Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

2

them some story, the application of which to themselves was easy', and as he had an admirable faculty of advising others by way of asking their advice; so it is well known that he made the point of applying the best remedies to wounded consciences one great and main end of his studies, and with his most affectionate pains would assist others in these distresses, till he had, as it were, begotten them anew to God. He understood it the better as having undergone himself, in his own tender age, many and grievous temptations.

71. Whilst he was in Italy, a young gentleman fled thither out of England, having unhappily killed another in a duel, and being a stranger at Padua, he was noted there as a man desperately melancholy; till, in a good hour for him, he fell by chance into company with Mr. Ferrar, and found so much goodness in him, that he made him his confessor. He, finding the poor soul's hearty repentance and sorrow for what he had done, so applied the mercies of God to him, that he was well satisfied and much comforted. Yet, he would say, he was never well but in Mr. Ferrar's company; whom thenceforward he loved and esteemed above all the world.

72. Bishop Linsell, once his tutor and ever his admirer, observing how daily more and more refined and exalted was his practice of all Christian virtues, would ask him, Whither he would go ? what examples he would set them? Nay, sir, he would answer, you are to answer this: Why did you set me at the college to read the lives of the fathers, and of later saints in England, if not to follow them?

1 Above, 91, 92.

2 Garton. $ 15.

73. Accordingly he ordered several choice texts' of scripture to be texted up in his study, that he must of necessity cast his eyes upon one or other of them; and over the outer door of his house he caused to be engraven on a plate of brass : FLEE FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD AND DWELL FOR EVERMORE? In the great dining-room too, which was also the receptacle for strangers, there were divers tablets, fairly written in great letters, hung round the room; which were of the same use with the travellers' table-books, to receive any sentence their friends and visitants had a mind to insert or by way of good counsel bestow upon

them. 74. He frequently penned excellent good prayers for several occasions, some only short, as collects, others of extraordinary length upon some great account. And he employed a dear nephew of his

1 “Even the walls are not idle, but something is written or painted there, which may excite the reader to a thought of piety; especially the 101st psalm, which is expressed in a fair table, as being the rule of a family.”—.Country Parson, c. x. See the extract from Bacon in Wordsworth, Eccl. Biogr. iv. 195 seq.

2 Ps. xxxvii. 27. With this text Mrs. Collett concludes a letter to her son Edward, writing in Nov. 1628. It is also engraved on the back of the brass formerly on John Ferrar's tomb.

of men.

in translating out of Italian those of Mynsinger, a large collection in folio, for all sorts and conditions

In those of his own composing, whilst he begged new blessings with all imaginable acknowledgements of the old which he had already received, he always interwove such clear instructions as might teach every one their duties in all good works. As for extemporary prayers, he used to say, there needed little other con futation of them, than to take them in short-hand, and shew them sometime after to those very men, that had been so audacious to vent them. Ask, saith he, their own judgements of them (for I think they will hardly know them again), and see if they do not blame them.

75. What an affection and veneration he had for our liturgy, appeared by his own daily and devout use of it?: to use it constantly and reverently

1 “Mr. F. though he ever honoured their [i.e. the puri. tans'] persons (that were pious and learned) and always spoke of them with much Christian respect, yet would he bewail their mistakes, which (like mists) led them in some points back again to those errours of Rome which they had forsaken. To instance in one : He that says, preaching in the pulpit is absolutely necessary to salvation, falls into two Romish errours [Hooker E. P. v. 21, 22]: 1. That the Scripture is too dark; 2. That it is insufficient to save a man [u. 8. 22 $ 14]: and perhaps a third, advancing the man of Rome, more than they intend him, I am sure. But the chief aim of Master F. and this author, was to win those that disliked our liturgy, catechism, &c. by the constant, reverent, and holy use of them : which, surely, had we all imitated, having first imprinted the virtue of these prayers in our own hearts, and

he justly supposed and believed was one of the likeliest expedients to gain its adversaries. man was better pleased with a decent splendour in the House of God, nor was more elevated with our solemn service performed with very good and grave cathedral music, of which his travels into Italy made him a perfect judge. He had it in his house, and he built in the church a gallery to set up an organ.

76. He made it his great endeavour to promote the learning of all the psalter without book, not

then studied with passionate and affectionate celebration, (for voice, gesture, &c.) as in God's presence, to imprint them in the minds of the people, (as this book teaches,) our prayers had been generally as well beloved as they were scorned. And for my part, I am apt to think, that our prayers stood so long, was a favour by God granted us at the prayers of these men, (who prayed for these prayers as well as in them :) and that they fell so soon, was a punishment of our negligence, (and other sins) who had not taught even those that liked them well, to use them aright.” Barnabas Oley's Life of Herbert, c. ci.

1 It would much trouble me if I had but a thought that you would forget those psalms that you have learned. Nay, I hope you will not content yourself in the only keeping of them in your memory, but learn much more and in particular that book of the proverbs, which both I desired, and you promised me to do; and do not say with the sluggard, there is a lion in the way, you have now so much business that you can intend nothing else, without the neglect of performing your service to your master, which God forbid you should do. No, my son, that time which you shall spend in this kind, borrow it from those hours that others take, and yourself

only by the young people, but the elder sort, and he would even hire the poorer sort, parents as well as children, to this easy task, on purpose to redeem

may have liberty to spend, in their own pleasures. But if you will say, there are none such allowed you, though I can hardly believe that, then take it from those which are allowed for your rest, and assure yourself, if with a good heart you shall so do, undoubtedly you shall find your mind much strengthened for the performance of all your duties, and the strength of your body no whit impaired. I might say much more, but I assure myself and praise God for it, you shall not want better counsel than I can give you : for your dear uncle will see you shortly.”—Mrs. Collett to her son Edward. Nov. 1628. To her son Nicholas she writes (Sept. 26. 1631): “My son, would you enjoy both [prosperity here and happiness hereafter], you have long since learned, as we use to say, by heart (God grant it may be deeply grounded in your heart) the infallible way in the first psalm.” Writing to her daughter Susanna Mapletoft (Jan. 28, 1632–3) she rejoices in “ little Mall's memory to repeat without book seven psalms.” See too a note endorsed, “From my dearest little cousin Mr. Barnard Brocas,” being the boy's first literary attempt.

For my honoured dear cousin Mrs. Collett this present from her humble servant. Dear Cousin

I give you great thanks for your remembrance of me in my mother's letter, and for so great a favour, I could not be so rude but to present you with a scribbled paper, to let you know how much I am your servant and will be while I am Stretham. 28 Oct.

Barnard Brocas. Pray cousin remember my service to my cousin and my cousin Jude and my other cousins, though I know them not. I have learnt seventeen verses out of the book you was pleased to give me.”

« ForrigeFortsett »