Copies of the gospels were made in many different sizes and presented in a variety of ways because of the multiple roles that this essential Christian text played. Besides being read aloud during services and meditated upon privately by clergymen and monks, the gospels were also studied as the basis of Christian theology. Commentaries, sermons and homilies were written on the individual gospels, such as the commentary by St Augustine of Hippo on the Gospel of John. A manuscript of Augustine's from Rochester has bound with it a portion of the Gospel of John so that the reader might consult it when studying the sermons and possibly writing a sermon for delivery in the cathedral. On this page, the coloured writing in the second column tells the reader that one sermon has ended ('explicit') and another begins ('incipit'). It gives some of the words from the Gospel of John that it concerns. The sermon, on the unity of the four gospels, begins with its first letter larger than the others, coloured and with simple decoration. The style of handwriting is very much like that used in late Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman conquest.