John Elder Robison delivers a 17th century sermon on hypocrisy

My ancestor Rowland Jones was the first rector of Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.  He was an Oxford graduate, from Merton College, ordained by Bishop Henry King and sent to Virginia six years later.  Arriving at Jamestown, he traveled to Williamsburg to become their first rector. He served the congregation faithfully from 1674 until his death in 1688.  I always wondered what he might have preached in his church . . . now I have an idea.  The pastor who followed him - James Blair - recorded some of his sermons for posterity.

This evening, I decided to read one for you.  There are a few bumps as I stumble on the old language but all in all, it still reads pretty smoothly.  Its message, though dated, still rings true today.

This very sermon was originally delivered before the Bruton Parish congregation, in my ancestor's church over 300 years ago.  When you click the link it opens a new window and downloads the 17 meg mp3 file,  which should play automatically.

I'd be very interested in what you think.

The photo below shows the church yard where he's buried, illuminated by starlight last week.


last1here said…
Does hold true today, John.
And you read the sermon quite well, indeed.

Interesting that there are so many that use the outword signs of religion to profess their faith, yet their actions outside the church tell otherwise.
forsythia said…
Well read and still true. Some things never change.
Jean Sunell said…
Thank you for sharing that with us John. It is so true. I know so many people who go to church every Sunday but their actions have nothing to do with faith in GOD. You, my friend, are doing GOD's work with your fight for autism. I have viewed you as a messenger from GOD since I was introduced to your story, and you have helped so many people with your work. I will see you in Heaven, John Elder Robison!
Anonymous said…
Good stuff but there is one problem in adapting a sermon on hypocrisy to modern circumstances. The modern audience may have no idea what the term means. Accusing someone of hypocrisy and philandering nowadays just means you've read their autobiography according to P.J. O'Rourke.
Gym Rat said…
I've been listening to your book on CD (Look Me in the Eye) and am fascinated by your descriptions of how you thought/think, because I have a lot of similar traits, and have always felt "different." It makes me wonder about a lot of things. I appreciate your candor and thank you for writing this book.

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