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III. A FORGOTTEN ENGLISH PREACHER. HOW very little, indeed, do we
know about Mediaeval Preaching in England ! Possibly few would be
disposed to regard this lack of information, upon a subject in
itself presumably dull and likely to interest none but the
dry-as-dust specialist, as a matter of much regret. To most people,
probably, it is sufficient that the modern sermon has at times to
be endured as a necessary evil, but the very notion of, say, a
fourteenth-century discourse, with its crude methods and quaint
expressions, with its endless divisions and subdivisions, its
marshalling of texts of Scripture and expressions from the Fathers,
and even with its lighter illustrations and stories, is sufficient
to conjure up in the imagination a vision of something
inexpressibly dreary?a very Sahara of unmitigated dryness. There
is, it must be confessed, something to be said for this view; and
from a vague dread of finding themselves overwhelmed by ponderous
and wholly uninteresting masses of material,English students have
so far allowed the oratorical efforts of mediaeval English
preachers to remain undisturbed under the dust of centuries.
Indeed, so far has this neglect gone that the very names of those,
who, in their days, must have stirred, and often deeply stirred,
the hearts of our English ancestors by their exhortations, are now
for the most part forgotten. There is, however, another point of
view. History now welcomes every side light, however dim, which may
help to illustrate the origin, course or issue of events, and
anything, however insignificant, which may go to explain the causes
of popular movements, the growth of popular institutions, and the
popular characteristics of nations. In considerations of this kind,
it is obvious that pulpit literature may afford conside...
General Books LLC
|Country of origin:
Francis Aidan Gasquet
||246 x 189 x 5mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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