Melville, Dick Moby Dick, Father Maple discussed on 5 Minutes in Church History
Welcome to five minutes in churches hosted by Dr. Stephen Nicholson where we take a little break from the presence to go exploring the past travel back in time as we look the people events, and even the places that shaped the story of Christianity this is our story family history. Let's get started. Welcome back to another episode of Church history. Last week we were talking about the pulpit that Latin Word Putnam, and that object that appears in so many churches. Well, we also find the pulpit, appearing in of all places that great American novel by Herman, Melville none other than moby. Dick Moby Dick has one hundred and thirty five chapters. They have fascinating names like the shark massacre and interesting names, two of the chapters in particular come early in the book that have great names chapter nine is entitled the sermon. Sermon, Chapter Eight is entitled The pulpit so this is Melville's description of a pulpit of a fabled new. England church, it's sort of a conglomerate picture that Melville is putting together. And of course they are about to go out to sea questing after the great white whale, and before they go, all the sailors will show up that. Sunday in church to hear that sermon before they're sent off to see, and they might not come back again well. This is chapter eight on the pulpit. Let's read Melville's description. He tells us how he's sitting there. In the Pew of the Church and Father Maple comes in, and then he starts walking towards the pulpit. Melville says like most old fashioned pulpits. It was a very lofty one and since. Our stairs to such a height would by its long angle with the floor seriously constrict the already small area of the chapel, the architect it seemed had acted upon the hint of Father Maple, and finish the pulpit without a stairs, substituting a perpendicular that is straight up and down side ladder like those used in mounting ship from a boat at sea. The wife of a whaling captain had provided the chapel with a handsome pair of red ropes for this latter. Halting for an instant at the foot of the ladder, and with both hands, grasping the ornamental knobs of those red ropes, Father Maple cast a look upwards, and then with a truly sailor, like, but still reverential dexterity hand over hand, mounted the steps as if ascending the main top of his vessel. Melville continues, nor was the pulpit itself without a trace of the same seat taste that had achieved the latter. It's paneled front was in the likeness of shifts, bluff bows and the holy. Bible rested on a projecting piece of scroll work fashioned after a ship's fiddle headed beak. What could be full of more meaning Melville asks. For the pulpit. Is Ever this Earth's foremost part? All the rest comes in its rear. The pulpit leads the world from thence. It is the storm of God's quick. Wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt. From thence it is the god of breezes. Fair or foul is I invoked for favourable winds. Yes, yes, the world's a ship on its passage out not a voyage complete, and the pulpit is its prow. Well, that's from the pen of Melville. What a fascinating line he gives us. Did you hear it in that last paragraph I read and the pope it leads the world. Well. That's chapter eight. The pulpit from Melville's great novel. Some have called I. Know Dr Sprawl often called it the great American novel Moby Dick or The whale. And I'm Steve Nichols thanks for listening to five minutes in Church history. For more information or to listen to past episodes, please visit five minutes in Church history.