Page images
PDF
EPUB

matics, logic, and philosophy, he giving) Mr. Harrington received also acquired a proficiency; and the communion, and gave ten made such progress in naval and pounds to the poor of the place military tactics, that it was con- where they then were, besides sidered he only wanted the oppor- forty pounds to be distributed tunity of practising his knowledge, among poor ministers and other in order to complete it. Nor were pious persons.

In acknowledg. his attainments less in religion, ment of his safe return (safe so far whether theoretical or practical; as he escaped with his life) he and it was scarcely possible to gave yearly, by the hand of a ask him any question within the friend, the sum of twenty pounds reach of human acquirements, to to the poor, exclusive of gifts bewhich he could not return a quick stowed on other accounts. and sufficient answer.

There is every reason to believe, When his father considered, that the calamitous event he had that he was well grounded in learn- met with, was made a means of ing, and established in religious grace to his soul, and tended to principles, he sent him to travel in ripen him against his early reFrance and Italy, that he might moval.* It was calculated to have the advantages of observa- affect his mind with a peculiar tion and experience. The person solemnity, to destroy the vanity of selected to accompany him as his youth, and to act as the loudest tutor, was Mr. Tovey, a serious warning, that the earthly taberand learned man, who had been pacle would be dissolved betimes. head-master of the free-school at The remarkable occurrences of his Coventry. The objects of his life, as might be expected from his journey, however, were blighted impaired health and premature deby a melancholy event, such as parture, were few : what is related could not have been anticipated by concerning him, consists chiefly of any foresight on their part. Å particular traits of character, and slow poison was administered to the detail of his daily habits. Mr. Harrington and his tutor, He was remarkably conspicuous while they were on the continent ; for sobriety of speech, and purity and the crime is charged on some of mind. His lips were Jesuits, who being vexed at their heard to utter any thing unbecomzeal for the truth, and seeing no ing, which was the more admirable, hope of perverting their minds, considering that he was living in a endeavoured by this means to de- court by no means the best regustroy them in the body. Mr. Tovey, lated, that of James I. But the being advanced in years, and his spring-time of his life had rapidly constitution therefore less able to merged into autumn, without passresist the poison, sank under its ing through summer, and the flush power, and died soon after their

of youth had given way under the return home in 1609. But his

pressure of slow disease. Yet pupil, being young and robust, this cause alone, without divine escaped with his life; though the protection, would not have preeffects of the poison became visible served him from a contagion, to in his countenance soon after his which young minds are especially return, and brought him to the exposed. He had passed some grave prematurely, about four years time in countries where licentiousafter. On the second Lord's day after

* George Herbert says, in his poem on their landing in England, (having

affliction,

Whereas my birth and spirit rather took spent the day before with his tu

The way that takes the town, tor, in fasting, prayer, and thanks- Thou didst betray me to a lingering look.

never

ness abounded (France and Italy) larger sum than it would be at the and where grace alone could have present value of money) besides guarded him against its insidious of alms and gifts, made in the course allurements. Indeed, it was re. of journeys,

and on other occasions. marked, that in those days, travel- For justness of conduct he was very lers generally came back from the exemplary, and his dealings were continent, deteriorated in their always upright and honourable. principles; the well-disposed bad But what constituted the chief become corrupted, while such as ornament of his many Christian went out bad returned worse than graces, was his genuine, unaffected before. * There is a precept in humility. scripture (transcribed in our cate- Such was the outline of his chachism) which if it were duly at- racter. We now come to his daily tended to by the young, would

habits of life. prove a wholesome preservative His public and private exercises from evil, and save them many of religion were such as are rarely bitter reflections,- Thou shalt love found in youth, and few aged the Lord thy God with all thy

Christians have been more exact MIND.+ In this

young nobleman in this respect. He usually rose it was strikingly fulfilled; for he about four or five in the morning, took every care to preserve his (for he seldom slept above six thoughts undefiled. And as fri- hours) and immediately on awakvolity is one of the avenues to sin, ing he proceeded to set his heart he did not pass away his time in in order, as a preparation for holiempty gallantries, but chose his ness throughout the day; thus company among persons of worth offering the first-fruits of his heart and abilities, devoting himself in a to God. When he was dressed, be great measure to study. I Besides, read a chapter in the Bible, and he carefully kept his body in sub- then went to prayer with his serjection, being temperate in his vants in his chamber. After this, food, avoiding feasts, and frequent- be passed about an hour in reading ly fasting. He hated idleness and some devotional book, to enliven excess of sleep, which, it has been his affections and enlarge his knowremarked, are the two nurses of ledge; of these, Calvin's Institutes uncleanness.

and Rogers's Treatises are particuHe shewed the sincerity of his larly mentioned, as the works religion by his love to all pious which he had in reading when he persons, especially to faithful and was taken with his last illness. laborious ministers, and by his kind. Besides this, he prayed apart from ness to all distressed Christians. the family in his closet ; after He gave away in charity the tenth which he applied himself to some part of his allowance, which was a serious study, for three or four thousand pounds yearly (a much hours together, unless he happened

to be interrupted by particular * Herbert anticipates the worst con

business. The rest of the morning sequences to religion,

was passed in conversation among When Seine shall swallow Tiber, and the his friends, in riding, or some other Thames

such recreation, (for those which By letting in them both, pollutes her streams;

were inconsistent with religion he When Italy of us shall have her will, shunned) till dinner-time.* Thus,' And all her calendar of sins fulfil. f Matt. xxiii. 37.

* This and other meals were then taken Fly idleness, which yet thou canst much earlier than they now are. In the not fly,

time of Queen Elizabeth, (and the custom By dressing, mistressing and com- had perhaps scarcely altered in that of pliment.-HERBERT,

James I.) the nobility and gentry used to May no ill dreams disturb my rest, And in the morning what thou hast No powers of darkness me molest. to do;

observes his biographer, he avoid- tered in it, not the injuries of ed idleness, and prevented tempta- others done to him, (a work of retions, which ensue thereupon ordi- venge, not devotion) but his failnarily.'*

ings and infirmities toward his After dinner he retired to his Master.'* study, to meditate upon such ser- When this was finished, he went mons as he had last heard ; or, if to bed ; and to prevent the incurhe was prevented, he found oth sion of evil thoughts before sleepmoments for that

purpose.

And ing, he made his attendant read a so much account did he make of chapter or two to him out of the this habit, that he kept it up in his Bible. This practice he adopted journeys. The rest of the afternoon about four years before his death, he spent in business, reading his- which coincides with the time of tory, or studying naval and mili- his return from the continent; and tary tactics, and mathematics, in

it was probably one of the results which sciences he was well versed. of the gratitude he felt for his After supper a psalm was sung, escape. If he happened to lie and he prayed with his servants. long awake, he exercised his mind He then withdrew into his study, with heavenly meditations, as a where he kept a diary, in which he preservative from evil.t recorded what he had done that Such was the routine of ordinary day, whom he had offended, what days. . On the Saturday night, by temptations he had met with, and

way of preparation for the Sabbath, how he had resisted them.t On he called himself to account for reviewing his failings, he humbled the past week, humbling himself himself before God; and with re- before God for its failings, and gard to such of them as he would returning thanks for its mercies. I have only known to God and his own soul, he recorded them in a * Much has been written on the subprivate hand, or cypher, which ject of diaries, but the chief objection to none could read but Harrington

them arises from the abuse of the prac

tice, which is apt to degenerate into a himself. Fuller observes, that he

minuteness almost frivolous. Baxter says, was one of the first who began the "At night look back how you have spent pious custom of keeping a diary, the day; not to waste time in writing and that it had since been followed

down all sins and mercies which are ordiby few of the same rank. He also

nary, for the same coming daily to be

repeated will turn all to formality; but to says, that Mr. Harrington regis- have a special thankfulness for special

mercies, and a special remembrance for dine at eleven, to sup between five and great or aggravated sins, yea, for all that six, and to go to rest at ten.

you remember. And quickly rise, by free * Samuel Clarke. He also mentions, confession, repentance, and faith, where that before dinner and supper, there was a you have fallen. And so betake yourself psalm, a chapter, and prayer. Whether to rest, with a holy confidence in God's this was the devotion of the whole house- protection, and the delightful meditation hold, or a particular exercise before meals, of him, Psalm iv. 7-9.' is not specified.

+ 'If in the night I sleepless lie, + 'Sum up at night what thou hast done My soul with heavenly thoughts supply; by day,

Bishop Ken's Evening Hymn. Dress and undress thy soul; mark the I Baxter has given similar advice with decay

regard to the approaching Sabbath :And growth of it: if, with thy watch, 'Make due preparation for the day beforethat too

hand. Let your six days' labour be so Be down, then wind up both. Since despatched, that it may not hinder you; we shall be

cast off worldly thoughts, and remember Most surely judged, make thine ac- the last Lord's day's instructions; and counts agree.

repent of all the sins of the week past; Herbert. and go in season to your rest.'

on

On the morning of the Sabbath, of gained over his corruptions. In which day he was a strict observer, this manner, he passed the entire he repeated to his servants his re- day, and did not come out of his collections of the last sermons he chamber till supper time. Such, had heard. Although he main- it may be remarked, is the legititained a domestic chaplain, still mate principle of fasting, not a he twice attended parochial wor- mere abstaining from food, but ship, preferring public duties to postponing the refreshment of our private. If his attendance bodies to meditation and prayer.F the court, or other business, oc- On the morning of the commucasioned his being at a place nion, he read over the eleventh where the word was not preached, chapter of the 1st of Corinthians, in he would ride to another place, which is contained the institution and that sometimes as far as four of that ordinance. To such of his miles, rather than lose it.

household as were also to commuHe was deeply attentive to the nicate, he read a short treatise, word of God, both when read and shewing the proper way of preparpreached, behaving himself as in ing for it. Besides these monthly the presence of God, and listening, fasts, he kept many other days of not as to the words of man, but of bumiliation on various occasions. God : shewing thereby,' observes In 1613 his father attended the Clarke, that when he came to Princess Elizabeth into Germany, hear, he willingly laid down his previous to her marriage with honour at Christ's feet.' After Frederic, Count Palatine of the service, he retired for about half Rhine. Some business connected an hour, to meditate on what he with the formalities of the marhad heard, and apply it to his own riage detained him in that country, soul. In the evening, he caused so that he never returned home, notes of both the sermons to be but died at Worms, August 24th, written by two of his attendants,

the same year.

On his death, his and repeated to the family before son (the subject of this memoir) supper; and such was his recollec

succeeded to the title, but he did tion, that he usually remembered not enjoy it long, as he survived more, and could repeat more, than his father but a few months, and they had written. Then he tran- died in the course of the year folscribed the notes into a book, and lowing. The closing part of his prayed with his household. To life is marked by an act of integrity avoid ostentation, or even the ap- consistent with his general chapearance of it, he never admitted racter. His father had contracted any, either to the repetition of some heavy debts, by a princely sermons or prayers in the family, style of living, and expences inone intimate friend (Sir Edward Harwood) alone excepted.

* One of the best summaries for self. He received the Lord's Supper

examination, preparatory to the commu

nion, is to be found in the Catechism, in monthly, and for preparation of

the answer to the question, 'What is heart, kept a fast the day before, required of them who come to the Lord's at which time he reviewed the Supper?' diary of the past month, and spent

t 'Fasting and feasting,' says Baxter,

must not be made a form or ceremony the day in prayer, meditation, and

of, nor judged to be pleasing to God self-examination. He observed, merely in and for themselves ; but must what the state of his soul had been be chosen only as means which help us since the last communion, what

pro

to their proper ends, humiliation and

thanksgiving. (These extracts are from gress he had made in holiness, what

Baxter's Family Book, republished under growth he had acquired in grace, the title of 'The Plain Man's Guide to and what greater power he had Heaven.')

second year.

was

curred on various occasions, not be exclaimed, Oh that joy! O my only private but public, and in God, when shall I be with thee? which the preceptorship of the And so, in the midst of these earprincess may naturally have in- nest desires, he peacefully and volved him. These his son was gladly resigned his spirit to God. desirous of discharging, although His death took place, February it should seem that he was not 27, 1613-14, at which time he legally bound to do so, from the wanted two months of his twentyproperty being entailed on himself,

He was buried at and he not having been a party in Eston in Rutlandshire, March 31, contracting them. With this lau- where his funeral sermon dable intention, he empowered his preached by Richard Stock (minisexecutrix (who probably was one ter of All-Hallows, Bread Street, of his sisters) to sell part, or even in London) from Micah ii. 1, 2.* the whole of his property, if it “ Thus (observes his biographer should be necessary, in order to in allusion to Philippians ii. 16.) pay the creditors with the least

was this holy servant of Christ delay possible. When the writing blameless and pure, and the son was drawn up, being asked accord- of God without rebuke, in a ing to form whether he assented to naughty and wicked generation, it, he answered, Yea, with all among whom he shined as a light my heart; for

my

honour and my in the world, holding forth the honesty are my nearest heirs. It word of life, that he might rejoice would appear, from the circum- in the day of Christ, that he had stances of the case, that this paper not run in vain, neither laboured was executed, either in his last in vain.” Fuller calls these two illness, or under an impression that noblemen, • the one a pattern for his time would be very short. * all good fathers, the other for all

From the beginning of his last gracious sons. sickness he considered his end Lord Harrington died unmarried, was approaching, although no one at the age of twenty-two; the else thought so, and accordingly title consequently became extinct prepared himself for it. He prayed in his person, and the estates demuch himself, and often called for volved upon his sisters, Lucy, others to pray for him; acknow- countess of Bedford, and Frances, ledged his sins, and frequently lady Chichester. The former of declared his trust in Christ, and these ladies erected a monument to undoubted hope of salvation by her parents, brother, and sister, at him. He professed with great Exton in Rutlandshire,f the origicheerfulness that he did not fear nal seat of the family; it was exdeath, let it come in whatever ecuted by Nicholas Stone, shape it might; his desire was to eminent statuary; at an expense of be dissolved and to be at home one thousand and twenty pounds. with God. About two hours before his death, he said that he

* Richard Stock was a native of the still felt the assured comforts and

city of York, and educated at St. John's joys of his salvation by Jesus

College, Cambridge. He is styled by Christ. And as death drew nearer Anthony Wood, 'a constant, judicious,

and religious preacher, a zealous puritan, * Clarke observes, ‘his justice, so far and a reformer of the profanities of the as he had occasion to shew it, was very

Lord's day. He died in 1616. exemplary ; he dealt honourably and + From the similarity of this place in honestly with every one that he dealt sound to Exon, Lord Harrington is some. with.'

times called erroneously, Baron of Exeter.

an

« EelmineJätka »