1632 By George Herbert

The Parson's Church.

THe Countrey Parson hath a speciall care of his Church,
that all things there be decent, and befitting his Name
by which it is called. Therefore first he takes order, that all
things be in good repair; as walls plaistered, windows glazed,
floore paved, seats whole, firm, and uniform, especially that
the Pulpit, and Desk, and Communion Table, and Font be
as they ought, for those great duties that are performed in
them. Secondly, that the Church be swept, and kept cleane
without dust, or Cobwebs, and at great festivalls strawed,
and stuck with boughs, and perfumed with incense. Thirdly,
That there be fit, and proper texts of Scripture every where
painted, and that all the painting be grave, and reverend,
not with light colours, or foolish anticks. Fourthly, That all
the books appointed by Authority be there, and those not
torne, or fouled, but whole and clean, and well bound; and
that there be a fitting, and sightly Communion Cloth of fine
linnen, with an handsome, and seemly Carpet of good and costly
Stuffe, or Cloth, and all kept sweet and clean, in a strong and
decent chest, with a Chalice, and Cover, and a Stoop, or Flagon;
and a Bason for Almes and offerings; besides which, he hath
a Poor-mans Box conveniently seated, to receive the charity of well
minded people, and to lay up treasure for the sick and needy
. And
all this he doth, not as out of necessity, or as putting a holiness
in the things, but as desiring to keep the middle way between
superstition, and slovenlinesse, and as following the Apostles
two great and admirable Rules in things of this nature: The
first whereof is, Let all things be done decently, and in order: [I Cor. 14:40]
The second, Let all things be done to edification, I Cor. 14 [:26]. For
these two rules comprize and include the double object of
our duty, God, and our neighbour; the first being for the
honour of God; the second for the benefit of our neighbor.
So that they excellently score out the way, and fully, and
exactly contain, even in externall and indifferent things,
what course is to be taken; and put them to great shame, who
deny the Scripture to be perfect.

Editor's Note: Not to mention the spiritual meditation derived from the Church Furniture.

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