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ended, he spake to this purpose : “ Thou, O God! tookest me out of my mother's womb, and hast been the powerful protector of me to this present moment of my life : Thou hast neither forsaken me now I am become grey-headed, nor suffered me to forsake thee in the late days of temptation, and sacrifice my conscience for the preservation of my liberty or estate. It was by grace that I have stood, when others have fallen under
trials : and these mercies I now remember with joy and thankfulness; and my hope and desire is, that I may die praising thee."
The frequent repetition of the Psalms of David, hath been noed to be a great part of the devotion of the primitive Christians; the Psalms having in them not only prayers and holy in. structions, but such commemorations of God's mercies, as may preserve, comfort, and confirm our dependence on the power, and providence, and mercy of our Creator. And this is mentioned in order to telling, that as the holy Psalmist said, that his
should prevent both the dawning of the day and night watches, by meditating on God's word : Psal. cxix. 147, so it was Dr. Sanderson's constant practice every morning to entertain his first waking thoughts with a repetition of those very Psalms that the Church hath appointed to be constantly read in the daily Morning service: and having at night laid him in his bed, he as constantly closed his eyes with a repetition of those appointed for the service of the evening, remembering and repeating the very Psalms appointed for every day; and as the month had formerly ended and began again, so did this exercise of his devotion. And if his first waking thoughts were of the world, or what concerned it, he would arraign and condemn himself for it. Thus he began that work on earth, which is now his employment in Heaven.
After his taking his bed, and about a day before his death, he desired his Chaplain, Mr. Pullin, to give him absolution : and at his performing that office, he pulled off his cap, that Mr. Pullin might lay his hand upon his bare head. After this desire of his was satisfied, his body seemed to be at more ease, and his mind more cheerful ; and he said, “ Lord, forsake me not now my strength faileth me; but continue thy mercy, and let my mouth be filled with thy praise.” He continued the remaining night and day very patient, and thankful for any of the little offices
that were performed for his ease and refreshment: and during that time did often say the 103rd Psalm to himself, and very often these words, “ My heart is fixed, O God ! my heart is fixed where true joy is to be found.” His thoughts seemed now to be wholly of death, for which he was so prepared, that the King of Terrors could not surprise him as a thief in the night: for he had often said, he was prepared, and longed for it. And as this desire seemed to come from Heaven, so it left him not till his soul ascended to that region of blessed spirits, whose employments are to join in concert with him, and sing praise and glory to that God, who hath brought them to that place, into which sin and sorrow cannot enter.
Thus this pattern of meekness and primitive innocence changed this for a better life. 'Tis now too late to wish that my life
may be like his; for I am in the eighty-fifth year of my age: but I humbly beseech Almighty God, that my death may; and do as earnestly beg of every Reader, to say--Amen.
Blessed is the man in whose spirit there is no guile, Psalm xxxii. 2.
DR. PIERCE'S LETTER.
Good Mr. Walton, At my return to this place, I made a yet stricter search after the letters long ago sent me from our most excellent Dr. Sanderson, before the happy restoration of the King and Church of England to their several rights: in one of which letters more especially, he was pleased to give me a narrative both of the rise and the progress, and reasons also, as well of his younger, as of his last and riper judgment, touching the famous points controverted between the Calvinians and the Arminians, as they are commonly (though unjustly and unskilfully) miscalled on either side.
The whole letter I allude to does consist of several sheets whereof a good part had been made public long ago, by the most learned, most judicious, most pious Dr. Hammond, (to whom I sent it both for his private, and for the public satisfaction, if he thought fit,) in his excellent book, entitled, “A Pacific Discourse of God's Grace and Decrees, in full accordance with Dr. Sanderson :" to which discourse I refer you for an account of Dr. Sanderson and the history of his thoughts in his own hand-writing, wherein I sent it to Westwood, as I received it from Boothby Pannel. And although the whole book, (printed in the year 1660, and reprinted since with his other tracts in folio) is very worthy of your perusal; yet, for the work you are about, you shall not have need to read more at present than from the 8th to the 23rd page, and as far as the end of section 33. There you will find in what year the excellent man, whose life you write, became a Master of Arts : how his first reading of learn. ed Hooker had been occasioned by certain puritanical pamphlets ; and how good a preparative he found it for his reading of Calvin's Institutions, the honour of whose name (at that time especially) gave such credit to his errors : how he erred with Mr. Calvin, whilst he took things upon trust in the sublapsarian way : how, being chosen to be a Clerk of the Convocation for the Diocese of Lincoln, 1625, he reduced the Quinquarticular Controversy into five schemes or tables ; and thereupon discerned a necessity of quitting the sublapsarian way, of which he had before a better liking, as well as the supralapsarian, which he could never fancy. There you will meet with his two weighty reasons against them both, and find his happy change of judgment to have been ever since the year 1625, even thirty-four years before the world either knew, or, at least, took notice of it; and more particularly his reasons for rejecting Dr. Twiss, (or the way he walks in,) althuugii his acute and very learned and ancient friend. FART II.
I now proceed to let you know from Dr. Sanderson's own hand,* which was never printed, (and which you can hardly know from any, unless from his son, or from myself,) that, when that Parliament was broken up, and the convocation therewith dissolved, a gentleman of his acquaintance by occasion of some discourse about these points, told him of a book not long before published at Paris, (A. D. 1623,) by a Spanish Bishop,t who had undertaken to clear the differences in the great controversy De Concordia Gratiæ Liberi Arbitrü. And because his friend perceived he was greedily desirous to see the book, he sent him one of them, containing tho four first books of twelve which he intended then to publish. “When I had read,” says Dr. Sanderson, in the following words of the same letter, “his Epistle Dedicatory to the Pope, (Gregory XV.) he spake so highly of his own invention, that I then began rather to suspect him for a mountebank, than to hope I should find satisfaction from his performances. I found much confidence and great pomp of words, but little matter as to the main knot of the business, other than had been said an hundred times before, to wit, of the coexistence of all things past, present, and future in mente divina realiter ab æterno, which is the subject of his whole third book : only he interpreteth the word realiter so as to import not only præsentialitatem objectivam, (as others held before him,) but propriam et actualem existentiam ; yet confesseth it is hard to make this intelligible. In his fourth book he endeavours to declare a twofold manner of God's working ad extra ; the one sub ordine prædestinationis, of which eternity is the proper measure : the other sub ordine gratiæ, whereof time is the measure ; and that God worketh fortiter in the one (though not irresistibiliter as well suaviter in the other, wherein the free will, hath his proper working also. From the result of his whole performance I was confirmed in this opinion ; that we must acknowledge the work of both grace and free will in the conversion of a sinner; and so likewise in all other events, the consistency of the infallibility of God's foreknowledge at least (though not with any absolute, but conditional predestination) with the liberty of mau’s will, and the contingency of inferior causes and effects. These, I say, we must acknowledge for the ori: but for the rò tūs, I thought it bootless for me to think of comprehending it. And so came the two Acta Synodalia Dordrechtana to stand in my study, only to fill up a room to this day.
“ And yet see the restless curiosity of man. Not many years after, to wit, A. D. 1632, out cometh Dr. Twiss's, f Vindiciæ Gratie, a large volume, purposely writ against Arminius : and then, notwithstanding my former resolu
* Sir, I pray note, that all that follows between inverted commas are Dr. Sanderson's own words, excellently worthy, but no where else extant; and commend him as much as any thing you can say of him. T. P.
# This learned nonconformist was born at Reading about 1575, and educated at Winchester School, and New College, Oxford. He had been Chaplain to the Princess Elizabeth. He died at Newbury, July 20. 1646. Wood says, “his plain preaching was esteemed good ; his solid disputations were accounted better; but his pious life was reckoned best of all.”
tion, I must need be meddling again. The respect I bore to his person and great learning, and the acquaintance I had had with him in Oxford, drew me to the reading of that whole book. But from the readiug of it (for I read it through to a syllable) I went away with many and great dissatisfactions. Sundry things in that book I took notice of, which brought me into a greater dislike of his opinion than I had before : but especially these three : First that he bottometh very much of his discourse upon a very erroneous principle, which yet he seemeth to be so deeply in love with, that he hath repeated it. I verily believe, some hundreds of times in that work: to wit this; That whatsoever is first in the intention is last in execution, and e converso. Which is an error of that magnitude, that I cannot but wonder how a person of such acuteness and subtilty of wit could possibly be deceived with it. All logicians know there is no such universal maxim as he buildeth upon. The true maxim is but this: Finis qui primus est in intentione, est ultimus in executione. In the order of final causes, and the means used for that end, the rule holdeth perpetually : but in other things it holdeth not at all, or but by chance; or not as a rule, and necessarily. Secondly, that, foreseeing such consequences would naturally and necessarily follow from his opinion, as would offend the ear of a sober Christian at the very first sound, he would yet rather choose not only to admit the said harsh consequences, but professedly endeavour also to maintain them, and plead hard for them in large digressions, than to recede in the least from that opinion which he had undertaken to defend. Thirdly, that seeing (out of the sharpness of his wit) a necessity of forsaking the ordinary sublapsarian way, and the supralapsarian too, as it had diversely been declared by all that had gone before him, (for the shunning of those rocks, which either of those ways must unavoidably cast him upon,) he was forced to seek out an untrodden path, and to frame out of his own brain a new way, (like a spider's web wrought out of her own bowels,) hoping by that device to salve all absurdities, that could be objected ; to wit, by making the glory of God (as it is indeed the chiefest, so) the only end of all other his decrees and then making all those other decrees to be but one entire co-ordinate medium conducing to that one end, and so the whole subordinate to it, but not any one part thereof subordinate to any other of the same. Dr. Twiss should have done well to have been more sparing in imputing the studium partium to others, wherewith his own wyes, though of eminent perspicacity, were so strangely blindfolded, that he could not discern how this his new device, and his old dearly beloved principle, (like the Cadmean Sparti,) do mutually destroy the one the other.
“ This relation of my past thoughts having spun out to a far greater length than I intended, I shall give a shorter account of what they now are concerning these points.”
For which account I refer you to the following parts of Dr. Hammond's book aforesaid, where you may find them already printed: and for another account at large of Bishop Sanderson's last judgment concerning God's concurrence or nonconcurrence with the actions of men, and the positive entity of sins of commission, I refer you to his letters already printed by his consent,