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dignity of the Primacy had no more power to tempt him in his old age to compromise his principles, by acting as if the personal misconduct of his sovereign, and his pusillanimous desertion of his government and kingdom, absolved him from his allegiance. How far, in the latter instance, he may be convicted of an error in judgment, we shall have occasion to discuss hereafter: but, however we may perhaps doubt the correctness of his determination, we cannot withhold from him the praise of having greatly sacrificed every selfish feeling to what he considered to be the claim of duty; and though we may lament the unhappy circumstances which prematurely bereaved the Church of his superintendance; yet the noble example of self-denial which he thus set, by holding fast his integrity under so great a trial, may perhaps have more than compensated to her by its beneficial influence, for the immediate loss she sustained from his deprivation. Considering then the peculiar character of Archbishop Sancroft, the eventful nature of the times in which he lived, and the distinguished part he was called upon to act in them, we were led to imagine that his biographer could scarcely fail to produce a narrative of more than common interest: and the supposed facilities for collecting information afforded to the author by his official station at Lambeth, may have contributed to raise our expectations somewhat higher than was reasonable. We know not whether we were thus led to anticipate more than Dr. D'Oyly's materials would enable him to supply; but we confess that we have not perused the volumes before us without an occasional feeling of disappointment. We have been induced to wish, that their author had entered more at large into some interesting passages in our ecclesiastical history, which he has rather alluded to than related; and we were anxious for more minute information respecting the private studies, opinions, and character of the Archbishop than he has given us and sometimes we have perhaps regretted, that his solicitude to discharge the duty of an impartial historian, has diffused an air of languor and coldness over his work, singularly out of harmony with the soul-stirring nature of the events which it records. Though however we cannot regard this life of Archbishop Sancroft as calculated entirely to satisfy the wishes of those who have long desired a full and animated narration of this most important æra in the annals of our Church, still our thanks are due to Dr. D'Oyly for what he has effected.

He has contributed much to the restoration of the venerable primate's character, to that place in public estimation

which it deserved to hold; he has selected from the valuable store of original documents submitted to his inspection, some curious matter which had not before been accessible to the general reader; and he has collected and embodied in a convenient form, several interesting particulars which were hitherto to be found only detached, and dispersed through various, and often scarce and expensive volumes.

William Sancroft was born at Fresingfield, in the county of Suffolk, January 30, 161. His family was ancient and respectable, having been settled and possessed of property at Fresingfield, from the time of Henry III. or Edward I. He appears to have been educated at Bury, and at the age of eighteen he was entered a member of Emmanuel College, in Cambridge, of which his uncle, Dr. William Sancroft, was at this time the master. By this circumstance his choice of a college was naturally determined; and though he was deprived of his relative and patron before he had finished his academical course, he must, as Dr. D'Oyly observes, be considered as peculiarly fortunate in having commenced it under such superintendance.

For he had not only to guard against the common dangers which assail every youth on his first entrance into life, but others to which he was more particularly exposed by the society, into which he was thrown; as the college had, it seems, been long noted for the prevalence of puritanical opinions among its members; and a young man of eighteen, of Sancroft's character, which appears to have been early marked by strong impressions of piety, and an anxious desire to fulfil his religious duties, might have been in some peril from the contagion of such examples. His college attachments however were formed with great prudence; and his conduct clearly proves, that he was then, as during the whole of his subsequent life, steadily and zealously attached to the genuine doctrines of the Church of England; and that he well knew how to distinguish their dictates from that morose and gloomy fanaticism, which was by too many mistaken for an improvement upon her pure and apostolic discipline.

The following extract from a letter to his father, written about the time when he entered into holy orders, expresses the serious feelings with which he contemplated the duties of the ministerial office; and the deep sense be entertained of the awful responsibility incurred by those to whom it was committed.

"I have lately offered up to God the first fruits of that call

ing which I intend, having common-placed twice in the chapel: and if, through your prayers and God's blessing on my endeavours, I may become an instrument in any measure fitted to bear his name before his people, it shall be my joy and the crown of my rejoicing in the Lord. I am persuaded that for this end I was sent into the world; and therefore, if God lends me life and abilities, I shall be willing to spend myself and be spent upon the work."" Vol. I. p. 15.

About the year 1642 he appears to have been elected a fellow of his college; and during his residence there, he discharged the usual collegiate offices, and was diligently employed as a tutor, in superintending the education of the junior members of the society. It is pleasing to observe the respect and veneration in which he seems to have been held by his pupils, with some of whom he long continued to correspond after they had been separated from him, and with others he preserved an uninterrupted friendship and familiarity throughout his life; so far was he from being what a partial historian has represented him, " a cold, dry, reserved, and peevish man, whom none loved, and few esteemed *."

"But the times in which Mr. Sancroft rose into life were times of confusion and alarm, pregnant no less with calamity and mourning to the whole nation, than with severe trial to the feelings of individuals, and detriment to their worldly prospects. More especially, were they times of sore anguish and tribulation to those who, being the authorized ministers of the Established Church, were called upon by feelings of duty and of conscientious. attachment to defend it against assailants; but whose unhappy lot it was to behold its sacred institutions profaned, its fences rudely broken down, and the axe of desolation applied to its roots." Vol. I. p. 27.

His conduct under these trying circumstances was eminently prudent. He steadily refused to commit himself, by any compliance with the illegal requisitions of the now prevailing party; and he indignantly rejected the solemn league and covenant, declaring that he would cut his hand off before it should be lifted up to subscribe his name to such a document. His opinion of the character and conduct of those who were now rising into power was correctly formed, and feelingly expressed to his correspondents. To the ejected master of his college he writes thus:

"We live in an age in which to speak freely is dangerous, imò nec gemere tuto licet; faces are scanned, and looks are construed,

* Burnet's Own Times, vol. i. p. 393.

and gestures are put upon the rack and made to confess something which may undo the actor; and, though the title be liberty, written in foot and half-foot letters upon the front, yet within there is nothing but perfect slavery, worse than Russian. Woe worth a heart then oppressed with grief in such a conjuncture of time as this. Fears and complaints, you know, are the only kindly and gentle evaporations of burthened spirits, and if we must be bereaved of this sad comfort too, what else is left us but either to whisper our griefs to one another in secret, or else to sit down and sink under the burthen of them. I do not para-tragediare; nor is my grief so ambitious as to raise fluctum in scrupulo. You know, I dare say, what it is that must needs make me cry out, since it touched me in the tenderest part of my soul. We live in times that have, of late, been fatal in abating of heads: proud Tarquin's riddle is now fully understood; we know too well what it is summa papaverum capita demere. But I had not thought they would have beheaded whole colleges at a blow; nay, whole universities and whole churches too; they have outdone their pattern in that, and 'tis an experiment in the mastery of cruelty far beyond Caligula's wish. Ah! Sir, I know our Emanuel College is now an object of pity and commiseration; they have left us like John Baptist's trunk when his head was lopped off, because of a vow or oath (or covenant if you will) that went before, or like Pompey's carcase upon the shore; so stat magni nominis umbra. -For my part, tædet me vivere hanc mortem-a small matter would prevail with me to take up the resolution to go forth any whither where I might not hear nec nomen nec facta Pelopidarum. Nor need we voluntarily give up our stations; I fear we cannot long maintain them. And what then? shall I lift up my hand? I will cut it off first. Shall I subscribe my name? I will forget it as soon. I can at least look up through this mist and see the hand of my God holding the scourge that lashes, and with this thought I am able to silence all the mutinies of boisterous passions, and to charm them into a perfect calm." Vol. I. p. 31.

But though he was determined not to comply with the unlawful injunctions of the usurping authorities; though he was firm in his refusal to take the covenant or the engage. ment; and could not be induced by any fear of personal losses to conform to the Directory, which in the prosecution of their favourite work of overthrowing the Church they had substituted for the Liturgy; he seems to have early taught himself to believe, that in his situation patient submission to the evil which was likely to befal him was his only duty. He suffered the stream to flow over him, without a murmur on his own account; he felt only for the calamities which it was bringing on the Church and nation; but though he scorned to bend to the current, he never thought of resisting its

course, or contributing, by strenuous personal exertions, to divert it from those objects, for whose safety he was much more nearly concerned than for his own.

"I do not, I cannot, look upon this bleeding kingdom, this dying Church, with the same indifference as I would read the history of Japan, or hear the affairs of China related. I cannot consider a scattered and broken university with as reposed a spirit, as I would behold a tragedy presented on a stage, or view some sad picture in a gallery. I thank my God, who hath given me so tranquil and calm a spirit, as I do neither fret impatiently, nor cowardly despair. But yet I know full well that 'twere a grand mistake to practise a dull inapprehensiveness, instead of a generous patience. A stoical stupidity is far enough removed from an heroic constancy; and that sour sect, who sought to bereave us of the one-half of ourselves, and to free us, shall I say, or rob us, of our passions and affections, are so far from making a wise man or a Christian, that they have only raised a statue. To say no more, Sir, your spur was here more needful than your bridle; and, perhaps, a friendly jog to awaken me to a greater degree of solicitude had been more seasonable, than your dose of opium to charm my sorrows and lullaby my cares, which I fear will rather be found on this side the due proportion than beyond it." Vol. I. p. 35.

But when called upon to decide upon his own conduct in this emergency, he chose that middle and safer course, which, while it refuses to comply with iniquitous commands, avoids irritating those in power by active opposition." I do not," says he to the same friend,"count myself obliged to go to chapel, and read common prayer, till my brains be dashed out." And in a subsequent letter to his father, when the rebels had filled up the measure of their iniquity by the mock trial and murderous execution of their sovereign, he observes,

"Now 'tis grown treason (which in St. Paul's time was duty,) to pray for kings and all that are in authority; the doors of the Church we frequented will be shut up, and conscientious men will refuse to preach, where they cannot, without danger of a pistol, do what is more necessary, pray according to their duty. For my part, I have given over all thoughts of that exercise in public, till I may, with safety, pour out my vows for Charles II., the heir, I hope, of his father's virtues, as well as kingdoms. In the mean time there are caves and dens of the earth, and upper rooms and secret chambers, for a Church in persecution to flee to, and there shall be our refuge." Vol. I. p. 4.4.

To his perseverance in this cautious line of conduct, not less perhaps than to the exertions of some individuals, wh


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