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his knees with his own hands, and protested he believed him; and that he knew he was an honest man, and doubted not but that he loved him truly: and having thus dismissed him, he called some lords of his council into his chamber, and said, with much earnestness, " My Doctor is an honest man; and, my "Lords, I was never better satisfied with an ahs.ver "than he hath now made me; and I always rejoice "when I think that by my means he became a di"vine."
He was made Dean the fiftieth year of his age, and in his fifty-fourth year a dangerous sickness seized him, which inclined him to a consumption; but God, as Job thankfully acknowledged, preserved his spirit, and kept his intellectuals as clear and perfect as when that sickness first seized his body: but it continued long, and threatened him with death, which he dreaded not.
In this distemper cf body his dear friend Dr. Henry King, then chief residentiary of that church, and late Bishop of Chichester, a man generally known by the clergy of this nation, and as generally noted for his obliging nature, visited him daily; and observing that his sickness rendered his recovery doubtful, he chose a seasonable time to speak to him to this purpose.
"Mr. Dean, I am, by your favour, no stranger to "your temporal estate, and you are no stranger to "the offer lately made us for the renewing a lease of lire Of Br. Bonne. x!i
** the best prebends corps belonging to our church; *•' and you know it was denied, for that our tenant, "being very rich, offered to fine at so low a rate as "held not proportion with his advantages; but I will "either raise him to an higher sum, or procure that *' the other residentiaries shall join to accept of what "was offered: one of these I can and will, by your fa"Vour, do without delay, and without any trouble "either to your body or mind: I beseech you to ac. "cept of my offer, for I know it will be a consider. "able addition to your present estate, which I know "needs it."
To this, after a short pause, and raising himself Upon his bed, he made this reply.
"My most dear friend! I most humbly thank you "for your many favours, and this in particular; but "in my present condition I shall not accept of your "proposal, for, doubtless, there is such a sin as sacri"lege; if there were not, it could not have a name "in Scripture; and the primitive clergy were watch. "ful against all appearances of that evil; and, indeed, "then all Christians looked upon it with horror and "detestation, judging it to be even an open defiance "of the power and providence of almighty God, and "a sad presage of a declining religion. But instead of "such Christians, who had selected times set apart to * fart and pray to God for a pious clergy, which they t* then did obey, our times abound with men that ar« "busy and litigious about trifle3 and church ceremo"nies, and yet so far from scrupling sacrilege, that "they make not so much as a quere what it is; but I "thank God I have; and dare not now upon my sick "bed, when almighty God hath made me useless to "service of the church, make any advantages out of "it: hut if he shall again restore me to such a degree "of health as again to serve at his altar, I shall then "gladly take the reward which the bountiful bene"factors of this church have designed me; for, God "knows, my children and relations will need it; in "which number my mother (whose credulity and '' charity has contracted a very plentiful to avery nar"row estate) must not be forgotten. But, Dr. King, "if I recover not, that little worldly estate that I shall "leave behind me (that very little, when divided into. "eight parts) roust, if you deny me not so charitable "a favour, fall into your hands, as my most faithful "friend and executor, of whose care and justice J make. "no more doubt than of God's blessing on that which "I have conscientiously collected for them; but it "shall not be augmented on my sick bed; and this I "declare, to be my unalterable resolution."
The reply to this was only a promise to, observe his request.
Within a few days his distempers abated; and as his strength increased, so did his thankfulness to almighty God, testified in his most excellent book of Devotions,
LIFX OF DP.. DONSU. xHi1
which he published at his recovery; in which the reader may see the most secret thoughts that then possessed his soul paraphrased and made public; a book that may not unfitly be called a Sacred Picture of Spiritual Ecstacies, occasioned and applicaDle to the emergencies of that sickness: which book, being a composition of meditations, disquisitions, and prayers, he writ on his sick.bed, herein imitating the holy patriarchs, who were wont to build their altars in that place where they had received their blessings.
This sickness brought him so near to the gates of death, and he saw the grave so ready to devour him, that he would often say his recovery was supernatural; but that God that then restored his health continued it to him till the fifty.ninth year of his life; and then, in August, 1630, being with his eldest daughter, Mrs. Harvey, at Aburyhatch, in Essex, he there fell into a fever, which, with the help of his constant infirmity, (vapours from the spleen) hastened him into so visible a consumption, that his beholders might say, as St. Paul of himself, " He dies daily;" and he might say, with Job, "My welfare passeth away as a cloud; the "days of my affliction have taken hold of me, and *' weary nights are appointed for me."
Reader, this sickness continued long, not only weakening but wearying him so much, that my desire is he may now take some rest; and that, before I speak of his death, thou wilt not think it an imperiinent digression to look back with me upon some ob- , servationsof his life, which, whilst a gentle slumber gives rest to his spirits, may, I hope, not unfitly exercise thy consideration.
His marriage was the remarkable error of his life, an error which, though he had a wit able and very apt to maintain paradoxes, yet he was very far from justifying it; and though his wife's competent years, and other reasons, might be justly urged to moderate severe censures, yet he would occasionally condemn himselffor it: and doubtless it had been attended with an heavy repentance, if God had not blessed them with so mutual and cordial affections as, in the midst of their sufferings, marie their bread of sorrow taste more pleasantly than the banquets of dull and low.spirited people.
The recreations of his youth were poetry, in which he was so happy as if Nature, and all her varieties, had bjcn made only to exercise his sharp wit and high Fancy; and in those pieces, which were facetiously composed, and carelessly scattered (most of them being written before the twentieth year of his age) it may appear, by his choice metaphors, that both Nature and all the arts jorned to assist him with their utmost skill.
It is a truth that, in his penitential years, viewing some of those pieces too loosely scattered in his youth, he wished they had been abortive, or to short lived