Page images
PDF
EPUB

or with. For it is he that maketh the unity in this trinity ; maketh God with us, and us with God: and both, in and by him, to our eternal comfort and joy.

What is the boasted analysis of modern times to this admirable specimen of the good bishop Andrews! He continues it through double the space of that occupied by the extract, of which the unrivalled absurdity, I trust, will be excused, for the sake of its hù. morous quaintness.

Bishop Andrews, on account of his learning, his excellent moral character, and his high consideration at court, as well as with his cotemporaries at large, is justly regarded as one of the chief corrupters of the pulpit eloquence of his time.

The following inscription is found under a print of the bishop, prefixed to his sermons and it will serve to shew the extravagant estimate once formed of his writings.

The lineaments of art have well set forth,
Some outward features, though no inward worth;

But to these lines his writings added can
Make

up

the fair resemblance of a man. For as the body's form is pictured here, So there the beauties of his soul appear, Which I had praised, but that in this place, To praise them, were to praise him to his face.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

JOHN DONNE, divine and poet, was born in London in 1573. He was educated by a private preceptor till his eleventh year, when he was sent to Oxford, where he entered as commoner in Hart Hall. Having remained here three years, he removed to Cambridge, where he attained to considerable proficiency in the law, and other sciences; and entered with warmth upon the consideration of the controversy between the Romish and reformed churches; the result of which examination was, his conversion to the protestant faith..

In 1596 and 1597, he accompanied the earl of Essex in his expeditions against Cadiz and the Azores; and during his absence, spent several

years in Italy and Spain. Soon after his return to England, he was made secretary to the lord chancellor Egerton, in which em: ployment he continued five years,

Having taken his degree of master of arts at Cambridge, he was incorporated in the same at Oxford in 1610. About two years after, he accompanied sir Robert Drury to Paris.

James I. had a high opinion of his talents for theology, and would consent to promote him in no other line. Accordingly, at the particular instance of the king, he took orders in 1613, and was soon after appointed one of his majesty's chaplains in ordinary. About the same time he was created doctor in divinity by the university of Cambridge, also at the particular recommendation of the king. In 1620-1, he was advanced to the deanery of St. Paul's. He died in 1631.

1. His first prose work, and probably his best, was the Pseudo-Martyr, Lond. 1610, 4to. This was written at the express command of James; and is on the subject of the disputes concerning the oaths of allegiance and supremacy then agitated. The full title is, “Pseudo-Martyr; wherein, out of certain Propositions and Gradations, this Conclusion is evicted; that those which are of the Roman Religion, in this Kingdom, may and ought to take the Oath of Allegiance.” 2.“ Paradoxes, Problems, Essays, Characters,

oda

&c. to which is added, a book of Epigrams, written in Latin by the same author, translated into English by J. Maine, D. D. and also Ignatius's Conclave, a satire, translated out of the original copy, written in Latin by the same author; found lately amongst his own papers." Lond. 1653, 12mo. Parts of this collection were published at different times before.

3. Three volumes of Sermons, in folio: the first printed in 1640; the second in 1649; the third in 1860.--In rummaging these large volumes, I have not succeeded quite to my wish in the extracts I have chosen. These sermons are celebrated for their wit and humour. The reader, I am afraid, will detect few of these distinctive marks in the specimens I have to offer. The first, in particular, is characteristic of the stile of preaching at the period, rather than of Donne's peculiar manner. From the following passage, from his fourth Sermon, one would be inclined to think that the doctor was preaching against christianity, instead of for it. Nothing, however, could be farther from his thoughts. This style of preaching very much resembles that of the methodistical preachers of modern times,

« PreviousContinue »