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[177] Urged to sign a declaration of thanks to James II., his soul put on the athletic habits of youth, and he stoutly refused to commend an act of toleration which had given freedom not to himself alone, but to Papists and sectaries. Shaking off the dust of the Court from his feet, he retired to a dwelling in Charter-House Square, near his friend Sylvester's, and patiently awaited his deliverance. His death was quiet and peaceful. ‘I have pain,’ he said to his friend Mather; ‘there is no arguing against sense; but I have peace. I have peace.’ On being asked how he did, he answered, in memorable words, ‘Almost well!’

He was buried in Christ Church, where the remains of his wife and her mother had been placed. An immense concourse attended his funeral, of all ranks and parties. Conformist and Nonconform-ist forgot the bitterness of the controversialist, and remembered only the virtues and the piety of the man. Looking back on his life of self-denial and faithfulness to apprehended duty, the men who had persecuted him while living wept over his grave. During the last few years of his life, the severity of his controversial tone had been greatly softened; he lamented his former lack of charity, the circle of his sympathies widened, his social affections grew stronger with age, and love for his fellow-men universally, and irrespective of religious differences, increased within him. In his Narrative, written in the long, cool shadows of the evening of life, he acknowledges with extraordinary candor this change in his views and feelings. He confesses his imperfections as a writer and public teacher.

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