novations of great scandal brought into the church; but in point of doctrine, many fair approaches made towards Rome; as he that pleaseth to search may find in the books of bishop Laud, Mountague, Helyn, Pocklington, and the rest; or in brief collected by a Scottish minister, master Bailey. And as their friendship to Rome increased, so did their scorn to the reformed churches beyond the seas; whom, instead of lending that relief and succour to them which God had enabled this rich island to do, they failed in their greatest extremities, and instead of harbours, became rocks to split them, &c. &c.


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 officiated, though in circumstances of great dan, ger, 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 defence 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 into 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.

On Death,

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 against them in the contention ; but within the revolution of a few months, the same man met with a more uneasy and unhandsome death: which when I saw, I wept and was afraid; for I knew that it must be so with alļ 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 witḥ the dew of Heaven, as a lamb's fleece; but when a ruder breath had forced open its yirgin modesty, and dismantled its too youthful and unripe retirements, it began to put on darkness, and to decline to softness and the

« VorigeDoorgaan »