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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Religion

A Sinister Text

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

A Sinister TextA SINISTER TEXT. – A Somersetshire correspondent, writing to a Bristol contemporary, tells an anecdote of an occurrence which he alleges took place in his parish not long since. The chief parishioner was a large and wealthy farmer, who never lived on particularly good terms with the parson, chiefly for this reason, that the farmer was a horrid screw, and would pay nothing towards schools, charities, clothing-clubs, or anything else. In fact, the man would give money for nothing but what, as he said, he “got value for.” With all this the farmer and his family were proud, and wished to have all consideration paid them; thus when, in course of time, the farmer became ill and died, the sons called on the parson, and wished him to preach a funeral sermon for the father. The parson knew he had nothing good to say of such an old skinflint as the deceased, and confidently declared to a friend that if he were to express his true conviction, he should say that he had gone to Beelzebub; but as it would not do to tell this to the family, he decorously assured them he objected to funeral sermons in general; but they would not be denied – so he gave way, and on the following Sunday the two customary satin weepers were hung up, one on each side of the pulpit, while the family pew was full of clouds of gauze and bundles of bombasin. In the midst of all this grave circumstance of mourning, the clergyman at length ascended the pulpit and gave out his text, “the beggar died” (Luke xvi., 22), laying a significant stress on the first and second words. Though they felt far from gratified at the sinister selection, the family could not complain, as there was appended thereof an excellent discourse on the certainty of death and the vanity of riches, and evidence in the case of Dives and lazarus, and to no clause of which could they take exception. Such is the story, and we give it as communicated. - Taunton Courier.