“March 5, 1677-8.”
[Footnote 1: Sir, I pray note, that all that follows between inverted commas are Dr. Sanderson’s own words, excellently worthy, but no where else extant; and commend him as much as any thing you can say of him. T.P.]
[Footnote 2: Arriba.]
[Footnote 3: This learned nonconformist was born at Reading about 1575, and educated at Winchester School, and New College, Oxford. He had been Chaplain to the Princess Elizabeth. He died at Newbury, July 20, 1646. Wood says, “his plain preaching was esteemed good; his solid disputations were accounted better; but his pious life was reckoned best of all.”]
[Sidenote: Sanderson’s Life]
[Sidenote: Erroneous doctrines]
MY WORTHY FRIEND, MR. WALTON,
I am heartily glad, that you have undertaken to write the Life of that excellent person, and, both for learning and Piety, eminent Prelate, Dr. Sanderson, late Bishop of Lincoln; because I know your ability to know, and integrity to write truth: And sure I am, that the life and actions of that pious and learned Prelate will afford you matter enough for his commendation, and the imitation of posterity. In order to the carrying on your intended good work, you desire my assistance, that I would communicate to you such particular passages of his life, as were certainly known to me. I confess I had the happiness to be particularly known to him for about the space of twenty years; and, in Oxon, to enjoy his conversation, and his learned and pious instructions while he was Regius Professor of Divinity there. Afterwards, when (in the time of our late unhappy confusions) he left Oxon, and was retired into the country, I had the benefit of his letters; wherein, with great candour and kindness, he answered those doubts I proposed, and gave me that satisfaction, which I neither had nor expected from some others of greater confidence, but less judgment and humility. Having, in a letter, named two or three books writ (ex professo) against the being of any original sin; and that Adam, by his fall, transmitted some calamity only, but no crime to his posterity; the good old man was exceedingly troubled, and bewailed the misery of those licentious times, and seemed to wonder (save that the times were such) that any should write, or be permitted to publish any error so contradictory to truth, and the doctrine of the Church of England, established (as he truly said) by clear evidence of Scripture, and the just and supreme power of this nation, both sacred and civil. I name not the books, nor their authors, which are not unknown to learned men (and I wish they had never been known) because both the doctrine and the unadvised abettors of it are, and shall be, to me apocryphal.