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Having spent over a hundred folios vigorously condemning clerical temporalities, the sermonist pauses to propose leaving a written copy with the audience--who are presumably listening at this moment--so that "whoso likib mai ouerse [look over] it" (2941).
Indeed, a whole range of Wycliffite texts--not just sermons, but trial transcripts, interpolated biblical commentary, testimonies like those of Oldcastle or Thorpe--sometimes prevail upon their readers in starkly interpersonal terms, turning our reading into the kind of engaged overhearing dramatized in the Egerton sermonist's gestures towards his own listening audience.
Despite the appearance of contradiction, however, the homiletic discourse of the poem is governed by a strict logic that serves the sermonist's didactic aims.
The scholarship behind this repertorium is impressive and meticulous, as one would expect from the experienced sermonist, Veronica O'Mara, the Project director, and her international advisory Board that includes such vernacular sermon scholars as Anne Hudson, Oliver Pickering, Thom Mertens and Hans-Jochen Schiewer.
Jacob has not been portrayed as such a self-tormentor; his sufferings are the legitimate object of the sermonist's pity.
Believing she can lend money to help others without suffering loss herself, Cecilia's thinking recalls the arguments of those like the sermonist William Sherlock who preached the duty of loaning money as a form of charity: "Thus what we give does but one single Act of Charity, for we can give it but once, but what we lend may circulate, as the Blood does in our Veins, and communicate Warmth and Spirits to more Parts of the Body than one: that is, what we lend, may be lent again, and do a great many successive Charities, as great, or greater than that one single Charity had been, if we had given it." (31) Yet, in Cecilia's case such recycling of charity cannot occur: the loan will not be repaid and she will not be able to redirect the money toward more worthy recipients.
Because he viewed reason as the most celestial faculty of human nature, Johnson devoted a major portion of his effort as a sermonist to the delineation of those conditions under which reason could play its proper role in guiding a person's ethical conduct in this life and in preparing one for the next.
It was also a common practice in the English sermon tradition, especially among metaphysical sermonists, to use exaggerated similes and metaphors, puns, and illogical anti-theses as the basis for an entire sermon.
This proposal receives some justification from the celebrated fact that the writers, teachers, sermonists, and activists among whom Thoreau belonged were all deeply impressed by European idealism.
The moral regulation of attire and comportment is found in writings by Puritan polemicists and Anglican sermonists as well as popular satirists and dramatists, all of whom derided the English preoccupation with extravagant dress, foreign fashions, and the "class confusion" that arose from donning luxury apparel (166).
Until now, little reliable scholarly attention has been turned to determining how far Sterne's practice resembled that of Yorick, or of other sermonists. In 1948 Lansing Van der Heyden Hammond published a study of Sterne's source, speculating as to when and how the sermons were composed.
As sermonists they have received less attention, mainly because the sermon is a traditional genre, perceived as having little room for individual expression, and perhaps because of a literary-critical distaste for theology.
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