« VorigeDoorgaan »
by the influence of example, infuse into their offspring a principle of devotion ; may they infuse the same into their children, and their children into another generation. When we thus call upon thy name, we know that thou wilt hear us ; thou wilt graciously say, it is my peve ple; and we, in humble thankfulness shall say, the Lord is our God. Let thine heritage, the Church, which thou hast purchased with thy blood, be no longer defiled by the lamentable ignorance and abominablé stupidity, which contemptuously refuse to hear the calls of truth, and impiously set at nought the exhortations of piety,
But whatever shall be the effect of thy holy word in my mouth; whether I am encouraged to meditation, study, and labour, by the increase of morals, and the prevalence of religion; or humbled and depressed by ignorance of thy laws, and contempt of thy word, let me not be discontented and impatient, but wait thy good time, when it shall please thee to give the increase. May judgment direct, and zeal stimulate me to try every method, and adopt every expedients to convert sinners unto thee. And, oh! if it be thy blessed will, let me not labour in vain. May the hearts of all those over whom thou hast appointed me to watch, be induced to receive the word vith meekness, to apply it with fidelity, and to bring forth the fruits of the spirit. May the quiet of fainilies, the obedience of servants, the kindness of masters, the duty of children, and the affection of parents, all result from the preaching of the holy word. May the study of the sacred oracles employ their leisure and edify theis minds; and may it be thy good pleasure, to make a covenant of peace with them, to set thy Sanctuary in the midst of them, that they may be thy people, and thou be, their God, in truth and in righteousnes8. Produce, I humbly implore thee, this conversion unto thee, this change of will and renewal of heart, that as often as thou shalt call those entrusted to me, to give an account of their conduct, I may have the consolation of believing that they have died in thy faith and fear; that their peace was made with thee; and that their names were written in the book of life.
When I pray that all the flock may be thine, humbly and earnestly do I beseech thee, that the Shepherd may not be abandoned of thee. Let not iny unworthiness to minister at the altar, be the cause of my reprobation : but when thou shalt summon me to give an account of my stewardship, of my behaviour as a man, of my piety as a Christian, and of my fidelity as a minister; grant that my soul may be supported by faith, and eplivened with hope ; that the retrospect of a life passed in keeping of thy commandments, in preaching thy word, and promoting thy glory, may smooth the face of death, and bereave the grave of all its terrors. And whilst I implore thy
Blessing on my labours, and on the people committed to my charge, beseeching thee that our lives may be boly in order that our deaths may be happy, I pour out my soul in supplications, that thy Gospel may dispense its benign influence through every land: may it be faithfully preached, and conscientiously practised; and may it be productive, in the hands of all thy ministers, of the everlasting salvation of those to whom it is announRed. May the peace which it proclaims be universally established, and nation go to war with nation no more : may the several families of the earth be actuated by religions principles; and may concord and unanimity, brotherly love and Christian charity, be the distinguishing characteristics of all those to whatever sect they belong, and to whatever party they are attached, who name the name of Christ.
Above all, I humbly entreat thee, that thy Providence may in an especial manner be extended over this thy Church, which thy own right hand hath planted ; do thou be pleased to dwell in the midst of it, that it may be called the dwelling of truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain : may the inhabitants of every city and of every place, go one to another, saying let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts in his holy temple: may it no longer be said of any of its members, that they trust not in the Lord, and that they draw not near to their God: but do thou in mercy, make of them a name and a praise among all people of the earth. May the Gospel be preached in it, in all its purity, and may the lives of its ministers be its brightest ornaments ; may the law of truth be in their mouth, and let not iniquity be found in their lips ; may they walk before thee in peace and equity, and turn many away from their iniquity : may its worship be duly frequented, and its sacraments, in particular the commemoration of our redemption in the Holy Communion, be religiously observed ; may that blessed ordihance be no longer a stone of stumbling to the ignorant, and a rock of offence to the weak; but may the old men and all the inhabitants of the land, receive it to their comfort, and may it no longer be the reproach of their children, that they go away from the heavenly feast, and do not keep it: may schism be extirpated from the habitation of thy house ; and may attachment to it, proceeding from a conviction of its purity and truth, be individually established; may the voice of joy and salvation be heard in every dwelling: and may the several families of which this thy Church is composed, erect an altar unto thee, and may they daily offer upon it, an oblation of great gladness : saying, blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God, for ever and ever, Amen!
SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF
[Concluded from page 250.] HE took every opportunity of assisting the loyal sufferers abroad ; and, though this great duty was declared treason by the men in power, he continued to send over several sums for their relief. But this practice had narrowly proved his ruin, for the person to whom he had entrusted a commission of this kind was seized, and the doctor's letter were delivered to Cromwell. However, no notice was taken of him ; and he persevered in the same charitable course during the remainder of the usurpation. He began now severely to feel the effects of his rigid and intense mortifications, being attacked by four different diseases at once, each of them sufficicntly afflictive to render life a burden, the stone, the gout, the cholic, and the cramp; the last of which was as troublesome as any of the others. But this complication of complaints he bore with the greatest calmness and resignation. During the whole course of that tyranny under which the nation groaned for so many years, he preserved a constant serenity and indifference to outward incidents ; but when circumstances indicated a favorable change, he began to be pensive and concerned. He saw clearly that he should be called into a busier sphere of action than he had hitherto moved in; and though he rejoiced at the prospect as a public good, he sighed for that better world where he should rest in peace. “I must confess," said he to a friend,“ that I never saw that time in all my life, where* in I could say so cheerfully my nunc dimittis as now. Indeed I do “dread prosperity; I do really dread it; for the little good I am able “ to do, I can do it with deliberation and advice ; but if please God I k« should live, and be called to any higher office in the Church, I must Withen do many things in a hurry, and shall not then have time 10
consult with others; and I sufficiently aj prehend the danger of "relying upon my own judgment."
And it pleased God to grant his desire. At the opening of the year 1660, when every thing visibly tended to the restoration of the king, the doctor was desired to repair to London, to assist in repairing the sad breaches which had been made in the Church. This summons he was reluctantly going to obey, when, on the 4th of April, he was seized with so violent a fit of the stone, that his life was despaired of: however he languished on till the 25th of that month. During this period he eminently manifested the superlative excellence of the Christian principles; for he bore his acute disorder with the greatest patience, desiring his friends, who shewed much anxiety for his life, to pray only that he might be fitted for his change. He himself, with great affection, interceded for the Church and nation, and for the revival of practical religion, then so much decayed. On the 20th of April, being Good Friday, he solemnly received the sacrament; and again on Easter Sunday. His devotion, notwithstanding his indisposition, in the act of celebration, was remarkably lively, yet accompanied by the deepest humility, which discovered itself in this pathetic ejaculation ; for on hearing these words of the Apostle pronounced, Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, he emphatically rejoined, of whom I am chief!
About this time he was seized with a violent bleeding, which was succeeded by a lethargic drowsiness, a sure sign of his approaching dissolution. At the time of prayer, though he returned every response, yet he greatly lamented his heaviness, saying, “ Alas! this is s all the return I shall make to his mercy, to sleep at prayers.”
When he was in pain, he often prayed for patience; and, while he did so, evidently manifested that his prayer was heard, for he exercised not only this, but thankfulness too ; in his greatest extremity crying out, “ Blessed be God! blessed be God !"
He behaved to his attendants with great affection, condescending to every proposal, and obeyed, with all mildness, every advice of his physicians. Nor was it a wonder that he should so accept the endeavours of his friends, when he had a tender consideration and kind
ness for his enemies, even the most inveterate and bloody. When a defeat of the rebels was mentioned with exultation in his presence, the only triumph he took was that of charity, saying with tears in his eyes, “ Poor souls, I beseech God to forgive them!"
The short remainder of his life he employed in administering relief to those about him. He dispensed his best of legacies, his blessings, most passionately exhorting the young hopes of the family, whose first innocence, and shame of doing ill, he advised them always to preserve; to be just to their education, and maintain invjolable their baptismal vow; then he more generally commended to all, the great advantage of friendly admonitions. And when Lady Packington asked him what more special thought he would recommend to her during her whole life, he briefly replied, " Uniform « obedience.”
On the evening of the 25th April, 1660, he breathed his soul into the hands of his Saviour, whom he had so faithfully served throughout his life. A few minutes before his departure he uttered these words, which were his last, Lord, make haste !
On the next day, agreeable to his own desire, he was buried, without any pomp, in the neighbouring Church of Hampton, with the usual rites of the Church of England ; several of the gentry and clergy of the county attended, besides a vast concourse of the common people. The clergy thought it an honour, as undoubted. ly it was, to bear his remains on their shoulders to the Church, where they are deposited in the vault belonging to the worthy family in which he had resided.
At the time of his death he was nominated to the see of Worces. ter, and certainly no man was so well qualified at that time to fill that high station ; but his own wish was to remove to the Church triumphant, and to join the glorious hierarchy above; and the great head of the Church granted his request.
Dr. Hammond was a very handsome man, tall and graceful; his complexion clear and florid ; his eye quick and sprightly; and his face carried dignity and attraction with it, being scarcely ever clouded with a frown, or so much as darkened by reservedness. His constitution was strong, and capable of enduring great fatigue. As to his mind, his judgment was sound, clear, and penetrating ; his invention fruitful, nay inexhaustible; from whence proceeded his great readiness in composing; for he dispatched his writings with incredible swiftness, usually
composing faster than bis amanuensis, though a very dextrous person, could write. His Considerations on the present Use of Episcopacy were drawn up after ten o'clock at night, in the chamber of a friend, who professed that, sitting by all the while, he remembered not that he took off his pen from the paper till he had done, and the very next morning, it being fully approved of by the bishop of Salisbury, Dr. Duppa, he sent it to the press.
With regard to his moral conduct, he was most eminent for every virtue which can adorn human nature : his charity was most admirable; misery and want never fell in his way without finding compassion and relief. His temperance was likewise most exemplary ; his diet was of the plainest kind; and sauces he scarcely ever could be
prevailed upon to taste, often expressing his surprise « how rational * creatures should eat for any thing but health ; since he who ate or * drank that which might cause a fit of the stone or gout, though a “ year after, unmanned himself, and acted as a beast."
His temperance in sleep was similar to that of diet, midnight being his usual time for going to rest ; four or five, very rarely six, the hour of rising. Every social virtue shone in him with the brightest lustre. He was uncommonly fond of friendship, reckoning it next to religion ; and reflecting with compassion on those who were strangers, or indifferent to it, saying, “ that they must lead a very * insipid life.” He was likewise a man of prodigious diligence and industry, not only avoiding, but having a perfect hatred of idleness, and recommending nothing in his writings, public and private, with so much earnestness as this, “ to be furnished constantly with something to do.” On this subject it is worth while to transcribe his own remarks in his own forcible language : “ No burden,” says he, “ is * heavier, or temptation more dangerous, than to have time lie on 4 our hands; the idle man's brains being not only the devil's shop, *but his kingdom too; a model of, and appendage to hell, a place *given up to torment and mischief.”
Besides those portions of time which the necessities of nature and civil life extorted from him, there was not a minute of the day which he left vacant. When he walked abroad, he always took a book with him; and, in his chamber, one constantly lay open. His biographer, Dr. Fell, makes the following observations upon this part of his character: “He who shall consider his laborious way, immerst in al" most infinite quotations, to which the turning over books, and conW sulúng their several editions, was absolutely needful ; his obligation -6 to read, not only classic authors, but the more recent abortions of ... the press, wherein he proved frequently concerned ; his perusal of “ the writings of his friends and strangers designed for the press ; his "reviews of his own works, and correcting them with his own hands li sheet by sheet, as they were printed, which he did to all his latter « tracts; his receptions of visits, whether of civility or of conse« quence, or information in points of difficulty, which were numerous « and great devourers of his time ; his agency for men of quality, “providing them schoolmasters for their children, and chaplains in " their houses, in which affair he set up a kind of office ; his general
correspondences by letter, whereof some cost him ten, others * twenty, thirty, forty, nay sixty sheets of paper, and even took up « two days of the week entirely; the time exhausted by bis sickness. “es; his constant preaching, and instructing the family where he as was ; and, amidst all, his sure returns of prayer: all these were "" sufficient proofs of his uncommon diligence."
We shall now conclude the character of this brilliant luminary of the Church, in the words of bishop Burnet, at the same time enter. ing our caveat against the latitudinarian sentiment conveyed in them respecting the supposed conduct of Dr. Hammond, had he happily lived to have assisted in the re-settlement of the Church :-His death,” says the bishop, “ was an unspeakable loss to the Church: * for, as he was a man of great learning and of most eminent merit, he