« PreviousContinue »
of holy and devout affection. Now and then a tendency towards pious mysticism betrays itself in his writings; but there can be no doubt that the real tone of his mind was sound and vigorous. Perhaps one of the most unpleasing features in the writings of this great and good man is a certain tone of exaggerated sensibility, an occasional flush of unreal feeling, a tendency to push his emotions a great deal too far for our ordinary sympathies.
BORN A. D. 1584.-DIED A. D. 1656.
THIS eminent divine and critic, usually distinguished by the appellation of the Ever-memorable,' was the fourth son of John Hales of High Church, near Bath, in Somersetshire. His early education was received in the country. In 1597, he was entered of Corpus college, Oxford, where he took his bachelor's degree in 1603. The reputation which our young collegian had acquired for intellectual powers and moral worth, recommended him to the attention of Sir Henry Saville, then warden of Merton college, who procured for him a fellowship on that foundation. Soon after his admission, he was appointed lecturer in Greek to the college; and assisted his friend, Sir Henry, in preparing his edition of Chrysostom's works.
On the death of Sir Thomas Bodley in 1613, Hales delivered the funeral oration at Merton college, where Sir Thomas was buried. It is reprinted in Bates's Vite Selectorum.' On the 24th of May, in the same year, he quitted his fellowship at Merton, and was admitted fellow of Eton. He was now in orders, and had acquired considerable reputation as a preacher. In 1616, he held a correspondence with Oughtred, the mathematician. In 1618, he accompanied Sir Dudley Carlton, ambassador to the Hague, in the quality of chaplain to the embassy, by which means he procured admission to the synod, then sitting at Dort. His observations on the proceedings of this celebrated assembly are recorded in his Golden Remains.' The effect produced on his own mind by the debates was, that he adopted the Arminian side of the controversy. It does not appear, however, that he was ever a very decided anti-predestinarian. In his sermons he leads strongly for mutual forbearance and toleration betwixt the two parties. A more weighty charge has been made against him by Dr Heylin, who attri butes two Socinian tractates, which have been printed in the Phoenix,' to the pen of John Hales. This has been disproved, but the biographers of Hales are compelled to admit that he leaned to the Latitudinarian side in polemics.
About 1636, he wrote his tract on Schism.' It was originally compiled for the use of his friend, Chillingworth. Its liberal sentiments drew upon him the displeasure of Laud; but, in a personal conference with the primate, he succeeded in satisfying him that he was a true and orthodox son of the church,-phrases, we presune, which served in those days not so much to disclaim heresy as to distinguish the adherents of the established church from puritans and non-conformists. In 1639, Laud presented Hales with a canonry of Windsor.
After Laud's death, Hales retired from his lodgings in the college to private chambers at Eton, where he remained for a few months in the greatest poverty, having been deprived of the funds from which he had hitherto drawn his support by the sequestration of the college rents. He finally lost his fellowship altogether by his refusal to take the engagement; but soon after he obtained a tutorship in a private family near Colebrook. On the appearance of the proclamation against malignants, Hales refused to allow his kind patroness, Mrs Salter, to incur any risk on his account; and immediately retired to a humble lodging occupied by the widow of one of his own servants, where he resided until his death, which took place in 1666. It has been alleged by some of Hales' biographers, that he died in extreme poverty. But it is difficult to reconcile such a statement with the fact, that we find him bequeathing by will considerable property, both in money and books, to his executrix, Hannah Dickenson, and others.
Hales does not appear to have published any thing himself except his oration at the funeral of Sir Thomas Bodley. In 1659, however, there appeared a collection of his works with this title, 'Golden Remains of the ever-memorable Mr John Hales of Eton college,' &c. of which a second edition, with additional pieces, appeared in 1673. This collection consists of sermons, miscellanies, and letters. In 1677, another fasciculus of his works appeared, consisting of a variety of theological tracts, and some short pieces, entitled Miscellanies.' Lord Hales edited a beautiful edition of his works in 1765.
William Spurstowe, D. D.
DIED A. D. 1666.
Dr WILLIAM SPURSTOWE, one of the authors of 'Smectymnuus,' was master of Katharine-hall, Cambridge, when the Engagement' was enforced upon the universities. He declined to take it, and was ejected from his mastership in consequence. His attainments and character, however, were so universally respected, that he was chosen one of the Savoy commissioners, and attended the negotiations with Charles I. at Newport. Baxter mentions him among "those famous and excellent divines who attended the earl of Essex's army," and adds, that he was chaplain to Hampden's regiment. He died at Hackney in 1666. Besides the part he took in Smectymnuus, he was author of several religious treatises and sermons.
BORN A. D. 1591-2.-DIED A.D. 1668.
ISAAC AMBROSE, an eminent non-conformist minister, born 1591-2, was first minister of the town of Preston, in Lancashire, from whence he removed to Garstang, in the same county, where he continued till the passing of the act of uniformity in 1662, when he quitted his living. He died two years after, in the seventy-second year of his
age. He is described by his contemporaries as a man of great excellence, and of an exemplary life, both as a minister and private Christian. It was his custom once a-year to withdraw from all the active duties of life, that he might give himself to devotion and contemplation. He used to retire to some cottage or hut in a wood, or other secluded place, where he refused all converse with the world. This unusual practice contributed, in all probability, to that eminent piety and extensive usefulness which are recorded of him. After his ejectment he retired to Preston, the scene of his first ministerial labours; and becoming deeply conscious of his approaching end, prepared for it with Christian fortitude, and met it with hopeful resignation. Some of his people from Garstang having come to visit him a short time before his death, he gave them much good advice, and discoursed of his death with unusual seriousness. He told them he was now ready whenever his Lord should call, and that he had finished all he ever designed to write, having only the night before sent off to press his Discourse concerning angels.' He then accompanied his friends to their horses, and on his return to his house, shut himself up in his parlour, the ordinary place of his retirement. Here he continued longer than usual. The circumstance awakened the anxiety of those about him, and at length they opened the door, and found him just expiring. He published several theological works, both in English and Latin: the most celebrated of these was entitled 'Looking to Jesus.' The whole were collected and published in 1674, and have been several times reprinted.
BORN A. D. 1633.-DIED A. D. 1668.
JOSEPH ALLEIN, an eminent non-conformist minister, was born at Devizes, in Wiltshire, in 1633. At the age of sixteen he entered Lincoln college, Oxford, and in 1651 was admitted scholar of Corpus Christi. In 1653 he was elected to the chaplainship, which he is said to have chosen in preference to a fellowship. His college career was distinguished by great diligence in his studies, and faithful attention to the duties of his office. He usually allowed himself but three hours for sleep, and frequently gave away his 'commons' that his studies might not be interrupted. In 1655 he became assistant minister to Mr Geo. Newton at Taunton. In the labours of his ministry he was distinguished by energy, fidelity, and affection.
Before the passing of the act of uniformity in 1662, it was expected that he would have conformed; but when he saw the clauses to which his assent and consent were required, he determined to refuse submission. He was fully resolved, however, not to suspend his preaching until he should be prevented by violence. Accordingly, he even redoubled his labours-preaching sometimes seven, ten, or even fourteen sermons a-week, in Taunton and its neighbourhood. Such was the resp felt for him that he was permitted to continue these labours untill May 26, 1663, when he was committed to Ilchester jail. The was tried at the assizes for holding a riotous and seditious
assembly. The verdict was given against him, and be was sentenced to pay a fine of a hundred marks, and to be imprisoned till the fine was paid. On his recommitment to prison, he was contined with up wards of sixty others, mostly quakers and nonconformists, in one rocia, where they all suffered greatly from the closeness of the place, and were constrained to take cut the glass from the windows and remove some of the tiles from the roof to obtain fresh air. He continued nearly a year in confinement, and upon his release, commenced his publie labours again. He had large congregations in various places, who were much attached to him. In July, 1665, he was again arrested, and with seven other ministers, and forty private persons, was committed to the jail at Lichester. During his imprisonments he laboured digently both to promote the welfare of all his fellow-prisoners, and by his writings to serve those who had composed his flock. He died in 1668. He was a man of distinguished piety, and of a most exemplary deportment. A long and interesting account of him is given in Clark's Lives. He published several works, amongst which the · Alarm to the Unconverted' is best known, and has been most extensively circulated. He wrote in Latin a body of natural theology, in which he first laid down the Christian doctrines, and then added testimonies from the ancient philosophers. Soon after his death, an account of his life, labours, and sufferings, was published by Mr R. Allein, R. Fairclough, G. Newton, and his widow. Mr Baxter wrote the Introduction, and two conformist ministers gave it their sanction.
Anthony Tuckney, D.D.
BORN A. D. 1599.-DIED a. D. 1669.
THIS learned and eminent divine was born at Kirkton, near Boston, in Lincolnshire, in September 1599. His father was minister at that place. At fourteen years of age, he matriculated of the university of Cambridge, being admitted of Emanuel college. In 1620, he proceeded M.A., and was some time resident in the earl of Lincoln's family. In 1627 he took his degree of B.D., after which he became assistant to John Cotton, then vicar of Boston, afterwards a distinguished leader in the New England churches.
When the assembly of divines met at Westminster, Tuckney was one of the two representatives sent up from Lincolnshire. Soon after this, he accepted the rectorship of St Michael Querne, in Cheapside. In 1645, he succeeded Dr Holdsworth in the mastership of Emanuel college, and three years afterwards was chosen vice-chancellor. On the removal of Dr Arrowsmith to Trinity college, Dr Tuckney was chosen master of St John's, and two years after, regius professor of divinity.
After the restoration he resigned his mastership and professorship, but was allowed a retiring pension of £100 per annum. He died in London, in February 1670. Calamy bears this testimony to his merits, that he had the character of an eminently pious and learned man, a true friend, an indefatigable student, a candid disputant, and an earnest preacher of truth and godliness. His candour and liberality
are eminently manifested in his Eight letters concerning the use of reason in religion,' &c., addressed to Dr Whichcote. His other works
Conciones ad clerum.'
Edmund Staunton, D.D.
BORN A. D. 1600.-DIED A. D. 1671.
DR EDMUND STAUNTON was of the family of the Stauntons in Bedfordshire. From his earliest years he was a diligent student, and while yet under-graduate, was chosen a probationer fellow of Oxford before eighteen of his seniors. He entered into orders early in life, and preached his first lecture at Witney in Oxfordshire. His first living was that of Bushy in Hertfordshire. In 1635, when the book of Sports came out, he was one among many who were suspended for not reading it. During his suspension he took the degree of D.D. at Oxford. On the meeting of the Westminster assembly, Dr Staunton was chosen a member, and appointed one of the six morning preachers.
In 1648, when the visitors discharged Dr Newlin from the headship of Corpus Christi college, Dr Staunton succeeded him, and introduced a very excellent code of discipline into that establishment. His government was in the highest degree beneficial to the interests of the college, over which he presided twelve years, until discharged from office in 1660. After this he devoted the remainder of his life to the preaching of the gospel in and around St Albans. He died on the 14th of July 1671. A few of his practical treatises have been published.
BORN A. D. 1617.-died a. d. 1671.
VAVASOUR POWELL was a native of Radnorshire, and educated in Jesus college, Oxford. He was descended, on his father's side, from the Powells of Knocklas, in Radnorshire; and, on the mother's, from the ancient family of the Vavasours. On leaving the university, he perambulated his native country, preaching the gospel wherever he could obtain an audience. It being objected to him, however, that he had not received any kind of ordination, he went to London and obtained, in 1646, a testimonial of his religious and blameless conversation, and of his abilities for the work of the ministry, signed by Mr Herle, and seventeen members of the assembly of divines. Thus furnished, he returned to Wales, where he became a most indefatigable and active evangelist: traversing the country in every direction, visiting the mountain hamlets, attending the fairs and markets, and preaching in every place where he could gain admittance either by night or day. In the midst of all this incessant labour, and of the personal privations to which it exposed him, he maintained the appearance and deportment of a gentleman. He was also exceedingly hospitable and