Saturday, April 23, 2011

George Elliot on pastors

"Given, a man with moderate intellect, a moral standard not higher than the average, some rhetorical affluence and a great glibness of speech, what is the career in which, without the aid of birth or money, he may most easily attain power and reputation in English society? Where is that Goshen of mediocrity in which a smattering of science and learning will pass for profound instruction, where platitudes will be accepted as wisdom, bigoted narrowness as holy zeal, unctuous egoism as God-given piety? Let such a man become an evangelical preacher; he will then find it possible to reconcile small ability with great ambition, superficial knowledge with the prestige of erudition, a middling morale with a high reputation for sanctity."
~ George Eliot, 1855

HT to Jacon Schriftman for the source.  It's from “Evangelical Teaching", an essay in  The Spirit of the Age: Victorian Essays, ed. by  By Gertrude Himmelfarb... read most of the essay here.. ( also found in  The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens).


  1. Wow. What is the source of that quote?

  2. Hi Craig...Thanks for asking, I just updated the post with the source. I hate posting a quote without the source, but the blog i found it on had no source, so your comment reminded me to Google it and give credit.

    Blessings to you!


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!