The Custard Sermon

“It seems also not very easie, for a Man in his Sermon to learn his Parishioners how to dissolve Gold; of what, and how the stuff is made. Now, to ring the Bells, and call the People on purpose together, would be but a blunt business; but to do it neatly, and when no Body look’d for it, that’s the rarity and art of it. Suppose, then, that he takes for his text that of St. Matthew, Repent ye, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Now tell me, Sir, do you not perceive the Gold to be in a dismal fear, to curl and quiver at the first reading of these words. It must come in thus: The blotts and blurrs of our sins must be taken out by the Aqua-fortis of our Tears; to which Aqua-fortis if you put a fifth part of Sal-Amoniack, and set them in a gentle heat, it makes Aqua-Regia, which dissolves Gold. And now ’tis out. Wonderfull are the things that are to be done by the help of metaphors and similitudes! And I’ll undertake, that with a little more pains and consideration, out of the very same words, he could have taught the People how to make Custards, Marmalade, or to stew Prunes.”

John Eachard, The Grounds And Occasions Of The Contempt Of The Clergy And Religion (1670)

One thought on “The Custard Sermon

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