For the theory of the Divine right of parents is as strongly and untruly held as that of the Divine right of kings

We don’t have enough Victorian sermonizing here at the Virtual Stoa, so I’ve just re-published two of my great-great-grandfather Stopford Brooke’s sermons on this site, Liberty, preached on 25 January 1874, and Liberty at Home, given the following Sunday, 1 February 1874.

I’m sure we don’t get the full effect just by reading them off the computer screen, though. Brooke was apparently quite the performer: Gladstone once found him “a bit wild” when he when he heard him preach “against respectability”, and Bernard Shaw thought that what the socialists really needed in England in order to make headway was “some man who would have something of the religious fervor of Hyndman with something akin to the cultured suasiveness of Stopford Brooke.” Still, what we do have is interesting enough, and I’m very pleased to see his stress on the importance of arguing with one’s daughters in the second piece.

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