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Meat and fenfual Delight he pleas'd, was a point of Virtue he particularly affected; and this made him fo far from indulging the Body, that he burden'd it with more Severity than his Friends thought it could, well bear. And as for his Sobriety in the ufe of Drink, to fay he would never permit himself to exceed the Rules thereof, is but a fmall Part of his Praife, who, fo far as he could help it, would by no means fuffer it in others. If any Perfons that came to his House were inclinable to be ftill pouring down Glafs after Glafs, till they had overloaded themfelves, his Confcience would not allow him to seek the Reputation of being Hofpitable, by miniftring to their Excefs. For he thought, and he thought truly, that a Man may as innocently furnish out Opportunities and Supplies, to those who are feeking to gratify their unclean Lufts, or greedy Rapine, as fet out large Stores of Wine to thofe that delight in intemperate Drinking, and will not give over playing Prizes at the Bottle, till either themselves or their Companions have loft both Sense and Reason in those bruitifh Contests.
In his Speeches he was very fincere, not promifing any thing but what he intended to perform, nor allowing himself to profefs more than he meant. In his Dealings he took care to be exactly Juft, not daring to prey on others by Over-reach of Wit and Skill in any Bufinefs: Nay, in his very Play and Games he thought himself oblig'd to confider not only the Honesty and Fairnefs of his Getting, but alfo the Ability of others Lofing to him. And fome Men of mean Eftates, being forward to mix themfelves with Perfons of Quality in their Diversions, when by their waging with him, he has fairly won what he thought their Family at home would find a want of, he has taken care fecretly to convey it back to the Wife and Children, without the profufe Husband's knowing any thing of it. This Practice was
very agreeable to the Rule he had fet himself in his Diverfions, That he would be no Gainer by any Games, but what he loft fhould go as the Price of his own Pleafure, and what he won fhould accrue to the Poor.
He would do generous and noble Things; and thefe he lov'd, fo far as he could, to perform fo privately, that unless the Deed were fuch as did neceffarily proclaim it felf to the World, he fuffer'd no Noife to be made of it. In diftributing his Alms, he carefully diftinguifh'd between Objects, that he might fupply real Wants without fupporting Idlenefs; and then he gave freely and liberally with all Secrecy. In order to his compaffionate and more comfortable Relieving his indigent Neighbours, he would fometimes make them private Visits; and he agreed with a Phyfician for a Yearly Penfion, to take care of all the Sick Poor of his own Parish, and fur nish them with Remedies proper for their Diftempers, requiring him to fay nothing of this his well-chofen and moft beneficial Charity, being careful only to fecure to himself the Virtue of the Act, without feeking the Praife and Honour of it. Upon the Death of his excellent Lady, befides his Liberality to every adjacent Parish, for a prefent Diftribution, he allotted a confiderable Sum to the Ufe of the Poor, in the Parish where he liv'd, for a perpetual Settlement; and he gave a much greater at his own Death. He alfo reftor'd two Impropriations (one whereof is very confiderable) to the Church, viz. the impropriate Tythes of the Parish of Coles-Hill, and of the Parish of Upper-Whitacre, which he thought did belong to the Church by feveral Titles, and ought not to be withheld. And out of Zeal for the Beauty of God's House and Worship, he not only adorn'd the Choire of the Church at Coles-Hill, but nobly augmented its Furniture of Communion Plate.
In his Converse with others, that his whole Carriage might be Humble, Courteous, and Obliging, he govern'd himself by divers excellent Rules, fet down by him in Writing; fome of which were thefe To cross himself (if there were occafion) in things most to his own Humour, to prefer others Eafe before his own; not to neglect or overlook the meanest Perfon; to stoop to the meanest Offices to do others Kindneffes; not to be high in his Expectations from others; to own the leaft Kindness he had receiv'd, and be really inclin'd to return it; to forget all Injuries done to him, and stifle all Thoughts of refenting them not to speak at a venture, without thinking; whenfoever any Reasons are thought fit to be propos'd, to do it with a modest Deference; not to mention any thing to his own Praife; nor to difcommend others. He pafs'd no unjuft Centures even on those who were most oppofite to him in their Interefts and Opinions, but with his Zeal against their Errors he ftill preferv'd all due Charity for their Perfons. He was a moft ftudious and unweary'd Peace-maker, in hearing the Complaints of contending Parties, and compofing and adjusting their Differences; efpecially among his Tenants and Dependants, with whom he us'd his Power and Authority, if the Force of Reafon and Religion could not prevail So Illuftrious was this noble Lord for his Piety and Virtue, in the midst of the Riches, Honours and Pleafures of the World, thofe potent Allurements to Sia and Vice; being Rich in good Works, a religious Honourer of God, an experimental Admirer of the pure and fweet Delights that are to be found in Prayers and Alms, and every Act of Devotion and Charity; a great Mafter in Self-Government, a ftrict Obferver of all Righteoufnefs towards others; a kind and generous Patron to the Clergy, treating them with all Refpect, for God's and their Function's fake; a true Friend to his Country; a faithful and loyal Subject to his Sovereign; a Lover of all good Men of all Per
fuafions; but a most sincere and zealous Son of the Church of England, in whofe Communion he Lived' and Died, defiring in his laft Extremities to receive the Holy Sacrament and Priestly Abfolution, according to its Order and Appointment.
The Perfon who comes next to my Thoughts, moft' worthy to be added to these noble Examples, is Sir Martthew Hale, Knight, fometime Lord Chief Juftice of the King's-Bench; whofe Life, wrote by the Learned Dr. Burnet, now Lord Bishop of Sarum, contains in it as great a Character of Wisdom and Virtue, in managing Wealth, Power and Honour, as perhaps can be given of any in the laft Age. But it being generally known, and having been feveral times Printed, I fhall be the fhorter in my Abstract thereof.
In the Prime of his Youth being grave and ferious, ftudious and virtuous, he was an extraordinary Proficient, firft at School, and then for fome time at the University of Oxford. But the Stage-Players coming thither, he was fo much corrupted by feeing Plays, that he almost wholly forfook his Studies, and laying afide the Gravity of his Deportment, that was formerly eminent in him, far beyond his Years, he fet himself to many of the Vanities incident to Youth, but still preferv'd his Purity, and a great Probity of Mind. He lov'd fine Cloathes, and delighted much in Company; and having learn'd to Fence, and handle his Weapons with great Expertnefs, inftead of going on in his Defign of being a Scholar, he refolv'd to travel into the Low-Countries to trail a Pike in the Prince of Orange's Army. But being at this time engag'd in a Suit of Law, which carry'd him to London to confult Serjeant Glanvil, he was by the Serjeant happily perfuaded to forfake his Thoughts of being a Soldier, and to apply himself to the Study of the Law. Hereupon, about the Twentieth Year of his Age, he was admitted into Lincoln's-Inn; and
being then deeply fenfible how much idle and vain things had devour'd his Time, taken up his Thoughts, and almost corrupted his Mind, he refolv'd to fee no more Plays, but to follow his Studies, and redeem the Time he had loft with all poffible Diligence, ftudying frequently at the rate of 16 Hours a Day. And in his Apparel he betook himself to a cheap and plain Fashion, which he continu'd to use, so far as Decency would permit, unto his dying Day.
Yet he did not at firft break off from keeping too much Company with fome vain People, till a fad Accident drove him from it; for he, with fome other young Students, being invited to be merry out of Town, one of the Company call'd for fo much Wine, that notwithstanding all that Mr. Hale could do to prevent it, he went on in his Excefs, till he fell down as Dead before them. This affrighted them all, and fo greatly affected Mr. Hale, that he went into another Room, and fhutting the Door, fell on his Knees and Pray'd carneftly to God, both for his Friend, that he might be reftor d to Life again, and for himfelf, that he might be forgiven for countenancing fo much Excess by his Prefence in fuch Society. And he vow'd to God, that he would never again keep company in that manner, nor drink a Health while he liv'd. His Friend recover'd, and he most religioufly obferv'd his Vow all his Days, tho' he was fometimes roughly treated for it.
This wrought an entire Change upon him; and Shunning all bad Company, he divided himself between the Duties of Religion, and the Studies of his Profeffion. In the former he was fo regular, that for Six and Thirty Years he never once fail'd going to Church on the Lord's Day. And when an Ague first interrupted that conftant Courfe, he reflected on it, with a thankful Acknowledgment of God's great Goodness to him in fo long a Continuance of his Health. He took a strict Account of his Time,