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the intervals of their alarm, to enquire deeply into their causes—to examine into the very foundations of society—that they may find a basis for a more secure and permanent fabric of social peace. But different minds, though probably called into activity by the same general circumstances, were led to different and even opposite principles, particularly in government. While Hobbes became the advo-' cate of despotic rule, the more courageous and generous sentiments of Milton, of Harrington, and of Algernon Sidney, rendered them the champions of freedom. The same general causes produced also several historians of these tumultuous times.
Amidst this political confusion, the dramatic writers died away, and left no successors. When the troubles began, we ceased also to have any voyagers and travellers, who contributed very largely to the literary treasures of the two preceding reigns. There are probably fewer translations likewise of this date; and certainly fewer books of mere amusement. In fact, people had something else to do than read for amusement. It would be absurd to apply the epithet of amusing to Milton and Jeremy Taylor-be
yond all doubt the noblest writers in the language. They both possess all the higher qualities of genius, sublimity of conception, richness, and splendor of imagination, unrivalled flow and copiousness of language. However little we may be able sometimes to sympathize with their opinions, considered philosophically, it is the rare excellence of these great authors, always to fill and occupy the soul.
Auto-biography was begun by lord Herbert of Cherbury; and continued by various religious enthusiasts, who commenced the practice of keeping diaries. Of these, I believe, archbishop Laud's is the first; and the custom has descended to Whitfield and Wesley of modern times. , Upon the whole, the literature of this reign (or rather these reigns) is very important; and posterity reaps the advantage of calamities, which no good mind would wish to see superinduced, even upon the most distant and barbarous portion of the globe.
Joseph Hall, an eminent and learned divine, and successively bishop of Exeter and Norwich, was born July 1, 1574, at Ashby de la Zouch, in Leicestershire. Having received the rudiments of his education at his native place, he entered, at the age of fifteen, Emanuel College, Cambridge ; of which he became a Fellow.
After continuing about seven years at cole.. lege, he was presented by sir Robert Drure, to the rectory of Halsted in Suffolk. In 1605, he accompanied sir Edward Bacon to the Spa; in which journey he had an opportunity of observing for himself the state and practices of the Romish Church ; and at Brussels he had a conference with Coster the Jesuit.
On his return he obtained the donative of Waltham-Holy-Cross, in Essex; and about the same time, 1612, took the degree of Doctor of Divinity, having been a little before made chaplain to prince Henry. His next preferment was to a Prebend in the collegiate church of Wolverhampton ;' and while absent in France, attending on the embassy of lord Hay, in 1616, he had the Deanery of Worcester conferred upon him. The year following, he attended his majesty into Scotland as one of his chaplains; and in 1618 was one of the English divines who attended the synod of Dort. He was raised in 1627, to the see of Exeter; from which, in 1641, he was translated to the see of Norwich.
Hall was of the number of those bishops who, on the 30th of December of the same year, joined in the protestation against the validity of all laws made during their forced absence from parliament. In consequence of which, he with the rest was sent to the Tower; and was released only on giving 50001. bail, when he withdrew to Norwich. In 1643, the order was issued for sequestering notorious delinquents, among whom his name was included, and he was now reduced to great dis
tress, living only on a very small allowance from the parliament. He died in 1656, at an inconsiderable village near Norwich, in his eighty-second year.
1. Bishop Hall was one of the antagonists of Milton in controversial theology. At the beginning of the troubles, he wrote several tracts in favour of episcopacy. The first of these was entitled, “ Episcopacy by Divine Right asserted.” London, 1640, 4to. This treatise was occasioned by the circumstance of G. Graham, bishop of the Orkneys, openly renouncing his episcopal function before the assembly of the clergy of Edinburgh, and craving their pardon for having accepted it.
2. Not long after, he published another tract in support of the liturgy and episcopacy. This was entitled “ An humble Remonstrance to, the High Court of Parliament, by a dutiful Son of the Church.”. London, 1640, 4to. To this an answer appeared the following year, by Smectymnuus, a fictitious name, composed of the initial letters of the christian and surnames of the five following persons, the real authors, viz: Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamey, Thomas Young, Mathew Newcomen, and William Spurstow. It was called “ An