Зображення сторінки

to observe, that a later edition of the “ Reliquiæ Wottonianx, namely that of 1685, is enriched with Sir Henry Wotton's Letters to Lord Zouch, who was eminent among his contemporaries as an able statesman and an accomplished scholar.

“ The Church History of Great Britain,” compiled by Dr. Thomas Fuller, whose writings, though far from being without blemish, are of inestimable value, was first published in 1655. A conversation, seasoned with much pleasantness and innocent jocularity, is said to have passed between the author and his ever cheerful and friendly acquaintance, Mr. Isaac Walton, upon the general character of this work. Walton having paid him a visit, it was asked by Fuller, who knew how intimate he was with several of the bishops and ancient clergy, first, What he thought of the history himself, and then, what reception it had met with among them. Walton answered, that he thought “it should be acceptable to all tempers; because there were shades in it for the warm, and fun-fhine for those of a cold constitution; that with youthful readers the facetious parts would be profitable to make the serious more palatable; while some reverend old readers might fancy themselves in his History of the Church, as in a flower garden, or one full of evergreens.”—“ And why not,” said Fuller; “ the Church History so decked as well as the Church itself at a most holy feafon, or the tabernacle of old at the Feast of Boughs?—“ That was but for a season,” said Walton; "in your Feast of Borghs, they may conceive, we are so overshadowed throughout, that the parson is more seen than his congregation, and this sometimes invisible to its old acquaintance, who may wander in the search, till they are lost in the labyrinth.” “Oh!” says Fuller, " the very Children of our Israel may find their way out of this wilderness.” “ True,” returned Walton, “ as indeed they have here such a Moses to conduct them?."C. 2


chamber-fellows in Oxford divers years together.) This gentleman was employed by King James in embafrage to Venice; and indeed the kingdom afforded not a fitter man for matching the capaciousness of the Italian wits: A man of so able dexterity with his pen, that he hath done himself much wrong, and the kingdom more, in leaving no more of his writings behind him." (Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle of the Kings of England, London, 1684.)

See “ Biogr. Brit.” p. 2061. [P]

[ocr errors]

His next work was The Life of Mr. Richard Hooker",” which first appeared in 1662. It was composed at the earnest request of Dr. Sheldon, then Bishop of London; and with the express purpose of correcting some errors committed by Dr. Gauden, from mere inadvertency and haste, in his account of “ that immortal man,as he has been emphatically styled, “ who spoke no language but that of truth dictated by conscience.” Gauden seems to have been extremely deficient in his information, and, dying soon afterward, had no opportunity of revising and amending his very imperfect and inaccurate memoir. This was followed by “ The Life of Mr. George Herbert,” usually called “ the Divine Herbert',” in 1670. In 1678, he concluded his biographical labours with “ The Life of Dr. Robert Sanderson.” Previous to the publication of this last work he received the following interesting letter from Dr. Thomas Barlow, then Bishop of Lincoln, who had been for many years the intimate friend of Dr. Sanderson during his residence at Oxford, and after his retirement into the country.


• Sir John Hawkins, in his “ Life of Mr. Isaac Walton," inadvertently observes, that Mr. Hooker was personally known to his biographer. The former died in 1600; the latter was then only seven years of age, being born in 1593.

The following letter is transcribed from a MS. in the library bequeathed to the corporation of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, by Dr. Tomlinson, formerly Rector of Whickham, in the county of Durham.

[ocr errors]

“ You see I have not forgot my promise to you: Here are your two books: If you have

never read the preface to your beloved ' A Kempis,' I fancy, it will please you well; and, “ if it do, send up one tender thought for him, who conveys it to your hand. The Life of good Mr. Herbert is full of discoveries of a sweet composed harmonious mind, that it will not be ungrateful neither : One hour with such entertainment is better than a life of long enjoyment “ of the pleasures of the Louvre. It is Sunday morning, and I am hasting to prayers. “ So give me leave to beg a share in your prayers for myself, for your servant my wife, and " for the babies.

“I am, with all sincerity, Dr. 4. 12 June

“Sir, your affectionate servant, 81

“ PERTH." * For Mr. James Aird, from his affec. servant, PERTH."

“ MY WORTHY FRIEND MR. WALTON, “ I am heartily glad, that you have undertaken to write the Life of that “ excellent person, and, both for learning and piety, eminent prelate, “ Dr. Sanderson, late Bishop of Lincoln; because I know your ability to

know, and integrity to write truth: And sure I am, that the life and " actions of that pious and learned prelate will afford you matter enough

for his commendation, and the imitation of posterity. In order to the “ carrying on your intended good work, you desire my assistance, that I “ would communicate to you fuch particular passages of his life, as were “ certainly known to me. I confess I had the happiness to be particularly “ known to him for about the space of twenty years; and, in Oxon, to “ enjoy his conversation, and his learned and pious instructions while he

was Regius Professor of Divinity there. Afterwards, when (in the time “ of our late unhappy confusions) he left Oxon, and was retired into the

country, I had the benefit of his letters; wherein, with great candour

and kindness, he answered those doubts I proposed, and gave me that “ satisfaction, which I neither had, nor expected from some others of

greater confidence, but less judgment and humility. Having in a letter “ named two or three books writ (ex profe!) against the being of any

original sin; and that Adam, by his fall, transmitted some calamity

only, but no crime to his posterity; the good old man was exceedingly “ troubled, and bewailed the misery of those licentious times, and seemed

to wonder (save that the times were such) that any should write, or be

permitted to publish any error so contradictory to truth, and the doctrine “ of the Church of England, established (as he truly said) by clear “ evidence of scripture, and the just and supreme power of this nation,

both sacred and civil. I name not the books, nor their authors, which are not unknown to learned men (and I wish they had never been

known), because both the doctrine, and the unadvised abettors of it are, " and shall be, to me apocryphal'.

“ Another little story I must not pass in filence, being an argument of “ Dr. Sanderson's piety, great ability, and judgment, as a casuist. Dil


[ocr errors]

• The writer principally alluded to in this part of the Letter, was the excellent Dr. Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Donn and Clonner.

[ocr errors]


courfing with an honourable person' (whose piety I value more than: “his nobility and learning, though both be great,) about a case of consci

ence concerning oaths and vows, their nature and obligation ; in which, “ for some particular reasons, he then desired more fully to be informned ; I

cornmended to him Dr. Sanderson's book' De Juramento;' which hava “ing read, with great satisfaction, he asked me,- If I thought the Doctor “ could be induced to write Cases of Conscience, if he might have an “ honorary pension allowed him, to furnish him with books for that pur“ pose?' I told him I believed he would:' And, in a letter to the Doctor, “ told him what great satisfaction that honourable person, and many more, “ had reaped by reading his book · De Juramento;' and asked him, ' whe“ther he would be pleased, for the benefit of the Church, to write some “ tract of Cases of Conscience? He replied, “ That he was glad that any “ had received any benefit by his books:' And added further, “That if

any future tract of his could bring such benefit to any, as we seemed to “ say his former had done, he would willingly, though without any pen“ sion, set about that work.' Having received this answer, that honour"able person, before mentioned, did, by my hands, return 50l. to the good “Doctor, whose condition then (as most good men's at that time were)

was but low; and he presently revised, finished, and published that ex“cellent book, ‘ De Conscientiâ :' A book little in bulk, but not so if we “ consider the benefit an intelligent reader may receive by it. For there “ are so many general propositions concerning conscience, the nature and

obligation of it explained, and proved with such firm consequence and “ evidence of reason, that he who reads, remembers, and can with prudence “ pertinently apply them bic et nunc to particular cases, may, by their light " and help, rationally resolve a thousand particular doubts and scruples of “ conscience. Here you may see the charity of that honourable person in “ promoting, and the piety and industry of the good Doctor, in performing " that excellent work.

“ And here I shall add the judgment of that learned and pious prelate “ concerning a passage very pertinent to our present purpose. When he

[ocr errors]


Robert Boyle, Esq.

was in Oxon, and read his public lectures in the schools as Regius Pro“ fessor of Divinity, and by the truth of his positions, and evidences of his “proofs, gave great content and satisfa&ion to all his hearers, especially “ in his clear resolutions of all difficult cases which occurred in the expli“ cation of the subject matter of his lectures; a person of quality (yet alive)

privately asked him, “What course a young divine should take in his “ studies to enable him to be a good casuist?' His answer was, “That a “ convenient understanding of the learned languages, at least of Hebrew, “ Greek, and Latin, and a sufficient knowledge of arts and sciences pre

supposed: There were two things in human literature, a comprehension “ of which would be of very great use, to enable a man to be a rational “and able casuist, which otherwise was very difficult, if not impossible:

1. A convenient knowledge of moral philosophy; especially that part of “it which treats of the nature of human actions: To know, quid fit actus humanus (spontaneus, invitus, mixtus) unde habent bonitatem et malitiam moralem? an ex genere et objecto, vel ex circumftantiis? How the variety " of circumstances varies the goodness or evil of human actions? How far “ knowledge and ignorance may aggravate or excuse, increase or diminish * the goodness or evil of our actions? For every case of conscience being

only this— Is this action good or bad? May I do it, or may I not?-He “ who, in these, knows not how and whence human actions become

morally good and evil, never can (in hypothesi) rationally and certainly “ determine, whether this or that particular action be so.--2. The second

thing, which,' he said, ' would be a great help and advantage to a casuist,

was a convenient knowledge of the nature and obligation of laws in “ general: to know what a law is; what a natural and positive law; what's “ required to the Latio, dispensatio, derogatio, vel abrogatio legis; what pro

mulgation is antecedently required to the obligation of any positive law; “ what ignorance takes off the obligation of a law, or does excuse, diminish, “ or aggravate the transgression: For every case of conscience being only “thisIs this lawful for me, or is it not? and the law the only rule and “ measure by which I must judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of

any action; it evidently follows, that he, who, in these, knows not the nature and obligation of laws, never can be a good casuist, or rationally

« affure

« НазадПродовжити »