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LIFE, LETTERS, AND SERMONS
BISHOP HERBERT DE LOSINGA
(b. circ. A.D. 1050, d. 1119):
The LETTERS (as translated by the Editors) being incorporated
with the LIFE, and the SERMONS being now first edited
EDWARD MEYRICK GOULBURN, D.D.
DEAN OF NORWICH,
RECTOR OF TIVETSHALL,
Oxford and London :
PREFACE TO THE SERMONS.
$1. The following Sermons have been transcribed from a MS. formerly belonging to the Cathedral Church of Norwich, and now in the Library of the University of Cambridge. The MS. is one Descripof two volumes containing Sermons by various Ms. of the Fathers of the Church, Ambrose, Gregory, Bede, Se &c., and at the end of one of the volumes are the fourteen Sermons by Herbert. On the flyleaf, and again on fol. i., is the mark “A. vii.," indicating probably the place of the volume in the Library of the Church of Norwich. For that the volume originally belonged to the Church of Norwich is clear from these words, also found on the fly-leaf, in a hand of the first half of the 16th century; “In fine hujus voluminis est sermo Herberti episcopi fundatoris hujus ecclesia.” A later hand adds, “et vid. p. 431, 435, 440, 470," these being references to the four Sermons which have Herbert's name prefixed to them a.
* Bale (1495–1563] is, as far as we have been able to discover, the first author who gives a list of Herbert's works. According to him they are as follows ;
Sermones, octodecim. lib. i. Convenistis dilectissimi fratres.
Et alia quædam.
The volume is a large folio, written in two columns on vellum, in a hand not later than the middle of the twelfth century, as will be seen from the photograph forming the frontispiece. The ink is generally of good dark tint, and in no part much faded. The only use of colour is occasionally in the titles of the sermons, and always in the initial letters of each sermon, and sometimes in the initial letter of a new paragraph.
The words “ad colacionem,” occasionally found in the margin, require some explanation for readers not versed in this sort of lore. The "collatio” in monastic houses was originally an instructive conference on some Scriptural or sacred subject, in which the juniors asked questions, or proposed difficulties, and the seniors replied. It was so called, because both parties contributed (contulerunt) to the discussion. Afterwards, it came to signify a simple reading aloud of good books by an appointed reader, while the brethren listened in silence. “The brethren,” says the Benedictine Rule (cap. xlii.), “ after having taken their supper, shall assemble together, and one of them shall read the Collations, or Lives of the Fathers (legat unus Collationes, vel Vitas Patrum), or any other book calculated to edify.” Among these readings in the Norwich Benedictine Monastery, attached to the Cathedral, were very naturally selections from the Sermons of the Founder ; and these selections are indicated by the words “ad colacionem” in the margin. It appears, moreover, that from the custom prevalent in most monasteries of reading aloud at meals (see the Benedictine Rule, cap. xxxviii.), the word “collation" came to signify the meal itself; and hence, perhaps, “ad colacionem” may indicate a suitable lection for meal-time. “Profound silence,” says the Rule, “ shall be observed during meals, so that no voice save that of the reader may be heard.”
with the words which Bale has given as their beginning (“Convenistis, dilectissimi fratres”). A slight difficulty occurs with reference to the word "octodecim,” given by Bale. There are but fourteen sermons in the MS., unless indeed we count in the three anecdotes, (which begin like the sermons with capital and rubricated letters, and might well be considered as separate discourses, because there is no very discernible thread of connexion between them and the sermons which they respectively succeed). This, however, only makes the number seventeen. Possibly the anecdote about St. Paul's martyrdom contained in the sermon “In Festivitate Sancti Pauli,” may have been reckoned by Bale as a separate discourse; or possibly he may have counted them hastily.
§ 2. It is well known to students of ancient Principles MSS. that distinct words are often written to- the "tran. gether without any break, while, on the other
One have prohand, different parts of the same words are some- ceeded times separated by a space. Thus in the MS. the diviwhich is here for the first time printed, we find words, “Mira res," written“ Mirares,” and “ebdomadas,” [hebdomadas] written “eb domadas.” But in our preparation of the MS. for the press we have disregarded these arrangements of the words, as perplexing to the reader, and have printed distinct words as always separate, and the parts of the same word always together.
The punctuation of the MS. we have retained pune t1820 with as much fidelity as possible. The laws which govern it seem to have a certain regularity, though we do not profess to understand or explain them. Neither the comma, nor the