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affable, and kind, that his admonitions were not taken amiss. "He was of so sweet a nature," says Dr. Parr, "that I never heard he did an injury or ill office to any man, or revenged any that had been done to him, but could readily forgive them, as our blessed Lord and Master enjoins. Nor envied he any man's happiness, or vilified any man's person or parts; nor was he apt to censure or condemn any man upon base reports, but observed the rule of the son of Syrach, Blame not before thou hast examined the truth." When we consider that his acquaintance was very extensive, and included persons of very different opinions, it would be difficult for us to estimate the amount of service which he rendered to the cause of peace, good order, and sober piety, in times of political and religious ferment, by the light of his daily conversation and by his personal influence.
His own opinion of himself, however, was meek and lowly; and often, when he beheld and admired the virtues of others, his mind reverted to his own state with an humble sense of his great deficiencies.
The happiness he enjoyed was the fruit of his piety, and he naturally wished to sow the same seed as extensively as possible. When he found anywhere that melancholy was mixed with religion, as tares with the wheat, he would lament that any persons should by their sadness alarm those who were newly disposed to forsake their sins and to serve God, or should make it appear that their Master's yoke was heavy and his commands grievous. "Sincere Christians," he would say, "ought to rejoice in the Lord, and those who have reason to be miserable are only the vicious and irreligious."
He was always pleased with the society of good and wise persons; and his own conversation was enlivened by a fund of entertaining and instructive anecdotes. To rich and poor alike he was ready to impart the fruits of his knowledge and experience, and was continually doing good as a religious adviser. In the most tender and persuasive manner he warned those who were walking in evil ways. Those who were halting between two opinions he often had the happiness of persuading to make a right choice : and he was successful in removing the doubts and scruples of tender consciences; in giving comfort to afflicted souls; and in raising up those who had fallen, with renewed strength for future trials.
To these notices we need only subjoin bishop Burnet's excellent sketch of the character of this admirable prelate. "In his conversation he expressed the true simplicity of a Christian; for passion, pride, self-will, or the love of the world, seemed not to be so much as in his nature; so that he had all the innocence of the dove in him. He had a way of gaining people's hearts, and of touching their consciences, that looked like somewhat of the apostolical age revived; he spent much of his time in those two best exercises, secret prayer, and dealing with other people's consciences, either in his sermons or private discourses; and what remained he dedicated to his studies, in which those many volumes that came from him shewed a most amazing diligence and exactness, joined with great judgment. So that he was certainly one of the greatest and best men that the age, or perhaps the world, has produced."