solved by the grace of God to preach this sermon to you here, though it be my last,”—a sad presage, and more sadly verified. He proceeded in his prayer and sermon very perfectly, till in the middle (never using himself to notes, other than the beginning word of each head or division), he began to falter, yet quickly recollecting himself, and very pertinently concluded. After he had a while sat down, he was not able to rise again, but was fain to be led down the pulpit stairs by two men into the reading-desk. He had promised also to baptize a child (of a very good friend of his) then in the church, but was unable to do it.

Much ado there was to persuade the Doctor to go home in a sedan, he saying still he should be well by and by, and would go along with them; but at last finding himself worse and worse, he yielded to go, but not to his old lodgings (which were convenient for him in the Savoy), but to his new one in Covent Garden: being come thither they had him to bed, and presently sent for Dr. Scarborough ; but he being in the country, Dr. Charlton came, who judged the complaint to be a violent malignant fever, such as then raged everywhere, and was better known by the name of the new disease, which had, like a plague, swept away multitudes throughout the kingdom. Nothing could stop the progress of the malady, which soon affected the Doctor's mind. Yet in this sad and oppressed condition, he was able to give at times some comfortable signs and assurances.

On the following Wednesday it pleased God to restore to him the use of his faculties, which he very devoutly and thankfully employed in a Christian preparation for death, earnestly imploring the prayers of some of his reverend brethren with him, himself most intently joining with them, and commending himself to the will of God. Nay, so highly was he affected with God's pleasure concerning him, that he could not endure any person to weep or cry, but would earnestly desire them to refrain ; highly extolling and preferring his condition, as a translation to a blessed eternity. Nor would he revert to subjects of a literary or purely secular kind: nothing but heaven and the perfections thereof, the consummation of grace in glory, must fill up the room of his capacious soul, now ready to take its flight from this world. On the morning of Thursday, the sixteenth of August, his sufferings were at an end, and he entered into rest.

He was buried at the desire and at the costs of the Rt. Hon. his noble patron, the Lord Berkeley, in the chancel of his parish church of Cranford ; two hundred of the clergy attending at his funeral. The sermon was preached by Dr. Nathanael Hardy, Dean of Rochester, and Rector of St. Martin's in the Fields.

This Dr. Hardy was the son of Anthony Hardy, and was born in the parish of St. Martin's, Ludgate, in the city of London, on the fourteenth of September, 1618; was a commoner of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1632; removed thence to Hart

which foundation, as old as the reign of Edward I. was afterward called Stapledon Hall, from


Walter de Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, into whose hands it came in the succeeding reign : but when his scholars were transplanted to the present site of Exeter College, its original name was restored, and continued till it was merged in Hertford College, 1740; which corporation became extinct in 1805, part of the old buildings being now included in Magdalen Hall. He proceeded to the degree of M. A. in 1638, and in the following year was ordained priest. He preached for some years at the church of St. Dionis Back Church,* and was the author of numerous sermons, the titles of which may be seen in Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses. His principal works are two series of Lectures on the first Epistle of St. John; the first part published in quarto in 1656, the second in 1659. I cannot altogether excuse him from the charge of complying more than was lawful, with the times; in 1646 he condemned those ceremonies as Popish which in 1661 he affirmed to be primitive, and not superstitious. Let the reader compare his Fast sermon at Westminster Abbey, on February 24, 1646, with his Fast sermon for the 30th of January, 1661, at St. Margaret's Church. He was not without the defects of the preachers of that century, some of which as his Accusatio vera, Comminatio severa, are culled out by Dr. Echard in his “ Causes of the Contempt of the Clergy;" a work in some respects deservedly, yet too severely and indiscriminatingly censured by the very pious and chari

* From or before 1646 to 1660.

table Barnabas Oley, the friend of Herbert, and Vicar of Great Gransden, Huntingdonshire, long the residence of the truly pious and benevolent James Plumptre, whose name it would be ungrateful in the writer to omit in this place, under whom as his Vicar, it was his privilege to commence his public ministrations.*

As for Dr. Hardy, he was a person of some learning and eloquence, and on the Restoration was preferred to be Archdeacon of Lewes, Vicar of St. Martin's in the Fields, on Dec. 10, 1660, Dean of Rochester. He died at Croydon, June 1, 1670, and was buried at St. Martin's in the Fields; Dr. Patrick (afterward Bishop of Ely), preaching his funeral sermon.

To return to our more immediate subject, the anonymous author to whom we are indebted for the account of Dr. Fuller's last sickness and death, has summed up the main particulars of his manner of life with a simplicity and minuteness not to be looked for in more modern compositions, in which however, we are not to be envied, who carry our scrupulousness perhaps too far, and who are wont to be entertained with far less real portraits, whilst truth is not so much aimed at as effect, and blemishes are studiously concealed, and what would give

* He was the son of the Rev. Robt. Plumptre, D.D. President of Queen's College, Cambridge, 1760, to bis death in 1788 ; B. A. of Clare Hall, 1792, M. A. 1793, and for several years Fellow of that College, B.D. 1808, Sequestrator of Hinxton, and above twenty years Vicar of Great Gransden.

too common an air to the character, dispensed with.

As for his person, we have a fine portrait of Dr. Fuller by Loggan in the Worthies of England, which has been very faithfully reduced by Dean, for Pickering's edition of the “Good Thoughts in Bad Times,&c. He was of a more than ordinary stature, but no way inclining to corpulence, of a sanguine constitution, and somewhat ruddy aspect, with a pleasant but composed and serious expression of countenance. His hair was naturally given to curl, and was of a light colour, and worn of a moderate length, beseeming his profession.

His gait was very upright and graceful. He was in dress negligent almost to a fault; his manners were simple and unstudied, but there was in him a natural courteousness that showed he affected not singularity, or to appear absent when he sometimes

His conversation was exceedingly attractive, and this every reader of his ingenious writings would easily conceive, for it is no vain eulogy that his biographer gives his memory when he describes him as “a perfect walking library," * and it is plain that he was as well versed in the study of mankind as in the study of books.

“At his diet he was very sparing and temperate, but yet he allowed himself the repasts and refreshings of two meals a day; but no lover of dainties or the inventions of cookery: solid meats better fitting his strength of constitution; but from drink very much abstemious, which questionless was the cause

was so.

* P. 69.

« ElőzőTovább »