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quests, and left them under good constitutions of laws and governments; or who instituted excellent and lasting orders and frames of any political state, in what compass soever of country, or under what names soever of civil government, were obeyed as princes or law-givers in their own times, and were called in after-ages by the name of heroes.
From these sources, I believe, may he deduced all or most of the theology or idolatry of all the ancient pagan countries, within the compass of the four great empires, so much renowned in story; and perhaps of some others, as great in their constitutions, and as extended in their conquests, though not so much celebrated or observed by learned men.
John Tillotson, archbishop of Canterbury, was descended from the Tilsons of Tilson, in Cheshire, and born in 1680. His fa: ther being a rigid Puritan and Calvinist, was anxious to instil his own principles into the mind of his son, and, with this view, sent him in 1647, to Clare Hall, Cambridge, under the tuition of Mr. David Clarkson, an eminent presbyterian divine. He continued at college two years after having taken his degrees in arts.
He now became tutor to Edmund Prideaux, esq. of Ford Abbey in Devonshire, Cromwell's attorney-general; in which family he also officiated as chaplain, though without ordination, agreeably to the principles of the times. Being in London at the death of the protector, in 1658, he was present, from his situation, at a scene in Whitehall, where the conduct of some leading divines of his own persuasion gave him insuperable disgust; and after the restoration, he took occasion to be episcopally ordained. Adhering still, however, to the presbyterians, he was deprived of his fellowship at Clare Hall. In 1661, he complied with the act of uniformity, and was appointed curate to Dr. Thomas Hacket, vicar of Cheshunt in Hertfordshire; and the year following, was elected minister of St. Mary, Aldermanbury: but this he refused, because the vacancy had been occasioned by the refusal of Calamy to, comply with the act. Yetthe year following, he accepted the rectory of Ketton, or Kedington, in Suffolk, which was similarly circumstanced. He afterwards became preacher to the society of Lincoln's Inn; and some time after, Tuesday-lecturer of St. Lawrence, Jewry.
About 1663-4, he began to be suspected of an inclination towards the establishment. In 1666, he took his doctor's degree, and early the year following, engaged warmly in the prpject of effecting an accommodation with the non-conformists, then brought forward by sir
Orlando Bridgeman, lord keeper of the great seal; a scheme he never entirely abandoned." In 1669, the king appointed him one of his chaplains, and gave him a prebend in the cathedral church of Canterbury, in which church he was soon advanced to the deanery, and in 1675, was presented with a prebend in St. Paul's Church. After the revolution, he obtained from king William the deanery of St. Paul's. He was elevated in 1690 to the see of Canterbury; and died in 1694.
The Sermons of archbishop Tillotson are his principal compositions, and are comprized in three bulky folio volumes. The twentieth sermon, on the subject of Charity, contains some gener ral moral observations relative to the theological differences of the times, and will serve to shew his views on the subject of theaccommodation he so much desired. The sermon was preached at the first general meeting of the gentlemen and others in and near London, born within the county of York; and to them it is dedicated : the author wishing, “that it may be someway serviceable to the healing our unhappy differa ences, and the restoring of unity and charity among Christians, especially those of the ProLestant reformed religion,"
Give me leave
to recommend to you, this new commandment, that ye love one another; which is almost a new commandment still, and hardly the worse for wearing; so seldom is it put on, and so little hath it been practised among Christians for
Consider seriously with yourselves; ought not the great matters wherein we are agreed, our union in the doctrines of the Christian religion, and in all the necessary articles of that faith which was once delivered to the saints, in the same sacraments, and in all the substantial parts of God's worship, and in the great duties and virtues of the Christian life, to be of greater force to unite us, than difference in doubtful opinions, and in little rites and circumstances of worship, to divide and break us?
Are not the things, about which we differ, in their nature indifferent? that is, things about which thee ought to be no difference among wise men? are they not at a great distance from the life and essence of religion, and rather good or bad as they tend to the peace and unity of the church, or are made use of to schism and faction, than either necessary or evil in themselves? And shall little scruples weigh so far with us, as by breaking the peace of the church about them, to endanger our whole religion? Shall we take one another by the throat for a hundred pence, when our common adversary