While he was at college he learned to play at cards, and he was so much taken up with this amusement that both his learning and piety were much endangered. He saw the evil tendency of playing at cards, and at once relinquished the practice entirely. When he was nine years old, he heard a sermon preached which made a deep impression on his mind. From that time he was accustomed to habits of devotion. He loved to pray, and he felt that he could not sleep quietly without first commending himself to the care of his Heavenly Father for protection. You see him in the picture kneeling by his bed side, alone with God. When he was fourteen years old, he began to think about partaking of the Lord’s supper. He thought this act to be a very solemn and important one, and required a thorough preparation. On the afternoon previous to the communion, he would retire to some private place for self examination and prayer. When he was but sixteen years of age, he obtained such a knowledge of chronology as to have commenced the annals of the Old and New Testaments, which were published many years after, and are now a general standard of reference.
When his father died, he being the eldest son, the paternal estate was left to him to manage. But as he feared that it would occupy too much of his time and attention, he gave it entirely to his brother and sisters, reserving only enough for his books and college expenses. At the age of twenty he entered the ministry, and seven years after was chosen a professor in the University of Dublin. In 1640, he visited England at the time of the commencement of the rebellion; all his goods were seized by the popish party, except some furniture in his house, and his library at Drogheda, which was afterwards sent to London. He bore his loss with submission, but he never returned to Ireland. He had many trials to endure on account of the troublous times in England, (it being the time of the civil wars.) In 1646 he received a kind invitation from the Countess of Peterborough to reside in one of her houses, which proposal he accepted and lived in one of them till his death, in 1665. By the direction of Cromwell he was buried in Westminster Abby.
A GOOD ACT FOR ANOTHER.
A man was going from Norwich to New London with a loaded team; on attempting to ascend a hill where an Indian lived he found his team could not draw the load. He went for the Indian to assist him. After he had got up the hill he asked the Indian what was to pay. The Indian told him to do as much for somebody else.
Some time afterward the Indian wanted a canoe. He went up Shetucket river, found a tree, and made him one. When he had finished it he could not get it to the river; accordingly he went to a man and offered to pay him if he would go and draw it to the river for him. The man set about it immediately, and after getting it to the river, the Indian offered to pay him. “No,” said the man; “don’t you recollect, so long ago, helping a man with a team up the hill by the side of your house?” “Yes.” “Well, I am the man; take your canoe and go home.”