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his parish did so love and reverence Mr. Herbert, that they would let their plough rest when Mr. Herbert's Saint's-bell rung to prayers, that they might also offer their devotions to God with him; and would then return back to their plough. And his most holy life was such, that it begot such reverence to God, and to him, that they thought themselves the happier, when they carried Mr. Herbert's blessing back with them to their labour. Thus powerful was his reason and example to persuade others to a practical piety and devotion.

And his constant public prayers did never make him to neglect his own private devotions, nor those prayers that he thought himself bound to perform with his family, which always were a set form, and not long; and he did always conclude them with that Collect which the Church hath appointed for the day or week. Thus he made every day's sanctity a step towards the kingdom, where impurity

cannot enter.

His chiefest recreation was Music, in which heavenly art he was a most excellent master, and did himself compose 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 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 Musicmeeting; and, to justify this practice, he would often say, 'Religion does not banish mirth, but only moderates and set rules to it.'

And as his desire to enjoy his Heaven upon earth drew him twice every week to Salisbury, so his walks thither were the occasion of many happy accidents to others; of which I will mention some few.

In one of his walks to Salisbury he overtook a gentleman, that is still living in that city; and in their walk together, Mr. Herbert took a fair occasion to talk with i

him, and humbly begged to be excused, if he asked him some account of his faith; and said, 'I do this the rather, because though you are not of my parish, yet I receive tythe from you by the hand of your tenant; and, Sir, I am the bolder to do it, because I know there be some sermon-hearers that be like those fishes, that always live in salt water and yet are always fresh.'

After which expression, Mr. Herbert asked him some needful questions, and having received his answer, gave him such rules for the trial of his sincerity, and for a practical piety, and in so loving and meek a manner, that the gentleman did so fall in love with him, and his discourse, that he would often contrive to meet him in his walk to Salisbury, or to attend him back to Bemerton; and still mentions the name of Mr. George Herbert with veneration, and still praiseth God for the occasion of knowing him.

In another of his Salisbury walks, he met with a neighbour Minister; and after some friendly discourse betwixt them, and some condolement for the decay of piety, and too general contempt of the Clergy, Mr. Herbert took occasion to say,

'One cure for these distempers would be for the Clergy themselves to keep the Ember-weeks strictly, and beg of their parishioners to join with them in fasting and prayers for a more religious Clergy.

'And another cure would be, for themselves to restore the great and neglected duty of Catechising, on which the Salvation of so many of the poor and ignorant lay-people does depend; but principally, that the Clergy themselves would be sure to live unblameably; and that the dignified Clergy especially which preach temperance, would avoid surfeiting and take all occasions to express a visible humility and charity in their lives; for this would force a love and an imitation, and an unfeigned reverence from all that knew them to be such.' (And for proof of this, we need no other testimony than the life and death of Dr. Lake, late Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells.) 'This,' said Mr. Herbert,' would be a cure for the wickedness and growing

Atheism of our age. And, my dear brother, till this be done by us, and done in earnest, let no man expect a reformation of the manners of the Laity; for 'tis not learning, but this, this only that must do it; and, till then, the fault must lie at our doors.'

In another walk to Salisbury, he saw a poor man with a poorer horse, that was fallen under his load: they were both in distress, and needed present help; which Mr. Herbert perceiving, put off his canonical coat, and helped the poor man to unload, and after to load, his horse. The poor man blessed him for it, and he blessed the poor man ; and was so like the Good Samaritan, that he gave him money to refresh both himself and his horse; and told him, That if he loved himself he should be merciful to his beast.' Thus he left the poor man: and at his coming to his musical friends at Salisbury, they began to wonder that Mr. George Herbert, which used to be so trim and clean, came into that company so soiled and discomposed: but he told them the occasion. And when one of the company told him He had disparaged himself by so dirty an employment,' his answer was, That the thought of what he had done would prove music to him at midnight; and that the omission of it would have upbraided and made discord in his conscience, whensoever he should pass by that place for if I be bound to pray for all that be in distress, I am sure that I am bound, so far as it is in my power, to practise what I pray for. And though I do not wish for the like occasion every day, yet let me tell you, I would not willingly pass one day of my life without comforting a sad soul, or shewing mercy; and I praise God for this occasion. And now let's tune our instruments.'

Thus, as our blessed Saviour, after his Resurrection, did take occasion to interpret the Scripture to Cleopas, and that other Disciple, which he met with and accompanied in their journey to Emmaus; so Mr. Herbert, in his path toward Heaven, did daily take any fair occasion to instruct the ignorant, or comfort any that were in affliction; and did always confirm his precepts, by shewing humility and mercy, and ministering grace to the hearers.

And he was most happy in his wife's unforced compliance with his acts of Charity, whom he made his almoner, and paid constantly into her hand, a tenth penny of what money he received for tythe, and gave her power to dispose that to the poor of his parish, and with it a power to dispose a tenth part of the corn that came yearly into his barn which trust she did most faithfully perform, and would often offer to him an account of her stewardship, and as often beg an enlargement of his bounty; for she rejoiced in the employment: and this was usually laid out by her in blankets and shoes for some such poor people as she knew to stand in most need of them. This as to her charity. And for his own, he set no limits to it: nor did ever turn his face from any that he saw in want, but would relieve them; especially his poor neighbours; to the meanest of whose houses he would go, and inform himself of their wants, and relieve them cheerfully, if they were in distress; and would always praise God, as much for being willing, as for being able to do it. And when he was advised by a friend to be more frugal, because he might have children, his answer was, 'He would not see the danger of want so far off: but being the Scripture does so commend Charity, as to tell us that Charity is the top of Christian virtues, the covering of sins, the fulfilling of the Law, the Life of Faith; and that Charity hath a promise of the blessings of this life, and of a reward in that life which is to come being these, and more excellent things are in Scripture spoken of thee, O Charity! and that, being all my tythes and Church-dues are a deodate from thee, O my God! make me, O my God! so far to trust thy promise, as to return them back to thee; and by thy grace I will do so, in distributing them to any of thy poor members that are in distress, or do but bear the image of Jesus my Master.' 'Sir,' said he to his friend, my wife hath a competent maintenance secured after my death; and therefore, as this is my prayer, so this my resolution shall, by God's grace, be unalterable.'

This may be some account of the excellencies of the active part of his life; and thus he continued, till

a consumption so weakened him, as to confine him to his house, or to the Chapel, which does almost join to it; in which he continued to read prayers constantly twice every day, though he were very weak: in one of which times of his reading, his wife observed him to read in pain, and told him so, and that it wasted his spirits, and weakened him; and he confessed it did, but said, his 'life could not be better spent, than in the service of his Master Jesus, who had done and suffered so much for him. But,' said he, I will not be wilful; for though my spirit be willing, yet I find my flesh is weak; and therefore Mr. Bostock shall be appointed to read prayers for me to-morrow; and I will now be only a hearer of them, till this mortal shall put on immortality.' And Mr. Bostock did the next day undertake and continue this happy employment, till Mr. Herbert's death. This Mr. Bostock was a learned and virtuous man, an old friend of Mr. Herbert's and then his Curate to the Church of Fulston, which is a mile from Bemerton, to which Church Bemerton is but a Chapel of Ease. And this Mr. Bostock did also constantly supply the Church-service for Mr. Herbert in that Chapel, when the Music-meeting at Salisbury caused his absence from it.

About one month before his death, his friend Mr. Farrer, for an account of whom I am by promise indebted to the reader, and intend to make him sudden payment, -hearing of Mr. Herbert's sickness, sent Mr. Edmund Duncon-who is now Rector of Friar Barnet in the County of Middlesex-from his house of Gidden Hall, which is near to Huntingdon, to see Mr. Herbert, and to assure him, he wanted not his daily prayers for his recovery; and Mr. Duncon was to return back to Gidden, with an account of Mr. Herbert's condition. Mr. Duncon found him weak, and at that time lying on his bed, or on a pallet; but at his seeing Mr. Duncon he raised himself vigorously, saluted him, and with some earnestness enquired the health of his brother Farrer; of which Mr. Duncon satisfied him, and after some discourse of Mr. Farrer's holy life, and the manner of his constant

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