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Being thus settled according to the desires of his heart, his first study was the statutes of the college, by which he conceived himself bound to enter into holy orders, which he did, being made Deacon with all convenient speed. Shortly after which time, as he came in his surplice from the church-service, an old friend, a person of quality, met him so attired, and joyed him of his new habit: to whom Sir Henry Wotton replied, “ I thank “God and the King by whose goodness I now am in this condition
;-a “ condition which that Emperor Charles V. seemed to approve; who after “ so many remarkable victories, when his glory was great in the eyes of all men, freely gave up his crown, and the many cares that attended it, to Philip his son, making a holy retreat to a cloisteral life, where he might
by devout meditations consult with God,”—which the rich or busy men seldom do,-“ and have leisure both to examine the errors of his life past, “ and prepare for that great day wherein all flesh must make an account of
he owed the prefervation of his life to the kind interference of Milton. He had afterward an opportunity of conferring the same favour on our immortal bard. At the restoration he exerted himself in improving the scenery and decorations of the Itage. His dramatic works are numerous. He died in April 1668, and was interred in Westminster Abbey, near the poet May, who was his rival for the laurel.
« Previous to this he published his “Elements of Architecture;" a work of very great merit, and in reality the best upon that subject that had then appeared in the English language.
• Though the King had actually granted a dispensation to hold the provostship without going into orders, Sir Henry Wotton was ordained Deacon in 1627. In the “ Reliq. Wottonianæ,” p. 323, 327, are two letters to the King—one to make known his intention of entering into orders; the other to inform his Majesty that he had taken the degree of Deacon. Sir Henry Savile and Mr. Murray, the predecessors of Sir Henry Wotton, were both laymen. And it is well known, that upon the death of Dr. John Meredith, the great and good Mr. Boyle was in 1665 nominated to the provoftship of this college, but that his objection to entering into haly orders was a principal motive that induced him to decline the honour. Mr. Edmund Waller was more than once a candidate for this office. The King, Charles II. referred his petition to the Council, “ Who, after hearing the question argued by lawyers for three days, deter“mined that the office could be held only by a clergyman, according to the act of uniformity; “ since the provosts had always received institution, as for a parsonage, from the Bishop of “ Lincoln.” (Dr. Johnson's Works, vol. IX. p. 256.)
“ their actions. And after a kind of tempestuous life I now have the like
advantage from him, ^,that makes the outgoings of the morning to praise him;' even from iny God, whom I daily magnify for this particular mercy of an exemption from business, a quiet mind and a liberal maintenance, even in this part of my life, when my age and infirmities seem to sound me a retreat from the pleasures of this world, and invite me to contemplation, in which I have ever taken the greatest felicity.”
And now to speak a little of the employment of his time in the college. After his customary public devotions, his use was to retire into his study, and there to spend some hours in reading the bible and authors in divinity, closing up his meditations with private prayer. This was, for the most part, his employment in the forenoon. But when he was once fat to dinner, then nothing but cheerful thoughts possessed his mind, and those still increased by constant company at his table of such persons as brought thither additions both of learning and pleasure; but some part of most days was usually spent in philosophical conclufions. Nor did he forget his innate pleasure of angling', which he would usually call “ His idle time not idly spent;" saying often, “ He would rather live tive May months than forty Decem6 bers.”
He was a great lover of his neighbours, and a bountiful entertainer of them very often at his table; where his meat was choice, and his discourse better.
He was a conitant cherisher of all those youths in that school, in whom he found either a constant diligence or a genius that prompted them to learning. For whose encouragement he was (besides many other things of necessity and beauty) at the charge of setting up in it two rows of pillars, on which he caufed to be choicely drawn the pictures of divers of the most famous Greek and Latin historians, poets, and orators: persuading them not to neglect rhetoric, because “ Almighty God has left mankind affec
Angling was the favourite diversion of Mr. Isaac Walton, who, from his superior skill in the art, was called “the Father of Anglers." His treatise of “ The Complete Angler," will be always read with pleasure even by those who have no relish for “the fly and the cork.” In his preface to this work he informs us, “ That Sir Henry Wotton had declared to him his in“ tentions ct writing a Discourse of the Art, and in praise of Angling.” This he doubtless would have done, if death had not prevented him.
“ tions to be wrought upon.” And he would often say, " That none de“ spised eloquence but such dull souls as were not capable of it.” He would also often make choice of some observations out of those historians and poets; and would never leave the school without dropping fome choice Greek or Latin apothegm or sentence that might be worthy of a room in the memory of a growing scholar 3.
He was pleased constantly to breed up one or more hopeful youths, which he picked out of the school and took into his own domestic care, and to attend him at his meals; out of whose discourse and behaviour he gathered observations for the better completing of his intended work of education : of which, by his still striving to make the whole better, he lived to leave but part to pofterity".
He was a great enemy to wrangling disputes of religion': concerning which I shall say a little, both to testify that, and to shew the readiness of his wit.
Having at his being in Rome made acquaintance with a pleasant priest, who invited him one evening to hear their vefper-music at church: The priest seeing Sir Henry stand obscurely in a corner, sends to him by a boy of the choir this question, written in a small piece of paper, “ Where was your religion to be found before Luther?” To which question Sir Henry
6 His singular attention to the education of the young nobility and gentry, who were fent to Eton, tended much to recommend the school. Mr. Boyle, who wrote the history of the earlier period of his own life, under the fictitious name of “Philaretus,” tells us, that he and his elder brother were fent “ To be bred up at Eton college near Windsor, whose provost at that “ time was Sir Henry Wotton, a person that was not only a fine gentleman himself, but very “ well skilled in the art of making others fo; betwixt whom and the Earl of Corke, an ancient “ friendship had been constantly cultivated by reciprocal civilities.” (Birch's Life of the Ho.. nourable Robert Boyle, Esq. p. 23.)
A small fragment of this work, under the title of “ A Philosophical Survey of Education “or Moral Architecture,” is extant in the Reliquiæ Wottonianz.
i The proposition inscribed on his monument, “ Disputandi pruritus ecclesiarum scabies," is too strongly verified in the annals of history.
presently underwrit, “ My religion was to be found then, where yours is not to be found now, in the written word of Godk.”
The next vesper, Sir Henry went purposely to the same church, and sent one of the choir-boys with this question to his honest pleasant friend the priest: “Do you believe all those many thousands of poor Christians were “ damned that were excommunicated because the Pope and the Duke of “ Venice could not agree about their temporal power ? even those poor “ Christians that knew not why they quarrelled. Speak your conscience.” To which he underwrit in French,“ Monsieur, excusez-moi.”
To one that asked him, “ Whether a Papist may be saved?” he replied, “ You may be saved without knowing that:-Look to yourself”.
To another whose earnestness exceeded his knowledge, and was still railing against the Papists, he gave this advice; “ Pray, Sir, forbear till you “ have studied the points better : for the wise Italians have this proverb', “ He that understands amiss concludes worse. And take heed of thinking, “ The farther you go from the Church of Rome, the nearer you are to « God."
And to another that spake indiscreet and bitter words against Arminius, I heard him reply to this purpose :
In my travel towards Venice, as I passed through Germany, I rested “ almost a year at Leyden, where I entered into an acquaintance with “ Arminius", then the Professor of Divinity in that university; a man
k When this question was proposed to the learned Mr. Jofeph Mede, he answered with his usual festivity by another question, "Where was the fine flour when the wheat went to the mill ?” And sometimes thus, “Where was the meal before the corn was ground?” (See Dr. Clerk's Sermons, vol. Ill. p. 323.)
Bishop Bedel wrote a very long treatise on these two questions—" Where was the reformed “ church before Luther's time?” and “ What was the fate of those who died in the bosom of “the church before the reformation?” Archbishop Usher often urged him to publish this work, which was lost in that scene of confusion which attended the Irish rebellion.
1 “ Chi mal intende, peggio decide."
m How different is the language of King James, who hesitates not to pronounce Arminius “ A feditious and heretical preacher, an infector of Leyden with heresy, and an enemy of “God." The condemnation of Arminianism at the Synod of Dort, is principally to be
“ much talked of in this age, which is made up of opposition and contro“ versy. And indeed, if I mistake not Arminius in his expressions (as so " weak a brain as mine is may easily do), then I know I differ from him in “ some points: Yet I profess my judgment of him to be, that he was a “ man of most rare learning, and I knew him to be of a most strict life, " and of a most meek fpirit. And that he was so mild, appears by his “ proposals to our Master Perkins" of Cambridge, from whole book, ‘Of the
attributed to James, whilst with an inconsistency, which it will be difficult to defend, he protected the Arminian party in his own kingdom. Of Arminius and his opinions, fee “ Brandt's History of the Reformation abridged,” p. 267.
How much the Arminians were favoured, appears from the following incident. Mr. Morley, afterward Bishop of Winchester, remarkable for his facetiousness and jocular sayings, being asked by a grave country gentleman, who was desirous to be instructed what their tenets and opinions were, “ What the Arminians held ?” pleasantly answered, “ That " they held all the best Bishoprics and Deaneries in England :" Which was quickly reported abroad, as Mr. Morley's definition of the Arminian tenets.” (Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon. Oxford. p. 26.)
Mr. William Perkins, of Christ College in the University of Cambridge, where he died in 1602. He was minister of St. Andrew's parish, in Cambridge, and had the character of a learned, pious, and laborious preacher. “ His life,” says Fuller, “ was so pious, so spotless, “ that malice was afraid to bite at his credit, into which she knew her teeth could not enter.” Dr. Richard Montague, his fellow collegian, and afterwards Bishop of Wincheiter, preached his funeral sermon, taking for his text, “ Mofes my Ser varit is dead.” It was the with of Archbihop Usher, that he might die like Mr. Perkins, who expired crying for mercy and forgiveness. His works, which were dispersed through Great Britain, France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Spain, many of them being translated into the French, German, and Italian tongues, are declared to be equal in point of language, to those of the best authors. His humility, as a preacher, was eminent, in condescending to the capacity of his meanest auditors. His church at Cambridge, conlisting of the university and town, “ The scholar “could hear no learneder, or the townsman plainer serinon." See a Portrait of this good man in Fuller's Abel Redivivus, p. 431.
“That worthy pair of our late divines, Greenham and Perkins; whereof the one excelled in experimental divinity, and knew well how to stay a weak conscience, how to raise a fallen, how to strike a remorseless; the other in a diftinct judgment, and a rare dexterity in clearing the obscure subtilities of the schcol, and easy explication of the most perplexed discourses.” (Bishop Hall's First Decad of Epistles. Ep. 7.)