The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living and Holy Dying is the collective title of two books by Jeremy Taylor. Known as the “Shakespeare of Divines” for his poetical style, Taylor made a name for himself as a theologian and devotional writer. He was eventually made bishop of Down and Connor Church, in Ireland.
Published respectively in 1650 and 1651, Holy Living instructs the reader on leading a virtuous life, while Holy Dying offers guidance on preparing for a pious Christian death.
Seventy-five years after their publication John Wesley discovered Taylor’s works-an encounter he said left him “exceedingly affected.” Taylor’s works inspired the spiritual turning point for Wesley, who said that upon reading, he immediately resolved to dedicate all his life to God.
While the language of Taylor’s time may seem demanding, the underlying prin??ciples shine as brightly as ever. Though presented in religious context, readers will recognize popular concepts such as time management, social networking, self-control, and personal accountability.
These things and more reside within Taylor’s Rule and Exercises of Holy Living and Holy Dying, seeking to provide Christians with a fundamental understanding of how to manage our day-to-day affairs in order better to serve ourselves, and our God.