Quote of the Week: Hugh Peter

Congregationalist army chaplain Hugh Peter was preaching in the village of West Ham in 1643. Some gentlemen began to walk out in protest at the sermon’s content. As they were leaving, Peter called out to one:

“Sir, I pray you hear me speak a few words before you be gone. I’ll tell you a tale that shall be worth your hearing and yet no so long as to hinder you in your business.”

The gentleman paused, leaning on the font by the church door.

“There was a gentleman that kept an ape, a cock, a dog and a rod. The ape would show his master tricks; the dog would fetch; the cock would eat up crumbs; but you will ask, what served the rod for? To whip such fools that when they are going away from hearing a sermon, will come in again to hear a tale”. 

Quoted in Ridley, 1977, The Roundheads.