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SUPPRESSING CHAPTERS.

381

Christ's presence in the sacrament the exact standards of their judgment, whence after ages brought in transubstantiation. Yea, from the fathers' elegant apostrophes to the dead (lively pictures by hasty eyes may be taken for living persons), prayers to saints took their original. I see that truth's secretary must use a set hand in writing important points of divinity. I dancing for nimble wits on the precipices of dangerous doctrines. For though they escape by their agility, others (encouraged by their examples) may be brought to destruction,

Suppressing Chapters. In these licentious times, wherein religion lay in a swoon, and many pretended ministers (minions of the times) committed or omitted in divine service what they pleased; some, not only in Wales, but in England, and in London itself, on the Lord's day (sometimes with, son times without a psalm) presently popped up into the pulpit, before any portion of scripture, either in the Old or New Testament was read to the people. Hereupon one in jestcarnest said, that formerly they put down bishops and deans, and now they had put down chapters too. It is high time that this fault be reformed for the future, that God's Word, which is all gold, be not justled out to make room for men's sermons, which are but parcel-gilt at the best.

DR ISAAC BARROW.

THERE was an Isaac Barrow, son of another Isaac Barrow of Spiney Abbey, in Cambridgeshire, who held various important offices in the Church of England during the reign of Charles II. He was successively Librarian of Peterhouse, Cambridge ; Chaplain of New College, Oxford ; Fellow of Eton College, Cambridge; Rector of Downham; Bishop and Governor of the Isle of Man; and died in 1680 Bishop of St Asaph. From the identity of their names, and from their flourishing at the same period, and holding office in the same Church, the Bishop and his more illustrious nephew and namesake have been often confounded together; however, they were not only historically distinct, but we are inclined to believe, theologically different. The Bishop died at Shrewsbury, and was buried in the Cathedral churchyard of St Asaph, where his monument still stands, inviting the passer-by to pray for the soul of the departed prelate—O) introeuntes domum Domini, orate pro anima Isaaci Barrow,” &c. We are not aware that it has ever been proved that this Popish inscription was a compliance with any request of Bishop Barrow himself; but he would have been a bold man who, on the tomb of the most distinguished assailant of the Pope's Supremacy, should have put a recognition of the Romish doctrine of Purgatory.

Dr Isaac Barrow was the son of Thomas Barrow, a citizen of London, and linen-draper to Charles I. ; and grandson to Isaac Barrow of Spiney Abbey. The exact date of his birth has been strongly contested, and may now be considered a hopeless era in chronology. His executor and biographer, Abraham Hill, says that he was born in October 1630, and this account is apparently confirmed by the doctor's father. But his friend

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Dr Walter Pope asserts that he could not have been born either in October, or in 1630 ; for Barrow used to say, that the 29th of February was the best day of the year on which a man could be born; for whilst his fellow-collegians treated him to a birthday dinner once a twelvemonth, he required to entertain them in return but once in every four years. Leap-year did not fall on 1630.

He was early sent to the Charter-House School, then recently opened ; but during the two or three years of his attendance he made small progress in learning. The only powers which he displayed were pugilistic. “For his book, he minded it not ;" and so studiously did he eschew all learning, that his father not only repented his original purpose of making Isaac a scholar, but, in the bitterness of his heart, would express the wish, that if it pleased God to take away any of his children, it might be this good-for-nothing boy.

As the only chance of improvement, Mr Barrow determined on a change of school, and sent his son to Felsted in Essex. Here, under the management of a judicious instructor, his energies were directed into a safer and more useful channel. He soon discovered such talent and trustworthiness, that his master appointed him preceptor to Viscount Fairfax of Emely, then a pupil at Felsted. The sense of responsibility was just the motive which Isaac needed, in order to concentrate his strenuous and vivacious mind on what had hitherto been irksome learning, and to repress that excessive fondness for boisterous sports, which the "little tutor” felt would now be wholly out of character. He became an ardent student, and although the combativeness might not be entirely quenched, it began to assume the less turbulent form of intrepidity and manly courage.

In February 1645, Barrow entered Trinity College, Cambridge ; but in those days of civil and religious dissension it required much prudence to live quietly even in a college. The English Universities were then strictly closed against Episcopalians; and for some years the Thirty-nine Articles were supplanted by the Covenant. This oath, the prelatic principles of Barrow hindered him from taking; but either by his own address, or through the forbearance of the Heads of Trinity, his noncompliance was connived at. He had gained the good opinion of Dr Hill, the Presbyterian Master of his College, who, meeting him one day, laid his hand on his head, and told him, “ Thou art a good lad ; 'tis pity thou art a Cavalier." On another occasion the young Cavalier was indebted to the good offices of the same magnanimous Puritan. It devolved on him to deliver the Latin Oration in the Hall of Trinity, on the anniversary of the Gunpowder Treason, in 1651; and in the opening of his discourse, he pronounced such a glowing eulogy on the reign of James, that it was construed into a reflection on the times of Oliver. Some of the more impatient spirits among the Fellows were so moved, that they proposed the expulsion of the petulant orator ; but they were overruled by the interference of Dr Hill, who told them, “ Barrow is a better man than any of us.”

In 1649 he was elected Fellow of his college, and immediately resolved on the study of medicine. The reason of this choice was, that he saw no prospect of promotion to men of his persuasion in a Church avowedly antiprelatic. He, therefore, applied himself with his wonted diligence to his medical studies, and soon made distinguished progress in the three sciences which then constituted a physician-anatomy, botany, and chemistry. It may here be remarked, that these are the only sciences to which he had been at any time addicted, of which he has left no express memorial in his works, and of which hardly a trace is discernible in his general compositions. The reason of this may have been, that he only applied to them for a short interval, and then relinquished them for ever. In these studies he had a companion, whose zeal might have gone far to make

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Barrow a naturalist like himself. This was the illustrious Ray, whom he had all along " for his socius studiorum, and sometimes his fellow-traveller in simpling, and always for his very much esteemed friend.” But his medical career soon terminated. In a conversation with his uncle, the future Bishop of St Asaph, he was convinced that his present intentions were incompatible with the oath which he had taken on receiving his fellowship, and by which he was bound to make theology his profession; and with a conscientiousness much to his credit, he at once abandoned what he hoped would be lucrative for what he knew to be right, and resumed the study of divinity..

His return to theology led him to a new path of investigation. Whilst reading Scaliger's Notes on Eusebius, he was struck with the dependence of chronology on astronomy; and as it was not Barrow's way to learn anything by halves, or take on trust what he could ascertain for himself, he procured, as an introduction to astronomy, the “ Almagest” of Ptolemy. But finding that this and all other astronomical works depended on mathematics, he laid them aside till he should master Euclid. Once initiated in this noble science, he did not find it so easy to recall from it his eager and vigorous mind; but the Conic Sections of Apollonius, the Spherics of Theodosius, the works of Archimedes, &c., followed in quick succession. At the outset of his geometrical researches, he had for his associate his amiable friend John Ray; but the mathematician soon shot far ahead of the naturalist, and he was left to converse alone with the philosophers of Alexandria and Syracuse. As a proof of the ardour with which he prosecuted a favourite study, his executor mentions that he found written at the end of his copy of Apollonius—“ April, 14-Mai. 16. Intra hæc temporis intervalla peractum hoc opus;" and the same gentleman mentions, that “in all his studies, his method was not to leave off his design till he had brought it to effect; except in the Arabic

VOL. II,

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