Excerpt from Selections From the Sermons of Padre Agostino Da Montefeltro
At the end of the first period he has won the hearts of his audience, and there is no doubt as to the fascination of his eloquence. Without ever losing its virile, incisive character, it easily lends itself to paint the fond picture of home life, to pity suffering, to brand iniquity with righteous indignation, and, divinely inspired, to soar into the very Presence of God.
Rapt in profound interest, breathless, intent, the people follow him, drawn upwards irresistibly by the golden thread of his eloquence. Step by step he raises them up the ladder of faith, till, with a firm but reverent hand, he can lift the veil of the unseen and infinite and bid them look within. Thence, with sudden alternation from that supreme height, he turns their gaze back upon the world. With accents of the deepest tender ness he speaks of the sorrows of mankind, and counts, as it were, one by one, the tear-drops of humanity. There is one stern Word of warning to recall their responsibilities to the great and powerful of the earth; and then to the poor and needy, to those who weep the bitter tears of misery, with darkness in their lives and despair in their souls, Lift up your hearts, he cries, lift up your hearts: you are God's own people. He has chosen you for His own possession. And those who are hanging breathless on his words feel that at that moment God is very near to them. A thrill of rapture runs through the vast congregation, which, but for a feeling of reverence, would, like the thunder of the distant cataract, burst forth in a transport of applause.
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