Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down & Connor

13 August -- Lesser Festival -- Teacher of the Faith -- White

Jeremy Taylor was born in Cambridge in 1613 and educated there at Gonville & Caius College. He was ordained in 1633 and, as the Civil War got under way, he became a chaplain with the Royalist forces. He was captured and imprisoned briefly but after his release went to Wales, where the Earl of Carbery gave him refuge. He wrote prolifically whilst there, notably The Rule and Exercise of Holy Living in 1650 and of Holy Dying the following year. In 1658 he went to Ireland to lecture and two years later was made Bishop of Down and Connor. He found many of his clergy held to Presbyterianism and so ignored him; and the Romans rejected him as a Protestant. In turn, he treated both sides harshly. His health was worn down by the protracted conflicts and he died on this day in 1667.


Holy and loving God,
you dwell in the human heart
and make us partakers of the divine nature
in Christ our great high priest:
help us who remember your servant Jeremy Taylor
to put our trust in your heavenly promises
and follow a holy life in virtue and true godliness;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the First Book of the Kings.

Solomon said, "O God, you have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?" It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.

This is the word of the Lord.         1 Kings 3. 6-10

Responsorial Psalm

R I delight in your commandments,
[which I have always loved].
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,
and I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding and I shall keep your law;
I shall keep it with all my heart. R

Make me go in the path of your commandments,
for that is my desire.
Incline my heart to your decrees
and not to unjust gain. R

Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless;
give me life in your ways.
Fulfil your promise to your servant,
which you make to those who fear you. R

Turn away the reproach which I dread,
because your judgements are good.
Behold, I long for your commandments;
in your righteousness preserve my life. R         From Psalm 119

A reading from the Letter of Paul to Titus.

Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessèd hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

This is the word of the Lord.         Titus 2. 7-8, 11-14

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Jesus said to the crowds, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

This is the gospel of Christ.         Matthew 5. 17-20

Post Communion

God of truth,
whose Wisdom set her table
and invited us to eat the bread and drink the wine
   of the kingdom:
help us to lay aside all foolishness
and to live and walk in the way of insight,
that we may come with your servant Jeremy Taylor
   to the eternal feast of heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.