« PreviousContinue »
v ] ciate as Minister and to keep School, in Order to maintain himself and his Children. In this Retirement he wrote several of his Works, and having spent several Years there, his Family was visited with Sickness, and he lost three Sons of great Hopes within the Space of two or three Months. This Amiction touched him so sensibly, that it made him defirous to leave the Country, and going to London he there for a Time officiated in a private Congregation of Loyalists to his great Hazard. At Length meeting with Edward Lord Conway, that Nobleman carried him with him into Ireland, and settled him at Portmore, where he wrote his Ductor Dubitantium. Upon the Restoration he returned to England, and soon after, being advanced to the Bishopric of Downe and Conner in Ireland, was confecrated to that see at Dublin, Jan. 27. 1660–61, and on the 21st of June following, had the Administration of the See of Dromore granted to him by his Majesty. He was likewise made a Privy-Counsellor, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dublin, which Place he held to his Death. He died of a Fever at Lisnigarvy, August 13, 1667, and was interred in a Chapel of his own erecting on the Ruins of the old Cathedral of Dromore, his funeral Sermon being preached by his excellent Friend Dr. George Rust, who has drawn his Character to great Advantage. He tells us that our - Author was none of God'sordinary works, but that his Endowments
great, as really made him à Miracle. Nature had befriended him much in his Constitution, for he was a Person of a most sweet and obliging Humour, of great Candour and Ingenuity : and there was so much Salt, Fineness of Wit, and Prettiness of Address in his familiar Discourses, as made his Conversation have all the Pleasantness of a Comedy, and all the Usefulness of a Sermon. He was one of those Philosophers Laertius speaks of, that did not addict themselves to any particular Sect, but ingenuously fought for Truth among all the
all the wrangling Schools. To these Advantages of Nature, he added an indefatigable Industry, and God gave a plentiful Benediction, for there were very few Kinds of Learning, but he was a Mystes and a great Master in them. His skill was great both in the civil and canon Law, and casuistical Divinity; he was a rare Conductor of Souls, and knew how to counsel and to advise, to solve Difficulties, determine Cases, and quiet Consciences. In his younger Years he met with some Assaults from Popery, and the high Pretensions of their religious Orders were very accommodate to his devotional, Temper. But he was always so much Master of himself, that he would never be governed by any thing but Reason and the Evidence of Truth, which engaged him in the Studies of these Controversies; and to how good Purpose, the World is by this Time a sufficient Witness. But the longer and more he con
sidered, the worse he liked the Roman Cause. Then he expatiates on his Meekness and Humility, &c. and sums up his Character in the following Terms.
This great Prelate had the good Humour of a Gentleman, the Eloquence of an Orator, the fancy of a Poet, the Acuteness of a School-Man, the Profoundness of a Philosopher, the Wisdom of a Chancellor, the Sagacityof a Prophet, the Reason of an Angel, and the Piety of a Saint. He had Devotion enough for a Cloyster, Learning enough for an University, and Wit enough for a College of Virtuosi.And had his Parts and Endowments been parcelied out among the Clergy that he left behind him, it perhaps would have made one of the best Dioceses in the world.”
And would it not be wasteful and ridiculous Excess to write a Panegyric on the divine Herbert ? It would be gilding refined Gold, and throwing a Perfume on the Violet. His Memory like the Phænix, survives his Alhes, immortal as his Poems, and as his
let it be said of him as of Dr. South, " That he made all his Faculties bear to the great End of his hallowed Profession: His charming Compositions have all that Wit and Wisdom can put together : Happy Genius! He was the better Man for being a Wit, and the best way to praise him, is to quote him.”
Take his Poem called DOTAGE as a Specimen
False glozing pleasures, casks of happiness, Foolish night-fires, womens and childrens
wishes, Chases in Arras, gilded emptiness, Shadows well mounted, dreams in a career, Embroider'd lies, nothing between two dishes;
These are the pleafures bere.
True earnest forrows, rooted miseries,
These are the forrows here.
But ob! the folly of distracted men,
Then miseries are here
The Flashes of Genius in many Writers, whether polemical or poetical resemble a painted Flame, which amuses the Eye without warming the Heart- But whoever reads Bishop Taylor or Herbert, however diffimilar in their Talents, must have a very depraved or disingenuous Mind, that is not much the better for their Acquaintance.
This was my Motive, and was it not a pleasing one? for giving these fine pieces in Miniature to the World: not having dared to alter or retouch one original Feature, but purely to revive and perpetuate their faded Graces by the Polish of a new Edition.
It were extravagant and almost impossible in a general Encomium to give the common reader an adequate Idea of Taylor's amazing Capacity. They who would fathom his mighty Mind must read all his Works which many cannot, which many will not, and which most are unable either to purchase or understand.
These little Pearls indeed which I have drawn from his boundless Store for common Usage; will shine and glister,and be admired in a distinct Position: but set in the full Blaze of his other Beauties, would be totally extinguished and absorbedingeneral Excellence.
The following Sheets contain Nothing of Jove or Helicon, nothing of Machiavel or Cervantes : — Nec fastidientes ftomachos ad hac invito pulpamenta
for to use an admirable Maxim of Professor Duport, Quid Scientia fine Conscientia?- quid valet efle peritum et periturum?
If Religion is worth any Thing, it is worth every Thing. A few folid practical Principles, the Pillars of rational Piety, like Bread and Manna, are adapted to general Taste, and a Person must have a vitiated Appetite, or a bad