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Jeremy TAYLOR, bishop of Down and Connor, in Ireland, was born at Cambridge; but the precise year is unknown, though probably somewhere between the years 1600 and 1610, David Lloyd says, that his father was a barber. At the age of thirteen, he was admitted into Caius College ; and having taken his degrees in arts, he was elected, some time after, by the interest of archbishop Laud, fellow of All-souls College, Oxford. He became chaplain to Laud, who likewise procured for him the rectory of Uppington, in Rutlandshire, where he settled in 1640, with a wife. Two years after, he was created D. D. at Oxford; and being before chaplain in ordinary to Charles I. often preached before him, when retired with his court to Oxford; and also attended his majesty in several campaigns.
On the decline of the king's cause, his living was sequestered, and he retired into Wales, where he was reduced to the necessity of keeping school for the support of himself and family, After continuing some years in this solitude, he was driven to London by the domestic calamity of losing three of his sons in the short space of two or three months; and now offi. ciated, though in circumstances of great danger, to a private congregation of loyalists. At length becoming acquainted with Edward lord Conway, he was invited by that nobleman to Ireland, where, at Portmore, he found a calm and delightful retreat, in which he continued till the restoration, when he returned to England
In 1660-1, in consideration of his merit, his learning, and attachment to the royal cause, he was promoted to the sees of Down and Connor, in Ireland, and a little before had been made privy counsellor for that kingdom, About the same time, too, the king granted him the administration of the bishopric of Dromore, for his undaunted defeuce of the church of Eng, land. He was also elected vice-chancellor of the university of Dublin ; which honourable
office he retained to his death, which took place in 1667.
1. The writings of bishop Taylor are all of a theological description, of which the greater part consists of sermons; but the composition of the greatest value, perhaps, contained in his works is, the “ Discourse of the Liberty of Prophesying; shewing the unreasonableness of prescribing to other mens faith, and the iniquity of persecuting differing opinions.” In this is displayed great extent of learning, clearness of reasoning, and liberality of sentiment. It is divided inļo twenty-two sections.
2. The most popular works, however, of the bishop, are his two tracts, entitled, 1. The Rule and Exercise of Holy Living. 2. The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying. In the first of these there is nothing very remarkable; but the last contains many passages of singular beauty; and perhaps none, in the whole compass of his works, could be selected more characteristic of his peculiar manner.
I have conversed with some men who rejoiced in the death or calamity of others, and accounted it as a
judgment upon them for being on the other side, and
for I knew that it must be so with all men; for we also shall die, and end our quarrels and contentions by passing to a final sentence.
It will be very material to our best and noblest purposes, if we represent this scene of change and sorrow, a little more dressed up in circumstances; for so we shall be more apt to practise those rules, the doctrine of which is consequent to this consideration. It is a mighty change that is made by the death of every person, and it is visible to us who are alive. Reckon but from the sprightfulness of youth, and the fair cheeks and full eyes of childhood, from the vigorousness and strong flexures of the joints of five-and-twenty, to the hollowness and dead paleness, to the loathsomeness and horror of a three days burial, and we shall perceive the distance to be very great and very strange.
But so have I seen a rose newly springing from the clefts of its hood, and at first it was fair as the morning, and full with the dew of Heaven, as a lamb's fleece; but when a ruder breath had forced open its virgin inodesty, and dismantled its to youthful and unripe retirements, it began to put on dari ness, and to decline to softness and the
symptoms of a sickly age; it bowed the head, and broke its stalk, and at night, having lost some of its leaves, and all its beauty, it fell into the portion of weeds and out-worn faces.
On the gradual Progress of Man's Reason.
A third part of our life is spent before we enter into an higher order, into the state of a man. Neither must we think, that the life of a man begins when he can feed himself, or walk alone; when he can fight, or beget his like; for so he is contemporary with a camel or a cow: but he is first a man, when he comes to a certain steady use of reason, according to his proportion; and when that is, all the world of men cannot tell precisely. Some are called at age at fourteen, some at one-and-twenty, some never; but all men late enough; for the life of a man comes upon him slowly and insensibly. But as when the sun approaches towards the gates of the morning, he first opens a little eye of heaven, and sends away the spirits of darkness, and gives light to'a cock, and calls up the lark to matins, and by and by yilds the fringes of a cloud, and peeps over the easiern hills, thrusting out his goiden horns, like those which decked the brows of Moses when he was forced to