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We should be glad to quote his description of the death, bed of the saint and sinner, and many other specimens of his amazing conceptions and power of expression, but are prevented by want of room.
The writings of Taylor would be read with advantage by those who in the early period of their attempts at composition are troubled, as we all have been, in the construction and arrangement of sentences. There is a flowing ease in Taylor's manner, the effect of which remains upon the mind of the reader, as the sound of gentle winds when they have passed, or the strain of music that has died away; leave the soul disposed to harmony in its thoughts and actions. The manner in which he introduces incidents into his discourse, though the facts themselves are not always valuable, deserves to be studied as a model of that art whose perfection is to conceal the appearance of art. The entire conviction which he seemed to have of the vanity of the world, his constant effort to impress this conviction upon men, the counsels of heavenly wisdom drawn from inward experience, as well as the striking divertisements of his discourse, and many other reasons which might be designated, make us think of Jeremy Taylor as the Ecclesiastes of the English Pulpit.
The following lines by Taylor are found with other poetical effusions from his own pen, in “ Festival Hymns,” at the close of his “ Golden Grove."
A MEDITATION ON DEATH.
But those black days are done;
In the profound and wide
Wound of thy Saviour's side,
A thing we dare not fear,
Since we hear
Hath snatch'd the keys of hell out of thy hand,
And made thee stand
May when we die
And thither flie,
Let us into the courts of Heaven through thee. Bishop Heber makes up an illustrious triumvirate with the names of Barrow, and Hooker, and Jeremy Taylor, and
(quoting another author) says that “ Hooker is the object of our reverence, Barrow of our admiration, and Jeremy Taylor of our love." In comparing Taylor with the two other writers, we are reminded of a passage in his writings, suggested to us by a friend, in which he expresses some such thought as this, that prayer should not wind up and down like a river, nor break its course into a thousand inlets. Now this is an exact characteristic of his own mind. Barrow and Hooker, are like streams, deep, full, sounding streams, rolling right onward to the sea. Taylor is a sunny river, that loves the meadows, and stretches forth its arms into the fields, and laughs while the little streams play into its bosom, and wanders where it will, while its hundred brothers fear the voice of the great deep, and plunge into their home. The writings of Barrow and Hooker are like the measured and more stately strains of an organ, governed by an apparent skill. Taylor heeds not the rules or the proportion of music, but, like a great Æolian harp, when you think that its strains are about to cease, the restless melodies of his soul break out in another strain and still another, till you are absolutely wearied with delight.
Will not the glory of the millennium consist in part in the increased number of such minds ? As surely as the Lord God is a sun, those new heavens will sparkle with ten thousand beautiful planets, reflecting the glory of the only wise God. The mind of man will in those days come to its perfection. Early sanctification will prevent the present dreadful perversion and waste of its powers, and holiness will ennoble its conceptions. O scenes surpassing fable, when Miltons and Taylors will shed their light upon the world, or rather when it will be seen that even such minds were only faint types under an old dispensation of the perfect intellectual glories of Messiah's reign. For is not the light of the moon to be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun seven fold? The only consolation when we think that we shall not see those times on earth, is in a hope of the society of the angels of God, and of the spirits of just men made perfect. But if all which has been said is true, if redemption extends to man's entire nature, if the cultivation of the mind must accompany the cultivation of the heart, in order to answer the designs of Him who gave us being, how great the responsibility resting upon every Christian to know to its full extent what is the hope of his calling! Here is a prayer of Taylor, full of the holy ambition of a soul “ following after, that he might apprehend that for which also he was apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
"When thou thy jewels dost bind up that day
Remember us we pray;
And our soul,
In the scroll,
THE MISSIONARY THOMASON.
The Life of the Rev. T. T. Thomason, M. A., late Chap
lain to the Hon. East India Company, by the Rev. John Sargent, M. A., Rector of Lavington, and Author of the Life of Henry Martyn. New York : D. Appleton and Co. 1833.
This eminent servant of Jesus Christ was born at Plymouth, England, June 7th, 1774. Within a year after his birth, his mother became a widow. Her husband, for the purpose of augmenting a scanty income, left England for the West Indies, and, not long after his arrival there, was carried off by a fever. Mrs. Thomason placed her son, at the age of five years, under the care of Mr. Bakewell of Greenwich. For some time, nothing appeared in the boy beyond sweetness of temper, quickness of apprehension, docility and diligence. His ninth year constituted a distinct era in his life. “He felt himself to be a sinner far from God and happiness, and he felt that his whole dependence must be on the mercy of God through Christ.” His joy was so great that
he was enabled to bear contempt without murmuring. This favorable change in his character was very much owing to the faithful instructions of his tutor. At the age of twelve, he obtained a silver medal for the best Latin composition. At the age of thirteen, he engaged in the work of instruction at Deptford. He soon after sailed with Dr. Coke to the West Indies, at the time that that indefatigable man was laying the foundation of the Wesleyan missions. He accompanied the doctor in the capacity of French interpreter. Soon after his return from the West Indies, he became known to an excellent lady by the name of Thornton, who proved to him a mother indeed. By her advice, application was made, in his behalf, to the directors of the Elland Society, Yorkshire, an institution formed for the purpose of aiding indigent young men for the ministry of the church of England. He was examined by the Rev. Henry Foster, and the Rev. Richard Cecil. He was accepted, and in the spring of 1791, was placed under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Clark of Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire. This venerable clergyman, now seventy years of age, had been, for nearly half a century, the learned and indefatigable tutor of some of the most distinguished men, both laymen and clergymen, of the times in which he lived. He was one of the most efficient agents in the revival of religion, which occurred in the church of England, in the middle and towards the conclusion of the last century.
In a fellow-student, the Rev. Charles Jerram, Mr. Thomason found as much reason to congratulate himself, as in his tutor. The first beams of the morning sun shone on their united labors, before which they bent their knees in prayer, and lifted up their voice in praise. The only assignable ground of difference, was that the one enjoyed highly what the other did not—the song of the nightingale. The ardor of these students was so great, that the expectation of a new companion, whose habits of application were doubtful, produced in their bosoms no little discomposure. “We fear that will not apply, nor get up early, nor maintain love, three grand articles with us." In their studies, they adhered to the spirit of the following passage : “ Hebræi bibunt fontes, Græci rivos, Latini paludes." In 1792, it was resolved by the directors of the Elland Society to send Mr. Jerram to Oxford, and Mr. Thomason to Magdalen college, Cambridge. Their grief in parting with Mr. Clark, was poignant. Mr. Thomason says, “ Our last walk together was very affecting; he gave me his parting blessing; he told me he had no doubt we should again meet with everlasting joy upon our heads. .Watch strictly,' said he, over your heart, be much in prayer, cleave closely to God. Pray for spiritual discernment, that you may have a clear perception of the path you should walk in.''
At Magdalen, Mr. Thomason found a number of young men of sterling piety, and of undoubted talents. Mr. Jerram soon came from Oxford, and joined the happy company. Mr. Thomason, Mr. Jerram, and Mr. Cocker, a kindred spirit, had suits of rooms on the same stair-case. “It was Mr. Thomason's custom,” says Mr. Jerram, “to rise about five in the morning, and as our rooms were nearly contiguous, we alternately lit our respective fires, and applied ourselves to reading in the same room. Our terms of intimacy were so familiar, we were constantly in the habit of using each other's rooms, books, or whatever either of us had, without the least ceremony.” They had Mr. Farish as instructor in mathematics, Mr. Jowett in languages, and Mr. Simeon in theology. • Mr. Simeon watches over us,” says Mr. Thomason, " as a shepherd over his sheep. He takes delight in instructing us, and has us continually at his rooms.”
Mr. Thomason devoted himself with great ardor to his mathematical and classical studies, maintaining, at the same time, a high state of spiritual affections. On gaining the Norrisian prize, a gold medal with some books, he writes to his mother, “ Against all expectations I have succeeded, and I rejoice. I know what pleasure it will give you, and it is my delight to add to your comforts. It will be a testimony to Mrs. Thornton and to the society who have sent me here, that I have not misspent my time.”
In his last term, Mr. Thomason was offered by the Hon. Charles Grant, the mission church at Calcutta. Owing to some domestic afflictions, Mr. Thomason declined the appointment, which was then offered to Mr. Buchanan of Queen's college, and by him accepted. Upon this decision, Mr. Jerram makes the following very discriminating remarks :
“Here we cannot but notice the wisdom and goodness of Divine Providence in so overruling events as to bring about the best final results.-Had Mr. Thomason accepted the chaplaincy, he would have been a very faithful and efficient minister of the gospel, and have done much good. But I question whether at