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tion, and prayer, and then went to his family duties, as is afterward described. He was a great improver of his time, or else he could never have done what he did for so many persons, usually saying, he desired to live no longer than he might be serviceable to God and men. But he was most regardful to lose no part of the Lord's-day, in which he did all towards God and his family with great reverence and humble seriousness; and as he much desired godly, trusty servants, he had much of his desire, and his house was a school of piety, meekness, and as a church.

When his faithful pastor, Mr. Simeon Ash, was buried (the very day before the new Act of Uniformity would have silenced him, being an old non-conformist), he used to go, at the end of the week, to Hackney, to his country-house, and there spend the Lord's-day.

In the common fire his house was burnt, as well as others, but is rebuilt with advantage; and all God's corrections, and the hurt which, by his permission, we undergo from bad men, will turn to our gain, if we believe and patiently expect the end.

Thus far I have given you, for the most part, but what his best knowing friends have most credibly given me of the history of his pilgrimage; but I will next tell you what I knew myself, in above twenty years' familiarity with him, and that shall be more descriptive than historical, though, in what is already said from others, you may much know what he was.

Mr. Ash's praise, and his own free love, first brought on our acquaintance; and, indeed, my many restraining hinderances have kept me from so much familiarity with many.

Those that knew him need little of my description. Those that have been much in his house, and seen his children and servants carry themselves as reverently and respectfully to him, as if he had been a lord, when yet he was so lovingly familiar with them, will think there was some cause for this. Those that hear it the common speech of magistrates, godly ministers, and people, "We have lost the most excellent pattern of piety, charity, and all virtue that this city hath bred in our times,' will think that there is some reason for this praise. Some of us seem to shine to strangers, who are cloudy and contemptible to those that are near us : and many excellent, obscure, poor Christians are taken little notice of, in a low, retired, or unobserved station: but his esteem, and honour, and love, was at home and abroad, by his children, servants, neighbours, fellow-citizens, that I say

not even by some that loved not his religiousness, or that took him to be too much a friend to those whom their opinions and interest engaged them against.

And if you would truly know what was the meritorious cause of all this love and honour, I will tell you : it was the image of Christ, and the fruits of his holy doctrine and his Spirit. No man believeth that there is a God, who doth not believe that the liker is any man to God, the better and the more honourable he is. All is glorious that is holy, that is of God, and for God, separated to him from all that is common and unclean. Base fools may more admire and reverence a proud man, or gilded idol; but all that know God, and the almost nothingness of vain man, do value all things and persons in the measure, as they are dispositively, actively, and relatively divine. The Spirit of God, by David, begins the Psalms with describing such blessed men as these: and Christ, next after his preaching repentance, begins with such men's characters and blessedness, Matt. v. I shall, therefore, now truly tell you what our deceased brother was, and what of God so shined in him as commanded all this love and praise; while far greater men, by their filth and folly, their sin and hurtful cruelty, have made themselves the plague and burden of their times, as the children of him whose name is but the contract of do evil,'

I. His religion was only the Bible, as the rule. He was a mere Scripture Christian, of the primitive spirit and strain. No learning signified much with him, but what helped him to understand the Scripture. The Bible was his constant book, and in it he had great delight; and he loved no preaching so well as that which made much and pertinent use of Scripture, by clear exposition and suitable application. He liked not that which worthy Dr. Manton was wont to call “gentlemanly preaching,' set out with fine things, and laced, and gilded, plainly speaking self-preaching, man-pleasing, and pride; forwhen pride chooseth the text, the method, and the style, the devil chooseth it, though the matter be of God: therefore he also highly valued those books which are much in such wise and seasonable use of Scripture; of which he commended, above all, the lectures of Mr. Arthur Hildersham.

II. He neither much studied books of controversy, nor delighted in discourse of

any

of our late differences. I scarce ever heard him engage in any of them; but his constant talk was of practical matter, of God, of Christ, of heaven, of the

heart and life, of grace and duty, or of the sense of some practical text of Scripture. He so little savoured and minded the quarrels that many lay out their greatest zeal on, and find matter in them to condemn and backbite one another, that he either carried it as a stranger or an adversary to such discourse.

III. Accordingly, while men were guilty of no damning heresy or sin, but held all great and necessary truths in love and holiness, and righteousness of life, he made little difference in his respects and love. A serious, godly, independent, presbyterian, or episcopal Christian, was truly loved and honoured by him. Indeed, he loved not church tyranny, nor hypocritical images of religion, on one hand, nor confusion on the other; but the primitive spirit of seriousness, purity, and charity, he valued in all. A differing tolerable opinion never clouded the glory of sincere Christianity in his eyes. He was of no sect, and he was against sects as such, being of a truly catholic spirit: but he could see true godliness and honesty in many whose weakness made them culpable, in too much adhering to a side or sect.

IV. He greatly hated backbiting and obloquy. “Speak evil of no man,” was a text which he often had in his mouth. I never knew

any

noted men so free from that vice as Judge Hale and Mr. Ashhurst. If a man had begun to speak ill of any man behind his back, either they would say nothing, or divert him to something else, or show their distaste of it. Sin he would speak against, but very little of the person. Only one sort of men he would take the liberty to express his great dislike of, and that was the hinderers of the gospel, and silencers of faithful preachers of it, and persecutors of godly Christians, and oppressors of the poor: and their pretences of government, and order, and talk against schism, could never reconcile him to that sort of men : but his distaste was never signified by scurrility, nor any thing that savoured of an unruly or seditious spirit.

V. His heart was set on the hallowing of God's name, the coming of his kingdom, and the doing of his will on earth as it is done in heaven; on the propagating of religion, and encouraging of all able, faithful preachers and practisers of it to his power. Ever since I knew him, it seemed much more of his serious business in the world than his trade or worldly gain was. He was a right hand to his faithful pastor, good old Mr. Simeon Ash. How seldom did I visit Mr. Ash, at any time, but I found

use.

or left them together; and now they are together with Christ. He did not love with barren words, nor serve God of that which cost him nothing. Few but I knew from his own mouth, that he gave these eighteen years (since August 24, 1662,) an hundred pounds a year to the ejected ministers of Lancashire, and some schools there and in the neighbouring parts, and many Bibles, catechisms, and other good books, to divers places, besides the said one hundred pounds a year: and a friend of his and mine tells me that it was to him that he yearly delivered it to be distributed, save that lately twenty pounds a year of it went to Northuinberland.

VI. Indeed, charity was his life and business. Another mean man that was oft with him, saith that he hath had of him many score pounds to give away, which few ever knew of. I do not think that there are many that can say that ever they were denied when they asked him for money to a charitable

I am sure I never was. About 1662 and 1663, he endeavoured hard to have got the pious citizens of London to contribute yearly to the relief of the poor ejected ministers of the several counties where they had been born; and I was employed to the Lord Chancellor Hide to acquaint him with it and get his consent, that it might not be taken for a fomenting of faction : but though he said, God forbid that he should be against men's charity, yet most durst not trust him, and so it fell.

Since then he and others set up a conventicle, which, methinks, might be tolerated by bishops themselves. They met often to consult and contribute for the relief of poor housekeepers; and they chose an ancient, active godly man, fit for that work, to be as a deacon; I mean, to go about the city, and find out such housekeepers as were very poor, sick, or impotent, or any way in want, and to bring in a catalogue of their names, places, and degrees of need; always preferring the pious, honest poor. And they made Mr. Thomas Gouge their treasurer, (one of the same trade, whose hands could not be tied from doing good when his tongue was tied by the silencers, and the foresaid messenger brought them their contributions, with good instructions, and prayer when there was need; for which use, sometimes, they procured a minister for the ignorant.

Indeed, he was the common comforter and reliever of distressed ministers and others. I know of none in London that they so commonly resorted to as him.

VII. And so large was his desire of doing good, that not only England, Scotland, and Ireland knew it, but it specially extended to the natives in America; of whose conversion to Christianity he had a fervent desire. In Oliver Cromwell's time, a public collection was made all over England for the educating of scholars, and defraying othér charges in New England for that work, of which good old Mr. Eliots, the Indian's evangelist, was the chief operator : with that money, lands were purchased to the value of about eight hundred pounds a year, and settled on a corporation of citizens in trust, and Mr. Ashhurst must be the treasurer, on whom lay the main care and work. When the king was restored, the corporation was dead in law; and one that sold most of the lands which were settled for that use (Colonel Bedingfield, a Papist) seized on his sold land, and yet refused to repay the money. The care of the recovery, and of restoring the corporation, and all the work, was the business of Mr. Ashhurst; for which he desired my solicitation of the Lord Chancellor Hide, who did readily own the justness of the cause and goodness of the work, and first gave us leave to nominate the new corporation, and Mr. Boyle for president, and Mr. Ashhurst for treasurer; and afterwards, when it came to suit before him, did justly determine it for the corporation.

And so these nineteen years last past, it was he, by the help of Mr. Boyle, and the rest, who hath had the main care of the New England assistance, by which a printing-press hath been there set up, and the Bible translated into the Indian's tongue, and other books also, for their instruction, and the agents encouraged to help them, till the late unhappy war there interrupted much of their endeavours; and of their victory in that war the converted Indians were not the least cause.

Oh! how sad will the news of his death be to old Mr. Eliots, if he live to hear it, and to his American converts : and he hath left by his will an hundred pounds to the college there, and fifty pounds to their corporation.

IX. Some may think that he wanted a public spirit, because he avoided being a magistrate, and paid his fine rather than take an alderman's place : but it was only to keep the peace of his conscience, which could not digest, 1. The corporation declaration and oath; nor, 2. The execution of the laws against nonconforming ministers and people. I never heard him plead that the solemn oath, called the National Covenant, was not unlawfully imposed or taken. His thoughts of that I knew not;

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