ROBERT PARSONS, from his sermon at Rochester’s funeral 1680
His Quality1 I shall take no notice of, there being so much of what was excellent and extraordinary in this great Person, that I have no room for any thing that is common to him with others.
A Wit he had so rare and fruitful in its Invention, and withall so choice and delicate in its Judgment, that there is nothing wanting in his Composures to give a full answer to that question, what and where Wit is? except the purity and choice of subject. For had such excellent seeds but fallen upon good ground, and instead of pitching upon a Beast or a Lust, been raised up on high, to celebrate the mysteries of the Divine Love, in Psalms, and Hymns, and Spiritual songs; I perswade my self we might by this time have receiv’d from his Pen as excellent an Idea of Divine Poetry, under the Gospel, useful to the teaching of Virtue, especially in this generation, as his profane Verses have been to destroy it. And I am confident, had God spared him a longer life, this would have been the whole business of it, as I know it was the vow and purpose of his Sickness.