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way,' but in great goodness to me, to wean me perfectly from the love of this world, so that worldly greatness is now not only undesirable, but distasteful to me; and I do verily believe that I shall be able to do as much, or more good, in my present station, than in a higher; and shall not have one jot less interest or influence upon any others to any good purpose; for the people naturally love a man that will take great pains and little preferment; but, on the other hand, if I could force my inclination to take this great place, I foresee that I shall sink under it, and grow melancholy, and good for nothing, and, after a little while die as a fool does.'
The see of Canterbury, however, becoming vacant by the deprivation of Archbishop Sancroft, in 1690, the king continued to importune the dean to accept of it. In this situation he wrote another letter to Lady Russell, wherein he tells her :—" On Sunday last the king commanded me to wait upon him the next morning at Kensington. I did so, and met with what I feared. His majesty renewed his former gracious offer in so pressing a manner, and with so much kindness, that I hardly knew how to resist it. I made the best acknowledgments I could of his undeserved grace and favour to me, and begged of him to consider all the consequences of this matter, being well assured that all that storm, which was raised in convocation the last year by those who will be the church of England, was upon my account, and that the bishop of London was at the bottom of it, out of a jealousy that I might be a hindrance to him in attaining what he desires, and what, I call God to witness, I would not have. And I told his majesty that I was still afraid that his kindness to me would be greatly to his prejudice, especially if he carried it so far as he was then pleased to speak; for I plainly saw they could not bear it, and that the effects of envy and illwill towards me would terminate upon him. To which he replied, "That if the thing were once done, and they saw no remedy, they would give over, and think of making the best of it; and, therefore, he must desire me to think seriously of it;' with other expressions not fit for me to repeat. To all which I answered, “That in obedience to his majesty's commands, I would consider of it again, though I was afraid I had already thought more of it than had done me good, and must break through one of the greatest resolutions of my life, and sacrifice at once all the ease and contentment of it; which yet I would force myself to do, were I really convinced that I was, in any measure, capable of doing his majesty and the public that service which he was pleased to think I was.' He smiled, and said, “You talk of trouble, I believe
will have much more ease in it than in the condition in which you now are.' Thinking not fit to say more, I humbly took leave.”
The result of this affair is mentioned at large in his letter to Lady Russell :-“ I went to Kensington full of fear, but yet determined what was fit for me to do. I met the king coming out of his closet, and asking if his coach was ready. He took me aside, and I told hin, That, in obedience to his majesty's command, I had considered of the thing as well as I could, and came to give him my answer.' I perceived
The death of his only surviving child, Mary, the wife of James Chadwicke, Esq. is here aliuded to: it happened in 1687.
his majesty was going out, and therefore desired him to appoint me another time, which he did, on the Saturday morning after. Then I came again, and he took me into his closet, where I told him that I could not but have a deep sense of his majesty's great grace and favour to me, not only to offer me the best thing he had to give, but to press it so earnestly upon me.' I said . I would not presume to argue the matler any further; but I hoped he would give me leave to be still his humble and earnest petitioner to spare me in that thing. He answered, • He would do so if he could; but he knew not what to do if I refused it.' Upon that I told him, • That I tendered my life to him, and did humbly devote it to be disposed of as he thought fit.' He was graciously pleased to say, “ It was the best news had come to him this great while.' I did not kneel down to kiss his hand; for, without that, I doubt I am too sure of it; but requested of him that he would defer the declaration of it, and let it be a secret for some time. He said, • He thought it might not be amiss to defer it till the parliament was up.' I begged farther of him that he would not make me a wedge to drive out the present archbishop; that, some time before I was nominated, his majesty would be pleased to declare in council, that, since his lenity had not had any better effect, he would wait no more, but would dispose of his place. This, I told him, I humbly desired, that I might not be thought to do any thing harsh, or which might reflect upon me; for, now that his majesty had thought fit to advance me to this station, my reputation was become his interest. He said, " He was sensible of it, and thought it reasonable to do as I desired.'
At length his majesty's nomination in council of him to the archbishopric took place on the 23d of April, 1691. The congé d'elire being granted on the 1st of May, he was elected on the 16th, confirmed on the 28th, and, having retired to his house on Saturday the 30th, which he spent in fasting and prayer, was consecrated the day following, being Whitsunday, in the church of St Mary-le-Bow, by Dr Peter Mew, bishop of Winchester; Dr William Lloyd, bishop of St Asaph; Dr Gilbert Burnet, bishop of Sarum ; Dr Edward Stillingfleet, bishop of Worcester; Dr Gilbert Ironside, bishop of Bristol ; and Dr John Hough, bishop of Oxford. Four days after his consecration he was sworn of the privy-council; and on the 11th of July he had a restitution of the temporalities of his see. All the profits of it from the Michaelmas preceding were likewise granted to him.
He did not long survive his advancement, for, on Sunday the 18th of November, 1694, he was seized with a sudden illness while at chapel in Whitehall. He was attended, the two last nights of his illness, by his friend Nelson, the author of The Fasts and Festivals of the Church of England,' in whose arins he expired on the 10th of December, 1694, in the sixty-ninth year of his age.
The archbishop's theological works are still held in the highest repute, and have been frequently reprinted; many of his sermons have likewise been translated into foreign languages. To the last edition in folio is prefixed his life, by the editor, Dr Birch, from which the present memoir is chiefly extracted.
BORN A. D. 1637.-DIED A. D. 1692.
THOMAS Ken, youngest son, by the first wife, of Thomas Ken of Furnival's Inn, was born at Little Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, in July 1637. It is not known where he received the first rudiments of his early education, but he was afterwards entered on William of Wykeham's munificent foundation at Winchester, whence he was removed to New college, Oxford, of which he became a fellow-probationer in 1657. In 1666 he obtained a fellowship in the college near Winchester, and in 1699 was promoted to the dignity of a prebendal stall in the restored cathedral church of that place. For this advancement he was indebted to Bishop Morley, whose attachment to Ken seems to have been sincere and warm, and probably originated in the kindness which he had himself experienced, during his ejectment, from Ken's sister, and her husband, Isaac Walton, in their retirement near Stafford. Morley afterwards appointed Ken his domestic chaplain, and presented him to the rectory of Brixton, in the Isle of Wight. In 1674, Ken made a tour to Rome, and soon after his return he was appointed chaplain to the princess of Orange, whom he accompanied to Holland. His stay in the royal suite was rendered uncomfortable to him by the consequences of a too conscientious discharge of his duties; and in 1683, he accepted of Lord Dartmouth's chaplainry, and accompanied that nobleman on his expedition against Tangier. On his return he was appointed chaplain to the king ; but this mark of royal favour did not shake the high integrity of Ken, or render him more subservient to the royal pleasure in things unlawful. On the removal of the licentious monarch's court to Winchester, Ken's prebendal house was selected for the use of the infamous Nell Gwynn; but the possessor boldly refused to receive such a character within his doors, and Mrs Gwynn was compelled to look about for some less scrupulous landlord. The king took a proper view, however, of his chaplain's conduct, and to the surprise of his courtiers, soon afterwards nominated him bishop of Bath and Wells. Ken repaid the generosity of the dissipated monarch by attending him with the most anxious solicitude when on his death-bed; and Bishop Burnet declares that he expressed himself on that trying occasion with great elevation of thought and expression, like a man inspired.”
In 1685, Bishop Ken published an Exposition of the Church Catechism,' and in the same year a collection of Prayers for the use of the Bath. He did not take any immediate part in the popish controversy, which now began to be agitated with so much keenness; but he was one of the famous seven bishops who openly opposed the reading of the declaration of indulgence, and was committed to the tower in consequence. He did not, however, see his way so clearly in the case of the oath of allegiance to King William, and on his refusal to take it was deprived of his bishopric in 1691. He retired to Long-Leat, the hospitable seat of his early friend, Lord Weymouth, where be composed several devotional works, and some beautiful hymns. Queen Anne settled a pension of £200 upon him. He died at Lewson house, near Sherborne, in the 73d year of his age. He had kept his shroud for many years beside him, and on finding himself dying, he calmly put it on with his own hands, and having given his parting blessing to all present, gently laid down his head, breathed a sigh, and was at rest. His works were published in 1721, in 4 vols. 8vo., with a life by Hawkins prefixed. The Rev. W. L. Bowles has also written a life of this amiable prelate, in 2 vols. 8vo.
BORN A. D. 1617.-DIED A, D. 1693.
William SANCROFT, one of the most conscientious, if not one of the most able primates of England, was born at Fresingfield, in the county of Suffolk, on the 30th of January 1617. He received the rudiments of his education at Bury. At the age of eighteen, he was sent to Emanuel college, Cambridge, of which his uncle, Dr William Sancroft, was then master. In 1642, he succeeded to a fellowship in his college. The 'solemn league and covenant was soon after this proposed to the heads and fellows of colleges, but by what means Sancroft escaped the consequences of this test, it is now impossible to determine. He retained his fellowship, and it has been suggested that he may have succeeded in doing so through the interference of Milton, who, though not yet in public life, must have had considerable influence both in the house of commons and in the assembly of divines, and may have exerted himself in favour of a brother-poet, for Sancroft had also cultivated the muses, and professed himself an admirer of Milton's poetry. Soon afterwards, the use of the liturgy was prohibited, and public prayer, according to the directory, enjoined to be put up in every church and chapel in the kingdom. A friend advised Sancroft to yield to necessity and conform in this case, but he replied, "I do not, indeed, count myself obliged to go to chapel and read common prayer
brains be dashed out; but to comply, by praying according to the directory, would be to throw a foul aspersion on the whole church of England since the reformation ; and shall I pray
for your synod and army, or give thanks for your covenant ?" At last, in the month of July 1651, he gave proof of his sincerity by incurring the forfeiture of his fellowship rather than take the engagement,' as it was called.
For some years after his expulsion from Cambridge, Mr Sancroft seems to have lived chiefly with his elder brother at Fresingfield. During this period he published two tracts which made considerable noise. The first a dialogue in Latin, was entitled, “Fur Prædestinatus,' and was intended to hold up the doctrines of Calvinism to ridicule; the other, entitled Modern Policies, taken from Machiavel, Borgia, and other choice authors, by an eye-witness,' was a satire on the supposed fanaticism and hypocrisy of the party in power. The latter tract was but published in 1652, but passed through seven edi. tions in the short space of five years. of the Fur Prædestinatus,' Sancroft's biographer, Dr D'Oyly thus writes : “ The exposure of the
Calvinistic doctrines was peculiarly serviceable at that time, when both the puritans and the independents, however they differed from each other on points of church discipline and government, yet concurred in maintaining those doctrines in their utmost rigour, and pushed them to the extreme of Antinomianism ; thereby obstructing the natural influence of Christianity on the human heart, and giving a free rein to perverse and headstrong passions. A dialogue is feigned between a thief condemned to immediate execution, and a Calvinistic preacher, who came to move him to repentance for his crimes. The thief, although by his own acknowledgment he had lived in the commission of the worst enormities, is full of self-satisfaction; maintains that he could not possibly act any other part than he had done, as all men, being either elect or reprobate, are predestined to happiness or misery; that the best actions, as they are reputed, partake of so much wickedness as to differ in no essential degree from the worst; that sinners fulfil the will of God as much as those who most comply with his outward commands ; and that God, as working irresistibly in all men, is the cause of the worst sins which they commit. He
that he had always reflected respecting himself in this manner—that either he must be elect or reprobate ; if the former, the Holy Spirit would operate so irresistibly as to effect his conversion ; if the latter, all his care and diligence for effecting his salvation, would rather do harm than good;
he felt satisfied that he was one of the elect, who, though they may fall into grievous sins, cannot fail of salvation.”
In 1657, Sancroft quitted England, with an intention of taking up his residence in Holland; but, after visiting Amsterdam, the Hague, and Utrecht, he was persuaded to accompany a friend in a tour through the south of Europe. The restoration of Charles II. having brought Sancroft back to England, he was appointed chaplain to Bishop Cosin, and preached his consecration sermon. Preferments now flowed rapidly upon him. In 1662 he was elected master of Emanuel college, and at the close of the year 1664, the king conferred on him the deanery of St Paul's, at the request of Sheldon, archbishop of Canterbury, and Henchman, bishop of London. While dean of St Paul's, he eagerly promoted the design for building a new church suitable to the dignity of the see ; and it was mainly through his exertions and bounty that the magnificent plan of Sir Christopher Wren was at last adopted. The first stone of the new cathedral was laid under the superintendence of Dr Sancroft as dean, but it was not completed till long after his death.
On the death of Sheldon, in 1677, Dr Sancroft, much to his own surprise, as well as that of all who were acquainted with his habits, was elevated at once to the primacy. Bishop Burnet hints that Sancroft
may have been indebted for this piece of good fortune to an opinion which the court may have entertained of him, that he was a man more likely to be gained over to their secret wishes than any member of the existing prelacy. But of any thing like the slightest disposition on the part of Sancroft eve to temporize with popery, we most unhesitatingly acquit him. In fact, in a sermon which he preached before the peers, soon after his elevation to the archiepiscopal chair, he attacked the Jesuitical party with a zeal and bitterness at that time peculiarly
own ; and one of the very steps which he took after his promotion,