This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
  • 1670
Buy it on Amazon FREE Audible 30 days

general use, whether we respect the Art or the Author. For Logic may be said to be an Art of right reasoning; an Art that undeceives men who take falsehood for truth; enables men to pass a true judgment, and detect those fallacies, which in some men’s understandings usurp the place of right reason. And how great a master our Author was in this art, will quickly appear from that clearness of method, argument, and demonstration, which is so conspicuous in all his other writings. He, who had attained to so great a dexterity in the use of reason himself, was best qualified to prescribe rules and directions for the instructions of others. And I am the more satisfied of the excellency and usefulness of this, his first public undertaking, by hearing that most Tutors in both Universities teach Dr. Sanderson’s Logic to their Pupils, as a foundation upon which they are to build their future studies in Philosophy. And, for a further confirmation of my belief, the Reader may note, that since his Book of Logic was first printed there has not been less than ten thousand sold: and that ’tis like to continue both to discover truth and to clear and confirm the reason of the unborn world.[5]

[Sidenote: Senior Proctor]

It will easily be believed that his former standing for a Proctor’s place, and being disappointed, must prove much displeasing to a man of his great wisdom and modesty, and create in him an averseness to run a second hazard of his credit and content: and yet he was assured by Dr. Kilbie, and the Fellows of his own College, and most of those that had opposed him in the former Election, that his Book of Logic had purchased for him such a belief of his learning and prudence, and his behaviour at the former Election had got for him so great and so general a love, that all his former opposers repented what they had done; and therefore persuaded him to venture to stand a second time. And, upon these, and other like encouragements, he did again, but not without an inward unwillingness, yield up his own reason to their’s, and promised to stand. And he did so; and was the tenth of April, 1616, chosen Senior Proctor for the year following; Mr. Charles Crooke[6] of Christ Church being then chosen the Junior.

In this year of his being Proctor, there happened many memorable accidents; namely, Dr. Robert Abbot,[7] Master of Balliol College, and Regius Professor of Divinity,–who being elected or consecrated Bishop of Sarum some months before,–was solemnly conducted out of Oxford towards his Diocese, by the Heads of all Houses, and the chief of all the University. And Dr. Prideaux[8] succeeded him in the Professorship, in which he continued till the year 1642,–being then elected Bishop of Worcester,–and then our now Proctor, Mr. Sanderson, succeeded him in the Regius Professorship.

[Sidenote: Dr. Lake]

And in this year Dr. Arthur Lake[9]–then Warden of New College–was advanced to the Bishopric of Bath and Wells: a man of whom I take myself bound in justice to say, that he has made the great trust committed to him, the chief care and whole business of his life. And one testimony of this proof may be, that he sate usually with his Chancellor in his Consistory, and at least advised, if not assisted, in most sentences for the punishing of such offenders as deserved Church-censures. And it may be noted, that, after a sentence for penance was pronounced, he did very rarely or never, allow of any commutation for the offence, but did usually see the sentence for penance executed; and then as usually preached a Sermon on mortification and repentance, and did so apply them to the offenders, that then stood before him, as begot in them a devout contrition, and at least resolutions to amend their lives: and having done that, he would take them–though never so poor–to dinner with him, and use them friendly, and dismiss them with his blessing and persuasions to a virtuous life, and beg them to believe him. And his humility and charity, and other Christian excellencies, were all like this. Of all which the Reader may inform himself in his Life, truly writ, and printed before his Sermons.

And in this year also, the very prudent and very wise Lord Ellesmere, who was so very long Lord Chancellor of England, and then of Oxford, resigning up the last, the Right Honourable, and as magnificent, William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, was chosen to succeed him.

[Sidenote: University matters]

And in this year our late King Charles the First–then Prince of Wales–came honourably attended to Oxford; and having deliberately visited the University, the Schools, Colleges, and Libraries, he and his attendants were entertained with ceremonies and feasting suitable to their dignity and merits.

And this year King James sent letters to the University for the regulating their studies; especially of the young Divines: advising they should not rely on modern sums and systems, but study the Fathers and Councils, and the more primitive learning. And this advice was occasioned by the indiscreet inferences made by very many Preachers out of Mr. Calvin’s doctrine concerning Predestination, Universal Redemption, the Irresistibility of God’s Grace, and of some other knotty points depending upon these; points which many think were not, but by interpreters forced to be, Mr. Calvin’s meaning; of the truth or falsehood of which I pretend not to have an ability to judge; my meaning in this relation, being only to acquaint the Reader with the occasion of the King’s Letter.

[Sidenote: Revision of the Statutes]

It may be observed, that the various accidents of this year did afford our Proctor large and laudable matter to dilate and discourse upon: and that though his office seemed, according to statute and custom, to require him to do so at his leaving it; yet he chose rather to pass them over with some very short observations, and present the governors, and his other hearers, with rules to keep up discipline and order in the University; which at that time was, either by defective Statutes, or want of the due execution of those that were good, grown to be extremely irregular. And in this year also, the magisterial part of the Proctor required more diligence, and was more difficult to be managed than formerly, by reason of a multiplicity of new Statutes, which begot much confusion; some of which Statutes were then, and others suddenly after, put into an useful execution. And though these Statutes were not then made so perfectly useful as they were designed, till Archbishop Laud’s time–who assisted in the forming and promoting them;–yet our present Proctor made them as effectual as discretion and diligence could do: of which one example may seem worthy the noting; namely, that if in his night-walk he met with irregular Scholars absent from their Colleges at University hours, or disordered by drink, or in scandalous company, he did not use his power of punishing to an extremity; but did usually take their names, and a promise to appear before him unsent for next morning; and when they did, convinced them, with such obligingness, and reason added to it, that they parted from him with such resolutions, as the man after God’s own heart was possessed with, when he said, “There is mercy with thee, and therefore thou shall be feared:” Psal. cxxx. 4. And by this and a like behaviour to all men, he was so happy as to lay down this dangerous employment, as but very few, if any, have done, even without an enemy.

[Sidenote: Looking back]

After his speech was ended, and he retired with a friend into a convenient privacy, he looked upon his friend with a more than common cheerfulness, and spake to him to this purpose: “I look back upon my late employment with some content to myself, and a great thankfulness to Almighty God, that he hath made me of a temper not apt to provoke the meanest of mankind, but rather to pass by infirmities, if noted; and in this employment I have had–God knows–many occasions to do both. And when I consider, how many of a contrary temper are by sudden and small occasions transported and hurried by anger to commit such errors, as they in that passion could not foresee, and will in their more calm and deliberate thoughts upbraid, and require repentance: and consider, that though repentance secures us from the punishment of any sin, yet how much more comfortable it is to be innocent than need pardon: and consider, that errors against men, though pardoned both by God and them, do yet leave such anxious and upbraiding impressions in the memory, as abates of the offender’s content:–when I consider all this, and that God hath of his goodness given me a temper that hath prevented me from running into such enormities, I remember my temper with joy and thankfulness. And though I cannot say with David–I wish I could,–that therefore ‘his praise shall always be in my mouth;’ Psal. xxxiv. 1; yet I hope, that by his grace, and that grace seconded by my endeavours, it shall never be blotted out of my memory; and I now beseech Almighty God that it never may.”

[Sidenote: Gilbert Sheldon]

And here I must look back, and mention one passage more in his Proctorship, which is, that Gilbert Sheldon, the late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, was this year sent to Trinity College in that University; and not long after his entrance there, a letter was sent after him from his godfather–the father of our Proctor–to let his son know it, and commend his godson to his acquaintance, and to more than a common care of his behaviour; which proved a pleasing injunction to our Proctor, who was so gladly obedient to his father’s desire, that he some few days after sent his servitor to intreat Mr. Sheldon to his chamber next morning. But it seems Mr. Sheldon having–like a young man as he was–run into some such irregularity as made him conscious he had transgressed his statutes, did therefore apprehend the Proctor’s invitation as an introduction to punishment; the fear of which made his bed restless that night: but, at their meeting the next morning, that fear vanished immediately by the Proctor’s cheerful countenance, and the freedom of their discourse of friends. And let me tell my Reader, that this first meeting proved the beginning of as spiritual a friendship as human nature is capable of; of a friendship free from all self ends: and it continued to be so, till death forced a separation of it on earth; but it is now reunited in Heaven.

[Sidenote: Ordination]

And now, having given this account of his behaviour, and the considerable accidents in his Proctorship, I proceed to tell my Reader, that, this busy employment being ended, he preached his sermon for his Degree of Bachelor in Divinity in as elegant Latin, and as remarkable for the matter, as hath been preached in that University since that day. And having well performed his other exercises for that Degree, he took it the nine and twentieth of May following, having been ordained Deacon and Priest in the year 1611, by John King, then Bishop of London, who had not long before been Dean of Christ Church, and then knew him so well, that he became his most affectionate friend. And in this year, being then about the twenty-ninth of his age, he took from the University a license to preach.

[Sidenote: Wibberton and Boothby Pagnell]

In the year 1618, he was by Sir Nicholas Sanderson, Lord Viscount Castleton, presented to the Rectory of Wibberton, not far from Boston, in the County of Lincoln, a living of very good value; but it lay in so low and wet a part of that country as was inconsistent with his health. And health being–next to a good conscience–the greatest of God’s blessings in this life, and requiring therefore of every man a care and diligence to preserve it, he, apprehending a danger of losing it, if he continued at Wibberton a second Winter, did therefore resign it back into the hands of his worthy kinsman and patron, about one year after his donation of it to him.

And about this time of his resignation he was presented to the Rectory of Boothby Pannell, in the same County of Lincoln; a town which has been made famous, and must continue to be famous, because Dr. Sanderson, the humble and learned Dr. Sanderson, was more than forty years Parson of Boothby Pannell, and from thence dated all or most of his matchless writings.

To this living–which was of no less value, but a purer air than Wibberton–he was presented by Thomas Harrington, of the same County, and Parish, Esq., who was a gentleman of a very ancient family, and of great use and esteem in his country during his whole life. And in this Boothby Pannell the meek and charitable Dr. Sanderson and his patron lived with an endearing, mutual, and comfortable friendship, till the death of the last put a period to it.

[Sidenote: Resigns his Fellowship]

About the time that he was made Parson of Boothby Pannell, he resigned his Fellowship of Lincoln College unto the then Rector and Fellows; and his resignation is recorded in these words:

Ego Robertus Sanderson perpetuus, &c.

I Robert Sanderson, Fellow of the College of St. Mary’s and All-Saints, commonly called Lincoln College, in the University of Oxford, do freely and willingly resign into the hands of the Rector and Fellows, all the right and title that I have in the said College, wishing to them and their successors all peace, and piety, and happiness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


May 6, 1619.

And not long after this resignation, he was by the then Bishop of York,[10] or the King _sede vacante_, made Prebend of the Collegiate Church of Southwell in that Diocese; and shortly after of Lincoln by the Bishop of that See.

[Sidenote: Marriage]

And being now resolved to set down his rest in a quiet privacy at Boothby Pannell, and looking back with some sadness upon his removal from his general acquaintance left in Oxford, and the peculiar pleasures of a University life; he could not but think the want of society would render this of a country Parson the more uncomfortable, by reason of that want of conversation; and therefore he did put on some faint purposes to marry. For he had considered, that though marriage be cumbered with more worldly care than a single life; yet a complying and a prudent wife changes those very cares into so mutual a content, as makes them become like the sufferings of St. Paul, Colos. i. 24, which he would not have wanted because they occasioned his rejoicing in them. And he, having well considered this, and observed the secret unutterable joys that children beget in parents, and the mutual pleasures and contented trouble of their daily care and constant endeavours to bring up those little images of themselves, so as to make them as happy as all those cares and endeavours can make them: he, having considered all this, the hopes of such happiness turned his faint purposes into a positive resolution to marry. And he was so happy as to obtain Anne, the daughter of Henry Nelson, Bachelor in Divinity, then Rector of Haugham, in the County of Lincoln, a man of noted worth and learning. And the Giver of all good things was so good to him, as to give him such a wife as was suitable to his own desires; a wife, that made his life happy by being always content when he was cheerful; that divided her joys with him, and abated of his sorrow, by bearing a part of that burden; a wife that demonstrated her affection by a cheerful obedience to all his desires, during the whole course of his life; and at his death too, for she outlived him.

[Sidenote: A country parson]

And in this Boothby Pannell, he either found or made his parishioners peaceable, and complying with him in the decent and regular service of God. And thus his Parish, his patron, and he lived together in a religious love and a contented quietness; he not troubling their thoughts by preaching high and useless notions, but such plain truths as were necessary to be known, believed and practised, in order to their salvation. And their assent to what he taught was testified by such a conformity to his doctrine, as declared they believed and loved him. For he would often say, “That, without the last, the most evident truths–heard as from an enemy, or an evil liver–either are not, or are at least the less effectual; and do usually rather harden than convince the hearer.”

And this excellent man did not think his duty discharged by only reading the Church prayers, catechising, preaching, and administering the Sacraments seasonably; but thought–if the Law or the Canons may seem to enjoin no more,–yet that God would require more, than the defective laws of man’s making can or do enjoin; the performance of that inward law, which Almighty God hath imprinted in the conscience of all good Christians, and inclines those whom he loves to perform. He, considering this, did therefore become a law to himself, practising what his conscience told him was his duty, in reconciling differences, and preventing lawsuits, both in his Parish and in the neighbourhood. To which may be added his often visiting sick and disconsolate families, persuading them to patience, and raising them from dejection by his advice and cheerful discourse, and by adding his own alms, if there were any so poor as to need it: considering how acceptable it is to Almighty God, when we do as we are advised by St. Paul, Gal. vi. 2, “Help to bear one another’s burden,” either of sorrow or want: and what a comfort it will be, when the Searcher of all hearts shall call us to a strict account for that evil we have done, and the good we have omitted, to remember we have comforted and been helpful to a dejected or distressed family.

[Sidenote: The poor tenant]

And that his practice was to do good, one example may be, that he met with a poor dejected neighbour, that complained he had taken a meadow, the rent of which was 9_l_. a year; and when the hay was made ready to be carried into his barn, several days’ constant rain had so raised the water, that a sudden flood carried all away, and his rich Landlord would bate him no rent; and that unless he had half abated, he and seven children were utterly undone. It may be noted, that in this age there are a sort of people so unlike the God of Mercy, so void of the bowels of pity, that they love only themselves and children: love them so, as not to be concerned, whether the rest of mankind waste their days in sorrow or shame; people that are cursed with riches, and a mistake that nothing but riches can make them and their’s happy. But it was not so with Dr. Sanderson; for he was concerned, and spoke comfortably to the poor dejected man; bade him go home and pray, and not load himself with sorrow, for he would go to his Landlord next morning; and if his Landlord would not abate what he desired, he and a friend would pay it for him.

[Sidenote: The rich landlord]

[Sidenote: A successful mediator]

To the Landlord he went the next day, and, in a conference, the Doctor presented to him the sad condition of his poor dejected Tenant; telling him how much God is pleased when men compassionate the poor: and told him, that though God loves sacrifice, yet he loves mercy so much better, that he is pleased when called the God of Mercy. And told him, the riches he was possessed of were given him by that God of Mercy, who would not be pleased, if he, that had so much given, yea, and forgiven him too, should prove like the rich steward in the Gospel, “that took his fellow servant by the throat to make him pay the utmost farthing.” This he told him: and told him, that the law of this nation–by which law he claims his rent–does not undertake to make men honest or merciful; but does what it can to restrain men from being dishonest or unmerciful, and yet was defective in both: and that taking any rent from his poor Tenant, for what God suffered him not to enjoy, though the law allowed him to do so, yet if he did so, he was too like that rich Steward which he had mentioned to him; and told him that riches so gotten, and added to his great estate, would, as Job says, “prove like gravel in his teeth:” would in time so corrode his conscience, or become so nauseous when he lay upon his deathbed, that he would then labour to vomit it up, and not be able: and therefore advised him, being very rich, to make friends of his unrighteous Mammon, before that evil day come upon him: but however, neither for his own sake, nor for God’s sake, to take any rent of his poor, dejected, sad Tenant; for that were to gain a temporal, and lose his eternal happiness. These and other such reasons were urged with so grave and compassionate an earnestness, that the Landlord forgave his Tenant the whole rent.

The Reader will easily believe that Dr. Sanderson, who was so meek and merciful, did suddenly and gladly carry this comfortable news to the dejected Tenant; and we believe, that at the telling of it there was mutual rejoicing. It was one of Job’s boasts, that “he had seen none perish for want of clothing: and that he had often made the heart of the widow to rejoice.” Job xxxi. 19. And doubtless Dr. Sanderson might have made the same religious boast of this and very many like occasions. But, since he did not, I rejoice that I have this just occasion to do it for him; and that I can tell the Reader, I might tire myself and him, in telling how like the whole course of Dr. Sanderson’s life was to this which I have now related.

[Sidenote: Contented obscurity]

Thus he went on in an obscure and quiet privacy, doing good daily both by word and by deed, as often as any occasion offered itself; yet not so obscurely, but that his very great learning, prudence, and piety were much noted and valued by the Bishop of his Diocese, and by most of the nobility and gentry of that county. By the first of which he was often summoned to preach many Visitation Sermons, and by the latter at many Assizes. Which Sermons, though they were much esteemed by them that procured, and were fit to judge them; yet they were the less valued, because he read them, which he was forced to do; for though he had an extraordinary memory,–even the art of it,–yet he had such an innate invincible fear and bashfulness, that his memory was wholly useless, as to the repetition of his sermons as he had writ them; which gave occasion to say, when they were first printed and exposed to censure, which was in the year 1632,–“that the best Sermons that were ever read, were never preached.”

[Sidenote: Chaplain to Charles I.]

In this contented obscurity he continued, till the learned and good Archbishop Laud,[11] who knew him well in Oxford,–for he was his contemporary there,–told the King,–’twas the knowing and conscientious King Charles the First,–that there was one Mr. Sanderson, an obscure country Minister, that was of such sincerity, and so excellent in all casuistical learning, that he desired his Majesty would make him his Chaplain. The King granted it most willingly, and gave the Bishop charge to hasten it, for he longed to discourse with a man that had dedicated his studies to that useful part of learning. The Bishop forgot not the King’s desire, and Mr. Sanderson was made his Chaplain in Ordinary in November following, 1631. And when they became known to each other, the King did put many Cases of Conscience to him, and received from him such deliberate, safe, and clear solutions, as gave him great content in conversing with him; so that, at the end of his month’s attendance, the King told him, “he should long for the next November; for he resolved to have a more inward acquaintance with him, when that month and he returned.” And when the month and he did return, the good King was never absent from his Sermons, and would usually say, “I carry my ears to hear other preachers; but I carry my conscience to hear Mr. Sanderson, and to act accordingly.” And this ought not to be concealed from posterity, that the King thought what he spake; for he took him to be his adviser, in that quiet part of his life, and he proved to be his comforter in those days of his affliction, when he apprehended himself to be in danger of death or deposing. Of which more hereafter.

[Sidenote: Clerk of the Convocation]

In the first Parliament of this good King,–which was 1625,–he was chosen to be a Clerk of the Convocation for the Diocese of Lincoln; which I here mention, because about that time did arise many disputes about Predestination, and the many critical points that depend upon, or are interwoven in it; occasioned, as was said, by a disquisition of new principles of Mr. Calvin’s, though others say they were before his time. But of these Dr. Sanderson then drew up, for his own satisfaction, such a scheme–he called it _Pax Ecclesiae_–as then gave himself, and hath since given others, such satisfaction, that it still remains to be of great estimation among the most learned. He was also chosen Clerk of all the Convocations during that good King’s reign. Which I here tell my Reader, because I shall hereafter have occasion to mention that Convocation in 1640, the unhappy Long Parliament, and some debates of the Predestination points as they have been since charitably handled betwixt him, the learned Dr. Hammond,[12] and Dr. Pierce,[13] the now Reverend Dean of Salisbury.

[Sidenote: “D.D.”]

In the year 1636, his Majesty, then in his progress, took a fair occasion to visit Oxford, and to take an entertainment for two days for himself and honourable attendants; which the Reader ought to believe was suitable to their dignities. But this is mentioned, because at the King’s coming thither, Dr. Sanderson did attend him, and was then–the 31st of August–created Doctor of Divinity; which honour had an addition to it, by having many of the Nobility of this nation then made Doctors and Masters of Arts with him; some of whose names shall be recorded and live with his, and none shall outlive it. First, Dr. Curle and Dr. Wren,[14] who were then Bishops of Winton and of Norwich,–and had formerly taken their degrees in Cambridge, were with him created Doctors of Divinity in his University. So was Meric,[15] the son of the learned Isaac Casaubon; and Prince Rupert, who still lives, the then Duke of Lenox, Earl of Hereford, Earl of Essex, of Berkshire, and very many others of noble birth–too many to be named–were then created Masters of Arts.

[Sidenote: The New Covenant]

[Sidenote: What followed]

Some years before the unhappy Long Parliament, this nation being then happy and in peace,–though inwardly sick of being well,–namely, in the year 1639, a discontented party of the Scots Church were zealously restless for another reformation of their Kirk-government; and to that end created a new Covenant, for the general taking of which they pretended to petition the King for his assent, and that he would enjoin the taking of it by all of that nation. But this petition was not to be presented to him by a committee of eight or ten men of their fraternity; but by so many thousands, and they so armed as seemed to force an assent to what they seemed to request; so that though forbidden by the King, yet they entered England, and in the heat of zeal took and plundered Newcastle, where the King was forced to meet them with an army: but upon a treaty and some concessions, he sent them back,–though not so rich as they intended, yet,–for that time, without bloodshed. But, Oh! this peace, and this Covenant, were but the fore-runners of war, and the many miseries that followed: for in the year following there were so many chosen into the Long Parliament, that were of a conjunct council with these very zealous and as factious reformers, as begot such a confusion by the several desires and designs in many of the members of that Parliament, and at last in the very common people of this nation, that they were so lost by contrary designs, fears, and confusions, as to believe the Scots and their Covenant would restore them to their former tranquillity. And to that end the Presbyterian party of this nation did again, in the year 1643, invite the Scotch Covenanters back into England: and hither they came marching with it gloriously upon their pikes and in their hats, with this motto: “For the Crown and Covenant of both Kingdoms.” This I saw, and suffered by it. But when I look back upon the ruin of families, the bloodshed, the decay of common honesty, and how the former piety and plain dealing of this now sinful nation is turned into cruelty and cunning, I praise God that he prevented me from being of that party which helped to bring in this Covenant, and those sad confusions that have followed it. And I have been the bolder to say this to myself, because in a sad discourse with Dr. Sanderson, I heard him make the like grateful acknowledgment.

[Sidenote: Changes in the Service Book]

This digression is intended for the better information of the reader in what will follow concerning Dr. Sanderson. And first, that the Covenanters of this nation, and their party in Parliament, made many exceptions against the Common Prayer and ceremonies of the Church, and seemed restless for a Reformation: and though their desires seemed not reasonable to the King, and the learned Dr. Laud, then Archbishop of Canterbury; yet, to quiet their consciences, and prevent future confusion, they did, in the year 1641, desire Dr. Sanderson to call two more of the Convocation to advise with him, and that he would then draw up some such safe alterations as he thought fit in the Service-book, and abate some of the ceremonies that were least material for satisfying their consciences:–and to this end they did meet together privately twice a week at the Dean of Westminster’s[16] house, for the space of three months or more. But not long after that time, when Dr. Sanderson had made the reformation ready for a view, the Church and State were both fallen into such a confusion, that Dr. Sanderson’s model for reformation became then useless. Nevertheless, his reputation was such, that he was, in the year 1642, proposed by both Houses of Parliament to the King, then in Oxford, to be one of their trustees for the settling of Church-affairs, and was allowed of by the King to be so: but that treaty came to nothing.

[Sidenote: Regius Professor of Divinity]

In the year 1643, the two Houses of Parliament took upon them to make an ordinance, and call an Assembly of Divines, to debate and settle some Church-controversies, of which many were very unfit to judge; in which Dr. Sanderson was also named, but did not appear; I suppose for the same reason that many other worthy and learned men did forbear, the summons wanting the King’s authority. And here I must look back, and tell the Reader, that in the year 1642, he was, July 21st, named by a more undoubted authority to a more noble employment, which was to be Professor Regius of Divinity in Oxford: but, though knowledge be said to puff up, yet his modesty and too mean an opinion of his great abilities, and some other real or pretended reasons,–expressed in his speech, when he first appeared in the chair, and since printed,–kept him from entering into it till October, 1646.

[Sidenote: His lectures]

He did, for about a year’s time, continue to read his matchless Lectures, which were first _de Juramento_, a point very difficult, and at that time very dangerous to be handled as it ought to be. But this learned man, as he was eminently furnished with abilities to satisfy the consciences of men upon that important subject; so he wanted not courage to assert the true obligation of Oaths in a degenerate age, when men had made perjury a main part of their religion. How much the learned world stands obliged to him for these, and his following Lectures _de Conscientia_, I shall not attempt to declare, as being very sensible that the best pens must needs fall short in the commendation of them: so that I shall only add, that they continued to this day, and will do for ever, as a complete standard for the resolution of the most material doubts in Casuistical Divinity. And therefore I proceed to tell the Reader, that about the time of his reading those Lectures,–the King being then prisoner in the Isle of Wight,–the Parliament had sent the Covenant, the Negative Oath, and I know not what more, to be taken by the Doctor of the Chair, and all Heads of Houses; and all other inferior Scholars, of what degree soever, were all to take these Oaths by a fixed day; and those that did not, to abandon their College, and the University too, within twenty-four hours after the beating of a drum; for if they remained longer, they were to be proceeded against as spies.

Dr. Laud, then Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Strafford, and many others, had been formerly murdered by this wicked Parliament; but the King yet was not: and the University had yet some faint hopes that in a Treaty then in being, or pretended to be suddenly, there might be such an agreement made between King and Parliament, that the Dissenters in the University might both preserve their consciences and subsistence which they then enjoyed by their Colleges.

[Sidenote: A mistaken hope]

[Sidenote: Manifesto to Parliament.]

And being possessed of this mistaken hope, that the Parliament were not yet grown so merciless as not to allow manifest reason for their not submitting to the enjoined Oaths, the University appointed twenty delegates to meet, consider, and draw up a Manifesto to the Parliament, why they could not take those oaths but by violation of their consciences: and of these delegates Dr. Sheldon,–late Archbishop of Canterbury,–Dr. Hammond,–Dr. Sanderson, Dr. Morley,–now Bishop of Winchester,–and that most honest and as judicious Civil Lawyer, Dr. Zouch,[17] were a part; the rest I cannot now name: but the whole number of the delegates requested Dr. Zouch to draw up the Law part, and give it to Dr. Sanderson: and he was requested to methodise and add what referred to reason and conscience, and put it into form. He yielded to their desires and did so. And then, after they had been read in a full Convocation, and allowed of, they were printed in Latin, that the Parliament’s proceedings and the University’s sufferings might be manifested to all nations: and the imposers of these oaths might repent, or answer them: but they were past the first; and for the latter, I might swear they neither can, nor ever will. And these Reasons were also suddenly turned into English by Dr. Sanderson, that those of these three kingdoms might the better judge of the loyal party’s sufferings.

[Sidenote: “Cases of Conscience”]

[Sidenote: The King’s errors]

[Sidenote: Translation of “De Juramento”]

About this time the Independents–who were then grown to be the most powerful part of the army–had taken the King from a close to a more large imprisonment; and, by their own pretences to liberty of conscience, were obliged to allow somewhat of that to the King, who had, in the year 1646, sent for Dr. Sanderson, Dr. Hammond, Dr. Sheldon,–the late Archbishop of Canterbury,–and Dr. Morley,–the now Bishop of Winchester,–to attend him, in order to advise with them, how far he might with a good conscience comply with the proposals of the Parliament for a peace in Church and State: but these, having been then denied him by the Presbyterian Parliament, were now allowed him by those in present power. And as those other Divines, so Dr. Sanderson gave his attendance on his Majesty also in the Isle of Wight, preached there before him, and had in that attendance many, both public and private, conferences with him, to his Majesty’s great satisfaction. At which time he desired Dr. Sanderson, that, being the Parliament had proposed to him the abolishing of Episcopal Government in the Church, as inconsistent with Monarchy, that he would consider of it; and declare his judgment. He undertook to do so, and did it; but it might not be printed till our King’s happy Restoration, and then it was. And at Dr. Sanderson’s taking his leave of his Majesty in his last attendance on him, the King requested him to betake himself to the writing Cases of Conscience for the good of posterity. To which his answer was, “That he was now grown old, and unfit to write Cases of Conscience.” But the King was so bold with him as to say, “It was the simplest answer he ever heard from Dr. Sanderson; for no young man was fit to be a judge, or write Cases of Conscience.” And let me here take occasion to tell the Reader this truth, not commonly known; that in one of these conferences this conscientious King told Dr. Sanderson, or one of them that then waited with him, “that the remembrance of two errors did much afflict him; which were, his assent to the Earl of Strafford’s death, and the abolishing Episcopacy in Scotland; and that if God ever restored him to be in a peaceable possession of his Crown, he would demonstrate his repentance by a public confession, and a voluntary penance,”–I think barefoot–from the Tower of London, or Whitehall, to St. Paul’s Church, and desire the people to intercede with God for his pardon. I am sure one of them that told it me lives still, and will witness it. And it ought to be observed, that Dr. Sanderson’s Lectures _de Juramento_ were so approved and valued by the King, that in this time of his imprisonment and solitude he translated them into exact English; desiring Dr. Juxon,[18]–then Bishop of London,–Dr. Hammond, and Sir Thomas Herbert,[19] who then attended him,–to compare them with the original. The last still lives, and has declared it, with some other of that King’s excellencies, in a letter under his own hand, which was lately shewed me by Sir William Dugdale, King at Arms. The book was designed to be put into the King’s Library at St. James’s; but, I doubt, not now to be found there. I thought the honour of the Author and the Translator to be both so much concerned in this relation, that it ought not to be concealed from the Reader, and ’tis therefore here inserted.

[Sidenote: Expelled from Oxford]

I now return to Dr. Sanderson in the Chair in Oxford; where they that complied not in taking the Covenant, Negative Oath, and Parliament Ordinance for Church-discipline and worship, were under a sad and daily apprehension of expulsion: for the Visitors were daily expected, and both City and University full of soldiers, and a party of Presbyterian Divines, that were as greedy and ready to possess, as the ignorant and ill-natured Visitors were to eject the Dissenters out of their Colleges and livelihoods: but, notwithstanding, Dr. Sanderson did still continue to read his Lecture, and did, to the very faces of those Presbyterian Divines and soldiers, read with so much reason, and with a calm fortitude make such applications, as, if they were not, they ought to have been ashamed, and begged pardon of God and him, and forborne to do what followed. But these thriving sinners were hardened; and, as the Visitors expelled the Orthodox, they, without scruple or shame, possessed themselves of their Colleges; so that, with the rest, Dr. Sanderson was in June, 1648, forced to pack up and be gone, and thank God he was not imprisoned, as Dr. Sheldon, and Dr. Hammond, and others then were.

[Sidenote: Dr. Morley]

[Sidenote: His fortitude]

I must now again look back to Oxford, and tell my Reader, that the year before this expulsion, when the University had denied this subscription, and apprehended the danger of that visitation which followed, they sent Dr. Morley, then Canon of Christ Church,–now Lord Bishop of Winchester,–and others, to petition the Parliament for recalling the injunction, or a mitigation of it, or accept of their reasons why they could not take the Oaths enjoined them; and the petition was by Parliament referred to a committee to hear and report the reasons to the House, and a day set for hearing them. This done, Dr. Morley and the rest went to inform and fee Counsel, to plead their cause on the day appointed; but there had been so many committed for pleading, that none durst undertake it; for at this time the privileges of that Parliament were become a _Noli me tangere_, as sacred and useful to them, as traditions ever were, or are now, to the Church of Rome; their number must never be known, and therefore not without danger to be meddled with. For which reason Dr. Morley was forced, for want of Counsel, to plead the University’s Reasons for non-compliance with the Parliament’s injunctions: and though this was done with great reason, and a boldness equal to the justice of his cause; yet the effect of it was, but that he and the rest appearing with him were so fortunate as to return to Oxford without commitment. This was some few days before the Visitors and more soldiers were sent down to drive the Dissenters out of the University. And one that was, at this time of Dr. Morley’s pleading, a powerful man in the Parliament,[20] and of that committee, observing Dr. Morley’s behaviour and reason, and inquiring of him and hearing a good report of his morals, was therefore willing to afford him a peculiar favour; and, that he might express it, sent for me that relate this story, and knew Dr. Morley well, and told me, “he had such a love for Dr. Morley, that knowing he would not take the Oaths, and must therefore be ejected his College, and leave Oxford; he desired I would therefore write to him to ride out of Oxford, when the Visitors came into it, and not return till they left it, and he should be sure then to return in safety; and that he should, without taking any Oath or other molestation, enjoy his Canon’s place in his College.” I did receive this intended kindness with a sudden gladness, because I was sure the party had a power, and as sure he meant to perform it, and did therefore write the Doctor word: and his answer was, that I must not fail to return my friend,–who still lives,–his humble and undissembled thanks, though he could not accept of his intended kindness; for when the Dean, Dr. Gardner, Dr. Paine, Dr. Hammond, Dr. Sanderson and all the rest of the College were turned out, except Dr. Wall,[21] he should take it to be, if not a sin, yet a shame, to be left behind with him only. Dr. Wall I knew, and will speak nothing of him, for he is dead.

[Sidenote: Matters in London]

It may easily be imagined, with what a joyful willingness these self-loving reformers took possession of all vacant preferments, and with what reluctance others parted with their beloved Colleges and subsistence; but their consciences were dearer than their subsistence, and out they went; the reformers possessing them without shame or scruple: where I leave these scruple-mongers, and make an account of the then present affairs of London, to be the next employment of my Reader’s patience.

And in London all the Bishops’ houses were turned to be prisons, and they filled with Divines, that would not take the Covenant, or forbear reading Common Prayer, or that were accused for some faults like these. For it may be noted, that about this time the Parliament set out a proclamation, to encourage all laymen that had occasion to complain of their Ministers for being troublesome or scandalous, or that conformed not to Orders of Parliament, to make their complaint to a committee for that purpose; and the Minister, though a hundred miles from London, should appear there, and give satisfaction, or be sequestered;–and you may be sure no Parish could want a covetous, or malicious, or cross-grained complaint;–by which means all prisons in London, and in some other places, became the sad habitations of conforming Divines.

And about this time the Bishop of Canterbury having been by an unknown law condemned to die, and the execution suspended for some days, many of the malicious citizens, fearing his pardon, shut up their shops, professing not to open them till justice was executed. This malice and madness is scarce credible; but I saw it.

[Sidenote: Mr. Thomas Brightman]

The Bishops had been voted out of the House of Parliament, and some upon that occasion sent to the Tower; which made many Covenanters rejoice, and believe Mr. Brightman[22]–who probably was a good and well-meaning man–to be inspired in his “Comment on the Apocalypse,” an abridgment of which was now printed, and called Mr. Brightman’s “Revelation of the Revelation.” And though he was grossly mistaken in other things, yet, because he had made the Churches of Geneva and Scotland, which had no Bishops, to be Philadelphia in the Apocalypse, the Angel that God loved; Rev. iii. 7-13, and the power of Prelacy to be Antichrist, the evil Angel, which the House of Commons had now so spewed up, as never to recover their dignity; therefore did those Covenanters approve and applaud Mr. Brightman for discovering and foretelling the Bishops’ downfall; so that they both railed at them, and rejoiced to buy good pennyworths of their land, which their friends of the House of Commons did afford them, as a reward of their diligent assistance to pull them down.

[Sidenote: Contentions]

And the Bishops’ power being now vacated, the common people were made so happy, as every Parish might choose their own Minister, and tell him when he did, and when he did not, preach true doctrine: and by this and like means, several Churches had several teachers, that prayed and preached for and against one another: and engaged their hearers to contend furiously for truths which they understood not; some of which I shall mention in the discourse that follows.

[Sidenote: and contradictions]

I have heard of two men, that in their discourse undertook to give a character of a third person: and one concluded he was a very honest man, “for he was beholden to him;” and the other, that he was not, “for he was not beholden to him.” And something like this was in the designs both of the Covenanters and Independents, the last of which were now grown both as numerous and as powerful as the former: for though they differed much in many principles, and preached against each other, one making it a sign of being in the state of grace, if we were but zealous for the Covenant; and the other, that we ought to buy and sell by a measure, and to allow the same liberty of conscience to others, which we by Scripture claim to ourselves; and therefore not to force any to swear the Covenant contrary to their consciences, and lose both their livings and liberties too. Though these differed thus in their conclusions, yet they both agreed in their practice to preach down Common Prayer, and get into the best sequestered livings; and whatever became of the true owners, their wives and children, yet to continue in them without the least scruple of conscience.

They also made other strange observations of Election, Reprobation, and Free Will, and the other points dependent upon these; such as the wisest of the common people were not fit to judge of; I am sure I am not: though I must mention some of them historically in a more proper place, when I have brought my Reader with me to Dr. Sanderson at Boothby Pannell.

And in the way thither I must tell him, that a very Covenanter, and a Scot too, that came into England with this unhappy Covenant, was got into a good sequestered living by the help of a Presbyterian Parish, which had got the true owner out. And this Scotch Presbyterian, being well settled in this good living, began to reform the Churchyard, by cutting down a large yew-tree, and some other trees that were an ornament to the place, and very often a shelter to the parishioners; who, excepting against him for so doing, were answered, “That the trees were his, and ’twas lawful for every man to use his own, as he, and not as they thought fit.” I have heard, but do not affirm it, that no action lies against him that is so wicked as to steal the winding-sheet of a dead body after it is buried; and have heard the reason to be, because none were supposed to be so void of humanity; and that such a law would vilify that nation that would but suppose so vile a man to be born in it: nor would one suppose any man to do what this Covenanter did. And whether there were any law against him, I know not; but pity the Parish the less for turning out their legal Minister.

[Sidenote: Boothby again]

We have now overtaken Dr. Sanderson at Boothby Parish, where he hoped to enjoy himself though in a poor, yet in a quiet and desired privacy; but it proved otherwise: for all corners of the nation were filled with Covenanters, confusion, Committee-men, and soldiers, serving each other to their several ends, of revenge, or power, or profit: and these Committee-men and soldiers were most of them so possessed with this Covenant, that they became like those that were infected with that dreadful Plague of Athens; the plague of which Plague was, that they by it became maliciously restless to get into company, and to joy,–so the Historian saith,–when they had infected others, even those of their most beloved or nearest friends or relations:[23] and though there might be some of these Covenanters that were beguiled and meant well; yet such were the generality of them, and temper of the times, that you may be sure Dr. Sanderson, who though quiet and harmless, yet an eminent dissenter from them, could not live peaceably; nor did he: for the soldiers would appear, and visibly disturb him in the Church when he read prayers, pretending to advise him how God was to be served most acceptably: which he not approving, but continuing to observe order and decent behaviour in reading the Church-service, they forced his book from him, and tore it, expecting extemporary prayers.

At this time he was advised by a Parliament man of power and note, that valued and loved him much, not to be strict in reading all the Common Prayer, but make some little variation, especially if the soldiers came to watch him; for then it might not be in the power of him and his other friends to secure him from taking the Covenant, or Sequestration: for which reasons he did vary somewhat from the strict rules of the Rubric. I will set down the very words of confession which he used, as I have it under his own hand; and tell the Reader, that all his other variations were as little, and much like to this.

[Sidenote: A Confession]


“O Almighty God and merciful Father, we, thy unworthy servants, do with shame and sorrow confess, that we have all our life long gone astray out of thy ways like lost sheep; and that, by following too much the vain devices and desires of our own hearts, we have grievously offended against thy holy laws, both in thought, word, and deed; we have many times left undone those good duties which we might and ought to have done; and we have many times done those evils, when we might have avoided them, which we ought not to have done. We confess, O Lord! that there is no health at all, nor help in any creature to relieve us; but all our hope is in thy mercy, whose justice we have by our sins so far provoked. Have mercy therefore upon us, O Lord! have mercy upon us miserable offenders: spare us, good God, who confess our faults, that we perish not; but, according to thy gracious promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord, restore us upon our true repentance into thy grace and favour. And grant, O most merciful Father! for his sake, that we henceforth study to serve and please thee by leading a godly, righteous, and a sober life, to the glory of thy holy name, and the eternal comfort of our own souls, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”


[Sidenote: Wise submission]

In these disturbances of tearing his servicebook, a neighbour came on a Sunday, after the Evening service was ended, to visit and condole with him for the affront offered by the soldiers. To whom he spake with a composed patience, and said; “God hath restored me to my desired privacy, with my wife and children; where I hoped to have met with quietness, and it proves not so: but I will labour to be pleased, because God, on whom I depend, sees it is not fit for me to be quiet. I praise him, that he hath by his grace prevented me from making shipwreck of a good conscience to maintain me in a place of great reputation and profit: and though my condition be such, that I need the last, yet I submit; for God did not send me into this world to do my own, but suffer his will, and I will obey it.” Thus by a sublime depending on his wise, and powerful, and pitiful Creator, he did cheerfully submit to what God had appointed, justifying the truth of that doctrine which he had preached.

About this time that excellent book of “The King’s Meditations in his Solitude” was printed, and made public; and Dr. Sanderson was such a lover of the Author, and so desirous that the whole world should see the character of him in that book, and something of the cause for which they suffered, that he designed to turn it into Latin: but when he had done half of it most excellently, his friend Dr. Earle prevented him, by appearing to have done the whole very well before him.

[Sidenote: Preaching without book]

About this time his dear and most intimate friend, the learned Dr. Hammond, came to enjoy a conversation and rest with him for some days; and did so. And having formerly persuaded him to trust his excellent memory, and not read, but try to speak a sermon as he had writ it, Dr. Sanderson became so compliant, as to promise he would. And to that end they two went early the Sunday following to a neighbour Minister, and requested to exchange a sermon; and they did so. And at Dr. Sanderson’s going into the pulpit, he gave his sermon–which was a very short one–into the hand of Dr. Hammond, intending to preach it as it was writ: but before he had preached a third part, Dr. Hammond,–looking on his sermon as written,–observed him to be out, and so lost as to the matter, that he also became afraid for him: for ’twas discernible to many of the plain auditory. But when he had ended this short sermon, as they two walked homeward, Dr. Sanderson said with much earnestness, “Good Doctor, give me my sermon; and know, that neither you nor any man living, shall ever persuade me to preach again without my books.” To which the reply was, “Good Doctor, be not angry: for if I ever persuade you to preach again without book, I will give you leave to burn all those that I am master of.”

Part of the occasion of Dr. Hammond’s visit, was at this time to discourse with Dr. Sanderson about some opinions, in which, if they did not then, they had doubtless differed formerly; it was about those knotty points, which are by the learned called the Quinquarticular Controversy; of which I shall proceed, not to give any judgment,–I pretend not to that,–but some short historical account which shall follow.

[Sidenote: Liberties of doctrine]

There had been, since the unhappy Covenant was brought and so generally taken in England, a liberty given or taken by many Preachers–those those of London especially–to preach and be too positive in the points of Universal Redemption, Predestination, and those other depending upon these. Some of which preached, “That all men were, before they came into this world, so predestinated to salvation or damnation, that it was not in their power to sin so, as to lose the first, nor by their most diligent endeavour to avoid the latter. Others, that it was not so: because then God could not be said to grieve for the death of a sinner, when he himself had made him so by an inevitable decree, before he had so much as a being in this world;” affirming therefore, “that man had some power left him to do the will of God, because he was advised to work out his salvation with fear and trembling;” maintaining, “that it is most certain every man can do what he can to be saved;” and that “he that does what he can to be saved, shall never be damned.” And yet many that affirmed this would confess, “That that grace, which is but a persuasive offer, and left to us to receive, or refuse, is not that grace which shall bring men to Heaven.” Which truths, or untruths, or both, be they which they will, did upon these, or the like occasions, come to be searched into, and charitably debated betwixt Dr. Sanderson, Dr. Hammond, and Dr. Pierce,–the now Reverend Dean of Salisbury,–of which I shall proceed to give some account, but briefly.

[Sidenote: A charitable disquisition]

In the year 1648, the fifty-two London Ministers–then a fraternity of Sion College in that City–had in a printed Declaration aspersed Dr. Hammond most heinously, for that he had in his Practical Catechism affirmed, that our Saviour died for the sins of all mankind. To justify which truth, he presently makes a charitable reply–as ’tis now printed in his works.–After which there were many letters passed betwixt the said Dr. Hammond, Dr. Sanderson and Dr. Pierce, concerning God’s grace and decrees. Dr. Sanderson was with much unwillingness drawn into this debate; for he declared it would prove uneasy to him, who in his judgment of God’s decrees differed with Dr. Hammond,–whom he reverenced and loved dearly,–and would not therefore engage him into a controversy, of which he could never hope to see an end: but they did all enter into a charitable disquisition of these said points in several letters, to the full satisfaction of the learned; those betwixt Dr. Sanderson and Dr. Hammond being printed in his works; and for what passed betwixt him and the learned Dr. Pierce, I refer my Reader to a Letter annexed to the end of this relation.

[Sidenote: Changes of judgment]

I think the judgment of Dr. Sanderson, was, by these debates, altered from what it was at his entrance into them; for in the year 1632, when his excellent Sermons were first printed in quarto, the Reader may on the margin find some accusation of Arminius for false doctrine; and find that, upon a review and reprinting those Sermons in folio, in the year 1657, that accusation of Arminius is omitted. And the change of his judgment seems more fully to appear in his said letter to Dr. Pierce. And let me now tell the Reader, which may seem to be perplexed with these several affirmations of God’s decrees before mentioned, that Dr. Hammond, in a postscript to the last letter of Dr. Sanderson’s, says, “God can reconcile his own contradictions, and therefore advises all men, as the Apostle does, to study mortification, and be wise to sobriety.” And let me add farther, that if these fifty-two Ministers of Sion College were the occasion of the debates in these letters, they have, I think, been the occasion of giving an end to the Quinquarticular Controversy: for none have since undertaken to say more; but seem to be so wise, as to be content to be ignorant of the rest, till they come to that place, where the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open. And let me here tell the Reader also, that if the rest of mankind would, as Dr. Sanderson, not conceal their alteration of judgment, but confess it to the honour of God and themselves, then our nation would become freer from pertinacious disputes, and fuller of recantations.

[Sidenote: Dr. Laud]

I cannot lead my Reader to Dr. Hammond and Dr. Sanderson, where we left them at Boothby Pannell, till I have looked back to the Long Parliament, the Society of Covenanters in Sion College, and those others scattered up and down in London, and given some account of their proceedings and usage of the late learned Dr. Laud, then Archbishop of Canterbury. And though I will forbear to mention the injustice of his death, and the barbarous usage of him, both then and before it; yet my desire is that what follows may be noted, because it does now, or may hereafter, concern us; namely, that in his last sad sermon on the scaffold at his death, he having freely pardoned all his enemies, and humbly begged of God to pardon them, and besought those present to pardon and pray for him; yet he seemed to accuse the magistrates of the City, for suffering a sort of wretched people, that could not know why he was condemned, to go visibly up and down to gather hands to a petition, that the Parliament would hasten his execution. And having declared how unjustly he thought himself to be condemned, and accused for endeavouring to bring in Popery,–for that was one of the accusations for which he died,–he declared with sadness, “That the several sects and divisions then in England,–which he had laboured to prevent,–were like to bring the Pope a far greater harvest, than he could ever have expected without them.” And said, “These sects and divisions introduce profaneness under the cloak of an imaginary Religion; and that we have lost the substance of Religion by changing it into opinion: and that by these means this Church, which all the Jesuits’ machinations could not ruin, was fallen into apparent danger by those which were his accusers.” To this purpose he spoke at his death: for this, and more of which, the Reader may view his last sad sermon on the scaffold. And it is here mentioned, because his dear friend, Dr. Sanderson, seems to demonstrate the same in his two large and remarkable Prefaces before his two volumes of Sermons; and he seems also with much sorrow to say the same again in his last Will, made when he apprehended himself to be very near his death. And these Covenanters ought to take notice of it, and to remember, that, by the late wicked war begun by them, Dr. Sanderson was ejected out of the Professor’s Chair in Oxford; and that if he had continued in it,–for he lived fourteen years after,–both the learned of this, and other nations, had been made happy by many remarkable Cases of Conscience, so rationally stated, and so briefly, so clearly, and so convincingly determined, that posterity might have joyed and boasted, that Dr. Sanderson was born in this nation, for the ease and benefit of all the learned that shall be born after him: but this benefit is so like time past, that they are both irrecoverably lost.

[Sidenote: Prisoner at Lincoln]

I should now return to Boothby Pannell, where we left Dr. Hammond and Dr. Sanderson together; but neither can be found there: for the first was in his journey to London, and the second seized upon the day after his friend’s departure, and carried prisoner to Lincoln, then a garrison of the Parliament’s. For the pretended reason of which commitment, I shall give this following account.

[Sidenote: Exchanged for Dr. Clarke]

There was one Mr. Clarke, the Minister of Alington, a town not many miles from Boothby Pannell, who was an active man for the Parliament and Covenant; one that, when Belvoir Castle–then a garrison for the Parliament–was taken by a party of the King’s soldiers, was taken in it, and made a prisoner of war in Newark, then a garrison of the King’s; a man so active and useful for his party, that they became so much concerned for his enlargement, that the Committee of Lincoln sent a troop of horse to seize and bring Dr. Sanderson a prisoner to that garrison: and they did so. And there he had the happiness to meet with many, that knew him so well as to treat him kindly; but told him, “He must continue their prisoner, till he should purchase his own enlargement by procuring an exchange for Mr. Clarke, then prisoner in the King’s garrison of Newark.” There were many reasons given by the Doctor of the injustice of his imprisonment, and the inequality of the exchange: but all were ineffectual; for done it must be, or he continue a prisoner. And in time done it was, upon the following conditions.

[Sidenote: Mode of life]

First, that Dr. Sanderson and Mr. Clarke being exchanged, should live undisturbed at their own Parishes; and if either were injured by the soldiers of the contrary party, the other, having notice of it, should procure him a redress, by having satisfaction made for his loss, or for any other injury; or if not, he to be used in the same kind by the other party. Nevertheless, Dr. Sanderson could neither live safe nor quietly, being several times plundered, and once wounded in three places: but he, apprehending the remedy might turn to a more intolerable burden by impatience or complaining, forbore both; and possessed his soul in a contented quietness, without the least repining. But though he could not enjoy the safety he expected by this exchange, yet, by His providence that can bring good out of evil, it turned so much to his advantage, that whereas as his living had been sequestered from the year 1644, and continued to be so till this time of his imprisonment, he, by the Articles of War in this exchange for Mr. Clarke, procured his sequestration to be recalled, and by that means enjoyed a poor, but contented subsistence for himself, wife, and children, till the happy restoration of our King and Church.

In this time of his poor, but contented privacy of life, his casuistical learning, peaceful moderation, and sincerity, became so remarkable, that there were many that applied themselves to him for resolution in cases of conscience; some known to him, many not; some requiring satisfaction by conference, others by letters; so many, that his life became almost as restless as their minds; yet he denied no man: and if it be a truth which holy Mr. Herbert says, “That all worldly joys seem less, when compared with shewing mercy or doing kindnesses;” then doubtless Dr. Sanderson might have boasted for relieving so many restless and wounded consciences; which, as Solomon says, “are a burden that none can bear, though their fortitude may sustain their other infirmities;” and if words cannot express the joy of a conscience relieved from such restless agonies; then Dr. Sanderson might rejoice that so many were by him so clearly and conscientiously satisfied, for he denied none, and would often praise God for that ability, and as often for the occasion, and that God had inclined his heart to do it to the meanest of any of those poor, but precious souls, for which his Saviour vouchsafed to be crucified.

[Sidenote: Cases of conscience]

Some of these very many cases that were resolved by letters, have been preserved and printed for the benefit of posterity; as namely,

1. Of the Sabbath.
2. Marrying with a Recusant.
3. Of unlawful love.
4. Of a military life.
5. Of Scandal.
6. Of a bond taken in the King’s name. 7. Of the Engagement.
8. Of a rash vow.

But many more remain in private hands, of which one is of Simony; and I wish the world might see it, that it might undeceive some Patrons, who think they have discharged that great and dangerous trust, both to God and man, if they take no money for a living, though it may be parted with for other ends less justifiable.

[Sidenote: Preface to last sermons]

And in this time of his retirement, when the common people were amazed and grown giddy by the many falsehoods, and misapplications of truths frequently vented in sermons; when they wrested the Scripture by challenging God to be of their party, and called upon him in their prayers to patronise their sacrilege and zealous frenzies; in this time he did so compassionate the generality of this misled nation, that though the times threatened danger, yet he then hazarded his safety by writing the large and bold Preface now extant before his last twenty Sermons;–first printed in the year 1655;–in which there was such strength of reason, with so powerful and clear convincing applications made to the Non-conformists, as being read by one of those dissenting brethren, who was possessed with such a spirit of contradiction, as being neither able to defend his error, nor yield to truth manifest,–his conscience having slept long and quietly in a good sequestered living,–was yet at the reading of it so awakened, that after a conflict with the reason he had met, and the damage he was to sustain if he consented to it,–and being still unwilling to be so convinced, as to lose by being over-reasoned,–he went in haste to the bookseller of whom it was bought, threatened him, and told him in anger, “he had sold a book in which there was false Divinity; and that the Preface had upbraided the Parliament, and many godly Ministers of that party, for unjust dealing.” To which his reply was,–’twas Tim. Garthwaite,–“That ’twas not his trade to judge of true or false Divinity, but to print and sell books: and yet if he, or any friend of his, would write an answer to it, and own it by setting his name to it, he would print the Answer, and promote the selling of it.”

[Sidenote: A meeting in Little Britain]

About the time of his printing this excellent Preface, I met him accidentally in London, in sad-coloured clothes, and, God knows, far from being costly. The place of our meeting was near to Little Britain, where he had been to buy a book, which he then had in his hand. We had no inclination to part presently, and therefore turned to stand in a corner under a penthouse,–for it began to rain,–and immediately the wind rose, and the rain increased so much, that both became so inconvenient, as to force us into a cleanly house, where we had bread, cheese, ale, and a fire for our money. This rain and wind were so obliging to me, as to force our stay there for at least an hour, to my great content and advantage; for in that time he made to me many useful observations, with much clearness and conscientious freedom. I shall relate a part of them, in hope they may also turn to the advantage of my Reader. He seemed to lament, that the Parliament had taken upon them to abolish our Liturgy, to the scandal of so many devout and learned men, and the disgrace of those many martyrs, who had sealed the truth and use of it with their blood: and that no Minister was now thought godly that did not decry it, and at least pretend to make better prayers _ex tempore_: and that they, and only they, that could do so, prayed by the Spirit, and were godly; though in their sermons they disputed, and evidently contradicted each other in their prayers. And as he did dislike this, so he did most highly commend the Common Prayer of the Church, saying, “the Collects were the most passionate, proper, and most elegant expressions that any language ever afforded; and that there was in them such piety, and so interwoven with instructions, that they taught us to the power, the wisdom, the majesty, and mercy of God, and much of our duty both to him and our neighbour: and that a congregation, behaving themselves reverently, and putting up to God these joint and known desires for pardon of sins, and praises for mercies received, could not but be more pleasing to God, than those raw, unpremeditated expressions, to which many of the hearers could not say, Amen.”

[Sidenote: “The Treasury of Christian comfort”]

And he then commended to me the frequent use of the Psalter, or Psalms of David; speaking to this purpose: “That they were the Treasury of Christian comfort, fitted for all persons and necessities; able to raise the soul from dejection by the frequent mention of God’s mercies to repentant sinners; to stir up holy desires: to increase joy; to moderate sorrow; to nourish hope, and teach us patience, by waiting God’s leisure: to beget a trust in the mercy, power, and providence of our Creator; and to cause a resignation of ourselves to his will; and then, and not till then, to believe ourselves happy.” This, he said, the Liturgy and Psalms taught us; and that by the frequent use of the last, they would not only prove to be our soul’s comfort, but would become so habitual, as to transform them into the Image of his soul that composed them. After this manner he expressed himself concerning the Liturgy and Psalms; and seemed to lament that this, which was the devotion of the more primitive times, should in common pulpits be turned into needless debates about Freewill, Election, and Reprobation, of which, and many like questions, we may be safely ignorant, because Almighty God intends not to lead us to Heaven by hard questions, but by meekness and charity, and a frequent practice of devotion.

[Sidenote: Dangerous mistakes]

[Sidenote: A year of Homilies]

And he seemed to lament very much, that, by the means of irregular and indiscreet preaching, the generality of the nation were possessed with such dangerous mistakes, as to think, “they might be religious first, and then just and merciful; that they might sell their consciences, and yet have something left that was worth keeping; that they might be sure they were elected, though their lives were visibly scandalous; that to be cunning was to be wise; that to be rich was to be happy, though their wealth was got without justice or mercy; that to be busy in things they understood not, was no sin.” These and the like mistakes he lamented much, and besought God to remove them, and restore us to that humility, sincerity, and singleheartedness, with which this nation was blessed before the unhappy Covenant was brought into the nation, and every man preached and prayed what seemed best in his own eyes. And he then said to me, “That the way to restore this nation to a more meek and Christian temper, was to have the body of Divinity–or so much of it as was needful to be known–to be put into fifty-two Homilies or Sermons, of such a length as not to exceed a third, or fourth part of an hour’s reading: and these needful points to be made so clear and plain, that those of a mean capacity might know what was necessary to be believed, and what God requires to be done; and then some applications of trial and conviction: and these to be read every Sunday of the year, as infallibly as the blood circulates the body; and then as certainly begun again, and continued the year following: and that this being done, it might probably abate the inordinate desires of knowing what we need not, and practising what we know and ought to do.” This was the earnest desire of this prudent man. And Oh that Dr. Sanderson had undertaken it! for then in all probability it would have proved effectual.

[Sidenote: Another conference]

At this happy time of enjoying his company and his discourse, he expressed a sorrow by saying to me, “Oh that I had gone Chaplain to that excellently accomplished gentleman, your friend, Sir Henry Wotton! which was once intended, when he first went Ambassador to the State of Venice: for by that employment I had been forced into a necessity of conversing, not with him only, but with several men of several nations; and might thereby have kept myself from my unmanly bashfulness, which has proved very troublesome, and not less inconvenient to me; and which I now fear is become so habitual as never to leave me: and by that means I might also have known, or at least have had the satisfaction of seeing, one of the late miracles of general learning, prudence, and modesty, Sir Henry Wotton’s dear friend, Padre Paulo, who, the author of his life says, was born with a bashfulness as invincible as I have found my own to be: a man whose fame must never die, till virtue and learning shall become so useless as not to be regarded.”

This was a part of the benefit I then had by that hour’s conversation: and I gladly remember and mention it, as an argument of my happiness, and his great humility and condescension. I had also a like advantage by another happy conference with him, which I am desirous to impart in this place to the Reader. He lamented much, that in many Parishes, where the maintenance was not great, there was no Minister to officiate; and that many of the best sequestered livings were possessed with such rigid Covenanters as denied the Sacrament to their Parishioners, unless upon such conditions, and in such a manner, as they could not take it. This he mentioned with much sorrow, saying, “The blessed Sacrament did, by way of preparation for it, give occasion to all conscientious receivers to examine the performance of their vows, since they received their last seal for the pardon of their sins past; and to examine and re-search their hearts, and make penitent reflections on their failings; and, that done, to bewail them, and then make new vows or resolutions to obey all God’s commands, and beg his grace to perform them. And this done, the Sacrament repairs the decays of grace, helps us to conquer infirmities, gives us grace to beg God’s grace, and then gives us what we beg; makes us still hunger and thirst after his righteousness, which we then receive, and being assisted with our endeavours, will still so dwell in us, as to become our satisfaction in this life, and our comfort on our last sick beds.” The want of this blessed benefit he lamented much, and pitied their condition that desired, but could not obtain it.

[Sidenote: His character]

I hope I shall not disoblige my Reader, if I here enlarge into a further character of his person and temper. As first, that he was moderately tall: his behaviour had in it much of a plain comeliness, and very little, yet enough, of ceremony or courtship; his looks and motion manifested affability and mildness, and yet he had with these a calm, but so matchless a fortitude, as secured him from complying with any of those many Parliament injunctions, that interfered with a doubtful conscience. His learning was methodical and exact, his wisdom useful, his integrity visible, and his whole life so unspotted, that all ought to be preserved as copies for posterity to write after; the Clergy especially, who with impure hands ought not to offer sacrifice to that God, whose pure eyes abhor iniquity.

There was in his Sermons no improper rhetoric, nor such perplexed divisions, as may be said to be like too much light, that so dazzles the eyes, that the sight becomes less perfect: but there was therein no want of useful matter, nor waste of words; and yet such clear distinctions as dispelled all confused notions, and made his hearers depart both wiser, and more confirmed in virtuous resolutions.

[Sidenote: His memory]

[Sidenote: His even temper]

His memory was so matchless and firm, as ’twas only overcome by his bashfulness; for he alone, or to a friend, could repeat all the Odes of Horace, all Tully’s Offices, and much of Juvenal and Persius, without book: and would say, “the repetition of one of the Odes of Horace to himself, was to him such music, as a lesson on the viol was to others, when they played it to themselves or friends.” And though he was blest with a clearer judgment than other men, yet he was so distrustful of it, that he did over-consider of consequences, and would so delay and re-consider what to determine, that though none ever determined better, yet, when the bell tolled for him to appear and read his Divinity Lectures in Oxford, and all the Scholars attended to hear him, he had not then, or not till then, resolved and writ what he meant to determine; so that that appeared to be a truth, which his old dear friend Dr. Sheldon would often say, namely, “That his judgment was so much superior to his fancy, that whatsoever this suggested, that disliked and controlled; still considering, and re-considering, till his time was so wasted, that he was forced to write, not, probably, what was best, but what he thought last.” And yet what he did then read, appeared to all hearers to be so useful, clear, and satisfactory, as none ever determined with greater applause. These tiring and perplexing thoughts begot in him an averseness to enter into the toil of considering and determining all casuistical points; because during that time, they neither gave rest to his body or mind. But though he would not be always loaden with these knotty points and distinctions; yet the study of old records, genealogies, and Heraldry, were a recreation and so pleasing, that he would say they gave rest to his mind. Of the last of which I have seen two remarkable volumes; and the Reader needs neither to doubt their truth or exactness.

And this humble man had so conquered all repining and ambitious thoughts, and with them all other unruly passions, that, if the accidents of the day proved to his danger or damage, yet he both began and ended it with an even and undisturbed quietness; always praising God that he had not withdrawn food and raiment from him and his poor family; nor suffered him to violate his conscience for his safety, or to support himself or them in a more splendid or plentiful condition; and that he therefore resolved with David, “That his praise should be always in his mouth.”

[Sidenote: “De Conscientia”]

I have taken a content in giving my Reader this character of his person, his temper, and some of the accidents of his life past; and more might be added of all; but I will with sorrow look forward to the sad days, in which so many good men suffered, about the year 1658, at which time Dr. Sanderson was in a very low condition as to his estate; and in that time Mr. Robert Boyle[24]–a gentleman of a very noble birth, and more eminent for his liberality, learning, and virtue, and of whom I would say much more, but that he still lives–having casually met with and read his Lectures _de Juramento_, to his great satisfaction, and being informed of Dr. Sanderson’s great innocence and sincerity, and that he and his family were brought into a low condition by his not complying with the Parliament’s injunctions, sent him by his dear friend Dr. Barlow[25]–the now learned Bishop of Lincoln–50_l._ and with it a request and promise. The request was, that he would review the Lectures _de Conscientia_, which he had read when he was Doctor of the Chair in Oxford, and print them for the good of posterity:–and this Dr. Sanderson did in the year 1659.–And the promise was, that he would pay him that, or a greater sum if desired, during his life, to enable him to pay an amanuensis, to ease him from the trouble of writing what he should conceive or dictate. For the more particular account of which, I refer my Reader to a letter writ by the said Dr. Barlow, which I have annexed to the end of this relation.

[Sidenote: The Restoration]

Towards the end of this year, 1659, when the many mixed sects, and their creators and merciless protectors, had led or driven each other into a whirlpool of confusion: when amazement and fear had seized them, and their accusing consciences gave them an inward and fearful intelligence, that the god which they had long served was now ready to pay them such wages, as he does always reward witches with for their obeying him: when these wretches were come to foresee an end of their cruel reign, by our King’s return; and such sufferers as Dr. Sanderson–and with him many of the oppressed Clergy and others–could foresee the cloud of their afflictions would be dispersed by it; then, in the beginning of the year following, the King was by God restored to us, and we to our known laws and liberties, and a general joy and peace seemed to breathe through the three nations. Then were the suffering Clergy freed from their sequestration, restored to their revenues, and to a liberty to adore, praise, and pray to God in such order as their consciences and oaths had formerly obliged them. And the Reader will easily believe, that Dr. Sanderson and his dejected family rejoiced to see this day, and be of this number.

[Sidenote: Commended to Charles II.]

It ought to be considered–which I have often heard or read–that in the primitive times men of learning and virtue were usually sought for, and solicited to accept of Episcopal government, and often refused it. For they conscientiously considered, that the office of a Bishop was made up of labour and care; that they were trusted to be God’s almoners of the Church’s revenue, and double their care for the poor; to live strictly themselves, and use all diligence to see that their family, officers, and Clergy did so; and that the account of that stewardship, must, at the last dreadful day, be made to the Searcher of all Hearts: and that in the primitive times they were therefore timorous to undertake it. It may not be said, that Dr. Sanderson was accomplished with these, and all the other requisites required in a Bishop, so as to be able to answer them exactly: but it may be affirmed, as a good preparation, that he had at the age of seventy-three years–for he was so old at the King’s Return–fewer faults to be pardoned by God or man, than are apparent in others in these days, in which, God knows, we fall so short of that visible sanctity and zeal to God’s glory, which was apparent in the days of primitive Christianity. This is mentioned by way of preparation to what I shall say more of Dr. Sanderson; and namely, that, at the King’s return, Dr. Sheldon, the late prudent Bishop of Canterbury,–than whom none knew, valued, or loved Dr. Sanderson more or better,–was by his Majesty made a chief trustee to commend to him fit men to supply the then vacant Bishoprics. And Dr. Sheldon knew none fitter than Dr. Sanderson, and therefore humbly desired the King that he would nominate him: and, that done, he did as humbly desire Dr. Sanderson that he would, for God’s and the Church’s sake, take that charge and care upon him. Dr. Sanderson had, if not an unwillingness, certainly no forwardness to undertake it; and would often say, he had not led himself, but his friend would now lead him into a temptation, which he had daily prayed against; and besought God, if he did undertake it, so as to assist him with his grace, that the example of his life, his cares and endeavours, might promote his glory, and help forward the salvation of others.

[Sidenote: Bishop of Lincoln]

This I have mentioned as a happy preparation to his Bishopric; and am next to tell, that he was consecrated Bishop of Lincoln at Westminster, the 28th of October, 1660.

[Sidenote: Mr. Richard Baxter]

There was about this time a Christian care taken, that those whose consciences were, as they said, tender, and could not comply with the service and ceremonies of the Church, might have satisfaction given by a friendly debate betwixt a select number of them, and some like number of those that had been sufferers for the Church-service and ceremonies, and now restored to liberty; of which last some were then preferred to power and dignity in the Church. And of these Bishop Sanderson was one, and then chose to be a moderator in that debate: and he performed his trust with much mildness, patience, and reason; but all proved ineffectual: for there be some prepossessions like jealousies, which, though causeless, yet cannot be removed by reasons as apparent as demonstration can make any truth. The place appointed for this debate was the Savoy in the Strand: and the points debated were, I think, many; some affirmed to be truth and reason, some denied to be either; and these debates being then in words, proved to be so loose and perplexed as satisfied neither party. For some time that which had been affirmed was immediately forgot or denied, and so no satisfaction given to either party. But that the debate might become more useful, it was therefore resolved that the day following the desires and reasons of the Non-conformists should be given in writing, and they in writing receive answers from the conforming party. And though I neither now can, nor need to mention all the points debated, nor the names of the dissenting brethren; yet I am sure Mr. Baxter was one, and am sure what shall now follow was one of the points debated.

Concerning a command of lawful superiors, what was sufficient to its being a lawful command; this proposition was brought by the conforming party.

“That command which commands an act in itself lawful, and no other act or circumstance unlawful, is not sinful.”

Mr. Baxter[26] denied it for two reasons, which he gave in with his own hand in writing, thus:

One was, “Because that may be a sin _per accidens_, which is not so in itself, and may be unlawfully commanded, though that accident be not in the command.” Another was, “That it may be commanded under an unjust penalty.”

Again this proposition being brought by the Conformists, “That command which commandeth an act in itself lawful, and no other act whereby any unjust penalty is enjoined, nor any circumstance whence, _per accidens_, any sin is consequent which the commander ought to provide against, is not sinful.”

[Sidenote: His contentions or denials]

Mr. Baxter denied it for this reason, then given in with his own hand in writing thus: “Because the first act commanded may be _per accidens_ unlawful, and be commanded by an unjust penalty, though no other act or circumstance commanded be such.”

Again, this proposition being brought by the Conformists, “That command which commandeth an act in itself lawful, and no other act whereby any unjust penalty is enjoined, nor any circumstance, whence directly, or _per accidens_, any sin is consequent, which the commander ought to provide against, hath in it all things requisite to the lawfulness of a command, and particularly cannot be guilty of commanding an act _per accidens_ unlawful, nor of commanding an act under an unjust penalty.”

Mr. Baxter denied it upon the same reasons.



These were then two of the disputants, still alive, and will attest this; one being now Lord Bishop of Ely, and the other of Chester. And the last of them told me very lately, that one of the Dissenters–which I could, but forbear to name–appeared to Dr. Sanderson to be so bold, so troublesome, and so illogical in the dispute, as forced patient Dr. Sanderson–who was then Bishop of Lincoln, and a moderator with other Bishops–to say, with an unusual earnestness, “That he had never met with a man of more pertinacious confidence, and less abilities, in all his conversation.”

[Sidenote: Results of the debate]

But though this debate at the Savoy was ended without any great satisfaction to either party, yet both parties knew the desires, and understood the abilities, of the other, much better than before it: and the late distressed Clergy, that were now restored to their former rights and power, did, at the next meeting in Convocation, contrive to give the dissenting party satisfaction by alteration, explanation, and addition to some part both of the Rubric and Common Prayer, as also by adding some new necessary Collects, and a particular Collect of Thanksgiving. How many of those new Collects were worded by Dr. Sanderson, I cannot say; but am sure the whole Convocation valued him so much that he never undertook to speak to any point in question, but he was heard with great willingness and attention; and when any point in question was determined, the Convocation did usually desire him to word their intentions, and as usually approve and thank him.

[Sidenote: New Offices]

At this Convocation the Common Prayer was made more complete, by adding three new necessary Offices; which were, “A Form of Humiliation for the Murder of King Charles the Martyr; A Thanksgiving for the Restoration of his Son our King; and For the Baptising of Persons of riper Age.” I cannot say Dr. Sanderson did form, or word them all, but doubtless more than any single man of the Convocation; and he did also, by desire of the Convocation, alter and add to the forms of Prayers to be used at Sea–now taken into the Service-Book.–And it may be noted, that William, the now Right Reverend Bishop of Canterbury,[29] was in these employments diligently useful; especially in helping to rectify the Calendar and Rubric. And lastly, it may be noted, that, for the satisfying all the dissenting brethren and others, the Convocation’s reasons for the alterations and additions to the Liturgy were by them desired to be drawn up by Dr. Sanderson; which being done by him, and approved by them, was appointed to be printed before the Liturgy, and may be known by this title–“The Preface;” and begins thus–“It hath been the Wisdom of the Church.”–

I shall now follow him to his Bishopric, and declare a part of his behaviour in that busy and weighty employment. And first, that it was with such condescension and obligingness to the meanest of his Clergy, as to know and be known to them. And indeed he practised the like to all men of what degree soever, especially to his old neighbours or parishioners of Boothby Pannell; for there was all joy at his table, when they came to visit him: then they prayed for him, and he for them, with an unfeigned affection.

I think it will not be denied, but that the care and toil required of a Bishop, may justly challenge the riches and revenue with which their predecessors had lawfully endowed them: and yet he sought not that so much, as doing good both to the present age and posterity; and he made this appear by what follows.

[Sidenote: The Bishop at Buckden]

[Sidenote: Repairs and restorations]

The Bishop’s chief house at Buckden, in the County of Huntingdon, the usual residence of his predecessors,–for it stands about the midst of his Diocese,–having been at his consecration a great part of it demolished, and what was left standing under a visible decay, was by him undertaken to be erected and repaired: and it was performed with great speed, care, and charge. And to this may be added, that the King having by an Injunction commended to the care of the Bishops, Deans, and Prebends of all Cathedral Churches, “the repair of them, their houses, and augmentation of small Vicarages;” he, when he was repairing Buckden, did also augment the last, as fast as fines were paid for renewing leases so fast, that a friend, taking notice of his bounty, was so bold as to advise him to remember, “he was under his first-fruits, and that he was old, and had a wife and children yet but meanly provided for, especially if his dignity were considered.” To whom he made a mild and thankful answer, saying, “It would not become a Christian Bishop to suffer those houses built by his predecessors to be ruined for want of repair; and less justifiable to suffer any of those, that were called to so high a calling as to sacrifice at God’s altar, to eat the bread of sorrow constantly, when he had a power by a small augmentation, to turn it into the bread of cheerfulness: and wished, that as this was, so it were also in his power to make all mankind happy, for he desired nothing more. And for his wife and children, he hoped to leave them a competence, and in the hands of a God that would provide for all that kept innocence, and trusted his providence and protection, which he had always found enough to make and keep him happy.”

[Sidenote: His favourite books]

There was in his Diocese a Minister of almost his age, that had been of Lincoln College when he left it, who visited him often, and always welcome, because he was a man of innocence and openheartedness. This Minister asked the Bishop what books he studied most, when he laid the foundation of his great and clear learning. To which his answer was, “that he declined reading many; but what he did read were well chosen, and read so often, that he became Very familiar with them;” and said, “they were chiefly three, Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Aquinas’s _Secunda Secundit_, and Tully, but chiefly his offices, which he had not read over less than twenty times, and could at this age say without book.” And told him also, “the learned Civilian Doctor Zouch–who died lately–had writ _Elementa Jurisprudentiae_, which was a book that he could also say without book; and that no wise man could read it too often, or love or commend too much;” and told him, “these had been his toil: but for himself he always had a natural love to genealogies and Heraldry; and that when his thoughts were harassed with any perplexed studies, he left off, and turned to them as a recreation; and that his very recreation had made him so perfect in them, that he could, in a very short time, give an account of the descent, arms, and antiquity of any family of the Nobility or gentry of this nation.”

[Sidenote: His Will]

Before I give an account of Dr. Sanderson’s last sickness, I desire to tell the Reader that he was of a healthful constitution, cheerful and mild, of an even temper, very moderate in his diet, and had had little sickness, till some few years before his death; but was then every winter punished with a diarrhoea, which left not till warm weather returned and removed it: and this distemper did, as he grew older, seize him oftener, and continue longer with him. But though it weakened him, yet it made him rather indisposed than sick, and did no way disable him from studying–indeed too much.–In this decay of his strength, but not of his memory or reason,–for this distemper works not upon the understanding,–he made his last Will, of which I shall give some account for confirmation of what hath been said, and what I think convenient to be known, before I declare his death and burial.

He did in his last Will,[30] give an account of his faith and persuasion in point of religion, and Church-government, in these very words:

“I, Robert Sanderson, Doctor of Divinity, an unworthy Minister of Jesus Christ, and, by the providence of God, Bishop of Lincoln, being by the long continuance of an habitual distemper brought to a great bodily weakness and faintness of spirits, but–by the great mercy of God–without any bodily pain otherwise, or decay of understanding, do make this my Will and Testament,–written all with my own hand,–revoking all former Wills by me heretofore made, if any such shall be found. First, I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God, as of a faithful Creator, which I humbly beseech him mercifully to accept, looking upon it, not as it is in itself,–infinitely polluted with sin,–but as it is redeemed and purged with the precious blood of his only beloved Son, and my most sweet Saviour Jesus Christ; in confidence of whose merits and mediation alone it is, that I cast myself upon the mercy of God for the pardon of my sins, and the hopes of eternal life. And here I do profess, that as I have lived, so I desire, and–by the grace of God–resolve, to die in the communion of the Catholic Church of Christ, and a true son of the Church of England: which, as it stands by law established, to be both in doctrine and worship agreeable to the word of God, and in the most, and most material points of both conformable to the faith and practice of the godly Churches of Christ in the primitive and purer times, I do firmly believe: led so to do, not so much from the force of custom and education,–to which the greatest part of mankind owe their particular different persuasions in point of Religion,–as upon the clear evidence of truth and reason, after a serious and impartial examination of the grounds, as well of Popery as Puritanism, according to that measure of understanding, and those opportunities which God hath afforded me: and herein I am abundantly satisfied, that the schism which the Papists on the one hand, and the superstition which the Puritan on the other hand, lay to our charge, are very justly chargeable upon themselves respectively. Wherefore I humbly beseech Almighty God, the Father of mercies, to preserve the Church by his power and providence, in peace, truth, and godliness, evermore to the world’s end: which doubtless he will do, if the wickedness and security of a sinful people–and particularly those sins that are so rife, and seem daily to increase among us, of unthankfulness, riot, and sacrilege–do not tempt his patience to the contrary. And I also further humbly beseech him, that it would please him to give unto our gracious Sovereign, the reverend Bishops, and the Parliament, timely to consider the great danger that visibly threatens this Church in point of Religion by the late great increase of Popery, and in point of revenue by sacrilegious inclosures; and to provide such wholesome and effectual remedies, as may prevent the same before it be too late.”

And for a further manifestation of his humble thoughts and desires, they may appear to the Reader by another part of his Will which follows.

“As for my corruptible body, I bequeath it to the earth whence it was taken, to be decently buried in the Parish Church of Buckden, towards the upper end of the Chancel, upon the second, or–at the furthest–the third day after my decease; and that with as little noise, pomp, and charge as may be, without the invitation of any person how near soever related unto me, other than the inhabitants of Buckden; without the unnecessary expense of escutcheons, gloves, ribbons, &c., and without any blacks to be hung any where in or about the house or Church, other than a pulpit cloth, a hearse-cloth, and a mourning gown for the Preacher; whereof the former–after my body shall be interred–to be given to the Preacher of the Funeral Sermon, and the latter to the Curate of the Parish for the time being. And my will further is that the Funeral Sermon be preached by my own household Chaplain, containing some wholesome discourse concerning Mortality, the Resurrection of the Dead and the Last Judgment; and that he shall have for his pains 5_l._ upon condition that he speak nothing at all concerning my person, either good or ill, other than I myself shall direct; only signifying to the auditory that it was my express will to have it so. And it is my will, that no costly monument be erected for my memory, but only a fair flat marble stone to be laid over me, with this inscription in legible Roman characters, DEPOSITUM ROBERTI SANDERSON NUPER LINCOLNIENSIS EPISCOPI, QUI OBIIT ANNO DOMINI MDCLXII. ET AETATIS SUAE SEPTUAGESIMO SEXTO, HIC REQUIESCIT IN SPE BEATE RESURRECTIONIS. This manner of burial, although I cannot but foresee it will prove unsatisfactory to sundry my nearest friends and relations, and be apt to be censured by others, as an evidence of my too much parsimony and narrowness of mind, as being altogether unusual, and not according to the mode of these times: yet it is agreeable to the sense of my heart, and I do very much desire my Will may be carefully observed herein, hoping it may become exemplary to some or other: at least however testifying at my death–what I have so often and earnestly professed in my life time–my utter dislike of the flatteries commonly used in Funeral Sermons, and of the vast expenses otherwise laid out in Funeral solemnities and entertainments, with very little benefit to any; which if bestowed in pious and charitable works, might redound to the public or private benefit of many persons.”

[Sidenote: His death]

I am next to tell, that he died the 29th of January, 1662; and that his body was buried in Buckden, the third day after his death; and for the manner, that it was as far from ostentation as he desired it; and all the rest of his Will was as punctually performed. And when I have–to his just praise–told this truth, “that he died far from being rich,” I shall return back to visit, and give a further account of him on his last sick bed.

His last Will–of which I have mentioned a part–was made about three weeks before his death, about which time, finding his strength to decay by reason of his constant infirmity, and a consumptive cough added to it, he retired to his chamber, expressing a desire to enjoy his last thoughts to himself in private, without disturbance or care, especially of what might concern this world. And that none of his Clergy–which are more numerous than any other Bishop’s–might suffer by his retirement, he did by commission impower his Chaplain, Mr. Pullin,[31] with Episcopal power to give institutions to all livings or Church-preferments, during this his disability to do it himself. In this time of his retirement he longed for his dissolution; and when some that loved him prayed for his recovery, if he at any time found any amendment, he seemed to be displeased, by saying, “His friends said their prayers backward for him: and that it was not his desire to live a useless life, and by filling up a place keep another out of it, that might do God and his Church service.” He would often with much joy and thankfulness mention, “That during his being a housekeeper–which was more than forty years–there had not been one buried out of his family, and that he was now like to be the first.” He would also often mention with thankfulness, “That till he was three score years of age, he had never spent five shillings in law, nor–upon himself–so much in wine: and rejoiced much that he had so lived, as never to cause an hour’s sorrow to his good father; and hoped he should die without an enemy.”

[Sidenote: Rules and habits]

He, in this retirement, had the Church prayers read in his chamber twice every day; and at nine at night, some prayers read to him and a part of his family out of “The Whole Duty of Man.” As he was remarkably punctual and regular in all his studies and actions, so he used himself to be for his meals. And his dinner being appointed to be constantly ready at the ending of prayers, and he expecting and calling for it, was answered, “It would be ready in a quarter of an hour.” To which his reply was, “A quarter of an hour! Is a quarter of an hour nothing to a man that probably has days not many hours to live?” And though he did live many hours after this, yet he lived not many days; for the day after–which was three days before his death–he was become so weak and weary of either motion or sitting, that he was content, or forced, to keep his bed: in which I desire he may rest, till I have given some account of his behaviour there, and immediately before it.

[Sidenote: His last days]

The day before he took his bed,–which was three days before his death,–he, that he might receive a new assurance for the pardon of his sins past, and be strengthened in his way to the New Jerusalem, took the blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of his and our blessed Jesus, from the hands of his Chaplain, Mr. Pullin, accompanied with his wife, children, and a friend, in as awful, humble, and ardent a manner, as outward reverence could express. After the praise and thanksgiving for it was ended, he spake to this purpose: “Thou, O God! tookest me out of my mother’s womb, and hast been the powerful protector of me to this present moment of my life: Thou hast neither forsaken me now I am become greyheaded, nor suffered me to forsake thee in the late days of temptation, and sacrifice my conscience for the preservation of my liberty or estate. It was by grace that I have stood, when others have fallen under my trials: and these mercies I now remember with joy and thankfulness; and my hope and desire is, that I may die praising thee.”

[Sidenote: Use of the Psalms]

The frequent repetition of the Psalms of David, hath been noted to be a great part of the devotion of the primitive Christians; the Psalms having in them not only prayers and holy instructions, but such commemorations of God’s mercies, as may preserve, comfort, and confirm our dependence on the power, and providence, and mercy of our Creator. And this is mentioned in order to telling, that as the holy Psalmist said, that his eyes should prevent both the dawning of the day and night watches, by meditating on God’s word (Psal. cxix. 147), so it was Dr. Sanderson’s constant practice every morning to entertain his first waking thoughts with a repetition of those very Psalms that the Church hath appointed to be constantly read in the daily Morning service: and having at night laid him in his bed, he as constantly closed his eyes with a repetition of those appointed for the service of the evening, remembering and repeating the very Psalms appointed for every day; and as the month had formerly ended and began again, so did this exercise of his devotion. And if his first waking thoughts were of the world, or what concerned it, he would arraign and condemn himself for it. Thus he began that work on earth, which is now his employment in Heaven.

[Sidenote: Death]

After his taking his bed, and about a day before his death, he desired his Chaplain, Mr. Pullin, to give him absolution: and at his performing that office, he pulled off his cap, that Mr. Pullin might lay his hand upon his bare head. After this desire of his was satisfied, his body seemed to be at more ease, and his mind more cheerful; and he said, “Lord, forsake me not now my strength faileth me; but continue thy mercy, and let my mouth be filled with thy praise.” He continued the remaining night and day very patient, and thankful for any of the little offices that were performed for his ease and refreshment: and during that time did often say the 103rd Psalm to himself, and very often these words, “My heart is fixed, O God! my heart is fixed where true joy is to be found.” His thoughts seemed now to be wholly of death, for which he was so prepared, that the King of Terrors could not surprise him as a thief in the night: for he had often said, he was prepared, and longed for it. And as this desire seemed to come from Heaven, so it left him not till his soul ascended to that region of blessed spirits, whose employments are to join in concert with him, and sing praise and glory to that God, who hath brought them to that place, into which sin and sorrow cannot enter.

Thus this pattern of meekness and primitive innocence changed this for a better life. ‘Tis now too late to wish that my life may be like his; for I am in the eighty-fifth year of my age: but I humbly beseech Almighty God, that my death may: and do as earnestly beg of every Reader, to say–Amen.

Blessed is the man in whose spirit there is no guile, Psal. xxxii. 2.

[Footnote 1: This is a mistake; Bishop Sanderson was born at Sheffield on the 19th of September.]

[Footnote 2: Thomas Scot, or Rotheram, so called after his birth-place, Fellow of King’s College, in Cambridge, was afterward Master of Pembroke Hall, and 1483 and 1484, Chancellor of the University. He obtained great ecclesiastical preferment, being successively Provost of Beverley, Bishop of Rochester and of Lincoln, and lastly Archbishop of York. Nor was he less adorned with civil honours, having been appointed, first, Keeper of the Privy Seal, and then Lord Chancellor of England. The two Universities and his native town still enjoy the fruits of his bounty. He died 29th May, 1500.]

[Footnote 3: Dr. Gilbert Sheldon was born July 19, 1598.–His father, Roger Sheldon, though of no obscure parentage, was a menial servant to Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury.–He was of Trinity College, Oxford, and took his Master’s degree in May, 1620. He was introduced to Charles I. by Lord Coventry, and became one of His Majesty’s Chaplains. Upon the Restoration, he was made Dean of the Chapel Royal, succeeded Dr. Juxon as Bishop of London, and after as Archbishop of Canterbury; in 1667 he was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford. He died at Lambeth, Nov. 9, 1677.]

[Footnote 4: Dr. Richard Kilbie, born at Ratcliffe, in Leicestershire, and a great benefactor to his College, since he restored the neglected library, added eight new repositories for books, and gave to it many excellent volumes. He became Rector in 1590, and in 1610 he was appointed the King’s Hebrew Professor. He died in 1620.]

[Footnote 5: An edition of this work was published in Oxford so recently as 1841.]

[Footnote 6: Mr. Charles Crooke, a younger son of Sir John Crooke, of Chilton, in Bucks, one of the Justices of the King’s Bench. In 1615, he proceeded D.D., being then Rector of Amersham and a Fellow of Eton College.]

[Footnote 7: Brother of George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, born at Guildford in 1560, and promoted to the See of Salisbury in 1615, as a reward for his Lectures against Suarez and Bellarmine, in defence of the King’s supreme power. On his way to Sarum, he made an oration to the University, and his friends parted from him with tears. He died March 2nd, 1617-8.]

[Footnote 8: Dr. John Prideaux, born at Harford, in Devon in 1578, and Rector of Exeter College in 1612, when he acquired so much fame in the government of it, that several eminent foreigners placed themselves under his care. He was made King’s Professor in Divinity in 1615, and Bishop of Worcester in 1641; but was reduced to great poverty in the Civil Wars, and died July 20th, 1650.]

[Footnote 9: Dr. Arthur Lake, born at Southampton about 1550, and educated at Winchester School, whence he proceeded to New College, Oxford. He was created Dean of Worcester in 1608, and Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1616. He died on 4th May, 1626.]

[Footnote 10: Dr. Tobias Matthew–died March 29, 1628, aged 83.]

[Footnote 11: Dr. William Laud, born at Reading, Oct. 7, 1573, and educated there, and at St. John’s College, Oxford. In 1616, he was made Dean of Gloucester, in 1621 Bishop of St. David’s, and in 1622 he had a conference with Fisher the Jesuit, of which the printed account evinces how opposed he was to Popery; but his Arminian tenets gave offence to the Calvinists. In 1626 he was translated to the See of Bath and Wells, in 1628 to London, and in 1633 to Canterbury. His zeal for the establishment of the Liturgy in Scotland produced him numerous enemies, by whose means he was imprisoned in the Tower for three years, and beheaded Jan. 10th, 1644-45. His works were published at Oxford, 6 vols. 8vo., 1847-9.]

[Footnote 12: Dr. Henry Hammond was born at Chertsey, in Surrey, Aug. 18th, 1605, and was educated at Eton, and Magdalen College, Oxford. His loyalty caused him to be deprived of his preferments during the Civil Wars, and at the Restoration he was designed for Bishop of Worcester, but died before consecration, April 25th, 1660. His principal works are, his “Practical Catechism,” and “A Paraphrase and Annotations on the New Testament.”]

[Footnote 13: Dr. Thomas Pierce, for some years President of Magdalen College, Oxford. In his epitaph composed by himself he says, “Here lies all that was mortal, the outside, dust, and ashes of Thomas Pierce, D.D., once the President of a College in Oxford, at first the Rector of _Brington-cum-Membris,_ Canon of Lincoln, and at last Dean of Sarum; who fell asleep in the Lord Jesus [Mar. 28, an. 1691], but in hope of an awake at the resurrection.”]

[Footnote 14: Dr. Matthew Wren, successively Bishop of Hereford, Norwich, and Ely, died April 14, 1667, aged eighty-one years and upwards. He was distinguished for his extraordinary attachment to the royal cause, having suffered an imprisonment for eighteen years with singular patience and magnanimity.

It should not be forgotten, that when Cromwell had repeatedly offered to release the Bishop, he refused to accept of the proffered boon, saying, “that he scorned to receive his liberty from a tyrant and usurper.” His life was kindly prolonged by Providence, that as he had seen the destruction, so he might also see the happy restoration of his order.]

[Footnote 15: Born at Geneva on August 14, 1599, and educated at Christ Church, Oxford. Archbishop Laud gave him the living of Minster, Kent, and a Prebend in the Cathedral of Canterbury. He suffered much in the civil wars, but at the Restoration he recovered his preferments. Among his works are “A Treatise of Use and Custom,”