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Ir is not to be doubted, that the intellectual character of man is influenced equally by time as by place, and that each age has its peculiar features, as well as each climate. Nor need we wonder at this, if we consider how naturally, though perhaps insensibly, our habits, nay, our very principles, conform themselves to those of our associates. It is easily conceivable, that a few master-spirits, men of that commanding genius, which enables them to turn even the opposition with which their opinions are met, into the very impetus by which their career is urged, may so dictate to the understandings, and prejudices, of those within the circle of their influence, as continually to become in society, what the key-note is in music, that from which all the rest are harmonized, according to their several distances, and by which alone the other and more subservient tones receive their determinate character and value.

In no period of our history was this identity of character more displayed than in the seventeenth century, an era, of which it may be said, as it was originally of Sir Walter Raleigh, one of its ornaments, that it was consecrated "tam morti quam mercurio." It might be successfully traced through all the religious chivalry of the times of the civil war, especially in the character of the Parliamentarian generals, a species of soldiery unknown to any precedCONG. MAG. No. 73.


It was

ing, or succeeding ages. equally apparent in the higher rank of private gentlemen of that period, amongst whom there generally prevailed a more exact, and more laborious, investigation into the nature, both of the doctrines and discipline of religion, than either the priestly jealousy of former times had permitted, or than the indifference and lukewarmness, of any following years have prompted them to exercise. Did we think that our assertion required more proof than the memory of our intelligent readers will immediately furnish, we would readily add to the names of Sir Charles Wolseley, Lord Brooke, Sir Edward Dering, Sir Thomas Widrington, Robert Boyle, Edward Polhill, Sir William Morice, &c. so many, and such respectable vouchers, that we might sooner encumber our pages, and weary our readers, than exhaust our stock of evidence. In this class, Sir William Morice held a very honourable station, and though we are ready to concede that he was surpassed by some of his compeers, in those qualities which make excellency conspicuous, we fear not to challenge for him a very considerable portion of those solid, and really estimable, endowments, which, while they require investigation, that their value may be known, will also endure it, without any hazard of being found superficial.

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father, Dr. Evan, or John Morice, chancellor of the diocese of Exeter, descended from an ancient equestrian family, in Caernarvonshire. His mother was of the family of Castle, in Devonshire. Dr. Morice dying, in 1606, his widow married Sir Nicholas Prideaux. After the preliminary course of education, Mr. Morice, in 1620, was entered of Exeter College, Oxford, where he had for tutor the learned Nathaniel Carpenter. Such was the diligence manifested by Mr. Morice, at this early age, that Dr. (afterwards Bishop) Prideaux, used to say of him, "that though he was but little in stature, yet, in time, he would come to be great in the state." Having commenced Bachelor of Arts, he retired to his paternal estate, where he prosecuted his studies with unremitting attention, as we may readily infer from his publications, which bear the most ample testimony that they proceed from a mind, not only vigorous by nature, but enriched by a very extensive and judicious course of reading, and matured, by severe discipline, to the closest and most subtle reasoning. Prince, in his "Worthies of Devon," says, that, in his younger years, he was "very much addicted to poetry, and apothegmatical learning." In this interval, between the completion of his academical studies, and the commencement of his public life, he married a granddaughter of Sir Nicholas Prideaux. He took no part in those convul

* Clarendon says, in some part of his history, that this period (that of the civil war) was remarkable for the number of great characters it produced, who were small in stature. We have particularly noticed, in the course of our reading, that Laud, Chillingworth, Lord Falkland, Blake, Clement Walker, Milton, and Sir William Morice, come under the force of this remark. Of Blake, in particular, it is recorded, that he was refused admission into Merton College, Oxford, being under five feet six inches, the height required by the colleze statute!

sions of the state, which now commenced, though it is highly probable that he was a moderate royalist in sentiment, and though he could not be ignorant of those encroachments on the subject's liberty which were then practised under the pretence of the prerogative, nor indifferent to them, yet he inclined to more lenient remedies than the Parliamentarians thought fit to apply. We find that, in 1645, his reputation stood so high, that, though unsolicited on his part, the honor of representing his native county in Parliament was conferred on him, by the general voice of his countrymen; but he refused to sit in that house, till the members, secluded by the army-faction, were restored by Monk, afterwards Duke of Albemarle, his relation by marriage. In 1651, he was appointed high sheriff for the county of Devon. On the return of Monk to England, and the restoration of the secluded members, Mr. Morice took his seat in the house, where he was in high estimation for his learning, and, in the words of Anthony Wood, on this account

being esteemed a Presbyterian" the great masters at Westminster being mostly of that persuasion. This favourable opinion of Mr. Morice was owing principally to the publication of his work, entitled "Coena quasi koƖŋ,” in which he had very learnedly defended a more general admission to the Lord's supper than was practised by the Independents of those days, and in particular had opposed the opinions of Mr. Humphry Sanders, an Independent minister at Holdsworthy, in Devonshire, who answered Mr. Morice in a piece, called " Antidiatribe, or an Apology for Administering the Lord's Supper to a Select Company." 8vo. 1655. As we shall have occasion to make a more distinct reference to Mr. Morice's work in the course of this article,

we shall waive any remarks upon it at present. About this time Mr. Morice received a letter from Charles II. by the hands of Sir John Grenville, urging him to use all his influence towards the effecting the Restoration, a request which was not only answered by promises on his part, but by the most strenuous efforts, as we are assured by Clarendon's History; in which we are told, that Mr. M. was one of the principal agents in accomplishing that event. It is generally agreed that Mr. Morice was the only person in Monk's confidence as to his real intentions in the period between Richard's abdication and Charles's arrival. To render his co-operation more effective, Charles appointed Mr. Morice his Secretary of State, and Monk made him colonel of a regiment of infantry, and governor of Plymouth. Mr. M. was one of those gentlemen who welcomed his restored majesty to Dover, where he received from him the honour of knighthood, and shortly after, the dignity of a privy-counsellor. After having honourably filled the office of Secretary of State for more than seven years Sir William retired, in 1668, to his estate at Werington, in Devonshire, "where," says Prince, to whom we are indebted for most of the facts of Sir William's life," he erected a fair library, valued at £12,000. being choice books, richly bound: for the encrease whereof he had a great advantage by virtue of his office, having most of the books then published presented to him; in the study and perusal whereof, was his principal divertisement, which yielded him the most sensible pleasure that he took, during the last years of his life." In this retirement Sir William deceased 1676, leaving a large family. His eldest son William was created a baronet by Charles II. in 1661.

Sir William Morice was in the

most emphatical sense a good man. He may be considered as one of the last of the lay puritans, a character that almost ceased with the Act of Uniformity. That act obliging those who had, in the former times of episcopacy, been moderate in their views, and, with some dislike to a few ceremonies, yet retained so much affection to the establishment as to dislike separation still more, now to act a more decided part; a stronger line was henceforward drawn between the episcopalians and the nonconformists; a-line which has continued to this day, and which still acts as a barrier between the two parties. No one can read his great polemical work without perceiving in every page the most decided marks of a spiritual and truly pious mind; one anxiously bent to improve all opportunities to the honour of religion. Prince says, "In his life-time he erected and endowed an alms-house for six poor people, in the parish of Sutcombe; where each of them hath two fair rooms in his or her apartment, and two shillings a-week duly paid them.-There was one thing singular in this honourable gentleman, that although he kept a domestic chaplain in his family, yet, (when present) he was always his own chaplain at his table, notwithstanding several divines were there." In his doctrinal sentiments Sir William was a moderate Calvinist. We scarcely know how to denominate his views on churchgovernment. He was not an episcopalian. "Concerning episcopacy, though I dare not stand in any direct opposition to those great and venerable luminaries which have cast so much light upon this subject, but shall towards them be rather like the planets to the sun, not only stoop and turne aside when they come near lest they clash with him, but also hide themselves and vanish

when he ariseth and appears; yet nevertheless I shall humbly profess that my understanding cannot resist those strong convictions which it suffers from plain evidence, that in scripture a bishop and presbyter are synonymous, and several names of the same office, though this be set in so clear a light beaming from sundry texts, that non trium tantum Phoeborum sit jubar, yet my infirm eyes seem most clearly to read it, by the light of that one place in Titus i. ordain elders in every city-if any be blameless-for a bishop must be blameless." Coena quasi кown, p. 149. He was not a Presbyterian. "Since the Sun of Righteousness arose to make the night to pass and the shadows to vanish, there never was a purity amongst the despensers of holy things; the church was founded and elemented in an impuritywhen those lights of the world, the apostles, had run to the end of their course they delivered over their lamps to the bishops, &c." p. 147. Still less was he an Independent." The Independent hath crumbled the whole church into sand, where no particular church, nor the pastor thereof, hath continuity with or subordination to other; but like the books of Sybil, every one is worth as much as all; and though they have in this an emulation to be like angels, whereof the schools say that every one constitutes a distinct species, yet they have an ambition above angels, where are orders one superior to another; but these have neither dependency

upon, nor will own any subjection to superiors." pp. 147, 148. Perhaps we may rightly call him an Erastian. "A wise and learned man tells us, that ignorance hath set philosophy, physic, and divinity in the pillory, and written over the first, contra negantem principia; over the second virtus specifica; over the third Romana ecclesia; to which we may add the fourth, (though set there more by interest and faction than ignorance) even discipline, and superscribe jure divino; for my part I shall inge'nuously confesse, that my weak! understanding cannot discern that the word of God particularly determines, or absolutely prescribes | any one intire form of churchgovernment; but onely holdes forth general rules for the constitution and exercise thereof as may suit with order and decency, and conduce to edification in godlinesse and advance of truth and peace." pp. 146, 147. We presume from several parts of his work that an episcopacy modified according to the plan of Archbishop Usher was that system of church-government under which Sir William would have preferred to live. As it was, he in all probability conformed at the restoration, though he remained liberal in his sentiments. He appears to have been on the most intimate terms with many of the Dissenting ministers. No doubt his

extensive judgment on all points connected with religion made him rank high in their esteem. Dr. Owen dedicated to him the fourth volume of his com mentary on the Hebrews.

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