"If You Are In Rome, Live In The Roman Style"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The Reverend Jeremy Taylor, son of a churchwarden who was by profession a barber skilled in drugs and surgery, became a brilliant theologian. He was admitted to college at the age of 13, and given a fellowship at Cambridge in 1630, then sent to Oxford for a Master of Arts degree. Though accused of love for the Roman Catholic faith, he did not follow its precepts. He married in 1639, and had three sons. He became chaplain to Charles I, who gave him a Doctor of Divinity degree when he was dispensing honors. Taken prisoner at the fall of the king in 1644, Taylor was soon released. He established a school to earn his living, and wrote tracts and sermons, but because of fear for his safety, his friends urged him to flee to northeastern Ireland. In his study at Portmore in Kilultagh he wrote Ductor Dubitantium or the Rules of Conscience in all her general Measures, serving as a great Instrument for the Determination of Cases of Conscience. It was in press when Charles II was restored to the throne, so the author foresightedly hastened to insert a dedication "To the Most Sacred Majesty of Charles II." As a result, he was made bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore. His writings were noted for their logic and casuistry. His Ductor Dubitantium draws its contents from many church leaders. Taylor credits St. Ambrose of Milan (340?–397) for the precept quoted in Latin. St. Ambrose was also a bishop, noted for his justice and concern for the common people, and author of a number of sermons based on the Gospel and the Creed. Some of them spurred the conversion of St. Augustine. Taylor's works were collected in three massive volumes of about 2,800 pages, published in London in 1837. In Rule 5, entitled "All Consciences are to walk by the same Rule, and that which is just to one is so to all, in the like Circumstances," Taylor explains:

If all men were governed by the same laws, and had the same interest, and the same degrees of understanding, they would perceive the truth of this conclusion. But men are infinitely differenced by their own acts and relations, by their understandings and proper economy, by their superinduced differences and orders, by interest and mistake, by ignorance and malice, by sects and deceptions; and this makes that two men may be damned for doing two contradictories: as a Jew may perish for not keeping of his sabbath, and a Christian for keeping it, an iconoclast for breaking images and another for worshipping them; for eating and for not eating. . . .
But this variety is not directly of God's making, but of man's. God commands us to walk by the same rule and to this end . . . "to be of the same mind." . . . He that fasted upon a Saturday in Ionia or Smyrna, was a schismatic; and so was he that did not fast at Milan or Rome upon the same day, both upon the same reason; Cum fueris Romae, Romano vivito more [When you are in Rome, live in the Roman style] . . . because he was to conform to the custom of Smyrna, as well as that of Milan, in the respective diocesses.