Sermon on the Gospel of Matthew, In A Volume Of Works By St. Augustine And Others f.32v
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Belonging in the Middle Ages to the cathedral priory of Rochester, this manuscript contains a large collection of St Augustine's sermons, mostly on parts of the New Testament. Its attractive bold handwriting is further enlivened by elaborately decorated letters beginning three sermons, while the others have large coloured first letters. Augustine (354-430) was one of the great preachers of early Christianity, his hundreds of sermons being copied many times and distributed throughout the medieval western church. This copy of his sermons may have been read from during the daily prayer services of the canons and monks--although it is not organised according to the calendar of feast days--and probably was used as a resource for the writing of sermons to be delivered at mass.
The sermons in this section are on Jesus' words in the Gospel of Matthew and are arranged according to the order of the gospel text. On this page, the words "make a good tree and it will make good fruit" (Mt 12:33) are the subject. At its front, the manuscript has a table of contents which gives the gospel quotation, which would have aided its use as a reference. This page has fingerprints, smudges and marginal markings which were made by frequent use.