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he was sent to Eton school, where his pregnancy, having been advantaged by the more than paternal care and industry of his father (who was an exact critic in the learned languages, especially the Greek), became the observation of those that knew him : for in that tenderness of age he was not only a proficient in Greek and Latin, but had also some knowledge in the elements of Hebrew : in the latter of which tongues, it being then rarely heard of even out of grammar schools, he grew the tutor of those who began to write themselves men, but thought it no shame to learn of one whose knowledge seemed rather infused than acquired; or in whom the learned languages might be thought to be the mother-tongue. His skill in the Greek was particularly advantaged by the conversation and kindness of Mr. Allen, one of the fellows of the College, excellently seen in that language, and a great assistant of sir Henry Savile in his magnificent edition of St. Chrysostom.

His sweetness of carriage is very particularly remembered by his contemporaries who observed that he was never engaged (upon any occasion) into fights or quarrels; as also that at times allowed for play, he would steal from his fellows' into



leap, being then in long coats, from the walls of Conway town to the sea shore, looking that the wind, which was then very strong, would fill his coats like sail, and bear him up, as it did with his play fellows: but he found it otherwise." Hacket’s Life of Williams, p. 8. This was about the year 1590.

Steal from his fellows.] The place, and the engagements of this school-boy remind us of the narrative given by the pious and amiable Dr. Henry More, of his own early years. bred up, to the almost fourteenth year of my age, under parents, and a master, that were great Calvinists, but withal, very pious and good ones; at that time, by the order of my parents, persuaded to it by my uncle, I immediately went to Eton


“ Being

places of privacy, there to say his prayers : omens of his future pacific temper and eminent devotion.

Which softness of temper his schoolmaster Mr. Bush, who upon his father's account had a tender


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school : not to learn any new precepts or institutes of religion, but for the perfecting of the Greek and Latin tongue. But neither there nor yet any where else, could I ever swallow down that hard doctrine concerning Fate. On the contrary, I remember that upon those words of Epictetus, "Aye ue xal i Tenęwuém, lead me, 0 Jupiter, and thou fate, I did, with my eldest brother, who then, as it happened, had accompanied my uncle thither, very stoutly and earnestly for my years, dispute against this Fate or Calvinistical predestination, as it is usually called: and that my uncle, when he came to know it, chid me severely ; adding menaces withal of correction, and a rod for my immature forwardness in philosophizing concerning such matters. Moreover, that I had such a deep aversion in my temper to this opinion, and so firm and unshaken a persuasion of the divine justice and goodness; that, on a certain day, in a ground belonging to Eton College, where the boys used to play, and exercise theinselves, musing concerning these things with myself, and recalling to my mind this doctrine of Calvin, I did thus seriously and deliberately conclude within myself, namely, If I am one of those that are predestinated unto Hell, where all things are full of nothing but cursing and blasphemy, yet will I behure myself there patiently and submissively towards God: and if there be any one thing more than another, that is acceptable to him, that will I set myself to do, with a sincere heurt, and to the utmost of my power ... which ineditation of mine is as firmly fixed in my memory, and the very place where I stood, as if the thing had been transacted but a day or two ago.

“ And as to what coucerns the existence of God, though in that ground mentioned, walking, as my manner was, slowly, and with my head on one side, and kicking now and then the stones with my feet, I was wont sometimes, with a sort of musical and melancholick manner, to repeat, or rather humm to myself those verses of Claudian ;

Sæpe mihi dubiam traxit sententia mentem,
Curarent Superi terras; an nullus inesset,
Rector, et incerto fluerent mortalia casu:


kindness for him, looked upon with some jealousy ; for he building upon the general observation, that gravity and passiveness in children is not from discretion but pblegm, suspected that his scholar's faculties would desert liis industry, and end only in a laborious well-rcad non-proficiency: but the event gave a full and speedy defeat to those well-meant misgivings; for be so improved that at thirteen years old he was thought, and (what is much more rare) was indeed ripe for the university, and accordingly sent to Magdalen College in Oxford, where not long after he was chosen Deiny; and though he stood low upon the roll, by a very unusual concurrence of providential events, happened to be sped: and though, having then lost his father, he became destitute of the advantage which potent recommendation might have given, yet his merit voting for him, as soon as capable, he was chosen fellow.

Being to proceed master of arts, he was made reader of the natural philosophy lecture in the college, and also was employed in making the funeral oration on the highly meriting president Dr. Langton.

Oft hath my anxious mind divided stood,
Whether the Gods did mind this lower world;
Or whether no such ruler, wise and good,
We had; and all things here by chance were hurled;

yet that exceeding hale and intire sense of God, which nature herself had planted deeply in me, very easily silenced all such slight and poetical dubitations as these. Yea even in my just childhood, an ioward sense of the Divine presence was so strong upon my mind, that I did then believe, there could no deed, word or thought be hidden from him.” Life of the learned and pious Dr. Henry More, by Richard Ward, A. M. London, 1710. 8vo. p. 5.

Having taken his degree, 'he presently bought a system of divinity, with a design to apply himself straightway to that study: but upon second thoughts he returned for a time to human learning, and afterwards, when he resumed his purpose for theology, took a quite different course of reading from the other too much usual', beginning that science at the upper end, as conceiving it most reasonable to search for primitive truth in the primitive writers, and not to suffer his understanding to be prepossest by the contrived and interested schemes of modern, and withal obnoxtous, authors.

3 Too much usual.] “ To such an absolute authority were the names and writings of some men advanced by their diligent followers, that not to yield obedience to their ipse dixits, was a crime unpardonable.

“ It is true King James observed the inconvenience, and prescribed a remedy, sending Instructions to the Universities, bearing date Jan. 18. anno. 1616, wherein it was directed amongst other things, that young students in divinity should be exciled to study such books as were most agreeable in doctrine and discipline to the Church of Englard; and to bestow their time in the Fathers and Councils, Schoolmen, Histories, and Controversies; and not to insist too long upon Compendiums and Abbreviators, making them the grounds of their study. And I conceive that from that time forwards the names and reputatious of some leading men of the Foreign Churches, which till then carried all before them, did begin to lessen; divines growing daily more willing to free themselves from that servitude and vassalage, to which the authority of those names had inslaved their judge ments.--About those times it was, that I began my studies in divinity; and thought no course so proper and expedient for me, as the way commended by K. James . . . . For though I had a good respect both to the memory of Luther, and the name of Calvin; as those whose writings had awakened all these parts of Europe out of the ignorance and superstition under which they suffered; yet I always took them to be men: men as obnoxious unto error, as subject unto human frailty, and as indulgent too to their own opinions, as any others whatsoever." Heylin's Sum of Christian Theology, in the address to the reader. 1673. fol. Compare also Life of Bishop Hall, p. 301. note 3.


Anno 1629, being twenty-four years of age, the statutes of his house directing, and the canons of the church then regularly permitting it, he entered into holy orders ; and upon the same grounds not long after took the degree of bachelor in divinity, giving as happy proof of his proficiency in sacred, as before he had done in secular knowledge.

During the whole time of his abode in the University he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity, besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant; and upon the more considerable wrote, as he passed, Scholia and critical emendations, and drew up Indexes for his private use at the beginning and end of each book: all which remain at this time, and testify his indefatigable pains to as many as have perused his library. In the

year 1633, the reverend Dr. Frewen, the then president of his college, now lord arch-bishop of York, gave him the honour to supply one of his courses at the court; where the right honourable the earl of Leicester happened to be an auditor: he was so deeply affected with the sermon, and took so just a measure of the merit of the preacher thence, that the rectory of Pensehurst being at that time void, and in his gift, he immediately offered him the presentation : which being accepted, he was inducted on the 22. of August in the same year; and thenceforth from the scholastic retirements of an university life, applied himself to the more busy entertainments of a rural privacy, and what some have called the being buried in a living: and being to leave the house, he thought not fit


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