« PreviousContinue »
of his livings in Northamptonshire, when he received orders to attend his majesty in his northern progress as one of his chaplains in ordinary. Soon after this he took his doctor's degree, and held a disputation before the archbishop of Spalatro, who was then visiting Cambridge. He acquitted himself greatly to James' satisfaction on this occasion, by his defence of the themes Supremus magistratus non est excommuni cabilis,' and Subductio calicis est mutilatio sacramenti et sacerdotii. From this time he constantly grew in favour with his majesty. "The king's table," says Hacket, "was a trial of wits. The reading of some books before him was very frequent while he was at his repast. Otherwise he collected knowledge by variety of questions, which he carried out to the capacity of his understanding visitors. Methought his hunting humour was not off so long as his courtiers, I mean, the learned stood about him at his board. He was ever in chase after some disputable doubts, which he would wind and turn about with the most stabbing objections that ever I heard, and was as pleasant and fellowlike in all these discourses with his huntsmen in the field. They that in many such genial and convivial conferences were ripe and weighty in their answers, were indubiously designed to some place of credit and profit. But among them all with whom King James communed, was found none like Daniel (Williams). His majesty gave ear more graciously to this chaplain, and directed his speech to him, when he was at hand, oftener than to any that crowded near to hearken to the wisdom of that Solomon." Williams, if not the ablest of James' auditors, was at least one of the most prudent, and studied the royal pedant's humour to the best advantage. At first, however, he mistook the relation in which it was necessary for him to stand to the favourite Buckingham, whom for some time he neglected to court. James, however, soon gave him to understand, that to stand well in his favour, it was necessary to be in the good graces also of the marquess. He lost no time in improving upon the hint thus given him, and soon rendered himself eminently serviceable to Buckingham by prevailing on the earl of Rutland to bestow his daughter and heiress upon him. The favourite rewarded the chaplain with the valuable deanery of Westmin
Williams' next promotion was to the office of keeper of the seals, on the removal of the lord-chancellor Bacon from office in 1621. He had not held the seals a month before the bishopric of Lincoln was added to his preferments, with leave to retain his deanery and other benefices. As lord-keeper, Bishop Williams discharged his arduous services with singular assiduity and considerable ability. When he first entered upon office he had such a load of business that he was forced to sit by candle-light in the court of chancery, from two hours before daybreak till between eight and nine. He then repaired to the house of peers, where he sat as speaker till twelve or one o'clock. This duty discharged, he snatched a brief repast, and then returned to hear causes in chancery till eight or nine in the evening. After this, on his return home, he perused his papers, despatched his correspondence, and prepared for the business of the house of lords next day. In the starchamber, he, upon the whole, conducted himself with greater lenity and moderation than the other judges. He used his influence also with
The bishop was removed from his office of lord-keeper by Charles 1. in October, 1626, having fallen under the displeasure of Buckingham. Soon after this misfortune he penned the following sycophantic epistle to the duke: "Most gracious lord, beinge com hither, accordinge unto the dutye of my place, to doe my best service for the preparation to the coronation, and to wayte upon his majestye for his royall pleasure and direction therein, I doe most humblye beseech your grace to crowne soe many of your grace's former favoures, and to revive a creature of your owne, struck dead onlye with your displeasure, (but noe other discontentment in the universall worlde,) by bringinge of me to kisse his majestye's hand, with whome I took leave in noe disfavoure at all. I was never hitherto brought into the presence of a kinge by any saint beside yourselfe; turne me not over (most noble lord,) to offer my prayers at newe aulters. If I were guiltye of any unworthye, unfaithfulnes for the time past, or not guiltye of a resolution to doe your grace all service for the time to com, all considerations under heaven could not force me to begge it so earnestlye, or to professe myselfe as I do before God and you. Your grace his most humble, affectionate, and devoted servaunt, Jo. Lincoln." He was ordered at the same time not
to appear in parliament, but he refused to comply with the injunction, and, taking his seat in the house of peers, promoted the petition of right. The influence of Laud also was now directed against him, notwithstanding the debt of gratitude that prelate owed him for his first promotion to the mitre. In the 4th year of Charles, a prosecution was commenced against the bishop in the star-chamber on some frivolous informations preferred against him by some of Laud's creatures. He defended himself ably, but was condemned to pay a fine of £10,000 to the king, and to be imprisoned during the royal pleasure. He was detained in the Tower till December, 1640, when the house of lords demanded, and obtained his liberation. Next year, he was advanced to the archbishopric of York. The same year he strenuously, though. ineffectually, opposed the bill for depriving the bishops of their seats in the house of lords. On this occasion his usual prudence and foresight seem to have forsaken him, for he was mainly instrumental in preparing the protest of the twelve bishops which procured them instant imprisonment in the Tower.
In the year 1642, the archbishop retired from York to his estate at Aber-Conway, and was at no small expense in fortifying Conway castle for the king. After the excution of Charles, the archbishop spent his few remaining days in retirement and devotion. He died on the 25th of March, 1650. Besides several sermons, Archbishop Williams published a book against Laud's innovations, with this title, The Holy Tabie, Name, and Thing, more antiently, properly, and literally used under the New Testament, than that of Altar,' which Lord Clarendon characterises as a book "full of good learning, and that learning so closely and solidly applied-though it abounded with two many light expressions that it gained him reputation enough to be able to do hurt.” He likewise made some collections for a Latin commentary on the Bible, and a life of Bishop Grossteste.
Ellis's Original Letters, vol. iii. p. 255.
BORN A. D. 1574.-DIED A. D. 1656.
JOSEPH HALL was born of very respectable parentage at Bristowpark, in the parish of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, in Leicestershire, on the 1st of July, 1574. His father was an officer under Henry, earl of Huntingdon; his mother, "of the house of the Bainbridges." To the instruction and counsel of his maternal parent-who is described as a woman of rare sanctity,"-Hall was doubtless greatly indebted for the bent of his subsequent character; and he has acknowledged his obligations to her in very affectionate and pleasing terms: "how often," says he, "have I blessed the memory of those divine passages of experimental divinity which I have heard from her mouth! What day did she pass without a large task of private devotion: whence she would still come forth with a countenance of undissembled mortification! Never any lips have read to me such feeling lectures of piety; neither have I known any soul that more accurately practised them than her own. Teniptations, desertions, and spiritual comforts, were her usual theme. Shortly-for I can hardly take off my pen from so exemplary a subject—her life and death were saint-like." It is not to be wondered at that the highest ambition of such a "saintly" mother was to see her son engaged in the ministry of the gospel; and accordingly his parents appear to have devoted him from very early years to the sacred calling. bishop has left behind him two interesting pieces of auto-biography,one entitled Hard measure,'—and the other Observations on some specialties of Divine Providence in the life of Joseph Hall, written with his own hand;' in the latter of these works, the first "specialty" which he acknowledges is his having escaped from a system of private tutorage, which threatened ultimately to divert his attention from the work of the ministry, and having been permitted to pursue his studies at Cambridge. The expenses of a university-education would soon have proved too great for the father's means, whose "not very large cistern," the son quaintly remarks, had to "feed many pipes" besides his; but an unexpected benefactor happily stept forward at the critical moment when the young student was about to be removed from Cambridge, and supplied him with the means of prosecuting his studies at that ancient seat of learning, where, in due season, he was elected fellow of his college, Emanuel, and lectured on rhetoric for two years successively. Hall was an enthusiastic student; and used to declare that the years which he passed within the walls of his college were the happiest of his life. In early youth he had drank deeply from classic fountains; and, before the completion of his 23d year, the publication of his satires had powerfully contributed to one department at least of his country's literature, or, rather had given existence to it; for, in the judgment of Campbell no mean authority it will be allowed, on such a point" of our satirical poetry, taking satire in its moral and dignified sense, he claims, and may be allowed, to be the founder.”
Specimens, vol. ii. p. 256.
Having entered into sacred orders, he was presented by Lady Drury to the rectory of Halsted in Suffolk, having previously declined the mastership of Tiverton school. His parochial charge was rendered somewhat troublesome by the impertinences and malice of "a witty and bold atheist, one Mr Lilly," who, having conceived some dislike to the worthy doctor's faithful ministrations, set himself to prejudice Sir Robert Drury, the son of his patroness, against him. Mr Jones conjectures that this was Lilly the author of Euphues,' who does not however appear to have avowed atheistical principles in any of his fantastic writings. But whoever the man was, he proved himself a source of considerable uneasiness to the future bishop, who confesses, that "finding the obdurateness and hopeless condition of that man, I bent my prayers against him, beseeching God daily, that he would be pleased to remove, by some means or other, that apparent hinderance of my faithful labours, who gave me an answer accordingly: for this malicious man, going hastily up to London to exasperate my patron against me, was then and there swept away by the pestilence, and never returned to do any further mischief." When he had been two years resident on his rectory, "the uncouth solitariness" of his life, and "the extreme incommodity of that single house-keeping," drew his thoughts "to condescend to the necessity of a married state." Dire however as this necessity appeared at first to be to the mind of the studious and quietloving rector, it proved-as he himself confesses-the means of introducing him to "the comfortable society of a meet-help for the space of forty-nine years."
Two years after this deed of "condescension," the paucity of his pecuniary emoluments arising from the rectorship, and the desire he had "to inform himself ocularly of the state and practices of the Romish church, induced him to accept the invitation of Sir Edmund Bacon to accompany him to Spa, and during their continental tour he engaged in a public disputation with some Jesuits at Brussels. An accidental opportunity which he had soon after his return home, of preaching at Richmond before Prince Henry, to whom he had already dedicated his Contemplations,' seems to have given the first impulse to his preferment. He was nominated one of the prince's chaplains, and was presented, by the earl of Norwich, to the valuable living of Waltham, at that time worth £100 a year, "with other considerable accommodations." On this occasion (1612,) he took his degree of doctor of divinity. His incumbency at Waltham lasted twenty-two years, during which period he continued to rise in favour at court, and was more than once engaged abroad on public missions. On his return from having accompanied Lord Doncaster in his embassy to France, he found himself created by the king, dean of Worcester. Subsequently he attended his majesty to Scotland, in an expedition from which James reaped no honours, and his subjects no advantage.
In 1618, Hall was nominated one of the four divines whom the royal polemic, who at that time filled the throne of Britain, thought fit to send to the famous synod of Dort, as the representatives of the English clergy. His colleagues on this occasion, were Carleton, Davenant, and Ward; the first, distinguished for episcopal gravity, the second for a sound judgment, and the third, for extensive reading; the quality which induced the king to appoint Hall a member of this illustrious