NEAL, DANIEL: Historian of the Puritans; b. in London Dec. 14, 1678; d. at Bath Apr. 4, 1743. He studied first at Merchant Taylors' School, London, then (1696-99) in Rev. Thomas Rowe's academy in Little Britain, and then for three years at Utrecht and Leyden. Returning to London in 1703, the next year he was chosen assistant pastor, and in 1706 full pastor, of the Independent Congregation in Aldersgate Street, and faithfully served it, until, a few months prior to his death, he was compelled by ill-health to resign. He was the author of two works which have given him lasting fame: The History of New England, Containing an Impartial Account of the Civil and Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Country to the Year of Our Lord 1700 (2 vols., London, 1720) and the standard History of the Puritans, or Protestant Nonrconformists, from the Reformation in 1617, to the Revolution in 1688 (4 vols., 1732-38; 2d. ed., 2 vols., 1754; ed. J. Toulmin, with Life, 5 vols., Bath, 1793-97; ed. J. O. Choules, 2 vols., New York, 1844).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Besides the Life by Toulmin, ut sup., consult: Walter Wilson, Hist. and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches in London, iii. 90-102, London, 1810; DNB, xl. 134-136.
NEALE, JOHN MASON: Ecclesiastical historian and hymnologist; b. at London Jan. 24, 1818; d. at East Grinstead (23 m. s. of London) Aug. 6, 1866. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (A.B., 1840). While a student he developed an extraordinary interest in church archeology, especially in architecture, and with a few others organized in 1839 the Cambridge Camden Society, which lasted till 1845. He was ordained deacon in 1841, and priest in 1842; was for a few months of 1842 incumbent of Crawley in Sussex, but ill-health compelled him to resign. He then married and the next winter went to live in Madeira. There he found facilities and strength to continue his literary work, which had already brought him considerable reputation. He returned to England finally in 1845, and from 1846 till his death was warden of Sackville College, East Grinstead. The "college" really was an almshouse for a few old people of both sexes, and the salary was only some £24 a year! But the duties were light and congenial and his opportunities for remunerative literary work were unimpaired. Still the position meant that in all likelihood he was out of the line of preferment.
He belonged to the most advanced section of High-churchmen; and his outspoken and consistent championship of Puseyism (see PUSEY, EDWARD BOUVERIE) won him not only suspicion, but obloquy. He was under the inhibition of his bishop (Chichester) from 1846 to 1863; but his zeal and industry matched his great and varied talents. "His life was divided," says Josiah Miller, "between excessive literary toil and exhausting labors of piety
As an author his productiveness has few parallels, and he was more appreciated for his writings abroad than at home. His most important writings are his History of the Holy Eastern Church with The Patriarchate of Alexandria and The Patriarchate of Antioch in the appendix (5 vols., London, 1850-73); and Commentary on the Psalms from Primitive and Mediaeval Writers (4 vols., 1874; in association with R. F. Littledale). Mention may be made also of Hierologus, or the Church Tourists (1843); Ecclesiological Notes on the Isle of Man (1848); Readings for the Aged (4 series, 1850-58); History of the So-Called Jansenist Church of Holland (1858); Voices from the East (1859); and Sermons for Children (1867). Yet almost everything which he wrote provoked controversy. He had strong convictions, and the full courage of them: in his own view he was a witness of a system of absolute truth. On almost every page of his writings, whether prose or verse, learned or popular, his point of view and his resolute purpose are apparent: they are books of faith and of intention. To him "religion was the solidest of all realities," and religion and the Church were inseparably one. Nowhere is this more marked than in his wonderful stories for children and young people. Most of these have a historical foundation; many of them recite real or supposed facts, dealing with ancient or obscure trials and martyrdoms. His sympathies seem rather Roman than Protestant, and dubious legends are accepted with unquestioning belief; but the charm of style, the minute knowledge of distant times and places, the vivid realization, the subdued feeling, at once profoundly devout and intensely human, form a combination which few English popularizers of Christian history have approached. The Farm of Aptonga (1856); The Egyptian Wanderers (1854); The Followers of the Lord (1851); Lent Legends (1855); Tales of Christian Heroism and Endurance (in the Juvenile Englishman's Library, vi., 1846), and some others, are as much prized by adult as by juvenile readers.
As a poet, Neale eleven times gained the Seatonian prize. An edition of his Seatonian Poems (Cambridge, 1864) was dedicated, by permission, to his bishop, after their reconciliation. His Songs and Ballads for the People (London, 1843) and Songs and Ballads for Manufacturers (1850) are secular only in name. But his greatest services have been rendered, and his widest fame won, through his hymns. Here he worked in a field entirely congenial. His twenty Hymns for the Sick (1843), and eighty-six Hymns for Children (1843) include some gems and much useful matter. The Hymnal Noted (1851-54) is chiefly given to long metres, which seem somewhat dry and formal. Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences (1851; 2d ed., enlarged, 1863) afford more variety and many valuable notes. Among the most precious of these is Neale's first selection from the famous Rhythm of Bernard de Morlaix, completed in 1858, beginning with the line, "Jerusalem, the golden." After the Rhythm of Bernard his noblest work is Hymns of the Eastern, Church (1862). There he was on ground familiar to him, and to him alone, and the mine he opened yielded treasures indeed. Almost unknown to the English Church were original sacred lyrics of such beauty as "Art thou weary," "The Day is past and over," and "Safe home." Within twenty years, many of these Greek hymns have made their way almost everywhere.
Neale was a singular compound of medieval (he would have called it primitive) doctrine and devotion with modern culture and English manliness. He was the sworn foe of breadth or liberalism; but his large gifts and nature transcended his self-imposed (or, as he thought, God-imposed) limits, and made much of his work catholic in the sense which he repudiated. Those who most disliked his Romanizing tendencies have been forced to admire his vast industry, his rigid consistency, his patience under long adversity, injustice, and neglect, his superiority to all questions of self-interest, and his heroic and unflinching faith.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Letters of John Mason Neale, Selected and ed. by his Daughter, London and New York, 1910; Eleanor A. Towle, John Mason Neale, A Memoir, London, 1906; W. Jowett, Memoir of the Rev. Cornelius Neale (his father), ib. 1834; G. Huntington, Random Recollections, pp. 198-223, ib. 1893; S. W. Duffield, English Hymns, pp. 271-273 et passim, New York, 1886; S. M. Jackson, Sources of "Jerusalem the Golden," passim, Chicago, 1910; Julian, Hymnology, pp. 785-790; DNB, xl. 143-146.
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.