A. D. 1707.
Read also Junius and Marshal's accurate edition of the Saxon gospels ; I was also much affected in reading Brerewood's Inquiries, in consideration of the slender part enlightened by the Gospel; that, dividing the known regions of the habitable world into thirty equal parts, the Christian part is but as five, while the idolaters have nineteen, and the Mahometans, six. Dr. Pearson's Case of the Curate of Penrith's taking on him the office of churchwarden (the pious and ingenious author's gift) is written with great judgment, and variety of curious learning in a very uncommon case ; the late Mr. Bridges' Christianity no Enthusiasm, discovers him to have been a learned and judicious divine, very well read in the ancient Fathers and Church history, and which was more troublesome, conversant in the writings of the enthusiasts, ancient and modern. I perused also the registers at Ripley, and other churches, as I had opportunity, and Archbishop Neal's book of subscriptions, having the original lent me by Chancellor Watkinson, to whom I restored it faithfully, having taken extracts; read also good old Mr. O. Heywood's, MS. Diary, whereby it appears he preached in one year a hundred and five times, besides Lords' Days, kept fifty fasts, and travelled one thousand four hundred miles in his master's service.
These were most of the printed and manuscript books I got time to peruse, without intrenching upon the usual portion of scripture before prayer, with Annotations: Solomon's description of a good wife, which, fell in discourse, gave me occasion most thankfully to praise my good God for giving me such an one, who is the great comfort'and happiness of my pilgrimage and support under all troubles, domestic and others.
I was also much affected when, in bespeaking a grave for a friend, good Mrs. Hickson, at the new church, I saw the remains of two eminently pious ministers, Mr. Wales and Mr. Sharp, turned to pure dust, except the larger bones, a melancholy sight, was it not for the comfortable prospect of a glorious resurrection, when these dry bones shah1 live; and what was sown in weakness, shall be raised in power.
I should scarce mention here a journey to Sheffield, which was undertaken for the sake of J. A. Esq. a good widow's only son, was it not that I had, by Mr. Drake, the vicar's, favour, the opportunity to gratify my melancholy constitution in a particular survey of the vault where the famous Earls of Shrewsbury were entombed with their ladies ; the last of which being neither wrapped in lead, nor placed in a stone coffin, but that being of wood, covered with a velvet pall, (which had as little of the black left upon it, as the Countess's had of white) I had the opportunity to behold and consider how little difference there is betwixt human bodies turned to dust, and that we tread upon, and are composed of; a pugil of this in the museum may be a mortifying object to such ladies as have never seen the like un-mixed with common earth.
Upon my return I was honoured with a visit by the obliging and learned Dr. Hudson, head-keeper of the Bodleian library at Oxford to see the MSS. and other scarce books, and another time the coins and medals, he afterwards sent me autographs of several learned professors in foreign parts. The Earl of Westmoreland and his brother and chaplain came afterwards upon the same errand, and the Lord Irwin with his uncle and his son from Turkey ; and at another, one of my best friends, John Boulter, Esq. whom I most gladly obliged with some original writings, to fence against a contentious neighbour ; as at the same time good Mr. Strype with two sets of subscribers. But the quality and multitude of visitants occasioned a complaint of a sad week, wherein but five times at church betwixt Lord's day and Lord's day ; the Swedes and other foreigners not being able to come at other times.
But the Lord's days' evenings could not be alienated, having often
fifty or sixty poor children (with their parents) and orphans, to repeat
the catechism, and appointed Psalms, in hopes of the Lord Whar-ton's
Afterwards, Archbishop Tillotson's sermon of Restitution, which if effectually put in execution, even by some who have ability enough, would be better for my poor family by many hundred pounds. The last thing worth note is, that the excellent Mr. Thornton was elected Recorder nemine contradicente, and was a great and public blessing."
About this time I bound up twelve volumes of letters from my friends and correspondents, that I might more readily find the useful contents of many, intermixed with others almost useless as to learning.
THE END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.