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Chillingworth followed the fortunes of Charles when the civil war commenced, as an engineer; and was taken prisoner at the surrender of Arundel castle in Sussex. He was at this time very sick, and owed the peculiar indulgences which he obtained, to the good offices of Francis Cheynel, already mentioned, a republican and puritan, and equally zealous in the church and in the field. His respect for the great merits of bis adversary, and even tenderness for his condition, make a somewhat ludicrous contrast with his abhorrence of his senti. ments, and that fanatical severity of character which often embarrassed him in the treatment of his prisoner. Chillingworth died at Chicester while a captive, in the beginning of the year 1644, at ihe preinature age of forty-two years. Cheynel soon after published a fract, now very rare, entitled “ The Sickne-se, Heresy, Death and Buriall of William Chillingworth, &c." We present to our readers some extracts from this, not only curious we think, but characteristic, in a measure, of the age, and very strikingly so, of this singular enthusiast. They are related by Des Maizeaux, the biographer of Chillingworth.
“When I found him pretty hearty one day,” says Cheynel, “I desired him to tell me, whether he conceived that a man living and dying a Turk, Papist, or Socinian, could be saved ? All the answer that I could gain from him was, that he did not absolve them, and would not condemn them.' Mr. Chilling worth being tired of such captious questions; begged of Mr. Cheynel to spare him, but our zealot answered that request with a severe reprimand.
“ When Mr. Chillingworth saw himself entangled in disputes, he desired me that I would deal charitably with bim, for, saith he, I was ever a charitable man: my answer was somewhat tart, and therefore the more charitable, considering his condition and the counsell of the Apostle, Titus i. 13. “Rebuke them sharply, or (as Besa hath it) precisely, that they may be sound in the failh ;' and I desire not to conceal my tartnesse; it was to this effect: Sir, it is confessed that you have been very excessive in your charily ; you have lavished out so much upon Turks, Socinians, Papists, that I am afraid you have very little to spare for a truly Reformed Protestant.”......." I desired to know his opinion concerning that liturgy, which has been formerly so much extolled and even idolized among the people ; but all the answer I could get was to this purpose; that there were some truths which the Ministers of the Gospel are not bound upon pain of damnation lo publish to the people ; and indeed he conceived it very unfit to publish any thing concerning the Common-prayer Book, or the book of ordination, &c. for feare of scandal.” At the same time Mr. Cheynel shewed his readiness to procure him all the relief and assistance possible.
“I commended,” says he,“ to the sympathy and prayers of the soldiers, the distressed estate of Mr. Chillingworth, a sick person in the city, a man very eminent for the strength of bis parts, the excellency of his gifts, and the depth of his learning. I told them they were commanded to love their enemies, and therefore to pray for them. We prayed beartily that God would be pleased to bestow saving graces as well as excellent gifts upon him, that so all his gifts might be improved and sanctified; we desired that God would give him new light and new eyes, that he might see, . acknowledge, and recant bis errors, that he might deny bis carnal reason and submit to faith, that God would bless all ineans which were used for his recovery, &c. I believe, none of his friends or my enemies can deny that we made a respectful and christian mention of bim in our prayers.”
The royal party, as Wood states, imputed to Chillingworth's being " troubled with the impertinent discourses and disputes of Cheynel, the shortning of his days." Cheynel seems on the other hand, to represent the depression of his mind in consequence of the delay of his friends to ransom him, as a main cause of his death. “I entreated him," he says, “ to plucke up his spirits and not to yield to his disease ; but I perceived that though Reason be stout when it encounters with faith, yet reason is not so valiant, when it is to encounter with affliction : and I cannot but observe, that many a Parliamentsouldier hath been more cheerful in a prison, than this discoursing engineer and learned captive was in a palace : Believe it, Reader, believe it, that neither gifts, nor parts, nor profession, nor any thing else but faith, will sustain the spirit of a man in spirituall straights and worldly encombrances, when without there are fightings, and within there are fears."
The account of Chillingworth's burial is as curious as any part of the tract. With respect to this it would appear, that Cheynel had been charged with uncharitableness; but he thinks his statement will, on the contrary, rather subject him to the “censure of a little foolish pity on his part.”
“First, there were all things which may any way appertaine to the civility of a funerall, though there was nothing which belongs to the superstition of a funerall; his body was decenily laid in a convenient coffin, covered with a Mourning herse-cloth, more seemly, as I conceive, than the usual covering patched up out of the mouldy reliques of some moth-eaten copes :*
* A sacerdotal cloak probably
his friends were entertained according to their own desire with wine and cakes, though that is, in my conceit, a turning of the house of mourning into an house of banquetting. All that offered themselves to bear bis corps out of pure devotion, because they were men of his perswasion, had every one of them (according to the custome of the countrey) a branch of Rose. mary, a mourning ribband, and a paire of gloves.” He acknowledges, however, there were various opinions in regard to his burial, one of which, it is worthy of remark, was, “that be ought not to be buried like a Christian.” One reason for this was, that he had “ taken up arms against his countrey," and another, “ibat he was an Heretic, and a member of no Reformed Church.” It was at last determined, however, that he might, from mere humanity, be buried by the men of his own persuasion. “ Now there was free liberty,” says Cheynel, “ granted to all the Malignants in the city, (meaning the Royalists and Prelatists) to attend the Herse, and interre his corps. Sure I am that if Mr. Chillingworth had been as orthodox and zealous a preacher as John the Baptist was, he might have had as honourable a buriall; for all the honour that John had was to be buried by his owne Disciples, Matt. xiv. 12. If the doctrine of this eminent scholar was Heretical and his Disciples were Malignants, I am not guilty of that difference. As devout Stephen was carried to his grave by devout men, so it is just and equal that Malignants should carry Malignants to their grave." Cheynel confesses also his refusal to read, according to Chillingworth's request while living, part of the service of the Common-prayer at his grave; and he alleges his reasons. “ Now I could not yield to this request of his, for many reasons which I need not specifie; yet shall I say enough to give satisfaction to reasonable and modest men. I conceive it absurd and sinful to use the same forme of words at the buriall of all manner of persons; namely to insinuate that they are all elected, that they all doe rest in Christ, that we hure sure and certaine hope of their salvation ; and all this, and great deale more, was desired by Mr.Chillingworth: blame me vot, if I did choose to satisfie my conscience rather than his desire.”
The Reader will hardly intagine now that Mr. Cheynel should go and meet the Malignanis as he is pleased to call them, at the grave. But he was resolved to give here a new and uncommon instance of his zeal and orthodoxy. For though he refused to bury Mr. Chillingworth's corps, he must needs bury his book. This theatrical performance he relates in the following manner. “When the Malignants brought his Herse to the buriall, I met them at the grave with Master Chillingworth's booke in my hand; at the buriall of which booke I conceived it fit to make this little speech following." In the title of this speech it is called, “ Mr. Chillingworth's mortal book," somewhat unfortunately for Mr. Cheynel, we cannot but think, as it is said of a book, which through each successive age has gained an increasing, and now certainly a lasting fame. With the conclusion of his speech we close our extracts from this tract. "If they (i.e. his friends) please to undertake the buriall of his corps, I shall undertake to bury his errors, which are published in this so much admired yet unworthy booke ; and happy would it be for this Kingdome, if this book and all its fellowes could be so buried, that they might never rise more, unless it were for a confutation; and happy would it have been for the author, if he had repented of these errours, that they might never rise for his condemnation. Happy, thrice happy will be be, if his works do not follow him, if they do never rise with him nor against him. Get thee gone then, thou cursed booke, which bas seduced so many precious souls ; get thee gone, thou corrupt, rotten booke, earth to earth, and dust to dust; get thee gone into the place of rottennesse, that thou maist rot with thy author and see corruption. So much for the buriall of his errors.-Touching the buriall of his corps, I need say no more than this, it will be most proper for the men of his perswasion to commit the body of their deceased Master to the dust, and it will be most proper for me to hearken to that councell of my Saviour, “ Let ihe dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the Kingdome of God.”—Luke i. 60. And so I went from the grave to the pulpit, and preached on that text to the congregation."
Although Chillingworth, as an enlightened and consistent Protestant, advanced very far before his age, it had some who could appreciate his excellence. He lived in intimate society with the ever-memorable" John Hales and the accomplished Lord Falkland. The highest encomiums are bestowed upon bim by those illustrious men, Tillotson and Locke. By the former, he is styled the glory of this age and nation.” The latter, in a letter to Antony Collins, speaking of the tract we have been noticing, says, “I desire to acknowledge my obligations to you for one of the most villanous books that I think was ever printed. It is a present that I highly value. I had heard something of it when a young man at the University, but possibly should never have seen this quintessence of railing, but for your kindness. It ought to be kept as the pattern and standard of that sort of writing, as the man he spends it upon for that of good temper, and clear, and strong arguing.” The singularly logical cast of Chillingworth's mind, fitting hire above all men for the task he assumed as the advocate of Protestantism, is strikingly exhibited in the fine character of that mind which Clarendon has given. “Neither the books of his adversaries, nor any of their persons, though he was acquainted with the best of both, had ever made great impression on bim : all his doubts grew out of himself, when he assisted bis scruples with all the strength of bis own reason, and was then 100 hard for himself; but finding as little quiet and repose in those victories, he quickly recovered by an appeal to his own judgment; so that he was, in truth, in all his sallies and retreats, his owo convert."
In a former number we offered some remarks on this subject, with the hope of attracting to it the attention of those of our ministers by whom it has been neglected. We would now only suggest a few observations on the manner of conducting it.
It is scarcely necessary to say that, in preparation for expository preaching, every minister, whenever be reads, should have open before him a General Index, in which he may arrange alphabetically, or in a better form if he can devise one, the subjects that engage his attention ; references to illustrations of Scripture ; and valuable criticisms on texts and words, to which he may have occasion to recur. Without this assistance to the memory, it will be impossible that much should not be lost, which it is very desirable should be retained. A book of this kind is very often greatly useful for other purposes, than of immediate preparation for the pulpit. It will however be found very important in the composition of sermons. But still more for expositions. A well formed general index of one's own reading, -I mean of one who has read as a student, may be, at least to him that bas made it, the most valuable book even of a very valuable library.
Nor can I forbear to observe, that, as an important object of expository preaching is to illustrate allusions ; to shew the bearing of facts mentioned by the sacred writers, upon the religious and moral instructions of scripture; and to bring facte of Jewish history and character which are not mentioned by them, to enlighien what is otherwise obscure, to shew the propriety of what otherwise seems unimportant, and to reconcile what at first appears to be contradictory; in order to a course