|Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916.|
Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
|A Funeral Sermon|
|By John Evelyn (16201706)|
From The Diary
6th Jan. 1691/92.AT the funeral of Mr. Boyle at St. Martins, Dr. Burnet, Bp. of Salisbury, preached on Eccles. ii. 26. He concluded with an eulogy due to the deceased, who made God and religion the scope of all his excellent talents in the knowledge of nature, and who had arrived to so high a degree in itaccompanied with such zeal and extraordinary piety, which he showed in the whole course of his life, particularly in his exemplary charity on all occasionsthat he gave £1000 yearly to the distressed refugees of France and Ireland; was at the charge of translating the Scriptures into the Irish and Indian tongues, and was now promoting a Turkish translation, as he had formerly done of Grotius on The Truth of the Christian Religion into Arabic, which he caused to be dispersed in the Eastern countries; that he had settled a fund for preachers who should preach expressly against Atheists, Libertines, Socinians, and Jews; that he had in his will given £8000 to charitable uses; but that his private charities were extraordinary. He dilated on his learning in Hebrew and Greek, his reading of the Fathers, and solid knowledge in theology, once deliberating about taking holy orders, and that at the time of the restoration of King Charles II. when he might have made a great figure in the nation as to secular honour and titles, his fear of not being able to discharge so weighty a duty as the first, made him decline that, and his humility the other. He spake of his civility to strangers, the great good which he did by his experience in medicine and chemistry, and to what noble ends he applied himself to his darling studies; the works, both pious and useful, which he published; the exact life he led, and the happy end he made. Something was touched of his sister, the Lady Ranelagh, who died but a few days before him. And truly all this was but his due, without any grain of flattery.