Common Prayer, by Ramie Targoff

Preaching at St. Paul's Cross in London in 1625, John Donne responded to Puritan critics of the Church of England: "If I come to extemporal prayer, and extemporal preaching, I shall come to an extemporal faith, and extemporal religion; and then I shall look for an extemporal Heaven, a Heaven to be made for me." Donne continued: "Let us not pray, not preach, not hear slackly, suddenly, unadvisedly, extemporally, occasionally, indiligently."


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