IN WHICH ARE DESCRIBED THE



                               AND CONSIDERATIONS



                  THE WHOLE DUTY OF A CHRISTIAN,






                  BY JEREMY TAYLOR, D.D. (1613-1667)







  Chaplain in Ordinary to King Charles the First, and some time

  Lord Bishop of Down and Connor.







             J. W. BRADLEY, 48 N. FOURTH STREET.






   It is a matter of high importance in all days, and especially in days

   of popular anxiety like our own, to keep before us the examples of

   minds distinguished in the former trials of our country. No theory of

   virtue is equal in value to its practice embodied in a wise, pure, and

   manly understanding. History, the biography of nations, is too vast,

   abstract, and simple, for the guidance of the individual. Its events,

   like the stars in their courses, large and luminous, moving at a height

   above the reach of man, and influenced by powers and impulses which

   perplex his science, may excite the wonder or instruct the wisdom of

   the philosopher, but the school of mankind is man. To discover the

   source alike of his energies and errors, we must have before our eyes

   the mechanism of the human frame.


   The world is but a perpetual recurrence. The scenes of the great

   theater shift continually, but the same characters move across the

   stage. The story of the drama may be more sullen, or more splendid, but

   while Providence is the guide, and man the agent, the moral will be

   unchanged. It is thus a subject of more than curiosity, to determine

   how generous and lofty spirits have acted in the emergencies of other

   times; with what magnanimity they sustained misfortune, or with what

   vigour they repelled injustice; with what purity they withstood

   temptation, or with what piety they submitted their wrongs to the hand

   of Heave. If, in days like ours, the wider knowledge of human right,

   itself only the offspring of the wider knowledge of religion, renders

   persecution less perilous, yet temptation will always exist. The

   distinctions of the world will always be at the service of the world.

   There has been in every age a Babylon, and men have had the alternative

   of worshipping its golden idol, or paying the penalty of their faith in

   obscurity and exclusion. It is then that the man who is not resolved to

   degrade himself, should solicit new strength in the communion of those

   who have fought the good fight and have gained the crown; that the

   patriot should study the shape and countenance of public virtue, as in

   a gallery of the illustrious dead, and feel the littleness of all fame

   that gravitates to faction; that, above all, the Christian, surrounding

   himself with their recollections, and shutting out, as with the

   curtains of the sanctuary, the heated passions and petulant caprices of

   the time, should imbibe new energies of immortality. It is by such uses

   that the renown of genius, patriotism, and sanctity becomes a splendid

   realization; that the suffering of the past revives as the lesson of

   present wisdom; that the living eye catches light from beyond the

   grave, and the forms catches light from beyond the grave, and the forms

   of the saint and martyr stand before us, like Moses and Elias in the

   mount, in their glory, telling at once of the brief suffering and the

   imperishable reward.


   Jeremy, afterwards Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore in Ireland, was

   born in Trinity parish, Cambridge, the third son of Nathaniel and Mary

   Taylor, and baptized, August 15, 1613. Like many others destined for

   future eminence, he owed nothing to birth, for his father was a barber.

   But his genius could dispense with the honors of ancestry; and the man

   who could at once instruct the wise by his learning, and delight the

   elegant by his fancy, required but little extrinsic aid for fame. Yet

   even his father's trade, connected as it then was with the rude

   practice of surgery, was less humble than at present; and his family

   had once possessed a small estate in Gloucestershire, himself being the

   direct descendant of the memorable Dr. Rowland Taylor, chaplain to

   Archbishop Cranmer, and martyred in the third year of Mary of bloody

   memory, on Aldham Common, in his parish of Hadleigh, in the county of



   The rector of Hadleigh was a man of acquirements sufficient to have

   moved the envy of the ignorant, and of principles obnoxious to the

   bigots of his day; but Gardner, his persecutor, is said to have had the

   additional motive, of coveting the family estate at Frampton, on which

   that rapacious minister laid his hands, like another Ahab; like his

   Jewish prototype, to perish before he could enjoy the possession. The

   family were thus reduced to sudden poverty, and retained in poverty by

   adopting, what was not uncommon among the families of the persecuted, a

   turn for puritanism. This could earn but little favour from the

   vigorous government of Elizabeth, which had suffered too much from

   Popish turbulence to look without alarm on religious disputes of any

   kind; and still less from the loose government of James, in which

   alternate superstitions seemed to take the lead in the royal mind,

   everything was patronized but truth, and every art of government was

   practiced but manliness and honour.


   In his thirteenth year, August 18, 1626, the future bishop was sent to

   Caius College, Cambridge, as a sizer, or "poor scholar;" an order of

   free students analogous to the "lay-brothers" of the Romish convents.

   The duties of this class were, literally, to serve the higher rank of

   students, at least in all the public ministrations of the college. The

   feelings of our later age revolt from this employment of men running

   the common race of learning. But it should be remembered, that in the

   time of Taylor, the division of ranks in general society was at once

   more distinct and less painful; that this education was the only one

   attainable by the poor; and that, in the precarious property and narrow

   funds of the colleges, there was the stronger ground for insisting on

   the natural maxim, that those who cannot pay in money must pay in kind.


   At Cambridge it cannot be discovered that Taylor succeeded in any of

   the more public objects of scholarship, increase of rank or increase of

   income. The dignities and emoluments of the University were then, as

   now, devoted to proficiency in the severer sciences. And we can be as

   little surprised that the poetic richness of his mind should have

   sought other means of distinctions, than we can regret that his future

   eloquence and various literature were not involved at their birth in

   the robe of the mathematician. Accident first brought his peculiar

   faculties into notice. A fellow-student, Risdon, having been appointed

   lecturer in St. Paul's Cathedral, employed Taylor as his substitute

   during a temporary absence. The youth of the new preacher, for he was

   then but twenty years old, [1] his happiness of expression and fervour

   of piety, pleased the people. His rising fame reached the ears of Laud,

   then newly translated from London to the see of Canterbury the

   archbishop sent for him, objected only to his youth, a fault which

   Taylor, in the quaint humour of the age, prayed his grace to forgive,

   as, if he lived, he would amend it; and took him under his protection.


   The archbishop of Canterbury must always be a man of eminent influence;

   his peerage, his patronage, and his revenue, place in his hands the

   largest share of practical power that belongs to any individual beneath

   the throne. If the lord chancellor seem to rival him in extent of

   patronage, he falls altogether short of him in the chief point of

   possession -- its continuance. Royal will or legislative caprice may

   disrobe the great law functionary in a moment, while nothing but the

   power which kings and subjects alike must obey, can deprive the great

   prelate of his income or his authority. Laud in the archiepiscopal

   chair, was the most powerful man in England. A vigorous mind, amply

   furnished with learning, a daring temperament, and a personal passion

   for control, were the qualities with which he undertook the guidance of

   the distracted state. But "the times were out of joint," and his lofty,

   bold, and headstrong spirit was the last that could have set them

   straight. In other days he might have attained secure eminence. In the

   early struggles of the reformation, his intrepidity and knowledge might

   have made him a second Luther. In the generation that followed the

   civil war, his munificence would have raised the fallen church, as his

   love of order would have restored her subordination, and his courage

   asserted her privileges. Hypocrisy has few darker stains than the blood

   of Laud. His age, his literature, and his fidelity, would have rescued

   him from all hands but those of men struggling to seize on power by

   trampling on religion. Faction, which sacrificed his life, exhibited

   its last malignity in tarnishing his tomb. But time does justice to

   all; and like the false inscription on the Greek watch-tower, the

   common operation of years have swept away the libel, and shown the

   truth graven on the imperishable material within.


   Taylor, by the archbishop's advice, removed to Oxford, where his

   patron, as chancellor and visitor, had obvious means of rendering him

   service. He was admitted Master of Arts in University College, and

   finally, notwithstanding the resistance of Sheldon, warden of All

   Souls, (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury,) he succeeded to a

   fellowship, lapsed to the visitor in January 1636. Preferment now

   followed him. In March 1638, he was presented by Juxon, Bishop of

   London, to the rectory of Uppingham in Rutlandshire, having been

   already appointed chaplain to Laud. On the 5th of November, 1638, he

   preached his first memorable sermon, that on the gunpowder-plot, before

   the University. On the 27th of May, 1639, being then in his 26th year,

   he married at Uppingham, Phoebe Langsdale, of whom little more is

   known, that that her brother was a physician practicing at

   Gainsborough. By her he had three sons, of whom one died in infancy;

   the other two grew up to manhood.


   Taylor was now to be called into scenes, which, if they deeply tried

   the constancy of all men, gave larger space for the labours of ability

   and virtue. In 1642, he joined the king at Oxford, and signalized

   himself by his treatise of "Episcopacy Asserted," a publication

   commended by his majesty's command. For this he obtained, by the royal

   mandate, the degree of Doctor of Divinity. But, for this, the Puritans,

   neither slow to discover, nor careless to punish, their enemies,

   sequestered his living. Taylor, however, found a protector in

   Christopher Hatton, afterwards Lord Hatton, of Kirby, who had been his

   neighbour at Uppingham; an individual in high confidence with the king,

   by whom he had been appointed comptroller of the household, but who

   derived still higher honour from his protection of Taylor, and his

   suggestion of the "Monasticon" to the learned Dugdale. Loyalty was now

   dangerous, but Taylor remained with the king, frequently preaching

   before the court at Oxford, and attending the royal marches as

   chaplain. The affairs of Charles had already become unfortunate, and

   his chaplain soon felt his share in national calamity. He was taken

   prisoner in the defeat of the royalists at Cardigan, February 1744. His

   dedication of the "Liberty of Prophesying" alludes to this event in his

   characteristic style: --


   "In the great storm which dashed the vessel of the church in pieces, I

   had been cast on the coast of Wales, and in a little boat thought to

   have enjoyed that rest and quietness, which in England, in a far

   greater, I could not hope for. Here I cast anchor, and thinking to ride

   safely, the storm followed me with so impetuous a violence, that it

   broke a cable, and I lost my anchor. And here again I was exposed to

   the mercy of the sea, and the gentleness of an element which could

   neither distinguish things or persons; and but that He, who stills

   the raging of the sea and the noise of his waves, and the madness of

   the people, had provided a plank for me, I had been lost to all the

   opportunities of content or study. But I know not whether I have been

   more preserved by the courtesies of my friends or the gentleness and

   mercy of a noble enemy." Adding in the Greek, the passage from St.

   Paul's shipwreck, -- "For the barbarous people showed us no little

   kindness; for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because

   of the present rain, and because of the cold." [2]


   Yet such was force of his diligence, or the ardour of his devotion,

   that even imprisonment could not render him idle. In this year of

   trouble he published at Oxford, an edition of the Psalter, and a

   "Defence of the Liturgy." But the effect of the times was visible in

   his anonymous publication of the former, and his sheltering the

   "Defence" under the name of his protector, Hatton. There was still one

   melancholy meeting to take place, which must have deeply tried the

   spirit of a man loyal on principle. The royal cause was now extinct,

   the unhappy king was in the hands of his enemies; and, whether as an

   additional source of bitterness, or in the contemptuous display of

   mercy to the undone, the usurping government permitted the royal

   chaplains to visit him in his prison. Charles, foreseeing his fate,

   gave them parting tokens of his regard, and among the rest gave Taylor

   his watch, and a few rubies which had studded the ebony case of his



   Taylor was now utterly destitute; if he can be called so, who has

   learning, contentment, and character. His living was seized, his person

   liable to daily danger; and the crowd, who instinctively follow change,

   could feel but little sympayour for the faith that clung to a fallen

   throne. Yet he contrived to live, and to support his family. Joining

   with Nicholson, afterwards Bishop of Gloucester, and Wyatt, afterwards

   Prebendary of Lincoln, he commenced a school at Lanhangel, in Wales,

   which produced some profit, and even obtained some distinction. But a

   still stronger evidence of the faculty of abstracting his mind from the

   sense of surrounding troubles, one of the rarest evidences of vigor, is

   to be found in the composition of his most distinguished work, "The

   Liberty of Prophesying," at this period. The epistle dedicatory to

   Hatton, touchingly enumerates the disadvantages of his book, as written

   in adversity and want, without library or leisure. He had no

   auxiliaries but his memory and his Bible. Yet with a mind like his,

   could he have wanted much more.


   Taylor's first wife had died in the year 1642. After six years of

   widowhood he married again, probably in 1648. This wife had her share

   in the history of the time. She was said to be a daughter of Charles,

   during that earlier period of his life when the profligate Buckingham

   acted as his father's favorite, and his own example. She was a

   beautiful girl, strongly resembling the king in temper and countenance,

   was brought up in mysterious privacy in Glamorgan, and was provided for

   by the estate of Mandiman, in the country of Carmarthen. But the times

   were fatal to all regular possessions, and whatever solace he might

   have found in the society of his young and lovely wife, he appears to

   have derived little increase of income from her fortune.


   But Taylor was still further to be tried. When the men of our age,

   whether in religion or politics, talk of grievances; they should turn

   to the times when the popular will had cleared away all obstacles, and

   for the fruit of its blood rebellion had the discovery, that religious

   independence finds its natural result in the tyranny of a sect, and

   republican freedom in the tyranny of the sword. In those days merit was

   distinguished only by a more conspicuous share of the general

   suffering; and Taylor's learning, meekness, and purity naturally became

   offenses, where hypocrisy was virtue. In 1654, he had republished his

   "Catechism for Children" in a larger shape, and entitled it the "Golden

   Grove," in compliment to the Earl of Carbery, whose neighbouring estate

   bore that name. The preface, though intended simply to conciliate the

   Protector in favour of the fallen Church, yet contained expressions

   which were conceived by the quick jealousies of the day, to convey

   insult to the influential clergy. The hand of power was then as rapid

   as its eye was keen, and Taylor was thrown into prison. From this he

   was soon released; but again, in the same year, he was seized, and

   placed in custody in Chepstow Castle. In neither case does his

   confinement seem to have been of peculiar severity. In the latter, he

   writes to a friend, "I now have that liberty, that I can receive my

   letters, and send any; for the gentlemen in whose custody I am, as they

   are careful of their charges, so are civil to my person." It is

   probable that his wife's fortune assisted largely in his liberation, if

   not in the civility of his jailers. It will be acknowledged, to the

   honour of the national manners, that the civil war of England exhibited

   but few instances of ferocity. The kindlier feelings of peaceful life

   were not altogether trampled out by the violence of the conflict, and

   strong as might be the indignation of outraged loyalty on one side, and

   heated as might be the fanaticism of the other, the combatants had not

   altogether forgotten that their antagonists were human beings.


   Yet, perhaps, even this terrible crisis was not without its value. The

   thunderstorm clears the atmosphere. The agony of the parental disease

   has often taught temperance to the children. The Revolution of 1648

   beginning in war and ending in tyranny, may have inspired the wisdom by

   which the Revolution of 1688 began in peace and ended in the

   establishment of the throne. Still, if the experience was useful, it

   must not be forgotten by us and by our children, that the price was

   tremendous. Man should be content with easier knowledge. We may well

   shrink from securing the fertility of the harvest by steeping the seed

   in blood. Of all the instruments of change, civil commotion is the

   least manageable by the hand of man: once let loose, it is alike beyond

   resistance and beyond control; we might as well attempt to turn the

   lightnings into a weapon, or direct the invisible arrows of the

   pestilence. The gallantry of the English nobles and gentlemen, the

   solemn intrepidity of their adversaries, the chivalric spirit of

   Charles, and the soaring ambition of Cromwell, have robed the civil was

   with the splendours of romance; but the eye that looks beneath that

   robe sees only the wounds of a dying people. If war, with all the

   glories of foreign triumph, is but a dreadful necessity; what must be

   its evil, when it breaks up civilized life at home; when it visits the

   land, not in the echo of the remote thunders, but in the earthquake

   that convulses the soil under its feet? What must be the national loss,

   when every man who falls is a subject lost to the sovereign and a son

   lost to the country; when every drop of blood shed in the conflict is

   drawn from the national veins; when the scaffold completes the massacre

   of the field, and when both are but a more sweeping parricide?


   And the results are as delusive as the price is bitter. Until we can

   gather grapes of thorns and figs of thistles, we shall never find

   rebellion the parent of liberty. That fair form is not to be born of

   the fierce, intoxicated, and adulterous union of Democracy with

   Ambition. If the experiment was ever made with all its advantages, it

   was in the supremacy of Cromwell. No man of his age possessed nobler

   qualities for distinction; no man of any age was more fitted for the

   throne of a great kingdom. Unshaken courage, unequaled sagacity, and

   inexhaustible resource, threw a light round him, that dazzled the eye

   of England, and from his throne spread its lusters to his country. The

   royalist cause melted away before him as he rose. The habitual jealousy

   of the continent bowed down before his established splendour. For

   England he extorted from Europe the homage due to unrivaled success in

   diplomacy and war. For himself, he extorted for usurpation the honours

   due to right, and compelled the old monarchies to acknowledge the

   illustrious upstart as one of the family of kings.


   Yet, such is the inevitable evil of all rebellion, that this great

   leader, who, on a legitimate throne might have been as magnanimous as

   he was brave, was forced to stoop to the arts of the tyrant. A

   sovereign by nature, he was a despot by necessity. The great rebel was

   compelled to study the temperament of all the rebels beneath him. Where

   the power was given by felons, the first man in England could be only

   the first jailer. No man was taught more keenly that usurpation must

   never sleep. At the height of his supremacy, he felt himself watched by

   a faction, whose cunning and virulence he still dreaded, though he had

   first duped their craftiness, and then broken their power. Cromwell,

   with one hand defending himself from the dagger of the fanatic, and

   with the other struggling to retain the scepter from the grasp of the

   loyalist, was driven into tyranny; and the nation soon discovered, by

   bitter experience, that it had only exchanged complaints for

   sufferings, gradual freedom for remorseless authority, and the light

   and negligent curb of an ancient monarchy, for the heavy and galling

   harness of an iron despotism.


   This cycle has been run in every period, and in every variety of

   national character -- in the brilliant levity of Greece, in the stern

   ambition of Rome, in the fiery passions of France; and it will be run

   again, in the first nation which, proclaiming violence as the

   instrument of right, summons the populace to advance the liberties of

   the people, and erects the demagogue into the high-priest of the

   profaned constitution.


   That a scholar, a divine, and a man of peace, like Taylor, should have

   been twice imprisoned under the protectorate, is among the deepest

   evidences of the general state of coercion.


   But in those periods of distress, he seems to have always found

   especial friends. "I will never leave you nor forsake you" is a high

   promise; often performed to the servants of the truth, under

   circumstances which must have greatly augmented their confidence, and

   cheered their trials. Taylor, though now apparently reduced to the most

   serious difficulties, stripped of his professional means, unable to

   pursue his school, and not merely under the suspicion, but in the

   hands, of vigilant and angry power, found a new patron in Vaughan, Earl

   of Carbery.


   Vaughan was a man of talent and distinction; who had held high offices,

   and held them with a successive increase to his character. Having

   served with honour in the wars of Ireland, for which he received the

   knighthood of the Bath, he had subsequently taken up arms for Charles,

   in the civil war, and borne the chief royalist command in South Wales.

   His services were too important to be forgotten by even the negligent

   gratitude of Charles II; and at the Revolution, when so many of the

   noble cavaliers were left to pine in discontent, Vaughan received the

   title of Lord Vaughan of Emlyn. Even in the ruin of the royalist cause,

   either fear of his talent, or respect for his integrity had procured

   him milder terms than usual from the parliament. He was permitted to

   compound for his estates; And the relief which was thus given to this

   loyal and able nobleman furnished him with the means of liberality to

   Taylor, and probably to many other adherents of the fallen cause. Lord

   Vaughan's second wife had a poetic reputation. She was Alice, the

   eleventh daughter of John Egerton, first Earl of Bridgwater, memorable

   as the Lady in Comus. Milton's verses might have embalmed the

   remembrance of inferior birth and beauty; the Lady in Comus is



   Though the churches were closed against the clergy of the Church,

   divine service was sustained, wherever it was possible; and under the

   roof and in the immediate neighbourhood of this great family, Taylor

   delivered his yearly course of sermons. During the entire period he was

   the reverse of idle; his zeal never suffered him to adopt the easy

   excuses of indolence, or to find in distress a ground for the

   abandonment of duty. He now wrote his "Apology for set Forms of Liturgy

   against the pretence of the Spirit," which was shortly followed by one

   of his most distinguished works, the "Life of Christ." During the three

   following years, his labours were chiefly, his Sermon, and his "Holy

   Living and Dying;" the latter, a volume which originated in the desire,

   as it was written for the use of the first Lady Carbery, and dedicated

   by him to her husband after her death.


   Another of those friends whose services were of peculiar value during

   this period, was the well-known and estimable John Evelyn. Evelyn had

   accidentally heard him preach in the city in 1654, and it is easy to

   conceive that Taylor's sincerity and eloquence could not be heard with

   neglect by a man like Evelyn. How casual admiration was heightened into

   habitual friendship we have now no means of knowing; but it appears

   that, shortly after, Evelyn paid him a visit, "to confer with him about

   spiritual matters." Evelyn's nature was liberal, his means were opulent

   for the time, and Taylor undoubtedly enjoyed the advantages of both,

   during a period in which his personal resources had utterly failed him.

   In 1656, he visited London, and dined with Evelyn at his seat, Sayes

   Court. He there enjoyed, at least, the feast of reason, for the company

   were Berkeley, Boyle, and Wilking, all three eminent in their day for

   scientific ardour. Of this meeting, and still more, of the comforts and

   enjoyments of his accomplished friend, he speaks with natural pleasure

   in a letter of which the following is a fragment: --


   "To John Evelyn, Esq.

   "Honored and dear Sir,


   "I hope your servant brought my apology with him, and that I am already

   excused in your thoughts, that I did not return an answer yesterday to

   your friendly letter. Sir, I did believe myself so very much bound to

   you, for your so kind, so friendly reception of me in your Tusculanum,

   that I had some little wonder upon me, when I saw you making excuses

   that it was no better. Sir, I came to see you and your lady, an am

   highly pleased that I did so, and found all your circumstances to be a

   heap and union of blessings.


   "I am pleased indeed at the order of all your outward things, and look

   upon you not only as a person, by way of thankfulness to God for his

   mercies and goodness to you, specially obliged to a great measure of

   piety; but also as one who being freed in great degrees from secular

   cares and impediments, can wholly intend what you so passionately

   desire, the service of God. But, now I am considering yours, and

   enumerating my own pleasures, I cannot but add that though I could not

   choose but be delighted by seeing all about you, yet my delices

   (delights) were really in seeing you severe and unconcerned in these

   things, and now in finding your affections wholly a stranger to them."


   Taylor had found another friend in Mr. Thurland, afterwards Sir Edward,

   and one of the barons of the Exchequer. This eminent lawyer was also

   the author of a work on Prayer, and either from congenial studies or

   personal respect, he was induced to offer Taylor an asylum in London.

   He mentions this offer in a letter to Evelyn.


   "Truly, sir, I do continue in my desire to settle about London, and am

   only hindered by my res an gusta domi, but hope in God's goodness, that

   he will create to me such advantages as may make it possible, and when

   I am there, I shall expect the daily issues of the Divine Providence to

   make all things else well. Because I am much persuaded that by my abode

   in your voisinage (neighbourhood) of London, I may receive advantages

   of society and books, to enable me better to serve God and the interest

   of souls. I have no other design in it, and I hope God will second it

   with his blessing. Sir, I desire you to present my thanks and service

   to Mr. Thurland; his society were argument enough to make me desire a

   dwelling there abouts, but his other kindnesses will also make it

   possible." The letter proceeds to say, that in acknowledgement of

   Thurland's liberality he will send him his new work "On the Doctrine of

   Original Sin;" and concludes with a touch of melancholy and

   resignation. "Sir, -- I am in some little disorder by reason of the

   death of a little child of mine, a boy that lately made us very glad.

   But now he rejoices in his little orb while we think, and sigh, and

   long to be as safe as he is."


   One of the evils of reputation now assailed him. The man who obtains

   popularity, will have imitators; and he is fortunate, whose imitators

   neither degrade his style nor disgrace his character. In this year a

   small volume appeared, entitled a frivolous dissertation on the arts of

   female beauty; a work unworthy of Taylor's dignity, alike in its

   subject and its performance. Yet it was evidently the publisher's

   intent to impress the idea that it proceeded from his pen. The

   frontis-piece, a female figure with the sun on her breast, was taken

   from one of his known works. The peculiarities of his language, and

   even his use of italics, were adopted; and though the preface

   attributed the work "chiefly to a lady," yet the crowd of classic

   quotations which filled its pages, strongly contradicted, and were

   probably intended to contradict, the declaration. The haste of

   criticism, or perhaps the bitterness of party, charged this trivial

   work on Taylor; but Bishop Heber, his latest and best biographer, has

   indignantly defended his memory. The language of the treatise wants all

   the higher characteristics of a pen to which eloquence was familiar;

   its sentiments are opposed to his recorded opinions; and thus failing

   in the lineaments of vigorous expression and moral dignity which

   belonged to all the offspring of his mind, who can doubt its



   In 1662, the artifice was pushed still further, and an edition appeared

   with J.T. D.D., his known initials, on its title page. But the

   dexterity of fabricators in those days was more daring, and even more

   disingenuous, than in our own. The knavery of pirating names was

   common, and Taylor only underwent the penalty of having made a

   reputation which was a passport to popular applause.


   Taylor's tenderness of heart was sadly tried in the loss of children.

   Distressing us this must be to any man, it must have been doubly so to

   one who could write thus glowingly on the domestic affections. In his

   treatise entitled the "Marriage Ring," he thus speaks, in the quaint

   yet poetic language of his time.


   "Nothing can sweeten felicity but love. No man can tell, but he that

   loves his children, how many delicious accents make a man's heart dance

   in the pretty conversation of those dear pledges. Their childishness,

   their stammering, their little anger, their innocence, their

   imperfections, their necessities, are so many emanations of joy and

   comfort to him that delights in their persons and society. But he who

   loves not his wife and children feeds a lioness at home, and broods

   over a nest of sorrows, and blessing itself cannot make him happy. So

   that all the commandments of God, enjoining a man to love his wife, are

   nothing but so many necessities and capacities of joy. She that is

   loved is safe, and he that loves is joyful. Love is an union of all

   things excellent. It contains in it proportion and satisfaction, and

   rest and confidence, and I wish that this were so much proceeded in,

   that the heathens themselves could not go beyond us in this virtue, and

   its proper and appendant happiness. Tiberius Gracchus chose to die for

   the safety of his wife, and yet methinks to a Christian to do so should

   be no hard thing, for many servants will die for their masters, and

   many gentlemen for their friend, but the examples are not so many of

   those that are ready to die for their nearest relations. And yet some

   there have been. -- Baptiste Fregosa tells of a Neapolitan, that gave

   himself as slave to the Moors that he might follow his wife, and this

   is a greater thing than to die."


   During this period, he kept up his correspondence with Evelyn, and

   between those two amiable yet grave men, the topics were naturally of a

   grave and lofty nature. It appears that Evelyn desired to have some

   difficulties resolved, relative to the state of the soul after death.

   Taylor answers him with a curious mixture of metaphysics and morality,

   the worthless learning of the schoolmen, alternately clouding and

   clearing away before the vigour of an intelligent mind:-- "But, sir,

   that which you check at, is the immortality of the soul; that is, its

   being, in the interval before the day of judgment, which you conceive

   is not agreeable to the Apostles Creed, or current of Scriptures,

   assigning as you suppose the felicity of Christians to the

   resurrection. Before I speak to the thing, I must note this, that the

   parts which you oppose to each other may both be true, for the soul may

   be immortal, and yet not beatified till the resurrection. For to be,

   and not to be happy or miserable, are not necessary consequences to

   each other. For the soul may be alive, and yet not feel; as it may be

   alive, and not understand. So is our soul when we are fast asleep, and

   so Nebuchadnezzar's soul when he had his lycanthropy. The Socinians

   that say the soul sleeps, do not suppose that she is mortal, but that

   for want of her instrument she cannot do any act of life. The soul

   returns to God, and that in no sense is death, and I think the death of

   the soul cannot be defined, and there is no death to spirits but



   He then adverts to the felicity of Christians after the day of

   judgment; and, in illustration of the soul's existence, quotes the

   fable of Licetus, "his lamps, whose flame had stood still fifteen

   hundred years in Tully's wife's vault." He proceeds to say, that "as

   the element of fire, and the celestial globes of fire, eat nothing, but

   live on themselves, so can the soul when it is divested of its relative

   (the body.)" Such was the philosophy of his day, borrowed from the

   Greeks, and laughed at by the moderns.


   But when he relies on his own understanding his remarks become of more

   value. In answer to the allowable question -- why St. Paul, preaching

   Jesus and the resurrection, said nothing of the intermediate existence

   of the souls; he answers, that the resurrection of the body included

   and supposed that. And, secondly, "that if it had not, yet what need

   had he to preach that to them, which in Athens was believed by almost

   all their schools; for, besides that the immortality of the soul was

   believed by the philosophers of Egypt, India, and Chaldea, it was

   acknowledged by all the leading philosophers of Greece." To this,

   however, he adds the remarkably insecure argument, in which, as he

   expresses it, "St. Paul, speaking of his rapture into heaven, purposely

   and by design twice says, "whether in body or out of the body I know

   not;" by which Taylor observes, "he plainly says, that it was no ways

   unlikely, that his rapture was out of the body, and therefore it is

   very agreeable to the nature of the soul, to operate in separation from

   the body."


   It is striking, to find a man of his sagacity, falling into the common

   error of commentators on this remarkable passage; and not less striking

   to find him followed in it by Bishop Heber; who remarks, that "from

   that text alone, the probability is, that the apostle himself took the

   separate existence of the soul for granted, and believed it extremely

   possible for a man to be and think, and even to acquire new ideas,

   without the existence of the body."


   Reluctant as we may be, to reject an argument which supports the great

   and consoling truth of the "intermediate state," it must be

   acknowledged, that this interpretation is altogether unsustained by the

   text. Nothing can be clearer, that that St. Paul is not speaking of

   himself, but of another. He distinctly states, that he will glory, not

   in the visions and revelations made to himself, but in those made to an

   individual, in whose Divine visitations he might rejoice with safety

   and propriety. While, as to himself, if he were to glory in anything,

   it should be in his infirmities; which is obviously equivalent to not

   glorying at all.


   Having thus fully established the distinction he proceeds to speak of

   this highly-favoured individual, as one whom he knew fourteen years

   before, though whether he were now dead or living, he could not say; or

   as the text expresses it, "whether in the body I cannot tell, or

   whether out of the body I cannot tell; God knoweth. [3] The phrase "out

   of the body," being the common Scripture phrase for death; and as such

   used by St. Paul himself, when he desires to be "absent from the body,

   and present with the Lord." Under the usual interpretation the whole

   passage is a mass of perplexity.


   Yet in the midst of those important studies, this estimable man was not

   to escape the prying and persecuting spirit of the time. His printer,

   Royston, had prefixed to his "Collections of Offices" an engraving of

   our Lord in prayer. The representations, which printers had been so

   long in the habit of prefixing to their volumes, were regarded as

   idolatrous by the new-born conscience of the age. The scruple had even

   gone to the extent of an act for punishing those formidable

   transgressions by fine and imprisonment. Taylor was not a man likely to

   provoke authority, for the mere indulgence of opposition; and it could

   scarcely be supposed that he felt inclined to pay more homage to Popery

   than to government. But those were the days for which zealots had

   cavilled and rebels had fought; and the triumph of both had alike

   issued in the direct overthrow of their principles. It is enough to say

   of this period and its law, that Taylor was committed to a prison for a

   third time.


   His place of confinement was the Tower; whether as implying an offence

   more nearly touching on high-treason, or from the crowded state of the

   other prisons in this era of successful freedom! How long he might have

   been destined by the mercy of his accusers to remain there, is not now

   to be known; for the same friendship which had never failed him, again

   interposed. Evelyn exerted himself to represent his innocence to the

   ruling powers. Cromwell, who persecuted only from policy, while others

   persecuted from zeal, was probably not disinclined to let such a

   prisoner go free: Evelyn's entreaty, that his learned and pious friend

   might be allowed to explain his conduct, was accordingly listed to;

   and, after an incarceration of two months, he regained his liberty.


   But the experiment of clemency under the protectorate was not to be

   safety hazarded again; and Taylor's friends now consulted how to

   withdraw him altogether from the vigilant eyes that watched his career

   in England. While he remained in London he would have boldly continued

   to officiate, and administer the sacraments, in the private meetings of

   his people. But Episcopacy had been extinguished, and the angry

   strength of government was bent on crushing the remnants of the church.

   Edward, Earl of Conway, the proprietor of large estates near Lisburn in

   Ireland, now proposed to Evelyn that his friend should remove there to

   take a lectureship then at the earl's disposal.


   Taylor was strongly disinclined to leave England, even though his steps

   there were in the lion's den. After thanking Evelyn for his unwearied

   kindness, he told his thoughts freely of this unpalatable change. "I

   like not," says his letter, "the condition of being a lecturer under

   the disposal of another. Sir, the stipend is so inconsiderable, that it

   will not pay the charge of removing myself and family. It is wholly

   arbitrary, for the triers may overthrow it, or the vicar may forbid it,

   or the subscribers may die, or grow weary, or be absent. I beseech you,

   sir, pay my thanks to your friend who had so much kindness for me as to

   intend my benefit." He seems here to have had a correct idea of the

   "voluntary principle;" but his reluctance was overcome, probably by the

   remonstrances of his friends, who knew more of his danger, and feared

   more for him than he feared for himself. He accordingly set out,

   furnished with letters to the leading persons of Ireland, the lord

   chancellor, the chief baron, the general in command, and even with a

   letter from Cromwell himself, under his signet. In Ireland he divided

   his residence between Lisburn and the neighbourhood of Portmore, a

   princely mansion built by Inigo Jones, and belonging to the Conway

   family. Here he found at once seclusion and safety. The surrounding

   country is romantic: the great lake of Lough Neah washed the park of

   Portmore; and in its sylvan and lonely islets, he is said to have

   frequently indulged his love of nature and solitude. Here, too, he

   proceeded with renewed vigour in the great work, which he had founded

   as the pillar of his fame, and it was to the shelter of Portmore that

   the age owed the completion of the "Ductor Dubitantium." Yet his

   shelter was not altogether secure, for even there he was denounced by

   an informer, to the Irish privy council, as a dangerous character; the

   chief pungency of the crime being, that he had used the sign of the

   cross in private baptism. For such treasons men were thrown into

   dungeons in the days of our ancestors! Taylor was ordered up to Dublin,

   in the depth of winter. The result of his journey was a severe illness,

   which however probably saved him from the greater severity of



   But his trials were at last to approach their end. To publish his great

   work, and to renew his intercourse with his friends, he travelled

   onwards to London. The times were anxious, the great usurper was dead,

   the army had resumed its old power of disposing of the state, and all

   eyes were turned on its general. Monk, tardy and cold, yet artificial

   and dexterous, still kept the nation in suspense. At this critical

   period, some of the bolder loyalists came forward, and drew up a

   declaration of confidence in the general. Taylor, who regarded both

   life and death only as the means of zealously serving the truth, was

   among the first to sign this momentous paper. The confidence thus given

   to Monk was the signal for the restoration of the monarchy.


   If Charles was yet to disappoint the national hopes, no sovereign was

   ever welcomed with more sincere rejoicing. All men were weary of the

   past. The misery of revolution had been fully felt: the unspeakable

   wretchedness of living at the caprice of a popular assembly, had

   penetrated into every cottage; even the sullen tyranny of the

   protectorate had been felt as a relief from the restless vexations of

   popular rule; and so deep was the disgust earned by republicanism, that

   the nation, in a moment of confidence, as rash as their disgust was

   sincere, threw themselves, and their liberties together, at the foot of

   the young king.


   In the general re-establishment of the church, Taylor could not be

   disregarded without palpable injustice. His piety, learning, and

   sufferings had been equally conspicuous. He was well known to many

   powerful men round the throne. Whether his having married the natural

   sister of the king contributed to his advancement, is not ascertained;

   though if Charles desired to remove her from his immediate presence, it

   might have contributed to his location at a distance from court. On the

   6th of August, 1660, Taylor was appointed to the bishopric of Down and

   Conner in Ireland; and soon after elected vice-chancellor of the

   university of Dublin.


   He had at length found a situation worthy of his activity and of his

   feelings. His first attention was directed to the affairs of the

   university. His knowledge of mankind told him that education was the

   great instrument of civil order and religious truth; and his well-won

   experience had proved that universities along can dispense education

   without hazard to the state, and sustain the stream of national

   religion without sullying its purity. He found the revenues of the

   university dilapidated, and the lands in many instances given away. So

   great were the disorders introduced under the Commonwealth, that none

   of the existing scholars or fellows had legal titles, all having been

   introduced by irregular election, or forced on the electors by the

   government. Taylor took upon himself the labour of revising the

   statutes of Bishop Bedel, and establishing others required by the new

   circumstances of the university.


   In this sense, he may be regarded as a second founder of that noble

   Institution, which, under Providence, has been the great source and

   sustainer of Protestantism and freedom in the sister country -- not

   destitute of those displays which make national fame; sending out, from

   time to time, those magnificent minds, her Burkes and Grattans, which

   belong not to provinces, but empires, and come periodically to

   reinforce the intellect of mankind; but, in all periods, by the vigour

   and exactness of her learning, and the manliness and purity of her

   principles, transmitting knowledge, loyalty, and religion, into the

   bosom of the land: -- a great luminary, on which, for centuries, has

   depended all the moral sunshine of Ireland; sending out, from time to

   time, flashes and emanations, of a lustre that breaks through all her

   clouds; and even in her gloomiest hours, shooting its influence through

   the soil, kindling every latent seed that is yet to vegetate into

   national virtue, and preparing the more perfect day.



   "Aggredere, o magnos, aderit jam tempus, honores;

   Cara Deum soboles!"


   The Bishop's merits were to be still further honoured. During the

   Commonwealth, Ireland had been almost wholly denuded of its

   Episcopalian clergy. By the exertions of the Duke of Ormond they now

   began to be restored. On the 27th of January, 1661, two archbishops and

   ten bishops were consecrated in the cathedral of St. Patrick, in

   Dublin, by Bramhall, the primate. And in the next month the Bishop of

   Down was called to the Irish privy council, and shortly afterwards

   appointed to the administration of the small adjoining diocese of

   Dromore. But if sudden authority has often been a dangerous trial to

   unsettled virtue, it only exhibited more largely the dignity and mercy

   of his mind. The Irish massacre of 1641, had thrown vast tracts of

   country into the hands of government. The civil war had next perverted

   might into rapine, and the Commonwealth had finally consolidated rapine

   into law. In Ireland all the elements of order had been confounded. It

   was now the difficult task of the legitimate government to bring

   society into form once more. The question of the confiscated estates

   might have offered a snare to an orator ambitious of influence, or to a

   man of influence eager for possession. But Taylor's language on this

   subject was worthy of his principles. With equal force and simplicity,

   he thus addressed his fellow legislators: --


   "You cannot obey God, unless you do justice, for this also is better

   than sacrifice, said Solomon. For Christ, who is the sun of

   righteousness, is a sun and shield to them that do righteously.


   "You are to give sentence in the causes of half a nation; and he had

   needs be a wise and good man who divides the inheritance among

   brethren, that he may not be abused by contrary pretences, nor biassed

   by the interest of friends, nor transported with the unjust thoughts

   even of a just revenge, nor allured by the opportunities of spoil, nor

   blinded by gold, which puts out the eyes of wise men, nor cozened by

   pretended zeal. For justice ought to be the simplest thing in the

   world, and to be measured by nothing but truth, and by laws, and by the

   decrees of princes."


   The passage which follows is worthy of being recorded among the first

   maxims of national justice in troubled times.


   "But whatever you do, let not the pretence of a different religion make

   you think it lawful to oppress any man in his just rights; for not

   opinions, but laws, and doing as we would be done to, are the measures

   of justice. And though justice does alike to all men, Jew and

   Christian, Lutheran and Calvinist; yet, to do right to them that are of

   another opinion, is the way to win them. But if you, for conscience

   sake, do them wrong, they will hate both you and your religion."


   He concludes with a fine enunciation of his noble principle: -- "You

   must be as just as the law, and you must be as merciful as your

   religion. And you have no way to tie those together, but to follow the

   pattern in the mount -- do as God does, who in judgment remembers



   This pious and learned man was now approaching his close. It is among

   the mysterious dispensations of Providence, that some of the

   purest-minded of men have been the most subjected to personal

   afflictions. Yet while this world is to be regarded only as a school of

   the human spirit, and the Deity holds in his hand boundless

   compensation for all suffering, it is only the work of reason, to be

   convinced that the deeper affliction has been laid on for purposes

   essential to the richer reward.


   At an early period of life, Taylor had lost all his sons but two. And

   now, when affluence and rank seemed sent to brighten the remainder of

   his anxious and ardent days, those two died, both by premature deaths,

   -- His elder son, a captain of horse in the king's service, in a duel

   with a brother officer, who also fell; and his second son, of a

   consumption, in the house of Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, to whom he

   was private secretary. Grief for the former of those losses, hung

   heavily upon the father's heart; and though the death of his second son

   occurred in England, but on the day before the commencement of his own

   final illness in Ireland, the knowledge of his disease, and of its

   almost inevitable consummation, may have added bitterness to the blow.

   On the 3rd of August 1667, the Bishop was seized with a fever, which,

   acting on an enfeebled frame and a depressed mind, made such progress,

   that within ten days he breathed his last, in the 55th year of his age,

   and tenth of his episcopacy; -- thenceforth to live among the glorious

   concourse, whom change can touch no more.


   "Quique sacerdotes casti, dum vita mancbat,

   Quique pii vates,

   Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artes

   Quique sui memores alios fecere merendo."


   His wife survived him for many years. He left three daughters, the

   eldest of whom died unmarried, the second married Dr. Marsh, afterwards

   Archbishop of Dublin, and the third married a Mr. Harrison, a man of

   fortune, and member of parliament for the borough of Lisburn.


   Taylor's personal appearance is said to have been highly favourable;

   his figure, above the middle size, strong and well formed, his eye

   large and dark, his nose aquiline, his countenance open, and we may

   fairly presume, intelligent; and his hair, in early life, in the

   fashion of his age, redundant, and flowing in curls. If he had not been

   a cleric, he would have made a handsome cavalier. But the only original

   portrait known to be in existence, is that in All-soul's College, taken

   when those youthful graces had disappeared; and where his resigned yet

   melancholy look shows that he had gone through many afflictions.


   Of the more important topic, his last hours, too little is known. The

   manner in which such a man receives the final summons, the clearness of

   his views when the passions are no more, the strength of his faith when

   the world sinks from the eye, are inquires which all would make, who

   desire to have their convictions enforced, or their hopes animated; who

   would be enlightened by the wisdom of the intelligent, or invigorated

   by the fortitude of the holy. But, of those hours no detail seems to

   have been preserved; and we must be content with such conjecture as we

   can form from his life. Yet, who can doubt that the death of this man

   of virtue was consistent with his career? that he whose existence was a

   long display of Christian courage, was calm in the presence of the last

   enemy? that he who had faced the dungeon, and would have faced the

   scaffold, without a fear, must have shown, on his pillow, in what peace

   a Christian can die?


   The conditions of the church, during the life of Bishop Taylor, forms

   one of the most remarkable features of its history. The persecution

   under Mary had driven many of the clergy to seek refuge in foreign

   countries. Calvin's learning, zeal, and eloquence had made him the

   great surviving leader of the Reformation, in the eyes of a large

   portion of the continental church. Some of the clergy, on their return,

   had brought with them his doctrines. Calvin, equally stern and sincere,

   had evidently thought that he approached the nearer to the truth of the

   gospel, the further he receded from the principles of Rome. Especially

   disgusted with the haughtiness of the Romish hierarchy, he had at

   length conceived that independence of the civil government was

   essential to the purity of the church. The tempest was now gathering

   which was to fall upon the Establishment.


   Presbyterianism, founded in Geneva in 1541, first appeared in England

   in 1572. The remembrance of the Papal domination and the terror of its

   return, made the new doctrines popular. The Protestant exiles,

   returning from the Continent, reinforced the zeal of their countrymen.

   A new impulse was to be added from the North. Scotland, on the death of

   Elizabeth, in 1503, had given a king to England. The disputes between

   the monarch and the people had already involved the Scottish Episcopacy

   in odium. Presbyterianism, recruited from the multitude, was too

   powerful for Episcopacy, deserted by the throne; and after a century of

   various struggles, it was declared the Established Church of Scotland.

   The junction of the civil governments brought with it the religious

   controversy; and the flame, exhausted in the confines of the North,

   blazed into new violence among the vast, various, and inflammable

   materials of the public mind of England.


   The British constitution, slowly gathered out of the wrecks of Saxon

   privilege, had been, for a century, gradually forming into freedom. But

   the structure was still harsh, irregular, and threatening. Modeled by

   the hands of powerful subjects, more anxious for the increase of

   personal power, than for the extension of public right; it bore the

   characters of the baronial architecture -- bold, but rude; magnificent,

   but frowning -- the palace combined with the dungeon. Other and nobler

   times, were at once the fortress into the temple; and, throwing open

   its gates alike to all, summon the multitude to bow down before altars,

   where true liberty stood robed in the broadest rays of true religion.


   The power of the crown, in the earlier period of that memorable

   century, had, by habit, assumed something of the power of a Divinity;

   and its first restraints were regarded by the sovereign less an

   innovation than sacrilege. But England was marked for a high destiny,

   incompatible with a return to arbitrary rule. She was to be the head of

   Protestantism to Europe; and for this purpose she was to be the great

   example of a free government to mankind. The form of her church was

   still of clay, but the proportions were noble; and life, from the most

   illustrious of all sources, was already shooting through its frame. If,

   like our great ancestor, it was soon to fall upon evil days, and be

   disinherited of its original birth-right, it was appointed to a

   triumphant recovery; that recovery itself, we will believe, only an

   emblem of days of larger dominion, and more unclouded splendour.


   The prosperity of England under Elizabeth, the overthrow of the Spanish

   invasion, the new growth of commerce, and the native manliness of the

   public heart, all animated by the evidence of the public strength, had

   prepared her for the future ascent to all the heights of civil freedom.

   If her elevation was still to be slow, stormy, and exposed to

   vicissitude, it was still to proceed. The accession of James,

   well-meaning but harsh, a pedant in statesmanship, and a monk in

   religion, wasting the royal treasure on foreign policies, and creating

   controversies at home, at once relaxed the royal influence, and

   stimulated religious inquiry. The accession of Charles only hastened

   the catastrophe. His spirit, at once chivalric and gentle - fatal to

   him in both aspects, by giving him the loftiest conception of his

   rights, and suggesting the feeblest means of sustaining them -- marked

   him as the victim of a time of change. The death of that unhappy

   sovereign is still written in the darkest page of national guilt. It

   should also be written in the most disastrous page of national

   misfortune. Regicide, as the dissolution of the highest bond of

   society, seems to be visited in all lands by the especial wrath of

   heaven. No event in the national annals ever gave so instant a check to

   the advance of freedom, -- The stream that flowed from the scaffold of

   the king, instantly made its path impassable.


   Even from the hour when hostility was first turned from the crown to

   the wearer of the crown, and it was resolved to baptize the Republic in

   royal blood, calamity fell broad and heavy upon the land. Liberty,

   misunderstood by some, and abused by others, and religion, equally

   misunderstood and equally abused, were forced into a profane alliance

   against the people. The Establishment, the most ancient and noble

   rampart of the monarchy, was first to be seized. Too powerful to be

   stormed, it was undermined; and the result was true to the calculation.

   With it went down the monarchy. The heads of both perished on the same

   scaffold Laud only preceeded Charles to the grave.


   But the fall of the Church left a chasm in the state which was not to

   be filled. Civil faction attempted it, and failed. Religious faction

   attempted it, and failed. The liberty, property, and blood of the

   people were thrown in, but the gulf was still widening. The

   Commonwealth was flung in, the Protectorship followed: at length the

   nation returned to its earlier wisdom; replaced the Establishment on

   its old foundations; and stopped the progress of public ruin.


   The history of this interregnum is only the history of rival factions,

   various in their features, but filled with the same spirit, taking

   different means to power but all alike hazardous to public security;

   and, whether they stole their fires from above or from below, whether

   enthusiasts or intriguers, each risking alike the conflagration of the

   roof under which they professed to administer to the good of the



   The Establishment had perished; but it was only to leave room for the

   struggle of the sects. Independentism was the new competitor. It had

   arisen from the schism of the Brownists, who flourished in the

   preceding century. After existing for a period in Holland, it was

   brought into England in 1616, by Henry Jacobs, a Puritan. Its principle

   was, spiritual association with mutual independence of its churches. At

   the commencement of the great rebellion, some of the Independent

   ministers returning from the Continent, and taking their seats in the

   assembly of divines, had begun to form congregations. Against this

   measure Presbyterianism, then in possession of power, strongly

   remonstrated. The Independents as strongly complained, that the

   Presbyterians, standing in the place of the ancient Establishment, had,

   with its power, adopted more than its persecution, that it denied a

   middle way between rigid uniformity and utter confusion; and that

   though, in its own case, declaiming against the use of the civil sword,

   it had unhesitatingly used force to settle the consciences of others.


   Presbyterianism was now to feel the ascendancy of its rival. The

   contest remains as one proof, among the thousand, of the feebleness of

   premature power. If the Establishment perishes, rooted as it was in the

   soil for centuries, endeared to the national memory by the generations

   which had sat under its shade, and forming a central and venerable

   object from whatever spot the eye looked upon the constitution; what

   could be the security of the new church, the tree without a root,

   planted in the midst of tempests, and in a soil beaten into dust by the

   trampling of the civil war? It still had the whole force of the state

   in its hands. It constituted nearly the whole parliament, and it

   possessed a vast nominal majority among the people. But the

   Independents more than compensated for their minority in numbers, by

   the vigour of their zeal, by the impression on the popular feelings,

   and by that determination to be masters, which, in itself, is

   equivalent to mastery; and in those signs they conquered.


   No period of British history presents at once so strong a display of

   the madness of man, and of the indefatigable protection of Providence.

   Republicanism had torn down the monarchy. Schism had dismantled the

   Church. England stood on the verge of the grave; and the factions which

   dug it, delayed the blow that would have cast her in, only till the

   sword or the axe decided which was to have the robbing of the dead.


   The true peril of all popular revolutions is, that having no defined

   object, they have no natural termination. Springing from a desire of

   universal possession, they an have no limit but universal change. The

   man who will go farthest, necessarily becomes the leader. Renovation is

   soon abandoned for rapine, justice for revenge, right for licence;

   until the land is swept bare. The fancied oppressions of the rich

   become the pretest for leveling the whole community, and the attempt

   to retaliate popular wrongs upon the higher classes ends in the anarchy

   of the land. It is an evidence of the Divine mercy that, hitherto, the

   process has never been suffered to exhibit itself in that last stage of

   political ruin. The sharp remedy of the soldier has been introduced, at

   once to punish the national excesses, and to check the national

   undoing. In the English and French revolutions the violence of popular

   passion has thus been restrained by the despotism of the sword. -- The

   lunatic, on whom argument and experience would be alike thrown away;

   whose additional power would generate only additional evil to himself;

   and whose frenzy would be inflamed by success, has been coerced by the

   bitter restorative of the lash and the chain. Democracy in England

   would have raged, till the country was a waste, if the selfishness and

   sternness of Cromwell had not been sent forth, to crush the madness of

   the time. Democracy in France would have filled the country with a

   moral pestilence, which after destroying its own population, would have

   spread the contagion resistlessly, perhaps, through every nation of the

   earth, if the fierce ambition and iron tyranny of Napoleon had not

   first checked, and then turned the current of the disease into domestic

   slavery and foreign domination. Both were tyrants, and both criminals

   of the darkest stain; but both were the true overthrowers of the

   democratic principle and to both, England and France alike owed the

   cessation of public ruin, and the final restoration of monarchy. --

   Like the volcanoes of the great Southern Ocean, even the thunders among

   which they rose, and the convulsions that made their birth felt along

   the sullen and stormy expanse of nations, were proofs that there was

   solid ground rising for the foot of man; that the capricious and

   disturbed element through which they shot up was to have new barriers

   set to its career; and that, wild and fiery as they towered before the

   eye of man, they were to be the commencement of a new era of settlement

   and security.


   Cromwell had found himself suspected, at an early period, by the

   Presbyterian government. The Independents required a leader, and he

   required a party. The terms were speedily made; and the great

   republican, uniting in himself all the qualities essential to the time

   -- appealing to the multitude by the lure of popular power; to the

   fanatical, by raptures borrowed from their own enthusiasm; to the

   soldiery, by the display of signal valour in the field; and to the

   ambitious, by that inexhaustible sagacity and undeviating success which

   promised his adherents every object that ambition could desire; saw

   supremacy at his feet. His appointment as lieutenant, under Fairfax,

   one of the capital oversights of the parliament; threw the parliament

   itself into his power. The calamitous battle of Naseby extinguished the

   royal cause. The fatality which entrusted the royal person to the

   Scottish Commissioners; the perfidy with which they repaid that trust

   by betraying it to the parliament, all played the game of his

   sovereignty. Presbyterianism, at the height of power, was next to be

   taught by him how near success may be to subversion. The Independents

   were masters of the army; the army seized the unfortunate monarch; a

   weak legislature tried him; a mockery of popular opinion sanctioned the

   crime; and the forms of justice, the national character, and the spirit

   of religion, were alike betrayed by a faction purchasing power with the

   fall of their king. But all those crimes only leveled the path before

   the great usurper. Even the blood of Charles only tracked the way for

   Cromwell to a throne.


   In those references to a period of public shame, there can be no wish

   to involve religious minds in the general charge of treason. The men

   who dipped their hands in regicide were the actual antagonists of all

   religion. Conscience, first used as a mask, was speedily abandoned: the

   atrocities of the rebellion were committed, not by religionists but

   revolutionists. Among the Independent ministers of London, it is

   recorded that but two, Goodwin and Peters, consented to the king's



   The destruction of the establishment had been the virtual destruction

   of the monarchy. The legislature, reduced to eighty members, proceeded

   to fix in principle the misdemeanours which they had already committed

   in practice. They voted the throne dangerous, and the House of Lords

   useless to a state. A new oath was imposed, by which was named the

   Engagement, was leveled by the Independents against the Presbyterians;

   the latter having now fallen from power, and revenging themselves by

   calling the government an usurpation.


   But Cromwell's experience had taught him the hazard of suffering

   religion to be made a political instrument, or of giving the fallen

   party the strength that is to be found in the outcry against

   persecution. By an act introduced at his especial suggestion, the whole

   body of penalties against religious opinions were swept away. A general

   toleration was declared, with the large exception, however, of Papists

   and Episcopalians; the one, as irreconcilable with all Protestantism,

   and the other, as repelling the Protestantism of the day. Cromwell thus

   paid the fallen church the involuntary compliment of providing that he

   believed its allegiance to be above his purchase. Its principles had

   already resisted his power. Yet nothing shows his faculties for

   government more clearly than the moderation with which he bore the

   acknowledged disgust of the sectaries. The "Engagement," had produced

   much irritation. Baxter, with many of the leading Presbyterian

   ministers, inveighed against the oath. But the Independents now forming

   the government, and themselves governed by Cromwell, bore the insult

   calmly, and turned it to account, by filling up the vacant livings with

   Independent ministers. The press was not neglected, and the great

   Milton was employed to write down the recusants. The powers of the law

   were brought into action, and all who refused "the Engagement," of the

   age of eighteen, were prohibited from sueing in the law courts: while

   all ministers attacking the oath from their pulpits, were deprived of

   their benefices for the time. But while he was thus rigid to all who

   exhibited determined resistance, he gave full opportunity of repentance

   to all the wavering. Presbyterianism was still too powerful to be

   lightly offended; and the national church was declared to be

   Presbyterian in doctrine, discipline, and worship. An attempt was even

   made to raise all livings to a hundred pounds a year. But the

   liberality of rebellion is seldom justice, and those livings were to be

   augmented by the confiscation of the lands of the bishops, deans, and

   chapters, with, however, the addition of the first-fruits and tenths.

   Though fallen even the church was not to be wholly forgotten. With

   republican generosity it was to be propitiated out of its own plunder,

   and small salaries were allotted to the bishops and the chief clergy of

   the cathedrals. Still, it is the history of all usurpations, that their

   practice essentially falsifies their professions. The liberty of

   speaking and writing had been among the most urgent demands of the

   republicans. The complaint had answered its purpose; and the press had

   broken down the monarchy. The champion was now itself to be in chains.

   The royalist and Presbyterian writers were declared to have abused the

   rights of discussion. The House of Commons took those rights under its

   charge, and the press was thenceforth the tool of power.


   But the crisis of popular usurpation was at hand. The expedition of

   Charles the Second to recover his crown, once more brought Cromwell's

   military talents before the eyes of men. The defeat of the king at

   Worcester, with his flight into France, left the sovereignty open to

   the first bold hand; and who could compete with the general who had

   delivered the partizans of the rebellion from the imminent dread of

   royal vengeance? His new popularity with the troops first awoke the

   government to a sense of their peril. To enfeeble the man whom they now

   felt to be their great antagonist, they proposed to disband a part of

   his army. The act would have been followed by the seizure of its

   general. But, when the game lies between the indolence of many and the

   decision of one, between the possession of authority and the

   preservation of life, it speedily comes to an issue. The single

   vigorous competitor carries the day against the slow activity and

   mingled motives of the crowd. Cromwell's prompt and contemptuous

   overthrow of the parliament is among the most remarkable, yet the most

   natural events of the time.


   Still his sagacity as a religious reformer characterized even his

   triumph. The fear of rousing again the decayed enthusiasm of the

   sectaries was the perpetual guide of his administration. All England,

   in all its shapes of opinion, was already powerless before his

   acknowledged supremacy. The cavaliers were weary of defeat, and

   disgusted with the flight of Charles. The Presbyterians were rendered

   submissive at once by the strong hand of government, and by possession.

   The Independents were the natural adherents of Cromwell. That burlesque

   of a legislature, the Barebones' Parliament, had resigned their

   functions, from the combined sense of inadequacy and public ridicule.

   Yet with all the elements of resistance thus at his feet, his first

   work, as sovereign, was to popularize his religious polity. In the

   council of officers it was again proposed, that all religious penalties

   should be formally extinguished; that a regular provision should be

   made for the officiating ministers, and that a general toleration

   should be the law of the land; with the old exceptions of Popery and

   Prelacy. Presbyterianism was still treated with the customary respect,

   and was once more recognized as the established religion.


   Yet those were restless, and must have been unhappy times. We are not

   driven for this conclusion to the constant privations and frequent

   imprisonments of the most meritorious of the English clergy. It

   follows, from the necessity of the case, from the mutual irritations of

   the leading religionists, from the utter uncertainty of a religious

   code, dependent on the will of a capricious council, and from the

   boundless jealousies, suspicions, and bitternesses inseparable from a

   state of perpetual religious struggle. All men's minds were turned on

   political power; to some as an object of enjoyment, to others as a

   means of protection. It is impossible to doubt that religion must thus

   have rapidly tended to decay. In the hands of the politicians, a mere

   instrument, it must have soon fallen into scorn among the higher and

   more reckless ranks of public men. In the hands of the populace,

   alternately a stimulant and a victim of popular turbulence, it must

   have been as rapidly degraded by ignorance, as it was deformed by

   fanaticism. A wise government can give no greater boon than religious

   rest to a people.


   But Cromwell, who never slumbered over the signs of the times, watched

   Presbyterianism with the keenness of personal fear. To sustain his

   popularity he adopted the Independent worship, and exhibited the most

   singular raptures of their most conspicuous leaders. He further

   established a commission of thirty-eight, "Tryers," to select

   candidates for the ministry; and for the purpose of countervailing the

   influence of the Presbyterians, appointed several Baptists and

   Independents to the commission. The selection was charged with

   degrading the ministry by a crowd of pastors, remarkable for nothing

   but the meanness of their condition and the narrowness of their

   knowledge. Yet the choice was hostile to Presbyterianism, and the

   commission thus answered all the purposes for which it was designed.


   The inevitable result of all those changes was at last felt in the

   growing unfitness of the parochial clergy for their office. The

   habitual remedy was a commission. A board of lay commissioners was

   appointed to examine into the learning and conduct of the clergy in



   Yet even in this period of suffering, the policy of the government

   afforded a comparative shelter to the church.Usher, Brownrigg, Pearson,

   and Hall, were overlooked in their use of the liturgy; though it had

   been declared by the lay-commissioners a ground of deprivation. The

   "Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy" also originated about this

   period; Hall, afterwards Bishop of Chester, preaching the inauguration

   sermon at St. Paul's; and even taking as his subject the budding of

   Aaron's rod, in bold allusion to a regular priesthood.


   In this republicanism of religion the evils of schism were at length

   felt so strongly, that an attempt was made, under the influence of

   Usher and Baxter, to combine the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and

   Independents in a general association, only retaining such principles

   as were alike acknowledged by the three. But this attempt, generous in

   its conception, but incompatible with the feelings of the times, was

   soon abandoned. The Lord Protector adopted the plan, but, powerful as

   he was, and anxious to extinguish the religious disputes, which were

   still the objects of his chief alarm, he found that it was easier to

   subdue armies than controversialists.


   Yet all his projects had the stamp of grandeur. If his political

   triumphs were won more for himself than for his country, he desired to

   make his religious successes the common property of Europe.

   Establishing himself as the champion of Protestantism, and England as

   its supreme seat, he had conceived the plan of a great Protestant

   commonwealth, consisting of representatives from the Protestantism of

   every nation of the Continent, capable of guiding all its impulses,

   securing all its rights, and demanding retribution for all its

   injuries. But this design, a nobler one than the boasted confederation

   of Henry the Fourth, was not to be realized by a man harassed by

   domestic enemies, perplexed by craving partizanship, and now gradually

   sinking under bodily decay.


   The closing days of his daring and brilliant existence are too well

   known to be more than touched on here. Of all cares, the cares of a

   throne must be the most exhausting: for what are the anxieties of

   humbler life, to his who feels the responsibilities of empire? Or, if

   hope is the great stimulant of life, what hope can be his who has

   already attained the highest point of human elevation? Or, if the fear

   of change is the great penalty of possession, what must be the

   restlessness of the usurper's pillow? The dread of assassination was

   the form in which decay seized on the vigorous mind of Cromwell. The

   man who had habitually defied danger, whose whole life was hazard;

   prompt in all the difficulties of council; daring, and even desperate,

   in all the emergencies of the field; was seen sunk into timidity within

   the walls of his palace, and in the midst of his guards. Worn out with

   those distractions he died, September 3, 1658, leaving a mighty moral

   to unlicensed ambition, in an unhappy prosperity and a clouded fame.

   Even the circumstances of his death exhibited that singular mixture of

   good and ill, honour and shame, which characterized his life. The day

   which he had always regarded as the most fortunate of his career, the

   double anniversary of the victories of Dunbar and Worcester, was his

   last; but he died in the midst of a tempest so violent as to be long

   recorded in the popular memory, as a peculiar evidence of Divine

   judgment on his crimes. He was buried with royal state at Westminster;

   but was thus buried, only to be disinterred, his body removed to the

   place of common execution at Tyburn; and there, after being suspended

   in its coffin till sunset, flung into a hole at the foot of the

   scaffold. A signal instance of the brevity of national applause, but a

   mean revenge on the conqueror of two kings of England!


   In contemplating the rebellion, as a great political experiment, it

   presents every aspect of failure. If in the earliest ages of the

   struggle it obtained some important privileges from the throne, it

   destroyed their value by the violence of their seizure. The king soon

   learned to suspect the moderation of men who made concession the ground

   of demand, and argued conciliation into an evidence of infirmity.

   Self-defence compels all to resist, when the assault is palpably made

   not for right but for possession. Charles, it is true, was unfitted for

   the time: even the qualities that place his name with honour among the

   records of personal merit, were adverse to his success, as the master

   of a beleaguered throne. His high spirit was too easily roused by the

   insults by the insults of meaner men; his known intrepidity was too

   quick in scorning the low-born subtleties of the fanatics and

   conspirators who had pledged themselves to his ruin; and his alternate

   contempt of all advice, and deference to ill advisers, deprived him of

   that character of decision, which, in times of civil tumult, is the one

   essential to victory.


   But if the king erred through the defects of his nature, the people

   erred still more by the rashness of their passions. Their triumph

   terminated in the extinction of all liberty: their crimes against a

   king were punished by the sternness of a despot; and nothing but that

   fortune which cut off their usurper in the vigour of life, and left his

   boldness and intelligence to be succeeded by a feeble and timid

   offspring, could have saved England from a dynasty of chains.


   The Rebellion, regarded as a great experiment for liberty of

   conscience, was equally unsuccessful. Without liberty of conscience no

   true faith can exist. But the freedom established by the rebellion was

   a licence of mutual injury. The privilege which placed every novelty,

   extravagance, and fantasy of popular religion on a rank with all that

   was consecrated by experience, sustained by learning, and founded on

   the exercise of the mature understanding; overthrew at a blow all the

   natural barriers between wisdom and error. The sudden influx of

   political aspirants into the sects made even their virtues dangerous to

   the community, and their thirst of power exposed the state to all the

   hazards of faction, inflamed by all the fantasies of zeal.


   The natural result of a licence inconsistent with the public

   tranquility, was a licence inconsistent with the soberness of

   Scripture. Sects started up, whose claim to popularity was their

   eagerness for all that was new, and their scorn of all that was

   established. Among the most remarkable of those were the Levellers, a

   name now limited to political conspirators, but then distinguishing a

   tribe of enthusiasts, who had arrived at the unaccountable conclusion,

   that among Christians all property and all power should be in common.

   -- A doctrine, which, in our present social state, by extinguishing all

   the fruits of individual industry, would obviously extinguish all the

   stimulants to labour, substitute force for law, and end by pauperizing

   the community.


   Another sect, the Fifth-monarchy men, are more memorable; from their

   having given a clearer proof of the powers of fanaticism to disturb the

   public peace. Pronouncing that all earthly authority was on the eve of

   being abolished by the predicted kingdom of Christ, they formed a plan

   to destroy Cromwell, and proclaim the returning Messiah as king.

   Unfurling a banner, with the lion couchant as its emblem, and inscribed

   with the words "Who shall rouse him up," a party of those lunatics,

   headed by one of their preachers, sallied from their place of worship

   to commence the grand revolution. They were instantly defeated, and the

   tumult and the sect suppressed together.


   But if such sects were the prominent effects of the general dislocation

   of religious authority, more serious evils arose from its agency on the

   national mind at the Restoration. As the violence of the politicians

   had finally disgusted the nation with liberty, the extravagance of the

   enthusiasts had tended to shake the popular respect for religion. As

   the one threw the Constitution at the foot of the king, the other

   hazarded even the decencies of the Establishment. Forms had been

   perverted, they were now ridiculed; all religion was declared

   hypocrisy, and all unbelief took the name of candour. The morals of the

   king, learned in the loosest court of the Continent, became the

   standard of manners: the stage conveyed the licentiousness of the court

   of the multitude; and the infidelity of the higher ranks completed the

   picture of a degenerate age. England was, for fifty years, the center

   of intellectual evil to Europe: the especial land of the infidel, who,

   in the insolence and vanity of his heart, assumed to himself the

   haughty title of the Freethinker.


   But she had a signal source of recovery within. Her established Church,

   long stripped of its branches, and iron-bound, like the tree in

   Nebuchadnezzar's vision, had deeply felt the injuries of the rebellion.

   But it was soon to spread a nobler shade than ever. Its literature

   again became conspicuous; to break down the infidel was its first work:

   a succession of forcible treatises on the evidences, the spirit, and

   the value of Christianity rapidly achieved this great service. The

   names of Butler, Waterland, Warburton, Sherlock, and a crowd of other

   churchmen; with Lardner, Leland, and their followers among the

   dissenters, are still eminent as the defenders of religion. The deluge

   of revolt and impurity which had overspread the land, at length dried

   away; and the Church of England, like the patriarchal family descending

   from the ark, renewed the compact with its supreme Preserver. It saw,

   and sees still, the soil requiring many a long period of labour, and

   many a high interposition of Providence, before the traces of the day

   of evil shall be wholly obliterated. But it saw the bow in the cloud;

   and it received in its renewed strength the practical pledge, that the

   succession of the seasons of truth and knowledge should not be

   interrupted again. It now sees, in the sudden and vigorous activity of

   its servants a home, and the new and magnificent planting of Episcopacy

   in the East and West, the approaching realization of the promise of

   increase and replenishing of the earth; and now, with a faith only

   refreshed by the lapse of ages, looks beyond the troubles of the time,

   in sacred confidence, that while it retains its fidelity to the great

   Covenant of Protestantism, the day of subversion shall return no more.