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render it a manual, likely to prove useful in correcting or anticipating some of the more serious social and intellectual errors of our time.
The collection of Latin Hymns, taken chiefly from the Sarum and Roman Breviaries, sometimes adapted from both, may be used for further variety of Sunday Lessons, either for reading and translating, or for recitation. Now that people are growing so well acquainted with the Hymns of the Church through the medium of popular English hymnals, it will be of interest to see in their antient forms, many that are already familiar in a modern dress. I gladly avail myself of this opportunity to tender my thanks to J. C. Rowlatt, Esq., of Oriel College, to whom I am indebted for a transcript of the MS. notes on the Church Porch in the Bodleian Library.
THE COLLEGE, HURSTPIERPOINT,
5th Sunday after Trinity, 1867.
THE 'HE Church Porch is the introduction to GEORGE
HERBERT's poem entitled The Temple, first printed in 1633, since when it has been ever prized in the Church of England as a treasury of devotional thought. It is a work commended by the critic as that “of a true poet," valued by the humourist for its wit, and by the philosopher for its shrewd knowledge of human nature. While praised by nonconformists, like Baxter, as “next to the Scripture poems,” it is above all precious to the dutiful and affectionate sons of the Church. GEORGE HERBERT of noble family, after having been fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Public Orator in that University, held the poor vicarage of Bemerton, near Salisbury, where he died and was buried in the year 1632.
THE CHURCH PORCH,
HOU, whose sweet youth and early hopes Invitation to
the Reader. enhance Thy rate and price, and mark thee for a
treasure, Hearken unto a verser, who may
chance Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure.
A verse may find him, who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice. 1. A Greek word for an instrument for sprinkling holy water. There is no exact English for such an utensil; we might call it a sprinkling-brush. In earlier times, till superstition overlaid the original meaning of the rite—and caused its disuse at the Reformation, a stoup or bowl of holy water was placed at the entrance of Churches to remind those who used it that the worshipper should be careful to have his “conscience sprinkled from dead works in order “to serve the living God.” So this introduction, sprinkling in no very connected way
"a handful of advice,” teaches purity of moral life as a preparation for the spiritual truth to be unfolded in the subsequent poem; thus the first words of the Temple after this introduction are
“Thou, whom the former precepts have
Sprinkled, and taught how to behave
Thyself in Church, etc." 2. Rate, i.e. value. 3. Verser, the more simple form of the word used in Herbert's time, which afterwards became versificator, and is now versifier. 4. Bait of pleasure; Cicero de Senect. xiii. says “divine Plato escam malorum appellat voluptatem;" here Herbert would use pleasure to allure to good. 5. Delight-sacrifice—a paradox, because sacrifice requires pain and denial, which are opposite to delight. Youth like poetry, dislike sermons; our author offers them through the medium of verse, what is pleasant in the former, useful in the latter.
Beware of lust; it doth pollute and foul
How dare those eyes upon a Bible look,
Wholly abstain, or wed. Thy bounteous Lord
Continence hath his joy; weigh both, and so
8 If God had laid all common, certainly
6. i.e. by the Bible and by conscience. Lust will overpower everything; “ though to a radiant angel linked Will sate itself in a celestial bed And prey on garbage,” Hamlet act i, sc. v.
" When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin.” S. James i, 15. So our author here regards it as the mother of vice.
7. “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband; but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” Proverbs xii, 5.
8. This illustration of man's perversity is from the difference between common land and enclosed land. If God had allowed free indulgence of appetite, men would have laid restrictions on this liberty. Now being allowed indulgence only within bounds, we break those bounds, and forget that there is a law of trespass against those who go on private ground. Solomon advises to the same point by a like figure: “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.” Prov. v. 15.