A Fruitful Exhortation: A Guide to the Homilies
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Along with the Thirty-nine Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal, the two books of Homilies form part of the constitutive documents of the Church of England and are therefore of considerable importance for understanding both its history and its doctrine. But whereas the others are well-known and easily obtainable, the Homilies remain relatively obscure. Having said that, there is still much in the Homilies that is of great value and it would be a pity to lose that because of the formidable difficulties involved in tackling the original texts today. This Guide therefore aims to provide modern readers and students with a bridge that will help them gain access to what the Homilies teach and adapt them to modern usage and circumstances. Each homily is outlined according to its own internal divisions and themes, and extracts from them are provided in italics. These extracts are designed to sum up the teaching of the homily in question, but also to be capable of modern use as quotations in sermons preached on the same subjects today. They are therefore intended to be a resource for the preacher and teacher, as well as an aid to the student of the English Reformation.