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more of his faults than is necessary to illus, trate his repentance.
The occasion that led me into so particular a knowledge of him, was an intimation given me by a gentleman of his acquaintance, of his desire to see me. This was sometime in Oca tober, 1679, when he was slowly recovering out of a great disease. He had understood that I often attended on one well known to him, that died the summer before'; he was also then entertaining himself in that low state of health, with the first part of the History of the Refore, mation, then newly come out, with which he seemed not ill pleased ; and we had accidentally met in two or three places some time be fore.
These were the motives that led him to call for my company. After I had waited on him once or twice, he grew into that freedom with zne, as to open to me all his thoughts, both of Feligion and morality, and to give me a full view of his past life, and seemed not uneasy at my frequent visits. So till he went from Lon. don, which was in the beginning of April, I waited on him often.
As soon as I heard how ill he was, and how much he was touched with the sense of his former life, I wrote to him, and received from him an answer, that, without my know. lege, was printed since his death, from a copy which one of his servants conveyed to the press. In it there is so undeserved a value
put on me, that it had been very indecent in me to have published it: yet that must be attributed to his civility and way of breeding : and indeed he was particularly known to so few of the clergy, that the good opinion he had of me is to be imputed only to his unacquaintance with others.
My end in writing, is so to discharge the last commands this lord left on me, as that it may be effectual to awaken those who run on to all the excesses of riot ; and that in the midst of those heats, which their lusts and passions raise in them, they may be a little wroughtion by so great an instance of one who had run round the whole circle of luxury; and as Solomon says of himself, What 80tver his eyes desired, he kept it not from them; and withheld his heart from no joy. But when he looked back, on all that, on which he had wasted his time and strength, he esteemed it vanity and vexation of spirit; though he had both as much natural wit, and as much acquired learning, and was as much improved by thinking and study, as perhaps any libertine of
the age. Yet when he reflected on all his for. ! mer courses, even before his mind was illunı
inated with better thoughts, he counted them madness and folly.
But when the power of religion came to oporate on him, he added a detestation to the contempt be formerly had of them, suitable to vhat became a sincere penitent, and expresse
ed himself in so clear and so calm a manner, so sensible of his failings towards his Maker and his Redeemer, that as it wrought not a little on those that were about him, so, I hope, the making it public may haye a more general influence, chiefly on those on whom his for. ier conversation might have had ill effects.
I have endeavoured to give his character as fully as I could take it; but as I saw him onlyin one light, in a sedate and quiet tenper, when he was under a great decay of strength and loss of spirits ; I cannot give bis picture with that life and advantage that others inay, who knew him when his parts were more lively: yet the composure he was then in may perhaps be supposed to balance any abatement of nis usual vigour, which the decline of his health brought him under.
I have written this discourse with as much care, and have considered it as narrowly as I could. I have done it slowy, and often used iny second thoughts in it; not being so much concerned in the censures which might fåll on myself, as cautious that nuthing should pass, that might obstruct my only design of writing, which is the doing what I can towards refor. ming a loose arid lewd age.
And if such a signal instance, concurring with all the evidence we have for our most ho. ly fath, has no effect on those who are running the same course, it is much to be feared they are giren up to a rcprobate sense:
LIFE AND DEATH
EARL OF ROCHESTER.
TOHN WILMOT, Earl of Rochester, was
born in April, Anno Domini, 1648. His father was Henry, Earl of Rochester, but best known by the title of Lord Wilmot, who bore 90 conspicuous a part in all the late wars, that mention is often made of him in the history, He had the chief share in the honour of the preservation of CHARLES SECOND, after Worcester fight, and the conveying him from place, to place, till he happily escaped into France ; but dying before the king's return, he left his son little other inheritance, than the honour and title derived to him, with the pretensions such eminent services gave him to the king's favour. These were carefully managed by the great prudence and discretion of his nother, a daughter of that noble and ancient family of the St. John's of Wiltshire, so that his education was carried on in ail things according to his quality.
When he was at school he was an extraordinary proficient at his book; and those shining parts which have since appeared with so much lustre, began then to shew themselves. He acquired the Latin to such perfection, that, to his cying day, he retained a great relish for the fineness and beauty of that tongue ; and was exactly versed in the incomparable authors that wrote about Augustus's time, whom he read often with that peculiar delight, which the greatest wits have ever found in the studies.
When he went to the university, the general joy that over-ran the whole nation upon His Majesty's restoration, but was not regulated with that sobriety and temperance, that became a serious gratitude to God for so great
bics sing, produced some of its ill effecis on him; He began to love these disorders to much.
His tutor was that eminent and pious divine Dr. Bradford, afterwards promoted to the fees of Oxford and Worcester. And under his inspection, he was committed to the more immediate care of Mr. Phinehas Berry, a fellow of Wadham College, a very learned good-natured man, whom he afterwards used with much respect, and rewarded as became a great man. But the humour of that time wrought so much on him, that he broke off the course of his studies. to which no means could ever efToftually recal