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standing. Fuller was not only a jester, but a shrewd writer of common-sense ; not only a «punster, but a searching investigator and historian.
On the anniversary of the king's inauguratiwn, March 27th, 1643, Fuller (still holding the lectureship at the Savoy) preached a sermon in Westminster Abbey, taking the unpalatable text--"Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my Lord the king is come again in peace to his own house.". I need not remind you that those were the days in which the divine right of kings, church and state, &c., were seriously believed in. The character of the “Good King,” in his “Holy State,” Fuller commences to describe with the bald statement "The king is a mortal god ;” ibahiz light he seems to have regarded King Charles, for he concluded the same chapter with the most fulsome praise of that monarch. It need not, therefore, be surprising, that the sermon referred to, with its courtly sentiments, and the allusions to public affairs, should have given great umbrage to the parliamentary party, involving him in much odium, and making his position among them rather anomalous. At the taking of Bristol, all hopes of peace, which he had laboured to promote, were dispelled ; but on the 27th July, another fast-day, Fuller made one more useless exhortation in favour of peace. This sermon, on publicatioi, was attacked by a Yorkshire clergyman, whom Fuller, when on the march, found time to reply to, challenging hin.eto an answer. This, however, the clergyman did not give, alleging that he had heard of Fuller's death at Exeter. “I have no cause," said he, in his “Worthies,” “to be angry with fame for so good a lie. May I make this true use of that false report--to die daily. See how Providence hath willed it: the dead man is still (1661) living; the then living man dead. And seeing that I survive to go over his grave, I will tread the more gently on the mould thereof, using that civility on him which I received from him."
When the Solemn League and Covenant was drawn up and subscribed to by the House of Commons and assembly of divines, Fuller was pressed to swear to it also; but he refused to do so, except with certain reservations. Whereupon he was compelled to leave London, and joined the standard of the king, at Oxford. Here he was well received, but on preaching at the court, he made the faithful mistake of preaching to royalty, instead of before it, as is usual ; and
his honest, plain-spoken nature pleased the royalists no better than the “roundheads." Here is a proof of his sterling honesty to principle: Mr. Worldly Wisdom would have acted somewhat differently. As at London, so at Oxford, he was called by hard names, and not liking the sentiments or company he here met with, he shortly afterwards left, having sought and obtained a chaplaincy in part of the king's army commanded by Sir Ralph Hopton--this step being, perhaps, precipitated by taunts of suspicion as to his fidelity to the king's cause.
His property met with the same fate that attended very many in that period—it was sequestered by the parliament. Though by this act he was reduced to poverty, he bore the loss with Christian resignation, cheerfully acquiescing in the decrees of Providence, who had, he considered, justly afflicted the nation for its sins. He thus alludes to his losses in his “ Mixt Contemplations :"_“I have observed that towns which have been casually burnt, have been built more beautiful than before ; mud walls afterwards made of stone; and roofs, formerly but thatched, afterwards advanced to be tiled. The apostle tells me that I must not think strange concerning the fiery trial which is to happen to me. May I likewise prove improved by it. Let my renewed soul, which grows out of the ashes of the old man, be a more firm fabric and stronger structure: so shall my affliction be my advantage.”
Among other things, he felt very keenly the loss of his valuable library and MSS., which, Vandai-like, had been destroyed. This want, however
, was partly made good, through the noble generosity of one of his patrons, Lord Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex, who gave him his father's library:
England was then scourged and wasted by the Civil War, and there are many melancholy evidences, in his writings, of its baneful effect on the nation and on individuals. One or two extracts from his “ Thoughts” are here given, which will show, at the same time, his own sentiments in those hard times, and the style of the composition of his “Thoughts, published during its progress.
“We read (Luke xiii. 11) of a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. This woman may pass for the lively emblem of the English nation : from the year of
our Lord 1642 (when our wars first began) unto this present one, eighteen years in my arithmetic ; all which time our land has been bowed together, beyond possibility of standing upright. A pitiful posture, wherein the face is made to touch the feet, and the back is set above the head! God, in due time, set us right, and keep us right, that the head may be in its proper place ! Next the neck of the nobility, then the breast of the gentry, the loins of the merchants and citizens, the thighs of the yeomanry, the legs and feet of artificers and day labourers. As for the clergy (here by me purposely omitted), what place soever be assigned them-if low, God grant patience; if high, give humility unto them."
“This nation is scourged by a wasting war : God could no longer be just if we were prosperous. Blessed be His name, that I have suffered my share in the calamities of my country. Had I poised myself so politically betwixt both parties, that I had suffered from neither—yet could I have taken no contentment in my safe escaping. For why should I, equally engaged with others in sinning, be exempted above them from the punishment ? It is, therefore, some comfort that I draw in the same yoke with my neighbours, and with them jointly bear the burden which our sins have jointly brought upon us."
While engaged in active service in the army as chaplain, preaching regularly on the Lord's-day, Fuller manifested that diligence which is ever to be met
with in his life. For when now wandering up and down England, following the fortunes of the Royal army, he was busily employing his time in collecting materials for
his most fåmous and greatest work—“The Worthies of England”—a work which contains, principally, short biographies of celebrated Englishmen, but also embraces a great variety of other topics. It is said, that in searching for matter for this book, he would patiently listen for hours to the prattle of old women, that he might gather, from their gossip, snatches of local history, recollections of great men, scraps of traditionary wisdom or folk-lore; and that he would reproduce the same by the aid of his wonderful memory. Like Scott's “Old Mortality,” this itinerant chaplain would, on coming into a new district, at once seek out and také notes of anything of antiquarian interest; visiting old church yards and tombstones, and poring over musty records of the past, for anything which would be useful towards the accomplishment of his task. By this and other means, he collected a vast amount of varied information, and particulars of great men, which might otherwise have been lost. The men whose names he has endeavoured to perpetuate, are ranged under the l'espective counties of their birth; and he mentions also the productions, manufactures, local history, proverbs, sheriffs, and modern battles, leaving each county with an appropriate farewell. It is a work which every Englishman should be proud to own. His object in compiling it is thus candidly stated by himself :-“ Know then, I propound five ends to myself in this book : first, to gain some glory to God ; secondly, to preserve the memory of the dead ; thirdly, to present examples to the living ; fourthly, to entertain the reader with delight ; and lastly (which I am not ashamed publicly to profess), to procure some honest profit to myself.”
In the discharge of his duties as chaplain, he was at Basing-house during one of its sieges ; where, with all the vigour of a Crusader, or Norman bishop, he incited and animated the garrison to so vigorous a defence, that the attacked became the attackers—the leader of the Parliamentary forces being compelled to retire.
When the Royal forces were driven into Cornwall, Fuller, having obtained leave of absence from Lord Hopton, took up his residence in Exeter_“one of the sweetest and neatest towns in England,” says Fuller; but these adjectives do not apply now. On the queen resorting hither for refuge, Fuller was appointed tutor and chaplain, by King Charles, to her infant, Princess Henrietta, lately bom here, to testify his great worth ; and the king shortly afterwards gave him a patent for his presentation to the town of Dorchester, worth £400 per annum. While in this city, Fuller 8 society was much sought after, and he remained here till its surrender in 1646 ; during which time, besides continuing his literary labours, he preached regularly to the citizens. Here he put forth his “Good Thoughts in Bad Times”-a patriotic and seasonable little book, well adapted for the condition in which his country was placed. Füller was present at the siege of Exeter, of which he relates a strange episode, which must be told in his own words :“When the city of Exeter was besieged by the Parliamentary forces, so that only the south side thereof, towards the
sea, was open unto it, incredible numbers of larks were found in that quarter, for multitude like quails in the wilderness, though (blessed be God !) unlike thenı both in cause and effect--as not desired with man's destruction, nor sent with God's anger-as appeared by their digestion into wholesome nourishment: hereof I was an eye and mouth witness. I will save my credit, in not conjecturing any number, knowing that herein, though I should stop beneath the truth, I should mount above belief. They were as fat as plentiful; so that, being sold for twopence a dozen and under, the poor--who could have no cheaper, as the rich no better, meat-used to make pottage of them, boiling them down therein. Several natural causes were assigned hereof. However, the cause of causes was Divine Providence.”
Fuller is next met with in London, being gladly welcomed back again at the Savoy. But the troubles he had passed through, added to the distracted state of his country, had affected his mind ; and, “weak in health and dejected in spirits,” he repaired to the residence of his constant patron, Lord Montague, at Boughton, near Northampton. Under his hospitable roof, he wrote “The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Conscience, and he was all the better for it. This book is distinguished by its deep thought, tinged all the way through by melancholy, shewing the reality of his affliction. It is dedicated to the Countess of Rutland ; and the “ Christian Reader" is told in the preface that, as it was not suitable to wear wedding clothes at a funeral, he had, in that sad subject, declined all light and luxurious expressions. This, consequently, does not read like one of Fuller's works. The last dialogue...“ Whether it be lawful to pray for, or to pray against, or to praise God for, a wounde conscience”- concludes with the following beautiful and much-admired sentiment :-“Music is sweetest near or over rivers, where the echo thereof is best rebounded by the water. Praise for pensiveness, thanks for tears, and blessing God over the floods of affliction, makes the most melodious music in the ears of heaven.”
He again went to London, and preached wherever he was allowed ; occupying, among other pulpits, that of St. Clement's, Lombard-street, and St. Bride's, Fleet-street. He also published another volume of meditations, entitled “Good Thoughts in Worse Times.” These little manuals were very popular, and their contents show them to be the