd from thence has col- 
lefted with great fagacity what patadife was be- 
fore it, as has not been oft'ered by any philofopher 
before him. 

While the judge was thus employing his time, 
the lord chief juftiqe Keyling dying, he vy^as on 
the J 8th of May 1671, promoted to be lord chief 
juftice of England. He had made the pleas of the 
«rown cn.e of his cl\ief Itudie?, ancl by much 
. " ' fearch. 

H/S ^he Life and Death cf 

fearch, and long obfervatlon, had compofed that 
great work concerning them, foimerly mentioned. 
He that holds the high office of jufticiary in that 
court, being the chief truftee, and aflertor of the 
liberties of his country, all people a; plauded thij 
choice, and thought their liberties could not be 
better depofited than in the hands of one, that as 
be underftood them well, fo he had all the juftice 
and courage that fo facred a traft required. One 
thing was much obferved and commended in him, 
that when there was a great inequality in th$ 
ability and learning of the councellors that were 
to plead one againft another, he thought it became 
him, as the judge, to fupply that ; fo he wouFd 
enforce what the weaker council managed but in- 
differently, and not fufter the more learned to carry 
the bufinefs by the advantage they had over th« 
others in their quicknefs and (kill in law, and 
readinefs in pleading, till all things were cleared 
in which the merits and ftrengthof the ill-defended 
caufe lay. He was not fatisfied barely to give his 
judgment in caufes, but did, efpecially in all intri- 
cate ones, give fuch an account of the reafons 
that prevailed with him, that the council did not 
only acquiefce in his authority, but were fo con-s 
tinced by his reafons, that I have heard many 
profcfs that he brought them often to change their 
opinions 5 fp that his giving of judgment was really 
a learned le(5ture upon that point of law ; and 
which was yet more, the parties themfelves, though 
Intereft does too commonly corrupt the judgment, 



were generally fatisfied with the juftice of his de- 
cifions, even when they were made againft them. 
His impartial juftice, and great diligence, drew 
the chief practice after him, into whatfoever court 
he came : fince, though the courts of the Com- 
mon pleas, the Exchequer ami the King's-bench, 
are appointed for the trial of caufes of diiTerenC 
natures, yet it is eafy to bring moft caufes intQ 
any of them, as the council or attornies pleafej 
fo as he had drawn the bufinefs much after him, 
both into the Common-pleas, and the Exchequer, 
it now followed him into the king's-bench, and 
many caufes that were depending in the Exchequer 
and not determined, were let faU there, and 
brought again before him in the court to whicU 
he was now removed. And here did he fpend the 
reft pf his publLck lift and employment i but 
about four years and a half after this advance- 
ment, he, who bad hitherto enjoyed a firm and 
vigorous health, to which his great temperance^ 
and the equality of his mind, did not a little con- 
duce, was on ^ fudden brought very low by an 
inflammation in his roidrift", which In two, days 
time broke the cpaftitution of Lis health to fuch, a 
degree that he never recovered it ; he becyame fo 
;ifthmatical, that with great difficulty he could 
fetch his breath ; ^hat determineu in a dropfy, of 
which he afterwards disd. He uuderftood phyfick 
fo well, that; confidering his age, he concluded 
bis diftemper muft carry him ofF in a little time ; 
and therefore he r^folved ty b3,ve fome of the lull 


4^ '^he Life and Death of 

months of his life referved to himfelf, that, being 
freed of all worldly cares, he might be preparing 
for his change. Ke was alfo fo much difablcd in 
his body, that he could hardly, though fupported. 
by his fervants, walk through Weftminfter-hall, 
or endure the toil of hufmefs. He had been a long 
time wearied with the diflraclions that his em- 
ployment had brought on him, and his profeflion' 
was become ungrateful to him ; he loved to apply 
himfelf wholly to better purpofes, as will appear 
hy a paper that he wrote on this fubjed:, which I 
fball here infert : - 

" Firft, if I confider the bufinefs of my pro- 
*' feffion, whether as an advocate or as a judge, it 
is true I do acknowledge by the inftitution of 
Almighty God, and the difpenfatlon of his pro- 
•' vidence, I ain bound to induftry and fidelity in 
** i-t : and as it is an a£l of obedience unto his 
" will, it carries with it fome things of religious 
*' duty, and I may and do take comfort in it, and 
" expedt a reward of my obedience to him, and 
*' the good that I do to mankind therein, from the 
'* bounty and beneficence and promife of Almighty 
" God : and it is true alfo that without fuch em- 
ployments civil focictics cannot be fupported, 
and great good redounds to mankind from them, 
and in thefe refpefts the confcience of my own 
induftry, fidelity and integrity in th^m, is a 
great comfort and faLisfa6lion to me. But yet 
this I muft fay concerning thefe employments, 
confidered fimply in themjelyes, that they are 

"• very 



** very full of care^, and anxieties and perturba- 
" tions. 

*' Secondly, That though they are beneficial to 
" others, yet they are of the leaft benefit to the 
" perfon employed in them. 

*' Thirdly, That they do neceflarily involve the 
*' party, whofe office it is, in great dangers, dif- 
*' ficulties, and calumnies. 

•* Fourthly, That they only ferve for the meri- 
" dian of this life, which is fhort and uncertain. 
" Fifthly, That tho' it be my duty faithfully to 
" (e.\-\'t in them, while I am called to them, and 
" till I am duly called from them, yet they are great 
" confumers of that little time we have here, which, 
** as it feems to me, might be better fpent in a 
** pious contemplative life, and a due provifion for 
'•* eternity. I do not know a better temporal em- 
ployment than Martha had, in teftifying her 
love and duty to our Sayiour, by making pro- 
villon for him ; yet our Lord tells her, that 
though fhe was troubled about many things, 
there was only one thing necefTary, and Mary 


'* had chofen the better part." 

By this the reader will fee that he continued 
;n bis ftation upon no other confideration, but 
that being fet in it by the providence of God, he 
judged he could not abandon that poll which 
was aifigned him, without preferring his own pri- 
vate inclination to the choice God had made for 
him ; but now that fame providence having by 
this great diftcmper difsJigaged hjm from the obli-" 

i. gationk 

^o 'The Life and Death of 

gatlon of holding a place, which he was no longei? 
able to difcharge, he refolved to refign it. This 
was no fooner furmifed abroad, than it drew upon 
him the importunities of all his friends, and the 
clamour of the whole town to divert him from ir, 
but all was to no purpofe j there was but one ar- 
gument that could move him, which was, that 
he was obliged to continue in the employment 
God had put him in for the good of the public ; 
but to this he had fuch an anfwer, that ev«n thcvfe 
who were moft concerned in his withdrawing^ 
could not but fee, that the reafons inducing him 
to it, were but too ftrong ; fo he made application 
to his majefty for his writ of eafe, which the king 
was very unwilling to grant him, and offered to 
let him hold his place ftill, he doing what bufmefs 
he could in his chamber ; but he faid, " he could 
*' not with a good confeience continue in it, 
*' fmce he was no longer able to diftharge the 
" duty belonging to it." 

But yet fuch was the general fati^fa^Slion which 
all the kingdom received by his excellent adraini- 
flration of juftice, that the king, though he could 
x\pt well deny his rexjueft, yet he deferred the 
granting of it as long as wa^ poflible : nor could 
the lord chancellor be prevailed with to move the 
king to haften his difcharge^, though the chiaf 
juftice often prefled him to it. 

At lafi: having wearied himfelf, aixd all his 
friends, with his importunate defires, and growiiig 
ienfibly weaker iti b^dy, he did upeii tlie twerity- 


firft day of February, 28. Car. An. Dom. 167-I, 
go before a mafter of chancery, with a little parch- 
rhcnt deed, drawn by himfelf, and written all with 
his own hand, and there fealed and delivered it, 
and acknowledged it to be enrolled, and afterwards 
he brought the original deed to the lord chancel- 
Tor, and did formally furreuder his office in thefe 

*' Omnibus Chrifti fidelibus ad quos praefens 
** fcriptura pervenerit, Matheus Hale, miles ca- 
*' pitalis jufticiarius domini regis ad placita-coram 
" ipfo rege tenenda affignatus falutem in domino 
*' fempiternam, noveritis me prsefatum Matheum 
** Hale, militcm jam fenem fadtum & variis cor- 
" poris mei fenilis morbis & infirmitatibus dire 
^* iaborantem & adliuc detentum. Hac chart* 
" mea refignare & furfum reddere fereniffimo do- 
" mino noftro Carolo fecundo, Dei gratia Angliae 
" Scotiae Franciae & Hibernire, regi, fidei defen- 
** fori, &c. Prediilum officium capital is jufticiarii 
" ad placita coram ipfo reg& tenenda, humillime 
" petens quod hoc fcriptum irrotaletur de recordo. 
** In cujus rei teftlmonium huic chartai me« 
'* refignationis figillum meura oppofui, dat vicefi- 
*' mo primo die Februarii anno regni di£l. d<jm* 
'* regis nunc vicefimo odavo.'^ 

He made this inftrument, ^s he told the lord 
chancellor, for two ends j the one was to fhew the 
wptld his own Uz^ cojicurrenfc tp his removal : 

E 2 s^nother 

52 T^ Life and IDeath of 

another was to obviate an objeclloa heretofore 
made, that a chief juflice being placed by writ, 
was not rcmoveable at pleafure, as judges by pa- 
tent were ; which opinion, as he faid, was once 
held by his predeceflbr the lord chief juftice Key- 
ling, and though he himfelf was always of an- 
other opinion, yet he thought it reafonable to 
prevent fuch a fcruple. 

He had the day before furrendered to the king, 
in perfon, who parted from him with great grace, 
wilhing him moft heartily the return of his health,, 
and aflluing him, *' that he would Hill look upon 
" him as one of his judges, and have recourfe 
'' to his- advice when his health would permit^,. 
" and in the mean time would continue his pen- 
*' fion during his life." 

The good man thought this bounty too great, 
and an ill precedent for the king, and therefore 
writ a letter to the lord treafurer, earneftly dcfiring 
that his penfion might be only during pleafure j. 
but the king would grant it for life, and make it 
payable quarterb^. 

And yet for a whole month together, he would 
not fuft'er his fervant to fue out his patent for his 
penfionj and when the firft payment was received, 
he ordered a great part of it to charitable ufes, and 
iaid, he intended moft of it fhould be fo employed 
as long as it was paid him. 

At laft he happened to die upon the quarter day^ 
which was Chriftmas day ; and though this might 
have jJiven fome Qccafton t« a dilpute whether the 


pendon for that quarter were recoverable, yet the 
king was pleafed to decide that matter againft 
himfelf, and ordered the penfion to be paid ;:o his 

As foon as he was difchargcd from his great 
place, he returned home with as much chearful- 
tiefs as his want of health would admit of, being 
now eafed of a burthen he had been of late groan- 
ing under, and fo made more capable of enjoyincj 
that which he had much wifhed for, accordins to 
his elegant tranflation of, or rather paraphrafe 
upon, thofe excellent lines In Senega's Thyeftes, 

Aa. 2. 

Sh't qulciinque vclet potens, 
AuliS ciihnlne lubrico : 
Me dulc'ts faturet qnies, 
Obfcuro pofitus loco, 
Leni perfruar otro : 
Uullis nota quiritibuSy 
/Etas per iacitum Jluat. 
Sic cum tranfierint meiy 
KiiUo cumjircpitu dies, 
Ph'hciiis mortar fcriex. 
Illi mors grams hicubat, 
^ui mtus nij?}is amriibmy 
Jgmtiis morhur fibi. 

" Let him, that will afcend the tottering feat 
" .Of courtly grandeur, and become as great 
" As are his mounting wiflies : as for me, 
*' Let fweet repofe and reft my portion be ; 

E 3 '" Giif 

54 '^^^ Life and Death of 

*' Give me fome mean obfcure recefs, a fphere 
** Out of the road of bufinefs, or the fear 
*' Of falling lower j where I fweetly may 
" Myfelf and dear retirement ftill enjoy. 
*' Let not my life or name be known unto 
*' The grandees of the time, tofl to and fro 
*' By cenfures or applaufc ; but let my age 
*' Slide gently by, not overthwart the ftage 
" Of public adlion ; unheard, unfeen, 
" And unconcern'd, as if I ne'er had been. 
f And thus, while I ftiall pafs my filent day^ 
*' In fhady privacy, free from the noife 
** And buftles of the mad world, then fhall I 
" A good old innocent plebeian die. 
*' Death is a mere furprife, a very fnare 

To him, that makes it his life's greateft care 
To be a public pagent, known to all. 
But unacquainted with himfelf, doth fall. 



Having noiw attained to that privacy, which he 
had no lefs fcrioufly than pioufly wiflied for, he 
called all his fervants that had belonged to his 
office together, and told them, he had now laid 
down his place, and fo their employments were 
determined ; upon that, he advifed them to fee for 
themfelves, and gave to fome of them very con- 
fiderable prefents, and to every one of them a 
token, and fo difmifled all thofe that were not his 
domefticks. He was difchargcd the 15th of Fe- 
bruary 1675-6, and lived till the Chriftmas foU 
lowing, but all the while was in fo ill a ftate of 



health, that there was no hopes of his recovery. 
He continued ftill to retire often, both for his dcvo- , 
tions and ftudies, and as long as he could go, went 
conftantly to his clofet j and when his infirmities 
encreafed on him, fo that he was not able to go 
thither himfelf, he made his fervants carry him 
thither in a chair. At laft, as the winter came on, 
he faw Mnth great joy his deliverance approaching, 
for befides his being weary of the world, and 
his longings for the blefTednefs of another ftate, his 
pains encreafed fo on him, that ko patience infe- 
rior to his ,could have borne them without a great 
liijeafinefs of mind ; yet he exprefled to the Jail: 
.4uch fubmifHon to the will of God, and fo equal a 
temper under them, that it was vifible then what 
jnighty effefls his philofophy and chrillianity had 
on him, in fupporting him under fuch a heavy 

He could not lie down in bed above a year be- 
fore his death, by reafon oi the afthma, but fat. 
rather than lay in it. 

He was attented on in his ficknefs by a pious 
and worthy divine, Mr. Evan Griffith, minifter oi 
thg parifli ; and it was obferved, that in all the 
jCXtremities of his pain, whenever he prayed by 
him, he forbore all complaints or groans, but with 
his hands and eyes lifted up, was fixed in his de- 
votions. Not long before his death, the minifter 
told him, " There was to be a facrament next 
." Sunday »t church, but he believed he could not 
'5 come an^i partake with the reft, therefore he 

E 4 '' would 

56 Ithe Life and Death of 

*' would give it him in his own houfe : " But he 
anfwered, *' No ; his heavenly father had pre- 
*' pared a feaft for him, and he would go to his 
" father's houfe to partake of it : " So he made 
himfelf be carried thither in his chair, where he 
received the facrament on his knees, with great 
devotion, which, it may be fuppofed, was the 
greater, becaufe he apprehended it was to be his 
laft, and fo took it as his viaticum and provifion 
for his journey. He had fome fecret unaccountable 
prefages of his death, for he faid, " that, if he 
*' did not die on fuch a day," (which fell to be 
the 25th of November) *' he b«licved he fliould 
** Jive a month longer," and he died that very day 
month. He continued to enjoy the free ufe of his 
reafon and fenfe to the laft moment, which he 
had often and earneftly prayed for during his ficknefs. 
And when his voice was fo funk that he could 
rot be heard, they perceived by the almoft conftant 
lifting up of his eyes and hands, that he was ffcill 
afpiring towards that blcfled ftate, of which he wag 
now fpeedily to be poffeffed. 

He had for many }«ears a particular devotion for 
Chriftmas-day, and after he had received the facra- 
ment, and been in the performance of the publick 
worfhip of that day, he commonly wrote a copy 
of verfes on the honour of his Saviour, as a fit 
cxpreflion of the joy he felt in his foul, at the re- 
turn of that glorious anniverfary. There are fe- 
venteen of thofc copies printed, which he wrote 
op feventeen feveral Chriftmas days, by which the 



world has a tafle of his poetical genius, in which, 
if he "had thought it worth his time to have ex- 
celled, he might have been eminent as well as in 
other things ; but he wrote them rather to enter- 
tain himlelf, than to merit the laurel. 

I ftiall here add one which has not been yet 
printed, and it is nor unlikely it was the laft he 
writ J it is a paraphral'e on Simeon's fong ; I take 
it from his blotted copy not at all finiflied, fo the 
reader is to make allowance for any imperfection 
he may find in it. 

*' Blefled Creator, who before the birth 
*' Of time, or e'er the pillars of the earth 
*' Woe fix't or form'd, did'ft lay that great delign 
** Of man's redemption, and did'fl define 
*' In thine eternal councils all the fccne 
** Of that ftupcndious bufincfs, and when 

It fliould appear, and though the very day 

Of its epiphany, concealed lay 

Within thy mind, yet thou wert pleas'd to fhow 

Some gllmpfes of it, unto men below, 
" In vifions, types, and prophcfies, as we 
" Things at a diilance in perfpe<Slive fee : 
*' But thou wert pleas'd to let thy fervant knowr 
" That thatbleft hour, that feem'd to move foflow 
" Through former ag-es, fhould at laft attain 
" Its time, e'er my few fands, that yet remain, 
" Are fpent j and that thefe aged eyes 
" Should fee the day, when Jacob's ftar (liould rife. 

" And 



5? ^he Life andt Death of 

« And now thou haft fulfill'd it, blelTed Lord^ 

*' Difmifs me now, according to thy word i 

** And let my aged body now return 

** To reft, and duft, and drop into an urn ; 

*' For I have liv'd enough, mine eyes have i^tn 

*^ l^y much defired falvation, that hath been 

*< So long, fo dearly wifh'd, the joy, the hope 

** Of all the ancient patriarchs, the (cope 

" Of all the prophefies, and myfteries, 

** Of all the types unveil'd, the hiftories 

*' Of Jewifh church unriddl'd, and the bright 

*' And orient ^an arifen to give light 

*' To Gentiles, and the joy of Ifrael, 

" The worlds redeemer, bleft Emanuel. 

** Let this fight clofe mine eyes, 'tis lofs to fee, 

*' After this vifion, any fight but thee. 

Thus he ufed to fing on the former Chriftmas- 
days, but now he was to be admitted to bear his 
part in the new fon^gs above ; fo that day which 
tie had fpent in fo much fpiritual joy, proved to 
be indeed the day of his jubilee and deliverance; 
for between two and three in the afternoon, he 
breathed out his righteous and pious foul. His 
^nd was peace, he had no ftrugglings, nor feemed 
■to be in any pangs in his laft moments. He was 
buried on the 4th of January, Mr. Griffith preachr 
ing the funeral fermon, his text was Ifa. Iv^i. r« 
^' The righteous periflieth, and no man layeth it 
*' to heart ; and merciful men are taken away, 
^* none confidering that the righteous is taken 

" away 


** away from the evil to come." Which how fitly 
it was applicable upon this occafion, all that con- 
fider the courfe of his life, will eafily conclud.e. 
He was interred in the church-yard of Alderly, a- 
mong his anceftors ; he did not much approve of 
burying in churches, and ufed to fay, " tlie 
" churches wei^e far the living, and the church- 
*' yards for the dead." His monument was like 
bimfelf, decent and plain ; the tomb-ilone was 
black marble, and the fides were black and white 
marble, upon which he himfelf had ordered this 
bare and humble infcription to be made, 







ANNO DOM. 1609. 


NO DOM. 1676. 


Haying thus given an account of the moft rc- 
inarkable things of his life, i am now to prefent 
the reader with fuch a character of him, as the 
la)ing his fcveral virtues together will amount to : 
in which I know how dilHcuk a talk I undertake; 
for to write defe£lively of him, were to injui-e him, 


€o The Life and Death of 

and leffeii the memory of one to whom I intend 
to do all the right that is in my power. On the 
other hand, there is fo much here to be commen- 
ded, and propofed for the imitation of others, that 
I am afraid fome may imagine, I am rather making 
a pi£lure of him, from an abflra6led idea of great 
virtues and perfe£lions, than fetting him out, as 
he truly was: but there is great encouragement 
in this, that I write concerning a man fo frefh in 
all peoples rememberance, that is fo lately dead, 
and was fo much and fo well known, that I Ihall 
have many vouchers, who will be ready to juflify 
me tn all that I am to relate, and to add a great 
^eal to what I can fay. 

It has appeared in the account of his various 
learning, how great his capacities were, and how 
much they were improved by conftant ftudy. He 
Tofe always early in the morning, he loved to walk 
much abroad, not only for his health, but he 
thought it Opened his mind, and enlarged his 
thoughts to have the creation of God before his 
eyes. When he fet himfelf to any ftudy, he ufed 
to caft his defign into a fcheme, which he did with 
a great exa£lnefs of method ; he took nothing on 
truft, but perfued his enquires as far as they could 
«:o, and as he was humble enough to confefs his 
ignorance, and fubmit to myfteries which he could 
not comprehend, fo he was not eafily impofed on, 
by any fliews of reafon, or the bugbears of vulgar 
opinions. He brought all his knowledge as much 
to fcientifical principles, as he poflibly could, 



■which made him neglecSl the ftudy Of tongues, for 
the "bent of his mind lay another w^y. Difcour- 
fing once of this to fome, they faid, " they looked 
*' on th^ common law, as a ftudy that could not 
" be brought into a icheme, nor formed into a 
" rational fcience, by reafon of the indigeftednefs 
" of it, and the multiplicity of the cafes in it, 
" which rendered it very hard to be underftood, 
*' or reduced into a method ;" hut he faid, " he 
*' was not of their mind," and fo quickly after," 
he drew with his own hand, a fcheme of the 
whole order and parts of it, in a large ftieet of 
paper, to the great fatisfadtion of thofe to whom 
he fent it. Upon this hint, fome preffed him to 
compile a body of the Engliih law. It cou]4 
hardly ever be done by a man who knew it better, 
and would with more judgment and induftry have 
put it into method j but he faid, " as it was a great 
*' and noble defign, whicli would be of vaft ad- 
" vantage to the nation ; fo it was too much for 
** a private man to undertake : it was not to b^ 
'' entered upon, but by the commarid of aprmce, 
** and with the communicated endeavours of fooit 
'* of the moft eminent of the profefllon.'' 

He had great vivacity in his fancy, as may ap- 
pe?ir by his inclination to poetry, and the lively 
illuftratious, and many tender drains in his con- 
templations ; but he look'd on eloquence and wit, 
-as. things to be ufed very ghaftly, in ferious mat- 
ters, which Ihould come under a feverer enquiry ; 
therefore he was both, when at the bar, and on 


62 Tke Life mid Death cf 

the bench, a great enemy to all eloqneiice or rhe- 
toric in pleading : he faid, " If the judge or jury" 
•' had a right underftanding, it fignificd nothing, 
** but a wafte of time, and lofs of words ; and if 
*' they were weak, and eafily wrought on, it was 
•• a more decerit way of corrupting them, by 
*' bribing their fancies, and byafuig their afFe£li- 
" ons i" and wojidered much at that afFctStation' 
of the Fiench lawyers in imitating the RortnaiV 
orators in their pleadings. For the oratory of the' 
Romans, was occafioned by their popular govern- 
ment, and the factions of the city, fo that thofe 
■who intended to excel! in the pleading of caufes, 
were trained up in the fchools of the Rhetors, till 
chey became ready and expert in that lufcious w^y 
of drfcourfe. It is true, the compofures of fuch 
a man as Tully was, who mixed an extraordinary 
quicknefs, an exa6t judgment, and a juft decorum 
with his (kill in rhetoric, do (till entertain the rea- 
ders of them with great pleafure : but at the fame 
time it mvift be acknowledged, that there is not 
that chaftity of flile, that clofenefs of reafoning, 
jior that juitnefs of figures in his orations, that 
i« in his other writings j fo that a great deal was 
faid by him, rather becaufe he knew it would be 
acceptable to his auditors, than that it' was ap- 
proved of by himfelf ; and all who read them, will 
acknowledge, they are better pleafcd with them 
as eflays of v/it and ftile, than as pleadings, by 
which fuch a judge as ours was, would not be 
i*iuch wrouglit on. A.iul it there are fuch gcounds 



to cenfure the performances of the greatcft mafter 
in eloquence^ we may eafily infer what naufcous 
diicourfes the other orators made, fince in oratory^ 
as well as in poetry, none can do indifferently. So 
our judge wondered to find the French, that livd 
under a monarchy, fo fond of imitating that which 
was an ill efFe6t of the popular government of Rome. 
He therefore pleaded himfelf always in few words^ 
and home to the point: and when he was a judge, 
he held thofe that pleaded before him, to be the 
main hinge of the bufmefs, and cut them ihon; 
when they made excurfions about circumftances of 
no moment, by which he faved much time, andl 
made the chief difficulties be well ftated and,- 
icl eared. 

There was another cufl:on% among the R.omans„ 
which he as much admired, as he defpifed their 
rhetoric, which was, that the juiis-confults were 
the men of the highcft quality, who were bred 
to be capable of the chief cmplo)ment in the ilate^ 
and became the great mailers of their law ; thefs' 
gave their opinions o-f all cafes that were put to 
them freely, judging it below them to tak.e ciny 
prefcnt for it j and indeed they were the ordy true,. 
lawyers among them, whofe refoluUQn.s were of 
that authority, that they mad^J one claflis of tiiofe;) 
materials out of which TrchQnian compiled the 
digefts under JulKnian; for the or'atqrs or caulidiv.i 
that pleaded caufes, knew littU of the law, and 
only employed thejr mercenary tangues, to wo.ik 
Qii the aS'edlions- of the people, ^n4 f'^fJ'i't- <^'' ^^^^ 


64 5"^^ Life and Death of 

^retars : even in moft of Tully's orations there is 
little of law, and that little which they might 
iprinkle in their declamations, they had not from 
their own knowledge, but the refolution of fome- 
juris-confult : according to that famous ftory of 
Servius Sulpitius, who was a celebrated orator, and 
beino; to receive the refolution of one of thofe 
that were learned in the law, was fo ignorant, 
tibat he could not underhand it ; upon which the 
juris-confult reproached him, and faid, " it was 
*' a fliame for him that was a nobleman, a fena- 
*' tor, and a pleader of caufes, to be thus ignorant 
** of law :" this touched him fo fenfibiy, that he 
fet about the fludy of it, and became one of the, 
moft eminent juris-confults that ever were at 
Rome. Our judge thought it might become the 
greatnefs of a prince, to encourage fuch fort of 
men, and of fludies ; in which, none in the age 
he lived in was equal to the great Selden, who 
was truly in our Englifh lav.', what the old Roman 
juris-confults were in theirs. 

But where a decent eloquence was allowable, 
judge Hale knew how to have excelled as much 
as any, either in illuftrating his reafonings, by 
proper and well purfued fimilies, or by fuch tender- 
expreffions, as might work mofl on the affeilions, 
fo that the prefent lord chancellor, has often faid 
of him fuice his death, that he was the greateft 
orator he had knov/n ; for though his words came 
not fluently Irom him, yet when they were out, 
they were the mo-ll fignificajit, and expreilive, 



that the matter could bear ; of this fort there are 
many in his contemphitions made to quicken his 
own devotion, which have a life in them becom- 
ing him that ufed them, and a foftnefs fit to melt 
even the harfheft tempers, accommodated to the 
gravity of the fubje^t, and apt to excite warm 
thoughts in the readers, that as they fhew his ex- 
cellent temper that brought them out, and applied 
them to himfelf, fo they are of great ufe to all, 
who would both inform and quicken their minds. 
Of his illuftrations of things by proper fimilies, 
I fhall give a large inftance out of his book of 
the origination of mankind, defigned to expofe 
the feveral different hypothefes the philofophers 
fell on, concerning the eternity and original of 
the univerfe, and to prefer the account given by 
Mofes, to all their conjedlures ; in which, if my 
tafte does not mifguide me, the reader will find a 
rare and very agreeable mixture, both of fine wit, 
and folid learning and judgment. 

[ " That which may illuftrate my meaning, in 
this preference of the revealed light of the holy 
fcriptures, touching this matter, above the efTays 
of a philofophical imagination, may be this. Sup- 
pofe that Greece being unacquainted with the 
curiofity of mechanical engines, though known in 
fome remote region of the world, and that an 
excellent artifl; had fecretly brought and depofited 
in fome field or foreft, fome excellent watch or 
clock, which had been fo formed, that the origi- 
jial of its motion were hidden, and involved in 

F fome 

66 The Life and Death of 

ibme clofe contrived piece of mechanifm, that this 
watch v/as (o franiei, that the motion thereot 
might have laflred a year, or fome fucli time as- 
Kiight give a reafonable period* far their pbilofophi- 
cal difcanting concerning it, and that in the plaiiv 
table there had been not only the defcription and 
indication of hours, but the configurations and 
indications of the various phafes of the moon, the 
motion and place of the fun in* the ecliptic, and 
divers other curious indications of celeftial mo- 
tions, and that the fcholars of the feveral fchools 
of Epicurus, of Ariftotle, of Plato, and the rcfi 
of thofe philofophical fedls,, had cafually in their 
walk, found this admirable automaton ; what kind 
of work would there have been made by every 
feft, in giving an account of this phenomenon ^ 
We lliould have had the Ej.icureaa feci have told 
the byftanders,, according to their prcconcei\'ed 
hypothcfis,, that this was nothing elfe but an acci- 
dental concretion of atoms,, that happily falling, 
together had made up the index, the wheels, and: 
the ballancey and that being happiJy fallen into 
this pofture, they were put into motion. Theru 
the Cartefian falls in with him, as to the main of 
their fuppofition, bat tells him, that he doth not 
fufficiently explicate how the engine is put into 
Miotion, and therefore to furnifh this motion, there 
13 a certain, materia fubtilis that pervades this en- 
gine, and the moveable parts, confilling of certaia 
plobular atoms apt for motion, they are thereby^, 
and by the mobility of the globular atoms put into- 



motion. A third finding fault with the two for- 
mer, becaufe thofe motions are fo regular, and do 
exprefs the vai ious phenomena of the diftribution 
of time, and of the heavenly motions ; therefore 
it feems to him, that this engine and motion alfo, 
fo analogical to the motions of the heavens, was 
wrought by fome admirable conjun6lion of the 
heavenly bodies, which formed this inftrument and 
its motions, in fuch an admirable correfpondency 
to its own exiftence. A fourth, difliking the fup- 
pofitions of the three former, tells the reft, that 
he hath a more plain and evident folution of the 
phenomenon, namely, the univerfal foul of the 
world, or fpirit of nature, that formed fo many- 
forts of infetfls with fo many organs, faculties, 
and fuch congruity of their whole compofition, 
and fuch curious and various motions as we may 
obferve in them, hath formed and fet into motion 
this admirable automaton, and regulated and or- 
dered it, with all thefe congruities we fee in it. 
Then fteps in an Ariftotelian, and being diiTa- 
tisfied with all the former folutions, tells them, 
gentlemen, you are all miftaken, your folutions 
are inexplicable and unfatisfadlory, you have taken 
up certain precarious hypothefes, and being pre- 
poftefled with thefe creatures of your own fancies, 
and in love with them, right or wrong, you form 
all your conceptions of things according to thofe 
fancied and preconceived imaginations. The fhort 
of the bufinefs-is, this machina is eternal, and fo 
are all the motions of it, and in as much as a 

Y 2 circular 

63 ^he Life and Death of 

circular motion hath no beginning or end, thi'3 
motion that you fee both in the wheels and index, 
and the lucceffive indications of the celeflial mo-' 
tions, is eternal, and without beginning. And 
this is a ready and expedite way of folving the 
phenomena, without fo much ado as you have 
made about it. 

And whilft all the mafters were thus contrivirig 
the folution of the phenomenon, in the hearing 
of the artift that made it, and when they had all 
fpent their philofophizing upon it, the artift that 
made this engine, and all this while liftened to their 
admirable fancies, tells them, gentlemen, you 
have difcovered very much excellency of invention 
touching this piece of work that is before you, 
but you are all miferably miftaken : for it was I 
that made this watch, and brought it hither, and 
I will fhew you how I made it. Firft, I wrought 
the fpring, and the fufee, and the wheels, and the 
ballance, and the cafe, aJid table ; I fitted them 
one to another, and placed thefe feveral axes that 
are to direct the motions of the index to difcover 
the hour of the day, of the figure that difcovers 
the phafes of the moon, and the other various 
motions that ypu fee j and then I put it together, 
and wound up the fpring, which hath given all 
thefe motions, that you fee in this curious piece of 
work, and that you may be fure I tell you true, 
I will tell you the whole order and progrefs of my 
making, difpofing, and ordering of this piece of 
work i the feveral materials of it, the manner of 



the forming of every ind!\'idual part of it, and 
how long I was about it. This plain and evident 
difcovery renders all thefe excogitated hypothefes 
of thofe philofophical enthufiafts vain and ridicu- 
lous, without any great help of rhetorical flourifties, 
or logical confutations. And much of the fame 
nature is that difparity of the hypothefes of the 
•learned philofophers in relation to the origination 
of the world and man, after a great deal of duft 
raifed, and fanciful explications and unintelligible 
hypothefes. The plain, but divine narrative, by 
the hand of Mofes, full of fenfe, and congruity, 
and clearnefs, and rcafonablenefs in itfelf, does at 
the fame moment give us a true and clear difco- 
very of this great miftery, and renders all the 
efTays of the generality of the heathen philofophers 
to be vain, inevident, and indeed inexplicable 
theories, the creatures of phantafy, and imagina-f 
tion, and nothing elf?." ] 

As for his virtues, they have appeared fo con-r 
fpicuous in all the feveral tranfadions and turns of 
his life, that it may fcem needlefs to add any more 
of them, than has been already related; but there 
are many particular inftances which I knew not 
how to fit to the feveral years of his life, which 
will give us a clearer and better view of hirn. 

He was a devout chriftian, a finccrc proteflant, 
and a true fon of the church of England ; mode- 
rate towards diffenters, and juft even to thofe from 
whom he differed moft j which appeared figually 
in the care he took of preferving the quakcrs 

F 3 from 

70 ^he Life and Death of 

from that mifchief that was like to fall on theirt, 
by declaring their marriages void, and fo baflard- 
ing their children) but he confidered marriage and 
fucceffion as a right of nature, from which none 
ought to be barred, what miflake foever they 
might be under, in the points of revealed reli- 

And therefore in a trial that was before him, 
when a quaker was fued for fome debts owing by 
his wife before he married her, and the quaker's 
council pretended, that it was no marriage that 
had pail between them, fince it was not folemnized 
according to the rules of the church of England ; 
he declared, that he was not willing on his own 
opinion to make their children baflards, and gave 
diredions to the jury to find it fpecial. It was a 
refleilion on the whole party, that one of them to 
avoid an inconvenience he had fallen in, thought 
to have preferved himfelf by a defence, that if it 
had been allowed in law, muft have made their 
whole iflue baftards, and incapable of fucceffion, 
and for all their pretended friendfhip to one an- 
other, if this judge had not been more their friend, 
than one of thofe they fo called, their pofterity 
had been little beholding to them. But he go- 
verned himfelf indeed by the law of the gofpel, of 
doing to others, what he would have others do to 
him ; and therefore becaufe he would have thought 
it a hardfhip not without cruelty, if amongft 
papifts all marriages were nulled which had not 
been made with all the ceremonies in the roman 



ritual, fo he applying this to the cafe of ihe fec- 
taries, he thought all marriages made according 
to the feveral perfuafions of men, ought to have 
tlieir effeils in law. 

He ufed conftantly to worfhlp God in his fa- 
mily, performing it always himfelf, if there was 
rso clergymen prefent : but as to his private exer- 
cifes in devotion, he took that extraordinary care 
to keep what he did fccret, that this part of his 
character muft be defective, except it be acknow- 
ledged that his humility in covering it, commends 
him much more than the higheft expreflions of 
xlevotion could have cone. 

From the foft time that the imprcflions of reli- 
gion fettled deeply in his mind, he ufcd great 
caution to conceal it : not only in obedience to 
the rules given by our Sav-iour, of fading, praying, 
^and giving alms in fecret ; but from a particular 
<lillrufl: he had of himfclf, for he faid he v/a^; 
afraid, he fliould at fome time or other^ do fonie 
enormous thing, which if he were look'd oa as a 
very religious man, might cafi a reproach oi; the 
profefiio!! of ir, and give great advantages to im- 
pious men to blaf[)heme the -name of God : but a 
tree Is known by its fruits, and he lived not only 
free of hlemiflies, or fcandal, but fliined in all the 
parts of his convcrfation : and perhaps the difirufl: 
he was in of himfelf, contributed not a little to 
the purity of his life, for he being thereby obliged 
to be more watchful over himfelf, and to depend 
jnore on the aids of the Spirit of God, no won- 

F 4 dsr 

72 ^he Life and Death of 

der if that humble temper produced thofe excellent 
effects in him. 

He had a foul enlarged and raifed above that 
mean appetite of loving money, which is generally 
the root of all evil. He did not take the profits 
that he might have had by his pradlice : for in 
common cafes, when thofe who came to afk his 
council gave him a piece, he ufed to give back the 
half, and fo made ten (hillings his fee,, in ordinary 
matters that did not require much time or ftudy. 
If he faw a caufe was unjuft, he for a great while 
would not meddle farther in it, but to give his 
advice that it was fo i if the parties after that, 
would go on, they were to feejc another councel- 
lor, for he would aflift none in a6ls of injuftice. 
If he found the caufe doubtful or weak in point of 
law, he always advifed his clients to agree their 
bufmefs : yet afterwards he abated much of the 
jfcrupulofity he had about caufes that appeared at 
firfl view unjuft, upon this occafion. There were 
two caufes brought to him, which by the igno- 
lance of the party or their attorney, were fo ill 
reprefented to him, that they feemed to be very 
bad, but he enquiring more narrowly into them, 
found they were really very good and juft: fo after 
this he flackened rnuch of his former ftriclnefs, of 
refufing to meddle in caufes upon the ill circuin- 
flances that appeared in them at firft. 

In his pleading he abhorred thofe too common 
faults of mif-reciting evidences, quoting precedents, 
or books falfly, or aflerting things confidently ; 



by which ignorant juries, or weak judges, are'too 
Oiteix wrought on. He pleaded with the fame 
finccrity that he ufed in the other parts of his life^ 
and ufed to fay, " it was as great a difhonour as 
*' a man was capable of, that for a little money 
" he was to be hired to fay or do othervvife than 
** as he thousfht :" all this he afcribed to the un- 
meafurable defire of heaping up wealth, which 
corrupted the fouls of fome that feenied otherwifc 
jborn and made for great things, 

When he was a pra61;itioner, differences were 
often referred to him, which he fettled, but would 
accept of no reward for his pains, though oftered 
by both parties together, after the agreement was 
made ; for he faid, *' in thofc cafes he was made 
*' a judge, and a juc'ge ought to take no money." 
If they told him, he loll: much of his time in con- 
fidering their bufinefs, and fo ought to be acknow- 
ledged for it ; his anfwer was, (as one that heard 
It told me,) " can I fpend my time better, than 
" to make people friends ? mull I have no time 
^* allowed me to do good in ? " 

He was naturally a quick man, yet by much 
prailice on himfelf, he fubdued that to fuch a de- 
gree, that he would never run fuddenly into any 
conclufion concerning any matter of importance. 
Feftina lente was his beloved motto, which he 
ordered to be engraven on the head of his ftaff, 
and was often heard to fay, " that he had obferved 
*' many witty men run into great errors, becaufe 
'* they did not give themfclves lime to think, but 

" the 

^4 ^^^ Life and Death of 

** the heat of ii"nag;inadon makino; fome notions 
*' appear in good colours to them, they without 
*' ftaying till that cooled, were violently led by 
*' the impulfes it made on them ; v/hereas calm and 
•' flow men, who pa'*s for dull in the common 
*' eftimation, could fearch after truth and find it 
*' out, as with more deliberation, fo with greater 
*' certainty." 

He laid afide the tenth penny of all he got for 
the poor, and took gicat care to be well informed 
of proper obje(3;s for his charities ; and after he 
%vas a judge, many of the perquefites of his place, 
as his dividend of the rule and box money, were 
fcnt by him to the jails to difcharge poor prifoners, 
who never knew from whofe hands their relief 
came. It is alfo a cuftom for the marfhall of the 
king's-bench, to"prefent the judges of that court 
with a piece of plate for a new-year's gift, that for 
chief juftice being larger than the reft : this he 
intended to have refufcd, but the other judges told 
hlfti it belonged to his office, and the refufing it 
would be a prejudice to his fuccefibrs, fo he was 
perfuaded to take it, but he fent word to the 
marflial, that inftead of plate, he fhould bring 
him the value of it in money, and when he re- 
ceived it, he immediately fent it to the prifons, for 
the relief and difcharge of the poor there. He 
ufually invited his poor neighbours to dine with 
him, and made them fet at table with himfelf j 
and if any of them were fick, fo that they could 
not come, he would fend meat warm to them 


.!frbm h;is table : and he did not only relieve the 

poioT in his own parifh, but fent rupplies to the 

.iicighbouring pariflies, as there was occafioft for 

it : and he treated them all with the tendernefs 

ahd familiarity that became one, who oonfidered 

■ihey were of the fame nature with himfelf, and 

!were reduced to no other nccefficies but fuch as he 

himfelf might be brought to : but for common 

bccjorars, if any of thefe came to him, as he was 

■in his walks, when he lived in the country, he 

would a(k fuch as were capable of working, why 

they went about fo idly ; if they anfwered, it was 

becaufe they could find no work, he often fent 

them to fome field, to gather all the ftones in it, 

and lay them on fi heap, and then would pay them 

liberally for their pains : this being done, he ufed 

to fend his carts, and caufed them to be carried to 

fuch places of the highway as needed mending. 

But when he was in town, he dealt his charities 
very liberally, even among the ftreet beggars, and 
when fome told him, that he thereby encouraged 
idlenefs, and that moft of thefe were notorious 
cheats, he ufed to anfwer, " that he believed moft 
" of them were fuch, but among them there were 
" fome that were great objc6ls of charity, and 
*' prefled with grievous neceiHties : and that he had 
" rather give his alms to twenty who m.ight be 
*' perhaps rogues, than that one of the other fort 
fliould perifh for want of that fmall relief 


•' which he gave them." 


:fS 'The Life and Death of 

He loved building much, which he affe(^ed 
chiefly becaufe it employed many poor people : 
but one thing was obferved in all his buildings, 
that the changes he made in his houfes, was al- 
ways from magnificence to ufefulnefs, for be 
avoided every thing that looked like pomp or 
vanity, even in the walls of his houfes : he had 
good judgment in archite6lure, and an excellent 
faculty in contriving well. 

He was a gentle landlord to all his tenants, and 
was ever ready upon any reafonable complaints, 
to make abatements, for he was merciful as well 
as righteous. One inftance of this was, of a wi- 
dow that lived in London, and had a fmall eftate 
near his houfe in the country ; from which her 
rents were ill returned to her, and at a coft which 
Ihe could not well bear : fo fhe bemoaned herfelf 
to him, and he according to his readinefs to affilt 
all poor people, told her, he would order his 
ilpward to take up her rents, and the returning 
them Ihould coft her nothing. But after that, 
when there was a falling of rents in that country, 
fo that it was neceflary to make abatements to the 
tenant ; yet he would have it lie on himfelf, and 
made the widow be paid her rent as formerly. 

Another remarkable inftance of his juftice an^ 
goodnefs v/as, that when he found ill money had 
been put into his hands, he would never fuffer it 
to be vented again ; for he thought it was no 
excufe for him to put falfe money in other peoples 
hands, becaufe fome had put it in his : a great 



heap of this he had gathered together, for many 
had fo far abufed his goodnefs, as to mix bafe 
money among the fees that were given him : it is 
like he intended to have deftroyed it, but fome 
thieves who had obferved it, broke into his cham- 
ber and Hole it, thinking they had got a prize ; 
which he ufed to tell with fome pleafure, imagi- 
ning how they found themfelves deceived, when 
they perceived what fort of booty they had fallen 

After he was made a judge, he would needs pay 
more for every purchafe he made than it was 
worth ; if it had been a horfe he was to buy, he 
would have out-bid the price : and when fome re- 
prefented to him, that he made ill bargains, he 
faid, " it became judges to pay more for what 
** they bought, than the true value ; that fo thofe 
*' with whom they dealt, might not think thev 
** had any right to their favour, by having fold 
*' fuch things to them at an eafy rate ;" and faid 
it was fui table to the reputation, which a judge 
ought to preferve, to make fuch bargains, that the 
world might fee they were not too well ufed upon 
fome fecret account. 

In fum, his eftate did fhevv how little he had 
minded the raifmg a great fortune, for from a hun- 
dred pounds a year, he raifed it not quite to nine 
hundred, and of this a very confiderable part 
came in by his Ihare of Mr. Selden's eftate ; yet 
this, confidering his great pradice while a coun- 
fellor, and his conftant, frugal, and modeft 


7^ The Life and Death of 

VfAy of living, was but a fmall fortune. In the 
ihare that fell to him by Mr. Selden's will, one 
memorable thing was done by him, with the other 
executors, by which they both fhewed their regard 
to their dead friend, and their love of the public. 
His library was valued at fome thoufands of pounds> 
and was believed to be one of the curioufeft col- 
lections in Europe ; fo they refolved to keep this 
intire, for the honour of Selden's memory, and 
gave it to the univerfity of Oxford, where a nobI« 
room was added to the former library for its re- 
ception, and all di-e refpeds have been fmce (hew- 
ed by that great and learned body, to thofe their 
worthy benefa(Sfors, who not only parted fo 
generoufly with this great treafure, but were a 
little put to it how to oblige them, without crof- 
ling the will of their dead friend. Mr. Selden 
had once intended to give his library to that 
univerfity, and had left it fo by his will ; but hav- 
ing occafion for a manufcript, which belonged to 
their library, they afked of him a bond of a thou- 
sand pounds for its reftitution ; this he took fo ill 
at their hands, that he ftruck out that part of his 
will by which h-e had given them his library, and 
with fome paffion declared they fhould never have 
it. The executors ftuck at this a little, but hav- 
ing confidered better of it, came to this refolution, 
that they were to be the executors cf Mr. Selden's 
will, and not of his paffion ; fo they m.ide good 
what he had intended in cold blood, and paft over 
what his paffioo had fuegefled to him. 



The parting with fo many excellent books, 
would have been as uneafy to our judge, as any 
thing of that nature could be, if a pious regard to 
his friend's memory had not prevailed over him j 
for he valued books and manufcripts above al. 
tilings in the v/orld. He himfelf had made a great 
and rare collection of manufcripts belonging to 
the lav7 of England j he was forty years in ga- 
thering it : he himfelf faid it coft him- above 
fifteen hundred pounds, and calls it in his will, 
a treafure worth having and keeping, and not fit 
for every man's view; thefe all he left toLincoln's« 
Inn, and for the information of thofe who are 
curious to fearch into fuch things, there fliall be 
a catalogue of them added at the end of this 

By all thefe inftances it does appear, how 
much he was raifed above the world, or the 
love of it. But having thus maftered things with- 
out him, his next ftudy was to overcome his 
own inclinations. Ke was as he faid himfelf na- 
turally pafiionate ; I add, as he faid himfelf, for 
that appeared by no other evidence, lave that 
fbmetimes his colour v;ouid life a little; but he 
fo governed himfelf, that thofe who lived long 
about him, have told me they never faw him dif- 
ordered with anper, though he met with fome 
trials, that the nature of man is as little able to 
bear, as any whatfoever. There was one who did 
him a great injury, which it is not neceflary to 
pxentionj who coming afterwaids to him for his 


8o ^he Life and Death of 

advice In the fettlement of his eftate, he gave it 
very frankly to him, but would accept of no fee 
for it, and therefore fhewed both that he could 
forgive as a chiiftian, and that he had the foul of 
a gentleman in him, not to take money of one 
that had wronged him fo hcinoufly. And when 
he was afked by one, how he could ufe a man fo 
kindly, that had wro2iged him fo much, his an- 
fwer was, *' he thanked God he had learned to 
*' forget injuries." And befides the great temper 
he expreffed in all his public employments, in his 
family he was a gentle mailer : he was tender of 
all his fervants, he never turned any away, ex- 
cept they were fo faulty, that there was no hope 
of reclaiming them : when any of them had been 
long out of the way, or had neglected any part 
of their duty ; he would not fee them at their 
llrft: coming home, and fometimes not till the next 
day, leaft when his difpleafure was quick upon 
him, he might have chid them indecently ; and 
when he did reprove them, he did it with that 
fweetnefs and gravity, that it appeared he was 
more concerned for their having done a fault, than 
for the offence given by it to himfelf : but if they 
became immoral or unruly, then he turned them 
away, for he faid, '' he that by his place ought 
" to punifli diforders in other people, mult by no 
" means fufFer them in his own houfe." He ad- 
vanced his fervants according to the time they had 
been about him, and would never give occafion 
to envy among them, by railing the younger 



clerks above thofe who had been longer with him. 
He treated them all with great affection, rather as 
a friend, than a mafler, giving them often good 
advice and inftruclion. He made thofe who had 
good- places under him, give fome of their profits 
to the other fervants who had nothing but their 
wa2;es. When he made his will, he left legacies 
to every one of them ; but he exprefled a more 
particular kindnefs for one of them Robert Gibbon, 
of t|ie Middle Temple, Efq; in whom he had that 
confidence, that he left him one of his executors, 
I the rather mention him, becaufe of his noble 
gratitude to his worthy benefactor and mafter, for 
he has been fo careful to preferve his memory, that 
as he fet thofe on me, at whofe defire I undertook 
to write his life ; fo he has procured for me a great 
part of thofe memorials, and informations, out of 
which I have compofed it. 

The judge was of a moft tender and compafli- 
onate nature. This did eminently appear in his 
trying and giving fentence upon criminals, in 
which he was ftridly careful, that not a circum- 
ftance ftiould be neglecSled, which might any way 
clear the fa£t. He behaved himfelf with that re- 
gard to the prifoners, which became both the 
gravity of a judge, and the piety that was due to 
men, whofe lives lay at flake, fo that nothing of 
jeering or unreafonable feverity ever fell from hira. 
He alio examined the witnefles in the fofteft manner, 
taking care that they fhould be put under no cofi- 
fufion, which might diforder their memory : and 

Q he 

Si ^'he Life and' "Death of 

he fummed all the evidence fo equally when he 
charged the jury, that the criminals themfelves 
never complained of him. When it came to 
him to give fentence, he did it with that com- 
pofednefs and decency, and his fpeeches to the 
prifoners, directing them to prepare for death, 
were fo Vv'eighty, lb free of all afFe6lation, and fo- 
ferious and devout, that many loved to go to the 
trials, when he fat judge, to be edified by his- 
fpeeches, and behaviour in them, and ufed to fay,, 
they heard very few fuch fermons. 

But though the pronouncing the fentence of 
death was a piece of his employment, that went 
moft againft the grain with him ; yet in that, he 
could never be mollified to any tendernefs which 
hindered juftice. When he was once prefled to 
recommend fome (whom he had condemned) to 
his majefty's mercy and pardon j he anfwered, he 
could not think they deferved a pardon, whom he 
himfelf had adjudged to die : fo that all he would 
do in that kind, was to give the king a true ac- 
count of the circumftances of the fa6l, after which,, 
his majcfty was to confider whether he would 
interpofe his mercy, or let juftice take place. 

His mercifulnefs extended even to his beafts,, 
for when the horfes that he had kept long, grew 
old, he would not fuffer them to be fold, or much 
•wrought, but ordered his men to turn them loofe on 
his grounds, and put them only to eafy work, fuch 
as going to market and the like ; he ufed old dogs 
alfo with the fame care : his fliepherd having one 



' that was become blind with age, he intended to 
have killed or loft him, but the judge coming to 
hear of it, made one of his lervants bring him 
home and feed him till he died : and he was fcarce 
ever feen more angry than with one of his fervants 
for ncgle£ling a bird, that he kept, fo that it died 

for want of food. 

He was a great encourager of all young perfons, 
that he faw followed their books diligently, to 
whom he ufed to give dire6lions concerning the 
method of their ftudy, with a humanity and fweet- 
ncfs, that wrought much on all that came near 
him ; and in a fmiling pleafant way, he would 
admonifh them, if he faw any thing amifs in them: 
particularly if they went too fine in their clothes, 
he would tell them, it did not become their pro- 
fefllon. He was not pleafed to fee ftudents wear 
long perriwigs, or attomies go with fwords ; fo 
that fuch young men as would not be perfuaded 
to part with thofe vanities, when they went to him 
laid them afide, and went as plain as they could, 
to avoid the reproof which they knew they might 
otherwife expert. ^'" ^'' 

He was very free and communicative in his dif- 
courfe, which he moft commonly fixed on fome 
good and ufeful fubje£i:, and loved for an hour or 
two at night, to be vifited by fome of his friends. 
He neither faid nor did any thing with affe6lation, 
but ufed a fimplicity that was both natural to 
himfclf, and very eafy to others : and though he 
jpever fludied the modes of civility pr court breed- 

G 2 ing, 

$4- 5"^^ Life and Death of 

ing, yet he knew not what it was to be rude or 
harfli with any^ except he were impertinenilv ad- 
dreffed to in mattery of juftice, then he woiJ.l i:\lCe 
his voice a little, and fo (hake off thofe importunities. 

In bis furniture, and the fervice of his table, 
and way of living, he liked the old plainnefs fo 
well, that as he would fet up none of the new 
fafhions, fo he rather affe6led' a coarfenefs in the 
ufe of the old ones ; which was more the effedl of 
his philofophy than difpcfition, for he loved fiue 
things too much at fir ft. He v/as always of an 
equal temper, rather ch earful than merry ^ many 
wondered to fee the evennefs of his deportment, 
in fome very fad paflages of his life. 

Having loft one of his fons, the manner of 
whofe death had grievous circumftances in it; one 
coming to fee him and condole, he faid to bim, 
" thofe were the effects of living long, fuch muft 
" look to fee many fad and unacceptable things ;" 
and having faid that, he went to other difcourfes, 
with his ordinary freedom of mind ; for though 
he had a temper fo tender, that fad things were 
apt enough to make deep impreffion upon him, yet 
the regard he bad to the wifdom and providence 
oi God, and the juft eftimate he made of external 
things, did to admiration maintain the tranquility 
pf his mind, and he gave no occafion by idlenefs 
to melancholly to corrupt bis fpiiit, but by the 
perpetual bent of bis thoughts, be knew well bow 
to divert them from being opprefied with the ex- 
cclles of forrowi 


^'/r MATTHEW HALE. 85 

He had a generous and noble idea of God in his 
mind, and this he found did above all other confi- 
derations preferve his quiet : and indeed that was 
fo well eftablifhed in him, that no accidents, how 
fudden foever, were obferved to difcompofe him. 
Of which an eminent man of that profeffion, gave 
me this inftance : in the year 16&6, an opinion 
tlic) run through the nation, that the end of the 
world wojild come that year. This, whether fet 
on by aftrologers, or advanced by thofe who 
thought it inight have fome relation to the number 
of the beaft' In the Revelation, or promoted by 
men of ill defigns, to difturb the public peace, 
had fpread mightily among the people ; and judge 
Hale going that year the weftern circuit, it hap- 
pened, that as he was on the bench at the aflizes, 
a moft terrible florm fell out very unexpectedly, 
accompanied with fuch fiaflies of lightning, and 
claps of thunder, that the like will hardly fall out 
•in an age; upon which a whifpor or rumour run 
through the croud, that now the world was to 
end, and the day of judgment to begin ; and at 
this there followed a general conflernation m the 
whole aflembly, and all men forgot the bufinefs 
they were met about, and betook themfelves to 
their prayers : this added to the horror raifed by the 
florm looked very difmally ; in fo much that mv 
author, a man of no ordinary refolution, and 
fumnefs of mind, confefTed it made a great impref- 
fion on himfelf. But he told mc, that he did obfervc 
the judge was not a whit afFeded, and was going 

G z on 

S6 The Lite and Death of 

on with the bufinefs of the court in his ordinary 
manner J from which he made this conclufion, 
that his thoughts were fo well fixed, that he 
believed if the world had been really to end, it 
would have given him no confidcrable difturbance. 
But I fiiall now conclude all that I fhall fay 
concerning him, with what one of the greateft 
men of the profeffion of the law, fent me as an 
abftra<Sl of the character he had made of him, 
upon long obfervation, and much convcrfe wiih 
him : it was fent me, that from thence, with the 
other materials, I might make fuch a reprefentation 
of him to the world, as he indeed deferved ; but I 
jefolved not to fhred it out in parcels, but to fel it 
down intirely as it was fent me, hoping that as 
the reader will be much delighted with it, fo the 
noble perfon that fent it, will not be offended with 
me for keeping it intire, and fetting it in the beft 
light I could. It begins abruptly, being defigned 
to fupply the defe£is of others, from whom I had 
earlier and more copious informations. 

" He would never be brought to difcouife of 
public matters in private converfation, but in 
queftions of law, when any young lav/yer put a 
cafe to him he was very communicative, efpecially 
while he was at the bar : but when he came to 
the bench, he grew more rcferv'd, and would 
never fuffer his opinion in any cafe to be knou^n, 
till he w'as obliged to declare it judicially : and 
he concealed his opinion in great cafes fo carefully, 
that the refl of the judges in the fame court could 



never perceive it j his reafon was, becaufe every 
judge ought to give fentence according to his own 
perfuafion and confcience, and not to be fwayed 
by any refped: or difference to another man's opi- 
4iion : and by this means it hath happened iome 
times, that when all the barons of the exchequer 
had delivered their opinions, and agreed in their 
reafons and arguments ; yet he coming to fpeak 
lafl, and differing in judgment from them, hath 
.«xpreffed himfelf with (o much weight and folidity, 
that the barons have immediately retraciied their 
votes and concurred with him; He hath fet as a 
judge in all the courts of law, and in two of them 
as chief; but ftill wherever he fat, all bufmefs oi 
confequence followed him, and no man was con- 
tent to fit down by the judgment of any other 
■court, till the cafe were brought before him, to fee 
whether he were of the fame mind : and his opi- 
nion being once known, men did readily acquiefce 
in it; and it was very rarely feen, that any man 
attempted to bring it about again, and he that did 
So, did it upon great difadvantages, and was always 
looked upon as a very t:ontentious perfon : fo that 
what Cicero fays of Brutus, did very often happen 
to him, ctiam quos contra Jiatti'it aquos phcatofque 


" Nor did men reverence his judgment and 

opinion in courts of law only, but his authority 

.was as great in courts of equity, and the fame 

jefpecl and fubmiflion was paid to him tliere too ; ' 

and this appeared not only in his own court of 

G 4 equity 

88 The Life and Death of 

equity In the exchequer chamber, but in the chan-? 
eery too, for thither he was often called to advife 
and affift the lord chancellor, or lord keeper for 
the time being ; and if the caufe were of difficult 
examination, or intricated arid entangled with 
variety of fettlements, no m^n ever fhewed a more 
clear and difcerning judgment : if it were of great . 
value,, and great perfons interefted in it, no man 
ever fhewed greater courage and integrity in laying 
afide all refpe^t of perfons : when he came to de- 
liver his opinion, he always put his difcourfc into 
fuch a method, that one part ga,ve light to the 
other, and where the proceedings of (^hancery 
might prove inconvenient to the fubjeil, he never 
fpared to obferve and reprove them, and from his 
obfervations and difcourfes, the chancery hath 
taken occafion to eftablifh many of thofe rules 
by which it governs itfelf at this day. 

*' He did look upon equity as a part of the 
common law? imd one of the grounds of it ; and 
therefore as near as he could, he did always reduce 
it to certain rules and principles, tiiat men might 
ftudy it as a fcience, and not think the adminiftra- 
tion of it had any thing arbitrary in it. Thus 
eminent was this man in every ftation, and into 
•what court foever he was called, he quickly made 
it appear, that he deferved the chief feat there. 

*' As great a lawyer as he was, he would never 
fuffer the ftricStnefs of law to prevail againft con- 
fcience; as great a chancellor as he was, he would 
make ufe of all the niceties and fubtilties in law, 


.^/r MATTHEW HALE. 89 

when it tended to fupport right and equity. But 
nothing was more admirable in him, than his pa- 
tience: he did not afFe<5l the reputation of quicknefs 
and difpatch, by a hafty and captious hearing of 
the councel : he would bear with the meaneft, and 
gave every man his full fcope, thinking it much 
better to loofe time than patience. In fumming 
up of an evidence to a jury, he would always re-r 
quire the bar to interrupt him if he did miftake, 
and to put him in mind of it, if he did forget the 
leaft circumftance ; fome judges have been difturbed 
at this as a rudenefs, which he always looked upon 
as a fervice and refpe(2 done to him. 

*' His whole life was nothing elfe but a conti- 
nual courfe of labour and induiby, and when he 
could borrow any time from the public fervice, it 
was wholly employed either in philofophical or di- 
vine meditations, and even that was a public fervice 
too as it hath proved; for they have occafioned his 
writing of fuch treatifes, as are become the choiceft 
entertainments of wife and good men, and the 
world hath reafon to wifh that more of them were 
printed. He that confiders the a6live part of his 
life, and with v/hat unwearied diligence and appli- 
cation of mind, he difpatched all mens bufmefs 
which came under his care, will wonder how he 
could find any time for contemplation ; he that 
confiders again the various ftudies he pail through, 
and the many colledtions and obfervations he hath 
made, may as juftly wonder how he could find 
axiy time for .adion ; but no man can wonder at 


90 ^he Life and Death of 

the exemplary piety and innocence of fuch a life 
{o fpent as this was, wherein as he was careful to 
avoid every idle word, fo 'tis manifeft he never 
fpent an idle day. They who come far fliort of 
this great man, will be apt enough to think that 
this is a panegyric, which indeed is a hiftory, and 
but a little part of that hiftory which was with 
great truth to be related of him : men who defpair 
of attaining fuch perfeition, are not willing to 
believe that any man elfe did ever arrive at fuch a 

" He was the greateft lawyer of the age, and 
might have had what pra6lice he plcafed ; but 
though he did moft confcientioudy affe6l the la- 
bours of his profeffion, yet at the fame time he 
dcfpifed the gain of itj and of thofe profits which 
he would allow himfelf to receive, he always fet 
apart a tenth penny for the poor, which he ever 
difpenfed with that fecrecy, that they who were 
relieved, feldom or never knew their benefactor. 
He took more pains to avoid the honours and pre- 
ferments of the gown, than others do to compafd 
them. His modefty was beyond all example, for 
"where fome men, who never attained to half his. 
knowledge, have been puffed up with a high con- 
ceit of themfelves, and have affetSled all occafions of 
raihng their own efteem by depreciating other men, 
he on the contrary was the moft obliging man that 
ever pra6lifed : if a young gentleman happened to 
be retained to argue a point in law, where he was 
«n the contrary fide, he would very often mend 



the obje6lIons when he came to repeat them, and 
always commend the gentleman if there were any 
room fcr it, and one good word of his was of 
more advantage to a young man, than all the fa- 
vour of a court could be." 

Having thus far perfuedhis hiflory and charafler, 
in the public and exemplary parts of his life, 
ivithout interrupting, the thread of the relation, 
with what was private and domeftic, I fhall con- 
clude with a fhort account of thefe. 

He was twice married, his firft wife was Ana 
daughter of fir Henry Moore of Faly in Berkfhire, 
grandchild to fir Francis Moore, ferjeant at law ; by 
her he had ten children, the four firft died }'oung, 
the other fix lived to be all married ; and he out- 
lived them all, except his eldefl daughter, and his 
youngeft fon, who are yet alive. 

His eldeft fon Robert married Frances the 
daughter of fir Francis Chock, of Avington in 
Berkfhire, and they both dying in a little time one 
after another left five children, two fons Matthew 
and Gabriel, and three daughters, Ann, Mary, 
and Frances, and by the judge's advice, they both 
made him their executor, fo he took his grand- 
children into his own care, and among them fae 
left his eftate. 

His fecond fon Matthew, married Ann the 
daughter qf Mr. Matthew Simmonds, of Hilfley, 
in Glouceflcifliire, who died foon after, and left 
one fon behind him named Matthew. 


92 The Life afid Death of 

His third fon Thomas, married Rebekah the 
daughter of Chriftian Le Brune, a Dutch mer- 
chant, and died v/ithout ifiue. 

His fourth fon Edward, married Mary the 
daughter of Edmond Goodyere, Efqj of Heythorp, 
in Oxfordfliire, and Rill lives ] he has two fons, 
and three daughters. 

. His eldeft daughter Mary, was married to Ed- 
ward Alderly, fon of Edward Alderly, of Inni- 
fliannon, in the- county of Cork in Ireland, who 
dying, left her with two fons and three daughters ; 
flie is fmce married to Edward Stephens, fon to 
Edward Stephens, Efq; of Cherington in Glou- 
cefterfliire. Kis youngeft daughter Elizabeth, 
was married to Edward Webb, Efqj barrifter at 
law, {he died, leaving two children, a fon and a 

His fccond wife was Ann, the daughter of Mr. 
Jofeph Bifhop, of Faly in Berkfliire, by whom he 
had no children ; he gives her a great chara6ler 
in his will, as a mofl dutiful, faithful, and loving 
wife, and therefore truftcd the breeding of his 
grand-children to her care, and left her one of 
his executors, to whom he joined fir Robert Jenr 
kinfon, and Mr. Gibbon. .So much may fuffice 
of thofe defcended frorii him. 

In after times, it is not be dotrbtcd, but it will 
be reckoned no fmall honour to derive from him ; 
and this has made me more particular in reckon- 
ing up his ifl'ue. I fhall next give an account of 
the iflues of his mind, his books, that are either 



printed, or remain in manufcript ; for the laft ot 
thefe by his will, he has forbid the printing ot 
any of them after his death, except fuch as he 
fliould give order for in his life : but he feems to 
have changed his mind afterwards, and to have left 
it to the difcretion of his executors, which of 
them might be printctl : for though he does not 
exprefs that, yet he ordered by a codicil, " that if 
*' any book of his writing, as well touching the 
*' common law, as other fubje£ls, (hould be prin-- 
" ted, than what ihould be given for the confi- 
" deration of the copy, fhould be divided into 
" ten fhares, of which he appointed fevcn to go 
*' among his fcrvants, and three to thofe who had 
" copied them out, and were to look after the 
** impreflion." The rcafcn, as 1 have underflood 
it, that made him fo unwilling to have any of his 
works printed after his death, was, that he 
apprehended in the liccnfing them, (which was 
necefTary before any book could be lawfully prin- 
ted, by a law then in force, but fince his death 
determined) fome things might have been ftruck 
out or altered j which he had obferved not without 
fome indignation, had been done to a part of the 
reports, of one whom he had much eftcemed. 

This in matters of law, he faid, might prove to 
be of fuch mifchievous confequences, that he 
thereupon refolved none of his writings fhould 
be at the mercy of licenfers j and therefore, 
bccaufe he was not fure, that they fhould be pub- 
iiiited without expurgations or interpolatiuns, he 


54 ^^^ Life and Death of 

forbade the printing any of them ; in which he 
afterwards made fome alteration, at leaft he gave 
occafion by his codicil, to infer that he had altered 
bis mind. 

This I have the more fully explained, that his 
laft will may be no way mifunderftood, and that 
his worthy executors, and his hopeful grand-child- 
len, may not conclude themfelves to be under an 
indifpenfible obligation of depriving the public of 
his excellent writings. " 

A Catalogue of all his Printed Books. 

I. fT^HE primitive origination of mankind^ 
A. confidered and examined according to the 
liaht of nature. Folio 

2. Contemplations moral and divine, part i. 8vo, 

3. Contemplations moral and divine, part 2. 8vo. 

4. Difficiles Nugse, or obfervations touching the 
Torricellian experiment, and the various fotutions 
of the fame, efpecially touching the weight and 
elafticity of the air. 8vo* 

5. An ellay touching the gravitation, or non- 
gravitation of fluid bodies, and the reafons thereof, 

6.' Obfervations touching the principles of na- 
tural m.otions, and efpecially touching rarefaction, 
and condenfation ; together with a reply to certain 
remarks, touching the gravitation of fluids. 8vo. 

7. The life and death of Pomponius Atticus, 
written by his contemporary and acquaintance 



Cornelius Nepos, tranflated out of his fragments ; 
together with obf3rvations, political and moral, 
thereupon. 8vo. 

8. Pleas of the crown, or a methodical fummary 
<?f the principal matters relating to that fubjed. 8vo» 

Manuscripts not yet publifhed. 

I, /CONCERNING the fecondary origination 
V->l of mankind. Fol. 

2. Concerning religion, 5 vol. in Fol. viz. r. 
De deo. Vox metaphyficaj. pars i & 2. 2. 
Pars 3. Vox naturse, providentix, ethicae, con- 
fcientiae. 3. Liber fextus, feptimus, o£lavus. 
4. Pars 9. Concerning the holy fcriptures, their 
evidence and authority. 5. Concerning the 
truth of the holy fcriptures, and the evidences 

3. Of policy in matters of religion. Fol. 

4. De anima, to Mr. B. Fol. 

5. De anima, tranfadions between him and Mtt 

B. Fol. 

6. Tentamina, de ortu, natufa & imniortalltate 

animae. Fol. 

7. Magnetifmus magneticus. Fol. 
■ 8. Magnetifmus phyficus. Fol. 

9. Magnetifmus divinus. 

10. De generatione animalium Sc vegctabilium. 
Fol. lat. 

11. Of the law of nature. Fol. 

12. A letter of advice to his grand-children. 4to, 

13. Placita coron^e, 7 vol. Fol. 

13. Pre- 

gS i'he Life and Death of 

14. Preparatory notes concerning the right of 
the crown. Fol. 

15. Incepta de juribus coronae. Fol. ■ 

16. De prerogativa regis. Fol. 

17. Preparatory notes touching parliarnentary 
proceedings, 2 vol. 4to. 

J 8. Of the jurifdi6tion of the houfe of lords, 4to. 

19. Of the jurifdidiion of the admiralty. 

20. Touching ports and cufloms. Fol. 

21. Of the right of the fea and the arms 
thereof, and cuftoms. Fol. 

22. Concerning the advancement of trade. 4to« 

23. Of fiierifFs account. Foi. 

24. Copies of evidences. Fol. 

25. Mr. Selden's difcourfes. 8vo, 

26. Excerpta ex fchedis Seldenianis. 

27. Journal of the 18 and 21 Jacobi regis. 4to, 

28. Great common place book of reports or 
cafes in the law, in law French. Fol. 

In Bundles. 

ON quod tlbi fier'i^ &c. Matth. vii. 12. 
Touching punifliments, in relation to tke 
Socinian controverfy. 

Policies of the church of Rome. 
Concerning the laws of England. 
Of the amendment of the laws of England, 
Touching provifion for the poor. 
Upon Mr. Hobbs's manufcript. 
Concerning the time of the abolition of the 
Jewifh laws. 


In Quarto. 

^md fit deus. 

Of the ftate and condition of the foul and body 
after death. 

Notes concernino; matters of law. 


To thefe I Ihall add the Catalogue of the 
Manuscripts which he left to the Hon. 
Society of LincolnVInn, with that part of 
his Will that concerns them. 

ITEM, 00 a tcffimoncp of mj) Ijonouj: ano 
rcfpcrt CO t!)e _focietp of JLincoln'^^SInit, 
Mjzu 3. Ija5 tlje grcatett part of mp education, 
35 gti)^ ano ijftiucatlj to t!;at Ijouourable foci^: 
^tj) tljc federal manufcrtpt IjooHs coutaineD \\x 
a fclj^mttc aiiue]cen to mp toiil : tljep arc a 
trcafure tport^ ijabiug; aim kccpiuo;, toijic!) 3| 
i;avie hzzw near fortp j)ear0 in gatljcring;, tuitlj 
ucrp great iuiiuarp ann erpence. ^p uefire i>, 
ti)at tljep Ije kept fafe, auD all togetljer, in 
remembrance of me ; tbep Uuere fit to be botinn 
ill leatijer ann djainen, anu kept in arcljiije^" : 
31 Defire tljcp map not be lent out, or nifpofeo 
of t bnlp if 31 Ijappen Ijereafter to l;abe anp of 
mp poflcritp of tljat foeietp, tbat oeCreg to 
tranfccibe anp book, ann giije tjerp pon cau^ 
tion to reftore it again ixi a prefireD time, 
fuel; a? t{;e beucl;eri3 of tljat locietv \\\ coun^ 

H ^ til 

98 The Life and Death of 

t\\ (Ijall appvoUe of 5 tljeu, anu not otljci'twlifc-, 
onlp one l)ook at one tintc map lie lent out to 
tfjem tip tlje focictp; To tijat tljeue lie no 
more l)ut one l)oah of tljcfe I'ccks abroau out 
of ti;e librarp atone time. SCljep are a ti-eafure 
tijat are not fit for everp man'0 Uielu x nor is 
cberp man capable of making ufe of tljem : onlp 
31 iMoulD lja\je notljiuo; of tljefe ibochs pcintcn* 
hut intirelp preferlicD togetljcr, for tlje ufe 
of tlje innu^iiou^ Icarneo memiierss of tljat 

A Catalogue of die Books given by him 
to Lincoln's-Inn, according to the fchedula. 
annexed to his wilJ. 

PLacita de teiTJ-pore regis Johannis, i vol. ftitcht,. 
Placita coram regeE. i. 2 vol, 

Placita coram rege E. 2. 3 vol. 

Placita coram rege E. 3, 3 vol. 

Placita coram rege R. 2. i vol. 

Placita coram rege H. 4. H 5. i vol; 

^acita de banco, E. i. ab amio i, ad annum* 
21.. I vol. 

ITranfcripts of many pleas, coram rege 5c dc 
banco E. i. i vol. 

The pleas in the exchequer, ftiled communia, 
from 1 E. 3. to 46 E. 3. 5 vol. 

Glofe rolls of king John, verbatim, of the moll 
material things, i vol. 

The principal matters in the clofc and patent 



rolls, of fJ. 3. tranfcribed verbatim, from 9 H. 3. 
to 56 H. 3. 5 vol. velum, marked K. L. 

The principal matters in the clofe and patent 
rolls, E. I. with feveral copies and abftrads of 
records, i vol. marked F. 

A long book of abftradls of records, by me. 

Clofe and patent rolls, from i to 10 E, 3, and 
other records of the time of H. 3. i vol. marked W. 

Clofe rolls of 15 E. 3. v^^ith other records, i 
▼ol. marked N. 

Clofe rolls from 17 to 38 E. 3. 2 vol. 

Clofe and patent rolls from 40 E. 3 to 50 E. 
3. I vol. marked B. 

Clofe rolls of E. 2. with other records, i vol. R. 

Clofe and patent rolls, and charter rolls in the 
lime of king John for the clergy, i vol. 

A great volume of records of feveral natures, G. 

The leagues of the kings of England, tempore 
E. I. E. 2. E. 3. I vol. 

A book of ancient leagues and military provifi- 
ons, I vol. 

The reports of Iters of Derby, Nottingham, and 
Bedford, tranfcribed, i vol. 

Itinera foreft de Pickering & Lancafter, tran- 
fcrlpt ex original!, i vol. 

An ancient reading, very large, upon charta de 
forcftae, and of the foreft laws. 

The tranfcript of the iter forefta de Dean, i vol. 

Quo warranto and liberties of the county of 
Gloixefter, with the pleas of the chace of Kingf- 
wood, I vol, 

H 2 Tran^ 

loo ^hs Life and Death of 

Tranfcript of the black book of the admiralty, 
laws of the arniy, impofitions and feveral honours, 
I volv 

Records of patents, inquifitions, &c. of the 
county of Leicefter, i vol. 

Mufter and military provifions of all forts, ex- 
tracted from the records, i vol. 

Gervafius Tilburienfis, or the black book of the 
exchequer, i vol. 

The king's title to the pre-emption of tin, a 
ihin vol. 

Calender of the records in the tov^^er, a fmall vol. 

A mifccllany of divers records, orders, and other 
things of various natures, marked E. i vol. 

Another of the like nature in leather cover, i vol, 

A book of divers records and things relating to 
the chancery, r vol. 

Titles of honour and pedigrees, efpecially 
touching Clifford, i vol. 

Hiftory of the marches of Wales colleded by 
me, I vol. 

Certain collections touching titles of honour, i vol. 

Copies of feveral records touching premunire, 
1 vol. 

Extradl of commifHons tempore H. 7. H. 8. 
R, and the proceedings in the court military, be- 
tween Ray and Ramfey, i vol. 

Petitions in parliament tempore E. i. E. 2, 
E. 3. H. 4. 3 vols. 

Summons of parliament, fr»?m 49 H. 3. to 22 
E, 4. 3 vol. 



The parliament rolls from the beginning of E!, 
I. to the end of R. 3. in 19 volumes, viz. i of 
E. I. I of E. 2. vi'ith the ordinations. 2 of E. 3. 
3 of R. 2. 2 of H. 4. 2 of H. 5. 4 of H. 6. 
3 of E. 4. I of R. 3. all tranfcribcd at large. 

Mr. Elfing's book touching proceedings in par- 
liament, I vol. 

Noye's collection touching the king's fupplies, 
I vol. ftitcht. 

A book of various coIleiSllons out of records and 
regifter of Canterbury, and claims at the coro- 
nation of R. 2. I vol. 

Tranfcript of bifliop Ufher's notes, principally 
concerning chronology, 3 large vol. 

A tranfcript out of dooms-day book of Glou- 
cefterfliire and Heiefordfhire, and of fome pipe-rolls, 
and old accompts of the cuftoms, i vol. 

Extrads and colledlions out of records touchin-:; 
titles of honour, i vol. 

Extracts of pleas, patents and clofe- rolls, tem- 
pore H. 3. E. 1, E. 2. E. 3. and Ibme old 
antiquities of England, i vol. 

ColleClions and memorials of many records and 
antiquities, i vol. Seldeni. 

Calender of charters, and records in the tower, 
touching Gloucefterfhire. 

ColleiStion of notes and records of various na- 
tures, marked M. i vol. Seldeni. 

Tranfcript of the iters of London, Kent, 
Cornvyall, i vol. 

H 3 Ex^. 

102 The Life and Death of 

Extracts out of the leiger-books of Battell, Eve- 
fham, Winton, &c. i vol. Seldeni. 

Copies of the principal records in the red book, 
in the exchequer, i vol. 

Extracts of records and treaties, relating to fea 
affairs, i vol. 

Records touching cuftoms, ports, partition of 
the lands of Gi. de Clare, &c. 

Extra61: of pleas in the time of R. i. king 
John, E. 1. he. i vol. 

Cartae antiquae in the tower, tranfcribed, in 2 

Chronological remembrances, extra(£led out of 
the notes of bifliop Ulher, i vol. Hitched. 
Inquifitiones de legibus Walliae, i vol. 
Colle61:ions or records touching knighthood. 
Titles of honour. Seldeni. i vol, 
Mathematicks arid fortifications, i vol, 
ProceiTus curia militaris, i vol. 
A book of honour ftitched, i vol. 
Extrafls out of the regiftry of Canterbury. 
Copies of ftveral records touching proceedings 
in the military court, i vol. 

AblhacSls of fummons and rolls of parliament, 
out of the book Dunelm, and fome records alpha- 
betically digefted, I vol. 

Abftrails of divers records in tlie office of firft 
fruits, I vol. flitched. 

Mathematical and aftrological calculations, i vol. 
A book of divinity. 



Two large repofitories of records, marked A. 

and B. 

[ All thofe above arc in folio. ] 

The proceedings of the forefts of Windfor, 
Dean, and Eflex, in 4to. I vol. 
[ Thofe that follow are nioft of thern in vellum 
or parchment. ] 

Two books of old ftatutes, one ending H. j. 
.the other 2 H. 5. with the fums, 2 vol. 

Five laft years of E. 2. i vol. 

Reports tempore E. 2. I vol. 

The year book of R. 2. and fome others, i vol. 

An old chronicle from the creation to E. 3, i vol. 

A mathematical book, efpccially of optiouesj 
I vol. 

A Dutch book of .geometry and fortification. 

Murti Benevenlani geometrica, i vol. 

Reports tempore E. i. under titles, i vol. 

An old regifter and fome pleas, 1 vol. 

Bernardi Bratrack peregrinatio, I vol. 

Iter Cantii and London, and fome reports, 
■^tempore E. 2. i vol. 

Reports tempore E. i. and E. 2. I vol, 

Leicer book, Abbatiae dc bello. 

Ifidori opera. 

Liber altercaticnis, & chriftiani:^ philofophae, 
,Contra paganos. 

Hiftoria Petri manducatorii. 

Hornii aftronomica, 

Hiftoria ecclefice Dunelmenfis, 

Holandi chymica. 

H 4. D€ 

104 ^he Life and Death of 

De alchymije fcriptoribus. 

The black book of the new law, collefSlcd by 
me, and digefted into alphabetical titles, written 
with my own hand, which is the original copy, 

The Conclusion. 

THUS lived and died fir Matthew Hale, the 
renowned lord chief juftice of England. He 
had one of the blellings of virtue in the higheft 
i-neafure of any of the age, that does not always 
follow it, which was, that he was univerfally 
much valued and admired by men of all fides and 
perfuafions. For as none could hate him but for 
his juftice and virtues, fo the rrreat eftimation he 
was generally in, made, that few durft undertake 
to defend fo ungrateful a paradox, as any thing 
faid to leflen him would have appeared to be. His 
name is fcarce ever mentioned fince his death, 
without particular accents of fingular refue6l. His 
opinion in points of law generally pafles as ^n 
uncontroulable authority, and is often pleaded in 
all the courts of juftice : and all that knew him 
well, do ftiil fpeak of him as one of the peifcdleft 
patterns of religion and virtue they ever faw. 

The comm.endations given him by all forts of 
people are fuch, that I can hardly come under the 
cenfures of this age, for any thing I have faid con-: 
cerning him ; yet if this book lives to after times, 
}t will be looked on perhaps as a picture, drawn 



rtiore according to fancy and invention, than after the 
life ; if it were not that thofe who knew him well, 
pftablifhing its credit in the prefent age, will make 
it pafs down to the next with a clearer authority. 
I fhall perfue his praife no further in my own 
words, but fhall add what the prefent lord chan- 
cellor of England faid concerning him, when he 
flelivered the commiflion to the lord chief juftlce 
Rainsford, who fucceeded him in that office, 
which he began in this manner. 

" The vacancy of the feat of the chief juftice 

** of this court, and that by a way and means fo 

*' unufual, as the refignation of him, that lately 

*' held it, and this too proceeding from fo deplorable 

" a caufe, as the infirmities of that body., which 

" began to forfake the ableft mind that ever pre- 

*'. fided here, hath filled the kino-dom with lamen- 

*' tations, and given the king many and penfivc 

*' thoughts, how to fupply that vacancy again." 

And a little after fpeaking to his fuccefibr, he faid, 

*' The very labours of the place, and that weight 

" and fatigue of bufinefs which attends it, are no 

*' fmall difcouragements ; for what fhoulders may 

.*' not juftly fear the burthen which made him. 

•" ftoop that went before you ? Yet I confefs you 

" have a greater difcouragement than the meer 

*' burthen of your place, ajid that is the unimitablii 

' example of your laft predeceflbr : onerofum ejl 

" fuccedere bom principle v/as the faying of him 

*' in the panegyrick ; and you will find it fo too 

*' that are to fucceed fuch a chief juflice, of fo 

" inde- 


so6 The LiFj; and Death of 

*' indefatigable an induftiy, fo invincible a pati- 
" ence, fo exemplary an integrity, and fo magna- 
" nimous a contempt of worldly things, without 
" which no man can be truly great ; and to all 
*' this a man that was fo abfolute a mafter of the 
*' fcience of the law, and evert of the moft ab- 
■'' ftrufe and hidden parts of it, that one may 
*' truly fay of his k.nov.'ledge in the law, what St. 
'^^ Aufiin faid of St. Hierom's knowledge in divi- 
*' nity, quod H:erom?mis nefcivit, nullus inortoUian 
*' unqiiam fcivit. And therefore the king would 
'* not fuffer himfelf to part with fo great a man, 
*' till he had placed upon him all the marks o.f 
** bounty and eilieem, which his retired and weak 
"'^ condition was capable of." 

To this high character, in which the expreflions, 
as they well become the eloquence of him who 
pronounced them, fo they do agree exadlly to the 
fubject, without the abatements that are often to 
"be made for rhetoric ; I fhall add that part of the 
lord chief juftice's jinfwer, in which he fpeaks of 
his predeceffor. 

" — — A perfon in whom his eminent virtues^ 
*' and deep learning, have long managed a conteft 
*' for the fuperiority, which is not decided to this 
** day, nor will it ever be determined, I fuppofe, 
" which fhall get the upper hand. A perfon that 
" has fat in this court thefe many years, of whofe 
*' adlions there I have been an eye and an ear 
** witnefs, that by the greatnefs of his learning 
*' always charmed his auditors to reverence and 

" atten- 



.9/r MATTHEW HALE. 107 

f' attention : a perfon, of whom I think I may 
'« boldly fay, that as former times cannot fliew 
*' any fuperiour to him, fo I am confident fuc- 
*' ceeding and future time will never fliew any 
'*■ equal : thefe confiderations hightened by what I 
^' liave heard from your lordfliip concerning him, 
" made me anxious and doubtful, and put me to 
,*' a ftand, how I fhould fucceed fo able, fo good, 
*' and fo great a man : it doth very much trouble 
*' me, that I who in comparifon of liim am but 
like a candle lighted in the fun-fiiine, or like a 
glow-worm at mid-day, fliould fucceed fo great 
.*' a perfon, that is and will be fo eminently fa- 
*' mous to all pofterity, and I muft ever wear this 
" motto in my breaft to comfort me, and in my 
*' actions to excnfe me, 

'' Si^quhur.^ quamvh non pq/Jlous isqius."" 
Thus were panegyricks made upon him while 
yet alive, in that fame court of juftice which he 
had fo worthily governed. As he was honoured 
while he lived, fo he was much lamented when he 
died : and this will ftil! be acknowledged as ajuft 
infciiption for his memory, though his modciiy 
forbid any fuch to be put on his tomb-ftone. 


■ • , ADDI- 

[ io8 ] 



O F 


Written by Richard Baxter, 

At the Requeft of Edward Stephens, Efq; Publifher 
of his Contemplations, and his familial Friend^ , 

To the READER. 

SINCE the hiflory of judge Hale's life is 
publifhed (written by Dr. Burnet very well) 
fome men have thought, that becaufe my familiari- 
ty with him was known, and the laft time of a man's 
life is fuppofed to contain his matureft judgment, 
time, ftudy, and experience correfling former over- 
fights; and this great man who was moft diligently 
and thijftily learning to the laft, was like to be 
flill wifcr, the ^notice that I had of him in the 
latter years of his life fhould not be omitted. 

1 was 

tx» the R E A D E Ro 109 

I was never acquainted with him till 1667, and 
ttierefor€ have nothing to fay of the former part 
of his life j nor of the latter, as to any public 
affairs, but only of what our familiar converfe 
acquainted me : but the vifible effects made mc 
wonder at the induftry and unwearied labours of 
his former life. Befides the four volumes againft 
atheifm and infidelity, in folio, which I after 
mention, when I was dcfued to borrow a manu- 
fcript of his law colledions, he fhewed me, as I 
remember, about two and thirty folios, and told 
me, he had no other on that fubjecl, (colledions 
out of the tower records, &c.) and that the ama- 
nuenfis work that wrote them, coit him a thoufand 
pound. He was fo fet on iludy, that herefolvedly 
avoided all necefTary diverfions, and fo little valued 
eithergrandeur, wealth, or any worldly vanity, that he 
avoided them to that notable degree, which incom- 
petent judges took to be an excefs. His habit was 
lo coarfe and plain, that I, who am thought guilty 
of a culpable negle6l therein, have been bold to 
defire him to lay by fome things which feemed too 
homely. T'he houfe which I furrendered to him, 
and wherein he lived at A6lon, was indeed well 
fituate but very fmall, and fo far below the ordi- 
nary dwellings of men of his rank, as that divers 
farmers thereabout had better ; but it pleafed him. 
Many cenfurcd him for chufmg his laft wife be- 
low his quality : but the good man more regarded 
his own daily comfort, than men's thoughts and 
talk. As far as I could difgern, he choft one very 


no 'To the READER. 

fuitable to his ends; one of his own judgrneiit and 
temper, prudent and loving and -fit to pleafe him ; 
and that would not draw on him the trouble of 
much acquaintance and relations. His houfckeeping 
■was according to the refl:, like his cftate and mind, 
but not like his place and honour: for he refolved 
never to grafp at riches, nor take great fees, but 
would rcfufe what many others thought too little. 
1 wondered when he told me how fmall his eftate 
was, after fuch ways of getting as were before 
him : but as he had little, and dcfired little, fo he- 
was content with little, and fuited his dwelling, 
table, and retinue thereto. He greatly fhunned the 
vifits of many, or gVeat perfons, that came not to 
him on ' neccli'ary bufmefs, becaufe all his hours 
were precious to him, and therefore he contrived 
the avoiding of them, and the free enjoyment of 
liis beloved privacy. 

I muft with a glad remembrance acknowledge, 
that while wc were fo unfuitable in places and 
worth, yet feme fuitablenefs of judgn^ent and dil- 
pofuion made our frequent converfe pleafmg to us 
both. The laft time fave one, that I was at 'his 
houfe, he made me lodge there, and in the morn- 
ing inviting me to more frequent vifits faid, no 
man (hall be more welcome ; and he was no dif- 
iembler. To fignify his love, he put my name 
as a legatee in his will, bequeathing me forty fliil- 
lings. Mr. Stephens gave me two manufcripts, 
as appointed by him for me, declaring his judgment 
of our church contentions and their cure (after 


ro the READER. m 

mentioned). Though they are imperfe£l as writ- 
ten on the fame queftion at feveral times, I had a 
great mhid to print them, to try whether the 
common reverence of the author would cool any 
of our contentious clergy : but hearing that there 
was a reftraint in his will, I took out part of a> 
copy in which I find thefe words, " I do exprefsly 
" declare, that I will have nothing of my writings 
" printed after my death, but only fuch as I fhall 
" in my life-time deliver out to be printed." And 
not having received this in his life-time, nor to be 
printed in exprefs terms, I am afraid of croffing 
the will of the dead, though he ordered them for 

It {hewed his mean eflate as to riches, that in 
his will he is put to diftribute the profits of a book 
or two when printed, among his friends and 
fervants. Alas ! we that are great loofers by 
printing, know that it muft be a fmall gain that 
muft thus accrue to them. Doubtlefs, if the lord 
chief juflice Hale hs.d gathered money as other 
lawyers do that had lefs advantage, as he wanted 
not will, fo he would not have wanted power to 
have left them far greater legacies. But the fer- 
vants of a felf-dcnying mortified mafter, muft be 
content to fuffer by his virtues, which yet if they- 
imitate him, will turn to their final gain. 

God made him a public good, whicli is more 
than to get riches. His great judgment and known, 
integrity, commanded refpedt from thofe that, 
knew him j fo tloat I verily think, that no qwq 

tii To the READER. 

fubje£l fince the days that hiftory hath notified the 
affairs of England to us, went off the flage with 
greater and more univerfal love and honour ; 
(and what honour without love is, I undeiffand 
riOt.) I remember when his fucceffor, the lord 
chief juftice Rainsford, falling into fome melan- 
cholly, came and fcnt to me for fome advice, he 
did it as he faid, becaufe judge Flale defired him fo 
to do; and expreffed fo great rcfpedl to his judg- 
ment and writings, as I percei\'ed much prevailed 
with him. And many have profited by his con- 
templations, who would never have read them^ 
Tiad they been written by fuch a one as I. Yet 
among all his books and difcourfes, I never knew 
of thefe until he was dead. 

His refolution for juftice was fo great, that I am 
perfuaded, that no wealth nor honour would have 
hired him knowingly to do one unjuft a^ft. 

And though he left us in forrow, I cannot but 
acknowledge it a great mercy to him, to be taken 
away when he was. Alas ! what would the good 
itian have done, if he had been put by plotters, 
and traitors, and fwearers, and forfwearers, upon, 
all that his fucceffors have been put to ? In like- 
lihood, even all his great wifdom and fincerity,- 
could never have got him through fuch a wilder- 
nefs of throns, and briars, and wild beafts, with- 
-out tearing in pieces his entire reputation, if he had 
never fo well fecured his confcicnce. O ! how fea- 
ibnably did he avoid the tempell and go to Chrifl. 


To the READER. 113 

And fo have fo many excellent perfons fince 
then, and efpecially within the fpace of one year, 
as may well make England tremble at the prog- 
noftick, that the righteous are taken as from the 
evil to come. And alas ! what an evil is it like to 
be ? We feel our lofs. We fear the common 
danger. But what believer can chufe but acknow- 
ledge God's mercy to them, in taking them up to 
the world of light, love, peace and otder, when 
confufion is coming upon this world, by darknefs, 
malignity, perfidioufnefs and cruelty. Some think 
that the lad conflagration fhall turn this earth 
into htll. If fo who would not firft be taken from 
it ? And when it is fo like to hell already, who 
would not rather be in heaven ? 

Though fome miftook this man for a meer phi- 
lofopher or humanift, that knew him not within ; 
yet his moft feiious defcription of the fufferings of 
Chrift, and his copious volumes to prove the truth 
of the fcripture, chriftianity, our immortality, and 
the Deity, do prove fo much reality in his faith 
and devotion, as makes us paft doubt of the reali- 
ty of his reward and glory. 

When he found his belly fwell, his breath and 
ftrenglh much abate, and his face and fiefh decay, 
he chearfully received the fentence of death : and 
though Dr. Gliflbn by meer oximel fquilliticum, 
feemed a while to cafe him, yet that alfo foon failed 
him ; and he told me, he was prepared and con- 
tented comfortably to receive his change. And 
accordingly he left us, and went into his native 

X country 

ir4 To the READER. 

country of Gloucefterfliiie to die, as the hlftory 
tells yoir, 

Mr* Edward Stephens being moft familiar with 
hiin, told me his purpofe to write his life : and 
cltifired me to draw up the meer narrative of my 
fhort familiarity with him ; which I did as follow- 
eth : by hearing no more of hira. caft it by ; but 
others dehring it, upon the fight of the publifhed 
hiftory of bis life by Dr. Burnet, I have left it to 
the difcretion of forae of them^ to do with it 
what they will. 

And being half dead already In thofe deareft 
friends who were half myfelf, am much the more 
willing to leave this mole-hill and prifon of earth, 
to be with that wife and bleffed fociety, who being 
united to their head in glory, do not envy, hate, 
or perfecute each other, nor forfake God, nor 
Ihall ever be forfaken by him. 

K.. 6^. 

Note, That this narrative was written two years 
before Dr. Burnet's; and It's not to be doubt- 
ed, but that he had better information of 
his manufcripts^ and fome other circumftances, 
than I. But of thofe manufcripts direcSled to 
me, about the foul's immortality, of which I 
have the originals under his hand, and alfo 
of his thoughts of the fubjedls mentioned 
by me, from 167 1, till he went to die in 
Gloucefterfiiire, 1 had the fulleft notice. 


[ 1^5 ] 

On the Life and Death of 


To my Worthy Friend Mr. Stephens, 
the Publilher of Judge Hale's Con- 


YOU defired me to give you notice of what 
I knew in my perfonal convcrfe, of the 
great lord chief juftice of England, fir Mat- 
thew Hale. You have partly made any thing of 
mine unmeet for the fight of any but yourfelf and 
his private friends (to whom it is ufelefs) by your 
divulging thofe words of his extraordinary favour 
to me, which will make it thought, that I am par- 
tial in his praifes. And indeed that exceffive efteem 
of his, which you have told men of, is a divulgino- 
of his imperfeclion, who did over-value fo unwor- 
thy a perfon as I know myfelf to be. 

I will promife you to fay nothing but the truth ; 
and judge gf it and ufe it as you pleafe. 

I 2 My 

ii6 Mditional Notes on the Life of 

My acquaintance with him was not lono; : and 
I look'd on him as an excellent peifon ftudied in 
his own wa}r, which I hoped I fliould never have 
cccafion to make much ufe of; but I thouoht not 
fo verfed in our matters as ourfelves. I was con- 
firmed in this conceit by the firft report I had from 
him, which was his wifii, that Dr. Reignolds^ 
Mr. Calamy, and I, would have taken biflio|,ricks, 
when they were ofFered us by the lord chancellor, 
as from the king, in 1660, (as one did). I thought 
he underftood not our cafe, or the true ftate of 
Englifh prelacy. Many years after when I lived 
at A6ton, he being lord chief baron of the exche- 
quer, fuddenly took a houfe in the village. We 
fat next feats together at church for many weeks, 
but neither did he ever fpeak to me or 1 to him. 
At lafl-, my extraordinary friend (to whom I was 
more beholding than I muft here exprefs,) ferjeant 
Fountain, afked me, why I did not vifit the lord 
chief baron ? I told him, becaufe I had no reafon 
for it, being a ftranger to him ; and had fome 
againft it, viz. that a judge, whofe reputation was 
necefiary to the ends of his office, fhould not be 
brought under court fufpicron, or difgrace, by his 
familiarity with a petfon, whom the intereft and 
diligence of fome prelates had rendered fo odious, 
as I knev/ myfelf to be with fuch, I durft not be 
fo injurious to him. The ferjeant anfwered, it is 
not meet for him to come firft to you ; I know 
why I fpeak it : let me in treat you to go firft to 
him. In obedience to which requcft I did it j and 


^/> MATTHEW HALE, 117 

^ we entered into neighbourly familrarSty. I lived 
then in a fmall houfe, but it had a pleafant gardeii 
and backfide, which the (honeft) landlord had a 
defire to fell. The judge had a mind to the houfe; 
but he would not meddle with it, till he got a 
flranger to me, to come and enquire of me whe- 
ther I was willing to leave it ? I told him, I vv'as 
not only willing but defirous, not for my owri 
ends, but for my landlord's fake, who muft needs 
fell it : and fo he bought it, and lived in that poor 
houfe, till his mortal ficknefs fent him to the place 
©f his interment. 

I will truly tell you the matter and the manner 
of our converfe. We were oft together, and al- 
moft all our difcourfe was philofophical, and efpe- 
cially about the nature of fpirits and fuperiour 
regions ; and the nature, operations, and immor- 
tality of man's foul. And our difpofition and 
courfe of thoughts, were in fuch things fo like, 
that I did not much crofs the bent of bis confe- 
fence. He firudied phyficks, and got all new or old 
books of philofophy that he could meet with, as 
eagerly as if he had been a boy at the univcrfitj-, 
Moufnerius, and Honoratus Faber, he defervedly 
much efleemed ; but yet took not the latter to be 
without fome miftakes. Mathematicks he ftudied 
more than I did, it being a knowledge which he 
much more efleemed than I did ; who valued all 
knowledge by the greatnefs of the benefit, and 
necciTity of the ufe; and my unfldlfulncfs in them.« 
1 ackncvvledgc my great dekii, in which he much 

I 3 excelled. 

1 1 8 Additional Notes on the Life of 

excelled. But we were both much addid^ed to 
know and read all the pretenders to more than 
ordinary in phyficks ; the Platonifts, the Peripa- 
teticks, the Epicureans (and efpecially their Gaf- 
fendus,) Teleius, Campanella, Patricius, Lullius, 
White, and every feet that made us any encourg- 
ing promife. We neither of us approved of all 
in Ariftotle ; but he valued him more than I did. 
We both greatly difliked the principles of Cartefius 
and Gaffendus (much more of the Bruitifls, Hobbs 
and Spinofa j ; efpecially their do6lorine de motu, 
and their obfcuring, or denying nature itfelf, even 
the principia motus, the virtutes form.ales, which 
are the caufes of operations^ 

Whenever we were together, he was the fpring 
of our difcourfe (as chufmg the fubjed) : and moil 
of it ftill was of the nature of fpirits, and the 
immortality, ftate, and operations of feparated 
fouls. We both were confcious of human darknefs, 
and how much of our underftandings, quiet in 
fuch matters, mull be fetcht from our implicit 
truft in the goodnefs and promifes of God, rather 
than from a clear and fatisfying conception of the 
mode of feparated fouls operations ; and how 
great ufe we have herein of our faith in Jefus 
Chrift, as he is the undertaker, mediator, the 
Lord and lover of fouls, and the actual poiTcffor of 
that glory. But yet we thought, that it greatly 
concerned us, to fearch as far as God allowed us, 
into a matter of fo great moment ; and that even 
little and obfcure profpe6ts into the heavenly ftate, 



are more excellent than much and applauded 
knowledge of tranfitory things. 

He was much in urging difficulties and objedti- 
ons j but you could not tell by them what was his 
own judgment : for when he was able to anfwer 
them himfelfj he v/ould draw out anothers anfwer. 

He was but of a flow fpeech, and fometimes fo 
hefitating, that a ftranger would have thought 
bim a m-an of low parts, that kjiew not readily 
what to fay (though ready at ether times). But 
I never faw Cicero's dodlrine de Oratore, more 
verified in any man, that furnifhing the mind with 
all forts of knowledge, is the chief thing to make 
an excellent orator : for when there is abundance 
and clearnefs of knowledge in the mind, it will 
furnifh even a flow tongue to fpeak that which 
by its congruence and verity fhall prevail. Such 
a one never wants moving raatterj iiox an anfwer 
to vain objecflors. 

The manner of our converfe was as fuitable to 
my inclination as the matter. For wliereas many 
bred in univerfitics, and called fcholars, have not 
the wit, manners, or patience, to hear thofe that 
they difcourfe with fpeak to the end, but through 
lift and impotency cannot hold, but cut off a 
man's fpeech when they hear any thing that urgeth 
them, before the latter fart make the former intel- 
ligible or ftrong (when oft the proof and ufe is 
referved to the end). Ulcer fcolds than fcholars; as 
if they commanded filence at the end of each 
ieutence to him that fpcakcih, or clfe would have 

i- 4 two 

120 Additional Notes on the Life 0/ 

two talk at once. I do not remember, that ever 
he and I did interrupt each other in any difcourfe. 
Plis wifdom and accuftomed patience caufed him 
ftili to ftay for the end. And though my difpofition 
have too much forw^ardnefs to fpeak, 1 had not fo 
little Vv'it or manners, as to interrupt him; whereby 
we far better underftood each other, than we could 
have done in chopping and maimed difcourfe. 

He was muc^ for coming to philofophical 
knowledge by the help of experiments : but he 
thought, that our new philofophers, as fome call 
the Cartefians, had taken up many fallacies 
as experiments, and had made as unhappy a ufe 
of their trials, as many empericks and mounte- 
banks do in medicine : and that Ariftotle was a 
man of far greater experience, as well as fludy, 
than they. He was wont to Hiy, that lads at the 
univerfities had found it a way to be thought wifer 
than others, to join with boaflers that cried down 
the ancients before they underftood them : for he 
thought that few of thefe contemners of Ariftotle, 
had ever fo far ftudied him, as to know his doc- 
trine, but fpoke againft they knew not what ; even 
as fome fecular theologues take it to be the way to 
be thought wife men and orthodox, to cant againft 
fome party or fe6l which they have advantage to 
contemn. It muft coft a man many years ftudy to 
know what Ariftotle held. But to read over Ma~ 
girus (and perhaps the Conimbricenfes or Zaba- 
roll), and then prate againft Ariftotle, requireth 
but a little time and labgur. He could well be?,? 


its when one that had thoroughly ftudied Arlftotle, 
difTcnted froni- him in any particular upon reafon ; 
but he loathed it in ignorant men, that were car- 
ried to it by fiiameful vanity of mind. 

His many hard queftions, doubts and objections 
to me, occafioned me to draw up a fmail trail of 
the nature and immortality of man's foul, as pro- 
ved by natural light alone (by way of queftions 
and anfwers) : in which I had not baulked the 
hardeft objeilicns and difficulties that I could think 
of (conceiving that atheifts and fadduces are fo 
unhappily witty, and fatan fuch a tutor, that they 
are as like to think of them as I). But the good 
man, when I fent it to him, was wiferthan I, and 
fent me word in his return, that he would not 
have me publifli it in Englifti (nor without fome 
alterations of the method) ; bccaufe though he 
thought I had fufficiently anfwered all the objecti- 
ons, yet ordinary readers would take deeper into 
their minds fuch hard objections as they never 
heard before, than the anfwer (how full foever) 
would be able to overcome : whereupon, not 
having leifure to tranflate and alter it, I cafl 
it by. 

He fcemed to reverence and believe the opinion 
of Dr. Willis, and fuch olhers, ck ammis hrutorwn^ 
as being not fpiritual fubftances. But v/hen I fent 
him a confutation of them, he feemcd to acquiefce, 
and as far as I could judge, did change his mind; 
and had higher thoughts of fenfitive natures, than 
they that take them to be fome evanid qualities, 


122 Additional Notes on the 'Lite of 

proceeding from contexture, aLLemperation, and 

Yet he and I did think, that the notion of im- 
materiality, had little fatisfadory to acquaint us 
with the natuie of a fplrit (not telling us any 
thing what it is, but what it is not). And we 
thought, that the old Greek and Latin dodors 
(cited by Fauftus Rhegiculis, whom Mamertus 
anfwereth), did mean by a body or matter (of 
which they faid fpirits did confift), the fame thing 
as we now mean by the fubflance of fpirits, dlftin- 
guifliing them from meer accidents. And we 
thought it a matter of feme moment, and no fmall 
difficulty, to tell what men me:.n here by the word 
[fubllance], if it be but a relative notion, be- 
caufc it doth fubj?are accident'ibus ^ fnhfi/lere per fe^ 
relation is not proper fubftance. It is fubflance 
that doth fo fubfift : it is fcmeuhat, and not no- 
thing, nor ah accident. Therefore if more than 
relation mufl: be meant, it will prove hard to dif- 
tinguifli fubftance from fubftance by the notion of 
immateriality. Souls have no fhadows : they are 
not palpable and grofs ; but they are SUBSTAN- 
TIAL LIFE, as V^IRTUES. And it is hard to 
conceive, how a created vis vd virtus fhould be the 
adequate conceptus of a fpirit, and not rather an 
inadequate, fuppofmg the concepius oi fuhflantia fun- 
damentalis (as Dr. GliiTon calls it de vita natura)y 
feeing 07nnis virtus cjl rei alieni virtus. 

Yet he yielded to mc, that virtus feu vis vitalisy 
is not annua accidens, but the conceptus forrnalis 



fpiritus^ fuppofing fuli/Iantia to be the conceptus fun- 
damentalis : and both together exprefs the eflence 
of a fpirit. 

Every created being is pafilve ; for reciplt in 
Jluxum caufce prima. God tranfcendeth our defin- 
ing Ikill : but where there is receptivity, many 
ancients thought there vvere fome pure fort of 
materiality ; and we fay, there is receptive fub- 
ftantiality : and who can defcribe the difference 
(laying afide the formal virtues that difference 
things) between the higheft material fubftance, and 
the loweft fubftance, called immaterial. 

We were neither of us fatisfied with the notions 
of penetrability and indivifibilityj as fufficient 
differences. But the virtutes Jpeaficcs plainly dif- 

What latfer thoughts, a year before he died, hs 
had of thcfe things, I know not: but fome fay, 
that a treatife of this fubje£l, the foul's immorta- 
lity, was his laft finifhed work (promifed in the 
end of his treatife of man's origination) ; and if 
we have the fight of that, it Vv'ill fuller tell us 
his judgment. 

One thing I muft notify to you, and to thofc 
that have his manufcripts, that when I fent him a 
fcheme, with fome elucidations, he wrote me on 
that and my treatife of the foul, almoft a quire 
of paper of animadverfions \ by v/hich you muft 
rot conclude at all of his own judgment : for he 
profcffed to me, that he wrote them to me, not as 
his judgment, but (as his way was) as the hardeft 


124 Additional Notes on the "Lite of 

objeillons which he would have fatlsfadlion in. 
And when I had written him a full anfwer to all, 
and have been oft fince with him, he feemed fatis- 
iied. You will wrong him therefore, if you 
fiiould print that written to me as his judgment. 

As to his judgment about religion ; our difcourfe 
was very {jjaring about controverfies. He thought 
not fit to begin v/ith me about them, nor I with 
him : and as it was in me, fo It feemed to be in 
him, from a conceit, that we were not fit to pre- 
tend to add much to one another. 

About matters of conformity, I could gladly 
have known his mind more fully : but I thought 
it unmeet to put fuch queftions to a judge, who 
muil not fpesk againft the laws ; and he never 
offered his judgment to me. And I knew, that as 
I was to revereiice him in his own profeflion, fo 
imnatters of my profeflion and concernment, he 
expelled not, that I fhould think as he, beyond 
the reafons which he gave. 

I muft fay,- that he was of opinion, that the 
wealth and honour of the biiliops was convenient, 
to enable them the better to relieve the poor, and 
refcue the inferiour clergy from oppreflion, and to 
keep up the honour of religion in the world. But 
all this on fuppofition, that it would be in the hands 
of wife and good men, or elfc it would do as 
much harm. But when I afkcd him, whether great 
v/ealth nnd honour would not be moft earneilly 
defired and fought by the worf't of men, while 
good men would not feek them r And whether 



he that was the only fervent feeker, was not 
likelieft to obtain (except under fome rare extra- 
ordinary prince) ? And fo whether it was not like 
to entail the office on the worft, and to arm 
Chiift's enemies againft him to the end of the 
world (which a provifion that had neither alluring 
nor much difcouraging temptation, might prevent), 
he gave me no anfv/er. I have heard fome fay, if the 
pope were a good man, what a deal of good might 
he do ? But have popes therefore bleft the world. 

I can truly fay, that he greatly lamented the 
negligence, and ill lives, and violence of fome of 
the clergy ; and would oft fay, what have they 
their calling, honour and maintenance for, but to 
feek the inflrucling and faving of men's fouls ? 

He much lamented, that fo many worthy mini- 
flers v/ere filenced, the church weakened, papifts 
ftrengthened, the caufe of love and piety greatly 
wronged and hindered by the prefent dilTerences 
about conformity. And he hath told me his judg- 
ment, that the only means to heal us was, a 
new aft of uniformity, which {hould neither 
leave all at liberty, nor impofe any thing but 

I had once a full opportunity to try his judg- 
naent far in this. It pleafed the lord keeper Bridg- 
man to invite Dr. Manton and myfelf (to whom 
Dr. Bates at our defire was added), to treat with 
Dr. Wilkins and Dr. Burton about the terms of 
our reconciliation and reftoration to our miniflerial 
liberty. After fome days conference, we came to 


126 Additional Notes on the Lite of 

agreement in all things, as to the neceflary terms* 
And becaufe Dr. Wilkins and I had fpecial inti^ 
macy with judge Hale, we defired him to draw it 
up in the form of an acSl, which he willingly did, 
and we agreed to every word. But it pleafcd the 
houfe of commons, hearing of it, to begin their 
next feffion with a vote, that no fuch bill Ihould 
be brought in j and fo it died. 

Qiiery i. Whether after this and other fuch 
agreement, it be ingenuity, or fomewhat elfe, that 
hath ever fmce faid, we know not what they woukl 
have ? And that at once call out to us, and yet 
firidlly forbid us to tell them what it is we take 
for fm, and what we defire. 

2. Whether it be likely, that fuch men as 
bifhop Wilkins, and Dr. Burton, and judge Hale, 
would confent to fuch terms of our concord, as 
fhould be worfe than our prefent condition of divi- 
lion and convulfion is ? And whether the main- 
tainers of our dividing impofitions, be all wifer 
and better men than this judge and that bifhop 
were ? 

3. And whether it be any diflance of opinion, 
or difficulty of bringing us to agreement, that 
keepeth England in its fad divifions, or rather 
fome mens opinion, that our unity itfelf is not de- 
firable, left it ftrengthen us ? The cafe is plain. 

His behaviour in the church was conformable, 

-but prudent. He conftantly heard a Curate, too 

low for fuch an auditor. In common-prayer he 

behaved himfelf as others, faying that, to avoid 



the diiFerencing of the gofpels from the epiflles, 
and the bowing at the name of Jefus, from the 
nanies, Chrift, Saviour, God, &c. He would 
ufe fome equality in his geftures, and fland up at 
the reading of all God's word alike. 

I had but one fear or fufpicion concerning him, 
■which fmce I am allured was groundlefs : I was 
afraid leaft he had been too little for the pradlical 
part of religion, as to the working of the foul to- 
wards God, in prayer, meditation, &c. becaufe 
he feldom fpake to me of fuch fubjefts, nor of 
practical books, or fermons 3 but was ftill fpeaking 
of philofophy, or of fplrits, fouls, the future ftate, 
and the nature of God. But at laft I underftood, 
that his averfenefs to hypocrify made him purpofely 
conceal the moR: of fuch his pra6lical thoughts and 
works, as the world now findeth by his contem- 
plations and other writings. 

He told me once, how God broiight him to a 
fixed honour and obfervation of the Lord's day ; 
that when he was youn^ being in the weft, the 
ficknefs or death of fome relation at London, made 
fome matter of eftate to become his concernment j 
which required his hallening to London from the 
weft : and he was commanded to travel on the 
Lord's day : but I cannot well remember how 
many crofs accidents befel him in his journey ; 
one horfe fell lame, another died, and much more; 
which ftruck him with fuch knk of divine rebuke. 

as he never forgot. 


128 Additional Notes on the hi? "e of 

When I went out of the houfe, in which he 
fucceeded me, I went into a greater, over-againll 
the church- door. The town having great need 
of help for their fouls, I preached between the 
public fermcns in my houfe, taking the people 
with me to the church (to common- prayer and 
fermon) morning and evening. The judge told 
me, that he thought my courf*;; did the ch'.u'ch 
much fervice ; and would carry it fo refpe6lfuily to 
me at my door, that all the people might perceive 
his approbation. But Dr.- Reeves could not bear 
it, but complained againfl: me ; and the bifhop of 
London caufed one Mr. Rofle of Erainford, and 
Mr. Philips, two jufticcs of the peace, to fend 
their warrants to apprehend me. I told the judge 
of the warrant, but afked him no council, nor he 
gave me none ; but with tears fliewed his forrow : 
(the only time that ever I faw him weep). So I 
was fent to the common goal for fix months, by 
thefe two juftices, by the procurement of the faid 
Dr. Reeves (hrs majeflry's chaplain, dean of Wind- 
for, dean of Wolverhampton, parfon of Horfeley, 
parfon of Aiton). When I came to move for my 
releafe upon a habeas corpus (by the council of 
my great friend ferjeant Fountain), I found, that 
the chara6ler which judge Hale had given of 
me, flood me in fome Itead ; and every one of the 
four judges of the common-pleas, did not only 
acquit me, but faid more for mc than my council, 
(viz. judge Wild, judge Archer, judge Tyrel, and 
the lord chief juftice Vaughan) ; and made me 



fenfible, how great a part of the honour of his 
majefty's government, and the peace of the king- 
dom, confided in the juftice of the judges. 

And indeed judge Hale would tell me, that 
bifhop Ulher was much prejudiced againft lawyers, 
becaufe the worft caufes find their advocates : but 
that he and Mr. Selden had convinced him of the 
reafons of it, to his fatisfa6lion : and that he did 
by acquaintance with them, believe that there 
were as many honeft men among lawyers, propor- 
tionably, as among any profeflion of men in 
England (not excepting bifhops or divines). 

And I muft needs fay, that the improvement of 
reafon, the diverting men from fenfuality and 
idlenefs, the maintaining of propriety and juftice, 
and confequently the peace and welfare of the 
kingdom, is very much to be afcribed to the judges, 
and lawyers. 

BuC this imprifonment brought me the great 
lofs of converfe with judge Hale : for the parlia- 
ment in the next adl againft conventicles, put into 
it diverfe claufes, fuited to my cafe ; by which I 
was obliged to go dwell in another county, and to 
forfake both London and my former habitation ; and 
yet the juftices of another county were partly 
enabled to perfue me. 

Before I went, the judge had put into my hand 
four volumes (in folio), which he had written, to 
prove the being and providence of God, the im- 
mortality of the foul, and life to come, the truth 
©f chriftianity, and of every book of the fcripture 

K by 

130 Additional Notes on the Life of 

by itfelf, befides the common proofs of the whole. 
Three of the four volumes I had read over, and 
was fent to the goal before I read the fourth. I 
turned down a few leaves for fome fmall animad- 
verfions, but had no time to give them him. I 
coiild not then perfuade him to review them for the 
prefs. The only fault I found with them of anr 
moment, was that great copioufnefs, the effe£l of 
his fulnefs and patience, which will be called 
tedioufncfs by impatient readers. 

When v/e were fcparated, he (that would re- 
ceive no letters from any man, about any matters 
which he was to judge) was defirous of letter- 
<!t)nverfe about our philofophical and fpiritual fub- 
j^Sti. I having then begun a Latin methodus 
theologise, fent him one of the fchemes (before 
mentioned), containing the generals of the philo- 
sophical part, with fome notes upon itj which he 
fo over-valued, that he urged me to proceed in the 
iame way. I objedled againft putting fo much phi- 
lofophy (though moftly but de homine) in a me- 
thod of theology : but he rejected my objections, 
and refolved me to go on. 

At laft it plcafed God to vifit him with his 
mortal ficknefs. Having had the ftone before 
(which he found thick pond-water better eafe him 
of, than the grav^el fpring-water), in a cold jour- 
ney, an extraordinary flux of urine took him firft, 
and then fuch a pain in his fide, as forced him to 
let much blood, more than once, to fave him from 
fudden fuffocaiion or oppreflion. Ever after which 



he had death in his lapfed countenance, flefh and 
ftrength, with fhortnefs of breath. Dr. Willis, 
in his life-time, wrote his cafe without his name, 
in an obfervation in his pharmaceut, &c. which 
was fhortly printed after his own death, and before 
his patient's : but I dare fay it fo crudely, as is no 
honour to that book. 

When he had ftriven a while under his difeafe, 
he gave up his place, not fo much from the ap- 
prehenfion of the nearnefs of his death (for he 
could have died comfortably in his public work), 
but from the fenfe of his difability to difcharge his 
part : but he ceafed not his ftudies, and that upon 
points which I could have wiflied him to let 
go (being confident, that he was not far from his 


I fent him a book which I newly publlfhed, for 
reconciling the controverfies about predeftination, 
redemption, grace, free-will, but defired him not to 
beftow too much of his precious time upon it : but 
(before he left his place) I found him at it fo oft, that 
1 took the boldnefs to tell him, that I thought more 
praftical writings were mofl fuitable to his cafe, 
who was going from this contentious world. He 
gave me but little anfwer ; but I after found, that 
he plied pra<Slicals and contemplatives in their fea- 
fon i which he never thought meet to give me any 
account of. Only in general he oft told me, that 
the reafon and feafon of his writings (againft 
atheifm, &c, aforefaid) were, both in his circuit 
and at home, he ufed to fet apart fome time for 

K 2 meditation. 

1^1 Additional Notes on the 'Lite of 

meditation, efpeclally after the evening public wor- 
fhlp every Lord's day ; and that he could not fo 
profitable keep his thoughts in connedlion and me- 
thod, otherv/ife, as by writing them down j and 
withal, that if there were any thing in them ufeful 
it was the way to keep it for after ufe r and there- 
fore for the better management, for the account- 
ablenefs and the after ufe, he had long accuftomed 
to pen his meditations ; which gave us all of tha;t 
nature that he hath left us. 

Notwithftanding his own great furniture of 
knowledge, and he was accounted by fome, fome- 
what tenacious of his conceptions (for tnen that 
know much, cannot eafily yield to the expectations 
of lefs knowing men), yet I muft fay, that I 
remember not that ever I converfed with a man 
that was readier to receive and learn. He would 
hear as patiently, and recolle£l all fo diftinClly, and 
then try it fo judicioufly (not difdaining to learn 
of an inferiour in fome things, who in more had 
need to learn of him), that he would prcfently 
take what fome ftand wrangling againft many 
years. I never more ferceived in any man, how 
much great knowledge and wifdom facilitate ad- 
ditions, and the reception of any thing not before 
known. Such a one prefently j.erceiveth that evi- 
dence which another is incapable of. 

For inftance, the lafl time, fave one, that I faw 

him (in his weakncfs at Adlon), he engaged me 

.to explicate the doftrine of divine governoicnt 

(and decree), a.^ confident with xbe fm of man. 



And when I had diflindlh/ told him, 1. What God 
did, as the author of nature, phyfically. 2. What 
he did, as legiflator, morally. And 3. What he 
did, as benefa6lor, and by fpecial grace. 4. And 
where permiflion came in, and where acStual opera- 
tion. 5. And fo, how certainly God might caufe 
the effe6ls, and not caufe the volitions, as deter- 
minate to evil, [though the volition and effeS: 
being called by one name (as theft, murder, adul- 
tery, lying, &c.) oft deceive men] : he took, up 
all that I had faid in order, and diftinftly twice 
over repeated each part in its proper place, and 
with its reafon : and when he had done, faid, that 
I had given him fatisfadion. 

Before I knew what he did himfelf in contem- 
plations, I took it not well, that he more than 
once told me, *' Mr. Baxter, I am more beholden 
" to you than you are aware of ^ and I thank you 
*' for all, but efpecially for your fcheme, and your 
*' catholic theology." For I was forry, that a man 
(that I thought) fo near death, fliould fpend much 
of his time on fuch controverfies (though tending 
to end them). But he continued after, near a 
year, and had leifure for contemplations which I 
knew not of. 

When I parted with him, I doubted which of 
us would be lirft at heaven : but he is gone before, 
and I am at the door, and fomewhat the willinger 
to go, when I think fuch fouls as his are there. 

When he was gone to Gloucefterfliire, and his 
contemplations were publifhed by you, I fent him 

K 3 the 

134 Additional Notes on the Life <?/ 

the confeflion of my cenfurcs of him, how I had 
feared that he had allowed too great a fliare of his 
time and thoughts to fpeculation, and too little to 
pradicals j but rejoiced to fee the conviction of 
my error : and he returned me a very kind letter, 
which was the laft. 

Some ccnfured him for living under fuch a curate 
at AcTion, thinking it was in his power to have 
got Dr. Reeves, the parfon, to provide a better. 
Of which I can fay, that I once took the liberty 
to tell him, that I feared too much tepidity in him, 
by reafon of that thing ; not that he needed him- 
felf a better teacher, who knew more, and could 
ovei'-look fcandals ; but for the fake of the poor 
ignorant people, who greatly needed better help. 
He anfvvered me, that if money would do it, he 
would willingly have done it ; but the Dr. was a 
man, not to be dealt with ; which was the hardefl: 
word that I remember I ever heard him ufe of 
any. For I never knew any man more free from 
^peaking evil of others behind their backs. When- 
ever the difcourfe came up to the faultinefs of any 
individuals, he would be filcnt : but the forts of 
faulty perfons he would blame with cautelous free- 
dom, efpecially idle, proud, fcandalous, contenti- 
ous, and factious clergymen. We agreed in no- 
thing more than that which he oft repeateth in the 
papers which you gave me, and which he oft ex- 
. preiTcd, viz. that true religion confiflcth in grcat,plain, 
necefTary things, the life of faith and hope, the 
Ipvc of God and man, an humble felf-denying 



mind, with mortification of worldly tiffe£lion, car- 
nal luft, &c. And that the calamity of the church, 
and withering of religion, hath come from proud 
and bufy men's additions, that cannot give peace 
to themfelv€5 and others, by living in love and 
quietnefs on this chriftian fimplicity of faith and 
practice, but vex and turmoil the church with thefe 
needlefs and hurtful fuperfluities ; fome by their 
decifions of words, or unnecelFary controverfies ; 
and fome by their reftlefs reaching after their own 
worldly intereft, and corrupting the church. Oil 
pretence of raifing and defending jt j fome by 
their needlefs ceremonies, ?ind fome by their fupcr- 
ftitious and caufelefs fcruplcs. But he was efpeci- 
ally angry at them that would fo manage their 
differences about fuch things, as to fhew, that 
they had a greater zeal for their owi> additions, 
than for the common faving truths and duties 
which we were all agreed in ; and that did fo 
manage their feveral little and felfifli caufes, as 
wounded or injured the common caufe of the chri- 
ftian and reformed churches. He had a great 
diftafte of the bocks called, a friendly debate, &c. 
and ecclefiaftical polity, as from an evil fpirit, injur- 
ing fcripture phrafe, and tempting the atheifts to 
contemn all religion, fo they might but vent their 
fpleen, and be thought to have the better of their 
adverfaries ; and would fay, how eafy is it to re- 
quite fuch men, and all parties to cxpofe each 
other to contempt ? (Indeed, how many paiifhes 
in England afford too plenteous matter of reply 

K 4 tq 

13^ Additional Notes on the Life of 

to one that took that for his part j and of tears to 
ferious obfervers) ? 

His main defirc was, that as men fhould not be 
pevifhly quarrelfom againft any lawful circumftan- 
ces, forms or orders in religion, much Icfs think 
themfelves godly men, becaufe they can fly from 
Other mens circumfl:ances, or fettled lawful orders 
as fin J fo efpecially, that no human additions of 
opinion, order, modes, ceremonies, profeffions, or 
promifes, fhould ever be managed to the hindering 
of chriftian love and peace, nor of the preaching 
of the gofpel, nor the wrong of our common caufe, 
or the ftrengthening of atheifm, infidelity, pro- 
phanenefs or popery ; but that chriftian verity and 
piety, the love of God and man, and a good life, 
and our common peace in thefc, might be firft 
refoved on and fecured, and all our additions 
might be ufed, but in due fubordination to thefe, 
and not to any injury of any of them ; nor fefts, 
parties, or narrow interefts be fet np againfl the 
common duty, and the public intereft and peace. 

I know you are acquainted, how greatly he va- 
lued Mr. Selden, being one of his executors ; his 
books and pi6lure being ftill near himt I think it 
meet therefore to remember, that becaufe many 
Hobbills do report, that Mr. Selden was at the 
heart an infidel, and inclined to the opinions of 
Hobbs, I defired him to tell me the truth herein : 
and he oft profefled to me, that Mr. Selden was 
a refolved ferious chriftian ; and that he was a great 
adverfary to Hobbs's errors 3 and that he had feen 



him openly oppofe him (o earneftly, as either to 
depart from him, or drive him out of the room. 
And as Mr. Selden was one of thofe called Erafti- 
ans (as his book de Synedriis, and others fliew), 
yet owned the office properly minifterial. So moft 
lawyers that ever I was acquainted with, taking 
the word jurifdiclion, to fignify fomething more 
than the meer doiSloral, prieftly power, and power 
over their own facramental communion in the 
church which they guide, do ufe to fay, that it is 
primarily in the magiftrate (as no doubt all power 
of corporal coercion, by mulcts and penalties is). 
And as to the accidentals to the proper power of 
priefthood, or the keys, they truly fay with Dr. 
Stillingfleet, that God hath fettled no one form. 

Indeed, the lord chief juflice thought, that the 
power of the word and facraments in the miniftc-' 
rial office, was of God's inftitution ; and that they 
were the proper judges appointed by Chrift, to 
whom they themfelves fhould apply facraments, 
and to whom they fliould deny them. But that 
the power of chancellors courts, and many modal 
additions, which are not of the eflcnce of the 
prieftly office, floweth from the king, and may be 
fitted to the ftate of the kingdom. Which is true, 
if it be limited by God's laws, and exercifcd on 
things only allowed them to deal in, and contradi6t 
not the orders and powers fettled by ChriH: and his 

On this account he thought well of the form of 
government in the church of Enghuid ; (lamcrnt- 


138 Additional Notes on the Life of 

ing the mifcarriages of many perfons), and the 
want of parochial reformation : but he was greatly 
for uniting in love and peace, upon fo much as 
is necefiary to falvation, with all good, fober, 
peaceable men. 

And he was much againfi: the corrupting of the 
chriftian religion (whofe fimplicity and purity he 
juflly took to be much of its excellency), by mens 
bufy additions, by v/it, poHcy, ambition, or any 
thing elfe which fophlilicateth it, and rnaketh it an- 
other thing, and caufeth the lamentable contentions 
of the world. 

What he was as a lawyer, a jiidge, a chriftian, 
-is fo well known, that I think for me to pretend 
that my tefcimony is of any ufe, were vain. I 
will only tell you what I have v/ritten by his pic- 
ture, in the front of the great bible which I bought 
with his legacy, in memory of hij love and name, 
viz. " Sir Matthew Hale, that unwearied ftudent, 
that prudent man, that folid philofopher, that far 
mous lawyer, that pillar and bafis of juftice (who 
would not have done an unjuft a6l for any worldly 
price or motive), the ornament of his majelly's 
government, and honour of Eng'and j the higheft 
faculty of the foul of Weflminller-hall, and pat- 
tern to all the reverend and honourable judges; that 
godly, fcrious, pra<5tical chriHian, the lover of 
goodncfs and all good men ; a lamenter of the 
clergy's felfifhncfs, and unfaithfulnefs, and difcord, 
and of the fad divifions following hereupon ; an 
carneft defire of their reformation, concord, and 



the church's peace, and of a reformed ad of uni- 
formity, as the heft and neceflary means thereto ; 
that great contemner of the riches, pomp and 
vanity of the world ; that pattern of honeft plain- 
nefs and humility, who while he fled from the 
honours that peifued him, was yet lord chief juftice 
of the kind's bench, after his being; Ions; lord chief 
baron of the exchequer ; living and dying, enter- 
ing on, ufing, and voluntarily furrendering his 
place of judicature, with the moft univerfal love, 
and honour, and praife, that ever did Englifh 
fubje£l in this age, or any that juft hiftory doth 
acquaint us with, &c. &c. &c. This man fo wife, 
fo good, fo great, bequeathing me in his teftament 
the legacy of forty {hillings, meerly as a teltimony 
of his refpe£l: and love, I thought this book, the 
teftament of Chrift, the meeteft purchafe by that 
price, to remain in memorial of the faithful 
love, which he bare and long expreffed to his infe- 
riour and unworthy, but honouring friend, who 
thought to have been with Chrift before him, and 
waiteth for the day of his perfeil conjun6lion with 
the fpirits of the juft made perfed." 






Of the Right Honourable 

JOHN Earl of Rochefter, 

Who died July 26, 1680. 
Written by his own diredlton on his death bed. 


Late Lord Biftiop of S ar u m. 



THE celebrating the praifes of the dead, is an 
argmnent jo vjorn out by long and frequent ufe^ 
and now become fo naufeous, by the flattery that ufually 
attends it, that it is no wonder if funeral orations, or 
panegyricks, are more confidercd for the elegancy ofjlyle, 
andfinenefs of wit, than for the authority they carry zvilh 
them as to the truth of matters offaSi. And yet I a?n 
not hereby deterred front meddling with this kind of ar- 
gument, nor from handling it tvith all the plainnefs I 
can ; delivering only tuhat I 77iyfelf heard and faw, 
without any borrowed ornament. I do eafily forefee how 
?nany will be engaged for the fupport of their impious 
maxims and itnmoral praoiices, to difparage zuhat I am 
to write. Others ivill cenfire it, becaufe it comes from 
one of my profejfion \ too many fuppofing its to be induced 
to frame fuchdifcourfes for carrying on what they are 
pleafed to call our trade. Some will think I drefs it 
up too artificially, a-nd others, that I prefent it too plain 
and naked. 

But being refohed to govern myfelf by the exa5i rules 
cf truth, IJl)all be lefs concer'ued in the ccnfures I may fall 
under. It mayfeem liable to great exception, that IJhoidd 
difclofe fo many things, that were difcovered to me, if 
not under the feal cf confeffion, yet U7idcr the confidence 
offriendjhip. But this noble lord hi?nfelfnot only releafcd 
me from all obligation of this kind, when Ixvait^d en 
him in his lajl ficknefs, a few days before he died ; but 
gave it me in charge not to fpare him in any thifig which 
I thought might be of ufe to the living ; and ives not ill 
pleafed to be laid open, as will in the xvorft, as in the 



hejl and lajl part of hh life, being fo fmcere In his re" 
pentame, that he tvas not unwilling to take JJiame to him- 
Jelf by fuffering his faults to be expofed for the benefit 
of others. 

I write with one great difadvantage, that I cannot reach 
his chief defign %vithout mentioning fame of his faults : 
hut I have touched thcjn as tenderly as occafion would 
hear ; and I a?n fure with much jnore foftnefs than he 
dcfired, or would have confeyited unto, had I told him how 
J intended to manage this part. I have related nothmg 
ivith perfonal refe£lions on any others concerned with hi?n, 
wijhing rather that they themfelves refcSiing on the fenfe 
he had oj his former diforders, maybe thereby led to for fake 
their oivn, than that they Jlmdd be any ways reproached 
by tvhat I write : and there f re, though he ufed very 
few referves zvith me, as to his courfe of life, yet fince 
others had a /hare in mofi parts of it, I fliall relate 7io-' 
thing but what more ijnmediately concerned himfelf; and 
I /l)all fay no more of his faults, than is neceffary to illu- 
[Irate his repentance. 

'The occafion that led me into fo particular a knowledge 
of him, tuas ari intimation given me by a gentle?nan of 
his acquaintance, of his dcf.re to fee me. This wasfome 
ti?ne in OSlober, 1679, when he was fowly recovering 
cut of a great difcafe. He had underjhod that I often 
attended on one tvell known to him, that died the fummer 
before ; he zvas alfo then ente7-taining himjclf in that 
/late of his health, tvith the firfl part of the hiftoryof the 
reformation, then newly cotne out, with which hefeemed 
?iot ill pleafed : and we had accidently ?net in two or three 
places fome time before. Theje were the motives that 
led hi?n to call for 7ny company, ^fter I had waited on 
hi?n once or tivice he grezv into that freedom with me, as 
to open to fne all his thoughts, both of religion and mo- 
rality : and to give me a full view of his paji life ; and 
feemsd not uneafy at my frequent vifits. So till he went 


^^/ P R E F A C E. 

■fi-om London^ zvhich was in the beginning of Jpril.^ I 
waited on him often. As foon as I heard hovo ill he if ^x, 
and how ?nnch he was touched tvith a ferfe of his former 
life^ I writ to hijn, and received from him an anfwer, 
that^ without my hiowledge^ was printed fiJice his death, 
from a copy which one of his fervants cotjveyed to the 
prefs. In it there is fo undeferved a value put on mcy 
that it had been very indecent for me to have publifhed it : 
yet that muft be attributed to his civility and way of 
breeding : and indeed hs "was particularly known to fo 
few of the clergy, that the good opinion he had of me, is 
to be imputed only to his unacquamtance with others. 

My end in writing is fo to dif charge the lafi commancfs 
this lord left on me, as that it may be effe^ual to awaken 
thofe who run on to all the excejjes of riot ; and that ift 
the midft of thofe heats which their lufis and paffions 
raife in them, they may be a little wrought on by jo great 
an inflame of one ivho had run round the tuhole circle of 
luxury; and, as Solomon fays of himfelf, Whatfoever 
his eyes defired, he kept it not from them ; and 
withheld his heart from no joy. Butivhen he looked 
back on all that on which he had xvajled his time and 
Jlrength, he ejieemed it vanity and vexation of fpirit : 
though he had both as much natural wit, and as much 
acquired by learning, and both as much i?nproved with 
thinking andfludy, as perhaps any libertine of the age ; 
yet when he refeSied on all his former courfes, even be- 
fore his mind was illuminated with better thoughts, /><? 
counted them fnadnefs and folly. But when the powers 
of religion came to operate on him, then he added a 
deteflation to the contempt he forrnerly had of them, fuit- 
able to what became a fincere penitent, and exprefjid 
himfelf in fo clear and fo calm a manner, fo fenfihle of 
his failings toivards his Maker and his Redeemer, that as 
it wrought not a little on thofe that were about hi?n ; fo^ 
J hope, the making it public may have a more general 

A infuencfy 

ne F R E F A C E. 

tnjlueme, ch'iejly on thofcon whom his former convcrfa^ 
tion tnight have had ill effeils. 

I ha-ve endeavoured to give his eharaulcr as fully as I 
could take it : for J who faw hijn only in one light, in a 
fcdate and quid tc/ti-per, when he was under a great de- 
cay ofjlrcngth and lofs offpirits^ cannot give his picture- 
xvitl) that life arid advantage that others inay, vjho> 
knew him when his parts were more bright and lively r 
'i£t the cojnpofure he was then in, 7nay perhaps beftippcfcd 
to balance any ahatemeyit of his ifiial vigour, tvhich the 
declination of his health brought him under. I have 
written this difcoiofe zvith as ?nuch care, and have con-- 
fidcred it as narrowly as I could, I am fure I have 
faid nothing but truth ; / have done it fotuly, and often 
nfed 7ny fccond thoughts in it, not being fo much concerned 
in the cenfures ivhich 7night fall oyi myjclf, as cautious thai; 
nothing Jhould pafs that rnight obJJruSi ?ny only defign of 
writings which is the doing ivhat I can totvards the 
refoTjyiing a loofe and lezvd age. And iffuch a fignal 
injiance concurring with all the evidence that lue have- 
for our mofl holy faith, has no effe^ on thofe who are 
running the fame courfe, it is much to be feared they are 
given up to a reprobate fenfe. 


M . . , ■ " . ■ M 

0^ "a-^-n-n--^- >(c«o^^o«.'x' ^-'i-^-;!?-.^- '^ 

0. 4- **«**•*• X •T-H-- X 4-*V*-^ M 

"0. -3?-«"^--^-J5- XoccoO|(,oo«X;( -ii-w-a-n-^ ■<3>' 

¥ ' " ' ' ' ' "sC 



Of the Life and Death of 

JOHN Earl of Roc h e s t er. 

JOHN WILMOT, earlofRochefter, was 
born in April, Anno Dom. 1648. His Fa- 
ther was Henry earl of Rochefter, but bed 
known by the title of the lord Wilmot, who bore 
fo great a part in all the late wars, that mention 
is often made of him in the hiftory j and had the 
chief (hare in the honour of the preiervation of his 
majefty that now reigns, after Worcefter fight, 
and the conveying him from place to place, till he 
happily efcaped into France : but dying before the 
king's return, he left his fon little other inheritance 
but the honour and title derived to him, with the pre- 
tenfions fuch eminent fervices gave him to the king's 
favour : thcfe were carefully managed by the great 

A 2 prudeuQ© 

4 "The Life and Death of 

prudence and difcretion of his mother, a daughter 
of that noble and antient family of the St. John's 
of Wiltfhlre, fo that his education was carried 
on in all things fuitably to his quality. 

When he was atfchool, he was an extraordinary 
proficient at his book ; and thofe ftiining parts, 
which have fince appeared with fo much luftre, be- 
gan then to fhew themfelves : he acquired the Latin 
to fuch perfedion, that to his dying day he retained 
a great relifh of the finenefs and beauty of that 
tongue, and was exa£lty verfed in the incompara- 
ble authors that writ about Auguftus's time, whom 
he read often with that peculiar delight which the 
greateft wits have ever found in thofe ftudies. 

When he went to the univerfity, the general 
joy which over ran the whole nation upon his ma- 
jefty's reflauration, but was not regulated with 
that fobriety and temperance, that became a ferious 
gratitude to God for fo great a blefling, produced 
fome of its ill effects on him : he began to love 
thefe diforders too much ; his tutor was that emi- 
nent and pious divine Dr. Blandford, afterwards 
promoted to the fees of Oxford and Worcefter ; 
and under his infpcdlion he was committed to the 
more immediate care of Mr. Phineas Berry, a fel- 
low of Wadham College, a very learned and good- 
natured man j whom he afterwards ever ufed with, 
much refpe£l, and rewarded him as became a great 
man. But the humour of that time wrought fo 
much on him, that he broke ofF the courfe of his 
iludies, to which no means could ever efFedually 


JOHN Earl of Roche st:er. 5 

recall him ; till when he was in Italy his governour 
Dr. Balfour, a learned and worthy man, nov/ a 
celebrated phyfician in Scotland, his native coun- 
try, drew him to read fuch books as were moft 
likely to bring him back to love learning and ftudy ; 
and he often acknowledged to me, in particular 
three days before his death, how much he was obli- 
ged to love and honour this his governour, to whom 
he thought he owed more than to all the world, next 
after his parents, for his great fidelity and care of 
him while he was under his trufl. But no part of it 
affcvSled him more fenfibly, than that he engaged him 
by many tricks (fohe exprefTed it) to delighii in books 
and reading j fo that ever after he took occalion 
in the intervals of thofe woeful extravagancies that 
confumed moft of his time, to read much; and 
though the time was generally but indifferently em- 
ployed, for the choice of the fubje«5ls of his ftudies 
was not always good, yet the habitual love of 
knowledge, together with thefe fits of ftudy, had 
much awakened his underftanding, and prepared 
him for better things, when his mind fhould be fa 
far changed as to relifti them. 

He came from his travels in the eighteenth year 
of his age, and appeared at court with as great 
advantages as moft ever had. He was a graceful 
and well-fhaped perfon, tall, and well made, if not 
a little too flender : lie was exadly well bred, and 
what by a modeft behaviour natural to him, what 
by a civility became almoft as natural, his con- 
Vfiffation was eafy and obliging. He had aftrange 

A 3 A'ivacity 

6 The Life and Death of 

vivacity of tlioxight, and vigour of e^preflion : his 
jlvit had a fubtilty and fublimity both, that it was 
fcarce imitable. His ftyle was clear and ftrong j 
when he ufed figures, they were very lively, and 
et far enough out of the common road : he had 
ade himfeif mafter of the antient and modern wit, 
nd of the modern French and Italian, as well as 
Jthe Englifh. He loved to talk and write of fpecu- 
liative matters, and did it with fo fine a thread, that 
leven thofe who hated the fubje<5ls that his fancy ran 
jupon, yet could not but be charmed with his way 
|of treating of them, Boileau among the French, 
/and Cowley among the Englifli wits, were thofe he 
1 admired moft. Sometimes other men's thoucrhts 
mixed with his compofures j but that flowed rather 
from the impreilions they made on him when he 
read them, by which they came to return upori 
him as his own thoughts, than that he fervilely 
copied from any ; for few pieii had a bolder flight 
. of fancy, more fteadily governed by judgment than 
he had. No wonder a young man fo made, and 
fo improved, was very acceptable in a court. 

Soon after his coming thither, he laid hold 04 
the firft occafion that offered to fliew his readinefs 
to hazard his life in the defence and fervice of his 
country. In Winter 1665, he went with the earl 
of Sandwich to fea, when he was fent to lye for a 
Dutch Eaft-India fleet ; and was in the Revenge, 
commanded by Sir Thomas Tiddiman, when the 
attack was mas made on the port of Bergen in Nor- 
way, the Dutch fhips having got into that port. 


aieft I 

JOHN Earl of Rochester. 7 

It was as defperatc an attempt as ever was made ; 
during the whole adlion, the earl of Rochefter 
fhewed as brave and as refolute a courage as was 
polTible : a perlbn of honour told me he heard the 
iord Cliffard, who was in the fam-cfhip, often magify 
his courage at that time very highly. Ncrdid the 
rigours of the feafon, the hardnefs of the voyage, 
and the extreme danger he had been in, deter him 
from running the like on the ^ery next occafion 
for the fummer following he went to Tea again, 
without communicating his defign to his neai 
relations. He went aboard the fhip comman 
by Sir Edward Spragge, the day before the great 
iea fight of that year : almoft all the volunteers that 
were in the fame fhip were killed. Mr. Middle- 
ton (brother to Sir Hugh Middleton) was fhot in his 
arms : durii^g the adion^ Sir Edward Spragge, no-t 
i)eing fatisiied with the behaviour of one of the 
•captains, could not eafily find a perfon that would 
chearfully venture through fo much danger, to carry 
iiis commands to that captain. This lord offered 
iiimfelf to the fervice ; and went in a little boat^ 
through all the (kot, and delivered his meflage, and 
returned back to Sir Edv/ard, which was much com- 
mended by all that faw it. He thought it neceflary 
to begin his life with thefc dcmonftrations of his 
courage, in an element and way of fighting, which 
4S acknowledged to be the greateft trial of clear 
iind undaunted valour. 

He had fo entirely laid down tiie intemperance 
ihat was growing on him before his travels, that 
at his return he hatc.l nothinc: more. But falllnT^ 

A 4 into 

S ^he Life and Death 0/ 

into company that loved thefe excefies, he was, 
^ though not without difficulty, and by many fteps, 
V brought back to it again. And the natural heat of 
his fancy, being inflamed by wine, made him fo 
extravagantly pleafant, that many to be more di- 
verted by that humour, ftudied to engage him 
deeper and deeper in intemperance ; which at length 
did fo entirely fubduc him, that, as he told me, for 
five years together he was continually drunk ; not 
) all the while under the vifible efl^cds of it, but his 
: blood was fo inflamed, that he was not in all that 
time cool eno\{gh to be perfedly mafter of himfelf. 
This led him to fay and do many wild and unac- 
countable things : by this, he faid, he had broke 
the firm conftitution of his health, that feemed fo 
ftrong, that nothing was too hard for it i and 
he had fufFered fo much in his reputation, that 
he almoft defpalred to recover it. There were two 
principles in his natural temper, that being height- 
ened by that heat, carried him to great excefles : 
a violent love of pleafure, and a difpofition to ex- 
travagant mirth. The one involved him in great (cn-^ 
fuality ; the other led him to many odd adventures 
and frolics, in which he was oft in haf,ard of 
his life. The one being the fame irregular appe- 
tite in his mind, that the other was in his body, 
which made him think nothing diverting that was 
not extravagant. And though in cold blood he was 
a generous and good natured man, yet he would 
go far in his heats, after any thing that might turn 
to a jeft, or matter of diverfion, He faid to me, he 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 9 

never improved his intereft at court, to do a preme- 
ditate mifcliief to other perfons. Yet he laid out 
his wit very freely in libels and fatires, in which he 
had a peculiar talent of mixing his wit with his ma- j 
lice, and fitting both with fuch apt words, that I 
men were tempted to be pleafed with them : from 
thence his compofures came to be eafily known, 
for few had fuch a way of tempering thefe together 
as he had : fo that v/hen any thing extraordinary 
that way came out, as a child is fathered fometimes 
by its refemblance, fo was it laid at his door as its 
parent and author. 

Thefe exercifes in the courfe of his life were not 
always equally pleafant to him ; he had often fad f 
intervals, and fevere refleilions on them : and 
though then he had not thefe awakened in "him 
from any deep principle of religion, yet the horror 
that nature raifed in him, efpecially in fome fick- 
neifes, made him too eafy to receive fome ill prin- 
ciples, which others endeavoured to poflefs him 
with ; fo that he was too foon brought to fet himfelf 
to fccure and fortify his mind againft that, by dif- 
poflefling it all he could of the belief or apprehen- 
fions of religion. The licentioufnefs of his temper, 
with the brifknefs of his wit, difpofed him to love 
the converfation of thofe who divided their time 
between lewd actions and irregular mirth. And 
fo he came to bend his wit, and dire6l his ftudies 
and endeavours to fupport and ftrengthen thefe ill 
principles both in himfelf and others.- 


lo ^he Life mid Death of 

An accident fell out after this, which confirmed 
h\m more in thefe courfes j when he went to fea 
in the year 1665, there happened to be in the fame 
fliip with him Mr. Montague, and another gen- 
tleman of quah'ty ; thefe tv/o, the former efpecially, 
feemed perfuaded that they fhould never return 
into England. Mr. Montague, faid, he was fure 
of it ; the other was not fo pofitive. The earl of 
Rochefter, and the lafl: of thefe entered into a for- 
mal engagement, not without ceremonies of reli- 
gion, that if either of them died, he fliould appear 
and give the other notice of the future ftate, if 
there was any. But Mr. Montague would not 
enter into the bond. When the day came 
that they thought to have taken the Dutch fleet 
in the port of Bergen, Mr. Montague, though 
he had fuch a ilrong prefage in his mind of his ap- 
proaching death, yet he generouiJy flaid all the 
while in the place of greateft danger : the other 
gentleman fignalized his courage in a moft un- 
daunted manner, till the end of the action ; when 
he fell on a fudden into fuch a trembling that he 
could fcarce (land ; and Mr. Montague going to 
him to hold him up, as they were in each others 
(arms, a cannon ball killed him outright, and car- 
ried away Mr. Montague's belly, fo that he died 
within an hour after. The earl of Rochefter 
told me that that thefe prefages they had in their 
minds made fome imprefllon on him, that there 
were feparatcd beings ; and that the foul either by 
a.ijatural fagacity^ or fome fecrct notice communi- 

JOHN Ec^rl of Rochester. ii 

catcd to it, had a fort of divination : but that gen- 
tleman's never appearing was a great fnare to him 
during the reft of his life. Though when he told 
me this he could not but acknowledge, it was an 
unreafonable thing for him to think, that beings ia 
another ftate were not under fuch laws and limits, 
that they could not command their own motions, J 
but as the Supreme Pov/erfhould order them ; and 
that one who had fo corrupted the natural princi- 
ples of truth, as he had, had no reafon to expeS 
that fuch an extraordinary thing fhould be done for 
his con vi 61 ion. 

He told me of another odd prefage that one had 
of his . approaching death in the lady Warre, his 
mother-iri-law's houfe : the chaplain had dreamt 
that fuch a day he (hould die, but being by all the 
family put out of the belief of it, he had almoft forgot 
it ; till the evening before at fupper, there being 
thirteen at table, according to a fond conceit that 
one of thefe muft foon die, one of the young ladies 
pointed to him, that he was to die. He remember- 
ing his dream fell into fome diforder, and the lady 
Warre reproving him for his fuperftition, he faid, 
he was confident he was to die before morning, 
but he being in perfedl health, it was not much 
minded. It was Saturday night, and he was to 
preach next day. He went to his chamber and fat 
up late, as appeared by the burning of his candle, 
^\nd he had been preparing his notes for his fermon, 
but was found dead in his bed the next morning : 

thcie thin2;s he faid made him inclined to believe, the 


12 ^he Life and Death of 

. foul was a Tubflance diflind from matter j and thijj 
• often returned into his thoughts. But that which 
perfcded his perfuafwn about it, was, that in the 
ixcknefs which brought him fo near death before I 
firft knew him, when his fpirits were fo low and 
fpent that he could not move nor ftir, and he did not 
think to live an hour j he faid his reafon and judg- 
ment were fo clear and ftrong, that from thence he 
yras fully perfuaded that death was not the fpend- 
ingor diflblution of the foul, but only the fepa- 
I ration of it from matter. He had in that ficknefs 
great remorfes for his paft life, but he afterwards 
told me, they were rather genera[ and dark horrors, 
than any convidlions of fmning againft God. He 
was forry he had lived fo as to wafte his ftrength fo 
foon, or that he had brought fuch an ill name up- 
on himfelf, and had an agony in his mind about 
it, which he knew not well how to exprefs : but 
at fuch times, though he complied with his friends 
in fuffering divines to be fent for, he faid, he had 
no great mind to it j and that it was but a piece 
of his breeding, to defire them to pray by him, in 
which he joined little himfelf. 

As to the Supreme Being, he had always fome im- 
preflion of one ; and profefled often to me, that he 
j had never known an entire atheift, who fully be- 
' lieved there was no God. Yet when he explained 
his notion of this being, it amounted to no more 
than a vaft power, that had none of the attributes 
df goodnefs or juftice, we afcribe to the deity ; 
tbefe were his thoughts about religion, as himfelf 




JOHN Earl of Rochester. 13 

told me. For morality, he freely owned to me, 
that though he talked of it, as a fine thing, yet 
this was only becaufe he thought it a decent way 
of fpeaking j and that as they went always in 
cloaths, though in their frolicks they would have 
chofen fometimes to have gone naked, if they had 
not feared the people ; fo fome of them found it ne- 
ceflary for human life to talk of morality, yet he [ 
confefled they cared not for it, further than the 
reputation of it was neceflary for their credit and 
affairs ; of which he gave me many inftances, as 
their profefHng and fwearing friendfiiip, where they 
hated mortally ; their oaths and imprecations oa 
their addrefies to women, which they intended ne- 
ver to make good ; the pleafure they took in de- 
faming innocent perfons, and fpreading falfe reports 
of fome perhaps in revenge, becaufe they could not 
engage them to comply with their ill defigns j the 
delight they had in making people quarrel ; their 
unjuft ufage of their creditors, and putting them 
off by any deceitful promife they could invent, that 
might deliver them from prefent importunity. So 
that in deteftation of thefe courfes he would often 
break forth into fuch hard expreffions concerning 
himfelf, as would be indecent for another to repeat. 
• Such had been his principles and pratSlices in a 
courfe of many years, which had almoil quite ex- 
tinguifhed the natural propenfities in him tojuftice 
and virtue. He would often go into the country, 
and be for fome months wholly employed in ftudy, 
or the failics of his wit, which he came to direct 



14 'I'hs Life avd Death of 

chiefly to fatire. And this he often defended to^ 
nie ; by faying there was fome people that could 
not be kept in order, or admonifhed but in this 
way. I replied, that it might be granted that a 
grave way of fatire was fometimes no improfitable 
wayof reproof J yet they who ufed it only out of fpite, 
and niixed lies with truth, fparing nothing that 
might adorn their poems, or gratify their revenge, 
could not excufe that way of reproach, by which 
the innocent often fufFer ; fince the moft malicious 
things if wittily expreffed, might flick to and ble- 
mifh the beft men in the world, and the malice of 
a libel could hardly confift with the charity of an 
admonition. To this, he anfwercd, a man could 
•^ not write with life, unlefs he were heated by revenge: 
for to make a fatire without refentments, upon the 
cold notions of philofophy, was as if a man would 
iri cold blood cut mens throats who had never offend- 
ed him : and he faid, the lies in thefe libels came 
often in as ornaments that could not be fpared with- 
out fpoiling the beauty of the poem. 

For his other ftudies, they were divided between 
the comical and witty writings of the antients and 
moderns, the Roman authors and books of phyfic ; 
which the ill Hate of health he was fallen into, 
made more neceffary to himfelf, and which qua- 
lified him for an odd adventure, which I fhall but 
juft mention. Being under an unlucky accident, 
which obliged him to keep out of the way, he dif- 
euifed himfelf, fo that his neareft friends could not 
have known him, and fet up in Tower-flreet for 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 15 

an Italian mountebank, where he pradlifed phyfic for 
fome weeks not without fuccefs. In his latter 
years he read books of hiftory more. He took 
pleafure to difguife himfelf as a porter, or as a beg- 
gar V fometiraes to follow fome mean amours, 
which for the variety of them, he affe£led. At 
other times, merely for diverfion, he would go a- 
feout in odd fhapes, in- which he a<Sl:ed his part fo 
naturally, that even thofe who were in the fecrer, 
and faw Km in thefe fhapes, could perceive no- 
thing by which he might be difcovered, 

I have now made the defcription of his former 
fife and principles, as fully as I thought neceflary 
to anfwer my end in writing ; and yet with- thofe 
referves that I hope I have given no juft caufe of 
offence to any. I have faid nothing but what I 
had from his own mouth, and have avoided the 
mentioning of the more particular paiTages of his 
life, of which he told me not a few : but fmce 
others were concerned in them, v»'^hofe good only I 
defign, 1 will fay nothing that may either provoke 
or blemifh them. It is their reformation, and not 
their difgrace, I defire ; this tender confideration of 
ethers has made me fupprefs many remarkable 
and wfeful things he told me ; but finding th,^»t 
though I fliould name none, yet I muft at kalt re- 
late fuch clrcumftunces, as would give top great 
occafion for the reader to conjeiSlure eoncernin^; 
the perfons intended riglvt or wrong, eirhef of which. 
were inconvenient enough, I have chofen to pafs 
them quite over. Buti hope thofe ihat kjiov.' lio\v 


i6 ^he Life and Death of 

much they were engaged with him in his ill courfes, 
will be fomewhat touched with this tendernefs I ex- 
prefs towards them, and be thereby the rather 
induced to reflc£l on their ways, and to confider 
without prejudice or paflion what fenfe this' noble 
lord had of their cafe, when he came at laft feri- 
oully to refled upon his own. 

I now turn to thofe parts of this narrative, where- 
in I myfelf bore fome fhare, and which I am to 
deliver upon the obfervations I made, afer a long 
and free converfation with him for fome months. 
I was not long in his company, when he told me, 
he ftiould treat me with more freedom than he had" 
ever ufed to men of my profeflion. He would con- 
ceal none of his principles from me, but lay his 
thoughts open without any difguife ; nor would 
he do it to maintain debate, or fhew his wit, but 
plainly tell me what ftuck with him ; and protefted 
to me, that he was not fo engaged to his old max- 
ims, as to refolve not to change, but that if he 
could be convinced, he would chufe rather to be 
of another mind : he faid, he would impartially 
weigh what I fhould lay before him, and tell me 
freely when it did convince, and when it did not. 
He exprefied this difpofition of mind to me in x 
manner fo frank, that I could not but believe him, 
and be much taken with his way of difcourfe : 
fo we entered into almolt all the parts of natural 
and revealed religion, and of morality. He 
feemed pleafed, and in a great meafure fatisfied, 
with what I faid upon many of thefe heads ; and 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 17 

though our freeft converfation was when we were 
alone, yet upon feveral occafions, other pcrfons 
were witnefTes to it. I unclerftood from many hands 
that my company was not diftafteful to him, and 
that the fubjefts about which we talked mod were 
not unacceptable : and he exprefTed himfelf often 
not ill pleafed with many things I faid to him, and 
particularly when I vifited him in his laft ficknefs ; 
fo that 1 hope it may not be altogether unprofit- 
able to publifli the fubftance of thofe matters about 
which we argued fo freely, with our reafoning 
upon them : and perhaps what had fome efFecls on 
him, may be not altogether inefFe<?t:ual upon others. 
I followed him with fuch arguments as I faw were 
moft likely to prevail with him: and my not urging 
other reafons proceeded not from any diftruft I had 
of their force, but from the neceflity of ufing 
thofe that were moft proper for him. He was 
then in a low ftate of health, and feemed to be 
flowly recovering of a great difeafe. He was 
in the milk diet, and apt to fall into heclical fits ; 
any accident weakened him j fo that he thought 
he could not live long ; and v/hen he went from 
London, he faid, he believed he fhould never come 
to tov/n more. Yet during his being in town 
he was fo well, that he went often abroad, and 
had great vivacity of fpirit. So that he was under 
no fuch decay, as either darkened or weakened his 
underftanding ; nor was he any way troubled with 1 
the fpleen, or vapours, or under the power of me- 
lancholly. What he was then compared to what 
he had been formerly, I could not fo well judge, 

B who 

1 8 1'he Life and Death of 

who had feen him but twice before. Others have 
toid me they perceived no difference in his parts. 
This 1 mention more particularly, that it may not 
• be thought that melancholly, or the want of fpirits, 
made him more inclined to receive any impreffions : 
for indeed I never difcovered any fuch thing in him» 
Having thus opened the way to the heads of our 
/'difcourfe, I fliall next mention them. The three 
J chief things we talked about, were morality, na- 
( tural religion, and revealed religion, chriftianity in 
particular. For morality, he confeffed, he faw the 
iieceflity of it, both for the government of the 
world, and for the prefervation of health, life and 
friendfhip ; and was very much afhamed of his for- 
mer prailices,^ rather becaufe he had made himfelf 
a beaft, and had brought pain and ficknefs on hjs 
body, and had fuffered much in his reputation, 
than from any deep fenfe of a Supreme Being, or 
another flate : but fo far this went with him, that 
he refolved firmly to change the courfe of his life ; 
which he thought he fhould efTeit by the fludy of 
philofophy, and had not a few no lefs foHd tha» 
pleafant notions concerning the folly and madnefs 
of vice : but he confefTed he had no remorfe for 
his pafl a£lion?, as offences againft God, but only 
as injuries to himfelf and to mankind. 

Upon this fubjedt I Ihewed him the defeats of 
philofophy, for reforming the world : that it was 
a matter of fj^eculation, which but few either had 
the leifure, or the capacity to enquire into. But 
the principle that muft reform mankind, mufl be 


JOHN Earl of Rochester 19 

obvious to every mans underftanding. That phi- 
lofophy in matters of morality, beyond the great 
lines of our duty, had no very certain fixed rule ; 
but in the lefTer offices and inftances of our dutv, 
went much by the fancies of men and cuftoms of 
nations ; and confequently could not have authority 
enough to bear down the propenfities of nature, 
appetite or paffion : for which I inftanced in thefe 
two points ; the one was, about that maxim of 
the fto^cs, to extirpate all fort of paflion and con- 
cern for any thing. That, take it by one hand, 
feemed defireable, becaufe if it could be accompli- 
fhed, it would make all the accidents of life eafy ; 
but I think it cannot, becaufe nature, after all our \ 
ftriving againft it, will ftill return to itfelf : yet on ' 
the other hand it diflblved the bonds of nature and. 
friendftiip^ and flackened induftry, which will move 
but dully, without an inward heat : and if it de- 
livered a man from any troubles, it deprived him 
of the chief pleafures of life, which arife from 
friendfhip. The other was concerning the reflraint 
of pleafure, how far that was to go. Upon this 
he told me the two maxims of his morality then 
were, that he fliould do nothing to the hurt of any 
other, or that might prejudice his own health ; 
and he thought that all pleafure, when it did not 
interfere with thefe, was to be indulged as the 
gratification of our natural appetites. It k^int^ 
unreafonable to Imagine thefe were put into a man 
only to be reftrained, or curbed to fuch a narrow-* 

B 2 nefs; 


20 The Life and Death cf 

nefs : this he applied to the free ufe of wine and 

To this I anfwered, that if appetites being natu- 
ral, was an argument for the indulging them, then 
the revengeful might as well alledge it for murder, 
and the covetous for flealing ; whofe appetites are 
no lefs keen on thofe objects j and yet it is ac- 
knowledged that thefe appetites ought to be curb'd. 
If the difFerence is urged from the injury that an- 
other perfon receives, the injury is as great if a 
man's wife is defiled, or his daughter corrupted: 
and it is impoilible for a man to let his appetites 
loofe to vagrant lufts, and not to tranfgrefs in thefe 
particulars : fo there was no curing the diforders 
that muft arife from thence, but by tegulating 
thefe appetites ; and why fliould we not as well 
» think that God intended our brutifh and fenfual 
' appetites fliould be governed by our reafon, as 
that the fiercenefs of beafts fhould be managed and 
tamed by the wifdom, and for the ufe of man ? 
So that it is ho real abfurdity to grant, that appetites 
were put into men, on purpofe to exercife their 
reafon in the reftraint and government of them, 
which to be able to do, miniilers a higher and 
;5^ more lafting pleafure to a man, than to give them 
their full fcope and range. And if other rules of 
philofophy be obferved, fuch as the avoiding thofe 
obje6ls that ftir pafilon, nothing raifes higher paf- 
' fions than ungoverned luft, nothing darkens the 
vinderftanding and deprefles a man's mind more, nor 
is any thing managed with more frequent returns 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 21 

of other immoralities, fuch as oaths and impre- 
cations, which are only intended to compafs what 
is defired : the expence that h neceffary to main- 
tain thefe irregulaiities, makes a man falfe in his 
other dealings. All this he freely confelTed was 
true : upon which I urged, that if it was reafon- 
able for a man to regulate his appetite in things 
which he knew were hurtful to him ; v/as it not, 
as reafonabk for God to prefcribe a regulation of 
thofe appetites, whcfe unreilraihed courfe did pro- 
duce fuch mifchievous ^ffecSts ? That it could not 
be denied, but doing to others v/hat we would 
have others do unto us, was a juil rule. Thofe 
men then that knew how extreme fenfible they 
themfelves would be of the difhonour of thei.r fa- 
milies in the cafe of their wives or daughters, muft 
needs condemn themfcves for doing: that which 
they could not bear from another : and if the peace 
of mankind, and the intire fatisfadlion of our 
whole life, ought to be one of the chief meafures 
of our actions, then kt all the world judge, 
whether a man that confines his appetite, and 
lives contented at home, is not much happier thaii 
thofe that let their defires run after forbidden ob- 
jedls. The thing being granted to be better in 
itfelf, then the queftion falls between the reftraint 
of appetite in fome inftances, and the freedom of 
a man's thoughts, the foundnefs of his health, hi? 
application to affairs, with the eafmefs of his whole 
life. Whether the one is not to be done before 
th£ other ? As to the difficulty of fuch a reftraint, 

B 3 though 

22 The Life njid Death of 

though it is not eafy to be done, when a man 
allows himfelf many liberties, in which it is not 
pofTible to flop ; yet thofe who avoid the occafions 
that may kindle thefe impure flames, and keep 
thernfelves well imployed, find the victory and do- 
minion over them no fuch impoflible, or hat d mat- 
ter, as may feem at firfl view. So that though the 
philofophy and morality of this point were plain, 
yet there is not {Irength enough in that principle 
to fubdue nature, and appetite. Upon this I urged, 
that ruorality could not be a ftrong thing, unlefs a 
man were deLermincd by a law within himfelf; for if 
he orily meafured hiiiifelf by decency, or the Jaws 
of the land, tius wcuid teach him only to ufe fuch 
cautions in his ill practices, that they Ihould not 
break out too vifibly ; but would never carry him 
to an inward and univerfal probity. That virtue 
was of {o complicated a nature, that unlefs a man 
came intirely within its difcipline, he could not 
adhere fteadfaftly to any one precept ; for vices are 
often made ncceflary fupports to one another. 
That this cannot be done, either fteadily, or with 
any fatisfaftion, unlefs the mind does inwardly 
comply withj and delight in the ditflates of virtue ; 
and that could not be efFedled, except a man's 
nature were internally regenerated, and changed 
by a higher principle : till that came about, cor- 
rupt nature would be ftrong, and philofophy but 
feeble; efpecially when it ftruggled with fuch appe- 
tites or pailions as were much kindled, or deeply 
rooted in the conftitution of ones body. This, 


JOHN Earl 6/ Rochester. 23 
he faid, founded to him like enthufiafm, or cant- 
ins: : he had no notion of it, and fo could not wn- 
derftand it. He comprehended the dictates ofreafon 
and philofophy, in which as the mind became 
much converfant, there would foon follow, as he 
believed, a greater eailnefs in obeying its precepts. 
I told him on the other hand, that all his fpecu- 
lations of philofophy would not ferve him in any 
-ftead to the reforming of his nature and life, till 
he applied himfelf to God for inward afliftances. 
It was certain, that the imprefllons made in his 
reafon governed him, as they were lively prefentcd 
•to him i but thefe are fo apt to flip out of our memo- 
ry, and we fo apt to turn our thoughts from them, 
and at fomq» times the contrary impreflions are fo 
ftrong, that let a man fet up a reafoning in his 
mind againft them, he finds that celebrated faying 
of the poet, 

Vido meliora prorogue, deterlora fequor^ 

** I fee what is better and approve it, but folf 
low what is worfe," 

to be all that philofophy will amount to. Where- 
as thofe who upon fuch occafions apply them- 
felves to God, by earnefl: prayer, feel a difengage- 
ment from fuch impreffions, and themfelves endued 
with a power to refill them ; fo that thofe bonds 
which formerly held them fall off. 

This he faid mufi: be the effeil of a heat in na- 
ture : it was only the ftrong diverfion of the I 
thoughts, that gave the feeming viilory, and he 

B 4 4id 

24 The Life and Death of 

did not doubt but if one could turn to a problem 
in Euclid, or to write a copy of verfes, it would 
have the fame efFe6l, To this I anfwered, that if 
fuch methods did only divert the thoughts, there 
might be fome force in what he faid : but if they 
not only drove out fuch inclinations, but begat 
impreffions contrary to them, and brought men 
into a new difpofition and habit of mind ; then 
he mufl confefs there was fomewhat more than 
a diverfion in thefe changes, which were brouo^ht 
on our minds by true devotion. I added that rea- 
fcn and experience were the things that determi- 
ned our perfuafions: that experience without reafon 
may be thought the delufion of our fancy, fo rea- 
fon without expeiience had not fo convincing ari 
operation ; but thefe tv/o meeting together, mufl 
needs give a man all the fatisfa6lion he can defire. 
He could not fay, it was unreafonable to believe 
that the Supreme Being might make fome thoughts 
ftir in our minds v^^ith more or lefs force, as it 
pleafed : efpecially the force of thefe motions, 
being, for moft part, according to the impreiTion 
that was made on our brains : which that power 
that direded the whole frame of nature, 
could make grow deeper as it pleafed : it was 
alfo reafonable to fuppofe God a being of fuch 
goodnefs that he would give his affifliince to fuch 
as defired it : for though he might upon fome 
greater occafions in an extraordinary manner turn 
fome peoples minds, yet fnice he had endued 
man with a faculty of reafon, it is fit than men 


JOHN £^r/ c/ Rochester. 25 

fliould employ that as far as they could, and beg 
his afliftance ; which certainly they can do. All 
this feemed reafonable, and at laft probable. Now 
good men who felt upon their frequent applications 
to God in prayer, a freedom from thofe ill impref- 
fions, that formerly fubdued them, and inward 
love to virtue and true goodnefs, an eafmefs and 
delight in all the parts of holinefs, which was fed 
and cherifhed in them by a ferioufnefs in prayer, 
and did languifti as that went ofF, had as real a 
perception of an inward ftrength in their minds, 
that did rife and fall with true devotion, as they per- 
ceived the ftrength of their bodies increafed or abated, 
according as they had or wanted good nourilh- 

After many difcourfes upon this fubjeft, he ftill 
continued to think all was the effeil of fancy : He 
faid, that he underflood nothing of it, but acknow- ^ 
ledged that he thought they were happy whofe fan- 
cies were under the power of fuch imprefiions j 
fince they had fomewhat on which their thoughts 
refted and centered ; but when I faw him in his 
laft ficknefs, he then told me, he had another fenfe 
of what we had talked concerning prayer and in- 
ward afliftances. This fubjeit led us to difcourfe 
of God, and of the notion of religion in general. 
tie believed there was a Supreme Being : he could^ 1^ 
not think the world was made by chance, and the 
rtgular courfe of nature feemed to demonftrate the 
eternal power of its author. This, he faid, he 
could jiever ft)ake off^ j but when he came to ex- 

2 6 ^he Life a7id Death of 

plain his notion of the deity, he faid, he looked on 

k as a vaft power that wrought every thing by the 

ncceflity of its nature : and thought that God had 

jTlone of thofe affe£lions of love or hatred, which 

bred perturbation in us, and by confequence he 

could not fee that there was to be either reward or 

punifliment. He thought our conceptions of God 

i were fo low, that we had better not think much of 

him : and to love God feemed to him a prefumptuous 

thing, and t!>e heat of fanciful men. Therefore 

lie believed there fhould be no other religious wor- 

£hip, but a general celebration of that being, in 

fome fhort hymn : all the other parts of worlhip he 

efteemed the inventions of prfefts, to make the 

world believe they had a fecret of incenling and ap- 

' peafing God as they pleafed. In a Word, he was 

neither perfuaded that there was a fpecial providence 

about human affairs ; nor that prayers were of 

much ufe, fince that was to look on God as a weak 

being, that would be overcome with importunities. 

And for the ftate after death, though he thought 

/ the foul did not difiblve at death, yet he doubted 

xmuch of rewards or punifliments ; the one he 

t thought too high for us to attain by our flight fer- 

/ vices J and the other was too extreme to be infliilcd 

I for fm« This was the fubftance of his fpeculations 

\about God and religion. 

I told him his notions of God was fo low, that 
the Supreme Beingfeemed to be nothing but nature. 
For if that being had no freedom or choice of its 
own actions, nor operated by wifdom or goodnefs, 
all thofe reafons which led him to acknowledge a 


JOHN £^r/ ^/ Rochester." 27 

God, were contrary to this conceit; for, if the order 
of the univerfe perfuaded him to think there was a 
God, he muft at the fame time conceive him to be 
both wife and good, as well as powerful, fmce 
thefe all appeared equally in the creation ; though his 
wifdom and goodnefs had ways of exerting them- 
felves, that were far beyond our notions or mea- 
fures. If God was wife and good, he would na- 
turally love, and be pleafed with thofe that re- 
femble him in thefe perfe6lions, and diflilce thofe 
that were oppofite to him. Every rational being 
naturally loves itfelf, and is delighted in others like " N^ 
itfelf, and is averfe from what is not fo. Truth is 
a rational nature's ailing in conformity to itfelf in 
all things, and goodnefs is an inclination to pro- 
mote the happinefs of other beings : fo truth and 
goodnefs were the eflential perfections of every 
reafonable being, and certainly moft eminently in 
the Deity : nor does his mercy or love raife paflion 
or perturbation in him ; for we feel that to be a 
weaknefs in ourfelves, which indeed only flows from 
our want of pov/er or fkill to do what we wifli or 
dellre : it is alfo reafonable to believe God would 
affift the endeavours of the good, with fome helps 
fuitable to their nature. And that it could not be 
imagined, that thofe who imitated him, fhould not 
be fpecially favoured by him ; and therefore fmce 
this did not appear in this ftate, it was moft reafon* 
able to think it fhould be in another, where the 
rewards fhall be an admiiiion to a more perfe£l ftatc 
of conformity to God, with the felicity that fol- 
ioW8 it, and the puniftiments fliould be a total 


iS The Life and Death of 

exclufion from him, with all the horror and dark- 
nefs that muft follow that. Thefe feemed to be the 
natural refults of fuch feveral courfes of life, as well 
as the efFedls of divine juftice, rewarding or punifli- 
ing. For fmce he believed the foul had a diftinfl 
fubfiftance, feparated from the body, upon its dif- 
folution, there was no reafon to think it pafled into 
a ftate of utter oblivion, of what it had been in 
formerly : but that as the rePicftions on the good 
or evil it had done, muft raife joy or horror in it ; 
fo thofc good or ill difpofitions accompanying the 
departed fouls, they muft either rife up to a high- 
er perfe£lion, or fmk to a more depraved and mi- 
ferable ftate. In this life variety of affairs and 
obje61s do much cool and divert our minds ; and 
are on the one hand often great temptations to the 
good, and give the bad fome eafe in their trouble ; 
but in a ftate v/herein the foul fhall be feparated 
from fenfible things, and employed in a more 
quick and fublime way of operation, this muft very 
much exalt the joys and improvements of the good, 
and as much heighten the horror and rage of the 
wicked, fo that it feemed a vain thing to pretend to 
believe a Supreme Being, that is wife and good, as 
v/ell as great, and not to think a difcrimination will 
be made between the good and the bad, which, it 
is manifeft', is not fully done in this life. 

As for the government of the world, if we be- 
lieve the fupreme power made It, there is no reafon 
to think he does not govern it ; for all that we can 
fancy againft it, is the diftra^ion v^'hich that infinite 


JOHN £^r/ (?/ Rochester. 29 

variety of fecond caufes, and the care of their 
concernments, muft give to the firft, if it infpedls 
them all. But as among men, thofe of weaker 
capacities are v^^holly taken up with feme one thing, 
whereas thofe of more inlarged powers, can without 
diftrailion, have many things within their care; as 
the eye can at one view receive a great variety of 
objedts inthatnarrow compafs without confufion, fo 
if we conceive the divine underllandincr to be as far 
above ours, as his power of creating and framing 
the whole univerfe, is above our limited activity; 
we will no more think the o;overnment of the world 
a diftradlion to him ; and if we have once over- 
come this prejudice, we fhall be ready to acknow- 
ledge a providence dire<Sting all affairs, a care well 
becoming the Great Creator. 

As for worfniping him, If we imagine our wor- 
fhip is a thing that adds to his happinefs, or gives 
him fuch a fond pleafure as weak people have to 
hear themfelves commended ; or that our repeiilcJ 
addrefles do overcome him through our mere impor- 
tunity,, we have certainly very unworthy ihouglits 
of him. The true ends of worfhip came witliin 
. another confideration, which is this, a man is ne- 
ver entirely reformed till a new principle governs 
his thoughts ; nothing makes that principle- (o 
Itrong, as deep and frequent meditations of God ; 
. wliofe nature though it be far above our compie- 
. henfion, yet his goodnefs and wifdom are fuch 
perfedions as fall within our imagination : asid be 
that rhinks often of God, and c«»ariders him as go- 

^o The Life and Death of 

verning the world, and as ever obferving all his 
aftions, will feel a very fenfible effedl of fuch me- 
ditations, as they grow more lively and frequent 
with him ; fo the end of religious worfhip, either 
public or private, is to make the apprehenfions of 
God have a deeper root and a flironger influence on 
us. The frequent returns of thefe are neceflary, 
left if we allow too long intervals between them, 
thefe impreffions may grow feebler, and other fug- 
geftions may come in their room ; and the returns 
of prayer are not to be confidered as favours extort- 
ed by mere importunity, but as rewards conferred 
on men fo well difpofed and prepared for them, 
according to the promifes that God has made for 
anfwering our prayers ; thereby to engage and nou- 
rifli a devout temper in us, which is the chief root 
of all true holinefs and virtue. 

It is true, we cannot have fuitable notions of the 
divine eflence ; as indeed we have no juft Idea of 
any eflence whatfoever, fmce we commonly con- 
fider all things, either by their outward figure, or 
by their effeils, and from thence make inferences 
what their nature muft be : fo though we cannot 
frame any perfe£l: image in our minds of the divi- 
nity, yet we may from the difcoveries God has 
made of himfelf,form fuch conceptions of him, as may 
poflTefs our minds with great reverence for him, and 
beget in us fuch a love of thofe perfedlions as to en- 
gage us to imitate them. For when we fay we love 
God, the meaning is, we love that being that is 
Ijoly, juft:, good, wife, and infinitely perfect : and 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. gt 

loving thefe attributes in that objeft, will certainly 
carry us to defire them in ourfelves. For whatever 
we love in another, we naturally, according to the 
degree of our love, endeavour to refemble it. In 
fum, the loving and worfhipping God, though they 
are juft and reafonable returns and exprelfions of 
the fenfe we have of bis goodnefs to us ; yet they 
are exadled of us not only as a tribute to God,^ but 
as a mean to beget in us a conformity to his na- 
ture, which is the chief end of pure and undefiled 

If fome men have at feveral times found out in- 
ventions to corrupt this, and cheat the world ; 
It is nothing but what occurs in every fort of em- 
ployment, to which men betake themfelves; mounte- 
banks corrupt phyfic, petty-foggers have entangled 
the matters of property, and all profeffians have 
been vitiated by the knaveries of a number of their 

With all thefe difcourfes he was not equally 
fatisfied : he feemed convinced that the impreffions 
of God being much in mens minds, would be a 
powerful means to reform the world j and did ncM: 
feem determined againft providence. But for the 
next flate, he thought it more likely that the foul 
began anew, and that her fenfe of what flie had 
done in this body, lying in the figures that are 
made in the brain, as foon as (he diilodged, all 
thefe periflied, and that the foul went into fome 
other ftate to begin a new courfe. But I faid oa 
this head, that this was at beft a conjecture, raifed 


32 ^he Life and Death of 

in him by his fancy ; for he could give no reafan 
to prove it true : nor was all the remembrance our 
fouls had of paft things feated in fome material 
figures lodged in the brain : though it could not 
be denied but a great deal of it lay. in the brain. 
That we have many abftradled notions and ideas 
of immaterial things which depend not on bodily 
figures : fome fins, fuch as falfliood, and ill nature, 
were feated in the mind, as luft and appetite were 
in the body ; and as the whole body was the re- 
cepticle of the foul, and the eyes and ears were 
the organs of feeing and hearing, fo was the brain 
the feat of memory : yet t he power and facul- 
ty of memory, as well as of feeing and hearing, 
lay in the mind ; and fo it was no unconceiveable 
thing that either the foul by its own ftrength, or 
by the means of fome fubtiler organs, which 
miffht be fitted for it in another fi:ate, fliould ftill 
remember as well as think. But indeed we know 
fo little of the nature of our fouls, that it is a 
vain thing for us to raife an hypothefis out of the 
conjedlures wc have about it, or to rejeiSl one, 
becaufe of fome difficulties that occur to us; fince 
it is as hard to underftand how we remember 
thino-s now, as how we (hall do it in another ftate : 
only we are fure we do it now, and fo we fhall 
be then, when we do it. 

When I prefied him with the fecret joys that a 
good man felt, particularly as he drew near death, 
and the horrors of ill men efpecially at jhat time ; 
he was willing to afcribe it to the impreflions they 


JOHN £^r/ ^/ RocHESTEk 33 

had from their eJucation : but he often confefTed, 
that whether the bufinefs of religion was true or 
not, he thought thofe who had the perfuafions of 
iff and lived fo that they had quiet in their con- 
fciences, and believed God governed the world, 
and acquiefced in his providence, and had the hope 
of an endlefs bleffedncfs in aother ftatd, the happi- 
eft men in the world ; and faid, he would give 
all that he was mafter 6f, to be under thofe per- 
fuafions, and to have the fupports and joys that 
muil needs flow from them. I told him the maia 
root of all corruptions in mens .principles was 
their ill life ; which, as it darkened their minds, 
and difabled them from difcerning better things ; 
fo it made it neceffary for them to feek out fuch 
opinions as might give them eafe from thofe cla- 
mours, that would otherwifehave been raifed within 
them. He did not deny, but that after the doing of 
fome things he felt great and fevere challenges with- 
in himfelf; but he faid, he felt not thefe after 
fome others which I would perhaps call far greater 
fins, than thofe that afFe(5led him more fenfibly. 
This I faid, might flow from the diforders he had 
caft himfelf into, which had corrupted his judg- 
ment, and vitiated his tafte of things ; and by his 
long continuance in, and frequent repeating of 
fome immoralities, he had made them fo familiar 
to him, that they were become as it were natural ; 
and then it was no wonder if he had not fo ex- 
ait a^fenfe of what was good or evil ; as a feverifh 
man cannot judge of taftes. 

C He 

34 ^^^ Life and Death of 

He did acknowledge, the whole fyflem of reli- 
gion, if believed, was a greater foundation of quiet 
than any other thing whatfoever ; for all the quiet 
he had in his mind, wa?, that he could not think 
fo good a being as the Deity would make him 
mifcrable. 1 afked, .if when by the ill courfe of 
his life he had brought fo many difeafes on his 
body, he could blame God for it ; or expe6t that 
he fhould deliver him from them by a miracle. 
He confeiTed there was no reafon for that. I chen 
urged, that if fin (hould caft the mind, by a natural 
efteiSl, into endlefs horrors and agonies, which 
being feated in a being not fubjc6l to death, muft. 
laft for ever, unlefo fome miraculous power inter- 
pofed, cou.ld he accufe God for that which was the 
efFe6l of his own choice and ill life ? 

He faid, they were happy that believed ; for it 
was not in every man's power. 
j^v And upon this we difcourfed long about revealed 
religion. He faid, he did not underftand the bufi- 
ncfs of infpiration ; he believed the penmen of the 
fcriptures had heats and honefty, and fo writ ; but 
eould not comprehend how God fliould reveal his 
fecrets to mankind. Why was not man made a. 
creature more difpofed for religion, and better 
illuminated ? He could not apprehend how there- 
ihculd be any corruption in the nature of man, oc 
a lapfe derived from Adam. God's communica- 
ting his mind to one man, \yas the putting it in. 
his power to cheat the World : for prophefies and 
miraclesj the world had been always full of ftrange 

ftories j 

JOHN ^^r/ c/ Rochester. 35 

ftories ; for the boldnefs and cunning of contrivers 
meeting with the fimplicity and credulity of the 
people, things were eafily received ; and being 
once received J paiTed down vi'itbout contradidlion. 
The incoherences of flile in the fcriptures, the 
odd tranfitions, the feemingcontradi(5lion3, chiefly 
about the order of time, the cruelties enjoined the 
Ifrealities in deflroying the Canaanitcs, circumci- 
fion, and many other rites of the Jewifh vvorfhip ; 
feemed to him unfuitable to the divine nature : and 
the firft three chapters of Genefis he thought 
could not be true, unlefs they were parables. This 
was the fubftance of what he excepted to revealed 
religion in general, and to the old teitament in 
particular. >^;__ 

I anfwered to all this, that believing a thing 
upon the teltimony of another, in other m.atters 
where there was no reafon to fufpe(?t the teilimony, 
chiefly where it was confirmed by other circum- 
ftances, was not only a reafonablc thing, but it 
was the hinge on which all the government and 
juftice in the world depended : fince all the courts 
of juftice proceed upon the evidence given by wit- 
neffes; for the ufe of writings, is but a thing more 
lately brought into the world. So then if the 
credibility of the thing, the innocence and difm- 
tereftednefs of the witneil'es, the number of them, 
and the publickefl confirmations that could poflibly 
be given, do concur to pcrfuadc us of any matter 
of fadt, it is a vain thing to fay, becaufe it is pof- 
flble for fo many men to agree in a lye, that thcre- 

C 2 fore 

36 *The Life and Death of 

fore thefe have done it. In all other things a maa 
gives his afl'ent when the credibility is ftrong on 
the one fide, and there appears nothing on the 
other fide to balance it. So fuch numbers agree- 
ing in their teflimony to thefe miracles j for in- 
ftance, of our Saviour's calling Lazarus out of the 
grave the fourth day after he was buried, and his 
own rifing again after he was certainly dead ; if 
there had h^n never fo many impoftures in the 
world, no man can with any reafonable colour 
pretend this was one. We find both by the Jevvifh 
and Roman writers that lived in that time, that 
our Saviour was crucified, and that all his difciples 
and followers believed certainly that he arofe 
again. They believed this upon the teftimony of 
the apoftles, and many hundreds who faw it, and 
died confirming it. They went about to perfuade 
the world of it with great zeal, though the Icnevir 
they were to get nothing by it, but reproach and. 
fufferings : and by many wonders which they 
■Wrought they confirmed their teftimony. Now to 
avoid all this, by faying it is poflible this might 
be a contrivance^ and to give no prefumption to 
make it fo nnich as probable,: that it was fo, is in 
plain Englifli to fay, " we are refolved,. let the evl- 
*' dence be what it will, we will not believe it." 
/ He faid, if a man fays he cannot believe, what 
/help is there ? for he was not mafter of his own 
i belief, and believing was at higheft but a probable 
opinion. To this I aafwered, that if a man will 
let a wanton conceit poflefs his fancy againft thefe 


JOHN Earl cf Rochester. 37 

things, and never con fidcr the evidence for religion 
on the other hand, but rcjeft it upon a flight view 
of it, he ought not to fay he cannot, but he wil 
not believe : and while a man lives an ill courfc 
of life, he is not fitly qualifted to examine the 
matter aright. Let him grov\r calm and virtuous, 
and upon due application examine things fiiirly, 
and then let him prenounce according to his con- 
fcience, if to take ^t at its ^oweft, the rcafons on 
the one band are not much ftronger than they are 
on the other. For I found he was -fo poffeiTed with 
the general conceit, that a mixture of knaves and 
fools had made all extraordinary things be cafily 
believed, that it carried him away to determine 
tbe matter, without fo much as looking on the 
biftorical evidence for the truth of chriftianity, 
which he had not enquired into, but had bent all 
his wit and ftudy to the fupport of the other fide. 
As for that, that believing is at beft but an opini- 
on i i,f the evideiice be but probable, it ^s fo ; but 
if it be fuch that it cannot be queftioned, it grows 
as certain as knowledge : for we are nolefs certain 
that there is a great town called Conftantinople, 
the feat of the Ottoman empire, than that there 
is -another called Jvondon. We as little doubt 
that queen Elizabeth once reigned, as that king 
Charles now reigns in England. So that beliving 
may be as certain, and as little fubje6l to doubting^ 
as fee/ng or knowing. 

There are two forjts of bplieving diyaDje matters; 
ihc one is wrought in us by our comparing all the 

C 3 evidences 

38 *l!loe Life ani Death of 

evidences of matter of facSt, for the confirmation 
of revealed religion, with the prophecies in the 
fcripture; where things were pun£lually predided, 
fome ages before their completion ; not in dark and 
doubtful words uttered like oracles, which might 
bend to any event j but in plain term-, as the fore- 
telling that Cyrus by name fnould fend the Jews back 
horn the captivity, after the fixed period of feventy 
years : the hiftory of the Syrian and Egyptian kings, 
fo punclually foretold by Daniel, and the predidion 
of the deftruction of Jerufalem, with many circum- 
ftanccs lelating to it, made by our Saviour 5 join- 
ing thcfe to the excellent rule and dcfign of the 
fcripture in matters of morality, it is at leafl as 
reafonable to believe this as any thing elfe in the 
world. Yet fuch a believing as this, is only a 
general perfuafion in the mind, which has not that 
effecfl, till a man applying hinifelf to the directions 
fet down in the fcriptures (which upon fuch evi- 
dence cannot be denied to be as reafonable, as for 
a man to follow the prefcriptions o{ a learned phy- 
fician, and when the rules are both good and eafy, 
to fubmit to them for the recovery of his health) 
and by following thefe, finds a power entering 
within him, that frees him from the Jlavery of his 
appetites and paffions, that exalts his mind above 
the accidents of life, and fpreads an inward purity 
in his heart, from which a ferene and calm joy a- 
rifes v/ithin him : and good men, by the efficacy 
thefe methods have upon them, and from the re- 
turns of their prayers, and other endeavours, grow 



JOHN Earl of Rochester. '39 

■^ilufed that thefe things are true, and anrwcrable 
to the promifes they find regiflered in fcripture, 

I All this, he faid, might be fiincy ; but to this I an^- 
fvvered, that as it were unreafonable to tell a man 
that is abroad, and knows he is awake, that per- 
haps he is in a dream, and in his bed, and only 
thinks he is abroad, or that as fome go about in 
their fleep, fo he may be afleep ftill ; fo good and 
religious men know, though others might be abu- 
fed by their fancies, that they are under no fuch 
deception \ and find they are neither hot nor enthu- 
fiafiical, but under the power of calm and clear 
prii-iciples. All this he faid he did not undcrftanJ, 
and that it was to affcrt or beg the thing in quef- 
tion, which he could not comprehend. 

As for the poiTibility of revelation, it was a vain 
thing to deny it ; for as God gives us the fenfe 
of feeing material objeils by our eyes, and 
opened in fome a capacity o-f apprehending hi2;h 
and fublime things, of which other men fecmed 
utterly incapable 5 fo it was a weak afTcrtion that 
God cannot avv-aken a power in fome mens minds, 
to apprehend and know fome things, in fuch a 
manner that others are not capable of it. This is 
not half fo incredible to us as fi^ht is to a blind maiK 
whoyet may be convinced there is a ftrange power 

,ot feeing that governs men, of which he finds him- 
felf deprived. As for the capacity put into fuch 
mens hands to deceive the worl-d,we are at the fame 
time to confider, that befides the probity of their 
tempers, it cannot be tbought but God can fo forci- 

C 4. biy 

40 y^^ Life and Death of" 

%\y blind up a man in fome things that it fhould 
not be in his power to deliver them, otherwife than 
3S he gives him in commiflion : befides, the confir- 
mation of miracles are a divine credential to warrant 
fuch perfons in what they deliver to the world, 
which cannot be imagined can be joined to a lye, 
fmce this were to put the omnipotence of God to 
atteft that which no honeft man wpuld do. For 
the bufmefs of the fall of man, and other things, 
of which we cannot perhaps give ourfelves a per- 
fect account ; we who cannot fathoip the fecrets of 
the council oi God, do very unreafouably to take 
on us to reject an excellent fyftem of good and 
holy rules, becaufe we cannot fatisfy ourfelves 
about fome difficulties in them. Common expe- 
rience tells us, tl|ere is a great diforder in our 
natures, which is not eafily rciSlified ; all philofo- 
phers were fe^fible of it, and every man that dc- 
Tio^ns to govern himfelf by rcafon, feels the Itruggle 
between it and nature ; fo that it is plain, there is a 
lapfe of the high powers of the foul. 
( But why, faid he, could not this be redified by 
fome plaip rules given j but men muft come 
and fiiew a trick to perfuadc the world they 
fpeak to them in the name of God ? I anfwered, 
that religion being a defign to recover and fave man- 
kind, was to be fo opened, as to axyaken and work 
upon all forts of people ; and generally men of a 
fimplicity of mind, were thofe that were the fittefl 
objeds for God to ihew his favour to ; therefore it 
was necefTary that meflengers fent from hpaven 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 41 

Ihould appear with fuch alarming evidence as might 
awaken the world, and prepare them by fome af- ;, 
tonifhing figns, to liften to the doftrine they were 
to deliver, Philofophy, that was only a matter of 
fine fpeculation, had few votaries ; and as there was 
no authority in it to bind the world to believe its 
dictates, fo they were only received by fome of 
nobler and refined natures, who could apply them- 
felves to and delight in fuch notions. But true 
religion was to be built on a foundation, that fhould 
carry more weight on it, and to have fuch convic- 
tions, as might not only reach thofe who were 
already difpoled to receive them, but roufe up fuch 
as without great and fenfible excitation woul4 
have otherwife flept on in their ill courfes. 

Upon this, and fome fuch occafions, I told him, 

I faw the ill ufe he made of his wit, by which he 

( flurred the graveft things with a flight dafli of his 

I fancy •, and the pleafure he found in fuch wanton 

\ expreflions, as calling the doing of miracles the 

\ fhewing of a trick, did really keep him from ex- 

I amining them with that care which fuch things 


P'or the old4eftament, we are fo remote from 
that time, we have fo little knowledge of the lan- 
guage in which it was writ, have fo imperfedl an 
account of the hiftory of thofe ages, know nothing 
of their cuftoms, forms of fpecch, and the feverai 
periods'they might have, by which they reckon their 
time, that it is rather a wonder we fliould under- 
stand fo much of it, than that many paflagcs in it 


42 The Life and Death of 

fliould be io dark to us. The chief ufe of it as to 
us chriftians, is, thr*t from writings which the Jews 
acknowledged to be divinely infpired, it is ma- 
nifefl the iXlefiiah was promifed before the deftruc- 
tion of their teniple ; which being done long ago, 
and thefe prophecies agreeing to our Saviour, and 
to no other, here is a great confirmation given to 
the gof[Tel. But though many things in thefe 
books could not be underftood by us who live above 
•3000 years after the chief of them were writien» 
it is no fuch extraordinary matter. 

For that of the deflruction of the Canaanites by 
the Ifraelites, it is to be confidered, that if God 
had fent a plague among them ail, that could not 
Iiave been found fault with. If then God had a 
right to take away their lives without injuflice or 
cruelty, he had a right to appoint others to do it, 
as well to execute it by a more immediate way j 
and the taking away people by the fword is a much 
gentler v/ay of dying, than to be fmitten with a 
plague or a famine. And for the children that 
were innocent of their fathers faults, God could in 
another ftate make that up to them. So all the 
difEculty is, why were the Ifraelites commanded to 
execute a thing of fuch barbarity ? But this will 
not feem fohard, if we confider that this was to be 
no precedent for future times j fince they did not 
do it but upon fpecial warrant and commifiion from 
heaven, evidenced to all the world by fuch mighty 
miracles as did plainly fliew, that they were parti- 
cularly defigned by God to be the executioners of 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 45 

!iis juflice ; and God by impioying them in f® 
fevere a fervice, intended to poflefs them with great 
horror of idolatry, which was puniflied in fo ex- 
treme a manner. 

For the rites of their religion, we can ill judge 
of them, except we perfetlly underilood the ido- 
Jatries round about them, to which we find they 
were much inclined ; fo they were to be bent by 
other rites to an extreme averfion from them : and 
yet by the pomp of many of their ceremonies and 
facrifices, great indulgences were given to a people 
naturally fond of a vifible fplendor in religious wor- 
fhip. In all which, if we cannot defcend to fuch 
fatisfa£lory anfwers in every particular, as a curious 
msn would defire, it is no wonder. I'he long in- 
terval of time, and other accidents, have v/orn out 
thofe things which v/ere necefiary to give us a 
clearerer light into the meaning of them. And for 
the ftory of the creation, hovv' hr fom.. ^hiivi;s in it 
may be parabolical, and hovv far hiitorical, has 
been difputed j-f there is nothing in it that may not 
be hiftorically true. For if it be acknowledged that 
fpirits can form voices in the air, for which we have 
as good authority as for any thing \\\ iuilory, then 
it is no wonder that Eve, being fo lately created, 
jnight be deceived, and think a ferpent fpake to her, 
when the evil fpirit framed the voice. 

But in all thefe things I told him he was in the 
wrong way, when he examined the buhneis of re- 
Jigion by fome dark parts «f Icripcure ; therefore 
I defircJ him to confider the whole contexture of 


44 ^^(! Li^E and Death of 

■Gie chriftian religion, the rules it gives, and the 
methods it prefcribes. Nothing can conduce more 
to the peace, order, and happinefs of the world, 
than to be governed by its rules. Nothing is more 
for the intereft of every man in particular : the 
rules of fobriety, temperance, and moderation, 
were the bcft prefervers of life, and which was 
perhaps more of health, humility, contempt of the 
vanities of the world, and the being well employ- 
ed, raifes a man's mind to a freedom from the 
follies and temptations that haunted the greateft 
part. Nothing was (o generous and great, as to 
ftipply the neceflities of the poor, and to forgive 
injuries, nothing raifed and maintained a man's 
reputation fo much, as to be exadly juft and 
merciful, kind, charitable, and compaflionate, 
nothing opened the powers of a man's foul fo much 
as a calm temper, a ferene mind, free of paflion 
and diforder, nothing made focieties, families, and 
neighbourhoods fo happy as when thefe rules» 
which the gofpel prefcribes, took place, of doing 
as we would have others do to us, and loving our 
neighbours as ourfelves. 

The chriftian worfhip was alfo plain and fimpie,. 
fuitable to fo pure a do<Slrine. The ceremonies 
of it were few and figniiicant, as the admiflion to 
it by a wafhing with water, and the memorial 
of our Saviour's death in bread and wine i the 
motives in it to perfuade to this purity were ftrong : 
that God fees us, and will judge us for all our 
aaions : that wc fhall be for ever happy or mifej-- 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 45 

able, as we pafs our lives here : the example of 
our Savour's life, and the great expreflions of his 
Jove in dying for us, are mighty engagements to 
obey and imitate him. The plain way of expreC- 
fion ufed by our Saviour and his apoftles, fhews 
there was no artifice, where there was fo much, 
iimplicity ufed : there were no fecrets kept only 
amtong the priefts, but every thing was open to all 
Chriftians . the rewards of holinefs are not en- 
tirely put over to another ftate, but good men 
are fpecially blefi with peace in their confciencies, 
great joy in the confidence they have of the love 
of God, and of feeing him for ever, and often a 
fignal courfe of bleflings' follows them in their 
whole lives; but if at other times calamities fell 
on them, thefe were fo much mitigated by the pa- 
tience they were taught, and the inward afliftances 
with which they were furnifhed, that even thofb 
crofTes were converted to bleflina;s. 

I defired he would lay all thefe things to- 
gether, and fee what he could except to them^ 
to make him think this was a contrivance. Inter- 
eft appears in all human contrivances ; our Sa- 
viour plainly had none ; he avoided applaufe, 
withdrew himfelf from the offers of a crown ; he 
fubmitted to poverty and reproach, and much con- 
tradidlion in his life, and to a moft ignominious- 
and painful death. His apoftles had none neither ^ 
they did not pretend either to power or wealth j 
but delivered a doctrine that muft needs condemn 
^em, if they ever made fuch ufc of it; they declared 


4^ ^he Life and Death of 

their commiffion fislly without rcferves til] other 
times j they recorded their own weaknefs ; fome 
of them wrought Vv'ith their own hands, and when 
they received the charities of their converts, it was 
not fo much to fupply their own neceffitlcs, as to 
diftribute to others : they icnew they were to fuffer 
much for giving their tcftimonies to what they 
had feen and heard ; in which fo many, in a thing 
fo vifxble, as Chrift's refurredtion and afcenfion, and 
the efFufion of the Holy Ghoft which he had pro- 
mifed, could not be deceived ; and they gave fucb 
public confirmations of it, by the wonders they 
themfelves wrought, that great multitudes were 
coiiverted to a do6lrIne, which, bcfides the oppo- 
fition it gave to luft and paflion, was borne down 
and perfecuted for three hundred years, and yet its 
force was fuch, that it not only v/eathered out all 
thofc florms, but even grew and fpread vaflly un- 
derthem. Pliny, about threefcore years after, found 
their numbers great, and their lives innocent : and 
even Luciap, amidft all his railJery, give a high 
teftimony to their charity and contempt of life, and 
the other virtues of the Chriftians, which is like- 
wife more than once done by malice itfelf, Julian 
the apoftate. 

If a man will lay all this in one balance, and 
compare with it the few exceptions brought to it, 
he will foon find how ftrong the one, and how 
flight the other are. Therefore it was an impro- 
per way, to begin at fome cavils about fome 
pafiages in the new teftament, or the old, and from 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 47 

thence to prepofTefs one's mind againft the whole. 
The right method had been firft to confider the 
whole matter, and from fo general a view to def- 
cend to more particular enquiries : whereas they 
fuffered their minds to be foreftalled with prejudices j 
fo that they never examined the matter impartially. 
To the greateft part of this he feemed to aiTent, 
only he excepted to the belief of myfteries in the 
chriftian religion ; which he thought no man could 
do, fmce it is not in a man's power to believe that 
which he cannot comprehend, and of which he 
can have no notion. The believing myfteries, Iiq 
faid, made way for all the jugglings of priefts, for 
they getting the people under them in that point, 
fet out to them what they pleafed ; and giving It 
a hard name, and calling it a myftery, the people 
were tamed, and eaUly believed it. The reftraiji,- 
ing a man from the ufc of women, except one in 
the way of marriage, and denying the remedy of 
divorce, he thought unreafonable impofitlons on 
the freedom of mankind : and the bufmefs of the 
clergy, and their maintenance, with the belief of 
feme authority and power, conveyed in their orders, 
looked, as he thought, like apiece of contrivance 5, 
and why, faid he, mud a man tell me, I cannot 
be faved, unlefs I believe things againfl my lea- 
fon, and then that 1 muft pay hhn for telUng me 
of them ? Thefe were all the exceptions which 
at any time I heaid from him to chriftianity ; to 
which I made thefe anfwers. 


48 'The Life and Death of 

For myfteries. It is plain there is iii every thing, 
fomewhat that is unaccountable. How animals 
or men are formed in their mothers bellies, how 
feeds grow in the earth, how the foul dwells in the 
body, and afls and moves it ; how we retain the 
figures of fo many words or things in our memo- 
ries, and how we draw them out fo eafily and 
orderly in our thoughts or difcourfes ? how fight 
and hearing were fo quick and dillin£t, how vve 
move, and how bodies were compounded and 
united ? thefe things, if we follow them into all 
the difficulties that wc may raife about them, will 
appear every whit as unaccountable as any myftery 
of religion ; and a blind or deaf man would judge 
fight or hearing as Incredible as any myllery may 
be judged by us; for our reafon is not equal to 
them. In the fame rank, different degrees of age 
or capacity raife fome far above others, fo that 
children cannot fathom the learning, nor weak per- 
fons the councils of more illuminated minds ; there- 
fore it was no wonder if we could not underftand 
the Divine EiTence. We cannot imagine how two 
fuch different natures as a foul and body fhould fo 
unite together, and be mutually affe£Ved with one 
anothers concerns ? and how the foul has one 
principle of reafon, by which it a6ls intelle«Slually, 
and another of life, by which it joins to the brdy 
and afts vitally ? two principles fo widely differ- 
ing both in their nature and operation, and yet 
united in one and the iame perfon. There might 
be as many hard arguments brought againft the 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 49 

poflibllity of thefe things, which yet every one 

knows to be true, from fpeculative notions, as 

againft the myfteries mentioned in the fcriptures. 

As that of the Trinity, that in one efTence there 

are three different principles of operation, which, 

for want of terms fit to exprefs them by, we call 

perfons, and are called in fcripture the Father, Son, 

and Holy Ghoft ; and that the fecond of thefe did 

unite himfelf in a moft intimate manner with the 

human nature of Jefus Chrift ; and that the fuffer- 

ings he underwent, were accepted of God as a 

facrifice for our fms ; who thereupon conferred on 

him a power of granting eternal life to all that 

fubmit to the terms on which he offers it ; and 

that the matter of which our bodies once confifted, 

which may as juftly be called the bodies we laid 

down at our deaths, as thefe can be faid to be the 

bodies which we formerly lived in, being refined and 

made more fpiritual, fhall be reunited to our fouls, 

and become a fit infl:rument for them in a more 

perfeft eftate ; and that God inwardly bends and 

moves our wills, by fuch impreffions as he can 

make on our bodies and minds. 

Thefe, which are the chief myfteries of our 
religion, are neither fo unreafonable, that any 
other objedtion lies againft them, but this, that 
they agree not with our common notions, nor fi> 
unaccountable, that fom£what like them cannot 
be aftigned in other things, which are be- 
lieved really to be, though the manner of them 
cannot be apprehended : fo this ought not to be 

D^ any 

so I'he LiFi: and Death of 

any juft objedion to the fubmilfion of our reafon- 
to what we cannot fo well conceive, provided our 
belief of it be well grounded. There have been, 
too many niceties brought indeed rather to darker^ 
than explain thcfe : they have been defended by 
weak arguments,, and illuftrated by fimilies not 
always fo very apt and pertinent ; and new fub- 
tilties have been added, which have rather per- 
plexed than cleared them. All this cannot be 
denied ; the oppofition of hereticks antiently, 
Gccafioned too much curiofity among the fathers, 
which the fcoolmen have wonderfully advanced of 
late times. But if myfteries were received, rather 
in the fimplicity in which they are delivered in the 
fcriptures, than according to the dlfcantings of 
fanciful men upon them, they would not appear 
much more incredible, than fome of the common 
obje<^s of {Qn(e and perception. And it is a need- 
iefs fear, that if fome myfteries are acknowledged, 
which are plainly mentioned in the new teftament, 
it will then be in the power of the priefts to add 
more at their pleafure. For it is an abfurd in-> 
t'erence from our being bound to afTent to fome 
truths about the Divine Eflence, of which the man- 
ner is not underftood, to argue that therefore in 
an objed prefented daily to cur fenfesj fuch as 
bread and wine, we fhould be bound to believe 
againft their teftimony, that it is not what our 
ienfes perceived it to be, but the whole flefh and 
blood of Chrift, an entire body being In every 
crumb and drop of it. It is not indeed in a man's 


John Ear/ of Rochester. 51 

power to believe thus againft his {en(e and reafon, 
where the objedl is proportioned to them, and fitly 
applied, and the organs are under no indifpofition 
or diforder. It is certain that no myftery is to be 
admitted, but upon very clear and exprefs authori- 
ties from fcripture, which could not reafonably 
be underftood in any other {en{e. And though 
a man cannot form an explicit notion of a my- 
ftery, for then it would be no longer a myftery, 
yet in general he may believe a thing to be, though 
he cannot give himfelf a particular account of the 
way of it ; or rather, though he cannot anfwer 
fome objecSlions which lie againft it. We knov\A 
we believe many fuch in human matters, which 
are more within our reach ; and it is very unrea- 
fonable to fay we may not do it in divine things, 
which are much more above our apprehcnfions. 

For the fevere reftraint of the ufe of v/omen, It 

is hard to deny that priviledge to Jefus Chrift as a 

law-giver, to lay fuch reftraints, as all inferior 

legiflators do j who when they find the liberties 

their fubjecls take prove hurtful to them, fet 

fuch limits, and make fuch regulations, as they 

judge neceflliry and expedient. It cannot be faid, 

but the reftraint of appetite is neceflary in fome 

inftances ; and if it is neceflary in thefe, perhaps 

other reftraints are no lefs neceflary to fortify and 

fecure them. For if it be acknowledged, that men 

have a property in their wives and daughters, fo 

that to defile the one, or corrupt the other, is an 

unjuft and injurious thing ; it is certain, that ex- 

D a ccpt 

5a I'hs Life ajid Death of 

cept a man carefully governs his appetites, he wi-U. 
break through thefe reftraints ; and therefore our 
Saviour knowing that nothing could cfFeftually 
deliver the world from the mifchlef of unreftrained 
appetite, as fuch a confinement, might very rea- 
fonably injoin it. And in all fuch cafes we are to- 
balance the inconveniences on both hands, and 
where wc find they are heavieft^we are to acknow- 
ledge the equity of the law. On the one hand there 
is no prejudice^ but the reftraint of appetite ; on 
the other are the mifchiefs of being given up to 
pleafure, of running inordinately into it, of break- 
ing the quiet of our own family at home, and of 
others abroad ; the engaging into much paffion, the 
cfoing many falfe and impious things to compafs 
what is defired, the wafte of men's eftates, time, 
and health. Now let any man judge, whether the 
prejudices on this fide, are not greater than that 
iingle one on the other fide, of being denied fome 
pleafure? For polygamy, it is but reafonable fince 

(women are equally concerned in the laws of mar- 
riage, that they fhould be confidered as well as 
men ; but in a Hate of polygamy they are unde? 
great m.ifery and jealoufy, and are indeed bar- 
baroufly ufed. Man being alfo of a fc/ciab!e na- 
ture, friendfliip and convcrfe were among the 
primitive intendments of marriage^ in which, as far 
as the man may excel the wife in greatnefs of mind, 
and height of knowledge, the wife fomevvay makes 
that up with her affe»Slionand tender care; fo that 
from both happily mixed, there arifes a harmony, 


JOHN Eiirl of Rochester. 53 

which is to virtuous minds one of the greateft 
joys of life ; but all this is gone in a ftate of poly- 
gam)', which oc-cafions perpetual jarrings and jea- 
loufies. And the variety does but engage men to 
a freer range of pleafure, which is not to be put in 
the balance with the far sreater mifchiefs that mud 
follow the other courfe. So that it is plain, our 
Saviour confidered the nature of man, what it 
could bear, and what was fit for it, when he fo 
reftrained us in thefe our liberties. And for di- 
vorce, a power to break that bond would too much 
encourage married perfons in the little quarrellings 
that may arife between them, if it were in their 
povver to depart one from another. For when they 
know that cannot be, and that they muft live and 
die together, it does naturally incline them to lay 
down their refentments, and to endeavour to live 
together as well as they can. So the law of the 
gofpel being a law of love, defigned to engage 
chriftians to mutual love, it was fit that all fuch 
provifions fliould be made, as might advance and 
maintain it, and all fuch liberties be taken away as 
are apt to enkindle and foment ftrife. This might 
fall in fome inftances to be uneafy and hard enough ; 
but laws confider what falls out moft commonly, 
and cannot provide for all particular cafes. The 
bcft laws are in fome inftances very great grie- 
vances : but the advantages being balanced with the 
inconveniences, meafures are to be taken accord- 
ingly. Upon this whole matter, I faid, that 
pjeafure itood in oppofitlon to other co.nfidcrations 

O3 Of 

54 5"i&(? Life and Death of 

of great weight, and (o the decifion was eafy : and 
fince our Saviour offers us fo great rewards, it is 
but reafonable he have a priviledge of loading 
thefe promifes with fuch conditions, as are not ia 
themfelves grateful to our natural inclinations ; for 
all that propofe high rewards, have thereby a right 
to exa6t difficult performances. 

To this, he faid, we are fure the terms are 
difficult, but are not fo fure of the rewards. Upon 
this I told him, that we have the fame aflurance of 
the rewards, that we have of the other parts of 
chriftian religion. We have the promifes of God 
made to us by Chrift, confirmed by many miracles : 
we have the earnefts of thefe, in the quiet and peace 
which follows a good confcience, and in the re- 
furredlion of him from the dead who hath promifed 
to raife us up. So that the reward is fufficiently 
aflured to us ; and there is no reafon it fliould be 
given to us, before the conditions are performed on 
which the promifes are made. It is but reafon- 
able we fliould truft God, and do our duty, in 
hopes of that eternal life, which God who cannot 
lie hath promifed. The difficulties are not fo great, 
as thofe which fometimes the commoneft concerns 
of life bring upon us : the learning fome trades or 
fciences, the governing our health and affairs, bring 
us often under as great ilraights : fo that it ought 
to be no juft prejudice, that there are fome things 
in religion that are uneafy, fince this is rather the 
effect of our corrupt natures, which are farther 
depraved by vicious habits, and can hardly turn to 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. ^t^ 
an)' new courfe of life, without fome pain, thaii 
•of the di(3:ates of chriftianity, which are \n them- 
felves jufl and reafonable, and will be eafy to us 
when renewed, and in a good meafure reliorcd to 
our piiniiti\e integrity. 

As for the exceptions he had to the maintenance 
■of the clergy, and the authority to which they 
pretended if they ftretchcd their deligns too far, the 
gofpel did plainly reprove them for it ; fo that it was 
very fuitable to that church, which was fo grofly 
faulty this way, to take the fciiptures out of the 
hands of the people, fince they do fo manifeftly 
<lifclaim all fuch practices. The priefts of the true 
chriftian religion have no fecrets among them, 
which the world muft not know ; but are only an 
order of men dedicated to God, to attend on facred 
things, who ougiit to be holy in a more peculiar 
jnanner, fince they are to handle the things of God. 
It was neceflary that fuch perfons fliould have a 
due efteem paid them, and a fit maintenance ap- 
pointed for them, that fo they might be preferved 
from the contempt that follows poverty, and the 
-diftradiions which the providing againft it might 
©therwife involve them in : and as in the order of 
the world, it was necefiary for the fupport of ma- 
giftracy and government, and for preferving its 
efteem, that forae flate be ufed (though it is a 
happinefs when great men have philofophical 
minds to defpife the pageantry of it;) fo the 
plentiful fupply of the clergy, if well ufed and ap- 
.plied by them, will certainly turn to the ad\'antage 

P 4 . ijS 

5^ ^^^ Life and Death of 

of religion. And if fome men either through am- 
bition or covetoufnefs ufed indire£t means, or fer- 
vile compliances to afpire to fuch dignities, and 
being pofTefled of them, applied their wealth either 
to luxury or vain pomp, or made great fortunes 
out of it for their families ; thefe were perfonal 
failings, in which the do£lrine of Chrift was not 

He upon that told me plaini}'', there was nothing 
that gave him, and many others, a more fecret en- 
, couragement in their ill ways, than that thofe who 
I pretended to believe, lived fo that they could not 
be thought to be in earneft when they faid it : for 
he was fure religion was either a mere contrivance, 
or the moft important thing that could be ; fo that 
if he once believed, he would fet himfelf in great 
earneft to live fuitably to it. The afpirings that 
he had obferved at court of fome of the clergy, 
" with the fervile ways they took to attain to pre- 
ferment, and the animofities among thofe of feveral 
parties about trifles, made him often think they 
fufpe£led the things were not true, which in their 
fermons and difcourfes they fo earneftly recom- 
mended. Of this he had gathered many inftances ; 
I knew fome of them were miftakes and calumnies ; 
yet I could not deny but fomething of them might 
be too true : and I publifh this the more freely, to 
put all that pretend to religion, chiefly thofe that 
are dedicated to holy fun6lions, in mind of the 
great obligations that lies on them to live fuitable 
to their profeffion 5 fincc othcrwife a great deal 0/ 


JOHN Earl of Rochestier. 57 
the irreligion and athelfm that is among us, may 
too juftly be charged on them : for wicked men 
are delighted out of meafure when they difcover ill 
things in them, and conclude from thence, not only 
that they are hypocrites, but that religion itfelf is a 

But I faid to him upon this head, that though 
no good man could continue in the practice of any 
known fm, yet fuch might, by the violence or fur- 
prife of a temptation, to which they are liable as 
much as others, be of a fudden overcome to do an 
ill thing, to their great grief all their life after ; 
and then it was a very unjuft inference, upon fome 
few failings, to conclude that fuch men do not 
believe themfelves. But how bad foever many are, 
it cannot be denied but there are alfo many, both 
of the clergy and laity, who give great and real 
demonftrations of the power religion has over them, 
in their contempt of the world, the flricknefs of 
their lives, their readinefs to forgi\'c injuries, to 
relieve the poor, and to do good on all occafions ; 
and yet even thefe maj have their failing?, either 
in fuch things in which their conifitutions are weak, 
or their temptations ftrong and fudden ; and in all 
fuch cafes we are to judge of men, rather by the 
courfe of their lives, than by the errors that they 
through infirmity or furprife may have flipt into, 

Thefe were the chief heads we difcourfed on ; 
and as far. as I can remember, I have faithfully re- 
peated the fubftance of our arguments. I have not 
foncealed the flrongeft things he faid to mej but 


5^ ^he Life and Death of 

though I have not enlarged on all the excurfions 
of his wit in fetting them off, yet I have given them 
tiieir full ftrength, as he expreffed them, and as 
far as I could recolleCl, have ufed his ow^n vi^oids ; 
io that I am afraid feme may cenfure me for fet- 
ting down thefe things fo largely, which impious 
raen may make an ill ufe of, and gainer together 
to encourage and defend themfelves in their vices : 
but if they will compare them with the anfwers 
made to them, and the fenfe that fo great and re- 
lined a wit had of them afterwards, I hope they 
may, through the bleiling of God, be not altogether 

The iffue of all our difcourfe was this ; he told 

\ tne, he faw vice and impiety were as contrary to 

I liuman fociety, as wild beafts let loofe would be i 

and therefore he firmly refolved to change the whole 

method of his life, to become ftri6lly jull and true, 

to be chafle and temperate, to forbear fwearing 

and irreligious difcourfe, to worfhip and pray to 

his Maker ; and that though he was not arrived at 

\ a full perfuafion of chriftianity, he would never 

I employ his wit more to run it down, or to corrupt 


Of which I have fmc€ a further aflurance, from 
a perfon of quality, who con ver fed much with him 
the laft year of his life ; to whom he would often 
fay, that he was happy if he did believe, and that 
he would never endeavour to draw him from it. 

To all this I anfwered, that a virtuous life would 
be very uneafy to him, uniefs vicious inclinations 


JOHN £<7r/ (3/ Rochester. 59 

were removed, it would otherwife be a perpetual 
conftraint. Nor could it be efFei^ed without an 
inward principle to change him ; and that was 
only to be had by applying himfelf to God for it 
in frequent and earneft prayer : and I was fure, if 
his mind was once cleared of thefe diforders, and 
cured of thofe diftempers, which vice brought on 
it, fo great an underftanding would foon fee through 
all thofe flights of wit, that do feed atheifm and 
irrelio-jon which have a falfe o-Iitterina: in them, 
that dazzles feme weak-fighted minds, who have 
not capacity enough to penetrate further than ther 
furfaces of things ; and fo they ftick in thefe toyls, 
which the ftren2:th of his mind would foon break 
through, if it were once freed from thofe things 
that depreffed and darkened it. 

At this pafs he was when he went from London, 
about the beginning of April : he had not been 
long in the country, when he thought he was fo 
well, that being to go to his eftatein Somerfetfhire, 
he rode thither poft. This heat and violent mo- 
tion did fo inflame an ulcer that was in his bladder, 
that it raifed a very great pain in thofe parts j yet 
he with much difHculty came back by coach to the 
lodge at Woodllock-park. He was then wounded 
both in body and mind j he underftood phyfic and 
his own conftitution and diftemper fo well, that he 
concluded he could hardly recover ; for the ulcer 
broke, and vaft quantities of purulent matter paiTed 
with his urine. But now the hand of God touched 
him, and as he told me, it was not only a general 


6o 7he Life md Death of 

dark melancholy over his mind, fuch as he had 

(formerly felt, but a moft penetrating cutting for- 
row. So that though in his body he fufFered 
extreme pain for fome weeks, yet the agonies of 
his mind fometimes fwallowed up the fenfe of what 
he felt in his body. He told me, and gave it me in 
charge to tell it to one for whom he was much 
concerned, that though there were nothing to come 
after this life, yet all the pleafures he had ever 
known in fin, were not worth that torture he had 
felt in his mind. He confidered he had not only 
neglciSted and difhonoured, but had openly defied 
his Maker, an4 had drawn many others into the 
like impieties ; fo that he looked on himfelf as one 
that was in great danger of being damned. He 
then fet himfelf wholly to turn to God unfeign- 
edly, and to do all that was poffible in that 
little remainder of his life v^'hich vy^as before him, 
to redeem thofe great portions of jt that he had 
formerly fo ill eniployed. The minifter that at- 
tended conftantly on him, was that good and 
worthy man Mr. Parfons, his mother's chaplain, 
who hath fince his death preached, according to the 
directions he received from him, his funeral fermon ; 
in which there are fo many remarkable paflages, 
that I ftiall refer my reader to them, and will re- 
peat none of them here, that I may not thereby 
leflen his defire to edify himfelf by that excellent 
difcourfe, which hath given fo great and fo general 
a fatisfa6lion to all good and judicious readers. I 
Ihall fpeak curfoiily of every thing, but that which 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 6i 

I had immediately from himfelf. He was vifited 
every week of his ficknefs by his diocefan, that 
truly primitive prelate, the lord bifhop of Oxford ; 
who though he lived fix miles from him, yet look- 
ed on this as fo important a piece of his paftoral 
care, that he went often to him, and treated him 
with that decent plainnefs and freedom which is io 
natural to him ; and took care alfo that he might 
not on terms more eafy than fafe, be at peace with 
himfelf. Dr. Marfhall, the learned and worthy 
redtor of Lincoln College in Oxford, being the 
minifter of the parifh, was alfo frequently with 
him J and by thefe helps he was fo directed and 
fupported, that he might not on the one hand 
fatisfy himfelf with too fuperficial a repentance, 
nor on the other hand be out of meafure opprefTed 
with a forrow without hope. As foon as I heard 
he was ill, but yet in fuch a condition that I might 
write to him, I wrote a letter to the beft purpofe I 
could. He ordered one that was then with him, 
to afTure me it was very welcome to him ; but not 
fatisfied with that, he fent me an anfwer, which, 
as the countefs of Rochefter his mother told me, 
he dictated every word, and then figned it. I was 
once unwilling to have publifhed it, becaufe of 
a compliment in it to myfelf, far above my merit, 
and not very well fuiting with his condition. 

But the fenfe he exprefles in it of the change 
then wrought on him, hath upon fecond thoughts 
prevailed with me to publifh it, leaving out what 
concerns myfelf, 


62 'The Life and Death of 

Woodstock- Park, OXFORDSHIRE. 

*• My moft honoured Dr. Burnett, 

'^' 1^ yr Y fpirits and body decay fo equally to- 

*' jLYA gether, that I fliall write you a letter 

*' as week as I am in perfon. I begin to value 

" churchmen above all men in the world, he. If 

*' Godbeyetpleafed to fpare me longer in this world, 

*' 1 hope in your converfation to be exalted to that 

*' degree of piety, that the world may fee how 

\ *' much I abhor what I fo long loved, and how 

*' much I glory in repentance and in God's fervice. 

'* Beftow your prayers upon me, that God would 

** fpare me (if it be his good will) to fliew a true 

" repentance and amendment of life for the time to 

*' come : or elfe, if the Lord pleafeth to put an 

" end to my worldly being now, that he would 

" mercifully accept of my death -bed repentance, 

*' and perform that promife that he hath been 

" pleafed to make, that at what time foevcr a fm- 

** ner doth repent, he would receive him. Put up 

*' thefe prayers, moft dear do^lor, to Almighty 

" God, for 



June 25, 1680. 



JOHN £^r/ ^/ Rochester. 63 

He told me when I faw him, that he hoped I 
would come to him upon that general infinuatioii 
of the defire he had of my company j and he was 
loth to write more plainly, not knowing whether 
I could eafily fpare fo much time. I told him, that 
on the other hand, I looked on it as a prefumption 
to come fo far, when he was in fuch excellerit 
hands j and though perhaps the freedom formerly 
between us, might have excufed it with thofe to 
whom it was known, yet it might have the ap- 
pearance of fo much vanity, to fuch as were 
Grangers to it ; fo that till I received his letter, I 
did not think it convenient to come to him j and 
then not hearing that there v/as any danger of a 
fudden change, I delayed going to him till the 
twentieth of July. At my coming to his houfe 
an accident fell out not v/orth mentioning, but 
that fome have made a ftory of it. His fervant, 
being a Frenchman, carried up my name wrong, 
fo that he miftook it for another, who had fent to 
him, that he would undertake his cure, and he 
being refolved not to meddle with him, did not 
care to fee him : this raiftake lafted fome hours, 
with which 1 was the better contented, becaufe he 
was not then in fuch a condition^ that my being 
about him could have been of ahy ufe to him j fcr 
that night was like to have b^en his laft. He had 
a convulfion fit, and raved j but opiates beliir^. 
grven him, after fome hours reft, his raving left 
him fo entirely, that it ney>er again returned to, 


64. '^he Life and Death of 

I cannot eafily exprefs the tranfport he Was In, 
when he awoke and faw me by him ; he broke out 
in the tendereft expreffions concerning my kind- 
nefs in coming fo far to fee fuch a one, ufing terms 
of great abhorrence concerning himfelf, which 1 
forbear to relate. He told me, as his ftreno-th ferved 
him at feveral fnatches, for he was then fo low, 
that he could not hold up difcourfe long at once, 
what fcnfe he had of his paft life ; what fad ap- 
prehenfion for having fo offended his Maker, and 
difhonoured his Redeemer ; what horrors he had 
gone through, and how much his mind was turned 
to call on God, and on his crucified Saviour, {o 
that he hoped he fhould obtain mercy, for he 
believed he had fincerely repented, and had nov7 
a calm in his mind after that ftoim that he had 
been in for fome weeks. He had flrong appre- 
henfions and perfuafions of his admittance to 
heaven, of which he fpake once, not without 
fome extraordinary emotion. It was indeed the 
only time that he fpake with any great warmth to 
me J for his fpirits were then low, and fo far fpent, 
that though thofe about him told me he had ex- 
preffed formerly great fervour in his devotions ; 
yet nature was fo much fmik, that thefe were in 
a great meafure fallen off. But he made me pray 
often with him ; and fpoke of his converfion to 
God, as a thing now grown up in him to a fettled 
and calm ferenity. He was very anxious to know 
my opinion of a death-bed repentance. I told him, 
that before I gave any refolution in that^ it would 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 6^ 

be convenient that I (hould be acquainted more 
particularJy with the circumftances and progrefs o^f 
his repentance. 

Upon this he fatisfied me in many particulars. 
He laid, he was now periuaded both of the truth of 
chriftianity, and of the power of inward grace, of 
which he gave me this flrange account. He faid, 
Mr. Parfons, in order to his convidlion, read to him 
the fifty-third chapter of the prophecy of Ifaiah, and 
compared that with the hiftory of our Saviour's 
paflion, that he might there fee a prophecy con- 
cerning it, written many ages before it was'done j 
which the Jews that blafphemed Jefus Chrifl: rtill 
kept in their hands, as a book divinely infpired. 
He faid to me, that as he heard it read, he felt an 
inward force upon him, which did fo enlighten his / 
mind, and convince him, that he could refift it 
no longer ; for the words had an authority which 
did fhoot like rays or beams in his mind, fo that 
he was not only convinced by the reafonings he had 
about it, which fatisfied his underftanding, but by 
a power which did fo eft'edlually conftrain him, 
that he did ever after as firmly believe in his Sa- 
viour, as if he had feen him in the clouds. He 
had made it to be read fo often to him, that he had 
got it by heart, and went through a great part of 
it in difcourfe with me, with a fort of heavenly 
pleafure, giving me his refle6tions on it. Some 
few I remember, JVho haih believed our report ? 
(verfe i.) Here, he faid, was foretold the oppofi- 
tion the gofpel was to meet with from fuch 

E wretches 

66 The Life and Death (ff 

wretches as he was. He hath no form nor comelinef:^ 
and when we Jhall fee bhn^ there is no beauty that we 
Jhould defire him^ (verfe 2.) On this, he faid, the 
meannefs of his appearance and perfon has made 
vain and foolifti people difparag<2 him, becaufe he 
came not in fuch a fool's coat as they delight in. 
What he £aid on the other parts I do not well re- 
tnemberj and indeed,,! was fo affe£ted with what he 
faid then to me, that the general tranfport I was 
under during the whole difcourfe, made me lefe 
capable to remember thefe particulars, as I wilh I 
had done. 

He told me, that he had thereupon received the 
facrament wi<h great fatisfa6lion, and that was 
encreafed by the pleafure he had in his lady's receiv- 
ing it with him ; who had been for fome years 
mifled into the communion of the church of Rome, 
and he himfelf had been, not a little inftrumental in 
procuring it,, as he fueely acknowledged : fo that 
it was one ofthe joyfulleft things that befell him in 
his ficknefs,^ that he had feen that mifchief remov- 
ed, in which he had fo great a hand : and during 
his whole fieknefs, he exprefled fo much tender- 
nefs and true kindnefs to his lady, that as it eafily 
defaced the remembrance of every thing wherein he 
had been in fault formerly, fo it drew from her 
the moH paflionate care and concern for him that 
was poflible, which indeed deferves a higher cha- 
ratSler than is decent to give of a perfon yet alive : 
Wt 1 fbaU confine my difcourfe to the dead. 


John Earl of Rochester. 6y 

He told me, he had overcome all his refent- . 
Bients to all the world, fo that he bore ill-will to no 
perfon, nor hated any upon perfonal accounts. 
He had given a true ftate of his debts* and had 
ordered to pay them all, as far as his eftate that 
was not fettled could go j and was confident, that 
if all that was owing to him were paid to his ex-* 
ecutors, his creditors would be all fatisfied. He 
faid, he found his mind now poflefTed with another 
fenfe of things, than ever he had formerly* He 
did not repine under all his pain, and in one of 
the Iharpeft fits he was under while I was with 
him, he faid, he did willingly fubmit j and look- 
ing up to heaven^ faid, " God's holy will be done^ 
*' I blefs him for all he does to me. " He pro- 
felTed, he was contented either to die or live, as 
fhould pleafe God ; and though it was a foolifh 
thing for a man to pretend to chufe whether he 
would die or live, yet he wifhed rather to die. 
He knew he could never be fo well that life 
{hould be comfortable to him. He was confident 
he fhould be happy if he died, but he feared if he 
lived he might relapfe j and then faid he to me, 
in what a condition fhall I be, if 1 relapfe after all 
this ? but, he faid, he trufted in the grace and 
goodnefs of God, and was refolved to avoid all 
thofe temptations, that courfe of life and company, 
that was likely to enfnare him ; and he defired to 
live on no other account, but that he might by 
the change of his manners fome way take ofF the 
high fcandal his former behaviour had given. 

E 2 All 

6S ^hs Life and Death of 

All thefe things at feveral times I had from him, 
bcfides fome mefiages which very vi^ll became a 
dying penitent to fome of his former friends, and 
a charge to publifh any thing concerning him, that 
mio-ht be a mean to reclaim others. Praying 
God, that as his life had done much hurt, fo his 
death might do fome good. 

Having underftood all thefe things from him, 
and beino- preffed to give him my opinion plainly 
about his eternal ftate ; I told him, that though 
the promifes of the gofpel did all depend upon 
a real change of heart and life, as the indifpen- 
fible condition upon which they were made ; and 
that it was fcarce pofTible to know certainly whe- 
ther our hearts are changed, unlefs it appeared in 
our lives ; and the repentance of moft dying men, 
being like the bowlings of condemned prifoners 
for pardon, which flowed from no fenfe of their 
crimes, but from the horror of approaching death ; 
there was little reafon to encourage any to hope 
much from fuch forrowing ; yet certainly, if the 
mind of a fmner, even on a death-bed, be truly 
renewed and turned to God, fo great is his 
mercy, that he will receive him, even in that 
extremity. He faid, he was fure his mind was 
entirely turned, and though horror had given him 
his firft awaking, yet that was now grown up in- 
to a fettled faith and converfion. 

There is but one prejudice lies againft all this, 
to defeat the good ends of divipe providence by it 
upon others, as well as on himfdfi i'.nd that is, 


JOHN £^;'/c/ Roci^ESTER. 69 

that it was a part of his difeafe, and that the 
lownefs of his fpirits made fuch an alteration in 
him, that he was not what he had formerly been; 
and this fome have carried fo far as to fay, that 
he died mad ; thefe reports are raifed by thofe who 
are unwilling that the lafl thoughts or words of a 
perfon, every way fo extraordinary, fhould have 
any efFetfl either on themfelves or others ; and it 
is to be feared, that fome have fo far feared their 
confciences, and exceeded the common meafures of 
fm and infidelity, that neither this teflimony, nor 
one coming from the dead, would fignify much 
towards their convi6lion. That this lord was 
either mad or ftupid, is a thing fo notorioufly un- 
true, that it is the greateft impudence for any that 
were about him, to report it, and a very unrea- 
fonable credulity in others to believe it. All the 
while I was with him, after he had flept out the 
diforde-rs of the fit he was in the firft night, he was 
not only without ravings, but had a clearnefs in 
his thoughts, in his memory, in his refleclions on 
things and perfons, far beyond what I ever faw in 
a perfon (o low in his flrength. He was not able 
to hold out long in difcourfe, for his fpirits. failed ; 
but once for a half hour, and often for a quarter 
of an hour after he awaked, he had a vivacity in 
his difcourfe that was extraordinary, and in all 
things like himfelf. He called often for his child- 
ren, his fon, the now earl of Rocheflcr, and his 
three daughters, and fpakc to them with a fenle 
and feeling that cannot be exprefled in writing. 
-■" * E 3 He 

70 ^be Life an^ Death of 

He called me once to look on them all, and faid, 
** fee' how good God has been to me, in giving me 
** fo many bleilings, and I have carried myfelf to 
** him lik-9 an ungracious and unthankful dog. " 
JHe once talked a great deal to me of public affairs, 
and of many perfons and things vi'ith the fame 
clearnefs of thought and exprefHon, that he had 
ever done before : fo that by no fign but his v/eak- 
nefs of body, and giving over difcourfe fo foon, 
could 1 perceive a difference between what his 
parts formerly were, and what they were then. 

And that wherein the prefence of his mind 
appeared moft, was in the total change of an ill 
habii grown fo much upon him, that he could 
hardly govern himfelf when he was any ways 
heated three minutes without falling into it, I 
mean fwearing. He had acknowledged to me the 
former winter, that he abhorred it, as a bafe and 
indecent thing, and had fet himfelf much to break 
it off; but he confeiTed, that he was fo over- 
pov/ered by that ill cuflom, that he could not 
(peak with any warmth, without repeated oaths, 
which upon any fort of provocation, came almoft 
naturally from him ; but in his laft rernorfes this 
did fo fenfibly afFe£l him, that by a refolute and 
f onflant watchfulnefs, the habit of it was perfedlly 
maflered ; fo that upon the returns of pain, which 
were very fevere and frequent upon him the lafl 
day I was with hjm, or upon fuch difpleafures as 
people fick or in pain are apt to take of a fudden 
at thofe about them ; on all thefe occafions he 

never fwore an oath all the while I was there. 


JOHN ^<2r/ &/ Rochester. 71 

Once he was offended with the delay of one 
be thought made not hafte enough with fomewhat 
he called for, and faid in a little heat, " that 
** damned fellow : " foon afrer, I told him, I was 
glad to find his ftyle fo reformed, and that he had 
fo entirely overcome that ill habit of fwearing.j 
only that word of calling any damned, which had 
returned upon him, was not decent. His anfwer 
was, " Oh that language of friends which was (^o 
" familiar to me, hangs yet about me : fure none has 
** deferved more to be damned than I have done. " 
And after he had humbly atked God pardoji for it, he 
defired me to call the penfon to him, that he might 
afk him forgivenefs ; but I told him that was needlefs, 
for he had faid it of one that did not hear it, and 
fo could not^be offended by it. 

In this difpoiltion of mind did he continue all 
the while I was with bim, four days together ; 
he was then brought fo low, that all hopes of 
recovery were gone^ Much purulent matter came 
from him with his urine, which he paCed always 
with fome pain, but one day with inexprefiSble 
torment ; yet he bore it decently, without break- 
ing out into repinings, or impatieait complaints. 
He imagined he had a ftone in his paffage, but it 
being fearched, none was found. The whole fub- 
ftance of his body was drained fey the ulcer, and 
nothing was left but (kin and bone, and by lying 
much on his back, the parts there began to mor- 
»ify : but he had been formerly fo low, that be 
ieenicd 'as much paft ail hopes of life as now ; 

E 4 which 

72 ^he Life and Death of 

which made him one morning, after a full and 
fweet night's lelt procured by laudanum, given 
him without his knowledge, to fancy it was an 
effort of nature, and to begin to entertain fome 
hopes of recovery : for he faid, he felt him- 
felf perfectly well, and that he had nothing ailing 
him, but an extreme weaknefs, which might go 
off in time j and then he entertained me with the 
fcheme he had laid down for the reft of his life, how 
retired, how ftri6l, and how ftudious he intended 
to be J but this was foon over, for he quickly 
felt, that it was only the effecSt of a good fleep, 
and that he was ftiil in a very defperate flate. 

I thought to have left him on Friday, but not 
without fome paflion he defired me to ftay that 
day ; there appeared no fy mptom of prefent death ; 
and a worthy phyfician then with him, told me, 
that though he was fo low, that an accident might 
carry him away on a fudden ; yet without that, 
he thought he might live yet fome weeks. So on 
Saturday, at four of the clock in the morning, I 
left him, being the 24th of July. But I durft not 
take leave of him ; for he had expreffed fo great an 
unwillingnefs to part with me the day before, that 
if I had not prefently yielded to one day's ftay, it 
was like have given him fome trouble, therefore I 
thought it better to leave him without any forma- 
lity. Some hours after he afked for me, and when 
it was told him, I was gone, he feemed to be 
troubled, and faid, " has my friend left me, then I 
" lliall die fliortly. " After that, he fpake but once 


JOHN Earl of RocHESTEVL. 73 

or twice till he died ; he lay much filent ; once 
they heard him praying very devoutly. And 
on Monday about two of the clock in the morning 
he died, without any convulfion, or fo much as 
a groan. 


THUS he lived, and thus he died in the 
three and thirtieth year of his age. Na- 
ture had fitted him for great things, and his 
knowledge and obfervation qualified him to have 
been one of the moft extraordinary men, not only 
of his nation, but of the age he lived in j and I do 
verily believe, that if God had thought fit to have 
continued him longer in the world, he had been 
the wonder and delight of all that knev/ him : but 
the infinite wife God knew better what was fit for 
him, and what the age deferved. For men who 
have fo cad off all fenfc of God and religion, deferve 
not fo fi2;nal a bleffing, as the example and con- 
vidlion which the reft of his life might have given 
them. And I am apt to think that the Divine 
Goodnefs took pity on him, and feeing the fince- 
rity of his repentance, would try and venture him 
no more in circumftances of temptation, perhaps 
too hard for human frailty. Now he is at reft, 
and 1 am very confident enjoys the fruits of his 
Jatc, but fincere repentance. But fuch as live, 
and ftill go on in their fins and impieties, and will 


74 5'^'? Life ayd Death Df 

not be awakened neither by this nor the othCT 

alarms that are about their ears, are, it feems, 

given up by God to a judicial hardnefs and impeni- 


Here is a public inftance of one who lived of 
their fide, but could not die of it : and though 
none of all our libertines underftood better than he, 
the fecret myfteries of fin, had more fludied every 
thing that could fupport a man in it, and had more 
refifted all external means of convidiion than be 
had done ; yet when the hand of God inwardly 
touched him, he could no longer kick againft thofc 
pricks, but humbled himfelf under that mighty 
hand, and as he ufed often to fay in his prayers, 
he who had fo often denied him, found then no 
other Ihelterbut his mercies and compaflions. 

I have written this account with all the tender- 
nefs and caution I could ufe, and in whatfoever I 
may have failed, I have been ftri£t in the truth of 
what I have related, remembering that of Job, 
•* will ye lie for God ? " Religion has ftmngth 
and evidence enough in itfelf, and needs no fup- 
port from lies, and made ftories, I do not pretend 
to have given the formal words that he faid, though 
I have done that where 1 could remember them. 
But I have written this with the fame fmcerity, 
that I would hav€ done, had I known I had been 
to •die immediately after I had finiftied it, I did 
not take notes of our difcourfes laft winter after 
■we parted ; fo I may have perhaps in the fetting 
•ut of my anfwers to him, have enlarged on fe- 


JOHN Earl of Rochester." 75 
yeral things both more fulJy and more regularly, 
than I could fay them in fuch free difcourfes as \vc 
had. I am not fo fure of all I fet down as faid by 
me, as I am of all faid by him to me ; but yet the 
fubftance of the greateft part, even of that, is the 

It remains, that I humbly and carneflly befccch 
all that fhall take this book in their hands, that 
they will confider it entirely, and not reft fome 
parts to an ill intention. God the fearcher of 
hearts, knows with what fidelity I have writ it : 
but if any will drink up only the poifon that may 
be in it, without taking alfo the antidote here 
given to thofe ill principles ; or confidering the 
(tw^e that this great perfon had of them, when he 
refledled ferioufly on them; and will rather confirm 
themfelves in their ill ways, by the fcruples and 
objections which I fet dovi^n, than be edified by the 
other parts of it ; as I v/ill look on it as a great 
infelicity, that I (hould have faid any thing that 
may ftrengthen them in their impieties, fo the 
fincerity of my intentions will, I doubt not, ex- 
cufe me at his hands, to whom I offer up this fmall 

I have now performed in the bcft manner I could, 
what was left on me by this noble lord, and have 
done with the part of an hiftorian. I fhall, in the 
next place fay fomewhat as a divine. So ex- 
traordinary a text does almoft force a fermon, 
though it is plain enough itfelf, and fpeaks with 
Ip loud a voice, that thofe who arc not awakened 


76 The Life and Death of 

by it, will perhaps confider nothing that lean fay. 
If our libertines will become fo far fober as to ex- 
amine their former courfe of life, with that difen- 
gagement and impartiality, which they muft 
acknowledge a wife man ought to ufe in things 
of greateft confequence, and balance the account of 
what they have got by their debaucheries, with 
the mifchiefs they have brought on themfelves and 
others by them, they will foon fee what a bad 
bargain they have made. Some diverfion, mirth, 
and pleafure is all they can promife themfelves ; 
but to obtain this, how many evils are they to 
fufFer ? Hov/ have many wafted their ftrength, 
brought many difeafes on their bodies, and pre- 
cipitated their age in the purfuit of thofe things ? 
And as they bring old age early on themfelves, fo 
it becomes a miferable ftate of life to the greateft 
part of them ; gouts, ftranguries, and other infir- 
mities, being fevere reckonings for their paft follies ; 
not to mention the more loathfome difeafes, with 
their no lefs loathfome and troublefome cures, 
which they muft often go through, who deliver 
themfelves up to forbidden pleafures. Many are 
disfigured befide with the marks of their intempe- 
rance and levvdnefs, and which is yet fadder, an 
infection is derived oftentimes on their innocent 
but unhappy iflaie, who being defcended from fo 
vitiated an original, fuff'er for their excelTes. Their 
fortunes are profufely wafted, both by their ne- 
glect of their affairs, they being fo buried in vice, 
that they cannot employ either their time or fpirits, 


JOHN £^r/<?/ Rochester. j'^ 

fo much exhaufted by intemperance, to confider 
them ; and by that prodigal expence which their 
lufts put them upon. They fufFer no lefs in their 
credit, the chief mean to recover an entangled 
cftate ; for that irregular expence forces them to {o 
many mean (hifts, makes them fo often falfe to all 
their promifes and refolutions, that they muft needs 
feel how much they have loft that, which a gen- 
tleman, and men of ingenuous tempers, do fome- 
times prefer even to life itfelf, their honour and 
reputation. Nor do they fuffer lefs in the nobler 
powers of their minds, which, by a long courfe 
of fuch diflblute pradlices, come to fink and de- 
generate fo far, that not a few whofe firft bloffoms 
gave the moft promifmg hopes, have fo withered, 
as to become incapable of great and generous un- 
dertakings, and to be difabled to t\^r^ thing, but 
to wallow like fwine in the n!th of fenfuality, 
their fpirits being diflipated, and their minds fo 
benummed, as to be wholly unfit for bufmefs, and 
even indifpofed to think. 

That this dear price fhould be paid for a little 
wild mirth, or grofs and corporal pleafure, is a 
thing of fuch unparalelled folly, that if there were 
not too many fuch inftances before us, it might 
feem incredible. To all this we muft add the 
horrors that their ill adions raife in them, and the 
hard fliiftsthey are put to to flave ofFthefe, either 
by being perpetually drunk or mad, or by an 
habitual difufe of thinking and refle^ling on their 
actions, and (if thefe arts will not perfectly quiet 

■tli era) 

78 'J^he Life and Death of 

them) by taking fanftuary in fuch atheiftical prin- 
ciples, as may at leafl: mitigate the fournefs of their 
thoughts, though they cannot abfolutcly fettle their 

If theftateof mankind and human focieties are 
confidered, what mifchiefs can be equal to thofe 
which follow thefe courfes. Such perfons are a 
plague where ever they come, they can neither be 
trufted nor beloved, having caft off both truth and 
goodnefs, which procure confidence and attract 
love ; they corrupt fome by their ill pracStices, 
and do irreparable injuries to the reft, they run 
great hazards, and put themfelves to much trou- 
ble, and all this to do what is in their power to 
make damnation as fure to themfelves as poffibly 
they can. What influence this has on the whole 
nation is but too vifible ; how the bonds of nature, 
wedlock, and all other relations are quite broken : 
virtue is thought an antick piece of formality, 
and religion the effe<5l of cowardice or ^knavery ; 
thefe are the men that would reform the world, by 
bringing it under a new fyfl:em of intelledtual and 
moral principles ; but bate them a few bold and 
lewd jefts, what have they ever done, or defigned 
to do, to make them to be remembered, except it 
be with deteftation r They are the fcorn of the pre- 
fent age, and their names muft rot in the next. 
Here they have before them an inftance of one, 
who was deeply corrupted with the contagion which 
be firft derived from others, but unhappily height- 
ened it much himfelf. He was a mafter indeed 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 79 

and not a bare trlfler with wit, as fome of thofc 
are who repeat, and that but fcurvily, what they 
may have heard from him or fome others, and with 
impudence and laughter will face the world down, 
as if they were to teach it wifdom j who, God 
knows, cannot follow one thought a ftep further 
than as they have conned it j and take from thera 
their borrowed wit and mimical humour, and they 
will prefently appear, what they indeed are, the leaft 
and loweft of men. 

If they will, or if they can, think a little,. I wife 
they would confider, that by their own principles 
they cannot be fure that religion is only a contri- 
vance ; all they pretend to is only to weaken fome 
arguments that are brought for it j but they have 
not brow enough to fay, they can prove that theit 
own principles are true, fo that at moll they bring 
their caufe no higher, than that it is poflible re- 
ligion may not be true. But ftill it is poflible it 
may be true, and they have no fbame left that will 
deny that it is alfo probable it may be true ; 
and if fo, then what mad men are they who run 
fo great a hazard for nothing ? By their own con- 
feflion, it may be there is a God, a judgment, and 
a life to come, and if fo, then he that believes 
thefe things, and lives according to them, as he 
enjoys a long courfe of health and quiet of mind, 
an innocent relifli of many true pleafures, and the 
ferenities which virtue raifes in him, with the 
good-will and friendftiip which it procures him 
from others j fg when he dies, if thefe things prove 


So The Life afid Death of 

miflakes, he does not out -live his error, nor fhall 
it afterwards raife trouble or difquiet in him, if he 
then ceafes to be ; but if thefe things be true, he 
fhall be infinitely happy in that ftate, where his 
prefent fmall fervrces fhall be fo exceflively re- 
warded. The libertines, on the other fide, as they 
know they muft die, fo the thoughts of death muft 
be always melancholly to them ; they can have 
no pleafant view of that which yet they know can- 
not be very far from them : the leafl painful idea 
they can have of it is, that it is an extimSlion and 
ceafing to be, but they are not fure even of that ; 
fome fecret whifpers within make them, whether 
they will or not, tremble at the apprehenfions of 
another flate ; neither their tinfel wit, nor fuper- 
ficial learning, nor their impotent affaults upon 
the weak fide, as they think, of religion, nor the 
boldeft notions of impiety, will hold them up then. 
Of all which, I now prefent fo lively an inftance, 
as perhaps hiftory can fcarce parallel. 

Here were parts fo exalted by nature, and im- 
proved by fludy, and yet fo corrupted and debafed 
by irreligion and vice, that he who was made to 
be one of the glories of his age, was become a 
proverb, and if his repentance had not intcrpofed, 
would have been one of the greatell reproaches of 
it. He knew well the fmall ftrength of that weak 
caufe, and at firft defpifed, but afterwards ab- 
horred it. He felt the mifchiefs, and faw the mad- 
nefs of it ; and therefore though he lived to the 
fcaudal of many, he died as much to the edification 


JOHN Earl of Rochester.' 8i 

of all thofe who faw him, and becaufe they were 
but a fmall number, he defired that he might even 
when dead, yet fpeak. He was willing nothing 
Ihould be concealed that might caft reproach on 
himfelf and on fin, and offer up glory to God and 
reliffion. So that though he lived a hainous finner, 
yet he died a moft exemplary penitent. 

It would be a vain and ridiculous inference for 
any, from hence to draw arguments about the 
abftrufe fecrets of predeftination, and to conclude, 
that if they are of the number of the ele^Sl, they may 
live as they will, and that Divine Grace will 
at fome time or other violently conftrain them, and 
irrefiftably work upon them. But as St. Paul was 
called to that eminent fervice for which he was 
appointed, in fo ftupendious a manner as is no 
warrant for others to expe£t fuch a vocation ; fo, 
if upon fome fignal occafions fuch converfions fall 
out, which, how far they are fhort of miracles, I 
fliall not determine, it is not only a vain, but a 
pernicious imagination, for any to go on in their 
ill ways upon a fond conceit and expectation that 
the like ivill befal them : for whatfoever God's 
extraordinary dealings with fome may be, we are 
fure his common way of working is, by offering 
thefe things to our rational faculties, which, by 
the affiftances of his grace, if we improve them 
all v/e can, (hall be certainly effc6lual for our 
reformation ; and if we neglect or abufe thefe, we 
put ourfclves beyond the common methods of God's 
mercy, and have no reafon to exped that wonders 

F Ihould 

Si The Life and Death of 

fhould be wrought for our convIiSlion ; whichy 
though they fometimes happen, that they may give 
an efFe£tual alarm for the awaking of others, yet 
it would deftioy the whole defign of religion,., if 
men fhould depend upon, or look for fuch an ex- 
traordinary and forcible operation of God's grace^ 
And 1 hope, that thofe, who have had fome 
fliarp refledlions on their paft life, fo as to be re- 
folved to forfake their ill courfes, will not take 
the leaft encouragement to themfelves in that de- 
fperate and unreafonable rcfolution of putting off 
iheir repentance till they can fm no longer, from 
the hopes I have exprelled of this lord's obtaining 
mercy at the laft, and from thence prefunie, that 
they alfo Ihall be received when they turn to God 
on their death-beds : for what mercy foever God' 
may fhew to fuch as really were never inwardly 
touched before that time j yet there is no reafon to 
think, that thofe who have dealt fo difingenuoufly 
with God and their own fouls, as defignedly to put 
off their turning to him upon fuch confulerations, 
fhould then be accepted with him, They may 
die fuddenly, or by a difcafe that may fo diforder 
their uaderftandings, that fhey fhall not be in any 
capacity of refled^ing on their pati lives. The; 
inward converfion of our minds is not i'o in our 
power, that it can be effected without divine grace 
•jffifting J and there is no reafon for thofe who 
fiave neglefted thcfe afliftances all their lives, to 
expe6l them in fo extraordinary a manner at their 
desth. Nor can one, efpecially in a ficknefs that is 


JOHN Earl of Rochester. 83 

quick and critical, be able to do thofe things that 
are often indifpenfably neceflary to make his re- 
pentance complete ; and even in a longer difeafe, 
in which there are larger opportunities for thefe 
things. Yet there is great reafon to doubt of a 
repentance, begun and kept up merely by terror, 
and not from any ingenuous principle. In which, 
though 1 will not take on me to limit the mercies 
of God, which are boundlefs, yet this muft be 
confefled, that to delay repentance with fuch a 
defign, is to put the greateft concernment we havcj 
upon the moft dangerous and defperate ilTue that is 

But they that will ftill g6 on in their fms, and be 
fo partial to them, as to ufe all endeavours to 
ftrengthen themfelves in their evil courfe, even by 
thefe very things which the providence of God fets 
before them for the calling down of thefe ftrong 
holds of fin : what is to be faid to fuch ? it is to be 
feared, that if they obftinately perfift, they will by 
degrees come within that curfe, He that is unjuji^ let 
him be unjujijiill : mtd he that is filthy, let him be 
filthy Jlill. But if our gofpel is hid, it is hid to them 
that are lojl, in whom the god of this world hath blinded 
the minds of them which believe not, lejl the light of the 
glorious gofpel of Chriji, who is the image of God, Jhould 
Jhine unto them. 




Of the Right Honourable 

JOHN Earl of Rochefter, 

Who died at Woodllock-Park, the 26th of 
July, 1680, and was buried at Spilfbury, 
in Oxfordfhire, the 9th day of Auguft. 

By ROBERT PARSONS, M. A. Chaplain to the 
Right Honourable Anne, Countefs of Rochefter, 


•tx L L the lewd and profane poems and libels 
pf the late lord Rochefter, having been (contrary 
to his dying requeft, and in defiance of religion, 
government, and common decency) publifhed to 
the world ; and (for the eafier and furer propaga- 
tion of vice) printed in penny-books, and cried 
about the ftreets of this honourable city, without 
any offence or diflike taken at them : it is humbly 
hoped that this fhort difcourfe, which gives a true 
account of the death and repentance of that noble 
lord, may likewife (for the fake of his name) 
find a favourable reception among fuch perfons j 
though the influence of it cannot be fuppofed to 
reach as far as the poifon of the other books is 
fpread ; which by the ftrength of their own viru- 
lent corruption, are capable of doing more mifchief 
than all the plays, and fairs, and flews, in and 
about this town can do together. 

LUKE XV. 7. 

I fay unto you., that llkeivife joy Jhall be hi heaven over 
one /inner that repenteth, more than over ninety and 
nine jujl perfons that need 710 repentance. 

IF ever there were n fubje<Sl that might deferve 
and exhaufl all the treafures of religious elo- 
quence in the defcription of fo great a man, 
and fo great a Gnner as now lies before us ; toge- 
ther with the wonders of the Divine Goodnefs, la 
making him as great a penitent ; I think the pre- 
fent occafion affords one as remarkable as any place 
or age can produce. 

Indeed, fo great and full a matter it is, that 
it is too big to come out of my mouth, and perhaps 
not all of it fit or needful fo to do. The greatnefs 
of his parts are well enough known, and of his 
fins too well in the world j and neither my capacity, 
nor experience, nor my profcilxon, will allow me 
txj be fo proper a judge either of the one or the 
other. Only as God has been pleafed to make 
me a long while a fad fpeitator, and a fecret 
mourner for his iins., fo as he at laft gracioufly heard 
the prayers of his neareft relatioi)s and true friends, 
for his converfion and repentance : and it is the 
good tidings of that efpecially which God has done 
for his foul, that I am now to publifli and tell 
abroad to the world, not only by the obligations 
of mine oflicc, in which 1 had the honour to be 

F 4. a 

88 //Sermon f reached at the 

a weak minifter to it, but by his own exprefs and 

dying commands. 

Now although, to dcfcribe this worthily, would 
requiie a wit equal to that with which he lived, 
and a devotion too equal to that with which he 
died, and to match either would be a very hard 
tafk ; yet befides that, 1 am not fufficicnt for thefe 
things, (for who is ?) and that my thoughts have 
been rather privately bufied to fecure a real re- 
pentance to himfelf whilft living, than to publifli 
it abroad to others in an artiiicial drefs after he is 
dead : I fay, befides all this, I think 1 fliall have 
lefs need to call in the aids of fecular eloquence. 
The proper habit of repentance is not fine linen, 
or any delicate array, fuch as are ufed in the court, 
or kings houfes, but fack -cloth and afhes : and the 
way which God Almighty takes to convey it, is 
not by the words of man's wildom, but by the 
plainnefs of his written word, aflifted by the in- 
ward power and demonftration of the Spirit : and 
the effecls it works, and by which it difcovers 
itfelf, are not any raptures of wit and fancy ; but 
the moft humble proftrations both of foul and fpirit, 
and the captivating all human imaginations -to the 
obedience of a defpifcd religion and a crucified 

And it is in this array I intend to bring out this 
penitent to you ; an array which I am fure he more 
valued, and defired to appear in, both to God and 
the world, than in all the triumphs of wit and gal- 
lantry ; and therefore, (waving all thcfe rhetorical 


Earl of Rochester'^ Funeral. 89 

flourifhes, as beneath the folemnlty of the occafion, 
and the majefty of that great and weighty truth I 
am now to deliver) I Ihall content myfelf with the 
office of a plain hiftorian, to relate faithfully and 
impartially what I faw and heard, efpecially during 
his penitential forrows ; which, ifall that hear mc this 
day had been fpe6tators of, there would then been 
no need of a fermon to convince men ; but every 
man would have been as much a preacher to him- 
felfof this truth, as I am, except thefe forrows: 
and yet even thefe forrows fiiould be turned into 
joys too, if we would only do v/hat we pray for, 
that the will of God may be done in earth as it is 
in heaven ; for fo our blefled Lord afTures us ; " I fay 
*' unto you, that likewife joy fiiall be in heaven over 
*' one fmner that repenteth, &c. " From which I 
fhall confider, 

I. The finner particularly that Is before us. 

IT. The repentance of this fmner, together with 
the means, the time, and all probable fincerity of 

III. The joy that is in heaven, and fliould be on 
earth, for the repentance of this firmer. 

IV. I fhall apply myfelf to all that hear me ; that 
they would join in this joy, in praife and thankf- 
giving to God, for the converfion of this finner j 
and if there be any that have been like him in their 
fins, that they would alfo fp^edily imitate him in 
their repentance. 


90 v^Sermon preached at the 

And I. Let us confider the perfon before us, as- 
he certainly was a great finner. But becaufe man 
was upright before he was a finner, and to mea- 
fure the greatnefs of his fall, it will be ncceffary to 
take a view of that heighth from which he fell ; 
give me leave to go back a little, to look into the 
rock from which he was hewn, the quality, family, 
education, and perfonal accomplifhments of this 
great man. In doing of which, I think no man 
will charge me with any defign of cuftomary flat- 
tery, or formality j fmce I intend only thereby to 
fhcw the greatnefs and unhappinefs of his folly, in 
the perverting fo many excellent abilities and ad- 
vantages for virtue and piety in the fervice of fin, 
and fo becoming a more univerfal, infmuating, and 
prevailing example of it. 

As for his family, on both fides, from which he 
was defcended, they were fome of the moft famous 
in their generations. His grandfather was that ex- 
cellent and truly great man, Charles lord Wilmot, 
vifcount Athlone in Ireland. Henry his father, 
who inherited the fame title and greatnefs, was by 
his late majefty, king Charles I. created baron of 
Adderbury, in Oxfordfhire, and by his prefent 
majefly, earl of Rochefter. He was a man of fignal 
loyalty and integrity indeed ; and of fuch courage 
and condu*5l in military affairs, as became a great 
general. His mother was the relicl of fir Francis 
Henry Lee, of Ditchly, in the county of Oxford, 
baronet, grandmoLher to the prefent right honour- 
able carl of Litchfield, and the daughter of that 


Earl of Rochester^ Funeral. 91 

generous and honourable gentleman fir John St. 
Johns, of Lyddiard, in the county of Wilts, ba- 
ronet, whofe family was fo remarkable for^loyalty, 
that feveral of his fons willingly offered themfelves 
in the day of battle, and died for it ; and whilft the 
memory of the Englifh or Irilh rebellion lafts, that 
family cannot want a due veneration in the minds 
of any perfon, that loves either God or the ting. 

As for his education, it was in Wadham CoilegCj 
Oxford, under the care of that wife and excellent 
governor Dr. Blandford, the late bifliop of Wor- 
cefter ; there it was that he laid a good foundation 
of learning and ftudy, though he afterwards built 
upon that foundation hay and ftubble. There he 
firft fucked from the breaft of his mother the 
univerfity, thofe perfections of wit, and eloquence, 
and poetry, which afterwards, by his own corrupt 
ftomach, where turned into poifon to himfeif and 
others ; which certainly can be no more a blemifli 
to thofe illuftrious feminaries of piety and good 
learning, than a difobedient child is to a wife and 
virtuous father, or the fall of man to the excellency 
pf Paradife. 

A wit he had fo rare and fruitful in its invention, 
and withal fo choice and delicate in it* judgment, 
that there is nothing wanting in his compofures 
to give a full anfwer to that queition. What and 
where wit is? except the purity and choice of fubjecl. 
For had fuch excellent feeds but fallen upon good 
ground, and inftead of pitcliing upon a beaft, or 
a lull, been raifcd up on high, to celebrate the 


92 *^Sermon preached at the 

myfteries of the divine love, in pl'alms, and hymns, 
and fpiritual fongs j I perfuade myfelf v^^e might by 
this time have received from his pen, as excellent 
an idea of divine poetry, under the gofpel, ufeful 
to the teaching of virtue, efpecially in this genera- 
tion, as his profane verfes have been to deftroy it. 
And 1 am confident, had God fpared him a longer 
life, this would have been the whole bufmefs of it, 
as I know it was the vow and purpofe of his fick- 

His natural talent was excellent, but he had 
hugely improved it by learning and induftry, being 
thoroughly acquainted with all claflick authors, 
both Greek and Latin ; a thing very rare, if not 
peculiar to him among thofe of his quality, which 
yet he ufed not, as other poets have done, to tran- 
slate or fleal from them ; but rather to better and 
improve them by his own natural fancy. And 
whoever reads his compofures, will find all things 
in them fo peculiarly great, new and excellent, that 
he will eafily pronounce, that though he has lent to 
many others, yet he has borrowed of none ; and 
that he has been as far from a fordid imitation of 
thofe before him, as he will be from being reached 
by thofe that follow him. 

His other perfonal accomplifhments in all theper- 
feftions of a gentleman, for the court or country, 
whereof he was known of all men to be a very 
great mafter, is no part of my bufmefs to defcribe 
or underftand ; and whatever they were in them- 
felves, I am fure they were but miferable comfor- 

Earl of Roche ster'j Funeral. 93 

ters to him, fince they only miniflrered to his fins, 
and made his example the more fatal and dangerous ; 
for fo we may own, (nay, I am obliged by him 
not to hide, but to fhew the rocks which others 
may avoid) that he was once one of the greateft 
of fmners. 

And truly none but one fo great in parts could 
be fo. His fms were like his parts, from which 
they fprang, all of them high and extraordinary. 
He feemed to afFeit fomething Angular and para- 
doxical in his impieties, as well as in his writings, 
above the reach and thought of other men ; taking 
as much pains to draw others in, and to pervert the 
right ways of virtue, as the apoftles and primitive 
faints did to fave their own fouls, and them that 
heard them. For this was the heightening and 
amazing circumftance of his fms, that he was {o 
diligent and induftrious to recommend and propa- 
gate them ; not like thofe of old thathatedthe light, 
but thofe the prophet mentions, Ifaiah iii. 9, " Who 
*' declare their fins as Sodom, and hide it not ; that 
*' take it upon their fiioulders, and bind it to them 
" as a crown ; " framing arguments for fin, mak- 
ing profelytcs to it, and writing panegyricks upon 


Nay, fo confirmed v/as he in fin, that he often- 
times aimoft died a martyr for it. God was 
pleafed fometimes to punifh him with the cffe<Sls of 
his folly, yet till now (he conftfll-d) they had no 
power to melt him into true repentance ; or if at 
any time he had fyme lucid intervals from his folly 


94 -^ Sermon preached at the 

and niadnefs, yet (alas) how fhort and tranfitory 
were they ? All that goodnefs was but as a morn- 
ing cloud, and as the early dew which vanifhes 
away ; he ftill returned to the fame excefs of riot, 
and that with fo much the more greedinefs, the 
longer he had fafted from it. 

And yet even this defpcrate finner, that one 
would think had made a covenant with death, and 
was at an agreement with hell, and juft upon the 
brink of them both ; God, to magnify the riches of 
his grace and mercv, was pleafed to fnatch as a 
brand out of the fire. As St. Paul, though " before 
'* a blafphemer, a perfecutor, an injurious, yetob- 
** tained mercy, that in him Chrifi: Jefus might 
*' fhew forth all long-fuffering, for a pattern to 
** them that Ihould hereafter believe on hinj to 
•* everlafting life." i Tim. i. 13, 16. So God 
ftruck him to the ground as it were by alight fron^ 
heaven, and a voice of thunder round about him : 
infomuch that now the fcales fall from his eyes, as 
they did from St. Paul's ; his ftony heart was 
opened, and flreams of tears gulhed out, the bitter 
but wholefome tears of true repentance. 

And, that this may appear to be fo, I think it 
neceflary to account for thefe two things. 

I. For the means of it ; that it was not barely 
the effe^ of ilcknefs, or the fear of death \ but 
the hand of God alfo workiug in them and by them 

II. For the fincerity of it ; which tjiough none 
but God that fees the heart, can tell certainly, 


Earl of Rochester^ Funeral. 93 

yet man even alfo may and ought to believe it ; 
not only in the judgment of charity, but of mo- 
ral juftice, from all evident figns of it, which 
were poflible to be given by one in his condition. 

And ift. For the means or method of his repen- 
tance. That which prepared the way for it was a 
{harp and painful ficknefs, with which God was 
pleafed to vifit him ; the way which the Almighty 
often takes to reduce the wandering fmner to the 
knowledge of God and himfelf. *•' I will be unto 
^' Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion unto 
** the houfe of Judah j I, even I, will tear and go 
" away, and none fhall relieve him ; I will go and 
*' return to my place, till they acknowledge their 
'* offence, and feek my face ; and in their affiiilion. 
'* they will feek me early. " Hof. v. 14, 15. 

And though to forfake our fins then, when v/e 
can no longer enjoy them, feems to be rather the 
effect of impotency and neceffity, than of choice,, 
and fo not fo acceptable or praife-worthy ; yet we 
find, God Almighty often ufes the one to biiag 
about the otbfcr ; and improves a forced abftinenCe 
from fin, into a fettled loathing and atrue deleftatioii 
of it. 

It is true, there are fuch ftubborn natures, that 
like clay, are rather hardened by the fire of afiiic- 
tions ; ungracious children, that fly in the face of 
their heavenly father in the very inflant wiien 
he is corredling them > or it may b'j like thofe 
children w'ho promife wonders then, but piefeiitly 
after forget all. Such as thefe we have dcfcribed, 


g6 y^ Sermon preached at the' 

Pfal. Ixxviii. 34, 35, 36, 37. " When he flew 
*' them, then they fought him, and they returned 
" and enquired early after God ; then they remem- 
" bered that God was their rock, and that the 
" high God was their Redeemer ; neverthelefs they 
" did but flatter him Vv'ith their mouth, and lyed 
" unto him with their tongues, for their heart was 
" not right with him, neither continued they fted- 
*' fafl: in his covenant. " And it is probable 
this has been the cafe formerly of this perfon. 
But there was an evident dift'erence betwixt the 
efFe£ls of this ficknefs upon him, and many others 
before : he had other fentiments of things now, 
(he told me) and a<Sl:ed upon quite different prin- 
ciples ; he was not vexed v/ith it as it was painful, 
or hindered him from his fms, which he would 
have rolled under his tongue all the while, and 
longed again to be at ; but he fubmitted patiently 
to it, accepting it as the hand of God, and was 
thankful, blefllng and praifing God not only in, 
but for his extremities. There was now no cur- 
fing, no railings or reproaches to his fervants, or 
thofe about him, which in other ficknefles were 
their ufual entertainment, but he treated them 
with all the meeknefs and patience in the world, 
begging pardon frequently of the meannefs of them 
but for a hafly word, which the extremity of his 
ficknefs, and the fharpnefs of his pain, might eafily 
force from him. His prayers were not fo much for 
eafe, or health, or a continuance in life, as for 
grace, and faith, and perfe«S refignation to the will 


Etirl of Rochester'^" Tumral. 97 
of God. So that I think we may not only chari- 
tiibly but juftly conclude, that his ficknefs was not 
th^e chief ingredient, but through the grace of God, 
an cfFeJfual means of a true, though late repentance, 
as will befl be judged by the marks I am new to 
give you of the fincerity of it 5 for which I am in 
the next place to account. 

II. And it was the power of Divine Grace, and 
o{ that only, that broke through all thofe obfta- 
cles that ufually attend a man in his circiimflances'; 
that God (who is a God of infinite compaflion and 
forbearance) allowed him kifure and opportunity 
for repentance ; that he awakened him from his 
Spiritual |lumber by a pungent ficknefs ; that he 
gave him fuch a prefence of mind, as both to pro- 
vide prudently for his worldly affairs, and yet not to 
be diftradled or diverted by them from the thoughts 
cf a better world ; that lengthened out his day of 
•grace, and accompanied the ordinary means of fal- 
vation, and weak miniftry of his v/ord, with the 
convincing and over-ruling power of his Spirit to 
his confcience ; which word of God came to him 
quick and powerful, fliarper than a two edged 
fword, piercing even to the dividing afunder of 
his foul and fpirit j and at laft, the Spirit of God 
■witneiTed to his fpirit, that now he was become 
one of the children of God. 

Now, if the thief upon the crofs (an inftancv^ 
too much abufed) was therefore accepted, becaufe 
accompanied with all the effects of a fmccre con- 
vert, which his condition was capable of; as 

G confeffion 

98 A Sermon preached at the ' 

confeffion of Chrift's in the midft of the blaf- 
phemies of phaiifees, and his own lewd com- 
panion, and defertion of e\'en Chrift's difciplcs ; 
if his repentance be therefore judged real, becaufe 
he feems to be more concerned in the remembrance 
of Chrift's future kingdom than his own death ; 
if St. Paul was approved by the fame more abun- 
dant labours, which he commended in the Co- 
rinthians, *' yea, what zeal? what fear? what 
"vehement defire ? " 2 Cor. vii. ii. I think I 
ihall make it appear, that the repentace of this per- 
fon was accompanied with the like hopeful fymp- 
' toms : and I am fo fenfible of that awful prefence 
both of God and man before whom I fpeak, who 
are eafily able to difcover my failings, that 1 fhall 
not deliver any thing, but what I know to be a 
ftridl and religious truth. 

Upon my firft vifit to him, (May 26, juft at 
his return from his journey out of the Weft) he 
moft gladly received me, fliewed me extraordinary 
refpeds upon the fcore of mine office, thanked 
God, who had in mercy and good providence fent 
me to him, -who fo much needed my prayers and 
counfels ; and acknowledging how unworthily 
heretofore he had treated that order of men, re- 
proaching them that they were proud, and prophe- 
cied only for rewards ; but now he had learned 
how to value them -, that he efteemed them the 
fervants of the moft High God, who were to fliew 
to him the way to everlafting life. 


Earl cf RocH ESTER V Funeral. 99 
At the fame time I found him labouring under 
•ilranse trouble and confliifls of mind ; his fpirit 
wounded, and his confcience full of terrors. Upon 
his journe)'-, he told me, he had been arguing with 
greater vigour againft God and religion than ever 
he had done in his life time before, and that he 
was refolved to run them down with all the argu- 
*ments and fpite in the world ; but, like the groat 
convert St. Paul, he found it hard to kick againft: 
the pricks. For God, at that time, had fo ftruck 
his heart by his immediate hand, that pre- 
fently he argued as ftrongly for God and virtue, as 
before he had done againft it. That God ftrangely 
opened his heart, creating in his mind moft av/- 
ful and tremendo.us thoughts and ideas of the 
Divine Majefty, with a delightful contemplation 
of the Divine nature and attributes, and of the 
lovelinefs of religion and virtue. I never (faid he) 
was advanced thus far towards happinefs in my life 
before, though upon the commiilion of fome fins 
extraordinary, I have had fome checks and warn- 
ings confiderable from within, but ftill llrugoled 
with them, and fo wore them oft' again. 7'he mofl: 
obfcrA'ablc that I remember, was this : one day 
•at an atheiftical meeting, at a petfon of quality's, 
1 undertook to manage the caufe, and was the 
principal difputant againft G. d and piety, and 
for my performances received the applaufe of the 
whole company ; upon which my mind was ter- 
ribly ftruck, and I immediately replied thus to my- 
iclf. Good God ! that a man that walks upright, 

G 2. that 

100 A Sermon 'preached at the 

that fees the wonderful works of God, and has the 
ufe of his fenfes and reafon, fhould ufe them to the 
defying of his Creator ! But though this was a 
good beginning towards my converfion, to find niy 
confcience touched for my fms, yet it went off 
again; nay, all my life long, I had ^ fccret value 
and reverence for an honcft man, and loved mo- 
rality in others. But I had formed an odd fcheme 
of religion to myfelf, which would folve all that 
God or confcience might force upon me ; yet I was 
not ever well reconciled to the bufinefs of chrifti- 
anity, nor had that reverence for the gofpel of Chrift 
as I ought to have. Wlii.h cftate of mind con- 
tinued till the fifty-third chapter of Ifaiah was read 
to him, (wherein there is a lively defcription of the 
fufFerings of our Saviour, and the benefits thereof) 
and fome other portions of fcripture ; by the 
power and efficacy of which word, affifled by bis 
Holy Spirit, God fo wrought upon his heart, that 
he declared, that the myfterics of the paflion ap- 
peared as clear and plain to him, as ever any thing 
did that was reprefented in a glafs ; fo that that 
joy and admiration, which poflcfled his foul upon 
the reading of God's word to him, was remarkable 
to all about him; and he had fo much delight in 
his teftimonics, that in my abfence, he begged his 
mother and lady to read the fame to him frequently, 
and was unfatisfied (notwithftanding his great pains 
and v/eaknefs) till he had learned the fifty-thir^ 

chapter of Ifaiah without book. 

^ At 

£^rl of Roche ster'j Funeral. loi 

At the fame time, difcouifing of his manner of 
life from his youth up, and which all men knew 
was too much devoted to the fervice of fin, and 
that the lufts of the flefh, of the eye, and the pride 
of life, had captivated him : he was very large and 
particular in his acknowledgments about it, more 
ready to accufe himfelf than I or any one elfe can 
be ; publickly crying out, O blelled God, can fuch 
an horrid creature as I am be accepted by thee, 
who has denied thy being, and contemned thy 
power ? Afking often, can there be mercy and par- 
don for me ? will God own fuch a wretch as I ? 
and in the middle of his ficknefs faid, ftiall the 
unfpeakable joys of heaven be conferred on me ? 
O mighty Saviour ! never, but through thine in- 
finite love and fatisfailion ! O never, but by the 
purchafe of thy blood ! adding, that with all ab- 
horrency he did refleft upon his former life ; that 
fincerely and from his heart he did repent of all 
that folly and madnefs which he had committed. 

Indeed, he had a true and lively fenfe of God's 
great mercy to him, in ftriking his hard heart, 
and laying his confcience open, which hitherto 
was deaf to all God's calls and methods ; faying, 
if that God, who died for great as well as lefler fin- 
ners did not fpeedily apply his infinite merits to his 
poor foul, his wound was fuch as no man could 
conceive or bear, crying out, that he was the vileft 
wretch and dog that the fun (hined upon, or the 
earth bore j that he now fawhis error, in not living 
up to tlvat reafon which God endued him with, and 

G 3 'which 

ro2 A Sermon preached at the 

which he unworthily villified and contemned ; wifhed' 
he had been a fl-arving leper crawling in a ditch^ 
that he had been a link-boy or a beggar, pr for his 
whole life confined to a dungeon, rather than thus 
to have finned againft God. 

How remarkable was his faith, in a hearty 
embracing and devout confeflion of all the arti- 
tides of our chriftian religion, and all the divine 
niyfteries of the gofpel ? faying, that that abfurd 
and foolilh philofophy, v^rhich the world fo much 
admired, propagated by the late Mr. Hobbs, and 
others, had undone him, and many more of the 
beft parts in the nation ? who, without God's great 
mercy to them, may never, I believe, attain to fuch 
a repentance. 

I mull not omit to mention his faithful adhe- 
rence to, and cafting himfelf entirely upon the 
mercies of Jefus Chrill, and the free grace of 
God, declared to repenting finners through him ; 
with a tliankful remembrance of his liie, deaths 
and refurrecStion ; begging God to ftrengthen his 
faith, and often crying out,. Lord, I believe, help 
thou mine unbelief. 

His mighty love and efteem of the holy fcrip- 
tures, his rcfolutions to read them frequently, and 
meditate upon them, if God fliould fpare him, 
having already tailed the good word ; for having 
fpoken to his heart, he acknowledged all the feem- 
jng abfurdities and contradictions thereof, fancied 
by men of corrupt and reprobate judgments, were 


Earl of Roche ST er'j Funeral. 103 

Vaniflied, and the excellency and beauty appeared, 
being come to receive the truth in the love of it. 

His extraordinary fervent devotions, in his fre- 
quent prayers of his ov^^n, moft excellent and cor- 
rect ; amongft the reft, for the king, in fuch a 
manner as became a dutiful fubje(5t, and a truly 
grateful fervant j for the church and nation, for 
ibme particular relations, and then for all men ; 
his calling frequently upon me at all hours to pray 
with him, or read the fcriptures to him ; and to- 
ward the end of his ficknefs, would heartily defire 
God to pardon his infirmities, if he fhould not be 
fo wakeful and intent through the whole duty as 
he wifhed to be, and that though the flefh was 
weak, yet the fpirit was willing, and hoped God 
would accept that. 

His continual invocation of God's Grace and 
Holy Spirit to fuftain him, to keep him from all 
evil thoughts, from all temptations and diabolical 
fuggeftions, and every thing which might be pre- 
judicial to that religious temper of mind, which 
God had now fo happily endued him withal ; cry- 
ing out, one night efpecially, how terrible the 
tempter did affault him, by calling upon him lewd 
and wicked imaginations ; but I thank God (fuid 
he) I abhor them all, by the power of his grace, 
which I am fure is fufficient for me j I have over- 
come them ; it is the malice of the devil, becaufe 
1 am refcued from him ; and the goodnefs of God, 
that frees mc from all my fpiritual enemies. 

G 4 His 

104 -^Sermon preached at the 

His great joy at his lady's converfion from Popery 
to the church of England, (being, as he termed it, 
a faclion fupported only by fraud and cruelty) 
which was by her done with deliberation and mature 
judgment ; the dark mifts of which, have for fome 
months before been breaking away, but now cleared, 
by her receiving the blefl'ed facrament with her 
dying hufband, at the receiving of which, no man 
could exprefs more joy and devotion that he did j 
and having handled the word of life, and k&n the 
falvation of God, in the preparation of his mind, 
he was now ready to dep;u-t in peace. 

His heartv concern for the pious education of his 
children, wifliing that his fon might never be a 
wit, tnat is (as he himfelf explained it) one of 
thofe wretched creatures, who pride themfelves in 
abufmg God and religion, denying his being, or 
his providence ; but that he might become an 
honeft and religious man, which could only be the 
fupport and bleffing of his family, complaining 
what a vicious and naughty world they were brought 
intO;, and that no fortunes or honours were compa- 
rable to the love and favour of God to them, in 
whofe name he bleiTed them, prayed for them, 
and committed them to his protedrion. 

His fl:ri(5l charge to thofe perfons, In whofe 
cuflody his papers were, to burn all his profane 
and lewd writings, as being only fit to promote 
vice and immorality, by which he had io nighly 
offended God, and fhamed and blalphemcd that 
holy religion into which he had been baptized; and 


Earl of Rochester V Funeral. 105 

all his obfcene and filthy piilures, which were (o 
notorioufly fcandalous. 

His rcadinefs to make reftitution to the utmoft 
of his power to all perfons whom he had injured ; 
and for thofe whom he could not make a compen- 
fation to, he prayed for God's and their pardons. 
His remarkable juftice in taking all poflible care 
for the payment of his debts, which before, he ccui- 
fefled, he had not fo fairly and efFedtually done. 

His readinefs to forgive all injuries done againd 
him, fome more particularly mentioned, which 
were great and provoking ; nay, annexing thereto 
all the affurance of a future friend/hip, and hoping 
he fhould be as freely forgiven at the hand of God. 

How tender and concerned was he for his fcr- 
vants about him in his extremities, (manifefted by 
the beneficence of his will to them) pitying their 
troubles in watching with him, and attending him, 
treating him with candor and kindnefs, as if they 
had been his intimates ! 

How hearty were his endeavours to be fervice- 
able to thofe about him, exhorting them to the 
fear and love of God, and to make a good ufc of 
his forbearance and lonfr-fufFering; to finneis, which. 
Ihould lead them to repentance. And here I muft 
not pafs by his pious and moffc paflionate exclama- 
tion to a gentleman of fome charailer, who came 
to vifit him upon his death-bed j " O remember 
" that you contemn God no more, he is an aveng- 
** ing God, and will vifit you foi your fins j he v/ill in 
** mercy, I hope, touch yaur confcience fobner or 



io6 A Sermon preached at tht 

" later, as he has done mine. You and I have been 
" friends and finners together a great while, there- 
" fore I am the more free with you. We have 
*' been all miftaken in our conceits and opinions,, 
*' our perfuafions have been falfe and groundlcfs ; 
" therefore God grant you repentance. " And 
feeing him the next day again, he faid to him, 
" perhaps you were difobliged by my plainnefs to 
*' you yefterday ; I fpake the words of truth and 
*' fobcrnefs to you, (and ftriking his hand upon 
*'his bread:) faid, I hope God will touch your 
«' heart." 

Likewife his commands to me, to preach abroad, 
and to let all men know (if they knew it not already) 
h(jw feverely God had difcipHned him for his fms 
by his afHidting hand ; that his fufferings were moft 
juft, though he had laid ten thoufand times more 
upon him ; how he had laid one ftripe upon ano- 
ther becaufe of his grievous provocations, till he 
had brought him home to himfelf ; that in his for- 
mer vifitations he had not that blefied effe£l he was 
now fenfible of. He had formerly fome loofe 
thoughts and flight refolutions of reforming, and 
defigned to be better, becaufe even the preient con- 
fequences of fin were Hill pcftering him, and were 
fo troublefome and inconvenient to him j but that 
now he had other fentiments of things, and a£led 
upon otlipr principles. 

His willingnefs to die, if it pleafed God, refign- 
ing himfelf always to the divine difpofal ; but if 
God fliguld fpare him yet a longer time here, he 


Earl of Rochester's Funeral. 107 

hoped to bring glory to the name o£ God in the 
whole courfe of his life, and particularly by his en- 
deavours to convince others, and to afl'ure them of 
the danger of their condition, if they continued im- 
penitent, and how gracioufly God had dealt w'ith 

His great fenfe of his obligations to thofe excel- 
lent men, the right reverend my lord bifliop of 
Oxford, and Dr. Marftiall, for their charitable 
and frequent vifits to him, and prayers with him ; 
and Dr. Burnett, who came on purpofe from Lon- 
don to fee him, who were all very ferviceable to 
bis repentance. 

His extraordinary duty and reverence to hi5 
mother, with all the grateful refpeifs to her imagi- 
nable, and kindnefs to his good lady, beyond ex- 
preffion, (which may well enhance fuch a lofs %o 
them) and to his children, obliging them with, all 
the endearments that a good hufband or a tender 
father could beftow. 

Xo conclude thefe remarks, I fhall only read to 
you his dying remonftrance, fufficiently attefted and 
fiffned by his own hand, as his trueft itn^Q^ (which 
I hope may be ufeful for that good end he ileligned 
it) in manner and form following. 

*' Tj^ ^ ^ ^^^ benefit of all thofe whom I may^ 
*^ X/ ^^^^'^ drawn into fin by my example and 
*' encouragement, I leave to the world this my 
" laft declarAtion, which I deliver in the prcfence 

t' of 

io3 ^Sermon preached at the 

*' of the great God, who knows the fecrets of all 
** hearts, and before whom I am now appearing 
*' to be judged. 

*' That from the bottom of my foul I deteft 
" and abhor the whole courfe of my former wick- 
" ed life ; that I think I can never fufHciently 
" admire the goodnefs of God, who has given me 
*' a true fenfe of my pernicious opinions and vile 
" praftices, by which, I have hitherto lived with- 
*' out hope, and without God in the world ; have 
*' been an open enemy to Jefus Chrift, doing the 
'' utmoPt defpite to the Holy Spirit of Grace. And 
" that the greateft teflimony of my charity to fuch, 
*' is to warn them in the name of God, and as they 
" reo-ard the welfare of their immortal fouls, no 
*' more to deny his being, or his providence, or 
" defpife his goodnefs ; no more to make a mock 
" of fin, or contemn the pure and excellent re- 
" ligion of my ever biefled redeemer, through 
" whofe merits alone, I, one of the greateft fm- 
*' ners, do yet hope for mercy and forgivenefs. 
** Amen." 

Declared and signed In the prefence of 


June 19, 1680. 



Earl of Rochester'j Funeral, 109 

And now I cannot but mention with joy and 
admiration that fleady temper of mind which he 
enjoyed through the whole courfe of his ficknefs 
and repentance ; which muft proceed, not from a 
hurry and perturbation of mind or body, arifing 
from the fear of death, or dread of hell only, but 
from an ingenuous love to God, and an uniform 
regard to virtue, (fuitable to that folemn declara- 
tion of his, I would not commit the leaft fni to 
gain a kingdom) with all poffible fymptoms of a 
lafting perfcverance in it, if God flioulJ have re- 
ftored him. To which may be added, his comfort- 
able perfuafions of God's accepting him to his 
mercy, faying, three or four days before his death, 
I ftiall die, but oh, what unfpeakable glories do i 
fee ! what joys, beyond thought or expreflion, am 
I fenfible of! 1 am afiured of God's mercy to 
me through Jcfus Chrift. Oh how I long to die, 
and be with my Saviour ! 

The time of his ficknefs and repentance was 
juft nine weeks ; in all which time he was fo much 
mafter of hi? rcafon, and had fo clear an under- 
ftanding, ( faying thirty hours, about the middle 
of it, in which he was delirious) that he had 
never dictated or fpokc more compofed in his life : 
and therefore, if any fliall continue to fay, his 
piety was the eftcd: of madnefs or vapours j let 
me tell them, 'tis highly difmgenuous, and that 
the aflertion is as filly as it is wicked. And more- 
over that the force of what I have delivered may 
be not evaded by wicked men, who arc refolved to 


no A Sermon preached at the 

fearden their hearts, maugre all convi6lior.s, by 
faying, this was done in a corner; I appeal, for 
the truth thereof, to all forts of perfons who in 
confiderable numbers vifited and attended him, and 
more particularly to thofe eminent phyficians who 
■»vere near him, and converfant with him in the 
whole courfe of his tedious ficknefs ; and wlio, 
if any, are competent judges of a phrenfy or 

There are many more excellent things in my 
abfcnce which have occafionally dropt from his 
mouth, that will not come within the narrow com- 
pafs of a fermon ; thefe, I hope, will fufHciently 
prove what I produce them for. And if any fliall 
be fliil unfatisfied here in this hard-hearted gene- 
ration, it matteis not, let them at their coft be 
imbclievers flill, fo long as this excellent penitent 
cnjoyes the comfort of his repentance. And now 
from all thefe admirable figns we have great rea- 
fon to believe comfortably, that his repentance 
was real, and his end happy ; and accordingly imi- 
tate the neighbours and coufens of Elizabeth, 
(Luke i. 58.) who, when they heard how the 
Lord had fliewed great mercy upon her, came and 
rejoiced with her. 

Thus his dear mother fhould rejoice, that the 
fon of her love and of her fears, as well as of her 
bowels, is now born again into a better world j 
adopted by his Heavenly Father, and gone before 
her to take poffeflion of an eternal inheritance. 


Earl of Rochester^ Funeral, iii 

IL His truly loving confort fhould rejoice, that 
God has been fo gracious to them both, as at the 
fame time to give him a fight of his errors in point 
of pra6lice, and herfelf (not altogether without 
his means and endeavours) a fight of hers in point 
of faith. And truly, confidering the great preju- 
dices and dangers of the Roman religion, I think 
I may aver that there is joy in heaven, and fhould 
be on earth, for her converfion as well as his. 

III. His noble and moft hopeful iflue fliould re- 
joice, as their years are capable ; not that a dear 
and loving father has left them, but that fmce he 
muft leave them, he has left them the example of a 
penitent, and not of a fuiner ; the bleffing of a faint, 
in recommending them to an all-fufficient Father, 
and not entailing on them the fatal curfe that 
attends the pofterity of the wicked and impeni- 

IV. All good men fliould rejoice, to fee the 
triumphs of the crofs in thefe latter days, and the 
words of divine wifdom and power. And bad men 
certainly, whenever they confider it, aie moft of 
all concerned to joy and rejoyce in it, as a con- 
demned malefactor is, to hear that a fellow crimi- 
nal ha-s got his pardon, and that he may do fo too, 
if he fpeedily fue for it. 

And this joy of all will ftill be the greater, if 
we compare it with the joy there is in heaven, in 
the cafe of juft perfons, that need no repentance, 
viz. that need not fuch a folemn extraordinary 
repentance, or the whole change of heart and mind, 

ri2 y^ Sermon preached at the 
as great finners do : and of this my text pronoun- 
ces, that there is, " greater joy in heaven over 
" one fuch fmner that truly rcpenteth, than there 
*' is over ninety and nine juft pcrfons that need 
" not fuch repentance." One reafon of which we 
may conceive to be this j that fuch a penitent's 
former failings, are ordinarily the occafion of a 
p-reater and more active piety afterwards ; as our 
convert earneftly vviflied, that God would be plea- 
fed to fpare him but one year more, that in that he 
mio-ht honour his name proportionably to the dif- 
honour done to God in Kis whole life paft. And 
we fee St. Paul laboured more abundantly than all 
tlic apoflles in the planting of the church, becaufe 
he had raged furioufly before in the deftruclion of 
it ; and our Saviour himfelf tells us, that " to 
'* whom much Is forgiven, they will \o\c much^ 
" but to whom little is forgiven, they will love 
" little. 

'Tis certainly the more fafe, indeed ihe only fafe 
wav to be conftantly virtuous, and he that is wife 
indeed, i.e. wife unto falvation, will endeavour to 
be one of thofe that need no repentance ; I mean 
that intiie and whole work of beginning anew, 
but will draw out the fame thread through his 
whole life, and let not the fun go down upon any 
of his fins : but then the other repentance is more 
remarkable, and, where it is real, the more effec- 
tual, to produce a fervent and a fruitful piety ; 
bcficcs, the greater glory to God in the influence 
of the example. Which may probably be a farther 

' reafon 

* Earl of RocuiSTER^s Funeral. 113 

reafon of the exceffive joy of the angels at the con- 
verfion of fuch a finner j becaufe they, who are 
better acquainted with human nature than we, 
knowing it apt, like the Pharifees, to demand a 
fign from heaven, for the reformation of corrupted 
cuftoms, difcern likewife, that fuch defperate fpiri- 
tual recoveries, will feem fo many openings of the 
heavens in the defcent of the Holy Dove, vifible to 
the ftanders by; and accordingly will have the 
greater influence upon them. And 'tis this, in the 
laft place, that I am to recommend to all that heau 
me this day. 

And having thus difcharged the office of an hif- 
torian, in a faithful reprefentation of the repen- 
tance and converfion of this great fmner ; give me 
leave now to befpeak you as an ambaflador of Chrift, 
and in his name, earneftly perfuade you to be re- 
conciled to him, and to follow this illuftrious perfon, 
not in his fins any more^ but in his forrows for 
them, and his forfaking them. If there be any ia 
this place, or elfewhere, who have been drawn 
into a complacency or pra6lice of any kind of fin 
from his example, let thofe efpecially be perfuaded 
to break off their fins by repentance, by the fame 
example ; that as he has been for the fall, fo he 
may now be for the rifing again of many in Ifrael. 
God knows there are too many that are wife 
enough to difcern and follow the examples of evil, 
but to do good from thofe examples they have no 
power J like thofe abfurd flatterers we read of, who 
could imitate Plato in his crookednefsj Ariftotle in 

H his 

114 ^ Sermon preached at the 

his ftammering, and Alexander the great in t^ 
bending of his neck, and the fhrillnefs of his voice, 
<but either could not, or would not, imitate them 
in any of their perfe6tions. Such as thefe I would 
befeech, in their cooler feafons, to afk themfelves 
that queftion, " what fruit had you in thofe things 
** whereof you are now afhamed, for the end of thefe 
♦* things is death ?" And if any encourage them- 
felves in their wickednefs from this example, re*- 
folving however to enjoy the good things that are 
prefent, to fill themfelves with coftly wines, and 
U) let no part of pleafure pafs by them untafled, 
fuppofing with the gofpel rich man, that when 
one comes to them from the dead, when ficknefs 
or old age approaches, that then they will repent ; 
let fuch as thefe confider the dreadful hazard they run 
by fuch pernicious counfels. It may be {?t\\A it is 
but jufl with God it fhould be) that whilft they 
are making provifions for the flefli to fulfil the lufts 
thereof, and are faying to their fouls, foul thou 
baft much goods laid up for many years, therefore 
take thine eafe, eat, drink and be merry ; perhaps 
juft then at the fame time the hand of God may 
be writing upon the walls of their habitations, 
that fatal fentence, " thou fool, this night (hall 
«' thy foul be required of thee, and then whofc 
" fhall all thofe things be, which thou haft pro- 
** mifed ?" And what fad refledlions muft fuch a 
one need make upon his own folly, when he fees 
all that mirth and eafe, which he has promifed 
himfelf for fo many years, muft be at an end in 

a very 

Earl of Roche ster'j Funeral, 115 

t very few hours ? And not only fo, but that math 
turned into howlings, and that eafe into a bed of 
flames i when the foul muft be torn away on a 
fudden from the things it loved, and go where it 
will hate to live, and yet cannot die. And were 
it not better for us to embrace cordially the things 
which belong to our everlafting peace, before they 
are hid from our eyes ? Were it not better for us 
all to be wife betimes by preventing fuch a danger, 
than to open our eyes, as the unhappy rich man 
did, when we are in a place of torment ? 

Be perfuaded then with humble, penitent, and 
obedient hearts to meet the blefled Jefus, who is 
now on the way, and comes to us in the perfon and 
in the bowels of a Saviour, wooing us to accept thofe 
eafy conditions of pardon and peace offered in his 
holy gofpel, rather than to ftay till he become our 
adverfary and our judge too, when he will deliver 
us over to the tormentors, till we have paid the ut- 
moft farthing, i. e. to all eternity : when thofe 
wiio have made a mock at fin all their lives, and 
laughed at the pretended cheats of religion and its 
priefts, fhall find themfclves at laft the greateft 
fools, and the moft fadly cheated in the world : 
for God will then laugh at their calamity, and 
mock when their fear cometh, when it cometh as 
defolation, and their dcffruflion as a whirlwindo 
And fince they would not fuffcr his mercy to re- 
joyce over his juftice, nor caufe any joy in heaven, 
as the text mentions, in their converfion ; his juf- 
tice will certainly rejoyce over his mercy, and caufe 

H 2 joy 

ii6 A Sermon preached at the' 

joy in heaven (as it did at the fall of Babj^Ion) 
which would not be cured, Rev. xix. i. in their 
confufion. And oh that there was fuch an heart in 
them, that they would ccnfider this betimes ! that 
in the midfl of their carnal jollities they would but 
vouchfafe one regard what may happen hereafter, 
and what will certainly be the end of thefe things. 
For however the fruits of fm may feem pleafant to 
the eye, and to be delired to make one feem wife 
and witty to the world, yet alas, they are but 
empty and unfatisfa6lory at prefent, and leave a 
mortal fling behind them, and bitternefs in the 
latter end; like the book St. John eat, (Rev.x. lo.) 
*' vi'hich in his mouth was fv/eet as hoiiey, but as 
** foon as he had eat it, his belly v/as bitter." 
And that God fliould pleafe at laft to bring men 
back in their old age from their fmful courfes, by 
a way of weeping, to pluck them as fire-brands 
out of everlafi:ing burnings ; yet^ if men confider 
how rare and difficult a thing it is to be born again 
when one is old, how many pangs and violences to 
nature there muft needs be, to put off the habits 
and inclinations to old fins, as difficult (faith the 
prophet) as for the leopard to change his fpots, or 
the Ethiopian his fkin : and then when that is done, 
what fears and weaknefTes even a cure mufl leave 
behind. 1 fay, he that duly confiders this, will 
think it better to fecure his falvation, and all 
his prefent true comforts, by preferving his inno- 
cency, or alleviating his work by a daily repen- 
tance for lellbr failings, than to venture upon one 


Earl of Rochester's Funeral. 1 1 7 

iingle chance of a death-bed repentance ; which is 
no more to be depended upon, for the performance, 
or acceptance, than it can encourage any man not 
to labour, becaufe Elias was fed by ravens, or the 
Ifraelites with manna from heaven. 

If then there be any (though alas that need not 
be afked) that have made the greatnefs of their 
wit, or birth, or fortune, inftruments of iniquity to 
iniquity ; let them now convert them to that origi- 
nal noble ufe for which God intended them, viz. 
to be inftruments of righteoufnefd unto holiuefs. 

To thefe cfpecially that are thus great, not only 
God, but this great perfon alfo, by my mouth, 
being dead yet fpeaketh ; for as St. Paul feemed 
more efpecially concerned for his brethren and 
kinfmen according to the flefh, and even the rich 
man in hell, though fufficiently diftrailed by his 
own fufFerings, yet feems hugely defirous that one 
might be fent from the dead to his brethren, that 
he might teftify unto them, leaft they alfo come 
into that place of torment: fo this iiluftrious con- 
vert, after God had opened his eyes to fee his 
follies, was more efpecially defirous of the falvatlon 
of thofe that were his brethren, though not in the 
flefh, yet in the greatnefs of their quality, and 
of their fms ; paffionately wifhing, that all fuch 
were not only almoft, but altogether fuch as he 
jiow was, fiving his bodily afflidions ; and of 
great force, mcthinks, fliould the admonitions of 4 
d^'ing friend be. 

Ii8 A Sermon f reached at the 

Now thefe efpecially I would befeech, as the 
minifter of Chrift, and fuch as, though v/e are 
reviled we blefs, though we are defamed we intreat, 
to fufrer the word of exhortation, that they would 
not terminate their eyes upon the outward pomp 
and pageantry that attends them, as the vulgar 
Jews did upon their rites and ceremonies ; but (as 
the wifer Ifraelites, who efteemed thofe glittering 
formalities as the types and images of heavenly 
things) be quickened by them to the ambition of 
original honours, and future glory. How much 
were it to be wiflied, that fuch perfons efpecially 
would be followers of God and goodnefs, fmce 
•whether they will or no, other men will be fol- 
lowers of them. 

It is true, the temptations of great perfons are 
more, and greater than thofe of inferiors j but 
then their abilities and underftandings are ordi- 
narily greater too ; and if they lye more open to the 
aflaults of the devil, they have generally greater 
fagacity to forefee the danger, and more powerful 
afiiftance to go through it. Nor is piety inconfif- 
tent with greatnefs, any more than it is with policy, 
but is the beft foundation and fecurity both to the 
one and the other. The breeding of Mofes at 
court, without doubt contributed much even to his 
religious performances, at leaft fo far, as to make 
them more ufeful and exemplary to others : but 
then he was fmcerely virtuous all the while, as well 
whilft reputed the fon of Pharaoh's daughter, as 

"ivhen Jethro's foxi-in-law. 


Earl of Ro c H E s T E R V Funeral. 119 

We find chriftlans in Caefar's houfhold as foon 
as any where elfe in Rome ; and when chriftianity 
had once gained Conftantine, it fpread itfelf far- 
ther over the empire in a few years, than before 
it had done in fome centuries. Since then fo much 
good or^ifchief depends upon illuftrious examples, 
"will it not better become men to draw the multi- 
tude after them to heaven by their piety, than by 
infectious guilts be at the head of a miferable 
company of the damned. 

'Tis this piety, a timely and exemplary piety, 
that will perpetuate to men of birth and fortunes, 
their honours, and their eftates too, as well by 
deriving on them the blelling of God, who is the 
true fountain of honour, as by creating an awe 
and reverence for them from all orders x)f men, 
even to many generations ; a reverence which will 
be freih and lafting, when all the trophies of wit and 
gaiety are laid in the duft. 'Tis this piety that will be 
the guide of their youth, and the comfort of their 
age ; for length of days are in her right hand, and 
in her left hand riches and honour. 'Tis this, 
and this only, that can make all outward blef- 
fings comfortable, and indeed bleffings to us, by 
making them the fteps and means of attaining the 
never fading honours and incomprchenfible glories 
of that kingdom which is above ; where there 
fhall be no more fin, nor ficknefs, nor pain, nor 
teais, nor death, but we fhall reft from all our 
labours, an-i our works fliall follow us. 


120 A Sermon, &cJ 

Unto which God of his infinite mercy bring us, 
for the merits and mediation of Jefus Chrift 
our Saviour ; to whom with the Father and 
Holy Spirit, let us afcribe all praife and ado- 
ration, now and for ever. Amen. 








Late Lord Bifliop of Sarum. 

A N 






*' A L L fiefh is grafs, and all the goodlinefs 
*' /-^ therefore, is as the flower of the field." 
JL -BL Someofthefe flowers have more life and 
luftre than others ; they are more beautiful, as well 
as more lading : yet in the courfe of things, the 
grafs withereth, and the flower fadeth ; and that 
fometimes fo quick, and by fuch an unlooked for 
turn, that in the morning it groweth up and 
ilouriflietlk, and in the evening it is cut down and 

A 2 withered. 

4 An "Ess AY on the Memory of 

withered. One ftroke of a fcythe cuts them 
down by handfuls ; and then the beft decked fpot 
of ground, docs quickly change Its face, and lofe 
all its beauty. We who but the other day faw a 
great queen, (I fay the other day, for fuch an idea 
muft live fo long and fo frefh in our minds, that for 
a great many years we will ftill fay the other day) 
we who faw her, like the mafter-piece of nature, 
wrought up by all the polifhings of art and im- 
provement, look with fo frefh a bloom, and fuch 
promifing appearances, who carried that air of life 
and joy about her, that animated all who fav/ her, 
and who reckoned their own lives both the fafer 
and happier, becaufe hers was fo firm, mufl now 
lament that all this is taken from us with one 
fudden and amazing ftroke. The beft part of us, 
our hearts and hopes, are ftruck down with her; 
who was the beft, God knows, the much beft part 
of us all. We look up to heaven with deep, 
though filent regret, as if v/e envied her blefted- 
nefs : we look down to the earth, like men that 
are finking thither : we look to the grave, where 
what was mortal is lodged till it becomes immortal, 
with a fort of indignation, that it fliould . receive 
and confume thofe facred remains for which we 
feel a fort of fuperftition, which though our rea- 
fon may check, yet it cannot quite filence or 


l^atuie, even on very extraordinary occafions, 

is apt to give itfelf fome vent, and to procure to 
iifell fomc mitigation of its pain. Ar-d when it is 


the late ^een MARY. 5 

too full for well chofen expreflions, or regular dif- 
courfes, the broken and inarticulate language of 
flghs and tears, gives fome relief: a calm fuccecds 
thofe ftorms ; they give at leaft a breathing, and 
fofter intervals. Here we feel fuch an oppreffion, 
and diftra<5lion of thought, that they choak us 
inwardly, and break out only in amazement, and 
in a wildnefs of look and behaviour. We feel (o 
great a lofs at prefent, that we need not heighten 
it by the gloomy profped of the fatal confequen- 
ces that may follow it : and yet we cannot help 
feeing that, which is but too vifible. We dare 
not pretend to enter into the fecret of God's coun- 
cils, which are wrapt up from the eyes of mortals : 
yet they have fuch charadlers upon them, that from 
thence we are induced to make fome conjedurej 
about them ; though after all, thefe are but con- 
jectures, and are often ill grounded. But whether 
we look up to God, or to the outward face of 
things, and to thofe appearances that are but too 
obvious, we foon find caufe enough to drive back_ 
our thoughts to that dark and native horror that 
does now haunt and poflefs them. Some may per- 
haps make vain complaints againft God, and try 
to eafe their own grief, by accufing his providence: 
our hearts may carry us to fay, why was fo much 
worth laid in one mind, and fo nobly lodged ? Whv 
was it juft fhewed the world, with advantage 
enough to let all men fee what might have been 
expected from it ? Why were fo many great ideas 
and vail defigns formed by her ? Why was Ihe 


6 A7i^s% AY on the Memory of 
furnlfhed with fuch (kill and foftnefs in the ma-- 
jiagement of them ? and the fad why comes laft, 
why was all this fnatched from us fo early and 
fo fuddenly ? 

It is true, all God's ways are a great depth j 
and we may never prefume to afk of him a reafou 
of any of his dealings, which are paft finding out : 
but here the fteps of his providence are fo account- 
able, that we ought not to be long in the dark 
about them. So much worth was full ripe for 
heaven, and was much too good for earth, efpe- 
cially for fo corrupt a part of it as we are. If 
thofe great bleflings which heaven held forth to 
us in her, had attained the ends for which they 
were defigned, we might then have hoped that her 
crown would have been longer delayed j and that 
our happinefs might have been the more lafting. 
The cutting part of our forrow is this, that we 
have too good reafon to believe that we have pro- 
cured this to ourfelves. 

Unlefs, according to the growing impiety that 
fpreads itfelf amongft us, wc will conclude that 
God has forfaken the earth, and that all things 
roll, either under the fullennefs of fate, or the 
giddinefs of chance ; if we believe that providence 
watches over and governs all that happens here 
below, we muft then acknowledge, that fo great 
a change as this has made, could not have come 
upon us, but by a juft and wife direaion. There- 
fore inftead of thofe irregular thoughts and expref- 
fions by which fo great a commotion of mind may 


ihelate ^een MARY. 7 

difcharge itfelf, and inftead of thofe wild and dc- 
jetEling apprehenfions, which it may be apt to 
throw upon us, we ought to reduce ourfelves to 
more order, and to confider more fedately, what 
we may juftly fear, and how we may wifely pro- 
vide againft it. 

If we v/ill examine what may have brought fa 
fevere a ftroke upon us, and what may draw after 
it yet heavier ones, (but can any be heavier !) 
then if there is yet -room for hopes, if our wound 
is not incurable, and if the breach that is made 
upon us is not wide as the fea, fo that nothing can 
hinder our being overflown by it, then, I fay, the 
iearching into this, is all the referve that is left us, 
all that can balance fo ineflimable a lofsj or ra- 
-ther all that can fave us from being fwallowed up 
utterly by it. 
Even in a fliipwrack every one is forced, after all 
his aftonifhment at their common fate, to try by 
what fhift he himfelf may efcape : for tho' tlie firll 
diforders of melancholy may make one wifh rather 
to perifti in fo terrible a calamity, than to furvive 
it, yet after all, nature returns to itfelf, and feels 
felf-prefervation to be too deeply wrought in its 
compofuion, to be eafily Ihaken ofF. While then 
fuch a load opprefles us, and when fuch fears 
compafs us round, all that remains to make the one 
lighter, and to dillipate the other, is for us to lay our 
hands on our mouths, becaufe God has done it : 
but then to lay them on our heart, and to afk 


8 An Essay on the Memory of 

ourfelves what have we done ? And what fliall 
we do to be faved ? 

How juft foever any affllflion may feem to be, 
yet it muft have its bounds. Our religion gives 
a temper : it does not impofe upon us the dry 
fullennefs of ftoics ; their moft admired fayings, 
that fate is inexorable ; that it is in vain to be 
troubled at that we cannot help : and the famed 
anfwer of him, who upon the news of his fon's 
death, fiiid coldly, I knew I begat him mortal, 
have an air in them that feems above the prefent flat* 
of human nature. It looks too favage and contrary 
to thofe tender affedions that are planted in us, 
and that are in fome fort neceffary for carrying on 
the common concerns of life. But the extreams 
on the other hand, are much more boiflerous and 
untraceable : while the rages of paffion govern, 
neither the calmnefs of reafon, nor the authority 
of religion will be barkened to. Heathenifm was 
fruitful in the inventions of fury, hecatombs of 
living creatures were thought poor oblations : hu- 
man facrifices were offered liberally on thofc 
occafions, nor was the greateft wafte of treafure, 
with all the profufion of funeral piles and magni- 
ficent buildings, thought a fuitable addrefling of 
their dead to the invifible ftate, to which they 
v/ent, unlefs innumerable ghofls were fent after 
them as a welcome convoy to follow them thither. 
When the civilizing of the world, and the decencies 
firft of humanity, then of philofophy, and chiefly 
when revealed religion came to foften and enlighten 



the late ^een MARY. ' 9 

men, thofe outragious folemnlties fell off ; tho' 
the coftly part was by many kept up with too 
much oftentation. The corrupters of religion 
found that the tendernefs of affedion, with that 
generous difrnterefTednefs which it gave, offered to 
them a harveft that might be fruitful ; and they 
were not defeilive in the art of cultivating itt 

Opinions were invented, and practices were 
contrived, that drew great wealth into their handsj 
and begat a confideration for them, which, if it 
had not been over-done by the managers, and that 
in a manner too coarfe and too ravenous not to be 
found out at laft, was bringing the whole world 
under their authority. Their title feemed fure ; 
and it was to have its chief operation, when both 
thofe who died, and thofe who lived, were the leaffc 
able to examine their pretenfions : the fears of the 
one, and the forrows of the other, made them very 
pliant to their condu£l, and implicit under it. 

We have a better light, and are governed by 
truer meafures : we know there is a wife provi- 
dence, and a future ftate ; and in thofe two never- 
failing fources of quiet and fubmiflion, we give 
our forrows juft abatements. But fmce all the 
fteps of providence, though juft and wife in them- 
felves, have not the fame face to us, fome of them 
being as bright as others are dark ; we ought not 
to look on providence as rigid fate j but as the 
fteady condudt of a mind that is infinitely wife : 
we ought therefore to go as far as reafonably we 
can, in judging what is the language of that pro- 

B videnc« 

JO yf» E s s A y on the Mcmovy of 

vidence to us, and what the defigns of it upon U3 
may be. 

The livelieft as well as the ufefulleft exercifes of 
our thoughts, is to fum all that was excellent and 
jmitable in the perfon whofe lofs we lament ; to 
l^y it altogether j to obferve how amiable it wasj 
what an influence it had, and in what efFedbs it 
appeared. This if it rcfts in the bare commenda- 
tion of one, that may be fafely praifed, when 
flattery or intereft cannot be thought to have any 
Ihare in the incenfe, that is then given, it is at 
leaft a juftlce to the memory of a perfon that 
^eferved it, and an homage to virtue itfelf. It 
will .probably go deeper, and have its beft efFe£l 
upon us : it will engage us to love thofe virtues in 
ourfelves, which we admire in others, and will 
reproach us, if we commend that in another, 
which we take no care to imitate ourfelves. Pro- 
bably this will not evaporate quite into difcourfe, 
or wear off with time : fomewhat will flick, and 
have a due effect upon us. Some of thofe virtues 
may fo far infmuate themfelves into us, that we 
may grow to love and pradlice them, A noble 
pattern cannot be much looked at without beget- 
ting fome difpofition to copy after it, and to imi- 
tate it. A great luffre, though it may fometimes 
dazzle, yet it enlightens, as well as it ftrikes. 

Thofe who are perhaps tied too clofely by fome 
fatal engagements to pradtices that they cannot re- 
folve on forfaking. yet have that fecret veneration 
for true virtue, efpecially for the fublime of it, 


the late ^leen MARY. n 

and faw fo much of that in our blefled queen, that 
they may be defirous to fee fuch a juft reprefentation 
of thofe various branches of her charadler, as may 
entertain their admiration at prefent, and be per- 
haps of fome more ufe to them in other periods 
of their lives. They may defire to be made wifer, 
if not better by it. They may hope that what 
efFe6l foever it may have on the prefent age, it 
will have fome on thofe that are to come : it will 
be a lively part of our hiftory, and fet a noble 
pattern to fucceeding princes. And all perfons, 
how bad foever they may be themfelves, have too 
fenfible a fliare in government, not to wifh that 
their princes were truly and heroically good. 

A pi£lure of her, that may have fome life in it, 
is that which all feemed to defire. Where there 
were fo many peculiar features, and yet fo much 
of majefty fpread over them all, it feems as hardly 
poflible not to hit a great deal of the refemblance, 
as to hit it all, and to draw truly, and to the life. 
Every one will at firft view, fay, it is fhe ; but 
this abatement muft be expected, that it has not 
quite taken her. It has not her air, though it 
may have her features. The colours may feem to 
fink, when we remember how the original itfelf 

Extraordinary degrees of virtue in fovereign 
princes happen fo feldom, that it is no wonder if 
they give the world a furprife that is as great as it 
is agreeable. When we look through paft ages, 
and through all the different climates and corners 

B 2 of 

12 Jn "Est, AY on the Memory cf 

of the world, we find little that is truly eminent, 
without fome great diminution accompanying it. 

We accuftom ourfelves by ftudy and obfervation 
not to be flattered with the hopes of feeing ideas of 
perfe£lioji on the throne. It feems a prefumption 
to fancy, that our own times, fhould have a privi- 
ledge that former ages could not boaft. We find 
that even David, and Solomon much more, had 
blemifhes almoft equal to their virtues. Few of 
their fucceffors arrived at their degree of per- 
fection ; though they might have all their allay. 
Hezekiah and Jofiah are the leafi: exceptional : yet 
fome leller flips occur even in their hiftory. Con- 
ilantine and Theodofius were tv/O of the greateft 
bleflings of the chriftiaxi church ; yet v.'e dare not 
propofe them as patterns in every thing. Clovis 
and Charles the great make a mighty figure in 
hifiory ; becaufe the world is difpofed to re- 
member what was good in them, and to forget 
the reft. A full piilure of thefe would have one 
fide fo bright, with another fo fpotted, that the 
whole would look but odly. If the good and bad 
that was in moft princes, whofe names found the 
befi-j were fet againfl; one another, as critically as 
Suetonius has reprefented the Roman emperors, 
the world would perhaps retradl much of the ad- 
miration that it has paid them j and might be for 
fome time in fufpence, which fide of the character 
was fuperior, and did preponderate the other. 

Female government has had its peculiar ble- 
mill^es, with fewer patterns to compenfate for the 


ih^ late ^eeii MARY. 13 

faultineis of others. The fiercenefsof Semlramis's 
charaSer does l.eiTcii her greatnefs, and the luxu- 
ries of Cleopatra does more than balance her 
beauties. The cruelties of Irene were fuch, that 
even her zeal for images could not cover them, in 
the thickefi: mift of fuperftitlon. Mathildis and the 
Joans of Naples, are too black to be well thought 
of, for all the flatteries of popes : and pope Gre- 
gory's raptures upon Brunichild have Icllened him, 
rather than clianged her character. It is true, 
Pulcheria has a fairer giace, yet fomc fufpicions 
have a little eclipfed her ; and her reign was but of 
a hw days continuance, till flie chofe a hufband, 
who was made emperor by the right of marrying 
her. Amalazuntha has a nobler character, it is 
indeed given her by Cafliodore, that had been her 
chief minifter J but he was.the wifeft and beft of 
men in the age : her fate was difmal, and others 
have caft black imputations on her ; but if that 
wife fenator is to be believed, flae was one of the 
beft and greateft, though the moft unfortunate of 
women. Female government has fcldom looked 
fo great, as it did in Ifabel of Calfile. But if flie 
was a good queen, (he was but an indifferent wife ; 
and all the honour fhe did her fex, was thrown 
down in her daughter, who was likewife a fove- 
reign ; whofe violent affections to her hufband, 
was as troublefome while he lived, as extravagant 
after his death ; flie keeping the dead body ftill iii 
view, and making it travel about with, her in her 
j.curniesj which flic made only in the night ; nc- 

B 3 gledhig 

14 Jn Rss AY on the Memory of 
gle£ling government, and finking into a fccblenefs, 
that made her become at lafl: utterly incapable of 
even the ftiadov^^ of it, which v^ras all that had re- 
mained in her for many years. 

If Jane of Navarre had had a larger fphere, fhe 
was indeed a perfedl pattern : nothing was ever 
fuggefted to lefTen her, but that which was her 
true glory, her receiving the reformation ; flie both 
received it, and brought her fubje<5ls to it. She 
not only reformed her court, but her whole princi- 
pality, to fuch a degree, that the golden age feemed 
to have returned under her ; or rather, chriftianity 
appeared again with the purity and luftreofits firft 
beginnings. Nor is there one fmgle abatement 
to be made here, only her principality was narrow ; 
her dominion was fo little extended, that though 
fhe had the rank and dignity of a queen, yet it 
looked liker a fhadow, than the reality of fovercignty; 
or rather it was fovercignty in minature, though 
the colours were very bright, it was of the fmallell 

Two Marys in this ifland fhewed a greatnefs of 
genius that has feldom appeared to the world. 
But the fuperllition and cruelty of the one, and 
the condudl and misfortunes of the other, did fo 
leflen them, that the fex had been much funk by 
their means, if it had not been at the fame time as 
powerfully fupported by the happieft and moft 
renowned of all fovereign queens ; I know I need 
not name her. 


the late ^teen MARY. r5' 

The ffreat ^^\xx2. fhe made both at home and" 
abroad, her wife condiKft and able minlftry were' 
fuch, that the nations floui iftiing in trade, and exJ- 
tendino- itfelf in colonies, the encreafe of our 
wealth, and the ftrength of our fleets, owe their 
beginnings to her aufpicious reign. The great 
tranfaclions then abroad in the wcrld, took their 
turn from the diredlion and the fupport that fhe gave 
them. But that which is above all, and for which 
we owe her memory the profoundeft acknowledg- 
ments, it was by her means that the true religion 
received its eftablifhment among us. She delivered 
us from a foreign yoke, fhe freed us from idolatry 
and fuperflition, and fettled us upon a conftitution 
that has been ever fince the trucft honour, as well 
as the greateft fupport of the reformation. So 
much we owe to the aflies of that great queen, 
that her memory is ftill frefli and facred among us : 
her times are efteemed the ftandard of our happinefs, 
and her name ftill carries a delightful found to every 
Englifh ear. If there were any defects or diforders 
in that time, we ought to think mildly of them, 
and to cenfure them gently. In her we muft own, 
that female government feemed to have (hined with 
the faireft glory : we are fure that hiftory can fhcw 
■ nothing like it. 

But the lateft is commonly the frelheft in our 
thoughts ; and what luftre foever authority in that 
fex may have caft about it in the laft age, it has 
come under a cloud in the prefent. A queen has 
lived in our own times, whofe great defcent gave 

B 4 lior 

1 6 An "E^^ AY on the Memory of 

her a juft title to the higheft gratitude, and whofe 
mind feemed born with a fublimjty made for empire, 
that for fome time, like the northern ftar, attract- 
ed the eyes of all the world to her. But fhe aban- 
doned her throne and fubjeds, and chofe rather to 
wander inglorioufly, than to maintain her poft,and 
exert her fuperiority of genius in governing well 
at home, and giving law to thofe about her. This 
had made the difpofition to Saliclc laws become 
more univerfal. We have (cQn that which has not 
only taken ofF the cloud, which file had caft on 
her fex, but has raifed it far beyond the precedents 
or patterns of former times. In her, that name, 
which all generations fhall call blcfled, has reco- 
vered the amiable found, that it ought ever to 
have. We heard it, not without fome harlhnefs, 
when we remembered fome who had carried it : 
nothing can add to the glorious beginning of that 
name ; yet our Mary has reftored it to its iirft 

We feek in vain for a pattern to refemble her : 
Her grandmother of Navarre, is the likcft thing 
we find to her. But we do not leflen that queen's 
glory, when we fay that this defcendant of hers had 
an augufter appearance and a more exalted throne. 
She had a higher fphere, and fo we may conclude 
Ihe was the fuperior intelligence. She was all that 
the other queen had been, even whilfl fhe was in 
her princely ftate. The world has reafon to be- 
lieve, that every thing would have been the fame 
in the other, if fhe had been advanced to an im- 

• th£ late ^een MARY. 17 

perial crown. But what may be well believed of 
her, was feen in this branch, that fprang from her 
root : her worth grew with her advancement. She 
was not only better known in it, but there was a 
conflant progrefs in her virtues, even beyond that 
of her fortune. 

Yet after all, this cannot fo properly be called a 
female government j though fovereignty was in 
her, it was alfo in another ; her adminiflratioii 
fupplied the others ab fence. Monarchy here feem- 
ed to have loft its very efTence ; it being a govern- 
ment by one. But as the adminiftration was only 
in one at a time, fo they were more one, than 
either efpoufals or a joint tenure of the throne 
could make them ; there was an union of their 
thoughts, as well as of their perfons ; and a con- 
curring in the fame defigns, as well as in the fame 
interefts. Both feemed to have one foul ; they 
looked like the different faculties of the fame mind. 
Each of them having peculiar talents, they divid- 
ed between them the different parts of govern- 
ment, as if they had been feveral provinces : while 
he went abroad with the fword in his hand, (he 
ftaid at home with the fcepterin hers : he went as the 
arbiter of Europe, to force 'a juft, as well as a general 
peace; fhe ftaid to maintain peace and to dojufticc 
at home. He was to conquer enemies, and flic 
was to gain friends. He as the guardian of Chrif- 
tendom, was to diffufe himfelf to all, while fhe 
contraiSlcd her care chiefly to the concerns of reli- 
gion and virtue. While he had more buftnefs, and 


rS' An Essay on the Memory of 

file mare leifure, flic prepared and fuggefted what 
he executed. In all this, there was \o clofe, but 
fo entire an union, that it was not poflible to know 
how much was proper to any one ; or if ever they 
differed in a thought from one another: but the 
living are not now to be fpoke of; our thoughts 
muft run wholly where our forrows carry us. 

While we feek for refemblance in her, in facred 
hiftory we find her fo like Jofiah, that their being 
of the fame dignity, may excufe the parallel, though 
the fex is different. He came, after a lono; and 
deep corruption j a reign that had fo entirely viti- 
ated the nation, that neither the judgments of God 
that fell on Manaffes, nor his own fincere, though 
lale repentance, was able to correil the diforders of 
his former years. So foon is a nation run into fo 
depraved a ftate, that its recovery becomes almoft 
defperate. Jofiah was under much difadvantage 
in his firft education : his being a king fo young, 
expofcd him to all the flatteries by which thofe 
about him might hope to infinuate themfelves into 
his fiivour ; but his happy temper was above it. 
While he was but growing out of childhood, in 
the eighth year of his reign, and the fixteenth year of 
bis age, he began to feek after God : he continued 
four years in this pious courfe of life, before he fet 
about the reforming of the people, that his own 
good example might have fuch influence, and give 
him fuch credit in it, as might balance the flow- 
Befs of beginning it. When he fet about it, it 
wa« the work of fix years to purge the land from 

tie late ^een MARY. 19 

idolatry ; and of other fix to fet forward the re- 
pairing the temple. All was not finifhed before 
the eighteenth year of his reign, fo hard it is to 
recover a degenerated nation. As they were fearch- 
ing the temple, the book of the law (by which 
moft do underftand the original itfelf ) was found, 
the dreadful threatnings in it flruck Jofiah with 
a juft horror. Pie fent to Huldah, a famed 
prophetefs, to fee what comfort Ihe could give 
him J Ihe anfwered, that the decree was fixed 
and irreverfible ; but he fhould die in peace, and 
not fee thofe fatal days. This was feme mitigation 
to his grief. He tried all he could to reform his 
people, but without fuccefs ; they were weary ot 
him and of his virtue, and were longing for an 
opportunity to return again to their idolatry. So 
inveterate was the corruption, that all the exaflnefs 
of Jofiah's care, as well as the ftridnefs of the ex- 
ample that he fet his own fons, could not keep 
them from the fpreading contagion, it was fo catch- 
ing. This was the laft eflay of mercy upon that 
people, in the beft of all their kings. He was 
fatally engaged in an unequal war, and was killed 
in the day of battle. His death, upon his own 
fingle account, would have given the Jews but too 
juft a caufe of a bitter mourning for him ; but the 
miferies that did immediately follow his death, mad« 
it to be fo long remembered, that in a book writ 
about a hundred years after, it is faid, that they 
continued their mourning for him to that day. It 
ivas no wonder that it was remembered by them 


20 An Essay on the Memory of 

with fo folemn and lafling a forrow. A fuccefllon 
of calamities came fo thick after it, that there was 
fcarce a lucid interval between them j captivity 
came after captivity ; and what by war, v/hat by 
famine, and wha': by defertion, in the courfe of 
four and twenty years after his death, their nation 
became an aftonifhment, acurfe, and a bye word, to 
all nations. Jerufalcm was laid in heaps, their 
temple was rafed down to the ground, and Zion 
became a ploughed field. And if the fecond and 
final defl:ru(5lion of that city and nation had not 
been fo fignal, and fo particularly related by one 
who was an eye witnefs of it, that it wore out the 
remembrance of all that had happened in former 
times, this would have paft for one of the blackeft 
and the moft amazing fcenes in hiflory. 

That pathetical lamentation which Jeremy writ 
upon it, has ftrains in it fo tender and fo moving, 
that no man who has not hardened himfelf againft 
the compaflions of human nature, can read them 
without a fcnfible emotion, though they relate to 
tranfa6lions that happened many ages ago ; fuch 
a lively poem as that is, makes them ever look frefh, 
and fecm prcfent. 

I will make no reflc6lions on any part of this 
Biftorical deduction. It leads one fo naturally to 
application, that there is no need of offering any. 
Here one may go rather too faft, than too flow, 
and ftretch the matter further than it will bear. 

The whole of it, without any ftraining, lets us 
fee, that in the worft ftate under which a nation 


the late ^ieenMAKY , a 

can fall, a good prince gives a full flop to thofe 
judgments that are referved for them ; even when 
they feemed to be jufl breaking out upon them ; 
and that th^e removal of fuch princes, is like the 
letting loofe that hand of juftice which was reftraln- 
ed by their Intercellions. But fmce there is an uni- 
formity in the methods of providence, " and that 
" which has been, is that which fhall be, " then 
fuch an amazing mifery as accompanied the uttei 
ruin of the Jewifh nation, ought to make deep 
impreffions on all others, and to give thefe word^ 
of the prophet a formidable found j " the righteous 
" perifli, and the merciful perfons are taken away 
*'from the evil to come ; " which will come the 
quicker, as well as the more certainly, for their be- 
ing taken away : and that will be yet the nearer, 
if while fuch an appearance of things is in view, no 
man confiders it, nor lays it to hearr. 

Here I return to my fubjeft, from which all that 
has been now faid, is not fo much a digreffion as 
it may appear to be to vulgar readers : a fubject it 
is, where the common cenfures of difcourfes of 
this kind are not to be much apprehended. On 
other occafions of this nature, a few virtues muli 
be raifed, to make the moft of them that may be ; 
and fome few accidents muft be fet out with due 
advantages. For the fake of thefe, a great deal 
muft be forgiven, and the reft is to be Ihaded or 
(hewed as at a diftance and in perfpetSive. Man- 
kind is fo little difpofed to believe much good of 
Pthers, bgcaufe moil men know lb much ill by them- 


22 An ^.i,^ Ay on the Memory of 

felves, and are very unwilling to be made better, 
that in order to the begetting a full belief of that 
which is propofed to the imitation of others, the 
words by which it is exprefled muft be feverely 
weighed and well chofen. When things of this 
kind are related with an cxasSlnefs that feems too 
much ftudied, the wit that is ill placed lefTens 
the efFe6t that might have followed, if the recital 
had been more natural ; for what is moft genuine 
will be always the beft received ; nor muft too much 
be faid, how true or juft foever. 

The prefent age may be eafily brought to believe 
any thing that can be faid upon this fubjedl:, be- 
caufe the atteftations of it came fo thick from all 
hands. Yet fuch a chara6ler as is now to be 
offered the world, and to be conveyed down to 
pofterity, muft be fo managed, that it may not 
fcem too exceflive ; that duty or aiFe£l:ion may not 
be thought to have raifed it too high. The living 
witnefles, to whom we may now appeal, will foon 
go off" the ftage j the filent groans as well as the 
louder cries that are now founding in all our ftreets 
and in every corner, will foon be drowned and 
hufhed in filence : and then that which will be now 
cenfured, as a narrow and fcanty commendation, 
far below the fubje6l, and unworthy of it, will ap- 
pear to fucceeding ages to be a ftrain above human 
nature ; it will pafs for the pi£l:ure of an ima- 
ginary perfedlion, that feems rather to fet forth 
what our nature ought to rife to, than what has 
really happened. 


the late ^een M kRY , 23 

This precaution is necefTary, when perfons have 
lived in the fhade, known only to a fev/ and 
in a narrow neighbourhood. But a man may 
take a freer range when he undertakes to defcribe 
one that was always in view, that was under a 
conftant obfervation ; and where a high elevation 
did put even that, which humility might endeavour 
to recover, in U true light. The bright as well as 
the dark fides of fuch perfons mufl: be found out. 
Management may ferve a turn, and go on for a time 
with fecrefy and fuccefs ; but the continued and 
uninterrupted thread of life, led with fo uniform 
an exaitnefs, that cenfure itfelf could never find 
matter to fix on, even fo long as to keep a doubt- 
ful thought in fufpence, is that which one may ven- 
ture on, without the danger of over-doing it, he 
muft rather defpair to do it juflice. 

Where the matter rifes with fo copious a fruit- 
fulnefs, a nice choice muft be made ; much muft 
be omitted, a great deal muft be only mentioned, 
rather glanced at than enlarged on. The world is 
now io far beforehand in every thing that can be 
faid, that we muft own fame has here changed her 
charadler, and has given fuch true and full repre- 
fentations, that there is little left to be done j but 
put things that are generally known, and univer- 
fally talked of, in a little order, and to tell them as 
natively as fhe did them. 

Here arifes an unexam.pled piece of a charaifler, 
which may be well begun with ; for I am afraid it 
both began and will end wich her. In moft per- 

24 An "Ess AY on the Memory of 
fons, even thofe of the truefl: merit, a ftudied ma- 
nagement will Ibmetimes appear with a little too 
much varnifli, like a no£lurnal piece, that has a 
light caft through even the moft fhaded parts : fome 
difpofition to fet ones felf out, and fome fatisfaclion 
in being commended, will at fome time or other 
Ihew itfelf more or lefs. Here we may appeal to 
great multitudes, to all who had the honour to ap- 
proach her, and particularly to thofe who were 
admitted to the greateft nearnefs, and the moft 
conftant attendance, if at any one time, any thing 
of this fort did ever difcover iifelf. When due 
acknowledgments v/ere made, or decent things 
were faid upon occafions that did well deferve them, 
(God knows how frequent thefe were ! ) thefe 
feemed fcarce to be heard ; they were fo little de- 
fired that they were prefently paft over, without 
fo much as an anfwer that might feem to entertain 
the difcourfe, even when it checked it. She went 
off from it to other fubjecls, as one that could not 
bear it. 

So entire a deadncfs to the defire of glory, which 
even the philofophers acknowledged was the lafl: thing 
that a wife man put off, feemed to be fomewhat a- 
bove human nature, and nearly refembling that flate 
of abfolute perfection, to which (he has now attained. 
The defire of true glory is thought to be the nobleft 
piinciple that can be in fovereigns j which fets 
them on, with the moft conftant zeal, to procure 
the good of mankind. Many have thought that a 
zealous purfuit q^ the one, could not be duly 


the late ^een MARY. 25 

animated and maintained without the other. It 
was a part of the felicity of our times, that we have 
feen the moft active zeal for the public, and a con- 
ftant delight in doing good, joined with fuch un- 
aff'e(Sted humility, fo regardlefs of applaufe or praife, 
that the moft critical obfervors could never fee rea- 
fonto think, that the fecrct flatteries of vanity or felf- 
love did work inwardly, or had any power over her. 
An open and native fmcerity, which appeared in 
genuine characters, in a free and unreftrained man- 
ner, did eafily perfuade thofe who faw it, that all 
was of a piece. A conftant uniform behaviour, 
when that which is within does not agree with the 
appearances, feems to be a ftrain above our pitch. 
Nor could any perfon find any other reafon to fup- 
pofe that it was otherwife in this inftance, but from 
the fecret fenfe that every man has of fome latent 
corruption, and the ftolen infmuations of pride 
that he feels within himfelf, which may make him 
conclude, that the whole race of mankind is fo 
tainted, that nothing can be entirely freed from 
thofe infirmities which do fo naturally befet us. 
But fuch perfons ought to make another refledion, 
that daily obfervation fhews to be true ; that no 
man lives under fo exa(ft a guard, and fuch a con- 
ftant prefence of mind, but that all thofe hidden 
difpofitions which lurk within him, will fhoot out 
fometimes, and fliew themfelves on great occafions, 
or fudden accidents. Nature will break through 
all rules, when it is much excited, or taken at 
unawares. Therefore it is much more reafonable, 

C as 

26 An "Es,^ AY on the Memory of 

as well as it is more charitable, to think that there 
are no fecret inclinations, which lie fo quiet that 
they do never difcover themfelves in a courfe of ma- 
ny years, and of unlooked for accidents, than to 
imagine that they are fo covered and managed, as to 
be chained up in perpetual reftraint. There is an 
air in what is genuine that is foon feen, (I had 
almofl faid felt.) It looks noble, without ftrains 
or art ; it pleafes as well as perfuades, with a force 
that is irrefiftible ; and how filent foever it may be, 
it looks like the univerfal chara6ler : it is a lan- 
guage which nature makes all men underftand, 
how few foever they are that feek it ; this was fo 
peculiar to her, and fo lingular in her, that it de- 
ferved well to be begun with. 

In moft of thofe perfons who have been the 
eminenteft for their piety and viitue, their thoughts 
have rifen too hio-h for human nature : their no- 
tions have become too fierce, and their tempers 
too fullen and untra£table ; they have confidered 
only what was good and defirable in itfelf, without 
regarding what the world could bear. They have 
not foftened themfelves enough into that agree- 
ablenefs of temper, that might give fuch an 
amiable profpe(5l of virtue, as fhould encourage 
the world to love and imitate it. Their medita- 
tions have foured them too much j and, by an 
obftinate perfuing' their own ideas, without accom- 
modating themfelves enough to the frailties of 
others, they have given advantage to thofe who 
have ftudied to load them with prejudices : their 


the late ^een MARY, 27 

defigns have mifcarried, and they themfelves have 
become morofe and melancholy; defparing of doing 
any thing, becaufe they could not hope to do every 
thing. Cato's error has run through the heft fort of 
men that have ever Jived : of proje6ling a common- 
wealth like Plato's, when the Romans were run 
to a dreg. Children muft be gained even by flat- 
tering their weakneffes, and by the foftnefs of 
kindnefs and good humour. The grown ftate of 
man is often but an advanced childhood : a dotage 
rather than a ripenefs. It muft be confelTed, that 
few of thofe who in all other refpedls feem to have 
been born for the good of mankind, have been able 
to give their aotions that turn, to fet them off with 
that air, and to recommend them with that addrefs, 
which we of late admired fo much. A charmins: 
behaviour, a genuine fweetnefs, and the fprightli- 
nefs, as well as the freedom of good humour, had 
foftened all thofe frightful apprehenfions that the 
world is too willing to entertain of the feverities 
of virtue, and of the flri6tncfs of true religion, 
LefTer matters were not much flood on : an eafy 
compliance in fome of thefe, how little foever they 
were liked, on their own account, was intended to 
give her advantages, in order to the compaliing of 
greater things. While a frefli and graceful air, 
more turned to ferioufnefs, but always ferene, that 
dwelt on her looks, difcovered both the pcrfe<5l 
calm that was within, and {hewed the force as 
well as the amiablcnefs of thofe principles which 

C 2 were 

28 An ^ss AY on the Me?ncry of 

were the fprings of fo chearful a temper, and fo 
lively a deportment. 

The freedom of chearfulnefs is not always under 
an exa6l command ; it will make efcapes from rules, 
and be apt to go too far, and to forget all meafures 
and bounds : it is feldom kept under a perpetual 
guard. The opennefs of her behaviour was fub- 
je£l to univerfal obfervation j but it was under that 
regularity of condu61:, that thofe who knew her 
beft and faw her ofteneil:, could never difcover her 
thoughts or her intentions further, than as fhe her- 
felf had a mind to let them be known. No half 
word, or change of look, no forgetfulnefs, or run 
of difcourfe, did ever draw any thing from her, 
further, or fooner, than as flie defigned it. This 
was managed in fo peculiar a way, that no diftruft: 
was fhewed in it, nor diflafle given by it. It ap- 
peared to be no other, than that due refervednefs 
which became her elevation j and fuited thofe 
affairs that were to pafs through her hands. When 
Die faw caufe for it, fhe had the trueft methods to 
oblige others to ufe all due freedom v/ith herfelf j 
while yet flie kept them at a fit diftance from her 
own thoughts. 

She would never take any afliflance from thofe 
arts, that are become fo common to great pofts, 
that fome perhajjs fancy them neceflary : fhe did not 
cover her purpofes by doubtful expreflions, or fuch 
general words, as taken ftricStly do fignify little, 
but in common ufe are underftood - to import a 
j^reat deal more. As flie would not deceive others, 


tbe late ^ieen MARY. 29' 

fo fhe avoided the faying of that which might give 
them an occafion to deceive themlelves : and 
when flie did not intend to promife, fhe took care 
to explain her meaning fo critically, that it might 
be underftood that no conftruiSlion of a promife was 
to be made from general words of favour. In a 
courfe of feveral years, and of many turns, when 
great occafion was given for more artificial -me- 
thods, and when, according to the maxims of the 
world, great ufe might have been made of them ; 
yet fhe maintained her fincerity fo intirely, to the 
honour of truth, be it faid, as well as to hers, 
that fhe never once needed explanations to juftify 
either her words or actions. Integrity preferved 
her, as well as fhe preferved it. 

Such eminejit, I am forry to fay, fuch unufual . 
perfeitions, had they appeared in one of the mcanefl 
capacity, and of the lovvefl degree of improvement, 
yet mufl have challenged great veneration. Com- 
mon obfervation makes it but too apparent, that 
thofe of the highefl form, that have an exaltation 
in them, which makes them like another rank of 
mortals, that have a true flight of thought, a 
great compafs of knowledge, a fi:ability and equa- 
blenefs of temper, with a deep and corre6l judg- 
ment, who have cultivated the advantages of nature, 
by fearching and laborious acquifitions ; fuch per- 
fons, I fay, do fwell too much upon the preference 
that is due to them ; and foil thofe fhining- diflinc- 
tions that were born with them, by mixtures that 
need not now be enlarged on. A fubjedl compofed 

^3 of 

30 ^n "Ess AY on the Memory of 

of fo much perfeflion, ought not to be digiefled 
from, to fet out the diforders that appear but too 
frequently in the fublimeft pieces of mankind. 
Thefe are fo unacceptable, while virtue has fo be- 
nign an afpe(5l, that eminent degrees of it, though 
joined with a lower proportion of that which feems 
to have more luflre, is much more valuable, than 
all that can be called great in human nature, is 
without it. 

But if both thefe (hould happen to meet together, 
and that In as hio-h a de2;ree as our mortal flate is 
capable of, then we muft acknowledge, that this 
is all that we can expe6l from our nature, under 
its prefent depreilion. So few inftances of fuch a 
mixture have appeared to us, that we muft confefs, 
it is much more than we ought to look for. The 
hiftory of princes that have lived at a great diftance 
from us, is feldom believed to be fo exa61:, efpecially 
in the commendatory part, that we rely much 
upon it, Xenophon has made Cyrus appear to be 
a prince, fo much perfe6ter than the world is dif- 
pofed to believe, that the pi<Sl:Lire he gives of him 
pafles rather for a piece of invention, than of hif- 
tory. When the world fhall have lived beyond 
the fame of tradition and report, a minute hiftory 
of his life, if exadly writ, may probably have 
the fame fate : it will look too great to be credible. 
What is good, as well as what is great in human 
nature, were here fo equally mixed, and both 
fhined fo bright in her, that though one of thefe 


the late §lueen MARY. 31 

is always the better part, yet it is hard to tell, in 
whether of the two fhe was the more eminent. 

I will fay little either of her rank, or of her 
perfon : the dignity of the one, and the majefty of 
the other, were born with her. Her fphere was 
great, and fhe was furnifhed with advantages pro- 
portioned to it. She maintained her authority with 
fo becoming a grace ; and infpired fo particular a 
refpedl, that in this regard only, fhe was abfo- 
lute and defpotical, and could not be refifced. The 
port of royalty, and the humility of chriilianity 
did fo happily concur in her, that how different 
foever their chara^lers may feem to be, they gave 
a mutual Juflre to each other. 

She maintained that refpetSt that belonged to her 
fex, without any of thofe diminutions, that though 
generally fpeaking, they do not much mifbecome 
it, yet do feem a little to lefTen it. She would 
never afte6l to be above it in common and meaner 
things : fhe had a courage that was refolute and 
firm, mixed with a mildnefs that was foft and 
gentle ; fhe had in her all the graces of her own 
fex, and all the ffreatnefs of ours. If file did not 
affedl to be a Zcnobia or a Boadicia, it was not 
becaufe fhe wanted their courage, but becaufe 
{he underflood the decencies of her fex better than 
they did. The chara6ler of a Jean of Navarre, 
or of our celebrated Elizabeth, was much more 
valuable in her eftccm, than that of a Semiramis, 
or of a Thomiris. A defire of power, or an eager- 
«cfs of empire, were things fo flxr below her, 

C 4 though 

32 An "Es^ AY on the Memory of 

though they generally pafs for heroical qualities, 
that perhaps the world never yet faw fo great a 
capacity for government, joined with fo little appe- 
tite to it; fo unwillingly affumed, fo modeftly 
managed, and fo chearfuliy laid down. 

The clearnefs of her apprehenfion, the prefence 
of her mind, the exacStnefs of her memory, the 
folidity of her judgment, the correclnefs of her 
expreflions, had fuch particular diftindlions in them, 
that great enlargements might be made on every 
one of thefe, if a cloud of witnefl'es did not make 
them lefs necefiary. None took things fooncr, or 
retained them longer : none judged truer, or fpoke 
more exactly. She writ clear and fliort, with a 
true beauty and force of ftile. She difcovered a 
fuperiority of genius, even in the moft trifling 
matters, which were confidered by her only as 
amufements, and fo gave no occafion for deep 
Tefle£tions. A happinefs of imagination, and a 
livelinefs of expteflion, appeared upon the com- 
jnonefl fubjedls ; on the fudden, and in greateft 
variety of accidents, fhe was quick but not hafty : 
and even without the advantages that her condition 
gave her, fhe had an exaltation of mind, that fub- 
dued as well as charmed all that came near her. 

A quicknefs of thought is often fuperficial j it 
catches eafily, and fparkles with fome luftre ; but 
it lafts not long, nor does it go deep : a bright 
vivacity was here joined with fearching diligence. 
Her age and her rank had denied her opportuni- 
ties for much iludy 3 yet flie had gone far that waj, 


the late ^een MARY. 33 

and had read the beft book in the three languages, 
that were almoft equally familiar to her. She gave 
the moft of her hours to the ftudy of the fcriptures, 
and of books relating to them. It were eafy to 
^ve ama<z^ing inftances of her underftanding ia 
matters of divinity. She had fo well confidered 
our difputes with the church of Rome, that fhe 
was capable of managing debates in them, with 
equal degrees of addrefs and judgment : nor was 
{he unacquainted with thofe unhappy queftions 
that have didraded us : and had fuch juft, as well 
as large notions about them, that they would have 
foon laid our animofities, and have compofed our 
differences, if theic had been temper enough, on 
all fides, to have hearkened to them. 

She had a 2:enerous and a fublime idea of the 
chriflian religion, and a particular affedlion to the 
church of Enp-land : but an affeiSlion that was 
neither blind nor partial. She faw what finifliings 
we ftill wanted j and had dedicated her thoughts 
and endeavours to the confidering of the beft 
means that might both compleat and eftablifh us. 
She intended to do all that was pofTible, in order 
to the raifing a higher fpirit of true devotion among 
us, to engage thofe of our profeilion to a greater 
application to their functions ; and to difpofe us all 
to a better underflanding among ourfelves ; that we 
might with united endeavours fet ourfelves to beat 
down impiety and immorality. She read and medi- 
tated much on thefe fubje6ls ; and judged of them 
with fo juft an exadlnefs, that it appeared the 


^4- jtn KsSAY on the Memory of 

llrength of her mind went far beyond the compafs 
of her knowledge. She took that care to be well 
informed of thefe matters, that when fhe met with 
hints, either in books or fermons, that related to 
other fubjedts with which jfhe was not acquainted, 
fhe loft none of them : if they feemed to be of 
importance, fhe called for explanations of them, 
from thofe whom fhe fuffered to entertain herupon 
fuch fubjecSls. She propofed them often with a 
preface, confeffing her own ignorance ; and when 
ihe had flated fome difficulties to them very clearly, 
flie would conclude with words that carried in 
them an air of modefty, that fliined then moft 
particularly, when flie feemed to defire an increafe 
of knowledge. She would fay, *' fhe did not 
** know if there was any difficulty in fuch things 
*' or not ; or, if fhe apprehended or exprefTed it 
'* right ; or, if it was only her ignorance." When 
any new thing was laid before her, flie feemed glad 
to have an occafion to own, that fhe knew nothing 
of that before ; but then fhe would have it to be 
fully explained to her, till fhe found fhe did tho- 
roughly apprehend it. All thefe intimations were 
fo carefully laid up by her, that fhe feemed fcarce 
capable of forgetting them. After feveral years ot 
interval, fhe returned in difcourfe to fome fubjedls, 
that had been formerly opened to her, with a frefh- 
nefs of apprehenfion about them, as if the firft 
difcourfe had never been interrupted. She knew 
none of the learned languages, yet when fome 
.paiTages of fcripture were explained to her, by the 


the late ^een MARY. 35 

genius and phrafes of the original languages, fhe 
retained them very carefully, even though fhe un- 
derftood not the foundation of them. She loved 
fincerity in every thing, to fuch a degree, that fhe 
■defired to underftand the weak fide as well as the 
flrong one of all parties and do6irines. She loved 
a diflincS knowledge of every thing ; and fhe had 
•accuflomed thofe whom fhe admitted to talk to her 
on fuch fubjedls, to .hide neither the weaknefs of 
the one fide, nor the flrength of the other from 
her. When fhe delivered her own judgment, 
which fhe generally avoided to do, unlef? there 
was fome neceffity for it, fhe did it vi^ith that mo- 
defly, as w^ll as exa6lnefs, that it fhewed the force 
as v.^ell as the purity of her mind. 

Next to the befl fubje<51:s, flie beflowed mofl: of 
her time on books of hiftory, chiefly of the latter- 
ages, particularly thofe of her own kingdoms, as 
being the moll: proper to give her ufeful inflruc- 
tloii. Lively books, where wit and reafon gave 
the mind a true entertainment, had m.uch of her 
time. She was a good judge as well as a great 
lover of poetry : fhe loved it befl when it dwelt 
on the beft fubjeils. So tender fhe was of poetry, 
though much more of virtue, that fhe had a par- 
ticular concern in the defilement, or rather the 
proftitution of the mufes among us. She made 
fome fteps to the underftanding philofophy and 
mathcmaticks, but fhe flopped foon ; only fhe went 
far in natural hiftory and perfpeclive, as^fhe was 
very exa£l in geography. She thought fublime 


g6 ^n Ess AY en the Memory of 

things were too high flights for the fex ; which (he 
oft talked of with a liberty that was very lively : 
but fhe might well be familiar with it, after (he 
had siveii fo efFedual a demonftratlon of the im- 
provements it was capable of. Upon the whole 
matter, fhe ftudied and read more than could be 
imagined by any, who had not known how many 
of her hours were fpent in her clofet. She would 
have made a much greater progrefs, if the frequent 
returns of ill humours on her eyes, had not forced 
her to fpare them. Her very diverfions gave 
indications of a mind that was truly great : ihe 
had no relilh for thofe lazy ones, that are the too 
common confumers of moft peoples time, and that 
make as great waftes on their minds, as they do 
on their fortunes. If {he ufed them fometimes, 
flie made it vifible, it was only in compliance with 
forms j becaufe fhe was unwilling to offend others 
with too harfh a feverity : fhe gave her minutes 
of leifure with the greateft willingnefs to archi- 
tecture and gardenage. She had a riches of inven- 
tion, with a happinefs of contrivance, that had 
airs in it that were freer and nobler than what 
was more fliff, though it might be more regular : 
fhe knew that this drew an expence after it ; fhe 
had no other inclinations befides this, to any diver- 
fions that were expenceful ; and fmce this employed 
many hands, fhe was pleafed to fay, " that fhe 
*' hoped it would be forgiven her." Yet fhe was 
uneafy when fhe felt the weight of the charge 

that lay upon it. 


the late ^een MARY. gjr 

When her eyes were endangered by reading toQ 
much, fhe found out the amufement of work ; 
and in all thofe hours that were not given to bet- 
ter employments, ihe wrought with her own hands, 
and that fometimes with fo conftant a diligence, 
as if fhe had been to earn her bread by it. It was 
a new thing, and looked like a fight, to fee a queea 
work fo many hours a day. *' She looked on 
*' idlenefs as the great corrupter of human nature ; 
*' and believed that if the mind had no employ- 
" ment given it, it would create fome of the worft 
*' fort to itfelf : and fhe thought that any thing 
*' that might amufe and divert, without leaving 
*' a dreg and ill imprefTion behind it, ought to fill 
" up thofe vacant hours, that were not claimed by 
*' devotion or bufmefs. " Her example foon wrought 
on, not only thofe that belonged to her, but 
the whole town to follow it : fo that it was become 
as much the fafhion to work, as it had been for- 
merly to be idle, in this, which feemed a nothing, 
and was turned by fome to be the fuhjeil of raillery, 
a greater flep was made than perhaps every one 
was aware of, to the bettering of the age. While 
fhe diverted herfelf thus with work, fhe took care 
to give an entertainment to her own mind, as well 
as to thofe who were admitted to the honour of 
working with her : one was appointed to read to 
the reft ; the choice was fuited to the time of the 
day, and to the employment : fome book or poem 
that was lively, as well as inftru6ling. Few of 
her fex, not to fay of her rank, gave ever lefs time 


38 An 'E^% AY on the Memory of 

to drefling, or feemed lefs curious about it. Thofe 
parts of it which required more p-itience, were nor 
given up intirely to it. She read often, all the while 
herfelf, and generally aloud ; that thofe who fer- 
ved about her, might be the better for it : when 
Ihe was indifpofed, another was called to do it: 
all was intermixed with fuch pleafant refledions of 
her own, that the glofs was often better liked than 
the text. An agreeable vivacity fpread that inno- 
cent chearfulnefs among all about her, that whereas 
in moft courts, the hours of fcri6l attendance are 
the heavieft parts of the day, they were in hers the 
moll delightful of all others. 

Her chearfulnefs may be well termed Innocent, 
for none was ever hurt by it : no natural defcds, 
or real faults, true or falfe, were ever the fubjedls 
of her mirth : nor could flie bear it in others, if 
their wit happened to glance that way. She 
thought it a cruel and barbarous thing, to be merry 
on other peoples cofl ; or, to make the misfortunes 
or follies of others, the matter of their diverfion. 
She fcarce ever expreiled a more intire fatisfadion 
in any fermon that flie had heard, than in our late 
primate's againft evil fpeaking. When flie thought 
fome were guilty of it, fhe would afk them, if 
they had read that fermon. This was underftood 
to be a reprimand, though In the fofteft manner. 
She had indeed one of the bleflings of virtue, that 
does not always accompany it : for flie was as free 
from cenfures, as flie was from deferving them> 
' When refledions were made on this, before her, 


the late ^een MARY. 3.9 

file faid, " flie afcribed that wholly to the good- 
" nefs of God to her : for fhe did not doubt but 
*' that many fell under hard charaders, that de- 
" ferved them as little. She gave it this further 
** turn, that God knew her weaknefs, and that 
" fhe was not able to bear fome imputations j and 
*' therefore he did not try her beyond her ftrength." 
In one refpedl, fhe intended never to provoke c&n- 
fure: fhe was confcientioufly tender of wounding 
others ; and faid, " fhe hoped God would flili 
" blefs her in her own good name, as long as flie 
"^ was careful not to hurt others ; " but as fhe 
was exadl in not wronging any other while fhe di- 
verted herfelf, fo upon indifferent fubjeds fhe had 
a fpring of chearfulnefs in her, that was never to 
be exhaufted : it never run to repetition, or forced 

A mind that was fo exalted by nature, and w:i% 
fo improved by induftry, who was as much above 
all about her by her merit, as fhe was by her 
condition, and that owed thofe peculiar advantages 
under God, chiefly to herfelf, for very little was 
added to her by others, had certainly a right to in- 
dulgent cenfures, even though fhe had given oc- 
cafion to them. Much ought to have been forgiven 
to one that had deferved io well j but this is per- 
haps the firft infl^ance that the world has yet feen, 
of one that had fo much in her that deferved to bs 
valued and admired, without one fmgle defecSl or 
allay, that needed allowances to be made for it. 

i have 

46 An Essay on the Memory of 

1 have dwelt hitherto upon the more general 
parts of her charadter ; I go next to confider what 
was more fpecial. Thofe that deferve to be moft 
enlarged on, are the difpofitions of her mind, both 
with relation to the impreffions of religion, and the 
companions of human nature. What fhe was in- 
wardly with relation to God, was only known to 
him whom fhe now fees face to face. Thofe with 
whom Ihe talked with more than ordinary freedom 
- upon thofe matters, faw on many occafions what 
an awful fenfe (lie had of God, and of all things 
in which his glory was concerned j they faw with 
how exa61: a teudernefs {he weighed every thing 
by which the purity of her own confcience was to 
be preferved, unblemifhed as well as unfpotted. 

In thofe great fteps of her later years, that carried 
a face which at firft appearance feemed liable to 
cenfure, and that were the fmcrle inflances of her 
whole life, that might be thought capable of hard 
conftruiStions ; Ihe weighed the reafons fhe went 
on vvlth a caution and exadtnefs that well became 
the Importance of them ; the biafs lying ftill againft 
that, which to vulgar minds might feem to be 
her intereft. She was convinced that the public 
good of mankind, the prefer vation of that religion, 
which fhe was afl'ured was the only true one, and 
thofe real extremities to which matters vyere driven, 
ought to fuperfede all other confiderations. She 
had generous notions of the liberty of human nature, 
and of the true ends of government ; fhe thought 
it was defigned to make mankind fafe and happy, 


the late ^(eenM^RY. 41 

nnd not to raife the power of thofe, into whofe 
hands it was committed, upon the ruins of property 
and liberty. Nor could {he think that religion was- 
te be delivered up to the humours of mifguided 
princes, whofe perfuafion m^ade them as cruel in 
impofuig on their fubjedls the dictates of others, 
as they themfelves were implicit in fubmitting to 
them : yet after all, her inclinations lay fo ftrong 
to a duty, that nature had put her under, that {he 
made a facrifice of herfelf in accepting that high 
elevation, that perhaps was harder to her to bear, 
than if {he had been to be made a facrifice in the fe- 
vered fenfe. She faw that not only her own repu- 
tation might fufFer by it, but that religion too 
might be concerned in thofe reproaches that {he 
was to look for. This was much more to her 
than all that crowns with, their gaudy luflre could 
ofter inftead of ft ; but the faving of whole nations 
feemed to require it ; and that being the only vifible 
mean left to preferve the proteftant religion, not 
only here, but every where elfe, {he was thereby 
determined to it. 

She was no enthufiafl ; and yet {he could not 
avoid thinking, that her being preferved during - 
her childhood in that flexibility of age and un- 
derflanding, without fo much as one fingle at- 
tempt made upon her, was to be afcribed to a 
fpecial providence watching over her : to that {lie 
added, her being early delivered from the danger of 
all temptations, and the advantages {he had after- 
wards to employ much privacy in fo large a courfe 

D of 

42 An ^^s> AY on the Memory of 

of ftudy, which had not been poflible for her to have 
compafled, if fhe had lived in the conftant diffipa- 
tion of a public court. Thefe concurring had con- 
vinced her, that God had condu(9:ed her by an 
immediate hand, and that fhe was raifed up to 
preferve that religion which was then every where 
in its laft agonies ; yet when thefe and many other 
confiderations, which ihe had carefully attended to, 
determined her, nature IHII felt itfelf loaded : flie 
bore it with the outward appearances of fatisfa£lion, 
becaufe fhe thought it became her not to difcourage 
others, or to give them an occafion to believe that 
her uneafmefs was of another nature than truly it 
was ; but in that whole matter fhe put a conftraint 
upon herfelf (upon her temper I mean, for no con- 
fiderationwhatfoever could have enduced her to have 
forced her confcience,) that was more fenfible and 
violent to her, than any thing that could have been 
wifhed her by the mofl enraged and virulent of all 
her enemies. 

Oh, could any be enemies to fuch virtue ! and 
to fo pure and fo angelical a mind I Could fhe that 
was the glory of her fex, the darling of human na- 
ture, and the wonder of all that knew her, become 
the fubjedl: of hatred or obloquy I 

A nobler fubjecl calls me from this tranfport j to 
look over the other parts of her chara£ler, upon 
this head of religion. Modefty and humility co- 
vered a great deal from common obfervation, indeed 
all that was poffible for her to conceal ; but no 
clouds can quite darken the day j it calls a light 


the late ^een MARY. 43 

even when it does not fhine out. Her pun(3:ual 
exaftnefs, not only to public offices, but to her 
fecret retirements, was fo regular a thing, that it 
was never put off in the greateft croud of bufinefs 
or little journeys j then, though the hour was an- 
ticipated, the duty was never negledled : fhe took 
care to be fo early on thofe occafions, that (he 
might never either quite forget, or very muchfhorten 
that, upon which flie reckoned that the bleffing of 
the whole day turned. She obferved the Lord's day 
fo religioufly, that befides her hours of retirement, 
jfhe was conftantly thrice a day in the public wor- 
ship of God ; and for a great part of the year four 
times a day while fhe lived beyond fea. She was 
conftant to her monthly communions, and retired 
herfelf more than ordinary for fome days before them. 
In them, as well as in all the other parts of the wor- 
fhip of God, an unexampled ferioufnefs appeared 
always in her, without one glance let out for ob- 
fervation ; and fuch care was taken to hide the 
more folemn elevations of her mind to God, that 
thefe thin2;s ftruck all thofe who faw them, but 
had never feen any thing like them before. This 
did fpread a fpiiit of devotion among all that were 
about her, who could not fee fo much in her, with- 
out feeling fomewhat to arife in themfelves ; though 
few could chain themfelves down to fuch a fixed 
and fteady application as they faw in her. No- 
thing in that was theatrical, nothing given to 
(hew ; every thing was fincere, as well as folemn, 
and genuine as well as majeftical. 

D 2 ' Her 

44 ■^^' Essay on the Memory cf 

Her attention to fermons was fo entire, that as 
her eye never wandered from a good preaeher, fo 
flie fliewed no wearincfs of an indifferent one : when 
fhe was afked, how fhe could be fo attentive to 
fome fermons that were fiir from being perfeft. Die. 
anfwercd, " That fhe thought it did not become 
*' her, by any part of her behaviour, to difcourage, 
*' or feem to diflike one that was doino- his beft." 


The hardeft cenfure that (he pall on the word, was 
to fay nothing to their advantage ; for (he never de- 
nied her commendations to any thing thatdcferved 
them. She was not content to be devout herfelf ; 
fhe infufed that temper into all that came near her j 
chiefly into thofe whom fhe took into her more im- 
mediate care, w^hom fhe ftudied to form with the 
tendernefs and watchfulnefs of a mother. She 
charmed them with her inftrudlions, as fhe over- 
came them with her kindnefs ; never was miftrefs 
both feared and loved fo entirely as fhe was. She 
fcattered books of inftru6lion to all that were round 
about her, and gave frequent orders that good books 
fhould be laid in the places of attendance, that fuch 
as waited, might not be condemned toidlenefs ; but 
might entertain themfelves ufefully, while they 
were in their turns of fervice. 

She had a true regard to piety wherever fhe faw 
it, in what form or party foever. Her judgment 
tied her to our communion, but her charity was ex- 
tended to all. The liberty that fome have taken 
to unchurch great bodies of chriftians, for fome de- 
feds and irregularities, were ftrains that Hie couM 


the late ^teen MARY. 45 

never aflent to ; nor indeed could fhe well bear 
them. She longed to fee us In a clofer conjuniiLion 
with all proteftants abroad, and hoped we might 
flrengthen ourfclves at home, by uniting to us as 
many as could be brought within our body. Few 
things ever grieved her more, than that thofe hopes 
feemed to languifli, and that the profpedl of fo de- 
fired an union vanifhcd out of fight. 

The raifmg the reputation and authority of the 
clergy, as the chief inftrument for advancing reli- 
gion, was that to which flie intended to apply her 
utmoft diligence. She knew that the only true 
way to compafs this, was to engage them to be 
exemplary in their lives, and eminent in their la- 
•boufs ; to watch over their flocks, and to edify 
them by good preaching and diligent catechifmg. 
She was refolved to have the whole nation under- 
ftand, that by thefe ways, and by thefe only, di- 
vines were to be recommended to favour and pre- 
ferment. She made it vifible, that the fteps were 
to be made by merit, and not by friendfhip and 
importunity. Solicitations and afpirlngs were prac- 
tices that, affecled her deeply ; bccaufe fhe faw the 
ufe that was made of them by malicious obfervers ; 
who concluded from thence, that we run to our 
profeflion as to a trade, for the fake of the gains 
and honours that we might find in it, and not to 
fave fouls, or to edify the church. Every inflance 
of this kind gave her a fenfible wound, becaufe it 
hardened bad men in the contempt of religion. She 
therefore charged thofe, whom Ihc truflcd niofl: iii 

D 3. fuch 

4^ ^n Essay en the Memory of 

fuch matters, to look out for the beft men, and 
the beft preachers, that they might be made known 
to her. She was under a real anxiety when church- 
preferments, efpecially the more eminent ones, were 
to be difpofed of. She reckoned that that was one 
of the main parts of her care j for which a parti- 
cular account was to be given to that God, from 
whom her authority was derived, and to whom fhe 
had devoted it. When fhe apprehended that 
friendfhip might give a biafs to thofe whom fhe al- 
lowed to fpeak to her on thofe heads ; fhe told 
them of it, with the authority that became her, 
and that they well deferved. She could deny the 
moft earneft folicitations, with a true firmnefs, 
■when fhe thought the perfon did not deferve them ; 
for that was fuperior with her to all other con- 
fiderations. But when fhe denied things, fhe did 
it with fo much foftnefs, and upon fo good reafon, 
that fuch as might be mortified by the repulfe, were 
yet forced to confefs that fhe was in the right j 
even when, for the fake of a friend, they v/ifhed 
fhe had for once been in the wrong. 

It grieved her to hear how low and depauperated 
a great many of the churches of England were be- 
come : which were funk into fuch extreme poverty, 
that it was fcarce polTible, even by the help of a plu- 
rality, to find a fubfiftence in them. She had form- 
ed a great and noble defign, to bring them all to a 
juft flute of plenty, and to afford a due encourage- 
ment ; but pluralities and non-refidence, when not 
enforced by real neceility, were otherwife fo odious 


tie late ^een MARY. 47 

•to her, that fhe refolvcd to throw fuch perpetual 
difgraces upon them, as fhould oblige all perlbns to 
let go the hold that they had got of the cures ot 
fouls, over whom they did not watch, and among 
whom they did not labour. 

In a full difcourfe on this very fubiecl, the day 
feefore the fatal iilnefs ove 'took her ; {he faid, 
^* fhe had no great hope of mending matters ; )'ct 
" fhe was refolved to go on, and never to fuffer 
" herfelf to be difcouraged, or to Jofe heart : fhe 
*' would flill try what could be done, and perfue 
*' her defign, how flow or inferifible foeyer the 
*' progrefs might be." She had taken pains to 
form a true plan of the primitive conftitutions ; 
and had refolved to bring ours, as near it as could 
he ; that fo it might become more firm and ufeful, 
for attaining the great ends of religion. Neither 
the fpirit of a party, nor of bigotry, lay at the 
bottom of all this. She did not project any part 
of it as an art of government, or an inftrument 
of power and dominion. 

Her fcheme was thus laid ; fhe thought that the 
chriftian religion was revealed from heaven, to 
make mankind happy here, as well as hereafter : 
and that as mankind and fociety could not fubfift 
without any religion at all, fo alfo the corruption 
of chriftianity had made many nations the worfe 
rather than the better, for that fhadow of it that 
was received amon* them. She thought that a 
pious, learned, and laborious clergy, was the 
chief me.m of bringing the world under the power 

D 4 of 

4-8 ^« Essay on the Memory of 

of the chriftian religion ; and that the treating 
their perfons with refpe(Sl, was neceflary to procure 
them credit in the difcharge of their fun6lion. She 
intended to carry on all this together, and not any 
one part of it feparate from the reft. If at any 
time {he knew any thing in thofe who ferved at 
the altar, that expofed them to juft cenfures, (he 
covered it all that could be from common obferva- 
tion ; but took care that the perfons concerned 
fhould be both roundly fpoke to, and proceeded 
againfc when fofter methods did not fucceed, or 
that it feemed necelTary that their punifhment 
ought to be made as public as their crimes were. 
She would never fufFer any to go away with a 
conceit, that a zeal for the fervice of the crown, 
could atone for other faults ; or compound for the 
great duties of. their fun(5lion. This feemed to be 
the fctting the interefts of religion after their own j 
but file was refolved to give them always the pre- 

No intimation was ever let fall to her in any 
difcourfe, that offered a probable mean of making 
us better, which was loft by her. She would call 
upon fome to turn that motion over and over again, 
till fhe had formed her own thoughts concerning 
it. The laft thing that fhe had fettled with our 
late bleffed primate, was a fchemc of fuch rules, 
as our prefent circumftances could bear, publiflied 
fmce by his majefly ; which was an earnefl of 
many others that were to follow in due time. It 
was indeed an r.mazin^, as well as a delightful 


the tale ^teen MARY. 49 

thln^T, to fee how well fhe underftood fuch mat- 
ters, and how much flie was fet on piomoting them. 
She jy|||ed aright, that the true end of power, 
and the "Deft exercife of it, was to do good, and to 
make the world the better for it. She often faid, 
that fhe found nothing in it to make it fupportable, 
not to fay pleafant, befides that : and fhe wondered 
that the true pleafure which accompanied it, did 
not engage princes to perfiie it more effectually. 
Without this file thought, that a private life, with 
moderate circumflances, was the happier as well 
as the fafer flate. When refleilions were once 
made before her, of the fharpnefs of fome hifto- 
jiraiVf v/ho had left heavy imputations on the me- 
Jnory of fome princes ; fhe anfwered, " that if 
I" thofe princes were truly fuch, as the hiftorians 
• " reprefented them,' they had well deferved that 
" treatment ; and others who tread their fteps, 
*' might look for the fame : for the truth would 
'- be told at lafl, and that with the more acrim.ony 
" of flilc, for being fo long reftraincd. It was a 
" gentle fuftering to be expofed to the world ia 
*' their true colours, much below what others had 
" fuftered at their hands : file thou2:ht that all fo- 
*' vereigns ought to read fuch hiflories as Pro- 
*' copius ; for how much foever he may have 
*' aggravated matters, and how unbecomingly 
" foever he may have writ, yet by fuch books they 
*' might fee, what would be probably faid of theni- 
** felves, when all terrors and rertraints fhould fall 
" oft" with their li\'cs." She encouraged thofe 


50 /^n E. s s A Y on the Memory of 

whom {he admitted to frequent accefs, to lay before 
her all the occafions of doing good that might 
occur to their thoughts ; and was always well 
pleafed when new opportunities were offered to her, 
in which fhe might exercife that which was the 
inoft valued of all her prerogatives. So defirous fhe 
was to know both how to corre6l what might be 
amifs, and to promote every good defign, that fhe 
not only allowed of great freedom, in bringing 
proportions of that kind to her, but fhe charged the 
confciences of fome, with a command to keep no- 
thing of that nature from her, which they thought 
fhe ou2:ht to know. Nor were fuch motions ever 
unacceptable to her ; even when other circum- 
ftances made it impoflible for her to put them in 

The reforming the manners of her people was 
one of her chief cares. If a greater progrefs was 
not made in this, according to the pious wifhes of 
fome, who had good intentions, and much zeal, 
the true account of that flownefs was this ; fhe had 
often heard that the hypocrify of the former times 
had brought on the atheifm and impiety of the pre- 
fent, and had fortified libertines in their prejudices ; 
therefore flie refolved to guard againft every thing 
that might feem to revive that. She obferved that 
Jofiah was for the fpace of four years engaged in a 
religious courfe of life, before he fet himfelf to the 
reforming of his people; that by the example he fet 
them, he might gain fo much credit in carrying on 
that defign, as might excufe, as well as compen- 


the late ^leen MARY. 51 

fate the flownefs of beginning it. She judged that 
all people ought to be well poffefTed of their inten- 
tions in that matter : and fhe feared, lefl in the 
dif-jointed ftate, in which our affairs have lain fo 
long, the going on with that defign might have 
the face of ferving fome other end under that ap- 
pearance, for that will be popular, even when 
things are in a very corrupt flate. Therefore tho* 
this was no fooner moved to her, than fhe fet it a 
going, yet finding few inftruments to concur in it, 
and feeing a violent oppofition to thofe that did, 
fhe thought that her putting her whole flrength to 
it might be referved with great advantage to ano- 
ther time, in which our affairs fliould have a calmer 
face, and be brought to a more fedate flate. She 
did hearken carefully after every thing that feemed 
to give fome hope, that the next generation Ihould 
be better than the prefent, with a particular atten- 
tion. She heard of a fpirit of devotion and piet)'^, 
that was fpreading itfclf among the youth of this 
great city, with a true fatisfaclion ; fhe enquired 
often and much about it, and was glad to hear it 
went on and prevailed. " She lamented that 
*' whereas the devotions of the church of Rome were 
*' all (hew, and made up of pomp and pageantry ; 
*' that we were too bare and naked ; and pradifed 
*' not enough to entertain a ferious temper, or a 
*' warm and an affe6lionate heart : we might have 
** light enough to diredt, but wc wanted flame to 
*' raife an exalted devotion." 


52 An "Es?, AY on the Memory of 

I have now given fome inftances of the temper 
of her mind, in that which concerned God and 
reh'gion ; I go in the next place to confider her 
with relation to human nature. 

Princes are railed fo far above the reft of mankind, 
that they do generally lofe fight ofthofe miferies to 
which the greater part is fubjedt. It would difturb 
that eafe, in which they pafs away their hours 
too much, to hear difmai recitals of the calamities 
of their people. How much foever they may be 
lifted up with the glorious title of the parents of 
their country, yet for the moft part they know 
little of the preiTures their people lie under, and 
they feel them lefs. Our bleiTed queen was be- 
come the delight of all that knew her, by the 
obliging tendernefs with which fhe treated all thol'e 
who came near her : flie made the afRi6lions of the 
unfortunate eafier to them, by the fhare that fh-e 
bore of them, and the neceflities of the miferable 
the more fupportable, by the relief that fhe gave 
them. She was tender of thofe who deferved her 
favour ; and companionate towards thofe who 
wanted her pity. It y^'as eafy for her to reward, 
for all forts of bounty flowed readily from her. But 
it was much harder for her to punifh, except when 
the nature of the crime made mercy become a cru- 
elty, and then fhe was inflexible, not only to im- 
portunity, but to the tendernefs of her own com- 
paffionate heart. 

She was indeed happily framed by nature, which 
wrought fo foon that it prevented education. She 


the la-te ^een MARY. 53 

was goofi and gentle, before fhe was capable of 
knowing that fhe ought to be fo. This grew up 
with her in the whole progrefs of childhood : flie 
might need inftru6lion, but fhe wanted no per- 
fuafion ; and I have been often told that (he never 
once, in the whole courfe of her education, gave 
any occafion to reprove her : fo naturally did (he go 
into every thing that was good, often before (lie 
knew it, and always after fhe once underftood it. 

She was but grouping out of childhood, when 
fhe went among ftrangcrs ; but fhe went under the 
guard of fo exa£t a conduct, and fo much difcre- 
tion ; fhe exprefl'ed fuch agentlenefs, acceis to her 
was fo eafy, and her deportment was fo obliging 1 
her life was fuch an example, and her charity was 
fo free, that perhaps no age ever had fuch an inftancc. 
Never was there fuch an univerfal love and cfteeni 
(one is tem.pted to feek for other words, if langu:ige 
did afford them) paid to any, as fhe had from 
perfons of all ranks and conditions in the United 
Provinces. It was like tranfport and rapture : the 
veneration was fo profound, that how juft foever 
it might be, it feemed rather excefUve. Neither 
her foreign birth, nor regal extra£tion, neither the 
diverfity of intcrefls of opinions, nor her want of 
power and treafure, (equal to her bounty) dimi- 
nifhed the refpects that were offered her, even from 

a people, whofe conflitution gives them naturally a 
jealoufy of too great a merit in thofe who arc at 

the head of their government. 

54 ^n TLssAY on the Memory of 

I am afraid to enlarge too much on the juftlcc 
that was done her in thefe parts ; or on that uni- 
verfal mourning, with which her departui-e from 
them was followed : thatfeemed fcarce capable of an 
addition, till now that there has appeared fo black a 
gloom of defpondingforrow fpread among them all ; 
defpair and death feeming to dwell on every face, 
when the dreadful news flew over to them. I am 
afraid, I fay, to dwell too much on this, leaft it 
may feem to reproach thofe who owed her much 

In her chara6ler, ordinary things, how fmgular 
foever {he might be in them, muft be thrown Into 
the heap. She was a gentle miftrefs, a kind friend, 
(if this word is too low for her ftate, it is not too 
low for her humility,) and above all flie was fo 
tender and fo refpeclful a wife, that fhe feemed to 
go beyond the perfecSleft ideas that wit or invention 
has been able to rife to. The lowefl condition 
of life, or the greateft inequality of fortune, has 
not afforded fo perfe£l a pattern. Tendernefs and 
complacency feemed to ftrive which of them fhould 
te the more eminent. She had no higher fatls- 
faction in the profpeft of greatnefs, that was def- 
cending on her, than that it gave her an occafion 
of making him a prefent worthy of himfelf. Nor 
had crowns or thrones any charm in them, that 
■was fo pleafant to her, as that they raifed him to 
a greatnefs, which he fo well deferved, and could 
io well maintain. She was all zeal and rapture, 
when any thing was to be done, that could either 


the late ^mn MARY. c,^ 

exprefs affeftion, or (hew refpei^: to him. She 
obeyed with more pleafure, than the moft ambiti- 
ous could have when they command. This fubjecSi: 
is too hard to be well fet out, and fo it muft be lefc 
in general and larger exprefllons. 

Thofe who ferved her, can never give over 
when they are relating the inftances of her gentle- 
nefs to them all. She was fo foft when flie gave 
her orders, and fo careful of not putting too much 
upon them ; fo tender of them in their ficknefs 
and afflidlions, fo liberal on many different occa- 
fions, that as the inftances are innumerable, fo" 
they have peculiarities in them which (liew that 
every thing in her was of a piece with the reft. 
She (hewed a fenfibility at the death of thofe v/hom 
llie particularly valued ; that perfons of fo exalted 
a condition, do generally think may miibecome 
them. The many tears that flie fhed upon the 
death of our good primate, who got the ftart of 
her, a very few days, fliewed how well (he under- 
ftood his worth, and how much fhe valued it. 

So careful flie was of all that belonged to her, 
that when flie faw what her laft ficknefs was like 
to grow to, flie made thofe, who had not yet gone 
through it, withdraw. She would fuffer none to ft^y 
about her, when their attendance might endanger 
their own health ; and yet fi\e was fo tender of 
them, when they fell under that fo juftly dread- 
ful illnefs, that flie would not fuffer them to be 
removed, though they happened to be lodged very 
near herfelf. 


^6 y^ii Es 5 AY on the Memory of 

Her bounty and her compaffions had great mat- 
ter given them to work upon. And how wide 
foever her fphere may have been, fhe went in this 
rather beyond her ftrength, than kept within it. 
Thofe generous confeflbrs and exiles whom the 
perfecutioa of France fent over hither, as well as 
to the United Provihces, felt the tendernefs as well 
as the bounty of the welcome that fhe gave them. 
The confufions of Ireland drove over multitudes of 
all ranks, who fled hither for flielter, and M'ere foon 
reduced to great ftraights, from a Hate of as great 
plenty : moft of thefe wcre^ by her means, both 
fupported during their ftay, and enabled to return 
home after that ftorm was over : the largeiiefs of 
the fupplies that were given, and the tender man- 
ner of giving them, made their exile both the 
fliorter and the more tolerable : the miferable among 
ourfelves, particularly thofe who fuftered by the 
accidents of war, found in her a relief that was 
eafily come at, and was copioufly fmnilhcd. She 
would never limit any from laying proper objects 
for her charity in her way ; nor confine that care 
to the minifters of the Almonry ; fhe encouraged 
all that were about her, or that had free accefs to 
her, to acquaint her with the neceflities under 
which perfons of true merit might languifh ; and 
{xio. was never uneafy at applications of that kind, 
nor was her hand ever fcanty, when the perfon 
was defeiving, or the extremity was pinching. 
She was regular and exa^t in this ; fhe found that 
even a royal treafure, though difpenfed by a hand 


the late §lueen MARY. 57 

that was yet more royal, could not anfwer all de- 
mands. Therefore flie took care to have a juft 
account, both of the worth and of the neceflities 
of thofe who pretended ; and flie ftiewed in this as 
great an exa(Slnefs, and as attentive a regard, as 
much memory, and as much diligence, as if {he 
had had no cares of a higher nature upon her. It 
feemed fhe kept tables of journals ; for llie had a 
method in it, with which no body was ever ac- 
quainted, as far as I could learn. It was very rea- 
fonable to believe, that fhe took notes and fet rules 
to herfelf in this mattert 

But fhe was fo exad to the rule of the gofpel, of 
managing it with deep fecrefy, that none knew 
what, or to whom, fhe gave, but thofe whom fhe 
was forced to employ in it. When it was to fall 
on perfons who had accefs to her, her own hand 
was the conveyance ; what went through other 
hands, was charged on them with an injundlion of 
fecrefy j and fhe herfelf was fo far from fpeaking 
of fuch things, that when fome perfons were of- 
fered to her charity, who had been already 
named by others, and were relieved by herfelf, fhe 
would not let thofe who fpoke to her, upon the 
fame of their being in want, underfland any thing 
of the notice that had been already taken of it; but 
either file let the thing pafs in filence, or if the 
neceflity was reprefented as heavier than fKe had 
underflood it to be, a new fupply was given, with- 
out fo much as a hint of what had gone before, , 

E But 

58 Afj "Essay on the Memory of 

But how good foever ihe was m herfelf, fhe car- 
ried a heavy load upon her mind : the deep fenfe 
that fhe had of the guilt and judgments that 
ieemed to be hanging over us, as. no doubt it gave 
her many afflicting thou2,hts in the prefence of 
God, fo it broke often out in many fad flrains to 
thofe- to whom fhe gave her thoughts a freer vent. 
The impieties and blafphemies, the open contempt 
of religion, and the fcorn of virtue, that flie heard 
of from fo many hands, and in fo many different 
corners of the nation, gave her a fecret horror, and 
offered fo black a profpeft, that it filled her witb 
melancholy refledlions, and engaged her into much 
fecret mourning. This touched her the more 
fenfibly when fhe at any time heard that fome, who 
pretended to much zeal for the crown and the pre- 
fent eftaBlifhment,. feemed from thence to think 
they had fome right to be indulged in their licenci- 
oufnefs,. and other irregularities. She often faid, 
" can a blefling be expected from fuch hands, or 
*' on any thing that muft pafs through them ? " 
She longed to fee a fet of men of integrity and pro- 
bity, of generous tempei 3 and public fpirits,iii whofe 
hands the concerns of the crown and nation might 
be lodged, with reafonable hopes of fuccefs, and of a 
blelTing from above, upon their fervices. She had a jufl 
efteem of all perfons as f]ie found them truly virtuous 
and religious ; nor could any other confiderations 
have a great effeil u[on her, when thefe were want- 
ing. She made a great difference between thofe 
that were convinced of the principles of religion,. 


the late ^leen MARY. 59 

how fatally foever they might be fliut up from ha- 
ving their due efFe<S on them, and thofe who had 
quite thrown them off; where ihefe were quite 
extinguifhed, no hope was left, nor foundation to 
build upon : but where they remained, how feeble 
or unadive foever, there was a feed ftill within them, 
that at fome time or other, and upon fome happy 
oceafion, might fhoot and grow. Next to open 
impiety, the coldnefs, the want of heat and life in 
thofe who pretended to religion, the deadnefs and 
dif-union of the whole body of proteftants, and the 
weaknefs, the humours and affedations, of fome 
who feemed to have good intentions, did very {^n- 
fibly affed her. She faid often, with feeling and 
cutting regret, " can fuch dry bones live ? " When 
ihc heard what crying fins abounded in our fleets 
and armies, Ihe gave fuch diredions as feemed 
pradicable, to thofe who fhe thought might in 
ix>m^ meafure corred them ; and /lie made fome, in 
very eminent ftations, underiland, that nothing 
could both pleafe, and even oblige her more, than 
that care fhould be taken to flop thofe growino- dif- 
orders, and to reduce matters to the gravity and 
fobriety <jf former times. The laft great projetSt 
that her thoughts were working on, with relation 
to a noble and royal provifion for maimed and de- 
cayed feamen, was particularly defigned to be fo 
conftituted, as to put them in a probable way of 
ending their days in the fear of God. Every new 
hint that wa)', was entertained by her with a lively 
joy : (he had fomedifcourfcon that head the very day 

E 2 before 

€o An EssAV on the Memory of 

before fhe was taken 111. It gave her a fenfible con- 
cern, to hear that Ireland was fcarce got out of its 
miferies, when it was returning to the levities, and 
even to the abominations of former times : fhe 
fpake of thofe things like one that was trembling 
and fmking under the weight of them. She took 
particular methods to be well informed ofthcftate 
of our plantations, and of thofe colonies that we 
have among infidels : but it was no fmall grief to 
her to hear that they were but too generally a re- 
proach to the religion by which they were nalmed, 
(I do not fay which they profefled, for many of 
them feem fcarce to profefs it.) She gave a willing 
ear to a propofition that was made for eredling 
fchools, and the founding of a college among them. 
She confidered the whole fcheme of it, and the en- 
dowment which was defired for it. It was a noble 
one, and was to rife out of fome branches of the 
revenue, which made it liable to objections : but 
fhetook care to confider the whole thing fowell,that 
Ihe herfelf anfwered all obje»5tions, and efpoufed 
the matter with fo afie6lionate a concern, that fhe 
prepared it for the king to fettle it at his coming 
over. She knew how heartily he concurred in all 
defigns of that nature, though other more prefling 
cares denied him the opportunities of confidering 
them fo much : fhe digefted and prepared them for 
him ; and as fhe knew how large a fhare of zeal 
his majefly had for good things, fhe took care alfo 
to give him the largeft fliare of the honour of tbem. 
Nor indeed could any thing infiame her more, than 


the late ^een MARY, 6i 

the profpeit of fetting religion forward, efpccially 
where there were hopes of working upon infidels ; 
though after all, the infidels at home feemed to be 
more incurable and defperate than thofe abroad. 

Her concern and her charafler was not limited 
to that which might fecm to be her own immediate 
province, and was more efpecially put xmder her 
care ; the foreign churches had alfo a liberal 
fhare of it. She was not infenfible of the kind- 
nefs of the Dutch ; flie remembered it always with 
a grateful tendernefs, and was heartily touched 
with all their concerns. The refugees of France 
were confidered by her, as thofe whom God had 
fent to fit fafe under her fliadow, and cafy through 
her favour. Thofe fcattered remnants of our elder 
fifter, that had Iteen hunted out of their vallies, 
were again brought together by their majefties 
means. It was the king's powerful interceflion 
that reftored them to their feats, as well as to their 
edi(Sts. And it was the queen's charity that form- 
ed them into bodies, and put them in the method 
of enjoying thofe advantages, and of tranfmitting 
them down to the fucceediiig: ages. She took care 
alfo of preferving the little that was left of the 
Bohemian churches : file ha4 fomicd nurferies of 
religion in fomc of the parts of Germany which 
were exhaufied by war, and difabled to carry on 
the education of their youth : and to tranfmit to 
the next age, the faith which they themfelves pro- 


E 3 Such 

62 ^n "Ess AY on the Memoiy of 

Such was the temper of our blefled queen ; thefe 
were the earnefls of what we expetSled from her ; 
they had been a full return of the moft promifing 
expedlations in any other ; but in her they were 
only earnefts of what we looked for, It was but 
the dawning of her day ; the mifts and clouds rofe 
fo thick upon it, thediforders of war did fo obftru£l 
many great defigns, that her light was much in- 
tercepted, it could not fhine through ; fhe under- 
flood well the decencies of things j they were beau- 
ful in their feafons ; and they would not have had 
fo fair an appearance, if they had come before the 
proper time, and the other circuniflances that might 
fit them. She feemed to have many years before 
her ; her youth was that which added this particu' 
lar happinefs to all the other bleffings that we had 
in her, that we thought we were fecure in a long 
continuance of it. We flattered ourfelves with the 
hopes of a reign that fliould have been lafting. 
The hopes of that made us neither to doubt nor 
fear any thing elfe. What generous or abftrafled 
thoughts foever we may have in fpeculation, felf- 
love lies fo near us, that after all we are chiefly 
concerned for our own times. We thijik we may 
more eafily deliver over the concerns of the next 
age to thofe who are to live in it. It feems to be 
the voice of nature that Hezekiah faid, " good is 
*' the word of the Lord, that peace and truth fhall 
*' be in my days. " Therefore when the profpe<5l 
of a fixed happinefs goes farther than the reafoiv 
able profpedt of our o\An continuance here, we 


the hits i^iicsn MARY. 63 

think we ourfeives are very fafe. It is alfo a de- 
li'fj-htful thought to one, that confiders how much 
all things are out of joint, and into what diforder 
they have fallen, to hope that fo dexterous a hand 
was like to have fo long a courfe of life before her, 
for putting every thing again into proper methods, 
and in regular channels j and that might have lived 
till the nation had put on another face, till we had 
recovered our antient virtue, as well as our much, 
blafted fame ; till religion had been not only fe- 
cured, but raifed to fuch a degree, as to have {hined 
out from us through the whole earth, with a benign 
•influence on all the foreign churches, as well as 
with a dreadful one towards the Roman church, (I 
mean not the dreadfulnefs of cruelty ; that is her 
own chara£ter, which we ftill leave entire to her, 
I mean the dazzling her with the brightnefs of vir- 
tue and religion among us) and till public liberty 
had been fettled upon a true bails. I mean the 
authority of a well balanced and well conduiled 
government ; that fiiould have maintained property, 
and have aftcrted the generous principles of the free- 
■dom of human nature j that fliould have difpenfcd 
juftlce, and rewarded virtue, with a gentle but 
fteady hand, and have rcpreffed the luxuriant pie- 
tenfions of thofe who undcrftand public liberty fo 
little, as not to be able to diftinguifli it fromlicen- 
cioufnefs ; uhich flrikcs flrll: at religion and virtue, 
and then muft foon fall with its own burden, under 
the mifcry of ufurpations at home, or become an 
-c^y prey to foreign conquerors. A corrupted ftate 

^4- of 

6'4 An Kss AY on the Memory of 

of mankind Is well prepared to be a fcene of flavery;. 
Liberty cannot be maintained but by virtue, tem- 
perance, moderate defires, and contented minds ; 
and fmce thofe are not to be attained to but by re- 
ligion, this is an imcontefled truth, that liberty 
and religion live and die together. 

All this, and a deal more, both with relation to 
ourfelves, and to all that are round about us, was 
that which we thought we had a right to expe£l 
from the continuance of fuch a reign : we thought 
that God had formed her by fp many peculiar 
chara6lers, and conducted her by fo many happy 
providences, that from all thefe we had fome right 
to conclude, that it would be lading. The appear- 
ances were of our fide ; for though flie tempered 
the chearfulnefs of youth with the gravity of age, 
and the ferioufnefs even of old age, yet youth flill 
fmiled in her countenance with fo frefh an air, 
that we thought nature had not gone half its way, 
and had yet a long career t(3 run. So firm a health, 
fo regular a courfe of life, and fo calm a temper, 
thatexaelnefs of method, and punctualnefs of hours, 
feemed to add a further fecuiity to our hopes : nor 
did they flop under the reign or age of a queen 

We felt (o happy an influence from her example, 
as well as by her government, that even under the 
terror that her ficknefs gave us, we flattered our- 
felves with the hopes that God was only trying us, 
to give us a jufler value of fo ineftimable a blciling, 
that fo it might be reflored to us with the more 
advantage, and an higher endearment. We ccuM 


the late ^een MARY. 65 

not let ourfelves think, that fo terrible a ftrokc 
was To near us. We, who but a few days before, 
had been fancying, what our childrens children 
were to fee in her, were then driven to apprehend 
that our fun was to fet before it had attained to 
its noon. Then under the darknefs of that thick 
cloud, every one began to recollect what he had 
feen and obferved in her : and though fome knew 
more than others, yet every one knew enough to 
ftrike him with amazement and forrow. Then 
her whole adminiflration, as well as the privater 
parts of her lite, was remembered : every one had 
fomething to fay, and all added to the common 
flock, and increafed the general lamentation. 

It is true, a veil ought heie to be drawn over 
that which Is facred. The fecrets of government 
arefoj and muft not break out, till the proper 
time comes of recording them, and of delivering 
them down to poftcrity ; and then we know what 
a figure her hiftory mufl make. But in this way, 
and under the due referves of fpeaking of prefent 
things, fomewhat may be ventured on, without 
breaking in too far. Her pun61;ualnefs to hours, 
her patience in audiences, her gcntlenefs in 
commanding, her refervednefs in fpeaking, her 
caution in promifing, her foftnefs in finding 
fault, her readinefs in rewarding, her diligence 
in ordering, her hearkening to all that was fug- 
gefted, and the copious accounts that flie gave 
to hini whom both God, and her own choice, had 
made her oracle, were every one of them furprifingj 
but all together they feem to look rather like the idea 


66 An 'E,%SAY O/t the Memory of 

of what ought to be, than that which could in 
reafon be expelled from any one perfon. It might 
have been fuppofed that her whole time muft have 
gone to this. If many other things had been 
omitted, it was that which mufc have been well 
allowed of ; but that there might be a fulnefs of 
leifure for every thing, the day was early begun ; 
Ihe had many hours to fpare, and nothing was 
<Jone in hafte ; no huny nor impatience appeared. 
Her devotions, both private and public, were 
not fo much as fhortened ; and fhe found time 
«nou2;h for keeping up the chearfulnefs of a court, 
and for admitting all perfons to her. She was not 
io wholly pofTefTed by the greateft cares, that fhe 
forgot the fmalleft. Thofe who are exacSt in little 
things, generally trifle in great ones ; and thofe 
who mind great things, think they have a right 
to neglecSl fmaller ones : they think they (hould 
rather be leffened if they were too exa(9; in them. 
But it was a new thing to fee one, who never 
forgot things, which fhe herfelf efteemed but trifles, 
and which fhe managed with fo becoming a grace, 
that even in thefe fhe pcrferved her own character, 
yet to carry on the great -concerns of government 
with fo firm a condu6t, and fuch an air ©f majefly. 
If any thing was ever found in her, that might 
feem to fall too low, it 'was that her humility and 
modcfty did really deprefs her too much in her own 
-eyes ; and that fhe might toofcon be made to think, 
that the reafons which v/ere offered to her by others, 
were better than her own. But even this was 


the late ^leen MARY. 6j 

only in fuch matters, In which the want of prac- 
tice might make that modeft diftruft feem more 
reafonable : and when {he did fee nothing in that 
which was before her, in which confcience had 
any (hare, for whenfoever that appeared, fhc was 
firm and un moveable. 

Her adminiftration had a peculiar happlnefs at- 
tending on it; v/e had reafon to believe that it 
went the better with us upon her accounc. There 
was fomewhat in herfelf that difarmed many of 
her enemies ; fuch of them as came near her, were 
foon conquered by her ; while the dexterity and 
fecrefy of her condu6l, defeated the defigns of 
thofe who were reftlefs and implacable. Wc 
feemed once to be much expofed ; unprofperous 
accidents at fea gave our enemies the appearance 
of a triumph : they lay along our coafts, and were 
for fome time the mailers of our feas. But a fecret 
guard feemed then to environ us : all the harm 
that they did us, in one inftance of barbarit)-', 
that fhewed what our sreneral treatment mi^ht 
probably have been, if we had became a prey to 
them, did us little huit : it feemed rather fuffcreJ 
by heaven, to unite us againft them. The 
nation loft no courage by it ; their zeal was 
the more inflamed. This was her iirft effay of 
government ; but then fhe, who upon ordinary 
occafions was not out of countenance to own a 
fear that did not mifbecomc her, did now, when a 
vifible danger threatncd her, fliew a firmnefs of 
mind, and a compofcdncfs of behaviour, that made 


6S An Kss AY on thi Memory of 
the nien of the clearefl: courage afhamed of them- 
ielves. She covered the inward apprehenfions that 
£he had, with fuch an equality of behaviour, that 
ihe fecnied afiaid of nothing, when flie had reafon 
to fear the worfl that could happen. She was refol- 
ved, if things fliould have gone to extremities, to 
have ventured herfelf with her people, and either to 
have preferved them, or to have perifhed with them. 
This was fuch a beginning of the exercife of 
royal power, as might for ever have given her a 
difguft of it. She feemed all the while to poflefs 
her foul in patience ; and to live in a conftant re- 
ficnation of herfelf to the will of God, without 
any anxiety concerning events. The happy news 
of a great victory, and of a greater prefervation of 
his majefty's facred perfon, from the fuieft inftru- 
nients of death, which feemed to be fent with that 
djredion, that it might (hew the immediate watch- 
fulnefs of providence about him, did foon change 
the fcene, and put another face on our affairs. 
She only feemed the leaft changed ; Ihe looked 
more chearful, but with the fame tranquility : the 
appearances of it had never left her. Nor was it 
a fmall addition to her joy, that another perfon, 
for whom fhe flill retained profound regards, was 
alfo preferved. She was a true Sabine in the cafe ; 
and though Ihe was no part of the caufe of the 
war, yet (he would willingly have facrificed her 
own life, to have preferved either of thofe that 
feemed to be then in danger. She fpoke of that 
matter, two days after the news came, with fo ten- 

the late ^leen MARY. 69 

der a fenfe of the goodnefs of God to her in it, 
that it drew tears from her : and then fhe freely 
confefTed, " that her heart had trembled, not fo 
*' much from the apprehenfion of the danger, that 
*' {he herfelf was in, as from the fcene that was 
*' then in aftion at the Boyne : God had heard her 
** prayers, and (he bleffed him for it, with as ^qyX' 
" fible a joy, as for any thing that had ever hap- 
" pened to her." 

The next feafon of her adminiftration concluded 
the redudtion of Ireland. The expedtations of 
fuccefs there, were once fo much funk, that it 
feemed that that ifland was to be yet, for another 
year, a field of blood, and a heap of afhes. She 
laid the blame of this in a great meafure on the 
licencioufnefs and other diforders that Ihe hearii 
had rather increafed, than abated among them. A 
fudden turn came from a bold but neceffary refolu- 
tion, that was executed as gallantly as it was 
generoufly undertaken. In the face of a great 
army, a handful of men pafTed a deep river, forceil 
a town, and made the enemy to retire in hafte. Alt 
poflerity will reckon this among the moll fignal 
performances of war : an inflance that (hewed how 
far courage coufd go ; and what brave men, well 
led on^ could do. A great vi£lory followed a few 
days after : the fuccefs of the adtion was at fo long 
and fo doubtful a ftand, that there was juft reafon 
to believe, that pure hands lifted up to heaven, 
might have great influence, and might have giveii 
the turn ; from that time fuccefs was lefs doubtful. 
AH was concluded with the h:i|'py reduclicn of the 




^o -^^^ Ess AT 0^ the Memory of 

whole ifland. The reflexions that fhe made oa 
this, looked the fame way that all her thoughts 
did. " Our forces elfewhere, both at fea and 
' land, were thought to be confiderable, and fo 
*' promlfing, that we were in great hopes of 
** fomewhat that might bedecifivej only Ireland 
was apprehended to be too weakly furnifhed 
for a concluding campaign j yet fo different 
•^ are the methods of providence from human ex- 
pectations, that nothing memorable happened 
any where, but only in Ireland, where little pr 
nothing was expefted." 
She was again at the helm when we were threat- 
jied with a defcent, and an invafion ; which was 
condu6led v/ith that fecrefy, that we were in dan- 
ger of being furprifed by it, when our preparations 
at fea were not finifhed, and our force at land was 
not confiderable. The ftruggle was like to have 
been formidable ; and there was a particular vio- 
lence to be done to herfelf, by reafon of him who 
was to have conduiled it. Then we felt new 
proofs of the watchfulnefs of heaven. What comes 
immediately from caufes that fall not under human 
counfels, nor can be redrefled by fkill or force, 
may well be afcribed to the fpecialities of provi- 
dence : and the rather, if nature feems to go out 
of its courfe, and feafons change their ordinary 
face, A long uninterrupted continuance of boif- 
terous weather, that came from the point that was 
jnoft: contrary to their defigns, made the project 
;mpradlicable, A fucceflion of turns of weather 


the late ^leen MARY. 7? 

followed after that, happily to us, and as fatally to 
them. While the fame wind that flopped their 
fleets, joined ours. It went not out of that direc- 
tion, till it ended in one of the moft glorious 
adlions that ever England had ; and then thofe who 
were brought together to invade us, were forced 
to be the melancholy fpedators of the deftrufiion 
of the beft part of that fleet, on wliich all their 
hope was built. In that, without detrading either 
from the gallantry of our men, or .the condud of 
our admiral, it muft be acknowledged that provi- 
dence had the largeft fharc : and if we may pre- 
fume to enter into thofe fecrets, and to judfe of 
the hidden caufes of them, we may well conclude,, 
that her piety and her prayers contributed not a 
little to it. 

She bore fuccefs with the fame decency that 
appeared when the fky feemed to be more clouded. 
So firm a fituation of mind as £tiz had, feemed to be 
above the power of accidents of any fort whatfo- 
ever. Clouds returned again in another year of 
her adminiflration ; though not with a face that 
was quite fo black. She thought God was angry 
with us ; and it was not hard to find out a reafon 
to juflify the fevered: of his providences. 

It feemed much more accountable, that our af- 
fairs fhould have met with fome unhappy interrup- 
tions, than that lb many bleflings £hould have 
attended upon us. She had a tender fenfe of any 
thing that looked like a mifcarriage, under her 
condadl, and was afraid left fome miflake of hers 


72 \An KssA Y on the Memory of 

might have occafloned it. When difficulties gfew 
too hard to be extricated, and that Ihe felt an 
iineafmefs in them, fhe made God her refuge ; and 
though file had neither the principles nor the tent- 
per of an enthufiafl, yet Ihe often owned that fhe 
felt a full calm upon her thoughts, after fhe had 
given them a free vent before God in prayer. 

When fad accidents came from the immediate 
hand of heaven, particularly on the occafion of a 
great lofs at fea ; fhe faid, " though there was no 
*' occafion for complaint or anger upon thefe, yet 
*' there was a jufler caufe of grief, fince God's 
*' hand was to be feen fo particularly in them." 
Sometimes fhe feared there mio-ht be fome fecret 
fins that might lie at the root and blafl all j but 
fhe went foon off from that, and faid, '^ where fo 
*' much was vifible, there was no need of divina- 
'* tion concerning that which might be hidden/* 

When the fky grew clearer, and in her more 
profperous days, fhe was never lifted up. A great 
refolution was taken, which has fince changed the 
fcene very vifibly : it has not only afferted a domi- 
nion over thofe feas which we claim as our own, 
but has for the prefent afl'umed a more extended 
empire ; while we are maflers both of the ocean 
and the Mediterranean j and have our enemies 
coafls, as well as the feas, open to us. She had too 
tender a heart to take any real fatisfailion in the 
deflrudtion of their towns, or the ruin of their 
poor and innocent inhabitants. She fpoke of this 
with true indignation, at thofe who had begun 


the late ^een MARY. 73 

fuch pra£lices, even in full peace j or after protec- 
tions had been given. She was forry that the ftate 
of war made it neceflary to reftrain another prince' 
from fuch barbarities, by making himfelf feel the 
effedls of them ; and therefore ftie faid, " fhe 
*' hoped, that fuch pra6lices fhould become fo odi- 
*' ous, in all that ftiould begin them, and by their 
" doing fo force others to retaliate, that for the 
*' future they Ihould be for ever laid afide." 

When her affairs had another face, fhe grew 
not fecure, nor went fhe off from her dependance 
upon God. In all the pleafures of life, fhe main- 
tained a true indifference for the continuance of 
them ; and fhe feemed to think of parting with 
them, in fo eafy a manner, that it plainly appeared 
how little they had got into her heart : fhe had no 
occafion for thefe thoughts, from any other prin- 
ciple, but a mere difguft of life, and the afpiring 
to a better. She apprehended fhe felt once or twice 
fuch indifpofitions upon her, that fhe concluded 
nature was working towards fome great ficknefs ; 
lb fhe fet herfelf to take full and broad views of 
death, that from thence fhe might judge, how fhe 
fhould be able to encounter it. But fhe felt fo 
quiet an indifference upon that profpe6l, leaning 
rather toward the defire of a diffolution, that fhe 
faid, " though (he did not pray for death, yet fhe 
" could neither wifh nor pray againfl it. She left 
*' that before God, and referred herfelf intirely to 
" the difpofai of providence. If fhe did not wifh 
** for death, yet fhe did not fear it." 

F As 

7'4 y/« Essay on the Memory of 

As this was her temper, when fhe viewed it at 
fome diftance, fo fhe maintained the fame calm, 
when in the clofeft flruggle with it. Here darknefs 
and horror fall upon me ; for who can look thro*" 
that fcene fo unconcerned as flie went through it ? 
I know if 1 would write according to the rules of 
art, 1 fnould draw a veil here, and leave the reader 
to imagine that, which no pen can properly ex- 
prefs. Every thing muft feem flat here, upon a 
fubjedt that gives a flame too high, to be either 
manasied or defcribed. But it is nature and not 
art that governs me. I will therefore go through 
"what remains, though without the force or flight 
that it feems to command : I will do it, though, 
but faiatly, with a feeblenefs fuitable to the temper 
of my own mind, without any anxious ftudy to 
manage fo poor a thing, as the credit of writing 
in proportion to the fublimity of the fubje<St. Let 
the matter itfelf fpeak j that will have a force that 
v/ill fupply all defeds. 

She only was calm, when all was in a ftorin 
ahout her : the difmal fighs of all that came near 
her, could not difcompofe her. She was rifing 
fo faft above mortality, that even he who was more 
to her than all the world befides, and to all whofe 
thoughts flie had been upon every other occalion 
intirely refigned, could not now infpire her with 
any defues of returning back to life. Her mind 
feemcd to be dif-entangllng itfelf from her body,^ 
and fo flie rofe above that tendernefs, that we«t 
deeper in her than all other earthly things what- 


the late ^isen MARY. 75 

Toever. It feemed all th^t was mortal was falling 
off, when that could give her no uneafinefs. 

She received the intimations of approaching 
death with a firmnefs that did neither bend nor 
foften under that which has made the ftrongeft 
ininds to tremble. Then, when even the moft artifi- 
cial grov/ fincere, it appeared how eftablifiied a calm 
and how fublime a piety poffeffed her. A ready 
willingnefs to be diffolved, and an entire refigna- 
tion to the will of God, did not forfake her one 
minute, nor had any thing been left to bedifpatch- 
ed in her lall hours. Her mind was in no hurry, 
tut foft as the ftill voice that feemed to be calling 
her foul away to the regions above. So that flue 
-made her laft fteps with a liability and fenoufnefs, 
that how little ordinary foever they may be, were 
indeed the natural conclufions of fuch a life as flie 
Jiad led. 

But how quiet foever fiie was, the news of her 
danger ftruck the whole nation, as well as the 
town, with fo aftonifhing a terror, as if thunders 
and earthquakes had been fiiaking both heaven and 
earth. Elacknefs then dwelt on every face ; a 
iilent confufion of look, burfting out often into 
tears and fighs, v/as fo univerfal, and looked with 
fo folemn an air, that how much foever ihe de- 
ferred the afFeilions of the nation, yet we never 
thought that (he poflefled them fo entirely, as ap- 
peared in thofe days of forrow. It was a fcafon of 
great joy : we were celebrating that Bleffed Na- 
tivity that gave us all life and the hopes of a blcflcd 

F 2 immortality. 

7^ Jn Ess AY on ibe Memory of 

immortality. But it was a fad interruption to that 
facred feilivity when we were alarmed with thofe 
frightful apprehenfions. We were once revived 
with the hopes of a lefs formidable ficknefs. This 
fpread a joy that was as high and univerfal as our 
grief had been. We were eafily enough brought 
to flatter ourfelves with the belief of that which 
was fo much wiflied for. But this went foon off; 
it was an ill-grounded joy, the clouds returned fo 
much the blacker, by reafon of that miftaken in- 
terval. Then all that prayed upon any account 
whatfoever, redoubled their fervour, and cried out, 
*' fpare thy people, and give not thy heritage to re- 
*' proach." We prayed for ourfelves more than for 
her, when we cried to God for her life and re- 
covery ; both prieft and people, rich and poor, all 
ranks and forts joined in this litany. A univerfal 
groan was ecchoed to thofe prayers through our 
churches and ftrcets. We were afraid to afk after 
that facred health ; and yet we were impatient to 
know how it ftood. It fecmed our fins cried louder 
than our prayers j they were heard, and not the 

But how feverely foever God intended to vifit us, 
ftie was gently handled , fhe felt no inward depref- 
flon nor finking of nature. She then declared that 
(he felt in her mind the joys of a good confcicnce, 
and the powers of religion giving her fupports,, 
which even the laft agonies could not fhake : her 
conllant loftnefs to all about her never left her. 
That was indeed natural to her, but by it, all faw 
vifibly that nothing could put her mind out of it^ 


the late ^eenMA'R.Y. *jy 

natural fituation and ufual methods. A few hours 
before fhe breathed her laft, when he who miniftred 
to her in the beft things, had continued in a long 
attendance about her, fhe was fofree in hei" thoughts, 
that apprehending he might be weary, fhe com- 
manded him to fit down ; and repeated her orders 
till he obeyed them. A thing too mean in itfelf to 
be mentioned, but that it fhewed theprefenceof her 
mind, as well as the fweetnefs of her temper. 
Prayer was then her conftant exercife, as oft as fhe 
was awake ; and fo fenfible was the refrefliment 
that her mind found in it, that fhe thought it did 
her more good, and gave even her body more eafe, 
than any thing that was done her. Nature funk 
apace ; fhe lefolved to furnifh herfelf with the great 
viaticum of chriftians, the laft provifions for her 
journey ; fhe received the blefled facrament with a 
devotion that inflamed, as well as it melted all thofc 
who faw it : after that great a6l of church-commu- 
nion v/as over, fhe delivered herfelf up fo entirely 
to meditation, that fhe feemed fcarce to mind any 
rtiing elfe. She was then upon the wing. Such 
was her peace in her latter end, that though the 
fymptoms fhewed that nature was much opprefled, 
yet fhe fcarce felt any uneafmefs from it. It was 
only from what fhe perceived was done to her, and 
from thofe intimations that were given her, that 
fhe judged her life to be in danger ; but file fcarce 
knew herfelf to be fick by any thing that fhe felt 
at heart. Her bearing fo much fickncfs with fo 
little emotion, was for fomc time imputed to that 


73 ^« E s s A Y c« the Memory cf 

-undifturbed quiet and patience in which ftie poflfefled 
■her foul : but when fhe repeated it fo often, that 
iiie felt herfelf well inwardly, then it appeared 
that there was a particular blefling in fo eafy a con- 
clufion of a life that had been led through a great 
variety of accidents, with a conftant equality of 

The lafl and hardcft ftep is now to be made j 
our imaginations, which inuft ftill be full of the 
jioblefl and augufteft ideas of her, may be apt to 
reprefent her to our thoughts as ftill alive, with 
all thofe graces of majefty and fweetnefs that always 
accompanied her. But, alas ! we are but too fure, 
that all this is the illufion of fancy. She has left 
lis ; fhe is gone to thofe blefled feats above, where 
even crowns and thrones are but fmall matters, 
compared to that brighter glory, which rifes far 
above the fplendour of triumphs, proceilions, and 

The meafuring of fo great a change, and fo vaft 
an advancement in its full latitude, as it is the pro- 
pereft thought to mitigate our forrows, fo it feems 
to be too lively a one for us now, and above 
%vhat we are capable of in our prefent depreflion. 
This may -make us conclude with a fudden tranfport 
cf joy, that Ihe is happy, unfpeakably happy, by 
the change ; and has rifen much higher above what 
fhe herfelf was a little while ago, than fhe was then 
above the reft of mortals. 

But black and genuine horror ftill returns, and 
feems to wrap us, and all things about us, with fo 


the late ^{een Mh'KY. 79 

thick a mift, that (o bright a thought, as that of 
her prefent glory cannot break through it. While 
we are perfuaded of her happinefs, and that fhe 
has gained infinitely by the change, yet fclf-love is 
fo ftrong, and fenfe makes fo powerful an impref- 
fion, that when we confider what we have loft in 
lofing her, we fink under our biirthren ; dif- 
pirited, as if our life and joy were gone with her, 
as if black night and lafting winter had chilled all 
our blood, and damped all our powers. 

It may feem a needlefs feverity to aggravate all 
this, as if we were not loaded enough already ; 
but that a further black fcene muft be opened, and 
that we muft be filled with the gloomy profpecl of 
tliat which we may but too juftly and too reafon- 
ably look for, God feems to be making a way for 
his anger j and to be removing that interpofitioR 
which we have reafon to believe did effedlualk' 
ftop thofe miferies, for which we may well fear that 
we are more than ripe. 

We are not quite abandoned ; God does ftil! 
preftrve him to us, by whofe means only, confider- 
ing our prefent circumftances, we can hope either 
to be fafe or happy. That duty and refpe6t which 
was before divided, does now center all in him. 
All that we payed her, does now devolve to him, by= 
a title that becomes fo much the jufter, becaufe we 
have all feen (1 wifh we may not feel It) how deep 
a wound this made on him, whofe mind has appeared 
hitherto invulnerable, and where firmnefs feemed 
to be the peculiar chara6lcr. It is indeed but na- 


So An "Et^ AY on the Memory of 

tural that he who knew her beft, (hould value her 
moft. The beft tribute that we can offer to the 
aflies of our blefTed queen, is to double our duty, 
and our zeal to him, whom fhe loved fo intirely, 
and in whom herniemory is ftill fo frefh, that tho' 
for our own fakes we mull be concerned to fee it fink 
fo deep ; yet for his fake, we cannot but be pleafed 
to fee how much his charafter rifes, by the juft 
acknowledgments he pays her, and by that deep 
affli£tlon for her lofs, which has almoft overwhelm- 
ed a mind, that had kept its ground in the hardeft 
Ihocks of fortune, but loft it here. 

If our apprehenfions of his facred life, grow now 
more tender, and we feel more fenfibly than for- 
merly, that it is he who makes us fafe at home, 
as well as great abroad ^ if we do now fee, what is 
that interpofition that is now left, and that keeps 
off mifery and deftrudtion from breaking in upon us, 
as the fea to fwallow us up ; if that life itfelf is 
fo often expofed, that this creates a new cloud 
Upon our minds, gloomy and black, as if charged 
with ftorm and thunder ; if all this gives us a me- 
lancholy profpedt, we know that nothing can divert 
or diifipate it, but our turning from our fms, which 
lay us fo naked, which have brought one fevere 
ftroke already upon us, and by which God may be 
yet further provoked to vifit us again. Another 
Uroke muft make an end of us. 

To conclude, 


' The late ^icen MARY. S'l 

The trueft as well as the ufefuleft way of la- 
menting this lofs, is, after that we have given 
fomewhat to nature, and have let forrow have a 
free courfe, then to recolledl our thoughts, and 
to ftudy to imitate thofe virtues and perfections 
which we admired in her ; and for which her me- 
mory mufl be ever precious among us : preciousL, 
as ointment poured forth, ever favory and fragrant. 

Her death has indeed fpread a melting tender- 
nefs, and a flowing forrow over the whole nation, 
beyond any thing we ever faw ; which does in 
fome meafure bear a proportion to the juft occafion 
of it : how difmal foever this may look, yet it is 
fome fatisfadtion to fee that juft refpedts are paid her 
memory, and that our' mournings are as deep as ' 
they are univerfal. They have broke out in the 
folemneft as well as in the decenteft manner : thofe 
auguft bodies that reprefent the whole, began 
tliem ; and from them they have gone round the 
nation, in genuine and native ftrains, free and not 
emendicated. But if this fhould have its chief and beft 
efFevSl, to drive the impreffions of religion, and the 
terrors of God, deeper into us, then we may hope 
that this fatal ftrokc, as terrible and threatning as 
it now looks, might produce great and even happy 
effe^Sls : fo different may events be, from the 
caufes, or at leaft from the occafions of them. 

How lowering foever the fky may now feem, a 
general repentance, and a fincere reformation of 
manners, would foon give it another face : it 
would break through thofe clouds that fecni no^v 

G to 

S2 An "Ess AY on the Memor • 

to be big, and even ready to burft. If Li..^ is a 
much to be expected, yet if there were b-V?^ 
that did heartily go into good defigns, even .h( 
might procure to us a lengthening out of our trai 
quility, and a mitigation of our miferies, and tha 
though they were fixed on us by irreverfible d 
crees. A number of true mourners might hope 
leaft to ftop their courfe, till they themfelves Ihou 
die in peace ; or they might look for a mi -i^ 
if they (hould happen to be involved in a 

Mark the perfeSi^ and behold the upright^ j 
end is peace. 




i»"'-i* ^v\ 


'"•"'^^ -^— *. JUN6 1968 

DA Burnet, Gilbert, Bp. of 

Uin Salisbury 

H18B3 The lives of Sir Matthew 

1774 Hale