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place, each star in its own orb. 2. That the parts have each to other a due proportion. 3. That every member do its duty, and be some way or other helpful to the body. Idle persons are like wens in the face, which receive of the body's nourishment, but serve only to disfigure it. Those that are no workers, in God's account are disorderly walkers” (1 Thess. v. 14). Augustus built an Apragopolis, a city void of business; but God made not the world to be a nursery of idleness. The Ethiopians (as the historian observeth) would acquaint their youth that they were born to labour, by accustoming them betimes to fling great stones. Amongst the Turks, every man must follow some trade, the Grand Seigneur himself not excepted. The censores morum among the Romans were to observe who were diligent, who were negligent in their vocations, and accordingly to commend or condemn them. The Grecians, according to Solon's law, were great discouragers of them, that, like vermin, lived only to eat what others earn. The Council of the Areopagites inquired how every man lived, and punished such as they found idle. The devils themselves are diligent about their deeds of darkness ; creatures void of life are serviceable in their places and stations; angels, nay, God himself, is always working. An idle person cannot find, either in heaven or hell, a pattern.
Pliny reporteth of one Oressianus, who from a little piece of ground got much wealth, and more than his neighbours could from a greater quantity: whereupon he was accused of witchcraft; but, to defend himself, he brought forth his servants and instruments of labour on the day of trial, and said, "These, O Romans, are all my witchcrafts; I say not to my servants, 'Go and do this ;' but, 'Come, let us do this and that;' and so the work goeth on." The keys that men keep in their pockets, and use every day, wax brighter and brighter; but if they be laid aside, and hung by the walls, they soon grow rusty.
It is with some reluctance that we bid farewell to the mighty Nonconformists; but our limits compel us to pass on, leaving unnoticed many a theological colossus, like Goodwin, and Manton, and Caryl, and many men of renown, like Case and Gale, Pierce and Mead, Sedgwick and Burgess, Clarkson and Steele, Lockyer and Marshall, Thomas Watson and Richard Alleine. It would have been only right to do separate justice to the Herculean labour of such a scholar as Matthew Poole, who, with consummate judgment and industry, collected and condensed in five ponderous folios the best fruits of the scriptural criticism which had been given forth by his Protestant predecessors, and then in his English Commentary bequeathed the ripe results of his own sober and independent thinking. And it would have been pleasant to commemorate the conjoint labours of the more distinguished ministers in such undertakings as the “Morning Exercise” at Cripplegate, Southwark, and St Giles', where cases of conscience were handled, and the errors of Popery were confuted, before large and intelligent auditories, assembled at seven in the morning on working days. And it seems wrong to leave unrecorded that great contribution to the edification of our families and the orthodoxy of our churches, the “Confession of Faith" and the “Catechisms” compiled by the Westminster divines, so many of whom were afterwards conspicuous among the ejected confessors. But in our self-indulgence we must not tax the patience of our readers. Our specimens we cannot dignify with the name of a cluster from Eshcol; but happy shall we be if, torn from the bunch as they are, and shrivelled by the transport, our handful of grapes should tempt a few valiant explorers to go up and examine the goodly land for themselves. England has yielded no theology so distinctive, and none which can be more delightful to a mind at once genial and devout. Some of its authors may be more systematic than the Bible, and a few of them more Calvinistic than Calvin, and almost all of them offend our taste by occasional pedantry or slovenliness, whilst they tax our patience by prolixity. But when we wish to get out of the world altogether; when we long for some hallowed seclusion where, with the things unseen and cternal front to front, we may for a little while forget our Meshech with its vexations and its vanities; when our soul is a-hungered with the dry roots of criticism and the drier bones of exhausted controversy, and when, after lifting many a golden cover in search of “fat things full of marrow,” we have found in the lordly dish only sentiments and scraps of translated mysticism; how thankfully we betake us to the calm retreat of "The Living Temple," and “The Saint's Everlasting Rest!" with what avidity we return to the royal dainties of Charnock, Howe, and Joseph Alleine! And when conscious of remissness and languor, when desirous of feeling religion as a life, and plying it as a business, and when consequently craving something more specific and more practical than is proper to the modern pulpit with its genteel declamation and inoffensive generalities, what a blessing to have books like Watson on “ Contentment,” and Steel's “ Tradesman's Calling,” and “Baxter's Directory," almost as plain-speaking and home-coming as Scripture itself, and, like the Scriptures, “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness!" JEREMY TAYLOR : THE POET OF THE PULPIT.
OUR readers are already acquainted with that dear old manso devout, so sprightly, so warm-hearted—who offered
his life in the midst of his parishioners at Hadleigh, a martyr of the English Reformation.* The intermediate history of his family is unknown; but in 1613 there was living in Cambridge, a barber, (and according to the usage of the times, he would practise as a surgeon also) who claimed to be the martyr's descendant; and in that year Nathaniel Taylor's third son,
Jeremiah, was born. Along with more shining attributes, he was destined to re-exhibit much of the meekness, devotion, and tender affection of his illustrious ancestor.
“Reasonably learned,” as his father was, and pursuing his vocation in a chief haunt of the Muses, it was not difficult for him to obtain for his son a classical education : and accordingly in 1633, and when he was still under twenty-one years of age, we find the name of Jeremy Taylor among the Fellows of Caius College.
At the same early age he was ordained, and having been invited by a friend to London to take his place as lecturer at St Paul's, his beautiful countenance and his eloquent discourse, enhanced by his extremely youthful appearance, made a great impression on the audience. His fame reached Lambeth, and he was commanded to preach before the Primate. The same discernment which recognised the great powers of Chillingworth, and which perceived in Hales qualities worthy of preferment, notwithstanding his rationalism and anti-romanism,
* See “ Christian Classics," vol. i. p. 113. VOL. II.
at once detected the genius and the rich promise of the young and precocious preacher. At the earliest opportunity Laud procured for him a fellowship in All Souls', Oxford, and in 1637 he presented him to the rectory of Uppingham in Rutlandshire. Here he married his first wife, Phoebe Langsdale, whom he lost after a union of less than four years, and here he was appointed chaplain to King Charles I.
The living of Uppingham being sequestered on account of the incumbent's loyalty, Taylor followed the royal army, and was taken prisoner at the siege of Cardigan Castle in 1644. Soon after he married a natural daughter of the king, Joanna Bridges,-a lady who possessed some property in Carmarthenshire, but which in those disordered days probably did not yield its wonted revenue : as for some time we find that, like Milton, Taylor was obliged to maintain himself as a schoolmaster.
But better things awaited him. His noble neighbour, Lord Carbery, opened to him the gates of his mansion, and in the splendid seclusion of Golden Grove, he composed his "Life of Christ,” his “Holy Living," and his “Holy Dying," and the greater part of his sermons. These were among his happiest days. “He was surrounded by affectionate friends, who loved and honoured him; the griping fange of penury were loosened. Rich houses or jewels, Tyrian silks and Persian carpets, he neither possessed nor coveted. But he had entered into the temporal promise of his Lord. Numberless are the passages written about this period, in which his hopeful gratitude breaks into praises of God's providence, and exhortations to believe that He, who feeds the young ravens when they call upon Him, will also nourish every poor and trusting disciple.” *
In 1654, under the name of “The Golden Grove," he published a devotional manual. It contained some severe reflec
* Willmott's Bishop Jeremy Taylor,” p. 134.