Skip to main content Accessibility help

Emphasis on the Gospel and Christian Reform in Late Medieval Preaching

  • Ray C. Petry (a1)


Christian history demonstrates repeatedly that the church at its best has been a self-criticizing institution. Furthermore, the call to both corporate and individual reformation has never ceased to be regarded as the special obligation of Christian, preachers. Their hearers through the centuries have often been, highly sensitive, as individuals and groups, to castigation of any kind emanating from whatever quarter. In every era, however, there have been some prophetic spokesmen who have continued to take seriously the censures of the church's enemies and to call for self-examination, repentance, and rededication—both personal and social—on the part of its true friends.



Hide All

1 The versatile achievements of Radulfus Ardens in Biblical studies, Patristics, theology, philosophy, canon law, history, and classical literatures are vouched for by Manitius, M., Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters (München, 1931), I, 87, and Grabmann, M., Geschichte der scholastischen Methode (Freiburg, 1909), I, 246–57. A sympathetic and essentially correct interpretation of his character and significance as a pastor and preacher is given by Bourgain, L'Abbé L., La chaire française au xiie siècle d'après les manuscrits (Paris, 1879), 5561. The sketch in the Histoire littéraire de la France (Paris, 1750), IX, 254–265, is reproduced in the prefatory note to Raoul's sermons edited by Migne, J. P., Patrologia Latina (Paris, 1880), 155:1294–99.

2 The basically scriptural and inspiringly evangelical quality of Raoul's reform emphasis will be at once apparent to anyone who, following Bourgain's lead, examines the sermons extant. Those accessible in Migne (MPL), Volume 155, are, according to series and columns: HomiliaeI. De Tempore, 1301–1490; II. De Sanctis, 1489–1626; and the Homiliae in Epist. et Evang. Dominic., 1667–2118.

3 In De Tempore, XX, he flays those who preach “non verba Dei, sed verba dialectices, vel rhetorices vel alicujus scientiae saecularis (1379 B-C) … Turpissimum enim est quando sacerdos est sicut populus. Quod aperte est contra quosdam hodiernos praedicatores qui vita et sapientia non solum non praesunt plebi, sed etiam subsunt. Unde nec audent, nec sciunt eos corrigere.” Followers of Peter, the shepherd of Christ's sheep, can surely imitate his pastoral life and evangelical doctrine, if not his martyrdom (De Tempore), XXVII (1406–08). Raoul directs a stinging jeremiad against those church leaders who, running after secular fancies, spurn the Scriptures on which, alone, temporal and eternal salvation depend (1410). Hom. in Epist. et Evang. Dominic. (Pars II), XXXIX, MPL, 2083–5 is a scathing indictment of bad prelates and a lament over the paucity of good ones: “Heu! quantum excrevit hodie haec ambitio praelationum inter nos!” Of many who mount the episcopal throne Raoul can say: “… male ascendunt, pejus vivunt. … Elati in cathedra, obliviscuntur se esse mortales, divitum personae assumuntur, pauperes abjiciuntur, ordines Ecclesiae et justitiac venundantur, et quae care mercati sunt, carius vendere concupiscunt. Lectio et contemplatio contemnitur, et lucrosae causae agitantur” (2083–4).

4 The characteristic lay-exhortation of Francis and his early brethren did not require Holy Orders. It continued “even after papal permission had been granted for the exercise of the actual sacred (liturgical) sermon.” Francis' and his followers' relation to the “lay exhortation” and the “liturgical sermon” are discussed by Zawart, A., “The History of Franciscan Preaching and of Franciscan Preachers 1209–1927: A Bio-Biographical Study” (Franciscan Studies, No. 7) (New York, 1927), 261–63. The ramifications of the scholastic or artistic sermo in relation to those of the popular sermon, or sermo vulgaris, are treated, 243 ff., and 260–85, particularly.

5 Provisions for lay exhortation and the liturgical sermon have their background and specific exposition in such sources as Moorman's, J. R. H. attempted reconstruction of the Primitive Rule in The Sources for the Life of St. Francis of Assisi (Manchester, 1940), 51 ff.; the Regula prima non bullata (I Beg.), edited by Boehmer, H.Wiegand, U. F., Analekten zur Geschichte des Franciscus von Assisi (Tuebingen, 1930), 118; and the Regula bullata (II Beg.), edited in Boehmer-Wiegand, Analekten, 2024. See, especially, I Reg., 14, 16, 17 and 21 and II Reg., 9 and 12. Cf. Zawart, Franciscan Preaching, 261–62.

6 Francis' preaching of the Gospels and of the Bible as a whole is interpreted in its reform context with full reference to early sources by Petry, R. C., Francis of Assisi: Apostle of Poverty (Durham, N. C., 1941), 7085. An exceedingly useful treatment is that of d'oisy, E., “S. François, la Bible et l'Évangile”, Études Franciscaines, XXXIX (1927), 498529, 646–56; XL (1928), 69–80. Francis' own gospel predilections are characteristically phrased in I Reg., Introd., 1, and 22. The significant Testamentum (Boehmer-Wiegand, Analekton, 24–27), reads: “Et postquam Dominus dedit michi de fratribus, nemo ostendebat michi, quid deberem facere, sed ipse Altissimus revelavit michi, quod deberem vivere secundum formam sancti evangelii (Test., 4).” References to the gospel are profuse throughout all of Francis' works. See Petry, above.

7 The Poverello's undeviating concern that preaching be in accord with the wishes of the properly authorized hierarchy and the liturgical church is illustrated in such passages as I Reg., 17, 23; II Reg., 9; Test., 3; Verba Admonitionis, 26 (Boehmer-Wiegand, Analekten, 33).

8 In addition to the able work of Zawart already mentioned, consult Fr. de Sessevalle, Histoire générale de l'ordre de Saint François (Paris, 1937) II, 3217, and Huber, R. M., A Documented History of the Franciscan Order … 1182–1517 (Washington, D. C., 1944), 772–83.

9 How regnant was the ideal of apostolic preaching and gospel reform in the early Dominicans is illustrated by the tireless researches of Father P. Mandonnet. His Saint Dominique: l'idée, l'homme et l'oeuvre (Paris, 1937), in two volumes, together with notes and critical studies by Marie-Humbert Vicaire and Reginald Ladner, was translated, with certain omissions, in one volume by Larkin, Sister Mary Benedicta as, St. Dominic and His Work (St. Louis, 1945). The original French text and Latin source-notes, alike rendered into English in the one-volume edition, constitute a priceless treasury of references on Dominican preaching and its anchorage in a profounder, more comprehensive scholarship. In this last connection, Mandonnet's, , “La crise scolaire an debut du xiie siècle et la fondation de l'ordre des Frères-Prêcheurs,” in Revue d'histoire Ecclesiastique, XV (1914), 3449 is characteristically useful. A fourteenth-century edition of the Constitutiones ed. by Galbraith, G. R., The Constitution of the Dominican Order, 1216–1360 (Manchester, 1925), 203–53, reads (in Cap. XII, 247): “Qui, accepta benedictione, exeuntes ubique tanquam viri qui suam et aliorum salutem procurare desiderant, religiose et honeste se habeant sicut viri evangelici sui sequentes vestigia Salvatonis, …” Bennett, R. F., The Early Dominicans: Studies in Thirteenth Century Dominican History (Cambridge, 1937), has a series of excellent chapters (V-VII) on the Dominican preacher, his congregation, and his sermons. In addition to the sermons of leading preachers, preaching handbooks like John, Bromyard'sSumma Praedicantium (Venice), and Anecdotes such as those collected by Lecoy de la Marche from Étienne de Bourbon (Paris, 1877), fairly reflect the far-reaching reform ministry and the scriptural basis of the Dominicans.

10 Both the bishops' derelictions and their earnest efforts in this regard are summarized in Mandonnet, St. Dominic, 120–174. Any fair-minded survey of representative councils, episcopal registers, visitation records, etc., demonstrates that some bishops, at least, tried to inculcate the gospel as the main hope of reform. That the best of their efforts were all too ineffectual is evidenced by the almost desperate legislative acts of the third and fourth Lateran (see, particularly, canon 10 of the fourth Lateran, 1215).

11 Leaving aside the grave necessity for a modern life of Grosseteste, one may call attention to the brief critical sketch by Russell, J. C. in his Dictionary of Writers of Thirteenth Century England (“Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research”, Special Supplement, No. 3) (London, 1936), 135–38; Prof. Lechler's old but useful John Wycliffe and His English Precursors (London, 1884), 2040; and Thomson's, S. Harrison indispensable Writings of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, 1235–1253 (Cambridge, 1940).

12 Thomas, de Eccleston, De adventu Fratrum Minorum in Angliam, ed. by Brewer, J. S., Monumenta Franciscana (“Rolls Series”, 4. 1) (London, 1858), I, 3739. Cf. Little, A. G., Franciscan Papers, Lists, and Documents (Manchester, 1943), 26, n. 1, and 58.

13 Epistolae 20, 34, 41, 58 and 59 afford instances of his regard for their preaching and character. The edition is that of Luard, H. R., Roberti Grosseteste Episcopi Quondam Lincolniensis Epistolae (RS, 25) (London, 1861).

14 Especially in point are Epistola 22 (A.D. 1236), Luard ed., 72–76, and Epistola 52 (1238), Luard, 154–166. The last comprises the famous Constitutiones sent to rectors, vicars, and others in the diocese of Lincoln. Consult Thomson, , Grosseteste, 126–27, 202.

15 Discussing a certain problem he adduces evidence “sicut auctoritate irrefragibili Scripturae patet …” (Ep. 2, Luard, 18). To the Regents in Theology at Oxford, concerning their responsibility for building with Biblical stones on the rock which is Christ, himself, he says (Ep. 123, Luard 346–47): “Vos autem estis domus Dei constructores, superaedificantes eam super fundamentum Apostolorum et Prophetarum, ipso angulari lapide Christo Jesu. Lapides igitur fundamentales aedificii, cujus estis architectonici, … libri sunt Prophetarum … libri quoque Apostolorum et Evangelium. … Tempus autem maxime proprium ponendi et disponendi praedictos lapides in fundamento, … hora est matutina qua ordinarie legitis; decet igitur vestras lectiones omnes, maxime tali tempore, legendas esse de libris Novi Testamenti vel Veteris. …” Roger Bacon also bemoaned undue emphasis on tractates, sentences, and summas to the detriment of studies in the sacred text. See his Compendium Studii Theologiae, Pars II. Prolog., as ed. by Rashdall, H., for the British Society of Franciscan Studies, III, 34 ff. Cf. the Opus Minus in Brewer's ed. of the Opera, (RS 15:328 ff.).

16 Writing to Pope Gregory IX (c. 1238) he said (Ep. 58, Luard, 180), of the Franciscans: “Illuminant enim totam nostram regionem praeclara luce praedicationis et doctrinae.” And before this, c. 1236 (Ep. 34, Luard, 121), he had defended them against an episcopal detractor as follows: “Seit enim vestra discretio, quam utilis est populo, cum quo habitant, Fratrum Minorum praesentia et cohabitatio; cum tam verbo praedicationis quam exemplo sanctae caelestique conversationis et devotione jugis orationis continue et indefesse portent pacem et patriam illuminent, suppleantque in hac parte, pro magna parte defectum praelatorum.”

17 Grosseteste rebuked those rectors, vicars, and priests who, scorning th preaching and confessionals of both mendicant orders, tried maliciously to hinder their popular ministry. Indeed, he issued orders “compellendo sacerdotes ad debite peragendum divina obsequia, ad focarios expellendum, ad inducendum efficaciter populum, ut fratrum utriusque ordinis praedicationes devote et attente audiat, eisque humiliter confiteatur …” (Ep. 107, Luard, 318).

18 His famous letter of c.1239 (Ep. 127, Luard, 357–432) dealing with his challenged rights of visitation as a bishop shows how great a mastery of the Old and New Testament he possessed. Accepting his full responsibility, as a bishop, for the evangelical proclamation of the word of God, he proposed to preach both by word of mouth and stern, disciplinary example (Cf. Ep. 127, Luard; 414). He found ample justification from Matthew, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Gregory's Pastorul Rule, and many others, not only for the regular ministry of prayer, preaching, and good administration, but also for the episcopal prerogatives of visitation, correction, and reformation. “Non solum enim oratione, praedicatione, exemplorum bonorum ostensione, et sacrorum administratione unitur, viget, stat, et protegitur ecclesia, sed et visitatione, correctione, et reformatione” (See Luard, 418–31, for this position and his scriptural authorities).

19 Transmitted to us as Sermo 14, this Memorandum is analyzed by Lechler, (English Precursors, 3234) and defended as authentic by Thomson, (Grosseteste, 171, 160). It is part of a pitifully small body of published sermons from Grosseteste. These and the unpublished works still require extended study. The ones published are virtually limited to the edition of Brown, E., Fasciculus Rerum Expetendarum et Fugiendarum (1690), 250 ff.

20 “No wonder, for they preach not the Gospel of Christ with that living word which comes forth from living zeal for the salvation of souls, and is confirmed by an example worthy of Jesus Christ …“ (Lechler, , English Precursors, 32).

21 Ibid., 33.

22 Cf. ordination sermons of Grosseteste as cited and quoted from the edition of Brown, Fasc. Rer, Exp. II, 251, 256, 260, by Deanesly, M., The Lollard Bible and other Medieval Biblical Versions (Cambridge, 1920), 196 and n. 1.

23 Consult Deanesly, , Lollard Bible, 141–42, 442 ff., for the quotation, ascribed to Grosseteste, in which the priest who pleads inability to preach is told to resign; or else to “record … in the week the naked text of the Sunday's gospel, that he con the gross story, and tell it to his people; that is, if he understand Latin; and do he this every week in the year. … If forsooth he understood no Latin, go he to one of his neighbours that understandeth, which will charitably expound it to him, and thus edify he his flock, that is, his people.”

24 See Ep. 50 (Luard, 146–147) for the text which begins: “Quoniam debitores sumus evangelizandi verbum Dei omnibus de dioecesi nostra, (and, flnding it impossible to preach directly to more than the rectors, vicars, and parish priests of each deanery), ipsis verbum Det praedicemus, instruentes eosdem qualiter populum sibi subjectum verbo doceant et conversationis suae exemplo informent; ut quod per nosmet ipsos implere non possumus, saltem eorum ministerio quoquomodo faciamus.”

25 Chroaica Maiora, Ed. Luard, H. R., seven volumes (RS 57) (London, 18721883), V, 407 (Cf. Luard, Ep. Gross. lxxxvii).

26 Mon. Fran. (RS,4.1) I, 64 (Cf. Little, Franciscan Papers, 59).

27 The edition of John Wyclif's De Veritate Sacrae Scripturae … is that of R. Buddensieg, published in three volumes for the Wyclif Society by Truebner and Co. (London, 1905–07). References are given to De Veritate by chapter and to the Buddensieg ed. by vol. and page. According to Cap. 5 (I, 100): Holy Scripture … est lex Cristi, testamentum Dei et fides ecclesie. …” Cf., for example, Cap. 8 (I, 159–182). On the unity of the Scriptures, Old and New Testament, as the “unum dei verbum”, in whatever sense they may be interpreted, see Cap. 19 (II, 112–14). For the different senses of Scripture see Buddensieg, I, 14, 73, 76, 119–24.

28 Appealing to Augustine and other Fathers he says (Cap. 6, I, 136): “… unde alias describendo heresim dixi, quod omnis heresis est scripture sacre contraria, cum ipsa continet in se omnem veritatem, …” Cap. 3 (I, 54): “logica autem scripture in eternum stat, cum fundatur independenter a fama vel favore hominum infringibili veritate” (Cf. 53).

29 Cap. 20 (II, 129): “… lex Christi debet proporcionabiliter diligi ut eius legifer, et per consequens est infinitum honoracior quam tradicio humana” (Cf. 130–136).

30 Cap. 20 (II, 137): “… dominicus sermo debet audiri humiliter ac delectabiliter ab omnibus cristianis. Patet ex hoc, quod in fide illius scripture necesse est, omnes salvandos salvari.” Cap. 6 (I, 136): “… omnes cristiani eciam seculares domini debent scripturam sacram cognoscere atque defendere.”

31 Cap. 20 (II, 137): “… omnes cristiani et precipue sacerdotes atque episcopi tenentur cognoscere primo omnem legem scripture.” Pope Gregory I, knowing well that the salvation of man depends on the Scripture, had concluded (138): “quod sacerdotibus prepositis et specialiter episcopis iniungitur a deo sancte predicacionis officium.” True ministers of Christ, not in name only, but in deed, also, need to remember his injunction (Marc. 16:15): “… predicate, inquid, ewangelium omni creature, …” (138). Again, Wyclif reminds bishops that: “non enim cumulacio temporalium per se facit honorem episeopi, quia titulus iste spectat ad dominos seculares, et tune, ut cresceret rel decresceret temporalium adiacencia, variaretur honor episcopi. … oportet igitur, episcopum in quantum huiusmodi habere habitum ewangelizandi” (139). Cf. Cap. 21 (II, 160).

32 Cap. 10 (I, 205).

33 Cap. 32 (III, 274–75).

34 Cap. 9 (I, 189): “illa enim est primo sacra, in qua omnes catholici communicant, cum sit una communis fides toti ecclesie.”

35 Cap. 24 (II, 268): “… scriptura sacra excedit omnes humanos canones in utilitate, in autoritate et subtilitate.”

36 Cap. 12 (I, 271); Cap. 31 (III, 242–45).

37 Cap. 21 (II, 156): “patet secundo, quod predicacio verbi dei est actus solempnior quam confeccio sacramenti, cum tantum sit unum recipere verbum dei sicut corpus Christi. igitur multo plus est, populum recipere verbum dei, quam unicam personam recipere corpus Criti.”

38 Cap. 21 (II, 167).

39 Cap. 21 (II, 179).

40 Cap. 24 (II, 242–44). This, Wyclif concludes, is the condition necessary to common edification that Paul speaks of in I Cor. 14:9. See the tract, “The holi prophete David seith,” attributed to Wyclif and edited by Deanesly, Lollard Bible, 445–56, for the significance of preaching to the people in the vernacular.

41 Thomas, Arnold's edition of The Select English Works of John Wyclif (London, 18691871) gives the sermons in the first two of his three volumes. A convenient arrangement of representative passages from the sermons and other works is provided by Winn, H. E., Wyclif: Select English Writings (London, 1929). The right and duty of preaching “Goddis Lawe” is stressed typically in the following sermons, listed by number according to the volumes and pages of Arnold: 8 (II, 242–46); 45 (I, 129 ff.); 61 (I, 185–89); 63 (I, 194–96); 64 (I, 197–201); 79 (I, 261–66); 80 (I, 266–71); 133 (I, 17–19); 207 (II, 172–74). Volume I (Super Evangelia Dominicalia) of Iohannis Wyclif Sermones, ed. by Loserth, J. Dr. and published for the Wyclif Society by Truebner and Co. (London, 1887), has an invaluable introduction, iii-xl, with source-texts drawn from numerous Latin sermons and other works of Wyclif that clarify his preoccupation with gospel preaching and reform. This excellent treatment documents to Wyclif, himself, a systematic investigation of preaching character and content and the method of preaching to the people. The tract, “The Church and Her Members” (Arnold, , Select English Works, III, 338 ff.), should be consulted, especially Chapters 4, 5, 9, 10.

42 See Loserth, I, iii, and the texts there cited. A good illustration of a sermon stressing pastoral ministry through godly conversation of life and the evangelical teaching of “Goddis Lawe” in keeping with Christ's example is Sermo 26 (Ego sum pastor bonus, Job. 10:11) of the Latin Series, I, 172–79. A similar work in the Arnold edition is Sermon 48 (I, 138–140).

43 Sermo 37 (Loserth I, 246–52). Cf. Sermo 40 (Loserth I, 268).

44 Sermo 16 (Loserth I, 107–114, especially, 110): “Iterum, eucaristie confeccio non facit nisi pastem esse sacramentaliter corpus Cristi, evangelizaeio vero facit naturam digniorem, quia animam humanam esse quoddammodo ipsum Christum.”

45 Consult Deanesly, , Lollard Bible, 225–51, and Workman, H. B., John Wyclif: A Study of the English Medieval Church (Oxford, 1926), II, 149220.

46 Whether or not Wyclif actually wrote the nostalgic translation of the Rule and Testament of St. Francis attributed to him by Matthew, F. D., The English Works of Wyclif Hitherto Unprinted, EETS, 74 (London, 1880), 3951, and by Workman, , John Wyclif, II, 98, is immaterial. Wyclif's appreciation for Francis and the Spirituals is as sure as his animadversions on the later Minorites. Nor is it accidental that he quotes and paraphrases long sermonic passages on the virtues of evangelical preaching attributed to Grosseteste, the staunch friend of the pristine, evangelical Franciscans. See, for instance, the Opus Evangelicum, Prima Pars, caps. 6, 13, 14–15, etc. The edition here used is that of DrLoserth, J., published for the Wyclif Society (London, 1895), I, 17, 41, 4348, etc. Cf.Workman, , John Wyclif, I, 115–16.

47 Part I, 1–203 of Connolly's, J. L.John Gerson, Reformer and Mystic (St. Louis, 1928), is devoted to Gerson as reformer. This work makes large use of original sources. Jordan, G. J., The Inner History of the Great Schism of the West: Problem in Church Unity (London, 1930), likewise utilizes Ellies Du Pin's edition of Gerson's Opera (Antwerp, 1706). The analysis of conciliar tracts and sermons is a feature of Jordan's study. Both works give well-selected quotations from the pertinent Latin texts.

48 For representative ones see Mansi, J. D., Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima Collectio, 53 volumes in 57 (Paris, 19031927), XXVIII, 538–40 and 549–57; XXVII, 179 ff. See Connolly, , Gerson, 168203, together with Jordan's extended analyses.

49 Connolly, , Gerson, 139–67, employs the texts to good advantage in his interpretation of Gerson the preacher. Bourret, E., Essai historique et critique sur les sermons français de Geroon d'après les manusorits inédits … (Paris, 1858), is still useful. Carnahan, D. H., in his introduction to the first modern edition of the sermon, “Ad Deum Vadit,” University of Illinois Studies in Language and Literature, III. 1 (02, 1917), 1139, relates Gerson to the preaching of his own and other ages. The text of this French sermon (41–129), as well as another translated by Bourret, , Sermons français, 165–82, reveals characteristic qualities of Gerson's gospel and reform preaching. Jacques Wimpheling's edition of Gerson's Opera was reproduced by Jean Knoblouch in four volumes (Strassburg, 1514). Inconvenient as this set is to use, it provides a number of the sermons. The original French sermons have, of course, a Latin translation in this work. The scriptural earnestness and reformatory direction of Gerson's preaching are everywhere apparent. The evangelical appeal to repentance, love and social responsibility is directed to all groups, regardless of their station.

50 The most heartening experience in reading Gerson's own works is the realization of his gospel passion, his stress on penance and the love of Christ, and hi preaching to the basic reform issues of his day. These redemptive qualities of his individual-social preaching are well summarized, with the aid of primary materials, in Connolly's Gerson, 147–63, and by Bourret, , Sermons français, 132138.

51 Le cardinal Nicolas de Cues (1401–1464), l'action, la pensée (Paris, 1920). Unrivalled familiarity with the MSS of the sermons is turned to good account in the treatment of Cusa as gospel preacher and reformer (153–65). A brief evaluation of his significance on the basis of his works is that of Bett, H., Nicholas of Cusa (London, 1932), 8398.

52 The learning and scriptural penetration of such works as De Docta Ignorantia and De Concordantia Catholica as well as of the sermons may be seen at first-hand in the editions of the Opera by Jacobus Faber Stapulensis, 3 vols. (Paris, 1514), and by Heinrich Petri, 3 vols. (Basel, 1565). Jacob, E. F. has a chapter on “Cusanus the Theologian” in his Essays in the Conciliar Epoch (Manchester, 1943), 154–69.

53 The gospel spirit of his sermons and their tender, yet vigorous appreciation of Christ as the renovator of man's private and public life emerge in Cusa's treatment of such texts as: “Pater vester coelestis dabit vobis,” Excitationum ex Sermonibus, Lib. X, 670–71, and “Pienitudo legis est dilectio,” Excit., Lib. IX, 636–37. The appeal to “Christiformity” through the exercise of love for God and man as it is in Christ Jesus is emphasized, not only in the first mentioned fragment, but also throughout the preaching of Cusa. Sermons on Christ and the “Corpus Mysticum” are numerous. Truly, Cusa can say, “Consistit autem vita in obedientia perfecta quae exaltavit Christum super omnia” (Excit., Lib., X, 670). Cf. Excit., Lib. VII, 576, on the Scriptures as the Word of Life in relation to the Mystical Body of Christ.

54 The gospel demand for repentance on the part of every individual and group, with specific applicability to eccleciatical and civic life, is llustrated by such a sermon as that entitled: “Penitenza, Penitenza” (Poenitentiam agite: approninquabit regnum coelorum … Matt. 4:17), edited by Ferrara, M., Girolamo Savonarola: Prediche e scritti … (Milan, 1930). There are significant summaries and translated portions of gospel-reform sermons based on Baccini, G., Ed., Girolamo Savonarola: Prediche ⃜ (Firenze, 1889), by Villari, P., Life and Times of Girolamo Savonarola, Translated by Linda, Villari (New York, 1890), I, 187–185 etc. The appeal to Christ and the gospel, however obscured at times, is also a vigorous one in the sermon on “The Ascension of Christ” (Luke 24:51), reproduced in translation in the World's Great Sermons (New York, 1908), I, 93112. For the powerful cogency of Bernardine of Siena's popular sermons see the selection and edition of Don Nazareno Orlandi as translated by Helen J. Robins (Siena, 1920). See, particularly, sermons 12, 13, 19, 28, involving such everyday issues as good government, business methods and problems, and the necessity of keeping the university at Siena — all treated in the context of gospel preaching.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
  • URL: /core/journals/church-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed