Light brown board. Black title on the spine. The original pages have been rebound into a book form.
For preservation reasons a well rebound volume of this famous 17th century work
In the 17th century, religion was far more important than it is today. It was a vital part of everyday life. Furthermore, there was no toleration in matters of religion. By law, everybody was supposed to belong to the Church of England (though in practice there were many Roman Catholics especially in English Northwest)
This is a historic tract which founded 17th Century thought – read it and you time travel to a different era
The Reformation led to Protestant sermons, many of which defended the schism with the Roman Catholic Church and explained beliefs about the Bible, theology, and devotion. The distinctive doctrines of Protestantism held that salvation was by faith alone, and convincing people to believe the Gospel and place trust in God for their salvation through Jesus Christ was the decisive step in salvation.
In many Protestant churches, the sermon came to replace the Eucharist as the central act of Christian worship (although some Protestants such as Lutherans give equal time to a sermon and the Eucharist in their Divine Service). While Luther retained the use of the lectionary for selecting texts for preaching, the Swiss Reformers, such as Ulrich Zwingli, Johannes Oecolampadius, and John Calvin, notably returned to the patristic model of preaching through books of the Bible. The goal of Protestant worship, as conditioned by these reforms, was above all to offer glory to God for the gift of grace in Jesus Christ, to rouse the congregation to a deeper faith, and to inspire them to practice works of love for the benefit of the neighbour, rather than carry on with potentially empty rituals.
In the early 17th century king and parliament clashed over the issue of religion. In the 17th century, religion was far more important than it is today. It was a vital part of everyday life. Furthermore, there was no toleration in matters of religion. By law, everybody was supposed to belong to the Church of England (though in practice there were many Roman Catholics especially in the Northwest).
In 1633 William Laud was made Archbishop of Canterbury. He was strongly opposed to the Puritans and King Charles I supported him wholeheartedly. Laud was determined to suppress the Puritans and he sent commissioners into almost every parish to make sure the local churches came into line.
Furthermore, the Puritans had their own preachers called lecturers. These men were independent of the Church of England. Laud tried to put a stop to these preachers – with some success.
Most of all Laud emphasized the ceremony and decoration in churches. These measures were strongly opposed by the Puritans. They feared it was the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ and Catholicism would eventually be restored in England.
In 1642 came civil war between the king and parliament. The war ended in 1646 and Charles I was executed in 1649.
In the 16th century, everybody was supposed to belong to the Church of England. However, in the 17th century, independent churches were formed. The first Baptist Church in England began meeting in 1612.
Later in the 17th century George Fox (1624-1691) founded the Quakers. Fox believed that everybody had an inner light and during the 1660s and the 1670s he travelled across England. However, the Quakers were persecuted and Fox himself was often imprisoned.
From the end of the 16th century, there were also Congregationalists or Independents. They believed that every congregation had a right to run its own affairs without any outside interference.
Charles II (1660-1685) was not particularly religious but as far as he had any religion he secretly leaned towards Roman Catholicism.
Meanwhile, parliament was determined to crack down on the many independent churches that had sprung up during the interregnum (the period between 1649 and 1660 when England was without a king) and make Anglicanism the state religion again.
They passed a series of acts called the Clarendon code, a series of laws to persecute non-conformists (Protestants who did not belong to the Church of England). The Corporation Act of 1661 said that all officials in towns must be members of the Church of England.
The Act of Uniformity 1662 said that all clergy must use the Book of Common Prayer. About 2,000 clergy who disagreed resigned. Furthermore, the Conventicle Act of 1664 forbade unauthorized religious meetings of more than 5 people unless they were all of the same household.
Finally, the Five Mile Act of 1665 forbade non-Anglican ministers to come within 5 miles of incorporated towns. (Towns with a mayor and corporation). However, these measures did not stop the non-conformists meeting or preaching.
When Charles II died in 1685, he was followed by James II, who was openly Catholic. James II promptly alienated the people by appointing Catholics to powerful and important positions. In 1687 he went further and issued a Declaration of Indulgence suspending all laws against Catholics and Protestant non-Anglicans.
Worse in June 1688 James had a son. The people of England were willing to tolerate James as long as he did not have a Catholic heir. However, his son would certainly be brought up a Catholic and would, of course, succeed his father.
James II was deposed in 1688. Afterward, the Bill of Rights (1689) said that no Catholic could become king or queen. No king could marry a Catholic.
Parliament also passed the Toleration Act in 1689. Non-conformists were allowed their own places of worship and their own teachers and preachers. However, they could not hold government positions or attend university.
The Sermon: In Christianity, a sermon is typically identified as an address or discourse delivered to an assembly of Christians, typically containing theological or moral instruction. The sermon by Christian orators was partly based on the tradition of public lectures by classical orators. Although it is often called a homily, the original distinction between a sermon and a homily was that a sermon was delivered by a clergyman (licensed preacher) while a homily was read from a printed copy by a layman. In the 20th century the distinction became one of the sermon being likely to be longer, have more structure, and contain more theological content. Homilies are usually considered to be a type of sermon, usually narrative or biographical.
The word sermon is used contemporarily to describe many famous moments in Christian (and Jewish) history. The most famous example is the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus of Nazareth. This address was given around 30 AD, and is recounted in the Gospel of Matthew (5:1–7:29, including introductory and concluding material) as being delivered on a mount on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum. It is also contained in some of the other gospel narratives.
During the later history of Christianity, several figures became known for their addresses that later became regarded as sermons. Examples in the early church include Peter (see especially Acts 2:14b–36), Stephen (see Acts 7:1b–53), Tertullian and John Chrysostom. These addresses were used to spread Christianity across Europe and Asia Minor, and as such are not sermons in the modern sense, but evangelistic messages.
The sermon has been an important part of Christian services since Early Christianity, and remains prominent in both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Lay preachers sometimes figure in these traditions of worship, for example the Methodist local preachers, but in general preaching has usually been a function of the clergy. The Dominican Order is officially known as the Order of Preachers (Ordo Praedicatorum in Latin); friars of this order were trained to publicly preach in vernacular languages, and the order was created by Saint Dominic to preach to the Cathars of southern France in the early 13th century. The Franciscans are another important preaching order; Travelling preachers, usually friars, were an important feature of late medieval Catholicism. In 1448 the church authorities seated at Angers prohibited open-air preaching in France. If a sermon is delivered during the Mass it comes after the Gospel is sung or read. If it is delivered by the priest or bishop that offers the Mass then he removes his maniple, and in some cases his chasuble, because the sermon is not part of the Mass. A bishop preaches his sermon wearing his mitre while seated whereas a priest, or on rare occasions a deacon, preaches standing and wearing his biretta.
In most denominations, modern preaching is kept below forty minutes, but historic preachers of all denominations could at times speak for several hours, and use techniques of rhetoric and theatre that are today somewhat out of fashion in mainline churches.
During the Middle Ages, sermons inspired the beginnings of new religious institutes (e.g., Saint Dominic and Francis of Assisi). Pope Urban II began the First Crusade in November 1095 at the Council of Clermont, France, when he exhorted French knights to retake the Holy Land.
The academic study of sermons, the analysis and classification of their preparation, composition and delivery, is called homiletics.
A controversial issue that aroused strong feelings in Early Modern Britain was whether sermons should be read from a fully prepared text, or extemporized, perhaps from some notes. Many sermons have been written down, collected and published; published sermons were a major and profitable literary form, and category of books in the book trade, from at least the Late Antique Church to about the late 19th century. Many clergymen openly recycled large chunks of published sermons in their own preaching. Such sermons include John Wesley’s 53 Standard Sermons, John Chrysostom’s Homily on the Resurrection (preached every Easter in Orthodox churches) and Gregory Nazianzus’ homily “On the Theophany, or Birthday of Christ” (preached every Christmas in Orthodox churches). The 80 sermons in German of the Dominican Johannes Tauler (1300–1361) were read for centuries after his death. Martin Luther published his sermons (Hauspostille) on the Sunday lessons for the edification of readers. This tradition was continued by Chemnitz and Arndt and others into the following centuries—for example CH Spurgeon’s stenographed sermons, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. The widow of John Tillotson (1630–1694), Archbishop of Canterbury received £2,500 for the manuscripts of his sermons, a very large sum.
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