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exuberance of metaphor, and exeursion of thought, than in many of his other writings.
His publications now began to multiply rapidly; and in the year 1650 he brought out “ The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living," a work that has gone through as many i editions, as any devotional writing in the English language, and has always been highly esteemed for its utility in conducting devotion, and promoting regularity. The great aim of its author was to raise and promote practical piety, a pursuit for which he possessed the highest qualification, both from his consummate knowledge of mankind and the Gospel, and from his own exemplary practice. Hence, his prayers (out of which a liturgy "little inferior to that of the Church of England might be selected) are so well adapted to the various necessities of the human character, and are expressed with such conformity to the language of Scripture, and with such i fervour of piety,
The twenty-eighth edit. was published in 1810. The ist edit. was printed for R. Royston at the Angel in Ivie. Lane, Lond. 1650. See Caius Colla Camb. Lib. D. N. 51. :* A collection of prayers from I Taylor's works has lately been made by the Rev. Samuel Clapham of Christ's Church in Hants. #7: ' 2 .5tiwa?
as can seldom fail to produce, even in a luke. warm petitioner, a very beneficial effect.
Though a work like “ the Rule and Exer
cises of Holy Living,” cannot lose its influence in any age, it was particularly wanted in that in which it was produced. “ He 6 had lived to see religion painted upon ban“ ners, and thrust out of churches, and the “ temple turned into a tabernacle, and that “ tabernacle made ambulatory, and covered 66 with skins of beasts and torn curtains, “ and God to be worshipped not as he is the “ Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” “ nor as " the God of peace;" 6 but owned rather as " the Lord of Hosts.” “ Now men were apt “ to prefer a prosperous error before an af“ .flicted truth; " " and there were some in“ terested persons who added scorn to the “ afflictions of the Church of England, and “ because she was oppressed by men, called “ her forsaken of the Lord;” “ and her “ solemn assemblies being scattered, thought :i Ad vitam Christianam rectè instituendam plurima sunt a Taylero scripta, quæ omnia, propter doctrinam multifariam, quendamque ingenii florem, a multis non sine magnâ voluptate, nec minore cum fructu leguntur. Vid. Respons. Robt. Grovii ad Lib. qui inscri. Celeusma, &c. Lond. 1640. 4to p. 80.
“ religion was lost, and the church divorced “ from God.” m .
These were reasons sufficient to invite Taylor to publish this rule for the conduct of his afflicted brethren ; “ who could not then “ always have a prophet at their need, nor “ be suffered to go up to the House of the Lord “ to inquire of the appointed oracles." "
He divides his work into four chapters; commencing with considerations on the general instruments and means conducing to a holy life; treating next of Christian charity, then of Christian justice, and last of Chris. tian Religion. Under these he dwells upon the care of time, purity of intention, and the presence of God. He defines sobriety, temperance, chastity, humility, modesty, and contentedness. He treats of obedience to superiors; of provision of that part of justice which is due from superiors to inferiors, of
civil contracts, and of restitution. He con: siders the internal actions of Religion, namely, its external actions, which are reading or hearing the Scriptures, fasting, and keeping festivals. And concludes by observations upon the mixed actions of Religion ; of which are prayer, alms, repentance, and the participation of the sacrament.
faith, hope and charity; and enlarges upon ** Epistle" Dedicatory prefixed to the Rule and Exer-
cises of Holy Living. • Ibid.
Throughout this work he exhibits the hand of a master, managing the reader with such dexterity that he keeps him in perpetual control. The evil consequences of vicious habits are drawn with inimitable strength. If drunkenness be the subject, it is brought before the mind, as that which. “ besots and “ hinders the actions of the understanding,
making a man brutish in his passions, and “ a fool in his reason; and differs nothing from “ madness, but that it is voluntary, and so “ is an equal evil in nature, and a worse in « manners. It takes off all the guards, and " lets loose the reins of all those evils to which ^ a man is by his nature or by his evil customs s inclined, and from which he is restrained s by reason and severe principles. Drunken“ ness calls off the watchmen from the towers; “ and then all the evils that can proceed “ from a loose heart, and an untied tongue, “ and a dissolute spirit, and an unguarded,
“ unlimited will, all that we may put upon 6 the accounts of drunkenness." o
In treating of the more delicate points of morality, when we are wondering at his plainness, he interrupts the course of thought by a transition so sudden and impressive, that the courage of the modest revives, and wantonness stands abashed at the sound of the dignified apostrophe— “ Reader stay - and “ read not the advices of the following sec" tion, unless thou hast a chaste spirit, or “ desirest to be chaste, or at least art apt to “ consider whether you ought or no.”p
Or if the milder virtues are to be incul. cated, he steals our consent and approbation of them, whilst he teaches, that “ all the “ world, all that we are, and all that we have, " our bodies and our souls, our actions and « our sufferings, our conditions at home, our « accidents abroad, our many sins and our “ seldom virtues, are so many arguments to “ make our souls dwell low in the deep valleys “ of humility." !
• Rule and Exercises of Holy Living. p. 60. 12th edit. 8vo.
p Rule and Exercises of Holy Living. p. 65. • Rule and Exercises of Holy Living. p. 82.