A. D. 1693.
Jan. 4. In return, had Mr. Simmons' company, the ingenious
7. Morning, read Hall; was at mill; rest of day at the auction, where in the evening had like to have been a dismal conclusion, but for the watchful providence of a merciful Saviour. The large chamber, being overcrowded with the press of people, in an instant sunk down about a foot' at one end; the main beam breaking, gave so terrible a thunder-like crack, and the floor yielding below their feet, the people set up such a hideous noise, apprehending the fall of the whole house, at least the sinking of the room, (which, in all probability, had been the death of most present,) as was most doleful and astonishing, though I, sitting upon the long table by the books, was not at first apprehensive of the danger; but being informed by a friend of the imminent danger, I hasted out with what expedition I could, so as to take good Mr. Wright (whose lameness and weakness prevented his haste in the crowd) with me ; and perceiving how much it had sunk immediately below my seat, which had fallen the first part of the room, if the Almighty had not put under his omnipotent arm to sustain it, and how much of the plaster-work in the hall below was fallen down, my heart was overcharged with admiration, and I hope, I may truly say, thankfulness, for so signal a deliverance was above expression. Evening, concluded Hall upon Ephesians before family prayer, wherein had good Mr. Wright's assistance, who very well blessed God for so remarkable a deliverance.
9. At the auction of the Latin books.
18. Was at the Mayor's (Mr. Calverly's) feast; stayed there with suitable company till about five.
25. Transcribing list of eighty poor children of this town and parish, who have each a Bible and Catechism, the gift of the religious Lord Wharton.
Feb. 24. Read Hall in family, then at mill; most of day writing to Dr. Johnston, Mr. Stretton, and Mr. Ness, about bookish business. Evening, about two hours at Mr. H.'s ; then within, reading, concluded that of the most excellent Bishop Usher's life, and letters from many pious and learned divines, and others now, I think, all at rest.
March 1. Morning, writing to Mr. Str.* about books; then at mill, but hasted to church, Avhere the Vicar preached excellently and suitably to the season, from James iv. 9, 10 : "Be afflicted, and mourn and weep;" exhorting earnestly to repentance, mortification, newness of life, &c., and yet having done all to disclaim merit, and own ourselves unprofitable servants; spent most of the afternoon and evening with neighbours at Dr. Jacque's banquet : read only Hall.
8. Was much of the afternoon at the new library, at the free school, transcribing benefactors. Some of the chief, with the founder, came presently after; stayed with them some time, and after, had Mr. Robinson's (who gave the Polyglot Bible,) company at my house, which, with other visits, took up rest of day and evening : read only Annotations.
14. Morning, at mill; then at Mill-hill, advising with father. Most of day writing the deeds for Dr. Stubbs's and cousin R. Idle's sixth part of chapel. Evening, had them executed, which stayed me too long: read little.
May 3. Morning, writing to the Archdeacon, and W. J. at St. Andrew's, and sending manuscript to ditto ingenious Mr. Nicholson. With Mr. Ib. upon a sad occasion, being upon an inquest, for the murder of George Doddel, a poor man, slain by two Dutch troopers ; the evidence was full, that it was found murder nemine contradicente; the same evening, a child was slain by the fall of a piece of wood; and the day before, the master of the Spring Garden drowned.
June 11, Morning, read Annotations; rode with Mr. Ib. to Harewood, upon rape-seed account, with William Bolton, a cant old man, who walked from that town to London five times, off and on, in half a year's time, (the winter terms,) yet never lay more than three nights upon the road betwixt London and Harewood, and so, e contra, in the ten times, whereof one was strictly at Christmas ; and he told us some remarkable passages of the late Sir John Cutler's charity to his tenants, which I purposely record, because of the unworthy reflections of covetousness cast upon so worthy a benefactor, (as his noble foundation of the College of Physicians ; and a Lecture, founded and endowed by him, of which, vid. Dr. Sprat's History of Royal Society, do clearly evince him to have been,) particularly, in a dear year, (in the great drought, arm. 168-,) he not only forbore their rents, saying, they should not make an ill bargain, (by sale of their goods at an underworth,) for his sake, but gave express orders to his steward to send them monies to retrieve some that had done so, and prevent it in others; and now at his death, his tenants there are, through his lenity and forbearance, 5000/. in arrears, viz. two years and a half rent.
16. Morning,up pretty early; rid with brother to Esquire Dineley's, of Bramhope, about tenantship ; returned at noon, (though poor brother dismounted in a bog.) In return, with the young Esquire D. and Mr. Walker, (the Governor and Bishop of Londonderry's son,) viewed the ingeniously contrived walks in Mr. Kirk's wood, being the most curious of that nature that ever I beheld.
July 7. Rode to the Spas.
8. Morning, rose pretty early, drank of the sulphur Spa; afternoon, rode with Mr. Ib. to St. Mungo's well, bathed there, &c.
11. Forenoon, drank the waters; afternoon, rode with Mr. Ib. to ditto well at Copgrave, and he with me two miles further, to see Sir Edward Blacket's stately house, which is indeed a most noble fabric, to which are adjoined very curious gardens, with delicate statues, and pleasant walks, &c.
28. Morning, sent for by Mr. Ardern (Sir John Ardern's nephew) an ingenious Cheshire gentleman, who returned to see collection of curiosities, and stayed dinner.
Aug. 12. Writing to Undertakers for Camden.
15. Morning, taking account of the ancient coins and medals (above one hundred British, Roman, Runic, Saxon, &c.) sent to the editors of Camden.
16. Rode with Mr. Ibbetson to Parlington. Paid to John Gascoigne, Esq. 100/. upon rape account; he showed me a very curious pedigree of that ancient family, whence I transcribed what relates to Judge Gascoigne, ob. 17 Dec. 1412. I was very obligingly entertained and respected by two R. C. knights, Sir Thomas Gascoigne and Sir Miles Sta-pleton. Oh, that they were enlightened with the truth as it is in Jesus !
19- Morning, writing to Mr. Obadiah Walker about coins for Camden. Much of day with Mr. Water-house, and to visit Mr. Sharp. Oh, that he may be restored as a public blessing !
21. With Mr. Waterhouse and Mr. Whitaker to visit Mr. Sharp; they both prayed excellently; I was much affected, yet betwixt hope and fear.
24. Morning, sent for by the excellent Mr. Sharp (which deferred family prayers till noon) to consult about the disposal of his concerns ; being very apprehensive of his danger. Advised with Mr. B. D. also, and acted, at his request, the melancholy part of a clerk, &c. with a sad heart and dejected spirit. All forenoon there.
25. Morning, read Annotations. Directing workmen till past ten. At a meeting, when several prayed well and earnestly for worthy Mr. Sharp's recovery. Oh ! that the Father of mercy, fountain of all goodness, would extend mercy to his afflicted servants, who are much oppressed by this severe threatening. He was afterwards somewhat better, that hopes of his restoration refreshed us abundantly.
26. Morning, read Annotations. Forenoon, with workmen. At noon, sent for again by Mr. Sharp. I hasted thither with all speed, but he told me he feared I was too late; his strength would scarce permit him to arise. I made particular enquiry concerning the estate at ..... whether liberty to dispose of it to ...... which he answered distinctly to, and called for the writings. But, perceiving there was no time to demur, (as we had done upon Thursday in hopes of recovery and for ditto scruple's sake) I entered upon the sad employ, put the Will into form, (the first I ever attempted) transcribed it, which he subscribed and declared to be his last Will and Testament, and returned thanks to us by name, for kind assistance and former respects.
When others pressing in, he began a most excellent, affecting, astonishing exhortation, which, in vain, I wished some present to take in writing, but all were too much affected: tears would have rendered the paper incapable of impression. I observed especially, that the graces of faith and humility were predominant. He was noted for this latter, by all that knew him, through the whole course of his life, and it increased to the very last. He was nothing in his own eyes ; had the most self-debasing expressions that could proceed from any mortal—a poor creature, sinful worm, vile wretch, self-condemned, that had intruded into the high calling of the ministry, and had no gifts, no graces, no abilities, to discharge so great a trust; loathed himself for it; and if the great God should spurn him out of his presence, he could not but justify him. "Oh, woe, woe, woe is me, that I have sinned! 1 even tremble to appear before the dreadful tribunal of God, who will come with flaming fire to take vengeance upon those that know not God, and obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember what I preached to you from that text, " I have endeavoured to discharge a good conscience," though with a multitude, multitude, multitude (thrice repeated) of imperfections, and " have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God;" and then fell into an holy ecstasy of joy, for hopes of salvation through the blessed Mediator. Oh, the infinite riches of free grace !—" And I bless God for the sweet com-
munion I have enjoyed with you in his ordinances, and humbly beseech him to supply the breach that is shortly to be made; and to send you a man of judgment filled with his Spirit, that may better discharge his duty than I have done, who deserve to be made a spectacle of misery to angels and men," &c. To his wife, who feared he spent too much his faint spirits (for he spoke with hesitancy and pain), he replied, " My conscience is open, and I must speak. Thou hast been a good wife to me, but hast hindered me too much from coming to Leeds to preach : let it be a warning to others, that they dare not to hinder their husbands from preaching. There is no comfort at death like a faithful discharge of duty;" and calling his daughters, gave excellent advice, to improve time, before we launch into the vast ocean of eternity. Oh, eternity! eternity ! eternity ! what shallow conceptions have we of it! As to his son (John) who was at Mr. Frankland's Academy, he prayed that God would incline his heart to the ministry, and desired he might be continued at Mr. Frankland's, who is an excellent person, and very serviceable to the Church of God. And (when I was hasted down to send for Dr. S.) speaking of good old Mr. Wales, he said he was a humble holy man of God, and himself should think it an honour to be buried near his sepulchre. He spoke much and excellently ; but what through the extremity of my sorrow, infirmity of my memory, inability to word them in his most apt expressions,
I find myself altogether incapable of doing what I both earnestly exhorted others unto, and fully designed to attempt according to my poor ability myself. To which, in my excuse, I may justly add the hurry of the funeral preparations which lay much upon me, with almost a constant attendance upon his disconsolate widow while she abode in town, which both his and her requests laid me under an indispensable obligation to. I sat up a sorrowful mourner all night, endeavouring to support her under so pressing an affliction; through mercy was much affected in prayer, (for which her importunity prevailed) broken for those sins that I have cause to fear have had too great a hand in hastening so dismal a calamity. He was very patient even to admiration under the pangs of death; for all night long, he breathed so faintly and with difficulty, that we despaired of his continuance an hour longer. But he spoke little after seven, when he discoursed about his library, &c. The Polyglot Bible, Pool's Synopsis, and English Annotations, with Cambridge and Symson's Concordance, he particularly mentioned as serviceable to his son. Was so distinct in his memory, that he told me the particular shelf where my dear father's Manuscript Diary, &c. were laid; except some cases of conscience, which were in his studying desk, which he desired to be carefully returned. When once in the night we expressed fear he should catch cold (for he would needs have had all clean linen about him,) he replied, with a gene-
rous disdain, "What fear of cold, when so shortly to be dissolved, and, as a cold lump of clay, deposited in the silent grave ?" &c. But continuing till past five in the morning, we thought he might possibly do so till the time he begun; whereupon I hasted home, hoping for an hour or two's refreshment to prevent drowsiness. But when I awaked about seven, I found little of it; e contra, surprised with a bitter agony of weeping, to that excess as to prevent the putting on the remainder of my apparel for a considerable time, at which instant he died, (having again called his dear wife and two daughters, and taken a solemn leave of them ; and, with great faith and cheerfulness, recommended his precious soul into the hands of his dear Redeemer, which last moments my unworthiness prevented my particular presence at,) for as soon as it was in any measure abated, I hasted up, and met our maid at the Bar with the sad tidings of his decease. O Lord ! O Lord ! what a bitter and heavy burden is sin, that has deprived vis of the choicest mercy under heaven ; such a minister of Jesus Christ as very few have equalled in this or former centuries—an irreparable loss. Oh black and dismal day ! a darkness like that of the Egyptians, which may even be felt, has overspread us. How have my sins found me out ! how bitter are the fruits of them ! the whole world is nothing—every thing is a burden to me,—I even envy the dead ! . . . . Attended Mr. Dawson's ministry both ends of the day, but I fear
with little profit. Was extremely dejected in spirit; had many bitter pangs of grief; and when any friend, as brother, and cousin F. came in the interval to condole, we were dumb with sorrow, not able to express our mutual sorrow and overwhelming passion for some time, further than by the silent but expressive language of tears. After latter sermon, went up with some friends to endeavour to support his dejected widow. Read not, much less sung; had father's assistance in prayer.
28. Morning, hasted up to assist his sorrowful widow, and was there melancholily employed the whole day.
29. Morning., hasted up to the house of mourning, assisting in the disposal of gloves to ministers, &c. at the sad funeral; he was interred betwixt two eminently holy ministers, Mr. Wales and Mr. Todd, in the New Church, which, upon this occasion, might justly be called Bochim, being full of weepers ; his death being as generally lamented as his life was loved and desired.
30. Morning; all day with poor dejected Mrs. Sharp, discharging funeral expenses, securing sermon notes, and other papers of the incomparable Mr. S. with a sad and dejected heart.
September 3. Die Dom. Morning read Annotations. Mr. Waterhouse preached well from Genesis xlviii. 21, and concluded with some affectionate expressions relating to the sad providence, &c. Even-lng> heard the ten orphans (to whom the Lord
Wharton's former year's Bibles were distributed) their catechism and psalms; most repeated very well.
5. Morning, read Annotations; with workmen most of day ; rest, with poor disconsolate Mrs. Sharp, and with good Mr. Heywood, whose assistance we had in family prayer.
6. So this morning ; then sent for by ditto sorrowful widow,' whom I accompanied to the chapel; which, upon this solemn occasion, was so extremely crowded, that we could scarce get in pretty early, and afterwards, multitudes turned back, that could not get so nigh the walls and windows as to hear ; it was the greatest and saddest assembly that ever I beheld. I was even dissolved in tears, and scarce able to bear up under the afflicting dispensation. My cousin Whitaker prayed most affectionately and excellently, and so he preached from Acts xx. last verse; doctrine, that when God takes away his eminent and faithful ministers from this lower world, it is just matter of deep lamentation to the places and people from which they are removed. Mr. Heywood immediately succeeded in this solemn work, praying also affectionately and suitably, as he preached from 1 Kings xiii. 30, " Ah, my brother!" the different significations of the word brother, natural, political, ecclesiastical, and spiritual: doctrine, that Ah, or alas my brother! is the proper elegy of a people, and of all men, in reference to a godly deceased brother, which is a memorial of endearing relation. 1. We that are ministers must say, Alas, my brother! under this Providence especially, wherein the Lord has taken away from us,
1. a brother, trained up in the schools of the prophets, Master of Arts of Clare Hall, under the most excellent Mr. David Clarkson, (whose works praise him in the gates,) and he might have added, upon Mr. Clarkson's removal, under the famous Dr. Til-lotson, the present Archbishop of Canterbury ; 2. of capacious natural parts, fit for any learning. 3. orthodox, sound against the errors of the times, Pela-gianism, Socinianism, and Arminianism ; some manuscripts of his testify his great abilities in defeating them ; 4. an excellent preacher, accurate, fit for an academic order; 5. of a peaceable temper, never wrangling either about spiritual or temporal concerns : but that which indeed recommended him beyond any of his brethren, was his humility and self-denial. God has greatly weakened our strength in the way; let me tell you my sad observation, that since that black Bartholomew, that silenced all, he was one of the most eminent of fourscore ministers that have been taken away in these thirty-one years.
2. You of his congregation especially, and others that heard him occasionally, have also great cause of lamentation. Consider, 1. what has sin done? Sin has made all the funerals that have been in the world; 2. alas ! what has my sin done ? my sin has worm-eaten the finest flower ; 3. his death is a sign of God's displeasure ; a black cloud overspreads this assembly; 4. his place is vacant, and who is able to fill it up ? 5. alas, for poor England! did he not stand in the gap to stop the wrath of God ? Alas ! that a Baxter, Flavel, Steel, and Sharp, should be taken away in so few weeks or months; 6. this seems a presage of more judgments ; and 7. doth not the present state of things aggravate the loss ? God takes the better, and leaves the worse, &c. Was afterwards with several ministers, entreating their assistance in officiating weekly for us ; enjoyed Mr. Manlove's company in library; evening had Mr. Heywood's help in prayer.
7. This morning also enjoyed his good assistance in prayer; was after, to take leave of the mournful widow; (the Lord comfort her ;) and afterwards, of Mr. Heywood; had Mr. Manlove's company much of day, and cousin Whitaker's.
8. Morning, at Mill-hill, taking leave of Mr. Man-love, who prayed well; had bitter reflections upon our sad loss.
9. Morning, read Annotations; with workmen most of day ; received a visit from Parson Robinson, of the New Church, who courteously communicated his intentions of being a considerable benefactor.
12. Morning, rode with many relations to York.
13. Being fast day, I went to the Minster, in the forenoon, where I heard a most excellent sermon, and suitable to the occasion, full of candour and moderation. After, walked with my dear to the new meeting, where I was as much disappointed and dis-
gusted at some expressions of an old minister—a good man in the main, but to me seeming too rigid and uncharitable; though afterwards Dr. Colton, (the late Mr. Ward, senr's. son-in-law,) made a very serious, affecting, and suitable discourse to the occasion. Even, with Mr. Torre, transcribing manuscript, &c.
14. Morning, at shops with my dear, and amongst books. Afternoon, rode with relations to the Lady Tomson's (my father's cousin) at Middle Thorp, whence I walked to Bishop Thorp, where I was most courteously entertained by the worthy Bishop* in his library, where he also showed me his curious collection of coins : laid an obligation on me to see him at Bishop Thorp, and dine there when on that side; designed to see mine at Leeds. Mr. Pearson,f his chaplain, was also very desirable company, and of obliging deportment.
15. Morning, visited Dr. Nicholson (another of my dear's relations,) and afterwards returned to Ledsham. Blessed be God for protection to all! those especially in the coach, which escaped a considerable danger.
16. Spent forenoon at Ledsham; and afterwards returned with Mr. Manlove, and found all things well at home.
17. Die Dom. Morning, read Annotations; Mr. Manlove prayed well in family and public; and preached excellently and affectingly from Luke xvi. 8.
18. Morning, rode with Mr. Ibbetson to Pool, to view the mill there. At noon, had many relations and acquaintance at a venison feast; enjoyed their company rest of day. Evening, read Annotations before family prayer, wherein Mr. M. assisted.
19- So this morning, in presence of some others of our society, who made application to Mr. Man-love,* &c.
25. Evening, with Mr. B. D. consulting about a minister ; after, received a discouraging account of Mr. Manlove from Cousin W.
Oct. 2. Morning, with Lords of Manor, choosing constables, and at great court with lawyer Thorn-ton, the Vicar, and Mr. Brook about Camden, being solicited by the editors to take care of the West-riding, which I am as unwilling as unfit for, yet urged by friends to do what I can, lest wholly omitted.
5. Morning, at the meeting at Mr. B. D's. to implore Divine assistance, in the choice of a minister ; had discourse with several in consultation ; had the hap of most moderators, by some thought too hot, by others deemed too cold, in the business of Mr. M.
6. Morning, rode with Mr. B. D. Mr. F. and brother T., to Pontefract. to solicit Mr. Manlove's assistance, who seemed very inclinable; but had some hot bickerings with some of the people, who thought themselves injured thereby. I desired a fair hearing and understanding, that there might be no future animosities betwixt the two societies.
10. Morning, with Mr. S. H. about his father's concern. Afternoon, with Mr. J. Sharp, and uncle Abraham,* approving goods, &c.
15. Die Bom. Communicating a letter from Mr. Manlove to the society, quite contrary to their expectations, which he sadly frustrated.
16. Morning, with Mr. B. D. and W. W. about chapel concerns, and soliciting for worthy Mr. Priestley ; after, collecting for Mrs. Sharp.
19- Forenoon, with workfolk directing. Afternoon, had Mr. Whitaker's company till evening ; when received the sad tidings of Mr. Lister's fall from his horse, and thereby breaking both his thighs, which I was much afflicted for, the rather, because it happened in his return from preaching to vis.
22. Die Dom. Morning, heard Cousin Whitaker who preached from Mark ix. 24.; repeated, and begun though with a sad heart (being intermitted ever since the death of Mr. Sharp) the duty of singing. Read Annotations.
Nov. 3. Spent much of day in adding to Camden's Brit, in West-riding.
7. Morning, at funeral of Mr. Scudamore, an ingenious gentleman; at Mrs. F's., and another funeral; yet spent evening in company, not suitable to such providences.
9. Morning, forenoon with workmen. Dined with relations at brother W's. : after, had the meeting at my house, endeavouring to re-establish it (which since Mr. Sharp's death has been intermitted) : R, G. prayed well and I endeavoured to repeat the fast sermon, which was the last he preached, but could scarce read the text for sorrow. After, consulted with several of the society about a call to Mr. Priestley.
10. Morning, rode with several friends by Horton, (where visited Mrs. Sharp) to Ovenden, to Mr. Priestley's, where we were kindly entertained, and contrary to our resolutions stayed all night, but I hope for the better, having (after the return of some Hor-toners, who vehemently opposed our design) greater opportunity of discourse. He prayed well in family.
Dec. 7. Morning, read Annotations ; with workmen, and at
mill, till noon. After, at meeting, S. W. prayed well. I endeavoured
to repeat a sermon of Mr. Sharpe's.
27- The Vicar preached an excellent anniversary sermon from 2 Cor. ix. 12, very suitably in commemoration of so noble a benefactor, earnestly pressing charity. Afternoon, wholly spent with the ingenious Lawyer Thornton about the West-riding.
29- All day, writing memoirs in the interleaved Britannia.
31. Die Dom. Mr. Elston preached well, from Heb. xiii. 7, doctrine, that it is the duty of the faithful, or faithful Christian people, to remember their spiritual guides and rulers, so as to imitate them in their faith and conversation : for example named Sharp, Wales, Todd, Armitage, Ward, Marsden, Nailor, Marshall. Evening, catechised, repeated, &c.