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IN a late retreat from the business of this world, and those many little cares with which I have too often cumbered my self, I fell into a contemp tion of some of those historical passages that are recorded in sacred story, and more particularly of what had past betwixt our blessed Saviour, and that wonder of women, and sinners, and mourners, Saint Mary Magdalen. I call her Saint, because I did not then, nor do now consider her, as when she was possest with seven devils; not as when her wanton eyes, and dishevelled hair, were designed and managed to charm and insnare amourous beholders: But, I did then, and do now consider her, as after she had expressed a visible and sacred sorrow for her sensualities; as after those eyes had wept such a flood of penitential tears as did wash, and that hair had wip't, and she most passionately kist the feet of hers, and our blessed Jesus. And I do now consider, that because she loved much, not only much was forgiven her; but that, beside that blessed blessing of having her sins pardoned, and the joy of knowing her happy condition, she
also had from him a testimony, that her alabaster box of precious ointment poured on his head and feet, and that spikenard, and those spices that were by her dedicated to embalm and preserve his sacred body from putrefaction, should so far preserve her own memory, that these demonstrations of her sanctified love, and of her officious and generous gratitude, should be recorded and mentioned wheresoever his gospel should be read ; intending thereby, that as his, so her name should also live to succeeding generations, even till time itself shall be no more".
Upon occasion of which fair example, I did lately look back, and not without some content (at least to myself) that I have endeavoured to deserve the love, and preserve the memory of my two deceased friends, Dr. Donne and Sir Henry Wotton, by declaring the several employments and various accidents of their lives: And though Mr. George Herbert (whose Life I now intend to write) were to me a stranger as to his person, for I have only seen him; yet since he was, and was worthy to be, their friend, and very many of his have been mine, I judge it may not be unacceptable to those that knew any of them in
If some very learned and able commentators have entertained an opinion, that Mary Magdalen was the afflicted and penitent sinner mentioned in the seventh chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, it is not surprising that Mr. Walton should fall into the
their lives, or do now know them by mine, or their own writings, to see this conjunction of them after their deaths, without which, many things that concerned them, and some things that concerned the age in which they lived, would be less perfect, and lost to posterity.
For these reasons I have undertaken it, and if I have prevented any abler person, I beg pardon of him and my
DR. JOHN DONNE-SIR HENRY WOTTON;
MR. RICHARD HOOKER;-MR. GEORGE HERBERT;
NOTES, AND THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,
BY THOMAS ZOUCH, D. D. F. L. S.
THESE WERE HONOURABLE MEN IN THEIR GENERATIONS. ECCLES. xliv. 7.
THE THIRD EDITION.
Printed by Thomas Wilson and Sons, High-Ousegate;
FOR PAYNE AND FOSS, PALL-MALL, AND J. MAWMAN, LUDOATESTREET, LONDON; AND FOR WILSON AND SONS, YORK.