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JEREMY TAYLOR (1613-1667)

Mr. Saintsbury, whose praise of Browne's prose style is quoted above, says in another place that on the whole no one in English prose has so much command of the enchanter's wand as Jeremy Taylor'; and critical authority is, indeed, much divided as to the stylistic excellences of the two writers. Taylor's inferiority is more in thought than in expression, and he has the disadvantage of writing from the point of view of the theologian or cleric: Browne is a layman and has a touch of modern scepticism. Taylor was the son of a barber, spent many years at Cambridge and Oxford, became a clergyman and lost his rectory under the Commonwealth. He retired to Wales, and there composed The Liberty of Prophesying, a plea for toleration against Presbyterian bigotry (1647), Holy Living (1650), Holy Dying (1651), A Course of Sermons for all the Sundays of the Year (1651), and The Golden Grove, a manual of private devotion for young people (1655).



they never serve God, that dwell in the city of rejoicing?' They are like Dives, whose portion was in this life, who went in fine linen, and fared deliciously every 5 day' they, indeed, trample upon their briers and thorns, and suffer them not to grow in their houses; but the roots are in the ground, and they are reserved for fuel of wrath in the day of everlasting burning. Thus, you see, it was prophesied, now see how it was performed; Christ was the captain of our sufferings, and he began.

The state of the Gospel is a state of sufferings, not of temporal prosperities. This was foretold by the prophets: A fountain shall go out of the house of the to Lord et irrigabit torrentem spinarum (so it is in the Vulgar Latin), and it shall. water the torrent of thorns,' that is, the state or time of the Gospel, which, like a torrent, shall carry all the world before it, 15 and, like a torrent, shall be fullest in ill weather; and by its banks shall grow nothing but thorns and briers, sharp afflictions, temporal infelicities, and persecution. This sense of the words is more fully explained in the book of the prophet Isaiah. Upon the ground of my people shall thorns and briers come up; how much more in all the houses of the city of rejoicing?' Which prophecy is the 25 same in the style of the prophets, that my text is in the style of the Apostles. The house of God shall be watered with the dew of heaven, and there shall spring up briers in it: Judgment must begin there;' but how much more in the houses of the city of rejoicing?' how much more amongst them that are at ease in Sion,' that serve their desires, that satisfy their 35 appetites, that are given over to their own heart's lust, that so serve themselves that

He entered into the world with all the circumstances of poverty. He had a star to illustrate his birth; but a stable for his bedchamber, and a manger for his cradle. The angels sang hymns when he was born; but he was cold and cried, 20 uneasy and unprovided. He lived long in the trade of a carpenter; he, by whom God made the world, had in his first years the business of a mean and ignoble trade. He did good wherever he went; and almost wherever he went, was abused. He deserved heaven for his obedience, but found a cross in his way thither: and if ever any man had reason 30 to expect fair usages from God, and to be dandled in the lap of ease, softness, and a prosperous fortune, he it was only that could deserve that, or anything that can be good. But after he had chosen to live a life of virtue, of poverty, and labor, he entered into a state of death; whose shame and trouble was great

enough to pay for the sins of the whole world. And I shall choose to express this mystery in the words of Scripture. He died not by a single or a sudden death, but he was the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world:' for he was massacred in Abel, saith St. Paulinus; he was tossed upon the waves of the sea in the person of Noah; it was he that went out of his country, when to Abraham was called from Charran, and wandered from his native soil; he was offered up in Isaac, persecuted in Jacob, betrayed in Joseph, blinded in Samson, affronted in Moses, sawed in Isaiah, 15 cast into the dungeon with Jeremiah: for all these were types of Christ suffering. And then his passion continued even after his resurrection. For it is

and assaulted by the devil in the wilderness. His transfiguration was a bright ray of glory; but then also he entered into a cloud, and was told a sad story 5 what he was to suffer at Jerusalem. And upon Palm Sunday, when he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, and was adorned with the acclamations of a king. and a god, he wet the palms with his tears, sweeter than the drops of manna, or the little pearls of heaven that descended upon Mount Hermon; weeping, in the midst of this triumph, over obstinate, perishing, and malicious Jerusalem. For this Jesus was like the rainbow, which God set in the clouds as a sacrament to confirm a promise and establish a grace; he was half made of the glories of the light, and half of the

was but half triumph and half sorrow: he was sent to tell of his Father's mercies, and that God intended to spare us; but appeared not but in the company or in the retinue of a shower and of foul weather. But I need not tell that Jesus, beloved of God, was a suffering person that which concerns this question most is that he made for us a covenant of sufferings: his doctrines were such as expressly, and by consequent, enjoin and suppose sufferings and a state of affliction; his very promises were sufferings; his beatitudes were sufferings; his rewards and his arguments to invite men to follow him were only taken from sufferings in this life and the reward of sufferings hereafter.

he that suffers in all his members; it is he 20 moisture of a cloud; in his best days he that 'endures the contradiction of all sinners'; it is he that is the lord of life,' and is crucified again, and put to open shame' in all the sufferings of his servants, and sins of rebels, and defi- 25 ances of apostates and renegadoes, and violence of tyrants, and injustice of usurpers, and the persecutions of his church. It is he that is stoned in St. Stephen, flayed in the person of St. 30 Bartholomew; he was roasted upon St. Laurence's gridiron, exposed to lions in St. Ignatius, burnt in St. Polycarp, frozen in the lake where stood forty martyrs of Cappadocia. Unigenitus 35 enim Dei ad peragendum mortis suae sacramentum consummavit omne genus humanarum passionum,' said St. Hilary; 'the sacrament of Christ's death is not to be accomplished but by suffering all the 40 sorrows of humanity.'

All that Christ came for was, or was mingled with, sufferings; for all those little joys which God sent, either to recreate his person, or to illustrate his 45 office, were abated or attended with afflictions, God being more careful to establish in him the covenant of sufferings than to refresh his sorrows. Presently after the angels had finished their hallelu- 50 jahs, he was forced to fly to save his life; and the air became full of shrieks of the desolate mothers of Bethlehem for their dying babes. God had no sooner made him illustrious with a voice 55 from heaven and the descent of the Holy Ghost upon him in the waters of baptism, but he was delivered over to be tempted


For if we sum up the commandments of Christ, we shall find humility, mortification, self-denial, repentance, nouncing the world, mourning, taking up the cross, dying for him, patience and poverty, to stand in the chiefest rank of christian precepts, and in the direct order to heaven: He that will be my disciple, must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.' We must follow him that was crowned with thorns and sorrows, him that was drenched in Cedron, nailed upon the cross, that deserved all good, and suffered all evil : that is the sum of christian religion, as it distinguishes from all the religions in the world. To which we may add the express precept recorded by St. James; 'Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning,

and your joy into weeping.' You see the commandments: will you also see the promises? These they are. 'In the world ye shall have tribulation; in me, ye shall have peace:- Through many 5 tribulations ye shall enter into heaven: - He that loseth father and mother, wives and children, houses and lands, for my name's sake and the Gospel, shall receive a hundred fold in this life, with 10 persecution' that is part of his reward: and, He chastiseth every son that he receiveth; if ye be exempt from sufferings, ye are bastards, and not sons.' These are some of Christ's promises: will 15 you see some of Christ's blessings that he gives his church? Blessed are the poor: blessed are the hungry and thirsty: blessed are they that mourn: blessed are the humble: blessed are the persecuted.' 20 Of the eight beatitudes, five of them have temporal misery and meanness, or an afflicted condition for their subject. Will you at last see some of the rewards which Christ hath propounded to his 25 servants, to invite them to follow him? 'When I am lifted up, will draw all men after me:' when Christ is 'lifted up, as Moses lift up the serpent in the wilderness,' that is, lifted upon the cross, then 30 'he will draw us fter him.' 'To you it is given for Christ,' saith St. Paul, when he went to sweeten and flatter the Philippians: well, what is given to them? some great favors, surely; true; 'It is 35 not only given you that you believe in Christ, though that be a great matter, 'but also that you suffer for him,' that is the highest of your honor. And therefore, saith St. James, 'My brethren, 40 count it all joy when ye enter into divers temptations:' and St. Peter; Communicating with the sufferings of Christ, rejoice.' And St. James again: 'We count them blessed that have suffered:' and St. 45 Paul, when he gives his blessing to the Thessalonians, useth this form of prayer; Our Lord direct your hearts in the charity of God, and in the patience and sufferings of Christ.' So that if we will 50 serve the king of sufferings, whose crown was of thorns, whose scepter was a reed of scorn, whose imperial robe was a scarlet of mockery, whose throne was the cross, we must serve him in suffer- 55 ings, in poverty of spirit, in humility and mortification; and for our reward we shall have persecution, and all its blessed

consequents. Atque hoc est esse Christianum' [And this is to be a christian].

Since this was done in the green tree, what might we expect should be done in the dry? Let us, in the next place, consider how God hath treated his saints and servants in the descending ages of the Gospel that if the best of God's servants were followers of Jesus in this covenant of sufferings, we may not think it strange concerning the fiery trial, as if some new thing had happened to us. For as the Gospel was founded in sufferings, we shall also see it grow in persecutions; and as Christ's blood did cement the corner-stones and the first foundation; so the blood and sweat, the groans and sighings, the afflictions and mortifications, of saints and marytrs, did make the superstructures, and must at last finish the building.

If we begin with the apostles, who were to persuade the world to become christian, and to use proper arguments of invitations, we shall find that they never offered an argument of temporal prosperity; they never promised empires and thrones on earth, nor riches, nor temporal power: and it would have been soon confuted, if they who were whipped and imprisoned, banished and scattered, persecuted and tormented, should have promised sunshine days to others which they could not to themselves. Of all the apostles there was not one that died a natural death but only St. John; and did he escape? Yes: but he was put into a cauldron of scalding lead and oil before the Porta Latina in Rome, and escaped death by miracle, though no miracle was wrought to make him escape the torture. And, besides this, he lived long in banishment, and that was worse than St. Peter's chains. 'Sanctus Petrus in vinculis, et Johannes ante Portam Latinam' [Saint Peter in chains, and John before the Latin Gate], were both days of martyrdom, and church-festivals. And after a long and laborious life, and the affliction of being detained from his crown, and his sorrows for the death of his fellow-disciples, he died full of days. and sufferings. And when St. Paul was taken into the apostolate, his commissions were signed in these words: 'I will shew unto him how great things he must suffer for my name: And his whole life was a continual suffering. Quotidie

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morior' was his motto, 'I die daily;' and his lesson that he daily learned was, to know Christ Jesus, and him crucified;' and all his joy was to rejoice in the cross of Christ; and the changes of his life were nothing but the changes of his sufferings and the variety of his labors. For though Christ hath finished his own sufferings for expiation of the world; yet there are vorepnuara λiewv, 10 'portions that are behind of the sufferings' of Christ, which must be filled up by his body, the church; and happy are they that put in the greatest symbol: for 'in the same measure you are 15 dom, and he wanted no malice: and partakers of the sufferings of Christ, in the same shall ye be also of the consolation.' And therefore, concerning St. Paul, as it was also concerning Christ, there is nothing or but very little in 20 Scripture relating to his person and chances of his private life, but his labors and persecutions; as if the Holy Ghost did think nothing fit to stand upon record for Christ but sufferings.

giving to him an entire power of disposing the great change of the world, so as might best increase their greatness and power; and he therefore did it, be5 cause all the power of the Roman greatness was a professed enemy to christianity. And on the other side, God was to build up Jerusalem, and the kingdom of the Gospel; and he chose to build it of hewn stone, cut and broken; the apostles he chose for preachers, and they had no learning; women and mean people were the first disciples, and they had no power; the devil was to lose his king

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therefore he stirred up, and, as well as he could, he made active all the power of Rome, and all the learning of the Greeks, and all the malice of barbarous people, and all the prejudice and the obstinacy of the Jews, against this doctrine and institution, which preached, and promised, and brought, persecution along with it. On the one side, there was 25 'scandalum crucis' [the offence of the cross] on the other, patientia sanctorum' [the patience of the saints], and what was the event? They that had overcome the world, could not strangle Christianity. But so have I seen the sun with a little ray of distant light challenge all the power of darkness, and without violence and noise, climbing up the hill, hath made night so to retire, that its memory was lost in the joys and spritefulness of the morning: and christianity without violence or armies, without resistance and self-preservation, without strength or human eloquence, 40 without challenging of privileges or fighting against tyranny, without alteration of government and scandal of princes, with its humility and meekness, with toleration and patience, with obedience and charity, with praying and dying, did insensibly turn the world into christian, and persecution into victory.

And now began to work the greatest glory of the divine providence; here was the case of christianity at stake. The world was rich and prosperous, learned and full of wise men; the Gospel was 30 preached with poverty and persecution, in simplicity of discourse, and in demonstration of the Spirit: God was on one side, and the devil on the other; they each of them dressed up their city; 35 Babylon upon earth, Jerusalem from above. The devil's city was full of pleasure, triumphs, victories, and cruelty; good news, and great wealth; conquest over kings, and making nations tributary: they bound kings in chains, and the nobles with links of iron;' and the inheritance of the earth was theirs: the Romans were lords over the greatest part of the world; and God permitted to 45 the devil the firmament and increase, the wars and the success of that people,

JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688)


The greatest of English allegorical writers was a Bedfordshire tinker. I never went to school to Aristotle or Plato, but was brought up at my father's house in a very mean condition, among a company of poor countrymen,' he tells us in his autobiography, Grace abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666). As a matter of fact, he was not a conspicuously bad character, the worst faults of which he can accuse himself being fondness for dancing, bell-ringing, and other sports and pastimes, and a habit of profanity, for which he acquired a local reputation. All this was changed, however, by his marriage, about the age of twenty, to a godly wife, who brought about his conversion. He became famous as a preacher, to the great displeasure of the regular clergy, who were angry with the tinker because he strove to mend souls as well as kettles and pans.' After the Restoration, when the old laws against dissenters were revived, he was arrested for holding religious services, and remained in prison for the next twelve years; he made laces for the support of his family, preached to his fellow-prisoners, studied the Bible and Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and wrote a large number of religious tracts. It was apparently during a later imprisonment that he wrote The Pilgrim's Progress, the first part of which was published in 1678 and became immediately popular. After two other allegorical stories - from one point of view religious tracts, from another, novels - The Life and Death of Mr. Badman and The Holy War he wrote the second part of Pilgrim's Progress (1684), completing the pilgrimage of Christian, his wife Christiana, and their children. In his later years he was active as a nonconformist minister (his congregation met in a barn at Bedford) and he was known in the surrounding country as 'Bishop Bunyan'; his fame as a preacher spread to London, where he drew great crowds together on his occasional visits, and attracted the attention of royalty: but it is only in recent years that Bunyan's literary merits have been fully appreciated his power of imagination and realistic description, and the forthright directness of his style.


Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation.1 Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back.

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very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in 5 his head sent the waters down his cheeks. Now, as he stood looking and weeping, behold three Shining Ones came to him and saluted him with Peace be to thee.' So the first said to him, 'Thy sins be forgiven thee!'3 the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with change of raiment; '4 the third also set a mark in his forehead, and gave him a roll with a seal upon it, which he bade him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the Celestial Gate.5 So they went their way. Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing

He ran thus till he came at a place 10 somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulcher. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from 15 off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulcher, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.


Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart, "He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.' Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was 25 1 Zec. xii. 10.

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