of an after-life was exceedingly vivid: the piety of the Egyptians in the later days was a matter of wonder and scoffing to their contemporaries; it is generally agreed that certain features in the development of Christianity are to be traced to Egypt as their birthplace and nidus.
They met with a quick and easy sale, were very extensively read, and very liberally and deservedly praised for the unflagging industry and vigour they displayed, though just exception, if only on the score of good taste, was taken to the scoffing tone he continued to maintain in all passages where the Christian religion was specially concerned, and much fault was found with the indecency of some of his notes.'
All blasphemies against God, as denying His being, or providence, all contumelious reproaches of Jesus Christ, all profane scoffing at the Holy Scriptures, or exposing any part thereof to contempt or ridicule, are punishable by the temporal courts with fine, imprisonment and also infamous corporal punishment.
At a later period, when the Church had learnt to look with suspicion upon devotional books likely to provoke the scoffing of some and lead others into heresy, a work of this kind could hardly meet with her approval.
Doubtless this coincidence gave a ready handle to the scoffing wits of the time, and among the numerous popular names given to the Beghards - bons garcons, boni pueri, boni valeti and the like - we find also that of Lollards (from Flemish liillen, " to stammer").