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and afterwards at the residence of Sir Richard Brown, the English ambassador. Here he continued till the Restoration, when he was re-instated in his preferments, and was the first who read the service in his own cathedral. In 1661 he was consecrated Bishop of Durham at a remarkable consecration of seven bishops at Lambeth, on which occasion Sancroft preached the sermon. He held the see ten years, restored the Church of Durham to its original splendour and purity, exerted the greatest watchfulness in the superintendence of the diocese, and at length closed a long and eventful life, distinguished by unshaken firmness of principle, both in prosperity and adversity, by deep and consistent piety, and almost unparalleled munificence, on the 15th of January, 1671.
The circumstances here mentioned tended remarkably to draw out and settle those views which he had imbibed from his early childhood. The first twenty years of his more active life acquainted him with the great and growing evils of Puritanism, and of the ultra-Protestant system.
And at a time when all distinctions of sacred persons, places, and times were fast disappearing, he was amongst those who considered the best antidote to the increasing irreverence to lie in enforcing, in various ways, the doctrine of relative holiness, and in vindicating from Romanism whatever was of primitive and Apostolic origin.
Again, during the seventeen years of his exile, he was able to prove, by his admirable patience and constancy, his firm attachment to the Church of England. Here he was assailed by the opposite errors, and was led stili more carefully to weigh the points of agreement and disagreement between the Churches of England and Rome. During this period he wrote the works by which he is best known to us, • The History of Popish Transubstantiation,” which was not published till many years afterwards, and “
The Scholastic History of the Canon of Holy Scripture," usually considered to be the best work we have on that subject; and drew up a statement, which gives a sort of platform of the Church of England, "Regni Angliæ Religio Catholica, prisca, casta, defæcata.” In this he lays down, for the information of inquiring Romanists, her entire system both in doctrine and discipline; asserts the truths which she either explicitly or virtually retains, rather than the errors which
she has cast off ; and thus brings out boldly and fully her intrinsically Catholic character.
The present work is a fair sample of these views, and is an attempt, in full consistency with the spirit, and in studied accordance with the formularies of the Church of England, to recover or retain, at least in private devotion, a portion of that undoubtedly Catholic and Apostolic system which forms so beautiful a feature in the Breviaries ; a portion which had survived the Reformation, forming a conspicuous part of the Primers of Henry VIII. and Edward VI., and which was preserved in that of Elizabeth of 1560, on which this book is professedly founded.
This was Cosin's earliest work, being published in the year 1627. The occasion on which it was compiled is given us by Dr. Smith, his biographer, who heard it in conversation from Evelyn, who had the story from the compiler himself. It is remarkable that, in the Diary of Evelyn, recently published, we have the very day noted down on which the meeting took place ;—probably at Sir Richard Brown's, whose daughter Evelyn had married ;--and the account is so interesting that an extract from it is here inserted.
“1 Oct. (1651.) The Dean of Peterborough (Dr. Cosin) preached on 13th Job, ver. 15, encouraging our trust in God in all events and extremities, and for establishing and comforting some ladies of great quality who were then to be discharged from our Queen-mother's service unless they would go over to the Romish Mass.”