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EZEKIEL HOPKINS, D.D.
BISHOP OF DERRY, IN IRELAND.
EZEKIEL HOPKINS, a learned Bishop, whose works are in good esteem, was born in 1633, in the parish of Crediton, near Exeter, in Devonshire, and was son to the curate of Sandford, a chapel of ease belonging to Crediton. In 1649 he became a chorister of Magdalen College, Oxford, usher of the school adjoining when bachelor of arts, chaplain of the college when master, and would have been fellow had his county qualified him. All this time he lived and was educated under presbyterian and independent discipline; but, upon the restoration of King Charles II. being a doctrinal Calvinist, and a real professor of the most essential articles of the church of England, he found no difficulty in his mind for a full conformity to its outward ritual, when re-established by law; persuaded that more good might be done in the church than out of it, both because there were more opportunities of attempting it, and because there, in consequence of the larger and more mixed multitude, it was most of all wanted. He was first, by the interest of Sir Thomas Viner, made lecturer of the parish of Hackney near London, where he continued till the act of conformity was published, and might have been chosen a lecturer in London, but the bishop would not permit it,
because he was a popular preacher, Mr. Wood says, ' among the fanatics. At the Restoration, the men of the church were much changed, but the doctrines of the VOL. IV. B
church continued the same. Some fiery Arminians took the lead, and, instead of compromising differences, (as they had then a favourable opportunity to do) they, or too many of them, sought the indulgence of revenge by trampling all dissenters under their feet. It is not to be doubted, but that the great majority of the hundreds who were ejected in 1662, would have gladly conformed by. healing measures, both to preserve their maintenance and to enjoy a larger sphere of usefulness. All moderate men (and moderate men are the only wise men) must look back with regret upon those times, when, to the great scandal of the protestant religion and of Christianity itself, the ministers of peace became ministers of war, and, instead of embracing and forgiving, and reclaiming, seemed too eager to bite and devour one another. Pudet hæc opprobria nobis. After some considerable time, he was promoted to the parish church of St. Mary Woolnorth, in Lombard Street. But, on account of the plague, he retired to Exeter, where he was so much approved of and applauded for his excellent manner of preaching, especially by Dr. Seth Ward, Bishop of that diocese, (who was himself a true bishop and real friend of the church) that he presented him to the parish of St. Mary Arches in that city. John, Lord Roberts, Baron of Truro, happened to hear him preach at this place, and was so much pleased with his abilities, (for he was, as the late Mr. Hervey * styled him, "a fervent and affectionate' preacher) that, soon after upon his own appointment to be Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he took him with him in the quality of chaplain, and in the same year, viz. 1669, gave him his daughter in marriage, and conferred upon him the treasurership of Waterford, and, in the year following, the deanery of Raphoe. In the spring afterwards, he strongly recommended him to the favour of his successor, John, Lord Berkeley of Stratton, who, on the twenty-seventh of October 1671, promoted him to the see of Raphoe, to which he was consecrated in Christ Church, Dublin, by James, Archbishop of Armagh, assisted by the Bishops of Clogher, Waterford, and Derry.
On the eleventh of November 1681, ten years after, he was translated to the bishoprie of Derry. In 1688, on account of the troubles in Ireland, he returned to England for safety, and was made minister of the parish of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, or, as others say, of St. Lawrence,
Jewry, * Theron and Aspasio, Vol. II. p. 319.