Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Novelties Unknown to our Fathers

From The Huguenots by Samuel Smiles, a quote from the Rev. Jacob Bourdillon, minister of the Artillery Church, Spitalfields, who in 1782 celebrated his golden anniversary as preacher by bemoaning the reasons for the general decline in morality:
'...because of inconstancy in the principles of the faith, which induces so many by a sort of infatuation to forsake the ancient assemblies in order to follow novelties unknown to our fathers, and listen to pretended teachers whose only gifts are rapture and babble, and whose sole inspiration consists in self-sufficiency and pride. Alas! what ravages have been made here, as elsewhere, during the jubilee of fifty years!'

The phrases I've emphasised in bold strike me as thoroughly modern in sentiment. I suppose every generation has its Sony playstation and Hello! magazine.


Blogger Paul said...

Great quote!

It is kind of remarkable how each generation thinks of its predecessors as hopelessly antiquated has-beens, its successors as misguided, decadent youth, and itself as striking just the perfect balance.

Tue Mar 02, 02:13:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Ha! Exactly, Paul. We are utterly perfect.

Tue Mar 02, 05:36:00 pm  
Anonymous marly youmans said...

Yes, I like that... good quote.

And I like that hat picture very much, Clare! Nothing like a good hat.

Sun Mar 07, 02:33:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

It is good, isn't it, Marly? Says a lot...

And thank you about the hat. Unfortunately it is not a very stable structure and has to be tied tightly to my head, and it was decorated with bits of leaves which feel off soon afterwards - but I think this gives it added authenticity.

Sun Mar 07, 10:01:00 am  
Anonymous marly youmans said...

A leaf hat! How lovely. Hat pictures are the best kind of portraits, I think.

Sun Mar 07, 02:41:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Yes, I agree - hats can be very flattering - for reasons I don't really understand. Maybe because some of the face is hidden and therefore is a little mysterious. They can also be decidedly unflattering - on me, at least! One has to be very careful with hats, I think!

Sun Mar 07, 03:29:00 pm  

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