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EZEKIEL HOPKINS, D.D.
BISHOP of DERRY, IN IRELAND.
EZEKIEL HOPKINS, a learned Bishop, whose works are in good esteem, was born in 1633, in the parish of Crediton, near Exeter, in Devonshire, and was son to the curate of Sandtord, a chapel of ease belonging to Crediton. In 1619 he became a chorister of Magdalen College, Oxford, usher of the school adjoining when bachelor of arts, chaplain of the college when master, and would have been fellow had his county qualified him. All this time he lived and was educated under presbyterian and independent discipline; but, upon the restoration of King Charles II. being a doctrinal Calvinist, and a real professor of the most essential articles of the church of England, he found no difficulty in his mind for a full conformity to its outward ritual, when re-established by law; persuaded that more good might be done in the church than out of it, both because there were more opportunities of attempting it, and because there, in consequence of the larger and more mixed multitude, it was most of all wanted. He was first, by the interest of Sir Thomas Viner, made lecturer of the parish of Hackney near London, where he continued till the act of conformity was published, and might have been chosen a lecturer in London, but the bishop would not permit it, " because he was a popular preacher, Mr. Wood says,
among the fanatics. At the Restoration, the men of the church were much changed, but the doctrines of the VOL. IV. B
church continued the same. Some fiery Arminians took
On the eleventh of November 1681, ten years after, he was translated to the bishopric of Derry. In 1688, on account of the troubles in Ireland, he returned to England for safety, and was made minister of the parish of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, or, as others say, of St. Lawrence,
Jewry, * Theron and Aspasio, Vol. II. p. 319.
Jewry, where he died on the twenty-second of June 1690, and was buried in the church of St. Mary, Aldermanbury. The see was kept vacant on account of the unsettled state of the kingdom, till the eighth of January following
He was a Prelate greatly esteemed for his humility, modesty, hospitality, and charity; as also for his great learning and excellent preaching; and was reckoned also no inconsiderable poet.
His Works consist of “ Two volumes of sermons; an Exposition of the Ten Commandments, printed in 1692, 4to. And an Exposition of the Lord's Prayer, &c. 1692. 4to."
THOMAS JACOMB, D.D. THOMAS JACOMB was born near Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire, in the year 1622. After he had been trained up in grammar learning at the country schools, he was sent to Magdalen Hall, Oxford, of which Dr. Wilkinson, the elder, was then principal. When he had taken the degree of bachelor of arts, he removed to Cambridge, and was of Emanuel College. He was for some time fellow of Trinity, and much esteemed in that flourishing society. He came to London in 1647, and was soon after minister of Ludgate parish, where his ministry was both acceptable and useful till he was turned out in 1662. He was a nonconformist upon moderate principles; much rather desiring to have been comprehended in the national church, than to have separated from it. He met with some trouble after his ejectinent, but being received into the family of the Countess Dowager of Exeter, daughter of the Earl of Bridgewater, he was covered from his enemies. Her respect for the Doctor was peculiar, and the favours conferred upon him extraordinary, for which he made the best return, by his constant care to promote religion in her family.
He was a servant of Christ in the most peculiar and sacred relation, and was true to his title both in his doctrine and in his life. Effectual grace wrought so powerfully upon his soul, that he became an excellent preacher of the gospel, and had a happy art of conveying saving truths into the minds and hearts of men. He did not entertain his hearers with mere curiosities, but with spiritual food, faithfully dispensing the bread of life, whose vital sweetness and nourishing virtue is by the Holy Spirit rendered both productive and preservative of the lite of souls. He preached Christ crucified, our only wisdom and righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
This great design was to convince sinners of their absolute want of Christ, that with flaming affections they might be led to him by his convincing Spirit, and from his fulness receive divine grace. This is to water the tree at the root, whereby it becomes both flourishing and fruitful; whereas only laying down moral rules for the exercise of virtue, too frequently ends in words only, without any real efiect in the life and conversation. In short, his sermons were clear, solid, and affectionate. His words came from his soul, and from warm affections, and they entered into the breasts of his hearers: Of this many serious and judicious persons were witnesses, who long attended upon his ministry with profit and delight.
His constant diligence in the service of Christ was becoming his zeal for the glory of his master, and his love to the souls of men. He preached thrice a-week while he had opportunity and strength, este ming his labour in his sacred office both his highest honour and his pleasure. At the first appearance of an ulcer in his mouth, which he was told to be cancerous, he was observed to be not more concerned thereat, than as it was likely to binder his delightful work of preaching; and when he enjoyed ease, and after wasting sickness was restored to some degree of strength, he joyfully returned to his duty. Nay, when his pains were tolerable, preaching was his best antidote when others failed; and after his preaching, the reflection upon the divine goodness, that had given him strength for the discharge of the service, was a great relief ot' bis pains.
His sermons, which, we have observed, were clear, solid and affectionate, were printed in a fair and lively character in his conversation. He was an example to believers, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. He was of a stayed mind, temperate passions, and moderate in counsels. In managing affairs of moment, he was