Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

“ already observe in too many poor vicarages in this nation. And there

fore, as you are by a late act or acts entrusted with a great power to “preserve or waste the church's lands; yet dispose of them for Jesus' fake

as the donors intended: Let neither falsehood nor flattery beguile you to “ do otherwise, and put a stop, I beseech you, to the approaching ruins of “God's church, as you expect comfort at the last great day; for kings “must be judged. Pardon this affectionate plainness, my most dear So“ vereign, and let me beg to be still continued in your favour, and the “ Lord still continue you in his.”

The Queen's patient hearing this affectionate speech, her future care to preserve the church's rights, which till then had been neglected, may appear a fair testimony, that he made her's and the church's good, the chiefest of his cares,

and that she also thought so. And of this, there were such daily testimonies given, as begot betwixt them so mutual a joy and confidence, that they seemed born to believe and do good to each other; she not doubting his piety to be more than all his opposers, which were many, and those

powerful too; nor his prudence equal to the chiefest of her council, who were then as remarkable for active wisdom, as those dangerous times did require, or this nation did ever enjoy. And in this condition he continued twenty years, in which time he saw some flowings, but many more ebbings of her favour toward all men that opposed him, especially the Earl of Leicester : so that God seemed still to keep him in her favour, that he might preserve the remaining church lands and immunities from facrilegious alienations. And this good man deserved all the honour and power with which she trusted him; for he was a pious man, and naturally of noble and grateful principles : He eased her of all her church-cares by his wise manage of them';

he

gave her faithful and prudent counsels in all the extremities and dangers of her temporal affairs, which were very many; he lived to be the chief comfort of her life in her declining age; to be then most frequently with her, and her assistant at her private devotions; to be the greatest comfort of her soul upon her death-bed; to be present at the expiration of her

last

P Mr. Hooker gave this character of Whitgift. “ He always governed with that moderation, which useth by patience to suppress boldness, and to make them conquer that suffer; “ which I think well suited with his poesy or motto, VINCIT QUI PATITUR.” (Sir G. Paul's Life of Whitgift, p. 25.)

kaft breath, and to behold the closing of those eyes that had long looked upon him with reverence and affection. And let this also be added, that he was her chief mourner at her fad funeral; nor let this be forgotten, that within a few hours after her death, he was the happy proclaimer, that King James (her peaceful successor) was heir to the crown.

Let me beg of my reader, that he allow me to say a little, and but a little more of this good bishop, and I shall then presently lead him back to Mr. Hooker; and, because I would haften, I will mention but one part of the bishop's charity and humility; but this of bothi. He built a large alms-house near to his own palace at Croyden in Surry, and endowed it with maintenance for a master and twenty-eight poor men and women ; which he visited so often, that he knew their names and dispositions, and was so truly humbled, that he called them brothers and sisters : And whenever the Queen descended to that lowliness to dine with him at his palace in Lambetho (which was very often), he would usually the next day shew the like lowliness to his poor brothers and sisters at Croyden', and dine with them at his hospital; at which time you may believe there was joy at the table.

And at this place he built also a fair free-school, with a good accommodation and maintenance for the master and scholars; which gave just occasion for Boyse Sisi, then ambassador for the French King, and resident here, at the bishop's death, to say, “ The bishop had published many learned books, but

a free-school to train up youth, and an hospital to lodge and maintain aged “ and poor people, were the best evidences of Christian learning that a bi“ shop could leave to posterity.” This good bishop lived to see King ,

James 9 Archbishop Grindał fell so soon under the displeasure of Queen Elizabeth, the very year after his translation from York to Canterbury, that it is probable she never honoured him with any visit at Croyden. (Progreffes of Queen Elizabeth, Vol. I. p. 65.)

Sir George Paul informs us, that Archbishop Whitgift entertained the Queen every year at one of his houses, so long as he was archbishop, and some years twice or thrice; where all things were performed in fo feemly an order, that she went thence always exceedingly well pleased : And besides many public and gracious favours done unto him, she would salute him and bid him farewel by the name of black husband, calling also his men her servants, as a token of her good contentment with their attendance and pains. (Life of Whitgift, p. 103.)

* The Archbishop's most noble foundation of his hospital, free-school, and chapel at Croyden, was finished in 1594.

s“ Profecto hospitale ad sublevandam paupertatem et schola ad instruendam juventutem * sunt optimi libri, quos archiepiscopus conscribere potuit.” (Paul's Life of Whitgift, p. 113.)

James settled in peace, and then fell fick at Lambeth'; of which the King having notice, went to visit him, and found him in his bed in a declining condition, and very weak; and after some short discourse, the King affured him, “ He had a great affection for him, and high value for his prudence “ and virtues, which were so useful for the church, that he would earnestly

beg his life of God.” To which he replied, “ Pro ecclesia Dei; pro ec“ clefia Dei“:" which were the last words he ever fpake; therein testifying, that as in his life, so at his death, his chiefest care was of God's church:

This John Whitgift was made archbishop in the year 1583. In which busy place he continued twenty years and some months; and in which time

you + He was at court the first Sunday in Lent, when, being seized with a paralytic stroke that deprived him of his speech, he was first carried to the Lord Treasurer's chamber, and then conveyed to Lambeth.

“ On Tuesday,” says Strype, “ he had the honour of a visit from the “ King, who, out of a sense of the great need he should have of him at this particular juncture “ (now he had laid such a scheme for reformation), told him he would pray to God for his « life, and if he could obtain it, he should think it one of the greatest temporal blellings that “ could be given him in his kingdom.”

[ocr errors]

- Et nunc,

u « Thus died this great prelate, full of years, and full of honour, actuated to the last moment of his life with that zeal which animated the illustrious Father Paul, when upon his deathbed, to breathe out his last prayer for the safety of his country, in these memorable words, “ Erto perpetua." Yet it has been affirmed, that this distinguished ornament of the Reformation exerted himself against the Puritans with so unfeeling a hand, and so far beyond his legal power, that upon the Queen's demise he began to be terribly frighted at the approach of King James's first Parliament, and it is probable enough his apprehensions haftened his death.(Preface to the first Edition of the Confesionals. )Let it be remembered that he was 73 years of age at the time of his demise, so that it may not be thought quite fo probable that he died of a fright. His last words, as related by Strype, certainly countenance a different opinion, “Domine, exaltata est anima mea, quod in eo tempore succubui, quando mallem episco“ patûs mei reddere rationem quam inter homines exercere.” My soul is lifted up, that I “ die in a time wherein I had rather give up to God an account of my bishopric than any longer “ to exercise it among men.” To him we may surely apply what was said of Augustine: “O - virum ad totius ecclesiæ publicam utilitatem natum, factum, datumq;"divinitus.” Whitgift “strove,” says Wilson, in his History of the Life and Reign of James I.' “ to prevail over “the Puritans with sweetness and gentleness; and died in David's fulness of days, leaving a

nanie, like a sweet perfume, behind him."-" He was a man born for the benefit of his "country and good of his church, wherein he ruled with such moderation, as he continued “ in his prince's favour all his life, suppressing such new fects as in his time began to rise, * as by his learned work written by him against such schisms does appear.” (Stow.)

you may believe, he had many trials of his courage and patience; but his motto was, Vincit, qui patitur;” i. e. “He conquers that endures.” And he made it good Many of his many trials were occasioned by the then powerful Earl of Leicester, who did still (but secretly) raise and cherish a faction of Nonconformists to oppose him ; especially one Thomas Cartwright, a man of noted learning; some time contemporary with the bishop in Cambridge, and of the same college", of which Dr. Whitgift, before he was bishop, was Master: in which place there began some emulations (the particulars I forbear), and at last open and high oppositions betwixt them; and in which you may believe Mr. Cartwright was most faulty, if his expulfion out of the university can incline you to it.

And in this discontent, long before the earl's death (which was 1588) Mr. Cartwright appeared a chief cherisher of the party that were for the Geneva church-government; and to effect it, he ran himself into many dangers both of liberty and life ; appearing to justify himself and his party in many remonstrances ; (especially that called the “ Admonition to the

« Parlia

Oo

Cartwright was excluded from his fellowship of Trinity College for breaking a statute of that college, in not taking holy orders upon him in due time. (Strype's Whitgift, p. 47.) He was Lady Margaret's Professor in Divinity in 1569. This dignity he enjoyed a short time, being suspended for maintaining dangerous tenets concerning the government and discipline

of the Church. He was highly esteemed among the Presbyterians, having received an invita• tion to be Divinity Professor, along with Mr. Travers, in the University of St. Andrew's in

Scotland. A signal proof of his opposition to the customs and usages established in the church is given by Sir George Paul, in his “Life of Whitgift," p. 11.-_“Upon a Sunday Dr. “ Whitgift, the Master of 'Trinity College, being from home, Mr. Cartwright, with some of “ his adherents, made three fermons in that one day, wherein they so vehemently inveighed, “ amongst other ceremonies of our church, against the surplice, as those of Trinity College " were so moved herewith, that at evening prayer they cast off their surplices, though against .6s the statutes of the house, and were all placed in the chapel without surplice, three only ex“cepted. By reason of which stirs, both that private college was greatly distracted, and the 56 whole university much perplexed and troubled.”. -Of the controversy between Archbishop Whitgift and Mr. Cartwright, the latter of whom objected to the liturgy and to the form and manner of cathedral service, and particularly “to the tosling the Psalms from one side to " the other, like tennis balls ;” for thus he denominates the practice of choral and antiphonal finging. (See Sir John Hawkins's History of Music, Vol. III. p. 491, 492.)

When the Nonconformists were undetermined which of them should undertake to answer 66 Whitgift's Reply,” Mr. Cartwright was chosen for that employment by lot.

“ Parliament) which last he caused to be printed; to which the doctor made an answer, and Cartwright replied upon him ; and then the doctor having rejoined to his reply (however Mr. Cartwright would not be satisfied), he wrote no more, but left the reader to be judge which had maintained their cause with most charity and reason.

After some years the doctor being preferred to the see, first of Worcester, and then of Canterbury, Mr. Cartwright, after his share of trouble and imprisonment (for setting up new presbyteries in divers places against the established order), having received from the archbishop many personal favours, retired himself to a more private living, which was at Warwick, where he became master of an hospital, and lived quietly and grew rich; and where the archbishop gave him a license to preach, upon promise not to meddle with controversies, but incline his hearers to piety and moderation : and this promise he kept during his life, which ended 1602, the archbishop surviving him but one year, each ending his days in perfect charity with the other'.

And:

* According to Strype, it is not so certain that the archbishop did grant toCartwright a license to preach. At least it appears that in 1585 he refused to give it.. “ I am content and “ ready to be at peace with him, so long as he liveth peaceably; yet doth my conscience and

duty forbid me to give unto him any further public approbation, until I be better persuaded of his conformity." (Letter of Whitgift to the Earl of Leicester, July 17, 1585.)

66

y And thus should all controversies end, or rather, if there must be controversies, thus should they commence, and be conducted with mutual charity and mutual forbearance. If truth and not victory be the object of pursuit, why should the topic of debate be canvafled with animosity or personal invective ? Thomas Cartwright, the archbishop's old antagonist, was alive in 1601,. and

grew rich at his hospital at Warwick, preaching at the chapel there, faith my author, very temperately according to the promise made by him to the archbishop. Which mildness of his fome afcribed to his old age and more experience. But the latter end of next year he de-ceased, out-lived little above two months by the Archbishop, who yet was much his elder in years. And now at the end of Cartwright's life to take our leave of him with a fairer cha-. racter, it is remarkable what a noble and learned man (Sir H. Yelverton) writes of some of his last words:-" That he seriously lamented the unnecessary troubles he had caused in the Church, by the schism he had been the great fomenter of, and wished to begin his life again, that he might teflify to the world the dislike he had of his former ways;" and in this opinion he died. Stripe's Life of Whitgift, p. 554.)

« НазадПродовжити »