SERMON ON THE RESURRECTION.
Acts II. 4.
Thirdly, the necessity of it: 'for it was not possible that he should be holden of death'.
One great error of textual divines is their inadvertence to the dates, occasion, object and circumstances, at and under which the words were written or spoken. Thus the simple assertion of one or two facts introductory to the teaching of the Christian religion is taken as comprising or constituting the Christian religion itself. Hence the disproportionate weight laid on the simple fact of the resurrection of Jesus, detached from the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption.
St. Austin says, that Tully, in his '3 lib. de Republica', disputed against the reuniting of soul and body. His argument was, To what end? Where should they remain together? For a body cannot be assumed into heaven. I believe God caused those famous monuments of his wit to perish, because of such impious opinions wherewith they were farced.
I believe, however, that these books have recently themselves enjoyed a resurrection by the labor of Angelo Mai. 
And let any equal auditor judge if Job were not an Anti-Socinian; Job xix. 26. 'Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall behold for myself, and mine eyes shall see, and not another'.
This text rightly rendered is perhaps nothing to the purpose, but may refer to the dire cutaneous disease with which Job was afflicted. It may be merely an expression of Job's confidence of his being justified in the eyes of men, and in this life. 
In the whole wide range of theological 'mirabilia', I know none stranger than the general agreement of orthodox divines to forget to ask themselves what they precisely meant by the word 'body.' Our Lord's and St. Paul's meaning is evident enough, that is, the personality.
St. Chrysostom's judgment upon it ('having loosed the pains of death') is, that when Christ came out of the grave, death itself was delivered from pain and anxiety—[Greek: _odike katechon auton thanatos, kai ta deina epasche.] Death knew it held him captive whom it ought not to have seized upon, and therefore it suffered torments like a woman in travail till it had given him up again. Thus he. But the Scripture elsewhere testifies, that death was put to sorrow because it had lost its sting, rather than released from sorrow by our Saviour's resurrection.
Most noticeable! See the influence of the surrounding myriotheism in the 'dea Mors!'
Let any competent judge read Hacket's Life of Archbishop Williams, and then these Sermons, and so measure the stultifying, nugifying effect of a blind and uncritical study of the Fathers, and the exclusive prepossession in favor of their authority in the minds of many of our Church dignitaries in the reign of Charles I.
HACKET'S LIFE OF LORD KEEPER WILLIAMS. 
Prudence installed as virtue, instead of being employed as one of her indispensable handmaids, and the products of this exemplified and illustrated in the life of Archbishop Williams, as a work, I could warmly recommend to my dearest Hartley. Williams was a man bred up to the determination of being righteous, both honorably striving and selfishly ambitious, but all within the bounds and permission of the law, the reigning system of casuistry; in short, an egotist in morals, and a worldling in impulses and motives. And yet by pride and by innate nobleness of nature munificent and benevolent, with all the negative virtues of temperance, chastity, and the like,—take this man on his road to his own worldly aggrandizement. Winding his way through a grove of powerful rogues, by flattery, professions of devoted attachment, and by actual and zealous as well as able services, and at length becoming in fact nearly as great a knave as the knaves (Duke of Buckingham for example) whose favor and support he had been conciliating,—till at last in some dilemma, some strait between conscience and fear, and increased confidence in his own political strength, he opposes or hesitates to further some too foolish or wicked project of his patron knave, or affronts his pride by counselling a different course (not a less wicked, but one more profitable and conducive to his Grace's elevation);-and then is 'floored' or crushed by him, and falls unknown and unpitied. Such was that truly wonderful scholar and statesman, Archbishop Williams.
Part 1. s. 61.
'And God forbid that any other course, should be attempted. For this liberty was settled on the subject, with such imprecations upon the infringers, that if they should remove these great landmarks, they must look for vengeance, as if entailed by public vows on them and their posterity.' These were the Dean's instructions, &c.
He deserves great credit for them. They put him in strong contrast with Laud.
Ib. s. 80.
Thus for them both together he solicits:—My most noble lord, what true applause and admiration the King and your Honor have gained, &c.
All this we, in the year 1833, should call abject and base; but was it so in Bishop Williams? In the history of the morality of a people, prudence, yea cunning, is the earliest form of virtue. This is expressed in Jacob, and in Ulysses and all the most ancient fables. It will require the true philosophic calm and serenity to distinguish and appreciate the character of the morality of our great men from Henry VIII to the close of James I,—'nullum numen abest, si sit prudentia',—and of those of Charles I to the Restoration. The difference almost amounts to contrast.
Ib. s. 81-2.
How is it that any deeply-read historian should not see how imperfect and precarious the rights of personal liberty were during this period; or, seeing it, refuse to do justice to the patriots under Charles I? The truth is, that from the reign of Edward I, (to go no farther backward), there was a spirit of freedom in the people at large, which all our kings in their senses were cautious not to awaken by too rudely treading on it; but for individuals, as such, there was none till the conflict with the Stuarts.
Ib. s. 84.
Of such a conclusion of state, 'quae aliquando incognita, semper justa', &c.
This perversion of words respecting the decrees of Providence to the caprices of James and his beslobbered minion the Duke of Buckingham, is somewhat nearer to blasphemy than even the euphuism of the age can excuse.
Ib. s. 85.
... tuus, O Jacobe, quod optas Explorare labor, mihi jussa capessere fas est.
In our times this would be pedantic wit: in the days of James I, and in the mouth of Archbishop Williams it was witty pedantry.
Ib. s. 89.
He that doth much in a short life products his mortality.
'Products' for 'produces;' that is, lengthens out, 'ut apud geometros'. But why Hacket did not say 'prolongs,' I know not.
See what a globe of light there is in natural reason, which is the same in every man: but when it takes well, and riseth to perfection, it is called wisdom in a few.
The good affirming itself—(the will, I am)—begetteth the true, and wisdom is the spirit proceeding. But in the popular acceptation, common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
Ib. s. 92.
A well-spirited clause, and agreeable to holy assurance, that truth is more like to win than love. Could the light of such a Gospel as we profess be eclipsed with the interposition of a single marriage?
And yet Hacket must have lived to see the practical confutation of this shallow Gnathonism in the result of the marriage with the Papist Henrietta of France!
Ib. s. 96.
"Floud," says the Lord Keeper, "since I am no Bishop in your opinion, I will be no Bishop to you."
I see the wit of this speech; but the wisdom, the Christianity, the beseemingness of it in a Judge and a Bishop,—what am I to say of that?
And after the period of his presidency (of the Star Chamber), it is too well known how far the enhancements were stretched. 'But the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood'. Prov. 30-33.
We may learn from this and fifty other passages, that it did not require the factious prejudices of Prynne or Burton to look with aversion on the proceedings of Laud. Bishop Hacket was as hot a royalist as a loyal Englishman could be, yet Laud was 'allii nimis'.
Ib. s. 97.
New stars have appeared and vanished: the ancient asterisms remain; there's not an old star missing.
If they had been, they would not have been old. This therefore, like many of Lord Bacon's illustrations, has more wit than meaning. But it is a good trick of rhetoric. The vividness of the image, 'per se', makes men overlook the imperfection of the simile. "You see my hand, the hand of a poor, puny fellow-mortal; and will you pretend not to see the hand of Providence in this business? He who sees a mouse must be wilfully blind if he does not see an elephant!"
Ib. s. 100.
The error of the first James,—an ever well-intending, well-resolving, but, alas! ill-performing monarch, a kind-hearted, affectionate, and fondling old man, really and extensively learned, yea, and as far as quick wit and a shrewd judgment go to the making up of wisdom, wise in his generation, and a pedant by the right of pedantry, conceded at that time to all men of learning (Bacon for example),—his error, I say, consisted in the notion, that because the stalk and foliage were originally contained in the seed, and were derived from it, therefore they remained so in point of right after their evolution. The kingly power was the seed; the House of Commons and the municipal charters and privileges the stock of foliage; the unity of the realm, or what we mean by the constitution, is the root. Meanwhile the seed is gone, and reappears as the crown and glorious flower of the plant. But James, in my honest judgment, was an angel compared with his son and grandsons. As Williams to Laud, so James I was to Charles I.
Restraint is not a medicine to cure epidemical diseases.
A most judicious remark.
Ib. s. 103.
The least connivance in the world towards the person of a Papist.
It is clear to us that this illegal or 'praeter'-legal and desultory toleration by connivance at particular cases,—this precarious depending on the momentary mood of the King, and this in a stretch of a questioned prerogative,—could neither satisfy nor conciliate the Roman-Catholic potentates abroad, but was sure to offend and alarm the Protestants at home. Yet on the other hand, it is unfair as well as unwise to censure the men of an age for want of that which was above their age. The true principle, much more the practicable rules, of toleration were in James's time obscure to the wisest; but by the many, laity no less than clergy, would have been denounced as soul-murder and disguised atheism. In fact—and a melancholy fact it is,—toleration then first becomes practicable when indifference has deprived it of all merit. In the same spirit I excuse the opposite party, the Puritans and Papaphobists.
Ib. s. 104.
It was scarcely to be expected that the passions of James's age would allow of this wise distinction between Papists, the intriguing restless partizans of a foreign potentate, and simple Roman-Catholics, who preferred the 'mumpsimus' of their grandsires to the corrected 'sumpsimus' of the Reformation. But that in our age this distinction should have been neglected in the Roman-Catholic Emancipation Bill!
Ib. s. 105.
But this invisible consistory shall be confusedly diffused over all the kingdom, that many of the subjects shall, to the intolerable exhausting of the wealth of the realm, pay double tithes, double offerings, double fees, in regard of their double consistory. And if Ireland be so poor as it is suggested, I hold, under correction, that this invisible consistory is the principal cause of the exhausting thereof.
A memorable remark on the evil of the double priesthood in Ireland.
Dr. Bishop, the new Bishop of Chalcedon, is to come to London privately, and I am much troubled at it, not knowing what to advise his majesty as things stand at this present. If you were shipped with the Infanta, the only counsel were to let the judges proceed with him presently; hang him out of the way, and the King to blame my lord of Canterbury or myself for it.
Striking instance and illustration of the tricksy policy which in the seventeenth century passed for state wisdom even with the comparatively wise. But there must be a Ulysses before there can be an Aristides and Phocion.
Poor King James's main errors arose out of his superstitious notions of a sovereignty inherent in the person of the king. Hence he would be a sacred person, though in all other respects he might be a very devil. Hence his yearning for the Spanish match; and the ill effects of his toleration became rightly attributed by his subjects to foreign influence, as being against his own acknowledged principle, not on a principle.
Ib. s. 107.
I have at times played with the thought, that our bishoprics, like most of our college fellowships, might advantageously be confined to single men, if only it were openly declared to be on ground of public expediency, and on no supposed moral superiority of the single state.
Ib. s. 108.
That a rector or vicar had not only an office in the church, but a freehold for life, by the common law, in his benefice.
O! if Archbishop Williams had but seen in a clear point of view what he indistinctly aims at,—the essential distinction between the nationalty and its trustees and holders, and the Christian Church and its ministers. 
Ib. s. 111.
I will represent him (the archbishop of Spalato) in a line or two, that he was as indifferent, or rather dissolute, in practice as in opinion. For in the same chapter, art. 35, this is his Nicolaitan doctrine:—'A pluralitate uxorum natura humana non abhorret, imo fortasse neque ab earum communitate.'
How so? The words mean only that the human animal is not withholden by any natural instinct from plurality or even community of females. It is not asserted, that reason and revelation do not forbid both the one and the other, or that man unwithholden would not be a Yahoo, morally inferior to the swallow. The emphasis is to be laid on 'natura', not on 'humana'. Humanity forbids plural and promiscuous intercourse, not however by the animal nature of man, but by the reason and religion that constitute his moral and spiritual nature.
Ib. s. 112.
But being thrown out into banishment, and hunted to be destroyed as a partridge in the mountain, he subscribed against his own hand, which yet did not prejudice Athanasius his innocency:—[Greek: ta gar ek basanon para taen ex archaes gn_omaen gignomena, tauta ou t_on phobaethent_on, alla t_on basanizont_on esti boulaemata.]
I have ever said this of Sir John Cheke. I regret his recantation as one of the cruelties suffered by him, and always see the guilt flying off from him and settling on his persecutors.
Ib. s. 151.
I conclude, therefore, that his Highness having admitted nothing in these oaths or articles, either to the prejudice of the true, or the equalizing or authorizing of the other, religion, but contained himself wholly within the limits of penal statutes and connivances, wherein the state hath ever challenged and usurped a directing power, &c.
Three points seem wanting to render the Lord Keeper's argument air-tight;—
1. the proof that a king of England even then had a right to dispense, not with the execution in individual cases of the laws, but with the laws themselves 'in omne futurum'; that is, to repeal laws by his own act;
2. the proof that such a tooth-and-talon drawing of the laws did not endanger the equalizing and final mastery of the unlawful religion;
3. the utter want of all reciprocity on the part of the Spanish monarch.
In short, it is pardonable in Hacket, but would be contemptible in any other person, not to see this advice of the Lord Keeper's as a black blotch in his character, both as a Protestant Bishop and as a councillor of state in a free and Protestant country.
Ib. s. 152.
Yet opinions were so various, that some spread it for a fame, that, &c.
Was it not required of—at all events usual for—all present at a Council to subscribe their names to the act of the majority? There is a modern case in point, I think, that of Sir Arthur Wellesley's signature to the Convention of Cintra.
Ib. s. 164.
For to forbid judges against their oath, and justices of peace (sworn likewise), not to execute the law of the land, is a thing unprecedented in this kingdom. 'Durus sermo', a harsh and bitter pill to be digested upon a sudden, and without some preparation.
What a fine India-rubber conscience Hacket, as well as his patron, must have had! Policy with innocency,' 'cunning with conscience,' lead up the dance to the tune of ''Tantara' rogues all!'
Upon my word, I can scarcely conceive a greater difficulty than for an honest, warm-hearted man of principle of the present day so to discipline his mind by reflection on the circumstances and received moral system of the Stuarts' age (from Elizabeth to the death of Charles I), and its proper place in the spiral line of ascension, as to be able to regard the Duke of Buckingham as not a villain, and to resolve many of the acts of those Princes into passions, conscience-warped and hardened by half-truths and the secular creed of prudence, as being itself virtue instead of one of her handmaids, when interpreted by minds constitutionally and by their accidental circumstances imprudent and rash, yet fearful and suspicious; and with casuists and codes of casuistry as their conscience-leaders! One of the favorite works of Charles I was Sanderson 'de Juramento'.
Ib. s. 200.
Wherefore he waives the strong and full defence he had made upon stopping of an original writ, and deprecates all offence by that maxim of the law which admits of a mischief rather than an inconvenience: which was as much as to say, that he thought it a far less evil to do the lady the probability of an injury (in her own name) than to suffer those two courts to clash together again.
All this is a tangle of sophisms. The assumption is, it is better to inflict a private wrong than a public one: we ought to wrong one rather than many. But even then, it is badly stated. The principle is true only where the tolerating of the private wrong is the only means of preventing a greater public wrong. But in this case it was the certainty of the wrong of one to avoid the chance of an inconvenience that might perchance be the occasion of wrong to many, and which inconvenience both easily might and should have been remedied by rightful measures, by mutual agreement between the Bishop and Chancellor, and by the King, or by an act of Parliament.
Ib. s. 203.
'Truly, Sir, this is my dark lantern, and I am not ashamed to inquire of a Dalilah to resolve a riddle; for in my studies of divinity I have gleaned up this maxim, 'licet uti alieno peccato';—though the Devil make her a sinner, I may make good use of her sin.' Prince, merrily, 'Do you deal in such ware?' 'In good faith, Sir,' says the Keeper, 'I never saw her face.'
And Hacket's evident admiration, and not merely approbation, of this base Jesuitry,—this divinity which had taught the Archbishop 'licere uti alieno peccato'! But Charles himself was a student of such divinity, and yet (as rogues of higher rank comfort the pride of their conscience by despising inferior knaves) I suspect that the 'merrily' was the Sardonic mirth of bitter contempt; only, however, because he disliked Williams, who was simply a man of his age, his baseness being for us, not for his contemporaries, or even for his own mind. But the worst of all is the Archbishop's heartless disingenuousness and moon-like nodes towards his kind old master the King. How much of truth was there in the Spaniard's information respecting the intrigues of the Prince and the Duke of Buckingham? If none, if they were mere slanders, if the Prince had acted the filial part toward his father and King, and the Duke the faithful part towards his master and only too fond and affectionate benefactor, what more was needed than to expose the falsehoods? But if Williams knew that there was too great a mixture of truth in the charges, what a cowardly ingrate to his old friend to have thus curried favor with the rising sun by this base jugglery!
Ib. s. 209.
He was the topsail of the nobility, and in power and trust of offices far above all the nobility.
James I was no fool, and though through weakness of character an unwise master, yet not an unthinking statesman; and I still want a satisfactory solution of the accumulation of offices on Buckingham.
Ib. s. 212.
Prudent men will continue the oblations of their forefathers' piety.
The danger and mischief of going far back, and yet not half far enough! Thus Hacket refers to the piety of individuals our forefathers as the origin of Church property. Had he gone further back, and traced to the source, he would have found these partial benefactions to have been mere restitutions of rights co-original with their own property, and as a national reserve for the purposes of national existence—the condition 'sine qua non' of the equity of their proprieties; for without civilization a people cannot be, or continue to be, a nation. But, alas! the ignorance of the essential distinction of a national clerisy, the 'Ecclesia', from the Christian Church. The 'Ecclesia' has been an eclipse to the intellect of both Churchmen and Sectarians, even from Elizabeth to the present day, 1833.
Ib. s. 214.
And being threatened, his best mitigation was, that perhaps it was not safe for him to deny so great a lord; yet it was safest for his lordship to be denied. ... The king heard the noise of these crashes, and was so pleased, that he thanked God, before many witnesses, that he had put the Keeper into that place: 'For,' says he, 'he that will not wrest justice for Buckingham's sake, whom I know he loves, will never be corrupted with money, which he never loved.'
Strange it must seem to us; yet it is evident that Hacket thought it necessary to make a mid something, half apology and half eulogy, for the Lord Keeper's timid half resistance to the insolence and iniquitous interference of the minion Duke. What a portrait of the times! But the dotage of the King in the maintenance of the man, whose insolence in wresting justice he himself admits! Yet how many points, both of the times and of the King's personal character, must be brought together before we can fairly solve the intensity of James's minionism, his kingly egotism, his weak kindheartedness, his vulgar coarseness of temper, his systematic jealousy of the ancient nobles, his timidity, and the like!
'Sir,' says the Lord Keeper, 'will you be pleased to listen to me, taking in the Prince's consent, of which I make no doubt, and I will shew how you shall furnish the second and third brothers with preferments sufficient to maintain them, that shall cost you nothing. ... If they fall to their studies, design them to the bishoprics of Durham and Winchester, when they become void. If that happen in their nonage, which is probable, appoint commendatories to discharge the duty for them for a laudable allowance, but gathering the fruits for the support of your grandchildren, till they come to virility to be consecrated,' &c.
Williams could not have been in earnest in this villanous counsel, but he knew his man. This conceit of dignifying dignities by the Simoniacal prostitution of them to blood-royal was just suited to James's fool-cunningness.
Part II. s. 74.
... To yield not only passive obedience (which is due) but active also, &c.
'Which is due.' What in the name of common sense can this mean, that is, speculatively? Practically, the meaning is clear enough, namely, that we should do what we can to escape hanging; but the distinction is for decorum, and so let it pass.
Ib. s. 75.
This is the venom of this new doctrine, that by making us the King's creatures, and in the state of minors or children, to take away all our property; which would leave us nothing of our own, and lead us (but that God hath given us just and gracious Princes) into slavery.
And yet this just and gracious Prince prompts, sanctions, supports, and openly rewards this envenomer, in flat contempt of both Houses of Parliament,—protects and prefers him and others of the same principles and professions on account of these professions! And the Parliament and nation were inexcusable, forsooth, in not trusting to Charles's assurances, or rather the assurances put in his mouth by Hyde, Falkland, and others, that he had always abhorred these principles.
Ib. s. 136.
When they saw he was not 'selfish' (it is a word of their own new mint), &c.
Singular! From this passage it would seem that our so very common word 'selfish' is no older than the latter part of the reign of Charles I.
Ib. s. 137.
Their political aphorisms are far more dangerous, that His Majesty is not the highest power in his realms; that he hath not absolute sovereignty; and that a Parliament sitting is co-ordinate with him in it.
Hacket himself repeatedly implies as much; for would he deny that the King with the Lords and Commons is not more than the King without them? or that an act of Parliament is not more than a proclamation?
What a venomous spirit is in that serpent Milton, that black-mouthed Zoilus, that blows his viper's breath upon those immortal devotions from the beginning to the end! This is he that wrote with all irreverence against the Fathers of our Church, and showed as little duty to the father that begat him: the same that wrote for the Pharisees, that it was lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause,—and against Christ, for not allowing divorces: the same, O horrid! that defended the lawfulness of the greatest crime that ever was committed, to put our thrice-excellent King to death: a petty schoolboy scribbler, that durst grapple in such a cause with the prince of the learned men of his age, Salmasius, [Greek: philosophias pasaes aphroditae kai lyra], as Eunapius says of Ammonius, Plutarch's scholar in Egypt, the delight, the music of all knowledge, who would have scorned to drop a pen-full of ink against so base an adversary, but to maintain the honor of so good a King ... Get thee behind me, Milton! Thou savourest not the things that be of truth and loyalty, but of pride, bitterness, and falsehood. There will be a time, though such a Shimei, a dead dog in Abishai's phrase, escape for a while ... It is no marvel if this canker-worm Milton, &c.
A contemporary of Bishop Racket's designates Milton as the author of a profane and lascivious poem entitled Paradise Lost. The biographer of our divine bard ought to have made a collection of all such passages. A German writer of a Life of Salmasius acknowledges that Milton had the better in the conflict in these words: 'Hans (Jack) von Milton—not to be compared in learning and genius with the incomparable Salmasius, yet a shrewd and cunning lawyer,' &c. 'O sana posteritas!'
Ib. s. 178.
Dare they not trust him that never broke with them? And I have heard his nearest servants say, that no man could ever challenge him of the least lie.
What! this after the publication of Charles's letters to the Queen! Did he not within a few months before his death enter into correspondence with, and sign contradictory offers to, three different parties, not meaning to keep any one of them; and at length did he not die with something very like a falsehood in his mouth in allowing himself to be represented as the author of the Icon Basilike?
Ib. s. 180.
If an under-sheriff had arrested Harry Martin for debt, and pleaded that he did not imprison his membership, but his Martinship, would the Committee for privileges be fobbed off with that distinction?
To make this good in analogy, we must suppose that Harry Martin had notoriously neglected all the duties, while he perverted and abused all the privileges, of membership: and then I answer, that the Committee of privileges would have done well and wisely in accepting the under-sheriff's distinction, and, out of respect for the membership, consigning the Martinship to the due course of law.
'That every soul should be subject to the higher powers.' The higher power under which they lived was the mere power and will of Caesar, bridled in by no law.
False, if meant 'de jure'; and if 'de facto', the plural 'powers' would apply to the Parliament far better than to the King, and to Cromwell as well as to Nero. Every even decently good Emperor professed himself the servant of the Roman Senate. The very term 'Imperator', as Gravina observes, implies it; for it expresses a delegated and instrumental power. Before the assumption of the Tribunitial character by Augustus, by which he became the representative of the majority of the people,—'majestatem indutus est,—Senatus consulit, Populus jubet, imperent Consules', was the constitutional language.
Ib. s. 190.
Yet so much dissonancy there was between his tongue and his heart, that he triumphed in the murder of Caesar, the only Roman that exceeded all their race in nobleness, and was next to Tully in eloquence.
There is something so shameless in this self-contradiction as of itself almost to extinguish the belief that the prelatic royalists were conscientious in their conclusions. For if the Senate of Rome were not a lawful power, what could be? And if Caesar, the thrice perjured traitor, was neither perjured nor traitor, only because he by his Gaulish troops turned a republic into a monarchy,—with what face, under what pretext, could Hacket abuse 'Sultan Cromwell?'
[Footnote 1: By Thomas Plume. Folio, 1676.—Ed.]
'Ea omnia super Christo Pilatus, et ipse jam pro sua conscientia Christianus, Caesari tum Tiberio nuntiavit.'
Apologet, ii. 624. See the account in Eusebius. Hist. Eccl. ii. 2.—Ed.]
[Footnote 3: See 'M. T. Ciceronis de Republica quae supersunt. Zell. Stuttgardt'. 1827.—Ed.]
[Footnote 4: See 'supra'.—Ed].
[Footnote 5: Folio. 1693.—Ed.]
[Footnote 6: See The Church and State.—Ed.]
NOTES ON JEREMY TAYLOR.
I have not seen the late Bishop Heber's edition of Jeremy Taylor's 'Works'; but I have been informed that he did little more than contribute the 'Life', and that in all else it is a mere London booksellers' job. This, if true, is greatly to be regretted. I know no writer whose works more require, I need not say deserve, the annotations, aye, and occasional animadversions, of a sound and learned divine. One thing is especially desirable in reference to that most important, because (with the exception perhaps of the 'Holy Living and Dying') the most popular, of Taylor's works, 'The Liberty of Prophesying'; and this is a careful collation of the different editions, particularly of the first printed before the Restoration, and the last published in Taylor's lifetime, and after his promotion to the episcopal bench. Indeed, I regard this as so nearly concerning Taylor's character as a man, that if I find that it has not been done in Heber's edition, and if I find a first edition in the British Museum, or Sion College, or Dr. Williams's library, I will, God permitting, do it myself. There seems something cruel in giving the name, Anabaptist, to the English Anti-paedo-baptists; but still worse in connecting this most innocent opinion with the mad Jacobin ravings of the poor wretches who were called Anabaptists, in Munster, as if the latter had ever formed part of the Baptists' creeds. In short 'The Liberty of Prophesying' is an admirable work, in many respects, and calculated to produce a much greater effect on the many than Milton's treatise on the same subject: on the other hand, Milton's is throughout unmixed truth; and the man who in reading the two does not feel the contrast between the single-mindedness of the one, and the 'strabismus' in the other, is—in the road of preferment.
GENERAL DEDICATION OF THE POLEMICAL DISCOURSES. 
Vol. vii. p. ix.
And the breath of the people is like the voice of an exterminating angel, not so killing but so secret.
That is, in such wise. It would be well to note, after what time 'as' became the requisite correlative to 'so,' and even, as in this instance, the preferable substitute. We should have written 'as' in both places probably, but at all events in the latter, transplacing the sentences 'as secret though not so killing;' or 'not so killing, but quite as secret.' It is not generally true that Taylor's punctuation is arbitrary, or his periods reducible to the post-Revolutionary standard of length by turning some of his colons or semi-colons into full stops. There is a subtle yet just and systematic logic followed in his pointing, as often as it is permitted by the higher principle, because the proper and primary purpose, of our stops, and to which alone from their paucity they are adequate,—that I mean of enabling the reader to prepare and manage the proportions of his voice and breath. But for the true scheme of punctuation, [Greek: h_os emoige dokei], see the blank page over leaf which I will try to disblank into a prize of more worth than can be got at the E.O.'s and little goes of Lindley Murray. 
Ib. p. xv.
But the most complained that, in my ways to persuade a toleration, I helped some men too far, and that I armed the Anabaptists with swords instead of shields, with a power to offend us, besides the proper defensitives of their own ... But wise men understand the thing and are satisfied. But because all men are not of equal strength; I did not only in a discourse on purpose demonstrate the true doctrine in that question, but I have now in this edition of that book answered all their pretensions, &c.
No; in the might of his genius he called up a spirit which he has in vain endeavored to lay, or exorcise from the conviction.
Ib. p. xvii.
For episcopacy relies not upon the authority of Fathers and Councils, but upon Scripture, upon the institution of Christ, or the institution of the Apostles, upon a universal tradition, and a universal practice, not upon the words and opinions of the doctors: it hath as great a testimony as Scripture itself hath, &c.
We must make allowance for the intoxication of recent triumph and final victory over a triumphing and victorious enemy; or who but would start back at the aweless temerity of this assertion? Not to mention the evasion; for who ever denied the historical fact, or the Scriptural occurrence of the word expressing the fact, namely, 'episcopi, episcopatus?'? What was questioned by the opponents was,
1;—Who and what these 'episcopi' were; whether essentially different from the presbyter, or a presbyter by kind in his own 'ecclesia', and a president or chairman by accident in a synod of presbyters:
2;—That whatever the 'episcopi' of the Apostolic times were, yet were they prelates, lordly diocesans; were they such as the Bishops of the Church of England? Was there Scripture authority for Archbishops?
3;—That the establishment of Bishops by the Apostle Paul being granted (as who can deny it?)—yet was this done 'jure Apostolico' for the universal Church in all places and ages; or only as expedient for that time and under those circumstances; by Paul not as an Apostle, but as the head and founder of those particular churches, and so entitled to determine their bye laws?
DEDICATION OF THE SACRED ORDER AND OFFICES OF EPISCOPACY.
Ib. p. xxiii.
But the interest of the Bishops is conjunct with the prosperity of the King, besides the interest of their own security, by the obligation of secular advantages. For they who have their livelihood from the King, and are in expectance of their fortune from him, are more likely to pay a tribute of exacter duty, than others, whose fortunes are not in such immediate dependency on His Majesty.
The cat out of the bag! Consult the whole reigns of Charles I. and II. and the beginning of James II. Jeremy Taylor was at this time (blamelessly for himself and most honourably for his patrons) ambling on the high road of preferment; and to men so situated, however sagacious in other respects, it is not given to read the signs of the times. Little did Taylor foresee that to indiscreet avowals, like these, on the part of the court clergy, the exauctorations of the Bishops and the temporary overthrow of the Church itself would be in no small portion attributable. But the scanty measure and obscurity (if not rather, for so bright a luminary, the occultation) of his preferment after the Restoration is a problem, of which perhaps his virtues present the most probable solution.
Ib. p. xxv.
A second return that episcopacy makes to royalty, is that which is the duty of all Christians, the paying tributes and impositions.
This is true; and it was an evil hour for the Church,—and led to the loss of its Convocation, the greatest and, in an enlarged state-policy, the most impolitic affront ever offered by a government to its own established Church,—in which the clergy surrendered their right of taxing themselves.
Ib. p. xxvii.
I mean the conversion of the kingdom from Paganism by St. Augustine, Archbishop of Canterbury; and the Reformation begun and promoted by Bishops.
From Paganism in part; but in part from primitive Christianity to Popery. But neither this nor the following boast will bear narrow looking into, I suspect.
Like all Taylor's dedications and dedicatory epistles, this is easy, dignified, and pregnant. The happiest 'synthesis' of the divine, the scholar, and the gentleman was perhaps exhibited in him and Bishop Berkeley.
In all those accursed machinations, which the device and artifice of hell hath invented for the supplanting of the Church, 'inimicus homo,' that old superseminator of heresies and crude mischiefs, hath endeavoured to be curiously compendious, and, with Tarquin's device, 'putare summa papaverum.'
His next onset was by Julian, and 'occidere presbyterium,' that was his province. To shut up public schools, to force Christians to ignorance, to impoverish and disgrace the clergy, to make them vile and dishonorable, these are his arts; and he did the devil more service in this fineness of undermining, than all the open battery of ten great rams of persecution.
What felicity, what vivacity of expression! Many years ago Mr. Mackintosh gave it as an instance of my perverted taste, that I had seriously contended that in order to form a style worthy of Englishmen, Milton and Taylor must be studied instead of Johnson, Gibbon, and Junius; and now I see by his introductory Lecture given at Lincoln's Inn, and just published, he is himself imitating Jeremy Taylor, or rather copying his semi-colon punctuation, as closely as he can. Amusing it is to observe, how by the time the modern imitators are at the half-way of the long breathed period, the asthmatic thoughts drop down, and the rest is,—words! I have always been an obstinate hoper: and even this is a 'datum' and a symptom of hope to me, that a better, an ancestral, spirit is forming and will appear in the rising generation.
Ib. p. 5.
First, because here is a concourse of times; for now after that these times have been called the last times for 1600 years together, our expectation of the great revelation is very near accomplishing.
Rather a whimsical consequence, that because a certain party had been deceiving themselves for sixteen centuries they were likely to be in the right at the beginning of the seventeenth. But indeed I question whether in all Taylor's voluminous writings there are to be found three other paragraphs so vague and misty-magnific as this is. It almost reminds me of the "very cloudy and mighty alarming" in Foote.
S. i. p. 4.
If there be such a thing as the power of the keys, by Christ concredited to his Church, for the binding and loosing delinquents and penitents respectively on earth, then there is clearly a court erected by Christ in his Church.
We may, without any heretical division of person, economically distinguish our Lord's character as Jesus, and as Christ, so far that during his sojourn on earth, from his baptism at least to his crucifixion, he was in some respects his own Elias, bringing back the then existing Church to the point at which the Prophets had placed it; that is, distinguishing the 'ethica' from the 'politica,' what was binding on the Jews as descendants of Abraham and inheritors of the patriarchal faith from the statutes obligatory on them as members of the Jewish state.
Jesus fulfilled the Law, which culminated in a pure religious morality in principles, affections, and acts; and this he consolidated and levelled into the ground-stead on which the new temple 'not made with hands,' wherein Himself, even Christ the Lord, is the Shechinah, was to rise and be raised.
Thus he taught the spirit of the Mosaic Law, while by his acts, sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension, and demission of the Comforter, he created and realized the contents, objects, and materials of that redemptive faith, the everlasting Gospel, which from the day of Pentecost his elect disciples, [Greek: ton mystaerion hierokaerykes], Were Sent forth to disperse and promulgate with suitable gifts, powers, and evidences.
In this view, I interpret our Lord's sayings concerning the Church, as applying wholly to the Synagogue or established Church then existing, while the binding and loosing refers, immediately and primarily as I conceive, to the miraculous gifts of healing diseases communicated to the Apostles; and I am not afraid to avow the conviction, that the first three Gospels are not the books of the New Testament, in which we should expect to find the peculiar doctrines of the Christian faith explicitly delivered, or forming the predominant subject or contents of the writing.
S. viii. p. 25.
Imposition of hands for Ordination does indeed give the Holy Ghost, but not as he is that promise which is called 'the promise of the truth'.
Alas! but in what sense that does not imply some infusion of power or light, something given and inwardly received, which would not have existed in and for the recipient without this immission by the means or act of the imposition of the hands? What sense that does not amount to more and other than a mere delegation of office, a mere legitimating acceptance and acknowledgment, with respect to the person, of that which already is in him, can be attached to the words, 'Receive the Holy Ghost', without shocking a pious and single-minded candidate? The miraculous nature of the giving does not depend on the particular kind or quality of the gift received, much less demand that it should be confined to the power of working miracles.
For "miraculous nature" read "supernatural character;" and I can subscribe this pencil note written so many years ago, even at this present time, 2d March, 1824.
S. xxi. p. 91.
'Postquam unusquisque eos quos baptizabat suos putabat esse, non Christi, et diceretur in populis, Ego sum Pauli, Ego Apollo, Ego autem Cephae, in toto orbe decretum est ut unus de presbyteris electus superponeretur cateris, ut schismatum semina tollerentur.'
The natural inference would, methinks, be the contrary. There would be more persons inclined and more likely to attach an ambition to their belonging to a single eminent leader and head than to a body,—rather to Caesar, Marius, or Pompey, than to the Senate. But I have ever thought that the best, safest, and at the same time sufficient, argument is, that by the nature of human affairs and the appointments of God's ordinary providence every assembly of functionaries will and must have a president; that the same qualities which recommended the individual to this dignity would naturally recommend him to the chief executive power during the intervals of legislation, and at all times in all points already ruled; that the most solemn acts, Confirmation and Ordination, would as naturally be confined to the head of the executive in the state ecclesiastic, as the sign manual and the like to the king in all limited monarchies; and that in course of time when many presbyteries would exist in the same district, Archbishops and Patriarchs would arise 'pari ratione' as Bishops did in the first instance. Now it is admitted that God's extraordinary appointments never repeal but rather perfect the laws of his ordinary providence: and it is enough that all we find in the New Testament tends to confirm and no where forbids, contradicts, or invalidates the course of government, which the Church, we are certain, did in fact pursue.
Ib. s. xxxvi. p. 171.
But those things which Christianity, as it prescinds from the interest of the republic, hath introduced, all them, and all the causes emergent from them, the Bishop is judge of.... Receiving and disposing the patrimony of the Church, and whatsoever is of the same consideration according to the fortyfirst canon of the Apostles. 'Praecipimus ut in potestate sua episcopus ecclesice res habeat'. Let the Bishops have the disposing of the goods of the Church; adding this reason: 'si enim animte hominum pretiosae illi sint creditae, multo magis eum oportet curam pecuniarum gerere'. He that is intrusted with our precious souls may much more be intrusted with the offertories of faithful people.
Let all these belong to the overseer of the Church: to whom else so properly? but what is the nature of the power by which he is to enforce his orders? By secular power? Then the Bishop's power is no derivative from Christ's royalty; for his kingdom is not of the world; but the monies are Caesar's; and the 'cura pecuniarum' must be vested where the donors direct, the law of the land permitting.
Such are the delinquencies of clergymen, who are both clergy and subjects too; 'clerus Domini', and 'regis subditi': and for their delinquencies, which are 'in materia justiae', the secular tribunal punishes, as being a violation of that right which the state must defend; but because done by a person who is a member of the sacred hierarchy, and hath also an obligation of special duty to his Bishop, therefore the Bishop also may punish him; and when the commonwealth hath inflicted a penalty, the Bishop also may impose a censure, for every sin of a clergyman is two.
But why of a clergyman only? Is not every sheep of his flock a part of the Bishop's charge, and of course the possible object of his censure? The clergy, you say, take the oath of obedience. Aye! but this is the point in dispute.
Ib. p. 172.
So that ever since then episcopal jurisdiction hath a double part, an external and an internal: this is derived from Christ, that from the king, which because it is concurrent in all acts of jurisdiction, therefore it is that the king is supreme of the jurisdiction, namely, that part of it which is the external compulsory.
If Christ delegated no external compulsory power to the Bishops, how came it the duty of princes to God to do so? It has been so since—-yes! since the first grand apostasy from Christ to Constantine.
Ib. s. xlviii. p. 248.
Bishops 'ut sic' are not secular princes, must not seek for it; but some secular princes may be Bishops, as in Germany and in other places to this day they are. For it is as unlawful for a Bishop to have any land, as to have a country; and a single acre is no more due to the order than a province; but both these may be conjunct in the same person, though still, by virtue of Christ's precept, the functions and capacities must be distinguished.
True; but who with more indignant scorn attacked this very distinction when applied by the Presbyterians to the kingship, when they professed to fight for the King against Charles? And yet they had on their side both the spirit of the English constitution and the language of the law. The King never dies; the King can do no wrong. Elsewhere, too, Taylor could ridicule the Romish prelate, who fought and slew men as a captain at the head of his vassals, and then in the character of a Bishop absolved his other homicidal self. However, whatever St. Peter might understand by Christ's words, St. Peter's three-crowned successors have been quite of Taylor's opinion that they are to be paraphrased thus:—"Simon Peter, as my Apostle, you are to make converts only by humility, voluntary poverty, and the words of truth and meekness; but if by your spiritual influence you can induce the Emperor Tiberius to make you Tetrarch of Galilee or Prefect of Judaea, then [Greek: katakyrieue] —you may lord it as loftily as you will, and deliver as Tetrarch or Prefect those stiff-necked miscreants to the flames for not having been converted by you as an Apostle."
Ib. p. 276.
I end with the golden rule of Vincentius Lirinensis:—'magnopere curandum est ut id teneamus, quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est.'
Alas! this golden rule comes full and round from the mouth; nor do I deny that it is pure gold: but like too many other golden rules, in order to make it cover the facts which the orthodox asserter of episcopacy at least, and the chaplain of Archbishop Laud and King Charles the Martyr must have held himself bound to bring under it, it must be made to display another property of the sovereign metal, its malleableness to wit; and must be beaten out so thin, that the weight of truth in the portion appertaining to each several article in the orthodox systems of theology will be so small, that it may better be called gilt than gold; and if worth having at all, it will be for its show, not for its substance. For instance, the 'aranea theologica' may draw out the whole web of the Westminster Catechism from the simple creed of the beloved Disciple,—'whoever believeth with his heart, and professeth with his mouth, that Jesus is Lord and Christ,'—shall be saved. If implicit faith only be required, doubtless certain doctrines, from which all other articles of faith imposed by the Lutheran, Scotch, or English Churches, may be deduced, have been believed 'ubique, semper, et ab omnibus.' But if explicit and conscious belief be intended, I would rather that the Bishop than I should defend the golden rule against Semler.
APOLOGY FOR AUTHORIZED AND SET FORMS OF LITURGY.
Preface, s. vi. p. 286.
Not like women or children when they are affrighted with fire in their clothes. We shaked off the coal indeed, but not our garments, lest we should have exposed our Churches to that nakedness which the excellent men of our sister Churches complained to be among themselves.
O, what convenient things metaphors and similes are, so charmingly indeterminate! On the general reader the literal sense operates: he shivers in sympathy with the poor shift-less matron, the Church of Geneva. To the objector the answer is ready—it was speaking metaphorically, and only meant that she had no shift on the outside of her gown, that she made a shift without an over-all. Compare this sixth section with the manful, senseful, irrebuttable fourth section—a folio volume in a single paragraph! But Jeremy Taylor would have been too great for man, had he not occasionally fallen below himself.
Ib. s. x. p. 288.
And since all that cast off the Roman yoke thought they had title enough to be called Reformed, it was hard to have pleased all the private interests and peevishness of men that called themselves friends; and therefore that only in which the Church of Rome had prevaricated against the word of God, or innovated against Apostolical tradition, all that was pared away.
Aye! here is the 'ovum,' as Sir Everard Home would say, the 'proto'-parent of the whole race of controversies between Protestant and Protestant; and each had Gospel on their side. Whatever is not against the word of God is for it,—thought the founders of the Church of England. Whatever is not in the word of God is a word of man, a will-worship presumptuous and usurping,—thought the founders of the Church of Scotland and Geneva. The one proposed to themselves to be reformers of the Latin Church, that is, to bring it back to the form which it had during the first four centuries; the latter to be the renovators of the Christian religion as it was preached and instituted by the Apostles and immediate followers of Christ thereunto specially inspired. Where the premisses are so different, who can wonder at the difference in the conclusions?
Ib. s. xii. ib.
It began early to discover its inconvenience; for when certain zealous persons fled to Frankfort to avoid the funeral piles kindled by the Roman Bishops in Queen Mary's time, as if they had not enemies enough abroad, they fell foul with one another, and the quarrel was about the Common Prayer Book.
But who began the quarrel? Knox and his recent biographer lay it to Dr. Cox and the Liturgists.
Ib. s. xiii. p. 289.
Here therefore it became law, was established by an act of Parliament, was made solemn by an appendant penalty against all that on either hand did prevaricate a sanction of so long and so prudent consideration.
Truly evangelical way of solemnizing a party measure, and sapientizing Calvin's 'tolerabiles ineptias' by making them 'ineptias usque ad carcerem et verbera intolerantes!'
Ib. s. xiv. ib.
But the Common Prayer Book had the fate of St. Paul; for when it had scaped the storms of the Roman See, yet a viper sprung out of Queen Mary's fires, &c.
As Knox and his friends confined themselves to the inspired word, whether vipers or no, they were not adders at all events.
Ib. xxvi. p. 296.
For, if we deny to the people a liberty of reading the Scriptures, may they not complain, as Isaac did against the inhabitants of the land, that the Philistines had spoiled his well and the fountains of living water? If a free use to all of them and of all Scriptures were permitted, should not the Church herself have more cause to complain of the infinite licentiousness and looseness of interpretations, and of the commencement of ten thousand errors, which would certainly be consequent to such permission? Reason and religion will chide us in the first, reason and experience in the latter ... The Church with great wisdom hath first held this torch out; and though for great reasons intervening and hindering, it cannot be reduced to practice, yet the Church hath shewn her desire to avoid the evil that is on both hands, and she hath shewn the way also, if it could have been insisted in.
If there were not, at the time this Preface, or this paragraph at least, was written or published, some design on foot or 'sub lingua' of making advances to the continental catholicism for the purpose of conciliating the courts of Austria, France and Spain, in favor of the Cavalier and Royalist party at home and abroad, this must be considered as a useless and worse than useless avowal. The Papacy at the height of its influence never asserted a higher or more anti-Protestant right than this of dividing the Scriptures into permitted and forbidden portions. If there be a functionary of divine institution, synodical or unipersonal, who with the name of the 'Church' has the right, under circumstances of its own determination, to forbid all but such and such parts of the Bible, it must possess potentially, and under other circumstances, a right of withdrawing the whole book from the unlearned, who yet cannot be altogether unlearned; for the very prohibition supposes them able to do what, a few centuries before, the majority of the clergy themselves were not qualified to do, that is, read their Bible throughout. Surely it would have been politic in the writer to have left out this sentence, which his Puritan adversaries could not fail to translate into the Church shewing her teeth though she dared not bite. I bitterly regret these passages; neither our incomparable Liturgy, nor this full, masterly, and unanswerable defence of it, requiring them.
Ib. s. xlv, p. 308.
So that the Church of England, in these manners of dispensing the power of the keys, does cut off all disputings and impertinent wranglings, whether the priest's power were judicial or declarative; for possibly it is both, and it is optative too, and something else yet; for it is an emanation from all the parts of his ministry, and he never absolves, but he preaches or prays, or administers a sacrament; for this power of remission is a transcendent, passing through all the parts of the priestly offices. For the keys of the kingdom of heaven are the promises and the threatenings of the Scripture, and the prayers of the Church, and the Word, and the Sacraments, and all these are to be dispensed by the priest, and these keys are committed to his ministry, and by the operation of them all he opens and shuts heaven's gates ministerially.
No more ingenious way of making nothing of a thing than by making it every thing. Omnify the disputed point into a transcendant, and you may defy the opponent to lay hold of it. He might as well attempt to grasp an 'aura electrica'.
Apology, &c. s. ii. p. 320.
And it may be when I am a little more used to it, I shall not wonder at a synod, in which not one Bishop sits in the capacity of a Bishop, though I am most certain this is the first example in England since it was first christened.
Is this quite fair? Is it not, at least logically considered and at the commencement of an argument, too like a 'petitio principii' or 'presumptio rei litigatae'? The Westminster divines were confessedly not prelates, but many in that assembly were, in all other points, orthodox and affectionate members of the Establishment, who with Bedell, Lightfoot, and Usher, held them to be Bishops in the primitive sense of the term, and who yet had no wish to make any other change in the hierarchy than that of denominating the existing English prelates Archbishops. They thought that what at the bottom was little more than a question of names among Episcopalians, ought not to have occasioned such a dispute; but yet the evil having taken place, they held a change of names not too great a sacrifice, if thus the things themselves could be preserved, and Episcopacy maintained against the Independents and Presbyterians.
Ib. s. v. p. 321.
It is a thing of no present importance, but as a point of history, it is worth a question whether there were any divines in the Westminster Assembly who adopted by anticipation the notions of the Seekers, Quakers and others 'ejusdem farinoe.' Baxter denies it. I understand the controversy to have been, whether the examinations at the admission to the ministry did or not supersede the necessity of any directive models besides those found in the sacred volumes:—if not necessary, whether there was any greater expedience in providing by authority forms of prayer for the minister than forms of sermons. Reading, whether of prayers or sermons, might be discouraged without encouraging unpremeditated praying and preaching. But the whole question as between the prelatists and the Assembly divines has like many others been best solved by the trial. A vast majority among the Dissenters themselves consider the antecedents to the sermon, with exception of their congregational hymns, as the defective part of their public service, and admit the superiority of our Liturgy.
P.S.—It seems to me, I confess, that the controversy could never have risen to the height it did, if all the parties had not thrown too far into the back ground the distinction in nature and object between the three equally necessary species of worship, that is, public, family, and private or solitary, devotion. Though the very far larger proportion of the blame falls on the anti-Liturgists, yet on the other hand, too many of our Church divines—among others that exemplar' of a Churchman and a Christian, the every way excellent George Herbert—were scared by the growing fanaticism of the Geneva malcontents into the neighbourhood of the opposite extreme; and in their dread of enthusiasm, will-worship, insubordination, indecency, carried their preference of the established public forms of prayer almost to superstition by exclusively both using and requiring them even on their own sick-beds. This most assuredly was neither the intention nor the wish of the first compilers. However, if they erred in this, it was an error of filial love excused, and only not sanctioned, by the love of peace and unity, and their keen sense of 'the beauty of holiness' displayed in their mother Church. I mention this the rather, because our Church, having in so incomparable a way provided for our public devotions, and Taylor having himself enriched us with such and so many models of private prayer and devotional exercise—(from which, by the by, it is most desirable that a well arranged collection should be made; a selection is requisite rather from the opulence, than the inequality, of the store;)—we have nothing to wish for but a collection of family and domestic prayers and thanksgivings equally (if that be not too bold a wish) appropriate to the special object, as the Common Prayer Book is for a Christian community, and the collection from Taylor for the Christian in his closet or at his bed side. Here would our author himself again furnish abundant materials for the work. For surely, since the Apostolic age, never did the spirit of supplication move on the deeps of a human soul with a more genial life, or more profoundly impregnate the rich gifts of a happy nature, than in the person of Jeremy Taylor! To render the fruits available for all, we need only a combination of Christian experience with that finer sense of propriety which we may venture to call devotional taste in the individual choosing, or chosen, to select, arrange and methodize; and no less in the dignitaries appointed to revise and sanction the collections.
Perhaps another want is a scheme of Christian psalmody fit for all our congregations, and which should not exceed 150 or 200 psalms and hymns. Surely if the Church does not hesitate in the titles of the Psalms and of the chapters of the Prophets to give the Christian sense and application, there can be no consistent objection to do the same in its spiritual songs. The effect on the morals, feelings, and information of the people at large is not to be calculated. It is this more than any other single cause that has saved the peasantry of Protestant Germany from the contagion of infidelity.
Ib. s. xvii. p. 325.
Thus the Holy Ghost brought to their memory all things which Jesus spake and did, and, by that means, we come to know all that the Spirit knew to be necessary for us.
Alas! it is one of the sad effects or results of the enslaving Old Bailey fashion of defending, or, as we may well call it, apologizing for, Christianity,—introduced by Grotius and followed up by the modern 'Alogi', whose wordless, lifeless, spiritless, scheme of belief it alone suits,—that we dare not ask, whether the passage here referred to must necessarily be understood as asserting a miraculous remembrancing, distinctly sensible by the Apostles; whether the gift had any especial reference to the composition of the Gospels; whether the assumption is indispensable to a well grounded and adequate confidence in the veracity of the narrators or the verity of the narration; if not, whether it does not unnecessarily entangle the faith of the acute and learned inquirer in difficulties, which do not affect the credibility of history in its common meaning—rather indeed confirm our reliance on its authority in all the points of agreement, that is, in every point which we are in the least concerned to know,—and expose the simple and unlearned Christian to objections best fitted to perplex, because easiest to be understood, and within the capacity of the shallowest infidel to bring forward and exaggerate; and lastly, whether the Scriptures must not be read in that faith which comes from higher sources than history, that is, if they are read to any good and Christian purpose. God forbid that I should become the advocate of mechanical infusions and possessions, superseding the reason and responsible will. The light 'a priori', in which, according to my conviction, the Scriptures must be read and tried, is no other than the earnest, 'What shall I do to be saved?' with the inward consciousness,—the gleam or flash let into the inner man through the rent or cranny of the prison of sense, however produced by earthquake, or by decay,—as the ground and antecedent of the question; and with a predisposition towards, and an insight into, the 'a priori' probability of the Christian dispensation as the necessary consequents. This is the holy spirit in us praying to the Spirit, without which 'no man can say that Jesus is the Lord:' a text which of itself seems to me sufficient to cover the whole scheme of modern Unitarianism with confusion, when compared with that other,—'I am the Lord (Jehovah): that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another'. But in the Unitarian's sense of 'Lord,' and on his scheme of evidence, it might with equal justice be affirmed, that no man can say that Tiberius was the Emperor but by the Holy Ghost.
Ib. s. xxix. p. 331.
And that this is for this reason called 'a gift and grace,' or issue of the Spirit, is so evident and notorious, that the speaking of an ordinary revealed truth, is called in Scripture, 'a speaking by the spirit', 1 Cor. xii. 8. 'No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost'. For, though the world could not acknowledge Jesus for the Lord without a revelation, yet now that we are taught this truth by Scripture, and by the preaching of the Apostles, to which they were enabled by the Holy Ghost, we need no revelation or enthusiasm to confess this truth, which we are taught in our creeds and catechisms, &c.
I do not, nay I dare not, hesitate to denounce this assertion as false in fact and the paralysis of all effective Christianity. A greater violence offered to Scripture words is scarcely conceivable. St. Paul asserts that 'no man can.' Nay, says Taylor, every man that knows his catechism can; but unless some six or seven individuals had said it by the Holy Ghost some seventeen or eighteen hundred years ago, no man could say so.
Ib. s. xxxii. p. 334.
And yet, because the Holy Ghost renewed their memory, improved their understanding, supplied to some their want of human learning, and so assisted them that they should not commit an error in fact or opinion, neither in the narrative nor dogmatical parts, therefore they wrote by the spirit.
And where is the proof?—and to what purpose, unless a distinct and plain diagnostic were given of the divinities and the humanities which Taylor himself expressly admits in the text of the Scriptures?
And even then what would it avail unless the interpreters and translators, not to speak of the copyists in the first and second centuries, were likewise assisted by inspiration?
As to the larger part of the Prophetic books, and the whole of the Apocalypse, we must receive them as inspired truths, or reject them as simple inventions or enthusiastic delusions.
But in what other book of Scripture does the writer assign his own work to a miraculous dictation or infusion? Surely the contrary is implied in St. Luke's preface. Does the hypothesis rest on one possible construction of a single passage in St. Paul, 2 'Tim'. iii. 16.?
And that construction resting materially on a [Greek: kai (theopneustos, kai _ophelimos)] not found in the oldest MSS., when the context would rather lead us to understand the words as parallel with the other assertion of the Apostle, that all good works are given from God,—that is, 'Every divinely inspired writing is profitable, &c'.
Finally, will not the certainty of the competence and single mindedness of the writers suffice; this too confirmed by the high probability, bordering on certainty, that God's especial grace worked in them; and that an especial providence watched over the preservation of writings, which, we know, both are and have been of such pre-eminent importance to Christianity, and yet by natural means?
But alas! any thing will be pretended, rather than admit the necessity of internal evidence, or than acknowledge, among the external proofs, the convictions and spiritual experiences of believers, though they should be common to all the faithful in all ages of the Church!
But in all superstition there is a heart of unbelief, and, 'vice versa', where an individual's belief is but a superficial acquiescence, credulity is the natural result and accompaniment, if only he be not required to sink into the depths of his being, where the sensual man can no longer draw breath. It is not the profession of Socinian tenets, but the spirit of Socinianism in the Church itself that alarms me. This, this, is the dry rot in the beams and timbers of the Temple!
Ib. s. li. p. 348.
So that let the devotion be ever so great, set forms of prayer will be expressive enough of any desire, though importunate as extremity itself.
This, and much of the same import in this treatise, is far more than Taylor, mature in experience and softened by afflictions, would have written. Besides, it is in effect, though not in logic, a deserting of his own strong and unshaken ground of the means and ends of public worship.
Ib. s. s. lxix. lxx. pp. 359-60.
These two sections are too much in the vague mythical style of the Italian and Jesuit divines, and the argument gives to these a greater advantage against our Church than it gains over the Sectarians in its support.
We well know who and how many the compilers of our Liturgy were under Edward VI, and know too well what the weather-cock Parliaments were, both then and under Elizabeth, by which the compilation was made law. The argument therefore should be inverted;—not that the Church (A. B., C. D., F. L., &c.) compiled it; 'ergo', it is unobjectionable; but (and truly we may say it) it is so unobjectionable, so far transcending all we were entitled to expect from a few men in that state of information and such difficulties, that we are justified in concluding that the compilers were under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
But the same order holds good even with regard to the Scriptures. We cannot rightly affirm they were inspired, and therefore they must be believed; but they are worthy of belief, because excellent in so universal a sense to ends commensurate with the whole moral, and therefore the whole actual, world, that as sure as there is a moral Governor of the world, they must have been in some sense or other, and that too an efficient sense, inspired.
Those who deny this, must be prepared to assert, that if they had what appeared to them good historic evidence of a miracle, in the world of the senses, they would receive the hideous immoral doctrines of Mahomet or Brahma, and thus disobey the express commands both of the Old and New Testament. Though an angel should come from heaven and work all miracles, yet preach another doctrine, we are to hold him accursed. 'Gal.' i. 8.
Ib. s. lxxv. p. 356.
When Christ was upon the Mount, he gave it for a pattern, &c.
I cannot thoroughly agree with Taylor in all he says on this point. The Lord's Prayer is an encyclopedia of prayer, and of all moral and religious philosophy under the form of prayer. Besides this, that nothing shall be wanting to its perfection, it is itself singly the best and most divine of prayers. But had this been the main and primary purpose, it must have been thenceforward the only prayer permitted to Christians; and surely some distinct references to it would have been found in the Apostolic writings.
Ib. s. lxxx. p. 358.
Now then I demand, whether the prayer of Manasses be so good a prayer as the Lord's prayer? Or is the prayer of Judith, or of Tobias, or of Judas Maccabeus, or of the son of Sirach, is any of these so good? Certainly no man will say they are; and the reason is, because we are not sure they are inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.
How inconsistent Taylor often is, the result of the system of economizing truth! The true reason is the inverse. The prayers of Judith and the rest are not worthy to be compared with the Lord's Prayer; therefore neither is the spirit in which they were conceived worthy to be compared with the spirit from which the Lord's Prayer proceeded: and therefore with all fulness of satisfaction we receive the latter, as indeed and in fact our Lord's dictation.
In all men and in all works of great genius the characteristic fault will be found in the characteristic excellence. Thus in Taylor, fulness, overflow, superfluity.
His arguments are a procession of all the nobles and magnates of the land in their grandest, richest, and most splendid 'paraphernalia': but the total impression is weakened by the multitudes of lacqueys and ragged intruders running in and out between the ranks.
As far as the Westminster divines were the antagonists to be answered—and with the exception of these, and those who like Baxter, Calamy, and Bishop Reynolds, contended for a reformation or correction only of the Church Liturgy, there were none worth answering,—the question was, not whether the use of one and the same set of prayers on all days in all churches was innocent, but whether the exclusive imposition of the same was comparatively expedient and conducive to edification?
Let us not too severely arraign the judgment or the intentions of the good men who determined for the negative. If indeed we confined ourselves to the comparison between our Liturgy, and any and all of the proposed substitutes for it, we could not hesitate: but those good men, in addition to their prejudices, had to compare the lives, the conversation, and the religious affections and principles of the prelatic and anti-prelatic parties in general.
And do not we ourselves now do the like? Are we not, and with abundant reason, thankful that Jacobinism is rendered comparatively feeble and its deadly venom neutralized, by the profligacy and open irreligion of the majority of its adherents?
Add the recent cruelties of the Star Chamber under Laud;—(I do not say the intolerance; for that which was common to both parties, must be construed as an error in both, rather than a crime in either);—and do not forget the one great inconvenience to which the prelatic divines were exposed from the very position which it was the peculiar honor of the Church of England to have taken and maintained, namely, the golden mean;—(for in consequence of this their arguments as Churchmen would often have the appearance of contrasting with their grounds of controversy as Protestants,)—and we shall find enough to sanction our charity as brethren, without detracting a tittle from our loyalty as members of the established Church.
As to this Apology, the victory doubtless remains with Taylor on the whole; but to have rendered it full and triumphant, it would have been necessary to do what perhaps could not at that time, and by Jeremy Taylor, have been done with prudence; namely, not only to disprove in part, but likewise in part to explain, the alleged difference of the spiritual fruits in the ministerial labors of the high and low party in the Church,—(for remember that at this period both parties were in the Church, even as the Evangelical, Reformed and Pontifical parties before the establishment of a schism by the actually schismatical Council of Trent,)—and thus to demonstrate that the differences to the disadvantage of the established Church, as far as they were real, were as little attributable to the Liturgy, as the wound in the heel of Achilles to the shield and breast-plate which his immortal mother had provided for him from the forge divine.
Ib. s. lxxxvi. p. 361.
That the Apostles did use the prayer their Lord taught them, I think needs not much be questioned.
'Ad contra', see above. But that they did not till the siege of Jerusalem deviate unnecessarily from the established usage of the Synagogue is beyond rational doubt. We may therefore safely maintain that a set form was sanctioned by Apostolic practice; though the form was probably settled after the converts from Paganism began to be the majority of Christians.
Ib. s. lxxxvii. p. 361.
Now that they tied themselves to recitation of the very words of Christ's prayer 'pro loco et tempore', I am therefore easy to believe, because I find they were strict to a scruple in retaining the sacramental words which Christ spake when he instituted the blessed Sacrament.
Not a case in point. Besides it assumes the controverted sense of [Greek: ohut_os] as "in these words" 'versus' "to this purport." Grotius and Lightfoot, however, have settled this dispute by proving that the Lord's prayer is a selection of prayers from the Jewish ritual: and a most happy and valuable inference against novelties obtruded for novelty's sake does Grotius draw from this fact.
When I consider the manner in which the Jews usually quoted or referred to particular passages of Scripture, it does not seem altogether improbable that the several articles of the 'Oratio Dominica' might have been the initial sentences of several prayers; but I have not the least doubt that by the loud utterance of the 'My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?' our blessed Redeemer referred to and recalled to John and Mary that most wonderful and prophetic twenty-second Psalm.
And what a glorious light does not this throw on the whole scene of the crucifixion, and in what additional loveliness does it not present the god-like character of the crucified Son of Man!
With the very facts before them, of which the former and larger portion of the Psalm referred to resembles a detailed history rather than a prophecy,—with what force, and with what lively consolation and infusion of stedfast hope and faith, when all human grounds of hope had sunk from under them, must not the obvious and inevitable inference have flashed on the convictions of the holy mother and the beloved disciple!
"If all we now behold was pre-ordained and so distinctly predicted; if the one mournful half of the prophecy has been so entirely and minutely fulfilled, after so great a lapse of ages, dare we, can we, doubt for a moment that the glorious remainder will with equal fidelity be accomplished?"
Thus to his very last moments did our Lord (setting as it beseemed the sun of righteousness to set) manifest with a wider and wider face of glory his self-oblivious love. In the act he was offering, he himself was a sacrifice of love for the whole creation; and yet the cup overflowed into particular streams; first, for his enemies, his persecutors, and murderers; then for his friends and humanly nearest relative; 'Woman, behold thy son!' O what a transfer!
Nor does the proposed interpretation preclude any inward and mysterious sense of the words 'My God! my God!'—though I confess I have never yet met with a single plausible resolution of the words into any one of the mysteries of the Trinity, or the Incarnation, or the Passion. Nay, were there any necessity for supposing such an allusion, which there is not, the obvious interpretation would, I fear, too dangerously favor the heresy of those who divided and severed the divinity from the humanity; so that not the incarnate God, very God of very God, would have atoned for us on the cross, but the incarnating man; a heresy which either denies or reduces to an absurdity the whole doctrine of redemption, that is, Christianity itself, which rests on the two articles of faith; first, the necessity, and secondly, the reality of a Redeemer—both articles alike incompatible with redemption by a mere man.
Ib. s. lxxxviii. p. 362.
And I the rather make the inference from the preceding argument because of the cognation one hath with the other; for the Apostles did also in the consecration of the Eucharist use the Lord's Prayer; and that together with the words of institution was the only form of consecration, saith St. Gregory; and St. Jerome affirms, that the Apostles, by the command of their Lord, used this prayer in the benediction of the elements.
This section is an instance of impolitic management of a cause, into which Jeremy Taylor was so often seduced by the fertility of his intellect and the opulence of his erudition. An antagonist by exposing the improbability of the tradition, (and most improbable it surely is), and the little credit due to Saint Gregory and Saint Jerome (not forgetting a Miltonic sneer at their saintship), might draw off the attention from the unanswerable parts of Taylor's reasoning and leave an impression of his having been confuted.
Ib. s. lxxxix. p. 362.
But besides this, when the Apostles had received great measures of the spirit, and by their gift of prayer composed more forms for the help and comfort of the Church, &c.
Who would not suppose, that the first two lines were an admitted point of history, instead of a bare conjecture in the form of a bold assertion? O, dearest man! so excellent a cause did not need such Bellarminisms.
Ib. p. 363.
And the Fathers of the Council of Antioch complain against Paulus Samosatenus, 'quod Psalmos et cantus, qui ad Domini nostri Jesu Christi honorem decantari solent, tanquam recentiores, et a viris recentioris memorioe editos, exploserit.'
This Sam-in-satin-hose, or Paul, the same-as-Satan-is, might, I think, have found his confutation in Pliny's Letter to Trajan. 'Carmen Christo, quasi Deo, dicere secum invicem.'
Ib. s. xc. p. 364.
Which together with the [Greek: ta apomnaemoneumata t_on prophaeton], the 'lectionarium' of the Church, the books of the Apostles and Prophets spoken of by Justin Martyr, and said to be used in the Christian congregations, are the constituent parts of liturgy.
An ingenious but not tenable solution of Justin Martyr's [Greek: apomnaemoneumata ton apostolon] which were presumably a Gospel not the same, and yet so nearly the same, as our Matthew, that its history and character involve one of the hardest problems of Christian antiquity. By the by, one cause of the small impression—(small in proportion to their vast superiority in knowledge and genius)—which Jeremy Taylor and his compeers made on the religious part of the community by their controversial writings during the life of Charles I is to be found in their undue predilection for Patristic learning and authority. This originated in the wish to baffle the Papists at their own weapons; but it could not escape notice, that the latter, though regularly beaten, were yet not so beaten, but that they always kept the field: and when the same mode of warfare was employed against the Puritans, it was suspected as Papistical.
Ib. s. xci. pp. 364-5.
For the offices of prose we find but small mention of them in the very first time, save only in general terms, and that such there were, and that St. James, St. Mark, St. Peter, and others of the Apostles and Apostolical men, made Liturgies; and if these which we have at this day were not theirs, yet they make probation that these Apostles left others, or else they were impudent people that prefixed their names so early, and the Churches were very incurious to swallow such a bole, if no pretension could have been reasonably made for their justification.
A rash and dangerous argument. 1810.
A many-edged weapon, which might too readily be turned against the common faith by the common enemy. For if these Liturgies were rightly attributed to St. James, St. Mark, St. Peter, and others of the Apostles and Apostolical men, how could they have been superseded? How could the Church have excluded them from the Canon?
But if falsely, and yet for a time and at so early an age generally believed to have been composed by St. James and the rest, it is to be feared that the difference will not stop at the point to which Paul of Samosata carried it;—a fearful consideration for a Christian of the Grotian and Paleyan school. It would not, however, shake my nerves, I confess.
The Epistles of St. Paul, and the Gospel, Epistles, and Apocalypse of St. John, contain an evidence of their authenticity, which no uncertainty of ecclesiastic history, no proof of the frequency and success of forgery or ornamental titles (as the Wisdom of Solomon) mistaken for matter of fact, can wrest from me; and with these for my guides and sanctions, what one article of Christian faith could be taken from me, or even unsettled?
It seems to me, as it did to Luther, incomparably more probable that the eloquent treatise, entitled an Epistle to the Hebrews, was written by Apollos than by Paul; and what though it was written by neither? It is demonstrable that it was composed before the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple; and scarcely less satisfactory is the internal evidence that it was composed by an Alexandrian.
These two 'data' are sufficient to establish the fact, that the Pauline doctrine at large was common to all Christians at that early period, and therefore the faith delivered by Christ. And this is all I want; nor this for my own assurance, but as arming me with irrefragable arguments against those psilanthropists who as falsely, as arrogantly, call themselves Unitarians, on the one hand; and against the infidel fiction, that Christianity owes its present shape to the genius and rabbinical 'cabala' of Paul on the other: while at the same time it weakens the more important half of the objection to, or doubt concerning, the authenticity of St. Peter's Epistles.
To this too I attach a high controversial value (for the beauty and excellence of the Epistles themselves are not affected by the question); and I receive them as authentic, for they have all the circumstantial evidence that I have any right to expect.
But I feel how much more genial my conviction would become, should I discover, or have pointed out to me, any positive internal evidence equivalent to that which determines the date of the Epistle to the Hebrews, or even to that which leaves no doubt on my mind that the writer was an Alexandrian Jew.
This, my dear Lamb, is one of the advantages which the previous evidence supplied by the reason and the conscience secures for us. We learn what in its nature 'passes all understanding', and what belongs to the understanding, and on which, therefore, the understanding may and ought to act freely and fearlessly: while those who will admit nothing above the understanding ([Greek: phronaema sarkos]), which in its nature has no legitimate object but history and outward 'phoenomena', stand in slavish dread like a child at its house of cards, lest a single card removed may endanger the whole foundationless edifice. 1819.