The Pulpit as Cultural Prow

“What could be more full of meaning? – for the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world.  From thence it is that the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt.  From thence it is that the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favourable winds.  Yes the world’s a ship on its passage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow.

– Herman Melville, Moby Dick 

pg. 69 (Barnes & Noble Classics edition) 

 

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