a website dedicated to the memory of Adolphe Monod (1802-1856)



Impressions of a young listener (1810)

Charles Adrien Bost (1871-1943) has published two little documents written by his maternal great-grandmother, Julie Devillas (1791-1869) in the Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire du protestantisme: a passage taken from a letter she had written to her mother, Louise Tessier (1754-1821), in 1810, and a notepad entry. These documents are interesting because they tell us something about Jean Monod’s reputation as a minister and indicate a possible weakness of his way of delivering sermons.

In her letter the young lady (she is 19 years old) apologizes to her mother for being late in answering her letter. She then mentions a sermon given by Jean Monod on May 13:

“I would like to think that you will forgive me because the reason [for my belatedness] is quite commendable. Let me tell you that I attended the Sunday service to hear Mr. Monnot (sic), the greatest of the ministers in Paris. I was very happy to listen to his discourse, which was very beautiful, and I have decided to offer you a sample of what is being preached in this country. …”

Unfortunately, this summary has not been preserved. In her notepad of June, Miss Devillas mentions Jean Monod once more:

“Saint-Thomas-du-Louvre (Saint-Louis) has been given to the Reformed protestants so that they could celebrate their offices there. It is a small church, and I do not find its interior satisfactory. I consider the fact that the two sexes are mixed in one place the only purpose of which is to listen to the Word of God to be at least useless, and quite contrary to the spirit of meditation that should pervade each of the church attendees. Indeed, who of us has never made the experience how quickly the mind … I have heard Mr. Meonnod (sic), the foremost of the protestants pastors in Paris. I was very pleased by the wise exposition of his discourses and the pure moral that flows from them. It is quite a pity that his delivery does not support the beneficial effect produced by his words.”

Source: Bulletin de la société de l’histoire du protestantisme, April-June 1936, p. 143

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