Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

that did Swear in his hearing, to pay Money to them, which was afterwards diftributed to the Poor. And in his own Practice, he was very careful totally to avoid all taking God's Name in vain, or using any the fmallest rafh Ŏath. His Words were plain and fincere, without Diffimulation or, Flattery. His Promifes were inviolably obferv'd, and he never willingly disappointed the Expectations he had raised. His Purposes were the Effects of mature Deliberation, and not to be altered, when he had refolved. In the Sixteenth Year of his Age he was made Prince of Wales; the Revenues of which he did not confume in any youthful Caprices, or wild Extravagancies, and coftly Vices; but managed them with all convenient Frugality, and left them much improved at his Death; although where his own Honour, or others Defert, or Poverty, moved him, he was very Liberal. But his chief Concern was for the Honour of God, and that fhewed itfeif, not only in the immediate Duties of Religion, but in his Civil Actions, and more espe cially in the kind Expreffions of his Favour and Affe&tion to Good Men, particularly to Good Preachers; but he Difcountenanced all forts of Vicious Perfons. In his laft Sicknefs, which feized him when he was about Eighteen Years old, he had very Pious Conferences with the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which he declared his most willing Submission to the Divine Pleafure; his juft Contempt of this vain World; his Faith in Chrift, only for Remiffion of his Sins, and his certain hope of a glorious Immortality. On the Day of his Diffolution, he lay patiently striving between Life and Death, till about Eight a Clock at Night, and then meekly and quietly yielded up his Spirit to his Bleffed Saviour.

[ocr errors]

More fuch Inftances of Pious and Religious Princes might be given; but I fhall next prefent the Reader with fome Examples Beneath thofe of Royal Dignity, and yet fufficiently Illuftrious, for their prudent Ufe,

and

"

and innocent Enjoyment of Wealth, and Power, and Honour. Our Nation has produced no inconfiderable number of fuch Worthies among our Young Nobility and Gentry of both Sexes; but my defigned Brevity will only permit me to fet down fome hort Memoirs of two or three Noblemen, three or four Gentlemen, and four or five Ladies; which I fhall extract as compendiously as I can, from fuch credible Accounts as I have met with of their Excellent Lives and Acti

་་

.ons.

I begin with Edward, the good Earl of Derby, one of the Minifters of State to Queen Elizabeth, whofe Noble Birth and large Revenues, proved no Obftacles to the Piety and Vertue, either of his Youth, or his riper Years; but in all the Stages of his Life his Greatness fupported his Goodness, and his Goodness endeared his Greatness. From his Travels when Young, he brought Home Manly Improvement, and ufeful Experience, without Foreign Vices. As foon as he came to his Eftate, that he might have fufficient Materials for thofe Pious, Generous, and Charitable Works, to which he devoted the greateft part there of, he repaired by a prudent Management, and decent Frugality, what fome of his Ancestors had diminished by Profufenefs and Neglect. Neither was he afhamed of that good Husbandry, which may as well stand with great Honour, as Breadth may confift with Height. In his Marriage he had regard to the Vertue and the Fortune, as well as the Family of the Lady he chose. And being now in his full Grandeur, without any fwelling Arrogance, or imperious Haughtiness; he fhew'd the Largenefs of his Soul in a fpreading but difcreet Charity, and an unbounded, but yet fober Hofpitality. Some Lords made many Poor by Oppref fion, but (as Queen Elizabeth faid more than once) He and my Lord of Bedford made all the Beggars rich that came within the reach of their Liberality. His Houfe was fo orderly kept, that it feemed rather a D 4

College

[ocr errors]

College of Difcipline, than a Palace for Entertainment. His Servants were Young Gentlemen trained up to Govern themselves, by obferving the prudent and pious Conduct of their truly Noble Mafter. His Provision was for the most part of the Growth of England, and rather Plentiful than Various, rather Solid than Delicate; fuch as coft him lefs, but contributed more to the real Content, as well as the Health, and-Refreshment of his Guests. His Hall was commonly fill'd with the Neighbouring Gentry, and Yeomen, who went away well fatisfy'd and devoted to his Service, having been made very Welcome, but yet without the lofs or diminution of their Reafon, and Sobriety. To his Gates there daily repaired the Aged, the Maimed, and the Induftrious Poor; of whom the first were provided with Meat, the fecond with Money, the third with fome Work or Employment. Being thus Charitable, he took, if it might be, a more ftrict care of being Juft, abhorring that more mifchievous than beneficial Liberality, which is munificent upon other Mens Charge. For once a Month he look'd into his Incomes, and once a Week into his Disburstments, that none might Wrong him, or be Wronged by him. His Religion was not an empty Name, or formal Profeffion, but fuch as really fhew'd itself, in his Piety and Goodness, Righteoufnefs and Charity, all the Week long, as well as Devotion at Church on Sundays and Holy-days. Tis an Obfervation of this Earl of Derby, and the fecond Duke of Norfolk, that when they were Buried, not a Tradefman could demand the Payment of a Groat, nor a Neighbour the Reftitution of a Penny they had wronged him. *

A

With this Excellent and Noble Earl may be joyned the most Pious and Religious John, Lord Harrington, Eldeft Son to the Lord and Lady Harrington, to whofe Care King James the First committed the Education of the Princess Elizabeth.

His

[ocr errors]

*See more of him
in Dr. Lloyd's
State Worthies.

[ocr errors]

His Natural Endowments were fo well improved by an early and ftudious Diligence, that in a fhort time he arrived at good Perfection in feveral Languages, and was no Stranger to Philofophy. But his Knowledge in Divine things, and the Mysteries of the Gospel, was fo admirable beyond his Years, that hardly any Queftion of this kind could be propounded, which he was not able immediately to refolve, with no fmall Satisfaction to those that heard him. Notwithstanding his Travels into thofe Countries, from which all do not return fo Modeft and Innocent as they went out, and though he was in his green Years, yet fuch was the Purity of his Heart, fo inviolable the Chastity of his Behaviour, that he abhorred to fpeak an obfcene Word, or discover the leaft appearance of a lafcivious Freedom in any of his Actions. His Civility was equal towards both Sexes, but he was not willing to spend that Time among vain Ladies, which he had devoted partly to Sacred Offices, partly to his Books, and partly to the agreeable Converfation of Vertuous and Ingenious Gentlemen, whom he found well inftructed in Religion, or expert in Arts or Arms.

His Juftice was accompanied with fuch Generofity, as made him deal not only Honeftly, but Honourably with all Men: And whereas his Father by his NobleHoufe-keeping, and other Occafions, had contracted feveral Debts, he was very follicitous to difcharge them, giving Power to his Executrix to fell part of his Land, if need were, for the speedy fatisfying the Creditors. In Eating and Drinking, he was not only Temperate, but Abftemious; in Feafting more rate; in Fafting frequent; in Sleep moderate; in Heavenly Meditations daily exercised. As foon as he was awake in the Morning, his prime care was to put his Soul in Order, that he might preferve himself in a holy Frame all the Day after, by turning his first Thoughts into Thankful Acknowledgments and devout Praises of the Divine Goodnefs. He rofe from his Bed a lit

tle

tle after Five a Clock, and having read or heard fome portion of the Holy Scripture, he ufed fhort Prayers with thofe of his Servants that attended him in his Chamber, befides the more folemn Prayers afterwards with his whole Family, both before Dinner, and Supper. Neither did he omit private Devotions in his Clofet; to which in the Evening he added the Examining himself, and recording in his Diary, what confiderable thing he had done the Day paft; how he had been any way remifs in his Duty, or Work he had performed, what Temptations he had met with, and refifted; and then giving Thanks for the Divine Affiftance, and humbling himself before God for his Failings, he retired to Reft, having one of his Servants to read to him, until he fell Afleep. And this Practice he obferved for four Years before his Death.

His Sanctifying the Lord's Day, and his fpecial Regard to the more publick Duties of Religion, was very remarkable. If he were in Health, he conftantly went to the Houfe of God,devoutly joyned in the Liturgy of, the Church, and gave ferious Attention to the Preacher. He alfo frequently receiv'd the Sacrament; and to prepare himself for it, he kept a private Fast the Day before, which he spent in Prayer, Meditation, and Self-examination. The Truth and Sincerity of his Religion was further manifested, by his great Love to the faithful Minifters of God's Word, his readiness to do Good to all forts of Perfons, and his liberal Charity to the Poor. For out of his Yearly Revenues he gave the Tenth Part to pious and charitable Ufes, befides what he occafionally diftributed among all forts of indigent Objects that prefented themselves to him as he travelled or walked Abroad. Neither did he found a Trumpet at his giving Alms, or make any Oftentation of his good Works; but all his other Ver-tues were adorned with fuch Humility, as recommended him to the farther Communications of the Divine Grace, and gained him the larger fhare both in the Efteem

« AnteriorContinuar »