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ring his residence at Oxford, and after his retirement into the country.
* “MY WORTHY FRIEND, MR. WALTON, “I am heartily glad, that you have undertaken to write the Life of that excellent person, and, both for learning and piety, eminent prelate, Dr. Sanderson, late Bishop of Lincoln ; because I know your ability to know, and integrity to write truth. And sure I am, that the life and actions of that pious and learned prelate will afford you matter enough for his commendation, and the imitation of posterity. In order to the carrying on your intended good work, you desire my assistance, that I would communicate to you such particular passages of his life, as were certainly known to me. I confess I had the happiness to be particularly known to him for about the space of twenty years; and, in Oxon, to enjoy his conversation, and his learned and pious instructions while he was Regius Professor of Divinity there. Afterwards, when (in the time of our late unhappy confusions) he left Oxon, and was retired into the country, I had the benefit of his letters; wherein, with great candour and kindness, he answered those doubts I proposed, and gave me that satisfaction, which I neither had, nor expected from some others of greater confidence, but less judgment and humility. Having in a letter named two or three books, writ ( ex professo') against the being of any original sin; and that Adam, by his fall, transmitted some calamity only, but no crime to his posterity ; the good old man was exceedingly troubled, and bewailed the misery of those licentious times, and seemed to wonder (save that the times were such) that any should write, or be permitted to publish any error so contradictory to truth and the doctrine of the church of England, established (as he truly said) by clear evidence of Scripture, and the just and supreme power of this nation, both sacred and civil. I name not the books nor their authors, which are not unknown to learned mnen (and I wish they had never been known), because both the doctrine and the unadvised abettors of it are, and shall be, to me apocryphal.*
* The writer principally alluded to in this part of the Letter, was the excel. dont Dr. Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down and Conner.
“ Another little story I must not pass in silence, being an argu. ment of Dr. Sanderson's piety, great ability, and judgment as a casuist. Discoursing with an honourable person* (whose piety I value more than his nobility and learning, though both be great,) about a case of conscience concerning oaths and vows, their na. ture and obligation; in which, for some particular reasons, he then desired more fully to be informed; I commended to him Dr. Sanderson's book, “De Juramento ;' which hav.ng read with great satisfaction, he asked me, if I thought the doctor could be induced to write Cases of Conscience, if he might have an honorary pension allowed him, to furnish him with books for that purpose.' I told him I believed he would ;' and, in a letter to the Doctor, told him what great satisfaction that honourable person, and many more, had reaped by reading his book, De Juramento.;' and asked him, whether he would be pleased, for the benefit of the church, to write some tract of Cases of Conscience.' He replied, that he was glad that any had received benefit by his books ;' and added further, “that if any future tract of his could bring such benefit to any, as we seemed to say his former had done, he would willingly, though without any pension, set about that work.' Having received this answer, that honourable person before mentioned, did, by my hands, return fifty pounds to the good Doctor, whose condition then (as most good men's at that time were) was but low; and he presently revised, finished, and published that excellent book, De Conscientiâ ;' a book little in bulk, but not so if we consider the benefit an intelligent reader may receive by it. For there are so many general propositions concerning conscience, the nature and obligation of it explained, and proved with such firm consequence and evidence of reason, that he who reads, remembers, and can with prudence pertinently apply them hic et nunc' to particular cases, may, by their light and help, rationally resolve a thousand particular doubts and scruples of conscience. Here you may see the charity of that honourable person in promoting, and the piety and industry of the good Doctor, in performing that excellent work.
“And here I shall add the judgment of that learned and pious
* Robert Boyle, Esq.
prelate concerning a passage very pertinent to our present purpose. When he was in Oxon, and read his public lectures in the schools as Regius Professor of Divinity, and by the truth of his positions and evidences of his proofs gave great content and satisfaction to all his hearers, especially in his clear resolutions of all difficult cases which occurred in the explication of the subject matter of his lectures; a person of quality (yet alive) privately asked him, what course a young divine should take in his stud. ies to enable him to be a good casuist ?' His answer was, that, a convenient understanding of the learned languages, at least of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and a sufficient knowledge of arts and sciences presupposed, there were two things in human literature, a comprehension of which would be of very great use, to enable a man to be a rational and able casuist, which otherwise was very difficult, if not impossible : 1. A convenient knowledge of moral philosophy; especially that part of it which treats of the nature of human actions : To know, “ quid sit actus humanus (spontaneus, invitus, mixtus), unde habeat bonitatem et malitiam moralem ? an ex genere et objecto, vel ex circumstantiis ?” How the variety of circumstances varies the goodness or evil of human actions? How far knowledge and ignorance may aggravate or excuse, increase or diminish, the goodness or evil of our actions ? For every case of conscience being only this—“ Is this action good or bad ?” May I do it, or may I nut ?”—he who, in these, knows not how and whence human actions become morally good and evil, never can ( in hypothesi’) rationally and certainly determine, whether this or that particular action be so. 2. The second thing, which,' he said, “ would be a great help and advantage to a casuist, was a convenient knowledge of the nature and obligation of laws in general ; to know what a law is; what a natural and positive law; what is required to the “ latio, dispensatio, derogatio, vel abrogatio legis;" what promulgation is ante. cedently required to the obligation of any positive law; what ig. norance takes off the obligation of a law, or does excuse, diminish, or aggravate the transgression : for every case of conscience be. ing only this—" Is this lawful for me, or is it not ?" and the law the only rule and measure by which I must judge of the lawful. ness or unlawfulness of any action, it evidently follows, that he,
who, in these, knows not the nature and obligation of laws, never can be a good casuist, or rationally assure himself or others of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of actions in particular.'
“ This was the judgment and good counsel of that learned and pious prelate; and having, by long experience, found the truth and benefit of it, I conceive I could not, without ingratitude to him and want of charity to others, conceal it. Pray pardon this rude and, I fear, impertinent scribble, which, if nothing else, may signify thus much, that I am willing to obey your desires, and am, indeed,
6. Your affectionate friend,
66 THOMAS LINCOLN.” LONDON, May 10, 1678.
Among the literary characters of the sixteenth century, none appears with more transcendent lustre than that of Sir Henry Savile, a magnificent patron of merit, and a complete gentleman. He seems to have traversed the whole range of science, being equally celebrated for his knowledge of ancient and modern learning. The life of this illustrious scholar would be a valuable acquisition to the republic of letters. That it was actually compiled by Mr. Izaak Walton, we have every reason to conclude. Dr. King, Bishop of Chichester, in his letter to him, dated November 17, 1664, tells him, that “ he has done much for Sir Henry Savile, the contemporary and friend of Mr. Richard Hooker.” It is seriously to be regretted, that the most diligent inquiry after this work has hitherto proved unsuccessful.
Among those whom Sir Henry Savile honoured with his friendship was Mr. John Hales of Eton. Mr. Anthony Farringdon, an eminent preacher, and a man of extensive learning and exemplary piety, had collected materials with a view to write the life of this incomparable person. On his demise, his papers were consigned to the care of Mr. Izaak Walton, by Mr. William Fulman, of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, who had proposed to finish the work, and on that occasion had applied for the assistance of our biographer. The result of this application is not known. Fulman's collection of manuscripts, written with his own hand, was deposited in the archives of the library of his college, and Wood laments that he was refused access to them. It is unne.
cessary to add, that the Life of Mr. Hales, by Mr. Des Maizeaux, was published in 1716.
Angling had been long a favourite diversion in England. Alex. ander Nowell, Dean of St. Paui's, the composer of “ that good, plain, unperplexed catechism, which is in our good old Service Book," was a lover of, and most experienced proficient in this delightful art. It was his custom, besides his fixed hours of private and public prayer, to spend a tenth part of his time in this amuse. ment, and also to bestow a tenth part of his revenue, and usually all his fish, among the poor, saying, that “charity gave life to religion." An elegant Latin poem, written by Dr. Simon Ford, was inscribed to Archbishop Sheldon, who, in his younger years, being fond of this diversion, is said to have acquired a superior skill in taking the umber or barbel, “ a heavy and a dogged fish to be dealt withal.” Dr. Donne is called “a great practitioner, master, and patron of angling.” And we learn from good authority, that Mr. George Herbert loved angling; a circumstance that is rather to be believed, “because he had a spirit suitable to anglers, and to those primitive Christians who are so much loved and commended.”
Let not these remarks provoke the chastisement of censure. Let them not be condemned as nugatory and insignificant. Amidst our disquietudes and delusive cares, amidst the painful anxiety, the disgustful irksomeness, which are often the unwelcome at. tendants on business and on study, a harmless gratification is not merely excusable, it is in some degree necessary. In the skilful management of the angle, Izaak Walton is acknowledged to bear away the prize from all his contemporaries. The river which he seems principally to have frequented for the purpose of pursuing his inoffensive amusement, was the Lea, which, rising above the town of Ware in Hertfordshire, falls into the Thames a little be. low Blackwall; “unless we will suppose that the vicinity of the New River to the place of his habitation might sometimes tempt him out with his friends, honest Nat and R. Roe, whose loss he so pathetically mentions, to spend an afternoon there.” In his tract of “ The Complete Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation," he has comprised the clearest and fullest instructions