Imatges de pàgina
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deration and candour. - “ He had (fay's De. « Calamy) a truly great foul, and at the « fame time'a very cool and moderate fpi« rit

rit ; and was an utter enemy to that “ uncharitable and cenforious humour, that “ is visible in fo many." He was also an utter enemy to all impofitions. As he took the liberty of judging for 'himfelf, fo he freely allowed it to others. He was for the union and communion of all vifible Christians, and for making nothing (necef fary to Christian communion, but what Christ has made necessary,' or what is neceffary indeed to one's being a Christian. He was of opinion that much service might be done to the common interest of religion, by a frank mutual communication of doubt. ful thoughts.; if fuch disquisitions were purfued with more candor, and lefs confidence, and without regarding the interest of any party whatsoever. In a word, he looked

upon

the Christian scheme, not as a fyftem of opinjons, or a fet of forms, so much as a divine discipline 'to purify the heart, and reform the life. Here he laid the main stress, as appears from all his writings; and with respect especially to difputable things, and the mere appendages of religion, as he often calls them, he was as

much

much for a free inquiry into them, as anyman could be of that age ; which circumstance does him the greater honour, when it is considered how little the principles of liberty, and the right of private judgement were understood in those days, in comparison of what they have been since. How happy had it been for England in that age, how happy for the Christian world in all ages, if the same divine and amiable spirit had generally prevailed! Further,

" He was one of remarkable prudence “ himself, and much valued and com, " mended it in others. It was a common

faying with him (as we are informed) " that he was so far from questioning whe, “ther prudence was a virtue, that he rec“ koned imprudence to be a great vice and “ immorality. He was not apt to be

swayed by interest, nor could any thing byas his judgement. And it

And it may be “ faid of him as is usually said of those of “ the strongest reason, the greatest sagacity, “ and the noblest accomplishments, that “.he was one of great civility, candor, and

ingenuity.”

He was very courteous to strangers, or others who came to see him, and received them with great decency; and never could

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be of the mind of those, who reckon religion and piety inconsistent with goodbreeding. (1)

He knew how to address himself suitably to the greatest persons, without the least mixture of what was mean or servile; and yet

he was able to condescend to inferiors: 'and was very affable to younger ministers, whom he would use with an easy freedom, offering them as there was occa. fion the kindest advice.

In common conversation, it is said, he was many times very pleasant;. and notwithstanding (as many still remember) there was something in his behaviour, as well as person, which tended to excite veneration, yet he was generally chearful, and sometimes very

facetious. He had a wonderful

(L) “ What should hinder, (says Mr. Howe in his funeral sermon for the son of Sir Charles Hoghton) " but that learning to sing, or dance, or fence, or " make a modish leg, might consist with learning to “ know God in Chrift, in which knowledge stands 66 eternal life? Whatever has real' excellency in it,

or any thing of true ornament, will no way dis

agree with the most serious Christianity. And how “ lovely is the conjunction of the well-accomplished “ Gentleman, and the serious Christian ! But (fays “ he) to curse and swear, damn and debauch, which

are thought to belong to good-breeding in our age ;

these are indeed great inconsistencies, not “ only with the character of a Christian, but that 56 of a Gentleman," VOL. I.

genteel

genteel manner of reproving persons, and an excellent talent in making sudden repara tees on certain occasions. The worthy collector of the memoirs of his life has

preserved a few of them, which the Editor. begs leave to insert in the margin. (M) To these are added a small number of let

ters,

(M) MR. Howe being at dinner one day with some persons of very good fashion, there was a Gentleman in the company, who expatiated with great freedom in praise of King Charles I. and made some indecent reflexions on others, that were not at all agreeable to several at the table. Our Author observing that he intermixed a great many oaths with his discourfe, took the freedom to tell him, that in his humble opinion he had wholly omitted one very great excellence ; which the prince he extolled, was lo generally owned to have belonging to him, that he had not known of any one who had the face to contest it. The Gentleman seemed not a little pleased to have Mr. Howe come in as a voucher for the Prince he applauded, and was impatient to know what that particular excelience was, that he referred to. And when he had prefled for it with importunity, he at length told him it was this ; that he was never heard to swear an oath in common conversation. The Gentleman took the reproof, and promised to forbear fwearing for the future.

Ar another time as Mr. Howe was walking along, he passed by two persons of quality, who were talking freely together, and with great eagerness; and 'when he came near them, he heard them damn one another most abominably: Whereupon pulling off his hat, and faluting them with great civility, he cried out, I pray God save you both ; which so took with them, that it for the present diverted the humour they were in, and they joined in returning him thanks.

ONE

kers, which were all the Doctor could procure ; though, as he informs us, he fpared neither pains nor application for this purpose (N).

TO

One paffage more is mentioned, which is this. During the debates in parliament about the bill against occasional conformity, Mr. Howe walking in St. James's-park, passed by a certain noble lord in a chair, who sent his footman to call him to him, for that he desired to speak with him. Coming up to him the said lord very respectfully faluted him, and signified he was glad to see him ; then entered into discourse with him upon the matter depending, reckoning it a thing of no small consequence, which he intimated he had opposed to his utmost. Among other passages upon that occasion, he so far forgot himself as to express himself thus; “ Damn there

wretches for they are mad! and are for bringing

us all into confusion !” Mr. Howe, who was no Stranger to his lordship, made this reply to him ; " My lord, 'tis a great satisfaction to us, who in “ all affairs of this nature desire to look upwards, " that there is a God that governs the world, to “ whom we can leave the issues and events of things; « and we are satisfied, and may thereupon be easy, " that he will not fail in due time of making a fuita« ble retribution to all, according to their present “ carriage. And this great Ruler of the world, my "? lord, said he, has among other things declared, " that he will make a difference between him that “ sweareth, and him that feareth an oath.”. My lord was struck with his last hint, and presently replied;

Sir, I thank you for your freedom, and “ take your meaning, and shall indeavour to make

a good use of it.” Mr. Howe in return said, My " lord, I have a great deal more reason to thank “ your lordship, for saving me the most difficult “ part of a discourse, which is the application."

(N) The letters here alluded to, though not many, are too long to be inserted here intire ; and

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