Jeremy Taylor (15 August 1613 – 13 August 1667) was a cleric in the Church of England who achieved fame as an author during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. He is sometimes known as the "Shakespeare of Divines" for his poetic style of expression and was often presented as a model of prose writing. He is remembered in the Church of England's calendar of saints with a Lesser Festival on 13 August.
Taylor was under the patronage of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. He went on to become chaplain in ordinary to King Charles I as a result of Laud's sponsorship. This made him politically suspect when Laud was tried for treason and executed in 1645 by the Puritan parliament during the English Civil War. After the parliamentary victory over the King, he was briefly imprisoned several times.
Eventually, he was allowed to live quietly in Wales, where he became the private chaplain of the Earl of Carbery. At the Restoration, his political star was on the rise, and he was made Bishop of Down and Connor in Ireland. He also became vice-chancellor of the University of Dublin.
From Taylor's Holy Living:
God has given every man work enough to do, that there shall be no room for idleness; and yet hath so ordered the world, that there shall be space for devotion. He that hath the fewest businesses of the world is called upon to spend more time in the dressing of the soil; and he that hath the most affairs may so order them that they shall be a service of God; whilst at certain periods, they are blessed with prayers and actions of religion, and all day long are hallowed by a holy intention.
However, so long as idleness is quite shut out from our lives, all the sins of wantonness, softness, and effeminacy, are prevented and there is but little room left for temptation; and, therefore, to a busy man temptation is fain to climb up together with his business, and sins creep upon him only by accidents and occasions; whereas, to an idle person they come in a full body, and with open violence and the impudence of a restless importunity.