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My dear COLET, fays he, I cannot but extremely commend your fingular and truly chriftian piety, who have hitherto directed "all the labours of your life towards the promotion of the interest " of your native country in general, but more particularly of that great and opulent city, in which you first drew your breath.
"And as one confpicuous inftance of your most ardent endea vours for that purpose, you founded a very beautiful and mag"nificent feminary, where youth, even in their infancy, through "the wholfome inftructions of the ableft and moft experienced preceptors, might imbibe, not only the rudiments of human literature, but all, the more valuable fundamental doctrines of "their most holy faith. You, doubtlefs, very judiciously apprehended, that the public, from the feeds there. fo plentifully and “fo timely sown, might reap a harvest in fome degree of propor❝tion; and that it would prove an infinite advantage to all man“kind in general, be their station of life what it would, to have "their minds well cultivated in their tendereft years. And in "each of thofe particulars, who can refrain from loving, nay. revering your greatnefs of foul? It is your ambition to act for "the good of pofterity, with fuch difintereftedness and fincerity, "that after fo many elaborate discourses; after fuch a number of years spent in your laudable endeavours for the reformation of "a vicious world, you have added nothing to your original fortune. "Must not every one ftand astonished at that boundless liberality "which has sustained a charity at your own private expence, "which might have been deemed at leaft a very cumbrous bur
den, if not an infupportable one, to the richeft peer in the land? "When, in fuch public undertakings even whole focieties have not "difdained to call in the aid and affiftance of fuch as are bevevo
lently inclined, you have thought proper, rather to exhaust your own patrimonial eftate, to spend your additional incomes; nay, "what is ftill more, you have chofe rather to part with your very "houfhold
" houfhold effects for the public good; you have thought proper, " to extend your benevolence to fuch a prodigious length, rather
than admit any one, in what high station of life soever, to be"come a joint partner with you in that glory, which will forever "flow from such an ample foundation. What is this but a pa"rental fondnefs, and compaffionate regard for your fellow-citizens? He must be a wretch indeed, who would not commend "fuch pious endeavours, or fhould offer to depreciate or exclaim against them; he, in short, must be an enemy to his country, "who would not honour and revere that godlike fpirit, which "animated your foul to fuch truly benevolent actions."
I cannot think it neceffary to make any addition to this strictly impartial eulogium, which describes with so much energy that exalted idea which all truly pious men, even at that time, entertained of the many important advantages, which were to accrue to pofterity from the establishment of this antient seminary: a feminary which, though founded long before the reformation was happily compleated, may with the strictest propriety be termed the first Proteftant school that England could justly boast of; forasmuch as feveral erroneous tenets efpoufed by the Romish Church were first openly, and with the utmost intrepidity, expofed to public view, by its truly great and pious founder, and after him discountenanced by other very learned and judicious perfons, who were trained up in that nursery of learning, which, in process of time, produced fo many fhining characters into the world, that the bare enumeration of their names would tranfgrefs the bounds of a fermon. It would be an unpardonable omiffion, however, were we not to observe, that there are very just grounds to conclude, that the intention of this our benevolent founder was never better answered than at present, and that the chriftian religion, and good letters, stand fair to be greatly advanced from the known integrity of the pre-. Lent trustees, as well as the experienced abilities of the prefent
masters; and I prefume, I may venture to add from that laudable emulation and diligence which, as I am informed, appears confpicuous in the present scholars.
To close the character of this truly great man, give me leave to obferve, that his light fhone fo bright and confpicuous far and near, that when Providence thought fit to extinguish it, the lofs was not only universally lamented all over this kingdom, but in divers very distant and remote parts beyond the feas; fo that his name, as well abroad as at home, will I doubt not BE HAD IN EVERLASTING REMEMBRANCE:-Nor ought it to be forgotten, that though his learning, as well as piety, was far above the ftandard of the clergy, who were his contemporaries; yet his public fpirit was the principal medium, through which his light fhone with fuch uncommon luftre before men.
May therefore those glorious, those difinterested views that animated the foul of this chriftian hero, this faithful fteward of the Lord, excite every one of us to imitate his illuftrious example, as far as our abilities will permit us! Let all of us, who have been partakers of his boundless benevolence, ufe our utmost endeavours to answer those important ends, for which his favours were fo liberally conferred upon us! Let that public fpirit, for which he was fo univerfally revered, prompt us to be equally zealous to comfort and relieve all our fellow-creatures, where there is a call for our benefactions! From henceforth let brotherly love for ever continue amongst us; and let no prejudice or prepoffeffions for the future be able to separate us from the love of God, and univerfal goodwill which we owe to one another.
In a word, may we fo live in the conftant exercise of this truly heroic virtue, this UNIVERSAL BENEVOLENCE here, that we may rejoice in each other's happiness hereafter, through the merits of Jefus Chrift our blessed Saviour. ΑΜΕΝ.