11 September 2015 A.D. Formulary Friday: A 16th century preacher talks to Marketing
Tomkins, Simon. “Formulary Friday: A 16th century preacher talks to Marketing.” Church Society. 11 Sep 2015. http://churchsociety.org/blog/entry/formulary_friday_a_16th_century_preacher_talks_to_marketing#When:05:00:00Z. Accessed 11 Sept 2015.
Formulary Friday: A 16th century preacher talks to Marketing
Posted by Simon Tomkins, 11 Sep 2015
Simon Tomkins sees what happens when the author of the Second Homily (Book I) meets Marketing...
Marketing: We want you to motivate people to love themselves better and release their inner goodness.
Preacher: Almighty God giveth us all a title and name in our great-grandfather Adam, which ought to warn us all to consider what we be, whereof we be, from whence we came, and whither we shall, saying thus “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread, till thou be turned again into the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; inasmuch as thou art dust, and into dust shalt thou be turned again.” Here, as it were in a glass, we may learn to know ourselves to be but ground, earth, and ashes, and that to earth and ashes we shall return.
Marketing: Surely God doesn’t think we’re that bad?
Preacher: All men, of their evilness and natural proneness, were so universally given to sin, that, as the Scripture saith, “God repented that ever he made man”: and by sin his indignation was so much provoked against the world, that he drowned all the world with Noah’s flood, except Noah himself and his little household.
Marketing: OK, but what about good people? Surely they can feel positive about themselves?
Preacher: St John the Baptist, being sanctified in his mother’s womb, and praised before he was born, called … “the greatest that ever was born of a woman”, yet he plainly granteth that he “had need to be washed of Christ”. So doth St John the Evangelist, in the name of himself and of all other holy men, be they never so just, make this open confession: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”… And St. David is ashamed of his sin, but not to confess his sin.
Marketing: But everyone knows Jesus loves us – doesn’t He think we’re great?
Preacher: Our Saviour Christ saith, “there is none good but God”, and that “we can do nothing” that is good “without him”.
Marketing: That sounds too defeatist. If we can’t be better people, what can we do?
Preacher: Let us therefore acknowledge ourselves before God, as we be indeed, miserable and wretched sinners…In ourselves, as of ourselves, we find nothing whereby we may be delivered from this miserable captivity…We are all become unclean: but we all are not able to cleanse ourselves, nor to make one another of us clean.
Marketing: So is there anyone who can help?
Preacher: To God therefore must we flee; or else shall we never find peace, rest, and quietness of conscience in our hearts….He is the God which “of his own mercy saveth us”; and setteth out his charity and exceeding love toward us, in that of his own voluntary goodness, when we were perished, he saved us, and provided an everlasting kingdom for us.
Marketing: Why would he do that?
Preacher: Truly for Jesus Christ’s sake, that “pure and undefiled Lamb of God” …of whom only it may be truly spoken, that he did “all things well”.
Marketing: It’ll never catch on. There’s nothing here to make anyone cheerful – is there?
Preacher: O how much are we bound to this our heavenly Father for his great mercies, which he hath so plenteously declared unto us in Christ Jesu our Lord and Saviour! What thanks worthy and sufficient can we give to him? Let us all with one accord burst out with joyful voices, ever praising and magnifying this Lord of mercy for his tender kindness shewed to us in his dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
From: ‘Of the misery of all mankind, and of his condemnation to death everlasting by his own sin’, Second sermon in The First Book of Homilies, by John Harpsfield.
The Rev'd Simon Tomkins is Curate at All Saints, Little Shelford
- See more at: http://churchsociety.org/blog/entry/formulary_friday_a_16th_century_preacher_talks_to_marketing#When:05:00:00Z