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In compliance with their desires he went, and after much entreaty, Cromwell promised to take off the restraints he had imposed upon the clergy, provided they meddled not with matters relating to his government; but when the primate went to hiin a second time, to get this promise ratified, and put into writing, he found him under the hands of his surgeon, who was dressing a great boil which he had on his breast, so Cromwell told the archbishop to sit down, and that when he was dressed he would speak with him; whilst this was doing Cromwell said to his lordship, “If this core, (pointing to the boil) were once out I should quickly be well :" to whom Usher replied, $ I doubt the core lies deeper; there is a core at the heart that must be taken out, or else it will not be well.”—“ Ah !” said Cromwell, “so there is indeed," and sighed. But when the primate began to speak to him concerning the business he came about, he answered to this effect : “ that he had since better considered it, having advised with his council about it, and that they thought it not safe for him to grant liberty of conscience to those sort of men who were restless and implacable enemies to liim and his government;' and so he took his leave of hin, though with good words and outward civility. The primate seeing it was in vain to urge it any farther, said little more to him, but returned home very much troubled, and concerned that his endeavours had met with no better success, but he said to those who came to him, “This false
man has broken his word with we, and refuses to perform what he promised; well, he will have little cause to glory in his wickedness, for he will not continue long; the king will return, though I shall not live to see it, you may."
Not long after this the good prelate removed from London to Ryegate, where he immediately set about finishing his Chronologia Sacra. He was now very aged, and though both iu body and mind he was healthy and vigorous for a man of his years, yet his eye sight was extremely decayed by his constant studying, so that he could scarcely see to write but at a window, and that in the sunshine, which he constantly followed in clear days from one window to another.
He had now frequent thoughts of his dissolution; and as he was wort to note every year in his almanack, over against the day of his birth, the
age, " so I find,” says his biographer, “this year, 1655, this note written in his own hand: Now aged 75 years, my days are full;' and presently after in capital letters, • RESIGNATION.'»
He died at Ryegate, March 21, 1656, and his friends intended to have buried him there in the Countess of Peterborough's vault, but Cromwell, who knew in what high estimation the archbishop was held, and willing to obtain a little popularity insisted upon burying him pompously at his own expense. The funeral was indeed splenaidly solemn, but, after all, the crafty usurper
year of his
left the archbishop's relations to bear the charge, though they could scarcely afford it.
This great man was of a very bale constitution, which he preserved by temperance,
He was contented with a little sleep, for though he went to bed pretty late, yet in the summer he would rise by five, and in winter by six o'clock in the morning; bis appetite was always suited to his diet; he fed heartily on plain, wholesome meat without sauce, and was better pleased with a few dishes than a variety. He did not like tedious meals, and it was a weariness to him to sit long at table. In his disposition he was courteous and affable, and extremely obliging to all whoin he conversed with; and though he could be angry and rebuke sharply when religion or virtue were concerned, yet he was not easily provoked to passion, and rarely for small matters, such as the neglect of servants, or worldly disappointments The powers of his mind were very strong and the extent of his learning prodigious ; so that his advice and correspondence were courted by men of erudition in all parts of the world. His humility and his piety were equally conspicuous with his talents; yet his religion was not of that gloomy and forbidding cast which was too prevalent in the age in which he lived. He loved pleasant conversation and innocent mirth, often telling stories, or relating the wise or witty sayings of other men, or such things as had occurred to his own observation ; so that his company was always
agreeable, and for the most part instructive : but still he would conform himself to the genius, and improvements of those he conversed with; for as with scholars be would discourse of subjects of learning, so could be condescend to those of meaner capacities. But he could not endure any conversation which was trifling, or in which the characters of absent persons were treated with ridicule and severity.
“I remember once,” says his biographer, “ that when there happened some discourse at table from persons of quality that did not please him ; he said nothing then, seeming not to hear them; but after dinner when I waited on him in his chamber, he looked very melancholy, and on my asking the cause,
“ It is a sad thing," says he, “to be forced to put one's foot under another's table, and not only to have all sorts of company put upon him, but also to be obliged to hear their follies, and neither to be able to quit their company, nor to reprove their intemperate speeches."
He was famous as a preacher, and he usually delivered his sermons extempore, a practice common in his time, but whether the most adviseable is a question on which there will be different opinions, and on each side cogent arguments.
A man of such a powerful and well-stored mind as Usher's could not fail to be heard with attention and profit; but when men of superficial knowledge and of ardent imaginations adopt this practice, they lose the advantage to be derived from
preparatory study, and can contribute but little to the edification of those who hear them. They may declaim with confidence and with fluency, and thereby attract a numerous audience, but the ends of religious instruction will not be answered where the teacher trusts to his present elocution, and and the hearers attend only to be pleased.
Archbishop Usher's method of preaching was excellent and had a great effect; but the same method
be made use of to good purpose by those who take the l'audable pains of composing their sermons.
In the words of his biographer, as he was an excellent textuary, so it was his custom to run through all the parallel places, that concerned the subject on which he treated; and paraphrase and illustrate them as they referred to each other, and their particular contexts; he himself, as he past on, turning his bible from place to place, and giving his auditory time to do the Like: whereby, as he rendered his preaching extremely easy to himself, so it became no less beneficial to his auditors, acquainting them with the Holy Scriptures and enabling them to recur to the proofs he cited, by which the memory was very much helped to recover the series of what was discoursed upon from them; he never cared to tire his auditory with the length of kis sermon, knowing well, that as the satisfaction in hearing decreases, so does the attention also, and people instead of minding what is said, only listen when there is likely to be an end. And to let