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says the same writer, “now strictly he endeavoured to keep this rule, I shall give you this one instance; about a year before he died when he had left off preaching constantly, he was importuned by the Countess of Peterborough, and some other persons of quality, to give them a sermon at St. Martin's church; the lord primate complied with their desires, and preached a sermon highly satisfactory to his auditory; but after a pretty while the bishop happening to look on the hour glass, which stood from the light, and through the weakness and deficiency of his sight, mistaking it to be out, when indeed it was not, he concluded, telling them, since the time was past he would leave the rest he had to say on that subject to another opportunity, (if God should please to grant it him) of speaking again to them in that place; but the congregation finding out my lord's mistake, and that there was some of the hour yet to come, and not knowing whether they might ever have the like happiness of hearing him again, made signs to the reader, to let him know that the glass being not run out, they earnestly desired he would make an end of all he intended to have spoken ; which the bishop received very kindly, and reassuming his discourse where he had broken off, concluded with an exhortation full of heavenly matter for almost half an hour; the whole auditory being so much moved therewith that none went out of the church until he had Sinished his sermon."
An hour was the general limits to which a sermon was confined in those times, and so continued till the close of the century, and for this purpose an hour glass was placed either on the side of the pulpit, or on a stand in front of it. In some churches of the metropolis these reliques of our ancestors' patience and piety still remain ; but the sermons have for the most part dwindled into about a quarter of the period. *
The archbishop was very careful what persons he ordained for the ministry, both with regard to their characters and their qualifications. ver (says the writer from whose entertaining narrative most of this article is taken) heard that he ordained more than one person, who was not sufficiently qualified in respect of learning, and this was in so extraordinary a case, that I think it will not be amiss to give you a short account of it; there was a certain English mechanic living in the Lord Primate's diocese, who constantly frequented the public service of the church; and attained to a competent know
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• A droll story is told of Daniel Burgess, the celebrated nonconformist preacher at the beginning of the last cen: tury. He was famous for the length of his pulpit harangues and the quaintness of his illustrations. One time he was discoursing with great vehemence against the sin of drunkenness, on which subject having exhausted the usual time, he turned the hour glass, and said, “ Brethren, I have somewhat more to say on the nature and consequences of drunkenness, so let's have the other glass and then,"
ledge in the scriptures, and gave himself to read what books of practical divinity he could get, and was reputed among his neighbours and protestants thereabouts, a very honest and pious man; this person applied himself to the lord primate, and told him, that he had an earnest desire to be admitted to the ministry, but the bishop refused him, advising hiin to go home, and follow his calling, and pray to God to remove this temptation; yet after some time, he returns again renewing his request, saying, he could not be at rest in his mind, but that his desires toward that calling encreased more and more; whereupon the primate discoursed with him, and found upon examination, that he gave a very good account of his faith and knowledge in all the main points of religion. Then the bishop questioned him further, if he could speak Irish, for if not his preaching would be of little use in a country where the greatest part of the people understood no English. The man replied that he did not understand Irish, but if his lordship thought fit he would endeavour to learn it, which he bade him do, and as soon as he had attained the language to come again, which he did about twelvemonths after, telling my lord that he could now speak Irish tolerably well; on which the bishop examined him, and finding that he spake truth, he ordained him, being satisfied that such a man was able to do more good than if he had Latin without any Irish at all; nor was he deceived in
his expectation, for this man, as soon as he had a cure, employed his talent diligently and faithfully, and proved very successful in converting many of the Irish papists to our church, and continued labouring in that work till the rebellion and massacre, wherein he hardly escaped with his life.”
The works of Archbishop Usher are too many to be enumerated in this place. The most important, and the best known, are his "Annals of the Old and New Testament,” and the “ Chronologia Sacra,” both in folio.
His likeness was very hard to take, whence it is, that the engraved portraits of him are surprisingly dissimilar. The best is that by Vertue, taken from a picture painted by Sir Peter Lely.