Jeremy Taylor(1613–67) was a clergyman and religious writer. He was born in Cambridge. He had his education at a Cambridge Grammar School and thereafter the Cambridge University. He is sometimes known as the “Shakespeare of Divines” for his poetic style of expression, and he is frequently cited as one of the greatest prose writers in the English language. Having attracted William Laud’s attention as a preacher, he was sent by him to Oxford and became a fellow of All Souls College. He was chaplain to Laud and Charles I and was appointed rector of Uppingham in 1638. He was taken prisoner in the Royalist defeat before Cardigan Castle in 1645 and retired to Golden Grove, Carmarthenshire, where he wrote most of his greater works. After the Restoration, he was made bishop of Down and Connor, Ireland, and subsequently of Dromore. He died at Lisburn and was buried in his cathedral of Dromore.
His literary works are:
1. A Discourse of the Liberty of Prophesying (1646).
2. The Rule of Exercises of Holy Living (1650).
3. The Rule of Exercises of Holy Dying (1651).
4. The Golden Grove (1655).
5. Discourse of the Nature, Offices, and Measures of Friendship (1657).
6. The Worthy Communicant (1660).
7. Ductor Dubitantium, or the Rule of Conscience . . . (1660)
The manner of writing in these books may not please all, but these hold a place in the affections of a large number of readers. His prose is not studied, but easy and lucid that endears him to the reading public, unlike that of Milton which is studied and affected.
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