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And re-enthroned thee in thy rosy nest,
For sure there is no knee
That knows not thee;
Alas! what will they do,
To seek for humble beds
Will not adore thee, Shall then, with just confusion, bow
And break before thee.
(1613-1667.) JEREMY TAYLOR, the “Spenser of our prose writers," though of honourable descent, was the son of a barber at Cambridge, where he was born in the year 1613. He received his elementary education at the Free Grammar School, and in his thirteenth year entered Caius College as a sizar. In 1631 he took his bachelor's degree. Нау. . ing received holy orders, he attracted the notice and the patronage of Archbishop Laud, who procured for him a fellowship at Oxford, and made him his chaplain. He obtained also the rectory of Uppingham, in the county of Rutland. In 1639 he married Phæbe Langdale, who, having borne him three sons, died in 1642. At the breaking out of the civil war he espoused the side of royalty, and became chaplain to the king, in virtue of whose mandate he was made a Doctor of Divinity. In 1644 Taylor, who accompanied the royal army, was taken prisoner by the Parliamentary forces in a battle fought before Cardigan Castle; but his release followed speedily. His prospects darkened with the ruin of the king's fortunes; and during the ascendancy of Cromwell he secluded himself in Wales, keeping a school at Newton Hall, Caermarthenshire, where he wrote many of those discourses which have immortalized his name.
He married for his second wife Mrs. Joanna Bridges, a lady of fortune in the county of Caermarthen; but their resources were crippled by the fines and sequestrations of the Parliamentary party. Taylor visited London in 1657. Thence he accompanied the Earl of Conway to Ireland, where he remained as lecturer in a church at Lisburn till 1660, when he again visited London for literary purposes. In August of this year—the year of the Restoration-he was appointed Bishop of Down and Connor, to which the see of Dromore was added “on account of his virtue, wisdom, and industry.” He died at Lisburn in 1667, in the fifty-fifth year of his age.
It is to the prose works of Jeremy Taylor that we have chiefly to look for his poetry. Of these one of the most remarkable is his “Theologia Eclectica: a Discourse of the Liberty of Prophecying, showing the Unreasonableness of Persecution to other Men's Faith, and the Iniquity of Persecuting Differing Opinions.” This Discourse was published in 1647. His Sermons; his “Golden Grove;" his “Holy Living;" and his “Contemplations on the State of Man,” present many passages which exhibit an eloquence unsurpassed by any writer in the language.
“ Taylor is unrivalled,” says Mr. Craik, “in abundance of thought; in ingenuity of argument; in opulence of imagination; in a soul made alike for the feeling of the sublime, of the beautiful, and of the picturesque; and in a style answering in its compass, flexibility, and sweetness, to the demands of all these powers.”
The whole works of Jeremy Taylor were published in 1822 in fifteen volumes, with a life of the author and a critical examination of his writings by Reginald Heber, A.M., Canon of St. Asaph, Rector of Hodnet, and late fellow of All Souls' College, Cambridge.” In the Life of Taylor, Heber says, “At the end of the Golden Grove' are some hymns for different festivals, which, had they no other merit, would be interesting as the only remaining specimens of that which a mind so intrinsically poetical as Taylor's was, could effect when he attempted to arrange his conceptions in a metrical form. They are, however, in themselves, and on their own account, very interesting compositions. Their metre, indeed, which is that species of spurious Pindaric which was fashionable with his contemporaries, is an obstacle, and must always have been one, to their introduction into public or private psalmody; and the mixture of that alloy of conceits and quibbles which was an equally frequent and still greater defilement of some of the finest poetry of the seventeenth cen. tury, will materially diminish their effect as devotional or descriptive odes. Yet, with all these faults, they are powerful, affecting, and often harmonious. There are many passages of which Cowley need not have been ashamed, and some which remind us, not disadvantageously, of the corresponding productions of Milton."
Such is the whole of the “ Second Hymn for Advent" the one quoted. Such, too, is the passage in his “Meditation of Heaven," commencing with the line “That bright cternity,” to the end.
A HYMN FOR ADVENT; OR, CHRIST'S COMING TO
JERUSALEM IN TRIUMPH.
Lord, come away ;
Why dost Thou stay ?
With longing expectation wait
The consecration of thy beauteous feet. Ride on triumphantly: behold, we lay Our lusts and proud wills in thy way. Hosannah, welcome to our hearts: Lord, hero Thou hast a temple too, and full as dear As that of Sion; and as full of sin ;Nothing but thieves and robbers dwell therein, Enter and chase them forth, and cleanse the floor; Crucify them, that they may never more
Profane that holy place,
Where Thou hast chose to set thy face. And then if our stiff tongues shall be Mute in the praises of thy deity,
The stones out of the temple-wall
Shall cry alond and call Hosannah! and thy glorious footsteps greet. Amen.
A MEDITATION OF HEAVEN.
Of an eternal pleasure,
Above the highest star,
For every spirit
Clear as the morning's rise,
That bright eternity ?
There the eye
And a sky
Remember us, we pray;--
And the crystal, ’bove the skies,
And our soul
In the scroll Of life and blissfulness enrol, That we may praise Thee to eternity. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR CHARITY.
Full of mercy, full of love,