Page images
PDF
EPUB

you, I never advised any one to take the cannot accuse myself of any insincerity, NÖ oath; though some, who came to talk insi- that deprivation will not reach my condiously with me, may have raised such a science, and I am in no pain at all for myreport : So far bave I been fronu it, that I self. I perceive, that after we have been never would administer il to any one person sufficiently ridiculed, the last mortal stab dewhom I was to collate. And therefore, be signed to be given us, is to expose us to the fore the act took place, I gave a particular world for men of no conscience; and if God commission to my Chancellor, who himself is pleased to permit it, his most holy will be did not scruple it; so that he was authorized, done; thongh what that particular passion not only to institute, but also to collate in of corrupt nature is which lies at the botmy stead. If any came to discourse with tom, and which we gratify in losing all we me about taking the oath, I usually told have, will be hard to determine. God grant them, I durst not take it myself. I told such reproaches as these may not revert on them my reasons, if they urged me to it, the authors. I heartily join with your and were of my own Diocese : and then Lordship in your desires for the peace of this remitted them to their study and prayers, Church; and I shall conceive great hopes, for further directions. 'Tis true, having been that God will have compassion on ber, if I scandalized at many persons of our own see that she compassionates and supports coat, who for several years together, preach. her sister of Scotland. I beseech God to ed up passive obedience to a much greater make you an instrument to promote that height than ever I did, it being a subject peace and that charity, I myself can only with which I very rarely meddled, and on a contribute to, both by my prayers and by sudden, without the least acknowledgment my deprecations against schism, and against of their past error, preached and acted the sacrilege. quite contrary; I did prepare a pastoral

My Lord, Letter, which, if I had seen reason to alter

Your Lordship's very faithful my judgment, I thought to have published;

Servant and Brother, at least that part of it, on which I laid the

Tuos. BATH AND WELLS. greatest stress, to justify my conduct to my Oct. 5. 1689. flock, and before I went to London, I told And because I have lately seen some resome of my friends, that if* that proved Aections in a pamphlet, lately crept into the true, which was affirmed to us with all ima- world under the suspicious title of a Secret ginable assurance, (and which I think more History, wherein Dr. Ken is by name menproper for discourse than a letter) it would tioned to teaze the Duke of Monmouth in be an inducement to me to comply; but vain on the scaffold, to profess the doctrine when I came to town, I found it was false; of passive obedience : I think it proper bere and without being influenced by any one, or in this place boldly to affirm, that our Bimaking any words of it, I burnt my paper, shop (for such he was at that time, and did and adhered to my former opinion. If this attend on the scaffold,) never acted or asis to be called change of mind, and a change sisted there, but in the devotional part only. so criminal, that people who are very dis. And this though a negative, may be proved cerning, and know my own heart better than to satisfaction. myself, have pronounced sentence upon me, And as to what is so confidently menthat there is something else than conscience tioned a little after, concerning the subat the bottoin; I am much afraid, that some scription of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, of these who censure me, may be chargeable among many others, to the invitation of the with more notorious changes than that; whe- Prince of Orange, was there any such subther more conscientious or no, God only is scription any where to be produced, it must the judge,

not hare heen denied ; but there are very If your Lordship gives credit to the many strong arguments to be trged, that he never misrepresentations which are made of me, had any the least hand in that matter.. and which, I being so used to can easily And now to close all, I shall set forth one disregard, you may naturally enough be in instance of care, that bimself might not pain for me ; for to see one of your brethren offend. For whilst he staid in town, and throwing bimself headlong into a wilful de. lodged with his old friend Dr. Hooper, now privation, not only of honour and of income, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, who had bnt of a good conscience also, are particulars daily and earnestly discoursed with him on out of which may be framed an idea very the subject of compliance with the oath, he deplorable. But though I do daily in many at last used these expressions to him-I things betray great infirmity, I thank God I question not but that you, and several others,

have laken the oaths with as good a conscience

as myself shall refuse them ; and sometimes * The Bishop was about this time confi. you have almost persuaded me to comply, by dently assured, that king James bad by some the arguments you have used; but I beg yous special instrument made over the Kingdom to urge them no farther; for should I be perof Ireland to the French King.

suaded to comply, and after sce reason to

repent, you would make me the most miserable markably patient in his sickness; and when man in the world. And lest any hereafter upon his own inquiry of bis physician how lookiog into his will, and observing the lega- many days he thought he might probably cies therein bequeathed, should determine, live, desiring him to speak plainly and that either be who left such legacies could freely, and telling him be had no reason to not be thus described poor man, or this man be afraid of dying; and being by him anof charity to have left more legacies than swered about two or three days, bis only effects; I think myself obliged to reconcile reply was (his usual expression, and that these seeming contradictions, by a very without the least concern) God's will be easy explanation : for so little distrust had done, desiring that no applications might be our present Princess on the throne, of any made to cause him to linger in paio. It can ill actions of this just and religious Bishop, be no wonder he should so little regard the so great an opinion of his honesty and quiet terrors of death, who bad for many years temper, that notwithstanding he could not travelled with his shroud in his portmanteau, be prevailed with to qualify himself for liv. as what he often said, might be as soon ing under her protection by the now neces- wanted as any other of his habiliments; and sary oaths; yet she was glad he would not which was by himself put on, as soon as he refuse her yearly favour, which she was came to Long-Leate, giving notice of it the graciously pleased to bestow on him to his day before his death, by way of prevention, death, and would often complain it was too that his body might not be stripped. He little for his thanks, which be dutifully sent dozed much the day or two before he djed, her; which, together with a legacy given and what little he spake was sometimes not him a little before his death, by a very valu. coherent, which having been plied with able friend of his, not only enabled him to opiates, seemed to be rather the effect of do many acts of charity in his life-time (as dream than distemper. He was buried at what he chiefly proposed by accepting it) Froome-Selwood, it being the nearest parish but his executor likewise, to discharge all within his own diocese to the place where he such legacies as he thought fit to charge him died, as by his own request, in the church. with. I shall not be so bold as to sum up the yard, under the east window of the chancel, character of such a man, I have neither lei. just at sun rising, without any manner of sure or opportunity to search for particular pomp or ceremony, besides that of the Order facts, a large account of his life requiring for Burial in the Liturgy of the Church of both a more able and polite genius and pen; England, on the 21st day of March, 1710, my desigu being only to give some short account to introduce his writings into the "He left behind him but few relations : world, I shall only add some few matters of Martha the daughter of his brother Mr. fact of my own knowledge concerning his

John Ken by Rose his wife: which Martha last sickness, and leave the reader to refresh married to the Hon. Christopher Frederick himself with the following specimen. Kreienberg, resident of his Electoral High.

Making bloody water, which was thought ness of Hanover in London : John Beacham to be occasioned by an ulcer in his kidneys, at this time fellow of Trinity-College, and he went to Bristol, in the beginning of the William Beacham sometime fellow of Newyear 1710, for the benefit of the bot-weil, College, Oxon, and since deceased, who were where be spent the summer, and till Novem the sons of his sister Martha by her husband ber following; at which time he removed Mr. James Beacham : Isaac Walton resito Leweston, near Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, dentiary of the cathedral church of Sarum, a seat belonging to the Honourable Mrs. and Anne, son and daughter of his sister Thynne, whose good works merited his re- Anne by her husband Mr. Isaac Walton of spect and acknowledgment, as much as her London ; which Anne having married to generosity attempted the relief of his distem- William Hawkins, D.D. sometime prebenper. And being there seized with a dead dary of the cathedral church of Winton, palsy on one side of him, he was confined to had issue by him Williaru and Anne, both his chamber till about the middle of March, living. Which William begin by will proved when being, as he thought, able to take in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, such a journey, he resolved for the bath, in April 24, 1711, appointed executor, and hopes to find relief from those waters ; nor having had opportunities of knowledge and could the persuasions of that good lady or inquiry of him, submits this impartial, and bis physician, divert his design, though he he hopos not unacceptable account to laboured under another distemper, viz, the the public. dropsy. So calling at Long-Leate on Satur

An Account of his Examination before the day, in his way thitber, he spent that even

Prioy Council. ing in adjasting soine papers; all the next day he confined himself to his chamber, and

All glory be to God. on Monday he was confined to his bed, till After the favourable hearing, which this on the Monday following, viz, March 19, day the Lords of the most Honourable Privy 1710, his soul was set free. He was re. Council gave me, Mr. Bridgman came out to me to tell me, that their Lordships ex. were about a thousand or more imprisoned pected a copy of my answers; which, as far in my diocese, who were engaged in the reas I can recollect, I here humbly offer to bellion of the Duke of Monmouth, and many their Lordships

of them were such which I had reason to beThe printed paper subscribed by the de lieve to be ill men, and void of all religion, prived Bishops, to beg the alms of charitable and yet for all that, I thought it my duty to people, being shewed me, I was asked, relieve them. It is well known to the dioDid you subscribe this paper ?

cese, that I visited them night and day, and 4. My Lords, I thank God I did, and it I thank God I supplied them with necessahad a very happy effect; for the will of my ries myself, as far as I could, and encouraged blessed Redeemer was fulálled by it; and others to do the same; and yet King James what we were not able to do ourselves, was never found the least fault with me. And done by otbers; the hungry were fed, and if I am now charged with misapplying what the naked were clothed; and to feed the was given, I beg of your Lordships, that St. hungry, to clothe the naked, and to visit Paul's apostolical rule may be observed, those who are sick or in prison, is that plea against an elder receive not an accusation, which all your Lordships as well as I, as far but before two or three witnesses; for I am as you have had opportunities, must make sure none can testify that against me. What for yourselves at the great day. And that I gave I gave in the country ; and I gave to which you must all plead at God's tribunal none but those who did both want and de, for your eternal absolution, shall not, I hope, serve it: the last that I gave was to two poor be made iny condemnation here.

widows of deprived clergymen, one whereof It was then said to this purpose; No one was left with six, the other with seven small bere condemns Charity, but the way you children. have taken to procure it: your paper is It was said to this purpose : You are not illegal.

charged yourself with giving ill to men, A. My Lords, I can plead to the Evange, though it has been done by others : but the lical part: I am no Lawyer, but shell want paper comes out with a pretence of authoLawyers to plead that; and I have been rity, and it is illegal, and in the nature of a very well assured that it is legal. My brief; and, if such practices are permitted, Lords, I will sincerely give your Lordships private men may supersede all the briefs an account of the part I had in it. The granted by the king. first person who proposed it to me, was Mr. A. My Lords, I beg your pardon, if I Kettlewell, that boly man who is now with cannot give a full answer to this; I am no God; and after some time it was brought to lawyer, and am not prepared to argue it in this form, and I subscribed it, and then went law. into the country to my retirement in an ob- It was farther objected to this purpose : scure village, where I live above the sus- by sending forth this paper, you have usorppicion of giving any the least umbrage to ed ecclesiastical jurisdiction. the government.

A. My Lords, I never heard that begging My Lords, I was not active in making was a part of ecclesiastical jurisdiction; and collections in the country, where there are in this paper we are only beggars, which but few such objects of charity ; but good privilege I hope may be allowed us. people of their own accords sent me towards I make no doubt but your Lordships may fourscore pounds, of which about one half is have had strange misinformations concernstill in my hands.

ing this paper ; but having sincerely told I beg your Lordships to observe this clause you what part I had in it, I bumbly submit in our paper, as far as in law we may: and myself to your Lordships justice. to receive such charity, is, I presume, wbich I presume your Lordships will come to no in law I may; and to distribute it, is a thing immediate resolution concerning me; and also, which in law I may.

having voluntarily surrendered myself, and It was objected to this purpose–This mo the warrant having never been served on me ney has been abused and gives to very ill till I had twice attended here, this being and immoral men ; and particularly to one the third time, and my health being infirm, who goes in a gown one day, and in a blue I beg this favour of your Lordships, that I silk waistcoat another.

may return to my sister's house, where I A, My Lords, to give to an ill man may have hitherto lodged, which is a place the be a mistake, and no crime, unless what messenger knows well; and that I may be was giveu was given to an ill purpose, nay, no otherwise confined till I have received to give to an ill man and knowingly, is our your Lordships final resolution. duty, if that ill man wants necessaries of This favour your Lordships ware pleased life ; for as long as God's patience and for very readily to grant me ; for which I rebearance indulges that ill man life to lead turn my humble acknowledgments, beseechhim to repentance, we ought to support that ing God to be gracious to your Lordships. life God indulges him, hoping for the happy April 21, 1696. effect of it.

THOMAS, Bath and Wells, My Lords, in King James's time there

deprived,

MEDITATIONS.

Continuation from the second Por- which are so hard to get, and so certain to

tion of Bishop Henshaw's Medi be lost? If I enjoy them all, I shall not tations.

enjoy them long: or if I enjoy but some, I

shall shortly have use of none. I will comThe best ornament of the body is the fort myself against the want of them, with mind, and the best ornament of the mind the assurance that I shall one day not have is honesty; I will care rather how to live need of thein. well, than how to go fine. I may have an ill garment, and come to heaven; I can

This life is a race, and we do not live not, and have an ill soul. He who first

but travel; but we have another race bebids us cast our care upon Him, did not so

side this, of our soul as well as of our body; mean, as if we should take no care our

since both must be ruu, and the one will selves; it will not come to our share, to

pot tarry for the other: I will try who can sit still and cry, God help us : Solomon run fastest; if I have finished my life, and hath read his fortune, that will not work

not my course, I have made more haste in summer, therefore shall he starve in

than good speed. winter. It was the destiny sin brought upon the world, In the sweat of thy brows

If we look but out into the world, we shall thou shalt eat thy meat, and thank God we can have it so: He that made us without

see almost as many miracles as things, that ourselves, will not keep us without over

trees and plants should every year die, and selves; it is mercy enough for us, that we

recover: that the sun should only lighten eat with sweating. I will never think

and warm the earth, and not burn it; that much of my pains, where it is rewarded

the heavens should distil its rain in drops, with a blessing.

and not in rivers full, and drowd us, where they do but wet us ; God is not less mira

culous in preserving the world, than in Desperately wicked is that of some, If

making it ; and as His mercy, so His glory I shall be saved, I shall be saved; as if

is over all his works. heaven would come unlooked for, and they should be saved, whether they would or no. God never did, nor will save any God loves timely holiness, remember thy man in spite of his teeth, or against his Creator in the days of thy youth. Nature will; as we cannot keep body and soul ever begins at the wrong end, lays in, and together without sweating; no more can lays up indeed, but for the thief and the we bring our soul and God together with moth, With Absalom the first care is taken sitting still; never any got wealth, by to leave a monument behind, and when barely wishing for it, and as few come to they are settled upon earth, they will see heaven, by merely desiring it. There's a if God have any thing to say to them for race to be run, and a battle to be fought; beaven: and the best part is the last proand as well in religion as in any thing, we vided : such shall one day have their heaven must work for our living.

to seek, because they will not have it to seek pow. He that will not when he may,

&c. You know the proverb : He that This world is oft compared unto a sea, doth not seek the Lord, while he may be our life is the ship, we are the passengers, found, cannot complaju if he do afterward the grave is the common haven, Heaven is seek, and not find. the shore ; and well is the grave commonly compared unto a haven, for there we unload; the things of this world are neither A good man, still the longer he lives, borne with us, nor do die with us: we go the better be dies; men should grow out of this world as we came into it, naked: better, as they grow older ; not like a dead why are we so covetons of those things, hedge, the longer it stands the rottener. To see a man white in his leprosy leaving God, as He loves young holiness, so He the world, and not his avarice, and with loves it old; ye are those that have conSt. Luke's fool, die thinking of his barns, tinued with me, fc, was the praise of the is horrible! I had rather have no portion Apostles; perseverance is the pillar of our on earth, than buy it with that I shall have salvation, if that fail, all goes to the ground. in heaven; I will not (with the cur in the What commendation is it to bave done fable) part with my flesh, for its shadow. well, if thou hast forsaken thy first love,

if thou hast lost thy first hopes ? He must

carry his goodness to his grave, that will The way to sweeten death, is to think have it carry him to heaven. of it ; every day I live, I will remember I might die ; and I will not desire to live a

It is a great way, and requires a long day longer, than I grow some dramsti

time to come to heaven; I admire their better : what will it benefit me that I have

strength, or rather weakness, that talk of lived some hours which I cannot answer

getting it at the last gasp, as if it could be for?

had with a wet finger: I know those that

have lived some years, and taken some Every man would be thought to be in pains too, to set themselves forward, and love with heaven, and yet most men are if they come thither at last, will think they loth to shake hands with earth; here is the have done well too; for my own part, I difference between the heavenly language neither desire, nor hope to enjoy it without and ours; they cry, how long, Lord, how a great deal of difficulty, angoish, and long? and we cry, how soon? they think agony; and shall think it Jabour well behe stays too long, and we think he comes stowed, that I have it upon any terms. too fast. I will labour to be a follower of those, with whom I would be partner; he Blessed are they which die in the Lord, hath not yet enough conned heaven, that is for they rest from their labours : In this Joth to go to it; that voice only is worthy world, there is nothing but dangers and an Apostle, I desire to be dissolved, and discontents, vanity and vexation; then only to be with Christ.

sball we be at rest, when we cease to be: If we thought more of this, we would not

think much of our affliction, If I am The just man shall live by his faith, and

never so beleaguered with sickness, or others live by his charity: true faith is

want, or famine, or all at once; I will reseen in its works; he that says he believes

member I came not into this world to take and doth not shew it, believe him not. To

my rest, but to prepare for it. make shew of believing, and not in thy works, is to shew thy bypocrisy, but not

Our Saviour knew what He did, when he thy faith.

taught us to pray, Our Father, which art

in heaven, &c. To give, and to forgive, Those that bonour me, will I honour, is for He only can do both; none can a bargain of God's own making: God's

forgive sins, or give grace, but God alone : bononr is the way to our's, we cannot but yet doth He not always give with His own be blest, if we will but be observant. I hand, but reacheth grace and salvation in will care only to serve him, and I am sure

His word and sacraments, by the hands I shall serve myself. Never any man lost

of his ministers; and because no man can in God's service.

hear His voice and live, He speaks in them; it is the wonder of His goodness,

that he respects not only our wants, but Of idleness comes no goodness ; doing our infirmities, and would so appear to us, nothing will in time come to doing ill, and as He might teach us, but not fright us : from being idle, to be ill occupied ; the thus we see Him speaking to Moses bimlabour that is imposed upon the soul is not self, to Israel by Moses: He proportions to sit still, but to run. Good men must the means answerable to our strength; we not be like David's images that have feet, are not like our Maker, if we think scorn and walk not; then only have we hope to to stoop to the weakness of our brethren. come to our journey's end, when we keep I will be all things to all, that by any going.

means I may win some,

« PreviousContinue »