Page images

ii 66 did not only give his consent (without which the

thing could not have been done) but was very for“ ward for the doing of it, though hereby he did « not only considerably lessen his own profit, but 66 likewise incur no fmall censure and hazard as the 6 times then were. And left this had not been kind".ness enough to that worthy person, whose place “ he poffeffed, in his last will, he left his son, Sir

John Collins, a legacy of one hundred pounds. «c And as he was not wanting either in respect or < real kindness to the rightful owner ; fo neither « did he stoop to do any thing unworthy, to obtain " that place, for he never took the covenant. And " not only fo, bút, by the particular friendship and 66 intereft which he had in some of the chief visi-. “ tors, he prevailed to have the greatest part of the “ fellows of that college exempted from that im

pofition, and preserved them in their places by " that means. And to the fellows that were ejec""ted by the vifitors, he likewife freely consented, “ that their full dividend for that year should be

paid them ; even after they were ejected. Among oc these was the reverend and ingenious Dr. Charles Mason, upon whom, after he was ejected, the col« lege did confer a good living which then fell in “ their gift, with the consent of the provost, who “knowing him to be a worthy man, was contented (6 to run the hazard of the displeasure of those times. 66 So that I hope none will be hard upon him, that 66 he was contented upon such terms to be in a ca“ pacity to do good in bad times.” Besides his caré of the college, he had a very great and good influence upon the university in general. Every Sunday in the afternoon, for almost twenty years together, he preached in Trinity Church, where he had a great number, not only of the young scholars, but of those of greater standing and best repute for learning in


iu the university, his constant and attentive auditors ; and in those wild and unsettled times contributed more to the forming of the students of that univerfity to a sober sense of religion, than any man in that

age. In 1658 he wrote a copy of Latin verses upon the death of Oliver Cromwell. It is printed in mufarum Cantabrigienfium luctus & gratulatio : ille in funere Oliveri Anglia Scotiæ & Hiberniæ protectoris ; hæc de Richardi succesfione feliciffimâ ad eundem. Cambridge, 1658, in 4to. Dr. Whichcate's verses are as follow.


Non male mutati mores & lenior ætas ;
Olim vexârunt animas formidine pæna
Mentes torserunt caupones relligionis,
Quos Chriftus ducit, Romanus apoftata cogit :
Flectit amore Deus, fed papa timare coercet :
Instruit ille animum, & placido lenimine mentem
Suaviter emollity meroque favore relaxat;
Destruit hic corpus miferum, carnemque flagellis
Affligit, propriis quo poffit fubdere votis.
Quæ prohibent removet, raptusque furore gehenna
Allegans.coelos, ad Tartará dira remittit.
Vis, dolus & fraudes funt instrumenta maligni
Paftoris, satanæque artes, quas pura repellit
Relligio, nec coelestes finit eje fcoeleftas.
Magna fides penetrat cor, spiritualibus armis
Aggreditur victrix, totum peragratque per orbem,
Plena sui fubnixa Deo, carnalia spernens,
Sobrius ausculta veterum quid pagina narrat
Fata trahunt homines cruciatibus ingeniosos,
Decumbunt tremuli non ficcâ marte tyranni,
Arte fua pereant semper (justissima lex eft)
Artifices nequam, quos inclementia pulsat.
At pater hic patriæ, non eft tormenta minatus,
Annos ufque expirat, et alta in pace quiescit.
Filius afcendit fimilis gratusque Britannis,

[ocr errors]



Quæque Deum fapiunt scit pectora flectere lente.
Nam ratione animum generofum ducere suave eft ;
At mentem ingenuam trabere ingratum atque moleftum,

After he left Cambridge, he came to London, and was chosen minister of Black Friars, where he continued till the fire of London in 1665, and then reti red to a donative which he had at Milton near Cam-. bridge, where he preached constantly, and relieved the poor, and had their children taught to read at his own charge, and made up differences among the neighbours. Here he Itaid till the promotion of Dr. John Wilkins to the bishoprick of Chester in 1668, when he was by his interest and recommendation, presented to the rectory of St. Laurence Jewry. But during the building of that church, upon invitation of the court of Aldermen, in the mayorality of Sir William Turner, he preached before that honourable auditory at Guild-hall Chapel every Sunday in the afternoon with great acceptance and approbation, for about the space of seven years. When his church was built, he bestowed his pains there twice a week, where he had the general love and respect of his parish, and a very confiderable and judicious auditory, though not very numerous, by reason of the weakness of his voice in his declining age.

A little before Easter in the year 1683, he went down to Cambridge, whereupon taking a great cold, he fell into a distemper, which in a few days put a period to his life. He died with uncommon sentiments of piety and devotion. He expreffed great dislike of the principles of feparation, and said, that he was the more defirous to receive the sacrament, that he might declare his full communion with the church of Christ all the world over. He disclaimed popery, and as things of near affinity with it, or rather parts of it, all superstition and




ufurpation upon the consciences of men. He died in the house of his ancient and learned friend Dr. Cudworth, master of Christ's College, in May 168 83, and was interred in the church of St. Laurence Jewry, his funeral sermon being preached by Dr. "Yolm Tillorson, in which his character is drawn with great justice. " I shall not, says he, insist upon his exem“plary piety and devotion towards God, of which his « whole life was one continued teftimony. Nor will “ I praise his profound learning, for which he was

justly had in so great reputation. The moral im

provements of his mind, a godlike temper and dif“ pofition, (as he was wont to call it) he chiefly va« lued and aspired after; that universal charity and « goodness, which he did continually preach and " practise. His conversation was exceeding Kind and “ affable, grave and winning, prudent and profita<ble. He was flow to declare his judgment and mo« deft in delivering it. Never passionate, never pe

remptory : so far from imposing upon others that “ he was rather apt to yield. And though he had a « most profound and well poised judgment, yet he

was of all men I ever knew, the most patient to ¢ hear others differ from himn, and the most easy to 66 be convinced when good reason was offered

which is seldom seen, more apt to be favour66 able to another man's reason than his own. Studi“ ous and inquisitive men commonly at such an age (at forty or fifty at the utmost) have fixed and “ settled their judgments in most points, and as it « were, made their last understanding ; fuppofing « that they have thought, or read, or heard, what “ can be said on all sides of things, and after that they

grow pofitive, and impatient of contradiction, " thinking it a disparagement to them to alter their “ judgment. But our deceased friend was so wise,

as to be willing to learn to the last, knowing that

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


no man can grow wiser without some change of « his mind, without gaining some knowledge which “ he had not, or correcting some error, which he « had before. He had attained fo perfect a maste

ry of his passions, that for the latter and greatest

part of his life he was hardly ever feen to be « transported with anger, and as he was extremely «c careful not to provoke any man, fo not to be pro« voked by any ; using to fay, if I provoke a man, " he is the worse for my company, and if I fuffer “ myself to be provoked by him I shall be the worse « for his. He very seldom reproved any perfon in

company otherwise than by silence or fome fign «c of uneasiness, or fome very foft and gentle word ; « which yet from the respect men generally bore « to him, did often prove effectual. For he under« stood human nature very well, and how to apply 6 himself to it in the most easy and effectual ways. “ He was a great encourager and kind director of young

divines, and one of the most candid hear« ers of sermons, I think, that ever was ; fo that

though all men did mightily reverence his judg« ment, yet no man had reason to fear his cenfure. “ He never spake well of himself, nor ill of others,

making good that saying of Panfa in Tully, Neminem alterius, qui fuæ confideret virtuti, invidere ; “ that no man is apt to envy the worth and vir« tues of another, that hath any of his own to trust

In a word, he had all those virtues, and in a « high degree, which an excellent temper, great « condefcenfion, long care and watchfulness over “ himself, together with the aslistance of God's

grace (which he continually implored and migh" tily relied upon) are apt to produce. Particular“ ly he excelled in the virtues of converfation, hu“ manity and gentleness, and humility, a prudent " and peaceable, and reconciling temper. As he

66 to.

« PreviousContinue »