« ForrigeFortsett »
THE CHURCH MILITANT.
The Church's progress is a masterpiece,
Well may ingratitude make us all mourn;
death religion's obsequy.
LINES INTENDED TO BE PLACED UNDER
Behold an orator, divinely sage,
THE PRINTERS TO THE READER.*
HE dedication of this work having been made
by the author to the Divine Majesty only, how should we now presume to interest any mortal man in the patronage of it? Much less think we it meet to seek the recommendation of the Muses, for that which himself was confident to have been inspired by a diviner breath than flows from Helicon. The world therefore, shall receive it in that naked simplicity with which he left it, without any addition either of support or ornament, more than is included in itself. We leave it free and unforestalled to every man's judgment, and to the benefit that he shall find by perusal. Only for the clearing of some passages, we have thought it not unfit to make the common Reader privy to some few particularities of the condition and disposition
of the person.
Being nobly born, and as eminently endued with gifts of the mind, and having by industry and happy education perfected them to that great height of excellency, whereof his fellowship of Trinity College in Cambridge, and his Oratorship in the University, together with that knowledge which the King's Court had taken of him, could make relation far above ordinary. Quitting both his deserts and all the opportunities that he had
* Published with first edition, Cambridge, 1633.
for worldly preferment, he betook himself to the Sanctuary and Temple of God, choosing rather to serve at God's Altar, than to seek the honour of State employments. As for those inward enforcements to this course (for outward there was none,) which
many of these ensuing verses bear witness of, they detract not from the freedom, but add to the honour of this resolution in him. As God had enabled him, so he accounted him meet not only to be called, but to be compelled to this service : Wherein his faithful discharge was such, as may make him justly a companion to the primitive Saints, and a pattern or more for the age he lived in.
To testify his independency upon all others, and to quicken his diligence in this kind, he used in his ordinary speech, when he made mention of the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to add, My Master.
Next God, he loved that which God himself hath magnified above all things, that is, his Word : so as he hath been heard to make solemn protestation, that he would not part with one leaf thereof for the whole world, if it were offered him in exchange.
His obedience and conformity to the Church and the discipline thereof was singularly remarkable : Though he abounded in private devotions, yet went he every morning and evening with his family to the Church; and by his example, exhortations, and encouragements drew the greater part of his parishioners to accompany him daily in the public celebration of Divine Service.