Page images

Dr Burgess.

DIED A. D. 1665.

Dr Cornelius Burgess was descended from the Burgesses of Batcombe, in Somersetshire. In 1611 he was entered at Oxford. After taking orders, he held successively the rectories of St Magnus, London, and of Watford, Herts. In the beginning of the reign of Charles I., he was made one of the king's chaplains in ordinary. The opposition which he offered to some of Laud's tyrannical measures, drew upon him the indignation of that overbearing prelate. At last he was cited before the high commission court, on a charge of having libelled the bishops in a Latin sermon which he had preached to the London clergy. From this moment he became a decided opponent of the measures pursuing by the court party; and his influence contributed not a little to the adoption of those extreme measures which were afterwards resorted to by the people. “ If all the puritans,” says Dr Grey, “ had been of his rebellious stamp, they had certainly been a wicked crew." Eachard is still more violent in his denunciation of him. He calls him “the seditious Dr Burgess, and one of the greatest Bontefeus of the whole party, being the perpetual trumpeter to the most violent proceedings—a great instrument in bringing on the miseries of the nation." In the beginning of the long parliament, he was appointed by the lords one of the sub-committee for the settlement of religion; and, in the capacity of speaker for the presbyterians, he answered Dr Hacket in the debate in the Jerusalem chamber. He was, however, against imposing the covenant, and refused to take it until he was suspended.

The parliament appointed him one of their preachers; and on the petition of the common council of London, he was appointed Sunday evening lecturer at St Paul's, with a pension of £400 per annum, and the dean's house to live in. He afterwards made an advantageous purchase of the manor of the bishop of Wells, although he had previously declared in public that he held it “ by no means lawful to alienate the bishop's lands from public and private uses, or to convert them to any private person's property." On the 14th of January, 1648, he preached a sermon at Mercer's chapel, in which he inveighed with great boldness against the design of bringing the king to trial. Soon after, he drew up, and subscribed, along with fifty-seven other ministers, a paper, entitled, “A vindication of the ministers of the gospel in and about London, from the unjust aspersions cast upon their former actings for the parliament, as if they had promoted the bringing of the king to capital punishment. This document is given at length by Dr Calamy. It may also be seen in Neale's History.

Upon the Restoration, Dr Burgess was deprived of all his property. He retired to Watford, where he devoted himself to the duties of the pastorship; but was at length reduced to such poverty as to be obliged to sell the greater part of his library for his support. A malignant cancer in his neck and cheek added to his many afflictions, and at last put an end to his life in June, 1665. Among Dr Burgess's works are

"A Chain of Graces for reformation of manners,' published in 1622 ; "A Vindication of the reasons against the bishops' votes in parliament,' published in 1641 ; and several single sermons on public occasions.

Dr Francis Cheynell.

BORN A. D. 1608.-DIED A. D. 1665.

This bustling political divine was the son of Dr John Cheynell, a physician in Oxford. He received his education at the university of that city, and was elected fellow of Merton college in 1629. On the breaking out of the civil war, he adhered to the popular cause, and ultimately attached himself to the presbyterian party. The parliament, in return for the many good services he had rendered them, presented him with the valuable living of Petworth, in Sussex. He was afterwards made president of St John's, Oxford, and Margaret professor, but he relinquished both of his academical offices on being pressed to take the engagement. Among many peculiarities by which Dr Cheynell distinguished himself from his clerical brethren, was his love of military tactics. In Essex's campaign in Cornwall, he attended that general in the avowed capacity of chaplain ; but he distinguished himself so much by his indomitable courage and military science, that his advice was generally sought on all points of importance connected with the movements of the army.

Dr Cheynell was a man of considerable parts and learning, and published a great many sermons and pieces of polemical divinity in his life-time. No one can accuse Cheynell of want of sincerity in the part he acted in the political and polemical world ; but it is to be regretted that he exhibited so little of the suaviter in modo, either in his actions or writings. The biographers of Chillingworth in particular accuse him of the most intemperate and unjust conduct towards that eminent and noble-minded man, but had they been willing to deal as fairly by the memory of the one party as of the other, they would have acknowledged the fact, that it was the Socinianism of Chillingworth, not the man himself, that Cheynell detested and inveighed against.

Dr Cheynell died at Brighthelmstone in September, 1665. His principal works are :- The Rise, Growth, and Danger of Socinianism ;'

Chillingworthi Novissima;' Letters concerning False Prophets ;' • The Divine Trin-Unity; and · Socinianism proved to be an unchristian doctrine.'

Edmund Calamy, B.D.

BORN A. D. 1600.- DIED A. D. 1666.

EDMUND CALAMY, an eminent Puritan divine, was born of a citizen of London, in February 1600, and admitted student of Pembroke-hall, Cambridge, in 1615. He early manifested a predilection for the Cal

Not D.D., as stated by Dr Walt in the Bibliothec. Brit.'

vinistic doctrine, and was honoured with the favour and patronage of Dr Felton, bishop of Ely, who appointed him one of his chaplains. That excellent bishop is said to have assisted him in his early studies, and from the honourable mention which Calamy makes of the bishop, there can be no doubt that he was deeply indebted to him for those high attainments in wisdom and piety which distinguished his character throughout life. His studies were particularly directed to the popish controversy, the Holy Scriptures, and the early Fathers. From his patron he received the vicarage of St Mary in Swaffham, Cambridgeshire, and though he resided in the bishop's house, yet his labours as a parish minister were rendered eminently successful. Soon after the bishop's death, which occurred in 1626, Calamy resigned his vicarage, and went to a lectureship in St Edmund's Bury, Suffolk. In this situation he laboured conjointly with Mr Burroughs, another eminent Puritan, for ten years, when the enforcement of Bishop Wren's articles, and the Book of Sports, constrained him, with thirty other excellent clergymen, to quit the diocese. Soon after this period, however, he was presented to the living of Rochford, in Essex. This removal was found prejudicial to his health. After suffering severely by a quartan ague, he became through life subject to a dizziness in the head, which induced him ever after to preach in the reading desk in preference to the pulpit. In 1639, he was chosen minister of St Mary Aldermanbury, London, and in 1641 he was appointed one of the commissioners selected by the parliament to settle the ecclesiastical differences which at that time agitated the nation. Although, during Bishop Felton's lifetimne, Calamy had been a zealous episcopalian, yet it seems time and study had considerably modified his opinions. He now appeared as a decided but temperate defender of the presbyterian discipline. It was about this period that he came forward as one of the authors of the celebrated work which bore the name of "Smectym.

This was a defence of presbytery against episcopacy, which did much execution. It was the production of five divines, the initial letters of whose names were employed to give a title to the book : these were Stephen Marshal, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William (UU) Spurstow. It is said by Bishop Wilkins, in his discourse on preaching, to be 'a capital work against episcopacy ;' and Calamy himself admits, that it gave the first deadly blow to the cause of the bishops. It drew forth several answers, and was followed up by · A Vindication' from the same hands. Both works are written in a forcible and pointed style, and with ample proofs of the extensive learning of the authors. It is now reckoned one of the rarest theological tracts in our language. Notwithstanding the conspicuous part which Mr Calamy took in the controversies of the day, he was much esteemed by men of all parties for his moderation and Christian charity, while his ministerial character stood second to no man in the city of London. His preaching was plain, but impressive and eloquent. His church was attended by persons of the first distinction, was crowded even on the week days, and for twenty years together, Mr Baster says, there might have been counted at the door upwards of sixty carriages.

Calanıy appears to have been as strenuously devoted to an exclusive presbyterianism, as opposed to an exclusive episcopacy. The free toleration which Cromwell was disposed to grant, excited his fears, and alarmed most of the other presbyterian ministers. On the 18th of January, 1648, they presented to the general and his council of war, what they denominated “the representation” of the London ministers, and which Collier denominates, “an instance of handsome plain dealing, and a bold reprimand of a victorious army." After the failure of the attempt to establish an exclusive system, Calamy confined himself quietly to the duties of his parish, and, during the period of the protectorate, mingled little either in politics or in controversy. After the death of Cromwell, however, he assumed a bolder attitude, and united with the earl of Manchester and other distinguished persons in procuring the restoration of Charles II. He was called to preach before parliament the day before the vote passed for recalling the king to the throne of his ancestors, and was subsequently appointed with other divines, to meet and congratulate him in Holland. After the king's return, he was appointed chaplain in ordinary, and was frequently at court, where he was always graciously received by the monarch; yet, with the other presbyterian divines, he soon experienced the altered tone and manner of men in power. He preached once, and like the rest of his party, but once before the restored king. His utmost efforts were now directed to accomplish such an accommodation as might reconcile the opposite parties into which the church was split. He is stated to have been an active agent in preparing the proposals on church-government which laid the foundation for the Savoy conference. He was subsequently chosen one of the commissioners for preparing exceptions to the liturgy, and after the reasons of the episcopal party had been heard, he was one of the principal persons employed in the reply to them. Notwithstanding his own great influence both at court, in the city, and throughout the country at large, he soon had the mortification of observing that an influence mightier than truth and reason was at work among the distinguished agents of the court, which threatened to bear down all opposition. An anecdote is told of him singularly characteristic of the man and of the times. General Monk being one day among his hearers when he had occasion to speak of 'filthy lucre,' he said, “and why is it called filthy, but because it makes men do base and filthy things. Some men,” said he, waving his handkerchief (or, as some accounts say, throwing it) towards the pew in which the general sat, “ will betray three kingdoms for filthy lucre's sake."

His repute was so high in the city, that the presidency was usually conceded to him in all meetings of the clergy. He had occupied a distinguished place among the Westminster assembly of divines, and after the failure of the Savoy conference, so important was it deemed to gain his concurrence to the views of the episcopal party, that the bishopric of Lichfield and Coventry was offered to him. This, however, he resolutely refused, because he could not hold it on the terms of the king's declaration. In 1661, he was chosen by the city clergy to represent them in the convocation, but was not allowed to sit there. A week before the act of uniformity was passed, he perceived the storm was about to burst upon the church, and preached his farewell sermon to his parishioners. His text was taken from 2 Sam. xxiv. 14.

After the act of ejectment, he continued to attend regularly at the church in Aldermanbury. On one occasion the preacher, who ought to have been there, not appearing, the congregation became urgent for Mr Calamy to take possession of the pulpit. After some entreaty, and to prevent a disappointment, he yielded, and preached from i Sam. iv. 13, “Lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the way-side watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God,” &c. The consequence of his temerity was a warrant from the lord-mayor for his apprehension, upon which he was committed to Newgate. This act of severity called around him such a concourse of persons of all ranks, and excited so much dissatisfaction and resentment among the people, that in a few days he was discharged by an express order from the king.

He lived to witness the desolations of the city of London, both by plague and by fire. Being driven in a coach through the ruins, he is said by Mr Baxter to have taken it so much to heart, that when he returned home, he shut himself up in his chamber, and died within a month.

He left in print several sermons preached before both houses of parliament, and funeral sermons for Dr S. Bolton, the earl of Warwick, and Mr Simeon Ash. The sermon which caused his imprisonment, with his farewell sermon, may be seen in the London collection. He published also, « The Godly Man's Ark,' and a vindication of himself against Mr Burton. He took part, as before stated, in the publications by Smectymnuus, and in the Vindication of the Presbyterian Government and Ministry,' 1650, as well as in the Jus. Div. Minist. Evang. et Anglicani, 1654. “A Treatise of Meditation,' taken by a hearer of his sermons, was printed clandestinely after his death, which occurred on the 26th of October, 1666. Mr Calamy had several children. The eldest, who was named Edmund, was minister of Moreton, in Essex. A second son was Dr Benjamin Calamy, a zealous conformist. The third son, named James, became a conformist, and possessed the living of Cheriton-bishops, Devonshire.

Jeremy Taylor.

BORN A. D. 1613.-DIED A. D. 1667.

The seventeenth century was the heroic age of English theology. The divines of that period,—those at least whom we must regard as the fit exponents of the moral and intellectual character of the class of men to which they belonged,—were a Titanic race; they had a giant energy of conception and strength of purpose about them; they exhibited a higher order of feeling,—a sublimer range, and withal a more settled dignity of thought,—than is witnessed in the ordinary sons of men ; their enterprises were the conceptions of mighty minds, fully conscious of inward power, and dauntless in every purpose.

Prominent amongst these master-spirits stands the subject of our present memoir. Jeremy Taylor was born at Cambridge in the month of August, 1613. His father pursued in that place the then respectable calling of a barber. Amongst his paternal ancestors was the celebrated Christian martyr, Dr Rowland Taylor of Hadleigh, whose life and death are so beautifully pourtrayed by Fox, the martyrologist. At three years

« PreviousContinue »