The Life of Mr. George Herbert, Prebendary of Salisbury Cathedral, by Izaac Walton

Letter from Mr. George Herbert to Nicholas Farrer,

the Translator of Valdesso

[Concerning Valdesso]

My dear and deserving brother, your Valdesso I now return with many thanks, and some notes, in which perhaps you will discover some care which I forbear not in the midst of my griefs; first for your sake, because I would do nothing negligently that you commit unto me: secondly for the Author’s sake, whom I conceive to have been a true servant of God; and to such, and all that is their’s, I owe diligence: thirdly for the Church’s sake, to whom by printing it, I would have you consecrate it. You owe the Church a debt, and God hath put this into your hands — as he sent the fish with money to St. Peter — to discharge it; happily also with this — as his thoughts are fruitful — intending the honour of his servant the Author, who, being obscured in his own country, he would have to flourish in this land of light, and region of the Gospel among his chosen. It is true, there are some things which I like not in him, as my fragments will express, when you read them: nevertheless, I wish you by all means to publish it, for these three eminent things observable therein: First, that God in the midst of Popery, should open the eyes of one to understand and express so clearly and excellently, the intent of the Gospel in the acceptation of Christ’s righteousness — as he sheweth through all his Considerations — a thing strangely buried and darkened by the adversaries, and their great stumbling block. Secondly, the great honour and reverence which he every where bears towards our dear Master and Lord; concluding every Consideration almost with his holy name, and setting his merit forth so piously; for which I do so love him, that were there nothing else, I would print it, that with it the honour of my Lord might be published. Thirdly, the many pious rules of ordering our life about mortification, and observation of God’s kingdom within us, and the working thereof; of which he was a very diligent observer. These three things are very eminent in the Author, and overweigh the defects — as I conceive — towards the publishing thereof.

From his Parsonage of

Bemerton, near Salisbury,

Sept. 29th, 1632.

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