The Temple (1633 edition) 
[Cover Page of The Temple (1633 edition)]

Editor's Note: This is the preface to the 1633 edition of The Temple. The "s," except when it is at the end of a word, looks like an "f". There is no equivalent on the internet.  [See scanned pages of the 1633 Edition.]

then = than 

1 A passage in "The Church Militant" almost prevented the publication of The Temple. The Licensers debated the unpatriotic lines 235f.: 

Religion stands on tip-toe in our land,
Readie to passe to the American strand.

The debate ended because the Licensers believed that Herbert would not write them if they were not true. Henry Vaughan saw Herbert as a "Seer" because of these lines. [Return] Editor's note: This was during the Raleigh Colonies in Virginia and the Puritan Settlement of New England. Religion may have moved farther west since then. 

2 Leighton Bromswold, also called Leighton Ecclesia, in Huntingtonshire. One of Herbert's early works of devotion. He solicited money to rebuild the church. [Return] Etching of Leighton Bromswold

[Click for larger image]

3. Nicholas Ferrar of Little Gidding, in Huntingtonshire. He compiled and may have edited The Temple. See Isaac Walton's "Life of George Herbert." T. S. Eliot's "Little Gidding" from Four Quartets portrays the religious importance of this time. [Return]

Links to Biographies

Dedication expressed in two early sonnets [Link].

George Herbert & The Temple Home Page


The Printers to the Reader. 

THe dedication of this work having been made by the Authour to the Divine Majestie onely, how should we now presume to interest any mortall man in the patronage of it? Much lesse think we it meet to seek the recommendation of the Muses, for that which himself was confident to have been inspired by a diviner breath then flows from Helicon. The world therefore shall receive it in that naked simplicitie, with which he left it, without any addition either of support or ornament, more then is included in it self. We leave it free and unforestalled to every mans judgement, and to the benefit that he shall finde by perusall. Onely for the clearing of some passages,1 we have thought it not unfit to make the common Reader privie to some few particularities of the condition and disposition of the Person;
    Being nobly born, and as eminently endued with gifts of the minde, and having by industrie and happy education perfected them to that great height of excellencie, whereof his fellowship of Trinitie Colledge in Cambridge, and his Orator-ship in the Universitie, together with that knowledge which the Kings Court had taken of him, could make relation farre above ordinarie. Quitting both his deserts and all the opportunities that he had for worldly preferment, he betook himself to the Sanctuarie and Temple of God, choosing rather to serve at Gods Altar, then to seek the honour of State-employments. As for those inward enforcements to this course (for outward there was none) which many of these ensuing verses bear witnesse of, they detract not from the freedome, but adde to the honour of this resolution in him. As God had enabled him, so he accounted him meet not onely to be called, but to be compelled to this service: Wherein his faith full discharge was such, as may make him justly a companion to the primitive Saints, and a pattern or more for the age he lived in.
    To testifie his independencie upon all others, and to quicken his diligence in the kinde, he used in his ordinarie speech, when he made mention of the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to adde, My Master.
    Next God, he loved that which God himself hath magnified above all things, that is, his Word: so as he hath been heard to make solemne protestation, that he would not part with one leaf thereof for the whole world, if it were offered him in exchange.
    His obedience and conformitie to the Church and the discipline thereof was singularly remarkable. Though he abounded in private devotions, yet went he every morning and evening with his familie to the Church; and by his example, exhortations, and encouragements drew the greater part of his parishioners to accompanie him dayly in the publick celebration of Divine Service.
    As for worldly matters, his love and esteem to them was so little, as no man can more ambitiously seek, then he did earnestly endeavour the resignation of an Ecclesiasticall dignitie, which he was possessour of. But God permitted not the accomplishment of this desire, having ordained him his instrument for reedifying of the Church belonging thereunto, that had layen ruinated almost twenty yeares. The reparation whereof having been uneffectually attempted by publick collections, was in the end by his own and some few others private free-will-offerings succesfully effected.2 With the remembrance whereof, as of an especiall good work, when a friend3 went about to comfort him on his death-bed, he made answer, It is a good work, if it be sprinkled with the bloud of Christ: otherwise then in this respect he could finde nothing to glorie or comfort himself with, neither in this, not in any other thing.
    And these are but a few of many that might be said, which we have chosen to premise  as a glance to some parts of the ensuing book, and for an example to the Reader. We conclude all with his own Motto, with which he used to conclude all things that might seem to tend any way to his own honour;

Lesse then the least of Gods mercies.


Concerning the Motto: It is used for the poem Posie.

To continue The Temple with Herbert's Dedication