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friendship of King James. He was inducted to the living of Bemerton, near Salisbury, April 1630, and died in the spring of 1633. Agreeably to his own request, he was buried with the singing service for the dead, by the singing-men of Sarum, and his funeral took place on "the 3d of March 1632," o.s.* His brother was Lord Herbert of Cherbury, well known as one of the earliest and ablest of the deistical writers of England. In the preface to his own "Poetical Fragments," Richard Baxter says, "I know that Cowley and others far exceed Herbert in wit, and accurate composure. But (as Seneca takes with me above all his contemporaries, because he speaketh things by words, feelingly and seriously, like a man that is past jest, so) Herbert speaks to God like one that really believeth a God, and whose business in this world is most with God. Heart-work and heaven-work make up his books." Had Herbert been less like Cowley, it would have fared better with his fame during these last generations; but within the last twenty years there has been a remarkable revival of his old renown. For this he is mainly indebted to that devotional feeling, at once cheerful and serious, which runs through all his compositions, and to those fine scintillations of fancy which brighten every page; and readers who are magnanimous enough to forgive in an old author the faults of his own period, will be richly rewarded in "holy Herbert's" gentle wisdom, and in the multitude of his quaint and happy memorabilia.+
Restore to God His due in tithe and time;
A tithe purloin'd, cankers the whole estate.
* Willmott's Lives of Sacred Poets, p. 276.
Herbert's Works are now rendered of easy attainment, by the careful and almost immaculate reprints of the late Mr Pickering. Of "The Temple" there is a sumptuous edition, exquisitely illustrated by Birket Foster.
Sundays observe: think when the bells do chime,
God then deals blessings; if a king did so,
Twice on the day His due is understood,
Though private prayer be a brave design,
Where it is warmest. Leave thy six and seven;
When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.
And make thyself all reverence and fear.
Kneeling ne'er spoil'd silk stocking: quit thy state:
Resort to sermons, but to prayers most:
Praying 's the end of preaching. O be drest;
Stay not for the other pin.
A joy for it worth worlds.
Why, thou hast lost
Thus hell doth jest
Away thy blessings, and extremely flout thee,
Thy clothes being fast, but thy soul loose about thee.
In time of service seal up both thine eyes,
And send them to thy heart; that, spying sin,
Let vain or busy thoughts have there no part;
Judge not the preacher, for he is thy judge:
He that gets patience, and the blessing which
Jest not at preachers' language or expression:
And love him for his Master: his condition,
None shall in hell such bitter pangs endure,
The Holy Scriptures.
O book! infinite sweetness! let my heart
To clear the breast, to mollify all pain.
Thou art all health, health thriving till it make
Of strange delights, where we may wish and take.
That mends the looker's eyes: this is the well
That washes what it shews. Who can endear
Thy praise too much? thou art heaven's lieger* here, Working against the states of death and hell.
Thou art joy's handsel: heaven lies flat in thee,
Oh that I knew how all thy lights combine,
This verse marks that, and both do make a motion
Such are thy secrets, which my life makes good,
Stars are poor books, and oftentimes do miss :
Sweetest of sweets, I thank you; when displeasure
You took me thence, and in your house of pleasure
Now I in you without a body move,
* Resident ambassador.
We both together sweetly live and love,
Yet say sometimes, "God help poor kings!""
Comfort, I'll die; for if you post from me,
Sure I shall do so, and much more:
But if I travel in your company,
You know the way to heaven's door.
Who is the honest man?
He that doth still, and strongly, good pursue,
Whose honesty is not
So loose or easy, that ruffling wind
Can blow away, or glitt'ring look it blind:
While the world now rides by, now lags behind:
Who, when great trials come,
Nor seeks, nor shuns them; but doth calmly stay,
All being brought into a sum,
Whom none can work, or woo,
To use in anything a trick or sleight;
His words and works, and fashion too,
Who never melts or thaws
At close temptations: when the day is done,
And is their virtue-Virtue is his sun: