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a most friendly invitation from "that noble lady the countess dowager of Peterborough, to come and make his abode with her, engaging that he should not be molested, but have all accommodations suitable to his condition, and to the great affection and esteem she had for him; as a return for those benefits she had formerly received from him in converting her lord, and securing herself from popery, as has been already related."
After some consideration he accepted this generous proposal ; and, having obtained passes for the journey, he took his leave of St. Donat's, thankful for the hospitality which he had enjoyed there for nearly a year, and for the great kindness which he had experienced throughout his illness.
When it was rumoured abroad in that part of the country that the archbishop was about to change his residence to some distant part, the neighbouring gentry, knowing that he was deprived of his ordinary means of support, and suspecting that his recent journeyings and sickness had exhausted his finances, generously sent him considerable sums, unknown to each other.
And in truth he had need of such help, for he had not the means of defraying the expense of that journey. He therefore gratefully received the gifts which were sent to him; and blessed that allwise and merciful Being who had raised up friends unexpectedly in the hour of his great necessity.
Alas I that archbishop Usher should have been compelled to accept alms at the hands of strangers! But these trials made him feel more strongly than ever that his rest was not here; and his good hope through faith supported him amidst his journeyings,—his perils of waters and of robbers,—his perils by his own countrymen, and among false brethren,—through weariness and painfulness, and watchings often,—through afflictions, necessities, and tumults,—through evil report and good report. He could say in every dispensation, as unknown and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich ; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. In everything he prepared himself to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and was a follower of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
'At even-tide there will be light,'
Beams from the brow of virtuous age;
Too pure for earthly pilgrimage.
'At even-tide there will be light,'
Beholds the future bless'd abode;
And voices sing, Behold thy God!
B. B. H
The singleness of archbishop Usher's purpose of following the word of God whithersoever it might lead him, both as to life and doctrine, and the candour and firmness with which he acknowledged and maintained what he believed to be right, were likely to expose him to some
inconveniences. He was not a partizan, for while his views on some points coincided with those for which the puritans were distinguished, on others he decidedly opposed that powerful party.
This freedom to judge for himself, and the conclusions to which it led him, left him but very little cause for expecting any great cordiality or warmth of support from' either party, and gave him reason to value the consoling truth that there remaineth a rest for the people of God.
With reflections naturally arising out of this topic, and probably with some anxious thoughts upon the precarious nature of their means of support, we may suppose that the little household of archbishop Usher undertook their journey from the quiet retreat of St. Donat's castle towards the noisy and unquiet metropolis. And as they went on their way, he must often have bidden them to be of good courage, and to strengthen their armour by prayer and the word of God, so that they might resist evil, and maintain the right cause, whatever emergency might arise, unmoved by the frowns of friends or the wrath of enemies. And he must have resolved to express himself with honesty, decision, and boldness, whenever it should be demanded of him to explain or defend his opinions and principles.
But, however discouraging the prospects might be, God had designed that his servant should pass the remainder of his days in comparative ease and freedom from privation. He was indeed to continue stripped of his honours and emoluments, to experience many personal vexations, and grief for the evils of the times; but he escaped the sufferings of destitution, possessed the affection of his family, the friendship of his chaplain and many other estimable persons, and the respect and kind attentions of the generous lady who afforded him an asylum under her roof. Thus he had reason to view the crosses which lay in his path as no more than necessary memorials that the christian must not set his affections on the things of the earth, and, as he passed through them, God gave him strength and cheerfulness; the wilderness and solitary place were made glad for him by the light of God's countenance, and the desert could rejoice and blossom as a rose.
To the lights and shadows of the latter days of this good man's pilgrimage we shall now call the reader's attention.
On his arrival in London, he was most kindly received by the countess of Peterborough. This was in June 1646; from which time he commonly resided with her in one of her houses till his death.
Some little annoyances awaited him on his arrival in the neighbourhood of parliament. That imperious body had issued an order, that whosoever should come from any of the king's garrisons to London must signify their names to a committee which sat at Goldsmiths' Hall, and there give notice of their being in town, and where they lodged. "Accordingly," says Dr. Parr, " June 18th, he sent me to Goldsmith's Hall, to acquaint them that the archbishop of Armagh was in town, and at the countess of Peterborough's house, but they refused to take notice of his being in town, without his personal appearance." Upon a summons from the 'committee of examination,' at Westminster, he afterwards appeared before them, and underwent strict questioning, both as to where he had been and what he had been doing since he left London; and whether he had used any influence with the king in behalf of the catholics. After this the committee proposed to him an oath which had been framed for those who had favoured the king's cause, but he desired time
to consider of that, and so was dismissed, and appeared no more; for the learned Selden and others of his friends in the House made use of their interest to put a stop to that trouble."
Soon after, he retired with the countess of Peterborough to her house at Reigate in Surrey, where he often preached in her chapel and in the parish church; and the report of his piety and learning induced the most estimable persons in that neighbourhood to cultivate his acquaintance.
Early in the year 1647, with much difficulty, and through the interest of great friends (of whom Selden was one), he obtained leave to preach publicly in London; and the honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn immediately chose him to be their preacher, and appropriated to him some handsome apartments, ready furnished, in which he afterwards placed that library which had escaped the fury of the rebels in Ireland.
Mr. Hale, afterwards lord chief justice, was at that time one of the benchers of Lincoln's Inn, and he and the other members of the Society are said to have been fully alive to the value of their spiritual instructor, who continued to exhort them with all long-suffering and doctrine, during term, for eight years, that is till within two years of his death, when the failure of sight and loss of teeth compelled him to resign that charge, to their mutual regret.
Thus placed in a condition of tranquillity and independence, he was able to resume the correspondence with learned men, which had always afforded him so much pleasure. That it had been greatly interrupted by the unsettled state of his affairs appears from a letter which he wrote in Latin to the celebrated Gerard Voss; in which, after expressing his regret at his delaying to