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aside all vain comparison of persons, we may go plainly forward in examining the matters that rest in controversy between us. Otherwise I hope you will not be displeased if, as for your part you have begun, so I also, for my own part, may be bold, for the clearing of myself, and the truths which I profess, freely to make known what hath already passed concerning this matter. Thus entreating you, in a few lines, to make known unto me your purpose in this behalf, I end. Praying the Lord that both this and all other enterprises that we take in hand may be so ordered as may most make for the advancement of his own glory, and the kingdom of his Son, Jesus Christ,
"Tuas ad aras usque,
This letter, written at the time, and addressed to FitzSymonds himself, must give a more correct account of the transaction than the preface to the Britannomachia, published in a foreign country, and twenty years afterwards. The letter, indeed, is quite decisive. Ussher could not address a letter to Fitz-Symonds, alluding directly to more than one disputation which had been carried on between them, if Fitz-Symonds had refused to dispute at all with him, unless accredited by some competent authority. He could not refer to the terms of love and affection which Fitz-Symonds had professed towards him, if he had been treated in the manner which the Jesuit describes".
In the year 1600 Ussher took the degree of Master of Arts. It does not appear from the College records at what time he was appointed a Fellow of Trinity College. At that period it appears to have been the practice to appoint Masters of Arts lecturers, who assumed by degrees the name and privileges of Fellows; and in the first College
"Were it necessary to confirm the evidence of Ussher's letter, the Jesuit himself acknowledged that he was silenced. Saldenus says: "Fastidiosam viri præfidentiam ita perdomuit ut ad novum provocatus conflictum declinarit eum non tantum, sed et ad xeuvoiav redactum se esse ipse confessus sit."-De libr., p. 368. Fitz-Symonds called Ussher, "Acatholicorum doctissimum."
account-book there is an entry, in December-quarter, 1600, of £10 wages for four Masters, viz., Mr. Walsh, Mr. Ussher, Mr. Lee, and Mr. Richardson. Ussher was immediately after appointed Catechist to the College, and the first Proctor, as he himself mentions in a letter to Archbishop Lauds. The first public commencement in the College was held on Shrove Tuesday, 1600-1. In October, 1601, we first find the name of Ussher subscribed to a College document, a consent on the part of the Fellows to the appointment of John Alvey to the Provostship. Travers, who had been the first Provost (for the appointment of Archbishop Loftus was merely nominal), left the College in 1598, frightened, as it is said, by the disturbances in Ireland, or more probably feeling that his great support was lost by the death of Lord Burleigh. The Fellows did not proceed to an election, and the College was without a Provost till 1601, when the Queen named Henry Alvey".
The extraordinary selections made by the English government for the management of the infant Irish College must have materially contributed to influence the early theological opinions of Ussher. The newly-founded society must have been considered by Lord Burleigh, and others of his party, as a proper refuge for Puritans, who would not have been tolerated in any similar position in England. No other reason can be assigned for the selection of Travers, perhaps the most improper man in England
* See Works, vol. xv., p. 551.
y The form was as follows:
"Actum est 8vo die Oct., 1601., Regni Reginæ Eliz. 43. "Noverint universi per præsentes, quod cum magister Gualterus Travers nuper Collegii Sanctæ et Individuæ Trinitatis Regina Eliz., juxta Dublin dignissimus Præpositus esset, eodemque munere per quinquennum fidelissime fungeretur, quod nunc in ejus locum magister Henricus Alvey, qui binis Sociorum Collegii publicisque regni senatorum literis vocatus et invitatus fuit, nobis ejusdem Collegii Sociis et prælectoribus consentientibus, suffectus sit. In cujus rei testimonium nomina infra subscripsimus anno et die supra memoratis.
"LUCAS CHALONER. CAROLUS DUNN. JOHANNES BRERETON. ABELL WALSHE. JAMES USSHER. GEORGIUS LEE. JAMES BOYD. JOHANNES RICHARDSON."
for the place. When the Mastership of the Temple was vacant, Lord Burleigh wished to appoint Travers; but Archbishop Whitgift opposed the nomination, and told the Queen" that Mr. Travers' had been one of the chief and principal authors of dissensions in the Church, a contemner of the Book of Prayers, and other orders by authority established; an earnest seeker of innovation, and either in no degree of the ministry at all, or else ordered beyond the seas3, not according to the form in this Church of England used." When Lord Burleigh wrote to the Archbishop strongly recommending Travers, and stating that he would be conformable to the orders of the Church, the Archbishop, replied, "that Travers was better known, he thought, to no man than himself; that when he (the Archbishop) was Master of Trinity College he had elected him Fellow of that house; that he had been before rejected by Dr. Beaumont, the former Master, for his intolerable stomach. Whereof he (the Archbishop) had afterwards such experience that he was forced, by due punishment, so to weary him that he was fain to travel, departing from the College to Geneva, otherwise he should have been expelled for his want of conformity towards the orders of the house, and for his pertinacity; and that there never was any under his government in whom he found less submission and humility than in him; that his book, De Disciplina Ecclesiastica, was wholly against the State and Government." Such was the man selected to be the first Provost of the College founded for the education of the Irish clergy. Nor were the Government more successful in their choice of a successor. Henry Alvey was a Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and appears in his religious opinions not to have differed much from Travers. He was certainly connected with Cartwright and the other Puritans of that day. His puritanical principles did not, however, teach
Strype's Life of Whitgift, vol. i., p. 173.
a Travers was ordained by the Presbytery at Antwerp. The testimonial of his ordination is given by Fuller, Ch. Hist. b. 9, p. 214.
His only literary publication was a treatise in defence of usury, for which, says Ware, "he was severely handled in an answer which I have never seen."
him to perform his duty; and when the plague broke out in Dublin, with shameful cowardice he deserted his place, and fled to England, leaving the College to the care of James Ussher. While such were the men selected for the Provostship, we find the notorious Humfrey Fenn, after having escaped from the punishment inflicted upon him along with Cartwright, coming over to Dublin and assisting Dr. Chaloner in his parish, while an allowance was given to him from the College. These examples must have exercised a most pernicious influence upon the minds of the young students in divinity, and it is only surprising that any germ of affection for the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England could have survived in so corrupted an atmosphere. In Ussher we shall see that, however apparent were the traces of early associations, yet, in later years, the effects of this prava disciplina were almost obliterated. The pernicious practice which marred the early progress of the Irish University extended over the whole Irish Church. Whenever a man became so troublesome that it was necessary to get rid of him, whenever powerful interest claimed promotion for an individual whom the Government were ashamed to promote in England, he was sent over to Ireland, and obtained a high station in its Church. This state of things continued after the Restoration; the abuse was strongly and frequently complained of by Primate Boulter, and traces of it have existed even in the memory of the present generation.
As Catechist Ussher distinguished himself in a very remarkable manner. Every week he explained the pure principles of the Christian religion, as professed and maintained by the reformed Churches, in opposition to the errors which had mixed themselves with primitive Christianity in the creed of the Roman Catholic Church; and this task he performed with such a display of accurate knowledge on the most controverted subjects, and such a readiness and fluency of expression, that his friends anxiously pressed him to appear in the pulpit. This he steadily refused, pleading his youth as a sufficient excuse, until he was called forward by an appointment which compelled him to appear in public. Such
was the scarcity of qualified preachers, that when it be came necessary to appoint persons to preach at Christ's Church, before the members of the Irish government, a selection was made of three lay Masters of Arts in Trinity College. The persons selected were James Ussher, Abel Walsh, and John Richardson". The duty imposed upon Richardson was to preach every Wednesday, and explain the prophecies of Isaiah. Walsh was to preach on Sundays, in the forenoon, and establish the principal points of theology from the sacred Scriptures. Ussher preached in the afternoon of Sunday, on the principal points of controversy with the Roman Catholic Church. "His part," says Dr. Bernard, "was to handle the controversies for the satisfaction of the Papists, which he did so perspicuously, ever concluding with matter of exhortation, that it was much for the confirmation and edification of the Protestants, which the elder sort of persons living in my time I have heard often acknowledging."
Ussher did not continue long in this strange situation : he felt strong scruples at discharging the office of a preacher without being admitted into holy orders, and procured the removal of the only impediment, want of canonical age, by a special dispensation. He was ordained deacon and
John Richardson was born in England, but educated in Trinity College, Dublin, of which he was first a Scholar and afterwards a Fellow. When Bishop Bedell resigned the bishopric of Ardagh, in order to discourage pluralities, Dr. Richardson was appointed Bishop of Ardagh in 1633; but he certainly did not follow the example of his predecessor, for he held in commendam the archdeaconry of Derry, the rectory of Ardstraw, and the vicarage of Granard. He was distinguished for his acquaintance with the sacred Scriptures; and his Commentaries on the Book of Genesis were published after his death, at the special request of Archbishop Ussher, who bore this strong testimony to his acquirements: "Publici Christi ministerii actus per quatuor Paschata distincta ex quatuor Evangeliorum harmonia hic exhibemus, a viro eruditissimo et in sacrarum literarum studiis longe exercitatissimi, Joanne Richardson, S. Theologiæ Doctore et Ardachadensis in provincia nostra Armachana Ecclesiæ episcopo dignissimo concinnata."-Works, vol. x. p. 532.
Dr. Parr, in his Life of Ussher, makes the appointment to preach at Christ's Church subsequent to his ordination, and in this he has been followed by others; but it is undoubtedly a mistake. The order of events was as here given.