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in the strictest College of either University. Which that he might assuredly perform, to prevent the danger of any mutable thoughts in my parents or myself, he desired mutual bonds to be drawn betwixt us. The great charge of my father, whom it pleased God to bless with twelve children, made him the more apt to yield to so likely a project for a younger son.
There and now, were all the hopes of my future life upon blasting. The indentures were preparing the time was set my suits were addressed for the journey.
What was the issue? O God, thy Providence made and found it. Thou knowest how sincerely and heartily, in those my young years*, I did cast myself upon thy hands: with what faithful resolution I did, in this particular occasion, resign myself over to thy disposition; earnestly begging of thee in my fervent prayers to order all things to the best, and confidently waiting upon thy will for the event. Certainly, never did I, in all my life, more clearly roll myself upon the Divine Providence, than I did in this business. And it succeeded accordingly.
It fell out at this time, that my elder brother, having some occasions to journey unto Cambridge, was kindly entertained there by Mr. Nath. Gilby, Fellow of Emanuel College: who, for that he was born in the same town with me, and had conceived some good opinion of my aptness to learning, enquired diligently concerning me; and, hearing of the diversion of my father's purposes from the University, importunately dissuaded from that new course, professing to pity the loss of so good hopes. My brother, partly moved with his words, and partly won by his own eyes, to a great love and reverence of an academical life, returning home, fell upon his knees to my father; and, after the report of Mr. Gilby's words and his own admira tion of the place, earnestly besought him, that he would be pleased to alter that so prejudicial a resolution, that he would not suffer my hopes to be drowned in a shallow
* Anno Etatis 15.
country-channel; but that he would revive his first purposes for Cambridge; adding, in the zeal of his love, that if the chargeableness of that course were the hinderance, he did there humbly beseech him, rather to sell some part of that land, which himself should in course of nature inherit, than to abridge me of that happy means to perfect my education. No sooner had he spoken those words, than my father no less passionately condescended; not without a vehement protestation, that, whatsoever it might cost him, I should, God willing, be sent to the University. Neither were those words sooner out of his lips, than there was a messenger from Mr. Pelset knocking at the door, to call me to that fairer bondage; signifying, that the next day he expected me, with a full dispatch of all that business to whom my father replied, that he came some minutes too late, that he had now otherwise determined of me; and, with a respective message of thanks to the master, sent the man home empty, leaving me full of the tears of joy for so happy a change.
Indeed I had been but lost, if that project had succeeded; as it well appeared in the experience of him, who succeeded in that room, which was by me thus unexpectedly forsaken.
O God, how was I then taken up, with a thankful acknowledgment and joyful admiration of thy Gracious Providence over me!
And now I lived in the expectation of Cambridge: whither, ere long, I happily came, under Mr. Gilby's tuition, together with my worthy friend Mr. Hugh Cholmley, who, as we had been partners of one lesson from our cradles, so were we now for many years partners of one bed.
My two first years were necessarily chargeable, above the proportion of my father's power: whose not very large cistern, was to feed many pipes besides mine. His weariness of expence was wrought upon by the counsel of some unwise friends, who persuaded him to fasten me upon that school as master, whereof I was lately a scholar.
Now was I fetched home, with a heavy heart: and now,
this second time, had mine hopes been nipped in the blossom, had not God raised me up an unhoped benefactor, Mr. Edmund Sleigh of Derby (whose pious memory I have cause ever to love and reverence) out of no other relation to me, save that he married my aunt. Pitying my too apparent dejectedness, he voluntarily urged- and solicited my father for my return to the University; and offered freely to contribute the one half of my maintenance there, till I should attain to the degree of Master of Arts; which he no less really and lovingly performed. The condition was gladly accepted.
Thither was I sent back, with joy enough; and, ere long, chosen Scholar of that strict and well ordered College,
By that time I had spent six years there, now the third year of my Bachelorship should at once both make an end of my maintenance, and in respect of standing give me a capacity of further preferment in that house, were it not that my country excluded me: for our Statute allowed but one of a shire to be fellow there; and, my tutor being of the same town with me, must therefore necessarily hold me out.
But, O my God, how strangely did thy gracious Providence fetch this business about! I was now entertaining motions of remove.
A place was offered me in the island of Guernsey which I had in speech and chase. It fell out, that the father of my loving chamberfellow, Mr. Cholmley, a gentleman that had likewise dependance upon the most noble Henry Earl of Huntingdon, having occasion to go to York, unto that his Honourable Lord, fell into some mention of me. That good Earl, who well esteemed my father's service, having belikely heard some better words of me than I could deserve, made earnest enquiry after me, what were my courses, what my hopes: and, hearing of the likelihood of my removal, professed much dislike of it; not without some vehemence, demanding why I was not chosen Fellow of that College, wherein by report I received such
approbation. Answer was returned, that my country debarred me; which, being filled with my tutor, whom his Lordship well knew, could not by the Statute admit a second. The Earl presently replied, that, if that were the hinderance, he would soon take order to remove it. Whereupon his Lordship presently sends for my tutor Mr. Gilby unto York; and, with proffer of large conditions of the chaplainship in his house, and assured promises of better provisions, drew him to relinquish his place in the College to a free election. No sooner was his assent signified, than the days were set for the public (and indeed exqui site) examination of the competitors. By that time two days of the three allotted to this trial were past, certain news came to us of the inexpected death of that incomparably Religious and Noble Earl of Huntingdon; by whose loss my then disappointed tutor must necessarily be left to the wide world unprovided for. Upon notice thereof, I presently repaired to the Master of the College, Mr. Dr. Chaderton; and besought him to tender that hard condition to which my good tutor must needs be driven, if the election proceeded; to stay any farther progress in that business; and to leave me to my own good hopes wheresoever, whose youth exposed me both to less needs, and more opportunities of provision. Answer was made me, that the place was pronounced void however; and, therefore, that my tutor was divested of all possibility of remedy, and must wait upon the Providence of God for his disposing elsewhere, and the election must necessarily proceed the day following. Then was I, with a cheerful unanimity, chosen into that Society; which if it had any equals, I dare say had none beyond it, for good order, studious carriage, strict government, austere piety; in which I spent six or seven years more, with such contentment, as the rest of my life hath in vain striven to yield.
Now was I called to public disputations often, with no ill success: for never durst I appear in any of those exercises of scholarship, till I had from my knees looked up to
heaven for a blessing, and renewed my actual dependance upon that Divine Hand.
In this while, two years together was I chosen to the Rhetoric Lecture in the Public Schools; where I was en-couraged with a sufficient frequence of auditors: but, finding that well applauded work somewhat out of my way, not without a secret blame of myself for so much excursion, I fairly gave up that task, in the midst of those poor acclamations, to a worthy successor, Mr. Dr. Dod; and betook myself to those serious studies, which might fit me for that High Calling whereunto I was destined.
Wherein after I had carefully bestowed myself for a time, I took the boldness to enter into Sacred Orders: the honour whereof having once attained, I was no niggard of that talent which my God had entrusted to me; preaching often, as occasion was offered, both in country villages abroad, and at home in the most awful auditory of the University.
And now I did but wait where and how it would please my God to employ me.
There was at that time a famous School erected at Tiverton in Devon, and endowed with a very large pension; whose goodly fabric was answerable to the reported maintenance: the care whereof was, by the rich and bountiful founder, Mr. Blundel, cast principally upon the then Lord Chief Justice Popham. That faithful observer, having great interest in the Master of our House, Dr. Chaderton, moved him earnestly to commend some able, learned, and discreet Governour to that weighty charge; whose action should not need to be so much as his oversight. It pleased our Master, out of his good opinion, to tender this condition unto me: assuring me of no small advantages, and no great toil since it was intended the main load of the work should lie upon other shoulders. I apprehended the motion worth the entertaining. In that severe Society our times were stinted: neither was it wise or safe to refuse good offers. Mr. Dr. Chaderton carried me to London; and there presented me to the Lord Chief Justice, with