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“ with you, I find them most ready to give you that “ correspondence, which is necessary you should
give one another, who travel in so holy a work.
They only desire, that in their government you “ meddle no further, than they do in yours : withal, “ " that you oppose not yourselves in any suit they
propose to the chief pastor, for the good of their "own body; especially in matters of superiority, "which canonically belongeth to their vocation. “ This being done, there will be no occasion, but “ that you will friendly and charitably set forward “ this great work, you have undertaken. For my
own part, I wish you all as well as I do my own “ heart: therefore, with all indifferency, entreat you: “would keep amongst you this holy league. It is “ the will of the chief pastor : it is desired by all “mine; and I hope will be accomplished of all
parts. Sweet Jesus keep you! to whom desiring you
would remember my poor soul, I rest from my bed, your b. in all charity and love.
George Birkett, archp.”. “ 3 April, 1614."
FATHER MORE thus respectfully leads this eminent personage to the close of his life.
“We have seen, in the cases of Baldwin, Gerard, " and others, that false accusations of them reached
Belgium ; and what false accusations of Persons. " reached Rome. Pope Clement already had con
« ferred with Aquaviva the general, about the re“moval of Persons; but he, foreseeing the result,
went, on the plea of ill health, to Naples, never
again to return till after the death of Clement. “He spent the remainder of his years in writing “ books; and many adapted to those times, were
published by him : as 'Questiones duæ de Sacris “ alienis non adeundis,' in which he made use of
nearly the same argument as he had done in his “ Consolatory Epistle, which he had written in “ English, twenty years before :- A Treatise on “ Equivocation;' on · Mitigation of the Penal Laws “ against Catholics:' some works against sir Edward “ Coke, Barlow, and other persons; in which, by
establishing the dogmata of faith, he repelled " heresies. Thus, he made the years of his life “shorter than was desired. In the year 1610, he “had gone through half the Lent in the strict “ observance of the precept of fast, when he was " seized with a violent fever. In a few days he
was brought to the extremity; he assuaged his “ sufferings by frequent pious meditation on the "passion of Christ.
Pope Paul, as soon as he heard of his situation, granted him those indulgencies, which it is “ customary to send to cardinals, in their last mo“ments. Aquaviva, the general of the society, and “ the chief fathers in Rome, crowded to see him. “ Four days before his decease, he dictated three “ letters :-one, of thanks, to Blaise, bishop of “ St. Omer's; another, of exhortation, to the mem“bers of our society in England ; and a third, to
Birkett, who had succeeded the archpriest Black"well. The letter to the members of our society was of this tenor :
My reverend and dear fathers and brothers, "whom it has pleased God to call and unite "in this mission of our society for the con"version and comfort of our miserable country England, and the government of whom, during so many years, the very reverend "father-general has thought proper to commit "to me!
Now, that by the Divine will, I am about, as "I hope, to lay down this charge, together with "this mortal life, I cannot forbear bidding you all, "in this epistle,—farewell:—and, in the first place, "to commend myself and the repose of my soul "to God in your prayers:-then, love one an
other, the only mark of true disciples and fol"lowers of Christ, which I wish may be kept "inviolate, according to the spirit of our society; "that is, that each one should consider himself "below the rest; that, he always prefer in his heart "others to himself; and make his outward con"duct, as far as lies in his power, correspond with "this precept: doing all things to the honour and glory of God, and the comfort of you all. For, acting thus, all of you, as I trust in the Lord, "will happily finish your course, in obedience to "God in this life; and hereafter, through the merits "of the passion of Christ, we shall meet together "in a glorious and everlasting resurrection.
« Dated from the bed of sickness in the English
college at Rome, on the vigil of our Lord's re“surrection, in the
Wholly and always yours,
66 Robert Persons.”
“To the archpriest he addressed himself as follows:
66. Most rev. sir, and dear friend!
Shortly, as I hope, am I about to close this life, and to go to Christ my Saviour. In this my “ last agony, can I forget you! or fail to dictate in
writing my last farewell to you, your assistants, “ and all the rest under you, as a pledge of cha
rity, and of the perfect love, in Jesus Christ, " which I bear, and have always borne to you, and “ all of them! And I declare that I now leave the “ world in the same sentiments, with which I have
ever been animated, of love, peace, and union of “ all of you, among yourselves, and with all our “ fathers : and that never, as far as I know, or can
conceive, has there been on our part any desire for superiority over you, or over any one of you;
' “ but a cordial co-operation for the advantage and “ increase of the catholic faith, according to the “ duties of our institution :which co-operation between
and our fathers, I hope may always “subsist in the bowels of Christ, for the greater “honour and glory of God. To his keeping, and “ in the same spirit of charity, and in these same “ sentiments, which fill my mind, so I recommend
, you, and all my dear brothers committed to your care; with whom joining in prayer, I beseech
"our sweet Saviour, that, by the merits of his "most bitter passion, he would give us a glorious "resurrection. Farewell in Christ Jesus!-Given "from the bed of sickness, in the English college "at Rome, on the vigil of our Lord's resurrection, "in the year 1610.'
"Lastly, he wrote to the bishop of St. Omer's, "in these words :
"Most reverend, and by me deservedly "respected lord! "Although I have reached the term, prescribed "to all men,-death,-which, as I hope, will yield
my soul, freed from the earthly bond, to its Re“deemer, when I shall see the good things of the "Lord in the land of the living; yet, in the mean66 time, whilst breath is allowed me on the bed of "sickness, the more frequently do I recal to mind "the services of so great a benefactor, by which he "has shown his affection to the much-afflicted cause “of England, and helped and forwarded our mis"sion in that harvest. It is to testify how much he "has bound me to him for these singular favours, "that I have wished to leave this last written proof "behind me; and now, dying, to repeat once more, "those acknowledgments, which, whilst living, "I have often made, earnestly beseeching him "that as he has begun, so he will finish, nor leave orphans those, whom his paternal love has already "made his adopted children. Farewell most re"vered and most beloved bishop and father of the "English!-May God grant you a long life! and,