made up a story that the Queen had felt bitter remorse for the great crime by which she had obtained a throne, that in her agony she had applied to Tillotson, and that he had comforted her by assuring her that the punishment of the wicked in a future state would not be eternal. The Archbishop's mind was naturally of almost feminine delicacy, and had been rather softened than braced by the habits of along life, during which contending sects and factions had agreed in speaking of his abilities with admiration and of his character with esteem. The storm of obloquy which he had to face for the first time at more than sixty years of age was too much for him. His spirits declined; his health gave way; yet he neither flinched from his duty nor attempted to revenge himself on his persecutors. A few days after his consecration, some persons were seized while dispersing libels in which he was reviled. The law officers of the Crown proposed to institute prosecutions; but he insisted that nobody should be punished on his account. Once, when he had company with him, a sealed packet was put into his hands; he opened it; and out fell a mask. His friends were shocked and incensed by this cowardly insult; but the Archbishop, trying to conceal his anguish by a smile, pointed to the pamphlets which covered his table, and said that the reproach which the emblem of the mask was intended to convey might be called gentle when compared with other reproaches which he daily had to endure. After his death a bundle of the savage lampoons which the nonjurors had circulated against him was found among his papers with this indorsement: "I pray God forgive them; I do."
- Birch's Life of Tillotson; Leslie's Charge of Socinianism against Dr. Tillotson considered, by a True Son of the Church, 1695; Hickes's Discourses upon Dr. Burnet and Dr. Tillotson, 1695; Catalogue of Books of the Newest Fashion to be Sold by Auction at the Whig's Coffee House, evidently printed in 1693. More than sixty years later Johnson described a sturdy Jacobite as firmly convinced that Tillotson died an Atheist; Idler, No, 10. A Latin epitaph on the Church of England, written soon after Tillotson's consecration, ends thus:
"Oh Miseranda Ecclesia, cui Rex Batavus, et Patriarcha non baptizatus. In a poem called the Eucharisticon, which appeared in 1692, are these lines:
"Unblest and unbaptized, this Church's son
Hath all his Mother's children half undone."
- Tillotson to Lady Russell, June 23, 1691.
- Birch's Life of Tillotson; Memorials of Tillotson by his pupil John Beardmore; Sherlock's Sermon preached in the Temple Church on the death of Queen Mary, 1694/5.