« PreviousContinue »
SUPPLEMENT to the UNIVERSAL MAG. VOL. XLVI. 337
Our Readers here have the LIFE, with the Head finely engraved, of
HENRY Compton, Bishop of London in the End of the Seventeenth and Beginning of the Eighteenth Century, a Nobleman. of distinguished Merit, and one of the most eminent. Prelates that ever sat in that See.
youngest son of Spencer Compton, the advice of Dr. John Fell, then Dean of the second Earl of Northampton. He was the fame.*The 7th of April, next ensuing, born at Compton in the year 1632. His he was incorporated Master of Arts at Oxfather being unhappily Ilain in 1642-3, when ford, as he stood at Cambridge ; about this his youngest Tun was but ten years old, which time, he was pofleffed of the rectory of he was thereby deprived of that paternal care Cuttenham in Cambridgeshire, worth above which is fo neceffary in that tender age. sool. a year. · Before that he had a lefler However, notwithitanding that misfortune, benefice. In both he thewed his great conhe received an education Suitable to his qua- cern for the fouls of men. He was constility. When he had gone through the tuted, in 1667, Master of St. Crosse’s Hospigrammar-schools, he was entered as a No- tal near Winchester, upon the death of Dr. bleman of Queen's-college in Oxford, in William Lewis : A fit preferment, as Dr. the year 1649; and, having continued there- Gooch rightly cbferves, for him, whose till about 1652, went and lived with his mo house was always a constant hospital ! By ther at Gryndon in Northamp:onshire. Af- this his income was considerably increas terwards he travelled beyond sea, where he fed, and he had greater opportunities of remained a confulerable time ; and exa-" doing good ; the only motive to him to mined the civil and ecclefiaftical polities a-" with for its increase. This was his greatest broad, bus, the more he observed them, the pleasure ; and here he lived and enjoyed more he liked the English Constitution : He it : Here he would gladly have refted i but saw their manners, and was too wile to imi- Providence had delignei him for greater fate them.' Hosvever, what he thought va things. luable amongst them he brought honie, and On the 24th of May, 1669, he was inin particular retained their languages per stalled Canon of Christ-church, in the room fectly.
of Dr. Richard Heylin deceased ; and, when After the Restoration of Charles II, he re he was Sub-dean in that church he modetomed 10 England; and, a regiment of horfe rated in the divinity-disputations, with such being raised about that time for the King's gravity and wisdom, as made those exercises guard, of which the command was given to both reputable and instructive. Two days Aubrey Earl of Oxford, Mr. Compton ac after his being installed Canon, he took the cepted of a Cornet's commission therein, cither degree of Bachelor in Divinry ; and that of by his own choice, or the persuafion of Doctor, the 28th of June following. Ada friends. But, coon after, discovering a vancing daily in the King's favour and era greater inclination to his studies than to a teem, and in the opinion of all good men, inilitary life, he quitted that post, and dedi- he was, upon the tranílation of Dr. Nacated himself to the service of the Church. thaniel Crew from the bishopriç of OxAccordingly he went to Cambridge, where ford to that of Durham, nominated to suç. he was created Master of Arts, and after-' ceed him in the fee of Oxford ; to whicha wards entered into orders. When he did he was elected November 10, confirmed Defo, he was not a novice in age or know cember 2, and consecrated at Lambeth Deledige ; being above a Bishop's necessary cember 6, 1674. About July 1675, he years, that is, thirty, when he was ordained a was made Dean of the Royal Chaped, on the Deacon ; but, he did not aspire to, or delire death of Dr. Blandford Bilbop of Worcesthe Episcopal office, before he was qua'ified ter ; and being the same year translated to for the good work; and, though he might the fee of London, in the room of Dr. have made high demands upon the Court, Henchman deceased, was confirmed therein and raised himself at once to the greateft the 18th of December. Anthony Wood tells dignities, yet he chose to make gradual and us, that this tranflation was inach proregular advances.
moted by some of the politic clergy, because Having obtained a grant of the next va.. they knew him to be a bold man, an enemy cant canonry of Christ church in Oxford, he to the Papists, and one that would act and was admitted Canon-commoner of that Col- speak what they would put him upon ; whicla NUMB. CCCXXII, VOL. XLVI.
they themselves would not be seen in, as During the mutual heats and animosities many prime Papists used to say.' We are in the latter part of King Charles II's also informed that this translation was effected reign, some of the most learned and exemthrough iire Earl of Danby's intérelt ; to plary clergy endeavoured, both in private and whom the Bithop was a property, and was public, to bring the Disenters to a sense of turned by him as he pleased. The Duke the neceflity of union among Protestants. of York hated him ; but Lord Danby per- To promote that good design, our worthy suaded buth the King and him, that, as his Bithop held, in 1679, three confirences with heat did no great hurt to any person, so the his clergy upon the two Sacraments, and upgiving way to it helped to lay the jealoufies on catechiling youth in the true principles of of the Church-party. Abcut a year after religion. In 1680, he pursued the same that, Sheldon dying, Bishop Compton was design in three other conferences ; namely, persuaded that Lord Danby had tried with all on the half communion ; prayers in an unhis strength to promote hiin to Canterbury, known tongue; and prayers to faints : The though that was never once intended. He substance of which he published in a letter to was a great patron of the converts fiom Po- the Clergy of his diocese, dated July 6, pery, and of those Protestants whom the bad 1680. He further hoped, that it might tend ulage they were beginning to meet with in to pacify and reconcile the Dilienters, by France drove over to us: And by these bringing in the judgment of foreign divines means he came to have a great reputation. against their needless separation. For that He was making many complaints to the purpose, he wrote to Monsieur Le Moyne, King, and often in Council, of the infolence Professor in Divinity at Leyden ; to Mr.de of the Papists, and of Coleman's in particu. l’Angle, one of the preachers of the Proteslar; so that the King ordered the Duke tant Church at Charenton near Paris; and to disiniss Coleman out of his service ; yet to Mr. Claude, another eminent French he continued still in his confidence.
who in their several answers, agreed On the 22d of January, 1675-6, King in vindicating the Church of England from Charles, who entertained a jutt opinion of any errors in its doctrine or any unlawful imhis capacity and fidelity, cauled him to be politions in its service and discipline ; and fworn one of his Privy-council; which sta- therefore did condemn a separation from it, tion his Majesty thought fit to continue him as needles and uncharitable. But Popery in, upon his constituting a new Privy-coun was what the Bishop moft ftrenuously opcil in April 1679. The educating and well posed; for, when it was gaining ground in grounding of the King's two nieces, the these kingdoms, under the favour and inPrincesses Mary and Anne, in the doctrine Huence of the heir apparent to the Crown, and communion of the Church of England, James Duke of York, cur worthy Prelate, was committed to his care ; and that im. at the herd of his clergy, made a noble portant trust he discharged to the nation's stand ; and, by his encouragement, their universal satisfaction. How well he exe- pulpits and their pens more strenuously de. cuted it, as Dr. Gooch observes, let those fended the Reformed religion than it had ever confess, who value the memory of the most been ; to the shame and silence of their Rorenowned Queen Mary, or have not laid mich adversaries. This we learn from a atide all affection for our late molt gracious, Gentleinan, William Whitfeld, who had Sovereign Queen Anne. They never for- been his Lord'hip's chaplain. From got their obligations to him, but he was al. whatever quarter, says he, or at what time ways in the elteem of the former, and receive foever any assault was made upon our doce ed murks of favour from the latter. He trine or discipline, his vigilance and Chrilhad the particular honour, which no one Bi- tian courage were upon the guard to defend fhop ever tiad, of marrying two Regent them of which I shall give only ne few Queens to Protestant Princes. They were instances within the narrow compass of my both confirmed by him January 23, 1675-6. own knowledge. 1. From hence proceeded. On the 4th of November, 1677, he perform- that volume of useful tradis agunit the Dil ed the ceremony of the marriage of the eldest senters, to convince them by reason, fcrip. with William Prince of Orange ; and, on ture, and antiquity, of the unreasonablenets of the 28th of July, 1683, that of the youngest their sepation and ill-grounded Scruples : with George, Prince of Denmark. The Never yet replied to, or to be answered. 2. firmness of these two Princelles in the From he ce likewile (before and even unProtestant religion was owing in great der his fufpenfion) came forth the diftinct remeature to their learned tutor, which after ply to all the pretences of the Church of wards, when Popéry came to prevail at the Rome, in their day of exaltation and trial; Court of England, was imputed to him as molt of them written by the best-learned dian unpardonable crime.