« PreviousContinue »
rectorship of his college he carried himself so winning and pleasing, by his gentle government and fatherly instruction, that it flourished more than any house in the university with scholars as well of great as of mean birth ; as also with many foreigners that came purposely to sit at his feet to gain instruction. So zealous he was, also, in appointing industrious and careful tutors, that in short time many were fitted to do service in the church and state. In his professorship he behaved himself very plausible to the generality, especially for this reason, that in his lectures, disputes, and moderatings, (which were always frequented with many auditors) he shewed himself á stout champion against Socinius and Arminius."*
After filling the divinity chair twenty-six years, he was advanced to the bishoprick of Worcester, but this was in the dark year of 1641, when the presbyterian party was gaining the ascendancy fast, so that he received nothing from his new dignity but poverty and persecution. · He suffered so much for his, loyalty that he was obliged at last to part with his library and household furniture, to provide bread for himself and his children.' Towards the latter end of his life, a friend coming to see him, and saluting him in the common form of How doth your lordship do?
* Wood Ath. Oxon. II. 130.
Never better in my life,' saith he, ‘only I have too great a stomach ; for I have eaten that little plate which the sequestrators left me; I have eaten a great library of excellent books, I bave eaten a great deal of linen, much of my brass, some of my pewter, and now I am come to eat iron, and what will come next, I know not.' *
By this means he was at last brought to such extreme poverty, that he would have attended the conference in the Isle of Wight, to be held between commissioners appointed by the king and the parliament, to debate on church government, but he had not wherewith to defray his expenses. In this mean condition he died, in July, 1650, aged seventy-two, at the house of his son-in-law, Dr. Henry Sutton, at Bredon, in Worcestershire: leaving his children no legacy but “pious poverty, God's blessing, and a father's prayers,” which are the expressions contained in his last will and testament.
“ He had been,” says one of his biographers, a prodigy of industry; insomuch that several persons of his college, who, with an unequal constitution of body, attempting to imitate him, actually destroyed themselves by hard study. A striking proof this of the excellence of his character and disposition, which could have such an influence. His humility was so great, that he
Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 78.
constantly constantly kept his old leather breeches which he wore when he first came to Oxford, as a memorial of his original condition. Of money he was very careless, and he was so liberal in his distributions to the poor, that he at last became one of them himself. JOHN HALES:
In what a high estimation he was held on account of his extraordinary learning and eminent virtues, will appear from the number of foreigners who cameto England on purpose to prosecute their studies in the college over which he presided. Among these were Cluverius, Amama, Rumphius, and many others who attained a great name in different branches of learning,
This bishop has in print his Theological Lectures, in Latin, several Sermons, A History of Successions in States, Countries, or Families, 8yo, &c.
ALTHOUGH by the quaint courtesy of his contemporaries, this excellent person obtained the singular appellation of the “Ever-memorable Hales," his name and works are not at present so much known as they deserve.
He was a native of Bath, and was entered a student of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, at. the early age of thirteen. He afterwards became fellow of Merton College, where he obtained the friendship of the learned Sir Henry Savile, * whom
* Few men have more claims upon the gratitude of the lovers of literature than Sir Henry Savile. He was a native of Yorkshire, and became fellow of Merton College, Oxford, where he acquired a great name for his skill in the Greek language, and the Mathematicks. In the former he had the honour of teaching Queen Elizabeth, who gave him the Provostsliip of Eton College. He was knighted by King James, who would have bestowed considerable preferments upon him, which he refused. Sir Henry published an English translation of the four first books, and the Life of Agricola of Tacitus; also a Collection of the best Ancient Writers of our English History; an edition of Bradwardin de Causa Dei, &c. &c. In 1619, he founded two Professorships at Oxford, one of Geometry, and the other of Astronomy, which he endowed with a salary of one hundred and sixty pounds a year each.