Herbert (1593-1633), a musician and poet, lived during a period of intense conflict between Catholics, Anglicans, and Puritans. Instead of becoming embroiled in it, he chose instead the humbler life of a priest of an Anglican country parish, a vocation he describes in loving detail in 'The Country Parson.' The ideal Parson would use ''all possible art'' to bring his flock into a loving relationship with the Holy Trinity, and Herbert gives an example of this advice in his immortal series of poems, 'The Temple,' revealing (we quote the cover) ''the literary genius of a humble priest whose spirituality was a synthesis of Evangelical and Catholic piety.'' Preface by A.M. Allchin.
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