First, His Character. I do not see a reason for that restriction. And, Secondly, Some things that belong to his performance afterward. Therefore the good and faithful Servant in the Text, is one that affects and chooses the State, first, and sayes with the Psalmist Psal. He doth as is required, Rom. He is one that hath thereupon made it his earnest Study to know his Lords will: His first enquiry is, What wilt thou have me to do, Lord? That which the Scripture means by having the Law of God written in the heart.
Lo I come to do thy will, O God, thy Law is in my heart. Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine Elect in whom my Soul delighteth.
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And it is spoken of all the inferiour true servants of God besides, Jer. I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. Is not partial in the Law. He peculiarly minds the work most, of his own station. He is with most delight exercised in the most spiritual part of his work. He balks not the most hazardous or more costly part. Thinks it mean to serve God at no expence, or with what costs him nothing. Measures not his duty, by the advantage, or safety of his own secular Interest. And have that liberty of serving God which he hath not.
He is much less apt to smite his fellow-servants, or hinder them in their work, unles they will work by his rule and measure, unprescribed by their Lord himself. What Spirit are they are of? I understand it not; nor Let my Soul enter into their secret! I had rather a thousandfold bear their Anger, than be of their Spirit! Would any faithful Servant rather wish his Masters work should be in any part undone, than done by those he dislikes, upon no more important reason than that their Cloaths perhaps are not of the same colour with his?
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Is above all things solicitous to prove his own work, that he may have rejoycing in himself, and not in another, Gal. He esteems the utmost he can do but little ; and counts when he hath done his best, he is an unprofitable Servant.
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He approves himself in all that he doth to the eye of his great Master. One may be too much a pleaser of Men, but no man can too much Study to please, and approve himself to the eye of God. He greatly rejoyces in the success of his Work. If, for instance, it be his business to bring home Souls to God, nothing is more grateful to him than to prosper in it. My Beloved, my Joy, and my Crown, — Philip. He loves his work and his Master, is willing to have his Ear bored and serve him for ever. He puts the highest value upon such present encouragements from his Lord, as are most expressive of peculiar favour.
He trusts his Master for his final Reward, and is content to wait for it, as long as he thinks fit to defer. The Acceptance and Reward which such a Servant finds above. Concerning this Judgment we are to note, both what it supposes, and what it includes. It supposes both an account taken how this Servant demean'd himself, and a Rule according whereto the matters to be accounted for, were to be examin'd and judg'd of.
That our Lord calls his Servants to an account ; so we find it expresly said vers. After a long time, the Lord of those Servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God, Rom. That there is some certain stated Rule, by which their doings must be measured.
For whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them, Gal. An acknowledgment of his Title to the designed Reward, according to the Gospel constitution. Enter thou into the Joy of thy Lord. The laborious part is over with thee, now follows thy rest and Reward. Objective, Viz. From these two cannot but result a most permanent, everlasting state of Joy. And 3. Also that whereof he is the possessour, q.
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Where I am there also shall my Servant be. The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; and vers. And the perpetuity is intimated of that possession. We are told of their entrance into it, nothing of their passing out of it any more. The last thing we hear of them is that they are gone into Joy. How blessed a thing is it to be a faithful Servant of Christ! To be accepted with him! An Euge from such a mouth! Where the word of a King is there is power. How joyful a sound do these words carry from the mouth of God, Well done good and faithful Servant!
To have gained this Testimony, as Enoch did, Heb. He may permit it to be so, who hath it in his Power to make their Sorrow be turn'd into Joy: It is not strange if Weeping endure with them for a night, unto whom such Joy is coming in the morning ; it is unworthy to repine in this Case. English cathedrals in the sixteenth-century are known to have mechanical clocks that recorded time by striking bells; one of these survives at Salisbury Cathedral Maltin and Dannemann The clock at Salisbury had no face; the ringing of a bell was its sole means of communicating the time.
It could not be stopped and started again without disrupting its accuracy as a timepiece. We have incorporated into the acoustic model the sound of a struck bell ringing on the hour and the quarter hour. This addition to the soundscape of the acoustic model has raised, however, the question of how the preacher dealt with the bells. He either talked over them or tried to or paused when they rang.
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It seems unlikely, therefore, that the preacher could have talked over them. So, he paused. The pause at fifteen minutes past the hour would have been fairly brief, but it would have gotten longer with each passing quarter hour. The pause on the hour, at a. The length of the pause required to prevent the sound of his voice, hence the content of his sermon, from being obscured by the sound of the bell, however, means that Donne had options about how to deal with this inevitable but also predictable interruption.
The sound of the bell would have been an interruption, coming at some otherwise random moment in the unfolding of the sermon. Preachers did have access to a dependable marker of the passage of time, an hourglass positioned on a stand next to the pulpit, so that the preacher — and his congregation — could see clearly the passage of the sand in the glass marking the passage of the time of the sermon. The routine for the preacher at the beginning of his sermon was to deliver an opening prayer, to declare the text from the Bible he was going to preach about in his sermon, to turn the hourglass to start the flow of sand, and then, but only then, to start his sermon.
The purpose of the hourglass Figure 22 was, after all, to make the preacher accountable to his congregation for the length of his sermons; it served as a trace of the passage of the time allocated to a sermon visible both to the preacher and to the congregation.
We have evidence from other sermons that Donne was in fact, able to organise the structure of his sermon around the movement of time so that the content of his sermon and the time of its delivery coincide in ways that reinforce the experience of his preaching. In his sermons delivered at the Chapel Royal on February 11, , and again on February 29, , for example, Donne planned his delivery so that he ran out of his allotted time just before he ran out of content Wall God shall never see that soul, whom he hath accurst, delivered from that curse, nor eased in it.
But we are now in the work of an houre, and no more. If there be a minute of sand left, There is not If there be a minute of patience left, heare me say, This minute that is left, is that eternitie which we speake of; upon this minute dependeth that eternity Donne , 7: In , he again used the same device. Approaching the end of a sermon on the relationship between sleep and death, Donne planned his conclusion, once more, to involve running out of time, out of sand, and needing to ask for an extension of his contracted allotment of time:.
Now of this dying Man, that dies in Christ, that dies the Death of the Rghteous, that embraces Death as a Sleepe, must wee give you a Picture too. There is not a minute left to do it; not a minutes sand; Is there a minutes patience? But the effectiveness of his argument also depends on the responsiveness of his congregation, on their willingness after an hour of preaching to grant him mercy, to extend to him more time to shift from bad news to good.
Donne would have been aided in doing this by the fact that he was preaching this two-hour-long sermon from notes rather than from a fully-written-out text and was able, therefore, to adjust the time of delivery to fit the time available to him. By either reducing or expanding the number of words he used, or speeding up or slowing down the pace of his delivery, he could bring a major point to closure just in time for the bell to ring, and to reinforce his point, then move on to his next point when the tolling of the bell had passed.
The process of reconceiving the texts of early modern sermons as providing traces of their performance is just beginning. We also know that Donne preached for an audience well-experienced in sermon-going and with a high regard for the quality of performance.
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Holding their attention must have been a major concern for one performing the roles of priest, prophet, spiritual guide, interpreter, model and enabler of transformation. This tradition was informed by manuals of oratory that defined the role of the preacher as a social and professional role in relationship to other roles played by members of his congregation. As I noted earlier, his sermons were performed from notes that guided his delivery, so, while the structure of the sermon was worked out in advance, the actual words were improvised in process, responsive to external elements like the regular sounding of the clock bell or the irregular responses of the congregation to this or that point, or gesture, or distinctive passage.
This occasion could also provide — from a theological perspective — an occasion that could change lives, advance the general welfare, promote social cohesion especially support for the monarchy , and open the way to eternal life. North Carolina State University.
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- Homiletic Directory, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments?
- International Thomas More Bibliography: Contemporaries of Thomas More, Part I.
- The Serpent Amongst the Lilies (Matthew Jankyn, Book 2): A sweeping historical mystery of medieval England;
Strier, Richard. Hamilton and Richard Strier Eds. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, Symes, Carol. Goodson, Anne E. Lester, and Carol Symes Eds.