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voured to take the highest and boldest Flights, which with Sobriety I could, yet could he, I fay now, after his fhort experience of that blessed Perfection, hear what I have faid, and together conceive what Notions you have framed thereof, how would he Pity us all, groping thus in the Dark, difcourfing and thinking of heavenly perfection, just as Men born Blind do of Lights;or as those, who never faw any thing but Midnight would do of the Sun walking in his Noon-Days brightness. How would he, if not reprove our Mistake, yet help our Errors - Eia fequor I trust we fhall all follow him into like perfection, and then fee also.
Would here willingly ftop or draw a Curtain, for that I am not able to Deline
ate,to the Life,fo much of real Worth,and true Christianity, fuch Prudence and Temper, fuch heavenly mindedness,and serious Senfe of Religion,as well as exactnefs in the outward Offices of it,as dwelt in our Deceased Brother.Verilyhe was rather a Subject for Admiration and Wonder, than for Commendations. I had almost faid he was above Praise. Such Charity to the Bodies, fuch Care and Compaffion to the Souls of Men, fuch Integrity and Uprightness in his Dealing, and yet fuch strange Abilities for the Dispatch of Bufinefs; fuch a felf-denying Spirit and ftrict Retiredness, yet fuch conftancy in doing Publick Good; fuch Readiness to oblige all, yet fuch Sincerity in his Friendship, it is not easie to find :
I fincerely profefs, I know not where in the prefent Age to meet with, every way, the like Man. In a word, a Perfon fo accomplisht for the Publick Employments he sustained, yet no lefs Accurate in his Duties to God, to his Neighbour, and Himfelf, I fear fcarce, an Age may fhew. This be spoken in general as to the Bulk of his Excellencies and whole Conversation.
As to fome particulars of his Life, (for to all I cannot speak,) there are Two, which I fhall take Notice of. The Firft of them is indeed fuch, in which (according to the Judgments of fome fierce Men,) he needs to be Vindicated. He held (or rather, he was in a fort by force kept in) his Place at the Cufrom-Houfe, during the worst part of the last Reign. Touching this, I will only Read to you part of a Letter, which I this Day received, from a Perfon of known Worth and Integrity. I can speak nothing therein of my own Knowledge, for all Correspondency, even by Letters, was then cut off between my dear Friend and Me. The Letter, after a modest Excufe, which indeed it needed not, relates, "That he happened to be continu"ed in his Employment at the Custom-Honfe "because (at that time) they could not be "without his Knowledge in the Revenue;" "but how he did employ his time, and the "Interest he had amongst that fort then in "Power, is to none better known (faith the "Writer) than to my felf: He was emi651 nently Charitable, and ufeful to the Poor, T
"Oppreft Proteftants; both those who had "liv'd in the City, and others who "fled for Refuge; and made fo great ufe "of the Opportunities he had to Relieve "and Affift them, that it was more than
one half of his Bufinefs to run about and "A&t in their behalf. What Income he
had, by his Employment, he scattered a"broad amongst them, and fought out occafions for fo doing; and very often ran "Hazards, in Preffing their Sufferings, to the Reproach of a Malicious and Revengeful People, who had Rob'd and Abus'd « them. We were daily together in one "Corner or other, (as we durft without ❝ obfervance) and I am fure he valued no
thing more than the good he could do "(in that fad time) to all that wanted his tr help. I might enlarge upon this Subject, but it may be needlefs: He is gone to his "Reward in that Heavenly Kingdom.
Thus my Voucher.
I have all the reafon in the World to be-, lieve this Relation; and I here folemnly declare I do It holds fuch proportion with the Temper of his Life, known to me. And this both fufficiently vindicates and together bighly commends our Deceafed Friend in that difinal juncture.
The other Particular relates to God's Efpecial Providence to him on his Death-bed. It fo came to pass, that from his first taking his Bed, his Head of all Parts was moftly feized, and though He had frequent and long.
Lucid Intervals, yet he too often wanted what we call Sane Memory: But how often none knew fo well, as She who best knew him, and was of any,moft conftantly with him. Strangers who are not acquainted with the Circumftances and private Converfation of People, when in their Healths, are apt to mistake many Speeches or fayings of theirs in Sickness, and upon approaching Death, efpecially if unusual; and this befel the Deceafed. Divers Vifitants and People about him on his Death-Bed, misinterpreting many things he fpoke to his Wife, to have been delirious, which the knew to be only the pious Breathings of his Soul. Notwithstanding it must be confeft, that fometimes during his Sickness, by the interruption of his Reafon, through his Difeafe, we loft,what perhaps would have been the most glorious Scene of his Life. For from a Soul of fuch standing in Christ, and so long practifed in all Christian Virtues, (and more efpecially in all the parts of Godliness, and in the feveral kinds of devout Exercises, from fuch a Soul, I fay) many Inftances of great Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost; of the aslurances of God's Love, and Foretafts of Heaven; many exalted Ejaculations, and almost Seraphick Strains of Praise (haply even Raptures and Extafy) might have been expected: Not to mention Counfels and Directions to Friends, poffibly fome peculiar Commands alfo to certain of them: Exhortations and Admonitions tó fuch attending him that needed them, and paffionate Atteftations to the Truth of ReliT 2 gion
ligion unto all; together with exemplary dying Recommendations of thofe he left behind him to God: Thefe and many like Advantages, which none but Souls like his, knew how to value, we loft by this the unhappy Affection of his nobleft Part. But it was God's Hand, and more a Punishment to Us, than to Him; for, bleffed be our good God, he died in perfect Peace.
Yet upon this, there is one Obfervation, which I cannot forbear making, that may be for the Spiritual Benefit of us all. It pleafed God fo to govern his Tongue, and as far as could be perceived, his very Thoughts, under all those discompofed Paroxyfms or Emotions of Mind, that nothing came from him any wife unbecoming a Chriftian of the moft Heavenly Temper. All that was heard from him, was either Prayers or Invitations thereto, or Arithmetical Accompts: That is, He was, even in his Deliriums,either employ'd as a Devout Perfon in the Exercife of his Religion, or,as a diligent Officer in the Discharge of his Calling and honeft Business. A rare Providence! and fuch as fhould teach us all Two Things.
1. How happy it is to be, in our Health, diligent in the Works of our Chriftian and Common Calling. It may in the very unhappiest and most dangerous Part of our Lives, have an Influence upon us, or move God fo to commiferate us, that in a dying, and even doting Hour, we no wife difhonour him, but our very Infirmities may prove good Examples.