« AnteriorContinuar »
twelfth points at the transcendent bliss of the souls glorified.
Francis Quarles, who was four years younger than Wither, and in the time of James I. was cupbearer to his daughter Elizabeth before becoming secretary to Dr. Usher in Ireland, wrote in James's reign some poems upon the Scripture stories of Jonah, Esther, and Job, with metrical versions from Jeremiah and King Solomon, as “Sion's Elegies” and “Sion's Sonnets.” But Quarles is best known for his “ Emblems," which were published in the reign of Charles I.
We may pass out of the reign of James I. with the two brothers Edward and George Herbert, sons of Richard Herbert, Esq., Deputy-Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire. Richard Herbert's grandfather, Sir Richard Herbert of Colebrook, had been steward of the Welsh Marches in Henry VIII.'s time, and brother to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Richard Herbert, the father of Edward and George, was black-haired, black-bearded, and bold. He and his wife Magdalen, daughter of Sir Richard Newport, had ten children: seven sons and three daughters. Edward, born in 1581, was the eldest son. He became afterwards a Knight of the Bath as Sir Edward Herbert, and then Lord Herbert of Cherbury. The second son, Richard, after he had been well educated, fought in the Low Countries in battles and duels, and carried scars of four-and-twenty wounds with him to his grave in Bergen-op-Zoom. William, the third son, also well educated, spent his life in the wars. Charles, the fourth son, distinguished himself at New College, Oxford, and died early. The fifth son was George Herbert, born in 1593, the poet whose name remains familiar to his countrymen. The other two brothers were Henry, who prospered greatly as a courtier, and Thomas, who distinguished himself by his skill and courage in the navy, but missed the promotion he deserved, and closed his days in discontent.
Edward, the eldest of these sons, was born in 1581, at Eyton, Shropshire, in a house that came into the family as part of his mother's heritage. He must have been more discreet as an infant than as a man, for he says in his autobiography, “ The very farthest thing I remember is, that when I understood what was said by others, I did yet forbear to speak, lest I should utter something that were imperfect or impertinent." After private teaching, he was sent, at the age of twelve, to University College, Oxford, and soon afterwards arrangement was made for his marriage to an heiress in direct descent from William, the Earl of Pembroke, who was brother to Edward's great-grandfather, Sir Richard. The young lady inherited her large estates subject to the condition that she should marry a Herbert. Young Edward was the only Herbert matching her in fortune. He was six years younger, but the match was made, and Edward Herbert married before he had finished his studies at the University.
He himself thus tells in his autobiography how he came to London at the age of nineteen, and was made a Knight of the Bath early in the reign of James I.:--
About the year of our Lord 1600, I came to London ; shortly after which the attempt of the Earl of Essex, related in our history, followed, which I had rather were seen in the writers of that argument than here. Not long after this, curiosity, rather than ambition, brought me to court; and as it was the manner of those times for all men to kneel down before the great Queen Elizabeth, who then reigned, I was likewise upon my knees in the presence-chamber, when she passed by to the chapel at Whitehall. As soon as she saw me she stopped, and swearing her usual oath, demanded, “ Who is this?” Everybody there present looked upon me, but no man knew me, until Sir James Croft, a pensioner, finding the queen stayed, returned back and told who I was, and that I had married Sir William Herbert of St. Gillian's daughter. The queen thereupon looked attentively upon me, and swearing again her ordinary oath, said, “ It is a pity he was married so young," and thereupon gave her hand to kiss twice, both times gently clapping me on the cheek. I remember little more of myself, but that from that time until King James's coming to the crown, I had a son, which died shortly afterwards, and that I attended my studies seriously, the more I learnt out of my books adding still a desire to know more.
King James being now acknowledged king, and coming towards London, I thought fit to meet his Majesty at Burley, near Stamford. Shortly after I was made Knight of the Bath, with the usual ceremonies belonging to that ancient order. I could tell how much my person was commended by the lords and ladies that came to see the solemnity then used, . but I shall flatter myself too much if I believed it.
I must not forget yet the ancient custom, being that some principal person was to put on the right spur of those the king had appointed to receive that dignity: the Earl of Shrewsbury seeing my esquire there with my spur in his hand, voluntarily came to me and said, “Cousin, I believe you will be a good knight, and therefore I will put on your spur;" whereupon, after my most humble thanks for so great a favour, I held up my leg against the wall, and he put on my spur.
There is another custom likewise, that the knights the first day wear the gown of some religious order, and the night following to be bathed; after which they take an oath never to sit in place where injustice should be done, but they shall right it to the uttermost of their power; and particularly ladies and gentlewomen that shall be wronged in their honour, if they demand assistance, and many other points, not unlike the romances of knight errantry.
The second day to wear robes of crimson taffety (in which habit I am painted in my study), and so to ride from St. James's to Whitehall, with our esquires before us; and the third day to wear a gown of purple satin, upon the left sleere whereof is fastened certain strings weaved of white silk and gold tied in a knot, and tassels to it of the same, which all the knights are obliged to wear until they have done something famous in arms, or until some lady of honour take it off, and fasten it on her sleeve, saying, “ I will answer he shall prove a good knight.”
Sir Edward Herbert, who had all the faith of his time in the chivalry of duelling, interpreted his vow as a Knight of the Bath in a way that would have satisfied his contemporary, Don Quixote, that good knight who was first introduced to the world by Cervantes in 1605, about the time when Sir Edward Herbert began his career as Knight of the Bath. About the year 1608, when he had a fourth child born, he went abroad. At Paris, soon after his
departure, he made acquaintance with the Duchess of Ventadour, and says :
Passing two or three days here, it happened one evening that a daughter of the duchess, of about ten or eleven years of age, going one evening from the castle to walk in the meadows, myself, with divers French gentlemen, attended her and some gentlewomen that were with her. This young lady wearing a knot of riband on her head, a French chevalier took it suddenly, and fastened it to his batband: the young lady, offended herewith, demands her riband, but he refusing
that I did not constrain him to give it, I will fight with him.” The French gentleman answered nothing thereunto for the present, and so conducted the young lady again to the castle. The next day I desired Mr. Aurelian Townsend to tell the French cavalier, that either he must confess that I constrained him to restore the riband, or fight with me; but the gentle. man seeing him unwilling to accept of this challenge, went out from the place, whereupon I following him, some of the gentlemen that belonged to the constable taking notice hereof, acquainted him therewith, who sending for the French cavalier, checked him well for his sauciness, in taking the riband away from his grandchild, and afterwards bid him depart his house; and this was all that I ever heard of the gentleman, with whom I proceeded in that manner, because I thought myself obliged thereunto by oath taken when I was made Knight of the Bath, as I formerly related upon this occasion.
But with the weakness of his time and of his blood, amusingly illustrated by the simple self-revelation of his autobiography, there was strength ; and his other works bear witness to the scholarly side of Edward Herbert's character. When next in Paris he lodged with Casaubon. When home again after adventures in the wars, “I passed,” he says, “ some time, partly in my studies, and partly riding the great horse, of which I had a stable well furnished.” He was sent as ambassador to Paris, but it was not long before he was anxious to fight a duel with the French Minister, the Duc de Luynes, for which reason he had to be recalled in 1620, but afterwards he was sent again. While in Paris on his second embassy, he published, in 1624, a book in Latin, which he had begun in England, “on Truth as it is distinguished from Revelation that is like the truth, or possible, and from the false.” Of the publication of this remarkable book Edward Herbert writes in his autobiography as follows :
My book, De Veritate prout distinguitur à Revelatione verisimili, possibili, et à falso, having been begun by me in England, and formed there in all its principal parts, was about this time finished; all the spare hours which I could get from my visits and negotiations being employed to perfect this work: which was no sooner done, but that I communicated it to Hugo Grotius, that great scholar, who, having escaped his prison in the Low Countries, came into France, and was
SIR EDWARD HERBERT AS KNIGHT OF THE BATH,
(From the Picture once in his Study.)
to restore it, the young lady addressing herself to me, said, “ Monsieur, I pray get my riband from that gentleman;" hereupon going towards him, I courteously, with my hat in my hand, desired him to do me the honour, that I may deliver the lady her riband or bouquet again; but he roughly answering me, “Do you think I will give it you, when I have refused it to her?" I replied, “Nay then, sir, I will make you restore it by force;" whereupon also, putting on my hat and reaching at his, he to save himself ran away, and, after a long course in the meadow, finding that I had almost overtook him, he turned short, and running to the young lady, was about to put the riband on her hand, when I, seizing upon his arm, said to the young lady, “It was I that gave it." “Pardon me," quoth she, “it is he that gives it me:" I said then, “ Madam, I will not contradict you, but if he dare say
1 Hugo Grotius, the chief Dutch scholar of his time, had been condemned at the Synod of Dort, in November, 1618, to perpetual imprisonment for supporting the Arminians. In his prisou at Louvestein he continued his studies, and after two years' confinement his wife obtained leave to remove an accumulation of books on the plea that they reduced space in his cell. This enabled her, instead of the books. to carry off her husband, in a box three feet and a half long. When freed from the box Grotius crossed the frontier in disguise as a mason, with rule and trowel. He found his way to Paris, and there received a pension. It was there that Edward Herbert met with him. In 1622 Grotius published his Apology, which the States-General forbade his countrymen to read, on pain of death. The Arminians, whom Grotius had favoured, began also from this time to add freedom to English thought, religious and political. They derived their name from Jacob Harmensen, Latinized Arminius. Harmensen was born in 1560, at Oudewater, a small town on the Yssel, in Holland, about eighteen miles from Rotterdam. His father died when Jacob Har. mensen was an infant in the arms of a mother left with poor means, and two elder children to support. The fatherless child was edu. cated and the foundation of his religious life was laid by a reformed priest named Theodore Æmilius, who was a wanderer through persethe opinions for which they were attacked. These articles they specified in a "Remonstrance to the Estates of Holland," and from it the Arminiins came to be called "the Remonstrants," and their church at Amsterdam the" Church of the Remonstrants." The five opinions were :-1. Of Election; that God from all eternity determined the salvation of those in whom He foresaw that they would persevere to the end in their faith in Jesus Christ, and the eternal punishment of those in whom he foresaw continued unbelief and resistance of His aid ; so that Election depended on the acts of men,
much welcomed by me; and Monsieur Tieleners also, one of
test scholars of
it, and given it more commendations than is fit for me to repeat, exhorted me earnestly to print and publish it. Howbeit, as the frame of my whole book was so different from any thing which had been written heretofore, I found I must either renounce the authority of all that had written formerly concerning the method of finding out truth, and consequently insist upon my own way, or hazard myself to a general eensure concerning the whole argument of my book. I must confess it did not a little animate me, that the two great persons above-mentioned did so highly value it, yet, as I knew it would meet with much opposition, I did consider whether it was not better for me a while to suppress it. Being thus doubtful in my chamber, one fair day in the summer, my casement being opened towards the south, the sun shining clear, and no wind stirring, I took my book, De Veritate, in my hand, and kneeling on my knees, devoutly said these words,
“O thou eternal God, author of the light which now shines upon me, and giver of all inward illuminations, I do beseech Thee, of Thy infinite goodness, to pardon a greater request than a sinner ought to make. I am not satisfied enough whether I shall publish this book De Veritate; if it be for Thy glory, I beseech Thee give me some sign from heaven; if not, I shall suppress it."
I had no sooner spoken these words, but a loud though yet gentle noise came from the heavens (for it was like nothing on earth), which did so comfort and cheer me, that I took my petition as granted, and that I had the sign I demanded, whereupon also I resolved to print my book. This, how strange soever it may seem, I protest before the eternal God is true, neither am I any way superstitiously deceived herein, since I did not only clearly hear the noise, but in the serenest sky that ever I saw, being without all cloud, did to my thinking see the place from whence it came.
and his younger brother George, each thinking for himself on matters of religion. Edward, who was made after his return from Paris in 1625 an Irish baron, and afterwards an English peer as Lord Herbert of Cherbury, taught forcibly the existence of a spiritual power within man, supreme over all the faculties, which draws knowledge from the world around and reasons upon Revelation. He denied that the salvation of man could wholly depend on acceptance of a form of religion revealed only to a portion of the human race. God as the Father of mankind could not, he said, condemn a large part of the human race for ignorance of that which it had no opportunity of knowing. It has been said that his refusal to believe in revelation confined to a few is inconsistent with his belief that a rerelation to himself alone communicated the assent of God to his diffusion of his book. But this would have only been inconsistent had he held that God in listening to him was deaf to the prayers of others. He believed that every man could, by true worship, draw near to God and bring God near to him, receiving aid and comfort. The supposition that God answered his prayer was, in fact, part of his supposition that the prayers of all who drew near to Him with spiritual worship found their way to heaven. Thus reasoning, Edward Herbert built up in this treatise upon Truth a creed of his own, containing the five points that he held to be the essentials of a true religion. These were belief (1) in God; (2) in Man's duty to worship Him; (3) in the Immortality of the Soul; (4) in Future Rewards and Punishments ; (5) in the need of Repentance for Sin. So taught Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, eldest brother and head of the house of “boly George Herbert,” who, while the De l'eritate was being read, maintained in his parsonage at Bemerton every ordinance and doctrine of the English Church, and quickened all with a pure spirit of devotion.
The book was remarkable for boldness of speculation upon sacred things, and for the difference it shows in bent of thought between Edward Herbert
-- -- -- ----- ention. When Harmen zen, aged fifteen, was with his teacher at Utrecht, Æmiliu3 died; but the boy was immediately cared for by another earnest Dutch Reformer, also a native of Oudewater, Rudolph Snell. Snell became Professor of Hebrew and Mathematics at Leyden, before his death in 1613. This learned fellow-town zmın took young Harmensen away with him, but soon hurried back to Oudewater upon hearing of the cruelties of the Spaniar.ls, who had sacked the town and slain most of the inhabitants, including his mother, his sisters, his brothers, and his kindred. The sudden desolation is said to have caused him to spend fourteen days in passion of weeping. Snell with the boy left the scene of massacre on foot for Marburg, in Hesse Cassel; then, having heard of the opening (in 1575) of the University of Leyden by the Prince of Orange, he went to Rotterdam, and thence sent Harmensen to Leyden. The youth excelled among the students, and in 1582 was sent, at expense of the Senate of Amsterdam, to Geneva, where he became a zealon 3 admirer of Theodore Beza, who was expounding the Epistle to the Romans. But Harmensen's regard for the philosophy of Peter Ramus stood in his way at Geneva, and he went to Basle, where he was soon thoroughly at home. At Basle he was offered the title of Doctor by the theological faculty before his return to Geneva, but decl'ned it because he felt himself unripe. Fron Geneva he went with a Dutch fellow-student to Padua, for the benefit of the teaching of Giacopo Zabarella, then in the fulness of his fame there as Professor of Philo. sophy. The two young Dutchmen then travelled together for eight months in Italy, carrying the Greek Testament and Hebrew Psalter in their pockets. In the course of their travel they saw Rome, but the Senate of Amsterdam, with pious horror of Rome, was greatly displeased with Harmensen for going there. The young theologian, however, returned to Geneva, and thenc. carried to his patrons at Amsterdam clear testimony of his fitness for the reformed ministry.
Ther) was still, with many Reformers, dread of the student who hal gone so near to Antichrist, but when Harmensen 'began to preach he won golden opinions. At this time a book was in circulation written by some brethren of the church of Delft, called “ An Answer to some Arguments of Beza and Calvin out of a Tceatise concerning Predesti. nation, on the 9th chapter to the Romans.” Martin Lidyus, formerly a pastor in Amsterdam, but then a Professor in Friesland, sent the book to Harmensen, because he was able, and fresh from Beza's teaching at Ganeva, requesting him to defend Beza by answering the brethren of Delft. But Harmensen was converted by their book, and he was led to join in argument against Calvin's form of the doctrine of predestination and election. His ability and piets soon made him a leader of the growing reaction among Dutch Reformers against what they took to be an unjust view of God's providence in Calvin's doctrine. The name of Arminian was then given to these dissenters from Calvinism. Arminius was, in September, 1603, when James I. was newly become King of England, joined with Francis Gomar, a strict Calvinist, in the Professorship of Theology at Leyden. His predecessor in the chair was Francis Junins, the elder. Then followed bitterness of controversy, troubling a very gentle spirit, then disease, and in October, 1609, Arminius died, leiving a widow and n'ne children. In the year after his death, his followers set forth, in five
George Herbert, the fifth of Richard Herbert's | But the commodiousness is beyond the revenue, for the seven sons, was born at Montgomery Castle on the Orator writes all the University letters, be it to the 3rd of April, 1593, and was in his fourth year when king, prince, or whoever comes to the University.” his father died. He was educated at home by his The commodiousness of the office was, that it enabled mother for the next eight years, and then sent to a man who sought advancement at court to show Westminster School. In his fifteenth year, being a his ability to the king, and make himself agreeable. king's scholar, he was sent on to Trinity College, Public orators before him had used the post as a Cambridge, and, young as he was, he had already stepping-stone to court preferment, and during the entered into controversy on church questions of the | rest of the reign of James I. George Herbert waited day. When, after the accession of James to the upon his Majesty, a courtly and a witty fortuneEnglish throne, the Millenary Petition represented hunter. He got in 1623—as a layman—the sinecure the desire of many of the clergy for further reforma rectory of Whitford in Flintshire, which was worth tion in the Church, the Universities signified their £120 a year, and had once been given to Philip displeasure. Cambridge passed a grace that who Sidney when he was a boy of ten. But the death soever opposed by word or writing or any other way of James I. on the 27th of March, 1625, put an the doctrine or discipline of the Church of England, end to all George Herbert's further hopes in that or any part of it, should be suspended, ipso facto, direction. from any degree already taken, and be disabled from taking any degree for the future. Oxford published a formal answer to the petition and condemnation of
CHAPTER IX. the petitioners. Andrew Melville, Rector of St. Andrews, a leading minister of the Scottish Church, | UNDER CHARLES I. AND THE COMMONWEALTH. — then satirised the Universities (in 1604) in a Latin GEORGE HERBERT, RICHARD SIBBES, THOMAS poem entitled “ Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria," that is, FULLER, JOHN HOWE, GEORGE Fox, RICHARD accusation against Thames and Cam–Oxford and BAXTER, JEREMY TAYLOR, JOHN MILTON, AND Cambridge. George Herbert, as a schoolboy, retorted OTHERS.-A.D. 1625 TO A.D. 1660. with“ Epigrams Apologetical," which were not printed until 1662. They could only have been published
GEORGE HERBERT, still a layman, was in July, 1626, by one who shared the unwisdom of a boyish partisan.
year of the death of Francis Bacon, made a preben
dary of Leighton Ecclesia or Leighton Bromswald, George Herbert went to Cambridge in May, 1609,
in Huntingdonshire, with a stall in Lincoln. He graduated as B.A. early in 1613, and as M.A., at the
repaired the church of the place. In 1627 his mother age of twenty-three, in 1616, year of the death of
died, and George Herbert retired from his office of Shakespeare. In January, 1620, George Herbert was
Public Orator. He left Cambridge, weak in health, elected Public Orator, and thus obtained what he said was “the finest place in the University, though not
for he was consumptive, and stayed for a time with
his brother, Sir Henry Herbert, at Woodford, in the gainfullest, yet that will be about £30 per annum.
Essex. In 1629 he was at Dauntsey, in Wiltshire, the seat of the Earl of Danby, with whom he was
connected by his mother's second marriage. She had free, though foreseen, and predestined only through foreknowledge. 2. Of Redemption ; tbat Christ atoned for the sins of all men and of
married Sir John Danvers. At Dauntsey his health each min, though none but those who believe in Him can be partakers improved. In March, 1629, he married Jane Danof the benetit. 3. Of Original Sin : that true faith cannot come to the vers, a kinswoman of his stepfather and of Lord natural man without help of the Grace of God-that is, regeneration
Danby. George Herbert had resolved now to take by the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God through Christ. 4. Of Effectual Grace; that this Divine Grace begins, advances, and per.
holy orders. His kinsman Philip, Earl of Pembroke, fects whatever is good in man; wherefore every good work proceeds obtained for him the living of Bemerton, with a little from God alone, but His Grace, offered to all, does not force men to church within a mile or two of the great house at act against their inclinations, and may be resisted by the impenitent sinner. 5. Of Perseverance; that God helps the truly faithful to
Wilton, half way between Wilton and Salisbury. remain so, though-and upon this at first opinion among Arminians George Herbert found Charles I. and his Court differed--the regenerate may lose true justifying faith, fall from a with the Earl, at Wilton, when he went there, and state of Grace, and die in their sins. These opinions were, it will be
on the 26th of April, 1630, the Bishop of Salisseen, mainly protests against Calvin's views of Predestination. The Remonstrants were left free to hold their opinions until 1618, when the
bury inducted him into his living. George Herbert's States General convoked at Dort a Synod of thirty-eight Dutch and church at Bemerton supplied the needs of a thinly. Walloon divines, five professors from different universities, and
scattered population, though it would perhaps have twenty-one lay elders, with ecclesiastical deputies from most of the States of the United Provinces, and from the churches of the Pala.
been overcrowded by a congregation of fifty. There tinate, Hesse, Switzerland, Bremen, England, and Scotland. The he laboured for not quite three years, marked for Synod of Dort condemned the Arminians, banished their ministers. death by consumption, lodged in a slight hollow of and submitted to trial their ablest defenders, Barnevelt, Grotius, and
pleasant but over-watered meadow-land, most favourHoogarbetz. Barnevelt was executed ; Grotius and Hoogarbetz were condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Arminian opinion spread
able to the growth of his disease. The supreme through the Reformed Churches of Europe, and was favoured by beauty of George Herbert's life was in its close at James I. and Charles I. because they looked upon the Calvinistic Bemerton from the beginning of his ministration Puritans as enemies, and had more trust in a body of Reformers who had parted from them and were persecuted by them.
there in April, 1630, when he was thirty-seven years
The strict Calvinist disliked an Arminian almost as much as a Roman Catholic. old, to his death at the age of forty. He was buried Under the Stuarts royal preference of a divine tinged with Arminian under the altar of his church on the 3rd of March, opinions was so marked, that when Bishop George Morley was asked "what the Arminians held,” his answer was, “ All the best bishoprics
1633. According to his wish, no word of inscription and deaneries in England."
| marks his resting-place. The little church remains,
When thou dost tell another's jest, therein
Omit the oaths, which true wit cannot need:
Play not away the virtue of that Name
and is still used for week-day prayers, but near it there has been built a handsome memorial church.
For his own use he set down in a little book his view of the duties of “ the Country Parson,” treating of his knowledge; the parson on Sundays; his praying; his preaching; his charity; his comforting the sick; his arguing; his condescending; the parson in his journey ; the parson in his mirth; the parson with his church wardens; the parson blessing the people. “His chiefest recreation," says Izaak Walton, “ was music, in which heavenly art he was a most excellent master, and composed many divine hymns and anthems, which he set and sung to his lute or viol; and though he was a lover of retiredness, yet his love to music was such that he went usually twice every week, on certain appointed days, to the cathedral church in Salisbury, and at his !
Lie not; but let thy heart be true to God,
Thy mouth to it, thy actions to them both: Cowards tell lies, and those that fear the roa; The stormy-working soul spits lies and froth. Dare to be true: nothing can need a lie; A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.
The way to make thy son rich is to fill
His mind with rest, before his trunk with riches: 20 For wealth without contentment climbs a hill, • To feel those tempests which fly over ditches;
But if thy son can make ten pound his measure, Then all thou addest may be called his treasure.
return would say, 'that his time spent in prayer and cathedral music elevated his soul, and was his heaven upon earth.' But before his return thence to Bemerton he would usually sing and play his part at an appointed private music-meeting; and to justify this practice he would often say, • Religion does not banish mirth, but only moderates and sets rules to it.'" George Herbert's sacred poems, expressing a pure spirit of worship that shone in these last years of his life through all his actions, were published under the title of “ The Temple” in 1633, soon after his death. The opening verses, entitled “ The Church Porch," are counsels as to the mind with which the temple should be entered, of which these are a few examples that may serve as an abridgment of the whole :
By all means use sometimes to be alone;
Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear;
Who cannot rest till he good-fellows find,
Be sweet to all. Is thy complexion sour?
Then keep such company; make them thy allay;
Command thyself in chief. He life's war knows
FROM GEORGE HERBERT'S CHURCH PORCH. Thou whose sweet youth and early hopes inhance
Thy rate and price, and mark thee for a treasure,
A verse may find him who a sermon flies,
Laugh not too much; the witty man laughs least;
For wit is news only to ignorance.