Page images
PDF
EPUB

veniency to shoot--these at one end of the stone lying in a flat bed, as it were, and scarcely exceeding a barleycorn in length; whereas those at the other end shoot up to a good height into figured crystals, some of them as big as the top of my little finger, and those are the most deeply coloured, being also of a good hardness, since I found that they would easily grave lines upon glass.

• I remember also, that going to visit a famous quarry, that was not very far from a spring which had somewhat of a petrescent faculty in it, I caused divers solid pieces of rough and opacous stones to be broken, out of hope I had to find in them some finer juice coagulated into some finer substances : and accordingly I found that in divers places the solid and massy stone had cavities in it, within which all about the sides there grew concretions, which by being transparent like crystal and very curiously shaped seemed to have been some finer lapidescent juice, that by a kind of percolation through the substance that grosser stone was made of, had at length arrived at those cavities; and upon the evaporation of the superfluous and aqueous parts, or by their being soaked up by the neighbouring stone, had opportunity to shoot into these fine crystals, which were so numerous as quite to overlay the sides of the cavities, as I can show you in some large clusters of them that I brought thence. And inquiring of an ancient digger, Whether he had not sometimes met with greater quantities of them ?' he told me, that he had, and presented me a great lump or mass made up of a numerous congeries of soft crystals, (but nothing so colourless as these others newly mentioned) sticking to one another, but not any of them to any part of the

rock: so that they seemed to have been hastily coagulated in some cleft or cavity, as it were in a mould, where meeting and mingling before concretion with some loose particles of clay, the mass may thereby be discoloured.

• Our argument drawn from the figuration of transparent stones may be much strengthened by the coalition I have sometimes observed of two or more of such stones, and the congruity in the shape of some of them to the figures of those parts of the others that were contiguous to them, and seemed to have been formed after them.'

380

JOHN TILLOTSON,

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.

[1630—1694.]

Had not the danger of losing the established religion and laws, as Dr. Wordsworth judiciously remarks after Dr. Powell, animated some of the last age with a zeal which despised all other dangers ; instead of living under a well-constituted government, mild and regular beyond the example of any other kingdom, we should either have been subject to an arbitrary and illegal dominion at home, or (which is more probable) have long ago submitted, with all the nations round us, to those powerful enemies, who for a century past have been attempting to enslave the world. And what other human blessings can be compared with that, which is the security and preservation of them all, the liberty of Laws ? What other, except that, which secures to us more than human blessings, the liberty of Religion? What praise, and esteem, and veneration are due to those, who obtained them for us? In the foremost ranks of

* AUTHORITIES. Birch's Life of Tillotson ; Burnet's History of his own Times; and Biographia Britannica.

that illustrious number stands the illustrious subject of this Memoir.

John Tillotson was descended from a family originally named Tilston, of Tilston in Cheshire, where they had been settled from the time of Edward III. His father, Mr. Robert Tillotson, was a considerable clothier of Sowerby in the Parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, where he was born in the latter end of September or the beginning of October, 1630; and his mother, the daughter of Mr. Thomas Dobson, bore an excellent character, but unhappily was for many years of her life deprived of her understanding. They were both Non-conformists.

After rapidly attaining a skill in the learned languages superior to his years, he was sent to Cambridge in 1647, and admitted a pensioner of Clare Hall. His tutor, whom he subsequently succeeded as Fellow, was Mr. David Clarkson,* an antagonist of Dr. Stillingfleet, and himself answered by Dr. Henry Maurice, upon the subject of • Primitive Episcopacy. He became B. A. in 1650, in the year following was chosen Fellow of his College, and commenced M. A. in 1654.

His father having at an early period of the son's life become an Anabaptist, his first religious impressions were received among those, who were then called Puritans; and yet, even in early life, he felt somewhat within him disposing him to more enlarged and liberal opinions. The heavy elementary books of

* Mr. Clarkson was, according to Baxter, “a divine of extraordinary worth for solid judgement, healing moderate principles, acquaintance with the fathers, great ministerial abilities, and a godly upright life.” To his zeal for non-conformity he sacrificed the living of Mortlake in Surrey, in August 1662.

that day he could scarcely endure, even before he knew better things : but he soon met with the immortal work of Chillingworth, the glory of his age and nation, entitled, · The Religion of Protestants a safe Way to Salvation.' This admirable book gave his mind the bias, which it ever afterward preserved.

From his first prejudices he was speedily freed, or rather indeed he was never mastered by them; yet he still adhered to that strictness of life in which he had been educated, retained a just value and due tenderness for those eminent Non-conformists with whom he had contracted a youthful friendship, and by the strength of his reasoning with the clearness of his principles conciliated or attached more serious persons to the communion of the Church of England, than any other person probably of his age.

As he adopted a new line of study, so he entered into intimacies with some of the greatest theologians* at that time residing in Cambridge, which contributed not a little to the improving of his own mind. But that, which gave him his last and principal advantage, was his close and long friendship with Dr. John Wilkins, subsequently Bishop of Chester.† He copied all the best qualities of that distinguished man, so as to render them all more perfect: for though

* Dr. Ralph Cudworth, Master of Christ's College; Dr. Benjamin Whichcot, Provost of King's; Dr. Henry More, and Dr. George Rust (subsequently Bishop of Dromore) Fellows of Christ's; Dr. John Worthington, Master of Jesus; and Mr. John Smith, Fellow of Queen's, and author of Select Dis. courses ; ' “ a volume, less known at present (says Dr. Birch) than it's sense and profound learning deserve."

+ Tillotson was related to Wilkins, having married his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth French, who was niece to Cromwell.

« PreviousContinue »