« PreviousContinue »
Strasburg, where he remained a year. While on a visit to Peter Martyr at Zurich intelligence was received of the death of Mary, and Sandys returned to England. He was immediately selected for preferment, and appointed Bishop of Worcester, to which see he was consecrated in 1559, and translated to London in 1570, whence he was transferred to the Archbishopric of York in 1576. He died in 1588. Sandys was a member of the commission for reviewing the Book of Common Prayer, and one of those employed upon the Bishops' Bible, the books allotted to him being those of Kings and Chronicles. Haweis, in his “ Sketches of the Reformation," describes this Prelate as an able and elegant preacher. “Many editions,” he remarks, “Of the archbishop's sermons have been printed, nor is it surprising that their qualities should have procured for them an enduring popularity. They are written with considerable power, are well digested, and not unfrequently have a modern air which in an old book sustains attention.” Selections are given at pages 18, (The Rich and Precious Jewel,) 53, (Prayer,) 98, (The Lord's Supper,) 225, (Walking with God,) 252, (Faith,) 271, (Charity,) and 278, (Mercy.)
This eminent preacher was born in Leicestershire in 1550, and studied at Oxford. Wood (Athena Oxonienses) thinks he took the degree of M.A., as a member of Hart Hall, in 1583, and adds that “ He was then esteemed the miracle and wonder of his age, for his prodigious memory, and for his fluent, eloquent, and practical way of preaching." Having scruples as to subscription and ceremonies, he did not undertake any pastoral charge, but accepted the office of lecturer of the church of St. Clement Danes, London.
He was protected from the dangers to which his uncompromising opinions exposed him by Cecil, Lord Burleigh, to whom he inscribed his sermons. He was one of the most popular preachers of his day, and was often called the “Silver-tongued.” His discourses contain many forcible appeals to the conscience, and his power over the minds of his hearers was very great. He died in 1600. Selections from his writings will be found at pages 113, (The Lord's Supper,) 206, (The Art of Hearing,) and 212, (The Heavenly Thrift.)
John Smith was a native of Achurch, near Oundle, in Northamptonshire, where his father possessed a small farm. He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1636, and after taking the usual degrees was appointed in 1644 a fellow of Queen's, the statutes of his own college not allowing more than one fellow from any one county at the same time. Here he became an eminent tutor, and discharged the duties of his office with faithfulness and zeal till his death in 1652, at the early age of thirty-four. Lord Hailes, in a brief memoir of him, thus speaks : “As a preacher he was careful of adapting his discourses to the capacity of his audience: he was zealous for the salvation of souls; to this great end he purposed to have dedicated his future labours, but God was pleased to call him early to the reward of obedience. He was constant in meditation, and serious in prayer; his faith in the great truths of religion was sincere, and productive of good works; in a word he was a plain-hearted, intelligent, and practical Christian.” Passages from his discourses are given at pages 305, (Evangelical Righteousness,) 308, (The Vanity of a Pharisaical Righteousness,) and 310, (The Excellency and Nobleness of True Religion.)
ROBERT SOUTH, D.D.
South was born in London in 1633, and educated at Westminster School, whence he was elected student of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1651. He continued at the University till the Restoration, in which year he was chosen Public Orator, and subsequently appointed Prebendary of Westminster, Canon of Christ Church, and Rector of Islip, Oxfordshire. He was also admitted to the degree of D.D., and made a royal chaplain. South lived to the age of eighty-three, his death occurring in 1716. His fame rests on his sermons, which have frequently been published. He was a man of great abilities and attainments, and possessed of much ready wit, which is considered to have been his bane, for on the most solemn occasions he could not repress it, and thus a sense of incongruity is often painfully apparent A specimen of his style will be found at page 199, (Public Worship.)
BISHOP JEREMY TAYLOR.
Jeremy Taylor, whose works will endure to the end of time, was born at Cambridge in 1613, and entered a sizar of Caius College, in the University there, at the age of thirteen. He was ordained before attaining his twenty-first year, and having attracted the attention of Archbishop Laud, was preferred by that prelate to a fellowship at All Souls' College, Oxford, and afterwards appointed chaplain in ordinary to the King, and rector of Uppingham. When Charles retired to Oxford, Taylor, in his capacity of chaplain, attended the Sovereign, and, after the overthrow of the royal cause, settled in Wales, where he supported his family, in part, by keeping a school. He also found a generous patron in the Earl of Carbery, who resided at Golden Grove, in Carmarthenshire, and while in this hospitable asylum wrote his immortal works, the “Rule and Exercises of Holy Living and Dying," and also the “Great Exemplar.” During his residence at Golden Grove, a collection of prayers was also published by Taylor, and an attack therein upon the Puritan ministers led to his imprisonment for a short time. This was in 1654, and two years afterwards he was confined in Chepstow Castle, on suspicion of complicity with the royalist insurrection at Salisbury. He was also committed to the Tower because a print of the Saviour in the attitude of prayer had been affixed to one of his works, “The Collection of Offices.” At the celebrated John Evelyn's request Taylor removed to London, and afterwards, on the solicitation of Lord Conway, settled at Portmore, in the Irish country of Antrim. At the Restoration he returned to London, and dedicated to the King the largest and most elaborate of his works, the “Ductor Dubitantium; or the Rule of Conscience in all her general measures, serving as a great instrument for the determination of cases of conscience;" and was appointed Bishop of Down and Connor, to which was added the Vice-Chancellorship of the University of Dublin. In the active discharge of the duties of his sacred calling the Bishop continued till 1667, when he died at Lisburn, in the fiftyfifth year of his age and the seventh of his episcopate. "He passed," says his admiring biographer, Mr. Willmott, “ Through the gate into the garden, when the eye of fancy had not grown dim, nor the arm of intellect become feeble. Having borne the heat and burden of the day, he received his wages before the sun was set and the dews of night began to descend. Called home in the rich autumn of his life, he was busy in the field and the harvest; the sheaves lay piled round him when he fell asleep,
"And from his slack hand dropped the gathered rose.'"
The atmosphere of holy love which he habitually breathed is felicitously described by the author just quoted in the following terms: “From his boyhood at Cambridge to his youth in London, and the rich maturity of his manhood, he planted his feet in the steps of the King, who had beaten down the snow before him. His sojourn among men was a journey to angels; heaven was round him, not only when he entered the world, but when he left it. Always, and everywhere-as student, priest, and bishop-persecuted or triumphant-joyful or weary—he beheld lights and faces which dwell not in the common day, but shine down upon the traveller, who in the wilderness feels that he is in God's work and in God's house. So he went forward,
« By that vision splendid
On darkest way attended.'"
Extracts from the Bishop's writings are given at pages 42, (Rich and Precious Jewel,) 70, (Prayer,) 130, (The Lord's Supper,) 176, (The Sabbath,) and 256, (Faith.)
The name of this heroic martyr is indissolubly connected with the translation of the Scriptures, and the publication of the New Testament in the English tongue. He was born in 1500, and educated at Oxford, chiefly in Magdalen Hall, where he embraced Lutheran doctrines and taught them privately. On account of his high reputation he was appointed a canon of Wolsey's new college, now Christ