Page images
PDF
EPUB

detaining from the living of Halsted, ten pounds a year, which of right belonged to it, that he was obliged, as he says, “to write books to enable him to buy books.'

While he was in London, endeavouring to prevail with Sir Robert to do him justice, Edward Lord Denny, afterwards Earl of Norwich, sent for him, “and,” says the bishop, “no sooner came I thither, than after a glad and noble wel. come, I was entertained with the offer of the living of Waltham Holy Cross, in Essex. The conditions were like the mover, free and bountiful; I received them as from the munificent hands of

my God, and returned full of the cheerful acknowledgments of a gracious Providence over me."

He was at this time chaplain to that excellent youth, Henry Prince of Wales, who strongly solicited him to continue in constant attendance at his court; with the promise of considerable preferment. From a sense of duty, however, he de. clined this flattering invitation, and resided at Waltham, “where,” says he,“ in a constant course I preached a long time (as I had done at Halsted before) thrice a week, yet never durst I climb into the pulpit to preach any sermon, whereof I had not before, in my poor and plain fashion, penned every word in the same order wherein I. hoped to deliver it."

In 1616, he attended the embassy of James Hay, Viscount Doncaster, to France, and in his absence the king conferred on hin the deanry

of

и 3

of Worcester. Two years afterwards he was appointed one of the representatives of the English Church, at the Synod of Dort, but owing to illhealth he returned before the breaking up of that assembly, and at his departure the deputies of the states of the United Provinces, presented him with a rich gold medal, on which was a representation of the synod. In some of his portraits he is drawn with this medal suspended at his breast.

In 1627 he was advanced to the bishoprick of Exeter, having refused three years before that of Gloucester. His moderation in the government of his diocese, brought upon him the charge of being inclined to puritanism; and so frequent were the complaints alledged against him for his indulgence of nonconformists, that the good bishop could endure them no longer, but very fairly told the Archbishop of Canterbury, “that rather than he would be obnoxious to these slanderous tongues of his misinformers, he would resign his rochet."

In 1641, he was translated to Norwich, but in less than two months afterwards he was sent to the Tower, with the Archbishop of York, and some others of his brethren, for protesting against the validity of all laws made during their forced absence from parliament.

For this they were impeached of high treason by the factious commons; but they were never brought to make their defence, nor to a trial. At last, about June, 1642, they were released, upon giving bail of five thousand pounds each. The bishop of Norwich went down to his diocese, where he was civilly treated at first, but the aspect of the times threatened the utmost severity against his order, from the prevalence of fanatical and rebellious principles.

last,

The piety, moderation, and years of this excellent prelate could not save his property from the rapacious hands of the republicans, or protect his person from insult.

“ The first noise that I heard of my trouble was,” says he, “ that one morning before my servants were up, there came to my gates one Wright, a London trooper, attended with others, requiring entrance; threatening, if they were not admitted, to break open the gates; whom I found struggling with one of my servants for a pistol which he had in his hand. I demanded his business at that unseasonable hour; he told me he came to search for arms and ammunition of which I must be disarmed; I told him I had only two musquets in the house, and no other military provisions; he, not trusting to my word, searched round about the house, looked into the chests and trunks, examined the vessels in the cellar; and finding no other warlike furniture, he asked me what horses I had, for his commission was to take them also; I told him how poorly I was stored, and that my age would not allow me to travel on foot. In conclusion, he took one horse M 4

for

for the present, and such account of another, that he did highly expostulate with me afterwards, because I had otherwise disposed of him.”

Shortly after this an ordinance of that tyrannical parliament was passed for sequestrating the property of the bishops and ciergy, on which the commissioners for Norwich immediatley set about their work, and they executed it with all the rigour of inquisitors. But let the bishop again give us his own account.

“ The sequestrators,” says he, “sent certain men appointed by them, (whereof one had been burned in the hand) to appraise all the goods that were in my house ; which they accordingly executed with all diligent severity, not leaving so much as a dozen trenchers, or my children's pictures out of their curious inventory: yea, they would have appraised our very wearing apparel, had not some of them declared their opinion to the contrary. These goods, both library and household stuff of all kinds, were appointed to be exposed to public sale; but in the inean time, Mrs. Goodwin, a religious good gentlewoman, whom yet we had never known or seen, being moved with compassion, very kindly offered to lay down to the sequestrators the whole sum at which the goods were valued : and was pleased to leave them in our hands, for our use, till we might be able to re-purchase them. As for the books, several stationers looked on them, but were not forward to buy: at last Mr. Cooke, a worthy

divine of this diocese, gave bond to the sequestrators, to pay them the whole sum whereat they were set; which was afterwards satisfied out of that poor pittance, which was allowed me for

my maintenance.”

If it be asked, what offence could have incur, red such cruel treatment ? the answer is, that he was a bishop, and had been presumptuous enough to publish “An humble Remonstrance to the High Court of Parliament,” in which he defended Episcopacy and the Church of England, with so much strength of argument, that five Presbyterians clubbed their wits together to frame an answer, which the bishop completely refuted.

The account of the reformation of Norwich cathedral by the fanatics, is a curious picture of the men, and of the spirit by which they were actuated.

" It is no other than tragical,” says the good bishop,“ to relate the carnage of that furious sacrilege, whereof our eyes and ears were the sad witnesses, under the authority and presence

* These were, Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow.--Their performance bore the barbarous title of

Smectymnuus, or, an Answer to an Humble Remonstrance, &c.” This strange word is made up of the initial letters of the names of the sapient authors, and the bishop in his reply makes himself merry with his “ Plural Adversary."

of

« PreviousContinue »