Imatges de pÓgina
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ship; the others were of the old spirit and and way, enemies to the Parliament, and the reformation promoted by them. On account of their superior learning, young Henry, at first, associated principally with these, and had little or no fellowship with those of the first-mentioned class. But he soon found, that his companions were a snare to him, and took him off from the life of religion and communion with God. And he offers the most fervent thanksgiving to God for not giving him up. “For ever praised be the riches of God's free grace," says he," that he was pleased still to keep his hold of me, and not to let me alone, when I was running from him, but set his hand again the second time, (as Isaiah has it xi. 11,) to snatch me as a brand out of the fire.”

He considered his recovery from this declension in the light of a second conversion, and was always much affected with the preventing grace of God in it, and was sensible of a double bond to be for ever thankful, as well as watchful, and humble.

In the end of the year 1648, he had permission to visit his father at Whitehall, and was there the 30th of the following January,

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when the king was beheaded, which awful execution he witnessed. Two things he remarked, not noticed by historians. The first, that when the blow was given, there was among the thousands who were near enough to see the tragical scene, such a dismal, universal groan, as he never heard before. The other was, that during the time of the execution, bodies of troops were marching from Charing Cross to King street; and others from King street to Charing Cross, purposely to disperse and scatter the people. Upon all occasions he testified his abhorrence of this unparalleled action; and said, that it could not be justified; and yet he did not see how it could be called a national sin; for as the king said, on the trial, not one man in ten, in the kingdom was consenting to it. Nor could it be called the sin of the Long Parliament, for at the very time when this thing was in agitation, most of them were in prison; and of those that were left only twenty-seven out of forty voted for it. But the atrocious deed was perpetrated by the dominant party in the army. In the year 1650, Mr. Henry took his bachelor's degree, and has recorded the goodness of God in procuring him friends, who aided him to defray the expenses, incident' to the occasion.

He would often mention with thankfulness to God, what great helps he had then in the university, not only for learning, but for religion and piety. Serious godliness was in reputation; and besides, the public opportunities they had, many of the scholars were used to meet together for prayer and Christian conference, to the great confirming of one another's hearts in the fear and love of God, and in preparing them for the service of the church in their generation. The university sermons which had been accustomed to be preached in the afternoon of the Lord's day, by the fellows, were now undertaken by Dr. Owen and Dr. Goodwin, who performed the service alternately.

In December 1652, he proceeded Master of Arts, and in January following preached his first sermon, at Hinckley, in Oxfordshire, on John viii. 34: “ Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” On this occasion, he writes, in his diary,“ The Lord make use of me as an instrument for his glory, and of his church's good, in this high and holy call

ing!

Notwithstanding his deep humility and great modesty, his vigorous talents and high attainments could not be concealed; so that in 1653, he was chosen out of all the masters, to answer the questions in philosophy; and the following year, a similar honour was conferred on him. The public exercises which he was required to perform, on these occasions, gained for him a high reputation; and particularly attracted the attention of Dr. Owen, who was then the Vice-chancellor. He was heard afterwards to speak very respectfully of the performances of Mr. Henry, with whom he had then no acquaintance. A worthy divine, who was somewhat his junior in the university, informed his biographer, how much he admired these exercises of Mr. Heriry, and loved him for them; and yet how much more he admired, when he became acquainted with him in the country, that so curious and polite an orator should become so profitable and powerful a preacher; and so readily lay aside the enticing

words of man's wisdom, which were so easy to him.

There is extant, a copy of some Latin verses of his in print, among the poems which the University of Oxford published, on the peace concluded with Holland, in the year 1654, which show him to have been no less a poet, than an orator.

He mentions, that some pious young men, upon leaving the university to go into the country kept a day of fasting and humiliation, on account of the sins committed by them in that place. And in the notice which he has recorded of his visits to the university, after he left it, we find this laconic but emphatic entry, “A tear dropt over my university sins.

CHAPTER III.

His settlement at Worthenbury–His ordination to the

ministry, and his exercise of it.

WORTHENBURY was a small town on the Dee, on the borders of Wales. Mr. Henry's

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