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This holy man was the son of the celebrated Alexander Leighton who was so cruelly tortured by order of the Star Chamber. The son, who was born in 1611, was educated at Edinburgh, where his talents were not more conspicuous than his piety and humble temper. He afterwards spent some time in France, particularly at Douai, where some of his relatives lived. At the age of thirty he was settled according to the Presbyterian form as minister of Newbottle, near Edinburgh, which living he resigned in 1653, with the intention of residing in strict privacy. The same year, however, he was chosen to the office of Principal of Edinburgh University, the duties appertaining to which he discharged for ten years with great reputation. When Charles II., after the Restoration, determined to establish episcopacy in Scotland Leighton was persuaded to accept a bishopric, and selected the most obscure and least lucrative see, that of Dunblane, from which he was translated in 1670 to the Archbishopric of Glasgow, which he resigned in 1674 The reason of his retirement arose from the failure of his efforts to bring about a scheme of comprehension between the Presbyterians and Episcopalians, by which a stop might be put to the bitter controversies and persecutions which harassed the country from the Restoration to the Revolution. After his resignation Leighton resided with a widowed sister at Broadhurst, in Sussex, and in this retirement he continued for ten years. He died while on a visit to London in 1684, being in the seventy-fourth year of his age. Archbishop Leighton was pre-eminently a lover of peace, and every wish of his soul tended to the unity and spirituality of the members of the church of Christ. One of his biographers (the Rev. John Norman Pearson) describes his manner of presenting the truth to his readers in the following words: "In all his compositions there is a delightful consistency: nothing indigested and turbid; no dissonances of thought, no jarring positions ; none of the Auctuations, the ambiguities, the contradictions, which betray a penury of knowledge, or an imperfect assimilation of it with the understanding. Equally master of every part of the evangelical system, he never steps out of his way to avoid what encounters him, or to pick up what is not obvious: he never betakes himself to the covers of unfairness or ignorance; but he unfolds, with the utmost intrepidity and clearness, the topic that comes before him.” Of his writings the principal one is the Commentary on the First Epistle General of St. Peter. Extracts will be found at pages 39, (Rich and Precious Jewel,) 86, (Prayer,) 177, (The Sabbath,) 195, (Public Worship,) 329, (Self Knowledge,) 330, (Sins of the Tongue,) 335, (Religion in Daily Life,) 338, (Hypocrisy,) and 339, (Alms.)
JOHN LIGHTFOOT, D.D.
The fame of Dr. Lightfoot rests chiefly on his extraordinary attainments as a Hebrew scholar. He was the son of the Vicar of Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire, and born at Stoke-upon-Trent, in that county, in 1602. He received a good preliminary education, and afterwards entered Cambridge, where he applied himself to the study of eloquence, and was deemed to be the best orator of the undergraduates in the University. He also made extraordinary progress in Latin and Greek, but neglected Hebrew, in which he was destined to acquire such celebrity, and even, it is said, lost that knowledge of it which he brought from school. Becoming curate of Norton-under-Hales, in Shropshire, he was appointed chaplain to Sir Rowland Cotton, an accomplished Hebrew scholar, who inspired him with a passion for rabbinical studies. When Sir Robert removed to London Lightfoot accompanied him, but in a short time was appointed minister of Stone, in his native county. His excessive attachment to his favourite pursuit, however, led him to quit his living and reside in London for a time, on account of the advantages to be derived from Sion College Library. Being next appointed to the rectory of Ashley, Staffordshire, he built a study in his garden, and applied himself for twelve years with indefatigable diligence in searching the Scriptures. From this place he removed a second time to the metropolis, having been nominated a member of the Westminster Assembly, and minister of one of the city churches. He was afterwards chosen Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge, and presented to the living of Much Munden, in Hertfordshire, at which latter place he was buried in 1675. As a biblical scholar Dr. Lightfoot was held in deserved esteem, and his works are still deemed to be masterpieces of erudition. Passages are given at pages 167, (The Sabbath,) 232, (Peace with God,) 236, (Dependence upon God,) 270, (Repentance,) 320, (Commune with your own Hearts,) and 325, (The Blessing of a Long Life.)
This learned prelate, successively Bishop of Chichester and Ely, was born at Gainsborough in 1626, and admitted a sizar of Queen's College, Cambridge, being afterwards elected fellow. He was designated to holy orders by Bishop Hall in 1651, and became chaplain to Sir Walter St. John, of Battersea, who bestowed that living upon him in 1658. Shortly after the Restoration Patrick was elected Master of Queen's College, in opposition to a royal mandamus appointing a Mr. Sparrow, but the contest was speedily decided in favour of the latter, and some if not all of the fellows who had supported Patrick were ejected. He was next preferred to the rectory of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, where he endeared himself greatly to his people by the Christian courage he displayed in remaining among them during the horrors of the plague in 1665. Dr. Patrick was made Prebendary of Westminister in 1672, and Dean of Peterborough in 1679. He opposed the reading of the declaration issued by James II., and took an active part in connection with the affairs of the Church at the time of the Revolution. In 1689 he was appointed Bishop of Chichester, and translated to Ely in 1691, in the room of Turner, who refused to swear allegiance to the new government. The Bishop died in 1707, at the advanced age of eighty. He published several works, among which the Exposition of the Ten Commandments, Paraphrases, and Commentaries upon the Old Testament still hold an honoured place in our devotional literature. A passage on the Lord's Supper appears at page 140.
The fase of Bishop Pearson rests on his well-known work, “An Exposition of the Creed,” which was published in 1659, and dedicated to the parishioners of St. Clement's, Eastcheap, London, to whom the substance of it had been preached several years before. Pearson was the son of a
Norfolk clergyman, and educated at Eton, from whence he proceeded to Cambridge, being elected a fellow of King's College there. On the breaking out of the civil war he became chaplain to Lord Goring, whom he attended in the army, and in 1650 was made minister of St. Clements, Eastcheap. Various University and other preferments were conferred on him at the Restoration, and to these was added elevation to the see of Chester, on the death of Dr. Wilkins, Bishop of that diocese, in 1673. Here Dr. Pearson continued till his death in 1686, though for a considerable period he had been disabled from public service by the utter loss of his memory. This prelate was esteemed an excellent, learned, and judicious preacher; and, in addition to the work already referred to, wrote on some points of patristic literature, in which he was well versed. A quotation is given at page 171, (The Sabbath.)
Dr. Sandys, who was born in 1519, was descended from an ancient family settled at Furness Fells, in Lancashire. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, became Master of Catharine Hall, and held the office of ViceChancellor of the University at the death of Edward VI. Being called upon by the Duke of Northumberland to preach a sermon on occasion of the proclamation of Lady Jane Grey, for the sentiments therein expressed, Sandys was committed to the Tower by Queen Mary's government, and afterwards removed to the Marshalsea. the mediation of Sir Thomas Holcroft, knight marshal, he was at length set at liberty, firmly refusing to give bail not to depart the realm, and immediately after his enlargement retired to Flanders, ultimately fixing his residence at