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published, is a very curious and valuable document, preserved in the episcopal palace of Wells.
To my old college friend, the Rev. Mr. Dallaway, of the Heralds' College ; and, through him, to Mr. Young, York Herald, I am indebted for the revisal of the Ken pedigree, now first accurately submitted to the public, and the other pedigrees.
To Dr. Shuttleworth, Warden of New College, Oxford, I return thanks for an original letter of Ken, the only one known to be in existence.
To my friend Dr. Ingram, the learned translator of the Saxon Chronicle, President of Trinity College, Oxford, on this, as on all occasions, I profess no common obligations. To my
friend, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, the Illustrator of the Antiquities of our County, I return my especial acknowledgments for a beautiful copy, expressly taken for this work, of the best original portrait of Ken, preserved at Longleat.*
To my friend Mr. Callcott, R. A. the thanks of the public are due, as well as my own, for the sketch, from his exquisite pencil, of a scene described in the work.
Mr. Todd, from his well-known kindness of disposition, and the interest he takes in all literary subjects, favoured me with the life of Ken by Haw
* To which the engraver has done complete justice, this being the best engraving of Ken in existence. How intellectual, mild, yet dignified, is the countenance, bespeaking the placidness of genuine piety.
kins, containing some curious MS. notes by Bishop Kennet.
As Ken, after his deprivation, passed the remainder of his days chiefly with his friend Thomas Viscount Weymouth, at the seat of that nobleman, Longleat, near Warminster, I had hopes some of his letters might have been preserved, as well as his books; but, to my disappointment, I was informed that Dr. Birch had arranged the papers, and that no letter, or written memorial, of any kind, had been found.
I might here be pardoned for mentioning some incidental circumstances connected with this memoir. The name of Ken was associated, in my mind, with feelings of respect and regard, almost from infancy. Stanzas of his Morning and Evening Hymns were taught me by my mother.
Removed to Winchester school, and rising before the other boys, as junior of the chamber, at five o'clock in summer, and as soon as it was light in winter, I had no English book to read, at the dim window, but Ken's Manual, consisting of prayers and admonitions, composed when he was Fellow of the college, for the use of the scholars on that foundation.
Added to these incitements, almost all who are nurtured at the same place of education have, if I may say so, through life a Wycchamical feeling. The names of poets, divines, and prelates of Young, Collins, &c.—of Warham, Chicheley, Lowth, &c. — are familiar to them. As life proceeds, the recollection of such characters mingles more warmly with their feelings, with a distant hope, perhaps, that they also, though obscure in life and connections, may thus be enabled, APIOTEUEIV, to become not unknown themselves in their generation.
Young and Collins, Lowth and Ken, are, in after life, “ freshly remembered.” These are Wycchamical feelings. Let me add to these feelings, the cordiality, kindness, and hospitality which I have experienced in the very palace at Wells once inhabited by Ken, now with happier auspices in the possession of Ken's living successor, where, under the placid portrait of Ken, the conversation has often turned on his fortunes and virtues. These various causes and circumstances have contributed to animate me in attempting to exhibit a truly Christian character; to exhibit this character calm and dignified in every station, and under every trial; and to place the beautiful features of genuine and unaffected piety in contrast with the half-ludicrous and half-hideous aspect of its puritanic counterfeit.
Let me acknowledge as a further incitement, the thought that, if I had not held the
the story of Morley and Izaak Walton, which alone explains the cause of that long singular friendship between them, and also explains the origin of Ken's preferments, would have remained, probably, after the death of the last descendant of the family, for ever unknown.
With respect to the execution of this work, it must be remembered that the life of a statesman or soldier must be, from the nature of the subject, more interesting than that of any Christian Bishop. I have therefore thought it right to spread my canvass somewhat wide.* 'Indeed Biography, like that of Hawkins's Life of Ken, confined to the mere narrative of birth, individual acts, and death, is a mere skeleton. He who paints, to give anything like a breathing charm to his picture, must catch the lights and shades of various connected circumstances, in order to give greater effect, variety, and interest to his composition, — still, however, making them all subservient to the chief subject of his pencil. The character I have thus endeavoured to delineate, I now submit with diffidence to the public, well knowing the different opinions of different parties, but conscious of having said nothing but what I am persuaded was the truth.
I would here willingly have closed all I have to say as an introduction to what the reader will find before him, but some late publications have induced me to speak more explicitly with regard to the sentiments, political, moral, and religious, delivered in this work. In writing the Life of an English Bishop, a vindication of Protestant Episcopacy, and the constitution of that Church, must be expected. I have expressed my own sentiments warmly, I hope not uncharitably. I have adduced no fact but such as will bear, I trust, the strictest examination. I have quoted only two passages from Presbyterian sermons, to show the style and temper of the enemies of Episcopacy in the seventeenth century, and I have done this reluctantly. I might have quoted a thousand passages of the kind, but those I have adduced are not for the unwarrantable purpose, at this time of day, of reflecting on any class of conscientious dissenters, but to show, in comparison, how little the Episcopal Church of England deserved the revilings and the bitter lot to which in Puri. tanical times she was doomed.
* This must be my apology for some lighter parts of this Biography.
When, however, the intolerant tone of some of the revilers in the seventeenth century is revived, it becomes us to meet the proudest adversary firmly, particularly when the Clergy are represented as hostile to every feeling of enlightened humanity, and when the University of Oxford has been made the peculiar object of sneering acrimony, as marked alone by that servile and intolerant spirit, poetically described as “still expelling Locke!”*
There is a passage in the Preface to Lord King's Life of this great man, on which I shall take leave to make some comments.
“ The FRIENDS OF FREEDOM,” says Lord King, “ will feel for the men and the CAUSE which he (Locke) defended; and they will be anxious to know more of one who so much promoted the