Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Rev. William Brates, DD, prown Printing in the Peopopsion of the Authur


Published by Butten & Son, Paternoster Row.

any place where they could enjoy that liberty, though he' does not directly apply the subject to that purpose.

WORKS. An Exposition on the epistle of Jude, delivered in forty lectures; 2 vols. small 4to.--The Busy Bishop, in Answ. to J. Goodwin's Sion Col. visited. Vindicat. of this ag. his Reply.-(A Fun. Serm. for Dr. Gouge, with his Character at large.] ---Another for Dr. Seaman, (some Reflections in which occasioned great Heats. [N. B. He had particularly charged some of the conforming clergy with preaching the Sermons of the Puritans, at the same time that they treated them with contempt.]-In defence of what he had said, he wrote Celeuma, seu clamor ad Theol. Hierarchie Angl. in ans. to a Vind. of the Conforming Clergy.-This being answered in Latin, by Dr. Grove, he wrote a Reply in the same language.--He has three Sermons in the Morn. Exercise.

ST. DUNSTAN'S IN THE WEST. [V. 4481. 115. 54d.) )

WILLIAM BATES, D.D. He was born in November, A. D. 1625. His father was an eminent physician, who wrote Elenchus motuum nuperrime. He was educated in the university of Cambridge, where it is said he took the degree of B. A. 1647, and was admitted Doctor in Divinity in the year 1660. It is greatly to be lamented that Mr. Howe, who was intimate with him, should have given the world so few anecdotes concerning so distinguished a character, in the sermon preached on occasion of his death, of which the following is the substance.] In giving some account of him, one cannot omit taking notice of the graceful inien and comeliness of his person, which was adapted to command respect in that public station for which providence designed him. His concern lay not only with mean men, (though he knew how to condescend to the meanest) he was to stand before kings. It is well known in what relation he stood to ONE t, as long as was convenient for certain purposes; and how frequent occasion he had of appearing (never unacceptably) before another I. His aspect was decently

§ See British Biography, by the late Dr. Towers, vol. vi. p. 125. Nomention is made of Dr. Bates's college, por does he himself notice it, as is usually done, in the title-page of any of his works.--The author of the Pharmacopeia, was his brother, of whom Dr. Bates, of Holmer's Green, Missenden, is a dea scendant.

f Charles II. to whom he was chaplain.

| King William III. § To whom, at his accession to the throne, he presented the congratulatory address of the Dissenting ministers. He also prca sented their address of condolence on the death of the Quccn; which may be seen at the end of his sermon on that occasion, on Psalin cii. 26, 27. dedi. cated to the Duke of Bedford.

I 2


His ap?

grave and amiable, such as might command both reverence and love. To use his own words, concering alderman Ashurst, A constant serenity reigned in his countenance; the visible sign of the divine calm in his breast. His natural endowments were much beyond the common rate.

: prehension was quick and clear: his reasoning faculty acute and ready, so as to manage an argument to great advantage. His judgment was penetrating and solid: his wit never light or vain, though facetious and pleasant, by the help of a vigorous and lively imagination; always obedient to reason. His memory was adniirable, and was never observed to fail ; nor was it impaired to the last. He could repeat, verbatim, speeches which he had made on particular occasions, though he had not penned a word of them; and he constantly deli. vered his sermons from his memory, which, he sometimes said, with an amiable freedom, he continued to do when he grew in years, partly to teach some who were younger, to preach without notes. He was generally reputed one of the best orators of the age. His voice was charming: his language always elegant; but unaffected, free and plain. His method in all his discourses might be exposed to the severest critics. His style was inimitably polite, yet easy, and to himself the most natural. His frequent and apt similitudes and allusions (the produce of a vivid fancy, regulated by judgment and sanctified by grace) greatly served his pious purpose, to illustrate the truth he designed to recommend, and give it the greatest advantage for entering the mind with light and pleasure, so as at once to instruct and delight the hearer. His elegant manner of expressing himself, which some were diposed to censure, was become habitual to him, and it pleased others much more than himself; for he commended Mr. Baxter“ for the noble negligence of his style," and says that “ his

great mind could not stoop to the affected “ eloquence of words.”

His learning was a vast treasure, and his knowledge of books was so extensive, that one who was as great a pillar and as bright an ornament of the church of England as ever it had, was known to say, " That were he to collect a li

brary, he would as soon consult Dr. Bates as any one he 6 knew." He was well versed in the politer parts of learn. ing; which rendered his conversation highly entertaining to the more intelligent part of mankind, and his company was inuch coveted by persons of quality, even when others of his character were prosecuted with the utmost rigour.


He was honoured with the friendship of the Lord-keeper Bridgman. The Lord chancellor Finch, and his son the carl of Nottingham, had a particular respect for him. Archbishop Tillotson held him in very high esteen, and even after his highest advancement in the church, maintained an intimacy with him, which continued to the end of that amiable prelate's life. The late Queen (Mary) often entertained herself in her closet with his writings. If interest would have induced him to conformity, he could not have wanted a temptation. He might have been a dean at King Charles II's. return, and afterwards might have had any bishopric in the kingdom, if he would have deserted his cause and his principles. His integrity, and at the same time his modesty and peaceable temper, sufficiently appear in the close of his farewell sermon, August 17, 1662. “I “ know you expect I should say something as to my Non

conformity. I shall only say thus much : It is neither * fancy, faction, nor humour that makes me not comply; " but merely the fear of offending God. And if, after the * best means used for my illumination; as prayer to God, “ discourse, and study, I am not able to be satisfied con *6 'cerning the lawfulness of what is required, it be my un" happiness to be in error, surely men will have no reason " to be angry with me in this world, and I hope God will

pardon me in the next.” This sermon is on that text, Heb. xiii. 20, 21. The God of peace, &c. A very good discourse, but it has nothing more than the passage now quoted, peculiar to the occasion.

Though he refused to conform, he was not engaged in the interest of any party as such : for he had a catholic spirit, and wished the union of all parties of christians, upon moderate principles and practices. He was for having the church free as Christ hath left it; and yet for peace and union's sake he would have yielded to any thing but sin. He vigorously pursued the design of a comprehension, as long as there was any hope: but he at last saw there was none, till God should give a more suitable spirit to all concerned. His moderation however was great to the last; being exceedingly cherished by a firm apprehension that the things wherein only it was possible for good men to differ, must be trifles, in comparison with the much greater things, wherein it was impossible for them not to agree.

His piety was very conspicuous, and his private conversation so instructive and quickening, in reference to religion


- I3

« PreviousContinue »