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Beacon Lights of History eBook

John Lord
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 270 pages of information about Beacon Lights of History.
than to join in the paeans of redemption, or to learn humiliating lessons of worldly power before the altar of Omnipotence.  To the poor the gospel is preached; and it is ever the common people who hear most gladly gospel truth.  Ah, who are the common people?  I fancy we are all common people when we are sick, or in bereavement, or in adversity, or when we come to die.  But if advancing society, based on material wealth and epicurean pleasure, demands churches for the rich and churches for the poor,—­if the lines of society must be drawn somewhere,—­let those architects be employed who understand, at least, the first principles of their art.  I do not mean those who learn to draw pictures in the back room of a studio, but conscientious men, if you cannot find sensible men.  And let the pulpit itself be situated where the people can hear the speaker easily, without straining their eyes and ears.  Then only will the speaker’s voice ring and kindle and inspire those who come together to hear God Almighty’s message; then only will he be truly eloquent and successful, since then only does his own electricity permeate the whole mass; then only can he be effective, and escape the humiliation of being only a part of a vain show, where his words are disregarded and his strength is wasted in the echoes of vaults and recesses copied from the gloomy though beautiful monuments of ages which can never, never again return, any more than can “the granite image worship of the Egyptians, the oracles of Dodona, or the bulls of the Mediaeval popes.”

AUTHORITIES.

Fergusson’s History of Architecture; Durand’s Parallels; Eastlake’s Gothic and Revival; Ruskin, Daly, and Penrose; Britton’s Cathedrals and Architectural Antiquities; Pugin’s Specimens and Examples of Gothic Architecture; Rickman’s Styles of Gothic Architecture; Street’s Gothic Architecture in Spain; Encyclopaedia Britannica (article Architecture).

JOHN WYCLIF.

A. D. 1324-1384.

Dawn of the reformation.

The name of Wyclif suggests the dawn of the Protestant Reformation; and the Reformation suggests the existence of evils which made it a necessity.  I do not look upon the Reformation, in its earlier stages, as a theological movement.  In fact, the Catholic and Protestant theology, as expounded and systematized by great authorities, does not materially differ from that of the Fathers of the Church.  The doctrines of Augustine were accepted equally by Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin.  What is called systematic divinity, as taught in our theological seminaries, is a series of deductions from the writings of Paul and other apostles, elaborately and logically drawn by Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine, and other lights of the early Church, which were defended in the Middle Ages with amazing skill and dialectical acuteness by the Scholastic

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