1632 By George Herbert

The Parson in Contempt.

THe Countrey Parson knows well, that both for the
generall ignominy which is cast upon the profession,
and much more for those rules, which out of his choysest
judgment hee hath resolved to observe, and which are
described in this Book, he must be despised; because this
hath been the portion of God his Master, and of Gods Saints
his Brethren, and this is foretold, that it shall be so still,
until things be no more. Neverthelesse, according to the
Apostles rule,1 he endeavours that none shall despise him;
especially in his own Parish he suffers it not to his utmost
power; for that, where contempt is, there is no room for
instruction. This he procures, first by his holy and un-
blameable life; which carries a reverence with it, even above
contempt. Secondly, by a courteous carriage, & winning
behaviour: he that wil be respected, must respect; doing
kindnesses, but receiving none; at least of those, who are
apt to despise: for this argues a height and eminency of
mind, which is not easily despised, except it degenerate to
pride. Thirdly, by a bold and impartial reproof, even of
the best in the Parish, when occasion requires: for this
may produce hatred in those that are reproved, but
never contempt either in them, or others. Lastly, if
the contempt shall proceed so far as to do any thing
punishable by law, as contempt is apt to do, if it be not
thwarted, the Parson having a due respect both to the person,
and to the cause, referreth the whole matter to the examination,
and punishment of those which are in Authority
, that so the
sentence lighting upon one, the example may reach to all.
But if the Contempt be not punishable by Law, or being
so, the Parson think it in his discretion either unfit, or boote-
lesse to contend, then when any despises him, he takes it
either in an humble way, saying nothing at all; or else in a
slighting way, shewing that reproaches touch him no more,
then a stone thrown against heaven, where he is, and lives; or
in a sad way, grieved at his own, and others sins, which
continually breake Gods Laws, and dishonour him with
those mouths, which he continually fils, and feeds: or else
in a doctrinall way, saying to the contemner, Alas, why do
you thus? you hurt your selfe, not me; he that throws a
stone at another, hits himseife; and so between gentle
reasoning, and pitying, he overcomes the evill: or lastly, in a
Triumphant way, being glad, and Joyfull, that he is made
conformable to his Master; and being in the world as he
was, hath this undoubted pledge of his salvation. These are
the five shields, wherewith the Godly receive the darts of the
wicked; leaving anger, and retorting, and revenge to the
children of the world, whom anothers ill mastereth, and
leadeth captive without any resistance, even in resistance,
to the same destruction. For while they resist the person
that reviles, they resist not the evill which takes hold of
them, and is farr the worse enemy.

1 1 Timothy 4:10For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 11These things command and teach. 12Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.[Return] [Editors Note: This is only a suggestion for the possible reference. Some have taken it to mean the "Do unto others &c" but this is Jesus, not the Apostles,' "Golden Rule." "Love one another" and the double commandment (1. Love God; 2. Love thy neighbor as thyself) would be other suggestions, but these are Rules for All Christians, not just the Apostles or Pastors.
"Apostles Rule" can mean:
  1. "Rule for the Apostles" as shepherds of the faithful
    1. Given by Jesus (ecclesiastical or leadership rules) [To me this seems the most likely.]
    2. Given by Apostles (ecclesiastical rules of conduct)
    3. Given for all Christians (seems too broad. If Herbert meant this, he would have said "disciples" or "followers" and this application would be beyond the purpose of this chapter or book.)
  2. "Rule by the Apostle(s)"
    1. Given to other Apostles (same as 1.2)
    2. Given to all Christians (All epistles. Similar to 1.3.) ]

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