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Far more comfort it were for us (so small | ent Protestant sects are not absolutely Is the joy we take in these strifes) to labour under the same yoke, as men that look for the same eternal reward of their labours, to be conjoined with you in bands of indissoluble love and amity, to live as if our persons being many, our souls were but one, rather than in such dismembered sort to spend our few and wretched days in a tedious prosecuting of
true, at least they are free from all impiety and from all error damnable in itself, or destructive of salvation Thus is developed a new school of polemics, a theology, a solid and rational apologetics, rigorous in its arguments, capable of expansion, cor In fact, the conclusions of the great-ing independence of personal judgment firmed by science, and which, authoriz. st theologians are for such harmony at the same time with the intervention Abandoning an oppressive practice of the natural reason, leaves religion they grasp a liberal spirit. If by its within reach of the world and the esolitical structure the English Church tablishments of the past struggling is persecuting, by its doctrinal struc- with the future. ture it is tolerant; it needs the reason A writer of genius appears amongst of the laity too much to refuse it lib- these, a prose-poet, gifted with an imagerty; it lives in a world too cultivated ination like Spenser and Shakspeare, and thoughtful to proscribe thought-Jeremy Taylor, who, from the bent and culture John Hales, its most eminent doctor, declared several times that he would renounce the Church of England to-morrow if she insisted on the doctrine that other Christians
of his mind as well as from circumStances, was destined to present the alliance of the Renaissance with the Ref.
ormation, and to carry into the pulpit
would be damned; and that men believe other people to be damned only when they desire them to be so.* It was he again, a theologian, a preben-youthful and fresh beauty and his dary, who advises men to trust to graceful bearing, as also for his splendid diction; patronized and promoted themselves alone in religious matters; by Archbishop Laud, he wrote for the to leave nothing to authority, or antiquity, or the majority; to use their king a defence of episcopacy; became chaplain to the king's army; was own reason in believing, as they use taken, ruined, twice imprisoned by the "their own legs in walking;" to act Parliamentarians; married a natural and be men in mind as well as in the daughter of Charles I.; then, after rest; and to regard as cowardly and the Restoration, was loaded with hor impious the borrowing of doctrine and ors; became a bishop, member of the sloth of thought. So Chillingworth, a notably militant and loyal mind, the Privy Council, and vice-chancellor of most exact, the most penetrating, and the university of Dublin. In every the most convincing of controversial-passage of his life, fortunate or other ists, first Protestant, then Catholic, is an Anglican, a royalist, imbued with wise, private or public, we see that he then Protestant again and forever, has the spirit of the cavaliers and courtiers, the courage to say that these great not with their vices. On the contrary. changes, wrought in himself, and by there was never a better or more up himself, through study and research, are, of all his actions, those which sat right man, more zealous in his duties more tolerant by principle; so that, isfy him most. He maintains that alone applied to Scripture purity, he received from the Renais preserving a Christian gravity and ought to persuade men; that authority sance only its rich imagination, its has no claim in it; that nothing is classical erudition, and its liberal more against religion than to force religion; that the great principle of the spirit. Eut he had these gifts entire, Reformation is liberty of conscience; and original of the men of the world, as they existed in the most brilliant and that if the doctrines of the differ in Sir Philip Sidney, Lord Bacon, Sir church in England. See also Ecc. Pol. i. Thomas Browne, with the graces, book iii. 461-481. * Clarendon. See the same doctrines in splendors, refinements which are char Jeremy Taylor, Liberty of Prophesying, 1647acteristic of these sensitive: and crea
seem to have been copied from a hospital, or from a field of battle :
"And what can we complain of the weakness of our strengths, or the pressures of diseases, when we see a poor soldier stand in a and his cold apt to be relieved only by the breach almost starved with cold and hunger, heats of anger, a fever, or a fired musket, and his hunger slacked by a greater pain and a huge fear? This man shall stand in his arms and faint, weary and watchful; and at night and wounds, patiens luminis atque solis, pale shall have a bullet pulled out of his flesh, and shivers from his bones, and endure his mouth to be sewed up from a violent rent to its own never saw, or, if he did, was not noted by him; but one that shall condemn him to the allows if he runs away from all this misery."
tive geniuses, and yet with the redun-flower, firework after firework, so that dancies, singularities, incongruities in- the brightness becomes misty with evitable in an age when excess of spirit sparks, and the sight ends in a haze. prevented the soundness of taste. On the other hand, and just by virtue Like all these writers, like Montaigne, of this same turn of mind, Taylor he was imbued with classic antiquity; imagines objects, not vaguely and feein the pulpit he quotes Greek and Lat- bly, by some indistinct general concepin anecdotes, passages from Seneca, tion, but precisely, entire, as they are, verses of Lucretius and Euripides, and with their visible color, their proper this side by side with texts from the form, the multitude of true and partic Bible, from the Gospels, and the Fa- ular details which distinguish them i thers. Cant was not yet in vogue; the their species. He is not acquainted two great sources of teaching, Chris- with them by hearsay; he has seen tian and Pagan, ran side by side; they them. Better, he sees them now and were collected in the same vessel, with- makes them to be seen. Read the folout imagining that the wisdom of rea-lowing extract, and say if it does not son and nature could mar the wisdom of faith and revelation. Fancy these strange sermons, in which the two eruditions, Hellenic and Evangelic, flow together with their texts, and each text in its own language; in which, to prove that fathers are often unfortunate in their children, the author brings forward one after the other, Chabrias, Germanicus, Marcus Aurelius, Hortensius, Quintus Fabius Maximus, Scipio Africanus, Moses, and Samuel; where, in the form of comparisons and illustrations is heaped up the spoil of histories, and authorities on botany, astronomy, zoology, which the cyclo pædias and scientific fancies at that time poured into the brain. Taylor will relate to you the history of the bears of Pannonia, which, when wounded, will press the iron deeper home; or of the apples of Sodom, which are beautiful to the gaze, but full within of rottenness and worms; and many others of the same kind. For it was a characteristic of men of this age and school, not to possess a mind swept, levelled, regulated, laid out in straight paths, like the seventeenth century writers in France, and like the gardens at Versailles, but full, and crowded with circumstantial facts, complete dramatic scenes, little colored pictures, pellmell and badly dusted; so that, lost in confusion and dust, the modern spectator cries out at their pedantry and coarseness. Metaphors swarm one above the other jumbled, blocking each other's path, as in Shakspeare. We think to follow one, and a Becond begins, then a third cutting into the second, and so on, flower after
dimensions; and all this for a man whom he
This is the advantage of a full imagination over ordinary reason. It produces in a lump twenty or thirty ideas, and as many images, exhausting the subject which the other only outlines and sketches. There are a thousand circumstances and shades in every event; and they are all grasped in living words like these :
"For so have I seen the little purls of a spring sweat through the bottom of a bank, and intenerate the stubborn pavement, till it hath made it fit for the impression of a child's foot; of a misty morning, till it had opened its way and it was despised, like the descending pearls and made a tream large enough to carry away the ruins of the undermined strand, and to in despised drops were grown into an artificial vade the neighbouring gardens; but then the river, and an intolerable mischief. So are the first entrances of sin, stopped with the antidotes of a hearty prayer, and checked ints sobriety by the eye of a reverend man, or the counsels of a single sermon; but when such beginnings are neglected, and our religion hath not in it so much philosophy as to think an.
Jeremy Taylor's Works, ed. Eden, 1840 Io vols., Holy Dring, ch. iii. sec. 4, § 3, P 315.
thing evil as long as we can endure it, they grow up to ulcers and pestilential evils; they destroy the soul by their abode, who at their first entry might have been killed with the pressure of a little finger." *
All extremes meet in that imagination. The cavaliers who heard him, found, as in Ford, Beaumont and Fletcher, the crude copy of the most coarse and unclean truth, and the ight music of the most graceful and airy fancies; the smell and horrors of a dissecting room,† and all on a sudden
the freshress and cheerfulness of smil
ing dawn; the hateful detail of leprosy, its white spots, its inner rottenness; and then this lovely picture of a lark, rising amid the early perfumes of the fields:
"For so have I seen a lark rising from his bed of grass, and soaring upwards, singing as he rises, and hopes to get to heaven, and climb above the clouds; but the poor bird was beaten back with the loud sighings of an eastern wind, and his motion made irregular and inconstant, descending more at every breath of the tempest, than it could recover by the vibration and frequent weighing of his wings, till the little creature was forced to sit down and pant, and stay till the storm was over; and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise and sing, as if it had learned music and motion from an angel, as he passed sometimes through the air, about his ministries here below. So is the prayer of a good man." t
choked in a white neckerchief, with a
speech, all bold gesture, all fire and
It is a
of the shadowy beyond is national,
And he continues with the charm, sometimes with the very words, of Shakspeare. In the preacher, as well as in the poet, as well as in all the cavaliers and all the artists of the time, the imagination is so full, that it reaches the real, even to its filth, and the ideal as far as its heaven. "All the succession of time, all the changes How could true religious sentiment in nature, all the varieties of light and darkthus accommodate itself to such a frankness, the thousand thousands of accidents in the world, and every contingency to every and worldly gait? This, however, is man, and to every creature, doth preach our what it has done; and more-the lat- funeral sermon, and calls us to look and see ter has generated the former. With how the old sexton Time throws up the earth, Taylor, as well as with the others, bold and digs a grave where we must lay our sins o our sorrows, and sow our bodies, till they rise poetry leads to profound faith. If this again in a fair or in an intolerable eternity." alliance astonishes us to-day, it is be- For beside this final death, which cause in this respect people have swallows us whole, there are partial grown pedantic. We take a formal deaths which devour us piecemeal :man for a religious man. We are content to see him stiff in his black coat,
* Sermon xvi., Of Growth in Sin.
"We have already opened up this dunghill covered with snow, which was indeed on the outside white as the spots of leprosy."
Golden Grove Sermons: V. "The Return of Prayers."
*Luther's Table Talk, ed. Hazlitt, No. 187 p. 30: When Jesus Christ was born, he doubtless cried and wept like other children, and his mother tended him as other mothers tend their children. As he grew up he was subn issive to his parents, and waited on them, and carried his supposed father's dinner to him; and when he came back, Mary no doubt often said, "My dear little Jesus, where hast thou been?"
66 Every revolution which the sun makes about the world, divides between life and death; and death possesses both those portions by the next morrow; and we are dead to a nose months which we have already lived, and we shall never live them over again and still God makes little periods of our age. First we change our world, when we come from the womb to feel the warmth of the sun. Then we sleep and enter into the image of death, in whic state we are unconcerned in all the changes of the world: and if our mothers or our nurses die, or a wild boar destroy our vineyards, or our king be sick, we regard it not, but during that state are as disinterest as if our eyes were led with the clay that weeps in the bowels of the earth. At the end of seven years our teeth fall and die before us, representing a formal prologue to the tragedy; and still every seven years it is odds but we shall finish the last scene: and when nature, or chance, or vice, takes our body in pieces, weakening some parts and loosing others, we taste the grave and the solemnities of our own funerals, first in those parts that ministered to vice, and next in them that served for ornament, and in a short time even they that served for necessity become useless, and entangled like the wheels of a broken clock. Baldness is but a dressing to our funerals, the proper ornament of mourning, and of a person entered very far into the regions and possession of death and we have many more of the same signification; gray hairs, rotten teeth, dim eyes, trembling joints, short breath, stiff limbs, wrinkled skin, short memory, decayed appetite. Every day's necessity calls for a reparation of that portion which death fed on all night, when we lay in his lap and slept in his outer chambers. The very spirits of a man prey upon the daily portion of bread and flesh, and every meal is a rescue from one death, and lays up for another; and while we think a thought, we die; and the clock strikes, and reckons on our portion of eternity: we form our words with the breath of our nostrils, we have the less to live upon for every word we speak." * Beyond all these destructions other destructions are at work; chance mows us down as well as nature, and we are the prey of accident as well as of necessity :
"Thus nature calls us to meditate of death by those things which are the instruments of acting it: and God by all the variety of His providence makes us see death every where, in all variety of circumstances, and dressed up for all the fancies, and the expectation of every single person.† And how many teeming mothers have rejoiced over their swelling wombs, and pleased themselves in becoming the channels of blessing to a family, and the midwife hath quickly bound their heads and feet and carried them forth to burial? ‡ . You can go no whither but you tread upon a dead man's bones."
Thus these powerful words roll on, sublime as an organ motett; this uni versal crushing out of human vanities has the funeral grandeur of a tragedy, piety in this instance proceeds from: eloquence, and genius leads to faith. All the powers and all the tenderness of the soul are moved. It is not a cold rigorist who speaks; it is a man, a moved man, with senses and a heart, who has become a Christian not by mortification, but by the development of his whole being:
"Reckon but from the sprightfulness of youth, and the fair cheeks and full eyes of childhood, from the vigorousness and strong flexture 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 and at first it was fair as the morning, and full rose newly springing from the clefts of its hood, with the dew of heaven as a lamb's fleece; but when a ruder breath had forced open its virgin modesty, and dismantled its too youthful and unripe retirements, it began to put on darkness, and to decline to softness and the symp toms 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 outworn faces. The same is the portion of every man and every woman, the heritage of worms and serpents, rottenness and cold dishonour, and our beauty so changed, that our acquaintance quickly knew us not; and that change mingled with so much horror, or else meets so with our fears and weak discoursings, that they who six hours ago tended upon us either with charitable or ambitious services, cannot without some regret stay in the room alone where the body lies stripped of its life and honour. I have read of a fair young German gentleman who living often refused to be pictured, but put off the importunity of his friends' desire by giving way that after a few days' burial they might send a painter to his vault, and if they saw cause for it draw the image of his death unto the life: they did so, and found his face half eaten, and his midriff and backbone full of serpents; and so he stands pictured among his armed ancestors. the fairest beauty change, and it will be as bad with you as me; and then what servants shall we have to wait upon us in the grave? what cleanse away the moist and unwholesome cloud friends to visit us? what officious people to reflected upon our faces from the sides of the weeping vaults, which are the longest weepers for our funeral.'
Brought hither, like Hamlet to the burying-ground, amid the skulls which he recognizes, and under the oppres sion of the death which he touches, man needs but a slight effort to see Ibid. ch. i. sec. ii. p. 270
new world arise in his heart. He seeks the remedy of his sadness in the idea of eternal justice, and implores it with a breadth of words which makes the prayer a hymn in prose, as beautiful as a work of art :
"Eternal God, Almighty Father of men and angels, by whose care and providence I am reserved and blessed, comforted and assisted, I humbly beg of Thee to pardon the sins and follies of this day, the weakness of my services, and the strengths of my passions, the rashness of my words, and the vanity and evil of my actiens. O just and dear God, how long shall I confess my sins, and pray against them, and Je fall under them? O let it be so no more; le: me never return to the follies of which I am ashamed, which bring sorrow and death, and Thy displeasure, worse than death. Give me a command over my inclinations and a perfect hatred of sin, and a love to Thee above all the desires of this world. Be pleased to bless and preserve me this night from all sin and all violence of chance, and the malice of the spirits of darkness: watch over me in my sleep; and whether I sleep or wake, let me be Thy servant. Be Thou first and last in all my thoughts, and the guide and continual assistance of all my actions. Preserve my body,, pardon the sin of my soul, and sanctify my spirit. Let me always live holily and soberly; and when I die receive my soul into Thy hands."
No culture here, no phi-osophy, no sentiment of harmonious and pagan beauty. Conscience alone spoke, and its restlessness had become a terror. The sons of the shopkeeper, of the farmer, who read the Bible in the barn or the counting-house, amid the barrels or the wool-bags, did not take matters as a handsome cavalier bred up in the old mythology, and refined by an elegant Italian education.
They took them tragically, sternly examined themselves, pricked their hearts with their scruples filled their imaginations with the ven geance of God and the terrors of the Bible. A gloomy epic, terrible and grand as the Edda, was fermenting in their melancholy imaginations. The steeped themselves in texts of Saint Paul, in the thundering menaces of the prophets; they burdened their minds with the pitiless doctrines of Calvin ; they admitted that the majority of men were predestined to eternal damna. tion:* many believed that this multi tude were criminal before their birth; that God willed, foresaw, provided for their ruin; that He designed their punishment from all eternity; that He crea ted them simply to give them up to it. This was, however, but an imperfect ed creature, free grace, God's sheer Nothing but grace can save the wretchReformation, and the official religion favor, which He only grants to a few, was too closely bound up with the and which He distributes not according world to undertake to cleanse it thor- to the struggles and works of men, but oughly: if it repressed the excesses according to the arbitrary choice of of vice, it did not attack its source; His single and absolute will. We are and the paganism of the Renaissance, "children of wrath," plague-stricken, following its bent, already under James and condemned from our birth; and I. issued in the corruption, orgie, dis- wherever we look in all the expanse of gusting, and drunken habits, provok- heaven, we find but thunderbolts flash ing and gross sensuality, which sub-ing to destroy us. Fancy, if you can, sequently under the Restoration stank like a sewer in the sun. But underneath the established Protestantism was propagated the forbidden Protestantism: the yeomen were settling their faith like the gentlemen, and already the Puritans made headway under the Anglicans.
the effects of such an idea on solitary and morose minds, such as this race and climate generates. Several per sons thought themselves damned, and went groaning about the streets; others hardly ever slept. They were beside themselves, always imagining that they felt the hand of God or the claw of the devil upon them. An extraordinary power, immense means of action, were suddenly opened up in the soul, and there was no barrier in the moral life
Calvin, quoted by Haag, ii. 216, Histows des Dogmes Chrétiens.
These were the Supralapsarians