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of bigotry and ignorance, which triumphed in his ejectment from the rectory of Staplehurst. His ministry appears to have been very useful, for he had scarcely a prayerless family in his parish.
He was author of, 1.“ A Discourse at the Dutch Church in Maidstone against the Hierarchy ;" for which he was like to have had much trouble from the Bishops.-2.
56 Moses and Aaron; or the Minister's Right, and the Magistrate's Duty vindicated :" an Answer to a piece against Tithes, by R. Kingooth, a famous Baptist, who acknowledged his fault, and begged him to call his book in, promising to do the same by his.He left some MS. sermonis against regicide principles, in the hands of his son-in-law, Dr. Groombridge of Cranbrook. Also a piece against the “ Infallibility of the Light within."
PRESTON, JOHN, a learned and excellent divine, descended from the ancient family of the Prestons, of * Preston, in Lancashire, was born at Heyford, in Nor
thamptonshire, in 1587. He received the first rudiments of his education at the free-school in Northampton ; but, in order to be better instructed in Greek, was afterwards sent to a school in Bedfordshire. At the age of seventeen, he was admitted of King's College, Cambridge ; where, according to the complexion of that college at that time, he learned music : but he soon removed to Queen's Col. lege, under the care of Oliver Bowles, who was a pious and learned man, and reputed an able tutor. Under his tuition he became a close student in philosophy and polite literature, he studied almost every thing, and even judicial astrology, and the planetary nature and power of herbs and plants, and attained to such a knowledge in simples, and compounding of medicines, that it used to be said, if he had failed in divinity, he might have been another Butler, who was an eminent physician of that age. He entertained great hopes of raising himself in the state; looking upon the study of divinity, as a kind of honest, but silly unmeaning study in itself, and much below the consideration of a great mind: but the Lord frustrated all his attempts to get into the line of promotion in the state, and at length providentially brought him to hear a sermon preached by Mr. Cotton, fellow of Emmanuel College. His reflections on this discourse made impressions on him so happy and abiding, as to cure his thirst after court
preferment, preferment, and bring him into the ministry of the Gos. pel ; a profession which he had before not a little despised.
In 1609, that this, five years after his first admission into the university, and the twenty-second of his age; on account of his extraordinary learning and parts, he was patronized by the bishop of Ely, and admitted fellow of his own college. He was a good logician and able dispu. tant, and had a principal part allotted him in the disputations at the commencement before James I.
The king was so well pleased, and particularly with Preston, that he resolved soon to pay Cambridge a second visit, which proved an opening at court for Preston, if he had now been willing ; and many great people put him in mind of it, and promised him their
assistance. Sir Fulke Greville, afterwards lord Brook, was so much pleased with him, that, after other denionstrations of regard, he settled fifty pounds a year upon him, and was his friend while he lived. Preston's conduct, in not eagerly improving this opportunity of the royal favour, became matter of speculation. He was naturally reserved, so that few knew what a change Mr. Cotton's sermon had wrought, Țespecting his views in life : some attributed it to his modesty, some to a degree of melancholy, and others to the attention and delight he took in his pupils, who now began to come from all parts ; but certain politicians were persuaded, that it was from some inclination to Puritanism (a name not favourable to the views of court. interest); for “it could not be said they) that he should let so fair an opportunity slip, if he had not something else in view," Mr. Preston had indeed the King of kings in view, and his glory; and having found the treasure in the field of the Gospel, he wisely sold all things that stood in competition with its purchase. He preferred spiritual, heavenly, and eternal riches and honour, to all that the world calls great and good. This act of crucifixion to the world was interpreted much in his favour by good men ; and he was further confirmed in their good opinion, from a circunstance, that happened upon the king's second visit to Cambridge. It was proposed to entertain his majesty with a comedy ; and one of Mr. Preston's pupils was nominated to support a female character, being a fair modest young gentleman ; and leave was requested of Mr. Preston for that purpose. But he answered, " I do not like the motion ; I cannot ** believe his friends intended he should be a player, and " therefore I beg to be excused.”. This instance of care and fidelity to his pupil, raised his reputation to such a pitch, that he was thought the fittest tutor in the university; and many great men had an eye to him for their sons and relations.
There is an observation, which was true in Mr. Preston, that there is usually no moderation in men of great parts. In his youth he would not sleep soundly, but laid the bed-clothes upon him in such a manner that they should fall off, that the cold might wake him; but now, through the many labours public and private, the many hours allotted for study, and the great attention he paid to the youth committed to his care, he could not sleep ; but, about midnight, he still awoke and slept no more, He applied to Dr. Butler, of Clare Hall, the oracle in physic, who, after asking him some questions, advised him to smoke tobacco. Mr. Preston, supposing him to be in jest, took no notice of his prescription; till his want of rest, which continued, incapacitated him for study and labour ; he then waited on the doctor again, who still urged the smoking of tobacco. Mr. Preston, perceiving the doctor to be serious in his advice, immediately began to smoke, and soon found, that the hot fume of the tobacco drew away those crudities from the mouth of the stomach, that hindered concoction of his meat i the removal of these obstructions occasioned sleep, and so restored him to rest and strength.
Mr. Preston, having taken orders, and become a cele. brated preacher, came in course to be dean and catechist, which he resolved to improve by going through a body of divinity, with the view of being a guide to the scholars in their study of that science. He was unwilling they should study, as he had done, the schoolien first, and then the modern writers ; but first, that they should read systems in divinity, and settle their opinions and judge. ments, and then read the fathers, schoolmen, and ibu like. He had not proceeded far in his lectures, before some towns people, passing by, stepped in, and, reporting the nature and manner of his lecturing, many of the towns people attended, and also several scholars from You: ill.--No. 75.
other colleges; so that the outward chapel would be often full, before the fellows came. There had indeed been other deans and catechists before Mr. Preston, but no such crowding: therefore some, moved with envy, complained to the vice-chancellor, that at tliis unusual kind of chatechising not only scholars and towulsmen mingled, but other colleges also intruded; so that the fellows could not get through the crowd, into the chapel to their places ;-- that it was not safe for any man to be thus adorned, unless they had a mind to cry up Puritánism, which would soon pull them down; and that the crosierstaff would not support them, if such assemblies were en. couraged. In consequence of this complaint, an order was agreed on in the consistory, and sent to the college, that the scholars and townsineri, should be confined to their own preachers, and not be suffered, on any pretence whatever, to attend these lectures, that were proper only to the members of the college. The like complaint has been urged at other times, whenever the gospel of the kingdom had been faithfully and experimentally preached, not for hire, or far the emoluments resulting from the pockets of the people, but for their spiritual edification and salvation.
About this time the lecture of Trinity Church, and the sermons at St. Andrews were put down, and the scholars confined to St. Mary's, which put Mr. Preston upon lecturing to his pupils on the Lord's day evening;. but the scholars of other colleges, and those townsmen that had heard his other lectures, solicited hiin ta preach in a place where they also could attend. St. Botolph's Church belongs to Queen's College, and is usually supplied by one of that house ; and as Mr. Presion bad lately been instru. mental in the election of Dr. Davenant, afterwards bishop of Salisbury, to the headship of Queen's, Mr. Preston was allowed to lecture in that church. But there lived in that parish 'a Dr. Newcomb, a civilian, who had enticed to his house, with a view to marry his daughter, a pupil of Mr. Preston, Sir Capel Bedel, a young gentleman of large estate in Huntingdonshire. Sir Capel Bedel's parents were dead, and old Sir Arthur Capel was his guardian, and he had placed him, as he had done his own cons before, under the care and tutorage of Mr. Preston, who eyer watched the conduct of his pupils yery narrowly,
and no sooner discovered what was going on between Sir Capel and Newcoinb's daughter, than he acquainted Sir Arthur with it, and contrived to get Sir Capel to his grandfather's house at Audley End. Sir Arthur thanked Mr. Preston for his fidelity, and told young Sir Capel, that he was now come to a proper age to travel, which was absolutely necessary before he settled.
Dr. Newcomb, thus disapointed, was glad to find an opportunity to be revenged on Mr. Preston ; and this he found not only as a parishioner, but also as being commis. sary to the chancellor of Ely. He therefore went to church and ordered that prayer only should be read, but no sermon ; the minister intreated for that time that Mr. Preston might be allowed to preach, as did the earl of Lincoln and several others in the church; but the chancellor was resolute; and, because he would not be further importuned; he went home with his family, and left them to determine at their peril what they should do. Mr. Preston was advised to preach, which he did fro:n 2 Pet. iii. 17, 18. But so much tiine had been spent in sending messages to the cominissary, before he left the congregation, that Mr. Presion was obliged to omit reading prayers before serion, that the scholars might get home to their college prayers. This Dr. Newcomb inade matter of further complaint; and as the court was at Newinarket, he went thither the next day, and complained to the bishop of Ely, and several of the clergy, assuring them, that Mr. Preston was in heart, and would soon be in practice a Nonconformist, and was so followed and adored in the university, that, unless some speedy course be taken with him, they might cast their caps at alí conformity, and see their power trod under foot; and added, that gentleness was not the way, for he was cunning, and would recover all, if he were not seriously and thoroughly dealt with.
There was no advocate for Mr. Preston ; but the doctor, being first in his own cause, seemed just. The Puritans began to be considerable, and from Newcomb's complaint, they were afraid Mr. Preston might become their leader. The king being at Newmarket, the commissary told his jale to his majesty, wbo, upon inquiry, finding that the bishop and chancellor's jurisdiction extended to the members of colleges, ordered that Mr. Preston should be pro. ceeded against by them. Accordingly, a letter was sent
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