were regularly paid for by the organizers and spread or presented as gifts, just as funeral sermons were usually funded by relatives of the deceased. There was in any case a large demand for instructional literature, including sermons. For the illiterate, published sermons read aloud may have been instrumental in achieving literacy. Sermons for the 'common man' and sermons for children appeared with increasing frequency, often in cheap duodecimo editions. As ideals of social and educational reform gained momentum, the market began to be supplied with sermons for the peasantry (a group that figured particularly large), sailors, soldiers, spouses, youths, young ladies, and the elderly.
Preachers-in-print ranged from village pastors to university professors, bishops, and superintendents. Ifprefaces and forewords are to be believed, sermons were published with a view to instructing flocks and assisting less talented or less experienced colleagues. Publications served also to augment meagre incomes, to further ecclesiastical or academic careers and generally to affirm the reputation of sermonizers; preachers who aimed to advance from the provinces to Paris, and from Paris to the court, realized that achieving a certain standing as a sermonizer was mandatory. Posthumous publications were quite common. Bought and kept as mementos, such collections were issued by relatives, friends, or colleagues. Review writers in the new periodicals faulted the practice because few such compilations lived up to their standards of literary taste, and because defunct authors were regrettably not amenable to correction. Some renowned experts on oral delivery set examples ofmodesty by stipulating in their wills the destruction of their manuscripts. The Dutch Calvinist minister Bernard Smytegelt (1665-1739) left such an instruction, and the only reason why his 145 discourses on the single text of Isaiah 42:3 ('a bruised reed shall he not break') are still extent in seventeen quarto volumes is because pious disciples took the trouble of transcribing them in church. From Berlin to London, transcription was a chief means of obtaining copy for the many profitable pirate editions of sermons by famous preachers.
Published sermons could, and spoken sermons often did, borrow extensively from the oratorical work of others. Such plagiarism was not necessarily frowned upon. The Anglican episcopate made a point of recommending the practice to young preachers, and few priests denied the utility of quoting passages from Bossuet. Busy, inexperienced, unimaginative, maladroit or merely indolent clergymen put sermon collections to good use, employing them to find relevant themes, suitable passages, apposite quotes, and even complete texts. The culture of consumption thus extended to sermons; in England there apparently existed a market for sermon texts supplied by hackwriters and frequented by needy clergymen.3 The proliferation of printed media even turned
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