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ny seeming. Opposition given to them by way of Discourse, for which he highly blamed himself, and begg’d of God to par. don it.
It is to be Wish'd, That our bold Retai. ners to Atheism or Deism, would more leriously consider from this Example, what they are doing, and not to insult our Holy Religion in so rude a manner, as they do ; from the Example of a Person, that had as great a share of Wit and Understanding, as any of them can pretend to, and who was advanced to great Honour, and Eminent Stations in the Goverộment, some Years before his Death.
God grant that they may repent of this their Wickedness in time (as we hope that Great Man did ) and thar luch Blafphemers of the Truth, and Impugners of our Faith, may be more effectually restrain d by, those that have Authority to do it ; and that it may not rise up in Judgment against the present Generation, for permitting such vile Wretches with such an Air of Confidence and Boasting, to expose and ridicule that Religion, which is now so happily planted in these Nations, and which cost our Chriftian Ancestors so much pains, and (as may be faid) so much Blood in holy Martyrdoms 23
to accomplifla it.
But to return to our Author. Soon after this Dispute, or Skirmifth, before-mentioned, he Dedicated a small Treatise to his Lord, against prophane Scoffing at Religion, whicli most probably was occafion'd by the Story now told, and who had frequent Opportunities to see how that viti. ous Humour prevaild among some witty Persons, and what Endeavours were used to engage the great Men on their side, and bring them to their Party. This he watched against, and opposed with all prudence and discretion, whilst he continued in that Great Family, which was about two Years ; and then removed to Kirkby, a Rectory in the County of Nottingham, which he inad been presented to by his Noble Lord.
He found a Parilla in miserable Disorder, and the sad Effects of the Civil War were too notoriously seen in it, as he hath been often heard to complain : Several that had been Soldiers and Officers in the Parliamene-Army then liv'd in the said Town, leven'd with Antinomian Principles, and had corrupted others; and who shew'd the greatest dislike to the Sertlement of the Monarchy and Church again upon their ancient Foundations, which gave no small Di. sturbance to this good Man. And yet by a prudent Management of Affairs, season
able Applications, and a mild and gentle. Behaviour towards them, he wrought a very great Reformation in few Years ; and many of those that had profess'd the greateft Aversion to the Establifl mint of the Church, became hearty Friends to it, and were thoroughly Reconcil'd to the Constituions and Orders of it ; insomuch that in the last Thirty Years of his Life at Kirkby, (a pretty large Country Parish ) he did not believe that he had three Diflenters in it.
Notwithstanding this bis great Service to the Church, he had the Misfortune to be represented as no real Friend to it, and too great a favourer of thote that dislenc from it ; and how far these Reports were spread to his disadvantage, was very well known to many, insomuch that he was not thought worthy of a small Dignity in the Church. But the present Lord Arch-Bishop of Tork ( who is a true Judge of neglected · Worth ) knew him berter, and soon after his Consecration design'd him a Prebend in the Church of Southwell; and he was Collated to one in the Year 1693 ; which the good Man was not desirous of, and would have resign'd it afterwards, because his Infirmities ( as he modestly judged ) would not permit him to attend the Service and Business of the said Church; but the good
Arch-Bishop would not fuffer his Modesty to prevail.
This help'd to raise his Reputation, and was the Cause of making some of his former Detractors believe that he was not the Man they had taken him for. And if Clergy-Men, without any just Cause, must be thus misrepresented and stigmatiz'd, who can help it? It was his comfort that he suffer'd, in this point, with some of the best and wisest Men that our Church hath been honoured with.
That he sometimes convers'd with Dilsenters, and treated them with Humanity and Kindness, is confesled by his Friends, but that he betrayed the Interest of the Church in any particular, or shew'd any dislike to its regular Constitutions, is denied. His business was to gain Disenters by all the prudent and wise Methods of Reconciliation : He knew how to make Allowances to the Prejudices of Education, and to those miftaken Opinions which Men have been long accustomed to; he knew how to govern himself towards them, and what gentle Methods were required, in order to their Conviction: Yet notwithstanding the Union and Peace of the Church he esteemed so precious a Jewel, and lo necessary to be preserved, that he has been seen to be a little ear
neft upon this point, that the main body of Dissenters, especially their Ministers, did not contribute more to the better and more form Eftablishment of them. Not but he thought something might be done on the Churche's part, in the Methods of Condescention and Love, to procure so great a Blefsing to it, without intrenching too much upon its Constitution.
Soon after his Settling at Kirkby, he was Married to the Daughter of Sir Thomas Remington of Lond, in the East-Riding of Tork. shire, by whom he had four Sons, and one Daughter; two Sons, and the Daughter, do only now Survive.
In July 1691 his Wife died, and from that Stroke his greater Infirmities (which afterwards fell on him) were dated : His Conftitution was always crazy and infirm, and which might be occafion'd by his very hard Studying, who seldom slept above 4 or 5 Hours in the Night, and most usually got to his Study by 4 of the Clock in the Morning, both in Winter and Summer. He continued to do 1o, till within very few Years of his Death. So that he may be reckoned in the Number of the greatest Students; and whose indefatigable Industry appears from the great Number of Manufcripts, of several kinds, which he hath left