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unmolested in his fellowship till the engagement was pressed upon him in 1649, when, for his refusing to take it, he was ejected. On this he went abroad, where he prosecuted his studies with indefatigable diligence, and became intimately acquainted with the most eminent of the loyal exiles, by whom he was greatly beloved for the singular modesty and affability ofliis temper, as well as for his great attainments in all kinds of learning. About the beginning of the restoration, he returned to his native country: the fame year he was chosen one of the university preachers; and soon after Dr. Cosin, who had known him abroad, being promoted to the bishoprick of Durham, appointed him his chaplain, gave him the rectory of Houghton le Spring, in the county of Durham, and the ninth prebend in that cathedral. In 1661, he assisted in reviewing the Liturgy, particularly in rectifying the calendar and rubrick. By virtue of the king's commendatory letters to the university of Cambridge, trie fame year he was created D. D. and not long after he was chosen master of his college, which he governed with great pru, dence, and the most obliging deportment to every one of its members. In the beginning of 1664, he was promoted to the dcanry of York, and in ten months afterwards was removed to that of St. Paul's; in consequence of which he resigned his mastership and the rectory of Houghton. On his coming to St. Paul's, he set himself with unwearied diligence to repair the sad breaches which had been'made in that venerable edifice, by the frantic zeal of the pretended reformers. And after the dreadful fire in 1666, he gave 1400I. towards rebuilding it, besides what he procured by his interest and assiduous solicitations and endeavours. He also rebuilt the deaitry, and improved the revenues belonging thereto. In October 1668, he was admitted archdeacon of Canterbury on the king's presentation, which dignity he resigned in 1670. He was also prolocutor of the lower house of convocation, and in that station he was, when king Charles II. advanced him unexpectedly, and without the least inclination of his own, to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury, to which he was consecrated January ay, ,1677-8. He behaved in this high station with singular prudence arid integrity, though the times that ensued were most difficult and critical: and it was reckoned a great happiness for the Church of England, that in the furious attacks made upon her in the latter years of king Charles II. and the whole reign of James II, she had so steady a pilot . • . ." 1 . at at the helm. His large revenues he did not waste or hoard, but bestowed them prudently and liberally in hospitality and charity; and in the distribution of preferments he acted with the greatest Judgment, always giving the preference to such men as were distinguished by their piety, learning, and zeal for the church.
On the 43d of August 1678, he published some excellent Directions to the Clergy, concerning Letters Testimonial to Candidates for Holy Orders. He attended king Charles II. when he was upon his death-bed, and made a very serious exhortation to him, in which he used a good degree of freedom, which he said was necessary, since his majesty was going to be judged by one who was no respecter of persons. In 1686, he was named the first in king James the Second's commission for ecclesiastical affairs; but he refused to act in it: which behaviour of his, though so highly to his honour, is yet made an article of reflection against him by bishop Burnet, who takes every occaiion to blacken the character of this good archbishop, ior not being as great a latitudinarian as himself. About the same time his Grace suspended Dr. Wood, bishop of Litchfield and Coventry, for residing out ot, and neglecting his diocese; another instance of his great care and concern for the church, and sufficient to vindicate his memory from the foul aspersions which certain writers have cast upon it., As one of the governors of the Charter-house he refused to admit Andrew Popham, a papist, upon that foundation, though the man came with a royal mandate; and this is another proof that the archbishop was not, what the author just alluded to fays he was, "a mere tool of the court." But one of the greatest actions of his life, was his going with six of his brethren, in 1688, with a petition to the king, stating their reasons why they could not cause his declaration for liberty of conscience to be read in churches. For this petition, which the court called a libel, they were committed to the Tower, and being tried for a misdemeanour the 29th of June, were acquitted, to the great joy os the nation. This year the archbishop projected a comprehension with the dissenters, in which he had the concurrence of some other excellent prelates of the church, particularly Bishop Patrick. On the 3d of October, accompanied by eight of his brethren the bishops, he waited upon the king, who had requested their advice in the great exigence of his affairs. Among other counsels which these pious prelates gave his majesty, were
Y 2 these:. these:—to annul the ecclesiastical commission; to desist From the exercise of a dispensing power; to supersede all further prosecutions of Quo aj&rrantos, and to call a free and regular, parliament. A few days after, though earnestly pressed by the king, he refused to sign a declaration of his abhorrence of the prince of Orange's invasion. The 12th of December, on king James's withdrawing himself, he concurred with the lords assembled at Guildhall, in a declaration to the prince of Orange, fora free parliament, security of our laws, liberties and properties, and of the Church of England, in parliament; with a due liberty to protestant dissenters.
But after the revolution, the archbishop could not do such violence to his conscience as to swear an oath os allegiance to another sovereign while James II. lived, to whom he had sworn fidelity and done homage.
For this refusal he was, with seven other conscientious prelates, by .an act of parliament made April 24, 1689, suspended and deprived, to the great injury of the church of England, which has never recovered from the evil consequences of the measure to this day.
He continued at Lambeth, however, till June 23, 1691, when, by a process in the court of Exchequer, he was ejected; and then he retired to his native place, where he spent the remainder of his days in a cheerful and peaceable retirement. He suffered his remove from his possessions and preferments, with greater satisfaction and cheerfulness than any man could take them. It was a smart answer that he gave to a person speaking to him concerning the revolution, and what were4ikely to be the effects of it: " Well," faith he smiling, "I can live upon fifty pounds a year," meaning his paternal inheritance; and thereby intimating, how little the loss of all the rest would affect him, and what an inconsiderable inducement the highest station of the church was to mislead him, and to pervert his conscience. He had no pride, ambition, covetousness, or luxury, to maintain; and consequently was secure against all assaults that could come from those quarters. When a man hath once brought himself to that pass that he cannot live under so much by the year, whenever such a posture of affairs happens that he cannot honestly keep his integrity and income too, he is in great danger of turning to the left hand, of distrusting Providence, and starving his conscience to keep warm his backand belly *."
* Vide a letter from Suffolk to a Friend in London, giving some account of the last sickness and death of Dr. William. Sancroft, late lord archbishop of Canterbury, 1697, 4to.
This truly excellent man, who had endured, gtoriouuV to Iiimself, two opposite kinds of persecution, died of an intermitting fever at Frefingfield, November 24, 1693; and, agreeably to his own directions, was interred privately in the church-yard of that parish; a tomb-stone with the following modest inscription, written by himself, being afterwards placed over bis grave:
On the Right Side of the Tami:
P. M. S.
•* Lector, Wilhelmi, nuper Archi-Pracsulis:
Qui natus in vicinia.
Quod morti cecidit, propter hunc mururn jacet,
Atqui resurget. Tu interim
Semper paratus ello, nam qui non putas
Venturus hora Dominus est.
r\u~. Vt „ a / Nat. Dom. MDCXCITL Obut Nov. 24, An. I Æut suae LXXVIL„ u
On the Left Side:
** William Sancroft, born in this parish, afterward by the Providence of God Archbishop of Canterbury, at last deprived of all, which he could not keep with a good conscience, returned hither to end his life, andprofefseth here at the foot of his tomb, that as naked he came forth, so naiad he must return; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, (as the Lord pleases so come things to pass;) Blejscd tt the name of the Lord!"
Over the Head of his Effigy:
« St. Matth. 24. v. 27.
** As the lightning cometh out of the East, and sliineth even unto the West, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."
What bishop Burnet says of him, is scarcely deferring further notice; for every one knows how the mind of that prelate was biassed against all who were not of his own notions, and that he scrupled not to relate any thing to their disadvantage, however false or improbable. A -writer who knew the bishop well, says of him, "That he had all the virtues and qualifications both of a great and of a good man; that he was a wife prelate, a most learned divine, a universal scholar, a just man, a faithful friend, an excellent counsellor, a kind and tender master to his servants, a great benefactor nefactor to others, a thankful beneficiary where he was obliged, himself ^a zealous asserter of his religion, against popery on the one side, and fanaticism on the other; and, in short, all the single perfections that make many men eminent, were uniied in this prelate, and rendered himself illustrious.*"
The writer of his Life, in the Biographic Britannica, concisely but most justly observes, that "he certainly gave the strongest instance possible of sincerity, in sacrificing the highest dignities, and other the greatest advantages, to what he thought truth and honesty." And of his sincerity and candour, the following anecdote is a striking proof.—One of his former chaplains, Mr. Needham, visiting him in September 1693, a few weeks before his death, found him much weakened by sickness, and confined to his bed. He then "gave Mr. Needham his blessing very affectionately, and, after some other talk, said thus to him: "You and I have gone different ways in these late affairs, but I trust Heaven's gates are wide enough to receive us both; what I have done, I have done in the integrity of my heart." Upon Mr. Needham's modest attempt to give an account of his own conduct, his Grace was pleased to reply, " I always took you for an honest man; what I said concerning myself, was only to let you know, that what I have done, I have done in the integrity of my heart, indeed in the great integrity of my heart."
His benefactions in his life-time amounted to eighteen thousand pounds, and at his death he left some large donations to charitable purposes of various descriptions.
Works.— 1. Fur Prædestinatus, five Dialogismus inter quendam Ordinis Prædicantium Calvinistam & Furem ad laqueum damnatum habitus. In quo ad vivum representantur non tantum quomodo Calvinistarum Dogmata ex seipsis ansam præbent scelera & impietates quasvis patrandi, fed insuper quomodo eadem maxime impediunt quo minus peccatur ad vitæ emendationem & resipiscentiam reduci possit. London, 1651, tamo.
2. A Sermon preached in St. Peter's Westminster, on the first Sunday in Advent 1660, at the Consecration of the Right Reverend Father in God, John (Cosin) Lord Bishop of Durham, William (Lucy) Lord Bishop of St. David's,
* Life prefixed to his Sermons, p. 29.