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IV. CONTEMPLATIONS ON THE OLD TESTAMENT.
BOOKS I. TO XVIII. DEDICATION TO HENRY PRINCE OF WALES.
BOOK I. Dedicated to THOMAS, EARL OF EXETER.
Dedication to PRINCE CHARLES........
Dedicated to HENRY, EARL OF HUNTINGDON.
BOOK VII. Dedicated to EDWARD, LORD DENNY.
BOOK XI. Dedicated to SIR FULKE GREVILLE, KNIGHT.
Saul and Agag.........
BOOK XV. Dedicated to WILLIAM, LORD Burleigh.
BOOK XVII. Dedicated to SIR HENRY MILDMAY, KNIGHT.
BOOK XVIII. Dedicated to JAMES, LORD HAYE.
OF SOME SPECIALITIES OF
LIFE OF JOSEPH HALL,
BISHOP OF NORWICH.
WRITTEN WITH HIS OWN HAND.
Nor out of a vain affectation of my own glory, which I know how little it can avail me, when I am gone hence; but out of a sincere desire to give glory to my God, whose wonderful Providence I have noted in all my ways, have I recorded some remarkable passages of my fore-past life. What I have done is worthy of nothing, but silence and forgetfulness; but what God hath done for me, is worthy of everlasting and thankful memory.
I was born July 1, 1574, at five of the clock in the morning, in Bristow-Park, within the Parish of Ashby de la Zouch, a Town in Leicestershire, of honest and wellallowed parentage.
My Father was an officer under that truly honourable and religious, Henry Earl of Huntingdon, President of the North; and, under him, had the government of that Market-Town, wherein the chief seat of that Earldom is placed.
My Mother Winifride, of the House of the Bambridges, was a woman of that rare sanctity, that, were it
not for my interest in nature, I durst say, that neither Aleth the mother of that just Honour of Clareval, nor Monica, nor any other of those pious matrons antiently famous for devotion, need to disdain her admittance to comparison. She was continually exercised with the affliction of a weak body, and oft of a wounded spirit: the agonies whereof, as she would oft recount with much passion, professing that the greatest bodily sicknesses were but flea-bites to those scorpions; so, from them all, at last she found a happy and comfortable deliverance. And that, not without a more than ordinary hand of God: for, on a time, being in great distress of conscience, she thought in her dream, there stood by her a grave personage, in the gown and other habits of a physician; who, enquiring of her estate, and receiving a sad and querulous answer from her, took her by the hand, and bade her be of good comfort, for this should be the last fit that ever she should feel of this kind: whereto she seemed to answer, that, upon that condition, she could well be content for the time, with that or any other torment: reply was made to her, as she thought, with a redoubled assurance of that happy issue of this her last trial: whereat she began to conceive an unspeakable joy; which yet, upon her awaking, left her more disconsolate, as then conceiting her happiness imaginary, her misery real : when, the very same day, she was visited by the reverend and (in his time) famous Divine, Mr. Anthony Gilby, under whose ministry she lived; who, upon the relation of this her pleasing vision and the contrary effects it had in her, began to persuade her, that dream was no other than divine, and that she had good reason to think that gracious premonition was sent her from God himself: who, though ordinarily he keeps the common road of his proceedings; yet, sometimes, in the distresses of his servants, he goes unusual ways to their relief: hereupon she began to take heart; and, by good counsel and her fervent prayers, found that happy prediction verified to her; and, upon all occasions in the remainder of her life, was ready to magnify the mercy of her
What with the trial of
God in so sensible a deliverance.
My Parents had, from mine infancy, devoted me to this Sacred Calling, whereto, by the blessing of God, I have seasonably attained. For this cause, I was trained up in the public school of the place.
After I had spent some years, not altogether indiligently, under the ferule of such masters as the place afforded, and had near attained to some competent ripeness for the University, my school-master, being a great admirer of one Mr. Pelset, who was then lately come from Cambridge, to be the public preacher of Leicester; (a man very eminent in those times, for the fame of his learning, but especially for his sacred oratory,) persuaded my father, that if I might have my education under so excellent and complete a Divine, it might be both a nearer and easier way to his purposed end, than by an academical institution. The motion sounded well in my father's ears, and carried fair probabilities: neither was it other than forecompacted betwixt my school-master and Mr. Pelset; so as, on both sides, it was entertained with great forwardness.
The gentleman upon essay taken of my fitness for the use of his studies, undertakes within one seven years to send me forth, no less furnished with Arts, Languages, and grounds of Theorical Divinity, than the carefullest tutor