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LETTER III.

FRANCIS CHOLMONDLY TO ALEXANDER FORRESTER.

THAT which you desire to know of me concerning HUGO GROTIUS, who was one of the greatest men that ever any age produced, is this:—It happened that I came to Paris a little after the transaction of that matter. Being very well acquainted with dr. Crowder, he often told me with assurance, that it was the last advice this great man gave to his wife, as he thought it was his duty, that he declared he died in the communion of the church of England, in which church he wished her to live. This she discovered when she came on purpose to our church, (which was in the house of Richard Brown, who was then in France upon the king of England’s account), where she received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper at the hands of dr. Crowder, then chaplain to the duke of York. This was done as soon as matters would permit after the death of that man. Archbishop Bramhall, primate of Ireland, in defence of himself and the episcopal clergy, against Richard Baxter the presbyterian’s accusation of popery, speaks thus concerning the religion of Grotius, p. 21.—“He was a friend in his affection to the church of England, and a true son in his love for it: he commended it to his wife and other friends, and was the cause of their family adhering to it, as far as they had opportunity. I myself, and many others, have seen his wife obeying the commands of her husband, as she openly testified, in coming to our prayers, and the celebration of the sacrament.” When Matthew Turner, a great friend of Grotius, desired to know why he did not go over to the communion of the church of England, he answered, that he would very willingly have done it, if the office of ambassador to Swedeland had not hindered it. 299Otherwise he very highly approved of our doctrine and discipline, and wished to live and die in our communion. If any one thinks that he can know Grotius’s mind better from conjectures and inferences, or that he dissembled it before his wife and children, let him enjoy his own opinion; be will not have many agree with him. Farewell.

June 23, MDCCVII.

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